Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Goats

When the goats first arrived at our little farm, they were to be secluded and left alone by the dogs. This decision was justified after a few tense occasions between the four of them. All have recovered and we are moving on to living in harmony.

This harmony all started in the early fall when I thought that I might be able to control Cooper vocally (he does go into time-outs as aforementioned). It started out with Cooper in the goat pen, being very excited to meet the goats face to face, and resulted in Annabelle head-butting him in the ribcage. Cooper is not one for confrontation, even though he loves to growl and bark at people, so he has continued to be "fearful" of the goats. Success! On another occasion as it proved that the three of them could get along (no Sakari at this point) they were all out in the pasture together. I told Cooper it was time to go "inside" so he ran to the gate. This action caught Annabelle's attention and she went in for the kill (what I would do to have this on camera) charging at full force towards Cooper and pinning him in the ribcage between her head and the fence. He yelped and cried. He is even more fearful than before.

Meanwhile during Cooper's adventures with the goats, Sakari was either abandoned inside the house or forced to watch on her hind legs from the little back yard. We had tried several times, separately, to let Sakari get to know the goats with a leash on, but she always got a little too excited and nipped at their ears. Resulting in a scolding and sent to be inside, away from the fun, to sulk in her misbehavior. Recently both of us decided it was high time they all get along as it was inconvenient to lock up the goats so the dogs could run around. So, the two of us let Sakari loose with the goats in their pen and kept a close eye on her. Annabelle had built up her confidence from her encounters with Cooper, she had no fear of Sakari, she reared up and worked hard at headbutting Sakari. Let me say, it was entertaining. Sakari was very well behaved and I think that she was able to connect her behavior with the goats and her getting scolded as well that Cooper got to hang out with the goats as he was not aggressive with them, so if she wanted to play with the goats she had to be nice. It is so neat being able to see animals rationalize like that.

Harmony is really coming to our little farm. The dogs and goats can be out in the pasture together, Sakari chasing, Annabelle headbutting, Penelope and Cooper both fearful. They do need to be supervised but all listen very well to vocal commands.

"May your troubles be less and your blessing be more and nothing but happiness come through your door"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day

We had a very nice and calm Valentines Weekend. In the years that we have been together we have only celebrated Valentines at a restaurant once (well now its been twice). The first occasion was when we were both living in the dorms at Central Washington University and did not have access to a kitchen to be able to cook. Our second time was this year, we have been craving Indian food for a while and Thomas thought that this would be a great occasion to go out for it. It was delicious. We usually prepare a meal at home; either Steaks or Chicken Parmesan have been our meals of choice.

I remember our first Valentines, we were at school in Ellensburg. Thomas was living in Timothy Park and I was in Green Hall. We wanted to "surprise" each other for the holiday, so Thomas cooked and I brought the wine. Thomas made is specialty, chicken parmesan with pasta and Uncle Dan's Potatoes. I went to the store and bought wine glasses, ribbon (to decorate the stems since they didn't have red/pink ones) and a bottle of wine. I am not a wine drinker and I think I probably got the cheapest wine I could find and it proved to be disgusting, but we drank it anyway. The meal was great and the company was even better. Somehow we lucked out with Thomas's roommates being out of the house so our evening was uninterrupted.

This year on Friday, I needed to stop at the store on my way home to get a few things and was craving, what my family calls "Brown Rice" so I got the ingredients. While I was there I decided that we needed to have more than rice for dinner so I got some steak and a loaf of bread. I don't know what I did to the steak that night but it was the BEST steak I have ever made or ate in my life. I cooked it to perfection, it was deliciously seasoned and was just the right amount. So our whole meal was; Steak, Brown Rice, Celery Au Gratin and Rosemary Potato Bread. Delish!

For Valentines, we went to Sumay Indian Cuisine, its also known as KARMA in Puyallup off of Meridian. We are so happy and lucky to have such a wonderful Indian Restaurant near our house. We enjoyed our meal and then came home to have a Red Velvet Cupcake that my Mom made on Saturday. What a wonderful evening.

I love my Valentine and He loves me!

"May you never find trouble all crowdin' and shovin'. But always good fortune - all smilin' and lovin'"

The Dog House

No worries, no one is in the dog house. Actually we don't even have one of those, our house is the dog house (they spend more time here than we do). But I wanted to post about the pups.

I have to say that Cooper is the most adorable little dog anyone could ever meet or imagine, I am pretty sure that I am not biased. He has a little bit of a challenging personality, he doesn't like strangers and it takes a long time for you to be considered NOT a stranger. He loves to bark and alert us of any noise (threatening or not). He loves his toys; Pig, Bear, Bunny, Ball, and Penguin. He knows them by name and will usually retrieve one if we ask him to. My favorite is watching him leap around the house with Pig or Bunny in his mouth as they flop around and trip him up. He chases after his ball as long as we have the energy to keep up. He also loves all things soft, he insists on being on top of a blanket or pillow when on the furniture and he LOVES his bed. It's actually his second bed (he got a little too excited with the first one and chewed it up) and he spends lots of time there. It also happens to be his "Time-out" spot. Yes my little adorable puppy as cute as he is, does have to go into Time Out from time to time. He responds very well and stays there until you tell him he can leave. He loves to snuggle and cuddle and HAS to sleep under the covers. Once he lets you into his "circle" you too will agree that he is the cutest dog with the best personality.

I cannot post about the pups and not mention the "little girl". Sakari is one of the best behaved Huskies I have heard of. While she has had some ups and downs (which dog hasn't?) she has definitely grown into a beautiful, well trained, loving and caring dog. For a Husky she is very calm and naps a lot. She does have a lot of energy and loves to be outside in the cold. She too loves her toys, but is not as apt to share them as her brother. She is the opposite of Cooper, she doesn't make a sound, unless she is growling to let Cooper know that it is HER toy. He obliges and is very polite and doesn't take her toys. However, if Cooper has a toy she wants she hunts him and as soon as he takes his eyes off it, she takes it. The other way we know that she has a voice is when we tell her to speak, even then it can be a challenge. I think a lot of her calmness comes from her ability to run around outside (Cooper chases her), but also because she chases Cooper inside the house and they rough house a lot. She is a little cuddle bug and her favorite place in the house is on the foot of our bed. If we leave the bedroom door open and Sakari is inside and we can't find her she is most likely to be on the bed curled up, doesn't matter the time of day.

Our pups are the cutest and without a doubt have enriched our lives in so many ways and our love for them runs so deep. We look at them and talk about them all the time and cannot come up with what is so special about them or why they are so adorable. They just are.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Well it feels like January took forever to complete but it also went by so fast and then here we are 3 days to Valentines Day!

Soup Sunday's have been successful in the New Year, I may have missed one week but that isn't too bad. So far I have made:
-Spanish Chicken Stew, this was pretty good. I made it with Chicken Thighs but forgot to take
of the skin so it got a little greasy but the flavor was good.
-Spinach, Sausage and Tortellini Soup, this was really good and I would be interested in
making it again. It had some of my favorite things in it, Italian Sausage and Tortellini! There
is something about tortellini that makes me happy. I am looking forward to trying this one
out again.
-Lentil, Chicken and Spinach Soup, I enjoyed this one too. I added some hot red pepper flakes
as it needed just a little bit of spice. The lentils were great, they have a way of making the
dish seem hearty.
-Mexican Chicken Soup, this one was really good it had cayenne pepper and tomato with
carrot and onion. I used a roasted chicken from the store to "speed" it up and it also had
cumin and cilantro. I added fresh avocado when serving and that added just the right touch.

It has been a lot of fun making all of these different soups. I have become accustomed to cooking with onions and I think that I am able to eat them now, well at least in soups since I chop them up so small, but if I can pick them out I think I probably still would. The most fun part is that the past two Sunday's my parents have made the trip down to partake in it and we have had the opportunity to spend time together.

My mom got a new dog, he is a Peekapoo and is considered an apricot color his name is Miracle and he is adorable. She has brought him both times they have come down. Sakari loves to play with him and she has "thrown" him a few feet away with her paw as they are playing. Cooper is the referee and gets worked up and nervous, I think that he is probably the most tired after everyone leaves.

I went down to Hilsboro, OR a few days ago to "The Junk Salvation" it is a Flea Market of sorts at the Washington County Fairgrounds and there were a lot of vendors with all their antiques. It was so much fun and I saw some great things and got really good ideas. My few purchases were these great Bark Cloth Curtains with an adorable farm scene in bold colors (going up in my kitchen) this cute green cart (displayed with my tea things) and a great little bench (just need another one for the living room). They are having another one of these in Puyallup, WA in May. I learned that you HAVE to get there early to get the good stuff. I was only about 30 minutes after opening and there were already a lot of great buys with "SOLD" stickers on them.

"Wherever there is happiness hope you'll be there too. Wherever there are friendly smiles hope they'll smile on you. Wherever there is sunshine, hope it shines especially for you to make each day for you as bright as it can be."