Monday, November 15, 2010

Lion baby card

Here is a quick card I made to send to Julie for the birth of her son. I used the spellbinders scallop circles to cut out the white and blue cardstock with my cuttlebug. The lion is from a Sandylion sticker pack with baby animals that I love. The brown ribbon is velvet. It only took me 5 minutes and I am thrilled with the result.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We had a JAG Agility demo at the Oaks Park Octoberfest. It was great fun during and after the rain. Our course was set up next to one of the fest tents...easy access to beer and brats. I ran Lavi and Boomerang. Lavi had her share of zoomies but I did get her to do some of the obstacles. When Matt and Susan arrived, she was more interested in them than running the course. At least it was cute....

Here I am running Boomerang (he's heading up the A-frame).

We also had fun watching the dogs jumping off the docks in the Northwest Challenge. The winner jumped almost 26 feet! Once Lavi knew we were not going to make her do it, she settled down.

Lavi watching the action.

Lavi and Susan.

Alexander gang (minus cat, bird, fish, fish, fish, fish).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

End of Summer 2010 Photos

Summer 2010 went by really fast. I played a lot of Bocce with the Burlingame Bocce team. We made it to the finals on Thursday night but lost to last year's grand champions. We also played in the tournament of champions but ended up losing in the quarterfinals to the Tuesday night champs.

The Burlingame Bocce team (named after our neighborhood). (L-R Dario, Stephanie, Robin-captain, Clint, Roberta, Kim, Leigh and Laura)

Robin watching the finals from our front row seats. The Thursday night champs ended up winning the whole thing again.

Here I am watching the finals. Nice view of the fancy scoreboard, which was brought out for the final game.

Also made some time this summer to visit the dahlia fields with Doug and Susan.

They are absolutely amazing. Here is a photo of the bunch I brought home.

The animals had an eventful end of summer. Gandalf enjoys watching Tiamet - our new resident Betta.

Lavi got her haircut and they took a lot of her ears. She seems to like and it and it doesn't get matted - for now.

And Gandalf hogging Lavi's bed. She is so good and doesn't kick him off though she could if she wanted.

Rosh Hashanah Carrot Cake

My first layer cake. I was excited to make a layer cake since I feel the sheet cakes just don't have the same elegance. I research and tried all the tricks I could with out spending any money.

Here is the Carrot Cake recipe (taken from the back of the Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour package but modified slightly).

Makes 2 8" round cake pans.

1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 c canola oil
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
2 c grated carrots (grated by hand)
2 tsp baking powder
2 8 oz cans crushed pineapple (drained and juice reserved)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 8" round baking pans (I also cut parchment paper to put on the bottom of the pans after I sprayed with cooking oil and before I added and tapped out flour). Mix the first 6 ingredients (sugar to cinnnamon) and then add the remaining ingredients. Pour evenly into the two pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). Let sit for 15 minutes in pan and then pop out onto cooling rack.

At this point I triple wrapped the cakes and stuck them into the freezer. You can leave them in the freezer for up to a week. Remove them when ready to apply frosting. It is a lot easier to apply frosting to the frozen cakes but leave ample time for the cakes to defrost entirely before eating.

Leigh's super-duper cream cheese frosting

6 oz cream cheese softened
2/3 c butter softened
1 tsp real vanilla
6 c sifted powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla really well until light and fluffy. Add sugar by the cup. After about 5 cups, add in smaller amounts until you reach desired sweetness.

A few more hints: After you remove the cakes from the freezer, take the reserved pineapple juice and brush on lightly. This will help the cakes remain moist. I also made a crumb layer with the frosting and then stuck it back into the fridge to set up for 30 min. Once set, apply the remainder of the frosting.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gandalf being Gandalf

Gandalf still loves his perch. It is not unusual for him for hang his head over the side but this time he hung his head through the hole.

Here's his head through the hole.

He is also a big fan of Lavi's bed.

Agility Demo at Hazeldale Park

We had our second agility demo in two weeks. This one was at Hazeldale Park in Aloha. Besides agility, they had flyball demos, disc dog demos as well as dog dancing. In a spur of the moment, I decided to have Lavi take the Canine Good Citizen Test. She did great. I figured she would but since you can't use treats during the test, I was a little concerned. She was rewarded heavily afterwards.

Here are the dogs from our club that passed their Canine Good Citizen test.

(L-R Finn, Leo, Lavi and Jewel)

Natalia was there again taking photos. Although these photos look like Lavi is an agility superstar...they are a bit misleading. Yes, she does have her moments but since she does go kind of slow the pictures look good. I do love how her ears fly all over the place.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mount Hood birding

Yesterday we took a trip to do some mountain birding around Mount Hood. Shockingly, we have been here 2.5 years and this was the first time we got up there. It was beautiful. We found several good birds (3 lifers for me - Clark's Nutcracker, Pine Siskin and Hermit Warbler). Lavi enjoyed the scenery.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Agility demo at Schnauzer Walk

Here are some photos from yesterday's agility demo. Lavi had a ton of fun!!

It is good to be home for a little while.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Elko and Silver State Stampede

There are a few things in Elko that are worth writing home about. The best is probably the taco truck. It is actually a great food truck and that says a lot coming from a Portland resident where food carts are everywhere these days. Here is Julie, Jean and Katie enjoying our lunch at the truck.

I had the opportunity to attend the Silver State Stampede, aka the rodeo. It was exactly what I expected. My favorite parts were the cowgirls racing their horses in the clover pattern. One of the ladies is even an aesthetician. My other favorite part was the "Ring of Fear". They had 6 guys standing in their own circles in a small ring. The goal is stay in your ring when they turn the bull loose. The last man standing wins $500. I heard a woman won the night before, but she also works at a ranch and was more like a "bull whisperer". There was no whispering tonight, these guys got their asses handed to them except the last one. The bull didn't even make it over to his part of the ring and didn't have to do anything. Here is the bull about to charge one of the other poor dudes.

It was a very interesting night...another good time in Elko, Nevada.

Nevada - Take 2

I am back in Nevada after three weeks at home. This time I have a new partner and a whole new area to explore close to the Nevada-Utah border. Right now we are on mountains surrounded by juniper trees.

This cactus was on top of the summit of one of the mountains.

The easterly view from the summit over the mountains and the salt flats in Utah.

One of the many lizards we have observed.

So far this rotation has been a lot hotter and dryer than last time. It is a good thing we start so early in the morning and can be done by the time it gets super hot. Plus the birds are more active then as well. Some new species so far include Pinyon Jay, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Juniper Titmouse and Blue-grey Gnatcatcher. Hopefully we will see more hummingbirds this week.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

John Wooden

Appropriate quote from my Honest Mate bottle cap. Sadly this is the last bottle of tea from my Earth Day tweet prize :(

Monday, June 28, 2010

Man's Best Friend

She LOVES the do we now that it is running again.

A Little Birding in Oregon

We have been trying to get up to Larch Mountain for the past couple weeks and the weather is now finally cooperating. It is only about 22 miles from Mount Hood (pictured above). There is a 14 mile drive up to the top where the Sooty Grouse can be seen. After several miles we finally found one crossing the road - Yeah! A new life bird for Matt and myself.

It was a pretty nice day and the view from the top was great. We could see Mount Hood, Mount St. Helen's, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. This picture shows a little bit of the Columbia Gorge below.

On the way back to town, we stopped at the Sandy River Bridge. I got two more life birds - Swainson's Thrush and Common Merganser.

Earlier last week we did some birding at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, where I saw my first Willow Flycatcher, Vaux's Swift, Savannah Sparrow, Lesser Goldfinch and Hairy Woodpecker.

Just a few highlights from the past few weeks at home. I'll be heading back to Elko next week for a month.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010