Tuesday, July 31, 2012

hello my name is potato!

how cute are these dog tags?!

i got them on etsy from ID4pet.

and how cute is this little potato?! he's already accumulated a bunch of potato-related nicknames. tater tot, sweet potato, french fry, curly fry, tato, mr. potato head, spuddy buddy...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

office space cake

yesterday i baked a cake for the first time in about a decade. cam and i had an office space themed dinner and watched the movie. i had two themed cake ideas that i combined into one:

i looked into that classic "PC LOAD LETTER" error message, and it turns out the old printers that gave that message were made by the same company cam and i met working for. i tried to make the cake look sort of like a printer, but that was tricky.

here's the recipe for vegan vanilla cake. i substituted vanilla soy milk instead of water, vegan margarine instead of shortening, added about a tablespoon of ener-g egg replacer and doubled the recipe. i'm not a big fan of cake usually, but this was the shit. better than any non-vegan vanilla cake i can remember ever eating.

cam made a "TPS bowl" for dinner--tomatoes, pasta and spinach. plus some kale.

i made initech badges. laminated even! i thrifted this hand-crank laminator for $5, intending to use it to make waterproof plant tags for my garden, and after that i thought i'd stow it away and hardly ever use it. but you would not believe how often it comes in handy. i also laminated the paper coming out of the printer cake, so it wouldn't get all yucky.

i decorated with a bunch of TPS report cover sheets, a mini "jump to conclusions" mat, a picture of a red swingline stapler and an initech sign.

Friday, July 20, 2012

potato's first day home

 potato is the sweetest, cuddliest little dog. he's also a troublemaker! i gave him his first bath in the sink, then let him outside to dry off. and then this happened:


 he tossed himself around, kicked up dust--it was just like the chickens taking their dust baths.

 so then he got his second bath.

 it's going to take andy a while to get used to him. they sorta play together, but there's also a lot of growling.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

new puppy!!!

is he the cutest little guy or what? he's a 1.5 year old yorkie/poodle mix (normally referred to as a "yorkie-poo," but i think i'll call him a "porkie."). i'm still working on his new name. he comes home tomorrow!

i found him at a small, under-funded, no-kill shelter in emmett, called pet adoption league (give them your money and facebook likes!). i went there for a different dog but fell in love with the porkie when he reached out with his tiny paws and then licked my fingers through the cage. when i go back tomorrow i'm bringing a whole bag full of dozens of toys, bones, collars, treats and other supplies for all the sweet doggies and kitties. i wish i could take them all home.

i've been thinking about getting a second dog for a while, and then last weekend i was pugglesitting for my parents, and it was so fun having a cuddly small dog around. andy is the best dog ever, but he's never been much of a cuddler, except when he's scared.

i bet porkie and puggle will get along really well--they're about the same size, although the porkie weighs less, probably under 10lbs. they will be so cute playing. what's with all the designer dogs at shelters lately? i've always been a fan of mutts, but so many of the mixed breeds are intentional mixes now, it's weird.

now andy will have a little buddy to keep him company while i'm at work! i hope everyone adjusts quickly. it's a very big deal. i'm going to work from home until everybody's acclimated.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


my chickens are still pretty good flyers...i think that changes once they get a bit older and fatter, right? at least they haven't tried to fly anywhere outside the yard. someone's stray chicken flew into my back yard a few days ago--a little cream-brown one about half the size of my ladies. before i could try to catch her andy chased her and she flew right back over the fence with ease. i'm surprised there aren't more strays and flyaways. practically everyone in this neighborhood has chickens.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

weekend in a waterbed lounge chair

 this trailer-park-fabulous setup cost me less than $20 (thanks, china!) and kept me cool the last few 95+ degree days. you know you want one.

 i had a feeling the chickens were going to figure out the doggy door eventually. they're always trying to get inside--they frequently gather at the doorstep and peck at the plastic door. i'm not sure how long they'd been hanging out in the mudroom when i heard clucking and went back to find all three of them in there, standing at the door to the kitchen.

 friday night jason and i had an impromptu apricot adventure in horseshoe bend. we've gone to this tree every summer for the last three years.

 normally i'm the one who butt-slides down the hill to get to the best fruit, but this year i was wearing a skirt, so j went for it.

 he took it a step further and monkey-footed up the tree to get the VERY best fruit. this made me a little nervous. not only is this tree clinging to the side of an incredibly steep, tall hill with lots of jagged rocks below, and thin breakable branches, but we were in the middle of a super windy thunderstorm. he made it out fine, though.

 the sky on the way back was dramatic. we drove up to the cemetery and watched the rain fall over the hills.

 then we met some horse friends, and i got my favorite horse picture ever!

 saturday morning i pilfered my parents puggle for a happy puppy playdate with cam's pups.

 the two dogs were a bit overwhelming for scout. they were too big and loud and scary, even though they just wanted to play and be best friends. DESPERATELY wanted those things. hugo had to sit out the party inside.

 scout is the puggle's official name. they went through dozens of ideas before settling--the naming process took almost a month. my favorite name was mucho. i still call him that. el mucho poocho! but ultimately my mom wanted to name him after the little girl from to kill a mockingbird.

 back to work tomorrow. i got a lot of nothing done this long weekend and i'm feeling pretty good about it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

harvests, volunteers and mini vacations

 yesterday i spent about 5 hours weeding the garden and filled an entire garbage can with leafy detritus. while weeding i uncovered dozens of volunteer mystery tomatillo and tomato seedlings! i'm letting them all grow even though i have no clue what varieties they could be. i was disappointed that i never got tomatillos started this spring so this makes me happy.

 they even planted themselves in good places. i updated my 2012 growing list, adding in all the volunteers and subtracting some failures (major earwig problems over here--i lost tons of seedlings.)

 these sunflowers are another welcome group of volunteers. i never got around to planting any sunflower seeds this year, lameness, but these seem like they're going to be awesome. there's eight of them scattered around and they all have many many buds.

 first squash of the summer!

 and first ripe *red* tomatoes came in last week, including this doubleton.

 i'm still getting lots of golden sweet peas, but most of them don't make it in front of the camera.

 albino alpine strawberries are trickling in at about one wee mouthful per week.

 i planted my kales too close together but they're doing well anyway. in front you can see the bush beans coming up.

 asparagus berries? the asparagus patch is going gangbusters. once the seeds mature i'll plant them to try to help it expand.

 here's something i don't think i've ever posted about before. it's a weird little tomato relative called "naranjilla" ("little orange" in spanish; a.k.a. "lulo"). it's my first year growing this. the seeds take over a month to germinate, the plant likes heat but not direct sunlight, doesn't like wind, takes an extremely long season, and the thorns are absolutely EVIL. why even grow it?

 because look how cool!! and it's a fun challenge. i've never tasted naranjilla fruit before. i can't wait. they look a bit like fuzzy persimmons. here's a picture from jungle garden:

 i harvested a 4+ foot tall volunteer lamb's quarters yesterday. jason's been juicing the leaves for green smoothies lately. so we pulled up the whole plant and put it in a tub of water, then he drove off with it in the back of his truck--it looked like a christmas tree!

 cam and i went cherry picking at an organic cherry/plum/apple orchard in emmett saturday morning. between the two of us we picked about 10lbs of bing cherries, and at only $1/lb we probably should've done more. but it was a little weird for me, being so used to foraging. dozens of short little trees loaded with gobs of perfectly ripe fruit within easy reach--i told her i felt like a hunter shooting animals at the zoo. still fun though, and we had a lovely picnic under a cherry tree.

 i have one day of work left this week. i decided to take thursday and friday off to have a nice five-day vacation during which i hope to do as much nothing as possible. i might go up to mccall to watch the fireworks on the lake. other than that i intend to laze around in the garden, read, take pictures, and watch the entirety of netflix.

happy july!