Category Archives: Journaling

A Little Spring Break

So I haven’t posted here in so long, I almost forget how.  I have been taking a little unannounced break from blogging lately.  I am in kind of a creative/knitting ‘funk’ these days, and even though I have cooked up some yummy dishes lately that are definitely post-worthy, I’ve been having a bit of a dry spell with blogging and such.  I will start posting again soon, but for now it’s nice to have a little break.

One more little thing to announce and share, there is a fun give-away happening today over on my absolute favorite knitting blog, Tanis Fiber Arts.  Tanis has an amazing blog and her very own line of quality, hand-dyed yarns in the most gorgeous colours.  Her knits and blog posts are always impressive and inspiring too.  So if you are a knitter and love to get your hands on all the beautiful yarn you can, check out her Giveaway today!

Hope you’re having a great week!

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Photos of the Week {7} : My Valentines Surprise

I have been laying off the internet ‘play time’ this last week, i.e. facebook, pinterest, and blogging, as a little break from it every now and then is nice. The week was taken up with my husband being sick with a cold, and me being busy making desserts at the restaurant for Valentines Day.  After I got all of the desserts done at work I caught his cold, so we both have been laying low.

I did some nice desserts at the restaurant, which I am so wishing I would have brought my camera in to get some pictures of.  I made a lot of the usuals, Tiramisu, Cannoli, and the (almost flourless, gluten-free) Chocolate Hazelnut Torte.  And for all the sweethearts being treated to a special dining experience, I made some Goats Cheese-Buttermilk Panna Cotta (I loved them, they turned out so nice) that went with a Red Wine Apricot – Black Mission Fig Compote and a Citrus Lace Tuille.  The other special was a chocolate lover’s tart: Chocolate Soufflé Tart in a Chocolate Almond Shortbread Crust with a Godiva Sabayon and Raspberries.  They were also garnished with some pretty little edible flowers.

I would love to get some of these desserts on my blog, but I never bring in my camera to work and I just can’t talk about them and post a recipe without some pictures!  =)  I’ll share some of them on here soon.

Anyway, despite my hubby being sick this last week, he still took me out for a lovely dinner, surprised me with a vase of pretty flowers, and… a very nice and unexpected surprise…

First I must tell you that last Fall we did a road trip down to Yellowstone N.P., Grand Teton N.P., and Jackson Hole, WY.  In Jackson I made a point to stop in to a very fine chocolate shop called Coco Love.  (There’s a blog post here on the shop if you’d like to see more pictures).

In this sleek little modern shop are some fine pastries, coffee, gelato, and fine chocolate truffles of world renowned Pastry Chef and Chocolate Master, Oscar Ortega.

I didn’t leave there without indulging in some amazing chocolates, my favorite was the Goats Milk Caramel Truffle- amazing!

Anyway, this last week my husband surprised me with some special Atelier Ortega chocolates for Valentines…

And a surprise it was!  We have been enjoying the divine flavors and amazing velvety textures of these fine chocolates over the week.

They’re so pretty, they make for a great photo subject too.

Well, there’s three left which I must go take care of right now.  =)

Great job to my husband, and many hugs and kisses!

 

Photos of the Week {5}

I’ve come to realize that my Photo of the Week project is a good indicator of how much I got out during that week.  And if I did get out a little, I didn’t have my camera.  I guess it’s just a sign of a little case of hibernating and some mid-winter blues, and too many gray winter days.

The sun did finally come out last week though, and I always enjoy a pretty winter tree and seeing how they take on different looks through the seasons.  I love blue skies, sunshine, and pretty ice and frost crystals covering the branches.  Sometimes you have to just stop and appreciate the small things.

Oh, and we can’t forget the ‘photo puppy’, as my husband likes to call him.  He is well-photographed. =)  And it turns out that bright sunlight, white snow, and a black dog that is always moving all provide for some good practice in getting the exposure just right with the camera in manual mode.

Our best buddy Jackson, happy as a clam laying in the snow with his raw hide…

This guy is awesome.  He is our kid, the best buddy, a great hunter, and just so darned cute, smart, loyal, obedient, fun, funny, energetic, and so full of personality and character.  I feel like we have had him for so much longer than we have.  He has totally found his way into our hearts.

Oh and while I’m sitting here, he weasels his way to sit under the desk, right by my legs, sets his face on my lap and cuts his eyes up at me.  As to say, “Aren’t I cute?  Come on, can’t we go out to walk and play yet?”.  I best be on my way, and get out while it’s nice and sunny.  =)

Happy New Year

Well, it’s the fourth day of the new year and I’ve been having some goals and such floating around in my head that I thought I’d share.  I’m looking forward to seeing what all 2012 will bring.

I haven’t really been one to make new year’s resolutions, much less make a bunch and stick with them for the entire twelve months!  I think it’s usually a good way to set oneself up for disappointment.  Some years I make a few resolutions (pretty much forgetting about them by March, or for sure by summertime) and other years I think that it’s just a silly tradition so I don’t even bother.

This year I feel kind of refreshed and motivated to make a few goals and make 2012 even better than 2011.  It’s actually a perfect time in my life where I need some goals to push me a little, or I just get too comfortable and complacent.

So I’m putting this out there for all to see, and I’ll be having someone/something holding me a little bit accountable.  There’s a few things I really want to do and some areas I want to see myself learn and grow in.  I will follow up with each one on the list, even if it’s a quick note of an update on what I’ve been doing, working on, or haven’t been working on.

I Want To, and I Will, in 2012:

1. Read more often!

  • Books- pick one and try to finish it within a month.
  • The Bible – spend more time in scripture.
  • My magazines and cookbooks that have piled up.

2. Learn, grow, and improve in something I have a love for and hobby in… Photography!  I WILL get better and keep learning.

  • Read Understanding Exposure.  Got this book for Christmas and I want to read it cover to cover.
  • Take a class.  Whether it’s this spring, summer, or next fall, credit or non-credit.  Simply to learn more and get more familiar with the technical side of the camera.
  • Post a ‘Photo of the Week’ on the blog.  This will be any image(s) that I took during the current week, sometimes even one that I used for a recent recipe/post.  It will be a picture that I like and want to share, and it can be with or without captions and explanation.  It will be one, or more, pictures that I take during the week of the post.  This will keep me looking, seeing, and searching more often, and getting more practice with my camera every week.

3. Go for long runs with my dog.  This is a pretty easy one, since it’s what I already do.  I take Jackson out for exercise about 5 days/week, but I want to be running for at least 2 of those.

4. Knit at least one item for myself each month.  I love knitting but usually don’t let myself relax and knit often enough or get real productive with it.  Much less let myself make something to keep.  It’s so easy for a knitter to want to gift their knits!  So if I must quantitate this goal, it will be to make one thing per month for moi!  This can be a big or small project, a simple hat, mitts, cowl, set of dishcloths for the kitchen, or it can be a bigger project like a sweater or shawl.  I would like one of these to be an introduction to knitting lace, or one that teaches me more about knitting cables.  At least one of these twelve knits will be a sweater!  There are several that I have bookmarked that I want to make for myself but I’m always sticking close to the quick-fix accessories and such so I never get around to them.  So by the end of the year I will have at least one cute sweater/cardigan.  And twelve new knits to wear! 🙂

5. Work more, work harder, try harder to have a better job/work/source of income.  Find a second job, or a different job, and/or make more of an effort to do the work my brother hands me to do from his business.  I’m not really happy with this aspect of my life currently, and need something more, something better!  Someday I’d love to turn one of my talents/passions into my work, be able to do what I love to do and generate some income while I’m at it.

6. Meet more people, make more friends.  It seems to me that the older you get, the harder this can be.  It’s so easy while growing up, in college, and just afterwards.  But at this point in life, seems like girls/people my age are either too busy with their babies/kids, or just settled into their life, work, marriage, etc.  And old friends move away and it’s hard to keep in touch and spend time together.  I want to meet more people, and would love to make a couple more good, genuine friends!  Maybe #5 will help with this one.  =)

7. Be more adventurous and make the most of opportunities that present themselves.

And to my friend Lauren, if you’re reading this I loved some of yours that you shared, and I’m totally snagging a few:  =)

8. Try some yoga.  Occasionally do my yoga dvd’s.

9. Explore, don’t let my petty fears take control.

10. Rock a new found confidence.  And a new pair of boots!

Thanks for those ones Lauren!  =)

I’m pretty happy with this.  It’s not too daunting or unrealistic.  There’s a couple more, but no need to ramble on and blog them.

I will report on these, and if you do visit my little online space here regularly, feel free to ask and hold me to it!

I’m off to take down the Christmas tree.

And one more little thing from Christmas, my mom got me a new big 16 qt. soup and stock pot!

Isn’t it pretty??  Thanks mom!

A Q&A with the New Guy

Here in the Wilson home we recently did a Q & A with the new guy on the block, namely Jackson Wilson.  The interview went pretty well so I thought it would be nice to share and a good way for you, our long distance family and friends and blog visitors, to get to know him.

Q.  So Jackson, how old are you now and do you go by any other names?
A.  Oh I’m almost four months, have been living here with mom and dad for two months now, but it seems like it’s been about a year or two.  It’s a pretty cool place.  They call me Jackson, but I’m a.k.a. Colonel Jack, Jack, Super Stud, Mister, Dude, and Buddy, they throw all kinds of names at me and think I’m catching on.

Q.  I noticed you needed a nap in between our interview, are you pretty tired because you’re growing so fast?
A.  Yeah it wipes me out sometimes.  I’ve gone to the vet and found out I’ve been growing 4 pounds a week.  That’s about a half pound a day!  I now weigh about 35-40 lbs.

Q.  What are some of your favorite things?
A.  Treats, of course.  Also play time with mama and dad, meeting new people and other furry four-legged guys that bark.  I try to play with all of them but some of ’em are old and boring, kinda snobby, and just want to ignore me, snarl, and growl.  But I don’t mind I just keep trying to play with them and get them to act young again.  I also love fetching toys, love sleeping, smelling all the smells (especially of all the birds near home… pheasants, doves, geese), deer poop, horse poop (love that stuff but mom doesn’t let me eat it when I want), going for walks, running and exploring around the big wheat and straw fields by the house.  I’ve just started to like going for rides in mom and dad’s truck.  I really love anything that comes out of the laundry basket, socks, clothes, and shoes are good too.  These teeth have been bothering me lately so I really enjoy hard chewy things in my mouth, but I get in trouble most of the time when I get a hold of those things.

Q.  So you now live with your mom and dad, as the only child?  Do you have a favorite yet?
A.  Well I’m pretty much a mama’s boy right now, I spend most of my time with her.  She takes me walking and running every morning and evening, feeds me, and takes good care of me.  The ol’ Man is really cool, he’s my kind of guy.  He isn’t here at home everyday, but when he gets home after a few days it’s really exciting.  He takes me out in the fields and I find bird scents all over, he takes me off the leash a little more than mom, and he plays the best game ever with me using a fishing pole and a real bird wing at the end of the fishin’ line.  The wing smells like a real bird and I get to chase it, but have to listen to him say “Whoa” a lot, so I stand still and wait ’til he says “Fetch It”.  I’ve actually bonded to both of them pretty good already.  It’s a good life.

Q.  So they say you’re a Bird Dog, have you been hunting yet?
A.  Yeah I’m a Pointer.  Like I said, dad plays the game with me and the bird wing and is teaching me things to get ready to go hunting.  We haven’t gone yet but I really can’t wait.  He’s elk hunting right now but right when he’s done we’ll go get on some birds.  It’ll be a great family thing to do, I think we’ll start this Fall already.

Q.  What have you recently learned in life?
A.  Been catching on really good to a lot of the commands.  I now totally know ‘Whoa’, ‘Come’, ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘No’, ‘Fetch It’, ‘Get It’, ‘On Your Bed’, and ‘Heel’, thanks to the treats and the games that mom and dad play with me all the time.  Oh and I know “Where’s daddy?”, mom says that to me and I go look for him.  Mom also says “Go potty” when we’re outside and just started to catch on, I usually squat and pee when she says that if there’s a treat in her hand.  Also learning to hold my bladder and go pee outside, getting really good at that.

Q.  Would you like to give a shout-out to your extended family, anything to say to them?
A.  Yes I would love to see them soon, just tell ’em to come over anytime and play.  I haven’t met some of them yet, so hopefully soon!

Jackson and Co.

We’ve now had Jackson for more than a month and I’ve been meaning to share some pictures and stories.  So many cute things and funny things happen with him, I’ve intended on journaling them and sharing the funny stories but I wait too long and then there’s too much to tell.  All I really need to say is that he is awesome, so cute, and does the funniest puppy things and he makes me laugh everyday.

He sure is a handful!  Full of energy when awake, and then just wipes out and takes lots of naps.  I exercise him twice a day– morning and evening, where we go for a good walk down our country road.  He’s starting to run with me a little now with those long legs, which is awesome since the little intervals of running keep him from stopping everywhere to smell the smells!  He has quite the nose, these dogs are born and bred for their good noses and that keeps him really busy.  I think he’ll be a good hunting dog for Will, he’s been pointing butterflies and dragonflies, and watching the geese and birds flying, so he’ll be pointing birds in no time =)

It’s really fun to watch him around water, the first times with the hose on he was chasing and pawing at the moving water like he was trying to catch it, then figured out how he can drink out of the hose and just loves that.  Last week as I was in Thompson Falls with Will, we took him down to a nice beach area on the river.  Oh boy, he had no idea what he was in for… just went crazy flying all over the beach, digging in the sand, sniffing and snorting it, pretty much wearing it and trying to swim in it.  We threw some sticks in the water and he ended up swimming for the first time which was pretty fun to watch.

I’ve been wanting to share some pics of the evening I went to pick him up, these were taken more than a month ago but better late than never right?  And here’s some more recent ones from the last 1 1/2 months.

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Well there’s the update and pictures finally!  Hope you enjoyed them. =)

Puppy Excitement

Well I just went to visit our new puppy this evening, and am going to go get him tomorrow and bring him home!  I was in town shopping and stocking up on all the puppy goods, and since I was in the area I got to go see him for a bit.  It just made me all the more excited to get him and begin our new adventure and lives together!  I’m working tomorrow so I figured I’ll pick him up after that, so I won’t be leaving him home alone his first morning here.  That wouldn’t be very nice of me.  I hope he’ll adapt well, as he won’t have mama or his 10 brothers and sisters around to play with.  I am glad I don’t work 5 days/wk, 8-9 hr days, I would hate to leave him home alone that much.  We probably wouldn’t be getting one of these guys if I did work full time, they do not do well cooped up in a kennel all day without people and without exercise.

So I have been, and am, perusing the web, reading about German Wirehair Pointers.  Will has always been more familiar with these pointer breeds and has wanted one for a long time now, whereas I am more familiar with little lap/toy dogs like my two little Pomeranians that my family and I had for 15+ years.  So I’m reading up and we have both been reading this book, Gun Dog, by Richard Wolters.  Seems to be a classic and well-known among bird-dog owners.  Very informative and good guidance for training and having these dogs.

Found a few good things just on Wikipedia though.  So I thought I’d share in case you want to check it out and learn a little about them!  Some important and fun things to know about them… (from the wikepedia site)

“The German wirehaired pointer is very affectionate, active and intelligent. Eager to learn and loyal to its family…”

“This is one breed of dog that does not do well in a kennel environment. German wirehaired pointers are happiest and most well behaved when they are part of the family and can spend time with their people. They can be rather willful and they like to roam. Powerful and energetic, they can become bored and hard to manage without enough exercise. The German Wirehaired pointer is a good all-around gun dog, able to hunt any sort of game on any sort of terrain. This dog has a good nose and can track, point, and retrieve on both land and water. Steady, lively and vigorous.”

“This is a dog that can fully respond to the needs of its hunter. The goal was to develop a wire-coated, medium sized dog that could:

  • Search for, locate and point upland game
  • Work both feather and fur with equal skill and retrieve water fowl
  • Be a close-working, easily trained gun dog
  • Be able to track and locate wounded game
  • Be fearless when hunting “sharp” game such as fox
  • Be a devoted companion and pet; and
  • Be a watchdog for its owner’s family and property.”
The more I learn about them the more awesome they are.  
We are still back and forth on the name.  The breeders are calling him Colonel.  He has some black/grey markings around his tail which look like a ring around it, and I guess a dog with those markings on the tail can be called ‘Colonel’ or ‘Sargent’ among people who know this breed.  🙂  So as of now he is Colonel Jack (short for Jackson).
Well more to come on the little guy soon!
🙂