Friday, April 30, 2010

Photo Finish Friday

Tail wags, dear readers! It's me, Stormy - here with Photo Finish Friday! We thought today was the perfect day to show you the gorgeous cross we received this week from our sweet friends Star and Riley. Their mom made it - she made it! - and it is just one of the most beautiful things ever.

Mom said we have to be very gentle with it and treat it reverently, but said that yes, before she finds the perfect place to display it, we could see it. Here is a collage of me checking it out:

CollageCrossStorm
Me, Stormy, admiring the cross Riley and Star's mom made

Isn't it stunning?!!? I was VERY interested in it (I wonder if Star and Riley helped her with all that intricate beadwork?), as you can tell. Then I read the card their mom made, too, and it has a hymn on it that sings, "
God will take care of you!" The whole thing was just so very touching and all of us just totally treasure the cross and card - but most of all what they represent.

I paused to give thanks ...

DSCN4995 Stormy
Mom says my expression here says it all

...then let Dave take a turn seeing it. Since he's Mom's Guide Dog for the Color Blind and spends a lot of time in the Studio, he has a great appreciation for the time and talent it took Star and Riley's mom to create this!

DSCN4998 Dave
"Stormy, when you're done, may I see it, please?"

He really is a well-mannered pup, isn't he? I think it's part of that whole "Texas gentleman" thing. Here's a collage of him admiring the cross:

CollageCrossDave
Dave admiring our Gift

I'm not sure, but I think he might have said a prayer or two over it!

Thank you again, Riley and Star's mom! It is so beautiful! Mom and we love it!

Tail wags,
Storms

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Act Naturally!

Tail wags, dear pups and kittens. It's me - Stormy! So there I was the other day in the bedroom my office, collar-deep in a mentoring session with Zimmie, when in walks Mom. With the camera, of course. You know, there are some things we Siberians just cannot divulge to our bipeds, and what goes on in our special tête-à-tête sessions is right up there. So as soon as I saw Mom, I told Zim to act naturally!

IMG_5655 Stormy & Zim
Me (Stormy) and Zim, trying to act naturally

I don't think it worked real well. Ha roo roo roo!

Tail wags,
Storms

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zim's Frozen Treats

Ha roo, pups and cool cats! It's me, Zim. Remember a couple of weeks ago I shared a recipe with you for a little something we call Zim's Stinky Goodness Jerky Treats? They're treats we came up with to fit in with restricted, prescription diets. Based on the comments we received (and we'd like to thank all of you for the positive, constructive comments you left!) we thought we'd share another recipe with you today! How about we get cookin'?!?

Again, some of the prescription foods don't have coordinating snacks. We do keep some kibble in a little well-sealed candy jar on the counter, but sometimes a guy or gal needs something else! In addition to my Stinky Goodness Jerky Treats, we also have Frozen Treats!

Here's a collage to show you the first few steps:

ZimsFrozenTreatsCollage1
Zim's Frozen Treats - the first steps!

Starting up there in the upper left corner - get about a cup of your special prescription kibble and about a 2-cup container. Make sure the kibble is good - give it a taste-test! Once you're sure the kibble is to your satisfaction, cover it with water, then seal the container. Mom says to make sure the container is well-sealed. I have no idea what that's about, but I always offer to make sure. After a couple hours, give it a look - make sure all the kibble has soaked up the water. You might have to add more water - otherwise, grab a fork and mush it all up.

At this point, you have all kinds of options. You can spread it about 1/4 of an inch thick in a pan and freeze it, then break it apart like peanut brittle! Mom even scooped some using a small cookie scoop and baked it ... but oddly enough, she only did that one time. I thought they were great - and I loved having all the windows wide open for a few hours and having the whole-house fan on! Mmm.... Stinky Goodness Baked Treats! That was sooooo good and Mom and Dad talked about how fragrant they were for days!! But I digress... here's another collage, showing one of my favorite things to do with the "mush":

ZimsFrozenTreatsCollage2
Zim's Frozen Treats - the middle steps!

Get a plastic ice cube tray. Mom says "one you'll never use for ice ever, ever again"... but I have no idea what she means by that. You can just press the kibble mush into the trays as is - OR - combine that with something on your "permissible foods" list. Peas just happen to be on my list of things I'm allowed to have, so we often put a couple frozen peas into the bottom of the ice cube tray, then press the mush over top of it. Spread it all out real well, then put that whole thing into a big, sealable baggie. Our tray fits perfectly into a 2-gallon Ziploc! Seal it up, then put it in the freezer section of your Magic Cold Box. It'll take an hour or so before they're ready.

In the meantime... you might have some leftover mush! Here's another fave! Take that and some of the peas (or not) and put them in a little sandwich-sized baggie. Press it all toward the sealed end, forming a log. Like so:

DSCN4902 Frozen Treats in a roll
Zim's Frozen Log Treats

Toss that into the freezer section, too.

Let's check to see how our other Frozen Treats are doing, OK?!!? Here's a look:

ZimsFrozenTreatsCollage3
Zim's Frozen Treats - ready to eat!

Yeah! Just pop them out of the trays and store in the same baggie in the freezer! Look at those peas on the bottom! YUMMERZZZ!!!

Mom often breaks the Frozen Log Treats up into smaller pieces for me - I just love them! In fact... I think it's time for a taste-test, don't you?

DSCN4907 Zim about to taste-test
"I ❤❤❤ Zim's Frozen Treats!"

Like with Zim's Stinky Goodness Jerky Treats, I hope this helps some of you out and gives you more snacking options! Bone appetite!

Play bows,
Zim

PS: Note from the mom of the Ao4: As with the post about Zim's Stinky Goodness Jerky Treats, any derogatory comments aimed at Hills or other pet food companies will be deleted. That would not be helpful, nor is it relevant to this blog post. Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Serene Scenery ... Monday

Ha roo, pups and kit-cats! It's me, Zim, here with Serene Scenery Monday! We are so behind showing you our garden pix, that Stormy and Dave posted some yesterday and said Ammy and I should show you some more today! Are you ready to get started? Let's have a look around!

Remember Stormy showed you our "Skidmore Lilacs" yesterday? As she said, they're in the southeast section of our garden. Here's a look at what's cooking down in the southwest corner!

DSCN4796 Zim in the garden
"Lilacs to the left of me, Texas Quince to the right...
Here I am ... stuck in the middle with you! (Ha roo roo roo.)"

Those are Old Fashioned Lilacs in the corner. Want a close-up? Here you go:

DSCN4841 Old Fahioned Lilacs
Old Fashioned Lilacs

They're a deeper, richer color than the ones
Stormy showed you yesterday!

Also sort of along that southern perimeter are the Eskimo Viburnum. They're in full swing right now; here's a look at their blooms:

DSCN4784 Eskimo Viburnum
Eskimo Viburnum

Mom likes the bright white blooms against the dark green leaves. Me? I like that it looks like snow! Ha roo!

Another white bloom in the backyard is the Juddi Viburnum. They're up by the deck -

DSCN4777 Juddi Viburnum
Juddi Viburnum

They are as fragrant as the lilacs and Mom wishes their blooms would last longer!

While I'm on a white bloom kick,
click here to see what the Mohican Viburnum looked like a month ago ... and look at them now:

DSCN4766 Mohican Viburnum
The first of the Mohican Viburnum blooms

I really like the Mohican Viburnums because of Ammy. (Please
click here to read why.) Speaking of whom, let me turn things over to her!

Thank you, Zimmie, and hi everypuppy and everykitty! Since Zim and I are both redheads, I thought I'd share pictures of the Redbud trees! I thought it was more fitting before Dave told me Redbuds aren't really red, they're sort of pinky-purple. Bipeds have a confusing way of naming things, don't they? Oh, well. I'll go with them anyway.

Here I am, posing under the Redbuds in our front yard:

DSCN4815 Ammy
Me, Ammy. Under the pinky-purple Redbud trees.

How about some close-ups?

DSCN4711 Redbuds
Redbud blooms

We have an Austrian pine on the next tier down, over the retaining wall. You can see it behind the blooms, plus some of its needles got lodged in the flowers.

DSCN4649 Redbuds
More Redbud blooms

We have three Redbuds, so I thought I'd show you three close-ups.

DSCN4650 Redbuds
Even more Redbud blooms

We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. Until then, keep it serene!

Love,
Ammy
(And play bows from Zimmie!)

Serene Scenery Sunday

Tail wags, dear readers, it's me - Stormy! We haven't made a Serene Scenery Sunday post for quite a while, have we? We showed you some of what's blooming in our area a bit ago, but there have been lots of new developments! In fact, we have so much to show you, Dave and I are going to share today's post, then the redheads will show you more tomorrow! Shall we get started?

DSCN4810 Stormy
"OK, let's have a look around!"

I'm going to share photos of the blooms on one of my very favorite bushes with you. We call it our "
Skidmore Lilac" because we started it from a root given to us by our friend Deb Skidmore; it only seems fair! Here are four photos for you:

DSCN4770 Lilacs
"Skidmore Lilacs"

DSCN4824 Lilacs

Don't they look pretty up against our house?

DSCN4825 Lilacs

They round out the southeast part of our garden. (If you click here, you can see what the bush looked like a short couple of weeks ago. It's on the left side, behind Ammy.)

Let's go in for a close-up...

DSCN4826 Lilacs

Can you almost smell them now? Ahhh... they make our mom feel so serene!

Let me turn things over to Dave -

Thanks, Stormy and woo everypup and everycat. As Mom's Guide Dog for the Color Blind, I just can't get enough color! We've had some spectacular sunsets lately - here's what I'm calling the best of the best:

DSCN4700 10 APR 10 sunset

Isn't it great? To see a couple more in our FlickR album, please click
here and here.

Let's see what else is full of color around here. How about some Texas Quince? That's still blooming!

DSCN4664 Texans
"Hey Quince guys. I'm from Texas, too!"

I like that red. The Japanese Maple tree by our front door is a really great red, too. Here's a look at that:

DSCN4859 Japanese Maple
Japanese Maple

Look at all those rich colors! And the blue sky. Woo. Oh - and there's a birdie on the roof, for those who would like to stare at him.

While we're out front, one more photo. This is one of our Lily of the Valley plants:

DSCN4863 Lily-of-the-Valley
Lily of the Valley

They're one of Mom's favorite flowers and always make her feel real serene when she sees them. We also have some pink ones there that
Mitch and Maggie sent us, but they aren't in full bloom yet. We'll make sure we get some good shots once they pop open!

I think that's it for me and Storms. We hope you enjoyed the return of Serene Scenery Sunday. Tune in tomorrow for Ammy and Zim with Serene Scenery Monday.

Luv,
Dave
(And tail wags from Storms!)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Super Secret ... Saturday!

Woo, everypup and everycat. It's me, Dave. As you know, we've been hosting Huffle Mawson, Explorer Cat and Honorary Husky at our house for the past few weeks while her parents were on vacation. We knew the time would come when she'd have to head back to Australia, and that time came too fast!

The girls said their good-byes in the house, then Zimmie and I walked her out.

DSCN4365
"Safe travels, Huffle Mawson!"
"Zip us an email when you get home!"
"See ya, boys!"

We had such a great visit with her - it was hard to see her go!

DSCN4364 Dave and Zim
"I... I think I'm going to miss that little black cat, Zim!"
"I can't even watch her walk down the street."

But watch he did. In fact, ever since his "bestest friend" left ...

DSCN3194 Zim
Zim

Maybe she'll come back next time her parents head out of town. We had such fun showing her around and hanging out and stuff - we hope she enjoyed her stay. Thanks to all of you for keeping our secret!

Luv,
Dave

PS: Please click these hyperlinks to see parts one, two, three and four.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo Finish Friday ... and some Fun!

Hi everypuppy and everycat! It's me - Ammy! Stormy kind of did Photo Finish Friday yesterday with her post; since I helped her with the title and puns, she said I should do Photo Finish Friday and throw a little joke in! Isn't that a great plan?

I thought long and hard about what joke to tell you. Here I am, working hard on it:

DSCN4849 Amber
"Throw the toy, Mom!
Oh! I think I have a good joke! Hee hee hee!"

Oh - and see back in the corner of our yard? Those are our Old Fashioned Lilacs! Don't they look pretty? We'll show you some close-ups soon! They smell incredible!

I ran my joke past Stormy down on the lower deck:

DSCN4681 Ammy and Storms
"I think I have a good one, Stormy!"
"Let's hear it, Am!"

I told her and she thought it was really good and we both couldn't wait for me to tell the boys! We raced upstairs and met them at the back door.

DSCN4698 The Ao4
"Hey you guys! The Ram-a-Lamb has a new joke!"

DSCN4699 The Ao4
"Hurry up and let us in, Mom!"

As you can tell from Dave's tongue, the boys had already had their playtime in the yard! They had a lot of water while Stormy and I were out, so Mom said we should all go out front to potty and I could tell my joke out there. O
K!

Are you ready for it?

DSCN4595 Amber
"Hee hee hee! Are you sure?"

OK... what did the first fish in the tank say to the second fish in the tank?

"You man the gun, I'll drive."

DSCN4594 Amber
"HA! Roo roo roo!"

Get it? Hee hee hee! In keeping with Photo Finish Friday, how about a little visual aid to help illustrate?

You see, I don't mean this kind of tank...

Fish in a tank

I mean this kind of tank:

2 Fish in a Tank
Fish in a tank

Hee hee hee! (I sat in on Mom's PSE class ... can you tell?)

I hope you liked that one as much as Stormy, the boys and I did!

Love,
Ammy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For the Birds

Tail wags, pups and kittens, it's me, Stormy. We're a bit behind posting today because of some small 's' storms in our area. I don't care for small 's' storms, but fortunately they haven't been too severe. Even so, thunder and lightning are for the birds.

Speaking of birds, Mom learned a new "trick" in her PhotoShopElements class - using a clipping mask as a frame. She took some of her bird photos and framed them using the technique. I thought I'd share those with you.

Here's a little robin:

DSCN4656RobinClippingMaCopy
Robin on our roof

To get the full effect, you might want to click any of the photos to go to FlickR, then hit "all sizes" to see them larger.

Here's a little schputzie:

DSCN4798_2SchputzieFrame
Sparrow on our fence

And here are a couple of a cardinal:

DSCN4753_2CardinalCM
Cardinal on our wire

I love this one:

DSCN4751_2
"Lalalalalala...."

Oh, and just so you don't think this technique is strictly for the birds...

DSCN4561StormSwirl
Me. Stormy.

All puns encouraged by Amber.
Ha roo roo roo!

I think the thunder and lightning are past us - time for a walk!

Tail wags,
Storms

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun With a Friend

Woo everypuppy and everycat. It's me, Dave. Mom's been tricking me lately when we're out in the yard playing. Instead of doing the Tuggy-Tug Game between rounds of Fetch, she sneaks two of my toys out there and entices me with one so I drop the other. I can't help it - I fall for it every time.

DSCN4834 Dave
"Mom... do you have my Squeaky Husky Friend behind your back?
OK... here's my Squeaky Tennis Ball..."

That's pretty much how it goes until I get really, really to where I've had a ton of fun, then Mom lets me have both toys.

DSCN4837 Dave
"I'm just hanging out with my squeaky friends!"

That's the
husky toy Mochi gave me. It's currently my very favorite toy and I won't let anything bad happen to him. Except for some dampness and pollen and grass stains. Woo.

DSCN4838 Dave
"Did you want to say something, Squeaky Husky Friend?"

Here... let me help you...

DSCN4839 Dave
"Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!"

I love it when he says that!

I hope you all get to do something fun today!

Luv,
Dave