Friday, November 29, 2013

Polish Thanksgiving

Since we had turkey on Sunday, we had a Polish Thanksgiving this year ~ kielbasa, golumbki, pierogi, potato pancakes, asparagus, oh my.

OK, not sure if asparagus is Polish, but everything else counts.

Boy, I'm thankful my Polish ancestors left me with a legacy of such delicious food.  All day, I kept thinking, my house smells like Babci's.  Smells like that are as close as we can get to time traveling. Smells can bring you right back to being ten years old.

Years ago, when I got off the plane in Russia, everything smelled like borscht and vodka.  Never been to Poland, but I imagine it smelling like cabbage and kielbasa.

Jeff had to drive to the hood to get the kielbasa.  Believe me, this particular kielbasa is worth putting your life at risk. For his engagement in this risky kielbasa business, I'm declaring Jeff an honorary Pole.   What's a little drive by shooting when you can smell the garlic a mile away?

Every time I make pierogi I am amazed by the skills of my Nana.  Her pierogis always had the fanciest edges. I wish I had a photo to show you.  I wonder if anyone ever took a photo of her pierogis.   We should have!  

They looked kind of like this, but better!  Such a labor of love.  It was all about the presentation.  Went hand in hand with all the plates needing a doily.

My mom can do the fancy edge too.  Once(or probably twice) my mom made dozens of pierogi for me to sell as a fundraiser for my school's Russian club.  They all had the fancy edges.   Thanks mom. That was really amazing. I now understand how much time that must have taken!  They had blueberry filling and were big sellers at our school's homecoming carnival.   They were probably on a plate with a doily too.

Mom has shown me how to make the fancy edges, but I never even try.   I feel as though I've made a huge accomplishment when they simply stay sealed.  So, mine look like this.
Not pretty, but they taste pretty good.
Finished off the meal with some Stock's pound cake (click the link for more about stock's), straight from my grandparents' neighborhood in Northeast Philly. Thanks Aunt Dot!

According to my Nana, Stock's pound cake has to be sliced VERY thin.  Sliver thin.  Not sure why, but that's how it has always been done in our family.  Nana said it tasted better that way.

I always feel as though I'm getting gypped on frosting with that thin slice, but I slice it thin anyway.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

tricky t-day ~ chewy reads a book

Here is Chewy learning how to open a book, "read it", and turn the page.  Next, we have to work on shutting the book.

 Many of you have seen Oreo do this trick before, but I have him practicing for our trick compliation video we're working on this winter.  (and I know a lot of you like watching Oreo - he does get bonus points for cuteness).

Monday, November 25, 2013

mishmash monday

I was going to teach Chewy the "stand in the corner" trick, but look, he taught it to himself!

Went to the food lady's house for an early Thanksgiving feast last night.  Oreo and Chewy had very happy bellies. (My belly was pretty happy too.)
And then, turkey coma.

Life is good when you're a granddog.

Monday, November 18, 2013

mishmash monday

We had beautiful weather on Saturday.  Sunny and warm enough to read a book outside.

I could've sat outside reading all day, but I have DOGS!  That wasn't in the cards.

Playtime, agility, and supervising wildlife was on their agenda.  Which resulted in Chewy looking like this at 7PM.  Guess what?  He slept until 7AM on Sunday!  In fact, I woke up before he did!  Yay me!

We've actually gone to three consecutive weeks of agility classes.  It is simply amazing how much better we are doing with a little bit of practice.  Chewy is hardly spinning at all, even when I make him turn left.  He's not hesitating at tunnels, even when I rear cross behind him.  Very proud of him.  He's such a fun dog to have as a partner.  Not too fast, not too slow.  As long as I have food, he'll SIT at the startline.  But only five times in one day.   He has his limits.

The only problem with going to agility is Chewy never wants to leave the farm.  He wants to smell every centimeter (and there are acres of centimeters!).   Oreo, on the other hand, can't wait to get home!  I usually have to pick Chewy up and carry him to the car.  Good thing he's a little dog.

Since I have the best dogs ever, I baked them some pumpkin cookies!  Tis' the season for pumpkin.

After cookies, it was time for another nap.
Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Now, it's time to go to work so the dogs can get some more rest.

Oh, and here's Misty! Remember her?  I've been missing her this week. Maybe because I used to give her a lot of pumpkin.

She used to make funny noises when I scratched her belly.  I miss that.
She was the best.  Did you know that she loved raw asparagus?
  Meant to film a trick video for tomorrow, but ran out of time.  I will do one next week for sure!

Monday, November 11, 2013

tricky t-day ~ reverse

A day early, but as promised, here is Oreo doing his figure 8's forward and reverse.  He knew both tricks separately already, but I wanted to warp them into one.

Now, we'll work on walking leg weaves forward and then reverse.

He's such a smart little cookie dog.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

tricky t-day ~ backwards

I've been working a lot of backwards tricks with the dogs. Chewy is learning to weave and do figure 8's forward and back.

Oreo knows this stuff, but I'm trying to get him to switch from forward to back seamlessly.  He's getting really close with his figure 8's.  Unfortunately, when I was videoing Oreo, our session started off with me stepping on his foot.  Then, he wasn't into doing the tricks, because I can't be trusted not to step on his foot again.

Therefore, you'll have to watch Chewy, who never fails to entertain (at least me)!

Maybe next week, I'll show you Oreo.  I'll be careful not to step on his toes.

I had an idea to try and get Oreo doing ALL his tricks on one video.  Kinda like a snapshot of everything he has learned.  I've been reviewing a lot of his tricks with him to see what he remembers.  It's been fun! He forgot a lot, but picks it up quick with a few sessions.

It is reminding me of all the tricks Chewy still needs to learn.

I think Oreo's compilation video will be our winter project.  Better stock up on treats!