Thursday, November 27, 2008


1. the mister. who makes me laugh. and makes me love myself. and helps me see the world made brand new every day.

2. the yellow dog. who is so so hairy, but who follows me around and lays at my feet. my constant snoring companion.

3. the little dog. who is too skinny, but who snuggles in her old age. and you can't beat that.

4. the family. both blood and chosen. and those people we call friends but who are better than that.

5. my house. and home ownership. and living in the city. and my tiny back yard that takes only six minutes to tend but is the perfect place for a glass of prosecco after a day at work.

6. the job. that lets me work from home. in my studio. looking out at all the stray cats and crows.

7. the city. and its miraculous spaces and awesome artists and wonderous vibe. even with the five months of rain, I do love seattle.

8. the internets. from whom i have learned so much. and with whom i can share things like...links to pictures of the things i am greatful for, and also lists...with the people i love (see number 3)

*Thanks to Operation Nice, for the assignment.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Roxy's sweater

If you've been following along at home, you'll know that my little dog, Roxanne, is ill. It used to be Cushings disease (which makes for a very hungry, very thirsty, VERY FAT little dog). The Cushings is treated with a medication called lysodren, which acts like chemotherapy, killing off the adrenal gland (which is busy making too much cortisone). This is supposed to create a less hungry, less thirsty, less fat little dog.

However, Rox was prescribed too much lysodren, which pushed her to the other end of the adrenal gland disease-state spectrum, and she now has Addison's disease, where her adrenal no longer makes ENOUGH cortisone. (Now we have a very skinny--even skeletal--little dog.)

When we first got Rox, she was living with a bike shop stoner who was feeding her pizza crust and Cheerios. She was horribly malnourished and skinny. Wanting to skijor with her, we took her to Rae's (the mushing store in Anchorage--dog food by the ton, all the gear you need) and--because her hip bones stuck out so much--we had her fitted for a custom harness that had padding all the way to the tail so her fur wouldn't rub off in the joring.

A few months of high-protein, high-fat, high-cal food, and Rox was looking swell. (There were also a lot of (nosy) concerned neighbors who asked if we were feeding her every time we took her out for a walk. We were. She was even getting olive oil and chicken stock on her kibble. And canned salmon. Okay, she was eating better than we were.) But eating has never been Rox's strong suit.

She's always been a crazy eater. She lays down to eat, curled around her bowl, and she has a ritual of licking the inside rim of the bowl for a full count of 25 before letting her tongue glide down to the up-most layer of kibbles in order to pick up one kiblet to chew. She continues on in this way, running her tongue down the side of her bowl, grabbing one or two kibbles, and crunching them daintily. She never finishes all the kibbles; she simply creates a dent in the pile off kibble that was on the one side of the bowl where her tongue was--a mountain of kibble remains.

We have always bought tiny-kibbled dog food for this one. This dog also needs her treats broken up into tiny pieces. (She can, however, catch, kill, and field strip a rabbit. But that's neither here nor there...)

So. Getting Roxy to eat has been a challenge for the eight years she's been with us. And now that she has no appetite (as opposed to the voraciousness she experienced while a Cushinoid dog and as opposed to the pseudo-appetite she used to have) it's hard to get her to eat. We pump her full of cortisone and watch her carefully, and now she's even responding to the command "time to eat" where she'll come and at least lay down by her food. (You can lead a horse to water...)

It's winter, and Roxy's skinny. Now, winter in Seattle isn't like winter in Anchorage (and it's nothing like winter in Minnesota either), but to a little, sickly dog, it's pretty darn cold.

And thus the impetus for the sweater.* I recently joined ravelry (thanks Cara and Rachel) and was able to find a sweater for a greyhound (which is a bit like Rox) and, culling my stash, knit up this baby.

She wore it out today on a walk, and was quite pleased with it, I do believe. In fact, there may have been a new spring in her step.

*NOTE: I'm not the dog-sweater type. I believe that if a dog needs a sweater, the dog probably shouldn't live in your climate...or shouldn't have been bred that way. But a sick dog, now that's okay. Plus, I added stripes to the sweater, so that I could pass it off as ironic.

swedish saffron bread

Slowly making my way through this book. Trying all the recipes that look amazing. Made Turkish flat bread the other day, but never did photograph it. This recipe, however, was too beautiful to pass up a photography session.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

pumpkin bread

It's fall. We just passed halloween. (that, and the rain, and the leaves all over everything--those are the signs.)

So the sugar pumpkins are at the Farmer's market for something like 99 cents a pound. something totally reasonable. And I love pumpkin pie (and i always feel self-righteous when I make it with hand-roasted pumpkin...not from the can) but I wasn't too ready for pie yet. (though when the neighbor brought some over one night...I didn't say no. Oh no I did not.)

There's a recipe for a yeast bread with steamed pumpkin (and cranberries) in it...which I had to try. And try I did. YUM. The pumpkin makes the dough so moist (it's hard to work with) and wonderful to eat.

BUT. There were no cranberries--neither fresh nor frozen--to be found. STUPID. Apparently it's not quite time yet. So. I used cherries. Same same. (almost.)

I slashed harder, MO. Yes I did. But I still have slashing to learn.

Monday, November 3, 2008

and one more.

what can i say, the world is full of gestational babies!

(plus, hand-knit baby booties in fun colors make a better bow than any silly plasticized ribbon ever could!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

whole wheat.

the whole part of the wheat. all of it. ground with stone. the old skool way.

I want to love it, right? I really do. But it's dense, and it's...well...wheaty. Most wheat bread recipes call for half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, but Laurel convinced me that 100% whole wheat was the answer.

(And, if the question was: "how do you make really healthy bread that heather doesn't actually want to eat?" She was right.)

I love white flour. I love cake flour (the tiniest, whitest, ground-up-iest flour there is) the most. But I'm trying. I lecture about food on this here blog, so I'm trying to put my bread where my mouth is. (hmm. that idiom may have worked too well.)

Also, I steamed this loaf, which, according to Laurel, best mimicks a wood-fired oven. It was a bit concerning (like how can the bread actually cook inside my stock pot in a puddle of water?) but it turned out great.

I do, however, need pre-bake bread slashing lessons. You'll see (from the second photo, above) that my slash is not so...well...slashy.