Entries in dogs (5)


Visiting Bend Oregon

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is fleeting and I feel like I am chasing it down for these few months to fill up on memories, sun and restoration. Back when I was a kid, Bend was a smaller town and a simpler time. On summer days we took off on our bikes all day only returning when my mom rang the dinner bell hanging in front of our house. 

I moved to sunny southern California at 14. I was devastated to leave my friends and my life. But now with a lot of distance on that particular moment I am so glad it happened. I was able to gain so much from living in a bigger city but growing up in that small town gave me a perspective most of my city friends just don't have. I love being in a city now, but deep inside I dream of a rural life and a small heard of milk goats. 

When summer finally arrives I yearn to find this same summertime feeling I had as a kid. I stayed away from Bend for a long time. But ever since my mom moved back I have been trekking there for some summer weekends to really let go. 

Mr. Ramon and I packed up the pups and headed off. I love this road trip. My little car is built for empty stretches of road and windy mountain passes. Mr. Ramon manages the play list and keeps my brain sharp with crossword puzzles. We always make a stop in Portland and this time it was for a delicious breakfast at Gravy. The name says it all. Scrambles, biscuits and gravy and french toast you dream of. I made Mr. Ramon get up early this day - so he needed his coffee. 

Time at my moms is like being at the best bed and breakfast. She always has our room ready and food ready to go. We like to plan to do a few things and then take some time to play it by ear. One of the things I must do when I visit Bend is hit up Sparrow Bakery. I have mentioned them before - I can't say enough about how great they are. This local spot bakes croissants that changed my world. Flaky and perfect in every way. All made by hand. They are experts when it comes to bread and produce in a new larger space so they can meet the demand for their rustic delights. I love the lemon tart - so delicious and beautiful. This is a must go if you are ever in Bend. 

My mom was excited to show me her new stove - she just switched to gas and an amazing new range. Her oven had not had a lot of use, so of course I am happy to help out! I was in the mood for a good chocolate chip cookie - something we never have at home. I bake a lot but it is usually going to clients. And having cookies around the house on a regular basis is a bad idea for me - no self control over here. 

But vacation is the perfect time to bake cookies to actually eat. I really like the chips from Ghirardelli and think that the recipe on the back of the package makes a great cookie. Chewy in the middle and set around the edges. I choose the bittersweet chocolate chips - I feel like they offset the sweetness a bit. Her oven was magical. Perfect cookies. Makes a girl using a cheap rental oven a tad jealous. 

We love to get out in nature and took all four dogs to Wikiup Lake. It was a gorgeous day with clear blue skys. We packed a small lunch and headed up. The dogs had a blast in the lake fetching balls and rolling in stinky sand. It felt so nice to get out and away from it all. 

The weekend was filled with great food, gardening, sleeping in, watching deer and catching up with mom. It always ends too soon. We spent one last moment together eating a big breakfast before we hit the road. Mr. Ramon gave my mom some last minute gadget tips. 

The drive home could feel like forever but with Portland in the middle on the way back we have something to look forward to. This time it was Salt and Straw - one of the best ice cream places around. It was a weekday afternoon and so many people were in line it left us wondering if people actually work in Portland. We made it to the counter and indulged! 

Such a good little get away. Now back to real life :)

Note: If you were checking out Mr. Ramons fancy nail art - he had his nails done by our friend Breanne who is on a nail road trip art project. You can see more about this awesome endeavor here - Nails Across America


White Christmas

I had a magical childhood. Growing up in Bend, Oregon was a dream come true for a kid - full of freedom, clean air, mud pies and many a white Christmas. When I was in elementary school it was still safe to walk alone to school, ride your bike all day without checking in and candy bars cost a quarter. 

I loved the winter, especially the snow. Sledding, smashing icicles off the eves of the house and making snow angels. So much fun. Snow was even more magical on Christmas morning. I am not sure why - but on those mornings my brother and I were up earlier than our parents and the world seemed so quite and big. Pristine snow untouched by anything except the little birds hopping on the big drifts. Leaving little tracks where they had landed. 

This year I had the opportunity to go back to Bend and enjoy a white Christmas with my family. Mr. Ramon had never experienced a white Christmas so it meant so much to me to share this with him. I found myself giddy and excited just like when I was a child. 

We had 6 days with my family. Lots of food, fun and wine. With the big storm that blew in we had a hard time getting around. My brother drives a beast of a Jeep and it was so fun getting out in the snow in it. 

My family had gone out and chopped down the Christmas tree the day before Mr. Ramon and I arrived. It was covered in lights and all of our family ornaments. Slightly wonky and full of character our very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Of course our little pups came with us. They love the snow and it is so fun to watch them running and playing in it. This was the most snow they have been in and the girls kept running into the drifts and getting stuck. Mr. Toby was a little plow in the snow and could make it through anything. 

What a great trip. A much needed break from real life. A very Merry Christmas for us all. 


Dog Feathers

I am a dog nerd. I spend a lot of time with my dogs and train and compete in sports with all three of them - kinda like a soccer mom. Owning a pet supply store only fuels my dog mania. 

This weekend Mischa and Toby had an agility trial and I wanted to spruce them up for the big day. I have seen a couple of companies with pet feather extensions. Crazy! Of course and I am in! I didn't want to pay the high price of these pre made feather extensions since I expected them to chew them out pretty quickly. So I decided to make my own from the stash of feathers I had from my wedding. 

I went to Sally Beauty Supply and picked up some extension beads and a hook to pull the hair through the bead. I also needed some needle nose pliers - they have special pliers for extension beads - but since I am only putting in one it didn't make sense to pay $35 for special pliers. I picked out some feathers and held them in the shape I wanted then tied the ends together tightly with thread and tied them to secure them. 

I found a spot behind Toby's ear and threaded the hair through the bead. I then put the feather ends into the bead and pinched the whole bead flat holding it all in place in his hair. 

Isn't he cute! I picked natural feathers for Toby - he is a boy after all. 

For Mischa I picked hot purple feathers and put them on her hip so they would stick out from under her tail. So pretty. 

We had a lot of compliments at the agility trial. The great thing is it does not bother the dog and are easily removed without cutting the hair. 


Here I am!

I bet you thought I disappeared. Me too. Summer is coming to an end here in Seattle and there has been a mad scramble of weddings, BBQs and events. While I have loved seeing my friends and celebrating with everyone for so many reasons, I think that the end of summer has me down. I have a lot of things coming up as we transition into early fall - pickling, readying the garden for winter, last ditch yard efforts, basement cleaning and the such. I will be sure to share it all with you. 

The neighborhood my store sits in had a block party with yummy food trucks. Mr. Ramon brought these delicious items back to me for lunch. I can't remember the name of the food truck but the food was divine - some little pork taco type snacks and some type of warm sugar sprinkled donut. Mr. Ramon know just how to make me happy. 

We have been eating a lot of zucchini. I love it and am not even close to sick of it yet. One night I just sauteed one of our sweet onions from the garden in butter and olive oil then added the sliced yellow zebra zucchini and cremini mushrooms, some thyme, salt pepper until just soft. Sprinkled some parmesan on it and yum! Eating from the garden tastes so good. 

While we wait and hope that our larger tomato varieties both paste and slicing ripen before the weather turns. We have had many cherry tomatoes and they are sweet like candy. Perfect for a quick salad.

On Labor Day Mr. Ramon and I had the day off so we went to Whidbey Island again with the dogs. We took our friend Kalin and her two dogs and let them all run on the beach for a few hours. It was such a gorgeous day. It really made me wish summer would never leave. 


I hope you are enjoying the end of summer. What fun things are you doing to make these days last? 


Whidbey Island Dog Park

My one day off falls on a Monday every week. This means that Mr. Ramon and I rarely get days off together except for holidays and well planned escapes. 

This Memorial Day was beautiful in Seattle. Warm with some cloud cover. My mom and her dog were in town for a visit and we all had this Monday free to do something. Not one to waste a day off together I thought it would be fun to go somewhere different. 

In my 7 years here in Seattle we have never gone to Whidbey Island. A 25 minute trip up the freeway and a 20 minute ferry crossing we were what seems like worlds away. The draw of this drive is that there is a huge, on the beach dog park. 

If your dogs are anything like mine, they love the beach. Love might not be the right word. I think the beach is the place where my dogs are the happiest. Running free on perfectly packed, cool sand. Drinking ocean water only to puke it back up. Digging holes for who knows what and rolling in stinky stuff. Dog heaven! 

We let them run for a few hours. By that time Mischa was feeling pretty rotten from drinking to much ocean water. They were all sandy and wet. So much fun! 

With four tired dogs in the truck we set out to see what else was on this little island. We drove to the tiny town of Langley and shopped and ate. We had such a great day. I think I found my new little get away.