Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meiby Xmas!

Meiby Xmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

yummy winter food!

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe here but these were so good I felt I needed to share. The first is a Moroccan Lentil Stew adapted from this recipe. The second is the veggie dish I made for Thanksgiving. Both are vegan (if you use olive oil instead of butter for the latter) crockpot recipes. Great for winter!

Moroccan Lentil Stew

-3/4 cup dried lentils
-1/2 can garbanzo beans
-2 sweet potatoes chopped into 2 inch chunks
-an equal amount of another veggie (I used broccoli but zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, peas, etc. would be good too)
-3 1/4 cups water
-1 veggie bouillon cube
-1 t cumin
-1 t ginger
-1 t salt
-1 t pepper
-1/2 t cinnamon
-1/2 t coriander
-1/2 t allspice
-1/4 t cloves

Chop up all of your vegetables and add them to the crockpot. Drain and rinse off the beans, add to the pot. Add the dried lentils and the dried spices. Stir in the water and bouillon (or use broth instead). Lentils will be softer if you add any tomatoes and salt at the very end.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Soup tastes best the longer you cook it, and it is even better the next day.

Roasted Root Veggies

-1 rutabaga
-1 bag of whole carrots
-2 parsnips
-1 bunch of chopped fresh parsley
-4 Tbsp butter (I didn't measure so I'm guessing at this amount)
-1/4 chopped white onion
-2 or 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
-salt and pepper to taste

Peel all of your vegetables, and cut into 2-inch chunks. Saute onion and garlic in the butter on the stove until they are soft. Pour over veggies and parsley in a big bowl and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour it all into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We took Meiby to Nick's grandparent's house on Thanksgiving again this year. Last year we took her crate with us and locked her up while we ate. This year she's not so tolerant of the crate. She doesn't sleep in there anymore and she's trustworthy to leave loose when we are gone now so she's never locked up. Instead, I concocted a special treat for her to keep her busy while we ate:
thanksgiving carrot bone
I filled a hollow bone with carrots. Worked like a charm!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

nares surgery

Yesterday Meiby had her nostrils widened to help her breathe... called laser nares surgery. Basically they use a laser to shave off the inside of her nostrils. She did very well with the surgery. It went quickly and smoothly and actually cost us way less than they had estimated. The inside of her nose (which is now quite exposed) is still very pink and swollen. It should heal within a few days and the pinkness should return to it's normal black color. She looks pretty funny (not that she didn't always) and is making funny noises as she gets used to her new nose and deals with the sensitivity.

This is before:

and after:

you can see a bit of pink when you look at her straight on but her deep fold puts her nose in shadows most of the time anyway so you wouldn't notice with a quick glance. I'll post a photo of the healed view in a few days (or however long it takes to heal.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

getting colder

This weekend we bathed our pug. If you've ever bathed a pug you'll know that they don't dry quickly. We usually towel her off as much as possible and then let her run around or roll around on a towel until she's dry. This time, after the running and rolling, she was still a bit damp and she curled up on my lap and shivered, poor puppy! So I wrapped her up in a towel and cuddled for a while, and then I thought, it's fall... maybe it's time to get out her sweater! So she's been rocking the sweater ever since and we are constantly amused by the cuteness. She kind of waddles around when she wears it and when she curls up on the couch she looks like a caterpillar peeking out of a cocoon.

Meiby in her sweater
Meiby in her sweater

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meiby Pug on Mugs

meiby sketch

I plan on making variations and additions but this is what I had ready to go today. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

who needs a Meiby fix?

some Meiby photos:

We had a little relapse back into Meiby's mysterious issue last week so she's now on a strict prescription diet. So far so good but we're still not really sure what's wrong with her. She's lost a lot of weight through all of this but she seems just as energetic and happy as ever. The vet seems to think it's allergies so the new food is as hypo-allergenic as it gets and we'll keep her on it for at least 6 weeks with absolutely no other food or treats. That means no carrots :(

Friday, August 21, 2009

quick update

Meiby has been doing very well for the past 10 days or so. We switched her to Wellness CORE food and she loves it! Seems to be treating her well. We still don't know exactly what happened with her though.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

cooking with tofu

On a whim, I picked up some tofu at the grocery store the other day. We're not exactly vegetarians over here but we definitely enjoy lots of veg. cuisine. Plus, I don't love dealing with raw meat. So anyway, I found this recipe over at Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit (originally from 101cookbooks) and, because I also just happened to have Brussels sprouts in the fridge, decided to try it out. It was delicious! My first successful attempt at cooking with tofu... and Nick LOVED it, too. Besides the chopping it was really quick and easy so I may just have to make it again. So here it is: Caramelized Tofu and Brussels Sprouts (served with leftover cilantro lime basmati rice)

tofu and brussels sprouts
tofu and brussels sprouts

And here's Meiby helping in the kitchen again. She looks pissed but really she was just mid-blink:
Meiby in the kitchen

She's been doing much better the last few days. The vet says to give it a little time and if she continues to have problems we can switch her to a very bland or prescription food. For now we're back to a normal twice a day feeding schedule with half rice/cottage cheese and half high-quality kibble. We had been feeding her just rice/cheese 4 times a day and I think that was overkill. So, we'll see how this goes...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

health update

not a pretty story so skip this one if you're squeamish...

Well Friday we started feeding Meiby a diet of rice and cottage cheese. She was keeping it down but started to refuse to eat it which is very strange for her (though she did eventually eat everything). By Sunday night we were starting to worry about the fact that she wasn't pooping regularly so we started mixing in a little kibble (of a completely new food) to her bland diet hoping that might help intending to call the vet on Monday morning. In the morning she had pooped so we thought maybe she was starting to digest properly. Until Monday night when she threw up pretty much everything she had eaten in the past 4 days. So this morning I didn't feed her and Nick will call the vet to see what to do now. She's acting pretty normal and is clearly hungry. She keeps going into the kitchen and staring at her bag of food. So, we have no idea what's going on with her but hopefully the vet can offer some advice...

Friday, August 7, 2009

sick again

rough day at the vet

Poor Meiby! I'm still not sure exactly why but starting Tuesday night she started regurgitating her meals. We weren't too worried at first because it's happened before but we kept an eye on her Wednesday and she continued to puke everything she ate. I looked around and checked all of her toys for missing chunks to see if maybe she ate something she shouldn't have. I found nothing.

So Thursday morning Nick took her to the vet, they took x-rays and didn't find anything. They gave her a shot to prevent vomiting and told us not to give her any food or water until Friday afternoon. Starting today at lunch we have to feed her only rice and cottage cheese for a week and then we'll probably switch her to a different food. We're not sure if she developed an allergy to her food or what. (BTW, we were feeding her Nutro Naturals Lamb and Rice which is apparently not great quality.)

Anyway, we feel so bad for poor Meiby. She's been extra sweet and we still can't give her any food. She seems very tired (see photo above) and confused (um, excuse me, what happened to dinner? Did I miss it?)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Pugiversary!

cute Meiby

One year ago today we first brought Meiby home with us. She was very shy at first but immediately became a member of the family. She has changed quite a bit since then but we couldn't have asked for a better pup.

Her first 2 days with us she wouldn't eat - now she lives for food and will eat anything you give her without question.

For the first 2 weeks we had a "no dogs on the couch" rule - that quickly went out the window when we realized it was just sad to have a lap dog that you have to sit on the floor to cuddle with.

She was scared to death of her first squeaky toy.

It took us a week to work out a sleeping arrangement that worked for all of us. Having her sleep in her crate in our bedroom worked for about 8 months until she figured out that the earlier she wakes me up with her whining, the earlier she gets food. Now that we trust her loose in the house, she just sleeps out in the living room.

One of the first toys I bought for Meiby was a Nylabone Dental Chew. She wouldn't even look at it for months and then all of a sudden it was her favorite thing ever. We've replaced it 5 times now and moved up to a bigger size. It's become her comfort bone.

We kept Meiby crated whenever we were gone for the first 6 months or so. We experimented with leaving her loose for short periods of time until we finally trusted her enough to leave her loose. Now she's a full time free range pug!

We had an extremely cold and snowy winter this past year and while Meiby loves the snow, she's no fan of the sub-zero temperatures. Because of this we trained her to use puppy pads when needed and this is, for better or worse, still in effect.

On January 3rd she was a year old. We switched her to adult food and had taught her lots of tricks.

This summer I took Meiby to obedience classes and she is much more observant now. She'll now wait for us to tell her to eat rather than diving into her food. She will also "come" on command pretty consistently and "get off" of me or the couch when I tell her to. She's still begs like crazy though... perhaps because someone spoils her ;)

It has been just wonderful having Meiby around for the past year. We're so lucky to have such a sweet little pug around! We loves you Meibs :)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

more summer cooking

Last night I was staring at some quite brown bananas wondering what to do with them. I didn't feel like making banana bread again, I certainly wasn't going to eat them and I didn't want to just throw them out. I found a box of Jiffy fudge brownie mix and made banana brownies! I just replaced the called for egg and oil with 2 mashed bananas (which just so happens to make them vegan as well). They are very fudgy and tasty!

1 box Jiffy fudge brownie mix
2 over-ripe bananas
1 tbsp water
chopped walnuts optional

mix, pour into lightly greased pan and bake at 350 for 30 min.
vegan banana brownies

While searching for a recipe I came across one for pesto that I'd been saving. Ever since I started growing basil I've wanted to make my own pesto. I didn't quite have enough basil to make a full batch so I used half spinach/half basil. I also didn't have pine nuts or much olive oil so here's what I did:

2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
handful of raw mixed nuts (cashews, walnuts, brasil nuts, pistachios, almonds)
1/2 cup or so grated parmesan cheese
enough oil for desired consistency (I didn't measure, only had a tiny bit of olive oil left so I filled in the rest with canola oil)

put spinach and basil into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add garlic, nuts and cheese and mix until well blended. Pour in oil while processing until it looks like pesto.
homemade pesto!

Also, since I haven't posted a photo of Meiby in a while, here she is "helping" me in the kitchen :)
Meiby "helping" in the kitchen

She's always underfoot, waiting for something to fall...
always at my feet

Thursday, July 16, 2009

squash flowers!

squash flowers

This is the first year I've ever planted/gardened at all and I think my main problem so far is over-seeding. For some reason I had very little faith in the tiny little flecks and figured if I planted a bunch, maybe I'd get a few sprouts. Turns out most of them sprouted and now my pots are way over planted. I had planted squash and brussels sprouts in the same pot and they both had tons of sprouts. If you've ever seen a brussels sprouts plant, you'd know that just one can fill up one pot. I had several plus several squash plants and I knew I'd have to re-pot or I'd lose some. Well, I never got around to re-potting and I lost the brussels sprouts. That's ok though because I have squash flowers! It's the first sign from everything I planted that I might actually get some veggies this year! Plus, next year I'll have a slightly better idea of what I'm doing :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Check out my basil plant! Hard to believe it came from tiny seeds and that it was so easy to care for. It smells sooo good! I can't wait to make some pesto out of it :)


Monday, July 6, 2009

crochet hooks

I've been wanting to make this post for a long time but it takes a little more preparation than most others and, as I'm sure you know, I'm pretty lazy. I have tried out a lot of different hooks, some of which have become my favorites and others of which I hated and never used again. There is much debate in the crochet community over whether Boye type (tapered neck and bulbous head) or Bates type ("in-line" neck and head) hooks are the best. (Here is a good comparison article.) I happen to be in the Bates camp but I'd hesitate to say it's the most popular opinion. They just slide through stitches much easier for me. I'm also a big fan of plastic hooks which is definitely an unpopular preference. I'd say most people prefer aluminum or bamboo but, for me, metal is so cold and hard and wood is either snaggy or shaped weirdly. Anyway, here is a sampling of my hook collection:


1. Susan Bates Quicksilver size I - a favorite, very smooth, perfect shape

2. Clover Bamboo - don't remember what size, I never use this one. The throat is too shallow and it snags too much

3. Susan Bates Silvalume size K - perfect shape but snags a bit on a tiny dent in the tip, probably from a pug ;)

4. Boye Aluminum size K - way bigger diameter than the Bates K, but smaller at the tip. I never use this due to the head/throat shape

5. Bates Afghan hook size K - for some reason even Bates afghan hooks have the Boye shape. I don't love it but I use it when needed.

6. Rosewood size L - quite possibly my least favorite hook. The head shape is so pointy and throat so skinny, it's almost impossible for me to use.

7. Susan Bates Crystal Ice size L - I also have this in M, N, and P. Slightly disappointed in them because I love Bates Crystalite and hoped these would be the same but they have a little catch in the throat that really bothers me (I'll try to show this below)

8. Susan Bates Luxite size L - I also have this in F, G, H, I, J, and K. These were my first hooks and remain my favorites. I know a lot of people don't like plastic hooks but for some reason they are more comfortable to me than anything else. Perfect shape, very smooth and warm. The smaller gauges bend a little but I don't mind it.

9. Susan Bates Crystalite size M - Love this one. I've used it so much that it's getting worn down on one side. Unfortunately I think they make them differently now (like the Crystal Ice mentioned above.)

10. Boye Aluminume size N - Same size as Bates size M. Another Boye hook I don't use.

11. Balene II size P - This is sort of half way between Boye and Bates shapes. I don't love it but it's perfect for plarn.

12. Lion Brand size Q - great Bates shape with no grip so it's great for tunisian crochet.

My favorites, very consistant shape:
favorite hooks

Least favorites, notice the hook/throat shape:
least favorite hooks

Crystal Ice, hard to see but notice the ridge:

Bates and Boye size K comparison:
size K

Bates size M and Boye size N comparison:
M and N

Monday, June 29, 2009


Wow, I have been super lazy with the blogging this month. Meiby has been feeling better and has been rocking at pup school. This past week she did 2 tunnels and 2 jumps in a row multiple times and is healing on a leash really well despite the fact that I have not really been working with her at home all that much.

It's been really hot the past few weeks (it's about time, really) so Meiby hasn't been getting out much except for class on Wednesdays. But when she is outside, she's good at finding the shady spots and cool surfaces to lay on.
the patio is cool on her belly
I'm ready to go inside

Friday, June 12, 2009

sick puggy

sweet sleepy pug

Poor Meiby... this past weekend we noticed she was urinating very often and there were spots of blood on the puppy pad so we took her to the vet. Turns out she has a terrible bladder infection and a mild ear infection to go along with it. It's not getting her down though. You wouldn't even know she was sick if she wasn't peeing every 5 minutes. So we are giving her some ear drops twice a day and antibiotic pills with each meal. She's a pro though. So far we haven't even had to hide the pills in anything. We just give them to her right before she gets her food (when she's starving) and she gulps it right down! We are not sure what the culprit is but we suspect it might be our hard water. We'll be giving her filtered water from now on!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I don't really have a name for this but I make it for breakfast nearly every weekend. It's perfect for 2 or 3 people and very easy to make. Today's version is shredded potatoes, turkey bacon, broccoli, fresh basil, eggs, and parmesan cheese. Here's the recipe:

  • half bag of frozen shredded or diced potatoes
  • handful of frozen or fresh veggies (I often use frozen peas or corn or fresh peppers or broccoli)
  • 4 strips of bacon or turkey bacon, chopped up
  • chopped garlic and/or onion as desired
  • 1 or 2 tbsp. veg. oil or butter
  • salt/pepper/herbs as desired
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • shredded or grated cheese
As you can see, it's a pretty loose formula that you can customize according to what you have on hand.

First, cook the bacon, onion, garlic (or whatever combination of these you are using) in a large skillet. If not using bacon you will need to add enough butter or oil to coat the bottom of the pan. If you are using bacon there will be plenty of fat in the pan already.

When bacon is cooked through and onion/garlic are softened, add the potatoes in an even layer and let fry for 5-7 min. (don't stir if you want them to be crispy!) While the potatoes are cooking, layer veggies on top of them and sprinkle with any spices/herbs you like. Flip everything over and let fry for another 5 min.

Stir fry until everything is as soft or brown as you like it. (peppers cook fast, broccoli needs a little more time)
Break eggs into the pan (on top of everything) and stir fry until the eggs are fully set.
Turn off heat and sprinkle with cheese.


Sunday, May 31, 2009


Some of my seeds are sprouting! The most exciting of which is my cilantro:
cilantro sprout

The other seeds that are sprouting are, I believe, brussels sprouts! I planted way too many for this small of a pot so I will have to repot when they get a little bigger but I'm very pleased to see them sprouting!
brussels sprouts sprouts

We also put up our new canopy this weekend. It's 8' x 8' and I have an 8x5 plastic rug that will go in it but we're trying to decide on whether to put something solid down under the rug. We were considering getting some of these resin patio pavers, but it's looking like it will end up being very expensive, even if it's just under the rug. We also considered just putting plywood down or even pea gravel... We're not sure but we don't want to be mowing inside the canopy. Ideas?
our new canopy