Sunday, February 21, 2010

The ToMoLie Barkery Makes its Debut


With the first yearbook deadline looming over my head, everything else has been either stacked on my desk or ignored.  I finally had a chance to to to my Google Reader to check on the blogs I follow and found a flurry of activity going on over at Kaibab Bernese Mountain Dogs.  Kaibab is Mary-Ann Bowman’s blog and I started following it about November 2008 (?) with the arrival of her F litter.  This was quickly followed by the arrival of the G litter.  I would start my day with a cup of coffee and read about the puppies developments and drool over the amazingly cute puppy pictures.  Little did I know that as I was having puppy fever, events were conspiring to bring Lottie to live in Chicago with us.  Lottie is almost the same age as the Glitterati (G litter).

Even though there are no pups to coo over on the blog, I still follow it, but not on a daily basis anymore.  I really enjoy the pictures of Mary-Ann’s five Berner girls.  However, Mary-Ann is an excellent writer and often includes some wonderful nuggets of advice.  I’ve taken several of these to heart (is it an inconvenience or a problem?) and have put them to use in my relationship with Brian (my mini-me).

So, much to my surprise, I discovered that people all over the place were making bagels!  This was doubly funny as I was reading the posts in reverse order in my Reader, so had no clue what all the excitement was over.  Fred has been cooking with me quite a bit lately and weekend breakfast has become something of an event.  It used to be a chore for me as no one ate eggs the same way, so by the time I’d eat, I’d have made three breakfasts and the dish was chock full of dishes.

Bagels, I thought.  I like bagels.  Kevin likes bagels.  This is something we could do.  So, a month late (I kept forgetting to put yeast on my shopping list) we made bagels today. 

Kevin was rearing to go when Fred and I got up.  DSC_7044

He got the stool out and started reading the recipe.  We warmed the water, added the yeast, sugar and salt.  Then came the flour.  We used the 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and he thought we were done after the first 1/2 cup of regular flour.  So not done! 

Lottie, my regular sous chef, was very confused.   DSC_7045

1.  Why are we cooking in the morning?
2.  Why is Kevin’s stool in my usual spot?
3.  I don’t smell meat.  Why are you bothering?

We got all the flour added and the mixer just wasn’t cutting it.  Time to switch to hand kneading.  Kevin’s comment was, “Mom, is it supposed to do that?”  My answer was, “No.  Not really.”


Kevin just had to have a go at it.


He thought it was pretty funny but quickly left to wash his hands.  Mary-Ann and her son and daughter-in-law used a KitchenAid for their bagels.  Maybe in the new house I’ll have enough space to have a KitchenAid.  For now, I just have a kitchen aid a.k.a. Fred.


We got the dough soft and set it off to rise.  Fred and I were on tenterhooks.  We have a bad history with getting dough to rise.  My grandmother would always make sticky buns for Christmas morning breakfast.  When she got too ill to continue the tradition, Fred and I vowed it wouldn’t be lost.  The first year was not good.  Then, we moved to my mom’s for the sticky bun prep.  This year, we tried it on our own again, and after a full day, the dough finally rose.  Grr.


There’s my sous chef.  Lottie was very curious about this whole affair.  To be honest, she is curious about everything.  We put the dough in the utility room by the furnace to be warm and had to gate her out.  She probably would have no qualms about eating the dough before it was ready.

With some trepidation, we peeled the towel back.  The dough didn’t seem much bigger and we were terribly worried that our rising curse was once again at work, but soldier on.  I divided the dough and started to form the bagels.  Kevin, despite his earlier enthusiasm had fallen under the spell of Halo and was done with bagels.  Brian refused to get involved.  Monty, however, was very interested.


I put the bagels on the board back in the closet for the final rise and crossed my fingers.  Fred worked, reading from one of the biggest binders I’ve ever seen.


I worked on my latest scrapbooking project which is on hiatus until the materials I ordered online last night arrive next week.  Lottie waited.


After about 20 minutes, it was time to boil the bagels.  This part was fun.  They got HUGE!


When they were all done (I ended up with nine instead of eight), they were sent off to the oven after inspection by a penguin.


It did take two hours from start to end, but it was worth it.  Fred had almost eaten his breakfast by the time he got his fresh bagel out of the toaster.  He dunked it in his fried egg and declared, “These are good!”  Brian didn’t care for them, but he has never been a bagel fan.  At least, he tried them.

Here was my breakfast, shared with my furry sous chefs:


Thanks Mary-Ann!  Our family had a great time pitching in to make the bagels and they really were awesome.  I have them to enjoy for breakfast all next week.

P.S.  ToMoLie Barkery is named after TObie, MOnty and LottIE, pronounced like tamale.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Sister Knows Antiquities, But She Doesn’t Know Weebles

So, after long night of studying, Kate said she felt like a Weeble and posted this picture:


These are Weebles she says.  No, these are not Weebles.  I don’t know what they are.  They look squishy and have arms.  They look like the modern round bottom wreck of Little People.

These, are Weebles.  They wobble and never fall down.


Love you Kate!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pet Therapy

I found this article about the benefits of animal therapy in the newsletter for St. Mary of Providence. My aunt, Mary Ann, has Down syndrome and has lived at St. Mary's for about 20 years. I don't know if my Lottie is suited for this kind of work - she has a lot of calming down to do - but just more proof that animals can forge a link and help us in so many ways, both physically and mentally. I hope that everyone can read it - I had to reduce the size so that I could post the article.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

99 Things - Here's what I've done

I saw this on one of the blogs I follow, and thought it was interesting. I've done more than I thought I had at first glance. The colored items, I've accomplished.
  1. Started your own blog
  2. Slept under the stars
  3. Played in a band
  4. Visited Hawaii
  5. Watched a meteor shower
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity
  7. Been to Disneyland/world [both]
  8. Climbed a mountain
  9. Held a praying mantis
  10. Sang a solo [you really don't want me to]
  11. Bungee jumped
  12. Visited Paris
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  18. Grown your own vegetables
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
  20. Slept on an overnight train
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitch hiked
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb
  26. Gone skinny dipping
  27. Run a Marathon
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
  29. Seen a total eclipse [at least I think I have]
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
  31. Hit a home run
  32. Been on a cruise
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
  35. Seen an Amish community
  36. Taught yourself a new language
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied?
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  39. Gone rock climbing
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
  41. Sung karaoke [again, you really don't want me to]
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  44. Visited Africa
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  46. Been transported in an ambulance
  47. Had your portrait painted
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling [does it count if I wouldn't go in the water?]
  52. Kissed in the rain
  53. Played in the mud
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
  62. Gone whale watching
  63. Gotten flowers for no reason
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
  65. Gone sky diving
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  71. Eaten caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt
  73. Stood in Times Square
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand new car
  83. Walked in Jerusalem
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper [both one I was in and one I took]
  85. Read the entire Bible
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  88. Had chickenpox twice
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury
  91. Met someone famous
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Lost a loved one
  94. Had a baby
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone
  99. Been stung by a bee

Friday, October 31, 2008

How a Princess Recovers from CL Surgery

Where to begin? I suppose back in January when Tobie first hurt her left knee. She was able to recover with anti-inflammatories and rest that time. Then, the day I made the banner in the last blog post, she turned up lame again. This time, there was no known event (like playing in the snow) that caused the injury and it seemed worse, as she was not using the paw at all. My mom and step-dad rested her for the week we were on vacation, and there was some progress.

Fred and I met with the surgeon on Wednesday and due to muscle loss in her hind-end and severe swelling, the surgeon felt that this current injury was in fact older than 10 days. I walked in the office not wanting the surgery, but we both felt that was the right course of treatment and so she stayed and the TPLO was preformed that evening.

We picked her up yesterday afternoon and she let us know by grumbling at us for the first hour she was home how unhappy she was with our decision. She slept most of the evening and did eat a bit of boiled hamburger and cooked rice for dinner. I slept downstairs with her on an air mattress. I really should say "slept." She was a bit restless. About 3 AM, Fred brought Monty down as he was upstairs complaining. After that, she got up on the mattress with me and we slept for about three hours.

This morning, she was sleeping in the mudroom in one of her favorite spots while I was on my computer. Monty was doing his usual desk troll task. When I got up, no Tobie in the mudroom. Where is my girlie? Where did she go?

As you can see from the picture, she is so glad we set up the air mattress just so she could recover in comfort.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lookey What I Made (with Martha's help!!)

Here is a really cool Halloween banner I made at Craft Fancy on Saturday. I hung it up tonight and it looks so awesome in the candlelight on my mantle. Craft Fancy is an awesome new scrapbooking store in Arlington Heights. If you are in the area, check it out!

Martha is an awesome teacher. I can't wait to take her next class where she promises to show me what to do with the oh so cute new Sassafrass papers. She always brings her students candy, which I was enjoying this afternoon. Check out Maratha's blog here. Here is a link to Craft Fancy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SIS Online Coffe & Cupcakes Class

Here is the cover for my Starbucks cup book. I used Summer Breeze Twinkling H2O in the watercoloring, so there is a very pretty glimmer! I punched a 1-3/8" circle to completely cover the mermaid and used a large square foam riser to push up the button. I figured this might make it easier to close it with the ribbon, but will wait to measure the ribbon closure until the book is assembled.