Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Hounds

We begin each holiday season with the annual "Lighting of the Christmas Hound." Gus looks slightly annoyed because we interrupted him while he was chewing up the extra lights.

Molly the Bluetick, age 14 1/2, is our oldest hound. Therefore, she had the distinction of being the only hound not to be kenneled while we opened presents on Christmas morning. She thanked us by peeing on the carpet right in front of the tree before we opened the first gift!

Amanda, Alyssa and I posed without the hounds in front of the tree. I can't imagine why we got the photo on the first try.

About 20 takes later, we ended up with this shot including the three hounds.

Molly relaxing on the new dog bed on Christmas Eve. She and Dimond Willow ate the old one the night before.

Three peaceful hounds. This lasted for approximately 3.5 minutes. Then it erupted into a Wrestle-Mania event.

And finally, a relative thinks he can hold back a bloodhound. It never works!

Christmas in Fairbanks, Alaska with the hounds. Always entertaining!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fairbanks to Hawaii

My lucky daughter, Amanda, is flying from Fairbanks to Hawaii. Wish I was heading that direction, too!


She gets to trade in her boots for flip-flops while the hounds and I wade through the new snow. Lucky girl!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whose Bed Is It Anyway??

Edie got up to get a cup of coffee and she seriously expected to have a spot on the bed? Really. Humans are so dumb.

By the way, that IS a queen size bed, you know.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Study for a Test

The following are the ingredients for successfully studying for an upcoming test:

1. Start the fire in the stove
2. Add one spotted coonhound, snoring loudly while snoozing upon her back
3. Add one baying bloodhound in the background
4. Include one set of earplugs
5. Attempt to ignore hounds
6. Focus, focus, focus
7. Then move to your bedroom, close door tightly, continue to study

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moose Tracking 101

Often when out for a walk, Gus the bloodhound happens upon fresh moose tracks. This is a splendid opportunity for him to display his tracking skills. Gus was tracking this moose at temperatures hovering around 10 degrees above zero. If I had let go of the leash, I have no doubt that he would have found that moose!

Old Molly hound was also tracking that moose, baying her progress to us. And where was Dimond Willow?? Well, she tracked herself right up to a big pile of moose poop, and was busily dining upon it. She had no interest in going any further.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Playing Catch-up

Wow. It's been a long time. As usual, I've been up to my eyeballs in stuff to do. Teaching 2nd graders all day, teaching a reading class in the After School Program, assistant coaching the Lathrop Ballroom Dance Team AND hauling my 9th grade daughter to basketball practices and games, not to mention taking care of the hounds. Whew. But it is all fun, and I'm having a blast! So here is a little photo montage to start bringing you up to date...

Starting with my goofy children getting ready for the Halloween Carnival.

And a little hound snuggling.

Can't forget a cold, dark Alaskan afternoon photo.

And Molly helping us get ready for Black Friday Power Shopping!

"Who ARE you and what are you doing on MY couch?" the customary line from Gus...
I can't finish up without a little SoundHoundz entertainment, so here it is! Dimond snuffles her new dog bed and grumbles at Gus for getting into her business.

Next installment: Thanksgiving, Christmas, delightful Alaskan weather, crazy hound-dogs and more goofy children!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thinking of Summer

It's starting to get a little chilly. About 10 below zero at night. Been thinking about getting out the winter coat and maybe a hat, but I'd rather pretend it's still summer. Gloves are for sissies!

I was just looking through iphoto, and found this video from last summer. In this video, I was trying to comment on Marmalade's blog. This is pretty much a typical afternoon with the dogs. Right now, picture the same scenario, only the girls are trying to practice the cello with Dog WrestleMania happening under their feet. Never a dull moment in our house!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gluten Free??!!

I am finally back! It has been another crazy few weeks of waaaay toooo much to do, and I am finally getting to a post that I have needed to finish for several weeks.

Last summer, as my husband was recovering in the hospital from back surgery, I spent a great deal of time on my iphone (very possibly too much time!) to relieve the boredom of sitting all day. I found several blogs about gluten free living, which I found very interesting, as I have a condition called Celiac Disease. To make a long story short, I cannot eat anything with wheat, barley or rye. I can eat oats only if they are certified "gluten-free." As you can imagine, it makes eating a real challenge. I have to bake most of my own breads using rice flour as a base, and I haven't eaten a slice of real pizza in over 6 years! You can imagine how excited I was to find information on a website called MyBlogSpark. It allows you to place an application to review products on your personal blog. I decided to give it a try since I had heard that I would probably be able to review the new Betty Crocker Gluten Free dessert mixes, which I was eagerly awaiting.  They sent me the four products to try and review, and then one of my readers will win a set of the dessert mixes as well.  It's a great deal!

The new Betty Crocker Gluten Free mixes are as follows:
Yellow Cake Mix
Devil's Food Cake Mix
Brownie Mix
Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Yellow Cake- This cake had a good flavor, but was quite grainy from the rice flours in the mix. I was not happy with the mix, so I experimented. I decided to use it in a Pineapple Upside Down cake. The results were amazing! It made an excellent cake which was moist, sweet and delicious! I used a couple of different recipes, and the results were great each time. I served the cakes at picnics and the guests loved them as well. This gave me an idea as autumn approached and the blueberries were ripening. What about a Blueberry Pineapple Coconut Upside Down cake? I replaced the marachino cherries with lots of blueberries, and added coconut milk as part of the liquid along with coconut flakes. The result was not very pretty, as blueberries turn very dark when cooked, but it tasted wonderful! The cake was gone in a flash from the countertop!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Layering the blueberries

Devil's Food Cake- This cake had a better texture, but could use a bit more chocolate flavor. This cake makes a great base for an ice cream cake. Simply bake and freeze. Top with your favorite flavor of ice cream and refreeze.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix- We experimented a great deal with this mix. It has a good flavor, but the cookies crumble too easily. Tried adding another egg. Didn't help. Tried using applesauce in place of liquid. Didn't work. Maybe it would work as a cookie bar?

Brownie Mix- Good results here. This makes a nice brownie. Also tried adding another egg, with great results. Makes an excellent dessert. Feel free to get creative with this one by topping with ice cream, syrup and nuts for a brownie sundae. 


Overall, I would say that Betty Crocker could have done a better job researching before launching these mixes. There are other gluten free dessert mixes in the Natural Food section of the grocery stores that are much better quality. However, the other mixes are approximately $7 each. The Betty Crocker Mixes, found in the regular baking aisle, are around $4 each. I would like to sincerely applaud them for diving into the gluten free market, however. There are MANY people who must live wheat free, and our food choices are so limited at this time that we welcome any new items on the shelves.  I am thankful to see this new competition in the gluten free arena.

Now, for my blog readers. How would you like to try these mixes for free? I would bet that many of you know at least one person who cannot eat wheat, or limits it. Or maybe you are interested in trying something new yourself? If so, leave a comment, or drop an email ( if you would like to be entered in the drawing to win all four of these dessert mixes. No cost to you, no obligation. Can't wait to hear from you!

And lest I forget, these recipes are all Bloodhound/Coonhound Approved. How do I know? Place dessert on your plate and you have exactly 1.3 seconds to get to a safe area to enjoy it... just ask my kids!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whoa, Dude!

I do believe Gus the Bloodhound thinks he is really a Jack Russell Terrier. What do you think??

(The background sounds are Molly the Bluetick barking and the television)