Billie’s snow day!

A snow day for Billie!
A snow day for Billie!

We’ve had nothing but snow and more snow here for the last few days, which is SO unusual for Portland, Oregon and SO fun!  It’s not so much fun for our dogs, however, who’ve been stuck inside most of the time feeling housebound.

So I decided to invent a game. Snow soccer! Take one exercise ball, add two Shetland sheepdogs (Billie and Bonnie), toss everyone outside, and away we go. It was a HUGE hit, as you can see! Billie is convinced that the blue ball is a sheep, and happily herded it all over the yard for ages. I’m going to try and figure out how to upload a video in a few days so that you all can see the three of us at play…

Summer ritual

Billie at DQ 2013

Yep, it’s that time of year again!

Every summer, I stop by Dairy Queen now and then with our dogs. They LOVE DQ — and we love our local DQ for providing tiny vanilla doggie cones.  They’re free of charge, with a purchase by a human, which isn’t a hardship since I love a good DQ Twist now and then…

As for that green streak on Billie’s muzzle, just in case you spotted it and were wondering, that was a leftover from lunch. She helped me finish off my kale smoothie.  Uh, yeah.  Sounds gross, doesn’t it?  Mrs. Wong would so approve!  One of my favorite light lunches, though, believe it or  not.

I’m coming down the home stretch on my new novel!  Hope to be able to share a few tidbits with you all soon!

 

 

 

Will work for macaroons

Working from home definitely has its advantages.  The commute’s a snap, for one thing, and I can set my own hours, wear my pajamas all day, and skive off to the movies mid-morning while everyone else is stuck at their desks.  (Not that I ever do, mind you, but I could if I wanted to.)

It definitely has its disadvantages too, though.  For one thing, it can get pretty quiet around here, even though our Shetland sheepdogs are good company.

Office colleagues Bonnie & Billie

Plus, the boss is a slave driver.  Man, does she crack that whip!  What’s that, you say?  I’m the boss, so I have no one to blame but myself?  Um, I guess you have a point there…

Once in a while my mean old boss cuts me some slack and tells me to go have fun.  One of my favorite things to do in this case is have friends over for lunch.  It gives me an excuse to clean the house, for one thing, plus I love to cook.  And it’s always nice to have a reason to use my favorite pink china I inherited from my mother.

Today I made pumpkin soup, perfect for a chilly November day, and to go with it we had sourdough rolls, sparkling cranberry juice, and my friend Susan brought a delicious salad, while my other friend Sue (yep, two Susans–isn’t that funny?!) brought MACAROONS.

I am a sucker for anything coconut.

Especially yummy little cookies like these.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Sue gave me the recipe, which is super-simple.  I can’t wait to whip up a batch myself!

COCONUT MACAROONS

1 14-oz. pkg.  shredded & sweetened coconut (5-1/3 cups)

2/3 cup sugar

6 T. flour

¼ tsp. salt

4 egg whites

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 325.  Combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir egg whites and extract together, then add to coconut mixture and stir until blended.

Using a cookie dough scoop or spoon, scoop coconut mixture into 1 T. size mounds, 2 inches apart, onto greased and lightly floured baking sheet (I like to use parchment paper).

Bake for 20 minutes or until edges look golden brown and lightly toasted. Transfer from baking sheet to wire racks and cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

 

A Jess Delaney moment

Look what I saw yesterday while walking the dogs!

It’s a great blue heron.  They’re very majestic birds — and very LARGE birds.  Like nearly the size of Bonnie and Billie, our two Shetland sheepdogs.  Well, OK, maybe not that big.  But BIG for a bird.  We have a lot of them around here.  This guy was standing really close, though, and even more exciting, I got to watch him eat a frog!  (eew, I know)

He was standing on the bank of a creek with this, uh, thing dangling out of his mouth.  At first I  couldn’t tell what it was, and then about the time that I did, he swooped up into the air, showing off his huge wingspan, and landed on a branch at the top of a nearby tree.  Where he enjoyed his lunch…

Anyone else have a Jess Delaney nature moment they’d like to share?