Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not without Kleenex

Black Dog 2000-2012
It's never easy to lose someone you care about.  And, in this studio, the black dog was the anchor of the operation, the steady alpha, who made sure things were in order.  She was with us for 12 years (that's 84 human years, and 12 bazillion orange balls), and with heavy hearts we laid her to rest on Saturday, March 23rd, due to a liver problem.

Brown Dog 1998-2008
It's been a tough few days, and I'm struggling with the reminder of the impact these precious souls have in our lives, having recently lost a 10 year companion (the brown dog) in 2008.  Their quiet presence in your space, okay, sometimes loud, but for the most part, a family member that knows when and how to blend in.  Most people around you, come and go as you travel the years - but that constant companion is the one that has experienced everything with you, absorbing your ups and downs with a constant wag and pondering eyes.  Sure, they may be just hungry, but I have come to believe that they 'get us' and offer us their sense of calm to navigate the stresses of everyday life.

Blonde Dog
We are extremely lucky that Sonney (the blonde dog), who found us just this past December, has been around for our transition to a one dog family again.  He may be an eight year old, oblivious boy, but, he has been helpful without effort, just being himself.  Sometimes, the intersections of life seem coincidental, or we can call it good timing - but that Sunday "on a whim" trip to L.A.W.S in December was an important event that is helping us (especially the six year old apprentice) get through this heartbreak.

Chasee and Cosmo
I know many of you met Cosmo, either as a family friend, or as a visiting client.  She was always eager to welcome the new visitors to the studio, because it meant extra attention for her (of course!), so I know you share some of our pain, and we appreciate your condolences.  We will never be the same, but, we do know all dogs go to heaven, and, as fisher says "that's where we are going, so we can all be together again one day"

We are four paws quieter today.  Give yours an extra squeeze :-)

Insight :: Rustic Benches Studio

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just Because I'm Hungry!

I have this really great recipe for pizza dough.  Over the years, I feel like I have been able to tweak it to near perfection.  This is obviously for my taste, but most everyone has been complimentary.  Now, you say ... who's NOT going to compliment the cook?  True.  But, if they keep coming back for it, I take it as a good sign.  The good thing about this dough is that it's versatile.  It can rise up for a thick crust, or you can roll it out very thin, for a crispy crust.  I may share this recipe with you, but not yet :-)  The reason I bring it up is because I was looking for something different to make for dinner, but still wanted to make something pizza-ish, so I took to pinterest (my visual drooling app) and found a fun idea.  Here's the original blog I read for this idea :: Pizza Rolls :: You can do it with store bought dough, or make your own, but these pizza balls were super-easy to make, and oh my gosh amazing to bite into, fresh out of the oven.  The best part - stuff them with whatever you want...the first time, I cooked up honey garlic sausages, made some pesto and grated some cheese...that's it.! 

They were SOOOOO good.

Roll out your dough
Cut into 20-24 squares
smear pesto or sauce
add ingredients (not tooooo stuffed)
grate cheese
fold and shape into balls
line them up close together in a oven safe pan
sprinkle with seasoning (I grated parmesan, basil flakes and oregano flakes)
Bake at 400C for about 15-20 minutes
Cool a few minutes
Separate onto plates and dip in marinara sauce

Insight :: Rustic Benches Studio

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fresh Start!

For nearly six straight days I could not eat or drink or read or surf or walk the dog.  This, my friends, amounts to one of the most horrible weeks I've had in quite some time.  This body can run on lack of sleep, tight timelines and whirlwind activities.  BUT, something got ahold of me, and I found it (I'm pretty sure) at a museum.  On Family Day, I took the boy to his favorite museum, completely forgetting that the masses would be doing the same thing.  Along came his girlfriend from down the street, and off we went to the virus infested, but beautiful Museum of Nature.  Dinosaurs (the fave, of course), Insects, Arctic, Earth, and a 3D movie of underwater creatures kept us distracted from what was really going on.  It was a blast for hours and hours...but something was creeping around inside that building, and it found me.  The next day, I felt weird, and to put some context into it, I NEVER get taken down to the point where I can't do the everyday things that make this household and studio run.  By Wednesday, I could barely get out of bed.  I did, but only for short spurts, and for only what was absolutely necessary.  I could not eat, I could not drink, everything was a chore.  This went on for four more days, and it was the most intense body and head ache, coupled with a nagging cough and sniffles.  Once out of the fog, and looking back, I realized how awful it was.  This intruder, apparently, is running rampant this season, and according to my family physician, half the school poplulation has been home with it.  Sadly, I took down my son with me, and he missed some school days .. the two of us, useless blobs in our beds.  The good news is that it's done, the virus part, at least.  There is still some lingering cough and sniffles, but that is easy peezy to deal with, in comparison.  The boy is back at school and the orders (thanks for everyone's patience) are back on schedule.

For the most part, I missed the everyday creativity in the workshop, and I missed being in the kitchen.  Those things inspire me everyday.

So, here's to a fresh start, virus free, yipee!