Category Archives: Shamrock

Shamrock Gets Loon-y!

Standard

It’s truly wonderful to enjoy the lake where Rob’s parents live when it is not a holiday weekend and the crowds are gone. We were there for the week after Memorial Day this year.

I call this one Sunlight Dancing on the Water:

~

We took out the neighbor’s paddle boat a few times. Rob would fish, where I would help net, read, or just relax and pedal. A couple of times, though, we opted to bring the pooches. The dogs really like fishing and since Rob likes to just catch and release, he lets each dog sniff and give the fish a quick kiss before throwing them back in. It really is sweet. As much as Benny loved to fish, too, we really couldn’t do this often with him as he would bark the whole time!

We went into a little cove of the lake where a loon resided. As we pedaled in he didn’t move away from us at all. In fact, he came a bit closer to us. At one point, I can’t say he was more than 15 feet away. I was really nervous about this because Shamrock is such a bird dog. Was he going to jump in?!

 

It wasn’t long after that that Shamrock’s urge got the better of him and he did jump into the water.

“Do something!?” I cried. Shamrock had jumped off the paddle boat on Rob’s side and was swimming towards the loon.I had noticed how long and sharp the loon’s beak was after a good amount of time watching him up close. I could just imagine a sweet little loon pecking Sham’s eyeballs out.

“What do you want me to do?” Rob exclaimed back. I don’t know what I expected. For him to dive in? He had a fishing pole in his hand, equipped with a hook. We were seated low in the paddle boat. Sophie was also on board. The image in my head was a movie-made dive. But if he were to do that, it wouldn’t be quite as pretty!

“Come here Sham,” Rob said calmly. I probably rolled my eyes. Sham never listened when he was on the hunt. It’s why we always keep him on a leash unless he is the confines of our fenced-in-yard. If he were to chase something anywhere else, he’d never come back.

The loon did not move. He was not intimidated by dog paddling noisily his way.

But Rob kept repeating himself calmly.

About halfway to the loon, Sham turned around and swam back. I have no idea why! At Rob’s request? Did he get halfway there and then wonder what he was actually going to do? Was it that he realized he could not touch the bottom like he can when he swims near the shore? Was he getting tired? But for whatever reason, we are grateful our wet Bugaboo returned to us unharmed.

It’s always a happy day at the lake, even on land when Rob likes play “chase the bobber”. (There is no hook on the line for this game, of course!)

Ahhh… summer!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Cheers~
Carrie

At the Lake…

Standard

Sophie & Shamrock Saturday

When we are visiting Rob’s parents, it never fails to amaze me how attentive Sham is when Rob is fishing off the dock.

But I wish I just got some better photos for those times when Rob has caught one because our pooches reactions are priceless.

This will have to do for now until I can capture it better!

After getting the fish unhooked, Rob took it back to the water to release. Both dogs jumped in the water. We have two happy, happy fisher dogs!

Happy Saturday!
Carrie

Paddle Hard Brewing

Standard

Happy Thirsty Thursday!

 

Not to be confused with Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth, Minnesota, we tested our pooches out on the patio of Paddle Hard Brewing in Grayling, Michigan on the way to visit Rob’s parents.

Again, they did really well! Just a quick loud bark when another dog walked by… We have yet to find out what it will be like if another dog is lingering in the patio area with us. In that picture with Shamrock on the right above is a little travel collapsible water bowl. This is helpful when a dog-friendly patio doesn’t have a water bowl on offer for its furry patrons or if the bowl is on the other side of the patio!

It was a beautiful day!

We tasted a flight of brews…

Top Row (left to right): Paddle Hard Cold Brew Vanilla Brown Ale, Left Foot Charley Cinnamon Cider, Hideout Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter. Bottom Row (left to right): Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree Imperial IPA, New Holland Night Tripper Imperial Stout, Short’s Goodnight Bodacious Double Black IPA

Obviously, they offer guest beers as well as their own. And you can choose any to add to your flight!

We also had a bite to eat:

Quinoa Salad – Fresh quinoa, roasted red peppers, crumbled feta, green onion, banana peppers, tomato, zucchini, and dill, placed on baby spinach, served with vinaigrette with homemade garlic flatbread – $8

The salad was good, but not as good as the the Power Grain Bowl from Morgan’s Farm to Table and Ancient Grain Salad from Vivo Kitchen – two of my favorite quinoa-based salads in the Twin Cities. This one could have used some chicken or something with a bit more flavor, despite all that dill. The homemade “garlic flatbread” just tasted like pita bread that had been grilled and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

BLT Pizza – Homemade garlic butter sauce, cheddar/mozz cheese blend, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, chopped romaine, tomato, and mayo homemade garlic butter sauce, baby spinach, artichoke, sliced Roma tomatoes, mozz/cheddar blend – $9

Rob loved this pizza! Such a nice buttery crust with great BLT flavors. Even with lettuce on this pizza, he was not going to leave any leftovers behind – they came with us.

Now that we know the dogs seem to do well in public places, it’s nice to know we can stop when they are allowed! Paddle Hard Brewing‘s slogan: “Life’s Short. Paddle Hard!”

Do you have any favorite dog-friendly hangouts?

Cheers~
Carrie

I know it’s been a while…

Standard

Every time I abandon the blog for a bit, I’m not sure where to jump right in… Sometimes I feel the need to explain what’s going on. Sometimes I have too many ideas and things I have wanted to post but too much time has passed.

I didn’t think things could get much worse after the difficulties of last year, but 2017 has posed its own challenges. Most of them are happening to people I know well and love. And it’s hard to watch and I’m constantly trying to figure out the best way to be there or them and often feel like I’m falling short.

Our life circumstances have changed, too.

We had the best weather and one of the most wonderful weekends the weekend of Mother’s Day. It was the weekend that we finally tested to see how our dogs would do if we took them out in public on dog-friendly patios.

It went soooo well!

Here they are on the patio at Bald Man Brewing that Saturday:

Then for dinner at Burger Jones on Sunday:

I am so proud of their behavior. However, there were no other dogs present. I wonder how that would change things. We ended that weekend playing cribbage out on our broken deck. I was more content than I’ve been in a really long time. That was until I got the call – the call that my boss’s house was on fire.

Did I ever mention that I work out of my boss’s home office?  Did I ever mention that just last summer, his family moved, turning my non-existent commute to a 30-minute one?

I know, poor me. At least I turned my 30-minute commute into a audio-book wonderland.

But now, my-best-boss-ever is displaced and is awaiting his home to be rebuilt. Our company’s servers and computers were salvaged and we have set up shop back at my place. So my commute is now much shorter; but I wouldn’t have wished for this ever. Let’s just say it hasn’t been easy. And when I think about the sleepless nights and worry I’ve had over the last couple of weeks, I sometimes feel guilty because at least I have my home. Even the $4000 repair my husband needed on his vehicle the very same week feels silly to worry about, too.

Because in the end, everyone is safe.

And as we all know, that’s what is important.

5 for Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition!

Standard

Taking a break from the books this week since it’s St. Paddy’s Day! I’m not Irish, but sometimes I celebrate like I am. 🙂

Here are 5 of my St. Paddy’s Day Faves:

  1. Food:

    • Creamy Reuben Soup – I made this for the first time on Wednesday. My husband devoured nearly 3 bowls of it! (For the record, I loved it, too.) Okay, so Reubens are not technically Irish, but the corned beef and sauerkraut (cabbage), makes me feel like Reubens kind of are…  Besides, a local bar always makes a version that Rob always dreams of this time of year. I wanted to see if I could do it justice. The verdict? This one might be better. Make it no! Side Note: I never really had a Reuben sandwich until I met Rob. He and his parents always ordered them when we ate out!
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage – Truth be told, this is not a traditional Irish dish either! It’s more Irish-American. This was our go-to recipe every year, a few years back. I don’t think I’ll be making it again, though. The Soup has won out for eternity.
    • Irish Bread – I think Irish Soda Bread might be Irish-American, too. I don’t remember ever having that when I was in Ireland.I do miss their brown bread, though! Maybe I’ll have to try whip up a batch of that next year. Anyone have a fave recipe?
  2. Drinks:

    • Guinness – People think that Guinness is such a heavy beer because it is dark and maybe also because of the foamy head. While it may be heavier than the lager you are drinking, Guinness really isn’t as think or full-bodied as you may think it is. There are several stouts that have much more flavor and richness than Guinness. So give it a try! Sometimes, I’ll drink a Guinness when I want something lighter – it has so fewer calories than many other beers! Plus, there are so many concoctions you can make, including the Black Velvet in this post.
    • Whiskey – I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but my husband and friend Jen tend to like Johnny Jump Ups (a shot of whiskey in cider). But we did do a tasting while in Ireland. So much fun!
    • Irish Sangria – Want something a little nontraditional and fit for the beautiful weather we are supposed to have this weekend? Try the Irish Sangria in my Sangria post!
  3. Entertainment:

    • Irish Music – You can’t easily find trad in the U.S. but when you do, especially on this special day, it’s wonderful. We love the music at St. Paul’s FREE Irish Fair every August. And we go to see the non-traditional, but always fun Gaelic Storm whenever they are in town!
  4. Memories:

    • My friend Jen and I started a tradition when we backpacked Europe after college to find an Irish Pub in every country. My husband and I carry on this tradition to this day whenever we travel like we did here, here, herehere, here and here.
    • Almost two of those 10 weeks backpacking in Europe backpacking were spent in Ireland. I was most at peace in Dingle. I still remember that day and the calm I felt on the boat while in search of a the view of Fungie the dolphin. Although, hanging with my friend Colm in Dublin and Dundalk was wicked fun!
    • Then we took a family trip to Ireland with Rob’s parents in 2012. Here’s a link to my last post about that wonderful trip. If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you’ve got a link to all of my posts about that trip on the bottom. We were chauffeured around The Isle by Ray with Walk with Me and made some friends with locals in Dublin. {Hi Ross!} We do need to plan a trip back. {Sigh.}| I haven’t seen the south yet!
  5. Lastly:

    • Our very own Shamrock:

 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

What is your favorite thing about this holiday?

Cheers~
Carrie

Sophie & Shamrock Saturday

Standard

Sophie & Shamrock Saturday

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the pooches. But this time of year, there is a lot of hibernating going on…

I got the pooches these little dog beds around the holidays because they were on sale for around $10. Rob said they were too small. Technically, he was right. But the larger sizes started at $25/each. And I figured when they curl up into their little sleeping-dog-crescent-shapes…

It  took a long time to try to get Sham to get into his little bed. Training treats didn’t even really work. Until one day, I put the bed under my desk while I was working:

shamrock-bed-3He still loves the butterfly pillows his Auntie Sally gave them (pictured left), but now we’ve got little beds and pillows in the office, the living room and in the basement. Sham is a little protector (just ask Auntie Sally!) and needs to follow me nearly everywhere. He’ll have a place to sit no matter where I am… He might even fall asleep…

shamrock-bedMaybe one day, he’ll cover his eyes with his paws like The Jean does sometimes…

Happy Saturday!
Carrie