Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Agility Update

Sadie and I have been doing agility for nearly a year now (come October or November will make one year).  Sadie is having a lot of fun and really loves the sport. It's been a while since I have offered any real updates. Mostly because it's hard to photograph when you are running your dog and the videos aren't terribly exciting - mostly it's me making an ass out of myself as I screw up my footwork, body language, and verbal cues.

It's also been hard to do a lot of daily training with her. Summer is tough for me as I am still traveling to Issaquah 2X a day for work and I cannot bring Sadie to work her at lunch time. Plus I work at Bellevue College teaching that OB class which is a big time suck. Now that my schedule is a little more normal I am hoping to offer Sadie some more dedicated time.

A-frame, dog-walk, tunnels, jumps... Sadie is champ.

Overall we handle jumps well and she listens and observes directional cues very well.  We even tackled a serpentine pretty well even though it darn near made MY brain explode. The video below shows a pretty long explanation of serpentines and everything I was doing wrong. Fast forward to 4:35 to skip the boring stuff and see it all come together.

Teeter is a challenge because even though she does the actual teeter fine (no hesitation, hits her contact, and performs a 2 on 2 off *technically* correct) however we moved too quickly. My fault for not slowing down. She will stick her contact get her cookies and then releases herself before I say "okay". Under no circumstances should she ever break her contact until I tell her to. In a competition setting the pause before I say "okay" will be a nano second. However, we aren't competing and even if we were, she should stand in that spot until I say "okay" regardless of where we are. So. That is something we need to work on.

The downside of needing teeter work is we don't own a teeter, nor do we really have room to store and set one up. That really slows down the process since I can't work it at home.

Direction is something else I need to work on. I should be able to cue Sadie a direction like "Jump right"  which means turn right after clearing the jump, and "Left Tunnel" which means turn left then take the tunnel. This has been challenging.

And lastly, the weaves. The weaves are considered the most challenging to train and sadly I've left them for last. I am far behind my other classmates because I kept putting it off. I hope to have made good progress in the next couple of weeks.

Sadie looks .... cocky. Like, "Psh. I so got this." Well, I hope she's right. I'd like to see some kick ass weave action pretty soon.

Even Violet got in on the action :)

And thus concludes my agility ramble.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mini Dutch Babies - aka Mini German Pancakes

Another great pinterest find. The original recipe is found here and it is really easy and simple to use. I made some minor changes for our needs and it came out very well.

Dutch Babies are sometimes called German Pancakes or Dutch Puffs. They're heavy on the egg and light on the flour which I actually prefer for a variety of reasons. The original recipes call for sugar which this recipe lacks - another reason I like it.

Slowly adding the melted butter last so as to temper the eggs.

The original recipe calls for regular sized muffin tins. I used the jumbo muffin tins. The recipe fills 6 perfectly - it will fill nearly to the top x 6.

Once they come out of the oven they will be puffy and won't at all look like dutch babies - but they immediately start to cool and deflate.

The finished product - topped with peach preserves and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

  • 1 cup milk (we used almond milk. Turned out great!)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (we used almond extract. Way better than vanilla)
  • 1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients except the butter. Make sure there aren't any flour lumps. Slowly mix in the melted butter.
  3. Fill the muffin tins most of the way full.
  4. Bake time will depend on the muffin tin size. Jumbo's will need to bake 20-22 minutes. Regular sized muffin tins need about 15 minutes. They are done when golden brown and puffy on the top.
  5. Remove from oven to cool, about 5 minutes. Top with your favorite toppings. Syrup works great, too.