junk food for everyone

as noted in the previous post, toby recently missed a meal for the first time in his dog life. he spent the rest of the day regretting his mistake of tearing into the licorice and rejecting his bowl of food. today i was feeling pretty sorry for the little hungry pup, so i thought i would treat him to a dingo. this is the toby equivalent to a bag of cheetos. if any of you have dogs that eat their food so fast that their treats are gone in the speed of light, this particular type of dingo is the best. it is hard on the outside and tough to get into but on the inside it is soft and puppy delicious. whenever i give one of these to toby he ends up spending much longer on it than a normal treat- which is good. we are trying to learn how to eat at a slower pace! as i also mentioned before, toby loves to eat and collect things under the ottoman in the living room. i found andrew's flip flops, a bra, and three pieces of trash under there just today. so he runs off to the ottoman with the dingo and has to work really really hard to get to the good part. as any mother- i think everything toby does is cute- so i photo-ed him eating his treat.
this is one of his more ferocious faces. "grrrr... i will eat you..."
i have also had a bit of a junk food weekend. i ate lemon sorbet for lunch and tacos for breakfast today. don't worry though- i topped it off right! one of my favorite things to do is find lots of recipes that are similar and craft my own recipe from a bunch of other people's ideas! today i was super-ly craving fried pickles. wow. sounds healthy, right? i have made these before but not since having to cut the beloved gluten out of my diet. anywho, i decided the gluten free pizza crust mix would be the best substitute for wheat flour and i took the pickle plunge. here are the pickles i selected (good because of their thickness and shape) and the flour mix.
this is the directions i wrote down for myself to follow. i am such a note taker. i love note pads and post-its. i love pens. i love making lists. here is my recipe. if you want a complete one- call me!
and here are my pretty little pickles frying in veggie oil. yum. not healthy. but yum.
and finally my finished product! andrew re-cooked some leftover grilled corn from the night before and it was amazing. i also prepared some green chili mashed potatoes. it was southern food at its best in my kitchen tonight. surprisingly, the gluten free pickles turned out amazing! usually you end up thinking "this is pretty good... but with wheat flour it would be amazing!" but this time i didn't! it couldn't have been better. wish you could have joined me in eating them!
after our delicious feast, we went out and got to take a night tour of the austonian
(where andrew works) and it was awesome! we also went and listened to some jazz with good
friends. i will tell you all about that and about heather's weekend in austin tomorrow. for now-
hope you enjoyed the pickles! see you soon!


licorice makes toby thirsty

so last wednesday i drove to dallas to stay with my sister while my parents went away for their anniversary. they are still gone and heather decided to come with me to austin for the weekend and this spells all kinds of fun that will be blogged about sooner than later. first i must tell of a toby story:
toby loves to be sneaky and find food that people have forgotten to put away. in a house such as mine- with a lot of people coming in and out and a very large number of meals being eaten in the tv room- food frequently gets left for toby to discover and this has occasionally resulted in some disasters. back at home in dallas, for example, i left the pantry door open and toby and his brother copper snuck in and grabbed a bag of treats. if bailey hadn't come and told on them, they probably would have consumed the whole bag. luckily by the time she got me to the kitchen it was only being pried open.
i have to also explain that andrew is a huge lover of black licorice. sometimes i buy him a bag of it just to say i love you, but since i am not at all a lover of black licorice, i just grab a brand at random. before i left town, i left andrew with a giant pot of spaghetti and a bag of licorice (his two favorites). unfortunately i picked a bad batch of licorice though. very little of it was eaten. not only was very little of it eaten, but the very large amount that wasn't eaten was left in the bag on the couch upstairs. we unknowingly left the house and toby jumped on his chance. he insists on eating everything under the ottoman in the living room. it is big and just the right height for him to sit comfortably but us to not see. i frequently find articles of clothing or little toys that have been brought under the ottoman.
once home we quickly realized that something had happened. toby acts weird when he knows he's bad. we found it. the bag of licorice. empty.
i scolded him but there is not much you can do once the damage is done. i left him outside for a while because i just knew he would be sick. but sure enough, my puppy and his steel tummy, made it through the night without sickness! this morning i woke up to toby walking across my chest. he does this a lot because he knows its a good way to get me up and feeding him. finally i agree to get up and i put food in his bowl. then i noticed the most unusual thing.. he wasn't eating it! for those new readers out there- this does not happen. ever. toby loves food (hence the blog) and he always eats his breakfast. always. then i noticed the water bowl was empty. as i refill he starts to do his toby excited dance. this means "you figured it out! thats what i wanted!" i filled the water bowl and it disappeared. i took an iphone photo as fast as i could! this fleeting moment of food ignoring is one i may not ever see again!
i had no idea licorice could make you so thirsty, but it apparently has the power to make toby refuse food. an that is quite a power, my friends.

see you soon- i'll have lots of pictures to show you after the weekend!


oh my love, oh it was a funny little thing

is this blog just really sad? do people read it an think "wow this is creepy" instead of "oh how cute" ??? i hope not. for all you "wow this is creepy" folk- i just love my pup and my friends pups. everyone loves puppy photos. johnny was just telling me yesterday that dogs advertise better than famous people. (ex. the dog with the toilet paper being the only memorable toilet paper ad) (except perhaps for the really weird/kind of gross one where the bears get toilet paper stuck to their asses) anyway, don't judge me. so........

toby is a dog of very many friends. i thought today would be a nice day to introduce you to all of toby's friends and relatives. this is his cousin bailey. she is truly toby's best friend. though this photo appears angry- it is only play. bailey belongs to heather (my favorite sister) making her dog toby's cousin. copper also lives in the house with bailey but he has gotten too old to be cute in photos. he is toby's literal brother. (possibly half brother)
here you can see how very cute bailey really is. she is all white and when she plays too much she turns gray. she is the only dog that looks cute when she's dirty. she also has no fear of cameras, making her an excellent dog portrait candidate. she enjoys cuddling with heather, playing with toby, and disappearing in the occasional snow storm. (more on that to come)
next is carraway! she is the pup of my dear friend melissa (of southernvogue blog). we used to consider carraway toby's neighbor friend, but she has recently moved away- making toby and i quite sad. she gets her name from the great gatsby by f. scott fitzgerald. she is very camera shy and this is literally the only photo i have ever gotten her to look at. ever.
so our austin friends jon and haley currently have three dogs. i am impressed with their ability to keep up with three large dogs. this one is scrappy! he is a quirky dog that enjoys long walks involving frisbees and sticks.
this is ozzie. the second dog of the jon and haley household. there has been some discrepancy between the different ways to spell ozzie's name. jon explained to me that johnny (*see leila) has re-named ozzie "ah-z." i suppose this is more suitable for an aspiring dog rapper. he is also fond of the outdoors, but does not appreciate when his spot on the couch is taken.
and finally we have gus. he is the most recent addition to the house and is the size of the rest of the home's residents combined. well maybe not all of them, but he is definitely bigger than haley. he enjoys swimming, running, and having his ears scratched.
here's bailey again! with heatherino (my sister and her mother). she looks like a little lamb.
this is low ryder. she belongs to my cousins patrick and shannon. she lives in dallas but gets to come every year for austin city limits and sometimes toby comes over to play when we are in big d. she is a weenie dog of course! and i have this other great photo of her that i couldn't find so we will have to deal with this one in which shannon is sleeping. ryder really likes her squeaky toys and loves to chase after them in the house. toby loves playing with ryder. i believe their relationship is half cousin?
this is tanq (short for tanqueray). he is toby's adopted brother. he is the sweetest most wonderful dog in the whole world. he lives with my parents now (even though i was the one that got him) because they have a huge yard and lots of pups to play with. he has an eternal battle waging against the evil pool sweep and that man that comes along and tampers with it seems to hold the key of it's weakness. when this photo was taken, dallas had just gotten the most snow in like 60 years. (something rhymes with shmobal shmarming maybe??) but we still really enjoyed the snow day. we had no power and it was as cold outside as it was in, so we just stayed outside a lot.
and as i said before, bailey is a huge fan of the snow! she loves to leap through it even though it gives her snow dreads. here is a good action leap shot.
and she stuck the landing.
back to summer days- here is maverick! he is another one of toby's dallas friends that occasionally gets to come visit austin. this photo was taken when he was a very baby puppy, but he isn't actually a whole lot bigger now. he has a lot of energy and looks fantastic in halloween costumes (usually best for the smallest of dog). his mom is my dear friend danaye.
i thought i would throw in one more toby and bailey pic. they are wearing their tie dye christmas shirts that heather and i made them last thanksgiving break.
kaiser wilhelm! (you have to say it with a german accent) this is the dog of my friends beau and rebecca (recently married). these photos were taken when he was a little tiny puppy but he is still small these days. sometimes he does bad things, but he is so cute that you can't stay very angry about it. here you can see him running as fast as his puppy feet can to the camera.
and sniffing................
and eating a leaf. kaiser used to live in austin with us, but then he moved back to dallas when his parents got married. they are great and i love all three of them.
and last but not least, leila!! leila was adopted by andrew and i a while back, but it turned out she was better suited to live with our favorite friend johnny. this is her as a baby (so cute!).
and here she is today! such a pretty girl! johnny has a giant back yard where she loves to play. she likes to chew sticks and chase frisbees.
here she is back inside after some playing. her eyes are the same as when she was so little.
and here she is again with the stick. toby loves to play with leila but he will never understand how she went from being smaller than him to way bigger.
so those are some of toby's dog friends! oh and there was no order at all to the photos. all dogs are loved equally. i love toby and his friends and i love his friends parents!

have a great weekend everyone!!


ba-da-ba-ba-baaaah (toby's lovin it)

there is literally nothing that makes me happier than how excited toby gets when i get home. so i got home a bit ago and toby and i were chilling. we were watching a bit of tv and toby was wishing he was tall enough to reach a drive through window. he was also wishing that i would stop taking photos of him. (so camera shy)
he's telling me to stop taking pictures. oh and he's also wearing his world cup jersey. south africa 2010! already excited for june!!

love from me and the pup! hope everyone's weeks are wrapping up well!


a dog mom still counts as a mom

lucky for me, my mother and grandmother like me best of my three siblings. they drove to austin to spend sunday afternoon/night and monday morning/day with me! alex is in chicago and far too busy party planning and glass blowing to host a mothers day gathering. heather is just cool and her schedule is booked up till christmas. my lack of job, education, and friends totally frees me up for a nice little surprise family time! there is a possibility that this is coming off sounding sarcastic, but it really was fantastic. mom brought me a mothers day gift! i got clothes for toby and a little framed picture of my pup. i occasionally realize that i might love toby too much and some people might think it is weird, but then i remember that people that think it's weird are sad inside that they don't have a toby.

so anyway- everyone arrived on sunday afternoon and we went to the east side showroom (which is on 6th street, but east of 35). it is a small place and very very old. the building has been restored turned into a fusion between the most amazing locally grown and fully organic food and a fabulous bar with wonderful sangria. their theme is in keeping with the old building with a twist of early u.s. film culture and some totally unique and modern sculpture and paintings. lots of the tables are made from old doors and the drinks are served in mason jars. basically just really cool.
we had some beverages and appetizers that were as amazing as i anticipated. after this it was on to our next meal destination. i wanted to take my grandparents to east side cafe because it seemed like a place they would enjoy. the food is slightly southern feeling and yet its organic and local (a lot of which comes from the garden behind the restaurant). in addition to this, the actual restaurant is inside a little white house. in my mind, these kind of places are the best kind of places. they couldn't seat us until 8:15, so we killed time by driving through downtown and giving my best tour of austin. this included andrew's place of business- the austonian. this was great and the dinner was great and the night was just wonderful.
me and me mum and me dad. sometimes i spontaneously change accents.
my sweet andrew with my grandparents.
and then just the two. they have been married for 63 years. what??
dad had to make an early exit so he could be back in dallas for some business. we bid him adieu and then went to the zilker park botanical garden. this garden is a joint effort by the austin parks department and the austin area garden council. they could not have possibly put together a more beautiful place. there are little streams of water running all over and tons of ponds- even a waterfall. every kind of flower texas has ever seen grows there and there is a canopy of trees that shades almost every step. it was nice to bring my family here. we just walked around and looked at earth's creations. i took lots of pictures because everything was so pretty and i wanted to show you all of it. also because the colors were freaking me out how awesome they were. seriously this is the best spring of all time.
this little bee was working so hard that he didn't mind me spying on him.
this is mom. she's my favorite.
i didn't know that this is what ginkgo biloba looks like!
here's my grandparents walking hand in hand. so lovely.
just some pretty green
yurtle the turtle oh marvelous he. he is the ruler of all that he sees.
this old bridge has been rescued and moved around austin a few times. now it lives in the garden. and no one has ever accused me of getting too many pedicures- i get it. blue polish will leave soon i promise.
i also get that i shouldn't take toe photos if my toes are offensive to look at.
here's my mom with her parents. we had to stop for a waterfall pose.
this is me with my mother and grandmother. two and a half generations of mothers. (i'm only half because toby is only half human)
a pretty butterfly found mom's shirt to chill on. he was so pretty.
these two friends looked like they are trying to put off a tough persona, but really they are sensitive on the inside.
just a lone pepper here. all his pepper friends were far away and not so pretty.
and such concludes our mothers day events. i'm happy to be back on toby the dog blog. toby will hopefully have lots of moments to share with you soon! life is as normal again and jet lag finally wore off. i may be officially raising the white flag in my life long battle against having to get back surgery. i'm blogging now because walking is currently impossible. if anyone has had back surgery and wants to tell me about it- i would love some promises that its not so bad. yikes. also, i'm applying to schools again. haha! i'm totally going to be that old lady in the class that everyone is like "geez i didn't know they let people this old go to college!" i'll end my undergrad with a single degree and 9 million hours! and i'm not telling you what my plan is yet because you will laugh. once i get it all sorted out i might tell you. (as if people read this) (james, i know you are only scrolling through the pictures and not even worrying about the words). alright i'll wrap this up. toby and i send you lots of spring love! come see us and maybe we can go look at flowers and go swimming and stuff. i'm up for that every day.
peace to all


a pleasant walk, a pleasant talk

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
and so we took a walk. austin is greener than ever before and spring is springier.
toby loved the exploring and adventure.
home again home again.
i love my home.