inaugural grillageholy hail!day 3558: two birds in the 3558: and yet still more 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. I.

inaugural grillage

inaugural grillage

after a winter of this, going for a 6 mile run on 60°F with the smell of spring in the air inspired me to light up the grill for the first time of the season.

salmon. simple and super delicious.

holy hail!

holy hail!

we drove back from madison and just missed what looked like an impressive hailstorm about 10 miles from home. “phew!” we thought, only to discover we arrived just before quarter sized hail was to start falling in viroqua.

and fall it did! it’s hard to tell because it’s dark out but i think damage was minimal to cars on the street, but i’m glad we got the car in the garage!

day 3558: two birds in the hand…

day 3558: two birds in the hand...

…are worth four in the bush?

day 3558: and yet still more hockey.

day 3558: and yet still more hockey.

the regular season of hockey ended and ouru local arena is in the process of taking down the ice but the fun never ends for us! while we’re not doing The Neverending Hockey Season again this year, odin is going to a seven week bluedevils AAA hockey development camp, so we get to drive an hour twice a week and stand in a freezing arena watching him run drills. yay!

i jest. he never ceases to impress me with his self-motivated desire to keep improving his game. we’d have been just as happy if he decided to take it easy after the regular season, but pushing the limits of his abilities is what he chooses to do.

( he’s in the red “socks” running a passing drill )

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls.

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. I.

after we sent the last flock to a nice amish family we thought we’d get some new chickens soon but then frida came into our lives and we decided a new puppy and new chickens was a bit too much to take on at the same time.

so we decided to wait until spring had sprung knowing the down side of waiting until frida was older was it would be that much more difficult to teach her the chicks were not actually food, despite what all of her instincts were telling her.

the local tractor supply store had some chicks for sale this weekend and we thought it was as good a time as any to pick up a few and start her training.

i have to admit i was not very optimistic we’d have much success, since malamutes have a strong prey instinct. the chicks are spending their first couple of weeks in a bin on our dining room table under a heat lamp and while frida hasn’t jumped up on table, she hears their peeping and looks at me like she’s wondering when i’m going to give her a snack.

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. II.

basic training at this stage involves getting frida used to the chicks by putting them next to her snout and telling her “no bites”. when she doesn’t attempt to bite, she gets a treat! odin is a big helper and after years of training knows how to make the chicks feel safe. or at least as safe as they’re going to feel when put next to the snout of a canine!

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. III.

we got the chickens yesterday and when we tried the training after they first came home friday tried to chomp their heads off :-)

but today she’s doing much better and she’s really, really, really trying to overcome her instincts. her tongue is a “tell” to what she’s really like to be doing.

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. IV.

after a looooooong 30 seconds or so of doing a great job of not attempting the eat the chicken, frida finally got a treat.

i think it took a lot of effort on her part.

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. V.

odin is doing a tremendous job here as well, calming both the chick and frida. if he were to let the chick start flapping her wings or wiggle just a bit too much it would probably set frida into a bit of a frenzy. he’s both a dog and chicken “whisperer” :-)

day 3557: attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls. VI.

a super successful day of training! no harm, no foul. ahem.

i’m amazed that frida has come so far so quickly. we’ll see how she does after a few weeks when they’re running around on the floor

frida celebrated st. patrick’s day at doggie day care.

frida celebrated st. patrick's day at doggie day care.

friday looooooooooves seeing all her buddies when she goes to doggie day care. i can’t quite tell how much she loves the st. patrick’s day outfit.

Everything is Awesome!

Everything is Awesome!

i very much enjoyed a 100% organic lunch delivered from organic valley HQ thanks to a new delivery service. i haven’t had a lunch like this since being relocated after the fire ( there’s no on-site kitchen at our new digs ).

tater tot casserole, mind bending chocolate pudding goodness and a chocolate chip cookie – ’cause that’s how i roll.

seriously, if you’re ever visiting organic valley ask if there’s any chocolate pudding around. it’s incredible. it all starts with the best ingredients and a dash of love :-)

btw, i’m not denigrating the local faire, so much as i’m making an observation about the spectacular awesomeness of the folks in our kitchen.

thank you all.

day 3529: sort-of slowly learning to play as a team before the state championships.

day 3529: sort-of slowly learning to play as a team before the state championships.

i enjoy sitting in the penalty box. it’s easy volunteer work – you just open the door when a player gets a penalty to let them in the box and let them out when the time is up.

hearing the coaches interact with the players offers a unique perspective on the game. i can’t imagine coaching a bunch of nine and ten year olds. they’re old enough to take direction and understand their individual positions in the game, but they are still young and early in internalizing the lesson that they can only win by playing as a team.

in this game they kept falling back to playing as a set of individuals, swatting the puck around while the other team ran circles around them playing as a coordinated unit. according the scoreboard, the game was close, but looking at the style of play it was clear odin’s team was probably going to lose when they got tired.

they came off the ice after the first period and the coach asked, “so, how do you think that went.”

their simultaneous response, “baaaaaaaaad!”

the state championships are coming up this weekend. hopefully they can learn from the loss.

Perfect Purple Moon Ice Cream!

Perfect Purple Moon Ice Cream!

some might recall i’ve been concocting purple moon ice cream which is my 100% organic homage to the froot loopy blue moon ice cream without the artificial food coloring, or other mystery ingredients. it took a few iterations but i’ve finally perfected the recipe.

nearly everyone – young and old – who taste it, loooooove it ( you can’t win everyone over ). if they’re familiar with blue moon they say it’s even better than the original, which is not terribly surprising given the delicious organic valley dairy ( yes, i’m the ov milk and cream brand manager and i’m biased. but really, the quality of the ingredients always matters, and with ice cream they might matter even a little bit more. ) and real fruit and citrus flavors. if they’re not familiar with blue moon, then they just think it’s super great ice cream with a bright fruity flavor and a smooth mouthfeel ( thanks to the heavy whipping cream and vanilla pudding ).

a few unsolicited remarks:

get out of here! this is the best ice cream i’ve ever had!
are you kidding me? how did you make it sooooo good?
omg. you need to start selling this.

i didn’t do anything magical. i think most people are just used to mediocre ice cream and using the best ingredients really highlights how extraordinary ice cream can be.

of course, odin is the only critic that matters to me. he loves it and says it’s his favorite ice cream. that’s all the praise i need to put it into permanent rotation.

basically, after the original experiment, i tried a bunch of things that didn’t work and the final recipe is close to the first with a few key changes. the quantities are doubled to make a full batch in standard ice cream mixer. the amount of raspberry juice was tweaked to give more natural color and flavor and maybe most importantly, the vanilla pudding is added after scalding the milk, not in the last 5 minutes of mixing. let me tell you from hard won experience, a little vanilla pudding is good. too much is not :-)


1 cup organic valley whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic valley half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla oil
3 cups organic valley heavy whipping cream
6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix
2 cups frozen raspberries, pureed and strained through fine mesh sieve ( makes about 1 cup of juice )
2 teaspoons lemon flavored oil or 1 teaspoon lemon extract


1 cup of milk scalded in pan.
add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. stir till dissolved.
add 1/2 cup of half and half.
add 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
add 6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix, slowly. mix well.
add vanilla, raspberry, lemon flavoring.
chill in fridge till very cold.
put in ice cream machine for 20 minutes
transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.


two of frida’s favorite things.

two of frida's favorite things. I.

frida wonders, “we going for a walk?”

two of frida's favorite things. II.

“oh, not going for a walk? ok, but rub my belly!”

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