Monday, February 27, 2012

Ahhh, life

Dear Life,
I lost you there for a few months. Seems you got buried and pushed down by all that work. Thanks to dog-sitting for Mr. Truman, I have had 2 blissful days getting reacquainted with you. Work is so much more fun when you don't live there and life is so much more fun when you don't work there!
Love, Lia

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My New House

I had a hell of a week (see I just need a moment...).  On Saturday, I started casually seeking a new home.  By casually, I mean I looked at 4 properties, fell in love with the first one I saw, completed the application (no easy feat), went back today to see it again (bringing Pauly to convince them that "no pets" does not mean "no Paulys", and signed a lease.  Beginning March 1, I am officially the proud renter of a house.  My new house is about 15-minutes from work, it has 3 bedrooms, a remodeled kitchen, a living room with a wood fireplace, a 1-car garage, a full basement with washer/dryer, and a fenced yard.  AND, the rent is comparable to 2-bedroom apartments.  AND, my landlord pays for heat and hot water.  Can you feel the excitement in my typing?  I'M SO EXCITED!!!

The front of my new house
The side of my new house.  Detached garage to the right

Kitchen with all the work stuff in it

Hallway out of kitchen.  Living room on left, bathroom on right, two bedrooms ahead, one bedroom to left

Living room, fireplace, built-in

Moving clockwise in living room

Front door into entry into living room

Living room

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 1 closet

Bedroom 2 (my office)

Closet in office

Office leads to bedroom 3

Bedroom 3 (taking suggestions on uses of this room, my least favorite)

Large closet in bedroom 3

Lots of room in bedroom 3

Ugly floor in bedroom 3 = reason I dislike this room

Patio & Yard (play set will be removed)



Yard with entry to walk-out basement

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I just need a moment...

I am in a horrible mood and feeling very negative towards my life right now.  Venting can be cathartic, right? 
  1. There is a burning smell in my house, like burning rubber, and I cannot figure out where it's coming from.
  2. I thought I was going to get to the gym today for the first time in a month.  Work beckoned.  This is why I have gained 15 pounds in the past year and feel repulsive.
  3. I have to work 4 weekends in a row.  1 down, 3 to go.  This means 5 weeks without a day off.  Not one day. Enjoy your 3-day weekends.
  4. My work weeks average 60 hours.  I earn just a smidgen above the poverty level for a family of 1.
  5. Since my house is not actually my house, I have been told that I will be getting roommates and that the 2 rooms cells I have used as storage must be vacated.  I have also been informed that people have been coming in when I'm not home.  Oh, and, btw, it's too messy so please clean everything (in your spare time).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Dahl

One of my favorite things to make on Sunday nights is a big pot of Dahl.  Dahl is a lentil stew made as a side dish in India.  It's basically just lentils (which are an excellent source of protein) and spices.  It's usually a side dish in India as a way of getting protein into a vegetarian diet.  However, I find it so filling and satisfying that I make it a dinner staple throughout the week.


¾ lb dry red lentils
20 oz Chicken Broth (you'll need more)
1 chopped garlic clove
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp crushed red pepper
Salt to taste

Fried onions
Toasted almonds

1.       Soak lentils in cold water for 1 hour
2.       Drain and place in heavy saucepan with enough chicken broth to cover
3.       Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally
4.       Heat oil in heavy frying pan
5.       Sautee onion and garlic until golden
6.       Add bay leaf and spices and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes
7.       Add onion mixture to lentils and stir
8.       Add water or broth if liquid has been observed
9.       Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour over low heat, adding liquid as needed

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Puppy Party

The puppies are here, the puppies are here!  Remember Christmas Eve when Shilo delivered 12 beautiful little lab/dane pups?  Well, it's time to debut 6 of them!
Meet my unnamed weekend guests (many more pics/videos to come throughout the weekend):

Movie Night

The current phase of my internship includes shadowing Miss Rachel, one of the ECAD teachers at another residential facility for at-risk youth.  There are many things I love about this phase of my internship, but the one I love the most is watching Rachel's unbelievable skill with the dogs and the students.  Rachel's gift as a trainer lies in her impeccable timing, her unbelievably high expectations, and her knack for knowing when to let a behavior slide and when to correct it.  Today, I captured the video below, in which Rachel brings her canine students from their outside run into her classroom.  While you can't see this in the video, the dogs are "loose" on an open field, filled with geese (and their poo), people, squirrels, and numerous other temptations.  However, these 8-11 month old dogs are attentive and respectful to their teacher (so much so, that she's stopped needing leashes altogether).  I aspire to be the trainer (and teacher) that Rachel is.

I may not ever achieve Rachel's mastery of training, managing 8 dogs simultaneously, but I think my one and only Mr. Pauly Wog is pretty impressive in his own right.  Here's a video I sloppily put together of Pauly's greatest hits.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Our weekend visitor is Miss Sevilla.  She is one of ECAD's Spanish Girls (Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Valencia).  She's a 9-month old black lab/golden retriever cross and she's a little devil (but in a fun way).  Her house manners are awesome, but she's filled with energy and can be totally bonkers.  Her real crazies come out when she gets a hold of Pauly's pink squeaky ball (pink is a manly color for the manliest of mature Paulywogs).  A brief reminder for me that puppies are fun, but puppies are definitely work (literally, they are best left at work)!  We took a walk around the Tarrytown Reservoir today with the two pups and Pauly rocked his adventure pack, bringing great pleasure to passing children.