Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sneak Peek: Louie

Little Lou may be tiny, but he's got a big personality.  It shines in the pictures from his photo shoot, but you'll just have to wait to see.

Friday, February 18, 2011


The peanut butter company should use this mug on their jar.  Skippy was super fun to work with, and the obvious love his mom Christine has for him made me giggle with delight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mutton Chops Friend: Scout

Mutton Chops Pet Services has been in business less than a year, but it's easy to say I have made some very meaningful bonds with several of my fuzz clients.  Certainly every single one of them puts a smile on my face and reminds me I have the best job in the world, but a handful of the pups have become true friends.  Scout is one such dog.  He is the sweetest, happiest, most loving ball of fluff a dog walker could ask for.  He has an absolute perma-grin, and if that smile can't turn your bad day around then nothing can.  And you should see him prance on his walks--sends me into fits of giggles.  And his people are just the nicest, most encouraging and supportive clients!  Scout moved away a couple months ago, and I miss him every day.  It was definitely difficult to lose such an amazing dog friend. Whoever gets to walk him now is one lucky person.      

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yum Yums!

Let me catch you up on the recent goings on of the Birkemeier-Balmer kitchen:  It's yummy in here!  
A couple months ago we decided to ditch our electric coffee maker.  There were several reasons, but the main one was that it was, um, disgusting.  I'll just say that the coffee maker used to be white.  Blech!  Now we make coffee a la Mary Richards, aka Mary Tyler Moore.  We're using a Chemex now, folks.  That's right.  I might as well be working in a newsroom with Lou Grant, I'm using the Chemex so much.  You would have to come over here for breakfast and taste the coffee yourself to know how much better it tastes now.  In a word, it's delightful.  And it's fun to make.  And it goes grandly with homemade biscotti and strawberries.  Booyah!       

Those of you familiar with the Chemex may wonder where the cool wooden piece that goes around the center is.  We opted out because we didn't want the leather strap.  I know...but the wood is so cool looking...I know.  But it's less cool looking with dead cow wrapped around it.

As soon as buying cherries wasn't a waste of money you better believe we did so.  I love sitting on our front porch as the sun sets eating cherries and relaxing.  Joe can spit his pits well into the front yard, while my pathetic attempts don't even get me past the edge of the porch.  It's really very sad.

Over the 4th of July weekend I pet sat a household of three dogs.  Imagine my delight when I came home for dinner one night to find a heaping plate of homemade pesto and rotini along with a tasty vodka and watermelon concoction just sitting there waiting for me.  The cocktail was a new one for us both.  We had bought a watermelon the day before, and Joe didn't want to waste the juice so he used it in a surprise drink for his new wife.  I found this to be incredibly thoughtful, especially because I got to have my drink in our lone martini glass.  Oh, and the salt on the rim was highly complimentary...

I had to throw in that picture of the vodka bottle because we were in Iceland almost a year ago.  We totally miss it!!  I hope you enjoyed our food.  Happy tasting and drinking to everyone!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Francis, Age 4 and Sherman, Age 3

Francis and Sherman recently celebrated birthdays:  Shermy Bean in early May, and Francis Pants just yesterday (or so we say).  Here's to the birthday kitties!

We met Francis nearly four years ago in late July 2006 after we had some really terrible storms in the area.  You probably know the ones I'm talking about.  Joe and I were taking an evening walk in Tower Grove Park, his neighborhood at the time, when I spotted the tiniest of shadows scurrying across Shaw Ave.  Worried that he would get hit by a car, I insisted we rescue him.  It wasn't difficult to get ahold of Francis.  He was so tired and hungry that he let me scoop him up in my arms without a fuss.  I remember thinking how docile he was.  Boy, was I wrong!  Fast forward past the night we fell in love with a tiny gray kitten picking at a plate of vegan sloppy Joe's (and easily naming him after one of Joe's favorite historical figures, RFK) to a couple months later when I had to constantly walk around my apartment with a squirt bottle to thwart off the slightly larger gray kitten hiding behind a piece of furniture ready to attack my legs.  I was so glad when he grew out of that...I love Francis!  Or as Dave Lodewyck calls him: Frampton!

Always a helper:

Ever moody:

A pensive little man:

A lover of nature:

And a good friend:

Nearly a year after we met Francis, we decided he needed a friend, so we went to the Humane Society to find one.  Sherman (or as the Humane Society mistakenly called him, Walter) immediately stood out among the kittens.  Maybe because he was the only orange guy, or maybe because he was the largest and we were afraid no one else would adopt him.  Either way, we fell in love yet again as soon as we  started playing with him in the check-out-this-kitten-and-hopefully-take-him-home-with-you-room.  And there you have it.  Sticking with the history theme, we renamed Walter after another figure, William Tecumseh Sherman (side note, if you haven't seen WTS's grave at Calvary Cemetery you really should).  Francis hissed at Sherman once, but then they became the best of friends.  I love Sherm!

So innocent:
Such a snuggle bug:
A lover of naps:
Interested in the outside world:
An expert groomer:

There would certainly be something missing from our lives if Francis and Sherman weren't a part of it.  They're the best!  Happy birthdays, boys!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sweet Potatoes and Turnip Greens

I feel SO lucky that I married a man who likes to cook.  If it wasn't for Joe, I know I would be wasting money on prepared foods from Trader Joe's way too often.  I'm just a little lazy when it comes to the kitchen.  This really is not an issue of "I'm so glad he does the cooking so I don't have to," because I know I still wouldn't do it.  To sweeten the deal, he really strives to make tasty meals that are healthy, too.  He has a small, but growing collection of vegan cookbooks.  This sweet potato and turnip greens soup came from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen.  It is super duper YUMMY!

Joe cutting the taters:

The greens soaking in the sink:

Top it off with a slice of homemade bread for dipping, and the taste buds are ecstatic!