Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little privacy, please. I'm pretty sure that's what's in Harper's thought bubble here. Any time she was not to be found in one of her usual spots for the last couple of days, I located her here, tucked way down behind this shrub and wedged up against the fence. It was all new to me. When I tired of brushing all the flora and fauna from her coat after wiggling her way out of this new hidey hole, I admonished her to 'Stay Out Of There!' Little did I know that she was protecting me.
Over the weekend, Hubby went to work establishing a 'squirrel free perimeter' around the yard. He drove stakes into the ground between the pickets to block them from digging under the rabbit wire he installed last summer. On the inside of the fence, he dug a narrow trench and added curbing for extra security. There is still a little work to do along the common fences with our neighbors, but it seems that that picket fence was the main port of entry. I enjoyed 2 full days of 100% squirrel-free bliss.
Today they were back. I marched myself out there with the hose and just drenched one of those little stinkers. Seems squirrels do not have a natural short-term memory as that fella could not find his way back to the spot he came in. Finally he got behind 'Harper's shrub' and never showed his face again. Seems there is a small breach back there and Harper was not hiding from me but keeping the squirrels out. She's such a good girl - extra treats for her. Hubby will get that sealed up this weekend and we can go back to squirrel-free bliss.
Late yesterday afternoon, I mixed up the bread dough from the sponge I shared. It did a slow rise in the fridge overnight. Because there is no fat in this recipe, it is helpful to develop the flavor with a longer, slow rise. Here it is just before going into the oven this morning.
And fresh out of the oven.
It's funny to me that the crust is just as hard as a rock when it first comes out of the oven. As the loaf cools, it becomes much less rigid and turns into a crispy, light crust. Hubby came home for lunch today. We had tomato soup and slices of bread topped with cheddar cheese and melted under the broiler. Yum. For dessert we had some treats that came a long way for us to enjoy.
There was a surprise package delivered to our doorstep yesterday. The Princess is just about ready to move back to the States from Germany. Over the last couple of months, she has had a flurry of trips and tours in an effort to experience as much of Europe as she possibly can. It seems that she has picked up a few souvenirs for Mom and Dad along the way.
She sent us a Christmas ornament from the Vatican, a 'smashed Euro' from the Coliseum, Italian soap, chocolate and olive oil, cookies and lip balm from Prague and Karlovy Vary*. That Princess is a good girl to think of us and I couldn't be more thrilled that she has had these wonderful travel opportunities. Still at the end of the day - I'm glad she's coming home.

*Karlovy Vary is a sister city to our city. It seems that both locations have the exact same mineral water. There is a spa here, but not nearly as famous as those in Europe.

19 comments:

Stina said...

Good girl !!! Way to go!! Keep them squirrels away!!
The bread looks just wonderful .... Sure have to try that out!!

Good luck with the squirrels!!

Karen said...

Yesterday I heard a thump on one of the bedroom windows. I went to check it out (hoping there was not somebody trying to break in) and here was a squirrel latched with his claws onto the screen. A meter reader was in the process of getting to the meter on the side of the house. Guess he scared the squirrel and that's how he ended up on the bedroom screen. I don't think there is any way to be really squirrel free.
Your bread looks yummy. You must be a wonderful cook. I wish I could just reach into the computer monitor and cut myself a piece.

Rabbit Stitchings said...

Well these doggies are so smart aren't they!!! They just some way seem to know things that you can't figure out quite how they figured it out LOL... Like picking up Pine Cones and guarding against squirrels LOL ...

Oh my that bread has my mouth watering. so that is a sour dough type bread? Oh my it looks so good and the lunch you described had me drooling on my keyboard!!!

Some nice goodies from your daugther :O)...

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Harper...what a bright girl she is...Mummy and Daddy are having a few problems, time for "Super Harper" to show them how it is done....bread...yummy...very nice treats...

Stephanie D. said...

Oh, I do like your new header!

Bless little Harper's heart, she was just trying to help. She knows her momma doesn't like those nasty old squirrels.

Mmmm, that bread looks good. The Princess will be coming home to quite a castle--flowers galore, fresh bread and homemade strawberry jam, and fresh veggies and herbs.

What more could a princess want?

Catherine said...

The bread looks absolutely delicious! Your house must smell marvelous when it's baking!

Mel said...

WOW. What a nice blog. Very cute.
Congrats. Kisses all the way from Brazil.
Melissa.

Katie said...

When Kipper heard about Harper and the squirrels, he hurried out to check his yard. The squirrels love to stay just outside my fence and tease, tease, tease. We also had a bunny under the ground level deck. It drove one of my son's dogs crazy. That bread looked so good I had to go get a snack. Not as good as that bread looked.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh sweet Harper! What a good girl!!!!

Karen said...

What a smart dog! Such nice gifts from your daughter...

Perry said...

That bread looks so good! I used to love to make bread when I was younger. I hate squirrels, they built a nest in my attic one year and had a baby, and we like to never have gotten rid of them. Had to be trapped to get them out. They give me the shivers. Love your garden!

Darlene said...

Way to go, Harper! Libby, please give Harper a Master Blaster Water Gun - she needs to be armed. LOL

Yummy looking bread.

Julia said...

Faithful Harper, doing her job so dutifully. :)
Ooooooo, that bread looks so yummy. I made some whole wheat sandwich rolls yesterday. I hadn't made bread it such a long time. Nothing like the smell of baking bread.
When will the Princess be home? How long has she been gone? Will she stay stateside now?

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

There used to be a t-shirt circulating and it said, "New Hampshire-2 million squirrels couldn't be wrong"! We have a lot of squirrels and chipmunks here! Along with woodchucks-not much survives in the garden.

Chocolate Cat said...

What a lovely parcel from the princess. That bread looked SO good!

Julie said...

Those dang squirrels are more destructive than the deer! They dig up all my potted plants.

I've been to Karlovy Vari! Princess should bring you home some Slibovitz, the national beverage. Made with that aweful tasting mineral water.

Susie said...

Hi Libby,
Harper could have a full time job here! Those squirrels are so pesky.
Your daughter sounds wonderfully considerate to send all those goodies. Bet you're counting the days till she's home!
xo

Marcie said...

Oh my gosh you have been busy! Lovely bread and chickens and your little prim piece is adorable. Good old Harper keeping a watch out for those squirrels! And good old hubby too! What a guy!

Carole said...

Yummy bread. I have the same problem with the crust being hard first out and soften. I tried baking with a pan of water and that didn't work (appearantly french bagette are baked that way). Lovely goodies from the princess! Keep well!