Archive for the 'Bruno' Category

Isla’s New Best Friend

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Isla.
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Isla has recently fallen in love with Bruno. She stares at him all day long, smiles and giggles at him, and loves putting her hands in his fur or trying to grab his ears. It’s pretty adorable. See for yourself:


Posted by Nate in Bruno, Foraging, Malarkey, Mushrooms.
Sunday, May 10th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Two big achievements in my life recently that need some attention on the blog:

  1. We launched ArtsConnectEd last Monday, and it’s still running today!  This being Mother’s Day, you should absolutely go check out the Art Collector Set dedicated to images of mothers in art.  Very well done.
  2. I found almost a pound of morels today!!!

20090510183958_dsc00534.jpgOk, that needs some qualification: Karen found them.  But I was coming that direction, and I totally would have seen them.  Really.

20090510183939_dsc00533.jpgIt was pretty exciting, since we’d spent almost 2 hours at the secret location tramping through the woods and coming up empty.  (I think in general it’s still a bit early for this area, and we need some warmer weather before things go crazy.)  Then we drove to another part of the secret location just to check it out, and within 10 minutes we hit the jackpot!

20090510184019_dsc00541.jpgI’m still learning where and how to look, and trying to figure out what trees and state of decay to be looking for, but these were by some small elms right on the edge of a trail.  The area seems to get good direct sun, which sort of makes me think I’m right that it’s just too soon for the shaded woods.  But now I know a few good spots in the woods to check…

20090510184044_dsc00544.jpgSo for dinner we enjoyed a small feast of chicken strips on pasta covered with an incredible morel cream sauce.  Yum city!!!

20090510185934_dsc00539.jpgFinally, since this is still how we run things on the Duoteam blog, here’s a bonus shot of Bruno in the woods looking damn handsome in a little clearing of flowers.


Of Tonsils & Doggie Snow Boots

Posted by Karen in Bruno.
Thursday, December 18th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Today marks one full year of tonsil-free living for me!  My tonsillectomy-iversary.  To mark this great occasion, I would like to give you all a gift:


Birthday Dog

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Bruno’s 4th birthday was 2 Saturdays ago.  This is how he demonstrated his maturity earlier in the week:



That would be our bedroom garbage, emptied, spread out, and partially consumed. 

Bruno rarely does naughty things, and when he does it’s usually fairly easy to figure out why.  I’m pretty certain this was his way of expressing his displeasure with the short walks and reduced amount of attention he’s been getting lately.  Sorry bud.  Little does he know he’s getting a road trip and long hikes on the north shore in a couple days.  All will be well again.

For Bruno’s birthday, he got the best bone ever, complete with bloody meat scraps still attached.  We gave it to him the day before Justin & Juliana’s baby shower, so he could get a little work done on it and make it less gross.  We took it away that night and gave it back to him the next day just as guests were arriving for the shower, and while he still insisted on being in the center of the room at all times, he didn’t try to steal food off of anyone’s plate even once.  He just chewed on his bone, and occasionally licked a baby.

Bruno also got a new chicken!  Here is what was left of his old chicken:






And here is his new chicken:






And now I would very much like for him to stop getting older.  4 years old is plenty.

Tomorrow we are off to the north shore, where we will hole up in a cabin on the Baptism River with Bruno, lots of good food, and our friend Mike Robrew (get it?).  We supposedly have internets, so we may just post a Thanksgiving report!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Mushroom hunting at 20 mph

Posted by Nate in Bike Commuting, Bruno, Weather.
Monday, September 22nd, 2008 at 9:47 am

I took one of the longer routes in on my bike today, and as I zipped through one particularly wooded trail section I found myself trying to scan the ground for signs of mushrooms.  Not very easy at that speed!

We had much better luck yesterday, when Karen and I took Bruno for a walk in the river gorge.  Mere feet away from the steps leading down the ridge we saw numerous … somethings … in several clumps on the ground.  White spores and otherwise fairly indistinct makes it pretty hard for us rookies to identify.  20080922081643_2878534979_79bc5ef4d0_o.jpgThen after another few steps off the trail Karen spotted these guys at right: awesome!  I don’t remember it now, but we were able to pretty positively identify them.

All in all a very successful outing.  What a difference to explore some of these areas after the rains we had last week – we were in similar terrain with my parents a few weeks ago when it was still dry and it was hard to find anything!  Now they’re popping up everywhere.

Saturday morning was also a good hunt – Karen had to help run a watershed cleanup down in Hastings, and I got come along and "help", that is, hunt mushrooms if I promised to take a trash bag with me and also collect any trash I saw.  I ended up filling a few bags of trash, and also finding some really big gilled mushrooms and a few nice sized boletes.  … all of which defied identification.  One of the young gilled specimens had a pretty cool cortina (I think – basically a cobweb protection around the gills), and sort of purple flesh, but even with those good clues I couldn’t figure it out.  The bolete flesh turned reddish brown when exposed to air, and all the ones I found were enclosed in a partial veil of some sort.  Also good clues, but not enough for me to figure out.

Great hunting, though!  Next I think I need to start identifying trees more accurately, as that will give me a better clue as to what mushrooms might be growing near them…

The take-away message: hunt slowly, not at 20 mph.  The act of stopping and stooping to grab a piece of trash often lead my eyes to a mushroom that I would certainly have walked past, even though I was actively looking for them.  It’s important to mix it up, crouch down, and always check the back side of the trees!


Of summer colds, artisan bread, doggie mischief, and scrap metal

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Food, Home Improvements, Landscaping, Projects.
Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I woke up Friday morning feeling, as Juliana would put it, trundle-bundled.  I kept telling myself it was just allergies, but by the time I biked my sorry self in to work, I realized I was actually feeling pretty miserable.  So I grabbed my laptop and turned around and biked home.  And proceeded to rapidly deteriorate till Nate was left with a whining, sniffling, sneezing Jabba the Hutt-like blob on his hands.  He was a real champ, even bought me ice cream and cheezy poofs!  Aww. 

So my big plans to get everything in the world done on Friday didn’t happen, grr.  With all the weekend work events I have, my free weekends are like gold to me and I pack them full of yard and house projects, hiking, bike riding, and other ways of making the most out of being healthy and living in a kick-ass city.  A summer cold has no place in these plans.  Sigh.  At least I had the weekend off and didn’t have to be tromping around a prairie or something, but why does it seem like colds often wait for the weekend to rear their ugly head? 

20080622174055_brioche.jpgIn spite of feeling pretty crappy, today was a good day.  Wanna hear about it?  Ok.  Nate started us off right by making these crazy delicious fresh fruit brioche muffins

On a side note, we are watching C20080622172320_attack_dogs.jpgasey Jones the black lab this weekend.  Long-time readers may recall that the last time we watched him, the overall mood was something like this: 

Well, these boys are much older and wiser now… and lazi20080622173050_lazy_puppies.jpger!  I mean, they still have some of the rough and tumble in them, but last time there was no sleeping!  It was non-stop Wrestle-Mania!  It’s actually kind of nice.  We had hoped this would also mean that Casey had grown out of some of his naughtiness.  But the first night he ate the rest of the loaf of spinach parmesan bread Nate had made off the counter.  And last night he somehow opened the container of brioche dough Nate had just made and ate a big chunk of it!  You do not mess with a man and his brioche dough.  Seriously.  Luckily we caught him before he ate it all, or Nate might hav20080622165804_lunch.jpge taken inspiration from the movie we were watching, Sweeney Todd, and turned him into a meat pie! 

Ok, moving on.  For lunch I made us these delicious salads with spinach from our first CSA veggie delivery!  I also used chives, nasturtium flowers , and lime mint from our window box.  And we had cheese and crackers, with cheese Nate made from one of our batches of yogurt.  It’s been a good food day so far.

I did my best to not be a total slug and ended up getting quite a bit of yard and garden work done, but Nate worked20080622175203_no_more_shed.jpg his boo-tay off today and tore down our freaking shed!  Brother Dean recently gave us a sawzall, you know, because he had an extra one (?!?).  We had explored the idea of trying to give the thing away, but it was so old and all the bolts were so rusted that it wasn’t really take-apart-able.  In the20080622175340_shedless_possibilities.jpg end Nate decided there were enough people on Craigs List looking for scrap metal that he would just cut the thing apart, stick it in the alley, and post it.  And now behold, the shedless zone.  Oh, the possibilities…  It may not look like much right now, but just you wait! 

And one more thing – HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE!

Bike rides and booby traps

Posted by Nate in Bike Commuting, Bruno.
Monday, June 9th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

20080609171021_pict0001.jpgI stayed home from work today to save time on commuting for an offsite meeting, so I got to see Karen off to work on her bike — and snap a few pics!

20080609171015_pict0002.jpgHer messenger-style bag seen here is actually pretty uncomfortable so I loaned her mine, but I think we’ll end up getting her a rack and pack to go on there.  It’s just a lot easier ride without a bulky pack on your back…

20080609171003_pict0003.jpgShe just got home after riding into the wind all the way and it sounds like it was a rough ride…  especially after working out yesterday.  But she made it, and going to go again later this week!

20080609170956_pict0004.jpgLast week we found these sweet Ikea chairs at a local garage sale and snapped them up.  Here’s a shot of one of them and Bruno sleeping next to it – where we want him to be.

20080609170948_pict0005.jpgUnfortunately, we’ve been finding dog hair on the chairs lately.  Seems Mr. Man has been climbing up there for a little nap while we’re gone…  So I built a booby trap, old-school style: a simple buzzer circuit with a gravity switch.  The circuit is completed when the nickel (attached to a thread from the top of the chair) drops between the two strips of foil, and the buzzer goes off.

20080609170933_pict0006.jpgToday I came home from my meeting to find two Bruno-sized paw indentations on the chair – but no dog hair!  Now I guess I just have to set up something for the other chair and hope eventually he stops trying…  Naughty dog!

Babyfest ’08

Posted by Nate in Bruno, Friends.
Monday, June 2nd, 2008 at 8:50 pm

20080602194235_pict0005.jpgBruno was kept extremely busy tonight checking on all the babies and making sure their faces were never more than a few seconds away from a healthy doggy-lick.

Lilyana on the left, the youngest of the group, is luckily well-versed in doggy lick acceptance — they have a very friendly dog of their own.
Frances and Ayla managed to avoid most of the licking with their superior bipedal skills and masterful piano duet.

20080602194256_pict0009.jpgNot satisfied with her reception from the piano solo, Frances decided to show off by donning 20080602194247_pict0006.jpga pair of adult shoes and going for a stroll.

Someday, kiddo, someday all too soon…  :)

I Married MacGyver!!!

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Day to Day, School.
Sunday, March 30th, 2008 at 10:20 am

I totally loved the show MacGyver when I was little and had a monster crush on him (along with then Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor and our local news anchor, Mike Gousha).  So I couldn’t be more delighted that I am now married to the real-life version! 

I had set up a work station upstairs for my masters project awhile ago, and last weekend I actually started working on it again (and there was much rejoicing among parents).  I still have a bunch of interviews to transcribe, and that’s a great way to start since I need to refresh myself on the work I did before I can work on my paper.  So I sat down to start transcribing, and the power on the transcriber wouldn’t go on.  It worked fine the last time I used it and has just been sitting there ever since, and I mean I know it’s been awhile but it’s n20080330082459_macgyver.jpgot like it’s been years! Or… uh… not more than 2 years…  anyway… whatever.  So I realized the whole electric outlet wasn’t working, and neither were any of the outlets upstairs.  It wasn’t a fuse, so I was stumped.  Nate came to the rescue of course and fixed it (and I still don’t quite get it).  But the power light on the transcriber still wouldn’t go on.  Nate pulled out his magic power senser thingy and determined that it was the power cord.  So I said ok, I would go buy another one.  But he informed me that I would not likely be able to find one because he had never seen one with an end like that (looked20080330082628_macgyver1.jpg like any old power cord to me…).  Ok.  So he found another cord that had the same voltage, cut them both in half and rewired them back together.  Whoa.  And then it worked.  But the transcriber has a speed control, so you can slow the tapes way down or speed them way up, and now, even the slowest level was pretty fast.  So then Nate took the freaking thing apart, adjusted it, and put it back together!  All is now well in the world of tape transcribing.  But if it weren’t for him, I would still be trying to figure out how to make the outlets work!
Then last night we decided to participate in Earth Hour.  While I was pulling out candles, Nate decided to make his own.  It’s the one on the right, and involves a little bit of vegetable oil in a bowl, and a wick made from paper towel stuffed into a piece of pipe.  Nate decided to take it 20080330084025_lights_out.jpgfurther than just turning off our lights and turned off his computer… and then he got a little lost and confused about his place in the world. So he helped me make another batch of Bruno biscuits by candlelight, how romantic.

On a non-MacGyver note, yesterday we also took Bruno for a hike at Crosby Park, where I will soon be spending quite a bit of time.  We decided it would be a good time to start getting him20080330085314_doggy_backpack.jpg used to his doggy backpack.  We just got a new, bigger tent and can’t wait to take him camping, but dog friend’s gonna have to carry his own food.  Well I’m happy to report that it went quite well.  We put a water bottle in one side and some potatoes in the other, just to balance it out.  He definitely seemed a little extra tired afterwards, but I think he kind of liked having a job. 

And I leave you with a little old school MacGyver.  So dreamy… though I have to say, I selfishly prefer that my MacGyver’s mad skills are applied to household tasks rather than life-threatening confrontations with terrorists and corporate bad guys!

Weekend Travels

Posted by Karen in Beer, Bruno, Family, Friends, Travel.
Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

My BFF Katie is preggers and due in like a week and a half (yik20080305074811_bruno_ayla.jpges!) and  Nate, Bruno, and I recently decided to pay a visit to her, her husband Tim (who I’ve been friends with since high school), daughter Ayla, and dog Lofert in Madison.  Poor Lofert has had some leg issues, but is now on the mend, so this was the first time he and Bruno got to play and be best doggy friends.  And since licking babies is one of Bruno’s favorit20080307102230_tube_o_ayla.jpge things to do in the world, he was delighted to see 1 1/2 year old Ayla.  Ayla has started talking more, but has decided the world really needs a new language, and she is just the little lady to invent it.  She also decided that Lofert needed to be renamed Loooowwwwrrry, and we couldn’t help but agree.  Katie’s plans for world domination have really been slowed down by all this baby stuff, but I think it’s clear that Ayla is now ready to be on board. 

Ok so then we went to Colorado for a long weekend.  We started t20080307103306_n_k_snowshoe.jpghings off right by meeting my aunt and uncle in Denver at Wynkoop‘s for dinner and yummy beer.  The rest of the weekend we somehow managed to squeeze in crossword puzzles, stuffed french toast breakfasts, lunch at the Pickle Barrel, a visit with the grandparents, hot tub time, dinner at a fun new restaurant, an O’Dell’s brewery visit, and good times wit20080305074139_pool.jpgh friends.  The weather was funny and gave us a 65 degree day that we made the most out of by going for a hike with the dogs, and then was I think around 40 the next day.  So that day we went for an awesome snowshoeing trip in the mountains!  We were able to get together at Coopersmith’s one evening with Troy and Scotty, and Rick was delighted to spank them all soundly at a few games of pool. 

I was really excited to see my friend Paula (who I went to college with in Duluth), her husband Todd, and their beautiful daughter 20080307102454_me_esme.jpgEsme!  Esme has the #1 all-time best baby hair ever!  She has a blonde mohawk that gets kind of squished up in the front, and then a short brown mullet in the back! No hair on the sides or in the middle of the back of her head!!!  It’s truly amazing.  Esme is super mellow and happy and just hung out all wide-eyed pretty much the whole time while we had dinner.  Todd told me some incredible baby poo stories that had me laughing so hard I almost passed out.  Parenthood seems to be really agreeing with them and it is a beautiful thing to see.

And last but not least… we went to a concert of the Irish band Solas! It was great!  They really are ridiculously amazing musicians.  After the concert they were hanging out at a table talking to people and signing  autogr20080305072844_solas_solas.jpgaphs.  Nate got all super shy and we almost punked out, but I realized it would be so stupid to NOT say anything, so we totally talked to them and told them our last name was Solas.  And then they asked us to join the band.  Ok, not really, but we did get this sweet Solas & Solas photo!