July 18, 2016

Let's Face It, Puppies Get All the Camera Time

It's been a long time, maybe since I was a little girl, that I had a puppy that had a tail to chase. Reese has her own way of doing things.

July 16, 2016

Bread rising in the kitchen
Garden growing in the sun
Dogs napping on the back porch
Think I'll get some spinning done.

July 3, 2016

There's A New Kid Around Here

Meet Reese.
She is a 10 week old puppy, and is probably at least part Border Collie. We adopted her from Aussie Rescue of San Diego County and Friends. Her name used to be S'more.

Sometimes, you don't realize you have a plan until all the pieces come together, and it's clear as day. Last September we said goodbye to our wonderful old Aussie, Shae. There was no question that we'd add another dog to the family at some point, but we weren't in a hurry, we still have Rowyn and Scipio the cat. For a month or more, on Facebook I'd been seeing posts by Aussie Rescue of San Diego of puppies needing adoption. And every so often I'd see this black pup with white socks. "She's cute", I'd think and then later, "She's cute. I can't believe she hasn't been adopted yet." And then, "Maybe I should show her picture to Hubby." But I really didn't think he'd go for it. Well, a few weeks ago, Hubby started reminiscing about Shae, and how he missed her, and he never realized how attached he was, until she was gone. Shae, by the way, adored him.

It seemed to me, the Universe was telling me to do the math. One husband wanting a new canine companion, one cute puppy needing a family. I tested the waters by showing the puppy's picture to my oldest son. He agreed she was cute. I didn't tell him what I was considering. The next day, there's another post of the puppy and 2 of her sisters, still needing the right home. Okay, it was time to act. I sidled up next to Hubby in the kitchen, showed him my cell phone screen and very casually asked, "What do you think about this puppy?"
"She's cute," he said. "Is she an Aussie?"
I said "no, but she's part Border Collie and she's up for adoption."
He said "What do you think?" Which is spouse talk for, "Are you up for this?"
Very causally, I replied, "If you want to, yes." While inside I was thinking, "Wow, I didn't think he'd go for it!" Of course I was going to say yes.

I headed to my computer to fill out an online application. On the form, there was a field for 'describe your ideal dog.' And I filled in with 'must adore my husband' followed by things like smart and good with dogs and people. All the dogs we've had since we've been together, except the dog he had when first started dating, were dogs for me. They were family pets of course, but they were mine. It's his turn, he has the time to really enjoy this now.

It wasn't long before I heard back from an adoption representative. We were approved to adopt the puppy, and could meet her that day, if we liked. (Yes, this was a fast approval, but we are an experienced dog owning home, and we don't have any small children around. Plus, for at least a decade I was very active with a different Aussie rescue group, so I know the ropes.) Well, shucks yes we want to meet this puppy, and her two sisters, and possibly bring one home. I told went upstairs and told Older Son, "Remember that puppy picture I showed you the other day? Well, we're going to go meet her, and bring her home if she's right for us." The look of surprise and delight on his face nearly melted my heart. I know he was missing Shae too. Then I texted Younger Son a picture and said, "we're getting a puppy!" Talk about surprised! He'd only just headed north for a weekend with friends, and there had been no talk of puppies in the household! He quickly changed his plans and came back home.

Hubby and I wrapped up what we were doing and headed out to meet puppies, all sisters. Rowyn went too, he's part of the family and even though I expected him to be fine, it's a good idea to confirm his opinion, since they'd be dogging together. The three pups, all sisters, were cute and bouncy and ready to meet new people. Hubby spent time with the group, sort of seeing if he felt more connected to one than another. In the end, we agreed on little S'more, filled out the adoption contract and headed home, me driving and Hubby with a black and white puppy in his lap. I knew the plan had really come together when he announced, "I already know what I want to name her. Reese." And he explained to me that Reese is a key character in the TV show Person of Interest, who is always dressed in black and white. Okay, that works for me. I really, really knew the plan was meant to be when, as the puppy was sleeping in his lap, he turned to me and said with much joy, "She's great. This was a great idea, Honey." Mission accomplished.

July 1, 2016

Garden Grief - part 2

Things went along well after that. The wee tomatoes grew, and started changing color. I picked a few, and enjoyed that delightful homegrown tomato deliciousness. But they could've used just a bit more time on the vine. I vowed to curb my tomato munching urges until these delightful red orbs of sweet juiciness were fully ripe.
 One morning, I walked out to the garden knowing that this would be the day I'd pick this one tomato that I had my eye on, right after the dog walk. Such anticipation! When I returned to harvest my prize, I met a gruesome sight. Something had eaten away half my tomato! The bestest, ripest of the bunch!
 Determined to protect my produce, I made a stockade, thinking some furry wild creature was to blame. Yet as soon as my attention was elsewhere, more tomatoes suffered attacks. Any fruit showing red was mutilated, viciously stabbed.

Hey, wait a minute. Stabbed? Furry creatures don't stab tomatoes. But birds do. I set Evan out to watch, and he discover the culprit. No furry creature was to blame, it was a feathered one. A mockingbird had developed a taste for my pretty red ripe tomatoes. No wonder my barricade didn't work, that bird could fly right in. I had no idea that mockingbirds were a garden pest. Now bird netting protects the tomatoes, and the fruit that was green during the mockingbird munch is ripening, and outstandingly delicious.

While all that was happening, the seeds I'd sown were turning into plants. Especially the corn, and the tomatoes. Almost everything was sprouting away, with a few exceptions. The cilantro, onions and watermelon didn't even show up, not a one. I replanted, taking care with the seed depth in case that was the cause. Two out of three successes, now I have cilantro and watermelon, but no onions. Not that green onions are hard to find in the market, but I love salsa, so thought it would be fun to have a salsa garden. I planted more onion seeds today, maybe third time's a charm. There are still plenty of seeds for another try.

As the little seedlings emerged, another pest problem appeared. The little leaves of my little eggplants and peppers were shot through with little holes. I found this teeny tiny shiny bugs on the leaves, and after checking a garden pest guide I determined my plants had fleas! Well, not fleas, but flea beetles. And those little buggers can eat. Barely bigger than their namesake, they actually jump like a flea to escape danger. Supposedly, they have long back legs for jumping. Making it difficult for me to remove them by hand. The garden pest guide suggested yellow sticky traps, so yesterday I put some of those up, and caught a beetle straight away. By this afternoon, it looked liked the traps were making a difference. The little eggplants were hard hit, I don't know if they'll make it. But if they don't, I still have seeds. And a long growing season. I'm looking forward to increasing my garden space.

Garden Grief

I've finally done it, I've planted a garden.

Only took me about 10 years to finally go ahead on this project. So that's a 6x4 box kit that I brought down from OR back in April. Lumber is much cheaper in OR than in SoCal. Maybe because there are trees, and lumber mills up there. We have gophers around here, so after I put the box together, I lined the bottom with wire mesh, as a gopher deterrent. With the snakes, hawks, owls and the cat all hunting those gophers, I'm surprised there are any around at all, yet they persist, and would make short work of the garden if they got in. This is many layers of rabbit fencing (because we have rabbit problems too) that I had on hand. A layer of cardboard went over that. Then dirt mixed with the compost that only cost $5 for a pickup truck load, as long as we loaded it ourselves, with a shovel. Good thing my husband didn't know that before we started.

Once the soil was, it was time for seeds. I planted corn, Mexican grey squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, cilantro, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, jalapeno and green onions. I had already bought some big tomato plants, because I just couldn't wait for tomatoes, sweet and ripe from the plant. You can see them in front of the box garden, in the top picture. Under the bird netting. Because we learned that gophers aren't the only garden party poopers to worry about. 

Daily, actually multiple times daily, I'd go out  I still go out and coo over the tomato plants. One morning I found insect eggs on a leaf! Ack!

Oh my goodness! What if those are tomato worm eggs? I plucked the leaf and tossed it in a jar and waited to see what hatched... Meanwhile, that very night, I a spied a hawk moth flying around the tomato plants. Guess what tomato worms grow up to be? After about a week, the tiniest little caterpillars ever hatched out. I could barely see them let alone identify them. But whatever they were, they were little leaf munchers and I didn't want them on my plants. 

To be continued...

June 27, 2016

It started with a bang

Well, more like a crash. And then little pieces. 

It started normal enough, just putting away dishes from last night's dinner. The Corningware casserole dish needed drying first, and somehow, in process of reaching for the towel with my right hand, I managed to knock the dish out of my left hand. Trying to catch it, I juggled it from the left side of the sink to the right, dribbled it across the oh so smooth countertop and then shoved it across and off the end as I made one last, desperate attempt to catch the silly thing. And over the edge it went. I wish there was video, I felt like I was part a comedy sketch.

I've noticed, as I grow older, that I drop or nearly drop things more often. Especially in the kitchen. Maybe my kitchen needs rubber floors...

And another thing. Has anyone else noticed that when you do manage to break a piece of that very sturdy Corning or Pyrex, that the stuff doesn't just break, it explodes? Shards go everywhere! And some of the bits are so small. This morning I found bits at least 12' away, behind me from where I took the photo. Luckily, no body was injured and I'm just down a dish, and maybe a rug. I don't trust those little shards and I'd rather toss the rug than risk the dog or cat picking up some little pieces.