Friday, September 30, 2011

Start your Christmas Shopping Early!

Kelly over at Corgibutts has the 2012 Corgis with Blogs calendars ready for purchase!

That girl sure does have a lot of energy, in addition to running the contest and designing the calendars, Kelly is awaiting the birth of her first baby in just a few weeks!  Gibson is getting a baby sister!

Hurry over and buy a calendar!  Buy lots of calendars!  The proceeds go to Kelly's local corgi rescue.

P.S.  Leda, I already bought one for you.  But, I know you have several desks...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Never say never

If you had asked me yesterday if Darby ever gets up on the low walls we have in the backyard (from which the stucco has been peeling for years which we continue to pretend makes them have "character," like Roman ruins or something,) I would have said "No, she never gets up on the walls."

Well, never say never!

Look hard, on the other side of the fire wood cart.

Of course, she would have to jump down just when I wanted a photo! 

And, of course when she jumped back up, she was hidden by the rose bushes!
When I was younger, I used to be so sure of so many things. Now, I seem to see shades of grey much more often than black and white.

But, if asked, I still would have said "No, Darby never gets up on the walls."

And I would have been wrong!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calf bucket

One day late last November after Glenn had his hip replacement surgery when cabin fever was nagging us, we took a drive out to a dairy near us that was selling Christmas trees.  The dairy is in a lovely valley -- well, lovely in a very southern, Southern California kind of way; a valley that many people believe is sadly being spoiled by a huge electric power project.  The dairy was started by the current owners' grandparents about 50 years ago, if I am remembering correctly.  The current generation of dairymen graduated UC Davis and brought updated practices to the family operation including methane production (from all that cow manure!!) that powers at least a portion of their operation. 

The Van Ommering's also supplement their dairy income by offering dairy tours to school groups and seasonal activities like a pumpkin patch and the Christmas trees I was looking for!  The wife of one of the owners created a small gift shop on the property, too. 

I think I may have mentioned before that as the wife of a small business owner, I like to buy from other small business owners whenever possible and will choose a family-run restaurant over a chain all the time.  So, the idea of buying our Christmas tree from this small, family-run dairy, rather than from Wal-Mart, was very appealing to me.  Plus the drive out to the dairy would be a nice diversion for the two of us.

I found the perfect, very small tree -- one I could wrestle into the back of the SUV, into the house, into the tree-stand, and onto the table next to the sofa by myself, having at the time, a husband who was not allowed to pick up anything heavier than his pillow.   (Kind of like me right now!)

(If you've stayed with me this long, you probably need to get a life!)

While we were looking at the trees, I noticed the cute little, galvanized aluminum buckets they were all standing in.  Calf buckets the dairyman's wife told me, used to feed (or water, I don't remember which) the calves born at the dairy. 

Well, I just had to have me one of those buckets!  Were they for sale?  Nooooo, not really said the dairyman's wife.  Plllleeezzz?  said I.  So she called her husband who quoted her a price -- probably all the while shaking his head over the goofy things non-agricultural-type people would be willing to buy.  (And this from a family who sells bags of rotted cow manure in their gift shop!)

So, home we went with a Christamas tree and this cute little calf bucket:

If you're still sticking with me on this, I'm finally getting to the point of my story. 

Today, after my doctor appointment during which I was told I was progressing nicely and could spend more time up and about, I decided to check out my tomato plants which, now that the weather is cooling off a bit, are budding again.  I was please to see that I might have a nice fall crop of tomatoes,  IF I can keep ahead of the darned horned tomato worms, that is!  Tons of horned worms.  Munching and pooping their way along the stems of my tomato plants! 

Upon seeing the first worm, I sprang into action (well, not really, more like moved slowly into action) and began stripping the fat, evil looking worms off the tomato plants with my garden-glove-clad hands.  And, here is where the calf bucket (finally) comes in! 

Hooked nice and neatly to the side of each of my horse trough gardening containers, it caught the horrid worms and held them until I had removed every one I could find. 

Here's how it looked part way through the process:

(The worm still attached to the stem refused to let go and, being squeamish as I am even when wearing garden gloves, I decided it would be easier to remove the whole stem than to risk squishing the worm with my fingers.)

After collecting probably three times that many worms, I ceremoniously, dumped them into the canyon behind our house where I hope the roadrunner and other birds gobbled them right up.

I love that calf bucket!

So, this is a blog about two dogs, right?

So, here is the dog content:

A fence and gate keep the dogs out of my vegetable garden, so the velcro dog can't get in there with me.  But, at one point I looked up and saw her keeping tabs on me, just the same:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Velcro dog

Both Pumpkin and Darby prefer to be with us than not.

As far as preferring Glenn or me, Pumpkin is pretty much an equal opportunity gal. If Glenn and I both called her at the same time, she would be seriously torn about which one of us to choose. (And I have no doubt it would be the one who was making the most "happy," "let's play!" noises!)

But, Darby? Darby is my velcro dog.

She is happiest if she is near me, and often on me.

She always a spot next to my chair at the kitchen table.  Often, Pumpkin will lie under my chair, but just as often she will be near Glenn or even off in the family room or hallway.

When I settle down on the sofa (as I have been doing an awfully lot of since my surgery last week) Darby will do her best to get the spot on the sofa next to me.  When Pumpkin gets there first, Darby often won't even bother to jump up on the sofa, she'll come around and lie down on the floor next to me where I can pet her or -- sweet heaven! -- rub my feet on her back!

I like the expression "velcro dog."  It fits my Darby-girl just right.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Pumpkin foraging in the cottonwood leaves.

I love seeing the leaves on the lawn. 

My favorite time of year and my favorite time of day.

Feverfew reseeding itself!


Recuperating from the other end of the sofa. 

My father often commented on how attractive a girl's or woman's profile was.  He loved my mom's profile when she wore her hair in a French Twist.  I like profiles, too.  And, especially love Darby's profile.

Keeping guard

A man in the kitchen is a good thing.
Nice recuperating activity -- I rubbed a mixture of mineral oil and beewax ("spoon food") on the stones I picked up from Agate Beach on Lopez Island in August.  They look almost like jewels.
Too high to reach.  Glenn harvested almost all of the remaining pomegranates.  He put a big box of them out by our mailbox on Saturday and by the end of the day, all that was left in the box was a thank you note!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Autumn is my favorite time of year.  It seems like it's the favorite of a lot of people but a bit of Googling on my part didn't turn up any statistics to prove it.  My research did turn up the results of a trivia contests on several radio stations.   Who knew that 15% of people polled admit to secretly biting their toenails!   I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do that even if I could get my feet up to my mouth.

But back to autumn.  Fall.  Leaves falling and they are -- this morning the grass was decorated with lots of yellow cottonwood leaves.  The Liquid Amber trees in our neighbor's yards and slowly changing colors.  I hope we will have a good year for leaves like we did last year. 

I didn't think to photograph the cottonwood leaves, but here are some other fall pretties I did capture on camera:

Darby is autumn colored.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Well, anyone who lives on the Right Coast will scoff at me for calling the weather we had yesterday a "thunderstorm," but there was thunder and lightening; big beautiful clouds and rain.  A thunderstorm.  Nothing like the thunderstorm my sister and I drove through in North Carolina two years ago trying to get to the hospital before my brother died.  Nothing like the thunderstorm that ushered him out of this world a day later -- the perfect exit for a Southern-born boy who loved storms.  And, nothing like the wonderful afternoon storms I witnessed with Erika earlier this year when I visited her in Virginia--those were healing storms; they pushed to the side the sad association I had carried regarding storms and added a lovely and fun memory.  

So, the weather yesterday was not like those storms, but for a few minutes there was thunder and lightening and rain -- a thunderstorm!

Anyone who lives on the Right Coast is likely also to be wondering what is it with her and thunderstorms?  Southern California produces tremendous, sometimes devastatingly destructive Santa Ana winds, flooding rains when El Nino visits and wind-whipped fire storms that destroy homes and kill people, but we don't have thunderstorms very often.  So, when we do, they are worthy of note.  At least by me.

When I opened the back door, Pumpkin rushed outside and lapped the rain up off the patio.  My Velcro dog stayed by my side in the doorway.

What?  You like drinking out of the garden hose, don't you?  Same thing...

Friday, September 23, 2011


Good medicine!

Flowers from my co-workers.  Perfect with the one pumpkin I managed to grow, no?

Fuzzy, low-light iPhone photo almost doesn't show rolls of dog hair under the chair! The new Dyson vacuum scary monster Glenn was putting together in this photo, will take proper care of those rolls!
My Velcro girl.  Good medicine for sure. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm home!

I'm home. It feels good to be home.

Unfortunately, I'm just a little unsteady and feeling a little fragile, so unless Glenn is in the room, the girls are outside looking in, feeling somewhat bewildered I'm sure and looking somewhat blurry through the slobbered patio door!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guess where I'm taking my break?

I wish I were taking a break on vacation in the San Juan Islands, or visiting Erika,Christian and Bonnie or just about anywhere but where I am -- in the hospital!

Surgery this morning for a non-life threatening issue went well and I should be going home on Wednesday around noon.

Wish my dog girls were here to snuggle with me.

A brief break

I'll be taking a brief break from the blog but should be back posting by Friday.

I hope you will miss me!

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite recent close ups of my girls.

All three of them!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Glow in the dark

Wow.  That dead patch of grass almost glows, too!