Monday, April 30, 2012

Forgot my camera!

This past weekend, I flew up and over to Reno, Nevada to visit friends.  40 years ago this November, I spent a year in Italy, first living with my brother and his family, then with an American family.  I started out as a au pair, who the family quickly began treating as another family member -- sort of a daughter in a family with three boys.  When I came back to the States, we stayed in touch and I visited them a few times.  Then, as often happens with busy lives all around, we lost touch with each other until recently, when the mom of the family took a chance on mailing a note to the last address she had for me.  We quickly made plans for me to fly up for a visit and the last 40 years fell away as if they had never existed. 

I can't believe I left my good camera at home.  The iPhone is a poor substitute, but better than nothing!  No people shots, but here are some nice views of the pretty scenery around Reno.  I think I want to move there!

Definitely not Southern California!
Mt. Rose.

I want this house.

Mallards that call the backyard pond home, at least part time.
My ride home this morning. 

This past weekend made me think of this saying:  "No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth."   Robert Southey knew what he was talking about!

Regular Darby and Pumpkin programming will resume tomorrow!  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday evening after the rain

It rained yesterday!

I know many of you are probably thinking, "So, what's the big deal?" But, any rain that falls this time of year here in very southern, Southern California could be the last rain until November. Eight months without rain! Heaven to some of you, I'm sure. But I love the rain and hate to see the end of it. So, when I got home from work today, I went out to record the aftermath of this latest spring storm. It just might be the last rain we'll see for a long time!

Rain dripping from the patio roof, down those rain chains of Glenn's, into a copper bucket.  I'll use it to water plants next week.
I never get tired of the view out our backyard.

Dogs grazing.  What a peaceful sight. (Ahem.  I feed them.  I swear!)

Good advice.  Hard to follow.

If everything works out right, at about the time the rain stops for the year, our woodpile will have shrunk enough that we can clean up the cart, restack what's left,  and fill it back up again before wood prices go up in the fall.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cooking with Darby and Pumpkin

Darby and Pumpkin have established a fairly reliable routine while hanging out with me in the kitchen.

My velcro, goodie-two-shoes, choose-me-teacher! dog, Darby, almost always positions herself as close to me as I'll allow.  Usually she is right there:

Pumpkin, when she isn't trolling around dragging that long tongue of hers along the floor in search of any crumbs or good tasting drips, usually takes up this spot by the refrigerator:

Sometimes, especially in the winter time when it is chilly, both girls will crowd around the oven.  I always make them move before I take things out of the oven or transfer pots of boiling whatever to the sink.

It's nice having my dog-girls keeping me company.   Who wouldn't want a sweet face like this looking up at you?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Early this morning

This happens often in whatever room I'm in:  one girl "guarding" the space while the other one is off pestering the cat doing whatever.

I vacuumed on Sunday and Furminatored the girls (although somewhat haphazardly) and still! there is another hair ball!  See it there in the corner by the stair?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last weekend

Solar lantern.  Glenn's souvenir from our Tucson trip.

Please ignore the peeling low stucco wall,  We are trying to convince ourselves (for years now!) that it looks charmingly old, rather than nasty-needs-to-be-re-stuccoed.

I love seeing their footprints.

I love her paint job.

Playing; but sometimes they fight for real.  No one gets hurt, although it sounds terrible.  I hate it, but it seems to release something pent up in them.

Making ginger beer.  Hope it turns out good! Naturally fermented things are good for us!


Ours was a lovely, quiet weekend.  Hope yours was good, too. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I know this is Darby's and Pumpkin's blog, but I can't resist postings these photos of the other animal who lives in our house -- Harrison ("Harry") who will be 10 years old this fall. 

Darby and Pumpkin are "empty nest" fillers for me, but Harry was the original filler.  He came to live with us the day before Thanksgiving in 2002 -- shortly after Erika went away to college at UC Davis in Northern California.
He is such a sweet, patient kitty.  The dog-girls pester him something awful and there have been a few times when I wouldn't have blamed him if he had taken a good swipe at them.  But, this gentle boy only threatens to swipe, then heads for higher ground.  

Good kitty cat! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Corgi owner's* work is never done

I looked up from the computer a few minutes ago and saw the early morning sunlight slanting down the hallway with Pumpkin and Harry nicely posed, ready for a post-breakfast snooze.

It wasn't until after I took that first shot that I noticed this:

 There it is in every photo: 

You'd never know that Hortensia from Cecelia's Housekeeping worked here on Wednesday, would you? 
*I know many people are offended when a person calls herself the "owner" of a dog.  I once read a very passionate defense of that term by a woman who seemed to very much respect and love her dogs.  Like her, I don't feel like the owner of these two pups and one cat of mine, but other terms don't quite describe the relationship either, so for now I'm going to call myself their owner.  If for no other reason than this headline would never have worked:  "The work of a person who has responsibility for a Corgi, but does not "own" it because one being cannot "own" another being, is never done."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bothering the Cat

"One Who Feeds Us, I'm sorry I barked at the tee-tee-cat and made him run away."

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I've noticed that Darby likes to burrow into things and Pumpkin likes to prop herself up on them.

I'm not sure you can see this as well in these pictures as I can in real life, but here is Darby, whose rear end is snuggled as far as she can get it into this too-small dog bed. 

She actually wiggled around for awhile until more of her was tucked under the rim of the bed.  

Now here's Pumpkin perched on top of the little bed.  
She chose, as she often does with blankets and the pad in her sleeping crate, to use her front feet to bunch up the pillow lining the bed to make it higher so she could rest her head on it.

I noticed another difference in these two photos -- the quality of the light.  Darby's photo shows the morning light on the north side of the house filtered by shutters; Pumpkin's photo was taken by the light of the lamp on the shelf behind her.  

Differences.  I like them. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


"Hey, Girlfriend.  I can't believe what the One Who Feeds Us made you do this time!"

"I know!  It's sooo embarrassing!"

"But! There MUST be a reason!  The One Who Feeds Us loves me and wouldn't deliberately embarrass me, would she?"
"Would she?" 

"Are you kidding me, Darby?  Remember last year when she made you wear her First Communion veil in honor of Cate's and William's wedding?"
"Oh, yes.  Well, there was that."

P.S.  I've been experimenting using my camera in "manual" mode where I have to determine the aperture setting, for example.  When I got the dumb idea of putting Darby in the pot, I should have switched the camera to auto mode so the camera could worry about exposure, focus, etc., while I worried about keeping Darby from trying to jump out.  She is always so sweet and resigned to antics like this, I just didn't have the heart to put her back in the pot so I could get better photos!