A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Shadowfax, Shaak Ti and Cold Weather

The weather has finally turned chilly here in North Dakota.  We're not complaining (much) since we're had a fantastic run of warm and dry weather so far this Fall.  We've been able to squeeze an extra 2-3 weeks of garden time out of some of our flowers (more pictures in a later post), but that came to an abrupt end this week with a shot of snow and a few days of cold, strong winds. 
The dogs are adjusting to the onset of winter as they usually do, by hunkering down in their heated dog beds and snuggling under their warming blankets.  Shadowfax is generally the more sprawling of the two. 
This is Shaak Ti's "Why don't you get your butt over here and tuck me in under my blankie?" face.  We tuck the dogs a few dozen times a day.  Essentially every time we get up for anything, we're also tucking them in. Yes they're pretty dang spoiled.
This is a pretty typical afternoon scene, the girls sitting on the floor and snuggling together. Shadowfax sure knows how to pose for the camera. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rub a Dub Dub

Shadowfax in the tub.
She's not getting a bath, she just really likes to jump in there when Alycia uses the bathroom down in the basement.  Shadowfax has never had a bath in this tub, so she possibly doesn't know what it's actually use is supposed to be, and therefore isn't appropriately afraid of the tub. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Shaak Ti Goes for a Walk

Shaak Ti is 9 years old, but she still appreciates a good walk. Especially if that walk is a special "Mommy and Me" walk with Alycia.
In an effort to try to get her to sleep in a few minutes later than 5:00 am, Alycia has started taking Shaak Ti on an additional evening walk to attempt to tire her out.  Now, this is in addition to the 2 walks (40-45 total minutes of walking in the morning and afternoon) she already gets every single day.  As you can see and hear, Shaak Ti gets pretty excited about her special walk

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shadowfax In the Sun

You may not know, but pit bulls are solar powered.  They need to spend hours in the sunshine to recharge their batteries, and even then they have trouble mustering up enough energy to do much.
 Shadowfax does this most days, soaking up the sunlight as long as she can. 
You also might not know that pit bulls are also really, really lazy. Shadowfax in particular has two speeds - 5th gear and Park.  That's it.  She's either racing around and instigating shenanigans, or a huge lump of unmovable deaf dog. 
Shadowfax has a pretty rough life here. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Garden Pictures - Apples and Marigolds

It's Fall here in North Dakota, both the calendar and the weather are attesting to this fact. We have had a long stretch of warm and dry weather, which has extended our growing season a good two to three weeks longer than normal.  It's also been nice that cool temperatures have killed all the mosquitos and made outside work much more pleasant. 

We finally got a hard frost (down to the mid to low 20's) over the last few nights, which means that we had to pull up our tomato and pepper plants.  The more cold hardy beets and onions were able to stay outside for a few more days, but we pulled those as well yesterday and got busy pickling the beets and drying the onions. 
Our zinnias, hostas, Monarda (beebalm), and coneflowers (echinacea) didn't make it through the hard freeze, but the marigolds and petunias are still going strong.  The marigolds look pretty contrasted next to the brown foreground/background of fallen leaves.  The orange flowers on the left are 'Golden Gem' Marigolds, with 'Inca Gold' Marigolds on the right side of the raised bed.  These are regulars in our garden and we plant them in abundance every year.
More 'Inca Gold' Marigolds in front with 'Golden Gem' Marigolds in the back, along with onions and tomatoes and even a 'Paprika' Yarrow way in the back.  We're big believers in flowers and plants that attract beneficial bugs; marigolds, yarrow, sweet alyssum, verbeena, petunias, etc. the list goes on.   We intersperse them with all of our veggies and include them heavily in our annual flowerbed planting.   
These are cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100) which produced prolifically this year. Believe it or not, there are only three tomato plants in that huge mass.   This is probably the perfect location for them, along the garage wall, underneath a bit of the eaves, facing West.  This site was a compost pile last year and has a large amount of well rotted compost and horse manure. 
Our apples are just about ready to pick.  These are Haralson or Haralred apples, I'm not sure.  They can withstand a bit of frost, so we're going to leave them on the tree as long as possible to give them an opportunity to sweeten up a little more. 

That's an update from the homestead in mid-October.  We've been frantically busy around here and posting has been sparse, sorry.  Plus honestly, the dogs just haven't been doing anything cute recently...so there hasn't been much to post about. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Watermelon Harvest

For us, watermelon are the ultimate demonstration of gardening perseverance.  We plant them and they seem to languish in the ground for weeks, doing nothing.  Our dreams of delicious melons disappear with every passing day of non-activity.  But then in late July they pick up steam, then explode in the heat and humidity of late summer, and invariably we have some nice looking melons come harvest.
This was the biggest of the watermelons we grew this year (overweight ginger gardener for scale).  We have another 4-5 that will be big enough to eat as well, and out warm, dry early autumn is helping squeeze every last bit of growing season out of the watermelon. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Shaak Ti's Tongue

We hosted out of town visitors at the homestead this weekend.  My Dad and his significant other flew in from San Diego to spend the long weekend with us.  We had a grand time at the University of North Dakota football game and went out to eat at many of the fine restaurants in the area. 
Between all the extra pets from both sets of grandparents and the commotion in the house, the dogs expended a whole lot of energy on Sunday.  On Sunday we also too a trip to Kelly's Slough, West of Grand Forks (we've visited there before) and that finally did Shaak Ti in.  She came home and totally sacked out.
When Shaak Ti is really, really tired she naps with a little bit of her tongue sticking out.  You can just make it out in this photo.  She flopped down in her heated dog bed and didn't move much until bed time.
You can see that tongue much better, just sticking out.  It takes a lot to tire out Shaak Ti, she's a machine and has never met an adventure she didn't exuberantly embrace.  This is usually a positive sign that we'll have a quiet day today. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Welcome New Reader - Karina

You may not know it, but our official policy here at Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes is to personally welcome all of our new readers. We haven't welcomed a new reader since 2013 (I blame the economy), so this truly a special event. Today we welcome Karina!  We know Karina though the vibrant Grand Forks volleyball scene and are quite happy that she's found our humble blog.  

Granted the people we've welcomed are only the people who've subscribed via blogger and whose icon shows up as a "Member" of the "My Awesome Readers" group on the left hand side of the blog.  It's possible that you're a subscriber through some other method (I use Feedly to subscribe to a bunch of different sites), so I can't see that you're a regular reader.  If anyone knows how to find out who has subscribed to a blog through other sites, please let me know in the comments.