A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, 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, September 28, 2019

Fall Snuggling Season

Fall snuggling season is officially upon us. Warm and pleasant days with cool nights quickly changed today with highs barely into the 50's. We're on the edge of a weather system that's bringing multiple feet of snow to northern Idaho and western Montana. We're just getting cooler temperatures and a few rain showers.
Cooler temperatures and the change of seasons means we start taking our napping configurations a little more seriously. Shaak Ti is a pro at this though, she knows how to snuggle.
Fall is also know as "tuck in the dogs 30 times a day" season. Shaak Ti and Shadowfax both enjoy snuggling under an array of blankets.
We hope you're nice and warm wherever you are.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Shaak Ti Being Shaak Ti

Shaak Ti. She's a pretty special dog. Her silliness is consistent and daily. Napping, walking and being a goofy little pup, that's her daily routine.
We've managed through some bouts of upset tummy over the last couple of years (more frequently in the last several months) and now she's back to eating regularly. We may be purchasing a rotisserie chicken per week to add to her meals, but it's totally worth it.
Napping in the sunbeam, napping in the dirt (that's why she looks brown in the photo above), napping in the mulch and occasionally napping on an actual dog bed. This dog, she just kills me sometimes.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Cuteness Overload

Sugar alert! Be forewarned if you have blood sugar issues you might want to stand by with a shot of insulin to counter all this sugary sweetness. We recently got a new doggie nephew.
His name is Yeti, he's a chihuahua mix of some kind and just a puppy. Here he is posing with our human nephew Jace. Yeah that's pretty dang cute.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Garden Project - Almost Completed

Our secret garden project is very nearly completed. The door needs to be adjusted a bit and then hung and some fine tuning tweaks and finishing touches here and there need to be made.
The interior floor needs to be finished and is going to be a darker gray colored gravel with flagstones running down the middle.
It's substantially complete enough that you can either guess or we can reveal what this structure is. It's a greenhouse. And not just a season extending greenhouse, it's a full four season greenhouse that will allow us to overwinter plants and continue to produce small quantities of fruit, veggies and herbs throughout the winter.
There will be a whole lot more stories and photos of our greenhouse. We'll also tell you more about how it was made and give you some background on your new phrase for the day - shou sugi ban. Oh and that vertical black piping inside the greenhouse? We'll talk about that too.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Summer Vacation Photos

Alycia and I were lucky to take a summer vacation trip last week. We had been to Glacier National Park in Montana several years ago and had always wanted to return.
In addition to Glacier, we also visited the Canadian portion, Waterton Lakes. Waterton Lakes was lovely and much less crowded than Glacier. It was Alycia's long time dream to stay at the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. The hotel sits on a bluff overlooking Waterton lake and a dramatic glacier-carved valley. The above picture was the view from our hotel room.
It was a magnificent historic hotel and Alycia also enjoyed high tea as well. She'd read about high tea at the hotel and was eager to have afternoon tea. It was a unique National Park experience.
Alycia had a lovely spread of sweet and savory snacks that were all gluten free. John enjoyed the gluten filled treats just as enthusiastically.
We took numerous hikes and strolls throughout the parks, several free excursions that were led by Park Rangers. The Ranger led hikes were full of great information and discussions of local flora and fauna as well as history and geology. The Rangers also knew the area well and carried bear spray (as did we), so they were welcome additions to any hike. We saw the above grizzly bear from the road and were glad to be in a vehicle that close to a bear.
We did see almost all manner of wild creatures, black and grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and even a big bull moose, antlers and all! The moose suddenly emerged from the heavy brush and crossed our hiking trail 20 feet in front of us on our hike above to Grinnel Lake. It was a pretty startling and stunning encounter.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Some New Canine Friends

Earlier this year Alycia had the idea that we get more involved with a local dog charity. We had met people and dogs from the local Boise Bully Breed Rescue group at several functions and they had just opened up a new facility at a warehouse in nearby Meridian. The group pulls dogs from shelters across the West and brings them to their facility, gets them medical attention and then finds them forever homes. It's a fantastic group of people and helps some incredible pups.

A couple of hours a week we go and walk dogs or play with them in the facilities awesome play yard. It's quite a lot of fun and we get to meet some awesome dog friends before they go to live in their new homes. It didn't occur to Alycia until a few weeks ago that we should start taking pictures of these great pups. Here are some photos of just a few of the dog friends that we've met recently.
This is Chief. He's the only pup that hasn't been adopted yet, though he has a meet-and-greet soon. He has a bad-ass backstory about being injured by a wild boar when he lived in Hawaii (seriously).
Agnes. She was one of Alycia's favorites, a sweet snuggle oriented pittie lump.
Blue. This 100 pound chunkster found a home recently. He splashed around in the kiddie pool with reckless abandon.

Gonzo. Another snuggle oriented pooch. He looked like a little hippopotamus and was one of my favorites.

Cotton. A deaf bully mix. He caused a lot of consternation around the homestead since we have deaf dogs and all and he probably would have fit in pretty well. He was recently adopted to an awesome home!

Monday, July 29, 2019

New Wheels for the Wagon

Alycia got me our garden wagon as a birthday present close to 10 year ago. It has been a much loved and well used workhorse in the garden ever since. It's incredibly useful to throw in some tools, a few flats of plants, maybe a sack of fertilizer and haul it off to a spot instead of having to make multiple trips back and forth.

Alycia alone has hauled countless load of heavy bricks with the wagon. Our numerous brick-related projects over the years would not have been possible without the help of the wagon. Well they would have been possible, but there would have been a LOT more manual labor and brick hauling by hand involved.

The wagons inflatable wheels that have needed increasing attention and maintenance. For the last two years I've had to inflate the wheels before every use and even then they didn't hold air very well (or really at all). The usefulness of a wagon was somewhat mitigated by flat wheels.

Thanks to the magic of the internet (Amazon) I bought some new replacement wheels and installed them. The new wheels have a solid core and don't need to be inflated which should increase their useful life. The wagon is working better than ever now and should continue to serve well in the garden for anther decade.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

One of Those Days

You know those days. The kind where you're napping with your ear sticking out. 

Shaak Ti spent the morning napping with her ears askew. But it wasn't just her.
We knew it was a serious occasion as Shadowfax was afflicted with the same ear napping issues. Both the dogs are pretty annoyed that they don't have free reign of the backyard with the folks assembling our secret garden project. Maybe that's the reason for these ears sticking out.