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 26, 2016

Thanksgiving in North Dakota

For the first time in our tenure in North Dakota we hosted the Thanksgiving festivities here are the homestead. Everything went well, Thanksgiving dinner and all the accompaniments were well received. 
Shadowfax and Shaak Ti were overjoyed to have Alycia's parents in the house for multiple days.  There was multiple hours of snuggling and quality time with Grandma and Grandpa.  And Tito?  He seemed pretty happy to have a few more people to randomly snarl at.  
After all the leftovers were parsed out, shopping trips completed, and pies consumed, the dogs were pooped.  They passed out in their warming beds and dreamed of turkeys roasting in the oven.   

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Heated Dog Beds Make Happy Pups

As the weather gets colder here in Grand Forks, North Dakota, attention turns to keeping warm.  We've always had dog bed warming inserts in several beds.  We purchased a few more heating inserts recently to try to ensure that everyone has a warmed bed to choose from.
The results are predictable, everyone lines up to make sure their tummies and noggins are adequately heated. 

These dog bed warming inserts are significant components of the dogs daily routines, especially throughout the winter months.  If you have dog beds that have an outer cover, you can just slip this heater in the dog bed and run the electrical cord discretely out one end. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another North Dakota Sunrise Picture

We hope you have a fantastic day!  We had an incredible start to the morning here in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  May the sun rise and greet you with equal splendor wherever you may be.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Snoozin' Pooches and Garden Chores

It's been another long break since our last post.  My stars have things been busy around here!  Busy for the humans at least, the pooches haven't participated in this sustained onslaught of busy times, they've been their usual sleepy, slacker selves.

One cause of our jam-packed schedules has been the beautiful weather we've had over the past few weeks.  Little to no rain and daytime high temperatures in the 50's and 60's have abounded.  Knowing that snow and cold are around the corner, we've seized upon this great weather and been busy in the gardens; raking leaves, clearing out garden beds, and preparing the homestead for winter. 

And today, Sunday November 6th we had our Annual Daylight Savings Celebration.  This is where we try to explain to Shaak Ti that is in fact only 4:00am, not 5:00am and it is NOT time to get up yet.  No amount of bargaining or explaining or rationalizing has ever seemed to work with Shaak Ti, and thus what should be a glorious day of an extra hour of sleep becomes another early dog walk in the darkness.  This has been an annual celebration in our household for almost a decade. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Resting Up After a Tiring Weekend

We had a glorious weekend here at the homestead in North Dakota, so glorious that we're still recovering from it. We hosted visitors from Southern California, showed them the sights, enjoyed some local cuisine, and basked in the autumn splendor. 
The dogs were so exhausted from all the extra people and love and playtime, that they sacked out before our visitors had made it to the airport.  Friday and Saturday were particularly eventful as they had both sets of grandparents in the house, ready to shower them with love.  It was apparently exhausting, so exhausting that they snoozed noggin to noggin in their cozy beds.  
Even Tito was tired from all the shenanigans. Delivering all that anger and all those snarls to so many folks can wear down even the baddest dogs of the bunch. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

North Dakota Sunrise

Don't fret we're still here, we're just preoccupied. Pesky things like work and meetings get in the way of the quality dog and family time, and suddenly the garden gets neglected.  We've been methodically going through our end of summer harvesting and fall garden preparations.  An hour or two here and there in evening and weekends scrambling to catch up.
Luckily we get sunrises like this in the mornings.  It's a great motivation to enjoy the day and a first glimpse of fall colors splashed across the sky.  There's a blue jay outside somewhere now, I can hear his bossy shrieks through the open window, I'm gonna go see if I can spot him. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Shaak Ti the Delicate Lady

Shaak Ti is indeed a delicate lady, genteel and proper in every respect.  She even sleeps with her paws delicately crossed. 
As you can see, it was a pretty rough weekend for the dogs of the homestead.  There was a lot of lounging in their dog beds or supervising from their pillowed perch in the upstairs window while us humans toiled in the garden.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More Late Summer Garden Pictures

We're bearing down on the end of August, then Labor Day and possibly soon the end of summer. Here are some pictures from around the garden in the last week of August. 
This is the Blueberry area, just next to the Petunia Tower in the back yard.  The blueberries are surrounded by some assorted dianthus, sweet alyssum, and more petunias. 
This is the front edging of the garden area on the south side of the driveway.  The plants that aren't blooming are Indian Summer dianthus that I planted this Spring, I expect a great bloom showing next year.  There are also some trailing red verbeena, and the yellow flowers are Helenium autumnale - Sneezeweed. We only bought the sneezeweed because Alycia thought name was cool, but they've bloomed steadily and consistently all summer. I think we'll be adding more sneezeweed next year too.   
More verbeena, sneezeweed, dianthus, and even a lovely pink petunia. 
The Great Wall of Cherry Tomatoes.  These are planted in a raised bed along our garage and face south. Between the all day sunshine they receive and the heat that reflects off the metal siding, the tomatoes are really happy here.  Along the front edge of this raised bed are a few different varieties of marigolds (Inca Gold, Golden Gem and others). 
View of the Great Wall of Tomatoes from the other side of the raised bed.  You can barely make out the celery that we planted at the front corner of the box.  These got a bit overwhelmed, and probably were not my best decision to plant these here. 
Close up of the Golden Gem marigolds. These are one of my favorite marigolds and I either save the seeds every year, or let them go to seed in Fall and spread the seeds around the area where I want them to grow the next year.  Then I let the army of volunteers take over the next Spring, thinning them where it's needed.