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.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Awesome Nephew Pics

It's been a while since I posted pictures of my awesome little nephew.  Well today you get a special 2-for-1, Jacob and his little brother (awesome nephew #2) James. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Deaf Dog Pool Opening

The official Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes pool opened over the weekend.

It was near 90 degrees and quite humid and Shadowfax had a grand time splashing around and cooling off in the pool.  She's trying to get her white lacrosse ball that has sunk to the bottom and is completely ignoring the awesome green GoughNuts Ball that's floating on the surface. 

She mostly likes to stand in the pool, splash around and sometimes lie down in the cool water.  This is the deepest body of water she's ever been in, so we're not really sure how strong of a swimmer she is.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Peonies, Daisies, Geraniums, and other Blooms

We've had a late bloom and a slow start to the growing season this year.  Combined with the early warm weather and very early Spring from last year, our year over year garden comparisons are striking. 
The peonies bloomed almost a full month later this year compared to last year.  Sadly we had some big thunderstorms the night before these photos were taken and the peonies have all fallen over.  Every year I vow to stake these up so the heavy buds and blossoms don't fall over, and every year I never get around to it.  Behold and witness my gardeners shame!
This entire row of peonies were planted by the previous owners.  I don't love (or know enough about) peonies to plant them on my own, but this display is quite stunning when everything is blooming.
We removed a huge stand of overgrown messy lilacs from this area last year and filled it almost entirely with plant divisions and extras from one of Alycia's friends at work (thanks Sarah!).  There are daisies, so-called "wild" geraniums, and irises that have filled in quite nicely. This mound is not quite complete, we're going to wait and see where there are holes and fill them with other perennials. 
The purple geraniums and purple irises contrast well with the white daisies.  We're fairly happy with how this area turned out considering that I have no formal garden training and all these plants were free.  My joy with how this turned out balances out the gardening shame for not staking the peonies and puts me back at even.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Upside Down Dog

No, not a yoga pose, our dog Shaak Ti.
Shaak Ti spends more time upside down than any other dog I've ever met.  And not just when she's sleeping, oftentimes she'll be awake, just hanging out, upside down. 
That's our little girl. The deaf, blue-eyed, upside down dog. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just Married

It's been a little quiet here on Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes over the last week.   But we have a good excuse. Perhaps the best excuse.  You see Alycia and I got married.
The wedding was in Yosemite National Park in California at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel.  It was a small crowd of 40 people, and we beheld the natural beauty of Yosemite in late Spring and basked in the delicious food, refreshing beverages, and splendor of our family and friends. 
Alycia looked amazing in her dress and I couldn't have been a happier camper or prouder groom.  Our photographer Patrick Pike spent almost the whole day with us and the shots we saw on the digital display of his camera looked fantastic, I can only imagine how great the actual photos will look.  And Patrick, if you're reading, this isn't a passive-aggressive "OMG where are my photos already?!?!?", I just thought we'd give you a shout out on this world famous blog.  Seriously, this is like six figures of free advertising.

And to all my regular readers, sorry for the superfluous and flowery language.  At least I didn't describe anything as "magical" (even though it kinda was). Your regularly programmed cynical and sarcastic author will be back shortly in the next post later this week...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Homemade Tomato Cages - Cost Benefit Analysis and Final Thoughts

It's the third year of using our Homemade Tomato Cages and with that experience under my belt, I thought it might be useful to perform a final cost benefit analysis to determine if it was worth it to go through the trouble of making these Homemade Tomato Cages.  There are also a few pros and cons of these tomato cages that I'll pass along in case you're interested in replicating these for your garden. 

In case you missed the previous posts about these tomato cages over the years, you can read the First Post, the Second Post, and the Third Post in chronological order.  These posts offer the full story along with details on how to make some of your own. 
So was it worth it to build these myself versus buying them?  Right off the bat my knee jerk reaction is yes since there just aren't commercially available tomato cages that are this big and this sturdy.  But how much did each tomato cage cost?  Well I purchased the following materials:

5' x 50' Reinforcing Mesh, 10 Gauge -        $29.99
10" End Cutting Pliers (to cut wire mesh) - $19.99
Spool of Wire for securing cages -                 $3.49

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Pages on the Blog

A few months ago we added some additional pages to the world famous Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes blog.  These started out as the garden variety "About Us" types of things, but quickly and predictably took on a life of their own.  You now have a lot more back story of the three pooches here at the homestead, and we'll add more later.

So please take some time, if you haven't already, and read the background story, pictures, and blog entries about the three furry critters that make our lives so dang entertaining.

The Tale (or Tail) of Tito

The Saga of Shaak Ti

The Story of Shadowfax