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.



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy National Coffee Day

Did you know that today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day?  I had no idea since, well every day here is National Coffee Day.
Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt (that guy on Mt. Rushmore) drank up to a gallon of coffee each day?  I try to live up to that standard, but probably only reach a half gallon each day.  It's nice to have a goal to reach for and strive towards. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Deaf Dog Dirt Day Spa

It may only be mid-September, but it's time to begin preparing the garden for winter.  Ahh yes.  I've learned that winter here in North Dakota is either in recent memory, or in the near future.  In these parts Old Man Winter is always lurking somewhere with a special surprise, a May snowstorm, a September hard freeze, you just never know.

Getting the garden ready for winter is always easier in small, manageable batches, so we approach our labor in small doses.  Alycia started the ball rolling and cut down some peonies and irises in the back yard the other day, leaving some patches of bare dirt. 
This is one of the patches of dirt left bare by removing the spent irises and peonies.  It may not look like much, but on a warm fall day, this is a fantastical magical place to Shaak Ti, a veritable Deaf Dog Day Spa.  She spent several hours outside today, basking in the sun and rolling in the warm bare dirt.  Then after a few hours of pleasant snoozing, Shaak Ti came inside, covered in dirt and filthy. 
This might not look like much, but she's really dirty.  Shaak Ti is white with gray and black spots.  After her time lolling in the dirt she was gray and brown, covered in a thorough coating of dirt and completely unashamed. 
Conscience clear, she continued napping indoors, upside down. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Plants in the Garden Update

It's been a bit since our last posting, yes that's my bad.  All my fault.  I won't even take up your time with my verbal self abuse.  How about we get back on the posting wagon with a follow up to an earlier post.

At the end of June we (and by "we" I mean "me", Alycia didn't do more than supervise) planted a bunch of New Plants in the Garden (that we ordered from BloomingBulb.com).  The Summer Sun Heliopsis, Caradonna Salvia, and Paprika Yarrow have all done fantastically and bloomed profusely despite only having a few months to establish.  The Zing Rose Maiden Pink Dianthus has done OK, most have lived and even partially bloomed.  
The Summer Sun Heliopsis blooming with some sunflowers and Salvia Coccinea - Lady In Red in the background.  

The Arizona Sun Gaillardia?  Not so good, I think only a few survived.  Perhaps they'll return in Spring, but if not they're still guaranteed and I can get get replacements sent. 

I promise that we'll have more stories in the near future.  The first hints of Fall are in the air here in North Dakota, we even had a Frost Warning last night, and there shall be tales of apple cider, deaf dogs in sweaters, raking leaves, and pumpkins from the garden. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Big Melon

I wish I could claim this huge cantaloupe as my own, but it didn't come from my garden. 
Alycia's parents have a friend out in the country who's a retired farmer and grows corn, pumpkins, and some of the biggest cantaloupe I've ever seen. 
It's larger than the bowl of peppers and Japanese eggplant that we picked the day before.   
I couldn't come up with anything in the kitchen that was of standard enough size to be able to compare this monster melon to.  The best thing that I came up with was this egg carton, which seemed more than capable to demonstrate how large this gargantua-melon really is.  
Big melon, circumference larger than my large knife.  It was quite tasty too, even though it wasn't organic.  If I buy fruits and veggies I prefer to purchase organic, but if it's free?  Well, I can't be too choosy. 
It's that time of year when things are coming in fast and furious.  We processed a bunch of tomatoes to turn into pasta sauce. Along with our giant melon, peppers, and eggplant we have a shopping bag full of fresh picked corn and sack of apples. The corn and apples were courtesy of Alycia's parents, they're phenomenal providers of produce.