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.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Deaf Dog Pic of the Day

This is Shadowfax.  No other words are necessary as this one photo perfectly sums up her entire essence. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Bear Family Travels South

My friend that I have known since second grade, Stacey, got married in Auburn, AL last month. She married a very nice Italian fellow named Antonio. John opted to stay home. He said that driving through the Deep South in a rental car with the Bear Family was a nightmare of his.  (John here - Yes, I've actually had a very visceral and horrific dream about being stuck wandering through the South, confined in a rental car with Alycia and her family.  It was a terrifying dream.)
My parents played multiple roles in the ceremony: my dad escorted Stacey down the aisle, and my mom found readings for my dad to present, as well as hemming the suit for Stacey's adorable son, Jonathan.
Below, they're with Stacey's department chair who officiated the ceremony. 
Along with going to the wedding, my parents and I had a little bit of time to do some sightseeing. Stacey had suggested going to the Little White House in Warm Springs, GA so we stopped by on our way to Auburn from Atlanta. As you can read from the sign, FDR came to Warm Springs to seek relief from the polio that affected his legs.
The presidential compound was actually very small. The president's cabin was in the middle (with bedrooms for the president, the first lady, and his personal secretary), with a guest house on one side (with 2 single beds in it) and servants' quarters on the other (with 2 bedrooms). It was very quiet and peaceful there. Basically the only indication that it was a retreat for a president were the sentry posts spread out in the woods around the house.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shaak Ti's Sweater

After a successful sweater venture with Shadowfax, my mom decided that Shaak Ti needed a sweater too. After all you can't have one of the grand-dogs running around with a sweater and one go sweaterless.  Here are the photos from her first sweater fitting.
Shadowfax was a little bit jealous that she wasn't getting the same level of attention as Shaak Ti.  We tried to explain that she already had her sweater experience, but she wanted no part of the explanation. 
A sweater fitting can turn into a tummy rub session at the drop of a hat.  I can personally vouch for this fact.  
Grandma takes some measurements to make sure that it fits nice and tight on Shaak Ti's tummy. 
One person measures, one person gives Shaak Ti pets. 
Poor Shadowfax sits and waits for her turn for attention. 
Tito hangs out in his bed and is a shining beacon of indifference...and anger.  This is his "I frickin' dare you to try to put a damn sweater on me."
Grandpa can't help much on the sweater knitting front, but he's always available to give lots of pets. 
All this attention is making her sleepy.
While my mom loves all of our dogs, Shaak Ti is her favorite. Here they're having a nice talk, which ended with Shaak Ti giving grandma a kiss. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pileated Woodpecker Video

Pileated woodpeckers have been making regular, usually daily, visits to the bird feeders in the front yard.  These birds are pretty impressive and I enjoy watching them on the suet feeder have a snack. 
They're a pretty impressive bird and you can hear the audible "whoosh" of their wings when they take off. I didn't catch the woodpecker taking off from suet feeder in this video, maybe next time. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Peony Blooms

The blog may have been quiet, but we've been busy bees here at the homestead.  Spring planting and clean up projects, along with overdue hardscape additions and modifications are enough to keep any gardener busy. But we had a much needed week long vacation at the end of May and had to accomplish everything in a compressed time frame.  The inevitable result was a lack pictures and postings. 
It's amazing what a week away can bring.  We left North Dakota with cool Spring weather, no mosquitoes, and the last of the bulbs blooming.  We returned to find the lawns fully emerged from dormancy and growing rapidly, warm late-Spring weather, mosquitoes aplenty, and the annuals that we had planted before departing starting to establish themselves.  Oh, and we came back to the peonies blooming. 
The peonies don't bloom for very long, perhaps just two or three weeks.  But it's quite a show when they do bloom, huge profusions of brightly colored blossoms.  Before the vacation I also (finally!) found system for staking the peonies that works great...I'll detail that in another post. 
As always, my supervisors watched from their perch, making sure I'm not slacking off.  They're true taskmasters, regularly barking at me to work faster.