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.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Snowy Christmas Forecast

Christmas is just around the corner here at the Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes homestead.  We received over a foot of snow from Blizzard Alivia a few weeks back and have even more snow and wind in the forecast for Christmas Day. 

Here is the Grand Forks office of the National Weather Service forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend. 
Alycia and I have been taking full advantage of the snow cover and relatively mild temperatures this week (it's been near 30 degrees all week) and have taken several snow shoeing adventures along the Red River of the North.  It is very convenient for us, we just walk down the block, over the dyke wall and we're on the Grand Forks Greenway along the Red River.  This upcoming snowstorm should mean enough snow cover for show shoeing and cross country skiing for the rest of the season. 
The dogs are either unimpressed with all the snow, apprehensive about another foot and a half of snow on the way...
...or still trying to impress upon Santa that they've been good all year. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Shadowfax Indoors in Winter

With temperatures plunging below zero, accompanying wind chills making it feel even colder, and a fresh layer of snow on the ground, it's cold!  That's expected here in December in North Dakota and so we spend a lot more time indoors. Outside playtime is relegated to a minute or two at most before the critters toes get chilly, so we spend more time playing indoors. 
Shadowfax loves her 6-Foot Rope Toy (Amazon Link), and we have three of them, swapping them out every few days so she has something fresh to chew on.  It's a pretty good workout for the human too. A game of Tug-of-War with a 70 pound chunk of deaf dog on the other end is some pretty serious lifting and pulling.  In this case she's actually chewed herself into an almost-nap, barely awake and chomping away. 
I also thought we should throw in the stereotypical (and always funny) "big dog in tiny bed" photo.  Tito barely fits in this dog bed, let alone Shadowfax, who is twice the size of Tito. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The First Snowstorm of the Year

A very warm Fall and lack of snow through the first part of December had us dreaming of a mild winter, but such thoughts are often soon dashed here in North Dakota.  A storm arrived on Monday evening and dumped a foot of snow by Tuesday midday.
We weren't complaining much as both Alycia and I had a snow day on Tuesday.  All the snow from that storm was augmented by three more days of snow showers and light snow, accompanied by howling winds.
This is the blueberry area on the East side of the house. We ended up with  total of over 16 inches of snow and drifts caused by the high winds that were significantly higher.  Alycia and I cleaned off the back steps several times each as they continued to fill in with blowing and drifting snow from the high winds.  We also wound up snowblowing the driveway and sidewalks three times over the course of the storm and subsequent days of wind.
Recognize this character?  This is the Petunia Tower, now well covered in more than a foot snow.  This was the biggest snowfall event since the Christmas storm (Blizzard Alvin, more pictures) back in 2009, which was our first winter here in North Dakota. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Deaf Dogs Shaak Ti and Shadowfax Wrestling

Shaak Ti and Shadow fax don't play together very often, mostly because Shadowfax gets a little too amped up and spazzy.  So we carefully monitor playtime between them to make sure that Shadowfax (who is twice the size of Shaak Ti) doesn't play too rough.  In this case, Shaak Ti is exhibiting her classic "I really wanna play but I'm too lazy to get of of bed" game. 
Being winter time here means that there's going to be a lot more indoor playtime in the coming months.  Cold and wind have made expending energy outside all but impossible for more than a few minutes at a time.