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.





Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shaak Ti Warms Her Tummy

Tummy Warming Experience Level - Advanced Intermediate
As we've mentioned in previous posts, Shaak Ti (and Shadowfax to a lesser extent) spends a lot of time staring at or basking in front of the fireplace.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Shaak Ti Contemplates the Meaning of Life

Shaak Ti spends a lot of time in front of the fireplace, usually warming herself. But occasionally she'll just lay there and stare at the fire.
"I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall fire*
Thinking about everything
But then again I was thinking about nothing."
 - Mike Muir, singer/songwriter

* only this word was changed from the original lyrics

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Birds Have Returned

One of our favorite hobbies is watching birds, either here at the homestead or when we're on vacation. We aren't hardcore birding folk by any means (though we still vividly remember the Harlequin Duck we saw in Glacier National Park years ago), but anywhere we go we try to have a bird identification book, binoculars, and Alycia's iPhone with bird ID apps aplenty.

Back in North Dakota we had a plethora of birds visit the homestead. You can find old posts about cool birds we saw in North Dakota here, here, here, and here. There are probably even more bird posts, because uhhh we kinda like bird posts. Bird visitation was usually concentrated in Spring and Summer though and there were few year round inhabitants.

During our first several months at the new homestead in Boise, Idaho we'd noticed a real absence of birds, spotting a few common chickadees and nuthatches, but not much else. We're in an older neighborhood with lots of large, tall, densely planted trees. Hawks and raptors crying in the distance and circling way overhead are common. We were afraid that the presence of birds of prey would diminish the local small birds at our feeders. It took a few weeks of putting out feeders with nyjer/thistle, black oil sunflowers seeds, and suet before we finally had visitors.
Some small goldfinches started showing up, and after a few days they were numerous. These goldfinches are noticeably smaller than the American Goldfinches that were regulars in North Dakota. Alycia and I have settled on an ID of Lesser Goldfinches. Since it's still Winter, it will be a few more months before the males develop their bright yellow gold coloration. We'll be watching in anticipation for them to develop their summer plumage, and eagerly awaiting any other birds that stop by for a visit.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Shadowfax Watches the Westminster Agility Trials

Shadowfax has never shown any interest in watching television, but this weekend the Westminster Agility Trials were on and she was very excited. She was happy to see at least one competitor that looked like her - a spotted American Staffordshire Terrier. He didn't win, but he made at least one new fan.
She watched intently for a few minutes then returned to lounge in front of the fire. Luckily none of the pups have a tendency to watch too much TV, so we've never had to discuss limiting their screen time. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Packed Up and Ready To Go

Dogs are smart and intuitive creatures. They know that the appearance of a suitcase is a bad sign. One or both of us is going away, and that's no good.
Alycia recently had a conference to attend. Based on experience we know to delay the presence of the suitcase for as long as possible to avoid the pups consternation. Alycia started packing for her trip and Shaak Ti tried her best to tag along.
After a few minutes Shaak Ti realized that this was going to be a lengthy and difficult vigil and it might be best to rest up for the upcoming "if you're leaving, you're taking me with you" protest.
Unfortunately Alycia's suitcase was already partially packed and she wound up with a nice coating of Shaak Ti hair on her clothes. Nothing like a light dusting of dog hair to remind you of home.