Saturday, May 11, 2013

Garden–The Beginning

For most of my adult life I’ve either lived in a condo or an apartment, with no balcony nor backyard. I’d yearned for one of these but never really wanted to deal with the maintenance of mowing and weeding or the cost of buying plants and so on. Last year (2012) moved into a house with a backyard and a garden.

At first I didn’t take much interest in the garden, I mean, I don’t really like vegetables and didn’t know much about gardening to really talk about the plants and such. However, when things like cucumbers and watermelons started to grow into real edible things I began to notice and became fascinated. I bought Gardening for Dummies and started to plan for 2013.

Last weekend we planted the garden! We have a salsa garden (hot peppers, tomatoes, garlic) and lettuces, cucumbers, pumpkins, radishes, shallots, carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, and bell peppers. There are also strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries but these were here before me.

Set did the majority of the planting, while I dealt with the window box flowers and did fertilizing of the newly planted garden.  Here are some action shots:

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A week later most things are doing well. We lost one of three pumpkin plants and the cucumbers are struggling to adapt to their sunny spot, but the radishes sprouted last night and the peas are starting to send out tendrils!

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It’s all far more exciting than I would have expected but there is a little nervousness that we’re just going to kill stuff because we don’t *really* know what we’re doing…we’ll see.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Plenty of people have done writings, drawings, and art of various kinds about the animals in their lives – dogs specifically. I haven’t paid much attention in my adult years to these things since I’ve been mostly with cats. However, now I am with dog. Big. Black. Flat-coat retriever dog. He is named Dempsey. He likes food.

He will eat anything – including lettuce and sticks. One time he ate about a dozen maple bacon biscuits in less than an hour. Another time he climbed up onto the dinner table to get at a higher spot in order to eat four sticks of butter (those came back up). Food must be kept at a safe distance.

After I had been living with this dog for a month or so, I became aware of the musings on dog companionship when a friend forwarded the link to The Oatmeal’s amazing and hilariousMy dog: the paradox.” Here are the first two panels:


I highly recommend you read the entire cartoon, particularly if you have dog experience – it rings true and elicits chuckles.

I also heard recently on one of my new favorite podcasts – Bad or Not Bad – that George W. Bush has become an artist and one of his favorite subjects is his dog. On the podcast, I think the verdict was “bad” on this topic because, well, it’s George W. Bush…but here’s what W’s dog looks like painted by W:

ht barney bush portrait nt 130201 blog George W. Bush: Painting Has Changed My Life

Though I have a canine around regularly as a subject, I have no artistic endeavors outside of knitting. And I’m not knitting a big doggie sweater (how embarrassing for Dempsey that would be) and I’m not knitting his likeness onto any article of yarn (mostly because that would be weird). What I have done is take photos of the sweet and needy beast. I have even arranged them in frames:

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I have Instagrammed photos of the tennis ball-loving creature:

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We have used Dempsey as a model for my ski helmet:

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But mostly, I just enjoy having such a loveable though stinky-breathed being in my life – and I mean Dempsey.

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