So: wow weekend

What a fabulous weekend! While its completely out of order, let me start with Mr. Fireworks Dog George. He learned to swim, thanks to Godiva and our lovely friends Aly and Jay (their pool):

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While he looks very laid back, he wasn’t too sure. Godiva the otter made swimming seem effortless for George the manatee.

Today was no good for dog swimming since there was a massive temperature drop, but before the Lambert family returns from their trip, George will swim again. After all, he is a golden-lab and needs to know his skills.

In the farming department, the urban farm is entering the surface of the sun times;

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Our gift watermelon from Lisa is struggling.

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The roses are attracting bees.

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The okra flowers promise us delicious okra every other day. It’s shocking how fast they grow!

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Despite the heat, the Malabar spinach is fulfilling its promise.

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The salad we had for dinner Saturday night was quite delicious!

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A combo of chard, peppers, spinach, roasted beets, pepitas, and goat cheese, it was the perfect accompaniment to grilled kebabs.

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The salad experiment is coming along!

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Getting a bit serious, I would just like you to notice the following prices and descriptions (please note I do not begrudge the farmers in any way, just want you to see what a $2.50 pack of organic seeds and water can do with a popular Texas-based grocery store reference):

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And beets. Ours:

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The store:

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We are really enjoying growing stuff and saving money at the grocery store!

But yesterday was also about the Gs. They have new puntable pals–a shitzu, a pom, and a chihuahua pup! Here’s one photo of last night:

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If a dog that big and a dog that small can have fun, why can’t we humans all get along? The Gs and their petite pals had a good old time running around, playing with toys, mooching food from the people.

And then there was today. Abnormally cool. Rainy. Magnificent. It’s fitting that its Godiva’s birthday. Stinky brothers all got a bath and a pedicure after their swim. Fun time with new friends Saturday night. House almost back together. Humans just hanging out inside catching up on the DVR.

Everyone seems very well rested, just as a weekend should be.

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So/sow: day job + play job

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Another fabulous photo by Bruce. I had no idea that he took it because I was so engrossed in my work yesterday (Sunday) morning. And don’t worry, the cling on my Mac isn’t hurting it, just keeps it from getting stolen at airports.

Hopefully it doesn’t surprise you that I’m actually a professional writer. I’ve been writing advertising and marketing copy since 1991 which everyone knows is a long, long time ago.

Yesterday, I had to do a little “homework” before Bruce and I went to a seminar on “Planning for Your Pets”. Without getting into the details, just know that you should plan ahead for someone to take your pets if you (and your legal spouse) croak. If not, they’re following you to the pearly gates if you live in Texas. And you should get disaster kit together for your four-leggeds. And know how to do first aid on them. We’re remedying all of the above with 1 ) paperwork, 2) a kit, 3) a class. The class is Sunday. I still have to put the paperwork together. I’m giving myself this week as a deadline.

I really liked Bruce’s photo though. I didn’t even notice that he was taking it. That’s typical for me when I’m writing. I’m definitely in the zone. As a manager I’ve been less in the zone than I’d like but in the last little while, it’s been my home. Works for me.

Tonight the lines between work, home and other have been very blurry. I’ve been trying to understand why something so dear to me in college is being compromised. Ah California. Your obscene “view” property values makes civic/charitable organizations with amazing property amazingly greedy. A conference call. And another tale for another day.

On to happier topics: Last night we had some neighbors visit. And in Texas, walking the dog often includes a plastic cup filled with the alcoholic beverage of your choice (wine in this case). Bella the chocolate lab needed a long, long walk. And the Gs were prepared to play. As you all know the mosquitos love me so I minimize my time at dusk/night outside. Our sweet neighbor Emily (5) decided to harvest a few things from the urban farm: tomatoes especially. Her lucky parents were not paying attention at all, but were probably surprised by the brown paper bag of fresh veg that she and I gathered! Tomatoes and carrots mostly, with a bit of lettuce for her parents.

Even still, this morning’s harvest was pretty impressive:

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notice the quarter. those are Texas sized Sweet 100s.

The tomatoes are making me happy though I’m a bit worried we won’t eat them fast enough. Oh well, time to make sauce, right? The Sweet 100s are doing great. The rest, not so sure.

A couple of people messaged me to know what our beet salad looked like. Here’s a visual:

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go to beet salad

It’s pretty but truly nothing special. Beet greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, olive oil, salt/pepper. Yummy, yet common. Cheap and cheerful!

Hope you all had an enjoyable Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sow/So: 100th post

Well, folks, my little writing experiment for 2013 has gone fairly well. I have written every day as I promised myself. And I’m definitely grabbing 2013 by the horns (perhaps 2013 is a longhorn) and doing as much as I can to make this year awesome, inspiring, educational, and fun.

NOTE: I want to reassure readers Kate and Fransi, as well as my grandma, that I am not killing myself. And I’m not heading for a nervous breakdown. I do sleep. And I have a lot of down time. I just seem very busy because I’m telling you about the exciting parts. Or at least the stuff I find exciting. Or that the Gs find exciting. Sleeping, watching tv, reading magazines, and sitting on the patio eating chocolate does not make interesting reading in my opinion.

So yay! 100 posts under my belt! Thanks for reading! I figured that Bruce, my far-flung friends, maybe my parents, and a couple of curious co-workers might check out the blog occasionally. Most would be from Canada and the U.S of A. But no, folks from Ireland, France, the UK, the Fareo Islands, Croatia, Australia, and a bunch of other places are reading. Thank you! And please comment since it’s fun to know what your growing seasons are like, what your dog’s names are, your trials with your sewing projects, what you do for a living, where you like to travel, etc.

On with today’s post:

Today was an amazing day. Bruce and I finished the construction of the office desk area feature wall:

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It still needs gray and orange paint on the wall and the desk needs to be stained the same dark color as the cabinet at the right, but it’s coming along. More work this week and probably next weekend…. Bruce took this photo.

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Here the desk area is close up so you can see the shelves and metal trim detail a bit better. The metal is aluminum C channel, wood is MDF cut into custom lengths/widths.        Bruce took this photo.

We’ll move on to another similar trim job in the office later this week. Today, we needed to finish up work by 11:30 since we had human and canine guests coming for Sunday lunch. Our friends Christine and Fred with their three dogs Polly (chihuahua), MJ (Boston Terrier), and Bandit (a tiny little guy with lots of attitude) and Chris with his new puppy Mayhem came by for a playdate for the dogs and lunch and a little NASCAR watching for the humans.

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Meet Mayhem. Mayhem and George had a great time playing tug together. Aren’t those ears so cute?

Since we haven’t gotten together for a while, we used the time as an excuse to have a dog birthday cake for Polly’s and Guinness’s birthdays.

Can you say spoiled animals?  Thank goodness for The Three Dog Bakery and their cakes which are a nice healthy treat (seriously!) for a big group of spoiled dogs like ours. And of course, each dog went home with a chunk to eat later. It freezes well too.

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Notice that it’s NASCAR on the TV behind Bruce, but once you get past that, you can see the dog birthday cake–and how Bruce is doing his best St. Francis imitation. All animals love him. Food has nothing to do with it…

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Notice how alert all of the animals are. As if Bruce might drop the cake. Or forget to pass it out. Dogs shown are: Godiva (behind Bruce), George, Mayhem (white dog), MJ (black and white). Not shown, but still very close by, are Polly, Guinness, and Bandit.

While today was all about partying for the dogs, today was about dirt for me. The soaked okra seeds were planted. Fingers crossed that the plants will grow and thrive since I’ve never grown okra before. More beet seeds were planted. Radishes were harvested — 10 today and more will be ready later this week. I will definitely replant as soon as I can since the French Breakfast radishes are fast growing and delicious.

Today was the day when all of the fall arugula and almost all of the kale got pulled out. It’s a little sad to say goodbye to plants that produced so well and kept us in salad greens for so long, but it’s time to move on to more spring crops. And I will definitely plant Nero kale again. So pretty and so productive. Arugula was a treat since a small packet of seeds gave us so much. It’s also neat to taste it at various points in its lifecycle. Today’s batch is almost too peppery. But it’s a taste to remember until cool weather comes again.

Spring is definitely here with warm weather (70°s this weekend) and cool breezes. It’s the time when day-to-day, the urban farm changes dramatically. The tomatoes, peas, and beans are remarkable right now and it seems like they are gaining inches every day. The lettuce and bok choi are cranking away. There are ladybugs and bees hanging out.

It’s exciting because every day is a surprise in the urban farm.

But it’s the same with “real life” as well. It’s a series of surprises and delights filled with daily shock and awe. As long as I choose to look for them.

Wishing you a good week and again, thank you for reading.

Sow/So: typical Saturday

Today started with more great news for the Gs: a new friend. Our neighbors Joy and Art came by with their Boston Terrier Ronnie and their new addition, a 10-year old Boston named Tux that joined their family yesterday. Tux’s story is sad, but has a very happy ending. She was “discarded” by a dentist and a nurse who felt that since they were moving that their lifestyle no longer included their senior dog. A pox on them! Rotten humans.

But little did Tux know that she has won the dog lottery. Sofa sleeping! Long walks! Play time with her pals the Gs! Delicious treats! Love and affection! She’ll forget about her old people in no time after a few more days with Joy and Art. And the Gs made her feel right at home with plenty of butt sniffing and racing around.

Next, the Gs insisted on a walk—and met more new friends. We ran into a couple with three dogs— 2 goldens and a Heinz-57 type pup. They were happy to see another couple with three largish beasts in tow. Seems they found the youngest last month and when no one claimed her, they decided to make her a permanent part of the family. All 6 dogs had a nice time sniffing each other. We hope we see them in the park again soon.

Time for a ride in the truck to see the nice lady at the dry cleaners. She always loves it when Bruce brings the dogs with her so we decided to give her a G-fix.

Next it was off to North Haven Gardens to locate some okra. No dogs are allowed inside, but the Gs enjoy the ride over to the nursery. While they were out of okra transplants I got plenty of seeds and a globe artichoke (yum), a dragon’s egg cucumber, and some purple fountain grass. The okra is soaking for planting tomorrow—so are some additional beet seeds. Artichoke and cucumber are planted, so is the fountain grass. I also transplanted the hydrangea into a large container on the patio.

Then the fun could finally begin: the office desk wall. Eventually it will be painted orange and gray, but today it was just about getting the planks and shelves up.

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one shelf in place, adding planks and metal trim to the feature wall. bottom’s done!

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second shelf added, more planks added. by tomorrow there will be planks and trim to the top of the bump out and wood cladding around the lights. we’ll be ready for the groovy gray and orange paint once that’s all done.

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close up to show metal trim detail…and random tools

We’re not done with the wall job, but we feel like we can bust the rest out tomorrow am since we’re getting up early. We’re also doing the same detail on the wall where we’ve built a cabinet to house tv-related stuff.

And we have to get it done early. The Gs have another scheduled playdate and will be meeting a new puppy friend named Mayhem (pittie cross) and hanging out with their old friends Polly (chihuahua), MJ (Boston), and Bandit (a big question mark of a tiny dog) so we are on a deadline!

Speaking of Gs, George the big power tool fraidy cat, seems to have gotten over his fears. He enjoyed snoozing while we were working today.

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sleepy time George

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gratuitous sleeping George closeup. isn’t he cute?

As you can imagine, the Gs are exhausted after a dog-filled weekend (don’t tell them, they’re all getting baths tomorrow night). So are we. Goodnight y’all.