We have endured what seems to be weeks of rain of the Noah’s Ark Deluge variety. Standing water in the driveway and the backyard make walking anywhere a guarantee of soaked shoes, socks, and pant legs. The nearby dog park has standing water and where it is not water, it is mud–and lots of it.
I sweep my breakfast room and kitchen daily from the dirt tracked in by Toby and Dora–it is very much like having three little boys running in and out. But what’s a little—or a lot—of dirt?
Toby and Dora have twice daily or sometimes thrice daily dog park adventures–Border collies need to be kept busy, busy, busy or they will find something to do–like dig out underneath the porch or what is on the other side of the fence?
I usually stay home but after a run to the recycling center and a check on the bees and with sopping wet feet I spent some time at the dog park trying to capture some candid shots. More photos of the two dogs are on smugmug here–they have their own gallery under family. https://sylviaweirphotos.smugmug.com/Family/Toby-and-Dora/
Meet Rosie–a rescue from a shelter who is now living with our oldest son in Burleson TX. She is a sweet dog that is not nearly so active as Toby. She learned that tennis balls were things to pick up and carry around–especially the squeaky ones. Frisbees were a chew toy though–but she is not even a year old yet.
I painted his new office/study/library—can you guess what school he went to?
The paint store clerk matched it from his notebook.
The hot water heater had a broken element—drained water heater–without neighbors calling water department to report a leak.
Rosie discovered two little girls next door and broke through the fence to go play with them—so a woven wire fence went around the base of the fence amd the neighbor replaced some pickets as well.
We talked about a garden and I suggested some pots with some wire around it until he could figure out where the best place for it would be.
Our two dogs–Toby and Dora were very well behaved on the trip up and back–Toby was sure she was supposed to be top dog even though she knew she was a guest—so a few kerfluffles but no blood drawn, just a lot of rolling around and a lot of bits of grass on their fur.
I’ve been called ‘honey’ and ‘darling’ by southern gentlemen in Georgia and Texas and never minded even though it was a business venture or a not so intimate encounter. Some women really minded but I didn’t.
However, I digress.
yesterday I went to my shop to mow the back–I had been dreading this as the weeds had really gotten out of control due to our prolific rains. My little garden tractor just could not see its way clear to mow through eight inches of water. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the neighboring huge field with the big brush hogs had mowed that section for me. I still had to mow but it was so much easier than the bit that I had done.
And then I decided to tackle the bee hive. I donned my bee suit, and fired up the smoker—after several attempts. Smoked those bees, lifted the top cover…then the inner cover–hive tool is vital in prying things apart. Then removed four frames that were dripping with honey, brushed off as many bees as I could with my gloves–some kept sneaking back–and then put them in a new Hefty tub bought just for that purpose. I could hardly lift that tub–and that was only half of my frames.
Put that tub on front porch, consulted bee experts, and went back, brushed off the few remaining bees and brought it home. Uncapped the honey and let it drain into two roaster pans, then strained it. And bottled it this morning–scrambling for enough jars to hold it all—–and baked some fresh bread to have for breakfast this morning with my newly harvested honey.
I accomplished this by myself–but advice from all the professional and experienced beekeepers was muchly appreciated—and now my keyboard is sticky with honey like most of my kitchen.
One of the dogs helped by licking the honey that dripped on the side of the counter and off onto the floor—a mopping is in the very near future.
There is a very nice dog park in our neighborhood. People bring their dogs to play–a set of posts with chains to set at different levels to jump over, a tunnel to run through, a ramp, and a dog watering dish along with a post with a supply of poopy bags. Little dogs can go on one side while big dogs on the other although if no-one else is there you can choose either side.
Toby and Dora love going to the dog park. Whenever Glen opens his car door–they immediately jump in and are ready to go. Toby likes to driver while Dora needs to alert Glen of the presence of people walking, people on bicycles and the really horrible people that are on skateboards–by barking in his ear.
People know each other by their dogs’ names-==and it is a good place to hear all the news about the neighborhood.
However, for the past six weeks or so, everyone noticed a brown puppy hanging around—he was thin–and everyone started giving him food. Glen would take him into the park and let him play–and of course get treats. He talked about him so much–I told him he either had to bring the dog home or stop talking about him.
So now we have a third dog–He has had his first set of shots, treatment for fleas and heartworm—and his ‘procedure’ as my mother would have called it. He is still a puppy and annoys Toby mostly–he leaves Dora alone because she will nip or growl. All three are very protective of Glen—a good thing.
However, my good friend in Wisconsin who has been dogless since last summer will take him on–with peace of some sort returning to our household.
Here he is:
Doc Browne–Back to the Future!
Today is Mother’s Day. I am rather lonesome today; my sons are all away, one working a turn-around, another on the East Coast, another one busy with his family, and a spouse busily planting his garden on my farm. Our instructions this week were to take unusual photos of our loved ones. The photos have to be taken that week, no cheating and using previous photos.
So I did the best I could—photos of my two dogs.
Each morning when I leave for work, they station themselves at the fence with their noses and one paw each sticking out,, the one eye visible expressing great sorrow at my leaving.
Here are my two fur babies–Toby and Dora.
Toby and Dora playing in the surf on an overcast day
The beach in the wintertime is always delightful. There are rarely many people there and last week was no exception. We wanted to compare it to the one we had just left in Florida. The shells are different–still mostly broken up pieces. The dogs loved it, racing up and down and then exploring the dune area. The dunes are much shorter than before Hurricane Rita and it looks odd to drive along the beach road and see the ocean. A few shorebirds danced along the water’s edge collecting something for their midmorning snack. The dogs were sopping wet by the time we left and Dora slept most of the way back. Toby is like an energizer bunny and never seems to run out of energy.
Traditionally cats are the ones discovering balls of yarn, unrolling and tangling up—–but Toby, our border collie mix prowled through one of my baskets and pulled out a ball of yarn and promptly tangled it all up. It wasn’t as if that ball of yarn was sitting out with a pair of knitting needles and readily visible. She had to dig for it=–and selected this one from several.
Weaving has always fascinated me-===from the time I was about eight and was allowed to sit at my great-grandmother’s floor loom and weave rag strips into rag rugs. My grandmother at some point wanted her dining room back and so asked my mother if she wanted the loom–Mom said no—I cried–and Dad told me later that she regretted that decision. Looms can be broken down into bundles of sticks that don’t take up much room–but our little house was packed with six children and all their assorted belongings.
I had looked for used looms in various places, finally discovered a rigid heddle loom on ebay–promptly bought it and a book–but was totally confused as to how the warp it—and without a warp there can be no weaving. Several years passed and I discovered a yarn shop in Old Spring that taught heddle weaving—I was the first on the list to sign up and learned on one of their looms. I knew the basics of weaving from a college class in weaving but the warping is different—this uses a warping peg.
Now I had to order some equipment–warping pegs, sley hooks, a ball winder and a swift–all needed to change hanks of yarn into balls of yarn for use.
It has all been sitting on a chair in the dining room–and today I decided to give warping a try.
This is a Beka Loom—and after some fiddling with clamps to fasten it to the table–I don’t think I have that quite right yet, I now have my first warp on the loom. It is very back intensive work–and so the fun part of weaving will have to wait–but I’m pleased.
I worked on my dining room table and could have had a longer warp but i could not pull the table apart any more–it has six more leaves to go in it–but this was as much as I could make it stretch. And yes that is three boxes of dog treats in the background–one for balls and frisbees, one for treats and meds and the third one for biscuits.
Border Collies are known as one of the smartest breeds–they are also mischievous, devious, and always surprising. This morning, Toby disappeared upstairs while I ate a piece of toast and had a cup of coffee. Dora, who is Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix was quite content to lie underneath the dining room table enjoying the Air Conditioning. Somehow Toby investigated everything upstairs and decided she would chew up a small bag of buttons–who would ever guess she would want to eat buttons?
I did count them and there are none missing–just several that are too mangled for use.
Sometimes I think Toby and Dora were two eight year old boys in a former life. They rush past me to jump on my bed and two days ago while I was at the computer paying just one bill, they attacked Glen’s pillow and turned into a mountain of fluff that I am still picking up. Proudly they carried the torn pillowcase between the two of them into me working at the computer. Later I also learned that they had each peed on my bed–a discovery I made as I was preparing to crawl into bed. Yesterday was a day at the laundromat washing the quilts in their commercial washers and dryers.