Sunday morning. Oh how I love my relaxed cup of coffee in the barn with Karen.
I’ve discovered that we get up way earlier than the birds. Pete, our hummingbird, is always up when we go out, but the rest of the birds are a lazy bunch. One by one we watch as they come out of their hidey holes to stretch their wings and grab a few nibbles of seed. Inevitably, once the birds show up, the boys get up off of their cushions in the barn and continually disturb the ground feeders.
I often threaten Zip and Timber that if they don’t stop it, they don’t get to go to the barn for coffee. I fear they would be highly disappointed and I don’t want to do that to them.
The fenced area behind them is our 30 x 30′ garden area patiently waiting for spring. The wine barrels will be filled with flowers. On the outside we can have dog safe, on the inside we’ll have flowers that the hummingbirds go wild for. I hope. Up and down the fencing we’ll plant runner beans. The hummingbirds loved the runner bean flowers last summer.
Right now the ground is sopping wet. By the time we finished with coffee this morning those eight snowy white paws were blackened up to their hocks with mud.
Today was much better for Zippy. Thank goodness. That boy had me pretty worried yesterday.
He ate his breakfast, not with a whole lot of enthusiasm, but he at. I told him he was going to have to spend another day at the vet clinic without me if he didn’t turn things around.
He was quite cute at the vet clinic. He was thrilled to get in the car to go somewhere, happy to trot into the clinic. Once the vet came in, he nearly climbed into my skin and there was no way he was going to go anywhere with the vet tech.
I walked him back to the X-ray room, gave him a kiss and told him I would be just outside the room, but instead he made a beeline for the other door to go out. Reluctantly, I left him. If things weren’t moving through his bowel, we had to know.
The vet took a look at his X-rays, said he was doing great and they pulled his catheter. He was ever so happy to see me.
Tonight he was my sous chef as I prepared the meals. It’s difficult around here these days because some want me to hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, extra mustard… Anyway, I fixed his meal to perfection with his coaxing and he ate it all.
Step two, prevent the borzoi from eating the bird seed the starlings don’t want to eat.
We love watching the birds. They entertain us for hours. We’ve been recently overthrown by the European starling society. They are truly beautiful birds and they are quite entertaining to watch, but when they call them bully birds, they are kinda right. The worst part is the mess they make. They have quite a selective palette. And what they don’t like they pick out and throw to the ground.
And, what they throw to the ground is wonderful for the ground feeders, but we aren’t crazy about the dogs consuming the seeds.
It seems like we are always evolving our methods. Tonight we have round fire pit grates covering the openings of the wine barrels. Tomorrow we are switching to safflower seed because that is not part of the must-have starling diet.
So many changes happened around here in the last year, I’m not even sure where to begin. I guess I will start with the happy stories.
We started a garden again. It was, to say the least delightful to watch the plants grow and produce. The tomato bushes went bananas, the pepper plants did really well, the lemon cukes were over the top. The pumpkins were sad, the butternut squash clearly didn’t like where we planted them and the cantelope produced three lovely, very flavorful melons. At least I think all three were flavorful. The grand dogs got into that part of the garden and helped themselves.
We put in a small barn to store some of the garden implements, but I don’t think it will be used for that. Since the end of October when it went in, we have gone out every chance we could get and sat at the little bistro table and enjoyed our coffee. I think we might have to put in a small garden shed. The red barn is now responsible for coffee and photo backdrop.
We had the good fortune to have multiple visits from our grand dogs this summer. Holly added a long-haired blue Weimaraner to her pack. An eight-week old puppy boy came into their lives in February. He needed the acre to stretch his legs and wear off some of that puppy energy.
Mav also learned where the carrots were planted in the garden. No fence is too tall for this little munchkin and he loves the carrots.
Just before Christmas this year we got snow. It was magical and despite the cold, I loved every minute. Once again, the barn provided a perfect backdrop for a winter scene with the grand dogs.
I have always thought that having litter mates was magical. There is a special connection that litter mates have, unlike any other.
Jillian and Slinky have been together since the beginning. They raced together and in the racing kennel, they lived side by side. When it was time for them to be adopted, they came to us so that they would always and forever be together.
While we were on vacation, Slinky gave us quite a scare. Our vet tech raced up to the kennel and got her back to our vet. She’s fine now, but she really had a worried for awhile. The twins turned 13 in May.
Timber came to Oregon as a young pup and Zippy stayed in Florida. Months before their fourth birthday, Zippy came to Oregon. The two connected just like they had always been together and never apart. I was out in the back yard with them tonight and after a little wandering, this is where they landed. Side by side. Just like they had always been together.
And now, Sage and Glory have joined the pack. Just barely five months old, the two babies are two peas in a pod. Completely inseparable.
In February we thought we might like to sell the house and the acre. After looking around, we quickly realized that what we wanted just didn’t exist, so, we went to work updating our house.
For the longest time, I have been in love with crown molding. Keep in mind that neither of us our super handy, Karen more so than me.
For two months we were without window coverings. The big window is 10.5 feet wide. It was nearly impossible to find fabrics that were wide enough and worked in roller shades. The roller shades made the most sense so that we could roll them up and the doggies could see out the windows. We had the perfect fabric picked out only to find out a month later that it didn’t come wide enough. We called it our happy accident because we absolutely love our second choice.
New sofa’s were in order and we both wanted leather. This one is a sofa sleeper the other had two recliners on each end. It seems odd to order two new sofas and then keep them covered with blankets all of the time.
And this is where I spend a good deal of my time at home. The love seat is a treasure we found at the Goodwill and the dogs love taking turns lying on it when I am working. Except for refacing the fireplace at a later date, the these two rooms are done. Finally. All dog friendly.
I am also officially half way through a portrait class I’m taking. It consumes an amazing amount of time, but I love it.
And… yes, we are still preparing for Timber’s big surprise this year. Stay tuned.
So happy to finally have the weekend! It’s been a really long week for some reason.
A few months ago we got this wild hair that it might be a good idea to sell the acre and move a little more out to the country. But after going to a few open houses and seeing what was available, we decided our little acre one mile from our vet, one mile from the e-vet and one and half miles from my work looked pretty darn good.
Then, we decided it was time to do some updating. For about three weeks now, we’ve been painting, we’ve ordered new window coverings, put in new baseboards and this weekend, we’re going to put up crown molding. Painting the ceiling was a pain in the back, the neck and the arms. I can only imagine what the crown molding will be like, but I am so excited.
Last week we had to enjoy the visit of a plumber. Apparently we’ll be spending some quality time and bank account with them before we can tackle the kitchen.