January’s calendar girl

Portrait of a greyhound
Portrait of a greyhound

Once again I got my calendar done just in the nick of time.

Sara has got to be the hardest greyhound I have ever photographed. She loves to be out in the yard with us, but the minute the camera is out, she is outta there.

Silly girl. She really is a little beauty. It’s hard to believe she turned 13 in November.

Tonight they belong in the barn

Two borzoi
Two borzoi
Out of the barn they came   

We’ve had freezing weather, snow, freezing rain and today a down pour. At least the temps hovered around 40°. The ground is still frozen and that translates to standing water. Lots of it. 

These two seem to be drawn to the deepest and muddiest puddles. Never fear however, they came right in the house, dried off and warmed up.

Is it any wonder that we have dust as high as the ceilings?

Step one, feed the birds

Two borzoi
Two borzoi
Timber and Zip   

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.


Snow day

Borzoi looking up
Borzoi looking up

The snow really came today. It was magical. We hunkered down in the barn and watched the dogs and the birds. The dogs watched the birds from outside of the barn.

Looks like it will probably warm up enough tomorrow to make it all go away. Darn it anyways, I love the snow.

Yesterday and tomorrow

Three borzoi running
Three borzoi running
The zoi runners   

This was one year ago. Sage, Glory and Zip running. We had such a lovely winter. Just enough rain, moderate temps.

Ice storm on the horizon

What gives with this weather? It was beautiful today, 36° and sunny. We have a full-blown winter weather warning. Snow in the morning, ice storm by evening and into Sunday. Banks have already announced that they would be closed tomorrow. The college campus is closed.

We are ready to hunker down with the hounds.


Longing for hot summer nights


We have had below freezing temps for over a week now. We still have snow on the ground from last weekend. That never ever happens in Oregon. When I went out at noon to refill the bird feeders I realized the ground was rock hard. We live on a bed of clay and expect that in the summer, but frozen clay in the winter? Nearly unheard of.

Bring back the summer nights.

The east coast grand dogs

Two Italian greyhounds
Italian greyhound

After Megan’s divorce, Lil J became Megan’s knight in shining armor. He got her through the darkest of days, the longest of nights. Last December a friend of mine in Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue had a ridgie coming back and they also had an Iggy. Megan offered to foster the little guy.


Italian greyhound

Cooper was 11 years old and the two boys got along perfectly. The foster part didn’t last long, Coop had found his home.

In April Megan was in NYC for a trade show. She came home and said “Mom, I’m moving to New York.” Grand idea I thought. Her job is in Portland and so is her family.

A week or two went by and Megan announced she was flying back to New York for a couple of job interviews. Awesome I thought. She has a job in Portland.

Another week or two passed and she called and said, “Mom, I leave for New York on June 21.” And then, she was outta here.

Two Italian greyhounds
Jericho and Cooper   

That is the story of my east coast grand dogs. One day they are on the west coast and the next day they are on the east coast.

What’s new in the gardens

Four borzoi
Four borzoi
Sage, Glory, Zip and Timber   

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.

puppy weimaraner jumping
Holly and Maverick   

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.

Two weimaraners and a lab
Maverick, Goldee and Autzen   

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.

A little winter magic

Borzoi and greyhound
Borzoi and greyhound
Sage and Sara  

There is a whole lot of magic going on in this photo. Sage the borzoi is our youngest dog and Sara is our oldest greyhound. And, it’s snowing in Salem.

Sara came to us after her owner unexpectedly died. She was almost 10 years old, separated from her sister and devastated. She’s very quiet and never asks for much. To this day I think she still misses her original owner.

She has however, really taken to the two borzoi pups. When they go outside, she is right at the door to go out with them. It’s quite sweet and we if that’s what Sara wants, that’s what Sara gets.

Launching. Again.

Greyhound leaping
Greyhound leaping
Leaping into a new year

I promised myself I would do a better job with Greyhound Gardens this year. So many changes in the pack in 2016. No new additions, but once again we had a few really tough losses. It took the wind out of my sails for a long time.

As we roll into the new year, all is well. Flocko turned 13 on December 22. He’s been on phenobarbital since 2008 for grand mal seizures and besides getting a little weak in the hind legs, he’s doing really well. He still has the appetite of a horse and when you are surrounded by a few finicky dogs, that is a blessing.