Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sad news the other day, a lovely dog friend passed away. Back in my real early twenties I was hanging hard on Vine Street with an awesome crew of friends. Nova was just as important a fixture as anyone else, good dog.

Casey and Mary had a little rememberance get-together last night, we took Nova's ashes for a last walk to Libby Hill, which was her favorite Church Hill spot to roll in grass.

We told stories and joked about old times, then we all helped Casey spread her ashes down the hill.

Poured out a little cold beer for her, then celebrated her life with her favorite food, plain cheeseburgers.

Loss is never easy, and I can only hope Casey, Mary, and Chopper are finding comfort in each other and in the support of friends. Its hard to lose a puppy friend that is with you every day, excited to see you, funny and sweet... they become a huge part of your family and I just would never wish that kind of loss on anyone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

left work friday with four days off looming on the horizon. heck yeah!

before i left, though, i got a care package from etsy in the mail! yippee! my friend jk was asking for some feedback on the way items are listed, on the tools sellers have to use, etc. i thought about it for a night and wrote a long response.

all kinds of cool things in that package to play with!

I took the pups for a good walk, even picked up a butterfly on the route. he was freshly dead, so i took him home and laid him flat to dry. i'll shadow box him for the house. actually, to be a nerd about it, its a female. so i'll shadow box her for the house.

the sunflowers i bought (the ones that egon bit in half the day i bought them) were just starting to let petals peek out...i knew that they'd be bursting soon. the black ones are my favorite...can't wait to save some seeds from those to grow again next year.

i started watching 'sons of anarchy' on netflix and got so so hooked, thats pretty much what i did for the rest of the evening. egon started having seizures around two am so i was up for most of the night, didn't really even get to sleep until about 6am. at least i got to spend my saturday morning next to these guys...

once i was up i got crackin on treats. was having a few folks over later that evening for a campfire/cookout kind of thing and wanted refreshments.

made some layered jello treats. they took forever because each layer had to set for 30 mintues, even the whipped cream. so complicated.
hung out all evening by the fire.

egon had seizures saturday very early in the morning and we were keeping a really close eye on him. two months clear, but he was acting SUPER weird all day and we knew we weren't out of the woods.
sure enough around midnight thirty, he had another one. at least only one of my really close friends was there to see it, i know that kind of thing isn't pleasant to witness at all. poor little buddy, we're sort of at the end of treament at our vet, have to move forward with a neurologist if he has more anytime soon.

sunday we spent the day recuperating. i started working on a little sewing project for a friend. a lovely lady named nova just passed away, quietly.

nova was a really good dog. she taught me how delicious soft puppy dog ears could be. she used to catch flies out of the air like a ninja. she was a constant fixture at a house i spent a lot of time hanging out with, and was a part of the crew just as much as anyone else was. its so sad to see a friend hurt, i can only hope casey is finding some comfort in the outreach from friends.

finished up nova on tuesday.

monday was birthday day, and i spent it on all kinds of awesome adventures. i went to FRIDAYS for lunch (seriously!) and andrew took me to rainbow for some shopping. went to petsmart, and lowes, then headed home and filled the birdfeeders. yippee!

checked the garden and found a teeny mantis, hopefully patrolling for aphids. good luck for 31!

sunflowers were fully in bloom. so pretty to see!

the rest of the garden is gardening pretty hard. beans and tomatos are popping off, my one summer squash is just friggin huge and producing like crazy. gonna be getting cukes very soon. not bad for such a late start and ridiculous battle with nature.

took the bostons on a swimming adventure, i'd picked up a little life preserver and wanted to test it out. egon swims like a beaver, so well, he loved it. dottie was not feelin it, and was happiest to sit on the shore. defintely was not happy to be swimming around.

after swimming they were wiped out. andrew took me for a nice long drive in the travco while the pups slept.

rode out east to where the james river gets super wide. caught dinner at a neat little seafood restuarant. got to eat on a second floor balcony, and kind of watch the sunset get bigger and better til dark. super fun.

inside the restuarant was lodge-like...a really cool buidling. i'd love to live in a big single room space like this one day.

birthday was fun, adventures were awesome, and i had a really good time even though mr. egon got a kind of bummer prognosis. high hopes!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Woah. I found some legs in the trash this week at work!

It was pretty unexpected...threw open the trashcan lid to find an oddly-positioned pair of legs. Hm. Art school move-out time always brings out the bizarre trash.
Saturday after I left work I had a few minutes to kill before I met a lady about an internship as a soap maker. I stopped by lamplighter for a fast cup of iced coffee. While I was there, Andrew called me in a little bit of a panic.

Dottie had been stung by a bee in the yard and was having a very severe allergic reaction. She swelled up, vomited, peed, and then laid down, starting to make weird movements with her body and legs. He gave her half a benadryl (roughly 12 mg for a 14 lb dog) and kept a watchful eye on her while I interviewed.

Poor little bean, she was still showing some effects of the sting for the rest of the day. She couldn't keep food down, or water, and kept frantically eating grass when I let her out into the yard...then she'd just ralph it all up.

We sat out into the evening by the campfire. We were planning on having a little cookout for her birthday but after she got stung and blew up, I didn't bother texting around much to let folks know. Just on the chance that we would have to split to the emergency vet, it would have been good to not have a bunch of folks over.

She hung in there for the rest of the night, but at 230am, when the benadryl wore off, she blew up AGAIN. She started barrel rolling and scratching frantically, her ears started to swell and they were very hot...I jumped up from bed and gave her another half a benadryl tab and hung out with her while it absorbed and started to work.

Fifteen minutes or so after I gave it to her, she threw up. Knowing it had to be done, I dug the half digested pill out of it and put it on a piece of dog food. She ate it right back down. Ugh, I've done more super gross things since I own dogs. But again, after about thirty minutes, the swelling wasn't getting worse and she was able to sleep. I stayed up monitoring her breathing until about 4am, then finally called it a night. Sheesh, man.

The next morning I jumped up early to knock out some projects.

Did a little more weeding in the garden while the dogs got real comfortable in the sunny yard.

I put the pups inside and gasolined a yellow jacket nest I had in the yard. I really was hoping I could just leave it alone, but based on Dotties near anaphlactic shock reaction, I'm not gonna chance it again. Yellow Jackets suck anyway, they're not pollinators, they're predatory wasps. So I don't feel that bad.
Sunday was pretty chill. Fathers Day, nbd. I worked in the garden a little, weeding, then started cleaning house. Andrew had a slow leak in his truck tire and we'd noticed a screw buried in one of the tires of the Travco. We called around til we found a shop open on Sundays, then pulled the Travco wheel. Drove it over to the shop and left em both to get plugged/patched.

Took the dogs to Andrews parents house with the intention of continuing the adventure to a close by river afterward for swimming. I ordered a dog life jacket for the Bostons (wasn't sure how sizing would work but it fits em both) and wanted to check it out. The auto shop was closing and we were still out in the west end. Rushed back to the northside to the shop so we could get the truck, then because we were practically back in the city, stopped by the kayak landing at 14th. It was pretty gross, water wise, and there were a ton of raft teams taking out at the landing so it just was not pleasant. Took the dogs back home and porched for a little while. It was so pretty outside.

Monday I had a photoshoot appointment with my friend Ellen.

I drove the Travco into Church Hill to pick up a friend, then rolled down to the floodwall.

Spent a few hours walking all around the flood wall, train yard, under the manchester bridge, and down at the manchester climbing wall.

Can't wait to see edits.

I even found a geocache while we were down near the trains!

After the photoshoot I ran a few errands, bought a knife sharpener (how exciting!) Came home and tried to finish up some yardwork that was hangin from the week.
Andrew trimmed the Mulberry tree that was covering a lot of my garden area. He was cutting it down into smaller sections of stick/brush Sunday morning but snipped his finger and near took the tip off. Needless to say he took a breather from it to tape his finger back together. Barf.

I crammed as much into my wagon as I could (which actually ended up being most of it), then made two trips to the dump with it.
I should never be allowed to go to the dump alone, I always bring stuff (junk) back. I picked up a bunch of nice, precut sections of green bamboo while I was there this time. I figure I'll use em in the garden for a trellace or even a gate to keep the dogs out.

After the dump I took the Bostons to the park to play. As we were leaving, I heard a bunch of real weird noise over near the curb. Went closer to see what it was - turns out a HUGE cicadia killer wasp had caught a massive dragonfly and was in the process of killing/eating him.

The wasp was literally eating him while he was still alive.

Friggin brutal!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

finally, two weeks later, i'm not sick anymore!
saturday i came home from work and jumped right back in the travco for an adventure to the river. i'd been talking about taking the dogs swimming and andrew was game. i wanted to see if dottie was a swimmer, since she's been mostly wading in water before.
as a joke about everyone needing a bathing suit, i put dotties old bloomer style pants on from when she was a puppy and went into heat before i got her fixed.
clearly she loves them.

after all that tumbling and rolling around, she took off into the bathroom and out of total craziness, pooped the pants. i called her to see where she'd run off to (honestly to take the pants off so we could go) and as she came running out of the bathroom, a little turd tumbled out of the pants and onto the floor. they were falling out of the hole that would be occupied by her tail if she had more than a tiny nub. andrew took off, a couple more logs hit the floor, and i was so grossed out but laughing so hard. so nasty! she's ridiculous.
got her and the floor cleaned up, pitched the pants in the trash, and we left after she got a butt wash.
we drove around for a good while, trying to come up with a good spot to take the dogs that was both quiet but where the water was deep but not too quickly moving, but also not stagnant.

egon swims like a little beaver, he wades right in and just starts swimming. dottie tends to let the reflective surface of the water freak her out, but she's so determined to come to you in the water that she'll just LEAP to you, splash, and swim your way.

it was a nice trip, all dogs got to do some swimmin, and they were BEAT afterward. so tired, they were like little zombies on the ride home. just sitting next to each other, eyes all squinty and slow-blinking, and just swaying as the RV chugged down the road.

the travco is so awesome. it has little floor vent windows that crank open and channel wind inside...makes for a great dog window! Mr Egon found it to be his favorite spot to sit.

once home, we showered and went out to the backyard to prep a good campfire. it was perfect weather outside, and we both just wanted to sit and relax.

i made a fine foods run and got chips and treats, we cooked hotdogs and ate em in the shed. i don't know why hanging out in the garage is so fun but it is. it was much cooler outside. after a lot of running around and being crazy, dottie was ready to simmer down and sleep.

we sat out for a long time, burning off bits of tree stump we're still working on getting out of the ground. roots, chunks of trunk, and other random sticks and branches all get burned.
hatched a plan to pour a big slab around the firepit area...easiest way to keep grass away from it!

heard some rustling in the trees and watched our owl friend fly to another tree, lurking us all night. he sat in a close by tree, we could hear him rustling around in the branches. creep!

sure enough, there was evidence the next morning. a nice big flight feather!
worked in the garden area until it was too hot to be in the sun any longer. andrew tilled around our stump and after much digging, we finally got the old clothesline pole anchor out of the ground. seriously, they really didn't want that thing to go anywhere. three feet of concrete, held in place by wet clay. what a pain.

andrew tilled up a stag beetle, unfortunately half of it. it was super creepy, lurching all around, half of it intact. eeep!

after all that work, we were both feeling pretty beat. i went over to pats for some hydrotherapy, Vi bought a couple bushels of crabs and everyone was hanging out.

relaxed poolside, caught up with some friends, and headed homeward. again the late afternoon was so cool, it was hard to be inside. the guys had gone saturday morning and done a ton of work on the brownway, and andrew wanted to show it off.
took the MTBs out for a nice spin.

rode to the new skills course that is in the process of being built under the belle isle bridge. we scooted across the belvidere bridge to avoid the xterra crowd, then hit buttermilk. rode to reedy creek then took the fire road back to belle isle and came in from the southside.

the skills course is awesome! all levels of rock gardens, drops, a couple pump tracks, and lots more to come. really rad.
headed back into the city through the trainyard, then rode the floodwall homeward.

a really nice sunset, one of my favorite spots in richmond. you can see most of the urban bridges, the whole cityscape, and most of the train lines that come into the area. i love it!

took the brownway back home a bit, then up and up into the heights and home!

we tried to go get mexican food, but our favorite nearby spot was closed. a little waffle house action was due, so we stopped for breakfast for dinner. nearly killed me.

monday was super busy, worked in the garden, knocked out a sewing commission for a resturant in philly, and hung with the dogs. idle's been a little sick and needed a watchful eye for the day, so i cleaned house and laid low. got myself ready for the work week, and here i am, back at the desk!
counting down the days til the weekend...dotties birthday is in two days and i think i'll have a cookout chiller for her. dawg party, yall!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

argh! i'm still sick! last night i had a crazy coughing fit that lasted for an hour, every breath lit up a tickle in my lungs that felt like i'd breathed in a bunch of heavy chlorinated pool water.

feeling a little better now but still have crazy lung going on. hoping that quits real soon.

this year has been a horrible garden year. i started seedlings and accidentally left them covered after they sprouted. they all wilted and died.
then i started a second round and the squirrels mauled them.
i planted seeds directly into tilled garden area, and slowly things sprouted...but the take off was super slow. again the birds and dogs moved things around a lot, squash sprouting in the middle of the tomato area, etc.
i bought plants online from a local guy, and the rabbits demoed all the squash literally overnight. all that was left were straw-like stalks of squash plants. they were making a strong recovery though, lots of new leaves and even some flowers when they (and the cucumbers in the cell next to them) met their ultimate fate via the lawnmower this weekend. dun dunn dunnnnnnnnn....


i spent a large portion of my sunday evening weeding and moving plants around to their correct plots. monday i got back in the garden to wax off a particularly stressful and frustrating day, and i knocked out a lot of work. i went off into the woods with a machete after a two hour waste of time at the dmv and cut down a bunch of cottonwood trees, brought em home and cut them down into a trellis for my beans. used the rest for tomato stakes (for now, til i get better ones).

sure enough, the rabbits revisited last night and ate up the baby squash i had growing...i could scream! its literally been one thing after another with these jerks. i guess i should be thankful that my beans and tomatos and carrots are coming along, and that maybe i'll get squash if i can keep the rabbits off it, and maybe i'll get cucumbers if some magic happens. AND i also have beets and chard and okra to be thankful for....its all still in very baby plant stage but at least ITS THERE. i think i'm gonna try to get the fence back up around the garden (it got taken down last week and the dogs smashed most of the tomato plants in a wrestling match, but i staked 'em all and they seem to be recovering) and hopefully that may help with the rabbit situation. hopefully, anyway.

i think i forgot to mention that i went to a really fabulous former coworker and lovely friend's birthday on saturday started off as a hotel motel partay
leslie had booked a really nice suite at a downtown hotel and filled it with treats for everyone. ON HER OWN BIRTHDAY. we all got together and primped hair and makeup, got our fancy outfit on, with intentions of going to dinner at some point.

there was so much food set out that everyone was snacking like crazy, leslie decided she didn't want to rush so she cancelled the dinner reservation. we rolled to the bar at a leisurely pace, i had the supreme honor of DD-ing the birthday girl and my excellent lady friend welsy around. i ate alligator for the first time with my friend charlene, who was threatening to barf on the bartender if he dared serve her bleu cheese dressing instead of ranch in which to dip this alligator. hilarious.
the alligator was good, definitely will revisit. my awful throaty sickness was making the night real rough, so i decided to split out. i had pretty much no voice left and it was getting loud in the bar, i had to yell and my voice was doing this old lady cigarette smoker thing, it was unattractive to say the least.

a fast group photo of nearby folks that i could grab (ah man, i forgot i took a group photo but thats on my camera, not phone) and i drove les, welsy, linda, and linda friend to 'off the hookah' for some serious booty shakin. the club was a real short walk away from the hotel, so they were set for then night. nothing like dropping the kids off, mom style, at a slammin club. it was hilarious.

what a fun night, excellent ladies (and gents) and hilarious times.