Sunday, September 28, 2014

"F" is for . . .

free fall. All of a sudden it's autumn: The nights are chilly and the cool cotton sheets have been changed to warm, cozy flannel. The days are getting shorter and outdoor activities have being replaced with indoor . . . knitting.

Last week, I knitted up an easy-peasy-but-looks-complicated hat. It was a free pattern, knitted with the lovingly soft Leché yarn in color Mocha; it will make a nice chemo hat for my friend, David.

foodie fest. This weekend is Sunset Magazine's "Savor the Central Coast" event. I love the idea that folks come from near and far to hang out at Santa Margarita ranch to be wined and dined. As the crow flies the Ranch is just a little bit over yonder.

fun fur and novelty yarns. I've got a box of eight comfort scarves ready to be mailed. The magic ball scarves have been on the knitting needles for several months. So, yay, for finishing. (And, yes, I've already received another box to knit up.)

a fond farewell. We were saddened to read in the newspaper that the Templeton Livestock Market will be closing. The last auction will be held this Saturday. The property was sold in August, and after 70 years, the Market is closing to make way for a housing development. Since Hoover's Beef Palace Restaurant is also on the property they'll be needing to vacate as well. I've been wanting to eat at a Beef Palace for a while now (how could you not?). I guess we'd better make it quick, er, fast.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bone Dry

It's been two weeks since the unfortunate Milk-Bone incident. The dogs have been getting along as if they never tried to tear one another apart: they eat their meals together and play nice-nice with a single tennis ball or rope toy. I gotta say we do stop the activity if they seem to be getting too rambunctious, i.e. Mele starts getting a glazed "I am Wolf" look in her eyes. And now that we've banned the evil dog biscuits we're pretty sure we're on the road to being a harmonious human and dog pack again.

So a few days ago we took the dogs out for a fun day. Mele still has her stitches and is wearing my old t-shirt but it's a heck-of-a-lot better than an E-collar.

Mele and the cone of shame

Mele did get a couple of double takes from passersby. Personally, I think she's going to look naked without her blue t-shirt.

So, anyway, there we were driving down our driveway and we quickly realized that Mattie was not accustomed to riding in the back of a truck. Even with a shortened leash she was all over the bed of the truck and hanging precariously over the side. After several unsuccessful leash adjustments we turned around and headed home. We hadn't even made it out onto the main road. After considering different alternatives The Man set up the Goaty Boy's crate in the back of his truck and off we went.

On the drive to Morro Bay we passed groves of avocado trees that had been stumped and painted white. The cutting back preserves the trees and the paint protects it from rot. When the rains come it will take three to four years before the trees start to fruit again. The local farmers are running out of water and conserving their resources.

And the surrounding hills are brown, brown, brown.

We stopped at Morro Bay beach for a look-see but opted for Cayucos' dog park so the dogs could be off leash in a fenced area. We weren't sure about Mattie's social skills around other dogs but, phew, we breathed a sigh of relief when she allowed another dog to "steal" her thrown tennis ball. She then went to the watering area and drank with Mele and the two other dogs present. No fuss, no muss. What a good girl.

On the way home we stopped at Atascadero Lake. It's dry, dry, dry. Not a drop of water left. There's shrubbery where there should be water. And gravel where there should be birds.

We need rain, rain, rain.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just Food

This week I tried a simple recipe, Fresh Tomato Tart ~

Heirloom tomatoes from our CSA box and our own vine-ripened cherry tomatoes.

A teeny-tiny* bit of caramelized (okay slightly blackened) red onions from our neighbor, Matt's garden. (*A couple of tablespoons because The Man doesn't care for the long-lingering (burp) taste of onions.)

The cheese was whatever I had on hand - swiss, cheddar, and parmesan.

Trader Joe's frozen pie crusts.

Just before serving a sprinkle of fresh basil from our herb garden. (I say "garden" loosely.)

Yes, this week, just food … no drama.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Milk-Bone Incident

It's been two weeks since we brought Mattie home from the animal shelter. Integrating her into the family unit has been progressing smoothly:

  • Mattie gets an early morning work-out walk which helps to drain some of her mindful energy. Thataway, she doesn't stare down the Goaty Boys or bothers them with unnecessary (and unwanted) herding.
  • The Girls' free-ranging routine has been restricted to the time Mattie is on leash. Interestingly, after an hour of checking out their old stomping pecking grounds they all head back to the pen. It's a breeze to coax them back into the enclosure with a breakfast of produce trimmings and a few handfuls of the Goaty Boys' COB (Corn-Oat-Barley with molasses) sweet treat.
  • Introducing Molly has met a little hiccup due to her injuring her back leg. She's being rehabbed in the downstairs hallway/bathroom. Though the dog and cat did have several opportunities to meet one another nose-to-nose. They looked calmly at one another. A good sign.
  • The two dogs have been getting along like best buddies. They play with the same ball. Wait patiently after dinner to lick the other dog's bowl. 

Happier times (Mele on back)

Sigh. Till this morning's Milk-Bone dog biscuit fiasco. For the record, The Man has said he's told me "at least a dozen times not to give Mele dog treats. She can't handle it."

So the (mis)treat this morning led to a serious dog fight, Mele being the instigator, an emergency visit to the pet hospital, and a $$$ vet bill. This afternoon we picked up a groggy Mele, stitches and drains in the 2" round laceration - the worst of her multiple wounds. The other lacerations and punctures were cleaned but didn't require stitches. She looked a heck-of-a-lot worse coming home than when we took her in.

Worse for wear.

Mattie sustained only a few scrapes owing to a thick double coat and being younger and stronger.

Needless to say all dog treats are permanently banned.

And that includes anything worth fighting over.

Tomorrow . . . the E-Collar (cone of shame).