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Just checking in

On a sadly neglected blog.  I’m focusing a bit on other projects and that’s taken a lot of time.  Those projects being brewing mead, training my puppy, writing, and of course work.

New pup is settling in well!

And I should really blog more often.


Incoming puppy!  I’ll be picking him up on Monday.  This is a pup I’ve been waiting for two years for, and it was worth every day of it.  I’ll do a intro post when he arrives.  But, I’m reblogging this gem froom the Dog Snobs, because I need to read this repeatedly.  Also, if you haven’t discovered the Dog Snobs blog yet, you need to go there.  Now.

Also, buy more rum. For me, not the dogs.   I highly recommend Kraken.

Originally posted on The Dog Snobs:

As you may have heard, puppy fever has struck the Dog Snobs.

And the only cure is… shit I know this one

Clearly the only option for this is for the one of us to acquire said furry infant and the nominations are in. Fang is your Miss Dog Snob puppy Owner, 2014.

The eight tentacles would have come in handy. Damn underachieving childhood.

Aside from being incredibly annoying about the acquisition of said puppy, she’s been making list after list after list and generally being incredibly unwilling to discuss anything else for more than three minutes so you, dear minions can benefit from her obsessing (BusyBee and Potnoodle can attest to this…not that they mind…too much).

So you got a puppy, now what. Here’s a handy guide to doing what you should already know before you got said puppy in the first place.

Pick a name

What's in a name? Murder. What’s in…

View original 1,031 more words

This blog post about the Twelve Habits of Happy Healthy People is brilliant.  Pure poetry.   I read this and laughed my ass off.

I get a fair number of those inspirational posts on social media too.  The ones with laughing women, happy kids, puppies, tropical beaches, and yoga.  According to those memes, yoga is the secret to happiness, especially if it’s on a beach and done by a blonde.  You get bonus points if you include a laughing child or a puppy.

Bonus points.  A dogue.

Bonus points. A dogue.

I’m sure those inspirational posts have their uses for folks.  If seeing a couple kissing passionately on a beach inspires you to run out and tackle life (or tackle your significant other), then go for it.

Me?  I like the other blog’s advice on finding inner peace.  Do whatever the fuck you want.  If I need a pick me up, I’ll go meet a few friends for a beer, curl up on my couch with the entire collection of X-men movies, or take my dog out for a walk in the woods.  I’ll cram all my backpacking shit into my pack and go hiking, including the Nalgene full of rum and assorted fruit juices.  I won’t feel ashamed about it, and neither should you… not even if your movie of choice is Twilight.

Let’s be honest, seeing a couple of strangers dancing through a field with some sunshine up the ass happy message doesn’t do shit for me.

Unless they have rum.  If so, will they share it with me?  Yes?  Now that’s a testament to the innate kindness of people.

Sleeping Otters

Sleeping Otters

Just because.


(otters courtesy of the Seattle aquarium)

It’s entirely possible that there won’t be an epic tomatoes 2014 edition.  The outdoor growing season here is very short, and I will probably give one pot of cherry tomatoes a try to see how it goes.  I’m switching my gardening plants.  One of my projects for this summer is to get an indoor herb garden going.  I also bought some lettuces that I’m growing in large bowls.  Spinach, some kind of red leafed lettuce, other baby lettuces, and possibly bok choy.  I picked them all out from a bin at the store where I buy my mead brewing supplies.  They do a lot with hydroponics and had some nice started lettuces.

Here’s the bowls and pots I’m using.  They come in a bunch of different colors and are made out of bamboo.  They’re slated to last 3-5 years.  They also won’t shatter into a half dozen pieces like those clay pots do when you accidentally drop one on the kitchen floor.  Hint:  if you want to drop a clay pot on the floor to see what happens, make sure it isn’t already filled with dirt.  Trust me on that one.


For the herbs, I’ve got:

  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon Balm
  • Sacred Basil

They’re all tolerant of living in containers.  I used regular soil for all of them except Lemon Balm, which likes sandy soil.  I made my own mix by blending sand and potting soil.  I’ll also be adding a lavender plant later on.  Lavender is one of my favorite herbs, and it’s got plenty of uses.  Tea, culinary lavender (possibly for mead?), bath salts, etc.  All of these can be used in cooking or in teas, and will be very nice to have over the winter.  The two trees on the end are going to be bonsai.  They’re redwoods that I picked up while Griffin and I were visiting Redwood National Park.  They sell tiny baby trees for folks to take home.  I saw them and immediately thought of turning them into bonsai trees.


And yep, that’s still snow on the ground!  It doesn’t usually melt until the end of May.   This is a south facing window, and will give plenty of sunlight.  During the winter, I’ll probably need to add a plant light.  They’ll need longer light and more heat than we usually get.  I tried to pick herbs that would be good for containers, and also have a few different uses.  I drink a lot of tea, and plan on using some of these to add into tea blends.  Sage and rosemary are also good when added to omelets or scrambled eggs.

For anyone who’s interested in the bowls, I found them at a local store.  They’re made by Rosso International, which also makes pet bowls, bird houses, and other assorted goodies out of bamboo.  It’s a renewable resource and very user friendly.  They’ll also decompose within 6 months of being thrown away.  I’ll keep updates going on how they hold up and how the herbs fare.

Top Searches

3100 miles later, we’re back, and in one piece!   And the blog was neglected for a couple of weeks after I got back too… but I’ve got about 2 gigs of photos to go through and getting caught back up at work.  So!  I’ll have some photos to post soon.  In the meantime…

WordPress has this neat feature where it logs the most commonly used searches that sent people to your blog.  Here are some of mine, presented for your enjoyment:

bagels raven’s nest

buy mr. purples like cats griffe

pissed off doberman

werewolves having twins novel

tv shankhunk



I’m not really sure what a shankhunk is, or a Mr. Purples likes cats griffe.  I think I’ll blame my dog for that second one!  He does like cats, and hasn’t managed to figure out why they don’t want to play with him.   And the soapbox.  Ah, the soapbox.  I think there might be one or two scattered around this blog.

Trip photos soon, and the road trip was one hell of a good time… but it’s good to be home.

Road Trip part deux!

Heading out to the Oregon coast for some camping and hiking.  The entire seashore is open to public use.  No private lands, no private beaches… just 300 miles of open beach to enjoy.  Griffin’s coming too, he hasn’t seen the ocean.  He’s an easy dog to travel with, good in the car and good with other people and dogs.

And then there’s Powell’s bookstore.  Because honestly, who can turn down a bookstore that takes up an entire city block?  I’ll probably need at least a half a day in there, maybe more.

Expect some updates to the reading list when I get back at the beginning of April!

So what’s on the current reading list?  Let’s see….

A Dance with Dragons-  Rereading George R.R. Martin’s books.

Proven Guilty-  Jim Butcher, also rereading because he’s got a new book coming out in May.

Night Owls–  Lauren M. Roy’s first book.  On order, waiting for UPS to send it.

1493– Enjoyed 1491, so I’ve got a start on this one.

The Ghost Hunter’s survival guide–  which is written by a psychic medium, who checks out paranormal situations.  I picked it up for writing inspiration, since I’m going for some paranormal elements in my current writing project.

That should keep me busy for a little while.  I’ve got several more that are waiting, and a possible trip to Powell’s Books in Portland next month.  I hope they ship.  A bookstore that takes up a city block?  I could do some damage in there.

Long time, no see

Well, six months, 2200 miles, and one domain expiration later… I’m back! Me and the crew traded Virginia for Wyoming and a new job. Griffin’s doing well, and Hextall the betta survived a trip across country in a Nalgene bottle. My large tropical  houseplant made it too.  It’s currently parked under a window for maximum sunlight.  Normally, I wouldn’t take a houseplant with me on a large move.  They tend not to always handle those things very well.  However, this plant was a gift from my mom, and I’ve had it for 8 years.  So, into the back of the Jeep it went, and now it’s a nice bit o’ color in 6 months of snow.  And I have to say, Wyoming is a great place.  I love it out here, even the -30 days!

So, the crew’s settling in out here and my goal is to get back into blogging.  I tossed WordPress another year’s subscription. Let’s see if I can manage a post more than once every 6 months.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

What's up, Wyoming?

What’s up, Wyoming?

Sick dog

Griffin’s had symptoms on and off since December/January.  After the latest round of vet visits, I still am not any closer to actually figuring out what’s wrong with my dog.

He started off with the runs, did a round of antibiotics, cleared it up.  Rinse and repeat.  Then I noticed he was losing weight, despite eating almost twice the normal amount of food.  Had him in to the vet, found out he had elevated lipase and amylase- which are signs of trouble with his pancreas.  His amylase is five times normal.  Or it could possibly be a problem with bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines.  Or something called EPI, which is covered extensively on the EPI Dogs website.

Some of his bloodwork didn’t match up with EPI though.  He’s responding well to Metro antibiotic, which makes the vet lean more towards pancreatitis.  Except that he’s missing a few key symptoms of that issue.  He’s got a great appetite, his energy level is incredible, he’s not in pain.

So for now, we’re treating it like chronic pancreatitis.  Griffin will stay on Metro and I’ll also switch  his food to a low fat/low fiber diet.  The vet recommended Hills prescription diets, but Griff can’t have corn because Bad Things Happen when he eats it.  Hills Science Diet is very fond of putting corn in their dog food, which might be okay for some dogs, but I’ve had three dogs in a row now that can’t tolerate corn (two Dobermans and a mutt).  Top contenders right now are Annamaet, Verus, and ProPlan.  I need to visit the pet store and read labels.  Verus was recommended by another Dobie owner whose dog has similar problems.  I’ve had a few people talk about slippery elm bark, which is supposed to be excellent for digestive problems.

I’m going to talk to another vet about doing an ultrasound too.  There’s the possibility of a tumor, which is sort of this elephant in the room after I lost Logan to bone cancer in 07.  Griffin’s symptoms don’t match anything exactly.  I’m hoping that he’s just the odd duck and has chronic pancreatitis with atypical symptoms.


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