Filet Gumbo and Filet Crow

What a nice day it was, through a bit nippy. So much got done that I felt like a paragon of efficiency. The Red House is ready for the next visitors, I got a fun custom sweatshirt from the talented Kimberly of Side Hustle Shirts (photo later), and I enjoyed a really special time with friends at lunch. That was the gumbo part.

From where I had lunch I could almost see our place. It’s over the far ridge.

Community is important, and with all the restrictions easing, it’s been a real pleasure to enjoy time with friends and meet new people to expand my community. It was very sweet of our friend Linda to invite a few women over for lunch today. It felt both special and normal at the same time. It’s healing to me to feel part of a group again, and I can’t wait to do more of this, like people used to do in the before times.

And the gumbo was so good. I need to eat that more!

Of course, it’s always good to be home with one’s spouse and his fancy mustache.

As for filet crows, I finished the little filet crochet curtain I started a few days ago. It was fun to do and I figured out how to do a bigger project with other yarn. The key is extended double crochet, which will make the squares more…square. You add an extra loop to make the stitches a tad taller.

Rectangles, not squares.

As my coworker said today, it looks more like a pigeon than a crow, since I did it left to right rather than top to bottom. But, since it’s cotton, I can block and starch it to stretch it a bit.

At least you can tell it’s a bird.

Most important is that I enjoyed making this. It came out the right size to be a curtain in the tack room, too. Sadly, I used up five of my eight skeins of fancy Rowan organic cotton, so I can’t make a pair!

Tomorrow I’m starting a smaller scale filet crochet project, which I hope will get it all out of my system and I can go back to knitting. Since the temperature blanket I designed uses many colors, I’ll wait a bit to start it. Why? It’s time for another road trip! Talk to you from the road tomorrow!

Thursday in Pictures

Almost done! Black finishing border next.
Young pond slider checking to see if I’ve left yet.
Explorers
Sparrows inspecting my dressage markers.
I bothered a huge fire ant colony by moving an upside down feed tub.
What a beauty.
Pollination process
Flies are also pollinators.
Sunset
Start of the final edge
He makes everything good.

This week has exhausted me. I will be more wordy tomorrow, maybe.

Goldie + Carlton = True Love

Over the past month or so, the friendship between Goldie, the Great Dane, and Carlton, the extra-white mutt, has blossomed into what can only be true love. They’re together almost all the time and keep each other in great shape, in between long naps on the couch.

And of course there’s the running in huge circles around the house, the dog play (like horseplay only with dogs), and the long drinks from the pool when they need a break.

Hmm. I must also mention the barking at things in the night. Cattle? Rabbits? Coyotes? Skunks? Armadillos? Raccoons? Big cats? So many possibilities, all real, judging from poop.

Dang bunnies been eating chicken feed, what little the Devil (English) Sparrows leave behind.

They just plain enjoy each other. Often I see Goldie’s paw on Carlton, asking him to either join her on the couch or play. And they hardly use dog toys. They have each other (giving Harvey and Penney time to play with the squeaky toys).

This morning they must have spent 45 minutes gently playing, licking each other, and chewing on body parts. Penney just watched. Lee and I could not stop laughing at their antics. They just don’t get tired of each other. I remember being that much in love!

In other events, We had a nice party last night for our friend, Mike, who turned 60 this week. Martha cooked a delicious pasta dish and Lee and I contributed a big ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. It was really good. We all prefer ice cream to actual cake, so it was a hit after some time time in the hot tub! and Anita got to have a second birthday celebration, since we’d already enjoyed a meal in Temple on her actual birthday. Celebrations of people you love — I guess that’s good for people AND dogs!

Friends and fun!

Stress Relief

Between concerns about family member health and work intensity, I’ve got no blogging brilliance. The heat doesn’t help.

Things are just upside down.

It’s getting really dry around here and we’re surrounded by katydids and prairie boopies (grasshoppers). They are everywhere. But, there’s a life and death fight going on that has me fascinated. The garden spiders and one dog are trying to help. Who wins? Check it out.

Yeah. Way too little water and too many grasshoppers this year. I’m glad today’s project for the guys was more power washing. The ceilings of the porches and the exterior of the house sure look good.

Clean house.

It’s gonna be a long summer. I’m extra glad for that pool. I can even get exercise in it. By the way, since it’s a salt-water pool, it feels good to open your eyes underwater! Lee says it’s like eye drops.

I assume these cows won’t open their eyes under here!

Pretty White Things

While I’m pretty tired from the amount of meetings and learning I’m going through, I’m grateful to be surrounded by kind people and fun friends, including the non human ones.

Ready for his closeup

Lee took this beautiful picture of Carlton today. I need to frame it! Between him and Gracie, there’s a lot of white dog beauty around here.

Gracie taking over the big bed.

One more white thing is very new! Billie Idyll has finally laid an egg, and it’s a big one for such a small chicken. And it’s a lovely, creamy white. I wish Henley hadn’t stopped laying, so you could compare it to her extremely white eggs.

Compared to a Buff Orpington egg from Blondie.

Good ole Billie did good! Yay funny-looking hen!

You think I look funny, you should see Babette’s head! No wonder she’s sticking her chicken butt out.

I think this means just Betsy, the Americauna is still not laying, though since Babette got bopped on the head, she quit. I have quite the collection of merely decorative hens at the moment.

Betsy is upper left. She’s big enough to lay!

But they all bring peace and joy to the ranch, and that’s what counts. I’m glad for all the white, tan, red, brown, black, and spotted creatures around here.

My eggs may be small, but they’re the bluest.

We are still checking Star every day for chicks. They have food and water in case they hatch when I’m in Austin.

Bonus pic, because I love them.

Goldie’s First Bark Box

Each month I get a box of dog toys and healthy dog treats from Bark Box. They are always cute as all heck, and they have a theme. Highly recommended.

A box. It doesn’t bark.

They used to go to Vlassic in Austin, but since he stays at the ranch now, I bring them to the other dogs, who actually destroy them more slowly than V did. Don’t worry, V has dozens of toys in the RV.

His tail crinkles and the inner tube can be removed to be a separate toy.

This month’s theme was summer camp. The best toy is a beaver in a pool inner tube, but all are cute.

S’mores and campfire. All have interesting textures and sounds, so even if the dog is a terrier who insists on finding and removing the squeaker, they stay fun.

So, Goldie is new and hadn’t enjoyed the monthly toy infusion before. When I distributed the toys, Harvey and Carlton grabbed them and began squeaking them heartily. Goldie watched.

Later, as the others lay snoozing after playing for a while, Goldie walked over and gently picked up a toy with her teeth. She then jumped on the couch with it.

She has a toy here

Did she squeak and shake it? Did she destroy it instantly? No. She delicately felt around it. She lightly tossed it into the air and delighted in watching it fall. Then she cuddled it. What a gentle soul.

Thanks for the toys

As she was doing that, Lee pointed at his feet. There was Carlton, daintily “fleaing” Lee’s foot. He’s also very gentle for such an energetic dog.

I’ll groom you!

It’s always a fine realization when I see how well life is with all these dogs. They entertain us, cheer us up, and comfort us. I never would have imagined having such a large pack, but it’s worth the effort and expense.

Enjoying the strawberry moon

Penney Succumbs to Goldie’s Charms

I must share this good news. All the other dogs are getting along with Goldie the Great Dane. But Penney has been snarly and snappy since Goldie arrived. Until tonight.

Even Gracie is shocked.

As the day went on, she was nicer and nicer when they passed each other. Alfred is the same. No mote gruff barks. This is great. But when both Carlton AND Penney joined in the puppy playtime, my heart just melted.

Goldie isn’t graceful, but she’s enthusiastic.

I guess we will get to keep her! Kathleen has been enjoying feeding the dogs and hanging out with them. I’m glad she has her dream dog. Life is good.

Yeah, Maybe Goldie Is Happy

Perhaps I’m posting too many dog blogs, but who cares? It appears that the dogs have come to truces and are enjoying each other. There are still occasional growls and snaps (Penney and Harvey), but we all had such a fun and funny day that I had to share. Goldie had breakfast in my office, for privacy.

I just want to eat in peace.

Then she and Harvey joined Lee for some couch chatting time while he ate his breakfast. It was, I guess, cozy. Good thing she is gentle with furniture.

Much of today she stayed with me, but she did figure out the dog door at last, so she could go out. Carlton and Penney and Harvey made it mighty snug in my office, but they were pretty quiet!

Ahh, the cool floor.

After work (and a fantastic conversation with my wonderful dear friend formerly known as Nancy Jo), we all went out to play. At least it wasn’t as hot as yesterday! After running around, they had to cool off.

Alfred and Goldie looked like luxury liners out in the big pond. After explaining to the two guardian dogs that they did NOT need to bark at one of the cows, we all ran back. Well, Alfred and I walked.

Let’s race!

I sat on the porch for a while to enjoy the breeze. Since the dogs were cooler, they could play. Carlton and Goldie looked like they were dancing.

That tired them out, so they got on the ground to rest. Then they rolled.

Whew

And, as I knew it would happen, even Alfred rolled. He looks so happy.

See, I can roll, too!

I missed getting Harvey rolling, but there was quite a lot of it. The grass is so beautiful right now; who could blame them?

Were you worried that Penney didn’t get to play? Not to worry. She stayed upstairs with Lee, but Harvey went up and wrestled with her when we came back in.

Now we are all cooling off again. I think Goldie is settled in.

These humans have nice houses.

Geez. She is a big dog.

Who, me?

Gracie, the littlest Hermits’ Rest dog, spent the afternoon on the porch in her favorite chair. But she did get exercise. She moved to her favorite INDOOR chair. Cutie.

This is MY chair.

Just a Few Cute Animals

Oh goodness, I skipped a day of blogging for the first time since I resolved to post every day quite a while ago. I had good reason, though, it was a busy day with lots of fun meetings, animals to care for, chores, and conversations. By the end of the day, when I could have blogged, I chose to sit on the porch and talk to my family. Who could blame me for choosing in-person interaction? (Okay, someone could, but I probably don’t like them.)

A grasshopper.

There are lots and lots of bugs (including mosquitoes) out right now, and I especially liked this fuzzy caterpillar.

I got the chickens a big brick of treats at Tractor Supply today, since they completely finished their last treat, which was watermelon rind. They can certainly clean out a watermelon.

Let’s see. I also met a large fish, who’s apparently a local celebrity in Bea’s Kitchen (more on why I was there, later). It’s a fine and friendly fish.

I seem to be unable to add captions, but the fish says hello. Sigh, WordPress seems to give new features, then take away old ones.

And in case you were thinking I forgot the dogs, here’s Carlton making himself WAY too much at home in my bed this morning.

That’s some stink-eye! I’m off to do horse things and then finish my indoor writing tasks. I wish all of you a reasonable weekend, with weather that fits your desires (mine is no rain).

Extreme Pet Closeups

My somewhat large, white, short-haired dog, Carlton, has been chilly lately. Because of that, he’s spending a lot of time on our laps, under covers, or on us in bed (he used to sleep next to me, but lately he’s been on top of that excellent source of warmth, Lee). Sometimes he asks to get under the covers and sleeps next to me.

This is my frequent view of Carlton the Dogman.

But, also, he has been hanging around with me in my little recliner when I’m home, nuzzling under the afghan I’m knitting. It’s a good thing I’d already planned to wash it before giving it to the recipient!

For a dog, he has a great occlusion. Look how well his teeth meet.

He likes to raise his head up and ask me to pet his neck. I realized I could get some pretty fun photos of him while he did this, and want to share them with you. He is one pink dog with weird blue eyes, that’s for sure.

This close, it’s fun to see all the different directions his hair grows.

I feel so lucky to have him in my life. I guess I must, if I write about him twice in one week!

Doggie bliss.

More about Carlton:

Carlton the Dogman Second Anniversary (April 2020)

Carlton’s Dream (a painting of him) (May 2020)

Carlton’s First Anniversary (April 2019)

A Digression on Dog Genetics, Part 1 (July 2018)

A Digression on Dog Genetics, Part 2 (July 2018)

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