Author Archives: John

Brace Yourself: Sad News Ahead

This was taken behind the fire house up in the mountains where I took the dogs each 4th of July to escape the fireworks. Lucky damn shot.

Hello, dear readers,

This past Monday, Sasha was euthanized. I hate that word, but the euphemisms strike me as varying degrees of childish when they come out of my mouth. I don’t judge anyone else who uses them, but for me… anyway, I digress to avoid the pain. As you may know, Sasha has been in a slow but steady decline for many years. She had arthritis, which just kept getting more severe. She had something called laryngeal paralysis, which messed with her breathing and, likewise, was just getting more severe. We kept re-balancing the medications she was on, and we’d achieve a new “normal” for her, but eventually she was in pain whenever she walked even on a fairly serious regimen of drugs. She rested comfortably enough, and she was her normal self, personality-wise (albeit an old, sleepy version of our puppy), but that probably just made it harder for me to accept that the time was coming for her. You could tell she was bored, having been a super-active dog her whole life. (Reminiscing about her, I remembered that there was a time when she got multiple 30-45 minute sessions of ***running*** after Chuck-It thrown balls each and every day.)

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The Wonder of Nature, Part 3 (aka the Wonder Quickly Wears Off, But is Still Kinda Neat)

The small garden plot on the right.

The small garden plot on the right.

Let me put it this way: it isn’t going to shock me if not every one of you is waiting on tenterhooks for photos of incremental growth. Lisa and I are still pretty excited, still, if only because we have big plans for how this is going to turn out and so far, so good. At least, for most of it. Most of it? Yeah. Behold the “mostly” plot, on the right. Setting aside the grass that needs pulling for a moment :p, it’s just not coming in very well.The giant plants are survivors of the great purge from last year, so that might be throwing your perspective off, but the growth in there is pretty minimal so far. Seriously, when I weed on Friday and take new pics it’ll look even more desolate in there. Oh well. Read on for happier pics.






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The Wonder of Nature, Part 2 (aka the Near-Futile Wait for a Sunbreak)

The next chance I had for decent photos was over the weekend. The good news is I haven’t had to water  one bit, and I probably won’t have to until June or so except for the potted plants under our porch awning. Frankly, even those are growing like mad right now, but best not to take any chances. Also, a word about the grass: we stick to organic fertilizing/weeding solutions because obvious reasons plus we live right next to a small lake and our runoff is extra-likely to cause problems. So, no, we don’t have the most verdant lawn in existence. That’s just how it goes. Anyhoo.  On with the show!

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The Wonder of Nature, Part 1 (aka Suburban DINK amazed that plants grow, also water wet)

Lisa and I did some significant alterations to the front yard last fall. It was actually an incredibly tense negotiation at times. I won’t bore you with the long version, which went on for literally months. The short version is I like grass and she likes non-grass plants. So, like any good couple, or England in 1937, I offered up a portion of territory in hopes of compromise…

… we will ignore for now that Lisa becomes Hitler in this analogy. Sometimes I am not good at this…

Anyway, we carved out 4 feet or so. I ripped up the grass (actually another really long story, but in the end I got ‘er done), laid out some ornamental stone, and then planted the shit out of our new gardens. The digression that cannot be skipped, though, is the tremendous, mountainous work that Lisa did to get the garden mapped out. She worked incredibly hard to figure out what plants are good for our region, would look good, will (hopefully) flower throughout the year, look good next to each other, and probably a half-dozen other criteria that I was too callous to ask about. The garden mapped out, the seeds/bulbs/baby plants ordered, I got out the tape measure (you heard me), laid out the plants to Lisa’s specifications, and waited.

And waited.

Well, as you may have heard Seattle experienced a crazy-warm late winter, and the growing season has already begun. To that end, we’re taking pictures as things come in and thought we’d share them. I’d hatch some baby chicks to go along with it but the cats would probably eat them.

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