Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dog Proofing the Fence Again

Cracus likes to explore along the fence looking for any place that he can dig and slip under. He enjoys visiting the neighbors on his terms. One of my constant tasks is to walk along the fence and make sure that all the weak spots are patched up or blocked.  As you can see from the video above, Cracus is vigorously scratching the fence. Luckily I just picked up a few more free bricks on the sidewalk this morning.  I knew exactly what to do with them.

I placed the bricks against the fence, so Cracus can no longer scratch the base of the fence. There are other areas of the fence that are blocked off by various bricks and other objects.  I have a collection of free bricks just for this purpose. Cracus was disappointed after the bricks got in his way, but I am sure he will come up with something else to keep me on my toes.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tomato Pod and Cracus

We have been having more rain and overcast days than usual this year. It rained yesterday. It is May, and we are still having rain. This morning looked like another hot soup day. It was overcast with the potential to rain any second. Around 1 pm the sun finally came out and the sky became clear. I was so excited to open up both patio umbrellas that I rescued from the curbside. Cracus joined me in the yard as I worked on weed removal.

I wasn't planning on growing any tomato just because tomato isn't something I crave for usually. However, a friend of mine gave me a couple Miracle Gro cherry tomato seed pods a few days ago, so I had been looking forward to planting them. I cleared out all the weeds growing in my planter box before digging two holes for these pods.  To my surprise, I found some mint in the planter box.  I carefully pulled all the weeds around it.  After I was done, I sat down in the shade for a few minutes to pet Kelsey, who always likes to lay in full sun.   I turned around to gather all the garden tools, and that was when I noticed a hole where I just planted the pods. Cracus looked at me from a few steps away. Did he eat it? It had to be him. I ran inside and found dirt all over Kelsey's big bed. Cracus ran after me and lay right next to it proudly. I shook my head and started to clean up. I replanted the "pod" back into the hole but made it deeper. Hopefully he is not going to do it again.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Baking Dog Treats

Cooked kabocha squash

I got some left over kabocha so I decided to bake some kabocha peanut butter treats for the pooches. They love eating kabocha straight, but I don't want them to have diarrhea from eating too much of it. One of my favorite dog treat recipes is peanut butter and pumpkin dog treat.  Today I substituted canned puree pumpkin with cooked kabocha. Dog treats are super easy to bake. Unlike human cookies, you don't add butter or sugar.  Cracus and Kelsey went crazy just from the smell of the ingredients mixing together.

I got some very cute paw shape cookie cutters a while back, but I probably won't be using them anymore unless I was making human cookies. The dogs can careless what the shape of the treats are. If I was going to use the cookie cutters, I would have to get my rolling pin out. I would then have to wash the cutters and the rolling pin. The cutters also make the treats way too big. I just use my hands and roll the dough into small balls and flatten them a little with my hands.  While the treats were baking, Cracus and Kelsey refused to leave the kitchen. As soon as they were done and cooked down, I left them have a few. As you can see from the clip below, I could not get Cracus to sit at all. He was just too excited over the home baked treats and practically bit into my fingers as he took the treat.  I tried a piece of the treats, too. It tasted like a piece of very healthy cracker.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Old Tree Out, New Tree In

Back in October, 2015, I ordered a 4" Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry Plant from Hirt's Gardens via I have ordered other plants from them in the past and highly recommend it. If I had the time, I would try to grow everything myself from seeds or cuttings, but time is scarce these days. For nearly five months, I have kept this 4" mulberry plant in my kitchen where I setup a table as an indoor plant area. It really doesn't seem to have grown much at all.

I have been thinking of transplanting it outside now that spring is coming and weather is getting warmer.  I couldn't think of a nice spot for it, and getting rid of the useless tree on the far end of the garden seemed to be a major project until a couple weeks ago.  The useless tree suddenly fell over one night. Although I was a little sad about it, I was also happy at the opportunity to use that area for a more useful tree, a tree that produces food.  After removing the fallen tree last weekend, I spent more time in the garden to transplant the 4" plant into its new  home. So far so good. I just need to make sure the dogs stay away from it, and the soil gets good drainage. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fallen Tree

 Last Tuesday evening was very windy. In the middle of the night, I heard something but didn't think much of it. When I got up on Wednesday morning and looked out of the window, I was surprised to see the tree as shown in the photo above. Initially I was a little sad because it was a big tree, and now it will need to be removed. We had more rain in the past few months than the past several years, and its shallow roots got wet rot. It didn't take much for the tree to fall over.

Rotted roots

During the weekend, I started breaking the small branches apart. For bigger branches, I used my Silky Pocket Boy to saw them apart. My wonderful next door neighbor came over with his electric saw on Sunday afternoon and saw apart the biggest branches. He's saving those pieces as firewood for summer camping. After all the tree parts were removed, he came back with his lawn mower and gave my overgrown backyard a complete makeover!  See how nice it looks now in the photo below.

I ordered a very small dwarf mulberry tree a few months ago. I will work on improving the soil condition and transplant the mulberry to where the tree was before.