Monday, January 2, 2017

Planting Blue Ginger

One of my neighbors spent a week in Hawaii for Christmas. She brought me a little Blue Ginger to grow since it has blue-violet color flowers, which is my favorite color.  After reading more about it on Dave's Garden, I decided to grow it indoors since all my orchids seem to be dying off.  Blue Ginger blooms all year round, and it can reach 6 to 8 feet tall!  I am sure I'll be trimming it so it won't become a giant plant inside of the house. I can't wait to watch it grow!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Freezing Cold!

2016 has been an unusual year in many ways. Weatherwise we had a lot more rain than the past years. According to, in October this year we had 200-300 times more rain than the typical October average!  This December has also been very cold. The temperature has dropped to low 30's Fahrenheit in the Bay Area for this entire week.

My immediate concerns are the plants particularly the young mulberry tree and the passion fruit vine. I can't bring them inside at night. All I can do is cover them up and hope for the best.  On the first night the temperature dropped to the 30's, the top tip of mulberry tree got frost damage despite being covered up in a big plastic bag. The passion fruit is holding up better.  I have not seen any damage to it.  On the second freezing night, I covered the mulberry tree with 2 big plastic bags to make sure all parts were covered.

Unfortunately this morning I found the bags being blown away from the tree!  It was freezing and crazy windy last night! The wind had completely blown the bags away from the tree despite all the rocks I used as weights on the bags. Some of the leaves on the tree are turning black. That is not a good sign. I can't wait for this cold temperature to pass. The yard is now a complete mess with mud and covered in fallen leaves and overgrown weeds.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Bath Time

I am a huge fan of free stuff. From the free stuff, I often think of how to repurpose them to make my life easier. A few months ago, a family with several young children across the street was moving. At the end of their moving sale, they had a huge pile of things left out on the curb for free. One of the items was a Stokke Flexi infant bath. I almost didn't take but then I thought Cracus could take his bath in it instead of in the big bathtub. I would use less water and be able to stay dry. It is so easy to give Cracus a bath now, I bath him more often than I used to.

Since the baby bath is small, he can't really try to run away. I have seen other baby bath before, and this one has the best design for converting to dog bath. It's foldable to save space when not being used. It also has a rubber plug on the bottom to empty out the water after a bath. I usually drain out the dirty water then fill it up again to rinse Cracus off with clean water.  I give Cracus treats during his bath to make it a positive experience for him.  Recently I switched to Bobbi Panter Bad Hair Day dog shampoo, and Cracus seems to like it better than what I used before.  I got the shampoo for Kelsey initially since Kelsey has a lot of dandruff and sheds a lot. It worked amazing on Kelsey's hair, too. The dog shampoo costs more than my shampoo, but it's worth it for me.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Passion Fruit Propagated!

passion fruit next to mulberry tree

While visiting the old Sand Village Farm last week, I dug up one of rooted cuttings of passion fruit in the rain. I put it in a small temporary blue container before I could find the time to plant it outside. Remember the 4" dwarf mulberry tree I ordered last year around this time?  Well, it's about 4 feet tall now.  I put the passion fruit cutting next to it for comparison. I am sure by spring the mulberry tree would be at least as tall as I am. I can't wait to have fresh mulberries right in my backyard!

Cracus always wants to help

I picked a spot that is sunny for the passion fruit. It's next to the kiwi vines. Since the passion fruit is still so small, I needed to put something around it to protect it from the pups. They don't bother plants much, but occasionally one of the pups would just decide to attack a random plant. Since the mulberry tree no longer needs extra protection, I moved the wire plant protector over to the passion fruit. As you can see, Cracus was very curious about this new addition to the garden. He kept sniffing and circling it. It was about 9:30, and everything was still wet outside from the morning dew. His paws and tummy got quite muddy from stepping all over the damp soil.  By the time I was done, I could not let him back in the house without a bath.  Bath time will be the next topic.

Cracus proudly posing with the newly planted passion fruit

Monday, October 31, 2016

Barktoberfest 2016

A group of dog lovers put together a Barktoberfest at Point Isabel every year right around Halloween. The even includes a parade and costume contest for dogs. For the past several years, I always missed it for one reason or another. This year I wasn't sure if I could make it either until the last minute. It had been raining which is unusual for California, where I can't remember when was the last time we weren't having a drought. This year's Barktoberfest was scheduled on Saturday, October 29th. It was still raining that morning. Around 10 a.m. the sun came out and the rain stopped. Around 11 a.m. the sun disappeared and it started drizzling again. I made a circus clown costume for Cracus a few weeks ago. He's been running around in Point Isabel in his costume. People smile at the sight of his craziness.

At 12:30 p.m., it became obvious that the sun was going to stay around. I quickly put on my Pikachu onesie and put Cracus in costume. I forgot the hula hoop I was going to bring with us as we rushed out the door.

We got a big bag of treats just for registering our names for the contest. We were number 9. After everyone had a chance to register, we paraded down the trail. Since I forgot to bring the hoop, all I could do was making Cracus walk on his hind legs and twirl around as we paraded. People were already amused by his "tricks." The judges were making notes and giving scores while we showed off our pups.

After a short parade, we turned back to the area where we first gathered and waited for the announcement of winners. It was nice that they divided the dogs into three groups by size. Cracus is a small dog. They announced the first runner up in small dog category. It was a pup who had a giraffe costume on. When they called for number 9 as the second runner up, I couldn't believe it. There were so many nice costumes. Maybe it was the twirling. We went up to the front, and someone from the audience asked to have Cracus "dance for everyone, so he happily did a few more times.  We received an award certificate with a big bag of prizes and had our photos taken. We couldn't stop smiling!

We will be back next year!