Category Archives: Pups

Spring is here!

I will have a full photo update in the March garden log, but in the mean time you can browse one of only two cauliflowers that made it through the winter (this was completely my fault and could have been avoided). Every year I promise myself to commit to a winter garden and every year I don’t. I have a plan in place to maybe have one this coming winter. Maybe. I am just a spring gardener. I really am.

There are also some yard dog helpers…browsing some spring goods so they can strike as soon as I look away. Ha!

2012/2013 cauliflower

Cactus helps Ski helps with peasHappy Spring!

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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Pups, Vegetables

Notes from Central Oregon.

We took a quick weekend trip to Sunriver, OR last weekend. It is a resort town just south of Bend. It is nice, too ritzy for my taste, but it has wonderful views and it is a nice place to relax in the winter, especially when there is now snow and therefore, no tourists. We are fortunate enough to have a place to stay there through a very good friend and it was a lovely time relaxing. It even snowed our last night there and we were treated to wonderful sights coming home over the mountain. Here are a few of the photos from the trip.



Filed under Holiday, Photo Series, Pups, Travel

A-Photo-A-Day: Yard Dog Tuss.

Our yellow yard dog, Barley. Also lovingly known as Cactus, Tuss, Cake-face (ate our anniversary cake), Steak-face (self explanatory), and Fuss.

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Filed under Photo Series, Pups

DIY Yard Dog Toothbrushes.

I guess most dog owners know by now that they are supposed to brush their pet’s teeth. This was not something I knew as I grew up with lots of dogs that never had their teeth brushed a day in their lives. But when I met the hubs and his family I learned this fact. The hubs grew up raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a fantastic organization that does just what the name implies, it raises seeing eye dogs for blind folks. These dogs are given to host families as puppies and the family raises it until it is just over one years old, then the pup goes back to the organization for a testing phase to see if it is going to be a guide dog, a breeder, or a career change (meaning they did not make the cut) dog.

My new in-laws take great care with their temporarily adopted pups (as well as their permanent ones) and this includes brushing their teeth. Now at the juncture in which I learned this fact, I did not yet have yard dogs and I brushed it off, no pun intended. However, not too long after getting the first yard dog, the vet began to notice build up on his teeth. She inquired as to whether or not we were brushing his teeth. Nope! We were not. So we rushed out and bought that expensive dog tooth brush and flavored dog tooth gel, determined to avoid the high cost of tooth rot later in yard dog’s life. And we failed miserably at using the darn thing. The yard dog hated it and would not let us get a good brush, even with the tasty chicken flavored gel.

After years of having abandoned the tooth brushing, we now have two yard dogs, who are moving into their prime. The build up on their teeth is substantial and even causes stinky breath. So the vet suggested using a fabric and just rubbing it against the teeth daily. Something with grip.

What we came up with was a terrycloth towel from the bag-of-rags. We cut a square that is manageable to use and gets into the mouth easily for our 70 pound pups (4″ x 4″). Each evening when they are lounging and are a little sleepy, me or the hubs will get the rag wet and then go to town on one of the pups. Rinse the rag and repeat with the other. We are seeing a marked improvement on all fronts. And even though the yard dogs would absolutely chose another activity over this one, because we worked with them when they were young to allow our hands in their mouths, they concede and we usually get a pretty good scrub done.


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Filed under DIY, Pups

DIY Yard Dog Treats.

People with pets understand the urge to dote on them. Especially if they have super sweet, soulful eyes. They look at you and you melt and want to feed them what ever you are eating…Our yard dogs have parents with strong wills. They get three kinds of treats.

1. Veg scrap. They sit at the edge of the kitchen and wait patiently for me to drop scraps of carrots or peppers. Or on a really good day, they get a piece of zucchini tossed to them. When we have too much of something they will get a little in their food dishes with dinner.

2. Ground peanuts. 1 teaspoon a day in their kongs as they are put into the kennel.

3. Dried sweet potatoes. This is the best dog treat we have found. About three years ago we switched exclusively to these and stopped buying dog treats. Dog treats are filled with chemicals, mystery ingredients, and empty calories. These are simply sliced and dried sweet potatoes. Simple as that.

Dried Sweet Potatoes.

Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, arrange in a single layer and dry them overnight, maybe 8-10 hours in the food dehydrator. We just have a cheapy one, but it works wonderfully for this as the potatoes keep in a sealed jar for months. If you dry them too long they will be brittle, and too little they will be bendy (and will mold). Perfectly done they will be hard, just hard and solid, you won’t feel any give if you try to bend them. **You can likely do this in the oven, I have just never tried. I have also made all of the mistakes that I warn against above, so you will have to keep trying if you don’t get it right the first time!


How do you “treat” your yard dogs?


Filed under DIY, Outside of the Box, Pups

A-Photo-A-Day: Yard Dog Scopes a Squirrel.

I see your bet and raise you...

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A-Photo-A-Day: Yard Dogs Revolt.

What? The top of the broccoli is gone. I have never seen a cat or squirrel do that before.


The bok choi and Brussel sprouts are gone too. And it was all the yard dogs. We have caught them red handed, often with their feet up into the garden boxes, decimating my fall and winter greens.

The Culprits.

Not so “love” today.

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Filed under From the Garden, Garden, Photo Series, Pups

A-Photo-A-Day: Yard Dog Scopes Squirrel.

She scopes out a squirrel. Yes, she does.

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A-Photo-A-Day: The Yard Dog.

Adding Centennial hops to our Yard Dog Ale, brewed over Labor Day weekend!

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Filed under Photo Series, Pups

In the Kitchen.

Though it is sad that I cannot do much of anything in the garden right now, I did call one of my favorite stores, Urban Farm Store, last week and talked with a gentleman for about 15 minutes. It re-energized me. I am getting ready to put up cloches and start to dry out the soil and he reminded me that it is still too dark to really grow anything. He told me that I should be starting seeds inside and under light. He is right….I should do something about that! But, I am still going to put up my cloches. I have a tendancy to want to do things my way and since I am still learning and can be terribly wrong in the garden, I am ok with total failure.

This experience has reminded me that even though I cannot garden, I can cook. And I am cooking, and I am blogging about it, even if my pictures are not good enough for Foodgawker and suck by all standards of good food photography. So I should have thought of this sooner. I re-named the blog. We are not chronicling my garden in these cold days, but rather my adventures in the kitchen. The garden will return, we will see if the name does.

However, I don’t want to neglect the garden and I don’t want its beauty to be forgotten. Instead, I hope you develop the same yearning for it that I have.

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Filed under Flowers, Garden, Pups