Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Casey, relaxing in the shade after going on a late morning walk today, makes simple downtime look absolutely idyllic.  

And all while our neighborhood bee colony is busy doing their part to save the ecosystem foraging among our dwindling lavender crop.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Do yourself a favor. Take a break, please, from whatever clamor you might have going, perceived or otherwise, and...just...listen. You'll live longer for it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lucifer lure

Man, you've gotta look close, get lucky, and then just start snapping. If you've got a cup of coffee in your hand, or you if blink more than once, you'll never get that shot of a hummingbird feasting off of your Lucifer plant.

Today though, the dependable crocosmia was the big draw, as it is each summer. Last year we practically had a stake out going on and got a much better picture, but we'll keep at it. As long as it's flaunting these crimson blossoms, this tempting Lucifer is still proving to be irresistible to these little darters.   

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lights out

A day with the grandkids and Case is checking out early tonight. Ordinarily he's OK with retiring early to his cozy kennel in our bedroom if his charges insist on staying up late.

Today though, it was lights out...on the living floor. TGIF. 

Someone get the lights.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's out there, little girl?

When the rest of neighborhood is settling in for the night, the junior feline member of the neighborhood watch is just beginning her day. And when something catches Stella's eye  - bats, moths, even specters - she's hooked. 

If it, whatever it is, suddenly goes bump in the night, she's under the nearest bed and the rest of us are fending for ourselves.

Forget forgetting

If you say the magic words, "Wanna go bye, bye," or even look like you're getting ready to go for a walk or a run, you'd better get ready for the hallway stake out. Casey will work you like a flock of velcro sheep until you make a move to go outside.

And how can I not follow through?

Someone once said, "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."

People maybe, but Border Collies, they don't forget anything.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Had to share

10 Things To Remember About Dogs


1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful. Remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me - it is crucial to my well being.

4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
5. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.

6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
7. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.

8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.
10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I cannot bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death. 

Remember that I love you.

Posted by Homestead Survivor July 25, 2012

Desktop nostalgia

Switch to a different user on our laptop, log in, and you come across this photo, one of our favorites, of an 11-month-old Casey on his first adventure - a romp on the north shore of Orcas Island in the San Juans. This fall outing was a triumph for our guy, who up until this time had been reluctant to venture out of his back yard. This day he had the whole beach to himself and took full advantage of it.

Casey seemed to have taken a major leap forward in self-confidence that weekend - we can see it in his eyes and demeanor even now.   

Monday, July 23, 2012

Faux bear

What do you do when you're confronted by a black bear on an afternoon walk? Beats me, but if it's our black bear look-a-like Daisy, you just let her come over and have her way with you, slobber and all.

Casey no longer cowers when the big Newfie heads our way - just braces for a sloppy nuzzle.

Just had to share

Last week friends of ours celebrated a wedding anniversary, and naturally posted it on Facebook. Doesn't everybody? But to make it sweet and memorable they included the John Prine/Iris Dement duet performance of In Spite of Ourselves. We just had to share it. And just so you know, this is a melody, if not a sentiment, you won't be able to shake all day. But then again you  probably won't even try.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meadow maze

From now until late August the most dominant vegetation in the greenbelts of the ridge is the wild grass. Our interlocking trails are overrun now with a variety that averages seven feet in places, thick enough to obscure the hardiest and energetic of Border Collies that venture off trail and into its cover.

A week and a half ago a stalk lashed out at my face during a hike on a windy day, resulting in a trip to the emergency room after I came home looking like Rocky Balboa, left eye swollen and inflamed. No torn cornea, but it took three days for the swelling and inflamation to go down.

So I've got a healthy respect for tall grass now, and the kid doesn't seem to mind getting lost in it - always coming out the other side, somewhere. It's still remarkable that in a month or so these meadow quills will be knee-high before the first leaves fall.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bring Bellingham's War Dollars Home

Our favorite non-profit peace activist group, Bellingham's Veterans For Peace Chapter is in the middle of a campaign to encourage the City Council to pass a non-binding resolution, basically a sense of the city, to urge President Obama and the US Congress to Bring Our War Dollars Home. The price tag for the county (above, with Casey's pop on the far left) is displayed each week by VFP members at major intersections around the city for commuter traffic.

The total cost of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars paid or by local tax payers since 2001 is nearly $714 million, and VFP wants to end that cash flow and redirect it to a more sustainable future. These campaigns are cropping up all over the US.

The official PRs will go out next week, but you can take a look at the petition and resolution through the link below.Check it out.

Pass Resolution: Urge President Obama and Congress to Bring Our War Dollars Home | Online Petition

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lunch and playing catch up

When FAA friends of nearly 40 years like Bob and Frankie Andrews of Reno, Nevada,  are close by and want to get together for the afternoon, you drop everything and meetup. We suggested lunch in LaConner and just hanging out for the afternoon. Afterwards, browsing shops of every stripe - consignment, antique, fabric and specialty and more - ate up an entire afternoon in no time at all.

A Border Collie we know, anxious to get out of the car and tag along, was more than willing to eventually take a break at an outdoor cafe. Keeping pace with Victoria and Frankie was a workout Casey hadn't figured on.

A sit-down with pale ales and iced espressos at Seeds - in the shade - was a welcome timeout, but not nearly enough time to reminisce. Next time, a longer visit - a familiar promise - and sooner rather than later.        

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Front yard gaggle

Gooseneck Loosestrifes

Aptly named white gooseneck blossoms debuted this week to very little fanfare, but seem to be doing just fine with very little fuss. In fact just like our crop of rose campions, these flowering crooks can be invasive. But right now this gaggle deserves to be the front yard center of attention.

Of course Casey couldn't care less, zeroing in on a rabbit across the street. 

The curtains coming down with a red sky at night

A deceptive serenity at sundown from a cul de sac perspective, considering the steady bluster coming off the ridge well past midnight. A red sky at night kind of sunset, with the promise of tomorrow 's forecast - delightful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Smile darn ya

After three days of muggy, overcast days, we made a point of putting Casey through his paces with a Frisbee when the clouds broke wide open late in the day. This, is a smile and a half, during with a well-earned break. We had just finished a 40-minute trail run on top of the toss...and the truth be known, Casey still had a lot left in the tank.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lazy Sunday bloom and tune

It was a lazy kind of day today, the sun not so much as making even a half-hearted attempt at breaking through high cumulus. But a standout bloomer near the backdoor, a double pink impatiens, did its part to make up for the lack of sunshine on a warm, muggy afternoon. The perfect compliment to a little Etta James.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Respite interruptus

Oh...we're not disturbing you, are we kid?

Casey, taking advantage of some filtered sunlight and restful solitude until he was so rudely interrupted by the twosome that pay the bills.

(Now, where was I?)

All smiles

Time flies, two years ago this week, and Casey was all smiles in one of our favorite photos. And at the time we had no idea that our guy had lost more than 50% of his sight to  pannus, or chronic superficial keratitus. To us at the time Casey seemed to be suffering from an allergy, with bloodshot eyes and discharge. Animal Eye Care set us straight and after two years of treatment, Casey got a clean bill of health this month, with no sign of the ailment. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lepidoptera: Part II

Uh, oh. Look who's back. It's been a couple of days, but our nomad extraterrestrial moth is back. And this time discovered in some Lucifer plants on the front porch being readied for a front yard berm.

Our favorite (only) granddaughter Kaya shouted out her find shortly after arriving for the day this morning.

Just as impressive was Kaya wanting to pet our return customer, instead of being repulsed. And while we'd like to get these clumps of Crocosmia in the ground, it looks like we're going to have to wait until this big boy (or girl?) checks out. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free-fall to misty refraction

Another incredible visual, and more than a subtle reminder of why we stay close to home in the summer. During an afternoon run, a pause to soak up the sights at Whatcom Falls caught not only the brute force from creek to plunge, but a lacy rainbow effect through the prisms of millions of escaping droplets.

Kind of a Rainbow Falls on a much smaller scale. But it catches your eye. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Red, returning

Look who's back, the first of our Crocosmias or Lucifer plants. They kind of sneak up on you every year, and like many an old flame, you never remembered them quite like this; vivid red blooms, soon enticing hummingbirds to stick around long enough to catch an eye while probing the blossoms for nectar.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mocha Monday and a table for three

It was Mocha Monday at Espresso Avellino's today, and with pet-friendly cafe weather, guess who got to come along? Two double tall mochas, morning glory muffins for two, and a table - and we were doing lunch.

While the guy normally on the other end of the leash was waiting inside for the second espresso to steam, Casey thought nothing of hopping up on a chair and watching the sidewalk traffic. Believe me, if he had opposable thumbs and an ATM card he'd be inside waiting on the barista, instead of making himself at home and fishing for complements.

Vic and the table-crasher