Tuesday, March 15, 2011

where on earth?

Have I been?  I feel like I haven't blogged for ages, and in reality I haven't.  Over the last while I have been preoccupied with many things, most recently my trip to Mexico.  I got home on Sunday after 16 hours of travel, and I'm still recovering!  But, the trip was amazing as always and I loved being back in such an amazing country and surrounded by great friends and the wonderful Mexican people.

Great trip, but I'm happy to be home at the same time...until next year, Mexico!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

spring and snow

Just when the West coast was feeling like spring, we've been hit with a snow storm!  The birds were chirping, the sun was coming out to dry the mud and the plants were pushing through the dirt getting ready to flower our spring colours.  And today, we're sitting in inches of snow, wrapped in sweaters!

I guess this is life on the West coast.  Spring is a long process and takes up the majority of time that other provinces are dealing with full on winter.

Regardless of the weather, I'm already setting my sights on planting the seeds that will become this year's garden plants.  Tomatoes, squash, you name it!  Last year, the seeds were planted on March 20th, but when I moved them out in May, they were still smaller than I would have liked, so this year, I'm pushing it back 20 days and starting them on March 1st.  This should give the young plants time to grow up nice and strong before I switch them to the bed outside.

I've been wondering where to put my starters while they start their lives, and I think I'm taking out my "office" and putting in shelves to hold the trays.  My office is really too small to use, and has ended up becoming a place where I stack papers.  Hardly the creative space I had hoped it would be!  There is the real possibility that I will be taking over the basement room as my new, improved, LARGER office in the near future.  That in itself is a real exciting and huge project, which I will save for another post!

So, in the meantime, I'm dreaming of tomatoes and baby squash while I sit in a winter wonderland!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

anger, heartbreak and the desire to change the past.

When 2011 started, when most people were celebrating with champagne and sparklers, Brent Malcom Connors rang in the new year brutally killing a pit bull puppy in a Victoria hotel room.  Bandit, the pup, suffered broken bones, internal injuries and human bite marks.  It was horrific to everyone and a sign that this year, we HAVE to change the laws regarding animal abuse and cruelty.  I thought it couldn't get worse, that would be the major blow that rocked the core of animal advocates in our province and around the globe.

And then, beyond everyone's wildest nightmares, news broke that Outdoor Adventures, a company near Whistler who ran dog sled tours, brutally killed 100 sled dogs after the Olympics because business was down.  They were loosing money keeping 300 dogs, and after shooting them, slashing their throats and dying horrible deaths, these dogs were dumped in a mass grave.

The details of this case are truly horrific.  Although I couldn't read it all, what I did stomach silenced my spirit and changed me forever.  It is of no surprise that the man who carried out the killings is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.  I will spare you the details on this blog, but for those curious, or for those who don't truly understand the level of cruelty happening in our country, please search out this information.  I simply cannot put what they did into words.

The dogs who witnessed the massacre of their pack, went into a frenzy, smart enough to know what was coming.  To them and to the souls of the dead, I send peace and the hope that they understand that we are not all like the monsters who did this.

To anyone involved with or that had the power to stop this, you must all equally live with that blood on your hands.  Even if you didn't pull the trigger, shame on you.  Any one of my friends would have housed even one of those dogs if they had known what they were preventing.  Their death, especially their horrible torture, was uncalled for and needless.

Run free, little wolves.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

the new news!

Well, for starters, I've finally launched my new store, Five Dog House!  Earth Walker, my first shop, had an overwhelming response right off the bat, making the front page of Etsy within the first week of being open, and steady sales during the following months.

However, Earth Walkers is a dog only shop (soon I'll expand to collars and tags) and I need a place to sell the things made for the 2 legged customers.  So, Five Dog House (the shop) was born!  As I write this, there are currently only 2 listings up but there are many more coming.  The shop will be stocked will a crazy variety of things, from necklaces to vintage wares to heirloom seeds!

In other news, here's Tiloup and Aethan trying out Aethan's "new" bed.  Perhaps it isn't new so much as it is "upcycled".  His bed was a loft style bed with a ladder going up, but in his smaller room, the bed was looming and seemed to take up so much space.  I cut the legs down, took off the side rail and transformed it into a smaller bed, but still high enough that it is more like a captain's bed.  He loves it, and it makes his room seem much, much bigger.  

That's all for today, which felt more like spring than winter...that's life on the West Coast.  From snow to rain and back again, and sooner rather than later, the flowers start to push up.  I'll admit, I've got a small pot of crocus inside to remind me of the longer days...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

garden thoughts...

Last year, I started the tomatoes inside around March 19th.  They grew well, but were still behind what I would have liked at planting time so this year, I'll start the babies around the end of February.  It seems amazing that we're only 6 weeks away from that time already!

Last year, we had 2 raised beds in the front yard, one for only tomatoes, and one for veggies and everything else.  This year however, the tomato bed was planted with garlic, beautiful, tasty, lovely garlic.  The other bed will be the tomato bed this year and the veggies are going into a new soon-to-be-started plot in the backyard.  I'm very excited about this!

I love having our own garden.  For me, its like a dream come true and one of the BEST parts about having this house.  Here's Aethan in our tomato bed from last year.  These suckers grew up to my height and were COVERED in fruit.  All heirloom varieties....YUM!

I came across this, and I don't remember where, so if it is your photo please let me know so I can give credit.  They are using eaves as planters!  Brilliant!  I'd love to try this to save space, but I'd put them along the garden fence.  Someday!

What is your favorite thing to grow, and why?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

meet the dogs: Bez

Bez.  Where do I start and how do I describe this dog?  Bez is the one dog we have that makes people talk in high pitch voices and shriek that he is "SO cute"!  They think he's adorable.  Which, he is, but there is more to Bez than meets the eye.

Adam got Bez when he was 1 from a family who no longer wanted him.  His name back then was "Riggs", and I've heard it said that from the moment Adam brought him home, Bez ruled the roost.  He slept where he wanted, sat on your lap when he wanted, ate wicker furniture when he wanted and tried to kill other dogs when he wanted.  

When Adam became part of our family, so did Bez.  Aethan was 3, and very excited to have a dog.  But, 1 week together and it was obvious that we had our work cut out for us.  One day, Bez was snoozing on our bed and Aethan approached.  Bez snapped.  Adam and I, "newbie" dog owners, panicked.  We had all sorts of images racing around our heads, including giving Bez to a new home.  

But, we worked on it.  We worked HARD.  Bez hated dogs, disliked most people and enjoyed making sure that everyone knew about it...but, after months of hard work and years of maintenance, Bez is much, much better.  While wouldn't leave him alone with Aethan, and he's tried to bite me numerous times, he is a much more mellow, tolerant version of his former self.  He's welcomed new dogs and foster dogs into the house, and since we brought home Daisy, our dog aggressive boy has learned to play, respect and ignore the others.  

He's also a model and Earth Walkers unexpected mascot....

It used to be that Bez couldn't handle being in proximity to another dog, even if it was behind a fence, Bez was like a literal Tasmanian Devil.  Now, he's learned that other dogs can be fun, too.  Still, he's not very good at picking his battles and will usually try to argue with the biggest, toughest dogs he can find.

He's always been Adam's dog, and the bond between Bez and I is different than it is with the others.  It is sometimes a work in progress, but we love each other, deep down, and even when times are tough, we're still family....

And he's still a great model...

Truly, he's been the biggest challenge and I've learned an insane amount from this boy.  I'm glad he's not easy, or else I would never have discovered that I like working with problem dogs.  Maybe I never would have ended up with more, or working in it possible I have Bez to thank for shaping this huge part of my life?  

Friday, January 7, 2011

mexico daydreams...

Last March, I was lucky enough to take a trip to Mexico with one of my best friends, Michelle, and her old best friend Darlene.  Darlene and I hit it off, and the three of us took off on a jet plane.  

How awesome is this?

This year, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be going on the annual girls only trip.  We need a car and a roof, and taking the time and money for a trip seemed too frivolous.  

But, after a much too good to be true deal, it looks like the Mexican get away is not only possible, but perhaps just around the corner.

The beach dogs, the 2 for 1 beer, the sun....

This was my favorite restaurant, even though they tried to rip me off, I love the red plastic chairs stuck in the sand on the beach...

So laid back and slow.  Even the wind moves slowly...

This is my Mexican street dog friend.  He led me to a shop that sells dog food by the scoop.  He was no fool, this one...

On the beach, drinking beer, eating coconut shrimp....

I'll keep you posted if and when we book our flights...