Growing Things


This long overdue post is dedicated to my best reader … maybe the only one who hasn’t given up on me … my Mom! Happy Birthday, Mom… this whole website thing started with your birthday 11 years ago. Who knew where it would lead?!

There’s been no time for web updates in the last couple of months. I know, I know… how can that be? We don’t have regular work (the kind with paychecks attached) … and we hardly know anyone in Texas. How can we be busy all the time? I don’t know. But we are. The focus since our last post has been on growing things. Flowers… vegetables … plants … and … drum roll please … puppies!!

My Master Gardener course has proven to be a good experience but more time intensive than originally anticipated, what with the volunteer gardening and homework on top of class time. I’ve got two more classes until graduation, which, it turns out, I might miss because Dottie’s pups are due. Mom and Dad are supposed to roll in the same day … see what I mean? Life is just always full, no matter what!

tieSo backing up, on March 9 Dottie and I flew to Chicago to meet her intended, Target, and his people, Susan and Scott. Well, not JUST to meet them… Dottie may not have known why we were doing what we were doing, but she sure knew what to do when we got there! Target wasn’t quite as certain but he’s a quick study and, under Dottie’s persistent tutelage, he figured things out right quick. Within an hour of meeting, we had a “tie”. Before we left, they mated three more times and as a result, Dottie has lost her waistline. Hopefully, the only other thing we’ll lose is some sleep (that’s inevitable when you worry like I do) and in a couple of weeks we’ll have healthy pups nursing contentedly from a happy new mama dog.


Scott and Susan were wonderful hosts (I can still taste the yummy tapas from Emilio’s) so the trip to Chicago was pleasant (though there is something inherently odd about people who have just met, hanging out in a hotel room together, watching their dogs have sex!) Dottie’s co-owner, Mel, was able to join us for a couple of days too, making for an even better experience. It would sure be comforting to have her here for whelping but most likely we’ll be on our own for that. On Friday, Dottie will have x-rays to get a (hopefully) accurate puppy count. Stay tuned!


While I was in Chicago, Steve brought home and spread several truckloads of mulch from the Comal County Rural Recycle Center. He calls it “frosting” the landscape. I call it “awesome”! I could not believe the difference when I got home. Not only did the mulch tidy things up a lot but he also spread loads of rock around our fire ring, effectively turning our back yard burn spot into a recreational area. It looked a bit like a helicopter landing pad until we put some freebie benches, gleaned from a neighbor who moved, around the outside. It both looks, and works, great! Oh, and he made us the most wonderful planters out of rotted oak logs!


We’ve been eating out of the garden… lettuce, spinach, beet greens, basil, cilantro, and chard so far. Things are heating up and the lettuce is bolting. Might get some peas, beans, and beets before we go but I think the tomatoes and peppers ended up being planted for Gwen and J.R., who will be staying in our house this summer. Ah well, live and learn… at least I know someone will enjoy them. The rest of the landscape is liking the rain we’ve had this year. Weeds are popping up everywhere! lettuceFortunately, the difference between a weed and a wildflower isn’t much sometimes so my weeding is pretty selective. The wild purple verbena is blooming all over the place and, from who-knows-where, corn poppy plants are volunteering. I think they’ll bloom for mom and dad’s arrival! The California Poppies that I planted are doing their thing, along with a few Texas Bluebonnets (hopefully, more of that seed will germinate next year) and soon we’ll also have Blanket Flower and Coreopsis that I planted, and Mexican Hats that I didn’t. Anyway, I’ve been a planting fool, mostly from freebie starts and transplants that I’ve gotten from classmates or from the community gardens we work in. With our departure for California looming ever closer, I’ve got to stop. Hopefully, with a little help from Gwen, at least some things will survive until I get back here next fall.

Friday night we saw Willie Nelson just down the road, and yesterday was the Canyon Lake BBQ cook off. The Carver RV Repair and Service cook team (J.R., Gwen and their friends Ken and Vicki) took second for their beans. I thought everything they cooked was a winner though! Fun stuff but that’s a story for another day.


For now, I’ll finish where I started. Happy Birthday, Mom! As I said, you might be the only reader who hasn’t given up on me and I truly love you for that!

10 thoughts on “Growing Things

  1. Anonymous

    Wow! Things are beautiful! Canit wait to actually see things in person. Michele, did you recognize the plant you
    and Shaun gave dad last year that has become a tree to big
    for the window! Laura has a pretty one also! Dad’s will stay in house until we return and then will go on deck this
    summer. Steve, your work is wonderful. You guys have sure
    improved your property so no wonder why you are busy all the time. Of course, Laura, your new web sites are always
    special for me. Glad to not have that rain chart every day
    when I open the web! Even got your photo. Dottie does look a little hefter! Thank you for my birthday present
    again this year. My presents are all just what I like –
    photos and flowers! Michele and Shaun may have to update
    theirs before long I am sure. See you soon and love you, mom

  2. Kim

    Hey! I keep up on it too! Every once in a while, I get a little itch and discover you have posted a new entry!

  3. Mom

    I send people there when You update. I just told Aunt Marilyn to look recently. I think Aunt Rody also looks.
    Glad you had good time on lake today and glad you have 3
    puppies! Oh, yes, Jay is a Papa! That is great. Tell him
    for me when you communicate with him. You will have a new
    baby to see in CA this year. love you both

  4. Laura

    Oh Ed, you need to be on Facebook… that’s where all the pictures are. I do need to do an update here too. Thanks for letting me know you’re looking!

    For the moment, here are links to the pics on Facebook. We’ll be in Santa Cruz in about a week. You will have to come meet the pups in person!

    As for “moregone” nobody will know what you’re talking about once our facebook status updates change. It’s just a funny facebook blip, on a not funny item.

    Hope to see you soon!

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