Thursday, April 21, 2011

Garden Crazy

Reading the blogs of gardeners from other areas of the country and the world, I am becoming aware of just how blessed we are to live in a climate suitable for growing something most of the year.  In appreciation of this, I've just joined The Growing Challenge to have a four season garden this year.  You can find them at:

I had made up a planting schedule for the whole year ahead of time this year with some help from Clemson University's website.  They had South Carolina divided up into specific regions, and gave great advice that has probably saved me time, money, and aggravation.  For instance, I was going to plant Collards with my early crops, but Clemson suggests waiting for a Fall crop.  They would grow fine, it seems, as an early season crop.  They would also be bitter and awful without that Fall frost required to make them worth eating.  Bless them for sparing me that disappointment!

I'm off to my SC garden tomorrow night and I'll be red-faced, sweaty and sore Saturday morning.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ahhhhh, Ranger

Ranger has been growing - and eating - and eating - and committing crimes.

Crime #1.  Dumpster diving.

Ranger has developed the charming habit of excavating things from the recycling bin, chewing them to shreds, swallowing some of it and evenly distributing the rest all over the house.  One of these days I expect to have my vet tell me we'll have to surgically remove something from his gut.  I'll think about it.

Why don't we just move the recycling you ask?  Because his obsession with the recyclables means he isn't eating as many shoes, purses, hats, couches, etc.  That's why.

Crime #2.  Excavation #1

Our neighbors on the other side of the fence have a herd of dogs that makes ours look small.  One of those dogs is a vicious, dog killing, beautiful, intact blue Pit Bull.  Did I mention he's unusually large for a Pit?  He has killed some of their other dogs, including Snoopy, my favorite.  I don't like that damned dog and I'm always scared he will get into my yard and hurt my babies.  Ranger decided, for whatever reason, to dig under the fence and under the neighbor's shed.  He made a cave big enough to turn his 87 lb.self around in.  There can only be a few inches of dirt left between him and the evil dog over there.  Did I mention the killer dog's name is Danger?  Bren and I countered with this:

He uses these giant mitts to move all that dirt.

Crime #3.  Excavation #2

Ranger is the reason why I will never have any compost for my garden.  He digs under the compost bin, knocks the side door off, and eats every nasty, disgusting bit of rotting vegetation I put in there.  The few things he won't actually eat, like leek tops, he carries around the yard as trophies and toys.  Damn it.

Crime #4.  The front and back doors.
This is what he does when I'm out and he's in.  Or when I'm in and he's out.  Buy some stock in vinegar production, folks, 'cause I'm going to be doing a lot of windows.

Crime #5.  Beating his Mama up.

He didn't mean to.  He just forgets how big he is.  So while I was looking out the front door at the rain, a clap of thunder startled everyone.  I heard him coming down the hall like a thundering herd of wildebeest.  I turned just in time to catch 87 lbs. of terrified dog right in the gut.  I think he was attempting to jump into my arms.  I fell backward, striking the back of my head on the edge of the open door.  As I fell with my hip hitting the metal edge of the landing, Ranger fell with me, his front feet driving all of the breath from my body. Oof!  I was just down for the count for a minute there.  My ancient, terribly ill rat terrier Pip is very protective of his mama.  He was beside himself, so he decided the right thing to do was to launch himself at poor Ranger, who was scared and scrambling to regain his footing (still on my stomach, God help me.) Just picture it, if you will.  The hysterical small dog attacking the big, frightened dog and me trying to move so I could separate them before someone got hurt.  Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Why would we keep such a pain in the tuchas, you ask?

Well....he is really sweet.  And really, really lovey.  And it's almost cute when he forgets how big he is and sits on someone's lap.  But mostly we put up with his doofiness because we rescued him as a companion for Chewie and they are great together.

He makes Chewie happy and that makes us happy.