that sliver in my finger is an impediment to my knitting

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Lucky for the garden, though!

We were putting up the fencing at the garden to deter the deer from the green bean buffet, when I got a sliver in my finger. I have slim hope that the fence will work, but the beans are in flower, and the top layer of leaves has already been nibbled away.

I love gardening, and it feels soooooooooo good to have the spare time to do it this summer. Lots of weeding. Much inspecting. The second set of cabbage got planted a couple of weeks ago, the first planting being fairly destroyed by the flea beetle. There are small, green tomatoes, and some of the golden beets are the size of my little finger. The cucumbers have (had…lucky me!) two small cucumbers on the vine. The pod peas are the slowest yet, but have some blooms. But the first prize goes to the zucchini, as always…the one thing of which there is never any shortage!

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that tear that just fell outta my eye…

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There are two bassets on my floor, and I’d be lying if I said that was part of the original plan.

The original plan had a dog called Hart, and a house that was too small for two dogs. The next step of the plan was to build a new house with wonderful, basset-friendly features, such as low windows and a dog run that was just out the back door of the garage. By this time, Hart was already 8 years old…and by the time he would have been 12, Sonja would be 19 and Elena 16, and the doors of parental freedom would be open that much wider, and the idea was that we would be ready to be a family without a dog. After all, the kids would now be busy with more stuff, and we would be way, way past the stage in our lives where we needed a puppy.

The heartbreak that still bubbles to the surface; there was supposed to be an antidote for that by the name of Odin. But Hart was Hart, and Odin is Odin, and oh dear, this is beginning to look like a set up. Because without that dog named Hart, there wouldn’t be an Odin, and there most certainly wouldn’t be a Loki. Because that wasn’t part of the plan. Elena said to me, “Mom, will one more basset take us farther away from Hart?” And the answer, of course, is that time takes you farther away from everything, but to continue to appreciate the basset opportunities life presents to us, is to remember and encourage the basset love that began with a heart of gold.

So here is the new plan, in which there are two bassets on my floor. I love having two bassets on my floor, under my feet and in my heart. And that tear that just fell outta my eye reminds me of the basset that started it all.

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the action shots were too blurry…

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The dog that we “met” last week has come to stay. Yes, now we have two bassets, and two is awesome. Loki is a year older than Odin, but oh so skinny. He is calm sweetness to Odin bullish persistence, and he loves being loved. They are a good pair. We are really paying attention, trying to understand him and best care for him. It is like trying to read a picture book where you don’t know the beginning of the story. So different from starting from a puppy with our first two bassets.

When I was a kid on the farm, we would get dogs dropped off at the end of our driveway. We kept them. When other family members didn’t want their dogs anymore, we took them. We had Brutus and Sam, Sport, Duke, Snoopy, Nikki, Bo and Mitzi. The only time we called the pound was for the pit bull with the infected eye. They all were treated as outdoor farm dogs; loved but not coddled, cared for but not worried over. Bones more than dog treats, and a dog house insulated with hay bales in the winter. They were always just around, but would happily come with us for walks on the bush trails along the fields. Just farm dogs.

And now, having raised two healthy, happy (house) hounds from puppy, I find myself in the unusual position of having to undo someone else’s lack of care. That lack is something of which I cannot understand the why and the how. It hurts my heart; but from now on, for this little pup, things will be better. It is a process, one that I am looking forward to seeing the results of. I’m hopeful that those little ribs and every single nub of spine disappear into a good sack of basset, trusting that good food, good play, and lots of love will fill out that little basset belly. Until little Loki isn’t so little anymore!

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into the wilds

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The best weekends are camping weekends.

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sweetness

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The hibiscus wasn’t flowering in the shop when we had them for sale, but I took one home anyway because I have a back yard full of sun for most of the day, and the tag looked promising. It’s lovely, and the flowers are bigger than the palm of my hand. I’m hoping the lemon tree that we bought shows some signs of growth soon. We had some very high winds lately, and I was just happy it was able to hang on to all its leaves!

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A morning of berry picking resulted in 18 big jars of jam. I’m so lazy after picking that I wouldn’t have made up the jam, except my mother in law hulled three of the four pails of berries, which meant I had to scramble to find jars and lids in the mess of boxes in the basement, and make a run for sugar!

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And on Tuesday we met a new basset…”Dad, the dude is totally hogging the gap in the fence…

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…no, wait, I got him covered. We’re cool.”

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one year in

Sweet puppy one year ago…

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We were so happy for the offer of a basset puppy! Life was just not the same without a hound underfoot. And so, Odin-the-Strong-willed came home with us…

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I can honestly say that we were not expecting that much attitude or force of nature from such a bundle of fur. He was so stubborn! (Ok, he still is, but at least now, he can be reasonable!)

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He reminded me so much of our Elena…persistence, intensity, strong will, and high energy…that we called him “Elena with fur.” That puppy stage was challenging; so barkey and bitey! The obsession with socks and underwear! The sneak and destroy tactics! The growling when he didn’t get his way!

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All worth it. So worth it, our bundle of basset joy! He’s growing up, getting smarter, and understanding more. His command of the English language is great, as is his sense of humour (oh, yes, bassets are so funny) and his willingness to obey has improved from “I don’t think so” to “well, ok, if you really want me to.” (Which is nothing short or miraculous. I know.)

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We love him so much! It’s been an awesome first year, Odin.

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what she wanted

I wasn’t expecting, ever, to repot a Venus fly-trap. Wasn’t expecting to ever need to know soil and nutrient requirements. But when Sonja unexpectedly asked for a Venus fly-trap a few weeks ago, and when I even more unexpectedly found one when I was grocery shopping…well, today I found myself offering it dead flies, and tickling it’s whiskers with a blade of grass to make it snap shut.

Never say never.

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