I’m not a fan of large crowds, and especially not large, drunk crowds, so I spend my New Year’s Eves at home, chilling out, reading, and watching football. This year was no different.
Redneck neighbor guy apparently scraped together some pennies this year to invest in fireworks, as there were random pops of things going off well before midnight. Loud noises like that are things that scare the big dog, so he winds up close to me, regardless of where I am (including in the bathroom).
The puppy ignores all that, but also is always by my side – he’s very loyal.
So, we plopped ourselves on the couch (and floor), watched some football, and then watched The Boondock Saints, recommended to me by my little brother. Not bad.
Beyond the random firework noise, which was minimal, we had a nice quiet entry into the new year. That’s the way I prefer it.
*I tried to post this last night, on the 2nd, to stay with my goal of posting every day, but naturally my ISP – a satellite company I will not name – crapped itself on the uplink side. Those images up there took eight and six tries, respectively, to upload, and I won’t even go into the timeouts all over the place. I finally sent them an email (via my phone, because even their customer page wouldn’t load) asking them WTF was going on, and this morning on the 3rd seems to be better – although it’s storming here at the moment, and they’re not very good about staying up during rain. Or fog. Or sunshine. Or anything. We’ll see if it stays that way after I return from my doctor’s visit and a run to the store.
The cucumbers, running rampant in he front garden north, got some trellis work today, and the green beans, caught in the tentacles of those cukes, were freed to go about their business.
When I completed multiple levels of trellising on both sides of the cuke runs, I found my hero standing over the dead body of one of his enemies, which he had been stalking for a few days now.
The common eastern mole, making messes of yards everywhere for eons.
I did not cut it in half with the scissors, no. I just didn’t have any gloves with me during that particular excursion to the garden, and simply used the tool I had to pick him up and toss him over the fence into the ditch area by the road to allow nature’s cleanup crew (vultures, ants, etc.) take care of it.
This day, the first day of the new year, has been an odd one. I was up well past the turn of the year, until almost 3 AM. My oldest dog got me up at 4:45 so he could run out and do some business. We all went back to bed, but were up again just before 8 AM. Since then, it’s been nonstop work, either outside (and I’ll have a separate post about that) or inside. No naps, except for the dogs, and it’s about 7:15 in the evening right now but it feels like late evening. Very late evening. Like “this would be a good time to call it a day” evening and go to bed. But it’s far too early for that, and I still have to eat again today as I’ve only had two so far: my usual to start the day, and then this for the new year, as is traditional.
Beans and rice and cornbread, with diced onion and ham. It doesn’t look like much – the soul eating baby could probably eat three of these – but it’s about what I can handle. I managed almost all of it. The leftover, sans onion, went to the dogs. We could all use a little luck for the new year, I think.
My oldest dog – the one who is mostly blind, deaf to anything but the loudest of noises, and generally a cranky old man – keeps getting me up in the very early morning hours so he can get outside and do his business. That business includes what seems to be a routine early morning poop, and if I am not quick enough to the door to open it, it becomes my business because he’s certainly not going to pick it up himself. This is relatively new behavior, as he would generally be able to hold it for the hour or so later I would be getting up anyway, but as I say, he’s an old man and it seems his body is no longer up to that task. I say this only because he woke me u on this particular day after I’d had about two hours of sleep thanks to a server issue that took me to the NOC in the wee hours. Luckily for me, there was no bonus poop round to start my day. There was also no early treadmill session, as I went back to bed for a bit, finally giving up on the sleeping attempt when I awoke just shy of two hours later.
In the evening, I had a rather bad round of reflux/indigestion, the kind that makes you feel as if you’re on the verge of throwing up or dying (or both), but got some meds down successfully and only dry heaved once or twice before recovering. I thought I might pass on the evening treadmill session, because I didn’t feel like it at all after the day that had passed. I did it anyway, and it wasn’t terrible. There’s a lesson there I should take to heart for my writing.
Back in action today with two sessions on the treadmill, complete with trying to convince the puppy to stop playing with his ball and knocking it under the thing. I don’t think this will stick with him – after all, dogs have the attention spam of about four seconds, which is why they’re so absurdly pleased to see you when you just walk out to the car for something and then come back in.
Thirteen minutes this morning, just under fifteen late this afternoon, and more reading done. It’s interesting, reading a book in increments of 10-20 minutes at a time. I read very quickly, though, so it doesn’t take me forever to get through something while I’m putting one foot in front of the other to get to the end of my time or distance. It’s already becoming a habit and our (the dogs and my) routine is working out rather nicely. The only hiccup is when it will have to be done to work around medical appointments, including the xmas gift I’m getting of an MRI on my brain so they can see nothing’s there. Har Har.
One of my dogs sleeps in my bed more than I do. That wouldn’t be interesting in and of itself except for the way he sleeps, with his legs and head tangled somewhere in the footboard design. I still don’t understand how animals can sleep this way. Just looking at them sometimes makes my neck ache.
A bit of rain must fall. That’s what they say, anyhow. It’s been raining here for three days straight, to the tune of over five inches, and I think that’s probably enough for us for now.
As chance would have it, the last afternoon just before all this started, I had put in the seed potatoes. We don’t have a lot of success with potatoes – sweet potatoes, that’s a different story – but usually it’s because they get blight or borers take them out. I’m hoping that all this rain does not mean an immediate end to this year’s potato experiment because they all rot in the ground before they can get going. The sweet potato slips have not yet gone out, as they just arrived last week and have been getting some hydrating of their own since they looked a bit limp when we unpacked them. That isn’t a problem now.
The problem now is finding a place to put them where they won’t overrun everything in their path. I have a couple of empty rows up front, and I suspect that’s where they’ll end up (and where we will find sweet potatoes coming up for years afterward, as we do out back where we’ve had them previously).
One thing that does love the rains: weeds. Today, since the forecast is finally backing off, I’ll be heading out to do another round of weeding. The good thing about weeds in wet soil is that they come out pretty easily. The bad thing is they come out heavy, holding that wet soil, and unless you get most of the dirt off somehow, the weed bags get pretty damned heavy. One of the (many) tradeoffs at the ranch.
With the rains and the flooding, it also means no log runs chasing a thrown ball for the puppy. Until the flooding subsides a bit, that will be on hold. And that, my friends, makes a puppy sad.
Finally! Purveyors of chicken jerky treats for dogs are voluntarily recalling products based on antibiotic residue found in chicken jerky treats coming from China.
“Milo’s Kitchen® today announced that it is voluntarily recalling its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailer shelves nationally. No other Milo’s Kitchen® products are affected. ”
“Nestle Purina PetCare Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Waggin’ Train, LLC today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats sold in the United States until further notice. ”
Of course, at the ranch, we make our own, so we know what’s in them: chicken. No glycerol, no antibiotics, no anything else. Grind it, put it in the jerky gun my aunt Susi kindly gave me for xmas, and stuff them in a low oven to dry. The salmon jerky was way smellier, but they seemed to love the stuff, so another batch of that will be in the offing as well.
Morning thus far: retrieved the trash can and two days’ worth of mail, made another batch of syrup for the bees, checked the transplanted tomatoes (a few knocked out by the storm yesterday, but overall, not bad), checked the cuke progress (flowering!), watched a super league rugby playoff match from Sunday, fed and watered the dogs, and sliced a bunch of chicken into thin strips to make jerky. For the dogs – because I keep reading bad stories about chicken jerky treats from China, and the jerky at Costco? From China. We’ve not noticed any ill effects on our dogs from that, but making our own is easy enough (plus we know exactly what’s in it: chicken, no glycerin). Now eating and waiting for two new servers to show up so I can build those out and hustle them to the NOC. The day is young!