Friday, April 30, 2010

Veggie Tales Continued

Well, our garden is in and we're hoping for the best.  We are trying square foot gardening, an intensive gardening technique where something is planted in almost every square foot. 

An important aspect of square foot gardening is thinking vertical.  We will need to train all of our vining plants to grow up which means Rob and I will have to get creative with trellises, cages, tripods, ladders, etc.  Here's our plant list:  tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, cilantro, rosemary, basil, sweet basil, lavender, sage, parsley, and oregano.  We really wanted to grow zucchini and squash, but they don't really fit in a square foot garden.  We also put in some zinnias for cutting and some marigolds for natural pest control. 

Rob brought home a bale of hay to spread around as mulch and we still need to lay our soaker hoses.  The garden is right near a gutter downspout so we plan on putting a rain barrel in to use for much of our watering.


The whole shebang

Yummy Sweet wouldn't believe how this smells.

Grow babies grow!

In other garden news, our shade garden is coming back in nicely.  I love these gigantic Hostas!

Oh, the miracles of nature.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Green loves her Greens

Now that Cora is getting older we are getting more creative with what she is eating.  She has six teeth and is getting the hang of feeding herself.  Tonight she had some salmon for the first time and seemed to enjoy it.  She's been eating pureed broccoli for a while but tonight she tried it like this.

 "Mom, do I have to try this?"


"Hey...that's pretty good!"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cool Like Dad

Hangin' with Dad at the Norman Music Fest.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Veggie Tales

I recently had a birthday and my sweet husband gave me exactly what I wanted.  A place to scratch in the dirt and try my hand at growing some veggies.  Here are the beginnings of what I hope will at least yield a modest crop of earthy goodness. 

I had a serious laugh when I saw his bottom dragging pickup roll around the corner loaded with topsoil.

Have some lemonade, honey, and THANK YOU for my present!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for success.  We are trying something called square foot gardening and will just have to see how it goes. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best Buds

In the interest of full disclosure, I was armed with the camera ready to capture this moment.  The first time I saw Cora doing this, I couldn't get to the camera fast enough. 

Now that she is eating little finger foods, sometimes I will put her in the "co-pilot" seat with a few puffs while I get the rest of her meal together.  Well, she recently discovered how much fun it is to share her food with the dog.  She prefers the "One for me, one for you, one for me, one for you" method. 

This is certainly not teaching our six month old puppy the best manners, but I think they are working on securing a lifelong bond.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our New Saturday Night

Sometimes when I sit back and take a look at the canvas of our life, I realize so much has changed in a short amount of time. Carefree Saturday nights with friends and weekends that seemed overflowing with free time have been replaced by quiet nights at home and less running and going and doing. We still have plenty of time to be with friends but we delight in what seem like ordinary moments like these.

Daddy reading books to the baby while the dog tugs on the leg of my pj pants.  Extraordinary.  It felt as i if all in the universe was in perfect sync for one moment.  Looking forward to many more of these. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

In Honor of a Good Bad Dog

It’s taken me forever to get up the nerve to write about my feelings of losing our beloved dog. The first dog that was ever truly mine and the first pet of my love. Our first dog together and for that matter our first child. An acquaintance of mine once told me that owning a dog means you are destined for tragedy, and now I understand just what she meant. Almost five months have passed and somehow it doesn’t feel any less tragic; I just don’t think about it as much.

Puppy Love:

We knew we wanted a dog and felt certain we wanted to adopt from a local rescue. We had a new house, a big backyard, and yearned for an extra heartbeat to help us fill up our space. It was then that our paths crossed a little speckled, crazy-eyed wonder. He was eight weeks old and so pitiful and he was ours. We had no idea what he even was, except that he was a ball of pudgy puppy belly love.

Wanting to be the best dog owners we could, we sprung head first into training and walks and praise and treats and dog toys and dog beds and more walks and soccer playing and agility training and socializing, aaaaaaand you get the picture. He learned so many cool tricks like “whisper”, “up the ramp”, “down the slide”, “jump over” and “bang” as well as all the standard canine trickery like “roll over”. His soccer playing rivaled Beckham’s and when he was full grown he was a loyal running partner never minding being roused from his morning slumber to hit the pavement with Mom or Dad.

Chaco falls in Love:

One of things that made Chaco more special than anything was that he introduced us to two incredible people we likely would have never met. Being the obsessive compulsive dog walkers that we were, we frequently passed by some even more neurotic dog walkers with a hot little Border Collie on the end of their leash.

After many chance crossings, we decided we should get our little canine friends together for some “puppy play dates” and lo and behold was it love at first sight (for the dogs) and the instant connection we made with new friends was wonderful as well. Chaco and Maia were the best of buds, and I do mean the BEST of buds. All we had to do was say, “Let’s go see Maia” in our sweetest of ice cream voices and he was ready to burst through the front door. They could spot each other from a distance in the darkness for early morning runs. They truly loved each other and were the best of friends.

In the too short time that our friends were in Norman we made many memories together almost always including the dogs. We walked and ran countless miles with the dogs, met up at the park for endless games of fetch and chase, and relaxed around the dinner table with loyal friends at our feet. It was ironic that after the painful move of our friends to another state, we also lost our dog. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who we miss more. That chapter of our life was written with much joy.

Good but Bad:

Since this post is to honor Chaco I don’t really want to go into the details of what made him such a hard dog to love, but that is just it, he was good, but he was bad…and it broke our hearts into pieces.

As much as we tried with training and love, there were just some things in life that he couldn’t get over. I still feel anger at how unfair it felt that we spent so much time with him, trying to be the best dog owners we could that he still had fears that could incite unpredictable aggression. All we ever wanted to do was to love a dog and have him fully be a part of our life. But sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan.

A Walk to Remember:

Sorry Nicholas Sparks, but your title is the only one that seems appropriate for what I have to say. How do you say goodbye to a dog to soon? A dog that your heart bursts with love for and you would do anything for, except endanger your baby and family? A dog that is healthy and young and ought to live until he’s so old that all he does is sleep, eat, fart, nuzzle up to your knees for head scratches and sneak table scraps to his heart’s content.

It was a perfect afternoon with bright sunshine and a gentle breeze. We walked down some our favorite streets. Streets that had not seemed so profound until that day. We walked slowly, hand in hand with the dog at our side, mostly in silence. I felt as if I was memorizing every step. We walked west on McNamee under the towering trees and then down Windsor Way, Maia’s old street, until we reached Rotary Park. Our park. The park where we first discovered what a soccer phenom our dog was.

We played soccer until we thought he might collapse, still amazed at his agile in flight catches. In awe of his raw speed, the beauty of his gait, and the tharump, tharump, tharump of his paws on the ground as he bolted to snag a ball.

When his step began to drag along with his tongue, we found a nice shady area to sit and rest. His fur was hot from the sun and his belly was rapidly rising up and down with a “huh, huh, huh”. He was stretched between Rob and me luxuriating in the afternoon while we were secretly dying on the inside.

Rob reached for his collar to take off his tag but only found an empty ring. He remembered that on one pass to catch a ball he heard a strange jingle. He walked across the field searching for the “Chaco” tag and when he returned it was grasped in his hand. All those miles of walks and runs and soccer had worn the tag thin and on this day it wore through. It was time to say goodbye.


What makes the feeling between man and animal so intense? What is it that makes us love animals so deeply? I think it is perfect illustration of the human need to not only receive, but to give love and compassion. Perhaps it is even safer to love and nurture an animal than it is another person because there is a smaller chance of frequent heartbreak, until that big final heartbreak at the end. I can’t articulate exactly what it is, but it was worth the deep grief we had to endure at the end.

“Dogs aren’t our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” - Roger Caras

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'll Show you Determination

Totally determined to get to the camera. 

Friday, April 9, 2010


She's gone three-quarters of the way around the sun and after just one more quarter, she'll no longer be a baby...except in my heart. I'm still trying to adjust to what a drippy, syrupy, sappy sweet mess having a child has made me.

Each smile and laugh is still a momentous occasion. What might seem like a tiny new development to others is equivalent to scaling Everest to us. Does this ever go away? Is it the fact that she is so tiny and already capable of so much that makes it incredible, or will that continue even as she grows? I hope it does because this feeling of excitement is like no other, simply exhilarating.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recently Overheard

You know you are traveling with a kid and a dog when your husband looks around at the car and says:

"We look like hoarders." 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring is springing!

My heart is full of joy to see sweet, chubby baby legs again in the flesh.  The cold has admitted defeat (fingers crossed) and subtle hints of new life are once again everywhere.  Even though Cora doesn't know exactly  what's happening, I do know she is happy to be outside so much more. 

With Easter just around the corner, there are some eggs "hidden" in the yard and it looks like Cora found them. 

Everyone should take some time to go outside and play in nature.  Breathe it in.  Touch it with your hands.  Be joyful!