Category Archives: Gardening

Perspective: a guest post by Lola

Lola's Serious FaceThere’s a lot of writing going on at our house, but somehow it isn’t getting onto the blog, so I decided to help out again. I’m very busy patrolling the yard and taking my person out for walks, but I don’t mind sacrificing a nap here and there so I can have a chat with friends.

My person has been working on a lot of short stories lately. She says it’s nice to actually complete a project sometimes. I guess novels are so long that they can seem impossible to finish. Dogs don’t ever let the size of a job intimidate them, though.  If you see a big pile of dirt, just start digging. Eventually, it will be flat. If there’s a tall hill in front of you, you don’t have to make the trip in one leap. Put one paw in front of the other and you’ll find your way to the top.

A big job doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s all in how you look at it. Perhaps one day my person will understand this.

Kway Paay Peak is a steep climb, but if you keep moving forward, you get to the top.

Kwaay Paay Peak is a steep climb, but if you keep moving forward, you get to the top.

She reads some of her stories to me and I like them a lot, especially the ones that are about dogs.  I was even the main character in one of them. In that story I’m outside in the back yard at night and then… never mind… I don’t want to spoil it for you.

If she works hard, she might get it published and then you can read it, too. Maybe the same will be true of her novel. It’s more about people than dogs, but there are dogs in it and she said I might have a cameo role.  I don’t know what that means but it sounds delicious.

It’s almost time for my next nap and I need to make one more pass around the yard. I hear a hawk calling and he’s probably perched in one of my pine trees. I’ve got work to do!

   Barking       Hawk

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Filed under Dogs, Gardening, Hiking, Lola, novels, Short Stories, Writing

Spring Fever: a guest post by Lola

You might think we’re not susceptible to spring fever in San Diego and while it’s true that we have pretty good weather most of the time, we do have shorter days in winter and the temperature drops at night. My undercoat gets thicker from November through April and my person has to wear a hat and scarf for our morning walks.

When the days get longer, I have more energy and I need to do something with it. I want to get outside and enjoy the light, but lately, the weather hasn’t been cooperating. We’ve had quite a few rainy days and the furnace still runs to take of the morning chill. I don’t mind the colder weather since I have that nice warm undercoat, but my person won’t leave the door open for me when the heat is on. I think she should just turn off the furnace, open the door and wear a coat in the house, but I haven’t talked her into that yet.

My other person promised me that it’s going to get warm today and I’m hoping he’s right. I need that back door open so I can properly patrol both the house and the yard. Lounging around in the window seat might look relaxing, but it doesn’t satisfy me. I do enjoy watching the new hummingbird feeder out my window, but it’s not the same as actually chasing the birds and bunnies.

And my person needs to get back to her normal writing and gardening routine instead of going crazy with other things.

She can keep working on her needlepoint picture after the sun goes down, but I’ll be very glad to see that paint brush and roller go back to the basement where they belong.  I don’t care if she brings her notebook or her digger, but this afternoon, we need to get outside!

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Filed under Creativity, Dogs, Gardening, Lola

Blooming Distractions

I’m supposed to be working on my “girl and her dog” novel. I can’t say it’s been going badly, but I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like in the new year. I’ve been distracted by my garden.

One of the things I love about living in San Diego is that I can work in the garden year round. That’s also one of the most frustrating things. There are always a lot of chores to do. I’ve got two big projects going on right now, a fun one and an overwhelming one.

The bad news is that I have an invasive vine. I don’t know what it is but I’ve been told that I can take a cutting to my local Master Gardeners and they can identify it. Will identification help with eradication?

It has pretty yellow flowers right now, but soon, the fluffy seed pods will fly. This vine also seems to spread by putting down roots whenever it comes in contact with the soil, which is almost everywhere. Its long shoots climb the sumac and toyon bushes, tangling in their branches and smothering them as it spreads.

I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever get rid of it. I go out to pull the vines for an hour or so, fill two or three trash cans with the stuff and realize that I’ve barely made a dent in my problem. It’s a long, slow task that I might finish in the distant future with no guarantee of success. A little bit like writing a novel, isn’t it?

Monkey Flower with Buckwheat

My fun project is to replant some of my back yard flower beds with drought tolerant plants, mostly mediterranean and native varieties with a few favorite wildflowers. What I really want to plant, though, has been a bit of a mystery. I have a pretty flowering shrub growing naturally in the wild part of my yard and I’ve also seen it as I walk in my neighborhood. A friend told me it was called monkey flower, but when I searched online for that, I didn’t see any pictures that looked right so I had no idea what to ask for at my local nursery.

I decided to try taking cuttings to see if they’ll grow roots. My five little cuttings are still green, but it will take some time before I discover if I’ll be able to use them in my garden. Meanwhile, though, I searched a little harder and I might have found my plant online at Las Pilitas Nursery. I think it’s called Diplacus puniceus x clevelandii, San Diego Sunrise monkey flower. If my cuttings don’t take, it will be worth the drive up to Escondido to have these beautiful flowers right outside my back door. Perhaps they’ll give me the inspiration I need to sit down and write.

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Filed under Gardening, Writing

Thanksgiving in Texas: a guest post by Lola

My person is still working hard on her NaNoWriMo project. I hope she is almost finished. Meanwhile, I’m helping out on her blog again with another guest post.

We went to Texas for Thanksgiving this year. It takes a long time to get there – we have to drive for two days across the desert and over mountains. The first day in the car is fine, but when we have to get in the car that second day, I’m feeling pretty stir crazy. It’s all worth it, though, to spend some time with some of my very favorite relatives.

The best part of being at G&G’s house is that there is always something happening, especially in the kitchen. If I sit politely, I get treats. My person’s mom is a dancer, too, and I love to watch her practice her clogging dances. She even had a performance while we were visiting. (She is the tall one who looks like my person.)

G&G live in a house with a really big yard. It has a tall fence to keep out the deer, so my person lets me run around as much as I want. There are lots of creatures that do come inside the fence, like a fox and raccoons and squirrels and birds, so I have plenty of scents to chase.

I like to follow my person’s dad as he works in the garden. He lets me help him dig and he doesn’t mind if I accidentally fill in a hole he is digging. He just chuckles and empties it out again. Sometimes he gives me empty flower pots to play with and he is always willing to pause in his work and throw a ball for me.

We go for long walks every day and we see lots of those deer that can’t come into the yard.

There is even a little pond that I can play in. Heaven!

The best part about this visit was when my favorite little person arrived with her family. We have so much fun playing together.

I do get a little time to myself for long naps on the couch when all of my people go places I can’t. This year, they went to the Texas Furniture Makers Show in Kerrville. Then they went to a place called Grape Juice that my person said was a wine bar. Another day, they went to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar to listen to music and dance. I don’t know why dogs can’t go to these places, but I will admit that after so much playing, I’m happy to have a little quiet time.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to visit more relatives and my canine cousins.  Annie and Ranger are Wheaten Terriers and they are so pretty! They win prizes and everything.

Ranger is only two and he loves to play with me. We had a ball even though Annie, who is nine, sometimes had to bark at us to settle down.

After another long ride in the car, I’m home again. It’s good to be back at work patrolling my yard, but I sure did have a great time in Texas. I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine.

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Filed under dog walking, Dogs, Gardening, Lola, NaNoWriMo, Travel