Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Deck in the Agility Field

Car port BEFORE the deck was added

Car port AFTER the deck was added

Car port and deck --- as seen from the apartment

This deck technically predates the blog, but only by a few weeks, so I thought I would document the project anyway. There was a car port in the (now) agility field when I bought the property, which had plywood walls so that it could serve as a makeshift horse stall. Because the interior didn't get any light, it was always a bit muddy and looked like prime real estate for snakes and spiders. My friend Ed Rothschild, who was living in the big house at that time, systematically removed all the walls, which was a big project. Thank you Ed! It looked immensely better after that, but the ground was still uneven under the car port and it was tricky to keep it mowed properly with the support columns and ground braces in the way. So, in August I had a deck built under the car port and I love it. Have been able to move a metal table and chairs out to the deck (all found at the Salvation Army and vastly improved with a few coats of fresh paint) and it makes a perfect place to sit while watching the dogs race around the field. And post-racing, the dogs all seem to love hanging out on the deck as well. Still need to stain the wooden sides of the deck, but the top is a composite material that will never need stain or paint. Hooray.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Yes yes, for those who asked --- the picture of the tomato on the right side of the blog is indeed real (i.e., from my farm). The only vegetables I planted this season were tomato plants (three different varieties) and a few herbs, but they were amazing. Probably had more luck with my "crops" than I might have had otherwise because I planted everything in Earthboxes (see foreground of picture above). These clever rolling containers provide plenty of room for planting, while also providing a built-in self-watering system for the plants. Even with the heat we had in Virginia this summer, I was able to water every other day and the plants thrived for months. Rest assured, I have enjoyed lots of tomato/mozzarella salads, eaten plenty of tomato sandwiches, made quite a few tomato pies and given away bags of tomatoes to other people as well. Next year --- lettuce, carrots and radishes are in the gardening plans. I don't even really like radishes, but I love how they look just peeking out of the ground. How's that for farming honesty? :-) (for more information on earthboxes)

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Crosby is the old man of my crew, at the grand old age of 12. He seems to be going strong though and can keep up with the other dogs for at least the first few laps around the field each day. Then he usually loses interest in their silliness and retires to the deck to watch the zooming from afar. He can usually be counted on to greet guests with a large bed pillow or one of my shoes in his mouth --- and then leaves these items in the yard for me to find via flashlight late at night, usually after it starts to rain. He seems to enjoy this game immensely. :-)


Thor is 10 years old --- although his graying muzzle might suggest even older. His energy level is that of a puppy though, and he can still jump almost 3 feet straight into the air in his trademark "Shamu" trick. I sometimes think that if I had even half of Thor's enthusiasm for life, I would be able to accomplish great things. He never fails to make me smile.


Flake is looking remarkably fluffy and clean here --- which is not her usual look on days when the baby pool is filled and she gets to play submarine. If Flake lived closer to the beach, I think she would spend all of her time trying to get to the surf.


This is what happens when an adorable little terrier gets lost amidst the brambles and emerges five minutes later --- ridiculously happy, but covered head to tail in tagalongs and other assorted flora. Lovely, huh?


Pilot is the newest member of the pack --- and is some wonderful combination of Chihuahua-Beagle-Jack Russell-Dachshund-Other. He still thinks big dogs (other than the ones he lives with) are very scary and worthy of much barking, but he is becoming quite the little performer for increasingly large groups of people. He is featured on a current TV commercial for James River Heating (along with my other dogs) running bravely over the full height A-Frame, despite a cameraman running right along next to him.

Daisy --- JUST FOR NOW

This is Daisy, the border collie foster puppy who is living with me for a few weeks. She absolutely loves Pilot --- and of course learning new things, and at her young age, almost everything is new. Had great fun today watching her try to figure out the full length mirror.

NOTE: See 3/24/08 post for updated pictures.


This is my friend Mike's dog Lucy, who LOVES running in the fields at the farm. Run Lucy run.


This is Nick, who was adopted from the Richmond SPCA and also belongs to my friend Mike. His tail rarely stops wagging and he has yet to meet a stranger. He is quite the little performer and his spinning ballerina trick is truly impressive --- probably worth a video clip in a future blog. Hmmm. Will have to figure out the video options soon. Stay tuned.