Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beach Day with Dogs

Hello! We're back from vacation, and it's sizzling in Los Angeles. The Boy and Lovely Daughter #2 are visiting us temporarily. So we loaded up the pugs in my car and drove to the off-leash dog beach to cool down in the surf.

The pugs hit the beach, running as fast as their little legs could take them:

Mu Shu was okay with the wavelets:

Won Ton preferred watching things from the wet-sand zone:

And Pao Pao was NOT going near those scary waves. But he did some impressive tongue-out action on the dry sand:

All three pugs had a blast, tailing after other dogs on the beach:

Won Ton, checking out a local dig:

The pugs have very little sense--okay, no sense at ALL--of stranger danger. They mobbed anybody they could, saying "Hi!" and "Got snacks?" and...Pao!! What the HECK are you doing to that nice young lady?:

 He's not saying, but he sure had a big smile on his face.

When the waves got too much, Mu Shu enjoyed watching them from the safe, strong arms of The Boy:

What a fun day at the beach!

 The End.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Heat

 It's hot here, and getting hotter. Time for iced coffee made with iced-coffee ice cubes:

The Boy likes it black, but I prefer a splash of cream or--in this case--vanilla-flavored soy "creamer":

I drink iced coffee partly for the cooling effect, and partly just to watch the beautiful swirls that happen when the cream hits:

For the non-coffee-drinkers in the family, lying still and slowly melting seems to be the only way to combat the heat:

If you're asleep, you can't notice how hot it is:


Monday, June 15, 2015

Polka-Dot Critters

I'm always amused by polka-dotted animals. Here are a few that caught my eye lately. First up, "Roxie," my sister's rescued Greyhound. I took these photos a while back, but every time I run across them in my iPhoto files, they make me chuckle:

This odd little guy is a "Quoll," an endangered species indigenous to Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. I saw (spotted?) him on Cute Overload:

photo credit: @WildlifeQLD

Sporting one gigantic polka-dot on her face (and a whole lot of them in her left ear), this baby Frenchie was trucking' through our neighborhood recently. Isn't she cute?:

Okay, so it's the blankie that's polka-dotted, not the cat (below). This is "Olivia," the cat who belongs to Lovely Daughter #1. A friend of my daughter's Photoshopped in the war paint: 

Olivia, her polka-dotted blankie, and LD#1 are leaving for NYC in a few days. If they see any cute spotted animals in Manhattan, I hope they send me a picture.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

More Kitten Cuteness

The four foster kittens at the home of Lovely Daughter #1 are all thriving. It turns out the one with the gimpy paw, "Captain Hook," is the only girl. Here's LD#1's cat, Olivia, checking out one of the boys:

The agency that is behind the foster put together this montage photo of LD#1 and the kittens:

 (Nice eyeliner, LD!)

Home from his trip to Europe and hanging out with us for a few weeks, The Boy met this beautiful kitten. Her name is "Cleo":

She's the new "forever" cat at the home of a friend:

And just to keep the pugs from feeling jealous, here's Won Ton enjoying an outing at one of our favorite local coffee houses:

Kittens are adorable, but I'm sticking with pugs. For now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


A litter of four kittens is hanging out in the home of Lovely Daughter #1. We went over to visit the little goobers recently:

LD#1 is fostering the babies. Their momma is feral, so she was trapped, spayed, and released back to the colony she lives in. Her babies, however, were caught young enough that they can be family pets. They just need some love and attention, and some time to grow until they weight 2 pounds each. At that point, they can go up for adoption. 

When the momma cat and her kittens were caught, the babies were very ill--anemic, infested with fleas, and suffering from worms. Because of their rocky beginning, they are the size of four- or five-week-old kittens, even though they are somewhere between eight and ten weeks old:

This is the biggest one. We nicknamed him "Fatty." He's the first one to the food bowl, and he goes back for seconds and thirds--and sometimes fourths:

The Boy holding "Fatty." Check out those whiskers! (On the kitten, not the young man.):

Fatty may be the biggest of the litter, but he's still not much larger than a cell phone:

This is "Acute," so named because the angle of white on her forehead is, well, acute:

This is "Obtuse," because of the angle on his forehead:

This little dude we call "Captain Hook." He was the sickest of them all, and he has a slightly deformed foot. For a few weeks, it wasn't clear if he'd even live. He's doing better now. But see how he only has three long whiskers above his eyes? (Are those eyebrows or eye whiskers?) And the ones around his muzzle are all broken off short:

Here's his sibling, Obtuse, for a whisker/eyebrow comparison:

And a three-quarters view of Acute's impressive whiskers:

Now that she's finished medical school, Lovely Daughter #1 has more time on her hands. Her job as an ER doc in NYC doesn't begin until late June. So while she's packing up her things and picking a moving company, these kittens are her guests:

She's keeping her skills sharp, however. Here she is checking out my ear, which has been bothering me lately:

Luckily, my whiskers are just fine.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Drought-Tolerant Garden--the Next-to-Last Phase

Our drought-tolerant, critter-friendly garden is almost finished! Once not too long ago, the front yard looked like this:

 (Hi, Won Ton!)

Then the plants were installed (and Won Ton helped):

With everything installed, it looked like this. You see a little bit of dirt scattered here and there, left over from digging in the plants:

Then the first delivery of decomposed granite (DG) arrived:

And it was put in place around the plants, covering up the drip lines:

Already things began to look better--and the bees approved!:

But we still had black, weed-blocking material exposed in areas that would be pathways.

A delay at the Port of Los Angeles held up the DG designed for the paths. The pathway DG has a stabilizer in it that makes it more compact and stable, but less permeable to water. So you only want it where you might walk. The yard looked like this for a couple of weeks:

At last the DG for the pathways arrived. Here's the yard, with the black material completely covered up:

The roses are still all in place. There's a pathway along the fence for the pugs to run back and forth. They love to bark their heads off at the cars passing by. Great fun, if you're a dog:

Here's the yard, as seen from the porch. I'm not sure about those outdoor lights, just sticking out there so prominently. But these plants are just babies. In a year, they will have filled out to be taller and lusher.:

I may have to wait for the plants to grow up, but in the meantime, I can enjoy the increase in visitors to the yard.

The Goldfinches have been a presence all along. They don't care if the yard is filled with water-hogging grass or drought-tolerant, flowering plants. They just love their Niger seed:

Almost as soon as the plants were dug in, I noticed more hummingbirds visiting:

Cute little buggers! I've also noticed more butterflies, but I don't have a good photo of them. 

The final phase will be installing things to attract more birds and even bats. The owner of my local wildlife shop came to visit, and he says the yard is ideal for a bat box, a Barn Owl box, a crow-feeding platform, and as many hummingbird feeders as I'd like to install.

I can't wait to get started.


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