Monthly Archives: August 2008

Delilah update…

Dee’s fairly ambulatory these days, though still adjusting to weight / balance issues. Generally speaking, she’s beginning to return to some of her normal behaviors – coming out to the kitchen when she hears the can opener picked up to open a can of tuna, kicking Pepper-do-you-want-her? off the couch at night, visiting with us to have her back / shoulders / neck / chin rubbed and scritched (thx, Ellen!), jumping in / sleeping in the baskets scattered around the house.

Thx to everyone for your concern for her, very much appreciated.

Owen and ‘Liv bike camp in San Diego

After visiting us a few weeks back, Owen and Olivia decided to make the best of ‘Liv’s last remaining days of summer and headed off to San Diego on their motorcycle, to camp @ Mission Bay, visit with Uncle Evan and Aunt Marly and visit SeaWorld.

Here’s how they started…

And here’s how they rolled…

Sunny San Diego

Tent set-up, inspection in 5 minutes!

A little rest before hopping back on the bike and heading out to explore.

Owe and ‘Liv at SeaWorld with a gnarly dude that’s apparently asking, “Dude, ya got an extra mackerel you can spare?”

‘Liv and a cast member, after wrapping up a Coke commercial shoot 😉

Shamu either trying to kiss or bite ‘Liv, we’re not quite sure.

In any event, Problem Solved: Owen always liked spearfishing when he was diving as a kid, so it’s no surprise he bagged Shamu on this trip.

And the best part of the trip – family visits:

‘Liv visiting with Uncle Evan

‘Liv visiting with Aunt Marly

While we were somewhat apprehensive about Owe and ‘Liv driving on such busy freeways during the height of vacation season, remembering back to all of the fun Owen and I had on our 1,400 mile motorcycle camping trip back in ’86, what could we say but, “Have fun, be safe and savor the moments.”

Judging from their pics, it’s pretty clear they didn’t need my advice.

As always, thanks for visiting, be well and write when you get work.

Dee comes home

I brought Dee home about an hour ago. I’d like to tell you otherwise, but it’s heartbreaking to see her shaved and stitched so heavily… and with her leg no longer there.

The good news? She’s here, healthy and still our Delilah.

Al was right – no major butt-chewing for me – but lots of I’m home again loud meowing when we pulled in to the driveway. Her first efforts at walking were horribly painful to witness. But Dr. Ueno and Dr. Okimura were spot on when they said she’ll adapt quickly… she’s already bracing her rear legs wider apart and putting more weight on her left front leg, both to compensate for the missing front leg. Her brain hasn’t yet adapted to the missing limb in her efforts to walk so she’s falling on her right front side, but we’re sure it will soon.

The next few weeks will be challenging for our entire pack, but thanks to the support we’re receiving from everyone, we’ll make it just fine. Life, huh?

You’re welcome to stop by any time and visit – I’m sure Dee would love the company.


Lettuce harvest time…

Watering the Phantom Pergola Pharm last night, I couldn’t help but notice some of the lettuce plants (discussed here) were looking a little full around the edges. In fact, some of them were so full and heavy they were drooping to the ground.

Time to harvest, I suppose.

This morning I dressed in my Pharming clothes (shorts, t-shirt, bare feet) and headed out with a large bowl and pair of The Missus’ scissors in hand. (Speaking of scissors, please don’t tell her I use her scissors to harvest vegetables… she’s a little sensitive about my misuse of her sharp-pointy tools and accuses me of trying to emulate Edward Scissorhands.)

When I was done, 9 of them were looking an awful lot like the newly-inducted recruits I mentioned in the I am a dumb-ass post back in July – but they’ll grow a new crop in – all the way over (3′, I believe) to the Cherokee Purple Heritage Tomato and grabbed our first from this new (to us) plant.

It’s looking like salad night @ our place tonight.

Delilah is doing well

Dr. Ueno called a few minutes ago to say that Dee made it through surgery very nicely and is now sleeping… no doubt dreaming of kicking my butt for not feeding her before her operation this morning. They’ll keep an eye on her and before heading home later tonight, give her a boost of pain medication to get her through the night. I’ll let them keep an eye on her tomorrow morning, then pick her up tomorrow afternoon.

Thx to everyone for your emails and phone calls, we’ve appreciated your support and good wishes.


Here’s to Delilah!

Am I tan yet?

I caught this nice pic of Delilah laying in the sunlight in the foyer… when I first saw her there, she was curled up, asleep. By the time I got back with my camera, she was wondering what I was up to.

A little help with the handle, please – my thumb’s haven’t grown in.

Because Dee was heading off to Kirkwood Animal Hospital today for her surgical procedure, she spent the night isolated and sleeping in the dining room. She ate a couple of cans of food before 10, then was restricted to water-only until surgery late this morning.

When I came out to the kitchen to make coffee this morning, the instant I turned on the kitchen light, I heard her loud meoowwww coming from the dining room. Hey, old guy, somehow I got left in the dining room without any food – lemme out, wouldya anyway? Because I’d placed all the pet-reachable pet food around the house, I let her out of the dining room and caught a 2nd, much more vocal and, dare I say – personal – round of ass-chewing for leaving her in the dining room.

Since the rest of the pack was getting hungry – 2 dogs and 1 still-fairly-big-but-scrawny-looking cat (Pandora) were pimping me pretty hard for food – we put the dogs and their food outside on the deck and Pan’s food up on her feeding area. Then we isolated Dee in the front section of the house.

She whined loudly.

She stared intently.

She cleaned her fur while waiting for the doorman to realize his mistake.

Then in a moment of clarity, she got it: He’s really being a d**k (dork 😉 today.

Just a few minutes after this pic, I scooped her up and off we went to Dr. Ueno and Kirkwood. When I dropped her off, they said, Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of her.

After 23+ years of looking after Amber, Lucy, Daphne, Penny, Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her?, Pandora and Delilah, herself, we know they will.

Fresh Pacific Octopus, anyone?

If so, you don’t mind getting it from the shelf by yourself, do you?

Owen took this pic when they visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few weeks ago. This particular creature is not unlike the nesting female octopus Owen and I stumbled across, tucked under a ledge protecting her brood back during one of our dive trips off Carmel back in the late 80’s.

That day we launched our Boston Whaler Guardian Divemaster out of Monterey, then headed south to a favorite dive spot just off the house called The Castle, located off the 17 Mile Drive. We were over an area that was hundreds of feet deep, but we anchored over an outcropping of rocks that came up from the bottom to about 60′ of the surface and headed down looking for Ling Cod.

We were working over a few ledges when out of the corner of my eye, a huge Ling – easily over 40 lbs, about 4.5’+ long – cruised by over another ledge and headed down to deeper water. Owen spotted it, too, so we began to follow it, hoping to snag Moby Ling in time for dinner that night.

Not to be… Moby had gone really deep in a few short seconds, so Owen and I returned to checking under ledges / small caves using our dive lights. Suddenly we came across a very large female Pacific Octopus guarding her brood. Scared the hell out of us! This was one big creature, very long tentacles with very large suckers up near her body… large as in coffee-saucer size. We cautiously cruised around her for a few minutes and not wanting to push our luck (neither of us being familiar with Octo-personalities), we cruised back up over the reef and headed toward the boat – which we could see anchored up top. Owen and I still talk about Moby Ling and what a neat dive that was.

Thanks for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.

Lettuce alone…

A couple of months ago we decided to put in a couple of tomato and lettuce plants.

Now, “a couple” usually means “two”… and in the case of our tomato plants, that was appropriate: we bought and planted two tomato plants – one roma and one ace. easy peasy.

But when it came to buying lettuce, as a form of insurance (against doody-thumb disease, I suppose), we thought “the more the better”. So we bought, um, a couple of flats. If I recall correctly, we ended up with 11 or 12 plants in the ground.

Good so far, right?
Well, this first bunch you’re seeing ^^^ did pretty well right from the start. (They’re currently looking a little scraggly because the two on the right have been harvested a bit already. Yep, you heard me – harvested – I’ve got the farmer-lingo down pat.)

And this bunch in the center of the lettuce corral ^^^ did pretty well, too… except for the ones that died from over / under watering. (If you look closely, you’ll notice some of the corrals have two plants growing in them.)

And finally we come to the right-wingers – the corrals on the right-hand side of the lettuce farm. They’re doing pretty good, considering we let them bake in the hot sun without shade material for two weeks as part of our How much direct sunlight and heat can leafy green lettuce take before it dies? test-period. Turns out this particular type of lettuce wilts in the direct sunlight of the Phantom Pergola Pharm. Finally realizing we were killing the little buggers, we put up screen and watered them back to health.

Now, looking at these pictures you may find yourself wondering Exactly how many lettuce plants does it take to provide salad lettuce to twice-weekly dinnertime salad eaters? Good question – and one that I now know the answer to: It takes one – maybe two – leafy green lettuce plants to provide enough lettuce to twice-weekly salad eaters.

A couple of years ago when Incline Mike and Mimi were frequent guests @ our house, I’d often buy rib eye steaks for dinner. I come from the more is better school of steak-eaters, so the steaks I bought started at 1 lb. When he would see the steaks being prepared, Mike would say, So how many people are you going to feed with those steaks? (sarcasm dripping from his tongue)

Now, when I look at the lettuce growing out in the Phantom Pergola area, I keep hearing Mike say, So, how many people are you going to feed with all that lettuce?

Oh, the neighborhood 🙂

My message to you: If you want some Campbell Farmer lettuce, stop by the house and pick yourself a salad.