Chilling Out with Chickens and Dogs, and Other Thanksgiving Adventures

Yet another Ocean Beach Orphan Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year we had about thirteen people, so a “small” gathering indeed. I did a 22 pound turkey just in case though. Guess what I’m eating for lunch this week! That’s right, ham!! I managed to get both the house and the backyard in order before the quests arrived and I even had a moment to relax in front of the roaring fire with my Cousin Eddie traditional holiday shoes. Nothing says the holidays like some sweet patent leather white loafing shoes!

Thanksgiving 2015_02_The quiet before the storm


Once guests arrived, it was a flurry of activity and binge eating. Not a lot of photos to be had, except of course for my old dog Hunter who’s new owner brought along so that he and Sasha could chew on one another for countless hours. That, and to receive cuddles from yours truly. Here he is asking for love…

Thanksgiving 2015_04_Hunter wanting Love

And here he is receiving it!

Thanksgiving 2015_03_Cuddling with Hunter

The next few days I had the pleasure of relaxing and catching up on yard chores. Such as finally planting my Winter garden. I had one major issue to deal with first however. Deadly and destructive secretive little bastards called nematodes!

Thanksgiving 2015_04b_Nematode and Egg


Hideous little bastards aren’t they? Well, these guys completely wiped out my summer crops which is why I haven’t boasted them on here this year. It’s hard to know when you have them unless you pull the plants out and examine the roots. Little nodes appear on the roots that are a tell-tale sign. Above the surface, all you’ll see are wilted and meager crops and sad farmers.

The best way (I hope) to deal with them is to introduce predatory nematodes. Fight fire with fire. They’ll seek out and eat all the harmful ones with great fervor! As this is a new trick for me, I’m wondering if any of my readers have experienced this or have any tips or advice. I’m all ears and will keep you posted on the results.

The good news is that I did some soil sampling and I finally have my pH completely neutral!! Take that San Diego alkaline soil! Here I am planting cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts in the freshly treated soil with a little help from Piper and Sasha. A very little help.

Thanksgiving 2015_01_Feature Image_Planting the winter crops with chicken and dog

I was also afforded some time to just chill out and enjoy the warm sunny day in the yard. Some much needed cuddle time with all my girls.

Thanksgiving 2015_06_Sasha and Me

Thanksgiving 2015_010_Me and Piper

And of course, the girls also hung out with each other.

Thanksgiving 2015_05_Sasha and Piper

And lastly, a small harvest of a large pomegranate from my first year tree. Nury wanted me to grow them for her to consume, so all the crops go directly to her as I’m not a huge fan. I was, however, very impressed with the size and yield of the tree after only one growing season. Just look at this guy!

Thanksgiving 2015_07_Harvesting Giant Pomegranates

And my lady seems pleased and satiated. One must keep their loved ones satiated y’all!

Thanksgiving 2015_08_Nury with Giant Pomegranate

Well, that’s it for now. More to come soon. How was your Thanksgiving? Any good stories to share? Also, anyone experience nematodes before? I’d love to get some feedback!!!

Sasha's Third Birthday

So I’m going to get off topic because today is a very special day in my home. Sasha turns three today!! Every birthday is a special one to me you see because Sasha’s fate was in question before I rescued her. Here’s a little back story for you.

I rescued Sasha from the San Diego Humane Society when she was 7 months old. Her previous owners gave up this absolutely beautiful and sweet girl because she had major hip dysplasia and they couldn’t afford the surgery. At least that was what I was told at the time. A year later I was trying to track down the previous owners to see if they wanted to see Sasha again and if they had any puppy photos I could have. I’m still dying to see her as a little puppy! Well, it turns out they gave her up because they’re landlord didn’t want them to have a dog. Now if it was me, I would’ve moved. No way would I give up Sasha for any reason. Ever! I’ve given up the search thinking that maybe it’s for the best that they are separated. Choosing an apartment over this sweet angel speaks volumes about their priorities.

Sasha was born with the hip dysplasia in both of her back legs and could never really walk very well. The surgery would’ve been fairly steep, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,400. So off to the pound she went. Poor baby girl!

The good people at the Humane Society decided she needed to be walking again so they actually footed the bill! How awesome is that!? It’s super awesome; to answer my own question. When I saw her for the first time, she was one week out of surgery and was still a bit wobbly. But oh so cute and happy to meet me. The woman who introduced us told me that she would be on meds for the rest of her life and it would get expensive. I decided I didn’t care because if I didn’t take her, then who would? The thought of her medical condition keeping her from being adopted was too much for my heart to bear. So I adopted!

The actual vet talked with me next and reassured me that she would not need any medication at all and hip dysplasia surgery was often extremely successful. She even said that Sasha would be running around in no time! I was so relieved. I think that other lady was trying to keep her for herself. I just had to keep her from running for a week and do stretches with her for about a month. I also have to keep her weight down so she doesn’t suffer from arthritis later on in life. I like to give her food rich with omega 3 fatty acids that really help with joint problems as a secondary way to battle arthritis. Today she runs and jumps and dances about like a fool.

Here she is when I brought her home. She loved her new bed I got for her. You can still see the surgery remnants in this photo.

Sasha right after adoption taking nap
Fuzzy Wumpkins!

My heart still melts every time I see her or think about her or see a photo of her. Basically, my heart is always all melty. It’s true what they say about rescue animals, they do in fact end up rescuing you in the end. After I lost my pop in 2010 to the cancer, I was an emotional wreck most of the time. Just all around lost and disinterested in just about everything. I put on a strong face, but it was all bullshit. I was a hot mess. Sasha came into my life and turned it all around. I’m now merely a luke-warm mess. I owe her everything for what she’s done for me. Now my heart is a bazillion times bigger and soars like an eagle! And just for poops and giggles, here’s us in a boat on the 4th of July…

Sasha and Me Boating on the Fourth of July
We’ve come a long way kiddo.

So that gets you all caught up. Now for her 3rd birthday surprise! In keeping with supplying her with those aforementioned omega 3’s I made a delicious meal of food. For the eating!

Sasha's Birthday 01_Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon Sauteed in Flaxseed Oil on a bed of Walnuts and Swiss Chard with a side of Slow Roasted Lamb Bone

For tonight’s dinner we will be serving lightly sautéed wild caught Alaskan salmon with a flaxseed oil and oregano glaze on a bed of roasted walnuts and freshly harvest Swiss chard with a side of slow roasted lamb bone. The main course has more omega 3’s than you can count on two hands. It’s riddled with it! Bon appétit.

Sasha's Birthday 01b_Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon Sauteed in Flaxseed Oil on a bed of Walnuts and Swiss Chard
A lovely medley of Alaskan wild caught salmon richly sautéed in flaxseed oil on a bed of warm roasted walnuts and fresh Swiss chard.

At first she was skeptical that this place setting could possibly be for her. Or perhaps it was my unnecessary  inclusion of silverware…Who can say?

Sasha's Birthday 02_A Skeptical Sasha

Can it be true? Yes Sasha, that is all you baby! The next few moments were a blur of fur and tooth. I took a bunch of photos but was only to capture one decent one.

Sasha's Birthday 03_Sasha Swallowing the Salmon WHole
Wild-eyed and driven mad with flavor!

Seconds later and the plate was all but empty.

Sasha's Birthday 03b_An Almost Empty Plate
“nom nom nom.”

After the main course, she thought it best to enjoy the second course on the front of the estate.

Sasha's Birthday 04_Sasha Prefers Her Second Course on the Lawn
“Quid pro quo. Did you hear the lambs Clarice? What were they doing Clarice?”

As I write this she is rolling around in the grass in some form of fattened pure joy that I will never truly experience. So raise your glass to the bestest cutest fuzziest wumpkins in the whole wide universe! Happy birthday Sasha!

Sasha Portrait 01
“I’m tree years ode!”
A boy and his dog
The boy and his dog fade off into the horizon…