Dead Poppies Aren’t Much Fun…


I hesitated to share an update about our four poppy plants. Though my aim is to keep it real here on Humble Pie, I just couldn’t bring myself to show you the four little sun-baked poppy plant skeletons after espousing my great love for them. Watch out for Hillary, her love kills!!
I kind of expected Mr. Cartigan to transplant them because he’s the gardener and I’m guessing he thought I’d do it, since I’m the poppy-crazed one. See how good our communication is? I promise we do feed and water the kids regularly.
Mr. Cartigan kept those little poppy skeletons around, though I couldn’t figure out why and yesterday I was watering plants and noticed this:

and this:


Hurrah! The poppies are making a comeback!!!
So now that two are revived I am heartened enough to say, my love only half-kills and it is possible to survive it.

Clucking It Up!

The girls explore their new digs.
The girls explore their new digs.

Our neighbors recently announced that they had chickens on the way.  We’d all been talking about the possibility of chickens, building chicken coops together, getting all sustainable in the suburbs, yadda yadda, when suddenly, there were seven full-grown chickens living in their back yard!  Now we get to run out and throw our kitchen scraps over to them.  It’s way fun.  Yesterday we awoke to a rainstorm and the girls (my girls, not the chickens) ran out in pajamas and galoshes to see how the chickens fared in the downpour.  M & R reported the girls (the chickens, not my girls) were huddled together in their nests, keeping dry.

M & R meet the chickens.
M & R meet the girls.

The children next door have named the chickens Hermie, Claire, Dan, Dave, Chuckles, Molly, and my favorite, Bock Bock.

more exploring.
Chuckles, Hermie, Molly, and Bock Bock.

Fresh eggs! The screws and bamboo are not from the chickens.


Rumor has it that little chicks may come our way soon…

Dora Turns Ten!!!

Today is Dora’s tenth birthday, which means she is 70 in dog years!!! She is one spry septuagenarian. We haven’t ever celebrated her birthday in grand style before and because Dora has had to deal with less attention than anyone would like to admit since M & R came onto the scene, I thought we’d make this a big celebration for Dora.  My hope is that now Dora will start to see the happy returns of her investment.  Or she’ll just be more annoyed than ever, I’m not sure.  She’s a nervous dog and kids are too unpredictable for her — she can get a little nippy at times.  Still, she’s brave, loyal, and loving.  And entertaining.  And smart.  And cute!

Fun facts about Dora:  She thinks she’s a person and often seems offended when reminded she is a dog; she is a good swimmer but she hates to swim and will only do it if danger lurks behind her; she survived in the Montana wilderness for 12 days and returned tougher and with a taste for dandelions and flies; she does all sorts of bad stuff if we leave any food out or any trash accessible, we should put her on

Fun fact about me: I can’t help but talk to her in that super weird baby talk that is two octaves above my regular voice.  Thank you, family and friends for putting up with it.  I know it’s obscene.

Dora taste tested lots of treats yesterday to make sure they were good enough for her birthday day. I taste tested them too… and so did M & R and we all agree they’re kind of good.  Don’t freak out, they were pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs and flour. Yum!

Pumpkin peanut butter dog treats.  Turns out humans like them pretty well too.
Pumpkin peanut butter dog treats.
Dora sat and smiled while I baked treats for her.
Dora sat and smiled while I baked treats for her.

I adopted Dora when I was living in Montana and we did lots and lots of driving and a little flying together.  She is an amazing traveller: she can go for hours without stopping and then will pee on command on the one blade of grass I point her toward when we’re in a city.

I *think* this is just outside of St. Ignatius, North of Missoula.
She’s also good at posing on large rocks.  This was just outside of St. Ignatius, Montana. 2004.

Here she is traveling through Las Vegas in July.  My a/c was on the fritz.  Oy.

Dora, my copilot on the road.
Dora, my copilot.
We didn't feed it to her, though it's probably no better that we ate it.
Breakfast on the road.  Mine, not hers!
Playing with Mr. Cartigan
Playing with Mr. Cartigan


Dora helping me make a snow angel. Canada 2006.
Dora helping me make a snow angel.
Even Dora knows when it's Christmas Day!!!
Even Dora knows when it’s Christmas Day!!!
Dora checks out the babies that she's heard so much about.  She is in my dad's arms.  He's her all-time favorite person.
Dora welcomes home the babies.  My dad is holding her, he’s her all-time favorite person. 

(Note that the two next photos were taken on different days but I am wearing the same pajamas in both.  And I’m in the same place on the couch. It was like I was doing a weird Groundhog Day exercise BUT IT WAS MY LIFE.)

"That used to be my lap!" Dora thought sadly.
“That used to be my lap!” Dora thought sadly.
"Oooh nevermind, this Boppy is great!"
“Oooh nevermind, this Boppy is great!”

At least I got up off the couch long enough for my brother to get some much-needed z’s.

Dora napping with my brother, another of her favorite people.
Dora napping with my brother, another of her favorite people.
Dora looking for bad guys.
Dora looking for bad guys while the skin on my legs looks for some, any, rays of the sun.
Dora will even listen to Dave telling stories to the girls!
Dora listening to my dad reading to the girls.

So today we’ll take Dora out hiking and love on her all day.  I *might* even make her a birthday hat.  Poor dog.

Happy Birthday little Dora May!