Monday, May 25, 2009


On Saturday, we went to the Value Village in Cornwall, which I have to say must be the nicest, best-organized, nicest-smelling Value Village in Canada! We've lived in four provinces, and I have frequented many Value Villages in my quest for wool skirts and scarves for my rug hooking, so I know what I'm talkin' about.

We dropped in mainly because I wanted to get a couple of stuffed toys for the dogs, but of course Gordon managed to find three books to buy (I am not complaining, since I have my own book addiction. One day our house will collapse from the weight of books.) The problem I had was that all the stuffed animals were too darn nice and I felt guilty buying them for my dogs to destroy. I managed to get over that and finally came home with...




Sophie, being a bitch in more ways than one, kept trying to take possession of both toys, the biggest stuffed animals I've ever given the dogs.

"It's MINE, Tristan. Step AWAY from the puppy!"

"This one is mine too, Tristan. You touch Horsey, you die." Horsey looks pretty nervous.

The dogs are NOT possessive about their toys when it comes to human beings. They don't say boo if a person wants to take away a toy (or their food bowl, for that matter.) But when it comes to Tristan's toys, Sophie specializes in the "snatch and grab." She rushes at Tristan like a snarling banshee, he drops his toy and whips his head away in fear, and she grabs the toy before it hits the ground, leaving one pathetic-looking Vizsladorable. (That's what we call our Lab-Vizsla cross, for those not in the know. No, it's not a breed! It's just our endearing name for the cute result of someone's backyard-breeding project. We didn't buy T, we took him in after his owner passed on.)

The doggy dufuses end up trading toys all day long. Tristan never challenges the BITCH (ahem, that's Sophie, not me... well, most of the time!), which is just as well as it prevents bloodshed.

But if I dangle a toy between the dogs, they both get in on the action...

Sadly, Tristan IS a little rough on his toys. Perhaps he's venting the feelings he has for Sophie. If a toy has a squeaker, it usually takes Tristan 30 seconds to open up an incision and remove the squeaker. Occasionally he works on pulling out a bit of stuffing while he's at it.

The toys I bought on Saturday specifically did NOT have squeakers, but that didn't stop Tristan. Poor puppy is now...


And yet he retains his enigmatic smile.

In other news, it's been rather busy around here. We've managed to assemble two beehives and Gordon has stained them white. I just have to put the frames together now so that they are ready for the girls to make honey and lay eggs on when they arrive (about three weeks from now.)

On Saturday we met for coffee (tea in my case) with an octagenarian beekeeper who is an absolute fountain of information. Next weekend we're off to his place to see his beeyard and pepper him with more questions.

Apart from that, I have been madly planting my billions of seeds in the vegetable garden. I also put in some raspberry and blackberry canes, and two black currant bushes. The strawberries I planted last year are all flowering wildly, so I am hopeful we'll get some berries before the dogs or birds find them. Time for some bird netting!

As for me, I'm off to the garden to slave away at seeding. Happy Monday!


  1. Here we refer to it as "disemboweling"....

  2. Anonymous12:44 pm

    Same at my house. Like Tristan, Dodger excels at disemboweling.

    go Tristan go! Sophie, let go!

  3. Oooo, beekeeping! I would love to have some one day. Whenever we manage to escape the city! :) Please keep us posted on your progress.

    We also frequent second-hand stores for dog toys - for the same reason, too. They soon become teddy bear guts all over the living room floor.

  4. Hi Natalie,

    Good luck with the bees! I'm very proud of you for undertaking to provide a home for them. Let's hope they reward you greatly for your efforts. I can relate to the mad planting fever. Sadly, my progress is slow, since I'm building beds and having to reclaim lawn before planting anything. The compost just can't cook fast enough! But I'll get there. I have some heritage tomatoes planted (learned the hard way about hardening off) and a bean teepee waiting patiently for bean plants to climb it. Strawberries are bushy and promisingly laden. Raspberries are also showing. I've already harvested rhubarb (added to a delicious peach, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, apple crisp). Good luck, and happy planting!

  5. Poor doggy toy. Gamble, like Tristan, loves to destuff the woobies I bring home for them. Redmond, on the other hand, loooves his woobies and is just crushed when they are destroyed. He carries them around and lays on them and is so sweet.

    The beekeeping sounds like a blast (plus a lot of work.) How many bees does it take to colonize two hives?

    Nancy & crew

    ps. Don't look now but I suspect that your "horsey" is really a moo-moo cow-cow.

  6. That's how it worked around here. Biko (Bitch) always took away Sam's toys, and he came running to me to make it right. :o)
    I used to go to Value Village to get Baby blankets for the dogs beds. Now I have enough for a lifetime. I always came home with a stuffed toy or two as well.
    Good Luck with your garden!

  7. Two supers (boxes) on a hive would contain about 25,000 to 30,000 bees plus the queen, as I understand it.

    And horsey really is a horsey, but you only know when you look at the back and see his mane. I'm surprised Tristan hasn't ripped it off yet.

    Monika, Biko will miss Sam so much!!! :(


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!