Spring Storms & Blooms

Cleveland, OH is the only place on earth where you can go from 87 degrees on Monday to 40 degrees by Thursday in one week.  

On Monday, it was sweltering hot and just trying to get through the task of mowing your lawn before you fainted, was tough.  By Wednesday, the weather changed, storms arrived, brought downpours of rain, and I had to put away the flip flops for more suitable footwear.  Yep, we live in Cleveland, OH and this happens all the time. The weather here is so unpredictable.  We’re used to it, but don’t like it.  It sucks.

STORM SKY 5-23-13

STORMY ORANGE SKY 5-23-13

STORMS 5-23-13

STORM 5-23-13

Doesn’t the weather man or Mother Nature know that we are trying to start a garden over here?  Geez.  I had to head outside after dinner last night, and completed covered the entire garden with plastic to protect it from the bitter cold and high winds. The garden looks hideous right now, but at least it is covered up and the plants are protected.  Hopefully this will keep the soil warm a bit.  By the time I got inside, I was soaked and freezing.  My fingers felt like they were going to fall off from frost bite.  (not really, but that is what it felt like)  What we thought was amazing, is that our rain barrel has completely filled up from the rain we got this week.  The barrel is either a 50 or 55 gallon barrel and in just a few days of rain, it is overflowing!  We might need to check back with our neighbor to see if we can get a second barrel from him and use it as an overflow barrel.  With the rate at which the barrel filled up, we will have enough rain water to water the garden all season!  Nice!  Now, we can definitely see firsthand why everyone wants rain barrels!  Not to mention, rain water is so much better for your plants than the water coming from your hose.

I love photographing the sky.  The cloud formations lately have been stunning, yet quite eerie.  I can sometimes sit at the kitchen table and watch as the darkness rolls in and changes the skyline completely.  The way the skies looked this past week is like how they would look if we were expecting Halloween to arrive, not Spring.  But, what are you going to do?  Absolutely nothing, just bundle up.  I had to put on my Cleveland Browns hat and warm winter coat just to head outside with the dogs last night.

FERN

MARIGOLD

FLOWER2

Earlier in the week, I got some great photographs of our Spring blooms. I have to capture them at just the right time for some stunning buds.  The fern stems are all unrolling, the marigolds are magnificent, the peonies are getting ready to open, and the smell of the neighbors lilac trees fill the air.

LILAC

PEONY

TREE

Our warmer weather won’t be returning until about Sunday, so I am just going to sit here next to my space heater and keep warm.  And just think, June is just around the corner and I have a winter coat back on!  Something is not right here.

 

Waking Up With Too Much Energy

TEMPS MARCH 2 2013The dogs got me up way too early today, as they had to head outside to empty their bladders, and it did not surprise me that it snowed again last night.  I am personally beyond sick of this white stuff and can’t wait for Spring to arrive.  Our sleep was interrupted last night when our neighbor arrived home at 2:45am only to find that he locked himself out of his house, and he phoned us to pick up the spare key we are holding for him (just for instances like this) and he was so thankful just to get in his house.  (that’s what good neighbors do for each other!)  Back to sleep we went, until Bella woke me up with her fog horn sound she does when she has to go out.  (the sound is quite hilarious and I need to record it one day so you can hear it)

SNOWY MARCH 2 2013

Barely awake, I get my snow boots on, tuck my leopard print jam jam pants into my boots, put hat, coat, and gloves on, leash up Bella and we head outside into the frigid morning air.  (Man, jam jam pants do not protect you at all from the cold winds as it feels like I am standing outside with no pants on)  Bella emptied her tiny bladder and I thought “yeah, let’s head back inside” but noooooo, she has other plans after seeing the ground covered in snow!  She tears off like a bat out of hell and runs circles all around the backyard, grunting all the way around.

SNOWY NOSED BELLA

I must be dreaming.  This is way to early for this shit, I thought.  I finally calm her down and we head inside.  I wiped off her feet, cleaned off all the snow from her face, and removed all of my snow gear.  I hear the coffee maker finishing its first batch of java for the morning and I thought “how nice”, now I can sit down and relax.  Not quite.  I turn around with a fresh brewed cup of coffee in hand, only to see Nikita standing there doing the pee pee dance.  I said “crap” “not you too!”  So off I went to the landing to put back on all of my winter gear – again.

NIKITA ON SNOW MOUND

Sometimes, mornings suck.

Digging Out

SNOW2

We got the snow that the weather forecaster said we were going to get, now we have to wait to see what will be dumped on us today.  After spending the entire day yesterday shoveling the driveway to keep up with the snowfall, I am glad that when we woke this morning, that there is not much more to clean up on the driveway, but more snow is on its way.

SNOW3

Snow1

SNOW4

I was enjoying my morning coffee early this morning, after taking Bella outside and when I looked out the kitchen window, I saw that one of our local police cars was stuck in the snow on the side street to the park that is across the street from our house.  I sat there for a few minutes, laughing, but then I felt bad that I laughed.  I bundled myself up in my snow pants and grabbed the snow shovel by the back door and went over to see if I could assist.  Another officer was there too trying to help, but his car was stuck in the deep snow.  They said that they called a tow truck to pull him out and that it should be arriving shortly.  The officer that was stuck said that in 14 years on the force, he has never had to get towed out of the snow!  They were pleasantly surprised that I came to their assistance, and thanked me and wished me a Merry Christmas.  I feel better now for going over to assist them, although I did nothing to help, it was the right thing to do.  Merry Christmas to you police officer who was stuck in the snow!  

WINDOW WATCHERS

Who Let The Dogs Out?

12-21-12 Nikita in Snow

We’re in the middle of a white out winter advisory right now, and the dogs love it!  It is so great to watch both Nikita and Bella outside in the snow.  Nikita has loved the snow since we adopted her, as she loves to dig in the huge snow piles I create for her from shoveling the driveway.  Bella, on the other hand, is different.  This is her first time seeing this much snow and the second her feet hit the snowy grass, she runs like a Tazmanian Devil in circles around me, grunting all the way!  When she finally stops for a breather, she immediately starts to munch on the snow.  Munch, munch, munch around the yard!  It is cracking me up today to watch them.  We had a few weeks ago, a slight dusting of snow, but today, we are getting dumped on and the weather forecaster said it will snow here up until late Saturday.

Bella In The Snow 12-21-12

I’ve been outside a few times already today to shovel, and I can’t keep up with the snow, it is winning, hands down.  The wind is so severe and it chills your face in just a few minutes of being outside, and even though I had a scarf on covering up my face, it did not seem to matter much.  The snow that is coming down is that thick heavy snow, the kind that is good for packing and making snowmen or snow doggies out in the yard!   I have been waiting for it to snow now for awhile, but today’s snowfall is hard to keep up with, and I am sure that everyone who has to drive home tonight in it will not be happy.  I have shoveled the driveway a few times already, and when I go check back to see how much has fallen, it appears that I did not shovel anything at all.

NIKITA IN SANTA HAT

Bella and Nikita Snuggling 12-11-12

Tug of War

The dogs and I are enjoying some Christmas music today while we are wrapping up some last minutes gifts, and enjoying our time together.  I actually got the Santa hat on Nikita and had just enough time to snap a few pictures before she pulled it off her head.  She hates wearing anything on top of her head.  Last year, we put antlers on her and she was not happy at all with that!  LOL  (silly dog)

All I Want For Christmas is Treats

ANTLERS 1

We hope that everyone has a nice weekend, and we can’t wait for the weekend to start, because we get to spend lots of time with Daddy since he will be on vacation until the new year!  He deserves the time off as he has worked very hard this year and needs a break to spend time with his family!  We will be waiting for your arrival home Daddy!  Can’t wait to see you!

Hugs & snowy puppy kisses,
Nikita and Bella

 

The Fierce Frankenstorm

I’ve been up since 2:11am, puppy woke me up, had to head outside with her, not something that I am looking forward to.  (but when do you look forward to being woken up at any given time during the night and have to climb out of your nice warm cozy bed?)  Bella eagerly greeted me to let her out of her cage (who can possibly have “this” much energy at 2:00am?) as she bolted towards the back door, I put on her collar & leash then proceeded to adorn myself with all of my rain gear to trek outside into the rain and high winds.  The back screen door almost flew out of my hands as we stepped outside, and my first thought was “this sucks” as we headed to the backyard so she could find her “spot” to take a leak.  (I would have been happy if she just peed right there on the driveway, but you know dogs, they have to find their favorite spot to take a leak or things ain’t right.)  Our neighbors garage light was on so I could slightly see the backyard through all the rain that was pummeling me at the moment (did I mention this sucks?) .  One step out the back door and my jeans were already soaked.  While she found her spot in the rain, I watched her try to shake all of the water off her back, silly dog I thought, as you are drenched just like me.  As I stood there waiting to see if she still had more business to attend to, I noticed that our back fence was leaning into the woods as the winds must have taken their toll on it while we slept.  The poles that we erected around our garden to keep the deer out are also leaning severely  and some have already heaved themselves up out of the grass as the ground is so saturated with water that they have no chance to even stay up straight.  All I keep thinking as I am standing there, soaked and wishing I could just poof myself back into my warm bed at that moment, was that I have a lot of things to fix when this storm is over.  We head back inside to find the pile of “dog towels” waiting for us by the back door, and we get Bella dried off.

I went back outside to check out our front yard to see if we had any Halloween props left still standing, and found that we lost a lot of heads.  Our neighbors will probably find a head in their yard somewhere down the road tomorrow for sure.  The wood coffin that I made from pallets had fallen off the stand by the three skeletons, so I had to cut it loose and placed the water drenched coffin on our front sidewalk to deal with tomorrow.  I had already earlier yesterday, taken down almost all of our props in the yard because the winds got so severe that I figured that if I did not go out and try to save them now, that we would not have anything left in the yard by morning.  (glad I did)

I am just amazed by the strength of this Frankenstorm and the destruction that we are going through, and I can only imagine those in the Eastern states dealing with this head on.  I feel for them and wish them well, but I can only report on what is happening right here in our city, as this is by far, the worse storm that I can ever remember.  The rain has not stopped for days now, and the winds are so severe that you can hardly walk outside, and I can only imagine what I will see when daylight arrives.  I feel for those people who have lost power and hope that ours stays on, because you panic after a few hours with no power, you feel helpless.  You take flicking that light switch for granted, or seeing that light go on when you open the fridge, but when you lose power, none of that matters.  You know that light switch will not work, nor should you never ever open your fridge when the power goes out, not even once.  We even bought a huge bag of ice yesterday and packed it in the freezer, just in case our power did go out, so we could keep our frozen things safe.

As I sit here listening to the rain hitting the windows and watching our bushes thrash back and forth, I am only glad that this rain is not snow, man would that be bad.

High Winds are Taking Out our Halloween Props – One by One

It has been raining here in Cleveland, OH for days non-stop.  My coat does not even get the chance to dry before I have to take the dogs out (again), but I am glad that I got a new pair of hot pink rain boots a few weeks ago as I am putting them to good use!

As I am sitting here at the kitchen table today, I am watching our Halloween props get taken down by the strong winds, one by one.  I heard a loud “thump” earlier today, and I thought to myself “now what was that“, so I looked outside, and our ghoul is now laying flat on his back in the yard.  He had enough of fighting the wind and gave up, and he is just laying there with his hands up in the air.  I am only surprised that he is not holding a white flag of surrender!

Our wood tombstones are even swaying back and forth even with the 7″ spikes that we have in the ground to hold them secure, as the ground is so saturated with water and the holes in the ground are huge.

A neighbor of ours just emailed us a notice from our city that Halloween on Wednesday night has been postponed due to the weather conditions of Hurricane Sandy, and will take place on Sunday instead.  We figured as much that this would happen, so we are not so surprised at the news.  Hopefully by Sunday the rain will have ceased a bit and give the trick-or-treaters a chance to gather some candy from the neighbors.

I will keep a lookout on the graveyard to see what else takes a dive as the day progresses.

The Times Are Changing

As I sit here enjoying my second cup of coffee, I notice that the sleeves of my sweatshirt are covered with dog hair.  I just finished brushing Nikita outside as it is a nice cool crisp morning and thought that she would enjoy sitting on the porch with Mommy while getting groomed.  She loved it, and sat there so nicely on the porch watching the cars pass the house and a few morning walkers.  I can tell by the amount of hair I remove off of her that the seasons are changing, just like how we recently noticed that it is also getting darker outside earlier.  I even had to change the timer for the lights in the flower bed to come on a little earlier.  With this realization of the seasons changing, it kinda makes me sad.

Gosh, I remember just yesterday (well actually, a few months ago) how excited we were to finally start our very first garden, and now, the garden will be coming to an end in a month.  It was our first time gardening and we have learned quite a bit doing research, and learned a lot from our neighbor who also gardens and has the most incredible garden this year.  We know for sure that we will be picking his brain over the winter and will get help from him on how to start our tomato plants indoors for next year, because the tomatoes that we started indoors flopped.  They started off really nice and they appeared that they would be ok, but we failed miserably and they all passed away and we had to purchase more tomato plants.  What we find mind-blowing are the Juliet Tomato’s that our neighbor is growing.  He only has two of these plants in his garden, but they have produced probably hundreds of tomatoes!  We are amazed by what he has picked from these two plants in his garden.  The Juliet Tomato is a longer skinny tomato and a lot meatier, kinda the size of two cherry tomatoes.  So next year, we will probably not plant any cherry tomatoes, rather we will plant two Juliet plants and will have more tomatoes than we know what to do with – nice!

The times are a changing, just like the weather.  We have finally and thankfully got out of the 100 degree days where you could fry an egg on the driveway, to a more respectable temperature where you can cut the grass without sweating like a pig.   With the weather changing, it also gets us excited because we know that Halloween is just around the corner, under 80 days now.  Yeah!  And pretty soon we can pull out all of the wood tombstones that we made last year and proudly place them in the front graveyard.  We painted some funny things on our tombstones like “economy” which was painted in white on a black tombstone with red blood dripping from it, and we also painted a white tombstone with “high gas prices killed me” on it with a little red gas can on the front.  Everyone in our neighborhood just loved these tombstones and laughed every time they saw them.  Q:  What should we paint on our tombstones for this year?  Leave your comments below and let us know! 

The month of August has been quite eventful for us, as Nikita got a bath at the beginning of the month before her Revolution treatment, and just like she does every week, she gets her teeth brushed too.  Yes, we brush our dogs teeth and you should too.  Brushing their teeth will help prevent gum disease, not to mention, will keep her pearly whites looking great!

Daddy and Mommy also took me to the APL for a visit one weekend, and I got to meet a couple of dogs.  One was a beautiful black german shepherd who did not like me and I huddled by Daddy for protection.  We found out that he did not get along with other dogs too well, but he has been adopted into a good home, so that is good to know.   Daddy and Mommy also went to a neighboring city to see a Pet Fair that was going on over the weekend and they got to meet a lot of nice dogs & puppies.  They also met a beautiful german shepherd named Rocky that was a police dog for the Cleveland Metroparks.  Rocky even had his own badge too on his collar which was so neat to see. 

We also had a Staples truck driver who was making a delivery to our house, actually hit our mailbox while he was pulling away from the curb.  He ripped the mailbox door off and it is hanging now and the entire box is squished.  It took about a week for this to get taken care of, after numerous emails and phone calls, but now we found out that we can go out and get another mailbox and send Staples our receipt and they will reimburse us for the expense.  We are glad to hear that they will pay for another box, because with all the rain we have had lately, it stinks because the mail inside the box gets wet, not to mention that it could fall out of the box.

The Browns had their first pre-season game last Friday and they won!  Yeah!  We adorned our front door with our Browns banner and hope that it helps! Yeah, I know it does not actually count as a “win” but if you are a Browns fan, a W is a W whether or not it actually counts.  We’ll see what happens this year for the Browns as we got a new owner, so we’ll see what changes are in store for us!  Hopefully more “W’s”!  Maybe perhaps my driveway drawings are helping out!?  Daddy got Mommy a few cans of sidewalk chalk and she leaves Daddy messages all the time on the driveway to make him smile.  Then, when Daddy leaves for work in the morning, his backup monitor in his car will show the notes that we leave for him and hopefully it makes him smile when he leaves for the day! 

How has your August been so far?  What have you been up to?  What plans do you have for the Fall?  Share with us!

The only thing that we need to figure out and we need to do this real soon, is what should Nikita be for Halloween?  Since we hand make all of her costumes, we need to start thinking about what to make for her.  Any suggestions?  Nikita was a Fairy for her first Halloween and we dressed her up in a pink tutu with a frilly pink collar made from felt and beads, and last year she was a Lion which was made from a brown baby blanket and white fur and felt.  Now, this year I am stumped at what she should be.  Perhaps we could dress her up like Madonna with pointed boobies?  Let us know what you think!

The Storm on the Eve of the Fourth

Last night we had another huge storm whip through here with high winds, lots of rain, thunder & lightning.  I have been trying for a long time now to capture in a photograph a lightning bolt, but have been unsuccessful to date.  I sat by the front window last night trying to do just that and did not get any lightning bolts, but got some great storm photo’s. 

 

While sitting in the dark at the kitchen table watching the storm, my eye caught some interesting shadows on the ceiling from the kitchen light.  For me, being a photographer for many years, I notice things like this, as these things make very interesting subjects.  So I decided to take our little battery operated LED light and place it on the floor to see what Nikita would do.  She approached it, sniffed, and started to dance around it.  She then started batting it with her paws all around the floor as the glow from the LED lit up her face.  (sillydog)  That was the only fun that she had last night, as the loud thunder and lightning had her glued to us the rest of the time. 

Happy Fourth of July!  Have a safe holiday and remember that if you do set off any fireworks, you may be start a fire on all of the dry lawns in the neighborhood, so think twice about it.

We were starting to think that we might perhaps be rained out for our Fourth of July cookout, but woke up to sun and a high humidity index.  Great!  Now we will be sweating to death over a hot grill, but that’s ok because nothing beats a grilled hot dog with slightly burned edges.

The Weather Outside Might Be Frightful

Woke up this morning only to find the ground covered with my favorite white stuff.  Yep, it’s true!  This is our second snowfall of the year and I can’t wait to play in it.  Mommy dressed me up in a new sweater to keep me warm, not to mention quite stylish, and I love it!  (thanks Mommy!)  I have been slowly adding my winter fur as I am becoming a fluff ball again.  (does this fur make me look fat?) 

When I think about it, I am one Pampered Pooch.  I get my paws wiped off when I come inside to keep the wood floors clean, I get brushed everyday, I have tons of toys to play with, I get to wear cool clothes, I get all the treats when I look adorable (this works every time) and when I think about it, not all doggies are this lucky.  Some doggies are probably outside right now, cold and shivering, but I am inside in a nice warm house napping with all my toys surrounding me.  Lucky is what I am!  I have a great Daddy who gives me treats every night after dinner and then he plays ball with me. 

I also wanted to share with you the photo we got of that 12-point Buck that is running around our neighborhood, but we added a few little embellishments to his photo.  LOL   I wonder who was the brave soul that got those ornaments on his rack?  Ya know, it’s hunting season now!

Can’t wait to head back outside to romp around in the snow!  Is it snowing where you are?

Another Rainy Friday here in Cleveland, OH

TGIF, but what’s so good about it?  It’s raining here again, and everytime I go outside I get wet and then smell like a wet dog (well, that’s what I am, right?)  It seems that every time I need to head outside, it starts to pour.  So is it true when they say that when you “hear” water running, you have to pee?  I guess that must be the case, because I feel the need to want to go outside right when it is pouring the hardest.  Mommy has to dry me off with a towel when I come inside and wipe my paws to keep the wood floors clean, and I’m ok with that because I am used to it.  We started doing the wiping of the paws when I was a little puppy so it is just part of my routine now.  It’s kinda nice though, as Mommy always gives me hugs when she is wiping off my paws and I like that!  Aw, Mommy and Me time! 

Anyhow, as you can see from the photograph above, Mommy is at it again!  She is getting so proficient in using a hand jigsaw and has made some awesome items.  She has been so busy lately cutting wood tombstones as the orders keep coming in and her and Daddy are so excited that they had an idea to create these and now everyone wants one or more!   Since she has been working non-stop on these tombstones for weeks now, she put a lot of strain on Daddy’s jigsaw, and had to go out this week and get another jigsaw just in case the one she was using died on her in the middle of a project.  So, Mommy headed off to Sears Hardware and picked up a Craftsman Evolv Electric Jigsaw.  She saw it online for $29.99, and thought what a great price for a jigsaw, and read the reviews on it and they were all good.  The jigsaw has a 4.5 amp motor and has a lot of power and it comes with a metal edge guide, and the blades are easy to change as no tools are needed.  Mommy would definitely recommend this jigsaw to anyone who is looking for one. 

As for me today, I am taking it easy.  Since it’s raining outside, today would be a good day to nap all day.  I am trying to keep it on the down-low today because yesterday I got yelled at for the first time.  I accidentally pulled down the sheers and the curtain rod in the bedroom and boy oh boy was Mommy upset.  I was just jumping up on the window sill so I could look outside and I am still not sure how I pulled the sheers down, but it happened.  I made up with Mommy so we’re good.  Phew!   

I will keep you updated on the upcoming projects that Mommy will be working on as she has some great ideas for the upcoming holidays, like Valentine’s Day.  She is going to make some HUGE wood “X” and “O” to show your love with hugs & kisses that can stand on the floor or hung on the wall.  Keep watching to see what she comes up with! 

Keep dry & run between the raindrops today or you’ll smell like a wet dog, like me!

Welcoming the Arrival of Cooler Weather

GUARDING DADDY’S PUMPKIN

Ah, sleeping at night with the windows open is so nice!  Giving the air conditioner a little break for awhile is always a good thing, and good for your pocket too.  It is just nice that I can now sit in front of the window and feel that nice cool breeze blow on my face, not to mention all of the good smells I take in on a daily basis.  Barking at people passing by our house or doggies that I don’t like through a closed window does not make me sound fierce, but with an open window, I can protect the homestead with some deep growls & barks and everyone can hear me really well. 

 
Sometimes I think that I am nosey, as I watch EVERYONE and everything!  I run from window to window to keep up with the neighbors arrivals & departures and when I see them I run from the front window to the back window to catch a glimpse of them getting out of their car, I watch trash blowing down the street from the car wash that blows by on a daily basis and it always makes me growl at it, I growl and bark at garbage cans (have done that since I was a puppy and tall enough to see out the window), but it always amazes Daddy & Mommy “who” I bark at.  It’s strange that some dogs can walk by our house and all I do I watch them, while other dogs can go by and I go absolutely crazy.  What makes me bark at them and yet leave the others alone?  Not sure why I do this, it will remain a mystery. 
 
One of my all time favorite things to do is, waiting for Daddy to come home.  Mommy always alerts me that “it’s time” to watch for Daddy’s arrival and I put down any toy that I am playing with (or bring it to the front window with me) and I run to the window, sit down, and look back and forth for Daddy’s car.  Almost 100% of the time, I can catch his car coming down the road and my tail starts wagging and I get all excited.  I watch him pull into the driveway and then I run to the back door to catch him driving by (he always stops right by the door and waves at me – awww!) and then I run like a bat out of hell to the back window to watch him get out of his car.  As soon as I see him walking towards the house, I jump off the window sill and tear down the hallway to the back door again (I always beat him to the back door too) and I await the glimpse of him opening the door.  YEAH, Daddy’s home!  I jump all over him and give him kisses and he gives them right back!  I love this time of day because I love my Daddy!  Mommy is there too, waiting for Daddy and always makes sure she has his favorite glass of wine waiting for him and the smell of a good home cooked meal is just about to come out of the oven. 
 
Cooler weather, lots of love, and a pumpkin patch are all the favorite things that are consuming my days!