Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keeping Dogs Safe in the Hot Summer Months

Summer is a great season to be out and active with your dog. Here are a few things that I've learned in the past to keep our furry family safe in the summer.

  •  Easiest one first. Never leave a dog in a car. That thing turns into a hot box in a matter of 2 minutes.
  • Water. Always have water available for your dog. In addition to having water inside, always have a bucket full and available for the times you are outside playing.
  • This one sounds silly, but make sure your dog can swim! You may decide to take them to they lake and before you know it, they courageously run and jump of the end of the dock. Be sure they don't sink straight to the bottom. Same for swimming pools, they may jump or fall in - be sure they are able to swim. If they'll be left unsupervised, be sure they know how to exit the pool.
  • Warm weather means mosquito and heart worm season, make sure the dogs are up to date on their heart worm prevention program.
  • It's also tick and flea season, so make sure you're checking them close each day after playing outside or with other dogs.
  • For daily walks, make sure you're going in the morning or evening hours when the temperature is the coolest. Keep off of asphalt that's roasting from the sun; their paws are tough, but they can still get hot.
  • Give them access to shade. My dogs would love to go out on the boat, but we don't take them because there's no shade and they'd just be sitting roasting in the sun while we soak in the cool water. Same for backyards - plant a tree, build a makeshift tent with a tarp or build an open-air shelter, get creative! Same goes for beach outings, even through they have water, they'll need shade.
  • To follow along with the tip above, always check under your vehicle before you or your guests leave. Pets might be lounging on the cool dirt or concrete underneath the parked vehicles.
  • Restrict exercise for very active breeds, as they will run and run their hearts out. 
  • Here's a fun one - 'pupsicles'! Make chicken, beef or vegetable broth and pour into ice cube trays, when they freeze, pop them out and give them to your puppies as cool treats. 
  • Keep dogs off freshly fertilized lawns for 24 hours or according to package instructions.
  • Smoosh-face or short snouted dogs should always be kept as cool as possible. Their short snouts prevent them from panting effectively enough to cool themselves.  

What else do you do to keep your sweeties cool?

Monday, June 29, 2015


We have had a crazy unnatural amount of rain this spring. It could always be worse, so I'm not complaining, but you could have white water rafted across our driveway and into the ditch last weekend. 

Sorry that these aren't the best picture quality- iPhones were used.

This is our driveway- completely covered in several inches of water.

This ditch never has more than a trickle during rainstorms. A bunch of the millings from our poor driveway washed wayyyy down the ditch, as did most of the big rocks on the right side of the drain.

Don't be confused by this picture, it's not normally a lake. This is the bean field across from the farm. Massive amounts of water killing the poor little beans. This photo really made me realize how much farmers gamble for a living. Kelly can work his butt off doing what's best for the crops, but good mother nature will do what she will.

Above is my stepdad the skipper on his neighbor's dock last weekend, which is usually a whole foot above the sea level. We had a couple more downpours on Monday through Tuesday morning, which resulted in one of their building's basements downtown flooding as well as their home basement flooding. Not fun.

And guess what's in the forecast for tomorrow? Yep! More rain.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Weekend

What are you lovelies up to this weekend?

We don't have much going on. Family is in from Colorado, so we're meeting at grandma's tomorrow for drinks (virgin for me!) before heading out to Fricano's. I've never been, but I always hear rave reviews about their pizza. 

Here are a few fun links from around the web:

A cheap and easy way to spice up your old dresser.

How to say goodbye when leaving a party.

This homemade watermelon slush looks delish.

Hmmm, which of our rooms would look good with these rustic, wooden curtain rods?

Baby animal photos that will make your heart melt.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Boone Hall Plantation, South Carolina

We were fortunate to be able to tour Boone Hall Plantation while on our vacation. It's located near Charleston in a place called Mount Pleasant.

Here are some more photos and a little of the history that we learned...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Another Critter to the Clan

So you've all met our dogs, and most recently our chickens, and now we're adding another to the clan, but this time, it's a...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How To Train Your Dragons

Remember these little girls? Well, they've grown. They moved from their little metal horse trough, to a giant plastic stock tank and have finally been relocated outside to their forever (forever until they are food...mwuahahaha) home.

Voila! It's like we fed them miracle grow or something. They're huge! That black & white one is so pretty, but she scares me. Like I totally did a girly scream when she ran/flew towards me the other day. Embarrassing. She kind of reminds me of that witchy lady from Disney's The Sword in the Stone. You know...Madame Mim...

They've been in their coop for a little over two weeks now, so we decided that it was time to do a little free-range practice run. We let them out at about 7:30, the sun is setting at about 9:15 right now so it was a short practice run. It takes chickens just a little while to learn where their home is and as soon as dusk hits, they high-tail it back to the coop for the night.

As soon as we opened the doors, our brave little Barred Rock babes led the way.

You know how when you open a door, it goes almost all the way to the back wall and makes a 'V'?There was one...let's just say not so smart...chicken (yes, one of the blonde ones) who tried to exit by going into that 'V'. It proceeded to squawk and squawk and stick its head through the chain link door until finally Kelly went in there to pick it up and carry it out. Those blondes, I tell ya.

Then came the fun part! Teaching our dogs that the little ladies are friends, not food. We started with my perfect, sweet, angelic peach of a dog, Crue (I don't have favorites, really:)). Mainly because he is the best listener of the bunch.

I'm going to go off on a small tangent here - I love his electric collar. It is a waterproof collar with strength settings ranging from 1-8, but my favorite part is that there's a little button on the side that just gives two small 'beeps'. In the four years that I've had this collar, I've only had to use the shock park one single time. The few rare times that I have to use the remote at all, I only use the beep and it brings him right back to attention. If you ever decide to invest in an electric collar, I 100% recommend one with a beep.

Alright, back to dragon training. Since my big man is such an exemplary listener, we introduced him first. He heeled out to the chickens and I had him sit about 20 feet away so he could watch as they ran and flew around for a bit. Then he came into the middle of the brood and I had him lay down next to me while I pet him.

We did this for about ten minutes, then he was free to walk around and check things out. I had the remote at the ready because if any of these dogs go after our ladies, they were going to become electric chickens really fast.

And there he is more interested in munching on the long grass then playing with chickens.

We did the same thing with each of the dogs, one at a time. Our young lab was pretty good about them and only tasted one or two shocking feathers. The beagle went after quite a few of them and tasted a few more electric feathers, she's a very sneaky one who we'll have to watch closely. The last one, our older lab, could have cared less. In fact, she might think she's a chicken. She went right into the middle of them and started eating grass right along with them. Sweet old lady.

So that's the story of how to train your dragons. Our plan is to just have two of them outside at a time for the next few weeks until we are comfortable that they'll leave the birds alone. Keep your fingers crossed!

And since I know you haven't seen the chicken coop yet, here it is in all its half-finished glory! 

Kelly & I completed the base and the frame, then when busy season came along his stepdad came over and put the roof and shell on. Thank goodness for him because otherwise we still wouldn't have it finished and the chickens would probably still be living in the pole barn! It needs a coat of paint until it can be sided, we need to put the door on and add some steps on the front, in addition to adding the nesting boxes next month. That cute egg sign is from his mother and we found the horseshoe in the pile of old barn rubble near the coop. 

While they were out, we weeded and hoed the garden, then went inside for a late dinner. By the time we went outside to check on them a little after dusk, they were all happy as clams back inside their coop, all huddled in the corner where they like to sleep.

Now we wait until September for eggs! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I've missed you! 

We have been so busy this spring it's caused the blog to become horribly neglected. To quote the Game of Thrones season finale "SHAME, SHAME!" ...except please don't make me do the walk. 

Above is a recent picture from the beautiful wedding of some very dear friends of ours. Proof that we're alive and well and this post isn't being written by some crazy, Austin Powers fembot. 

We've got lots to talk about coming up here... gardening, vacations, chickens, projects, yada yada yada it's been too long. Talk soon :o)

Photo by {Meg Day}
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