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Another Year Better

Today is Cooper’s fourth birthday.

Four.

And he has really come into his own in the last year:

  • Sweet (generally).
  • Calm (for the most part).
  • Obedient (sometimes).

I never thought we’d reach this day.

I wonder if he’s finally ready for a canine sibling.

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CB 02

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CB 04

Ahhh … probably not.

Happy birthday, buddy o’ mine.

New Use for an Old Space

Over the last six weeks or so, I have allowed Cooper to start sleeping in the bed with me. I can’t say there was a clear reason for this. Just that he started acting more like an adult and less like an insane, always-hyper pup.

That and I could trust him not to run after one of the cats just because he was grabbed by some wild impulse.

Anyway, that left his once-necessary, now-empty playpen sitting in the corner of my bedroom. I considered taking it down, but thought I should leave it in place in case the dog-on-the-bed experiment didn’t go so well.

Six weeks later, I can’t take it down because it has a new use: As Izzy’s bed.

Previously, Colby claimed the bed during the day, when Cooper wasn’t using it. Of course, that was when I left the door closed most of the time. She was the only one crazy enough to jump/climb in and out of the contraption.

Now, I leave the door open all the time, which has allowed the others to come and go as they please.

Apparently, Izzy is the only one who pleases. And she pleases every day.

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Crate 01

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Crate 05

I guess I made the sleep spot comfortable enough for all creatures small and smaller. And leaving up the contraption is a small price to pay to keep the little girl happy.

 

Happy Day in the Sun

Cooper, relaxing on a warm spring day.

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Coop 02

 

Blooming Tulips

As I have said before, I have beautiful flowers coming up in my front garden.

What I didn’t point out is that the tulips that line the steps to my front porch change colors as they mature. They start out a bright yellow, but eventually burst out into a brilliant orange as they grow in the sun. The effect is beautiful and dramatic.

Tulip 1

Tulip 2

 

Tulip 3

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Tulip 6

The flowers, unfortunately, are short-lived because they tend to receive a very intense amount of sun in a very short amount of time. But the intense and alluring color fills the days I get to enjoy them.

The Fickle Life of Flowers

Three years ago, in a fit of fall optimism, I planted a row of bulbs along the stairs up to my front door. A mix of daffodils and tulips, my goal was to build a lush and inviting path to my door (which is, of course, posted with a “no soliciting” sign).

The first spring, the bulbs burst forth — albeit in a bit of an anemic way. Each bulb put on only one stalk and one flower. I didn’t think much of it because it was still early in the lives of the tubers.

The second year, while the bulbs put on flowers, one side was clearly more developed than the other. Of course, the winter months were mild, never really reaching the freezing temps that tubers thrive in.

So, this year, when the first greens started breaking through the topsoil in late January, I was cautiously hopefully. After all, while January had been relatively mild, we endured several days of sub-freezing temperatures before the end of the year.

Then came days upon days upon days of snow. I was positive that the greenery had died back. But to my surprise, the sprouts continued to thrive.

At least on one side of the walkway.

While the bulbs on both sides of the stairs receive the same amount of sun, water and care (which would be none). the tubers on the north side of the stairs have far outpaced the greenery and flower production of the bulbs found less than four feet to the south. In fact, those to the north of the stairs really need to be dug up and divided this fall while those to the south probably need to be pulled out and … well … put out of their misery.

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Flowers on the north side of my front stairs.

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And the fairly pathetic flowers on the south side of my stairs.

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The beauty and majesty on the north side.

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Another view of the beauty on the north side …

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And the sadness on the south side — less than four feet away.

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Seriously, that’s just pathetic …

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On the plus side, all but one of the daffodils on the north side are blooming.

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Those on the south side are not, but I think these beauties can sustain me.

I’ve asked my gardening expert (a.k.a. lawn guy) if he had any insight as to why this might have happened. He just laughed and said he hadn’t even noticed it was going on, but had no idea. I love my gardening expert, but sometimes his powers of observation are a little lacking.

Now, I just need to figure out how to fix this come fall …

Spring Bliss

Spring time in Oregon is fickle — at least to those who have never lived here.

While the cold often gives up its grip on the land, offering a hint of summer days yet to come, the weather can still be unrelenting. Days of rain upon unending rain leave mucky, mushy yards. Patios, driveways and roads awash with runoff. Soggy becomes a state of being.

But, even in the midst of the storms, spring always manages to bless us with a touch of sun. It doesn’t appear often or for very long, but when it does reach our little corner of the world, the land explodes in color as it basks in the light.

These are the moments I wait for.

The moments that remind me why I love Oregon.

For even when we are in the depths of the worst spring can throw at us, we know that we will eventually be blessed with the best.

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The flowering currant in my side yard, basking in the morning sun.

Happiness Is …

A 64-degree spring day.

An open window.

A whole lot o’ sunshine.

Happy 02

Happy 03

Happy 04

Happy 05

Happy 06

Happy 07

Happy 08

Happy 09

You’d never find these three so close together otherwise.

Life is good.

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