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Random photo nonsense post

I’m deadlining madly for the next two weeks. And when not making my way through a pile of assignments, I’ll be making my way to Montana and back.

It’s a whirlwind trip; just a few days. But the cause is excellent. A rancher — and blog reader — and his wife (who he says is a much nicer person than he is) are giving me a side of organically raised grass-fed Highland beef and are paying part of the cost of the freezer to house it. All I have to do is cover the butcher’s fees. My friend L., whose vehicle is big enough to haul this bounty, gets half the meat in exchange for making the trip with me.

This is all great for us, of course. Amazing, in fact. But between deadlines and travel, you may get “lite” blogging into early September. (You never know, though; often, the moment I say I won’t have anything to say, I’m struck with a burst of brilliance deep thoughts words. So we’ll see.)

In the meantime, with brain tired from a day of actual WERK, here’s some “lite” stuff I’ve been saving up for a while.

The garden

I can’t grow anything. Really, notoriously, I can’t. When plants see me approaching with good intentions, they shrivel. I swear I can hear their little vegetable voices shrilling, “No! No! Don’t touch me!” But when I finally just give up and let the old garden area here get taken over by weeds and let the dogs lie in the weeds and crush them, what do I get?

Elephant garlic from my garden

A healthy harvest of elephant garlic! I should try neglect more often.

Consider yourself warned!

This is a bag of peanuts. Sort of obvious, yes?

Bag of peanuts

Well, brace yourself. You will be shocked — simply shocked! — to learn that it contains:

Peanut ingredients

Yes — “peanut ingredients”! Oh, the horror. (Actually it is sort of horrible, rather like “pasturized processed cheese food.”) I ate them anyway.

Camo dog

Robbie is my oldest, and secretly my favorite, dog. I’ve always been fascinated by his coloring but too intimidated to try to capture it in a painting or drawing. Such a complex pattern. But those brindle markings make great camouflage.

Can you spot the dog in this picture?

Robbie "camo dog" in the weeds, uncropped

Robbie’s not very active. Even when not in full camo, he can frequently be mistaken for a garden gnome

Robbie as a garden ornament

But mostly, he blends in pretty much everywhere — particularly in places he is Not Supposed to Be. Here he is, cleverly disguised as a pillow.

Robbie amid pillows and stuffed animals on the sofa


  1. water lily
    water lily August 23, 2011 4:27 am

    Robbie is such a cutie! Love your photos of him.

    Congrats on the beef. Nothing better than grass-fed. Oh, and enjoy the garlic, too. 🙂

  2. Pat
    Pat August 23, 2011 4:27 am

    Robbie’s markings are indeed a great camoflage pattern. Maybe you should try painting him to see what you could come up with for the rifle. I could forego the “liberty snake” for a pattern like Robbie.

  3. Karen
    Karen August 23, 2011 5:49 am

    Love the Robbie photos! The garden gnome pic reminds me of a gargoyle on Notre Dame – they’re not all ferocious.

    And bless that reader/rancher for showing the love. Have a lovely trip.

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 23, 2011 6:23 am

    A side of organically raised highland beef, that will be good eats!

    I have the same gardening abilities. Only thing I’ve grown successfully was birdhouse gourds, and that was only once! My Dad can grow almost anything, for me plants grow begrudgingly. Garlic always fails.

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 23, 2011 10:44 am

    Love Robbie! 🙂

  6. Claire
    Claire August 23, 2011 11:48 am

    I love him, too, MamaLiberty. 🙂

    And Karen … yes! a Notre Dame gargoyle! I would never have thought of that comparison, yet that’s exactly Robbie’s look. The very first thing I noticed about him — 10 years ago when I first saw him in a cage at the vet’s office — was the odd way he had of sitting perfectly still looking solemn and a little dangerous. Robbie as a gargoyle … yep.

    And yep on that side of beef, too. I am amazingly fortunate in my friends. I’ve never met the family we’ll be visiting (not in person, anyhow). But I’m very much looking forward to it. Sides of beef aside — they seem like amazing people.

  7. naturegirl
    naturegirl August 23, 2011 2:26 pm

    I notice the dog pillow idea really didn’t work, huh? Or at least Robbie figured out it doesn’t move – only another “statue” could have known that……He has that “old wise” look to him, and he’s totally a photo-poser LOL……..

    Congrats on the nice score, right in time for the fall & storing food for the winter urges…….Montana is beautiful, enjoy the road trip 🙂

  8. Claire
    Claire August 23, 2011 5:44 pm

    That’s right, naturegirl. I never thought of it quite that way, but Robbie recognized a fellow statue.

    I think he also recognizes that mom’s a soft touch when it comes to letting her oldest and favorite sneak onto the couch at night.

  9. Mary Lou
    Mary Lou August 23, 2011 7:06 pm

    Robbie is gorgeous! Love his markings … and he looks like a real sweetie too.

  10. Claire
    Claire August 23, 2011 7:23 pm

    Thank you, Mary Lou. He is — on both counts.

    For most of his life, he wasn’t much of a sweetie to other dogs, but he adored all human beings (strange men above all). Now, he’s mellow and kind to all the world.

  11. bumperwack
    bumperwack August 23, 2011 8:16 pm

    Looks like he is waiting for his beef…

  12. Claire
    Claire August 23, 2011 9:02 pm

    OMG, don’t even tell him all that beef is coming! LOL. He’ll be impossible to live with then.

    (And yes, Robbie — and Ava and Nadja — I’ve asked the butcher to save all the dog bones he possibly can.)

  13. bumperwack
    bumperwack August 23, 2011 9:26 pm

    Haha! Bet they get thier cut!

  14. Ken
    Ken August 24, 2011 10:19 am

    Garlic tip (a garlic patch came with our house) — when the plants produce their seed pods, head (at least some of) them — the bulbs grow larger when you pinch off the seed pods. I like to leave a few seed pods to bolster next year’s crop.

  15. Claire
    Claire August 24, 2011 10:29 am

    Thanks for the tip, Ken. I had heard that if you cut off the “scapes” you’d get bigger pods. And I hear the scapes (or parts of them) make good stir-fry, too.

    I’m just afraid if I actually, you know, paid any attention to the plants, let alone attempted to groom or encourage them in any way, they’d do the usual thing and drop dead. But your tip is out there for other people. And who knows, maybe I’ll even try it if garlic accidentally comes up again next year. 🙂

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