Meet the Pups

What was I thinking? I've been blogging on and off for two years now (okay, more "off" than "on"), and somehow I haven't posted a picture of my pets. How can that be? Usually dogs and cats and hamsters are rolled out within the first week.

So here they are. The furry reasons why I vacuum twice a week. That's Sable on the left and Pip on the right. They're both around ten years old, although Sable acts it much more so than her brother. She has her eyes closed in sleep about 95% of the time, only daring to squint them open for food, bathroom breaks, and nighttime walks.

We've had Sable for almost four years and Pip for one and a half. Both were adopted — Sable from the Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue and Pip from the Labrador Retriever Rescue of East Tennessee. Weirdly enough, we've never lived in Tennessee. Just our dogs.

We brought Sable home to appease my desire for a dog, but she actually had the nerve to fall in love with my husband instead. Sure, she thinks I'm OKAY, but when Sable looks at Jarrod, she has hearts and stars and the moon in her eyes.

Naturally, this wouldn't do.

So we peeked around online again and found Pip. I fully confess to asking his foster mom if he preferred men or women, and I was thrilled when she answered, "Well, he tends to hang around me more than my husband." Good enough for me! We quickly tucked him into the backseat of our car and brought him home. And, thankfully, it seems she was right.

Now we both have a dog and all is good in the world, because there's nothing better than a sleeping dog at your feet. Or two.

Like right now.



My poor vegetable garden. It was attacked last Friday by a freak shower of gravel-sized hail and torn to shreds. All of it — tomatoes, squash, lettuce, etc etc etc — POOF! Gone in ten minutes.

And this just after I'd received a new zucchini salad recipe in the mail from my sister and learned about zucchini chocolate chip cookies from this wonderful, perfect, much-needed and highly-recommended book. I mean, one can never have too many squash recipes this time of year.

I am so heartbroken.

I only had time to get off a few shots before my camera died, so this is just a bit of the damage. Here are my future zucchini chocolate chip cookies with their stems savagely snapped off. I took a few pictures of my tomato plants, but they just looked like sticks in the ground and weren't recognizable at all.

I'm going out there today to trim up the wreckage — hopefully, I can salvage some of it — and plant new seeds. I'm not sure if any of it will have time to ripen, or if my town will be pelted with another hail storm next week, but I must keep trying.

At least I can be thankful that my livelihood does not depend upon my harvest. I can't help but think about the farms tucked away in these mountains: What happens to the farmers when the hail hits?