Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The McLaughlin Menagerie Expands Again!

It's semi-official now - we have a new member of the family! We took our "potential" dog Marley for a test drive this weekend and we all fell in love (the dog seems to love us too). We were supposed to take him back Sunday night, and he's still here. The original plan was that we weren't going to take him for good until the middle of July or so (his current owner is moving to Mexico at the end of July). We've all bonded so much that I don't want him to leave us (and he's eating up the twice-a-day walking and ball throwing sessions we're giving him - he was only being walked once or twice a week at his old house).

Here's a couple of pics of our new doggie (he's a shepherd-lab cross, and yes, he is LARGE).

How can you not love that face??

Well, that's all the update I have time for right now! Stay tuned for the scoop on our Watkins Glen camping trip - as soon as I get a chance I'll upload some pics.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Neighbourhood Movie Night (and a Potential New Dog)

Yesterday was one of those rather pleasant types of Saturdays with nothing much formal on the agenda, and a lot of puttering around. What started out as a low key day ended up with a fair bit of excitement, though. We took a drive over to meet our potential new dog! Yes, dog. A colleague of Joe's has a client who's moving to Mexico and needs to part with her lab-shepherd cross, and of course Joe was all over that :) I was initially skeptical, but after going to meet him, I've warmed up to the idea. His name is Marley, he's 9 yrs old, and seems really laid back and friendly. He'll make a great walking buddy for me! We're going to take him for a "test drive" when we get back from our camping trip. We'll take him for a weekend and see how he fits in to our household. I'm most concerned about how he'll get along with our 2 cats (although I suspect the cats will be the ones giving Marley a hard time, and not vice-versa!) I'm not going to post a picture until he's officially "ours" - just in case things don't work out.

Not long after we got back from meeting Marley, the boys ran in the house all excited with the news that our neighbours were having a movie theatre in the back yard that night (complete with tickets and all!) The dad is a teacher and had borrowed one of those nifty media projectors from work. Most of the neighbourhood kids and a lot of the parents gathered to watch The Two Towers projected onto a bedsheet in the yard. It was a lot of fun (even if a few of the dads snuck into the house to watch the hockey game!) I love our neighbourhood!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Vegetables and Treehouses and Chickenpox, OH MY!

I know I promised I was going to post at least 1-2 times a week on this blog - and it's now closing in on a month since my last post! What can I say, things have been *very* busy around here :)

The vegetable garden is coming along nicely, thanks to daily TLC from me.

Here's what things looked like right after my big past-the-frost-free-date planting (a three day long gardening extravaganza that left me with *very* sore knees, wrists and shoulders!)

Here's the way it's shaping up now - this was taken 3 or 4 days ago. We had our first salad with spinach and lettuce from our garden this week (it tastes so much better when you've grown it yourself!)

So what's growing in there? In the main raised bed in the photos, there's spinach, lettuce, pumpkins, watermelon (!!!), broccoli, cabbage (green and red), zucchini, patty pan squash, scarlet runner beans, bush beans (green and yellow), onions (white and red), carrots, garlic, thyme (regular and golden), garlic chives, peppermint, basil (green and purple), lavendar, oregano, and a few nasturtiums thrown in for good measure! In the side beds, there are some of the same things, plus strawberries, a blueberry bush, raspberry canes, potatoes, canteloupe (well, technically musk melon), pickling cucumbers, and dill. If all goes well, we should have enough to feed the whole street.

The other big project around here in the last few weeks has been construction of the boy's "treehouse". There's no actual tree involved, but it is up off the ground in typical treehouse fashion.

Here's day 2 of construction (day 1 involved wrestling the corner posts into correct position)

Here we are about 2/3rds of the way through the project (of course all the neighbourhood kids have been to check it out, plus most of the parents too!)

Ahh, what a beautiful site! The completed treehouse. Now I can get Joe to start working on the fence that needs to go across the back of our property (on second thought, our bank account needs to recover from the outlay for the treehouse first!)

Amidst all this flurry of activity, both Nathan and Noah came down with the chickenpox (just to add a bit more excitement to our life). Thank goodness they're on the mend and will be mostly recovered (just a few residual spots but no longer contagious) for our camping trip next week - we leave Tuesday morning!