Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


It's probably time for me to make my announcement here about the newest member of the Hamilton-Coon family. On Friday, December 6th, I flew down to Nashville, TN to pick up my precious cargo - a puppy we decided to name Tucker. I won't go into the stressful details of that trip, but long story short I made it back to Seattle on Sunday,  December 8th. I flew first class on the way home with him - best decision ever. No regrets.

There are many reasons I decided to sprinkle a little chaos into my life. One is for selfish reasons - my girls are 9 months apart. NINE months. That means I'm going to have my two girls going through end of life stages together. If I could change that time line I would have given a 4-6 year gap between Sadie and my 2nd, but this is how life dealt the cards. Plus I like dogs. They're the best thing since sliced bread. 

I've gotten lots of advice about adding a 3rd. Some key ones I took to heart. Make it a boy and get him before Violet turns 5. The reasoning for that is I already have two girls and adding a 3rd bitch, especially with Violet, would be a horrible idea. And when they hit 5 they begin to become less tolerant of other dogs overall and less likely to accept the new comer. Violet turned 4 in September. We moved into a bigger house with a huge yard. Finances are tight because we just bought a new house but excluding that, the timing is now.

I had a short list of prospective parents to my future puppy. I wanted a healthy pup physically, but even more important than that is he have a rockin' personality. No jackasses allowed. I already have one fickle creature named Violet - I wanted to minimize my chances of getting a troubled terrier personality. I found out a dog on my short list sired a litter with a bitch of sound temperament. I looked. I spoke with the breeders. I thought. I went for it.

In addition to the sound temperament, I wanted him to be sound physically, to the best of our ability to detect, as I want to do agility with this little boy. There were two boys in the litter and I didn't care which one I brought home - maybe even none at all if they weren't a good fit. But the breeder did right by us and picked out a little boy with an awesome personality. He's responsive to the girls signals and gives lots of clear signals himself. Respectful of space and usually a very polite little guy. And he really rolls with the girls' punches. I just love his personality. Not a snarky bone in his body

His coloring is red smut, meaning his red coat has black ticking in it. I think he'll be bigger than the girls. I think he'll probably be about 16" at the shoulder and weigh somewhere around 38 lbs.

Violet has been doing well. Every day she gets better with him. We started out with Tucker being mostly separate from the girls and have allowed them more and more mingle time as  we go along. I was lucky enough to take three weeks off to help with the integration.

We got our first snow today. Nothing like watching a puppy play in the snow for the first time.

So far he has been a wonderful addition to the family. We're looking forward to him growing up into a handsome young man.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Paint!

It's amazing what a new coat of paint will do for a room. When we bought the house there was a lot of this burnt orange color. Someone said it's like an Arizona orange color, and I think that's exactly what they were going for since that is where the previous owners moved when they sold the house. Paint color is a very personal thing, so I don't want to outright say the color was ugly because to someone else it was beautiful - but it didn't suit us at all and it made the room so dark.

The new color may look white but it's really a beige. Technically the color is Devine 'Ash' and once we get some white trim up for contrast the difference will become more apparent. Later, perhaps a 2014 project, the kitchen cabinets will be painted. The color chosen for that project is Devine 'Almond' which is a light blue gray. The almond is also used as an accent wall in the entry room and family room so it all ties together.

The large beams in the ceiling are painted a very dark brown, almost black. We may decide to paint those beams white but we're taking it one thing at a time. Adding a little more light, new paint on the kitchen cabinets, new appliances (no more black, please!) and then we'll see if the beams still need a makeover.

Connecting to this room is the entry room, which used to be the original living room. We use it as a sitting room and for the dog kennels. The same orange color was use on most of the walls. The same Devine 'Ash' was used in this room to connect it to the kitchen. And in this room is the 'Almond' color which will go on the kitchen cabinets. The same ash color went down the hallway, which isn't pictured.

The orange paint is on the right wall and against the wall the couch is against, which isn't picture in this photo. Didn't look good - to us. Now that I'm getting this blog post put together I don't think I realized I lacked a picture of that horrible paint and how it made the room look. Oh well.

After paint make over - I do like the colors. The creamy beige is growing on me. Not sure I would have picked it myself as I am more of a cool beige person but I don't think it would go well in this house with all the wood. You can see the orange on the left side.

The family room was also painted but that will have to wait for another post. Still working on photos of that room.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flyball Update

It's been a while since I've made a post about flyball. We had a tournament over the weekend and Sadie had a lot of fun. I didn't - I ended up coming down with a stomach bug while I was there, in Canada, far away from home. Tough position to be in, wanting to be home and not spreading germs, but being stuck far away from home and Sadie was an essential cog on the team she was running on. And we soon discovered Sadie won't run for someone else. Well, she WILL run for someone else but when it comes time to return and tug, she branches away and looks for mom. But I digress.

I brought my new camera, which is a full frame Nikon D610. Paul had his nice 70-200 mm lens. We slapped that bad boy on my new camera and we shared the camera a bit which was fun. Any pics of Sadie were taken by him and I am grateful for that.

Sadie did GREAT! Her endurance is better than ever living on 4 acres. Country living is suiting her well. She normally can't do anything beyond half time as she tires quickly but she ran more than that on Sunday and I think she could have happily done more.

Sadie has a lot to say. She always has a lot to say.

I love watching her play the game. She genuinely loves being here, playing this game of jumping and bringing back the ball. She always has a smile on her face and loves squeaking and barking in the lane waiting her turn to go. She's a joy.

Her box turn lacks form. You can nitpick what we did or didn't do to fix it, but bottom line, it just hasn't been the same since she had a collision with another dog a couple years ago. This is why I've decided to retire her soon. Her shoulders are showing wear, especially the right one, which is the one she uses to shove off the box. She doesn't have a proper swimmers turn on the box so her shoulders take the brunt of the impact when she gets on the box. 

She will be retired after she hits 5000 NAFA points. She's currently at around 3500. I anticipate 2014 will probably be her last year in flyball. She will continue in agility, which she also loves, so she will still have an outlet to work and run around. This girl loves to work and I'd never take that joy away from her if I can avoid it.

That day will be a very sad day.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Trying Something New - Dock Diving

This weekend was the Salmon Days Festival in Issaquah, WA and at that event (which is kinda fun, btw. If you live nearby you should check it out) they have dock diving put on by the Puget Sound Dock Diving club. On Friday night as I was pondering my up coming weekend I suddenly remembered that all this was happening and I should go ahead and spend my entire weekend in a camp chair with Sadie to allow her to chase a ball and leap into water. Who WOULDN'T want to do this on a free weekend? I mean, sane people might opt to sleep in but sanity is for the weak. So off we went.

Sadie was by far the smallest dog competing. She even got to compete in the 'lap dog' category and anyone who knows Sadie knows she is not exactly lap dog material. I got a chuckle out of that title. She was competing against dogs 2-3x her size but she doesn't care. She just wanted her ball and she wanted in the water.

This is how a typical jump looked:

1) First run out ahead of me while I am (slowly) making my way onto the deck. Gotta make sure the water is still there and hasn't disappeared, afterall. Logical - for Sadie's brain. Water still there? Ok, now I can go back to mom and get ready.

2) Throw the ball as Sadie runs to the ledge to JUMP! 

3) Except not. Sadie would hesitate at the ledge, get as far down off the ledge she could while still remaining on the dock, and cuss out the ball and water for being so far away.

4) Finally get brave enough to jump down into the water. LAUNCH!!!

5) Fly!!! But not very far, because you're a brick on legs :)

6) And finally, canon ball.

Even though she didn't jump very far, she still managed to make it to the finals. She was a stand-in incase anyone in the top 6 for novice didn't make it. She was pretty far down the alternate list so I didn't think she'd make it but wouldn't you know it, she was jumping in the finals! She made 5th place out of those 6 dogs. Our final jump of the weekend ended up being our best. I held her back like I do in flyball and said "Reaaaadyyyyy? REEAAADYYYY SET HIT IT" which was apparently the magic she needed. She jumped with the least amount of hesitation and made it 7'1" - not bad for a brick on legs jumping in her first dock dog comp.

A few more of my favorites from the weekend - this was on the first day. I was so tickled she jumped in the water with all those people cheering her on around the pool. You just don't know what they're going to do until you get up there.

This was the scenery - gorgeous Issaquah, WA. This is Leslie and Rhubarb getting ready to jump. I just love those hills in the background. Rhu got 4th place in the Novice Finals, btw :)

Until next time - 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Busy Life is Busy!

As you can imagine, moving is a lot of work. A lot has happened since my last post so let me give you a run down of what we've been up to!

All the icky carpet was removed and hauled away - we now have new laminate in the master bedroom and family room

Moving to a new home, with a completely new and different environment, can present challenges to a reactive dog and her owner. Violet was reacting to anything that moved outside of these windows so we went out and bought window film. Kinda sad because our view went away. We may do something different in the future but for now this is our solution.

One day, after running away from my dentist appt, I decided to go shopping downtown Seattle. Someone from Salon 7 training school stole me off the street and gave me free highlights. True story.

Two weeks later I had it all chopped off - not for free

Got the figs adjusted to their new home - some lost a few leaves over the move but everyone has adjusted well. Just in time for fall!

We've been harvesting tomatoes from the Seattle house. I've made tomato bread (tastes like zucchini bread) and green tomato soup.

We got a new washer/dryer! It only took a month to get them. Long story, one that makes me grumpy. But they are here and we finally have clean clothes again!

We get visited - a lot - by this family of deer. It was cute the first time, but now they are less cute. They ate my cherry and apple tree - and even nibbled on my ginko tree. Now I think they are furry jerks. And Violet wants to eat them. 

We took the girls to a doggy swim place in Lynnwood. Sadie loved it. Violet was a little less enthusiastic but I think she still had fun.
(Many thanks to Danny for this pic of Vi!)

I finally got to try my Go Pro camera :)

And then there's the playing. Oh boy the playing. The girls are really loving all this room to romp around and play fetch with balls and frisbees. What a fun life they live.

And we got their mugs on mugs - how cute is that? We won them in an auction raising money for canine cancer.

I think that's plenty of updates for now - don't you think?