Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Summer Visitors…And A Standoff

With the super-hot weather this year, we’re seeing a lot more outdoor bugs. ::shudder:: But not all are gross, there are some I actually like. Like ladybugs, butterflies, lightning bugs and moths – even giant moths like this one; I have never seen one this big:

THIS ENORMOUS MOTH WAS ON MY WINDSHIELD WIPER!!!

THIS ENORMOUS MOTH WAS ON MY WINDSHIELD WIPER!!! Look at the size of him!

His antennae are like fern leaves!! Nature is beautiful.

His antennae are like fern leaves!! Nature can be so beautiful (when it’s not a spider…).

And then there was this interesting David-and-Goliath standoff on our window screen:

Big grasshopper vs tiny moth - they stayed like this for hours!

Big grasshopper vs tiny moth – they stayed like this for hours! Believe it or not, the grasshopper backed down first!

Who are you and why are you staring at me??

Who are you and why are you staring at me??

How about this crazy kamikazee bird?? Why on earth was he nose-diving to the ground???

Dive-bomber bird!! What was he thinking??

Dive-bomber bird!! What was he thinking??

And this gigantic leaf –

That is one huge leaf!

That is one huge leaf!

Normally we don’t want to see any critters on our home-grown veggies, but this cutie was more than welcome:

Cute, fuzzy moth on our Swiss chard.

Cute, doe-eyed moth on our Swiss chard.

The gross bugs – yes I know they’re probably necessary evils but they’re still gross – have been awfully big, almost like the intense summer heat turned them into tropical bug sizes. When I see those I just screech and run away. Really!

And I just laugh and laugh and laugh at you! Heehee!!

And I just laugh and laugh and laugh at you! Heehee!!

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Wordless Wednesday: Lazy Summer Days…

…not a worry in the world…

ZZZZZZZZZ...most of the day...

ZZZZZZZZZ…most of the day… (sorry for the crummy cell phone photo quality!)

27 Comments »

Backroads Discovery: A Most Unusual Train Hotel

One of my favorite things to do is explore small towns, places with no tourist attractions. I love Pennsylvania for that reason – it’s loaded with my favorite Small Town America that takes you back in time to when people were friendlier and even though you were never in their town before, they make you feel like you’re returning home.

PA Manheim house

One of the striking old homes in a small PA town. You know how much I LOVE old architecture!

DH and I discover these places by driving up the PA Turnpike and taking exits for towns that sound interesting – all very spontaneous, which I prefer to planned trips. We explore the town itself on foot, then drive along backroads to see what there is to discover.

Driving through Amish country

Driving through Amish country

One of the interesting places we happened across was plopped miles away from any main roads or town centers, in the middle of hundreds of miles of Amish farms. We crossed a railroad track, and suddenly this popped up:

PA railroad hotel

Nope, this isn’t a caboose graveyard, it’s an honest-to-goodness train hotel! They’ve collected real train cars (mostly cabooses, but some larger ones and one of the biggest is called the Bridal Suite!) and converted them into “hotel rooms”. It’s called the Red Caboose Motel and it’s so unusual.

PA railroad hotel dining car

PA railroad hotel car

PA railroad hotel caboose

PA railroad hotel (2)

Look how many there are!

A short distance away, there was a train depot…out there…in the middle of nowhere…

PA railroad depot

The proprietor of the hotel was kind enough to let us see the inside of one of the cabooses, and I took pictures but they’ve somehow magically vanished into the digital netherworld. It was amazing to see how much they could fit into those small cabooses – they even put in a small loft with another bed! They made every inch count without overcrowding.

Later we pulled into the parking lot of a large chain hotel to find out if it was pet friendly, planning, of course, for a future weekend away with Daisy. Nope, no luck, not pet-friendly…YET LOOK AT THE PATHWAY PAVING STONES THEY USED:

Is there any wonder why we thought this was a pet friendly hotel??

Is there any wonder why we thought this was a pet friendly hotel??

Daisy was none too pleased at this misrepresentation.

I'm throwing a BIG raspberry at that hotel!!

I’m throwing a BIG raspberry at that hotel!!

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Lunch with a Deer Friend

This summer has brought more than its usual number of beautiful visitors to our yard – loads of different hummingbirds…

hummingbird 8.15 2

…some butterflies and HUGE moths…

This is actually called a HUMMINGBIRD MOTH!!

This is actually called a HUMMINGBIRD MOTH!!

…and dragonflies like this guy, who actually patrols the yard with his huge buddies, going back and forth for hours like flying soldiers. (Does anyone know why they do this??) This smaller one finally went AWOL and took a break:

dragonfly 1

But the real treat this week was this majestic guy, who stayed for at least ten minutes lunching on all the fallen crab apples. I hope he bookmarks our yard in his GPS and comes back again! 😀

What a beauty!

What a beauty!

Loving those antlers!

Loving those antlers!

You can see the green apple in the back of his mouth! He'd bite down, half would fly out, he'd eat the other half, then go back for the rest. So cool!

You can see the green apple in the back of his mouth! He’d bite down, half would fly out, he’d eat the other half, then go back for the rest. So cool!

Once he'd finished every last apple on the ground, he gracefully took off and looked for more fertile fields.

Once he’d finished every last apple on the ground, he gracefully took off and looked for more fertile fields.

But the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, and he found no apples there. So he planned his strategy and took off like a rocket.

But the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, and he found no apples there. So he planned his strategy and took off like a rocket.

And what was Daisy doing?

I don't have to hunt for apples, I have my dinner delivered, thank you. zzzzzZZZZZ

I don’t have to hunt for apples, I have my dinner delivered, thank you. zzzzzZZZZZ

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

24 Comments »

Love of Watermelon, Told In Pictures

I don’t think there’s any food or treat that Daisy likes better than watermelon.

One of our weekly mini-watermelons that Daisy considers to be her dessert bowl. :)

One of our weekly mini-watermelons that Daisy considers to be her dessert bowl. 🙂

When we cut one open, she recognizes the sound and comes flying into the kitchen, then fixates on it until we serve it up. She gets one little scoop from the middle, then after we’re done, she drinks the juice from the “watermelon bowl” and nibbles bits and pieces from the sides.

Is that my weekend watermelon up there?

Is that my weekend watermelon up there?

Oh watermelon, watermelon, I worship you from afar...

Oh watermelon, watermelon, I worship you from afar…

You still there?

You still there?

Stop taking pictures and eat it already so I can have my lickies!

Stop taking pictures and eat it already so I can have my lickies! I’m giving you my irresistible “panda bear” eyes!

My turn!! ::crunch crunch crunch::

My turn!! ::crunch crunch crunch::

NOM NOM NOM

NOM NOM NOM

After her feeding frenzy, she had a pink beard and mustache that just wouldn’t come out in a picture. But we all had a good laugh! 😀

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

28 Comments »

Back at long last! :)

I know, I know. I’m ashamed of myself. I knew I wouldn’t be able to blog for a couple weeks, but that turned into many weeks. 😦

But I have good reason for my absence – besides my regular work, I was finishing a book I started writing some time ago! It’s a cozy mystery with a twist – it’s got a special appeal for dog lovers. I’ll reveal more as soon as it’s published, hopefully this fall. (Emphasis on “hopefully”!) 🙂 I’m going through my second round of edits, then I’ll send it off to my editor in August.

We’ve only been able to visit a few blogs here and there, but we’ve missed everyone tremendously. We haven’t gone on vacation, but we’ve been busy with lots of things.

I haven’t done too much outdoorsy stuff – it’s been way too hot and humid. Summer is my least favorite time of year and my countdown to fall is well underway! (You can throw tomatoes at me for disliking summer – I’ll just put them into a salad LOL)

It's so hot, this squirrel flattened himself out under our patio table!

It’s so hot, this squirrel flattened himself out under our patio table!

He can't get any flatter than that! LOL

He can’t get any flatter than that! LOL

But at least we’ve gotten some wonderful rainbow chard from our garden:

Fresh rainbow chard!

Fresh rainbow chard! Garden to table in half an hour. 🙂

And our flowers are blooming beautifully as long as I water them twice a day:

summer flowers

summer flowers

And we’ve had a steady stream of flying visitors:

Hummingbirds!

Hummingbirds!

A rare instance where one hummingbird actually stopped flitting at warp speed!

A rare instance where one hummingbird actually stopped flitting at warp speed!

Daisy’s been pretty patient, though she does want to know how her blog buddies are. She doesn’t like the hot weather at all and wants to come in as soon as she takes care of business outside.

I'm so DONE with this heat! I'm pooped!

I’m so DONE with this heat! I’m pooped!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

34 Comments »

Miniature Miniatures

I love miniatures – miniature dogs, miniature doll house furnishings, I even have a collection of miniature English teapots – but the one thing I don’t want in miniature is my garden veggies….unfortunately, that’s all we got this year, both in radishes and carrots.

Take a look at samples of our sad looking radish crop this year:

radishes (2)

They look okay until you notice that they’re about the size of the dime in the picture….

And look at this skinny mini – what kind of sorry excuse for a radish is that?!

Our pathetic radishes went from anorexic to tiny - the one on the far right was bought in the store. It's a "small" but normal radish. Pffft.

Our pathetic radishes went from anorexic to tiny – the one on the far right was bought in the store. It’s a “small” but normal sized radish. Pffft.

What they lacked in size, they made up for in spiciness. OMG, it was like eating super hot horseradish – the seed packet said nothing about that! We could have made one heck of a shrimp cocktail sauce with those things!

This is more of what I love in miniature:

Baby Daisy

Baby Daisy

Did anyone else experience miniature crops this year?

12 Comments »

The Joy Of Summer, Havachon Style

Thank goodness the sweltering temps have finally eased up and given way to days that vary between the warm 80s and very early fall-like coolness and breezes. The cool fall days are really weird for August, but I’m not complaining!

Daisy’s much happier now too. But here’s what she enjoyed doing most during the heat wave:

Daisy watermelon 7.13

YUM! This is more like it!

It's almost worth summer heat to get this treat!

It’s almost worth summer heat to get this treat!

...getting to the bottom of things....

…getting to the bottom of things….

....slurp slurp slurp....crunch crunch crunch.....

….slurp slurp slurp….crunch crunch crunch…..

Watermelon and ice cubes were Daisy’s faithful companions this summer – what did you do to cool off?

31 Comments »

Mischief Monday: THIEF!

The heat wave here in the northeast has us indoors more than any winter weather we can remember (not counting the hurricane, of course!). Temps in our area are over 100 and the humidity is so high that the heat index registers 115. That’s just not right. Florida has been cooler than this!

We’re only about half an hour from the beach, but people on the beach are actually burning their feet on the sand and ending up going to area hospitals with blisters on the soles of their feet. It’s crazy!

Daisy wants no part of the heat. She doesn’t even like temps in the 80s, let alone this steam bath we’re in. When I open the door to take her out and that blast of heat hits her, she balks like a stubborn mule and I can’t budge her. Now she’s upped the ante and runs under the bed when she sees me getting her harness and leash out! We have a walking date with a friend and her dog next week, which I made for 9 AM so hopefully we won’t melt. Also hopefully this heat wave will break and Daisy will drop her stubborn routine. Whoever heard of a dog not wanting to go out?!

Meanwhile, our container veggies didn’t do so well this year. I think it was either the brand of seeds we used or that too many seeds took and the overcrowding didn’t allow them to produce fruit, but this thief – who clearly thinks he’s a rabbit – didn’t know there weren’t any carrots beneath the lush greenery and was sizing up his attack:

squirrel carrot thief

Those carrot tops are over a foot tall now, and still no carrots can be found beneath the surface. Just roots. Oh well, hopefully next year’s crop with a different brand of seeds and more spacing will be better (though this was never a problem before). Now that the trees are gone and our yard is sunny – TOO sunny, in fact, because with this intense heat I have to keep all the blinds closed in the back of the house since we have no shade anymore – we’ll probably try to put in a real veggie patch next year.

I'll just stay in here and watch everyone else sweat, thank you very much.

I’ll just stay in here and watch everyone else sweat, thank you very much.

We’re part of the Monday Mischief blog hop!

42 Comments »

Removing the Threat

Well it’s done. The dreaded deed of removing four beautiful old trees from our property that were threatening our house during storms is over.

Not really something you want to see in your backyard....

Not really something you want to see in your backyard….

I loved those trees. I’m more of a cabin-in-the-woods kind of gal than a toes-in-the-sand beach person, so these huge trees were things of beauty to me.

They brought wonderful songbirds right up to my back windows.

They gave us a lot of shade to cool the house and sit under during the summer.

They dropped vibrant yellow leaves in the fall that floated to the ground like lightweight snowflakes.

They formed a gorgeous white canopy during snowfalls.

But over the past few years, I noticed peeling bark and more bare branches appearing. The arborist said their type only lives for a certain number of decades, then they start dying and pose a real threat to anything around them. So it was time.

But it still wasn’t easy. Although there was a certain amount of entertainment in the process….

Look at this crazy guy! He stretched himself out into an inverted cross shape while being pulled to the top of the tree!

Look at this crazy guy! He stretched himself out into a full inverted cross shape while being pulled to the top of the tree!

Daisy, however, had a field day with all the activity out there. Though I must say, she wasn’t half as noisy as she used to be just a year ago! She was actually a very good girl.

Oh, she was curious….

What's going on out there? Who are all those men? And what are all those noisy metal monsters doing in my backyard??

What’s going on out there? Who are all those men? And what are all those noisy metal monsters doing in my backyard??

But she got used to the noise pretty quickly and only barked, bfff’d, and growled occasionally. I think keeping the back blinds closed helped because she couldn’t see all the constant movement.

So now the front half of our yard is wide open. No more birdies chirping by the house, but the trade-off is that during a harsh rain/wind storm yesterday, I had no reason to fear anymore. 🙂 But it did come at a dear cost. At least the back half still has some nice trees, and I’m hanging on to them as long as possible.

 

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