Tag Archives: whelping

Heat Wave Flashback!

21 Jun

It’s the first official day of summer!  What are you doing today?  Biking, hiking, running, swimming, reading, day drinking?  TELL ME NOW!!

I will be back Monday for a full recap of my weekend, but I thought it would be fun to see what we’ve been reading @ SFTS over the years around this time.

1 year ago (2013):

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We were celebrating the Supreme Court ruling DOMA to be unconstitutional during the same month as Pittsburgh Pride.  This year,  we celebrated that Pennsylvania has ruled in favor of marriage equality!  We were also trying our hand at container gardening, whelping a litter of the sweetest F1 labradoodles, talking about Pittsburgh food trucks, and learning how to be a more responsible consumer!  Some of the month’s notable recipes were:  Perfect Chicken Burgers and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars.

2 years ago (2012):

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More gay pride (don’t you just love June!), but we also started our CSA: Clarion River Organics, hit up Kennywood, the Murray Avenue Grill, and talked about urban recycling issues.

Apparently I didn’t blog during the summer of 2011!  I think that’s when I switched my blog over from The Urban Pilgrim (yes, that’s what this blog was called when I first moved to the big city of Pittsburgh) to what you now know as SOLE For The Soul.  Did you read The Urban Pilgrim?  But seriously, what are you doing this weekend?

 

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Winning At Life!

19 Jul

OMG YOU GUYS.

THIS.

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I don’t even care that it’s mostly full of beverages and condiments.  It’s MINE.newfridge.2

Bonus:  We got it in the scratch and dent section (it has one little dent in the freezer door, which is barely even noticeable) for oh….almost $1200 off the original ticketed price.  I feel like having a Duck Tails moment and rolling around in gold coins right now!  Bwahahahaha!  I’m winning at life!!!  And…done.

Here’s another reason I’m winning:  When I got home from vacation, Mother Nature + my MIL had taken such excellent care of my plants that they are doing great.

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It’s day 44 for the container garden and everything is blossoming.  Both jalapeno plants look just like this, I’ve got one small bell pepper and the eggplant just flowered today.  We’ve been eating leaf lettuce for weeks!  In August, I might try my hand with some more lettuce, spinach, peas, and either rutabagas or kohlrabi.

And because two potential forever homes had to back off at the last minute, we’ve still got this little nugget hanging out with us!

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He is perfect in almost every way.  He’s very smart and listens so well!  It makes me wonder how his brothers and sisters are doing at their forever homes.  We’ve gotten a few photo updates, but no calls.  He is also house trained, which will make his transition that much easier.  The more time he spends with his parents, the better.  They are teaching him all about being a good boy.  He is especially enjoying all the QT he gets with his daddy.

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Sorry for the blurriness, I was afraid that if they noticed me they might move!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you dying from the heat wave as well?

5 Thing Friday

28 Jun

Writing this so late on Friday night seems like cheating but….I MAKE THE RULES.

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1.  Unless you live in your family’s old Y2K shelter (see how I dated myself there?), you have heard the excellent news that the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional.

via Hollywood Reporter

I cried.  I cried even though Pennsylvania doesn’t yet allow Christina and I to tie the knot.  Not that she’s made any moves yet.  AHEM.  I don’t even care – I’m just so happy that the country I love is one step closer to equality.  According to Human Rights Campaign, 30% of gay Americans now live in states where they have equal rights.  I hope that you realize how epic this all is.  We are living through the next wave of the civil rights movement.  When we have children, we will get to talk about them how we fought for our right to love against all the odds.  P.S.  I can’t stop looking at the cover of  The New Yorker.  That rules.

2.  How have I gone my entire life without trying spaghetti squash?  It’s basically the easiest thing in the world to make and it tastes like al dente angel hair pasta.  It’s like the perfect pasta substitute.  I’m not a huge fan of pasta…it’s just so heavy.  So from now on, when the wife is craving pasta I am fulling whipping myself up some spaghetti squash!  I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds just like a pumpkin, and laid them core side down on a cookie sheet covered in water.  I baked it for about an hour at 350F.  You know it’s done cooking when you squeeze it with a towel and its soft.  Then, you shred the flesh with a fork and it looks just like spaghetti.

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3.  Remember when I impulsively threw myself into container gardening?  Not too shabby, right??  Well just like the gays, all of the plants are beating the odds!  Below you can see a side-by-side of my lettuce on the day I planted it and today, day 24.  I’ve even harvested some and it’s still awesomely bushy.  There are all ready jalapeno peppers growing, the bell pepper and eggplant plants are starting to show blooms.  Fingers crossed!!

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4.  Oh haiiiiiiiii.

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Don’t mind us, we are just 8 weeks old and practically grown!  By Monday, 5 of the puppies will be with their forever homes and my heart will be just broken.  It’s all part of the process.  If you want to read some updates about their lives up to this point, click here or here or here.

5.  The Senate missed the July 1st deadline to vote on student loan rates.  Now, student loan rates are doubling to 6.8%.  What the hell.  Whyyyyyyyyyyy are we continually punishing for earning an education.  Banks get bailed out, people live of off welfare, and now I have to pay 6.8% back on a money I borrowed to pay for some overpriced state credits.  Pssshhhh.

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34 Days

8 Jun

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May 22nd – Week Three:

This week the doodles are getting much stronger.  They are starting to walk around much better, although they still look like drunks stumbling around the whelping box.  They put their front paws waaaaaay out in front of them and then lean into their steps hard.  It really is like watching a toddler learning to walk.  They do a LOT of sleeping.  The only time they get up is really to eat or go to the bathroom, still assisted by mum.  But, midway through week three there is a big change!  One morning we wake up and head to the box and there are a few little peepers trying to focus on us!  Puppies don’t just open their eyes all of a sudden, its gradual.  The corners near the nose open first and you can see filmy little eyes and subtle blinking.  After about a day or so, their eyes are fully open but they still can’t focus on things.  They can follow light, so when one of us walks by, they follow us.  By the end of the week, we find that they are staring at us – they are very, very observant.  Oh, and teeth!  They are most definitely getting in their teeth.  At first, it was just swollen gums towards the back, but sure enough their sharp little puppy teeth are now out in full force.  They are chewing on each other constantly.

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Week Four

Last week, the doodles were only awake for feedings.  They would literally narc out about 5 minutes after they were done eating – sometimes not even that long!  This week, they are staying up for longer and longer periods of time.  About three times a day, we take them out of the whelping box and have structured play time.  “Structured” is really just putting a blanket down in the middle of the floor and letting them explore.  So far, the dominant ones seem to be the big yellow boy (obviously, he is a beast!), the big black girl, and the fluffiest black boy.  The dogs love to bark at each other and at us and at inanimate objects.  Mostly at inanimate objects.  They are really starting to romp with one another, getting bouncier by the day!  Towards the end of week four, we gave them a taste of some canned puppy food.  Boy, did they go crazy.  A little too crazy.

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They are still nursing with Hallie, but we start to soak some hard puppy food in warm water and let it sit until its nice and gummy.  Since their teeth are in enough to handle harder food, we let them go at it twice a day.  They are still weary of water.  They walk up to the water dish and stick their whole noses in, then they sneeze and gag.  I feel horrible because I know exactly how awful it feels to get water up your nose, but its so cute to watch them learning.

They also had their first baths this week!  Since no one wants to hang out with 8 stinker-doodles, we did baths in the kitchen sink.  That way, I was able to set up a drying station on the counter and we could get through everyone quickly.  They didn’t love it….but they didn’t hate it either!  Man, did their curls come out like crazy.  They looked like little poof balls when they were done.

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Week Five:

Hallie is only nursing about once a day, mostly just to relieve herself of milk.  Her body doesn’t understand the weaning process and is still producing milk for eight.  The pups are doing great with the solidish food.  Two of the little girls have all ready been placed with their forever homes and we have another family coming over tonight to pick their puppy.  Two of them all ready have names, “Ally” and “Lucy” (below with the black/white collar).  The pups have finally outgrown the whelping box.  They are able to climb out and often do when Hallie walks by.  Even though they are on solid food, when they get a whiff of mum, they go absolutely crazy.  Now, they are penned in the kitchen and we have started paper training.  They are doing pretty good!  During playtime, its kind of squat-where-you-are and we have to move/remind them to “go on the paper” about a hundred times.  In the mornings, when we venture downstairs, the majority of the mess IS on the paper.  Score.  Their hair is getting shaggier and shaggier by the day and the best part?  NO SHEDDING!  We’ve been checking every day and there is no hair or fur coming off these babies.

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Weekend Round-Up

3 Jun

It was a really busy weekend around these parts!! Amazing what you can get accomplished when your internet goes out and a tech can’t come in until Monday.

On Saturday, we headed over to East Liberty to the farmer’s market:

I had gotten an email talking about all the yummy local product expected in over the weekend, so I was pretty excited.  I ended up getting some carrots, a tomato, asparagus, green onions, rhubarb, red potatoes, beets, some green leaf lettuce starts and some jalapeno pepper plants all for $16!!

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Around 11:00, my family arrived to spend some quality time with the puppies.  Everyone is so active now, I promise to write a whelping update this week to show you how much they’ve grown!

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Mid-afternoon, we headed to Little Miss E (my cousin’s daughter)’s 4th birthday pirate party.  We had little brother CO in tow, and luckily he and my brother were able to hang out amongst all the littler kids.  They have only hung out a few times because they live so far away, but I was really happy to see how well they get along!  They had a lot of fun decapitating a pirate pinata after the kids ravaged it of its candy.

On the way home, we spotted a pop-up carnival and I suggested we make a quick stop.  Since there were three of us, we decided that we would go on three of the big rides and then leave.  Good enough for us!

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Then, we headed over to the baseball field to pick up almost-not-little brother CJ. We got there just in time to see him pitch the last inning.  He is a baseball extraordinaire, in fact he’s the league’s best catcher and as of right now he’s leading the state in home runs.  Apparently all the pitching practice in the driveway has been paying off because he struck out all three people that were up to bat that last inning!

Sunday was pretty low-key.  We finished up some projects around the house that have been lingering, like finally installing the overhead light in the living room.  Now, we just have to touch up the plaster and pick out a new paint color!

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The doodles got their first taste of grownie food!  This picture doesn’t even do the mess that was made any justice.

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Dinner was organic pierogies with sour cream and green onions from the market.

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