“Yule-Tidy all that up…Right?”

by ESP on December 31, 2011 · 11 comments

Finally Christmas!

This pyramid candle really helped to bridge the long wait for Christmas having tiny gifts embedded into it. The prospect of retrieving some “Pharaoh’s treasure” fueled her imagination for hours…okay 4.5 minutes.

“Daddy? How long do candles take to burn?”


The first eardrum shattering 7am squeals started when they both ripped open some junior golf clubs from their grandparents in Scotland.

She could not wait to try them out on the range a couple of days later.

He got a retro post-apocalyptic phaser,

that made the most annoying obnoxious sounds imaginable. (The psychologically damaging part of the holidays)

What was I thinking? Oh yes…cool design.

This made him very happy.

She got her…

La La Loopsie doll,

a not-so-Easy Bake oven,

and her long awaited rock tumbler that has been tumbling a bunch of rocks since Christmas day. It takes a month to turn sharp raw stones into polished gems.

We took a sneak peak at them five days into the coarse abrasive phase (naturally), and already the stones were significantly smoother.

Even Kumo got a prime steak chop on Christmas day!

He devoured most of it before frantically running around with a really desperate expression on his face, looking for a place to bury the remainder.  For dessert he apparently opted for a large chunk of plastic attached to a string, this gastronomic episode sadly landed him in hospital requiring an hour-long stomach operation.

Poor Kumo.

He is still in the hospital and doing a little better, we all have our fingers crossed that he will pull through and make a full recovery.

Moving Sadly On:

Rosemary is looking particularly healthy and festive after finally getting some rain,

and so are the weeds. This green clump seemed to spring up overnight.

I planted a couple more Plumosa Ferns at the base of my steel gate a few weeks back,

and they have almost doubled in size with the recent moisture.

A visually frosty and festive scene courtesy of a neighbors China-berry and my Blue Ice cypress

Cuppressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Blue Ice’

And now we are having clear crisp days,

days perfect for…

lighting large fires with my new

“Bear” knife and magnesium striker.

Fires that keep the wild ESP cats at bay.

It has been a busy two weeks off school for the halflings,

I immediately got them to work on gathering seeds from this year’s rather poor crop of celosia.

It is tedious work but the challenge of getting the emptied husks into a bucket on the floor helped relieve the monotony, or so I thought.

“I am Sooo tired of shelling celosia”?

“Me too sis, I am ready to annoy everyone with my phaser again”.

Hey you two…did I say we were on a break?!


A new “visitor” dropped into the Patch pond cypress tree this week…

Oh stop it!…It is an owl…just an owl!


Stay Tuned for:

“Just Leaf it Alone”


All material © 2011 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


Happy New Year from us all in the Patch!


River Walk : San Antonio

And have a great “Bells” to all my family and friends in the Scottish borders:


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1 Gardenista December 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

The owl is so cute… We had a fox show up, sunning, atop our back yard fence a week or so ago. It was quite startling in a wonderful way to have such a visitor.

Ah- the post-gifting regret stage. Any/all toys with a noise making capability are liable to send humans with normal hearing (aka: parents) to that place where there develops such a longing for an extended visit to a quietly padded room. This is where grandparents, with their typically diminished hearing, are best able to step in and serve. At least until the batteries all run down.

Happiest New Year to you and yours!

Hi TD.

That owl gave me quite a fright, flying directly over the top of my head.

Lets just say that next year may be a jigsaw year :-)

Thanks TD, have a great New Year.


2 Linda Phillips December 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

Poor Kumo..hope he’s better soon.

You have the cutest halflings…it’s always fun to see their antics.

Thank you for the video. It is beautiful.

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy New Year.

Hi Linda and thank you.

The halflings have their moments and yes, there have been a lot of antics this holiday season (between the celosia shelling chores naturally).

Glad you like the video, New Years (“The Bells”) is a huge celebration in Scotland.

Happy New Year to you too.


3 Pam/Digging December 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Kumo! When are you going to learn not to eat inedible things? I hope he makes a speedy recovery. Happy New Year to you and the family. Now you need to go build yourself an owl box for your screechy visitor.

I know! He is a smart dog, we just need to get by this phase…apparently beagles are notoriously bad on the chewing front as puppies.

I really do need to build an owl box, and now I have the incentive, but if it turns out anything like my garden bench it may just topple my post oak under its sheer weight.

Happy New Year Pam.


4 katina December 31, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Hopefully this will be the only time Kumo has to go to the vet for a surgery that is directly because of him eating stuff. Though I’m sure the vet has seen some stranger things (retrievers have a thing for women’s underwear, apparently).

Looks like your Christmas sure was merry, otherwise.

Happy New Year!

Hi katina, and I hope so, we now have Kumo back in the house on a cushion looking very spaced-out. The vet who is a friend of ours gave us the contents of his intestines in a zip-lock bag…there has been a lot of…”what IS that” and “is that a…”, “that can’t be a…” going on.

Apart from this scare we did have a merry Christmas and a sufficiently excessive New Year thanks.

Happy New Year.


5 Les January 1, 2012 at 6:41 am

We went through our rock tumbler phase, and thankfully it did not last more than a couple of months. The constant low rumble coming from the basement was something that was hard to tune out on nights of fitful sleep. It looks as if the Patch family had a marvelous Christmas, I am just sorry Kumo did not. I wish him to be back on all fours and at full speed soon. I also wish you and your family a happy new year.

Very funny on the tumbler “phase”, our phase may not even make it to the end of the first batch of rocks getting polished. That low rumble on my back deck is already getting to me, although I think I am somewhat sensitive to irritating noises at the moment.

Thanks on the Kumo-front, he is doing better after his ordeal. I considered doing a follow-up segment on the artifacts located in his stomach, but thankfully decided otherwise.

Happy New Year Les.


6 cheryl January 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Poor Kumo! Happy to hear that he is doing better. Now, of course, I am very curious as to what all he’d eaten.
(Inquiring minds want to know!) I thought your oldest Halfling had a star on her bonnet until I realized the Xmas tree was behind her. LOL. Happy New Year to all of you!

Hi Cheryl.

Kumo is doing better daily, thanks.

I was going to insert a disgusting image of “the bag,” right about…


…But I just found out that my wife has discarded the disconcerting, archeological find-of-the-century-stomach artifact(s) bag…her actions, I am sure, saving a lot of spontaneous gagging from all corners of the Earth, and “twit wooo”…beyond :-)

Happy New Year C…ESP.

7 Robin January 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Oh, Kumo, poor baby. I guess that steak was so good, he thought he’d try a few more new delicacies. So glad you found a vet available, and hopefully he’s well on the mend. There’s no telling what he’s eaten that passed through that you didn’t know about….Happy New Year to the Patch crew!

Nothing better than a steak chop…followed by a fine desert of various small plastic army men.

We all had the “oh, come on…just what is that?” conversation after viewing and squeezing “the zip-lock stomach-content bag”. (insert gag here)…(and a much smaller one here).

I cannot bring myself to address your “what I don’t know about that passed” sentence…(looks for bucket)…that is the stuff of nightmares :-)

Happy New Year Robin.


8 Ms. S January 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Looks like you are all enjoying a great holiday! Love the rosemary. Does it have a lot of scent? If so, I bet it would be lovely.

Happy New Year!

Hi Ms.S

We had a great holiday thank you.

Rosemary looks top-notch at this time of year, I have a lot of it in the Patch, a couple of them are blooming…bees all over the flowers.

I make a diversionary walk into my rosemary every morning…it saves on expensive cologne.

Happy New Year…ESP.

9 Bob Pool January 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Looks like you guys had a good Christmas and new year. I see by the female halfling’s tiger cape that she is starting to pattern some of her clothing accoutrement along Naboo lines. It was to be expected.

We had some of the same gastrointestinal dog problems with our Lacy dog, Bonnie. First she was eating other animals poop and got an amoebic infection. Then she started catching and eating grasshoppers and got a bacterial infection. Then there was the aluminum foil plug. Then she caught a bat out of the air. When I tried to take it from her she puppy bit me just breaking the skin. The bat was tested and you can gusess, it was rabid. She got a booster and I got tested but didn’t have to get the shots, thank goodness. The good news is they will grow out of it although I have found a turd that was made up of a plastic bag. Best wishes for Kumo.

We did thank you Bob.

She is spending more and more time at the very bottom of the Patch in her “den” behind the compost pile…I think she has forged a friendship with a small faction of the “friendlier” Naboo who live down in that region who have a reputation for their ornate animal headdresses. She is being very secretive about the whole thing though.

Kumo, Kumo, Kumo…when is he ever going to ween himself off the plastic…thank goodness he has not found or consumed any Jimson weed yet:

Happy to hear you narrowly escaped contracting rabies Bob!


10 Pergola Power January 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Incredible Christmas pics. Seems you had a great time. Love the phaser and most of all loved that tree dripping in Christmas lights :)

Hi Kate.

Thanks and we had a fun holiday, well, most of the time :-)
The phaser was, lets just say “challenging” by the New Year. It started off with “Oh I new he was going to like it” to “hey, can you fire that in your room” to “okay outside with that thing…now!”


11 Casa Mariposa January 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Happy for the people, sad for the dog. I hope he’s okay. I also hope your vet told you about Care Credit. It’s a credit line that can be used at a vet, dentist, etc that lets you pay the bill over 6-12 mos interest free. You just have to make a payment every month. If you don’t have it apply, have the vet refund your bill and then recharge you with Care Credit. I have five dogs and this card has been a lifesaver, literally, many times. Glad you finally got some rain. Yay!

Hi and thank you for all of this information…I had not heard of Care Credit.
Yes we have had a little rain, we still require a lot more to put a dent on the drought, but it is a start!


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