A Golden Green Thumb

Spring has sprung at my house, and I couldn’t be happier. My human mommy and I have spent our ninth year together in the garden . . . weeding, trimming, digging, planting, and enjoying the fruits of our labor.

I’ve been Mommy’s Golden green thumb in the garden since I was just a tiny puppy. Before we moved to New Orleans, we had a really big garden. It took days and days and days and days to get it into shape.

Our garden is smaller now–just a few pots and a little groundcover and mulching. In many ways, it’s a much simpler task . . .

. . . and in other ways, it’s more of a challenge. But I’ve been working closely with Tallulah to teach her the ropes and I think she has a bright and sunny future as a Golden gardening assistant.

What’s better than one Golden in the garden? Two Goldens in the garden! Tallulah and I wish you a very happy spring, filled with warm breezes and vibrant blooms. And we wish our human mommy a lifetime of Golden green thumbs in her spring garden. Happy spring!


Spring Tease

My sister, Tallulah Bee, and I went to New Orleans’ City Park last weekend. The last time we visited the park was a freezing cold blustery day in January, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw that spring had sprung while we were away. Now I know that for many of you the snow is just beginning to melt and spring blossoms are still a few weeks away. And I know that you’re thinking that the pretty flower pictures I’m about to share with you are a bit of a “spring tease.” You’re right. But just remember that when I’m seeing all of your fabulous fall photos–you know, the ones with the pretty colorful trees, the dogs romping through the foliage on the ground, and the humans sporting their cozy sweaters–it’s still 90-plus degrees where I live and our tongues are hanging halfway out of our mouths. So, without further ado, my sister and I present to you our spring tease.

 There was a pretty little patch of tulips growing by the big lake. Tulips are tricky in the deep south. We have to let the bulbs rest a bit in the refrigerator before planting because our ground temperatures don’t get cool enough to get them going. And then when they do bloom, it gets so hot so fast that they don’t last very long. So catching them on a beautiful day looking their best is a big deal. Tallulah and I lucked out. As an aside, I had to laugh when I saw that flimsy little rope that was intended to keep the tulips from being trampled. Did the park humans seriously think that little thing would stop Tallulah if she decided to make a mad dash for the ducks in the lake? Good thing Daddy had a tight grip on her.

Can you see our Golden hair blowing in this shot? Tallulah and I spent a lot of time with our noses in the air and our eyes closed, concentrating on every little yummy scent that wafted our way. Fun for us . . . not so fun for or official photographer/blogging assistant/Mommy. Fortunately, she’s persistent and managed to catch both of us sort of facing forward in front of the blooming azaleas. There are plenty of pictures of me posing in front of pretty azaleas, but this is Tallulah’s first, a right of spring passage for all southern girls.

Any idea what might have caused these silly faces?

It was the whistle from this little train that travels around City Park. Maybe next time Tallulah and I can hitch a ride. A girl can dream, right?

Tallulah and I thought Mr. Lion looked so stunning with his profile pose that we decided to copy it. Pretty good, huh? Well friends, this concludes our spring tease. My little sister and I will take a bow and exit the stage . . . but not without wishing you a speedy spring full of pretty flowers, and to our friends in the southern hemisphere a mild and quick winter.

Harper Lee from A to Z: R is for ROSES

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Roses are red . . .

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. . . and roses are pink . . .

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. . . and roses are white . . .

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. . . and some roses are Golden!

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Today’s A to Z Challenge rose photos were taken at the BREC Independence Community Park Botanic Garden, where the irises are also in full bloom. Wherever you are and whatever is blooming around you, I hope that you’ll take a moment to stop and smell the roses . . . or the irises . . . or the tulips . . . or the daffodils . . . .

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. See you tomorrow!

Click the link below to connect with other pet bloggers who are doing the A to Z Challenge.

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A Golden Spring Fling

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After this completely miserable winter, the first day of spring yesterday called for a serious Golden-style celebration with my friends The Big Dogs–Sunshine, Maggie, and Kenai.

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No doggy spring fling is complete without a pretty cake, so my human mommy and I headed to the kitchen and I supervised the baking of our pawty cake. (Many thanks to Wear.Wag.Repeat. for the spectacular cake inspiration, which was part of a recent Tasty Tuesday blog hop. Click here for the recipe.)

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We cut the cake and waited for our guests to arrive.

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I wish that I had photos of us actually eating the cake, but it was so absolutely fabulous that we inhaled it.

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Hey, Maggie, I’m licking my lips back here. Did you leave a little crumb on your plate for me?

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Looks like Sunshine was licking her lips too, and searching for crumbs on more than one plate. That’s ok, because Sunshine is the momma dog and she can do anything she wants to do.

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Meanwhile Kenai, the only boy dog, found his special blue plate, ate every bit of his cake . . .

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. . . and then wandered off for a little bit of boy exploration . . .

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. . . while the girls made their way to the door in hopes that another cake would spring through the door. Here’s hoping that your first day of spring was super special and that you feel the gift of a fresh start from Mother Nature.

Throwback Thursday: Miss Lee at Four

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This is the fourth and final entry in my series of Throwback Thursday photos leading up to my fifth birthday.

While the pictures for my first, second, and third birthdays were happy coincidences–my humans just happened to take a photo around the time that just happened to be my birthday–this photo was intentional. This is the one that started a tradition of Miss Harper Lee birthday photos, which my humans hope continues for a very long time to come.

This photo was taken in my back yard at almost exactly this time last year. The azaleas were in full bloom and the garden was beautiful. Butterflies, bees, and birds flew through the air. What a difference a year makes. This year, Mother Nature has been exceptionally cruel and Old Man Winter just refuses to go away. But that won’t stop the celebration.

As my humans look back through all four years of birthday photos, they notice that my face has gotten a little more white and my nose has gotten a little less black; but I still have my puppy smile and my beautiful bourbon-colored eyes. They’ve also been reminded of all the “firsts” we’ve shared, and they’ve started to dream about all the “firsts” to come.

While the weather may change from year to year, there is one thing that will always remain constant: my humans’ love for me and my love for them. What fun we’ll have when we celebrate that love on my fifth birthday, March 17, 2014.

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty in Pink Petals

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Time to Tour Audubon Park in New Orleans



You know me: I cannot possibly pass up a party. So today I am celebrating Park Day with my blog dog friends Finn & Charley Too and Gizmo of Terrier Torrent fame. They asked all of their friends in the great blog dog world to go out into the real word, visit a park, and share their experience with the cyber world on this very special day. Now, before I get started, I have a slight clarification. I know the lovely badge for this day says “I hiked for Park Day.” Technically, I did not hike. You may recall that my humans and I had a bit of a Big Easy late night, so my “hike” was more of a “leisurely stroll,” but I think my visit still qualifies. So let’s get started with the tour!

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It is my pleasure to welcome you to New Orleans’ beautiful Audubon Park. When you visit Audubon Park, chances are I will not be there to greet you, but I can assure you that the Gumbel Memorial Fountain, installed in 1918 at the park’s St. Charles Avenue entrance, will be there.

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The site of Audubon Park began its public life as home to The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884. (That was Louisiana’s first world’s fair. One hundred years later, New Orleans hosted The 1984 World’s Fair: Louisiana World Exposition.) In 1886, the city changed the park’s name from Upper City Park to Audubon Park to honor John James Audubon, who painted many of his “Birds of America” in Louisiana. A few years later, city leaders hired landscape architect Charles Olmsted, whose family developed New York City’s Central Park, to create an urban oasis in Uptown New Orleans.

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And what a beautiful oasis it is. Century-old oak trees are decorated with Spanish moss and resurrection fern . . .

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 . . . and cypress trees with their little stumps line a central lagoon.

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Audubon Park welcomes canine visitors who are attached by a leash to their humans. (Yes, I know, in each of these photos I was not exactly “attached” to my human, but that was special for the photos; I promise you that the entire time we were walking, one end of the leash was attached to my collar and the other end was attached to my human mommy’s hand.)

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There are special fountains where humans and their dogs can drink side-by-side . . .

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. . . but I highly recommend taking a little sip from that lovely fountain at the park’s entrance . . . if you’re a dog.

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A 1.8 mile jogging/walking/biking/pretty-much-anything-but-driving path circles through the park.

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Along the way, you’ll catch several glimpses of the Audubon Park Golf Course. The park is also home to a pool, stables, tennis courts, playgrounds, and the Audubon Zoo.

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Just before the path brings you back to the park’s entrance, there is a pretty little spot to stop and enjoy a view of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. The church is on the campus of Loyola University, which, along with Tulane University, is located across St. Charles Avenue from Audubon Park. This is the perfect place to pause and reflect on all that you have seen during a lovely leisurely stroll through beautiful Audubon Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed your virtual visit!

Wordless Wednesday: A Golden Flower Blooms in the Garden

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The Rites of Spring in South Louisiana

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It is officially spring and I have welcomed the season in true South Louisiana style. Last weekend I enjoyed my first Abita Strawberry Harvest lager and my first boiled crawfish of the year. Yum!

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The Abita Brewing Company was founded in 1986 and it’s located about an hour from where I live. They make a lot of different “brews” (I guess that’s beer talk for “kinds of beer”), but my personal favorite is the Strawberry Harvest. It’s only available for a limited time because it’s made with real Louisiana strawberry juice, which is added after the filtration process. The best strawberries you’ll ever eat are grown right in the area of Louisiana where Abita beer is brewed. How serendipitous! (Now, I feel obligated to offer this little point of truth: I am not a big fan of strawberries–unless, of course, they are in beer. I am really more of a banana and apple girl; but, my humans tell me that Louisiana strawberries are really, really good, so I guess we’ll just all have to trust them on that.)

 The nice people at Abita describe their Strawberry Harvest as

a crisp lager with a sweet strawberry flavor, aroma and haze. It is wonderful with desserts or lighter fare such as salads and pastas. Fresh cheeses such as Burrata, chèvre, Crescenza, mozzarella or Teleme pair well with Strawberry Harvest.

Sounds pretty fancy for a beer, huh? So even I know better than to drink it with crawfish. No . . . I save the Abita Strawberry Harvest for after a hard day of spring gardening with my human mommy. It’s just the right refreshing treat to enjoy as you relax at the end of a hard day of weeding, pruning, planting, mulching, or whatever else she does while I sit loyally by her side and watch. All I know is that as soon as the gardening tools are put away, the Abita Strawberry Harvest comes out and I get a little taste. Just one of the beautiful things about spring in South Louisiana.

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Which brings me to my next beautiful thing about spring in South Louisiana: boiled crawfish. Much like the Abita Strawberry Harvest beer, crawfish are only available for a limited time, so humans in South Louisiana eat them every chance they get. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: gross . . . mudbugs . . . crayfish . . . gross. But, really, until you’ve had crawfish boiled spicy in South Louisiana with corn and new potatoes–and, of course, ice-cold beer–you have not lived. There are a few things that humans must keep in mind when eating crawfish:

  • Do not wear your best clothes. Crawfish guts will somehow manage to get on your clothes and, no matter what detergent you use, crawfish guts do not wash out easily.
  • No matter how many paper towels you have on hand, you will need more. This is not a neat treat to eat.
  • Above all, if you are eating crawfish at home, it is vitally important to plan your consumption for a day that is as close to your trash collection day as possible. There are few things that stink as much as crawfish shells and stuff that have sat too long in a trash can. I am a dog, and even I am repulsed by that smell.

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So, even though for many of you spring my seem like a distant dream with all of the crazy non-spring-like weather, and for others who live below the equator you still have your winter to endure before spring appears, I wish you a beautiful and tasty spring from South Louisiana. Bon appetite, and let the “springtimes” roll!

Wordless Wednesday: Welcome Spring

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