What’s Going On In The Garden?

Beets me!

Large garden beet

Really, this is how large it was. Not a record-breaker, but still pretty good sized.

Believe it or not, these are both cucumbers.

The cucumber on the left was 18″ long and nearly 3 lbs. The one on the right was even bigger. (I have a friend with some funny tales about a neighbor who accidentally made cucumber bread instead of zucchini bread.) The yellow one was as sour as a lemon. Interesting…a self-pickling cucumber!

Large garden okra

Okra – still pretty tasty despite being large.

Garden watermelon

Thankfully the watermelon was regular sized.

This year was the shortest garden season we’ve ever had. It lasted less than three weeks. The the beginning of the month we had slightly cooler temperatures and a little rain, and everything exploded. After that we were back to high heat and drought. I couldn’t believe that I actually had to buy a zucchini from the store this summer. Normally I find myself tricking the neighbors saying things like “This one would be perfect for zucchini bread!’ then foisting off a green baseball bat on them. This afternoon I finished pulling up about half of my plants. It is too hot and too late in the season for them to produce more. It is sad to know that the garden is basically done.

Gallery o’ Weird Vegetables

(from years gone by)

Get your mind out of the gutter. Those are sweet potatoes.

Somehow I seem to end up with mostly oddly shaped food. Perhaps that is why nobody want to come over for dinner.

I’ll have dinner with you…as long as it’s beans!

(Max, don’t look)

Boy's dress shirt, tie and suspenders

If your young man will be starting back to in-class school soon, it might be hard to find clothes since most stores and malls are closed. Stop by my store to see what is available to help your child make those important first impressions.

Bagpipes

 

Drawing of man playing bagpipes

Hronk! Hwee! Would you guys like some Benedryl?

I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to post this story.  I drew it several years ago when Geordie was hronking and Toby was reverse sneezing.  They made such a cacophony together!  I figured it was allergies and gave them some medicine so they could rest.

Not long after, I found out that lung cancer was the real reason behind Geordie’s funny noises.  I felt awful that I made fun of my poor puppy when he was seriously sick.

Geordie assuaged my guilt somewhat by living far beyond what the vet predicted.  When he finally left, he went on his own terms – old age.  He never did succumb to the cancer.

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Oil painting of Westie puppy.

Oil painting of Westie puppy.

Capture a memory of your own amazing furbeast with a pet portrait from L Bowman Studios.  Visit my site for more information on sizes and pricing.

Bedtime: Not As Much Fun As It Used To Be

The prolonged heat of this summer has left me with another case of eyes so swollen and sore that I can barely see. Having the air of fans or AC blowing across them – even while I sleep – has caused a serious enough situation that I needed to take action.

Oh no! Mommy is being kidnapped! No, I am just covering my eyes to help keep them protected from the fan while I sleep. Hey, someone help me to bed, will ya?

I tried a bandana, but that didn’t work.

Not my image

If your eyes are bad enough, there are sleep goggles to keep your eyes hydrated at night.  They also make you look a bit like Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix.  The catch?  They are around $60+ shipping, and they only last a few months.

 

The blindfold didn't work, but I read that wrapping your eyes with plastic wrap might keep them protected during the night. Could one of you help me to bed? Hey, you're covering the wrong part of your face.

As an alternative, I found someone’s more economical suggestion of using clingy plastic wrap to cover your eyes.  I don’t have plastic wrap, so I borrowed some for  my nocturnal experiment.  That night I put a big blob of what amounts to ophthalmic petroleum jelly in my eyes, wrapped them up and tried to sleep.

The plastic wrap was hot and crackly, but it did clue in to something I hadn’t known before.  I had never realized that I open my eyes even before I fall asleep.  The plastic crackled every time I did, and I would force myself to close them again.  Sadly, the gel and the plastic wrap still did not solve my problem.

I think I've got it this time. Now I am using tape to keep my eyes clsoed! Boys? cCould someone help me to bed?

Yup, the next step was taping my eyes closed.

I am one of those lucky individuals who has a negative reaction to the adhesive on surgical tape and Band Aids.  This led me on a hunt for hypoallergenic tape that wouldn’t cause my eyes to swell shut.  (Although that probably would have solved my problem.)

Interestingly, while searching to tape, I found out that the latest fad is “mouth taping”.  Seriously.  It promotes breathing through your nose while you sleep, and it is supposed to cause you to sleep more deeply and wake more refreshed.  Imagine all those logopthalmic mouth breathers all taped up like mummies at night!

I still haven’t discovered a proper solution to my problem, but I’ve found that using tape and plastic wrap over my eyes gives the most comfortable results.  (My mom cringed when I told her that.  “Comfortable?” she asked.   Oddly enough, yes.)

hello, Canine Protective Services? HELP!!!

Toby innocently stands there, wondering what mommy is looking at.

Isn’t there someone out there who would like to adopt a little terrier? I am a good boy, and I don’t bark too much.  Please?

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Oil painting of Westie puppy.Oil painting of Westie puppy.

Capture memories of your own furry companion with a pet portrait from L Bowman Studios.  Pet portraits make great gifts for birthdays or Christmas.  You can also order one as a loving tribute for a friend or family member who has lost someone dear to them.

Information about sizes and pricing are available at my website:  L Bowman Studios.

 

 

 

 

Encounter With a Bug

Recently the question was asked if we’ve ever had an  encounter with a bug.  Well, here is mine:

Bee Sting Eye

I am aesthetically challenged under the best of circumstances, so the bee who stung my eye did not do me any favors.  (This has happened to me twice, but I guess I only took a picture of one.)

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Cover of the book Dream Our World

Real museums still aren’t open, so if you would like to experience the world of art, come with my boys to the Museum of the Imagination! Inside Dream Our World, Bitey and Toby explore to their hearts’ content while enjoying a day of unsupervised fun.

Dream Our World is available form my shop, L Bowman Studios.

 

 

Eenie Meenie

…greenie beany!

Yes, most of the beans ended up in the puppy.  I eventually had to hide them on top of the fridge while I washed my hands.  Toby can turn into a mountain goat when he wants something.

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To capture sweet memories of your beloved furbeast, considering having a portrait done!

Oil painting of Westie puppy.

Visit my website at L Bowman Studios to learn more about ordering and pricing.

Lagophthalmos – Why Toby Sometimes 吠

Many moons ago, I developed an eye problem so severe that I could barely see at all.  It were as if I had a sheet of waxed paper held right next to my eye.  I was able to see light and a little color but precious little else.  A visit to an eye specialist yielded the diagnosis of “We’re not sure what’s wrong, but here are some drops.  Maybe your eyes will get better.”   It took many long months, but eventually my eyes healed and my vision returned to what it usually is.

For six months or so, though, I was at a total loss what to do with myself.  I couldn’t watch TV.  I couldn’t read or use nascent computer technology.  (This happened decades ago.)  I couldn’t go for a walk or even read a book.

In desperation, I scoured my bookshelf for something that I might be able to read.  What I came up with was a Chinese textbook that I always meant to study but never got around to.

New characters were a full inch tall, and if I leaned close, I could make them out.  Out of desperation because I had nothing else to read, I learned to read Chinese.

I really enjoyed what I was doing and kept it up for three additional textbooks.  Based on the series I used, though, my vocabulary mostly consists of knowing how to talk about students studying literature at such-and-such university.

Anyway, that is why Toby sometimes barks in Chinese.

And as for the eye problem?  Years later the same thing happened again.  After three visits and two specialists they figured out that I sleep with my eyes open.  Uni 1

My boys were embarrassed to be seen with me while I was dealing with this problem.  They claimed I looked like the Unibomber.

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Oil painting of Westie puppy.

Don’t forget to place your orders for Christmas pet pictures early.  (It will give me plenty of time to work and to allow the paint to dry.)  For more information about ordering, visit L Bowmn Studios.

 

Gratitude

Statue of Mary outside of a church.

Today I had to go to the dentist for a broken tooth.  I am grateful that it was only a stress fracture and easy to correct.  I am also grateful that my dentist is still in business and able to help patients. As a bonus, I got to tell some people about my paintings and hand out a few cards.  That was nice.

I know my gratitude is self-centered, but at least I am trying.

Back end of Cairn terrier sticks out from under the bed.

Her day may have been nice, but mine sucked.  During the part of the evening where I like to bark insanely at top volume, I found myself with a training collar strapped to my neck!!  When I barked, Mom yelled, “Quiet” and made the collar beep.  This happened twice.  I was so upset that I threw myself into my kennel and stayed there.  Harrumph.  If I can’t bark, I don’t even want to look out the door.

– Toby (the most put upon doggie in the entire world) Sad Emoji

Cairn terrier sleeping in kennel.

Don’t look at me.  I’m unhappy.

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If you would like to see what Bitey and Toby have been up to, pick up a copy of Dream Our World.  Inside, the boys run, unsupervised, through the Museum of the Imagination and view the world of art from  canine perspective.

Cover of the book Dream Our World

Dream Our World is available from Amazon and from my website.

Of Clowns and Purslane

Picture of clown

Ecch!  What happened to you?  I think I'm allergic to purslane.

Little dog sits on chair and writes in his diary.

Dear Diary, It would appear that purslane turns humans into clowns.  Perhaps a more aggressive program of weed eradication may have saved the children of Derry from being pulled into the sewers.

Dear Diary,

It would appear that purslane turns humans into clowns.  Perhaps a more aggressive program of weed eradication might have saved the children of Derry from being pulled into the sewers…

See the source image

Purslane.  (Not my image.)

An innocent afternoon of pulling weeds has left me with eyes itchy and swollen shut.  This weed is still a mystery to me.  It doesn’t flower, so pollen isn’t the problem.  It seems that if it touches my skin, my face swells.  I wear gloves to weed, but the coating on the gloves cracked, and I guess I got a dose of plant ichor.

For the next few days I had best not carry balloons lest the children of the neighborhood run in terror from me.

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Memory quilt near window

close up of memory quilt

Speaking of quilts…

After my grandmother passed away, I asked for her nightgowns.  I used them to make the hearts on a series of Memory Quilts that I shared with various family members.

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If you would like to have a quilt that I have made – this one perhaps? – I now have checkout at my website!

Madison House wall hanging sized quilt.

This Madison House Quilt is 41″ square.  It is made of three layers of 100% cotton with the quilting and binding done by hand.  You can see more by clicking here.

 

 

Kick Your Butt

 

By the time this knee heals, I am going to need a waleker.  Aren't you that old already?

You are lucky I can't balance on one leg or I'd kick your butt!

Bad news, Toby.  I can balance on one leg now!

Go away. I'm sleeping.

We both know you’d never kick my butt.

I can get away with anything.

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Governor Groundhog stuck his head out of his den and declared that our quarantine will continue for another three months.  That means Bitey and Toby will have free rein at the museum for the whole summer!

Cover of the book Dream Our World

If you would like to see what they have been up to there, pick up a copy of Dream Our World.  In Dream Our World, Bitey and Toby visit the Museum of the Imagination and view the world of art from a canine perspective.