Category Archives: Rufus Dragon

Keeper of the Garden, Twinkletoes, Weinerdog

Happy 14th Birthday Rufus Dragon!

Too bad you screwed the pooch and got into the trash.  No birthday ham for you.

Rufus Dragon

Who Me?

We are not just being mean.  If we feed him after he’s been in the trash, we are pretty much guaranteed to wake up the next morning and find out he’s either vomited or worse all over the house in the middle of the night.  So, hopefully he got something good out of his little bout with the garbage because…no dinner tonight.

We haven’t really written about the Dragon lately because all he does for the most part is eat and sleep.  We are fairly suspicious that his eyesight is going.  Maybe his hearing too.  It’s hell getting old.

Anyway, here are links to some of the Rufus Chronicles just in case you missed any of his antics before.

Rufus vs. the Possum and Rufus vs. the Ham

Rufus vs. the Parmesan Cheese

Rufus vs. Fluffy

Rufus’ Security Detail

Rufus Has the Gold

Rufus vs. the Groundhog

Rufus vs. Halloween

Rufus Dragon is Passive Aggressive

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Rufus Dragon is Passive Aggressive

And, he’s increasingly becoming a real pain in the ass about it.  I Googled passive aggressive behavior in dogs.  He exhibits all of the classic signs:

  • Nudging and whining to get attention – This is what we call “herding.”  He jumps on our legs and pushes us in the direction of where he wants us to go.  If we remain unmoved, stare at him and say “What?” he whines.  His whining makes him sound like a Wookie (May the Fourth Be With You btw).
  • Refusing to walk with a leash – The Dragon doesn’t exactly refuse to walk on a leash, but it clearly confuses him.  If there is a post, pole, other human around to get tangled with…he will.  I’m not entirely convinced that it it’s the leash that stresses him out, more than likely it’s the exercise or being outside of his kingdom or being in a crowd.
  • Hiding or running away when you get home – This actually happens when he has done something he knows he shouldn’t have…getting in the trash being the biggest offense.  It might also have been because he has tried to steal your spiral ham or your parmesan cheese.
  • Selective deafness – He has discovered that the electric fence is no longer in operation and has been enjoying his freedom.  The jackass has mastered the art of staring off in the opposite direction when caught moving too far outside of his boundaries.  If we have to go and chase him down because he won’t come when called, he actually skirts us and hauls ass back into the house…then does the hiding thing under the bed in the guestroom.  Funny, he can hear the treat jar being opened over a mile away.

Lately, he’s been trying to dictate suppertime.  His most recent annoying habit is to paw at his bowl if we are in the kitchen making supper.  I look at him and tell him to stop it, which he does and then he does this…

rufusdragon and his food bowl

I am wasting away into nothing.

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I’m probably raising a couple of racists. And, you might be too.

Because, come to find out, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is racist.  At least according to the Principal of a school district in Portland it is.

I apologize in advance people.  Who knew?  I didn’t.  Nor did I get the “Courageous Conversations” memo.  I don’t live in, nor have I ever been to Portland.  And, I’ve never really even considered that it would by any stretch of the imagination be considered white privilege.  Does this mean it is only offensive if it is on white bread?  Could we all have been spared if we had just chosen wheat?  I am hesitant to denounce peanut butter because according to this Wikipedia article, peanuts are found all over the world and in all types of cuisine.  I suppose then that jelly is in cahoots with white bread?  Wikipedia indicates that while some sort of jellyish type of substances are found multi-culturally, only the US, Canada and Europe actually regulates its production.

The eldest spawn is doomed.  He takes a PB&J to school everyday for lunch.  And since he is 18, I can’t really make him not eat them anymore.  He wouldn’t touch wheat bread with a 10 foot pole.  Maybe a sandwich intervention is in order?  Does ANYONE have any experience with this type of thing?  I could use some advice.

The youngest spawn might be okay.  He used to eat peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, but that ended around the age of 6.  I’d like to think that he found out about the nefariousness of it all, and that is why he ended the insanity.  Not because he is picky and stubborn.  And, he never really did jelly.

Rufus Dragon has been spared.  To my knowledge he has never had a PB&J.  Unless he stole it from one of the spawn.  Then he would be a biggot and a thief.

Farmer Ted has been known to snack on the vileness, but rarely.  Does this mean he is only a sometimes racist?

I, like the youngest spawn, am more than likely a reformed racist.  I used to eat them, but stopped sometime around my freshman year of high school.  I blame my parents, because with 7 children peanut butter and jelly is truly the most economical solution to school lunches.  Way to go parental units.  Way. To. Go.

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Rufus Dragon versus Halloween

The year we did this…

rufus dragon

Seriously People?

rufus dragon

Just let me the hell out of here.

The Dragon not only managed to ditch the costume once he got outside, but he tore into the faces of my Jackolanterns.  About 20 minutes before Trick or Treat.  Happy Halloween People!

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Adventures in Canning

A couple of weeks ago, Farmer Ted and I harvested all of the tomatoes we had left on our dying vines and made green tomato chow-chow.  If you don’t remember that, click here.  Then, a week later, I used some of our remaining peppers to make spicy pepper chow-chow.  Since we only had about 12 jars worth of ingredients, I attempted it by myself and things went fairly well.  This past week, a hard frost was in our forecast so Ted picked all of the remaining peppers and broke down the garden.  Instead of making more chow-chow, I decided to try my hand at hot pepper jelly.  Since Ted had to work, I figured once again I would just do it myself.  The recipe looked fairly simple.  Pureed peppers, apple cider vinegar, sugar and pectin.  Bring the first 3 to a boil, add the pectin, return to a boil for a minute and remove from heat.  Pour in jars, process in the bath for 10 minutes and Voila…hot pepper jelly.  Piece of cake.

Here is how it really went…

I prepped the peppers and got all of the other ingredients and canning utensils together.  I washed and sterilized a dozen jars.  I started 2 large pots of boiling water to use for the bath.  I mixed the peppers, vinegar and sugar together and set it to boil.  No worries.

Then, I realized that 12 jars weren’t going to be enough…

So, I turned the pepper mixture down to low, ran to the basement for more jars, washed them, threw them in the oven to sterilize and turned the pepper mix back up to high.  It boiled, and I added pectin.   I’ve totally got this.

Then, I realized that I forgot to grab clean dish rags to be able to handle the hot jars…

So I ran down to the basement to grab some and ran back up to the kitchen.  Just in time to see the pepper jelly boil over.  And by that, I mean it geysered out of the pot like Old Faithful.  There was pepper jelly all over the stove.  Burning.  There was pepper jelly all over the counter from when I yanked it off to remove it from the heat.  There was pepper jelly all over the floor.  There was pepper jelly all over me.  This might remind our loyal readers about how I’m a hazard in the kitchen.  It was a hot mess.  Literally.  That shit was hot.

Once I realized that I didn’t have any third degree burns…

I started canning the jelly.  I got the first batch in the bath, and started to clean up some of the mess.  Rufus Dragon wanted to help, so he licked the floor.  Once.  Then he whimpered and  headed straight for his water bowl and drank a gallon.  Thankfully the rest of the exercise went well, and I celebrated a battle well fought with a glass or two of wine.

Then, I realized I might have to wait up to 48 hours for the pectin to set up to see if I had actually won the war.

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Rufus Dragon Strikes Again

And, I missed the entire thing.

So Rufus and Ted were hanging out in the garage, when all of the sudden the Dragon goes tearing out into the front yard raising hell.  Ted figured he was after the neighbor’s cat who likes to come into our yard and taunt him, so he walked out to save the cat document the hilaria.

Much to his surprise, it wasn’t a cat.  It wasn’t a dog.  It wasn’t a random person walking down the street.  It wasn’t the UPS, FedEx or postman.  It wasn’t a leaf blowing in the wind.  All of which have been the subject of his wrath numerous times.

What was it you ask?

Rufus Dragon versus the Groundhog

Rufus Dragon versus the Groundhog

Seriously.

Click on the picture to see the Dragon in his full glory.

Did you know a groundhog can climb trees?  I didn’t.  Ted didn’t.  Actually I lied because I didn’t miss the entire event.  I got home from work just in time to Watch A Groundhog Climb Down Out Of A Tree.  Backwards.  What?

Looks like the Dragon has stepped up his security detail.  If you don’t know what I mean by that, click here.

We have video, but apparently we have to pay $60 a year to post video to the blog now.  The hell WordPress?

To see the video, go to the Dragon’s Facebook page and Like it.  We’ll post it later tonight.

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Well, I’ll be damned.

My friend Sue gave me a 6 foot snake last year for my birthday.

garden snake

An inflatable natural enemy scarecrow snake.  It’s a new breed.  One that doesn’t bite.

So, I brought it home and showed Ted and then a bunch of inappropriate snake innuendo jokes about snakes, trousers and rabbit holes ensued.  Because we are still 12.  But, we really didn’t give the idea that an inflatable snake would really keep Thumper and his brood out of our garden a lot of credence.  I mean if a Dragon and the 20  cats that roam the neighborhood can’t manage it, what was a fake snake going to do?

If you are my Facebook friend, then you know that last weekend we installed tomatoes, peppers and beans here at GrowDammit Central.  And true to form, the herd of cottontails that have their warren in the neighbor’s yard, started to take notice of the new source of dinner.  So, we thought why not?  Let’s bring out the big guns and see what is what.  The worst thing that could happen would be that Sue would get her money back.

garden snake

We named him Lucifer. You have to hiss when you pronounce the C.

We’ve moved him around the garden perimeter for the past few days.  It’s kind of off-putting when you see him out of the corner of your eye.  The best is that we haven’t seen hide nor hare.

Get it?

When the spawn asked if it was working, Ted told him that a leaf wouldn’t even fall in the yard.  Sorry Sue.

Feel free to leave any snake innuendo jokes you might have in the comments.

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A Mess O’ Collards

collard greens

Grown by the Wannabes at Growdammit Central.

For whatever reason, the Dragon lost his interest.  If you are confused read this.

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Garden Pests

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that for our fall/winter GrowDammit crop we planted collards, swiss chard and brussel sprouts in the flower garden near the deck in hopes that this would deter the wildlife from using them for supper.  No such luck.  Something has been chomping away on them.

The other night, Farmer Ted was in the garage and heard something munching.  He grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate.  Who was the culprit?

Bambi?

No

Thumper?

No

Punxatawny Phil?

No

Here’s who he found feasting away…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rufus Dragon

Dragon?  Yes.

The hell Rufus?

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I think I’m turning into my Mother.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.  The Plant Whisperer is no joke.  Even though I’ve always loved gardening, the GrowDammit gardens will never aspire to what all she’s got going on.  What I didn’t count on was that not only would I love to grow stuff, but I’d really enjoy “putting up” different concoctions made from the produce we’ve nurtured.  Martha not only cans all manner of jellies and jams and the like, but she makes pretty good money selling it.  I aspire to that.  If anyone wants to know what to get Farmer Ted and I for Christmas, a restaurant with a commercial kitchen is on the list.  Now, back to GrowDammit business…

Homemade Salsa Verde

GrowDammit Salsa Verde made from our tomatillos and peppers. 10 jars. Done.

This is probably a good time to blog that a couple of weeks ago we harvested everything we had growing in our summer garden.

GrowDammit Harvest 2012

GrowDammit Harvest Summer 2012…The Finale

Too bad that picture didn’t focus.  Farmer Ted was wearing his Chef hat and wasn’t available to take pictures with the expensive assed camera.

Okra

Okra. Small pods for grilling. Large pods to save seeds for next year.

We also managed to save seeds from our arugula and our rattlesnake beans.

Rattlesnake Beans & Lima Beans

Beans. Rattlesnake & Lima. These we blanched and saved for this winter, when we need a little bit of summer to wash the blues away.

Tomatillos

The tomatillos that went into the salsa verde. Pretty impressive for only 2 plants.

Peppers

Peppers. Both hot & sweet.

Even though our peppers didn’t flourish this year, we got enough to make a few things with.

Tomatoes

Last but not least, the tomatoes.  The ripe ones went into our latest addiction…spicy tomato jam. The green are going to be made into chow-chow.

Our only real failure was the corn & pumpkins from our 3 Sisters Garden.  The corn stalks were felled by the outer bands of the durecheo that moved through a few months back, and we aren’t sure why we never got any pumpkins?

Don’t worry, we aren’t done yet.  For the fall we are going small w/ collards, swiss chard and brussel sprouts.  I think we’ve outsmarted Thumper by planting those in places in the flower garden next to the house where summer flowers have died back.  So far so good.  We’ve learned in the past that bunny patrol is not Rufus Dragon’s strong suit.

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