Check out my new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, available from Amazon.

2012 Silver winner in the Health/Medicine/Nutrition Category of the Independent Publishers Book Awards

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sprayin' me softly

Weed deathSo, I'm outside finishing up digging up my favorite weeds because it's a beautiful day, and the neighbors are outside working in their yards as well.

My weed party is then interrupted by the stench of the gasoline powered mower two houses away. That's fine, I understand, we all can't be pushing our backs out of whack with a push reel mower. Unpleasant, but I can deal.

My next door neighbor is busy pulling weeds and piling on the Miracle Gro Garden Soil into his raised beds. That's okay, at least he's growing food in his raised beds. Sure, he's not using organic methods, but it's a step, no? (And their leeks are enormous!)

I continue with my weeds (yes, it's a large project) and am interrupted again, this time by my son asking me what the neighbor is doing. I look up to see that he is spraying grass and weed killer on the cracks in his driveway not too far from me . Of course, the wind is blowing in my direction so I'm inundated by a cloud of chemicals.

Ah, another beautiful spring day!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pet poop poll

Can I have some privacy here?When we had a dog, we always flushed his poop, thinking that it was better sending it to the wastewater treatment plant rather than living forever in a plastic bag in the landfill somewhere, never to decompose.

I'm really not sure which is better, although since our wastewater is treated and composted it's probably better than going into the landfill. This won't work so well if you have a septic system.

I assume you could also dispose of cat poop in a similar manner (flushing rather than putting in the trash). And I know you can compost your pet poop in a pet poop composter.

Which leads me to Sunday's poll:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Whatcha plantin? - April 28th

Things are slowing down for me planting-wise as I've already got most of my veggies in the ground for now (see sidebar "In the garden..." for an exhaustive list). If the weather cooperates I may plant:

*Black Beauty zucchini

How about you guys? Has the weather improved enough to start planting?

I'd also like to plant some fruit trees, so I'm doing some research on that, but I won't be buying anything anytime soon. I'll keep you posted on any forays I have into the apple or pear world.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Props to Cupcake Royale

Show me your cupcakesI just wanted to give a shout out to my favorite cupcake place on the west coast, Cupcake Royale, for now offering a food waste bin (for stuff to be composted) in their Ballard store.

Not like we go often or anything.

So, now I can rest easy knowing that our cupcake wrappers and paper napkins are going to a better place.

Sniff. Such a beautiful thing.

I'm sure there are plenty of restaurants in Seattle that take advantage of food waste composting (Wild Mountain Cafe is one), but since CR is a "bus your own table" kind of place it's easy to see that it's being done.

What about your favorite places? Any composting bins available?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scraps n' crap

I did it. I wasn't really meaning to do it and I certainly was unprepared for it but, nonetheless, I did it.

What the hell am I rambling on about? Well, last week when I was discussing how I started using a bandana at work instead of paper towels, I mentioned how I really should be taking home my food waste scraps.

Now, we do have recycling at work and a bin for the worm composter, but you have to cut everything up into super tiny pieces before putting it in the bin. And, frankly, I can't justify standing there for 20 minutes every day trying to saw my food waste into molecule sized bits with the incredibly dull knives we have in the kitchen. And, furthermore, the worms are rather particular about what they will eat anyway.

But, food waste collection at home? You can put in all manner of paper and food scraps.

So, this morning as I was lobbing my teabag into the garbage, I stopped for a moment. And then when the banana peel went in I stopped again, and the thought of bringing those babies home with me crossed my mind. I rigged up a makeshift carrying container (tomorrow I'll come prepared!) and started packing things up.

And now if I accidentally grab some paper towels in the bathroom (old habits die hard), I can put them in the food waste at home.

What do you do with the compostables you generate at work?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Omnivore's Dilemma book club info

Omnivore's DilemmaNext Tuesday I'll be posting the first set of questions for the book club.

Since a few people have asked, I wanted to give you some more details. For the month of May we'll be discussing the first section of the book, titled "Industrial Corn". Next Tuesday I'll post questions (hopefully one for each chapter in this section) so you can look at them if you haven't started reading the book.

I'll post my "answers" as the first comment to get things rolling and so you can see what the discussion thread will sort of look like. Once you have read this section and are ready to add to the discussion, post your answers/comments in the comments.

Anyway, if I get people's feedback to go faster, I can do that to, but at this point, expect a leisurely read with the book club taking three months. I'll post new questions for each section (see below) on the first Tuesday of the month.

May Section I: Industrial - Corn
June Section II: Pastoral - Grass
July Section III: Personal - The Forest

Any questions or comments? Lemme know!

Monday, April 23, 2007

DivaCup raffle winner!

Congratulations to tcarey for winning her very own DivaCup!

For those of you challenged chickens who didn't win and still haven't purchased your DivaCup, I found it a lot cheaper online.

It's still not too late to sign up for the DivaCup Challenge. You have until April 30th to be eligible for the prizes at the end of the three month challenge, which ends July 31st. And, trust me, with some of these prizes you'll have to make it to the end to make it worthwhile.

Some of the super nifty prizes will be:

DivaWash - Natural body gel and cleanser for the DivaCup


Made of the finest natural ingredients, this PH balanced cleanser will help to preserve your DivaCup.



Fun T-Shirts

100% cotton t-shirts sporting your support. I'll have more designs up by then (hey, I have three months).


Other prizes will be a Crunchy Chicken Tote Bag and ECOBAGS, reusable produce bags.

And, in the meantime, I'll check in with you all and see how you're doing with polls and my very own updates and pictures. Okay, maybe no pictures.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Poll Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Okay, I realize that I went totally crazy with the polls two weeks ago. So, now I'm limiting myself to just Sundays.

Today is Earth Day. Hooray for the Earth! Because without you, well, we wouldn't be here blogging about trying to save you. Or something like that.

And, the voting booth is now open:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Whatcha plantin? - April 21st

It's time to report what veggies (or fruit) you are planting this weekend!

Bird's nest gourdI finally dug the weeds out of the side bed and it's ready for planting. So, this weekend, I'm planting:

*Sugar pie pumpkins
*Bird's nest gourd (okay, they're ornamentals)
*Jack Be Little pumpkins

Do you see a theme here?

I also bought my replacement tomatoes so I'm planting:

*Black Prince tomato
*Brandywine tomato
*San Marzano Roma tomato
*Sweet Million Cherry tomato
*Red Beauty bell pepper

What are you guys up to?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Paper or (bio)plastic?

Poor little birdy in a bagSan Francisco recently banned the use of plastic grocery bags. But, will the question now be: "Do you want 100% post-consumer recycled paper or old-growth paper bags?"

Paper always seemed to me like a more environmentally friendly way to go (as long as you recycle them) but, in actuality, paper sacks generate 70 percent more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.

Fortunately, the stores in San Francisco can supply biodegradable bags (made from potato starch and the like). Phew! What? There's bad news about biodegradable bags, too? Damn.

Crunchy Chicken Tote BagThe other option of course is to bring your own bags. You can buy them. You can knit them. And, if you have really big huevos, you can knit your own tote bags out of used plastic grocery bags.

Or, you can help support this blog (and its many future giveaways and prizes) by buying a Crunchy Chicken tote bag. Wouldn't that be nice?

If you need to buy them in bulk, a good place to go is 1 Bag At A Time. I just did. We've been planning on switching to reusable bags for, oh, six years? So, now we're going to give it a go.

And for produce bags, check these things out! I'm springing for some of these as well, so I'll report soon on my plastic bag free grocery shopping experience.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A little hanky panky

And you turn yourself around. Oh, wait. That's the hokey pokey. Or the Kama Sutra. Anyway...

Toallas de papelI've always been alarmed at the number of paper towels I end up using at work each day. I can't help it, you need at least two for effective drying. So, add up the number of bathroom trips (at least three) and trips to the kitchen to wash dishes (at least two) and you're looking at a minimum of 10 paper towels per day. And it's not like I'm soaking up acres of wetness, just a daub or two and into the trash they go. Sigh.

I've thought of taking home the paper towels to put in the food waste, but I've not yet gone down that slippery slope of lugging home a container of food scraps. Perhaps that's for another post in the future.

The air dryers don't really work, are loud and use up energy so I don't use those. I suppose I could just let my hands drip dry but then you have to touch the door knob which is worse than not washing your hands. Yes, that's right, I use the paper towels to open the door, thereby exiting the bathroom as sterilely as possible. Or is that even possible?

Anyway, I was reading this post about carrying around a small towel for these purposes and thought, well, what the hell. I'm a Crunchy Chicken. And I started bringing a bandana to work.

Hanky pankyIf you don't like the classic style and would prefer to be a little more stylish, there are all kinds, from a pretty Japanese tenugui to a super absorbing microfiber bandana.

So far, it's been quite easy. I just tuck it into my pocket and whip it out when I need to dry my hands or my dishes. I hang it up in my office and it's dry by the next time I need to use it. I don't totally feel like a freak and nobody's asked me about it yet.

But, when they do... hooo boy! are they going to get an earful :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

DivaCup challenge

Male readers: unless you are truly curious, or want to inform your wife or girlfriend or both, you can skip this post.

Ladies. It's been brought to my attention the fabulous environmental nature of the DivaCup. It has quite a few benefits over the usual assortment of tampons and pads used during one's period. The classics are, quite noticeably, not too environmentally friendly. Sure there are some eco-alternatives (no plastic, 100% unbleached cotton, etc.) but in the end you are still flushing or throwing something into the landfill.

Enter the DivaCup. I've seen mention of it on other people's blogs lately but just skipped right on over it. Why? Because, frankly, they kind of freaked me out.

I mean, who wants to drag out some cup filled thang to hand wash? That said, since I'm a Crunchy Chicken and all, I went to the website and read a little bit more about it and have changed my impression about it, in spite of the initial reaction.

So, without going into incredible details on how it works and how to use it and why (I'll defer you to visit their website for that), I challenge you. Yes, YOU. (Unless you are a guy and are still reading this far.) Let's see if we can wean ourselves off of disposible feminine products for three months.

Are you up for it? If so, add yerself to the comments with "Sign me cUp" or something like it.

Raffle!
To add to the excitement (as if feminine products weren't exciting enough!) I'm holding a raffle to all those who sign up for the challenge. In order to help defray the cost of the cup, I'll pick a name from a hat and the winner shall receive a free DivaCup (see comments for more details). The drawing will be held next Monday, April 23rd.

Prizes!
Yes, there's more! For those challenged chickens who make it through the three month trial, there will be another drawing for some fun prizes. I'll announce these prizes next week after the DivaCup raffle.

And what if nobody signs up for the challenge? Well, then, I guess I get my own free damn cup. And super cool prizes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Omnivore's Dilemma blog book club update

Omnivore's DilemmaOkay peeps. My copy of the book is on it's way. For those participating in the book club, I'll be posting the initial set of discussion questions on the first Tuesday of May. So, if you haven't bought your copy, get crackin'!

Oh yeah, and have fun!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sending out an S.O.S.

Dead as a doornailMy tomato plants were delivered from Burpees last week. Now, I'm no plant expert but I do believe these fella's are all dead. All 7 of them look like this. One doesn't even look this good.

I haven't yet talked to their customer service about it, but I don't think there's much I can do to revive them. They haven't perked up but I wasn't expecting them too.

It's so disappointing. Does anyone have any clue as to whether or not these are salvageable? Can I just cut off the dead, withered foliage and hope it springs back to life, or should it just go into the compost?

Fortunately, our local nursery is getting in their tomato plants next week. I hope they can replace my lost heirlooms.

Evil, evil UPS.

Update 2:00pm
Well, Burpees says that all their plant shipments to WA and TX last week were damaged due to freezing temperatures. So, I'm getting a refund. I hacked down the old plants and am curious to see if anything grows from it as an experiment. But, I'll be definitely buying some new plants next week!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Whatcha plantin? - April 15th

Hopefully things are warming up for you guys out there. This weekend I planted:

*Olympia blueberry highbush
*Bluecrop blueberry highbush
*Tristar strawberry plants

*Berggarten sage
*Dark leaf oregano
*Italian parsley
*Marjoram
*Santo coriander

I would be tending to my newly delivered tomato plants, but they are all dead. More posts about that tomorrow, when I am done weeping over them.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New banner

How do you all like my new banner? I whipped it up last night...

And to end Poll Week, a Poll!

CO2 compensation credit cards

Greencard VisaI was recently reading about how in the Netherlands you can get a credit card where, instead of earning miles or the like, your purchase helps offset carbon emissions. It's called Greencard Visa and, at this point, is only available to residents of the Netherlands.

For every purchase made, new trees are planted or other methods of offsetting carbon emissions are taken in order to make erase the cardholder's climate footprint.

An American company, called Bright Planet, is set to launch a similar program in May where "points" earned are invested in new clean energy projects. Bright Planet's web site leaves much to be desired, but this article helps sort things out.

If you're looking for a more recognizable bank card, later this year Bank of America will be offering its consumers an eco-friendly credit card. For every dollar spent on this new card, Bank of America will make a contribution to an environmental organization to invest in greenhouse gas reduction projects.

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ta-Ta Tuesday (warning: silly post)

I know this really has nothing to do with gardening or sustainability or, really, anything of substance, but I feel compelled to share this engaging story with my readers.

BJ & the BearAs we were driving down I-5 in a more rural area of Washington State we came up behind an 18 wheeler truck. The kind that BJ McKay and his best friend Bear would be hauling along in.

But, on the back of this truck were two large white sheets of paper taped onto the doors.

On the first sheet was scrawled:

Be a flirt
Lift your shirt

And on the second sheet, in equally fine penmanship, was written (as if Bear had done it himself from the passenger's side):
Ta-Ta
Tuesday

Now, after I recovered from my mixture of semi-amusement/disgust I asked my husband if he saw the signs as well. Since he was diligently paying attention to the road, he merely stated "isn't that one of those race car carrying trucks?" Now, I have no idea how my husband, whose only exposure to NASCAR is "Talladega Nights", would know this, but sure enough as we were passing the truck, emblazoned on the side was the big NASCAR emblem.

Of course, if Greg Evigan (ca. 1979) were actually driving this truck he may have gotten a little more Ta-Ta action. But the dude? The creepy 50ish dude driving this truck? Ick. And, he was spending an unsafe amount of time looking in his side mirror to see if any passing vehicles were Ta-Ta enabled. And I know this because his mirror was about the size of our car and I could readily see him checking.

As we passed I merely ignored him, but if I had my faculties about me, as well as a large pad and art supplies, I would have painted him a nice watercolor of a pair of drooping 80-year-old Ta-Tas to hold up to the window for his viewing.

All this led me to wonder, what did he do for the rest of the week? Was there a "Melons Monday" and "Whoppers Wednesday"? Did he branch out with:

Be a dear
Show your rear

Or how about a seasonally inspired:
Happy Easter
Flash your keister

And, since this is Poll Madness Week, I shall finish this ridiculous post with the following poll:


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Travel and carbon comparison

Ahoy matey, we're settin' sail!We're taking a little family trip for spring break. Nothing too spectacular, the destination is relatively close to us. Well, if about 300 miles is close.

I got to thinking about the impact of flying versus driving. We'll be driving in our Honda. I just looked up the gas mileage on our car and it's a paltry 25 MPG. I won't be employing any of the fancy mileage increasing techniques of the hypermilers so I guess 25 it is.

According to the carbon footprint calculator (which doesn't take into consideration make and model), our drive will output about 100 kg of CO2. However, if we were to fly, it would be more like 300 kg of CO2.

So, although I feel bad about our low MPG, it's better than flying. And since we haven't taken a vacation in a year, I guess it's not too bad.

So, in the spirit of poll week...


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Turn down your thermostat

You turned it down to what?Since I started trying to curb our energy consumption, one of the big things I've done (besides not using the clothes dryer) is keeping the thermostat low during the day and real low at night.

This is a big deal for me, because I am always freezing. My husband and I have temperature tolerances on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Especially at night. So recently I'm letting him turn the heat down to 60 degrees at night.

But during the day I'm actually lowering it more than he normally does -- to about 67 degrees. It hasn't been all that bad. I suppose if I wanted to make more of an impact I would set it much lower, but I can't function when I can't feel my hands and feet.

Soy heatWhen we moved into our house last year I was a little concerned because the heating system runs on oil (our previous house used natural gas). I did a little research and was excited that we could get a mix of biodiesel to heat our home. So, we signed up for BioHeat. It's a bit more expensive, but well worth it.

And, now for another poll (because they are so fun)!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Gardening skirt

Ooh la la!Ooh. Now that's hot! Seeds of Change is carrying a gardening skirt so you can show off those sexy gams earned by all those long hours pulling weeds.

Yes, all that time leg-pressing those brambles out of the ground? It's payoff time.

Now about that whole leaning over business...


And, yes, this is a very silly post!

Monday, April 9, 2007

"Omnivore's Dilemma" blog book club

Omnivore's DilemmaHave you read the book, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan? I've been meaning to get around to it, but it's more fun when you have people to discuss it with.

I'd like to try out an online book club via this blog since it's hard to find enough similarly interested folks in the hood. Is that crazy?

If you haven't heard of this book, here's a snippet from a review from the Washington Post:

In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan writes about how our food is grown -- what it is, in fact, that we are eating. The book is really three in one:

The first section discusses industrial farming; the second, organic food, both as big business and on a relatively small farm; and the third, what it is like to hunt and gather food for oneself.

And each section culminates in a meal -- a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald's; roast chicken, vegetables and a salad from Whole Foods; and grilled chicken, corn and a chocolate soufflé (made with fresh eggs) from a sustainable farm; and, finally, mushrooms and pork, foraged from the wild.

If you're interested, post in the comments so I can get an idea if I should run with this. I'd like to give us a month to acquire and start reading it. For each section, I'll be posting questions to ponder and comment on later.

What think ye?

Federal tax credits for energy efficiency

Energy StarYes, folks, it's that time o' year again. Time for your date with the tax man (or tax program or online tax preparation or whatever you prefer).

I'm sure many of you have already filed, but if you haven't, don't forget to include any purchases that qualify for a federal tax credit for energy efficiency.

First, let me state that I am in no way a tax expert nor am I related to one, so please consult someone who knows better. That said, there are a few things you can claim:

*Home improvements, including adding insulation, replacement windows, exterior doors, metal roofing, water heaters, and some heating/cooling systems
*Efficient car purchase, including hybrid, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel and fuel cell vehicles
*Solar energy systems, including solar water heating and photovoltaic systems
*Fuel cells - nuff said

For more information on what you can claim, visit the Energy Star site.

So don't say I didn't try to help you save money on your taxes, mkay?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

No impact man

Señor No ImpactoSo, I've been reading the blog of No Impact Man, a guy and his family in NYC who is trying to (surprise!) leave no impact. He and his family are tightening the thumbscrews of sustainability and really lowering their footprint for a year. It's being filmed as a documentary a la Supersize Me. At least that's the impression I have.

For example, they are composting everything including their poop. In the city. You have to check out his blog to read the extent of their efforts. He has been getting a lot of press (and a bit of criticism) for what he is doing. But you'll have to decide for yourself.

Anyhoodle, he was kind enough to visit my humble little blog here (after I left a post on his) and he has kindly added me to his blogroll. Can I say "Holy Crap" now?

He'll be on the Colbert Report on Monday, April 9th, if you want to check him out. I'm sure Steve won't let him get a word in edgewise, but I expect nothing less from Le Report.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Hypermilers

OMG. I think this guy is my brother!

Hybrid hypermilerI didn't actually realize they existed, but there are people pushing the limits of their traditional cars (internal combustion engine) and hybrids to get fuel mileage upwards of 100 MPG by "drafting 18-wheelers with the engine off and taking death turns at 52 miles an hour".

Pretty incredible. And a little scary too!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Whatcha plantin'? - April 6th

Come on. I know you guys are up to something. You're planting something this weekend! Well, what is it? (Feel free to add links if you're blogging about it.)

We're planting:

*Val d'Or lettuce
*Butterking lettuce
*Spinach
*French radishes
*Early Italian purple garlic (a spring planting experiment)
*Chiogga beets
*Oxheart carrots
*Stockton red onions
*White Lisbon bunching onions
*Oregon sugar snap peas
*Pole beans

Meteorite!I also got notification that my tomato plants shipped so I better get crackin' and get those other beds ready for planting.

Ummm. Is it just me, or do beet seeds look like they are from some alien planet, errr plant?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Web soil survey

This is the wackiest thing I've seen on the web in a long time. Okay, maybe less wacky and more cool.

Click on me to see larger viewIt is a web based soil survey where you can enter in your property parcel number or address and it tells you what kind of soil you have, plus you can tell how much sun exposure is there and things like power lines based on aerial photographs.

So, if you are in the market for a new house and want to know your gardening or farming prospects at the site, this is a fabulous resource. It is run by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

It doesn't have complete coverage (my city address didn't turn up any soil info), but it's great for more suburban and rural areas. For example, I entered in the address of one of my favorite U-Pick farms and got the report shown above (click on image to view the bigger version).

If you live in Snohomish County in Washington State, they have their own site, Focus on Farming Map, which is more comprehensive.

Slug zappin'

Since we live in the land of perpetual wetness, slugs and snails should be on the state flag. I've been a little paranoid about how to prevent them from nibbling away on the plants I grow this year.

To top it off, my brother, who lives in a third story condominium downtown, is currently having a slug infestation with some plants on their deck. Where they come from I know not -- they must be via some new plants. Either way he is in the middle of a slug death match complete with beer traps and the ever exciting "hand" removal. Which, since they are so tiny, involves him out there in the dark with chop sticks (he's pretty good with them, by the way).

Anyhoo, I thought I'd do the beer traps but decided to spend the money on copper barriers. Sure, they were expensive. But they don't look half bad on the beds and I get the fun of thinking of all those slugs and snails happily crawling up the beds at night thinking they are in for a big ol' snack when, ZAP, they electroshock themselves and fall off the sides.

I don't know if I'll have a bunch of slug carcasses littering the lawn, but if it does kill them perhaps the neighborhood birds can focus on them instead of my berries?

I'll let y'all know if it works! Too bad the copper tape doesn't work on cats.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cat deterrents

I love your new garden beds. Mwooo Haaa HaaaOkay, people, I need your help.

What effective methods have you used to keep cats out of your garden? It seems the neighborhood cats have decided that our new beds are giant playpens.

They have already turned one of our planters in front into a catbox, but I don't care so much about that one. This is going to impact my direct-seed growing if they are in there digging about.

Any suggestions? Please? Help!

Potatoes part deux

Tater bucketsWell, my Yukon Golds are already sprouting up. I'll have to keep an eye on them taters.

I decided to go ahead and plant the French Fingerlings in another plastic container (hey, they were on sale!). So, now we have both side by side. They aren't the most attractive garden containers, but as long as they get the job done, I don't care!


Monday, April 2, 2007

Green energy

Seattle City Light (our local electricity provider) has a program called Green Up where you can buy your electricity from renewable energy sources. You can purchase your annual electricity usage at 25%, 50% or 100% levels (e.g. the 100% level means that 100% of your power comes from renewable energy sources).

Diablo Dam on the Skagit RiverWe already get about 87% of our electricity from clean hydroelectric power (except for that whole dam thing, it's a great source of energy), but the rest can now be supplied from other alternative energy sources such as the Stateline Wind Project in Eastern WA. It is the largest single wind farm in the U.S.

Stateline Wind ProjectI know there are drawbacks to both hydroelectric and wind farm generated energy, but it's better than the nuclear, natural gas and coal mix we currently get.

Anyway, we were contemplating investing in solar panels for the house, but since we can now purchase 100% of our electricity from renewable energy sources, we might just put that on hold.

Sign me up!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Buddy and Buster

You got a problem with that?I'm pretty sure if I were a dog, I wouldn't like the garbage truck either. Actually, come to think of it, I don't like the garbage truck. It's noisy and stinky and, in general, only welcome when they forget to pick up your garbage.

But, I digress.

We are dog-sitting two aged Boston Terriers. They are brothers of slightly different size and personality. Oh yeah. And they snore. A lot. But they are so darn cute with their little snuffling sounds you just don't care. Did I mention that Buster is mostly blind? But he fakes it pretty good and gets around okay.

Enough alreadyEmma likes to call Buster a slight variation on the name -- Bustard. Like mustard. So this week, these two are known as Buddy and Bustard.

And Buddy? Next time you poop in the yard? Please don't do it on your dog toy. Thanks.

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