His name is Sarge and he’s an English Mastiff 15-week-old puppy. But being a puppy is a little deceiving as he is nearly the size of Hondo, our Catahoula Leopard Dog. I’ve been wanting an English Mastiff for several years and finally, on Tuesday, I drove three hours southwest of us and met Sarge. He’s so much fun and such a good puppy. I kept him in a crate for the drive home and he was very well behaved. We stopped for a pee stop at a rest area and he quickly got down to business. Then we stopped at son, Bill’s, for another stop and he got to meet the family. Granddaughter, Ava, quickly took charge of him and soon he was walking quite well on a leash. (Usually, pups who haven’t been on a leash end up screaming and throwing themselves around.) Nope, he was happy and quickly got the hang of it. I got home quite late and opted to keep him in the crate, in the car for the night, so we didn’t have to deal with any howling or barking when we were trying to sleep. I did walk him when we got home, and he did his business and got a drink before bed. I got up early and took him out, fed him, and gave him another drink. Then he got to meet Hondo and Buffy. (Mittens zoomed out of sight and is not a fan of a new puppy, especially such a big puppy!) He and Hondo hit it off well and even started playing in the front yard. Buffy was leery, but finally came down off the entertainment center to meet the newcomer, nose to nose.

Hondo and Sarge quickly got acquainted.
Sarge and Buffy meet.

Yesterday and today, we’ve been very busy picking and shucking corn as the birds are really hitting it badly. There are clouds of blackbirds flocking in to feast on our seed corn! Just like Laura Ingles Wilder’s books. Darn them anyway! We got a very good crop of both Bear Island Chippewa and Seneca Horizon, Will’s sweet corn. Next year, we’re discontinuing the corn, Painted Mountain, as Bear Island Chippewa makes a much better cornmeal and has even prettier colors. Shucking it was like opening Christmas presents, as you never knew what color combination you were going to see.

Will and I spent hours shucking Seneca Sunrise sweet corn and Bear Island Chippewa, an ancient Ojibwe flour corn, today.

I went to town for a few groceries and Will was away, hauling hay bales home with the tractor and transport. When I came into the house, here is Sarge, flat out, asleep, on the sofa! I guess he’s figured out he’s home. — Jackie


  1. Somehow, people with pets are just better off all around. That’s my view! Plus, speaking as an ‘Old Coot,’ older and wiser folks with pups are even way better off. My Texas Heeler pup, Annie, is 3 now. She was a major handful in the beginning but now she is just the best and most enjoyable pal I could want. OJ, my tomcat, might disagree. He’s still the boss though. Cheers!

  2. Congrats on the new dog. He’s going to be a big guy, that’s for sure – might be a good thing David lives near by! Established cat has begrudgingly accepted the two newbies but that doesn’t mean she has to like it (so she tells me).
    Garden is winding down – one paste tomato plant left and what tomatoes that are left come end of week will be picked to ripen in the house. Time to till so we can plant garlic. And get the perennial garden areas weeded.
    I think we’re going to have an early winter – trees already turning but not sure about first frost. So far night temps (as far as I can see) will be in the 40s. Saw plenty of corn that look dry enough to harvest. Bean fields are turning (aka get ready for dust when harvest starts).
    Can’t complain – the start to fall has been great.

  3. Jackie, I sure like all your pictures so much. We got our first rain; very unusual this time of year. None of our fruit orchard got to full size because of lack of rain during last winter. Our limes are coming off 2 months early, also. Even though my gardens were on a timer for regular watering all summer, there were many that finished their life cycles early because of the intense heat. My blueberry plant is so sunburned. I had to use lots of shade cloth. The peppers did very well. Tomatoes for fresh eating and pickling cucumbers did not do well. That’s highly unusual. And yet the paste tomatoes gave me plenty of sauce and paste (your recipes!). I enjoy all your writing and love your stories. God bless you. from far north California.

  4. All kinds of congratulations! The corn is gorgeous, Sarge is adorable, the cats are cute and I think Hondo is the apple of my eye!
    I can’t wait to watch sarge grow up. What a good boy.

  5. Congratulations on your new puppy. Look at those feet! He’s gonna be a big ‘un. :)

    That’s a shame about the birds in your corn. Mine was totally destroyed by squirrels this year. I read in a gardening forum that one of the members protected his corn ears from birds and squirrels this year by pulling socks over the ears. Of course, he just had a small patch and about 50 socks saved up to “use someday for something”. It worked like a charm. You’d need a truckload of socks though! Meanwhile, I’m saving socks…

  6. Love it! He looks like such a good boy. 30 acres left to hay isn’ttoo bad. We just pray we can get in the hay with the rains coming.
    I picked 5 gallons of beans yesterday, and harvested my apple tree. I have two other trees to do and two more apple trees but I’m happy about what I got for now. Now for canning galore, along with freezing and dehydrating. I have so many beans! The marvel of Venice is so good, I’m just in love. I like the flavor fresh better than the provider beans.

    I am loving the Punta Banda tomatoes for sauce. The others so far are less paste, so I have to cook them longer. I have a pan of sauce in the oven over night to get off some water. I enjoy the long Tom ones too, but I see they are off the site, are you discontinuing them? I saved seeds today just in case.

    I’ve been working with our younger red heeled mix Falcon, trying to be able to let him of the lead. He is learning to listen to my commands, as well as come when called, and loves tomatoes like your Spencer. When the kids and I make sauce he enjoys the skin snacks. And any squished tomatoes. Enjoy Sarge. He’s looking like a good boy!

  7. Aw Your dog is so cute!!! What a good boy.

    Love the looks of that corn.

    So what are the Beavers saying about winter? The persimmons is coming out spoons.

  8. lovely

    have you heard of floriani corn?
    pollinated by insects!
    person who told me said it is delicious
    i know it is a lot to ask but if you can find some could you raise some and report back?


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