New Family Member and Growing Things! -- 08/04/2014

Well, she isn't new new. But, I'm sure she is new to most of you! In May this year my brother adopted a dog. Her name at the Animal Shelter was Jennifer, but she was renamed Kaelen. She has grown considerably since coming to live with our family. Kaelen was from a litter of puppies in the south that had two different fathers. The mother was a golden lab (and who knows what else. Half the puppies were a lab/boxer mix, while the other half was some sort of mountain dog and lab.
She is quite rambunctious as I'm sure those of you with puppy experience can relate to. Her increasing size allows her to find more ways to create mischief every week.

Kaelen the day my bro adopted her. It is hard to believe that she was ever this small.
Kaelen in July, they grow so fast! She is a little bit bigger now than this picture shows. Despite her growth, she still manages to squeeze into really small places (like under the couch).
Luther, the majestic feline.

We have a family garden again this year. My mom took care of the one directly behind the house, while I took over the back garden. My mom's lettuce did very well and we enjoyed fresh salads for quite a few weeks. I'm experimenting with growing corn. I planted it a bit late, so it was nowhere near "knee high by the fourth of July." I do hope it produces at least a few ears, although I will be back up at school by the time it does.
My mom has some huge tomatoes growing. We are both hoping that they ripen without being eaten by various critters. The grape vines, protected by netting, seem to be producing grapes this year. Our blueberry bush by the deck is likewise protected by netting, though birds are still able to snack on quite a few of them. The blackberries still have quite a way to go before they're ready.
A few weeks ago, a storm came through and snapped my pear tree in half. My dad had given the tree to me on my birthday 2013 (it was already my height when we got it). I was very excited to see pears growing on the branches... but then disaster struck. I tried to save the top, but all the leaves wilted and died. But, venturing into the back yard today I saw furious growth from multiple places along the trunk. Hopefully it makes it through the fall and winter. I'm really glad that it bounced back. (We do have a few smaller fruit trees in the back, but none of them have produced any fruit so far).

Blackberries! Not ripe yet, but there are quite a few of them there.
My pear tree, making a fighting comeback.
Blueberries and their protective netting.
Slightly out of focus tomatoes! Look how huge they are!
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