Let Them Eat Cake

The Cake Rex Saga continues:

dogwood blossoms

Spring is just coming on so lovely this year, don’t you think?

Labradors looking for cake


It's just so lovely and fresh out...| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

It’s just so fresh and bright…

Cake (?)

Cake (?)

Aren't the tulips just delightful this year?

Oh, my yes! Aren’t these tulips just delightful?

GAHHH!  Cake?!?


Yes, I don't think the voles did as much damage this year...why, just look at this Azalea!

Yes, they certainly are…I don’t think the voles did as much damage this year. Have you seen these azaleas?

Oh, for the love of all that is holy...CAKE!!!


lovely curled tulip

Oh, yes…they’re lovely. I just can’t take my eyes off these tulips!



white tulips and one dandelion

Of course, the dandelions are getting an early jump on spring, too…

That's it...I've officially LOST MY MIND!!


Sorry. We’re experiencing some technical difficulties at this time. Our iPhone has been mistaken for cake.


The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
Gloria Steinem

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Cake Rex

Cake for the King | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Almost a Cake Wreck.

Hank has been a bit unhinged since his last birthday.

“Unhinged” cannot possibly be a good omen for his dotage. You see, Hank has become obsessed, and we’re talking more than the usual Hank obsessed, more than the run-of-the-mill Hank unhinging du jour….this is more like OBSESSION, and this is indeed All Caps.



Hank’s even brought Cap into his affliction.

In the terrible presence of cake, Hank becomes what can only be described a maniac. Perhaps you’ve met this kind of maniac before. Perhaps you’ve met such a maniac in the person of The God of Cake:


“The God of Cake” © Allie Brosh (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)

Well, this is the kind of maniac we’re talking about: scratchy, clawing, wee arms; huge, gnashing teeth. Terrifying.

It all started innocuously enough. Hank loved his three-layer, peanut butter & yam, blueberry & pea-bejeweled crown cake so much. He’d been waiting, waiting, waiting all day long in the kitchen as the cake came into glorious being. He knew. This cake was his. All his. When the big moment finally arrived, the candles were lit, minions were singing, and it all got very nutters very quickly.

Where have you been all my life, Cake?

Where have you been all my life, Cake? Don’t mind my crazy eyes.

This may be when something actually snapped

[ This may be the point at which something in Hank snapped ]

[ Definitely by this point ]

[ certainly by this point ]

Or maybe it was here

[ yep]

Hank fell on that glowing, golden crown and ate that puppy in one gigantic, and frankly, disturbing ____?  We’re not even sure there’s a word in the English language for it. (It’s probably something you can only say in German.)

Cap jumps on the Crazy Train

Cap joins Hank on the Crazy Train

However you call it, that cake got gone.

Then Hank demanded another cake. Which he got. The next day. Because he turned 14 after all. Then he demanded another one. And another. Then Hank went beyond-the-beyond and declared that Every Day is Hank’s Birthday since every day is a brand-new milestone for a 14-year old Labrador, and every birthday must be celebrated with cake.

So it began and so it continues. Stay tuned for Cake Rex Part II: Let Him Eat Cake. Please don’t let this happen to someone you love.


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Hank’s Happy 14!

photo of puppy stealing other puppy's food

The more things change…

Amazing as it may seem, our Hank is 14 years old today.

Yes, it’s his birthday, and he’s been doing a little celebrating. The sun is shining—miracle of miracles—so our equally sunny spring chicken started his birthday off right:  with bacon from Pete’s Egg Nest, and half a breakfast burrito. Here are the goods:

bacon and breakfast burrito for Hank


Here’s Hank’s pre-bacon face:

photo of Hank looking for bacon

Whatcha’ got in that doggie bag, big spender?

Here’s his after-bacon face:

Hank the Labrador smiling photo

I’d smile wider, but I’ve got bacon in my teeth. All four of them.

Whew. So, what’s next on Hank’s birthday agenda? Taking a good stroll, collecting more biscuits, more belly rubs, a light lunch, more of the same, some good yelling, a few sniffs, and making plans for a big-time peanut butter & yam birthday cake on Saturday.


Hot Buy Pork Butt (!!! $uper $weet $Savings !!!)


Probably not, little piggy. But Happy Birthday anyway, you marvelous old fellow!

Happy Birthday card to Hank the Yellow Labrador

…the more they stay the same.


A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King
Emily Dickinson

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Cap, Uninterrupted

Yellow Labrador asleep with tongue sticking out

Just can’t get enough of these photos, apparently. Nope. Cap wishes you all a dreamy weekend!

Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself.
Astrid Lindgren

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Things Hank Didn’t Score at the Thrift Store

Photo of very large, ugly ski pants found in thrift store

Somewhere, a German is missing his pants.

"Bad Dog" skis

As if.

signed Ronald Reagan photo

The 80s called and they want their President back.
No, hang on – they just want the Camaro.

"Gold Digger" t-shirt

To pair with your Bad Idea Jeans, presumably.

light blue and white guitar with white pleather shoes to match

This little duo was harder to pass up. But he did.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Usually.
Voltaire (paraphrased)

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Special Delivery

Cap Loves the World | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

XXOO from Cap

 ♥    ♥    

full belly warm sun

fresh grass spring dreams chase run roll

i’m hungry again

 ♥    ♥    ♥

XXOO from Hank


Happy Valentine’s Day from Hanku & Captain Valentine!

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
Henry David Thoreau

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House of Doom(ba)

And What, Exactly, Might This Mean?| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

This cannot be good.

In what seems like a foolhardy move to Hank, and one of no particular significance to Cap, certain Persons with Thumbs just brought home a Roomba. Which is to say, a robot. That cleans. Brought it home. To stay. Yes. A very zoomy, very clever little robot has been given free reign over the House of Hank. Which is a pretty sick thing to do, really, and Hank would just like to know what was so wrong with regular terrifying vacuum 1.0? 

Cap just wonders. Generally.

Ruh Roh | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

By the pricking of my thumbs…Zoom!

Good Lord. | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Something Wicked this Way Comes.  Zoom!


Oh, I like the Scottish Play—please keep reading. Zoom!


Get thee behind me, Satan.  Zooooom!


Will it never stop?  ZOOM!


I’m sure robots are very nice. I’d like to meet one someday.  ZZoom!


If I just close my eyes and count to ten, it will go away. Please go away.  Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

Hank suspects this terrible Doomba harbors shivs, or citronella spray, or some other diabolical weaponry of world domination.  The Thumbs think he’s being melodramatic. Despite Hank’s qualms, this wee, zippy bugger does a great job of tidying up, even in Hank’s two-Labrador, many-carpeted castle of endless obstacles. The Thumbs have christened the little bot Dennis-There’s-Some-Lovely-Filth-Down-Here and hope he lives a good, long life of autonomous collecting here at Hank’s commune.

Hank will accept your condolences in the usual manner.

Just don’t leave them on the floor.

XXOO Hank | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

I can’t even talk about it right now.

Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.
—Haruki Murakami

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Alley Cap

DOOR | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Our friend Cap went for a chilly February adventure this morning, poking around Seattle’s back alleys and sniffing the light while Hank stayed nestled under blankets, dreaming of sandwiches and the coming of spring.

Happy Friday, everyone and hope some sun shines down on you, too!

Retaining Wall | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Lichen Paint | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Sedum Clouds Granite | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Retaining Wall | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

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Amy | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.
W.C. Fields

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The 13th Man

13th Man

…is the one who steals the 12th Man’s sandwich.

Hank is the 13th Man. He wears the pirate jersey of black and white. He is older and wiser than the 12th Man. He will be sailing forth early so consider this a Seattle-area warning for Super Bowl Sunday.

Gromit + Bones Pirate Flag

This is his play: As the 11 Men on the field stand around (listening to the sweet ka-chunk of gold dropping into bank accounts), and the famous 12th Man (YELLING!) vacates his stuffy prefrontal cortex for the more homey basal ganglia (YELLING!) and tucks in to critical beer-pork-beef-cheezy-chip supplies (YELLING!), Hank cuts to the right, feints a left, and goes straight for The Sandwich.

Go SeaHank! | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

And SCOOOOORE! Instant replay cannot catch the speed with which both Hank and sandwich are gone. Quarterbacks and pythons the world over feel shame.

OK. Pythons the world over feel shame.

The 12th Man and his basal ganglia are none the wiser. (YELLING!) Mmm…nachos. Nachos good. (YELLING!) Mmm…beer. Beer good. (YELLING!)

Mmm…where sandwich?

Gromit + Bones Pirate Flag

13th Man

Gromit + Bones Pirate Flag


You can’t get a suit of armour and a rubber chicken just like that. You have to plan ahead.
—Michael Palin

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Liquid Sunshine

Sniff the Flowers | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

sums up Seattle in winter, where the forecast swishes between Showers, or Rain, or Light Rain, or Drizzle—when it’s not Partly Cloudy or Partly Clear, that is—the difference between any of those states remaining mostly foggy to soggy observers.

Hank & Co. try to soak in Vitamin D when they can, when rare spurts of sunshine from above allow for luxuriant sun showers. Oh, joy!

Here’s what they do:

Berry Sunshine| ©2014 HouseofHank.me
Look up at that strange bright sky (blink)

Stare at the Beauty of It All | ©2014 HouseofHank.me
Look down at those strange bright plants (blink)

Even the Trees Feel Good | ©2014 HouseofHank.me
See how happy the trees are (blink, blink)

Locate Favorite Sun Spot | ©2014 HouseofHank.me
Locate favorite sun spot

Locate Favorite Sun Spot | ©2014 HouseofHank.meNote something terribly wrong at favorite sun spot

Locate Favorite Sun Spot | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

That's Much Better | ©2014 HouseofHank.meReclaim sun spot. Soak in goodness.

The End.


To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road,
to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is also wise to have a full belly and a nice nap every day.
— Hank

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Cap, Interrupted II

Cap, Interrupted II| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Cap, Interrupted II| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Cozy Sunday Cap| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Hope your Sunday is just as cozy.

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Happy New Year, Hounds!

Hank & Cap Christmas 2013 | ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Boy, oh boy! Hank hopes this New Year brings each of you abundant wonders, blessings, and adventures of all kinds! He thanks you from the bottom of his big heart for your kindnesses over the past year. Though he and Cap lost a little of their girlish figures from all that biscuit love, no one likes a skinny Santa after all.

Hank & Cap go to Swansons| ©2014 HouseofHank.me

Hank is hoping to publish more frequently this year and not get so caught up in projects that he neglects you, his trusty pack. He has around 150 draft posts just jingling around in the back room, waiting for their chance to fly and, by gum—this is going to be the year they shine.

Cap is going to work on not falling over so much.

Cap Christmas 2013 | ©2014 HouseofHank.me
Cap busy staying upright

Thanks again for your sandwiches, your warm thoughts, and your good humor in 2013. All the best to you and yours in 2014!

Bright Star| ©2014 HouseofHank.me


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Autumn Ablaze

Maple Sky | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

We had a week or two of autumn here in the Pacific Northwest—the rains and wind started late, and we saw a bit of fall color before it blew apart and turned to mush. We’re no New England (New England was a friend of mine, and you sir are no New England) but it was lovely nevertheless.

Since the November rains blew in, Hank & Co. have been down the proverbial rabbit-hole. What started out as a project to scan and share family photos has turned into an “Oh? I have cereal and ketchup in my hair? Again?” sort of time-altered otherworld. Fortunately, Hank’s been helping The Thumbs keep things light by scanning his jowls on a regular basis, so there’s that.

Also: Halloween. Cap went trick-or-treating dressed as the neighbor cat:

Cap as Dexter | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Hank went trick-or-treating dressed as Cap:

Hank as Cap | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

…great fun was had by all.

Speaking of tricks, Hank’s been finding fascinating names in the dusty, dusty recesses of the family atticsHepzibah, Mehitabel, Keziah, Hester, Philena, and (yahoo!) one or two called Dorcas. “Dorcas” is always a favorite. To this Hank needs to add, Freedom. Or “Freedy” as she was known on the street. Back in the day. These are the names of the girlsthe dudes include Experience, Jabez, Libbeus, Silas, any number of Ezras, and more than a few Ichabods and Ebenezers. Whew.

Hank’s glad he’s not living with any Prudences, Temperances, or Modestys whatever the gender, and he’s extra thankful to be a Labrador. No real zealots of any stripe, just some food thieves, gastronomes and really good swimmers. This is how he sees it:

The Thumbs’ Family

Family Tree EEEEEEE | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Hank’s Family

Baby Beer at Chuck's | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Right on, Hank! You and Chuck know da kine. (Now just get that baby out of the beer and we’ll pull up a chair.)

Friends, big hugs to you all and know that despite his busyness, Hank is thankful and grateful for you every day. Keep well and safe during the holidays and he’ll be sharing some lovely jowl scans soon. Gobble Gobble!


But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
Thomas Jefferson

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Signs of the Times

Happy Halloween!

Remember to be careful of upside-down zombies today.

Upside Down Zombie | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

And try not to stand too close to Hank.

Hank's Sign of the Times | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Don’t go in to any spooky barns.

Spooky Barn | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

And pay attention to signs and wonders…

Signs & Wonders | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Just remember to be nice to all the Tricker-Treaters. Even if their costumes are a little off.

I'm just going as a fence this year | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

I just couldn’t think of a good costume, so I’m a fence this year.


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Please Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight (or whatever): Cairn Fever IV

Cairn Fever IV| ©2013 HouseofHank.me

The mighty Haggis Twins are again visiting Yank Uncle Hank!

Winifred & Conan Haggis are back at the Ranch and looking for sport. They got some rather close shaves recently, and as a result they look a little silly. So barkity, barkity, bark, bark, bark goes their fight song as they tumble and roar across Phinney Ridge and beyond.

To cope, Cap just tries to blend in with his environment…

Cap Blends In | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

…which only works to a point, since Winifred is also a mistress of disguise:

Barnacle or Bairn? | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Meanwhile, Hank enjoys the perks of being the old man about the house, peacefully enjoying a bourbon barrel-aged stout on his new deck…

Porter? | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

…and dreaming about all the lovely tomatoes he stole off the vines this summer…

I Say Tomatoes | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

…and singing the old fishing songs when he feels like it…

Ode to Joy | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

…while the chaos goes off somewhere over yonder. Hank’s got his hearing aids turned off.  Some things just do get better with age.

Conan at Bay | ©2013 HouseofHank.me


After a long day, Winnie & Conan dream of leaf piles and long walks, squirrel stew and long fireside snoozes. They plan to get an early start on the mayhem. Children will be walking to school! Leaves will be falling! Nuts will be collected! The Haggis Twins will be there! Sweet dreams, wee Haggi.

Walkies | ©2013 HouseofHank.me


If you can’t be seven feet tall, be seven feet smart.
Lois McMaster Bujold

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Hank’s Autumn in Purples and Pumpkin

Leaf on Fire | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Aster | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Pumpkin Skin | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Gold & Grit | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Coleus | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

September Aster | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Ablaze | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Winter Kale | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Beautyberry| ©2013 HouseofHank.me

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.
Phyllis Theroux

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Cap, Interrupted

Cap, Asleep | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Cap, Interrupted | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.
Edith Wharton

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Hanku No. 5

Hanku No. 5 | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

bellybutton eau

hank’s summer freshness distilled



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Late August Beach

Late August Beach Debris | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Shell of Summer | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

Droplets | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

The Boys | ©2013 HouseofHank.me

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted in A La Plage, Critters, Photography, Worth a Sniff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments