Sunday, May 15, 2016

Birthday Dogs Getaway, The Sandpiper Beach Resort, Day 1

On May 12th, Nim turned 6, and on May 15th, his GSD friend, Jack, turned 4. In celebration of the pups and both of us desperately needing to get away, Courtney and I hit the coast for the The Sandpiper Beach Resort, in Pacific Beach, WA.

(Photo credit Courtney)

Getting out the door for a trip is never without issue. In my case I had to make sure I got some homework submitted and the cats settled. Also, if I know I am going somewhere that I can't possibly die if I forget something, I tend to be pretty last minute in my packing.

We hit the road around noon, and got stuck in traffic around Tacoma which is pretty much Tacoma's normal state. The longer I drove, the more I relaxed. By the time I hit Aberdeen I was already in a completely different state of mind. Long overdue.

(Photo credit Courtney)

We immediately hit the beach once we had roughly moved our supplies into our rooms. This would turn out to be the one really sunny day. While Jack is a seasoned beach dog, Nim is not. Nim had 2 top concerns:

  1. Why was he not allowed to catch ocean birds?
  2. How does one go to the bathroom on the beach?

As you can see from the above photo, Nim lost long line privileges after day one. That photo makes the battle look a lot more tame than it was. I guess I can be glad that at the supposedly mature age of 6, Nim still can play like a puppy.

Jack and Courtney are playing in the surf in the background. :) There will be better photos of Jack and Nim in a later post.

I have been wanting to go to the Sandpiper for years since a friend of mine talked about it (she goes for quick getaways to the Sandpiper regularly). Now that I have been there, I wish I hadn't waited so long.

The pace of the weekend was exactly what I needed and when it was time to check out I was truly sad I didn't have a day or two longer to stay.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

North Fork, Sunday Lake Trail, and Moth Photobomb

Today I made a very last minute decision to head out the North Fork. It was so last minute that I actually left the house planning to go somewhere else but then I stopped for gas and changed my mind.

Nim had his head out the window most of the drive in, ears flapping...

I decided to get all the way back to FR 57 which is where the trail heads for Bare and Lennox are. I now know that road is currently closed. Hardly the first time, but it does add about 4 miles one way on either hike, which means those will be late summer/early fall hikes.

Then on the way back out I headed for the Sunday Lake trail head.

I knew there was no way I could cross the river and actually get to Sunday Lake this early in the season, but I was hopeful about the swamp. The swamp was deep and while I contemplated wadding, I decided to try the latest "boardwalk" which was far better than it usual is.

With that, the swamp was crossed and we were on our way!

I never get tired of this rock face. I think what was calming for me is that the North Fork really just hasn't changed much. It is an actively logged area, and that changes things, but other than that, much of the wilderness remains the same.

OK. I was SO excited about this photo:

My eye caught the moth as it went through the shot and I could sort of see on the camera screen that this photo might not be blurred beyond recognition, but once I got home and saw it in its full glory I couldn't be more pleased.

As expected, crossing the river wasn't an option for us at this time of year, but we had a fantastic hike there and back. On the way back we hit a VERY primitive trail that I have had my eye on before. We hiked it for awhile and then I gave up. I couldn't tell what direction the shooting was coming from and I hadn't brought any maps with me to get a sense where I was going. Another time.

I really generally avoid this area on the weekend and there was enough of the usual weekend weirdness going on back there that I wanted to keep us on task and out of trouble.

As you can see, the swamp is deeper than it appears. I am sure Nim probably ingested some tadpoles.

Check out these beautiful swamp lily pad flowers!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Leela and her Puppy

Hello May! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and I started another quilt. I am working on another Bonnie Hunter free pattern: Oklahoma Backroads!

For me, this is a little more controlled scrapping than usual - in that I went the all brown theme for the "lights." The photo is terrible due to lighting, but the colors really are all very pretty. I had to re-read and re-read to really wrap my brain around the assembly of the block, but I think it will go faster the more I make.

With Emile (orange), Leela is generally the reluctant snuggler. Usually it comes down to her not wanting to give up the electric blanket, stove, sunspot, whatever Leela deems hers...

With Nim there is such a love and attachment it really is kind of amazing to watch. When he is gone for the day, Leela seeks him out the second he is home. In the bed it would never occur to her not to touch him. She bites him when he doesn't do what she wants, and he patiently puts up with it all.

I find it funny that she would never, ever cuddle up to me like this. Apparently Nim and her speak a special language.

Tomorrow I will be doing my first workshare shift at Jubilee Farm in Carnation. I am looking forward to it. I am hoping maybe some of the farming techniques will make me a better gardener. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Summer In April Means Early Planting

Tax day has passed and I am starting to feel more myself. Nim has been enjoying the extra attention and we are having a bizarrely warm week, so he is getting a lot of outside time.

Arte has also been over a lot. On Tuesday she laid close and waited for her chance to steal Nim's bully stick. If you follow me on Instagram you know she got it.

Today she came out again to hang with Nim and keep him company while I planted my gardens.

I took my gift card to Squak Mt. Nursery and loaded up on EB Stone Organic Compost (which is probably my favorite one so far). If nothing else, it helps deal with my dense soil. Arte did a lot of supervising which looks suspiciously like judging, and Nim kept trying to sneak in and lick the Mulch...aka manure.

I have two new plants to try so far this season. One is a Mistletoe Kalette. I am beyond excited about this. A cross between a Brussels Sprout and Kale? Be still my beating heart. However. Since I don't bother to research my plants before I buy them it sounds like it might be a garden hog like the Brussels Sprout were. And I didn't even get any Brussels is that deal, just giant, shade producing leaves. I better get little Kalettes.

My youngest sister had interest in something called an Aloha Berry (White Carolina or Pineberry). I put it next to one of my strawberries from last year. Somehow I managed to not kill any of my strawberries over the winter so perhaps this plant has promise. It won't really fruit until the second year.

As always, I got some flower baskets going as well.

I want to expand one of my garden boxes which is probably not the best idea given my growing abilities, but it sure is fun trying. We have some rain coming in tonight which actually would be a good thing for all my planting!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Blink and It's April!

March felt like it would never end and now it is over. For me, that also means the end of tax season on the horizon.

After days of endless rain the sun has been fantastic this week.

Things are blooming and I am looking forward to some gardening.

The cats could hardly contain themselves when the sun spot was big enough for both of them at the same time. No hissing involved.

It is nice to come home from work and have some daylight and sun for playing in the yard.

I am not an April Fool's prankster by nature, but this evening I was on my Mom's Netflix account and was trying to make sense of section after confusing section that started with "John Stamos..." I finally laughed. Well played Netflex. Well played.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Quilting and Henna

I keep meaning to blog, but by the time I get done with work, computer time is the last thing I want to do with whatever free time I have. I have managed to quilt (and knit) during tax season however, and even finished a quilt!

The quilt pattern is from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site. I will definitely be trying other patterns there. I have been on her e-mail list for a long time, but this is the first quilt pattern of hers I have tried. As you can tell, Easter played heavily into the back and binding color decisions.

Other creative outlets are including henna! These are some items purchases from Sarahenna. She is the one I go to when I want designs done. The world of henna kits has greatly changed as has the amount of available information! I never knew the role essential oils actually played in mixing the henna. I just assumed it was about a smell. Getting to mix my own henna, with my own touches (green tea that night) was extremely satisfying...a bit like baking.

The bottle is another matter. My goal is to get into cones as soon as possible and to take some classes. I want to be able to draw a finer line. There is also the small matter that I am not exactly an artist. With the internet however it really is amazing how much more you can do on your own. By the time last week was done both of my feet and the larger portion of one leg were "decorated." As I write this post, I have brewed some black tea for me to drink, and mix another batch of henna.

This has been a busy month. I feel like I shuffle between work and dog training a lot. Not a bad life though and I do obviously take time for creative stuff. I am officially in the last 30 days of tax season so I am happy about that too.

My friend brought me this card from France. Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Rainy Monday

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you are enjoying this season of Lent. For some reason I thought today was going to be dry, it appears I was wrong.

My friend made me this flower pot for my birthday. Despite days upon days of rain, it is really looking good!

I keep comparing photos of the Gunnera from when I first planted and I guess the best we can say is that it is not dead yet. I have seen zero growth on it. It has some pretty large hoof prints around it, but no one stepped on it either. Maybe it is still a bit cold.

Sunday I got in a sewing zone and I didn't stop until the top was complete. My first quilt top in probably 1 - 2 years. :| This was a fun scrappy pattern and I enjoyed how it came together.

Enjoy your week!