Friday, June 10, 2016

Its A Friday. White Rabbits and Dog Shows.

Happy Friday folks. I believe thanks to the holiday week last week, this week felt extra long. I don't know. All I know is that it has been exhausting.

I woke this morning to Nim losing his mind. Turns out, I have a rabbit infestation. I had been trying to figure out who took out one particular plant, I have a strong suspect now:

A couple of weeks ago I had seen a single large white rabbit. I contacted the family on one side of me (not the elk killing neighbor) because it is a family with kids and a pet pig. It was not their bunny.

Fast forward to this morning. When I went outside to chase them off because they were digging holes there were actually 4 of them this time. The photo doesn't give you much, but these are over 2x the size of the wild brown bunnies we already have out here. I have a bad feeling about this.

On to dog show happiness...

Last Friday Nim and I head out to Seqium for the Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club trials. We only did one day, but it is a three day event. This really is a beautiful location.

This is Nim's kennel with two Leonbergers he knows. You will notice their crates are even larger. I believe next year if I do this I will need to bring an actual tent shelter.

The single downside was really the constant sun. It honestly wasn't even terribly hot, but the beating sun made it far worse. We had some great areas to walk in between trials and it was a nice day to have a little road trip.

I wanted to walk more of this path between runs, but we needed to go in the ring again.

We didn't qualify in either run, but there were some really good things in the second run that I am happy about. For Nim this was a perfect day of laying around, people watching, and my undivided attention. 

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Birthday Dogs Getaway, The Sandpiper Beach Resort, Day 3

On day 3 it was Jack's birthday (Nim's is on 5/12 and Jack is on 5/15). Courtney, being far more prepared than I had presents for both dogs!

(Photo credit Courtney)

If you follow my Instagram, you probably saw Nim sleeping on his monkey later as we started our trip home.

It was very hard to pack up and be adult about going home. We both had full weeks ahead of us and needed not to be late.

We checked out at the Sandpiper and headed to one more location on the beach. We actually even drove on the beach a bit.

I have mixed feelings about this. I guess as someone walking on the beach I find the cars kind of annoying. However, I also see the relaxation of it, and moreover, if you have a limited mobility dog or human, what a way to let them get up close!

In our case it got us closer to some rock formations I had been interested in, and helped with lack of time and improper footwear.

Happy Birthday boys!

This was definitely not a long enough vacation for me, but it was a great chance to slow down for a few days and I am grateful we went.

Birthday Dogs Getaway, The Sandpiper Beach Resort, Day 2

Wow! I didn't mean not to finish journaling the beach getaway! Life just went nuts these past few weeks. I had a couple of dog events and started a new job. I pretty much look at the photos from this trip daily. I can't wait to go again.

So where were we? Oh yes, Day 2...

Day 2 had more wind, some rain, and generally cloudy conditions. I spent the day alternating between quiet reading (always with all the doors and windows open) and walking the beach. Notice that the path to the beach is right outside the door.

On day 2 I realized 3 things I should have packed:
  1. Knitting
  2. Rubber boots
  3. X-pen/dog gate

On day 2 Nim decided he would pee in the ocean. I don't know what to make of that, but he was generally pleased with himself. We did have to always go to the dunes for any pooping. And yes, we picked it up.

I love this photo of Jack and Nim because basically they are both smiling and laughing. Such happy dogs.

Sometimes Nim would sit on my lap while I sat around and read. The windows were always open so we could hear the ocean.

On day 2 we did a quick drive south to Ocean Shores and went to the jetty. We were a bit nervous at first when we saw the backhoe, thinking there was going to be some giant dead whale, but it turned out the backhoe was trying to pull out a truck that was part of a shrimp boat salvage.

The shrimping boat had actually sunk in early April. It was tethered to the shore and there was an ongoing salvage attempt. I love looking at stuff like this. I think the plan is eventually to fully recover the boat. I am not sure if that ever happened.

Nim and Jack as usual brought their party with them. Nim looks like Jack just said something scandalous in this photo. You never know. There was more people watching on the jetty and they had a good walk before Courtney and I went to Galway Bay Irish Pub for dinner. Oh man did I have a good portabella mushroom burger there. Had we not been so tired there was live music for later that night and a full bar.

Instead we went back to the Sandpiper for a dusk walk, and beer on the porch. Not a bad night at all.

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!