Saturday, October 3, 2015

Blessing of the Animals and Henna

As many of you know, I love St. Francis of Assisi's feast day. On his special day, many of the churches offer a Blessing of the Animals service.

Although I would prefer to attend a full service like I did at Holy Cross in Redmond a couple of years back, the local Catholic Church (Our Lady of Sorrows) was offering a blessing in the parking lot. I decided I wanted to stay a bit more local and try it out.

Yes. There were roosters again (some of you may remember the roster incident a couple of years back the first time Nim went to church) but this time it was the goats that had his full attention. These are actually some goats of a really nice gal I know. That is a good thing too because when Nim yelled at them she was unfazed by it. And yes, I think the goat started it too.

I would have liked to have taken more photos. But in truth, I really wanted to be part of the ceremony and participate in it with Nim. He can be a lot to handle in situations like this and the more present I am, the more meaningful it is for both of us. Well. As much as it can be for Nim anyway.

The service was very nice and included singing, a reading, prayer, and the blessing (sprinkling with holy water). In attendance were cats (those are some brave people), a hamster, a bearded dragon, the goats, the roosters, and several dogs. One dog howled while we sang. :) I really appreciated Father coming up and talking to me afterwards and just petting Nim.

I don't know. Nim looks like he appreciated his blessing doesn't he?

After we left Our Lady of Sorrows, we headed out to Bothell for a henna event so I could get a little spirit boost too. I have been really craving some major henna. Actually, I have been craving a tattoo which is usually what I want to do when my life is totally in a lurch, but henna usually helps me quite a bit.

Sarah of Sarahenna did not disappoint. The photo above was right after the work was done, and the photo below was after a couple hours. I am so looking forward to wearing my design for awhile. I told her I needed future luck and clarity and balance. The design is intended to flow up my arm. There are also peacocks involved which are good for luck.

Fall is upon us. I leave you with pellet stove "snuggling."

Have a blessed evening.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cats, Fall, and Obedience Trials

Sometimes I am still amazed we are totally in fall again. This summer was so unforgiving it is weird to be back to dark and cooler nights.

We are still getting some nice weather in-between the rain and apparently I am growing a single strawberry at a time.

Leela is totally getting into winter. I constantly catch her snuggled up in bizarre places and then she gets mad I found her. I am really impressed by this one.

She also doesn't like sharing her stove (still). 

Fall has brought dog obedience trials and some really great experiences for Nim and I. The following photos are from the WSOTC trial in Kent, Sept 5 & 6th.

We entered both days and had good runs on both days. Now yawning is generally a bit of stress, but who cares, it is a cute photo.

And after that photo I got to recall him and he was happy. :)

I never stop being amazed how far we have come in obedience. He is a good dog and enjoys the work, but getting MY brain and body to be consistent and accurate...the learning curve has been steep. It is good for both of us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Labor Day Sewing

I hope at least some of you had a restful labor day. I know a lot of people still had to work. I had the day off, so Tuesday felt like a double Monday.

Still, Monday was perfect. After days of rain, we got some sun, and I surveyed the garden to see how things were doing. I have grown one perfect strawberry. It was very good.

Nim spent quality time in his beloved dirt troughs.

I got to sew! I finished all the pieces for a scrappy quilt I am working on. Ultimately I will sew everything in a chain, but I wanted to do one block just to see how it is coming together.

I love it! Somehow mine are slightly different than the pattern, but I don't have the patience to figure out why. Knowing my luck when I chain sew the rest of it I will do one minor thing differently and this block will be the odd one out.

It was just nice to sew a little again.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Leaving August

Well. We are solid into September already, but there are some August memories I would like to record.

In addition to some decent veggie growing (ignoring my squash failure) my Mother-in-law plant also had a great summer. I have only recently learned to put this plant outside in our summers, and it does well. This was an exceptionally good summer probably with all the heat. Now to just keep Emile from chewing it back down during the winter when it has to be in the house. :|

This is my oldest plant (15 - 20 years). I would like to keep it alive.

In August there was lots of sun bathing...

And way too much studying...

And not enough elk.

They came through the yard very loudly on August 29th. I couldn't figure out what their deal was. The youths are sassy and I wish I had got better video of their play, but the larger issue seemed to be the Civil War reenactment going on a good couple of miles away. Even I could hear the cannons.

But at least I got to see them even if they didn't stay long. The videos aren't great, but I posted for your enjoyment. I wish I could have caught the audio of the young elk pawing in the creek. They were making a huge racket and taking turns challenging each other (although one in particular seemed to be starting most of it).

Young elk playing:

Young elk playing:

Running elk after cannon fire:

I am really looking forward to Labor Day tomorrow. I need to study, but I hope maybe to do a little sewing, and more importantly...not work. Nim and I spent this weekend at the WSOTC Fall Obedience Trials and had a great experience. I will probably write more about that later. Time for a down day!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fall-like Weather and Soup Making

Yesterday we had our first serious hint of fall. Up until Friday, the week had been pretty miserable: it was warm, muggy, and not cooling off at night, but on Friday we finally, FINALLY cooled off and got some strong showers and wind.

I took advantage of a cooler house to quickly cook something that I can eat over the next week. Had I gone to the store and actually followed a recipe it might have been a better meal but I didn't want to leave the house because:

  1. I was lazy
  2. I need to be studying in a serious way
  3. I was waiting for my September Vogue which never showed up

so...I used what I had in the house.

Since I can't seem to grow anything but tomatoes and beans this year, I only had store carrots to go into the base.

By the way, on Thursday night I did a sad "why can't I grow zucchini" search on the Internet. There is practically a support group for this problem. I did not know that zucchinis need both boy and girl flowers, and some fanatics out there actually do their own pollinating of flowers!

I will have to think about this. At least I can grow tomatoes this year, which also went into the soup. Except for those Roma looking things...despite their inviting outsides they were terrible on the inside. I have no idea what is going on with them.

Every time I do a "kitchen sink" soup project I think of my Dad and that is not a good childhood memory. Hahahahaha. But clearly I have the same desire to throw a lot of things together that is reasonably edible, but with a lot less black pepper (sorry Dad).

Anyway, while I was cooking and studying, the rain came in and it just poured. Leela stationed next to the pellet stove in case, and worried.

Eventually she stationed next to Nim. I think she has this hopeful thought that he will save her.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bad Bear

I tell you, this bear is pushing it. This has been my worst year. I have cleaned up so much neighbor garbage out of my yard.

And now, not only is he disagreeable to photograph (which I respect because he really shouldn't be comfortable in my yard anyway) and a litterbug, but on Tuesday he took out a section of my fence. :|

Nim posing with damaged fence - Instagram Photo

He basically pulled the section down and stomped all over it. If there was any doubt in my mind that the bear did it - he left big palm prints in the fenced area.

Nim says he didn't do it.

The section he destroyed is not actually the section I have been watching:

For the past few weeks I have been going out it the morning and pulling this section of fencing back up, which is harder than you might think and the fence looks even trashier than before. As you can see, he was pretty hard on this area on Tuesday night as well. I wasn't positive it wasn't the elk with those dark bibs on their necks. I was finding black fur on the fence but no evidence of what a elk might be eating.

Unfortunately the plum tree deposits some of the plums within the fenced area and I don't always get them all cleaned out in time. I now can say it is definitely the bear doing this damage.

Nim stood watch in case a neighbor chicken perhaps wanted to jump into his mouth while I cut and stretched fence. The replacement fencing I used is thinner gauge which is unfortunate given a several hundred pound bear, but I can carry the roll myself and wrangle it and so that is the way it goes.

I also cut back all the salmon berry in that section as I suspect the bear used to leverage his approach (there is no salmon berry on the side he has been pulling on). I had been on yard work restriction due to a tight studying schedule, but I would really like to make it harder for him to take down the fence again.

No denying he is beautiful...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Water Saga

Hooray for Friday! We are actually looking at maybe some rain today. I predict the rain to arrive right when my repair people show up.

This morning I looked out and this bunny was in one of  Nim's beloved dirt troughs. That is his bear and deer watching one to be exact. Nim isn't allowed in his dirt right now because he just had a bath for some obedience competitions this weekend. I am glad the bunny put some time kicking and smelling it up for him. I am sure Nim will be thrilled.

Although maybe the bunny changed the shape enough that it will be like the Simpson's when Homer's couch groove gets ruined and he says "You better put on a pot of coffee Marge, this could take awhile."

Look who is growing some antlers:

In other news the leak detector people came out yesterday and we found my water leak. It was pretty exciting actually. They push gas through the line and then you listen. It was crazy to stand in the leak area and feel the surrounding ground echoing (almost like a cave below you) - lots of water spreading out. After they left I rapidly dug the hole hoping to sweeten the deal so the well people would come out at night. No luck.

The failure seems to be actually at this joint or whatever you call the gray piece. And it leaks a lot.

Without the dirt to slow things down, the hole instantly fills and overflows when I do turn the well pump back on and suffice to say what little water pressure I had before is way less now. So, the water pump is shut off and I am not going to turn it on again until we get this fixed. 

Hopefully they come this afternoon...before all the rain comes in. :)