Monday, November 23, 2015

Tradition Plateau, Tiger Mountain

Today it didn't rain or rain/snow as suggested so I got my sister and we took the pups out on the trail. Arte (Boston Terrier) is actually a loaner dog from my sister's roommate and honorary sister. The general idea was an hour or so of hiking, and then I would go home and go back to studying...

3+ hours later I took my sister out to emergency dinner so she will someday hike with me again. :)  Hahahahaha.

Arte of course was a vision of fashion perfection with her pick sweater and pink harness. Nim. Well, he is this horrifying collision of a purple jacket and red harness. Apparently he is a child of the 80s.

For those of you familiar with the Lake Tradition area, you can tell that at one point we were on the Bus Trail. This is just one of many photos I have that involve dogs looking the wrong direction or blurred.

They know how to dominate a trail.

In an effort to making Arte do what I wanted we put her on a log. Hahahaha. She was thrilled. Nim had spit on his nose. Everyone was tired by this point and Arte kept rubbing on Nim like a cat because her sweater was itchy.

Arte. So angelic.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jubilee Farm CSA and Soup Making, Electric Blanket, and a Little Hike

As I type this, the cats are on the electric blanket. And Nim has now just kicked one off.

I told a friend of mine that I feel like I am trying to toughen up for winter. Some years I go into winter better than others. I thought I would be fully embracing this one after the summer we had. Not so much.

On the prettier days I bundle up and move the office outside.

Nim is also bundled up and given a bone. It takes him a long time to give up and lay on the ground with it if the grass is remotely damp.

Last week I got my first CSA of the fall season from Jubilee Farms. I have said many times on this blog that I will literally eat the same thing for days on end and not get tired of it. CSAs force me to vary my diet which is good for me.

A CSA is hard to do on your own without wasting anything. Even doing a 3/4 share I have to be dedicated. This box I have done poorly on because I have had to be out of the house so much this week and weekend. My first project was a variation on a Kuri Squash Curry recipe that came with it. Basically I did a soup.

The green tomatoes were fantastic. I think they give the soup a bit of a tang? I only had to buy the stock, coconut milk, and onion. Everything else came from the box and the soup came out amazing.

I bought our seasonal electric throw as well. Sometimes I can get a few years out of them...sometimes not.

I wonder why? :| Anyway, at night I am generally allowed to at least be under it, and then everyone takes their places.

Last Friday morning early I went up to Rattlesnake Lake and got a quick walk around the woods and lake (it is so low right now it is hard to call it a lake).

The stumps are very neat. I guess some people have been finding the foundations for the town that was once there because the lake has been so low this year. There were very loud and low flying birds on Friday morning for Nim's happiness.

Nim and I carried our morning walk with us for the rest of the day. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Friday! Arte and Nim Go For a Walk

Hello Friday! I have managed a full week of a new study schedule, found my latest dream location for the quilt shop/cafe I want to start, and continued to chip away on my October to do list...driveway gravel.

4 truckloads (1/2 yard each) of gravel to deal with the driveway. Perhaps there will be less complaining from visitors now. :)

This is Arte. Arte is the dog of my sister's friend and I wanted to get her and Nim together. The met once before and she let Nim know he is too big and rude. The timing was good to try again on neutral ground.

We got them out in nature and they did fabulous together. Nim is simply gigantic around her and I am sure that was slightly intimidating at first, but pretty quickly she wanted to know what he was up to and seemed completely fine with a new hiking partner.

We just were in the trails behind the Issaquah High school and up Tiger Mountain. I am in such a desperate need of a hike I wanted to go for hours, but we had limitations and the main goal was getting the pups out.

So cute. Nim only made a few noises and Arte wanted to know why.

This is their serious "on the hunt" look...

Hahahahaha. So thankful for Friday. So thankful I studied all week. And SOOOOO thankful for puppies. :)

Yard waste day (final one of the season) and pumpkin seed toasting are on the schedule for this weekend. Have a great one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is The Dog Casino Too Hard for Nim?

Hello on this beautiful fall Tuesday!

As you can see my elk came to visit today. I am always glad to see them.

It is satisfying to watch them spread out into the areas I opened back up this summer, but I don't see any active grazing to keep that stuff back. Oh well...I am here to serve.

The photo is bad, but this poor guy is currently only growing one antler. He is one of the "youths" and it looked like the other side was trying...but apparently they don't grow at the same rate.

I am back on my daily post-its lists + monthly lists of things to do. One of the items on my October list was to "plant the white ginger" which I did today. It is that small little guy next to the fern. Since the cats haven't been eating the fern I am hoping maybe that is a protected spot for the white ginger.

My 20 year old plant also sent up a new growth. Apparently it also thinks it is safe from cat eating this winter.

On of my sisters tagged along to All the Best in Issaquah with me the other day and got to see first hand the embarrassment that is Nim racing to the "play corner" of the store. It really is terrible. I should probably do some actual training or control work around it but instead I just scan that no one is in the way.

Anyway, one of the harder toys there has been the Dog Casino. Since he was so excited about it in the store, I figured I would add it to his collection at home.

He understands about the drawers coming out and how to open them, what he doesn't understand is the top level bones holding them in. He hasn't been able to make the connection yet either which is sort of unusual for him. This has been a strange process because if I am not actively with him and occasionally encouraging him he will eventually leave the puzzle! 

So yesterday he left the puzzle not completely empty, presumably to take a nap and rest up for dinner. I was studying and I could hear noises and went to look...sure enough, there is Emile working it. I think Nim might have lifted his head to look, but still didn't slither out of bed to participate.

Two things:

  1. I didn't prop the toy up...I think Nim left it like that
  2. Emile was actually using his paw on it, I just wasn't able to get a good photo of that

After awhile (possibly longer than Nim), Emile left it and started batting the little blue bones around the house until I picked them all up.

In Nim's dreams I bet that Emile masters the puzzle, and "hunts" the food for Nim.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wenatchee Kennel Club Show - Oct 16, 2015 - Chelan County Expo Center

Friday morning Nim and I hit the road for the Wenatchee Kennel Club show being held at the Chelan County Expo Center.

My primary goal was to finally finish our AKC Rally Novice A title that is now about 3 years in the making. Secondary goal was a AKC Obedience Novice A leg.

The day was beautiful and I struggled to not pull over and hike somewhere off Blewett. Blewett is one of my favorite passes and somehow manages to collect the most aggressive drivers of WA. My mood could not be swayed, even when basically forced into the shoulder by a pickup with hunters all driving with their orange vests on. Are they worried they will shoot each other in the car? Hahahaha. Anyway, it was gorgeous.

Once I got to the grounds I sort of wished I had committed to all three days of the show. Signing up for Friday was a very last minute decision and this is a new show for me. The venue is pretty however and every time you leave the building you just feel so relaxed. 

Apparently this is the first year the show moved their obedience indoors. I think this is a good thing...since I have a dog that wilts in the outdoor rings which would have been under direct sun, but as you can see this is a single ring building. There wasn't a ton of kennel space, especially if a dog needed room. It was also stone quiet for the morning events, by afternoon the room filled more and you had more white noise. Trust me, this helps.

You can see the row of kenneling along one gate. As that area filled that side of the ring would prove to be a challenge for most of us.

Nim had a good time and was in a great mood. We got our Rally Novice A title which was a huge personal deal. We happened to finish it under the very first judge ever I showed under (and also got my first Rally Novice A leg under her at that time - just barely). We have grown up a lot since then.

We also got our first AKC Novice Obedience leg. That was a squeaker. We got killed in the heeling section. He was being too busy on the gate with all the crates, in particular one corner which sucked several dogs in.

I hope to return to this location next year. Maybe even try the entire weekend!

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.