Saturday, April 22, 2017

Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, and Easter Sunday

Hello and late Happy Easter! Also, in my case, Happy-end-of-tax-season!

Last weekend because it was the Easter holiday and the last weekend before the tax deadline I decided to get out of town. Ha! My friend's family has a little beach house in the Port Ludlow area. It is dog friendly, spotty internet access, and peaceful. It was perfect.

We originally were going to go to some workshop but it had been an very expensive month for me in car repairs, and really, we just want to be outside with the dogs so we dropped the workshop and opted to hang out.

Nim was thrilled in the ferry line as you can see. The day before I had left him alone for 12 hours to deal with the car, and he had an accident in the house. Once he saw me packing he wore himself out following me around the house such was his concern about being left again. Little did he know he was coming.

I had recently made some slime and promised my sister a ferry photo with it.

First stop off the ferry was at the Port Gamble General Store and Cafe. Not only did we make it for happy hour, but they had some truly amazing food there. I would highly recommend.

After eating a large amount we rolled into the beach house on Port Ludlow and immediately back out for a hike with the dogs. The hike turned into a night hike and it wasn't a short one. It was lovely. It also helped me digest a large dinner and the dogs had a great time.

The next morning we explored the shoreline and tried to figure out which Port Ludlow trail we were going to hike for the day.

Jack is far in the distance. Getting a shot of the two of them that morning was impossible.

Since we had hiked the night before, we opted to skip the hiking and get out on the water! This was a great idea. I used to kayak a lot more, and I really do miss it. These were more of an open kayak/raft, but the operation was basically the same.

In the distance you can see a dragon. Actually one of the more stunning photos of this dragon I found online and it was from 1999! So clearly this guy has been around for awhile. Check out this post and scroll down to the see the dragon in the water - it really is a cool picture.

At the Dragon's Head we basically got out and had a picnic. I spent a lot of time turning rocks and enjoying the birds and sea life. I think I could have lived out there if not for the tide.

As we headed out again we stayed much closer to shore to try and see more sea life. There is a particularly ugly crab in the water to the right of the starfish. Too spider-like for my taste.

We had to leave Port Ludlow Saturday afternoon, but what a great little break. It was that perfect change of pace that helps get you through a hectic week.

Easter Sunday Nim got a little walk in a lot of high wind. He was thrilled.

Then a couple of sisters came over so we could eat, paint eggs, and decorate Nim. Look at those glutes!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Signs of Spring (Done with Winter), Cascade Yarns KAL, and Dreaming...

Here we are...WELL into Lent, and I am just so lacking in blog posting for one of my favorite time of year.

One of the kickstarters I wish I mentioned during this season of Lent before it closed is Love Letter for My Children - The Maggie Doyne Documentary.  I have mentioned BlinkNow and Maggie Doyne on more than one occasion and I am looking forward to seeing what they produce.

This winter has simply crushed me. Some of it is the weather, some of it is a series of uncomfortable events all in these past months, and probably (hopefully) some of it is another internal change/growth. The picture above is straw on my Gunnera, which I hope survived the winter. I wonder if this straw covered Gunnera is a slight metaphor for myself right now...a bit dormant with bits of green growing everywhere and something potentially growing deep buried that no one can see yet.

I was extra relieved to see a sign of the Easter Lilies! All the Easter Lilies got completely decimated last year due to a weed wack miscommunication and I greatly worried about them. I felt much better to see them starting to bloom.

The above block is the single block I have completed for the Cascade Yarns KAL. They have released 8 blocks so far. Oh well. Hahaha. I am committed to it, and actually have enjoyed most of the blocks. I think the biggest challenge with this KAL is the various designers. You would think that wouldn't be a problem, unless like me you hate checking your gauge.

The best thing about the KAL is once again I always have a knitting project with me when I leave the house. I am happy to have knitting back in my life that regularly again, even if it is just 15 minutes here and there.

My sewing machine took a month+ holiday in the repair shop and I only recently got it back. I hope it enjoyed its time off. Now I need to catch up on some quilts!

I have some great things coming in the next months which I am looking forward to and dreaming about:

April 15th - Friends of The Trees, Medicinal Herb Growing
April 16th - Easter (Nim will have his cute little Easter neck tie on soon).
April 18th - Tax Deadline (This has been my first year working client entirely on my own. This is a good thing, much as been learned).
May 12th - Beach Vacation!!!

("Spring" Drawn at the Chinese New Year celebration in Bellevue)

3 of us decided about a month ago that we needed a book club. It would allow for beer and wine drinkers to hang together, with their dogs, and knitting. I have occasionally looked for a book club, and have yet to find a good fit.

For our first book we selected "A Man Called Ove." This was before I realized it was a movie. Thanks to the movie I now can pronounce "Ove" correctly. Without giving much away, this is what I will say about this book - only 2 out of 3 of us finished it. The 2 of us that finished it, started it, got to a given point, took a break, and then sucked it up and tried again. It is not a hard read. It is not a long read. It is depressing. Yes it redeems at the end, and I am generally glad I finished it, but it doesn't suck you in for escape (at least not me).

In between quilting today, I will be narrowing down some new book ideas for our group. Happy Sunday in this season of Lent.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Boulder Garden Loop

It is amazing to realize that last Monday I was completely snowed in, and this Monday the sun is shining and both Nim and I could hike without jackets.

The snow level is still really low and I didn't want to hike in snow today anyway, so I opted to stay closer to home on my winter loops. Today was a good day for the Boulder Garden Loop off Little Si.

We didn't have a tight window, so I made sure we detoured to see how the forest fire burn area is recovering.

Slowly the black on the tree is becoming less stark, but it is still pretty hard to miss.

Nim was so happy to be out.

It is always hard not to over hike during these first nice hiking days.

For the most part we had the hike to ourselves until we were on the way out. The few people we ran into were all happy to be out on such a pretty day.

For me, this was also a birthday hike. And how lucky am I to get weather like this for it. :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

February Snow and Cascade Yarns Knitterati Afghan Knit-along

January was such a stinker it wasn't worth blogging about. Ha! Thankfully Chinese New Year happened at the end of the month and helped turn the bad energy around.

Today we woke up to another deep snow.

Thankfully this did not delay my long awaited shipment from The UPS guy was super nice and walked all the way up my driveway!

I had decided to participate in the Cascade Yarns Knitterati Afghan Knit-along and after much agonizing I realized the quickest way to settling my yarn problem was to order a kit.This is always painful when you are already sitting on as much yarn as I am.

I decided to go with the "Jewel" 5 color option rather than the "Original." Cascade Yarns actually posted several color alternatives. It has been fun to follow on Ravelry as block 1 and block 2 have already released. It is great to see the variation. I have some catching up to do!

The electric blanket has been working overtime. As always, I am ready for summer. Leela is probably ambivalent as long as the bed is kept warm. Mostly I could do with more light and longer days.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Final Exam Done, More Quilting, and Winter Solstice is Coming!

It is a Monday!

My weekend started when I clicked "submit" on my final exam Friday. This should be my last final in a hopefully a very, very long time. I am ready to close the extended schooling chapter of life for now.

With the final behind me, I was able to devote potentially unhealthy amounts of hours to sewing. And yes, we still have snow. Although it is raining this morning so maybe mine will finally melt.

Here is a close up of some of the blocks. Very cute.

Meanwhile, I got another quilt started and this is a huge departure from my normal fabric choices. I love it already.

Wednesday will be the shortest day of the year! I get so excited about the Winter Solstice. Although you never notice the changes right away, just knowing I am past the shortest day of the year is usually very inspiring.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Nim and Santa

Hahahaha. Today I was at Petsmart looking for something else and wouldn't you Santa photos! I think it is great they offer this.

I love it. I actually like that the Santa waved. We kept trying to put Nim on the side, but he wouldn't sit close, so we tried putting him in front which went better. Whatever makes him happy and gets me my photo. :)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Snow Day

Well. Here is how things were supposed to go: light snow Thursday night, turning to rain. It is currently about 3:30pm on Friday and the snow in North Bend has yet to let up. And there is nothing light about it.

I am actually used to us being outside the forecast, but what caught even me off guard is the lower Cascades (which I live against) have been so terribly windy I don't even think they thought we would get much of the light snow!

Today was a studying day for my finals anyway. So I have sat around and gone out to play on breaks.

I didn't tell him to sit in that photo by the way. He did, sideways, with his eyes closed. Shortly after this photo was taken he took off like a little jumping bean.

Except for not really planning on this much snow, it has been a welcomed change to the wind. It has just been so cold. It is actually warmer right now, even with the snow.

Awww Nim. Your little baby face. :)