Monday, December 31, 2012

Quilt Planning - New Year's Eve

First things first - New Year's Eve folks! I may even put up some New Year Goals tomorrow. :)

We trained yesterday. I got nice and cold...cold like a hot shower barely fixes it cold. But at least Nim was worn out and I could spend hours working on 2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt planning!

I really want to go scrappy. Thankfully this quilt is going to be a bit smaller than last year.

This was my final color selection last night (after many). From left to right:

Very Dark - Medium Dark Warm - Light Neutral or Very Hot - Medium Warm - Lighter Warm or Neutral - Light Cool.

My Medium Dark Warm row is not exactly "warm." I may revisit that row today and see what I have in the dark warms.

The lime green in the Hot is kind of a wild card. I just happen to like it. I haven't done any cutting yet so I am not sure if it will make final incorporation or not.

I woke up this morning and my carefully laid out fabric rows were scattered.


Today I will be cutting fabric, writing some New Year goals, and making lucky New Year's dish: Black Eyed Peas with Tomato and Greens. Now considering I did this exact same dish to start of 2012 which has been hands down one of the hardest years of my adult life arguably it is not a lucky dish for least I love black-eyed peas. 

I may need to bake emergency cookies for a day of sewing as well. 

I hope to read about how others are getting ready for the New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boulder Garden/Old Mt. Si. Trail

Friday I took a weather gamble that actually worked. I gave myself two choice: hike at sunrise, and write for the rest of the day, or write first and hike in the afternoon.
I elected to write first and finished up my latest assignment around 2pm. Then I ran out the door for a hike. The weather Friday was beautiful and a very welcomed break. I just wished we had light a little longer.

I broke my own rule and hiked on Mt. Si on a nice day, in the middle of the day, during a holiday week. Mt. Si. is a busy mountain and despite living very close I rarely hike it because of the heavy traffic. And unless it is before sunrise I pretty much won't touch it on the weekend.

I started at Little Si trail head, went up the steeper half of the Boulder Garden trail (I have learned from experience I prefer going up one side and coming down the other out of respect for my knees) and then broke off to hoof up the old Mt Si trail. 

I didn't quite hit the top because of the snow nearing the top and lack of headlamp (even though I own about 5 of them not one was in my pack). This photo is on the way back down - it was too hard to deal with photos on the way up. Nim was on red alert due to the constant snow falling out of the trees. Some of his response was prey and some was was exhausting for both of us. :)

We picked up the Boulder Garden trail again, headed down, re-joined the Little Si trail and headed for the car. Most of the traffic was on the Little Si proper trail which I wasn't on all that long thankfully.

Have a great Sunday! I better get on my fabric selection for the mystery quilt.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December Almost Over - Disorganized Post

Good morning - this will be an exceptionally disorganized post. This week feels sort of chaotic and apparently today my blogging will reflect that.

Couple notes of potential interest:

1. Sandy Hook is moving and they are asking for snowflakes to decorate the new school. While I know they were probably thinking more paper, I know some of you crochet as well. I kind of doubt they would turn them down. Please do not write messages on the snow flakes. Think beauty, think peaceful decoration, think glitter...

The Connecticut PTSA is accepting snowflakes until Jan. 12. 2012. Snowflakes can be mailed to the following address:
Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, Conn., 06514

2. Check out Chocolate Covered Katie's Christmas wrap-up blog post. Mostly because it mixes desserts and dogs, and because although Batman is roughly the size of half of Nim's head, let's just say I WILL be finding that shirt in Nim's size. 

Christmas Day I dealt with some major house cleaning. There was a curtain I have been avoiding because of a large spider I saw on it 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately in the same area I saw a different large spider about a month ago. I know it was a different one because the one a month ago was "dealt with."

I have had a huge spaghetti squash craving for the past few weeks. I found the perfect baked vegan macaroni and cheese style casserole recipe except that King County sold out of raw cashews. (Basically there is a limited amount of places to find them in the first place and I gave up after the first one due to holiday craziness).

Fortunately I found a cashew-free vegan cheese sauce recipe on Delights and Delectables and winged it.The sauce was very good. I added sauteed mushrooms and broccoli and more nutritional yeast and Daiya. My only beef was that spaghetti squash really cooks down so it didn't last long.

It was rainy and windy most of Christmas Day (of course) and Nim was going nuts. I gave him a choice between antler and very large bully stick so I could clean and bake. (Note my sewing area is also currently my research writing area).

He selected the bully stick.

We ended up doing a dark walk that evening when the weather finally broke. I actually enjoy that at this time of the year with all the Christmas lights.

I did NOT get started planning for the New Year's Day Mystery Quilt yet, maybe later in the week...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

The 2013 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt fabric guidelines and beginning cutting instructions are posted for people needing a fabric distraction today.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Monkey

Sunday, December 23, 2012

New Toys

My mom sent over a bag for me yesterday that I wasn't going to go through until the holiday. Leela got into it anyway...

It has a bell. They played with it all night long. All. Night. Long.

Nim sported his Christmas bandana at training this morning and got a new fluffy.

We also saw some chickens while training this morning. To me, chickens are kind of like dogs. For some reason they seem to like to run the fence line of their coop when something is on the other side of the fence. This is exciting stuff for Nim. The person with me had never heard Nim's "yell" for birds. It is embarrassing and anyone still asleep on a quiet Sunday morning probably wasn't after that.

It is only 2:40pm and it is getting dark out here. I think we have more rain coming too. Have a gentle Sunday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Hello shortest day of the year! Only sunshine ahead now right?

Yesterday was never-ending and misery-inducing rain. Then this morning I woke up to it not raining so I quickly headed to Squak for a hike that was supposed to be followed by Costco (big fail when I couldn't find parking...the hummus and avocados will have to wait).

It lightly drizzled the entire hike and now that I am back home the sun is out.

I did get Nim his holiday Bow Wow! Bandana from Earth Pet which was worth getting through traffic for. Photos later - he is being surly right now.

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Snow Hike of the Season

It is painfully cold today, but I still wanted a break for a first snow hike of the season.

I swear I am actually more scheduled right now unemployed than when I was working from home. It helps me cope with the unknown a bit better I think.

You can see it is actually pretty dark out still. There will definitely be more rain or snow later in the day. But for this hike it was a dry, cold snow.

Over 2/3 of the hike was completely untouched snow which was beautiful.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Countdown to Solstice

The summer solstice can come and go and I barely notice, however I am always waiting for the winter solstice (December 21st this year).

Somehow just thinking I made it past the shortest day of the year means that long days and better weather is just around the corner. Of course around here that isn't the case. Not for months...

First "snow" yesterday (just for Dobermom in Florida.

I thought it wasn't coming until later in the week, but the Snoqualmie Pass area is on its own timeline. I was stuck in the house writing anyway so I didn't mind watching it fall.

This is our latest Rally Video for the last class of 2012. It is a long course (not regulation) because it has all the novice signs (and yes, I screwed some of them up) so it might be too long to watch. If you do watch all of it you will see a point in which he runs out of the ring and starts investigating a platform...there was ground goat there earlier and he is not one to forget a delicacy like that. Sigh.

The handlers out there will notice I do about 6 signs, and then start-over off-leash. Can you see how much better my handling and his response is? We move much more fluid together off leash.

Curse my leash handling! We will get there. I have decided I need goals for 2013 and Nim's Rally Obedience Novice Title is one of them.

Have a gentle Sunday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Part Two

I just finished Gone Girl. The first part of the book you are reading along, not much liking any of the characters and not entirely sure even how sucked into the book you are and then you hit "Part Two."

Wow. As the story started rapidly unfolding from "Part Two" on, I actually found myself laughing at just how messed up it was. If you haven't read a good villain story in awhile, look no further. 

A couple of my least favorite female-directed swear words are used fairly regular towards primarily the main female but other than that, I was completely stunned by the turns in the story.

We finally had a break in the rain. It is cold as anything, but at least it isn't raining. Our snow line is pretty low now.

Nim and I took the afternoon to get out and just "be." Too much on my mind right now. I am lucky to have him with me.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Odd Jobs

While looking for work I have been able to pick up "odd jobs" from some friends as well. My latest one is a sewing project.

Right now I am sewing for My 3 Little Ducks Custom Weighted Products. Specifically I am working on blankets. This is a twin size (I believe). I have done the side seams and then laid it out to mark channels for sewing.

These channels will later be filled with pellets for weight.

Emile is exceptionally excited to see the sewing cardboard coming out.

Perhaps I should just give him back my journals.

I also am on a serious sugar kick. Sometimes it is better for me just to go with it as long as I am also eating healthy otherwise.

These are Peanut Butter Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

I followed the recipe except for doubling the ginger. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I stand by it, but lets just say the finished product is much stronger than the dough. :) Fortunately I love ginger and it is good for my jittery stomach.

Back to sewing and writing (yet another project, but I am enjoying it).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Photo

Good morning!

Yesterday's Seattle Purebred Rescue's Doberman Group benefit Holiday Pet Photos at Denny's Pet World was probably my most favorite part to the day.

These photos were suppose to be of the DOGS. However, I took off Nim's collar and leash to wear the holiday collar and we all saw his "freedom" bubble to explore the store so...

LOL. Ah, this totally makes me laugh. You should see some of the other ones. The toy got dropped on the photographers head. I think Nim was so stimulated by the toy and the giggling he just froze.

Great event and great people. Denny's Pet World is actually huge and has a lot of "outs" if you have a dog that is going to struggle with other dogs. The current rescue coordinator was my very first contact in the doberman world before I ever got Odin and a great person.

Rusty, this one was for you. :)

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Two Local Events for Sunday, Dec. 9th

A double post day! Two fun holiday local holiday events to talk about.

Also, I walked back into the house late morning to witness this ridiculous situation:

Emile and Leela "sharing" the pellet stove simply doesn't happen. That is Leela's spot. Judging by Leela's awesome expression - which never changed - she was not in a happy place to cope.

Sunday, December 9th Events

Seattle Purebred Rescue's Doberman Group benefit Holiday Pet Photos from 10-3.  
Denny's Pet World Totem Lake, WA
I am so adamant that Nim will be there in Rusty's honor that I made our morning training meet nearby. 100% proceeds benefit Doberman Rescue. There will be dobermans in need of homes there as well. 

Freedom Run Equestrian Center Holiday Bazaar 9am - 6pm. 
Kent, WA
Check out the link, lots of fun stuff. A friend of mine will be one of the vendors there.

(Nim sleeping after his morning swim)

My Herd

What a week! I definitely needed to see these guys this morning...

The herd came through and surrounded the house just a bit ago. You can tell all my photos are through the glass and the sun really isn't up...or worse yet, that is as good as it gets today. :)

Their fur is really coming in right now.

Hopefully this is signs of a strong and confident Saturday.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello December!

Nim is not exceptionally happy with me on this rainy morning. We had a break in the rain and rushed out for a very unplanned morning hike which means he now has to wait longer to eat.

Yesterday was a very happy day for all of us. Cindy sent us a little Christmas package (including Millie's photo Christmas card which was super cute, hopefully she will post eventually on her site).

I was expecting an antler for Nim to try, but there was SO much more.

Once the paper was off, Nim could already smell the antler...

Meanwhile Emile had already taken off with the cat package. Clearly he could smell something I couldn't and we all know about his paper fetish.

Nim was really into careful investigation, so I left him to his licking and sniffing...

...and rescued the paper from Emile. :)

Emile got a couple of flings in the air before Leela came out of no where. There was some growling and then Leela had it which I actually think is what Emile wanted all along. :)

My poor deprived cats haven't had a toy since Rusty, followed by baby Nim came into their lives. Both dogs would eat and swallow the cat toys. This fish is actually a great size. And the cats were pretty funny in their trading off.

Cindy even sent me some Christmas fabric which I was really taken with. It is just fun to get selections from another person's stash. My photos don't do it justice, but there is a nice gold shimmer to both of them.

Leela and Nim got down to chewing business. I don't think Nim had ever seen this side of Leela.

I agree with Cindy, antlers are comparable to Nylabones in durability. I was really expecting it to be more brittle and splinter off but so far it has been fine.

You can see the marrow is breaking down from his chewing. Definitely something I will order more of. It lasts longer than a bully stick and doesn't smell as bad. :)

I better get baking. This wind has me a bit nervous and I actually have to bring food to a function later in the day.

Have a great Sunday!