Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sashing Thoughts

Yes. Double post kind of day.

As I get more blocks done I am trying out different sashing ideas.

Right now the orange is probably my favorite. This photo makes the orange look more dark (cold) than it is.

I thought I would like red better than I do.

White was a close second to the orange. Again, the photo (lighting in the room) makes the white look bad. It is a very bright white.

I was experimenting with blue sashing and red squares to center each 4 blocks. Ugliest option of all in my opinion.

Any thoughts or opinions? Color planning is not my strength.

Fall Is Coming

Where did this week go? Where did this MONTH go?

I can tell fall is coming because Emile is back to his under the blankets morning routine.

I finally figured out where some of the bullying is going on between the two cats and made some small changes that have equalized things a bit. I am surprised how much it has overall calmed down the house.

I can also tell fall is coming because I want to go on a baking rampage. Probably next week. I finally have a couple of things coming up I can bake for. I am trying not to stress too much about winter and completely missing the good parts about fall.

Because this week was a perfect sewing week the machine decided not to cooperate. I should be back in business today. But it got me focused back on knitting this sock which is good.

Nim has been working me for getting the hikes in where we can. He is usually right: I am glad when we get out.

In other news I think I found probably the best dropping-into-mouth treat for him yet. Of course it is a beef product, but it shows the greatest promise so far.

I had to take a small break in reading "Your Dog Is Your Mirror" because I want to finish "In The Garden Of Beasts" in time for our local library book club next week (I am desperate to find a book club right now so trying out many options).

"In The Garden Of Beasts" is not a book I would remotely pick up on my own. It is a non-fiction history of the first US ambassador to Hitler's Germany and I am totally impressed how much I am getting out of it.

Have a great day! September is coming. Hopefully cookies and quilts will be a part of that month. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012


Good morning. I hope everyone is off to a good start for a productive week.

Saturday was Daisy's day! We followed Daisy to Sequim for her Nose Work Odor Recognition Test (ORT).

We were in separate cars (Nim + 2 senior Dalmatians in one car is a guarantee for some sort of disaster and as far as I am concerned the seniors always get priority). This time I was at the front of the ferry (Seattle to Bainbridge).

Nim had some fabulous people watching this time with all the ferry workers getting things set at the front of the boat. Also went we went to leave he had the bikers on his side (they unload first) which he also greatly enjoyed.

Much of Sequim kind of looks like this.

While Cindy went up to register Nim got silly in the cut grass that was dry and crackly like hay.

They he got under the car cover to check in on Daisy (barking) and Jackson (black ears and black around the eyes).

Finally it was Daisy's turn!

Working the prep boxes before we went in:

Daisy was a trooper to put up with the heat, the humans, and the riff raff. :) After her ORT we headed to Railroad Bridge Park which was a part of Sequim I haven't been to before (and dog friendly!).

Cindy got a photo of me taking the above photo of Nim.

She also got a photo of him contemplating his life with his long line in his mouth. I rarely put those photos on the blog because I take it as somewhat of a personal failure as a dog trainer. But it is the one line he is allowed to carry and the reality is he is more calm with the darn thing in his mouth.

What is even more surprising (with only the occasional exception) is that most people think it is ridiculously cute. It is a good lesson for me since I don't. :)

We attempted to get all three dogs together and looking in one direction. This is as close as we got:

Ha! It is fitting it would be Jackson and Nim together however because they totally like each other. Daisy on the other hand Nim can totally read to give her some distance.

I love this photo of Daisy and Jackson together (Cindy is photographing them straight on).

In the end, the seniors absolutely wore Nim out. :)

I pretty much didn't hear a peep out of him from Sequim to the ferry (unlike the drive to Sequim in which he didn't shut up the entire hour and half from the ferry dock to the ORT).

Heading over Hood Canal on the way home:

Agate Pass:

It was a great trip and got some of the wandering out of me hopefully so I can stay on task this week. Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blueberry Farm and Enatai Park, Bellevue

Initially I was going to title this post:

Friday. The Grouchiest Day of This Week.

But I decided that was unhelpfully negative. :) Suffice to say this has been a long week  and for whatever reason today felt the worst, but I got up and out the door for errands before Friday traffic and then a fabulous day of work planned. No wonder I was in a grump. :)

Initially as I left the gray and cold Snoqualmie Valley I thought to myself "well at least I can bring the dog without worrying about him overheating" (trying to be positive about the upcoming winter).

Since Nim was with me it also helped me decide at the last minute to stop at Blueberry Farms and get a quick walk in.

This time we headed the Mercer Slough direction. This is playing with fire because of the road-bikers on the trail but the skies were opening up more that direction.

In the above photo the wetland is going under the freeway. Nim was about as cooperative in that photo as an otter I tried to get for the blog earlier.

We watched a group of people in canoes head out. Later they would be a source of excitement for Nim.

Basically we went the Mercer Slough route to Enatai Beach (Lake Washington) and then headed back. Nim was sure the water was going to come in and touch him. He also almost lost his head and went into the water after a buoy. I pretty much stood there and watched while he totally freaked himself out (needless to say, by Enatai my mood had greatly improved).

Finally we were back on the boardwalk trails around the Blueberry Farm. The people in the canoes caught up to us at this point. Turns out they were teenagers and eventually they were paddling right along the same trail as us - chatting away. Nim loves teenagers. He kept trying to get their attention by play bowing and biting the grass.

Eventually we made it around the loop towards a historical house called the Winters House (not photographed). I like this blog account of the Winters House because I totally agree, the thing is ridiculously ugly and unimpressive but part of a past history.

This is the remains of a boiler house that heated several no longer standing nursery buildings.

By the end of our walk it had actually gotten warm and I returned to the parking lot to find several people ready to fight for my spot.

Not a bad salvage for a grouchy morning and truth be told, I am more productive because of this stop.

I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


In an attempt to get my "runaway and escape life" emotions under control I came down on myself to fill my days with some productive tasks towards my road trip (you know, including work) rather than acting like any day I could just take off and never come back.

Nim as usual was no help. Since I am reading "Your Dog Is Your Mirror" I am spending more time studying his emotional energy rather than trying to direct it which is rendering him a touch feral. He is also probably responding to my runaway energy.

One of today's tasks was tent assessment. I located at least two of my tents and needed to see how they were holding out and if I was missing any equipment. Nim only got up to try and bite the tent poles as they were coming out of the sleeves. Since he isn't a puppy anymore I sometimes find the puppy moments funny.

The large tent is more large than I remember and it is a good thing this is a car-camping focused trip because it is heavy.

Nim was highly suspicious of the one-man tent however and considering going through the back end to get his toy that I had throw in an attempt to lure him in.

Eventually he got in. We will save this one more for the extending backpacking-type adventures.

On my own I am totally the throw down the tarp and sleep type. I hate carrying tents if I don't have to. With a dog however you either bring a tent to contain him or you sleep with the dog tethered to you. I have done this. It is about as fun as it sounds.

In other animal news pretty much everyone dog loving I know is talking about these two stories:
In loving arms: Man floats his sick dog to sleep, becomes Internet sensation
This one is going to probably make you cry. By the way, a single friend of mine yesterday finally said what is pretty much on every one's mind: this guy is the perfect man.

Rescued dog subject of custody battle

Not a dog related story, but I love this one. This husband/wife team have done this more than once:
Three bear cubs trapped in dumpster rescued by couple using a ladder and a truck

Have a great afternoon. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Millersylvania State Park

Yesterday I was ridiculously restless so I got some work done in the morning and then headed to Millersylvania State Park which is roughly 1.5 hours away.

Probably too long of a drive for what it was. I took a gamble that gas was cheaper down south which it is not, but still I am glad I got out.

What is useful to me about this park is that is close of I-5 and would be a nice stop on the road trip as opposed to rest stops (although I am getting good at figuring out which of those have "trails" as well). 

The history of this park is kind of neat. I wish the Web site had some of the photos up from construction time but it doesn't. The entire trail system was constructed by the Civilian Conservations Corps (CCC).

Very short history: the CCC was part of Roosevelt's New Deal in attempt to provide employment during the Great Depression. I believe it was men only and the CCC did a lot of conservation work that I definitely continue to benefit from.

I have to laugh at my photos because it makes it look very beautiful like a lot of the photos I found online. The park is pretty, but not as impressive as the photos might make it look.

Nim looks like a puppy on this bench.

There was a boardwalk section through some wet lands. Nim hated this section and I don't blame him. The spacing between the slates was uneven and I held my breath watching his toes and foot occasionally fall through.

This section of boardwalk was obviously newer and more safe for a dog.

I added this photo of the blow-down so you can see that it is three trees, respectably spaced. At the last minute I realized he was gathering up to jump all three in one extended jump and stopped him. I highly doubt he would have safely cleared the final tree although he was in a jumping mood yesterday.

An entire safe and clean pond in front of him, which was all of 2 feet deep, and he stays at the muddy edge.At least he got in.

By the time we got back out of the trail system families were rolling in for camping and hanging out. We passed one group with a dog so tiny that although I could hear it menacing (ha!) it took me awhile to find it. We also got to meet this beautiful Rottweiler named "Hope" and her human. She was about 2 years old also and studied Nim a lot.

This was taken at the edge of Deep Lake which is also part of the state park. I almost asked a 7 year old to take my photo but her Grammy was a little wary of me (possibly the dog) so we just sat out there and enjoyed a bit before trying to beat the commuter traffic in Olympia and Tacoma.

I wish these warmer days would never end. It was still a bit too warm for Nim (probably almost 80) but if we could hang around the 70s all would be right. :) Have a great day.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Yesterday was probably the last of the really hot days of our summer. I did get some sewing done, but not very much.

I think I will like these blocks better spaced rather than next to each other. It helps with the busy fabric.

I will have a home for this quilt too. We have had wild fires to the east of me (still not extinguished) and a lot of people have lost their belongings, their pets, and their entire homes.

Taylor Bridge Fire Quilts has been started to collect and assemble quilts for distribution to these impacted families. I might even try some of those house blocks...I definitely have enough scrap fabric.

I know from previous charity experiences that "boy" quilts are hard to come by. Not that I am saying there aren't some NASCAR girls out there, but compared to my two other pink options this might be better for a boy.

In dog training news I have started to expand my creativity as Nim will still not take a treat dropped from my mouth after a week of trying. :) (If I say "take" however he will go directly up to my mouth and take the treat that way - I use much bigger treats for this trick.)

The idea is that at heel-side I can drop a treat from my mouth and he will catch it (without leaving the ground). In very short order he learned how to aim his nose for optimal floor position as the treat fell from my mouth, rolled off his nose, and hit the ground. Much faster solution in his opinion.

So yesterday I switched to popcorn. Seemed like a good idea at the time. This vegan was sick of holding cheese, dog treats, and various chopped meat in her mouth and Nim loves popcorn.

I thought I was super smart until I realized that popcorn actually doesn't fall out of your mouth as easily and had to switch to my hands which doesn't matter because he still can't catch it anyway...although this may have been the closest success. I also got more smart about rescuing the failed treat before he ate it off the ground so he couldn't self-reward when he wasn't catching.

He got so fed up with not getting the treat at all and me laughing at him that we had to switch to training he could succeed at.

Stay tuned...

Emile progressed to crazy last night. I think he just couldn't take the heat. On the upside he has become an accomplished spider killer (I credit his diet making him more aggressively hungry) which greatly has increased my fondness for him. Between in this weather and my laughable window screens the bug population in the house is beyond unpleasant.

Back to sewing!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Overtired Pets

I think these warm mornings are my favorite part of this current heat wave. Last night was a bit rough and so no one really slept well. I can tell because everyone is out cold right now (except me of course).

In case you were wondering...Leela backed up to Nim to make sure she had at least contact with the paw. :)

Have a great day. It is supposed to get even hotter tonight so no rally-obedience for us.