Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

Here is is New Year's Eve and I only today picked fabric for the 2014 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. I had such plans to be further ahead on this one. As of now I will be lucky if I get anything cut tonight.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before taking it apart but guess who got the Downton Abbey fat quarter pack for Christmas!

I am really enjoying the collection and quite a bit of it is already going into the mystery quilt.

While I spread my fabric collection all over the house Nim staged a silent, but physically strategic protest over lack of special time for him. Tomorrow he gets a Rally Obedience Fun Run in Kent before I start sewing so at least he will get something and if I am really lucky it will tax his brain enough that he will be content around the house.

My fabric plans are pretty well set. As usual I have some concern over the selection, but my scrappy mystery quilts have always come out OK so I try not to worry too much.

Stay tuned for tomorrow in which I discuss the many 2013 goals I didn't accomplish. :) And of course regular sewing updates.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve

This is a cat pillow that my sister knitted for my cats for Christmas:

This is Nim on the cat pillow:

This is also Nim on the cat pillow:

Stay tuned for cats actually using the cat pillow. Have a Merry Christmas Eve. Nim is. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nim and Santa

Glowing eyes aside, this is definitely all Nim.

I had to take a photo of the photo so there wasn't much I could do. Enjoy. :) Nim had fun and it was a good Santa.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Shoe and Earth Pet Christmas Bandanna

Nim is sporting the latest Earth Pet Christmas Bandanna.

I suppose it somewhat clashes with his jacket, but consider we did a walk today with only one shoe on fashion is far from our goal. 

I normally try and keep booties on both back feet to keep him walking "even" but there is just so many times I am going to stop and put them both back on.

I have Musher's Secret on order for his pad.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Leela's Winter, Tiny Hairdryer, Doberman Specialty at Argus

Last Monday I reluctantly went out and bought myself the cheapest (and apparently tiniest) hairdryer I could find. Sometimes I think we assume store clerks are judging us when they might not be. For example when you buy tampons and junk food. Or a trashy book and junk food. Or maybe just the junk food.

I do think however this clerk was judging my hair when I bought the hair dryer (totally got the look-down although in fairness I was pretty frazzled and probably the entire package wasn't looking too stellar...not just the hair). Little did she know this will probably never be used on my hair.

Anyway, I know nothing about pipes, I never want to know about pipes, and needless to say those were not the frozen ones in the picture below. The frozen ones were actually on the other side of the house. Thankfully I got help from someone that actually does know these things and I didn't even have to call out a plumber.

We ran the hairdryer for 4 hours steady, nothing caught on fire, and the pipes thawed.

Leela is having such a winter! This is probably the first season I am seeing signs of aging in her both in behavior and body. She is back to sleeping on my head at night which she hasn't done since Odin died (trust me, there is nothing cute about it) and in the morning she is pretty much pacing the house until Nim has eaten and is back in bed so she can be with him.

She almost seems out of sorts when I have been gone all day. Specifically if I have been gone all day with her puppy.

What amazes me is that he snuggles with her with no kicking, biting, or body rolling...all items he does in happiness when he wants to snuggle with me.

What got me really watching Leela this morning was how she acted when we got home last night. Yesterday Nim and I were gone all day long at the Doberman Specialty at Argus Ranch. Since we don't compete in Agility we were there for 2 reasons: 1. to support Nim's breeder running other dogs, and 2. to get Nim's photo done with Santa.

Photo gets mailed to me on Monday. :)

Have a good week!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Good frozen morning! My friends and I are comparing notes on who's pipes are frozen and equally important: how our birds are holding out.

I had far less Wrens last night which made me worry. The ones I did have really let me have it I went out the front door (where they are all roosting naturally) at 4am to deal with the well house in hopes of getting my water going again.

The hummingbirds are really bossy right now and territorial about the feeders (can you see the floating ice?). I am feeling a touch inferior right now because this morning I looked at a local news site's submitted photos of some elaborate hummingbird shelter set-ups.

It is amazing my birds put up with me at all.

Since I have water in a detached out building this morning I know the well pump isn't frozen, but getting water to my main house is going to take an act of nature at this point. We are all eagerly waiting.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Events of the Day Leading up to my Final Exam

For this area, we are in a brutal cold snap. The timing couldn't be more terrible. I have had very little outlet for end of quarter madness. It is simply unpleasant to be outside.

I am using space heaters with my pellet stove to keep the house warm. Everything is encased in ice.

I started off the morning defrosting my hummingbird feeders. Yes, that is Emile photobombing. And yes, I know I should bring them in at night. If only someone would do it for me.

I am tried out hand warmers on the base of the feeders today (since it is so cold they will just refreeze outside). I saw it online. I am not sure that they are impressed with this.

My Wrens come every night and collect around the front door. They have a small nest up there and I have been able to count up to 5 of them coming out. I feel so bad for them and want to get them another little house, but hopefully there is enough room for everyone and they are keeping warm.

I have been taking notes for the past few days leading up to today's final. Emile has been eating them. He is so shameless he will sometimes try it when I am right there.

My study breaks are all about Panda Cam. I am surprised anyone gets any work done right now with these guys. Now that the twins are living together and they are mobile it is almost non-stop entertainment (the other twin is in the bushes by the way...causing mischief).

While I studied the cats traded off pellet stove snuggling.

Nim has done his best today to remind me just how terribly bored and under-exercised he is. He likes to lay it on thick that his pad injury is my fault.

He got a bully stick for exam time.

The final exam was three hours long and I am proud to say I am done. I am done with the final, done with the quarter, and done with this accounting certificate!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First Snow of the Season - Cedar Butte

Our first real snow started about 1am this morning. I am actually surprised it is sticking around, but it is pretty cold and I think will be for the rest of the week.

We ended up going up Cedar Butte which was a lucky trip for Nim because I am pretty much glued to my computer right now. About 1/2 way up the trail he started leaving blood spots. That darn pad! Didn't slow him down in the least, but I am sure we will pay for it later.

If you can see his eyes in the photo above you can tell I am yelling at him to stop biting the snow so I can take a picture!

Despite this being his third snow season he still initially acted like it was something new and suspect. I don't know if I have forgotten this part when Odin was young or if this is just Nim's personality.

He is still happy enough in his hike.

We got to the top, he sampled snow and refused to sit still for a nice photo.

So you get snowy trees instead. Enjoy. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rescue Chocolate and Old Dog Haven

Hello December! My Advent Calendar this year has a part of "The Night Before Christmas" when you open each window.

This is going to be a crazy week for me...sliding into the end of the quarter. But I wanted to do a quick post about Rescue Chocolate (I have mentioned them before a couple of years ago because I used them in a recipe).

For the month of December, Old Dog Haven is the beneficiary of 100% proceeds of purchases. I personally prefer the Peanut Butter Pit Bull.

Do you think Leela is annoyed that Nim is using her butt as a pillow or just that I took a photo of it?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was actually taken yesterday morning...

Now Nim is slightly favoring his rear foot again (darn pad). But gosh what a beautiful morning. We were up so early I had to fight not going to bed by 2pm that afternoon.

I got invited to a party today which should be fun. Normally I am a bit of a homebody on Thanksgiving and that works just fine, but this sounds like an easy group.

I made PPK Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies for the party. I subbed chocolate chips for raisins and other than that I don't think I changed the recipe at all. They are a bit light on the sugar because I ran out and I refused to go to the store yesterday afternoon. Although the hummingbird protest outside my window right now may necessitate a trip today.   

I needed to bake them about 2 minutes less than the recipe called for and they are really much better after completely cooling or the second day.

I am also bringing Kite Hill White Alder Cheese. Vegan cheese that is. I don't even know where to begin about this stuff. Let's just say I am stunned. This is a rare party in which I am not the only vegan but I also plan on trying to get the non-vegans to eat it and give me their opinions. I was never a cheese connoisseur when I ate the real stuff, so I am hardly one to judge, but I found the White Alder really good!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Whiskey Dick Mountain

I woke up this morning and decided that today was a "get out of town day." It was a ridiculously poorly planned last minute decision and with a late start (which turned out to work in my favor because we froze last night and I needed to go over Snoqualmie Pass), but around 10am we hit the road for Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Vantage, WA.

A couple of months ago I had filled out the online permit information, got a book on desert hikes for the area, and had started to actually plan a full day of exploring. The week I was going to go the area was experiencing thunder and lightning storms (when you see the photos you will see why I wouldn't be there for that), then it got into the hot of summer, then it was wildfire season, then...

Which bring us to today, November 20th, about a week before the facility closes for the winter. I was desperate for a little adventure and it seemed like a good idea.

Generally it was a good idea and I am so glad for the steady sun or we probably would have immediately left. It was icy, icy cold. My camera often didn't want to work it was so cold. My water froze in my pack. Nim's spit froze to the side of his mouth.

But we did the best we could considering how unprepared I was.

Eventually I figured out the "trail" to Whiskey Dick Mountain which actually was on my list to hike when I was actually planning this area a few months back. In this area there really aren't much in the way of trails. You are sometimes hopping old roads and sometimes just doing your own thing.

Suffice to say, the worst part of Whiskey Dick is not the hike itself, it is the wind. And based on the winds they are reported to get, I would say we got lucky. The Ridgeline Solar Trail (which is the route we took) even has a warning in the description of "at your own risk" and winds of 116 mph having been clocked there.

Basically the wind as it was just burned my ears and my cheeks and I suspect it wasn't particularly fun for Nim. It wasn't until I got home and looked at the GPS (because I wasn't going to take the time to consult it while I was up there) that I confirmed we actually reached the top.

What I am more excited about is that there was another peak in the distance that I now know is called Chinamans Hat Mountain. I will try for that one on another day.

After we reached the "summit" I made executive decision that we were going straight down the mountain to the main road rather than take the "trail" and then the road back. They were spraying something on a large section of the road that I really didn't want to walk by again anyway.

I think Nim had mixed feelings about this but down we went.

I hardly touched a fraction of this area. It was confusing to me at times where I could and could not actually walk. But even doing what we did, we walked a solid 3+ hours and didn't come close to seeing all the territory.

I loaded us up in the car with all these ambitious ideas of hiking another area on the Pass and visiting this new state park, but as my thighs and face started to prickle from the car heat I knew I wasn't getting out of the car again until I got home.

Nim is so funny. He did some thinking as we drove the rest of the main road and headed home (maybe his ears were prickling). I caught him watching the turbines quite a bit from the car.

By the time we were back on Vantage Highway he was sound asleep.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Fun Stuff

It is miserable raining outside right now but fortunately there has been some sunny stuff this week.

If you are following Panda Cam you probably got as excited as I did on Wednesday when you noticed both cubs are now in at the same time (the cubs were being swapped out up to this point).

Right when I finished the assignment I was working on today I heard the mail truck. My fat quarters from Web Fabrics arrived as well as more vitamins and supplements for Nim.

I ordered three packs with the themes "ocean" "hot and warm" and "earthy" and I love what I got.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt, "Daughter of the Forest," and 11-12-13...How Could I Not Know?

The Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt final clue ended up not releasing until Monday later in the day. I haven't been able to get back to sewing (more on that later), but Cindy has done a beautiful job finishing hers!

I love the bright colors of hers, and in this close up you can see the little pockets for the gift cards. Cindy and I will have to mail ours to Oregon as that is the closest Operation Homefront office. I am excited to try and get mine finished soon. I think it is very cute and I love the gift card pocket idea.

On Monday Nim and I went to the vet twice in one day. In between the two vet visits I got a little homework and not much else done. Most of the day was spent trying to watch him and get him comfortable. The diarrhea was finally getting under control, but he woke up early Monday with a swelled muzzle from some sort of allergic reaction. So we were off to the vet during 6am rush hour traffic. We then went back in the evening (during the evening rush hour...go ahead and laugh) for cortisone because he broke out in more hives.

So today has been blissfully drama-free. His face is normal. His poop is normal. And for me it was a day of homework.

Random things on this Tuesday night:

"Daughter of the Forest." This book is not in my normal reading genre (whatever that is for me). You might think that because I have lately been reading books about witches, vampires, and a magical circus that medieval fantasy should fit right in, but this book was very different. At times the suffering was so painful in this book it was overwhelming to read however I truly enjoyed the book and will be reading the next books in the trilogy.

11-12-13. I wish I had known this was some special lucky day today. Darn it. Nothing amazing happened to me, but since nothing terrible did either I will be content. My attention was called to this lucky date because of a special at Web Fabrics that expires tonight. Sorry for the late notice. Yes, I ordered. Told you it was going to be an impulsive month.

In the remaining hours of this day...I hope it is a lucky one for you.