Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things that are rare...

white slugs:

When I woke up this morning to find all the fluffies in the house + 2 antlers in bed with me I knew that I couldn't do another day in the row of straight homework with no outlet for Nim. He just won't sleep at night after a boring long day.

I got up early, finished a project by 9am, got a quick hike in, and then back to work.

This quarter is almost over!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I don't have much to report. Lots of rain and lots of homework.

But I did get us outside for just a moment in the evening today and when I finally tracked down why the birds were so loud I spotted this guy:

The surrounding avian wildlife was in an absolute frenzy. I don't know if it was just the threat or if he had just had a successful hunt but it was interesting to watch everyone buzzing him and yelling so loudly and he never moved.

I caught him tracking Nim from time to time. Nim was oblivious but definitely aware of the loud birds.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sleepy Sunday

Sometimes I look forward to Mondays because I like the clean slate feeling after a stressful week. This coming Monday will be a welcomed clean slate. :)

(Nim's head was laying on Leela for awhile)

There were good moments this weekend however like starting another book. It is a good thing Charlaine Harris always finds a way to work in recapping previous books and situations because between the sheer volume of this series and all my other supernatural reading frankly I struggle to keep some of my vampires, witches, and faeries straight.

I was thinking today how funny it is that I am more into the supernatural genre right now. I very well remember when Anne Rice books came out and I couldn't get into them at all.

It is 7:30pm and I am desperately tired but holding off going to bed too early. These three are not helping.

I missed out on getting my Memorial Day poppies this year. I hope everyone has a restful and reflective holiday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I have quite a collection of blurred hummingbird photos before I finally got a few clear ones. When they are closer to the window I can totally hear them which I love.

It has just been rainy, cold misery out here, but my hummingbirds are very happy to have the feeders up and haven't seemed put off by the rain.I am counting on them to do some spider eating in return for sugar water.

So my tomato plants look pretty darn good, but my peppers are not looking well at all. I was looking up a bit about them and I think they need even warmer soil than the tomatoes do.

All of my seeds may be destroyed or at a minimum mixed and spread. I wasn't paying attention yesterday and by the time I looked over the seeded plant box was full of Nim prints and scattered dirt. I may have to try that box again.

This week has gone really fast! I am in the paper writing stage for one project and overall I am in pretty good homework shape in preparation of another busy weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Love Me, Love My Dirt

I need this post of sunshine today as it is pouring outside.

I am even surprised by my own productivity yesterday! My sister loaned me a laptop and I am doing a better job this time around using it outside for some of my homework.

Once I got as far as I could on one assignment without an Internet connection I decided to take a break and plant some seeds.

As a beginning vegetable gardener my biggest advice to those intimated is don't be scared! I didn't really appreciate some of the calming benefits of gardening until this year. I have usually done a few containers or pots every season, and mostly flowers, but nothing like this and I am really enjoying it.

There are some great resources in print and online to help you be a better more successful (but sadly no weather control system to protect my tomatoes from the weather forecast this week). Right now I am borrowing the book: Seattle Tilth's "Maritime Northwest Garden Guide." Even simple things I wouldn't have thought about, like planting certain items (like greens) repeatedly for an extended season will prevent waste as I will mostly be the only one probably eating out of my garden.

Of course that is with the positive thoughts that something actually survives and that Nim didn't root all the seeds out. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Julie Flanery Sequim Workshop

I am way over tired and did almost no homework this weekend which I will pay for all week, but what a lovely weekend. Gardening on Saturday and Sequim on Sunday!

I brought my camera on Sunday and literally took one photo. I am completely annoyed with myself. Sequim is such a pretty place too.

This weekend Julie Flanery was conducting a rally-free workshop in Sequim. It was similar enough to the one I did in September that I only attended the second day this weekend. Even if you have no interest in rally-free, I hope you will consider attending a Julie Flanery workshop if she is  ever in your area. I haven't done any other training with her other than rally-free, but I believe she gives workshops on other subjects as well.

She is a very gifted trainer, all positive training with fantastic results, and much of what I have learned from her I have applied to other dog training I do.

Nim and I are working on him circling around my body in the above photo. We have been stuck in the "cage stage" for awhile. This weekend I got some ideas on getting off the cage and apparently Nim already knew this anyway but he was just waiting for me to realize his brilliance.

Everyone gets to sleep while I try and deal with homework. Emile thinks he had a long day Sunday as well because he didn't get fed until 11pm. He is still recovering.

And Nim, well he did have a long day of working and he is pooped. Nothing like a new training area with different dogs to tire the puppies out.

I am trying to prepare myself for a cold and rainy week. I am not going to lie, it is going to be tough. I am also really worried about my tomato plants. I got a chance to see my little gardens today (since I left before light and came home at dark on Sunday). So far no one has been eaten or died, although one pepper was folded over...darn it. I propped him up.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Plants In The Ground

When I woke up this morning and found one of my tomato plants gnawed on (Leela) I knew that I needed to get them into the ground much sooner than I wanted.

I was waiting for the weather to get more consistently warm, but honestly my house isn't really warm either and my cat is a little plant predator.

I went out to Fall City to check out the "tomato lady." Sadly this is her last year. She has quite a following. I got two more tomato starts, some bell pepper, peas, and yes...Brussels sprouts. We will see if I end up eating aphids this year.

Two of my boxes are least partially planted. This is the largest scale gardening I have done in my life and I have to say I am enjoying the process. It is kind of like losing yourself in a really good book.

Speaking of books, I took a break from Stephanie Plum (just finished book 5) and I am reading Beautiful Creatures. My jury is out. I actually enjoy it, but it is hard because I really only get snippets of reading time and this book requires more concentration than Stephanie Plum.

Back to gardening...

I am sure the bunnies were sending little messages out to all the local colonies. I did put up netting right away on both boxes which hopefully will discourage them.

I have never once had them mow down my flower planting, but I am less willing to take a chance with my newly planted vegetables.

This is actually shade cloth for green houses so we will see if it blocks too much sun or if the bunnies chew through it. If it gives the plants a chance to grow even a bit I will be happy.

Nim basically went nuts with my gardening. Highlights would include him digging a very deep hole next to the garden box because I kept kicking him out and he also took off with a root ball containing 4 of my pea plants in his mouth and shook them. We will see if they make it.

Tomorrow we get up ridiculously early and head to Sequim for a rally-free class.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Distraction

How is your Wednesday going?

Mine has involved lots of homework and no yard work. I am also trying to resist the urge to make this cake. You will note that the frosting alone involves a pound of powdered sugar. I bet I would be super productive after eating that.

Nim is pooped. On Saturday May 25th will be our first ever Rally-Free trial. Because I am still traumatized after being excused from the ring on my last Rally-Obedience trial before we even made it to the first sign, I chickened out and registered for the pre-novice runs as opposed to actual novice runs.

Basically pre-novice doesn't count towards titling. I am hoping that taking the titling pressure off will get me back into the "ring" saddle.

So we have been training and training with Emile as our new shadow because he now thinks the clicker is all about him.

By the way, I LOVE this blog about Honey the Great Dane. I have to put myself on restriction from watching all her freestyle videos and reading all her training posts. Darn homework!

The Snoqualmie Valley area had a really ugly break-in involving an assault and a subsequent stabbing of the intruder by one of the home owners. We get some really bizarre violent crime out here and definitely break-ins but this one really bothered me. I ended up lining up my noisy boots by the only door into the house last night so I would sleep. You would think my doberman would make me relax, but I have to defend him you know! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My tomatoes are hardly speaking to me today after I left them out to get hit by hail yesterday. I got fooled when the sun peaked out yesterday, but it was short lived and immediately followed by a very ugly weather system. I ran out to rescue them when the hail started, but they are a bit haggard today.

I think the one on the right already needs to be transplanted again to a larger pot.

Anyway, after yesterday's doom and gloom weather I wasn't sure how today was going to go, but when I saw sunny weather coming in the afternoon I called a friend to bring a truck (since mine is still dead) and help me get two yards of 3-way garden soil.

I really hadn't planned on starting to fill boxes tonight, but Nim was driving me crazy from two days of being stuck in the house between weather and homework so I did some dirt moving and he did some zoomies with toy flinging.

As I added more and more dirt I couldn't keep Nim out of the boxes. I am not sure what is more exciting to him, the smell of the garden-mix or the fact that I am digging to mix the bottom layer of 3-way into my traditional ground dirt.

He tried to poo in my other garden box which I was horrified about. Judging by the look he gave me when I chased him out he is horrified that I would assume the box was for anything else.

I am guessing the netting that is going up won't be just to keep out the bunnies.

My hanging baskets are all doing lovely! Even in the storm they were mostly under the eaves of the house so they didn't get beat up too bad.

Have a great evening. My arms are noodles.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Emile and Leela Have A Monday

I don't know what happened this morning, but somehow Emile and Leela ended up sharing the same chair which is even a less likely occurrence than sharing the pellet stove.

Today was stormy! We had thunder, wind, hail, and heavy rain. My Internet went out and my power thought about it. But it was still a heavy homework day and I got a lot accomplished. I can hardly wait for the weather to get sunny and warm again!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Garden Boxes

I am currently studying for an exam so it figured like a good time to blog. The weather this week has been fantastic. Today unfortunately is a touch overcast.

Flowers are blooming everywhere!

Tomorrow Nim turns 3, but today is Millie's birthday! You might want to head over to Cindy's blog and leave a nice comment. Cindy is donating per comment up to $50 and is also fund-raising for The Verona Street Animal Society dog walk coming June 8th.

Yesterday I finally put a couple of garden boxes together. I can operate a sewing machine, a mixer, a computer, and perform several basic services on my car, but operate a hammer and nails?

Nim maintained a safe distance.

No fingers (or dogs) were hit, only three nails were bent, and magic happened in the form of two garden boxes.

I will be getting a 3-way soil mix soon and hopefully get these darlings growing!

Back to studying. Have a great Saturday.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clicker Training Cats and Rescuing Baby Bunnies

Despite the longer days, there are literally not enough hours for everything I want to do plus everything I have to do (mostly homework).

Because I don't have enough training going on with Nim, I have decided to clicker train Emile. One night when he came when called (after me tearing up the house looking for him) it dawned on me he might be trainable.

I don't actually know what I am doing with Emile, but according to what I could find online we seem to be on track. Basically right now I am getting him to look when his name is called, I click, then throw the cheese.

I remember my vet telling me I should throw Emile's food around to make him work for it and subsequently lose weight. Somehow I suspect the string cheese reward system is negating any caloric burn Emile gains running for it.

Leela feels the same way about the clicker that she feels about the scale. I think Leela came into this world set in her ways.

Anyway, the biggest problem right now is that the clicker is also a huge cue for Nim. So basically he is in a sustained down-stay while I work with Emile. Considering all the cheese I am throwing around I consider this pretty good training for Nim.

We were in the yard this afternoon for yard work, although I will confess I was actually just sitting out there and reading book five of the Stephanie Plum series (anyone else think that book 4 and so far book 5 were considerably better than the first 3?) when I noticed Nim pretty intent on one area of the yard.

I was able to locate the baby bunny that held Nim's complete attention so that was the end of his yard time for the day. I suspect Nim roughed up this little guy up a bit considering the damp fur on the back (I have seen the same hairdo on Leela).

Anyway, I couldn't find any visible injury, but hard to say how the baby will do. Ironically the bunnies are kind of a pain in my rear, and probably about to get more so with my planned vegetable garden but I still don't want my dogs killing them.

I had a little nest set up for him in one of the corners of the yard I notice is more the bunny area and after I checked on him later he was gone. Although he is so darn tiny he could have been close by and just sitting there. I hope he makes it and he has cleared the fenced area by tomorrow.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gypsy's Clove Odor Recognition Test (ORT)

I hope everyone had a great Sunday.

Today's post is mostly about my mom's mini Aussie, Gypsy and her very successful ORT, but first a couple of other items of interest:

1. BIG NEWS - the missing pit bulls have apparently been found this afternoon. I don't have the full update, but they are alive and obviously quite skinny. The would have been missing a full month as of Monday. They were ultimately located roughly in the same wilderness they went missing. That means they went through a couple of mountain snow storms as well. Crazy. Hopefully they will regain their weight and there is no other injury or long-term damage.

2. Check out my one antler deer...he was persistent this morning.

Gypsy had a great day today at her ORT today! 

If you are a Nose Work person, you know that ultimately dogs have to pass odor recognition tests (ORTs) on three scents: birch, anise, and clove to participate in the Nose Work search trials.

Last year Gypsy did her Birch and Anise. Today it was time to get her third scent: Clove.

She did fabulous!

This video is the practice boxes before you enter for the actual timed event:

This video is her timed performance and successful identification of the clove box:

You can see she totally nailed it. She didn't even want to take the time to walk the entire set-up first.

Well done Gypsy! She has already done her NW1 and in the next month or so we go to Fife for her NW2. I can't film those, but you will still hear about how it goes.

I also got to watch GSD Connor work. I have known Connor since he was a baby, but haven't seen him in years. He also had a successful day. :)

I am not sure I am ready for Monday, but at least it is supposed to be warm again.