Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Rainy Halloween

What a weak blogging month! I couldn't let the last day of October (regardless how crappy the weather) or Halloween go by unacknowledged, so here is a photo from a happier and sunnier day this week:

This has been a weird month. I am counting down my days (approx 39), quizzes (5), mid-terms (0), final (1), left until this quarter and accounting degree is over. But then last week I got thrown an unexpected question about going straight into my Masters and I haven't stopped processing.

Anyway, onto November.

Did you know that there is an Exploding Whale Day in November? You might be surprised I would mention such a thing, but especially if you are from the PW area pretty much everyone knows about the exploding whale incident and resulting flying pieces (even if you weren't alive when it happened). It comes up every so often; generally when a whale carcass washes up or in comparison to another unfortunate explosive idea. Sometimes you will be watching an interview near a large dead sea creature and I think the scientist being interviewed or the reporter just likes to mention the exploding whale incident to just to keep the story alive.

Apparently the engineer behind the memorable event just passed away. Bless him. You know if he hadn't been the one to try, eventually someone else would have.

Have a great day and I will welcome November since I have no other choice. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cedar Butte and Butternut Squash Soup

If a friend hadn't called me today for a quick hike I doubt I would have left the house. This photo is from the top of Cedar Butte. My house is sitting somewhere down there in the fog ocean. Talk about dark and unmotivating weather!

And yes, Nim needs a bath very bad when you can tell from the photo. Yikes! That will be dealt with tomorrow.

After the hike it was back to homework with soup cooking in the background. I decided to make a Butternut Squash soup. It is one of those soups I actually feel guilty about buying in a can because it is so ridiculously easy to make.

I use 8 cloves of garlic, one onion, and about three carrots. In the oven I have one butternut squash cut in half and a garnet yam roasting. You could do this without roasting, but let me put it to you this way; you can either roast and then easily scoop squash out, or you can take the time to cube and PEEL a raw squash.

I thought so.

After that I add about 3 cups of water. The yam wasn't baked all the way through, but the oven time still sped up the process.

Eventually everything is soft enough to puree. I added a cup of almond milk, some salt and pepper, and roughly another 1/2 - 1 cup of water to thin.


I am very happy it hasn't rained this week, but for some reason I fell for the "fog burning off to afternoon sun." I forget that doesn't always happen out here, even if it does in Seattle.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


This has been a strange schedule week. I have a workshop I am helping with this coming weekend so I need to get homework and study tasks complete pretty much by Friday. I have also been helping with a wandering neighbor dog for the past couple of days that took time I wasn't anticipating.

To keep Nim and myself sane, we have done a couple of dawn/sunrise hikes this week. It is pretty much the only time activity is happening. Yes, I could hike in the evening, but by evening I am a homebody.

Considering the thick fog at the parking lot level, we still got a beautiful sunrise as we continued up.

Today's tasks also included a Webinar. I swear I live for those...especially if they are interesting. It gives me an hour to just absorb material while knitting.

The back is done on this sweater.

And during the Webinar today I worked on a sleeve. I have so-so hopes I might actually finish this project for this fall/winter. We will see.

For the rest of today I will be working on a study program for volunteer tax prep. To be truthful, the last thing I need is more volunteer work, but this is something I am pretty excited about. If I pass the program I will do volunteer tax work for the AARP.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photos of Fall

I bet you thought from the title you might get to see some nice fall hiking photos, but instead, you get this...

There was quite a bit of hissing and growling this morning.

Do you think if I had pellet stoves, side by side, his and hers, they would manage to break down together at the exact same time?

Have a good week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

St Francis of Assisi - Blessing of the Animals - Nim goes to Church

Friday, October 4th is the St. Francis of Assisi's feast day. Since Odin was alive, I have been trying to make a Blessing of the Animals event and this year is the first year I was able to.

I couldn't make any of the Friday events work out, but this morning we got up early to attend services at Holy Cross in Redmond.

I could blame it on not hiking since Tuesday or I could blame it on not training Nim on church behavior but wow, that was one of the harder public events we have done in awhile. I doubt they will forget us any time soon.

The church, staff, and congregation at Holy Cross was lovely. You would think that animals attended every Sunday. We pulled in behind quite possibly the tiniest car I have ever seen in my life that had a sticker "Twinkie Power" on the back. The lady that got out was so nicely dress and had a little poodle about the size of Nim's head...also nicely dressed. The poodle let Nim know she wasn't up for any of his attitude and clearly was a church going pro.

Nim was a little crazed in the parking lot, but I wasn't prepared for him to be so brainless when we entered the church (made me wonder if I was nervous?). We finally made it in, took a back row seat on the aisle and as he slowly settled in I thought we were going to be OK.

The 8am service was probably lighter than the 10am and some of the last to enter were a couple of families with kids carrying what I assumed cat carriers. Some had cats. One had a rooster. A ROOSTER.

What little brain Nim had promptly left the building.

The services started and he was at least distracted by me getting up and down and participating in the services. Finally it was time for the Blessing of the Animals and we were to come up individually, which made sense. While waiting our turn I heard the flutter of features, some commotion, and turned to see the rooster running under the row of chairs coming towards us. He hit the aisle in front of us, took off at a rooster run, went under the piano and amazingly up on the "stage" where Fr. Jim swiftly grabbed him.

Anyone who knows Nim in person knows exactly what noise came out of him. I literally started dumping sweat. People were telling me he was eager for his blessing but I knew exactly what that noise was for. The only reason Nim's feral noise was slightly quieter than normal was his utter disbelief that a chicken, outside fencing, had gotten so close.

I really have to hand it to Fr. Jim. I enjoyed his service and he had a wonderful animal acceptance about him. Nim and I did make it down the aisle, vacuuming any features on the way, made a quick check under the piano (which is probably where Nim last could actually see the rooster) and Fr. Jim patiently waited for Nim to simply be more present before giving his blessing.

Many people come up to Nim during greeting time which he naturally enjoyed.

Have a great Sunday and I leave you with the very popular "Prayer of St. Francis." While not actually written by St. Francis this prayer is considered to embrace his spirit.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.