Monday, March 31, 2014


Sunday was an unexpected completely free day. It feels like forever since that has happened. While it rained in the morning I cleaned the refrigerator, and the second it stopped raining we were outside.

Much to Nim's delight, I decided to work a bit on the garden beds. He happily was digging next to me. That dark soil in the wheel barrow is a manure mix of some type.

The second I started trying to combine the manure with the dirt already in the beds I had a sneaky Doberman trying to get in there and "sample." I could hardly be mad at him as he was having such a good day.

(Is there poo on my nose?)

 He spent a lot of time running circles around me or digging, but when the sun actually came out he melodramatically flopped down in the grass.

Then it started to rain again and we were back in the house. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TTouch Seminar, Body Wraps, and Fremont

Sunday morning we got to Seattle early to get a walk in around Fremont before the seminar started.We started on the trail along the Ship Canal. In the background you can see the Fremont Bridge (blue...and if you live in the area you know is actually worse than the Ballard Bridge as a traffic area) and behind that the taller bridge is Aurora (Hwy 99).

Nim liked being along the canal and watching the ducks. He did not like being on the Fremont Bridge. It is a tight walkway and even at that time of the morning you are dealing with bikers, runners, and other walkers. I am always impressed just how aware dogs are that they are high and over water too. On a bridge like this he could see down between the joints in the bridge.

We walked around the Fremont area a bit but were too early for the Fremont Sunday Market which supposedly is a good market. This ramp goes down to the Lake Union end of the Ship Canal. On the right are some house boats.

By the time we started our return walk back you can see the sun was coming out a bit. It never got super warm but the sun felt good.

One of the things covered in the workshop was body wraps. They have many uses from physical to behavioral to emotional. The blue wrap on his body is considered a "3/4 wrap" and the pink is his rear leg wrap.

I added the front leg wrap at the end. For a dog that has never been wrapped before this was actually "too much." Once we got everything off him he ran around in a scurry.

The "3/4 wrap" he seemed to tolerate fine. The leg wraps made him freeze. I do need to be careful with the "3/4 wrap" in the future as it seemed to rub his inner legs a bit much. I actually don't have to have it dropped that far down his tail if there is no rear leg wraps and I think that might help.

He looks thrilled doesn't he? :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

TTouch Seminar

Today was our first day of the Lori Stevens TTouch Seminar. We got off to a rocky start. Nim was really in a mood this morning and it wasn't until I got part way to the class in Seattle that I noticed his face was covered in hives (photo is post-Benedryl).

You would think I would have Benedryl packed everywhere for this pup at this point. I have never had a dog hive up like he does and I often don't even know why. So we made an emergency stop for Benedryl and a new toy.

I knew it wasn't a great sign that he wouldn't even play with his new toy on the drive in, but by the time we got to K9 Fun Zone in Seattle the Benedryl was starting to kick in so I got us set up for our day long class.

The material has been really interesting and it has been nice to have more ideas on interacting with Nim especially given his love affair with massages already. We ended the day just starting with the body wraps and will do more tomorrow.

Much of the day was lecture. So I sat on the floor and let Nim pretty much do whatever he wanted. As long as he was behaved I really didn't want him in the kennel much considering he has had a very low activity week.

Between the 3 Benedryl and his long work week Nim just laid in my lap with his dragon wing in his mouth alternating between sleeping and people watching. He seemed very content during the workshop and really enjoyed having another woman in the class try "Noah's March" and some ear work on him. The Noah's March seems to be a pattern of strokes down the body...for lack of a better way to explain it.

I really liked the tail work ideas. I think because he is docked I just don't think about working the tail much but I started doing a bit of what I learned in class and I think it is going to be very good for him. Tomorrow will include a section on leash walking which is an area that continually needs improvement for us so I am hoping for some good ideas to try out.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Signs of Spring! Soi Dog Foundation

Despite a snow on Wednesday night and freezing temps we are still showing signs of spring.

I can hardly wait. This weekend is supposed to be nice weather. I will actually be at a TTouch seminar with Nim over the weekend, but we will find ways to enjoy the sun.

This Friday is all about the Soi Dog Foundation. Someday if I make it to Thailand visiting this facility will be on my list. I wouldn't even mind adopting a dog from there. Thanks to the latest Olympics, attention has been brought again to street dogs.

Every country (including our country own in my opinion) has work to do the in the area of humane treatment of animals. I have a lot of respect for what Soi Dog does. They seem to do a very good job trying to curb the growing street dog population, the related abuse and neglect, and dog meat trade while also respecting the culture they are serving.

There is a pretty active group in the UK that supports Soi Dog Thailand efforts. They had calendars this last December and they were all bought before I could jump in there and order! The UK group seems to actively travel to the Thailand facility and helps get some of the dogs on their way to adoption if they are adoptable.

Have a great Friday! Hopefully I will get some TTouch updates posted. I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Soos Creek Trail and Nim Goes to Work

This week Nim has been going to work with me. Not in the office part yet, but hanging in the car.

If I get in early we go for a walk on the Soos Creek Trail.

It is a very short walk due to flooding and me being in dress slacks.

There is a ton of water fowl for Nim's entertainment.

I LOVE these dogs. They are next to the office and they like to check out Nim and I each day when I park. They are both girls. Sometimes I call them The Grunts. :) One of the first days I saw them one of them was shaking and chewing on a bird. I would expect nothing less of Blue Heelers.

Some day I will get their names.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Vogue Knitting Live!

Here we are on a rainy Sunday evening. Saturday was almost least it didn't rain.

Friday Comcast came.

And they came back today (Sunday). Leela was thrilled as you can see.

Today mom and I made it to Vogue Knitting Live! again in Bellevue. We only did the Marketplace which was a $20 admission per person. I mention it because it is really a lot of money in my opinion. We did have fun walking around though and even did some shopping.

This bin was selling those yarn lots at roughly wholesale. For those of you that knit you know that each of those bags is running about $150 retail. They were reduced to about $55 or so for this show. That is very good savings. It made me wish I had a better project plan!

This exhibit is actually two people moving in a connected dance. It was amazing how strong the knitted link was between them.

They were really pulling on it. It was totally hypnotic to watch.

Between checking out all the different yarns and stores and all the yarn inspired art work it is a lot of fun to walk around.

We did end up buying yarn. A lot of it actually. And I don't want to give much away because a lot of it is at a sister's house for when she gets off shift tomorrow. But I will leave you with these:

They are tiny little skeins.

While at my sister's house I left yarn and socialized with Merlin.

Merlin neglected to tell me that his x-ray shows more degeneration and despite he love of having his bootie smacked he isn't supposed to have at any more! As you can see he was doing his body siren song..."smack my bootie!"

 Believe it or not, he is 17. He has a young face and young spirit.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Old Dog Haven

Pascal says good morning. He is the only peppy one this morning. Between the morning darkness (thank you time change) and the rain, this household energy is low.

I am still a Teaching Assistant for several accounting classes and it is nearing quarter end. So usually when I get home from one job it is on to the TA job. Nim hasn't been thrilled about this. This week he has taken to unloading a shelf full of toys and spreading them around the house. We are supposed to have a dog living with us most of May. Maybe Nim will enjoy hanging with her and sharing his toy system.

As usual, I had a hard time deciding which organization I wanted to talk about this Friday. So many I care about. But last night I got the Old Dog Haven newsletter and the decision was made.

If you are local - mark you calendars! The Walk for Old Dogs happens Sunday, July 20th. I don't plan on missing it. It is a fun collection of senior dogs doing their thing. They accept Nim. :) What is crazy is this year by the time the walk happens he will be 4! Not a senior dog yet, but definitely settling in as more of an adult.

I am no where closer to taking in another dog, let alone a senior in need, than I was last year but I love what this organization and their network of homes do. No animals should be in a shelter, but when seniors are surrendered I often find it even more heartbreaking.

"Helping Senior Dogs Live Their Golden Years in a Loving Home" - Old Dog Haven. 

Old Dog Haven is always in need of foster or final refuge homes as well as financial contributions.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kindle Fire, Cooking CSA Box #5, The Stages of Snuggling

In honor of my new job I finally got myself a Kindle Fire. I even managed to order it on Fat Tuesday so I got my indulgence in right before Lent started.

My first book purchase? "To The Nines." Yes, another Stephanie Plum book. Not really a literary masterpiece maybe, but always entertaining.

I love how you can look just about anything up on the Internet such as "can I read my Kindle in the bathtub" and you find tons of people out there with your same concern and with their own experiences and solutions.

Thanks to the Internet, my Kindle Fire was used in the tub safely in a Zip lock.

This week was week 5 of my CSA subscription. My most favorite thing in there is actually the Burdock Root. I don't even have a recipe for it, I tend to use it in stir-fries.

There was no cabbage in this box (phew) but I did get a lot of greens, carrots, onions, fennel, cauliflower, and other items.

I roasted up the Cauliflower, some carrots, and another bag of shallots from last week and tossed with a double batch of Lemon Tahini Sauce. It came out wonderful. This is a dish I am very familiar with and always enjoy. The shallots added some bite, but I found them good.

This week also included fennel which was much harder for me to deal with. I am not a huge fan of fennel flavor or smell. I settled on this Carrot and Fennel recipe and it is OK. The problem is definitely me. I will say that roasting down the fennel and adding Almond Milk definitely mutes the anise flavor.

And finally. Enjoy these stages of snuggling photos...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Valley Renewal Center

So I didn't manage to post this morning as I had hoped, but it is still Friday!

By some miracle it we even got a break in the incessant rain today.

This Friday I would like to feature the Valley Renewal Center here in the Snoqualmie Valley. This local organization is in its second year of hosting an emergency homeless shelter during our cold and miserable winter months.

I would love to see them eventually have year round options too complete with case workers like Congregations for the Homeless (Congregations for the Homeless is a partner with Valley Renewal Center and helps manage the shelter) currently offers in the more suburban east side cities, but for now they offer a very needed service in a relatively rural area.

I have had the chance to meet some of the staff and volunteers and they are all great people. I am grateful for the very needed service they provide.

Have a great Friday night!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Start of Lent

As many of you know, I do love the season of Lent. I am really hoping to do my every Friday feature of some organization that I admire. Maybe that will be my Lent goal. We all know cutting chocolate and peanut butter doesn't work for me.

Last night I amazed myself by actually studying. Despite being done with school I am working on a couple other professional designations that I think will be helpful. I haven't touched the study material in about a week a half. 

Study partners were present.

Sadly they probably took this as a good sign that I was resuming "normalcy" of studying at night. :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Rainy Tuesday

You can't tell from the photo (except maybe by Nim's body language) but it is pouring. Basically it rains unless I am stuck in the office with no hope to take time for a walk and then it clears up.

Happy Fat Tuesday! Zucchini bread being eaten over here as I am not in a pancake mood.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello March!

Poor Nim. He is a trooper but not a happy dog right now adjusting to my new working schedule. We are doing the best we can and I know this will get easier.

We are already into another month. Two good things about March:

  1. Another month closer to nicer weather and longer days.
  2. Fat Tuesday (March 4th, remember to eat your pancakes) and the start of Lent.
It is snowing right now and has been all day but not accumulating. It is just really cold. It is a good day to cook as much as I can for next week.

This week the CSA included among other things more Scarlet Runner Dried beans and another head of cabbage! In my entire life I don't think I have ever eaten this much consecutive cabbage.

I do love these beans. I cooked them for awhile and as they were getting soft I added leeks and some shallots.

Followed by a head of cabbage and a couple of smaller cans of tomatoes. I added more plain water. Fortunately the bean cooking water added some really good flavor. This made so much soup I will probably have to freeze half of it.

I made the peanut butter crusted parsnips again, the mashed rutabagas, and I am boiling up all the beets.

I didn't get zucchinis in the CSA but I bought some today anyway. I think next week needs zucchini bread.

The cats continue to refuse to touch this pillow, but Nim sure gets a lot of use out of it. His eyes say this weather better warm up so we can get in more hiking!