Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015!

After days of rain, wind, and snow, we are having very cold, but beautiful sunny days. What a nice way to end the year.

The second the sun comes out the jackets go on and we hit the yard or go for a walk.

This week I set up my new bird feeder station:

Sometimes Nim still looks so young.

He found the one area with rays of sun and settled in for some chewing.

I set up the chair and studied. I didn't last long. The second you stop moving it is pretty hard to keep warm enough for the hands to work well.

Unexpectedly this year has ended on a major note of sadness for one of the organizations I love For those of you that follow my Instagram, you saw that I recently reposted a photo of the young boy Ravi with a dog. Like many of their supporters, we find ourselves loving these kids from afar. I don't know the circumstances at this time, but a post went out last night that Ravi has died (definitely sudden). For everyone that followed his story from his extremely malnourished start to the boy he is today, it was a terrible blow. I know I wasn't the only one that cried about a boy I know only through the love of the people that shared him.

I don't know Maggie Doyne (BlinkNow founder) but I greatly admire her and she is definitely in my thoughts. I appreciate her sharing Ravi with me (really the world). She is going into the new year suffering a major and life changing loss.

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone. One way or another the New Year always brings change and promise doesn't it?  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice

I do love the Winter Solstice. In theory it is all uphill from here as the days start to get longer again. :)

Today we got snow. This is actually my second snow already of this winter, but the first really sticking snow.

As you can see, we literally got no sun today. Nim was actually happy when the downpour turned to snow and more willing to be outside.

Last week Jack and Nim hit the trail together. Jack's human is starting a great new job and had a rare weekday off before the job started so we got the boys out for hiking together.

It was truly a beautiful day on Cedar Butte.

Rattlesnake Lake is still low...but bigger than the puddle it was the month prior.

Settle in for the longest night...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Squirrel, Blue Heron, and Holter Monitor

The squirrels have taken to climbing the house below the window and looking in at me when they want me to put food out (I feed the birds...the squirrels benefit). The cats and Nim have been beside themselves. Sometimes the squirrel even do this in the middle of the night.

Since the creek is flooded the blue heron has been out daily. He is very disagreeable about being photographed.

The only time I see little fish is during the summer when the water is far lower and more still, but who knows what else got stirred up? He seems to think something is worth it.

Nim wore the holter monitor Wednesday to Thursday. Thanks to all the rain I really had to keep him inside most of the time, but because we were over a year since the last one I really wanted to get it done.

It is pretty amazing when you compare to this small digital monitor to the large cassette ones Odin had to use.

(Odin and Emile, November 2007)

Nim did pretty well with it. He really really doesn't like the electrodes coming off. I said last time I was going to set some adhesive release and I really think I need to do that. I don't remember Odin having this much trouble. Maybe I have forgotten.

Nim on squirrel watch. :) The vest is definitely one of the better ones I have ever used. It fits well and I didn't have to use the extra tape around all the wires under it. I had the strap a little too tight as I learned when I fed him, but otherwise I think it was more comfortable than some of the vests. Hard to say since Nim can't let me know, but I hope so.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December Storms

Hello December! Talk about stormy weather.

We did have a week of more freezing temperatures and like clockwork the pellet stove broke. There was round the clock electric blanket "sharing" after that.

This past week has been about the rain. Heavy rain. Unbelievable rain. Tuesday night I gave up trying to sleep at all and instead I read, storm watched, and watched Waitress for like the 100th time (gosh I love that movie) and the cats hid while it simply poured and poured. It was so loud and a little stressful. There was no sleeping through it.

The next morning creek on the property that was already too full became a new animal. Lots of new channels and expansions from this storm. I am not thrilled about some of the trees that are now surrounded by creek water, but we will see what happens when the water level drops again.

The view from the lower property:

View from the top:

Nim was baffled.

I took a couple of video which are actually fairly boring except to myself, but this one of the upper area might be fun to watch:

 Less exciting, lower property:

It is raining again as I type this, and windy of course. I have power, internet, and nothing landed on the house. Many people were not so lucky. A lot of surrounding areas are in really sorry shape and some people have pretty serious damage to their homes. Hopefully things will dry out next week like they are projecting.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tradition Plateau, Tiger Mountain

Today it didn't rain or rain/snow as suggested so I got my sister and we took the pups out on the trail. Arte (Boston Terrier) is actually a loaner dog from my sister's roommate and honorary sister. The general idea was an hour or so of hiking, and then I would go home and go back to studying...

3+ hours later I took my sister out to emergency dinner so she will someday hike with me again. :)  Hahahahaha.

Arte of course was a vision of fashion perfection with her pick sweater and pink harness. Nim. Well, he is this horrifying collision of a purple jacket and red harness. Apparently he is a child of the 80s.

For those of you familiar with the Lake Tradition area, you can tell that at one point we were on the Bus Trail. This is just one of many photos I have that involve dogs looking the wrong direction or blurred.

They know how to dominate a trail.

In an effort to making Arte do what I wanted we put her on a log. Hahahaha. She was thrilled. Nim had spit on his nose. Everyone was tired by this point and Arte kept rubbing on Nim like a cat because her sweater was itchy.

Arte. So angelic.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jubilee Farm CSA and Soup Making, Electric Blanket, and a Little Hike

As I type this, the cats are on the electric blanket. And Nim has now just kicked one off.

I told a friend of mine that I feel like I am trying to toughen up for winter. Some years I go into winter better than others. I thought I would be fully embracing this one after the summer we had. Not so much.

On the prettier days I bundle up and move the office outside.

Nim is also bundled up and given a bone. It takes him a long time to give up and lay on the ground with it if the grass is remotely damp.

Last week I got my first CSA of the fall season from Jubilee Farms. I have said many times on this blog that I will literally eat the same thing for days on end and not get tired of it. CSAs force me to vary my diet which is good for me.

A CSA is hard to do on your own without wasting anything. Even doing a 3/4 share I have to be dedicated. This box I have done poorly on because I have had to be out of the house so much this week and weekend. My first project was a variation on a Kuri Squash Curry recipe that came with it. Basically I did a soup.

The green tomatoes were fantastic. I think they give the soup a bit of a tang? I only had to buy the stock, coconut milk, and onion. Everything else came from the box and the soup came out amazing.

I bought our seasonal electric throw as well. Sometimes I can get a few years out of them...sometimes not.

I wonder why? :| Anyway, at night I am generally allowed to at least be under it, and then everyone takes their places.

Last Friday morning early I went up to Rattlesnake Lake and got a quick walk around the woods and lake (it is so low right now it is hard to call it a lake).

The stumps are very neat. I guess some people have been finding the foundations for the town that was once there because the lake has been so low this year. There were very loud and low flying birds on Friday morning for Nim's happiness.

Nim and I carried our morning walk with us for the rest of the day. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Friday! Arte and Nim Go For a Walk

Hello Friday! I have managed a full week of a new study schedule, found my latest dream location for the quilt shop/cafe I want to start, and continued to chip away on my October to do list...driveway gravel.

4 truckloads (1/2 yard each) of gravel to deal with the driveway. Perhaps there will be less complaining from visitors now. :)

This is Arte. Arte is the dog of my sister's friend and I wanted to get her and Nim together. The met once before and she let Nim know he is too big and rude. The timing was good to try again on neutral ground.

We got them out in nature and they did fabulous together. Nim is simply gigantic around her and I am sure that was slightly intimidating at first, but pretty quickly she wanted to know what he was up to and seemed completely fine with a new hiking partner.

We just were in the trails behind the Issaquah High school and up Tiger Mountain. I am in such a desperate need of a hike I wanted to go for hours, but we had limitations and the main goal was getting the pups out.

So cute. Nim only made a few noises and Arte wanted to know why.

This is their serious "on the hunt" look...

Hahahahaha. So thankful for Friday. So thankful I studied all week. And SOOOOO thankful for puppies. :)

Yard waste day (final one of the season) and pumpkin seed toasting are on the schedule for this weekend. Have a great one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is The Dog Casino Too Hard for Nim?

Hello on this beautiful fall Tuesday!

As you can see my elk came to visit today. I am always glad to see them.

It is satisfying to watch them spread out into the areas I opened back up this summer, but I don't see any active grazing to keep that stuff back. Oh well...I am here to serve.

The photo is bad, but this poor guy is currently only growing one antler. He is one of the "youths" and it looked like the other side was trying...but apparently they don't grow at the same rate.

I am back on my daily post-its lists + monthly lists of things to do. One of the items on my October list was to "plant the white ginger" which I did today. It is that small little guy next to the fern. Since the cats haven't been eating the fern I am hoping maybe that is a protected spot for the white ginger.

My 20 year old plant also sent up a new growth. Apparently it also thinks it is safe from cat eating this winter.

On of my sisters tagged along to All the Best in Issaquah with me the other day and got to see first hand the embarrassment that is Nim racing to the "play corner" of the store. It really is terrible. I should probably do some actual training or control work around it but instead I just scan that no one is in the way.

Anyway, one of the harder toys there has been the Dog Casino. Since he was so excited about it in the store, I figured I would add it to his collection at home.

He understands about the drawers coming out and how to open them, what he doesn't understand is the top level bones holding them in. He hasn't been able to make the connection yet either which is sort of unusual for him. This has been a strange process because if I am not actively with him and occasionally encouraging him he will eventually leave the puzzle! 

So yesterday he left the puzzle not completely empty, presumably to take a nap and rest up for dinner. I was studying and I could hear noises and went to look...sure enough, there is Emile working it. I think Nim might have lifted his head to look, but still didn't slither out of bed to participate.

Two things:

  1. I didn't prop the toy up...I think Nim left it like that
  2. Emile was actually using his paw on it, I just wasn't able to get a good photo of that

After awhile (possibly longer than Nim), Emile left it and started batting the little blue bones around the house until I picked them all up.

In Nim's dreams I bet that Emile masters the puzzle, and "hunts" the food for Nim.