Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Like Spinning Plates

For the last class of Beginner 1 Glassblowing, we had the choice of making bowls or plates. We were told that the process of making a plate is basically making a bowl and then spinning it out to flare out the edges. So I decided I wanted to make a plate so that I got to try all the steps of making a bowl and then a plate.

For the color, I combined a little bit of an opaque white and an opaque pink.  There are a few little dots of other colors, like green and a darker purple-pink.

The other cool secret I learned about is... baking soda!  Baking soda on glass makes it bubbly! What can't baking soda do? 

Plates are really cool but difficult.  It's hard to balance them from curling up like a bowl or curling down.  The trick is to spin it quickly, but not too quickly. And it's quite heavy, so, it's a challenge!  It's like... spinning plates.

But I think the end result is worth it! 

From the top:

Look at those beautiful bubbles!

 From the side:
 Hey, is that the sun?  Oh yeah, I took these photos last week when I took the photos of my blue vase.
You can also see the "foot," the blob of glass that can be used to hang it or to set it flat on a table.

 Showing off the curves: 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Boom, Badoom, Boom, Boom, Badoom, Boom, Vase... Yeah that's the Super Vase.

I met a new friend for knitting today at Top Pot Doughnuts.  Thanks Ravelry!

I brought two hats that were almost done, and I finished them both. One was the hat I knit with the yarn I bought at Goodwill back in November when I first arrived in Seattle, before any of my yarn got here.

It came out too small:
The small size gives almost an elf-effect because of the way it sits high on my head. I have a big head. I'll need to think of a friend with a smaller head than me who might want to wear hearts in primary colors.

I also finished this hat:
I'm not in love with the colors. It's hard to tell from this photo, but there are some blues and purples in there, but it's all very muted. Not necessarily my thing, but it fits and it's warm. 

But finishing two projects? That's a big day! I've got projects from years ago... (Hads, what year did I start my February Lady Sweater?) that I still haven't finished! 

Walking home after knitting, there was a big burning ball of fire in the sky.  I thought about calling the authorities to report this unfamiliar phenomenon, but then I remembered this thing I used to draw on the corner of all my pages in kindergarten called "the sun."  It all came back to me. 

So, I did what any self-respecting Seattle glassblower might do.  I grabbed a vase I hadn't yet photographed and ran to the roof deck to get some photos in natural light! 

Here's the story with this vase. We were making vases in class. In transferring mine from the blowpipe to the punty, I dropped my vase on the floor. Where it bounced off the concrete and rolled halfway across the shop. My teacher was able to pick it up off the floor and save it. Then it fell again - this time into the furnace. And my teacher saved again. It was the vase that would not die. Super Vase.

Given all that, I think it came out great:

It's cobalt blue, with an orange handle and a clear foot.  The orange kind of swirled into the blue because we had orange on the pipe (preparing to make the handle) that my teacher used to pick up the vase when it fell.  I think it made a cool effect. 

There are also a few other smudges, namely along the top lip, from where it fell.  

 Looking at it from the top, you can see that the bottom is a lot clearer and the orange swirl is a lot more evident. I think it actually ties the piece together:

I've been making a habit of reviewing what I have learned from each piece. This was my first time using the cobalt blue, and it was difficult because the glass gets much hotter (because of the dark color) and there is a much finer line between firm and melty. But I have always thought cobalt blue is the most stunning and beautiful color.  It's worth the trouble.

The techniques I practiced were making a bit for a handle, attaching the handle, shaping the vase, and shaping a lip on the vase.  

But I think I also gained some awesome knowledge about rescuing a "lost" piece. When it fell on the floor, and again when it fell in the furnace, I thought it was done. My teacher acted quickly (but safely) to grab it and save it. What I learned from that was that it's not over until it's over, that there's always (almost always?) a way to save a piece if you think quickly enough, and sometimes the "mistakes" improve the project. I really like the swirly color effect on this project, something I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't dropped it - twice.  

I usually ask myself what I would have done differently.  Looking at the handle, I think I could have done more to shape it smoothly. I think the trick would be to make the handle bit nicer to begin with, rather than trying to shape it once it is on the vase. It was too hard to do once I had the handle attached because, to heat the orange to a nice soft melting point, the blue would have absorbed a lot of the heat and been totally melty before the orange got nice and soft. 

When I dipped the clear glass in the cobalt blue frit, I obviously didn't saturate the tip with blue. That's why the bottom of the vase came out clear.  This is the kind of mistake I can live with, because I think the uneven color is pretty, but if I were in a situation where I was making a vase to sell or based on someone's order, that would be a costly mistake.

The other thing I could have done different is, obviously, not drop it.  But I think it came out great, in a "happy accident" sort of way, so I'm ok with it. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'll Tumble For You

I made this last year, but I want to get caught up on posting my previous projects.  So, without further ado, my first tumbler:

It's a layer of yellow on the inside, and orange on the outside.  You can see the yellow better around the lip. The two colors layers came out really nice. I think the black spots are probably ash from the annealer. 

We were working with stringers and cane to do color texture on the outside, so I decided to do some dots along the outside, thinking it would help me to hold onto it. 

After three dots, I ran out of glass!  Well, bowlers only have 3 fingers, so maybe it's a tumbler for a bowler?

You can also turn it on its side and use it as a putt cup! 

Obviously imperfect, but that's the beauty of beginning glassblowing projects. Or so I've been told. It will hold water and can be used as a tumbler, so it is functional. And I think its pretty.

In other news...

I have now submitted everything I need to get admitted to the Washington bar. Including the money. Now, we wait. It'll probably be about a month.

I received an email today... I get nominated for Yelp Elite!  I'm excited! (And no, I didn't nominate myself!) I added the Yelp review tool to my blog, so feel free to check out my reviews. They sometimes have Yelp Elite events, I'm hoping this will be another way to possibly meet people, especially people who know their way around Seattle!

And no reply yet from Compendium Inc., makers of the "Perfect Companions" journal. I hope it's because they're busy "stopping the presses" and making a new Olive journal! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Perfect Companions

Compendium, Inc.
2100 North Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98103 

Dear Compendium Incorporated,

I think it's cool that you make neat gift products, and that your company is based here in Seattle, which is also my new hometown.

I agree that dogs are our perfect companions, and I really like the interior art in the journal entitled "Our perfect companions..." However, I'm disappointed that you chose this quote for the cover and I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that not all dogs have four feet and that "our perfect companions" sometimes "have fewer than four feet."

My husband and I adopted Olive from the Seattle Humane Society in December 2012. She was rescued from a hoarder house in California and brought here to Washington by Northwest Boxer Rescue. She only has 3 feet, but she gets around great. She's even been known to chase other dogs around the dog park! 

Despite being a fabulous dog, who loves to walk and play, is fully house-trained and always well behaved, Olive sat in the shelter for nearly two weeks before finding a home. Even the volunteers SHS were surprised that such a great dog stayed unadopted for so long - but their loss was our gain. Popular culture, including your products sold here in Seattle, has perpetuated the idea that "[o]ur perfect companions never have fewer than four feet," when nothing can be further from the truth.  

Tripod (or "tripawd") dogs make excellent companions. They can be incredibly active and can even jump on the furniture (even if they're not supposed to)! There are even advantages - They'll never jump on your guests, they have fewer nails to trim, and they'll leave fewer paw print stains! Otherwise, they can do everything a "normal" dog can do - sometimes I even forget that Olive is a tripod, until someone asks me, "What happened to her leg?" 

In the next printing, please consider a journal that expresses the value of tripod dogs, or at least does not disparage dogs of fewer feet.


Monyca with a y

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Odds and Ends

I mentioned that I went to a "cooking class" at the co-op last week. It wasn't really a cooking class, as it turned out. The class was a tour and tasting in the co-op. It was taught by a nutritional educator and it was cool to get a tour of the co-op and get to ask some questions. I also got to taste a few products that I've been interested to try, but was afraid to spend money on in case I didn't like them. For example, now I know I like both Kombucha and Keffir. And probably some other beverages that start with K.

There wasn't any pitch to try to convince you to join the co-op, but I think that we will end up joining. I really like the idea of shopping from the bulk bins so that we can get exactly the quantity we want (at the same price as someone who buys in much larger quantities) and cutting down on packaging. They even have bulk olive oil, soaps and detergents. I also like that they do a pretty rigorous screening of the products they carry. Biggest bonus: You don't have to work any hours there, unlike the (infamous?) Park Slope co-op.

I also thought their signage was cute:

Unpacking continues. This week, I found a birthday card, still in the Hallmark bag. I apparently purchased it on Montague St. in Brooklyn (which makes me think maybe Jon purchased it, because he worked near there, or maybe I was visiting him at his office?) on March 12, 2003. If I forgot your birthday ten years ago, I apologize. I can't think of who I would have bought it for... and apparently it was important enough for it's own trip to Hallmark, but not important enough to mail... I'm stumped. But I'm also ready for the next birthday-card-sending-occasion. It could be you!

I'm also getting things done.  I got my Washington license plates and drivers license!
I also got 3 documents notarized for my bar admission application.  This is taking forever.

In other unpacking news, I finally uncovered my Brother P-touch label maker, one of my most valuable possessions.  Let the labeling of the Seattle apartment begin!  Bwa ha ha!

I did not create this NYC2SEA sticker spotted in my neighborhood... but I do like it!

Note to the possibly homeless but also possibly just scruffy guy at the dog park this week: Writing "SERVICE" and then drawing a picture of a dog on your dog's jacket does not make your dog a service dog.  (If you click on the picture, I think you can see it better.)

Regarding dogs... Have you ever seen a dog sit like this?  Olive loves this pose.

Jon & I went out with one of my Meetup groups last night.  We went to a nearby bar and an improv show. It was close to home and really fun. We laughed a lot, I would definitely recommend it. Olive, of course, cried while we were gone.  And tore apart the blanket in her crate.

Again, I thought that a good workout might keep her calmer in her crate.  We went on a 2.5 mile hike that included some steep inclines and a few little runs after squirrels and birds.  It made little or no difference.

Olive with her friend Ella at the dog park.

Sunday morning, I'm one step ahead of you!  Last night before we went out, I made crepe batter and stuck it in the fridge. I got our electric crepe maker out of the cabinet, along with a jar of Nutella. I also filled the coffee maker with cold water.  This morning, I woke up to an already walked and fed dog, hot coffee and Nutella crepes, along with a scrubbed stove.  I'd say married life is good.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Olive on the Loose

We have a crate for Olive and think it's important for her to be crate trained. Mostly so that when we're not home we know she's safe, not getting into anything that can hurt her or that she can hurt.  We got a really cute pink crate for her at PetCo the same day we adopted her.  She liked it and went right in!  Success!

A few days ago, I locked Olive up before I left and came home to find her waiting for me at the door, loose.  I thought that maybe I hadn't locked the crate properly.

The next day, I locked her in the crate and double checked it.  I came home to find her loose again.

This morning I went out for an hour, and again came home to find her loose.  So, I decided to try setting up a "hidden" camera.  Ok, it wasn't that hidden, it was just the webcam on my laptop, but since she's a dog, I figured that was ok.

I left my laptop open on the floor next to the crate.  I only wished I had a clapboard so I could snap it closed and shout "Action!"

I thought I was so smart.

But it was Olive who was smarter than me.

I came home and she was loose again.  She was so happy to see me, she danced all over me and licked me and loved me, and finally I settled down with the laptop to see my girl in action.

About a minute after I left, she started crying.  And howling.  And ow-ow-owing.  And screaming.  She stuck her leg through the crate, and chewed on the bars.  She cried so loudly, I was thankful the woman next door is gone during the day. After a few minutes it stopped being funny and just became heartbreaking to watch.  Olive sat next to me, and looked at the laptop in confusion.  (You know dog confusion, the cute cockeyed head, one ear up.)

As it went on, I felt terrible.  She cried and howled and gnashed her teeth on the bars.  Sitting next to me watching the video, Olive finally recognized her own cries.  She looked annoyed at me, that I would violate her privacy, and then went to lie down, facing away from me. That was the first time she's ever turned away from me like that.

I watched the video, 45 minutes until she escaped.  She let out a loud yelp with the last twist of her jaw along the bars.

I kept watching, wishing the camera was at another angle so I could see what she did with her freedom.  It was mostly quiet, although once, just for a minute, she started crying and howling again.  Then she was quiet, probably settled on the couch, until I heard myself come in.

We went back to PetCo and bought her a slightly bigger crate.  She fits in her first crate but didn't have a lot of room to stretch out or move around.  We figured maybe she'd be happier if she had a little more space.  The new crate is more like one of those plastic carriers with just a metal door.  We are hoping she won't be able to chew on it and hurt her teeth.

We are practicing putting her in her crate for shorter periods of time, 10-20 minutes here every hour or two, so that she gets used to being in there and knowing we'll come back.  We're also putting a Kong filled with peanut butter in the crate with her to keep her occupied with something other than crying.

Tuesday night Jon & I went down to my car for ten minutes to change my license plates (to my new Washington plates!).  We left my phone by Olive's crate and called it from Jon's phone, putting both on speaker phone.  She barely cried, and stopped every time she heard us talking.  Maybe hearing our voices was enough, or maybe we weren't gone long enough for her to really get upset, but that got me thinking...

On Wednesday, I had glassblowing class. (I know, I need to update the blog on my glassblowing progress.) This was the longest Olive would be left home alone since we adopted her.  Before I left, I recorded myself saying things like "Who's a good girl?  Olive is a good girl!  She doesn't need to cry!" and used my laptop to leave it playing on a loop when I went to class.  But I couldn't record her to see if she cried - when I tried to record, it stopped my voice from playing.  So,  I'll have to work on this plan a little more to see if it really helped.  But, I know that she wasn't too happy in there because when I came home there were bite marks on the plastic part of the crate.

Wednesday night, Olive took a special liking to Jon and mostly ignored me.  My theory?  She was sick of me after listening to my voice on a loop for over four hours!

I hope she gets over her separation anxiety.  I hate to think of her crying for hours.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that we've had her less than a month because she feels like a part of our family and our life already.  I know this is something she'll get over and be able to deal with as she gets better adjusted.  She starts "school" next month, and I've been told that this will help her to feel calmer and intellectually stimulated which might address the separation anxiety.  I hope so, because it killed me to watch her cry like that.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Olive & I were walking along the waterfront, when an older couple stopped and the man asked me, "What happened to his leg?"

Assuming he meant Olive, I replied, "We don't really know, we just adopted her a few weeks ago, and she came like this. So we don't really know what happened to her."

(For the time being, this is kind of my automatic response. You'd be surprised how many times a day this is asked.)

The man replied, "Well, he seems to get along without it. Right? Don't you, boy?"

Must I dress my girl in a pink glitter tutu to have her respected as a female?

Thinking that her name might clear up her gender, especially to an elderly man, who probably went to school with a couple of Olives, I said, "This is Olive."

That should do it, right?

Then the man looked right at Olive, leaned down and said, "You are a good boy, aren't you, Olaf?"

Seriously, old man?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Olive You

We had a custom dog tag made for Olive.  Want to see it?  Alright, here's my favorite model...

The tag is wooden and hand painted. The back has her name and our phone numbers. It's really cute. I got it here on Etsy and I'm so happy I did.  Isn't it adorable?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Look at my hoodie!

It was cold but sunny in Seattle today. Perfect opportunity for Olive to take a walk in her red Rutgers hoodie.

For those keeping track of their resolutions, we have stuck to our walking resolution and walked at least a mile every day this year.  As for my unpacking resolution, well... I hope I unpack enough over the weekend to bring my average up to one box per day.

But enough of all that boring unpacking stuff, I'd rather play with Olive. Seriously, could she be any cuter?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Now We're Cooking

It's been a good week for dinners in our household.  It took a while before the kitchen was clean and set up enough that I felt like I could actually cook here.

Tuesday night, I made this Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze again with a side of salad. Learning from last time, this time I made a little more of the glaze. I cooked 3 filets, thinking we'd have the third for leftovers, but we ended up splitting the third filet, we liked it so much.  The salmon was from the Ballard farmers market. This dish is so easy, fast and delicious, it's a definite weekly go-to meal for us.

Wednesday night, I made a steak "restaurant style" with a side of roasted brussel sprouts.  The steak was basically fried or seared for a few minutes in butter, garlic and herbs, and then I put the steak, still in the cast iron pan, right into the hot oven. It came out great and again, was very quick. I roasted the brussel sprouts while I prepared the steak. The whole thing, including all prep, took maybe a half hour.  The brussel sprouts were from the farmers market. I cut them, I mix them in some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, spread them out on a cookie sheet and let them roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, just shaking the pan every few minutes. The closer they are to burnt, the better! Both the steak and the brussel sprouts came out great, but this is definitely not the healthiest way to prepare a steak, doused in butter!

Tonight, I made a pizza. I had prepared the dough in the breadmaker last night while dinner was cooking and put in the fridge for a day. I think it is easier to roll out the dough when it is cold and rested. The dough was made with organic triticale flour which we got at the farmers market. This was my first time ever using (or, even seeing, for that matter) triticale flour, but I learned that it is a hybrid of wheat and rye. I ending up adding some all-purpose flour to the mix just to make it a little lighter and more tender.

I roasted mushrooms the same way I roasted the brussel sprouts the night before. I was surprised how much they shrunk down. I did this because I've used raw mushrooms on pizza before and they put off a lot of water as they cooked, making the pizza kind of soggy. I figured by pre-roasting them, I could avoid that problem and add some flavor to the mushrooms. It worked out well, so I would definitely roast mushrooms (or any vegetable) for pizza again.

I put black olive tapenade on half of the pizza (the dark part you see on the left).  We bought this jar of tapenade awhile ago and I thought it would be good because Jon loves black olives on pizza. I'd love to try making my own tapenade next time. I used Mt. Townsend Creamery Off Kilter, a cheese made with Scotch Ale, available at our farmers market and also at Pike Place Market. Then I put the mushrooms on the other half of the pizza and let the olive and mushrooms half overlap in the middle. I baked it at 450 degrees for about 14 minutes. It came out great! My only complaint is that, without tomato sauce, it was a little dry. I'm not sure what the trick to white pizza is, maybe I need a wetter cheese like ricotta or drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing (never a bad idea).

Jon already asked for pizza leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so I think he liked it!

And, sticking with the theme, tomorrow I'm going to a cooking class. It's free and offered by a local co-op.

Here's our other black Olive, looking out the window for Jon this afternoon. Or she could be watching for pigeons and dogs. It's hard to tell sometimes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Now I've Seen It All

One of the things that I like about Seattle is that you can bring your dog just about anywhere. I hope to get Olive well enough socialized that she can enter most places with me.


I did a double take when I saw these two ferrets in the seafood department of the grocery store today.

I was so surprised and confused, it took me a few minutes to notice the man's leopard print tote.

Friday, January 4, 2013

In Bloom

This is Seattle in the winter.

I don't know what this flower is called, but I snapped this photo in November:

Roses in December:

Azaleas in January:

Yes, that was a Nirvana album title I used as the title. Like how I did that? I'm getting the hang of this Seattle thing. Maybe they'll give me a drivers license after all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Seattle Art Museum

I had an interesting experience at the Seattle Art Museum today. Maybe I'm reflecting on it more than usual because I spent the day in an art museum, reflecting. Just as, after a day in the art museum, you see a sign for the restroom and think, "The lines. The simple form. The typography. What could it mean? What is the artist trying to convey?"

First, I should note, that over the past two months in Seattle, I've encountered many people who have a New Jersey connection. It's likely a coincidence, but many of the people I've met have told me that they have an aunt, uncle or cousin in New Jersey. It is the most populous state, after all. I sold a few things on Craigslist and all of the buyers, every single one of them, were from, or had lived in, New Jersey. One man was from Hoboken, the city directly north of Jersey City, where I often rode my bike and where I once worked. I chalked it up to Craigslist being more popular with NJ folks.

That may or may not be relevant to my experience at the museum today. I was sitting on this bench, watching a slide show projected on the wall. The exhibit is called "Faces: Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya" by Jake Warga and features one hundred portraits of individuals from these five countries.

While I sat there, a group of about 8 children came by with a teacher or a guide. 2 of the girls sat down on the bench, and the teacher said "Oh, you want to watch the movie for a minute?" More children came over so I slid to the end of the bench so the children could sit together. The teacher came up close to the first two girls and said in a low voice, "What did I tell you about how we behave? That lady was sitting here. You say excuse me." The little girl looked upset so I spoke up and said, "Its ok, I moved over so they could sit together." "Just checking," the teacher said.

More children came over and crowded the little bench. I thought about getting up, but I was worried the teacher might reprimand the students for chasing me away. Then, one of the little girls came, and climbed right into my lap. She sat down right on me. I thought it was cute, kind of like when a kid grabs your hand in a crowd, confusing you for their parent. I thought the teacher was going to die.

One stern look from the teacher and the little girl jumped down. And I noticed that her sweatshirt read, "Long Beach Island, New Jersey." Where I spent all of my childhood summers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Mile Resolution

So far, Olive seems like she'll walk as far as I'll take her. And then keep walking.

Currently, she gets 4 walks a day. First thing in the morning, at 6:30 a.m., she has a very quick walk, just long enough to "do her business." She has a favorite spot, only about a block away, so we generally just go out, do that, and (ssshh, don't tell Jon) go back to bed. Second, around noon, is a longer walk, for exercise and exploring the neighborhood. The third walk, we go meet Jon as he walks home from his bus, and we usually meet about half way around 4 p.m. This is a medium length walk (partly depending on how early we leave, which determines how close to home we are when we run into Jon), probably about a half mile average.  Finally, the fourth walk, at bedtime (around 10 p.m.) is just another quickie like the morning walk.  

My resolution for 2013 is to give Olive a long walk during her noontime walk of at least one mile per day. This is for her sake, because I think she has a lot of energy to burn, for my sake, as I think it's a healthy habit, and for our sake, as a bonding time together. I feel that, while I'm not working, I have the luxury to do this with her, so I'd like to make it a routine. And our vet said the best thing we could do for her hips and joints is give her plenty of exercise.  

Also, our vet was very concerned about keeping Olive "lean." Right now she's quite thin, you can easily feel her ribs and spine when you pet her. But an extra pound on her tiny frame can make a big difference on her hips. She loves to eat (she always licks her bowl after dinner), so I think if I can give her a little more exercise, maybe she can get a little more food too.  (And the same goes for me!)  We're going to watch her weight for a few weeks and see if we can find the right balance.

So, a one mile walk per day, in addition to the other walks (not total). It's actually a modest resolution.  I think it is better to make a modest resolution and exceed it than to set a resolution that is too hard to keep and give up on it. 

Today, we set out on our one mile walk at noon... and walked 2.62 miles. On one hand I was concerned, since we walked almost five miles yesterday and I didn't want to wear her out, but she was eager to keep walking and I figured we might as well enjoy it while it was sunny and nice. I'm sure when the rain returns later this week, it will be hard to even complete the mile.  

One of the highlights of today's walk was that we went to a nearby bank because I had read online that they sell stamps. We went in the main door, and there was just an escalator right there. Should I carry her up the escalator or try to let her navigate it? She's pretty fearless, so I walked right up to it confidently and gently urged her on.

It was classic.  Remember the scene in Elf where Buddy rides an escalator for the first time? I wish I had a camera to catch her in this pose. But once she got on it, she climbed up to the top. I was nervous about how she would get off the escalator and how the bank staff would react to her walking in. When we got to the top of the elevator, the bank staff was there - cooing over Olive!  "Oh my goodness, oh she's so cute, oh, did you ride the escalator?"

I finally got to ask about buying stamps, and they told me they were dispensed from the ATM, outside. Downstairs. Not wanting to subject Olive to the escalator again, I asked where the stairs were, and they showed me the stairs. Here's the best part... when we got to the stairs, she was afraid of them! She just stood there like, "Not this again!" and kept trying to pull backwards. I walked down ahead of her and said, "Come on, they're just regular stairs," and finally she followed me down and ran as fast as she could to the bottom. It was great. 

We walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park and I was really impressed by it. I was awed by the views on a clear day (those are the Olympic mountains) and the pedestrian and bike path. I can't wait to get my bike running and get over there! By then, we had walked over a mile, so we looped back home, soaking up all the sun we could get along the way.

Tomorrow, Olive goes back to the vet for a shot. I'm eager to weigh her again, I feel like maybe she's losing weight, and if that's true, I'd be happy to increase her food a little bit. 

And, in other news, I finally have all of my papers together and complete to submit for my Washington bar admission. I need to make copies before I mail it out, so I'm hoping I'll have everything out by Friday. And then what? Who knows! One step at a time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Washington Park Arboretum

I mentioned that last week, Jon, Olive and I went on a walk with a meetup group to Candy Cane Lane.

Olive & I went on a second walk with this group and had a great time again. The group is North End Hikes and Walks with Dogs on meetup. There was an article in the Seattle Times about the group recently.

 Dog walks, not dog parks, is how this group rolls. “The dogs aren’t just milling around. They are moving forward. They have a purpose — sniff­ing things. You see better interaction,” Losacco said.

Today we met at Washington Park Arboretum. There were 4 people and 5 dogs hiking. We walked 4.74 miles in about an hour and a half in the sunshine. It was a glorious day and Olive loved it.

The Washington Park Arboretum is a 230 acre park on Lake Washington run by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation. I was impressed by the variety of trees and plants and how well they were identified through signs.

The best part was that Olive had her first squirrel encounter. I thought she was going to rip my wrist off the way she took off for the squirrel. After I learned her interest though, we ran ahead of the group a few times to chase after squirrels.

She also seemed really interested in runners. Whenever someone ran past us on the path, she wanted to keep up with them and keep running with them.  She's got a lot of good "aunts" who are runners, so maybe one of them will want to come out here and run her.  Maybe if she's good, her Aunt Hadley will run her when she comes out here next month!

It was a sunny New Years day and I was so excited with the amazing views of the Cascade Mountains.  
My iPhone never does them justice, I really need to start bringing my real camera on these walks.

 Olive was ready for a good walk in the sunshine. 
Look! Enough sun to cast a shadow! It's a New Years Miracle! 

Beautiful sights and sun, lots of greenery in the park, even in January. 

Olive likes to fall behind by sniffing around, and then rush to catch up with the pack. 

"Did you see that squirrel?  Yeah, I chased him up this tree.  
Now let's wait here until he comes back down."

More views of the mountains on the ride home. I just can't get enough of looking at the mountains.

If the first day of the year was any indication, it's going to be a fabulous and sunny year here in Seattle.