Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Happenings

Heather, Karissa and I went to the pumpkin patch.  
 And, although we were most excited to get apple cider doughnuts, I have to report that the cinnamon roll was the biggest culinary highlight for me.

Then we went back to Karissa's and carved pumpkins and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Karissa made the black cat in the tree, I made the Seattle skyline with moon, and Heather made the Dracula! 

Olive went to her first Halloween party.  She tried on multiple costumes...
(I think this one was her favorite because it didn't hinder her movement too much and she got a lot of positive attention)

Hot Dog with Mustard 
(least favorite, she couldn't really walk without it falling off, unfortunately, because it is cute) 

And, finally, my favorite, tricera-pup! 

This past weekend, there was a big disaster in Seattle!
The Space Needle collapsed! I'm surprised it didn't make the news! 
Luckily, I was able to save it with a toothpick.  I think I'll be adding "structural engineer" to my resume.

And, the college where I teach is having a safe trick or  treating event where kids can come and trick or treat at different doors on campus.

The students decorated the doors to indicate to the kids which ones were available for trick or treating... 
This is the door my students decorated! Pretty scary, right? 

Happy Halloween! I love this time of year!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Anniversary Trip

Jon and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this past weekend. We were married on a boat and, appropriately, spent our anniversary on boats.

First, we took the ferry to Friday Harbor on Friday afternoon.  On Saturday, we went whale watching.

We saw big fat Steller sea lions. Unlike California sea lions that "arf, arf, arf" these sea lions are larger and make a loud belching roaring noise.  

Here's a big roaring bull:

And orcas! I love them. They are awesome to watch.  We saw them hunting and feeding.

They killed a porpoise. We didn't actually see the killing but we could tell that they all turned and surrounded something and within a few minutes seagulls were swooping in scavenging the leftovers. 

Ready for something gross?  Brace yourself.

Those are porpoise lungs floating after the orcas ate. I guess there are other parts they leave behind but the lungs float because they have air in them. Gross but fascinating.

We saw a lot of little harbor seals. One swam right up to our boat which the orcas were around and I thought he was going to be their next meal!  He made eyes at like us "Umm, did you see those guys? Mind puling me up on your boat?"

It's the circle of life, but there's no easy team to route for in this one. I love the orcas and I want them to eat, of course, but I love porpoises and seals and hate to think that they have to be dinner.

We also saw humpback whales, but we only caught a couple of tail flaps from afar but by the time we got in closer, they had disappeared.  So, not humpback pictures, unfortunately.  Well, none that you can see very clearly:

 See that little splash there? That's humpback, baby!

Up next were Dall's porpoises.  They loved to swim fast, criss-crossing right in front of our boat.  I sat on the bow and was inches away from these awesome porpoises that have a black and white coloring similar to orcas.

I love the Dall's porpoises. Ok, fine, I loved everything I saw. 

Including this circular rainbow halo around the sun (also known as a "sundog").  

And more orcas:

These guys are big and powerful. I am impressed.  

Can you imagine keeping these majestic creatures in a tank?  Allow me to get on my soapbox for just one moment while I recommend an amazing movie please:

Ok, back to the anniversary trip. 

Later, Saturday afternoon, after we picked Olive up from daycare, we drove out to Lime Kiln State Park to take in the amazing views:

The next morning, it was time to check out and head home. But first, we stopped at Jackson Beach Park to allow Olive to wear herself out a little bit and for us to enjoy the sun we won't be seeing much longer.

Olive had the time of her life running around the beach, sniffing the drift wood, and trying to get us to chase her. For a moment I thought we'd never catch her, but in the end, she ran straight to the car! I guess she was ready to go home!

Back on a boat! Third day in a row! Ferry back home!  Look at that sunshine, it's beautiful!

I don't know what this is about, but we definitely did not carry our own log aboard.

We'll know for next time.

And, driving home, we passed through Deception Pass. What a crazy place.

And, finally, my anniversary gift to Jon. As you may know, the first anniversary is paper, so I framed a signed copy of a poem that was read at our wedding entitled "How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Tylor Mali, along with some photos from our wedding and with our little Olive.

The top left corner and the bottom right corner are pictures from our wedding.  The other two corners are just your regular, ordinary, run of the mill, cute pictures of Olive.   On the left of the poem is Olive's preschool graduation and on the right of the poem is the day we adopted Olive, I took this picture at Seattle Humane Society. Those two aren't the best, in terms of photo-quality, but they were special days for us!

We had a fabulous anniversary and, truly, an unbelievable first year of marriage.  Here's to many more!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cheers, Big Ears

All of the sudden, in the past couple of days, Olive has started sticking both ears straight up. It's happened a few times - one time she heard someone knocking on a door on television, this morning she heard a dog bark outside our window.

If you had asked me a week ago, I would have told you that I didn't think she could physically lift her right ear. At least not intentionally. I have seen it flop up when she was running or get held up by the breeze. But I thought it was just how she was - that her right ear would always flop down.

But, now, she can, and does, stick it straight up. I even caught a picture this morning.

I wonder what made her start doing that, after we've had her almost ten months. Could she do it all along and never bothered? Is it a sign that she's more aware, attentive, or comfortable? Like she feels more "at home" and is protecting her home more? I love the flopped ear, but it's interesting to think that maybe she's still coming out of her shell, all these months later.

One thing is for sure, seeing her ears like that, I'm even more convinced that she has some Basenji DNA!