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Archive for the ‘pets & animals’ Category

As a way to celebrate our wedding anniversary last Saturday, Mr. Wonderful and I decided to stop at the Yachats State Park in Yachats, on our way for an overnight stay at Lincoln City, both of which are coastal towns. Yachats is a favorite spot for us. This particular rest area overlooks the ocean and is adjacent to the mouth of a river.

When we got out of the car, we split up with me going south to check out the river’s tide while hubby went straight for the lookout deck. I have this weird obsession with tides, ever since I took a navigational class to improve kayaking skills. On my way to the path leading close to the river, I vaguely noticed a lone seagull.

As it was a bit blustery, overcast and high tide, we didn’t stay too long to explore down the rocks. Went back to the car and when the car doors closed, the lone seagull approached us. It stopped about 3-4 feet and just stared. That could mean one thing. It wanted handouts.

Hubby and I discussed this development a bit; mentioned to him I had popcorn. However, the popcorn bag was in the trunk and I was feeling lazy to get out and get it. Finally, after what seemed like a minute or two, decided to get the bag of that precious goodie. Trunk popped. I stepped out and as I did, noticed that several feet away, say about 50 feet, in a grassy area sat about 30-40 seagulls and other little black birds. Nonchalant and napping most probably.

Once the trunk opened and I started searching, that lone bird in slow motion opened its beak. A second delay later, came out the AHHHRRRRK! AHHHRRRK! sounds. Mind you, I don’t think it even saw what I was getting. But when those sounds came out of that bird, from my peripheral vision flickered a movement from the 30-40 seagulls and little black birds. Grabbed the bag, slammed the trunk shut, ran to the passenger side of the car. Trunk to passenger side only takes a few steps, but those birds beat me to it. Barely.

As I closed the door, hubby asked, “What did you do? I heard its cry.” I said, “I did nothing! Go, Go, Go!” We must have looked like criminals trying to drive away with a loot, away from all sorts of cops pursuing us.

The funny thing is, I figured to distract them from us I cracked open the window a bit and started throwing out popcorn. Some birds were right at the window, collided with other birds in pursuit of the loot. As we looked out the back window, there was chaos of birds and feathers. I must have emptied out a ziploc-full of CHEESY, DELICIOUS POPCORN…popcorn meant to be eaten at a movie theater we were planning to see later on.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
1) I believe that flying is incredible. It’s a faster means of traveling.
2) Birds are no idiots! Don’t look them in the eye as they can read minds and body language.
3) I was not meant to have popcorn. Incentive to see a movie forgotten.

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Somehow, 2009 has been a bit less productive when it came to blogging.

At the close end of 2009, I discovered Face Book! And so, the beginning of a bad addiction started.

Let me assure you, with a built-in guilt from years of being Catholic, I’d never stray too far from a project such as my blog, or my knitting, or anything that is dear to my heart. I’m still productive, but a bit spread-out-thin at the moment.

So to compensate, let me give you a treat for the eyes. Just click here. Trust me, it has something close and related to yarn, providers of yarn at least.

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Oh boy! I totally forgot about sending the next write-up on the Hood River Scenic Drive. So here’s Part 2.

       

The surprise stop in the fruit loop was the alpaca farm called Foothills Yarn & Fiber. A stop there meant yarns had to be bought, of course.

But the alpacas were deliciously cute and cuddly. In residence were a cat and a dog. And here they are:

  

Yes, this gentle giant, I found out, was quite heavy. He stepped on me when the cat crossed his path where my foot was. And he was the mystery nose I blogged earlier.

Back in the town of Hood River are quaint little stores that can all be visited by foot. Great restaurants and great views, I tell ‘ya. But what my hubby and I discovered was the trip up 2nd Street and Montello Avenue on a stairway beside the Big Horse Brew Pub. As you go up those steps is Winans Park on the right side. Keep going as the end of the steep stairway stops at Montello. On Montello, look down towards how beautiful the town of Hood River and Columbia River are, and you will be amazed that you have climbed up over 250 feet of over a steep 45° angle in no time. That was the best workout we had while there! Mind you, even with marathon training, I had to stop a few times to take my breath, while the hubby kept going.

                            

                    

We had a great time and will take My Precious next summer or fall. He was not too happy we left him out.

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Could have been…

Should have been…

Sweet Sixteen! Today!

Alas, all we have are memories. Great memories!

Jake misses you ~ because Jake misses the time he steals your share of the food bowl. haha!

I miss you because you were such a part of our family. Adaptable, malleable, and just one awesome ‘people’ cat. Everyone who knew you, loved you. Except maybe the one that made you go away. I still think I know who made you go away. I have suspicion but not proof.

Oh Tom, you are totally missed!

Our Hearts Ache for You, Tom!

And there is yet to be a blog page to honor you, oh sweet ol’ Tom!

In any case, Happy Birthday!

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I’m Still Sad!

Hello! My name is Jake!

Jake here: Where are you Tom?
I’m the only cat around now. I miss my cat friend, Tom. I’m having difficulty adjusting to this loneliness. To divert attention, I lick myself to oblivion. If not for the loving care of my human caregivers, I would be hairless by now.
Where is he? Where did he go?
His birthday is coming up, and usually there’s lots of food to go around. I miss food.
Where is he? huh?

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Whose nose do you think this belongs to?

Are you sure that's a nose?

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 Apples!

More Apples! These ones called Winter Bananas!     Mr. Wonderful's Faves: Red Pears!

Last Saturday, October 10th, with the great sunny weather still hanging around, Mr. Wonderful and I thought to go for an Autumn Foliage Fruit Loop Scenic Drive at Hood River.Two routes of interest: 1) Route 84 that runs from North Portland on the Columbia River Gorge. Columbia River Gorge, a powerful river sandwiched between Washington and Oregon, starts from the mouth of the Pacific Ocean on the west to somewhere close to Idaho on the east; and 2) Route 35, from Columbia River Gorge/Hood River town, goes south to Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood is the highest point in Oregon topping at 11,240 feet of magnificence. It may be lower than Mt. Rainier in Washington or Mt. Shasta of California, each of which tops at 14,000 some feet. Does anyone remember the disaster at Mt. Hood in 2002? So, even at 11k feet, it’s a mountain not to be reckoned with lightly.

Fishing Boats Out Early in the Morning on the Columbia River

Surprise Around the Bend ~ Mt. Hood!

Surprise Around the Bend ~ Mt. Hood!

 We have never gone through the fruit loop before. We had always stopped at Hood River town and to Mt. Hood itself in the summers for long hikes, but never stopping in between. It’s called fruit loop because of all the orchards doting in and out of Route 35. The premise of this autumn drive was just to see the orchards and not to go U-Pick on fruits. One can’t help but get a few fruits from the dozens upon dozens of fruit bins in these farms, though. Plus, the atmosphere and scenery in around the orchards were just something to behold. You just had to get some souvenirs.

 Pumpkins, Hay Stack and Picnic   Rambunctious Goats!

Autumn Is Definitely Here!   Orchard with Mt. Hood in the Background

Part 2 promises more photos.

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Tompkin Maroon passed away yesterday. He was 15.75 years old.

It was sudden. And that’s what’s make it hard to accept.
It was a decision to put an end to an unbearable pain.

Oh sweet, lovable, huggable, ‘lap’pable, adorable, super-popular neighborhood cat to humans. Terror to other cats. 

Farewell to you!

WE MISS YOU SO MUCH! WE LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!

Farewell to our sentinel! 

 

Still Guarding His Territory
 

More memorial coming soon!

 

 

 

 

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I have fallen off the fast-moving knitting wagon. Let me assure everyone (that is, if anyone is still out there checking out my blog), that I may have fallen off  but I’m brushing off the dirt, hobbling, scrambling to climb back up the wagon. It’s a race to get back on it.

Speaking of race………Yup! The race bug got me. I have already entered 2 races, a 5K on Mother’s Day for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Re-run Run and this last one, a 3K. The latest one, yesterday’s, was a fundraiser for the Greenhill Humane Society, called Bark in the Park.

Bark in the Park at the Start Line

My walking partner’s 2 dogs entered. I was to take her 4 year old Libby while she took 1 year old Matthew (Libby’s son). It was chaotic for me, me who is not used to handling dogs. I keep telling people around the start line to forgive me as I’m really a cat person.

When the race started, Libby wanted to be with her owner and was dragging me around to get to her. Boy, those bird dogs can run! As we met up, we exchanged dogs thinking Matthew, who usually is unpredictable and scatter-brain unless he sees birds, will be less attached to VC, the owner. I was more wrong than right. When he saw his mom dash off, he wanted to be with her or near her. He took off dragging me. Remember, there were people in the race……with dogs…….on the bike path……a bike path narrow enough for only 4 people wide. Matthew was worse to handle than his mom. If I slowed down, he would nudge my elbow to push me on. It was only a 3K (1.86 miles) race, but that was more exhausting than if I did a 5K.

After the race, there was agility demo, which the four of us entered. Libby was better at everything. Matthew was fine until we came upon the tunnel. So, VC and I switched dogs again. I got Libby to go through the tunnel. The guide told me to wait at the other end of the tunnel and dangle a dog treat. Libby was used to these ability tests and I had no clue whatsoever with what to do at these things. So as I went to the other end and peeked in, Libby smashed onto my face before I could even flash the treat. Shock was both on our faces.

Overall, I’ve never seen so many dogs of all kinds and sizes. They were amazingly well-behaved. I felt comfortable enough in what I’d call, ‘my slight phobia with dogs’.

VC with Libby and Matty

Libby (left) and Matthew with VC, just before the race. 

Oh, before I forget to mention, as Matty and I were rounding up to the pond filled with geese, ducks and ducklings, Matty lost focus. He kept looking to the pond and at one point, decided to go towards the water while we were just a few hundred yards from the finish line. Without looking down to him, I kept yelling, ” No birds! No birds! No birds!” People at the benches nearby were having a great laugh at that.

Isn't Matty Cute?

Guess I digress from knitting. Yes, I’m still knitting up squares for the afghan. Yes, KIP #4 is actually finished. I have yet to take photos. Sorry! And I’ve started another KIP ~ will blog about that soon.

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 Accumulating Walk Mileage Points

…the week before the Marathon

Here’s last week’s diary:

Tuesday, April 21st

I did an 7-miler with someone who happens to have damaged spinal nerves and would not join in the marathon. She’s amazingly upbeat, but then she’s totally and heavily medicated. It took us 1.75 hours to finish. That in itself is a BOOST to the ego. Because, she’s a fast walker, taller by 5 inches. I had no problem keeping up with her. At the Truffle Shuffle, she placed 68th with 00:28 minutes. I was only 3 minutes behind her, but I placed well beyond the 100’s.

 Thursday, April 23rd

My walking partner and I took to the park and finished an 8-miler. We had the company of her dog, a 1-year old Welsh Springer Spaniel. Although, this diary entry is about walking, I just HAVE tell you about this dog. It’s one of the most impressive dogs I’ve ever seen or met. It does not bark; one feature I like in a dog. It only comes in red and white color. And it’s a rare breed. Quite friendly. And it loves birds as they are sport hunting dogs. The Springer part of the dog is lovely to see when it starts running. It just goes up and down in a field of tall grass, a very wonderful sight to behold.

Saturday April 25th: 13 miles

These are the miles needed to complete a half marathon. I was ecstatic! It was no biggie. I didn’t feel knee pain or anything. I walked alone, as usual. My walking partner, who couldn’t make it Saturday was in Portland. I had to call her to give her the sweet news. 13 miles at 4.5 hours! The walk was very, very relaxed.

I couldn’t say the same with the night before the Saturday walk. I was unable to sleep until around 02:00. Couldn’t get up in time to prep and meet the walk group at 0900 to do 11 miles. So I skipped it again. The group walk compels one to go with the group speed (much faster).

Started at 11:33 and completed at 15:30. Did the right prep with protein intake, downed 32 oz. electrolyte water and this time swallowing a caffeine shot as an added bonus.

The caffeine shot actually gave me less or none of the knee pain I’d experience at mile 8 and above. When I didn’t feel pain, I pushed for 12 miles. When that felt great, I decided to go all the way to 13 miles.

So, barring stupidity on my part to get into knee trouble this week, I believe I AM READY FOR THE MARATHON on May 3rd. There’s a feeling of excitement and dread at the same time, that although a half marathon may be ‘half-baked’ or ‘not the real thing’, let me assure you 13 miles is no small feat for someone with knee problems.

My goal at this point, is to stay healthy, strong, pain-free. And a little bit of ambition to shave the time down to four hours or less. That would mean, from past experience with rowing races, ‘interval’ exercises will do the trick. But avoiding the burst start of a row, I will skip it as I don’t want to get pain at the very start of the race, pacing myself till about mile 5, picking up speed from mile 5 to mile 8, easing off from mile 8 to about mile 11.5. With pain in check, I will then burst or pick up the speed/jog to the finish.

If only that can easily happen. Weather, temperature, crowd, pre-race night rest/jitters and tummy status are factors that play up to a great or really bad race. But I’m optimistic and sooo excited!

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