canyonwren: (coffee)
I bought that tank top, [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands! Wore it to the gym and had to explain it to the trainer. I don't think she got the Ripley reference though, which I didn't realize until later. Not used to people who don't have the same SF background!

Oops, cut for size )

I also bought a copy of Spots the Space Marine, which I am now enjoying.

Snow geese

Jan. 13th, 2013 10:38 pm
canyonwren: (coffee)
Took some time to search out snow geese today. It was wonderful watching them, but eventually some hunters showed up to ruin the party. They took off, with one fatality that I saw, and the 20 or so birders refrained from being overtly rude to the guys with the guns. (Okay, I flipped them off in their general direction, but it was merely a gesture of frustration as we were out of sight with each other. The dead goose, however, fell almost directly at my feet. Way to ruin the mood.)

Snow Geese heading north

Birding day )
canyonwren: (coffee)
Vanity shots, if anyone cares. )

Tomorrow is my three-month anniversary of joining Crossfit. In addition, while my weight has stayed roughly the same, I've gone down 1.5 sizes.

NY hike

Jan. 2nd, 2013 12:11 am
canyonwren: (coffee)
Making an utter liar of myself --just two days ago, I said I wasn't going to hike Mailbox again anytime soon-- I got up this morning in the mood for a punishing hike.

It was brutal. Holy crap. I'll post an actual trip report later, but got up to Mailbox today through steep, sheer snow-covered mountainsides and scree cliffs. I used microspikes for half the hike, then switched to snowshoes for the scree fields. They're so steep when snow-covered that I had passed by nervousness into actual fear while descending. I also didn't make it back before sunset, so spent the last half-hour navigating the hard-to-see trail via headlamp. I didn't think this would be a problem in advance, but the reflective diamonds are missing on the lower portion of the hike. I had to backtrack once when I lost the trail.

This was SO not easy. I'm going to be sore for a couple of days.

Mailbox Peak
canyonwren: (coffee)
Whenever I go to a white elephant gift exchange, I fail to nail it. If I bring a true white elephant gift; everyone else brings nice gifts. If I forgo the bottle of deer urine (or another hilarious gift that suddenly becomes AWKWARD amongst all the nice offerings), my good-intentioned gift still usually falls flat. Having no clue where the gym party fell along those lines, I bought a few things that I figured would be hated. Turns out, this was a group of people who understood that "white elephant" means "awesomely stupid gifts."

I almost ended up with a pair of Hello Kitty walkie-talkies, but they were stolen from me at the last minute. The cute stuffed kitty I brought was swooped up by a tough body-builder guy, who tucked it under his arm and dared anyone to steal it. I brought a spare gift in case someone forgot theirs (they did), so the last one opened was my pair of gaudy toe-socks decorated with penguins. The guy who got them had to fight off his wife, and finally pointed out that she could borrow them since they live in the same house. :D

Wow, I embrace my awkward gift-giving habits and it works! I need to go get some Hello Kitty walkie talkies for myself, to make up for what I lost.

The gym threw one of their multi-gym competitions today (the Frostbite Throwdown), which I did not participate in. However, the gift I ended up with was a competition t-shirt that says SnoCo Crossfit Frostbite Throwdown COMPETITOR. In other words, I look like an enormous douchebag wearing it. :D It'll be a workout shirt only.

The guy who had the best "ugly Christmas sweater" wore this. I think they're going to get a flood of orders from everyone else at the party, who suddenly NEEDS this sweater.


PS. I've never actually given a bottle of deer pee as a joke present, but I keep thinking it's an awesome idea. But holy hell, that's asking for trouble. Everyone else will bring fine wine and chocolates, just watch.
canyonwren: (coffee)
I moved the fancy cathouse I built for Celeste to a sheltered, out of the way spot behind my house. Every now and then I look inside, trying to see if any feral (or squirrel/raccoon/possum) has decided to move in. No dice. Today though, I peeked in and saw CATFACE!

Puffer, the longtime resident kinda-feral, has discovered it. I'm delighted. One of my neighbors is her primary caretaker, but he works away from home for ten days at a time. This gives her a nice little alternative shelter to wherever else she sleeps when he's gone.
canyonwren: (Default)
I had to run Tashi into the vet this morning for an emergency manicure. She's been growing these thick, horny nails on her front paws, which have puzzled me for maintenance purposes. I just don't have the right kind of clippers to get through them. I thought it was because of her arthritis--she doesn't scratch her claws anymore--but I still thought they'd shed off sooner or later. However, last night, after clipping her rear claws, I noticed her front claws had curled all the way around and were digging into her paw pads. OUCH.

The vet thanked me profusely for bringing her right in, as opposed to waiting until her claws had actually broken the skin. (I thought they had and was highly relieved that they hadn't.) She was merely walking, on her arthritic paws, on little claw points with every step. Poor baby.

This vet, new to me and the THIRD she's seen in 1.5 months--diagnosed a return of her thyroid condition. Horny nails are a symptom, and my other vet has been thinking thyroid for a while now, too. Joy. I ordered a diagnostic test to verify.

Let's see: arthritis, chronic ear condition, possible nasopharyngeal polyp causing breathing issues OR dental issues leading to breathing issues, and now a return of the thyroid disease. Geriatric cats... I hope her kidneys stay in good health.

Happy 17th birthday, kittycat! (Sadly, I missed it by a few days. Bad catmom! All this drama with Celeste-the-other-cat distracted me.)

Old pic, but one of my faves:
Portrait with Tashi

The end?

Nov. 6th, 2012 06:12 pm
canyonwren: (Kitty Love)
I came home from work today to find Celeste-the-cat missing, along with her carrier.

I assume ex-Neighbor's friend came by to get her after all. If I understand correctly, ex-Neighbor's new landlord doesn't disallow cats, but had a really expensive deposit that she didn't want to, or couldn't, pay. When the friend came by, all stressed out because ex-Neighbor won't stop sobbing, I said, "Jeez, if it's only money, why don't you all network and pool some money together? I'll throw some in, if it comes to that." The friend agreed, then came back the next day with some cat food. She told me she'd come back for the cat "tomorrow or sometime over the week," and so apparently did. Ex-N and the cat have probably been reunited by now. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Frankly, I think Celeste would have done better with a more responsible, less crazy, owner. But whatever. Ex-N better not abandon her again, although I'll never know about it if she does.

My new cathouse will be repurposed for the other neighborhood cats. I'm feeling a little sad that I didn't have a chance to say goodbye, but relieved that it's been settled. She left here well-fed, sheltered, and with plenty of petting over the last few weeks.

The cynical part of me says this was all a ploy to save ex-N paying an expensive deposit.

So, thanks everyone who networked for new homes! I appreciate it very much. If the cat magically shows up again--oh, godz--I'll reopen the plea.
canyonwren: (Default)
When I realized Celeste (the cat) was abandoned, I gave her a box with a rug inside and another draped over it, to give her some shelter. Today, I decided to make a more all-weather cat house, since it may be a while before she finds a home. Cardboard just wasn't going to cut it and the rugs were going to start getting damp, even though the set-up is in a sheltered spot.

I started with a large rubbermaid-ish tub with a locking lid and carefully cut a 6" hole in one side, as well as two small drainage holes in the bottom. I then fit in 1" styrofoam insulation, leaving another inch of space --supported by insulation blocks-- between the tub walls and the insulation walls. Once that was firmly in place, I carpet-taped in vinyl flooring to both the floor and the sides, so kitty claws wouldn't shred the insulation. I left a block of insulation free for the "ceiling," that fit under the lid. Read more... )

Fitness!

Nov. 3rd, 2012 12:43 am
canyonwren: (Leap)
I've been attending my new Crossfit gym for a month now, although the first week I only went to one introductory class. Since then, I've gone either two or three times a week -- I'd love to do more, but it's too pricey. I'm currently opting to pay by drop-in fee, which isn't too bad.

I've suddenly noticed that my forearms are solid as a rock from all the pull-ups, and I'm seeing small differences in my shoulders and back. I've actually gained a few pounds, probably more from water retention than muscle increase. I do have a really impressive bruise on my thigh from not quite making one of the box jumps a few days ago. Those are tricky when you're tired, because you either succeed or crash. The coach on patrol encouraged me to start jumping again immediately, so not to get jittery about doing them. On the other hand, when I kept screwing up the form of one of the lifts, she fired me from it so I wouldn't get the wrong form stuck in my head. :D I'm pleased that they're very conscientious about form. No injuries at all-- not even very sore most days.

Yesterday's workout was pretty simple: the long warm-up (about 15 different exercises), a mile run, 40 burpees, then another mile run. I did my first mile in about 7.5ish minutes, which is speedy for me. The effects from a summer of half-marathons and hiking must still be lingering.

If the weather doesn't suck too bad tomorrow, I'm heading out for a day on the trails. If it does suck, then we'll see.
canyonwren: (Default)
Unbelievably gorgeous hike up on Ptarmigan Ridge today. I didn't mean to hike the whole thing, but I couldn't stop. It was only about eight miles or so, but a long drive home.

Last night, I finally sat down at watched the National Geographic Special Journey to the Edge of the Universe on Youtube. It's a special-effects masterpiece that takes you up-close and personal with our neighboring planets, sun, and then extends out. I find it hypnotizing and glorious. To go from that to hiking in what is surely one of the most beautiful places on Earth is pretty amazing.

Ptarmigan Ridge to Baker

Following Ptarmigan Ridge to Mount Baker )
canyonwren: (Default)
...as observed when driving down the mountain last night from Sharkins' solstice end of summer party.

Forest fire moon
canyonwren: (Leap)
I keep wondering how long the high-altitude season will last. I only tried one hike in July (Chatter Creek), but bailed due to the insane heat. Went to Leavenworth instead, if I remember correctly, and ate gingerbread. It's never too hot for gingerbread.

August, did Ozette, Oyster Dome with [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands --and ran into my "Oh we must hike together sometime" friend, Kristen-- and something I'm forgetting. September did Snow/Gem Lake, Burroughs (both with TWH), and now Hannegan Pass. Not a heavy hiking summer, but intense heat ain't my thing unless I'm in the Grand Canyon. I *did* also do Colorado and Stehekin earlier. Next week, possibly Ozette again for another volunteer clean-up, then I'm hoping the forest fires die down and air clears enough to head out to Roslyn for some of my old favorites. Maybe the snow will be late? It was late melting, darnit. Either way, in my stalwart attempt to support TWH in her SAR training, I'll be hiking all winter. Rain, sleet, snow-- search and rescue training won't wait. At least I'll be in the company of a wilderness EMT.

[Oh, right, I also did a hike with Kitty, but hell if I can remember which one... Lake Annette? We got stopped by the snow, ultimately. Must redo.]

I wish I could put in that epic Wilderness EMT shot I took of her right here, but I leave hiking logs public and her face is, uh, private.

Anyway, Hannegan Pass. In lovely weather, the views are awesome. Or so I surmise. I remember, I think, hiking this trail many years ago. It's quite long and tough, and I am going to be sore tomorrow. The views, sadly, were all covered with a rusty tinge of the forest fires. The fires are breaking my heart already, since they're burning down the Teanaways, which is sacred ground to me. :( I can't bear to go over to Cle Elum quite yet. Well, the fires are also not out and even my healthy lungs would act up with that air quality.

I took a few pics of Hannegan, which is off of Mt. Baker.
A few pics of the hike up. )

I did not hike Hannegan Peak, although I meant to. The trail is an absurd scramble, quite brutal. I simply wasn't up for it. Next time, with better air.
canyonwren: (Leap)
Went up to Sunrise and hiked Burroughs 1&2, coming back on the Sunrise Trail. It was a fantastic day. There's a change in the air, so it's one of the last snow-free weekends up there, I think. Short season this year.

Rainier hike )
canyonwren: (Default)
A couple of weekends ago, I went hiking at Dungeness and Ozette. Did the loop hike at Ozette and hauled out three garbage bags of trash. It was a nine mile hike, so I had the bags hanging off a hiking pole, which was sitting horizontally across the top of my backpack. (Had some comedian tell me I looked like one of "those Chinese coolies." Nice.) In between doing a million lunges to pick up sea trash (mainly tsunami-related styrofoam), I took a few photos.

Dungeness and Ozette )
canyonwren: (Leap)
Awesome hike with [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands up to Gem Lake today. Not much time until snow starts falling again. I'll try to pull together an actual hiking log later, but for now: The Cutest Pika of the Day.

The Cutest Pika of the Day
canyonwren: (Leap)
Just a quick note recording that on Saturday I ran the Taylor Mountain half-marathon. I was leaving it up to fate whether I did it or not. I set my alarm for 7:00 and said, "If it's raining, I'll sleep in. If it's not raining, I'll go." I accidentally set my alarm for 7:00 pm, though. Woke up at 7:45, saw that it was pretty much not raining, and shot out of the house. I didn't have time to think about it, so I just went.

Race talk )
canyonwren: (Default)
Washington State is known as the state with the most invasive snails*. We apparently have 18 species of invaders, compared to six species of native snails.

Here is the Asian Mud Snail (Batillaria), as experienced at Padilla Bay yesterday: Some pics )

The sad thing is, when I was taking my field marine biology classes in university, there were *none*. I know people are concerned about more invasive species arriving on the tsunami trash, and this is why.


*It totally is. But we do excel in apples, woot! Check it out: See? )
canyonwren: (Leap)
In a little bit of a last-minute decision, I drove out to Chelan on Friday to tackle my first official trail race. I trail run all the time, but running and racing are really pretty different. I just did the North Olympic Discovery Half two weeks ago, but I wanted to see how an actual trail run went before I started signing up for tons of them. They all *look* like fun and they're way cheaper than the road races.

Doom! )

Soaked out my sore muscles in the Hot House today. I think that's going to become a post-race tradition from here on out. I need to start a massage fund, so I always have cash for that as well.

ETA: From their FAQ -
Q: What is your recommendation for refueling during a run?
A: Unless you are like Lance Armstrong with an exceptional ability to digest food, on average the body can absorb roughly 250 calories per hour. Because of this, we suggest you eat roughly a bar or two gels per hour. If you wait until you’re hungry to eat, you will be running on low blood sugar which is commonly known as “bonking” and you will experience a significant drop in performance.

Yeah, I totally bonked. Now I know that I absolutely need more calories for trail running than for road running.
canyonwren: (Leap)
I escaped the rain today by crossing the mountains and hiking to the Ancient Lakes. I love that Washington's canyon lands are a mere 40 miles or so from the gorgeous alpine area of Leavenworth.

The lakes are situated in a valley with canyon walls on each side, nearly exactly halfway between I-90 and HWY2, not far from the Columbia river. It's true sagebrush scrubland, and reminds me strongly of some areas in Arizona and New Mexico. It's a quick hike in the the lakes, providing you know which route to take. It's not only unsigned and confusing to get to, but you're on your own once you actually find the trail. Lots of trails heading out everywhere. Definitely a good place to have a map.

Stopped by Leavenworth on the way home to get some gingerbread. Dark and spicy, just the way I like it! I gave most of the loaf to my neighbors (who keep cooking me dinner!), but unrepentantly ate a huge chunk as soon as I got home. I've wrapped up eight weeks on minimal sugar, so Imma have a treat! (And back to minimal sugar again tomorrow... *sigh* It really helps to keep the monster on a leash.)

Lots of pics )

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Jen Kleis

November 2014

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