Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bristlecone Trail

I had the opportunity to escape the desert valley heat for by taking a 25 minute drive to Mt Charleston and hike the Bristlecone Trail. The weather was wonderful-- cool and breezy. So many times as I stepped over pine cones I had to remind myself that I was in the desert. The trail itself is a 6 mile loop with a 700 foot elevation that happens slow enough that it doesn't seem so strenuous, yet is satisfying jaunt.

View of the ski lifts from trail


A fellow hiker kept stopping people to ask them to listen to the trees. That was a little granola for me.

The views are so expansive, and not a cactus in site!

I think I've been in the city too long, because I looked at the tall trees and realized how weird they looked as just trees and not cellphone towers.


Don't get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, but this hike is a wonderful respite! I ran into US Forest service volunteers who provide hikes with trained volunteers. You can also ask for a volunteer to join you on a hike of your own. The guides I ran into disected a flower on the spot to show how it was built for insects to pollinate. They have interpretive hikes schedule throughout the summer. For more info, check them out at Get Outdoors Nevada. I'm thinking about joining them on their Aug 9 Cathedral Rock hike. Dogs are invited on this one, but the regular reader of this blog will know that I would need to borrow a dog if I wanted to bring one because Youknowwho doesn't do outside unless it's to sunbathe.

Stray update: Dani at Knit Las Vegas I think was referring to him the other day when I was in the store. I wasn't thinking at the time, so I didn't really answer her, but here it is: I finally found the crazy cat people I've been looking for: a spay organization, SOS. I am to pick up a trap later in August. Bob Marley (yeah I named him) will hopefully be snatched up, snipped off, and returned with as little stress as possible to us all. I asked, so how often do I check the trap to make sure I didn't catch a neighbor's cat? The SOS person says, bring 'em in anyway. They are a nuisance running around not fixed. Hearing those words made miss CA. Things like that totally happen there. I could just imagine trapping the neighborhood cats, fixing them, and returning them with notes saying YOU'RE WELCOME.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sewing and Surprise from Japan

This summer I have been taking a sewing class through UNLV. I've made a t-shirt, pants, and skirt, but for my SILs bday, I decided to go with something simple- an apron out of Amy Butler's In Stitches book. Unlike the classroom, I don't have 2 long desks all to myself, but have a kitten that is a jerk.

I didn't finish my apron because one thing I didn't learn in sewing class: wash fabrics. I will have to do some re-cutting. I also planned to make another project that day, but -- OK thankfully only 2 people read this blog-- and I am one on of them, because this is embarassing: I was working on this very popular pattern from Nancy's Quilt Shop. Even though this pattern has been out for a couple of years,and I have been sewing a couple of months, I saw something that didn't make sense and proceeded as if it was a pattern mistake. AAAAHHHH! Whatever. I need to get more fabric. I know. I'm awesome. I did find a little comfort in blaming Sprinkles. Yes, I am the type that would blame a kitten. I'm a bad bad person. Though just as I realize Sprinkles' cutting error, a Japan box arrives to calm down my cursing at and blaming of kitten for what clearly is her fault.

The box is bittersweet because it is my last Tokyo box since LaFujiMama as of this writing is now LaTheOCMama. Sprinkles decided to help me with the opening of this box too. Thanks kitten.

A Bento box with all the accouterment:

Random stuff:

My creation
The Pashmina shawl she picked up in Cambodia. I love the wooden doll that I plan to introduce to WHN's Chinese head that sits on our mantle. I have to admit my fav though is this adorable bracelet. I hate taking it off! She says she saw it a craft fair and it looked like something I would like. How well she knows my likes! The book on the right is especially fun, combining both knit and crochet projects. I love Japanese craft books. They are always well-diagramed and have a key to help with code. I will definitely be making some things out of this book.

A lovely farewell Tokyo box that arrived at the perfect time. Sprinks agrees too.

Here is the doll with the head on the mantle. The brown thing is an amber trinket WHN picked up on Ebay for $2. I have no idea why. He has a knack for finding the most random stuff. The diodes (that's what they are called right?) because WHN likes cracked opened rocks. And the the milagro is mine, because I LOVE milagros!

As a thank you, I am making a sun dress for Baby Fuji.
sun dress
The top, was a pain-- physically and mentally. The yarn has to be pulled really taught to get the smocking. I thought I would have enough red for the dress, however, I won't, no matter how much I try to will it to be so. I originally bought both these colors because one day LFM said she wanted me to crochet some random basket she saw online for her. I thought how mindless, I could crochet this quick thereby setting the precedent of pointing something out and receiving it. So my plan is do the same to her when I find something horribly complicated and miserable that I don't want to make, but want. I know CLEVER CLEVER!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Any cat people out there? I need advice!

I'm a S-U-C-K-E-R for animals. All but Toonsters are rescues. I noticed this particular cat when we moved here. Before we shut the cat door because Sprinkles is still too little, I knew a stray visited at night and ate Fred's food. Since Sprinkles arrived, we've kept this door shut. I started leaving food out for kitty.

I called a local cat rescue, but was told they were 100 cats over their cat allotment. I can't get kitty to come up to me really, but today have discovered: he's an unfixed boy. Unfortunately, I can't bring a third cat in to compete with my ultra alpha Fred. As a reminder, Fred's an old alley cat that is so broken down (see below), we got Sprinkles to be Gramp's escort outside from just this type of cat. Thankfully, Sprinkles so far (inside and supervised outside) is a scrapper. Also, I can think of 2 ferrets that are having a hard enough time dealing with said scrappy kitten.


Looking at his ear, he is clearly injured. I am sure there are other issues he has (besides those furry little balls that have GOT TO go) Unfortunately, Las Vegas does not have the stray resources that other cities do, so I am at a loss how to help him.

Fred's tore up'dness
My creation

And a token ferret picture:
Ferrets have no fear of the animals in this house. Now imagine a cat that has been on his own in the wild... not a great combo.

Any thoughts given the VERY LIMITED resources of Las Vegas, would be appreciated.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Flora great. Fauna nosomuch.

A few weeks ago we transfered our cherry tomato plants (yellow pear and super sweet 100) to upside down buckets. Cherry tomatoes are supposed to do great in Vegas. Whatever.

Happy planting day:
upside down Yellow pears

Unhappy two weeks later:
bad tomatos
The yellow you see are not tomatoes, but leaves. Ug.

And my peppers are doing just as well!
bad peppers

I bought some native plants grown in the Springs Preserves. I look forward to killing indigenous plants too.

The animals are coming along kind of sort of.

As for Sprinks and the ferrets. Very odd dynamics. Tiff still wants to befriend Sprinkles. Babette and Sprinkles are in an all out war. Sprinkles stalks Babette until Babette flips out and chases Sprinkles. To remind you, Tiff is the alpha ferret, so the fact that Babette evidently is trying to keep a kitten from usurping her 2 position is kind of cute. Sprinkles, too afraid to really challenge Babette, takes out her frustration on Tiffany (who is still trying really hard to befriend Sprinkles) by swatting, chasing, and being an all-around jerk towards poor Tiffany.

However, the bigger animals are adjusting better.
animals together

OK so not all days are great...
Sprinkles not wanting a bath
If you noticed the couch-- hot off the success of my summer gardening, I plan to re-upholster this sectional. If you are thinking, "oh I didn't know she could sew..." You are correct my friend. However, I have learned to thread my machine, so I figure I'm golden.

If you noticed the slender dog-- as of her last weigh in, she is within 2 lbs of her goal weight (from 49 to 41)

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