Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Navi the great white hunter

Navi hunting moles from Stephanie on Vimeo.

Navi doesn't have as much acreage to cover at the new house, but she still does her best to catch any rodents that wander through it. She has caught a rat, a squirrel (which she ate in it's entirety), moles, and a number of field mice. In the clip above she is listening to the molehill for sign of a mole. I have seen her sitting perfectly still for many minutes at a time waiting for something to make a noise, or pop out of a hole! when she hears something she pounces, digging to catch it. When she doesn't, she moves over to check the next hole. She's quite methodical. Within a week she caught it!

Last week she caught a field mouse, and I offered to trade her a piece of lunchmeat for it, and she came in the house for the lunchmeat, while I went outside and disposed of the mouse carcass. She went back out to find it gone. So later that day we took her for a walk at the watertower park, and as we were walking through the grass suddenly a baby bunny jumped up and zigged and zagged and ran right into Navi - who dispatched it with a snap! Of course, she only mortally wounded it, so we decided it would be best to let her finish it off so it wouldn't suffer, and once she got her teeth back on it, she not only didn't want to let it go, but crunch crunch crunch - she ATE THE WHOLE THING. We were appalled! We were going to go home and cook a nice dinner, but nobody felt like eating after that.

Today while on a walk at the watertower park Navi was looking for bunnies again, but didn't see any. I maneuvered her and Barclay around a dead opossum that had been hit by a car and shoved off the side of the road, but while concentrated on the opossum I didn't notice Navi quickly peeling a flattened squirrel up off the road! Oh my goodness, that is the most disgusting thing she's ever picked up! It was like a stiff piece of really stinky leather! There was no way she was giving that up, and I wasn't going to touch it! I finally pushed her head down enough to step on the other end of the squirrel and she dropped it, and I steered them away from it. Maybe we'll stay away from the watertower park for a while. Ugh!

Here is a longer clip of her hunting mice in the grass around the base of the fence. I love how she stands so still, then her tail starts wagging when she hears something. Hunting is her favorite thing!

Navi Hunting Mice from Stephanie on Vimeo.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mr Miata gets a new top!

My bargain Miata came with a wrecked top when I bought it, so before last winter hit I put a junkyard top on it. It wasn't a permanent solution, but it was cheap and it kept the car dry inside. Still, the more times I put it up and down, the worse the tears on it got, and it was very hard to put up when it was cold at all. I had resigned myself to getting a bargain top for it, and learning to install it on the frame myself, because I couldn't afford to have it professionally done.

Saturday turned into a Miata day. Dave and I went to the gym, exercised and then hit the pool, and then as we were driving home enjoying the wind in our wet hair, I mentioned that the Miata should get an oil change, and Dave said 'why not now?' Since we had nothing else to do we headed up to Tire Factory and had them do an oil change, and then when that was done asked them to give it an inspection to see what needed to be fixed under there. I figure if you buy a Miata as cheap as this one, there's bound to be something needs fixing, and I thought the ride was a little rough.

Well they came back and said not only did everything look fine, but it looks like a nice aftermarket suspension under there, so the rough ride is actually normal! Well, that's a relief! Also the brakes were practically new so nothing to fix there. Basically we got away with nothing but an oil change and good news. And that's part of why I trust the guys at Dick's Tire Factory in Battle Ground, WA - they could have told me I needed new struts, that's what I came in suggesting, and instead they sent me home happy! 

Saturday night I decided to check Craigslist one more time before bed and in the auto parts section under Miata someone had just posted a cloth soft top off a wrecked 2005 miata with a glass rear window - for less than I would have to pay for a bargain vinyl and plastic top new! I emailed them immediately and went to bed too excited to sleep! The next day he emailed back and lucky me, I was first in line. We picked it up that afternoon, brought it home, and Dave helped me swap it onto Mr Miata. It only took us about 4 hours, even taking breaks because it was so hot! And the result...

..is FABULOUS!!! I did not think I would get a top this nice! It looks like new, and the glass rear window is so much nicer than the old plastic window. I'll have to run new wires for the defrost if I want to hook that up sometime, because '90 Miatas don't have that wiring. This is just a super find, I'm so happy I was lucky enough to get it, and that Dave helped me get it all installed. 


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Gone Campin' for July 4th!

Time to pull out the Airstream again and go camping. This time our friends Scott and Sherry (and their pups Sake and Sitka, who we frequently doggie-sit) invited us to join them at one of the RV Resorts they camp at - KM Resorts Ocean Breeze at Ocean City, WA.

Navi and Barclay are buckled up and ready to go!

We stopped along the way to get a pic of our handsome new rig. I'm still delighted with how the Flex tows, how maneuverable it is with the trailer (Dave has a much easier time getting the Airstream in and out of it's home behind the house than he did with the van) and of course, how it looks. I think they make a sharp-looking pair!

We got there and they had saved us a cozy little spot in the trees. The campground is heavily wooded, and felt very private where we were. Other rows were much busier though, so this was a great spot. There were a lot of mosquitoes too, because you can't have everything perfect!

In no time we had the dog yard set up and the dogs were barking at everyone going by - business as usual! Our friends were camped with their giant 5th wheel right next door, on the other side of the trees. Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures because it rained so much I ended up leaving my camera safe and dry inside for most of the weekend.

They had us come join them for 4th of July, because the beach at Ocean City, and for quite a distance up and down the shore, turns into a giant party. I've really never seen anything like it, and I've lived in the NW my whole life. I've never even HEARD of such a thing. Of course I grew up in Oregon, where the beaches are treated like they are kind of sacred. They are preserved and kept natural for the enjoyment of all. It was kind of appalling to see people driving up and down the beach in WA, camped out, with big bonfires, car camping with windbreaks built up all around them, firing off fireworks. It was probably the closest I'll ever get to Burning Man, I've just never seen anything like it.

Here in this video I took before dark to see the cars as far as you can see in both directions, several camps deep between the dunes and the driving area, and then more people parked between the driving area and the water.

beach party from Stephanie on Vimeo.

In this video after dark you can just make out fireworks off in the distance. These were BIG fireworks, being shot off probably a few miles down the beach, and then I panned over the same view as in the video before dark. Now you can see fireworks all the way up the beach to the North, as far as you can see. It was really an amazing sight!

fireworks after dark from Stephanie on Vimeo.

The next day we explored Aberdeen, WA, had some very good clam chowder, and then lazed around and rested. I love napping in the Caravel on rainy days. I just get warm fuzzy tingly all over, it makes me so happy. The Caravel is just a warm and cozy place to listen to the rain falling.

We spent a bit of time around the campfire (in and out of the rain), and had a nice dinner with our friends, and then Dave and I went to hit the nearby indian casino and dropped $40 in less than 40 minutes! Not as much fun as I'd been led to believe!

The next morning we woke up early and decided to head out early. There was something interesting we'd seen on our way to the beach that we wanted to check out on the way home.

It is an abandoned unfinished nuclear power plant near Elma, WA. Wow, seeing those cooling towers peeking over the tree-covered hills really got my attention - we had to take a detour to visit it.

This nuclear plant has been reclaimed by turning it in to a business park. It was unfinished and never had nuclear material in it, so the power plant parts of the structure just sit abandoned and taking up space. Look at the  top of the unfinished containment building, the rebar is just sticking up out of the top!

Looks like they at least put a top on the other containment building before they abandoned the whole project.

There are two cooling towers. Far enough apart I couldn't get both in one picture.

And now they sit surrounded by weeds and wildflowers.

They are really really really BIG! They sit there hollow and empty.

Well, that was pretty fun, and totally worth the side trip. We hung out there for a bit and ate breakfast before continuing the journey home.

When we got home we decontaminated the trailer - just kidding! It was time for it's annual bath, and the weather was too lousy last time we took it out. This was a nice day, so we gave it a good scrub before putting it away under it's carport. I can't wait to see where we take it out to next.



Thursday, July 03, 2014


Barclay is not a morning person. In fact, when I have to get up and go to work, he sneaks up and lays on my still warm pillow and goes back to sleep. I am also not a morning person, so it is hard not to just cuddle up to him and go back to sleep myself!


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Trout Lake, 2014

This is a late post because I have fallen horribly behind on my blogging.

As usual, we spent Memorial Weekend in Trout Lake. Actually, I guess it wasn't usual, because the last couple years our attendance has been spotty, but this time we were there for the whole weekend, and it was great, as always.

This was our first trip with the new rig - our '09 Ford Flex was finally all prepped, the new hitch was installed and setup, and it was all ready to pull our wee little trailer.

Pulled like a champ!

The dogs had to put up with the new travel rules in the Flex, namely that they have to be buckled in (since they are surrounded by airbags, and if there was an accident I want them to be safe). They both have new Sleepypod Click-It harnesses that fasten into the safety anchors in the back seat and keep them securely in place.

They did great, with only minor tantrums from Barclay. Navi handled it fine, considering she doesn't care for car rides at all!

Before we knew it we were among our people again :) Surrounded by Airstreams!

And there is NOTHING like the jaw-dropping view of the mountain. We come back year after year, and every year I want to just sit and soak it up, it's so beautiful!

The dogs, and Dave, found the trailer the perfect place to unwind.That's exactly where Dave spent most of the weekend!


 Our old camera phone pictures came out looking pretty surreal.

We got to spend lots of time hanging out with friends, like Gary & Janet, and Jim & Cheryl with Ziggy the insane Boston

Ranger Jon and Stephanie and the kids, Loren and Carolyn and Cosmo the shepherd, and Theresa and Glenn and a small pack of yorkies and her sister Leah who we welcomed even though she drove a Mini-Winnie (it was actually really cool inside), Pat and Janice and their sweet yellow lab, and plenty more folks than that. It was a nice sized group this year!

My crazy dogs. Barclay was totally mellow, but Navi just wanted me to get her out of there!

Don & Claudia from Yreka, who we haven't had a chance to visit with for way too long!

 Beautiful scenery, as always

Fun times in our cozy little trailer.

This was the dogs' favorite place to watch the activities from (when they weren't in the dog-yard)! They didn't want to miss anyone coming or going!

And after three days of potlucks and singing and talking around the campfire it was all over and we had to pack up and head back home and to our daily grind. Whenever we do this it reminds me why we have the Airstream, and we wonder why we don't do it more often. Maybe this year we will!