Saturday, July 30, 2016

Puppy and cross stitch

The puppy has been home for a week now, and is doing well.  Crate training is progressing nicely.  If we need to put him in the crate during the day, he does sometimes yell for a bit but he does settle down and nap.  When I go to bed at night, he's in the crate next to the bed, and generally goes right to sleep.  He does occasionally wake me up in the middle of the night to go out; in that case, having the crate next to the bed is perfect.

Sleeping on the couch:

After taking a walk with Penny!

Up on a hay bale, while "helping" with barn chores.  (It was the only way I could get him to hold still long enough to get a picture!)

In other news, I have started a cross stitch project, for the first time in about 10 years!  I had given up cross stitch (but still had some projects kitted up that I just could not part with) and pretty much given up applique, mostly because of my eyesight.  Even bifocals aren't helping enough for such close, detailed work.  I came across some cross stitch blogs the other day, and some of those people were using lighted magnifiers (large ones!).  After some comparison shopping, hubby bought me a floor-standing OttLite lighted magnifier!

At this point I have dug out my floor frame (it's called a Grip-It Plus, but is apparently no longer in production - although it looks very much like the Edmunds company floor frames).


I have set up a new project, and I have been watching videos on YouTube about things like gridding your fabric for projects.  I'd love to get back to some of the very intricate artwork patterns I collected years ago!

My new project is an inexpensive downloaded pattern for a close-up of a guitar and strings, called "Guitar Strings" that I got on Etsy.

Here is my floor frame setup.

Here is the lamp set up over the floor frame with my project.

And here is my project, seen at my eye level through the lit-up magnifier!

It really makes an amazing difference!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Puppy is home!

My youngest child (almost 19) and I traveled almost all day Friday up to the Northern Kingdom of Vermont to pick up our new puppy.  This is Jasper!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Yesterday was a long day...

We traveled up to Vermont - all the way up 93 to 91, then north for a bit longer.  We went up to view some puppies and put a deposit on one.

This is a red merle male mini Aussie (they now have their own registry as North American Shepherds, or something like that, but this particular guy will only be a bit smaller than a regular Aussie - not in the "toy" category).  He is not yet named - in fact, he is not yet home, as he still needs to receive his puppy shots.  We're hoping we'll be able to pick him up by the end of the week!

In other news, Penny starts classes at American K-9 Country in Amherst, NH tomorrow, to further socialize her and help her be more comfortable around new situations (as well as people and other dogs).  If she can be happy instead of stressed in new situations, we will definitely do more hiking together.

I haven't done any more hiking since the rail trail; we've been hit with a heat wave, and I have no desire to hike in that.  I have been working on a few puzzles in the last few weeks, in the nice air-conditioned bedroom.  I need to work more with the dogs (trick training) as well as work on my guitar more!  Guitar lessons have moved to Wednesday afternoons for the summer, and there are fewer of them, but they will continue nevertheless.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rail-Trail hike

I decided earlier this week to try a more local, easier hike that I've been considering for some time.  The Rockingham Recreational Trail is a former railroad track that has been turned into a hiking trail.  It is mostly flat, mostly smooth, and easy to follow.  It starts in Manchester and goes to Newfields NH, a total of 27 or 28 miles depending on the trail description you find.

Remy and I started out from Manchester to see how far we could get.  The rail trail crosses roads on a regular basis and it's pretty easy to find out where you are, especially if you are using a GPS or tracker program.  (I'm using the "e-crumbs" app from RoadID so that my husband can "see" where I am during my hikes.)

Remy has uneven muscle development in his hind legs due to the broken leg he suffered as a tiny puppy.  Walking is very good for him; much more so than running, but probably less than swimming. I also don't know how well he would handle the stress and strain of a hike.  This, however, was great terrain for him.  I will be taking him on more hikes/ walks like this in the future.  Perhaps eventually he can regain enough strength in that leg to hike with me.

This is the start of the trail, near the Rite-Aid pharmacy on Tarrytown Road in Manchester.  It runs through some very urban areas for the first couple of miles, although you would never know it except when roads cross the trail.

There are several tunnels to pass through, going under highways (Rt 93 and Rt 101).

In the city the road crossings are identified.  Most of the more rural ones (in Auburn and Candia, so far) are identified, but not all.

We went by Lake Massabesic in Manchester.

This underpass goes under Hooksett Road in Auburn NH.

Some of the trail signs are quite extensive.  In the winter these trails are apparently part of a very extensive snowmobile trail system.

We called it a day at just short of 9 miles, at a gas station/ rest area off Exit 3 of Rt 101 in Candia, near the Raymond line.  We'll be picking up our hike at that point and continuing on, likely some time next week.  Remy did a great job carrying his water.  We came across maybe a dozen people during our hike, and only two dogs.  One dog was a German shepherd; when the lady realized we were coming down the trail, she retreated back to the closest road crossing.  I don't know if she was worried about us, or if her dog is unfriendly.  Unfortunately I did not get a picture of either of them.

July 3 Hike - 52 With a View #3, Mt Roberts

I went hiking on July 3 to continue my quest for the "52 With a View" peaks.  I chose Mt Roberts, on the grounds of the Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH.

Zoey was my partner for the day.  This one was recommended as an easier hike, after the strenuous Welch & Dickey Loop last week.  It definitely lived up to its billing.  It starts out as a wide, smooth trail, also used for the riding horses at the Castle in the Clouds stable.  The trail goes behind the stable (red roof in the photo below).

After that it turns upward, and follows orange diamond markers.

Zoey is doing well carrying some of our water.  I gave her two half-liter bottles.  As soon as I empty one of my 1-liter Nalgene bottles, I pour her water into my bottle and she carries the empties.

There are a few somewhat steep parts to the trail, but it was almost all shady and cool, and much easier than the rock climbing and bouldering we've done thus far.  We ran into a troop of about a dozen teenage campers (and one leader) who were returning from two nights in the woods.

In the view below (click to enlarge photo) there is a small area just left of center that looks like a trail or loop.  That is the parking area, far below.

We ran into three other trail dogs, and got photos of two of them.  Below is Bromley.  He was a real sweetheart.

This is Lady.  Lady is not as friendly as Bromley, but allowed us to take her picture anyway.  We were happy to say "hi" and keep hiking; not all dogs are friendly, and we respect their right to keep at a safe distance for them.  (Penny is a bit like this; we will be taking a training class to help her deal with new situations.)

We also ran into an older Boxer, who was off-leash and obnoxiously friendly to Zoey.  Zoey was not at all happy with him, so I was more concerned with keeping them separated than getting his picture. I'm told many dogs don't like brachycephalic dogs (those with short noses or "squashed" faces) because the sound of their breathing is different from other dogs.

There is, again, a brief video taken from the summit available on YouTube.

It was a lovely, beautiful day (low 70s) for a hike, and we had a great time.  Looking forward to my next hike!