Friday, March 28, 2014

Jasper + Pendleton

We've been working kind of hard to get Jasper (pup) and Pendleton (hedgehog) to exist in the same room together without a)Pendleton having a heart attack or b)Jasper ending up with a mouthful of quills.

Jasper just gets SO excited whenever he discovers that hedgehog in the room. He bounces around sniffing excitedly while Pendleton turns into a ball of really sharp points and hisses ferociously. Inevitably, Jasper gets too close with his sniffing and receives a poke in the nose. By then he has usually had it with all the excitement and starts barking at this frustrating little ball that won't stop hissing at him or hurting him when he tries to play. He's actually kind of terrified of the hedgehog.

Meanwhile, Pendleton wonders why he keeps being prodded (and occasionally licked) and why won't this gigantic nose stop bothering him.

I mean, it's Megan's fault, really. She bought Pendleton a little hedgehog friend stuffed animal when she first got him, which he ignored completely. Eventually it was passed down to Jasper in his early puppyhood. And who would blame him when he tried to pick up his toy which actually happened to be a real live hedgehog?

Thus began the Jasper/Pendleton relationship.

So we decided to try again a few times and finally accomplished something when we managed to have Jasper lay quietly until Pendleton got used to him.
To be fair, Pendleton isn't actually a very nice hedgehog friend to Jasper. When Jasper wasn't paying attention to him, he tried to crawl on him and/or poke him on purpose. This sent Jasper two feet into the air and it was actually really hilarious, but it doesn't really do much for mutual trust, if you know what I mean.
Then Jasper got real protective of his rawhide bone.
At one point, Jasper was actually chasing Pendleton around the room barking. Generally the second Pendleton hears a loud noise, he rolls into a ball, so this was real progress. 

This hedgehog knows who's in charge around here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Quest for a Succulent

I really love greenhouses. Really really really. The number of greenhouses/botanical gardens that Forrest and I have visited in the past couple of years is kind of silly, but I also feel good about it because, flowers.

I feel great when I go into a green house. It must be all that extra oxygen. It's kind of what I think being in an oxygen chamber would feel like, maybe? I have never been in one.

Being in a greenhouse speaks to my soul. If you know what I mean.

But anyway, I bought this really cute pot at a thrift store the other day and I knew that I really needed a succulent to fill its loneliness. I gave away all of my plants when we left England (and I had some really cute plants) and I've been feeling a plant void in my life lately.

I looked up a good nursery and off we went to fulfill my mission.

We walked in and I had this eerie feeling I had been there before. Then I saw the ferns hanging up and I knew I had been there before. This was the very nursery my mom and I had visited to buy some ferns
(as greenery for the stage) for my wedding almost three years ago(!). We spent a really, reaaally long time trying to find two identical ferns.

I inquired about the succulents and was directed to the lovely cacti and etc. that THE Cactus Man had delivered only the week before! I did not know there was a Cactus Man but after being informed by no less than three separate employees that the succulent I picked was from his very own famous cactus van all the way from Oregon, I knew I had something special. I guess. I mean I paid $9 for the thing.

After spending easily 30 minutes pondering the vast selection of succulents (and cacti!), I let Forrest pick for me because my mind would not be made up. Then we wandered around the rest of the place and I snapped a few pictures. Here they are!

I asked Forrest if I could take a picture of him holding my new Echeveria. He said no way! Then he changed his mind, wait, okay! because that's just the bearded kind of man he is. And he is cute. Although his beard is getting a little out of control, I think.
I really loved this cactus and was this close to buying it instead. Then I thought that me + cactus was probably not a good idea and maybe I should go with a less dangerous houseplant.
Alllll the mosses! I was delighted with how they arranged them.

I can't wait for real spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fake Springtime at Snoqualmie Falls

Last week, we had a few days of unbelievable weather up here in this little rainy corner of the states. Forrest even dragged a lounge chair out of the garage (which I promptly stole) and sat in the WARM sunshine! 65 degrees, we thank thee.

So Brandan (Megan's fiancé) came up last week (from Oregon, duh) and had the bright idea of taking a nice little trip to Snoqualmie Falls. Prior to this beautiful weather, we had been having a pretty wet month; we've got the pond next door to prove it (said pond is usually a raspberry field). So, obviously, the falls were supposed to be quite intensified. Forrest and I got ourselves an invitation to this affair and off we went into the sunshine.

I'll let these next few pictures speak for themselves.
I really love all the mist in the photo above. It was quite misty.
Brandan and Megan hiked the path down to the bottom whilst Forrest and I met them in the car at the new lower parking lot. I had never been to the bottom of the falls before. They built this nice wooden pathway to a lookout where I'm assuming there used to just be a dirt path. People used to hike down to the bottom (I know, I've seen pictures) and stand in front of the falls, but now it's all blocked off.

As you can see, we are not above jumping over railing. 

Then we drove into the town of Snoqualmie for some ice cream.

The End

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chatsworth House + Gardens

Chatsworth was one of the places I wanted to see most in England and it was one of the very last places we went. You need a whole day to devote to this gigantic mansion and we never managed to have the time to drive the three hours there and back. So, naturally, we decided to stop by on our way to Scotland (ps posts on Scotland coming soon).

I wanted to see this place so badly, I even watched a three-part documentary on the house. It was great and very informative, but seeing it in person was even better. The grounds are 35,000 acres and the gardens are spectacular. They even have a maze (!).

This is Forrest doing his Mr. Darcy impression. Because, you know, Pemberley.

Only about 26 of the 126 rooms are open to the public, but they're pretty good rooms. Also, the doorways are really tall.

We saw the Duke of Devonshire (who lives at Chatsworth) in the library. He's the blue blob at the back of the room. 

These are some silver miniatures that I thought we so cute! The chandelier is about three inches tall if I remember correctly.

I thought this house was so dreamy. If I could pick a little English cottage, this would be the one.

I am really starting to miss England. I knew I would, but I didn't think I would miss it quite so much so soon. I suppose part of the longing is for all the adventures we had across Europe while we've had a few very quiet months since we've arrived in Washington. A few quiet months means that I've gotten a lot of reading and knitting done and Forrest has had some time to try and recover from his ridiculous headaches, but I think both of us are lusting after more time on the open road. We traveled at least once every two months while in the UK and it seems like something should be coming up on our calendar.

I suppose all I can do for now is sort through more photos and remember all of the amazing moments we've had. There's not a day that goes by when I'm asking Forrest remember when we went there and did this? that was fun! let's go there again someday soon. It's wonderful, but I got used to living in places with so much history and now here I am living in a house from the 1920's that seems ancient to most Americans. It's an adjustment.

There's a different kind of beauty in the US. It's not the beauty of old buildings and even older families. It's the fact that I can look out my window and see Mt. Rainier any old day. We have the magnificent beauty of nature that hasn't been touched and touristed (?) to oblivion. I can get away from people in this state. I've said it before, but with the population of the UK, we just couldn't get away from anyone. There was always someone around even in the most remote place. On our road trip across the states, we practically had an entire National Park to ourselves. That is what I love about this country.

That said, it's still an adjustment.

I miss you, old houses (especially you, Chatsworth)!