26 February 2021

365 in 2021, days 43-49


Texas froze over, most of eastern Portland metro was having horrible ice storms, and we got some snow and sleet. We still had ice but no where as bad as elsewhere. And the dogs could still play in it.  

Leia is getting quite gray now. She's 10. She still runs and plays hard, but she feels that later and will start limping and having trouble getting up.


Leia used to jump up and down this retaining wall A LOT.  We call her monkey for a reason. She can jump high and really liked to even if we tried to slow her down or stop her.  

Chewie won't jump as often, but he was having a blast running through the snow playing chase and tackle with Leia and dove off the retaining wall a few times to escape her because he knows she'll only jump once. 


For Valentine's day I made chicken parmesan from scratch cause it's one of our favorite meals. We were all snowed in and we're still in a pandemic, and we don't really like going to restaurants on the busy days anyways even if they were open so it was better to chill at home.  

This is my hue shift afghan that I've been working on/not working on for like 5 years now.  I don't remember when I started it. There are four sections of the afghan, and this is the end of section one. I'm having a horrible time with this last block and have had to rip it out and start completely over 5 times. I keep dropping a stitch or forgetting a decrease or doubling the decrease or I dunno what's wrong but it's wrong. I got a little bit further than this photo and put it up for the night, and haven't had a chance to pick it up again.  I'll eventually finish it and it will be lovely. 


Us over on the west side were finally thawed enough to get the horses out. They won't get turned out when it's sleet or ice since it's miserable for them and/or they could slip and get hurt.  

If you look close you can see the rainbow right above Chester.  We had a pons at the end of the rainbow! 


Cheddar ponies!


I got stuck on the couch under a Chewers. I sat down to watch a show, he curled up next to me and fell asleep and I didn't want to wake him.  


There was another really awful stormy day, and because it just makes Chester look miserable I had them keep him in for the day.  

Since he stayed in and didn't get a lot of movement, Carus had him run around the arena a little when we went out for chores.  

He kept trying to go over and stand in the mud. Cause he's a weirdo. 

24 February 2021

365 in 2021, days 38-42


Got some new fishy friends. Two new panda corydoras, an albino blue-eyed pleco (Banana) and two cherry shrimp. These are in the bags while they acclimated to the tank temp and water. (Dot in the background is a snail.)

Now, a few weeks later, I'm back down to 3 corys (these two took me up to 5) and I have no idea why, and I can't find the shrimp. They could just be hiding, but who knows. 


I got to ride Chester and had a lesson.  

This was while we were waiting for Martha and shortly after a pretty big spook - the bushes in the corner, which are slightly visible on the left there are scary. Probably mostly the barn cats playing in them, but possibly the wind and/or a little bird/mouse moving in there too.  All the horses give it side eye once in awhile. 

Adam seems to be a fan of whisky. I'm liking it too.  It's a good sipping drink.  We had one a few months ago that we really liked, but couldn't remember the name. We thought it was Glenlivet, but it might have been a different year or maybe a different brand cause this wasn't quite the same.  This is good though so we took a pic to make sure we remembered it was good. Then it turned out to be the only photo I took that day so it got nominated to be in the count. 


Carus tacking up for a ride. 


The Angelfish had eggs! 

It was very exciting and it makes up for the fact that I'm not getting tetra fry anymore and they might be eating my shrimp. 

They guarded and fanned water at them all day while Carus and I did some research.  They would hatch in 60 hours, so that would be about Sunday morning. This was Thursday about midday. The eggs weren't there at morning feeding so they were spawned anywhere from shortly after feeding to right before I saw them.  

We believe Fredrick is the female and Two-faced is the male as Fredrick was the one that did the most fanning and aggression towards the other fish. 

From research: Angelfish lay their eggs on a vertical surface and occasionally move them. They will fan the eggs with water and guard them from others. They will also eat them.  At 60 hours, they go from eggs to wiggler stage (where they wiggle? that's them hatching?) and then start swimming around their parents. The parents might also eat the fry at this stage or they might parent them/raise them. The photos and videos I found just had clouds of fry swimming around parents, which is amusing.  

Also from research - Angelfish (very) often eat their first spawn.  Mine did.  Thursday evening, I had this same big spawn of eggs. Friday morning - about half left. Saturday morning, less than 10 and some white which suggested not viable and by Saturday evening none.  Angelfish can spawn every 14 days, so we'll see what happens... I've decided to not try to do anything extra like putting up a mesh to protect them or remove the parents - don't have another tank anyways.  What happens in my tank happens in my tank. 

09 February 2021

365 in 2021, days 26-37

Two bonus shots from 1/26/2021

We got a lovely snow storm and ended up with about 4-5 inches of snow. 

View out our front window about halfway through the day (about half the snow we got) and a shot of Leia running in the backyard with Chewie.

Fat fluffy flakes for several hours and it was really nice.  I got off work and drove down to Carus's work to see if she'd need help getting home. The main roads were fine so I just followed her home. Her little Kia made it fine until the top of our hill.  She slid a bit and got nervous so I took over and with the help of a neighbor pushing I slid her car up and over to the curb where she parks (our driveway is too small to fit a fourth car). 

Leia (and Chewie) love the snow. This little playtime showed Leia's age though - she was moving slowly the rest of the evening. I felt so bad for her. She didn't even do any of the jumping she loves to do. 


For the official day 26 photo - Chewie diving off the retaining wall (it's about 2-1/2 feet tall).

When it started snowing, Leia and Chewie ran from window to window anxious to get outside. 

They were so happy to go out on my afternoon break. SO HAPPY.


We still had snow so the doggies got to go play again.  Leia did not really play this time. 


Heading out to the barn - Carus was driving - and enjoying the sunset colors.  Not a great shot, but I knew it wouldn't last until we got to the barn.  


My yellow shrimp - Lemon


We replaced the front windows last fall and the frames still need replacing. Window frames and trim in the house have been a long term project for Robert.  All of the bedroom windows are done, now for the other half of the house.  And the trim. We have some BIG plans for this year in remodeling. Probably bigger than we have time or energy for, but plans all the same.

I was helping this Saturday, which was mostly just dusting and vacuuming the living room because I can't do the measurements he needs to do or the cuts to get them to fit just right.  This window is not squared - it's narrower at the top, for some weird reason. 

Two little windows done - now just the big window to do.


Trust Data, Not Lore 

I got my second Covid vaccine. I've got the Moderna version.  This second one burned going in. Still not as bad as Tetanus or MMR though! 

I got dizzy about 15 minutes after the injection and stayed that way the rest of the day. I'm not convinced it was part of the vaccination and feel it's more likely associated with other heath issues I'm dealing with. 

Otherwise, the injection site was sore for about 3 days and on day 1 and 2 (24-48 hours post injection) was warm to the touch and a little red. I never developed a fever, but halfway through the next day (day 1) the fatigue hit like a bus. I was so tired I had trouble keeping my eyes open. I used my sit to stand desk to stand up so I could finish work and then I just went to bed.  I also felt sore all over and like I was starting to have a cold. Not really horrible, but definitely not feeling well.  I also felt like I was on the verge of having a headache the whole time too.  I never got the headache though.  My injection was Sunday morning, felt like crap Monday, then woke up completely fine Tuesday. 

I'm about a week out and everything is back to "normal".   I've done my part to help herd immunity. I'm protected and I'm protecting others.  Those side effects aren't any worse than any other vaccinations.  Remember vaccines for babies? You have a cranky baby for a day or two cause they don't feel good and their injection site hurts. Same for adults.  I recently had to get the MMR again and also Tetanus. Both burn like a bitch going in and after MMR I couldn't move my arm for like 3 days. Vaccines suck, but they keep people alive. 


Cherry, the cherry shrimp.

I remembered I had a macro attachment for my lens! It's focus is more particular and the subjects need to be on the closer side (and hold still) but it was fun to play with. The shrimp are cool to watch. We'd get to watch them more if we didn't have big predators (Angel fish) swimming around making them nervous. I started the tank so we could get Angel fish (they're so pretty) so c'est la vie. 




We were out doing barn chores and stepped out the back of the barn to head to the manure pile and saw sunset rays breaking through the clouds. 


Macro lens! 

The fish are a bit harder to catch the focus right as they move more, but I got a few including this eyeball shot. 


Full tank shot with hornwort that needs trimmed. The dang stuff grows fast! But I like it, the ghost catfish like hiding in it, and the shrimp (including some new babies) hide in it too, so it stays.

After the trim.

(I'm typing this up on 2/9, three days later, and the hornwort has reached the surface again.)

06 February 2021

365 of 2021, days 19-25

I'm breaking up my next photo dump.  We're actually on day 35 at the time of this post, but I'm not doing that many in one post - just too much. 

I've also found I've forgotten a day here and there, not even a photo with my phone. I filled them in with photos taken on other days. 

 (Cell phone shots are marked with an asterisk.)


Sunrise out of my front window. 


Carus picked charcuterie boards for dinner this night as there were some meats and cheeses at work she's been wanting to try (she's been working in a local grocery's store deli). 

We have black forest ham, pastrami, black pepper turkey breast, salami and pepperoni for meats.  Cheeses are cheddar, fontina, smoke gouda, havarti and manchego.  Spicy mustard and laughing cow cheese for spreadables. Crackers are Ritz and Safeway brad garlic parmesan pita crackers. 


One of my little shrimp - Blueberry. 

(And one of my ghost catfish.)


I believe this was late afternoon - I love my front picture window.  The view is always great. Sunrises, sunsets, fog off in the hills or rolling in, snow...and the fall colors.  It's all lovely.


One of the barn cats - Eddie. 


Miss Caly.

Chester's stall neighbor. Way back before Chester we leased Caly for a few months. She wasn't a perfect fit for Carus but we still love her and we've been lucky to still love on her. She's a sweetheart. 

We were taking care of her for 10 days while her family was quarantined after having to get tested for Covid.  They tested negative thankfully - they just had a cold. 


Early sunset with lovely clouds - out my front window again. 

It will probably make several appearances throughout the year.

19 January 2021

365 of 2021, days 9-18

I didn't really intend to go as long as I did before an update, it sort of just happened.  (Cell phone shots are marked with an asterisk.)



This is my Angelfish, Two-face.

The other side of him is yellow/white, which is why I named him Two-face.  

Fish are surprisingly hard to photograph. They're much prettier in person. 


Two of my four ghost catfish (or glass catfish). I purchased them as ghost but a lot of online sources call them glass.  It was also fitting that I got them in October. They shimmer when the light hits them just right and they're pretty cool looking. They're whiskers move all over when looking for food - they'll tap along the ground independently.


The other side of Two-face.  

He's hunting for shrimp pellets. Or more babies. I got three baby Ember Tetras before I got the Angelfish, and I saw a new one about a month after I got them - but haven't seen any since. Pretty sure the Angels are eating the eggs/fry. Which is annoying. 


Watching Carus and Chester, which is common.  

This turned out to be a not great ride. We had a storm coming in that evening and it started to hit not long after she got in the saddle. The wind and rain was hitting the roof and the tarped side quite a bit and was making some weird/scary sounds.  Chester spooked a bit so she got off and went back to practicing showmanship as it's easier to reassure him from the ground.  Then he really spooked and she gave up. I had him calmly stand in a few of the scarier spots while we gave him loves and reassurance and then he got dinner and a bunch of cookies for being a good boy.  He's done well with losing his sight, but days like this are harder. 


The aftermath of that storm.  We lost power for a few minutes. Others lost it for hours/days. Some trees fell around the area - no injuries that I heard of though - and there was a ton of flooding.  The main road that we take to the barn has been closed for months as they rebuild the bridge, though it would have been closed for flooding anyways.  This was the next road to take - also closed for flooding. We ended up having to take the long way to the barn, and then in an attempt to go into town after leaving and not having to go the same long way back we tried another road. I should have gotten a photo of that one - we got stuck. There were cars and trucks going through without a problem, but Carus's small car definitely would not have made it.  She stopped and said nope. Then we had to figure out how to get turned around with cars behind us.  A few guys in trucks helped direct her back, into the other lane, and back some more before we cleared the line of trucks that could make it through and we could turn around. Her inexperience driving was very good here - I might have risked driving through with all the others doing okay and might have landed us in a bad situation - not completely sure what I would have done if I was driving and my car is bigger and higher up than hers too so maybe. Hopefully I don't get the chance to find out! (Although this will stick with me too and would affect my choices in the future - heh.) Carus did good. 


After the storm went through we had a couple days of drier weather and clear skies which allows the sunsets to be gorgeous. Bright beautiful oranges, pinks, and reds and it's always good when I'm already outside and at the barn. Much clearer views of the lovely show. 


Just Chewie being a dork.  He was rolling around and making noise behind me as I fiddled with the DVD player - and then just froze like this and sat there for a few minutes.  He's such an adorable dork. 


A current crafting project - a show shirt for Carus. 

I've wanted to make her one to rival the super flashy ones we see for sale all the time (hundreds to thousands of dollars!!) and finally figured out a path to go - there are so many designs and colors to do. 

I bought a plain black show jacket. Then we found a lovely lace flower fabric that I've cut the flowers out of and sewn them on in a pattern. I've been sewing beads onto the flowers, some shiny metallic thread, and was gluing some rhinestones on when I found out about an affordable hotfix applicator on Amazon from a crafting group. Both glues work and are creating strong bonds - but I think the hotfix ones are stronger bonds.  It's so shiny! 


I figured with trying to enjoy things I used to enjoy again I should maybe work on my hue shift afghan again. Maybe I'll finish it finally... 

I'm still working on the first quarter, but that's getting very close.  

I didn't get far - found I had a mistake and couldn't figure out where so I had to completely undo the square that was on the needles and start over.


Just Chewie cuddled up next to me on the couch while I edit this batch of photos.  

Bonus shot from 1/10/2021

I may not be getting any baby Ember Tetras - but I have a baby shrimp! 

I had two crystal black shrimp (Bert and Ernie), but lost one after getting the Angels. They may not be responsible for my missing shrimp and a lack of new Tetra fry, but it is definitely suspicious.  

I also had a cherry shrimp (Cherry), blue shrimp (Blueberry), yellow shrimp (Lemon), and a clear and blue shrimp (Mystery). 

The clear and blue one (Mystery) is also gone now and I rarely see the remaining crystal black one (Ernie), but I do now have this guy! They're completely clear from what I can tell and mostly hang out under the big rock. I believe Cherry is the momma as they've looked quite chunky a few times but not 100% on that.  

08 January 2021

365 of 2021, days 1-8

I missed doing the photo a day, 365 challenge, that I was doing a few years ago, and I'm struggling with finding joy in a lot of things I used to enjoy doing. I'm trying to find it again and I'm going to attempt to do a 365 this year. 

I'm posting here - and I'll probably end up making an album on Facebook as a way to hold myself accountable.  I don't want to make it into something that creates anxiety for me, but I do want some accountability.  I also want to try to use my actual camera more often than just my cell phone.  That's a conscious effort to set aside 10ish minutes to pick up the camera, or plan to pick it up, while my cell is with me everywhere.  And this first share is heavy on the cell shots. (I'll mark them with an asterisk.)


Needles from some young Douglas fir trees we have in pots in the backyard. 


Fredrick, the Angelfish, in front of hornwort plant in my 55 gallon tank.  


I'm receiving Round 1 of the Moderna coronavirus vaccination.  

I was worried it would burn like the last shot I had to get (MMR booster which BURNED), but it didn't burn at all. My arm at the injection site was sore for about 2 days - mostly the first 24 hours. I'm a baby about pain and it was not bad at all.  

No other symptoms or side effects. 

Round 2 will be scheduled in a few weeks. 

(I was lucky and qualified for one of the first phases of vaccinations through my work. I may not be frontline, but our job is still important to ensuring quality patient care.)

1/4/2021 *

Photo was taken by Carus.  

It was near the end of my lesson with our friend, Martha, on Chester.  I've been trying to have more regular lessons now that Carus has graduated and is out of 4H - I don't feel like I'm messing up his training for her.  (I know I wouldn't have, but part of my mom guilt or anxiety.) 

Lessons have been going good. I feel like I'm improving steadily - and I'm trying not to be embarrassed that I still can't ride this far into our horse journey. 

(No one goes near each other and we're outside so pandemic safe activity. Also all common surfaces get disinfected by everyone after they touch them. )

1/5/2021 *

Robert and I went over to a friend's farm (Heather and Justin) to discuss a woodworking project or two he has in mind and then chatted for a bit.  No one went near others - they're fairly quarantined on their farm, we're fairly quarantined in our life/home and we were mostly outside (the shop is open). 

While chatting we got to watch their dogs play, and the super adorable Great Dane puppy, Emme, would run and slide on the concrete back and forth, back and forth. And then try to pick a fight with Dally (the cattle dog).  Tuff (the pit mix) played his role of good big brother and got as much pets as possible. 

Bailey recognized my voice and called for me - I did stop and say hi - I think we all miss each other now that we're not out there every week for Carus to practicing driving Bailey. 

1/6/2021 *

I went out to help with turn in and PM chores, and got soaked.  I hate mud season. 

I can't decide if Chester minds it or loves it.  He's always covered in mud because they roll in it all the time, but he also looks miserable when it's storming badly.  And it feels like that's all it's doing lately - just constant rain.  Especially when it's time to do barn chores. It can be nice weather all day and the second we have to be outside, STORM.  


All my Christmas ornaments off the tree and ready to be organized and put away.  

I usually get Christmas put away on the 1st but this year I worked so it got delayed until I was off again and could dedicate a couple hours.  


Dinner tonight - Garlic rice pilaf, steamed broccoli, and honey garlic chicken. 

I don't know how to take food photos... maybe that will improve this year...

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