The Lunar Eclipse of 2015!

Here we are with another weekend gone!  This weekend went by FAST!  It was definitely our coldest weekend of the year so far with temps hitting the high 60’s, and somehow it seemed as though Mike and I were outdoors all weekend!

It's autumn in Seattle!

It’s autumn in Seattle!

On Saturday Mike had a fitness challenge event that he signed up for through the gym.  It was basically four different events made up of things like sprints, pushups, carrying heavy dumbells around, etc.  Mike definitely figured it would be really tough, but neither one of us figured on it being so long.  Each of the four events took around 10 minutes, and there were over 50 people participating who were broken up into 8 ‘heats’.  That basically meant that however you looked at it, each event took around an hour and a half, and the whole thing took around 6 hours.  Mike and I dressed reasonably warm, but the event was held outdoors at a turf field half an hour north of Seattle and it was very windy and cloudy so it felt pretty cold.  Also, being outdoors for six hours in general gets pretty chilly unless it’s really warm outside.  During the times where Mike wasn’t participating in his heats, we walked around and talked.  I speculated on how they maintained the ‘turf’.  It was grass-looking, but yet definitely not real.  I wondered aloud to Mike what happened if someone spilled gatorade in it.  Literally twenty minutes later, a representative from the school that owned the field walked up looking for the person in charge of our event.  Two minutes after that, the gym fitness director was walking around telling everyone that only water was allowed on the turf field… no other beverages.  Mike turned to me.  “Well, that answers your question,” he said.  “It must screw it up somehow because that guy sure doesn’t want it on his field.  About half an hour before the end of the event, it started to rain.  Everyone ran to their cars for coats and umbrellas.  One advantage of the ‘turf’ is that at least things didn’t get muddy.  :)  By the time the event ended, Mike had worked out really hard and was pretty beat.  We headed home, and Mike took a nap in the afternoon and then woke up feeling more refreshed.  On Sunday morning I went for a 10 mile run, and the weather was perfect!

From my run...

From my run…

It was still chilly, but when you’re running that’s fine (and even kind of desirable).  I took a route that I’ve only taken once before just for a change of scenery and it was fun.

Hazy Seattle...

Hazy Seattle… if I had moved the camera one millimeter to the left I wouldn’t have cut the Space Needle in half, but I was blinded by the sun

I arrived home windblown with a pink nose, and Mike said he wanted to run some errands so we headed out again once I showered.  Then in the afternoon, I opened the kitchen window and prepped and cooked up a bunch of CSA produce while Mike wired more ethernet stuff.  I think he’s headed towards the end of that project, but his eye for detail and desire for quality are making sure that he improves the wiring rather than just adding to it.  I made a triple green tomato soup, chicken with rice and carrots, and a summery tomato basil salad (which admittedly may be too summery for the current very fall-like weather).

Then on Sunday evening, I was really excited to go outside and see the lunar eclipse.  It was supposed to start in Seattle around 7pm because that’s when the sun would set enough for the moon to be visible.  However, the moon would already be mostly eclipsed by that point.  I was ready to see what there was to be seen!  I basically cooked all afternoon, and then around 7pm when the sun was supposed to start setting I grabbed Mike and told him we should head outdoors in search of the eclipse.  Mike was in the middle of some wiring and hadn’t really heard anything about the eclipse but gamely through on some flip fops and headed out with me.  We didn’t see the moon anywhere, so we decided to head towards the Aurora bridge because we figured we would have an uninterrupted view east from there.  As we walked out onto the bridge we saw that there were about ten other people on the bridge.  Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought the Aurora bridge would be a good viewing spot.  We all stood there, lining the pedestrian walkway of the bridge while we waited somewhat impatiently for it to get darker.  Finally it got dark-ish.  Definitely dark enough to see a moon.  We had just seen the moon the night before and it was huge and unmistakable, even shortly after sunset.  But, I reminded myself and Mike that the eclipse was going on at the moment, which was probably why we couldn’t see the moon.

“So basically we came out here to not see a moon?” Mike teased.  “This isn’t very good entertainment.”

We waited for another ten or fifteen minutes.  I looked around and realized that the bridge was filling up.  There were probably 50 people there at this point, all straining their eyes towards the eastern horizon hoping to see some glimpse of a moon.  Finally Mike nudged me in the side.

“Hey… is that weird wisp thing the moon?”

“What weird wisp thing?” I asked.

“A couple inches above that blinking light on the horizon.”

I strained my eyes, and did in fact see a weird wisp thing where Mike was pointing.  It was way too faint to be distinguishable as a moon, but in the absence of other clouds it seemed likely that maybe it was the moon.  Mike and I continued watching that spot, and over the next ten minutes that wisp transformed into a dark reddish moon!  I was ecstatic (although a little cold since we’d been outside for about 45 minutes at that point).

“If I would have known we were going to be out here for so long I wouldn’t have worn flip flops,” Mike said.  “I thought the eclipse would be faster.”  He paused and looked at all the people around us with cameras.  “I also wish I would have brought my camera with me.”

At this point according to my reliable internet source, the moon was in the darkest part of the earth’s shadow (the umbra), so there shouldn’t be any major visual changes until the moon started emerging from the earth’s shadow on the other side.  Mike and I decided to go home, get warm clothes and cameras, and head back.  We headed back home and discovered that the moon was now high enough in the sky that we could see it from our roof.  I was all for staying at home and watching the remainder of the eclipse from the warmth of our house, but Mike wanted to try to get some pictures of the moon over Lake Union, so he wanted to go back to the bridge.  I’m not sure how good the pictures that he got were… he still has to get them off of his camera.  In the meantime, here’s a really grainy one of Mike and me on the Aurora bridge and the very faint, very wispy start of a visible moon.  Not quite the caliber of the other pictures of the eclipse I’ve seen circulating around the internet, but I’m going with it.  ;)

The lunar eclipse... kind of

A weird wisp thing that is actually a moon to the right of my head

Here’s another pic… the dot in to the left is the moon; the dot to the right is an airplane.  Apparently my phone camera doesn’t have the resolution to tell the difference since they look pretty much the same.

The dot to the left is the moon

The dot in the center is the moon


The photo gallery here has much better Seattle moon pictures.  In fact they make mine look pretty terrible, so I’m not sure why I posted mine.  Hindsight, my friends, is 20/20.

This week has been pretty crazy at work for both Mike and me.  I am looking forward to a weekend in which we have nothing planned!  No gym events, no cleaning the floors since I just cleaned them last weekend… no nothing!  Well, actually some laundry.  And of course dishes.  And errands.  But aside from that stuff, nothing planned.  :)

We have some friends who are in Italy right now and they’re posting pictures of Venice on Facebook… it’s making me very nostalgic for Mike’s and my trip there!  I am really ready for one of those giant European vacations!  We’ll probably take a big trip next spring, and that can’t come quick enough for me!

In other mildly interesting news, I’m taking an intro krav maga class with two friends from work next week.  Actually it sounds weird to say ‘two friends’, because it’s basically a peer of mine, and then the director of our department.  So basically if I screw up crazily I get to do it in front of the director of my department.  :)  If you aren’t familiar with krav maga and aren’t motivated enough to click on the link above, it’s basically a form of self defense fighting developed for the Israeli military.  I’m not entirely sure how the class will go, but the studio where they teach it is on my bus route home, and I’ll try most things if they’re on my bus route and don’t inconvenience my commute too much.  :)

I have the feeling this Friday night will be a go-out-to-dinner kind of night for Mike and me.  After the crazy busyness of the week we won’t feel like cooking or even heating up leftovers.  And then maybe a movie or a few shows… something relaxing!  :)  Next week is also going to be busy for both of us, and then the week after I’m going to Houston for three days for a tech conference with a group of people from work.  Fun!

I wish everyone a wonderful rest-of-the-week!

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, CSA, Food, Life in Seattle, Pictures, Running, Seattle

The joy of a working washing machine

Last weekend was uneventful, but that is probably the most relaxing way it could have been.  Both Mike and I have had a couple of busy weeks at work.

Traffic was supposed to be crazy Tuesday thru Thursday of this week because the Chinese president was in Seattle.  I’m not entirely sure about all of the political things he’s doing while he’s here… I was more interested in what this was going to mean for my bus commute.  The metro website warned that riders should ‘expect very long delays’.  What is a very long delay?  I can deal with an hour… but could it be two?  Even more?  I rode the bus into work Tuesday morning with my running shoes on and the expectation that if I had any bus issues on the way back I would be running back instead of taking the bus.  I only work about five miles from home, and I knew that commute would be totally doable via running in under an hour regardless of what was happening with the roads.  My bus commute to work was extremely uneventful.  However, there were people who showed up at work who had had a pretty bad time.  Lots of bus re-routing and half hour commutes turning into hour and a half commutes.  It made me nervous about my trip home.  I had hoped to leave a little early but as it turned out I had meetings right up until the end of the day.  I headed out to the bus stop and was surprised to see that there were already a lot of buses coming.  That was good news and meant that apparently the buses were at least moving.  I hopped on one bus and realized there was almost no one on it.  Usually the buses coming home are packed!  The entire trip home actually took almost 10 minutes less than usual, and the bus and the roads continued to be fine.  I suspect that everyone heard how bad the delays were going to be and stayed home!  I thought Wednesday might be bad also and again brought my running shoes with me to work, but again, there were no issues and the bus seemed no slower or faster than usual.  Seattle clearly took all of the traffic warnings to heart and stayed well out of the traffic, thus ensuring that there was no traffic.

There is a definite chill to the air these days!  Last night after dinner Mike and I took a walk around the neighborhood and stopped in at a cozy brewery.  We are loving the fall weather!  On Sunday Mike and I participated in a 5k in our neighborhood, and it was a lot of fun!  A lot of people dressed up for the race (because in Seattle, really, why would you pass up any opportunity to put on a costume?), and it was just a fun community event.

Mike spent a lot of this weekend wiring things.  Lots of things, but mostly ethernet-related things.  This meant lots of trips to Home Depot.  On Saturday, we actually went to the Home Depot closest to us but they didn’t have the crimpers Mike was looking for, so we drove to a Lowe’s farther north, and they didn’t have what we were looking for.  Finally we went to a Home Depot even further north and found what Mike wanted.  Three home improvement stores in one day isn’t necessarily my idea of a fun, eventful Saturday, but Mike took me out for pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup) on the way, and I’ll suffer through most things in the hope of getting pho…. it’s so steamy and warming… definitely one of my favorites!

On a very sad note, one day this week, Mike and I were in our home with the windows open, and we saw a fire truck go by with its siren on.  That’s not unusual since we live right around the corner from a fire station, but it was followed by two ambulances.  And then another fire truck.  And then yet another fire truck.  We counted five fire trucks go by!  “Are they doing a drill where it’s just one truck driving around the block?” Mike wondered.  We wandered out in the direction the fire trucks were heading… and there were helicopters in the sky overhead!  And the big highway right by our house, I-99 was blocked off!  Very soon, the news broke, and we found out exactly what had happened.  So tragic!  And it made national news… and happened literally a quarter mile from our house.  They diverted all of the traffic off of the bridge (which was pretty intense since that’s one of two north/south commuter highways), and diverted everyone to the street our home is on.  So all day the street in front of our house was a giant tangled mass of cars and honking horns.  I’m not sure if the bridge will re-open tomorrow morning, but Mike and I have planned alternate routes to work just in case.  So, so tragic!!  :(  My thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the crash and with the families of the victims.

I hate to end a blog post on such a somber note, so I’ll detail one more event from Mike’s and my life lately.

One interesting thing that happened over the weekend is that our washing machine stopped working.  For the couple of days leading up to the demise of the washing machine I noticed bits of foam in the clothes that came out of the washer.  I thought that was pretty weird, but Mike has some pretty weird stuff in his pockets at times, so I chalked it up to something like that.  And then on Sunday afternoon, the washing machine had a couple of glitches where we had to reset it to get it to work again.  And then, on Sunday night, it happened.  The washing machine died.  Right after the rinse cycle and before the spin cycle.  For those of you familiar with the inner workings of washing machines, what this meant was that the washing machine died still full of water.  And because this is the way life works, I had been washing two new pairs of jeans which apparently still had some color bleeding to do.  So our washer died full of a load of blue jeans and blue water.  I thought Mike might get stressed about it, because that was yet one more thing we had to figure out (no landlord this time to go running to!), but he took it all in stride.  We both looked at each other and shrugged.  First world problems, right?  I joked that we could just leave it broken and wash all our clothes in the sink.  After all, people lived for thousands of years without washing machines, right?  Right??  Yeah, I probably couldn’t do that.  I think my ancestors were tougher people than me.  And no running water and no indoor plumbing?  Count me out.  Clearly I’m not a pioneering type of person!  So Mike and I spent half an hour bailing water out of the washing machine with a soup ladle.  No, I’m really not joking.  I couldn’t make these things up if I tried.

Both Mike and I worked from home on Thursday so that we could be there when the guy came to fix the washing machine.  He examined the motor, and that was fine.  And the water pump, and that was fine.  And then, the interesting part started to happen.  A clog was discovered in the drain pipe for the washing machine.  Oooookay.  After an hour of working, he and Mike got the pipe unclogged and somehow also got water all over the bathroom floor (meaning that some heavy duty cleanup work would be in order when everything was said and done).  And there was a bunch of shredded foam in the pipe.  What in the world, right?  Apparently that’s where the little pieces of foam in the laundry were coming from.  But where was the foam originating?  The washing machine guy shook his head.  “I have no idea what that is,” he said.

Well, eventually part of the foam was pulled from the pipe intact.  And, my friends, it was the foam bra cup insert for a sports bra.  And there were a couple other foam inserts in there that were completely shredded and unrecognizable.  “Ah,” the washing machine guy said.  “I do know what that is.”  Yes, he did.  And, yes Mike did.  And, yes I did.

Well.  As far as embarrassing moments, this should have ranked pretty high on my scale.  We call out a washing machine repair man to dig through our clogged pipe and find five shredded sports bra inserts.  I resolutely pushed back any embarrassment though.  I mean, I do work out, don’t I?  And I should be able to wash my workout clothes in my own washer, right?  Apparently the bra pads were thin enough that they got out of the main enclosure and into the draining area.  The washing machine guy said finding those in the drain pipe was a first for him.  Yes, of course it was.  I’m pretty sure Murphy’s Law would demand that.  I wonder how many people he told about that after work.  That’s clearly an interesting on-the-job story!  Suffice it to say I’ll be hand-washing those foam inserts in the future!  So be fore-warned!  If you buy workout shirts with foam inserts, they do not play nice with front-loader washing machines!

And I think that’s the only useful piece of information I have to share today.  And now off to do laundry, since we have accumulated quite a bit in the past five days!  :)


Filed under Laundry, Life in Seattle, Seattle

Good races and bad directions

Here we are at the beginning of another week, and it is definitely a fall-feeling week in Seattle!

Our temperatures had started to gradually creep back up and late last week we were back with 80 degree sunny days.  Saturday was also a beautiful day, although a little bit colder.  Mike and I went to the birthday party of one of my friends from work.  It was really great to meet his family and his other friends.  And it was amazing to hang out with his two dogs… a 10 year old Great Pyrenees (which is literally the size of a small bear and the most relaxed, laidback, sweet, amazing dog) named Cleo, and a 16-week old Corgi puppy named Benito.  Seeing the two dogs playing together was just amazing.  Cleo is SO motherly towards little Benito.  It is so sweet to see how protective she is of him.  They are absolutely too cute for words!

Sunday morning I had a 10k race planned.  The weather forecast called for clouds, but 0% chance of rain.  I got up, got ready to go, and literally walked out the door when I realized there was a misty rain going on.  Ok, no big deal.  The name of this blog is rainy day runner, right?  Not like I was going to let a little rain deter me.  Nevertheless, I did go back inside and change from a short-sleeved shirt to a long-sleeved shirt, and I also put on a running hat.  It was designed to keep the sun out of the eyes more than the rain off of the head, but I decided it might be able to at least deter much of the rain.  I had a couple mile walk/jog to get to the start line of the race, and the rain continued just doing its misting thing.  I was perfectly happy with that and figured it would keep me cool while I ran.  At the start line I picked up my race packet which I had forgotten to pick up the previous day because of the birthday party, and I headed for the start line.  I wasn’t sure what to do with the T-shirt they gave me since I was of course already wearing a shirt.  I considered just not taking a shirt, but it was a really pretty aquamarine color so I kind of wanted it.  I ended up stuffing part of it in the back of my running pants and letting the rest hang out behind me.  I had seen lots of other runners do that before, so I figured it was valid even though it probably meant that I would look like I had a plume sailing out behind me as I ran and it might even be comparable to running 6 miles with a giant wedgie.  I figured I was about to find out.  I met a friend from work at the start line to say ‘hi’ since we were both running the race.  The interesting thing about this race compared to other races is that this was a women-only race.  It was a little weird lining up and only seeing women around me… a little weird, but kind of cool!  The race horn sounded and we were off!  The race had both a 5k component and a 10k component.  I was doing the 10k, which meant I would do two loops of the 5k.  The first 3/4 of a mile was PACKED!  In the future they should probably consider using corrals to group runners of like paces so that they can get the event off and moving faster, but it was still fun and kept me from starting out too fast.  I started my running playlist and zoned out and started to cruise on auto-pilot.  After 3/4 of a mile the crowd thinned out a lot!  The rain also started to get more intense.  By that point I was already pretty wet, so I didn’t really care except when there were slight hills because my sneakers slipped a little on the pavement.  I just kept running.  I had ‘live tracking’ turned on on my Garmin watch so that if Mike was awake he could track my progress.  After I passed mile 2, Mike texted me and said, “Hey you ran the last two miles at 8min/mile pace!  You’re running fast!”.  That was fast for me, so at that point I deliberately tried not to slow down.  I tried to keep track of my pace on the Garmin but by the time I reached mile 3 the rain was coming down hard enough that my Garmin screen was wet and hard to read, so I just kept going.  When I passed the halfway point and started around the loop for the second time, the crowd had thinned out a lot and I could basically run at whatever speed I wanted.  Which was definitely nice compared to the much more crowded races I’m typically in.  As I rounded the west side of the loop around the lake I realized I was almost done, and kicked it into high gear.  When I passed the 6 mile marker I realized I still had a lot of energy, so I started running even faster.  My final time when I crossed the finish line was 51:05 and my splits are below.

1.0 mi 08:08 min/mi 00:08:07
2.0 mi 08:03 min/mi 00:08:02
3.0 mi 07:59 min/mi 00:07:58
4.0 mi 07:58 min/mi 00:07:57
5.0 mi 08:02 min/mi 00:08:02
6.0 mi 07:59 min/mi 00:07:59
6.3 mi 07:37 min/mi 00:02:16

I do not usually run that fast!  In fact, that’s the fastest 10k I’ve done to date!  My next goal is going to be to break 50 minutes (even though that means knocking more than a minute off of my time.  Given how much energy I still had at the end of the race, I really could have been running faster.)  I called Mike and he generously came and picked me up with two big towels since by that point it was pretty much pouring rain.  After a shower, I felt much more like a human being and less like a ball of rain-soaked race clothing.  (Moisture-wicking clothing only wicks to a point… after that it starts absorbing!  There’s everyone’s fun fact for the day!)

I checked the final stats for the race, and there were 283 participants in the 10k, and I was the 22nd to cross the finish line!  Shocking!  Again, I’m not usually this fast.  Except that this summer, somehow I have been.  I’m loving it!  :)

Mike has been busy wiring ethernet through our house.  Well, I should clarify.  The ethernet was already in the walls, but wasn’t actually wired into the jacks… the phone cables were wired into the jacks instead.  Mike’s been taking out the phone wire (since we haven’t had land lines for over 10 years!) and is replacing them with ethernet.  That project alone has required three trips to Home Depot over the past week.  Sometimes I wonder if Mike mostly enjoys projects or mostly enjoys trips to Home Depot.  ;)

In other news, Mike and I went to the Bellevue Mall on Saturday afternoon.  It was ok.  The Bellevue Mall is frankly not my favorite mall.  The whole ambiance just isn’t my thing.  However, one thing that I did very carefully was note our parking spot when we went in the store.  We were in section R1.  The Bellevue Mall parking area is big enough that it’s easy to forget where you parked.  When we exited the mall, I headed toward the right.

“Whoa,” Mike said.  “Where are you going?”

“To our car.”

“Our car’s this way,” Mike said, pointing in the opposite direction.

“Nope,” I said, sure enough of myself to be emphatic.  “It’s this way.  I took careful note before we went in.”

Mike shrugged and followed me.  I led him proudly to the area where our car was.  Except that the sign said ‘A4’ instead of ‘R1’.  What in the world??  I paused and looked around, trying in vain to get my bearings and hoping that there was an ‘R1’ sign around somewhere close by.

“It’s not here, is it?” Mike said.  “It’s back the other way.”  Apparently so.  I could have sworn (and would have sworn up and down if asked) that I knew where our car was, but apparently not.  After following Mike’s lead, we found our car several minutes later, but I was still convinced that somehow the car had migrated to the opposite end of the parking garage by itself.  There was really no other explanation for the car having moved.  And the ‘R1’ sign was moved as well, I guess.

On Sunday afternoon Mike and I went to a store that sold coffeemakers.  My job was to get us directions there since it was 20 miles outside of Seattle.  I had the GPS on on my phone and traced our progress up the I-5 interstate.  Once we exited the freeway, Mike made a left onto the street at the end of the exit ramp.

“Wait!” I said.  “We have to turn around and go the other way on this street.”

“Really?” he asked.  “I thought it was west of the freeway.”

“It looks like we should have made a right based on the map,” I said.  Mike shrugged, found a place to turn around and a few minutes later we were heading down the street in the other direction.  We’d driven about a mile when I looked at our GPS dot and saw that it was moving in the opposite direction of the coffee store.

“Aaaahhh!  You’re going to hate me forever!!” I said to Mike.  Possibly a little dramatic, but I felt it was warranted given that this was my second navigation mistake in the same weekend.  “We actually need to go the other way after all.”

Mike rolled his eyes as he looked for a place to turn around on the busy street.  “All right, Karena,” he said.  “But it’s important that you understand that we only have six hours until the store closes.  We can’t just drive up and down this street all day.”  I meekly sat back against my seat and decided that it was just not my weekend for directions.

I hope everyone else had a great weekend!  Mike’s and my weeks are off to a busy start… lots of stuff going on at work for both of us!  But at least it makes the days fly by!  :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Birthdays, Life in Seattle, Running, Seattle, Weather

A rainy, stormy Labor Day weekend in Seattle

Here we are in the middle of another week!  Only this time it’s only a four-day work week preceded by a 3-day weekend of pretty much pure relaxation.    I say ‘pretty much’ because there were a couple, actually several spider incidents which I’ll talk about in more detail later.  If you suffer from an intense fear of spiders… you’ve been warned!

On Friday a huge deluge of rain started.  And I don’t mean the typical Seattle foggy rain, where the rain is half falling, half suspended in the air around you.  No, this was the full thing.  The real deal.  The rain was falling so thick and so fast and for so many hours that Seattle was pretty much inundated.  There was also a lot of thunder and lightening, which our little furry friend was not a fan of.  And the wind was intense!  Gusts up to 50mph left lots of people without power and lots of roads clogged by downed trees and branches.  But it was kind of interesting in a we-haven’t-had-this-much-rain-all-year kind of way.  And it gave us a good excuse to just relax at home Friday night.

The rain mostly cleared up by late in the day on Saturday, so I went for a run down to the University Village area.  It was kind of crazy seeing all the branches down along the Burke Gilman trail!  They had already started the cleanup… so prompt!

On Sunday Mike and I got together with some friends and went out to a new restaurant in Seattle (named one of the 15 best restaurants of 2015 by Bon Appetit magazine).  I really liked it, and the atmosphere was amazing!  It was so small and cozy with high industrial ceilings and lots of pendant filament bulbs to light the space.  However, the portions were small, as is typical of the really high-end restaurants so we also ended up stopping at Dick’s Burgers on the way home to top off our dinner.  ;)  We took the burgers back to our house and ate them there and chatted.

On Monday, Labor Day, Mike decided to make the day live up to its name, and he insisted I give him a to-do list of projects for him to get done around the house.  I obliged and listed things like the squeaky back door, the poor lighting in the basement storage area, and the dirty exterior of the kitchen window.  Mike happily threw himself into Home Depot trips, lighting research, and general home maintenance work.  I really don’t understand the things that man enjoys, but I’m really happy that the exterior kitchen windows are clean and that the back door doesn’t squeak anymore.  ;)

I should probably get to the spider incidents.  I’ve procrastinated long enough.  There were three separate and distinct incidents which I will detail in chronological order.

Tuesday morning I was in the kitchen around 6am eating breakfast and I noticed a moderately sized spider spinning a web on the outside (thankfully the outside!) of our dining room window.  Since he was outside, I felt comfortable enough to get close-ish to the glass and watch him spin the web.  Although I am really not a friend of spiders, I had to admit that he looked very good at what he was doing.

Wednesday morning Mike and I were both in the dining room before work and Mike was drinking coffee when we noticed a nondescript brown bird flying around the window.  It flew closer, hovered in front of the spider sitting in the center of his newly constructed web, and grabbed and ate the spider!  Right there!  In plain view of our dining room window!   I might not be a big friend of spiders, but I’m not a fan of watching animals getting eaten alive right outside of my dining room window either!!  And what’s up with a bird doing that?  Aren’t they supposed to live on berries or something?  What is up with carnivorous birds living right outside my window?!?  I was freaked out.  Mike was somewhat freaked out, and said he’d never seen a spider get eaten like that before.

Thursday morning dawned bright and early and I noticed that another similar spider had build another similar web outside of our front sliding glass door and was sitting in the middle of it.  It was on the outside, so I was ok with it.  I might have even felt a little nervous for the spider’s sake knowing that we had carnivorous birds out there.  I ate an apple and went to drop the apple core in our compost bin.  I had this brief instant of thinking I had just seen a giant spider in the compost bin.  I was still sleepy, but that woke me up immediately and I looked harder into the compost bin.  Nope… there didn’t appear to be a spider in among the vegetable rinds and paper towels.  I probably just had spiders on the brain.  An hour later Mike had just left for work and I was getting ready to feed Piper and then leave for work myself.  I walked into the kitchen quickly and stopped dead.  A giant spider was walking down the center of the kitchen aisle towards me coming from the compost bin.  I don’t usually do the whole scream-like-crazy-when-I-see-a-spider thing, but this time I didn’t have time to think about it.  I screamed at the top of my lungs, at an octave that opera singers likely only aspire to.  I think the pure highness of the frequency rendered the spider deaf or something, because he stopped dead in his tracks and didn’t move.  I knew I better kill him quick and fast or he’d run and hide somewhere with legs that long.  Ok.  I hyperventilated only a little bit, and then managed to successfully kill the spider with a big wad of paper towel, put it in the trash, and then I took the trash out.  I missed the bus I’d been planning on taking, but some things are more important than buses.

Sunday afternoon Mike and I were sitting on the couch in front of the front window waiting and watching for some friends who were coming over.  We idly noticed the spider whose web I had noticed on Thursday morning.  He was still sitting squarely in the middle of the web.  While Mike and I watched a hornet flew near the web.  “Hey!” Mike said.  “I think that hornet is about to get caught in the spider web!”  I glanced towards the web in time to see the hornet fly even closer to the web.  And then he dove in and attacked the spider!!  I stifled a shriek and scrambled up from the couch as the spider tried to fight back.  And then, as we watched the 30-second fight-to-the-death, the hornet overpowered the spider, pulled him from the web (leaving three of the spiders legs behind on the web!!), and carried him over to a telephone line where he rested while he ate the spider!  And if that wasn’t bad enough, the hornet kept flying near the window for the next hour trying to pull the spider’s three remaining legs off of the web.  If the first incident had freaked me out, the second incident had me pretty much traumatized.  Mike, however, was fascinated.  “What are the chances?” he said.  “I’d never seen one spider eaten ever, and now I see two in one week.”  He looked at me still wide-eyed and speechless on the couch.  “You know, if this keeps up you’re actually going to start feeling sorry for spiders and liking them.”

This whole fight-to-the-death, food-chain level stuff should really be reserved for National Geographic shows.  This should not be happening right outside of my dining room and living room windows.  What do you do when there’s stuff that should require a Mature viewing rating happening right outside your window?

Suffice it to say, I’m about spider-ed out.  Fortunately word must be getting out among the resident spider population that the big windows are not the place to build webs, because I haven’t seen any new spider webs popping up there.  For someone who doesn’t like spiders, this has been quite the week.

I feel like I really need to follow this up with something non-spider related so that you don’t think everything that has happened to me this week has revolved around animals of the 8-legged variety.

So, in other news, I decided to try playing Minecraft and see what all the fuss is about with that game these days.  The default playing mode is ‘Survival’.  I wasn’t entirely sure what that was, but when I started playing I was surrounded by cows and chickens and the world seemed to be a pretty friendly place.  I ran around trying to figure out how to cut down trees and how to pick flowers.  I luckily snagged some sugar cane which I figured would come in handy later.  And then night fell.  And a bunch of crazy-looking monsters came out and the health bar I hadn’t even noticed on the screen until then went from 10 down to 0 in a couple seconds and I died.  Well, that was a short-lived type of fun.  I googled Minecraft and figured out that you have to build a shelter before the sun goes down or you get killed by the monsters.  Ah, well all right then.  I tried several more times but couldn’t get a shelter built in the ten minutes before night fell.  So then I gave up and decided to play in ‘Creative’ mode instead of ‘Survival’ mode.  I entered a similar-looking world with a bunch of cows and chickens and after a few minutes of running around and exploring, I fell into a chasm so deep that I could barely see the sky anymore when I looked up and I had no way of getting out of it.  At that point I decided that if I couldn’t even survive in creative mode, Minecraft might not be the game for me.  ;)  So that’s pretty much my short-lived stint in Minecraft.  Some people are not made to game, and I think I may be one of them.

Mike has been enjoying tweaking the configurations on his new computer and has done a little bit of gaming, but none that he enjoyed as much as working around the house on Labor Day.  :)

Have a wonderful week everyone!

1 Comment

Filed under Holidays, Life in Seattle, Seattle, Spider, Weather

Caterwauling in the night

And the rains came down and the floods came up!  That about sums up the Seattle weather this weekend!  Starting early Friday morning, the rains came.  It’s almost as though the weather wanted to make up for an entire four months with almost no rain because it has been pouring!  It’s really nice to see all the grass around the neighborhood greening up.  And it’s been windy.  So windy!!  On Saturday the wind was really intense (gusts up to 45mph) and a bunch of tree branches came down.  Quite a few people were without power and unable to drive around very well until the tree branches had been cleared from the roads.  It was an eventful weekend!  Well, weather-wise, anyway.  Mike and I took the crazy, grey, windy, rainy weather as an invitation to mostly stay inside.  Even now, four days later, as I’m looking out our front window, the tree branches are waving crazily in the wind and causing our neighbors house lights behind them to appear to be wildly flickering.  It’s definitely one of those cozy fall weeks!  (Except, is it actually autumn officially yet?  I don’t think it is.)

Mike’s new computer finally arrived!  It was shipped via FedEx, and fortunately it was due to be delivered on a day that I was working from home.  I really didn’t want to miss it when the FedEx guy came because the box required a signature, and so if I didn’t hear the knock on the door the box would likely get taken away again and we’d have to figure out some other time to get it delivered.  I was so careful that I didn’t even want to run water in the house for fear it would be loud enough to keep me from hearing the knock (so much for showering before FedEx came… what if the doorbell sounded while I was in the shower and I couldn’t go to the door??).  And every time I heard a truck go by, I’d take a quick look out the front window to see whether it was a FedEx truck.  And as it happened, three FedEx trucks whizzed by.  All of them without stopping.  I thought one of them was going to stop, but as it turned out he had just stopped behind a line of cars at a traffic light and sped up again once the light changed.  This is what happens when you live right around the corner from a FedEx store like we do.  You get a lot of false alarm trucks going by.  Eventually, though, the correct FedEx guy finally came, and I got to the door so fast that the doorbell pretty much sounded in my ear as I opened the door.  I was so excited that I tried to sign for the package upside down on the barcode scanner.  Yay!  Mike’s computer had ARRIVED!

He had initially been planning on trying a couple of new computer games on it, but so far most of what he’s done is mess with the setup.  He is the only person I know who would rather configure and setup a thing than use a thing.  Or build a thing than use a thing.  Or research a thing than use a thing.  Maybe an engineering trait?  So anyway, we’ll see if the gaming takes off or not, but in the meantime he’s enjoying looking through the setup files and configuring it.  :)

So I am having a song dilemma.  There’s a song that the teacher at my zumba class plays during our warm-up every week, and I really love it.  I keep meaning to ask her what song it is, but by the time the end of class rolls around I’ve forgotten about it.  There are only two lyrics I’ve managed to pick out of the chorus of the song which are “rainbow salad”.  Before you all run madly to your computers to start googling ‘rainbow salad lyrics’, you should know two things.

  1.  I’ve already done that and haven’t come up with anything.
  2. I have a history of mangling song lyrics.  Mike is continually laughing at me because I think the lyrics to songs are saying things that they aren’t actually saying.  I will give one example (and only one!) because one is embarrassing enough.  There was a very popular song about a year ago that had the line “chase girls” in the chorus as in “boys chase girls”.  For an inexcusably long period of time I thought the singer was saying “cheese curls” instead of “chase girls”, and I had no idea what the song was about.  No, I’m not kidding.  So it’s extremely likely that I have somehow managed to turn normal song lyrics into a food item again, and the words “rainbow salad” are in fact not present anywhere in the song.

Unfortunately this song has just been going through my head constantly, and periodically I’ll think of something else that the “rainbow salad” lyrics might be.  Hmm… rainbow passion?  Rainbow dreamin’?  Or maybe I don’t even have the rainbow part right.  There don’t seem to be a wealth of songs on Spotify that feature the word ‘rainbow’ in their title, so I don’t think it’s a hugely popular song word (except for obvious exceptions like ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’).  Anyway, so much for me and my first world dilemmas, right??

Last week, somehow my friends at work and I started talking about animals and before I knew it one of my colleagues was relating a story about a time when he put a tarantula in an old wine box.  (First of all… a tarantula?  Aaaaahhhh!!)  Anyway, long story short, the tarantula got drunk on leftover wine in the bottom of the box.  Basically every time it tried to take a step with one of its legs, it stumbled and fell.  It made for pretty slow-going progress for the tarantula.  Apparently the tarantula ended up fine though (although maybe had a killer headache later??).  After my coworker told that story, the rest of us stopped talking.  He had pretty much told the animal story that can’t be trumped.

We had a bit of minor drama a few days ago.  It was getting close to bedtime, so I headed up to bed.  Mike stayed downstairs to do some things on his computer before going to bed.  He went into his music room to grab some computer cables, came back out and shut the door, and went back upstairs to work on his computer in the dining room.  With his headphones in listening to music.  My last thought before going to bed was that I wondered why Piper hadn’t come to bed with me, but I figured she was downstairs hanging out with Mike.

Well.  As it turned out she was not hanging out with Mike.  She had sneakily followed Mike into his music room (knowing she wasn’t supposed to be in there and loving the forbidden) and stayed behind when he left and closed the door.  What started out as fun and games turned unhappy shortly after when she realized that she couldn’t get out.  She started caterwauling, but I was asleep two floors up and didn’t hear her and Mike, listening to music on his headphones didn’t hear her either.  After an hour or so she started meowing loudly enough that Mike realized what had happened and went downstairs to let her out of the room.  She shot out like a lightening bolt and raced up and down the stairs caterwauling her displeasure, which was enough to wake me up.  Eventually she calmed down and came and laid curled up in my arm in bed, purring as only a cat who has been locked up for over an hour and has finally escaped can purr.  Ah, Piper.  How boring would Mike’s and my lives be without you??  ;)

The rest of our weekend was uneventful apart from me going crazy on the CSA veggie cooking.  Roasted broccoli and kohlrabi, summer squash and tomato ratatouille, chicken and veggie soup, steamed green beans, and banana/coconut muffins.  We have a refrigerator full of veggies over here this week!

Hoping everyone’s week is off to a good start!  Monday’s already over… clear the way for Tuesday (CSA produce day!).


Filed under Animals, Baking, Cats, Cooking, CSA, Food, Life in Seattle, Rain, Seattle, Spider, Weather, Zumba

What can you build with 2 x 4’s?

Last week was a busy week and the weekend was even busier weekend!  On Friday after work I had to pick up a race packet for a 10k I ran on Saturday morning, then I had to get showered and changed, and then Mike and I went to a movie with a group of my friends from work.  The movie we saw was really interesting… Straight outta compton, a movie about the history of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and their group.  Obviously kind of a one-sided telling, since Dr. Dre and Ice Cube made the movie, but still interesting.  And of course I have the music from the movie going through my head four days later.  ;)

Last week was busy too.  On Tuesday night Mike went to a going away party for a coworker after work, and on Wednesday night I got together with a friend for coffee, and on Thursday I went to run club at the gym while Mike worked out at the gym.  It seriously feels like Mike and I have something going on EVERY NIGHT!  It’s fun for a few days, but then I find myself wanting a little bit of a break.  Friday was busy too, between a bunch of back-to-back meetings and teaching yoga.

In general everything seems to be going at the speed of light these days.  I’ve been  refining my Javascript/Coffeescript/Node knowledge like crazy as well as learning a little about Go while I’m at it (kind of an intriguing computer language from Google with the world’s cutest mascot… the Go Gopher).  I think I kind of have to get behind any language with a mascot that cute, especially one that’s based on the C programming language.

Even running with the run club at the gym has been crazy!  I use a GPS on my run so that I know how far and how fast I went, and on our last run there were three miles that we ran in under an 8min/mile pace.  Holy cow!!  I am NOT the kind of runner who routinely lays down 7:50 minute miles!  Or maybe I am now?  I have definitely noticed that when I try to keep up with the faster runners it’s hard for me, so maybe my body is adapting to a newer slightly faster pace?  Regardless, I’m on board with it!  It seems to be helping because I ran a 10k on Saturday that was my fastest 10k to date.  Crazy!

Likewise, Mike has been busy too.  He’s been learning a ton at his new job, although things seem to be stabilizing for him somewhat.  Lately he’s been spending his free time researching laptops so that he could successfully choose the best laptop for his birthday present.  Now that his birthday computer is on order Mike has been relaxing a little.  It is due to arrive tomorrow, and then he’s going to be having fun for awhile installing things on it and getting it configured the way he wants.  Lately he’s been saying that what he really wishes he had was a project that required him to nail 2×4’s together.  I can’t even imagine that.  Having to nail 2×4’s together sounds like my worst nightmare (apart from a forest full of spiders, which I’ll discuss below).  And I love going to the gym and he doesn’t enjoy it at all.  In some ways we are VERY DIFFERENT people.  Regardless, I tried to think of projects that would require him to nail 2×4’s together, but couldn’t really think of anything.  I’m not really sure what kinds of things people construct with 2×4’s.  Roof beams maybe?  Maybe Mike can add another story to our house.

For the most part, the weather has still been dry, so Mike and I have been keeping up with plant watering.  We have an agreement with our neighbors in which they water all the plants in the front of both of our yards, and we water all the plants in the back.  It’s a little bit of a relief not to have to carry a 500lb hose from the backyard to the front yard all the time.  Also, there’s the spider issue.  Apparently spiders love hot weather or something, because we seem to have a plethora of spiders in and among the trees along the side of the house.  For someone with self-proclaimed arachnephobia I’ve been doing a pretty good job of weaving among the trees to water all of the plants along the side of the house (albeit carefully).  Although somehow I don’t seem to be as afraid of spiders as I used to be (no, this is not a free license to mail me a tarantula).  Maybe I’m starting to see them as living things just trying to make their way in a big world.  Living things that weave webs to catch living insects, which they can then wrap up alive and paralyzed and eat.  Hmm…. maybe I have to rethink the sympathy thing.  ;)

Last night Mike and I took a long walk down by Lake Union in the evening.  Our days are finally starting to cool down, and it got windy a few days ago which has mostly cleared away the foggy haze hanging around Seattle due to the forest fires in the state.  It was so refreshing to walk in the windy twilight past lots of people walking dogs, biking, running, and just hanging out in Gasworks Park by the water.  We ended up being gone almost an hour and we walked back past a new restaurant that just opened and according to Bon Appetit is one of the best new restaurants in 2015.  We were hoping to get a vibe from the restaurant, but it was closed the night we walked by so we really didn’t get a sense of the vibe at all.

Mike’s birthday was this weekend, and we celebrated by going to the Bellevue Mall (which we have somehow managed to live in Seattle for five years and not ever visit).  We mostly just walked around, but it was a fun, big, light, airy mall.  We also celebrated by going out to a restaurant Mike really likes for dinner and drinks.  They even gave Mike a free dessert of his choice since it was his birthday!  :)

I have somehow continued to keep up with the CSA produce, which is unusual.  Usually by this point (week 5), I’m starting to kind of fall behind and feel like I really don’t know what to do with more zucchini.  I think the lack of rain has affected the crops, because we’re getting a different distribution of vegetables than we have in previous years.  We have been getting LOTS of snow peas, so apparently snow peas are resilient to droughts.  We have been getting less lettuce, which is actually working out since I’ve been eating salads for lunch at work and haven’t typically come home wanting more salads.  Although at this point, it’s pretty fortunate that Mike really likes peas because I’ve about run out of interest in snow peas.  We’ve also been getting a lot of onions, which I can always use, and lots of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, etc).  So far it seems to be a good CSA year!

I hope everyone is having a great week!  Mike and I both had pretty crazy days at work, but I taught a yoga class at work over lunch, and I think I may have needed the calming and centering more than the students today.  ;)  The busy-ness definitely makes the days fly by!  How is it already fall?  I need to find some fall bonfires or something for Mike and me to go to… I’m in that kind of mood.  :)


Filed under Cats, Cooking, CSA, Life in Seattle, Rain, Running, Seattle, Seattle Restaurants, Shopping, Weather

Taking risks with watermelon

Mike and I were definitely ready for a weekend by the time last weekend rolled around!  It had been a pretty busy week at work for all and sundry in our household!

Our Seattle summer has been extremely uncharacteristically hot and dry, and in some kind of weird, extreme re-assertion of Seattle weather, we had thunderstorms and torrential rains all day on Friday and it was 66 degrees.  The previous day, though, was 85 degrees and really dry.  If that isn’t a pretty extreme temperature shift, I don’t know what is!  Unfortunately it freaked Piper out.  She was home alone all day during the storms and it was much colder and darker and wetter than she was used to.  This all culminated in a bunch of stress.  When I came home from work she was literally mewing her head off.  Let me just say now: that is never a good sign.  Piper has limited vocal cords and can only make a select number of sounds, but she definitely takes advantage of every tweak she can make to her sounds to make them mean unique things.  And I knew the sound of this one.  It was the “I’ve-been-bad-according-to-your-definition-of-things-but-really-I’m-just-upset-and-don’t-understand-why-but-I’m-unhappy-and-PLEASE-COMFORT-ME!!!!!!!’  So basically she led me upstairs to where Mike’s flip flops were sitting and she showed me that she had urinated in one of them.  *sigh*  Oh Piper.  When will you learn there are better ways of dealing with fear of the weather besides inappropriate urination??  (By the way, I didn’t invent the term ‘inappropriate urination’.  That’s what the vet calls it.)  So anyway, Piper was extremely unhappy until I cleaned up after Mike’s flip flops and assured her I still loved her.  Then she sat on my lap purring her very deepest, throatiest purrs.

I taught my first Tuesday yoga class at the company where I work as a software developer.  I’ve been teaching a yoga class on Fridays, but this was my very first Tuesday class.  (I’m EXPANDING!  Yay!)  However, I felt completely off of my game on Tuesday.  I was in that place where you direct the class through a complex sequence on their left side based off of your instincts rather than off of any predefined plan and then you find yourself in downward facing dog trying to remember exactly what the whole sequence was, because now you need to guide them through it again on the right side of the body!  And one of those days where you find yourself saying ‘ground down into the heels of your legs’.  What the heck does that even mean??  LEGS don’t have heels; FEET have heels!  Basically all people have some ‘on’ days and some ‘off’ days.  And Tuesday was just an off day.  And, since it was my first Tuesday class I had all new students.  Clearly I must not believe in starting off on the right foot (or the left foot?)!  ;)  But shockingly, after class they were all really appreciative and anxious to come to the next class.  What is up with that??  Were they just being nice?  Was my complete and utter disorganization completely not apparent to them?  I have no idea.  I’ll find out next Tuesday when they either come back or don’t.  ;)

I also had to give a presentation for work, which went well.  It went a lot better than I expected it to, and a lot better than it likely would have gone if I’d practiced it at all beforehand (which of course I didn’t.  Why would I practice when I can go in stone cold and wonder what on earth I’m going to say?).  At least I seem to have the gift of gab and am not at a loss for things to say in most circumstances.  The quality of what I’m saying, though… that’s another matter.  ;)

I’m being a little facetious here, but you get the idea.  It was one of those weeks.  Mike has also continued to stay busy learning the ropes of his new job.  So far he’s really enjoying the learning, though.

And Piper had a hard Friday with the thunderstorm and rain and cold.

So between Mike, Piper, and me, we were really ready for the weekend!

Friday night Mike and I went to the gym and then went out to one of our favorite restaurants afterwards.  We sat at the bar and just hung out there for a couple of hours.  We ended up chatting with the woman sitting next to us because we were all in love with the roasted turnip appetizer.  Talking with her was such an amazing experience!  What a cool woman!  She has bicycled across the whole United States and is a singer/songwriter of Hebrew chants.  Talking with her was really fun!  She and I chatted nonstop, and Mike sat in the middle of us, clearly not sure what to do with all this chattering.  However, the woman seemed to understand Mike just fine anyway, and told him that she knew he “had a mind” and wasn’t very talkative.  Yes, she had him pegged.

On Sunday I went crazy with CSA produce and sautéed up kale and bok choy, roasted some beets (good old beets… I am determined to find some way that they taste good because they’re high in antioxidants and high in iron), and made up a chicken and broccoli dish for Mike.  All in all, it was a productive weekend.  Mike got some Sonos speakers which basically allow you to control them via an app on your phone, and he put them in the kitchen for when I’m cooking.  So I made full use of those during all the CSA cooking!  Mike and I kept trying to find stuff that we felt like listening to and nothing really sounded good, so eventually we went with a relaxed electronic playlist from Spotify.  It was very good!

Sunday afternoon we went for a drive so long that we almost got lost and we were out in the middle of a bunch of farmland.  Neither of our cell phones were getting a signal, so we couldn’t navigate via cell phone.  We were basically back to the stone age days before cell phones existed.  It was kind of a fun adventure, which we ended in Bellevue buying Jamba Juice and visiting a rare coins store.  Everyday adventures.  :)

I also had a watermelon that I finally got up the nerve to cut up last weekend.  It’s kind of a pain because Mike doesn’t really eat watermelon, so once I cut it open I’m pretty much committed to eating watermelon for the next couple of days so I can eat it up before it goes bad.  And it’s also really messy.  And it takes up a lot of room in the fridge.  But I love it anyway!  So I cut open the watermelon on a big cutting board on the kitchen counter.  In retrospect I should have put the cutting board on the counter next to the sink since cutting up a watermelon is such a messy job, but of course hindsight is 20/20.  And foresight (at least mine) doesn’t appear to be anything close to that.  So I found myself at the end with eight pieces of watermelon and a completely waterlogged cutting board with reddish watermelon juice all over it.  I debated my options and decided to risk trying to balance it so that all the watermelon juice stayed on it long enough for me to bridge the aisle between the counter and the sink so that I could dump it safely into the sink.  Well, let’s just say that was a bust.  I spilled watermelon juice kind of everywhere.  You haven’t actually experienced living until you’ve tried to clean watermelon juice off of all of the major surfaces in your kitchen.  It’s pretty crazy.  And yet, somehow, masochist that I must be, I bought another watermelon a few days later.  At least I was more careful with where I cut up that one.  ;)

Mike’s birthday is almost here!  For his birthday, we’re getting him a laptop.  His current one is really old.  He’s interested in trying some new computer games… something to do to unwind from work that’s easy and immersive.  He focuses on work so much that he really needs something immersive to take his mind off of work.  He’s also been thinking about music more lately, so I have the feeling once he gets his music room set up, he’ll be starting music again too.

One of my friends lent me a book a month ago about Paris in 1919.  It looks really interesting, but somehow I haven’t even started it yet.  I think it’s because it’s a physically thick book and every time I look at it I get intimidated.  The thought of being on page 1 of a 500 page book just seems so overwhelming.  Maybe that’s one reason why e-books have worked out so well for me.  I’m really not aware of how long the book is… I’m only looking at the current page.

It’s getting to be fall at work, and that means that our interns are starting to go back to school.  It’s been a fun ride with them over the summer!  Always fun to see how they learn and work in their first engineering job!  Love it!

This weekend Mike and I are going out to a movie with friends on Friday night, and then to a friend’s birthday party on Saturday, plus Mike’s birthday on Sunday, so we have some fun things to look forward to this weekend!  That’s always nice, since last weekend was pretty much all cleaning and chores.  Not bad, but not very exciting.  :)

I hope everyone is having a good, relaxing week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Birthdays, Cats, Cooking, CSA, Friends, Life in Seattle, Weather, Work, Yoga