This has been the week of the L-brackets. And screws with black painted heads. Mike has been at it with his projects! He bought both a printer stand and a bookcase. Neither one was expensive and Mike decided that neither was adequate in its purchased form. This led to various ideas about reinforcing both so that they are sturdier. This resulted in multiple trips to Home Depot and Stone Way Hardware to find the right reinforcing steel brackets to keep both structures rectangles rather than allowing them to turn into parallelagrams. In all honesty, both the printer stand and the bookcase seemed sturdy enough to me. Not like solid oak would be, but definitely sturdy enough so that they’d stay rectangluar-shaped for at least the next several years. However, Mike was pretty set on the idea of reinforcing them. He loves projects! There’s nothing better than a bookcase that needs reinforcing in Mike’s world. 🙂
The Vitamix blender has been getting continued use. I use it at least every other day for a smoothie of some sort, and sometimes Mike has one as well. I made him a blackberry banana one recently that he really seemed to like. I also made him a cantaloupe banana one that turned out much too watery. Cantaloupe is delicious in smoothies, but you really need to have some other hearty stuff in the smoothie since the cantaloupe basically blends down into flavoured water. And a banana just isn’t thick enough to provide the needed texture. But at least I’m learning about the in’s and out’s of using the vitamix and getting the desired results from it. 🙂 I would post my recipes, but I actually haven’t been using any. I’ve been winging it, daring smoothie-maker that I am. 🙂
I haven’t talked in much depth about running for awhile, primarily because I wasn’t running much during P90X. However, I had chosen a half marathon to run this fall… a really fun one that takes place in Vancouver on Mike’s birthday, so it seemed like it would be a great opportunity to take a trip up there, run the race, and celebrate Mike’s birthday. I proactively went to sign up for it last Monday at 10am when the website indicated that registration would be open. Lo and behold, the site was operating extremely slowly and all the pages kept timing out so I wasn’t able to register. Bummer! Later that day the website said that due to a large amount of traffic, the website had gone down. They assured all of the would-be participants that registration would be back up and running at noon on the following day. I set myself an alarm so that I didn’t miss the registration, since it looks like the race is even more wildly popular than usual this year. So at noon the following day I was in a meeting but kept hitting refresh on their site hoping that the ‘Register Now’ button appeared while I monitored the meeting. Again, no dice. Later in the day they posted a message on their website saying that actually registration wasn’t going to re-open until February 3rd because of technical problems. I set myself another alarm, but given how popular the race apparently is this year I’ll have to wait and see whether I can get into it or not. If not I’ll have to try to find another fun fall half marathon to run. Periodically I keep thinking that I should run a full marathon again, but it’s so time consuming and breaks down your body (at least my body) so much, that I’ve resisted the urge so far.
On a completely unrelated note, I love some of The Body Shop products (i.e. lotion, shower gel, etc), but they have “super crazy lowest-price-ever blowout sales” literally all the time. I don’t even think they let one sale expire before they start the next one. And they always are really ridiculously good sales (i.e. buy any two items, get two free). I don’t think anyone has actually ever paid full price for one of their items. I’m honestly getting so tired of receiving “AMAZING SEMI-ANNUAL SALE” emails from them twice a day that I’m thinking of removing myself from their email list. There are only so many block-capital email subjects I’m willing to view, and The Body Shop is taxing my patience, despite how much I like their products. Why can’t they just lower the normal price of their products and then run fewer sales? Apparently I don’t understand how marketing works. 🙂
So, for only the second time ever, the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl! I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t follow football, so until they played San Francisco last weekend I didn’t realize how well they were doing and how close to the Super Bowl they were. Not to jinx them or anything, but if they win this Super Bowl it will be the first one they’ve ever won. Mike and I listened to the NFC championship game on TuneIn (a way to listen to radio stations on the internet). We were multitasking and doing other things as we listened, but it was still a very interesting game. San Francisco was up by 10 points in the first quarter leading me to believe Seattle would lose. And then there was the time that Seattle was at the San Francisco 1 yard line (less than a yard to goal, actually), and then lost the ball. Craziness! But ultimately they ended up winning and are (hopefully) ready to take on Denver!
I have run into an interesting phenomenon lately regarding passwords. I have accounts on such a variety of sites that I’m constantly finding myself at the login page for a given site trying to remember my password. Three times this week I tried a couple of passwords unsuccessfully and ended up clicking on the ‘Lost my Password’ button. When I was allowed to reset my password I sat back for a minute trying to decide on a password. And all three times when I decided on a password and tried to enter it the site told me it was an invalid password “because I wasn’t allowed to use my current password”. How interesting! What does that say about my psychology that I am unable to come up with my password when presented with the login screen, but if given the opportunity to create a new password I invariably try to use the correct password? That is fascinating to me. There are some neural pathways in my brain that don’t appear to be connected. Somehow I have to figure out how to connect the “create a new password” and “remember my old password” mental pathways. Or I just have to mentally create a new password and try entering that in the password field. 😉
Work has been busy for both Mike and me lately, so by the time we reached this weekend we definitely felt overdue for it. It’s gone by too quickly, as usual, but at least we’ve gotten more sleep than usual this weekend, which always makes the days go by more easily.
This evening Mike and I didn’t make it to church because of some overzealous cleaning that went longer than expected. However, we listened to a sermon online from a Sunday that we missed at the beginning of the year. It was a very thought-provoking message, and focused on stepping outside of your comfort zone to really be transformed in Christ. It was really interesting and definitely gives us some things to think about headed into this new year (although at almost a month into 2014, we’re arguably much more than just “headed into” the year).
The over-zealous cleaning led to vacuuming which led to a very unhappy Piper, particularly since we took away her fountain for cleaning in addition to bringing out the vacuum cleaner. I don’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous blog post, but Mike and I bought Piper a little fountain. The purpose behind this is to get her to drink more water, since apparently cats are more drawn towards drinking moving water rather than still water. Her drinking more water translates to her having healthier kidneys which translates to fewer UTI’s and trips to the vet, so we are all for that. The fountain is surprisingly small. It took some time for Mike and me to get used to it, because since it’s running constantly we kept hearing the water and thinking the faucet was dripping. Now, however, we’re nearly completely used to it, and Piper just loves it. It is now part of her morning ritual to sit about a foot away from the fountain and stare at it intently for about forty minutes. She is fascinated by the running water. We’ve also seen her drinking from it multiple times, so it seems to be accomplishing its purpose. It does need to be cleaned periodically, though, and Piper hates it when the fountain is unplugged and taken away. It has definitely become one of her favorite items in the house.
One thing I haven’t talked about recently is cooking. This is mostly because while doing P90X I did very little cooking because it took up so much time. Now, however, I’m starting to get back into it. Today I made Cornbread Beef Skillet for Mike. It was ok. It really lacked any form of seasoning, so I replaced the tomato paste with some tomato basil spaghetti sauce (and ended up using more like a cup of it instead of the 1/4 cup of tomato paste). I also added minced garlic and Italian seasoning and used them pretty liberally. However, I still noticed Mike adding salt to the meal, so apparently it still needed some more seasoning. I think it’s a promising recipe, but needs a little zing. Not too much zing, since Mike’s not a big zing fan. But at least a little zing. 🙂 Tomorrow I’m planning on making a red lentil soup. Hopefully that turns out really well!
There was a stale air advisory here last week. I’m not entirely sure what causes that, but I think it has to do with air getting trapped in Seattle because of the mountain ranges on all sides, and then the air gets stale and pollution can build up and things like that. Definitely by the end of the week both Mike and I felt like the air we were breathing outside had an unhealthy amount of car exhaust in it. Now, though, that passed and we’re back to our usual windy, fresh-aired Seattle.
There was an open house going on at a new set of townhomes a few blocks from our apartment today, so Mike and I went over to look at them. They are GORGEOUS!! And when I say gorgeous… I seriously mean gorgeous. Solid wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, a view of the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle from the windows, SKYLIGHTS, lovely floor plans, walk-in closets in the master bedrooms, a WALK-IN SHOWER in the bathroom. Etc. Etc. Etc. Seriously breathtaking. However, Mike and I just signed another year lease with our apartment and, quite frankly, thinking about how many times our annual salaries those townhomes were was off-putting. 😉
Tonight is for relaxing, reassuring Piper that all’s right in the world now that the vacuum cleaner has gone and the fountain is back, and probably a Poirot episode. Clearly we are wild and exciting people. 🙂 I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend (and I hope you are all staying warm… particularly those of you in the recently refrozen midwest!).