A woolly mammoth tusk and ornamental buttons

We had SNOW in Seattle on Saturday!  Crazy!  The second time in a single winter!  (I can sense everyone from the midwest sending massive eye rolls in my direction since I don’t think you guys have had less than a foot of snow all winter.)  Still, it was a big deal for Mike and me to look out of our window late Friday night and see giant fluffy snowflakes coming down!  Gorgeous and especially nice since the following day was Saturday and we could easily stay indoors until the snow melted.  The snow had melted by early afternoon on Saturday, so we were able to run a few errands.

I haven’t been cooking a lot lately, primarily because the beef in the beef stroganoff I made last week ended up too tough and I had to throw half of it out.  Cooking disappointments always result in my feeling like I’ve wasted money on ingredients and take away my motivation to cook.  I rallied a little tonight, though, and made a chicken and veggie dish.  I made modifications to it based on what I thought would be good and based on what reviewers suggested.  I added chopped garlic cloves and 1/4 cup of sliced onion.  I also used chicken broth instead of water.  Last, I added garlic powder and extra rosemary and thyme, because seriously, more spices are always better.  🙂  Mike worked late today, so he ended up eating dinner in Everett before he came home so he hasn’t tried any yet, but he thought the house smelled good when he got home and he can have some heated up tomorrow night.

I asked Mike if he wanted to do anything for Valentine’s Day tomorrow and he looked at me incredulously.

“You mean celebrate the day of St. Valentine?  What’s up with him anyway?  Some saint who made love potions or something?  Why would we celebrate his day?”

I took that to mean that Mike probably didn’t want to do anything to celebrate.  😉

Sunday was mostly a relaxation day for Mike and me although of course there were the ever-present chores like dish-washing and laundry.  Mike spent most of the afternoon in his music studio room messing with a bookshelf (this is the same bookshelf that required reinforcement last week).  He emerged around 5pm beaming and ready to talk about his project.

“How’s it going?” I asked, even though I was fuzzy on exactly what he was doing.

“I forgot how much I love I love epoxy.  This new epoxy is so much better than it used to be too.  The bottle is much higher quality,” he said.  “Can you put some dish soap in my hands so I don’t get epoxy all over the dish soap bottle?”

I complied and then he headed off to wash his hands, still happy about the current state of epoxy in the world.

Mike and I ordered new electric toothbrushes in the interest of basic human hygiene (our old ones were years old and pretty dingy).  They have arrived, but Mike said that we should run down the batteries in our current electric toothbrushes before we throw them away since batteries can be corrosive (and they’re somehow less corrosive if they’ve been drained?  I don’t really know… this is why I’m a software engineer instead of a hardware engineer).  However, running the batteries out is turning out to be much harder than either Mike or I had anticipated.  We assumed that the batteries would run out in a day or two if the toothbrush wasn’t resting in its charger, but apparently the battery chargers for those toothbrushes were better engineered than Mike and I gave them credit for.  I’ve used my toothbrush twelve times since I unplugged it (which equates to about six days), and it’s STILL going strong.  Crazy!  Mike said he’ll figure out some way to drain the batteries fully this weekend.  I suggested just repeatedly turning on the toothbrush until it stops turning on, but Mike thinks there’ll be a better way.

Speaking of Mike’s electrical know-how, I bought a laser pointer for Piper at the pet store the other day since her old one got messed up and stopped working.  Mike put in the batteries and played with Piper last evening, and Piper LOVED it.  (Note to anyone who has a cat: you must get a laser pointer.  It is so cheap and provides hours of enjoyment.)  After Mike had finished playing with Piper I asked where the spare batteries for the laser pointer were so that I could put them away safely.

Mike looked at me blankly.  “What spare batteries?”

“The laser pointer comes with three.  So there should be two spares.”

“What are you talking about?  The laser pointer takes all three.”

Now it was my turn to fix him with a blank stare.  “What?  Really?  No way.  I only put one in her last laser pointer and it worked.”

Mike rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, and it broke after a month and only worked sporadically.  You really only put one battery in it?”

“Yes… why would a tiny laser pointer take three batteries??”

“I don’t know, but the directions clearly show the steps for putting three batteries in the laser pointer.  Didn’t you look at the directions?”

I glared at him.  “Clearly that’s a rhetorical question.  You know I didn’t.  You know I don’t even read the directions for household appliances, so why on earth would I read the directions for a two-dollar cat toy?”

“I don’t know, but if you had read the directions the original laser pointer would probably still work.”

I tried my best to come up with a good retort but failed.

Speaking of cats, a friend of mine introduced me to the Simon’s Cat series of videos on youtube.com, and I am completely hooked.  Mike and I crack up watching every one of them because they remind us so much of Piper.  Here’s one of my favorites (mostly because this is exactly how Piper acts when Mike and I try to watch TV!).  🙂

In other crazy Seattle news, a woolly mammoth tusk was unearthed literally three blocks from where I work and three blocks from where Mike and I used to live!  How weird is that?  If you click through, you can see pictures of it.  It is indeed mammoth, as one would expect from a woolly mammoth.

The weather in Seattle has finally gotten back to its normal (relatively) warm, drizzly, windy self, and Mike and I are back to carrying umbrellas everywhere we go.  Honestly, I’m not disappointed.  Even though it was nice seeing clear blue skies every day, it wasn’t a good trade for temperatures that were ten to twenty degrees lower than normal.

This weekend Mike and I are having a friend over for dinner, and I’ve been trying to think of something to make for dessert… any suggestions??  Preferably something easy and quick, but also something a little elegant.  Oh, and also something with few leftovers.  Now that Mike’s trying to eat healthier, he doesn’t like us keeping as much junk food in the house.  Let me know if there are any ideas!  🙂

In other news, Mike and I are tentatively planning on the third week in April for our England/Ireland trip.  We’re already getting excited!  Work has been busy for both of us the past month or so (ever since the holidays, really), and I think we’re both ready for a break.  We are also very ready to see a little more of the world.  Mike’s prompting me to get a new iPhone before I go, since the new one takes pictures that are SO much better than the ones my old one takes (my old one is three years old, but keeps plugging away even though it’s much slower and needs to be rebooted much more frequently than it used to).  Also, my old iPhone can’t go on the European networks at all, whereas Mike’s newer one (and any newer one I buy) can.  I’m considering that and considering the better pictures I could be taking using it, but I’m still not in a big hurry to spend a bunch of money on one.  We’ll see!

This is a strange thing to be concerned about, but I feel like I can still smell onions and garlic on myself and my clothes since cooking up the chicken and veggies and I feel like when I go to bed tonight I’m going to make the sheets smell like onion.  But I can’t tell whether this is real, or whether I’m just paranoid.  Probably time for a shower regardless, right?  🙂

I am a little annoyed with myself because I broke a button off of the cuff of my coat yesterday.  The button is primarily ornamental, except that it holds one end of an (also ornamental) strap on the cuff on.  So without the button the cuff strap flops around.  Why was I so hard on the cuff (all those trips to the grocery store where I carried heavy grocery bags on my forearms during the walk home probably didn’t help)?  Why are those ornamental buttons for ornamental cuffs even on the coat anyway?  What’s wrong with a purely functional coat that only contains buttons where it needs buttons to hold things closed?  (This is a purely rhetorical question since I of course bought the coat and thus must have been ok with the cuff button before I broke it off.)  And much more importantly than all of these questions: am I a good enough seamstress to get the button back on without it looking like a patchwork job?  (Stay tuned for the answer to this one, because I’m giving it a try this weekend.)

I almost missed the bus this morning because it was on time.  I have grown so accustomed to the bus being three minutes late that I only go down to the bus stop around the time it’s actually due.  As it was I had to make a mad sprint for the bus, but I managed to catch it so all was well.  I guess I really shouldn’t plan my morning around the bus being late anymore.  🙂

One thing I’m loving this month: Starbucks tall half caff Americanos with no room.  Every Friday I treat myself to one at the Starbucks a block away from my office.  So tomorrow’s the day!  🙂

I hope everyone has as wonderful weekend and let me know your favorite easy, quick dessert recipes if you have any!

Mike and Piper chilling

Mike and Piper chilling



Filed under Cooking, Friends, Weather, Winter, Work

3 responses to “A woolly mammoth tusk and ornamental buttons

  1. Lia K

    That’s the BEST Simon’s Cat episode! I’ve seen a few of those before and they crack me up everytime. My other fave is “Fly Guy”. Keifer left the room when I played that one…My cowardly 67lb Goldendoodle is afraid of–yup, you guessed it–flies! He shakes in the corner if he hears anything that goes “buzzz”. I took down the “Beware of Dog” sign outside.;)
    Regarding desserts for this weekend, my mom votes that you make your mother’s famous raspberry cream pie. I’ve never made it before though, so not sure how involved it is…Have you? It sounds delicious (no probs with leftovers) as well as elegant, plus it’ll be festive for Valentine’s Day!

    • HA! Love that Keifer is so scared of flies… lucky you’re there to protect him! Hmm… the raspberry cream pie sounds good but complicated. What are the chances I can get my mom to make one for me and overnight ship it here?? It would be SO festive for Valentine’s Day though! 🙂

  2. Lia K

    Is it complicated? Maybe it just sounds intimidating! I wouldn’t know, but my mom has been wanting to try that recipe for ages. Perhaps one of these days one of us will be brave enough to give it a shot! Ha!–Have your mom send one here too. What are the chances?

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