The luxury of new socks and spare vacuum cleaner batteries

I feel like I haven’t written a blog post in a long time.  Probably because it actually has been a long time.

Mike flew back to Michigan for a very quick trip last weekend for his Mom’s birthday and to help his parents move.  Even though it seems like that would make the weekend less busy for me, it actually felt much busier.  I used the time to do a lot of things that I normally don’t find the time to do.  For instance I drove to the outdoor University Village mall and stocked up on laundry detergent.  That was the only thing I bought at the grocery store there and I felt a little conspicuous buying four jugs of it.  But it was on sale, and I NEVER feel like carrying laundry detergent home from the store, so Saturday was laundry detergent day.  I used the self checkout, partially because it’s faster and partially because I felt a little ridiculous buying four jugs of laundry detergent and nothing else.  Of course Murphy’s Law took over and the machine I was using completely froze and I became the spectacle of the self-checkout lane.  Not a big deal by any means, but a little amusing in that ‘Murphy’s Law’ kind of way.

I also decided that it was the week for buying Socks.  I know that sock-purchasing probably sounds run-of-the-mill and not particularly eventful but this is only if you don’t have to struggle every morning to find a matching pair of socks without the beginnings of holes in it.  Or if you don’t have to make sure to do laundry at least every three days because you really don’t have more than three days worth of good socks.  (This problem has been getting worse over time since, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our washing machine and/or dryer seems to eat socks at a rate of about one or two socks a week.)  So basically I went sock-crazy.  I bought Mike a 10-pair pack of socks plus a 3-pair pack of socks in a different style.  I bought myself two 5-pair packs of socks.  It’s funny… this past week Mike has mentioned three times about how nice it is to just open his sock drawer and know that he has a bunch of pairs of socks in there.  It really is a wonderful feeling.  Definitely one of those small things that makes a huge difference.  🙂

Mike had a good trip to Michigan, but came home with a cold.  I think the cold weather and the stress of making a long trip over just a few days probably wore down his immune system, because he typically never gets sick.  Fortunately he kicked it pretty quickly, but he’s been sleeping more the past week to recover.

It occurred to me yesterday that nothing has happened in terms of the blog redesign I kept promising.  That is still on Mike’s and my todo list, but we had some snags.  First of all, work got really busy for both of us.  Even though I’m confident everyone reading this blog is tired of hearing that work is busy, it still puts a damper on getting other non-work things done.  The second problem is that Mike and I had a disagreement about the picture of me for the front page of the blog.  He wanted to use one and I didn’t like it.  That was about the sum total of the disagreement.  🙂  I know it sounds small, but we never really reached a resolution on that, so we stopped moving forward.  I’m hoping that spring will bring a new blog header… once our work settles down and we’ve gone to England.

Speaking of work, it is still busy but it’s no longer as hectic for me and it’s getting less hectic for Mike.  Definitely thankful for that.  I always like it when things fall out such that I’m spending more time at work in the winter and less in the summer.  All things being equal when it’s cold and rainy and dark anyway, why not be working?  And when it’s sunny and warm and the days are longer, why be working?  That’s pretty much my philosophy anyway, and strangely the past couple of years it’s worked out that way that my projects have been busiest during the winter.

Speaking of the England/Ireland trip, Mike and I are getting geared up to go!  I bought a new iPhone which will not only allow me to take MUCH better pictures, but will also allow me to actually talk on the phone in Europe (albeit pretty expensively).  But still.  Very good for emergencies.  My old iPhone is CDMA-only and can’t communicate on the European GSM networks.  Both Mike and I also got haircuts.  I’m not sure why, but we always do this a few weeks before going on vacation.  Maybe we want to make sure we look good in the pictures we take?  Or maybe we have a deeply-rooted fear that there won’t be hair salons at our destination?  Or maybe we know there will be hair salons but have deeply-rooted fears around what hair stylists in our destination local will do to our hair?  I’m really not sure.  🙂  That’s just one of those things we do before going on vacation.  I’ve also started to look up the weather in England and Ireland, and it is remarkably similar to the weather in Seattle.  So remarkably so, in fact, that it’s almost identical right down to the misty rain.  At least we won’t be in a strange climate!  🙂

Did anyone hear about the helicopter crash at the Seattle Center?  It was briefly on the front page of msn and yahoo.   Crazy!  A television helicopter was coming in to land on the landing pad on top of the Seattle center and missed.  How tragic!  And less than a mile from the building where I work!  Having said that, I was at work at the time of the crash and I didn’t hear anything at all.  There was a lot of smoke in the South Lake Union area though.

I was also surprised to hear about a huge mudslide over our main interstate, I-5, about 60 miles north of Seattle.  Wow!  It’s terrible, and it sounds like a lot of people are still missing.

I’ve been cooking a little lately.  I made Mike some banana bread and some beef stew.  It had been a long time since he’d had beef stew and since it’s been a little rainier lately, that seemed like a good time for beef stew.  I’ve also been using the Vitamix pretty regularly (although I don’t know that that counts as cooking!)  Mike and I had a friend over for dinner last night and I made a lemon chicken and potato recipe that both she and Mike really liked.  I’m glad it turned out so well!  I made some small modifications to the recipe.  For instance, it’s painful to grate lemon peel with a cheese grater (which is the only grating tool I have), so instead of 2Tbsp of fresh lemon juice and 2 of fresh lemon zest, I added 4Tbsp of lemon juice and barely one of lemon zest.  I also threw in a couple extra cloves of garlic because really when can you have too much garlic?  I also made a spinach strawberry salad, but I cheated on the dressing part and bought some raspberry dressing instead of making the dressing in the recipe.

As mentioned, one day last week I got my hair cut and highlighted, and Mike picked me up when it was over.  I fully appreciated that, particularly since it was raining.  I had just spent two hours at the hair salon, but Mike said, “So… do you want to be taken home or somewhere else?”

I was instantly suspicious.  And rightly so, since “somewhere else” turned out to be Lowe’s.

“Do we have to?” I asked.  “Can’t we go somewhere else?  Maybe even Home Depot?”

I should probably clarify here that Mike and I have an outstanding (semi) joke about Lowe’s.  I maintain that it’s the store most likely to bore people to death (namely, me), and that Home Depot runs it a close second in that category.  I can’t help it… there is absolutely nothing of interest to me there.  I can look at the shiny new stainless steel appliances for about two and a half minutes… but then I get bored.  Mike of course disagrees and thinks Lowe’s is a store with multiple interesting things in literally every aisle.

“No, Lowe’s,” Mike said, clearly in a good mood.

“What do you need from Lowe’s?” I asked, still hoping there was a chance to escape a Lowe’s trip by thinking of somewhere else to get whatever item Mike needed.

“A spare vacuum cleaner battery.”

He had me there… I had no idea where to get a vacuum cleaner battery.  “A what?  Our vacuum cleaner plugs in.”

“No, not that the big vacuum cleaner.  The small hand-held one.  I just got a promotion, and I want to celebrate by going to Lowe’s and getting a vacuum cleaner battery.”

(Mike did get promoted by the way… yay Mike!  He’s a senior engineer now!)

Of course there was no way that I could decline going to Lowe’s when it was a trip for his promotion, so off to Lowe’s we went.  I stopped in the ladies room on the way in and then came out and tried to locate Mike.  I walked up and down aisles and couldn’t find him anywhere.  I tried looking for vacuum cleaner batteries, but I didn’t know how to find those either.  I found vacuum cleaners pretty easily, but the little handheld one we had didn’t seem to be located with the other big, upright ones, so finding them didn’t help me find Mike.  After another couple of minutes of wandering, I saw a giant sign at the other end of the store that said “TOOL WORLD”.  I doubted vacuum cleaner batteries could be found there, but I was pretty sure Mike could.  Sure enough I found him browsing tools there.  On the way back home while driving through the misty Seattle rain Mike turned to grin at me.

“A promotion and a vacuum cleaner battery… life is good.”  I don’t get quite the delight out of vacuum cleaner batteries that Mike does, but I’m very proud of him for his promotion.

This is completely random and out-of-the-blue, but I can’t believe the new American Eagle line of clothing for dogs called American Beagle.  I’ve been pretty resilient about continuing to shop at American Eagle despite the fact that they’re marketing is geared towards people in a different decade of their lives than I am, but I don’t know if I can bounce back from this.  I should dress to match my dog?  Really??  I laugh every time I think about it.  🙂

I’ve been mixing my running between outdoors (on nice spring-like days) and on the treadmill.  A gym just moved in to the commercial retail space on the bottom floor of Mike’s and my apartment building, and I’m convinced that they have a deal with our apartment building to encourage everyone in the building to join the gym instead of using the apartment building’s fitness room.  For one thing, the workout room always seems to be out of paper cups.  The water cooler in the room really doesn’t benefit anyone if there aren’t any cups to drink the water from.  Then a couple of weeks ago (around the time when the new gym was starting to offer memberships) the television disappeared from the workout room.  It wasn’t actually replaced by anything, so there was just a bare spot on the wall where the TV had gone.  Strange!  Fortunately I almost never watched the TV anyway.  Also, given that many times one of the other residents had it turned on to a loud sports channel, I actually probably lucked out that it’s been removed.  🙂

My outdoor runs have been just gorgeous!

I-5 bridge over Lake Union

I-5 bridge over Lake Union

I guess I was in a bridge mood when I went on this run, because I also got a picture of a small walking bridge across Lake Union.

Walking bridge over part of Lake Union

Walking bridge over part of Lake Union

Mike and I had a friend of ours over Saturday night so we got our apartment nice and clean prior to her arrival.  Mike has done a lot of work at our apartment making sure that there’s a place for everything (I think he learned this from the manufacturing environment he works in), so it’s actually very easy to clean our apartment now.  Or rather it’s pretty clean most of the time.  That makes it so easy to have people over because we can just spend an hour or two doing a deep-clean of the bathroom or something else relatively easy and isolated.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Mike and I are trying to get geared up for another week at work!  And Piper, who had a busy day yesterday watching us clean and vacuum, has been sound asleep all day.  It’s definitely a tiring life for her!

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Filed under Apartments, Cooking, Family, Food, Friends, Running, Seattle, Winter, Work

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