Category Archives: Rain

Boxing shoes and blue mascara

Recently Mike and I headed back to the midwest to visit family.  We are getting too old to take red-eye flights (although Mike has been claiming he’s “too old” for this since 2005), so we always pretty much plan on one day of travel each way.  It was great to see everyone in both Mike’s and my families and get to spend some quality time with them.  But it was definitely tiring.  When we got back on Tuesday, we were ready for a weekend, but a weekend was still several days away.

Interestingly one of the things I missed during the time in the midwest was cooking.  How random!  It is really strange that something that started purely as an “I want to eat healthy and know where the food I’m eating comes from so I guess I’m willing to cook” attitude has morphed into a “When is the next load of CSA produce coming because I want to cook immediately.  Very strange.

Anyway, I got parsnips from this week’s CSA produce which is always a red flag to make some kind of stew, because Mike loves parsnips in stews and most of the time when he asks for them they aren’t seasonable so I use rutabagas instead and hope he will be fooled (he’s usually not… parsnips have a distinct taste).  Most of the veggies this week were very fall-oriented root vegetables, so I did a lot of roasting.  I roasted up beets and leeks (a great combination by the way!  Add fennel as well if you have it!).  I also roasted up garlic cabbage, two different varieties of squash, and some cumin-spiced cauliflower.  And of course I made a pot of beef stew with the parsnips and other veggies.

Here’s one interesting thing.  As I took bag after bag of the produce out of the fridge to wash and cut and prep, I kept waiting for these yellow carrots to show up.  I clearly remember getting them in the CSA box because I thought it was weird that they had included half the carrot greens for the carrots (i.e. they hadn’t trimmed the greens all the way off, but they had trimmed all of the leafy good part off and just left the long, hard stalks).  So I specifically remember noticing those carrots.  And I went through all the bags of produce and they weren’t there.  I repeat: they weren’t there.  I literally have no idea where they went, but I have the uncomfortable feeling that I may have done something stupid with them.  Like throw them away, or put them under the sink with the onions, or… you get the idea.  If they show up, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, I guess that was for the best because I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them anyway.  Mike prefers orange carrots and gets suspicious with me when I use carrots of other colors.  The splash of orange color is pretty nice in soups/stews in comparison to the pale yellow of the other carrots.  Also, I bet the orange carrots must have more beta carotene, but you couldn’t prove that by me.

The one thing that I somehow forgot in the hotel room in Michigan was my tube of mascara.  Not a big deal, especially since there was a new mascara brand that my hairdresser wanted me to try anyway.  I went and got some my first day back in Seattle.  I got it in Midnight (the same color name as my previous mascara).  All good, right?  Right??  Well, the next day I put on the new mascara in front of my bathroom mirror and then went to work.  Still all good.  Then I went to the restroom and under the track lighting in front of the sink I saw that my mascara was a glittery blue.  Well, well.  Fortunately the glittery blue only seems to show up under very specific lighting which doesn’t include the normal lights at work or at home.  But definitely does include the track lighting in the restroom at work.  Mike told me that it was likely due to fluorescent lighting.  I was planning to go to boxing that night and wondered whether or not my mascara was going to look blue in the gym.  I figured Mike would know.  He was out of town for work, so I texted him.

“You think the lights at the gym are fluorescent?”

“Yes.  Why?”

“Darn.  Ok.  Then I have to stop by the store before boxing to get new mascara or it will look glittery blue.”

“No, I think it’s halogen track lights that cause the glitter.  Filament bulbs like our stove hood.”

“Oh, I thought you said fluorescent?”

“I meant halogen.  But I can’t fully guarantee that.  I’m basing this on what lights make your engagement ring sparkle.”

“Yeah diamonds and glitter mascara are very similar.  😉  Oh maybe I can test it at the our stove.  Before I leave for boxing.”

“Either way nobody would care if your mascara glittered or not.”

“I care.  It looks stupid.  Black glitter is fine.  Blue glitter… is just ridiculous.”

“At boxing nobody would likely notice.”

“Some things must not be left to chance.”

“Actually Floyd Mayweather wore gold shorts for his last fight.”

“And if I get to be as good as Floyd Mayweather I’ll wear glitter blue mascara.”

“I think I’ve seen flashier things than blue sparkle in the boxing ring.  Lol”

“Lol”

I love our text conversations.  🙂

On another boxing note, I have been trying to find boxing shoes for a long time, because my running shoes really aren’t cutting it in boxing.  Running shoes are pretty much built assuming you’re only moving your feet forward and backward… not side to side.  So after only a couple of boxing sessions, I typically see my running shoes start to develop holes in the sides of the shoes (typically the outer little-toe side of the shoe) from all the side-to-side motion in boxing.  Mike and I have been to several sporting goods stores in the Seattle area looking for boxing shoes with no luck.  I basically have three issues finding boxing shoes.

  1. There isn’t actually such a thing as “boxing shoes”.  There are wrestling shoes that boxers also wear.
  2. How many female wrestlers have you ever heard of?  None?  Exactly.  So there really aren’t women’s wrestling shoes.  Women get men’s wrestling shoes.
  3. So, since I had to get men’s wrestling shoes, I knew I’d have to try them on before I bought them since I literally had no idea what size wrestling shoe I would wear in men’s sizing.

Mike and I found some wrestling shoes at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store, but the smallest size they had was a size 8 in men’s.  I tried that on, and it was way too big.  So this weekend, Mike kindly agreed to drive me all the way to Issaquah (which feels like it’s SO FAR AWAY, because it’s way east of Bellevue but is actually only 17 miles away) because there’s a big Dick’s Sporting Goods there.  As it turned out, they had a good selection of wrestling shoes!  I was pretty determined that I wanted either Nike’s or Asiics because those are the big two providers of wrestling shoes (Nike has traditionally been the main provider, but they seem to be moving out of the space and Asiics is moving in).  I found a pair of 7.5’s and tried those on.  Hmm.  They were ok… but kind of big.  I tried 7’s next.  Those were good.  I had just about decided to go with those, when Mike handed me another pair to try.  They were a size 6 and were a boy’s shoe instead of men’s and I was pretty confident they would be way too small but I tried them on anyway.  And as it turned out… they fit perfectly.  But they weren’t even men’s shoes… they were boy’s!  And they weren’t Asiics or Nikes… they were Adidas (which to me feels like a very “has-been” 80’s brand… sorry to anyone who loves Adidas or works for Adidas or is sponsored by Adidas).

I frowned down at them.

“I can’t get boy’s shoes… it’s humiliating.”

“No,” Mike said.  “It’s totally fine.  You just have small feet.”

“I do not have small feet,” I said defensively.  “I wear 8.5 in women’s running shoes.  There is nothing small about my feet.”

“Well, they’re a boy’s size,” Mike replied.  “And I like how these shoes look.  Besides, they are cheap because they’re kids shoes.  That’s nice.”

I couldn’t really argue with him, since that seemed to be the objective truth.

I tried a different tactic.  “But they’re ADIDAS!  That’s an 80’s brand!  What do they have to do with boxing?!”

“It’s pretty hard to argue with the price,” Mike shrugged.  “I think Adidas are fine.  They make a lot of soccer shoes.  See?” he said, pointing to the soccer shoe section made up largely of Adidas shoes.

I squinted at the shoes.  “All the ugly 80’s styled ones are Adidas.  The other brands are better for soccer shoes.”

Long story short, I walked out with the Adidas.  #firstworldproblems

And now I have boxing shoes!  Which I’m excited to try out Monday night!

Today Mike has been cleaning algae and gunk off of the roof in preparation for winter.  I’ve been cooking.  And Piper has been enjoying the sunshine after a week of rain!  I hope the nice weather lasts!  Our October this year was the rainiest in Seattle on record!  Typically we get 3 inches of rain; this October we got 10!  We are ready for some sunny days to offset all the water.  🙂

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Filed under Cooking, CSA, Life in Seattle, Rain, Seattle

Races, family, and getting back in the blog-posting saddle

Somehow my puzzling has fallen by the way side.  I’m not sure what happened.  I bought two puzzles at the same time around Thanksgiving, and had so much fun putting the first one (a gnome castle) together.  The second one (a view of Venice at night) has just been languishing on the dining room table for over a month.  I dutifully assembled the border and a few small chunks of pieces, and then it’s just sat on the kitchen table.  I’m honestly not sure what happened.  My best guess is that a gnome castle is somehow inherently interesting.  And maybe a picture of Venice isn’t (although the real experience of going to Venice definitely is).  Regardless, I disassembled the little bit of puzzle I’d done so that we have more dining room table real estate back since I don’t seem to be getting puzzling traction.  Mike is trying to be sorry that the puzzling isn’t working out, but it’s hard for him because he’s looking forward to having a full dining room table again.

I ran a really fun 15k race a couple weekends ago.  The route was scenic and went along the waterfront downtown and then north all the way up SR-99 right past Mike’s and my house before turning around and heading back downtown again.  There were 12,000+ people signed up for the race, so it was recommended that you arrive early.  I used to be so conscientious about getting to races early, and now I count it a victory if I arrive just as the start gun is going off.  It took me about fifteen races before I realized that if you get to a race early all that earns you is the right to stand in the cold (and usually wet) morning for an extra forty-five minutes.  Oh, and it also gives you the right (the need, actually) to use the port-a-potties at least twice before the start of the race.  And, really, who wants to use a port-a-potty even once (much less twice)?  So now I try to time my arrival so that I’m barely in the nick of time and I’m completely happy.

When I woke up to an almost sunny morning the day of the race, I was optimistic that I would get out of the whole race dry.  I hopped a bus downtown (picking one that wasn’t on a re-route schedule for the race).  The race started and ended at Seattle Center, which is an area where a lot of Seattle events take place.  There are two main advantages to running races that start at Seattle Center.

  1. They have a huge auditorium (several actually), and they always open up the main one before races.  So if you don’t want to stand around outside freezing to death waiting for your race to start, it’s very advantageous to pick a race like this one that has a giant heated space to do your stretching in prior to the race.  Literally the trickiest part of any race is to arrive early enough to get a parking spot while also being late enough so that you aren’t standing outside forever waiting for the race to start.
  2. Bathrooms!  Lots and lots of them.  It’s somehow in a runner’s psychology to decide fifteen minutes before the start of the race that they should use the restroom one last time.  This causes literally huge and terrible lines at all the port-a-potties stationed at the race start lines.  However, when you have a giant auditorium you have (you guessed it!) INDOOR bathrooms.  And a lot of them!

I arrived plenty early, so I hung out inside stretching.  All was well until about ten minutes before race time when people started crowding to the windows and I saw that it had started pouring rain.  I really hadn’t dressed specifically for rain.  I had a running coat on, but it wasn’t waterproof, and I didn’t have a hat.  I did have a wide headband that I figured would help a little though.  I watched as some of the more prepared people around me started pulling out disposable glorified garbage bags to slip over their heads like ponchos to keep the rain off.  I watched as some of the less prepared people wearing shorts and tank tops shifted from one foot to the other.  We all headed out en masse towards the start line and fortunately the rain already seemed to be lessening.  We headed off down hill towards the waterfront.  That was nice from a scenic perspective, but I’m always suspicious of races that start off with a mile of down hill running.  What goes down must come up (at least where running races are concerned), and I knew I’d be seeing those same hills later in the race but I’d be headed up instead of down.  We ran down along the water front for a mile or two and then turned and headed back up towards Seattle Center.  The rain had cleared and the sun was actually out.  I was getting overly warm and contemplated tying my coat around my waist but ultimately decided against it since I didn’t feel like stopping.  We ran past Seattle Center and headed north on Aurora all the way up past Mike’s and my house and almost to the zoo.  When we got close to the turnaround point to start heading back south to Seattle it started to rain again all of a sudden.  When we turned south, I realized that there was a strong south wind that I hadn’t noticed before because it had been at my back but now it was in my face in full force.  At least it was mostly downhill headed back to Seattle!  After about half a mile of running south, the skies opened up and it started pouring rain.  I tried to check the time on my running watch, but it was raining so hard that I couldn’t wipe the water off of my watch fast enough to see the time (while running anyway).  At that point I was committed.  I was already soaked so I had nothing left to worry about.  I tore back down Aurora, looking forward to seeing Seattle Center, a finish line, and a warm building (not necessarily in that order).  The rain finally let off a few miles later, and I ran the final couple of miles in only a sprinkling, misty rain.  Since I was already soaked, though, it almost didn’t matter whether it kept raining hard or not.  At some point your clothes physically aren’t going to absorb any more water.  When I finally hit the place where we turned west to go to Seattle Center I tried to kick up my pace a notch and was surprised that my body didn’t want to go any faster.  Maybe I had been running faster than I’d realized given that I didn’t have anything extra left to give at the end?  I managed to keep up my pace through the last quarter mile, but I definitely wasn’t able to speed up at all.  The finish line (with the big warm auditorium behind it) was a welcome sight, and I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:18:12 and an average pace of 8:24 min/mile.  Definitely better than I was expecting, especially given the weather and the hills.  Or maybe the weather actually helped, because I was motivated to get the race finished.  😉

The same weekend of the race, Mike did a lot of landscaping work.  He pulled weeds in the front and along the side of our townhome and then laid down “beauty bark” which is apparently something that helps prevent weeds from growing in the future, although I’m a little unclear how that works.  I did lots of cooking while he did that.  I have been getting bored of cooking variations on the same things, so I made up some different dishes this week.

I started with smoky chicken with crispy chickpeas, and then made an eggplant coconut curry and a maple chicken with roasted squash.  Everything turned out surprisingly good.  I am loving Clean Eating magazine and am now getting my recipes almost exclusively from there.

Despite all my cooking, Mike and I felt like going out to dinner one night a couple weeks ago, so we went to a Taco Bar that was only a few blocks from our house but somehow we had never been there.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I have literally never had tacos that good in my entire life.  I had the black bean sweet potato tacos and they were phenomenal.  They took tacos to an entirely new level.  I was already contemplating how soon we could return as we left.  Afterwards we went to a whiskey bar conveniently located only a block from the taco bar.  I enjoyed some scotch while Mike opted for Old Fashioned’s.  It was all entirely too good.  And it being only a four minute walk from our house?  Amazing!  How are we somehow blessed enough to live close enough to all of this stuff??  Then we came back to our house and started watching an episode of Suits, a law show that we’ve been watching off-and-on, but we were too tired to finish it.

I have been in a ‘second cat’ mood these days, so much so that I got Mike to go with me to the Seattle Humane Society last weekend to look at cats.  However, I had already poured over all the available cats on their website prior to going, so I already had one specific one that I wanted to see.  Unfortunately he wasn’t actually at the Humane Society… he was at a Petsmart in Issaquah to get more exposure.  Darn.  Again, Mike tried to be appropriately sad for me even though he doesn’t want to get another cat.  He even offered to go to the Petsmart with me to see the cat, but I declined.  Issaqah is a ways away and it was a pretty rainy day.  And I didn’t feel like I was actually going to get a cat that day so it would have been a rather futile effort.

My music choices have been beyond bizarre lately.  I’ve been alternating between old Celtic folk music, 90’s rock/alternative, modern rap, and he new Chris Cornell album (because I think Chris Cornell basically deserves his own genre).

This past week, Mike’s parents were here visiting from Michigan!  What a treat!  We got to hang out with them and with Mike’s sister Catherine and her two daughters over the weekend.  It was a whirlwind weekend that started with a ferry ride to Whidbey Island followed by a little shopping and a long drive to Deception Pass.  We were attempting to get there before dark and didn’t really manage that.  However, it was surprisingly gorgeous at night, especially with the full moon overhead illuminating the gorge and water below the bridge.  So that actually worked out well.  We ended up getting back down to Everett late, and Mike and I went out to dinner with his parents at an Irish pub close to their hotel (really about the only place we could find that was still open at 11pm).  The food there was good, though, so it turned out to be a good choice!  The next day we went on an abbreviated trip to the zoo.  I say ‘abbreviated’ because we didn’t really get to the zoo very early, so we skipped parts of the zoo and just focused on the animals that the kids especially wanted to see.  It was a nice day for walking around the zoo regardless, though, and we enjoyed it!  The following day was filled with some shopping and some wine tasting in Woodinville.  We went on a short tour of Chateau St. Michelle and I was impressed with the lineage of their wines and interested to hear about how they create their wines.  It was fun to hang out with everyone for a few days!  Going back to work after such a full weekend to a day packed with back-to-back meetings definitely felt like a change!  But at least the day flew by!

It’s already almost April…. I literally have no idea how that happened!  My goal for April is to post more blog entries.  I’ve really been letting that go lately because it literally feels like I am always 100% busy.  However, it’s important to keep the blog posts coming… I sometimes think  that writing is about the only ‘creative’ outlet I have these days, so it’s definitely important to keep it up!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  And my mom reminded me that Easter Sunday is this weekend.  So Happy Early Easter to everyone!  (How is it already Easter?  It must be here early this year!)

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Life in Seattle, Rain, Running, Seattle, Seattle Restaurants, Visitors

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Us!

Mike and I have had a really busy December… I mean a really, really busy December.  With Mike’s long hours the past week or so, I haven’t been doing much cooking so all my careful weekly food prep is kind of out the window right now.  (Hopefully I’ll get back on board after the holidays… it can be one of my New Year’s resolutions.  Which reminds me… I should look back to last year’s resolutions and see if I got anywhere with them!)

Anyway, Mike has been working a lot, and I have spent my evenings shuttling Piper around to the vet, giving her meds, running errands, etc.  It’s all good, but Mike and I will both be glad of a little time off over Christmas and New Years!

Fortunately, we both took time to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.  I feel like it should actually be our 10th anniversary instead of our third since we’ve actually been together over 10 years, but oh well.  We’ll go with three.  Three is a good number.

I made plans to go to a live show and dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse downtown.  I have co-workers from Brazil, so I have discovered the entity that is the ‘Brazilian Steakhouse’.  I even bought a Groupon for it (yay Groupon!), so it was much cheaper than it would have normally been.  We got there, and the interior was just beautiful!  Dimly lit, dark wood… very lovely!  We had a very relaxing time hanging out, listening to their live Brazilian music, and making multiple trips to their super amazing all-you-can-eat salad bar.  I came back from my first trip to the salad bar with a hugely overloaded plate full of exotic olives, sliced veggies, roasted veggies, pickled veggies, and a few odds and ends like roasted mushroom salad (SOOOO good!  And I don’t even like mushrooms!) and quinoa salad.  Mike’s eyes shot up when he saw how full my plate was.

Mine is the plate on the right. ;)

Mine is the plate on the right. 😉

“Are you going to be able to eat all that??” he asked.

“Ha!” I said.  “You’ve actually been with me for ten years without knowing the copious amounts of vegetables I’m able to eat?”

I not only ate that whole plate but I went back for another similarly-sized one.  Mike shook his head while he attacked our meat platter.

Lots of different types of meat

Lots of different types of meat

 

Suffice it to say we both left absolutely stuffed!  Great food, great atmosphere, great company!  Here’s to three years and hopefully many more!

Mike relaxing

Mike relaxing

It has been raining cats and dogs out here.  And I don’t mean typical Seattle rain… I mean, rain pouring from the sky, rivers flowing down the street kind of rain.  Every time I mention to Mike how much it is raining, he says, “Well, our plants are probably happy.”  This is the difference in perspective when you become a home owner, I guess!

Seattle rain and fog. This is what we're known for. This and coffee.

Seattle rain and fog. This is what we’re known for. This and coffee.

On Tuesday I took my CPR refresher class after work.  It’s probably the fifth or sixth time I’ve taken the class, so you wouldn’t think there would ever be any new info in them, but surprisingly each instructor has a different background and a different take on the info so I always find that the time goes by really fast and I always pick up some useful nuggets of information.  One of Tuesday’s nuggets: if you are alone and encounter a person who needs CPR, you should first call 9-1-1 and then start CPR if the person is an adult; you should do two minutes of CPR and then call 9-1-1 if the person is a child.  Interesting.  Also of interest: King County (Seattle) has the highest rate of survival for cardiac arrest in the world.  I seem to remember hearing that in my last CPR class, too, so maybe it’s been at the top of the list for the past two years?  Not sure on that one!  Last item (potentially) of interest: My bottom hand when doing CPR was really sore the next day and felt bruised.  Maybe I’m a little bit too enthusiastic in my CPR?  Anyway, now I’m all renewed for my personal trainer cert for the next two years.

I went to Piper’s vet one evening after work last week to get a refresher course in giving antibiotic injections since guess who is not responding to the current antibiotic?  If you guessed Piper, you’re wrong.  It’s the bacteria in Piper’s bladder.  Apparently those bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic pill that’s been working so well for us for the past couple of years.  Don’t use antibacterial soap, folks.  This is what it leads to: resistant bacteria.  Maybe if Piper wasn’t always washing her paws with antibacterial soap…

Anyway, we’ll see how well twice daily injections go over with Piper.  And with me!  We have fallen into a good rhythm with the subcutaneous fluids that I give her every other day.  That just feels a lot less often than the twice a day antibiotics I’m now giving her.  It feels like I’m always calculating when 12 hours has passed and it’s time to give her another injection.  But onward and upward, right?  That’s Piper’s feeling.

We had stuff spread out on the table here, and she was very interested!

We had stuff spread out on the table here, and she was very interested!

Mike and I did some Christmas shopping for our nieces last weekend and ended up at Toys ‘R’ Us.  Holy cow!  That store is crazy!  Has it always been that giant and that crowded??  Somehow as a kid the only time I remember being there was when I got a new bike and I really only remember the bike aisle.  But there seemed to be just millions and millions of toys.  One of our nieces likes the Elves and Friends lego sets.  I totally do too, although I don’t own any!  Cora, you and I should hang out and play legos!!  🙂  I am not too old for that!  😉

Last weekend I went for a run  at 4:30pm, which at this time of year in Seattle might as well be midnight.

This is 4:30pm! How is that even possible??

This is 4:30pm! How is that even possible??

 

Love this bridge at night! (Or, you know, 4:30pm)

Love this bridge at night! (Or, you know, 4:30pm)

 

I had heard of the movie Love Actually multiple times through the years as a good, British Christmas movie, but had never watched it.  Well, I decided this was the year to see it!  Piper and I watched it while Mike was working late, and it was so good!  At least I liked it.  Lots of different, heart-warming stories going on, some happy and some sad.  So good!  Warning if you decide to watch it: I cried through the last twenty minutes and I’m not typically a movie crier.  But there’s only so many heart-warming love stories I can withstand at one time, and this movie has like fifteen.  I made Mike watch it with me later (and he agreed only if he could drink a beer while watching).  I again cried through the last twenty minutes (even though I completely knew what was coming this time) and Mike didn’t cry at all, shrugged at the end, and said they were nice enough stories.  We are going to see the special Christmas release of Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Hateful Eight on Christmas Eve, and I strongly suspect that will be much more Mike’s speed that Love Actually.  🙂

Our Christmas Day plans are still undecided, which at this point probably means we don’t have any.  Which is fine!  We’ll both have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, so that makes for a four-day weekend.  I should probably get my cooking in gear enough to at least make a nice meal even if it’s not the over-the-top traditional Christmas meal.  I asked Mike if he wanted to order the pre-cooked meal from the local grocery store this year, but he said that a whole turkey is always so much food.  Which it is.  And that we’ll end up wasting most of it.  Which we will.  And that we’ll forget to freeze the turkey before it goes bad.  Which we always do.  So I think we’ll go for something smaller and less traditional this year, but I haven’t decided what yet.  Maybe something Mexican?  Quesadillas maybe??

Piper has decided that she likes the Christmas tree, so it turns out that our little Halloween cat is also a Christmas cat!

Halloween Christmas Cat!

Halloween Christmas Cat!

 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  (Because sadly as busy as things have been with Mike’s work and with Piper’s health the past couple months I haven’t gotten any Christmas cards out at all).  So a blog ‘Merry Christmas’ callout to friends and loved ones may be the closest we get this year!

One of our neighbors came over and dropped off a plate of Christmas cookies one day this week… all different flavors and types… just the kind of plate my mom would make up (although no frosted cut-out cookies… Mom, you’re still the only person I know hard-core enough to make those!)   I am so full of admiration… both of them work full time…. where do they find the time to make a big variety of Christmas cookies?  Clearly I need some lessons in time management!

Anyway, Merry Christmas again, from the west coast Danenberg household!  Sending lots of love for a wonderful 2016!  🙂

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Christmas, Food, Holidays, Life in Seattle, Pictures, Rain, Running, Seattle, Seattle Restaurants, Weather, Winter

Our first Christmas tree and our hungry cat

Friday morning by chance I ended up riding the bus downtown with a neighbor from the townhome next door.  We talked all the way, and she told me that the young couple renting one of the other townhomes in our complex got engaged over the weekend!  How exciting!  The neighbor I was talking with already guessed this was happening before she “officially” found out because she saw a trail of rose petals going down the stairs at the back of the town home complex and guessed that Dan was proposing.  Coincidentally, I also saw the trail of rose petals, but a romantic meaning never even remotely occurred to me.  I assumed someone had gotten a flowering shrub for their landscaping and it shed some petals as they carried it to the house.  That’s really sad, right?  I mean, that kind of puts me in the hopeless category.  It’s a good thing it would never even remotely occur to Mike to do anything like that for me, because it wouldn’t remotely occur to me what to do with it.  This is called ‘compatibility’.  😉  I was feeling like I was about as hopeless as you could get short of being dead when I texted Mike the news.

I rode the bus into work with our neighbor.  Dan proposed, and now he and Amy are engaged!  :)”

A minute later Mike texted back.

I thought they were married.”

I texted back instantly, “What?  No!  They were dating.  They’re our neighbors a few doors down… Amy’s a med student doing residency.  Do you know who I’m talking about?”

“Yes.”

“Ok well they aren’t married, but now they’re engaged.  You kind of took the excitement out of that.”

Sorry.”

So I may be hopeless as far as romanticism goes, but at least I know the marital status of our neighbors.  Unlike some people.  😉

Piper and I have been navigating the murky waters of subcutaneous fluid injections.  We’re semi-getting there.  Injecting a cat, especially one who now knows that it’s coming, isn’t typically very easy.  And surprise, surprise, Piper has discovered that she doesn’t like getting a shot in the neck and having to sit still for seven minutes while I inject fluids into her.  But we’ll see how things go over the next couple weeks.

The skies in Seattle have been pouring rain the past several days!  It doesn’t exactly feel wintry, but it definitely feels Christmasy.  I guess we’ve been in Seattle a long time when “Christmasy” means super short days and lots of rain.

Mike and I had originally decided not to get a full-size Christmas tree this year.  Big trees are expensive and we didn’t have enough ornaments to really fill out a big tree.  But then at the last minute we saw that a lot of Christmas stuff was already 50% off at the mall.  Apparently most people get their trees right after Thanksgiving and by December 3rd, Christmas trees are already dead weight and a liability in stores.  Wow.  This was the first weekend we really even considered.That made the whole thing a lot more affordable so we decided to get a tree and some ornaments.  Because of the big Christmas sales, we actually had to drive to two Home Depots and one Lowe’s before we found the artificial tree we wanted (we knew we wanted slim, but tall).  Getting the ornaments turned out to be equally difficult.  Macy’s had a Christmas store where everything was half off at the mall, but somehow we had a difficult time getting to the mall.  We originally passed the freeway exit for it and then tried to go up a couple exits and turn around but somehow ended up going south on I-405 instead of I-5.  Oops.  I’m blaming it on the darkness, the rain, and the fact that we were talking a mile a minute.  When we finally ended up on I-5 south, we still had a couple minor wrong turns before we finally ended up at the mall.  But when we got there it was worth it to get a few more ornaments to round out our tree.

When we got home, Mike took the tree out of the box and assembled it.  Then he stood back, looked at it, and frowned.

“It doesn’t look very full.  It actually looks really scraggly.  Is that just an artificial tree thing?”

“No, no.”  I took over the work from him.  “You have to fluff out all the branches on artificial trees.  They get all squished in the box so we have to make it full again.”

I did a bunch of tree fluffing work and then started on the actual tree decoration while Mike worked on the Christmas tree timer (so that the lights would turn themselves on and off without our interference).  When we finished, we were really glad we decided to put up the tree.

Piper seems to enjoy the lights.  (And the jingle bell ornaments we put on the tree.)

Piper seems to enjoy the lights. (And the jingle bell ornaments we put on the tree.)

Mike started showering midway through my tree branch fluffing efforts, so he didn’t see the incremental progress.  When he came up the stairs after his shower, he stared at the tree in awe.

“The tree looks beautiful!!” he said.  “Good job!”

I can’t actually remember the last time he used beautiful in the same sentence as, oh, say, me.  Or other women.  Or even a car.  But oh well.  😉  How am I supposed to compete with a lighted, decorated 7-foot tall plastic tree?  I can’t actually complain, though, since I totally agreed that the tree looked beautiful.  😉

Beautiful!

Beautiful!  Yes, that’s the right word.

It definitely made our house so much more festive!  And we realized that this is the first full-size tree we’ve ever gotten by ourselves (i.e. not counting the trees at our parents’ houses that we enjoyed and helped with but weren’t directly responsible for).  Score for one more of those adult things checked off of the list.  This has been a very mature year for me… making my first lattice crust apple pie and getting and decorating my first full-size tree.  Oh, yeah, and I guess the house purchase qualifies too.  Clearly a busy year!

In other news, I bought a pack of six stacks of disposable paper plates to give Piper her food on.  I thought they would last me forever, but the other day I reached into the cupboard and realized that I was completely out.  How did that happen?  Weird.  I had to give Piper her food in some weird colored paper bowls that I had from a long time back.  Piper looked at me like I was a little crazy.  Don’t you know these aren’t the right plates for dinner??  But fortunately for me, Piper deigned to eat off of the incorrect plates anyway.

Mike and I watched the first episode of the show ‘Veep’.  Has anyone else seen the show?  I thought it was hilarious!  I’m looking forward to watching the remaining episodes.  I literally laughed out loud multiple times during the show.  🙂

This evening we’re relaxing before what we expect to be a very busy couple of weeks, especially for Mike.

Relaxing in front of the Christmas tree

Mike and Piper relaxing in front of the Christmas tree

 

In other completely bizarre news, Piper hasn’t been feeling super well these days, but her appetite is starting to come back and she is ALL ABOUT Mike’s and my food.  I mean, she eats her food as well, but she has started to beg for Mike’s and my food which she has never done before!  I don’t know why this is, but I have a theory.  Two weeks ago Mike gave her a few pieces of the popcorn he was eating, and she’s pretty much been unstoppable with begging for our food since then.  It is bizarre!  I keep telling her ‘no!’ and directing her to her food dish, but she keeps sneaking up behind us (especially Mike) while we are eating and wiggling her head under our arm to get towards our food.

Ninja cat ready to sneak some chicken stew!  (The expectation on her face is priceless!)  :)

Ninja cat ready to sneak some chicken stew! (The expression on her face is priceless… STEW!!  JACKPOT!!)

 

I hope everyone’s holiday season is off to a wonderful start!  🙂

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Christmas, Holidays, Pictures, Rain, Seattle, Weather, Winter

My First Trip to Autozone in Five Years

It has been raining like crazy in Seattle for about a week.  Any thought of droughts that we had during the summer has completely been obliterated.  But, of course, our little area of Fremont has kept its Seattle spirit, regardless of the torrents of rain.  On Saturday morning when I was looking out the window I saw a man with no umbrella and no hood on his coat riding down Fremont Ave on the sidewalk on a Segway in the pouring rain.  It really didn’t look like safe weather for Segways.  I mean, do they even test those things in the rain on hills?  Probably not, but the guy seemed to be maneuvering it fine, so maybe it was just my perception that Segways aren’t really rain friendly!

On Saturday night, we had some friends over for about an hour, and then we all went out to dinner.  They brought their two and a half year old son, and Piper, even though she was still recovering from a round of antibiotics, was so interested in him!  He was very gentle with animals, and we told him Piper wasn’t feeling very well.  He still wanted to go up to her and very carefully patted her on the head.  Piper, who doesn’t like being patted on the head, didn’t mind at all when he did it and she was fascinated with the way he jumped up and down on the rug and the way he crawled under the chair to sit next to her.  You could see the wheels turning in Piper’s head.  I think she thought he was half cat/half person or something.  🙂

The clutch pedal on our car started to squeak so Mike stopped by an auto parts store to get some kind of grease to lubricate it.  There was a guy with the hood of this cat open, a bunch of tools on the ground around him, who was working on his car a couple feet outside of the door.  Ah, it brought back memories of all of those Autozone trips in Michigan.  There always seemed to be someone working on their car in the Autozone parking lot.  And the aisles were set up exactly as I remembered them!  And they’re still selling boxes of those blue machinist paper towels.  And those icky smelling ‘air fresheners’ that you can hang from your review mirror (because who wouldn’t want to smell strong, chemically pine scent a foot in front of their nose while driving?).  And there was a person hogging the attention of the person at the counter who basically wanted the Autozone employee to do everything but fix their car for them.  (Actually they probably would have been fine with the employee fixing their car if he had offered… which he didn’t.  But they did ask his advice for like fifteen minutes.)  It was all just like I remembered.d  Ah, Autozone.  The memories we share.  🙂

In other news, Mike and I have been invited to one of our neighbor’s houses for Thanksgiving for a potluck.  They’re providing turkey and potatoes, and everyone else can sign up to bring things.  I’m a little excited.  What will I bring?  What will I bring??  Since I’ve been doing a lot of cooking over the summer with the CSA produce, I feel ready to take on a Thanksgiving potluck!  I was thinking about balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (because that’s about the only way Mike likes eating brussels sprouts), and maybe an apple crumble pie (strategically chosen so that I don’t have to mess with making a top pie crust.  I know I’m ready to take on the potluck world… but maybe not the top pie crust world.)

Speaking of CSA produce, I made some good stuff with this last batch.  I made a curry lentil soup from this vegan cookbook I just bought.  I would totally recommend the cookbook by the way!  The recipes all look amazing and aren’t difficult!  The woman who wrote the cookbook also writes a blog (ohsheglows.com), so check that out if you’re looking for great, tasty, easy vegan recipes!  I also made a beef stew with a bunch of the root vegetables I got.  And I rounded out my efforts with a pan of roasted vegetables (mostly beets, but I’ll try to find a different way to sell them to Mike when I offer them to him.  As soon as he hears the word ‘beet’, he pretty much shuts down.).

In other news, Mike and I got four new tires for our car.  Going into winter it seemed smart to have grippy tires, especially since our’s were getting old.

I have surprisingly been running, despite the cold, rainy, windy weather.  I’ve just been strategically picking my times so that I’m running during the warmest, driest parts of the week.  On Sunday evening I went for a hill run.  I was just mentally spent, and that is the best time to run.  I pounded up and down the same hill over and over and realized that I finished four miles of hills averaging an 8:33 min/mile.  That is fast for me, people!  I usually run hills more in the 9 – 9:30 range.  Clearly I had some stress or something to work off because I barely registered that I was running faster than usual, and I felt completely released and relaxed when I got home afterwards.

In Piper news, she has had quite a week.  A couple weeks.  About a month actually.  And so have Mike and I.  Urinary infections + two types of antibiotics + appetite-inducing pills + every other day subcutaneous fluid injections + a whole new diet == a healthy Piper.  At least so far.  Lately when people ask me what I’ve been up to, I want to say ‘taking care of my cat’.  Which sounds extreme and like I must have time for lots of other things.  But, you know, I actually don’t.  Let’s go through her current regime…. just to make sure I’m not forgetting anything.

Morning & Evening:

  • Two pills – an appetite inducer (because guess who stopped eating during this whole episode?  Not that I can blame her…) and an antacid to get rid of heartburn caused by weak kidneys
  • Special food to help her kidneys (usually given multiple times throughout the evening because she’s back to eating and she’s HUNGRY!)

Every other evening:

  • Subcutaneous fluids (fancy vet-speak for ‘give your cat an injection and pump them with 10ml of water’) – administered by me

Once she’s feeling better:

  • Subcutaneous antibiotic injections twice a day (again, administered by yours truly… I am going to be a pro at this subcutaneous business!  At least I hope so for Piper’s sake since she’s the one getting her neck ruff injected by me all the time.)

In all seriousness, though, I’m just glad that there are things I can do to help her… even though I wasn’t super excited about having to learn how to give her injections, I just love her to pieces!

In completely unrelated news, I finally ran out of space on my iPhone (all those pictures of Piper I keep taking, I think) so I went to backup my iPhone via iTunes (which I do maybe twice a year).  My phone was SO FULL that it was too full to do a backup.  Apparently a backup requires some temp space on the iPhone… which I totally didn’t have.  Also of interest, I checked how many apps were running and it was twenty.  Twenty!  How did that happen?  That’s definitely something Mike would give me a hard time about given that he doesn’t even have twenty apps on his whole phone.  However, he wasn’t home at the time so I was spared that minuscule embarrassment.

The weather here in Seattle has been crazy!!  Thirty-seven hours of consecutive rainfall, people!  And 370,000 people without power because of windstorms!  That’s a LOT of people!  At some point don’t the clouds run out of water??  And the answer to that would be a resounding YES.  After 37 hours apparently even Seattle clouds are out of water.  Not to worry, though!  The rain has (mostly) stopped.  Now we have a windstorm!  I went out to lunch with two coworkers today, and it was kind of nuts!  We nearly got blown around the sidewalk by a wet, raindrop-filled gusty wind!  I think the wind is supposed to die down tomorrow, though, so we’ll see how things go.

With all the rain, Mike and I are constantly coming and going from the house with umbrellas, and that has caused us to run out of good places to put wet umbrellas that are waiting to dry.  Since necessity is the mother of invention, I realized this evening coming home from work that we have cobbled together a solution to the problem.  I had set a small box by the back door that I was planning to break down and lacked motivation to actually break down, and that has become our bona fide umbrella holder.  And it’s disposable enough that it’s fine if it gets wet and ruined.  Does anyone else have a good ‘where do we put the wet umbrellas’ solution?  And if you have an attached garage, coming into your house through the garage and putting the umbrellas in the garage before entering the house is NOT an acceptable solution.  I mean, it clearly is for you, but we don’t have a garage (attached or otherwise).

Today on the bus coming home from work I ran into a friend from my yoga teacher training earlier in the year!  What a wonderful opportunity to do a quick catch-up with her while we rode the bus home together!

When I picked up the CSA produce today I was NOT prepared for how big the box was!  The preliminary email sent out about it said that it was a ‘holiday box’ and that it would be ‘bigger than usual’, so I took two big reusable bags to pick up the produce instead of my more usual one.  Fortunately I was able to stuff everything into the two bags, but between the giant bag of carrots, potatoes, turnips, and squash and the other bag filled with two feet tall leeks and the most giant stalk of celery I’d ever seen it was an interesting few blocks of walking home!  I was grateful that the wind had died down enough that I wasn’t getting blown off my feet (although quite frankly with all that produce as ballast I probably was better off with the produce than without it).

Is anyone else strangely taken by Seal’s new album 7?  I’m loving Daylight Saving and have listened to it a disturbing number of times since its release last week.  I love Seal’s voice and the way he infuses meaning into all of his lyrics.  Supposedly this album is very personal to him, and it really comes through to me.  Actually there has been a lot of new music I’ve been loving this fall.  Any music anyone else is loving lately?

I’m thinking I definitely want to do a Thanksgiving post this year where I just focus on things I’m thankful for.  Especially after Piper being sick, I’m ready to focus on all the wonderful blessings Mike and I have!  So if you’re in a thankful mood too, look forward to that post and/or maybe put together a list of your own.  It’s one of my favorite things to do this time of year!

Onward to the weekend!  🙂

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Cooking, CSA, Food, Holidays, Life in Seattle, Rain, Running, Seattle, Thanksgiving, 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!).

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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.  🙂

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