Tag Archives: rain

A wet hike and reluctant Walmart shoppers

So… I think we can all agree that I’ve been terrible about blog posting.  Life has been so crazy and hectic.  Not in a bad way… just in a “the merry go round keeps spinning and I don’t really have a chance to get off for a breather” kind of way.

I could try to go way back and talk about everything that Mike and I have been doing since the first of the year, but that’s too far back.  And who knows how good my memory actually is anyway… it probably doesn’t even go back that far.  January feels very far away.

So let’s just go back a month or so.  The one and only bestie Lia came to visit in mid June!  What a blast!  We had a very fun week together… a good mix of hiking, nice restaurants, and tourism (the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at Seattle Center!).  And I still have to get you Mike’s and my pictures from your visit, Lia… oops!

I took the whole week off of work, had a job interview on Monday (more on that later), and then Lia flew in on Tuesday and stayed the rest of the week.  The job interview on Monday was a little surreal.  These all-day tech interviews always seem a little surreal to me.  I interview with five or six people over the course of the day, and then at the end of the day I find myself in the parking garage or at the bus stop thinking, How did that go?  Did they think I’d be a good fit?  Do I think they’d be a good fit for me?  Basically I walk out of there not knowing anything and having no feelings yet.  I typically need a good night’s sleep before I can actually process the interview and decide whether I think it went well, whether I think they’ll want to hire me, and whether I think I’ll want to take the job.  So it was especially perfect that on Tuesday, rather than continuing to think about the job interview, Lia flew in, and instead I got to hang out with her and take off my job-hunting hat for awhile.

Lia!  In Seattle!  :)

Lia! In Seattle! 🙂

Mike didn’t have Tuesday off and worked late (which is mostly what he’s been doing this spring and summer), so Lia and I Uber’d up to Capitol Hill and went to a great tiny hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant and shared several dishes.

Yummy Indian!

Yummy Indian!

The spinach curry was especially amazing!  After that we headed back to Mike’s and my house, and lucky Piper got a catnip mouse present from her Aunt Lia.  What a lucky cat!  She definitely went crazy over the catnip mouse!

On Wednesday we went to a couple of different shopping areas and had lots of fun.  Well, Lia and I did.  Mike may or may not have enjoyed this part.  He did get two new pairs of shoes, though, so at least he benefited from the trip.

We had decided to go hiking on Thursday, which we did, although in retrospect maybe we should have tried to find a drier day!  It was drizzling rain in Seattle, but as we drove east towards the Cascades the rain increased, and by the time we got to Lake Serene where we were planning to hike, it was raining pretty atrociously.  However, we had all brought raincoats, so in theory there was no issue.  We decided to at least start hiking, and see how it went.  The first 15 minutes was fine.  Our rain coats still gave the impression of being water proof, and our feet were still dry (despite the fact that the trail in some places resembled a creek more closely than it resembled a trail).  Half an hour in, we were definitely wet.  Wet as in: our coats were definitely water resistant rather than water proof, and their resistance had given way to the endless rain.  By this point our feet were starting to feel a little damp as well.  It’s amazing how many other things can be endured as long as one’s feet are warm and dry.  Damp feet lead to damp spirits.  There are my words of wisdom for the day.

We continued hiking for another hour, and ended up at the most beautiful waterfall!  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I had literally no idea that there was anything so beautiful so close to the city!  Mike and I had seen Snoqualmie Falls several times, which is amazing, but this was amazing in a much more rugged, wild, kind of way, whereas Snoqualmie Falls has a hydroelectric plant surrounding it.  😉

You can google pictures of Bridal Veil Falls in Washington State.  It was raining too hard for us to take pictures (although it looked strangely mystical and ethereal through the rainy mist).  Once we had stopped for a few minutes at the falls and were no longer climbing up a mountain, we realized that we were actually freezing and a hasty trip back down would likely be in order.  Soaked honestly didn’t begin to describe us… drenched may be a better word.  We returned back down the mountain path pretty hastily, noting that the trail resembled a creek even more closely than it had done on our ascent.  We finally arrived back at the car and weren’t even sure how to proceed to get into the car.  We were all dripping water, and although I had thoughtfully remembered to pack about thirty protein bars and 2 gallons of water, somehow had neglected to pack so much as a hand towel.  We at least got out of the wettest of our clothing (i.e. those outer “water-proof” jackets) and decided we would stop at the first store we came to so that we could buy towels, a change of clothes, and warm up and dry off, so in the meantime we packed into the car and drove away shivering and still very wet as Mike kicked the car heater into high gear.  We drove for about twenty minutes without seeing any store that looked like it would have clothes and towels.  (There seems to be a problem with these wilderness hikes…. there are no hot showers or malls nearby.  This is my main problem with hiking.  Really it’s my only problem with hiking.  Can someone solve this?)

However, we eventually came across a store, and as my luck that day would have it, that store was Walmart.  I have ethical problems with Walmart and have basically sworn them off.  But now, freezing and drenched and forced to choose between my Walmart standards and my warmth, I am somewhat ashamed to say I chose my warmth.  (Only somewhat ashamed because… you all know you would have done EXACTLY THE SAME.)

We walked into the store as a confident, bedraggled, group of three, looking like we’d just emerged from living in the wilderness for the past year, and we left a dripping trail of muddy water as we headed directly to the clothes section.  The squeaking from our three collective pairs of water-logged shoes was loud enough that it drowned out the 90’s pop music playing on the Walmart sound system.  I was forced to admit to myself that Walmart may actually have been the only store in the history of the world where we didn’t even stand out despite our disheveled appearances.  An advantage of shopping at Walmart: You can literally show up wearing ANYTHING.  And people do.  All the time.

We immediately split up, Mike heading for the men’s section, and Lia and I heading for the women’s section.  Five minutes of frantic searching later uncovered a terrible discovery.  All of the clothes were SUMMER WEAR!  It’s fifty degrees outside, the air conditioning is blasting inside, we are all soaked to the bone, but it’s JUNE!  And the only thing we can find in the clothing aisles are tank tops and bikinis!!  I was beginning to think I was getting what I deserved for breaking my never-shop-at-Walmart standards when Lia located some hoodies.  They had no hoodies in our size, so Lia and I both had to get a couple sizes up and we both snagged a couple pairs of long workout pants as well.  Lia was slightly more selective in choosing workout pants, which proved to be a good choice later when we put them on and mine were so baggy they basically hung down to my knees and I had to inelegantly bunch the waistband up in front of me with one hand.  Underwear was next, and it was nearly impossible to find that in our size too.  We also found a couple of towels which were surprisingly fluffy given their $2.97 price tag.  (How can a full size bath towel be that cheap?  Isn’t that the price of a Nestle candy bar?  Or a pack of gum?  Or… I don’t know… the tax on a movie theater ticket?  Is this why people shop at Walmart??)

After hurriedly paying for our purchases and getting exactly no weird stares while in line at the checkout (again, it must be remembered that this is Walmart), we all headed for the restrooms to towel off and change into our new luxury clothing.  Fortunately the restroom was almost empty when we entered, and Lia and I took our bag of goodies into one of the big stalls and shut the door.  Stripping out of the wet clothes and drying off with the surprisingly fluffy towels did a lot to revive us.  Getting the hoodies and workout pants on did even more to revive us.  While we were in the midst of changing and talking and giggling through chattering teeth, a couple women came in to use the restroom and I honestly have no idea what they thought we were doing in there.  Especially when we both emerged from the same stall with soaking wet hair wearing clothes 4 sizes too big and then primly washed our hands thoroughly at the sinks as though having bathroom hands was the biggest issue we were facing at the moment.

Back outside we located Mike and drove home.  And for dinner, we out for steaming hot bowls of Vietnamese pho to recover from the experience and warm up from the inside out.  We also had spring rolls, because spring rolls are always amazing.

Mmm… I had planned to get a little more info in this blog post, but I think the hike took front and center.  Maybe that’s as it should be.  It was a hike worthy of remembering.  And for the record, after one time through the wash, the surprisingly fluffy Walmart towels were surprisingly un-fluffy.  They basically had no more fluff and resembled thin cloths.  Who knew that a towel could lose that much fluff and still remain physically in one piece?  That’s almost an art of design in and of itself.

Interestingly, although that was a very unusual day for me, I actually had a deja vu moment related to that hike a couple of weeks later that I’ll detail in the next blog post.  Which will hopefully not take a month to arrive.  🙂


Friends who hike together get wet together!


And… I must include a picture of Piper because she is loving the sun these days!

Gorgeous sun-cat!

Gorgeous sun-cat!


I hope everyone is having a great week!  🙂


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Why you should not wash all your coats at once

My blog posting lately has been woefully sparse lately.  I’m very aware of this, and hope that things slow down.  In all honesty, 2016 has been a whirlwind!!  Mike has been traveling back and forth to California for work since his company has a location there as well as in Seattle, and his team works with them quite a bit.  So in the past three weeks, Mike has spent at least part of each week in California.  And he was there for two weeks in December and one week in January.  This has meant that airport runs, doing laundry, and packing clothes to accommodate these frequent trips are no longer a novelty but a part of life.  It’s looking like this will slow down soon, but in the meantime everything has been hectic since I’ve been taking care of things that Mike would normally take care of.  Case in point: On Monday I worked from home to be there when a home inspector came to look at our house (we’re coming up on our one-year warranty!  How have we already been here a year??).  On Friday I was at work in a meeting with a co-worker and had to take a quick break before the meeting to call the mechanic about taking a look at the TPMS in our tire.  After my call, my co-worker shook her head and said, “You have been busy lately!”  On top of that, my job has been super busy lately.  I’ve been at Groupon just about a year, and I’ve found from past experience that after I’ve been at a job for about a year I understand it well and end up getting pulled into a variety of projects.  I love it because my days fly by, but holy cow!  It has been keeping me busy lately!!

So, that’s my big long disclaimer.  Basically I know I haven’t been posting… I hope things get better after mid-March when the biggest project I’m working on launches.

Here are some practical, random thoughts on having a husband who seems to be gone on business half of the time.

  1. I have to turn the heat up higher at night.  Apparently Mike runs hot enough that he heats up the bedroom, and without him I need extra heat of the electric variety.
  2. The dishwasher doesn’t get full before I run out bowls.  I’m a bowl person and eat almost anything I can out of bowls, and Mike is more of a plate person.  What that means is that when Mike isn’t here to fill up half of the dishwasher with plates, I run out of bowls before the dishwasher is full enough to run.  #firstworldproblems
  3. Trying to cook is difficult, since Mike often leaves town and doesn’t get back until the food I’ve cooked has gone bad.  I really need to learn the art of freezing food.  For some reason it intimidates me and I never do it.  And if I do, I never thaw it because I really don’t know how, so I end up throwing it out after six months anyway, thus defeating all the point to having frozen it in the first place.
  4. Piper expects me to play with her since Mike isn’t around as much, but then when I try to play with her she just stares at me with her eyes half closed as if to say ‘Really?  Really??  That’s all you got?  That’s pathetic.  Where’s Mike?’   And then ten minutes later I see her throwing her crumpled receipt up the stairs and then running after it by herself.  So apparently Mike is the best person to play with.  Piper herself is second best.  And I am third best.  Or last best.  Or just the worst.  I haven’t decided how I’m spinning this situation to myself yet.

In other news, despite Mike’s frequent trips, I have been doing a lot of cooking.  This weekend I made a tomato veggie soup that was yummy!  I increased the amounts of all of the spices, which I think helped a lot.  Otherwise it may have been a little bland for me.  But I’m also the person who puts salsa and sriracha on everything, so I may not be representative of the general population.  I also made some balsamic brussels sprouts that turned out really well.  Mike ate the first bite and then turned to me solemnly and told me that was the best thing to ever come off of our stove.  Score!  Sunday night I made red peppers stuffed with chicken and veggies.

Although I have been doing pretty well in the cooking department, I had an instance of very bad wife-dom a week ago (Is wife-dom a word?  No?  I guess I just made it up then.)  Mike had gotten back from one of his trips late, and his windbreaker didn’t smell great.  I threw it in the washer, and while I was at it I threw his second, slightly heavier coat in the wash too.  I made a mental note to myself that I had to move those to the dryer before I went to bed or Mike wasn’t going to have a coat to wear to work the next morning.  Well, we all know what happens with mental notes.  (Or maybe just what happens to me with mental notes?  Lately I feel as though I always have twenty things in my head that I’m remembering to do and a few always fall off my radar.  Or maybe I’m just living in denial and it’s actually a ‘senior moment’?  😉 )  Anyway, of course, I went to bed forgetting all about the coats and didn’t remember them until the next morning when Mike was getting ready for work.  I threw them in the dryer then, but it was really too late.

“So I have no coat?” Mike asked, when I confessed what I had done.

“Well…” I hedged.  “Not no coat.  Just not those two coats.”

“But those are the only two coats I ever wear,” Mike said.  Good point, but not one I was going to cede without a fight.

“Right… but you still have that down coat,” I reminded him.

“Yeah, but it’s super hot.  I’ll get overheated in one second.”

I was already frantically looking through our closet and emerged triumphantly with his running jacket.  “Here!  This is even black.  And it’s not too cold out today.  This will work.”

Mike shrugged, put it on, and left for work.

And of course, it started to rain that day and we got a windstorm.  As I walked to lunch with a coworker I told him all about how I had washed all of my husband’s coats and left him with nothing to wear except a running jacket.  And, as I recounted it to my coworker, I remembered that the running jacket didn’t even have a hood.  And Mike never carries an umbrella because he typically wears one of his two coats with hoods that were at that moment in the dryer.  I felt guilty for wearing my hood.  I felt like I should put it down.  Since I had taken away both of Mike’s hoods, what right did I have to be enjoying my hood?

I was concerned about Mike on and off all day as I looked out the window at the rain and wind.  I even contemplated crazy stuff like going home over lunch to get his now-dry coat and then dropping it off with him at work.  But frankly work was way too busy for me to have much more than a bathroom break all day so an extended lunch to go home and back wasn’t really in the cards.  Then I thought that after work I could at least drop off my umbrella with him at work so he would have something while he waited for the bus, but he ended up leaving too early for me to do that.  I had only been home a few minutes when he arrived.  I hurried him in out of the rain and offered him a hoodie.  He looked at me like I was crazy.

“What’s that?”

“It’s a hoodie!  So you can warm up after being wet and frozen with no coat all day.”


“You only wore your running jacket today, and there was a windstorm and it rained!”

Mike looked at me as though only barely understanding me.  “Oh, I actually got too warm in this coat.  It wasn’t very cold out.”

So apparently I spent significantly more time thinking about that than he did.  🙂

I have been listening to so much music lately… I’m not sure, but I’ve definitely been in a music mood lately.  I have been loving Chris Cornell’s new album

Incidentally, this article about why you should date an engineer is literally the funniest article I have seen in all of 2016 so far.  I could not stop laughing when I read it.  Could.  Not.  Stop.  So accurate.  Numbers 9 and 15 have literally happened to us exactly as they are written.  Multiple times.  The only way in which I seem to be more of the “engineer” in the relationship are numbers 11 and 19 (I laugh at myself for re-arranging the dishes in the dishwasher even as I continue to do it.  Time.  After.  Time.  After.  Time.)

Incidentally my running has been getting fast.  I ran 2 two-mile intervals at a 7:30min/mile pace last week.  That is fast for me!  How did this happen?  A good friend at work is taking a three day hiking/climbing trip at Mt. Rainier in July with a mountain climbing group.  His ambition is starting to remind me that I keep planning to do a sub 4 hour marathon.  Maybe 2016 is the year?  All of that training sounds like a pain… but…. the thought of a shot at that four hour marathon sounds pretty good.  We’ll see.  🙂

Speaking of mountain climbing, has anyone seen the documentary Meru??  Oh my gosh… SO good!!  Watch the trailer at the link I gave so you can see if it’s your kind of movie, but I loved it!  Such an amazing story!

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Filed under Cats, Cooking, Life in Seattle, 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

A rainy, stormy Labor Day weekend in Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful week everyone!

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

Caterwauling in the night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Taking risks with watermelon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope everyone is having a good, relaxing week!

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

Apartment pictures and a serious car wash

It has been steadily raining in Seattle for the past couple of days.  Unsurprising, given that it’s January, but kind of surprising in that it had been dry and cold for the past month and a half.  It’s definitely requiring a little getting used to.  I’m still at that stage where I remember to bring an umbrella with me to work but typically don’t remember to bring it when going out for lunch at work.  Another couple of weeks of this and I’ll be faithfully remembering to bring it anywhere that requires more than a few steps outdoors.

This past Saturday there was a big Seahawks game down at Century Link Stadium against the New Orleans Patriots.  I don’t follow football at all, but I suspected there was an important game because when I stopped at Starbucks on the way to work the Friday before, everyone working there was wearing a Seahawks jersey.  Apparently the Seahawks are doing really well this year and have a shot at the Super Bowl.  Who knew?  Not me, who doesn’t even know when the season starts or ends.  🙂  Mike was lamenting yesterday that we didn’t have a TV antennae to allow us to watch the game on our TV, but he survived.  He doesn’t have much interest in sports usually, but he’ll watch big games like the Super Bowl and playoff games.  Sunday morning I went down to the workout room with my ear buds, hoping that the room would be empty and I would be able to select a TV station to watch but expecting that there would be some football game on that at least one person was watching.  As it turned out, there was one guy in there riding a stationary bike.  He wasn’t watching football, but he was watching a news show about football that was recapping games from the previous day.  I may not be able to understand the draw to watching football, but I understand that better than watching a show about football.  Interestingly, however, I find watching the Tour de France and marathon races fascinating.  Each to his own I guess, right?  🙂

Mike and I officially renewed the lease at our current apartment for another year yesterday.  For a person like me who always liked moving to a new area every single year, it felt a little weird, but honestly we’re in a great location in a nice building so there was no compelling reason to move.  Plus Mike and I finally have just about finished getting our apartment organized and furnished the way we want it.  Along that line, Mike took a few pictures of the apartment.  🙂

Our living room

Our living room… including our little Christmas tree before the LEDs in it died

A view of our living room from the kitchen

A view of our living room from the kitchen

Since I’ve been promising pictures of our new bedroom set for awhile, here’s the bedroom!

A view of our bedroom from the bedroom doorway

A view of our bedroom from the bedroom doorway

That view also shows a nice look at our painting, which we bought jointly as a Christmas gift for each other.

A more direct look at our giant dresser...

A more direct look at our giant dresser.  This thing weighs so much that I almost don’t want to move just so we never have to mess with moving it.

I like the picture below because it shows our clock, a few of our pictures, and a sideways view into the workout room… my special hangout/yoga room.  I think it’s supposed to be a breakfast nook, but I’m much happier with it this way.  🙂

A view of the workout room behind the couch off of the living room

A view of the workout room behind the couch off of the living room

Mike and I were so productive with cleaning two weekends ago that we took a break this past weekend.  We did very little.  Mike did put together a printer stand which ended up taking an insane amount of time because of incomplete assembly instructions and Mike’s overwhelming thoroughness.  In the time he put that together I did three loads of laundry, washed the dishes, hard-boiled a dozen eggs, put away the slow cooker dinner food, started this blog post, made the bed, did some Rosetta Stone French, and tidied the bathroom.  Apparently the instructions were in the wrong order, so Mike assembled part of it and then had to take it apart, put in some other pieces, and re-assemble it again.  However Mike emerged triumphant and actually added on additional L-brackets he bought at the hardware store to further enhance the structural stability of the printer stand.  I suggested that our printer wasn’t very heavy and he probably didn’t need to reinforce the printer stand, but by that point Mike was already comparing L-brackets and way past the point of no return.  We now have a printer stand with a load-bearing capacity that far exceeds the weight of any possible printer we could ever buy.  🙂

I have been doing more cooking lately.  I made up meatloaf over the weekend (very quick and easy, and makes for a very nice meal when rounded out with a baked potato), and yesterday I made lemon chicken stew in the slow cooker.  The meatloaf is speedily becoming one of my staples just because it’s really easy and Mike likes it.  He also liked the lemon chicken stew.  The lemon gives it an interesting flavor so it’s different than the typical chicken stew.

On Sunday night Mike wanted to get a car wash, so we drove the short distance to Ballard where there’s a Brown Bear Car Wash.  I’m not much into self car washes.  If I can’t let my car navigate through a tunnel full of blue, pink, and yellow bubbles shooting at me, I lose interest pretty quickly.  However, Mike wanted to self-wash the car, so we exchanged some dollars for Brown Bear Tokens and Mike went to town.  Despite the adorable bear logo of the Brown Bear, there’s a couple of pretty serious bronze-looking life-size angry grizzly bear statues at the entrance to the car wash that make me glad there aren’t grizzly bears roaming around downtown Seattle every time we pass them.  Mike kept feeding Brown Bear Tokens into the machine whenever it started beeping until he ran out of tokens.  I felt like we were at Chuck-E-Cheese feeding tokens into arcade games, but Mike took his job very seriously and washed each surface of the car thoroughly.  Mike played some 70’s and 80’s music on the way back from the car wash.  It’s unusual for Mike and me to listen to old music.  Usually we’re listening to new stuff.  However, there’s definitely some great music from the past.

With P90X over, Mike and I have still been working out, but not as strenuously.  Typically we work out three nights a week and focus on a combination of yoga, strength, and cardio.  It’s fun to have a workout buddy!  🙂  Tonight we went down to the workout room and Mike hopped on the elliptical while I hopped on a treadmill.  It’s annoyingly hard getting back into running.  You would think after 90 days of working out hard-core doing pull-ups and push-ups as well as plyometrics and kickboxing that running would feel easy.  But, no.  Because it’s a different movement, and one that my body isn’t currently used to anymore, it’s hard.  I’m to the point where running the distance isn’t difficult, but running at the speed I was running four months ago is difficult.  I have my eye on a really fun half marathon in Vancouver that’s in August, so I need to make sure I’m in prime running form by August.  I’m also excited because the race is on Mike’s birthday, so we can hang out there over a long weekend and have fun wandering around the city celebrating Mike’s birthday as well.  We have loved Vancouver both times we’ve visited there… such a fun, relaxing city with a great atmosphere!  🙂

Unfortunately our incredibly intelligent cat has figured out how to open the sliding bedroom doors while we’re away at work, so we’ve taken to blocking them with dumbbells.  Not very aesthetically pleasing, but pretty effective (I say “pretty effective”, because one day she actually did roll one of them out of the way and bat the door open anyway).

She enjoys hanging out on top of Mike

In addition to opening doors, she enjoys hanging out on top of Mike

In the spirit of a New Year and an already long winter for most of the U.S., here’s a Counting Crows song.  And in case you’re in the mood for an old introspective album (1996!), Recovering the Satellites that contains this song is a great listen.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!  🙂

A Long December – Counting Crows


Filed under Birthdays, Cats, Cooking, Furniture, Pictures, Running, Uncategorized