Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry (Belated) Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!

We're in the middle of the holiday season, winding down the year and finishing off the holidays simultaneously. I had five glorious days off from work, and I have to admit that today I had a little trouble shifting my brain back into gear at work. (Don't worry, I did succeed in getting some work done today!) After being snowed in for two weeks, I finally got to take my vehicle out for a spin today. I felt like it was a late Christmas present, really. I think that I was beginning to take freedom for granted, but being snowed in really put it in perspective. There's something to be said for not having to rely on other people to do simple things like run to the store at any time, that's for sure. My driving was mostly uneventful today, although I do think that my car may have laughed at me when I tried to pull into a parking spot that had a little (I mean a little) patch of snow in it. Thus proving, once again, that my car has little tolerance for snow, to say the least.

Our "white Christmas" was nice, as the snow cleared up just enough for us to get together with family and to attend our favorite church service. Good times. Lennie and I also enjoyed some after Christmas shopping on the 26th. Now, normally, I'm not the type to be beating down the doors of the stores for sales, but for some reason, I agreed to dental appointments at 8 a.m. on Friday morning. A waste of a good sleep-in opportunity, but also a chance to enjoy some after Christmas sales. We had a good chuckle over being out and about in the nearly deserted stores on Friday morning, but we also enjoyed spending some of our gift cards and perusing the aisles for some good deals. (Just ask my mom about her new "lawn ornaments," they were on sale!)

Merry belated Christmas. I hope that all of you had the opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family, and that you also got to stop and ponder the true "reason for the season." I know that I feel truly blessed this year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Guess I'm Still a Kid at Heart!

Snow Angel: the Making of...
So, we still have snow. Lots. of. snow. So, I made the best of it. :-)

Snow Angel

Lennie and I went out for a walk last night (we didn't get far, can't get down our driveway safely on foot), and I couldn't resist making a snow angel. Too fun!

View more photos of the Seattle snow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Days in Seattle

So, it's been snowing here on and off for the past three days or so, which is completely abnormal for the Seattle area. Usually, we get a quarter inch of snow and it's gone within 24 hours. Not this time. We've had a major arctic blast, which brought 3+ inches of snow to our house, and has left me homebound for the past three days. After working from home on Thursday and Friday, I did manage to get out of the house today to get my hair done. It was a simple pleasure to just get out and see other people, let alone be on the streets. Since my car is less-than-snow ready, my father came over and rescued me. (Lennie had to go to work at the crack of early this morning, so he couldn't get me out of the house...)

Thanks to my dad, I got to see the roads first hand, and it wasn't as bad as I expected (the news always makes it sound worse than it really is, doesn't it!?), but I was really glad I wasn't the one driving, to say the least.

Alas, we have another weather front coming in right now (the snow is already starting to fall), and I'm ready for another few days snowed in the condo... brace yourselves, Seattle... it's going to be a cold one out there!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Question

I've been pondering this question over the past few holidays, and I'm going to go public with it, hoping that you can help me solve the puzzle. Here it is:
If Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, then why don't more churches put up displays of the nativity scene on their lawns and in the sanctuary buildings instead of putting up Christmas trees?

I'm not even sure that there is a nativity scene set at our church, but I know that there are multiple Christmas trees. This kind of bothers me, really, and I wish that there were more places that were willing to display a nativity scene during the Christmas season.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas trees, and I am sitting with our tree twinkling in the corner as I type this. But, our nativity scene is also just a few feet away. Because really, Jesus is what the Christmas holiday is all about.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Happenings

For the long Thanksgiving weekend, Lennie and I were fortunate enough to join some friends at a cabin in the mountains for some much needed rest, relaxation, and fun. We completely disconnected from the world -- after logging off of the computer at work on Wednesday afternoon, I stayed away from computers for over five days. Our cell service was spotty, so we were really cut off from the world. I loved it, as it's not often that I'm not a slave to my cell phone or the computer.

We joined our friends and their family on Wednesday evening after a pleasant drive over Snoqualmie Pass. The night was punctuated by the kids making pies in the kitchen while the rest of us lounged and chatted. Thursday brought a bevy of people (over 20 people joined us throughout the day), cooking, and walking by the lake. It was wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. The family welcomed us in with open arms, and it was fun to learn more about one another.

I attempted to teach the girls how to knit, which they seemed to enjoy. Hopefully they're on their way to successful knit scarves -- we'll see!

Friday brought drizzle and clouds, so we made our way in to Suncadia Lodge to try to take the kids ice skating. Unfortunately, we got to the rink too late, so we explored town for a little bit, and we ran into an old friend at a local coffee shop. I had the opportunity to catch up with her after not seeing her for over a year. What a fun surprise!

On Saturday, Lennie was fortunate enough to go out quading with our friends. He came back a little sweaty, but with a huge smile on his face. I suspect that it was the highlight of his weekend, but haven't confirmed it. After a great pasta dinner, we packed up the cars and went back to Suncadia for a night of ice skating. The trees were adorned with festive lights and Christmas music hummed in the background. It was warm out, even when we weren't standing by the fire, which made for a great evening out.

We packed up and traveled home on today, stopping at the outlet mall on the way home to score a few new items.

For me, the best part of every Thanksgiving weekend is putting up the decorations. So, despite our miserable colds and fatigue, we put up the tree. It's twinkling in the corner as I type this, and I can't help but smile as I look around the house at the different decorations. We've got snowmen by the front door, stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and I'm ready to greet the holiday season.

So there you are, you're now up with the holiday happenings around our home. I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend too, and that this message finds all of you healthy and happy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll be unplugging myself from the computer for the next few days, but before I shut down, I thought that I would send one last message:

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you are surrounded by friends and family over the next few days, and that your time together is filled with laughter and fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is the time of year where we sit back and reflect on life, and ponder the things that we are thankful. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought that I would reflect on what I am thankful about this year.

Friends and family come to mind immediately, and I am truly grateful for the people that I have surrounding me. My husband is one of the greatest guys in the world (I may be a little biased on that assesment), and I love that he always has the power to make me smile, calm me down, and make my heart flutter, no matter what is swirling around me.

My parents really kick butt (if you know them, you'd likely agree whole heartedly with me on that one), and I couldn't ask for better people to have raised and molded me into what I am today.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: my friends rock. It's great to know that there is a long list of people that I can lean on in times of need, but that I can also sit and enjoy the sunnier side of life too. How can you complain about life when you're surrounded by cool people? I'm thankful that I've got a great group surrounding me.

Faith. I am fortunate that I live in a place that allows me to freely practice my faith, and that I can voice my opinion without major backlash. Without the foundation of faith, I don't think that I would be the person that I am today. I'm truly blessed to have God in my life. Also, I go to an awesome church with a community that is feeding and challenging me. I am constantly thankful for the power of community.

In a time of financial recession, I'm grateful to have a job that pays me fairly and that challenges me every day. I love that I'm in a position where I'm not bored with what I do, and I want to go to work almost every day. With so many layoffs and other uncertainties around me, I'm very thankful that I'm gainfully employed and doing a job that I enjoy.

Redemption. I'm thankful that the Husky football season is almost over, and that next year is a new, fresh start. (I had to get one last note in about Husky football, don't you think?!)

Beauty. We live in a beautiful place, surrounded by snow-kissed mountains, water, and wildlife that constantly takes my breath away. There have been so many times where I have turned a corner when driving somewhere, and I'm just taken aback by the beauty of the place that I live.

I've got a lot to be thankful for, that's for sure. I'm thankful for all of you, readers and friends, too. Hopefully, wherever you are, and whatever your doing this year, you're taking some time to ponder what you're thankful for too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not Amused

I have just spent the afternoon watching the heartbreaking 101st Apple Cup game, where cross-state rivals University of Washington played Washington State University. For most of the game, we were in the lead. And then, well, we 'Couged it.' Seriously Couged it, actually, and at the end of a double-overtime match-up, we lost by a field goal.

To my Husky footbal players, I say this: I am not amused. Really not amused. This was the one game that you needed to win, and you didn't come through. I'm disappointed, but I am confident that there's always next year, right? Right.

There may be one game left in the season, but I give up. I'm not going to sit on the edge of my seat hoping that it'll go better. Rather, I'm going to hold on to the hope of next year, and be grateful for a perfectly bad season. I'm a Husky fan, I should be used to this by now, I think.

I'm still not amused though!

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's the best time of year: Dreyer's Apple Pie ice cream is back. I have searched high and low (literally) for weeks for this wonderful delight, and today, I finally found it. One lonely carton of Apple Pie ice cream awaited me in the Safeway frozen foods section, and now it sits in my freezer. I have been anticipating the first bite all afternoon... yum!
Apple Pie Ice Cream!!

Welcome back Dreyer's Apple Pie ice cream, oh how I've missed you! :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Did You Crawl Into My Brain?

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to reconnect with some friends over a great dinner. It was well worth missing the (terrible) Husky game to share laughter and smiles with friends.

Part of the conversation turned to the abundance that we enjoy in America, which can be found in our grocery stores and warehouse stores. I think that sometimes we forget how much we have here in the U.S., but when people come here, it can be overwhelming. Our abundance was a small but powerful topic of the dinner conversation.

Fast forward to the sermon today, where our pastor gave a short illustration, quoting comedian Yakov Smirnoff about the overwhelming number of choices at the supermarket. Oh pastor, how were you able to crawl into my brain, or my life for that matter, and address this topic so appropriately? I'm one of 2,000+ parishioners on Sunday, and yet you knew to mention that story in your sermon. Amazing. I am constantly blown away by how appropriate each week's sermon is, it's like someone has crawled into my brain and picked out exactly what I needed to hear.

I'm grateful, that's for sure, for timely messages, and for being able to stich together seemingly different experiences into this quilt of life. Can't wait to see what comes together this week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sad News Week

It's been quite the week, as it seems that our family has gotten a fair amount of sad news lately. One of the good things to come out of it, though, is that it has brought out the true value of family for me. I've always been blessed with a great family, full of love, compassion, and support. In fact, I couldn't ask for a better family, you just can't top them in my book.

Today, we attended the funeral mass and celebration of life for a family member who died suddenly a week ago. It was an amazing experience, grieving for a loved one while remembering all of the great things that came from his life and what a blessing it was to know him. We didn't get to spend a lot of time with him, but the one thing that will always be burned into my memory is his wonderful smile. I was impressed by his family (and our extended family), so gracious at such a tender time, and so full of love for the people around them. What a blessing to know such people.

While we did receive a fair amount of sad news this week, one of the things that I will always remember is the power of community and the power of family. If you haven't done so recently, I highly recommend telling the people around you how much you love them and take a moment to reflect on the wonderful people that are surrounding you. I know that I love my family, and am certainly grateful to have them in my life!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Relaxing Weekend

Halloween marked the anniversary of our first date, so on Friday night, Lennie and I trekked to Red Robin for our traditional Halloween date night and some people watching. We enjoyed some great food and conversation, and then went over to our friends house to help with trick-or-treaters and a party for ~20 junior high schoolers. It was a lot of fun to see all of the kids dressed up, and to help out with the party games. Definitely better than sitting at home without trick-or-treaters, that's for sure!

On Saturday, we relaxed at my parent's house before coming home to watch part of the UW game (kind of glad that I took a nap instead of watching the game!) and attend our neighbor's pirate-themed party. People went all-out on their pirate costumes, and it was cool to meet some new people while also connecting with other friends after a few months. Our neighbor decorated his condo -- going all out with wall coverings, cannon balls (okay, balloons) on the deck, and a plank completed the motif. Most amazing was his jack-o-lantern with a ship carved in it. I wish I had gotten a photo of it -- the attention to detail was fabulous.

Today, we went to church and listened to a great sermon and then had the opportunity to reconnect with our friend Kevin, who was in town for the weekend. Had a great lunch with fun conversation, and then came home to relax.

Friends. Laughter. Fun. That's what I call a great weekend! :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flexing My Freedom Muscle

Today, I did my duty. I took a few minutes out of my mildly busy life and made a difference. I made my voice heard.

Have you flexed your freedom muscle yet? I'd encourage everyone to get out and vote -- every vote counts, really.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Political Candidates, Husky Football, Lunch

I had the pleasure of going to another Husky football game yesterday. It was a beautiful fall day here in Seattle, a little cold, but blue skies, sunshine, and changing leaves surrounded us. We enjoyed an afternoon tailgating and laughing with friends before making our way into the stadium. Outside of our gate, Washington's current governor, Christine Gregoire (also a UW graduate, holds the same degree as me, actually), was shaking hands and working the crowd. I had the opportunity to greet her and shake her hand before entering the staduim and watching the Huskies get their pride handed to them by Notre Dame. Ugh, if only we weren't currently in pursuit of the perfectly bad season this year! (Seriously, could we just win one game this year?!)

This afternoon, Lennie and I ran errends and then enjoyed lunch at Bahama Breeze in Tukwila. As we were finishing up our meal, the waiter pointed to a table across the section and said "Do you know Dino Rossi, you know, the guy who's running for governor? Well, there he is!" Yep, we had lunch in the presence of Dino Rossi, the challenger in the 2008 Washington gubernatorial race. So, I guess you could say that I watched the Husky game yesterday with Gregoire, and had lunch with Rossi today. How political of me! :-) Heh heh.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Top Ten Days

There are days in your life that you care to never repeat. Some days are really great, full of fun, laughter, and memories, and I love to repeat those memories and experiences over and over again. Other days, like yesterday, I'd care not to repeat, as it was filled with stress, anxiety, and a little bit of uncertainty. None of the experiences were unsurmountable, and everyone has their health, etc. However, I just wouldn't care to repeat the day. I won't go into the details of what transpired yesterday, but I will tell you that the uncertain financial times ripping across the country have hit close to home.

One of the things that I learned very quickly yesterday was the power of friendship and family. I'm very grateful to have such a wonderful network of supportive people in our lives, and I will be forever indebted to each and every one of you for your support and insights. "This too shall pass" and it has been made immensely easier because of the people in our lives. Thank you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ten Seconds to the Click

Tonight, I discovered the quickest way to get a phone solicitor off of the phone. Seems that I had the opportunity to field a call from a nice call center man soliciting funds for a charity that I had vaguely heard of. I patiently listened to his spiel, and when he said "can I send you a package with a receipt for the IRS, a thank you letter, and an envelope to return your donation?"

I promptly replied, "Oh, I can't donate right now, I just got laidoff." He replied "Oh, that's too bad." and then I heard a click. End of phone conversation. Yep, within ten seconds of me saying I was laidoff (don't worry readers, I wasn't actually laidoff), he had hung up on me.

Meanwhile, at the dinner table, Lennie almost broke his neck as he snapped his head to look at me dropping this alleged "bomb" to a complete stranger before I told him... it was comical, really. After I reassured him that I wasn't laidoff, we had a good laugh about it.

Good times, good times.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's All About the Network, Baby!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the economy (as many people have) and how to weather the proverbial storm of the stock market and everything else. Networking has constantly been on my mind lately. The value of "paying it forward" within your network cannot be underestimated, really.

One of the things that I've learned over my career (and my life, really) is that working your network of friends, family, and contacts is one of the most important things that you can do. Even if you only have a few friends, you're connected to a powerful force that can help you get jobs, save money on projects, or simply get a great person to do a project for you. It's amazing, really, what a good word can do for you.

I like working my network, and I like giving great referrals. It's a pleasure to connect my friends and family with people that I know and trust. So, if you need a great mechanic in the Bellevue area, I know one. Want to plan a wedding or a party with a spunky lady? Yep, I know a great wedding planner (she didn't do my wedding, but I would have used her if I had known her then!). Want an energetic event planner who will watch all of the details? I know one of those too!

Or perhaps you need to outsource a writing project. Let me tell you, my friend and colleague will write butt-kicking copy for you any day of the week. You gotta check him out... he's never written bad copy for me, seriously.

In down economic times, it's more important than ever that we work our networks and help people out. Most the links that I provided above were not solicited, I just want to make sure that you know that I will send out referrals within my network any time... what can you do to help people out too? How can you get people in your network connected today?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wanted: Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes

Two weeks ago, we finally got a "bumper crop" of tomoatoes, filling one medium sized bowl to the brim. Yum!

Today, Lennie and I decided to harvest all of our tomatoes and put the condo garden to rest for the year. Two large black garbage bags later, we cleared out all of the tomato plants and took all of the tomatoes off of the vine... a lot of tomatoes, that is. We now have two grocery bags full of red and green tomatoes to enjoy. I'm hopeful that the green ones will ripen on our counter. In the meantime, we may need a recipe for fried green tomatoes -- anyone have a good one out there?! :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Published Author

I'm pleased to report that I just received my copy of Telecom Reseller, and I am now a published author. The article that I penned on the value of purchasing software products that are certified for your network hardware. If you happen to come across a copy of the latest edition, check me out just above the fold on section B. :-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goldilocks or the Princess & the Pea?

When Lennie met me, I was sleeping with no less than 6+ pillows on my bed. Needless to say, with such a tall husband, 6 pillows was not going to work in our queen sized bed after we got married. So, I compromised with two pillows a piece. One king sized pillow, and one standard for each of us. It was quite the change, but it hasn't been "just right," as Goldilocks would say.

Much like the Princess and the Pea, I could never really get comfortable. Then, this weekend, we bought new king sized pillows. I am now in Heaven, and haven't slept so well in a long time. I don't think that I'll require six pillows again in the near future, as I've learned that two king sized pillows is just right for me. :-)

It's like Goldilocks met the Princess and the Pea -- and Princess Goldilocks got two king sized pillows to help give her a good night sleep. Heh heh.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Silly Huskies!

I shouldn't be surprised that we lost the game last night. I'm a little sad, but have decided that perhaps we're going for the perfect season; a perfectly bad season, that is... Unfortunately, our star quarterback, Jake Locker, broke his right thumb during the game last night, which may be a season-ending injury for him. I hope that it's not, and that he heals quickly.

Seattle Times writer Steve Kelley may have put it best:
Another Washington football season is doomed. Another year with Locker will end without a bowl trip.

And even before the leaves have turned, this season feels as broken as Locker's thumb.

I'm still a Husky fan, but I'm a realist too: I'll cheer (loudly) for every completed pass, every play that's well executed, but my hopes aren't high, and all that I can ask for is that we act as the "spoilers" in the Apple Cup this year against our cross-state rivals. If we can win that game, it'll be an okay season after all...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Future Careers

So, for years I've been making a little bit of a list of future careers that I would like to have. I kind of joke about it, but I'm also sometimes a little serious. I thought that I would share my list of potentially cool jobs -- maybe it'll inspire you, or maybe you have an "in" so that I can pursue trying the job out. Here goes:

  • Food critic

  • Professional blog writer

  • Travel writer (after all, I like writing, and I love traveling the world!)

  • Safeco Field scoreboard operator and graphics designer

  • Small business owner in a small(ish) town

  • Movie critic

  • Camp director

  • Large event planner -- like a convention or a really cool swanky party

  • Furniture tester

  • Zamboni driver (okay, well maybe not as a career, but I want to at least do a lap around the rink!)

  • Cruise director

  • Novel writer (who actually sells some books!)

  • Spa owner (so I can get a facial any time, right?)

  • Bed and breakfast owner -- no, lodge owner in some cute town or something

  • Tour director for a rock band

  • Short-term mission worker

  • Web site designer

  • Welder (afterall, you get to make cool stuff with fire!)

  • Something in the medical industry

  • Greeter at Wal-Mart (I'm saving this one for when I'm retirement age.)

What would be on your "ultimate jobs" list? Are you living the dream right now? What would you do differently?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vashon Island for the Weekend

Had beautiful weather on Vashon Island, WA this weekend, and thought that I would share some favorite photos. :-) So, here goes:
Me holding up Mt. Rainier.

Our cottage, "The Lady Bug," at the Swallow's Nest Cottages on Vashon Island.

Congratulations to Crystal and Jonathan -- and best wishes in the years to come!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of enjoying the afternoon on the shores of Lake Washington with some dear friends. Here is my favorite photo from that excursion:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labor Day Weekend 2008: Favorite Photos

Just uploaded photos from our Labor Day weekend getaway with friends. Thought that I would share a few favorites:

More photos can be viewed on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend & Disappointed Dawg Fans

For Labor Day Weekend, we had the opportunity to hang out with some great friends at their cabin on Lake Kachess in Eastern Washington. We had a fabulous time relaxing and trading laughs. We also had the opportunity to go out quading -- what a rush! As we rode amongst the trees and traveled up the mountain, we got to take in great views while the wind whipped past our helmets. After a while, we stopped near a clearing where our friend demonstrated some of his firearm skills. I'm not one for guns, so this wasn't an activity that I participated in, but everyone seemed to enjoy some attempts at target practice.

Saturday night brought some yummy chili (which was a welcome dinner choice after being out on the trails all day) and a very disappointing UW football game against University of Oregon. True to form, the Huskies had a great second quarter and a crappy rest of the game. I think that I may agree with Mr. Brewer of the Seattle Times, who says that Ty's days may be numbered at the U. That makes me really sad on the one hand, but on the other hand, we can't go through many more "rebuilding eras" like we have been for the last few years. Fasten your seatbelts, Dawg fans, it's going to be a long year. Despite the loss, I still enjoyed time watching the game with friends -- even though a few of them fell asleep due to lack of excitment during the game.

Sunday brought sunshine and a trip to Roslyn, WA for lunch. It's kind of refreshing to go to a town that is so quaint... and that has very few stoplights. :-) Too fun. We went on a night quading ride -- although I don't think that we intended to be out that late, it was fun to ride through all of the mud puddles in the darkness. At one point, I slowed down so that I could be sure to hit every mud puddle at optimum speed -- fast! It's not often that adults get to play in the mud, so I did my best to make the most of it. Good times!

On another note -- we just harvested our first tomatoes. (It's been a weird growing season this year, not sure what to do with it...) The tomatoes were between baseball and softball sized... amazing!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Wanderings

Yesterday, Lennie and I enjoyed our annual trek to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, WA. The fair in Monroe is one of the only fairs that I will attend each year, as I really have an aversion to crowds of people. This fairis small enough and spread out enough that I don't get too rattled, and I can let my hair down and enjoy myself.

The fair has a great feel about it -- I get a sense of community, and I really enjoy seeing all of the hard work that youngsters from around the state put into their crafts and other projects. I'm pretty much a city-slicker, so to put me smack in the middle of a fair where knowing what a grange is, and scooping poop isn't out of the ordinary, is pretty much a cool experience for me.

Speaking of being a non-country-music-listening-city slicker, our only super-awkward moment of the fair came as we were enjoying our fair food dinner near one of the free performance stages. There was a very nice local country band playing on the stage (one song was even performed with the lead singer on horseback...). During one of their songs, a bagpiper began playing "Amazing Grace," which apparently is the very well-known signal that you should stop what you are doing, stand up, and take your hat off like you're saluting the flag or something. With everyone standing around us, Lennie and I traded super-awkward glances and shrugs with each other and sat quietly. Like I said, very, very awkward.

Lennie and I also attended the Figure-8 races at the race track on the fairgrounds. There's something to be said for being track side, watching cars whiz past one another, smelling the motor oil, and watching the tire treads being left on the track. Good times, good times. That's not to say that I am going to become a NASCAR fan in the near future, but I do enjoy a good auto race every once in a while. (Although, I do have to say that the demolition derby last year was very memorable, and I can't wait to go back some time!)

Today, we went to church in the morning, and I have to admit that I didn't exactly leave the house with a happy heart about it... I would have rather slept in, but I'm glad that we went. We got to hear a good sermon, and we reconnected with friends in the morning sunshine. Like I said though, I could have used some more sleep too... can't win on that one, I guess.

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending my sister-in-law's bridal shower while Lennie went to a movie. We drove home in a downpour, and were grateful to spend a nice quiet evening at home watching a video after a busy, yet fun, weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Social Media & Status Updates

One of my favorite features of social media is the "status update" -- you know the one liners that you put in Gmail, Facebook, MSN Messenger, Skype, etc. It gives me a quick glimpse into my friends' lives, and lets me know how they are doing. Some of the one liners, like "Almost 5 PM!" or "It's Friday!" motivate me and also let me know that friends are doing well. Other times, the messages let me know that perhaps my friends need a kind word, when they post things like "Argh!" or "Is it 5 yet?"

Sometimes, the messages make me smile, sometimes they make me frown. Ultimately, I'm glad that I get a glimpse of my friends' lives each day. So, what's my current status update? "Smiling." :-)

Saturday, August 09, 2008


I had the opportunity to play paintball with some of my co-workers today. It was a great way to get to know my colleagues better, as well as to get some great physical activity in. I'd never been paintballing before, so I was unsure of what I was in for. Turns out, it was a lot of fun. I think that I would even be willing to go back and play the games again. My favorite "field" was the "Urban" field, where they had buildings and cars set-up for you to fire from. I'm not the best paintballer out there, but it certainly was fun to shoot the paintball guns, and getting hit didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I do have two small marks from being hit by paintballs, but nothing to complain about. I suspect that I'll sleep really well tonight, and that there may be a little muscle soreness involved in my day tomorrow, but it was well worth it!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Congratulations Susahn & Travis!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in the wedding of Susahn and Travis. It was quite the honor to be a member of the bridal party, and to witness their marriage.

I've known Susahn since we went to junior high school together. She was always the "cool" one, sporting the black leather jacket, and giving off an air of intelligence and aloofness all at the same time. We didn't really become great friends until we were thrown into Chemistry II (with a crazy teacher, nonetheless) in high school. That's also where I met Melissa, and we forged a relationship that has lasted many, many years. These are the only two people that I speak to consistently from high school, and I don't know what I would do without them in my life. We've experienced many firsts together, from first loves, 1st apartments, riding the bus together to UW, to first heartbreaks, first failures to first jobs and true love. I've been so blessed to have these two in my life, and I can't wait to see where our journeys take us next!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend of wedding fun:

Melissa & Me

Three Musketeers!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's a Jungle Out There!

It's been a while since I have posted an update on the condo garden, and I'm pleased to report that our deck is starting to feel very jungle-like. We've got our first tomatoes on the vine (green and growing), and everything is filling in nicely. We're looking forward to a great bounty of tomatoes in a few weeks!

View from the door.

Another view from the door.

Tomatoes on the vine.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Selling the Car

So, we've decided that it's time to part ways with my vehicle... seems that we have the opportunity to take over a car that Lennie actually fits in, so we're going to take the plunge. Know anyone who wants a great car in the Seattle area? Let me know. Here's the nitty-gritty details:

1990 Acura Legend Coupe
Sporty commuter vehicle in good condition.

Price $2,200 (obo)
Mileage 155,000
Year 1990
Make Acura
Model Legend
Body Style Coupe
Transmission Automatic
Drive Front-wheel drive
Engine V6
Exterior Color Beige/champagne
Interior Color Beige
VIN Provided Upon Request

- Air conditioning
- AM/FM stereo
- Single CD player
- Multi CD player
- Cruise control
- Power steering
- Power windows
- Power door locks
- Power seats
- Leather seats
- Moon roof
- Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Other Special Features:
- Driver-side airbag

Well maintained and economical -- perfect for commuters or young drivers. "Sport" gears for highway driving, moonroof to enjoy sunny Seattle days. Comfortable leather bucket seats will make long drives a treat.

Roomy trunk is perfect for shopping sprees at Costco or for storing your sports gear after a big game.

After-market Kenwood CD system includes single CD player with removable face and a remote control up front, 6-disc changer in trunk. Instruction manuals included for your convenience.

Check out photos and my snazzy ad on Craigslist.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Moonlight Movies

One of my favorite things about summer is the return of the free outdoor movie season. Last night, Lennie and I went to the "Moonlight Movies" series at Liberty Park in Renton to enjoy the sunset and then watch the "Bucket List." It's really nice to see the community come together to enjoy each other's company and to share a few laughs over a good movie in the great outdoors.

There's a lot of great movies being played around Puget Sound this summer -- maybe we'll see you there!

Monday, July 14, 2008

One Year!

Happily Married.

Today is our one year anniversary. (In fact, at 6:30 p.m., it'll be truly one whole year.) It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since we "tied the knot." On the one hand, it seems like a long time ago because of all of the things that we've done together in the last 12 months. On the other hand, I still remember the wedding like it was yesterday. And I wouldn't change a thing about our adventure together.

Just the Two of Us

I can't wait to see what the coming years bring. I love you, Lennie. Happy anniversary!

Willow Tree

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hanging in Hood Canal

This past weekend, Lennie and I had the pleasure of taking a weekend "first anniversary getaway" in Brinnon, WA, on the shores of Hood Canal. We fell in love with the area immediately, and found ourselves losing track of time as we took in the canopy of green trees, clear water, and blue skies. We couldn't have asked for a better getaway, really. Our home away from home for the weekend was a quaint A-frame cabin that overlooked Hood Canal. There was a fully-stocked kitchen (actually, BEYOND fully stocked!), living room, bedroom, sleeping loft, bathroom, and super-spacious deck where we enjoyed all of our meals. Check out the cabin on I highly recommend it, and can't wait to go back!

From hanging out in the hammock to lounging on the beach, we simply relaxed and enjoyed time together. The water was perfect for sea kayaking (which we truly loved), and we saw all kinds of wildlife, including sea otters, eagles, jellyfish, jumping fish, and oysters on the beach. If you haven't been to Brinnon, you need to go at least once in your life. Not much in the way of shopping, but it's rich in nature and relaxation.

Enjoy more photos from our weekend getaway.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Seattle Summer

If there's one thing to know about Seattle, it's that summer can seem like it's fleeting, and when the sun is shining, you get your butt outside to enjoy it. The sun's been shining here a lot lately, and I have to say, I'm truly loving the warmth and brightness in the skies.

It's summer in Seattle -- don't blink, or you might miss it! :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

Yesterday, the 4th of July, we had the opportunity to hang out with my parents and some family friends to celebrate the 4th. We're not big on making plans for Independence Day, especially since the weather here in Seattle can be very questionable. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant day, and we had the opportunity to laugh and exchange stories with friends. After dinner, as we watched the sunset over Puget Sound and the Kitsap Peninsula, we were treated to a 180 degree view of fireworks displays, both public and private.

Oh, and a first for me: we all sang "Happy Birthday" to America. It's amazing what you'll do for friends and family...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Loungin' in Leavenworth

Last weekend, Lennie and I had the opportunity to get some great rest and relaxation time in Leavenworth, Washington. It was exactly what the doctor ordered! We trekked over to this Bavarian village to celebrate the wedding of our friends, Glover and Josie. The weather was a temperate 95 degrees, the skies were blue, and there wasn't a cloud in sight. On Friday night, we arrived around 6:30, checked into our hotel after getting a little lost (in a town with three stoplights, go figure!), and then we went to King Ludwig's restaurant for the "welcome dinner." After a nice stroll through town after dinner (and some Cold Stone ice cream, yum!), we retired poolside at our hotel.

Seems that Lennie's brand-new swim trunks should have gotten a little more scrutiny from us before we purchased them... the had no drawstring and were a little (or a lot) too big. He made it work on Friday night, but not without some "close calls." Needless to say, we purchased him a new pair of swim trunks on Saturday in town! It was kind of funny, now that we reflect back on it. :-)

Saturday brought a lazy schedule -- breakfast at the hotel, lounging by the pool, lunch in town, and strolling through town again. Around 3 or so, we left the hamlet of Leavenworth for the small town of Plain, WA for the wedding (at Mountain Springs Lodge). Plain brings back fond memories of one or two trips to a friend's cabin with some great friends, so it was nice to be back in this small town. The wedding on Saturday afternoon was hot but wonderful, and we had a great time dancing the night away.

On Sunday, we had another lazy morning, with breakfast and then one last walk through the Bavarian village before we got on the road.

There's something really wonderful about going for a long drive on roads that are marked at 70 MPH. I enjoyed driving home, admiring the beautiful area that we live in; lush green hillsides (still kissed on the top with snow), placid lakes, and the breeze swaying the trees. [Sigh.] We live in the best state ever!

Oh, here are some photos of our weekend -- enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Funky Pet Peeves

Over the past few months, I have become keenly aware of some of my quirky pet peeves. (Are all pet peeves somewhat quirky?!) It's made me think, sometimes it's made me angry, sometimes it's really made me step back and try to adjust my frame of mind. I sometimes wonder if all of my pet peeves are "normal," or if some could be classified as kind of weird. Here, help me classify them, won't you?

Gum. I have a total neuroses about gum. I hate it. Really, really, absoultely despise gum. I don't like hearing it being chewed (especially when someone is looking over my shoulder), I don't like hearing it being snapped, popped, or blown into bubbles. And I really hate seeing it outside of someone's mouth in a chewed fashion. In fact, when people pull out their gum at a dining table and stick it on the side of their plate or wrap it in their paper napkins, it's everything I can do to not throw up then and there. I'd classify this as a "weird" pet peeve. How about you?

Timeliness. I have a real thing about being on time, and it's a pet peeve of mine when I am late for an appointment or a meeting. I also feel really slighted when people are late for meetings that they have set with me. If someone says that they are going to be somewhere at a certain time, then I think that it's up to them to go above and beyond to meet that commitment. And if you're going to be more than 10 or 15 minutes late, then I think that it's common courtesy to call and let the person know. I feel like I'm being disrespected (and my time is being under valued) if you don't call to tell me that you're running late or not going to make it. On the flip side, I take it really personally that I'm running late, and work very hard to give people the simple courtesy of being on time or communicating with them. Normal pet peeve? Yes, that's how I would classify it. What do you think?

Toilet seats. I think that we need to all come to an agreement across the nation -- either we need to all put the toilet seats down, or all put 'em up. And we all need to agree on it. This should not be a "men vs. women" thing, rather, we should all be consistent on how we treat the seat in shared bathrooms. Classify this one as a "normal" pet peeve. I think it's an age-old argument, in fact.

Proper English. First and foremost, I'm not perfect on this topic. However, I feel like the advent of "spell check" has made our society lazier and perhaps a little less intelligent than earlier generations. The word "ain't" is never proper English, in my book at least. "Are system" is not down, "our system" is down. The bride did not walk down "the isle," the bride walked down "the aisle." Simple spelling mistakes that I've seen in the past that wouldn't be picked up by a spell check application. I guess that I wish that people would take a moment to step back and read their work -- your words, and what you type, are how people see you in this virtual world. I'm not even sure where to classify this pet peeve...

I think that the reason that these pet peeves have made me step back and examine myself is that I find that I am projecting my pet peeves on others -- and on how I see the world. Perhaps I need to reframe my impressions of others and cut people a little more slack. Who knows?

What do you think? Do you have little pet peeves that get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck? I would love to hear about them!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Child of the 80's

I admit it: I'm a child of the 80s. It seems that lately people have been noticing that I use words from the 80s and 90s vernacular. You know the words: yo, dude, awesome. Some have ribbed me for it, but I have to say, I own it: I'm a child of the 80s, and I'm okay with it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Home On The Range

Yesterday afternoon, Lennie, my Mom, and I went to the driving range to hit some golf balls. It felt really good to be out in the sunshine (what little we've had of it in Seattle lateley!) and to dust off my golf clubs. This was Lennie's first "formal" visit to the driving range, which was fun. I gave him the lowdown on the proper grip for the golf club, and then I left the real teaching to my Mom (resident golf pro, really). It was cool to watch the two of them go through the proper stance and swing, and even better when Lennie's shots were sailing 125 yards straight down the range -- imagine how great he will be when we get him some clubs that fit his height and get him hitting with the drivers!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Last night, Lennie and two of our friends and I went to the annual Marty Reimer :20 Funny Festival at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. I have not laughed that hard in a long time... at one point, I was laughing so hard that Lennie had to lean over and ask me if I was okay! It was a great night to mellow out with friends while laughing with comedians. I loved it. Laughter really is the best medicine for the end of a long work week! :-)

Oh, and if you're looking for some regularly scheduled laughter, I highly recommend the :20 funnies on 103.7 KMTT "The Mountain" at 7:20 a.m. and 5:20 p.m. They're usually really good!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekend Wanderings, Customer Service, and More

We enjoyed a blissfully relaxing weekend, lounging around the house, doing laundry, napping, and generally being mellow. On Saturday night, we trekked up to Everett and Mill Creek for Mindy's birthday bash. It was fun to reconnect with old friends, while meeting new people too. Our annual trip to McCabe's dance club was nice, although the upstairs DJ definitely missed the mark. Oh well, it was still fun.

This weekend brought a mysterious mishap with our laundry, which led to us replacing clothing that was less than a week old. UGH. Needless to say, we had to do some additional shopping this afternoon. I have never seen such crazy customer service in one day in my life. We experienced salespeople who didn't seem to care that we wanted to check-out, let alone had entered the store. When we did finally get someone to check our items out at one women's clothing store, we couldn't get the woman to honor our discount -- despite the fact that we met the terms and conditions on the 25% off coupon. I wasn't in the mood to argue or push the issue too far, but if she had simply said "Gosh, I wish that I could help you with this coupon." instead of "Huh, it won't take it, too bad!" it would have been a different situation.

While out shopping, we decided to stop at a reputable restaurant chain and eat a nice but quick dinner. The waitress was nice enough, but didn't seem to fully understand why I was completely repulsed when we discovered a short hair on Lennie's dinner plate towards the end of the meal... and the hair was not the color of anything that would have come from us. Yuck-o. She was nice enough, but I don't think that we'll be going back any time soon... or ever for that matter.

At the end of our shopping trek, we stopped at Target to pick up a small album and a few other personal hygiene items. Just a quick trip to my favorite store. When we went to check-out, I was horrified as the clerk began commenting on the personal items that we had purchased, including very personal details about his life and our choices from the store. It's a good thing that I can be generally happy-go-lucky, but I can't imagine a worse check-out experience, especially if I embarassed easily. Yikes. Lennie had to return to Target this evening to pick up another album, and he did have a short conversation with the manager about the situation. Hopefully some additional sensitivity training will occur, so that others don't have to experience what we did.

So, my question of the weekend is this: is customer service dead? When did it become acceptable to act like it's an inconvenience to service your customers? Is it ever okay to comment on the personal items that people are purchasing? (Hint: the answer to this one is no in my book). Why do we allow people to give us shoddy service? And what can we do to find the happy medium between "royal" treatment where people are bending over backwards for our service, and the space where you feel like you have to beg to do simple tasks like check out at a store or not have people invade your personal life with inappropriate chitchat at the cash register?

In other (happier) news, we finally finished populating our wedding albums, and the professional photo album is being delivered this week. With over 450 photos, we definitely have the day covered. However, if you're out there in Internet-land reading this, and you have photos of our wedding, please send them. We can't wait to see the photos that you took too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Garden Progress -- Memorial Day Weekend

The patio garden is making good progress. I can't say the same for our indoor garden starts, but that's another story. As you may recall, I planted a multitude of tomato pots that we started from seed. I'm pleased to report that almost all of them have done really well. Two pots, however, didn't make it. So, they've been replanted with tomato starts from our local mega store. Tomato cages have been added to most of the pots (I'm two cages short), so all we need now is some patience and good sunshine. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.
Tomatoes and lavender in the condo garden.

Fuschia basket in the condo garden.

Tomatoes and lavender in the condo garden.

We've been enjoying the blooming flowers, as has one of our local hummingbirds. Since we installed the tomato cages this weekend, the hummingbird has been using them as a perch to rest while assessing which flower it is going to enjoy next. Sometimes, it will even eat from the comforts of the tomato cage. It's been really cool to watch the hummingbird, to say the least. I managed to get a few photos of the hummingbird in action this evening:
Hummingbirds in the condo garden.

Hummingbirds in the condo garden.

Hummingbirds in the condo garden.

Oh, and do you know how hard it is to take photos of a hummingbird with a point-and-shoot camera? Nearly impossible! :-) Either way, I'm happy that this hummingbird has been visiting our patio over the past few days.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Economic Stimulation Vacuum

Today, Lennie and I concentrated on treating ourselves, as well as running errends and clearing the clutter out of our house. I had purchased some vacuum storage bags, which worked well (despite a few false starts), and saved us a multitude of space. I cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers, purging my wardrobe of two garbage bags worth of Goodwill donations. Go team.

In keeping our house clean and/or livable, we have struggled with vacuuming. For the most part, we say "yeah, let's vacuum today," but we never get around to it. So, we decided to participate in some economic stimulation, and broke down and purchased the iRobot Roomba.

This machine is quite possibly one of the best frivolous purchases that I have ever made in my life! The Roomba careened it's way through our condo after being charged up, sucking up dirt and retracing it's path again and again to be sure that everything was clean. Not only is it practical (hello, who likes doing housework?!), but it's really entertaining to watch. Oh, Roomba, where have you been all of my life?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Home Again, Home Again (Jiggety Jig Jig)

We arrived home early this morning, and have spent the day unpacking and generally being lazy. The sun is shining brightly outside, and I'm enjoying being back in my own environment.

Our Alaska trip was fabulous -- we got to see moose in their natural habitat, spend some time on Big Lake (which was still frozen over!), and enjoy time with family. I've uploaded some photos (okay, 127 photos) for the world to enjoy. Feel free to check them out when you get a chance.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ahhh, Laughter

Today, we took it easy, enjoying lunch with my brother and sister-in-law at the Moose's Tooth, and then running errends with them. Lennie was sporting a relatively worn pair of jeans today, and as he got into the car after one of our stops, we learned that today would be the last day that they would be worn... Seems that really, really small fray on one of his back pockets quickly turned into a 12+ plus inch hole/butt flap. I can't stop laughing about the hole, even as I write this hours later. We took a quick trip to Wal-mart, where Lennie wrapped his sweatshirt around his backside (didn't want to be taken in for indecent exposure) before locating his newest pair of jeans. I took a peek at the hole while he was shopping, and couldn't stop laughing for a long, long time while browsing the aisles of Wal-Mart. This was one big hole in his jeans... I can fit my whole head through the hole and wear them as a necklace! Heh heh.

Lennie's sitting behind me right now, wondering what I'm laughing about... it was just so priceless, that even as I think about it, I can't help but chuckle...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Family Fun

So, for the past few days we've been in beautiful Anchorage, AK enjoying time with friends and family. On Saturday, we got to walk through the first Saturday Market of the season while taking in some fabulous sunshine. We were also able to celebrate the birthdays of two of my nephews and my Dad together as a family. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone in a relaxed (and somewhat chaotic) environment. Kathy and my other family members made a meal that was beyond yummy, and I really enjoyed great conversation with everyone.

On Sunday, we took a scenic but very rainy trip from Anchorage to Whittier via a 2.5 mile train tunnel (the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, in fact). While the rain was a complete bummer, we did get to see a "real live" moose as we were driving, and the scenery was beautiful. There's not much of note in Whittier, especially if you're not a fisherman or snowmobiler, but it's still worth the trip at least once in your life. I highly recommend it. Oh, and I recommend the chocolate chip cookies at the Bake Shop in Girdwood / Alyeska. Yum, yum, yum.

Monday brought the graduation of my beautiful niece Jordan. We sat in the Sullivan Arena, a large venue in Anchorage. It was amazing! I have to admit that I haven't been to a high school graduation in more than 10 years, but things have changed since I graduated... as we walked in there were stands lining the sidewalk schilling flowers and other knicknacks. Once inside the arena, we secured seats just below the nosebleed section, with a clear view of everything that happened on stage and elsewhere. After some of my family made a trip to the snack bar (hello? Who wants fake nachos at a high school graduation?), we settled in and listened to a few speeches and some good music while enjoying a side game of Crazy Eights (what can I say? I'm easily distracted, and graduations are a little boring!). Either way, I'm really proud of my niece, and I can't wait to see where life takes her.

OH, and on the way home from dropping off family from the graduation party, we got to get up close and personal with some more Alaskan moose. My sister tried to do her best moose call for us so that the moose would look our way, but we learned that she may need to stick to her day job instead. ;-) Alas, we had a great time appreciating nature and laughing at our bad moose call skills.

We got to walk around downtown Anchorage on Tuesday, enjoying some food at Humpy's and taking photos downtown. In the evening, I got to take in a few hockey games with my super-cool nephews, Jake and Andrew. Jake earned the nickname "Tractor" from the announcer, and both boys kicked butt during their games. Good times.

Today, I'm feeling the vacation relaxation take effect, as my siser-in-law Heather and I got to go to the spa and get back massages while Lennie took an hour or so to put in closet organizers at Eric's place. His handiwork looks fabulous, and my massage was well worth it. After experiencing my first gyros for dinner with family, we shared some laughter and retired for the night.

So far, it's been a great trip, and I can't wait to see what the next few days bring. Perhaps a few more wildlife sightings? Or maybe some more laughter with family and friends? Who knows?!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rest, Relaxation & $20 Bills

I haven't posted lately because we've been busy enjoying some rest and relaxation over the past week or so. Last weekend, we got to enjoy time with our friends at a cabin in the mountains. I can't believe how much snow is still kissing the mountaintops, it was absolutely beautiful. While Lennie and our friends went up snowmobiling, I hunkered down with a great book, went for a walk, and generally enjoyed the sun beating on my face as I breathed in some fresh mountain air.

While we were away, we visited a small church in Cle Elum for Sunday services. It was interesting being at a different church for the week. Including the four of us that came from our group, there were only 20 people at the service. But they were there to make a joyful noise for the Lord. At the end of the service, we waited for our friend to use the facilities, and the rest of the regulars socialized with one another. As we were waiting, a nice man came up to Lennie and shoved a crisp $20 bill in his hand, asking "can I pray for you?" I looked down with wide eyes and said "What is that for?!" and then said "Do you pay people to go to church here? Cool!" (Probably shouldn't have said that, huh?) When suddenly from across the room, a lady said "NO! Not that guy!" Awkward! Seems that another parishioner had come upon bad times, and this nice man wanted to help. So, needless to say, it was definitely a memorable experience, and I would definitely go back to the church for praise and worship services.

After church, we went to lunch in Roslyn, where we enjoyed a great meal at "The Brick." If you're ever in Roslyn, I highly recommend the burgers at the Brick. I made our friends trek over (okay, Roslyn is only a few blocks long, so it wasn't really a trek...) to see the "famous" wall painting that was featured in the show Northern Exposure. Good times.

We came home from our weekend exhausted but recharged. I loved it. A weekend away was exactly what the doctor ordered. I took some beautiful photos, and will post them shortly.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Rule!

Over the past few weeks of freakishly cold spring weather, I have been observing people's reactions to the temperature. I have also come to the conclusion that we need to make a new rule about thermostats and personal responsibility for temperature control. Here it is: if you're cold, put some socks on. If you're still cold, put a sweatshirt or a sweater on. Still cold? Okay, check with the people around you, and then turn the heat up. On the flip side, if you're too warm, take off the sweatshirt or sweater that you have on! Still too warm? Check with the people around you on their temperature, and then open the window or turn the heat down. But only open the window if everyone else is warm -- if they're wearing their jackets indoors, or their teeth are chattering as they utter "I'm f-f-f-ine," don't open the window or change the thermostat!

Note that every time I mentioned changing the temperature of the room around you, I mentioned that you should check with the people around you first. The world does not revolve around one single person, so the temperature shouldn't either! Shall we try to meet in the middle? I think so...

I predict that warmer weather is coming soon -- and that we can put away all of the thick sweaters (again) and enjoy some fun sandal weather. Sunshine's coming, I just know it! (Yeah, yeah, snow flurries are in the forecast for this weekend, I know, I'm just looking on the long-term bright side.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Community & Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

We had another great day today, starting out with a trip to church. I was reminded of the power of community, as we got to reconnect with friends and were delighted to catch up with people and exchange a few waves and smiles from across the room. I'm alwasy amazed at how God calls us to be in community with one another, and what a difference community can make. I'm really glad that we're able to go to church and connect with people.

After church, Lennie and I connected up with my parents and trekked up to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley. Was an uneventful drive, if you don't count the part where I said "Hey, wasn't that our exit?!" and the rest of the car kind of disagreed with me... and I was slightly right. Either way, we got a nice side tour of Mt. Vernon, and I was reminded of why it's smart to check the directions to things before you get in the car and go. It was a fun Sunday drive, and we did see some tulip fields that were partially in bloom, and a whole sea of daffodil fields that were completely in bloom. It was amazing, that's for sure! Since we chose to go to the tulip fields on a partially grey day, we were fortunate enough to find plenty of parking, and not be inundated with people in the field that we stopped at, which was definitely a nice perk. Despite the fact that the fields weren't completely in bloom, I took my fare share of photos. Here are a few of them (and here's a link to all of them) for you to enjoy:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Today was a beautiful day in the Seattle area, with reports that the temperatures got as high as the 80's. I don't know if I believe that it was that high, but I'll take it. Lennie and I got up this morning and promptly got to finisihing our master bedroom project. It took us an hour, but we measured and hammered until all of our framed pictures and artwork was masterfully placed around the room. It makes the place feel like a home now, which is very comforting.

Around 11:30 or so, we drove over to Issaquah to enjoy a Georgio's sub sandwich and then to "brave" the crowds at Lowe's so that we could pick up this year's bounty of plants and planters. Surprisingly, the crowd was light, and I was able to skip through the aisles picking out my new flowers and gardening supplies. I tend to get a little "plant fever" this time of year -- thinking that my porch is bigger than it really is, and spending just a little more than I really should on supplies. Lennie kept me in check, and we were off with less than a truck-full of plants. OH, and I should mention that none of the plants were tomatoes or basil, because I already had a farm load of starts from seed that I had planted and have been cultivating over the past few weeks. We'll get to that in a minute.

We then headed to the grocery store for the week's food stuffs, and went home to enjoy the afternoon outside planting in the sunshine... except for the fact that once again I have successfully lost my shovel/trowel for my planting. Scratch that, I have lost both of my shovels this time around. Every year, I place the shovel in the "perfect spot" where I won't lose it, and every year, I can't find it. I think that somewhere, all of my shovels are sitting next to my lost socks laughing at me.

Needless to say, Lennie made another run to the store, and I was back in business. Two large bags of potting soil (and then some) and a few sweaty hours later, I have nine pots of tomatoes (what was I thinking!?!), three railing baskets with flowers, three lavender plants (which wintered beautifully from last year), a hanging basket with fushias, and some new filler plants in the community planters out front.

Here are a few photos of our garden:
9 pots of tomatoes, really!?!?! Seriously, I think I went a little overboard...
I'll keep you posted over the coming months on our progress, as I'm convinced that we're going to be sick of tomatoes before the summer is over... stay tuned on that one!

After dinner, we took one more trip out to brave Walmart to get a few of the last supplies that I needed for our garden -- like more plant stands so that the condo association won't fine us for having pots on the deck surface, and some gardening gloves for future potting sessions. (Side note: I noticed after working with my bare hands for three hours in the soil that the potting soil bag said "Waring: always use gloves when working with this product." Seems that the fertilizer built in to the soil isn't so hot for your hands and/or health. Ooopppsss....)

Anyone want to buy some tomatoes? They'll be fresh off the vine, I promise! Only fertilized with the highest quality fish water, really!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You Can't Make This Up...

Last night, Lennie and I were driving in the Kent / Tukwila area, when we passed an electronic sign that said the following:
Craft Show, Bake Sale & Cancer
Friday, April 11th

What the? Excuse me? So on Friday, I can drop by and look at a few crafts, eat a sweet treat, and get cancer? Huh? Was it supposed to be benefitting cancer? Was I supposed to drop by to learn about cancer?

Man, I sooooooo wish that the stop light had been a little bit longer, and I had had a camera at my fingertips to immortalize this sign!

Monday, April 07, 2008


This past weekend, Lennie and I repainted the master bedroom a fun slate blue. It turned into a completely consuming weekend project. On Friday night, we emptied out the contents of our room, moving all of the furniture to different nooks and crannies of our condo. Saturday was spent taping, priming, and putting the first coat of paint on the walls. After our second night of camping out in our living room on our matresses, we got up on Sunday morning and put the final coat of paint on the walls.

Then it was off to hang out with my parents, where Lennie put together a sweet new desk for them while I helped out in the yard and enjoyed the hot tub. Love it! We reloaded the bedroom that night, rearranging furniture and generally settling back in. It's amazing to me what a difference a fresh coat of paint and an extra angle on the furniture will do to make a room, and your home, feel completely different.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random String of Consciousness

I've had a lot of random thoughts and quotes floating through my mind lately, and I thought that I would share them with you on the off chance that they will make you smile too.

First, we were without power this morning, so I got to do my best impression of someone that I called "Carrie Camper" today at work... you know the look: less than hot showered, no hair dryer, and getting dressed by flashlight. Ah ha, you do know Carrie Camper! And I was looking like her too! In fact, I never realized how quickly I could get ready to go when I didn't have electricity to get in my way... ahem, enhance my life and my beauty.

Other randomness. Lennie has given me a great quote this week, and I have to share it with you:
Jesus heard me, so it's okay. Jesus hears everything!

I love it when great quotes are spoken when you're really asleep -- those are the best kind of quotes! :-) Heh heh.

As of today, Lennie has listened to every single song in our iTunes collection. All 1,943 songs. (Guess I should load the rest of my CDs into iTunes so that he can hear the rest of it!) Quite the listening session, if you ask me! Lennie got a glimpse of my vast CD collection during this journey, and I believe that I've introduced him to a few new artists. Which brings me to my new favorite potential band name: "The Violent Farmers." Heh... Violent Farmers. If you haven't named your band yet, you might want to consider this name, it's a good one! :-)

Finally, I think I decided this week that the invention of spell checker has made us, as a society, a little lazier when it comes to education and trying to increase our book knowledge. I have found myself typing things lately and thinking "eh, I don't have to know how to spell that, spell checker will catch it..." Yeah, I don't really think that's the way to go about things, I should be a little more attentive and thoughtful as I'm writing, instead of relying on computers to make me look good. To paraphrase a quote from my friend Suzanne: "This entry has been inspected fore typos."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Toilet Seats

Disclaimer: This isn't about my husband or his habits. He's an absolute gem, especially when it comes to the bathroom!

The Sun Shines Everywhere -- Flickr Photo By 'Puss In Boots'
I have recently been pondering toilet seats, especially in the context of the age-old debate of men vs. women when it comes to putting the toilet seat down. Seems that women are always vocal about insuring that the toilet seat is placed in the "down" position when people are done with the facilities.

So, here's the question: what is it about toilet seats that draw the dividing lines amongst the sexes? Why is it that women are conditioned to get their panties in a bunch about walking in to a bathroom and seeing that the toilet seat is up? I know that I do it, my mind starts spinning about how I have to touch the toilet seat and flip it down before I get to use the facilities. Why should I feel so put out about having to "fix" the seat? Where is it written that the toilet seat needs to be put in the "down" position, and that this is the "proper" or "accurate" position? Is it that I don't want to touch the toilet seat that gets my mind spinning?

Bottom line: why did the great toilet seat debate get started, and why does it make me think every time that I walk into a bathroom with the toilet seat up?

And why am I writing about this on my blog? I dunno, but raised toilet seats have been on my mind, so now I'm flipping the weird line of thinking out to you. :-)

Flickr photo courtesy of Puss in Boots.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Delsym, How I Love Thee!

So, for the past six days or so, I've had a cold/flu bug that has hit virtually every person in my new office. We've dubbed it "the plague" around the cubicle farm, and it sounded like a veritable TB ward in the office today. But I, thankfully, was cough-free. After two lovely doses of Delsym 12-Hour Cough Suppressant, I am like a new woman. My congestion is going away, I'm not longing for a nap at 11 a.m., and I finally feel like a human again. Oh Delsym, thank you, thank you, thank you! Delsym: my hero! :-)

P.S. -- It really sucks being sick but not having any PTO or sick days to use, but I made it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nuts For Wasabi Nuts

I was recently introduced to the Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce almonds, and I have to say, they rock. Usually, I'm not a fan of wasabi or spicy foods, but these little almonds hit the spot. In fact, I purchased my very own can of the almonds at the store this morning as a snack for my new desk, and I can't tell you how great these little nuts are -- they're spicy and satisfying all at the same time. I think you should try them too... :-)