Monday, April 7, 2014

I did not ride my bike into this hole.


But I've certainly been thinking about it. Each and every day as I barrel down this hill on my bike at 6.15 in the morning, I get to this spot and suddenly remember to avoid this ever growing hole. This hole which would be exactly in the path I would ride my bike if I was just not quite awake one morning.  And each and every morning I think, man, it would suck to ride my bike into that hole with that slowly sinking cone.

For the two months or so the hole has been growing......

This afternoon this happened!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tulips! (Wait, what...?)

Last fall, for the very first time in my life, I planted tulip bulbs. I was very excited at the idea of forgetting about them all winter and then without any work from me, getting beautiful flowers.

Here is the picture I posted on instagram at the time labeled 'spring tulips'!



Fast forward 6 months of patiently waiting.


What? Exact same spot (and no, those leaves in the middle are not tulips!). The question is where the @&$$(#*@ are my tulips!  


Here is the other spot I planted them!!  Not ONE tulip!

I even tried digging up where i planted them to see if maybe I planted them upside down and THE BULBS AREN'T EVEN THERE!  What? A rat?  A neighbor?  I am sure that somewhere there is a guilty tulip  thief who dug up my very valuable tulips bulbs in the dead of night. 

And speaking of tulips in the dead of night.


This is what everyone else's tulips look like right now.

But not to leave this blog on a downer note. Here is what Seattle looks like these days - take that midwesterners.





And to those of you non midwesterners, enjoy your tulips and be nice to me when I walk by your house drooling!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

SPRING!!!!

OMG OMG OMG. Somehow after a couple weeks of super nasty weather, too much, very stressful work, and general grouchiness, the world has emerged to spring and sunshine and happiness. I guess it's just proof if you're patient and you plod along one foot in front of the other, you just might get to where you need to be.

Yes folks (particularly you that live in the god forsaken spots), it's spring time. The sunshine is out. The flowers are blooming. And life is looking just a bit brighter. As I mentioned, I had a tough couple weeks at work - too much stress. Too many hours staring at tedious testing details. Not only hours at work, but hours in my sleep as I relived the tedium. So, with the forecast of a couple sunny days and a break in my work load, I told my manager I was taking a couple days off!  And the world has become a new place.

GIVEN THE 65 DEGREE WEATHER!!!!,  I hit the yard!  Ignoring the nightmare laurel hedge and the weeds taking over most of the property, I focused on the easy to fix veggie beds. After a winter of growing cover crops they were ready for some tilling.


Robust cover crops will (hopefully) bring happy veggies.

In a couple months these will be all ready for their crops.
In the meantime, I had some tasty bone broth bubbling on the stove. This extra super duper gelantinous bone broth has since turned into a beyond delicious batch of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup. (Yes, that is a lot of superlatives. You would have similar enthusiasm if you were at my house eating my soup.)


And the fun didn't stop there, a great workout, an afternoon of shopping (didn't actually buy anything, but fun none the less), some nice dog walks, a delicious dinner and margarita, some productive house projects and many episodes of Dexter. Utter bliss in a change in weather and a couple days off work. Happy springtime everyone!

And, so perhaps you all can share in the joy that is (at least temporarily my world), I will share some animal cuteness.

They too find pure bliss in the sunshine.

Animals + shoes + and legs.

Pretty view from the backside of Beacon Hill.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stocking Up?

Or crazy hoarder lady?


When I hang out at my mom's house or our cabin, I always giggle at the amount of back stock she has. Toothpaste, dish soap, deodorant, mascara you name it. She's got extras. I don't think she did this when she was younger, but now she's always ready. And, yes, it's awesome to always have a backup, but I still think it's kind of funny.

But  now that I am old too, I seem to have the same problem. I have found in the last couple years that rather than my old habit of trying to remember to restock when I'm about 3/4th of the way out of something, I now like to have a spare when I start a new bottle, jar, tube of whatever. It's good. Very relaxing for us old folks.

However, I just looked in my new pantry and noticed a quite alarming array of goods! When certain things are on sale - expensive stuff like coconut oil or olive oil - I'll pick up an extra bottle or two to save money.  That's good common sense really, but, hum, potentially I have gone over board. How far away is wearing only lavender?????

Coconut oil! The coop keeps having $5 off!!!! How is a person to resist.

I knew I was buying extra olive oil (again on sale) I didn't realize I had 5

I use very little vinegar.
Well, when the armageddon hits and people are looking for fat, I can probably sell it at top dollar!

In other news, or to continue on the crazy lady trend, I think people were devastated last week when I blogged but didn't include Otto and Daisy pictures. As you reevaluate my sanity, I will leave you with a couple pictures from the last week.

Daisy in her very favorite new place to sleep - heat vent! (I put the towel down because I felt badly.)

Otto was so excited about the Super Bowl win (and the resulting fireworks) that he spent the night in the closet. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The best thing ever!

Okay, I am going to come out of blogging hiatus to blog about........ The Superbowl!!!

Okay, no, but this is almost as interesting. I am going to blog about THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED! 

What am I talking about? The immersion blender, of course!  Holy crap, how have I lived to my extremely advanced age and not known about this. December is when I first learned about this wonder - from Michelle Tam's (nomnompaleo) amazing cook book. She suggested it for making mayonnaise. Now, I have blogged before about making mayonnaise (Happy Homemaker ). It is extra tasty. But it's a pain in the ass. If you reread the blog, you'll note the word 'patience' and a very sad story about an egg rolling to the floor. In fact, I rarely make this homemade deliciousness because it was such a pain. Slow drizzle (five minutes). Ingredients at room temperature (who can remember that?). Sometimes works. Sometimes heart break.

But, hello immersion blender.

With the immersion blender you throw the ingredients in a cup stick in the immersion blend and BOOM seconds later it's beautiful. You cannot understand the significance of this unless you have made it both ways. Words cannot describe the splendor. In fact, I suggest you make it the original way then try with the immersion blender just so you can fully understand the sheer genius of this invention.

IB Mayo
Which brings me to use number two, soup.  So perhaps many of you know the deal with blended soup. It's all fun and games at first. You chop some veggies. You cook some onion. You simmer something tasty (squash etc) in broth. And then the shit hits the fan, or more specifically, the blender. You then have to take piping hot chunky liquid and spoon it into a blender. You have to NOT fill the blender too full (or soup will cover your kitchen, usually bright orange or green soup). You have to dirty another container, because the soup never fits in one blender load, instead you have to blend in batches. Then when all that is done, you have to take apart the blender and wash it.

But, hello immersion blender!

With the immersion blender you stick your blender into the pot and hold a button. Minutes later your beautiful soup is fully blended in your original pot!

IB Soup
And cleaning the immersion blender is as easy as using it!

I'm pretty sure cuisinart should give me royalties because I've already sold a bunch of these (let me mention right here that cuisinart doesn't give me a dime, and nomnompaleo didn't give me a dime either!  I need to start getting some sponsorship!)
Nomnompaleo - at a book signing AT MY GYM! (buy her cook book)
Anyhow, I would be remiss if I ended this without saying GO SEAHAWKS!!!  Seattle is all a twitter at the moment.  Game time in 71 minutes!

A few pictures to take us out.

My work was full of green and blue sugar on Friday.

AND Richard Sherman was in the elevator! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside!

OMG a blog about the weather, zzz...zzz...zzz. Possibly all of you but my mother should just switch the station right now!

Seattle has been abnormally cold the last week or so, but I've been surprised at how well we (the we in this house, the rest of seattle is bitching and and moaning and whining) have held up! I mean, I will be ready for it to warm up a bit, but I have not been as cold as I expected to be, let's look.

Dog Walks: Yes, I am out twice a day no matter how cold. In fact, it's been so bright and sunny that Otto can't believe it's not warm out and asks to go out more then usual. But, I seem to have the dog walk outfit nailed!  Typically the outfit involves at least 3 base layers (long sleeve shirt, warm workout type long sleeve layer, sweatshirt or sweater). Then I put on a light weight down coat, then a second extra puffy, extra old, very dirty, held together with duck tape (literally) down coat. The down on down puffy look is not only extra fashionable (the michelin man look is fashionable, right?) but cosy. This is all topped off with the piece de resistance.........

Faux fur, faux leather but not faux cosy!
Hanging at home: To all the naysayers, yes, I have the heat on, but my house is 105 years old! It doesn't hold the heat as well as it might. The kitchen is best. Fuzzy socks and the lightweight down coat are key. Gloves and hats don't seem to be necessary! (Note the three base layer/lightweight down coat combo does not leave my body unless I have to do something social. Occasionally, the bottom two base layers get changed!)

Sleeping: Talk about having it nailed, I have the perfect sleep coccoon - sheet, 3 blankets, lightweight down blanket, topped off with (again piece de resistance and key to the whole thing) down sleeping bag!  With this configuration, I can start the night with t-shirt and no socks! (I hate hate hate having things on my legs at night, when I start off with socks and pajamas, I don't sleep well).  Unfortunately, the house itself isn't doing so well. The heat comes on continually all night long which isn't doing much for my sleep.

Daisy: The morning after the first cold night, I had my bedroom doors closed (I can't leave the bedroom open when I'm at work because Otto will wreak havoc in there). Daisy stood outside my bedroom door yowling and yowling (usually she just curls up on the couch). So, I pulled the sleeping bag out of the bedroom, wrapped her in it on the couch  - she hadn't moved when I got home.

Daisy loves her sleeping bag.
Otto: Otto could care less. He walks outside with bare feet and no coat. He hangs out in the yard. He sleeps in the living room (even though he's invited to share the sleeping bag with me and Daisy). And the car, there have been a couple times I have had to leave him in the car for an hour or so. And I've felt super guilty. I've been leaving the puffy down coat for him to curl up in, but he never uses it!  And, in addition to all this, he's shedding. For real, he just started shedding a ton!

Otto sunbathing yesterday, 25 degrees, (I couldn't even go outside to take the picture).
But now we have the big challenge........

Bike Ride: I rode my bike to work monday and tuesday last week, but that was before it dropped below freezing. Since then I have happily taken the train. However, tomorrow if I want to go to the gym in the morning, I have to ride. I think I'm okay for clothes, but my hands GET SO COLD that it is insanely painful. But, I have seen pictures of my cyclocross friends riding in zero degree weather all weekend, so I don't want to be a wimp. I just dug this up, it's been in my house for years. I've got my fingers crossed that it makes the ride bearable.....


If it doesn't work, maybe I can try this!

Happy Winter Everyone stay warm!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Puppies and Such

I have gotten to the point that pretty much all I do when I have a day off is cook. I cook and clean and cook and clean and cook and clean. It is a never ending cycling of generating lots of very dirty dishes. Then wash. Then repeat. And it takes a lot of time. I wonder what I might accomplish if I didn't spend all my time cooking.

Anyhow, that's just a little aside. This exciting week - most of which I had off - has gone by in a whirl. The week started out with a little, sort of, vacation. I worked monday, but I went and hung out with Penny.

Oopsie, where is the nose.
As exhibited in this photo, Penny was just about to pop out some puppies. Her mom wanted someone there in case it happened while she wasn't at home. So I lugged over my computer (not a laptop) and Otto and I hung out with Penny for the day. I (sort of) worked and Penny and Otto sat around and looked cute. Penny did not have puppies, at least not on Monday.

There was a lot of this going on!

Penny did have puppies on Wednesday early am and on Thursday I got to hang out! Be prepared for major cuteness.






I can't even think of funny captions, they are so stinking cute, who can do anything but say 'ahhhh'.

The rest of the week has been a blur of food. I cooked a bunch of new stuff this week. And it was all extra tasty. Let's take a stroll through the menu.


Veggie mash, aka I ate a parsnip!  What's up with parsnips?  I am pretty sure I have never eaten one before this week. They look difficult. And not necessarily tasty in any way. However, I saw a recipe for autumn veggie mash and thought, parsnip why not. It actually included parsnips, carrots, cauliflower and roasted garlic. AND was super easy. AND was extra tasty. AND, it's possible I made a lot!

Mash 

Look how cute, pumpkins now come in boxes!

Art shot
I also made much too much pumpkin pie. I took one to thanksgiving and ended up being the only person who likes pumpkin pie. Hmm. I also decided that the main reason I like pumpkin pie is the whip cream. Must remember to make whip cream next year.

Pre party piece, whoops! How gauche. 
And can I mention that the worst thing about making pies to take to a party, is that you can't taste them! If you make cookies, you can just eat one (or two) and no one will know. But if you have a piece of pie, whoops, you suddenly are the person with zero self control!


Taj Mahal chicken. OMG. I may or my not have mentioned that my favorite cook book writer just came out with her second cookbook (Well Fed 2, if you haven't bought it, or the original Well Fed, do so immediately your taste buds will be so happy, I promise). I have been slowly making my way through some of the new recipes. Her recipes sometimes seem super wacky, like she was just making shit up. For example, the above pictured chicken has applesauce in it? I mean what's up with that? It also called for 1 and only 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. I usually avoid such recipes because then I'm left with a lot of tomato paste!  But I jumped in despite these recipe quirks and let me mention that is is one of the more amazing dishes I have had recently............. SO GOOD!!!! Particularly when it tops her coconut cauliflower, which is her version of sticky rice.


Which brings me to this. Zucchini soup. Let me go on the record stating that I hate zucchini. I think it's worthless. It tastes bland. It grows too abundantly (meaning everyone keeps wanting to give you some, even though you don't want it). I don't cook it. I don't put it in salads. And I certainly don't put it in my garden. Well, lately I have been getting tired of my beef broth. I make it, then have to force myself to drink it, because I know it's extra good for me. Well, my favorite cook book writer, Melissa Joulwan (see above, Well Fed), has a zucchini soup in her new book. (It's actually called silky gingered zucchini soup.) And, well, I trust her. So my bored of broth self decided to whip up a batch of soup, even though it was zucchini soup. I was super dubious the entire time it was cooking, because it just looked like a bunch of broth with stupid zucchini pieces floating in it, but OMG, extra tasty. It's all creamy, as if it has a whole bunch of, well, cream in it, but it's just zucchini and a few spices and broth.  

And finally, let me leave you with some cuteness, a down coat on the floor makes for the perfect bed when your mom is sitting close by typing a blog.......

Meow!