Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hello Sauerkraut!

The sauerkraut and its many bacteria move to their new home.
 For four weeks we have all been patiently waiting for the sauerkraut to do its thing. I guess we were essentially waiting for the cabbage bacteria to go forth and multiply. And tonight was the night of the great sauerkraut unveiling!  Whoop whoop.....!

(I would say life doesn't get much more exciting on January 23rd EVER,  but January 23rd is also my mom's birthday so it's a pretty exciting day every year!)

Anyhow, that aside, aside. It's tasty!  I'm not sure I've ever actually had sauerkraut, so I can't really tell you it's good sauerkraut. But I'm pretty sure I can choke it down!  Go gut bacteria! Hello symbiosis!

So many bacteria, I'm surprised it's not moving.
 And happy birthday mom!!  If you were here I'd give you some sauerkraut.           

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Best in Show!

Somehow it seems I have reached my extremely advanced age without ever attending a dog show! So, when our friend Penny was being shown near Seattle, Otto and I jumped at the chance to attend.


Truly. And words are hard to describe it. If you have ever seen the movie Best In Show,  it does not exaggerate! All the dogs (and bitches, dogs are only male) are primped, fluffed and posed. The people showing the dog wear lots of pastel polyester (green was very popular). The male judges have orange skin, puffed died hair and pinky rings. Everywhere I turned there was a photo op more exciting than the next!  I apologize for the huge number of pictures. But let me just promise  you that even with all these pictures you're still missing some key highlights!

Showing off his/her hairdo.


I wasn't sure how these dogs could see with their fur carefully cut and combed over their eyes, but it seemed to be a thing.

I'm not so sure these are canine.
 I thought these were some of the more self respecting poodles (you'll see that less self respecting poodles below). But, in truth, I think they were non self respecting Portuguese Water dogs - who I didn't recognize because they usually look much less poofed.  Note the polyester costume.

There are no words.

In case you missed the full impact above. 

To show a german shepherd it seems you have to wear lime green polyester.  The shepherds were beautiful, but their hind legs were just damaged looking. 

 Otto and Penny!!!!  Otto was the one and only mutt in the place. Someone asked me what breed he was? Why, an exclusive Von Beacon, of course! Nicola's boots (upper) and my shoe (lower) were much too styly for the event.


 This dog's hair was poofed, fluffed, teased, and combed. Then I guess it wasn't working so when I last tuned it in was being wrapped in plastic lavender, in preparation to be repoofed, reteased and recombed.

I'm so sad that this picture doesn't do justice of the headwear of this Afghan and the booties too.

But, let's not cry over spilt milk, it's time for the poodles.

 This entire blog could (and perhaps should) be poodle pictures.

And there may be no ......

necessary. (Except to mention that yes, that is hairspray.)

They come in black too!

Sequins were big!

This dog was beautiful. I think it's a Tibetan Mastiff. His owner, inappropriately clad in blue jeans, wasn't very forthcoming.

Okay, we're almost done here. I notice as I'm looking at these pictures, that they don't really do justice to the true insanity of the event. Sigh. Well, I want to end with a few pictures of the main event, Penny!  She won a blue ribbon for bitches in the Staffordshire Bull Terrior category. Even, it seems, with an inappropriately arched back!

 Thank god Nicola wasn't showing Penny, she doesn't own enough polyester!

       Strike a pose.

And finally, this isn't from the show but I wanted you to see her true beauty!  Congrats Queen Bitch!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Just like this, though I had my shirt on.
 I have been doing Crossfit for 4.5 years now. Back in the day, every other workout felt like I had achieved a new milestone. But these days, there aren't many days when I leave the gym feeling like I have attained a new goal. My strength and ability to do various exercises or weights ebb and flow. Frequently, I am at or close to a PR (personal record). Sometimes I just suck. Most of the time I leave feeling like I worked hard and had fun. But yesterday, I was proud of myself.

Every few months we have a workout with rope climbs. They frequently involve two rope climbs then a bunch of other work. Usually a couple people in the gym do both the rope climbs, but most members just do one or a substitution. For a couple years, after I got over the terror of climbing 20 feet in the air, I have been in the camp of 'try 2, but settle into 1 after the first round' or so. I think September 2011 was the first time  I did two in a row. We did a workout with 5 sets of two rope climbs. I got half way up my second climb in the second round I got really shaky and gave up.

Well, yesterday's workout was.

6 Rounds - 7 Minutes each
2 rope climbs
5 deadlifts (85k)
15 push ups 
30 double unders

When I got there, only 5 people all day had done the full workout. And i was dead set on getting all twelve rope climbs. AND (drum roll please), I did!  It wasn't hard until the 2nd climb on the 5th round. Then the second climb on the 6th round was a bit touch and go. I almost called it quits a couple times. And I later found out pretty much everyone was watching me and wasn't sure it was going to happen. My biceps basically started giving out. When you rope climb. You make a ledge with your feet. So, when your feet are on the rope you can actually stand there and rest. BUT, at some point you have to hold on with your arms only and place your legs higher up on the rope. That's tough when your biceps decide to call it quits. 

Anyhow done! And my time per round was actually pretty good (until the last round).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I'd like to throw out a cute little rhyme here, that wraps this whole 2013 thing up in a bow, but goodness it's hard to think of a rhyme for 13. Eleven was easy, perhaps 'Oh thank heaven, it's 2011', but after that it's all down hill. 'Don't sit on the shelve, it's 2012'?  And 13....?  'Drink some caffeine, it's 2013'! Or 'don't forget your sunscreen, its 2013'.

Oooh, here's a good one, I'm feeling serene, it's 2013! Yes, that's it.

It's happened. Once again I have traversed the stormy waters of December. And, although January is a little scary since we're flying off the cliff (fiscal) and it sounds like my pay roll tax 'holiday' is gone, taking with it an extra 2% of my pay check. (I'm pretty sure something we have had for two years is no longer considered a 'holiday' by most americans, but our god given right!)

Anyhow, I digress. There was a bad moment or two in December, but overall 2012 was actually just fine. But it's time to move on. Not sure why this always feels like a stop and start and not continuous motion. Actually, living it feels like continuous motion, but the brain sees it as a stop start - out with the old in with the new! Stop doing what you did before, do something new. Go to the gym, start a diet, drink less, be nicer, be more patient, be a better parent, save more money. We will stop being as we were in the past and be better, smarter, fitter. I think even those who don't make resolutions have 'secret' resolutions. I'm not going to tell anyone, I'm just going to, well, be better! Right? 

I may be babbling, I have had the last 11 days off and I think I have lost the ability to think properly. Though I have finally figured out how to sleep!  10 is the number of days it took for my brain to figure out how to sleep in. Sad, 11 days off and two days of sleeping past 6am!

 Anyhow, wild night celebrating the new year..........       

Otto dons the thunder shirt to deal with New Year's firecrackers.
Sleeping off the big night.

And Finally, 2013 brought some sunshine!  See better already!
         May your 2013 remain sunny and may you be perfect ALL YEAR LONG (or at least a little less flawed!)! Happy New Year!