Friday, April 26, 2013

Walking Down Memory Lane

We interrupt 2013 to take a stroll through the past. The idea for this blog started out small. I was doing some cleaning in my basement and found this!

And this!

This first is a check belonging to my grandfather!  My grandfather died in 1968!  And yet a check (or two) of his was just lying around my basement. The second picture is my grandmother and some man and looks quite scandalous! I know nothing more of the story.

My grandmother! I love those sunglasses and the bathing suits!
Anyhow, I was putting these treasures away in a trunk that I received from my great aunt. The trunk is full of family photos. I knew that, what I didn't know is that it is also has some old newspaper articles and lots of letters that my great grandfather wrote to research the family tree (it seems in the late 1800s/early 1900s this exploration wasn't as easy as an internet search - how is this possible?  Did they not have then??).

Anyhow, I digress. I found these!!!

86 years ago, on April 30, 1927, my great grandfather Earle Barnett Chinn died. 86 years ago today, he went into the hospital! I remember once asking my great aunt how her father died and she said that he went in for some type of operation (I think digestion related maybe?) and that he died when they operated on him. These articles say that he caught pneumonia when he went into the hospital for something else. And get this, I know Seattle was a much smaller city at the time, but his death made the front page of both the Seattle Daily Times and the Seattle Star. My grandfather moved to seattle in 1900  (yes that makes me 3rd generation!) and was part of the lumber industry. Unfortunately, not the part of the lumber industry that produced multi millionaires.

On other news of lost fortune opportunities, there was also a copy of the Chicago Times-Herald dated (get this!!) February 13, 1898! The headline is 'Possible Heirs to Hundred of Millions Found in Chicago'. An estate estimated at $100,000,000 - $200,000,000 (that's millions baby, and millions in 1898 money) was looking for heirs. It was the estate of Joseph Ball, cousin of George Washington (as in the president) and 'member of the family' of George's mom Mary Ball Washington. Not sure what 'member of the family' means, but who ever saved the article thought we were 'members of the family'. There is also included with that article a family tree starting with a John Chinn who came from England in 1662. It looks like one of his kids (Raleigh Chinn) married Esther Ball who happened to be the SISTER OF MARY BALL. HELLO!!!!! Where are my millions. This Chinn tree eventually produced my grandmother Helen Chinn (see naked lady in the drink glass above). This sounds like a lost opportunity if I have ever heard one.

And in case any of you have not been thrilled by my walk down Chinn family history lane, I will leave you with pictures of moi!

This was me on April 27, 1965. Yes, the day I was born (and yes, tomorrow is my birthday). And yes, you now know how old I am!  The card says 'girl carlson' and I weighed 7 pound 11 ounces. That is 7 pounds 11 ounces pure CUTE!

High school year book photo. Can I get a whoop whoop -  and a shout out for the cool argyle vest and lack of big poofy hair!

Another school photo. I don't know when this one was taken, maybe 5th or 6th grade? I love the shirt sweater combo. I was way stylie!  Notice how straight my hair was.

Anyhow, we might be exploring the trunk more fully later, but I'll leave you to ponder these gems for now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This is not a fascinating post as much as a chance to play with a new photo app I got. I don't necessarily like it very much. Also, a way to post beautiful pictures of flowers!  All spring it is all I can do not to take a picture of each and every flower I encounter. I am always amazing by the beauty and the array of color. I think each spring I am surprised!

Lilac on the left!

Tulip perfection (though the photo taking leaves something to be desired)

These are the same flowers a week apart!

Spurge/spurge and tulips!

Anyhow, like I said playing with a picture App. It didn't give me an option to move the pictures around in the frame, so frequently the best part of the picture was left out. But, it is be fun to play with....... I may get a comic book app, which would certainly make my blogs extra fun - tune it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Olympic Lifting

This was me today!
I think the thing I both love and hate the most about Crossfit is Olympic Lifting. A properly performed clean and jerk or snatch can be one of the most satisfying experiences. You start with over 100 lbs of weight on the ground and next thing you know, boom, it's over your head. It feels light and smooth and easy. You're a powerful, strong, super(wo)man. Everything in life suddenly feels possible and attainable. Unfortunately, this only happens with properly performed lift.

Both the snatch and the clean are complex movements. You lift the bar off the floor and at some point (and only at just the right point), you jump with an explosion of power and that power moves the bar from mid thigh to shoulders (clean) or hips to over head (snatch). There are many, many things to think about and many, many things that can go wrong. Frequent outbursts from my coach include:

'Lats!' (as in use yours)
'Elbows' (as in whip your elbows around to catch the bar) - often paired with 'too slow'
'You're pulling' (as in don't bend your elbows)
'Stay over the bar' (ie don't lean back, I like to lean back and let my back help me lift, this is BAD!)
'Finish' (as in finish the lift)
And most frequently, heard over and over 'JUMP!'

But, it's a catch 22. Even though there is so much to remember, you can't really think. It happens too fast. If you try to think your way through the lift, you'll fail! Too be truly successful, this has to become an engrained motion. You have to develop muscle memory so you don't think, your body just knows what to do.

I have been Olympic Lifting for 4 years now and after 4 years, well, I'm a lot stronger than I used to be. I jump MUCH better than I used to (it took me years to learn how to jump, I have no fast twitch muscles). I frequently manage not to bend my elbows too much (I have given myself tendonitis multiple times from too much elbow pulling).  But, even after 4 years, sometimes an olympic lifting session is nothing but complete, utter frustration.

The agony!
But other times..... Today, something magic happened. About 1.5 years ago I gave up snatching. I had given myself really bad tendonitis twice and just decided it wasn't for me. So, for the last 1.5 years, every other week when the gym snatched - I cleaned. Then a couple weeks ago I tweaked something in my elbow cleaning and decided I'd snatch for a few weeks. Well, today was amazing. I was snatching what had previously been my absolutely max weight for a 12 set of 1 rep workout and it was easy!  EASY EASY EASY. Did you hear that - EASY!!! Every single time the weight actually hit my hips as it is supposed to and flew up over my head. Now, I'm not say the weight was heavy in the grand scope of things, but for me it was heavy and it felt amazing.

The ecstasy!

So, a little (huge) pat on the back for me. Next week I'll be back in the trenches with cleans again. Cleans that have not been so pretty of late..........

I have never done this!

If you don't know this man, it will mean nothing to you, but it's funny!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Junk Drawer

Several weeks ago I promised you all a walk through my junk drawer. I know all of you have been losing sleep awaiting the reveal!  Well, wait no longer. Here is a smattering of what is contained in my junk drawer. (Mind you a very small smattering, I know you don't have all day.)

Save the Date!
For some reason I have held onto a save the date card for the wedding of my friends Holly and Seth!  Mind you this card was sent on New Years in, drum roll please, 2006!! Now, the card is cute and all, but really!

When people send me things with my name and address I find it very hard to throw them away, even though i don't actually use them. The movie gift cards I know I received prior to 2004!  I wonder if they are still any good.

Dear people that I know. Please please please do not give me joke gifts!  They are fun and cute when I get them, but I do not know how to get rid of them!

Love Love loved these sunglasses. They were my favorite pair forever. I think I got them for free when my brother used to do work for Smith. Unfortunately, one of the arms broke off and I they cannot be fixed - ever! However, it seems that I loved them so much that I have been waiting for them to magically regenerate in my junk drawer (the missing arm is there too!) Still waiting. Maybe 2013 is my lucky year.

 We've already had the rubber band conversation. And you never know when a film roll canister will come in handy - okay it hasn't yet and I haven't used film since 2000 or so, but you never know!

A couple years ago, when I got my super cool bamboo 'white' board (see It's Bamboo), it came with these white plastic jobbies. I couldn't figure out how to use them and managed to hang the board just fine without them. Still, they may  come in handy. Actually, there are two sets of these in the drawer. There was a smaller grey pair as well.

 Blackberry paraphernalia from the Blackberry that bit the dust when the bus ran over it, you remember that story, right? (see Blackberry). And yes that 10/10/09 and no, neither have been used since!

 Uhm, how many times have I used this and why on earth did hammer even decide to send them out.

The drawer was full of receipts. You're supposed to keep receipts, right? This one was very key to save.  It's for a card I purchased on 9/11/06 for god knows what??!!

And this, this is actually useful!  A sunglass screwdriver. I had no idea I owned one. This could come in handy if it wasn't hidden away from the world in the bottom of a junk drawer. Of course, where else would I keep it?

And we'll leave you with the cutest boy ever.  He was not in the junk drawer, though many of his things were - a dog toothbrush and peanut butter flavored tooth paste, brushes and combs from old dogs, a treat fanny pack I used when we went to training, a clicker I could never use because he was scared of it, and a doo hicky for his collar - it's flashing lights that you attach to the collar so when it's dark and you're walking your black dog you can find him - every time I am out in the dark I wish I had it!

So, that is the tour of my junk drawer. I know most of you sane people are saying throw the shit out already. I know. It did throw some things out, but it's hard when you're missing the gene.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

'Oh. Pan', another happy homemaker blog.

Jealous much?
After a couple years of playing around with my cast iron skillet, enjoying it but not being able to attain the ultimate surface, I have finally achieved perfection!

Perfection recipe:

Season: wipe it down with some sort of fat (I used beef tallow) and stick it in the oven at 350 or so for an hour.

Now, after each use: I wipe it down with the scrubber part of a sponge while it's still hot. Then, I wipe the excess water off with a paper towel and melt a light coating of grease on the top (I either wipe off this grease or leave it in).

And, the final trick that has proven to be the true path to perfection: I store it in the oven. I used to just leave it on the stove, but the dog liked to jump up on the stove and lick out the grease. (I know, gross, huh?) So to solve that, I just started putting it in the oven. What happens is that 100% of the time I forget it's there when I go to cook something. I turn on the oven and when I'm ready to put whatever in, I open up the oven and say 'oh. pan.'. So every time I cook something the pan get a little extra seasoning love.

At the moment the pan is 100% non stick perfection!  It doesn't matter what I cook or if something burns, I can just wipe it off. Just like Teflon with no chemicals.

And get this, between the liver pate and the cast iron skillet, my iron levels are semi normal for the first time in forever (even with no supplements)!  Win win win win win!

In completely unrelated news, it turned back into winter in Seattle. The cat and dog are NOT happy.

Otto and Daisy butt to butt.

AND, I got my highest score ever in WWF!!!

And yes, I played vomit!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Will This Ever End

Let me start this blog with a disclaimer.  I know that remodeling my kitchen is an amazing and exciting opportunity. I am very lucky and happy to have the means to not only remodel my kitchen, but do it exactly as I would like...

And with that, let the complaining begin!

So many details.
So many decisions.
So many trips to various places to look at and insane number of things.
So very very many words!

Yesterday, I went to look at sinks and faucets. After waiting 20 or so minutes for the sales associates to work with other indecisive folks, it was my turn. I think people who work in overly priced home showrooms are all of the same cloth. Maybe it's the clientele they work with (people who have the time and desire to pour over every detail). Anyhow, as the sink/faucet guy was talking to me, all I could think was 'HOW CAN THERE BE SO MANY WORDS TO SAY ABOUT A SINK'. And after 15 or 20 minutes when we still hadn't considered all the details we needed to consider and as we rehashed some details I thought we had finished with, all I could think was 'we haven't even started with faucets, I will be here for the rest of my life'. And secondly, 'isn't it time for a nap'?

It's a sink. Essentially it's a A rectangular piece of something (probably stainless steel) that will spend its life filled with dirty dishes. How many decisions can there be to make about a sink? And, even more importantly, if you have to think so hard about a sink, how much will you have think about the truly complicated things?

I may never actually have a new kitchen, instead just an insane number of squandered hours!

Is there any F&&^^%%#*ing difference?

Sigh, okay, I'm off to look at more sinks, faucets, refrigerators and dishwashers!