Monday, October 11, 2010

Is It Really All That Hard?

First of all, let me say that I love this song. The Boys II Men version is beautiful, and I imagine I will always love it. (Here's a link to the original, which is also fantastic.) This song is like a time machine- all of a sudden it's 1992 and I'm standing in the NSHS gym (wearing something simultaneously fabulous and appalling) and I'm fighting back the tears as my classmates perform this song in a choral or talent show, willing the school year never to end and nothing ever to change... It felt so hard back then to imagine that there was life after high school- relationships were just so intense, and there's pressure remember every moment and write lasting and important messages in yearbooks... For years to come this song would make me cry every time I heard it.

Fast forward to 2010. This song came on while I was at work last week (thanks to Beth's sweet playlist). Much to my surprise, I didn't find myself reliving the emotional turmoil of sophomore year, and there were no automatic waterworks. For the first time ever I found myself thinking, "no, actually, it's not that hard." In fact, there are many things about yesterday (and all of the days before it) to which I am more than happy to say goodbye. I've done and said a million stupid things (which, thanks to the lack of social media for most of my life, are mostly forgotten, I hope) and have had plenty of bad experiences, just like everyone else. And I just stood there thinking about how much happier I am with my life now than I have ever been before, and how saying goodbye to all of the past crap that makes me feel bad and/or guilty sounds kind of awesome. Why hadn't this ever occurred to me before? Today is pretty spectacular, and tomorrow promises to be even better! Sure, there are loads of people and good times that I hope I will always remember, but my realisation is this: I might like to reminisce about the past, but I never want to live in it. So goodbye to yesterday, and hello to NOW. (There, now that wasn't all that hard!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Honeycrisp Apples- Who Knew?

Photo courtesy of New York Apple Association © New York Apple Association

I just had the most delicious apple I may have ever had in my entire life! It was crisp and tangy, but not too tart. It was just sweet enough, and it left me sad when the bowl was empty. Amazing! I know I live in Washington and that I should have apples like this all the time, but I never really paid attention before to when fruits are harvested, and it seems that it can make a HUGE difference in how an apple tastes! You all probably know more about these things than I do, but I grew up in Georgia, where seasonality wasn't a big deal- if it isn't in season there, you can get it from Florida or Chile, so there's never really a time when you can't get something- it's just more expensive out of season, I suppose. But that's not always the way in places that don't border the Sunshine State. While living in New Zealand I had a craving for blueberry pancakes one day, so we headed down to the Pak'N'Save, and lo and behold, not a single blueberry in sight! It was then that I really started to notice when certain items of produce could or could not be easily found. Lots of things grow in New Zealand, and sometimes they grow really big (see this celery photo from a previous post), but if something's not growing at the moment, it's gonna cost a lot to ship it, so we might as well just do without until the next growing season. What a concept. Now, I'm not going to go all locavore on you- while that idea definitely has some upsides, I know that certain things I want to eat (like rice, for example) are better grown elsewhere and shipped to my neck of the woods. (There's a lot of good information on the pros and cons in this book.) But I think there's value in understanding when things grow and are harvested for fresh, delicious meals, and when one is buying an apple that's been in storage for nine months and is going to taste like mothballs. That said, we have just become members of a local CSA, and will be enjoying big boxes of fresh, organic fruits and veggies on a bi-weekly basis. So far we have received one box, and already we've upped our fruit and veg consumption and are branching out and trying new things! I hope to tell you all about it in a future post. For now, if you live in Washington, go out and find yourself some super fresh honeycrisp or gala apples. You won't be sorry! =)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alive and Well in Seattle

Hello, friends! As you may have gathered by now, updating my blog has somehow fallen by the wayside lately. I have lofty goals of keeping up with everything in my life- friends, family, husband, cat, laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, writing, reading, crafting, sewing- not to mention getting all the way through "Battlestar Galactica" and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, but lately it seems like I just can't do it all. It wouldn't be quite so frustrating if I didn't feel like once there was a time when I did do it all. I used to have more energy or time, or maybe I was a better prioritizer or something, but I look back about ten years and have an image of myself getting things done and making it all happen while still spending the quality time I wanted with my friends and family. (It is entirely possible that this is a total lie and that I'm looking back with rose-coloured glasses at a time when I was simply overly busy, but I don't remember it that way at all. I remember being both social and productive.) Now I do spend quite a bit of quality time with my husband and cat, and I do work enough to pay the bills and keep Clevie in organic kitty treats, but I rarely see or even talk to my friends or family, and I seem to be behind in every other aspect of life. I have an enormous list of things to get done which I call my Panda List, because I keep it in a pink notebook that has pandas all over the cover. The tasks are mostly small- have the stereo repaired, make a dentist appointment, host a movie night, send a (late) wedding present, hang pictures in the frames that we bought nine months ago- that sort of thing. But I guess I'm just not trying hard enough, because while I have the occasional productive day when I check off five things in one fell swoop and I feel really good about it, most days I'm just adding more things to the list that I halfway already know I'll never get around to! Then there are the things that I want to do in the future (learn to play the piano better, start going to the gym, etc.) that don't even make the list- the list is for things to get done ASAP, and future endeavours will have to wait. But what if there is no future because there is no end to the list?! What is a girl to do? Unfortunately, this isn't going to be some kind of uplifting post where I tell you all about my amazing action plan to make the most out of life, mostly because although I love to be uplifting, I really don't have a plan at all! I'm just wondering what I'm missing. I see people out there with a bunch of kids or really time-consuming jobs, and I really wonder how they get everything done that they want to do! If you threw a couple of kids in the mix right now, I would absolutely tear out my hair (probably good, since I wouldn't ever have time to wash it), and would most certainly end up in some sort of mental facility. Perhaps I have too many interests? Perhaps I have a ridiculous sense of time and think things take a lot less time than they actually do? Perhaps I should get up earlier in the morning? Perhaps I need to seriously rethink my priorities? I really need to spend some time thinking about these things, because I have to say, it's tremendously unsatisfying to feel like I'm living a list, the end of which I'll never see. Every day I am disappointed at how little I have accomplished, and every day I am anxious about how I will ever "live" my life when I feel like living is only possible after all of the items on the to-do list are crossed off. Wow- this went from a "I'll just post a quick vacation picture and say 'hi' to everyone" post to something wayyy less fun! I didn't mean to be Debbie Downer tonight, but I guess I have some things on my mind. And don't get me wrong, all in all, I would say I have a fabulously simple life and I am very grateful for it. I just have a few things I need to get figured out. I'm going to go add "figure out life" to my list. ;) (Here's that vacation picture, anyway! It's from our March trip to San Francisco, where we stayed with our friends Debolina and Jason and had an AWESOME time.) Thank you for listening. The end.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I copied this idea from a blog I love to read called Chez Larsson. She apparently found it somewhere else (as described in this post). I used to loooove to make surveys in school (I know you Spartans totally remember), and this is kind of like taking one myself! So here is what today is like for me. =)


Outside my window... crows are crowing, little birdies are tweeting, and something is fascinating my adorable kitty. Cars are going by, wind is blowing, and a really annoying dog somewhere is the vicinity is making a bizarre noise (that he makes all the time, btw) that sounds like a hungry/injured sea lion.

I am thinking... that though I am very sleepy I can make it all the way to bedtime and still be my lovely and charming self tonight at dinner with Michele and Jason. Now I'm thinking about how unlikely that actually is. Now I'm thinking about what time would be best for a nap...

I am thankful for... Jess Wetter and her generosity and willingness to help me today with all of my errands (and for just making the world a little bit nicer place to be)! Also for my awesome friends in general. You guys are just really amazing and supportive and nice people. That's why I like you. =)

From the kitchen... cometh nothing at the moment. (Although once upon a time I did make lasagne!) Right now there are some decaying bananas in there just begging to be made into banana bread. I'd better get on that.

I am wearing... moderately clean jeans. I noticed after I put them on that there's a 3"x 3" sticky patch on the front of my left thigh from when I wore them to work the other day and had leaky raspberry jam in my apron pocket, but I had already gone to the effort of putting them on before I realised they were kinda gross, and it was 8 in the morning and I couldn't be bothered changing pants. (Hey, you asked!)

I am creating... more work for myself with every moment I'm alive! How is it that I always seem to have a list longer than my hair of all of the stuff I want and need to do?! I'm always coming up with ideas and plans and schemes and never actually have enough time to do most of them! So many lists... Does anyone else have this tendency? Any advice?

I am going... to the San Juan islands for the first time this weekend! Our good friends Aaron and Vanesha are coming to visit from the UK and we're going for a cycling trip with them and another couple they know in the area. Awesome! =)

I'm reading... a book! I know, I totally can't believe it, either! Right now it's Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. So far, so good. It's about spelling, among other things. I enjoy spelling. =)

I am hoping... that someday I will know the glorious feeling of having an empty email inbox once again. (That doesn't mean I don't want you to write to me. I just want to be able to write back to you without a 4-6 month delay. I'm pretty sure that's reasonable.)

I am hearing... a lovely mix of tunage being spun by my CD changer. So far I have heard Indigo Girls (from their new CD- a vast improvement on the previous one), They Might Be Giants, Cat Empire, The Decemberists, The Clash, Cloud Cult, and something I didn't recognise.

Around the house... chaos and disorder rule the day, but not for long! The time has come for pictures to be hung, shoes to be stashed, laundry to be folded, and kitty fur to be swept away by our new little vaccuum that looks like this.
One of my favorite things... is finding really cool and unique stuff at the thrift store. I freakin' love the thrift store! Just think of all of that stuff that people could have thrown in a landfill that is being found and used and loved by someone new- I just love it! =) Goodwill is reasonably good here, but nothing beats the thrift stores in the ATL! I love Last Chance Thrift Store on Half-Price Monday! =)

A few plans for the rest of the week... Clean house, go pick up car from shop, have nice dinner with friends, clean house, replace spark plug for scooter, work on bike, work, work, meeting at work, clean house...

A picture to share... Here is a picture of some leeks. Thanks for reading! =)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Death Valley, Washington

A.K.A. Seattle! We are in the middle of some kind of crazy heat wave out here! Today we broke all kind of records around the region - most notably the one where Seattle had never hit a temperature above 100, and today the weather forecasting station near our house recorded a temperature of 105! (That's 40.5 for all of you smarty centigraders out there!) No wonder walking to the post office (6 blocks away) today felt like walking to the sun! Good thing we took smoothies with us on the walk, or we might never have made it home! As you may know, most of us Seattlites don't have air conditioning, so we flock to movie theatres, libraries, and restaurants during these times. The restaurant where I work was insanely busy tonight- so much so that I didn't finish work until an hour after closing because there was so much left to clean up! As I sit writing this, it's 2 in the morning and it's 82 degrees out! What is going on?! The forecast for tomorrow is 99 and sunny, and it doesn't look like it's letting
up any time soon. So if you guys are looking for a tropical beach holiday, this may just be the week to visit us! ;) Here is a picture of Gordon and I being hot. (It's from 3 years ago in Florida. We were almost as hot then!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How is it suddenly July?!

What happened here? Have I been time-travelling again? How did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife! (How could I grow up in the 80's and not think of the Talking Heads at this point?) Six months have passed since last we spoke! Let me get you guys up to date on what we've been doing! In January we moved back to Ballard and found a lovely apartment walking distance from all of the good stuff! It was very cold, and I spent most of February in flannel pj's unpacking boxes and looking like this. It was all worth it, though- we're loving the new place and being so close to everything, though we have made a little too much use of the proximity to the phở restaurant... In March we went to Atlanta for our awesome USA wedding party. (Thanks again to everyone involved!) In April we were in Costa Rica for my cousin Kevin's wedding to the lovely Kathlen, who is from Costa Rica. It was an amazing trip!! I can't really remember much about May, but by the end of it I had a job! June was work, work, work, and somewhere in between all of those things there was a trip to Oregon, some hiking, some cupcake baking, and even a little bit of sailing! (Thanks, Jess and Wayne!) July brought an awesome visit from our UK friends Jo and Emma, and just after they left our furry new roomie moved in- Cleveland the cat! He's slowly getting used to us and seems to be settling in quite nicely. He very much enjoys chasing Gordon back and forth down the hallway, playing fetch with us, hiding underneath the laundry racks, and leaving tufts of black fur all over our beige carpet. (But what's a little bit of extra vaccuuming among friends?) Now we're all just trying to survive the heat! I can hardly believe it, but it was in the mid-90's today and tomorrow it may go above 100! Seeing as Sea-town is not big on air-con, we're all running around in our tiniest clothes and buying up all of the box fans we can find! Gordon and I were smart and got a fan a few months ago before the high temps hit, but it's still quite toasty in our top-floor flat, and Cleveland doesn't seem too enthused to be wearing a thick, fluffy fur coat... Today G and I decided that if you can't beat the heat at home, then it's a great time to go to the beach! (Cleves doesn't much care for the beach. He decided to stay home with his blue teddy bear.) So we rode our bikes down to Golden Gardens and soaked up the rays for an hour or two and ate Sno-Cones. It was awesomely hot outside! A collapse on the floor and cool shower later, I made a lovely curry from the book Jo got us as a wedding gift (Thank you, Jo!) and we hung out and watched a documentary about Mardi Gras beads and an episode of Heroes. The end. I'm going to stop writing now and get this thing published so I can go to bed. It's not so much that I'm out of things to tell you- it's more the fact that Gordon has already moved the fan into our bedroom... So I hope you're all staying cool where you are, and I'll be updating this again sooner than later! =)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Back in the 206

Ah, Seattle! The Emerald City, land of soy lattes and vegan donuts... With all of the moving around we've been doing, I hadn't even thought about Seattle and what it would be like to be back here, but so far I'm loving it! I know we haven't been gone that long- just under two years- but coming back to Ballard (my neighbourhood, slightly northwest of downtown) really feels like coming "home" in a way. Everything's pretty comfortable- I know where things are, I run into people I know in the streets, many of my closest friends are here in the neighbourhood- it's great! Add to that the fact that they're opening a Trader Joe's down the street, and I don't think it could get any better! (Unless, of course, all of our Atlanta peeps decided to move out here! Come on guys! We have really pretty mountains and stuff!) So right now we're just hanging out at Jess's house while we hunt for apartments. We have a few prospects, but nothing's final yet. Totally can't wait to have an address again so I can get mail, get my CD's out of storage, and set up our kitchen with all of the fabulous kitchen gadgets and cookware we have received as wedding/shower gifts from our awesome friends and family!

On another note, I have been tagged in this post by Kass, so here is the 4th photo from the 4th picture folder on my computer. I appears to be a family of really puffy sea lions. (I can't take any photo credit- I'm pretty sure it came from Cute Overload.) The explanation? There really isn't one except to admit that I have a sickness. I looove cute animals. I can't get enough of them. I stay up into the wee hours watching videos of guinea pigs and Roomba-riding kitties on YouTube, and sometimes I see adorable animal pictures online that are so cute I save them in a folder so I can look at them again later. And the 4th folder on my computer is where I keep them. =) I'm not tagging anyone else, because I don't really know other people with blogs besides Kass, but if you guys want to e-mail me the 4th pictures from your 4th photo folders I'd love to see them! =) Okay, peeps- gotta get back to work! Searching for apartments, jobs, furniture... Hope to talk to you soon!