Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sipping wine and martinis while sitting in big, soft leather chairs next to a fireplace with a view of the lake and contemplating which appetizer sounds better: the jumbo prawns or the bacon-wrapped scallops.  There are definitely worse ways to spend an evening.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Have I mentioned that we're getting a new puppy?
Other than the obvious puppy breath and puppy bellies, is there anything better than puppy feet?

And what's great is I can post as many pictures as I want of this stuff cause it's my blog.  Besides, no one can still feel badly after seeing a picture of a puppy...especially when the little guys has coloring as pretty as this.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sometimes, all I want to do is nothing.
This is the problem with having a home based office - sometimes it's really hard to do nothing.  I feel guilty for ending my work day.  There is always more to do - there is always another email to answer.
Oh well.  Bring on the guilt.  This day is done.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ooooohhh...what a day.  
So, my world changed a little bit today - like, forever.  
Those who know me, know I have a "thing" for dogs.  By a "thing", I mean most days, I can't think of anything better than a dog.  Dogs are gifts from God.  
I had a dog, Bo-shi.  I had a beautiful beast that (when I didn't want to beat him senseless) filled every second of every day with sunshine (and slobber) (and farts).  Two years ago, I had to put him down.  That big boy suffered through almost 15 relocations with me.  He lived with me in houses, apartments and hotels all over the country.  He loved me unendingly.  He never judged me (well, maybe sometimes, but I'm sure I deserved it)
When he left, my world ended a little bit.  I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to own another dog.  
That was 2 years ago.
About 5 months ago, I started entertaining the thought that maybe I've healed enough to bring another dog into the picture.  Add to this equation that Brian is a dog-lover from way back, and well, the thinking became searching...
Today, Brian and I drove to Portland to interview a breeder.  I was pretty proud of us - we weren't going with huge expectations.  We weren't going with the intention of bringing a dog home.  We wanted the experience to be perfect - no settling for less than the best.
Here's the thing, the experience was perfect. The people were perfect.  The dogs were perfect, and the puppies were like little snowflakes of happiness.
And we claimed a dog.
Our dog.  

               Oh my.

Meet Daijo:

He's only 2 weeks old, so he won't be coming home for a few weeks, but so far, we're both totally in love with this guy.  He's a standard labradoodle.   

Here's his mom, Lucy:

And his dad, Griz:

And some more gratuitous puppy shots:

My heart is so ready for this, and the thought that this dog is something that Brian and I are doing together makes it feel even more right.  

We'll be bringing him home on July 2nd...2 years to day from when I said goodbye to Bo-shi.  

Sometimes, the world is just perfect and ironic like that.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

It was an odd week.  My prodigal computer returned from Atlanta today, full of mischief and missing files. I can't wait to spend the weekend trying to figure out how to put it all back together again.  Grr...just the thought of playing catch-up is exhausting.

I needed to get out of the house tonight. Burgers and beer followed by pool - a very decent way to end the week.  I'm trying to use the excuse of a new camera to force myself to take pictures more often and not feel self-conscious pulling it out in public.  This may come as a shock, but this is a really difficult thing for me to overcome.  This blog has started that process, but even the blog itself is difficult.  I mean, is anyone actually reading this thing?  Does anyone even care?  It's such an interesting juxtaposition - on one hand, I'm totally self conscious and embarrassed that people might actually being reading and following this, but on the other hand, there's so much anonymity allowed in blogs that I'm afraid no one is really reading it.

Oh well.  The point I was trying to make is that I'm working to become more comfortable in my skin so that I don't feel so silly getting my camera out and having fun even when I'm in a bar full of strangers.  And so far, it's working.  I think.

I got some neat-o pictures at the pool hall and we had a blast.  We drank entirely too much beer and stayed entirely too late, but that's the beauty of being able to walk home :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The new camera has (so far) been so much easier for me to navigate and understand.  I know I'm barely touching on the the potential of this thing, but there's certainly time for that.  Just its ability to hit higher ISO's alone with such ridiculous clarity makes me totally want to geek out photography-style (and go to every club that has a live band playing tonight and take pictures).

Check out the view while I was driving back from a hotel visit yesterday.  Don't get mad, but I was in a tunnel and holding the camera with one hand just to see what it could do without me fiddling with it.

Anyhow, my evening was filled with a rather intense jenga-challenge.  (This is the kind of thing you do when you don't have prime time television...or any television, for that matter)

Here are some of the highlights:

I was experimenting with a few different lighting approaches.  Fun Stuff.

I'm making the executive decision that playing games like this in the evenings does not make us dorks.  Well, maybe the trash talking and the level of involvement we throw at it does a little bit, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Even if it was my pull that caused the whole thing to come crashing down.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spent part of the evening playing Cribbage.  A year ago, I didn't even know what Cribbage was.  Of course, a year ago, I didn't drink tea, either.

At least now, I can at least keep Brian on his toes with a little bit of a challenge.  I think I've only ever won once, but I get dang close.  I like that evenings can be spent this way - no matter how the day has gone.

And, just for giggles, here is a pretty little shot from the courtyard off of my patio this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You know the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  You know how little Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe sing that fabulous song about Golden Tickets?

That's exactly how I feel about the golden box that showed up today.

I've got a Golden Ticket....

Monday, May 17, 2010

You know what rocks?

Crumpler Camera Bags.

I got this one a while ago and I'm using it as my purse now.  I'm a big fan of saying "the best camera is the one you have with you" and now, the one I always have with me is the best one I own.

Hah.  I win.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday allowed us the opportunity to really explore the Ancient Lakes area.  This allowed Sunday to be a really lazy day.  It was a wildlife-rich couple of days.  There were a ton of birds (magpies, finches, red wing balckbirds, hawks) as well as lizards, marmots, rabbits, a rattlesnake and a gopher snake.  I certainly didn't expect all that given we were in the desert.

After we had set up camp on Saturday, in our wanderings, we actually found a campsite just a couple hundred yards away that we liked even more, so we grabbed the tent and shuffled it over.  This was our view in the morning:

Can I just say, that (although a tad heavy) Thermarest Camp Chairs are a gift from God?

The route out was a little different than the way in.  I think we both enjoyed the change of scenery.
Here are a few shots from the trail:


Saturday, May 15, 2010

We took off bright and early this morning for Central Washington.  At the last minute, we stumbled on a trail report for an area called Ancient Lakes, and we decided to make an over-nighter out of it.  The drive wasn't that bad - right around 3 hours.  This was primarily a desert hike, though there was plenty of water to be had.  The weather was unreal - in the upper 80's with full sunshine.

This was one of the many waterfalls we ran into.  Our trail took us up the side of this and over the top.  

And this is me drying my boots and socks after I slipped and completely submerged my feet in the very tiny (and completely passable) stream.  Yeah.  I'm coordinated like that.

Thank goodness for all the water.  It got pretty hot and we needed to be able to cool down.

Our first campsite choice.  You can see our tent in the lower right corner. :)

And sunset.  

How do I argue with that?  


This is what I'm thankful for today.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I feel like most of my weekdays are now spent waiting for and planning for the weekends when I can get back outside.  I'm balancing the amount of time I spend doing emails and work-stuff with scouring through maps and trail reports trying to find out where the next adventure will take us.  I guess there are worse ways to spend time...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I had to make a trip to Fed Ex today.  I opted to use it as an opportunity to get out of the apartment and go for a walk to clear my head. The sun was out today and I can't even put into words how happy that makes me. The Fed Ex store is a little over a mile and a half from my apartment - so it wasn't like it was a huge walk or anything, but it was so refreshing just to be outside.  Here are a few shots I took along the way.

There should be some sort of mandate that forces all of us to walk away from our work and our computers for just a little bit in the middle of every day.  I can't help but wonder how much more productive we would be.  Isn't that was what lunch breaks were originally intended for?  But come on,  honestly, who really takes a lunch these days?  I know I certainly don't.  It does make me wonder what's so important that I can't, though.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

This is hands down the best water bottle I've ever had.

It folds down into itself and can be stored in my briefcase (along with everything else) or my purse or anywhere.

I've been able to drink 2.5 liters of water today while traveling without creating any additional waste because of it.

I win.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I have a patio.  It is south-facing.  It is (unfortunately for this experiment) also completely shaded by trees.  I'm clinging to the belief that god meant for us to be able to grow our own organic herbs.  On this patio.

Golly, I really hope they don't die.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We spent today hiking north of Seattle, near Marysville and Arlington.  This was an absolutely wonderful hike in the Boulder River area.  As opposed to the trail last weekend, this trail was much more involved.  It wasn't difficult, just more engaging.

I love this commitment we've made to really enjoy this area and spend our free time making the most out of where we live.  It makes me wonder if all the places I've lived have maybe been this fabulous just in their own ways and I'm the one that never made the effort to get out and experience them...

Not that I think at this point I'll leave the Seattle area, but I would certainly view a new city differently, that's for sure.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today, I am thankful that we reclaimed the apartment from the gear and dust that was trying to take over.  I find it interesting that I have turned into a person that needs to have a clean home. Apparently, everything has it's place and I need that order.  I'm blaming this on my mother.  I can remember be threatened as a child to have my things thrown away if they were left out in the common areas.

I get it now, mom.  Someday, my children will look at me with the same confusion and lack of understanding that I showed you. But, their shoes will stay in their rooms and God help them if they have the audacity to slam a door in my house...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We spent the day hiking in the mountains today to a place called Otter Falls.  It was a nice hike - the trail wasn't all that exciting, but it felt great to be out and the falls were beautiful.

Ready for some irony?  It rained the majority of the day (it will do that here, it is the Pacific Northwest, after all).  We were completely prepared for the rain - the forecast held no surprises.  Several times in the morning, Brian and I commented on how fabulous it is to have all the right gear and how that can really make the difference when you're spending time outdoors.  I even got to use my new camera-specific day pack today, that came complete with it's own raincover.  I'd love to be able to show you some great pictures of the hike that I took with my high tech digital slr and killer lens, but even though I had my precip rain jacket and precip rain pants and gortex boots and camalback hydration system and all the right base and mid layers, I forgot to bring an extra camera battery.  Whoops.

The blackberry pics will have to do.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My mom has been posting pictures of a supernatural dandelion that has taken over the beautiful pond-scape in their back yard.  For some reason, every time she posts a picture of it greedily steeling the limelight in their beautifully decorated yard, all I can think of is Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Here is my knee-high weed tribute to mom's dandelion.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ode to our New Sleep System

the box arrived in the mail stuffed with hopeful patterns 
and as we untied the bag of continuous filament polyester insulation
we smiled

the instructions failed to mention that this heaping mound of synthetic 
would grow
taking over the apartment
hovering with it's slippery blue bulk
daring us to tackle the simple instructions

double lapped fell seams, my ass.

but we did
and we won

sleeping bags be damned.