October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

* Howe Pumpkin 2009 *

I thought this one turned out pretty good - recognizable objects (those two people are me and Dave), nothing propped up with toothpicks, and I did it in under an hour!






October 30, 2009

Curiosly Strong!

Today Bartells (the best drug store ever!) was having a sale on Altoids. I like to keep a box of mints at my desk so I decided to get some. They were out the kind I normally get (wintergreen or peppermint) so I though I'd try these instead:



Have you ever eaten a Spearmint altoid? I hadn't until today - boy are they zingy!

 I am still trying to figure out if I like them or not... maybe if I eat a few more it will help me make up my mind :)

October 29, 2009

Ward Halloween Party

Last year Dave and I didn't dress up for Halloween, so this year we decided to put a little more effort into our costumes.

I was a little skeptical about how mine would turn out, but in the end I was very pleased!!



The balloons in my hair made me a beacon for every kid at the party. I attracted the little witches, ninjas, and Harry Potters to me from all corners of the building, drawing them in like moths to a flame.

My balloons also led to a "Best Costume" award for the night!!

Dave was a major hit at the party as well. He spent the night making balloon swords, hats, flowers, fairy wands, and dogs (which also doubled as a cat, a deer, a giraffe, an elephant, and a tiger). Dave is treasure trove of random talents - he never ceases to amaze me!


**In case you can't tell what we are, Dave is a s'more and I am a fire

HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

October 27, 2009

First Flakes

There is snow falling in the mountains today. Ski season is just around the corner - I can feel it!


* Image from KIRO weather cam

About 3 inches have come down so far... which means next time we head up to mountains, we can break out the snow cone syrups! I LOVE snow cones - last winter I ate about a gazillion of them :)


* Image from cashandcarrywarehouse.com - best place in the world to buy syrups!

October 22, 2009

Pantyhose vs. Tights

As Dave and I were leaving Target last night, we overheard this...

Customer service lady to teenage boy, approx. 16 years of age:
"Well, pantyhose are like thin stretchy underwear made out of nylon, and tights are more like really, really long socks."



We have no idea what the context of this conversation was, but as soon as we were out of earshot, we both burst out laughing :)

*Image from buycostumes.com

October 21, 2009

A lesson in punctuality

This was almost me this morning:


My previous bus driver always ran ahead of schedule. I made sure I was always at my stop a few minutes early. Things worked well.

My current bus driver always runs behind schedule - always. I still try to be at my stop a couple minutes early, but sometimes it's easy to get a little lax... every minute spent at home is a minute less out in the cold and the wet.

I guess I had slowly been leaving later and later, but there weren't really any consequences until today. This morning a substitute was covering the route for my driver. This guy shows up on time - I did not leave my house on time.

There was a wonderful moment of panic when I turned out of our neighborhood to start walking up the road and saw that the bus had already passed my stop and was cruising towards me. If I miss my bus another one doesn't come along the plateau for 30 minutes, which would definitely make me late for work.

Thank you bus driver for seeing me frantically wave my arms at you. Thank you for pulling over in a spot you probably weren't supposed to stop to let me on.

Lesson learned!

October 19, 2009

"You sound chipper today"

I like to go out during my lunch breaks. Where I go normally depends on what the weather is like:

If it's nice, I read outside, walk up town to the shopping district, visit Pike Place Market, see if I can find any good DVDs to check out at the library, or just wander around to get some exercise.

If the weather is foul, I don't like to go far but still want a change of scenery, so on these days I venture across the street to one of the adjacent buildings. The 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza has good lighting, nice flower displays, an ATM for my bank and a mini post office. The Fourth and Madison Building lobby has little tables to eat lunch at, really comfy armchairs and a player piano.

Today was nice so I decided to walk around a little and do some shopping. I normally grab a bunch of stuff to take to the dressing room, including things I have no intention of buying, because I like to try stuff on. For fun, I tried on a shirt that was very un-mel-ish (meaning it had some ruffles). To my surprise, I actually kind of liked it, so I bought it! I figure I can always return it if I change my mind.

After that, I stopped at my new favorite place - a snack stand at the corner of 3rd and Pike. I bought the $1.50 popcorn/drink combo. Who doesn't love popcorn for lunch? When I paid the vendor he said, "You sound chipper today." And I was like, "I guess I am - it's just a good day." 

Why is it a good day? There are several reasons, but here are a few:
  1. It's not raining right now
  2. I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend
  3. My ironing pile relatively small
  4. My fridge and pantry are fully stocked
  5. Dave and I went to bed early last night
  6. I was productive at work this morning
  7. All the leaves changing color are beautiful
  8. I am healthy (knock on wood)
  9. I know what I am making for dinner tonight, tomorrow, and the next day
  10. I am loved and in love!
Have a great day everyone!!

A Good (yet unproductive) Weekend

Here's what I got done this weekend - I figured the cleaning and ironing could wait until Monday.

Puzzle

October 17, 2009

Sunrise before the downpour


It's pouring right now, but before the clouds (entering from the left) let loose they made a great sunrise. It's the perfect morning to stay home, eat pancakes, and watch this:


Hook 'em Horns!

October 13, 2009

It's wiiiindy today!!



Today I had plans to run errands during my lunch break. As soon as I stepped outside, I changed my mind and came right back in. Wow! It was raining, windy and all around not good weather for someone wearing a skirt and a jacket without a hood. Instead I found a comfortable chair in the lobby of my building and sat down to read - a good way to spend an hour :)

The National Weather Service has actually issued a "wind advisory" for our area that will remain in effect until this evening. This just means the trees will loose their leaves today (and cover our driveway in pine needles), a few branches may come down, and there is a slight chance that the power might go out.

I LOVE power outages! I missed more days of school growing up to power outages than to snow - it was great! Today however, I would like the power to remain ON, or our crock pot dinner could be very interesting...

October 12, 2009

Sardines

I take the bus to and from work each day, and for the most part, using public transportation has been a good exerperience. I can read, sleep, do KenKen puzzles (10x more fun than sudokus!), snack or pretty much whatever I want while commuting.

On the way home, however, the buses are usually more crowded, and I don't always get the best seat. Definitely not this bad--phew!--but often standing room only.


{Image from easytravelreport.com}

Last week I boarded at my stop to go home and started moving to the back in hopes of finding an empty seat. It was my lucky day - there was one spot left on a 4-seat bench! The bench went like this: backpack, man, empty spot, divider, woman, woman.

I asked the man, "Do you mind if I sit here?"

The man just looked at me. He didn't say yes, but he didn't say no either, so I took that as a green light to sit down. It was going to be pretty tight though, since the man had his backpack on the seat next to him. I'm small, but not 8 inches small, so I asked him if he would mind putting his bag on his lap so there would be more room.

To this he said, "No."

I was kind of stunned. Most people I've encountered on the bus are acutally very polite and are willing to give up their seat entirely, let alone move a bag.

I said, "Okay......" and just stood there for a few seconds. Then I decided I could either squish in next to him in the tiny seat, which would be uncomfortable - or stay standing, which would also be uncomfortable.

I choose to sit, and the man and I rode smashed together all the way until my stop. Very awkward, but I pretended like I didn't care. I took out my book, started reading and smiled all the way home :)

October 10, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

There is a farm about five minutes from our house that has a pumpkin patch we like to visit each October - much more fun than the bins in front of the grocery store!

Today was beautiful, but it had rained earlier in the week so some of the pumpkins had soft (rotten) spots from sitting on wet ground.

We were able to find this beauty though!

Hopefully this will be the only time in my life that I am taller and heftier than Dave

Happy October!!

October 7, 2009

Single Occupancy Kitchen

When Dave and I lived in Student Family Housing at BYU, I longed for the day when I would have a dishwasher, washer, and dryer. I was ready to give up scrub brushes and lugging loads of laundry (guys clothes weight a ton!) across the slushy/icy parking lots.

After finishing school and moving up to Washington, I started looking for aparments on the internet. While browsing through listings on Craigslist, I found an apartment that was in our price range and included all three "wish list" appliances. I was thrilled! We signed for the apartment that day and moved in a couple weeks later.

There are some things to note however... low rent + washer/dryer/dishwasher = sacrifice on some level. This time our sacrifice was space.

We have what I like to call a single occupancy kitchen. Get more than one person in there and you'll be ready to say, "this kitchen ain't big enough for the both of us - get out!" Our kitchen/laundry room has the smallest footprint of all the rooms in our house, yet it contains a dishwasher, fridge, sink, oven/stove, microwave, washer, and dryer!
 

 Fridge, dryer, and microwave


Washer, dishwasher, sink, & stove (which may have four burners, but unless you are using doll cookware, there is no way you are going to get more than two pots or pans on this range!!)

This room really rocks we have everything running at once! Luckily the the left side of the kitchen is on a different fuse than the right or we'd probably short everything at least once a day.

Our space-efficient model does have it's advantages though - not many people can advance their laundry, unload the dishwasher and cook dinner without taking a step! If cruise ships ever decide to add kitchens to their staterooms, I think they should come see me about a floorplan :)

October 5, 2009

Jalapeños & Conference Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend, but it didn't get off to the greatest start...

Our car had been making "interesting" sounds for awhile. By Friday night the sounds could no longer be called "interesting" - they were HORRIBLE. So at 8 am on Saturday, we went to the dealership to drop off our car for service. This was not part of my weekend plans.

When we got home I was not in the best of moods. I went around the house grumbling to myself and let Dave know 3 or 4 (or more) times that I hated car repairs and that my weekend was ruined.

At 9am, I got on the internet to pull up conference. In the first talk of the Saturday morning session, Elder Scott spoke about the influence of the Holy Ghost and I got a wake-up call:


The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present it's like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.

- Elder Richard G. Scott

I immediately let go of my jalapeño emotions and tried to spend the rest of my weekend as a grape. As a result, I enjoyed Conference very much.

After the Saturday afternoon session, we made a stop at Salmon Days before heading up to the cabin. We had a fun time looking at the different booths and noticing the number of people wearing North Face fleeces (myself included).



After the Sunday morning session we went on a drive with my family on a US Forest Service road up into the mountains. There weren't many colorful leaves to look at because most of the trees are evergreens, but it was still very pretty and the views were great.




(There's not much snow, but it is there!!)

The first dustings of snow were visiable on the tops of some of the peaks. As soon as I saw it, I had an overwhelming urge for winter to come so the ski season can start! In my mind the 40 degree temps this morning we're a good thing - let it snow, let it snow!!

October 2, 2009

Smile at the Rain

If today was a sign of things to come, then Seattle has officially begun it's rainy season. I guess it's time adjust my attitude towards precipitation or it's going to be a long winter. 

Smile at the Rain

Horrified

Yesterday I walked up town to go shopping during my lunch break. I started browsing through the racks when, to my HORROR, I realized that Christmas music was playing over the speakers.



First was a rendition of "Jingle Bells," which was followed by "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I ran out of the store when "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" started to play. Sheesh! It was only the first day of October. Halloween is a month away, and Thanksgiving is not for eight weeks! I really feel for the employees that have to listen to these these songs for the next 85 days...

October 1, 2009

Those who work the front desk shouldn't play with knives...

I bought my brother a knife off eBay for his birthday. Because the mail going to our house can be a bit slow (the landlord tends to let it accumulate before handing it off to us), I had the knife shipped to the office instead. The package arrived today, and I brought it with me back to my desk. Wanting to examine the quality of my purchase, I decided to flip the blade open real quick to check things out.

Knives and I don't really get along. The last knife I "played" with was similar to this one. It was my dad's knife and the release button was pretty hard to push. When I finally applied enough pressure the blade flipped open and sliced a hole in my mom's new tablecloth... oops.



This time I tried to be more careful. The knife opened fine - no blood, no gouging of office supplies. But then I ran into a problem. I couldn't get the knife to close. I tried pushing buttons, flipping the safety cover, jiggling things, pressing on it real hard - nothing worked.

This is when I realized that it probably wasn't a good idea to brandish a 9" knife in the reception area of a corporate office. Employees are walking by all the time, guests come to check in with me, and there is a security camera right above my desk. I began looking around for a place to hide something long and sharp incase I needed to stash the knife quickly.

Not knowing what to do, I sent Dave an email to tell him I had a PROBLEM. He called me back and in hushed tones tried to walk me through things over the phone:

"Ok. From what I've seen there are pretty much two different ways to close a knife." I'm listening.
"Is there a release on the end of the handle?" Nope.
"Is there something inside the cavity where the blade comes out?" Not that I can see.
"Are you sure? Sometimes there is a lever you push so the knife can collapse." I see something, but I already tried pushing on it and nothing happened.
"Try sliding it to the side." Oh! It worked! You're a genius!

Thank goodness for husbands. I am now a wiser woman, and I still have 10 fingers :)