Thursday, October 23, 2014

lets talk about the fun

this summer i discovered something amazing. something life altering, possibly something so amazing to tilt the earth just a tiny bit off of its axis.  let me introduce you to the jalepeno cilantro margarita.  holy hell there is no other decadence that matches this amazingness. 
this summer, apparently this article came out stating that people who hate cilantro it turns out isn't actually their fault.  i can't even read past the headlines because if i were of some other era and someone said they did not like the cilantro, i would say off with their heads, they must be witches, treason, arson, necromancy and any other not right thing.  they must be one with the devil if they do not like cilantro.  i am pretty sure i wasn't ever even aware of cilantro until 2000 when i went to costa rica and we ate ceviche and homemade salsa daily and then when the dude walked past with the bunch of giant cilantro heaved over his shoulder at a restuarant in jaco and the amazing cilantro amazingness wafted over towards us...  not only did that trip save my life but it was the start of my love affaire with cilantro.  and not sure how it wasn't until 14 years later that i found these amazing margaritas!!  but thank the baby geebuz that i found a man who puts cilantro in EVERYTHING! 
what else?  i went on a boat cruise from kirkland into seattle.  we went through the ballard locks.  i have seen the locks but hadnt ever BEEN through them.  i think the bottom photo on THIS PAGE was even taken there a bazillion years ago when i was blonde.  anyway, once we were out onto the peuget sound it was beautiful and amazing.  i am reminded over and over how amazing and how lucky i am to live in the PacNW. 

and then...  eric bought a chain saw.  omg, he kept talking about it.  and granted, we could have used one for a very long time, seeing as back at our old house when we first bought it and we chopped down those horrible giant bushes, and ya know we tied the extension cords around them to guide them as they fell because we didn't have any rope and eric used a sawzall and wow a chain saw would have helped so much then... and then when we had the big giant trees at our house cut down but we had them leave a 7ft stump in anticipation of my college sculpture major friend who had to BUY A CHAIN SAW FOR A CLASS coming to make us a sculpture in the woods only for him to move to south korea and stuff....  anyway, eric finally got his chain saw and he made a chair.
i would like him to burrow a hole right down the middle of that mofo so that we can use it as a fancy toilet our on our property.  he is thinking about it.

he also went to town on the rest of the fallen trees and made all kinds of boards and beams and stuff.. i can only imagine what he might make.  he DID make a desk a few years back when he borrowed his dad's chain saw.  i LOVE the desk and only hope that the kids love it as much as i do and that it becomes a family heirloom someday.
omg, and THEN eric made the margaritas in the glassy babies and I PUT CILANTRO IN THEM.  duh!  amazingness happening!!  all the time in my very own home!!!!
so, i went into seattle one day.  i had a doctor appointment, because that is what i do, so i called up a guy i work with who works at a different company and met up with him for lunch.  he works in the smith tower so i got to see THIS:
 he took me up to the observation deck, and i saw THIS:
the observation deck has a railing i assume so the peeps dont jump, but i suggested that he go up there every day, position his phone in a new railing space every single day and take a photo.  i don't think he has done it yet.  i will have to remind him.  regardless, it was very cool and having lunch down there in pioneer square reminded me how cool seattle is and how much i miss it.  it also reminded me how much i love living on the east side, so it is all very confusing, too. 
but one thing to remember -cilantro is king!!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

summer fun!

so now that it is october, i can kind of put an update on the books about the summer.  yah, i've been doing that in these last few posts, but this one is just full of random fun with the kids.
it was hotter than hades this summer.  HOTTER.  it was glorious and i loved ever single second of it.
so one day i can't remember where eric happened to be, but i had the kids all day to myself so i decided to take them to WildWaves.  i've never been there, but we've driven by it a million times.  and after danelle had come to visit and said that they took their kids, i was like, oooh!  that could be fun!  so yes, hotter than hades, so we opted to NOT go on the water slides!  the lines for the slides were so long.  so so soooo long.  but the lines for the non-water rides were virtually non-existent!  as we got close, we talked about how we would go on every ride at least once.  if it was too scary and horrible, we did not need to go on it again.  but we needed to try otherwise we wouldn't know.  the first one was the Ring of Fire.  and the looks on the kids faces as we went up and over in that circle and upside down was priceless!  those kids had never known anything so exciting as going upside down like that.  i on the other hand was about to puke.  this was new for me.  i have always loooved rides.  but this first one made me wonder.  i have talked to other brain tumor and brain surgery folks and even tho my doctor said it was structurally ok for me to do these types of things, after the ring of fire, i wasn't quite sure.  next we went to the WildThing.  and you know what -the kids wanted to be in the front car.  so we waited and those kids went in the front.  and they loved it!  we went on all the rides!  next we went to the wooden rollercoaster - the TimberHawk.  this one was SO fun!  so we went on it two times in a row!  there were a few that i opted out of because i actually did start to get sick... so sick in fact that i had to have us all sit for a while, in the shade, have a snack and just relax.  i was somewhat concerned that i was going to totally puke, but i held it together.  the kids went on the WildThing again, and the one where they got drenched in the water.  They went on some funny mine cart ride and the big swinging boat.  then we got some slurpies and headed home, about 7 or so hours later. 
later in the summer, aly, yes the same aly who allowed me to go to the Super Bowl with her invited us to her family's summer place along the columbia river in entiat to learn how to water ski.  she is an great water skiier and i really didn't have any idea what that meant until i watched her do it!  she did some barefoot skiing and it was intense and scary to watch! 
but she is a pro, and her dad is awesome and if the kids were going to learn how to water ski, i couldn't have trusted anyone else more.  we didn't get out there until late on friday and we got to sleep outside on the deck.  the kids were scared at first but we stayed up late enough that when it came time to sleep they passed out!  in the morning we were ready to get out there.  aly's dad towed sirus around to the boom and got him started.
sirus held on and then he was up!  we was a little wobbly and let his legs fall out the back but he did great and had a ton of fun!
seamus, too, was awesome!  she was up and holding good form right from the start!  so good in fact that aly and her dad figured she was ready to be pulled behind the boat.  that was a bit trickier and seamus got frustrated and cried, but aly got in the freezing cold water, helped seamus steady herself enough to get started and then she stood and was pulled for a while!  it was such a fun weekend and i am so thankful for the invite!
fuzy has continued to get bigger and bigger and more lovey with seamus.  he loves her.  he loves both kids actually.  he will sleep in both of their rooms but he is more apt to let seamus pick him up and cuddle him.  we are thinking about getting him a kitten.  but i don't know if i can deal with more puke, pee and poo. 
eric and the kids grew these giant sun flowers which is impressive since we live in WESTERN WASHINGTON where there IS NO SUN

first day of school - 5th and 3rd grade.  smile nice for the camera!
day two of school and sirus pulled out the bright blue skinny jeans!
walking through the hood, we live in a love filled hood.

one day when it was hotter than hades we went to grass lawn park.  sirus did some big jumps!!
and lastly, back to school means back into the cesspool of germs which resulted in a bad cold or something.  sirus has had breathing problems in the past but usually we give him some home treatments and he bounces back.  but this time it was a few days and it wasn't getting any better.  so we took a trip to urgent care and got an xray.  they were so good with him and he was so good back.  his lungs were clear, thankfully, but after an extra strong dose of his breathing treatment he was on the road to recovery in a few days.
and it has been the same old same old for the rest of september and this first 1/2 of october.
now we just have fundraisers, halloween and the rest of the holidays to look forward to!


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

since i retired...

so seeing as i retired back in marchish, what better way to be retired than to do a bunch of things, ya know, like the hiking and the bare buns fun run, i also went did a few other races. 

like hood to coast!!  a bunch of my friends did it last year or the year before, not sure, but i wasn't able to commit since i was training and had other things going on and just couldn't.  but then kristine posted on the facebooks that her team was looking for some runners, so i said YES!!  so this was all fun and all except the whole part about i stopped training..  yikes.  i was still trying to run every once in a while, and what that actually meant was about once a week, maybe twice, and never more than 10 cumulative miles in a week.  so, i was a tit bit concerned how this whole 3 legs thing was going to work on such low volume.  but ya know what i decided i was going to be ok!  and why?  because back in april, thanks again to the facebooks, i joined a team for the Mt Si Relay. another race i had always wanted to do, but was never able to fit in.  for mt si, we each did two legs.  i was a pro.  i could handle hood to coast, no problem!


i met up with the rest of van 2 on friday morning and we headed down to our first hand off.  all the guys in the van were super cool and i really enjoyed them all.  most of them knew each other through work or many years of family vacations or whatever, but i only sorta knew one since he was kristine's husband.  i was runner #2 in our van, or #8 on the team.  i did legs 8, 20 and 32.  my first leg was listed as flat and easy.  that is bull shirt.  for being flat it sure had a ton of uphill.  it was hot but i was ok.  i was also encouraged because some dude on the side of the road told me i had text book running form.  i *think* that was a compliment?  i took it as one and went with it.  after our van finished our rotation, we boogied over to the next major transition, but not before stopping at the DQ for some frozen goodness, where we all turned in for an early sleep.  i curled up in the van and managed a few hours of sleep.  around midnight we got up and got ready for kelly to head out on his 2nd leg.  once he was off, we drove on up to the next hand off.  i was quite worried since my leg was listed as hard, almost 8 miles, all up hill, 1/2 on gravel road. and yeah, at 1am.  and THEN i re-read it and turns out it was not even 6 miles!!  this was like a gift from the heavens.  all of a sudden everything was going to be ok!! 

running in the dark was pretty fun.  the uphill wasn't that big of a deal, i think maybe since i couldn't see it, it didn't matter as much, i don't know.  the gravel road was dusty and with the headlamp on, the dust coming at me made me feel like i was in hyperdrive on the milenium falcon.  yep.  i also tucked my phone in my little pouch, with the speaker sticking out and played my music out loud.  i think that helped too.
there was a big traffic back up at the hand off, so dessie jumped out of the van as i was passing and ran to the hand off with me.  once we did the exchange, i headed back and got in the van.
there was a HUGE cluster when we got to the end of our rotation.  HUGE!  so huge that one of the best quotes of the entire weekend happened "wow, we have been sitting here for 3 Poison songs"  turned out we sat there for 22 poison songs!!  kudos to our amazing driver for staying on top of it.  when our last runner finished up, he back tracked the 1.5 miles to the van, we did a u turn and drove to the next major transition.  matt finally got the chance to sleep despite it being broad daylight, but he got in a few Zs!

 we each finished up our 3rd legs, mine was hotter than hades, i even threw up a little in my mouth after, and Mat brought it all in!  he got passed by the Nike1 team right at the finish, but he put in a super fast effort, the main collector of road kills for the team.  the whole weekend was a ton of fun.  i was happy to be part of the team, super grateful that they let me join them and super honored that they have invited me to be part of their ragnar team for next year!

AFTER hood to coast came Bike MS.  i did this for the first time last year, unless you call the MS 150 i did in high school.  but last year was so super fun that i HAD to do it again this year!  i didn't ride as many miles but i had fun, we raised a ton of money for MS and i got to spend some time with some of my favorite people.  what is crazy too is that i now have 7 people within my circle of friends who either had MS or have a direct relationship with someone with MS.  that is too many. riding in Bike MS is a small contribution, but one must hope that every little bit will help.


earlier in the summer when it was so nice out, i decided to go swimming in the lake.  aly had done a tri and was thinking about doing another one.  i was feeling like swimming and that is just crazy, but when the urge hits, i had to take it.  i was worried my wetsuit wouldn't fit, but thankfully i hadn't out grown it!  i swam once with janet, lauren and glen for just a tiny bit, and then twice with aly.  or maybe only once with aly, but i went to the lake with her twice.  and then once when eric and the kids were at the lake swimming themselves.  because i decided that this combined swimming effort of 7 minutes made me an awesome swimmer, i caved to peer pressure when aly suggested we do a tri.  i registered for a sprint and then i didn't ever get back in the lake.  hood to coast was my run training, bike ms was a bike training and i was going to rely on my wetsuit to get me through the swim.  the race turned out to be super fun.  the swim went well, the bike was not bad, but the run was terrible!  i walked the first 2 minutes and then every tiny bit that was even the slightest bit up hill.  regardless, i finished and i was 4th in my age group!  i decided i either need to just stop doing them or i need to do more.  

so next up was the Beat the Blerch 1/2 marathon.   !!!  i was so excited for this race!!  so excited!!
lookit!!  nancy and i got our photo with THE Matt Inman from The Oatmeal!!
 the race turned out to be terrible.  i was running how i felt and i felt pretty good for the first 4 miles and then i died.  omg, did i hit the wall?  did i not actually beat the blerch?   but what did work out in my favor was that i had switched to the 10k. 
 after i stood in line for like 2 hours to actually meet mathew inman for reals and he drew this totally fab cat drawling for fuzy and seamus mccat!!
last but not least, janet and i volunteered at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk.  i first heard about the walk in 2012 when i did the Swedish Hospital Summer Fun 5k Run/Walk
it was my 2nd 5k after surgery, but i was talking to a few of the volunteers about how i had surgery and they told me about the Brain Cancer Walk.  this year i decided to volunteer for it and janet came with me.  we were course monitors which meant we stood at a corner by the start/finish and cheers and held a sign and answered questions.  it was so wonderful to see so many people out there walking!  but man, it also brought me to tears.  survivors and patients wore a special green shirt.  it was inspiring to see them out there.  but then there were the people who were walking in memory of their loved ones.  oh those made me cry.  and then the one that really made me cry was the young girl who walked through the start/finish into her mom's arms.  they stood there hugging for a long time before her mom helped her into her wheel chair, her dad tucked a blanket all around her, and i could see her 1 year survivor pin on her shirt. 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

bare buns

this summer - wow. lets start with this:
 i have always wanted to so this race ever since i heard that it existed.  so there was this event i went to that involved wine and i drank some and there were also race flyers there and one was for this race so while i was still a little buzzed i went right home and registered.  yikes!

so i went to the race, and then I had to come home and take a nap!
but lots happened. 

Since there was limited parking, they asked that you meet at a P&R and take a shuttle. 
i didn't want to talk to anyone, but a guy sat next to me on the shuttle and kept trying to talk to me even though I kept looking away.
Once there I crawled into the fetal position and tried to figure out how I could get back to my car right away since they weren't doing return shuttles for another 3 hours!
There are rules (thank goodness) that if they see you with anything that might be used to take photos, they will confiscate it.  because of this, i left my phone in the car.  this made planning my escape plan extra tricky because i didn't know my way back to the P&R.  
Nudists use a lot of sun block and rub it everywhere without a care in the world
When I was in the fetal position trying to figure out how to leave, two guys walked by and one said "oh, I forgot my minotaur book"
There is nothing quite like seeing a woman rocking out naked while playing the baritone sax
Ok, yes there is- watching a naked man play the bass drum while he walks straight at you so all you see is drum, penis and legs
The band was pretty good and made me feel more at ease
One of the drummers in the band was wearing shorts 
I was one of only two women in the run who was wearing bottoms.
Some women ran without tops!
Running butts aren't a complete horror show
The run was really difficult- straight up hill for the first half, then straight downhill. 
The race starts with a loop through the main area before heading out on the trail.  As I came through the start/finish area the announcer said "and here comes our first pair of..." and i was afriad he was going to call out that i was wearing shorts.  he did not, he was commenting on my white sunglasses. 
I felt weird being handed water by a naked man
At the turn around was an old man sitting on a giant lawn mower wearing a shirt but nothing else
There are many, MANY varieties of penises.  I had no idea.
There was a naked man in a turban
The current fashion seems to be totally hairless
After the race I swam in the pool- naked!! And it was enjoyable!
Nudists seem to really like going down water slides
There are not any safety rules at the pool other than you must be naked
The ratio of men to women was like 272622838 to 1
Everyone seemed really nice and it seemed very safe.
There was a handful of kids there, but no teenagers
I met a man who has been going there since the 1960s.  He had to stop for a while because his wife was "too uptight" but then she died so now he can go again
He kept telling me I was going to get tan lines and then lifted up his belly roll and showed me how he had a tan line under it. 
he thought my name was Terry.  I did not correct him.
I won my age group and was 2nd woman overall
They took podium pictures.  I was hugging two naked women.
I took the first chance I could to get the hell out of there
But only after scoring two free entries into Nudestock which is the weekend of hood to coast. 
I will probably do it again next year.







Thursday, October 02, 2014

reeediculoso

this summer was nutty.  since i was taking it easy from the training and the exercising in general and i was busy gaining tons of weight, i took the opportunity to go on some hikes.  and of course i can't hike by myself, so eric and the kids came too.  other than hiking around out in ellensburg, or exploring the trails while eric is racing, we haven't done too much hiking since the big colchuck trip in 2010.
seamus is a crazy hiker, never stopping, never slowing down.  go go go.  sirus on the other hand tends to complain a lot.  he can totally do the hikes and funny how when things get fun he will run up the hill no problem, but he likes to complain.  but he does also appreciate the view.  like when we hiked rattlesnake ledge above - he was in awe of the view.  i think his exact words were "wow, this view is amazing!"  kind of funny.  we also made a bunch of trips up to Poo Poo point to watch the para gliders and made a few trips up west tiger summit.
while i was out of town one weekend, eric took the kids out to leavenworth and they did a pretty epic hike out towards the enchantments.  they started at the snow creek trail head, hiked past nada lake and to the water cannon.  the whole trip for them was about 15 miles with about 5000 ft of elevation.  they were moving for about 5 and 1/2 hrs and took a total of 7 or so hours.  crazy.  those kids are amazing!

so then of course, since the kids were all fit from their extreme hike up that part of the enchantments trail, a week or two later, we decided to hike again, this time starting at the stuart lake trail head.  this is the same route we took in 2010.  can i just say hiking that trail without a pack is SO MUCH EASIER!!  and the kids were amazing!!  granted for them, it was easier too, seeing as on this trip they were 8 & 10 compared to the 4 and 6 they were last time.  amazing what a few years can do!  it also helped that we had loren and amy and kathy and ryan and bob and marty with us.  sirus looooves to hike with amy, so he lead the whole way up so he could be up front with her. 

we had talked about doing the entire 18 mile traverse of the enchantments with loren and amy a few weeks later.  that was the original plan but we wound up having a conflict.  we wouldn't have taken the kids on that.  while i think seamus could probably have done it, i think they need a few more years.  i'm not totally sure i could have done it, but i hope to at some point!

super excited for more hiking next summer!


ages 10 & 8
same spot in 2010, ages 6  & 4


this was Sirus's idea

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Oh LAWD its a FARE!!

what's the plan?  we were going to spend the weekend at our new property outside of ellensburg over 4th of july weekend.  we invited christie and her bf and his son and my mom.  my mom hadn't ever been camping before, so she was pretty excited.  i was excited too!  eric, being the perfectionist that he is, made several trips out there before hand, continuing to improve the tent spot - flattening, removing rocks and tufts of grass and laying down gravel and sand.  he made it big enough for two tents and then made an additional area for the picnic table that he built!  i love the picnic table and when he said he wanted one for up there it never occurred to me in a million years that he would build it, but duh, of course he would!
And of course not only did he build it, but then he carried it around the whole place.  it eventually found its home in the "kitchen" area, and wow, it sure was a nice addition!!
since it was 4th of july weekend, we had grand plans of watching fireworks from so high up!  we stayed up way after 10pm to see them, anticipating greatness.  instead we saw tiny blerps of color..  that's ok.  now we know.  and now i will no longer think about how awesome it must be to be flying in a plane while fire works are going off.  because, its not that awesome.  it was fun to stay up, all cozied in our blankets though.
our gargoyle making sure that only authorized personnel are let onto the land!
it was quite warm, so plenty of time was spent lounging in the tent relaxing.  there is a nice breeze up there, so although it was hot, it wasn't unbearable, and the shade of the tent was relaxing.  that white bump in the distance is mt rainier.
Another view from the campsite.
rock formation that we are trying to figure out how it came about.  is it natural or man made?  
we are still trying to determine the actual boundaries of the property.  there are metal pins the size of thumb tacks out there that mark the location of the corners.  we have found one!  in the mean time, its been fun to explore and see how varied the terrain is.
just another view and stuff.
eric somehow spotted this tiny horny toad sitting on a rock!  can you find him?  i had never seen one before, but after this one, i saw another on our hike that afternoon.
we found this.  is it deer?  cow?  elk?  i dont know.  but we are always finding some sort of remains out there.  crazy and cool!  we heard the wolves howling during the night, too, which is cool and scary at the same time!
 by the 2nd night, sirus was going to rest his eyes just for a little bit.  he crawled into the tent.  i convinced him to brush his teeth and put on his jammies, just in case.  and good thing too because he was PASSED OUT for the night after that.  it was a fabulous weekend!

fast forward one month - eric was supposed to be at a mountain bike race this weekend, so i was thinking of taking the kids to camp on saturday night.  we've been having a heat wave and eric said it would be too hot and he didn't think it would be safe for us there.  he is a wise man! sure enough on saturday around 5:30 pm lightning struck not far from where we would be camping and a fire started.  there have been huge fires in eastern washington this year, and this is just another one.  although almost 4 days after it has started it has burned over 2000 acres, destroyed several homes and out buildings, is only 10% contained and continues on.  we are lucky that we don't have a house up there yet but are worried for all of our Sun East neighbors and the rest of the region.  I pulled the below photo from the Yakima Herald Republic website.  its of a tanker dropping fire retardant.  the small grove of trees on the left side of the photo, about 1/2 way from the top is where we camp. 
as of Tuesday morning, it looks like the fire retardant has helped.  and they say the western flank, where we are, is mostly contained.  the fire keeps pushing north and north east.eric has a friend who is a fire fighter who not only worked countless hours on site at the Oslo Mud Slide, but now has worked more countless hours on the Carlton Complex Fires.  Nature is crazy and keeping our rescue workers busy this year.  hoping they and all the families are safe.
more information about the Snag Canyon Fire can be found HERE.