It’s Friday, Friday, Friday

Happy Friday lovelies!

Have you discovered that once someone forms an opinion of you or your behavior, that opinion is quite hard to break?

I gained a reputation early on in my nearly four-year tenure at my current company that I’m a healthy eater, which is certainly not a bad thing. But I do consume about three small cups (probably equivalent to a mug and a half) of coffee in the morning and have for quite a while. I remember going through a green tea phase shortly after starting here, which must be the reason that nearly every time a certain person catches me filling my coffee cup, I hear, “YOU’RE drinking coffee? That’s pretty unusual!”

I’m not kidding – nearly every time. Of course, I don’t really have the heart to correct him so I usually just laugh or say something like, “I know, right??” Which obviously doesn’t help at all. But I do still drink coffee every day and I heard somewhere that actions speak louder than words? Or something. :) Ah well, I’ll take the health nut pigeonholing!

Side note: the reason I got into the green tea phase was because my office has – I kid you not – at least 15 varieties of tea to choose from in the kitchen. Which begs the question, why am I even drinking coffee? I know, right??

#46: Pop popcorn on the stove

Can you believe I've never actually done this before? I didn't know I was such an anomaly until we had some friends over for a movie the other night and I asked them if they wanted some popcorn. Claire, a vegan, said she normally pops her own so she can omit the butter, and another friend said she was used to popping hers on the stove, too. Then last night, someone ELSE said, "Oh yeah, we always pop it on the stove - it's way cheaper." How have I never known this?

It's pretty easy, really. You all probably know how to do this already.

1. Coat a pot with some cooking oil and spread corn kernels on the bottom in a single layer. Good thing Claire was with me when we did this or I would've put FAR too many in there and made a huge mess. A certain Calvin and Hobbes strip comes to mind where they pour in a load of kernels and pop them without a lid, so the kitchen is buried in a few feet of popcorn. Anywho.

2. Cover said pot and wait for the popping! Once the popping starts, gently lift and shake the pot to get the kernels moving so they don't stay in one place and burn. Set the pot down for a few seconds, then shake again. Repeat until the popping subsides.

3. Pour and serve with desired accoutrements.

Still shocked at how easy this was.

Emily assisted. :) Claire played photog and coach.

And since we were talking about Calvin and Hobbes:
Courtesy of: GoComics



Sailing on the Sound

The (belated) birthday boy on our sailing excursion Saturday.
Mark and I were lucky enough to spend an hour and a half out on Elliot Bay on Saturday sailing on a 70' boat named Obsession through a Seattle business called Let's Go Sailing. Mark used to work at a sailing club during college so I thought this would be the perfect birthday gift for him, even if he didn't get to sail it himself. There were probably 30 other passengers on the boat but I didn't think it felt crowded, and 90 minutes was the perfect amount of time to be out on the water.

Happy birthday Mark!

The Olympics on one side.

The Cascades on the other.

Hello Seattle.

Mount Rainier behind the dinosaurs.

Sun dance

In light of the heat wave sweeping the central and eastern parts of the U.S. (which even made BBC News), it’s hard to complain too much about the cool, gray weather we’ve been having, though much has been made about our 78-minute summer.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t do a little dance about THIS:

Weather Seattle

 

The best part is we get to sail in Elliot Bay tomorrow, a little trip I got for Mark for his birthday back in June. This is the first sunny weekend we’ve been able to use it!

Our new wheels

Mark's new ride - I call it his Sounders bike!
I had to give up my beloved car a week ago because the three-year lease term was over, and I wasn't about to buy it after the hit it took to its back rack. It's strange going down to one car, even though we know multiple couples who get along fine with only one car (and not even a motorcycle). Mark has had the opportunity to ride his new bike frequently since we've both been busy separately lately with wedding itineraries and church things, but I won't be riding with him until:
  • he is completely comfortable on the bike. Adding another person on the back changes the bike's maneuverability and I want him to be competent before I get on.
  • we get me some gear, like a helmet and a jacket. Can't ride until we have those!
One last picture of my car, which served me well over three years.
The view from the University Bridge on my walk home from the Mazda
dealership after I'd turned in the keys. What a lovely morning for a walk!


Weekending

Mark, after shaving off his goatee but leaving the mustache
for a (brief) picture.
What a busy week! Our friends Brian and Maile got married on Friday and both of us were in the wedding, making for a great week of parties, errands and FOOD. Sadly, I have no pictures from the wedding since I was separated from my purse for the majority of the evening, so I'm counting on everyone else to post some. The professional shots will come soon enough though, photographed by the ever-talented Lucas Gray! He did our wedding too and I'm always impressed by his creativity and beautiful photographs.

Back to Brian and Maile, we like to say we set up this whole wedding extravaganza since it was on a hike last year with us that the first sparks began to fly between them. Yes, a hike. It's all very Northwest, isn't it? :) Congratulations to both of them!

Garden 2011

Have I mentioned I have a small garden again this year?

"Small" being the operative word.

Anaheim pepper #1
For whatever reason, the garden just did not take off this spring. I started later than I did last year plus the weather was awful during May and June, and I just can't get anything to grow. I pulled up the cucumbers because they had stalled, the first-round zucchinis didn't sprout at all, and only one seed of the second-round zucchinis sprouted but was killed shortly afterward by a slug. Last year I didn't have to do anything - I just planted and the plants shot up by themselves! The only veggie this year that appears to be thriving is my butternut squash, which is apparently impervious to nature's attempts to kill it. I also planted two anaheim pepper plants and a jalapeno pepper plant, all three of which have survived though they look sickly and droopy. Both anaheim plants are sporting little peppers though, so I can't complain. If anything, I'll have anaheims!

There and Back Again: Mount Pilchuck

Destination: the peak in the distance
As much as Mark and I say we love hiking, we don't actually make it to the mountains all that much. Part of this is due to the difficulty in finding a completely free Saturday where the weather is half-decent, not to mention mustering the motivation to drive nearly two hours so we can avoid the crowds at the nearer hikes off I-90. But trust me, long drive aside, the views from the hikes in the north Cascades off the Mountain Loop Highway are unparalleled.

The vertical paths cut straight up
the slope.
Mount Pilchuck is a very doable day hike (5.4 miles roundtrip) but it still has plenty of lingering snow even in July, so I'd recommend it in August or September. Apparently there is an actual trail with switchbacks most of the way up but as soon as we got out of the trees, there was no trail in sight. Only heaps of snow! We lost the trail for a bit (actually, we were misled off the trail by another group of hikers) and ended up on an outcropping of snow and rock that we had to carefully backtrack down once we figured out we weren't on the correct path. We did see later that if we would have kept going then we would have intersected with the main trail, but as that wouldn't be advice we would give anyone under ANY circumstances, we played it safe and backtracked. We didn't want to be the *stupid* hikers who had to be rescued out of the Cascades because we thought we'd come out on the trail any minute now! So since there were no switchbacks to follow, everyone forged a path vertically up the steep slope. We were told that this cut down the distance considerably (obviously the shortest path is the most direct one) but boy was my butt killing me by the end.

But oh the view. You could see to Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, Glacier Peak, and all the other craggy peaks of the north Cascades and on the other side all the way to the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. Incredible.

video

So how did we get safely down these steep slopes? Someone had the bright idea to create a slide (four, actually) so we just had to sit down and push off. We unfortunately didn't get any video of the slides (our phones were safely packed so they didn't get wet on the way down) but they were SO fun. Time-saving too! But snow slides are one of those ideas that are great in theory but less so in practice - we were soaked for the rest of the hike. But it was worth it!