Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This and That...

The good news? Everything about life is different from the last time I posted. The bad news? EVERYTHING about life is different from the last time I posted.

The short version: we took a voluntary severance package from Chris' employer, put our house on the market, I resigned from my position, we moved back to Oregon, got the house under contract, found jobs in Oregon, and discovered that our family will be expanding this spring.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to go contemplate my discovery that morning sickness is not constrained to mornings in any way. I will be easing back into regular postings once I have my feet under me again.

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."
G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Week, Another Project

The paint on the house started looking pretty shabby last winter, so we have been planning for a redo since early spring. We didn't go for a drastic color change, but chose a grey-beige tone that would compliment the masonry and roof better than the original yellow-beige. 

After power-washing and prepping the previous weekend (which included me ending up with a lovely burn on my arm from the motor), Chris and his parents undertook painting the exterior last week. I couldn't get out of work for the painting, and stuck to crucial items like picking up beer and takeout for the hardworking crew...

Lesson One: Make sure you find out which sections of equipment will be hot before use

Lesson Two: Use these videos for tips and instructions

Lesson Three: Paint rollers can double as weapons in case of emergency

Lesson Four: Painting is hard work for dogs

All in all the change is pretty subtle - just a fresh, clean look and updated fixtures. Most of the neighbors don't realize that we did actually choose a different color, they just mention that they now have painting on their honey-do list thanks to us.

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
James Dent

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fits and Starts

It was a quiet (semi)long weekend for us. But with the weather cooperating occasionally, we managed to get a bike ride in before the rain started.

Boise River

Backwards day?
"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."
John Lubbock

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stitched Together with Good Intentions

With so many changes happening at the (new) office plus the training, mentoring, and extended coaching sessions that I have been asked to handle, I've not only completely lost track of what day it is, but I also have no idea where I've been or what I've done outside of work... Overall it's been a fantastic transition and the new team is a much better fit, but below is a recent conversation that pretty accurately depicts my ability to function outside of work. Or lack thereof.

Chris: "Which element do you think I work with on a daily basis?"
Me: "Play dough."
Chris: "I'm serious."
Me: "Mmm hmm?"
Chris: *sigh*

I probably shouldn't wonder why he doesn't talk about work very often.

Obsession of the Week: North America
One thing I DO remember about the past week is watching the premiere of the North America series on the Discovery Channel. I'm a sucker for high-def nature documentaries, but apparently crying twice within the first 15 minutes of a nature show will result in forfeiture of the remote control. Supposedly it was for my own good...

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Days

It was 78 and sunny this weekend, woohoo!! With all of the nice weather lately, we've been spending more time in the foothills and discovered the downside of it. Zoƫ turned up with a tick (blech!) which resulted in a panicked search of YouTube for tick removal videos. Once the household was cleared, it was bath time for puppies!

The pups generally refuse to shake off while they are in the shower, preferring to get dog-water all over the walls and carpet. In an effort to avoid this, I wrap them in a towel and hustle them out to the patio to shimmy and shake to their heart's content. Little did I know, the rug in front of the patio door was lying in wait to ambush me - leaving me flat on my back. Apparently I don't bounce as well as I used to...

Did someone say hike?!

Bargain Buy of the Week: Amazon Local

I am SO excited about this deal from Amazon Local! They are offering a free voucher that gives you access to up to 20 Kindle titles for $1 each!! Granted, they aren't any titles that were on my reading list, but nearly free e-books are always fun!

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Bright Side

What happens when you let me pick a trail? You end up 3/4 of the way up the tallest part of the foothills in a 6.6 mile loop, 4 miles of it being uphill.

Climb all the hills!!

A well deserved rest.

Some days I think my life is rough... and then I go on the internet and realize that life isn't meant to be taken so seriously.

No lie, we have nesting Canadian geese. They are terrifying.

This makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time.

Dove Beauty Sketches
It's shocking how harshly women judge themselves.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Home Sweet Home

One of the things I associate with home is my mom's cooking, but she has a tendency to cook by instinct rather than recipe so making her dishes generally proves challenging. One meal that I've never been able to replicate (until now) is her macaroni and cheese. Of course, it will always taste better at her house, but when I'm craving some good old fashioned comfort food this does the trick!

Mom's Macaroni & Cheese
3 cups elbow macaroni
2.5 tablespoons butter
6 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1.25 cups nonfat milk
1.5 cups shredded cheddar
splash of heavy cream 
(cream isn't necessary if your milk isn't nonfat)
salt and pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, season with salt and pepper, add flour and stir until incorporated. Add the milk, whisking until thickened. Add shredded cheese and splash of cream, season with additional pepper if desired. Combine noodles and sauce, stir and heat for 1 - 2 mins. 

Bargain Buy of the Week:
Harry and David Candle in Oregold Peach
One of the best scented candles I've ever come across. It doesn't have the heavy, syrupy sweet scent that most "fruit" candles have. It's light and fresh - heaven in a jar. Freddie's had a sale last week, so this was acquired for $5!

"To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say."
Rene Descartes

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Not With A Drizzle, But With A Bang

Spring weather has finally arrived in the Boise area, putting us in the 70s for most of the next week! To celebrate the nice weather, we had a few friends over for a Korean-style BBQ and evening around the fire pit (which was our first time using it despite the fact that we've been here over a year!). One couple brought their 9 month old retriever mix and Jake was in play date heaven! Zoe couldn't have cared less - so long as no one touched her tennis balls.

Other than that, it was a low key week in our neck of the woods. We found a piece of art that will tie our bathroom redo together and I'm almost finished with the design board for it. More to come on that project soon! Oh, and I finally have an official start date for my upcoming transfer: 38 days and counting!

"It can be said of optimism that while sometimes mistaken, it is never sadly mistaken."
Robert Brault

Sunday, March 24, 2013

To Everything There Is A Season

Spring masquerading as winter is a reality that I ignore every year, yet it proved undeniable this week. The first day of spring dawned, tentatively clear and hinting at the promises it held, the second day of spring brought hail, the third day provided an inch of snow, and then I realized that the faint chuckle I had been hearing on the wind was, in fact, winter laughing at my naive optimism. Trying to keep two active dogs entertained indoors until the weather cooperates is also an exercise in futility since optimism regarding outdoor conditions is apparently not restricted to humans.

Snow? Wind? Hail? I fail to see a problem...

Despite the bipolar weather, we decided to take on a new trail this weekend that offers views normally reserved for mountain goats. All in all it was a nice hike; the sun offset the chill of the wind and the footing was solid aside from a few muddy spots.

Bargain Buy of the Week:
After spending an afternoon in a local furniture store discovering that it would cost $2000 - $3000 to get an actual bedroom set, I happened upon this craigslist gem for $100. Even though it necessitates an update of the nightstands and lamps, it still feels like we will be coming out ahead!

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."
Mark Twain

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Remember Me...?

I'll admit, I feel pretty sheepish about such a long absence... but the only way through is forward! I haven't been posting for a number of reasons, the main one being that the amount of chronic stress and frustration I've been dealing with at work really saps my inspiration and energy by the end of the day. The good news is that I've secured a transfer to a different branch in May, which will be a good move for both my sanity and career.

Not much is new since the last time I posted - life goes on as it always does, although we did take our planned vacation in February. Two days in San Diego to visit friends, eleven days in Maui, and three days in Oregon - it was amazing!

Six hours of this wasn't as bad as I expected


Ka'anapali Beach

Toes in the water...

I'ao Valley

I'ao Needle

These were everywhere in I'ao Valley

Halfway up Waihee Ridge Trail

View from Waihee Trail

Northwest Maui Coast

Northwest Maui

Pools of Ohe'o

Ohe'o Gulch

The trip was incredibly relaxing and the weather was lovely. I learned how to snorkel (loved it!) and managed to go sailing without getting seasick (win!). February is one of the prime months for migrating whales so we were able to see plenty of activity, including a cow and her calf swimming right under the catamaran we were on! The only downside to the trip was that our underwater camera broke a few days in, so no pictures of our snorkeling trips.

"No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness."