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  • 12/12/15--07:03: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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    Garrett's parents have been married for 50 years as of this Thursday, so they had their anniversary brunch today. Garrett did an excellent job planning everything and even sent a limo to pick them up!


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  • 12/14/15--14:28: BBQ Jackfruit
  • I bought a few cans of jackfruit a few months ago to make vegan bbq, and I've reviewed the recipe several times lately. Today I went to the kitchen to make it, and the site the recipe was on was down. I reviewed a few others and mentally combined a new one with what I remembered from the one I'd read.

    BBQ jackfruit

    It'll get a little more bbq sauce when it's used on a sandwich, but I wanted to try it as tacos first. I've got dozens of corn tortillas in the freezer to use up, and also was in the mood for avocado. These tacos have shredded cabbage, avocado slices, the jackfruit, and one's got salsa just to mix it up. This was good! And I finally realized you can wrap more around the filling if your second tortilla is offset a bit.

    BBQ jackfruit tacos

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  • 12/14/15--15:40: Upon reflection
  • The neighborhood's got me hooked! I wasn't even sure I'd go for a walk this morning after so much back pain from standing around yesterday, but as soon as 6am rolled around today, I was ready to get out. I waited a little while longer and got geared up. Not too far into the walk, a truck going my same direction slowed down. I was just saying to my friend Barbara who I drove to and from the anniversary party yesterday that it always makes me uneasy when cars approach or slow down. The subject came up because we were on a street in the neighborhood where I've been nervous about cars slowing down nearby, but that street has speed bumps so it was nothing.

    Thankfully the guy slowing down wasn't doing it to hurl insults or anything. He yelled something I didn't hear, so I pulled out an earbud and yelled, "Huh?" back. He said something along the lines of, "Your reflectors! That's good, I like those!" I get it. A very small percentage of people I see walking around wear bright colors and almost nobody wears reflectors. Mostly the safety gear I see on pedestrians seems to be on people who wear it for work and are walking to a bus stop. I won't leave home without it.

    The light was good, so I decided to reverse the course I've followed lately.


    I wanted to see what was up with the bridge that goes to the beach that's been closed for so long. I know it's still closed, but I figured I'd see what there was to see. And I wanted to climb up and out via the stairs because I couldn't remember exactly where they emerge. It's clear that they're not worried about maintaining the road while it's closed to cars, not that I blame them.


    The last time I was there, they had a big wooden wall set up, blocking the view of the bridge completely. Now it's got a locking gate.


    Once I got back up out of there, I left via a different road that I've probably only been on once or twice. Glad I went that way, it's got several really cool midcentury modern homes that were nice to ogle.

    Today"s awesome walk, 5.04 miles in 1:34, 10,832 steps, 638ft gain
    5.04 miles in 1:34, 10,832 steps, 638ft gain

    I'm going to be intentionally vague when describing the rest of my morning, because otherwise I'll give away a Christmas surprise. I've got an item on the way and some of the supplies for it will take a little longer, so I decided to stop by a store to see if I could get the supplies. I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I asked a guy where I could find it. He said they carried no such thing at all. I saw a variation on their site, but figured since he didn't think they had the item at all, there was no point in showing him they indeed did, since he still wouldn't know where to find it. I showed another guy what I was looking for on my phone and he said to check department X and possibly department Y. I'd already checked X, and it wasn't in Y.

    Shopping in real life is so frustrating. Even if a store has something you're looking for, you may not be able to find it even if it's there. But at least the sky was cool when I left.

    Close Encounters to the max.

    I also ran into our neighbor we've hung out with a couple of times this morning and finally said we should get lunch this week, and exchanged numbers. I could use some socializing, and she's fun.

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  • 12/15/15--14:55: Doing a lap
  • I've long been fascinated by the distances pedestrians are expected to walk in certain spots in Everett in order to not actually go very far. The worst example I can think of is the freeway interchange near Everett Mall. If you're on one side and need to be on the other, you're expected to walk down to the next major road and back up via the Interurban trail, which is three miles instead of about one. I've seen people walk on the side of the highway, but I wouldn't recommend it, especially due to the onramp you have to cross.

    In my neighborhood, it's not Forest Park that's blocking so much of the way, even though it's so big, but rather the huge greenbelt along Pigeon Creek that runs South of it. If you're on one side and want to be on the other, you might have to go as far as two miles. I've been thinking about that area recently, and decided to circumnavigate the park and greenbelt today for the first time in a while.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.9 miles in 1:28, 10,537 steps, 437ft gain
    4.9 miles in 1:28, 10,537 steps, 437ft gain

    This is the absolute shortest route following roads, and I highly doubt there's a way through in the woods anywhere since the creek would have to be crossed. Of course as soon as I typed that, I had to go have a look in some satellite views and now see some things worth investigating. Not that they'd be of any use to me, but I'm a completist that way. Just now I thought I spotted something on the map I'd never seen. Turns out it's a little path I've been on that leads to a gazebo in the middle of the woods. And it's private property belonging to the surrounding neighborhood.

    Anyway, I wasn't in much of a photo mood today. Probably because it's been a while since I looped all the way around the park, and I kept having to stop and consult my map. I was rather taken by the ridiculousness of these power lines, though.


    I hope I live long enough to see power lines go away.

    I saw yet another rabbit near a house in the neighborhood. The first time, I figured it lived in the woods and just happened to be near the house, but now I'm wondering if they have several rabbits that are free to roam around.


    I also saw the neighborhood cat we call Blanket on our street.


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  • 12/16/15--14:30: Schmupdate
  • Decided after a couple of good, long walks, today would be a good day for some yoga. Wednesdays are great for it anyway, because I like to prep the garbage/recycling/food and yard waste for Thursday's pickup, then do yoga. My neighbor wasn't able to meet for lunch, so I also went for a swim. I figured it'd be good to get one in this week since kids will have their winter break soon. Got back, had some more bbq jackfruit tacos, and am now relaxing for a bit before I do dishes. We're meeting Garrett's parents for dinner tomorrow since it's their actual anniversary, so he's going to make dinner tonight. I like to get all the dishes done and clean the kitchen a bit when he's going to cook. It's one thing if I leave a mess in there for myself, but I don't like to leave a mess for him.

    We've named the hummingbird who has decided our feeder is just for her, Henrietta. It's funny how she'll hide in the tree in the center of the yard, and come swooping in to chase any others who try to take a drink away. I hadn't seen her in a while, but she was poking around in the fallen branches after the last big storm. It had been a while since I'd washed and refilled her feeder, so when I spotted her that day I did it immediately. She's still around and she's still hogging it all.

    When I went to lunch with my coworker last week, her cat Mercury was behind me being a weirdo, but would stop if I turned around to look. So I pointed the camera backwards and got this.

    Janet and Jermaine stress me out when they sit on that railing. That's a second-floor deck, so it's a long way to fall.
    Janet and Jermaine, neighborhood gargoyles.

    As I mentioned recently, there are of course tons of new pictures of Sam and Steve. I can't possibly share them all here, but they're tagged (Sam, Steve), and I've chosen a few of my favorites.

    So happy together.

    I had a headache Saturday morning and Sam wouldn't stop chewing on the tree, so I got really mad and did something about it.
    Sam wouldn"t quit chewing on the tree.

    Daddy Longlegs

    Can we go with you?

    Ennui in the dining room.
    Ennui in the dining room #cats #catsofinstagram

    Extreme close-up, whoa!

    Staircase of judgment
    Staircase of judgment


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    The subject of Steve and Sam's ages came up in the comments of the last post, so of course I ended up at flickr looking at the picture I took of him when we met him at the shelter, plus the ones from the adoption site. Here's the face I fell in love with online.


    Two more shots from the shelter site:

    And finally, a pic I took when we met him. What a little heartbreaker.


    His name was Tucker and he was surrendered to PAWS at age 2. PAWS neutered him, which means whoever had him had a young, rambunctious version of him. He was a little bitey and scrappy but with some patience, he became a lovey-dovey sweetheart.

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  • 12/18/15--04:24: SchadenFriday

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  • 12/18/15--05:05: Ever the optimist
  • Silly me. It had been a few days since I remembered much rain, maybe a quick hike up the center path at Japanese Gulch would be nice?

    It was actually the muddiest I've ever seen.


    So I turned around, walked up out and past my car, and kept going to the beach. It was nice.


    I had a couple of cool animal encounters. As I was heading down the access road that leads to the beach, an otter started to cross it up ahead of me. She was coming from a big walled-in area that's got a giant pile of rubble in it, and when she saw me, she jumped and ran back in there. I looked in there and spotted a little cave in the rubble and figured that's where she hid out. Unfortunately she was too fast and I couldn't get a picture.

    I came back up to the car via the small gulch trail that connects the waterfront to the main road above, and when I turned a corner on the path, a huge bird sitting on the ground a few feet away jumped up and flew away. At first I thought shewas an owl, but I managed to get a photo and am pretty sure she's an osprey.


    It occurs to me looking at this picture that I could bypass the muddy trail on the right by following the little path by the tracks.


    I've never walked up there because the tracks have signs saying that the trains carry extra-wide loads, but the only time I've ever seen a train there was in the afternoon. Something to consider.

    Today"s awesome walk, 2.96 miles in 58 minutes, 6,357 steps, 228ft gain
    2.96 miles in 58 minutes, 6,357 steps, 228ft gain

    It's funny how I was thinking it hadn't rained super hard in a few days, because it started to as soon as I got in the car to go home.

    I saw City of Mukilteo Proposal of Land Use Action signs at the parking area and the bottom of the lower trail, but didn't want to try to read everything there. Thankfully you can look everything up online and it looks like there are big plans for the gulch! I'm sure all of this will take years if it happens, but one of the pictures is of a very well-graveled center trail, and that excites me.

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  • 12/19/15--08:03: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 12/20/15--12:33: Art updates
  • "Road Trip" by Sam Taylor (2000) is a wonderful addition to our little art collection.
    "Road Trip" (2000) by Sam Taylor

    I got this for a very nice price from Sam Taylor's gallery's recent fire sale. I knew about it because my friend Erika is his daughter and she promoted it for him on Facebook, and they were nice enough to meet me with it the night after the sale when I was in the neighborhood anyway for my niece's birthday/going away party. She's heading to Spokane next month for nursing school. More by Sam at Working Man's Art.

    Orange bathroom update featuring "No School Today" print from Unusual Cards, available wherever fine things are sold.
    "No School Today" print by Francesca Berrini

    I've been seeing items by Unusual Cards in cool shops for years, and was recently e-introduced to the mind behind it all, Francesca, by a mutual friend. There's so much great stuff on her site, it was really hard to choose. I went with this one because there was a perfect spot for it in the orange bathroom.

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  • 12/21/15--11:50: Right now
  • Blasted through a big project all morning after a night of pretty terrible sleep. Haven't walked or done yoga and may just skip it so I can do some cooking and dishes, and have a nap. After this webinar. Which hasn't started.

    The call hasn"t even started yet

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  • 12/22/15--11:52: Taking back the 'hood
  • I didn't want to commit to a full five-mile trip to Howarth Park and back this morning, so I headed North and back. I used to go that way a lot, but it's been a while for sure.

    It was nice to see these views again.


    And the Six Feet Under tree.


    Saw some fog near the park on the way back that wasn't there on the way out.


    There's definitely still a backlog of cleanup to do around the park. This blocked path in particular is a bummer because it forces you to walk on one of two roads, neither of which has any space on the side. And that path is annoying to begin with, because when you get to the top, there's a huge patch of grass between the end of the path and the path it connects to. If the grass is long at all, your feet get completely soaked.


    The sky was really nice when I got back to my street.


    Today's route. Quick and nice. Funny how I consider an hour's walk "quick."

    Today"s awesome walk, 3.42 miles in 1:03, 7,348 steps, 401ft gain

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  • 12/23/15--16:23: A very detailed peek
  • Nothing super special about today's route.

    Today"s awesome walk, 5.03 miles in 1:26, 10,823 steps, 592ft gain
    5.03 miles in 1:26, 10,823 steps, 592ft gain

    I saw a bunny!


    And then got to have a really thorough look at a house I see all the time.


    This house was for sale a while back, and last time I walked by, only the lower portion of the yellow sign was there, so I figured it hadn't sold and was about to go back on the market. As you can see from the sign now, the house is for sale, but with a catch. You can buy it for a pretty reasonable amount, but you have to move it!

    Turns out someone bought the property in June for $1,090,000. It's a pretty cool house and it sits on four lots, but I guess whoever paid for it would rather build something new. I hope it gets moved instead of recycled or torn down. Though I can't imagine anyone paying $175,000 for the privilege of recycling it.

    I definitely suggest having a look at the listing. It's really cool.

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    This was back when we had a living room and a den. The living room was in the front and had a fireplace, and that brown sectional couch we loved so much. Its normal configuration went all the way across that wall, and we just moved one section out to make room for the tree.


    Through a door on the opposite wall was the den, where the TV was. That stayed the same over the years, but the living room changed a lot. The seating eventually went away because my mom wanted a desk. I had to get a desk in there, too, once teachers decided all papers had to be typed up. The stereo the size of two coffins stacked went away and was replaced with a tall stereo cabinet in the spot where the tree is here. That eventually went away, too, when we got a cool podium with a gigantic dictionary on it. My least favorite change was when my dad took out the amazing brick planter that you'd see first thing when you walked in.

    I kinda wish we would have gotten a sectional for our current house, but sofas and love seats that recline, along with recliners, work so much better in the age of laptops. It's interesting to think about how much of an impact it has. It was the need to have a place to sit at the computer that changed our living room into an office back home. And now my biggest furniture challenge is trying to find or design a perfect side table that's big enough for plates and beverages, with a safe spot for a laptop, that also somehow keeps cats off it completely.

    Computers and cats. They rule everything around me.

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  • 12/25/15--06:00: SchadenFriday

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  • 12/25/15--08:44: Xmas on fleek
  • Xmas on fleek
    BRB doin North Pole stuff

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  • 12/25/15--18:48: Merry Christmas!
  • Christmas2015

    + my favorite outtake

    My favorite outtake this year

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  • 12/26/15--06:30: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 12/27/15--10:51: Finally, I can share
  • Downstairs in our lounge, I've got a wall full of Zima memorabilia, and Garrett's got one for Rainier Beer. I've been collecting Zima stuff for a long time, whereas Garrett's collection started more recently with items from his grandmother's collection. A few months ago, I decided to add to his collection for him for Christmas, and set up a "rainier" sign daily search email on eBay alongside my "zima" one.

    New Rainier Signs for the lounge

    He already had the two in the upper left, the other four are the ones I picked up. He hung them today and added them to his remote control.

    Our little lounge is coming along nicely! Garrett got me awesome gifts as well. Two things I've wanted for years but kept putting off buying for myself. A culinary torch, and a Roomba! I've named her Rhonda.

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