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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com
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  • 10/20/17--04:43: SchadenFriday








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  • 10/21/17--06:03: CATURDAY






















































  • BONUS Saturdogs










    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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    Lately I really like to find a cabin and walk or hike somewhere new when Garrett has other plans. He and Claire went to the Depeche Mode concert on Saturday in Seattle, and I decided to get a place to stay on Whidbey Island. From the ferry as I left Mukilteo, I got a nice view of the tank farm and Edgewater Beach.

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    The first stop was Greenbank Farm, where I met up with Dale. He wanted to show me the trail up the hill he likes there, which has a spot from which you can see the water on both sides of the island, which is pretty neat. That's up the hill from where I took this.

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    Whidbey Pies is down there, and we had a lovely lunch. I had the quiche of the day with a salad and one of the soups of the day, which was a delicious seafood chowder.

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    I decided you shouldn't have to go all the way to Italy for a shot like this.

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    We stopped by the cemetery where our friend Barbara's plot is. That's actually how the two of them got in touch again after many years being out of touch. He was looking around the cemetery and saw her headstone, and didn't know if she was alive or dead! He found her on Facebook and they reconnected.

    During this visit, we could see by the state of the dirt that her ashes have finally been interred, six months after she died. I confirmed it with her ex-husband's sister this morning.

    Dale took me to see his house and workshop, then I drove to Langley to pick up some food to take to the cabin. Once again, I ended up with some pizza. That's an easy option but I need to do something else next time. It's just not enjoyable to wake up and eat pizza for breakfast before a morning walk. The restaurant where I got it was absolutely stunning, with huge windows looking out onto the water. I also liked this building across the street and a few doors up the hill.

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    The cabin I rented was absolutely amazing. The most secluded one I've stayed in so far, and at the end of the road it was on so I didn't see any more cars or people until I left the next day. The gas fire was already going when I arrived, and the TV had AppleTV with Netflix and Hulu already set up. The original plan was to read my book when I got there, but I was too tired and watched the Netflix original movie What Happened to Monday instead. Great film.

    It's a shame I was at the cabin by myself and only for one night, as it was spacious, comfy, and had a really wonderful deck out front. And to think I paid less to stay there than I did for the tiny house I rented when I went to Mt. Baker last year.

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    The Putney Woods trail system gets good reviews online and wasn't far from the cabin, so I chose it even though Dale had never heard of it. I grabbed this photo of the map when I arrived not realizing I'd actually be able to use it to choose where to go because the trails were all marked, which I'm not used to.

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    Obviously the best trail name of the day.

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    Lovely woods.

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    Regular vs. wide-angle.

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    Excellent morning light.

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    A little Snapchat humor on the ferry home.

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    I've been pretty busy the last couple of days and never got around to posting about the walks from last Thursday and Friday, and didn't make any posts yesterday or the day before. And I'm not going to. I've decided to let go of the self-imposed duty to post here every single day. I managed to do it for five years, and only missed a few days here and there in years leading up to that. It's kind of a cool accomplishment but I've reached a point where it's a burden sometimes, and I refuse to be a burden to myself. I might also take a more visual approach for certain days where there are things to see, but little to say about them. We'll see.

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  • 10/25/17--09:47: "We'll take it."
  • I wish commercials were on IMDb. I hate when I can't place someone from a commercial. Thankfully while typing this I realized that the guy who finds the hidden man cave next to the kitchen in the VW commercial is either Wes Bentley or a dude who looks enough like him that the glow from the man cave in his eyes is reminding me of the light from the TV when Ricky Fitts shows the video of the most beautiful thing he ever saw, which was a plastic bag swirling around in the wind.

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    After a few unsuccessful attempts recently, I finally got a new time lapse of the cats napping. It's a heated floor, so you'd think they'd be there every day, but one of their favorite spots is on the dining room chairs, just out of frame.





    It's really dark during my walks lately, so not much to see during Tuesday's stroll around the marina, though I like this panorama.

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    It was pretty bright by the time I got to the car and the trees were gorgeous.

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    Yesterday I went to the pool really late so I could get my flu shot when the clinic opened up without having to kill any time between. Strangely enough, a man I know from the pool and his wife were there. I hadn't seen them at the pool, so if they were they, they killed a lot of time before their shot.

    Flu shot

    I hadn't notice them when I walked in, but as I filled in my form, I heard my name. His wife didn't recognize me, and while he was explaining that I'm at the pool while they are a lot, the receptionist asked, "Oh, you know them?" Then the wife said, "I didn't recognize him with his clothes on." Awkward!

    Today I got down to the tank farm for a walk and managed to get home while it was still dark. The hotel down there has some bright lights that face the beach, and this guy almost seemed to be showing off.



    Our bathroom remodel is going great so far, but it's still exhausting. The noise and the dust and the smells are one thing, but having to keep the cats sequestered while someone's in and out of the house all day is getting old. Steve in particular isn't handling it well. Or maybe it's just his daily freakouts that I don't normally see because he's upstairs and I'm down here. Oh well. One more day and we get a break.

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  • 10/27/17--06:00: SchadenFriday





























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  • 10/28/17--06:10: CATURDAY


























































  • BONUS Saturdogs













    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 10/30/17--16:19: The Three D's
  • Drag queens, Dinner, and Duvall!

    I can't remember exactly how the subject originally came up, but my friend Georgia had mentioned that she'd like to see the drag show at Flavour Bistro in Duvall. I wanted to go as well, not just because drag shows are fun, but also because the chef and owner of the restaurant used to own one of our old favorite restaurants in Seattle. We even had our wedding reception there. Flavour Bistro is relatively new, and Georgia had seen the show at Chef Sean's last restaurant in Fall City, which we'd never made it to. Our friend Christina was down for a drag show, so a couple of months ago, I made a reservation. It happens once a month and sells out every time, so planning ahead is required.



    Duvall's about half an hour from here, and the drive yesterday was just gorgeous. Fall colors everywhere, plus fog, and a killer sunset. I really should have made a dashcam video.

    Chef Sean kept mentioning that the show would be epic, and I was starting to wonder if he booked a famous queen or two. The hostess indicated soon that it was the opposite situation; two new queens would be performing in public for the first time! That worried me a bit because there was a new queen at the last place we regularly saw shows, and her first show was painfully awkward. A site to behold either way, I suppose.

    Dinner was great. Garrett and Georgia had the Chicken Nachatta, Chef Sean's signature dish that's always on the menu. Christina and I had the braised rabbit from the fresh sheet. It was all great.

    It's really hard to get photos of people dancing around in a dark room, and videos didn't seem right either because we were right by the speakers. I ended up getting a couple of Boomerangs that turned out fun.




    The night was also a fundraiser for Acres of Diamonds, a transitional housing organization for women escaping domestic violence and their children. One portion was a contest to come up with names for the two new queens, the winners determined by donations people would give for their favorites. My name won! That's how the queen wearing white in this video ended up being named my submission, Sheila Blige. My favorite part was hearing people explain the joke at other tables over and over. "She'll...oblige."

    I couldn't get a good picture, but I had to try, because the two "new queens" were actually Chef Sean and the owner of a local winery. Sean ended up with the 2nd place name, Kitty L'Tour.

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    He took his heels off and handed them to Garrett about ten seconds into the song, and his outfit came off as soon as he could get away to change clothes. The queens said they added a layer of hairspray on top of the makeup and it would take a while for that to come off.

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    We all danced to "Thriller" at the end of the show, then spilled out into the cool, foggy night.

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    It was a long, stressful drive home in that fog, and we did't even get back until about 11:00. It's made for a long day today, but we had a great time.


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  • 10/31/17--16:00: Are you ready for Halloween?


  • It's time to get spoopy. I put up a few decorations and will leave the grow lights on in my room so it glows purple. That's it. We had exactly one trick-or-treater in the first two years here and didn't even try last year, but we're hoping to at least get a visit from our next-door neighbors tonight. Our contractor said he'd like to work late today, maybe he'll cut tiles and make it sound like a scary evil dentist.

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  • 11/01/17--12:52: Happy to report
  • I'm happy to report that the area at Langus that was closed off for a while for salmon habitat construction is open again. I had an interesting time walking around there in the dark recently, because so much has changed in the lower-elevation part. I had to look at my path in MapMyRun to find my way out! Next time I go, I'll check the path that's sometimes amazing and sometimes overgrown.

    I'm happy to report that we got trick-or-treaters last night! A group of six came to the door, two adults and four kids. They all got candy, except the poor guy with the peanut allergy. Turns out it's pretty easy to have three kinds all with peanuts. We only ever had one trick-or-treater before, so that was cool.

    I'm happy to report that there's a hidden trail I haven't explored in Everett! Someone shared a photo from it with Live in Everett's hashtag on Instagram, and it ended up in the blog's monthly photo roundup post. After examining the map, I had an idea of where to get on it, but I wanted to hear from the person who posted it so I didn't waste any time lurking around. I sent her a message but she didn't seem to notice it, so I commented on the post itself, and she answered right away. I'm almost positive I've been right by the upper entrance. Will probably go explore on Saturday while Garrett has a meeting.

    And I'm happy to report that we had clouds today after quite a few clear days.


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  • 11/03/17--09:33: SchadenFriday













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  • 11/04/17--06:56: CATURDAY



































































  • BONUS Saturdogs






    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 11/05/17--15:03: Exploring
  • This is definitely not the time of year to explore a new spot during my normal walking hours, but I had an opportunity to go later yesterday while Garrett had a meeting.



    There's really not a lot of legal parking within several miles of where I wanted to start. I used to have a nice spot up at the top of Japanese Gulch near the Boeing recreation center and employee gym, but they added No Parking signs there. I even thought about just parking at Garrett's office, but there are plenty of signs saying not to. Thankfully there's always the Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary.

    20171104_104737

    You can park there for three hours, but of course you then have to walk past the area where a car jumped the curb a while back and mowed down a pedestrian. Kind of a bummer, but I didn't have enough time to walk up from the bottom of Japanese Gulch. At least, I thought I didn't. The counter was supposed to be installed in the bathroom we're remodeling at 2pm, and the company didn't call to reschedule it until 12:41. Jerks.

    The new path I explored was really neat. My research indicates that there was a plan to turn it into a more complex trail system a while back, but that never happened. As far as I can tell, it's mostly there for utility access, and they don't care if people walk there, but they also don't publicize the fact that it's there.

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    I actually noticed the trail head a couple of years ago, but at the time it had a bunch of construction signs. Once those disappeared, I figured it was just an access road leading to the back of a nearby manufacturer. Turns out it goes right past it and just keeps going. There may be even more to see that I didn't get to on the other side of the creek, but this bridge was covered in tons of leaves and I didn't feel like crossing it when I couldn't see it.

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    It was a gorgeous fall day but I had a hard time finding good photos. Sometimes in the forest there's just nothing to focus on until you get to a neat plant for a closer shot.

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    I wanted to follow the path all the way to where it emerges by the house our friend Barbara bought about six months before she died, but there was a huge fallen tree that I didn't feel like contending with. I could see the house at the end of the street so I knew I was quite close and didn't miss much. And of course when I turned around, the rest of the walk was uphill. A landscaping crew near the trail head found a very picturesque spot for their portapotty.

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    It was a neat trail, but I can't imagine I'll visit it often. Maybe next time I feel like doing a really epic walk starting at Japanese Gulch. Or when I decide to have another look at Narbeck. I parked there, but didn't actually enter.

    This morning was a nice long walk at Langus, though I turned back sooner than I planned to when I found a boat, knowing that whoever parked it was surely about to be hunting illegally up ahead. Not long after, I heard gunshots from that direction and was glad I left. Still got plenty of distance, though.

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    And here are some nice shots from my last visit in the dark to the tank farm.

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  • 11/06/17--18:53: Frosty
  • It took a while to get out of the neighborhood today because the car was iced over. After parking in the garage for almost three and a half years, I didn't even have an ice scraper. That I know of. Maybe there was one hiding under a seat. The vents in front and the defroster in back took care of the front and back windshields, and I drove to the swim center with the windows rolled partway down.

    I had to get gas before my meeting on campus Wednesday, so I did that after swimming and bought an ice scraper there. It was still quite frosty in the back yard when I went to retrieve the Podo.

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    That came out pretty good considering I couldn't see anything on the screen when I set it up.

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  • 11/07/17--11:07: My kind of morning
  • Melissa wanted to do a walk at the marina this week, and I'm usually there Tuesdays anyway, so today was perfect. It was quite dark at first, but then we were treated to a really nice sunrise.

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    Plus here's a cute bike rack.

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    Steve dreaming of the taste of birds or something.

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  • 11/10/17--06:00: SchadenFriday






















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  • 11/11/17--06:02: CATURDAY







































































  • BONUS Saturdogs











    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 11/12/17--14:37: That's more like it
  • In spite of all the gunshots from the hunters, it was a really nice morning over at Langus. Glad I stayed in bed almost an hour later than normal and got to enjoy more light.

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    Fall is a very lovely time to be down there.

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    The clouds were neat but it was hard to get good shots.

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    An eagle? Not sure.

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    Thirty or so seagulls were standing around looking cute, but of course when I tried to get their photo, they took off.

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    Pretty squares.

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  • 11/13/17--17:27: Good thinking
  • Lately we've gotten into a pretty good routine where we eat twice on weekends instead of three times. That helps make up for those large portions that come at brunch and any cocktails that may appear. We went to Harvey's on Saturday and were talking about what we should have for dinner while we ate brunch, and based on what was available at home, chose burgers with macaroni and cheese. I was a little bummed because we had buns, patties, and cheese, but no lettuce, tomato, or onion. And I definitely didn't want to go to the store. Any time I go any later than 8am, I always get quite annoyed by the crowds.

    But then I realized, hey, we're in a restaurant! They have those things! So I asked the bartender if it was possible to get lettuce, tomatoes, and onion to go, and she was more than happy to do that for us.

    Burger fixings to go

    So later on, I made burgers two ways. One had mayo, sri racha, and provolone, and the other had mustard, pickles, and extra sharp cheddar. If you're making two burgers and cutting them in half anyway, it's just silly not to make two kinds to enjoy.

    Dinner

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  • 11/14/17--14:21: A shot in the dark
  • Several, actually. This morning at the marina was one where the fall colors and the parking lot lights played together nicely. I also liked that the big train across the street was on the closer set of tracks.



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    A friend needed some help moving a couple of heavy items out in Snohomish, so I had lunch out there and did that. As is often the case, the drives out and back were quite lovely.




    Unfortunately, I have conference calls at 3:30 and 7:00. The first one's a weekly one and the other's so late to accommodate our counterparts in the Asia Pacific region. Thankfully this sort of thing is pretty rare.

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  • 11/15/17--05:36: Copper
  • Our seventh wedding anniversary was last week, and I jumped on the Copper Anniversary as an excuse to commission some art that I've wanted for a while now. Elizabeth Person is an amazing local artist who is a fellow contributor for Live in Everett, and I knew our house would look great drawn by her. Add a frame with a copper feature, and voila!

    Rendering of our house by Elizabeth Person

    Check out her Etsy for lots of great stuff.

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  • 11/17/17--04:42: SchadenFriday


















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  • 11/18/17--05:44: CATURDAY






















































  • BONUS Saturdogs












    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 11/18/17--07:23: Recharge
  • Japanese Gulch is a very special place for me, and I foolishly stayed away from it for most of the summer. Not actively avoiding it, but in pursuit of time lapses at other locations with better views of the sky. Now we've reached the time of year where it's really dark when I get there, but thankfully I have a route where the light from the Boeing plant bouncing off the clouds is plenty: Up the tracks, back and forth on the access road, back down via the center. And if I feel like it, there's plenty of light on the way out to bop over to one of the side trails.

    My timing yesterday couldn't have been better. The runway lights at Paine Field start at the end of the access road, and they came on just as I approached to head back down.





    I get very excited when that happens, but also try not to get my hopes up. Sometimes it's just a dinky little plane and those aren't exciting. Yesterday was very exciting. I recommend watching this with the sound on, even though it's quite loud.



    I'm so glad Snapchat changed a while back so you can do several 10-second snaps in a row and save them all as one long video for export. It used to limit you to one, and you'd have to take a moment to post it, so it was impossible to capture a whole event like that. The best you could hope for was perfect timing to catch the ten best seconds. A lot of times, people don't put the new feature to good use, so at first I was a bit mad about it. Especially because they took a long time to roll it out for Android users. But now I'm very grateful for it.

    And I'm also very glad my mp3 player shuffled to one of my all-time favorite songs that I hadn't thought about in ages, the Rhysmix remix of "Thou Shalt Always Kill."



    It's amazing to me when someone can take a track that isn't all that great and remix it into a complete banger. I'm surprised that wasn't already on YouTube and I had to convert the MP3 to video and upload it myself.

    In order to get another listen in at the end of the walk, I climbed up to the street instead of going straight to the parking area. That's always nice anyway because of the view of the gulch from the bridge.

    IMG_20171117_071100_657

    Our bathroom renovation isn't done yet, but we're getting close. Not sure if our backsplash tile is ready for pickup, but it was supposed to arrive yesterday. The washer and dryer are supposed to be delivered and installed tomorrow. Garrett wants to finish painting this morning. A knob here, a panel there. The contractor will be back Tuesday and hopefully we'll be done. It'd be so nice for it to be completely done when our guests come on Thanksgiving.

    Speaking of which, when did people become so bad at RSVPing? I had to ask one person who marked it as "maybe" to change it to a "yes" or "no" by Monday at the latest. Maybe works for some types of parties, but not Thanksgiving. A friend who had to cancel six days ago still hasn't said whether or not her mom is coming without her! Also had to ask my nieces if they were bringing their men. I can work on being more spontaneous and flexible, but not when china and place mats are involved.

    Anyway, the contractor is close enough to being done that he packed up most of his stuff, so now there's room in the garage for our cars again! Great news, since Olga (my car) was looking terrible after so long outside. Those lovely trees in front of our house shed tons of needles over the last couple of weeks, and my adventures always leave lots of mud near the back wheels, plus gravel and leaves inside. I got Olga detailed yesterday, and killed time during the appointment with lunch at a Mongolian grill and a stroll around Mukilteo, plus a trip to the store to cash in some winning lottery tickets. We have lots of food in the house, so while I was there I just picked up some garbage bags.

    It was nice to have Mongolian grill again, it'd been 10+ years since Chang's on Broadway closed.

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    I'm happy to report that the vertical garden is doing great, though I'm keeping my eye on the lower right corner and the next tray up as I've recently replanted those. I need to get a taller stepladder so I can take the vines higher, maybe even up into the skylights. We'd like to commission stained glass for those at some point, but I'm sure it'll be a while. A fence for our back yard is a bigger priority.



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  • 11/20/17--16:30: Sun(rise)day
  • I don't know what the deal was yesterday, but the park was overrun with hunters. This isn't an exaggeration. The parking area they use was full except for one spot, plus there were seven vehicles parked illegally by the bridge to the island. I was also pretty sure that the boats I saw when I started out were heading out toward where I recently found a boat just before I heard gunshots coming from where they shouldn't. Because of that, I didn't take the route all the way around the perimeter that I was thinking of doing, but I still got in a good walk. And there was an amazing sunrise on the way back.


    I took a lot of pictures, click through to flickr if you like.

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    At least there weren't any gunshots while I took this.



    Not sure why this boat was anchored in the middle of the river, but it was there the entire time I was. Thought it looked cute with my car.

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    We got four new chairs for the small table because the ones we had were beat up, scratched up, and ugly. The boys loved the boxes they came in.

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    It was a pretty good food day. I made lox and bagels for breakfast and beef fajita mac and cheese for dinner.

    Lox and bagels
    Beef fajita mac and cheese

    Our new washer and dryer came! The bathroom renovation is so close to being done.

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