Saturday, October 13, 2007
Frankly, I would be happy just sitting and reading all weekend. I'll be gleaning the garden, making rummage relish, something that requires zucchini and pepper jelly and keeping the dog amused. That seems to take more time than anything.
Happy sunny days all.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I love book reviews in magazines, online journals and on Amazon. The idea that you can search for one book and find several similar books or see what others that bought your selection also bought is sometimes intriguing. Sometimes you can find a gem nestled into some of the duds that others tend to read. In some cases, some of the connections between books seem so tenuous, but sometimes they work.
On my way to Patricia Wells' new book on vegetables, I came across this little beauty by Viana La Place called My Italian Garden. It arrived for me at the library (see, amazon, book reviews, magazine reviews = library holds) and I love it.
Today, I made a green tomato risotto that at first didn't seem like it would work, the timing seemed strange including a brief 16 minute stirring for the arborio rice. As a risotto maker, I realized that this step would take longer and just went with it. After about 30 minutes the rice finally went from crunchy to creamy and the risotto was done.
TH gave it a thumbs up with reservations on when the tomatoes get added and if you could add smoked fish to it. I think she's reliving a dish she had in Leith years ago.
Without further ado, I give you Green Tomato Risotto adapted from La Place's My Italian Garden, 2007.
Serves 4 healthy appetites
freshly grated parmesan (optional)
In a medium, heavy bottomed pan (I used a le creuset), heat the olive oil. Add garlic and saute over medium low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add parsley and cook for another 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt to taste and stir well. Cook until tomatoes start to break apart, about 10 minutes.
Add rice and stir for several minutes to coat the grains with the tomato, oil and parsley concoction. Begin adding broth/water by the ladleful, stirring until each ladleful has been absorbed. Add the next ladleful and continue add broth and stir until all the broth is used up. The risotto is done when the arborio rice goes opaque and the mixture become creamy, about 30 minutes.
At this point, remove from heat, add butter and let it rest for a few minutes.
Before serving, stir in almonds and basil. Serve risotto in shallow pasta bowls, add parmesan if you wish.
I had oven dried some sweet cherry tomatoes. We added these to the second servings of the risotto, it was a nice contrast with the tang of the green tomatoes.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Sorry I have been out of commission. I have lots of great ideas to discuss, but really have been without a spare few moments.
Right now the heavens have let loose. Taking what I said in my last post to heart, I embraced every last moment of dry weather and squeezed it dry yesterday and today. We took down what was left of our allotment yesterday. It was time that TH carved out of her very busy planned to the minute schedule because it had to be done. Sad as it was, we did it. We harvested another handful of carrots, some huge beets, lots of squash, pumpkins that are show quality and more green tomatoes. We are left with chopped up sunflowers, some beets that can be gleaned, some radicchio that sounded good at first, but wasn't the kind we're crazy about. I am hoping the food bank recipient that gets it can put it good use. I couldn't bear to chop down our amazing dahlias. We'll do it on Friday, rain or shine and take the huge fistfuls of tubers to our long season plot and replace dahlias that just didn't seem to want to show off their flossy flowers this year.
Our year round plot is amazing me with its raspberries. We picked and ate yesterday. I'm sure the rain right now is not helping matters, but in tomorrow's promised sun before more clouds, I'll run down and pick what is ripe. I see a small tart in my future. Ditto for our pear supply, why plant fruit trees if you are not going pick your crop? Every day on our walk, we scrump (Sorry Kerri), pears from our neighbors yard mostly to keep ourselves from injury from slipping on mushy fruit that falls to the ground. TH picked six today, some will go on our salad, some in a nice pear tart tatin for tomorrow.
Yesterday the rain held off enough for TH and I to attend the Arboretum Foundation bulb sale and make our contribution the cause. We only brought back three full bags of bulbs. This year I feel to scattered to make a good estimate at where we need bulbs. I'll augment the amazing collection of narcissus and species tulips I bought with alliums from my friends at Choice Bulb Farms at the Farmer's Market.
The rain held off long enough for an impatient basset hound to have a great walk and putter in the maples at the Arboretum to feel that his day was not all about retail for humans.
This morning the rain held off long enough for me to drive from Seattle to Bellingham at 4:30 for the half. It was a strange drive for me to do in the dark. There with very few people on the roads and I realized that until you go north of Marysville, you are infested with lights and signs and development that makes you were old enough to remember more than getting sick on Chuckanut Drive every summer you spend two weeks up in Birch Bay. Skagit Valley when your friend Paula's grandparents farmed and ran an u-pick for raspberries, you know, the Skagit Valley that was about farming and not about Paper Zone, Lowes and Premium Outlets. It was a drive where I listened to songs from my youth spun by a disc jockey with whom I went to high school.
The rain held off until J, F and I were safely enclosed in our booth at Anthony's over looking the last .2 miles of the marathon/half marathon route. We had a great race, with the nastiest hills and wind that I have ever seen, we made a amazing times. I send a grateful thanks to the nice woman I walked/ran with the last three miles for keeping my spirit in check and my motivation up to try and make my PR.
For this I am thankful.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
It is my bloggiversary (is this a word)?
How do I feel?
Not very excited.
Should I continue on? I wonder.
I get tons of feedback on flickr, but here, not so much. Are my pictures more interesting that my written word?
Again, I wonder.
It is a nice and rainy day here. It is the kind of rain that soaks you to the core. It is the kind of rain I fear for my half marathon next Sunday. Please do not let it rain like this, we have been blessed so far this year.
It is the kind of rain that makes you wish you had gotten up and planted those last fall perennials on Friday when it threatened rain, but you contentedly spent 15 minutes reading your book.
It is the kind of rain that cements the fact your tomatoes are done for the year and that you have some green tomato chutney making in your future.
It is the kind of rain that makes a basset hound do an about face without even visiting the front lawn.
I see many of these rainy days in our future.
I am not ready for Fall, but it is here and I suppose I'll make the best of it.
I hope you do as well.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I just popped over to Shauna's blog to read about their honeymoon travels in Italy. Seriously, some of the sweetest writing I have read in a while.
I get goosebumps just thinking eating in Italy by reading this.
nm who sees green tomato risotto in this weeks meal planning
For the first time in a while I read a bunch while on holiday and definitely since I have returned. I think the return reading is partly due to my inability to sleep more than six hours and my desire not to go to work at 5 am.
In no particular order I read:
- The 64 dollar tomato
- Water for elephants
- One good turn
- Saffron Kitchen
- Many silly murder mysteries that I am embarassed to discuss
- Never let me go
I am currently perusing two cookbooks of note:
- Pork and sons
- My Italian Garden
I am too lazy to post links. We have had a morning of retrieving Ernest from Yakima. All I have to show for it is a pound of coffee from Pioneer Roasters and another lug of tomatoes that will be canned tomorrow.
Monday, September 17, 2007
dunkin donuts iced coffee
loofah for throwing at abusers of the no cell phone use in the flagship lounge
book i hate for bookclub
sense of humour (may be lacking after my earlier email conversations with work)
be back in about ten days or earlier if i can find a computer.
however, if you are all crazed, you can follow me on flickr.
smooches and opa.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I can say it in my underwear, to anyone I want, anywhere I want, if you are talking on your freaking cell phone in front of my hotel room door and I'm tired.
I am not angry, just merely cranky.
For the record, I did not display my undergarments to anyone, especially some under aged boy from New Jersey who couldn't get cell phone reception in his room.
I have not scarred him for life.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I am fedexing my clothes to my mom for the wedding. If I could I would fedex myself.
TH is sick of this trip. I can't blame her. I was about three seconds from having to buy a full fare ticket from SKG to CDG, but found a cheaper (relatively if you think 400 bucks is cheap) ticket at the last minute.
I also realized my cheap credit card (the one that only charges 1% on foreign transactions) had expired. I did locate the new one and activated it.
Good news is that they released an award seat for me. I no longer have to fly through LHR on my way back. Gives me three more hours of sleep, which by then I will need.
Must find a new quart sized zip lock bag. Mine is toast.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Things here chez flora and flying are fine, considering I'm leaving in a few days and other than barely fitting into the dress I wore to my other cousin's wedding last year, I'm pretty much resigned to a short trip to Greece that is no longer about Greece - Athens, Crete, Santorini, but about seeing my family - lots of them, and they just keep on coming.
Should be a hoot.
It is interesting to try and pack for three entirely different trips in one trip. A half marathon requires running/walking stuff, a wedding an entirely different set of clothes including shoes that you really can't wear with anything else and then clothes that you hope you don't spill taramosalata on because they have to get you through London and Paris as well.
Now if I can only get American to release me a seat to Chicago that doesn't require a change in London...
Enough of that, tonight we had four men over for dinner - a spaniard, two turks and the brother of mine. First of all, I had to wrap my head around the fact they eat more than we do. Second, they don't do coffee. Third, they don't eat as much dessert as women. However, we had a great time and I had no idea that real men eat tomatoes, and how!
We have recovered from Berkeley. I must call and find out how day one of yard clean out went.
Nothing much more to report, over and out.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
A large cars worth of plant material to be shredded with more planned this week
Lunch at Cafe Fanny
Dinner at Chez Panisse
A laundry list of chores completed in the 94707
Catch up with a dear friend, oh how we have missed you
Eating raisin snails in the sun
Flights that took off and landed on time
Realizing that TH is a blessing, even if we have our moments
Deciding that its okay to recycle a dress for a wedding, especially nine time zones away
Picking and eating blood peaches and fresh lemons off the tree is not a bad way to spend the day
Being glad to be sleeping in your own bed for the next four nights
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
It is so quiet here. If the boy wasn't in such good hands, I would be sad. Since he's running around acting like a dog, chasing rabbits, hiding from cats and walking the big walk, I'm content.
It was strange to not have to walk him this morning pre-gym, lunch, pre-dinner, post dinner and one more time because we may have missed something.
In that time I have managed to can 8 pints of tomato sauce, 15 pts of salsa and make a dinner we were able to sit down and enjoy.
Now, I am beside myself with boredom.
Good thing there are bills to shred.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I am alive, kicking, just busy.
Survived DC, coming home to the same old and today was spent taking the ernmeister to
the 509 for his rest cure.
Stopped in Winegars for ice cream, yakima for tomatoes, Goldendale for some love and Wapato for gas.
We're tired and the house is so quiet.
I'll miss the boy, but he's having a blast.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I am, I could have forty people over right now and I wouldn't even notice they were here.
I have the beginnings of a cold. I am overwhelmed by the amount of information and processing that happened today at my meeting. I am still trying to play catch up for the day and hopefully it will happend before too long. I'm bushed.
On the flip side, I found a marimekko store in Silver Spring and a cakelove. Cakelove is great, but marimekko travels better.
Monday, August 27, 2007
It has been a week.
I am still decompressing from all sorts of work stuff, dealing with a dog in his terrible tweens, travel planning for not just me and having my parents come up for the weekend.
Its all under control now.
Now, if I could only find something to watch on tv while reviewing my documents for tomorrow's meetings.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
On my way out of the building before all hell breaks loose.
On my way in this is what I was greeted with:
Aren't they beautiful? The picture on my phone sucks, but they are magnificent and I'm touched.
When I went to pick up the dog from the groomers, this is what he looked like:
We then left him to go see the Be good tanyas, they are better in a smaller venue.
Now, I am at work, not really doing much of anything, but setting up directories for tomorrow's downloading of data to refine our models.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
The two houses on either side of us have huge green fig trees. I suppose at one time we may have had one. I just don't know. I must remember to ask Marge, our next door neighbor if they planted their tree or it was there when they built the house in the early 60s.
The trees are loaded this year and we are enjoying their fruits. On Friday I macerated the figs with some cognac and a bit of sugar and served them on top of a cake that Kimberly McK baked for Shauna's visit.
I am in love with this cake (i'm sorry I didn't take a picture of it, it was pretty). Today, we decided to try something new...
We're making fig bars.
Right now the figs are cooking away, tomorrow, in the heat (ugh), I'll make them base and then spread the lusty dark fig concoction of top and bake them. The following day we'll eat them plain or with a foil of greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
My friend B and I are fiends for fruit foraging and canning. She has devised a way to freeze figs, I am not sure that I want to go that far, but maybe this year we can work on making fig jam.
A fig is a terrible thing to waste...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I was a total slug all weekend. I may pay for it on Monday and hear about it for a while, but I just was tired.
I read four trashy books, did minimal decluttering, minimal gardening, minimal of anything and you know what, it felt okay.
This week should be a bear or something like it. Pray for no deep sea earthquakes, that is all I'm saying...
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Sometimes I think it is better to just not read the newspaper. Then I won't get as riled up and maybe everyone will be happier.
I have nothing of interest to report, those who have been talking/emailing me know that I am not having the best of weeks.
I don't think next week will be any great improvement, but we can look on the bright side.
There are lots of blueberries and blackberries in the freezer and in a few weeks I will be sitting drinking g&ts with lime/no lemon in with a wolfhound using my shoulder as a chin rest.
Before that, there are two half marathons, a work trip to DC along with a million other things to cross of my life list.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
This one is for Jen.
1. Best cupcake to make? (I need to bake tomorrow!)
Make the cake I mentioned yesterday. Glaze with a chocolate frosting and they'll never know there is anything healthy in it. Use the olive oil or canola oil instead of butter to speed things up.
2. What is in full bloom in your garden right now?
Crocosmia, anemones, lavenders and phlox. Lots of weeds too.
3. Best race day advice?
If you are not racing for time, then use the portapotties en route, if you are trying to make a personal best, you can always pee later. Oh, Glide is your friend everywhere and so is desitin (in those places that only you'll discover after not using it on a long walk/run). I am so not kidding. Book massage for following morning as well.
4. Book of the moment.
5. Next major travel destination?
Philadelphia, London, Greece and Paris in September. I am so not excited right this moment about this trip. Sad, I know.
Now, you can do this too, simply follow Jen's very good instructions:
Want to play now? Here are the rules if you do:
1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like [the food you hate most in all the world]. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your [blog] with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tomorrow I move offices. I am neutral about the whole thing. Its a lateral if now downward move, but it will bring our whole group together and that should make me feel the love. Right?
It also means that I am moving divisions, though technically I moved two years ago. It means that my mailbox moves and more importantly, I leave my coffee hour group.
They are not letting me leave.
So, in honor of Dennis, V and all of the fine folks that bring us climate variability and el nino predictions, I made a chocolate and zucchini cake from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook. I love this cookbook, I have made a few things out of it and some things over and over again.
This is another winner.
Behold, the cake.
The recipe can be found in the chocolate and zucchini archives, here.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Anyhow, it was so lovely for her to tell me yesterday that she had lost twenty pounds by quantum physics or what it that she redirected her hypothalamus?
I did not need to hear that....as I gain weight while prepping for half marathons and eating a balanced correct calories for my weight/metabolism diet.
Other than that,Dallas was very depressing. I am still processing what my aunt is going through. My dad is sad and that is hard to see. A major link to my father's history is now lost. My cousin is taking care of my aunt sixteen hours a day and I can't even imagine what her life is now like.
My friend B. promised me that if I'm ever incapacitated she'll make sure all my chin hairs are plucked and my bimonthly manicures will always happen.
She knows I'd the same the same for her.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Nothing is bending to my will, so I really have nothing to say, nothing positive.
I have had a long week of work, family and ernest.
I could use a break, so I'm flying to Dallas tomorrow for one!
Not. I'm flying to Dallas tomorrow to meet my parents and see my ailing aunt.
I can do without very ill aunts this year, thankyouverymuch.
I'll be back on Saturday with tales of yours truly navigating Texas. Wish me luck.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I don't even like spam.
I was going to wax poetically about the cutting up a 30 lb fresh halibut and eating lovely grown from the garden produce, but that is so just going to wait.
click on the next blog, someone may be trying to sell you those gel candles or tell you all about their really boring day.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
How are you doing?
I'm up really late. Why? Because I'm not going to work tomorrow and I'm not flying anywhere! I'm going to Vancouver for the VFMF and even though I'm not crazy about the line up, its a good weekend to find a tree and read a book.
So what if the US dollar is crap compared to the Canadian dollar?
I'm hoping to hit the Granville Market round noonish, take some pics, grab some lunch, check into hotel and then not participate in the Birkenstock 500, but still capture my place on the hill to listen to the opening night show.
Its cooler here. I'm picking raspberries like mad, the garden is definitely drooping, but hopefully we'll get all watered before we leave town.
Yes, dear ones, the Ernestmeister will be in lock down.
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
the swag bag and decent shirts
meeting becky and her friends from Dayton and finding out that they give good stuff at the end of the nike women's marathon (tiffany necklaces)
becky running to find out if one of the marathon runners was male or female, we, the other four had to know... she was female
the butts on the marathon runners - good incentive
the hills weren't that bad
someone saying "i smell bacon" around lake hills, and it did smell good
the great people and organizations that personed the water stations
the bagpipe player
the lake hills starbucks and their samples of white blueberry tea at the right time
walking past some of the childhood remembrances of bellevue --- my mom's hair salon, my pediatricians office, my dermatologists (oh the benzoyl peroxide of my youth), my now accountant office
walking with J and her being a good sport towards the end
having my mom and dad at the finish line
Finished faster than I had thought, in a little bit of pain (hamstrings) and feeling pretty good. Took a nice long nap, moved a stove and did some garden rearrangement and enjoyed a nice grilled halibut nicoise for dinner.
August is our slacker month. We're doing a 10K or 5K towards the end and then Philly in two months.
Time wasn't too bad, I'm working on shaving a minute off each mile by September, this will require a little bit of dedication on my part, but hey, its way flatter and way faster.
I can't believe how far we've come since January!
Friday, July 06, 2007
Well, you really can't.
Seriously, that sucks.
Update: I put in my American FF number, which must of opened up the seat map for me.
I was able to pick up some decent seats on the top deck. I have only had one other top deck experience that I can really remember and that was sweet.
Hmm. I may actually go on this trip.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I am sending off my passport today to get renewed. It expires in two weeks. I should have done it earlier, but between my own travel schedule and my parent's jaunt to the axis of evil, I just wasn't going to give it up.
Now I am.
I am freaking. To me a passport is freedom and a way out. It is a way to mark your citizenship and I am damn proud to have a blue one.
I booked a ticket to London for the beginning on August to see if that will help expedite it. If it doesn't show up in three weeks, I go off to the passport office and get one on the spot. I also will get two nice days in England to do as I please. If it shows up earlier, I can cancel my trip and just wait until September, when I am already scheduled to go.
Amazingly, I found availablity on BA for August.
The new passport pages are a snap. They even let you fill out a pdf on line and it prints everything out so that its legible. Probably speeds up most peoples' applications this way.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Today our security guard asked me if it was okay to board her 8 week old puppy
someone gave her as a present for three months, or until she moved into another
apartment that would take dogs.
A eight week old puppy shouldn’t be away from his mom and littermates, let alone sent to a kennel where it may or may not be socialized with other dogs or people.
I said give the puppy back.
I can’t believe that people do this.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Tonight, I sat at the dining room table and ate a dr. praeger's tex mex burger on a piece of whole wheat bread that I found lingering in the fridge while reading a cookbook and the instructions for our yoghurt maker that I am finally going to start using.
I used a placemat, cloth napkin, the table was cleaned off and there are lovely flowers on the table. This of course, all happened after I cooked pasta and veggies for Ernest who is still not eating his kibble.
I blew on my dog's pasta to make it cool faster.
See why I need a life?
Oh wait, the dog is making bell noises, its time to go on our 89th walk of the day!
TH is hopefully on her way home.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
TH is off to OKC, but I'm home and happy about it, so is the dog, but most of you know that already. Its on the wires and he's going to be on Larry King soon.
Anchorage was fun, the weather was great for the Mayor's Marathon and we finished. We have another half in two weeks and the next two track workouts and this weekend I will be working on speed.
I have to say, it was very lovely and strange to be in a city where I have happily transitted for many years, but never really stayed. Neat stuff there. I have to thank Miss B. for her excellent suggestions, Uncle Bob for his generous hospitality for Saturday night and the smartwool people for providing what I believe to be are the best socks for me. Not one blister in 13.1 plus miles (all that running back and forth).
Seafair should be interesting. It is really hilly, so that is what the guides say. I figured as long as J's dad meets us with our Sbux orders, we're dandy. I wonder if the blueberries will be ready by then?
I'm having a hard time adjusting to being at home, between being tired, my hormones, the heat and my lack of enthusiam for my current work tasks, it is going to be a long week.
Looks like J and I may be in Des Moines for the Des Moines marathon. It looks great and would give me the Central time zone without any ice storms. Its actually cheaper than Dallas because hotels are inexpensive and its nice and flat. The fact its six weeks after Philly and only four weeks before Seattle should give me some time to recover.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Yeah, another year goes by at the ESRI UC. I think this is my eighth official and my 10th overall. I am not wowed, as I commented on James Fee's blog.
Could it be the second year of cremora instead of half and half at the coffee breaks? I think so.
I spent the morning learning more about disaster mitigation and preparedness and the coffee at the OMNI hotel was far superior to anything at the SDCC.
Now, I am rewriting my presentation.
It should bore most to death as it is currently doing the same for me.
Tomorrow night, we're off home, drop off laptop to colleague on his way to Thailand for two weeks and then to Anchorage for the weekend.
Ernest is fine. I think. His fans are concerned.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
My upgrade to first class cleared at 72 hours, hers never did.
I gave her my first class seat and sat next to a lap child.
Before we boarded she said "I hate flying on the same flight with you but not seated next to you", I said that she could give 6B her seat and sit nextto me.
She said, not enough to sit in coach.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I haven't backed up my pictures off my hard drive in six months. I have uploaded a lot of them to flickr, but I haven't done a big back up.
So today, this is what I do while I wait for software to load to my work laptop.
Remember this tragedy?
I'm still verklempt thinking of all the cool pics I lost. Then again, I can always go back and visit the Salt Lake contingent and the Steens - all in five days.
I started training with chuckit for the Seattle Half Marathon. I am going to try and get excited, I think I might want to move to the run/walk group as my goal is shorten my time, not to finish. I know I can finish, I just want to shave 30 minutes off my time. However, I see my Saturdays being sucked up with four hour walks and runs. Oh well, better than a poke in the eye and since that market is open until 2, I know I'll be able to stop and pick up my flowers at some point in time.
Other than that. I'm getting ready to leave. Everything is planted, just need to pack for work trip followed by Anchorage for the half. Paranoid us (not just me) thinks we should pack for both trips and in case we're delayed, just keep our bag of ANC stuff (shoes, running gear, mucklucks) with us in case we can't get home.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I am so glad you have finally released a new album, but do you think in all your traipsing around the left coast, you could perhaps make an appearance in my area code. I am willing to travel one area code away, but do not have the strength to go further afield.
Yes, I promise not to sway and sing along to Willow. Okay, maybe not.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Originally uploaded by flora and flying
Not really, but I am tired and feeling a bit overwhelmed. C. pointed out today that ernest gets more traffic on his blog than I do. I am not offended in the least.
Check out my orange collection on my flickr For those who know me and TH, you can see who influences this part of our garden.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Imagine thinking you were going to Boise and to see that you are going to Paris instead. Ooh la la!
Check out Pat's pictures from the Inagural Flight from CDG-SEA!
I wish I could have been there.
I'm just waiting for Alaska to release me some award seats (yes, I am a cheap bastard).
I'm beat, there is no way to put it.
I was planning on working from home today, but that didn't happen and if I'm lucky and efficient, I can do it tomorrow.
I need some thinking time and it isn't happening at work.
TH is in California until tomorrow or Thursday or Friday. Who knows.
Next week is a bust with San Diego and Anchorage, I have four projects at 75% and I need to get them done and out the door.
I also need another two hours of daylight to garden, get the dog walked and me out in the vitamin D.
Hopefully, this weekend will do it for me.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Ernest has paint on his ears.
We are a family who did not really do DIY. My father is an excellent general contractor did an amazing job putting together all the contractors when they built their house. He knows who to get to do what job, but I never grew up doing much around the house. I gardened and did so with my father all the time.
TH grew up helping her father build bookshelves, painting and replacing windows she broke playing baseball.
I'm not going to say I love it, but I am glad I know how to do some of it now.
nm taking a break from satin, low voc blue bonnet love.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Maybe someone discussed with them with huge tax bite of capital gains if they plow that money right back into something (oh wait, there is that condo)...
Anyways, happy here. Our neighbor is not moving and peace has settled over the neighborhood.
Mony, your comments and suggestions are most helpful because we know we're facing something like that eventually.
Other than that, I have found a one level house that may work for my parents. Its reasonably (NOT) priced in the flossy neighborhood about five minutes from me (think large lots, million dollar views and four million dollar houses), five minutes from my work and five minutes from the store.
Me thinks it'll go over the asking price by 150K easy, so I hope it works out.
More later, I'm taking up valuable couch space and the dog needs it.
Monday, June 04, 2007
House next to us sold. Storage boxes are in place. TH and I are expecting the worse and hoping that it will be better. We're realizing that the never used driveway to the north of us will soon become a battle/construction zone and there will be a fence between us and our new neighbors.
That is of course, the worse case.
Something like this piece of crap that is currently behind and kitty corner to us.
Slated to go on the market for only $1.1 million! Just! The house next to it is no winner, but still.
So, we think of our contigencies, contact surveyors and pray that it doesn't get demolished.
Other than that, Ernest and I are painting the main floor bathroom. He has been very participatory. He escorted me to the hardware store to buy paint and tonight helped prime the woodwork.
Tomorrow, he gets to paint! I hope he likes bluebonnet for his ears.
I'm in the process of trying to find the least painful way to get my parents from Santorini to London and guess what, there is no way unless you want to fly Thomas Cook Airlines, so we'll all plod to Athens together and see what they can do for six or seven hours before they head back to London.
This travel thing, more than one person, is quite confusing. TH and I have it down to an art.
More on that later.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Thanks dickhead for making my evening.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I found this email I replied to TH. Life before Ernest is what it could be entitled.
leave here on FRIDAY
arrive in London on SATURDAY
spend the morning scrumming for cheese (remember one thing, its a
saturday before christmas and all the
'chesters are in London for a dirty/shopping weekend), buy books (maybe
find some small place to do this)
take afternoon train to Paris arrive Paris around 7 pm
spend the night in Paris, scrub up , have a delightful dinner, eat ice
cream, watch the world go by, have reserved a room at the Madeleine
using 15K pts for Saturday night.
Depart Paris on Dimanche matin after eating our share of croissants, get
to St. Malo, putter around, pick up car, wander somewhere we have not
been and hope that the day trippers from London have departed. Maybe go
to the aquarium (lorenzo wants to go). (sunday all day somewhere)
Drive to Cancale or stay in St. Malo (sunday night).
Spend at least one night at Les Maisons de bricourt. eat fish, if we are
super duper lucky, the weather will hold and we can go tide pooling.
(monday and monday night)
Take train to paris on Tuesday, walk around, eat some more, replenish
macarons and cheese supplies, spend the night at jardins de l'odeon.
sleep in, get on the RER at St. Michel and go to airport on Wednesday.
I can't believe I once had the energy to do this.
I will miss their kids.
Anyone want to buy it and move to my hood? Ernest promises to let you pet him.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Let's hope for flip/resell for our sakes.
There are neighbors around us who still refer to the house as Grandma Koontz's house, her rose bush is still out front. I have been pruning it when the house occupants can't be bothered.
Does it make me sad that this house is a commodity?
Does it make me sad that our neighborhood is changing?
Does it make me angry that a house that has fine lines may be torn down to put in a house that will change our street?
Does it bother me that I don't even flinch when I hear that a rental in my neighborhood is going for 700K and some moron will buy it?
A little bit, I no longer have sticker shock, that is for sure.
Where do all these people who sell their houses for 700K move to? Certainly not anywhere else in the city.
Does it make me sad to see our street make up change?
Not really, we have some pretty cool people, I just hope they can afford to stay here. I like having families around, I like to talk to my neighbors. I actually like my neighbors. I hope that who ever buys the green house with the old apple tree in the back yard with several cat graves and the final resting place of Henny Penny will appreciate it for what it was, Mrs. Koontz's house.
Just trying to be optimistic folks.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I am going to Greece for my cousin's big fat Iranian/Greek/German wedding and trying to coordinate with my parents who are too tired to deal with thinking about another trip, my cousin and his lovely wife who are flying in from San Francisco and my brother, who is a whirling dervish of activity that is hard to pin down. The wedding is on a Saturday, but the partay starts in Athens a week earlier and wends its way to Thessalonki. Partay all the way baby. Unfortunately for me, I have a half in Philly and I'm not missing that or Morimotos for the world, right the Js?
I can't find an award seat that doesn't have me routed from sea-ord-lhr-ath-skg-ath-lhr-yyc-sea! Remember, I have status that opens seats for me when there are none and even I'm getting slim pickings. I don't even want to know how much that would cost me in cold hard cash. I have one ticket on american, but my dream would be to board in SEA wake up in LHR, take a nice shower in the lounge and then go off to Greece, but that ain't happening. I am trying all sorts of machinations on this one, all I know is I'm spending three days in Thessaloniki, two days in Athens, two days somewhere else (Rhodes?) and then heading home via London (ugh) unless something else pans out.
Or, maybe Paris, you never know.
I love my cousin, I love all my cousins, I just wish you could be teleported places.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Today, I did good things. I walked beat the bridge and had a great time with J doing it. I made manicotti, cookie dough, cooked up someother stuff,ran a bunch of errands and wasted hours on flickr. Seriously, seriously, seriously. I am so pissed.
So, new rules are no computer time other than 15 minutes on weekends.
Granted it sucked today weather wise, but still.
There is dog that was bored, a house that could use some sweeping and a couple of closets that could be cleaned while TH is bobbing around the ocean.
Dog is pissed because I forgot to pick up margarita mix for him today.
Oh, new photos from new camera on flickr. Yes, I bought the Canon SD800IS and based on what I've seen other people do and what I did today, it may work.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Its a cornmeal biscotti, great for eating on the go. I remember making this recipe a lot in the 90's (dating myself) and varying the dried fruit and nut mix. This time, TH requested hazelnuts and dried cherries, though I am partial to cranberries. I remember gesticulating with my biscotti in my hand on the way to work and Jacques who was visiting us lurching over the seat and taking away my biscotti. It was basset approved.
This recipe is my kind of biscotti, easy to make and without butter so it is lacks the crumb that some really like in a biscotti, but I dislike. TH also loves it baked once, not twice, which gives biscotti its name - twice baked.
Tonight, I took them out of the oven, she came over and pronounced them done. I cut them with a bread knife and by tomorrow they will be air dried enough to pack in her bag and go off to the far west - nearly the east if you are being technical.
Without further ado, the recipe.
Yield: 7 Dozen
|1 ½||cup||Yellow cornmeal|
|1 ½||tablespoon||Finely grated lemon zest|
|2||large||Eggs, lightly beaten|
|¼||pounds||Whole shelled hazelnuts (about 3/4 C)|
|½||cup||Golden raisins or any dried fruit |
1. Heat oven to 325'. Lightly oil and flour a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt until well blended. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 C water, the eggs, and the vanilla and stir into the flour mixture; the dough will be sticky. Stir in hazelnuts and raisins. 4. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. On a heavily floured work surface, shape each portion into a log about 13 inches long by 2 inches wide. Place the logs 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until logs are firm and golden brown on the bottom, about 45 minutes. Remove logs from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. 5. With a clean serrated knife, cut each log into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a clean baking sheet (you'll probably need to use 2 baking sheets). Bake until tops of biscotti are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake until golden brown and very dry, about 15 minutes more. Cool the biscotti completely on a wire rack before serving. Store in an air- tight container.
Source: Martha Stewart Living/October/94
Adapted from: www.astray.com
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I went to Boston, drove to New Hampshire, went to Maine and then to New Hampshire for dinner last Friday. I would not recommend it for the faint of heart, it sucked the life blood out of me and no amount of dunkin donuts iced coffee (milk, no sugar) revived me.
I have been really really tired. My doctor and I are trying all sorts of new and exciting things, so we'll see.
TH is leaving town for Alaska! That means that E and I can eat popcorn for dinner and jalepenos for breakfast and listen to NPR all the time, well, mostly while deconstructing closets. We hope she has smooth sailing and seas. Just talking about it over dinner made me queasy. I spent a lot of time doing the same things she is about to do and I can't imagine ever doing it again. Then again, microscope work in 10' seas is always exciting.
It was hot here today. TH and I were going to Pair for dinner, but then she decided that eating outside was desirable to much adored mushroom bisque and small plates. There are very few restaurants in Seattle that are not located downtown or in a mall that have outdoor dining. Ciao Bella, located in the 98105, has a great patio (albeit on a busy street) and great vitello al limone so that worked for me. It was good, the best part was listening to the owner and his friends talking about Lazio football. TH decided that it felt truly like eating in Rome and that made her happy.
Ernest the puppy stayed home all day. He was super brave for a young basset and now is exhausted. Staying up all day to protect your home against maruding cats is hard work!
Other than that, nothing much, the published one is back in MKE, the parentals were last heard from on a train from Teheran to Mashad sharing a compartment with two meterologists. Imagine that, if only they could convey the information that their beloved daughter could talk storm surge with them...
I hope they are having a good time.
NM and her cousin emailed each other today making arrangements for our big fat greek wedding reunion. We both booked into the same hotel in Athens, isn't that wild? I tell you, great minds think alike. Now, I must perform the impossible and find a BA ticket to get me there and back with a stop over in CDG to pick up chocolate.
So, that is my wrap up. Nothing too exciting to report.
How is it going in your world?
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Is it something I said, or didn't?
Things here are fine. We're just wrapping up another exciting work week here. Papers are almost done and on Thursday night we're on our way to Boston and not such beautiful New Hampshire to deal with a family issue.
My family is fine, thankyouverymuch. My father met another 15 relatives yesterday and my brother has met close to 60 M&Js he had never met. Pretty cool huh?
I will just be happy when by brother texts me from Paris telling me he's okay.
I've been busy taking all sorts of pictures, you should check out my Flickr photostream and using my rss feed to see my new pics as I load them. Some are silly, some are really bad (those are the ones taken with my phone) and some are down right awesome. I'm contemplating buying a new point and shoot because TH will take the D50 to Alaska with her and goddamnit, I take pictures every freaking day.
Check out my contacts too, they take great pictures.
Well the dog is snoring, I'm ready to read something that doesn't pertain to hazard planning and scientific python and hopefully one of you will comment before too long.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Today my Khaleh Mehri called me to thank me for the email I sent this morning to her son updating her on what my family was up to and where they were in their journey. I know that by sending out an email to a core bunch of my mom's friends, their kids and my family, the news will get disseminated far and wide and fast!
The mommy network is an amazing thing. I know I have written about it before. These are a group of amazing women who went to nursing school together in the 50's and still remain amazingly close friends, well, maybe more like sisters. I cannot begin to explain their bond. They laugh together, they cry together and they mourn together.
They are also amazing in their ability to run to eachother in the time of need or find the resources through their networks to make sure things are done correctly. I cannot tell you how much we benefited from K.Mehri when TH's dad needed help and we were 700 miles away.
I love them all.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I was able to leave my office and make it downtown and parked right in front of my hairs salon (you cut more than one n'est ce pas?) in less that 45 minutes this afternoon during rush hour.
Considering yesterday's news of traffic hell due to sink holes, traffic diversions, the relentless media coverage and warnings, I was flabbergasted. Busses signaled they were changing lanes, pedestrians did not dart out in traffic, drivers were less stupid than usual merging onto the freeway and Westlake was open on my way home.
I even managed to make it home over the University bridge and not fall in.
Sometimes this city amazes me, and in a good way.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Yes, I had a bulkhead and yes, I'm sure I put my feet up. I know it is wrong, I shouldn't do it.
However, I can attribute this rash of pain to one thing ...
Kung fu hip - the hip that comes from kung fu kicking and kick box kicks that comes from crushing snails on retaining walls on our daily walks.
Damn, now I'm going to have to pull them off and crunch them, which takes more time and is not as satisfying.
Time to take some more advil.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Ribbons of chocolate. April 2007.
Not much to report. Heard from everyone, they are fine and I'm very relieved.
Vexed by spreadsheets and contemplating my career choice. I never thought my life would be ruled with such things.
I'm looking forward to a mellow week - I hope.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Gawd, where did the week go?
I was merely looking at the availibility of flying from SEA to Paris on an award ticket to pick up some more Jean Charles Rochoux and I am off a week.
I need that week back.
Then again, I could just screw American and fly BA in club for the same amount of miles, but put myself through the torture of LHR.
Or, I could just walk to Frans and buy some chocolate.
More on this later...
Sunday, April 22, 2007
What did you do?
I composted, didn't really drive anywhere (no where in fact), cleaned out my fridge, ran four loads of laundry, walked my dog four times, had a good conversation with my dear Pat and took a nap for my own conservation.
Hey, for us, every day is earth day. We compost, we minimize what goes into landfills, we think before we buy, we recycle, we minimize our use of electricity and we do it without any hoopla, any color adverts in the papers and without a big media flurry.
It just happens.
Other than that, we're enjoying ourselves here.
Ernest has been very busy (read his blog). I am killing snails left and right (have shoes, will travel). TH managed to get some work done today (yeah). We spent about thirty minutes today cleaning out the freezer and by god, we'll be done with the salmon, halibut, berries and lamb before the next batches come in! Well, at least closer than we have before.
I am so ready for the week to begin and be over.
Does that make sense?
It does to me.
Buhbye historical data in seventeen different formats! I am so done with you.
nm, exceling, zoning and interoperating in April 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I met you again in my sleep last night,
these are days of slow boats and false starts.
Hearts remain under lock and key,
you will be the one to set them both free.
And yet people will tell you you're miles from your home,
miles from your home.
But that's where I want to be.
Out there searching,
out here fumbling,
out here waiting
for you and you for me.
The moon hangs like a question mark,
pale as milk, bold as a promise.
When will you share these sights with us?
When will we hold you in our arms?
Hmm. Where did we leave off?
Ah yes, we survived our half marathon quite nicely. The weather was great, the company delightful, the scenery spectacular, the tulips lovely, the food excellent and the asses on the marathoners stunning.
So, what next?
I am doing the 10K associated with the Kirkland Half and decided that I'll end up walk/running the Seattle Half Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. Since I've decided to basically stop flying, its great. TH can run off to Brussels without me in November and October and I'll just stay home. She gets my upgrades and I get to train with Ernest.
Tonight we went to see the Cowboy Junkies. It was a strange show this time. Either I'm feeling younger or the fan base is getting older, but it felt like we were the youngest people there. I love them, but they did not do Ernest the puppy's song - Miles from our home, which is one of my favorite songs in the world and his AKC name - Oxboro's Miles from our home - Ernest the puppy.
The song is so important to me, I was seriously bummed. I can remember sitting in the Kirkland Performing Arts hall almost a year ago, knowing that the following day, Peter and I would be driving to Goldendale to pick him up. I just get verklempt just thinking about it.
I just couldn't wait to meet you my sweet boy.
Okay, other than that, I'm off to SFO tomorrow for a one hour commitment. I wish to god that I was paid like one of those people who gets flown to a one hour meeting, but alas, I am not, just have to go.
Yes, those taxes are done, money transferred and I'm feeling it today.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
First of all, I turned to TH yesterday and said "a year ago, would you ever have thought you would be carrying a bikini-clad rubber chicken to the car to entice your dog to follow?".
Next, it is spring here.
I am so happy. I could have done without the downpours of yesterday leaving me with a pile of wet sloppy clothing hanging on the line that I am going to have to take off now, spin and then throw in the dryer. The lilacs are blooming as are the fruit trees. Looks like our old cherry will mostly rejoin us this year. I am relieved.
I need to pack for my half marathon tomorrow. Desitin (don't ask), glide, three pairs of socks, ibuprofen, second skin, some power bars, sunscreen (always hopeful), some water and rain jacket.
Should be fun! Will be treated at the end by TH and Ernest bringing us back to Miss J's car.
Yesterday, I received a terse email from our homeless acquaintance thanking us for the 100 dollar donation we made to the Humane society when he had to surrender his cats for what we believed would be a fostering situation. It paid for their euthanization and cremation since they did not pass the old cat physical.
Like, when we found a home for them for the last nine months, kept them in food, litter and vet bills and then tried to find a fostering situation when he was incapable, we were being cruel and thoughtless.
Just call me nm, cat killer.
You can kill me snail killer. I have been forcing Ernest on long (1 hour walks) in the morning in the hood, just to kill snails. I need to know just how far on someone's property I can creep to pick up snails and bring them to the sidewalk to kill.
Would you as a homeowner be incensed if I was to pick snails off of your retaining wall or rockery or steps (the first two to your garden) to kill them before they get to your hostas?
I need to know.
I don't want someone coming out with their NYT and latte and beating me over the head with it and throwing hot caffeinated coffee at me. I drink decaf, that would be bad.
On that happy note, I'm going to sign off now until tomorrow when I will return to you aglow, in pain and done for the month!
nm, cold blooded killer according to few
Thursday, April 12, 2007
It has been interesting. My parents took risks in the mid 70's to buy more than they could afford at the time and to give their kids dream house to grow up in Seattle. They sold it to build a house from the ground up - a lovely place with a grand ocean view in So Cal .
They lived in that for while and then decided to downsize. It has been interesting to watch that process, they moved from about 4500 square feet to 3200 in So. Cal. plus another 900 in Seattle. It has been amazing to me to watch them pack up, move, remodel and move again four or five times in the same time I have stayed put here in the 98105.
Now, they are thinking about it again. This time they are looking for more room than they currently have, while keeping to their desire for one story home with a view, very few steps to negotiate and large entertaining spaces. It has been fun to wander the internet typing in requirements and seeing what comes up within or near my zipcode where money is less of an object than it would be for me. For now, I can drive by houses I love and think would be perfect in hopes that a for sale sign will pop up and that they will love it.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I wish I had just decided that the life of science wasn't that wonderful at an earlier age. I hear what my friends in consulting make or in sales and I am gob smacked.
Anyone had a change of heart and decided that they were willing to give up their comfort zone in order to live a bit more dangerously - e.g. change careers at your midlife?;taking up paragliding, living somewhere cheaper or different; or take time off to figure out what you want to do?
I am tired of my comfort zone.
nm who just inhaled six mini meringues from le panier because they were there
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
We've recovered from Easter. I have found only one egg in the garden. I am impressed. Good job hunters. We missed some of you, next year, there may be an night time hunt.
Right now, I am just overwhelmed by the tax year (oy!), traveling next week and my half marathon on Sunday.
The weather is divine and all I can think of is playing in the dirt.
It is going to have to wait until next Saturday the way the week is shaping up.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
make that objective a reality
embedded in the recommendations
context of synthesis
proactively develop a new way to suppot scholarship
biodegradable sensor nets
metadata as a living evolving resource
bin up the recommendations
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
You know, bullshit bingo speak. Words that just make no sense.
She just sent me a bingo message. She also told me yesterday that there was talk of carbon neutral arctic research. I guess those researchers all going up to Greenland in April are planning on canoeing? I'll have to ask Miss S. next time I see her.
I am eagerly awaiting her five words of bingoness.
Never heard of bullshit bingo? Consider yourself lucky. If you have and want to play along, go here.