Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday means

According to blogger and flickrer KimMcK, it means clean out your fridge day. You know why, to get that 18 lb beast in amongst the bags of cranberries, the celery and the brussels sprouts that you always make and end up in the dogs dinner.

I cleaned mine out a few weeks ago while TH was in Hawaii. Its pretty clean now, we have methodically been eating chard, pork chops and eggs to make room for goose, fennel and hubbard squash.

I can see to the back, this is a good thing.

It really doesn't take too much time and if you are really clever, you can photodocument it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Must dash, doing something beyond stupid today.

At least I managed to post for National Blog Posting Month.

I'll be back tomorrow, so please don't fret and no, I am not bringing you back a pineapple.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

See you later

TH says five minutes and then stop computing.

I'm not even going to spend three.

Consider the persimmon and discuss.


Monday, November 12, 2007

looking back

Ernest getting guidance on rewiring a lamp, November 2007.

2005 -London for the Remembrance Day weekend. I think I was not by myself, I cannot remember. Yes, I was with TH. G-d, is my memory so bad.

2006- London for Remembrance day weekend with 150 flyertalkers. Definitely not with TH, but still had a blast.

2007 - Seattle for Remembrance day weekend, weekend spent keeping Ernest amused and alive, raking leaves and dealing the minutae of life.

2008 - I'm hoping for a middle ground, a bit boring and a bit exciting at the same time.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Eat local this Thanksgiving

This Saturday I at the market, I noticed a bunch of farmer's sporting these great buttons that said "I took the pledge", which means they took the pledge to eat local this Thanksgiving. I'm always up for some challenge, so we went over to the Eat Local booth at the U. District Farmer's Market.

The campaign highlights the fact that by eating local, we are reducing our ever expanding carbon footprint. I know mine is atrocious for being a locally eating, tree hugging, obessively composting liberal. It sucks due to my love of Parisian haircuts and Belgian bath cubes. I would calculate it for you, but when I did it January, I cringed.

So, back the great campaign at hand, by eating one or more products within your ecotone, soil conservation district, radius in which you are comfortable or even back garden you will:
  • Help maintain our local farms and open spaces
  • Help reduce greenhouse gases caused by transporting food from far away
  • Help create a food system that good for people, our environment and our economy
Not too shabby, eh? Don't even have to eat organic to make a difference.

Even my fair mayor (eck) has pledged to eat one thing that is local this Thanksgiving.

This made shopping a challenge today. Were trying to get ready for the thanksgiving before thanksgiving, thanksgiving proper and the day after thanksgiving thanksgiving. (really!)TH and I walked around the market trying to figure out what to substitute for celery, it not really very local this time of year. We're trying fennel. Everything else is easily sourced from the market, our regular grocery store and our garden. It should be fun. Sweet potatoes, that should be a challenge.

Think local, eat local and gobble local.

nm thinking about taking a nap about now

Friday, November 09, 2007

A few things of note:

Raise your hand if you are not logging into your brokerage account this week...I know you should if you manage your own money, but if you are trusting in someone else, make sure they are doing their jobs.

Remember, we're in it for the long run.

Just to depress you some more, on my way back from increasing my consumer debt and carbon footprint by driving in a single occupancy vehicle today to get my brows waxed (like I could do such a good job myself!), I listened to the Marketplace's Consumed series. I'm now going to move to a yurt and live off the grid.

I'm totally completely shattered from the week. Today we listened to Microsoft tell us that they are collecting petabytes of orthophotogrammetry to build these 3D visual cities for commercial applications, while the US government agencies that are mandated to collect and store and standardize our maps are years behind in updating the basemaps because we can't get funding to do this task. All it takes is big business to fill a need and boom, let it be.

We need that data dammit.

words for today : yeta and zetta, we'll soon be there folks.

nm trying not to depress you before the weekend truly starts

Thursday, November 08, 2007

who would have ever thought such a comment would start such a furor?

I am totally in awe of every thing I saw today, the world if full of possibilities when it comes to
putting data onto maps - text, images, social networks, moving targets.

I'm totally stoked.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

wordless wednesday

Okay, a few words, I spent today and will spend tomorrow and Friday in Bellevue.

The best parts were finally getting to Koots Green Tea, eating lunch with TH and talking to some really smart folks.
Lunch was a thing of thom kah with some rice thrown in, believe you me, we went everywhere and that was the best option without having a microsoft expense account.

Now, I'm home, pooped beyond belief and really really not looking forward to my tomorrow, which is more of the same, followed by chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

this is going to be a long week

After a glorious Monday that came complete with a lovely hand plant right about two houses up from mine, I'm ready for the week to be over.

Seriously over.

Other than that, just hoping that my hand recovers, the dog behaves and that traffic across the bridge cooperates for the rest of the week.


Monday, November 05, 2007

sunny monday

Glorious day, too nice to be at work, but unfortunately, the world does not stop because I wanted to stay home and hang laundry, make quince jam and rake leaves.

Had a great catch up with Ms. J. and her trip to Paris. I'm still waiting to hear from Kerrio about her trip to the Falklands and Ms. JK is busy running around India. Nothing like getting a text message from India!

We are a lucky bunch of travellers.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Posh marshmellows, chocolatier Foucher, Paris, October 2007.

I'm knackered, it is the time change.

Ernest goes by his own clock, so up he was at 6 am and now he's down at 6:30.

He's a by the book kind of guy.

I have nothing of real import to report, I'm a bit sad today. One of our family friends is putting her husband in a nursing home. There is that subtle shift between the acceptance of your elderly relatives needing to leave home when their husband/wife/partner or caregiver can no longer provide them the care they need and when it becomes the person that introduced your father to the practice of medicine.

I can't even imagine what my parents are going through today. They went to go see them today.
On a happier note, some of my pics are up from our last trip to Paris, London, Brussels. Go check them out. I have yet to tag them properly. We found a lovely new chocolatier on rue st. Dominique (Jen, you must check him out) and all the favorites were just fine.

My risotto is burbling, my artichokes are as well, TH is setting the table and its time for dinner.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

bulb management

Bulbs for the spring, November 2007.

I'm getting ready to plant bulbs. Tomorrow looks good for bulb planting with no rain forecast. I have some inkling of where they are needed, which always helps. I tend to buy species tulips, narcissus and alliums. TH likes tulips and crocus. We split up at the bulb sales and then regroup to see what each has purchased. Neither of us minds planting the other's choices, which is good. The muscari or grape hyacinths are already peeping up as are some of the irises.

It seems that we have a nice collection picked out for 2008, they are all recorded as to what we bought, where they get planted is harder to record, but we'll take pictures and ooh and ahh over them this spring. We buy most our bulbs within a fifteen minute rampage at the Arboretum Foundation bulb sale that is held the first Saturday of October, come rain or shine. We have been known to rearrange our schedules to not miss this event. We love it and they have come to love us.

I try to shy away from anything too flashy, I am partial to white, small cupped narcissus and some of the more humble naturalizing species. I have been known to fall for some flashy orange cupped beauties that fade to a yellow when they are done being cheeky. TH plants tons of late tulips that bloom splendidly with the bluebells that we cannot get rid of and offset some of the columbines and bleeding hearts that threaten to take over two beds of our garden. Every year I promise to plant a cutting garden, but when I see the clumps of tulips, I'm happy to run to the market and give Jonkheer Greenhouses twenty dollars for four huge bunches of French tulips so that I can keep admiring mine in the garden.

You still have a few more weeks to get those bulbs in the ground. If you are lucky enough to still have some available to buy, I say go out and dig! You can't go wrong.


Friday, November 02, 2007

weekend reading

Geez, why not.

Actually, its four weekends or is it five until I go somewhere again. I should be happy. If I don't have my Holiday shopping done by November 15th, you can kiss my grits.

I'm in a contrarian mood today. I'm frustrated at the dog who had kennel cough and played with Ernest and whose owner was so gormless as not to tell us. I am trying not to be frustrated with Ernest, he didn't do anything but want to play. I am relieved in a way to be home as well, I have a presentation to put together for a meeting and now I'm not scrambling to get it done. TH has more time to work on her proposal as well, but still, beach, sand, sun.....

Ernest is also confused. He's not allowed to play with anyone for the next 10 to 14 days. That sucks. He's quite active, just sounding like crap. He doesn't know why he can't say hi to his buddies.

What is on tap for the weekend? I'm trying some new recipes, cleaning the now 10" pile of assorted papers off my desk to be filed, shredded and dealt with, planting 400 bulbs, deadheading and maybe a short walk/run in there somewhere.

I recollect signing up for some half marathon in November. I guess I should get ready for it.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

best laid plans

TH and I were Kauai bound on Saturday, three days of beaching, sitting and reading in hammocks, eating papayas and doing nothing.

No proposals, no editing of manuscripts, no data calls, no nothing.

Ernest woke up with a nice cough, a kennel cough. He'll be fine, but he can't be kenneled.

We're not going now.

Good thing everything is cancellable.

I'm extending our February trip by a day or two.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Days of the week

Macarons, Laduree, September 2007.

Four days on the ground in Europe. Some could go with two pairs of smalls, I'll splurge this time and go with four. Ditto for socks. Socks used to be my big purchase, now with the Bush Peso in the toilette, I'll settle for recycling my socks from 2004 and pretending that things are better than they are. I could share with you my ATM transactions from last month and you can watch the dollar weaken yourself, day by day.

This trip is about London, Paris and Brussels. I'm seeing a great lunch in London, a michelin one star dinner in Paris and moules at Place St. Catherine to top things off.

I'll be flickring as I can, so stop by and see what is going on.

Thanks also for all the emails about LJ and SD. My parents still seem to be out of danger, but according to some, the smoke is pretty bad in LJ.


Monday, October 22, 2007

completely and utterly freaked

San Diego Fires.

My prayers are with all residents of No. San Diego County.

Parentals are here, keeping their fingers crossed that the fire does not go further down south.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Please visit Ernest, he is concerned about the change in weather, try and reassure him will you?

Tablecloth weights, believe it or not, we don't have.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life underneath the kiwi vine, October 2007.

TH is in Honolulu all week for work. Yes, really work. I promise you she's is slaving, not surfing, nor slamming back the mai tais. She's interacting with her peers to make science work better for you.

I am using this opportunity to do those things that you just can't do with another human body in the house such as bathroom recaulking, oven cleaning and lingerie clean out. Unlike most people who pine when their partners are gone, I determine the number of chores that can possibly get done without interruption.I have another dear friend who looks at alone time as creative time intermixed with garbage/purge chores that she can do by herself.

They are quite freeing these very important business trips.

Next week, we'll both be traveling, together for the most part. I hope the dog keeps up with the honey do list while we're gone.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


J: Hi NM, do you want to meet for dinner tonight? X is in town and I figured we could all get together.

At this point, I'm thinking no, its Sunday night and I'm not leaving the house...

J: I have your tiles from the Moravian Tile Works.

At this point, I am still not leaving the house.
J: I also have a bag of quince.

Okay, I'm going out, she has me hooked. I love quinces and I love her, but come on Sunday night...
I heart you J for dragging my sorry ass out more, I need it. I owe you one.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Weekend

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

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 garlic clove, finely chopped3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leafed parsley1 1/2 lbs green tomatoes , thinly slicedsea salt1 1/2 cups arborio rice5 cups lightly salted water, veggie broth or chicken broth, brought to a simmer1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter1/2 cup almonds (lightly toasted) and finely chopped10 large fresh basil leaves, torn into fragments
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.

Buon Appetito.


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

two years on...

Still going strong, September 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

the sweetest post

Carciofi, December 2005, Rome, Italy.

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

books of note

I am back, not quite together, but back.

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.

more later,


Monday, September 17, 2007


dog appropriate footwear
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

what a old crotchedy woman is entitled to say


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

Still life with latte, downtown Seattle, September 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

this big old life

Still life with preserves, September 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

The weekend wrap up

60-75 bags of yard waste
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

the sounds of silence

Planning our next Ernest retrieval, we're getting bored of the usual routing.

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

Really, I cannot do better than this picture.

Tickets all changed, I'm canning tomato sauce, have no idea what is for dinner and I could give a whack.



Sunday, September 02, 2007

contrary to popular belief

A view from I-90, Thorp, before the fruit stand, September 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

lucky me

I am sitting in the presidential suite of my hotel, not because I'm the president (though Ernest may enjoy it), but because I asked for a room that was not on the atrium. The room they gave me was not cleaned, I went to the front desk to ask for my original atrium room back so that I could collapse. The front desk dude clicked a bunch of keys on his computer and gave me a key. He hoped I would be happy with room.

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

Here I sit in DC, sitting digesting my delicious dinner that JK and I had at Teasim and considering the salted oatmeal cookie for dessert.

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.

I hope.

Now, if I could only find something to watch on tv while reviewing my documents for tomorrow's meetings.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

All I can say

I lead an event driven life.

I am escaping into my hole now.

See what Kerrio's up for some fabulous summer/fall foodage.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

wordless wednesday II - very few words

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:
Very tired.

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

home work II

You both walk the dog and you realize that your conversation is about subtracting one raster from another to compare changes in a digital elevation model and it doesn't even phase you.

God, can we just leave it at work?


Monday, August 13, 2007

an amazing abundance

Still life with fig, August 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

pure bliss

Home grown peaches, yogurt and leftover lemon/almond cake.

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

Ratouille au four, over and over again, August 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.


Friday, August 03, 2007


Late summer blooms, September 2006.

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.

Mirror Garden

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

Donut day

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.

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

wordless wednesday

Ernest watching the soccer match - the Indian Ocean tsunami workshop attendees v. the world, August 2007.

Monday, July 30, 2007

neighborly advice

We have a neighbor with whom we have little contact compared with the rest of our awesome neighbors. It could be her metaphysical aura, her long winded conversations or that I just don't like her.

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 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

bending to my will

Codfish head chopper, St. Pierre, June 2003.

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

er, screw you blogger

I am not a spam blog.

I don't even like spam.

Bite me.

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


Had a great weekend, now just trying to catch up with work, garden and sleep.

More later.


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

Tiny dog, in the heat.

Erm, this past Sunday while I was dashing out the door for the Seafair half marathon, I managed to upset my dog.

He has learned to bay.

My boy is growing up.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

oh, more

best parts of today's race, in no particular order --

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

Nuff said.

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

Still life with campari, nm, TH and Aunt Pat go to Florence, January 2003.

What the hell?

I think its time to start the campari-ing for the night.

If you paid (or were stupid enough to pay) 12,000 USD for the thrill of flying in club world on BA, don't you think it would be nice to get to select your seats ahead of time?

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.

Whose stupid idea was it to do a half marathon two weeks after the last one?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

smart thinking

How can an airline that I have seriously put 100K of butt in seat mileage for the last six years continue to put my in the back of the plane in a middle seat every time I book a ticket.

They really must be trying to piss me off.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Old blue, where am I going, where have I been? July 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

they should liscense parents and dog owners

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

A few days ago I said I need a life.

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

home again!

Views from the Coastal Trail, Mayors Half Marathon, June 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

a tale of two flyers

TH and I both are the same status on Alaska Airlines. My ticket was 30 dollars cheaper than hers, but purchased 2 weeks earlier and believe it or not to the correct destination. Hers was bought to SFO by their fabulous trained travel clerks.

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

call me paranoid

Moroccan salt poppy, June 2007, Seattle, WA.

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

Dear Joan,

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

feeling all nasturiumy

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.

later taters,


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

vive la france

This just made me sooo happy.

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).


up close and personal

Alstair stellar grey, originally uploaded by flora and flying.

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

home improvement 101

We are painting the main floor bathroom. Don't even ask why, I think it all started because I saw mold on the ceiling. If I had just tsped that mold, I would be sitting reading a trashy novel instead of being covered in bluebonnet pain.

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

on a more positive note

It appears as if our dastardly next door absentee landlord decided to pull the house of the market four days after putting it on the market. I guess they got a wild hair that they could sell the house and then buy a condo in hawaii with the money.

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

I have nothing of substance to say, that is positive.

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.