Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sweetie and Petesie Go For A Walk

We decided to get a bit of exercise today as we are the type of people who value physical fitness and high levels of activity.

(okay, did anyone actually believe me just now?)

HA. Just kidding. We somehow got motivated to take a break from our Usual Sunday of Lethargy this afternoon. I think it was the promise of sun peaking out from behind the clouds. Yep, it's the last day of February and the promise of Spring is unseasonally upon us early this year. The cherry blossoms are pink and walk by a rhodedendron bush and it's already blooming. At one point we stopped to smell some flowers (because we're the type of people who actually do stop to smell flowers. It's a good excuse for a break from all the activity) and could hear the bees buzzing, just doin' their pollination thing. Yep, we may actually have a spring this year in the Good Old Pacific Northwest. I am quite happy about this. Obviously:

We stayed out for about an hour and a half, and then made a quick run to Costco to check out their laminate flooring on sale. I can't believe I actually just wrote that. Here I am, becoming a grown-up more and more as the days pass.

When we got home, we both passed out from all the crazy physical exertion the afternoon took on us. :) What's on for tonight? Olympic closing ceremony, of course. I promised Peter that after tonight I won't make him watch the Olympics for two more years, and he happily agreed. He's getting a bit tired of Bob Costas constantly on in the background. It's a bit much, really.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

two posts in one day? I think not...

Ha. On Sunday I said I'd write two posts that day. I had a clever title and everything all ready to go. But, then... I got wrapped up in Sunday. And, tired, oh so tired. And snuggled with my man. So, sorry to make a promise that I didn't keep. How's two posts in a week?


I am happy tonight. Happy, tired, and content deep down in my soul.

Life - my life - hasn't always been a cake walk, but I am so thankful for the journey. I know that sounds corny and cliche, but the thing is - it's true! I am not sure if "everything happens for a reason" the way so many people believe. Sometimes it seems to be an easy way to smooth the bumps in the road, to believe that something good will come from the bad, that there will always be a silver lining CAUSED by the trials we go through. I think though, that silver linings are always there, always hiding and waiting to be discovered. Or, perhaps, the good would have happened whether or not the bad preceeded it. OR maybe something else great would have occured regardless of the bad. We can never isolate the events of our life, or link them together or single out connections. Would I have met Peter whether I had taken the job at Starbucks? Who knows! Maybe I would have. Maybe not. The fact is that I did take the job at Starbucks, and then I met Petesie, fell in love, etc...

My mom and dad were married, back in the day, and then they divorced. Was this a "bad" thing? In that it was painful, certainly. In that good events came after the divorce, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all. My family would be less complicated certainly, but does that outweigh the overwhelming greatness that is a huge, complicated, extended family? I doubt it. In fact, I have to believe that my family today - big, complicated, messy, complex, etc... is probably the best part of my life.

I have a dad, a mom, a sister, a step-mom, a step-dad, a brother, a sister, another step-mom and even a new step-dad(ish!). I have in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, faux-relatives, cousins, second cousins, step-siblings, you name it. I have a husband who, even if I had spent years compilling a list to characterize the perfect partner for me, could not have possibly come close to someone who gets me the way he does. (um - was that the world's worst sentence? I think so...) I won the lottery with that one, big time. We are two perfectly fitted pieces of a puzzle.

The years of dealing with all these people and relationships have taught me something that I doubt I could have learned otherwise. Patience? That is certainly a virtue that I keep trying to develop, but I know that the family-situation has pushed me a lot further with that lesson that I could have gone on my own. Love? I could never love anyone like I love my family. It's not always roses though, I've certainly been taught other things - like anger management, accepting people as they are knowing that they'll never change ... the list could go on. :) But, to sit at the wedding of your step-mom, hosted by her ex-husband's ex-wife, surrounded by the family of the ex-wife (who happens to be your mother - are you all following this craziness?!)... it's a pretty priceless experience, and certainly something that I feel lucky I get to experience!

On a side note:
I stuck my hand on the handle of one of my pots last night. The handle was metal and the pot had been in the 400 degree oven for at least 30 minutes. Needless to say, it hurt. A lot. And I swore loudly and then cried. And then moped around the house sporting an ice pack and an ace bandage for the rest of the night. And fell asleep with the ice pack on my hand (ice pack = plastic baggie filled with ice cubes). And woke up in a puddle of water. It is practically a miracle that all four fingers and the palm of my hand feel okay today. Numb around the edges, but no blisters!

On another side note:
Petesie is at class tonight. I made him dinner before he left and told him to stand up to the big boys who might try to bully him. And then I ate cheese and crackers for dinner, along with cheesy garlic bread. And a salad too - gotta stay healthy! And drank apple juice out of the carton and now, at 7:20, I'm pretty sure I'm going to head to sleep. :)

On a third side note:
My mac has died. It's totally dead. I think. :( This does not make me all happy and content deep down to my soul, it panics me slightly that I have lost thousands of pictures of the past couple of years. And, of course, my computer was my trusty lil' friend, and I will miss it. Hopefully it'll wake up for one more day, long enough for me to back it up (if I even knew how) for when it crashes again. The good news though is that I am able to post on Petesie's computer, and I was able to look through all the good pics on his computer. I'll leave you all with some good ones. :)

Like this one of my kitty:

Or, here is us in front of a beautiful old church in Paris. Can't remember which one:

We stayed at the Country Cottage of Squirrels in Provence on our honeymoon. Here is me posing like a squirrel:
This was the view from our hotel room. Breathtaking!And lastly, me with my sweetie:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Normal Days

I came across this quote today.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.

Our normal days, while normal, are treasures. I woke up this morning with a stream of sunlight (sunlight! In February!) pushing through the blinds, surrounded by a husband squeezing me tightly and two kitties squished up against me, with a doggie who adores us snoozing at our feet.

I came upstairs to freshly brewed coffee and cheers from my husband (yeah, he cheers when I come upstairs in the morning. Sometimes he sings the Indiana Jones theme song as he does, because for me, waking up in the morning is quite the accomplishment). We sat, drank some coffee and ate toasted bagels and scrambled eggs. Now, I sit, my eyes directed outside to a flying bright-orange rope type contraption that he has fashioned in attempt to take down a branch that is stuck between two trees. There is music playing and sun shining, and it's only 11:08, and we're going to have a marvelously normal day, walking the doggie, getting groceries for the week, doing laundry and cleaning our house. On this normal day, which the lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. :)

(what isn't normal about this day is that it will be a two blog post day, due to the abnormal fact that my family has again grown. I now have TEN parents/step-parents/parents-in-law/whatever you want to call them).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Huffington Post, meet Redmond Junior High...

self explanatory. This kid is awesome! Ha!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Fever!!

So, it's Sunday night, day two of Olympic competition and Valentine's day! Let's recap our weekend fun. :)

Friday night after work, we totally passed out on the bed, but woke with a start when I sat straight up at six pm on the dot and started freaking out about being late for the start of the OLYMPICS! We rushed out the door and drove up to Crystal Lake, where we had dinner with the crew up there and watched the opening ceremony on the Schoening's magnificent TV. Needless to say, we were nowhere near late for the start of the ceremony, which didn't begin until 9pm. Could have slept many more hours, in fact....

Saturday was a very slow day (at one point I made the comment that there is a very fine line between relaxing and being sluggish, and we were toe-ing that line, big time). We had plans to go to the Department of Licensing to get a new drivers license for me (we were hoping the third time could be the charm, as the first two attempts failed due to the fact that both offices had closed - thank you state budget deficit!). Apparently, the third time is NOT the charm, as they were closed for Presidents Day. Oh well. We'll persevere and try again....

(side note - watching a skiier compete in the moguls from Cle Elum! Woo, Go Cle Elum!!)

Saturday night I made homemade french bread, roasted garlic to smear on the bread and lentil/ham stew. It was a great dinner. We both thought so. Petesie's stomach apparently did NOT think so, as I found out in the morning that he had been up almost ALL night methane issues.... And I woke up with the world's worst garlic breath. It was a magically romantic start to Valentine's Day. Petesie tries to be so proper and polite, and when he told me he was upstairs all night farting, I died laughing.

I woke up this morning and came upstairs to a dozen red roses and new slippers, and a sweet card from my sweet husband. I made blueberry pancakes from scratch for brunch, and we took Monty on a nice long walk. We spent the rest of the day watching the Olympics while I cleaned and did some laundry.

Our Valentine's dinner was fantastic. I tend to dislike the holiday (I feel that it makes single people feel like a failure and bad about themselves, and sets up unrealistic expectations for those in relationships), but I still like to make special Valentine's day dinners. I made Petesie his favorite - a dish I created called Bensonada's (think empanada meets piroshky), salad with raspberry dressing, craisins and almonds, and the most incredible, to die for, individual molten chocolate cakes. The best part though was that I surprised Petesie by setting the table with our nice linens and fine china and crystal candleholders, all wedding gifts. He was very happy to see us put the nice settings to good use, and we had a great, candlelit dinner.

Now, on to more Olympics - pairs short program tonight! Woo!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

i'm in love!

In honor of the rapidly approaching holiday Valentine's Day (which I happen to loathe), here is something that I have recently fallen head over heels in love with:

Seriously. This stuff is AMAZING!

Petesie and I love Indian food, and despite my best efforts, I can't seem to make dishes quite the way they taste in restaurants. I've heard to add yogurt as a secret ingredient, or tumeric, but it never quite turns out.

My good friend (who is Indian) visited a year or so ago and brought with her a couple of curry pastes for me to try. This one was in my pantry until a week ago, when I decided to give it a while. I know that using a paste (and no spices-combos of my own) is considered "semi-homemade" so I can't take credit for hardly any of it, but the finished dish did come from my kitchen, and this stuff tastes amazing. Like, this could pass for restaurant quality.

So good, that I tracked the packets down online (who knew? you can buy it at!) and spent $30 on 12 more packets of this pure gold paste. Delicious!!

Tonight, I made it again, and served it over basmati rice (which I toasted first, tossed in tumeric and then threw in some frozen peas at the very end for a little extra veggies and a pop of color) with slivered, toasted almonds on top. I also placed a dollop of plain yogurt to the side of the dish, and it was SO good. (Don't worry, mom, we had salad also!).

I highly recommend. Even though I can't consider my meal tonight "home cooked," Petesie was SO pleased with my final product. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

I just love the smell of meatloaf!

Yep, sitting here smelling the sweet, wonderful smell of meatloaf cooking away in the oven. Man, I love me some meatloaf. :) My secret recipe is not so secret, really, but it's the best meatloaf recipe I've ever had.

It's Monday, the days seem to be flying by lately. It seems like if I blinked, I'd miss a whole day. I think it's because Monday through Friday, it's like, lather, rinse, repeat. Every day is the same around here, with small variation (like, what are we having for dinner tonight?). I enjoy my days and am happy with them, I'm happy at work, happy at home, etc... BUT, I'd like some variation. But, here's the problem: 1) I'm always sleepy. always. So, whatever I do must get me home and in bed by 9:30. Here's the other problem: 2) Its REALLY hard for me to spend money for entertainment purposes (ie, seeing movies, going out to dinner, etc...). I am always comparing costs with what it would cost to do the same activity at home, and inevitably, it's cheaper to stay home. Problem 3 is that there are chores to do at home. Laundry, cleaning, dishes, vacuuming (three critters and two humans builds up a lot of hair in the carpet!). Does anyone have any suggestions of how we can mix up our weeks so that there isn't such mundane repetition??

(Let me interrupt here though and say that for the next two weeks after this one, I plan on coming home every day and planting my bum in front of the tv. It's OLYMPICS time baby!!!)

On the flip side - we had a very active weekend! On Friday we got our wedding video back and watched the entire thing after work. It was LONG. All the toasts were captured, and the entire ceremony. On Saturday we got to go with our friends to see Elton John and Billy Joel in concert!!

Seriously, it was a rocking good time. It seems to me that Petesie and I will only go to a concert if it will be headlined by a rocker 60 years old or older. :) First Neil Young, now Billy Joel and Elton John. These guys were totally rocking! It was so fun, the crowd was in to it and the music was great. We have such wonderful friends to take us, and were so thankful.

On Sunday, our plans to watch the Superbowl got a bit turned around, and we ended up having a small crowd at our place. This was very last second, but it was Grandma Jean's birthday and mom had purchased a cake for 50 people, so we figured we just had to have a little birthday shindig for Grandma. Needless to say, we have about 45 slices of cake left over. The Kaschkos were nearby, so they stopped by with a bottle of wine just as we were about to serve dinner, and my dad was watching the game nearby also, and he ended up swinging by in the fourth quarter of the game - just in time for dessert. It ended up being a rather full crowd (despite the fact that just hours earlier we had no plans for hosting) and a fun day. Props to the Saints for winning a great game - if it couldn't be the Vikings, I am very glad it was the Saints.

All in all, great weekend. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

some of my secrets...

I suppose writing about my secrets on the internet makes them... well, not so secret.

On that note, here are 21 things you may not (or may already) know about me:

1. I currently have a kitty purring on my lap (I'm typing around her) lying on her back with her front two paws curled up and her back legs sticking straight out
2. I can manipulate the outcome of my dreams
3. I am always thinking about my next meal
4. The last thing I ate was a fudgesicle....dipped in cool whip (my mom just gagged when she read that!)
5. Speaking of cool whip... I am currently obsessed with this dessert: angel food cake slice, pile of cool whip, topped with canned crushed pineapple. If I'm feeling fancy, I will toast some coconut and sprinkle that on top. It's delicious. You should try it (mom, stop gagging).
6. I am always anxious when I drive/ride-in a car. I am scared of crashing.
7. I love reading cookbooks
8. I think I might write my memoirs someday. I might write something worth reading.
9. I used to work next to someone who thought she was a psychic. My future husband walked up to my desk one day and when he walked away, she told me that I was going to marry him. I told her she was a little bit crazy. She was right. :)
10. Once, our relationship was almost over before it had even really started. I put my heart on the line to keep him because I knew he would become everything to me someday.
11. I think my sister and I should have a cooking show.
12. Every day I think that we might be having an earthquake and my heart beats really fast.
13. I could sleep for 11 hours every night and never feel totally rested.
14. My family is the most important thing in my life.
15. I just watched a news clip about seniors "sexting." Um. Grandma J? Put down the cell phone!
16. I have to remind myself to change my attitude a lot.
17. Not very much makes me cry.
18. The Olympics make me happy. And make me cry.
19. I will never say never. I am usually wrong when I use that word.
20. I'm a sucker for American Idol. And I just cried while watching Idol. Yep, I'm a sucker.
21. I always plan my outfit the night before. Tonight, I realize that I have no clean underwear to wear tomorrow. Oops.