Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seattle- Part II

During the middle of our Seattle visit, Ali and Jonny took us to the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula.  I'm here to tell you that I may be a nature convert after that little trip.  I'm not one to obsess over mother nature or even natural wonders----for some reason I've always been enthralled with buildings, historical sites, or architecture.  After seeing the Olympic Peninsula, however, I'm a convert.

The beautiful Lake Crescent.  I just couldn't get my camera to capture
the true blue, but this lake had zero algae (something about
the high level of nitrogen) so you could see straight to the bottom
and be completely mesmerized by the shade of blue.  

Group shot on the Lake
And Jonny taught me about my panoramic changer, folks.

Ruby Beach

See these rocks?  Yeah, I took these and about a dozen
others home.  My poor friend, Ali, attempted to send a 2nd
suitcase home with me (for her convenience...she's returning in 
a couple of weeks), and my rocks (....and wine....and thrift shop
finds.....and souvenirs...) put us over the 50 lb. limit...oops.

Kalaloch Lodge where we spent one night in a cabin on 
the beach.  No internet or cell service, which was actually quite nice!

Amazing how much reading you get done when there's no technology.
Also, in the true style of roughing it....I'm drinking wine out of a mug.

TWILIGHT! Forks was something else I tell ya.  It was so small and completely 
hard to get to.  Like take a plane to Seattle, take a ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, and drive for two house---hard.    A local waitress said the town is packed
with tourists in the summer.  She also added, "I don't give
a sh** about that vampire movie, but it's good for business."
These Twihards are serious!

After writing this post, I'm realizing a failed to capture a lot of memories  :/.  We took several ferry trips.  One trip even included driving our car onto the ferry----whoa---modern engineering, I tell ya.  I also failed to get many of the drive through the peninsula- but the views were breathtaking.  The town, Sequim was super quaint---and we enjoyed 2 stops a local coffee shop while there. (I also found a garden store where I met my Washington soulmate---a little old lady offering gardening tricks and who said I was a pretty young lady).
Almost bought this.....the version of me, standing in line
to weight my two overweight bags is glad I didn't 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Seattle- Part I

Last week I went to visit dear friends, Ali and Jonny, out in Seattle.  Ali moved there with her husband, Jonny when he got a great job opportunity last fall, so I've been dying to make a trip ever since.  I traveled with two other amigos, Josh and Danielle, and we had the best time!

I'd never been to the Pacific Northwest, and I was amazed.  We of course did all the Seattle "usual" places--Space Needle, first Starbucks, Public Market Center--which were fun to see.  Ali and Jonny also took us to the Olympic Peninsula where we made stops in Sequim (pronounced Skwim), Forks (hello Twilight!), Ruby Beach, and Kalaloch Lodge on the coast.  I could go on and on about the week----spending a week with your best friends in a beautiful location is really something to be thankful for.  It's a trip I'll never forget.  Now for the obligatory photo dump.
These are photos near the beginning of our trip- at Public Center Market, Chateau St. Michelle, Freemont Troll, and generally around town.
Josh LOVES the middle seat and requested it each time  ;)

This was taken at the famous fish market---you know the one
where they throw fish, and people catch it.  I'll have to say, the
workers there seemed grouchy and told you that if you weren't buying anything
to please move along.  Well then, good sirs, don't put on a show for me 
to watch!  

I can give you a couple of universal truths about me and my friends......
if there is a cardboard face cutout opportunity, we're all 
over it---like pushing little kids out of the way---over it.

Second universal friend truth.....
We never take a bad picture--the ultimate pros.


Famous gum nasty.
Freemont Troll
Chateau St. Michelle

A beautiful greenhouse on the winery's property.
Let's just say, winery plus this greenhouse is like my dream.

This was clearly an old abandoned greenhouse on the winery's property, but
We visited Chihuly's Glass Museum.  He's the 
fella responsible for all the beautiful glasswork
found around the world, including the ceiling at the Bellagio.

Third and final friend truth......Puzzle time is always a good time.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Question

The dreaded question.....
Every newlywed gets asked.  When you hit your two-year wedding anniversary you're bound to be asked by nearly everyone you talk to.  By the time you hit 5 years (where we are), it's as common a question as "how are you today?"

"When you are you having kids?"  Insert....scary them music here.
Honestly, my feelings towards this question have evolved over time.  On certain days, I'm ambivalent and will politely smile and respond "maybe someday..."  On other days, I'm a bit more dramatic and my answer usually involves a lengthy diatribe about how hard I've worked in law school and how content I am with my life now.  Most days though, I simply answer the question and go on my business.  But lately, I've been a little irked that I'm required to simply answer an incredibly personal and invasive question with such a casual response.

I mean, there are some questions you just don't ask people, right? Like.......Have you had a boob-job?  Is your family financially stable?  How much money do you make?  The list goes on and on, yet for some reason, the "kids question" never seems to make that list.  Yet what could be more personal to a couple than the decision to have kids?  I know people mean no harm, but it's like the old man at the grocery store asking the pregnant lady if she's having twins (she's not).   He means no harm and certainly doesn't have any type of malicious intent, but his question still stings.

So why does this question bother me so much?
First, I've said it once, but it bears repeating.  It's personal.  The back story behind any type of answer I could possibly give in a brief reply couldn't (and shouldn't) dive into all the reasoning.  Even more personal is that the answer may contain some pretty scary truths---infertility, miscarriage, difficult decisions, etc.  Those types of truths are shared only when the holder of such truths wants to share them, not when they are asked "when are you having kids?"

Second, the question is usually followed up with additional encouraging/urging about the topic.  Again, I know these comments are usually harmless, but I can't help but infer from the comments that there must be something wrong with my current life that requires you to convince me to radically change it.  I mean honestly, is my life so bad that you must now discuss how wonderful children are (and how old my eggs are getting) for the next 10 minutes?  If you think about it, it's kind of an insult.  It's like saying, what you're doing now in your life can't possibly mean anything until you add a child into the when are you going to do it, huh?

Third, when people that shouldn't be having kids (financial insecurity, too young, unprepared, not in a committed relationship, etc.) NOBODY asks them, why are you having kids?  It's now a fact of life, so everyone moves on their merry way, throws baby showers, sends cards, and coos and awws.  Why can't my reality (that I don't have children) be just as accepted without questioning. I would never dream to ask a pregnant women, why are you having a baby?  That would be completely inappropriate.  So why is it ok to ask an "un-pregnant" woman why she isn't pregnant.  

Lastly, I'M YOUNG!  I got married when I was 22, so even though I'm coming up on my 5 year wedding anniversary, I'm a baby.  Lay off.

The point of this post isn't to ruffle feathers....or maybe it is.  My main goal is to hopefully shed some light on a question that I think a lot of people ask, but not many people think through the ramifications of their question.  This innocent question carries a lot of baggage, and while your intentions may be good, your words and advice could actually sting.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lettuce Start Gardening!

Corny titles for blog posts using gardening humor?

Moving on.  I may be about a month late, but I finally got my lettuce varieties in the ground.  Unlike other vegetables, lettuces can tolerate the spring time chill, so you can plant them in early spring.  Because I was so limited in space at our old house with the raised bed, I only ever grew arugula.  But this year, I've got quite the little plot so I'm growing several lettuces (I'm attempting to pluralize "lettuce," but I think I'm doing it wrong.)  Anyhoo..... Finally got the plants in the ground and utilized a little trick for the garden tags.  

Seed packet plus plastic fork equals......
Instant garden stake.  I don't expect these tags to last all season.  I'm just hoping they
last long enough to allow some sprouts to shoot up and allow me to see what's growing where.

Tad out of focus here....this is what happens when you try to take
pictures at ground level while simultaneously attempting to keep
your staring neighbors from not thinking you are a crazy person.

Little off center?  Neighbor pressure, I'll tell ya! I'm laying down in my 
garden to get a good shot for my blog!  Leave me alone.

I'm the most excited about these seeds.  I love swiss chard and it's so stinking
expensive in the come on little seeds, grow, grow, grow!

Here's how my lettuce section currently looks.  Don't mind that green mound of chives
in the background.  Dustin almost dug it out a couple weeks ago until he took
one whiff and realized what it was.  Perennial herbs, I love you!  You can also see the brick herb garden in the back of this picture---it contains rosemary, mint, and oregano.  All perennial---who knew?!

Here's the garden left to me by the previous owners.  Very cute and probably close to three times
the size of my raised bed at our last house.  As I'm posting these pictures and typing
these captions, I'm starting to rethink the positioning of my lettuce at the front of the bed.  A little shade and protection from the taller plants that will eventually fill in this space 
(tomatoes, peppers, etc.) might have helped if I would have placed them up front....oh well, live and learn I guess.  Lettuce find out  ;)

This picture has nothing to do with lettuce, but I finally got
around to potting this plant I got from our trip to IKEA a few weeks ago.  
He deserved his moment of glory on the 'ol blog.

This is my first attempt at planting any types of lettuce other than arugula, so we'll see how it goes.  I've heard that the summer heat destroys most lettuce varieties so you have to enjoy while you can and then replant again for additional growth in the fall if you want.  I've also read that you can transplant your lettuce into pots and place them in cooler/shadier locations of your yard for summer-long production, but we'll see.  

I apologize the pictures in this post are so dark.  Unfortunately, this full-time job business during the day really gets in the way of my ability to get evening projects done and photographed in good light--who knew?