Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lunch at the Lake

Since the 'rents are still in N.C. we're still on Izzy duty. Today we decided to bring some lunch grub with us so we could let her out to roam around. Chris bbq'd up hot dogs and we had some chips with them while we watched Izzy stalk the neighborhood walkers from behind the bushes.

Mum has done a lot of work to the front "yard" of their condo. It came with complimentary ivy and ugly bushes which Mum immediately pulled out and made the yard maintenance people haul away. The finished result is very nice:
We figured once we let Izzy out she'd be off like a bullet, but no, she actually wouldn't get away from us.

We kept telling her to scram and make some friends, but she just kept coming back. Oh well, it made it easier to get her inside when we were ready to leave.

We got home around 3:00 and Chris hit the front and back yard with the lawn mower while I tackled the inside. Sweeping, vacuuming, wiping, de-cluttering, etc. Now I don't fear the cops kicking in the door wondering how people can live like this.

A pot of rice just finished cooking which needs to cool for a new Rachael Ray recipe I'm making tonight. I saw it the other day at work, turkey burgers with pinto beans and rice mixed in. It looked pretty tasty and I happened to have some leftover ground turkey from my crockpot barley soup last weekend. I seem to have hit or miss luck with her recipes so we'll see.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Planting Time

Being the seasoned farmers that we are, we took advantage of the recent good weather to get our summer vegetable garden together. And by 'we' I mean Chris while I sat and supervised. Chris came home from work yesterday with an array of veggie delights:

Chris moved our garden bed a little closer to the fence this year (or at least it looks that way to me) and brought home some extra riser material from work (fiberglass access rings for septic tanks) to plant in too. After a little magic and fairy dust here was the end result:

The tall riser in the back with the lid is our new compost pile. At the Green Summit in Sacramento I got a free under sink compost bucket which inspired Chris to dedicate a spot in the yard for the scraps. You know what else we planted that I just realized I didn't take a photo of? Japanese eggplant (the long skinny ones). That's in the middle riser. I just remembered looking at the plant tag in the riser when I took the photo. Some of the starters came in six packs, but we didn't plant them all. I think Chris is going to offer up the leftovers to Mum when they get back from North Carolina.

Wilson and I had lunch today at T Bar in Chico. I enlightened her to a new delicious place to take her friends next time she's in town. Besides fabulous food they have yummy frozen tea concoctions.

In other breaking news; look at the milestone my car, Tango just hit today:

As soon as I backed up, out of the driveway, it hit 20,000. Sniff, sniff....he's no longer a shiny new baby.

Tuesday night we went to the movies and saw 'I Love You, Man'. It was funny. Not as funny as Knocked Up or Pineapple Express, but still good. We want to see Duplicity, too (with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts). Maybe this weekend since we have no big plans except to sleep in.

So it's only March and my Project 365 is already getting behind. That's the scrapbook project where I take a photo everyday. I'm taking the photos, but I'm not being consistent about printing them and getting them in the album. I think I'm three weeks behind, with two of those weeks still sitting at Walmart waiting to be picked up. My goal this weekend, besides cleaning up this pig sty, is to get that stuff caught up. And world peace.

And lastly, my nail lady had my Partylite candle order for me today. I'd ordered three mini jar candles in two different scents; teakwood & cardamon and tamboti safari. They're both musky with patchouli for the damn dirty hippie hidden inside of me. Mmmm.....patchouli. The Partylite order I placed at my coworkers' party had a frosted glass lampshade that fits over these jars so I hope that order comes in soon, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We are the Champions!

Despite me dropping the camera, Chris having to be towed in yesterday and the car leaking noticeable amounts of fluids today, we managed to finish the race each day and win our class. Today I brought Chris' camera and saw what a superior job it does of action photos over my crippled and devastated camera.

Saturday morning started way to early:
Did anybody else see the sunrise? I bet not. You know why? Because normal people are still asleep at that hour on the weekend.

First session out on Saturday:
Yep, that's a tow truck dragging the vee back to the pits. Not a good way to start the weekend, but much to the excitement and delight of our millions of fans we were able to get back on track:
Oh right, there was just me.

This weekend there were also stock cars (Nascar) there running with the race group (that's us).
Yes, that last one is sponsored by Hooters.

Today started off better just by virtue of not needing a tow truck. Luckily we missed all the rain this weekend. It rained a little in Chico yesterday while we were at the track and it rained over night, but was done by morning and everything at the track was dry. But it was crAzY windy today. It didn't quite lift the cows up in the air, but almost.

And the grand finale:
The winner of each race class gets a checkered flag at the end of the race so that they can tout their superiority over the other drivers as they cruise through the paddocks back to their pit. Ha ha, other loser drivers! Sure, some of the loser drivers drove over 20 seconds faster a lap than us, but they're not in our class so they get nothing and like it!

It was after that moment of glory that we noticed a trail of fluid coming out from under the car. Even I, who is by no means a car expert, knows that's not good. Now the highly decorated speed machine is sitting in pieces in the driveway drying off after a good hose down while we watch some of that second rate child's play racing called Nascar. They only wish they could be as cool as us.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cameras + Me = Bad Mojo

Long story short, I dropped the camera on the bathroom floor at the racetrack today and rattled it up enough that the zoom toggle is stuck on 10x, the picture button won't depress and apparently the menu buttons on the back won't work so I can't get the photos off of it. Hahahahahahaaaaaaa!!!

Ok, it's really not that funny. At least I can use Chris' ginormous paparazzi camera in the mean time, but now I have to take my camera in somewhere (assuming A. Chris can't fix it, and B. there's somewhere to take it to local).

It was just that kind of day today. First off we had to be out of here at 6:00 am to get to the track for tech on time. Then during Chris' first session out, his engine stopped working and after he got towed back to the pits we saw that he was spewing oil, too. He managed to piece together a couple of things before his race qualifying session so he could go back out, but the car was just fighting him today. He did win his class in the race, granted we were the only one's in our class, but a win is a win, right? He was racing with old nascar cars. They're loud, in case you're wondering. It's a double header weekend so we go back out tomorrow for the same fun and games.

For dinner tonight I'm trying a new crock-pot recipe that's one of the recipes a co-worker gave me for the cookbook I'm putting together for a gal at work who's getting married in the fall. It's a beef and barley soup. It was easy and quick. We'll see how it tastes...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green, Green, Green

How appropriate that I would spend St. Patrick's Day in Sacramento at the Green Summit and Exposition. It was all about "green" today. Most importantly I remembered to wear my holiday shirt:
Kari wore hers, too. Nobody questioned our team spirit today.

The green summit was really good. We could only talk our boss into sending us to the keynote speakers and the exhibition hall because it was free. Of course this year had the best classes yet, but not so great that I wanted to shell out the $150 class registration fee myself. One of the keynote speakers spoke about greenhouse gasses and climate change and reporting trends. That is, if you believe all that hooey about global warming. What do a bunch of scientists know?? The second speaker was from the State energy department and spoke about the federal stimulus package and what was available to local and regional governments. Perfect timing since both Kari and I had been asked to look into stimulus funding opportunities for work.
Kari always laughs whenever I whip out my camera in public places like this. Is nothing sacred?! In between speakers we perused the aisles of the exhibition hall. That's code for loading up on free goodies. All the booths have tons of free stuff, but since this isn't our first time we don't have such a 'snatch and run' kind of attitude. Now we actual stop and (cough, cough) ask about the products. What fun is that? Have no fear though, I did manage to get a new shopping bag, a recycled pen and a composting bucket. We tried to get one of the composting buckets last year but got there too late. This year as soon as I saw people walking around with them I grabbed Kari and told her we needed to run to the other side of the hall (where they were last year) quickly and get some. It was like "Supermarket Spree" where we were literally running down isles looking for their booth, grabbing each others' arms and calling out directions. We have no shame for free product. The main difference this year was that there was an auto "green" mall where a dozen or so electric and hybrid cars were parked. We checked out the Zenn electric car that struggled to go even 30 mph and only had an initial charge range of 15 miles. We could probably do two donuts in the parking lot before the batteries died.

We left the summit around 1:00 pm and were greeted by a parking ticket on our town vehicle. Apparently Kari only stuck the blank sticker to the window, but not the actual parking stub showing we paid. Oops. $35 for our mistake. We're going to try and send in the parking stub and get out of the ticket. How gay is that?

I got home around 3:45pm today and immediately went out for an hour long walk to try and compensate for the chipotle chicken sandwich and platter of fries I ate for lunch at the brewery. That will be followed by an extra long visit to the gym later tonight. What an exciting way to spend my first evening alone. Chris was in Sacramento today, too, for a wastewater conference but he'll be there until Thursday. How am I supposed to have a local fireman block party if I'm spending all my time exercising? And then tomorrow night I'm meeting my old boss, Linda (who works at City of Chico), at her work at 5:30 tomorrow night for drinks and grub at Johnnie's (where we went for our anniversary). I already looked at their online menu and am eyeballing a rum and diet coke and an order of spinach pepper dip (spinach & roasted red peppers) with flatbread. Yum, yum, yum. But not so yum that I have to walk 2.5 miles and spend 30 additional minutes at the gym. Nothing's worth that 'yum' again.

Oh, before I forget, check out my new favorite cookies:
They're chocolate chip cookies but made with pumpkin, applesauce and splenda. And best of all, the recipe only makes 8 cookies so I'm not innudated with them. That reminds me that I ate the last two today so I should make another batch tonight. Good thinking! And speaking of cooking, we did make sure to make some corned beef and cabbage this last weekend since Chris would be gone today.
Against Jessica's urging we ended up crockpotting the beef and cabbage because there were no baking directions on the bag. I did roast the red potatoes (in a rub of evoo, garlic salt and southwestern seasoning) though. It all came out really good. There was the perfect amount of leftovers for Chris the next day and that was it. If somebody (maybe Jessica, perhaps) were to supply me with the baking directions I might be persuaded to pick up another roast and try it again. Just saying.

Alright, off to make some cookies before fat camp starts. We're not that interested in it this year, but I'm no quitter. And we're not watching Dancing with the Stars. There are absolutely no "stars" we give a rip about. Why can't they get Mel Gibson? It's not like he's doing anything, right? Or Keanu Reeves? MC Hammer??? Hammer time!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Social Butterfly

Phew, what a week! Lots of activity, but in a good way. It got our minds off the fact that our bodies were broken and devastated from the short little jaunt last weekend. Each day following the race some other part of our body would ache. Babies!

Monday night we went to the cheapskate night ($3/ticket) at the Pageant Theater to see Frost/Nixon. Luckily we got there early per the suggestion of a Pageant regular because a lot of the college kids have to watch it for class. It was really good. I haven't been to the Pageant for so long I forgot that they do intermission no matter how long the movie is. I don't think they've done any updating to the inside since last I was there though. Old movie posters, and the mural of Godzilla stomping through the city on one of the walls.

Tuesday was bunko up in the boonies by my old house. I stopped at Pelican's Roost before hand and had a delicious cup of chowder and half a round of sourdough. Really, I just order the chowder to get the sourdough. It's so fabulous and warm. Of course they had lots of food and snacks at bunko, but I resisted.

The 'rents ran up to Medford for a couple of days in the middle of the week so we were on Izzy duty. Feeding and visiting. Chris went over Tuesday and Thursday night by himself, but I joined him Wednesday night. Izzy showed her appreciation by rubbing all over the front of my black zip up sweater turning it into a mohair sweater.

Thursday night was bible study here. I made jambalaya, garlic bread and recreated the salad I had at Johnnie's for our anniversary. It had sliced pears, mandarin oranges, blue cheese crumbles, glazed walnuts and balsamic dressing. They loved it. For dessert I served shortcakes with vanilla ice cream and strawberries.

Friday was a long day in p-town. After work, I had my nails, then I had to go back to work for a late afternoon meeting about Constuction and Demolition Recylcing. I know, exciting. Afterwards I went to a co-workers house for a partylite candle party. I bought a frosted looking lampshade to go over some little jar candles I'd ordered from my nail lady a couple weeks ago. I also got some bayberry tealights and a 24 tealight set of 6 difference scents that was the March special for $10. That's a great deal considering the regular box of a dozen tealights is $9.50.

Since I was up in town so long yesterday I wasn't able to do my grocery shopping so that was the first thing I did this morning after I fed the beast, I mean Chris. While I'm blogging, he's out in the garage trying to finish up with Mr. A. because he is starving for lunch.

Alright, apparently the laundry is not going to put itself in the dryer so I should go tend to that. Unless somebody else wants to take over??....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Go Speed Runners, Go!

Well, our morning jaunt in the park is over. First of all, it is freaking cold at 8:00 in the morning. It wasn't even 40 degrees when we left. We had on pants, sweaters and gloves over our running clothes. Secondly, what kind of gay running gig doesn't let you listen to ipods? We're just supposed to enjoy the sound of nature? Might have been a good point to post on the event website as opposed to announcing it 1 minute before the start time once we've already strapped our music to ourselves and have no access to the drop-off station. Besides that, it was fun.
Chris ran with me the entire time. We came in at the 32 minute mark (for 3.2 miles). Pretty good considering I haven't run a 5K in almost 2 years and Chris hasn't run more than a mile in about 20 years. As soon as we got our timing chips cut off we'll peeled rubber out of there to the Golden Waffle.
Mmmm...poached eggs, dry sourdough toast, hash browns and waffle. And coffee. Lots of it.

Yesterday I'd mentioned that I won some sort of prize in my registration pack. I brought it with me this morning to the information booth and was given an envelope with a certificate for a free years worth of Knudsen's Recharge energy fruit drink. A years worth is apparently 10 cases (120 bottles). They had a whole bunch of them at the end of the race that you could drink. Chris grabbed an Orange one and it was pretty good. Unfortunately, since it's fruit juice it's a little too high in calories and sugars for me, but it's perfect for Chris. The lady at the info booth said you just call them and make arrangements for pick up which will probably be a couple times a year since they do have to pay attention to expiration dates. Pretty cool. The prize is definitely worth more than our registration fees combined.
I finally got a picture of the front yard in the spring. We have a winter and fall photo, but it's been raining for so long that we've been missing our spring photo. We have a big ornamental plum in the front yard that's big and pink and about three more in the back yard. It looks really pretty.
Now we're just resting up on the couch watching truck racing. We have Mama Mia on Netflix for later. Chris was soaking his tootsies and now we're both starting to feel the rigor mortis set in to our calves and thighs. The euphoria is over, it's all downhill from here!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Can you believe it, we've already been married 20 years!! Wait, I meant two years, it's only felt like twenty. Hehehehe.....

Tuesday was our second anniversary which was excuse enough to cut out of work early. We went to the 4:10 showing of The Wrestler in Chico, then dinner at Johnnie's (downstairs from the Hotel Diamond). The Wrestler was really good, but it's not a happy, feel good movie. Dinner was absolutely fantastic. Just as good as the Portland City Grill which I thought was the best food I'd ever had. I had salmon over garlic mashed potatoes covered in a pesto cream sauce with a side of spinach. I also ordered a champagne pear salad. It had spring mix lettuce, slices of pear, mandarin oranges, glazed walnuts and crumbled blue cheese with a citrus viniagrette. So tasty. Chris had a pork tenderloin covered in sauted pepper slices over garlic mashed potatoes with grilled asparagus.

After dinner we came home and enjoyed our lemon cake from The Upper Crust. Real cake from a real bakery is so much better than homemade. That's probably one of the things I miss the most from catering. We always got bites of the wedding cakes from Upper Crust and Mim's Bakery.

The rest of the week was pretty calm. Thursday night was bible study up in P-town and I took today off from work. I needed to go pick up our pre-race packets for tomorrow's 5k run and get our grocery shopping done and I just thought it'd be easier to start my errands in the morning instead of when I get into Chico at 1:00 pm. When I got to Fleet Feet to pick up our race packets there was already a line out to the door. Ugh. But it moved fast and I got there early enough that there were still tshirts available for us too (we were late registrants).
I got a gold envelope in my race packet that said I was golden envelope winner #2 and to turn the envelope in for a prize tomorrow. Go me! The packets also have electronic timing chips in them that we have to zip tie to our shoelaces tomorrow. That's how they time us. My co-worker Denise is running with us on this death march as is Chris' friend Justin. All we're really looking forward to is going to breakfast and pigging out afterwards. We're such wimps.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Big surprise; it rained again today! It's a good thing though, we're almost up to our average rainfall in P-town. It's rained at least 41 inches as of this afternoon and the average is 52 inches for the year.

We spent most of the weekend shopping and playing at home. Yesterday morning we went to Target and Chris got the newest Kings of Leon CD and I bought two new pairs of heels. They're identical pointy toed, sling back, 2.5" inch heels. One in camel, one in patent black. We also stopped at Wally World so that I could pick up my photos and have something to do in the afternoon while he worked in the garage. We were able to squeeze in a quick walk around the block before heading to the 'rents for dinner (even though it did make us a couple minutes late). We had steak (that Chris bbq'd), baked potatoes, salad and asiago cheese bread from Safeway (my new favorite bread in the whole wide world). It was good, I just try not to dwell on how fatty it was. The 'rents don't use 'lite' or 'fat free' anything. Perhaps that's why their food tastes so much better than mine...
Chris hanging out on their front porch, begging for a meal full of meat.

While we were visiting with the 'rents, Mr. A. gave us a copy of an article he wrote and illustrated that's going to be published in some local electric car newsletter. Kind of interesting.

We woke up to rain today. It'd poured all night so there were puddles everywhere taunting me to skip church. So I did. Actually I slept too late to make it to the contemporary service and would have had to go to the traditional service where they sing hymns and speak in Latin, or something like that. Instead I stayed home and made homemade blueberry scones which came out very tasty. Chris did some more garage work while I did important things, like washing sheets and downloading recipes for dinner. There was a Nascar race on in the afternoon that we watched and then we finally sat down and watched Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It was good, but I thought it'd be funnier. I think I say that about everything, though. Our one foray out this afternoon was to The Upper Crust to pick up our anniversary cake. It's white cake with layers of tart lemon curd. OMG it sounds soooo good.

Awww.....look at that. Isn't it cute? I sure am going to enjoy eating it while Chris watches because it sure doesn't look big enough for the both of us. We're both getting off work early on Tuesday and going to an early showing of The Wrestler and then out to dinner at Johnnie's which is downstairs at the Hotel Diamond (next the parking structure and connected to the Phoenix Building). The 'rents gave us a card yesterday with money for a "romantic anniversary dinner". So we can either go to Johnnie's for the evening or eat at La Comida for the rest of the year. Hmmm....choices.