Monday, August 24, 2009

My husband, king of directness.

So one night earlier this week we're just hanging around on a rare night that Tim is actually home. The doorbell rings at around 8 pm and we both look at each other like, "huh?"

He goes to the door and it's some 13 year old kid, who (poor thing) is losing a terrible battle with acne and puberty. His poor face tells the whole story and his voice is cracking to go along with it. I have never been a guy but I can say that if I was, I would not want this sort of a puberty experience. Mortifying.

So he is trying to sell something and the conversation goes something like this between he and Tim (also note that Tim does not open the screen door the whole time):

Kid: So, I'm uh, uh, a worker of (???) organization and I'm trying to (???)....mumble, mumble, mumble.

Tim (interrupts): Do you just want money?

Kid: Uh, yeah, basically.

Tim: Well I don't have any. Sorry.

I totally dig the way Tim handled this. I get so annoyed with all of the solicitors. And you might as well ask upfront if what they really want is money and get to the bottom of it. I mean, why are people even doing door to door sales anymore? It just seems like that's probably fallen by the wayside with the internet prominence now. Not to mention, we already are involved in various charities and organizations that we do pick to donate money and time to. So why would we just be like, "oh the organization for blah, blah, blah." Oh yes. Perfect. Here's $100 in exchange for a 100 year old caramel bar.

While I love our new place, it seems as if it is a prime target for solicitors (which, by the way, is weird considering our old place was on a major road). It just irritates me. Like I said, we carefully pick what charities we choose to give money to and I'm sure once we have kids we'll give enough money to schools to last forever. Until then, I wish these people (ie: kids) would stop ringing the doorbell at 8pm. And by the way, as just a sidenote: when I was that age, I was on my way to bed at 8pm. Um, maybe I was just weird or had parents who were weird and made me go to bed but I know I was certainly not going door to door at that time of night...

I might have to practice Tim's way of handling this next time I'm by myself. I usually try to listen to the speech and then 10 minutes later, I'm just annoyed because the whole time I know they just want money, I know I'm not going to give it to them, and I know that I'm just getting my time wasted. So lesson learned... I was absolutely amazed that his encounter only lasted about 30 seconds.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bye bye 2005 old Winston Sam, Hello 2009 new spicy Alfred Winston!

Well, a few days ago my new little mini cooper came in. I set up an appointment to go down there today to pick it up with Tim. I was super sad all weekend to have to get rid of old Winston. He's been such a good car.

Here's a picture of me giving old Winston a kiss before leaving to drive down to the dealer.

And another picture of me standing beside Winston. Isn't he so cute? I love that car!

And the inside of old Winston (relative as there is a picture later of the inside of new Winston).

And getting inside to drive Winston one last time...

Just that very morning, I hit 70,000 miles in Winston! Crazy. When we left for the dealer I was at 70,005.

Tim and I made a stop at our new obsession, Caffe Ladro.'s so good. It's probably another post entirely but we go there as often as we can. So amazing and anyone who lives in Seattle can probably testify to that fact.

We made it down to the mini dealer! Yes! Crazy enough, all of the financing, etc. took less than an hour. I kid you not, the financing took all of 10 minutes. It was INSANE. But I loved it! It helped that we had already gotten Old Winston appraised by the dealer a few weeks prior (and they were giving me $2K more dollars than I expected for him which was awesome especially considering that he has a huge crack in the windshield that will have to be replaced and a couple of wheels that need to be replaced).

Inside of new Alfred Winston. I don't care if I'm weird if I name my cars, by the way. This picture is important because look! The cup holders actually work in the new minis. In the old mini model, there was only one functional cup holder- kind of a pain. Also, the speedometer (huge circle in the middle) is much larger and holds all of the bluetooth/ipod/music operations which the old mini didn't have. I'm still trying to figure out everything on this car. I didn't realize how much they had done to the interiors of the new models but I'm pretty excited for everything it has the capability of doing!

Aww...both little cars together with us.

And me standing between the two minis. You can tell here that the newer model is slightly larger than the older model. I don't really get who thought it made sense to make a MINI cooper bigger, but whatever. You can't really tell unless they are side by side like this.
And back at home, the new little Alfred next to the eco-Duncan prius, all safe and sound in the garage. I'm really excited for the new car. It has the panoramic sunroof all across the top which I love. It also has a sport mode (which makes it drive like the old Winston did all of the time- but now you can just elect that mode instead of having to ride rough all day). It's also a lot more zippy than the old model. I was shocked! I think the biggest change is the interior though. I couldn't believe how much mini had changed on their new models. They did a great job!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

State of the art security

Tim and I were on the way to the beach today and saw a honda from 1990. We were stopped next to it at a stoplight and I started laughing because there was a sticker on the window that said, "Do not attempt to break in. Protected by state of the art Radio Shack security system."

It became even more hilarious when the car drove off and we saw that the window doesn't even seal between the car and the door and there is a couple centimeter crack between the car/window.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An interesting trip to the vet...

We decided we haven't seen the vet enough lately or spent enough money on the vet. We thought it might be fun to take different animals other than Bella who goes about once a month (an improvement from 3 times a week). So I scheduled the boys' (cats) annual exam/shots. We get in there and after a 30 minute conversation about Bella, we move on to the boys.

Sidenote about Miss Thang (aka Bella): her bad tummy issues are back due to the fact that the surgery screwed up the balance/bacteria in her tummy. It has not been a pleasant few days with her in that regard. And now she is back to not eating, being lethargic...again. So we got a couple more medications for her to try to straighten her out...again.

Onto the boys...

The vet told us that our little guys are overweight. I just cracked up and could not stop laughing. Tim and I were both trying to avoid eye contact because it was just too funny. We both knew it because I gave them a bath the other day and they were definitely chunky. Anyway who has seen them would never think, wow, chunkard cats! Stop reading now and go here. This is a fairly current picture of both cats. They are not all.

I have thought for a while that they eat a lot and it has become quite the pain in my ass to chase them away from their food (because we've always free fed them). But we've always free fed them because at first we pretty much had to because there was other cat food around and they were sort of sick so we wanted to make sure they ate. I've never free fed my cats before (they were always on meal plans) mostly because Berkeley my first cat lives for eating and she would be 30 pounds if we had let her eat whenever and whatever she wanted.

So I've always wanted these guys on a meal plan but they just never have been. It's been a little bit of a point of contention between Tim and I but because they are such small adult cats, I figured they were ok.

That is, until I saw them when they were wet in the bath. WOW. Buddha belly kitties.

And then the trip to the vet two days later.

We were told that the cats were obese...bordering on morbidly obese. As funny as I think this is for how small they are, I can kind of see her point as I have recognized it. And I felt slightly vindicated that Tim finally understood that we should have the cats on a meal plan.

Tyson (the gray cat) has gained a pound in a year. That is a TON in kitty pounds. He now weighs 11 pounds and should weigh about 10. Calvin (the black cat) weighs 9.5 pounds and should weigh 8 pounds. So Tyson has to lose a pound and Calvin has to lose a pound in a half. That's a lot for kitties. So they are going on a little diet consisting of twice a day feedings of only 1/2 to 1/3 cup each and they are switching to light food.

So far, so good. I actually think they seem happier and more relaxed now that the food is not always around. It's like it was a competition before. They also seem to have more energy. So, all in all, it was a great change. Not sure that I've seen a change in the weight yet, but we'll get there. It still cracks me up that we have obese kitties. I don't know why.

Also an update on Bella: I scratched all of the vet's medicines after a day (great waste of money-yes!) I wanted to see if I could make her better more naturally. So I bought a huge thing of puppy milk to give her as a supplement (it is used for baby puppies who are don't get the colostrum from their mom but can still be used for older puppies to help strengthen their immune systems) and I switched her to a 0% grain food (still) but this one is an all fish protein source. My thought was that after the surgery her body was weak so it developed a sensitivity to the protein sources in the other food (chicken). Well, guess who was right? Bella is doing great and is back to perfect after a week of this. I'm so happy. And I think I was right on the money about the other food- we ran out of the fish food and I thought I'd try the chicken food. Note to self: get rid of that food. It did not go well.

All right, enough about animals.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And... pictures from the walk.

Told you I actually had them!

Here's is a picture of the big blow up Dalmatian for all of the kids to play on. Real firefighters were also there too (not Tim, these guys were in uniform with the big truck). The kids were fascinated.

The beginning of the race (the balloon arch at the right of the picture). I don't really know what I was taking a picture of. Maybe it was the inflatable wolf (from the radio station there). Who knows.

And me! In my festive walk for wishes shirt. It was so fun!

And Tim in his walk for wishes shirt. We probably should have gotten a picture together but pictures were kind of an after thought. We had such a great time (and you can tell by all of the sun that it was a perfect day for it!)

Walk for wishes

This morning the make a wish foundation of Seattle had their first 5K walk for wishes in the Seattle area and it was the perfect morning for it! I'm a volunteer (fairly new but still a volunteer, regardless) at the make a wish foundation as a wish granter. I actually really love the organization and everything it stands for and the kids just melt my heart.

Tim got off work at 8am this morning and hadn't slept at all on shift the night before so I wasn't totally sure we were going to do the walk. However, he was a trooper and we made it out for all of the festivities. It was so much fun and such a beautiful and great way to spend the morning. Ooh, and I actually have pictures, too that we took on Tim's phone. I'll have to get those from him and post them.

We met a little girl named Cassidy who told everyone about her wish to meet Rascal Flatts in person (a country band for all you folks who didn't originate in the midwest and have some stigma against country music). Anyway, she did meet Rascal Flatts in person and not only that but she got to eat dinner with them and got to sing with them in concert in front of 20,000. She was such a cute little girl and it's so touching to see these kids just light up talking about how their wishes came true. They totally deserve everything they get, more than I can even remotely express in words.

As a sidenote: We just got tickets for a group of us to go to Rascal Flatts when they come to town in October (4 days after we get back from Hawaii). I saw them in 2001 in California when they were barely known to anyone. It was in a small joint with hardly any people and I think it was maybe $10-$30 to get in. Hardly anything. I've been a fan of them ever since. It's nice to hear that as they've grown in popularity they still take time for kids like Cassidy. Makes me respect them even more, aside from just liking their music (and yes, that is the midwest girl in me).

Anyway, the walk was a huge success and I can't wait to see what this next year holds for me as part of the make a wish foundation!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hawaii two years in a row??

Yes, please!

Today Tim and I decided that we are going to celebrate our anniversary by going back to the Hawaiian island where we got married: Maui. Tickets are booked, hotel is booked. We are ready to go.

To us this means more to have a fun, somewhat sentimental trip than gifts or just doing something small to commemorate our wedding day. That day was so special to us and our anniversary means so much to us, that this seems the only appropriate way to really honor the day (you can see my post about our wedding day here). It truly was the best day ever and I can't wait to be there again with my husband, reminiscing about us, our journey, our wedding, our future.

We are staying at the same place we did last year on Maui- the Fairmont. I can't wait! We LOVED that place. Great beach, great location, right by the beach we got married, awesome service, all organic/natural's just perfect for us. Last year we had a week on Maui where we got married and then we flew to Kauai for a week for a honeymoon of sorts, I guess.

This year we will just be in Hawaii for a week and staying on Maui the whole time. We have a few things on the list to do that we did last year and loved and also a few things that we didn't get to last year that we want to do. On our anniversary, I think we will follow a similar day to what we did last year- massages, relax at the beach, dinner from the same chef who prepared our oceanside dinner last year. And of course I'm sure we will enjoy another sunset on the beach we got married on, similar to the one we saw on our wedding day.

The one thing we are doing this year that I'm super excited for is we are going to fly to the big island for a day trip. I haven't been there since my trip to Hawaii in 2004 and I loved the big island. The volcanoes, in particular, were just astounding and unlike anything I have ever seen. Of course then we were able to get about 10 feet from the flowing lava. I'm hoping that Tim and I will be able to hike in and see some lava. Regardless, it will be a fun little adventure and a new island to explore for a day.

Now the hardest part is the waiting.... only about two months until we leave.... I can't wait!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poor, poor puppy

We picked Bella up when we got home from Kansas City from our friends Brad and Gina (who have the boxer named Dallas). Bella also got a week vacation by being able to spend the week with Dallas. She LOVED it. And we loved that she got to be in a place where she was so happy. We have such great friends!

Above is a picture about an hour after we picked her up. She did not move for the entire night. We literally had to drag her to pee and eat.

Yesterday, she had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Debbie, our vet, to get spayed. She is 8 months old on August 19th and she finally has her tummy issues resolved (which is why we haven't gotten her spayed yet). So we had to do it asap before she goes into heat (usually 8-9 months for boxers) because boxers are prone to certain cancers so getting them spayed before they go into heat can prevent certain cancers.

I was so sad to drop her off. I just felt horrible for the poor girl! But she apparently did great and everything went just fine. I picked her up today and it was hilarious because I could tell she was a little bit off but she was trying to act like she was just fine. It was cute.

Here's a picture of her right after we got home today. She's looking at me like, "What the hell just happened to me?!" Too funny.

And a picture of the war wound... it looks pretty good. Just kinda yellow-ish from the soap stuff they use to clean the area but the actually incision looks really good. I think she will heal just fine and be herself in no time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kansas City, baby!

We made the trip home to Kansas City from July 30-August 4th. It was a great time and I even got some of it captured in pictures! It helps now that I have a phone that I can actually use since we traded in our old phones for iphones. I did have a blackberry and I'm not sure how many people out there have used those but it's like trying to learn foreign language. I had it for 5 months or so and hated it. Anyway, that's a different post entirely. The point is that I had a phone in which I could actually take pictures on. So when I didn't have my camera, I had my phone and I snapped many more pictures than I normally would (the phone pictures are the smaller pictures are the larger photos- and we only really got out the actual camera once, thanks to my mom!)

We had a great time seeing family, friends, etc. I was able to catch up with a friend that I was best friends with in high school and have known since 7th grade. I probably haven't seen her since our freshman year in college. It was great to spend the day with her having some girls time, getting pedicures, etc. We met up for dinner later that night with our husbands on the plaza. I'm noting this now because I did not snap any pictures that day. I also didn't snap any pictures of the day where we had about 35 good family friends over to my parents house for a lunch get together. That was a great time too. So nice to be able to catch up with people that have known me for so long.

Below are the pictures that I did capture of our trip:

Playing cards... lots and lots of cards. Love it.

And another card shot. Like my dad always says, our family plays cards and plays golf. This is a true story.

My parents just totally remodeled their deck a couple of months ago and for the get together with all of the family friends, my mom thought it would be a good idea to have an umbrella for the table so everyone would stay cool. So here is everyone putting the umbrella up.

A view of the little fountain on their deck. Their new deck is so nice. And of course, we had Seattle weather back in Kansas City when it was 100 degrees still in Seattle so we got lots of quality time just sitting outside and enjoying cooler weather.

More pictures of putting the umbrella/table together.! There are always many trips to the driving range with Dad to get the ole swing perfected.

And again... Trying to tweak it just a bit more. And yes, I golf just fine in jeans and flip flops, thanks. It's a driving range in Missouri. I don't have to wear "golf attire."

Tim working on cranking his ball out there. He got lots of lessons while we were there.

A picture of us in front of a bison out in Kansas. We went shopping all day and then to eat at this restaurant called Teds which is actually one of the only organic-y restaurants I've seen in the midwest (I'm sure there are more- I just am not there enough and have to go to restaurants-aka: steakhouses- to appeal to my midwest Dad's palate). They even had all natural straws. I was definitely impressed. They are known for their bison though, thus the huge bison.

My dad enjoying his cheeseburger. Beef. Not bison. Shocker, I know!

Mouth full of organic, all natural chicken sandwich... yum!

A couple of days later (on our last day there), the weather in Kansas City reverted back to Missouri summer weather as I remember it. Meaning: HOT. Also meaning: weather Seattle had experienced for the prior week. It was humid and 100 degrees. And what do we go do? In the heat of the day at 3pm we decide to go golfing. Yes! Here is Tim trying to find some shade right before we teed off.

And on the first teebox warming up...

My mom and brother hanging out waiting to tee off.

Dad and Jon in the cart probably watching one of us tee off...

Teeing off. We had the course to ourselves because it was so freaking hot. And because it was so hot, I am again not in golf attire. I decided I did not care, it was way too hot. So I rocked the flip flops and tank top again. No one said anything so I guess it was ok!

Tim taking the first sand shot he's ever hit. He actually did really well and got close to the pin! I wish I had that skill. I'm still not consistent with sand shots... best case scenario would be to avoid the traps but in golf when you try to do anything, you usually get the opposite result (meaning I always end up in the stupid traps).

And my brother, chipping it on. I'm telling you, this family loves golf.

Timmy chipping it on. He has a real talent for this silly game! It's quite impressive actually given he has never really played before joining my family. Although he said that he has always really wanted to learn. I can see why now- he's got some skill!

And my mom whacking away at the ball. It still amazes me that she can never practice and just go out and play and hit the ball as well as she does.

Since we had the course to ourselves, we got a little silly on about the 8th hole. Must have been the heat....

Hitting the ball off my dad's mouth.... He is trusting...

Putting on one of the last holes.
I love golfing with my family. It's so fun! It's just fun to be out there with them and to realize how cool it is to have such a good family (and friends) who are always there for you regardless of how far away you live. I was really sad to leave. But, we already have our plane tickets back for the holidays in December! I will be there for longer time then so I'm hoping that I can see more of my old college friends then...