Sunday, March 28, 2010

Late March walk

One of the last weekends in March, either prior to or after the week from hell (sorry can't remember which), I took the puppy on a long walk. It was relatively nice out and a good way to get outside...and for me to forget about anything work. Or maybe to vent about it... we just walked around our neighborhood and ventured our way down to the waterfront. It was awesome and I even snapped pictures, so here you go:

We stumbled upon to little bamboo shoots. Cool!

Looking across the water......

And a shot of the Seattle skyline from where we were. We live on the east side of Lake Washington, Seattle is on the west. We usually have a great view of the Seattle skyline. All in all, we walked around for about 8 miles that day... through the neighborhoods, down to the water, on the trails. So fun. We do this quite frequently if my foot is cooperating, I just don't usually take pictures.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The busy season week from hell

The last week of March was definitely the highlight of my busy season. In terms of awfulness. I had about a million audits going on that were wrapping up and several of them hadtogetoutthissecond, or at least by March 31. Which just so happened to be right this second. Oh! It was also the second when I had what would the the first of many instances where I would have rather jumped out of a 10 story building than deal with The Client From Hell.

There is always one of these clients every busy season and mine just happened to be a new client that I happened to really like at the time the project started...until it turned into an absolute cluster. TURNS OUT that their prior CPA SUCKED and turns out that I should probably not review any sort of project after playing superman during the prior month (and failing). Why? Because apparently that jolt went to my head or at least made me really not look as deeply as I should have while reviewing. Totally my bad and definitely came back to bite me in the ass.... A bite in the ass that occurred during this last week of March, a week in which I ALSO was starting The Client From Hell of 2 busy seasons ago, known now as the biggest client I have. Lovely!

Add to that the fact that out of stupidity (or sheer tiredness and not really knowing what I was agreeing to) I agreed to help one of my friends' with her taxes (not simple, I might add- a single member LLC-yuck!), not to mention my own taxes, which by the way, I hadn't even STARTED and they were due in oh, two weeks. And my friend is, admittedly, one of the biggest non-organizers EVER but didn't want to file an extension. Gah! After all of this, you have a mixture of: 1) Crazy 3/31 deadlines 2) Grumpy bosses 3) Shit hitting the fan on new clients 4) Tax hell (how did I EVER work in tax?!)

It was BY FAR the worst week of busy season, hands down (at least until about mid April, which was post busy season SUPPOSEDLY, HA!, and there was a runner up to the week from hell...more on that once I get caught up to that point in time). There is always one week that stands out and though I can't get too detailed in this forum, let's suffice it to say that there was definitely a happy hour on that Friday night... even though I had to work all day Saturday and Sunday. Holy crap, I'm glad that week is FAR, FAR behind me. At least until next year when I have another busy season and another week from hell that goes down in the books as such.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tofu surprise

One of my new favorite things during this busy season was to cook one night a week and then have leftovers for several days. It kept me eating healthy and it was better than PB&J or cold cereal when I got home late from work. I never really wanted to put in much effort, though, so my efforts and recipes were mostly some form of "throw whatever the hell you have in."

The below is one such item, made during March 2010. I was so busy living in work hell 7 days a week for an ungodly amount of hours a day, I can't even remember if I showered or practiced personal hygiene in March (I sure to god hope so) so I can't really begin to tell you what was in the recipe... From the picture that I somehow had the insight to snap, it looks like there was some spinach, tofu, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. I imagine I probably also put it on top of quinoa and topped it all off with feta cheese and some black olives. I wish I could say I remember if it was amazing or not but truthfully, I really don't. It looks good though!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Adventures of Miss Bella: March 2010

Well, Bella had a great March 2010. It also commemorated the year anniversary of the trip to Boise, Idaho to go and get her. See here for the story of our trip to get her one year ago. It's hard to believe that it's already been a full year. March of 2010 was a little different than the prior year because instead of a tiny puppy that we were learning all about, we had a full grown dog and EXTREMELY busy schedules and a slightly different life. Luckily, we also have a great neighbors with two kids who love Bella and volunteered to watch her when we are gone. We pay the kids, of course, and it's such a great deal for us (and them!) When I was working and Tim wasn't, he would take care of her and on the days when Tim wasn't working and it was a weekend and I was at work, I'd take care of Bella (aka: wear her out) and then take her into the office.

Bella snoozing away in my office... She's happy as a clam.

But, don't worry! If she gets thirsty, she just drinks out of a regular cup. It's a little messy but it works.

And sleeping some more... I was so proud of her, she did GREAT when I brought her in. I did have to shut the door to get her to lay down and sleep. And if someone walked by, she guarded my office by barking. Other than that though, she was a rockstar.

Naturally, we can't go a month without the poor pup getting sick. In March she developed a sinus infection (no, the above is not white fur, it's snot. Sorry, that's disgusting). A couple of weeks later, the sinus infection turned into pink eye. Fun times for all! Did anyone know that dogs can get pink eye?? Not me! Didn't seem to affect her energy level one bit, though, and luckily her poops have remained stable.

March was gorgeous and sunny the whole month (of COURSE, since all of us poor accountants are stuck in the office without any hope of going outside!) Bella likes to lay in the house in the sun so she had a lot of time where we moved her bed so she could do just that.

And again... looking at Calvin, laying and basking in the sun.

And one more... pretty rough life, eh?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The glorious cities of western Washington.

Holy god, as I write this I CANNOT believe how long ago this seems. I mean, it seems almost like it was in another YEAR, a good year, a year in which I did not wish to just fall and die from sheer exhaustion because I needed sleep and to not work THAT BADLY. This week was the beginning of that string of hell and if I had known then what the following weeks held after this week until, oh I don't know AFTER April 15, I might have had a different outlook on the whole week, like, DON'T RETURN TO SEATTLE...EVER. Or at least until June. It was the start of a complete downhill slide for me in my "busy season."

The week of March 8-March 12, I was in Aberdeen, Washington at a new client. A very large new client that does manufacturing. Manufacturing of something that we all use every day, without probably even a thought. And the process? Oh my GOSH, the process is just amazing. I was literally blown away. Obviously I can't really talk about who or what here, but let's just say that it was one of the most incredible processes I have ever seen. I know, I'm such a tease.

So, Aberdeen. Aberdeen is a VERY small town on the coast of western Washington. Right on the ocean. Surprisingly, though, (or maybe not) because the Washington shore is not quite like the Southern Cali shore, there just isn't the draw for people to live there. The weather is erratic and the coast of Washington consists mostly of small towns. Like Aberdeen. And in comparison? It reminded me to a TEE of all the Iowa towns I was so familiar with after spending summers at my grandparents in Iowa as a child...except for the whole ocean thing, of course.

We stayed in the "nicest" hotel in town. Aka: a hotel circa 1982. Don't you just love the hallway carpet? The rooms were rocking forest green carpet. It was an experience.

The drive down to Aberdeen was GORGEOUS though. Through the mountains to the coast. Luckily, we had pretty good weather that week too. The coast is notorious for rainfall even when Seattle was dry... we had a couple of crazy bursts of rain but several clear days too.

Just coming into the town of Aberdeen. There is a Starbucks ahead right after coming into town- by the end of the week, the baristas there had my drink (hot black chai tea) with my name on it ready and waiting by the time I got there. It was totally cool and so reminiscent of a small town.

And a shot from of the sunset via the car mirrors.
It was a pretty good week with my co-workers. We went to a couple of dinners in town where we got to unwind at the end of some long days with some talks and wine. Of course, we sought out what the "nice" restaurants were to the locals and when we walked in, we were about the only people under 60 years old. We did go to Billy's, what seems to be the local dive bar, on our last night and that was pretty fun too. Apparently it's an old whore house. Not kidding. At the end of the week, I think we were all ready to return to civilization. I can honestly say that while it was fun to experience Aberdeen, I do NOT know how people live there.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A hike in mid busy season

After a particularly hellish week (ah, who am I kidding, most weeks in busy season have their own elements of hell), I decided to take a rare Sunday off of work. I had run a 5k earlier in the week as my achilles has been relatively pain free (perhaps because I've been sitting on my ass so much?) and I did the 5k in reasonable time considering I haven't run in, I don't know, SEVEN MONTHS! I won't go down that tangent road again, because I can already feel my blood pressure rise from the annoyance this stupid tendon has brought to my life for SEVEN.MONTHS.

Anyway, the 5k. Yes, I had a pretty crappy day so I decided that I NEEDED to run. It's just so much better than the stupid fake runner (aka: elliptical ax trainer) that I have been using since my injury. Anyone that is a runner knows that nothing gives you that "runner's high" like actually running does. So, I ran. My achilles had been decent and I decided to just do it. I ran 3 10 minute miles, which I felt was pretty decent, like I said, considering the amount of time that has lapsed since my last run. I had visions of just being decrepit and falling on my face once my legs starting the running motion again, but alas, they worked just fine. And, AND! No achilles pain! Holy crap!

So after this excitement, I of course, assumed that I am healed. Who knows why, but hooray! So this particular sunday, I was just itching to go hike. I mean, I hadn't hiked in about the same amount of time that I hadn't run (except for Camelback in Phoenix which turned out to not be a great idea for the poor achilles). So, since my achilles was fine after a 5k, why not hike up a mountain? I mean, I'll do an easy hike, only 6 miles or it will be great! And it was...

It was a perfect day, perfect weather to hike. I thought would be relatively ok for my achilles. It was about 6 miles in total. It was AWESOME to be hiking again. See pictures, below:

Bella really hasn't hiked before. Boxers should be about 14 months to really do any distances due to the joint problems that the are prone to develop (which, undoubtedly our dog will- she's prone to EVERYTHING). Anyway, at the top she got some water AND it was discovered she DOES NOT like heights. She was fah-reaked out. It was hard not to chuckle a bit but I felt bad for her.

And more evidence of not liking heights- hiding her face so she doesn't have to look down. Seriously, she did this the whole time we hung out up there.

And more evidence of the dislike of heights- closing the eyes! Seriously was cracking me up.

I did manage to get some good shots of the pup on the mountain... this was not really one of them. Here she is trying to escape from the top of this silly mountain. Again.

But finally she got a bit more comfortable and enjoyed the views. Or maybe she was just looking at the dog over on the other ledge. Who knows.

Pretty dog, gorgeous mountain range, perfect hike.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vegetarian pasta

I started doing this new thing during busy season. Ok, I started doing a couple of new things. One was I am getting up everyday at 4am so I can be to the office before 6 but the other is that I started to cook something every weekend. I like cooking and I decided if I cooked one night a week, I'd have stuff leftover for dinners the following week. And really, it was a great idea because when you get home late the last thing you want to do is eat or think about making anything to eat, so this seemed like a time saving and healthy option.

On one of the first weekends in March, I was seriously craving a red sauce pasta. I don't usually get cravings for pasta, I don't really know why but I did so I went with it. I made a vegetarian pasta with tons of veggies and beans, whole wheat spirals (I think technically they are called rotini) and topped it with a bit of parmesan cheese. Oh, and of course, red sauce. And I did go the lazy way- I bought a jar of pre-made red sauce from Whole Foods. Oh well, it was delicious regardless...both that night and the whole week following.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Continuing to be Spring in Seattle

So, since I'm updating this in oh, April, I can have more retrospect than I did at the time I actually saved these posts. I saved this post on March 6, a Saturday, after working from 6am-3pm, coming home from work to clean the house and then running errands and then ending the day with picking up Miss Bella from doggie daycare. It was a typical busy season Saturday minus the fact that it was OVER 60 degrees and sunny. WTF?

This was what SUCKED about busy season in Phoenix but what (usually) makes Seattle busy seasons tolerable. Usually in Seattle, we have crappy weather (meaning 40 degrees and rainy) the months of February and March. So it's really no big deal to work. Not this year. NOPE. It's been GORGEOUS. And it is absolute torture to not really be able to do anything about it, like, you know, go outside and enjoy it.

And pretty much every Saturday in March was like this. As busy season continued on, I started to leave earlier and earlier to maintain my sanity and to get outside to enjoy the weather. The below is a shot I tried to take of the sunset over the lake with the mountains in the background on my way home from getting Bella on this particular day. Not the best quality thanks to my iphone but, trust me, it was absolutely unbelievable. And I had all windows down and the sunroof open. It was seriously that warm. Awesome.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's the girl scout cookie time of year

So, I have always loved girl scout cookies, particularly thin mints. But, as I have become healthier, I haven't liked all of the crap that goes into girl scout cookies so I don't buy them and every year get sad when I hear everyone talking about the girl scout cookies they have ordered and are eating.

BUT GUESS WHAT? I'm so excited!! This year, that is NOT the case.

SO, there are these Back to Nature cookies at Whole Foods that I SWEAR are exactly like girl scout cookies without all of the crap like high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, all of that artificial stuff. The "thin mint" equivalents taste AMAZING. So, even though cookies generally aren't really "healthy" in all forms of the word (meaning: adding nutritional value), these back to nature cookies are definitely the "healthy" equivalent of girl scout cookies. Oxymoron? Healthy cookies. Yes, please! My biggest problem is restraining myself from eating too many. I usually do anyway. Everything in moderation, right?

Monday, March 1, 2010

I tried...

But it didn't quite happen. There are a few more February posts that I didn't quite get caught up on yet- from February 19- to the end of February. Please thank busy season for me once again. See below and enjoy!