Friday, May 30, 2008

Going Green - Chico Bags - User Review

I'm on a mission to rid our house of plastic shopping bags. Yes, because they are bad for the environment, but also because Chris continually stuffs them in a huge mess under the sink.

A while back I bought a few of the reusable bags from Safeway when they were $0.99, but I found that they weren't very convenient. They are big and bulky and I would always forget to bring them to the store because they were under the sink and out of sight (tangled in a web of plastic sacks).

So, I decided to do some research and came across the ChicoBag.

Chico bags are awesome. They are small and compact, about the size of a single use plastic sack, and they stuff into their own little integrated pouch complete with carabiner to attach to yourself or your purse or whatever! Also, they are cheaper than Baggus, which I seriously considered, only $5 compared to $8 each (and if you buy 4 the 5th is free!).

I ended up buying 6 of them (I thought I'd only bought 5 but apparently I was click happy). 2 went in each car and I carry the other 2 in my purse.

I just can't say enough good things about the ChicoBag. For me they are the perfect alternative. And, when my ChicoBag expires they will recycle them for me by making them into door mats or dog beds. How cool is that?

Looking for a reusable shopping bag? Try the ChicoBag and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Courtney's Goals

How do you track goals and development, as well as stumble and falls?

I was thinking about this yesterday. If you do an Internet search there are sites for tracking your finance goals, weight loss goals, fitness goals, task management goals, etc. And then there are sites where you can track all of these at once, in any combination that you choose.

Yesterday I signed up for one of these sites - Joe's Goals. It is actually called a habit tracker. You arrange your habits as either positive or negative (fitness positive, alcohol negative, etc.). Then you track each time that you do something positive in a day by giving it a green check. Negative you get a red x.

I think I'll try it for a while and see how it goes. You can see my progress in the box I've inserted on the right side of this blog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

29" Blackmouth King Salmon

Last Friday Chris, Brandon and I went kayak fishing near the cabin at Anderson Island. We weren't having much luck and we'd been out there for about 3 hours when Chris hooked this 29" Blackmouth Salmon (King). Mind you he was fishing with 4 lb. test so he had quite a fight on his hands. The fish almost ran out his entire spool. It was pretty fun to watch him battle. Finally he got it to the kayak where we found out it was a hatchery fish so we were able to keep it. BBQ Salmon dinner on Friday night! Here are some pictures.

Fish On!
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Chris looking mighty proud of himself.
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We BBQ'd 1/2 on Friday and froze the other 1/2.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fire Good!

I love to build fires and watch them burn. They mesmerize me. Luckily I know to keep it controlled have yet to burn down a building (yet...). On Sunday at the Anderson Island cabin I was tasked with burning a GIGANTIC pile of dead limbs from the apple trees. They were pretty wet so I had to get the fire nice and hot before proceeding with the limbs. Chris helped in the beginning by throwing an oil soaked paper towel on the fire (he was cleaning out the shed). Here is a picture of the beginnings of the fire and the limb pile to the right.

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Here is the end result after the pile was gone.

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Fun times!

Peaceful - Kayak Fishing

Here is a video I took this past weekend to try and show how peaceful kayak fishing at Anderson Island is. Of course this was taken right before the power boats tried to run me over.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Congratulations Elise & Josh!

Wonderful news arrived yesterday from the Wenatchee side of the family. My cousin Elise and her longtime boyfriend Josh got engaged yesterday on a hike up near Silver Falls. Josh is leaving for a tour in Iraq so the wedding will be when he returns. I can't wait.

Elise & Josh - I'm so happy for you both and I can't wait for the wedding and all of the festivities that I'm sure will accompany it! Elise, you'll be a beautiful bride. Josh, welcome to the family!

LOL Seagull - Jana's Lyrics

This just in from Jana. Instead of a caption she sent in these great lyrics to the tune of All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth. Thanks Jana!

"Every body Pauses and stares at me,
My left foot is gone as you can see,
I don't know just who to blame for this catastrophe!
But my one wish on Christmas Eve is as plain as it can be!

ALLLL I want for Christmas
is my left orange foot,
my left orange foot,
see my left orange foot!

Gee, if I could only
have my left orange foot,
then I could swim
without going circles
in the sea!!!"

LOL Seagull - Max's Caption

Here is the caption submitted by Max. Thank you Max!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

LOL Seagull - Jennifer's Caption

This one just in from Jennifer. Thanks for the caption!

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LOL Seagull - Anonymous Caption

This caption sent in by Anonymous. Thank you!

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Join Us June 21st - 2008 Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure®

I know I've mentioned this before but I thought I would repost. The Seattle Warming Hut Hotties who are walking in the 2008 Breast Cancer 3day have also created a team for the 2008 Komen Puget Sound Race For The Cure and we're currently recruiting members. The course is a fairly flat 5k starting at Safeco Field along the viaduct to Bell St and back to Qwest Field for a celebration. They call it a race, but we look at it as a journey that we can do together. There are no fund raising requirements for this event (although it is encouraged), all you have to do is pay your entry fee (currently $30 - you'll receive a t-shirt). If you would like to join our team, please do so by following this link, the more the merrier! If you have any questions just let me know.

Hope to see you there!

LOL Seagull - WSB Caption

Thanks to the folks from The West Seattle Blog for the funny caption. Here is my seagull picture with their caption!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Caption Needed - LOL Seagull - Seacrest Park!

I took this picture last week as I was waiting for the water taxi. Chris claims that he is a regular at Seacrest Park. I decided to make an LOL out of the picture. There are probably a million good captions that could go with this picture. Anyone have any other ideas? I can create and post them.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Things I've Done

Not much in the way of blogging the last few days but here is a list of things I've done in the last 72 hours:
Fun times!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good Luck Christy

My friend Christy who has On Focus Photo is having a booth at her first fair this weekend. Her photos are awesome! If you're going to be at the University Street Fair this weekend stop by her booth. Here is information from Christy herself:

For the past few months I've been working hard to build my new business, On Focus Photo, and I wanted to get the word out that my first festival is coming up this weekend (May 17-18). I'll have a booth at the University District Street Fair, and I'll be selling my matted prints, note cards, and bookmarks. If you find yourself out that way, please stop by and say hi. I'd love to see a friendly face.

When: Saturday, May 17 (10am to 7pm) and Sunday, May 18 (10am to 6pm)
Where: Located in the heart of the University District on University Way NE
How much: The Street Fair is free
What: I sell matted prints, note cards, and bookmarks I make from my photos

At the University Street Fair this weekend, I'll be in spot 431, which you can see on this map:

Good luck Christy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yogalates Kicked My Butt

Last night was my first Yogalates class. It is put on by Seattle Parks and Recreation at the High Point Community Center near our house.

This is how they describe Yogalates:
Explore the different yoga styles and techniques of breathing, stretching and strengthening. Combine two terrific workouts into one, Yoga and Pilates! Yogalates works your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles which help to protect and strengthen the lower back, tone the belly, trim the waist and assist with core stability. It is excellent for developing general tone and fitness in the body while also creating a sense of inner calm, relaxation and overall well-being. Beginners and intermediates are welcome.

This is how I describe Yogalates:
Come and join us for 55 minutes or crazy poses and lots of pain. You'll move like you've never moved. You should know all of the standard Yoga poses before signing up for this class. You'll be very sore the next day. Beginners will be totally lost.

Although, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the butt kicking. It was fun to try something different. I've never taken a Yoga or Pilates class. I've only done them with DVDs or Excercise TV. I look forward to the next 4 classes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pandora I Think I Love You

Yes, I know exactly how late I am to the party. I do remember someone sending me an email about 2 years ago saying "You should check out Pandora", I actually think it was Chris's mother. Why, oh why dear Internet did I not listen? Well better late than never right? Right?

I have found thee Pandora, and oh do I love you.

If you don't know of this Pandora of which I speak, get the to this link ASAP and become a member.

I am listening to The Postal Service station, I have been for about the last 3 hours, and EVERY SONG I've given a thumbs up to. The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Jem, The Killers, Iron and Wine, Brandtson, Wilco, Coldplay........oh so wonderful!

Oh, and when you become a member, add me as a friend! We can rock out together. I think? I actually don't know how to work this Pandora yet, but if we can rock out together, we will.

Yo Bro, Happy Birthday!

A shout must go out to my favorite brother on this his birthday. Of course he's my only brother...but definitely my favorite. I won't post here which birthday it is (he can thank me later). Instead I'll share some tidbits about this date.

Events that have happened on this day in history:
1568 - Mary Queen of Scots was defeated at the Battle of Langside and immediately fled to North England.
1846 - The United States declared that a state of war existed against Mexico.
1917 - Three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.
1938 - Louis Armstrong and his orchestra recorded the New Orleans's jazz classic, When the Saints Go Marching In, on Decca Records.
1940 - Winston Churchill told the British House of Commons in his first speech as prime minister, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
1968 - 1,000,000 French demonstrate against De Gaulle & Pompidou
1978 - The final episode of "Bionic Woman" aired.
1981 - Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca as he drove through a crowd in St. Peter's Square, Rome.
1992 - Final episode of "Night Court" airs on NBC-TV

Famous folks with whom you share your birthday:
1882 -
Georges Braque, French Cubist Painter
1907 - Dame Daphne du Maurier, Novelist
1931 - Jim Jones, American Cult Leader
1939 - Harvey Keitel, Actor
1950 - Stevie Wonder, Singer, Musician
1964 - Stephen Colbert, TV Host
1966 -
Darius Rucker, Rock Singer (Hootie & The Blowfish)

Happy Birthday Bro, hope you have a great one!

Monday, May 12, 2008

We're a 4 Kayak Family!

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Ever since Chris's sister Angie's beau Brandon used one of our kayaks last summer it has been all he could talk about. He was determined that by this summer he and Angie would have a set just like ours. Well, as of a couple weeks ago he got his wish. We are now a 4 Kayak Family. On Saturday, after a trip to visit the grandparents (grandma fell and broke her arm so we went down to help do some chores) we took the kayaks to the Nisqually delta area. Chris has been bugging me to take the kayaks there for ages. Little did we know what he was getting us into.

We arrived there about 1.5 hours before low tide and put in at the Luhr Beach boat ramp and headed out. I should have known something was up when we passed all the kayakers going the other way (back to their cars).

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We peddled out around the perimeter of the Wildlife Refuge, fishing along the way (oh, and not catching a thing). We saw numerous harbor seals and a bald eagle perched on a piling. We peddled for about an hour when we noticed the sky turning darker. The boys kept fishing and fishing but Angie and I decided to head back towards the car.

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When Angie and I got back to the opening of the delta we couldn't tell where the channel of deep water was, all we could see was the shallow areas. I told Angie to wait while I went in to check it out. It only took me about 5 minutes to get completely stuck in the mud. Luckily Angie hadn't followed. I rocked and rocked and tried to dig my way out with my paddle. After about 15 minutes of constant struggle I was finally freed by the mud and floated back out to Angie. By then the boys had noticed what was happening and joined us at the delta.

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Then the rain began to pour down.

Brandon led the charge and we made our way slowly up the deep spots of the delta. Each of us got stuck numerous times and we had to pull our peddle drives out of the water and only use our paddles (keep in mind I was cussing Chris under my breath the entire time). Chris of course kept fishing the entire time and managed to catch a flounder, and Angie was dive bombed by the bald eagle.

After about an hour of that we finally reached the boat ramp and were able to get out and pull our kayaks up along the mud to the concrete. By the time we reached the cars we were completely soaked and covered in mud.

NOT my idea of a fun kayak trip........Next time Angie and Brandon get to pick the location.

Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Chris loves to cook. And when he cooks he likes to dirty every dish in the kitchen. And he likes to follow recipes, exactly. We're completely opposite in the kitchen. But I do have to admit, his dishes turn out pretty scrumptious and Friday was no exception.

On Friday Chris pulled out the Weber Grilling book my mother gave us for a wedding shower and picked a recipe for dinner. He decided on Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Glazed Sweet Potatoes. It turned out amazing. Here is a picture of the recipe book and the end product (notice the yummy broccoli that I only dirtying one pan).

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Are Knifes An Impulse Buy?

Yesterday afternoon Chris and I visited the Big 5 in Westwood Village to get our fishing licenses for this year. Before purchasing them we looked around the store and I was surprised to find, in the golf section no less, a display of kitchen knife sets. You know the kind, there is a knife block and then about 20 cheap knifes with colored handles to match your kitchen decor. They had blue sets and red sets. In the golf section. At Big 5. I find that to be weird. I mean who really thinks "Hey I need to purchase a knife set for my kitchen, I should go to Big 5 and pick one up". Or, are kitchen knifes an impulse buy?


Friday, May 09, 2008

When The M's Lose, We All Lose

Chris and I had a coupon for $1 tickets to the Mariners and yesterday was the last day we could use the coupon for so we decided to go to the game.

The first thing we noticed upon entering the stadium was how empty it was. We go to a lot of games and I'm pretty sure I've never seen Safeco so empty.

Our tickets were on the 300 level so we decided to get food up there before going to our seats. Chris went to Ivar's and I decided on Garlic Jim's Pizza. I'm not sure about Chris's experience in line, but mine was less than stellar. At first I was the 3rd person in my line, but then for some random reason they shut down the line next to me and combined those people into my line, pushing me back to about 7th. When I finally reached the front of the line, without even looking up at me, the woman at the register said in a disinterested tone "What do you want, sir". Um...hello? I looked around at the others working at the stand and it appeared that they were all zombies. Second string workers because the M's are so bad? Poor Poor Poor customer service.

We got to our seats and sat down and proceeded to eat our dinners. Chris's fish and chips were ice cold. My pizza was a cardboard disc of yuckiness. I've had a lot of meals at Safeco and this was by far the worst I've ever had.

If the M's are doing bad we all suffer, and not just watching them.

But, there was a really cool brawl about halfway through the game. Apparently if you go 21 runs without scoring you get a little pissed off and take it out on anyone you can. Great show of sportsmanship.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dear Fitness Center

Oh dear fitness center, why must you fail me so? When I go to step onto the elliptical machine must it be covered in dirt? And the next machine, and the next? And why, oh why, are your trainers playing football in the lobby, while their trainees are trying to stretch? And really, dear fitness center, how hard is it to get new hairdryers? I know that you tried by leaving the sob story of a note on the wall about how they were stolen and you will replace them in the future and that your members should bring their own and not rely on yours. Oh please, give me a break, there is a Bartell Drugs across the street and they have dryers. And the hair in the showers, I'm pretty sure I saw it move on its own today.

Yet, dear fitness center you must have done something right, as the front desk girl looked up when I came in today. That was pleasant. You should promote her.

ANOTHER Yard Work Post

Because that is what I do now. I go to work everyday and when I return home I change into my outside clothes and begin to work on the yard.

Yesterday I tackled the sword ferns (also known as Polystichum Munitum) in our front yard. I hate these ferns. I personally think they look pretty nasty. But that is probably due to the fact that we don't stay on top of trimming them. Or the fact that last year I went out to prune them, too early, and pruned a few of them to the ground. Now we have a couple of mounds of dead fern. Go me.

Anyway, yesterday I pruned the ones in the front yard being careful not to overdue it this time. They actually look much better now. Once I finished that I looked at the driveway and noticed clumps of weeds and moss growing up through the cement. Into the garage I went and got out the hoe. Then I began to jab repeatedly at the culprits. I got a little out of control in a few spots and may have taken up some of the driveway as well (oops).

After a while our driveway looked like the site of the great weed war of 2008. Dead weeds lay everywhere, dirt was strewn across the land, and bits of moss were scattered like dead soldiers on the battlefield. I had won and the victory was glorious.

I proceeded to pick up the weeds and moss but the dirt was proving to be difficult. I did manage to move it all over the driveway with the push broom though and I stood to look over my accomplishment.

Right about then Chris returned home and looked at what I was doing and said "Boy, that's going to be a big mess of mud the next time it rains".

I hate yard work.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cinco de Yummy!

A shout must go out to our friend Kara, her roommate Shannon, and Shannon's brother Scott for another wonderful Cinco de Mayo party last night. For the past, I think we decided on, 6 years we've been converging on their place on the 5th of May for a festival of tequila, yummy food, and sometimes a piƱata. Last night was no exception. Kara mixed up some amazing pitchers of margaritas while Scott and Shannon created scrumptious fajita fixings on the bbq. The weather held out for the most part and we sat around the backyard enjoying the fine company. When we finally retired inside there was homemade flan to enjoy as well. What a fun tradition!

Of course we stayed longer than we should have so I've been a walking zombie at work today, but it was totally worth it!

Monday, May 05, 2008

More Yardwork Blunders

Friday I left work early to go home and work in the yard. I decided to clean up all the leaves from under this crazy Banana Tree (not the real name I know, but that is what I call it) that is in our front yard. I tried raking them up but that didn't work too well. So I got out the blower/vac and tried to vacuum them up but they were too big. Finally I gave in, climbed up on the wall where the tree is perched, got down on my hands and knees and began to pick them up one by one. I finally got them all picked up so I stood to climb back down. As I stood up I hit my head on the stupid Banana Tree and toppled backwards into this giant shrub we have. I closed my eyes because I'm sure there were spiders scurrying everywhere. I untangled myself, brushed myself off and climbed off the wall. My arms itched like crazy and I couldn't escape the smell of pine shrub. When Chris got home the first thing he said was "You smell like a tree". I had to take an Aveeno Oatmeal bath to get rid of the itching and the tree smell. Fun times.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Christmas in May?

You know how Gmail (Google Mail) shows you links to things you might be interested in based upon your recent emails? I just logged into Gmail and the following was displayed:


I realize that it was snowing a couple of weeks ago but this seems a bit weird to me. Apparently they are encouraging me to get a head start on my shopping this year. I'm not sure who "her" is though.

Warning: Do not let Courtney use unsupervised.

Yesterday after a grueling commute home (May Day march congestion) I needed to burn off some steam. I knew that Chris wouldn't be home for hours so I thought it would be a good time to get some yard work done. I pulled out our mower and mowed both the front and back yard. Then I pulled out our edger and edged every edge in the front yard. Then I got out my blower/vac and blew all the edge clippings and fallen flowers from our crazy cherry trees into a pile and then vac'd it all into the bag and deposited in the Yard Waste bin.

Sounds all easy peasy doesn't it.

What I'm neglecting to mention is how I really shouldn't be let around power tools, especially unattended. For some reason my brain seems to shut off when they turn on.

The mowing went ok for the most part. And while I'm all for the more eco friendly electric mower that we purchased, the cord is quite bothersome. Especially when my brain shuts off. I can't even tell you how many times I barely missed running it over, or dragging the mower back over the top of the cord.

And really, the blower/vac is pretty harmless. Except when I sort of lose concentration and end up blowing stuff into the neighbors yard (which he doesn't appreciate) or sucking up some of Chris's plants (which he doesn't appreciate).

But the trimmer/edger is a whole other story. This thing is dangerous! It shoots stuff everywhere and if you're not careful all of a sudden you have a big hole where you just had grass. Last weekend Chris gave me my first lesson in edging. The first thing he said was "you have to wear shoes". I of course had sandals on. So grumbling I went and put shoes on. And boy is it a good thing he told me that. Yesterday as I was edging all of a sudden I heard whir/whir and felt a weird tingle. So I dropped the edger. Turns out I had edged my foot. Luckily my big burly shoes had stopped it from cutting my toes off. I must say though, I learned my lesson. Next time I'll let Chris do the edging.
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