Friday, October 31, 2008

Economic Downturn Hits Home

I've been watching my 401k, IRA and RothIRA dwindle, but I haven't been too worried. I have plenty of time until retirement right? But this week I was laid off from my job.

Stupid, stupid, lame, stupid economic downturn.

Luckily they treated me well as we parted and I have some time to find a new job. Anyone looking for a Project Manager?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tidbits

  • It is cold and foggy here in Seattle.
  • All of my hard work in the front yard this past summer is now covered in leaves.
  • We decided against carving pumpkins and purchased the Mr. Potato Head kits.
  • I really suck at Horror Movie Trivia.
  • Sunshine in the fall is very misleading.
  • My yoga class was canceled this week, I'm very sad.
  • I wonder if my brother ever came back from China.
  • I voted, now I wait in great anticipation.
  • In 5 days I will see the Foo Fighters perform.
  • We got a new front door. We put trim around the inside, but we still need to finish the outside.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We're What's For Breakfast!

Last night Chris and I went to the annual Argosy Cruises Halloween Party. The Argosy folks sure know how to throw a good party. It was held on the Spirit of Seattle, there were crew prices on drinks, karaoke, Halloween cookies, and dancing. Chris and I took the easy way out on our costumes this year and came as Bacon and Egg.



Cookie and Aren were all decked out as usual.



But my favorite of the evening was Kat!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ski Fever 2008

It happens every year. The temperatures cool, the leaves turn, and I begin to get a fever. I start researching new equipment, check the ski area webcams daily, and gaze towards the mountains wishing for snow.

Ski fever has hit.

I've watched this video quite a few times over the past few days. Every time I watch it I get a little bit more excited. The band in the video is Wenatchee's own Fat Happy. They played at our wedding, in case they look familiar.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hello Fall - Weekend Tidbits



It is cold outside. Oh, and rainy and windy. Fall has arrived.

We had a new front door installed on Friday. It is energy efficient and actually fits, unlike our old door. Now I'm trying to learn how to install door casing. Fun times for sure.

I went to Portland over the weekend and visited my brother, sis-in-law, and nieces. I also visited my friend Lisa in Vancouver. A fun time was had. I like it in Portland. I could live there for sure.

Traffic getting to Portland sucked. Took me 4 hours from my house in West Seattle to Lisa's house in Vancouver. All of the slowdowns were caused by wrecks. If people could take their heads out of their asses when they drive it sure would make a difference out there. *sigh*

Chris is home finally after all of his "boys" trips. Golfing at Alta Lake, Hearts tournament on Anderson Island. It is nice to have him home. I need him to operate the saw for the door casing. I don't play well with power tools, and I like all of my fingers.

Percy has turned into a crotchety old man cat. He's angry and talks about his anger all of the time. I'm pretty sure that when he is angrily mewing at me he really wants me to let him out to play in traffic. Perhaps I should hire a cat whisperer.

Oh look, it is Monday again....back to the grind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big, Giant, Smokey, Delicious, Messy, Goodness

Last night I tried a new recipe. The change of seasons got me craving pasta and squash so I decided on a Tillamook Lasagna with Creamy Cheese Sauce and Butternut Squash and Sage.

I can honestly say I've never personally cooked anything with Butternut Squash before so I had no idea even how to cut it. But cut it I did! Into crazy, not uniform at all, sort of 1/2" chunks.

I followed the recipe exactly. And, I NEVER do that. I usually try to add my own flair. But since Chris was coming home last night after being gone for a few days I wanted something that tasted good.

Sadly, the recipe makes way more than fits in a 9x13 pan. Instead of just leaving some out, I poured it all in!

Big mistake.

In the oven, the wonderful creamy cheese sauce began to bubble over the sides and all over the bottom of the oven. I know what you're thinking "Didn't she realize that would happen?!". Well yes, yes I did. But you have to understand. I wanted to follow the recipe exactly. I NEVER do that. I thought somehow, because I was following the recipe exactly, it would all work out ok.

Big mistake.

Now our entire house smells like burnt cheese sauce. Even my jacket I wore to work today smells like it.

Oh, but the Lasagna.....DELICIOUS! I can't wait to get home and have some more.

So all that being said, if you ever decide to make this recipe either A) get a bigger pan than 9x13, or B) reduce the ingredients by 1/3.

I'm copying the recipe here just in case they ever decide to take it of their site. It is worth making again.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoon Tillamook® Butter
5 tablespoons flour
5 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each pepper and nutmeg
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1½ cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic and dried sage
6 cups butternut squash cut into ½" cubes
1 cup chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 (9 ounce) package no-boil lasagne noodles
6 cups (1½ pounds) Tillamook® Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt butter in large saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and parmesan. Set aside

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium. Sauté mushrooms until browned. Transfer to bowl. Heat remaining oil and add onion and thyme. Sauté 7 minutes until golden. Stir in garlic, sage, squash and broth. Cover and simmer 10 minutes until squash is tender. Uncover and stir in spinach and mushrooms. Cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1 cup white sauce in greased 9 x 13” pan and layer with noodles. Add half of squash mix; top with 1½ cups sauce and 2 cups cheese. Add another layer of noodles and repeat with remaining squash mix, same amount of sauce and cheese. Top with noodles, remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes until golden and bubbling. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

UNVME

Really? I do?

Today on my way to work I followed a car for a while with the vanity plate "UNVME". You Envy Me. Took me a minute to work it out. And then I got to thinking about it...

It was just a normal looking car.
Driving on the same freeway.
Stuck in the same bad traffic.
Surrounded by the same crazy drivers.
In the same city.

What exactly was I supposed to be envying?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Random Story

When I was 13 we moved into a brand new house. And by brand new, I mean just built, new everything, including beautiful off white carpet in the upstairs.

We had a Dalmatian. His name was Patrick. If you've ever had a Dalmatian you will know what we had to deal with. He was crazy, and got into everything.

A short while after we moved into the house my Mom had Patrick in her bedroom with her. She turned her back for a minute. During that minute he grabbed a blue ink pen off her bedside table, chewed it up, and proceeded to rub his inky blue face all over the brand new carpet. And rub, and rub and rub.

This picture reminded me of that day:

dog

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Amazing Vacation

I've been sitting here trying to think of the best way to blog about our vacation to Cabo. Do I write it all in one big blog post, break it up into a bunch of small posts, or not say anything at all. All I know is that I'm drawing a complete blank. So, I'm going to break it down into small day by day bullet points. I think you'll notice a pattern. There were 5 pools, so we tried to mix it up a bit!

Day 1 - Thursday:
  • Travel to Cabo.
  • All planes on time. Incredible.
  • Crazy bus ride from Airport to Resort.
  • Talked into timeshare presentation by my parents.
  • Happy hour on the deck. Martinis and beers.
  • Dinner in the Bistro.
  • Watched VP Debate.
  • Turned in early. Long day of travels.
Day 2 - Friday:
  • Sunrise walk on the beach with Dad.
  • Timeshare breakfast and presentation.
  • Our salesguy was from Ireland (??)
  • We didn't buy one (!!)
  • Took golf cart to Adult Only Pool (Beers and quesadillas for lunch at the swim-up bar).
  • Took another golf cart to the main pool for Happy Hour (Dirty Monkeys 2 for 1!).
  • Dinner at La Nao. Asian Buffet.
Day 3 - Saturday:
  • Hit the gym early with Dad. Very nice fitness center in the Spa.
  • Took the shuttle into town where they dropped us off at the sister resort.
  • Breakfast on the Beach.
  • Walked to the Marina.
  • Almost passed out from the heat.
  • Drinks at the Oyster Bar.
  • Hit the Super Mercado and took a taxi back to the resort. Too hot for town.
  • Got to the main pool in time for Happy Hour (Dirty Monkeys 2 for 1!!)
  • Dinner in the room. The heat was exhausting.
Day 4 - Sunday:
  • 8 am Pilates class. Best Pilates class I've ever taken.
  • Golf cart to the Sky Pool. Amazing views, but murkey water. The filtration system was broken.
  • Lunch by the Sky Pool. Best cheeseburger I've ever had (Yes, I ordered a cheeseburger in Mexico).
  • Golf cart to the Adult Only Pool in time for Happy Hour (Pacificos 2 for 1!).
  • Dinner at La Frida. Wonderful food, amazing service, highly recommend. I can't even begin to adequatly describe how amazing this place was.
Day 5 - Monday:
  • Chris left at 6am for his fishing trip.
  • 10 am Spa appointment. Reflexology foot massage for me. Fancy pedicure for Mom.
  • Poolside in time for lunch (Main Pool).
  • Chris arrived back in time for Happy Hour (Pina Coladas 2 for 1!).
  • Additional Happy Hour on our Patio.
  • Took a golf cart to the Sky Pool to watch the sunset. Amazing.

  • Dinner at the Bistro.
  • Chris wrestled a skeleton.

Day 6 - Tuesday:
  • Hit the Adult Only Pool early.
  • Left Mom & Dad at the Pool and took a Taxi to town.
  • Lunch at Cabo Wabo.

  • Pretty sure we saw Sammy Hagar (apparently in town for his b'day). Neither of us realized it was him until we'd left.
  • Drinks at El Squid Row.

  • Souvenier shopping.
  • Drinks at the Marina.

  • Souvenier shopping.
  • Tequila tasting and purchasing.
  • Drinks at Hemmingways.

  • Dinner with Mom & Dad at Panchos (incredible chicken chimichangas).
  • Taxi back to the resort.
  • VP Debate.
  • Cuban Cigars on the Patio.
Day 7 - Wednesday:
  • Major Pool day. Soaking up the last bits of sun!
  • Adult Pool until just after Happy Hour (Pacificos!)
  • Additional Happy Hour on our Patio. Had to clean out our fridge!
  • Dinner at La Nao (Italian Buffet).
  • Rumors in the restaurant of a Hurricane (NORBERT) on the way.
  • Beach walk - watching the angry surf.
  • Golf cart back to the room where they had come and turned our TV to the Hurricane Alert channel.
  • Norbert was on his way.
Day 8 - Thursday
  • Left Cabo about 36 hours ahead of Norbert.
  • Phew.

Friday, October 10, 2008

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