Heh…you said “nut”

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Scenic beach along Chuckanut Drive, Washington : August 2003

On our way from Vancouver to Seattle, we decided there had to be a better way than traveling Highway 5. So we inquired at the Travel Information Center across the border. The woman pointed us toward Route 11, otherwise known as Chuckanut Drive. (Which gave my inner child the giggles, of course.)

What a great tip. It’s not a long drive, but it winds along Samish Bay, and there are plenty of scenic areas where you can stop and gape at the coves and islands before it straightens out and heads through some beautiful farmland.

The reason I never make the bed

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Lucy in her favorite spot

When I get out of the shower, this is where I find Lucy. Every morning. Snoozing away. So how can I disturb her simply to make the bed? I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m such a sucker!

The bulb dilemma

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Is it the “el” or the “L”? (I vote for the first one)

I love the garden center. It’s kind of like the art supply store. I’m not so good at art, but I love all the brushes, pens, papers and gadgets that go into creating masterpieces. I’m getting better at gardening, but I’m still quite the wet-behind-the-ears beginner. Yet put me in a garden center, and I’ll buy stuff.

Case in point the many, many bulbs I purchased on Saturday. I just saw photos of gorgeous peach tulips and I grabbed a package of bulbs. And so it went for four other packages. Now I have to figure out where to plant them. I haven’t prepared any soil for them. I haven’t decided what other plants can go there in the spring once the bulbs die back. I haven’t put an ounce of thought into it. So goes my gardening strategy.

Go, Cubbies!

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Yeah…good luck getting a ticket right now

Last month we went to see the Cubs play the Dodgers. I bought tickets four months in advance and we were still in the nosebleed section. (Although nosebleed at Wrigley is a good seat nonetheless.) Watching the game last night, I really wished we could have been there. It’s exciting to see them playing this well, and the crowd is so behind them. I was cheering and squealing and squeezing my pillow oh-so tight during the last few pitches. It’s been quite a while since there was any thought that this team could actually make it to the play-offs. Go, Cubbies!

Productivity (or lack thereof)

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Summit on Columbia River Gorge Drive, Oregon : August 2003

Working from home is great. It’s also not-so great. Especially when you’re actually trying to get the work done while your four pets create all sorts of havoc around you. The new guy, Pete, wants to be in the office with me and has the jitters about every little thing so he’s constantly pacing. Juliette barks at anyone who comes up the walkway, regardless of whether I’m on the phone. Lucy jumps up on the desk whenever she fancies and pads all over my papers, sending many to the floor. Maggie once mistook the brand-new iMac for the older version that was there the day before and tried to jump up on top of the monitor — only to have it go crashing to the desktop and scare the bejesus out of both of us. Those antics along with the piles of pet hair that collect daily in this house can be enough to drive a person batty.

Not enough time on my hands

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The first thing I see each morning…drat!

How am I supposed to get everything done? I just don’t think it’s possible. There’s the old complaint about not enough time in a day. Now, as a responsible, gotta-work-to-make-a-living adult, I get it. My to-do list for this weekend is way too long for the number of hours I have allotted to accomplish it all. Not fair! And when it comes to focusing on a task, I go off in all directions. I start cleaning the kitchen, get distracted by something in the bedroom, which then distracts me to something in the office, which leads to the basement. I leave behind a trail of unfinished things…brooms in the kitchen, catalogs to be recycled just sitting on the bed, unpainted doors, half-unloaded dishwashers, this darn site that has plenty of work left on it. It’s all just hanging there. Calgon, take me away!

Big House Red

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Only $11.99 at your local grocer

I like wine. Although I couldn’t tell you anything insightful about the flavors or bouquet. In fact, I recently felt like a completely unsophisticated Michigander (even given my five years in Chicago) when the waiter at my fave Greek restaurant poured me a glass for my approval. (The Skouras ’99 Merlot, which was excellent, that much I know.) I mean, what are you supposed to do in that situation, give him a rundown of the taste sensation on your palate? And just forget sniffing the cork. What does that mean, anyway?

But I can certainly take a sip of a wine and tell you should it stay or should it go. The Ca’ del Solo Big House Red is definitely a keeper in our house. It’s become my favorite go-to for a nice, tasty red. And it doesn’t hurt that it has such a cool label. Embarassingly enough, I think that’s really how I choose my wines. Cool label? Get in the cart, you sexy bottle!

A week later

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Perking up a bit

Well, it’s been a week. A tough one. Pete is a total sweetie, but it’s taking him a lot longer to settle in than it did with Juliette. There are too many new sights and sounds for him. I think he has sensory overload. But he’s starting to come out of his shell and relax somewhat. We’ve had to coax and cajole him into so many things, from simply eating out of the bowl to coming in the door once he’s gotten outside. The more relaxed he gets, the more we can too. And with how smoothly his first vet visit went this morning, I have more hope that beneath his skittish exterior beats the heart of a brave and peppy dog. Time will tell!

Soggy waffles

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Watering can design courtesy Smith & Hawken. Watering can price courtesy Target.

I’m tough to please in the morning. I. Am. Not. An. Egg. Person. Yuck! Always hated them. I have to say that I’ve never met anyone else who feels that way. I can’t stand the smell, taste or texture. Which leaves me with what, you might ask? Well, yummy things like pancakes, waffles and french toast. But there are only so many days in a row one wants to eat these types of breakfast foods. This morning I’d already had one waffle too many. And by the time I arrived at the last portion, the Aunt Jemima had soaked right in, leaving me with a mushy, tastless hunk of toaster-ized waffle. It’s just not right to start out a beautiful Friday on that note. Luckily Angie served up some Starr Puff donuts during our meeting. (Yes, it was a nutritious way to begin my day. Do you have a problem with that?)

Thinking green

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Ladybug that made its way home with us from Grandville Island in Vancouver

The yard is looking a bit, um, weedy again. It’s kind of moody that way. And because it’s September already, that means it’s time for the weed-n-feed. This year is our first applying an organic product. We used it for the first time in the spring. I’m hoping that regular application is going to help our yard look nice while saving all the poor innocent chipmunks. Not to mention my own two dogs.

We’ve also started choosing environmentally friendly household cleaners. We put so many chemicals into the ground, water, air…I’m just glad some companies are willing to make safer products. Here are a few places to look:

Gardens Alive
Clean Air Gardening
Organic Style
Organic Gardening
Method Cleaning Products
Caldrea
Mrs. Meyers