Friday, September 30, 2011

Smoothie, Subbing & Sinks

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if you try!"                   --Dr. Seuss

Okay, this is my mixed bag post! I have a little list of things I want to write about, but don't want to do two or three separate posts.

As I am writing this, I am sipping on a smoothie, thinking about this whole discombobulated week (love that big 'd' word, for its looks, it is Angela-ish - not real fond of feeling this way tho). I will be honest in saying that I have been disorganized, fairly lazy (I have been joining in with my sister as she is on her break in between terms), distractable, and strangely, all that the same time, very inspired. How that all goes together, is beyond me! ha ha

Well, okay, I may have one itty bitty idea... Um, I am going to confess something here: I have just discovered the wonderful world of PINTEREST. Yes, I don't normally write things in caps as that means you are yelling, but this is worthy of those big letters. I have seen this website mentioned on a few blogs (believe Flower Patch Farmgirl was one of them...) and decided to check out... Oh my, I am not sure if that was a good idea or not!! On one hand I feel incredibly inspired and mentally rejuvenated, on the other hand and foot-- I am so horribly addicted... So bad that I even got my sister hooked on it! ;-) Anyhow... at least I did end up making something, the smoothie:

This is called a Green Monster Smoothie, which comes from Sing For Your Supper blog via Pinterest. For the most part I like this smoothie, I mainly taste the banana and strawberries (I used 5 big strawberries). I think next time I will add more yogurt (I used honey flavored Greek yogurt since we don't use honey much). Also, this would be much better if mango was added. I think this needs more sweetness and tanginess. Overall though, not bad. You don't taste the spinach at all!

Now that you know what I am sippin' on (actually it is all consumed now), I will continue with the rest of what I have to say: Today was a subbing day! I subbed in the same classroom from last time (4th grade), but only in the afternoon. I was a bit apprehensive about it being Friday and the afternoon, but the kids surprised me! They were pretty good for the most part- I was the one that made them get riled up at one point... ha. ;-) So, the kids were working quietly on their writing and one suggested that I put on music. Knowing that their teacher has done that in the past, I thought it would be a nice idea. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any calming tranquil CDs.... Sooo I made the huge mistake of putting on a CD with the first song being the "YMCA." Um, yeah. As Sara says, fail. Okay, it wasn't that bad though they all started doing the hand motions.. obviously, not writing... So I let them have about a minute of it and then told them if they continued to do their work and stay on task, they could have music time later. Whew.... Rest of the afternoon was just fine, thank heavens.

... On to a totally different topic, sinks. As a way to procrastinate on writing an annotated bibliography and other homework, I decided to unclog the bathroom sink that my sister and I share. I have been wanting to deal with it but hadn't decided how to go about fixing the problem. So, thanks to Tidy Mom via Pinterest I was reminded of an easy, simple, green cleaning solution: vinegar and baking soda! I knew I needed something that would effervesce (in college I unclogged a drain with Mentos and Coke). Unfortunately, our sink was very clogged so I had to use a few tools in addition to B & BS. It took big tweezers, a flashlight, little tweezers, and some hot water (and several B & BS rinses). I am still not completely done with it. Last night my uncle gave me this nifty tool to dig under the plug. I think I will go mess with that now...

Isn't it beautiful?! I should have done a before pic but just know that it was very clogged. 
Always good: Vinegar and Baking Soda. Natural  & economical.
*Dad came over on Saturday and showed me how to take out the plug. Now our bathroom sink flows even better!

Happy Friday to all!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bountiful Blessings

Today was a good day, full of sunshine and cool fresh breezes. It was also the first day in months that we have had to turn on the heater. Woke up to a very chilly house! Early in the morning, I took care of the cats, bundled up in my bed. Of course, I ended up sleeping in later than desired but oh well...  Getting out of bed was the hardest part of today... as a matter of fact, it is calling me back with fierce so I will try to write this fast...

This afternoon I finally went to check out the produce growing (well, now slowly withering away as the seasons are changing- my cousin's post reminded me I needed to get out there!).

I checked our poor pepper plants that are humbly growing under the massive zucchini "bushes." I did manage to find one yellow pepper on this plant, and then a mostly red one on the other. Wonder if these greenies will change with the sunshine this week.

While checking out the veggies, I came across this fellow (or lady but I assume it's a gentleman)! He was happily resting on the leaf; that or too scared to move. He was probably thinking, "when is this crazy camera lady going to leave?! I am HOT on this leaf!" Poor fella.

I couldn't resist... he was so good to me just sitting there... Perhaps he's a prince! ;-)

Cheesie enjoyed accompanying me to the garden, and then he rested after we were done picking. It's hard work being the guardian of the garden. 
We still have some roses blooming... my favorite: Double Delight.

Here are all my pickings from today! Four small tomatoes (would've taken a picture of the bushes but they look rather sad now), and two peppers. Check out that redish green one! haha I am going to see if it ripens more if I keep it in the window tomorrow.
**Now for the exciting news!!!

For Granny's birthday, this wonderful organization called PEO (a women's philanthropic group) collected money to create a scholarship in Granny's name, in honor of her 100th birthday. Since the scholarship is in Granny's name, she had the option of choosing who she wanted to give it to. So as you can guess, Granny so kindly and lovingly chose me! Since I am going to an expensive private school (and a grad program-- combine that all and you have a headache ha ha), she felt that I could use it. Let me tell you, wow I feel so blessed!! Any money that I don't have to take from federal loans is so stress-relieving. I have such a thoughtful Granny- as I said in an impromptu speech about her, she protects those she loves. She is always about others first, not herself.

She called this evening and it felt great to talk with her! I let her know that the check arrived and how happy I was for this financial blessing. :)

Hope you all have had a blessed Wednesday! Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A (Mostly Funny) Wonky Day

Lori411 at Etsy

Today has been one of those random days, not a bad one but just kind of "wonky" (an Angela word).

I keep thinking the weirdness started when I took my sister to an appointment, but it really started early this morning/through the night. Since Mom is gone I am sleeping in her bedroom because that is where the "kitten" sleeps and she needs company. It always feels strange to me for the first day or two to be in that room and not in my own bed. Thankfully the cat was good in the night, she did doze off and didn't bug me too much-- though she enjoys sleeping either on or right next to me. In between me adjusting multiple times, Coco resting in different places, being in a bed that is not my own, and having a stuffed up nose... it was not the most restful night. And go figure (mind you about 6AM and I got to bed around 11pm-ish), the time I am sleeping soundly Coco is ready to rise and shine (which means attacking feet!).

So I put her in the bathroom (there's a window she likes to look out in the mornings) and then go and take care of Cheese. I got up one or two times more to check on things...

Then I went back to bed...

Then it was time to get up and get going since as I mentioned before, I had to take my sis to an appointment at 10:30am. We got to the appointment all in good timing and it was all done within 40 minutes. However, my sis wasn't feeling too good this morning and was rather fainty. Poor gal, her lips went white as a sheet and her face turned an intriguing yellow color. We still aren't sure what made her feel off-kilter, but I am thankful she brought water along. And, lo and behold, I had a (natural) granola bar in my purse. Always, always keep a snack in your purse!

Rest of the morning and early afternoon was good until about 1pm... and that is when I heard a strange POP noise in the living room. At the time, I was typing on the computer and Sarah was relaxing on a couch. I had been aware that Coco was flying around the house- something outside had her attention. I wasn't totally clued into what she was doing, but she often runs around the house, not out of the norm by any means! Anyway... that POP in the living room came from one of the window screens. Turns out, Kitten had gotten so riled up she rammed against the screen and busted out of the house!! I turned and saw a blur in the front yard, something black and gray. I noticed the window screen was off and my sister and I bolted out the front door. We saw Kitten chase a squirrel across to our neighbor's yard!! She quickly turned and came back when she saw us, thank goodness... buuuut she did not make herself easy to catch. Silly 'thang' ran over near our fence- and I knew right away, she was on a hunt for something big, orange and fluffy. Sarah took over the front and I ran to the backyard to rescue my big wuv. I scooped up Cheesie (and sure enough Girl Cat was on the other side of the fence, Sarah got her in time) and took him to safety. Afterwards, of course, I put the screen on the front window. Now folks, that is why we call our kitten, Crazy. ;-)

Rest of the day was peaceful until about 5pm. I was sitting on the couch watching an "All in the Family" episode and was alarmed when I heard cats having an unpleasant conversation. My first thought was, "Kitten?! Did she get out?!" I didn't think she was in that type of mood at the time, but you never know... So again, I raced to the noise and saw Cheesie in the backyard by the zucchini. He was having an argument with a cat named Max (yes we know that is his name!). I walked carefully over to both of them and Max got nervous and turned to go up the fence. As he made an about-face to the fence, Cheese took the opportunity and smacked him on the thigh. Oh Cheese! Once Max hauled himself over the fence, Cheese came towards me and I gave him a good petting... and then left him to go chill somewhere.

To continue with this wonky day, we will go to dinner time. Being that I am trying to get over this annoying nasaly/sinusey stuff I thought chicken noodle soup would be a good option (canned unfortunately- yeah, yeah). I made it "college style" by pouring the can of soup into a bowl and heating it in the microwave (nothing like making the BPA worse, sarcasm!)... Well it was a good idea, a really good one. Until I sat down on the couch to eat it. Just as I was putting it on my lap, ever so delicately, I managed to spill a good amount of (HOT!!) broth on my inner thighs. YOWCH! I looked at my sister and was gasping, "it is HOOOOTTTT!"  I was seriously panicking, it hurt so bad!

So how did I solve the problem?!

(Mind you, I am in the living room with our big window wide open the the world)

I put the soup bowl on the coffee table and stand up to head to the bathroom... however, as I stand up I take off my PJs as my legs were stinging... so yes, I was undressing myself to the world. Oh well. Not the first time that sort of thing has happened... yes, there is a rather embarrassing church camp story of this nature from days of old (probably my most embarrassing moment!)...

Good thing is, I didn't spill hardly anything on the couch. My thighs took one for the team. ha ha Ouch.

Now we are at this point... in the evening about 8:30PM, with another episode on of "All in the Family," Coco is resting on the couch, Cheesie is outside somewhere (hopefully nearby), and I can hear a football game happening (it is jamboree day for younger Warriors- like in elem & middle school). Ahh... peace, finally.

Let's hope tonight continues as it is now...

Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome, Fall!

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile." -- William Cullen Bryant

Today is the First Day of Fall... It has been a grand one too! We have been blessed with a warm 80 degree day, full of sunshine.

Here is what happened around home today...

Mom left for a work-related trip to Singapore - I don't have any pictures but that took up most of the morning.

In the afternoon, Sarah, the cats, and I lazed around. Coco ran window to window spying on squirrels, birds and sometimes Cheese Puff. While I relaxed on the couch, she came to visit and take a breather. She was kind enough to smile for the camera. Such a diva!

Unfortunately, I am sick (again! Erg!) but with more symptoms this time. I was able to scare off my cold a week or two ago and hardly noticed it. Today I am quite stuffy and runny and have a slightly scratchy throat. Hoping Cold Eeze will reduce the gunk. It did the trick last time. I love natural remedies.

Sarah and I watched some "Friends" episodes while we relaxed. This show always makes me laugh! haha We watched a few from Season 2. I love it when Chandler tells Joey, "You have to stop the Q-tip when there's resistance!"

Some of us spent the whole day wandering in the yard and lounging. This is where I found Cheese Puff in the evening. Now that is one happy smiling boy! He is so much like me, he needs the sunshine as much as possible (preferably every day!).

Our fun outdoor decorations blew gently in the breeze :)

This is something I probably won't see too much in the next few days (or who knows how long! Ahhh!). Fall is going to be showing its naughty attitude soon... yes the 'r' word is going to happen. By the 'r' word I mean liquid sunshine... Sigh. Such is life in the PNW!

The day ended with having dinner with B. We got to sit outside and enjoy our meal as the sun slid down the sky... very relaxing. Now I am home hearing the football game going on! GO WARRIORS!

Hope you had a great First Day of Fall too! What did you do?!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Am Into, Summer 2011

As it is officially the first day of Fall tomorrow, I thought I better record some things about this summer. This season has gone by quickly and now we are about to transition. I am ready for the most part and hopeful that this Fall will be a peaceful cozy season.

So, with that said, here is what I have been into this Summer. I got this idea from my cousin at Simply Authentic, and she got it from Sorta Crunchy (who "stole it" from Adventures in Babywearing's post). I love blogging! Ideas circulate pretty darn fast on here. I always love it when I find fun posts like this.

What I Am Into ~ Summer 2011

On My Nightstand:
 Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews... been working on this for over 2 months. I love it but I have not had much time to read nor the focus.. haha Attempting to getting back in the reading routine!

Want to Read:
This list is incredibly long! I would love to read more books on living simply and eating healthy. Also, my favorites are biographies/autobiographies. However, after finishing Julie Andrews' book I have these on my nightstand as well, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (my friend Jennifer wants me to read this series, apparently it is much better quality than Twilight...not hard to believe!), God in the Alley by Greg Paul (a book from a cousin), and then Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda (he has another book out too- love this guy, I am a big fan of MASH).

TV Show Worth Watching:
Uh, honestly I didn't watch much TV this summer. My family and I tend to watch shows on DVD. If I had more time (or desire- I watch TV more in the Fall & Spring) I probably would have watched "So You Think You Can Dance" - it is a neat show to watch.

Movie I've Seen (in or out of the theater):
"One Day" starring Anne Hathaway. I loved this movie! It was a book made into a movie- it is more of a "dark chick flick." I will admit, it made me get a little choked up.... haha

In My Kitchen: Well, in our kitchen there are lots of tomatoes. Yay for a great tomato season!!!

In My Ears: Mostly country music but lately I have been listening to this new modern music radio station (basically pop culture type). I have decided though that I do like Adele. She has an interesting voice.

Newest Blog/Internet Reads:
Hmm.. Haven't really come across any new reads this summer . I always like finding different blogs to follow. I am sure I will in the next few months (especially when I am procrastinating on homework and browsing Blogger!). I already follow several blogs but I don't always keep up to date with every single one. Right now I am consistently reading Domestically Challenged, Flower Patch Farmgirl (she is so inspiring, funny and honest. Love her writing style), Going Home to Roost, Simple Frugalista, and a few fashion blogs.

What I Am Looking Forward to Next Month:
Beautiful fall colors (I hope! Let it be a good photography season!)
More subbing experience, have a few jobs lined up for the month. :)
Fall foods-- soups, stews, pumpkin foods, warm drinks
Fall scents-- love love love the smell of fall: cinnamon, pumpkin spice, cranberry... all great candle scents!
Seeing how my new cats adjust to the colder weather; should be amusing.

Hope you all have had a great Summer 2011! Here's to a Happy Fall 2011!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Substituting Season Begins

Note I got from a 3rd grader last year
Yesterday I started back into subbing for the school year! I subbed at a new school that is close to home (but for a teacher I know from last year- she got moved this school due to budget issues).

Last year this teacher had second grade and this year she has fourth. It is quite the switch but I am excited to know this age group of kids better.

I am thrilled to say it was a positive experience overall. The kids were good (thankfully!) and didn't test the boundaries too much. I had tricks in my bag (literally) but didn't need to pull them out. I think I will use one of them next time I sub, but we shall see. As a sub it is important to always have backup plans and well, bribery. haha

One thing I am always intrigued with is how fast time passes while I teach. Perhaps that is because I have learned to just look at one piece of the day at a time. Before I know it I am getting the students organized to go home!

(side note: I was going to finish this post hours ago and then had to pick my sis up... so pardon the disjoint)

My day was very kid involved since I had to tutor in the evening as well. For the past week I have been working two hours in both nights versus three. Of course, on the day that I sub I end up getting scheduled for three. I didn't mind too much because 1) I get to sit in a comfy chair, 2) time goes fast there as well and 3) the kids pretty good for the most part.

The second hour of tutoring was quite the handful, however. I had two middle school students, one of which is new to the center. Oh heavens, that new kid (a raging hormonal 7th grader) was a talker! I was thankful that only once the two kids got real chatty with each other. Most of the time the one student was trying to figure out "cinnamons" (synonyms) and antonyms. In between helping him, the new kid told me about how he won a contest with his friends. They competed to see who could drink the most Rockstar energy drinks in the summer. Apparently he had a total of 200... Um, summer break isn't that long... It wasn't a surprise to me when he mentioned getting into a fight earlier yesterday. Suppose withdrawal symptoms had anything to do with it?! Needless to say, I was quite amused.

Kids, kids, kids! I love working with them but am sure glad to come home at the end of the day. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Couch to 5k REDO

So I have started the Couch to 5k Running Plan again. I have recently completed the first 3 weeks, so I am a third of the way done!

As you know a year ago, I stopped right in the middle of the program. I got pretty sick last Fall and then my schedule got incredibly hectic...and I shoved running right off my plate of activities.

Out of (mostly) random, I decided to finally get back into it and work towards finishing the whole program. I want to be healthier, have nicer looking legs (though nothing can change the fact that I am pasty white), and feel more relaxed overall. Whenever I run I feel released mentally and physically-- as I have mentioned before, I love that feeling of breathing more deeply. Now that I have started exercising again, I feel that desire to keep continuing... all because it feels so good.

I have also made this plan extra fun-- I am tapping into my "inner child" and teacher-office-supply-obsessed-ways:

Yes, that is my running plan on my bulletin board and looking all pretty (if you want to know more about making that actual template it is easy, I used Word & copied and pasted the running work outs from the website version).

And if you look closer you will see that...
1) I write the date of completion on each workout... I get to use one of my fun "fancy" Pilot pens (oh the office supply nerdiness!)
2) Check out those stickers! Yes they are Dr. Seuss!! Last year sometime I found a half used sheet of them in a pants pocket, from some sub job. I always meant to return them and forgot so I am being resourceful in using them (yeah, yeah, I know that sounds fishy haha).
3) If you look at the other picture you will notice there is a special order to the stickers-- the ultimate way to organize anything: RAINBOW order! :)

If you would like to do this plan yourself check out this website. :)

Happy Running!!!

P.S. This lady, Sara at Domestically Challenged is an awesome marathon runner! She talks about running quite a bit along with her humorous and candid life stories (and serious ones too- she has some real hurdles in her life -- yes pun intended).

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Fun Friday Post!

My cousin Simply Authentic took part it in a fun Friday blog post called "Fill in the Blank Friday" created by Lauren, at The Little Things We Do. Since I haven't had much time to write this week, I thought this would be a good post. Join in if you would like :)

Fill in the Blank Friday

1) You should always take the time to take pictures, important to capture those special moments in nature/time/with people (or whatever catches your eye!). You can't ever go back to the past and get those pictures again.

2) Cats & sunshine make(s) the world a happier place.

3) I can hardly wait *to be done with grad school (Dec 2012!) & *to pay off my student loans.

4) Any day I can set my own schedule/routine is my favorite day of the week.

5) Something totally dumb and ridiculous that I love is The Hills (MTV show).

6) If I could, I would make sure that all children in the world receive good quality education & have their basic needs met.

7) I rather like where I live. I have recently fallen in love with the PNW, the place I have lived in for 24 years. The past few years have been a struggle- mainly due to the climate and feeling restless...but I can deal with it. I love being nestled in between the mountains and ocean.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today We Remember

Remember [re mem ber]
1) to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again
2) to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of

This is the post that everyone is writing about today, rightfully so. It is incredibly difficult writing about this horrific event that happened in the United States, just 10 years ago. There are no words that are quite fitting for describing this significant time. 

On the television this evening there was a special that described the terrorist attack events through the perspective of the firefighters. Their stories along with the images were so profound. What makes me so sick is that while so many thousands of innocent people died at the time, others are still dying from that awful day. Sadly, many firefighters are now dying from serious diseases and multiple cancers. Not only that but these heroes- firefighters and paramedics have dealt with serious PTSD since 9/11. These amazing men and women have endured mental and physical torture since then. Watching this documentary on tv was a good reminder that while this act of terrorism happened 10 years ago, so many are still suffering. 
I see the world so much differently than I did 10 years ago. When I looked back in my personal journals I was reminded of how much I was just a 14 year old, a new high school student, entering the 9th grade. Not only that but I was (and still) living in Oregon... 3,000 miles away. While I did write briefly about 9/11 and expressed some empathy-- I really didn't "get it" at the time. I was so much more consumed with my own "trials" as a hormonal teenager than as someone who truly cared about my fellow human beings.

Though I didn't express myself well in writing, I do remember being that young disoriented high school student waking up for another day in the school year. I remember sitting at the kitchen table in my PJs with unbrushed rumpled hair and eating cereal. I sat there as usual reading the cereal box and staring off into la-la land as I attempted to get my eyes to function and attempting to get myself to feel more alert...

I did feel somewhat odd that morning as I had a bizarre dream shortly before I woke up. This is something which I have not spoken about much as I haven't wanted people to accuse me of making it up. However, as it has stuck with me for all these years and I am fairly intuitive, I know it was a legitimate dream. So, before I woke up on that ironically beautiful September day... I dreamed of something unusual than all other dreams. In my sleep I saw a black screen with several neon green circles- like that of a air traffic controller's monitor. On that screen I saw two green lines parallel to each other. Then at one point, one small neon green line started to come towards those two parallel lines. 

Now, I understand.

I wouldn't say that I am able to foretell of events but I somehow had that vision that night. It wasn't until quite sometime after 9/11 that I realized what I had dreamed about. And as I said earlier, it is not something I talk openly about but on that morning, I felt very strange. The oddness of the dream certainly contributed to me feeling groggy as I shoveled the cereal into my mouth.

Not long after I had been eating breakfast, Dad came into the kitchen and announced that one of the World Trade Centers had been hit by a plane. At the time I had no idea what the WTC was and assumed it was an accident. That is also what my mom had assumed too- we didn't realize until we saw the news that it was a passenger plane that had hit one of the buildings. 

We immediately turned on the news and were stunned with what we saw happening. I remember being so confused and not comprehending anything. It took me a little bit to realize that the country was being attacked. 

Somehow in the midst of watching the news I managed to get myself ready for the day. Much of the day is blurry but I remember that when I got to school I felt so alone. Everything was eerily quiet and there was a sense of panic. Not only did I feel uncomfortable for what I knew was happening in the world, but I still had the challenge of trying to find the right classroom! 

The whole day at school was spent discussing the attacks and watching the news. I remember being in my first class and hearing about one of the planes hitting a location in Washington. Of course at the time, and feeling so scared, I assumed it was Washington State. Someone kindly corrected me and said it was Washington D.C. I remember feeling so fearful and vulnerable. We all wondered: What is going to happen next?

Walking home from school that day felt strange and lonely. The roads were quiet, the sky was quiet, the birds even seemed hidden away... I remember walking much faster that day, anxious to get into the safety of my house. On my walk home two fighter jets flew over and thankfully, I knew they were US forces protecting the country. I said out loud, "thank you." I watched them fly far away...
The rest of that day I can't remember but I know I spent plenty of time watching the news, as it recounted the days' events- people running, yelling, screaming, planes crashing, fire, seeing the towers fall, tears, massive clouds of debris and dust, flags everywhere... 

As I have seen these images again today I look at them with a much differently than I did as a 14 year old teenager. Today I look at the faces of these people, these precious human beings, and it makes my heart break. I can't help but be choked up seeing these pictures of pain and even of those of healing. I am touched, too, when I see pictures of perfect strangers giving a hand to another in need. This is the consistent storyline in the 9/11 events - the day which all Americans united. It's sad that this day is what brought people together, but in some ways, the small idealistic part in me likes to think that we are always this way. We just tend to share it more in times of trial- and for this reason, this is why it is good for us to remember. Not to only remember those that have fallen and sacrificed, but to remember that we have each other. Sappy sounding but true. A reminder that the distance from one another isn't so far at all.

To conclude my little contribution, that is now part of this large tapestry of stories, it is only appropriate that I express my thankfulness. I mentioned earlier that so many individuals are still suffering today from this tragedy.  We have firefighters suffering from diseases (along with other heroes) and cancers, and then there are those that have selflessly sacrificed their lives overseas. So, I am saying thank you to all military servicemen and women, those that protect us in the US, and to their families who also have sacrificed so much. 

Our lives are forever changed and for thousands, incredibly so. Today we remember. Nunca olvidaremos. We will never forget.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Well, well, well, it is now Saturday, September 10th and I am finally writing about Labor Day Weekend. I am great about being consistent in my delayed postings. *sigh* For that reason, I am thankful that this blog is primarily for my enjoyment and if others happen to read it, then that is fine and dandy. :)

So, I will try to recall what all happened last weekend, which was quite a bit. I had a great LDW and hope ya'll did too. I can already say that it was much better than this one, as I am sitting here a bit uncomfortable due to sore tonsils and a slightly stuffed nose. I am a bit irritated to be sick but let's hope it doesn't get any worse... and maybe this will be my only fall seasonal cold. Please oh please. No mas!
Friday - September, 2nd:
First football game of the season! My high school alma mater played their first game and at home so it was pretty darn exciting. Warriors vs Lincoln. I am happy to say we won! 35 to 12. :)

I was only able to stay until half-time because I was going to have a sleepover at Jennifer's house. Actually, we were "tenting." Her mom recently bought a tent and she wanted to test it out in her backyard. We had a good time! We woke to the next morning covered in dew- at first when I woke up I thought I slobbered a lot (not something I do typically but hey it was an initial reaction!)... But as sat up and removed the sleeping bag from my body, hundreds of dew drops trickled down to the tent floor. I was amused!

Saturday - September 3rd:
Since I woke up at Jennifer's I spent some time with her that day. We ended up going to the Woodburn Outlets because there were some good deals going on. Her mom invited me to come along so I took the offer. Lady time and shopping is always a good combo. Prior to heading to the stores, Jennifer's mom kindly treated us to Noah's Bagels. One of my favorite places to eat at! While we were eating breakfast/brunch we were amused with all the sports fans. That Saturday was the start of college football games for the state- so many people were dressed in either OSU or U of O colors (the two state teams were playing other teams, not each other). The rivalry is revved up again. Ah, I love football season. :)

Of course, we ended up meeting several of those fans on the freeway but thankfully we weren't going too far. Jennifer, her mom, and I shopped for about two or so hours. I saw a few cute items at the Gap Outlet store and Banana Republic but they were still too spendy... so I lusted. haha I also wasn't really in the mood to spend too much money. I haven't been wanting to spend a lot since my CR trip. I will admit though that I am quite sick of my work slacks, two pairs of shoes I have worn to pieces, and a few others... but nothing felt worth it enough to spend $. Oh well, I still enjoyed myself and had fun just being with Jennifer and her mom. It was a good day :)

The day concluded with hanging out with B and a few of his friends. We parted ways at a reasonable time so we could rest up for the adventure the next day would bring...

Sunday - September 4th: 
This was my favorite day, hands down. I could write a blog post all on this day but I will share just the main events. B and I hiked ~6.5 miles to and from Tunnel Falls at Eagle Creek, on the Columbia Gorge. Oh wow. Yeah, so it totaled about 14 miles when we were done (when you add in the walk to the main trailhead etc).

If you live in the PNW, near this area, I suggest that you go on this hike! I loved every part of it- despite the fact that I was/am not conditioned for such a physical experience AND that I had multiple "war wounds" afterwards... I am hooked on hiking and it is now my motivation to get in good shape! I must say though that I am proud that I completed the hike. 14 miles is pretty darn good. Here are some pictures....

Yes, we made it to the end of the map!

Passed over a few small bridges like this!
Beautiful clear water!
The destination: TUNNEL FALLS! I was so happy to see this!!! 
I was a bit exhausted at this point but oh so happy. haha
On the way back- to and from the falls we had to pass through some of these areas. They were challenging, more so because of the heat. These places are what contributed to me cracking several toenails. Totally worth it though. ;-)
A wonderful naturally made rest area... We spent some time here  to & from. I  loved cooling myself off with that fresh water!
Trailhead... We made it! Awesome hike and I can't wait to do it again!
Good websites for Eagle Creek :
William Sullivan's Oregon Hikes
Portland Hikers' site

Monday - September 5th (Labor Day): 
Besides feeling like I was Methusela- oh yes did I feel stiff, achy in my back, and exhausted... Labor Day was a fabulous day! haha Mom, Sarah and I went to Gales Creek in the afternoon to cool off our feet. This also gave Mom a chance to relax, which she needs quite a bit these days. Going to Gales Creek was a great way to relax, especially since the weekend was very warm.

GC also has lovely clear water!

Labor Day evening concluded with making my most favorite summer sandwich. I got this idea from a lady I had class with several years ago. Toast two bread slices and add lettuce, tomatoes (fresh from our garden! Yay for a good tomato season!), few slices of cheddar cheese and a little bit of mustard. Mom made hers more into a BLT so I had a slice of bacon to go along with mine. You can make your sandwich however you want but this is my preferred way! Delicious.

Hope you had a great LDW too!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer's Ruby Red Jewels

"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." -- Henry James

I agree.

And I love these beauties... The tomatoes are from our garden and the strawberries are from somewhere else.

Oh so tasty...

I love those first few tomatoes from our garden!

Mmmm... Strawberries.

Summer is such a luxurious season! And these are only the "reds." Mmmm....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Solution to an All-Day Problem

Heavenly days, I don't know what is with me. I am into long titles today. It's good though- a break from my usual neat, crisp and tidy ways on here...

Anyway, more importantly, I finally solved my cravings. All day long I have been needing something sweet, maybe chocolately, and preferably cool. Although despite those specifications I have also been wanting this delicious cobbler from a great soup place nearby.... Too lazy to go get some. Then... after going back and forth on what I want it hit me: frozen yogurt. OF COURSE!

When I went to the movies yesterday with B, we got frozen yogurt...and that only intensified my cravings today. Oh, how I wanted that smooth tasty creamy cool vanilla-y flavor with M & Ms on the top. Not regular M&Ms but mini M&Ms... minis are the best combo with fro yo in my opinion. ;-)

Thanks to my sister and her friend needing a ride this evening, it finally dawned (funny looking word- if you think about it too much... 'dawn' is early and this idea did not come early by any means- yes I am messing with the word, I know it) on me...

Why not get some Haagen Daz Vanilla frozen yogurt and a few small bottles of mini M&Ms?!!

Such a simple solution.

And yes, I feel much better.

For the record, I not only posted the picture with this post but also edited it... I am on fire ;-)

The month that always surprises me with its arrival

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." -- Henry David Thoreau

Hazy days are always a sign...
It is September 1st, 2011. Yes, not rocket science there but hear me out: 95% of the time throughout my life it has surprised me when this month rolls around. There was only one summer to fall transition that I eagerly waited waited for September (that is a story in itself, which I am considering telling one day). 

Of all those other times that I have been caught off guard or in just plain denial, I have grieved over summer departing. Some years it has been worse and others I have managed to go through the transition smoothly. This year, I do have a little ache but mainly because it really hasn't felt like summer. I was gone for two weeks, where oh yes, I did experience heat and sunshine. While I did thoroughly enjoy some of those experiences, it doesn't replace the feeling of summer at home.

Now the light is changing in the sky. Earth is tilting and turning away from that glorious sol...That part does make my heart ache, I have such separation anxiety with that golden delight. This year I am holding on to the fact that the calendar says summer lasts until the 23rd. So I have hope! (Side note- soon we will be having 90 degree weather for a few days so one last hurrah!)

While much of my denial of September is directed at the change of weather, there is much anxiety that comes with this new month. In Oregon and much of the nation, public schools start after Labor Day. There is that sense of the unknown and responsibility that can weigh heavy on one's heart. Newness can be a scary thing at first - like those good ol' elementary days. So many nerve-wracking first days of school!

These days September is a reminder that a long 9-month season is ahead. That means substituting, papers, practicums, college course reading, and various responsibilities. So some of that ache in my heart is just the feeling of losing a bit of freedom. Though ironically, I gain freedom in another way: financial. I wouldn't say that money wins in this case, but simply to say: everything comes with its own set of challenges...

On another note- this month is incredibly emotional for so many people in the United States and in the world. Hard to believe that on the 11th, it will be 10 years since those horrific terrorist attacks.

With all that said, those are my thoughts for the first day of September... Hope all of you are smoothly transitioning into this next part of the year. :)

P.S. I am sure that this blog title is my longest! haha