She Went And Got A New Nose

    When we moved to our new house almost two years ago, I fell in love.  I’ve never been in love with a house before.  I moved around a lot as a kid and found all of our places of residence fine, but nothing extraordinary.  I bought a house in my late twenties and thought it was great, but I didn’t love it.  Same thing with house number two, great house but no love.

    When we bought this house, we weren’t really looking for a house.  That is to say Jamie wasn’t looking for a house and I was always looking for a house.  I used to spend countless hours online looking at houses each week.  I would drag Jamie to open houses and occasionally demand that our realtor friend take me to a house that I just had to see.  Jamie thought our old house was excellent and had very little interest in moving.  He was interested in not being dragged to open houses and the computer to look at this house or that house.  And he’s a nice man, so he wanted me to be happy.  That’s about as much as he wanted to move.

    On one open house Sunday we arrived at our current house, walked inside, and I instantly knew that this should be our house.   Jamie was on his cell phone most of the time we were here and it was only in a subsequent visit that he began to see the light.  A few short weeks later, we made an offer and a month after Tyler was born we moved in.

    Our old house was bigger, had an attached garage, and a large kitchen.  Our house now has a detached garage, small kitchen and less space.  Our old house had soaring ceilings and was awash in light.  Our house now has standard 8" ceilings and regular windows.  Our old house was great, but this house we love.  We got used to everything “less good” about our new house, but we had no place to hang our hat when we walked in the door.  Our back door had a 2’ x 2’ landing that served as our entrance to the house and our “mudroom”.  We didn’t realize how important a mudroom was to us until we didn’t have one anymore.

    We are people who dream big and it is with our dream of a place to hang your coat, set your groceries, and store your shoes that we enlisted the help of an awesome company (Quatersawn) to help transform our mudroom-less house into a house with a mudroom that would make any mother proud.

    We began this journey many months ago and now it is complete.  The process was long, loud, messy and pricey, but it was worth it.  It’s like our house that we were completely in love with (despite her nose) went and got a nose job…Now we are over the moon for her.

    Pictures of her new nose can be seen in the next blog post.  Stay tuned!



    Veg Party!

    Okay, not really, but today is day 19 of the 30 day vegan challenge and I’m proud to report that both Jamie and I are still going strong.  My stomach issues haven’t abated, which I find frustrating, and those cheesy, cheese thoughts are still creeping in, but I’m feeling good.  I’ve lost 6 pounds and still feel psychologically lighter than I did before.  I haven’t noticed any other physical changes beyond the weight loss and the constant hunger and bloated cycle I seem to spin through, but once again the challenge is still proving challenging and fun.

    The grocery store and I have become really good friends.  I seem to visit it three or four times a week, and even with that frequency I always feel like I’m missing something.  I think a big part of this is learning how much and what to buy when I’m at the store and the other part is it takes some time to stock up a vegan kitchen.

    When the month is over Jamie and I plan to do a comparison of what our family spends on average per week to eat vegan versus what we spend on our regular diet to feed ourselves.  I feel pretty certain that we are spending more now and I also feel that if we were on a tight budget, we could eat vegan for way less than we are spending now.  It will be curious to look at the numbers and see what they have to say.

    So far the best thing I’ve eaten this month wasn’t good for me, but it was good and that is Mama Peas Dough Balls.  They remind me a lot of the peanut butter cookies that have a Hersey’s Kiss in the middle.  I’ve tried a mushroom (I still don’t like them, but I’m going to try them at least 10 more times before I really make up my mind.  I’m growing.), eaten lots of brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, hummus, pita bread, granola bars, english muffins, Triscuits and fruit and veggie smoothies.  That list seems much better than my old list and the only similarity is the granola bars.  The worst thing I’ve eaten was the mushroom, but like I said I haven’t given up on them.

    If nothing else these last few weeks have gotten me out of my comfort zone and into trying different things than I would normally eat.  For someone like me who would be happy to eat the same thing each day for weeks on end this is a big step in the right direction.

    If you would like to check out my other vegan posts, follow the links below!

    I’m Going Vegan

    It’s All Vegan In Here

    Day 12 Of The Veg


    Music To My Ears

    My husband is a pretty cool guy.  Turns out he has some pretty cool ideas in his head as well.  He told me several years ago that the best way to change something you don’t like or push for something you do like is to vote with your dollars.  Good advice.  He also encouraged me to branch out musically and stop listening to “old” music as a mainstay and instead investigate what’s out there now.  More good advice.

    For me the music of my youth is more powerful than the music of maturity.  I don’t think music today is any less awesome than it was in my teens and twenties, it could easily be better, but my ability to connect to it isn’t as strong.  Angst is worth a certain something and most of my angst has left the building.

    I can still sit back and belt my heart out to the Indigo Girls, Pink Floyd, The Cure or Trip Shakespeare, and all of the old feelings come flooding back.  It’s reassuring, powerful and easy to get stuck there instead of foraging ahead.  We have some friends in NYC who are a few years older than us and they are constantly on the look out for new music.  They see live music 4 or 5 times a week.  Their love of music blows me away.  I’m inspired by them to keep appreciating the new instead of holing away with my past.  The past is a nice place to visit, but it’s not the place I want to live.

    I prefer concerts in places where you get a comfy chair and maybe a nice meal.  A venue where you sit back and take in the music in a relaxed sort of way.  Maybe at the very end you stand up for one song and do a little light dancing.  It’s all very civil and nice and proper.  The band performs for you and you listen and appreciate.  But, every once in awhile I head out to First Avenue or a similar venue to remind myself of what music is like when it’s one of the most important things in your life.  It’s not comfortable, quiet, or relaxed, but for me it’s a bigger, brighter and more participatory experience.  It’s still not something I’m up for very often, but getting in touch with that sort of feeling is the best way for me to remember the past and live in the present.

    The man in the pants

    Jamie has always wanted to be the “man in the pants”. The ultra-cool-without-trying yoga guy who wears billowy poet shirts made of linen and pants much the same. The guy has a beard and is strong and calm and so laid-back and full of wisdom. He is SO not that guy and it’s funny to me that he wants to be that guy, cause he’s SO not that guy.

    Just the other day I realized that Jamie also wants to be the “man with the cigarette”. The guy that operates heavy machinery and speaks in short grunt-like sentences. The guy that doesn’t need any direction or help cause he knows exactly what he’s doing; he’s done it a million times before. We are replacing our driveway (cause it’s crumbling and sad) and when the guys drove up to start working, Jamie began calling the action, play by play. He was like a kid in a candy store, so excited by each move they made. Then Jamie pulled out his trusty camera and gorillapod and got to work time-lapsing the rip-out driveway process.

    Jamie is that guy. He is the quintessential technology guy. He loves it so much that sometimes it scares me. But he’s also the guy so passionate about living life that he regularly wishes there were at least three of him so that he could accomplish all that he has interest in doing and exploring. I’m sure if there were a couple of extra Jamies, he would master the “man in the pants” and the “man with the cigarette”. He’s just that kind of guy.

    Here comes the bride

    A quick shout out to the newlyweds, Kurt and Rosalin (Jamie’s mom/my mom-in-law). Happy wedding, happy marriage and happy Java. Thanks for a fun evening filled with good food, family, friends and a belly dancer. It was nice to see you all fancied up in your party clothes, gooey-eyed and in love. I hope you guys are off to a relaxing and fun-filled start…see you at the folk festival!

    If you, the non-Rosalin/non-Kurt reader of this blog, missed the big celebration, here are a few pictures to help your mind’s eye recreate the magic! Click through if you wish to see the full image.

    The crew out to lunch The kiss The wedding fam Larger than a flower girl Flower girl mazie The ceremony Rosalin and bd Everyone belly dancing The happy couple and cake The after party Signing the certificate

    What I learned at the Ranch

    1. I still like riding horses.

    2. At this point in her life Mazie isn’t a huge fan of kid camp.

    3. Kids get really tired after a week of kid camp.

    4. Jamie likes to ride horses (even he was surprised). Jamie likes to trot on a horse (more surprised) and occasionally canter (super-duper surprised). Maril and Kent also enjoy riding horses.

    5. Being at a guest ranch is a lot like going to camp when I was a kid, except it costs more. It’s cool to be able to time-shift a few decades and relive kid moments.

    6. It’s fun to be a staff member at the Ranch, but there is lots of drama.

    7. I wish I would have worked at a ranch, or somewhere similar, when I was in college.

    8. I would like to repeat this experience each and every year.
      [gallery] If you want to look at the full-size image, just click on a picture.

    Larger than a two year old

    That’s right, Mazie is now three! Today was the big day and she celebrated in true Mazie fashion: a pool visit, strawberries, mac and cheese, chocolate cake and lots of playing. Here is a pictorial of the day’s festivities (you have to click through to see the full picture)…


    If you are looking for a touching account of Mazie turning three, tune into Jamie’s post. I’m not too good at that sort of thing, so I decided to let him take the reigns and drive that horse.

    Larger than a woman's butt

    Womans butt

    Jamie has handed the camera over to Mazie on a couple of occasions and I think during her brief encounters she has managed to log almost 1,000 pictures. Thankfully, Jamie has had the good sense to delete many of them. She has a knack for photographing the ground and people’s feet, but today she found a woman’s butt to be of particular interest. She took this picture in the middle of the Redwood Forest. If you are interested in more amazing Mazie pics, Jamie has created a set in Flickr just for her photographs.

    I'm still smaller than a redwood

    This blog started 571 days ago, thanks to our crazy, lovable landscaper Ann. We were talking one night on the phone and she said, “At least I’m smaller than a redwood”, and for some reason I loved the saying, put it up on a wall in our house and demanded that Jamie immediately register the domain name and poof there she was, The site has sat idle for many of the days since then, but it seems this trip has brought out the blogger in me. Being that my site’s namesake is here in the redwood forest I felt the need to let the world wide web know…we have arrived!

    Quotes from the Road...2nd Installment

    Yesterday at breakfast Mazie commented that she was cold and I replied that I was too. She looked at Jamie and asked him if he was cold; he shook his head no. Mazie then pointed to Jamie’s forearms and asked in all seriousness, “Cause of that white fur?”. Classic stuff, but she does have a point. He’s one hairy guy.


    Here’s the deal: I’m a water snob. If bottled water wasn’t bad for you, me and the planet, I’d happily sip, sip, sip bottles of the stuff any time I was away from home. But, being that it is bad for you, me and the planet, I’ve been trying to mend my ways and avoid bottled water at all costs. I used to buy the occasional bottle of water at the movies or if I was out and about and really thirsty and I’ve done a good job of breaking that habit. The harder habit for me to break is buying water while on vacation. I always have good intentions and I start out well every time. I bring my Sigg bottle and fill it from whatever tap is available. What inevitably happens after a short period of time is that I’m scared of the water, it tastes funny, and I’m at the store buying gallon jugs of bottled water. I’ve been bound and determined this trip to once and for all rid myself of this stupid habit. I’m doing pretty well so far. I’m drinking far less water than I normally do at home, but no bottles of Dasani or Crystal Springs or whatever has passed my lips. The kind people at Glacier National Park have water that is impeccable and so far Seattle isn’t too bad either. There have been a couple of rough patches, Glendive isn’t going to win any water awards, but I’m really hoping to ditch my snobbery and turn over a new leaf.

    So, I know this is a long, relatively boring post, but I just have to add one more thing about water before I finish. A few years ago, Jamie and I went on a kayaking trip in the Apostle Islands just outside of Bayfield, Wisconsin. We kayaked and camped for three nights on various islands and retrieved our water from the islands where we beached. The water was visibly brown with little bits of this and that floating in it. Gross! I drank enough to stay alive, but not one drop more. Me: water snob.

    Quotes from the Road

    Mazie outfitted with scissors for a little job of take apart Mazie confirms suspicions that she’s a little bit weird by reciting for 5 minutes in the car all of the various parts of “dad” that should be taken apart: ears, eyes, nose, back, arms, legs, head, hand, and on and on. She concludes the monologue with the statement, “I want someone to take dad apart.” Neither Jamie or I have any idea what this all means, but we are happy to report at this time that “dad” is still all put together.
    those wistful mountains just waiting to be climbedJamie, while looking wistfully at the mountains in Glacier National Park laments that he doesn’t quite have all of the necessary craziness to climb mountains and says, “I lack the salt for that.”. Huh? Sometimes I think I married an ole’ man from the hills, instead of some uber-techy geek guy. Confounding…