PB&J=cookies

On this second day, very relaxing day of the year we ended up watching the kids baking championship.  These 8-12 year olds that some can barely see over their counter, others munching on more of what they bake then they end up having to serve.  There was a PB&J wrench thrown in the middle of the challenge and they had to come up with a third item that included PB&J in the time they had left.

I made the comment that they were making me want to bake. I hadn’t made my peanut butter cookies in quite a few years.  But since I used to make them almost every week for the farmers market it came back quickly.

Now what do we do with 3.5 dozen peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly cookies.  After a couple we were done.  Guess we’ll be taking some to friends or freezing them.

These kids are amazing and such better bakers then I am.  I know with experience and increased problem solving skills they will be amazing.  At that age, I had zero idea of what I wanted to do as a grown up.  The closest I came to these kids is I did have own chocolate chip cookie recipe with my “secret” ingredient.  My not wanting to tell anyone ensured I “got” to bake them all the time.

Office Farmers Market

There is a farmers market right outside my office building on Thursday’s.  I have a deep affinity toward Farmers Markets after being involved in the Des Moines and Renton markets for many years.

I worked the both jobs today, leaving the first one at 12:30 and needing to be at the second one by 2:30.  Well there is no way to tell just what may go wrong or right in traffic, also not really any time to go home in between jobs.  I got to work and parked in less than an hour.

So with an extra hour I went and walked around the farmers market.  There is a lot of prepared food, it looks more like a food truck convention moved into tents.  There were also fruits, veggie, flowers, baked goods and other vendors.  I learned that they close at 2:00.  So after I dropped off my laptop, when downstairs and got cash and walked out, they were starting to break down.

Next Week maybe……..

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Vacation Wrap-Up

It is really quite sad to wrap the entire week up in one post.  But I am already home, have gone grocery shopping, changed the bedding and completed the laundry.  I also cleaned out my closet and that has more to do with part of this wrap up……

Sunday I mentioned I spent with my bestie Katherine…we went on a lovely hike, errands and much visiting.  I was glad to have an entire day with her but she was away for work the rest of the week.

Monday was quite magical as well.  My sister reconnected via Facebook with a life long friend Tamlin a few months ago and they have been hanging out.  She has also reconnected with his mother because Tamlin sees her every Saturday.  These are friends we made when we were 4 and 6 years old.  They lived around the corner from us half way up the “hill” on 11th and Denny.  One day we were trying to “slide” down the hill in a cardboard box and Tansy and Tamlin came out and did it with us.  We were friends from that moment on.

Well Monday they all came for lunch.  We grilled Salmon and corn and sat around reminiscing.  The world was different in the beggining of the 70’s.  There we were playing on what now would be considered a busy street.  Without any parents anywhere around.  Going into our neighbors home without even thinking it was bad or asking for permission.  Tansy and I remember having our dime and taking the bus downtown and walking around Frederick and Nelson’s.  When we did that we were maybe nine years old.  Such great memories.  Such a very different world, which on another day would be a post all of it own.  But here is a photo from Monday, 45 years later!

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The two sets of visiting on Monday overlapped just a bit.  As our childhood friends and their mom departed Tonya and Briana arrived.  We sat around on the deck, visiting and beverages ensued.  We ordered food in and visited for a few hours.

Tuesday I worked out in my little home-made gym and then my brother Dale and I conquered the shed.  We took everything out, sorted a pile for the dump, went through the paint cabinet and tossed and organized it.  Gave Missy’s bed to our brother Carols and his friend Trinity who had stopped by to visit and then put it all back in a very organized fashion.

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Tonya and Briana came back that night and the three of us went out for Sushi.  It was so yummy.  I had picked up granola and yogurt for breakfast all week and Della picked me up apples for lunch.  My dinners were out every night with friends so I could visit.

Wednesday I met Linda at Liberty cafe for coffee.  We then stopped by her house so I could see her new kitchen.  After that we went shopping!  I was in serious need of new shirts for work.  I ended up with 9 shirts and 2 new pair of trousers and a skirt.  We also had lunch and he drove me back to the house.  It was a carefree, spontaneous day and so much fun.

Wednesday nights dinner was at Papaya at the Renton Landing.  I was late however and am still kicking myself for that.  I am never late.  But Tuesday, Thursday and Friday dinners were all scheduled at 7:00 this was 6:00 so I was just at home hanging with Della and Dale before I went over and Leslie texted me to see if I was okay.  But I did get there and we had dinner and visited for a couple of hours.  It was great to catch up, I wasn’t able to see them last December because Leslie had a horrible cold.

Thursday’s project was the gutter and the roof.  I climbed up and reattached the corner of the gutter that had come loose.  It is on the second story and the side that no ladder can be used so its a job done on my belly laying over the edge.  Dale was up there too and we cleared out all of the debris from the gutters.  They actually were not that bad.  After that we started on the shed exterior.  Dale re-attached the trim that had to be removed when taking the ivy down and I screwed in parts of the loose siding.  (There is more to do and Dale and I made a game plan – he is conquering this on his own).  Della and I went out to Ballard when she got home for work.  We met up with Shaunda and Jamie, dinner ended up not being very good but it was great to visit.  The only problem was Della was having increasing pain under her ribs from front to back.  We got back home but were only there for about ten minutes before we headed to the ER at Highline.

The Dr. was positive she had a kidney stone.  But they couldn’t do anything until they took the edge off the pain.  They drew blood and gave her some morphine.  Then took a urine sample and took her down for a CT scan.  They found Nothing.  Nothing at all!  There was a tiny bit of blood in her urine that they sent out to be cultured.  But if that came from passing a stone, there would be no more pain.  They pain is subsiding three days later, but it is not gone and there is only speculation.  Hopefully when she see’s her primary doctor and has more test results back.  The ER basically made sure it wasn’t an emergency, the gallbladder, the kidneys and the appendix looked fine.  They were through and speedy.  All in all we were only there for about three hours.

Friday I slept in a bit, we all got to be so late.   Della had gone into work late and Dale has a volunteer shift at the animal shelter.  I did my laundry and got all my new clothes into my suitcase.  I also worked on sorting out and clearing out a portion of my craft/baking/storage room.  I made a huge pile for Goodwill, several cans of recycling and a small bag of trash.  I was a good day of purging and there is still more to do.  Friday night I met Diane and Shelly at Claim Jumper and visited with them for a few hours.  It is so lovely to see so many of my friends and get caught up.  I don’t know when I will get back up there as I have a new job starting (I will blog about that in October when it starts).

Saturday I flew home, but not before Della, Dale and I went to the Des Moines farmers market.  I found Ricki the market manager for a quick visit.  We all got lunch and then wondered around.

This post seems so clinical and does not at all convey the fun and visits I had.  One thing I know is I has zero time left over to blog so here is the summary.  Back to work tomorrow which could be awkward, we shall see.

Full/Exhausting 3 day weekend

By the photos here you would think this post is all about watermelon salad.  When in fact its more about getting prepared to host a brunch.

We don’t entertain much, in fact hardly ever.  But we were having company over on Sunday so we started cleaning up the yard two weekends ago.  Now that we have time again on the weekends of course we promptly fill them up with more chores.

Anyway, stay on track already….friends of Lori’s asked to see us and they would like to come to our house.  One of these women is a previous student who also donated lots of the cuttings and plants when we started re-doing the yard.  So of course we wanted the yard to be in tip-top shape.  Another woman joining the soirée also used to be a student of Lori’s and has her own garden design company…..tough audience for the garden.

There was a three-day weekend with a brunch on Sunday at our house to cap it all off.  Friday we went to home depot to get something for the yard and ended up renting a carpet cleaner.  I shampoo’d the carpets while Lori scrubbed the house and purged our book piles.  Saturday we went to the farmers market and got all the ingredients needed for the brunch.  We finished spreading the gravel I dropped when I sold the truck and got the last of the weeds out.  (By last of weeds you seriously know that the weeds are never ever completely gone – but it is close)

Sunday morning I was up and outside watering at 6:30.  (We are relegated to watering before 8:00 a.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays and after 7:00 p.m.)  Then I made us some oatmeal while I started cooking.  I started with banana bread and while that was baking I made the watermelon salad.  (Watermelon, mint, lime…so good).  I roasted zucchini and pablano peppers on the grill and cut them up for a fritatta.  I made the bacon and then right before noon when everyone was expected I put the grilled veggie fritatta together and put it in the oven.

Lori had been cleaning up the seating area and setting it all up.  We were done working, everything looked and tasted great and got to sit and visit for several hours with her friends.

The guests are long gone, however the leftovers we had for dinner and the house and yard still look fantastic!

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Rangerless

IMG_2425Since I got the car in January, I have been taking the truck on and off of standby insurance to do things like move gravel, or to move the girls last weekend.  Then just like last weekend, it ends up just sitting under the tree and not being used.

I happened to mention selling it at work and one of the managers asked that I bring it in.  So I extended the insurance out another day and drove it in.  Yesterday when he decided to buy it I was then on a limited time frame.   After work I got one more 1,000 pound bag of gravel, got it unloaded, cleaned out the truck and got it back to the work parking lot prior to midnight.

Today I signed over the title, deposited the cash, removed it from my auto policy completely and am just down to the car now.

It has been a great truck.  I never loved this Ranger like the one before that was totalled.  But it took hundreds of trips to the dog park.  Allowed me to join the farmers market and transport lots of cakes.  Moved me to California and then became a work horse for bricks and gravel.

When I cleaned it out last night I kept thinking where did all this stuff come from.  I had three atlases, a bird guide, binoculars, emergency kit and six books in this thing and there is no trunk!!  That doesn’t even include all the miscellaneous things like gloves, sunglasses, umbrella, pens, change, tarp and other junk in the truck.

Connecting

Lets blog about something besides the job search.  Mostly because its boring and I’m kinda sick of it.  So today I have done some looking but not focused too much on it.  The morning started by dropping off Lori’s truck for an oil change, then we headed to the gym.  It was a shorter than usual workout because my cycle that arrived an entire TEN days early was having nothing of it!

Besides, after typing that paragraph nearly four hours ago and now I have had several phone calls.  One being from the weight loss coaching job I answered.  I am going to an orientation on Tuesday.  This job sounds like private contractor – commission only – find my own clients kind of gig as well but it’s not insurance.

One call was from City of Renton with a list of questions I could answer for the market.  I got to talk about something I knew about and feel to helpful. I also had a call this morning from the lead volunteer at the market, my friend Linda.  We chatted about her grandaughters 3rd birthday and the fact that the farmers market job was posted yesterday.  I told her about hearing from one of the vendors yesterday who just opened a physical bakery to see if I could decorate a cake for her this weekend.  Then in the mail was a note and photos from another volunteer so it was an all market day.   Today I also was able to face time with my nieces.  It was so great seeing their faces for even fifteen minutes.  I talked to Mary and I also face timed with Vivian today and got to catch up.

I was able to face time with Dale earlier in the week.  He took me on a tour of the house and showed me even more fence damage.  Also got to see Spyder snoozing in the sun on the stairs.  Mary has called to “check” on me every four days or so.  Toyna and Briana went out and bought a web cam and got it all hooked up and we got to “see” them last night as we talked for about an hour.  I’ve talked to Katherine a couple times and to Della.  Along with texting and emails the games on Word Feud with Leslie and Vivian still happen on a daily basis and have keep me quite connected to my other home.

Bell Ringing

A couple of weeks ago at a meeting, Captain Chris of the Renton Salvation Army spoke about the restrictions this year for the red kettle bell ringing.  This happens to be one of the biggest fund-raisers of the year for the Salvation Army.

When Captain Chris took over last year he was first told that he had to cut 80K out of the budget.  That along with all of the increased need in the last few years has stretched the services that the Salvation Army provides pretty thin.

I have had an ongoing relationship with the food bank since writing this post a year and a half ago.  With all of the produce we gather and donate from the Farmers Market to donating extra cupcakes to the dinner program.

Now a group of us are “adopting” two kettles on Saturday the 8th and will be staffing them so that the Salvation Army can save what they pay bell ringers.  I will spend part of the day ringing the bell, knowing that the money raised goes to a great place and stays in the local community.