Saturday, June 30, 2012

Long drive #1.

Here we go...I'll be posting throughout our drive because there's not much else to do.

Hurdle #2 : almost done.

We are oh-so-almost done moving out of our place. There's stuff being shipped across the country. There's stuff in my mom's place. We are almost done with this phase.
And I had super tacos for lunch.
And my mother saved our lives with all of her help; we owe your our first several born. Seriously.
Thanks mama.
We love you.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Earlier tonight we cleared the first of our Big Get TO DC hurdles. Some $$$ and 25 Fedex-ed boxes  later we are one step closer to our new home.
For my own/our own personal accountability I'd like to lay out a few more things for us to accomplish :
* Clean out and vacate our apartment by tomorrow afternoon. Saturday's our last day but we're going to San Diego and need to be done before then,
* Put all of the the extra crapolla into our storage unit.
* After San Diego sort out what left overs can be shipped, given away, or saved to pack in the car with us.
* Ship, give away, or save and pack everything in our storage unit.

* Change mailings to our new addy!
* Sell furniture.
When we come back from the San Diego weekend I have two more days of class to teach and we're officially pushing off on the 9th of July. Thus will ensue about 10 days in the Seattle area and we're poised to arrive in the Capital City on the 25th or 26th.

Wish us Luck please.

xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yesterday's word-free post was meant to be posted today {Wednesday} except I got excited and hit "Publish" so here go some totally random thoughts.

* Oh My Goodness I wish I were a person who loves to pack & move; thank God I have my mom helping me.
* Some sweet coworkers had a lovely little pot luck in my honor today and I also got to see some of my work friends who aren't teaching summer school with me; thank you all SO much for your thoughtfulness and kindness. It didn't hurt that someone brought along her cute little ones with whom I got to play and run around.

* I'm mulling over a new look for our new life; more news to come as this idea progresses. 

* We had BBQ tonight at a local joint. On Wednesdays they have a five men band playing Classic Country and it was glorious.
I really love a good twang and this quintet was cracking cheesy jokes all over the place which added a great deal to my enjoyment. Too bad we didn't figure this out until our last two weeks here! More reason to come back home and visit.

* One of the younger students at school today told me some of the other kiddos were saying that I look like a mermaid. I'm hoping more Ariel than the scary ones. And less scaly.

* In the middle of an activity in class today I was standing at my podium and one of my six students came up to me. She gave me this.
It was a homemade oreo cookie that had been wrapped and baked in sugar cookie dough. I relished every bite of it with my second cup of coffee later in the morning. And I tried not to worry too much about students getting up and giving me cookies in the middle of class instead of doing to activity at hand. Mind you, I didn't give them a break in the two hour class today so maybe this is their way {or bribe?} of asking me for one.

* I'm super excited for San Diego this weekend.

* After dinner tonight someone was feeling tuckered.
I feel that way sometimes too.

Good middle of the week to you!

xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hunka hunka burnin' deliciousness.

 xoxo, natty ♥

Uff da.

If you're curious about today's post title blame it on my Minnesotan college years and click HERE. It refers to my feelings regarding getting our act together to move across the country. I have so {SO} many emotions swirling around regarding this big life change; sadness and nostalgia leaving where I've lived for 24/28 years of my life, where I've been a student/teacher for a combined total of 10 years, and where my whole family lives...great excitement for this new phase of OUR life...apprehension regarding the sheer amount of miles and hours we'll be in the car...DESIRE to just be able to snap my fingers and have everything safely and instantaneously appear in our new digs...fear at not having a job yet...I could go on. BUT...some good things!
This was our "dry run" of stuff that we will actually pack up with us for The Drive and I don't want to forget the specific configuration in two weeks when we formally bid adieu.
1} This time on Saturday I'll be at Torrey Pines in San Diego enjoying a weekend away with my hubby and my cousins; I'm so excited! At that point we'll be moved out of this apartment and in the limbo that is the three weeks we have between living situations. This trip is a high school graduation gift to my cousin; I took his older brother to Disneyland three years ago and, again, I am really looking forward to a weekend down south and spending time with these three dudes.
2} We're at a better place in this move than we were in our last move out of an apartment two years ago; that is a GOOD thing. More stuff is already packed away than in 2010 and we have a storage unit already partially filled. We have a "moving plan" {shipping stuff} and the cardboard boxes are rapidly filling. This is what a Big Move is like, folks, and we are in the thick of it. And I'm still living and breathing and enjoying some Pinot Grigio so life ain't all that bad.
3} We have an apartment in DC! This is great news! It's on a little street called "Q" {NW} and it's beautiful and I love it. Come visit us! But not until after July 25.
4} Law & Order SVU is on TV right now, a 2004 episode to be exact; this is living.
5} I almost got rid of all of the brown bananas in our fridge. Six loaves of banana bread later I'm feeling prih-tee smug about my frugal ways.
***A bonus #6 for YOU!*** 
6} My husband, ever the skeptic of my ways, actually asked ME to make a list of things that need to be done for this move. HE requested of ME to make a list! Wonder of wonders! It made my heart sing and I obliged oh so happily.
Lists = my love language.
Now, to actually do what's on those lists.
How are you doing in your neck of the woods this week? Has it cooled down considerably where you're at? I know that people pay TONS {trust me, I KNOW} to live in this Bay Area that has a natural air conditioning and hovers around 75 to 85 degrees all summer but I love me some heat. I suppose I should have been careful for what I wish for, though, since DC in July is not known for it's temperateness. I'll soon have up a post about our route and all that jazz but until then, be good my pretties!
xoxo, natty ♥

B TEE DUBS {Mike HATES it when I put those words together! Ha!}...I am trying to unload a heck-load of vintage Pyrex {some really cute stuff y'all} that I've lovingly collected over the years but lack any use for. It's on ye olde Craigslist but if you're local and interested {or not local, heck, I'll ship it for ya} puh-leaze let me know and I'll cut you a deal.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bright lights, Big city.

On Friday my aunt, my cousin, and my grandmother {and I!} went to San Francisco. 
We slummed around the Haight/Ashbury thrift shops. I got four old 99 cent paperbacks at Goodwill and a Jcrew dress for $12.
We walked around a fun grocery store too. I admit that probably only I and a certain subset of other folk consider grocery stores fun. It's weird, kind of, since I loathed this errand growing up and now I could get lost in a grocery store for hours just looking at everything. My favorites are big and traditional supermarkets where canning goods like sealing wax and mason jars are sold an aisle over from aqua net and frozen pie shells.
Later we enjoyed a savory Korean dinner in the inner Sunset. 
Clean & Pure!
I even had a cold beer because nothing goes better with bulgogi.
It was chilly but not bad and even though it actually started to rain a bit during dinner, it was so refreshing and LIGHT considering  were in some of the longest days of the year.
Even though I've never been head over heels enamored of the city, I admit that I do like it. I'll miss it, even. We won't be able to just drive up on a whim to have dinner or run along the bay or do whatever. Will we at least be able to get Korean food in DC? I'm guessing yes but it won't be in the City by the Bay or with my family.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Guinness has some weird habits. I was watching him during one of his...rituals...this morning and wondered why he does this.
When I give him a new bowl of kibble, before he settles in to eat anything, he pokes at the food with his snout. Then he might kind of push at the bowl. Then he takes a step back and goes to a different side of the bowl. He repeats the process at least three or four times and then takes a small mouthful somewhere around the apartment to eat it.
Does anyone else have a hound that does this? When I saw him this morning it occurred to me that...this is weird so please bear with me...he looks like he's poking at something to make sure it's really and truly dead before he digs in. Is that freakish? Yes? But does it make sense considering dogs' origins? Ugh. I'm not keen on thinking about the dog as anything other than a goofy and loving companion. I decided to not consult google. Yet. I might look it up later but for now I'm enjoying my anthropological attempt.
Good Saturday to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cleaning out our fridge, one loaf of banana bread at at time.

The end of our time in this apartment is rapidly approaching {wahhhhhh} and I'm scrambling to use up as much food as possible. I'm tackling three distinct areas 1} the cupboard/pantry {this is about a 3 on the 1 to "oh s%#*" freaking out scale since we can schlep most of this} 2} the refrigerator {about a 7 since I am not so cheap as to haul around a little cooler full of ketchup across the country} and 3} the freezer {oh.s@*&.}.
I'll probably just end up buying new condiments when we get to DC but I certainly am cheap enough to not throw out brown bananas; what DO I do with them? I freeze them.
Frozen Brown Bananas.
Then I can make banana bread.
Plus flour. Does it always charm you too how Trader Joe's name reconfigures itself when he's giving you different things? Trader Giuseppe for pasta!
They are a bit slimy when thawing but I can get over that.
Plus buttermilk {you can substitute with a ratio of one cup regular milk to one teaspoon white [NO OTHER VARIETY] vinegar}.
The recipe {the link is above} is quick and easy though the bake time is about an hour.
Plus chocolate chips.
I always add chocolate chips.
Plus sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda and a bit of vanilla. And love.
And I never add in nuts.
This week I only eked out one batch of two loaves but I am expecting three plus another cobbler before the next seven days are over.
Today I'm spending the afternoon in San Francisco; happy weekend to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

24 hours.

Thursday : long day, long dog, tired computer. Tired girl.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Because I'm a freak; outfits through next Friday.

xoxo, natty ♥

Unorganized thoughts.

I don't have much to say about today; coffee, work, mall, backyard, friend on phone, hanging out, freaking out,
husband, El Burro, home, movie, bed.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Ugh. I was worthless today. I've been so susceptible to ennui of late and I think it has to do with wanting to secure a job for August and having to pack; two seemingly insurmountable endeavors. After I got home from work it was all down hill. In the thick of it, though, here are a few highlights on this Monday evening.
This is what Father's Day dinner turned into. After a game of corn toss.
1} We're watching Jeopardy right this minute; yes!
2} I re-purposed some sour blueberries into a yummy cobbler tonight; #making creative use of food.
3} I bought two packs of those space saving vacuum bags for our big move. This:
went to this:
woah! I have four more bags and hopefully will get all of our bulky towels and unused winter/fall clothes packed down. I'm marginally concerned about everything being wrinkled beyond belief when we unpack it all sometime in August but whatever. I'll put the coats on hangers in the bathroom with a hot shower running.
4} This morning I taught my last-first-class at my school. I'm not ruling out teaching forever but the truth is that we're leaving and I can't commute. The very first class I taught was summer school and on that day in 2006 I wore white pants and a polka dot shirt.
I reprised the look today in honor of my career. This isn't super maravilloso but it is a milestone for me nevertheless and I relish those things.
5} We spent a nice evening hanging out with some friends and family on Saturday night.
These two had a great time and were too cute to pass up on taking a picture of despite the low lighting.
What's lovely about your week? Are you enjoying the very end of spring and looking forward to the solstice?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I love you more than you know.
Thank you for all those trips to the zoo and BBQs and Lake Tahoe trips and everything else.
There are some other dads out there too and Happy Day to you too!
A few more oldies just because I love em.
And I love you too Dad.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What a great thing.

It's hot today. Which I love. But still, some pineapple frozen yogurt makes the day that much better.
Happy Saturday y'all!
xoxo, natty ♥

Two left eyes.

As I've mentioned before, I wear contact lenses. I actually have astigmatism which means that one eye sees better than the other one. It's a really noticeable change from one to the other. On top of that my prescription is fairly strong {nerd alert} so it was a Big Day when my eye doc told me that I could finally get those fancy daily disposable contact lenses; It took a while for the companies to make them for my special kind of eyes since astigmatism means the eye's shaped oddly.

I got a year's supply but had to deal with a} how to conveniently have them available for me in the morning {solved with a cute little garage sale bowl on the bathroom counter} and b} how to keep the two different prescriptions divided {solved by writing "R" or "L" [right or left!] on each little contact case using sharpie so that if they get damp it doesn't wipe off}.
Left, Left.
Earlier this month my supply dwindled and the Type A inside of me had A Moment when I realized that the two remaining were both lefts. AH! I threw away the left over {no pun intended!} and just opened up two new cases like normal.
They lasted several weeks, bringing me to today when I had the same experience and felt just as much anxiety.
Right, Right, Left.
Have there been two times over the past two months when I was wearing the same prescription in each eye? Did it give me a headache and I just chalked it up to being tired? How did I not even notice?!

I'm going to be extra vigilant with this next batch which might be difficult since we're moving and such but I hope sincerely to avoid this in the future.
Happy warm weekend to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The cinema.

Making use of my summer days this week and last, my grandmother and aunt and I have been doing things during the day. That wasn't a very engaging statement, I realize, but it sure as heck means something to a teacher at the beginning of her vacation!

I am also searching for jobs in the D.C. area and trying to pack while planning for the summer school class I teach starting next week. Some vacation.

Part of my preferred daytime regimen is going to see a movie and we did just that last week AND today! Now, I am fully aware that my 101 in 1,001 endeavor is not enjoying any time in the spotlight but I assure it's on my radar and that an update will make an appearance soon but I am recording here and now that so far in June I've seen two films thus getting me caught up on my one movie a month goal.

Last week it was the marigold hotel movie. I'm blogging from a parking lot while waiting on someone right now and couldn't possibly switch over to the internet to look up the proper title so I'll leave it as that but can tell you that it was a very uplifting 90 minutes {give or take a few}.

An aside : can I get carsick from being in a parked car on the side of the road? I'm in the cell phone lot which is up against the main throughway to get into the airport and I am feeling Woozy sitting and typing away on my phone. Maybe it's the cars whirring past so now I've adjusted myself to not have to see them.

Moving on.

Today we saw "Bernie"; that's an easy enough title for me! It's a totally dark movie but very good and also, as I found out at the end, based on a true story and many people seen are not actors but real folk from the story.

I am so grateful for these days and will certainly have to adjust if I end up in a job other than teaching later this summer {which is what it's shaping up to be...eeeeek} and don't get this glorious vacation schedule. But a job, any job, is a Good Thing.

What do you do when you have time off in the city where you live? Do you love catching a matinee too?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Tuesday randoms.

I don't really know what to write about tonight so you'll get a bit of a brain dump. 

*    I'm thinking about how I've blogged for two years {woot!}. I don't write about Serious Things. I make typos. I don't have much of a "voice". I sound really silly to myself when I go back and read past entries. My posts lack structure as my writing always has {thesis?}. But I'll keep doing this. I like knowing that I was here. That we were here. That trips were taken, work was done, dinners were made {& eaten}, decisions were deliberated...This is as much of a journal as I've ever kept and for that I'm grateful.

*    I rode my bike to meet a friend to run tonight; that's a lot of exercise for me these days {siiiigggggh} and it felt great. No real leg pain {knock repeatedly on wood, please} reared itself and I had a nice appetite worked up by the time I got home which is great because Mikey Mike had {hot} food all ready for me; thanks sweetie! After I click "Publish" on this entry I need to do some extensive foam rolling {oh the pain!} and stretch it all out so that I can keep doing stuff like this.

*    The first game of the NBA finals just wrapped up. I'm no sports fan the way many people {my husband} are but I kind of follow along here and there. I'm liking Oklahoma {Team A} - their fan base seems really dedicated and they make their games so fun and energetic. Plus I'm most definitely not a fan of Miami {Team B} or LeBron James {or Tony Parker but that's off topic}. This was a fun game to watch with both teams leading at different points.

*    I got us a pound of cherries today from a local cherry-selling-family; it's June!

*    I also got us some lovely organic blackberries from the Trader Joe's. I washed them before eating them. Then I ate three. Then I noticed teeny tiny little wormy things crawling on one. On many of the blackberries actually. Mike told me that's what I get for splurging on organic and that pesticides don't let bugs like that happen. Wahhhhh.

*    It's lovely to have a bed in our living/family room but I do miss the normalcy of a couch.

*    Sometimes my computer makes a tired whirring sort of sound and it reaaaaallly annoys me. It's doing it right now.

*    Guinness barked at one AM last night/early this morning. It woke me up and freaked me out because after he barked he sat on our bed just looking around our room; what was he looking at? Why? Then I had to turn on the light and read for an hour to calm down.

*    Aren't the colors of the hydrangea leaves and blooms lovely? The green is mostly what I'm loving, actually, since I've seen more vibrant petals.
I adore these flowers and just recently found out/realized that the French word for hydrangea is "hortensia". It's the same in Spanish too. That explains to me why some women used to be named "Hortense". I would see that name in the random assortment of 1960s-1970s youth literature I grew up reading {it was my aunt's and still laying around the family home in the 90s when I came of age} and I chalked it up to a different era but it all makes sense now! It's a flower! Like naming your daughter "Daisy"! or "Rose"!

*    Yesterday was Monday which means I did the whole crossword puzzle all by my little lonesome.
Do you have thoughts as scattered as mine sometimes?
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On the mattress.

June has fully descended upon us. Thus :
What I feel like doing when I think about moving.
1} After we sold the sofa we dragged our mattress topper out to our "great room" {main room} so that we can have something to rest on. It's pretty glorious to have a bed instead of a couch.
2} The horrendous tooth/face/sinus pain I'd been living with for a week has finally {knock on wood} subsided. I get this every few months or so and maybe I should be seen? But just about when I get fed up and decide to call in, it goes away. Except when it turned into an ear infection last January. Soooo maybe I should act on this.
3} I used last night's left over quinoa; {I feel super good when I make use of leftover food} we had quinoa patties. Woo hoo! Yeah, that kind of fell flat.
4} I'm FREAKING out about our packing situation. And our moving situation. This is a good thing because everyone works well and gets things done under pressure, right?
5} I managed to dog sit someone's pooch for three whole days and get him back in one piece; yea!!
How's your Monday?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, June 11, 2012

Disappointment and a "Eureka!" moment.

Before I officially write anything pertaining to the title of this post : I'm trying to figure out tonight's Mad Men episode. Does anyone have any insight? The main thing I can figure out on my own is that there were tons of doors; opening ones and closing ones...are there endings and new beginnings for some characters? But why end the season like that?! Everything is so up in the air! And there wasn't enough of Betty. There never is.

Also, what I write tonight can be kind of boring if you're not into running. I do also talk about kitchen cleaning which I guess isn't too scintillating either. Don't say I didn't warn you! 

Moving on. I'm disappointed. I'm feeling this way because of my legs. The left one, to be specific. As I've mentioned, I'm nursing an injury which I picked up during my marathon in Tucson that happened on December 11th. That was six months ago. It's an IT band injury and said band is essentially this long muscly thing that runs the side of your thighs. When it's aggravated or your thigh or glute {read : butt} muscles are weak and you still try to do things {running} then things flare up. 

IT band issues can cause a variety of different pains owing to what a large and powerful muscle it is. In my case, the pain has manifested itself in my knee. The little tendon or whatever it is that connects the IT bank to the knee {those of you who are knowledgeable in this subject matter I DO apologize for butchering my explanation} gets yanked on too hard when I run with my tired/annoyed IT band. And since my left leg is weaker than my right when I run my left thigh muscle tends to lean inward instead of not leaning which is what it's supposed to do. And that's what pulls on that little tendon thingy which is connected to the IT band. And it makes it hurt. 
Badly. Sharply. But only after six minutes of solid running on bad days and on good days, I haven't gone beyond three miles {a little under 30 minutes} so I don't know how long it could hold out pain-free but not much longer I'm guessing. At this point I'm wondering - this does get better, right?

Anyway. My course of action has been pretty lame considering that I had an unfortunately busy spring. I did {and continue to do} a ton of leg lifts and core exercises with copious foam rolling and stretching but I seriously can't stand biking-as-exercise so I haven't been doing any of that and cycling could help strengthen my thigh muscles this helping the issue.

The only real aerobic business I'm involved with is trying to run and my routine is much like it would be for a beginner runner {which is hard for someone who's been running for half of her life injury-free [getting hurt was bound to happen I suppose]} : run for a minute, walk for a so until 20 minutes have elapsed. 
After a few weeks of this then I got fed-up with not really running the way I like to. That's my main problem, I think; I love to just run. I love to feel powerful in the sense that I can run 10 miles if I want. So I started to do the one minute on/one minute off thing for five minutes as a wam-up and then just run flat out for up to twenty minutes. Then it was twenty minutes or until I reached two miles. Then it was three miles. 

Things were going well. I would get a twinge of pain here and there but not the pain that sets in after six to seven minutes and makes it so that I must stop {that's how bad it is}. My main problem was consistency. It was the last few weeks of school and I was frantically trying to finish up everything so I got in my measly three miles only once a week rather than three to four times.

Last week {Thursday I think} I was able to get out again. And the sharp pain across my knee set in a few minutes into my run. I was furious. How can my body fail me? I've been trying to do some strength work AND I had been up to three miles just the week before!

The following day I tried again. I actually made it much further than the day before. How confusing! One day I can hardly run three minutes and the next I can make it three miles? It did hurt at the end of my run and I think it's because, out of fear of pain, I wasn't lifting my legs up very high and I was keeping my stride somewhat clipped. For the last half a mile I let loose and ran like I felt my body wanted to and that brought on the major sharp pains.

Today I went back to one minute on/on minute off for twenty total. I did run for twelve solid minutes at the end so that I could make it to an even three miles and my stride even felt normal {not held-back}. But I can't relax; what if my next run is like last Thursday's?

I know that the best course of action for me would be to go up from one minute intervals to two minute intervals but I just want to run and am feeling so impatient. Ugh.

On a lighter note and to explain my "Eureka!", I really got somewhere today, kitchen-wise. Sometime in April I made tofu {for the first time!} in one of our stainless steel pans and somehow managed to preserve every bit of that experience. Along the inner sides of the pan the splatters from the oil I used were sealed on. There were black and brown scorch marks on the inside bottom of the pan. Layer after layer of my white vinegar and baking soda paste did practically nothing so I resigned myself to just having ruined the pan's looks.

I finally poked around online and read about Bar Keeper's Friend which I already had in my closet but had never used. I bought it because it's sold at Target in the natural cleaning section and I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

I made a paste of it with the white vinegar today and the pan looks brand new!
Magic! Actually it's the Oxalic acid that did the job. Simmering a concoction of white vinegar and water can also help as can doing the same with a tomato based dish {it's the acid again} but I wiped off all of the staining when I wiped off this paste and I was amazed. And really scaly-handed; this stuff isn't super toxic but it does do a number on your skin if you let it.

It's the little things that really get me going.
Good Sunday evening to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, June 10, 2012


We braved 50 degree weather this morning.
It turned warm just when we started to pack up, of course.
The biggest stride of the day was selling our sofa and easy chair.
It made me sad, though, since this was the furniture we had when we started living together; the times they are a changing!
We schlepped the left overs to the Salvation Army and then went home to take a nap. It was glorious to walk into the apartment except there was no more couch!!
Did you get out and about this Saturday? I certainly hope so, it was such a nice day!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ready, Set, Garage Sale.

Today we started to get ready to move. Oh My Goodness it's really happening.
We're also still dog sitting.
Our little guy on the right is a little unsure of it all. He's actually quite morose from jealousy. 
Do you see the frustration and resentment lounging in his bed?
Hopefully once Oliver heads home Guinness will perk up.
As I mentioned, we packed and organized today. Tomorrow, we have a garage sale. We cleared out a fair amount of clothing and have a ton of other things ready to get rid of.
Ready to sell!
The couch and our easy chair are also part of the exodus. We'll live without them until the end of the month when our lease is up. We're traveling here and there {San Diego & Seattle/Puget Sound} the first two weeks of July and kind of couch hopping {Mom?} until we officially exit stage East around the 22nd or 23rd next month.
I totally can't believe this. In a good way. I'm sad, though. And excited. Sadcited?

If you're in the area and you know where we hang out then come check out our sale in the AM; there will be treats for sale but I can cut you a deal ;)
xoxo, natty ♥
The weight of a many, many balloons was too much for my coak hanger-come-wreath hanger today.
Please ignore the awkward cement stain.