Monday, January 24, 2011


Not sure where the time has gone but I am seriously behind in posting. Plenty has been happening to keep me busy but I just haven't found time to write about it. I am pretty sure by now my sister Carla isn't even using up some of her precious pre-approved internet time at work to check and see if I have posted anything new.

I wonder if at some point blogger sends out a we miss you email or something stating due to lack of new updates the blog will be pulled. If so I am right on the cusp of getting such an email. In all honesty I might have already gotten it since my personal inbox is something else I am behind in.

Once again it is a new year and I was trying to come up with my resolutions for this year. After looking at my list from last year some I managed to accomplish and others I didn't even really get off to any start at all with. One that comes to mind is posting once a week on my blog - at this point once a month might be a more realistic goal.

I am going to try and do another post with my resolutions and hope it will get done before 2012. Though that would mean then I had kept my resolutions - I just won't mention I never got around to making any.

So yes Carla I am still here - just not sure if you are anymore at this point.

Oh and the snowflake is just because I am hoping for some fresh powder in the mountains. I have a seasons pass and would like to use it on snow and not ice, I haven't mastered ice skating on skis yet or on ice skates yet either but those aren't allowed on the lifts.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

more of a treat than a trick

A Halloween cruise works out well for both of us. I get to celebrate Halloween with costumes and a boat to decorate in addition to our house and Sam gets to go out on the water on a weekend I normally might opt to stay on shore.

This Friday evening when we left the dock it was calm and 60 degrees. Sad to say it was warmer than most of the Friday evenings we left during the summer. There wasn't even enough wind to try and sail since it would have been more of a drift and we wanted to arrive before dark. It was an uneventful ride up to Edmonds.

Saturday the skies let loose and it was a sogfest. It wasn't normal Seattle drizzle where you can still be outside instead it was torrential downfall. Those with the large powerboats were probably wishing they hadn't upgraded so they didn't have so many soaking wet people on board their boat. I am sure they started to wonder just how many of us could possibly cram on board without capsizing.

On another note what is up with carpets on boats? I have to say that just seems like a bad idea in my opinion. I am convinced this is why you get on some older boats and they have that mildew smell. Everyone who has been on an older boat with carpet knows just what I am talking about with the smell and I blame carpets.

Sunday we were the last ones to leave the dock and head home. The wind had picked up quite a bit and it was a bit rough for the beginning of our trip. It was just windy enough where Sam didn't even mention sailing. It turns out he has really learned a few things about his first mate and sailing.

But overall it was a pretty uneventful trip. While I wouldn't call it super comfortable during some of the waves it really wasn't that big of a deal. After we were tied up at the dock I realized it had been an uneventful boating trip. When had we last had one of those? Not that we always have dramatic or terrible happen but there always seems to be something that does. It seems that is just the nature of boating.

Or it could be I am getting a bit more comfortable on board since once I may not have thought the trip back wasn't a big deal. When you don't hear any odd noises, nothing breaks, no repairs are needed, docking goes well, and generally you feel like the boat can handle the waves it makes for very little drama. But I remembered we didn't put up the sails at all so in reality we were a powerboat with a big keel. So maybe our uneventful cruise had more to do with not sailing. I don't think Sam is going to buy it at all though when I mention it to him. Somehow I don't think he will view it the same way I did.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

maybe i am a sailor

This past weekend Sam and I headed to Annapolis, Maryland for the sailboat show. On the plane someone asked why were were flying to Baltimore and I told them we were going to look at a boat. They commented that I must really be into sailing and I said that I enjoyed it. No they replied you are hard core if you are flying across the country to look at a boat. Not really I said but my husband is. They disagreed and said I was obviously going along too and I must really be into it.

At that point I didn't have an argument back or much to say which is a bit shocking if you know me at all. I thought about it and decided they just might be right I guess I am pretty into this boating thing after all.

For years I have blamed Sam for all the boats we have owned and the time we spend on the water. I have enjoyed it (well most of it there are some exceptions and trips I could have passed on) and have come to really look forward to any time spent on the water. But I always thought of him as the real boater and the one with a passion for it - I was just along as rail meat or the first mate.

But maybe now I have to admit I am just a bit hooked on the whole boating thing and if going across the country to see a boat is the way I finally admit it then the trip was even more successful for Sam. So yes I am a boater and on top of it I am a sailor. But I am still sticking by the statement I often repeat to Sam when there is a problem on board - "your boat your problem." I am not willing to give that up because honestly it might be a powerboat instead if the decision was entirely up to me.

And yes the boat we saw was worth the trip now I just need to know how to better fund this boating thing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

where to go next?

I have been thinking of places I want to visit in the world and my list just keeps getting longer. We finally made it to the destination at the top of my list, Italy, and instead of being happy it only made me want to explore more places. Well what it really did was make me want to live in Italy but I may have to save that for another time. If I could have figured out how to stay I am pretty sure I would still be there right now eating homemade pasta and trying to con my way into a glass blowing apprenticeship.

So while I crossed Italy on my list of places to visit for the first time now I keep thinking of new places to explore. So this is my new list of places:

1. Thailand - Thai food, cheap, and great beaches of course this makes the top of the list.
2. Costa Rica - I have never heard anyone who went there that didn't love it plus I have never been to Central America. I keep telling Sam we need to drive to Belize next time we are in Mexico but so far my powers of persuasion must not be up to par or the state of the roads in Mexico make my powers obsolete.
3. Barcelona, Spain - I seem to think I can speak Spanish so why not try it out at the mother country, I love tapas, and I saw the Spanish soccer men play during World Cup.
4. Hong Kong - shopping - need I say more? On a side note I really hope I have enough money to stay at the Mandarin Oriental for at least one night.
5. Greece - beaches, feta cheese, boating and island hopping. This is someplace I would like to try sailing so for Sam it just moved to the top of the list.
6. New Orleans - for the food which I have heard is incredible and if that isn't reason enough my sister and nephew live there. See you there soon C really you put it on the list.
7. Desolation Sound - this is my token boating adventure - you are welcome Sam.
8. Bocas del Toro, Panama - noted as one of the last "undiscovered islands in the Caribbean" - so this is for when we really need to relax on the beach and soak in the sunshine.
9. Azores Islands, Portugal - scuba diving is some of the best in the world so I should see something when I snorkel, fishing, bull fighting, and plenty of handcrafted items to bring back with me on the plane.
10. Turkey - sun, sea, beaches, all at a great price - count me in.

Looks like after reviewing the list I have a theme of sun, beaches, shopping, and food so I think I have come up with the right places. But if I am going back to places I have been Italy is still the top of my list.

Monday, October 4, 2010

agony of losing

I am a proud Cougar fan but the last few years of football season have been extremely painful. Typically I am very excited for football to begin but for the last 2 seasons it was more a feeling of dread than excitement. Dread because I knew it would be inevitable the Cougars would have a losing season. And by losing I don't mean a 5 and 7 schedule which I would be grateful and happy about. Instead we are lucky to get a win in. And any win we do get probably won't be against a Pac 10 team but instead a team who is happy to be in Division 1 football.

But still in spite of knowing the outcome won't be in our favor I still usually tune in or at least did. Part of me wishes I lived in New Orleans with my sister where she says they don't get any coverage. I didn't detect any hit of disappointment when she said it - instead I think she thought it was a good thing based on how poorly we have been doing. I could envision not knowing just how badly we lost or how many turnovers we had and it might make for a much better Saturday.

Last year it was easier since I knew the Huskies would be losing right along with us so that made it much easier to bear. Nothing like your arch rival getting pounded as badly as you to make the loss go down just a bit easier. Now this year they might win a couple of games and it just seems to rub it in.

Two weeks ago Tanya turned on the game and told me we were tied - my response was since the game had just started it must be zero to zero but no she told me it was 7to 7. We should have stopped there since that was as good as it got. I am too embarrassed to even repeat the final score though Sam seems to remember it all too well just to get a rise out of me.

So I decided it might be time to pick another team. I started thinking about teams I like to watch and tried to decide who my new team might be. The Cougars will still be my first love but maybe I need someone else to root for on Saturdays - a team who would at least have a chance come game time.

So I started going through the list of possible new teams to root for. Initially I thought maybe an Oregon team might be a good choice but since U of O is ranked number 3 they weren't an option even though I could think of how many dawg fans I could irritate as a Duck fan. I need an underdog team. I thought of Oregon State but then how could I give my brother in law Dave a bad time and orange and black together only seem cool at Halloween. California teams just didn't seem to work either - too many sanctions and too many sunny football game days. Football should really be played on crisp autumn days or in a snow storm not on 80 degree days in the middle of October or November.

Really in the end I just couldn't choose one - either I didn't like their school colors (hard to beat crimson and gray and the sailboat is much too expensive to repaint), they were rated in the top 20 and I like an underdog since that is what my experience is, or they were located somewhere I didn't really enjoy visiting. I really didn't find any team that appealed to me.

Instead I have decided to go another route all together. When I asked Tanya which football game in Pullman we should buy tickets for at the start of the season she said she would go to a basketball game instead. So I am going to choose basketball as my new favorite sport. In the meantime I am going to try and pretend football is only played on Sundays and not on Saturdays. If by any chance the Cougars do pull off a win please let me know - I can easily be convinced to go back to my first love of football I just want to know we have a chance on the field.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

summer in the rear view mirror

As a kid I couldn't understand how mom and dad thought time went by so fast. Now I wish I still didn't understand. How can summer be careening towards fall at a faster clip than I want? It hit me yesterday fall is just around the corner when I sat inside the cabin on Labor Day afternoon hearing the rain fall against the metal roof and smelled the clean scent of rain when I went outside.

So here is a quick recap of just some of the things I am going to remember from this summer:

Italian drivers, cappuccinos in Italy, watching glassblowers on Murano Island, seeing Venice, first glimpse of Positano, homemade pasta, a 10 course meal, how many stairs we dragged our luggage up and over in Italy

weekend walks/runs at the lake, how Lake Chelan takes your breath away when you first jump in, smell of oysters on the BBQ, s'mores, long lazy breakfasts, runs/walks ending with a latte at Kelly's, unloading the truck in the dark at the cabin, carting the same food from our house to the cabin and back again - several times

sunsets from the boat deck, dinghy rides, reading snuggled up in a blanket at night on the deck, laying in bed gently rocking on a bouy, laying in bed with the boat swinging wildly on a buoy, fresh goat cheese at Salt Spring, hiking at Succia, Shaw Island race in the rain and no wind, sailing on the sound after work

Sam turning 40, dancing on the deck while cruising to our destination, blasting the 5 o'clock Friday song, viewing the Seattle skyline from Elliott Bay, much too chilly summer days, the feeling of seeing the sun finally breakthrough and make an appearance, fresh corn on the cob

Summer has gone much too quickly but then it seems like all the months move along faster than I am ready for anymore. But at least fall is around the corner and that means Halloween, leaves changing (love yard service almost as much of Sam this time of year), and the sound of leaves crunching under foot, fires in the fireplace, and pumpkin spice lattes. But summer if there is any way I can still get a few more sunny days I would be most grateful and maybe then it won't be so hard to let you go this year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

smith island again, again, and again

We have always had pretty smooth seas on our trips up from Seattle to the San Juans and back down again so it was inevitable our luck would run out. I don't mean to say we have never encountered any wave action or chop but it wasn't too bad for the most part and we managed to get through it without any threats from me that it was the last time I would be coming up the outside.

Sunday heading back from our vacation in the San Juans changed all that. Heading out of Friday Harbor it was calm with little wind. By the time we hit Cattle Pass I was heading up to the deck to find out just whose wake we had encountered. It wasn't boat wake it was tide wake and it just kept increasing.

The winds had started to pick up significantly and the tide was a big change and those 2 conditions together made for some rough seas. Rough enough that I was willing to delay my morning shower for over 6 hours.

I took a look at the charts and realized at the speed we were going it would be a long time before we hit some smoother waters. We were going to be in it for a while. After over 2 hours of constant pounding getting tossed around like a cork I finally started to understand what people meant when they say they just get used to it. I started to get used to it. Mind you I wasn't comfortable still but more just resigned to the waves and tossing. Since we had made it so far there wasn't any reason to think we couldn't make it the rest of the way.

About this time I saw Smith Island and was happy to note that we would eventually be getting to the turn at Port Townsend. A half hour later I wasn't quite as happy to note Smith Island didn't seem any closer. Almost an hour later and it still seemed like Smith Island wasn't any closer. I asked Sam if we were making forward progress and he assured me we were but I was a bit skeptical. Another 30 minutes and we still seemed to be in the same spot. While I wasn't as bothered now by the waves not making any progress was going to do be in.

At times it even seemed like we were going to go by it and suddenly the island would seem to drift back in front of us. Happily we finally did get by it but it took much too long for me. I think even Sam was starting to think the same thing but most of his time and attention was taken up by trying to surf down the larger waves and keep us going in the right direction.

I do know that seeing Smith Island not disappear behind us for so long just proved I am not cut out for a long ocean voyage. If an island does me in I cannot even imagine what would happen being in rough choppy seas and seeing nothing but more water in front of me.

So while I did learn I can become used to rough seas and almost numb to it I need a change of scenery on a regular basis. I now feel I have seen enough of Smith Island to last me for a long time or as Sam has pointed out at least until our next trip up to the San Juans. As for an extended ocean voyage I am out. After all my complaining about when we were going to ever get by the island I am pretty sure Sam is in complete agreement that I am not his top choice as first mate.