Roundup 5-5-19

So I missed the roundup last week but I never said I would be consistent…..here are some interesting stories from around the internet this week.

May the Fourth

An epic celebration in Ireland happened yesterday. #mythe4thbewithyou

It was sad and horrific what happened to the Notre Dame Cathedral but the bees of Notre Dame are alive and kickin!

One of my favorite design bloggers, Sarah over at Room for Tuesday planted a lilac tree in a planter on her front porch. I never would have thought of that and might need to give it a try!

A few weeks back I was listening to NPR and heard this really interesting article on Eric Hebborn who was born in London and ended up becoming a really good painter, so good that he painted masterpieces – well forged them. There is a book written about him called In the Shadow Of An Old Master. I tried to find the original article on NPR’s website as they interviewed someone who lived with him as an assistant in Italy and came to have several of these pieces in his own home.

Right now I am embracing color in our home. In the walls and furnishings. But I do love a neutral home. Caroline at Un Fancy shows us her guest bedroom but also a dressing nook [or two] she created in her home. Never thought of this but it’s a great way to stage clothing for the next day if you are that organized. Or just to keep out some pretty clothing you like to look at.

You have likely heard of the Aurora Borealis but have you ever heard of STEVE’s?

Last night B and I went to a local radio station in downtown Seattle for a concert featuring Seattle’s own Mudhoney. Thank’s to Paul Allen’s generosity there is this Gathering Space. You can hang out, get coffee and watch KEXP DJ’s live. This is where the concert was held last night.

Hoping to post more this week. Tomorrow I am diving in to the Wild Mediterranean way of eating.

Have an excellent week!

 

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Roundup 4-14-19

Well would you look at that? A second week of roundups for me. Spring is just around the corner and I can feel it! The below photo is of a Clematis I had at my condo. It would usually be at the height of blooming around the end of July – my birthday. I am planning on getting a couple clematis planted here for this season.

Clematis.jpg

I thought this article on picnicking in cemeteries was certainly interesting.

I am so ready for spring and this strawberry salad will be in heavy rotation around here. I swapped out romaine for spinach or butter lettuce and feta for goat cheese.

It’s been proven that getting out in nature and moving your body does wonders for the soul. There is a philosophy in Japan called Forest Bathing. I just love the way that sounds!

In my path to minimalism I think this article and the subsequent articles for each in his list are super helpful.

B and I have been Geocaching for about five years. It’s a fun way to get outside wherever you are [urban & rural settings]. One of the things I love about it is you can do it wherever you are and play the game however you like. We especially love to do it while traveling as a caches often take us to places we may never have discovered.

If you are a reader and looking for something fun might I suggest The Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. St.Mary’s Historical Institute is the setting for hilarious stories of investigating major historical events in contemporary time. Time travel to us. It follows Max a ginger haired historian and the inevitable situations she get’s herself in to.

 

Roundup 4-7-19

Hello! I enjoy a few bloggers who do roundups. Usually weekly. I’m not sure that will be a weekly thing for me but today I have some fun and random stuff from around the internet to share.

First up is this recipe from How Sweet Eats on bacon carrots. Generally speaking I love cooked carrots, especially if you use a bit of fresh ginger in the cooking water. It brings out the natural sweetness. But bacon brings carrots to a whole new level!

Airbnb is giving two lucky people the chance to sleep under the stars beneath the Louvre pyramid. Included is a VIP guided after hours tour, dinner with the Venus de Milo and private acoustic concert at Napoleon III’s apartments. How would you be Mona Lisa’s perfect guest?

Whether you are in to quilting or not. This road trip in the Tualatin valley in Oregon [just south of Portland] sounds amazing. Conveniently this trip coincides with winery and cycling trails in the area. If you are looking for a cool place to stay try McMenamins Grand Lodge. I stayed there several years ago at the end of April. They are a family owned chain of brewpubs, breweries, music venues and hotels in Washington and Oregon. They are famous for purchasing old or historic buildings and rehabilitating them. Some of the properties are on the national historic register. We are lucky enough to have McMenamins Anderson school campus really close by.

This hike in Washington along the Iron Goat Trail sounds amazing. I have done another part of this trail through an old train tunnel [for a geocache].

Someone spent a lot of time coming up with how Disney Princesses with modern day careers based on their characters. My favorite Disney Princess is Merida and I love her updated career! I hope someone runs with this idea…..

In recent years van life has received an increase in interest. The BF and I camp in a converted VW van at least once a month. For those of you who don’t have the funds to purchase a vintage VW camper or the knowledge to work on one I offer you Cascade Campers [please note that this is a personal friend of mine but I believe in this product!]

For the last couple summer we have camped up at Sooke River, BC.  The near by Sooke Potholes Provincial Park has an abandoned resort.

Abandoned Resort.jpg

Have a great week!

~K

 

Day 4

So I have made it to day 4. Tuesday was a rest day and I watched a video about stretching and gait. Yesterday was a workout which I did about the same as day 1. Jumping Jacks – OMG with my bum knee I just cannot do them. The lateral move is just too much. So instead I repeated another move to keep my heartrate up.

This plan I am doing involves doing 7 to 8 moves for a total of a minute each. It’s not as easy as it sounds – burpees ugh! It’s recommended to do each group of 7 to 8 moves at least twice and if possible three times. I am proud I am getting through them once. I am doing the beginner series. Better than a poke in the eye or sitting eating truffles while binge watching Grace & Frankie [love that show!].

I tend to be a perfectionist and the MINUTE I stray “from plan” I get upset and want to start over. Or, if I have not prepared myself or read all of the materials I tell myself I will do it and then start “next week”. Not this time. I am sticking it out. I started the workout plan but whatever food was in my house was there and I ate it. In general I don’t eat terribly but I know I will get some great info when I take the time to sit down and read the eating plan portion. Green smoothies as a snack. That will be interesting. If I make a mistake or can’t do something I just move on and hope that I am better the next time I do this particular exercise.

Improvement is key – not perfection.

The cool things is that I get to do this 90 day plan as many times as I like. I purchased it and its mine forever. I plan on doing it back to back and it will be interesting to see how well I do the second time around.

I was tired tonight and didn’t do the yoga I was supposed to do but napped instead. I will likely do some stretching later before going to bed.

Sometimes the below is how I feel……

Chocolate

 

A Fool’s Errand

B and I have been Geocaching for about four years now. A few years ago we completed the Washington State Parks challenge. If you are in to Geocaching at all then you may know about challenges. Ways to keep up your momentum and well, challenge yourself.

A few weeks ago our friend Dug, B and I were going to go green sign [sign the physical log but not log the cache as a find until you complete the requirements] for the Geo Art below, a set of 26 challenges where you need to find 26 caches for each of the 26 letters in the alphabet. The posted coordinates create the Geo Art but the real coordinates are a power trail here in WA near Lake Cavanaugh.

A-Z

When we were discussing this endeavor our friend Dug suggested we go a little further east and do a power trail as well and go for another challenge. Enter the Fool’s Errand Challenge. This challenge is to get 150 physical caches in a 30 day period + a special additional cache depending on the month. For the month of February the assignment is a cache that has the attribute “not available in winter”.

To qualify you must announce your foolish intentions by writing a note on the challenge page and then create a list with your starting numbers & date. You also need to include in your list the challenge cache, your starting cache and any caches that do not qualify [virtuals, events, etc.] in your list.

The day started perfectly fine. Cold but nothing falling from the sky. We loaded up my Crosstrek and headed north. A few traditionals along the way and then the turn off for Lake Cavanaugh. Right as we started in on the first cache it started to sprinkle.

Z

The way the coordinates are laid you start with Z and follow a winding road to obtain all 26. The photo above is B picking up the first cache. It was my job to drive, B would navigate and then either one of them [or both] would jump out and nab the cache. We signed all of the logs with our group caching acronym PFFT.

Snow Start

We had only grabbed a few of the letters when it started to snow. B in the blue jacket and Dug in the yellow jacket looking for a letter early in the series.

For the most part the caches were pretty easy to find – even in the snow. A few they had to dig for and took a tad bit of time. When we got to K we encountered a muggle walking down the road. This one was taking a bit to find so we moved along and decided we would get it on the way back.

Snowy Caching.jpg

In total it took us just over 2 hours to obtain 25 caches. I would say it was a total of 2 miles in driving. We turned around and headed back to our nemesis, the letter K.

Th Letter K

K was just after [or before depending on which direction you are heading] a switchback so I parked on a level spot and B & Dug headed down to find it. Just beyond the second curve in the photo above was where it was hidden. It took them a bit of time as the coordinates were off but they were successful.

Skookum Brewing.jpg

Originally we were planning on going further east to Darrington and work on a power trail. Due to the weather we decided to reconnoiter at Skookum Brewing for a quick pint and consideration of our next target for the day. We were also able to pick up the cache we needed for our attribute [not available in winter] as well.

The decision was made to travel north to Ferndale and get another Geo Art of 25 caches and try to attempt 50 non traditional caches in a day [if you are keeping track that is 51 – however we didn’t all qualify for all 26 of the letter geo art – read on]. 

Just to be safe we checked weather for Bellingham/Ferndale and felt perfectly fine venturing up. I had met the CO [cache owner] who is one of the creators of our next challenge – X-Men. We had already solved all of the puzzles in anticipation of collecting these very soon and had them stored in our phones [BTW – even if you don’t live in the area – these are really well done puzzles to solve and all of them have a checker – message me if you would like one of the GC codes]. Because we ain’t quite right, it is called the Fool’s Errand after all, we directed the car further north.

x-men-1.jpg

The CO did message me back that she typically takes about two hours to check that route so that was a good benchmark for how long it could take us. We took longer at the brewery than planned and didn’t get to the first cache until 4:25.

Beginning of X-men

As you can see from the photo above it was a balmy 23° out when we started. Dug read that with wind chill it was actually 1°! We finished the route in just over three hours.

ending-x-men.jpg

Dug and B can attest to the fact that it was REALLY COLD! We hightailed it to a favorite watering hole, Kulshan Brewing for a celebratory beverage. I was really looking forward to the food truck they have there on Sunday nights called Sage Against the Machine [sorry no web page]. I am not vegan but the food at this truck is AMAZING! Bummer though as due to the weather they were not at the brewery that night.

celebrations.jpg

We really needed to eat and there were not a lot of places open that late in Bellingham. It’s a college town so I expected to be able to find something. Our next thought was Aslan Brewing and we were in luck, they were still open and serving food. I had a coconut curry bowl with chicken. Yum!

As I mentioned before, we did attain 51 caches but for me in the A-Z challenge I only qualified for 21 + the 25 for X-Men and that brings you to 46 [B & Dug were at 47 each]. Hmmm four shy of 50 non-tradtionals in a day. What to do? What any normal cacher on a mission. We found more! Incidentally, the 21st cache I qualified for in the A-Z challenge was X. I already had one cache and the 25 from X-Men clinched it for me. Another cache I had green signed that morning was the Color of Cache challenge which required you to have found ten caches with colors in the name. I suspected I was OK on that one but did not know for certain until the next day. We grabbed enough that if I was short I would still be OK with the 50 traditionals in a day challenge.

The original plan was to head to Darrington the next weekend and do a power trail and complete our Fool’s Errand in a week.

However…..

Snowpocalypse2019.jpg

Snowpocalyps2019 happened! The next day I was snowed in and couldn’t get out of my neighborhood even in my 4WD. I worked from home for two days and it took over a week for the roads to be OK. Needless to say we were not going to head out to the boonies and do a power trail the following weekend.

As of this writing I am down to 34 caches and I have 11 days left. B is down to 38 caches and has 12 days left. We plan to be completed by Sunday February 24 if at all possible.

 

Day 1

Day 1:

OK, it only took 49 days in to the new year to get started. Better late than never I say. I weighed myself this morning – ug! I also took photos of myself which I will do on the 18th of every month for at least the year. I am hopeful I will see changes. Not gonna post them here – maybe down the road. Still need to take measurements.

I purchased a 90 day challenge plan and did the first workout tonight – well kind of. I couldn’t make it through the entire thing. This has never been a problem for me in the past so that is a thing to wrap my head around. Grr! Felt a little deflated after that and VERY winded but that’s OK, it can only get better from here.

Didn’t get my act together as far as the grocery store and woke up late so grabbed SBUX for brekkers. At least I brought my lunch which was a W30 meal I really like that I make often.

Onward!

Soul Happy

 

Yummy Meals – Tuscan Chicken

A few months back I did the Whole 30 for the second time. A friend turned me on to a blog called 40 Aprons. OMG! I have made a bunch of her recipes now and considering a lot are based on a W30 you DO NOT feel like you are “on a diet” when you are eating her recipes. B is out and about today with some Geocaching lackeys [they work at Geocaching HQ] and I stayed home to get some things done. Tonight I made Creamy Tuscan Chicken. It was so good! I have found many recipes on her blog that are satisfying and flavorful and don’t make me think that I am “eating healthy”. Bonus, B loves them as much as I do. Go check out her blog and make one of her recipes. I dare you!