Just another day in Paradise.

Just another day in Paradise.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Whooo do you share a hairline with?

While we were at the library craft and story time on the topic of owls I realized how much Miles resembles the Great-Horned Owl.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out of Control

Update on how the garden is growing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Build-a-House-Workout

(I do realize that my frecklage is more impressive than my biceps)

Despite the house taking up most of my discretionary time and energy (in other words - I don't have it in me to do a proper workout) I have found myself in surprisingly good shape. Probably in better shape than I am in when I am consistently exercising. All of that drilling, grouting, shoveling, lifting and sweeping has resulted in some serious strength. Luckily landscaping and gardening has similar benefits so my workout is not over just yet. But after that is complete I am going to have to find some other kind of manual labor to do. Otherwise I will just fall back into a irregular routine of pilates, zumba, spinning etc. that just may not be enough*. It kind of reminds me of polygamous women who have all those children but stay remarkably trim. It's because they work all day - between baking bread, gardening, tending children etc**- I doubt they do much lounging or tv watching. They are constantly moving. Not to mention the simplicity and purity of the food they might eat. Unfortunately that is the downfall of my build-a-house-workout. The build-a-house-diet is incredibly poor and usually involves driving through to pick up cheap and fast food at 11pm.

* These classes are really more for fun and getting out of the house than for actual results. I have a "work out like a dude" philosophy for when I am really trying to have results - this would include P90X, pushups, pullups etc. - minumum time maximum effort but it's something that comes in spurts and that I don't keep up over long periods of time even though I probably should.
** I honestly don't know what they do all day but I am just guessing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gymtime - A family affair

Here are some pictures from the gymnastics class I took back in March- May. I did two sessions then have taken a break because moving takes so much time/energy. It was a lot of fun and I was pleasantly surprised that my tumbling is as strong as it is after all these years. Flexibility - not so much. Front tuck - better than ever. Front walk-over - forget it.
Ben took a class and the kids just love getting thrown in the pit.

(This is as far as Ben can stretch)

Friday, July 10, 2009

How does your garden grow?

There were two things I was really excited about when we got close to finishing our house - having a housewarming party and growing a garden. The housewarming party hasn't happened - at least not with the elaborate menu I daydreamed about - but we have had numerous BBQ's and gatherings so what we lacked in quality we have made up in quantity.
And the garden... well, the jury's still out on what kind of bounty we will have but we did finally get stuff in the ground. I started seeds indoors in early April. They didn't get transplanted until mid-June. Then they promply went into shock. But the good news is - we are enjoying a revival. Everything managed to perk up, although it has yet to bear fruit. Unless you count the lettuces. They've been ready for weeks.
Ben built me some garden/grow boxes and this is what I planted:
- Mesclun (which is basically a mix of leafy greens - lettuces, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, mustard greens, endive, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, oak leaf, mâche, radicchio, sorrel, kale etc.
- Carrots (rainbow variety)
- Tomatoes (heirloom variety, roma, early girl, sweet 100's & sungella)
- Squash & Zucchini (two plants that are taking over an entire box)
- Peppers (Bell, Jalapeno, Anaheim, Habenero)
- Radishes (I heard these helped carrots grow better)
- Herbs (Cilantro, Parsley, Thai Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Chives)
- Cabbage (Red and Savoy)
- Onions (Red, Sweet and Green onions)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Giant Pumpkins
- Peas and Long Beans
- Red Grapes
- Berries (Blackberry (rampant and inhereted with the lot), Blueberries and Seascape Strawberries)
-Mystery Plants - I have more than a few that I can't figure out. Some may be weeds.
I also have tiny dwarf orange, lemon and a lime tree but I think I live in the wrong climate for them to produce.
There are more things I would like to add - Raspberries, maybe a type of small potato, some fall/winter squash varieties, garlic. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. My garden philosophy is to grow things that either you usually just need a bit of but have to buy in larger quantities at the store (i.e. herbs), things that are expensive or things that are rare. But mostly I just like to watch things grow.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Today marks one year for us in the state of Washington. I feel that we have accomplished a lot but so far we have seen very little of the Pacific Northwest. Something I hope to change in the coming years. One year in Washington also means one year since we were living it up in the land of Aloha. For the most part we don't speak of our premature departure from Hawai'i and I'll admit that on more than one occasion I have gotten emotional at the thought of what we left behind (occasions such as an infrequent Washington rainbow or Miss Hawai'i's hula during the Miss America pageant). But being that it is summer and summer in Washington is glorious and the days are long (still a little chilly for my taste) we are excited about the possibilities and the adventures that await us.

Today marks two years since I started the blah blah blog and looking back at some of the earlier posts I am so glad that I have such a fun record of our goings on or at least of my perspective of our goings on. Now I just have to do as intended and get it bound so that all will not be lost should cyberspace implode.

Coincidentally, my first post two years ago recounts events all too similar to those of today. A day that marks eight years of marriage and more than one occasion of forgetfulness. Luckily, it is a marriage that is not weakened by such oversight - oversight which is made up for many times over by daily courtesies, affection and lots of laughs. We're a good team, and I look forward to not celebrating many more anniversaries with him in the future.

How I love thee…let me count the ways. (caution, explicit passage may not be suitable for children or overly sensitive)

Today was Lynn and I’s 8th anniversary. I forgot. Again. Of the 8 times this date has come and gone, I have remembered to do something nice five of those times. What makes things worse, I don’t do much better with birthdays. Essentially, I am a Jehovah’s Witness by practice in that I just can’t be held accountable for not celebrating these pagan observances. How close to Muslim terrorist does a Mormon Jehovah’s Witness sit on the religious fanaticism spectrum?

I wish I could say that was all there is to the story, but it gets worse. How did the discovery of my forgetfulness come about? Lynn and I were on the couch at about 9pm. She was watching the Bachelorette and I was half paying attention and half finishing some presentations I have for work tomorrow. She passes me a note that asks if I would like to forgo our separate rooms and share a fantasy suite for the night. Trying to be responsible I respond just as Jillian did on the show. I respectfully declined citing my desire to keep a clear head for the upcoming rose ceremony. I also make a snide remark that insinuates that the only reason the Bachelorette is declining is because she is nursing a flare up of an STD acquired from her previous stint as a finalist on the Bachelor (note-while probably untrue, these types of remarks are appropriate based on the fact that I am a real life doctor). She chuckles uncontrollably while scribbling a response and then throws the note pad on my chest. Her response – “It is our anniversary, you idiot!”

If you can stand to read any more, it gets even worse. I digress for a moment to make a comparison. I remember the first time I watched the movie Meet My Parents or the British version of the Office. I think that was the first time I was truly exposed to the type of humor that makes you feel completely uncomfortable while you are watching it. This story is along that same vein. As I try to call on some quick goat thinking to get me out of an irreparable situation I recall the events earlier in the day. Lynn and I went to the local hardware store, an almost daily event for us over the past several months while finishing our house. We have recently been working (Lynn more than I) on our landscaping. Lynn has been reading all about the plants that will do well in the environment and selecting a few at a time to plant around our house. What is one of the common purchases for one buying potted plants to transfer to their landscaping? Well, fertilizer of course. What is the point I am getting at?

I bought my wife shit for our 8th anniversary. Literally.

So when I try to count the ways that I love her, I only have to count to one and then I can stop. Why would I need more reasons to love someone who can continue to love me despite my egregious imperfections. She laughed with me as we went over the days events and how many times I should have been queued to its importance. Should our discussions of an exotic vacation to Hawaii or Tahiti not have clued me in? How 'bout the sign at the post office that we stared at for 30 minutes while we waited in line that said " Today is July 6th"? Maybe our planning a "special" day up at Alki park should have done the trick. The elaborate meal she cooked on our new infrared grill? Sad, but no.

She is not mad. I am embarrassed at my ineptitude. How could I possibly make this one up to her? Her and I will have to discuss that in the fantasy suite.

-Westbrook, out!

Patriotism at it's best!

Imagine America The Beautiful playing in the background and if it doesn't draw a tear to your eye, you might not be human. Or red-blooded American, anyway. Pics are worth a thousand words!