fenchurch: (Cats)
So, last year I wrote about how Numfar goes on guard duty whenever I take a shower (and even got a photo of her doing it). She's pretty much always done it, and kept up the habit when we moved to the new house... there are a few times when she gives up her post: if the bathroom door is closed or if she knows [personal profile] rackham is in the other room or, as we recently found out, if she knows the bedroom door is closed, then she'll hop up on the ledge right next to the shower and chatter at me the whole time.

So, you can imagine my surprise this morning when I left both doors open and Rackham had headed off to work... and Numfar had hopped up next to the shower with her back to the door to chatter at me. My first thought was to wonder if Rackham had come back home for some reason, or perhaps he was ill and hadn't actually left this morning (I quickly ruled out the thought that there might be a stranger in the house... Numfar is so stranger-phobic that she would have been glaring at the door and growling if that were the case). Then I got out of the shower and saw exactly why she felt we were secure:

Photo behind the cut. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Cats)
So, not too long after she joined our household in 2007, Numfar started "guarding" me while I was taking a shower. She'd sit on the counter between the shower and the door, with her back to the shower... and would stare at the door the entire time I was showering (I even posted a photo of her doing her guarding thing last year). If I closed the door, she'd come sit by the shower and chatter at me the whole time. And it's funny, because I found that if I close the bedroom door, but leave the bathroom door open, as long as she knows the outer door is closed, she'll be all relaxed and chatty. Or if she knows [personal profile] rackham is in the bedroom, then everything is fine too. So, I really do think she thinks she's guarding against something.

Our other cat, Zoë, hasn't ever shown much of an interest in the shower, aside from occasionally being fascinated by the falling water. Except for the last few months, when she's started taking up a guard station on the floor between the shower and the door, mirroring Numfar's stance up on the counter and staring at the door the entire time I'm showering. And yeah, it becomes a bit creepy after awhile. This morning, they were both on guard duty and then, simultaneously, just stopped. Zoë suddenly got up and went to sit on the bottom shelf of the towel rack and, at the exact same time, Numfar turned around to face the shower and started chattering at me. As if whatever threat they perceived had moved on. Creeeeeepy.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
So, I don't post for months and now I get all chatty. :-p

We picked up a rotisserie chicken from Costco the other day, which meant we had the makings for several meals: drumsticks or drumsticks and thighs the first night along with Costco's quinoa salad, curried chicken salad the next night (sometimes I do a gorgonzola chicken salad instead) with leftovers for lunch the next day and possibly the day after and then I strip the carcass (saving any remaining meat for soup later) and toss it in the crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns and a bay leaf... cover it with water and let it simmer all day (or all night, depending on when it gets started). Usually there's enough to make soup that night and have leftover stock to go in the freezer for later. Costco rotisserie chicken is the BEST.

Tonight's soup turned out so well, I decided I'd better write it down before I forgot what I'd put in it... because I definitely want to try that one again! Still not sure what to call it, but for now it shall be known as:

Spicy Chicken Corn Soup )

This particular combination came about because we had cobs of corn from our produce delivery that needed to be used... and, of course, I also needed to use up the garlic scapes, so they were added in place of garlic. It was VERY zesty and if I was making it to share with other people, I'd probably add less of the Southwest Seasoning next time. It might also have been good with a bit of cilantro at the end, but we didn't have any on hand.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Indoor Wasp

Aug. 1st, 2015 04:10 pm
fenchurch: (Funky)
Every day for about the last week, this little wasp would start buzzing around behind my monitor. It would spend a bit of time near the window and then would gradually drift into the kitchen and I would invariably lose track of it. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure if it was the same wasp... I sort of assumed it was, simply because of the size (it was quite tiny, to the point where I wondered if it might be one of those other insects that just look a bit like wasps) and the fact that it was almost regular as clockwork, showing up in the same spot every day. I rather suspect it came in through an open window or door at some point (I did check around to make sure we didn't have any coming in through the walls, since I've had that happen to friends in the past).

The first few days I tried to catch it... tossing a dish towel over it then going outside to shake it out, only to discover the wasp was nowhere in the towel and, of course, it would show up in the same spot behind my monitor the next day. Finally, I tried swatting it with a dishtowel and even managed to hit it once, but not badly enough to seriously injure it (I managed to catch a glimpse of it stumbling around on the floor, but by the time I got to where I could try to grab it, it had flown off again).

Then today, I spotted it again... on the Ikea Billy bookcase next to my computer, basically to the left and slightly behind my monitor (where it kept appearing every day). It was nosing into one of the unused pre-drilled holes in the side, then it turned around and backed into it, very obviously settling down for a long summer's nap. Yep. I'm pretty sure I really HAVE been seeing the same little wasp and that it was making itself a nice new home in the "cave" it found in the bookcase. [personal profile] rackham grabbed a piece of duct tape and covered over the hole (since we didn't have an easy way of getting the wasp out without one of us being in danger of getting stung) and we figure we'll give it a few days then hopefully clean out the remains of our dear, departed indoor wasp friend.

I do sort of wonder if we hadn't figured this out, would we have ended up with baby wasps popping out of the bookcase someday? And it had never occurred to me that a wasp might take up residence *inside* a house without ever having a way to get outside.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Default)
Last night I checked my phone before heading to bed and noticed I had a text message from my sister-in-law ([personal profile] rackham's twin sister) that said, simply: "Would you tell your husband there's a creeper in the treehouse."

I knew pretty much immediately what it was about, since our nieces play Minecraft on our server... but I also had this brief *blink*blink* moment where my brain sort of balked at the sheer silliness of it all. Heh.

The creeper was taken care of BTW, and Rackham made sure there were enough torches around that it shouldn't happen again.
fenchurch: (Default)
3/14/15 9:26 (I'm not going to even try to post this at exactly Pi Second)

Although only if, you know, you live in the US where we write out dates in one of the least intuitive ways we can (this is why I generally write out dates when I can (as in 14 March 2015)).

We've got at least one Geocaching event we're attending today (yay, special Pi Day souvenir!) and we're planning on finding at least one puzzle cache (yay, another *different* special Pi Day souvenir!).

I'm also thinking today might be a good day to donate blood, assuming the blood center isn't slammed when we stop by. Um, not because it's Pi Day, but just looking at the timing, it'll give me plenty of days before Origins Game Fair so I can donate blood there, too (and so I can easily get in my goal of donating four times this year).
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
So, last night I was scrolling through Facebook before heading to bed and saw a post from Brandon Sanderson saying he'd just found out about a WoT short that was going to be airing on FXX overnight. It took a bit of searching (because I had no clue where FXX even was on our lineup... it's a fairly obscure channel) but I found it in the listing and set the DVR to record it, since it was airing at 1:30 in the morning.

Brandon Sanderson's guess was that it was something thrown together by the network in order to retain rights to the material in case they decide to do something real with it later... and I pretty much have to agree. The whole thing was a bit less than 20 minutes of the prologue for the first book in the series and was essentially just a dialogue between Lews Therin Telamon and Ishamael, who was played by Billy Zane (yes, really). Lews Therin's family is shown now and then, but it's mostly just the two of them, walking around an empty set made to look like a grand palace without any furniture. The small bit of special effects used were awful (as in, they looked like they belonged in something from the 80s) and the costumes looked like they just grabbed whatever fit the actors and didn't pay a lot of attention to continuity of style (Lews Therin had a sort of Edwardian look about him, Ishamael looked more medieval and some of the kids looked like they were wearing clothes from the early 1990s).

All in all, it wasn't horrible... and certainly nowhere near as bad as the "Fantastic Four" movie from 1994 that was made for the same reason (to retain rights). I'm kinda glad I managed to record it when it aired... but I'm rather amused that it isn't listed anywhere on IMDb.

ETA: I should point out that the title didn't even contain the WoT name... it was simply Winter Dragon, and apparently the rights were set to expire this Wednesday. It sort of makes me wonder if this thing was thrown together in the last few weeks.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Parsnips!

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:45 pm
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
I usually just add them to a mash with other roots and that works okay... or I'll add them to soups, but seriously, if I just use them for that sort of thing, it's going to take forever to get through them. Does anyone have any favorite recipes that might help us use up our overabundance of parsnips a bit faster?

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Default)
It's everywhere here right now... and if the Seahawks win tomorrow, it's only going to get crazier! Cars are driving around with 12th Man flags and "Go Seahawks" painted on windows, plus it's had a huge impact on fashion. On Friday, I was running errands and really felt like the odd one out, wearing a geek-ish t-shirt (believe me, NOT usually the case here). It does get a bit confusing though... most stores are letting their employees wear Seahawks gear, which means they blend in almost completely with the 2/3rds or more of the customers who are ALSO decked out in Seahawks gear.

This particular car decoration really cracked me up today (with apologies to any Packers fans out there). )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Last week

Jan. 11th, 2015 10:56 pm
fenchurch: (Spiffy!)
I realized the other day (after having several people comment here and on Facebook) that I hadn't actually mentioned that [personal profile] rackham got a new job! For those who don't remember, he was laid off back in mid-September... )

Because he's been leaving so much earlier than he did with his old job, this last week he's been going to bed rather insanely early (okay, 10pm, which seems insanely early to me... and is quite a switch for him after all the late nights during his "time off"). And, strangely, my sleep schedule changed almost immediately... from going to bed around midnight to going to bed around 2am (I think it's because he's going to bed early enough that it's not triggering the "Oh yeah, it's late!" in my brain and I keep doing what I'm doing until I realize it's after 2:00). OTOH, I feel like I'm getting a lot more done than I have for the past few months (in part because Rackham has been great about helping out around the house... so things I usually do were getting done by him). So, we're still adjusting to the new normal, but it seems to be working out pretty well!

On Friday, we stopped over by our old house... )

I'm feeling really happy that I didn't make the photo-a-day thing into one of my goals for the year. As you may have noticed, I didn't post any over the past few days... and that's because I haven't really had anything that seemed interesting enough. So, rather than just one more photo of the cats, I figured I'd just hold off until I did have something worth posting.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I know, I know... I'm really spamming my friendslist with posts today. I've just ended up with a lot to say!

The fog finally lifted enough for a few minutes this afternoon (and it really was just a few minutes before it was all completely gloomed over again), so I grabbed the camera to get a good photo for the day.

Really, that's not supposed to be a lake. )
fenchurch: (Default)
Spongecake. I think. It's very tasty, but the texture isn't as smooth as a regular cake. I don't think it would work very well with frosting, but suspect it would be fantastic with a glaze of some sort (lemon or pineapple, in particular) or perhaps just with some berries on it or both.

Method to my mixture. )

And here's the finished product. )

Final verdict: I would definitely make this one again!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I've been going through my grandma's recipe box recently, which is cram packed full of mostly handwritten recipes for cookies and cakes (with the occasional main dish thrown in for good measure). Today, I came across this list of ingredients written on the back of a ticket for the 24 July 1969 Pioneer Day Celebration Ball Game between Idaho Falls and Ogden:

10 oz Butter or margarine
1.5 lbs sugar
6 large eggs
1 lb 4 oz flour
1 oz baking powder
3/4 Tbsp salt
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla

There are no instructions and no indication what this is supposed to be making. Anyone have any ideas? I may just have to try mixing it up and see what comes out... although I do wonder if there might be a particular method that would work better.

The other amusing thing I've come across are the number of recipes that make 150 servings or more. My grandma was a lunch lady at school back in a day when they actually made everything from scratch.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Fitbit

Jan. 8th, 2015 12:25 am
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Back around Thanksgiving, [personal profile] rackham and I picked up new phones... and they happened to each come with a Fitbit Flex. I slapped mine on my right wrist (where I usually wear a watch), dithered over which setting to use when it came to handedness and finally settled on "dominant" (since they're both dominant, so it shouldn't matter which hand it's on) and proceeded to go walking everywhere with Rackham, who was getting almost twice the step count I was (even though I have a shorter stride). Having worn pedometers in the past, I knew mine wasn't right. )

So, that was one bit of helpful surprise info... but I also started using the other function on the Fitbit: the sleep tracker. Wow. I probably like that more than I do the step counter! I've found that it generally takes me less than ten minutes to fall asleep after I put it into sleep mode (sometimes as little as five minutes, which completely shocked me). Also, I definitely do my best with about six and a half hours of sleep... and when I'm home, I wake up a lot less than I thought I did.

The other rather cool thing is that I was already using Runtastic on my phone to monitor my walking and hiking, then a month or so ago started using MyFitnessPal to monitor food and overall exercise... and all three (MyFitnessPal, Runtastic and Fitbit) will interface with each other! It makes things so easy to track! I find I'm doing more and enjoying it all a whole lot more, too.

I've also found that it's not terribly difficult to reach 10,000 steps. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
In yesterday's photo, it was a bit tough to tell that the river was actually running incredibly high... today you'll get to see some fine examples of a river well and truly above flood stage!

After checking the road closures in the area, I figured I had a good chance of making it down to Snoqualmie Falls today. Woodinville-Duvall Rd managed to remain unflooded (after it got flooded a few years ago, I believe they added more culverts to channel the water under the roadway a bit better) and Hwy 203 was open again going south.

First stop was halfway across the valley on Woodinville-Duvall Road. )

I hit the East side of the valley and headed South... stopping over by the roundabout for 124th, the only other nearby route across the valley (the two south of here are also flooded, as is the one north of Woodinville-Duvall, which is why that road is pretty much the only way to get from one side to the other).

Here's a shot looking west toward the bridge )

I finally got down to Snoqualmie Falls and took a bunch of photos... only a few of which turned out very well, because there was a LOT of water in the air being churned up by the falls. It was a bit like standing in a major rainstorm that was hitting you from all directions. So glad I was wearing a waterproof coat... although my hair was drenched when I was done.

Photo and video of Snoqualmie Falls under the cut. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
I figured I hadn't posted a photo of the Trail in awhile, so it was about time I did! In actuality, I was originally thinking of driving down to Snoqualmie to get a photo of Snoqualmie Falls, but that didn't quite work out. We've been getting record rainfall around here lately and all the rivers are running quite high, meaning the Falls are pretty spectacular right now... I ran into a bit of a snag though, in that most of the roads between here and there were closed due to flooding today! (And I'm really not kidding, I could have gotten there, but only by going around the long way. There were at least three closures along the direct route that I know of.)

So, instead I drove over to the Sammamish River Valley and went for a nice long walk along the trail there. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Yesterday ended up being a pretty busy day... to the point where I nearly hit 18,000 steps for the first time since I got the FitBit. I also, apparently, seriously overdid it with my shoulders (this sort of thing is why I added the physical therapy exercises to my goals this year) and woke up this morning more sore than I've been in a long time. I took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep... and, unfortunately, ended up sleeping through church. It looked like it was going to be a lazy, recuperating kind of day. Not a horrible thing, considering [personal profile] rackham starts his new job tomorrow!

Anyway, it was a bit after 11:00 and I'd just woken up the second time, feeling a bit better, although still a somewhat stiff and sore, when it came to our attention that a recently published Geocache *still* hadn't been found (it had popped up the night before and we were sure someone would have gotten it early this morning). It wasn't too far south of us, down in Chinook Bend Natural Area along the Snoqualmie River, so we swapped our pajamas for something warmer and headed on down. It was a bit of a muddy tromp out to the cache, but relatively easy to find... and, despite the rain, was rather beautiful out there today. It also turned out to be a good thing to get out and get moving... the shoulder is still sore, but a lot less stiff than it had been.

The local beavers have been busy! )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Gig Harbor

Jan. 3rd, 2015 10:50 pm
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
We tried getting up early this morning and were only moderately successful... but we did manage to get out the door by 8:30, which means we made it down to start doing the Gig Harbor Cache Machine by about 10:00. For those not in the know, for a Cache Machine, basically someone spends a good bit of time selecting Geocaches in a particular area (in this case, the town of Gig Harbor, WA) and setting up a route to take you around to all of them in the least amount of time. Today's route had around 90 caches, of which we found 35, I think (we got a very late start compared to most people and actually stopped for lunch). There was a fair bit of hiking involved in today's adventure (I believe I'm up to nearly 17,000 steps) and we got to see a lot of cool things. In fact, I debated posting several photos... today's caches took us to some really neat stuff, including a gigantic, incredibly intricate wood carving (done from a huge old stump) and a gorgeous old stained glass window (made in Portland in about 1910).

In the end, though, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge won out. )

Oh! And an addendum to my post on goals yesterday... I forgot one!

8) Design, build and install a Little Free Library in the front yard. I've been wanting to do it since we moved in, so it needs to be done this year!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

Cards!!

Jan. 2nd, 2015 11:03 pm
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
Even though I didn't make it a goal for the year, I think I'm still going to work on the photo-a-day thing for as long as it lasts... so here's today's photo... All the cards we got for the holidays! )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Spiffy!)
It was 12 years ago today that I finally bit the bullet, got an invite code from [profile] reginaspina (because they were still required at the time)and posted a lame first entry. It's changed a lot here over the years, but I still consider it my online home!

Now, onto the good stuff.

2014 Goals: The Followup )

And now... onto my Goals for 2015. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.

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