Gorgeous Mystery Flower and Bumble Bees!

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Day 83

This morning when I was heading from my car to grab a coffee before work, I saw these beautiful flowers growing outside the PCC (kind of like a Whole Foods/River Valley Market for you East Coasters.) All of these cute little bumble bees were buzzing around and one flew right through the frame as I was taking the picture. If you look really closely, you can see the hunk of pollen stuck to his back leg. You can’t really tell but the plant itself seemed to grow almost like a weed – I sent a picture to the gardner in my family, Jenny, to see if she knew what it was. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m hoping it’s something easy to grow that I could plant on our deck!

Tonight, for the first time in a couple weeks, we took Winston to puppy play time and he had so much fun. Agnes, Earl and Winston ran in circles and generally bulldozed into one another. Winston would try to just follow along behind, or get the others into a game of chase by “tagging” them with his paws. He’d do this by leaping almost completely over Agnes or Earl and tapping them with his feet as he leapt. It was pretty impressive.

Afterwards, we spent the night hanging out on the couch and watching The Way Way Back. It was a fun feel-good movie and if you have a chance to watch it, you should. With how busy we’ve been the last couple of weeks, it was really nice to have a quiet night in. Although we have some chores we have to get through this weekend, I think we’ll just take our weekend pretty slow.

Here’s to sleeping in and lots of reading time!

Net Neutrality and My Work!

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Day 83

Although we knew the summer weather we had wouldn’t last, it’s left a lot quicker than anyone thought. Right now, the wind is blowing pretty good – bending the little tree we have on our deck back and forth. We’re hoping they’ve tied down everything at the construction site that isn’t super heavy. I think it’s supposed to start raining tomorrow and on into the weekend. We’re hoping it clears up by Sunday though because Josh has a Seattle-to-Portland training ride that day.

Even with the sun gone, though, today was a pretty good day. You may have heard on the news that there were protests in Seattle over net neutrality – well, Kiro 7 Eyewitness News stopped by where I work and interviewed the owner! We started as an internet business that then grew into having a store front and keeping the internet as a level playing field makes a big difference. I learned a bit about it today and I think this example sums it up well: imagine there are four lanes of equally slow traffic. Suddenly, a fifth lane appears. You go to move into that lane, but the police appear and tell you the faster lane is only for the people that pay to use it. So you then watch all of the people that can afford to pay the $100 fee for faster lane switch over while you’re stuck in traffic with thousands of others because you can’t afford to pay for the faster lane. Although this is a very simplistic explanation, I think it gets the gist across well.

Suddenly, we’re going from a service that is available to all at a certain speed – businesses large and small, bloggers, news organizations, social media sites – to big businesses wanting to purchase faster speed. This means that big companies with deeper pockets will be able to pay for that faster lane, allowing their sites to load much, much quicker than those that can’t afford to pay. Those companies that can’t afford to pay will be left behind. As a population, we’re impatient enough as it is. Can you imagine waiting five minutes for a small book publisher website to load when you could head over to Amazon and buy the same book in half the time? That is what net neutrality (as I understand it) is about.

If you stop to think about it, the fight being waged over net neutrality is a fight over free speech. If the internet isn’t kept as a level playing field, this means those that can afford the price tag for faster loading speed will be seen and heard more often than those that can’t afford the expense. It boils down to the fact that you should not have more of a say because you can afford to count out the money.

Although this explanation isn’t really a happy thing (and might not be entirely correct) being more informed is a happy thing and I’m glad I got to learn more about something new!

Happy Tuesday!

Day 80

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Day 80

Today was another gorgeous day in Seattle – we are actually supposed to have a week full of gorgeous days so I’ll try not to brag too much – and I was able to take Winston on a nice long walk this morning before work. With Josh in Massachusetts and me at work, he’s having a hard time adjusting to being cooped up all day. We do have a dog walker now, but it’s not quite the same as being free to roam for most of the day like it has been for the past seven months.

Although Winston may look very relaxed here, by the time I got home he was practically bouncing off the walls. To help with the puppy craziness, I took him to the dog park tonight and let him run for a good forty-five minutes. There were three other dogs roughly his size (Ace, Amanda and Rocquefort) and they all got into a huge game of chase. At one point, it was like watching the Indy 500 – Winston was flying around corners, tearing up the grass with his little paws, legs stretched out to the max to get as much air time as possible. When he’s running that fast, he also makes himself more aerodynamic by tucking his ears back against his head (one day soon, I’ll have to post a video of him running and of him rolling/swimming in the grass.) By the time we got back to the car, Winston was ready to snuggle up in the passenger seat and nap for the fifteen minutes it takes me to get home.

Now, I’m just looking forward to reading a few chapters in my book before bed and was reminded of that quote by Groucho Marx: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Hope everyone is having a good week!


Dinner with the Neighbor and a Winston Walk

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Day 79

Although I normally spend most of my time reading before work, this morning I took a walk around the neighborhood. For those of you in Washington, this comes as a complete un-surprise given that literally everyone that could was out doing the same thing after a weekend full of rain. However, for those of you that live outside of our borders, it was practically 80 degrees and sunny the whole day! While I know this isn’t super cause for celebration (global warming is the culprit for our mini heat wave), I can’t help but enjoy weather that is warm enough and sunny enough to make me forgo my book in exchange for taking a sans-Winston, pre-work stroll around the block.

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Green Lake is a pretty nice neighborhood in Seattle. It’s full of old craftsman homes chalk-0-block full of built in bookshelves, adorable stained glass windows, and beautiful gardens. As I was taking my stroll this morning, I passed by one garden that was absolutely full of poppies – red, orange and light pink/purple to be precise. Surprisingly, some of these flowers were almost three feet tall, maybe even a little taller. I’m guess-timating here, but judging from the height of the toddler that waddled past and knowing I’m a little over five feet tall, I think it’s safe to say these poppies were towering over the other plants at about three feet, give or take.

After I was done with work for the day, I took Winston on a walk with our neighbor and her dog – a big lassie dog. They had a fun time being walked together but Winston tired out pretty quickly. I think this was probably the warmest puppy day of his little life, so he got pretty overheated and didn’t want to walk very far. He kept laying down in the grass and rolling around in it. Once, when we were on a fairly steep hill/incline, he laid down in the grass and wiggled from his back to his side to his back most of the way down the hill. The only way I can think of to accurately describe his movements is swimming. Sadly, I did not capture this on my phone. I’m hoping this wasn’t a one time fluke and that Josh and I will be able to get proof of this crazy habit.

Once we managed to drag Winston back inside, our neighbor and I made a kind of Waldorf Salad with pecans, cranberries, chicken, romaine lettuce, onion and brie. She brought over some delicious salad dressing and made pomegranate mojito-ish drink. It was a fun girls night plus dogs and I can’t wait to do it again!

I hope everyone had a good, sunny start to their week!

Spring Cleaning – A Mother’s Day Gift!

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Day 78

For our Mother’s Day gift this year, my mom asked us to come help clean out the back room in our basement. So, we spent yesterday afternoon inhaling dust until our noses ran while we all made giant donate piles to Good Will, discovered forgotten childhood toys and more nineties/early two thousand clothes than you could shake a hanger at. Like most basements, it was full of junk and hidden treasures – a giant box of photos, favorite picture books, kindergarten art projects, and a few jackets with shoulder pads in them.

Although this sounds like a crummy afternoon, it was a lot of fun sorting through old stuff. There was a lot of “I can’t believe I wore this!” to “Amanda! I still have your baby arm cast! And look! Your tiny sneakers! Oh! Melissa! Here’s your baby footprints! Here, take one, I have tons still.” (They are now up on our fridge in the apartment.) Basically, it was my favorite kind of Mother’s Day – hanging out and talking about the funny things we’ve done as a family. Afterwards, Dad made us all pasta carbonara and we took the rest of the evening off and watched A Long Kiss Goodnight – one of mom’s favorite action movies – while Winston slept on my feet.

As much fun as yesterday was, this afternoon was exhausting. The three boxes I hauled home were full of stuff from college – papers, notes, exams, posters, books, postcards – you name it, it was probably in that box. I sat on the floor of our apartment for a good three hours listening to podcast after podcast while tossing, keeping and sorting. It was grueling – not as grueling as actually writing all of those papers – and I feel better after recycling about a half ton of paper. Next weekend or the weekend after, I’ll be bringing back a couple more tubs to go through and then it will be on to my parent’s garage! Dun dun duhhhhhh.

On the less grueling side, we also discovered some plates, christmas tree decorations, a teapot, dish towels and a pepper grinder that I bought and put away before I moved out to Massachusetts! Thankfully, I still like the dishes and I’m hoping Josh will like them too.

Sometimes, happiness is complicated; other times, it’s as simple as cleaning out a basement.

Sarah Graduated Today!!

Day 77

This afternoon, my sister in law graduated from Baypath! I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

Although I missed celebrating in person, she will be coming to visit in about two weeks. Josh is planning on taking a day or so off work and we will head out it did touristy things like visiting Mount St. Helens.

Congratulations to Sarah!! We are so proud of her!

Friday Friday Friday!!!

Day 76
Although it was a Friday, between dropping Josh off at the airport, getting lost on my way to work, and getting home an hour or two later than I thought I would, today was pretty stressful.

But Josh arrived in Boston safely, Satah graduates tomorrow and tonight was fun! After eating a quick dinner and saying hi to Josh, I loaded Winston into the car and headed out to Amanda and Ryan’s apartment in Tacoma.

We ended up catching up on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They’re both pretty hilarious comedy shows, and after a day like today laughing was exactly what I needed.

Winston had fun running around their apartment and sniffing everything in sight. So far, he hang really noticed Josh is gone, but I suspect that will change tomorrow…

Either way – I hope everyone has a great Friday and that you get some sun wherever you are!

Micro Post – Happy Things!

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Day 75

This will be a micro post – after an extraordinarily busy week, we are getting ready to send Josh off to Massachusetts for Sarah’s graduation on Saturday! (GO SARAH!!!) Between that, my new job and wading through a grueling hour-long traffic snarl after said new job, I’m exhausted. So, here is a list of happy moments from my day:

– the morning coffee that Josh made for me
– taking Winston on his morning walk and saying hi to our neighbors with dogs
– spending a bit reading Lake of Dead Languages
walking around the gorgeous neighborhoods next to my work before starting my work day (the flower picture is from someone’s garden in that neighborhood)
– getting a very kind email from a customer about my customer service skills
– going out for dinner with Josh tonight
– knowing that Winston now has a dog walker and that he’ll be walked with his little French Bulldog buddy, Agnes, starting tomorrow!
– getting to sleep early tonight

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!


Revisiting Old Favorites

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Day 74

My favorite part about my morning routine, other than taking Winston on a walk, is getting to work an hour early. By work, I mean the coffee shop next door – I sit, sip my coffee and read a book. Right now, after speeding through three new books last week, I’m taking a break from tearing through new reads and am rereading an old favorite – The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman.

It’s a semi-gothic mystery set at an all girls high school on a lake in the middle of nowhere. While that short sentence sounds boring, it’s actually dripping with mysterious and possibly supernatural happenings – a perfect read for the start of summer!

A former student, Jane Hudson, returns to Heart Lake School for Girls as the Latin teacher and quickly becomes entangled in the present day troubles of three of her students. Their relationship reminds Jane of her own friendships which ended tragically the week before her own graduation – she was the only one left alive who knows what really happened at the Lake twenty years ago. As much as she tries not to draw parallels between her past and her present, someone isn’t letting her forget.

Even though I know what happens, rereading a book is like re-watching a favorite movie – perfect for boosting my happiness!