Cherry Blossoms, Dinner Parties and a Dog

week 4 sunday

Day 29

Yesterday, while the Great Ravioli Disaster unfolded, Winston was busily working away at chewing the foot off of one of our chairs. How did he manage that, you ask? Well, because Theo has been so sick lately, we’ve taken to making the couch an off-limits area when we’re busy around the house. To do that, we lay our kitchen chairs across the couch cushions and block the spaces with pillows in an attempt to make it inhabitable for a lounging cat. It turns out, this is at the perfect height for Winston to gnaw on Leg o’ Chair very, very thoroughly.

By the time I figured out what that background noise meant, the damage was done. The aspiring Boston Beaver had managed to leave a sizable, splintery dent in our cheap Ikea chair. I was plagued with images of a friend precariously perched on the edge of a chair teeter-totter kept level with a stack of magazines that Winston also found just to his teething taste. Ugh.

Long story short, after that escapade Winston had a much more subdued day than usual as I was forced to shackle him to my leg. So, when this morning rolled around with blue sky as far as we could see, we packed him up and took off for an old boy scout camp nearby. For the next couple of hours, we roamed up and down the gravel paths letting Winston sniff and roll in spring ferns to his little heart’s content. By the time we made it back to the car, he was exhausted with mud halfway up his legs and fern-dust in his fur.

We left Winston happily napping at home and Josh and I headed out to look at the gorgeous cherry blossoms that bloomed on the UW campus this past week. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised, but it seemed like half of Seattle had the same idea. Oddly though, the crowds didn’t ruin the experience. Sure, there were hundreds of people accidentally photo-bombing each other as they struggled to get a shot of the trees without people in the frame, but it was fun seeing so many happy faces. People were there with their dogs, with their kids or getting married. I think we saw four different wedding photo shoots going on. We took a couple spins around the cherry blossom quad and then set out to explore the other parts of campus.

After a late night, a day outside was exactly what we needed. Oh, and the ravioli that Josh insisted we save? Well, we had it for dinner. It was delicious. Ugly but delicious.

I think it’s fair to say that “ugly but delicious” is pretty normal when trying anything new. My first batch of raspberry jalapeno jam didn’t look so great and came out runny. But the second batch of mixed berry jam I made for my Dad’s birthday came out perfect. The same goes for the goat cheese; there’s nothing attractive about curdling milk, but the final was pretty good. If I make it again, it’d probably taste better.

My point is, your parents were right. If you stumble or fall, pick yourself back up. By all indications, that dinner party last night should have been a disaster; in fact, it’s a tiny miracle we survived the veggie explosion. But we did and despite having to acquire emergency pasta provisions and borrow three chairs from our neighbors/guests, last night’s dinner party was awesome and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Yes, trying new things can be scary – especially if it’s something a little more major than failing at ravioli making – but whatever it is, however larger or small, it’s worth trying. Your brain will thank you.

In case you missed a post….

Week in Review

Monday: I diagramed my foray into sticky, spoon-licking jam-making.
Tuesday: I wrote about cheese-making and growing a sourdough starter. Worth the hassle!
Wednesday: I discussed the silliness of writing a letter in code and invisible ink. Childish yet satisfying.
Thursday: It’s all too easy to put off doing the small things that make us happy.
Friday: Photo update from my Dad’s birthday party!
Saturday: Even when eighty ravioli are stuck to the table having someone to laugh with (and help clean up a vegetable explosion) makes life better.

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