Saturday, July 31, 2010

Skating, Part Deux

Last Sunday Mike and I tried out our new used rollerblades for the first time. It was difficult. But we didn’t fall down.

Tuesday morning we headed back to the deserted school parking lot and gave it another try. I was feeling quite confident but while going around the curve of the parking lot I lost control and fell hard on my left buttock. Ouch. It hurt! I barely made it back to the bench and thought that was enough for me that day.

We talked about the danger of learning with the possibility of hitting asphalt regularly and came up with another idea. Why not begin with regular roller skates at an indoor rink and build up to rollerblades outside? Duh. And maybe even take lessons?

So yesterday we headed to Skate King – and indoor rink where you can use either regular roller skates (also called quads I found out – 4 wheels…get it?) or inline skates (commonly called rollerblades, but Rollerblade is actually a brand of inline skates – sorry, I’m just learning about the sport!)

When we got there we were happy to see only about 10 kids skating around. The rink was all lite up and Michael Jackson was belting out Billie Jean. We traded our shoes for skates and sat down to put them on. When I got up it was such a nice difference from the inline skates – I was able to stand right up!

Just as Mike was finishing lacing his skates, we heard a commotion. It was a busload of Boys/Girls Club kids racing for skates and putting them on. There were about 50 of them!! HA We weren’t going to have a nice, peaceful rink to ourselves after all.

No problema. Mike and I got out on the rink and began slowly by using the rail and then the wall as we got used to roller skating. Before we knew it we had made it around the rink. And we kept going. And going. Pretty soon we were swinging our arms and getting a rhythm going. Now don’t get me wrong…there were moments of embarrassment and “near falls.” Plus, I almost took out a kid or 2, but it was a lot easier to maintain our balance on roller skates than with inline skates. After all, we had quads on, and the wheels are spread out differently.

Mike getting his bearings.

Yours truly hugging the wall.

Now he’s groovin'!

“Look, Ma…no hands!”

All in all we had a great time with NO FALLS for either of us. Our bodies are achy this morning, but not bruised. This is definitely the way to work up to inline skating!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jackie and Mandarin Chicken Salad

I have known my friend Jackie for many years…way back to the painful American Sign Language Interpreter Training program at Seattle Central Community College. Communicating with sign language and interpreting are two different things and I say painful because I never really got the “knack” for interpreting. But Jackie sure did. She has had a very successful career interpreting and managing interpreters. Kudos to Jackie!

And yesterday Jackie came over to visit before an afternoon interpreting gig. While Mike was making lunch Jackie and I hit the Burke Gilman Trail to whet our appetites. It wasn’t as hot as it has been recently and the walk was perfect for gabbing and catching up with each other.

Mike’s menu included Mandarin Chicken Salad and freshly baked corn muffins. When we got back, Mike was in full swing, with the chicken chunks still in the oven, almost ready for the salads. Soon enough the chicken was ready.

Mike hard at work.

Finally it was time to eat!

Silly Jackie.

And for dessert – fresh, sweet pineapple and vanilla ice cream.

Jackie and husband Kurt recently spent time in Portugal and found a lovely, white, effervescent wine, Vinho Verde from Casal Garcia. She brought us a bottle and we put it in the refrigerator to enjoy at a later date. I’ll have to post about it when I get to taste it.

Ahhh, before we knew it, Jackie had to leave for her interpreting job. Mike and I had such a nice time with her, looking at pictures from Portugal and another trip to Bali. What a lovely afternoon. Thank you, Jackie!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Sunday in Seattle

Summer had a slow start in Seattle this year, but today was a beautiful, sunny summer day and we made the most of it!

Mike and I enjoy a challenge and adventure. Recently we both bought rollerblades at garage sales…and then we bought kneepads. You see, we have never tried rollerblading, but we enjoy challenges and adventures and we want to save our knees so we can walk for a few more years. And his morning we took our first stab at rollerblading… was indeed challenging and adventurous!

We got up early and went to the closest deserted school (so no one would be around to laugh at us) and we began by using the walls for support until we got the hang of it. And then we ventured out into the parking lot. Neither of us fell, but I was surprised at how much my calves and thighs ached. It was a pretty good workout. Our goal is to be able to rollerblade on the Burke Gilman Trail by September!

Mike cruisin’ along and doing quite well.

We went home and Mike made chocolate cheesecake brownies. He has really become quit the baker recently with cookies and now the brownies.

Just out of the oven.


While Mike was baking, I decided to wash the truck. This ’92 Nissan 4x4 has been a charm towing our trailer and us all the way to Mexico and back. She deserves to look good!

Chores done, we headed into Seattle to see the Seattle Mariners play the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field. What a glorious day for baseball!

Ichiro at bat.

There were a lot of Red Sox fans in the stadium, but they weren’t so happy today...the Mariners got 3 runs in the 8th inning, winning the game 4-2. Yeah Mariners!

As we walked through the throngs of people on the way out, we stopped to pose at the mitt - a 3,000 pound, 9 foot tall, big, bronze sculpture.

And now we’re home, the sun is still shining, and life is good.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life!

Corny, huh? But it is a new day. I have been rejuvenated. Thanks to Moira and Garwin. Those are Sheryl's doggies, little wired-hair Norfolk terriers. They live with Sheryl (my good friend of many years) and George in Shelton, Washington and I went to visit with Sheryl, Moira and Garwin yesterday.

After a lovely lunch Sheryl and I put leashes on her doggies and walked them down to Totten Inlet in South Puget Sound. It’s a private beach for the residents in Sheryl’s neighborhood and it’s filled with oysters and clams – you’ve probably eaten them at a Seattle restaurant or one of the local Farmers’ Markets.

A cluster of oysters.

The doggies were unleashed and they ran to the water. They swam while we walked on the rocky beach and surprisingly they kept up with our pace!

And sometimes they ran up on the beach, sniffed seaweed, rolled in muck and raced back to the saltwater. They were so full of energy that the trek up the trail back home was nothing to them while I had to take breaks to catch my breath. And once we were back at Sheryl’s house, they sacked out on the deck...content little doggies that were happy they got in their daily swim.

My heart aches every day for Sitka. But hanging out with Moira and Garwin helped. Thanks Sheryl.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sunflowers in October

I have to laugh when I look back at my pics of our sunflowers and pumpkins from that first week in August. We really needed to plant our seeds earlier. And we needed more sunshine in Seattle this summer.

But HALLELUIAH we have sunflowers and we even have baby pumpkins. But I'm not sure the pumpkins are going to make it to Halloween. They keep withering and then turning brown.

That's a baby pumpkin.

So here are the pumpkins in August...

And here they are now!

The flowers are so delicate. It's hard to believe this could turn into a jack-o-lantern.

Sunflowers in August...

Sunflowers now! Notice how they grew so tall that they cover the windows? I didn't even think about that when I planted them.

Next year we’ll plant in May!