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Saturday, July 22, 2017

pnw adventures: Hurricane ridge

Hurricane Ridge is located within the Olympic National Park.  It's only about 18 or so miles from Port Angeles (which movie/book featured Port Angeles?) but takes around 40 minutes to drive there.  It's all uphill and twisty on the way up and downhill and curvy on the way down.  You don't want to skip this drive or the view.
We ate lunch here and went to the visitors center.  I recommend the visitors center for recommendations on hikes and to see the beautiful mountains.
One of them was smiling.
The view of the receding glacier. 
Someone got some beautiful snaps.
I made this deer a little upset.  I disturbed its peace by accident.  I dropped my water bottle off the ledge.  It didn't like the fact that I made a noise and gave me a not so nice look.
We decided to hike the Cirque Rim trail.  It's a half a mile one way.  The children wanted me to take this picture because you can see Canada in it.  It's below all that foggy stuff.
Also, we had snowball fights.  Because who doesn't do that in July.
Shorts and snow.  It's legit.
My cousin thought there were bicycles stuck in trees.  It was actually part of an old ski lift. 
I would recommend Hurricane Ridge for all ages, stages and abilities.  There is something for everyone once you get up there.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

writers workshop: on a boat

Our last family vacation was in July.  My whole family went.  We are small, so it worked out okay.  Myself and my three children, my sister, her husband and two children and my mom all loaded on to a plane and traveled to the Sea-Tac airport.
After recovering from the shock on the non-humid weather, we headed to Lake Sammamish.  My cousins live on Lake Sammamish and I love it.
This was my view from the dock.  It's pretty horrible seeing Mount Rainier in the background.
Peyton enjoyed some dock time with me. 
This is my niece, Violett.  She looked so funny running up the dock in his life jacket/wet suit thingy.  It cracked me up to no end.
During this week, we did a lot of lake things and non lake things.  We enjoyed Paddle boarding (my sis in the background) and Kayaking (Peyton hanging out in the kayak), boat riding and jet skiing.  I loved kayaking.  My daughter and I went all the way to the north side of the lake, where the water was filled with lily pads and the white flowers were just starting to come up.  It was a little jaunt in a kayak.  One time when we were out, Alli was on the paddle board and Peyton was kayaking.  They traded places in the middle of the lake.
The kids all did some tubing while being pulled behind the boat.

Alli wanted to get up on the wake board so bad.  She kept at it for two days and then this happened.  She was becoming quite an expert.  Waving to everyone as we passed by the dock.  I am super proud of her.  I couldn't ski when I was her age.  I just remember being dragged and falling face first into the water.

The boat was great fun.  I had an awesome time just sitting in it, watching the fam wakeboard.  One time, someone did completely soak me by hitting a wave, just perfectly, on purpose.  I was in my swimsuit, so not really a big deal.  It was just cold.
After a day of swimming, tubing and kayaking.
Tanner and Peyton out on the jet ski.
I have a story about jet skis.
I used to be deathly afraid of them when I was little and the fear lasted until the week we were at the lake.  I went with my dad to a lake house in Missouri.  I am not sure who we were visiting and I don't remember much about it, except for the jet ski part.  My dad and stepmom forced me to go on the jet ski.  I was so afraid of it.  Even at six or seven, I thought I would fall off and the jet ski would cut me to pieces.  I had that lingering fear of jet skis because I have avoided them since.
When we were at the lake, I spent so much time on the jet ski.  Seriously, I went from the north end of the lake to the south end.  I went 60 mph on the thing.  I actually liked the cruise around at about 40 mph.  I was totally okay with it.  My fear vanished as soon as I had control over it.  My childhood fear was silly.  I know that.  I've always know that.  Growing up, you think the fear you have is so profound and you will never get over it, once you do, you realize how silly it actually was.  I know as soon as I fall off the machine, it stops immediately.  I know there is a ladder on the back of it that I could have used to get back on it.  Don't let fear eat at you.

Top Ten Thursday: Rude!

What do you consider rude, arrogant or inappropriate?!  I thought this list would be easy for me to do, but I got stuck!  I kept going back to things that happen at my work.  I did think of some non-work things though.

1.  Being tardy and thinking it's funny.  I get it, being late happens.  You apologize for it and get on with whatever.  You don't laugh and make constant jokes about it.  It's an inconvenience you put on someone. 

2.  When people tell me that they have a "quick question".  I work in an office where I am right there with the public.  I like my job.  I am good at my job.  It is rude when someone just walks right up while I am either working with someone or they skip the line to say they have a "quick question" and then they get mad at me because they don't follow procedure.  I work in a government office, so you have to follow rules and procedures.  Don't get mad at me because rules are "hard".  Trust me, no one question is quick.
3.  I find it highly inappropriate when people wear pajamas to conduct their official government business.  Are you really that lazy that you cannot get dressed?  Honestly, everything in our office can be handled over the phone.  If you didn't want to get dressed, do you business over the phone.  Back in my old office, we did have people come to work in pajamas because we didn't have to work with the public.  Get dressed people!!  I get it if you are staying at home and not leaving, but if you are leaving, put some non-pajama clothing on.
4. We were recently at the airport and our gate was packed.  One guy decided to lay on an entire row of seats and read his book while elderly and small children had to stand.  That was sure nice of him.

5.  When people cancel on things that have been planned for weeks/months a few hours ahead of time.  Guys, if I have something planned for that long I want to do it! 

6.  The trash service that I pay for not doing their jobs.  I find it extremely rude that our trash company always forgets to pick up our little areas trash.  There are only three houses.  When they don't pick up the trash, we end up with it everywhere because of our trash pandas.  Then they won't pick it up because it's all over the place.  When you call, they promise to be there before six.  Does it happen.  No.   They usually get there around six two days later. 

7.  Not helping out after derby practice when specifically asked to before practice.  One of the leagues I play for has a beautiful practice and game day facility.  It is owned by the county that I live in.  They also use the facility for concerts (my first "real" concert was there), graduations and other community events.  When the community events come up, we are asked to clean up our things and put them away.  NBD.  I was at a scrimmage before one of those nights.  Everyone else was helping put tables away, fold up banners, etc.. and two people tried to walk out.  One of our BOD caught them ask them if they were staying around to help.  The girl replied "Well, I'm not a league member, so why should I?" after she had scrimmaged with us.  The BOD member replied, "You just used our scrimmage time and played during that time, the least you could do is help carry a table"  After looking pissed off, the girl did help. 

8.  Calling me a wallflower.  I'm not a freaking wall flower.  I don't blend into my background unless I want to. 

9.  Spammers.  Spammers are rude and annoying.  I get a lot of spam phone calls.  Thank goodness that spam email goes straight to the correct folder.

10.  Horrible drivers.  You are rude.  Stay in your lane.  Let people merge.  Stop being an a--hole.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

recipe: double chocolate peanut butter muffins

As I've mentioned before, I've been using Home Chef for some of our meals each week.  It makes dinner more creative and I don't have to go to the grocery store for those meals.  Also, the prices are comparable to how much I would be spending at the grocery store for the same ingredients.
I like Home Chef the best, closely followed by Hello Fresh.  I am not a fan of Blue Apron.  Blue Aprons menu is not as good and they just throw everything in the box and ship it.  Both Home Chef and Hello Fresh separate the ingredients out.  I absolutely love that.
Home Chef sends you a fancy recipe card, all the ingredients you need sans oil olive and salt and such.  Things that should be staples in your kitchen.
Want to try Home Chef?  Click here.
In my box this week, I got a Cajun Chicken pizza.  I know my pictures aren't perfect because they are what your food really looks like when it comes out of the oven.
The chicken was so spicy and yummy.  It was perfect on a pizza with garlic, okra and cheddar cheese.  (They did provide red peppers, but I don't like them)  It is enough food to actually feed three people.
On to my recipe.  One of my coworkers had a birthday this week.  We are having a snack party for her, so I got creative and made, yet, another recipe for chocolate muffins.
I originally wanted to use chocolate chips, but I didn't have any.  I did have this though.  I think it's actually better than the chocolate chips.
All of my ingredients.
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup of almond milk (regular milk will work fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg of the semi sweet baking chocolate (cut it up into itty bitty pieces)
Mix all of your dry ingredients in one bowl. (except baking chocolate)
Stir together all the liquid ingredients.
Pour the liquid ingredients in with the dry ingredients.
Stir it up, it will be lumpy and that is okay.
I mentioned peanut butter in the title and totally forgot it in the ingredients.
I used PB2, which is a powdered peanut butter.
I put the PB2 in at the same time I put in the cut up chocolate in there.
I folded it in.
I used about a 1/4 of a cup.  You don't have to use a lot with the powdered peanut butter.
The taste packs a punch.
I know, they look terrible ;)
I know I should get some fancy placing or whatever to take the pictures,
but hey, the pretty red tray works just fine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

pnw adventures: ruby beach

View from the trail
Our last stop during on day at the Olympics National Park ended up being Ruby Beach.  Ruby Beach is on the southwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula.  It is a long drive to get there.  We made it during sunset.  It was mid tide when we arrived but rose quickly while we were there. 
Traversing the driftwood.
We walked and climbed over the driftwood.  It was not close to the water at this time, but you still had to be cautious of shifting.  The driftwood was beautiful and has given an idea for a bathroom re-do.  I want this beach to be the theme in my bathroom.  It's not what you think of as a typical beach.  You expect swimsuits, sun tanning and swimming at beaches.  If that's what you want, go somewhere else.  This beach is untouched and protected landscape. 
Tanner capturing the sites.
There is a large creek named Cedar Creek that runs into the ocean.  We did a little biology lesson.  I, even, had Tanner taste the water to figure out what type of water it was.  (Mostly fresh with a salty after taste)
We spent quite a while along this creek, skipping stones and collecting them.  I have a fun video from them skipping stones.  Tanner is an expert.  At Ruby Beach, you can take one handful of stones, rocks and/or shells that you collect.  I did find a beautiful stone to bring home, but I left it in my cousins car. :( I was going to add it to my front porch, next to my rocks from Crazy Horse.
Peyton is hanging out on the beach.  He did go to touch the water and decided against getting any more wet.  In the background, there is an island with a huge lighthouse.  The island in the background is named Destruction Island because of the battles between the Quinault Tribe and British/Spanish explorers.  The island is named in remembrance of those who died.  As you can see, the waves are quite large and the tide is coming up fast!
My niece, Scarlett, is in the foreground.  There are a few sea stacks in the background.  Sea stacks are created by erosion.  They used to be a part of an outcropping of land.  The erosion lead to them being completely surrounded by water.  The waves erode the softer rock and leave the more resilient rock behind.  Sea stacks provide sanctuary for birds to nest.  Some birds do not come any closer to the land than the their homes there.  The sea stacked pictured is Abbey Island and it is the most photographed feature at the beach.  Wonder why?
All three of my kids are on top of a sea stack that was not surrounded by water at the time we were there.  It was a great place for climbing. 
Alli enjoying the sunset.  She did go looking for tide pools, but it was too high at the time.  We did find a small one but it had one creature in it.
The sun was in the perfect spot.  It really was the best way to end the day.

Ruby Beach is located about 3.5 hours from Seattle.  (We arrived back around 1 am)  The beach is right off highway 101.  There are many marked signed where you need to turn in.  It is a short jaunt from the parking lot to the beach.  It is all down hill to get there, all uphill to get back.  It is not difficult.  You can also pick edible fruit that you see along the trail.  There are some raspberries and blackberries.
This is the driftwood that is inspiring me. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Off to Camp....

Alli is off to camp for the week.  All that cupcake baking paid off.
The camp is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from our house.  It's not a bad drive and the way my GPS took us was the back way into camp.  The directions from the Girl Scout office were completely different.  We had been to the camp before, so we kinda knew where we were going.
This is us waiting patiently to turn into the camp.  There was a line all the way out to the street because they check each car in individually.
One of the few Girl Scout camps still open in our area.  Two of my favorite camps were sold off.
Alli asked me for one last selfie.  So here ya go.

Once we were finally in camp and parked, we had to wait in a few lines.  Paper work was already done, so it was handing them paper work.  Putting money in Alli's trading post account.  Then she got her temperature checked and her head checked for lice.  Fun Fun. 
At the health table, my daughter was recognized from being in the camp book for this year. 
While we were putting money in her trading post account, the girl who was working that table asked me if I played roller derby.  I, of course, answered yes.  She was like "What's your derby name?" and I told her.  She squealed with delight.  She was like "Your derby name is my favorite, I even took a picture of your jersey because it was so awesome"  She called over to one of her friends to tell her that she met me.  I was a little shocked that anyone even knew of me.  It was fun and embarrassing all at the same time. 
Alli and Abbi ready to go.
They are doing the Outpost program, which we kept hearing was the best by the camp staff.
I did Outpost when I went to camp around the same age.  Those stories are for another post though.  They are some of my favorite all time camp stories.
After waiting in line so we are all hot and sweaty.
This girl is excited.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Googly Moogly Coding Event

A few weeks ago my daughter was able to participate in a Google Fiber space Event. 
#1: This Fiber space is awesome.  Awesome because they have a candy bar.  Salt Water Taffy. Swedish Fish.  Runts. 

#2:  They served the girls and parents dinner.  What?!  We didn't know that was happening.  The sandwiches were yummy.  I have no idea what kind of bread they used, but I need some it in my life again.
#3:  They were able to hear from some of the leading women in coding.  They even had a conference call from one of them in Silicon Valley.
#4:  They had the opportunity to code their own things.
#5:  Pose for pictures, of course.