Thursday, May 28, 2009

Giddy

It is nearly the end of the working day and I can hardly contain myself. I have made plans with Brenna and Az to venture to Squamish for the weekend. Ladies weekend! There is something very empowering about a group of women out together, I am already so stoked or is it pure nerves about the thought of climbing/leading that has butterflies in my stomach. It just might be the latter. Thanks John for not letting me back out and bring my bike (or you) which would be a way to skirt around the nervousness of climbing for the first time this season.
I promise pictures when I return!
Have a great weekend, everyone, where ever you are, whatever you might be doing!

Burning up the road


This week the odometer on my commuter (lovingly named 'Orangette') rolled past 3,000 miles! That is 3,000 miles not driven to work, dinner outings, breakfast adventures, cocktails, yoga, and the grocery store.
As the weather just burst into summer, more and more people are out on their bikes which makes riding even more enjoyable knowing that there are others out there commuting on a daily basis. I have the regulars that I see everyday, we wave, some I have even got to know on a first name basis. These experiences never would have occurred in a car (unless we got in a wreck and I had to get out and talk to them...). Yesterday was icing on the cake, as I took my normal route home, I weave through as many residential streets, and trails that keep me out of as much traffic as humanly possible, I ended up at one of my least favorite parts of me commute (the intersection of Orleans and Illinois) with four other commuters. For the first time, during the peak flow hour (5pm) traffic stopped in both directions and let us mass though the intersection. The power of numbers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The High Country Hoodlums strike again!


Another long weekend, fulled with friends, fun, good food (thanks Jess and Zoe), and sunshine. We filled the weekend to the brim of goodness which renews everyone's zest for life.
"High Country Hoodlums" rocked Ski to Sea this year finishing 35 overall. Even though I have been sitting this event out, it is great to be part the weekend. I have made some great friends in the process, been inspired, learned some great lessons, and have a deeper respect for these absolutely naturally talented people. It is really a quality group to be around and I hope that I am always this blessed to be in the company of such great people. I look forward to many more years of this tradition, however it evolves, like it has.
Here is a toast to Ryan, whose presence will never be equaled or forgotten.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good living


A much awaited long weekend is just hours away, John's birthday is this weekend, lots of BBQs with friends is the agenda for the weekend, the sun is shinning and going to continue to radiate, flowers are blooming, my garden looks great, Whistler on Monday, and best of all, I don't have to take part in the annual Ski to Sea race. Life is good! I really hope that everyone has a great weekend ahead of them as well.

I have an urge to be in the kitchen baking and cooking. I just spent my lunch hour pouring over blogs, trying to find the perfect, not to sweet cake for John's birthday ( I think I have found one ), salads for BBQs (yummy colorful coleslaw), and since I haven't used my new food processor, hummus is a great way to break it in.

Summer really is here, BBQs, friends, family, and lots of time outside. This is why we stick it out through the rest of the year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"wisom" for wednesday


To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.
- Peter McWilliams
Sometimes we must all take a deep breath, close our eyes and let go. Life throws curve balls, fast balls, and sliders, the beauty of life is to be able to handle these situations with ease and grace. Letting go of assumptions will free us, dive in and see what it is all about.

Friday, May 15, 2009

mama's day

I just had a wonderful lunch with my Grandma, and my cousins, Heather and Hillary and newest wee one, Asher. It was just lovely and reminded me how much my family means to me and how desperately I need to spend more time with them. My Grandma, bless her heart, has been the one person in my life that has consistently never given up on me, never stopped calling, always has an open ear, and is can cheer me up no matter what. I am sure that my brother and cousins can agree, she has done so much to make sure that we all keep in touch. She has done great things to keep us all close as we can be. For years she took care of us, summers would go by and we would spend days with her and our cousins. Heather and I can't help but giggle at the stories of our childhood and they are usually all set at Grandma's. We are so fortunate to have been raised by family and not in a random day care. No that Heather has a new one, I am sure that she the same strong influence of family around. Now I get to be a part of raising her little one, and we get to now be the ones to take care of Grandma (****A huge amount of love goes to Hillary for stepping up and showing so much compassion****)
For Mother's Day last weekend I went to my parent's new house and spent the night. What a treat! I could imagine that there is something restorative about waking up on the ocean everyday.
Walking on the beach every morning.....
I think that they are fairing just fine....
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike to work and school day is here!

I have been getting increasingly involved in bicycle advocacy, specifically commuting, here in town and have once again fallen in love with biking as a form of transportation. There is such potential for our community here!

I have no problem getting on my bike and commuting nine miles into work, rain or shine. Getting on my bike and making the three mile trip downtown has been hard to get my mind around. With a little encouragement and this joyous weather, John and I have been making all most all of our trips downtown by bike. We make a point to hop on our bikes for these little trips, which makes the trip that much more fun. A couple of weeks ago we even got friends to meet us at our house and instead of piling into a car, we jumped on our bikes and pedaled downtown. The simple act of biking brings one so much closer to their surrounding environment, community, while creating a more active lifestyle. There are just so many benefit's to list!

May is National Bike Month and Friday May 15 is Bike to work and School day. Yours truly is going to sport my civic duty and volunteer at a celebration station right outside my office. Even more reason to get on your bike for the day! Check out the stations via the Bellingham Herald.

A ggod Post by BSNYC

Thursday, May 07, 2009

May showers


I will be the first one to oogle over flowers, green trees, green grass, and more flowers, beautiful flowing streams, and all the other beauties that describe the gem of a place that is the wonderful Pacific Northwest. Spring is here, the temps are warming, all the trees are filling in, gardens are planted, flowers are blooming, and the smell of BBQs occasionally fill the air. The PNW doesn't get green on its own, and there one one stereo type that will hopefully keep the vast hoards of Californians and Coloradoites in their sunny state: IT NEVER STOPS RAINING HERE! Yes, it is true, it can rain for a week solid it the Spring and Fall. What people don't know is that this is the type of rain that one can still be outside in. It is more like a constant drizzle. It has been raining for a couple of days now, it is great for my garden, the trees, and the overall "green factor" but nothing for my motivation. I haven't gone to yoga in a week, no running, no biking...... can I blame it on the rain? hmmm.....

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo!


As most of you know John and I are softies for most things Mexican: margaritas, tacos from the side of the road, living in a van in Mexico, climbing in Mexico, siestas, chips and salsa, well we even got married in Mexico. There is a place in my heart for Cinco de Mayo, a day to excersise my love even more and with others.
Today I have a recipe for you. It has been a while since I have shared some food with everyone...enjoy! I made these last night for our dinner/ping pong/house warming party tonight (we almost ate them all last night!).

Margarita Cookies
I found this on one of my favorite cooking sites: Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sabl├ęs au Citron
Makes about 50 cookies
2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons tequila
Grated zest of 2 limes
Grate zest of half an orange
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
Coating:
Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*
1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Deb note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, I moved the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you'd see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.
Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.
* Updated to add that if you should choose to use regular table salt and not Maldon, use less! Much less. Probably half or less. Because Maldon has such volume, the equivalent amount of a finer salt would be much more pungent. Better on the safe side than sorry, right?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Where in the world is....

In this constant day dream of "what to do with my/our life?" I decided to swing the doors wide open and see where in the WORLD would be the best place to live. My all the possibilities! I don't even know where to start! First off, the United States never makes any of the top 25 lists and gets in on the top 50 places list. The most comprehensive list I have found has been from Bussiness Week (of all places...). Most of their list is European countries. Number four was Vancouver, B.C. (I totally agree, amazing city and even better surroundings!).
Where in the world could we move to? ******the world is our oyster******
A few ideas include:

SPAIN


Portegual



New Zealand

"Made up of two main islands and a number of smaller islands, New Zealand is one of the world's least crowded countries. As well as the feeling of space and escapism from hectic everyday life, this country offers magnificent mountains, luscious lakes, clear rivers, geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, and exotic rainforests!"

Italy

"Italy is a country that is as diverse as it is captivating. Occupying a peninsular nearly 3,000km long, its attractions range from cosmopolitan cities to beautiful landscapes, from cultural havens to historic hotspots. If you ever dreamed of living in the middle of a vineyard or surrounded by sunflowers, your dreams could become a reality in Italy, not forgetting the gorgeous food on offer."

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