Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seward Park

Gareth and I took a bus trip today to Seward Park. It's not very far from us, but it would be a half-hour walk, so I opted for the bus. The bus schedule did not list any times for anywhere near the part of the route that we would be taking (at least that I could find), so we ended up waiting for quite a while. I probably could have got there walking before the bus came, but again, wanted to save my feet some trouble.

Gareth enjoyed looking out onto Lake Washington. The houses over in that area are very nice and I'm sure very expensive as well. The view was beautiful with a mountain poking up through the clouds in the distance (I'm assuming Mt. Rainier, but that is a fair distance away, so I'm really not sure.)

There were some ducks in the lake and people were letting their dogs swim in the water, all of which Gareth thought was pretty cool. I finally dragged him back to the stroller and we went for a bit of a walk down the biking/walking/running path. We didn't go the whole way because it's quite a long path and I was getting tired. (It's finally warmed up out here, so that didn't help either). We turned around and on the way back stopped at a tiny rocky beach so Gareth could throw rocks in the water.

The people in the background of the picture asked me if Gareth was my son or my brother. She was pretty sure he was my son, but it sounded like the man was guessing my brother. I'm assuming I just look so young that it's not un-imaginable that I could have a 3 year old brother! :)

It was a fun trip, but my legs are worn out. At least I can say I got my exercise in for the day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Latest Adventure

Ryan's Mac broke last week. He made the trip up to the Mac store by UW to get it repaired. They called him on Saturday to tell him it was ready, at which point we decided our outing for the day would be to all head up there together after Gareth's nap and pick up the computer. As we were leaving I was thinking we'd maybe get dinner while we were up there as well, since by the time we left the apartment it was about 4 pm.

Unbeknownst to us, UW was having their commencement on Saturday. The bus hit the UW region about the same time commencement ended, which meant we got stuck in the incredibly slow traffic that comes with the end of a university graduation ceremony. I was getting rather hungry by the time the bus reached our stop. As was Gareth, so I gave him a couple slices of bread I'd brought for him. Those slices of bread are the likely cause of his tripping (I'm assuming he wasn't paying enough attention to the sidewalk and too much to eating) and cutting up his knee a couple of blocks into our walk from the bus stop to the store. We still had quite a walk ahead of us, made up almost entirely of stairs. (Think the stairs by the RB at BYU, but that amount tripled probably.) Ryan wanted me to just take Gareth home while he went on, which was probably a good idea, but I didn't have anything to clean Gareth up with and decided the fastest way to get him at least a little cleaned up would be to get to the shopping center. So we all went on.

We used a Starbucks bathroom to wipe up Gareth's knee while he screamed and then bought him a treat to try to get his mind off the pain. Somehow during the treat-purchasing process Gareth realized that his finger was hurting as well and we discovered a sliver which I would not be able to remove without a pin. Even his pink doughnut couldn't keep his mind off of the finger pain. By this point I think we'd already given up on getting dinner in the shopping center between commencement and Gareth's injuries. We gave up on making him happy and moved on to the Mac store. Gareth and I waited outside for the five minutes it took Ryan to pick up the computer and then we started the trek home. We managed to make it back up all the stairs and to the bus stop right about the time a bus was due. That bus never came. Neither did the one after it or the next one. We were starting to try to call people to look up another route we could easily get to to get home when, 45 minutes late, a bus finally showed up.

At this point Gareth was hungry, tired, still in pain, and still bleeding, so it was a rough bus ride for all of us. And probably for everyone else on the bus with us. A guy wearing a hat was able to get Gareth to play peek-a-boo with him toward the end of the trip. For some reason, we inherited the hat when the guy got off the bus:

We finally made it home around 9 pm, still needing to clean Gareth up and feed him something before sending him off to bed. We turned on a show for him and gave him his blanket to distract him while I removed the sliver. Then Ryan held him while I cleaned the blood off his knee and applied hydrogen peroxide (which Gareth really hated) to make us feel better about the dirt that I couldn't wash out. Thankfully our neighbor had just purchased some large band-aids, which we told him was a sticker, and he was good as new. I made up a peanut butter sandwich for him and finally got him to eat some of it, even though all he really wanted to do was suck his thumb and hold his blanket.

After getting Gareth to bed Ryan and I discovered that there really isn't anywhere that delivers in our neighborhood, or if they do they were already closed. So we foraged around the kitchen for a hodge-podge dinner of our own. Definitely not the most successful of our outings thus far. But we have the computer back now!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Of Pots and Pans

One of the most difficult trials for me in living away from our stuff is always the kitchen. I can't help missing all the little things that I never give a second thought to otherwise. My egg separator. A non-rusty wire wisk (several of them!). Multiple sets of measuring cups and spoons. Those things. I guess it's a good experience to have once in a while as it certainly gives me a greater appreciation for all that we have. While at home I'm usually so focused on what we still need that I forget how many wonderful little gadgets I have that make my kitchen life so much more enjoyable.

There are a few things that I always know I'll miss though. My knives, which I usually tend to think of as "not as sharp as they could be", until I use someone else's knives and then I thank my lucky stars that my mom was always so insistent that we would all have high quality knives. My food processor. My griddle. But the biggest of all these is my pots and pans.

I was hopeful in coming here that we'd have better pots and pans than in corporate housing (those are terrible). And we do, thankfully. They're Calphalon. I'd heard good things and many ravings about Calphalon in the days since our marriage, so I'm actually grateful for the opportunity to try them out. But I must say, I don't like them. For all their supposed non-stickiness, food sticks to them something awful. Rice, oatmeal, pasta. You name it, it sticks. Foods that don't stick (or at least come off easily if they do stick initially) in my All-Clad pans, stick to the Calphalon - and don't come off easily, even after soaking. Now, I will admit, eggs stick terribly in my All-Clad frying pan. But they also stick terribly in these Calphalon pans. (I do need a solution for eggs, but I've found it in something else entirely: cast iron skillets. They're insanely inexpensive and clean-up is also insanely easy. I've got several recipes just waiting for me to invest in a few cast irons.)

Maybe this set of Calphalon is just old enough that the non-stick surface is getting worn out. That's a part of non-stick pans that really bugs me, though, the whole wearing off thing. I cooked something in one of the frying pans tonight that used canola oil. And the pan seems to have the same problem as my non-stick George Foreman grill - after you cook with certain substances the surface becomes super-gummy and almost impossible to clean. I've spent hours working at the grill surface, and it's just not worth it! I gave up on the frying pan tonight. I'll have to purchase some vinegar or something and see if that can work it off.

I don't want to sound ungrateful for what we have here, because I'm incredibly grateful for it. As I said, things are far and away better than what we'd have in corporate housing. But I'm looking forward to a joyful reunion with my trusty All-Clad.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Broken Down

Just a quick note to let everyone know we're doing well and having fun. The reason no new posts have made it up yet is that Ryan's computer is having some issues that caused us to take it in for repairs this weekend. (That may not be a wonderful description of what's wrong with the computer - Ryan will have to correct any false impressions I may be giving you...) We should be up and running again in a few days. I can use my phone for a lot of things, but writing blog posts isn't one of them!