Monday, October 27, 2008

Look who's caching now.....

You may or may not know about my obsession with geocaching. It is the perfect storm of outdoorsiness and complete nerdiness. Plus you get to be super suspicious and lurk around places and look for things which is pretty fun if you are a giant dork like me and want to pretend that you are some sort of secret agent, like this guy.

Jason and I indulge in these hijinks every chance we get. There are geocaches everywhere, urban, rural, international, underwater. Many a hiking and camping trip have been enhanced by finding these hidden treasures. You can read about our exploits here and here and here. However, this weekend's caching adventures were made that much better by the addition mom!!

We spent the weekend at her house and took her out on Sunday to find a couple of caches. I had NO idea she would get so into it! We started out with Jason finding the first one -- Mom had been close. And holy cow her competitive juices got flowing!! The second cache gave us some trouble....but Jason finally spotted it, followed quickly by Mom. She was determined to be the first to find one!! And on the last cache of the afternoon, while Jason and I were still looking at the GPS trying to figure out which direction to go, we heard a triumphant shout from the bushes -- Mom had found it!! Needless to say....she was pretty darn excited. Check her out:

Success!! Please ignore the Private Property sign. She can't help it, it runs in her family.

We had a blast caching with Mom -- it's so much fun to get other people interested in the game!! I think we may have a future superstar on our hands.......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So here are some of my recent favorite layouts that I've scrapped lately. A bunch I did at the last scrapbook retreat I went on, back in September, at the San Diego Scrap Inn. The place was awesome!! Highly recommend it, plenty of room to spread out and endless snacks and drinks provided by the inn. The weekend away charged up my scrapping mojo and I've been on a pretty good roll since then. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Could it be??

So it has still been in the mid-80s weather wise. Not very fallish and it was starting to make me angry. Jason's parents in Maine have leaves changing colors and nippy weather. I'm jealous. I finally said forget it -- and just put out all my fall and Halloween decorations anyway. Like perhaps I could will the weather to change, give it a little hint. I think it may have worked.

I was driving through the Fabulous 40s the other day, on my way home from a few errands. I love driving through this neighborhood, not so much because of the houses, but because of the incredible trees. They're old and huge and arch up forming a beautiful canopy over the streets. I was cruising with the windows down, enjoying the slight breeze and then....I saw them. Leaves. Leaves falling off the trees and blowing about the street. It was if all the trees suddenly made an executive decision to turn and fall, weather be damned! Brown and orange and yellow and, well, mostly brown (this is not a hotspot for leaf-peeping). The way they were flying about and crunching under my tires made me inexplicably happy.

And so it finally feels like fall! A little too warm, but fall nonetheless. Chilly riding my bike to work in the morning. Getting dark just a touch earlier. Root vegetables showing up in our CSA produce box. Jason slightly less cranky mowing the lawn. Snuggling under the (not too heavy) covers at night.

Welcome fall, I've missed you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tasty Treats

Jason has been feeling not so well lately (yea for working in the hospital and catching every cold and flu that goes around!) so I decided the other night to make something tasty for him. I found this scrumdiddlyumptious peanut butter cake recipe and it came out awesome!! Seriously, if you like PB and chocolate, MAKE THIS CAKE:

I added baking chocolate to the PB frosting and it was something akin to a Reese's peanut butter cup in cake form. Giant shout-out here to the KitchenAid mixer, making homemade frosting fluffy and effortless!

After having this cake in the house for a few days, I figured it would be best to remove it from the premises. I took it to work where it was quickly devoured by overworked fellows. Sorry all you hungry patients who have been fasting for 8+ hours -- you don't want our blood sugar to drop too low, do you??

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's Truly A-Mazing... many bad puns one can come up with involving a corn maze. Maize Maze. Amazing. Or Amaizing. Maize Squared. It's incredibly corny. HA! Linguistics aside, corn mazes are truly cool. Jason and I went out to this one today, the largest in the world according to Guinness. At nearly 43 acres, it completely kicks this hedge maze's butt. We came prepared for battle, as we had heard tales of 3-hour tours, parties becoming separated, and the ever-present corn goblins. We took our trusty GPS, in hopes it might give us an edge. Armed with an aerial map, we ventured forth.

I did spot quite a few corn goblins, but I didn't let them slow me down!

It was hot (not very fall-like!) and super windy. It was a tricky maze, with many points where we could have gone very very astray. There was ample evidence of panicked maze-goers trampling their own paths through the corn! But we refused to give up. We stayed calm, we worked as a team, and we were rewarded with a time of under an hour!

It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. And it just goes to show that the couple that makes it through the corn maze together..........................


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finally!! (part 2)

It really really must be fall now. Jason was wearing sweats tonight. This is a man who laughs at the cold. A man who does not crack in the face of snow & ice. Yes Virginia, it's fall.


It rained. It honest-to-goodness rained!! You know, the wet stuff falling out of the sky?? It has been such a hot summer here and according to the calender, it has been fall for a few weeks now. Unfortunately you wouldn't know it by the hot hot hot weather. Finally yesterday it was overcast and smelled like rain coming. And last night it happened!

I cannot explain how happy this makes me. I'm ready for cold!! I'm ready to wear jeans and sweaters and scarves and be snuggled on the couch with the windows closed against the howling wind. I want to take a drive up 50 and see the leaves changing and pick apples and carve pumpkins. I'M TIRED OF BEING HOT!!!!!

Of course it is only supposed to last today and then get back up to 86 degrees next week. Grrrr. Such fickle California weather. But I'll take it as a start. Fall decorations are coming out today and it's time to start praying for snow!!!!! For it is on the wintery slopes where one will find.....Captain Awesome....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What a Difference A Few Years Make

Yesterday was my birthday. Woo-Hoo!! I'm not one to get torn up about my age -- I'm 31 and proud of it! Proud of it because there was a time that I didn't think I'd get here. Or if I did, I would certainly not be this well put together. It is amazing how dramatically one's life can turn around, with hard work and people who love you and believe in you. On a daily basis I think about how grateful I am for my many blessings and tell myself how awesome my life is!

Is any of this earth-shattering news to you? Maybe not, but it is to me. And so I wanted to document it here, to remind myself. I'm trying to learn to be more aware: more self-aware, more cognizant of my feelings, more conscious of the good things in my day, in my life. Ali Edwards has a regular feature on her blog called "Three Things", so in this vein I'm going to share with you 3 Things I'm Grateful For. Hopefully I'll do this weekly!

#1 Camping
Could there be a better way to spend a few days? Outside, maybe sunny, maybe not. Hiking and exploring somewhere new. Cold at night, perfect for snuggling. The smell of the campfire lingering in your hair. S'mores toasted and roasted (or caught on fire). Animal sounds at night, who knows what they are. Laughter drifting from other people's campsites. Sharing (or not) a bottle of wine, knowing the worst harm you can do is run into the picnic table in the dark. Red checkered plastic tablecloths. Fantastic.

#2 My cats
Yes call me the crazy cat lady, but there is something about them that is so soothing. One of ours is large, fluffy, orange, a complete land seal. The other is skinny, gray, wiry, possibly schizophrenic. At the very least I think he had an anoxic birth injury. They're annoying, crying in the morning for food. But also very cute, curling up with me when I'm sleepy or don't feel good. Sometimes they hunt and bring things in the house. This I am not terribly appreciative for. But the purring and love can stay.

#3 Homemade cinnamon-soy lattes
Jason's friend Roger gave us this completely awesome Italian espresso maker for our wedding. Boo-yah!! No longer beholden to Starbucks for my latte fix, I have perfected the art of home barista-ing. The smell of the brewing espresso. The sound of steam in the soy milk. The satisfaction of pulling a great shot with lovely crema and frothing up a good foam. It's part of my morning routine and a slightly meditative way to start the day. Bottoms up.