Saturday, July 30, 2011

1300 Things: Week 3, a guest post by Mia

This week I asked Mia to tell me things that she liked, things that she was thankful for. Here it is:
51. Couches
52. Beds
53. Butterflys
54. Dragonflys
55. Laptops
56. Rings
57. Walls
58. Lamps
59. Furnaces
60. And colors
61. And dogs
62. Balloons
63. And chapstick
64. Blankets
65. And dollies
66. And pigs
67. Coffee tables
68. Cookies
69. Playing blocks
70. Purple
71. Sesame Street
72. Cheerios
73. Curious George
74. Hello Dolly song
75. Haidie and Emma and Jak-Jak and Bubba

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Weekend

 Mia and her friends after our second blueberry picking expedition. They did a great job!
Friday we went to the library end of summer reading program parade at Pioneer Park.
 Bando was a star attraction. About one thousand people asked to pet him.
 Mia was fascinated/frightened of the giant yellow rubber duck. "Why is it big, why?"
Saturday was Italian night. Homemade meatballs with Black Angus from Homegrown Market and this delicious salad. Throw in a few lit candles and a "That's Amore" Pandora station and it trumps any restaurant in town.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

1300 Things: Week 2

More things I am grateful for...

26. The house across the street is burnt orange and when the sun sets behind us it reflects off that house and gives everything a warm glow.
27. The Alaska Coffee Roasting Company, comforting and familiar.
28. I am grateful for my husband mocking me. He does it just right and always makes me laugh even if I am really down.
29. How peaceful he looks when he sleeps.
30. How my daughter always wants "anullah kiss" at bedtime.
31. We have managed to own and not lose for 8 years, the best pair of nail clippers in the universe.
32. Two of my lovelies helping me with my wardrobe, thank you Bethy and Monika!
33. Vanilla candles.
34. Spiral staircases.
35. Crab and french bread on Christmas Eve.
36. Mark Rothko.
37. Blueberry season.
38. How Mia wakes up like a bat out of hell.
39. My artichoke dip recipe. (If I write this before breakfast there will always be a lot of food references.)
40. Free art.
41. Chocolate Coconut Milk icecream.
42. So You Think You Can Dance.
43. Apple Butter and Peanut Butter on Toast.
44. Vegetarian Pad Thai sans tofu at Bahn Thai on 3rd Avenue in Fairbanks, AK.
45. Din Tai Fung in Bellvue, WA. Just the best Chinese food I have ever eaten!
46. I am grateful for my washer and dryer.
47. Johnny-jump-ups.
48. Baking molasses cookies in the fall.
49. Lists. You see, thinking of 1300 things to be grateful for is right up my alley. How could it not be? A list 1300 items long? Perfect!
50. YouTube videos of people laughing uncontrollably.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Cried For You..

My brother Johnny introduced me to this song last year and I am addicted to it. I couldn't even listen to it without crying, well at least the first hundred times or so. Then I couldn't sing it without making myself cry; I find it actually quite handy to have a reliable trigger for crying valve release. Unfortunately the effectiveness has worn off as I've continued to listen to it, play it on the piano, watch the music video, etc. I've explored more by Katie Melua since then and am completely entranced. I encourage you to try her stuff on for a day and see if it's a good fit for you. She recently released a recording in concert with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and she is a top caliber vocalist and artist. If you have to start somewhere listening to her stuff, I recommend this order:

1. I Cried For You
2. Nine Million Bicycles
3. If The Lights Go Out
4. Just Like Heaven
5. It's Only Pain
6. The Flood
7. And my current favorite, featured in the movie "The Tourist", No Fear of Heights

I leave you with the video for I Cried For You, beware it's a little weird and if you find it distracting just listen; the music is heartbreaking and beautiful.

P.S. Mia loves this video and requests it over and over again. It has sparked a great discussion about computer animation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blueberries and Watercolors

The blueberries are ready! And according to research, eating blueberries is really one of the best things you can do for yourself. So we're making room in our freezer and eating up all of last year's berries! Here's a couple of links about blueberries, one from Far North Science, and one from Society for Neuroscience.

Here's my lovely one eating her blueberry pancakes this morning:

And painting yesterday morning.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Weekend

                                          My first attempt at bran muffins.
                                           Daddy brought out a cool firetruck to play with.
                                          I like her all dressed up in a tutu playing with a firetruck.
                                          Bando at 4 months, he is getting really big.
                                          Upside down pineapple daughter.

Trying out a new favicon...

It seems little because it is, but posting about it seems like the easiest way to get it to work so here goes!

A New(ish) Therapy for IBD

I recently stumbled across this article from Science Daily on an oral delivery system for siRNA (small interfering RNA) using thioketal nanoparticles to encapsulate them. It's a fascinating read and always very encouraging knowing that they are always developing new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. Someday they might be able to effectively turn off a switch in patient's DNA, telling them to stop producing too much tumor necrosis factor. Or they might be able to grow new organs for transplant into patients using the patient's own stem cells. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Rant from Righteous Ronnie...

Dear Woman who waved at me to "slow down",

Number one, I don't like you. So just know that for starters. Also I was going the speed limit. So mind your own business. Also, I am watching for you. The next time you wave at me I will stop my car and get out and then we can talk face to face. Also, if you are so worried about me hitting your (stupid) little dogs then here's a thought: leash them or fence them, I really don't care. The next time I see them on the road I will call Animal Control. Your dogs are a nuisance and could cause an accident. Here is the link to the Borough Ordinance regarding Animal Ownership. Also if you don't like living on a 30 mph road you shouldn't have moved there. To recap: You and I are probably not destined to be pals. Stop waving at people, it's rude and you obviously need your speed perception checked since I was really really really going the speed limit. Restrain your animals.

I get why you waved at me, you thought I was speeding and you took it upon yourself to be a corrective force in the neighborhood. You probably also feel that owning a home in the area you do gives you the right, nay, the responsibility to be slightly snooty and condescending. It's fine if I was actually speeding. Or if your death traps of miniature dogs weren't running wild. But you were wrong, and then some more wrong so if you apologize and admit to everything I think we can move on.

Sincere Regards,
Righteous Ronnie (yes that job is already taken)

Friday, July 15, 2011

1300 Things To Be Grateful For

I recently started following a blog and the author, who got the idea from another author, is doing a project called 1300 Things To Be Grateful For. The idea is a great one and every week I am going to try and emulate her by listing 25 things from the previous week that I am grateful for. The project will end next year around July 15th.

These will appear in no particular order and there is no time like the present so here are my first twenty-five things. I really do feel blessed and I think it's really good for my mental health to remember just how much I am blessed.

1. My husband being back from out of town.
2. My daughter.
3. My extended family. You all rock!
4. Amazing friends.
5. My cute dog, who at this moment is destroying an empty coconut water box.
6. Coconut water. Much better for you than gatorade and very good at replacing electrolytes.
7. Organic oolong tea.
8. The color green.
9. Electricity. You make my life so easy.
10. Free blogging.
11. I'm glad I have all my limbs.
12. Nice strangers, especially medical professionals.
13. Hot running water.
14. Lots of books.
15. Homemade macaroni and cheese.
16. Long chats with dear friends.
17. A hug from someone when you really need it.
18. The Daily Show with John Stewart.
19. Rainy days.
20. Meet me in St. Louis, the movie starring Judy Garland.
21. The person who taught me to crochet, thanks Joyce!
22. Sourdough starter.
23. My new phone.
24. My computer, it helped me get back into the world again after a period of new-mom isolation.
25. Toothpaste.

Stay tuned for next week's list, I promise to stay with this project as long as I don't find it oppressive and choking and I am still enjoying it.

The Best Story

It drives me crazy but some of the best stories I have are the ones I really can't write about. So this one is edited severely for a multitude of reasons which I also don't really feel comfortable writing about. Here goes, the boringest version of the most interesting story - but you'll just have to trust me on that one. I was witness to a domestic violence incident (not my family) and I may have helped save a life by yelling like a maniac at the attacker who then ceased his attack and ran off. Later I found out he had a large knife on his person so I am glad I did what I did. Jason says maybe the victim will go on to have children that will find the cure to the disease I have (IBD). So you're welcome world. Just doing what I can as a stay-at-home-mom. Sesame Street, sandwich making, and saving lives. Usually the saving lives part of my job description falls under the large grape or tortilla chip category. But I was tasked with something a little different this week. Also in the process I hit my hand very, very hard on something, not exactly sure what, but it's been swollen all week as a badge of honor/idiocy. Mobility continues to improve so I am pretty certain I didn't break it. All's well that ends well. I am extremely glad I didn't witness a murder.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wedding Part 2

The wedding is over and we've all come home again. It sort of feels like the day after Christmas. We had so much fun and got a chance to reconnect with so many relatives and friends. Best of all my sister is very happy and her husband is a wonderful addition to our family.

The day of the wedding was magical. Leading up to that day the weather had been partly cloudy. The morning of the wedding I looked outside and there was a clear blue sky with no clouds in sight. It got very warm actually, around 85*F by the end of the day but it was gorgeous for the pictures and perfect, especially since the ceremony was outside. The ceremony went very smoothly and my favorite parts were the song my brother Liam and sister Beth sang together, Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, as well as the vows which were written by Mary and Ryan and were beautiful and had everyone near tears.

The reception was amazing, great food and a wonderful band. It felt so joyful and many of my relatives were there as well as some dear friends. It made me think of what heaven must be like. Mia danced for four hours before she fell asleep in Jason's arms and we had to go up to our room and put her to sleep. A lot of my cousins came with their children so all of the new generation of kids in the family got to play and dance together, perilously close to the cake, which was entertaining to watch. After Mary and Ryan cut the cake we left to put Mia down and then got to watch the fireworks from our room. It was a wonderful night.

The next morning Mary and Ryan hosted a brunch for all of the wedding guests that had stayed the night at the hotel, so we got to say goodbye to all of our family and promise to see them all again soon. The last couple of days we spent in Portland packing up and doing laundry.

We made the journey home on the fourth, Jason got on our flight with us which was great; he avoided a 6 hour layover in the SEA-TAC airport. Flying in we are always so shocked at how small and isolated our city looks. Compared to Portland we basically live in the sticks. A friend of mine says we squat in the woods with about 100,000 other people.

So home again to play with our dog, who got bigger, and do all the home things we do. It's a lot less shopping because we have a lot less places to shop. I miss my sisters who I got to see every day while I was down there. We even got to watch Anne of Green Gables one night which is like Purcell-girl heaven for those of you who don't know this already. Mia misses her aunts and uncles and getting to play with her cousin. It feels much farther away than normal. Realizing we have to take two planes and a good deal is $800 per ticket just to get to the rest of the country... le sigh. I will go re-read the "write your name in the land" blog entry now, because believe it or not the cranberries are ripe already in some areas of town and you know what that means. Winter is just around the corner.