Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blog of note: Quads

Well I just read this and found it pretty funny. I am by no means an athlete of this caliber but I do not fit into jeans. It depends on how active I am but as soon as I start to pedal my bike a bunch, wham, I have to put on a belt and my pants are tight around my quads. Another bit of knowledge and a catchy phrase that is always good to keep in the backof the minds of all those active people... "you gotta eat to compete!"

The Stiles are coming! The Stiles are coming!

And they are here!
What a treat. I came home yesterday to a house full of family! Bill and Betsy arrived safe and sound. I have been looking forward to their visit for some time now. They are both healthy and happy and in great spirits. Betsy looks wonderful and has the spunk to match it. She brought with her all kinds of fun gadgets. Last night we did Qi Gong together followed by a neck decompression (??). Qi Gong was new to me and I loved it and plan on doing it again tonight. Tonight we are headed to Dirty Dan's for dinner, then probably a stroll through Fairhaven. Tomorrow Betsy and I have massage appointments at a spa! What a treat! It is great to share our house with them, and have them stay for a couple of days. They are go-getters so I am trying to think of as many fun things as possible.

Breakfast of champions (lunch and dinner)


More screaming....

And more screaming....

There’s no question in the Olympics that Michael Phelps is the big story. Yet perhaps equally amazing along with what is being called the greatest race ever is the daily caloric intake Phelps revealed to NBC. In a recent interview, Phelps listed his average daily meals:Breakfast:3 fried-egg sandwiches topped with cheese and mayonnaise 1 five-egg omelet 1 bowl of grits3 slices of french toast 3 chocolate-chip pancakes Lunch:1 pound of pasta2 large ham-and-cheese sandwiches covered with mayo 1,000 calories worth of energy drinksDinner:Another pound of pasta 1 whole pizzaAnother 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks So, in the course of an average day, Michael Phelps consumes over 12,000 calories. (The average male should be eating around 2,000 calories a day.)

The Onion leaves us with thier great humor...

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Here are a few pictures I thought to share. This was our trip to Vancouver to catch up with Larry and Mary. This was our excursion around Stanley Park.

Rain, coffee and booze... Welcome to the PNW

August..... Really?
The first couple of days when the came in the middle of August, I was relieved. My plants would get the good soaking that they needed. they grass wouldn't look like a tinder box. Now though, as I look into the forecast for next week and it is chocked full of more rain, I must ask why? Seattle broke the daily record yesterday for rain on August 20th, with 0.70" and crushing the old record of 0.11". Some spots in the mountains had several inches.
August.... Really?
I am just not ready to take it to the gym yet.
I am once again reminded why coffee is so popular in the Northwest and why there are so many breweries around. I have been trying to cut back on these two substances. Ha! Good luck with weather like this. The first thing I did when I got to work was pour a wonderful cup of coffee in which I accompanied by a frosted brownie. Chili for dinner...
Rain..... Rain..... go away......
Welcome to the PNW!
Sure, it is going to be beautiful and green when the sun comes out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tropic Thunder

For all you curious minds out there....
We went an watched 'Tropic Thunder.' As one would imagine, it was over the top. It had some great laughs and for the not so faint at heart, I would recommend it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Washington Primary

Attention all you Washingtonians' today is the primary election for governor and all other statewide offices. You can have your voice 'heard' by dropping your vote-by-mail ballot in the mail today. Hey, it is the small things!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Here we are, a fresh new week has begun.

Life in Bellingham has been pretty casual lately for me. I never made it to Squamish this past weekend, I opted for a casual weekend around the house. I found plenty to keep me occupied. Next weekend I hope to get out and make up for some lost time over the past month.
On Friday I went to a wedding of a long time family friend. It was fun seeing old friends and making some new ones. Weddings.... glad mine is taken care of!
Saturday we ventured out to the Deming Log Show Grounds and went to a RV show. This isn't what you probably are thinking. It ended up being very cool. These were trailers that have been restored from the yesteryear. People have put a lot of time and energy into these and it showed. Everyone has their passions! The day was rounded out by some lake swimming and lounging and a tad bit of house work. Movie, of course, "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith. I recommend this movie.
Sunday we were committed to house work, getting the house pressure washed, ripping the chimney off and getting the lawn mowed. It is looking better every day.
So, Toby, our family dog of COUNTLESS years was put to sleep yesterday. He was a bigger dog, part German Sheppard, part Husky (?). Well, he was ready to go to the dogie heaven.
I will leave you with what John told me when I told him:
"He had a good long run at it. He probably holds some sort of canine record for rib bones consumed." I guess one would have to know Toby. He would pass up a steak for a piece of garlic bread, swallow rib bones that Dad would give him, and dig through buckets of crab shells and crunch them down. Oh when he was in his prime we could never have a conversation with Neal without Toby talking (howling) the entire time. Love ya Toby....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Squamish or bust...

"Endless moss wrapped boulders all seem to contain at least one cleaned side with dozens of possible problems etched out in chalk everywhere you look..."

Yeap....That is right. Just watching the clock, counting down until lift off. We are headed to Squamish for the weekend to retreat from the sun in the cool forest and boulder my heart out.
I can't wait!!!!


Dean Potter has once again pushed the limits of climbing. He is the perfect example of what happens when inspiration meets passion and motivation. Just when we think that climbing has reached a new height, a new extreme, I am reminded that the human curiosity and passion to experience what is capable is limitless. More power to these people like Dean Potter, Olympic athletes, my husband, my neighbor Dan, and me. Life is about the ability to express a passion in any form that may please oneself. Explore these passions, dream BIG, be these big dreams.

On August 6, 2008, Dean Potter completed the first "FreeBASE" ascent of Deep Blue Sea (5.12+) on the north face of the Eiger (13,025'), Switzerland. He scaled the slightly overhanging limestone route solo, sans rope but with a five-pound BASE parachute for protection against the consequences of a fall.

"During this FreeBASE, I was able to relax and fully groove during the climb. Additionally, it has opened my emotions and mind to the limitless possibilities. FreeBASE climbing Deep Blue Sea has stirred my way of thinking more than anything in the past," Potter said.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Banana Bread

I made this recipe last night. It is a hit! I have gotten rave reviews here at work. I Had a slice for breakfast and have decided that this is the best recipe I have found. I used four super ripe bananas.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

The secret is out.... Run shut the gate...

"National Geographic: Bellingham one of the best places to live and play"

The Northwest has been popping up the news the couple of decades for being a desirable place to live if you are an outdoor enthusiast and a fan of small towns. The magazine, " National Geographic Adventure " just added Bellingham, Seattle, and Leavenworth to the list of the 50 most desirable places to live in their August 11 edition. I take this with a grain of salt, being a native Bellinghamster. The city is "the city of subdued excitement." The name says it all. Bellingham is going to grow, we can't shut the doors, but I feel that Bellingham will never support a bustling city. Right under this article in the Bellingham Herald was yet another headline about the highest unemployment rate in the last three years. The housing market here is for the birds, but of course this place is desirable in the summer. If anyone visited here in the past few weeks, they would be contacting one of the millions of relaters in the county, packing the U-Haul and on their way, but wait until February and ask how they feel then... once the lack of vitamin D sets in and it is dark for all but three hours of the day. Don't come rush to Bellingham without a pocket full of cash, and oh yeah, don't expect the doors to shut behind you either.

Eat it up...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A while back John and I watched a movie and discovered this song. John has since played it and have fallen in love with it. It is moving so I wanted to share!

'Riegn Over Me' by Pearl Jam


Monday, August 11, 2008

Two new favorites...

I have discovered two of my new favorite spots here in Whatcom County.

On Friday, like most Fridays, John and I get together with the Bryan and Jess and find some dinner and drinks to occupy our evening. This week we opted for the "classy" Grand Ave. Ale House in all of its' glory. The place has really cleaned up in the past few years; that is right, no more dollar bills on the ceiling, sticky floors, and dank atmosphere. We also lost what the former Grand was known for, really stiff cheap drinks, pool tables that my 'partner in crime' could finagle free games out of and my favorite part.....Foosball! Now, I am not scared to eat out of their kitchen, the atmosphere is not so scary, and the drinks don't make me quite so hung over the next day. The best part is the tab at the end of the night... I just don't feel so guilty.

Saturday was just as good, well even better. I woke up, rolled out of bed and fixed fresh blueberry pancakes. Oh, that was incredible. We piled into the car that morning and drove east on 542, taking us to "The Pump House." This little crag is nestled in the woods right off the highway past Glacier. The beauty of this place is that one can climb there in the pouring rain. Here we were Saturday morning, it was dumping rain and we were getting our fix. It was great! The temps were comfortable enough to be in t-shirts. I don't think that my vocabulary is rich enough to give this place justice. To give you an idea of the splendor this place has to offer... we were tuck up in the forest, surrounded by trees on all side, a large rock face dominated our presence, the mist across the forest and in the reaches of the valley created a sense of calmness. I love The Pump House, oh and did I mention the climbing is beefy, and I rediscovered my love of sport climbing.

Sunday was a treat as well, John got up and made another batch of blueberry pancakes (bless his heart), I completely avoided the work that is starting to pile up and hit Clayton beach with Natasha. She was so excited to be able to roll in all the dead crab she could find and then, while my back was turned try to devour them as well. The sun came out later in the afternoon, making the beach the perfect place to be. After I got a good pump on and satisfied my itch, I put on my running shoes and did a mini tour of the Chuckanuts. This turned out to be a bit longer than I had anticipated, but I was overcome by the beauty of the forest and followed my nose. It was a pleasure! Yeah I love this as well.

We also took in a couple movies over the weekend that I want to recommend. "Trailer Park Boys" is a great laugh. CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE!!!

"The Kite Runner" was a splendid story. Tear jerker...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Martin's health

Recently a coworker was diagnosed with liver cancer. His surgery is today. He and his wife set up a blog to provide updates on his status. Leave a note if you feel compelled, he is a wonderful person.
Martin Blackman
"106 mpg 'air car' creates buzz, questions"

Is this true? Well, the implications are endless... What is most intriguing to me is that this story made headlines and we know that the technology is there.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer time and the living is easy...

It looks as if summer has finally made its presence be known here in the lovely Pacific Northwest. And how sweet it is. My days seem to revolve around trying to take in as much of it as I can.

Our yard is looking splendid these days, bursting with color and teaming with life. The tomatoes took off, the squash are flowering, and the green beans are starting to wander up their support. We cooked up some chard, collards, and kale for dinner the other night. I harvested a grocery bag of basil last night from Dad's garden. It is no secret that he has a green thumb.

I have been getting my running legs back under me, it feels good. I took a well need break, now I am refreshed, renewed, motivated and eager to run trail. I am going to ease back into it, taking each day at a time, not letting it take up to much time. I might try and take on a challenge in a couple weeks and try to run a big loop in the mountains or something of the sort. I forgot how much I really enjoy running, there are times when I can find my rhythm in running.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Weekend, comes and weekend goes.
Being denied entry into Squamish for the weekend, we made due with the local climbing scene. Like most things it life, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We decided to check out a newer climbing area in Skagit Valley, outside of Sedro Wolly called "Equinox." A gem is how I would describe it. A little slice of sport climbing heaven.
Friday morning I treated myself to a day off. I slept in, which was much needed. Then took Natasha for a little outing to "Big Rock Park," and then proceeded to spend way too much money at Costco. John came home at lunchtime and we drove an hour south to the trail head for the crag, hiked in for about 30 minutes, and proceeded to climb a handful of routes. I have not been that pumped in ages. I must say that I loved it! The rock is of great quality and the routes are great. The area is fairly new, which is a beautiful thing. This is a rarity in the climbing community these days. There is still moss all over the base of the crag and not a spot of litter, butts, tape, or DOG POOP! We need to keep this place our little secret, leave your out of control pets at home, pack everything out, and be respectful of the area in general. Let this stay the coolest sport crag in Washington.
On Saturday we met up with Larry and Mary Simpson, John's aunt and uncle from Birmingham. They are on a vacation on which they tour Vancouver, BC and the surroundings and then take a train to Bamff, where they spend a bit more time. We joined them for a tour of Stanley Park and then for a 5 star dinner in their hotel ( Sutton Hotel). Swanky!! WOW it was really nice! It was even better to be able to spend time with them. They are a great couple that are ready for anything and just want to have a good time. We had a great time!
On Sunday we rose early to head back down to Equinox. We were just so jazzed about the place we passed up Index to be able to do a bit more sport climbing. John rolled his ankle on the hike in. He tore it in a big sort of way. I think that it is going to put him out of commission for longer than he would like. Think good thoughts for his speedy recovery. By the time we got to the crag, we found that our little gem was a bit more popular than we had imagined. There ended up being a handful of others with the same intentions. It is just too good not to be shared.