Tag Archives: pets

A Much Needed Long Weekend

 I kicked off my long weekend by going to the State Dance Team Competition with my bestie and his mom, cheering on our friend’s team. It really took me back to my high school days…dance team is serious business. We had a great time. 

The next morning, hubby and I left for a few days at the family beach house. All trips to the beach house start with a trip to the farm stand for The Best Pie Ever in the World. It was GORGEOUS when we got there so we took our little man on a run along the sand. With his leash because we are paranoid about other dogs and also because Ramsay loves to find every bird that has ever died ever and roll on it. Saturday night we went to our favorite restaurant, Waterfront Depot, for drinks and dinner. Husband had this awesome arroz con mariscos (rice and seafood), in a dill tomato broth. I wanted to drink the broth. We are going to try and recreate this for sure. He makes a mean cioppino and this is is basically the same idea in a different take. I had tempura crusted shrimp with a side salad. The tempura batter was so light and not greasy at all, and whatever they seasoned it with was delish.   Then we went to the toy store and found tiny hands.   Bumbleberry pie was had. Don’t worry, we finished the whole pie between the two of us over the weekend. Ramsay miss having carpet. He spent the majority of the weekend rolling around like a weirdo. And chasing his toys down the hallway. And chasing a bunny in the backyard.   We went book thrifting and found some real old gems. This was a middle school health curriculum from the 1930s.  The next day it was stormy. We were ok with it.    On our way home we drove to our favorite breakfast spot, Otis Cafe. It seats about 40 people and they make a MEAN breakfast. I had my new staple, two eggs fried over medium with German potatoes and toast on homemade bread.    Hubby had biscuits and gravy. I barely got a taste.  After all that, plus a banana scone and some ice cream cake at the office, a run was in order when I got home today. The hubby and I suited up and did a quick 2.5 miles. It was not fun after a few days off, but I needed to put a few miles in so that my seven-mile training run bright and early Saturday morning doesn’t feel like death. Then, since it was in the 70s, we NEEDED to BBQ. 

I made some sweet potato fries, aka chopped up a sweet potato and seasoned it with garlic pepper and Greek seasoning and popped it in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. 

We had those with a Mediterranean salad and some bacon cheeseburgers we grabbed from New Seasons, the local organic grocery store. I have friend crushes on most of the cashiers there. I had a nice chat with the guy who rang me up today.

We had a little incident with the buns, so we are our burgers on toasted sourdough. It was still delicious. 

Your turn: Is it spring yet where you are? 

Do you like burgers, hot dogs, brats? (I’m a fan of all of the above) 

Are you reading anything good I should add to my list?

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The Valen-Times

It’s a gorgeous weekend here in Oregon!

My Valentine’s weekend started out a little womp womp, with a citation for riding the train to work without a ticket. It’s completely my fault, of course, for trying to outsmart their electronic ticket system. But still, not a great thing to have happen first thing on Friday morning.

The rest of the day, however, was great. A group of us walked from the office to Verde Cocina for lunch, where I forgot to take a picture of my huevos rancheros because they were so devious looking that I immediately started wolfing them down. Verde Cocina serves Mexican food with an emphasis on farm fresh veggies. Nothing is deep fried, and there’s a lot of non-traditional ingredients used, like squash, bok choy, and quinoa. I first tried it a few years ago at Portland Farmers Market so I’m thrilled that they opened up a cafe not far from my office. Also I can’t wait to try their margaritas because I bet they are phenomenally fresh.

Friday night was the start of a much needed restful weekend. We didn’t have much in the fridge or pantry for dinner, so we ran to Whole Foods and picked up some “gourmet organic” frozen items: tater tots and samosas. I had a bag of “lite ultimate Caesar” salad in the fridge, and some asparagus. I mixed up the salad, drizzled the asparagus with EVOO and salt and garlic pepper, and roasted it at 425 until it started to brown, while our gourmet frozens were cooking up. I also found this deliciously odd beer which I sipped while I waited for dinner.



This dinner really hit the spot. Every once in a while, we really like some frozen meal supplements. They are quick and easy, and always feel like a treat. We enjoyed our plates while we we cuddled up on the couch under blankets. Our house has been super drafty lately.

When it breaks 60 degrees in February in Oregon, you don’t question it, you just get your rear outside, so hubby and I decided that a hike with the pup sounded like the perfect Valentine’s Day activity. We headed out to the Tillamook Forest to the Wilson River Wagon Trail to get in a few morning miles (since I was being bad and skipping running group).







The trail was beautiful! We hiked four miles or so out and back, passing waterfalls, glades, and winding in and out of some gorgeous forestland. There wasn’t another soul on the trail. The only downside is that this trail, while being closed to motorized vehicles, is surrounded by ATV trails, so that noise started to get old after a while. Also the rural gun range shots started to get a little tiresome, but neither of these things put a damper on the beauty of our surroundings. Ramsay had a blast. He loves to be a wilderness hipster dog.

On our way home, we were hungry and it was lunch time. So we pulled over at Coleman’s Shady Rest, a roadside diner. I love all the roadside stops in the Tillamook Forest, on the way to the coast. I used to beg my parents for day trips to the beach so we could stop at my favorite diner for pancakes and hot chocolate on the way. Coleman’s wasn’t serving breakfast anymore, but they still had huevos rancheros on the lunch menu (I’m on a huevos kick lately). YUM. I think a more accurate description of this would have been “eggs and chili verde,” but I didn’t care because it was so darn good.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing.

For dinner, we stayed in, cooked up one of our favorite meals, chicken teriyaki, and watched Dateline, because my husband is the best and agreed to watch disturbing crime shows instead of a romantic movie or something. I also broke in my Moscow mule mugs.

Today, we worked on finishing touches with the paint in our room, took the dog for a walk, and enjoyed opening up the windows and airing out the house. I’m not ready for Monday!

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Hot Mess o’Life

I got my Erin Condren life planner and wrote out a whole two week editorial calendar and had all manner of high hopes and aspirations for these last few weeks. And then work got busy and our house got messy and our cat got sick and we had to put her to sleep and I became an emotional hot mess. So, in a nutshell:

I love my Erin Condren planner, though I’m still working on using it to its full potential. I managed to jam it into my purse so I pull it out whenever I have a moment to organize my life through the day.

I joining the Runner Chick training group based out of my local Roadrunner Sports store (with friends, obviously, because I am codependent when it comes to exercise). It’s been fun to get with a big group of people and run on Saturday mornings and I’m looking forward to continuing with the half-marathon group and HOPEFULLY register for the local Rock & Roll, because the medals are legit and pay tribute to the famed Portland Airport carpet (RIP #pdxcarpet). Plus running with pacers and trying to keep up with friends is very helpful for my split times. Stay tuned for more…I have to pay money for this group to ensure I stay dedicated.

Work has been crazy busy (end of our fiscal year, what what to my fellow accounting types!) but we make time weekly to order crazy noodles from the Vietnamese place down the street and my tummy loves it. Picture pad thai without the fish sauce plus the bok choy and some bigger noodles stir fried to ultimate deliciousness. Seriously I think I’ve had these once a week since I started my new job. Worth the splurge. Plus the bok choy makes it feel slightly healthier than it is.

Our baby girl, who’s been with my husband for something like 13-14 years, recently was diagnosed with Feline Cushing’s Disease (on top of diabetes, arthritis, and a benign tumor in one eye) and we made the excruciating decision that it was time to put her down last week. She wasn’t getting better with her medication, and her quality of life had decreased, but it was definitely the most difficult decision we’ve had to make as a family. I was in tears at my desk all day Friday, especially when I got this text message:

All the tears in the world every time I look at this.

Now we are loving on our furry baby boy who clearly misses his sissy and keeps running to her room looking for her. Time heals all wounds but this one is deep for us. We definitely lost a member of our family and it was a tough weekend for us. Aka I skipped my run (which, in hindsight, was a terrible decision) and we drank beer and ordered Chinese food and barely left our house.

These looks.

Now, it’s a fresh week, we have a clean house, and we are well rested after being forced to sleep on our couch for a week while we painted our bedroom. Clawing my way back onto track for 2015…still feeling the promise and still happy with all we’ve accomplished so far!

Now, your turn:
-How do you cope with the loss of a pet? How do you help your pets cope with the loss of a pet sibling?
-Are you in a running group?
-What do you think about the #pdxcarpet hysteria? (See examples here: http://pdxcarpet.com) As a lifelong Oregonian, this carpet has always signified coming home, and I have ALWAYS loved it, but I think the new pattern pays tribute in a fresh way that is not infested with 30 years of bacteria.

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PDX Snowpocalypse 2014

This time last weekend, we were legitimately snowed into our home. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the metropolitan areas in the Pacific Northwest, this is a rare RARE occurrence. Every time we even get a dusting of snow, all of a sudden it’s 24 hour news coverage and cars sliding all over the road. It started snowing on Thursday morning, and quickly escalated to blizzard like conditions. So I packed up my work and hightailed it home knowing that if I waited much longer I would be caught up in a traffic jam of nervous Oregonians trying to navigate chain-less and snow tire-less cars down the roads. Even though I left early, my commute time was tripled. By the time hubby was able to leave work, he was looking at three hours to get home, usually a simple 15-20 minute drive. I waited to crack open the wine until he got home, just in case I had to bundle up and go pull him out of a snowbank somewhere.

Friday morning, it was beautiful outside. We had probably 4 inches of snow at that point. I insisted that we walk to the store for a few essential edibles, because it was supposed to start snowing again. I say walk, because we had enough snow that no one in their right mind without 4-wheel drive was on the roads. We basically backpacked to get some frozen goods at Safeway.

Mountain Man

We literally filled a backpack with groceries. And we weren’t the only ones who felt the need to stock up. The store was PACKED with fellow backpackers and lucky saps who own SUVs. I wanted to scream by the time we fought our way through the aisles. So we stopped at our local divey watering hole for a few pints before we headed for home.

Snow Beer

This was a FANTASTIC choice on our part, because it made the walk home (half a mile up a considerable hill) much more pleasant. Plus this was our view:

Snowy Pond

The next day, we were FINALLY able to get Ramsay outside to explore the snow. We always lovingly refer to him as our California Boy, because the organization we adopted him from is a second-chance shelter that drives down to animal shelters in the LA area that have a high rate of euthanasia from overpopulation, and haul as many dogs as possible back up to Oregon for adoption. I HATE to think that my adorable quirky pup was on doggie death-row, but I digress. Ramsay is from Riverside, CA. And when we first got him, he refused to set foot outside in the rain. He HATED any sort of precipitation. When we got some flurries last year, and I tried to take him out for his morning walk, he gave me a look like “What, are you crazy?” and refused to move from the covered front porch. Needless to say, he didn’t take to Snowpocalpyse 2014 right away. But finally, he decided he NEEDED to play and sucked it up and started chasing snowballs. Then we took him to the school across from our house to play.

image (4)-001 Wild Explorer


Yes, I did make him wear his reflective jacket. Shut up, he loves it. It was so fun to go run around with him, and I’m pretty sure he had the time of his life jumping through snow that was probably 8-10″ deep at that point. Also he seemed to enjoy shoving his face in the snow, as evidenced from the photo above.

Though we were pretty cooped up for a few days, we had a great time having a family campout in the living room, watching the Olympics and sleeping in our sleeping bags. And eating like crap, mostly. For some reason, cabin fever leads to over-snacking. But I DID create a tasty fiesta shrimp bowl that I will blog this week. It came about when we started playing Chopped out of necessity with our freezer and cupboards.

There’s just something about a good snow. It was a great surprise long weekend!

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RIP Ziggy

Yesterday was a rough Friday, as I had to take the afternoon off to take my mom to the vet, where we had to put down Ziggy, the cat I picked out while I was in high school who has grumped around my parents’ house ever since. Ziggy was some sort of a Maine Coon mix (aka he looked like he stuck a paw in an electrical socket), and was nice to people only when he felt like it. When I was still living with my parents, he liked to barge into the bathroom and climb up on my shoulders while I tried to pee (very uncomfortable), he liked to stick his tongue in my ear, and he LOVED when my dad wrestled him and shoved him around the floor like a mop (my dad is a real animal lover, can you tell?). He also loved to shove his puffy body into baskets and boxes of all sizes:

Basket Case


We no longer allow my mom to drive herself to these hard vet visits (I believe the tech yesterday referred to it as “a quality of life conversation”), so I took the afternoon off, picked up my aunt, and all three of us (plus Ziggy backseat in one of his favorite baskets) drove off to the vet, where they confirmed that he was indeed in pain, and unless we wanted an expensive surgery that may or may not work, it was probably best to put him down. My mom and I stayed with him until the sedative kicked in, scratching his ears until he was no longer coherent, then let the vet do her thing. It was the first time I’d ever gone to the vet under these circumstances, and trust me when I say that being on multiple antidepressants really helps. When we loaded up the box we will bury in the backyard, I treated everyone to fro-yo and a drive past my new house (we’re in escrow, and that’s a happier post for later), then we stumbled across a vintage sale at a country grange, so it ended up being kind of a nice girl’s afternoon, given the circumstances. Then we got home, unloaded the box, and let the wine flow.

Ziggy was a misunderstood fuzzball, and even though he got progressively grumpy (especially in the throes of renal blockage and failure), I loved forcing snuggles on him. I’ll miss him. My parents are now a one-cat household, so hopefully the remaining kitty, Chester, learns to be a little less annoying.

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Sick Day Catch-Up

In my opinion, sometimes waking up feeling crappy is God’s way of saying “Hey, slow down and take a day to recoup.” Today is one of those days for me. I’ve been feeling the beginnings of sinus trouble for a few days (happens every year as the weather changes day after day), left work early yesterday with my face feeling swollen like a balloon, then woke up this morning with the worst pounding headache, like someone driving a screwdriver into my brain. So I called in and took a sick day, something I rarely do. I think I ended the year with at least five unused sick days in 2012. When I do take the day off, unless I’m dying, I try to be somewhat productive. Today I am looking forward to some blogging, some Pinterest time, some laundry and cleaning, and cooking dinner. And snuggling with the nice warm dog who is currently laying in bed with me.

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything on here, per usual. Work has been busy. Personal life has been busy. The hubby and I have been exhausted in our limited downtime.

We’ve been getting our finances organized for a potential house purchase in the near future, and then trying to clean and organize our current living space to make moving out easier. Sidenote: if you live in the Portland-metro area and are considering purchasing a home for the first time, I highly recommend the Portland Housing Center (http://portlandhousingcenter.org/). PHC is a non-profit that specializes in helping first time home buyers by educating them on finances and the purchasing process, and partnering with trusted real estate agents and home inspectors to make the process go as smoothly as possible. We spent all day on Saturday at a Homebuying 101 class, learning all about how to prepare for the mortgage pre-approval process, searching for our dream home, and evaluating home inspections and needed repairs. It was super helpful in preparing us for this next step in our family journey.

In other news, I finally got my rear end to the gym yesterday. I’ve not yet gotten into a routine since having to quit CrossFit, despite talking about how much I need to get back in shape. Yesterday, my work besties and I had a lunchtime date with the treadmills at LA Fitness. We did 20-25 minutes of cardio, which involved me running for two five-minute stretches, more running than I’ve done in MONTHS. Then we did a little mini-WOD, 9-7-5 of deadlifts and some weighted straight-arm pulses. I could barely move today, it hurts so good. Tomorrow, I requested a good ab workout, because Lord knows, after the holidays I could use one.

Finally, here’s an adorable picture of my dog looking smart:


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This is Ramsay, who joined our family last week! He’s a 10 month old field spaniel-something mix, and he’s probably the calmest dog I’ve ever met in my life. He was rescued from a shelter in Riverside, CA, and we don’t know much about his history, but from what we’ve observed, he was housebroken at some point, and crate trained too.

He’s definitely still adjusting to life outside the shelter. He’s slowly starting to eat, and develop his bathroom routine, but for now he’s content to sleep allllllllllllll night, most of the day, and occasionally be dragged on walks. I feel like such a mama, because I am so excited each time he makes a small bit of progress…like tonight, he started eating without being prompted/having food shoved at him, and I about cried I was so happy. Probably because I’m a worrywart.

Sidenote – right now, he is playing with some rawhide bacon. I’m so proud.


He LOVED his bath the other day – he was a good sport after the first couple of minutes. After we managed to get him mostly dry and brushed, he was really energetic and ran up and down the stairs, itching his nose on the carpet, and then decided that maybe fetch would be really fun with the squeaky toys at 11:30 PM. That’s actually the most energetic we’ve seen him.


We think he’s pretty happy with us, judging by this picture. It will still take a while for him to get adjusted, and I won’t stop worrying until he does, but he’s a great member of our little family.

Plus I’ve wanted a dog LITERALLY my entire life, so now I feel like a part of me that’s been missing for 23 years has been found. When I was a kid, I begged and begged my parents for a dog, and when they told me no, I wrote a letter to the Humane Society about how my parents were so mean, and I was really responsible and deserved a dog. They responded with a nice letter and a packet of information about how much goes into taking care of a dog. Then, I proceeded to drag around a scrub brush on a leash for a few weeks (its’ name was Abby), hoping that someone would tell my parents “just get her a dog already, that’s so sad!”

And now, here he is. Currently sitting on the floor chewing on a dental bone.

I’m very happy 🙂

In other news, today’s WOD was an ass-kicker. Started off with a 400 m weighted run (40 lbs), then a 15 minute AMRAP with 30 DUs and 10 pull-ups, followed by another weighted 400 m. I was a crab after it was all said and done. But I did do an entire workout with banded pull-ups this time, which is an accomplishment. Though they weren’t pretty. I managed to squeeze in 4 rounds and my 5th set of double unders.

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