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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Fenchurch's LiveJournal:

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    Sunday, October 19th, 2014
    2:08 pm
    Food Storage Chili
    We're having Food Storage Chili for dinner later this evening and in looking through my old tags and memories, I realized I'd never actually posted the recipe here! rackham came up with it years and years ago when we were fairly newly married... and it gets its name from the fact that it can be made entirely with items we have in our food storage (aka shelf stable ingredients, generally in cans), but can also be done with fresh versions of the ingredients. It's a definitely favorite, though, and super easy with the side benefit of using ingredients we almost always have on hand (perfect for days when you just don't want to leave the house).

    The recipe, under the cut.Collapse )

    Current Mood: happy
    Saturday, September 27th, 2014
    10:30 pm
    Question for my Canadian friends
    Or perhaps more accurately, for my friends in British Columbia.

    So, are tie-dye shirts really rare here or something? rackham and I wore some bright tie-dyed Geocaching shirts today while running around Delta and Tsawwassen and we got TONS of comments about it from people every where we went... including someone driving by who yelled "Groovy shirts, dudes!" And, at one point, when were on a trail out near the beach, there was a wedding party getting photos taken and they all started shouting "Yay! Tie Dye!!" when they saw us.

    Everyone seemed to really like the shirts, but it just seemed like way more people were even noticing them than I've ever run across before.

    Current Mood: curious
    Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
    12:00 pm
    The saga of the water meter
    Warning: Rant ahead

    So, when we moved in a year ago, the strip of yard to the side of the driveway heading down to the woods had been allowed to go pretty wild. There's a drainage ditch through that section that doesn't get a lot of water, but gets enough to support some healthy plant growth and to make it difficult to get a lawnmower through there.

    So, we ignored it for about a year until we finally got a heavy duty weed whacker that could take on all the tall grasses through that area. In July, rackham tackled the area and hacked everything back... and it looked pretty good. He also discovered a water meter buried under all that grass. So, you can imagine our surprise when, the following week, we got a notice from our water company that access to our water meter was restricted by plant growth and we needed to clear it out.Collapse )

    Current Mood: annoyed
    Friday, September 12th, 2014
    9:01 am
    Yesterday's photo: A clean desk!
    I really should have taken a Before shot, because it was bad. Really bad. I had boxes and papers stacked everywhere, covering pretty much every free horizontal surface, with other things crammed into the bookcase next to the desk. Yesterday, I really needed a way to relieve some stress, so decided it was time to tackle the desk... turned out to be a brilliant idea!Collapse )
    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
    10:01 pm
    Today's photo: New Glasses!
    Okay, so I'm pretty much sucking at posting a photo a day. At this point, I don't know that I'll ever manage to get caught up, but I'll probably still try.

    Anyway, a few weeks ago, I had my annual eye exam and decided it was time to bite the bullet and get some glasses. I actually discussed it for a bit with my eye doctor, because it's just the one eye and, technically, I can still see well enough to drive. But I've been noticing that signs are a bit more blurry than I would like them to be when they're further out... so, we decided to go for it: a non-corrective lens for the left eye (the near-sighted eye) and some very slight correction for the right eye (the far-sighted eye).

    I should mention that these are the first pair of glasses that I've had as an adult...Collapse )
    9:26 pm
    Good Deed for the Day
    Around 6:30 this evening, we headed into Duvall to go walking on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. On the way in, at the intersection of two major country roads, I spotted a young lady who looked to be late teens/early twenties, just standing around over near the bus stop. Lots of teenagers will get off the bus there (even though it really is in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing around it) and wait to be picked up by parents, so I didn't think much of it. Until we were driving home an hour later and I glanced over to see that same young woman still standing near the bus stop.Collapse )
    Friday, August 29th, 2014
    11:28 pm
    Just hop-hop-hoppin' along
    I ended up down in Redmond Ridge again today for my walk... it's just such a convenient spot, on the way to and from so many places, plus it has some really great trails. I got a bit of a surprise though, when a fairly large frog hopped across the trail in front of me!Collapse )
    Thursday, August 28th, 2014
    9:55 pm
    A pond in the forest
    Today for my walk, I stopped off at a trail in Redmond Ridge that I'd never taken before (I'll admit it, there was a Geocache I wanted to find). It was a really pretty walk in the woods, with some marshy areas along the way (thankfully, the trail was well maintained and had boardwalks in the wettest areas). And then I came around a corner and spotted the pond.Collapse )
    7:04 pm
    27 Aug - Blood Donor
    After quite a lot hemming and hawing, we decided to do the responsible mature adult thing and skip Dragon*Con this year. We could have afforded it, but by not going, we'll have more money to spend enjoying our trip to Texas in a few months that's supposed to be our real vacation this year. That said, I am never, ever, EVER going to skip Dragon*Con again. I'm already missing it and it hasn't even started yet!

    One of the big things I always look forward to every year at D*C is donating blood... I actually plan things out so I can donate there and at Origins Game Fair, although D*C is even better because they give you a cool t-shirt! Since we weren't going, I made an appointment and hit one of the local blood drives instead.Collapse )
    6:43 pm
    26 Aug - Morning sun above the fog
    Snapped this photo Tuesday morning after the sun had started to burn off a bit of the fog in the valley.

    Even when we have fog here, it's beautiful.Collapse )
    5:49 pm
    25 Aug - Cats eating peaceably
    Even after all these years, I still can't get over having cats who can eat their food right next to each other. Our old cats, Cymry and Polly, eventually had to be fed on different floors of the house because they'd fight if they were anywhere near each other at meal times.

    We've got quite the high tech setup these days.Collapse )
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014
    9:31 pm
    It's a table *and* a cat bed
    Yay! Two days in a row!

    Today's photo is why we leave a tablecloth on the dining room table after we're done eating... and why we *always* change it before we eat there again, because we quickly realized keeping the cats off when we weren't using it was a losing battle.

    Zoë sleeping in her favorite spot, with late evening sunlight across the valley behind her.Collapse )
    Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
    9:19 pm
    Hiking to Monte Cristo
    I've decided to just start posting my daily photos again and then work on getting caught up as I have time... it's gotten long enough that the task was getting a bit daunting (and, I thought, would also be a bit overwhelming to folks on my friendslist).

    Today, we met up with several other Geocachers at the trailhead for the hike to the ghost town, Monte Cristo, up in the mountains. The others were all biking up, but I hadn't had a chance to do my physical therapy to build up my shoulders for it, so we decided to just hike it. All in all, it took us about five hours, with just over three and a half hours of active hiking (I kept track) for the eight mile roundtrip trek. The terrain went from insanely easy (at the very beginning, I was regretting not just bringing the bikes because it was so flat and well-packed) to incredibly rough in the many areas that had been washed out (it was exactly like walking up a dry rocky creekbed). To give you an idea how bad it was, we left about 20 minutes before the cyclists and ended up arriving only about ten minutes after they did... and that was with us making several stops to look for Geocaches, which they didn't. Of course, they sailed right past us in the flat stretches on the way back down.

    This post will be very picture heavy, mostly because it was so hard to choose!

    Just after the first washout was the temporary "bridge" - a fortuitous fallen tree, positioned across the river.Collapse )

    About an hour and a half of hiking later, we got to see some of the fun old signs for the town.Collapse )

    This is the sort of sign that will make you pause before proceeding!Collapse )

    And some video of Rackham having fun with a random fellow hiker, pushing the old railroad turntable.Collapse )

    Part of the old ghost town.Collapse )

    Current Mood: accomplished
    Thursday, July 31st, 2014
    4:00 pm
    Another entry in the "It's a Small World" sweepstakes
    Went to the dentist today and was chatting with Vickie, the dental hygienist. She's actually the reason we started going to this particular dentist... years ago, she and I both worked out at the same Curves location at about the same time of day and would get to chatting. We hit it off and when rackham and I were in need of a new dentist, I decided to go to the office where she worked and we've been going there ever since.

    Well, today we were talking about the fact that I don't go by my first name and I mentioned that my mom doesn't go by her first name either... and that my mom's dad *did* go by his first name, but never liked it and wished he could have a good nickname. Then she mentioned that her brother had the name Willard, at which point I was thinking: Hey, didn't I know someone named Willard? Yeah, I did, except he went by the name... at the same time Vickie was saying "But he always went by the name Skip."

    Apparently, my eyes bugged out or something, because she stopped fiddling with my teeth so I could talk. Turns out, her brother was our cats' veterinarian. We *loved* that man and were very disappointed when he retired a few years ago. I'd actually been thinking about him a couple months ago and looked him up online to see what he was doing these days (because, honestly, he wasn't the sort of guy to put the "retire" in retirement (the man was a vet who treated cats and exotic animals, was the on-call veterinarian for the University of Washington and for one of the local zoos, had a Saturday morning radio program called Ask The Vet, was in the Army Reserves until not all that long before he retired and also played in a Bluegrass band) and was shocked to find out he'd passed away in February. It was rather cool to talk to her about him and I think she liked the fact that we thought so highly of him.

    But still, it can be such a bizarrely small world sometimes.

    Current Mood: surprised
    Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
    3:35 pm
    Future picspam warning!
    Oof. So, I have 16 days of photos to catch up on... and on many of those days, I have several photos I want to share (we were in Yellowstone for a week and it would be a crime to just stop at sharing one photo a day!). We had very limited access while we were there (no cell coverage in Yellowstone and almost no coverage at the lodge where we were staying... in addition to sharing a connection that was only slightly faster than dialup with about 25 other people) and I was dealing with bronchitis, so I pretty much gave up on the idea of trying to update until we got back. And as I've discovered in the past, once you get behind, it seems like a daunting task to try to get current.

    So, anyway, be prepared for picspam over the next day or so. I'll be putting all the photos behind cuts, so I'm hoping I don't clutter everyone's friendslists too badly!
    Monday, July 14th, 2014
    6:39 pm
    13 July - The Center of the Universe
    On our roadtrip, we were on I-90 heading through Idaho and I realized that we were about to pass Wallace, ID... a town I hadn't been in since they finally finished the interstate back in the 1990s (until that point, the main road actually ran through the middle of town). I looked the town up online to see what Wikipedia had to say about it... and was surprised to see the entry about the town (and a specific intersection, in particular) being declared the Center of the Universe in 2004 (especially since I'd always heard that Fremont, over in Seattle, was the Center of the Universe). So, we decided to swing into town and take a look!

    The official Center of the Universe manhole cover!Collapse )
    Saturday, July 12th, 2014
    10:09 pm
    12 July - Super Moon!
    After not setting foot outside the house yesterday, I actually managed to get out to run a few errands today... although they mostly consisted of rackham driving me to pick up prescriptions to treat my bronchitis. Still, it felt good to be out and about. It was also pretty amazing how much better I felt after just one dose of albuterol. I mean, I was still coughing, but for the first time in days I felt like I was finally getting enough oxygen. Yay!

    Anyway, this evening we got to watch the Super Moon coming up over the hills on the other side of the valley and it was pretty spectacular. There are a lot of fires in the state right now, which has led to some pretty crappy air quality (likely a contributing factor to the bronchitis), but it makes for some beautiful sunrises, sunsets and moonrises. I grabbed my camera and got a few shots just with the regular lens, and they didn't look bad... but then rackham was able to track down the telephoto lens and the tripod and I got some incredible shots (I really wish I'd been able to use that lens during the moonrise, too).

    Super Moon from my front deck.Collapse )

    Current Mood: sick
    10:02 pm
    11 July - Sick Day
    Ugh. Not a good day. Spent most of it trying alternately to cough out my lungs and just get a little more oxygen into them. Bleh.

    The view from my bed.Collapse )
    3:16 pm
    10 July - New Deer Family
    I spent a good chunk of Thursday in bed, attempting to cough out my lungs... however, in the evening I managed to catch sight of these guys as they were trotting up the road in front of our house. And, even better, I got a fairly decent photo through the living room window!

    Mom and two babies.Collapse )
    Friday, July 11th, 2014
    9:31 pm
    9 July - Sunset Shadows
    On Wednesday evening, we went for a hike up some old logging roads across the valley. It was *really* rugged going (it took us about an hour to do two miles round trip), because large sections of the road were completely washed out and it was a bit more like hiking up a riverbed chasm. But wow... the views were worth it! As were the Geocaches. :-)

    On the way back, the sun was going down and I had to snap a shot of our shadows.Collapse )

    And, as a bonus, here's a shot I took back down along the powerline right of way on our way back from one of the caches.Collapse )

    In retrospect, this hike was probably a bad idea... I was already developing a bit of a cough and the next day it blossomed into what feels exactly like bronchitis. Bleh.
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