Monday, August 24, 2015

Cats Cats Cats

Laura and I attended the International Internet Cat Video Festival.  And, I just realized, it’s a tour! Yes. Could be coming to your town soon.

It was at the ball field in St. Paul. CHS Stadium. (The pictures on the website aren’t from this year because there weren’t seats down on the outfield—it was blankets). We got there early and took a little walking tour of St. Paul while we were waiting. We (and by we I mean Laura) paid the exorbitant Seattle priced parking but in the end so very worth it for ease of entering and exiting. The doors didn’t open until 6:30 so we ended up sitting by the gates people watching. There were some interesting people. Not as many crazy cat people as we thought there might be. But interesting none the less.

We got in, snagged some super seats, and got something to eat.

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OMG—a mac and cheese hot dog. And may I say, everything I’d hope it would be.

Laura sent in pictures of her cats and we saw them—on the big screen.

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When we saw them we cheered and clapped which got the attention of those around us even though we thought we were being fairly subdued…by our standards. Which is possibly one of the reasons we get shusshed on a regular basis.

See all the peeps getting set up in the field? They said it was the biggest crowd ever in that stadium—over 13,000 cat lovers all in one place.

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Garfield was there, along with a big giant scary cat that I didn’t get a picture of.

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Laura and I were there, of course, with the masses behind us. This picture was taken on our quest to find ice cream.

IMG_1395Of course we did this--  

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And we enjoyed the videos.

Final opinion-2 thumbs up but once was likely enough. It was pretty crowded and they weren’t really set up for that big of a crowd.  And as we all know—not a big fan of the crowd. One must, however, experience it at least once. And who better to do that? Laura and me.

Not many vendors either—we sorta thought we might get a unique cat toy or something….

All this cat talk made me get a kitten. We’ve been down a cat for a while and we decided that we needed a kitten. The final push was that 1) my friend Angie had a cat that had kittens so she had some kittens available and 2) Abby got sick and needed a kitten.

Yep—Abby got sick a week ago Thursday. Well, she’d been getting sick and I thought—that dog is sick, she’s bloated and swollen up and she probably ate some more of my clothing. So—we did a quick inventory and had all our socks so didn’t think it could be that. Once at the vet it was determined she needed a splenectomy and off to surgery she went. Yeah. She had a gargantuan sized spleen that had to come out.

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Abby after surgery thinking “the hell????….”

She’s much better now and running and playing but still a little slow on the walks.

So we got the kitten to make her feel better. Only she’s not a big fan. This kitten has actually caused Abby to bark twice. And she never barks.

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This is our new kitten and her name is Biscuit, but I call her Little Puss.

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She sort of took over the dog bed which may be one of the reasons Abby is feeling a little salty.

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We love her but Abby? Not a big fan.

We also love the black and white.

Lastly, somewhere in there we volunteered for the Ragnar Relay  at the swag tent, starting line.

It was soooo hot. Heat index Saturday (day 2) 100 degrees. That’s just wrong.

DSC01119  Sunrise over the start

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We volunteered for some of our old team mates and here’s Tina starting--

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She looks pretty happy to be running even though it’s really hot and humid. Really. Humid.

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It was pretty though. I volunteered with Ali and Tiff, and we were just happy as heck that we weren’t running.

I did run last weekend with Cathy. We teamed up and ran a half marathon as a relay team.

I started--

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I ran with the 2 hour pacer guy until the exchange--

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Then Cathy passed the two hour guy at the end and we finished under two—which was totally fabulous

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I’d totally do that again. The day was super nice weather and it was a great run and great time.

Yay. For. Us.

So-next up the boys will be here over Labor Day, and Ilan is getting married the following week. Among other things…

Lastly, Laura’s birthday was yesterday, the 23rd of August. I had a card AND a little something which I didn’t get to her because that’s how I roll.

Happy Happy birthday to my good friend and all around great person—Laura Mix!

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We all love kittens….

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Monday, August 10, 2015

And Another Thing…

Cause there were a few other things that happened besides Seattle and Ragnar and graduations and traffic.

Really.

Like, I got a new car-

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But not this one.

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This one. My sister has a Passat Wagon which is a bit longer. I really liked it and saw this Jetta for sale.(They don’t make Passat wagons anymore-or so they said)  I have gotten to be a fan of the hatchback but not a big fan of an SUV or crossover. I did look at an Outback and Forester but too much money for the car. So—I looked at this one on July 3rd, Friday, and returned the following Monday. Traded in the Toyota and now we are straight up German Engineering.

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I do love my new (used) car.

When I flew back from Seattle I upgraded to first class which allowed me to drink in the bar before boarding. I don’t know how the two are related but they are.

I saw these lined up and had to do a double take AND take a picture

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See me in the mirror snapping my photo with my giant purse next to me? I just noticed that. Haha, also amusing.

Puck, by the way. Might want to adjust the lighting just a titch. Or maybe that’s how they get people in the bar.

Alaska broke my bag just to remind me that, really, one shouldn’t get too comfortable flying, even in 1st class.

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Ouch. Ripped it right open. And that’s not a zipper rip. That’s a 100 percent full on torque rip of the fabric. They promised me “substantial miles” as a payback but then decided not so much. I had to call. Then they said they’d give me 125 bucks. Oh ok. I wanted miles. But I really wanted my bag in one piece. RIP (get it?) bag.

I don’t have my money yet either. Gosh Alaska, don’t make me regret my love for you.

Lois and I did the Downton Abby Tea the day before I left. And I have to say, it was spectacular.

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This was for Marcia’s mom--

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Grampa Ainslie’s sister’s good silver.

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We outdid ourselves.

We finally painted the downstairs bedrooms—and the upstairs too.

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Boring neutrals but looks so much better.

Upstairs-not quite done yet. Dave ran out of steam and says he needs help moving furniture. What?

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Abby loves it.

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It’s really so much brighter than the red. And nicer paint. Looking to pull the laminate out from the kitchen through the living room and to the hall way. We’ll see.

Shannon (coworker) had her baby so Shari and I went to the hospital and held him.

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Saul

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He is pretty cute.

When I got home from Seattle my wild flower garden had started to bloom. It’s really going now and I’ll have some landscape pics next time.

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I’m home till October when I go back to Seattle then to Carlsbad to visit Cody. In that time we will have all boys here for Labor day. And we will have Ilan’s wedding, and there is a race or two, and some knitting and sewing etc etc.

Looking forward to it.

 

I-5 not wanting me to leave. Not. One. Bit.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I have Returned!

Gosh, it’s been a while, I think, but I’ve returned to the fold at last.

Funny, my last blog post had me going to and coming from Seattle too. I really don’t go as often as it seems. But apparently I go often enough.

This trip was a long one—two weeks—and full of fun things. Well, one fun thing.

My main goal this trip was to run Ragnar NW Passage from Blaine to Langley. I didn’t actually fun from Blaine to Langley though cause we started in Bellingham.

So, I flew out on the 12th with not one but two bags and I hate taking two bags. Just saying. But I needed my running gear for Ragnar so two bags it was. I decided to run this particular Ragnar because I have done the Great River Ragnar between Winona and Minneapolis 5 times. It’s always been hot and humid and fun….but not that fun because it was so hot and humid. But NW Passage is by the water and in Washington and would be cool with ocean breezes. Dang was I wrong. Very very wrong.

I started out by having lunch with Grampa and the cousins in Olympia on Monday.

Mercatos=delicious

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It’s not the best picture but you get the idea…..

I worked Tuesday and half a day Wednesday and then it was time to prepare for Ragnar! Tiff came in on Wednesday around noonish and I picked her up at the airport and of we went to Olympia.

We stayed at my sister’s house overnight and had clams and oysters for dinner. Gawd it was good. I love some seafood. I really do. Especially shellfish. Especially fresh shellfish. Especially fresh shellfish. Cause it’s not that fresh when it gets to Minnesota. Just saying.

And although I thought I took a picture while I was there, I didn’t.   (A whale in the bay in front of Debbie’s house)

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It’s one from last month-yes we were there last month too.

We stopped at the fruit stand and got some delicious fruit, not to mention a quick trip to Fred Meyer.

The next day, Thursday, we headed up to Bellingham to do some Ragnar Volunteering. We made one stop to pick up our team mate, Kimberly, who was in Van 1. (We were in Van 2). The fun thing about joining up with a team is that you get to meet lots of different people. We did for sure.

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30 miles an hour on I-5 because that’s how the 5 rolls. Or doesn’t roll.

DSC01052 Interesting giant stump at rest stop.

We did our volunteer and the next day, Friday, it was time to start.

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Decorated Van-the Sunset Sweats!

Van 1--

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Van 2

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I’d like to say that it was cool and great running weather but in actuality it was hot. Upper 80’s, possibly 90’s on Saturday. Gawd.

IMG_1334 Bad selfie waiting to start.

My first leg--

Looking cool and collected but getting ready to run up a big hill and then sweat…a lot. I guess Sunset Sweats was a fitting name after all.

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Tiff feeling the heat and Random Van Shots

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Our only boy in the van--

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Scenery from the first legs

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Bad selfies on the road-

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Our last leg before sleeping eating and resting!

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Our Tent! It was a 12 man and we could stand up in it. Too bad we couldn’t take more time to be in it!

Mount Baker over tent city!

Moon over tents

We ran in the night and then rested again. (Not many night pics, cause, well, it was dark)

Going Homeless on my bench.

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Our little homeless camp…..

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Our team waiting on Van 1’s last runner

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Mostly Bacon

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Really beautiful scenery on Day 2

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Mountains and Honeybuckets

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And heat…..

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It’s so dry and brown, and that day, hot in the pacific NW.

But we finally finished and here we are--

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It’s so bright and really warm right then. We finished an hour and a half under of our estimated time.

We rocked it.

While you are doing it you hate Ragnar more than anything. However, I guess, when it comes right down to it….I’d do it again. At least the NW Passage. Was out running this AM in the soup and decided definitely not Great River. I just can’t take being that wet again when it’s not even raining.

We made it back to Bellingham and I fell asleep by 9 and don’t think I moved throughout the whole night long.

Tiff wasn’t scheduled to leave  until late Sunday, so we were able to mosey to Seattle at a leisurely pace, only having to stop for traffic once.

I was looking for some Seahawk swag for Blane, but couldn’t really find any. We were somewhat confused by the amount of Seahawk fans going to a Mariner game, especially when the Mariners were out of town. Turns out it was a Seahawk charity softball game. So I did get in the middle of a little bit of traffic there. But not bad. We got 8 dollar parking in the garage downtown (yay) and had lunch at the market which was packed with people.

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Delicious seafood and great view!

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Us!

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Did I mention it was over 90 degrees in Seattle that day?

Jessh  Washington. Come on.

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That  temp lead to a cooling Mojito

 

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Dropped Tiff off which ended our Ragnar adventure.

This Ragnar Adventure. Other adventures to follow……

 

Jack is on the edge of his seat.

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