Sunday, September 30, 2007

Swifts

This post is dedicated to Collette. Not because she doesn't like birds but because she reminded me of our experience with birds....

Wyatt and I had the opportunity to witness a natural phenomenon a week and a half ago. Every September since 1982 a group of Vaux Swifts make a stop in Portland during their migration south. It is a special thing to witness because they live in a very specific type of chimney that is slowly becoming extinct over time due to destruction and new construction. Yeah, I thought it was weird too that their "natural habitat" wasn't so natural as it was man made. Anyway, every evening at sundown you can watch these birds gather by the thousands and fly into this chimney. It is quite the event! Hundreds of people gather together and have picnics while they observe the birds. Though Wyatt pointed out - it might be a conspiracy. We think we're watching the birds....but what if in reality the birds came to watch us? It is a very Portland crowd and really is as much fun to watch the people as it is to watch the birds.

Below is the footage from the bird watching event. I was going to try and be artsy and find footage from the movie The Birds but couldn't find anything I wanted. It kind of does have that feel like you're going to be attacked....


video

I must say I was a bit disappointed with the event. I was really hoping the sky would be black with birds. And even though there were thousands of these birds - that wasn't the case.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spider Friend

This is Spider Friend. He is the spider that sits outside our front door. At first I wanted to kill him but then Wyatt convinced me that he would eat all the bugs that might otherwise be in our house. And my only rule is to kill spiders/bugs that are IN my house - so I couldn't break my rule. He was in "his" house - outside. So he remains watching guard at our front door. Though I am a bit annoyed. I think he invited all of his spider friends over for a party because there are three or four spiders surrounding the outside of our apartment. I think he took a bit of advantage of our generosity...

When we came home tonight we noticed he was crunched in a ball on the ceiling - and not in his usual middle of his web position. So Wyatt said maybe he was dying and he needed food. So Wyatt smashed a bug with his hand and threw it at Spider Friend's web. And Spider Friend ran from his crunched position to the bug and quickly wrapped it into a bug burrito. So I guess we're feeding Spider Friend now....

Free Movie

So I don't know if this is a Portland only kind of thing but I thought I'd spread the word anyway.

Regal Cinemas (which is affiliated with United Artists) is having a free movie day tomorrow, Thursday, September 27th. Your job is to bring three non perishable items to the theater for your free entry. I don't remember what the food is for though. Now that I think of it, it might be for the Oregon Food Bank. In which case, it wouldn't work for other states. But you should call your local Regal Theater and check it out anyway...

Wyatt and I are going for an extra long lunch tomorrow. Yeepee!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Super Shopper

Wyatt and I went to Albie's (our trendy name for Albertson's) last night. I love grocery shopping when I can get super good deals! Our total bill was $12.05. Here is a break down of what we bought:

5 boxes of Instant Quaker Oatmeal - Variety of Flavors
1 (42oz.) Quaker Old Fashioned Oat Meal
1 (24oz.) Aunt Jamima Syrup
1 box Life cereal
1 box Quaker Granola Bars
2 (46oz.) bottles Juicy Juice - it's 100% juice!
1 Spice Island Chipotle Chile Spice

That means each item came out to be $1 each. Not bad....

This is how we did it. Quaker products and syrup on sale for 10 for $10. Juicy Juice on sale for 4 for $10 (or in our case 2 for $5). And Chipotle spice on sale for ~ $6.50 (regularly $11.00). So that brought things down to be a total of about $21.50. Then we used $7.60 in Manufacture Coupons - and that brought the grand total to be $12.05!!!!

Without all the savings - we would have paid $60.07!

Just to put it into perspective. Costco sells Instant Quaker Oatmeal Variety Packs - 55 packets for $9.99. We bought 52 packets for $5. Half the price!

I'm sure you're wondering what we're going to do with all this oatmeal. Wyatt eats the instant stuff for breakfast every morning. The Old Fashioned oats are for no bake cookies (and other various needs), juice is for Wyatt - he goes through one in about a week, syrup for pancakes and Chipotle spice for cooking. So everything has a need.

This post is dedicated to Jeanna for getting me hooked on coupon shopping and my crave to find good deals on groceries! Muchas Gracias!



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Down with BC

I'm sure your first thought (at least one of them) after reading my heading was, "what's wrong with British Columbia?" That was my thought this morning while I was running behind a lady who had this printed on the back of her shirt. “Why was I running this morning?” you ask… Today was Portland’s Race for the Cure and I was one of the thousands of people running the race. The shirt makes sense now, doesn’t it? For a brief moment I thought this woman was trying to use the race as her platform to alert the world of BC’s stench….I know, I am slow. I’m sure by now you’ve been able to piece one and two together and have figured out the real meaning of her shirt. Yes, the “BC” stands for “breast cancer” not the Canadian Providence. But then again, who knows, maybe she really does have something against British Columbia.

Other favorite shirts: “Save Boobs” and “Boobs Gone Bad”.

The race went well. I ran with my friend Afton – who has ran a total of six times this last summer…. I must say, being in the situation she was in – she did GREAT! She ran the whole way! I’m pretty convinced if I were in her shoes, I would pass out by the .5 mile mark. It was a nice steady pace – and if I were to run a marathon I would want to keep a pace like that. Though at some points I itched to go faster… But I knew I wasn’t going to catch the Cure – so really, what was the point? (Wyatt always likes to tease me about “catching the cure” – since I’m racing for it). Actually, it's just fun being in the spirit of things - regardless of how fast I run.

This was my second year doing the race. And it has been a great experience both times. However, I think I’m going to throw in the towel. As much of a good cause that it is – I just like having my Sunday’s feel like a Sunday.

Pretending to run (while everyone else is standing).


That's me in the red (and white long sleeve) shirt - with my hands in the air! Approaching the finish line...


If it were "Parallel Park for the Cure" Wyatt would win for sure! The picture doesn't give his superb parking job justice. With a closer look you could see two inches of space in the front and four in the back! Sure it took about 50 point turns to get it but it turned out to be a fine job! That's right - he's my husband! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Meatballs

There has been some requests for the recipe I used to make the meatball sandwiches. And by "requests" I mean "request" - really just one. Thanks Abbie! Though, I don't really know if this is a "great" recipe. When I made them Monday, I just googled "meatball recipe" and found one that fit the ingredients that I had on hand. There probably is a better recipe out there. However, Wyatt really did like them. But keep in mind he "eats to live" where as I "live to eat". So they were good... but you might find better else where.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1626,159174-235199,00.html

If the link doesn't work, let me know and I'll copy and paste the recipe. Also note, I didn't make the sauce homemade. I used good ol' Ragu.

Adjustments I made:
Parmesan cheese instead of Romano
fresh cloved garlic
I added:
aprox. 2 T. of Worcestershire sauce
diced onion
sausage

And I didn't really measure things out...I just sort of dumped it all together.

I toasted the hoggie rolls, placed meatballs and sauce on rolls. And topped with slices of mozzarella cheese.

As far as the recipe for the bowl of carrots...open bag of baby carrots. Dump into bowl.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bowl of Carrots

I get home from work an hour earlier than Wyatt does. So today, I thought I'd be ambitious and decided to make meatball sub sandwiches for dinner. I made the meatballs from scratch and had them ready on the cookie sheet to be baked. I also defrosted the rolls and put the sauce on the stove to simmer. As I was heading out the door for my run I assigned Wyatt the task of coming up with a nutritional side dish to go with our meal (and to put the meatballs in the oven). I explained there was some fruit to be cut up, or frozen or canned veggies he could warm up, or whatever he wanted - as long as it was nutritional. I get home from running, take a shower and sit up to the table for dinner - to find that for a side dish, Wyatt has decided to serve.......carrots. Not cooked carrots. Raw carrots. I couldn't help but laugh. I just think it's so funny that he was able to find the least labor induced side dish that still followed my exact instructions. It just shows the difference between a man and a woman's way of doing things: simple vs. complex.

As a side note, he also set the table and put together the finishing touches and helped clean up! Thanks babe!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Client Liason

For those of you who are wondering what exactly Wyatt does as the bread winner - I have dedicated this post to Wyatt's current job - The Client Liaison. Wyatt works for a small law firm called Vial & Fotheringham where they practice "HOA Law". Basically, the firm sues developers on behalf of the HOA's (Home Owners Associations) for construction defect. They also work with Property Management companies to "chase after" home owners who are delinquent on paying their HOA dues. "Where does Wyatt com in?" you ask... He is the marketing guy. He writes the newsletters, delivers cookies to clients (property management companies - you know, to butter them up) and plans forums - to educated home owners, property managers and HOA board memebers on the in's and out's of the rules and laws of HOA's. If you ask me, if I had to work in a law firm, I'd rather have Wyatt's job than the job of the attorneys.

So this weekend we went to Bend, OR. Wyatt had planned a forum there and so we made a mini trip of it. However, I must confess, it wasn't much of a "vacation" for Wyatt. He was hard at work setting the conference room up and getting things ready for and during the forum. And being the nice wife that I am (I have to give myself props!) I helped too. This was the first time I got to see Wyatt hard at work (in reference to the forums). It was a lot of fun to see all his ideas and hard work come to life. The forums are a new theme every year. Last year was a western theme. This time round it was Polynesian and the next round of forums will be Pirate themed. So now, one might understand a little better on why I always say, "I want Wyatt's job".

Setting up the forum the night before.

Our hotel and the location of the forum was right on the Deschutes River. Which looks more like a "Colorado" river (a small stream) than like an "Oregon" river. If you look over Wyatt's shoulder and my head - that is where the forum took place.

Wyatt has always told me how much Bend reminds him of Colorado. And how much he thinks I'll "really like" it. He was right. Bend is a tad bit more green but it does have a strong Colorado look to it. Especially this picture. When I think of Colorado I always think of the mountains - and this picture resembles what you'd see looking west from Denver. And yes, it was sunny and perfect in Bend while Portland was cloudy and rainy. I just don't know if I would be able to handle the idea of living so far away from a big city...

I had to include at least one normal picture of us.....

Friday, September 14, 2007

S.A.D.

I've self diagnosed myself with S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. In a nut shell it is when someone is used to one type of weather (such as sun, rain, wind, hurricanes, etc.) and then go through with drawls when they don't receive this specific type of weather on a regular basis. It's a real thing - my psychology graduate co-worker told me about it....

It was cloudy yesterday and I was in the bluest of the blue funks. I would say I was more depressed than grumpy. I just felt blue. I've noticed this to be a frequent event. When it's cloudy, I get sad....or if you will, S.A.D. Of course, I might be using the weather as a scape goat - I'm sure there are better reasons to explain my grumpy moods. However, it's a great excuse for when I have run out of excuses for my behavior. I like to use it one Wyatt. He in turn rolls his eyes at me. Regardless, I'm sticking to my self diagnoses. And I will continue to obsessively visit weather.com daily to count how many big ball of sunshines we'll get for the next ten day forecast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Apartment #24

I was sitting in our apartment the other day and studied all the furniture we own. And I realized that 85% of it was donated, driven from far distances and assembled by someone other than Wyatt and me. And I thought about how fortunate and blessed we are because of all of these people who gave service for the Wilson Family cause. So I am giving a public acknowledgement to all you who contributed to our new home together - THANK YOU!

I thought it'd be fun for our readers to see our apartment. It's always fun for me to see the setting/backdrop of a friend or family member, so I can picture them in that setting during stories they relay to me. So for that purpose and for fun - I filmed a tour of our first apartment together. I know most of you have seen it before, but that was when it was in a state of disaster. We're "moved in" now - excluding pictures on the wall. That's still on our list of things to do....
video

Monday, September 10, 2007

Modern Day Spinach

I had my blood tested two weeks ago. My doctor thought I might be anemic and wanted to see what my blood had to say on the matter. The test results came out negative for the whole anemic thing. They also checked my iron levels which landed in the normal range (10-200), however, I checked in on the low end at 35. So she told me to take 325mg of iron a day and they'd retest my blood in three months. It is amazing how much energy I have now - even after only two weeks! It's almost like I'm a new woman! Before the iron pills, I would black out every time I'd get up out of my seat. I'd be tired ALL the time and fall asleep each time I laid down - couch or bed. And I'd be tired after only 2 miles of running - compared to the 4 miles I used to run in Chicago. It was a frustrating situation because I'd get on average 8 hours of sleep a night and I couldn't understand how I'd still be tired. Now, I feel like I have so much energy! No more black outs, sometimes it takes me a while to fall asleep at night AND I've been able to increase my run to be more than my recent 2 miles. I just feel like a giant ball of energy! I never knew increasing the amount of iron in my diet would have such a significant change. I've thought about my situation and I can't imagine what it'd be like if my worst days were really my best. I'm thankful that I've been blessed my whole life with such good health.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Loose Screws

It's April 2007 and my car is making noises. Irritating rattling noises. I've been able to pin down the location of the nuisance to the rear driver's side speaker - it has a loose screw. It is a Saturday and Wyatt is gone executing a forum he has planned for work. I embrace my time alone and decide to experiment with my fix-it handy side. So I tackle the loose screw myself. Not an easy job.... I have to take out my back seats and the back panels only to find that not only do I have a loose screw, but I also am missing some screws. Again, only to find out - I don't have the right size screws. I then drive my half dismantled car to Home Depot to purchase the matching screw. I fix the speakers and try my hardest to reassemble my car. Nothing is fitting into place exactly the way it was. Three hours later - I'm finished with my project. I pat myself on my back and compliment my ability to extinguish the annoying rattling noise.

September 8, 2007 - My car has been making an irritating high squeak noise - similar to cutting glass. This has been going on since we returned from our honeymoon in July. Coincidentally, it is coming from the rear driver's side - again. Wyatt decides to take his turn at tackling the squeak. (Actually, I delegated it to him because I am still exhausted from my project in April). He dismantles everything, fixes the squeak, and has my car back together in one piece under an hour and a half (remember - it took me over three hours). When done, he strolls through the front door and announces that from now on, he will be the one who fixes the cars in our family. Apparently (and I never saw proof of this), I had left a socket stuck to a nut under the paneling and I fitted my speakers with the wrong size screw. That is why my car has been squeaking for the last two and a half months. So I am resigning from auto repair exploration and am letting Wyatt take his throne. I'll just stay in the kitchen...barefoot and pregnant.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Season One

Like most of my journal attempts, I usually start out strong, and slowly - more often quickly - my interest fades into nothing. So maybe I'll find some happy medium between ER and Joey (the part 2 of Friends that didn't even make it through one season) and enjoy blogging enough to make it to season three. Actually, I'm going for something more like Arrested Development - it lasted two and a half seasons. Half-way through season three the network told the show to call it quits and to do so fast. Regardless, it has been recorded in our book as one of the funniest shows ever. I'm sure a lot of that can be contributed to the fact that it didn't drag out into 27 seasons and was cut off while the writers were still fresh with witty material. It went out with a bang. I'm sure if ER ended now, no one would care, if anyone even noticed. So, here's to Season One of El Guapon and La Flaca! May we be forced to jump ship early!