July 7th, 2006


Tender Feet

A good day, today. I started by finally doing the last bit of work I had to do and I called a report to finish off the focal review period of last year. That was very useful. I also sent back my signed review to my manager, who needed it by the middle of the month, anyway. So all was good.

I was finally, really, truly on vacation. Given that I'd had a hard time sleeping last night due to this last meeting, I am feeling a lot better. It was a great conversation and covered enough that I can rest easy, now.

I finished in half an hour, which was good as the rest of the gang decided to go to a local school playground while I was busy. I was out of the office just in time to join the leading troops and carry Jet's bike down the really steep bits of Somerset road so that we could cross the busy street and then head down to the school. Jet walked, ran, and talked the whole way. John cheerfully kept up. Isabel caught up a little ways into it and George arrived at a steady jog that he continued up to where Jet was riding his bike merrily along the straight and level ways.

The playground at Sunset Elementary is enormous and updated and the three boys had a blast going through it and playing on and with nearly everything. John cheerfully pushed through everything Jet got through, and got up and down nearly every setup that Jet did. That was very good indeed.

And after two days of cold and gloom, the weather broke and we finally got the July weather we're used to here. 70's and sunny, 60's in the shade. Hee. I am still amazed. Isabel and I sat in the sun for a while and talked about gardening and vegetables and all kinds of other growing things. It was great to just talk about anything and everything.

Eventually the sun got too hot so we moved to the shade, but there were no good places to sit. The boys eventually got hot, too, and we headed back. Jet rode back, up hills and over dales, and even up the steep slope of Somerset Blvd. That was impressive. When he was done he was mildly subdued. But a good lunch later, and he was singing again and very, very impatient to take Granny and Grampa to see Cars.

Yes, it was his fourth time. Pirates was completely sold out, so John and I decided to just wander around the shopping complex. We hit Trader Joe's called our neighbor to ask him what he wanted us to bring back for him. Then we went to Barnes and Nobel and I bought a few Pratchett novels I haven't read, yet. It's a wonderful thing that he's so prolific. They had a limited manga selection so I couldn't pick up the latest Whistle! or Iron Wok Jan. Ah well. From there, we went back to the car and, for the first time in decades, we got in line to get gas. Costco's gas lines were pretty amazing, though the prices were pretty good, too. We often get a ten cent a gallon discount at King Soopers and this was just a bit better than even that. So that was excellent.

We got our gas and then found great parking in front of PCC, the Puget Sound co-op from a long time ago. They've upgraded to a new Whole Foods experience, and I was mildly put off by the high prices, but we got cold drinks, a few whole Earth magazines, and I bought a cannister of the Dagoba Xocolatl, thinking it would be a perfect camping drink for the adults of the group. Not your kids' cocoa packet.

From there we had to go back and hunt down another parking space remotely close to the theater. It was only after John stopped for a pedestrian that a car backed out in front of us. Good karma, that. So we parked, went into the theater and waited another twenty minutes or so and saw the first group out of the theater. We knew that Jet would have made them stay for the very final bit, as we've stayed for the final bit the last three times, and so they did. When they came out, Jet was glowing and Granny and Grampa said that, yes, indeed, it was a good move.
Then we walked across a business park and lake to go back to the Costco to get frozen nonfat yogurt from the concession stand outside. Hee. George loves that he can get two HUGE cups of ice cream for $2. We got two and shared among the five of us and that was plenty for everyone. Yum. It was especially good after the hot walk.

Then Jet asked for a ride on my shoulders, and we walked back to the car. By now, my feet were aching a bit.

When we got home, I decided we might as well make dinner for once, as Isabel had been cooking for us pretty steadily for a few days. So we talked with her about doing that, and John and I then went to QFC and bought some sockeye salmon. We also got a package of whole wheat noodles for Jet and ourselves, and some teriyaki sauce. The Yoshida's original, which is far cheaper here than in Colorado, surprisingly. I was bemused by that additional bit of difference.

So we broiled teriyaki salmon, cooked spaghetti and mixed it with the usual peanut sauce and I added cucumber and a bit of sweet pepper. John made a salad and we all ate. It wasn't a huge dinner, but everyone seemed very happy and full enough, especially after the ice cream interlude. Yay! John and I did dishes and Isabel and Jet and George played quite happily together. I thought I'd take a few minutes out for this and then I'll likely go back do doing either spinning or knitting or playing Uno with my cut-throat son.

Yay! Vacation!!

Sore Foot Day

I'm finally on vacation.

I took half an hour this morning to lay to rest all the anxiety that I'd built up last night and this morning, and finally all the work beast is finally at rest. John spent a while getting my laptop to acknowledge the Mother Ship, and from there on I was able to do, slowly, everything that needed to be done in order to have one last phone call with someone at work.

It laid to rest the ghost of the unnamed co-worker, and armed my report with something concrete to work with, so that was all to the good. Plus I probably made my boss' day by delivering something before his deadline. So that was all good.

Plus I was done in just half an hour after the Appointed Hour.

So I was able to join the rest of the gang in a walk/ride down to Sunset School. Yee haw! I was so happy I could have busted as I walked down the steep hill holding Jet's little bike in one hand and a bottle of Talking Rain in the other. It was good to be free and just talk with Isabel while John and Jet trotted ahead of us, and to watched Jet cheerful pedal on the sidewalk and patiently wait up for the rest of us as John jogged on ahead and, eventually, George jogged up from behind us as he finished a phone called he'd waited on until after my fated meeting.

It was sunny. After the first days of gloom and chill, today was gorgeously arrayed in nothing but clear skies and sunshine. It felt so much better for the contrast. And we enjoyed every minute of being outdoors as we walked to the school, meandered past the freshly painted lines of the parking lot and then down to the playground. Isabel and I sat on a bench in the sunshine and talked about gardens and gardening and plants and care while the boys all ducked, ran, climbed, and played all over the equipment.

A good hour later, Jet happily tired from having explored all the possibilities, climbed the steep hill back to his bike and then biked the whole way back the house, even up the steep hill that i'd carried his bike up.

I was impressed.

He was pretty tired when we arrived, and a little cranky about eating things. He finally did eat all this cheese out of his sandwich, but he kept trying to sneak chips in addition to those that were in his sandwich. The rest of us built tuna fish sandwiches and ate.

After lunch we headed into Issaquah and the 1pm showings of Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Sadly, Pirates was sold out. George, Isabel, and Jet went to Cars, and we decided to just hang out, which proved to be harder on my feet and legs than I'd originally planned.

First stop was the Trader Joe's just across the parking lot, where I filled a hand basket to the point where I asked John to get me a cart. Hee. Then we carried all that back to the car. And then headed off to the Barnes and Nobles, were I tried to find Whistle! and Iron Wok Jan manga issues, but they were a bit too limited in their selections. But I did get some Pratchett I hadn't read, yet. Yay! We dumped those at the car, and then drove it over to the Costco and for the first time in decades, we sat in a line at the gas station. The Costco prices were well below $3 when most of the area is well over, which explains the lines. But it was relatively quick moving even with the place solid with cars, and John was quick in filling the tank.

We then found very empty spots in front of the Puget Co-op (PCC) and we wandered about. I bought the Dagoba Xocolat for camping with and some soft drinks for the heat. John found a few magazines he wanted to buy and so he did. Then we went back towards the theater and only after stopping for a ped did we gather enough good karma to deserve an excellent parking spot. We parked. We then went in the theater and just sat and talked for a good half hour before the movie let out. A lady coming out said that she hadn't seen a movie that good in a long time, she said that the kids all applauded when it ended, she seemed mildly stunned. She also said that some folks were staying for the animation during the credits, and I could just imagine Jet demanding that they stay until the very dead end and the bit there.


When they did come out, we left the car where it was, and walked back to Costco, the long way, across the lake and around the business complex. Jet finally asked for a shoulder ride, and he was pretty tired from the morning. So that was okay. We then got a treat. The outdoor concessions sell huge glasses of soft-serve nonfat frozen yogurt. They were big enough that we all got plenty to eat from just two $2 servings. Hee. George loved the bargain, and we just sat at a table and ate our cold treat in the shade and were very content.

We then walked all the way back to the car, and headed home. Isabel has been cooking every evening, so John and I offered to do dinner. My feet were sore by now, but we ended up going to the QFC, and I gingerly walked about to find the whole wheat spaghetti and the wild-caught Sockeye salmon and Yoshida's Original Sauce for half the price we find it at home. I bought it quite happily and we took it home. I cleaned and dried the fish and put it on foil on a cookie sheet, and then slathered it with teriyaki. Then i set the oven on low broil and set the fish under it.

I started a pot of water to boil. Then I mixed up the peanut sauce and cut cucumbers and sweet peppers for it and the salad. By then the salmon was more done than I expected, so I called John to get him to make the salad, and told folks that it was the five minute warning. The spaghetti finished cooking and I pulled Jet's first, and then rinsed the rest with cold water and then added it to the sauce and the cucumbers and we had cold peanut noodles with teriyaki salmon and salad. Just enough of it, too, as we had just the pound of fish. The ice cream had filled everyone up a bit, so the lighter dinner was appreciated by all. Raspberries made a great dessert, and then we were set for the evening.

John and I cleaned up and then I just sat and spun for a while. It was relaxing to do so when i was relaxed after finally finishing work. George and Isabel liked watching me work with the easily transportable spindle, and it was lots of fun to do it and just make yarn the way I wanted to. It's still a bit heavy for the superwash merino. I need to try it with the other fibers I bought in Spokane. Luckily, the spindle will fit easily in a bag with the other fibers and should be able to go camping, easily.

My feet are pretty sore from the 16,000+ steps I took today. It's fun having the pikachu count for me and now I know why I am so sore.