Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ballard Locks

Our daughter claims 3rd Grade is hard and sometimes she doesn't want to go to school. We always counter with, "we go to work and sometimes to really crummy jobs". Apparently, school and a job is not the same thing. Her job is to go to school. Yes, sometimes she is sick and we keep her home but other than that her job is to be at school. So, she gets really psyched when she has a no school day on a weekday.

On one of these ZERO school days we took a short field trip to the Ballard Locks. This is one of those gems we have in Seattle people hardly ever venture to. Why not? It's FREE for crying out loud. Okay, you are in a metal machine. Well, put $2 bucks in the parking meter and you have a glorious day of watching boats, fish and weirdos!

This is also our crossing point to get across to the Northern part of Seattle without having to traverse a vertigo like bridge. So, we have been this way many times by bike but never with a group of friends. We parked the metal machine and gave the parking meter some money and went down and did lots of watching. We saw the cho cho go across the bridge.

The lone fish in the salmon run:

 and old people rub this:

As you can see, our day was complete but for me it didn't matter because I just wanted to sit in the sun. When the sun comes out in Seattle I am out there too. You remember in Twilight when the higschoolers skip school because it is sunny, that's me. Forget whatever I have to do. My house might be cruddy. I might need to buy groceries, I don't care!

Now, if we could have more of these days I might be tempted to keep my kid from school and go on an actual adventure, but I am sure her teachers would kill me.

So, bike there, scoot there, just go!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Feeling Kinda Cavemanlike

 Sunday we spent our day cleaning up and doing garden stuff. The weather was iffy and rained off and on. While I did want to pay a visit to the Seattle Farm Coop we worked on starting more seeds under the grow light and homework. Between burst of homework we went outside when it wasn't raining.

On our agenda included a walk to our friends for a Lag B'Omer party. This party required we bring our meat. My daughter wanted steak and was happy to share it with her BFF. So earlier in the week I planned and bought what was $30 worth of delicious steak at Trader Joes. Yes, they sell kosher meat there and it is well worth the price. We don't eat meat every day and if we have chicken it seems to get used in every possible way, ending with a yummy soup. So, steak is a luxury.

Our friends make a fire pit every year and we go because fire is FUN! Lag B'Omer is no fun without a dangerous fire to sit around. Even better, this year we all roasted our meat on huge skewers. In the house I speared the steak on the stakes and when the two girls emerged from the house with raw meat, drooling began. I thought my kid would enjoy roasting her steak but she was slightly afraid of the fire. Instead I recruited another kid to cook one while I worked on the larger piece. This kid did an excellent job cooking that meat. The older sister insisted he stop for "health" reason, but I think it had more to do with the delicious look of the meat. It was starting to caramelize and looked oh so yummy. Then again, I also proclaimed that my daughter and her friend must relinquish a piece to the kid who diligently sat around the fire turning the meat. We like our meat slightly raw so it was delicious, juicy and meaty.

We also made tortillas to share and I regret not bringing hot sauce.  We can always learn  how to improve things for next time. Mr. Peyos only ate his share of steak and our daughter's leftovers. He proclaimed, jokingly, that it is part of his new Atkins diet. I am sure I will see him eating a bowl of oats sometime today. The best part, we ate dinner before 9pm! Horray for us!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bike Train

Some mornings I drive another persons car to get kids to school. I know, I should have them bike but this becomes pretty complicated having other kids take our route when they are not used to biking on the road. Biking on the road is natural for our kid and doesn't faze her at all.

We walk to the carpool which is not that close but gives us time to talk and get morning fresh air. If my kid was just picked up from the house I doubt her day would go well. The morning walk is invigorating  despite any cold or rain.

After dropping off the kids I sometimes do errands but most of the time I return the car and then walk back home. Since we have been in this carpool arrangement I have met up with the Bike Train from Graham Hill Elementary. They bike in every single weather condition. In the colder season the kids were real troopers and biked up that monster hill on 51st Ave. S

Usually the adult supervision is a lady. I have never talked to her because they are working on that hill but today a dad was leading the train on his xtracycled bike. He first peddled past me on Mead and then turned to regroup with the kids he was leading. That hill on Mead was pretty monstrous and his daughter was doing a little dance while he was trying to make his way up. I stopped to talk to him a bit, while everyone re-energized before making up towards Graham Hill.

Looks like as the weather gets better the group gets bigger. A new kid to the group huffed and said to a girl, "I am already tired". Good for him and his parents for allowing him to commute to school like this.

This group is very inspirational to me and I would love to one day get my carpool biking those ten miles to school.

In the meantime, I am working on it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Armed and Deadly

Don't mess with this chicken!
This week has been beautiful, so beautiful I have neglected my blogging duties. I have lurched around like a lizard or a Santa Cruz squirrel, trying to soak up some sun. As the sun comes out so do the crazies, everyone needs some vitamins. Okay, so while biking I witness a phenomenon that is not in my biking repertoire. While making my way through the Rainier Valley I encountered the diaper saggy pants kinda guy take his gun out of his back pocket, look at it and then slip it in the front area of his pants. Now, gun tooting people probably have a preference on gun location, but near you groan? Seriously, so close to the area that can make more like you? Yeah well, since I was giddy from the sun rays, I biked by and nonchalantly said, "I hope you blow your (beep) off." It is wrong and so rude but come on, why. Then when I reach Capitol  Hill I realized that maybe that was dumb. Oh well, I  can now add this to my file of doo doo things.

I have a philosophy, my bike is heavy and lethal. We have had dogs chase us and almost die from being trampled. We have had knife welding looser run after us, but the gun display was a first.

All I want is a bike day without loosers trying to show me up with their junk. Maybe next time I should take out my U-lock and go bike polo on these scum.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013

As usual stuff happens and we don't get to do what I hope to get done. On Shabbos Mr. Peyos got a massive headache and didn't make it out of the house for anything. The kid and I ventured out for a walk and fresh air.

Sunday hit and I looked at my garden and noticed a TON of weeds everywhere. On the day I was sick and borrowed a Zipcar truck I ended up driving past one of those "medicinal" shops and noticed the huge stack of cardboard just sitting out in front. After coming home, taking a tylenol I ventured back, parked on Rainier Ave. and loaded the truck with all sorts of cardboard left on the sidewalk by this fine establishment. As much as it probably annoys most people that we have about 3 of these Green stores per block on Rainier Ave, I happened to get something out of this activity. FREE Cardboard. Mulching Gold.

I know, my neighbor who heavily invested in concrete to park 8 cars on is skeptical of my cardboard mulching endeavors  The first time I mulched this way was in the garden gate. For the most part it works but morning glory likes this spot and grows on top of all that mulch. Occasionally I have to pull the weeds but this is not that bad. Then we have the west side of the garden. I had a little bit of cardboard and was hoping to have oodles of pumpkins trailing down this gentle hill. Then we had the whole water incident and I didn't water anything out there and it just withered and dried out. So, I decided for my own sanity I was just going to layer lots of cardboard on this spot and then contemplate putting mulch on it.

Last Sunday I worked on half of this area and this Sunday I tried to finish off the rest. As fate would have it, I need more cardboard. So, I have a small area to take weeds from for another day and I can think some more about getting mulch.

So, I cleared weeds and made a nice mushy pile for people on my block to be annoyed about. The annoyance happens to be because this means less parking space for filthy oil leaking metal machines. The block I live on happens to be close to where people have at least 3 cars per household, so parking is gold. Here I am using space to pile up my weeds. Sometimes I make a huge mound and then turn it from time to time, it becomes compost.

As we get closer to spring I see the unsavory neighbors walking by, licking their lips probably dreaming of what food they can steal from my garden this year. There you have it, Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Looking in Windows

I love watching the videos by Grow Your Greens and this weeks episode involved the police trying to find "medicinal herbs" in John's house. Oy! Apparently, some neighbors complained and thought he was growing stuff in his house because they saw the scary glow of the grow light. The police investigated and found a ton of veggies and fruits. Here is the video

Hey, I have a grow light. I only grow veggies for my garden. I hate having to buy plant starts for them to either be infested with bad bugs or just plain out die. Last year I shelled out money and bought a light and a heat mat. This year I invested in a small plastic greenhouse to transfer my starts to and get them used to being outside.
We Grow Helmets
These nosy neighbors just assumed they knew what was going on and called the police. So, the lesson here is "don't look in windows fool"! Honestly,they need to get a life or a hobby.

If you want the Jewish Perspective on windows here you go:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pedaler's Fair NOT Peddler's Fair, better than Cochella

Are you sad that you couldn't make it to Cochella? Really, that sad? I'm going to just tell you that you don't need to feel that way. I love reading all about it just because it gives me a good chuckle before I say Shema at night. Personally I have no desire to go to Cochella because I lived through Cochella for most of my life. Looks like stars are channeling their inner Santa Cruz hippy. Also, it is a place where you can see old foggies shoot a play gun with their daughter. Are you sad because you will miss out on the drug fest, don't be. You will miss it anyway because you will feel inclined to do drugs and wear jorts. Don't worry, you still have time to be the worst person there.

In any case, are you planning on going? Well, read all about how to handle crazy people. We all have to deal with those people and I am sure Cochella will provide you with more than enough crazy to get through.

Ahh, you say Cochella is not your mazel? Well, I have something for you. Go to the Pedaler's Fair this weekend. When does it start? It happens to start on 4/20. Yes, 420, if you know what I mean, hehehe. So, you can get the feeling of drugs without the drugs themselves, check!

The first day is Shabbos so we will be at home. As long as we can manage to get everyone out of the house on Sunday we will try to go. Yeah!! Maybe next year I can convince my younger sister to go with me to Cochella just for a good laugh. Hemppy (apparently, people can't say her name correctly so I am calling her Hemppy for now) are you in? Maybe we can goo to SXSW next time. I will make you ride a bike? I will laugh at you, if it makes you feel better. I am seriously lacking sun so I would even settle for just a trip where we sit on the beach in Carmel. Let me know, pronto!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fudgy Dice

Last week was dedicated to visiting a game store. Apparently game stores only open at noon so this errand took me past my happy time of AM when I like to get things done.

My husbands says that it is natural if people plan to stay up all night gaming to open at a more "reasonable" hour. When we lived in Copenhagen as newlyweds we did a lot of walking. Two of our favorite stores were the game stores. one was Fantask. I loved going into the store off the cobblestone path and spending time perusing the books and game stuff I am mildly interested in. Back in those days before our kid I read a lot of DragonLance books. We also had a subscription to Dragon Magazine. Remember that folks?

As always, I like to maximize my laziness so my adventure starts with a train ride. Apparently ads are everywhere encouraging bikes to become one with Sound Transit. I tried to be one with the train but how can I when I fear Ms. Metro Grumpy pants or her clones who are pissed off that they have to be on the same train with a bike? So, my ride on the train always seems to end sooner because I love to drink lots of coffee and then have to get out to find "the facilities".

After relieving myself, I mosey over to a store I found called Gamma Ray Games. Well, for one, my foray into stores like this happened we lived in Copenhagen. So, I just assumed all stores would be just like those in Copenhagen. I opened the door and it felt empty, almost closed. The guy inside was super nice. I inquired about something Mr. Peyos wanted. I was sent on a quest to find fudge dice. I like chocolate but these dice were not made of chocolate. Apparently they look like this:
Seriously, this is what I bought. You could play lots of games with these, including a mean math game. I shelled out gelt on dice with plus and minus symbols on them.

While I was there I thought maybe I can get more cards for our new Awesome game we play called Munchkin. Apparently now that our kid is older and wiser she can partake in more complicated games, such as Clue, chess, casino and monopoly. Munchkin is just another game for us. No, this is nothing like that horrid Magic, The Gathering. This is a light fun game, made in jest. Just so you get an idea of what these cards look like, here is a sample:
I bet we will come across a fart card because it is our favorite kind of humor. I have to say that the local game store is not what it used to. Is it the decline of the game store, maybe. We buy so much online these days the corner store suffers. In any case, while the store was small you are able to peruse their selection. Give them a visit and show them that you love them.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Biking for Pertussis

So on Sunday in a middle of a playdate I get a phone call from the mother confirming that someone in the family tested positive for pertusis. Her child needed to be sent away from us immediately  Honestly, I was just happy that my friend is so responsible to call us and tell us this, rather than leave her kid hanging around.

Then again, I don't know if it really mattered anyway because after that we decided to quaranteen ourselves until I could talk to our doctor the next day. Whopping Cough has spread very rapidly in Washington state. We know of one child in the Jewish community who has had a full out coughing fit and other people who test positive with signs other than a dry cough or non at all. Since I was sick on Wednesday and still felt kinda icky Monday I decided that my daughter would get a home day.

What annoys me most is that it seems that this community I live in is very nonchalant about illness. Hey, if your kid is snotty, sure let them put their grubby hands all over every single pieces of cake at the kiddish. When I tell someone's kid no, the parents get all miffy. So, as of this past Shabbos I am avoiding kiddish. When we get sick we stay home. If we have to get groceries we have Amazon Fresh bring it so I don't see why people need to be out an about.

Before we went to our doctors we took a trip to the library. Just to freak people out we wore a mask. Boy,  people were freaked out. I just think it is the responsible thing to do if you are sick and may have something that could spread.  This lady hacked a loogie all over the train, how nice for her. I wish she would have worn a mask.
Who me? Get YOU sick?
The every so lucky get to bike to their doctors. My nose is runny but other than that I only suffer from laziness. The doctor cleared us for human contact and so did the health department.  I only called the Health Department at the urging of a friend who said that since I had contact with her I should be tested. My doctor saw no need and neither did the nurse from the health department. Apparently pertussis droplets are heavy and because of this they don't linger in the air and you have to be physically very close to a person. Luckily my friend and I don't hug, jump up and down on each other nor share gum, good for us. My friend, rather than chastise me for not forcing the doctor to test me, gave me some good advice. She told me to keep track of our illness on a calendar, should the unlikely event we have to go back to the doctor. There, another adventure brought to you by these bikey people.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sick Day

Before Pesach I was having a great health run. I was drinking kombucha, eating lots of fermented foods. Afterwards I didn't follow through and drink more kombucha or add some really good bacteria to my gut so I got sick.

Wednesday I spent my day dropping of my kid and then coming home to sleep. I don't see the point in being around other people just to get them sick too. So, I slept. When I woke up got a Zipcar truck. I picked up my kid with a face mask and then made our way to the dentist. Next was home and more nap. Here is my view as I stared into emptiness, with the hopes of my nasal congestion to clear.

In your mind you say "take drugs to clear that up!". As much as I like to have pain and congestion disappear, I can't take anything because they make me psychotic. Last year I guess I overdosed on one type and things got weird. I had a long texting conversation with my friend about feeling weird. I prepared my kid for the possibilities. In the end my husband left work and I went to the doctor. Basically my very patient doctor told me to lay off of that decongestant. If I wanted relief I could try a different one. I have learned that it is all the same. I don't know if other people are in complete denial about how they feel when they take these drugs.

Today is Friday and I feel so much better having just rested and drinking lots of fluids. I did eat lots of garlic. One night the soup was lentils and my husband added extra garlic, he said I smelled like an Indian restaurant. My only regret was not going to a steam bath. Maybe I will just clean the floor with vinegar. That will clear it all up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Biking for Burlap

2012 Blue Potatoes
This week I planned to be a true bike week. Blah blah, sometimes I drive another person's car to get kids from carpool. In general this works out fine because we maximize the amount of people in the car in order make sure we use the vehicle in the best environmental sense. This has taken a toll on me and I really do need to bike to get my back nice and loose so it doesn't seeze up like it use to. Yes, folks, I am getting old. Anyways, my back problem is a long and painful sciatic nerve that stretches from my back all the way down the back of my left leg. I somehow acquired this new pain after having my daughter and the only way to really treat it is to move and biking suits me just fine.

The week before Pesach I felt really carcentric, my back was killing me so I made a chesbon with myself to bike more and chuck the afternoon carpool.

So, I planned several things for the week that would take me out of my biking comfort zone. Monday's activity was "Biking for Burlap".  The burlap is for growing potatoes  Last year I asked someone I knew to bring me burlap bags from Theo Chocolate and the smell was so icky I didn't want to torture anyone in a metal machine with my burlap stinky.

So, as always, I expect to plan the laziest route to get to Fremont. I hopped on the light rail with my bike. I wanted to get to Westlake but I decided to drink a bazillion gallons of water in the morning and two cups of coffee. As expected, I had to GO, if you know what I mean. I did the most reasonable thing possible and got out at SODO and biked to Grocery Outlet where the bathroom is clean. I bought something so I could use the bathroom and then then went to "the facilities".

After that I tried to get on the idiotic bike "path" that goes under the defunct Alaska Aqueduct roadway. I hate that path. When I finally got on the Elliot Bay trail I was really happy to be on a dedicated path. How to get to Fremont then? Since I had zero vertigo people with me, I decided to bike over the Ballard Bridge just because I have never done it.

This was my mistake. After departing the nice path I went into traffic, thinking like a ninny that the Ballard Bridge would have something indicating that I could bike across like a human. I took the slow right lane and made it my own. I had people honk, speed, cut me off and yelled not to nice words to me. I didn't really care because the sun was out and I felt like a lizard absorbing all that sun. It is clear that the Ballard Bridge is not for people on bikes.

The bridge was up so it was idiotic that metal machine's sped past me to go nowhere. See:

Here, just to induce vertigo in those of you who don't have it:

After going across the bridge I found the nicest Trader Joe's I have ever been too. Curse you Ballard and your nice bike trail (Burke Gillman)! After buying nuts and water I biked from Ballard to Fremont on part of the BG that went past stores like Fred Meyer, a cool plant store, and lots of poo on the bike path. Gross, people pick it up!!

So, the place where burlap is abundant happens to be at Theo Chocolate. Ohh, did I get to eat chocolate too? No! See this hecher? It is not a good one:

I know, you are saying it's judgy but this is how our house just holds and it's not good for us. While I was there waiting for the nice guy to schlep some stinky burlap out for me I got to smell all the chocolate and watch a lady stuff as many samples into her mouth, rude! Worse, she was talking to her friend while trying to chew on it. It looked like the poo on the trail.

In any case, after grabbing my burlap I took a picture of my bike outside the chocolate store. See, I didn't even use an Instagram filter. The sun did it for me:

FrackAMole! Biking from Grocery Outlet to Ballard Trader Joe's was 7.0 miles

Trader Joe's to Theo Chocolate: 1.3 miles

Theo Chocolate-loop to pick up my kid and then home: 4.7 plus 10 more miles

GRAND Non-Spandexy Monday total of 23 miles. Well, I certainly took myself out of my biking zone of just regular 20 miles. Whoo, a whole extra three miles! At least I know I can bike up north, do errands there and pick up my kid without killing myself. The good thing was nobody had to gag because I needed burlap.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vertigo OR Just Plain Biking Across the I-90

Besides the mundane of buying groceries and making food we had one day to do something fun during Pesach. This year our Chol Chomoed consisted of one day which was to be fun combined with grocery shopping. In order to facilitate the fun part I thought it would be nice to bike over the I-90 bridge and go to the one of the stores with abundant kosher for Passover foods. We needed a turkey because we were going to have Shabbos dinner with friends and they were a lot of people.

First things first, we need to get to the bridge. Yeah, you say, bike down Lake Washington and just hop on that bridge. Life is not that easy so we take my crazy bike route to get to the entrance and bike across. The kid strapped to the back of the seat got to take pictures as I peddled fast down hill and then tired to keep that momentum as we biked up to Mercer Island. This was my Dutch bike's first time on the bridge and I have to say that it was not all that painful to bike. Honestly, I was expecting to have to get off the bike and walk some of that hill. We made it across and then I realized that Mr. Peyos was nowhere to be seen.

Apparently, we did this once before when the kiddo was in the trailer and I completely forgot that it literally makes someone sick to their stomach to bike across that bridge. It's called vertigo and it is not pretty.

I guess I will never know what's it is like but I suppose vision looks like this, all blurry and crazy.

After stopping by the playground to jump around and act crazy because it was just us, we made our way back home loaded with chicken (the turkey was too frozen) and marshmallows. Ohh, sounds like a healthy snack!  Note to self: only bike on bridges ALONE! Ughh, but we have so many to bike on in Seattle. What am I suppose to do now?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pesach Wrap

I guess the wrap actually begins with all my shopping. This year we went enviroment friendly and did all our shopping by bike. Oh, but some people will claim they saw me in a Zipcar. Sure, that meant nothing and the major shopping I wanted to get accomplished never happened.

So, Sunday before Passover the whole mishpacha went out on our bikes, armed with a huge list of essentials, including all those eggs. Once Pesach starts you are left to ration eggs and things get ugly when this happens. For the most part I make everything. A long time ago in a far away galaxy I bought a cookbook called Spice and Spirit. This has made my life simple. I don't go around buying crazy stuff like catsup, mayonase, Pesach cereal. We keep it simple. This means I have to make everything and when you are making cakes, kugels, potato puffs, you need lots of veggies and eggs.

This year we set the record for most Pesach shopping by bike. Mr. Peyos did me a favor and went with us. My bike was loladed with food and a kid who felt deprived of cake/cookie category type food since Thursday when the kitchen was officially made Pesadik.

We stopped and ate cookies overlooking the carousel downtown and then made our way to Grocery Outlet where you can buy lots of veggies. I think we set the record for most food on two bikes.

Sunday night was totally eventful with the ritual called Bedikas Chometz. Other people see it as a ritual, I see it as the one day a year where my husband and kid go crawling all over the floor to inspect my household skills. It is quiet for the most part until the two start discussing if they found something or not. In the end nothing really was found.

The next day we went up to the shul to burn our paper bag of air, a wooden spoon and my husbands lulav from Sukkot. We burn it ever year. The fire at the shul was HUGE this year or at least it seemed that way. I can tell you that after the smoldering fire went out if you walked by it during Yom Tov you might think someone was making tortillas. I guess that is just me because I saw tortillas everywhere even though I didn't consume them.

After all our shopping and burning exploits I was intent on making all our food so I could just relax. I made food, blah blah blah. Our Seders was very nice and we added a fun bingo game our neighbor/Mr Peyos's friend invented.  Our meals were very veggie filled and nobody overloaded on matza which always revolts against me on day three regardless of how little I eat.

So, that was the first days, next week you will get the run down of "I know what you did Chol Chomoed"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I know what you ate this Pesach!

I can't wait to dig into those oats! Before I could do that I had to change over my kitchen. The joys of being an Orthodox Jew is that you get to stay up until midnight when Passover is Passed, hahha and clean your kitchen. So this is all the stuff I had to pack up.

It was like a real life tetrus game. I don't know why and where it was all suppose to go. My husband was nice enough to get me the boxes. Next was a final goodbye to the contact paper, bye Pesach kitchen, you served me well.

We ate:

-5 boxes of hand made shmura matza, 108 eggs, 3 pounds of sugar, 2 containers of cocoa powder, 2 small containers of potato starch, 60 pounds of potatoes, 2 containers of coffee, 15 pounds of chicken breast, 8 pounds of ground beef, 8 loafs of gefilte fish, a boat load of veggies, and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding!) We did eat other stuff, like nuts and cheese but that was just splurging right!

Okay, but we had guest and I was so SMART to have guest at the last meal so I can just stare at all those dishes while playing a ripping round of Monopoly Millionaire, it's card game folks.

In the end, it all went neatly into these 10 boxes, see! Now if I can't find them or something happens I am going to throw a total cow because when I unpacked everything I had a box missing. This box had the crucial potato masher which I needed in order to make mashed potatoes for 15 people! Now we are back to regular life and food economy. Hopefully tomorrow you will get a nice account of the few bike adventures were able to take on those "intermediate days".

Bike Escape: Fay Bainbridge Park 2019

I went camping without kids. How did I manage that? (insert shrug) One of the old time pedal parents went with me. Our schedules for this ...