Thursday, May 31, 2007

Breakfast Al Fresco

I must have gone to bed early or something; for sure, I woke up early. That, and a warm summer morning seduced me into thinking that having breakfast outside before getting Koji off to school was a super idea. I guess that kind of wording sounds like a lead-in for a dramatic story about how the morning was a disaster, but it was actually very pleasant. My menu was sliced tomatoes topped with guacamole, cereal, fruit and coffee.
The kids had sausage, fruit, lime jello and milk. Then we had some free, live entertainment, which consisted of Koji running around the yard with this battery-operated bubble-blowing dog. We'll probably never be able to go back to blowing our own bubbles now, that would be way too much effort! Then again, if I'm willing to haul our breakfast and the accoutrements out to the patio (is that what our cracked slab of cement out back is called? sounds too fancy), I suppose I could be persuaded to pucker up and produce some bubbles with an old-fashioned wand. And I'll probably have to the next time we want them, as I've since returned Bubble Dog to its rightful owner, cousin Eli in Oregon.
The point of this post is: if you haven't had breakfast outside lately, you should try it! Let me know how it is!

At One With...My Dining Room?

So I'm supposed to be going to bed early, I promise I'll get right on that when I'm done here, but first I was sucked into the vortex of this color quiz, as recommended by Jess. Once I got my results I was so puzzled that I thought it necessary to report them here:


You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.

Find out your color at!

Huh? Calm and contemplative? I've actually been thinking a lot lately about how strange it is that I'm enjoying working out so much (I know I said "enjoying" and "working out," in the same sentence, who'd have thought it possible?!) and that perhaps I'm much more physical than I've recognized to this point. This, of course, is a train of thought that doesn't support the "calm" etc. category that I somehow fell into here. So I suppose these results are rubbish, but they are worth noting because I do have some green going on in the house, if not within myself, and it's ALL THANKS TO MOM!! My dining room looks smashing now; do come and see it if you haven't already.

P.S. If you detect some faint British phrasing in this post, I can't help it, I've been sucked into Harry Potter-land, and I don't see any way of escape until
July 21st, though I suppose I may feel a bit of temporary relief on July 11th?

P.P.S. It's ever so rude of me to make reference to my mom being here without making full tribute to the splendid time we had with her, Dad, Laurs, Ollie and Eli when they so kindly came for a visit earlier this month, the 12th to the 21st. Alas, I'll have to hope this mention will suffice as a tribute for now, as I really have to get to bed!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

American I-dull

In spite of everything I read in the newspaper about how boring this season of American Idol is (was), I managed to retain enough interest to watch all 49 hours of it this spring.

Too bad it was actually 49 hours and 3 minutes . I don't know about your DVR, but mine wasn't able to follow all that stringing along that Ryan and co. excel as for me, the last bit of the grand finale that I saw was the moment where Blake and Jordin were hand-in-hand as Ryan said, "After a record 74 million votes..."

That's it. I totally missed the part I wanted to see, THE RESULTS, which was especially bitter considering that I had suffered through the previous two hours plus for the purpose of arriving at that moment. Argh.

OK, there were a couple of tolerable moments. Blake's beatboxing with Doug E. Fresh seemed really good to me, although I'm not likely qualified to comment since I've never even heard of Mr. Fresh. And I really liked seeing Melinda sing with BeBe and CeCe Winans. She looked like she was truly enjoying the moment.

It's kind of a good thing that the next season doesn't start for many months. Maybe that'll be long enough for me to forget this indignity...maybe, as long as I don't get too much Sanjaya in the face!

Last thought: Congratulations, Jordin! I wanted you to win!

Monday, May 21, 2007

We're Six Now!

For the first time since Izumi was born and in honor of our sixth anniversary, Aogu and I went away on a 36 hour holiday. Our destination was Galena (behind our heads in this not great photo; I'm putting it up anyway since it's somehow the only one we got together), which I admit may not seem like a natural choice. If you think we seem more like "city folk," you're mostly right. I'm very up for a hike, which calls for separation from the city, but other than my need for some elevation, I quite enjoy the amenities that come with a metropolis. The point is, we chose Galena hoping we could stay in my parents' timeshare; unfortunately, that didn't work out for this time but then we just couldn't be bothered trying to find a different destination.
So I went to a bed and breakfast site and found Bernadine's Stillman Inn. Official check-in time wasn't until four but our gracious host, Dave, let us check in before one. He showed us around, gave us some tips for looking around downtown and dinner, and even shared the story of how God led him and his wife to plant a church in Galena (I didn't know he was a Christian when I booked the place, but that certainly explained his extra hospitable spirit!).
I can't remember exactly how old this building is, at least 150 years? I do remember that when Dave & co. bought it seven years ago they paid $350K and now the place is worth a million and a half?! Talk about appreciation! Still, I don't think I would be willing to work as hard as Dave has. Owning a B&B sounds romantic, but when you really think about it, you have to be on duty all the time. In fact, Dave has to hire someone to come and serve breakfast to his guests on Sundays so that he can be at church!
Anyway, after we checked in, we went for a look at downtown Galena. The atmosphere reminded me, just a bit, of Redmond, though now that I've visited both, I think Redmond has the better quilt shop and Galena the better salsa. That's right, the highlight of downtown Galena for us was the Galena Canning Company. We went in for some free samples of salsa and jam, and we came out with our wallet $50 lighter! It was a great investment though: Aogu's been searching for a hot sauce that he actually finds to be hot, and Galena'mite Blasting Sauce fills the ticket. The Baja Salsa, Cranberry Mustard, and Chile Mustard are delicious as well, and I ought to know since I didn't need to eat lunch after I left that place...
Late that afternoon, we went to The Irish Cottage for dinner at the pub, as Dave had recommended the Irish dancing. Well, we had a nice nap in the lobby while we waited for the dinner hour. Though that chair was pretty comfortable, to the point that I was apparently snoring?, with hindsight I have to say that I'm not sure the pub experience was worth waiting for. Aogu did quite enjoy his pint of Guinness, but the steak salad I ate and the stew he ordered were not great. Then, the Irish dancers turned out to be dancer, as three of the four were somehow waylaid and couldn't make it to the show. Furthermore, this one dancer--who, to her credit, soldiered on with the performance on her own!--looked to be about 12 years old. I can't criticize her dancing as it seemed to be quite good (what do I know about Irish dancing?) but I couldn't help feeling it all wasn't up to my hopes for an anniversary dinner.
The trip as a whole was a great success though: we enjoyed meeting Dave and realizing that the whole B & B thing is not for us (not that we minded the free DVDs, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream bars!). Aogu's feet won't ever be the same, in a good way, after the "Gentleman's Foot Detail" that he had at the nearby spa. And, Spiderman 3 turned out to be a suitably suspenseful and entertaining movie.
Last but not least, I'd like to give all the credit for our special weekend to my mom and my sister, who faithfully and patiently took care of Koji and Izumi in our absence (and Ollie and Eli too!). We are so grateful!

Here's to the next six years of our marriage: I wonder what it will bring?!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Izumi Marie is One Year Old Today...

...not only that, but we also had her dedicated at church and it's Mother's Day to boot! Talk about a three for the price of one package. Add to that the presence of my sister, parents, and nephews and you've got a very special day!

To imply, or even allow you to infer, that it was a day without incident would be misleading. There was the point where I pulled Koji and Ollie out of Sunday School, thinking it would be so special to have them in the sanctuary with us for Izumi's dedication. Except that as I was rushing them back Koji kept tripping over his rarely-worn "dress shoes"...and I swept us in there only to find that everyone else was already in place. That was close!

Speaking of close, you may know that I am a procrastinator, but this takes the cake (ha!): the night before the dedication/lunch party, which I had been planning for weeks, I went out to buy all the food for the party. I arrived at Costco at 6:05 pm. Too bad Costco closes at 6 on Saturdays. Therefore, we had to sprint out of church without chatting, which felt very rude on a day when we wanted to show gratitude to the church body for their support of our family, and make a run to Costco. Izumi doesn't look like she minds, right?