Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stuck in my craw

On the south side of our house there is a 7.5 by 18 foot enclosed vegetable garden that the previous owners painstakingly installed. And since we bought the house October 23rd they never had a chance to clear out the dead stalks and leaves from the year before.

All winter I've looked out my south-facing kitchen window and dreamed about seeing tender young shoots springing up instead of the snow-covered dead corn stalks we were too busy to remove in our zeal of moving.

So last night the ear doctor and I went to Home depot, bought our first shovel and got to work on our garden.

20 minutes of clean-up and the plot was looking pretty good.

The ear doctor looked at me like I was crazy when I squealed with joy over the abundance of worms in the earth. He's never gardened before. He doesn't share my love of natures little composters.

We tilled and turned and were practically done refreshing the ground when my shovel hit something hard. I gritted my teeth and got to work because rocks are not allowed in my plots.

But this rock was hard...and big. I spent 15 minutes attempting to pry the thing out of the ground, but every time I tried to lever it up it wouldn't budge. But the strangest part was that this "rock" was unusually flat on top.

I was about to just stop and cover it back up, but the ear doctor said, "you're going to stop? That's not like you."

And he was right.

So we spent an additional 20 minutes scraping and digging until we'd found the entire perimeter of the rock.

And you know what it was? A 12 inch by 18 inch piece of sidewalk.

A huge hunk of sidewalk buried 12 inches under our garden plot. We both stared at it for a few minutes bewildered.

After laughing we decided to just cover it up and leave it alone.

But it's there. And I know it. And the ear doctor is right; it isn't like me to leave it alone once I know its there....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Painters headache

I feel like pounding my head through a wall.

Specifically, the wall of my dining room.

For some reason that beast has been a bugger to paint. I don't know what it is. Maybe the lighting? Maybe I'm being to picky? I can't get the color right.

In my mind it is should be a putty color...the perfect balance between brown and gray. Here was my first attempt at selecting a color:

Toasted Walnut by Behr

In the day time it was perfect, but when the sun set it turned into a scary army green. The ear doctor and I couldn't take stand the feeling of living in a barrack anymore so last night we whipped out the rollers and changed it to this color:

Martha Stewart Grey Squirrel

I'm not sure if you can tell in the pic because the (ugly old) blinds (that we are going to trash some day) are closed, but when the full light hits these babies they turn into a pale purpley color? Huh? These naming people have got to get other jobs. What part of "gray squirrel" would make you think lilac purple?

Anyway, now it's back to the drawing board and I think I'm going to have to do all the painting myself because last night the ear doctor made it very clear that it was the LAST time he was going to paint that room...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday afternoon

This post is more for me. So I can remember how this moment felt...because I never want to forget it.

The back door of our house points directly east, so when the sun goes down its beams slice directly through the opening and into our house. The kitchen is at the back of the house so when I leave the door open bright clear perfect sunlight falls across my kitchen counter at the end of the day.

Yesterday as I rolled out perfect spheres of chocolate chip cookie dough the sun perfectly highlighted the calm circular motion of my hands. And they looked like my mom's hands. I took a deep breath and sighed with that kind of serene peace that my crazy type A personality rarely affords.

I looked out the door across my back yard and saw my husband playing with our dog. They ran together and took turns tugging an old, gross, red and white piece of rope. The ear doctor tossed the rope up, high, high HIGH in the air and our dog made a mighty leap and caught it in his joyfully open carefree mouth.

The ear doctor turned back to the house to see if I'd witnessed the amazing canine feat and the look on his face filled my heart with so much happiness that I can't even think of a way to describe it. Is there anything better than seeing the face of the person you love most in the world filled with pure, unadulterated child-like joy?

I think not.

Friday, March 26, 2010


So this morning on the kitchn I read that it has been officially proven that high fructose corn syrup is really bad. I guess some nerds at Princeton found out that rats eating HFCS sweetened water and rat food get fatter than rats eating table sugar sweetened water and rat food.

And even though I have a hard time accepting research generated in Princeton, they weren't smart enough to accept me to for grad school, I'm not really suprised at the result.

But lately I've been pounding Teddy Grahams like no bodies' business.

In fact, as I read the results of this study my eyes slowly drifted down to the gleaming yellow bag.

"oh, no" I thought "could my sweet, sweet little lovelys be filled with horrible high frutose corn syrup?"

...dread fills my heart...

I slowly reached out and turned the bag around and, guess what...

NO HFCS! Glorious!

But what do I see there at the end of the list?

Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil?!?!?!?


Well, I'm eating them still.

To be honest, I'd probably still eat them if they had high frutose corn syrup in them. But I'd try not to buy them again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flaming the fire

I can't believe I haven't told you this before. I feel like I've shared basically everything here about me. Part of me wonders if we just come here together, stare at each other and don't have anything more to say.

I worry the mystery is gone.

And then I realize that I haven't shared something like this yet and my heart leaps up into my throat and I get all butterfly-stomach-y excited.

Did you know that I stock-pile things? Well, two things in particular.



Toilet paper

I almost never go to the grocery store without getting a box each of salted and unsalted butter. And no Costco trip is complete without that HUGE double-wrapped plastic mountain of TP.

The ear doctor teases me about both, but I just don't care. In my opinion there is never too little space to store either item in bulk.

So there you go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Tonight my knuckles will be bright white as I desperately clench my fist around my phone. I will lovingly gaze upon this photo of my front yard garden taken yesterday afternoon.

We are forecast to get a foot of snow tonight.


Thanks, previous owners of our house. For planting happy yellow crocus in the front yard I am willing to overlook the piss poor paint job you did in every room of the house. I'm so happy with these little flowers that I will even forgive you for taking the smoke detectors with you when you moved out, despite passing inspection with them in place.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Reason 1,345,285,346 that I love the ear doctor:

When I go out of town without him he hides candy in the pockets of all my clothes.

This weekend I headed up to Seattle to enjoy an awesome women's retreat with all the female progeny of my maternal grandmother who could take the time off work. We ate, we laughed, we went shopping, we ate, we went site seeing, we took pictures, and, of course, we ate.

But I have to be honest, I missed my man.

Especially every morning when I put on a new pair of pants and found a warm half melted peanut butter cup in the pocket. He's just rad like that.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The big day

Which is the best day of the year to be a redhead named Katie?

St. Patrick's day.

On the way into work I considered stopping at the florist between my house and by cubical. They've been advertising shamrocks for a week and I couldn't think of anything better than getting bunch, weaving them into a crown and wearing them as a rad headband, comme ca:

But then I remembered that I'm an engineer and shouldn't freak out my fellow nerds by wearing ornate headgear.

Happy holiday! I hope you get to kiss someone Irish!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Perfect moment

Saturday afternoon at around 3 it was sunny and 65 degrees outside. I was up to my elbows in thin set finishing the kitchen back splash and the ear doctor was measuring (twice before cutting once) the under cabinet open shelves.

We heard the tinny sound of the entertainer lilting on the breeze. The ear doctor looked and me and said, "The ice cream man! Wanna go get some."

For a second the adult in me kind of laughed and I was about to say no because, really, what kind of grown up runs out the curb with a dollar in had to get some ice cream. And then I realized *I* was exactly that kind of grown up.

30 seconds later I was eating a giant ice cream sandwich and the ear doctor had a choco taco.

We sat on the trex deck that WE own in OUR backyard and greedily consumed our spoils. For a moment I looked around and realized that my dreams had come true. I had a beautiful house, a man I love more than anything and a melty fist full of ice cream sandwich.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

better than me

When we moved into our house a lot of things changed, obviously. Now we are responsible for shoveling the snow on our walk in a timely manner and all of our spare time and money ends up at Home Depot.

One thing that really changed was our church congregation. We went from a group of people that we know and loved to a whole gaggle of strangers that we couldn't wait to get to know. At our former address I was asked to take care of a bunch of little girls, aged 8-11 and I loved the chance to be around them.

I guess I've grown over the past 2.5 years because in this new congregation I've been asked to help look after and teach the teen aged girls, ages 12-17.

I remember myself as a teen aged girl, which made me nervous about taking on this responsibility. I was moody and confused and at times pretty rude to the women who selflessly volunteered to organize activities to teach and entertain me. However, after getting to know this particular group of gals I knew there was no way I could say no to them.

In short, they rule.

Last night a friend and I took them to meet someone new. A woman I'd never met but who is currently recovering from cancer in a convalescent home. I knew it may be a little uncomfortable for our girls; dealing with sickness and death is never a really cheery experience. But you know what? They were amazing. So kind and thoughtful. I was so proud of them. It really got me thinking... being "in charge" of them more for me or for them?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Green chairs?

Or brown?

Obey the warnings

Monday night I really wanted to make dinner. We've had the ingredients for a great meal in our fridge for a week and a half and I was worried that they'd go bad if we waiting another night.

As I reached in to pull out the steak I got a little nervous. It no longer had that nice pink-red color to it. Red flag #1.

I figured it' be OK and I really didn't want to throw out "perfectly good" meat.

I peeled back the plastic and the smell wasn't quite right, (red flag #2) but I was running out of time and determined to make it work.

I covered it with a very pungent mixture of spices and had the ear doctor throw it on the grill. Surely anything funky would get cooked out, right?

At 3 am I found out that I was wrong. Tears streaming down my face and my bum glued to the cold porcelain rim indicated that I should have listened to my gut and obeyed the ominous appearance of red flags.

The ear doctor? He was totally fine. I guess those two years of living in Mexico City eating who knows what filled his stomach with sulphuric acid. My belly has only wimpy lemon juice to kill the heebie jeebies.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Sunday night we had our first dinner guests over to the new house. Sure, we still have a bed in the dining room and our table really only seats 4 people. Did I let that hold my inner hostess back? I don't think so.

After giving our friends a tour of the house and attempting to stop the dog from slobbering all over their two adorable boys we sat down to the cramped table and started eating.

At this point my friend took a deep breath and a sigh and said, "Your house and this dinner are so perfect. It's like I'm sitting in my favorite magazine!"

Which is pretty much the nicest compliment I could get.

Especially since the moment before they entered the house I spotted a nasty dust bunny about 3 inches long and hurriedly smashed it into my pocked before they could notice...

Thursday, March 04, 2010


I am officially the lamest person in America.


I don't have a facebook page.

My mother in law recently started hers, which means that the ear doctor broke down and started his. When I got home on Tuesday not only did I hear all about his long-lost friends from high school, but it turns out that one of them said that his wife was really pretty.


Is it vain of me to think that I've finally found a good enough reason to join the ranks of the face-bookers?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

From a fire hydrant

Maybe this didn't happen to you because you are all frugal and a great budgeter and an awesome planner, but it totally happened to me.

The two weeks right before I got married I opened up my wallet and let the wedding industry stick it's fat little fists inside. By that point I was just so tired of making choices and trying to cut corners that I just gave up. I couldn't say no when it was a bazillion times easier to just say yes. So I hemorrhaged money.

And as we draw closer to the end of our kitchen renovation the same thing is happening. For example, when putting up the backspalsh tile we decided that we'd just buy the tile cutting blade for the hacksaw so we could cut notches out of our tile...

...which didn't work...

So then we went back and bought a tile blade for the ear doctor's jig saw...

...which kind of worked but got bent so we bought a second and then got frustrated with how wobbily the cuts were...

In the end we bit the bullet and rented the wet saw.

Guess what, it turns out that when you pay the big bucks to get the right tool the job becomes a million times easier.

Which is why on Saturday we walked out of Home Depot with a brand new router. I wasn't about to attempt to round the corners of our baseboard trim BY HAND with SANDPAPER as the orange-clad employee was attempting instruct.

No way.

Maybe 4 months ago I would have attempted that feat, but now, at the end I will easily drop $100 without even blinking.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fly from the beauty salon

I'm sitting here at work today with a huge clump of silicone in my hair.

I'm pretty sure that no one can see, but I know it's there. Every time I casually tuck some hair behind my right ear my fingers get stuck in the gunk and I take out a fistful of tangled angry locks.

But it could have been so much worse.

Last night I came home after work and was ready to get my grout on. The tiles were all in place waiting for their final step of swiping and squeeging. But, it was not to be. My lovely husband decided to stop work early and do it for us so that I could relax after work. Seriously, I married the most thoughtful guy in the world.

Since the grout was finished all that was left was the application of silicone caulk. After talking to co-workers and researching on the internet I was pretty sure we'd be able to handle this job no sweat, so we started. Each of us had a cup of soapy water in hand and a trusty pointer finger ready to slide the tile seams.

About 4 minutes into the job I was covered in caulk. Every surface of my fingers, palms, even forearms were caked with the white sticky goo. The rim of my cup was just covered in globby excess. I'd even leaned over to inspect my work, resulting in the current hair situation.

But I glanced over to the ear doctor and was astounded to see that, not only was he doing the job faster and better than I was, but he didn't have a spec of caulk on him! What? How was that possible.

Here I was looking like a bedraggled wreck caught in a crazy caulk storm and he was confidently getting the job done and looking pristine in the process!

It kind of speaks to our characters. He is careful, confident and usually always successful at what he does...but kind of slow. I get the job done in less time, and the job is usually also fairly well done. However, the difference with my experience is a crazy maelstrom of emotion/destruction/elation/depression/frustration.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Big Plans

I think this next weekend we're going to do something awesome. It involves 3 ingredients: my husband, a new beanie and a drive up to and proceed to walk around Vail....

Do you think we'll fool people into thinking he's an Olympic gold medal bobsled driver?