I'm back and there's a handful of pictures from the trip on Flickr. Start here and keep clicking the "next" icon on the right.
More later!


Kay, Dad, Emily, Josh
Josh & Emily went to Middlebury, Indiana. I know it sounds strange, but it's true - Josh actually has some family members that live there. While there, they visited my Dad & Kay and Culver Duck! I asked what Emily thought of the duck processing plant, and she responded:
We came during LUNCH!!! Thank GOODNESS. We were there long enough to see about 10 ducks come through the DEFEATHERER. OH MY GOD! I had on OPEN-TOED shoes and WHITE pants. Hatchery was much better.
Yeah. I should probably warn people about touring the processing plant.
Josh's Dad, Ken? With the beard net? Slayed me. Seeing pictures of them with my family in Middlebury? SO AWESOME.

Josh, Ken, and Tim at the plant

Ken, Emily, and Josh at the Hatchery

Emily, Natasha, Julie, Caitlin, Sara, Lauren, Sean (thanks honey)
Also? Purge Night II was last night. How I managed to get six volunteers to come over and go through my junk is beyond me. Sean made them all dinner in exchange. I owe them all dearly. You wouldn't believe how fast these girls are. I think another four full Hefty bags worth of stuff (some garbage, some to donate) have been removed from my house. And! AND! I got rid of the last of the Hi Hat Cupcakes.
I think by the time Mom gets here to help me move, it will simply be a matter of throwing things into boxes. HAHAHAHAHAHA just kidding Mom. We haven't touched the yard or the garage yet.
Purge pictures on Flickr.
Two more things:
Catie rocked my world yesterday with a Photo Set of Instructions on How to Fold Fitted Sheets. The innernets just keep making me smarter and smarter. Also? The addition of Seamus with the instructions is instrumental to the lesson.
I e-mailed Not Martha to let her know that Catie was Saving the World one Folded Fitted Sheet at a Time, and within seconds she had it linked from her site. Because she rules like that.
Next - Canadian homies? Please go to the grocery store and tell me if they have Chocolate Lucky Charms up there yet? If not, I need to plan accordingly and bring up a case. Or two. (I'm thinkin' the Safeway up there would carry it.)
Hey just in case I don't update again, I need to let you all know that I'm heading to Indiana/Michigan for the holiday weekend starting tomorrow morning (Thursday). Sean will stay here - I'll be back on the 4th.
Happy folding, everyone!

Last weekend featured a baking fiasco and two BBQs. A word about the baking, though.
I'm an avid baker, but not always a good baker. I'm not being hard on myself, I'm just saying that I lack some tools and a lot of patience, both of which can help in the kitchen.
Looking back, I now know what to do if I ever make these beasts again. I've received lots of advice which I really appreciate, and I also own a handheld mixer now (did you hear that Luana?!?).
And the longer they sit, the less grainy they are. I think the sugar is slowly breaking down on its own. Which is cool because I have seven cupcakes left and Sean isn't interested. Yayy! Cupcakes for breakfast!
Hey I wanna thank NotMartha for linking to my issues - I think that's where a lot of the help came from! Now if any of you can actually test and correctly follow either of the instructions on How to Fold a Fitted Sheet, please get back to me. Sean and I stood next to his computer attempting to follow the directions on both sites, and still failed. If you let me know how to get it to work, I will post a tutorial with pictures of EVERY SINGLE STEP. Like they should have.
Tonight is Purge Night II to get ready for the Big Move. And this time I think there's going to be about 5 or 6 of us. Last night I tried to get organized to prepare for the Purge, but then gave up and sat down to hand-stitch my skirt because I read the pattern wrong and now I have to hand-stitch it. I AM NOT SO GOOD WITH DIRECTIONS LATELY.
The Innernets, folks. It's all about catering to those all over the learning curve.
Oh and the p0rn.
P.S. Oh and intelligent conversation.


Sydney Alexis Lindi Carter

3:30 this afternoon
8 pounds
20 inches

Joe, Jean, and Sydney doing great!



Andrew's Surprise Potluck Birthday Party

Ryan, little hottie

Life is good

After a little over a week of planning, we all started moving steathily throughout the office around 12:15 today to whip up the surprise potluck birthday party for Andrew, who sits directly in the middle of the office. I think he figured out something was going on by the third serving bowl passing his desk, and soon after that his wife and daughter walked in.
It was a gorgeous day to sit on the deck for lunch. And amazingly, we did it all within one hour. And it's a Friday! I didn't even care if we took a long lunch! I guess it really makes a difference when ten people help to set up and break down a big lunch. More pictures from the lunch/party on Flickr.

Gotta give a shout out to Rock Star Mommy because if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have known about CHOCOLATE LUCKY CHARMS and now my life is complete. I've already taste-tested them, and I can tell you, (1) Good thing these weren't out in the 70's or Mom & I would have had some MAJOR arguments, (2) They have like 37 times more marshmallows than they used to, and (3) BEST CEREAL MILK EVER*.

Baking all day tomorrow for two BBQs Sunday. Recipe is a secret until completed. And now I'm off to a Texas Hold Em Poker Party at Lola's. I'm bringing another one of those sandwiches - you remember? Bigger than my head? Yeah. That one.
*Sean, quoted, while looking at the dry, empty cereal bowl: "You never drink the milk!"
P.S. Jean is going into labor! Now!


Xa, Kolja, Marc
The Germans have left for their two-week trip to the back woods of Canada. Meanwhile I have a skirt and a dress to finish, and a secret dinner that I will be able to explain better tomorrow.
Today I got my hair trimmed, I made a nice promotional postcard for one of our projects at work, I had a lovely lunch at work with the Germans who brought us food from Cedars, I walked Rita twice, and the sun was out but it wasn't hot. Not too shabby!
Hey does anyone out there in la-la land (teh innornets) know how to do an updo? In Seattle? For me? I just want a wrap-around 60's bun (like here*) and I don't want it too hairspray-solid because I want to take it out following the wedding. Jon and Amy's wedding. IN TWO WEEKS!!!!
August Everything/Going Away Party invite coming soon.   *BAWL*
*Uhhhh, with about 80% less bangs. And eyebrows. Wheew!

Dinner for twenty-three? Hey. No problem.

Pete, Anne, Kolja, Xa

Cathy & I

A sub-section of dinner
Man, I live for days like this. A bunch of friends sitting around talking and eating and catching up, having an excuse to clean up the house, leaving work 30 minutes early, a perfectly sunny and warm day in Seattle, two big batches Alexandra's Feta Pasta, three gallons of ice cream, and not the slightest craving for a cigarette when my driveway became the official smoking section.
Sean called in the afternoon and not only informed me that he managed to get out of work early, but also that he started a skillet of fried onions only to find that he didn't need them. I sent this recipe his way and WOW - we highly recommend it. (We added lots of parmesan cheese to it.) YUM.
My only regret was that I didn't move all the cars out of the driveway - because I should know this by now - the party ALWAYS moves outside in the summer.
It all broke down by eleven and the Germans gave us some drunken entertainment for a bit, then I was dead asleep by midnight. (We should host parties on Monday nights more often - it was nice to look forward to a Monday!)
All of the pictures from last night on Flickr.

Yesterday we picked up Matt (Fernanda was in the Solstice Parade, so she joined us later) then we picked up Jon, who had no idea what was happening that day. We took the ferry to Matt's boss' house on Bainbridge Island - he has a mini golf course running through his property. They also have a big BBQ pit area and a covered grill/bar area, and the weather was so perfect. Sean and I were only able to hang out for a couple hours, but the pictures I got are here.
We rushed back on the ferry only to have to sit through a passing train and a raised drawbridge to find that we still beat Kolja and Alexandra to our house. Minutes later they arrived and we hugged and jumped up and down in the driveway like the dorks that we are. It feels so good to have them here again, as if they are visiting home.

After being awake for 24+ hours!

The weather is treating them very well

They brought gifts! Music, sauerkraut (requested),
a European map, and Kinder chocolate (requested)
Even though they had been up for TOO MANY hours, they stayed up late so they could try to get over the jet lag. I think we all went to bed at 11 and woke up at 7 today, which is good since it's pretty close to my workday schedule.
Today the Germans went with me to pay my last rent check (we paid first and last 7 years ago so today was the last check through August 15). I didn't cry - I was proud of myself. Seth was home from college and Nick made me a white chocolate mocha and we all sat in the living room and talked for a bit and.... sigh.... they are like family to me. It's so hard, this leaving.
Tomorrow is the dinner for 24. Some people may be eating out of mugs.
P.S. I gained back 9 pounds in 3 days. Hrm. I better have detoxified or WHAT A DAMN WASTE OF A GOOD MOOD FOR ELEVEN DAYS.

Sorry for the quiet around here, but I have an excuse. I've been taking it very, very easy.
Last last Saturday, the 4th, I went to EndFest and ate raw food only (sitting next to Jon eating pizza), meaning blueberries, almonds, a nectarine, and a pineapple, and a gallon of steam distilled water. Then, for the next 11 days (until yesterday) I had nothing but steam distilled water. Last night I broke the fast with a plate of fruit (which I couldn't finish).
I didn't tell anyone out there because there are a lot of haters who think fasting is starvation, and bad for you, and eats away at your muscles, etc. etc. That's why the number 1 rule in FIght Club is "Don't tell anyone you're fasting."
I had to tell my work because my life revolves around food and there's no way my office wouldn't notice that I wasn't going to the cafe or eating at the lunch table every day. The majority of co-workers asked the proper/usual questions, and few gave me some ribbing (Andrew now calls me Twiggy). The last few days were a bit tough - at one point Marc got frustrated with me and said "Eat some food!" but otherwise I tried to behave normally. I just couldn't do a lot of physical activity, and I really didn't feel like sitting at my computer at night. I did a lot of reading and sleeping when I was home. And sewing, although I don't know where that comes in.
Poor Sean ate out most of the time because I didn't want to smell food.
Last night, on day 11, before I broke my fast, I went to get a colonic. And I took pictures!

The machine

The therapist, Suzanna
(What sort of pictures were you expecting?!?)
I learned a couple things while having a tube in my butt for 45 minutes:
1. I have a lot of bile. (It looks like urine but it's in your colon)
2. I have a lot of gas.
Okay, that second one wasn't really learned, as much as verified. It made the session a bit uncomfortable because I was so bloaty.
In the end, I felt better, and I'm glad I had it done, although I agree with Suzanna that this would've been helpful at the start of the fast as well.
For those of you wondering WHY I fasted, well.... I fasted in 1997 when I went vegetarian and I enjoyed it, I did it for (I'm going to sound like a gaybo here) personal and spiritual reasons (it takes a LOT of will-power. A LOT.), and to get the toxins from cigarettes out of my body, and to lose the weight I've put on over the past few years. I went from 136 pounds to 119 in 11 days. I'll gain a bit of that back, I'm sure, but now I'm starting at 119 again!
Also, after a fast (at least the last one I did), you lose interest in some bad stuff that you used to like. For example, I used to drink Pepsi every day. After the fast in 1997 I stopped my daily habit of Pepsi and no longer ate Applebee's alfredo sauce (only because it made me want to gag when I was fasting - I actually worked all that week in the kitchen window at Applebee's putting together the plates of food!) I don't even know what I hope to cut down/out from this fast, maybe it'll be nothing. But you do certainly eat healthier for a while after fasting. I just feels right.
(Man, if it could be the daily iced Americanos? That would be RAD. What an unnecessary habit.)
I used the book "The Miracle of Fasting" by Paul & Patricia Bragg to get me through, although about 50% of it is overly.... hippie.
I don't recommend it if you just want to lose weight, since there's so much more work to it. Although if you tend to cheat on your diet, this is certainly an all or nothing weight loss plan!
If you have any other questions, we can discuss in comments or e-mail... but on to other things....
June 11, 2005
8 lb 12 oz
I am so happy for them. So now we have Chris & Irene and Greg & Corrina with babies, and Joe & Jean are due like ANY SECOND NOW.
My dress is maybe 1/3 done, maybe more? Bodice and skirt made, skirt gathered, and the bodice and skirt and pinned together. But now I have to attach them, put in the zipper, and make the whole bodice again in the lining and attach that, then the straps. Thankfully Sylvia came over to help me, since I bought a pattern that was WAY above my skill level. Although that was one of the reasons why I bought it. I wanted to learn stuff. (And I did! Gathering! Sucks!)
After this I'd like to crank out a skirt, but then I should probably, oh, you know, PACK.

JA girls

JA lunch

Previous June entries