Sunday, May 27, 2012

40 Bags: Week 4 (The Man Cave)

I now know why they call it a "man cave." Cause that is exactly how they live in there, like they live in the wild. No sense of order. Thinking of this room filled me with dread. You couldn't step two feet into the room without getting lost in piles of stuff. Thursday night, I was going to just relax. But suddenly decided to start on that room. I didn't keep track of bags this time (I didn't want anything to distract me), just know that I was just as harsh in that room as I was in the rest of the house.

I worked the first night until the garbage was full. Then I took four bags and one box and took them to my Relief Society President. The box was full of fleece and yarn. One bag was full of blankets I had started YEARS ago, but never finished. One bag was full of various fabric, some of which was even cut into quilt squares. The last two bags had 18 pairs of old, holey jeans. I told the lady to turn it all into quilts for humanitarian stuff. 

Today I got Josh to help me finish. Since it was mostly his stuff in the room, I had several piles of stuff I didn't dare throw away until he said it was ok. We quickly filled the trashcan. Then he went a step further then I thought he would by going through boxes and organizing even more. 

We were both amazed by some of the stuff we found. I found a CD that I bought in high school and didn't even know I still had. Then later I found some other "missing" CD's. Josh found other stuff he thought was lost and stuff he didn't need anymore. We need to deep clean more often. 

I did find one gem: a gun contract Josh signed YEARS ago. 
Yes, I did hold him to it and it was pure torture since he wanted to buy a gun just a few months after signing it. 

I have another pile of stuff to take to the DI or yard sale. I have an aunt that is putting together a yard sale to raise money for Relay for Life. I hope to take some of the stuff to her. I just want to be rid of the stuff, but if it can help a good cause, that is even better.

The thing I am most proud about is after cleaning that room, I decided to haul ALL the totes from the attic down to that room. I hate that attic and now I never have to go up there again. Its a little crowded in that part of the room, but in an organized way. I've walked in that room 3 times now, just to look at it and grin. 

Project 40 bags feels near complete. I still need to clean out my closet, but that is mostly shoes since I've gone through my clothes several times as I've lost weight. Then I probably could get rid of some stuff in the kitchen, but I don't expect to find much since I went through it real good last summer. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Matching Shirts

About a month ago, I went to see Vanessa and the boys. Vanessa got all excited when she saw me because of my shirt. That night, after she bathed the boys and dressed Daxsen for bed, I understood why.

I'm convinced it is the cutest picture of me and Daxsen EVER!

Formspring question answered - Wine

How was the wine on the cruise?? I didn't know you drank alcohol.

The red wine was, well, not my favorite. Before going, I had asked a friend what she suggested for a newbie like me, and she said white wine. Which is what I ordered. But somewhere a mistake was made, and red was delivered to our room. I thought about asking for white instead, but decided to just try the red.

Until about a month ago, I didn't know I drank alcohol either.

Ask me a question on Formspring.

Alaska Cruise - Day 8: Seattle

Early Sunday morning, we arrived in Seattle. Earlier in the week, we had signed up for the BAGS program. The ship would take our bags off the ship, to the airport and make sure they were on our plane. We didn't have to deal with our bags until we landed in Salt Lake City. It was well worth the extra money.
Looking off the ship towards Mount Rainier.

Looking at the space needle from our ship.

The BAGS program was great for two things. 1) They took our bags to the airport for us so we didn't have to haul them around with us. 2) It made it possible for us to get off the ship when we wanted to, rather then wait for our turn to check off. We saved ourselves 2-3 hours of mindless sitting on the ship.

Of course we had the option to keep a carry on for essentials and pack it around while we were in Seattle. I didn't even want to do that. So the night before I packed up everything but our clothes for the next day, my make up, my kindle & Josh's book, and our flight paperwork. I will admit, the next morning I missed my hair straightener and hair spray. But after walking all over for most of the day, I decided it was well worth it to have gone without. 

We got off the ship around 8:00 and decided to walk to the space needle. The weather in Seattle was gorgeous.

I think the elevator at the space needle was the only one we rode during our entire vacation, but Josh would have taken the stairs if they would have let him. I was just proud of us for sticking to our goal of no elevators on the ship.

Standing at the top of the space needle with our ship in the background.

Seattle had a "Color Me Rad" 5K that day that ended right under the space needle.
After the space needle, our group split up. We decided, along with Randi and Todd, to walk back to the ship and then on past it to Pike Place Market. That place was so cool! It was Mother's Day and they had flowers everywhere. I bet they stretched for a mile.

Josh & I decided to each buy a peach.

After exploring Pikes Place, we walked to the light rail rode it to the airport to meet up with Jessica and Andrew. Our flight was right on time and we were on our way home. When we had flown to Vancouver, I got a a little sick. This time I didn't. Instead, I got paranoid. After we took off and flew over Mount Rainier, I fell asleep. I woke when the pilot announced we were starting our decent into Salt Lake. I looked out the window and all I could see was sky and I was convinced we were falling. Josh knew something was up because I had a death grip on his hand. After about 5 minutes (of shear panic on my part), I happened to look backwards out the window, and I could see the wing. After that I was calm. When we flew out, the wing was right outside my window, but on this flight, we were in the very front. So if I ever fly again, I just need to make sure I can see the wing.
Our vacation was amazing. I loved having Josh to myself for a solid week. I loved spending so much time with our friends. I loved seeing new country (I regularly joked I was NOT excited to come home to the desert).  It really was the perfect week.

Alaska Cruise - Day 7: Victoria, British Columbia

One thing we had really wanted to do, but hadn't yet, was karaoke. It always seemed to fall on the nights we had dinner reservations. By the time we finished dinner, karaoke was over. We had finally decided we wouldn't get the chance, when on the last day, we noticed they were doing it in the middle of the day.

Josh sang two songs, Andrew sang two songs, and I trembled through one song.

The day before is about the time we started to miss home. Especially after being herded through Ketchikan with no time to walk through the town. I loved our excursion, but it was so long we had no time to just wander, and that really bugged me. That night, we decided to cancel our excursion in Victoria and just take a stroll through town. I said something to Randi, and she said her and Todd were thinking about doing the same. Jessica and Andrew decided to keep the excursion, which was a horse drawn trolley ride through Victoria.

We arrived in Victoria in the early evening. Then we spent a few hours just walking around. Victoria was BEAUTIFUL. I wish we could have spent a full day there. I can tell by this point I was getting home sick because I didn't take very many pictures. I wanted to take pictures of all the pretty yards, but didn't want the owners to feel like I was breaching their privacy. So instead we just enjoyed all the gorgeous flowers and the nice weather.

Our last stop before heading back to the ship was the fish market. It looked like it was pretty new and they are still building it. Also, Victoria's official tourist season hadn't started yet, so most of the shops weren't open. We decided to eat dinner there and then Josh and I went and got an ice cream cone from another shop down there. It really was a perfect and peaceful way to end our cruise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alaska Cruise - Day 6: Ketchikan Rainforest Walk

After the Lumberjack show, we headed to the Tongass National Rainforest, which is the earth's largest temperate rain forest.  To some it up in one word: GREEN.

Our group was split into 3 smaller groups and then weach followed our guide as she pointed out interesting history, facts, plants, etc. She was shorter then me, but a wealth of knowledge.
A nursery log. When trees die, they immidealty act like compost and fertilizer for new stuff to grow on them. Eventually one tree will have its roots hit the ground first and then it will over take the fallen tree.

The growth on the side of the tree is like a tree wart.

Devil's Tongue

Mushrooms growing in the moss on the side of a living tree.
Bear claw marks, most likely from where a momma bear taught her cub how to climb a tree.

A bear used this as a den two years ago.
Salmon berries.

At the end of the walk, they have a few rescued animals. The first pen was some reindeer that they let us feed. They were smaller then I thought they would be, but their feet were huge.

An old saw mill.

The next rescue pen was home to a bald eagle and a great horned owl. Both had been born in the wild, but sustained injuries great enough that they won't be able to survive in the wild now.

We also got to meet a Native who was starting a new totem pole project. He had several poles in front of the gift shop, but I thought we were late for the bus, so I didn't stop and get a picture.

Unfortuanetly, we didn't have extra time to spend in Ketchikan, which made me sade since it was my favorite port.
Watching a show in the Spinnaker Lounge that night.