Gobble, gobble…

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After our awesome Turkey Trot, I had a few hours to shower and chill at home. T had to work at Safeway Starbucks (booooooooo!) so not only did he not get to go to the Turkey Trot, but he only had about an hour for shower/chilling before we had to head over to M & J’s for the Thanksgiving festivities. This was their first time cooking and hosting Thanksgiving dinner and I was excited to see what they’d come up with.

T & I arrived early to help with some of the prep work and hang out before the other guests arrived.

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As expected, everything looked beautiful and smelled delicious.

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M & J had been cooking for the past two days. J threw down some major bread-making skills:

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There was also plenty of wine:

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Fergus was also very helpful:

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Soon enough, other guests started arriving and the flurry of activity in the last 45 minutes before dinner kept me too busy to take pictures. Suffice it to say, a mind-blowing array of food was prepared including stuffing, mashed potatoes, two kinds of sweet potatoes, a big green salad, three kinds of cranberries, green beans, carrots and artichoke hearts. And of course, J’s beautiful (and very trendy apparently) dry-brined turkey:

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After some unconventional carving (vegetarians and the squeamish may want to avert their eyes… )

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And then it was time for the eating to begin. Another shot of the beautiful table (taken before the madness began.)

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So much delicious food! Plus the lively conversation with M & J, their friends Graham and Sarah, Graham’s sister Emily, her boyfriend Brian and their friend Brian. It was a good group of people, all of whom can cook their butts off! Afterward, we lay around in the living room digesting and chatting. Here are M, Sarah & Emily being goofy:

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Graham and Sarah had brought some games along, so we played Catch Phrase for a while:

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Somewhere in there was a flurry of pies and some homemade ice cream (courtesy of Graham and Sarah) I tried hard to not go too crazy, but I still ate a ton of food. Guess I’ll need to keep up the running! But overall, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving and a nice introduction to our Seattle holiday season.

Turkey trot

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Thanksgiving morning started with a fun 5k race in my neighborhood, the Seattle Turkey Trot. This is the second year for a very low-key race that had 30 people last year. No timing chips, race numbers or even street closures, just show up and run. This year they had over 150, so I’m excited to see the turnout next year. They did however, have very cute t-shirts…

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(the rest of the 20 dollar entry fee went to the Ballard Food Bank, which was cool.) A view of the starting line:

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M & I getting ready to throw down:

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After a few pre-race announcements we were off! As usual, everyone took off and surged away from us (including a very amusing Weimaraner that would have won the race if not for his pesky human… ) but M & I tried to take it out at a reasonable pace. Sure enough, soon we were passing those people that went out too fast. The route was really gorgeous, winding through some neighborhoods down to the beach. There were views of the olympics in the distance and it was all slightly downhill or flat.

Toward the end, we were still passing people, but both of us were definitely flagging. For the last mile, M and I kept each other going, even though both of us wanted to die. Finally, the finish line was in sight and it was over. I looked at my watch – 30 minutes and 21 seconds! A definite PR for me, at least on the West Coast… (That’s 9:48 minutes per mile, which is pretty speedy for me.) Here’s a self-taken shot of the PR girls:

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And a few more of the finish-line fun:

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I love the chalk turkey…

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And I’m proud to say we beat the girl in the turkey hat and the boa…

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Afterward, I took advantage of the nearby ocean for a little lower leg ice bath:

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Meanwhile, M took beautiful pictures of the scenery:

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It was such a fun morning, even without the PR. The course was beautiful, our fellow racers were nice and we raised money for a good cause. Thanks to M for keeping me going and for being an awesome race partner!

Runnin’ with the night

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Most of my runs lately have been after work in the dark. (If it weren’t for M and T, this would never happen so major props to them!) Last night after work, I met up with M in her neck of the woods for a brief jaunt through Queen Anne. I keep meaning to bring a camera along since we generally run to Kerry Park which is where you get the famous Seattle skyline view (a la Frasier) so last night I finally managed to do so. Voila!

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Coming back we passed this fabulous expression of someone’s political views (It’s been there since the night after the election, but I hadn’t had a chance to snap a photo… )

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I heart Seattle…

Outlet mall

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To celebrate my new job (for those few readers not related to me or on Facebook – I got a new job) my friend M and I decided an excursion to the outlet mall was in order. We left the boys at home and hit the road to Marysville, a town roughly an hour north of Seattle. There’s just something about the outlet mall that I enjoy. The combination of the very odd collection of people that are attracted by theortetical bargains and the merchandise that the stores carry just really entertains me. Some examples:

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I don’t remember what story carried this handsome ensemble, but I think T would look divine in it this holiday season. Especially the red, crested courderoy pants, here’s a close up:

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Also spotted at the Restoration Hardware outlet (along with some of the largest furniture I’ve ever seen) the winner for most pompous name:

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What the heck is that, you might be wondering… Well, apparently it’s a very fancy slipper, that has it’s own drawstring bag and everything!

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Silly picture taking aside, we managed to do pretty well for ourselves. We both found some new jeans/pants and tops. We each only had one spluge – a purple running hoody from the Nike outlet for me and a fabulous pair of avocado green, lizard pumps for M. Not bad, all things considered and a nice little warm-up for the holiday shopping that’s coming up.

I’m no Martha Stewart…

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Today was not a very productive day. I spent the majority of it zoned out in front of an America’s Next Top Model marathon. For some reason, I’m unable to resist the power of the t.v. marathon. It’s so very sad and wrong. In order to counteract the lethargy of the day, I decided to tackle at least one of the items on my to-do list: use up the pile of pears from the veggie box. (I had about seven pears that were taking forever to ripen living in a decorative bowl on my table… ) This month’s Cooking Light magazine had a pear pie recipe that I decided to try.

The recipe was straightforward enough, but either my organic pears were much jucier than the recipe intended or I did something wrong because the juice from the pears soon overflowed the sides of the pie – necessitating a cookie sheet to be placed under the pie to keep the oven relatively unharmed. The end result was this poor thing:

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Mmmmm… oozy! The good news is that it tasted okay – though if I didn’t know it was a pear pie, I would have assumed apple – the two don’t taste terribly different once they are cooked, though the pears do have that specific gritty texture. Oh well, it was a fun Saturday night project – the boy didn’t care that the pie was ugly and we finished the evening by watching Hellboy II. Oh yeah!

Shout out

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This post is a shout out to M, my friend and partner in running. I’ve been on a mission to run at least 3 times a week before tri training starts back up again and with it being dark on both sides of my commute to work, I’ve been heavily relying on training partners to get me out there. With T in class on Mon & Wed, this duty falls to M. We had an awesome run on Monday, so we made plans to run again on Wednesday after work (last night.) We confirm plans during the day and all is in readiness, I’m going to bus over to her place and we’re going to do a new running route in her neighborhood, a.k.a. the Tour de Queen Anne.

Everything is going along fine until approx. an hour before I’m supposed to leave work and I get a call from M that I shall dramatize for you here:

M: OMG, the weather is totally sh$%#y. We’re really going to go running in this?

Me: Of course.

M: But it’s RAINING!

Me: Yeah, this is Seattle. If you cancel runs because of rain, you aren’t going to be able to run very often.

M: I guess, but (grumble, grumble, whine, grumble)

Me: It’ll be fine.

M: Whatever!

You get the picture… Then, another call when I’m on the bus.

M: I can’t believe you are MAKING me run in this weather. It’s crazy!

Me: It doesn’t look that bad over here…

M: We’re going to be pneumonia!

Me: I really don’t think it’s that bad…

M: You’re REALLY coming over here to make me run?

Me: Yes, I’m on the bus right now.

M: I’m not going.

Me: Oh yes you are! I’ll be over there in an hour

M: Then I shall be in my pajamas watching T.V.

Me: Then you shall go running in your pajamas!

M: (Incoherent threats and complaining… )

Me: See you in an hour…

M: (Unprintable language)

When I got off the bus not only was it not raining at all, but it was even slightly warmer than usual because there wasn’t any wind. Despite more grumbling from M we headed out into a dark fall evening. To M’s credit, once we get rolling she’s totally on board. Both of us were feeling a little sluggish at first, probably because Monday’s run felt so awesome that it set expectations way too high. But before long, we’d found our rhythm and were running past gorgeous views of Seattle (thanks Kerry Park) and gossiping, laughing and looking at the ridiculously beautiful houses along the way. Right as we were finishing our run, we caught up with M’s husband J as he was walking home from the bus stop. I hung out at their place until T got done with class and ate the fabulous dinner that J cooked for us, snuggled their kitty and watched terrible t.v. with M (ANTM, what the hell happened?) It was an excellent evening.

So M, thanks for the awesome run and for being such a good sport about me teasing you. You rock! 😀

Running around

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In my quest to blog about topics other than my tri training, my pets and the food I eat, I bring you: Random Errand Running! 🙂 M & J invited me along for their Saturday of errand running and since part of the agenda was to visit the bulk food store I’ve been dying to see, I decided to go along. First up was to find the Salvation Army down by the stadiums that would take old televisions, as apparently you can’t give away televisions in this town (believe me, I’ve tried!)

Google maps led us astray in our quest for the Salvation Army, but we managed to find it anyway. (Take that, technology!) After dropping off our excess crap, it was off to Big Johns PFI, which is pretty awesome if you like bulk food stores, which I do. Being the future homesteader that he is, J was in his element:

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As you can see, they had all of these giant buckets and you just scoop out what you want and put it in a bag or container if you brought one with you. They had all sorts of different grains, beans, etc. I got two different kinds of couscous that I’d never seen before – an isreali couscous and a multi-colored one, plus some of the greenest split peas I’ve ever seen. I’ve been wanting to do some good winter soups, so I’ll definitely go back to get some dried beans.

In addition to the bulk food, they have a great selection of imported foods, including my much missed Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda. I liked looking at all of the cool packaging:

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Treacle, anyone?

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You can also get the biggest bag of spaghetti I’ve ever seen:

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and something called pizza sauce spice, check out the ingredients:

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Finally, J was ready to go:

bj-j2(Not shown here – the giant bag of bread flour and pound of cheese… )

We had lunch at Uwajimaya, which was nearby and finished the day with a trip to Home Depot. All in all, it was pretty fun for errand running…