Category: lists

taking stock

December 5th, 2010 — 7:32pm

In the past year:

  • We put everything we own into boxes and moved to Washington.
  • We celebrated Christmas in an apartment furnished with nothing but a giant, undecorated Christmas tree and a leaky blow-up mattress. It turned out perfect.
  • I went back to school.
  • Bryant started a new job (which he loves).
  • I started a new job (which I love).
  • We hosted dear friends and family from out of town seven times, for a total of 35 days!
  • Bryant was hospitalized for a week, and survived.
  • We watched New Year’s fireworks at the Space Needle, and we watched 4th of July fireworks over Lake Washington.
  • We took trips to North Carolina (and Virginia while we were at it), Utah twice, Colorado twice, and Illinois.
  • My 2010 bald eagle sighting count grew to six.
  • We experienced the full range of Seattle’s three seasons, which are as follows: [1] three and a half months of sun with 70-degree weather*, [2] eight and a half months of rain, and [3] three days of light snow, when absolutely everything will shut down and your husband will spend seven hours on a bus on a bridge over Lake Washington.
  • We got an adorable new niece.
  • Bryant managed to squeeze out a year of living in a new state without getting a new driver’s license.
  • We found our favorite Indian-food place, Mexican-food place, gelato place, creme-puff place (come on, everyone needs a favorite creme puff place), and we’re still working on the rest.
  • We bought some real, grown-up furniture, which will be delivered next weekend, and I can’t wait.
  • We had a three-year anniversary, I turned 26, and Bryant’s 32nd is just around the corner.

It’s so odd how all this stuff packs itself into the year without you noticing it. Sometimes, when I’m not thinking, I feel like I’ve wasted so much time and think I must be useless because there are still so many things left to do on my list. But then I take a minute to make a list like this and I realize, life fills itself into the spaces whether you’re aware of it or not. There’s always more to do, but look at how much you’ve done!

2010, thanks for everything. You’ve been very good year.

*except for when it’s more than 70 degrees.

5 comments » | for my amusement, good things, lists, nostalgia, travels, we live here now


February 2nd, 2010 — 7:52pm

Four random thoughts of the moment:

  1. I never tire of Hint of Lime Tostitos.
  2. My instructor cancelled lecture tonight, so I got home from school an hour and a half earlier than normal. Score.
  3. Someone keeps parking in our spot. It doesn’t really matter because we have two parking spaces and only one car. And it doesn’t always bug me, but tonight it kind of did. When I pulled in (an hour and half early!), I saw that same red car parked in our spot and got out my pen. I wrote a note pointing out that we pay for the spot and would like it if they stopped parking there. But I chickened out and didn’t put it on their car. Sigh.
  4. Lost. Tonight. Three hours! (Yes, I’m still watching and loving that. Isn’t anyone else?)

4 comments » | junk food, lists, quirks

spelling bee

January 21st, 2010 — 9:13pm

I don’t know if it has something to do with Washington, or if it’s just a coincidence, but it seems like people have a much harder time with our name here than they did in Utah. It’s always an adventure to check the mail. Since moving here and setting up all our new utilities, phone service, and whatnot, we’ve gotten mail for:

  • Richard Casteel (somehow Bryant’s phone got set up under his middle name)
  • Brian Casteel (that’s what Bryant’s phone now thinks his name is, after trying to fix it)
  • the Casteer family
  • the Cestfield family

I can see that Casteer sounds pretty darn similar to Casteel, but Cestfield? Where’d that one come from? It’s Casteel, folks. C-A-S-T-E-E-L. I know it’s no “Anderson,” but it’s not rocket science either.

3 comments » | for my amusement, if i ruled the world, lists, we live here now


December 25th, 2009 — 11:50pm

tea lights

I’ve got this Excel spreadsheet on my desktop titled “moving list.” It’s a huge, exhaustive list of all the things we needed to do before we could move. It was long and daunting and usually overwhelming. During the past two months the file was nearly always open, waiting for me to check something else off the list.

Tonight I’m sitting here in my living room next to a dozen glowing tea lights in front of my ridiculously bushy (and free, and undecorated) Christmas tree. I’m here with my laptop on the floor, because we have to wait another four days before our belongings arrive, and for the first time in over a week, I noticed that Excel file on my desktop.

I opened the list to have a look and it suddenly struck me: the list is complete.

I’m amazed. Somehow we managed to get everything done/sold/cleaned/packed, get ourselves to Seattle, and get an apartment. Now we’re here. It almost feels like it was simple. How can that be? It felt so complicated at the time.

But here right now, it’s so peaceful. …Goodnight. Merry Christmas.

2 comments » | good things, lists, pictures, travels, we live here now, what's inside

things that stink

November 13th, 2009 — 9:54am

You know what stinks?

Rotten garbage, flaming bags of dog poo, and when more than half of your entire blog post mysteriously disappears right after you finished writing the dang thing. As in, it was complete and all I had left to do was paste in one last link. It kind of puts me in too cranky of a mood to write it over again right now. Maybe later I will, but at the moment I think I’ll go kick a tree. Just kidding. I like trees. Maybe I’ll go hug one instead.


2 comments » | for my amusement, if i ruled the world, lists, quirks

felt grass and other nonsense

October 28th, 2009 — 11:57am

I’ve kept my web browser open to this “edit post” screen for a day or two now and have just been jotting down my thoughts as they come to me at random intervals. Here’s the result:

One of the downsides of not having an automatic dishwasher is forgotten leftovers in the fridge. Unless I’m willing to part with the container, I’ve got to scrub the month-old nastiness off by hand.

There’s an elderly man who lives in a house on the corner down the road. He has amazing grass. No really, it’s amazing. It’s cut so short and is so thick that it looks like green felt. The best is when fall comes. I swear he has some kind of force field around his yard that prevents leaves from landing. No matter what time of day I pass his house, there’s never more than a handful of leaves to be seen even though he’s got three or four big, leafy trees on his property. But it stays that way—completely leafless—all season. Almost every time I pass by in my car I see him out tending to his lawn, armed with a rake. I always look for him. Even though he never notices me, it makes me happy to see him. Maybe it’s his pristine grass that makes me happy—tidy green felt without a leaf in sight. Maybe it’s his impeccable attention to detail that makes me happy. I don’t know exactly. I wonder if he loves it when all the leaves have finally fallen. Or maybe he’s disappointed that he has to wait another year to do it all again.

I’m not a cook by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve been kind of ambitious the last two days, making new recipes from a Martha Stewart cookbook. (I know, fancy.) Monday was a potato-onion frittata (fancy, I’m telling you) with a broccoli-chickpea-tomato salad. I was ecstatic when they actually came out looking somewhat like the pictures. Tuesday was a pear custard pie to celebrate our anniversary. Two years. Bryant made us a chiles rellenos casserole of sorts. It was good. I love it when he cooks. And when he brings home flowers.

You know what else I love? When milestones actually feel normal. I don’t mean that they’re unexciting, rather I mean that they make sense. Like graduating. It was fun and all, but it made sense to be done. I was finished and ready for the next thing. (Or rather, I thought I was.) Getting married was that way, too. My wedding day was honestly one of the happiest and most exciting days of my life—a huge milestone—but it made total sense. It wasn’t shocking and didn’t require any humongous adjustments for either of us (unless you count learning to fit two people into a teeny bed… we really should upgrade). So, our two-year anniversary was the same. Just another day, but still exciting too. During the day I texted Bryant, “It’s our anniversary. Cool, huh?” And he replied back, “Pretty neat.” …Like that. I love that. A normal milestone.

I’ve heard that Seattle has the highest suicide rate in the United States. (I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve heard it enough to think it’s common knowledge, and I’m too lazy to fact check.) And I’ve also heard Seattle’s notoriously gloomy weather is to blame. (Again, too lazy to read up on this.) I know some people genuinely suffer from some kind of “seasonal affect disorder.” I guess I do too. Just in a different way. I’m definitely affected by weather, but mostly I just love it. All of it. Lately it’s been that startlingly cool air when you open the front door. Mmm. And snow. Mmm. Oh, and another thing, I don’t really think Seattle is as gloomy as it’s reputed to be. Maybe I should see for myself.

I fear that I stew too long over decisions. Have I always been this way? I at least know that I’ve been this way for a while.

Timing isn’t everything. But it’s something.

3 comments » | for my amusement, just wondering, lists, quirks, the great outdoors

to relax

June 18th, 2009 — 5:15pm

I’m posting these for no other reason than they feel good to me. Sort of like they fit in with my day. And sort of like they’re what I wish my day was.

- – -

- – -

- – -

(Each of these comes from Shutter Sister’s “the daily click”.)

1 comment » | hopes, lists, pictures

good news, bad news

May 14th, 2009 — 2:23pm

GOOD NEWS: I just spent about three hours gardening. Outside. In the sun. It was wonderful.
BAD NEWS: I ripped a big hole in my gardening gloves and now my middle finger pops out of the top. …Which actually is kind of funny, so I guess it’s not that bad of news.

BAD NEWS: I almost just chucked my dirty clothes into the garbage instead of into the hamper.
GOOD NEWS: I’m at least trying to use the hamper.

GOOD NEWS: I haven’t eaten any junk food today.
BAD NEWS: I really haven’t eaten much of anything today. (Which is about to change right now, thankfully… and the “haven’t eaten any junk food” thing might change, too.)

BAD NEWS: My right eye has been twitching constantly all day long. Talk about annoying.
GOOD NEWS: Um, nothing. That’s just bad news. But also kind of funny.

GOOD NEWS: I’ve made a goal to blog every day this month (though I missed yesterday and this past weekend… I’m pretending that didn’t happen.)
BAD NEWS: That goal makes for some less-than-stellar posts, kind of like this one. Thanks for sticking with me anyway!

1 comment » | bloggish, for my amusement, lists, quirks, the great outdoors

random wednesday

May 6th, 2009 — 10:11pm

…Because it’s been a while, and I liked doing it last time. Plus, I feel so incredibly frazzled right now, and it sounds soothing to just sit and take stock of my senses. Here goes…


Two photographs I’m liking right now:

moon and cloud

…Because I feel the need for some serious tranquility, and that’s what this photo does for me.

glad bud
…Because when I came home yesterday and saw my gladiola bud popping out of the soil, it was like all of the sudden everything was right in the world. I’d like to feel that way again.


I’m putting my iPod on shuffle and listening the first ten songs it pumps out. Let’s hope they’re good.

  1. “Hold On” by Sarah McLachlan
  2. “All Along the Watchtower” by Dave Matthews Band (Sigh. Doesn’t Dave make everything better? “There’s too much confusion. Can’t get nooooo relief.” Mmmhmm.)
  3. “Going Under” by Evanescence (Remnants of my first year of college.)
  4. “Blood on the Ground” by Incubus
  5. “Omaha” by Counting Crows (Sometimes shuffle is really hit-and-miss, but I’m impressed with how well this shuffle is matching my mood.)
  6. “Valeri” by the Monkees (Mmm… spoke too soon?)
  7. “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine (Ahhhh, now we’re talking.)
  8. “Middle Man” by Jack Johnson (I think I’ll add this one to the player here on my blog.)
  9. “What’s Happening” by Ying Yang Twins (Ugh. Sorry, but I’m definitely skipping through this one. Is that cheating?)
  10. “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy)” by Simon and Garfunkel (Hey, that’s a nice note to end on. Way to go, shuffle. Today I give you an 8 out of 10.)


The lurking smell of old, rubbery acrylic paint stuck on my fingers. There are times when I love the smell of paint—like it ignites the desire to create inside. But tonight, it’s just keeping my stress alive.

THOUGHTS (not that this is a “sense,” but who’s going to stop me?)

~ I hate feeling locked into an identity that doesn’t feel like it fits. But since it’s how other people see me, it’s how they treat me, and it’s how I continue to act. A vicious cycle.
~ Sometimes I ache so much for a change of scene that I nearly convince myself to start boxing up our things.
~ To end on a less dismal note… This little squeaking porcupine is just so adorable, I can’t help smiling. His little claws clutching his food! His little munching sounds and squeaks! Oh man. Wow, I’m in a better mood already.

Comment » | for my amusement, if i ruled the world, lists, pictures, what's inside

the best things

May 2nd, 2009 — 11:45pm

The best things that happened today, possibly in ascending order:

  1. Parking in the driveway. — Since our neighbors who live upstairs are gone on vacation, we get to use the driveway. The DRIVEWAY instead of the road. It feels extremely luxurious.
  2. Getting a back rub, however small. — I’m still hoping Massage May will catch on. So far, it’s been two for two, though Friday’s was more of a joke back pat than a real massage. I figure it’s okay to start small.
  3. Not cooking dinner. — Bryant is my favorite. He was a champion in the kitchen tonight and made me the best breakfast for dinner I’ve had in a long time. Hashbrowns with country gravy, spinach and cheese omelets, and bacon. Delish.

An excellent Saturday in my book.

breakfast for dinner

1 comment » | good things, lists, pictures

Back to top