Thursday, June 27, 2013

Backyard Bliss

By Liz

As backyards go, I am one lucky ducky!  When you factor in city living, a rental and a roomie that is a natural gardener, I'm off the charts lucky!  Many of my friends agree that the space is inviting, comfortable, and a gem.  In the summer, the party lights go up, adirondack chairs come out and peace ensues.  Long afternoons with a book and ice cold drink, or enjoying the company of good people for a backyard shindig.  Life is good!

I do enjoy all the pretty bushes or plants and such, but frankly I'm glad roomie cares about them and keeps them looking good.  The only thing I'm good is for mowing the lawn and weeding in the veggie garden. Well, a little more TLC to the veggies from me than weeding.  This summer's crop includes some goodies... Sugar snap peas, beets, onions, fennel, tomatoes, zucchini, tomatillo, green beans, corn, herbs, blue berries, and lettuce.  Oh boy, is there lettuce.  My friends and coworkers have been enjoying the abundance of that crop:0)

From top left clockwise: sugar snap peas, tomatillo, full garden view, and corn that is well over knee high by the 4th of July!
Having a veggie patch is nothing new, not to me or many others.  I grew up with always having some sort of veggie in the backyard.  My grandpa has had a rather large garden in his backyard for years that has produced many wonderful ruffage. It sure is a lovely feeling taking a bowl from the kitchen, walking it down the back steps, and gathering fresh organic produce for that night's meal... 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Breaking Spots

by Liz 

Breaking up the work day is very important to me… As a cubical/office worker I find myself in front of the computer and on my bum for long periods of time.  I try to make an effort to get up as often as possible to move around and get my blood pumping (well more than it already is).  We all hear about how “sitting is killing us” that sedentary lifestyles are just as deadly as smoking, eating red meat, salt, and alcohol.  Even taking a two minute stroll every hour during an eight hour day will drastically reduce risks and be all around better for your body. 

When the lunch bell rings, I find myself getting out even if I have no plans or the weather is not top notch.  Walking for some or all of my lunch break has become a habit.  Now, I’m not “walking” for exercise, it’s just to get those extra steps in.  My biggest go to place is about a half a mile one way, but it’s a Market.  Which is fun to browse, but I usually do not just browse if you know what I mean…

So, when I found a nice little park between some offices a short walk from work I was very pleased.  It is again the perfect distance to walk, eat lunch, read a bit, and then walk back to work on my forty minute break.   Also, it has a pretty sweet view of the Sound and Olympic Mountain Range.  I’ve gone down to the water plenty of times on my break, but the route does not leave much time to dilly or dally around.   Just time to take a nice walk to the destination and then  head back a few moments later.  Check out my new faves spot and don’t forget to get up and get out a bit yourselves.  Happy Breaking!

Overlooking Myrtel Edwards Park before hitting the Sound.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Baggage Revisited

by Liz 

Being somewhat of a competitive person, I vowed that I was not going to pay for the use of a bag when at a store.  Don’t worry I did not resort to thievery.  I did accomplish this task have have not paid for a single paper bag.  I was able to accomplish this by always having a fold up bag in my purse or extra shopping/reusable bags in my car.  On a few occasions when I was lacking my personal bag I refused to pay and ended up just carrying the items I purchased.  This led to some odd juggling maneuvers.  Call it cheap, stubborn, ‘greenie-weenie,’ or even foolhardy if you will, but I’m glad I’ve upped my ‘own bag’ usage and depended less on the thin annoying store plastic bag. 

Now, to be completely forthcoming, I will admit that when at stores outside of the Seattle city limit, I will get the plastic bag. I know, shocking!  However, I have good cause. Well, at least in my mind… The bags are reused as bathroom garbage bags, kitty litter cleaning, or giving out lettuce and produce from the garden to my co-worker/friends.  It’s nice to have a stock of bags to use for those purposes. 

A year later and I think the city has gotten used to it.  From my personal observation (no actually study made here) the impact has been minimal on the average consumer.  I’ve even seen other cities join in the ranks, I was happy in October while visiting San Francisco to find they had just started this practice.  Good for me I had my bag handy.  From time to time, we all need a little extra push or reminder to do the right thing.  So, even if your city does not require this I encourage you to bring your bags to the store and/or reuse the bags as you can. 

These are my favorite fold up bags… they work great, easy to wash (yes, you should really wash your reusable bags every so often), and they are pretty darn affordable.  Thank you Ikea $1.99.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!!!

 by Liz

Happy 1st Birthday Rider Chronicles!  It was just a year ago that the “And the Ride Begins,” welcomed the first post of 63 to date (64 if you count this baby).  What a labor it has been too!  A labor of love, loathing at some time, excitement, exploration, and commitment.  I am proud of the Rider Chronicles and excited to continue, even though it is different than initially set out to be.

Essentially a ‘bus’ blog about people and bus commuting, life changed and so did the Rider Chronicles.  In the first year we’ve experienced a glimpse into Seattle’s commuters, a faux Olympic Bus Games (one of my favorites, by the way), and a few changes to the King County Metro system that was met with anticipation, but realized with total grrrr-ness.   There was a 1800 mile round trip to Napa and San Francisco in the Fall, a spring trip to Michigan and Jeremy expanded our global view with The Horn of Africa and a dream trip on a 747 from Tokyo to Detroit.  I’ve shared some big life changes and appreciated the warm reception to such a personal story.  Thank you, by the way!  Lastly, a major love story with Seattle unfolded with love  letters and valentine request. 

It has been an interesting year to say the least.  This experience of ‘almost’ weekly blogging has been one of a challenge, in a good way and a welcome way to express thought.  It brings me so much excitement and anticipation of what the next year of blogging will entail.   The Rider Chronicles owes a great deal of appreciation to founding member Jamie for the push and excitement to get this off the ground.  With the help of guest bloggers like Jeremy, a different voice has been heard as well. 

I will blow out the singular candle on the cupcake to celebrate the Birthday/Anniversary, make a wish and dream of another year of happy posting.  Cheers for coming along for the ride…