Monday, December 22, 2008

I've been tagged?

Yep. That is right. Michelle over at Curls, Spunk, and Monkey Chunk has tagged me. I think she is tired of seeing that same old running picture of me. I know I am. This is what I have to do.

1. go to the pictures folder on your computer.
2. open the sixth folder.
3. pull up the sixth picture.
4. post it.

I took this photo last spring while visiting Boston. I was on the Freedom Trail and this was the stop at the graveyard where Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, the victims of the Boston Massacre, and many others I am sure I am forgetting are buried. That was all very interesting and educational but what was really thrilling to me was the art on the headstone. I absolutely loved these skulls with the angel wings. The winged skulls symbolized the flight of the soul from mortal man. I wonder why it has gone out of vogue on headstones? I think I will have it on mine.

I tag Britt my lovely cousin.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Sur Half Marathon

Mark & I ran in the Big Sur half marathon this past weekend. It was the most beautiful race I have ever done. This one is definitely going on the calender for next year! I hope you will join me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Must Dos .... San Fran

1. Take the BART into the city.
2. Try and walk as much as possible.
3. Jump on the trolley.
4. Have sourdough bread.
5. See Chinatown.
6. Eat at Tadich.
7. See the Golden Gate Bridge.
8. Go for a hike in Muir Woods.
9. Eat at Scoma.
10. Bring your umbrella.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life is Good

(That little speck standing up on the water is Mark! Just to the left of the sun.)

Monday, October 27, 2008


If Laird Hamilton

And Brad Womack from the Bachelor

could have a baby, then you would get

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So I had to choose ......

Between this ...

and this ......

I choose this .....

Youth prevails!!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Freegan Tip #1

Eat your leftover lefse!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Heart Jumping

Deep Ends
Diving Boards

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

words to LIVE by

This past weekend I went to the wedding of a good friend. This was a wedding attended by some really great people. It was an incredible weekend filled with extreme joy, it was a wedding after all. Did I mention that we drove thus giving me plenty of time to reflect on the weekends events. And here (not in my own words) is what came of it.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken onyour 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of whatother people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should holdon. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might runout.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Mary Schmich

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Banner

The cutie on my banner is my niece Annika. I haven't been able to see her much this summer. So I thought I would remind her that her Aunty is still goofy and fun. Annika and her family are coming out to visit in October. Can't wait to see them!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Fine Friday

For this week's "vino venerdi" I tried a Pinot Noir. I have been wanting to try more Pinot Noirs because the region I am living in is known for PNs. If you have ever seen "Sideways" you know exactly what I am talking about.
For the meal I prepared a grilled tuna and peppers with caper vinaigrette. It was a great recipe!! The sauce was absolutely delicious. And the recipe could not have been easier, the entire thing took me about 10 minutes. It was a perfect Friday night meal. But now, you maybe asking yourself "a red wine with fish?" I thought the same thing...that these people are crazy telling me that the tuna will go perfectly with a PN. They were was a great combo.
The PN of the evening was from the Rancho Sisquoc Winery. The grapes came from the Flood Family vineyards of Santa Barbara County. It had a very distinct cherry flavor. Mark kept commenting on the tame tannins. I think he likes a little more tannin and oak. However, he did manage to finish off a couple of glasses. I definitely enjoyed this wine and look forward to trying more wines from this winery.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time Does Fly

A year ago Mark and I were enjoying ourselves in the BWCA. If you have never been, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Drop everything and plan a trip. You will not regret it. Planning is super easy just visit Have a great time and be sure to let me know how much fun you had.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vino Venerdi a la Domenica

Vino Venerdi had to wait til Sunday, but like a good wine it became better with age. This week I did not necessarily pair it with any particular predetermined food, but the wine did go perfectly with the meal and not to mention was indeed enhanced by the food. The wine chosen (by my wonderful husband ) for this evening's tasting was Simi a Chardonnay from Sonoma County.
It was definitely good. I would not say it was the best Chardonnay I ever had but it was a lovely wine for a Sunday night. This is a subtle wine with a bit of an acidic lingering. There are some definite toasted oak notes as well, but not overwhelming so. No butter found in this Chardonnay. I am still on the look out for a nice buttery Chardonnay, so leave me a note if you have a favorite. This wine was good, but was even better when paired with our meal, Lime Ricky Chicken. The chicken enhanced the oak and smoothed out the flavor.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wine Fest 2008

In honor of Michelle Wine-O-Wednesdays I thought I would post about my weekend at the Red, White, and Blues Wine Festival in Santa Barbara, CA. It was a huge festival with over 400 California wineries. Needless to say, I wasn't able to taste from every winery, but I tried my best! I tried to only taste the wines that were the specialities of that paticular winery. I also tried to stay away from wines that are from the nearby Santa Ynez valley. I was a little disappointed with some of the vendors when I asked them "what is your speciality?" and their reply was "wine." I was hoping for a little more insight than that.

Of all the wines I tasted, I do have a favorite from the afternoon. A 2006 Pinot Noir from Peter's Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast crafted Kokomo Wines. I am not a huge Pinor Noir fan but this wine was fantastic! The wine gives a bold flavor of ripe strawberries and spices. It also has a wonderful smoky vanilla aroma. It is way more than I would regularly spend on a bottle, but it would be great for a special occasion.

I may try to follow Michelle's lead, but with a teeny, tiny twist. I may try "Vino Venerdi." Vino Venerdi will be dedicated to trying new wine and preparing new dinner dishes to pair with the wine. Thanks for the great idea Michelle!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's Official

I am a card carrying member of the SCUBA community. Mark and I had our final certification dives last weekend. We saw a ton of aquatic life including a color changing octopus and a Volkswagen sized Gaint Black Sea Bass. I can't wait for our next trip.
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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Julsrud Family Visit

My family came to visit this past week. It was great! We did so much stuff that I think we all need another week off to recover. We did everything from wine tasting in the Santa Ynez valley to hiking on Santa Cruz (one of the Channel Islands). Everything we did was incredibly fun, but truly the best part of all was just being with family. I can't wait for the next time they all come out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Culinary Exploration

One of the best parts about moving to a new region of the country is culinary exploration. And who better to tryout previously unexplored foods than family. My family is staying with me this week and both my brother and mother are excellent cooks, who are undaunted and adventurous in the kitchen. So why not ... Jon wanted crab, we can make crab! It was one of the most fun meals both in preparation and consumption that I have had in a while (minus my anniversary dinner at San Ysidro Ranch).

Jovial Crabs

1 cup Kosher Salt
2 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
live Dungeness or Rock Crab

Don't cook alone! Get family and friends gathered. Add salt, seasoning, and vinegar to approximately 10 qt. of water. Laugh and have a great time with family/friends while waiting for pot to boil. Add crab to boiling pot. Take approximately 10 minutes to enjoy your company or until crab turn a lovely shade of pink. Let crab cool enough to handle. Enjoy!

Rasmussen Butter

Melt butter add fresh lemon juice and enjoy with crab.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Open Water

Goldfish Bowl

I went on my first dive this weekend. It was awesome! I was introduced to a whole new underwater world. It had just been lying there in wait under 30 feet of water. It was a totally great experience and I can't wait for my next dive...but I must admit that I was really nervous. I had a momentary panic attack on my second dive. Fortunately, I had a great dive instructor, Michael from Anacapa Dive Center, that got me through it. I am actually a little relieved that I had a moment of panic. It gave me a bit of confidence. I am really looking forward to the next dive when I can relax a little more and just enjoy what is going on all around me.

The dives were at Anacapa Island. The Raptor took us to three different locations: Windfield Scott, Goldfish Bowl, and one other one I can't recall the name of. We saw a Bat Ray, an Angel Shark, and a Spanish Shawl nudibranch on our first dive. The Spanish Shawl was my favorite. It is this incredibly vibrant little slug looking thing with a purplish/bluish body and orange gummy bear like spikes coming out of it. I have never seen anything like it before.

The dives were all in Kelp forests. I never thought kelp was anything special but swimming amongst it underwater really changed my mind. The kelp was gorgeous. The little bulb bits seemed to emit their own light. It was something magical and other worldly. It was very dream-like "floating" through the kelp. It was like nothing I had ever experienced, the way the light filters through the water and between the kelp. It was crazy to be swimming through the kelp looking up at schools of fish. I really can't wait to go again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feeling Like a Kid Again

I fell off my bike today. Not only did I fall off, but I also have the grass stains on my knees to prove it, which I had the privilege of sporting all day at work. Now most people would say "big deal you fell off your bike..." but it was really the gracefulness of the fall that I got a kick out of.
Everyday, I ride my bike along the road in the designated bike lane which is a fine and easy way to get around town. However, on the way back to work from lunch I happened to be going the wrong direction in the bike lane. Usually it is not that big of a deal because I am the only one in the lane during this hour of the day, except for today. I ride a pink beach cruiser. She is not very fast and she is more for show than for serious biking and around here there are a lot of serious bikers. So I am heading down the bike lane, the wrong way, straight for one of these uber serious bikers. Trying to be nice and give him the right of way, I pulled over into the grassy ditch. That is where I made my fatal mistake. The ditch was bumpy, slippery,and slanted into a gross trench full of green slop. As my wheels started hitting the bumps my feet flew off the pedals. I should remind you that I am on my way back to work so it is not like I am wearing tennis shoes. I am in fact wearing high heals! As my feet were flying off the pedals I gave a little yelp. The ponytailed, spandex wearing, uber biker thought I was exchanging the "I am so excited about life" greeting, so he gave an excited "yahoo". That was when it was all over, the yahoo set me completely off balance and I went tumbling down the ditch right in front of all the windows in my office. Thank goodness it was lunch and no one was back yet. Unfortnately, the 10+ gardeners at my building don't take lunch. I am sure they all had a good laugh.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Mary's Visit

Mary came to visit last week. It was great fun. We took her to all of our favorite spots and we discovered a few new ones as well. We went whale watching on the Double Dolphin. It was fun even if we didn't see any whales. It was really nice to have family from home. We miss you all and hope you will come out to visit sooner rather than later. Mary helped break us in as tour guides!!

And the winner is ......

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lunch Break

Sure makes any sandwich taste better!!

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View during lunch break.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My commute (video)

I use to hate getting in my car after work. I would sit there not moving for more than an hour. It would stress me out so much because I would be thinking of all the things I could/should be doing.

Now I love my commute!!! Check out the video!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fish Market

We went to the Fish Market in Santa Barbara on Saturday morning. It was a beautiful morning at the harbor. We got some local Rigdeback shrimp. They are incredibly sweet shrimp with tons of flavor. I prepared them simply.
Drunken Shirmp
1. Boil beer.
2. Add Shrimp.
3. Drink a beer.
4. Drain shrimp.
5. Rip off heads, peel, and eat.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Are you for SCUBA?

I am!!!! Mark and I had our first SCUBA lessons this weekend. It was great! We took our class at the Anacapa Dive Center in Santa Barbara. They had really great instructors. I thought I was totally going to freakout underwater but I didn't. Everything was fine. It was actually very relaxing you sort of forget that you aren't suppose to be breathing underwater. I passed the final exam so now I get to go diving at the Channel Islands. I can't wait. Check out this video I found of a dive similiar to the one I get to go on. It is like getting to explore a whole new world!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In honor of summer .....

I thought I would pay tribute to lawn games, hence the new banner.

Ode to lawn games
Throwing a dart is a good start.
Croquet is more than OK.
Horseshoes will kill those winter blues.
Badminton has me smitten.
Volleyball is fun for all.
But if you ask me,
I will guarantee,
the best,
better than all the rest,
is a little game called Bocce.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wholly Boxes Batman!!

All our belongings finally arrived last Thursday. It was great to get all of our stuff but it really made me realize I don't need half of the things I own. I have more paperbacks than anyone I know. There were at least 50 boxes of books. I could just use the library but for some reason I enjoy having the book after I finish it. There are still boxes of clothes in the closet and some of the clothes I am sure I have not worn in years and some still have the tag on them. I know this going to the extreme but freeganism seems like the answer. Perhaps that is going too far but at least I should take a deeper look at my consumer driven attitude.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Run Run Run .....

Yesterday, Mark and I did the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. It was a great run! It was absolutely gorgeous. The whole course wound through beautiful lavender fields, horse farms, and vineyards. It was a lot of rolling hills and one giant climb, "the cork screw". The race finished in Solvang, where the wine tasting commenced. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a finisher's medal and a wine glass. The tasting was a blast. I definitely recommend this race to everyone!

There also are a couple of other wine country half marathons still this summer. Check them out!

Here is the course:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Anyone for a hike?

I love hiking. It is one of my favorite past times. Lately I have been thinking a lot about which hike has been my favorite. After much thought I have decided my favorite all time hike is Garnet Mountain just outside of Big Sky, Montana in the Gallatin Valley.

The hike started out rocky. I didn't even think we were going to make it to the summit. We got a late start and Mark was dragging after having spent the week before walking the fields for pheasants. It was an extremely over cast day so we spent the entire hike walking in the clouds. We finally made it to the top after an eerie last mile. The clouds were so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.

Feeling extremely exhausted and a little disappointed we sat down to enjoy an apple before ending back down the mountain. As we were sitting there eating our apples the clouds began to part. They gave way to one of the most inspiring vistas I have ever laid eyes on.

We sat in awe watching the clouds part more and more. The view continued to grow even more breath taking with each minute. We must have sat there in silence just watching for about half an hour. After feeling amply rewarded for our hiking efforts we headed back home with a new found bounce in our step.

I would like to hear about your favorite hike. So leave a comment and tell me all about it and maybe one day, if I get my way I will do your hike too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Matilija Creek

Mark and I went for a fun hike just outside of Ojai, up Matilija Creek. The hike wound up the canyon crossing the creek about 10 ten times. There were plenty of rocks to pick our way across the creek so our toes didn't get wet. Although we did dip our toes for a little while. The water was heaven. I expected the water to be bone chillingly cold like all the hikes in Montana where the creeks are made of snow melt. It was a pleasant change. The scenery was gorgeous. The water ran over big slabs of rock creating little waterfalls all up and down the canyon. The flowers were also out in force. Lots of purple and orange ones. It was spectacular.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mark's Birthday Getaway

Mark's 28th birthday was last weekend so we went to the Channel Islands to celebrate. It was amazing!! The Channel Islands are called the Galopagos of North America and it definitely lived up to the reputation. The scenery was gorgeous and there was a huge array of wildlife that are not found anywhere else in the world.

The islands are about 13 miles off shore so we took the ferry. It took about an hour to get to Anacapa. But within about 45 minutes we began to see Anacapa's shear cliffs rising out of the ocean. The island itself is only about a 1 mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. The ferry pulled into a little cove, then we grabbed our camping gear and headed up the 157 steps to top of the island.

When we reached the top I was transported to a world I had never seen before. A land where sea gulls rule the earth from their nests in dwarfed trees and seal lions bellow from the sea, sounding their warning not to get too comfortable. Underfoot is a lush, dense, tangled carpet of red and green. The ice plant has taken over the entire island. Only the sea gulls can tame it enough to make nests.

We set up camp quickly so we could explore the island. As we began hiking around the island we realized it was full of incredible vistas.

That evening we watched the sun set over inspiration point (first photo). It was amazing, total grandeur with pelicans swirling over head and the ocean surging down below. It was truly a special evening. A perfect way to celebrate a great man.

The next day was super hot so we did a little jumping into the water. We just had to wait for the sea lions to get out of the way.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bye-Bye BOQ

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Navy terminology (I am still learning), BOQ stands for Bachelor Officers Quarters. Sounds fancy, right !?!?! They could just call it a hotel like everyone else. Well after living in a hotel room and eating out every night since mid December ... tonight is our last night! I am so excited to get up to Carpinteria and start "real life". I am excited just to cook again. I have been watching Rachel Ray and stocking up ideas for when everyone comes to visit. So bring your appetite and your flip-flops. We will take care of the rest.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wine & Sun Shine

This weekend Mark and I drove up the coast to enjoy a little wine and sun shine. Our first stop was Solvang. It left a little to be desired (travel tip: if you come to Santa Barbara wine country you can skip Solvang). We then traveled up the beautiful country roads to Los Olivos (where "Sideways" was filmed). On the way we stopped at a couple of lovely wineries. The first was Blackjack where some of the scenes from "Sideways" were filmed. There we tried a wide variety of wines. The best was a dry Bordeaux Blend - Harmonie 2002. We then stopped at one other vineyard, Brander. This was my favorite one becuase I did a whole tasting menu of Sauvigon Blanc. I love Sauvigon Blanc!!!

Then we headed back down the coast to enjoy the beach in Carpinteria. We have decided to live in Carpinteria. It is the greatest little town. It has a prefect beach with beautiful bluffs rolling into it, a great little downtown with shops and restuarants, and the best vibe. After a walk on the beach we went for one last drink (it was Saturday after all). We stopped at the Island Brewing Company and I have a feeling that will not be our last time there.