07 December 2010

Banging my head on a wall

You know those instances in which you are so completely misunderstood that you wail, "What?! Noooo....!! That's not what I SAID!"?

Yeah.  This is one of those.

I recently received a new (replacement) credit card in the mail, simply updating the expiration date and security code on my current card, which meant that before I could get rid of my old card, I had to... simply update my expiration date and security code on a handful of websites which pull my bills/donations directly from my account via the card.  Not so simple.  I had almost completed the update form on their website when I noticed that it said in fine print that I would be charged once when I submitted the form, and then monthly, thereafter, according to what I signed up for.

My email to customer service: "Hi, I am currently [using your online transaction service] on a monthly basis and simply need to update my credit card information. I was going to use the online form on your website, but I don't want my card charged twice, and I don't want a payment to come out until December 15 (which would be the next regularly scheduled monthly payment coming up). Can you please assist me?
Thank you!

My phone rang shortly after, but it stopped after one ring.  It was a number I didn't recognize, so... I didn't answer it, per my personal protocol.  Besides the fact that it only rang once.  And they didn't leave a message. 
Pretty soon, I received an email response: "Thanks, [Ri], for your recent e-mail to [our company].  We felt a phone call would be the best way to get back to you, but we weren’t able to reach you. We hope this e-mail is helpful. Please be assured that we have removed you from the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) [payment] program as you requested; this change will be effective immediately. As you may realize, it’s not possible to guarantee the security of e-mail. As such, we’d request that you send your name, address, credit card information, withdrawal date and amount via fax or postal mail..."

Noooo!!  That's not what I said!!

This is why it took me 2 months to even think about activating my new credit card.  Sigh...

06 December 2010

October Farmer's Market Adventures

Yes, the following pictures are from OCTOBER. 


You should be used to this by now.

So, in October, some friends and I went to the farmer's market, as per my usual Saturday morning tradition by now.  The party included Catherine, Tori, and Taylor.  We were strolling along, minding our own mini-doughnut-eating business, when out from behind the hum of the crowd we heard a haunting and ethereal sound.  It floated around, high and low, dreamy and chilling all at once.  So of course we had to follow it.  We found this couple playing their instruments and occasionally singing along, on the sidewalk.  (The Saturday Market includes a program that allows upcoming musical and performing artists to obtain a cheap, 1-day sidewalk permit so they can gain more exposure in front of the thousands of people walking around downtown Boise every Saturday.)  The female of the duo was playing a saw.  I've seen people play saws before, and I remember hearing a Sarah McLachlan (saw comes in at 0:23) song in which the saw is played, but hearing it in person again was incredible.  It's unlike anything else you've heard. 

This couple (and piggybacked baby!) had a very homegrown, bluegrass look and sound. They sure had it down. Her voice was strong, clear, and slightly twangy.  His was earnest and a little gruff, just like a good hillbilly should be.  All of their instruments were homemade, with the exception of the guitar.  We saw her play the saw (with violin bow) and a sort of bass made out of an upside-down metal washbin and a wooden broom handle with a string attached at a triangular angle.  Oh! She also played the washboard by strumming it, I think.  Tori bought a CD, hoping to catch some of the woman's voice, but sadly it was an earlier album of his and she wasn't on it at all!  Very disappointing.

We moved on past the outdoor market to Anthropologie, a truly unique and subsequently overpriced boutique store.  Catherine found a nifty little neck warmer just a few steps inside the door.  She's been knitting recently and we needed photographic guidelines for her next project.  The salespeople were not happy to see a camera, but it's a free country.  Especially when their neckwarmer costs upward of $40.

Each side looked similar, with a cinched portion in the middle, but one side had a solid cinch, and the other side had  hollow cinch, if that makes sense, so that one end pulled through the other.  I bet my mom could knit this. :-)

Catherine was so excited about her new project that she had to immediately go home and get to work.  There may have been nursing school homework thrown in there before she could get to the knitting, but we know where her true priorities were.  Tori and Taylor and I continued drooling our way across the store until we finally reached the sale room in the far reaches of the back corner.  Even on sale, most of the items are in the $30-60 range, so we were surprised to see a rack of dresses for $15-30.  I found this one in my size and had to give it a go.

It would have been perfect for the Christmas party I'm crashing next weekend, but sadly it was a no-go.  I would have to make so many adjustments to it (straps, neckline modesty patch, etc.) that I would have created an entirely new dress by the time I was done!  Tori and Taylor had similar luck.  But it's still fun to try things on and get ideas for the day when I do finally decide to sew my own clothes.

Let down by our Anthropologie failures, we decided to go somewhere we would be guaranteed success.  The good ol' standby, Old Navy.  I'll leave you with a picture of what's supposed to be a Halloween costume, but actually describes the two sisters in real, daily life.  They're quite a pair.

01 December 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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03 November 2010

Summer ride

I forgot to post these pictures from... what? a month ago?  Something like that.  Tonight I'm not feeling so hot (very sore from XF workouts and a pinched nerve(?) in my back, and my allergies are acting up), so I'm home and just bumming around. I made stuffed squash and a plum pie of sorts.  For the squash, I cut a kabota squash in two, roasted for half an hour, then filled it with sauteed beef, onion, apple, cranberries and pecans, then continued roasting for another 20 minutes.  Really tasty fall dinner.  The pie is a little different. I'm just trying to make some room in my freezer for stuff I know I'm going to want to store soon (cooked pumpkin, sausages, applesauce).  I thawed a bag of sliced plums from the abundance currently overtaking my freezer and simply poured (very juicy!!) them into a pie plate with a little butter.  I'm playing around with almond flour a lot these days, so I made a top crust with almond flour, almond paste, egg, vanilla, and butter.  It tastes great, even if it is more like plum soup with a biscuit on top. 

Anyway, on to the pictures I was going to show you!  These are just from a bike ride I took to Barber Park in September.  Might be the last one I do this year.

These deer were just off the path.  They watched me warily but never flinched or ran.  I sat and watched them for a while.

23 October 2010

Rock Climbing

I think I told all of you that I went rock climbing for the first time a few weeks ago, right?  Maybe that was on facebook. It's hard to keep the two forums separate!  Well, in case I didn't tell you, I went rock climbing. :-)  I had gone once before at the Black Cliffs, about 6 years ago, but it was a very embarassing experience, as nobody told me what to wear and so I showed up in shorts on that hot summer day.

Rule number one of rock climbing:  Do not wear shorts.

When you wear a rock climbing harness, there's a strap that encircles each thigh at the top, right at your hip.  There's also a waist strap, and a strap that connects each hip strap to the waist strap.  They all look like a death trap waiting to happen, until you get the thing on.  See here for a visual.  After you're strapped in and you start climbing, the belayer (ooo... technical jargon!), also known as the person who holds your life in their small, weak hands, keeps tension on the rope so that if your muscles give out and you fall dramatically off the wall, screaming like a little hyena (hypothetically speaking), you won't go plummeting to the ground.  What this also means is that the tension on the rope translates to tension on the harness, which translates to tension on your shorts.  Can you see where I'm headed here? 

Welcome to Wedgie-ville.  Nice to...ahh... see you.

If you're a girl, and the longest shorts you can find in any store on planet Earth only go to about, say, your mid-thigh, that will mean they turn into bathing suit bottoms the minute you get up on that rock wall.  Goodbye modesty.  My first rock climbing experience, so long ago it is almost blissfully eradicated from my memory, was traumatic.  Not to mention my belayer was a guy.

So you can imagine what I wore the second time I went rock climbing... duhn duhn duuuhhnn.... PANTS!   Smart, smart move Ri.  It was much more fun and carefree this time around, especially since we were at the Y with semi-padded floor beneath us.  Here's my friend Kim and I ringing those bells:

20 October 2010

Boots! Tall black ones, to be specific.

For the past two or three years, I've been searching for a pair of tall black boots.  Yep, you read that right, years.  I have a weird foot, or pair of feet, and finding shoes that will even fit on my foot feet is very difficult (they're very wide, one foot is wider and slightly longer than the other, very high arch, yada yada yada).  Two years ago, I gave up on finding anything in a store and started shopping online.  I was highly skeptical of online purchases because... these are shoes.  Which need to fit my weird feet.  Which means I need to try them on.  So what am I supposed to do?  Order pair after pair after pair until I finally find some?  YEP.  Care to wager a guess as to the number of pairs I ordered online, had shipped to my house, tried on, carried to the office to ship back, and occasionally even had to pay return shipping on? 


My feet hurt just thinking about it.

So you can imagine how thrilled and willing-to-invest-hard-earned-cash I feel for this pair I finally found.  I'm not even head-over-heels (hee!) enamored of the little design on the ankle, but they fit - They Fit!  I even wore them outside already.  Now that's committment, friends.  Forget signing on the dotted line or swearing to uphold the law in court or giving out your social security number.  I got dirt on the heels.

18 October 2010


I have a big announcement!  Well... not so big, but something very fun and hopefully useful to you.  Thanks to the encouragement of my good friend Debbi, I started a food blog.  About half of what I write concerns food anyway, so might as well give it its own space, right?  It's called Molto Gelato.  Anyone who knows me knows I love ice cream, and in my opinion gelato is the best!

I'll still be tweaking it here and there over the next few weeks (I'm not satisfied with the template yet, for one thing), but there are a few posts up already, including one about kitchen disasters.  Ironically, I haven't posted any ice cream recipes yet.  That will have to be remedied, pronto.  Some day I hope to use Molto Gelato as a kitchen journal to document the results as I bake and cook my way through every recipe I own.  Yep, all of them.  I have folders (both real and virtual) full of recipes that are just begging to be tested, not to mention two shelves of cookbooks!  No time to start like the present!

If there's a particular sweet you'd like to see me try, be sure to let me know.  I'd love to make it for you.  If you're within reasonable mailing distance... and the item is sturdy... and you're a faithful blog reader... we may be able to work something out.  *wink*

Ciao for now,

14 October 2010


MaryEllen is a good friend of mine.  We usually only get to visit in person once or twice a year because we live almost an hour apart, and we are both busy little bees.  Just thought I would share this recent photo.  The Weavers' house reminds me of Mom and Dad's!

MaryEllen (left) and I

If you happen to be looking for new makeup, MaryEllen's your girl.  She makes her own!  It's completely natural, moderately priced, and can be found at Ella Rose Minerals.  I have several of her eyeshadows and lip balms.  Highly recommended.  :-)

10 October 2010

10.10.10 One Day On Earth photo project

Boise downtown farmer's market

I don't think I've ever shown you around downtown, have I?  Well, this won't be a total downtown exposé, but it is a tour of one of my favorite places to be on a Saturday morning.  Apologies to all of you who already saw these on Facebook.

This rootbeer is phenomenal.  You can taste the chicory, spearmint, and sassafras.

I bought one of the purple peppers and one of the light green peppers.  They tasted the same as other bell peppers, but they are prettier!

Meredith enjoys some of the kettle corn we bought.

We determined it was indeed Boise's Best.  Mainly because we don't know of any other kettle corn producer in Boise.

Every time I come to the market I smell the orange-lavender bar at this handmade soap vendor.  Pretty soon I will have to buy it because half of it will be on my nose anyway.

My old home.  :-(

The buffalo meat from Brown's is good stuff.  Especially as fajitas.

One of my favorite stops, right there on the right.  Look up "Saturday" in the my dictionary and you will find a picture of mini doughnuts.

Art on the side of City Hall.  My office is on the other side.

Farmer's market flowers.  Pretty much the only thing I buy at the market that lasts a whole week until the next Saturday.