Monday, September 6, 2010

Since when do I cook ... and volcanoes

It's strange how certain things change in our lives that we never thought would change. Ok, that's not very original, but it is still true. I was just thinking about that while making a quiche for the staff breakfast tomorrow (the day before the first day of school). I noticed on the sign-up sheet for us PTA officers that I am not the only one bringing quiche and I went into some freaky competitive mindset of "well my quiche will be better". OMG! Who am I???

The competitive thing really isn't strange. I am so incredibly competitive in my head that I consciously make an effort to not be competitive - at all if I can help it. Otherwise I just get really obsessive about being the best at everything and failing miserably at doing that and being an insecure, unhappy wreck.

So cooking - up until about five years I did not cook. And I was vehement in that fact that I don't I lived on salads and pre-packaged foods and occasionally liked to try to bake stuff. Then when I was a stay at home mom I started learning about cooking by reading recipes and asking people how they cooked stuff (mostly in restaurants with African or Southeast Asian food). Now I cook stuff without using recipes, I just throw stuff together with the knowledge I've obtained and usually it turns out well. So, I guess now I'm one of those people who cooks.

On a completely different note we went to a campsite by Mt St Helens last week for a few days and it was glorious. My favorite parts were going on a trail ride on a wild Mustang named Clyde and listening to the elk at night. The first time I heard the elk on the first night, I couldn't figure out what it was. At first I thought it was a coyote, then I heard it again and it was not a coyote. A weird bird? A weird demon bird? A windigo? I finally figured out it was the elk.

We went with my boss and his family because their friends had to cancel at the last minute and they needed someone to take the last yurt because it was too late to cancel the reservation. So the first morning I managed to convince him and his wife to go on a trail ride with me. I kept telling them tourist trail rides always have zombie horses and they had nothing to worry about. And then silently telling myself that it would be a nice way to see the forest and Toutle River, even if zombie horses are very boring to ride. But then when we got to the barn the owner asked about our horse experience and my boss said they had almost none and I had a lot and the owner said, "Then you get Clyde. He's a wild Mustang off the BLM lands, just about four years old, I've had him for three years and he's been on the trails now for less than a year." Yipppee! Clyde was awesome! I thought Megan's Mustang Atlas just had an amazing personality, but Clyde had a very similar personality. He was really big and snuggly and wanted to do things exactly right and be the perfect horse, but he also had a lot of spunk.

During the trail rides we rode past the section of the Toutle River where there is still sediment flowing from Mt St Helens so the Army Corp of Engineers have been installing islands/dams and geotubes to stop the flooding and get the river back on its track. We also went up to Johnson Observatory and saw Mt St Helens up close (I haven't seen it since it erupted when I was 13 years old and my neighborhood was covered in ash). It was a really interesting and also entertaining trip. I was actually homesick the first night we were home and wished I was back there lying in my bunk in our yurt listening to the elk.

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