Balms for the Soul

This past weekend Nathan and I (and Isis, of course) took a long-overdue trip up to Poulsbo to see our dear dear friends, Lara and Chris (and Moose, of course).
(Isis and Moose not pictured, because they are even shorter than I am.)
The last time we'd scheduled it... well, something came up.  They understood, of course, but that is past and I was super ready  to see them again.

March is a very special month for our foursome, because March is The Birthday Month.  All Caps, because All Four of us are affected.  We like to get together sometime in the middle and celebrate- preferably as Epically as possible.  Our Epic plans for this (self-made) long weekend included doing some National Park hikes... except someone (::coughcoughmeI'mthegimpyone::) managed to aggravate her knee* to the point where anything harder than a stroll seemed like a very bad idea, indeed.

So.  We kept it low-key and instead took a two-mile "nature walk" (as Lara put it) in Twanoh State Park.  The dogs loved it, although the leisurely pace was not, perhaps, their favorite (in addition to my limitations, the guys were having Camera Bonding Time, which meant lots of stopping and fiddling).  The humans loved it, too- it was really pretty, and not at all difficult.  Sometimes it's nice not to push too hard.
These dogs are lying about how tired they are.
Moose very sweetly helps Isis out with her Heavy Chin syndrome (common amongst the block-headed pit bulls of the world).
That night we went out for some wine to celebrate the birthdays- we each had two glasses, because we are crazy-indulgent that way.

"What's that, Jenny O?  Wine?!  What happened to 'no alcohol in 2013'?"  Yes, well, we'd already agreed waaaaay back in January that our birthdays would be Special Days on which we would indulge in sugar and alcohol if we wanted to, thus relegating those substances to "special occasion" rather than "every day".

However, I have to say that after two glasses of wine (one a Riesling, one a port), I felt like such crapola the next day that maybe I am done with wine forever.  Grape wine, anyway.  Experiments must be done re:apple wine and mead, because those are my favorites and I'm not going to make any assumptions about them.  But.  Experiments must wait until next year, I suppose.

Speaking of the next day, after a delicious paleo breakfast, Lara and I decided to get our Domestic on and make organic lip balm and bath salts (not the zombifying kind).  We made a half batch of the lip balm because we were sort of getting a feel for it in anticipation of Greater Experiments later in the year (Crafts for Christmas!  Yay!)  One thing we figured out is that although we were pleased with the results (which we put into four tiny jars and one tube) we want to use less oil and more peppermint extract next time.  Also, I'm thinking perhaps coconut oil instead of almond oil.  We shall see.

The other ingredients were honey and beeswax.
You're technically supposed to wait two hours for the balm to set before you use it, but do you think that stopped me?
No it did not.
Check us out, lovely ladies with lovely, soft, and smoochable lips!

Sorry boys and girls, we're super-taken!
I don't have any pictures of the bath salts (I know, I know- you were hoping for demonstration shots.  Sorry again.) but rest assured they smelled of lavender and lemongrass and worked quite well.

Our next adventure was to plant some seeds.  This was a Big Deal for me, because as we all know, gardening is Not Exactly My Forte.  In fact it intimidates the hell out of me, so having a friend almost literally take me by the hand to guide me through some steps was sorely needed.  Lara is currently rocking some gorgeous kale...
Also Swiss Chard
...so I felt particularly safe in her work-gloved hands.  She'd already bought everything we needed, because she is the sort of thoughtful friend who says to herself, "Jenny O is not comfortable with this 'gardening' business, so I will make it as painless as possible for her!"  She'd even saved up a bunch of egg cartons so that we could just stick the little suckers straight in the ground once they've sprouted.  She is a Rock Star Urban Homesteader for sure.

I hand-labeled cartons, because I AM comfortable wielding a sharpie.
Lara fills the cartons with bat poop**.  (And some other stuff, but mostly we were giggling about the bat poop content.)
Ready for action!
This may have been my favorite part, bat poop or no.
Those teensy little things are mint seeds.  I kept mongo-ing them, so who knows whether or not they'll actually grow.
Into the bat poop, little seeds!
 So that was well and good and I came away feeling like there's hope for me yet.  That evening we all went for a nice long walk, and then came home and played Cards Against Humanity, which is one of my all-time favorite (grownup) games because I am a horrible, horrible person, and so are many of my friends.  Here is just one example of a winning combination:

"I'm sorry; I'm still laughing about child abuse!" said someone about half an hour later.  It may be a new catch-phrase.
We stayed up way too late.  So late that Lara fell asleep and I desperately wanted to, but the boys were adamant that we finish the deck and I am a sucker for proving I can keep up with the boys.  (AKA "dumb".)

The next morning we went with them to their box so we could cheer them on as they (re)did Open Workout 13.2  They both improved their scores, which was definitely something to cheer about.  As for me, I was warmly welcomed and chatted up by multiple people, even tho' I was just strolling around with a sketch book, which was awfully nice.  I met and cheered on one of Lara's friends who absolutely blew my mind with her performance, and was ridiculously sweet to me when I told her how inspiring she was.  The whole experience reminded me how fun/awful/fun CrossFit can be, so maybe I'll return in the near future...  Plus I miss making CrossFit comics...

And then, sadly, it was time to head home, so we packed up our exhausted puppy and hit the road.
Three days of wresting with Moose wears even the bounciest of Pigs out.

So that was my super-fun weekend.  How about you guys?  Do anything that repaired your soul?

*(Apparently if one has taken four months off from commuting by bike, one should not assume that one can ride as hard as one could at the end of the season.  Not without properly warming up first.  Nor should one further aggravate the knee by hyper-extending it.)

**(bat poop)


  1. Yeay! So much fun this weekend. I'm so glad we could spend it together :)

  2. Try watering your wine the next time. Seriously. :-)

    Anonymous Mom