Archive for September, 2011

This past weekend was the first weekend that the pumpkin patch was open.  Anson, Luke, Felicia and I all went to Craven Farms in Monroe.  It was a lot of fun!

They had a lot of displays made of pumpkins.  We forgot our camera, but took some pictures with our phones:




We entered the corn maze. It was Alice in Pumpkinland themed 🙂




The corn was SO tall! We got lost for a little bit.

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But, we got to have some fun while in the maze, so we were pretty happy considering we had no idea how to get out 🙂



After the pumpkin patch, we went back to our house and carved pumpkins (while eating pumpkin seeds and pumpkin snickerdoodles). Yay!

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Since my surgery, I have been slacking a bit in the “jogging” category.  Anson and I are still training for the Walk for Hope 5k on Oct 2nd. I realized today that I have less than 2 weeks to get ready for it and  I decided to go for one of my jogs in Bridle Trails State Park.

Today, I decided to stick to the large/wide gravel trail that runs through the center. To follow it to the other side of the park and back is about 2 miles—and I get to avoid running in the heavily wooded areas, which I have not yet learned and therefore am likely to get lost in.  About 1/4 mile into my jog the clouds started to darken and it started to rain. I should have taken that as a bad omen and turned around right then.  But, like the token girl in ever horror movie ever made, I decided to keep going even though anybody with common sense would have turned around. I thought to myself:  it’s 1/2 mile back to my house so it’s not like I can avoid getting rained on at this point.  I should have gone back. Lesson learned.

I made it about 1.75 miles through my job when I spotted something up ahead on the trail.  It was a coyote.  A GIANT coyote standing right in the middle of the trail and blocking my exit from the park.  Now, for those of you who don’t know, coyotes look like this:

(Pic from Wikipedia)

Having grown up in an area with coyotes, I know that they are highly unlikely to attack humans. They mostly hunt teeny tiny animals and tend to run away when people get close.  So, I kept running forward assuming that the coyote would leave.  However, as I got closer the coyote did NOT leave the trail. It had, in fact, assumed a defensive position.  Up close, the coyote looked something like this (if my memory serves me correctly):

(Pic from

So, naturally, I turned around and started running into the woods on the closest trail I could find. The coyote started to follow me. My thoughts were something like this:

AHHH! Coyote!

I need to call Anson to let him know what’s happening.

I have no phone!

What if it catches me and I can’t call for help?

Wait—what’s Anson going to do if I call him? He’s at work. It’s not like he could use the internet to shoot lasers at the coyote to scare it away.

It’d be cool if he could.

Man I’m running fast.

The coyote is gone.

Where am I?

At that point, I had run so far off the trail I normally run, I had no clue where I was.  I was hoping that the trail I was on would eventually lead to an exit since I had no desire to turn around and try going back.

After about 5 more minutes, I came across a sign that had a map of the park.  The trail that I normally run on ( the one I needed to get back on in order to get out of the park) was “Coyote Trail”. Go figure.  I found a path that would put me back on the trail right next to the exit, so it only took another 20 minutes to get out of the park and on my way back home.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I learned to be a faster runner 🙂

A couple of weeks ago Anson and I participated in PUZZLEHUNT 🙂

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Puzzlehunt, it is a weekend-long event held at Microsoft every…well, basically every time a group of people get together and write enough puzzles. Which, generally speaking,  has been once every couple of years. Groups get together and solve some pretty difficult puzzles all centered around a theme.  Actually, wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining it:

Our team is called Cup<T> and we generally have about 10-12 people on it.  Now, I had every intention of taking pictures this year, but it just didn’t happen.  It’s just too easy to get caught up in all of the puzzle-related craziness to remember to pull out your camera. But, I assure you it was awesome! We made team t-shirts this year.  They weren’t super comfortable since they were made out of the standard Michaels craft t-shirts. But, we looked fierce walking around wearing them.  They were black and had this design on the front:

Cup of T shirt

The theme this year centered around a murder mystery on a train.  The more puzzles you solved, the faster your train would get to its next destination.  As you solved puzzles, you would get clues that would help you catch bad guys.  It even started out with a Carmen Sandiego-type intro (for those of you who remember that FANTASTIC game, we were ranked gumshoe). 🙂

It’s neat that this year’s puzzles and answers have been posted on the internet:

So, my east coast family can finally see what we’ve been up to!

I helped solve Duckworth Chant, which was a lot of fun.  Also, Fiona and I rocked the Love Triangle puzzle.  I don’t think I’ve ever solved a puzzle that quickly (though, I’m certain that we weren’t the first team to solve it—some people are super quick).

Anson and I solved our first cryptic crossword!  Wahoo! We’ve been married almost 9 years and we still find new things to do together <insert “awww”s and/or gagging noises here>.

One Thing Leads to Another almost killed us though.  Don’t try it unless you have and endless supply of caffeine and aspirin handy 🙂

Overall, it was great. We’re already excited about the next one—which probably won’t be for a couple years. That’s okay. We’re patient 🙂

This past weekend, Angie was here!  She was our first official overnight visitor at the new house.  Yay!  Before she arrived, I actually had to furnish the upstairs bathroom with a few necessities—towels, soap, shower curtain…the basics 🙂

She arrived late on Thursday night and I greeted her with an official Seattle Starbucks drink.  Of course, since she is pregnant AND it was super late for her, I couldn’t do anything with caffeine. So, on September 1st Angie was officially introduced to the Caramel Apple Spice. Super yum 🙂

We woke up early on Friday and made Grandma Hotovy’s apple strudel.  I had made the dough the night before (it’s a 2-day recipe).  Angie flattened the dough while I sliced apples.  We worked together to roll the strudels without getting too many holes in the dough.  An hour later, my house smelled gloriously of apple treats and we were able to take our first bites.

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It was so delicious that we immediately called my dad to tell him of our triumph!  Too bad he was too far away to have a taste 🙂

You would assume that 3 strudels would take quite a bit of time to eat. Not so.  I think it took about 3 days. We shared 1/2 of one of them; that counts for something, right?

That evening we had 80’s night at the Horton house.  I openly admit that Anson and I are home bodies. We don’t often make big plans outside of the house—we just enjoy goofing around on our own. And for the first time, Angie got to experience this.

Anson will often come home and I will be in leggings, leg warmers, or some other form of 80’s gear. However, Angie and I went ALL OUT!  We had tights, leg warmers, make-up, crimped hair, etc. So much fun!  Angie made a comment about how it was the most make-up she had ever put on to stay in for the night.  We had a “totally awesome” time blasting music and dancing while dressing up.

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Our excitement must have been infectious, because Anson came home and dressed up too!

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Best. Husband. Ever.

We watched “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Overboard”—neither of which Angie had seen.  I must say, “Overboard” is still good even after all these years!

The next day we ran around Microsoft looking at conference rooms for Puzzlehunt (expect a post about Puzzlehunt early next week).  Angie was so nice to do that with us.  Then we went to Dixie’s BBQ. I had never been and I thought it would be a great Seattle-y thing to do.  So, we went and ordered a chicken bbq sandwich to split from the super nice old lady at Dixie’s. We were thinking that the sauce might be too spicy for us to each eat a whole one on our own (after all, The Man sauce does have a reputation!). We brought it back to the house and had Anson armed with a camera to get a pic of us tasting the bbq.  We took a big bite. Nothing.  Well, not nothing. It was really great bbq—we had forgotten to request The Man sauce though.  I had assumed they would put it on automatically. Guess not. Oh well! Now I just have to wait for someone else who likes bbq to come and visit!

On Sunday, I drove Angie up to catch the ferry to the San Juan Islands for a wedding and then picked her up again on Tuesday to drive her to the airport.  All in all, a GREAT visit!  Who’s next? 🙂