Happy Birthday Mom & Dad!


Photo: My parents and I (and Stella) getting ready to clam dig on the Washington Coast. And yes, camo is most necessary unless you want the clams to see you šŸ™‚

With my parent’s birthdays being just days apart, the last week in January is always a flurry of celebration with family dinners and Wii bowling parties.

My mom’s recent diagnosis has made us re-evaluate the whole cake thing, so my sister and I hit up Whole Foods and bought some gluten-free cupcakes and cookies in the hope that they will make up for the lack of birthday cake. I must admit, they look pretty darn good. I was also extremely impressed with Whole Foods gluten-free section – it was huge! If this CD thing comes my way, at least I know I won’t have to deprive myself of carb goodness!

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Bird Nerds


My family’s love of birds, especially hummingbirds, is kinda insane. Everyone has at least two or three bird feeders up at their respective homes and phone calls for first-time hummingbird sightings are quite common. In fact, one of the first things I did upon moving in to my condo, was to set up my hummingbird feeder. It took about three weeks to get my first bird, but now I’ve got them fighting over it! Time for another feeder.

I was also gifted a regular bird feeder over the holidays (oh the excitement!). I wanted it near my window so I could watch all of the action, but that lead to too many window run ins and sadly, one dead bird – RIP my dear feathered friend. I decided to move it to a new location, far away from my newly installed windows and I’m happy to report we’ve had no window run ins and no more dead birdies.

I can’t wait to start working on my garden so I can plant it with plenty of hummingbird friendly flowers!

Photo courtesy of my talented Aunt Susan taken at her house in Bellevue, Wash. I love how you can even see his little feet!

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Celiac Disease

I just found out last night that my mom has been diagnosed with Celiac Diesease (CD) – a lifelong, digestive disorder. She hadn’t been feeling well for the past year or so and doctors couldn’t seem to pin point what was wrong. I’m glad they finally nailed it down, but she’s got a long road, full of major lifestyle changes, in order to get better.

More about CD:
When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur even when there are no symptoms present (scary.)

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.


I recall a co-worker being diagnosed with CD and she had to go through EVERYTHING in her house including make-up, shampoo and other toiletries, since many contained gluten. Luckily, gluten intolerance is becoming more common and many companies now make gluten free products. Looks like Whole Foods will be getting more of the Sugiura Family business…….

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Installing sticky tiles in a bathroom

Before placing the sticky tiles - cultivatedrambler.com
So I just completed my first real do-it-yourself project all by myself: installing sticky tiles in my dated bathroom. I had read about them on a few home improvement web sites and it seemed like it would be an easy project so I added it to my infamous ‘To Do’ list for the weekend. Thanks to the Home Depot, I now have fab floors for less than $70!

It did take a bit of muscle and I did have to re-do a few tiles more than once due to inaccurate (and impatient) cutting, but overall it was a fairly painless project. I would definitely suggest laying them all out first before peeling and sticking; I had a few tricky areas and it was good to see where those ended up. It’s not 100% perfect (nothing an area rug can’t cover), but it’s a vast improvement!

Now all I need is for my dad to come over and finish up the trim. Oh and all of that electrical business too (thanks Dean for your expertise this weekend!)….it’s never ending around here…..

Sticky tiles installed on a bathroom floor - cultivatedrambler.com
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