Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 185: Panera Rapid Pick-Up

Mr. E and I have been patronizing Panera Bread on a more regular basis for the past year or so, especially once we discovered the very yummy three-seed demi baguette:

Our new Panera habit was also influenced by the timing of the Social Dance class we took through the Learning Exchange last year.  The class was on Monday evenings from 7:15-8pm, and we passed by a Panera Bread on our way home from the dance studio, so Panera was a convenient place to pick up some dinner, especially since we didn't want to spend time making something once we got home.

We have always been quite pleased by the friendly service at Panera and the ease of customizing an order and being willing to swap or omit ingredients without any problem.  This even applies to the smoothies, which I'm able to order with no dairy and with an extra banana instead:

Panera has made some changes in its operations to help decrease the wait time and the "mosh pit" of having folks linger by the order counter waiting to pick up their items. One of the new options for to-go orders is Rapid Pick-Up, which allows you to place an order online, pay for it, and choose the time you'd like to pick it up. Your order is then ready and waiting on a special shelf unit near the counter, so you get to skip the line entirely.

We tried Rapid Pick-Up for the first time this evening, and our order was perfectly made and ready and waiting when I arrived at the store. Sweet! The online system allows you to customize each item just as you would when placing an order in person, which is incredibly useful for Mr. E and me, since both of us tend to need some modifications to the standard menu items.

We'll definitely take advantage of this option again in the future!


Day 184: 600 Miles!

On August 1st, I reached my goal of swimming 500 miles in one year.  I had started on October 2nd, 2013, so I finished two full months earlier than I had expected. 

At that point, I decided to try for 600 miles, which meant I needed to swim 100 miles in eight weeks or roughly 12+ miles per week.  I ended up swimming 14+ miles every week in August, and I thus reached my new 600 mile goal last week, on September 26th.  Yay!  Go me!

My reward for reaching this goal is shopping for some boots -- part of the annual quest once the seasons change.


Day 183: Farm to Fork Gala Dinner

The final event in this year's Farm to Fork Festival is a Gala Dinner that takes place on the Tower Bridge:

The Gala serves as the Farm-to-Fork Celebration’s finale, with hundreds of diners enjoying a locally sourced dinner on the Tower Bridge. Guests at the family-style dinner will be treated to a feast prepared by more than 30 top area chefs, led by Chef Jason Poole of the Hyatt Regency Sacramento and Chef Brian Mizner of Hook & Ladder. Proceeds from the dinner go directly to fund the free Farm-to-Fork Festival on September 27th on Capitol Mall.

My running route this morning was around Raley Field in West Sacramento, so I saw some of the initial set-up for the dinner near the Bridge and also along the Promenade near Embassy Suites, which apparently is the location for dessert.

Here's a photo of the first Farm to Fork dinner from last year:

I'm sure it's a lovely event, and I'm very glad the proceeds go to support the free Festival that happened yesterday on Capitol Mall.  I actually rather like the fact that the roadway gets closed down for a person-centric event and that cars (and their drives) have to find an alternate route for several hours this evening.  What a great way to utilize the community space and truly celebrate our region!


Day 182: Farm to Fork Festival

September 13-28 marked the Farm to Fork celebration in Sacramento this year, including a free Farm to Fork Festival on Capitol Mall today, which was the second year of this particular community event.  Mr. E and I decided to check out the festivities and enjoy the lovely weather today, so we jumped on our bikes and strolled around for a bit, partaking of a few free samples from Save Mart and the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op.

Here are some images that Mr. E captured during our wanderings:


Day 181: Finally Fall

Yesterday, the temperature dropped at least ten degrees, and I woke up to a lovely rain storm.  Swimming in the rain is such fun!  The rain lasted until almost lunchtime, and the cooler temperatures continued into today.

I think Fall may have finally arrived in Sacramento.  It's about time!!!


Day 180: Macaroni & Cheese

Although I'm lactose intolerant, I do still enjoy eating limited amounts of cheese in various forms, including the classic mac & cheese.  This dish is especially tasty and appealing during the cooler weather, and Mr. E and I have found ways to make it at home so it's a healthier and more complete meal.

Option #1: Safeway Eating Right Frozen Macaroni & Cheese

This frozen dinner has about 300 calories per serving, and the portion size is quite satisfying.  We usually add tuna and some sort of veggie(s), such as mushroom, broccoli, or kale, to enhance the nutritional content of the mac & cheese.  The flavor is similar to that of the classic boxed mac & cheese mix, and the texture of the sauce is nice and creamy.  Depending on how many other ingredients we add or if we have some sort of side dish, this serving size can be appropriate for either a single (me) or double (I share with Mr. E).

Option #2: Safeway Organic Packaged Macaroni & Cheese

If we have a bit more time and definitely want a duo dinner, Mr. E and I mix up a box of the Safeway organic mac & cheese using a wee bit of margarine and water or faux milk to create the sauce.  As with the first option, we always add veggies and protein as well.  Back when I still ate pork products, we'd often get lean kosher hot dogs, but now we tend to stick with tuna instead.

Option #3: Panera

We've started to rate the various mac & cheese options at local restaurants, including at the big national chain, Panera Bread.  This side dish comes in both large and small sizes, and has white cheddar sauce instead of the bright yellow of the grocery store options described above.  Both of us like the flavor and creamy texture, and the small (kid's) size is very reasonably priced.

Option #4: Cafeteria 15L

This is probably our favorite restaurant mac & cheese.  The shells look like little sombreros, the white sauce has a mix of cheeses and clings perfectly to the pasta, and the bread crumb topping adds just enough crunch to contrast with the creamy texture of the mac & cheese.  Yum!

Option #5: R15

This dish is only available on the bar menu during Happy Hour, and it seems like a pretty great deal at only $4.  However, the dish doesn't deliver on its promise.  The photo above looks very similar to the mac & cheese at Cafeteria 15L, but according to Mr. E, the flavor and texture aren't nearly as appealing.


Day 179: Stink Bugs

This year, Mr. E and I have noticed a new type of critter lingering on our windows and the patio door.  These bugs look like flat little leaves and are rather motionless most of the time:

I've also had some of these visitors on my office window, and today, I discovered a stowaway at the bottom of my light-blocking blinds inside my office.  How do they get in?!

One of my colleagues identified these beasties as stink bugs, also known as shield bugs, which makes perfect sense given their size and shape.  They're really not harmful to us, but they are annoying.  Luckily, due to their lack of movement, they're also pretty darn easy to catch and dispose of.


Day 178: Farewell to Egan

My good friend, S, and her wife, N, had to put their beloved dog Egan to sleep today.  Egan has been with them for their entire relationship, as she was just a puppy when they got her.  She lived a full life and was 15 year, 4 months old when she finished her journey in this world.

Farewell, sweet Egan.

You were a wonderful companion to S and N and experienced so many different things with them.  They loved you so very much, and I know you felt the same.

I was honored to be with all of them this evening at Midtown Animal Hospital, when the caring and kind Dr. Rose helped Egan to peacefully transition.  The entire staff at MAH are so supportive and empathetic, as Mr. E and I personally experienced when we had to make the same decision about Miss Muffin back in 2008.

I think the quotations below may accurately capture at least some of what S and N are likely feeling right now.

She died as she had been born and as she had lived, in my care, and surrounded by those who loved her.
Vicki W. Fowler

Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.
John Galsworthy

I guess you don't really own a dog, you rent them, and you have to be thankful that you had a long lease.
Joe Garagiola

If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.
Marjorie Garber


Day 177: Living Next to the Frat Boys

Our current next-door neighbors in the 3-bedroom unit on the end of our row are somewhat younger than all of the other Saratoga Townhomes residents, and at the beginning of their tenure, we had to speak with them several times about noise level (band practice in the garage, late parties, friends or guests chatting in the driveway right outside our window, etc.) and smoking.  Because of these situations, we started to refer to them as the "frat boys."

Over the past year or so, their household has calmed down quite a bit, and we haven't needed to address any unpleasant issues for quite a long time.

Last week, however, I was heading to the gym in the morning and was quite annoyed to discover that some friend of theirs had "decorated" their garage and front door with plastic wrap.  I wouldn't have been too bothered if the wrap was only on their property, but unfortunately, the wrap was also coiled around the crepe myrtle tree in our common planter and then strung across the common concrete entryway to the down spout on their unit.  Grrr.

I removed the wrap that was blocking my path and that was choking the tree and left the rest for the boys to clean up.  By the time I got home from my swim, there was no trace of evidence left.

I'm just hoping this isn't a harbinger of more pranks and antics to come!


Day 176: King Fire in El Dorado County

Over the past few days, the air quality here in Sacramento has been very poor due to the large wildfire in El Dorado County, which started earlier in the week.  The fire has burned over 80,000 acres, and the smoke effects are felt in a wide swath around the area:  The fire’s biggest impact away from the burned area is the heavy smoke that’s settled over much of the southern Sacramento Valley and the northern and central Sierra and foothills.

On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee morning edition showed a headline that a man had been identified and arrested on suspicion of arson for this horrible fire.  I truly can't fathom what could possibly motivate someone to do such a horrible thing.

Below are some of the striking and sobering images of the flames, smoke, and devastation.  The firefighters working to contain this fire, save lives, and protect structure deserve so much gratitude and admiration and respect.

Ironically, the effects of the smoke on the sky here in Sacramento are eerily beautiful, as if all of the light is being filtered through a strong amber filter.


Day 175: California Brewers Festival

Mr. E and I volunteered this afternoon at the California Brewers Festival:

This is an annual event conducted by the Point West Rotary Club, with proceeds to benefit a local non-profit organization.  Last year and this year, the beneficiary was WEAVE, which is an amazing organization that provides services and support to women, children, and families who are victims and survivors of domestic violence or abuse:  WEAVE works with leaders and supporters throughout the region to build a stronger community and healthy families as it works towards its mission to build a community that does not tolerate domestic violence and sexual assault and provides survivors with the support they need to be safe and thrive.

I've been volunteering for WEAVE at special events and fundraisers for over a year.  Mr. E joined me one other time, and we had fun working the entry gate together at today's festival.  It was a bit warm and humid, but we were under a tent the whole time and actually were released from our shift early once the foot traffic died down.

I volunteered for this same event last year, and I remember very distinctly that it was a cold and rainy day -- lots of mud -- and at one point, I put on some gloves because my hands were getting so chilled from being out in that weather for a couple of hours.  Quite a contrast with this year!!!  I think I may have preferred last year's cold to today's humidity and smoky air (more about that in a future post).


Day 174: River Cats Now Belong to The Giants!

There have been rumours for some time that the Sacramento River Cats organization was in discussion with the San Francisco Giants to switch allegiance as a AAA-affiliate, as the contract with the Oakland As expired this year.  And now it's true!  The River Cats web site already has the Giants logo branded at the top right corner, along with an announcement in the rolling slides on the home page about the news:

I'm sort of disappointed, as Mr. E and I tend to be American League fans, and it's been so great to see the progress of some River Cats players as they get called up to the As.  Although the multi-purpose Oakland Coliseum isn't a fabulous venue for watching baseball, it's definitely closer and less expensive than AT&T Park, where the Giants play.

Some folks in Sacramento perceive this transition as an improvement, but I'm not so sure.  Let's hope the new affiliation doesn't change the overall game experience at Raley Field.


Day 173: Eviva Project in Downtown Sac

The Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA) held a ground-breaking ceremony today for a new development at 16th & N Streets.  This project, formerly known as The Warren, is now called Eviva and includes market-rate apartments along with ground-floor retail and parking.

Mr. E and I both agree that the design presented in the announcement about the event today is rather uninspiring:

From what I recall of the previous design, the building didn't feel quite so blocky, as it had more glass along the exterior and especially at the corner tower:

The overall massing isn't too different between the two buildings, but the choice of materials makes a real difference in terms of how light or heavy the building appears.  The new design too closely mimics some of the bulky state office building nearby, which is disappointing.


Day 172: Member Appreciation Day

Today was Member Appreciation Day at the CAC.  Throughout the day, the staff held fitness contests (rowing, burpees, sit-ups) and also provided food and beverages for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Mr. E took advantage of the lunch and dinner offerings and brought home a lemon poppyseed muffin for later, and I snagged part of a pumpkin muffin for a mid-morning snack. 

I think it's great that the CAC has started having these types of events for members, but I do find it rather amusing (and somewhat ironic) that the majority of the lunch and dinner food offerings were not entirely healthy -- hot dogs and hamburgers -- ha!  Supposedly garden burgers were also available, but that's such a token item aimed more at vegetarians than at folks trying to be healthy in general.

The only redeeming item for the later meals was a fresh fruit salad, which I did enjoy on the way home from Pilates this evening.  But it's still rather disappointing that there weren't any other healthier options for the main meals.  Not even grilled chicken, for example???


Day 171: Rumbling Raccoons

Mr. E and I both woke up suddenly two nights ago when we heard odd sounds outside the bedroom window -- sort of low growling combined with yelping and chattering.  We looked out to see a cluster of four raccoons rumbling (think Sharks vs. Jets in "West Side Story") in the driveway.  They were lined up two by two and kept advancing and backing up in a little foursome, almost like a choreographed confrontation.  Eventually, they all ran off towards 9th Street. 

We figure they're the resident raccoons who like to skulk around our neighbor's patio and climb along the tops of the walls.  I thought it might be rival gangs, but Mr. E thinks it was all one family having a bit of a scuffle.

No images of the actual encounter were captured, but here's a representative picture of our local urban wildlife:


Day 170: Mexican Independence Day

On the way home from the CAC this evening, Mr. E and I happened to cross paths at the traffic light right by our town-homes, at the corner of 9th & Q Streets, and we saw several folks walking north along 9th Street dressed in red, green, and white -- the colors of the Mexican flag:

I remembered seeing a banner at Ernesto's restaurant on 16th & S Streets about celebrating a date in September, which turns out to be September 16th:

Neither Mr. E nor I was familiar with the significance of this date as Mexico's Independence Day.  According to Wikipedia, the Grito de Dolores on 16 September 1810 marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, which lasted until 21 September 1821.

It's interesting to learn about different aspects of history that influenced this part of the United States, as the historic events and activities that were emphasized during my earlier schooling focused far more on the East Coast and the original thirteen colonies.


Day 169: Ikea Chairs for Home... and Museum!

As I was finishing up my run this morning, I passed by The California Museum on the corner of 10th & O Streets.  I glanced through the large windows into the lobby and was quite amused to notice that the chairs at the small round tables in the gathering area are identical to those we have at home for our dining table:

I guess the Ikea Vilmar chair is appropriate for multiple venues and purposes!


Day 168: Women's Self-Defense Workshop

I took a 3-hour women's self-defense workshop today through the Learning Exchange (LEX), a local organization that offers a wide range of classes on various topics for very reasonable prices.  Mr. E and I took a series of social dance classes through LEX last year and really enjoyed the experience.  And one of my former colleagues from PP has started teaching Zentangle classes through LEX, which I think has been a wonderful opportunity for her and a great way to share her experience and talent with others.

The workshop I took today was conducted by Lisa Thew, who owns and offers classes through Diamond Defense, "a girls's best friend."  She was an excellent instructor in every way - encouraging, passionate, clear, helpful, and very articulate when giving direction and correction once we got into the physical practice part of the session.

Lisa offers group classes for 5-10 women, so I'm going to suggest to my supervisor at CPCA that this could be a great activity for our Development & External Relations team, which currently includes eight ladies, as it would be good for both team-building as well as individual empowerment.


Day 167: More Capitol Box Art

This artwork, by Janine Mapurunga, appears on a utility box on 9th & Capitol:

The title of the piece, which appears at the top of each cluster of photos on opposite sides of the utility box, is “Who does your food come from? De quién viene su comida” and is part of a larger project to feature and celebrate Sacramento Farmers and Chefs.

I really like the quality of these photographs that show real people who are involved in producing and making food for folks around this area.  It's interesting that the artist chose to highlight eyes on one side and mouths on the other.  Perhaps that's a message about how we eat with our eyes as much as with our mouths, since that aesthetic presentation of food can be as important as taste.  Or maybe a message about how we identify, relate to, and judge others by how they look or speak.  It all depends on your perspective.


Day 166: Controlled Substances

For the past week and a half or so, I've been battling some kind of sickness that's been primarily marked by a nasty dry cough.  Mr. E bought a bunch of over-the-counter liquid and capsule medicines for me last week, and we had some Cepacol cough drops in our personal bathroom stock.

I discovered that the night-time cough syrup we initially had in stock under the sink contained high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - what??!!  Ridiculous.  I actively avoid HFCS and carefully read all food items to ensure that it doesn't cross my palate, but I never thought to check cough medicine ingredients for the nasty substance.

Luckily, Mr. E found one (but only one!) night-time liquid cough syrup that is HFCS-free:

I've almost depleted the first bottle at this point, so I went to Safeway this evening to restock.  I read every single bottle of cough syrup, and this was still the only version with no HFCS.  Sheesh!

I also restocked the awesome Cepacol cough drops, which have been the only cough drop that is able to actually calm my night-time cough and help me sleep:

Since I only had a few items, I figured I'd take advantage of the self checkout aisle at Safeway instead of waiting for a cashier.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I scanned the cough syrup and received a message on the screen that a store employee would need to process the purchase!

Apparently, the Tylenol cough syrup is considered in some way a "controlled substance" that requires additional authorization to purchase.  Weird.  It's sold on the regular shelves and doesn't contain alcohol, so why should there be additional oversight?  Even weirder was that the cough drops required the same staff authorization.

So much for being quick and efficient in the self checkout aisle!!!


Day 165: Controversial Public Art Statue

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Sacramento is home to a number of public artworks of all types, including a statue garden on K Street along the pedestrian pathway between the Convention Center and the Community Center Theater.  One of the statues is Poseidon:

Apparently, this statue has occasionally been somewhat controversial for attendees of certain conferences held at the Convention Center:

The Incident: Parents attending the Advanced Training Institute International’s home schooling convention at the Sacramento Convention Center in early July 2000 were bothered and offended by the nude statue of Poseidon. Expressing their objection to the seemingly harmless display of public nudity, the parents were given permission from city officials to clothe the statue during the three-day event. On day one they dressed him in a toga, on day two in a gold shirt and khaki trousers, and on day three in slacks, a dress shirt and a tie. Jim Voeller, director of the Advanced Training Institute said, "A lot of the parents would object to the display of public nudity. We didn't deface the statue, and we got permission to cover it for the conference." However, not all Sacramento residents were happy to see Poseidon dressed up, and during the conference, the clothing was repeatedly taken off the statue. Sacramento resident, Eric Ford, was caught removing Poseidon's pants by a conference official; he later said, "That statue is for the whole city, not for them. You don't go to a city and decide to change the city's artwork because you think it is not appropriate." As a form of protest, Ford and other city residents later removed the necktie from Poseidon and used it to blindfold the statue.

Other folks using the Convention Center have taken advantage of the statue to make their own political statement, as shown by this photo from 2004:

Unfortunately, the artist is unknown, according to all of the various web sites I consulted, which seems a bit odd since the City must have contracted with someone to create the piece.  Regardless, Mr. Poseidon appears to truly embody the spirit of "public art" in terms of generating reactions and interactions with observers.


Day 164: Irony During the Morning Bike Commute

On my way to work this morning, I was riding along the 13th Street cut-through of Capitol Park and noticed a man strolling towards me wearing a t-shirt with this logo:

At CPCA, we often use Kaiser's "Thrive" campaign as an aspirational example for our own CaliforniaHealth+ branding efforts for community health centers, so I'm very aware of any Kaiser messaging and branding that I see.

In this particular instance, however, I was more struck by the unintentional irony presented by the man wearing this "healthy messaging" t-shirt while he was --- yep, you guessed it --- puffing on a cigarette!

As my colleagues said when I told them about it later, at least he was walking...


Day 163: Viking Helmet Cyclist

As Mr. E and I headed over to the CAC this evening, we saw a gentleman cyclist traveling south along 9th Street wearing a bike helmet with viking horns, similar to this model:

I've seen this cyclist before and have admired his headgear.  However, I do wonder if it really offers any sort of sufficient protection.  Couldn't those horns actually cause additional damage and pain in an accident???


Day 162: Morgan's Bar & Grill

Mr. E met up with some friends this morning at Morgan's Bar & Grill to watch the Bears game.  Morgan's is a neighborhood joint at 33rd & S Streets, close to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op:

The homemade biscuits and gravy with two eggs over easy received positive reviews from Mr. E.  Too bad the Bears didn't win, despite hitting a field goal in the last seconds of regulation play.  The Badgers claimed a victory yesterday, so at least one of our teams had a positive outcome this weekend.


Day 161: Football Season

Although baseball season is far from over, football season has now officially started.  I'm not a big fan of this overlap!  Why can't we focus on one sport at a time?! 

This morning, Mr. E and I enjoyed "breakfast with the Badgers" as we watched UW-Madison convincingly beat Western Illinois by a score of 37-3.  In the afternoon, Mr. E went over to a friend's house to watch MSU take on the Oregon Ducks, and tomorrow morning, he'll be heading off to a local restaurant to meet up with some fellow Chicago Bears fans.  *sigh* 

The only advantage for me with all of this is the tradition of doing sit-ups and/or push-ups with each score of the home team, so at least I get to increase my activity level even if I lose my spouse for several hours each weekend!


Day 160: KT Noodles in Rocklin

Mr. E got to know some of the local restaurants in the Roseville/Rocklin area during our first years here in Sac when he had to go into the HP office in Roseville every day (prior to converting to almost full-time telecommuting during the past few years).  One great spot he discovered is KT Noodles, which offers tasty large portions of Vietnamese food at incredibly reasonable prices, with a rather extensive menu, despite the bland location in an anonymous strip mall.

I'm fond of the fresh spring rolls, and Mr. E and I both enjoy the various types of pho and other noodle soups:

Mr. E has been going back into the office this week, and he stopped by KT Noodles to pick up dinner on his way home tonight.  Yum!


Day 159: Not Very Bike-Friendly

The parking garage across the street from CPCA has recently undergone some "improvements" that include locked pedestrian exit gates, automated kiosks, electronic card passes, and longer barriers for the entrance and exit ramps.

CPCA offers staff a monthly parking pass for this garage or a monthly Rapid Transit pass, which is quite a generous benefit for working in a downtown office.  Several CPCA staff, including me, are relatively regular bike commuters, and the parking garage has two decent-sized bike racks on the first level, near the entrance on 13th Street.

Unfortunately, the improvements may be beneficial to the operators of the garage (ACE Parking) and even possibly to drivers, but they aren't at all bike-friendly.  The locked pedestrian gates completely cut off one of the routes through which cyclists could enter the garage without encountering any car traffic.  And the new longer entry/exit barriers make it impossible to bike directly into the garage.  Instead, cyclists now have to dismount in order to lift their bikes onto a curb and wheel them to the bike racks.

I totally get that bike commuters don't generate any revenue for the garage operators, since using a bike rack is free, but I still find it very unfortunate and contrary to the other efforts the Sacto has made to become a more bike-friendly city to have these changes made to the garage that only serve to make life harder for cyclists.


Day 158: Returning to the East Coast Momentarily...

Shark update!  Apparently, a great white shark munched on a kayak in Plymouth today:

Yikes!  Luckily, no one was hurt, although an earlier report tells of a shark munching on a seal, who wasn't quite so fortunate in the end...


Day 157: Westminster Presbyterian Church on N Street

One of my common morning bike commute routes includes the block of 13th Street between N & O Streets, which leads me right past the Westminster Presbyterian Church on the corner of 13th & N Streets, across from the Park Place Senior Apartments.

The church was dedicated in 1927, as evidenced by the inscription on this historic drawing (difficult to read in this small format, I know):

Another older postcard shows a fuller view of the church in the late 1930s:

Although the neighboring buildings to the left of the church in the image above have changed over the years, the structure and decor of the church itself remains the same:

The middle image above shows 13th Street with a cyclist at the far right and gives a sense of the bike route next to the church.

I've never been inside the church, although I've considered attending some of their musical concerts, but this photo of the interior is quite impressive:

I do rather like this inclusive vision expressed on the church web site: Westminster is deliberately diverse and fully inclusive.  I also know that the church members and staff are very involved in outreach and advocacy to their urban community, so if Mr. E and I ever feel to need to explore some faith gathering options in Sacto, this might be a place to try.


Day 156: Pumpkin Season!

Mr. E and I went to Noah's this morning to get breakfast and re-stock our bagel supply, and I discovered that it's now pumpkin season at Noah's - yay! 

I'm a huge fan of the pumpkin muffins (sans frosting) and the pumpkin bagels, and they're only available for a limited time.  Often, I'll buy extras of both items and stick 'em in the freezer for future enjoyment, since I know they don't stick around very long.

Unfortunately, there weren't any non-frosted muffins lurking in the back today, so I'll have to call ahead next time to ask the staff to set some aside for us.  Yum!