Saturday, June 28, 2008

phase i don't know

This just in...

Jill came over this morning and we tiled. We tiled like the fabulous women we are! We tiled like there was no tomorrow. We tiled and talked of our day tomorrow, which will include grout.

It's nearing an end. Well, it's nearing it's next resting point.

According to my calculations we still have to grout, seal the tile one more time, finish replacing the drawer and door pulls, stain and install some quarter round to finish of certain edges, paint, get the new table and bench made, possibly have a cabinet made for by the fridge for the microwave and extra storage (or find a really cool dresser that would fit the bill), and get new lighting for over the table and the back door. Really, not much left...right?

and she was

My parents are having a lovely vacation in France and the surrounding countryside. They left their dear Hazel at home to be tended to by their friends, Gale and George. When my parents left for their trip, Hazel wasn't doing all that grand, picky about what she would eat, not getting around as well as once before. They figured they would have the hard decision to make upon their arrival home.

Hazel had other ideas.

This morning she was laid to rest. The Vet and my parents have been communicating via email and he indicated she was now beginning to suffer. That was all he had to write.

Fuzzy Bunny originally started out as my sister's cat. She was an insane kitten. She was full of mischief and got into everything. Mom and Dad were only to watch her for a short time. Fast forward something like 14 years and Hazel-rah has finished her life where she was always meant to be. I thank my sister for giving Hazel the life she did. She was spoiled, loved, always had a lap to sit on.

She was the angel my mother needed all those years ago when first diagnosed with the Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She'd sit next to Mom, but not on. She would simply be. Comforting by just sitting near.

I love you my little Hazel-rah. You will always be in my heart. Thank you for taking care of Mom and giving Dad someone to brush.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

chicken and dumplings

About a week or so ago we had our neighbor and his brother rip out three shrubs so we can plant healthy foliage we prefer. This is the second meal I have made Ian (first for Seth) for doing stuff for us.

I think they think they're getting the better deal. But I know I really am. I mean think about it. I am getting work done to the yard. Some of it hard (which I know since I ripped out the butterfly bushes, which they hauled away for us). Some of it easy...aka fun (pulling out a bush with your truck). But it's the chores you don't want to do yourself because on the DIY scale of easy to hard it's about an annoying. And on top of all that? I get to cook. Cook meals from scratch for two men who have worked hard all day. *And they appreciate it.

I just hope the dumplings weren't little lumps of nasty. I've never cooked this recipe before today. I told them if it sucks, I owe them another.

*This is not to say that Kevin doesn't appreciate it, because he does and he always raves about meals I cook. But there is some other kind of satisfaction I get by cooking for bachelors. They have a different kind of appreciation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

you may well know

I am a knitter. I am not quiet about it, nor am I loud about it. I just am.

I have three major projects lined up for myself this year within the knitted world. My dear friend is getting married in June of 2009. She caught sight of my sweater and gushed, asking if she paid me, would I make her one. It was later in the evening that we realized she was wearing a rock on her left hand. It was seconds after that I knew what I would be doing for her wedding gift (he'll get the gift of watching her enjoy it).

Now I've got the wild hair to make my other friend (the other brides-matron) a shrug. She found one in a style she likes and I am thinking about trying to figure it out, or finding something that is similar. It, too, will be made in time for the wedding. I feel safe at the idea of making those two garments for those two amazing and beautiful women.

However, just a minute ago as I was surfing through that site some knitters still don't know about (mind boggling) called Ravelry and found a really sweet top that I am trying to decide if I can somehow convert it into a dress. You know, for the wedding...

Any of you knitters think this is a sane idea? :) The shell is knit bottom up, but I'm thinking of figuring out the length I want and the circumference for the bottom of the skirt and going for it. Of course, I do have to find all the yarn for these projects (well, two since I've already gotten the bride's on order).

Monday, June 23, 2008

the plot thickens

Well, this morning I went out and watered our garden. Things are growing nicely, especially the weeds (which I will go out in a while and pluck from the ground in areas nearest the garden plots). After talking with a few friends, the decision to plant asparagus next year was made.

So a bit ago I sat down in the kitchen and looked out the window, imagining. I planned next years garden. This year was our first year of actually planting a garden and we really just kind of plopped things into the ground as we thought would be good. So far it's fine, but it's a bit sparse. Next year we will have 6-8 tomato plants, two types of lettuce, spinach, asparagus (which won't be ready until the following summer), broccoli, onions, garlic, potatoes, green beans, edamame, and zucchini. I've plotted out the placement, according to sun requirements among other things.

Kev took a look at the sketch this morning and agreed it looked like a good plan. I'm sure there are other veggies we will realize we want to plant and we have a little bit of room left we've not already planned. But right now, nothing is coming to mind as being left off the list. Peas, left off intentionally. Even though I think they are better than I remember, they still are not my favorite. And why give over garden space to things you don't love and adore?

Now to chart out planting times...

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Well, Tuesday night was not quite the night for us to eat the artichokes. Kev wasn't feeling well and just wanted something simple so we fended for ourselves. That meant only one thing...

Knit night!

The six of us ate those two in about two minutes flat. :) They were fantastic!!! It amazes me that those are growing in our backyard. I will be watching the rest on the plant and picking them as they are ready, nothing will go to waste on my watch. I have to read up on them because from what I've already read I learned that they only produce for about 3-4 seasons. So, I am not sure what season we are on with these, but the books tell me to harvest the best ones to keep as...crap, the words have escaped me.

Ah well, just know that artichokes are GOO-OOD!

Thanks for a fun night ladies! Already looking forward to next time. :)

Because next time I might actually get more than six rows down on my lap blanket.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

mmm, what's that intoxicating scent?

The Dracunculus vulgaris aka the Dragon Arum is an interesting flower indeed. The deep purple leaf like structure is quite a unique bloom. It draws you in, making you want to take a closer look.


And with the breeze flowing so wonderfully today...don't stand down wind! I kid you not.

Bret (the neighbor) told me that was what it was, before the flower even bloomed. I text messaged him as soon as I figured out it was not a dead creature in my flower bed that had Josie all kinds of worked up, rather it was a flower. MMMM, rotting flesh. Blech!

Not planted all that far from the Dragon flower are the plants our dinner came from, and two of it's flowers are waiting on our counter. Perhaps not 100% dinner, but part of our meal this evening. I should probably harvest some romaine as well, since there is much that is ready.

I also got four volunteer tomato plants from my friend, Jenn. We'll see how they grow for me. The four starts she'd given me didn't do very well. Three are goners for sure, one (which Kev calls Wimpy) is still kind of hanging on. It will be fun to see what kinds of tomatoes we get from them. I'll be sure to post photos as they produce fruit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

some tidbits

Last night:

Jess and Erik (who have the Wii Fit I played last week) tell me my Mii is sleeping. Because I haven't been over to their house to play...Shanniqua is taking a nap. That bitch.

We had Jess and Erik over for dinner last night. We took the backyard tour and got to this bush. Erik promptly took a photo with his phone and sent it to his dad. We'll see. They tell us his dad will know the scientific name of it, so we may have to google it to find the common name. I just want to know what it is. Jess does, too. She wants to plant one in their yard. I don't blame her. I want to take a bush out that is blocking it from our line of sight when we are on the patio.

I mean, look at its amazing flower. It came off that bush and we have no clue as to what type it is. The flowers are these fantastic architectural structures. When they are closed they look like little tents almost. And then they pop open and it's magic. I really hope Erik's dad pulls through with the name.


I am going to a Strawberry Festival in the Mountain Grange my friend, Jenn, grew up near. We've gone a couple of times, but had to miss out last year. This year I almost had to work, but then the girl I was covering for told me it was not this Sunday, but next. Huzzah! Sadly Kev has to work, but he's got stuff he needs to work on so it almost is for the best. Hopefully it will be quiet and he can get much done. I will be buying a flat (or splitting a flat with Jenn) this year because I loves me some strawberries!


I will spend the majority of the day cleaning the house in preparation for Wednesday's Knit Night. Since there are more women coming, we will probably hang out upstairs. Plus with it being so pretty now (please, continue being lovely outside...) it will be nice to have some natural light to knit by.


I am going to finish my toast and drink my coffee before heading over to get Jenn and Dugan. I'm excited to spend the day with them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

mii? not so fit...

So last night I was going to go to Mahjong. It was in my plans. I was going to go. Then, I got done with work crazy early and the host of Mahjong Monday (Dugan) was not home. So he and I chatted and I told him I was starting to become on the fence about coming, but I'd let him know. I used dumb excuses as to why I was on the fence and then I drove to North Portland (MM is in NE, which is a bit closer to home).

I got tempted, you see. And that carrot dangling in front of me? Wii Fit. Jessica and I were both planning on just hanging out for a bit and then going to MM, but then we ended up just bbq'ing some chicken and eating dinner at her house because we were too lame and lazy to go to MM.

However, I decided last night, Wii are getting Wii Fit. I woke up this morning with calf muscles and shoulders that are a bit tender. I loved it!!! It is really quite amazing. It tracks your progress of weight loss, BMI (still not sure how it figures that number out), length of time you "play"...everything. I'm thinking it would be the perfect routine to do in the winter especially. There is yoga, which it doesn't have you do sequences, but it does have you hold poses for quite a while. There is a balance section, a strength section, aerobic section, and yoga. I did pretty good running for two minutes (in place, of course). And I was great at the yoga poses, keeping my balance. However, trying to hit soccer balls with my head...not so much. Step aerobics also gave me some problems (my timing was a smidge off).

Anyway, Wii are going to get Fit...are you?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

on a curch marquee

Driving home last night I saw a sign at a church that obviously stuck with me. Most of the time I don't pay attention to the messages on church marquees because they are all too preachy (IMO) and I don't go for that. However, it's message was simple:

"being kind is more important than being right"

Normally my brain is like a sieve. Thoughts, ideas, names, phrases, etc all drip out. Some are gone in an instant, others take a little longer to disappear. Thankfully, this one stuck with me until this morning at least so I could write it down and remember it.

Any favorite phrases you've seen driving by a church, or anywhere that has a marquee? Something that really speaks to you?

Friday, June 06, 2008

a little something like this

Yesterday I came home from work to find Kevin working on the laundry. This made me extremely happy as I am normally the laundry doer. It also made me nervous as all hell. There are a few things he dried that I never dry, so we'll see if I have to go shopping Sunday...I've yet to investigate the basket of folded clothing (he "folded" things, too!). It was at this time, we started talking about dinner and what to make. Kev announced he was hungry for mac-n-cheese.

Anyway, I was home, doing a boat load of dishes that are still covered in dust (hell, the dog is still covered in dust it seems) and was still trying to think about what to make for dinner. When dishes were done I opted to put on my lounge pants. Kev says, "And how is that going to help us on the quest for Mac and Cheese?" I informed him I was not going to go to the store that if he'd wanted me to get something he could have called while I was at work and asked me to stop on my way home. Gas conservation at its best...lump all errands together!

I jumped online to search for a pasta and cheese dish using Parmesan cheese (since he'd gotten a lovely block of it for our Caesar salads the other night). JACKPOT! We opted for penne pasta instead of shells (working with what we have, people) and it turned out fabulous!!! I also decided that we couldn't simply eat mac-n-cheese for dinner, we needed protein and a little vegetation. I cooked up some chicken tenders in a pan with some olive oil, seasoned with kosher salt, white pepper and a dash of paprika. I sent Kev out to the garden to get some romaine for a simple lettuce salad.

We sat down to eat and Kev said, "who knew we had all this food in this house?" I'm proud when I can pull together a meal without having to leave my house (other than popping out to the garden...which is so damn cool!!). Especially when we both think we really don't have that much food in the house. I realized I could have taken a photo of one of our plates, but it was too late when that thought occurred...both plates were empty.

So, another dish to put into regular rotation. Next time, however, I will use more white pepper. Dad, I expect you to say you look forward to having some of this when you are in town in November. I think the family would enjoy it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


The plumber was here and has gone (which is good since he was here yesterday). Ken was great and so was his apprentice. They were reasonably priced, too! Happy surprise, indeed. However, even though we have running water and a disposal that works, the dishwasher is not running now. I opened the water valve that runs to it, nothing. So today Kev will call Ken and have him back out to fix it.

I could take a picture of water shooting out of the faucet, but didn't want to bore you all. Instead I took a photo of my friend poppy. She's a vibrant red head and is truly beautiful. What? I've never mentioned her before? Well, she's a springtime friend I didn't know I had until this year.

I love me some poppies! Especially the orange ones! The color is so vibrant and alive. We've only got the one poppy plant, but I am thinking I need more next year! Or course I know the saying of variety being the spice and all that, but sometimes you are allowed to over indulge in something so lovely, aren't you?!

Speaking of that...I'm going to go look at my kitchen again. If you don't see me for a while, just imagine me standing in front of the sink petting the counters and playing in the water.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

and we have counters

They are in! They are stunning! They are...

Now we await the plumber tomorrow and arrival of our tile for the backsplash and we will officially be done with the first major project in this house. I'm smitten...

half hour

So there are studies that show people should get up to half an hour of exercise a day, roughly four days a week (or something like that). Got mine in today.

Yesterday I told Mr. Lee that I'd let him into the store at 9:00 (he is our repairman and doesn't have the code to the alarm). Well, 8:50 comes and Kev takes off to go to work in the car. I mean, I didn't need it to wait for the counter installers, right? At 9:00 the phone rings. Mr. Lee! SHOOT!

I hop on my bike and blast my way to the store. I really don't know how long it took me to get there, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 minutes. I meandered my way home. However I did make it up the stupid 51st street hill that I despise, without having to get off my bike and walk up any of it!!

So, now I'm home again waiting for the installers. The cabinets have been wiped out with warm soapy water (easier to do when you have all that light flooding in helping you see all the nooks and crannies).

After the guys are done installing I will wash all the pots and pans in the bathtub before putting them away. I could wait until tomorrow to wash them in the sink, but honestly, I don't want to live with pots, pans, and all our stuff all over the house any longer than I have to.

I'm going to go get some more water and just sit for a little bit.

Monday, June 02, 2008

pitter patter (not that kind)

I'm sitting downstairs, watching television, relaxing. I have a round orange cat sitting on me. The dog is upstairs. All of a sudden I hear something upstairs. I go up to investigate. Josie is playing with Ms. Mousie. All by herself.

That dog makes me smile. Each and every day.

Thanks for the words of encouragement and excitement. I will post pictures tomorrow after the counter and sink are installed. The woman from Precision Countertops called to confirm our install tomorrow and I mentioned that I had the plumber coming shortly after they left and she told me that I had to wait 24 hours for the sink to become completely adhered before we put in the disposal and faucet. I'm glad I said something. I called Ken The Plumber of KTP Plumbing and postponed the work until Wednesday. I'm still really excited. :)

I bet you couldn't guess that though, huh?

Sunday, June 01, 2008


This is our tile. We ordered it today. It should be here in about a week. I am really excited. The color of the Silestone is in the gold family, the sink is white, the faucet it a brushed nickel. The cabinets are a golden/orange knotty pine. My kitchen is going to be beautiful. I can hardly wait.

We're getting ready to head over to the last meal at a friends house (well, for the two of us). Tomorrow I will go to Mahjong Monday at Jenn and Dugan's where there is normally food. Kevin will be working.

Only two more nights without a kitchen left.

I am serious about making chicken caesar salads. I suppose this means I need to get some dressing and a few other things to put in the salad, but that can happen tomorrow. Oh tomorrow, a real! live! grocery shopping trip!

I can hardly believe that it's been since the 16th that I've had a functioning kitchen. It really has flown by quite quickly. It's amazing when you have friends asking about dinner plans for almost every night. Believe me, I know that I am truly blessed with an amazing group of friends.

We both are.

a funny

So the post titled "artie knows how to party"...every single comment went directly to my spam folder.

Just gave me a giggle.

Off to order tile, buy a disposal and all accoutrement that we need for the sink (except the pipes, which Ken The Plumber of KTP Plumbing will have).

To steal something from my dear Kerri...

Smile, the world is around you.