Friday, July 31, 2009

New desk lamps

Saw these Frank Lloyd Wright (kinda sorta)-style lamps on CL yesterday and went for them. I've been looking for the right desk lamp both for my office and for home (see the fold up table in the posting before this one).

This morning, a lovely lit lamp sits on my desk at work. With my window curtain open and this lamp on, I don't need the bright overhead lights. Lovely.


Last night I didn't get much done. Well, I'm almost done with the office. Packed 4 boxes in there. Packed up a tub of coats, etc etc. Then feel asleep.


Tonight will be a bit chaotic. I'm leaving work around 3:30, picking up the truck, then going home. It will be nice to get home (hopefully) before 5. B will get up here probably by 8pm. We'll see how we feel about packing up the truck. He usually is pretty tired by the time he gets up here, but I'm holding out hope. I'd hate to wake up on Saturday to a LOT of loading to do...


A fabulous co-worker brought me a lock!!!! I'm so excited; now I don't have to buy one from the truck company. Lovely!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New litter box.

Today after work, I'm going to check this out:
Now, you may wonder why, if we like craftsman/mission-style architecture so much, we are getting a red, metal locker.
As per usual, we have a project for it.

We're making it into...... A LITTER BOX.

Really! Seriously! No joke!
I've been trying to find a long credenza-type piece of furniture, preferably with front doors like this for easy access to the litter. I HATE the litter box. HATE IT. They are really good about using it, but you get the grit/litter around the box, it smells, and where do you put it? There is not a good place to put a litter box.
So yesterday, I saw this article on ikeahacker. Another design for a hidden litterbox. Lovely, but I'm not spending $99 for something that may not work as a litter box. But then, at 5:30pm, it posted on craigslist for less than half that amount. WOOO! The SAME EXACT LOCKER!
We're going to change the design a bit. I think the entrance will be on the side via a little ramp. Our cats are not small; they're large (not fat, just they're large cats). I don't think they'll take to a hole in the floor of it. Plus, I don't want the hole; part of the joy in this design is that the spill-out litter is contained. A hole may ruin that.
So the design will be: entrance hole at one end, litter box at the other. Their mat will be next to the litter box, and they'll have to step into/out of the locker (thus further getting the little litter bits off their feet). PLUS, we can also stick some odor absorbers INSIDE the locker to further assist us, and we can put candles on top the locker.
It has ventilation, so it won't get stuffy, and the easy-access doors make it great for cleaning. We think the cats will really like it, as they generally like privacy when, um, using the litter box.
We aren't going to spring the new design on them for a few weeks though. We don't want too many changes for them, and they're already getting a new house next week!

New desk

After work yesterday, I went to check out this nifty desk. I love it. It's a little small, but, seriously, it will work wonderfully. The super neat thing about it is that it FOLDS UP.

No joke. It really does fold up!
Pretty neat, huh?

I like the folding up a lot because we're thinking of using the office as a spare bedroom when our friends stay over. Sometimes you want a desk, sometimes you don't. A foldable desk is pretty darn easy to move. Plus, if we need to move the desk for a temporary use somewhere else, we can, easily. Love it.
The wood color is perfect for us, as is the style. Hurray!


In case you haven't heard, the Pacific NW is in a heatwave. Here, we almost beat the all-time high (not just for a particular day, but since 1890). And we tied the record highest minimum (basically: It didn't cool off at night).

I thought I was immune to all this.

But as I went from REALLY high AC to really hot outside again and again yesterday, my head began POUNDING. No way. I grew up in southern California. I should have a body ready to take on heat. The headache said otherwise.

As I drove home last night (to my non-AC, in boxes apartment) I was feeling better and rarin' to go on packing.

Yea right.

I changed into shorts and a tank top and flopped onto the couch as if I had suddenly become boneless. UGH. When it's 105 outside and your place feels not much cooler than outside, it's problematic.

The other issue is that up here, it gets to the hottest point around 5-6pm. 5-6!!! At 8pm it was still hovering around 100.

Finally, around 8:30, I lugged my sorry butt off the couch because, well, things HAD to get packed! I tackled both storage units. Cleaned out one completely and the other about 80% (the remaining items there are a bit awkward-sized and hard to put in boxes).

Got 3 of the 4 rubbermaid tubs inside and stacked.

Filled up 4 tubs with winter clothing (freshly laundered, huzzah) and one tub with sheets and towels.

Filled up an entire corner of the living room with stuff to be donated.

Filled 5 trashbags and 1 box with trash. No, I wasn't living in trash, but some things just can't be donated. Yes, some of the trash was recycling, so at least I don't feel TOO badly.

Gave the cats a few bits of cold cold-cuts because they were MISERABLE. Nom Nom.

This morning, I emptied out my car. Brought home another 9 legal boxes from work and about 15 flattened boxes. I'm thinking of using the flattened boxes for artwork, mostly because the heavy-box-with-lots-of-frames just doesn't work. It's HEAVY. And I often lose a frame or two (the glass).

Also got a neat desk (which I'll post about in a few minutes). Lugged that upstairs, along with a Costco 12-pack of towels. I love my car. She can sure lug stuff for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're on a blog!

The artist who made my jewelry blogged about our wedding! So neat.


Moving update...

I'm always amazed at how many boxes your belongings take up. Yowza.

Now, I don't think I have a TON of stuff, but it's still quite amazing.

The kitchen for example: SO MANY BOXES. Maybe it's because things are pretty bulky in the kitchen. But still: Yikes. I easily used 20+ boxes on just the kitchen.

I'm storing all the boxes in the backroom. At what point do I need to be concerned with the floor caving in due to the weight? I think I may start also putting boxes in the living room.

Boxes remaining to be packed:
Kitchen: Probably another about 2-3 boxes, plus another box for the coffee maker/grinder and another box for the slow cooker.
Bathroom: Haven't really started on this, but I'd say 3-4 boxes.
Back office: Probably 2-4 boxes.
Bedroom: Probably 4-6 tubs (which I have)... I'm using these big plastic bins with lids for clothes because it's just easier.
Outside Storage Unit: Probably 3 boxes. Most of the stuff out there is in boxes anyway.

I also need to:
* Plastic wrap the wood furniture pieces so no scratches.
* Collapse the coffee table and bed frame.
* Deal with whatever is under the bed... I think it's mostly B's climbing gear, but still... Who knows!?!
* Take all pictures off the walls.
* Wrap the pictures in wrap, then package the pictures and frames in flat cardboard.
* Take down all the shelves in the apartment.
* Take down the spice rack.
* Possibly re-box all the canning supplies.

I should also add in here that we're going through a massive heat wave. It's supposed to dissipate come this weekend, but that doesn't help my packing. 105 degrees yesterday, which for the Pacific NW is quite miserable. And, no, I don't have AC. Monday tied a record: the highest minimum temperature of 74 degrees. In other words, it didn't cool off at night.

Luckily, where I am, there's an ok breeze. It also doesn't get too much direct sunlight. And, I own two big fans.

So, my process has been:
Morning: Shut all windows. Close all blinds. Fill 1 small bowl and one HUGE bowl with water for the cats.
Evening: Wait until it's about the same temp inside as outside, then open up all windows and all blinds. Set one fan by the screen of the sliding glass door, and one fan in the bedroom (so creates good air flow).

It's resulted in me not being too miserable. I go to sleep with just a sheet, and come about 2-3am, I need the blanket. woo! I also take a lukewarm shower just before going to sleep, so I'm a big chilled. It's worked.

The cats are miserable. Luckily, I've cleared out all the cabinets and whatnot, so they have lots of little hiding places to try to cool off on. But sometimes, they look like they're melting. I took photos of them all sprawled out and exhausted. I'm trying, guys! Hang in there! Tomorrow should be a little cooler, and the new place has AC!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


WE GET TO MOVE THIS WEEKEND! (and that's a good thing)

I'm so excited. It's pending the green-light from B. He's in a big meeting today, so yea, he hopefully will be able to call and confirm at lunch.

But... basically, the old tenant moved out a little early, there's not much for the landlord to fix, so he's cool with us taking possession on Saturday. Our lease would still begin on 8/4, but we'd move in on 8/1.

This is lovely for many reasons. Best of all though, we get to move and then we get to clean, and this doesn't have to be done in the same day. It is SO tough to move and as soon as you get your boxes on the truck, you have to lug yourself back upstairs and clean clean clean. You end up doing a scuzzy job because you're exhausted, and then you don't get your deposit back.

Not us! We can move 90% of our belongings this weekend, and then pack up the remaining 10% and clean over next week. Deee-light-ful!

Also, it's supposed to be nice this weekend; a high of 88-90. Right now the high is 105 expected today. Yea, it's a heatwave for the Pacific NW. Don't know what the weekend after this one will bring, so it's nice to have the move for a weekend that looks to be nice (and not sweltering or rainy).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hilarity in a freezer

I called my 82-year old grandmother (Oma) up tonight.

Me: Hey Omala! I have a riddle for ya.

Oma: Oh ya?

Me: Yup. So, you've heard it's hot up here right? It's 101 outside right now.

Oma: Yes. Oh it's hot down here too.

Me: Right, but everyone has AC down there, so here you have to improvise, you know?

Oma: Oh yes.

Me: So. Here's the riddle: You know it's hot when....


Me: Nope. Not many folks have AC here. 

Oma: Hmm. What then?

Me: When your husband tells you he needs a change of clothes!

Oma: Oh wow! It must be hot.

Me: Oh, I'm not finished.

Oma: No?! What else?

Me: You know it's hot when your husband needs a change of clothes, and he takes those change of clothes and puts them... IN THE FREEZER!!

Oma: WHAT?!

Me: Yup. In the freezer. He froze his clothes. So they'd be cold when he put them on.

I haven't heard her laugh that much in years. Cackled. She thinks B is awesome. So do I. And genius. 

Desk and rocking chair

I love this desk. It's really similar to ones I used in grade school. No, I'm not 130. But they were well-made desks, and my litte grade/middle school used them! I love it. I can totally see this desk near our front door. Keep some pens, notepads, tape, etc that sort of thing in there.
I think it has spunk!
Plus, it has the advantage of not resulting in our home looking like an Ikea store threw up all over it. That's one think I love about craigslist; you can totally find variety, easily.
I'm really keeping my eye out for a lovely antique table/desk to use in my office. That'd make me very happy. I have a garage now, so I can throw down a tarp and strip a piece to restain it a better color (I heart cherry and walnut) if I need to. So the options are out there. Just looking for the right piece....
This weekend, we agreed to buy this fabulous teak rocking chair:

I almost cried when I saw it. For years, I've had this desire to get an old, solid, craftsman/mission-style rocking chair. I think it's a piece to grow old with. I can imagine sitting there as a new wife, just married. I can see myself reading there, drinking tea, etc. I can see sitting there pregnant and someday rocking kids. Don't worry B, that's a long way off. But I love this piece. And it's comfortable (something which most rocking chairs aren't).


I have a fish in my office!

He looks very much like this one:

The poor little guy was in a 2.5" diameter cup. Ugh! And right next to other male bettas, which is just NOT cool (males like to fight at the sight of another male betta). The moment I put him in his new bowl (a lovely 8+" diameter, large, nice bowl), he started fluttering, zipping around the bowl. SO HAPPY. His fins are quite nice right now, but I can only imagine that in his new environment, he'll get even finnier. :)
But now to decide a name! Hm. I originally thought "Bill" (as in billable hours) or the firm's name in an acronym, but I don't know. Maybe Louie or Dexter? He is very exciting. And, I need to buy a fish net for when I clean his bowl...

Friday, July 24, 2009

New chairs

I've never been a huge fan of wicker, but when I saw these, my mind changed. They aren't your typical, too-small-to-reasonably-sit-in wicker chairs. They have padding, so no weird lattice marks appear on your legs. And they're not that bleached white color.

And they are SOOOOOOOO comfortable.
The wicker is really a brownish gray color, and the pads are this dusky gray color. Love them. And SOO comfortable. I sat on one for a while last night, and I swear, I could have fallen asleep. THe funny thing is, the cats ONLY sat on the one that I had sat on. It was like they needed the chair to be cleared by me for safety or something. The two chairs are identical, but they have only touched the one I was on. Crazy nuts.
Our thought is that we'll put these chairs out on the patio, but perhaps also inside too. We need a bit more seating, and this will give us a nice set-up. They're easy enough to move, and this way, we can use them year-around.

more on infusing and wine

So, I'm well on my way to learning about wine and things. I've learned that you can use wine to can stuff up. The canning process creates a seal, which keeps the wine from turning bad. But, if you were to just plop some berries INTO wine, it'd eventually go bad because the alcohol content isn't high enough.

But this is ok, because that means I can still bottle up some lovely blackberries in red wine... Producing this sort of effect:

And we can always keep some berries in regular preserved states, so we can plop them in as garnishment later on.
Actually, I found a lot of good recipes. But, to keep it out of the fridge and to avoid needing to consume it relatively soon after it being made, you have to add alcohol.
In my hunting around, I came across this recipe, which sounds so deliciously decadent that I can't wait for fall so I can try it.
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/2 vanilla bean
24 ounces chardonnay
1/8 cup sugar
Toast almonds and apricots in 2-quart saucepan for 1-2 minutes or untill you smell aromas. Split vanilla bean down center and add to pan. Add wine and sugar and bring to steady simmer for 5 minutes but do not boil. Turn off heat and allow to steep, or sit, for 10 minutes to let flavors infuse the wine. Add up to another 1/8 cup sugar based on preference.
Yum, and probably not very alcoholic based on the cook time.

I'm still researching lavender water and vanilla water and stuff like that, because I think that'd be neat to make and spray on laundry. Right now we have this rice and shea spray that is so light and wonderful that we use it on laundry. We'll see!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Doggone it, blackberries!

Crud and yay!

Remember yesterday when I said the blackberry arrival date would be around mid-late August? Well, it has been in years past... but this year it's different.

The blackberries are here. NOW.

And they're gorgeous things, 3/4 inch diameter.
They are so good. I guess it rained at the right time or something, but DELICIOUS!
But now I have to pick them earlier than expected. I'm not going to let a bumper crop of blackberries to go waste. Oh, and they're FREE. Hello!? Of course I'm getting a ton.
So I think B and I are going pickin' this weekend. Now to find recipes.
One thing I want to do is make viniagrette out of these just like I'm doing with the raspberries and like what I will do with the currants. here's the recipe:
1 cup crushed berries
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs sugar
You let it soak for about 4 weeks, shaking or stirring (i have mine in mason jars, so I shake it) once every 2-3 days. I have three quarts of the raspberry mixture right now.
After 4 weeks, use a cheesecloth to separate out the seeds/pulp from the mixture. Heat it up to the point of HOT but not boiling, ladle it into jars, and water bath it.
I'm putting mine into 1/2 pint jam jars, that way we can change it up every week or two. I'd hate to have it quart size and then get sick of it after 2-3 weeks.
I figure 3 quarts each of currants, raspberries and blackberries will give us a good mixture.
I also want to check out infusing. I've been meaning to read upon this for a while. I really like that idea. Plus, Ikea sells these AWESOME bottles for $2. And, they're reusable (assuming you can clean them). So I'm going to do some exploring as far as making like a blackberry sugar water or vanilla syrup or even a raspberry-infused wine (raspberries in chardonnay?). Plus, I think it'd look gorgeous, all lined up on a windowsill or something. We'll see!
But doggone it, blackberries. Seriously? 3 weeks early?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh dash it all.

Phbbbbt. :-P

I had great expectations for myself. I had 2 flats of currants, 1 flat of raspberries, and 1 flat of blueberries. I had great recipes all ready to go. I even had the ingredients (with the exception of white wine vinegar But wow, you should see my freezer.

We went in on a quarter-share of beef last fall (so we ended up with like 100 lbs of organic, pasture-raised beef. Yum), so that's a LOT of our freezer. And now, there are SO many berries in there, as well as a big bag of cherries that I stuck in there after facing the same predictament last month.

There's just too much going on. Weekends have been spent doing other things, and it's supposed to be hot (for us) this next weekend, so I really didn't feel like being in a hot kitchen, cooking and boiling water. Maybe I'll wait until we're in the new house... we'll see.

I do want to go and get some more blueberries, but right now, there's no room in the freezer. So, if B and I pick them this weekend, he gets to lug them home to his freezer. Yay. Actually, he loves blueberries, so I suspect he won't complain. :)

I think I should have the goal of having them all canned up and done with by blackberry season. That's a good goal. Mid to late August... though it will be sooner if this heat keeps up. Oh oh!

On the upside, my co-worker tried a can of my brown sugar cherries that my friend and I bottled up a few weeks ago. She loved them! She used them as a glaze on pork, which is one of the uses I hoped they'd be good for. And success.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My husband

My husband is a man who promises to rescue me when I am embattled by a too-heavy-to-lift-on-my-own rug currently residing in my car.

He's unafraid to personify the cats, even giving each cat a different voice. He also frequently uses LOL talk, like making things plural to sound more cat-like (how'd that ever come to happen?), for example "hey yous. YOUS! Feeds me! I's so hungry. You suck! I has a hunger!"

He's allowed his place to be a storage unit while we go through this transition.

He's actually wants to listen to a stupid song on the radio if it means I am dancing and singing to it. 

He's the man I miss SO much. Every evening I think... "2.5 hours from now I could arrive in his town if I leave now!" Every evening. Multiple times.

He loves it when I'm happy.

He's concerned about me. He gives me soo much freedom, but it's with a caring undertone. Wondering where I'm going to look at a craigslist ad. Asking for me to give him a buzz when I have a long car ride. Not possessive; caring. Loving.

He goes on adventures, tracks down things to make our house a home, and spends his weekend running errands with me. For us. 

I love to hug him. The feeling is mutual. 

How did I get so lucky?

DMV Drama-- Update!

I passed the DEQ test this afternoon. Woo!

DMV Drama

This is my Goldie. Ok, it's a stock photo of her, but you get the idea. A lovely 1997 Camry.

Ok, so she has 143k miles on her. And she has her quirks. But she runs like a new car out of the gate, does what I ask her to, can fit almost anything in her backseat/trunk, and really holds her own.

So this is why it was depressing when she failed the DMV Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) test.

Ok, it wasn't so much depressing as it was infuriating. Goldie's check engine light came on about a year ago, and, being a dutiful car owner, I took her in to the mechanic. They poked around and determined NOTHING was wrong with her; it was just a malfunctioning sensor. I could fix it for a few $100, or I could let it be and basically be no worse off (except that I'd have to be good on tuning her up because now I'd have no check engine light to warn me b/c it was always on).

Fine fine. So I went to the DEQ on Saturday morning (yay weekend open hours), and DUE TO THE LIGHT/MALFUNCTIONING SENSOR, she failed.

Great. So I got to go spend money on a mechanic ($300!!!) just to fix a sensor that was malfunctioning. I get spending the money if the car actually was polluting or whatnot, but for this? But the light caused the system to fail at the DEQ, so, unless I wanted to drive illegally, I had no choice. Luckily, I found a mechanic who appears reasonable and honest. And he loves my car.


There was a blessing in all of this. Two actually. And for these I am willing to move past the stupid DMV for the time being.

First off, my check engine light is off. As I soon face 100 miles of commuting a day (round trip), it's nice to have a bit of warning from a light that something is amiss. I have wanted to fix the light, but it felt like a waste of money. Being forced to have it fixed still feels like a waste, but at least it's off now.

Second (and MORE IMPORTANTLY), the mechanic did an overall check on my car, for free. Now, I'm religious about changing the oil. And every other oil change I have my car overall inspected to make sure all is ok. The punks must have only checked the LEVEL of my transmission fluid, not the COLOR. What the hey, I know. So, what should have been a liquid of reddish clear color was (in Goldie) blackish and gucky.

AHH!! Had it continued in Goldie, her transmission could have been done for within the next year, easily. And a replacement like a transmission is a big cost, one which would have seriously made me ponder whether it would be better to replace it or cash her in. * tear!*

So, the mechanic changed the fluid, drove her around, and then changed the fluid again. Thoroughly flushed her system, in other words. I'll take her back into them in about a month just to have them check her out. Fingers crossed no permanent damage was done.

Whew, huh?

So the DEQ fail and the punk DMV ended up producing a good result. Maybe it's karma. Maybe everything happens for a reason. It's things like this that make me take a step back and think "whoa...". As painful as the $400 bill was (2 sensors, transmission flushing and fixing my emergency brake), it beats having to buy a whole new car, or having a massive breakdown on the freeway. It's also made me really ponder pestering B, who likes to think his beloved car will never ever break down. I think an overall tuneup may be in order. Who knows, maybe my experience is an overall kick for me to poke B to take his car in and maybe we'll get the same sort of "whoa..., thank goodness we did that!" that we did from my car. Regardless, he's soon goign to be driving the 100 miles a day also, so I suspect it will be beneficial for him too to start out on a good foot.

Anyway, that was Saturday's drama and Monday's car mechanic trip. More on berries and the rest of the weekend to come....

Monday, July 20, 2009


Oh lovely.

My work has decided I'm worthy and upgraded me from bulky desktop to lovely sleek computer.

I heart it so much. And this will be especially good for working from home. Everything in one place, new, easy, and if something goes wrong, a tech team.


I'm thinking I should name her Della. :)

SOO much from this weekend

There is so much to post from this weekend that it will take several postings. Right now I just got into work and realized a big project was due tomorrow. Doggone it. It'll be ok, just gotta reorganize priorities this morning on what projects get done first.

But, in a nutshell...

* Screw the DMV
* AWESOME garage sale finds
* A few great finds at Ikea (and grumble about their lack of good labeling)
* Great returns and great buys at Crate & Barrel
* Great buy at Bed Bath & Beyond
* Found and bought RED CURRANTS!!!
* Yummy dinner by B while we plucked red currants (seriously,I got about 20 lbs)

* Bought a craigslist rug
* Went to Costco, got a new vacuum and awesome face wipe thingies. Longed for a beautiful couch.
* Got raspberries, walked in farm fields
* Continued on the currants....
* Watched a pretty good movie "King of California"
* Got sad that B had to leave on Monday for the workweek and so stayed up too late pretending that the next day was not Monday.

Ok, yes, no packing got done. Yes, no cleaning or laundry either. And yes, I now have 30+ lbs of berries to go through in the next day. But I have plans for them, and it shouldn't be too difficult. Then, no more crafty things!!!

Today: Gotta go to the mechanic. STUPID DMV.
Tonight: checking out a neat rug. Let's hope it's nice! Yay craigslist.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Plusses for Corgi!

Saw this, and it was just too cute not to post!!

The Anatomy of a Corgi:
Please B? Please? May we get one in a few months? 

Wedding: PAID IN FULL.

As of 2pm this afternoon, our wedding is 100% paid for. We had a few big payments recently (the new place, paying the old place to leave, deposits, etc etc etc), so quite frankly, I'm DONE with having to write big checks.

Seriously Goldie (my car), you'd better not have any issues anytime soon.

While reviewing my statements, there were a few questionable charges. Seriously, who does this? Who thinks it's somehow ok to do this? I don't have a questionable charge every month, but really, every 2-4 months, I usually get a false charge. Someday, I want to meet this kind of person. No humanity. One time, someone started entering my phone number in a bunch of ringtone sites. Do you know a lot of those sites just automatically bill your phone company? Before you know it, $100 extra in fees. That took a lot to sort out.

I see photos of some weddings, and I must admit that it would have been a little nice to have relinquished some control. But then I remember that the extra wine goblet or fancy imported orchid centerpiece or $20 bottles of wine would have added quite the extra tab, and you know what? I love what we did. I like the touches we added, the lack of gushing expenses, and that the wedding was definitely "us." The stress is gone, and really, it's nice not to have to worry about paying this sucker off, you know?

Second Line Dance

B and I did a second line dance with our guests at the wedding. I promised a friend I'd post a picture, so here it is! It was different and fun (I thought), though B and I had to be careful not to poke any of those lanterns with the umbrella. And yes, that is white fringe. The red on the umbrella is actually sequined. :)

22 days and why I love B

There are 22 days until we move into the new house.

19 days till the lease begins (at which point we may be close to camping at the new place out of pure joy of finally having a place together).

3 more work weeks of no B to come home to. :(

We are both so stir-crazyily ready for this separation to be over. It's cute and ridiculous. I look at the clock when I'm at home on the evenings and think that in 2.5 hours from now, I could drive and see him.

I love that he calls me every day before he goes to work, and several times throughout the day. I love that he's busy selling wedding stuff through ads I posted on craigslist. I love that he calls me up just to tell me that he is THIS close to going mad because the cat monsters were being curious little beasts.

22 days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We have a lease!

Last night we met at our midway point. Man, it really doesn't seem bad at ALL when you only have to go half (or less than for B) the distance you normally go! I kept telling myself as I drove from B's to my town that "oh, this is where I would stop..." but when you're not actually stopping it doesn't hit home as much. Now we only have to count from 1-50 rather than from 1-100 (or, if B's going past my work to my place, 1-130).

The rent is good, but still: choke cough, first and last months' rent. Deposit (gave that 1.5 weeks ago). App fee (for background check-- we gave this 1.5 weeks ago). Cat fee.


But: We found out that we would likely get approved if we want a 15-30lb dog. Wooo!!

B and I have talked it over, and we're going to wait a bit. Yes, we really want a bigger dog (see golden retriever photo at top), but we also realize that we may need to live in an apartment for a brief time if we change cities ever again, and the likelihood of finding a "big dog" apartment isn't too hot. Plus, big dog sort of seems like somethign to do once we make the jump to home ownership.

So we're going to wait a bit. And, we're likely going to get a young, but full-grown, already mostly trained, dog.

Our thought is that since we will have a commute, it is not the time to also try to train a puppy. It just wouldn't end well. We'd have to be careful and make sure the dog gets along well with the monsters, but that's our plan for right now. Settle in, get approval (6 mo-1year from now), then start to look.

We're thinking something like a Corgi (maybe Pembroke) or a mini (not toy) Australian Shepherd, but the energy level and personality would have to be spot-on. No crazy wild nutto shepherd, no yappy corgi. We've been reading upon breed traits, can ya tell? But we're patient. What's our hurry, right?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Name change woes and wine racks

When I filled out the marriage application with B almost a month ago, I was trying to decide between names. Switch out my middle name for my maiden last name? Just switch out last names? I went with the switch out middle name for maiden last name.

But after pondering, I don't like how it sounds. Plus, if I say all three names, people mistakenly think I've chosen to hypenate. No no no... Basically, both our last names end in -er, so it sounds really not good.


But, I discovered yesterday that to change from what I have on the application to what I want will require an OFFICIAL NAME CHANGE. As in courts and everything.

Part of me doesn't want to care, but then the other (larger) part of me says that this is my name and if I don't care about that, then what do I care about?

Sigh again.

To change it with the court, I need to have my drivers license say the application name. Once I change my DL, thought, I suddenly risk not being able to pay for things by credit card, etc due to my card name not matching my DL. My car's registration is also currently in the process of being renewed, and I don't want to screw that up by not having names match.

So, we've decided to wait until after the move. After the move, B will be nearby, so he can cover some expenses while I do the name change. I'll change my DL (thus have identification for court), do the 14 day hearing wait and then 14 day posting. That will change my name legally. Then I'll change my DL again (sigh). With that DL, I'll have proof of the new name change and then I will change EVERYTHING over into the name I want. That saves me having to change it all twice.

What a pain, right? Can you believe all of that just because of a line on an application?

At least we have a gameplan now and a way to handle it. It will be a little easier too since when we move I will have a bank branch also near me. The one up here closed and yesterday was just a day of things taking 14 times as long as they should.

On happier notes, today I'm meeting B in our new city (halfway between both of us) at 6:30 to sign the lease with our new landlord. I have an errand to run beforehand, so pray for no traffic.

After that, we're meeting a guy a little further south to buy a wine rack. We've wanted a bigger, modern one for a while. No, we don't booze, but we both like wine. I like having it on hand for cooking, and we do like grabbing a bottle or two that we like and knowing we can store it well. We really like this one, and it is a craigslist find, so we're saving a bunch of money from the (hideous) original cost.
Honestly though, I'm just excited about seeing B tonight. I miss him so much during the week.

On other notes, God grant me the strength not to lose my cool with my secretary today.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Camping and Thank You Notes

Camping went ok. Traffic was bad getting out of town, so I didn't get down to B until 7:45. Ugh. Come 10pm, we decided to find a motel somewhere and crash there. Just wasn't worth trying to find a campground and a camping space in the dark. I think our friends were disappointed, but I think it was for the best. Both B and I were in a good mood the next morning, which I suspect would not have been the case had we gotten in at 11:30, finally gotten to bed around 12:30-1:30, and then been woken up around 6/7.

We walked on the beach. Watched our friends' crazy dog race around in the COLD surf and sand, had fun, etc.

I discovered curry lentil tempeh. Oh yum yum yum.

I was the fire-creator. Go me. Though on the coast the wind changes pretty frequently, so I constantly got smoke in my face.

We drove back up the coast, just in time to make it into B's town in the middle of a few great thunderstorms. Yikes! Oregon doesn't get too many of those, so it was pretty darn neat.

We went by the humane society because we'd never been to the one on the west of town. Eh. Not very impressive.I think a lot of people go there (good thing), so it had this "animals don't stay here for long so eeh on conditions" feeling. Well, at least for the dogs. The cats were all in one big room (for the most part), and I didn't like how the peopel could go from one room to the other without having to disinfect their hands (the stations were there, but not well-enforced). And there were not FIV positive cat rooms, which made me nervous. Oh well.

We're not getting another animal too soon, but we like to know where we want to someday go. I'd rather go to a lesser-known private adoption group than a popular city society. Both sources have "shelter animals," but if one's more popular, we'd rather go to the lesser. We'll see.

We ran a few errands. I had to hunt to find gas for my drive up this morning because the power was out in a bunch of places.

When we got home we watched "Inkheart" where the dad (Brendan Frasier) can make books come to life when he reads them. It was pretty good! Then we opened the rest of our presents. We got so many lovely things that we cannot wait to use. Silverware! Beautiful glassware. SNOWSHOES!

But now I must write thank you notes. B said he'll help. I told him I'll give them a go for starters and then he can pinch-hit. He was very satisfied with this. I have married such a wonderful man. Really. I can't wait to live with him. It breaks my heart every Monday morning to have to part for the week.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Tonight I get to sleep on the ground. We're going camping.

I love camping. Normally I'd look forward to it. But there's a DRIVE for us. Our friends made the reservation. I'm not quite sure if this was the last spot in Oregon or if she was just aiming for the coast or what, but I think she forgot that I work where I do and B works until 5. The place is a little over 3 hours from where B is at, so that means it's right at around FIVE hours for me.


It's not that I'm not excited... I am. I'm just not happy at the thought of driving for FIVE hours after a long day at work. Our friends get to leave town much earlier, so they'll actually enjoy themselves tonight. They better not kick and shake our tent tomorrow morning! I have this sneaking suspicion I'll be a total GRUMP tomorrow morning...I may just grab B and go for a walk on the beach so I don't say anything stupid.

Don't get me wrong... I love our friends, but I'm kinda grumpy about the five hour drive thing... but I can suck that up for a weekend of fun with them. Just there'd better not be a 5am wakeup call or comments about us "FINALLY" getting to the campsite.


For the trip, I used a TON of our leftover dried cranberries from the wedding and made granola bars. They were SUPER EASY.

3 cups oats.
1 cup chocolate chips, white choc chips, mini chips, etc.
1 cup coconut
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup (I increased this a bit) cranberries
1 can condensed milk.

I 5x the recipe, but I only had 4 cans of the milk, so I used 1/2 can of coconut milk (mostly the frothy creamy stuff, not the clear liquid) to add to it. Worked fine. I had 3 quarts leftover, so I froze it. We'll see how that eventually works out.

Put into a greased pan (yay olive oil spray!). YOu can also use a cookie tray if it has 1/2" sides. Actually, that worked SUPER well. Cook for 20-25 minutes at 350.

YUM! They're chewy and delicious. I wrapped them up and we're using them this weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dressing & a visit!

B came up to visit me last night. Poor guy! Drove 2.5 hours, then got up this morning at 4:30 and drove back. Gosh I love him. And I cannot wait until a MONTH from now when I live with him. FINALLY.


Last night I made raspberry vinaigrette. I picked raspberries and blueberries the day before. It was really simple, actually. 4 cups crushed raspberries, 4 cups white wine vinigar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup honey. I divided it up into 3 large pint jars. You let it sit in a dark place for 3-4 weeks, stirring or shaking every 2-3 days. Then, you strain out the raspberries through cheesecloth, heat up the mixture, and can it up! Voila, raspberry vinaigrette dressing. B was excited and thought the jars looked pretty. I'll have to take a picture at some point; he has the camera right now. He also had fun smooshing the berries. :)

Last night I also bought a FANTASTIC new briefcase. I've been needing one BADLY, but I didn't want a fugly one or a nasty one. I also refused to pay $200+ for a bag that will get pen marks in it, stuff smashed into it, scratches, etc etc. I found this one, BRAND NEW, believe it or not, on craigslist. On a whim on Tuesday night I decided to do a search. LOVE IT. It's exactly what I'd buy if I was loaded with cash and didn't have to worry EVER about money. I should also add that it has lots of space inside (so it's practical) but not TOO much space (so it's bulky).

After the bag place, it was on to the store to get ingredients for my granola bars I'm making for this weekend's camping trip, as well as to make the vinaigrette (see above) and to can up the pounds of blueberries currently living in my fridge. Then, I stopped by and bought...



Our chairs are currently HORRIBLE. Two are literally falling apart. They have these slats on the seats and they've fallen off a few times when we've sat on them! Four are these little (uncomfortable) stools from a set B bought when he first came out to Oregon. But, they've moved so many times since then that they are now SOO wobbly that I can hardly sit on them, let alone stand on them.


With us moving, we needed something a bit more stable, to use for sitting and as a stepstool. These are really sturdy. Plus, we figure that with these, we can make our old tables work as a dining room and desk for a while, permitting us to build up bank accounts and whatnot (recovering from wedding and student loans and new homes and moving) before we look slowly to buy new furniture.


Whew. So that was last night! Oooh, and we opened three wedding presents.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Post-married life.

Really, it's much the same as before. I suspect the big change will be when I'm finally living in the same place with B. We've only lived in the same place for about 1 crazy month, then with new jobs and whatnot, the double rent began again.

We've always lived near each other, until the last 5.5 months. That's when the 130+ mile gap entered the picture. I miss him so much. And now that we're married, it really enters the picture.

So the move really does take center stage right now. I can't wait to move and be with my man again! Plus, life in general will be a lot simpler by the sole fact that all our stuff is in one place. Right now, between our two places, our two cars, and our two works, who knows where anything is at.

I've been squirreling away boxes at work. I collected another 11 today. WOO! It would be delightful to move everything in the boxes from work. Lovely legal boxes that can stack 8 high and have attached lids. BLISS.

On other notes, we've still only opened about 1/3 our wedding presents. We had two days off post-wedding. One was devoted to family and the other to house hunting. And it was pretty sad to open gift and then have to rebox them because you weren't living together and who knows when you'll see them again. Plus, we were only together on the weekends, and we've had a total of 3 weekend days since the wedding where we were in the same place as the presents. We are so grateful for the gifts though. Now that we have a place lined up, we are both REALLY looking forward to opening the rest this weekend. We're now truly building a home! I also REALLY need to get started on thank you notes!

I should comment though that I did have time to do a project with B and friends this weekend: CHERRIES!! Long story short, I met a family a few years ago with a farm, and we can pick as many cherries as we like from their trees. We have to give them some, but that's the only "payment" required. LOVELY. And they're gorgeous Queen Anne cherries too.

We picked two gigantic rubbermaid containers full. Like, the 2x3' containers, not sandwich boxes.

My friend and I made 48 half pint jars and 37 pint jars of goodness. Spicy jam, cherries in rum sauce, cherries in brown sugar sauce, and cherries in apple juice. The spicy jam is just good on anything. The rum sauce cherries will be great chopped anthrown in as a marinade or into breads. The brown sugar ones will be great as a glaze, and the apple juice ones are the preserves; they maintain the cherry taste the best and we can thus use them for just about anything.

It wasn't that bad. We had enough pits to fill an entire shoebox. Crazy! We got these great pitters from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it was easy breezy.

Yesterday I escaped from work a little early and made it out to a farm near where I live. I went with another friend and picked about 25lbs of blueberries and raspberries! Not sure what I'm goign to do with them yet, but we'll soon find out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We got the place!

Just found out tonight. Woot woot! Lease starts 8/4. We move in on 8/8 and 8/9.


House photos!

Here are photos of the hopefully new home. I'm calling the LL today to see how we're doing. It was a holiday weekend, so you know... gotta give him some time. I did a credit check recently, but it doesn't mean something's snuck in there. Finger's crossed.

As for the STUFF in the photos, that's all the current tenant's. EVERYTHING will be out when we move in, carpets cleaned, that sort of thing.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, here are the photos!


Half of the pantry off of the kitchen.

Front door (see, the plants really have grown).

View of front door from street.

Front of house from street.

Master bedroom CLOSET! (drool).

Master batheroom cabinetry

Windows in master bedroom

Fireplace! (gas, not wood-burning)

Second bathroom-- good storage space here.

Closet in bedroom 2. we'll use this space as an office or for all our many, many books.

Bedroom 2. We'll use this space as an office or for all our many many books.

Bedroom 3. We'll use this space as an office or for all our many many books.

View from living room into dining room into kitchen.

Deck off of the living room.

Deck off of living room.

Main entrance.

cabinetry in kitchen (our fridge will be a normal, freezer-on-top one; this one is the current tenant's.)

Rest of kitchen and cabinetry.

One half of the laundry room. The machines will leave with the current tenant, so we have to decide whether to buy our own. It's a decision to make at some point LATER on.

Inside of garage.

Outside looking into garage.