Friday, August 28, 2009

I worry...

I worry about B's car. He hasn't taken it in for a check up in a while and that worries me. It has a rattle that is either its typical engine or a sick sputter.

I worry about us and our commutes. 210 miles between two people is a lot of road to cover every day.

I worry about saving money.

I worry about our student loans. They're like parasites on my back. Juggling paying them off ASAP with saving is driving me crazy. I know people with 4x the amount of student debt as me. How do they function?!

I worry about B. He's been really tired recently.

I fret about unpacking a house and making it look decent while trying to keep the expenses down.

I think about what would happen if one of us lost our job. We can make it on one salary, but it would not be pleasant.

I think about the unexpected. Would that expense put us in trouble? We need to build up a better financial cushion.

I think about what I should be doing now to prepare for the future. I know we all look backwards and have our woulda-coulda-shouldas, but it'd be nice to not have huge ones.

I think about my friends. Sometimes they're not as good to me as I want, and sometimes they're better to me than I deserve.

I worry our landlord won't let us get a dog. It's not the end of the world, but it'd be a massive disappointment.

Sometimes I think I think about things too much... and other times I worry I don't think about them enough.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two months married!

It's been two months, already! Wow. So I thought today would be a good day for wedding reflection.

My favorite part of the wedding, honestly, was the ceremony. I knew my favorite moment would be actually MARRYING B, but how much I loved the ceremony was surprising. In my humble opinion, it was perfectly us. Church, solemn but sweet, our family and friends as witnesses, and it wasn't 5 seconds long. It was about 35-40 minutes, which, to me, was a good length of time. B and I, I feel, really had a chance to soak it in... which is saying something, considering how fast the rest of the night flew by.

The rest of the wedding, I felt like there wasn't enough time to do anything. Talk with people outside the church? Nope nope, have to run and take photos. Want to take more photos? Nope nope, have to get to the reception where people are waiting. Seriously, if I had ever needed a "pause life" button...

I have a few regrets. They by NO MEANS ruined anything. But, hindsight is 20/20, and I figured I'd finally write them down for all 2 people that may happen to get lost and read my blog.

1) I wish I had better designated a MC for the night. I had asked my sister, but I think something got lost in the translation. It's neither her nor my fault. I feel like if we had one, then it would have been more designated that this comes, then this, then that. As it was, we had toasts after dinner, and it just felt out of place, and I wish they had happened sooner.

2) I wish the wedding had been at 4 or 5 pm. Now, this would have caused problems, because hotels in town were booked due to a HUGE track event (note to world: Do not plan a wedding in town the same weekend as a big event). But, 4-5 pm means it's beginning to get dark after dinner. It felt sort of strange to be dancing and having TONS of light pour in through the windows. I also feel like more people would have made plans to stay later if the wedding had begun at 4-5 rather than 2... people came to the wedding, ate, talked for a bit, and then left 6:30/7. I wanted to get my boogie on, and that just wasn't happening.

3) Fewer people. I still have anger against a number of people who RSVP'd yes and then didn't show. It's made me question who I count as my friends, and really made me evaluate how other people treated us. We are blessed with many good friends, and, though our wedding wasn't huge to begin with, I think it could have been smaller, easily.

4) Do less. This really goes with #3, above. I really didn't mind the projects B and I took on, but I dont' like how much time things took to set up the day before as well as take down the night of the wedding. Our family and a few friends were so devoted and wonderful and giving and just helped in any way they could. While that was TOUCHING beyond belief, I wish that B and I had planned a little differently to have things be less crazy.

5) I think B and I should have created a better budget. We stayed within budget, but sometimes I think money was spent somewhere when it shoudl have been spent elsewhere. I don't know if this was possible though; we were in two different towns!

6)I wish we would have gotten outside shots of us with our families. I don't think we did. And I dont' like that. I wish I had been more forceful with the photographer that it's not just about artsy shots; it's also about family.

7) I wish we had spent less money on something else and instead hired someone to make the food go more smoothly. It did (we hired people for the actual reception), but the morning was a little crazy. I also with I had just plunked the money down for the cheapo catering dishes rather than getting different types. It worked, but there was a lot of "where'd x piece for y dish go!?" stress.

Don't get me wrong. All in all? I LOVED our wedding. Loved it. I never lost sight of the fact that it wasn't about the party; it was about marrying B. And while I wasn't STRESSED, there are things we could have done to make it more enjoyable.

I see pictures of friends, etc.... who are relaxed and just in the moment, the DAY before the wedding. They saunter to the rehearsal. Then waltz over to the rehearsal dinner. Maybe they even had a spa day. I wish we had that aspect.

Now, I realize that a lot of these people whom I'm looking up to either have family paying or debt from their wedding. And I'm REALLY glad we didn't have the debt. As for family, well, our families supported B and I through SEVEN years of post-high school education. SEVEN. EACH. Yes, we still have student loans, but not nearly as many as we would have had if we had not had our families. We are both so grateful for that, and that's why we did not want our families to pay for our wedding. We wanted that to be a thank you from us. A realization of what they did for us.

There's a new show on TV that I happened to catch an episode of two nights ago: Masters of Reception. It's this family or group that owns this gorgeous estate where weddings are held. GORGEOUS. But I don't long for that. I love where we had our ceremony, and I love where we had our reception. Not only would a place like that cost an arm and a leg (seriously: $100+ a person for food alone), but how many people before you had the same exact type of wedding? At least ours was unique.

I guess I just envy the attitude of "I get to relax because I paid x number of people to take care of stuff." But you know what? I got my man. And he's wonderful. And together we do not have the added burden of paying off our wedding. And the wedding? It was wonderful.

So long story short: I loved it. And I love him. Yes, in retrospect, there were a few things I'd change, but that's not saying i didn't enjoy myself. There's just always room for improvement. Maybe we'll have a 10-year anniversary bash!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sticky Chicken Coma and paneer...

I made sticky chicken last night. Well, I made it technically the night before and then had it on warm all day. Next time, I'll just cook it throughout the day, but since it was a new recipe, I didn't want to not be in the house with it in the crock pot.

But, long story short: YUM.

I actually de-skinned the chicken prior to cooking. It was still pretty moist, probably because I had most of the white meat in the bottom of the pot (breast down chicken!).

I made simple mashed potatoes to go with it, and then I combined a can of turkey gravy with the drippings to make a tasty gravy (yes, I cheated a little with the can; deal with it).

B wolfed down a plate of the food and then promptly fell asleep. At 7:30. He was tired to begin with so I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. It was nice for him to say he was well-rested this morning though.

In my B-less time last night, I decided to try a new paneer recipe. It looks like it worked! I haven't tried any yet though. It's still in a pressed form but now it's in the fridge. I had great aspirations of cutting it up and tasting it this morning, but I decided to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep instead. Will let you know how it turns out...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adventures last weekend

Last weekend, we were in Eugene.

My handsome husband

Eugene has a fabulous Saturday Market that we LOVE to go to and we go there every chance we get. There's always something new, something happening. Always different.

Random quartet playing.

It was the perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold, not breezy. The fish fountain looked so nice and cool, and the trickle of water could be heard throughout the booth tents.

Fish fountain (see the sculpture of the school of fish?), Eugene.

B got very creative and took this neat picture of a close-up of where the water falls over the side in the fountain.

Mini-waterfalls in fish fountain.

And, of course, it's Eugene, so you will find your odder fares too. Like TDTP-- Tie-dyed toilet paper! Yes, it's been "butt used around the world." Funny thing is, I actually bought one for B's mom as a gag gift last Christmas.

And, in case you're lacking, you can also buy brains, apparently. I must admit, they were quite cute, but still a little creepy for me to have as a paperweight (that size was labeled "pea brains." Cute....).
Brains for sale.

After the market, we went by a few small antique-y stores. But we didn't buy anything; they can just be SOO overpriced.
So we made our way then to our favorite restaurant: The Bierstein. It's our version of Cheers.
The staff there are all so nice. We didn't realize it, but one of the staff, Mad Dog, was just diagnosed with cancer. We happened on in at the right time: They were having a 4-hour benefit fundraiser to help fund his treatment. And look at the crowd!

Mad Dog's Cancer Fundraiser at the Beirstein
Since it was for Mad Dog, we splurged a little bit. I got a Framboise Lambic, and B got a Silver Moon Heff. Yum (my lambic, not B's heff). I'm not a big beer drinker, but I like the sweet stuff. But, Beirstein also has wine, and has the most generous pours I've ever witnessed.

Delicious cold lambic and heff at Bierstein.

The Bierstein is well-known for their WIDE selection of beers. Over 900! Too bad I don't like beer that much. I go there for their yummy paninis and wine (and occassionally their sweet beer). But, B likes beer, as you can see him here examining one of the cases. And the picture also is a good example of the countless beer...

Bierstein beer selection (and my husband intently concentrating)...

So that was our weekend in Eugene. As I get better about taking photos, I'll post more. I wolfed down my GORGEOUS caprese salad at the market before I remembered to take a photo. Alas. But it was SO good, trust me. We also went to Red Barn and got their naked coconut ice cream (yes, I splurged a LITTLE this weekend), but again, whups on the photo.

But, as a finisher, here are two pictures of Frankie and Paddington. They were all snuggled next to each other in-between the blinds and the sliding door. It was adorable. So, I snuck outside to take a photo, but doggone it-- they saw me. I think they look quite relaxed though.

Frankie and Pads, chillin' in their hiding place.

Apparently there's no privacy in this house.
Too bad guys.
You were just being too cute!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Insufferable wife.

I was full of drama yesterday.

I hate it when I'm asked "what's wrong?" and the result is a blubbery "I DON'T KNOW!" and "you just don't get it."

Sigh. You'd think being around on this earth for my length of time, I would have developed the ability to read my emotions.

Apparently not.

So psycho wife kicked in, moody, grumpy, and feeling unappreciated.

I've been feeling worn for a while. I've been the one to organize and take care of stuff. B's been chaotically busy at work. And while he's grateful, I don't think he realizes that, hello, it does not take 2 minutes to talk to an insurance company. EVER. Or organize a move. Or a wedding. Or find a new house. Or a carpool.

I made some quasi-flippant remark yesterday, B called me on it, and the drama train rolled into town. "I do so much for you and you call me out on this?"

Oh sigh.

End result: I need to take on less. Breathe more. And when I do something, I can't just let it slide by; B wants to know what happens. I guess I can't get upset if he doesn't realize I have done something. And he's a pretty darn good guy. I think I need to have goals and aspirations, but I also need to realize that I don't have to accomplish them overnight.

I guess it was made worse by the fact that we (finally) decided to have a garage instead of a storage unit, so we dragged 80% of the boxes from the garage into the rooms they need to be unpacked into.

And of course, the big bookshelf that needs to be set up? Couldn't find the freakin' screws. Finally found them around 9pm. And of course, I was then dead-set on putting up the bookshelf that had caused me so much angst. Finished at 10:40, which I regretted at 6 this morning when I left the house for work.

So there I was, in my lovely new home, surrounded by boxes and my lovely husband. And I was blubbering.


And no, I am not pregnant. Just an insufferable wife... well, for Sunday afternoon at least.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I love my husband. 

That is all. 

Ready for the weekend.

I am so ready for the weekend.

This month has been an exercise in diligence.

But this month, Bob and I almost have no plans. I have to meet one friend for coffee and eventually we want to pack up both our cars with stuff from his place... but otherwise: No plans.

No dinners to go to.
No people to go places with.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

While we love doing things, recently it has been packed so tightly together that we are left needing a weekend from our weekend. Move! Go here! Spend x amount of time then race across town to place y! Get up early.

We both need a weekend to sort of let the weekend guide us.

I think we may go out to dinner, maybe(?) on Saturday. That would be fun. Just the two of us.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Edith Piaf Record

I just got an email that my Edith Piaf record has shipped. I cannot wait to hear her voice coming through our old record player.


Parental Visitation

My parents are visiting tonight. They live in Southern California, but my dad knows how to fly, so now that he's retired they have this tiny airplane and they hop all over the place. Apparently, this weekend, they're going to some event in Washington. Since they have to practically fly over me, they are stopping by.
(this isn't his airplane, but it's the same type, so you get the idea)
I'm looking forward to seeing them. They want to take B and me out to dinner, but that's kind of hard since there isn't anywhere spectacular to go out to eat. The city where B works: no problem! Lots of places. The city where I work: no problem! Lots of places. But where we live? Um....

I'd be more than happy to cook, but I think my dad wants to avoid me working in the kitchen instead of visiting. Fair point. So I think I'm going to try to nab some food from up here and take it home in the vanpool this afternoon. But, I don't have my car, so if the place I'm thinking of doesn't deliver, then we may be up the creek without a paddle. There are a few chain places (Olive Garden, etc), but hmm.

It's also sort of strange. I normally sort of freak out when my parents visit and clean everything. Right now, we're very SLOWLY unpacking and getting the house set up. So it's understandable that the place isn't in tip-top condition. Plus, B and I work a lot. So, it's like the first time I haven't killed myself preparing for their visit. I do want to rush home tonight and make the bed though....

It's also the first time they'll visit me in a house. I've always had apartments (with the exception of when I house-sat for 6 months). And, it's the first time they're visiting B and me after we're married.

I'm sure it will be fun! I just have to get this food thing sorted out. And they're only here for tonight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jedi Master

My boss just called me "padawan."

I guess I'm on my way to becoming a Jedi.


I want the green light saber, please.


I saw this photo today and realized... fall isn't that far away.
Having lived my childhood in a place that, well, didn't get seasons, I dismissed fall. Now that I'm up here, we get seasons. Not dramatic, -60 degree winters or anything, but seasons none the less.

And I like fall.

I still think winter is my favorite. There's something cozily appealing about the cold outside and the warm inside a house. And, despite the cold, there is bustle about.

But fall... fall is telling. There are days it tells us beware of the cold approaching, but also warmer days reminicent of summer. It tells that the year is ending. Leaves crackle. Trees become bare. Green lingers but slowly faces.

There are those few fabulous weeks of leaves. Bright leaves, of every color. Up here, the trees are mixed in with evergreens, so you have a fabulous blanket of green with color pops over all the foothills.

The mud will return. The rain will pour down. The snowplows (the few out here) will turn into leaf pushers. The views will disappear, covered by an almost-ever-present mist. And when that mist does fade, the mountains will appear, covered in white as if dipped into a gigantic vat of powdered sugar.

Strange how seeing one photo like this will elicit so much feeling. Especially on a day like today, when it is nearly 100 degrees outside. Maybe it's a longing.

But summer's not over yet; there's still a lot to enjoy before those leaves go crunch under my feet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I would love to go see this tomorrow:

They're making Lombard Street (curviest street in the US, right?) into Candyland. And kids from the Children's hospital are playing in the game.

That is just so neat. I immediately sent the link to my father, who was tortured with many a Candyland game (someone described it as "toddler crack") when I was little.


This is Ernie. He lives on my desk at work.

He greets me every morning by staring at me like this, usually with his back fin fluttering. I think it's his version of a glare, silently telling me to feed him now. It works. When I do, he flutters away. He likes to stare at me throughout the day, but when he gets very intense about it, he's hungry.
That may sound like I'm personifying him, but I'm not. He is very curious, but when it comes to food, it's a serious stare... flutter flutter... STARE!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting back to it.

I was pretty ok with myself at the wedding. In all honesty, I wanted to lose another 10-15 lbs, but I looked right in all the right places for the wedding (and dress), so I wasn't about ready to kill myself over it.

But, post wedding brought on:
1) Oh thank goodness all that planning is over;
2) I can eat like crud because my husband is 130 miles away and that makes me sad;
3) Oh shoot we have to go house hunting now? I'm tired!
4) Oh dear Lord we have to move TWO apartments?
5) We have to unpack and we're oh-so tired.
and finally...
6) I have to drive how far? I need food to keep me awake.

I've gained a few lbs. Shoot!

Quite honestly though, it's not like I regret this. It has been exhausting and stressful stuff! But I must and need to eat better.

So I'm starting today. No more toffees or chocolates as I walk by that one secretary who loves to tempt me with that bowl of goodies. No more! Snacking is my problem, so I need to be careful to eat food that's more filling so I don't fill up on junk as my stomach growls.

Yup, I'm loaded up on the right foods, and I have my jug of tea. I've found that really helps-- having something nearby to sip on. Herbal tea= great.

It's not like I haven't done this before, sadly. But this is NOT that much of an amount compared to a few years ago. I've yo-yo'd since then, but it's been a really short sting yo-yo, not a high number gained or lost. Truly though, as my life becomes more stable, I need to really focus on getting to a point and staying there. I am so much happier when I do. I know what I need to do. I just need to do it. And then monitor. Not like a crazy person, but you know, just keep an eye on it. Splurge, but not all the time.

B and I may go down to see my folks in San Diego at Thanksgiving. That's a good goal point, I think! Plus, that airplane seat will feel better. :)

Besides, I have all these cute suits I can't wear right now. This needs to be remedied. Ugh, how vain does that sound? But really, it's amazing on when you feel better about yourself how much easier it is to get ready in the mornings.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweet Cheeks

Our one major splurge (and it isn't that major) is that we recently joined a wine club. It doesn't cost anything, except you are obligated to buy the distributions of wine when they are released. This particular winery has GREAT wine, but it's not horrendously expensive. Plus, unlike some other wineries, we like all their wine, so this works out well for us. And, we get the wine at a reduced rate. Excellent!
The winery is fantastic. It's called Sweet Cheeks Winery. And, they really love their wine club members. This weekend on Saturday, we're going down there for a free dinner. It should be really fun, and we're really looking forward to it. We'll get some extra % off wine too in addition to our normal discount, so we may buy a few bottles. Their wine ages really well, and they have lovely packaging, so it will be nice to have those bottles in our new wine rack.
Plus, all the vines and grapes will be in full form. Juicy grapes and lush leaves. I can hardly wait to see it all!
Plus, we get to enjoy this lovely view from where we eat. Very exciting.

So, that's our date for Saturday night. Now... what to wear? It's by no means a snobby winery. But I don't want to wear jeans. I think a dress and cardigan will be playing it relatively safe. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Washer & Dryer

B: One dorm suite and four apartments later...
Me: One dorm room and nine apartments later...
We are happy to announce that we are the proud owners of a...
(crowd roars)

Let us take a moment to remember all the things we will now be missing out on:
No more traipsing down to whatever dungeon the washer/dryer is in the apartment.
No more traipsing down only to discover that there are 14 people ahead of you for the ONE washer and ONE dryer for a 16-unit building.
No more getting down to the machine and realizing you left the detergent upstairs... then going back up stairs then downstairs and realizing you're ONE quarter too short.
No more squirreling away of quarters.
No more attempting to time how long a load will take.
No more attempting to time a load and then going downstairs only to discover that icky neighbor has removed all your underwears and piled them on top the machine so he can use the dryer (or washer). And no, he did not pick up the five pairs he dropped on the ground and now look like little dank sheep due to the amount of yucky lint on them.
No more removing the 15-prior user's lint because they didn't have the courtesy to clean their own.
No more thanking God for the building not burning down due to the lack of people removing their own lint.
No more hoping that you can wash your clothing without stealy mctheifersons upstairs taking your shirts... or pants... or underwear (um, ew?).
No more lugging full laundry baskets upstairs and/or in the rain from whatever damp corner the machines are located in.
No more looting laundromats for their quarter machines.
No more feeling like a looser because you forgot a pile of laundry and now you're out of quarters and can't wash it.
No more putting off washing sheets and/or towels because you only have x amount of quarters and you really really need clean underwear and clothes for work.
No more buying socks because you really really need clean ones and have no laundry machine nearby (B... plus he really likes fluffy socks).
No more saying screw the softener! because it's not worth trying to time a trip downstairs to add it in.
No more getting to the machine only to discover that your detergent has been stolen. Or your fabric sheets. Or both.
No more having the door swing closed behind you only for you to close your eyes and think "oh crud, were my keys in there?" Of course it automatically locks behind you.
No more HAVING to stay awake until the end of the load and then traipsing out into the cold or into the dark creepy basement (in the building of creepy landlord) because if you don't get your laundry now, it could be all gone by morning.
No more neighbors complaining that you're starting a load of laundry at 9pm.
I am totally aware that now we'll have additional electrical costs and gas costs (the gas heats our water heater). Our water is paid via stipend to our landlord, so I guess now we're getting more out of our stipend so that's a moot cost issue. And yes, if it breaks down, there's no calling the landlord.
But oh, the bliss. Bliss!
We got the set for a GOOD price on craigslist. They don't match, but we really don't care. One has a loose piece of plastic on the top, but you can't tell unless you pull on it. Both these things lowered the price, which we were FINE with. The woman was selling them because she's moving and her new place has a set. This was evidenced by the moving boxes in her place. We wanted to know WHY the set was being sold; this was a good explanation.
We hook up the set tonight... here's hoping! Last night we were just too tired after long days at work, running to look at the set, then running to home depot to get a truck, picking up the set, dropping off the set at our place, and returning the truck.
Still though: WOO!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Failing to impress

Seriously? You haven't unpacked yet. Dude. Get on it already.

Yes, I'm failing to impress even the cats. Is it wrong that the last thing I feel like in the evening is unpacking?
Maybe it's my fault for going ahead and knowing where the critical items are. Now there's nothing necessitating action, besides the garage full of stuff.
But, the good news is that we're on the hunt for a good used washer/dryer set. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stretching dinner...

Last night I had this report to do... so what to do for dinner? B got home late, almost at 8, so I wanted to start something...

I like hamburger helper, but I dislike how gooey it is. And there's a lack of veggies too.

So, I cooked up the ground beef.
Then I added a chicken breast and a half and cooked those up.
Started about 1.5 cups of long-grain brown rice cooking.
Added in the water and seasonings to the meat.
Added an additional cup and a half of noodles to the noodle/meat mixture.
Chopped up an old tomato that was still good but not good for sandwiches.
Added a zucchini.
Added the 2"x3" leftover of lasagna about 3-4 days ago (still good), all chopped up.
Added about 1 cup of the leftover summer squash from 3-4 days ago (still good), all chopped up.
Added seasoning salt and some chicken broth powder
Added the cooked rice.
Stirred it all together & let it boil/simmer down.

Result: Leftovers used, and it tasted pretty good! And, we made a $1.50 pack of hamburger helper result in about 4 lunches and 3 dinners.


Two woots and a holler!

Two woots: Got two really good feedbacks today at work. Gosh that feels GOOD.

The holler:
I really want one of these, if these are non-inflated numbers:

Feeling the need to unpack...

Every day, I have this overwhelming desire to go home and get things unpacked.

Then I come home.

By day's end, I'm tired. And, if it's like last night, I finally got a project finished around 8:30 for work, meaning I had about an hour to an hour and a half to eat dinner, relax, and go to bed.


We really need to get the bookshelf put together. THen we need to just go through boxes. I'm so tired of not having it done. It's not that big a deal, but I do kinda want to know where my sugar is. And bread machine. And flour. And salt! The things that are missing....


Monday, August 10, 2009

What a weekend.

On Saturday, we cleaned out the rest of the apartment. PUNK landlords; we realized there was no way we were goign to clean it absolutely, positively to their specifications. So, we opted to pay the piper a little and have their cleaning service come in for their lowest of cleaning options. Got everything signed off on, so here's hoping that will be the only deduction. If not, well, heck to pay, heck to pay. Gosh, I am so done with landlords.
The landlord we have now seems really reasonable. That's really what we want. Pay your rent? Ok, fine, he leaves us alone. Perfect.
Poor B right now is really facing a hassle as he ends things with his landlord. He's riding it out through the end of the lease, but the guy is a serious tool. B gave him permission to show the apartment before B's lease term ended. Now the guy says that he wants to charge B for having a maid service come in because "the place is not showable."
Excuse me???
No, B was not housing an elephant in the apartment. "Not showable" to the landlord is that there were a few dishes in the sink, and there are some boxes (um, yea, Crate & Barrel boxes.. your tenant got married). No joke. And the reason there are dishes is because the hot water stopped working... AGAIN. This happened once before, B called the guy, he came out, and flipped a switch and basically called B an idiot because he couldn't fix it himself. I don't think that was the issue, because 2 days later, the hot water was gone again. ANd yes, the switch was flipped in the right direction.
B's approach is to play nice, but I'm all ready to whup out the big guns on this guy. Seriously. This guy has obviously never rented to trash-the-apartment folks. Pshh. Crying over a few dishes and a few boxes. Ridiculous.
Anyway, after the apartment we went and got some fruits & veggies. I got a flat of blueberries. I've grown a real fondness for them frozen. It's like, they dont' freeze completely. It's like a slushy blueberry in your mouth. Yum!
Then we hopped over and looked at this:
AND WE GOT IT! It is so cool. It's a 1959 Grafonola. Would you believe it originally sold for $199 when it was first made!?! We got it for a song, and it works! And yes, the music really does come out of the horn.
From there: Ikea (just for as-is to buy a piece of wood and see what they have & get two office storage boxes), Home Depot (to get a few plants), and Costco (to get 4 great new bath towels). Then we went down to Crate & Barrel and took advantage of our 10% off everything completion-of-your-registry coupon. WOO! We got 2 wood bathmats, a pitcher, two beautiful drink glasses (scotch? I dunno), 2 apertif-type glasses, and a set of 12 glass storage bowls with plastic lids. We could have spent more, but that was more than enough for us. Then HOME!
Saturday night at home we unpacked. I rocked it and totally got the china cabinet up, despite not having any power tools or a drill. Up and secured to the wall, may I add. My gosh, the glass looks beautiful in there! And, we realized ithas the extra benefit of keeping all things away from monster cats.
We put down the rugs too, and we realized that the one we bought that goes in the dining room is just not gonna hack it. SIGH. It's just too yellow, and we really need it to go with th erug in the dining room. SO I think we're going to sell the dining room one.
Sunday we went to Goodwill to hunt for records. Then grocery shopping. Then home.
I went out and picked 12 quarts of blackberries from a patch near our house. B helped too, though I suspect this activity was WAY more up my alley than his. I'm trying a dressing with a few cups, we'll see how it works out.
So now I have about 50 plums, 15 bags of blackberries, a flat of blueberries, a flat of blackberries, and 1.5 flats of currants all waiting for me to do something with them. Oh sigh, to unpack.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A recap of the past 5 years...

I talked to my father on the phone this week, and he made the comment of "sometimes you just need time for nothing." It made me think that there have been projects on our plates for a while. I mean, right now we're unpacking boxes... I haven't been out of boxes for the past year and a half. It's been a crazy 5-6 years. I know I know, someday I'll have kids and this won't seem crazy. But in my world, it is.

2004: Lived in Oakland/Berkeley, commuted to San Francisco for work. Moved twice.

2005: Started out in Oakland/Berkeley, commuting to SF. Moved once, but then summer of 2005 was basically spent hopping from friend's place to friend's place becuase leases were up and I was moving in August to...Oregon! Law school began in August 2005. Found a lovely one-bedroom apartment. Long distance relationship... but that ended in September 2006. Just not the right person and not the right situation. Ended the job in SF, but had a part-time job my first semester.

2006: First year over, second year began. Worked that summer for a professor and for a judge. Worked as a tutor the next fall in Contracts. That was fun! Second year was much better than the first year. Broke up with long-term, long-distance boyfriend. Dated. Started dating a jerk law student... should have seen the forest through the trees on that one. Ahh lessons. Packed up my things winter of 2006 because I got to house-sit in a gorgeous craftsman for two professors who were spending a semester elsewhere (free rent, woot). Lived with a friend for 2 weeks first... she was lovely for putting me up.

2007: Living in the professors' house for the first 5 months of the year. Met this law student whom I really thought was a bit full of himself. Turned out to be my future husband. Tutoring still, working for 3 professors. House sitting and pet-sitting business is really taking off at this point. Everyone likes that I'm not ripping them off... I guess kennels give you very little for a lot of money. Found an adorable historic house for song and got the top floor apartment. Quirky. Loved it. That summer I clerked for a good law firm in-town. Loved that too. Continued to research for professors, though the one was beginning to bother me (ever get the sense that someone thinks they're too good for what they're doing now? Yea...). Started dating B the fall of 2007.

2008: Dating B. Loving it. Got the job in March, to begin in August. Packed up the apartment before the bar exam because the job was originally to begin 110 miles away the day after the exam. Studied like a mad woman for the bar exam. Computer crash. Things went wrong. Didn't pass. Horrible feeling. Had already been working for the firm for a month when the results came out... but they liked me a kept me on as a paralegal while I studied again. Meanwhile, B (despite being at the top of the class) was not finding a job. Darn economy. He opened his own firm late 2008, and decided to move about 30 minutes away (we had 2 apartments close to each other) to be mid-way between me and where his practice was at. Got engaged in late November.

2009: January: part time at work to study, February: off work completely. And time off= not paid. Just saying. B got a job 110 miles south of me in late January. He lived with friends for the first 4 months, then got his own apartment. I moved into his old apartment. I took the bar exam in late february. THen continued as a paralegal until mid-April when I found out I PASSED! Got sworn in in May. Changed job titles May 1 and love it. Got married in late June. Found the new house the following weekend. Packed up and moved (this last weekend).

SO now we are where we are now. In boxes, but married and together with B. The last year has been a whilewind. Two bar exams. Engagement. Three moves. Marriage. Job changes.

I'm ready for some continuity, please. Things can be the same for a while and that'd be just peachy for me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Queen Anne Cherry photos!

I got free cherries from a friend, so my friend Tiana and I picked probably around 80 lbs of the stuff (probably more). Here are our adventures with them, in photos:

Cherry jam, simmering in lovely spices on the stove.

Whole cherries being cooked in a light sugar syrup.

Pitted cherries. The ones that you need to examine float to the top. Neat trick, huh? And, if you keep them in a water mix that has a little vinigar, they won't brown. Love it! BTW, that's a BIG bucket. Just saying.

Only photo 1 of 3 of our finished cherries.

Jam cherries (awaiting lids and water baths).

Photo 2 of 3. That's a lot of cherries!

Photo 3 of 3of the cherries. That's a lot of cherries!
We made:
* Cherries cooked and soaked and bottled in rum (for desserts or breads)
* Brown sugar cherries (good for glazes, desserts or breads).
* Cherries in apple juice (the most flexible; preserves cherries in there almost-natural state taste-wise.
* Cherry jam (with cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, etc.) nom nom nom.
Whew! And we're set for the year on cherries!


As promised, here are the photos (thus far) from my currant project. They're frozen right now, so I still have to MAKE something with them. :)

Part of the currants, picked, stemmed, and cleaned. I put them into bowls so all the juice wouldn't leech into their original cardboard containers.

Aren't they cute?! Yum.

A close up of red currants, stems still attached. It took forever because of how small they are.

One of the big, 12-carton flats I got. I got 2 flats total.

Photos of raspberry vinaigrette

Here are the photos from my raspberry vinaigrette.
1 cup crushed fresh raspberries (you can use frozen, but fresh= soo good and aromatic)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs sugar

Put into bowl or jars and stir every 2-3 days. After 3-4 weeks, strain and waterbath.

Raspberries on the plants!

Flat of raspberries. I picked the ones in the jars; this flat I bought. It was the same price, and I didn't have time that day to pick.

Vinaigrette all bottled up and waiting to be shaken.

Aren't they pretty?

I'm seriously tempted to keep the strained parts and use that for something.

Moving day photos.

I took some photos of our poor house. Garage: Strewn with boxes. Rest of the house: pretty bare. And we were EXHAUSTED.

Note our lovely coffee table! And the fabulous side-table (it's the patio table). You can't see my side, but there are two boxes over there. Dinner: Microwave dinners with plastic silverware from the store, and drinks out of starbucks paper cups.

One side of the garage...

Mid-view of the garage.

Other side of the garage.

Kitchen. The poor curio is in one piece, but I have to screw it to the wall somehow so it's more secure. Right now it looks like a coffin.

Laundry and bed (note no frame assembled). Whatever. It works.

Me, looking horrid, pale, and exhausted.

The week where the cats nearly melted.

It was HOT last week. SO hot. And the cats were hot. And confused because their apartment was being boxed up and things were changing. So I took pictures. I know...crazy cat person. But we were all a mix of miserable and confused.

Cold cuts? Please? For me?

So not amused. Even this chair is not cold. Ugh.

Seriously? You're take a photo?! You suck.

Fine, if you must take a photo, at least let me get my badass face on.

K fine, if you must take photo, then I will get even by getting fur all over the bed.

I still laugh when I think of all that fur all over the bed!

I get as low to the ground as I can so I can absorb some cold. Also makes me stealthy cat.
Just testin' out the new chairs for you. They're comfies.
He just looks in pain here, doesn't he? Poor boy...

Another shot of a poor, miserably hot Paddington. :(

Frankie, looking a good combination of adorable and miserable.

Frankie, sprawled out on the "cool" chair.


Maybe dis way is cooler. Hm. Nopes.

I found a basket. Is cool.

Frankie, King of Wickerland. And looking pleased as punch about it.
Sneaky cat... is SNEAKY...

Hidin' in the cabinet... playin with some spilt sugar. Mmmm.

Rumpole (on the cool chair) and Frakie (in the cool cabinet) conspiring on how to best stay cool.
Stretchy cat. Cool linoleum. SO HOT.
This week, they move to a house with AC.