Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catching up...

Back from camping - we had a FANTASTIC time. I believe this was my favorite camping trip ever - Friday night was clear enough to look up at the stars and listen to the new Phil Wickham CD as well as a David Crowder CD I've had for 4 or 5 years. It was perfect! Saturday we had a lovely campfire and I made way too many marshmallows. :)

Safety Tip of the Day: In any disaster or emergency situation, use your vehicle only when absolutely necessary. Do not go sightseeing. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles and relief efforts.
REALLY?!?!?! I was always under the impression that during a tornado was the best time to go sightseeing. I love my safety calendar. :) It really straightens me out!

Last night for dinner we had Pioneer Woman's Not Your Granny's Mac & Cheese. Spicy, but delicious! Great flavors. I love Pioneer Woman - I don't remember where I read about her, but she is hilarious and has great sounding recipes. Last night was the first one I'd tried, but it was fantastic. We biked to the grocery store to get the ingredients beforehand - I love biking, and yesterday was the perfect weather for it.

I had soy milk in my coffee this morning. I've been wanting to try it, so I took the plunge. It was alright.

Check this out - http://houston.craigslist.org/dmg/813229270.html. I know that link will be gone in a week, but here's the gist - "We were looking for a domestic helper to assist a soon to be expecting mother (February 2009) to start ASAP."
First of all - we "were"??? Then why are you posting on Craigslist if you're not still in need? Anyway, my bigger issue is what is with the "soon to be expecting mother"? Typically people just say "expecting mother". And if they're trying to say expecting soon, that's different than soon to be expecting. It makes it sound like she's going to be pregnant soon, but is not yet. And even if they ARE trying to say she's expecting soon - she's not really. It sounds like she just started her second trimester. Ahh, I digress....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A few more tidbits

Sunday I wasn't feeling well so I was just taking it easy. I browsed through games.com, as they sometimes have some fun games (they used to have Monopoly which was super fun) and I hadn't looked at it in a while. I saw a game saw Solitare Race so I clicked on it to play, took the tutorial, and started to play. I was like "what is going on here?" and Geoff looked over and said "HEY, that's Nerts!", which is a game that his family loves to play. I had played only once a couple of years ago and didn't remember much, so Geoff leaned over and gave me pointers on what to do and how to play. Once I got the hang of it, he started playing against me (we both played online with Computer 1 and Computer 2 as the other two players - quite fun! - let us know if you want to play with us online sometime). We played again a couple of times last night too, and I'm the reigning champion between the two of us right now. So fun!

I have been cooking lots of great things with veggies from my coworker's garden - I made zucchini bread Sunday night and balsamic vegetables last week. I've also started using the basil I've been growing. YAY.

Phil Wickham recorded a live CD at our church early in July and it's now available to be downloaded (for free if you agree to sign up for his newsletter). I've been listening to it today and it's so cool to think that the voices are the voices of my church. :) We weren't able to go, and I can't remember why now (we may have been camping), but I've heard it was just an amazing amazing night!

Half Birthday

Today is my half birthday! I know, no one over the age of 6 should celebrate a half birthday, but I have ever since high school. (noted it, not so much "celebrated" it) My friend Laura's real birthday is on August 18, so we always sort of joked that we were half-birthday twins (almost). I remember her birthday because it's the day before my half birthday, and she remembers my birthday because it's the day after her half birthday. Works for us! :)

I don't think I wrote about the Eco Party last week, but it was fantastic. A great dialogue, and I learned a lot. #1 take home point: you cannot recycle any cardboard that has been used in the freezer (frozen entree boxes, frozen pizza boxes, ice cream containers, popsicle boxes, etc!). They have a waxy coating on them to make them freezer-friendly, and as a result they are not able to be recycled. Very interesting!

My latest crazy idea (that has loosely stemmed from the Eco Party, though I've thought about it for months) is buying a side of beef. Geoff, the greatest omnivore in the world, LOVES the idea. Ever since I mentioned the idea, a typical conversation has gone like this:
Kelly: "What should we have for dinner tonight?"
Geoff: "I don't know, but if we had a side of beef I'm sure we could figure something out!!!!!"
It's very entertaining! There are quite a few local ranchers around here that will do it, and a handful of them have representation at the Portland Farmer's Market, so we're going to go next weekend to check it out. If we did it, we probably wouldn't do it until the spring (some ranchers do it monthly, some only a couple of times a year).

We're camping again this weekend - this trip will be the debut of the indoor/outdoor carpeting AND our new bike rack thingy that we bought (actually we have had a bike rack, but it's hitch based. Since our trailer is in our hitch when we're camping - imagine that - it doesn't work. So we bought this little hitch adapter thingy that hooks onto our camper bumper and makes it a hitch that we can put our bike rack in. fancy.)

I love the Olympics. But they make me sleepy. That is all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another yard-related issue

So Geoff and I are little gardeners this year - as you may recall, we planted basil, tomatoes (2 plants), and peppers (2 plants). The basil did great indoors and has been thriving since we moved it outdoors. One pepper plant died almost immediately, and the other is hanging on. It doesn't look great, but it's alright. The tomatoes are FANTASTIC. They are big and beautiful and have tons of teeny tiny little green tomatoes all over them.

However, we have ivy. Everywhere. It is crawling over the fence from our neighbors - both behind us and to the side of us. It's even crawling up our next door neighbor's HOUSE. We stay on top of it and keep it out of our yard/plants/fence as much as possible - we're out there all the time combatting the ivy. I guess our neighbor decided enough is enough, because last week when my mom was here he was out there spraying. My mom went out there to get the mail and he said "be careful, this chemical is very strong" (he was in coveralls and a respirator). YIKES. But he's kind of a strange guy, so it's not too surprising. Anyway, a few days later we look at the ivy on their side and it is dead dead dead. As I was out there working in our yard yesterday, I saw that the ivy on our side has little spots on it. Then I looked at our tomato and peppers plants - they have little spots on them too!!!!!

It appears that some of his chemical (I have no idea what it was) got on our tomato and peppers plants too. It's been on there for 9 - 10 days I'd say, and the plants overall still look good - just some spotting on the leaves. So to my green-thumbed readers, I ask: Is there anything we can/should do for them? Are they going to make it? Or should we just keep hoping that they will get through this tough time in their little plant lives?

More randomness

Yesterday as Geoff and I were leaving work, a fella in my group stopped us in the hallway. Apparently, Geoff had done a favor for him sometime last week, and the guy told me "Kelly, he's perfect." I laughed, and he went on, "When he helped me take care of that thing, I thought 'gosh, he made that process so painless when it could have been so difficult, he was so friendly, and he just really took care of things.' Then someone told me 'You know, that's Kelly M's husband' and I said NO WAY!!!!!" Hahaha. Very funny, Tom. Yes, Geoff is kind and helpful and great, and I'm just mean and undeserving. I know.

I have this urge to go swimming so I'm going to the gym pool on Saturday. However, I'm worried that every other gym member has the same urge due to the Olympics. I'll test my theory this weekend.

Lest anyone think our parents forgot our anniversary, my parents, Christine, and Abel sent us a couple of items off of our registry. When we got home from work/shopping/dinner on Monday, there was a large black tube sitting on our front porch. I thought "WHAT in the world?" I figured it was probably related to our anniversary, and probably from Geoff's parents, although I had a couple of other friends I could think of that may have dropped something off. Geoff was going to go get the mail (we have a "community" mailbox) and I told him I'd wait for him to investigate. He walked in the house after getting the mail and said "I figured it out!!!" I said "how?" He said "I saw the corner". Hmm... corner... odd. So we went outside - indoor/outdoor carpeting. OF COURSE!!!! A fabulous camping gift from Geoff's parents. Along with a CARD with several inside jokes in it. When we go camping, we always check out everyone else's setups - a lot of people have mats / rugs / carpets / etc. that sort of make a "front porch" in front of the camper. That way they can walk outside in bare feet and they don't track as much in the camper, and now we have our very own giant piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting for the camper. We are blessed.

When we went to Beau and Kendra's a couple of weeks ago for dinner, they pointed out a new ceiling fan they'd installed that day. It looked great! Then they said it was $40 at Home Depot and I was sold. I went the next day and it was marked down to $32!!!!! Even better. I bought it and Geoff installed it yesterday. When he was done, he called me into the room (our bedroom) and showed it to me. It is great - except it doesn't have a light. I didn't even THINK about a light. So it's a little annoying walking into our room and flipping on the light switch and not getting light, but we'll get used to it. We have these nice "spotlight" things for our bookshelf that we never use, so Geoff turned those on last night. And it's SO worth the trade off of the fan - I love ceiling fans. They are in every other bedroom in our house but ours, so now we've joined the fun.

This weekend I was thinking "gosh, my hair sure is annoying. I need a haircut". On Monday a coworker said "are you growing out your hair?" and I said "NO!!! I was just thinking I should get it cut". Then yesterday a coupon for Great Clips came in the mail, and I took that as a final sign and got my hair cut. It looks awesome - she did such a great job. I'm very pleased.

Going along with my haircut and with Geoff in the attic for hanging the fan and in the crawlspace for running speaker wire, I realized that I should take more pictures. I need to come up with a system for organizing my pictures first (I have a system I just haven't taken many pictures in the past 4 years - yes that long - so it needs to be udpated) and then maybe I'll start. MAYBE. I'm not committing to anything yet.

We are going to an Eco Party tonight. A friend of mine just finished up the Master Recycler program, so as part of his volunteer hours he put together this little gathering. Geoff is nervous we/he are/is going to be shunned for not being green enough. I told him our cloth napkins will keep us in the in crowd. ;-) Not to mention that my friend went to Georgia Tech (where my brother in law Trevor goes to school) and his wife went to Northwestern, so that alone makes them cool people. I'm looking forward to it! Just have to finish up my homework now - a little survey about what types of things we do and don't do to reduce our carbon footprint.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

9 minute blog of randomness

I have 9 minutes before a meeting so I'm going to see what I can get down on "paper" here.

- Yesterday was our first anniversary. YAY!
- To celebrate, we spent a night downtown Saturday night. We had a FANTASTIC dinner (easily top 5 ever) on Saturday night at Lucy's Table. So tasty.
I had:
Small plate: Goat Cheese Ravioli Brown Butter Sauce, Pecorino Romano, Crispy Shallots & Pancetta
Large plate: Catch of the day – Swordfish in a corn and prawn bisque. So it was on top of a little bit of the bisque, with chunks of corn, prawn, zucchini, red onion, and crispy potatoes.
Dessert: Boca Negra - Moist Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake, Whipped Cream & Nut Florentine
Geoff had:
Small plate: Pomegranate Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs Manchego Cheese
Large plate: Black Pepper Crusted “Cascade Natural” Beef Rib-Eye – it had some fries and some other stuff with it, I don’t remember exactly what.
Dessert: Also can't remember the name, but it was like a custard with berries type thing. Delicious.
It was pricey, BUT they have a "social hour" Monday - Friday from 5 - 6:30 where everything (drinks and food) are 1/2 price. So we will be back!
- We have this Japanese Maple tree/bush/thing in our front yard that has been there since I moved in 3+ years ago. Apparently the previous owner loved it and pruned it and took care of it and babied it daily. I, on the other hand, have not touched it in 3 years. It's looking a little out of control (little = LOT), so this morning I googled "japanese maple prune" and came across a message board where someone was saying they purchased a house with a Japanese Maple and they had no idea what to do with it. Someone suggested that since they retail for around $1000 that they sell it back to a nursery. I thought NO WAY, you can't just sell a tree back to a nursery. So I googled "japanese maple sell to a nursery" and came up with a bunch of junk. Then I remembered the greatness that is Craigslist, so I looked up in the for sale section there and came up with a several - this is one of the first things I came up with. I figure I can sell it on Craigslist for several hundred dollars, have someone else come haul it away, and then I won't have to worry about pruning it and I can just find something else to put where it was. MUCH easier than actually doing the work to prune it. ;-) Genius.
- Geoff has been shopping for surround sound the last several months, so I've been tagging along with him to various electronic store type places. The other day at Best Buy, there was a floor model marked down to $550. Geoff asked what the best price the guy could give on it was, and he said "$550! Are you kidding? That's a $900 system!". My response was of course laughter - perhaps a brand new system in the current model year that hadn't been sitting on the floor of Best Buy for over a year being touched and fiddled with and handled and scratched may have originally RETAILED for $900 - but that doesn't make it "worth" $900 - it's only worth what someone will pay for it. SO entertaining. So after some more research, Geoff was finally ready to make his purchase. Yesterday we went to Fry's and he bought what he wanted. There were two salesmen - we'll call them Boris and Doris. Boris says "do you want the warranty on this? It's only $10 for an extra 5 years". Geoff says no, and Doris says "do you know the subwoofer is only warrantied for 90 days". I of course laughed again - wow, that's really standing behind your product to warranty it for a whole 3 months. Costco will stand behind their electronic products for 2 years. (you may ask why we didn't purchase from Costco then - Geoff wanted something very specific and we've been stalking Costco for it for months and they haven't had it) Anyway, then Boris logs off the computer and Doris says "hey, log back on" - which Boris does. HELLO, you have a personal log-on ID/password for a reason - so other people don't use your account. Then, we're checking out and Boris said "you are getting such a killer deal, a $X system for only $Y". Which just CRACKED ME UP AGAIN!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! You're selling it for $Y. It's worth $Y. So then I just started walking through Fry's saying (rather loudly) "LOOK!!! A $20,000 TV for $800!!! What a deal!" Customers were turning their heads, and Geoff was pretending to be embarassed that his psycho wife was yelling in Fry's, but he was laughing too. Hehehehe. I just love how these salesmen try to convince me of when I'm getting a "deal". Trust me, buddy, I know if it's a deal or not a deal and don't need you to tell me. I know they're only doing their job and I can appreciate that and certainly understand that these are effective techniques, but they're just hilarious to me. :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My chop-happy doctor

Warning: You might want to skip this one if you're squeamish. It's not super gory, but it is a "medical" one.

I think I've seen my dermatologist 5 times over the course of the past 2 years. EVERY SINGLE TIME I'VE GONE TO HER she has chopped something off. The first time was because I had a skin infection, the second and third were moles (part of the same mole actually, it came back irregular so she wanted to "dig a little deeper"). I didn't see her for about a year and a half, then went back a month or so ago for another skin infection. She again chopped something off, a little piece of the infected area to biposy it. That turned out to be a staph infection. So I went back Tuesday for a recheck of that and a skin check (just because I have so many moles, I like to have them checked every year or two). Before I went in, I told my mom that I was guaranteeing that she would chop something off. Sure enough, she found what she thought was a "ruptured cyst" on my back that looked funny and she wanted to biposy. So off it went. My mom couldn't believe it!

They called today with the results - benign. But it gets better. They said it was a clogged pore showing some inflammation, which is consistent with a bug bite. SHE TOOK A BIOPSY A BUG BITE!!!! Hehehehe. :)

In all seriousness, I'm not complaining. I think she's a FANTASTIC doctor, one of my favorites, and I'm very glad she's so cautious and conservative. But it's still funny that she hacked off a bug bite.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mom blog!

The last week has been a great whirlwind of activity!

Thursday night Geoff and I had dinner at Kendra and Beau's, then went downtown to a silent art auction. It was quite fun. :) After that, we picked my mom up from the airport - the timing worked out perfectly.

Friday after work, Geoff and I took both of our moms camping. We went to Ocean Park Washington to the Ocean Park Resort. We had been thinking about renting an "annual site" there (meaning that you pay a flat rate for an entire year and leave your RV there, so it almost becomes a vacation home). There are pros and cons to this: pros are having amenities every time you go (pool, cable, wifi, etc.), lower cost, getting to know an area really well, getting to go to the coast every time, etc. Cons are being restricted on where you go, having to drive a couple hours every time to get there, exposing your RV to the salty ocean air all year, etc. We got there and the park was much more run down than we thought. Actually, we figured it might be run down, but because of all the rules we read about annual sites, we thought they'd be pretty nice. Well turns out that those are only the rules for the NEW annual sites - not the ones that have been there 21+ years (yes, the owner has owned it for 21 years and some folks have been there longer than he has). The owners were VERY nice and the town was really cute, but we eventually decided it wasn't for us. If nothing else, at least we got to see Jake the Alligator Man while we were there!

Monday and Tuesday I took the days off of work and just had fun with my mom. Geoff made wings one night, we did lots of shopping, played lots of games and worked on a puzzle, etc.

Tonight we are going out to dinner with my mom and Geoff's parents at On the Border in pre-celebration of our one year wedding anniversary (which is actually on the 11th). On the Border is where we had our rehearsal dinner, and it JUST came to Oregon (actually it's in Vancouver, WA, just north of Portland) so this is perfect. I'm very excited!

This weekend Geoff and I are going to go downtown for a night and do some shopping and have a nice dinner for our own little anniversary celebration. Yay! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Quite a morning!

So this morning Geoff and I got up early, got all ready, and headed to the camper (which is parked 5 or 10 minutes from our house). Just as we are pulling into the parking lot where it is stored, I realize neither of us grabbed the box where we keep all of the trailer keys and accessories. UGH. So we head back to the house, with me fretting about being late to work, how could I be so careless, etc. I was very upset/annoyed about it. Well the Nearly Impossible Question is playing on the Fish, and they are giving a clue. The question was "the average homeowner spends 3 days a year doing this". And I said "yardwork" which Geoff thought was not right. And I said "well it really depends - do they mean some portion of 3 different days over the year, or do they mean like 72 cumulative hours throughout the year?" So people call in and guess things like "mowing the yard" "cleaning out the gutters", etc. Those aren't right, and they give a clue - "you're not actually DOING the physical work." I yell "CALLING REPAIRMEN!!!" and Geoff was like "really? I don't think so". Then I said "WAITING FOR REPAIRMEN TO COME TO YOUR HOSUE!!!!" and grabbed the phone and dialed. The first time it started ringing. It rang 6 or 7 times and then Pete picked up. I stated my answer and they said "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!" Yay for me. :) Pete asked me some questions about where I work, my weekend plans, etc. I won a gift card to a Mexican restaurant on the Eastside of Portland and tickets to the Oregon State Fair! They are going to mail them to me. :) That cheered me RIGHT up. Then we called Geoff's mom, since she goes to work at the same time as us, so we could tell her to listen to me on the radio. It was VERY edited - I was surprised, because it wasn't when I won in January. And it was flawless too, it sounded like a real conversation but they had taken several chunks out. So both Gary and Julie got to hear me on the radio. I'm so awkward on the radio - I get all flustered and shakey and sound dumb. But that's okay, I LOVE winning the Nearly Impossible Question. Now just 30 days until I can do it again!