Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas, happy holidays everyone. i hope everyone who reads this is enjoying the holiday, religious or not. j & i are off to make turkey & stuffing & artichoke dip. we're cooking the turkey & dip at his parents' house, and then we're all going to my parents' house for dinner around 4pm. busy day! i think this is my second time making a turkey. we're opting for the bag method of cooking. i hope it works! anyway, i hope everyone is as lucky as i am to have such a wonderful, caring family. cheers!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ucky yucky

i had the stomach flu today. it woke me up at 3am. i had to go to the dr to rule out appendicitis. i'm to attack pepto bismol with ferocity. what a waste of a day. all day in bed, and no good sleeping being accomplished. i feel as if i were run over by a train, so achy. can't find a comfortable position in bed. i just want to feel normal again. :(

Monday, December 18, 2006

who woulda thunk it???

my friend billy pinecone told me that on the very same day (today) that i posted the turducken on my blog (see below), lil' monk (whoever that is...) suggested that as an entree for the chinese kung fu club o' deKalb holydaze party! whooaaa. the stars are aligning. perhaps i should buy a lottery ticket.

look at these cuties!!!!!! they're my friends' dogs. so well behaved to stay still for a picture like this! i just had to post this adorable picture.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


so... i was browsing online at my favorite grocery store, new seasons market, and saw turducken listed under "specialty meats". i was looking for things to cook for christmas eve dinner, to order ahead. i already have a turkey ordered to cook for christmas day. i had no idea this sort of thing existed. evidently, a turducken is a deboned turkey stuffed with a deboned chicken stuffed with a deboned duck. the name is a portmanteau of those three items. it's also made with the turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. j & i had a bit of a chuckle over it. couldn't it also be a chuckenturd? regardless, both sound gross. this turducken in the picture (from wikipedia) has bacon on the top.
our stupid power is back on, apparently as of 1am this morning. there was a huge wind storm thursday night, which knocked out power 6 minutes before i finished teaching. luckily i assumed the worst would happen and had a headlamp with me, which i used to guide the student & parent out to their car. however, i ended up having to cancel all my lessons on friday ($$ i could really use). we toughed it out thurs & friday night without heat. we woke up early sat morning at 6am to be picked up by our awesome friend m at 6:30am to go skiing, because there was no point sitting around in a freezing house. i didn't have the best skiing day, because it was colder than usual, and i wasn't wearing enough clothing (long story). had we had power, i would've had internet access to see what the weather was going to be like, & would've been more prepared. i spent more time than usual indoors, while the boys (who never get cold) played. i think i was just partly chilled from spending so much time in a cold house. we finally gave in to our parents' offer of staying at their house. luckily the power was finally fixed, so now we're getting our house back to normal. lots of candles to put away. dishes & clothes which can be washed. rotten food to be thrown away. my kids' recital is this afternoon, and we have work to do in the house afterwards before a holiday party in the evening. gotta get going...

Thursday, December 14, 2006


looking forward to the cookie baking party. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

last night we enjoyed the movie "stranger than fiction" and dinner thanks to a giftcard and free movie tickets. today i threw together a pot roast & put it in the crock pot before leaving for the old house to work on the hole in the ceiling. our friend m helped us out with it - we couldn't have done it without him. we still have to add more plaster gunk to the new drywall, texture it, and paint it, but that should be pretty straightforward. i got home and realized i had set the time for the pot roast, but never actually turned it on. i hope the meat is still ok. i'm still kicking myself... it's just the second time i've used the crock pot. guess i'm still getting used to it.

we got our treeth (fake tree - it says treeth on the box) all assembled & decorated over sun-wed this week. vinny has evil eyes in this picture, as i took it with all the lights off. it also partially shows our new couch, which finally arrived on tuesday. we ordered it way back on labor day weekend, and it took a long time to show up.

here's a group of a few of us wine tasting. j, k, j, and t. j & t live in walla walla, and k is the captain of j's indoor soccer team.

here's a picture of the icy grape vines in walla walla. it's colder there than in portland. it was actually supposed to snow the weekend before we went to washington, or at least there was supposed to be an ice storm. thankfully, the weather ended up being warmer than all the forecasters thought, because we wouldn't have made the drive if we had to deal with an ice storm. i was a little cold-weather hungry, though, so i found the ice particularly beautiful.

j got me a canon powershot sd600 digital elph camera for my birthday. this is one of the first pictures i took with it. i'm wearing the "fetchings" a knitted for me.

when we got home from walla walla, we came home to this: all my thick running/skiing socks gathered into one place by the food dishes by vinny. for some reason he's always loved dragging my thick socks across the house over to the feeding bowls. i guess he thinks he kills them, and likes to show it off. he drags them out of my lowest drawer in my bureau. i don't really understand it, but i do think it's cute.

our hotel in walla walla was just a holiday inn, but it was wonderful because it had full breakfasts with waffles & hard boiled eggs & such, and it had an indoor pool and hot tub, as you can see in the picture.

last weekend we spent in walla walla, washington. we drove there after i finished teaching at 6:30 last friday, and arrived there at 11:30pm. we were there to do a lot of wine tasting. the first weekend of december is a major wine tasting weekend. there's barrel tasting almost everywhere, and they have a holiday parade on saturday night. we were there with friends of ours, and had a good time and found some decent wines.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

today i'm 33. oh dear...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

we woke up early this morning to get out the door by 6:30am to make our way up to the mountain for skiing at mt. hood skibowl ski resort. conditions were fantastic - they got 10" overnight, and it was snowing lightly in the morning, and then partly sunny in the afternoon. my legs are pretty sore now, as this was my first day up, and i tend to snowplow my whole way down the mountain. i still had lots of fun, and j stayed with me the whole time! we stayed until 2-ish, and then left to beat the late afternoon return-from-the-mountain traffic jam.

after the wine tasting, before going home, we stopped off for ice cream in the penguin ice cream shop in the cute little town of carlton. the kids were so well behaved (including me!) and they deserved a reward. :) j & i returned with three bottles from the lemelson vineyard, two from domaine meriwether, and one from boedecker wines. some we're going to save, some will be good to drink in the near future. we opened a bottle of andrew rich's pinot noir 2003 (cuvee b) which we purchased in july '05. it aged SOOO well! i'm drinking some right now...

i was the designated driver for the day of wine tasting, which left me free to play with the kids while the two other adults were searching out the better wines. the kids were so well behaved - i had a lot of fun. they were the ones who chose to come along, by the way. they had a choice between coming or staying home with their sick father (he was supposed to come), and they wanted to stick with mommy. anyhoo, we were all having fun with our razor phones, showing e how she could take pictures about herself.

yesterday j & i went wine tasting with our friend k and two cute kids. one you can see in this picture, and the other is hiding under her mother's coat. the rain went away for most of the day, and we had a wonderful time.

the first picture is of all of us at the "kids" table, and the second is of the placecards made by j's brother's niece.

here's a picture of all of us - me, j, j's family, my parents, & j's brother's wife's family. 18 people. lots of fun it was, although the drive down to eugene wasn't so fun. traffic was bad & it was raining really hard. j was a dear and took care of the driving for us. the house was so beautifully decorated, and the food was delicious. it was so fun having everyone together in one place at the same time!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! we'll be driving down to eugene at noon today with my parents. we've been invited to jeff's brother's parents-in-law's house for thanksgiving. it'll be a large crowd - 18 people! we're bringing green bean casserole for 18 people. that's a lot of green beans...
tomorrow will bring wine tasting with friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

blahhh. today is another dreary rainy day. at least snow is accumulating on mt. hood for good skiing. i didn't sleep well last night for the first time in awhile. i was awake, lying in bed, from 4-6:30. i was worrying about the rental. the countertop people called yesterday and said, after i had been forced to pay home depot, that they were all booked up until after christmas. we wanted to have a tenant in there by then, and if someone is there while we're replacing the countertops, it means they'll be without a sink for 2 weeks and we'd have to give them $$ off the rent. who knows if we'll even have someone in there by january. this is a really bad time of year to be looking for tenants. we were glad when our present tenants wanted to stay in the house in july, when we were occupied with wedding stuff, but now having it available is a bit maddening. the landlording business is normally a quiet one, except for when the tenants leave. aarrrrggghhhhh. if i had gotten a decent night's sleep, i'd probably be in a better mood to handle all of this.
i'll turn 33 next tuesday. that might be getting me down a little, too. i honestly think one is still young when in the 30's & 40's.... it's not my actual age, but just the general thought that one gets older every year that saddens me. time passes. happy moments can't last forever. i miss all the people that are no longer here on earth.

i thought this was the cutest present - mini golf clubs. the dad is a big golfer. they say you should start 'em young...
in this picture is s, with her little daughter a. this is the first time i got to see the little one - she's so cute! she was really well behaved. there was one other baby at the party (it was adults only, except for those little ones in carriers) who slept the WHOLE time.

this weekend the big excitement for me was the co-ed baby shower we attended. it was quite the fancy affair! lots of great savories & sweets. l, the one in the picture holding the berry napoleon she made, did all the baking, and c, in the other picture, took care of all the savories, decorating, and provided her house for the event. i saw many people i hadn't seen for awhile. lots of fun!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

i just read that robert altman passed away last night. how sad. short cuts is one of my favorite movies. it seems like all the great people are dying...
as i was surfing this morning, i came across a post on my friend's blog that just struck me this morning as sad, but amusing. there were two posts about the dead schembechlers , a band of ohio state fans who sing (in punk style) songs called "bomb ann arbor", and other similar songs. the name schembechler was not familiar to me until after reading the first post, and then hearing later in the news that bo schembechler had passed away. that in itself is NOT amusing. however, after reading his second post which listed the band's myspace area, i checked it out and listened to a song, which was really funny. as mr. schembechler passed away, they're gonna have to change their name. poor ohio schmucks. i grew up in ohio, but never found a love for the state. i did my master's degree at the university of michigan, most obviously in violining because i didn't remember who bo schembechler was. shame on me!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

these pictures are of the roof in one of the bedrooms in my old house, which we're renting out. there was a leak from one of the showers to the first floor. the plumber doesn't "do" drywall repair, so now i have to find someone else to fix this mess. yesterday was a 13 hour day, taking care of this problem, running errands, teaching, & all sorts of other crap. not good luck these days. argh!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

we spent this weekend in seattle. i cancelled my teaching on friday - the kids were all off from school anyway for veteran's day, so they got a break from violin too. j took the day off and we drove up & stayed at the w hotel. nice place. it was a nice change of pace, and it reinforced the belief that i love portland. the drive up was absolutely awful - very low visibility due to heavy rain & wind, and it seemed like there were more trucks on the road than usual. we passed at least 3 of those "wide load" house things. when i passed them, it was pretty much a black out (water-out, i should say). not much fun. saturday the rain went away, and we even had a couple rare sunny moments. the yucky rain returned on our drive home halfway to portland. after we stopped for gas, j switched places with me. i'm happy to be back home with the kittens.

this was taken through a window of an art shop. the picture on the right was drawn by an elephant, and on the left was a video display of an elephant painting. just thought it was interesting...

p, this is for you. congratulations on your engagement to a!!!!!!

we took bill spiedel's "underground" tour. here's the story: seattle was built on mud flats, at the base of a big cliff. the tide would come in, and the roads would get all mucky & gross. the sewage system would go backwards all the time. at some point, there was a huge fire that burned down most buildings. half the people said they would start rebuilding immediately, half said they wanted to wait until the cliff was blown away so that buildings could be built well above the water level. for awhile there were walls at the edges of streets with ladders leading up to the new sidewalk levels. just incredible to picture. anyway, after making the new roads & sidewalks, the old ones still existed. they put in the skylights (which used to be clear, but turned purple with age due to the high amount of manganese in the glass) to let in light so people could still shop & see where they were going. for awhile businesses kept storefronts in the new "underground," but as one might guess, business didn't do so well & the usage died out. the underground was eventually condemned. here are pictures of glass skylights in the sidewalks from below the sidewalks and above.

the "cliffs" of seattle were as high as the 20th floor of this building (the floor where the tower starts). it was blasted away slowly with water, and the remnants were funneled into the molds/foundations for the new upper level streets.

these pictures are in the same area underground. this area is in the first level of the building in the picture. the sidewalk above is outside the second floor. so bizarre, the streets of seattle!

here you can see wall decorations. there was lots of old furniture & junk sitting around. we saw a round red couch that was left over from a show shot in seattle's underground in the 1970's.

this is a picture of the i-beams holding up the new sidewalks. you can also see the rusty old ones above the new ones. interesting - the new ones don't even touch the walls... how good of a job could they be doing?

this is a picture of an old pipe from the sewer system which was first ABOVE ground. yes, it's made of WOOD. supposedly on the tour, the guide said the first ones were square - just boards nailed together. not exactly leakproof.


we began saturday morning at the pike place market. we ate pain au chocolats from le panier, and i enjoyed a rare decaf cappucino. it was phenomenal, and the pastries were fantastic. we brought a couple back to portland with us to enjoy monday. after exploring the market a little, we made our way down to the water's edge to the seattle aquarium. it's been a while since i've been stuck in such a small area with so many young children. the aquarium seemed a little old... i prefer the one on the oregon coast. the layout of the seattle one was weird. it seemed to proceed to the left, but the actual individual exhibits went left to right, so i found myself doing a lot of backtracking. after seeing the sea lions and sea otters being fed/trained, we walked over to the seattle space needle (which was a good hike).

here we are at the top of the space needle. it was pretty cold & windy. here's a picture of an inlet, and a picture of a soccer game being played far down below.

we planned on seeing the experience music project, but unfortunately the whole building was roped off and closed due to a supposed gas leak. what a bummer!!!

after the disappointment of the EMP, we found our way back to the pike place market area, and had lunch at the pike place brewery. i was getting REALLY grouchy, but a couple pints put me in a better mood.
last night we visited my friend a, and saw her mother, daughter, and new baby son. they invited us to stay for dinner, which was sooo kind & generous of them. the dinner was absolutely wonderful, and it was nice to spend some time with friends.

this is a picture of the "glass bridge" in tacoma, which holds glass pieces created by dale chihuly. we visited the tacoma art museum, and then walked over the glass bridge before driving back to portland.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

yay! we got ice cream!!! yay! i got a caramel sundae with butter pecan and pralines and cream ice cream (2 scoops) and j got just a scoop of cherries jubilee. earlier this evening, during my dinner break between lessons, i mentioned something about ice cream to j. he asked if i wanted him to bring ice cream home for me on his way home from the gym, & i said no. but then during my last lesson, as my student was working on the "ice-cream-sh-cone" variation of twinkle twinkle little star, i started craving ice cream. i tried really really hard to fight it, but finally gave in. with it being election day and all the positive things that have happened as a result, i figured we had reason to celebrate. :) GO DEMOCRATS! anyway, we were planning on going to burgerville for ice cream/shakes, which is about a 5 minute drive from our house, but we saw that the baskin robbins (2 min drive)was open - drive thru even! we made it there 5 minutes before it closed. such a good day.

this is a japanese maple in our backyard. i just noticed when i got up this morning that it looked really pretty with the red carpet of leaves underneath. perhaps it stuck out because i was in a fog after staying up until 3am with insomnia.

for those of you who don't live in oregon (where we have the lovely vote-ahead-of-time-mail-in-ballot system), GO OUT AND VOTE!!! and if you have problems with the voting process, please document it and report it to superiors. nothing will change unless a fuss is made.

i really hope today brings change.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


i'm finally starting to feel better. i think the sleeping with the wet socks under dry wool socks might've worked. i'm still blowing my nose a ton, but i don't feel achy/sick anymore. i was able to run today, albeit in the basement on the treadmill as it's been pouring outside lately, but it was running! this has been a fairly relaxed weekend. friday night we caught a performance of "One Day", a story about Portland and vision PDX, a community led effort initiated by Portland Mayor Tom Potter. the play was supported by grants from various organizations, and there is no cost for attendance. i believe it's playing for two more weekends on fri, sat, & sun. definitely worth the time.

saturday morning we went to my parents' house to feed & walk their dog, pepper. we spent the rest of the day running errands, hanging hooks in our garage ceiling for our bikes, & doing other stuff around the house. we went out for dinner at stanford's, thanks to a friend who gave us a gift card there, and watched a silly movie on vh1 about the 80's (forget what it was called). today we both slogged through piles of laundry, & i went running & shopping while j climbed at the gym. i just found out that our tenants bought a house & are leaving next month, so i have an advert posted on craigslist. i hope we find some tenants just as fabulous as they were soon!

i took this picture while on my jog around the lake on halloween. don't see herons very often, and i happened to have my phone with me, so i thought i'd capture it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

darn it - i seem to have another cold. i have the worst immune system ever. i just got a call today from my naturopath dr saying that the blood test results were normal, so no thyroid problems, iron deficiencies, or gluten intolerance. if my nose is still completely stuffed tonight as it is right now, i'm to try the wet sock therapy - take a thin layer of socks (cotton) and wet them; put on a layer of wool socks over them; go to bed & try to sleep. i don't understand how it works exactly - something about the blood circulating to the feet to warm them up clears up congestion - but i'm willing to try it as i'm unable to take things like nyquil. yay. what fun.
we had more trick-or-treaters this year. almost ran out of candy, which is good so we don't have much extra. j & i enjoyed a couple rib eye steaks that we've had in the freezer for awhile, and enjoyed a bottle of wine left over from our wedding. we watched the movie "the prizewinner of defiance, ohio". wonderful movie, but somewhat depressing. reminds me of how lucky i am to find someone like j. makes me very thankful for my life, despite the many colds. :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

today we got to sleep in - yayyyyyy! one extra hour. although i dislike having less sunlight, it's much much easier for my body to adjust to this time change, versus daylight savings time in the spring. j & i went for a run - this means that j ran with me for a short bit, then he went on ahead of me to a specific point & turned & ran back to me, allowing him to get more of a workout. he's almost a foot taller than i am, with a longer stride, so his pace is faster than mine. if he stays with me at my pace, he doesn't get much of a workout. and i like making him do the "hills" twice. :) we even did abs when we got home, which for us is extremely rare.

in the afternoon, we were honored to be invited to another gathering at the lucky lab in nw portland (we were there last sat) to celebrate the baptism of a baby of friends of ours. as always, it was enjoyable to drink a pint and hang out with friends we hadn't seen for a long time. we saw some kids whom we hadn't seen since they were infants/toddlers - they're young ladies & gents now. kids grow up so quickly!

this evening, we saw "the devil wears prada" at a $3 movie theater. i was pretty disappointed. the main character's optimism & cheeriness was annoying. i don't remember "andrea" being such a perky person in the book. meryl streep did an o.k. job. i read the book awhile ago, and found it fairly predictable. it was a quick read- the kind of reading that feels like snacking on potato chips. easy to read, but not filling &/or nutritious. i thought the movie got decent reviews... j & i were both smacking our hands on our foreheads throughout the movie. glad i only paid $3 for it. fun to get out and see a movie, though.

we started working on our voting tonight. for those of you not in oregon, we get to do a mail-in-ballot thing, which i like, because it gives me time to research & think about everything. and there are no long lines to stand in. for those of you IN oregon - make sure you vote!!!