Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ahhh- ice cream.

yesterday and the day before it was in the 100's in portland. i finally gave in to my ice cream craving and purchased the ingredients to make vanilla ice cream. when i eat ice cream from the store, i usually feel gross afterwards with headaches, and the stuff tastes chemical-y. i got organic milk & cream and made the custard last night. jeff brought his climbing friends home, along with pizza, so i socialized instead of finishing the ice cream. we broke in our new outdoor furniture - yay! good times. i finished the freezing part of the process this morning, and had a small taste. fresh ice cream for breakfast - delicious! i highly recommend it. :) oof. i hope my craving is satisfied now so i can get back to a healthier eating regimen before "that thing" this summer.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

i had the great pleasure of being treated to brunch today at mother's bistro with these lovely ladies. thanks so much, u! so glad you're feeling better.

in the beginning, there were some chairs...

j is enjoying a beer and some quality time with persia after a long hard afternoon of putting the furniture together. she's an indoor kitty only except for when we bring her out for very short periods of supervised exploring.

yay! it's done! yay!!! we're all ready for visitors now. :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

the birthday guy is the one in the middle. happy quarter of a century, j!

we ran into this cute couple at j's birthday party at the climbing gym. congrats on your engagement!!! :)

hey j, thanks for the fun bbq party! the food was super, and i love what you've done with your place.
today i got up early at 7 to go running while it was still cool. it's supposed to get near 100 tomorrow & monday. i spent the afternoon at home depot, buying patio furniture. it was too large to shove in to my little el corolla, so i had to rent a home depot truck (only $19- cheaper than having them deliver it, with immediate use). it was really squeaky and clunky to drive. the gas pedal felt super heavy, and it sounded like it was driving in first gear the whole time (despite being an automatic). anyway, after waiting almost an hour, the truck was finally loaded, and i made it home safely. putting it together is a project for tomorrow. tonight we went to a bbq at our friend's house, and then stopped off at the climbing gym on the way home to wish another friend a happy 25th who was having a party there. a long, productive, hot day has made this little lady very sleepy. time for bed!

thursday i went over to my parents' house with all my silver, & my mom helped me polish it. not the fun-est of times, but something that needs to be done at least yearly. sorry mom - this wasn't the best picture. i was so tired at the end and just wanted to get home!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

world cup. :(

disappointing performance by the u.s. team. we ended up scoring once, but ghana got two. the commentators here were really irritating. they sounded almost joyful when they said "the u.s. hopes have been dashed." in all the games the commentators sounded anti-u.s. i wasn't a fan of them in the olympics, as they were way too PRO-U.S., but this has been the extreme opposite. hats off to ghana, though. there's a lot of racial discrimination in soccer, which is unforgivable in this day and age, so i hope ghana's successful performance can help abolish such attitudes and behaviors.

world cup.

ok. i got up successfully at 6am and went running this morning, to get that in before watching the world cup game today of usa vs ghana. and for all my efforts, at the 30 min mark, it's usa 0 and ghana 1. and so many stretchers! this is just a football game, not a war, kids! sigh. on the positive side, i'm looking forward to my shower at halftime. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

so tired!

had lots of new students this week. they always take extra energy. ran lots of errands, taught in the morning, taught in the afternoon, met a friend for lunch, picked up around the house... nothing exciting these past few days, just busy busy busy. long lists of things to do & checking them off. i'm craving sweet things, but the thought of cookies or ice cream sounds gross. how can that make sense???

Sunday, June 18, 2006

i thought this was funny - vinny loves playing with stringy things.

today we took our parents out for lunch to celebrate father's day. for some reason, those pictures didn't turn out. after lunch, j & i headed to r.e.i. to pick up some accessories for his new bike. he hopes to use it for commuting to work & for fun (mountain biking).

we received a gift certificate for two 7-course dinners at the italian restaurant Genoa from our realtor as a thank you for using her to buy our house. we used it last night (sat). here's a summary of the menu:
1. antipasto: bruschetta with house made ricotta, topped with wild morel mushrooms
2. soup: spring soup made from young garlic shoots, potatos, and chicken stock with creme fraiche & chives
3. pasta: fresh egg pasta tossed with steamed manilla clams
4. salad: greens with balsamic vinaigrette
5. main: we both shared entrees of duck breast and veal
6. dessert: i had panna cotta and j had a boccone dolce
7. fresh fruit
i, personally, was full after the salad course, so we brought most of the main courses home. amazing food, but that many courses is sort of wasted on me, as i can never eat much.

i had to teach two lessons saturday morning, then we watched the world cup usa-italy game (see previous posts). after that we headed to canby for a cookout in honor of e's 30th birthday. here he is with his family, lookin' good! the chocolate cake was delicious, by the way...

friday night we cooked some marinated portabello mushrooms on the grill for dinner before heading over to m & l's new-ish pad for some poker. they're j's co-workers - fun people!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

world cup

yaaaayyy!!! we didn't win, we tied. so we're not out yet!!! 1-1.

world cup

so, italy got one, but we just got one too. sloppy, but we'll take it!

since when is air-violining a gesture of victory? did anybody see the silly italian doing that? i guess i'm way outa the loop!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

hmm... unless you're looking at it closely, it looks like i'm doing something very un-lady like with the rock.

halfway there...

hmm. i just blame everything on the jeans. :)

MAN, those harnesses are NOT flattering!!! i had no idea my butt was so large. luckily, i've started my running & lifting again. good thing! so, on sunday, we had a leisurely breakfast at the renaissance cafe (highly recommend it if you're ever there - very cheap, and huge portions). then we found a place near the campgrounds just off the road, and i finally found the cajones to attempt a climb. this one was really easy, and these pictures were taken by c, who was able to just walk up on one side of the hill (not technical). yay - go pink avenger!!! i had actually not planned on climbing, which is why i'm wearing jeans in this picture. i don't normally climb in them, and i don't recommend it at all. not much flexibility!!!

these chippies were everywhere! as i was just sitting & reading & doing sudoku for an extended period of time, i made a lot of new friends. one of the other climbers, j, brought some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies along for everyone to enjoy. this chippy enjoyed a huge piece, too! i took a little movie of him - so cute! yes, i realize you're not supposed to feed wildlife. i actually never touched the cookies myself. i would've gone out of my way to eat the WHOLE thing, not leaving crumbs, but others left plenty for the wildlife to enjoy.

here i am, searching for another foothold for the right foot. this area is castle rock, and this particular climb is called "midway." i could have completed this climb, but i was so freaked out from feeling that cold wind and being able to see through the chimney stacked rock down really far, that i just couldn't commit, and decided to come down. it's ok. i need to be climbing more regularly to be able to enjoy this sort of thing. it just wouldn't have been FUN. and fun is something i need more of, after this year!

this is one of the main climbs people were doing. there's a huge crack the whole way up the rock - you can see through it & see people climbing a different route on the other side. there's a really cold wind that blows through there. l is climbing this one, & doing a ballsy job of it.

here's a better picture of the river - i finally got the nerve to stand up and hold the camera out over the edge a little bit.

i'm not sure you can see it in either picture, but in the hills beyond, there was a waterfall really high up, which is probably only there in spring. the clouds must've been covering it. in the lower left hand side of the pictures, you can see the river way way down below. these people were climbing up really high after already being up really high. there was just a small area to lay packs & stuff before a huge dropoff. it's been SO long since i've been in the great outdoors, that i was really anxious up here. REALLY. i must've had too much caffeine in the morning, because it tends to exacerbate my nervous tendencies. i was freaking out for a while, and then eventually got used to it.

j & c by the campfire. we were the first ones to the campsite, waiting for two more to join us that night, while two others were to join us the following morning after they slept in a REAL bed at a friend's parents' house. cheating. they got showers & everything.

this is a picture of some PATHETIC saxaphonists who serenaded us as we searched for a place to eat. it sounded as if they learned to play the instruments a week ago.

this depicts the general style of all the businesses in leavenworth. for those of you who don't know, leavenworth is a tourist trap in eastern washington that is supposed to recreate the bavarian village feel. there are lots of gift shops, hotels, and bed & breakfasts. every business is decked out this way - even the subway sandwich places & the gas stations. the leavenworth cuisine is german style. lots of brats & beer.

j & c are getting ready to attempt climbing on nice, soggy, slimy, dirty, wet rock. i decided to retreat to the car for a bit of reading and a nap. after two hours, they admitted it was mostly a waste of time. AND WE COULD'VE BEEN IN THE PUBS. these kids definitely don't have their priorities straight.

what i was doing while j was setting up the tent. very very important business!

j is saying - "thanks so much for all your freakin' help!" but i DID help- REALLY!!! well, he's just lucky he's still alive. that's all i can say. it was totally downpouring as we were looking for campsites. i was ready to pummel him to death for making me come on a camping trip with crazy climbing kids when ALL the weather reports said rain and thunderstorms. SURE it's always dry in leavenworth...SURE MY BUTT!!!!! i still love you too, j. :)

perhaps if you click on this picture to expand it, you'll be able to see some of the snowy peak through the clouds. there was a raging river below our campsite that provided a wonderful natural white noise when sleeping at night so we couldn't hear c snore. :) don't worry c - we still love you!

two most important camping necessities - a hatchet, and glenfiddich! not to be used simutaneously, of course...

so here are a bunch of pictures from our climbing camping trip up at leavenworth, washington. there's c, on his way to get water.

Monday, June 12, 2006

well, i'm back from the climbing trip to leavenworth. we got rained on. i will try to not listen to j in the future when the weather reports say one thing, and he claims they're wrong. :) it wasn't that much rain, and it was mostly just when we were in the car or the tent. i'll post pics later. last night i couldn't sleep, so i took a nap later this morning for a couple hours, and woke up for the second half of the usa-czech republic world cup game. we lost - not a great beginning, but it's just one game, right? next one is at 12pm this saturday, usa vs italy. good luck to us!!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

woohoo!!! it's fleet week here!!!
ummm, not that i'm excited. i could care less. we're driving up to leavenworth, wa, tomorrow for a 2.5 day climbing-camping trip, thus missing the grand huge rose festival parade. i'm hoping we avoid rain. gonna get some good reading in... i have three books i've been working on since dec - really pathetic. any of you depressed about your life? read "wild swans- three daughters of china" by jung chang. it's about three generations of chinese, growing up through all the revolutions in china. makes me feel extremely thankful for everything i have...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

and more wine tasting...

and more wine tasting...

wine tasting...
my free weekends haven't started quite YET. i had a rehearsal for a church gig saturday morning, with teaching in the afternoon, and then the gig sunday morning. sunday afternoon j & i decided at the last minute to go back to wine country for wine tasting to figure out wine for our wedding reception. it was a mad dash through about 16 whites and just a few reds. there are so few affordable red wines that that was pretty easy to pick. however, the whites were another issue. we brought back 4 whites to try with friends, and have them help us decide. we ended up trying 5 whites, and 3 sparkling wines. thanks, trader joe's, for your excellent selection of frozen h'ors d'oeuvres - makes entertaining a snap!
this is a random picture of vinny that j took. i guess j found his posture funny. well, that's vincenzo. he's always trying to sit & lie down people-style. he looks like he's getting ready to attack, with his paws curled like that. silly kitten!

the things i make poor j do - he's such a good sport. anyway, here we are at our neighborhood mcmenamins pub in cedar hills, after the day of wine tasting, and they're drinking WHAT??? BEER??? AFTER TONS OF WINE??? i would be super sick, but they're big guys & can take that sort of thing. the one on the far left is always my first choice, the stout.

what a beauty, eh? beer has been my drink of choice lately, as it produces the least after-effects. this one was on nitro, which usually i don't like, but it tasted good in this one. (for those who don't know, beers on nitro are super smooth due to smaller bubbles, giving them a velvety feel - guinness is always served this way)

hmm - not the most imaginative poses, but i'm not a professional photographer for a reason! these are pictures of us wine tasting on memorial day last week. this was taken in front of the vines at the torii mor winery- one of our favorites. the day began fairly rainy back in portland, but turned sunny & clear once we reached wine country. we dragged j to several of our favorites, successfully getting him sloshed. i was driving, so i was doing VERY little tasting. good times!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

low energy.

no pics today. i've finally been able to sleep again, and have been doing my best to sleep as much as possible, around the teaching & errands i've had to run. it's another rainy day in portland. i'm ready for the sunny, warm weather. i don't have the energy to exercise, so i guess it might as well be rainy.