Sunday, August 30, 2009

my husband decided to indulge my love of spontaneity.

... and this is what happened.
there will be lots of pictures.

august 22
we ditched homework, housework, and work-work at about 7pm to find a place to hike in the gorge.
end location: latourell falls.
best part: venturing as far as possible behind the falls without tumbling into the pool below.
... at which point joel decided to check his cell reception. five bars.
i, of course, ended up drenched - modeling the drowned rat look.

we ended the hike by enjoying the sunset from the edge of this unguarded precipice.
august 23
joel had to spend the day studying, so i decided that we should study at the beach. deeply concentrating on his anthropology text on the drive, he requested that we not listen to any music with english words. so we listened to french, latin, portuguese, spanish, and arabic ... oh, and mozart. :)
we spent most of the afternoon at my favorite cafe ever in the whole entire world. :)
i love this place. if you're ever in cannon beach, be sure to check out bella espresso.

of course, we did go to the beach too.
august 27
joel's birthday isn't until september 21, but we celebrated a little early. i surprised him with tickets to fiddler on the roof, and what a night it was!
we started with happy hour at portland city grill. this was our view.
this was my view.
we arrived at the keller an hour early because someone didn't read the tickets she bought (oops), and decided to find a starbucks. we managed to walk the one route across the entire area that contained no starbucks, a travesty which i blame on the starbucks planning people, the portland city planning people, the dutch mafia, and that stupid mermaid on their cups.*
starbucks incident aside, the show was breathtaking. i don't think i shut my mouth the whole time - my jaw was somewhere near my lap. my favorite line (not in the movie) was when tevye referred to the state of being "poor as synagogue mice". i'm still laughing.

august 28
in addition to being international "race your mouse" day, august 28 was also our anniversary.
we went to the zoo. just because.

there were many interesting things to see at the zoo, including one of my favorite creatures of all: the vw van.

we also went back to the church where we were married, sat in the car and watched half of our wedding video. partway through, the computer decided it wasn't getting enough battery from the car and flipped out, but we caught the processional, most of the message, and our vows. so i suppose at this point i could draw out a complicated metaphor involving marriage and the trials of life, but it is now 2:11am and i'm not going to.
finished off the day at papa haydn's eastside, where we both had vanilla lattes with hearts on them. joel kinda freaked out a little bit right after i took this picture cause i used flash in a dark restaurant. i won't share the one i took of him three seconds later - it's kind of scary. heh.
love you dear. mwah.**
*it is now 1:58am and i accept no responsibility for the coherence of what i write.
**did i seriously just write "mwah" in a blog post? i am so going to hate myself in the morning.

Friday, August 28, 2009

5 years...



Thursday, August 27, 2009

egads, i own an lolcat!

pamina the opera-cat?
or vlad the impaler?!?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

spiced peaches

recipe for spiced canned peaches
  • lots of peaches
  • enough vinegar to melt your face off
  • whole spices, the kind that you buy in the oregon trail game (like "allspice") tied into teabags
  • more sugar than anyone should eat in a lifetime
mix. boil. can.
recipe for spiced FUN
  • 2 early-twenties women, inexperienced in canning and prone to giggling, sarcasm, and tea parties
  • a book called "back to basics" which has instructions for building a log cabin, treating snakebite, and a whole page on canning!
  • an adolescent kitten underfoot
mix. giggle. have an adventure. repeat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

transforming rv parking into a yard: part 3

no power tools were needed for this step. just a truck big enough to haul a yard of dirt.

our back yard was constructed rather strangely. an expanse of grass was separated from the sea of asphalt by a retaining wall of sorts (i.e. a line of big rocks). the asphalt side was fully 18 inches lower than the grass side. removing the asphalt necessitated bringing in many yards of dirt to prevent earthquakes from originating on our property (or something like that).

these pictures are after 5 yards of dirt - and it still needs more!

this is the woodpile. it's a baby woodpile.
that pathetic, minuscule pile of rocks is our fire pit. we have decided to enlarge the fire pit.

... and this is where we leave this series for now, since this is where our rv parking project stands for now (plus some stray grass and weeds growing in the new dirt). steps 4 and 5 involve more dirt and planting grass, but that will be a while.

[cue credit music]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

transforming rv parking into a yard: part 2

fortunately for the men in my life, this yard-renovation was the type of project that required plenty of heavy machinery. macho machinery. the kind you have to rent and take back the same day, because it's too expensive to keep overnight (unlike library books or movie rentals).

step-1-big-macho-machine was a jackhammer. step-2-big-macho-machine was a rototiller. so, on a saturday morning in july, my husband and father left to acquire the muscle-machine. i, an industrious, non-macho person, stayed home and shoveled gravel.
incidentally, anberlin's never take friendship personal is a great gravel-shoveling album.

once again, we were very blessed by the help of my parents and a number of others who stopped in at various times during the day. i wish i had pics of everybody, but alas, i had a gravel induced migraine for most of the day.

this fencing was ostensibly a poorly erected attempt to contain the dogs mentioned in the previous post. i have no idea why it was there, since it was obvious from the amount of dog hair in the house that the creatures had never spent any length of time outside.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

-we interrupt our rv parking series-

-to share this little piece of epic awesomeness we discovered while trolling about teh interwebz, referring to ourselves in the plural.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

transforming rv parking into a yard: part 1

the funnest part about moving into a new house is pretending you're a sleuth on a secret mission to discover the identity and lifestyle of its former inhabitants.

when we bought our little white house with green shutters 2.5 years ago, we already knew that the smiths (name changed to protect the johnsons-i mean the guilty) had a small-ish baby, two big indoor dogs, damp wood termites, and an aesthetic sense that allowed for covering every available inch of wall space with the hides of various small animals.

our education continued when we moved in on a cold, snowy day one week before christmas. judging from the amount of dog hair on the floors, caked to the walls, floating in the toilet, stuck to the shower, and multiplying in the fridge (the fridge, people!!!), the smiths (who are really the johnsons) were preparing for the iditarod.

thanks to determination, a strong stomach, and swiffer, we overcame the dog hair episode and moved forward in our sleuthing adventures. we learned from our neighbors that the smiths (johnsons) possessed several cars, an rv, and a large number of atvs. which explains why half our backyard is covered in asphalt. aforementioned neighbors also explained that mr. smith-johnson (bob? jason? fabio?) worked for a rock moving company, and said asphalt was laid in manic spurts whenever he had extra.

... which explains why the ground wasn't leveled, why the asphalt is 2 inches thick in some places and 18 in others, why there are two or more layers of asphalt with dirt (and twigs and possibly humans) sandwiched in between, and why there are tree stumps poking through.

the solution:
step one
hire my brother chip (who is on summer break), helped by my father (who likes jackhammers), and a friend of chip's (who, unfortunately, is not pictured here), to remove the asphalt. this happened back in may.

step two
blog about step two.

Friday, August 7, 2009

feline fun

pamina the cat
- also known as sharpie, cuddles, mittens, "the little terror", panini, and CAT-get-out-of-the-fridge! -

... is a great study partner.

... is also fascinated with all things electronic.
(i really did shut her in the fridge. accidentally, of course. she survived.)

folks, we're in business!

oh yes we are!
four piano lessons under my belt, and i'm preparing and marketing to launch my studio in september. :)

we have a website:, and this little brochure that only just about killed me with all of its design roadblocks.
(click on panes to view larger and read content)

this small business thing can sure be confusing, and maybe building two at once is crazy...
but it's awfully fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

vestal photoshoot

it's been way too long since i've had pictures of this family. :)
on tuesday, while joel was laboring over a cultural anthropology test, i took a whirlwind road trip to jonah ministries with kim and becky vestal, joined sammi, tabitha, daniel, and patrick, and eked in a family photoshoot before the sun set!

trout lake, washington is so beautiful - i think someday we just might move there.

these people are natural posers. i say "pretend you're in a band." ... and this is what they come up with. seriously - how awesome is that!