Sunday, October 30, 2011

LoMo Visits!

Another visitor from Alaska...they all want to come to Central Oregon.  Lori flew in late last night, and we've been going non-stop already.  Hiked to Monkey Face this morning at Smith Rock.  What a lovely day!  70 plus degrees, light wind and partly sunny.

Look closely for the rock climber on Monkey Face!
On a whim, we stopped off at the pumpkin patch to check out any last minute deals on pumpkins.  Hundreds of pumpkins left to choose from, and a 29 pound pumpkin called out to us, "take me home!"

Lori is ready to haul out the pumpkin
After a healthy lunch, we headed for a tour at Deschutes Brewery.  Josh, our tour guide was very entertaining and had a keen sense of humor.

Now, we are back home after a second pumpkin run to Fred Meyers....the 29er didn't have many seeds.  The seeds are cooling from the oven, and the pumpkin is roasting, so we can puree it for yummy pumpkin baked goods. 

Oh yeah...a quick stop at Level 2 for the Boy Choy Fried Rice.  They have the best Happy Hour food!

A close contender to Ray's fried rice in Anchorage.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grapes Galore

This year, the grapevine was quite ambitious and produced about 18 gallons of grapes.  I said I wasn't going to do anything with them this year since my grape pie didn't turn out last year.  Emil picked them on Wednesday before the first frost hit. And now here I am surrounded by buckets of grapes.

So, I whipped up three grape pies (thanks to Carrie for providing the recipe).  They sit in the freezer ready to be baked next summer for you!  I've made 9 jars of jelly, and I still haven't emptied a bucket of grapes.  Time to offer the grapes to everyone I know.  This evening, I did a grape drop and run at Angie's house.  Tomorrow, I'll send grapes with some friends making their way to the Valley.  And, I have a jelly date with a friend from my knitting group.

In between burning myself with hot grape juice...the stuff is like napalm, I've been cleaning the house for the next round of company.  Hope the weather stays nice as we want to hike and be outside.  I'll post pics later of my grape jelly stockpile.  You may receive a six pack of jelly as a hostess gift if you invite us over for dinner.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bunger visits!

Tommy Boy came to visit us!  It gives me the in-person opportunity to convince him to move here.  Throw in a fancy Fresh Hops Pairing at Deschutes Brewery (his favorite brewery), hiking, and visits to the other breweries, and I'm hoping he's in!

Tom arrived with a lovely box of goodies from Sugarspoon, my favorite bakery and chef.  Thanks, Sara Spud!

A little fuzzy, but you can see the main players

Autographed by the great Chef Sara
We hiked to Monkeyface at Smith Rock, and the weather was sunny, blue and 75 degrees.  300 days of sun here in Bend.  How many in Alaska, Tom? 

After our hike, we headed out for a beer at 10 Barrel Brewing Company.  With the weather so nice, we wanted to soak it all up.

India Session Ale... A brand new style from the twisted minds of 10 Barrel's brew crew.  Deep gold with orange highlights.  Big Citrusy aroma full of grapefruit and tangerine thanks to the massive dry hop!  Clean, crisp malitness with a hint of sweetness.  Pleasant, balanced bitterness as a result of the loaded late-kettle hop addition. 
Malts: 2-row Pale, Honey malt, Wheat
Hops: Summit, Cascade, Centennial
ABV: 5.5
IBU’s:  51

Off to Deschutes Brewery for their Fresh Hops Beer Pairing Tapas.  100 people or so gathered for the party.  Delicious food....pumpkin soup, pizza with butternut squash and pork belly, and beer.  Lots of Fresh Hops Beer.  I was DD, but I did have a sip of the porter.  A quick stop at Jackson's Corner since I knew Tom would like the atmosphere.
Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room - Fresh Hops!

Jackons' Corner - within reach of the self-service cooler
Today, we earned the right to be couch potatoes, cook up a bunch of food, and watch football.  Go Packers!  Go Saints!  Seattle?  Kind of a boring game due to the low scoring.  
We're knocking off the list of breweries in town and hit up Cascades Lake Brewing Company tonight to finish the Saints game and watch a little baseball.  Up next?  A tour of Deschutes Brewery, a pretzel at Deschutes Brewery Public House,a Captain Jack Sparrow at Brother Jon's, and a stop in at other breweries along the way.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Run

Scene:  The chicken coop has a large juniper tree growing in the middle of it, and chicken wire is wrapped around the whole coop to keep uninvited guests from entering.  If a chicken roosts on top of the coop at night, then the chicken generally is consumed as a tasty snack by an uninvited guest. Thus, Emil ensures all chickens are tucked inside the coop at night.

Enter:  Emil and Sara wearing headlamps

Tonight, two chickens decided to roost on top of the coop.  Emil snuck up a ladder with a butterfly net. Slowly, he moved the net closer to the jittery chicken until with one quick movement, he scooped up the chicken.  Funny how the net is the perfect size for chicken hunting.  One chicken down, one to go. 

The second chicken was further away from the edge of the coop, so we used thin rods to encourage her to move to the side within butterfly net range.  She was quite cranky and didn't want to move.  We finally moved her to the top of the garden shed/greenhouse, next to the coop.  Emil quickly relocated the ladder and used the butterfly net once again.

Ending:  All of the chickens are tucked in for the night.  They are accounted for, and I gave them a stern lecture.  We'll see how tomorrow night goes. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Long Weekend in Cincinnati

Here are a few pics from my trip to Cincinnati.  All of my family was there, and it was good to see everyone.  No trip is complete without a trip to Skyline Chili and Aglamesis Brothers.

Bailey, the guard dog

Look at that sweet face!

Volleyball central

Black Raspberry Chip, please!

Aaron is the lucky one served first

Dear Emil - sorry you missed out on Aglamesis Brothers.
At the airport, I splurged on a Chik-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries.  Figured it might be awhile before I'm nearby that wonderful place again.  No plans to travel until next Christmas 2012 or so.

I'm glad to be back in Central Oregon.  Temp today was around 75 degrees, sunny and gorgeous.  Time to prep for Alaskan visitors over the next two weeks.  Brewery tours, hiking at Smith Rock, running on the Deschutes River Trail, and a Captain Jack Sparrow sandwich at Brother Jon's Public House.  Sweet!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time to head home

It's been a good, but emotional trip back for my Grandma's Memorial Service.  Several of my cousins got up and spoke about Grandma, and my Mother told a touching story about Grandma helping her out without being asked.  She said she was the best mother-in-law she could ever ask for.

After the service, I met some of her friends and visited with both sides of my family who came to support my parents.  I also met some of my parents' classmates from high school.  I've seen their names on Christmas cards for years, and they've seen pictures of my brothers and I.

Yesterday, Ted and family and I played a heated volleyball game.  I may need to stay another week to practice for a rematch.  I managed to squeeze in a run on Friday afternoon with my nephew rollerblading next to me.  This afternoon, my other nephew wants to run with me.  He'll find out how slow I run....

Time to meet my brother for lunch at Skyline Chili.  No trip to Cincinnati is complete without a 5 way with hot sauce and a coney!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Remembering Grandma

My Grandma passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 24th.  She had just celebrated her 95th birthday on September 12th.  She still drove, had lunch with friends, played bingo at McDonald's, attended Sunday School, and wrote me letters every month.  We were really good pen pals.

My sister in law and Dad saved several items for me as they cleaned out her apartment.  Her recipe boxes, a quilt, a picture of me and Grandpa from her nightstand, and the Easter card I sent her.  I'll pick up these items when I attend her memorial service on Saturday.

This past summer, we used my brother's house as home base for several weeks while we did some side trips.  We were fortunate enough to have several meals with Grandma and Uncle Ron over this time.  Before I left, I invited Grandma out to Aglamesis Brothers for ice cream.  She told me to come to her apartment as she had ice cream there.  We dined on a brand new half gallon of Graeters Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream and talked for several hours.

Here's what makes me feel better.  I imagine Grandma in heaven talking with Grandpa.  She's telling him all about Emil and how I chose a good husband (finally).  She's telling him about the great they look, how well they play soccer or paint.  She's telling him about each grandchild and their lives.