Saturday, June 30, 2012

Decorating and Dinner

My friend, Becky, has an amazing knack for home decor.  Every time I go over there, I tell her I love her house and want mine to look just like hers.  She has a good eye for matching color, furniture, and more.  Her plants and yard are magazine photo worthy!

We had dinner with her and Mike last night.  She surprised us with a beautiful coffee table that she re-did for our new house.
With two handmade pillows to match!
Our first really nice piece of furniture here in Oregon (Emil's lovely furniture is in storage in Alaska).  So nice!  Thank you!  Mike grilled delicious kebabs - teriyaki and garlic.

Tender beef, veggies, plus grilled sweet taters!
I love salads if someone else makes them!  My salads are boring, which is why I rarely make them or eat them!  Becky's salad is full of mixed greens, walnuts, Oregon strawberries, pears, avocado, onion, and feta cheese.

So, I'll be hiring Becky to decorate our new place.  She is great at bargaining and knows exactly what I like.  All I have to do is give her a wad of cash and make sure her sewing machine is set up.  Oh, did I mention she made beautiful Roman shades for her kitchen?  Gorgeous!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Week of Revelations

1.  I'm an awful packer.  My idea of packing....grab some reusable grocery bags and toss items in.  This works particularly well for me since I personally don't own much.  I sold all of my work clothes (too big, yay!) on eBay.  The only items I had to box up are my spices.

According to Emil, I pack big heavy items on top of small fragile items.  And, I place boxes in the wrong area.  Case in point:  We are staging boxes and items under the carport.  He didn't tell me where to put boxes, so I just threw them out there.  Apparently, I put them in the wrong place.

Also, all my little grocery bags of stuff out there are perfect nesting places for animals.  Guess I should bring them in before the skunks get all culinary with my spices and dry goods.  And my bags of bed pillows would be great hiding places for snakes and scorpions.  

2.  Emil and I don't like the same kind of furniture.  Maybe this is why we had very little furniture in Alaska.  Most of the items were borrowed from friends.  Huh.

3.  I miss our china.  It's in storage in Alaska with lots of other household goods.  Thanks to my Mother and Dad for the anniversary to buy plates here from thrift stores, a toaster oven, and flatware.

I'm sure more revelations will come up as we finish packing and begin a new adventure in the city.  Looking forward to walking/biking around town, exploring the trail system, and being within walking distance of Brother Jon's (Hello Captain Jack Sparrow sammy).

Saying goodbye to our wonderful house-sitting opportunity...well, that's going to be a tearful post.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday, Emil and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary! My, how time flies.  It was a relaxing, low-key day.  Here are some of my favorite pics from our wedding on the Kenai River:

My Dad....

Making all the food was important to me!

My crazy brothers!
Looking forward to many more exciting adventures with Emil, as we settle in for good in Central Oregon.  He makes me a better person and has made a significant impact in my life. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Alpaca Shearing Festival and Classic Car Show

I want alpacas!  So cute, fuzzy, and generally good-natured.  We saw a couple of brand new babies among the hundreds of alpacas.

One little baby alpaca

Nice mutton chops

Time for a haircut....I promise it won't hurt.

Heavy duty trimmers for all that hair.
Hey Good Lookin'!
Wish my Dad and Uncle Ron were here for the car show.  They would've oohed and aahed over the cars.

This was everyone's favorite car.  Do you know what it is?

As you can see, the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  Summer is finally here in Central Oregon.  Woo HOO!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

B Chords and Hills

Learning the ukulele would really go much better if I practiced.  Especially songs with a B chord (B, B flat, Bminor6, Bimpossible - you get the picture).  Anything with a B (see previous list), I generally avoid.  By the time I look at the cheat sheet for the fingering, reposition my fingers, and strum, the song is over.

There are some really great songs with B chords in them.  Many of the Hawaiian songs have a B, and even John Denver's "Country Roads" has one.  It's in the bridge.  Sing it with me!


"I hear her voice
In the morning hour she calls to me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin' down the road (Bm) I get a feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday"

What a great song!  I can play the whole song without looking at my fingers except for that dang B minor.  Ergh.  Don't even get me started on "Sophisticated Hula"!

Practice, practice, practice.

As for hills, when I bike I avoid big hills, small hills or even roads with the name "Hill" in them.  I'd rather ride five miles out of my way on flat roads than ride up a hill.  Today, I biked 17.5 miles.  On the way home I rode an extra two miles of flat road before I attacked a small hill and reluctantly changed into a low gear.  I think it really comes down to my legs burning.

On our driveway, I stop at the bottom, give myself a pep talk which includes "don't be a wuss," and "don't you want to look good at the beach in July?" and try to make it up the hill before the neighbors see me pushing my bike up (this embarrassing moment has only happened once, thank goodness).

Practice, practice, practice.

There's a theme here...

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Two things have inspired me lately.

1.  My friend, Wendy, in Grand Rapids, the triathlon queen.  Seeing her updates on Facebook makes me want to be outside all the time riding, swimming, and biking.
2.  A quote "I want to be 40 and Fabulous, not 40 and Fat."  Don't I know it!

So, this is my first full week of alternating biking and running.  I started biking about two weeks ago, but did just a few short rides.  Easing into it instead of my usual overdoing it and trying to bike to Sisters like Emil does on a consistent basis.  Grrr...I mean, yay for him!

Today was the day.  A big ride.  My secret goal was 20 miles, but I didn't share that with Emil until mile 6.25.  We started from our house and headed towards Crooked River Ranch.  Not too many hills, and so scenic with llamas and horses everywhere.

If you passed me in your car, my facial expression was a mix of the following:

- What's with this 10 mile headwind?  Are you freaking kidding me?
- Man, I've had to pee for like 40 minutes now.
- Woo Hoo!  A tailwind for a whole half mile.  This is the life!
- Wow.  Riding in 75 degree weather.  Oh, but it's a dry heat.  *smirk*

Stats:  20.17 miles in 1 hour and 39 minutes.  Emil was kind enough to wait for me as he pedaled up hills using only one pedal/foot.  He's so dang talented.

As I was going up small hills, breathing in twice, out once and cursing the headwind, I sang a few uke songs.  We have two gigs tomorrow, so I'm still learning the words and chords.  My repertoire included "You Ain't Going Nowhere," "Country Roads," and "Hey Good Lookin'."  Tomorrow morning, we're playing at the Heaven Can Wait Breast Cancer fundraiser.  Expected attendance is 4,000 people.  We better be loud!  In the afternoon, COCC and Bend Disc Golf is doing a fundraiser for Saving Grace.  We'll entertain folks as they compete on the course.

I made our current favorite dinner...zucchini tuna cakes and orzo pasta salad.  Here's the recipe for the tuna:

The orzo pasta salad is a riff on a salad from Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods).  Orzo, sundried maters, pesto, feta, green onions, kalamata olives, olive oil, and whatever else you have in your fridge.  It's refreshing.

Time to hit up the Advil and water!  Looking forward to a run tomorrow afternoon.  Wonder what songs I'll sing....