Sunday, April 28, 2013

Northwest Handmade Instrument Show

Our neighbors shared info with us about the Northwest Handmade Instrument Show, so we checked it out this weekend in Portland.  First, we researched our food excursions.  We do have priorities.

A crowded place!

All metal resos

Nice uke from a Hawaii-maker.

CNC gizmo.  Super nice folks to chat to from WA.

A cool jig to make something or other.

Emil buying wood.  I made several trips to the car for him.
 Okay, okay.  Enough about the show.  Get to the food.  Emil had a hankering for good fried chicken, so we ended up at Screen Door. The reviews said to line up early, and doors open at 5:30 p.m.  We showed up at 5:15, and there were approximately 50 people in line already.  Yep. 50.  Did we get in line?  Heck YEAH!  Did we make plans to return for brunch before we even made it in the front door?  Heck YEAH! 

Root beer braised pork belly with spoonbread.  Gotta find me a good spoonbread recipe ASAP!

Mushroom, roasted broccoli rabe and cauliflower, new potato, hash.  All organic.  Hollah!

Fried chicken, mashed taters and gravy, collard greens. 
Worth the wait!  We really only waited about 15 minutes once the super cute and unflappable host seated everyone in front of us.  It was probably just a fluke we didn't wait an hour, but we were expecting to wait that long.  Unfortunately, we didn't make it back to brunch, but this was going to by my order:

The Breakfast Po Boy:
homemade andouille sausage & tomato jam, two fried eggs, pepperjack cheese, crispy onions,...extra napkin. Served with potatoes.

A gut bomb, but a welcome one for sure.  Well, it's something to look forward to on our next visit to Portland!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Yard Work and Gardening

I didn't do much yard work in my youth since I had two older brothers, and my dad enjoyed mowing.  My job was trimming around trees and such with the big clippers.  Since I thought I was cool, I'd strap on my Walkman and earphones, grab the clippers, complain to my dad, and get on with it.  Do you know how many times I accidentally snipped my earphones cord while bending down to trim grass?  Too many to count, I tell you.  One would think I would learn my lesson, but no.  I had the coolness factor to uphold.  Listen to my Milli Vanilla tape or bust!

Now, I live in a super cute rental home with gorgeous flowers, raised garden beds, and huge Junipers with a gazillion small, pointy pine cones.  The only rule concerning the yard is when we moved in, there were no weeds, so when we move out ... no weeds!  So, I took it upon myself to do some early weeding yesterday.  Turns out, I removed the sunflower starts.  Oops.  Strike one.

Annie, our landlord, came over and told me what needs to be done for spring clean up.  Pulling the correct weeds, raking, sweeping by the curb, etc.  Easy enough!  I can use her yard debris garbage can on wheels and fill it up with our stuff.  Being Type A and procrastinating on my other work, I borrowed her rake and started on the front yard. Ten little piles of pine cones and needles.  I wheel over the empty can and start scooping up a pile.  The can lid is flipped open, so I push it over to the next pile.  Have you ever tried to push a can like that with the lid open?  Well, it just falls down toward you because the weight has shifted.  Down I fall, knees smack the lid, my head and shoulders in the can.  Awesome.  Especially since three neighbors witnessed my fall.  Pics are already trending on Twitter, I bet.  Strike two.

Emil's reaction when I tell my story:  We skied five miles today, and you didn't fall.  Yet, you fall into a garbage can in our front yard?

I still have several hours of yard work to complete.  What will strike three be?  I'm betting it will involve clippers and a body part.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fun in Alaska

My awesome friends flew me up for a weekend.  Just to hang out and catch up in person!  And, eat, of course.  I think the pictures will tell the story.

Cardboard Sara and Chef Sara met me at the airport. 

Lori strumming "You Ain't Going Nowhere"

Playing with the Alaska Jumping Flea Society

A fully-stocked case at Sugarspoon.  Just give me a fork.

Katie and Erik.

Tommy Boy and Lori

Nachos!  Nachos!  Nachos!

Erik made our coffees! Lesson courtesy of Sara.

Sharing delish desserts

Jamming at Tommy's

Road Trip Ukuleles customer, Brian, likes his uke!

Breakfast at Spenard Roadhouse

The "Saras" skiing at Russian Jack.
Tommy, Sara, and Marvin.

Kelly and Sara.  Miss you!!!

Look at those mountains!

Ray's is closed?  What the what?  I should've remembered that!

V.I.P. Korean Restaurant

Erik went shopping for ukes the very next day!

I waited a long time for a Kaladi Latte.

Tommy and Jeff

Sara's ah-mazing salads!  Hello beets!

Lori and Josh

Josh - I miss you every day!!!!

Jennifer!  Congrats on the upcoming nuptials!

Pineapple Punch and Red Velvet.  Hollah!

Red Velvet number two

Thanks for the hospitality, Tommy!

DJ Spencer Lee in the House on May 2!

Snow City breakfast sammy rivals McKay Cottage sammy.

Gov. Parnell shared the plane with me.  He rides in Coach!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yam and the Soccer Ball

This comic, sent by a friend, pretty much sums up every night since we adopted Yam, the adorable cat.  If you've seen us the last two months, we probably look a little bleary-eyed, and we comment about Yam and his soccer balls.

Here's the scenario:

As soon as I climb into bed each evening, Yam brings in a yarn soccer ball and bats it around (read "slams it around") the dresser, closet doors, chair, bedside table, bed edge, blanket, door, anything in the bedroom.  Emil kindly ushers him out and closes the door.  Then, Yam lays about looking quite innocent and sleepy.  Wrong!  About three hours later, he comes in with a soccer ball in his mouth, climbs into bed, and starts touching our faces with his paw.  "Play fetch with me. Wake Up."  Emil kindly ushers him out again and closes the door.  Then, Yam fetches all the soccer balls, sits outside the bedroom door and meows. "Play fetch with me. Wake Up."

Repeat every hour or so.

But every once in awhile, he's good and sleeps with us all night.  Sometimes he tries to lay on my head, though.

We've tried to keep him awake all day.  No napping!  Have you ever tried to keep a cat awake?  First, it's a full-time job.  Second, a cat falls asleep in a second, anywhere, any time.  We've also tried to play with him A LOT!  Tease him with the feather on a stick, play fetch over and over and over, or chase him around the house, trying to clip his nails.  Again, it's a full-time job.

Folks say to adopt another cat, so he has a friend to play with all the time.  I can just picture two cats with soccer balls, practicing for the Feline World Cup in our bedroom every night.  No thanks!

Well, I better go wake up the cat again.  He's drifted off to sleep in his food bowl.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Black Trails at Mt. Bachy

 This is what happens when I ski the black loop.  Ouch.  I'm very lucky I didn't break my leg.

Down a very curvy, steep hill right into a snow bank.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

House Concert - Best EVER

Late one evening, my landlord/neighbor, Annie, and I came up with a great idea as we were surfing websites and talking about friends.  Let's host a house concert! Gwyneth and Monko, a duo from Mendocino, CA were traveling through Oregon for a few shows. We met Gwyneth and Monko last September at the American Song Academy in Sisters, Oregon.  See previous post from then to read more about it.

Our plan: Lure them to Bend with good food, a guest room (courtesy of Annie), and Annie's granola.

Tickets sold fast.  We promised guests delish snacks, desserts, and some fantastic music.  I think everyone enjoyed the evening!
Annie's gorgeous vegetable platter

Hello mango!!
Love Gwyneth's smile!

Getting ready!

Tuning between songs.  I have a front row seat!

They played two sets, sold CDs, wowed the guests, and there were hugs all around.  What a good evening.

Sorry, no food shots of my contributions.  I made Thai pizza, mini pumpkin whoopie pies, macadamia chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter and jelly thumbprints, and roasted garlic dip.

Monko and the newest uke - Sold!
After a brief tour of Emil's shop, they hit the road for a show in Portland. Monko tuned up the latest uke and tried it out. Now, it's been played by a professional, and it's ready for delivery to a patient customer!

I recommend checking out their music!  My two favorites are "Eloise" and "Can't Stay Long." 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Nordic Crazy

I've lost my mind!  We went and bought spring Nordic passes at Mt. Bachelor!  I'm awful at skiing, don't have properly fitting equipment, and have no time to ski.  Plus, flashbacks of falling on icy snow and hitting my head are still fresh on my mind from skiing in Alaska.  What are we thinking?

Yesterday, it was pretty nice in Bend.  Sunny, calm, beautiful.  Bachelor:  windy, cooler, blowing snow in your face, poor conditions.  Time to ski!

I had to take off my cute hat.  Boo!

A loop with Emil's name!
I look so serious!

Covered in snow!
Now, we have to get our money's worth!  Between work, uke fun, and other obligations, I suspect we'll go up on weekday afternoons for the next six weeks.  By the time I save up for proper ski clothes, the season will be over.  So, if you see me on the trail, I'm the girl decked out in yoga pants, freezing, blistered feet, and a smile plastered on my face.  Oh yeah ... I'm usually chanting "I don't want to go down this hill," as I'm skiing down the hill, trying not to face plant in front of people.