August 31, 2010

Cupcake? Don't mind if I do.

Birthday breakfast

On the 20th I celebrated my 31st year, and had a great time doing so. I spent a sunny weekend celebrating with my family in Bow, WA, and aside from the fact that Mike couldn't join us, it was a perfect weekend.

Sara and I started the celebration on Thursday with an evening boat ride to Anacortes, chauffeured by Mark. Since it was cocktail hour, Mom sent us off with a couple of Negro Modelos.

On Friday, Papa and Aidan joined us to make Slushies (always a favorite of Aidan's).

We all got to see Aidan play football on Friday and Saturday. It reminded me that I must be getting old if my little nephew was already old enough to tackle.

Dinner was fabulous - Sara made the entree; a huge bowl of Lemon Pepper Pasta & Prawns. Mom and Mark made vegetable & fruit salads to accompany.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a group kayaking trip on the mouth of the Samish River. Papa and Aidan were in the canoe, while Sara and I took out kayaks. Mom paddled out to meet us with beer, and while we imbibed, we linked boats and floated back home. It was a marvelous time, but since a certain someone refuses to respond to my email requests for photos, you'll just have to imagine how wonderful it was.

Looking forward to #32!

August 17, 2010

Maryhill Winery & Natalie Merchant

A couple of weeks ago Mike and I headed East to the Maryhill Winery to see Natalie Merchant in concert.

It was a beautiful day and Natalie sang wonderfully; though it took getting used to her new stuff, when I've been such a big fan of her Tigerlily album.

We couldn't find a place to say out there, so ended up driving back into Portland after the concert. This would have been a disappointment if they were serving microbrews instead of $9 cups of wine; as it was, we enjoyed our picnic and the nighttime drive home along the river.

August 15, 2010

Sock Monkey: symbol of everlasting love

For Sara & Bobby's wedding gift I made them a needle-felted sock monkey. When I saw a photo of one on the cover of Laurie Sharp's book, I instantly thought of the two of them and got to work on it. I finished in June, and it was very difficult not to show it off before their July wedding.

I forgot to take photos before I wrapped it up, so I asked Sara to take some photographs. She did such a good job that I couldn't decide which photo to use; so I've used them all.

This little guy is about 4" high, with bendable legs and tail.

August 11, 2010

Project Progress

Last weekend I finally managed to finish staining and assemblying one of the adirondack rocking chairs that we bought several years ago. We have been waiting until our fire pit was finished - and as of June it was! At the end of the deck we had Pablo's guys level and gravel an area for our raised fire pit. It's our hope to put it to good use roasting marshmallows soon.

While I've been working on the adirondack chairs (one more to go), Mike has been hard at work on building the overhang for our hot tub. This overhang matches the one on the deck, over the back door, but is large enough to cover our hot tub. We have dreams of some Winter soaking while staying out of the rain.

Above are the boards for the underside of the overhang. I've been sealing them with Rosewood oil. The same boards have gone in the front of the house under the eaves, and will be under the backdoor overhang and front porch overhang as well.

Progress continues!

August 9, 2010

Florida 2010

In July, Mike and I headed to Cocoa Beach, Florida to visit Grandma Betty. While there, we celebrated Mike's birthday, ate Sonny's BBQ, perused old photos (and left with a lot of them), visited old friends in Orlando and surfed daily.

The waves are not what you'd call "big" in July, but there were waves, and they were generally a pretty good size for lil' ol' me. The big, huge, gargantuan plus to surfing in Florida over Oregon is one's ability to forgo the wetsuit.

For your viewing pleasure, below is a one of my little music videos of the experience.

August 6, 2010

Go get 'em, girls!

You've met Burr, now here's Ribbit & Raven!

These two new crocheted dolls complete the trio, and have all joined our nieces in Pittsburgh.

Their outfits are quite simple, but interchangeable.

For information on yarn, hook or clothing details for Burr, Ribbit, or Raven check my Ravelry listings.

The girls seem to enjoy their new dolls, and I hear that they already have their new adopted names: Abby, Bella and Susan!

August 2, 2010


Before we left for our latest East Coast adventure, we hired Pablo and his "guys" to build us a deck in the backyard. When we bought the house in 2005, the "deck" consisted of rotted boards resting upon other rotting boards, as well as some concrete bricks and a large railroad tie.

Lovely "deck" of 2005

It took us a few years, but we were finally able to tear it down in 2007:

Only to have the junk pile sit there for another year. In 2008 we cleared the pile away, but lived with a mud/weed pit for another year.

Mud/weed pit

Summer of 2010 has brought good things - finally we've got our new deck!

Mike and I sealed the deck ourselves

While they were at it, we also had Pablo build an overhang over the back door. Again, when we bought the place there were some pretty horrific aluminum awnings over the back, which were unsightly but very helpful in protecting our stuff from the PNW weather. Adding back a nice wood overhang will at least give us a little space to bbq in the winter, or to sit and enjoy the shade. We still need to put the tongue & groove ceiling in and clad/paint the columns, but at least it's functional! We recently purchased a new patio set, and I've been busy staining some Adirondack rockers... a future blog post.
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