Monday, June 30, 2008

The List of Three Things...

that I'm not eating:
  • Sugar
  • Artificial Sweetner
  • Caffeine
I'm also cutting down on red meat and trying to eat only whole grains. And here's the funny thing. I'm on day 7 (yes, that's a seven) and it's been fine. I ate so much crap while on vacation that I just had to stop. Now I'm feeling pretty good. Wish me luck in sticking with it (except for my big cheat day on Friday).

Everything Old is New Again

I remember hanging clothes on the line in our backyard as a young girl. It was just what you did. We didn't do it for the environment.

My reasons reflect my mother's reasons for hanging clothes on the line though. It's hot. I mean, really hot. The laundry still needs to be done and it just heats up the house even more. The best alternative is to let the sun work it's magic on those wet clothes without adding to the heat in the house.

On Saturday, I just had to have a clothesline. It's my favorite purchase of the summer (so far) and should pay for itself in a few years. The DH calls it the new solar clothes drier. I kind of like that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Warm Welcome

When we arrived home from the beach, there was a beautiful jar of flowered branches on the table. Carolyn had been bringing in the mail, so I just assumed that she had left the arrangement as well. When we talked to her, sho informed us that she had just brought it in off the doorstep and that was all the credit she could tak.

The flowers were beautiful -- I'm sorry I couldn't capture it in this picture. I just couldn't get the lighting right. Trust me though. They were fabulous.

We finally had to let them go yesterday, but they lasted for about a week and a half -- longer than any regular flower arrangement would have.

So, thank you so much to whoever left the arrangement. I'm not sure if it was my visiting teacher or the neighbors accross the street, but it sure brightened my home for a while.

Friday, June 27, 2008

At the Beach

After a night and part of day in Portland, the DH, Annzy, and I headed to Cannon Beach, OR for fun with the family. The first thing we did when we arrived was have Pizza with the family and then later that evening we went to the beach and had a bonfire and s'mores. I loves me some s'mores!

On Thursday, we hung out at the beach and took pictures in the awesome shirts that Kinsey made. I liked the Pit Tournament T's she made for the adults, but the tie-dies for the kids were fantastic! She did such a nice job and you would think they were professionally done at a T-shirt shop. We then spent some time in town while most folks went to the Tilumook Cheese Factory and to the Flight Museum. We didn't want to watch chease being made. That evening though, we had a big birthday bash for my Dad, who turned 70 this year! How did that happen? It seams old, but he doesn't act that old at all. It was fun to have everyone together to celebrate his birthday and Whitney and my Mom worked together to put together a really cool book with notes from all of us and fun picutres. It was a wonderful gift and turned out beautifully. My Mom had something for each of us as well. She had shirts made up for each of her kids that said "Mom likes me best" on them. It was great! She also made re-usable shopping bags for us.

On Friday, we played on the beach some more and went into Seaside with Mackenzie and Abby. We decided that Seaside wasn't all that great, but we enjoyed our Bee Bop lunch. We also had fun playing Cookin' Mama with the neices and nephews and playing in the pool. It was a little cold for actually playing in the ocean. We'll leave that to tropical locations.

On Saturday, it was really more of the same. We had great food, more fun, and enjoyed the company of the family. We were also lucky that the first rain of our trip didn't fall until Saturday evening. The rest of the time was beautiful. Saturday also included the annual Robertson Family Pit tournament. I remember learning to play Pit at Granny's house (my paternal grandmother) when I was pretty young. The adults played frequently and I loved it. We would go back and forth between the yelling version of the game and the silent version. Good times! The worst part was that Jason won AGAIN! It's like he has some secret weapon. He got the trophy and the rest of us left empty handed. Until next time.
Then on Sunday, we packed up and went to Camp 18 for breakfast. It was really fun and the food was good -- and there was more than enough of it. The cinnamon rolls taste great and they're almost as big as a dinner plate. WOW! We then bid goodbye to the Robertson clan until we see them next time.

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

We spent five days with my entire family at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast last week. It was great fun and we had a nice break from the daily grind. It's funny how I'm always so glad to get a way on vacation, but then so glad to be back at home sleeping in my own bed. Although we've been home for a few days already, we've been so busy that it's been hard to get back to regular blogging.

One of the highlights of our trip (for me at least) was our breakfast in Portland on Wednesday morning. The DH and I drove to Portland Tuesday evening, spent the night in the Marriott by the airport, and then picked up Annzy when her flight came in on Wednesday morning. The three of us then went to Mother's Bistro & Bar. OH MY!!! I ate the best bisquits and gravy I've ever eaten. Mother brings breakfast to a new level and that level is fantastic. I think the DH loved his walnut pancakes too. Instead of sprinkling walnuts on top, they mixed them into the batter. The pancakes were dense with them. He loved it (and I didn't even taste them, since I don't eat walnuts).

After breakfast, we went to Powell's Books to peruse the aisles. I bought David Sedaris' new book (but I haven't read any of it yet) and the DH bought a couple of books and even read them when we were at Cannon Beach. I was very happy that he had a good bookstore experience and was entertained by the books later that week. Yay for bookstores! Annzy also picked up some good stuff, including an America's Test Kitchen cook book.

After that, we went to the Hawthorne District and then to Trader Joe's and headed for the beach. We were almost the last to arrive, but we got there before dinner time and not too long after check-in time, so I thought we did well.

More about the beach later!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Picture of Me

Well, if Annzy can do it, then so can I.

It's a picture of who I am using fd's mosaic maker. It really is quite cool. If you're interested, you can check out Annzy's post for instructions on how to make your own mosaic.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Here's to the Dad I Love

I didn't even send a card for Father's Day because I'll be seeing my dear old Dad on Wednesday. For the record, that's why Ethan, Gage, and Fiona haven't seen birthday cards or gifts from me either. I've got them all saved up here for the big event later this week. I just can't let this day pass by without saying something about my fabulous Dad though. He really is great. If you've met him, you probably already know this, but if not, then here's why.

My Dad is the strongest and the smartest Dad around (or at least he was the strongest when I was a kid). I remember my Dad's feats of strenght wowing the crowd when I was young. He could do one-handed push-ups. That's pretty amazing by itself. That's not all though. He could pick up one of our kitchen chairs by holding onto the bottom of one leg with one hand and raise it off the ground without it tipping over. I may not be explaining it in a way that imparts how difficult that is, but trust me, it's tough stuff. It was also fun to watch him do some Indian leg wrestling with the other guys. He may have been a little competitive too.

When we were kids, he was forever showing us games that made us have to think and problem solve. They're the ones that start out something like "If you have three toothpicks and you have to create an object with eight sides..." He always knew the answers too. Amazing how it always worked that way. I also thought it was cool how he taught me the strategy for always winning or tying in tic-tac-toe. It worked too, until he told my siblings the trick and then the cat always got the game and it wasn't any fun anymore. We had to search out new opponents.

My Dad also made it a lot of fun to be a kid. I'm grateful that he built the big sandbox and "pole house" in the back yard. (We didn't have a tree, so he had a big pole stuck in the ground and built the tree house at the top of it. It was pretty darn cool.) He put holes in the red wagon so we could make it into a covered wagon for pioneer day and he built an awesome doll house for me.

All in all, I'm a pretty lucky kid. Most importantly, when my father taught me about my Heavenly Father and how much he loves me, I could imagine a wonderful man looking out for my best interest and trying to shield me from harm. All because I saw these examples of His behavior in my Dad.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I love you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day!

Flag Day is great and all, but the real reason I'm please that it's Flag Day is because it's the baby bro's birthday. Here's a shout out to Rager. Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Joy + Guilt

On Wednesday evening, I came home to an imaculate house. The bathroom was sprakling clean, the floors were all vacuumed and mopped, and the kitchen sink was shining. It was the first day that someone else cleaned my house. Coming home to that filled me with immense joy. It's been a long time since the WHOLE HOUSE has been clean at once. I might get the whole bathroom clean, but it's been a long time since the whole house was clean.

As many an old college roommate can attest, I'm usually the one cleaning the house when I'm experiencing any kind of stress, so a busy me usually equals a clean house. Since acquiring a husband and getting a job that requires an unhealthy number of hours working to stay afloat, I just haven't been able to stay on top of the cleaning. There's a lot of guilt around that too, especially since I've always been really proud of my mad cleaning skillz.

The stress of a dirty house finally outweighed the guilt over not doing the cleaning myself. We've hired someone to come in now and I think it's causing me unadulterated joy.

I just love a clean house. It makes me very happy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Yesterday I spent some time exploring more of the city of Philadelphia. I started with another lunch at the Reeding Terminal Market, this time with no creatures in sight. I ate at Delilah's, which is down home southern food. The mac n cheese and the cornbread were both fantastic.

I walked down Market Street to go see some of the historical sights in Philadelphia and on the way, I saw the FUNK-O-MART on the other side of the street. If you're in the market for more funk, this is the place. It's actually a record store specializing in '60s and '70s vinyl. I just thought the name was hysterical.

I also went and saw the Liberty Bell, the 2nd Bank of the United States, and Independance Hall. I'll write more on those later when I can download my pictures. For now, just think about how much more funk you have now that I've shared this with you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

All-Natural Appetite Suppresant

I'm here in Philadelphia this week attending a conference. It's the Society of Technical Communication's annual event and it's in our constitution's birthplace this year. The city is really pretty cool and I'm staying at a hotel that's right in the middle of things. It's a great location. The block between the hotel and the convention center houses the Reading Terminal Market. It's a lot like Pike Place Market with lots of interesting shops and such.

Today for lunch, I took a detour into the market. I always enjoy the frenetic energy in public markets and this one did not disappoint. I really did enjoy the fish mongers, bakers, and candy makers in the market.

Since it was lunch time, I decided to sit down at the Down Home Diner. I sat at the counter and ate grilled cheese with a side of fried potatoes. Now here's where it gets interesting. I'm eating my sandwich (and it was yummy -- all gooey cheese on delicious whole-grain bread) and looking forward at the wall below the pass-through window by the soda machine and what do I see, but a little old cockroach. Just yuck. I mean, I know it's a big ol' market and all, but I did not need to see that. I wasn't very hungry any more after that.