Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Dinner

We usually post our culinary adventures in the sidebar but Susan made such a fantastic Christmas dinner that I wanted to share more of the story with you. Our schedule over the holidays has been a little odd. I am recovering from surgery so I sleep most of the time and Susan has been struggling with a cold. As a result, we did not have Christmas dinner until December 27. Susan made a Shrimp Bisque that could stand up to anything served at a local restaurant. The rest of the meal consisted of Rosemary Apricot Pork Tenderloin, Carrot Celery Root Puree and Spiced Stone Fruit Chutney. This meal was so good that it is hard to describe it with mere words. We are going to make homemade ice cream for dessert over the next week using the ice cream maker that Susan gave me for Christmas.
Santa was very generous this year. We received gift cards to some of our favorite restaurants and spending money. Below is a picture of stepping stones that I gave to Susan to honor the furry members of our family.

These are going to look great at our new place. Speaking of houses, we are still waiting for word that the sale of my house has closed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Storm Warning

We had our first significant snowfall of the year last night. I stepped out the front door this morning to take these pictures. More snow is expected throughout the day. It is so beautiful!

We have not been posting a lot lately, but it has not been for a lack of things to write about. The sale of my house in Renton is moving forward. I had the distribution box for the septic system replaced in order to pass the inspection required in King County to sell homes with septic systems. Allied Van Lines moved the contents of the house to storage, somewhere on the west side, last Friday. The sale is scheduled to close on December 31, but we are actually hoping it might close a little early.
Things are also moving ahead on our property. We posted pictures of the power trench, which passed the inspection process. The trench is covered now and all the neighbors sprinkler pipes are repaired. When we were in the process of selecting flooring for our new house, we learned that the hardwood and tile we selected did not match up in height so we needed to change to a different brand of hardwood. There are so many things to consider when you are starting from scratch; for example, have you ever given any thought to how you get a mailbox? We finished selecting the outside colors and the color of the roofing material. The next step is to actually place the order for our house. YEA!
If houses, the property and Christmas wasn't enough, we have also been dealing with the after-effects of a robbery - what a bummer. On a lighter note, we went to the Nutcracker last weekend at the Capitol Theatre and had a wonderful time. The dying mouse scene was hilarious. After the ballet we went to the Olive Garden for dinner and then went to see the luminary lights at the Arboretum. What a fun evening. Our latest culinary adventures include a Lemon Chiffon Pie, squash risotto, and Linzer cookies. Susan's hand has healed up nicely from carpal tunnel surgery so she can get the other hand done in the near future.
I hope all of you and your family members have a wonderful holiday season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Playing with the camera

I was playing with my camera earlier this week. Tillie is sitting in my lap and Toby was directly in front of my chair. They both seemed extremely curious about what I was doing so I snapped their pictures. They are both so cute!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Cactus

Mom - Thanks for leaving your Christmas Cactus with us when you left for Arizona. As you can see, it is doing very well. I took these pictures this morning so you could see the beautiful pink and white flowers. The other plants in the kitchen look sad by comparison.

Tillie is doing just fine after her surgery. She and Toby are back playing and running around the yard.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Very fun cookies to make and decorate. Happy Turkey Day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Power Trench

I drove out to our property yesterday to take a few pictures of the trench our contractor dug for the power. This is a picture of the cement vault and the trench running to our power box. In the background, my car is just inside where our gate will be located.

This is the cement vault.

From the vault, the trench goes under our neighbors fence and across his back yard to the nearest power pole. It would have been much more expensive if he had not let us cut across his land.

Once the trench is inspected, the power will be ordered.
I also went to the post office yesterday to find out how we get a mailbox. There are so many more things to do when you start from land as opposed to buying an existing house. It is very interesting and sometimes frustrating, but I sure have learned a lot.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Taking a Nap Together

When I went looking for Toby and Tillie this morning, I found them in my room taking a nap together on the bed. They looked so cute that I went and got the camera. Perhaps Toby is sticking his tongue out at me for waking them up!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cute Turkeys

We have been very busy lately finalizing the plans for our new house. Last week we finished selecting the flooring, countertops and back splashes. The product options available is staggering, which makes it hard to select what you want and even harder to picture the products all together and installed.
Our contractor begins digging the ditch for the power on Wednesday. The cable company will also be putting their cable into the same ditch, which is great for us because it keeps the cost down. In the next week we should be receiving a quote for bringing natural gas onto the property.
Susan took these cute little turkeys to work today. We found the idea in a Pillsbury cookbook. Next weekend we are decorating sugar cookies for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yakima Chamber Orchestra

On Sunday afternoon Susan and I went to the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) concert at The Seasons Performance Hall. The guest musician was Oscar Esqueda, a Marimbist. The marimba, shown below, is a wooden percussion instrument. Mallets are used to strike the keys. Before Sunday I had not had the pleasure of listening to someone play the marimba, and Oscar was fabulous. For several minutes at a time he would hold 4 mallets, two in each hand and the multiple notes resonating from the instrument was just beautiful. He received a well-earned standing ovation from the crowd. I am so glad that he came to Yakima and that we decided to get tickets!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

We had so much fun last night! Over 200 kids came to our house this year. This is the best picture I could get of all 3 graves in our graveyard. We were sitting outside, like we did last year, except this time there wasn't a burn ban, so we had the fire pit going. With the fire, haunting music playing and a couple of White Russians we were set for the evening. It was so funny watching kids walking up the sidewalk and then just stopping when they got closer to the house.

The two outside graves had beating hearts and the hands coming out of the ground really did look spooky. Cousin Huet has a crow sitting on his grave, but unfortunately the crow is so black that he didn't show up in the picture.
Check out the eyes on the spider. They were bright red and sparkled until it got too dark. Our chairs were just on the other side of this tree and some of the kids, or their parents, would turn around after getting their candy and walk right into one of the two spiders hanging from the tree.

We got a lot of comments on the decorations, the fire pit and the wonderful smell of the fire on a cold evening. Some of the parents took pictures or videos of the yard. I have to admit, it is a little sad that we won't have trick-or-treater's at our new place, but this was great fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Treats

Today I made some treats for Susan to take to work for Halloween. Making goodies for work is one of the biggest things I miss about not having a job. I wanted to try something new this year and I found these cute mice and spiders in a book Susan bought. They sure sounded easier to make than they were, but aren't they cute?

In addition to the spiders and mice, I made a batch of cupcakes that I had intended to decorate like spiderwebs and eyeballs, but I ran out of frosting before I could finish them.

Next year I want to find some small edible black spiders to put in the webs.


That's right - Can you believe it? Just when I was coming to terms with having to put the house back up on the market again next year, I finally got an offer worth accepting. The sale closes on December 31. It is too late in the year to get our lot prepared so Susan and I will be moving next Spring. YEA!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adam's First Visit to Epcot

I know it is easy to forget to check Julie and Tommy's blog, so I took these pictures off their page so you could see Adam during his first visit to EPCOT.

How cute! His very first ride was Journey into Imagination with Figment! Figment is one of my favorite Disney characters. I have the same Figment that Adam is holding and I also have a Figment antenna ball for my car.

The entire family.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Decorating for Halloween

I absolutely love Halloween! These are just some of the window decorations I have put up so far.
These spiders are actually kind of creepy. They are in the front picture window, which is directly across the room from the TV. When the light is just right, it looks like spiders are on the TV screen.
This year we are going to have a graveyard outside, with tombstones, skeletons and a huge spider web crawling with scary spiders. I would love to have one of those fog machines!
One of our neighbors told Susan how much she liked this spider web. There are actually two spiders on the web, but they do not show up in the dark.
Oh, what fun!

Tillie Resting

Tillie definitely has her favorite places to take a nap. We already have pictures on this blog of her sleeping in the laundry basket, but just like Toby she loves pillows. It must be really rough being a dog in this house.

That being said, there is nothing like taking a nap with Mama. This scene made me want to take a nap myself.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thompson's Farm

Today we took Mom and Dad out to Thompson's Farm in Naches. There are several farms in the valley that set up hay rides, corn mazes and feeding stations, but you can only see a pumpkin fired out of a cannon at Thompson's Farm. John Thompson made three different cannons, by hand, from old farm equipment.

This is the largest of the three cannons. It fires pumpkins about twice the size of the pumpkins seen in the foreground and the pumpkins fly several hundred feet through the air.

You can listen to John's Almost Live Band while you are drinking hot apple cider and eating homemade pumpkin donuts.

This is the bands lead singer.
This is a new goat ramp that John made so the goats have something to climb on. I tried to get a good picture of the cute little goats, but they were shy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Central Washington State Fair

Mom, Dad, Susan and I went to the fair yesterday and had a really good time. There is a new exhibit at the fair this year called Candy Nation. There was a great deal of information available on several different candies, however the focus seemed to be jelly beans. Click on the image below for a larger view.
Three portraits made out of jelly beans were on display. I thought it was worth going to the fair just to see these portraits. In addition to Ronald Reagan, there was a portrait of Marilyn Monroe and Arnold Schwarzenegger. All three were fantastic.
In the animal barn we saw this white turkey. I didn't know that turkeys could be all white.
Mom and Dad are standing next to the largest pumpkin we saw at the fair. It weighed in at 250 pounds.

Adam's First Bath

Julie and Tommy posted these pictures of Adam on their blog. They are pictures of Adam taking his first bath and resting afterwards. Apparently, Adam really likes music so they played Mama Mia while he was taking his bath.

He does look very comfortable, doesn't he?

If you want to see a short video of Adam's first bath, click on the link to Julie and Tommy's blog on the right hand side of the page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here is Adam and Grandma watching the Mariners game. We Won! I think he really likes baseball.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tillie and the Fish

Tillie is fascinated with the fish tank. I was hoping that she would add her funny sound effects to this video, but for some reason she was completely quiet this time. She also likes to climb up on the arm of the couch and see how far she can stretch to get as close to the fish as possible without falling. Now that she has started scratching at the glass we will be training her to just watch and not touch.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Safari Pooh is off to Florida

When Susan leaves for Florida on Sunday, Safari Pooh will be going along. Safari Pooh is Susan's travel bug that she will place in a cache in Florida while she is there visiting Tommy, Julie and Adam. It will be fun to track Pooh's progress online and see how long it takes him to return to Yakima.

Lemon Cakes

These Olive Oil Lemon Cakes are listed under our Recent Culinary Adventures on the left hand side of the page. We found the recipe in the Food Network Magazine, which I highly recommend for anyone who likes to try new recipes. We have made these cakes twice now, and both times they were a big hit.
If you like shrimp, you might also want to make Baked Shrimp Scampi from the Barefoot Contessa. We made this last night for dinner and it is just as good, if not better, than any Shrimp Scampi I have had at a restaurant.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Watching Susan go to Work

Tillie is big enough to jump up onto the back of the couch so she has joined Toby every morning to watch Susan back out of the garage and head off to work. Toby has been doing this every day since we moved in last year.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Luke & Adam

Here's Luke trying to decide how he feels about Adam being in "his" house.

Sitting & Sleeping

Julie and Tommy have this picture on their blog. It was so cute, I put it on our page so that all of our friends could see it. Tommy is holding Adam while watching Monday Night Football.

While lying on his stomach, Adam picked his head up and looked around and he is only five days old!

Julie & Tommy with Adam

These are our first pictures of Julie and Tommy with Adam while they were still in the hospital.

If we don't get a picture of all three of them together before Susan goes to Florida, she can take one while she is visiting.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tillie is Growing Up

This picture of Tillie was taken on the ferry the day we brought her home - Sunday, August 2.
I took this picture Saturday night. She has grown so much and, as you can see in this picture, she is beginning to listen to instructions from her Mama.
The helium balloon Susan got for her birthday started slowly sinking over the weekend and it wasn't too long before Tillie spotted it in the corner and decided it looked like the perfect toy. It was so funny watching her pull on the strings and see the expression on her face when the balloon "attacked" her head. She is so funny!