Thursday, July 29, 2010

25: The List, Updates #15 & 16

6. sew a skirt for myself
 Here is it... I made it out of some old jeans - without a real pattern, even. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

25. have dinner guests (not family members - ones I will actually clean for)

I don't have any pictures of our actual guests (because it's a little awkward to tell your friends you have to take a pictures of them so you can blog), but we had our friends, Ty and Melissa, over last night.  They have a lot to celebrate these days - Ty got a job with New York Life and passed a big test yesterday and they're expecting their first kiddo in February. We were happy to party with them! We grilled some burgers, with the typical chips and baked beans for sides. (Kind of forgot about the fruit salad in the fridge... oops!) And of course, there was chocolate zucchini cake for dessert and a few rounds of Catch Phrase after we ate.

(I do have to make the disclaimer here that I didn't actually clean for them. Brad volunteered, since he invited them. Yeah, I know I'm lucky.)

So here is the part of the list that is yet to be completed... I have just about 5 1/2 months to go.

2. finish black and white quilt (in progress: quilting it!)
3. start grad school (August 27  is orientation and the 1st day of class)
10. catch up with Brad's basketball book (I don't really scrapbook anymore, so I'm having a hard time finding motivation for this one)
11. make braided cinnamon bread
12. touch up ceiling paint mistakes and stains (in progress: bleached the water stains on the ceiling. need to get paint for the paint mistakes)
14. make a fray blanket with mom
15. write down Christmas memories
16. make something old/ugly/cheap into something nice (in progress)
21. take Brad to a Wingnuts game

A childhood staple

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1/2 c. oleo
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk
3 T. cocoa
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 c. shredded zucchini
chocolate chips

Cream oleo, sugar, oil. Add eggs and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk. Add zucchini and pour into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and 2 T. sugar and nuts (I don't use nuts). Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We're running out....

...of room. Don't worry. We have plenty of salsa and jam. Good thing we have a basement.

This is the haul from today alone, our biggest day of canning... so far. Ha. Actually, I kind of promised Brad that this would be the last of it. Maybe. I think. He hopes.

Everything is canned in pints or half pints. I just did an official count. (Bear in mind that we have already opened and given away a few pints.)
Plum jam: 5 pints
Peach jam: 13 1/2 pints
Strawberry jam: 18 pints
Tomatoes: 2 1/2 pints (just the leftovers from the salsa-making)
Hot salsa: 7 pints
Mild salsa: 10 pints

Anyone want to barter?! I have jam....

Maybe it is time to stop. What I really want to do next is frozen applesauce, anyway.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

25: The List, Update #12, 13, &14

4. take and print wheat pictures

 It's printed on canvas, which I just think it pretty darn cool.

9. can salsa and possibly tomatoes/tomato sauce

It was an adventure. My biggest pot was almost overflowing. But we were successful; all the jars sealed. It tastes pretty good. And no one has gotten sick yet!

18. organize coat closet

I can't find my before pictures, so the afters will have to do. You'll have to trust me - it used to be a disaster.

 Updated list found here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seattle, Day 6

On the last day of our trip (besides travel home), we went to the Pacific Ocean. Brad had never seen an ocean before, so we had to go!

Brad frolicked in the waves. The rest of us just waded.

After a picnic and a stroll on the beach, we went to check out the town of Westport. There wasn't much there.

a big harbor

huge crab pots

and of course, some great tourist trap shops!

Then it was back to the city for Brad's birthday present - Royals @ Mariners. It was fun to walk around a "new" (to us) ballpark and see the Royals win. (We got to watch the game where the fan grabbed a fair ball off the field, which meant the Mariners didn't score a tying run in the 8th!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seattle, Day 4


So, obviously, in the life of two pastors... church!

We went to Sarah's church since she was preaching, but we did get a tour of Jamie's place of worship on Saturday night. The collage doesn't do my pictures justice. The sanctuary and chapel are beautiful with all the stained glass!

These are a few shots of Sarah's church. It feels strange to be snapping photos of a church on Sunday morning, so I don't have very many. It was also strange to watch my big sister preach for the first time. She's all grown up....

Since Sarah had to be at church super early, we took a little drive to the beach that is nearby. It's weird how there are random bodies of water all around the city. It was fun, though.

We also visited the Locks on Sunday, but I don't have many pictures of that.

Just a few more days to report on....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Seattle, Day 2

On our second day, we went to visit Mount St. Helen's. This was especially exciting because Sarah and Jamie, in all their PNW adventures, had not been there yet.

Unfortunately, it was an overcast day, so these were the best views of the volcano we could get. At one point I think we were actually inside a cloud. We never saw the top, but we learned lots about how that volcano happened.

We had a picnic lunch in the car and then went hiking...

Big Foot may or may not have been spotted in that grove of trees.

On the drive back to Seattle, we found a great business opportunity...

For the low price of $349,000, you can own prime real estate - 9 acres of beauty.... and.... A-frame house half-buried from the mudslide after the Mount St. Helen's eruption.....  and and gift shop.


Big Foot himself. That's right. Only $349,900. Brad was so excited he could hardly contain himself.

So who's on the next plane to Seattle to snatch that one up?!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Seattle, Day 1

Our travels to Seattle began early on July 1. Mom graciously dropped us off at the airport, and we were on our way. As soon as our plane landed, we hit the ground running. Our first stop, after picking Sarah up from her Thursday volunteer site, we headed to Rob and Lee's, where we got to stay for free for the week.

After dropping off our luggage, meeting the chickens, and grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we drove off to catch a ferry to Whidbey Island to visit my dad's cousin, Kevin Horan, and his wife, Nancy.

At some point in time, Kevin and Nancy had caught wind of my plan to try seafood. So when we arrived, they announced that they had "big plans" for us.

Crabbing! We happened to be there on the first day of crab season, for the debut of Kevin's boat. We were leery, but it was so much fun!

On the way back to the house to cook our crab, we stopped at the Star Store for a few ingredients for our dinner. It's a great little spot that has everything from groceries to clothes to tourist merchandise.

Finally, we had to prepare our crabs for cooking. But we were obviously not going with the typical method of dropping live crabs into boiling water. Grilling the live crabs would be even less humane, so we had to kill them first... let's just say it involved an axe, then a hose, then the grill... Brad got a feisty crab.