Thursday, May 28, 2009

Up and coming

Well now you know what I did last weekend, I should let you know that tomorrow we embark on our Trans-Atlantic flight to the UK for my mother's birthday! We have spent all night packing and getting things ready for the vacation, and Im just exhausted now! Hopefully that will help me sleep on the plane!

Poor Tux has a huge hotspot on his face so we had to pop to the vet this afternoon, a place he hates. But he was particularly well behaved when he got his cheek shaved and even let me clean it this evening.

The tomatoes have been encased in a 40 inch high fence to hopefully prevent the deer destroying them before we get home.  My whole garden looks beautiful and Im going to miss it.  There isnt any rain in the forecast so I hope everything fares well without me.  I do miss my flowers when Im gone. I wonder what else will be blooming in late June...

My suitcase weighs less than Danny's and he just cannot fathom why!

Where have I been?

Sorry for the delayed post, life is a bit hectic right now, to say the least.

We spent a long weekend in Texas with some really close friends that we only see once a year, if we are lucky. I knew it was going to be a great weekend when Danny was giggling and chatting like a teenager on the airplane because he was so excited! It was adorable! A very short and convenient flight took us directly to Austin in under 90 minutes.  We met up with Gabe and Helen right on schedule and drove downtown.  The more interesting people in the group (everyone but me) went to a bar to meet up with friends and listen to music. They rolled their drunk asses in close to 3am, while I had a lovely peaceful nights sleep!

Thursday we poodled around some stores in Austin and got breakfast then journeyed out toward Wimberly and the Texas State Wilderness where Lisa Carter and Andrew Carlson were to be wed.  We sat around in the river sunning ourselves in the afternoon and went into Austin for the Bachelorette party, for which the theme was lingerie. I was a little dubious about this theme, having talked to the bride before about how she thinks its a waste of time! But everyone bought underwear that suited her, well, for the most part at least!

The lingerie Lisa was most excited about was the t-shirt that read "Bacon makes everything Better".

Friday we again chilled by the river pools, although there was less sun. Friday evening we went to the Salt Lick for the rehearsal dinner and some good old Texan bbq. Danny was in heaven.  Rather too much meat for me but it was a lot of fun.

Saturday was wedding day and Helen and I were charged with keeping things running on time. Something we are particularly good at! The ladies brunch was held at Thyme and Dough and everything was delicious and we particularly liked having our own Cabana boy! 

Lisa looked absolutely beautiful and was a particularly gracious bride.  99% of the day went perfectly, the 1% that didnt was the rain that begun as we all walked down to the river for the outdoor ceremony.  I had my rain jacket, which didnt exactly match my outfit, but certainly kept me dry.  They had a kicking Blue Grass Band and we boogied the night away.  Unfortunately it turned out that the tent that we had borrowed wasnt exactly water proof but we didnt have to sleep in the pools of water since we had borrowed mattresses from the lodge.

His and Hers Keg stands by the Bride and Groom.

It was a wonderful weekend spent with great friends that we miss terribly.  Saying good bye was, as always, challenging.  On the upside, Lisa and Andrew were happily married at 5pm Saturday May 23rd 2009 and we all made ski plans for 2010 together!

Oh, and it wouldnt have been a full weekend without a trip to a Cupcake bakery... although to be honest, I could have made better, on a bad day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A weekend at home, what a treat!

Its going to be rare over the up and coming summer, but we spent sunday at home! What a treat!

I made bagels; I changed the recipe and believe me, it worked! I changed out two cups of the white flour for one cup of whole wheat and one of spelt. I also added two handfuls of crushed walnuts. Delicious hot smeared with marg. Then I made three loaves of bread. Then on to the garden where I begun making supports for the cucumber vines.

The garden faired well in my absence. Well, as well as can be expected! The ample rain (8 inches in two weeks) meant that nothing dried out and everything grew really well. However this also meant that the weeds grew well too! The lettuce and spinach had unfortunately bolted, but I picked it anyway and now we have four gallon ziplocks stuffed full of spring greens in my fridge! Some of the broccoli had partially bolted too, but there were only a few flowers and it still tasted great in our rosemary garlic mac n cheese tonight! Ooooh by the way the broccoli, rosemary and garlic that were in our mac n cheese were all grown organically in our garden and it was without a doubt, the best mac n cheese we had ever eaten! The wisteria which is winding itself round a 4x4 post was chest height on me before we left and is now about 8 feet tall! A hydrangea that I have moved twice because it never seemed to like the spot is blooming with beautiful white flowers tinged in pink. The lilies are now gradually blooming, although strangely enough only the orange ones right now. The only casualties were an heirloom tomato plant that was munched on by a deer since the dogswerent here to bark and mark. So Im going to have to think of something else when we next leave town. The deer also ate the only two hostas I apparently didnt move this winter, so I moved them today to the back. The hollyhocks are now blooming and the daylilies by the road are taller than me with their buds.

So thats the garden update!

Tux hiding under the Bradford Pear, behind the Coreopsis

Mr. Mojo lounging in the sun

The first hollyhock bloom of the year!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The last day!

Well its finally here, the last day of fieldwork! Considering the weather over the past two weeks and all that has gone wrong, this fieldtrip has passed remarkably quickly for me! I feel really good about how much we have achieved too. I have to confess that I was particularly worried last monday morning when I realised just how flooded all of the creeks were after three straight days of rain, and then when it continued to rain, and they continued to rise! But it worked out for the most part and we got a lot of sites crossed off the list!

The last day of fieldwork! I have chosen a small stream for us today, in the hopes that we finish early, as we have to pack up the truck so that it can be left for another month or so and we have to ship a bunch of stuff home. Then its off to Henry Weinharts to meet our boss for dinner. My flight out in the morning is just after 10am and I get in to Memphis around 6pm, I think!

I am so excited to see my dogs, the little cuties! And Im particularly excited to see how much my vegetable garden has grown, or rather how much of it has been destroyed by slugs, rotters. And of course to see what else is blooming around the rest of the garden. Before we left some lilies in the back were getting their flower heads so I hope I have not missed them, I may sulk if I have!

I will leave you with a picture of Harry the Hairless Newt who I found strolling through the woods along the creek bank wednesday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fun packed weekend in Portland

We begun our saturday by walking to the Portland farmers market and oh my gosh, it was awesome. I think that my passion for food borders on obsessive from time to time.

Nettles for dinner?

These are fern tops.

So we kept ourselves in check and just bought some spinach and asparagus to have with our left over Thai, some Spring lamb, fingerling potatoes and kale to cook one night.

Then we went across the river to an awesome yarn store in Sellwood.  I have to say, I was rather intimidated by the fact that there were two men working behind the counter, and yes they were particularly effeminate and the most efficient knitters I have ever seen!  They helped me chose the right yarn for the job and I was able to chose an Oregon raised Lopi (although Im not really sure what a Lopi is!).  When I eventually finish the things Im making for other people, Im going to make myself a bolster cushion for the couch.

Then we drove south towards Bagby Hot Springs. Or at least, that was our intended destination. We stopped in a random town for lunch and drove on, and on, and on alongside the (particularly noisy) Clakamas River. 


Eventually we hit snow, a surprise as it was 60F!  I was my usual wussy self and said that we couldnt make it through the snow. At that point, a family of four in a small rental car came up and proceeded to try and get through the snow.  Luckily we had a tow rope to help them get out when they got stuck!  So we turned around, deflated at having not made it to the hot springs. Then we decided to try some random forest service roads to try and circum-navigate the snow, but that just wasted our time. Then on the way back, we happened to notice a road we hadnt seen before, and low and behold it was the right road! We made the short hike in (1.5 miles) across Bagby Creek and then had to wait for a 'canoe'.  It was only a 40 minute wait until we got to disrobe and enjoy the 'healing properties' of the hot springs.  It was so hot, we had to add four buckets of cold creek water to the 'canoe'.

Sunday we got up late and lined up outside Voodoo Doughnuts for our breakfast - possibly the only time in our lives we have or ever will line up for doughnuts! They were tasty, but we definitely had a sugar overload.  We drove down to the Woodburn Company Stores where we spent a small fortune!  Danny was happy as we finally bought real luggage and I may just have found something to wear to Lisa's wedding!

Back to work tomorrow. Oh no, it starts again. Only 4 more days!