Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the goose loves tuesday's ten (#5!)

 What up, friends.

Today has been an adventure. We started with an early morning, then 8 hours of work, then $500 in car repair,  and then 3 hours of snare drum practice at our house for Billy's scottish pipe band. Fun? Yeah, for the dog - he just got like 8 new friends. Me? Notsomuch. But I'm accomodating. All great stories for another day.

So finally we get around to the fun stuff. 10 Tuesday Things at 10pm.

1. I think the first day of Spring was this past week. I don't know officially since we are still in snow-ville. Yes ma'am - we woke up to snow on Wednesday morning. Or was it Thursday? Pretty though.

 2. Oh wait. Maybe it is spring! We did enjoy several gorgeous hours of sunlight on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. And so of course, like 95% of all other normal Portlanders, we headed outside.

We only got as far as the backyard, but it was heavenly.

 Bentley loved it too. That dog likes sun almost as much as he likes chicken. Almost.

 3. On Saturday, we went out to pizza and a north portland bar for our friend Allison's 2th birthday! The pizza was delish and we spent awhile playing trivia at the bar, which was also terrific.

There's the birthday girl on the left, and some crazy guy Chris, our good friend from college, who happened to get his tooth knocked out hours earlier in a basketball game. Ouch. He's going gangsta-gap-toothed in this photo.

 And the three of us girls! Billy is to Jackie's left, hiding.

 4. If you don't already know that I'm obsessed in love with the color purple, then you haven't been paying any attention. It's been my favorite practically since the womb. Once, when I was about 12 and in mid-middleschool-crisis, I thought about changing my favorite color to blue or something. But I didn't, primarily because I didn't want to let my dad down - I knew how much he knew that I loved purple, and he was always so awesome at picking out fun purple things for me from business trips or trips to home depot. I love me my purple maglite!

Anyway, that long story is just to let you know that today, my new admin assistant was watching out for me too, and it reminds me of my dad, which is nice, since I miss him and my mom a lot (a visit to CA is coming soon, though, I promise!). She brought me 6 packs of purple post-its, two of which are a gorgeous dark purple, not just the pastelly-easter purple I normally see! Yes. Made my day.

5. On Sunday, Billy and I bravely avoided the to-die-for Portland Brunch scene and instead whipped up some English-Muffin-French Toast. What does that make it? English toast? French muffins? Who cares. It makes it tasty. There's even a ghost fork in the photo.

 6. Since Sunday morning was still sunny, we took advantage of the dry day and got some projects done outside. More on those later. But now I remember how much I love the sun. And how much I miss it.

Bentley loves the sun too. And loves being lazy. I'm pretty sure he's at least 27% cat. (Most likely along with 12% bear, 31% wolverine, 24% dog, and 6% bunny.)


 7. We Billy continued our cooking spree on Sunday night, with a bbq-ed beer-can chicken. We were pushing our luck on the good weather, and by the end there were rain drops harassing our chicken, but it came out REALLY good.

 I made the rest of our brussel sprouts as our green side, but we skipped the carbs. Who needs carbs when you have perfect chicken?

8. Just as I predicted last week, we started on our planter box this weekend. We checked out the ready-made ceramic and plastic planters at Home Depot, but options in the size we wanted (big) ranged from $35 to $65+ each, and we'd want two or three of those (they're usually circular pots, about 2 feet in diameter?). So we figured the build-your-own route was cheaper.

Based on a tutorial and plan we found online (more on that later), we picked up twelve 2"x6"x8' doug fir boards (about $3 each), one 4"x4"x8' doug fir post, 24 3/8" carriage bolts, 24 washers, 24 nuts, and a 3/8" drill bit. We do have the full-on drill bit kit, but it doesn't come with anything smaller than a 1/2" bit... really??
The nice man at Home Depot made our cuts for free. He cut six boards in half (for the short sides of our rectangle) and cut our  4"x4" post in 18" pieces. But we're basically building a 4'x8' rectangle, 18" high. Except that when we got home, we decided a  3' x 9' size was better for our side yard. So we recut and pasted boards together. Pasted with screws. But enough blathering on this for now - full post later, once Portland convinces us its ready for spring and done with snow. So maybe by June.

9. Onto other crafty arts, I haven't sewed anything for a little while, and my fingers are itching for thread and fabric and the whir of the machine. I've been dying to buy some cotton voile (never actually felt it, but heard it drapes beautifully), perhaps in this Tula Pink Dandelion Olive.
Or maybe I'll buy some of this wispy pink.
My end goal is one (or several) beautiful spring-y infinity scarves. I wear scarves at least four days a week during winter, but most of them are too warm, even for our shoddy "spring" in this town. But these would be a perfect bridge to the free necks of summer. And maybe I'll even give some away.
10. Easter is almost here!!! I'm not as into Easter as normal, but since I gave up lattes for Lent, I'll be more than thrilled to get a veinte-20oz-full-fat-milk-foamy-latte on Easter morning. Doesn't Starbucks sell a bathtub size now? I'll have that.

In other Easter news, I think that we should get Bentley a bunny for Easter. Or maybe two. And real ones this time, not big fluffy ones. I think I like these. Maybe I like them because they have Bentley ears. Maybe I'm obsessed with big-eared animals. What can I say, I love ears.
Looks like that's it for tonight. Come back later this week for more photos of Bentley than you ever wanted needed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the goose loves st. paddy's, even late

Happy St. Paddy's Day, Friends!

Yes, I'm not dumb. I know I'm an entire week behind. But bear with me. A few weeks ago, I arranged a collection of our green/Irish/Scottish/shamrock things on our two floating shelves, above the kitchen table. These shelves had Christmas stuff awhile ago, then were empty, and will have other stuff in the future, but for awhile, we're going with green.

But there's several reasons why this is okay:
a) green is good for all of March, especially in hippie-ville Portland
b) we're an Irish/Scottish family, so we could keep this stuff up year round if we wanted
c) it snowed on Thursday, and it's supposed to snow on Monday, so it's not going to be spring here anytime soon, so there's no point in replacing it with "springy" decor
d) it'll probably be June by the time I get around to changing it up again anyway.

I love this display because almost all of these pieces have a special meaning or story or origin.

I'll zoom in, so you can see our treasures close up. The large shamrock plate is from my aunt and uncle - Jim and Pat Dempsey of the "Spokane" Dempseys. They gifted us this plate when Billy and I got engaged, and we loved their early display of support and the truly thoughtful gift. 

I made the whisky tasting frame of Billy and three of his groomsmen back in 2009, after they attended an event in CA following Billy's mom's memorial service. Such good buddies.

The (empty) bottle of Balvenie (that's whisky, for you PBR-lovers) and the quiach cup (the little silver thing with handles) are from our wedding - Billy and the boys (dads included, right?) enjoyed the "wedding whisky" in celebration, and we used the quaich cup tradition as part of our celtic-themed rehearsal dinner.

The little white dish was a wedding gift from the Shaugnessys (Pat Dempsey's mom & dad), an Irish family themselves, and has an Irish blessing on top.

Then, to the right: the four-photo frame was displayed at our rehearsal dinner, and includes photos from when Billy and his parents traveled to Scotland in 2005. 

The glass vase with the stones and the candle was lit as a memorial to Billy's mom Barbara, also used at our rehearsal dinner.

The tartan is a sash that Billy's aunts presented to me at the wedding, another Scottish tradition. They pinned it using the little silver sword pin (in the above photo).

The center frame was purchased at HomeGoods, and the print inside was printed from Pinterest. Probably the least-meaninful piece, but I like how it brings everything together.

On the top shelf - a photo of Billy and his parents, which we displayed at the rehearsal dinner. The green pieces of paper are bookmarks that we gave as rehearsal dinner favors, and have a celtic blessing on them.

The candle has the claddagh image and a prayer, and was a Christmas gift from Barbara many years ago, now. We used it at the wedding - Bill lit the candle before the main procession at the beginning, and it stayed lit throughout the ceremony.

Finally, the last "quadrant" includes a photo of Billy from Scotland, and a purple-wood cross my parents gave us for our wedding.

The white frame has another printable found on Pinterest, and the green vase was made by Jackie awhile ago at our house. She hadn't taken it home yet, so I incorporated it into my display!

The black frame has an Irish blessing and photo from our wedding RSVPs - our friend Allison put it together as a gift for our rehearsal dinner, and we love it.

In the back is a mirror from Goodwill that I refinished and spraypainted. It's kinda hidden, but I think the shape and color goes well with the display.

But I couldn't just bore you with all of our special mementos for an entire post, right? Well I could, but I won't. Let's move on to more fun things.

Remember this tutu?

Well after I finished making it, but before I wore it to the race, I let Bentley take a spin with it.

More like I forced him. Can you see the pain in his eyes? I can't, but Billy says it's written all over his face.

 Wouldn't he make the cutest little Ballerina Beagle Bentley?

 This one says, "Hey Mom, let's dance."

Or maybe, "Ugh Mom, you better not show this to any of my friends."

Does that count the internet and all his friends who read this blog? Oops!

Maybe I have to make him a super-dog cape now, just to make up for his embarrassment over these....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

bentley loves his friend moose

Yeah, I guess we're bad dog parents. Our 30-pound big-eared furry pup is spoiled.

Generally, we do a good job. We buy him treats in bulk at Costco, not those fancy little cookies at pet "boutiques", we don't take him to daycare very often, and we don't buy him all the latest toys at Petsmart.

But then his big black eyes look into our souls and he gives us his best puppy dog face (yeah, that's where that comes from) and it's hard to say no. So we say, "sure, Bentley, you're so cute, why don't you hop up onto the couch and sit with us and look longingly at our dinner."

Our major weakness is large stuffed animals, though. He loves a good toy, and when they're as big as he is, it's even more fun. Our first weak moment was in Vancouver Canada, when we bought the elephant. That elephant is now stuffing-less, eye-less, trunk-less, and tail-less. But well loved.

Our most recent moment of stuffed animal generosity was care of Costco, who, for whatever reason, decided to sell giant moose stuffed animals. For super cheap. And who can say no to the thought of a 13-inch-tall furry beagle pulling around a 60-inch tall (if not taller) furry moose? Well not us. I plopped that into our cart along with the chicken breasts and artichoke dip and brought that sucker home.

No joke, this thing is huge.

We sat Moose down on the couch and snapped a few photos before fetching the pooch from his crate upstairs.

And then we videoed said pooch's reaction. Heck yes.

These links will take you to three terrific videos I posted on YouTube. Just wait. These will go viral.

Please note Mr. Elephant's pelt being squished by Moose's foot.
Billy and I didn't agree on how the introduction would go. He thought Bentley would be afraid, but I wasn't so sure... I thought he'd be more like "ho hum, a giant new toy."

In case you didn't watch the awesome videos above, Billy wins. (Go to link #2 - "Bentley Howls at Moose" for that action). It probably didn't help that Billy pretended Moose was alive, by waving his arms around and talking like a moose might. Not sure how accurate he was.
As you'll see, by the last video, Bentley was calming down about Moose's new presence in our house. Treats helped, for sure. By the end, they were the two best friends that anyone could have...

Since Moose's first day, Bentley's gotten much more familiar with the large toy. The eyes were the first to go.

Now Moose serves as chew toy and pillow.

Surprisingly enough, it's still got a decent amount of stuffing. No eyes, but stuffing. Moose did lose most of an antler yesterday, though... sad day. But how many puppies get to say they got a moose? At least, how many city puppies get to say that? How many puppies talk in general? Not ours, but he sure tells us how much he loves us. And with those eyes, we'd buy him 5 more Meece (Mooses?) in an instant.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the goose loves tuesday's ten (#4)

Happy Tuesday, Faithful Readers! It may be Tuesday's Ten, but there's something like 20 photos for your enjoyment today... and don't forget to check out last week's post too.

1. Monika came to visit us this past weekend. It was great to see her and I'm glad she came. Bentley was happy to have an extra friend too.

2. This coming weekend's plans include building a planter box of some sort. Farmer Billy Joe wants to plant some veggies or berries or something so that we can reap the bounty in summer and have a harvest party in the fall. Or something. I suggest he build something like this beauty:

3. Monika and I celebrated St. Paddy's while Billy was at some March Madness games at the Rose Quarter. I crock-potted some traditional Irish fare, while remembering that the stuff they ate, or supposedly ate, was super boring and fairly bland. Or maybe I did it wrong?
I did make a fresh loaf of soda bread - and no complaints there. Any kind of bread is good for me.

4. I told you the bow tie had a good purpose. And this photo shoot wasn't for nothing, either. Just wait.

5. On Sunday morning, I ran the Shamrock Run 8k, as I mentioned last week. The race is famous for having lots of irish-themed costumes and outfits, and tutus are popular. I decided that being serious was no fun, so I made myself my first tutu. And it was epic. (That's what I was doing with the material in #6). So I ran my first 8K (5 miles) in 50 minutes (10 minute miles, for you math whizzes) and I didn't walk once! And then I was exhausted. This photo is pre-race, when I was barely awake.

6. After the race, I came home, ate some soda bread, and slept for almost an hour. Then I woke up hungry and lazy, so we checked out a new restaurant on N Mississippi called Miss Delta. Delicious Southern-ish food for excellent prices. I went for the Pain Perdu (deep fried french toast), but I'm going back soon for the shrimp po' boy.
Billy went for a "Southern Stack" - breakfasty-things in a biscuit with gravy.
Monika went for the gumbo mac n cheese - I alsmost traded her dishes - it was so good. Thanks, Mom & Dad, for sponsoring our brunch!

7. Check out this amazing project from The Junk House. She cut up scrapbook paper to make the pattern on a huge piece of poster board. I think I know what I'll be doing when Billy's building his farmer box...

8. On Saturday, we got a package from Billy's dad! Along with some magazines, he included an awesome Sharks jersey-like shirt for Billy.
Here's his "Go Sharks" pose. But they still lost last night, even though he was proudly wearing his shirt.

9. Taxes are done! Federal taxes e-filed, and we're getting $$ back.
And Oregon tax return sent via snail mail today. Done and done!

10. Along with planter boxes and paper art, I'll be getting my spray paint on... got these on Sunday at Michaels with my giftcard from Billy's dad! Just wait to see what I paint...

So that's it for this Tuesday. Come back soon!