Thursday, May 31, 2012

the goose loves thursday's twenty (#13)

Welcome back old friends. Remember me? I used to blog here. Then work took over my life. But now I'm back, and to make up for my two weeks of missed Tuesday posts, I'm bringing out the big guns - Thursday's Twenty.  Wondering about the next episode of The Garden Thymes? Keep wondering. It'll be here eventually. But for now, buckle up and hang on tight for twenty awesome photos from the past two weeks.

1. The heart walk was AWESOME! Sunny, decently warm, and full of lots of people. And the dog loved it. I just checked the team page today, and we totalled over $1500 all together! Special thanks to all you family and friends that donated

2. And onto non-heart-healthy things. A fabulous meal at Salvador Molly's, a multi-cultural restaurant in Portland. I enjoyed the tiki mac and Billy had the chile rellenos.

3. Sleepy boys. Billy wasn't feeling very good, and Bentley was just feeling sleepy, so they enjoyed some cozy morning naptime.

5. Game time with the girls! We went over to Allison's house and enjoyed some delicious dinner and game fun - including the ridiculously crazy game Quelf.

6. And chocolate chip cookies (they're vegan!) make every game night better.

7. To balance out the fatties, we've been cooking up some tofu - this is the Teriyaki Tofu from Peas and Thank You, the best $10 I ever spent on a cookbook. We've probably made over 10 recipes from there, and have our eye on 10 more... the above PB/chocolate chip cookies also from there...

8. Speaking of the heart walk, Brennan's heart surgery went really well. Carolyn and I visited him after the walk (hence the nice PGE volunteer t-shirts!), and we got to hold him for a little while! He was sleepy, and his vocal chords are a little sore, but otherwise is recovering very well. And cute as ever.

9. Speaking of PGE, today marks my 5-year anniversary! On this day in 2007, I was 20 years old and started my first day in a real corporate job. Let me tell you - a little different than babysitting. And five years later, I'm in my fourth department, my fourth different floor, my fourth job title, my fifth boss, and my sixth cube! Now I'm working 10+ hour days (8am to 8pm yesterday!), meeting regularly with the CFO and CEO, talking and meeting with investors, and learning more than ever. Next up? An office on the 17th floor with the other executives...

10. I'm a changed woman. After years of classic black flats, plain white chuck taylors, and conservative flip flops, I've entered the wonderful world of wedges. YES. And not just one pair, but two. 

These shoes make me feel good! Welcome, summer!
And they're so comfortable. Now I just have to get Billy to get used to them....

11. Speaking of Billy, here's my little fisher boy! Well actually clammer-boy. We escaped on Sunday to the Oregon coast to celebrate Memorial Day, and went clam-fishing! But that's a story for another post.

12. We also spent a day of our extra-long weekend doing some shopping. Along with the necessities (undies for us both, socks for Billy, and wedges for me... yeah, wedges=necessities), Billy got a sweet plaid tie and some puppy-dog cufflinks. Yes, cufflinks with beagles.

13. Speaking of beagles, here's Bentley looking tough. You go dog, you show that wood who's boss.

14. What's great about a night on the town with the hubby? A cozy restaurant, terrific live music, tables covered with brown paper, hangman with crayons, mac n cheese with lobster, and tasty microbrews. Oh yeah, and wearing your new wedges.

15. Further evidence that our dog sits weird. Or just is weird. What is going on with his hands and feet here? Or are they all feet? Or hands? Or paws? Handpaws? Feetpaws? Weird.

16. We basically can't keep ourselves out of the Peas and Thank You book. Here's the Mama Thai stir fry, with pineapple, tofu, and cashews. We've made it twice so far.

17. Memorial day=grill time. Even though it was thunder-storming. After a good bout of dark clouds, heavy rain, thunderclaps, lighting flashes, and dog howls, we pulled out the BBQ and whipped up some glazed salmon, grilled foccacia (sp?), and cajun macaroni salad. Mmmmm I'd eat that again. Just ignore the lack of greens, mom...

18. Even more proof that Bentley=weird. Who sleeps like this? (That's his cozy crate, btw - not some psycho torture jail device we have for him).

19. I escaped from work early on Friday to begin the memorial day celebrations. Good thing too, because this is the only sun we saw all weekend. Billy whisked me off to the Oregon Hotel, a McMenamin's property in Forest Grove, Oregon (about 40 min from downtown). We played a little frisbee golf (as shown below), drank a few beers, and ate a few cajun tots. Naturally.

P.S. I'm terrible at frisbee golf, but super awesome at frisbee-tree-tag. i.e. hitting trees with frisbees.

20. Cinnamon Chex=best new work snack. I can seriously eat three cups of this stuff at a time. That may or may not have been breakfast this morning. It's basically cinnamon toast crunch + chex. And the chex makes it healthy, for sure. Not a fan of cinnamon? Try the honey nut chex. Just as addictingly tasty healthy.

Well there you go. Twenty sweet photos to catch you up on life. I'll be back in a few days. Or weeks, maybe. But hopefully not that long.

Friday, May 18, 2012

the goose loves tuesday's ten (#12) - on friday

Just ignore that Tuesday's post is three days late and that Friday's Garden post is nowhere to be found. Yet. Just enjoy what you're getting when you get it.

1. SUNSHINE. Yes, for a whole freaking-ly awesome week. YES.

Sunshine = painted toes and cute sandals. Painted those babies myself, mind you - still saving the big bucks for loans. Pretty sure that when we're done paying loans, I'm getting monthy pedicures and manicures. Take that, budget.

2. Sunshine = dogpark. Let's play where's Waldo Bentley again.
Found him!

3. Easy = ideal. Curried goose goose cous cous. The longest part of this dinner prep was finding the craisins in the back of the pantry and toasting the pitas. Yes it was that easy. (Looking to make some of your own? Boil your water, then add to cous cous in a bowl, let steam for 5 minutes covered. Mix curry (or other spices) in a cup of plain yogurt, mix into fluffed/cooked cous cous. Add toppings. Eat.)

4. Warm nights = party on the town. I ignored my 74-year-old ways and stayed up past 10pm, and it was so worth it. Hung out with Carolyn, Caryn, and Caryn's cousin Jenny from Michigan.
That was a delicious pitcher of McMenamin's Ruby Ale we shared.

5. Dog + dock = summer. We went with Billy to his drum lessons at Willamette Park, and enjoyed ourselves on the dock at the boat launch. Bentley almost got the geese.
He also almost jumped into the water.
I stopped him, before he grew an extra tail from all the contaminants and diseases in the Willamette River. Even though two tails could be useful, I guess.
Go grab your sunglasses before my pale skin blinds you.

6. Quinoa=TASTY. Want to put in slightly more effort for dinner than the curried cous cous above? Make quinoa (20 min) and then add salsa (0 min), feta (0 min), pumpkin seeds (0 min), and sliced avocado (1 min). The taste to effort ratio on this one is perfect.

7. Sunshine = BBQ. After having a fabulous craft day with the girls (Allison - send photos!), we let them stay for some BBQ action. Billy mastered ribs, and we also had chicken, corn, bread, pasta salad, and a little lot of alcohol. Here's Monika and her bf Josh. At least one of them is happy in that relationship...
And the gang. Allison loves the food, Carolyn is wondering where the dessert is.
The ribs were devoured pretty quickly.

8. Bentley = weird. Who sleeps like this? I do love that his relationship with Moose has left the agression stage and is entering the cuddle-buddy stage.

9. Bentley = psycho. Look at those crazy eyes!
A. We finally bought more dog food.
B. No, we don't usually let him eat dinner like this, even though he loves it.

10. Heart Walk = Success!

Thanks to many generous donations from you all, we've surpassed our goal! Big shoutout of gratitude for a generous $500 from Dad & Mom, and to Carolyn and Allison for raising $$ and walking! And to family members Peggy & George, Monika, and Grandma & Grandpa, for your generous dollars too!!!

Also a big thank you to my coworkers for helping me raise $300!

I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night making 75 chocolate chip cookies and 50 red-velvet-cheesecake-brownies, and sold them at work on Wednesday and Thursday. I roped in $250 in cookie sales and another $50 from generous coworkers.
Here are the brownies:
 And the packaged baggies:
It was lots of fun, and I probably only spent an hour (between the two days) peddling my goods. Cookies may not be entirely heart healthy, but they sell FAST!

We're gearing up for the walk first thing tomorrow (Saturday) morning, so think of us and walk in your own neighborhoods in support! Photos will follow...

Friday, May 11, 2012

the goose loves: The Garden Thymes, Issue #1

Hey, Friends! Welcome to my new post series - The Garden Thymes. Yes, that's a pun on newspapers and herbs. We keep it classy on this blog.

Since I've done pretty well with my Tuesday's Ten posts, I figured the best way to post more would be to design another series on a specific day. I played around with Weedin' Wednesdays and Farmin' Fridays, but decided to skip the alliteration this time and go for the classic wordplay on Thyme/Time. Funny story - we haven't even planted thyme. But you won't know that until Issue #3 or #4.

This project, like many others, began many months ago, when my hippie husband Billy decided we should plant a garden and harvest our own vegetables, herbs, etc. I figured that after 7 years of living in Portland,(7?! Can you believe it?!) it was time to give in to the green culture and get growin.

So we decided we'd break out our tools and build us a planter box.

Maybe you remember this photo, when we first shared it back in March. Yep, two months ago. But it was still snowing back then, so there was really no rush.

We found a great tutorial video online, which I can't seem to find now. Some google-ing will probably get you some good ideas to supplement this "tutorial." It's a pretty basic rectangular setup with four walls, no bottom, and no ledges. Maybe we'll add ledges later, since I think they look nice.

We priced out various lumber sizes, and ended up choosing nine 8'x6"x2" boards in order to make an 8' x 4' box, 18" high. If you do some math (or if I do your math for you), that's six boards for the sides (stacked vertically) and three boards for the ends, each cut in half. We also got a 4"x4"x8" post to secure the edges together, and got that cut into four 18" pieces, with a 24" piece leftover. Yay numbers.

Here's our kind Mr. Home Depot, slicing our boards for us. Sure, we have a saw, but they never rarely charge us for cuts, they are wayyy faster, and likely more accurate.

Then we get home, reasses our side yard (the future home of Planter), and decide that four feet wide is too fat, and three feet would be better.
 So THEN we pull out our saw, chop one foot off each of the newly-sliced 4-foot boards, and add those wooden feet onto the ends of our 8-foot boards, securing the pieces together with some scrap plywood that was hanging out in the garage.
Now we had wood to make a 9' x 3' box. (Below are some one-footers waiting to be connected.)

I like lots of screws - Billy doesn't. I won this time.

So here's our dog, posing next to our long sides - 9 feet long, 1.5 feet high. You can see our 3-foot ends in front of the goose, and our 1.5-foot posts standing up.

Ooh, looks like a planter! Sorta.

Where's Waldo Bentley?

Putting the sides together is very simple, but slightly time consuming. You line up your posts with the end of one side, and drill holes all the way through. We used 3/8" holes and 3/8" bolts that were 5.5" long. I let Billy do the hard work here.

Then you take a picture of your dog, who's taking a break from ripping up his nice shark bed in the yard.

Then you take a picture of your husband, who's still working hard on the planter box.

Our sides were made up of three 6" tall boards, so we drilled three holes on each end, spacing them out so that the bolts from one side didn't run into the bolts from the other side. The bolts on the right are at the top of each board, while the bolts on the left are at the bottom of each board.

Then you repeat for the other four sides. Ideally, when you went to the hardware store, you bought 24 bolts that were 5.5", instead of about 15 bolts that were 5.5" and 9 bolts that were other various lengths, like 5" and 4.5". If you didn't, then you can take a break and head back to the store to get the right parts. We would never buy the wrong sizes, though, of course, but just in case you run into that problem...

  We completed two "L" shapes with the four sides, and then brought them over to the side yard to be finished, since it would be way too heavy and awkward to carry the box into the side yard once it was all put together. And we know Billy's my muscles aren't that big. :) And you're right - it's not quite put together here.  We had to go to Home Depot and get the right size bolts.
And that's where I leave you! The Garden Thymes will resume next week, when it takes a closer look at the dirty side of gardening - dirt.