Thursday, June 24, 2010
Our dinner at the Flagstaff House was momentous, so of course I had to bring my camera along. There are some choice selections from the pictorial menu in my gallery. But seeing the good stuff comes nowhere close to tasting it. Oh my goodness (drooool).
For those of you who care, Naruto Shippuuden is really, really freaking good right now. I just watched the most recent episode (166) twice. It was artfully done and I cannot wait for the next. There was a lot of silence this episode, and it was used to great effect. Next episode, I believe, is going to be really, really noisy.
For those of you who don't care ... eh, it's probably for the best.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
There were just so many things to celebrate, we had to do it. We had to go to the Flagstaff House. It was Father's Day, Jen's mom had retired and was having a birthday, Jen had gotten a new office, our anniversary is coming up, and Jen's sister was in Colorado for the last time as a single woman. Momentous. So we toddled on up to the magnificently situated Flagstaff House overlooking Boulder.
I could go into a course by course recounting of this meal. I could talk of amazing duck confit, mindblowing filet mignon, ornate desserts, and many other culinary feats. I could go on for quite some time about the atmosphere, the service, and the like. But let's just say this: It was the most expensive meal I have ever paid for, and yet I can almost say that it was worth it for the food, view, and service alone.
In completely other news, I was all about the lawn care today, and the longest day of the year helped me to it. Unfortunately, there had been a hailstorm that raged at our house while I was at work. Jen told me that the deck was white. I came home to absolutely shredded hostas, thrashed lettuce, deflowered roses, and battered basil. I felt so sad that these plants that had been so beautiful and that we had tended had ended up nigh-destroyed.
God brought to mind this:
27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. Luke 12:27-30 (New International Version)
Then, when trying to find that passage, I came upon this:
23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,I also couldn't help but think of my Jonah-esque grumpiness at the death of some plants while people around me are dying and lost. As the pastor said to us yesterday, sometimes the destruction of "our kingdom" is the very thing that leads to the growth of God's kingdom.
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever.
1 Peter 1:23-25 (New International Version)
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the solstice sunshine.
On Saturday, Jen and I returned from a week long trip through Oregon. We had a great time visiting family and a few friends. Naturally, there will be plenty of pictures when I get them off my camera and online.
We flew out on Saturday, June 12th and arrived in Portland. After an hour of waiting we had our hotrod Kia Rio out on I-84 and were headed east. Fortunately this little car had a Sirius satellite radio in it to keep us out of the FM doldrums that haunt the canyons and more remote stretches of Oregon. It also had just under 3,000 miles on it, yet someone had managed to put a good number of scratches on it in interesting places.
We stopped for an Oreo milkshake at Shari's and then went over Mt. Hood to Crooked River Ranch, near Terrebonne. We stayed with my sister Jodi, her husband Ross, and their new little baby Nate. I was stoked to finally get to meet my new nephew and introduce Jen to her first nephew. Now she is truly Aunt Jen! We got to see my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jack as well as my cousin Karen. We also stopped to peer into the impressive Crooked River Gorge and walk out on the old highway bridge.
The first night, I went out on a ride along with Ross, who is an officer with the Redmond Police Department. Although nothing too exciting happened, it was cool to see some of the behind-the-scenes of a police department, and to drive really, really fast. We had a few noise complaints and a couple domestic calls, one of which was physical. There was a biker gang partying in town (the Free Souls), but they behaved themselves.
On Sunday we went to church at the ranch's chapel and it was a surprisingly spiritual service. It felt really good. We ate, visited, and ate some more, enjoying the fruits of Ross' Traeger smoker. He made fantastic chicken and a tri-tip that was insanely delectable. Fortunately there were leftovers that we packed up the next day for a lunch as Jen and I got on the highway and headed south.
We got up to Crater Lake and surveyed the fantastically blue waters and the amazingly high snow drifts. They had 5 inches of snow just 5 days before we got there. And people think Colorado gets late snow... We sat on a low stone wall and ate delicious barbecue while looking out at Wizard Island and all the other sites.
Next stop was Glide, OR where my brother Andy and his family. I got to see my niece Taylar for the first time since she was 6 weeks old. She now is 3. Jen also got to meet her and her nephew Austin for the first time, as well as Andy's wife Michelle. We were quite impressed by all the work Andy has put into his place, including the massive addition. We did shish-kabobs on the deck and shelled peanuts while soaking in the view of Mount Scott.
The next day, following a blissful breakfast of biscuits and gravy, Jen and I got to work. One of the reasons to take the trip was to get some of my stuff out of storage in Andy's shed now that I had room for it. Jen helped me keep my focus as I dredged through knick knacks, books, baby photos, and the like and we managed to pare it down to 4 boxes that we shipped back to Colorado. Following that, we watched Austin and Andy win a playoff game in their Cal Ripken baseball league. Austin plays. Andy coaches.
Oregon would not be Oregon without rain, and that is what we were greeted with the next day. We decided to still chance a hike in the drizzle, so we went up the North Umpqua trail past the falls until the rain got heavy enough to send us back to the car. Andy and Austin had to practice, but the rest of us napped and did laundry and eventually we all played games and ate burgers.
We left Glide and headed to the coast. We got a good taste of Oregon's road construction season before we made it to Gold Beach, my hometown. We did a whirlwind tour of the town and surrounding countryside, but we were able to actually go in and tour my childhood home. It was astonishing to see some of the changes, especially in the landscaping, but also nice to see the things that remained the same. The back porch was gone. The hedge and giant blue spruce had been removed. There was now a house practically in the backyard. However the old shop was still there. The carpet in the upstairs was the original. The rosemary plant, though in a different place, was still growing like a small tree.
For dinner we went to the Nor'Wester. It's the nicest restaurant in town, and despite my 20 years in the town, I had never been there. We had a fantastic meal there and watched sea lions pop up onto the docks while we watched the sun set. Better late than never!
Then it was time for the all too familiar drive from Gold Beach to Portland. I can't say I miss that particular 5-6 hour trek. We stayed with my friends Jeremy and Phoebe and had dinner with them and my friends John and Shirley at the excellent and highly authentic Taqueria Hermanos Ochoa's. The next morning we were treated to a lavish breakfast at my friends Tony and Risa's. We got to see them and the 3 children they adopted from the Ukraine. The little ones were a bit shy, but warmed up eventually. I was so glad to get to see them!
From there we had to go to the airport. We had put nearly 1,000 miles on the car. Thankfully all went smoothly at the airport and rental agency and we were aloft, returning to Colorado.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Last week was the onslaught of the Fuzz. The cottonwoods in our area have cranked into production and blanketed, and I mean blanketed, the ground with their cotton-shrouded seeds. It is magical to watch the bits of fluff floating on the breeze, sometimes coming down so heavy as to look like snow. In fact, in some places around our deck they have formed into deep white drifts just like snow. They have blanketed our yard and garden plot ... which leads us to the negative aspect of this beautiful bit of biology.
When I mowed yesterday evening, the Fuzz was thick upon the ground. By about halfway through the mowing, I noticed that my new mower was leaving tracks of cut grass. When I was done, I lifted up the mower and pulled out a couple of giant cotton balls that had formed around the different parts of the mower's undercarriage. I'm hoping that's the cause of the dropped grass. Regardless, I'm ready for the Fuzz to be on its merry way with the wind. I seriously don't understand how they haven't taken over the planet with how many seeds they produce.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Ugh. I am sick and I am tired and I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a week, hiding from the world. I have been coughing for 8 days now. I don't know how people with serious diseases do it. I already just want to be unconscious for a long while. But there is work to be done; so much work. At work, at home, and everywhere in between it seems. I can't even get to the work that I'm trying to do because of the work standing in between me and that. Lord, protect me, please!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Proving that good intentions mean nothing, I'm finally posting after a week. The week has been hectic and relaxing. I had one day with utter futility at work, followed by two fillings, and a sore throat and numb mouth while reading for AINC. I also had a day where we mainly lazed about, played games, and ate. Oh, and I coughed a lot the whole week.
We made garam masala ice cream and incredible fajitas. We did yard work and ran errands. We drove to Nederland for coffee and a stroll. We did church and Bible study. We found out that my wheel lock is missing. We finished Lego Indiana Jones. We sautéed bananas. Oh yes, those wonderful sautéed bananas. This threatens to be a new addiction. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan, throw in a couple of sliced bananas and whatever would go well, and then sauté until barely turning brown over a medium high heat. This weekend we did coconut with blueberries added at the last minute served with a spritzing of lime juice. So wonderful! We've done it with walnuts and coconut too, which was magnificent between two slabs of French toast.
Okay, so anyway, I also got the pictures from Harvard up. You can enjoy those at my gallery.