Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Adventures

Today was great!

But this morning I thought I was going to die. 

Mark and I were lazily lying in bed when all of the sudden I saw Mark's expression change as we heard a weird noise on the roof. Mark whispered, "someone's on the roof!", jumped out of bed, grabbed a weapon and went downstairs to check it out. What a way to really wake up. I stayed in bed, paralyzed with fear, heart hammering in my chest, waiting to hear Mark shout or attack someone, while trying to convince myself no idiot would try to scale our house in broad daylight when I HEARD footsteps running on the roof and thinking I could at least glimpse at the culprit from my room (and slam and lock the windows so he or she wouldn't get in) I jumped out of bed and peered out to see this:


TURKEYS!!!! STUPID WILD TURKEYS!!!!!!!! A turkey was running on our roof and then flew down to meet his buddies just as I looked out our window. I had seen this rafter (yes we looked up what a group of turkeys is) of turkeys a few weeks ago in someone's yard while running and our neighbor had warned us about them but I didn't actually think they'd get on our roof!!! And we live on a busy street too! Mark offered to shoot one (joking, kind of) for a nice dinner tonight but I said no. But after I saw that one of those punks had broken one of my flower pots, I may have reconsidered. Fortunately for them by that time they have moved on to other yards. Jerks. 


I have been looking forward to this Saturday for weeks. When we moved (and even before) here, I scouted out and made a list of places to go and check out, plus people at church recommended a few places and one of them was Green Bluff Growers. It's incredible. If you've never been and you live in, near, or are visiting Spokane, definitely check it out. It's a huge association (~40-50) of local farmers that sell their produce year round or in season; that is a terrible description and doesn't do it justice. And I don't mean an on-the-corner-pop-up stand; I'm talking ACRES of  produce: apples (several different kinds I mean come on, we're in Washington here), pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, huckleberries, lavender fields, pumpkins, squash, Christmas trees, etc., etc., etc. Now through October is the big fall festival so every weekend some of the bigger farms have corn mazes, pumpkin, apple, and pear picking, apple cider, hay rides, petting zoos, live music, food; it's amazing! Now I'll admit, my motive was to find a grower that sells legit, delicious Macintosh apples because this New England girl is feeling a little left out and deprived in the Land of Apples. Well, I scouted out the website and a brochure I got at the library and I found a few that sell my beauties! Mark and I invited our new friends and neighbors to come and it was the best day ever. We had a blast! 

We temporarily adopt this kiddos as our own when we are with them.
 


First stop: Harvest House

So many cool pumpkins! Round, flat, white, orange, "warty"

Annie is a beast and an adorable one at that! She was picking up and pumping pumpkins like dumbbells. 

Pumpkin donuts made right in front of us and this one was still warm
Oh heaven.

Now we know how Tilly and Justin feel. 
Everyone kept looking at us and the girls so we pretended that Tilly was "Aunt Tilly"-ha! It was fun!

We love them!!!!

Next up: Forgot the name but they had a petting zoo, teepees, and I FOUND MACINTOSH APPLES!!!

Annie was not so sure about this ram.

The biggest sunflowers I do believe I have ever seen 

I adore this picture because I adore these three ladies, and, we are in a teepee.

Next: We were now on the hunt to find the cheapest cider and pumpkins. No go at this place BUT we found Tilly and Justin's future dog. 


Then we went back to Harvest House and bought our treats: apple cider, pumpkin donuts, and pumpkins!
And then a few of these guys rolled in:

Annie being a monkey. I just couldn't resist since the girls are still a little shy and won't do their tricks, as Tilly calls them, around us quite yet so when they do, I get very excited! 

video

Our goods from the day (ooooooh my lantus that kettle corn was so good! Well everything was!)

Opened the apple cider and we are pleased that it is tasty both cold and hot. 


Oh fall. How I love you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Birthday weekend in Seattle

And now I am 27. 

My birthday was great! I woke up and walked downstairs to a surprise from Mark-he decorated! Sneaky, sneaky.


Perhaps one of my favorite messages was this one: even Heath, Emma, and Scotty got dressed up and Scotty ate a cupcake (and the paper...) in my honor!

AND!!! I got two gift certificates to order my very first dahlias and my very. first. David Austin rose!!!!! I've been dreaming of having my own David Austin rose for years friends, years. His roses are some of the best, in my humble opinion. I love a good fragrant rose and his are scrumptious! Yesterday Mark and I strolled through the rose and dahlia gardens at the park down the street and I got some ideas for which dahlias to order and a few rose ideas. Oh this is so exciting!!!


 And Mark got me a basket for my bike!!!!!!!!!!! Now I have a bell and a basket!!! I LOVE IT! It even comes off easily so I can carry it around. Perfect for the library, farmer's markets, etc. Mark, you're good.

Then we topped off the night with ice cream from a local ice cream shop (The Scoop) in the neighborhood. We hadn't been before and it was deeeelish! We discussed that next summer we will be making frequent visits here. Mmm mm!


The rest of my present was a weekend in Seattle. Mark and I had never been so this was a treat for us both! We left Friday and got in around 1:30, got settled in to our hotel (in Bellevue), and then decided we'd explore some of Bellevue. We went and saw a movie (Maze Runner--intense and kind of odd. I feel like I need to read the book to really get it because it's pretty action packed from start to end). Then, I requested a stop at Whole Foods and the mall. Silly right? Well, there isn't a Whole Foods in Spokane and the mall had a Nordstrom (hello Jo Malone perfume!!) and Anthropologie (because I have an obsession love their bowls!). So I marched in Nordstrom hoping they would have Jo Malone IN the store (Spokane's Nordstrom does not and I can't order a perfume without smelling it!) and they did!! Except there was some party or promotion or something going on and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get in to smell the perfumes. Well, Mark told me to weasel my way in so that I did! After having 4 different associates ask if they could help, and explaining that I am familiar with Jo and traveled 5 hours for this, they ooohed and aaahed and let me sample to my heart's content. After sniffing nearly 10 perfumes, I chose one: Wood Sage and Sea Salt...mmmmmm! I love Jo Malone. I also recommend (and want to get) Peony and Blush Suede, and, Amber & Patchouli. Patchouli is a special scent to me because it always reminds me of my grandmother. 


Ok funny story. I love stationary. So naturally I had to pop into Papyrus while roaming the mall. In the window was a cute "thank you" card with a scotty dog on the cover and it reminded me of Scotty (even though he is a miniature schnauzer), so I had to have it. Well, I walked around the store looking for it and finally asked one of the associates who told me they didn't have anymore and someone had purchased the last pack without the display card (anyone else think that's kind of weird?) but they should be getting a shipment in soon...yadda yadda. I replied that we were visiting only for the weekend and I'd just have to check Spokane. Well, a few minutes later he boisterously told me that Spokane didn't even have a Papyrus. I was so suprised that I was speechless for a second and then kindly explained we had just moved so I didn't realize Spokane, with three malls, didn't have a Papyrus. Unimpressed and deflated we walked out and I looked at the thank you card one more time only to see there was INDEED the very pack I wanted underneath the display card. So I marched back in and told the associate that I was sure there was a pack left and that I would like to buy it. He looked a little perturbed but went to the display and got the pack for me. 

If ever there were a time I wanted to fold my arms, cock my eyebrow and say, "told ya so!", that would have been the moment but instead I was too happy. He apologized, I thanked him and then walked out with my prize. Score one for the determined woman after Scotty dog thank you cards!

Then we went to dinner and got sushi!!! Mark and I have decided we will try sushi at each place we visit. It was good. Miyabi's in South Carolina still reigns as our favorite place though. 

Saturday we went to Seattle!!! Our only real plans were Pike Place Market, some wandering/exploring, and the Goodwill Outlet (because apparently here you can get some pretty sweet stuff for 99cents!!!!). 

Our first task was the gum wall down Post Alley. It took us a little bit to find it but we did and we contributed!


Gross...yet awesome.

Our task was to pretty much eat our way through the market. We ate sub par chicken teriyaki, a superb nutella crepe, tried samples of smoked salmon (yum), dipping oils, peaches, apples, and chocolate pasta (Mark wouldn't let me get some because he would not eat it, darn!).


The market is HUUUUUGE! It was crazy busy but so much fun. So many cool stalls and shops! The fruit looked incredible. And the flowers. THE FLOWERS. Gorgeous, big bouquets for sale by the stem or for $5-$10. I could not believe it. If we lived in Seattle, I would buy a bouquet weekly!!

Mark bought me a beautiful bouquet of dahlias. Right now they are in a vase in our living room, still beautiful. I love flowers. 


Mark's only request was to see Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners). It wasn't far from the market so we walked down there and ended up taking a REALLY cool tour of the field. Mark was very, very, very, very happy. Our tour guide was so nice and EXTREMELY knowledgeable about baseball. I never know how important the grass patterns in stadiums were until he gave us a 15 minute lecture on why the field's grass is mowed the way it is and why they chose the grass they did. Apparently it was genius because the Yankees adopted it the season after the Mariners changed their grass mowing/growing pattern. Wow. Who knew??




Visitors room 

Press room

Apparently this throne is for their mascot the moose but we got to sit in it too!

We also got to see the Diamond Club exclusive, fancy room which had huge pictures of Babe Ruth, including this one when he was still a Red Sox pitcher!


I don't know why this picture won't rotate but we had a delicious dinner at Ivar's. We tried the clam chowder and it was good, really it was, but, New England clam chowder is still better. Just my opinion. BUT the fish, shrimp, and chips were SO, SO good. Highly recommend this place (thank you Jean!!). 

 A nice view of Mt. Rainier on our way home

Superb weekend! We didn't have time to hit up the Goodwill Outlet (sorry Macklemore). It closed by the time we were walking back to our car, but we will surely be back because we still have so much to see!!! (Including a Mariners/Red Sox game and/or a Mariners/Rangers game)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

C'est bon

I woke up dreaming about bechamel sauce. Mark told me he had dreams about cooking. 

We went and saw "The Hundred-Foot Journey" last night. France and gastronomy, two of my absolute favorite things. I was absolutely captivated and smitten the entire time. If you haven't seen it and are looking for a happy-go-lucky, fun, makes-you-feel-good cinematic charmer, this is it. Helen Mirren is brilliant. You'll love her character. And I currently have a woman-crush on Charlotte Le Bon and aspire to dress just like her character. Really, I just wish I were French, and I told Mark my dream of all dreams would be to live in a stone cottage in France. He replied, "I know." *sigh* I can't wait to watch this movie again. I even had an omelette that I tried to jazz up for breakfast (you'll get it when you see the movie).

My mom left on Monday and I came home and went back to painting. Thank goodness for my mom. Her visit came at theee perfect time. She came in, saw the house, and told me what to do. I had and have tons of ideas zipping around in my brain (can we say overwhelming?) but I needed someone with experience (it also helps that our taste is similar) to help me organize, critique, tweak, and make my ideas happen. I think I almost cried when my mom said, "let's paint your room!" So we did. And now, I am in love with our bedroom. It's cheery, dreamy, cozy, pretty. Oh I just love it! The second floor isn't very big; it only has the master bedroom, the master bathroom, and attic space. But, it's so neat. I feel like the second floor is its only little apartment, just missing a kitchenette. We still have to hang a few things so it's not perfect but here is one before and after picture. 

Before
Though this dark red color works because the room gets a lot of light, I don't like having an almost dried blood-colored room you know? And there's already a bedroom downstairs that is this color. Come on man, there are way too much colors in this world to have 2 bedrooms the same. Non.


 After
Much better, don't you think? 

I am so in love with it. We also ended up painting the ceiling, the trim, the baseboards, the doors, and the windows (because they didn't look so good). It looks so much better. Crisp, clean, and ooooh so cozy. 

More pictures to come and now I have a nice long list of painting to do. Mostly touch ups and I think it'll make me love this house so much more. 

Switching topics. Can we talk about friends? 
I don't know if I've turned into an introvert or what but I think that making friends as an adult is a tad more difficult than back in school days. Long gone are the days of bonding over Nancy Drew books, N'SYNC, same classes, sports, dreaded teachers, nail polish obsessions, etc. Plus, I find Mark and I are kind of in an awkward stage of life because we're married with no kids so that kind of wedges us out of some circles. Not that we feel shunned or excluded because we don't. Plus, I'm currently partially employed but not working quite yet so I am not really meeting anyone tons of people except at church. Although, Mark and I scoped out the young couples with no kids and the young couples with one or two kids and thank the stars there are some here!!! Now how to approach without appearing overzealous? It's a struggle I tell ya! A struggle! And a ridiculous one at that.  
Well, as luck would have it, I made a friend. AND we live on the same street. AND she's so cool!! I pretty much tried not to act like a gleeful third grader but after we exchanged numbers I couldn't help but act like one when I told (or exclaimed, cried out excitedly, beamed) Mark, "I MADE A FRIEND!" We went running this morning and it was glorious. Not so much the running because, well, running up hills when you've been running at or near sea level for the past 3 years, AND trying to talk (animatedly), AND being slightly out of shape, makes for a nice challenge but it. was. GREAT! Yay for friends! 

Then, after finally receiving a piece of official mail to prove I now live in Washington, I rode my bike to the library and got myself a library card!!! Our neighborhood is amazing. Tree-lined, quiet streets and the weather is crisp and very fall-like today. GLORIOUS. These library workers are either going to love me or hate me because I requested a lot of books today. Also I borrowed "The Hundred-Foot Journey" because I heard it was better than the movie and since I am so infatuated with the movie, I think I'm going to love it! Plus I got a few more books...and they may or may not be related to France/cuisine/cooking and the like. 


Now, if you'll excuse me, I have books to read (and probably a few more to request...heeheehee)! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spokane

We made it! We've been here for a few weeks now and it's been crazy. Our house was built in 1908 and the location is FAB.U.LOUS. The first 10 days were pretty rough, stressful, and tense but things have gotten better (We were NOT impressed with the condition the house we are renting was in: hair in the bathtub, REALLY?, poor painting job, poor landscaping (they told me to turn on the water and then proceeded to fail to water our lawn=torched lawn=mad Mark and Gabe), NO HOT WATER FOR 10 DAYS...just to name a few things). It's been a bit rough for me because I kind of have a job, as if I was given an unofficial offer, but because it's with the VA, I've been told they take a bit longer with the hiring process/background checks so while I wait for an official offer, I have been kind of restless...and without a paycheck...and that's stressful. 

Anyway. All is ok for now because my mom is here so that pretty makes everything about 874 times better!!!!! Sadly she's leaving tomorrow but in the meantime we've come up with ideas to glam up a few rooms, she's helped me rehang some things, has given me tons of suggestions and ideas, and helped Mark and I paint our bedroom and caulk. Hey-she told me to put her to work so we did! Pics and more to come later. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ready...set...craziness!!!

Holy catscans. HOLY catscans. This next month and a half are going to be craaaaazy.

We're moving. Yes. FINALLY. THANK THE STARS!!! HALLELUJAH!!! HOOORAY!!! WAHOOO!!!
Here's how it went down. A couple of months ago I experienced my first, and I think last, "Drop Night." For those of you not familiar with this experience, it's the night where the Air Force officers will find out where their next base and assignment will be once they've completed their training.We had 38 bases (for 38 officers) and had to rank each and every one. Interestingly enough, before we even got the list we were discussing where we would like to go and both Mark and I thought Spokane, WA would be cool. Mark lived there for 2 years while serving his LDS mission and it's the one area of the country I haven't yet lived, plus it's the northwest, about on the same latitude as New England, has 4 seasons, water, and greenery. I was in, though I said Italy, London, or Germany would also be incredible. So we got the list and to our delight both Spokane and Italy were on the list. We had about 10 days to discuss, rank, and create our final list. Mark, as expected, cared more about the job and I primarily cared more about the location. After much discussion and revision, we nailed our top three to Spokane, WA; Charleston, SC; and Italy. I fretted because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted Italy but then I thought maybe I'm not quite ready for that because I need to get my feet wet in the military lifestyle. 

Anyway, drop night finally arrived. Mark told me the Air Force tries really hard to give you one of your top choices and takes into consideration if you're married, have kids, etc. I was anxious and nervous the entire day. The next 3-4 years of my life had been decided and I couldn't do anything about. It kind of reminded me of when I was applying for dietetic internships and waiting for the dreaded day when you find out if you've been accepted or not. It's completely out of your hands and it's terrifying, a bit exhilarating, but terrifying. Each class came up with different ways to find out where they were going. The class before Mark had the officer sit on a stool, drink a shot of tequila and then they flashed where he/she was going on a screen behind them. Mark's class decided to do it NFL Draft style. 

WORST. IDEA. EVER. Well, Mark was "drafted" fifth or sixth...to our last choice...some solo tour for a year in the Middle East and I wouldn't be allowed to go with him. I tried really hard to keep a poker face but...failed. The class leader, who knew where each office was going, said he was dying inside watching me after Mark's location was called. I thought surely it was a joke but as the "drafting" continue, he wasn't getting traded and I was getting more and more anxious and depressed. What do I do? Stay in San Angelo by myself? (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!). Go to our follow on base? MOve home for a year? How CRUEL!!!! That was our LAST choice and come on!!! We just got married! Now I have to spend another year apart from him while he's in the Middle East? I was angry, sad, confused, irate. Well, near the end of the draft, Mark's trader jumped up and said there had been a last minute trade: Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA traded for Mark. THANK GOODNESS.

I'm pretty sure I was about to faint. And cry. So instead of jumping up and shouting to my heart's content with glee, I stayed in my seat and beamed, trying to remember to breath and cursing the fool who decided an NFL draft was a good idea. I came to find out it was Mark's idea. Ooooh I told him if he EVER did that again....no bueno. Nevertheless, we went home to change before a celebratory BBQ and I had to rest for a few minutes because I was so drained. Thank goodness we won't have to go through something like that again, at least that's what Mark told me.

So, in August...we're moving to Spokane, WA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Friends, I'm SO excited!!!! I'm pretty antsy and anxious to get there. San Angelo has been fun and we've made the most of it...but I am SO ready to bust out of here. So now the hunt for a house and a job, and the (DREADED) packing begins. BUT HAPPY DAY!!! SEASONS! WATER! A COASTLINE NOT TOO FAR! HOOOOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of coastline...over Memorial Day weekend we headed to Galveston, TX. It was a blast. We toured the harbor, saw dolphins, toured an old ship, ate TONS of seafood, did touristy stuff, went to the beach, and ate more and more and more seafood. It was a wonderful vacation and it was delightful to see the ocean again. And the seafood...goodness gracious I could live off of shrimp for the rest of my life. So, we brought 3 pounds back home with us! 












Then, two weekends ago I headed to Tucson to see one of my best friends get married! 

It was fabulous and so fast! Everything was wonderful! I was honored to be asked to do Clary's flowers for her. Oh my goodness it was A BLAST!!!!!!!!!!! I love floral design!!


And it was SO fun to see lots of old friends! 




AND, in exciting news, beginning August 4th, I will be going full-time at the flower shop until we move (which sadly, may not be very long). We're still waiting on final dates of when we have to leave San Angelo and report to Spokane. Regardless, I'm delighted! I'm hoping to find a floral design/flower shop job in Spokane to continue to learn and develop my skills. I love it so! 

We'll be heading to Dallas for the Fourth and I can't wait! Then in a couple of weeks I'll be visiting one of my other best friends, Amy, in Myrtle Beach. I'm wicked excited to see Amy and the beach again, and we've already made plans of what we're going to do (most have to do with food! Ha!)! 

And, I again can't tell you enough how excited I am to get to Washington. I've already have made plans to see Seattle (never been), Portland and the Oregon coast, northern California, and have made lists of places to see in Spokane, places to eat, and things I'd like to do. Spokane I can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!! If you have suggestions of places to see, things to do, etc., please do share!

So, on to house hunting, job searching, and...packing....we go!