Friday, July 31, 2009

I miss air conditioning...

I'm finally home tonight after spending the last three nights with my parents in their air conditioned house. In addition to actually being able to sleep, I was able to enjoy a few dinners with my family. It has been many moons since the four of us ate at the same table, not due to disputes but rather schedules and distance. Mom's spaghetti was delicious! THANKS!

While sleeping on an air mattress isn't my favorite, at least I was able to sleep. Doing anything remotely like sleeping would have been impossible in my apartment these last few days. I even enjoyed a soft, fuzzy blanket and took my own pillow to snuggle with. :)

I was able to test my sister's bath products. I think I used some free-range face wash or some organically fed, GMO-less shampoo, or something. Whatever it was, I walked away smelling like the entire Bath and Body Works store for three whole days. Upon returning home tonight, I promptly decontaminated myself with fragrance-free lather. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining! It was a great experience! I've learned that I prefer the solvents I've been using.

I miss having cats around, and I miss air conditioning. Two lessons for the week.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Dear Zachary"

On a recommendation from my future brother-in-law, The Boy and I recently watched Dear Zachary: a Letter to a Son about His Father. The documentary follows the murder of Andrew Bagby and the life of his son Zachary as told by Mr. Bagby's childhood friend and filmmaker Kurt Kuenne. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM!

Few films are as gripping, as emotional, or remotely as interesting. The Boy and I watched in awe, and at least one of us was moved to tears. I'm doing my best to not spoil the show, so I'll only say that we both walked away from the movie exhausted and astounded.

For more information about the film (which I highly recommend you not read until after seeing the documentary), Dear Zachary is the official website. The site includes a trailer, the review of the investigation, and more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You know it's too hot when...

...an umbrella suddenly becomes useful during the summer in Oregon
...you can make chocolate fondue without additional heat
...sweat is not a burden but welcomed (it means you're still hydrated!)
...fashion consists of wearing clothes, not caring about matching or how you look, just about being the slightest bit decent in public
...you stick to the keyboard, desk, and chair simultaneously while surfing the Internet
...when, as you water the yard, you end up getting water all over yourself and you don't care
...you'd rather be stuck in a car with air conditioning than on a couch without it
...the thought of wandering a shopping mall for hours without buying something seems like a good idea, even if it's crowded and you have to walk slowly behind even slower people
...chocolate chip cookies no longer sound like something good to eat
...you come up with a silly list of "it's too hot outside" rants out of desperation as you have no inspiration for quality blog posts

Have I mentioned how much I love the rain yet?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cryin' Uncle

My apartment finally cooled down to 85° last night, down from the 90° it had been earlier yesterday. Sleep was a long time coming, and when I finally did get to sleep it was time to get up for work again.

In my apartment, we've managed to store over $100 worth of chocolates for our wedding. Those will be following me to my parents' house tonight for a few days of air conditioning. Though the chocolate probably wouldn't melt too much, I'd rather be safe than messy.

Yes, that's right, I'm moving back in to Mom and Dad's for a couple nights. I'll have an ugly commute for a few days, but eight hours of good sleep and then half an hour on the road is much better than awful sleep and ten minutes of traffic.

I'm cryin' uncle. It's just too freakin' hot!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hiccupy

I have recently come to the conclusion that warm weather makes me have hiccups more than usual. If that's not the case, I'm certainly tired of having them. Though I'm getting better at getting rid of hiccups, they're annoying and painful for me.

Is anyone experiencing this, or am I alone in this *hic* phenomenon?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is what I think of blogging when it's hot:

pbbbbbbb.

As a side note, I've given up hope on finding sandals that fit narrow feet. Shoes are possible, sandals are not.

It's about 85° at 9pm, so I have some cooling to do.

pbbbbbbb.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Inspiration Lacking

Sorry about not posting the last two days. I haven't had much inspiration. My fiancé was in a car accident, and though he's completely fine (seriously, he's great), we've been spending time together instead of me sitting here to blog. His car is likely gone for good. The other guy's car didn't look as bad in pictures, but then again, it's usually the innocent party that ends up taking the brunt of things. Again, Mr. Wonderful is fine. We've both said prayers of thanks that no one was hurt.

Posts coming, but maybe not this weekend...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Resting

Last Sunday, our parish priest discussed retreats and taking time out to clear one's mind, to pray, to simply get away from busy. His homily gnawed at me through the rest of the day, and by Sunday evening, I had a plan. For once, I've been able to follow through with my plan (mostly). Each night this week and especially tonight, I've sat down and learned new things about my faith. I looked up some stuff I've had questions about. I even took a few minutes to clear my head and tried to listen to the quietness that I so dearly love.

Not sure if I heard anything in those few minutes but the noise of my fans, but it was good for me to sit a while and not move or think or do. I've missed having the time to sit like that, something I did often as a teenager. Realizing that I used to do it so much back then and fell away from it as I grew made me realize that maybe I was living more of a spiritual life than I thought I was.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I made a Smooooooothie

Jamba Juice was calling my name, but thankfully it didn't claim my wallet (this time). I was so hungry for something cold, sweet, and non-ice-cream-y, so I decided to give making a smoothie a try. In case anyone is wondering, crush the ice before you add the ingredients!

A half-cup of frozen blueberries, a half-cup of frozen strawberries, some berry juice from a juice box, some crushed ice, and a little dab of ice cream all combined to make one delicious smoothie last night. Super easy, very healthy, and a treat after yesterday's soaring temperatures.

Tonight, root beer float. Low-fat ice cream and Diet A&W make for the best sorta-healthy floats I know. Diet Sunkist is another tasty float liquid. I do not recommend Mt. Dew or Sprite, just so you know.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Seeing the Light (of Fashion)

Apparently God's trying to tell me something. Between The Boy lecturing me on fashion, having a fashionista as a sister, and finally watching What Not to Wear tonight on TLC and seeing someone who dresses pretty much like I do, I'm getting the hint. I need to branch out.

I suppose Rachel described my fashion sense best: "paint bucket" fashion. Most of my clothes have nearly the same fit, they're just different colors. My pants are likewise all the same cut but different colors. It's as if someone could drag the little paint bucket fill tool (MS Paint reference) over me and go "bloop, bloop" and change my entire wardrobe with just two clicks.

My problem isn't that I am afraid to show curves or that I buy clothes ten sizes too big. My problem with current fashion trends is that I don't like to show the skin of the curves. I actually wear fitted dress shirts when I get a chance to dress up. I do wear jeans that fit tight around my thighs and aren't flared (but aren't tapered, oh never never!). I just don't want to wear clothes that show so much skin. I don't want to worry about having my tummy show when I lift my arms or my boobs to show when I lean over. Shirts shouldn't do that, and I don't think I should compromise my modesty just to have nice clothes.

You see, it's not about hiding my body. It's not about covering up unslightly scars or cellulite or moles. Though I have a few of each of those, I can live with them. I simply don't think I need to be flashing everyone some breast while I'm at work. I don't need to be wearing heels all day when I'm counting beans in a stuffy basement.

Sandals and dress shoes remain a huge issue for me. I'd love to be able to wear cute shoes to work every day, but most shoes in stores do not fit. I'm not trying to be difficult or saying that they're going to give me blisters just to make people stop suggesting things. I am a size 9 AAA. Ballet flats fall off. I have to grip most flip flips so tightly with my toes that I get blisters between my toes and wherever the stupid too-wide strap crosses my foot. The one pair of Nike tennis shoes I do own didn't fit when I bought them, but they were the most narrow shoes I could find for under $100. Two pairs of insoles helped. The few shoes I like that do fit are expensive and tend to look like hikers. Not exactly dressy.

I know I need help in the fashion department, but with zero budget, I'm not even sure where to start. Skirts? Shirts? Jeans? Ugh. Suggestions appreciated, however, I will not shop at Old Navy, Maurices, or Target. My experiences there have led me to never want to buy clothes there again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

When Modesty Meets Desperation

I officially dislike shopping for clothes. The Boy has been helping me go shopping for clothes for more than a year, and he's beginning to understand my continued frustration. It's not that I'm horribly picky or a label snob or unwilling to try new clothes... though I have favorites (soft, fitted t-shirt and good jeans work for me just about every day), I've branched out with a few things here and there. I might also add, I'm not modest because of my religion or family or any reason other than that I like having my upper arms and upper legs covered. I'm not some oddball size or need special tailoring. I also don't have a problem with other people dressing to show off their better features.

Shorts and shirts are probably the two most difficult things for me to find. I don't really like shorts, but it'd be nice to have some for the six hottest days of the year. They wouldn't even have to look great or be a specific fabric. I would, however, like them to be at least 8" long in the inseam or come down almost to my knees. Finding shorts with an inseam longer than 4" is hard enough, and anything that does have a long inseam usually has an elastic waist or gaudy buttons or stupid detailing. I don't even own a pair of shorts that I wear outside the house because I haven't been able to find any in the last decade that are modest and age-appropriate.

I've covered my shirt likes and dislikes before, but to summarize: no capped or 3/4-length sleeves! I'm also learning that any summer shirt also reveals cleavage, and I don't really feel like I need to be revealing everything to everyone all the time. Trying to find a nice, dressy, comfortable shirt that actually fits my body correctly and doesn't have those damn capped sleeves has given me more than one headache.

I've watched the fashion shows on TLC and have seen what to look for in clothes so that they fit my body type. I know what a pair of jeans needs to have in order to fit my body correctly. The problem is that no one makes jeans that fit me correctly. I finally gave up my search and bought some Levi's last month in order to not walk around naked. They fit marginally well, and although they're not my favorite, at least I'm decent in public.

Bras and underwear... forget it. I finally found a bra in a national brand that fits properly. It was promptly discontinued. Sticking with the same brand, I switched to another style. At least it seems more popular: now I can't find the bras in my size when I need them. When I can find them in stock (even online!), they're always white, white, white.

My point here is that I don't feel I should have to compromise my modesty when I'm buying clothes. I know stores like Kohl's and JC Penney and Sears (etc!) want me to think that in order to be popular or liked or whatever, I have to wear the clothes they sell in their store and only those clothes. I don't. I don't have to show off my boobs to the world or wear hotpants everywhere. I don't have to prance around like some sixteen year old floozy.

I really wish a store could cater to modest 20-and-30-somethings who like to dress up occasionally and dress comfortably the rest of the time. How about cute shirts with normal-length sleeves or jeans that don't start just above our nether regions? How about dress shirts that go all the way to our wrists instead of stopping just after our elbows (which, to me, always makes it hard to bend my arm without the shirt getting really tight for some reason). I don't mean modest to hide our bodies, but to provide a little extra coverage that the current options aren't including. Age-appropriate is important, too. Just because my chest is covered doesn't mean I want to look like I'm seventy. I don't need animal prints or rhinestones, just a little modesty without sacrificing the cuteness.

Oh, and I have this suspicion that the fashion industry doesn't make clothes so revealing that it's popular: they just want you to think it's cool to show everything off. Meanwhile, they're using those extra four inches of sleeve fabric and six inches of butt-coverage in other clothes. It's cheaper to produce clothes that contain less fabric. Duh. And I'm not buying it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Claimed by the Heat

Today's temperature of 90°+ has me swoony. My arms keep sticking to the desk as I try to type. I gave up on socks. The floor calls to me, "come, lay down, stare at the ceiling and do nothing for a while." I might agree except I have to get stuff done tonight.

Have I mentioned yet that I strongly dislike warm temperatures?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Un-Quick Rice

Ugh, it's too late for me to be sitting here blogging, but I can't get the thought out of my head. I keep reading online that there is this stuff called "minute rice" that cooks really fast. When did that happen? Now I know I'm not always with it technologically, but I'm a fairly tech-savvy person. I'm down with sliced bread.

How freaking lazy are people that they can't boil water and cook rice? It's easier than pasta: you don't even stir it! I have a rice cooker (a Bi-Mart $9.99 model stolen from my mother as she was going to sell it at a garage sale no less) and use it all the time. Yes, rice sticks to the bottom of it, and yes, it takes a bit of soaking to get clean, but it's not rocket science.

Seriously. "Minute rice." Because "boil water, add rice, leave it alone" was too difficult. UGH!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breaking Tradition

I'm generally okay with traditions that make sense or that have an historical basis, but there is one tradition I'm breaking at my wedding. We have rings, are getting married in a traditional church wedding, and we're eating cake. All of that is great! I can't wait for the Big Day.

The whole "decorate the bride and groom's car" thing, though, is not happening. Between lipstick on the windshield, cans/shoes/baby clothes/explosives stuck to the back bumper, and Oreos stuck all over cars, I've seen it. And I can't stand the tradition.

Why prank a vehicle at a wedding? I don't understand where the tradition came from, nor do I understand the purpose now. Is the idea that the newlyweds need a getaway car so that they can escape the large crowd? Right, the couple invited dozens (if not hundreds) of people and celebrated for an entire day with them and suddenly need a decked-out car to escape. Is the point to embarrass the couple? Because giving them some kind of naughty gift at the wedding shower wasn't enough, now people need to draw body parts on the windows...

My biggest problem with most of the wedding car decorations is that they're either unsafe to drive with or that they're messy and hard to clean up. In many places, car wash drive-throughs won't even allow cars with decorations to go through. Therefore, the couple has to remove the dangerous items from the car before they hastily speed away, or they have to spend hours cleaning off the car when they should be celebrating. If the couple does leave the car decorated as they drive down they road, they become targets of honking (confusing to other drivers potentially), catcalls, or even malice by some recent divorcee with road rage.

Filling a car with balloons is one thing... it's easy to clean up, doesn't make a mess, and is cute, but if the balloons are helium-filled, they float away (and that's not nice to nature, kids). Covering a car in Post-Its also doesn't create a huge mess and is super fast to clean up, but who really wants to buy and stick that many Post-Its?

I believe the tradition has gone too far. For our wedding, The Boy and I aren't planning to have a get-away car. We may park a car at an undisclosed location an undetermined distance from the church and walk off into the sunset in that general direction. We may borrow one of our parents' vehicles (which one I won't say) so that no one knows which car to decorate.

Instead of decorating our car, I'd rather have the wedding party build us something or give us something as a group that we can actually use and take with us as we head off into the sunset (wedding night care package anyone?). I'm not saying don't do anything: I'm saying respect our wishes. People keep telling me that "it's your wedding, do what you want." The Boy and I are having a classy, sometimes traditional (and sometimes NOT) wedding, and I would very much appreciate not having to clean up a car.

This isn't about being a bridezilla or giving out orders. It's a request that both The Boy and I would appreciate having those we love honor.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stop means "Stop" not "Get run over"

I'm all about sharing the road. Cyclists have just as much right to the road as vehicle drivers. However, I draw the line at stupid or uniformed cyclists (or drivers). If you don't know traffic laws, you have no right to be on the road!

This morning, I witnessed a cyclist ignore a stop sign. The cyclist dove across a street and almost got hit. Unfortunately, had the cyclist been hit, he likely could have claimed that it was the vehicle driver's fault and could have sued, because these days the small guy can make big money over his own stupidity.

A few days ago, I almost hit a cyclist because she didn't signal with her arm that she was turning left out of the bike lane across my lane of travel and across another lane of travel. She just went for it! No regard for her own safety or that of others, no regard for bicycle laws or regular traffic laws... either ignorance or stupidity, I don't know, but it pissed me off.

Not every cyclist is a bad cyclist. Not every driver follows all the rules of the road. But I'd sure appreciate it if the cyclists would consider themselves just as much of a traffic nuisance as they consider cars to be. If we can't get along, at least we could have some simple respect.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Hairy Scary Spiders Everywhere

As if the title to this blog post wasn't descriptive enough, I'm about to discuss the huge-normous spiders I've encountered recently. In case anyone was wondering, yes, I have a bit of a phobia.

This afternoon, I meandered down the hallway on my way to the restroom when I looked up to see what I thought was a crack in the ceiling tile. The leg on this creature was the crack I noticed. The attached body with meat hanging low from the ceiling was enough to stop me in my tracks. I immediately dove into the nearest office to hide from the offensive critter. A coworker guffawed at me and went out to have a look at what he assumed would be a small arachnid specimen. He seemed impressed at the monstrosity that greeted him with a growl and thunderous approach.

Any spider big enough to make noise as it walks is too freaking big.

Okay, so the spider might have been two inches across, but still, it was entirely too big for me to pass underneath. I instead turned around and walked down the other hallway, up the stairs, down two more hallways, and finally made my way into a restroom (where I promptly did a full spider sweep before sitting down).

And that's just one example of the giants I've seen lately! *shudder*

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wedding Progress Made!

Mr. Wonderful and I made some serious headway on our wedding plans this weekend. I finished beading my veil and found a nice sparkly (but not overly dramatic) comb to hide the front edge of it. We scoured craft and bargain stores to figure out just how we want our centerpieces to look. Since we can't have real candles in the reception hall, we found flameless candles on a great sale and bought tons of them. We finally bought The Boy's ring. We got price quotes for cake, discussed when to open our gifts, checked on our wedding cake topper that has to be custom ordered, and finished assembling our favor packs. We finalized our invitation design (for the third, definitely final time). AND we took a couple hours last night to relax with dinner and a movie.

I'll be satisfied if I can finish the last half of the boutonnieres tonight while the invitations begin printing. It's all coming together... one little rose petal at a time!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Grotto

The Boy and I recently had the opportunity to visit The Grotto in Portland. He'd visited before, but this was my first time seeing such a beautiful place. It's hard to imagine that you're still in the middle of the biggest city in the entire state when you're there in the gardens, but you really are just steps from a major street. From the upper garden, things are even more peaceful. The picture here is of the main altar in front of the cave. What you see stands probably forty feet tall or more, a stunning and humbling cliff towering more than a hundred feet from the top of the image even. We really enjoyed the slow walk around the gardens and returned again to the indoor church and at the grotto itself. Beyond words almost... and well worth the $3 fee to ride the elevator to the top of the cliff to walk the rosary path or see the carvings and incredible sculptures. Even if you're not Catholic, this is a great place to slow down for an hour to find some peace.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Scooter Black Market

Quoting a recent story from KATU,
THE DALLES, Ore. - A 101-year-old has his independence back, thanks to some KATU viewers who stepped in to help him out. The story began a few weeks ago when thieves stole a scooter from Carl Kramer's garage. Since then, he has not been able to get to the senior center where he enjoys spending time with friends. Carl had saved up $1,200 to buy his old scooter, but to him, his independence was priceless. "I could buy another scooter, it would make my bank account look mighty sick," said Kramer. "The fact of the matter is I don't think people should beg as long as they can help themselves."

A family in North Bonneville saw his story and thought they could help. They had a Rascal 600 scooter they had purchased for a loved one, who became too ill to use it. So they decided to give the scooter to Kramer. And Kramer couldn't be happier. His new Rascal scooter is at least twice as expensive as the scooter he had, but with more features. "You put your beer here," he said, pointing to a nifty cup holder on the arm. Three other families volunteered to donate scooters to Carl along with others who volunteered to donate money. The senior center on the Longbeach peninsula even offered to give him a scooter.
Someone stole an old man's scooter? Who does something like that? What kind of thieves see an old man's scooter and decide they need to steal it? A crime of opportunity perhaps, but really, what goes through the thieves' minds as they see a scooter to potentially steal? "Ooh, a scooter, I can chop that and sell it for parts!" Is there a lucrative way to sell old-people-scooter-parts that I don't know about? Is there a black market trade for scooter seats or scooter handlebar tassels? Seriously, I wonder what the motive was. I'd hate to be the guy in jail... "Hey man, what're you in for?"
"Oh, you know, theft."
"Yeah? What'd you steal?"
"A old man's scooter..."

Okay, maybe I'm the only one that thinks the whole thing is hilarious and incredibly sad at the same time. I'm glad the man was able to receive a newer, nicer scooter complete with a beer can holder. All is well that ends well? Just hope nobody steals the new one.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wedding To Do

When I set out to plan our wedding, I had great ideas of all the things I could do myself to save money. I thought of silk flowers instead of real ones, crafting my own veil, and even making all of the favor bags myself.

My to-do list now includes:
-designing and printing the invitations
-designing and printing the programs
-designing and printing directions to the church (done)
-designing and printing RSVP cards or postcards
-designing and printing recipe cards (potentially)
-printing photos to send with the invitations
-handwriting addresses on envelopes (may enlist help on that one from my moms)
-hand-beading my veil
-tatting my garter (yes, I can tat, needle tatting no less)
-assemble 17 boutonnieres (8 done)
-assemble two bouquets from real flowers for the flower girls the day before the wedding
-assemble four bouquets for myself and three bridesmaids (done!)
-assemble 200 favor bags (100 done, ugh)
-design and somehow assemble 33 table centerpieces
-put together invitation packets and mail them
-wedding shower invitations...

The list is even longer than that. I am not making the cake, and I am NOT penning the marriage license myself. My hand is not that steady. I guess I will have to sign my name on the original marriage license anyway, hehe. That's enough for me.

It seems like a lot, but I really am saving money and getting nice products in the end. Hopefully the effort pays off. I should mention that none of this is a complaint: I brought the work on myself, and I looooooooove crafting. I still have three-plus months to work as well, so i shouldn't need much help--except from The Boy. It's a fun to-do list (and a lot of work too).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Why Catholic?

One of the biggest questions I've continued to ask myself in the last year, and one of the most common questions I get asked by other is "why Catholic?" Yeah, that's a big question. Answers are hard to come by as well.

My life until probably the beginning of this year was all about doing things my own way. If I didn't like something, I changed it or fixed it or ignored it. I was fortunate enough to be able to have the opportunities to be selective in my likes and activities. I was raised a secular "cafeteria-style" Protestant. I talked to God directly, brushed my sins under the rug, and went about life like the Big Kahuna I thought I was. Church wasn't important, an option for the devout (or crazy some might say). My life was easy.

Catholicism challenges me. When I decided to become Catholic, it meant giving up a lot of those beloved freedoms. It meant I didn't get to wander between cities looking for a pastor I enjoyed. Of course, I've been blessed by great priests and enjoy those I've encountered, but I'd have to drive to the next city if I wanted to find another Catholic Church. I don't get a say in who is elected to be the next Pope. I don't even get a say about who a new priest might be. I don't have a say in what songs are sung or what readings get read. I'm learning to love that.

Catholicism challenges me. I did something no one else in my family has done. Maybe some think I "joined the dark side," but I hope that, with time, they'll see what I have come to love. I'm not out to convert everyone, only to share should they invite me to do so. Being Catholic isn't popular. Very few of my friends are Catholic. Even fewer of them go to Mass on any regular schedule. Many times already, I've encountered hostility or negative remarks about being Catholic. It's not fun, but not everything about religion is fun either.

Catholicism challenges me. I've had to learn traditions that go back thousands of years in order to understand simple phrases or gestures. I asked questions, read, studied, took quizzes, and stayed up way too late many nights trying to absorb complex ideas or mounting even more questions on top of other questions. I'm not sure I fully understand anything yet. Learning that the mystery of not knowing something--and leaving it that way--is more important than having answers has been one of the most challenging things I've done as a Catholic.

Why? A zillion tiny reasons and one really big one: because it was important to me. That's all I can explain.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Sparks are Still Flying

Yesterday, The Boy had just left my apartment to go to Salem when I remembered he forgot his pizza in my refrigerator. Knowing that he didn't want to leave yumminess behind, I called him and suggested he come back to get it. He turned his car around, traced his tracks back a couple blocks, and trudged up to get his pizza. Naturally, I figured I deserved a kiss for remembering something as important as pizza. He leaned in to my puckered lips when ZAP! our poor noses received what must have been a couple volts. The shock was visible, not to mention painful for both of us. We held our noses for a few seconds, tears welling in our eyes as we stared at each other trying to figure out how exactly we managed to shock each other so badly. A delicate and tentative kiss, then he left for the last time.

We didn't really get fireworks this year for the 4th of July, but sparks are still flying between us--literally. As much as I love Mr. Wonderful, I'm not sure I prefer nose-to-nose electricity over bottle rockets...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Best Sauce Ever!

I think I have discovered the most ultimate and delicious sauce/spread/finger-licking awesomeness ever. Seriously, I can't think of a single thing I wouldn't put this on...

The recipe:
white chocolate (hint: chips are cheaper than Baker's Squares)
peanut butter

Add melted white chocolate chips to peanut butter in whatever ratio you desire. I'm a 1:1 girl, although a little more peanut butter wouldn't be bad. It's sweet and salty, then sweet again, then salty again, and around and around in your mouth. In a melted state, this would probably be delicious drizzled on ice cream. In a semi-firm state, it's incredible on carrots, apples, celery, bananas, strawberries... the list is so long! It's good on toast, english muffins, big soft pretzels, crackers, even just by itself.

Okay, so it might not be the best thing on sirloin, but I'd try that. I really would.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

*pant* Hot! *pant*

It's 90° in my apartment at 9:10pm. There is no way I'm coming up with original material tonight. Did nothing today but shopping for wedding stuff. Got half of our favor bags assembled. The bouquets are all done and hand-tied. Seventeen boutonnieres to go... could someone please tell God to turn off the heat already? I could use a good 40°-and-drizzly month or two right about now.

Or another fudgecicle.

Make that two.

Oh, and congratulations to a faithful blog reader tonight: may the fireworks truly begin!

Friday, July 03, 2009

On Target

The Boy and I joined some friends out in the woods this morning for a few hours of gun slinging loudness. The Boy took his .22 rifle so at least I had something I felt comfortable with. I hit every target he set out for me including a shell casing maybe 75' away. I know that's not an impressive feat to someone who shoots regularly or even competes, but for my third time ever firing a rifle, I think that's pretty damn good.

Our friends had some other guns that they shared with between themselves. I didn't really want to fire anything else. I know how to operate both a pistol and a rifle, although I'm much more comfortable with a rifle. Being able to operate them safely and to shoot relatively accurately is enough for me. I hope that I never have to do anything more than that!

After shooting, reloading clips, shooting some more, reloading, for The Boy, shooting even more, and finally cleaning up, we went to lunch. We're the kind of responsible "hunters" that pack out all of our casings and cartridges, plus we cleaned up a bunch of stuff other people left there. No sense being irresponsible with the weapons or the leftovers. It's not a perfect system, but for a morning of shooting, we tried to be eco-conscious: carpooling, cleaning up after others, and packing out all of our own stuff. All of the plastic casings will be recycled. The metal casings will all be reloaded or recycled as well.

Good luck trying to find .22 ammunition though. Bi-Mart is sold out. The next closest place to go near Corvallis was in Philomath, thankfully on our way to our range. Hi demand, low supply, and higher prices than ever... yuck.

Not too exciting, just a morning of shooting and good, safe fun.

Okay, okay, we did kill some bugs, but they were trying to eat us alive. I draw the line at blood-sucking creatures. When it comes to my blood, I get to say where it goes, and down your flying gullet I think not. Death to mosquitoes! and those other insects that annoyed us all morning.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Whew, that was a vacation! Well, the last three days have been a lot of work too. Mr. Wonderful joined me in Portland for a couple days for that big work meeting I haven't been able to tell you anything about. We stayed in a hotel, ate fancy food, and were able to do and see some awesome things in three short/long days. I'm not one to share details about work on my blog, so I'm only going to hit the parts that don't relate to work. Have no fear, we really did work hard at certain points--it wasn't all fun and games.

The Boy and I were escorted around the north Willamette Valley's agriculture region to see dozens of crops growing and some ready for harvest. We were able to visit a local grower and hear his story and eat some of his ripe cherry crop. Seeing that both The Boy and I grew up in this area, the tour wasn't as awesome and exciting to us as it was to the 150 out-of-staters that visited. Both of us have picked and eaten cherries off trees before, but still, it was fun. Not fun enough to want to pick cherries, but okay for five minutes.

After the industry tour, we explored the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Even though I've been there before (within the last five years to boot), the Spruce Goose is one incredible flying boat. I don't have the ability to describe just how mammoth the plane is, but with a wingspan longer than a football field, it's safe to say that "big" doesn't really cut it. The history of flight can also be seen in the multitude of other aircraft both inside and outside the museum. Tour guides also helped us to interpret all that we were seeing--a very nice bonus with so many in our group.

A short two-hour break from the meetings on Tuesday afternoon allowed The Boy and me to slip away and hop a couple miles over to The Grotto, the National Catholic Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother. The Boy had been there before, but I enjoyed the outing. After being around so many people, the calmness and peacefulness of the landscape really helped me relax. The gardens are spectacular! And even though I'm terrified of heights, the elevator ride to the upper garden wasn't so awful. I got a bunch of neat pictures of statues of saints, plaques, signs, and some nature shots. Two hours was just enough time to explore before heading back to the meetings.

We're both glad we allowed an extra hour to get back: a car accident on I-84 stalled traffic to a stand-still. We moved about a car length in five minutes at one point. It took us almost half an hour to move less than a mile. Prayers to those involved in the accident, and thanks to God that we didn't get back too late and miss our boat.

Yes, a boat. The entire group of 150 people boarded the Portland Spirit for a dinner cruise. Great food, good conversations, and even some dancing made me a happy kid. I was on the Portland Spirit with my parents years ago, but that was a brunch (not nearly as exciting as dining with my fiancé by candlelight as the sun set on the Willamette). A few other couples danced (YAY!), so we didn't look out of place. It was a beautiful evening.

Remember how I said we worked some? We truly did work on this Portland adventure. Everyone had duties, mine being photography and posting signs. We also enjoyed ourselves. I am, though, excited to be home. I missed my own bed, being able to squish my toes in "safe" carpet, even being able to grab whatever I want out of the cupboard.

Pictures coming soon!