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Spring has Sprung

14 Apr

Surprise Flowers

We didn't even know these were flowering plants

So I know I promised another entry and some more pictures last week, but since I had food poisoning one night and was rear-ended two days later, last week was pretty much a wash.

I was able to get back out in the yard again today which was so nice! I worked on getting the side flowerbed into shape. Now that the lilies are starting to get bigger I wanted to get all the crab grass cleared out of that bed. The small bed on the side of the garage is in full bloom – who knew that those plants were gonna be so beautiful in the spring? Maybe I’ll just plant a bunch more of those this year 🙂

Front Flowerbed

Temporarily Weed-Free

Here is a picture of the beautiful blooming front bed. The tulips and daffodils are in full bloom and the Japanese maple is bright red again. I had thought that I had planted 2 kinds of tulips, but until this week I wasn’t sure. Now there are two kinds of daffodils and two kinds of tulips 🙂

I have been doing some reading about vegetable gardening as my little sprouts aren’t so little any more. I look forward to getting everything planted out in the planters on the deck, but I don’t want to lose any plants to frost so I think I’m gonna give it another few weeks. In the mean-time Jimmy and I have transplanted them into bigger peat pots and I have started to thin the plants back (as I planted at least 3 seeds per peat disk). I can almost taste the tomatoes and squash already 🙂

A new post, wherein seeds are sown

31 Mar

So spring might be here, but with the weather of the last few days, who really knows… We’ve had hail, thunder, lightning and of course, rain. My daffodils started making their appearance about a week ago just after I finished weeding the front flower bed (I think they were embarrased to bloom in such a mess…). Jimmy and I added some more creeping plants to the front bed last weekend (pictures to come).

Coming Soon...Vegetables!

Coming Soon...Vegetables!

My energy as of late has been sprouting my own seeds for our vegetable garden! I feel like such a little kid, just fascinated by watching them emerge from the earth and get a little taller every day (they are only about a week and a half old and some are already over 2 inches tall!). I’ve planted two kinds of peppers and two kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of summer squash, 2 kinds of winter squash, cucumbers and basil. I’ve been doing some reading and research and have already purchased the planters that they will be put in once they are big enough to be transplanted outside.

Sprouts a-sproutin'

Sprouts a-sproutin'

Anyhow, I’m working graveyard shifts this week, so I’m tired and starting to feel like I’m coming down with a cold (probably due to the lack of decent sleep I’ve had in the past 3 nights…) I promise more pictures next week when I am coherent during daylight hours.

Catching Up

3 Feb

So I know it is far past due since we posted on the blog, so here goes…

Christmas Tree

I never thought it was such a bad little tree. Maybe it just needs a little love.

Christmas happened, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at our pictures. My parents and sister came up for Christmas at our place this year, but somehow we managed to forget to take a single photo! The only proof of the holiday season is this lone picture of our Christmas tree on the day we were throwing it out. The whole holiday was sort of a blur anyway because…

I was hired a month ago at St. Joseph Medical Center here in Tacoma! And even-though I’m only a per-diem employee (which means I just fill in for others and don’t have any set hours) I am so excited to be working again. I have been happy to take hours from anyone who will give them to me, which sometimes means I have crazy weeks where I work various shifts and my body has a hard time keeping up with what time it is…

New Scrubs!

New Scrubs!

Judy has been sweet enough to send me some new scrubs to wear to work, which is so nice as they can be expensive. So far I have refused to buy any new scrubs, especially when I find some pretty cute stuff at Goodwill. Once I’m getting more consistent hours I’ll probably splurge a little, but until then I have accumulated quite a bit, so I’m happy.

So apparently the bulbs I planted think that it’s spring, which seems kind of early to me. My mom said that it might be normal for our region. We had a pretty mild winter so perhaps spring is just coming a little early.

Still couponing like a crazy person – it’s nice to have a hobby that I like and that saves us money 🙂 I have also discovered Futoshiki which is similar to Sudoku which is a logic puzzle, but uses symbols and math. Anyone who has done Sudoku and likes it should try this new puzzle.

Bad Day on the High Seas

Bad Day on the High Seas

We have a new center piece for the livingroom too! Jimmy bought me a print of Brandon Bird’s “Bad Day on the High Seas” which is a painting of a whale, a giant squid, and a T-Rex all fighting each other (yes, Jimmy and I have strange ideas of what constitutes “art”). Anyhow, I had a great coupon for Jo-Anne’s fabric for framing so I got it framed for pretty cheap. For Christmas my parents got us a set of wooden carved whales (an adult and two babies). So those have been placed on the mantle to join the painting. Now Jimmy and I have started to look for wooden carved pieces of a T-Rex and a squid to someday join the whales 🙂
Bad Day on the High Seas

I think it really classes up the joint

Gobble Gobble Gobble

4 Dec

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Casserole

My new favorite - Sweet Potato Pumpkin Casserole

It is our first Thanksgiving in our new house, and we went all out! As anyone who knows me well knows, I LOVE Thanksgiving – it’s my favorite! I’m also very particular about the food that is at Turkey day – there are certain food that I MUST have there. I have to have sweet potatoes and I usually just have the canned kind with marshmallows, but I found a recipe for sweet potato pumpkin casserole – it was wonderful (I now have a new Thanksgiving favorite).

Gobble Gobble

Gobble Gobble


We decided to try doing a brine with the turkey this year – a salt water and herb soak for 8 hours before roasting. It made the turkey SO moist! And because we got an 11 pound turkey we had plenty of leftovers (yay for turkey soup and turkey sandwiches, and of course Christmas turkey enchiladas).

And as much as I love Thanksgiving, we can’t forget how much Jimmy pretty much hates it. So of course all the amazing food we made was almost all for me (which has meant a TON of leftovers…). Oh yeah, and Tesla had his first turkey feast, of course.

The full spread

The full spread

Pumpkin, how I love thee…

16 Nov

So one of my favorite parts of the Fall season is that everything pumpkin (cakes, cookies, lattes, etc.) comes back for another year. I LOVE pumpkin.

pumpkins

So many beautiful pumpkins

Us at Maris Farms

Us at Maris Farms

Corn Maze

Muddy, but fun, Corn Maze

To get our pumpkin for carving this year we went with our friends Em and Michael to Maris Farms in Puyallup, WA where we wandered around, watched pig races, ate way to much kettlecorn and got kinda lost in a corn maze. It was a pretty nice afternoon and we had a lot of fun choosing our pumpkins. Jimmy and I didn’t spend too much time picking one – I’m not that picky and I guess Jimmy isn’t either.

Michael and a pumpkin pal

Michael and a pumpkin pal

Michael and Em, on the other hand were very thorough, carrying large pumpkins from place to place as they changed their minds.

Skeleton pumpkin

Skeleton pumpkin

We didn’t get a chance to carve the pumpkin until Halloween evening just before Em, Michael and Hannah arrived to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 with us. Jimmy went with a kinda skeleton look as I was busy trying to make cupcakes look like bats and spiders (only the later really worked). We were amazed at the amount of kids we had come trick-or-treating as we only had a handful over the past couple years living in the duplex.

Spiders and Bats

Spiders, Bats and Pumpkin cookies

I gave the jack-o-lantern two days before I sliced him up and threw him in the crockpot – I decided to give making my own pumpkin puree a try this year. Luckily Em and Michael have a Cuisinart food processor, so it wasn’t too hard. Our pumpkin made 15 cups of pumpkin puree! Now I just have to decide what to make with it all – the possibilities are endless 🙂 So far I have just stirred it into vanilla yogurt (which is quite tasty with a little cinnamon and sugar – could use some nuts though) – but I hope to try my hand at making a pumpkin pie from scratch with it, though the consistency is a bit runnier, so I’ll have to figure out what to do about that…

Fall Leaves and Voting Time

24 Oct

It’s definitely Fall! Yeah! I LOVE the Fall – it’s my favorite season. I love the changing of the leaves and the crispness of the air – it’s just the best. That being said, as much as I love our huge, wonderful Maple

Our Beautiful Maple

Our Beautiful Maple

tree in the backyard, it sure does have a lot of leaves! I have raked 3 times already (which filled 1 and 1/2 of of our yard waste bins) and Jimmy and I raked again today. Is is possible that plants sometimes forget what season it is? One of my rhodies and the
Pink blooming clemantis

Pink blooming clemantis

clemantis in the side yard are both blooming – aren’t they like 6 months off?
Pink blooming rhododendron

Pink blooming rhododendron

We also got to use our push mower that my parents got for us today – I really like that it doesn’t use gas and for small lawns it is pretty useful. However, that being said, we need to mow the lawn more often if we are going to use the push mower – our grass got long and was hard to push through.
Jimmy mowing the lawn

Jimmy mowing the lawn

So after tai chi this morning I got a call from my friend Hannah who asked if I would come and stand on the corner with the supporters of Referendum 71 here in WA. Last year homosexual couples were given domestic partnership rights (not marriage, unfortunately) and now people are trying to take those basic rights away (such as being able to own property together, have children and being able to visit each other in hospital, etc.) So I went out and yelled, held a sign and commiserated with other supporters of equal rights. There were probably at most a dozen of us at any one time but there were probably 100 of anti’s there. A lot of them were kids and teenagers and Hannah said she thought that a bunch of them came on a bus together. I wish that those crazy mega churches that preach this kind of hate would all lose their tax exempt status. The thing that I thought was funny (but sad) was that all of their signs were SO misleading – they were trying to get people to support them by saying that the measure was about gay marriage. Their signs even said “Preserve families, Protect Children” which really doesn’t make any sense to me. I just can’t believe that there is still such homophobia in the world – it’s really sad. But being there made me feel better and it made me feel good to know that we have the moral high ground in supporting equality for all. So, I’ll get off my soap box now, but if you are in a state where there is an anti-gay marriage/domestic partnership bill/referendum, etc. please vote for fairness and equality.

My new hobbies

15 Oct

So since I am unemployed and don’t have anything to do other than apply for jobs I have started becoming a crazy couponer – I never realized that I could save this much money in coupons and being that we are living on only one salary we kind of need money to stretch as far as possible.

Before we painted the living room wall

Before we painted the living room wall

Emily helping me paint. Thanks, Em!

Emily helping me paint. Thanks, Em!

Our beautiful new living room wall

Our beautiful new living room wall

My other new hobby is painting the walls in our house. With the help of our friend Emily we chose paint colors for the living room and dining room and purchased paint last week when it was a great deal at Fred Meyer ($9 a gallon!). I have painted the wall with the fireplace in the living room a dark brown and the accent wall in the dining room at brick red. The rest of the walls will be a nice beige color, but I haven’t started in on painting them yet. The color in the living room was a little darker than I wanted originally, but I am really happy with it now. It kinda makes me crave chocolate 😉

The accent wall in the dining room is really gonna be a focal point because I painted 5 layers of magnetic paint on a large square of the wall before we painted on the red. This way we will be able to take images, have them blown up and then affix them to the wall with magnets, meaning that not only will we have a huge custom art piece, but that we will be able to change it as often as we want for little cost. The magnetic paint was not cheap, but I think it will all be worth it.

Magnetic box painted on the wall

Magnetic box painted on the wall

The magnetic wall with primer cover, AKA My first masterpiece - don't you think someone would pay a lot for this "modern art"?

The magnetic wall with primer cover, AKA My first masterpiece - don't you think someone would pay a lot for this "modern art"?