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Road Trip with a Side of a Patty Melt.

4 Aug

For our 7 year anniversary, (this past June, yeah I procrastinate!) James had planned a travel down the Oregon coast, something I’ve been telling him he has to see for years now, for a 3 night camping trip. We dusted off our gear, (it had been way to long since the last time we camped,) planned and prepared the menu and loaded up the truck and dogs. We left early as the campsite was a 6 1/2 hour drive, and a beautiful day and drive it was.

Then, this happened. What should be a Yelp review (but won’t) is coming your way. It took about an hour longer than we’d planned when we stopped for a quick bite and beer at a dog friendly restaurant in Newport, OR. Found it on the BringFido app and it was at a Rouge Brewing Co. restaurant, and, being a well established name it had to be good, right? Wrong!!

We lucked out and found a parking spot right next to the patio, where I presume we’ll be sitting with the pups, πŸ‘πŸ»we were told to seat ourselves with a heads up that the food might take around 30 mins. That’s cool, I appreciate the knowing what I’m getting myself into. Unfamiliar with the area, and again, a well known name, we accepted it. Then 5 mins passed, 10, maybe 15 until we actually were greeted by our server. And as a person well versed of the industry myself I know how customers can TOTALLY over exaggerate a time frame. I assure you I am not. Now, “why didn’t you just leave?” you may be thinking. It’s a 3 fold response. 1, dogs. 2, wanting our truck, full of monies worth of camping gear and foods within eyesight βœ”οΈ. 3, small town, small roads, big truck (see reason #2). So we wait, every few mins saying, “Let’s just wait another minute and we’ll leave.” Alas, there she is!! She was apologetic so that’s cool, even though I’d seen her at the table across from us, twice, we are fully ready with our order (hoping it would expedite our departure as we still have almost 3 hours of driving,) and then proceeded to wait for our beers. We are now maybe 30+mins in. Me trying to make small talk when drinks finally come, “Wow you guys are pretty busy!” Her response, “Not Really” Really! Over 30 mins for a beer. Not Really!!?? Then another 30 mins pass, still no food. We’re sharing a fucking patty melt people! So, we order another round. When that round finally comes she says, “I have some interesting news and some good news. Which do you want first?” Interesting, bc well, I’m interested to hear any form of explanation. Turns out Mike took our sandwich to the wrong table and they’d already started eating it so, they’re making another for us right now, and she told them to, “put a rush on it“. The good news is, this round was on her. Sweet πŸΊπŸ–•πŸ»! So that rush put on our food was just that. Use your own imagination on how good it was. Thus folks, this took an hour and 45 mins!!!!! I’ll be skipping on Rogue Brewing from now on.

Oh! Damnit! I almost skipped the best part. There was a solo bathroom for both men and women, BUT, there was no way to lock the door, that I could see in the women’s so I went to the men’s. Huh? Same mother fucking thing! So I ask an employee who’s right there, “How do I lock the bathroom door?” I shit you not his response is, “That’s a good question, I don’t really know?” Followed by, “I’m not sure if you can.” If I can?!! How do you not know the answer? How has this never come up before? And is that even legal?!!!

Now that my rant is done and I hope you’re still reading, (sorry but it really was an experience that I felt I had to share, I mean, yeah,) we’re back on the road. The park. Sunset Bay.  Was beautiful! And the best part, no cell service. Nothing, nada, zilch, the whole time! I recommend taking yourselves somewhere similar, often. There was however, one way to make contact with the outside world, just in case. How many of you or people you know have never seen or used one of these!!!?? I picked it up just to hear the dial tone. (Also possibly something you or someone you know has no idea what that means or sounds like.)

Well, on the drive in, close to the park we passed a little corner store and there was a wheel barrow full of wood and a sign, “for sale.” Yeah, I made him turn around, those bundles they sell at the sites always burn faster as they rarely have any substantial sized logs. 20 bucks for the barrel, and nice cuts of logs. πŸ‘πŸ» Not positive the species but I know for damn sure that what we were burning here compared to camping in SD was in so many ways better! In SD the smoke was well, smokier, and when we’d get home it was straight up, everything in the garage-dogs get hosed down-strip naked-and get in the shower, smokier!! But this wood, none of that. Yeah there was still campfire smell but it was a happier kind. And when unloading our gear, dogs and own smelly beings at home, not that bad. Here our washer and dryer are in the house, in SD they were in the garage, so yeah, wood up here, unsurprisingly, trumps. No, wait, that’s not the right word. Maybe use, superior? Yep! That’s the one. Thanks to our unexpected “layover” we didn’t get settled in as early as we wanted, but we did. So by the time we’re ready to get that campfire going we’re teetering towards 8o’clock. Our little camping guidelines pamphlet we get says nothing about when fires must be out. Quiet time is at 10 but fires? When? So James goes to the host to inquire, and her answer is, none. “We can have a fire all night?”

“Yes, as long as you are quite and don’t disturb other campers.”

WHATTT??? Nice. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ”₯So we got lost in the flames and embers on a beautiful quiet night. Tomorrow. We walk! We were told there’s this amazing botanical garden at Shore Acres park, just a short hike away. Fuck yeah!! So we head off. Apparently in the wrong direction as we see no signs, and end up kicked off to the road. So we turn around and head back to camp to find our pathway out. When asking the first ranger we see where the path is her response is basically “yeah, the new camp host sn’t a fan of signs. I don’t know why.” Umm, I’m sorry, but how can you be a campground host and not be a fan of letting campers know where they’re going. In the wilderness. Where they haven’t been before? I mean, at least give us an arrow! βž°πŸ”œ But, we make our way and find the path, we did walk by the same outlook twice along the way, can’t possibly imagine how that happened, but the views were worth it!! Told you so James. 

We did find that botanical garden and of course they don’t allow dogs, understand why but, Damnit! So we had to take turns to walk through it. Which of course means, while walking through the most amazing rose garden I’ve ever seen, stopping to smell the roses loses a bit of it’s charm when the husband/dog hand-off is waiting for me. But smell I did. Totally worth it.As you know we bought a rehab property, which comes with all kinds of surprises. And whatever trees, shrubs and or plants that came with it were also part of that surprise, so we had no idea what they would look like come spring. Well there is a small rose bush in our front yard that, it seemed out of nowhere, produced this beautiful rose. I’d never seem one like this before and I beamed when I saw it out my bedroom window! Tada, this is it. It’s named Scentimental. And now when I stop and smell my roses, I know her name. It was a beautiful and peaceful few days. 
Fun’s over guys! We have a yard to get together.

Where the Willows Meet the Stump Grinder.Β 

3 Aug

Now that the inside of the house is pretty much squared away it’s time to turn our attention to the outside. I could spend time telling you how un-kept this property was before we purchased it, but you really need visual aids. I’ll first add that in these before and after pics, you’ll notice quite a difference in the ground color so keep in mind that the befores were taken in Dec/Jan and the afters are during one of the driest summers we’ve had in years. We’ll tackle that lawn issue sometime soon, but as you’ll see, the overgrowth of trees and left behind stumps HAS to come first! We took a few cuttings of the branches to our local nursery and their best guess at the species was a sort of Willow tree, or tree-ezz. They have a very invasive root system and they had been having a fucking party in the backyard when no one was paying attention! Our neighbor told us that the city had came in after it was foreclosed on and cut down a slew of trees, just close enough above ground that if you don’t look down while walking there is an inevitable occurrence of profanity from whatever injuries or pissed off toe that transpires.

For this fun-time removal project we started from top to bottom. Smaller pieces, quicker clean up and less chance for crazy shit to happen. James started with his telescoping loppers, then came the chainsaw, then the dreaded stump grinder. There was a good 30 stumps that needed grinding and that’s about 30 more than you’ll ever want to have to use that beast of a machine on. Here’s something you won’t hear James say, “That beat the shit out of me!”​There was an added small handful of stumps and about 3 trees/bushes in the front yard we took down too, but I think you’ve got the gist of what we’re dealing with. 🌲 (I don’t know why the video isn’t playing with sound, I’m not very tech-y, but imagine a very intimidating/scary movie/chainsaw sound)βš™οΈπŸ˜΅

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​This happened for about 8 hours. 8 hours!! Followed by a couple truck loads to the dump of yard waste later, we can get on that landscaping!Remember kids, we’ll work on that dreaded brown ground later, but for now, the view of the clear blue sky just got better.

Paint & Doors & Trim Oh My!

24 Jun

(Late late post, 3/27-ish)

The flooring has been laid and it’s time for the finishing touches! We once had some general contractor friends tell us that finishing work is most often… not finished. They were of course alluding to our naΓ―vetΓ© having our first ever contractor to skimp on us unknowingly. They ever so kindly graced us with their experience, referencing that the budget is usually exceeded by the time the little bits come, but the clients’ wad has been blown on all the in your face pretty stuff, that it’s sneakingly undone. So we hired them to do the finishing work for us and we’ve never looked at a room the same. Even the hidden pieces. Lesson learned, there is no way I will let my wad be blown until it is finished. 

   Now, let’s get that trim on so we can move all our shit out of the kitchen and returned to it’s proper place (meaning where I want it to go πŸ˜‰)! For this full house project we needed 500 feet of trim, and every foot needed to be painted! Yes, 500′!! We bought them in 12 foot pieces, making less cuts needed so to save James a few trips to and from the miter saw. Well, we couldn’t just lay that all out and do a full sweep worths of painting, so there were stages. Some of this 500′ was done previously (back in January, to be able to move into our bedroom,) when we had naked floors that didn’t care if I dripped on them, making it slightly less painful. At the time we only painted enough trim to complete the two bedrooms, and now that all our belongings have been moved in we have a bit less open space and must take caution with the paint and our flooring, get crafty Desiree. (I’m seeing a trend in my attire πŸ€”)

Paint. 😫 Smoosh them together for easy and quick rolling. But then, don’t forget to scooch them apart, without pushing one off of the horses they are hanging onto for dear life, to paint those little top ridges too. Wait to dry. Repeat for two more bundles. But. Nailed it! Of course we didn’t get away without a few paint samples on.. hair of, I’ll just say their initials are Lily and Beau, due to tight circumstances from having to pass under and around this tight knit space. Nail guns are fun!! It’s the little things.Now that’s a finishing touch! On to the next task. 

It’s time to replace all the doors, all 5 of them!! And wouldn’t ya know it, two of them had to be special ordered, the door frames were built in some random measurements that no one carries! So we decide to wait until they come in to paint, trying to get it all done in one swoop.  You all must know how tired I am of painting. Well, one of the two doors arrived and the other was going to take a few weeks so we tackled what we had and figured I’d get to the last one when it gets here. 


Hahaha!  πŸ˜” It’s been hung for a couple weeks now, chilling naked on its hinges, blue tape and all! And I talk about putting forks in it, shame!
Now that this is posted, I suppose I must finish it. Hold me accountable!! 🎨

Update 7/9.  I finally finished the door!!! Fork!! βœ”οΈ

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

21 Mar

I’m loving this move/home/life changing decision more everyday. House aside, this is a beautiful city and it has been confirmed that we did, in fact, make a great choice landing here. Moving somewhere with blindfolds on can be both scary and exciting. I made a similar, I guess virtually the same, venture in September ’05 when a good friend and I decided it was time to leave ‘The Island‘ and head, well, South. Our destination was wide open. After a few months, a handful of states, family and friend visits, we settled on San Diego. Neither of us had ever been there and knew nobody, so instead of dipping our toes in the water, we jumped! Because what the fuck else do you do when it’s time to be a grown up again? Get a job and pay bills!☹️ It was the best decision I’d ever made, up until that point. Fast forward to my current crazy adventure – except this time the husband and I did a bit more research – I had replaced that truck full of a few totes and suitcases with a family and life I had built over the last 11 years. Instead of the unknown destination just being “South,” (growing up in Alaska that means the lower 48) it was now “Northwest”. The farther north we went the air just got clearer and fresher. The water from the tap, colder and tastier. The blues, the whites, the greens, you’ll never guess! Sharper! With every mile we knew we were making the right decision.

Before leaving that POD behind with all of our belongings, awaiting our beckoning, we wanted an estimate of what it would cost to have it shipped and for that they needed a zip code. James just picked one that he figured would be a close or possibly central enough location and well, what’d ya know?! Turns out that’s our fucking zip code!! And not just ours as in Olympia, ours as in, out of over 12 zip codes in the city it was specifically ours!!! Now thats some cool ass shit.

We have yet to do much city and outskirts exploring, spending the bulk of our time within a maybe 5 mile radius of our home, consisting mostly of the grocery store, Home Depot and walking the neighborhood with the dogs, but it is beautiful. We have a gate in our backyard that accesses a little pathway connecting us with surrounding cul de sac communities, a 20 minute walk to a beautiful big park, the streets are quiet and I love it, as do our fur babies. Then the birds. There’s a window over our kitchen sink that looks out to the backyard, and there’s our sliding glass doors opening to the back deck allowing us all to have the opportunity to watch our outdoors do as it likes. The house next to us has a handful of established bird feeders which, fortunately for us, means there’s already word in the hood that there’s access to food around these parts. My mother-in-law sent us this amazing bird feeder, (she’s a bird fan πŸ‘πŸ») and we were quick to add to it and I can’t tell you how often minutes just get lost watching the action in our backyard, this is all day action my friends. Zen. Lily has found a new obsession, because her current and never ending one with the cats just isn’t enough. Are you familiar with the movie ‘UP’ ,those dogs and their distraction word “squirrel!” That sums up Lily perfectly. We have been mimicking that for years joking about her attention span and how quickly she’d come to attention with the mere mention of the cats or their names. Well, we can no longer utter the word, she now knows it actually means just that, sadly, we have a few little fuckers that come and steal the bird feed and flare up her neurosis.

 

We’ve been downtown a handful of times. The capitol building overlooks a lake with a park and wrap around boardwalk. A weekly farmers market, cute ‘small business’ shops, restaurants and the like. I’m looking forward to springtime weather for the patios to open up and enjoy a brew with the four legged crew, we apparently moved here in the “off season.”

I’m well versed in the weather up here and I know that this kind of wet/rain is different. Those clouds, rain or not, are mostly just, there, and, as it did before it makes those blue sky days so amazingly majestic. I’ve missed having more than 1 type of weather 3/4 of the year -San Diego, 70 and sunny – is kinda it’s slogan. β˜€οΈ One of my favorite weather days thus far I woke up to a light snowfall, then it turned into blue skies. Which changed to sleet, followed by rain, blue skies again, then, BAM! Downfall of big balls of hail, which lasted about 1 minute and quickly petered off resulting in light rain. This was all in a span of about 6 hours. Ahh, I’ve missed those “every type of weather” days. I know my honeymoon won’t last forever and some days or weeks or months the rain and gray may just get old for me again, much like it did those 17 years I spent SE Alaska. But I also know that on the clear blue sky days I’ll forget about all that rain and take a deep clean breath in and smile at how amazingly beautiful this place I now call home is.

Update; while editing this the local news just stated, “this is the rainiest winter in over 2 decades.” Well ain’t that some shit 😊🌧

Gifts don’t always come wrapped in a box.Β 

27 Dec

It’s not even light out yet! (12/22). We’re driving to SeaTac airport and the dogs would like to know what the fuck is up, where we are going and what it means for them! Feeding time was 2 hours early today and potty time was too close to form the perfect amount of poo and pee. You know we all like to have a sorta schedule for our good morning let’s start the day right business. Well this early morning I’m on my way to a family Christmas and James is staying behind to watch the kids (yes, I am a little jealous.) I’m not a fan of holiday traveling, in fact, I avoid it as much as possible, and I really can’t think of a time that I’ve done it. For me, as far as traveling goes, I can spend Thanksgiving weeks before to avoid the chaos, and love it just the same. Same goes for Christmas. It could be in May for all I care. Or whatever time you’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lights, the tree, the decorations and the cold weather. I love seeing the houses that are all decorated and sparkly. It’s just the pressure. What to buy for who, because that who may be buying something for you. It’s the pressure. And it’s everywhere. Any store, street or tv commercial. It’s everyone doing it at the same time. 

So here I am, at the airport. I try my best to be patient with everything, (the only way to survive,) people are running late, people are juggling with their kids and employees are taking as many deep breaths as they can. So I take my own deep breaths and smile, wholeheartedly, because we all could use more honest smiles. 
Boarding time!! Everybody on board, we pull from the gate and onto the runway. Annnndddd, there it is. “This is the captain speaking, (never fucking good) we’ve been informed that there is too much traffic flying into Jackson Hole and that we should be getting word in about 40 minutes if we are clear for take off.” ✈️ Sweet, not sweet. πŸ‘πŸ» Deep breath, shit happens. Thankfully, we were directed back to the gate after only about 10 minutes to deboard and that they would keep us updated. Seriously, not having to sit in that plane on the tarmac waiting made it more bearable! I had a beer. 🍺

Maybe 30 or so minutes later we get the ok to re board. Yes! Ready to go! Yes! Then 15 more minutes later we finally pull out. My morning has been too long already so it’s time for me to turn on my quiet cruise control. I have my eyes closed, soft music on, wanting to sleep. I hear the planes engines rev, then slow down, then rev again. When will we fucking fly?!! 

Wait, what’s that?! We’re on a slow roll again, now are we ready for takeoff? It has been almost 30 minutes since we’ve pulled away from the gate, the second time, and by now I’m leaning on the annoyed side. Maybe it’s the screaming baby, or anxious child, or the fact that we are over 2 1/2 hours delayed. πŸ˜’ Or that my not wanting to fly over the holidays has been justified to be true. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves. Then yay! We finally take off! 

Flying alone in an isle seat while tired isn’t much fun. I don’t have James’ shoulder to sleep on, or the window to lean against, but I manage to drift off. Then I wake up and see this,
across the isle from me, I do not know who they are but the fact that brother and sister are cuddled like this made my heart smile.  Traveling to see family isn’t so bad, but EVERYONE scrambling to get to everyone in the same time span, BAD!
 

This post is 4 days old, it’s Christmas now and it’s going to be fun and crazy and chaotic. Someone will get frustrated, someone will complain. Someone will, for no reason at all, stress themselves out which will have a trickle down effect. 🍷 Someone will forget to buy that damn ingredient and there’s no store open and make themselves feel like they ruined everything! Kids will fucking cry and fight and drive us crazy!!! 🍷 Sometimes you cannot find a quiet corner to hide in for at least a minute, with that glass of wine. 🍷 And there will always, and I mean always, be that person that somehow manages to do the least of them all. All this will happen, I promise. And all these someone’s that bring it, all of us, will throughout this day, smile and laugh. We will help each other with the food, and the cleaning and the keeping track of the kids. Seriously, where the fuck are the kids? We will all hug and kiss and say thank you. We will smile and laugh, The dinner will be great, even if it’s come down to that frozen pizza. 
So it’s sometimes shitty getting there. It’s stressful as fuck at times! And so amazing at times as well. But let’s face it, we will all need a fucking vacation when we get home. 🍷 and quiet. Oh so, so much silence. 

Most people won’t get one damn second of this complete and utter chaos. So lets all be a little more dysfunctional and a little more loving for those that miss out. ❀️ ❄ Gifts don’t always come wrapped in a box. 

All About Thanks

25 Nov

Thanksgiving. I love cooking the whole spread. The starting in the morning and going into the afternoon kind of spread. You know, the American Way. I can’t remember the last time I haven’t cooked/hosted/contributed on this holiday. So today was an interesting one. 1. There’s no fucking way to cook that whole shabang in this little trailer. I mean, c’mon, coffee is a 3 step process. So, James does his googling and finds that Safeway offers a fully cooked turkey dinner. All the fixings. It does state that it’s for 6 ppl but, whatever, I’ll make it work as far as leftovers. So he reserved one for us and left this morning to pick it up. Fun surprise! “Fully Cooked” meant it had been at some point, and then frozen or refrigerated. So our fully cooked (10lb) turkey needs to be reheated. 10 mins for every 10 lbs. πŸ™‚ fun times. 

This is our little trailer oven. There’s no fucking way, not gonna fit, sunuva, really!? Thankfully it is fully cooked so James got up in there and started tearing that bird apart to fit some into a cake pan that I can heat/bake it in. And then wait, there’s all the “Fully cooked fixings.”

 So now it’s a toaster oven-stovetop-microwave -propane oven-reheating someone’s pre made food-, kinda dinner. And you know what. We made it work. Food was good, company was great, I have no complaints. At the end it was fun, oddly enough, taking the time figuring out how to package and strategically store the leftovers. You really have to utilize every inch and know what size container to use. I got mad skills from watching and helping my Grandma throughout the years. (You’d be amazed at her packing skills). 

So everything is packed away. Dishes are done. The Cowboys won!!! Fuck Yeah. We all took a nap then ate more food. I think we nailed Thanksgiving in this little 27′ home this year. 

Be thankful for every foot my friends. 

Sunday Funday

13 Nov

Another rainy weekend and we’re taking a day off. And I’ll tell you, after working so many Sunday brunches at Meze Greek Fusion (it’s really fun if you read that with the Allstate voice) in San Diego, today I’m totally down with making our own brunch at home, cracking a beer and watching football. And yes, I realize I totally just plugged my previous employer but I’m ok with that. I worked with and met a lot of great people there. 

We did get some house cleaning and laundry done so it still qualifies as a productive day I’m pretty sure. Yeah, I decided it does πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ŒπŸ»