Monthly Archives: June 2010

Holiday Weekend

I am just getting to the end of my insane three-day work-week. I still have to reach the end of my school-week (I’m estimating about 11 am tomorrow morning), and then I’m free and clear to head out for the weekend – no worries, no school, no internet…wait a minute! What have I gotten myself into! ha!

The architect & I are headed out for a camping trip (our first of the year!) tomorrow as soon as my homework is done. We used to do a LOT of camping – back before we spent our weekends gardening and building sheds and driveways and training for marathons and other random crap. Now, we get out a couple of times a year. Which is ridiculous!

However, since I am doubting my ability to do any backpacking (stupid Damian), we are car camping this time. Near a lake. And the Pacific Crest Trail.

I’m bringing my trail running shoes. Just in case.

I’m bringing my yoga mat, too. Just ’cause I’m in the woods doesn’t mean I can’t get my zen on, right?

I’ll probably bring a few books. And a camera. I am really looking forward to a few days away from all distractions, and spending that time with the architect.

We get back on Sunday – and will spend that afternoon with a few friends, including the newly married kick-ass neighbors who will be newly back from their European Honeymoon.

The next few days, though, are all about this:

Brew Review #17 – Roots Organic Brewery

Holy crap, beer drinkers! It has been a looooong time since I have updated you on my beer-swilling adventures!

The last brew review took place on May 14 at Roots Brewing Company. It was that one beautifully hot weekend in May (there was just the one, I think), and we all sat outside on three tiny tables drinking our cold organic brews.

The architect was architecting (for money! it was fancy!) that week, so I rode my bike to the bar to meet everyone. The bike mappy tool told me it would take close to 75 minutes to get there, so I left by 3:30 to make sure I was there in time.

I got there at about 4:00.

I think the next person to arrive (the architect) got there close to 5. Oops.

Me & my bike - drinking alone

After the architect arrived, we (of course) ordered the sampler tray – and then (as per usual) I solicited everyone’s opinion on the beers they drank. So – in no particular order – here’s the recap! (The descriptions in parentheses are the brewery’s descriptions.)

Island Red (We call this a RED stout. Very full bodied complex ale brewed with a good amount of oats and barley, which lend to the nice bread and malt flavors and help Give this RED a very rich & creamy head)

  • The gazelle – I LOVE this beer; it’s good & caramelly, full of malty deliciousness
  • The architect – Really good; nice beer
  • The former co-worker – Hoppy, refreshing & delicious
  • Mr Pi – A good red, but not really my style

Woody IPA (Not your classic N.W. I.P.A., it’s BETTER! Dry hopped with an abundance of whole magnum hops to get your attention- and hold it.)

  • The architect – Good; wouldn’t necessarily want a whole pint
  • The gazelle – not overwhelmingly hoppy (which is a bad thing)

Roots Organic Pale (A nice example of an English style Pale. Light amber in color, light body and a creamy head makes this our perfect session beer. Four additions of Whole Amarillo hops give it a pleasant nose.)

  • The architect – really good
  • The gazelle – good, clean, crisp
  • The Ambitious One – nose = rubbery; taste = good
  • Mr. A – very floral

Epic Ale (We hand smoked 55#’s of Munich malt over cherry wood soaked in Glenlivet, Cognac & Cherry’s that lends wonderful Smokey Toffee & cherry notes both to the pallet & nose with a warm bittersweet finish. With over 1,700 lb’s of malt and 65 lb’s of hops, it makes this a truly “EPIC ALE”.)

Note: This is the one beer I was super disappointed that I didn’t get to try at Fred Fest, so I was really excited to see it on my sampler tray.

  • The architect – Too much weird
  • The gazelle – I should’ve known, but it’s too brandy-winey-fruity…SAD!
  • Mr. A – Do not like

Belgian Something or other (can’t find this one on the website – it’s not the Abbey)

  • The architect – Good; especially if it was winter
  • The gazelle – I almost like it, but not quite; maybe it’s to sweet
  • The former co-worker – Really good; and once I found out it was 13% alcohol, even better!
  • Mr. A – Favorite one here – great belgian + sour notes
  • Ms. L – full-bodied; like a porter + wheat or a black & tan

EXXXCalibur Stout (Brewed in the imperial style using a variety of specialty malts and Noble Hops. This Stout has wonderful chocolate and coffee notes and a smooth, hearty & complex body. Try this Stout and you will become a stout lover forever!)

  • The architect – really good for stout; another great winter beer
  • The gazelle – really rich & earthy; not too much coffee flavor

The food was pretty good! I think everyone enjoyed what they ate. The jerk chicken strips & the nachos (both off the happy hour menu) were pretty tasty!

I can’t even believe it’s been so long since the last one! June filled up waaay too fast, but I do think it was the first month since April 2009 that there hasn’t been a brew review. Sadness! If it makes you feel better (I know it makes me feel better), I was out there drinking beer in June just to keep on my toes!

Next Brew Review (#18 already!) will be at Rogue. I do love their beers, so it should be tasty!

Weekend of Domestic Bad-assery!

I had a pretty short weekend (only TWO DAYS!) due to being at a work conference on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, I only have to work three days this week before having a six-day weekend (yay for vacation)!

I did make the most of my only two days off (I don’t know how people do that – it’s full of the crazy).

Saturday started off with homework, but then moved on to some quality garden time. I’ll have picture updates for you later this week, but it’s looking awesome. Everyone is really appreciating the sunshine!

Saturday afternoon, I made some salsa (thanks for the recipe, kick-ass neighbor!) and guacamole and then headed off to a really fun birthday party. Such a great time AND perfect weather for an outdoor party.

Sunday was also awesome. I got up pretty early because I knew it would be a busy day. I headed to the farm stand that has opened up in my ‘hood (lots of local produce, as well as a few not-local things – such as Canadian tomatoes) and picked up some berries.

At home, I made some cheese – my most successful mozzarella to date! (The architect & I marinated half of the cheese in olive oil, garlic, parsley & red pepper flakes – YUM.) The architect made a loaf of bread, and then a few friends stopped by for a jamming extravaganza!

Between the four of us, we made nine jars of strawberry jam, nine jars of raspberry jam, and 5,000,000 tiny jars of blueberry jam (maybe 17 jars total, 12 of which were 4 oz size). Then we ate cheese (brie + jam + fresh bread = heaven!) and jam and bread and drank some wine and celebrated our accomplishments.

For some of the participants, it was their first real canning experience! AND, every single jar except one sealed! Yay!

After everyone left, the architect & I sat out in the garden and finished our wine – a perfect end to a fantastic day.

(This post is a great reminder that I need to get a LOT better at documenting and then actually uploading the pictures!)

Where do we go from here?

Name that tune!

I have been thinking a LOT lately about where my life is going and who I want to be. Something that has apparently been going around with a lot of my friends!

It’s very exciting, but scary, to think about change. I am almost halfway done with my Master’s Program. I am developing a plan. It is, however, a secret plan that I haven’t shared with too many people. And then, I have a second, complementary, even more secret plan, that I haven’t shared with anyone.

Now, I am starting to figure out how to get there. And what steps will need to be taken. It’s going to be a lot of work, I think. I would like to be in my new place (career-wise, not house-wise) in about two years.

In the summer of 2012, I will have finished my Master’s. I will have my sustainability certification. I will have a good 18 months (I hope!) of relevant volunteer work under my belt. I will have the financial and project management experience I need to translate that into my goals (the current job is going to get a lot busier for the next two years, too). And, toast-willing, I will also be a competent public speaker.

One of the components of reaching my goals (both secret & SUPER secret) involve maintaining this blog and fulfilling the domestic goddess projects I talked about earlier this week.

That is a lot of stuff to happen in two years. When you think about adding in a couple of marathons, or a few triathlons, or a century ride, it gets pretty overwhelming. I am not sure what I will do about my training schedule. Or if I will really have a training schedule.

It’s possible that I may not run another marathon. Not because I can’t, but because, at least for now, that has to take a back seat to eleventy-hundred other things. I am not sure how I feel about that.

I am dedicated to maintaining my fitness (and seriously – doing a better job with it than I am right now) and health, so I won’t stop with the exercise. And it will be a priority in my life. I’m just not sure that anything last longer than 90 minutes can be a priority right now.

With all the big changes I want to make, I need to stay sane – and I need to figure out how to do that! I know that exercise is a big part of that. But so is having time for myself and my friends and architects.

Sidenote: I went to this great yoga class Monday night – and we got homework! At yoga! Part of the homework was to “bring the same kind of attention that you use to maintain balance in tree pose” to the other areas of your life (although, taken literally that would suck for me, because tree pose is one of the two HARDEST poses for me that I regularly encounter in yoga classes, and there is no balance) – but the message is right. We need to be “as present as possible” in even the most mundane aspects of life. When was the last time you were really and truly engaged in the moment. My mind is always in a dozen different places.  So, being present is part of my arsenal of sanity.

I love being busy, and am so much more productive when I have a lot going on – I just need to remember where the line between enough & too much is.

So – thanks for reading my navel gazing rambly post. It probably won’t be the last one I post.

PORN!

This is for Glam!

It’s been ages, I know. BUT – my feet are angry. And I can’t really wear things that are cute.

I did recently get the following two pairs, though.

They are much shinier than they look on the internets. They also don’t fit over Damian, so they are post-surgery shoes. (Unfortunately, I put them in a box to return, threw said box in my trunk, and then promptly forgot about it for 90 days. I decided to keep them.)

The second pair is AWESOME!

Aren’t they gorgeous? They do fit over Damian, but will not be shoes that are made for walking.

I’ve been wearing a lot of stuff like this:

Comfy-looking, not too hideous flats.

But people – I am about ready for these:

Or these:

But especially these: