Friday, August 31, 2007

Izzy Has Yoda Ears


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Anniversary

Nate and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary on Aug. 19th, 2007. Actually we celebrated on the 17th or something like that. Since we went to Catalina Island just last month, we didn't feel justified in taking another big trip (even though I tried my best to figure out a way back to Catalina), so we decided to spend our anniversary in the city we live closest to...Denver.

Nate found a great price on a hotel room in the Denver Tech Center area that had close access to the light rail so we could spend some time in downtown Denver without having to drive and park there. Here's a couple pictures of our delux room, with windows forming a half circle along one entire wall, and a nice view of the "not that exciting" Tech Center.

After we checked in at the hotel, we took the light rail to downtown Denver and ate at one Denver's favorite steakhouses called the Chophouse.

Nate accused me of sucking in my belly for this picture. To this accusation I replied "duh." Also, if you're wondering about the fabulous handbag I have, it is a noisy stuff original and the creator's blog link can be found on the right side of our blog. Below are some snaps of the food we gorged ourselves on.

We were so excited to have crab since (believe it or not) we don't get to eat that much fresh crab here in Colorado. The steaks were also of course delicious. I know you can't see mine very well, but I would like to point out the fact that it was 16 oz. That's a pound of meat folks. I decided to order it because I love pepper, and it was the only pepper crusted steak on the menu. Plus I'm eating for two right? Don't you think a 5 oz. baby needs 8 oz. of steak all to itself??? (Don't worry I didn't eat it all...not that I would tell you if I did.)
The next morning when it was time to go home, we were both kinda bummed. It really felt like we were a lot farther away than we actually were. Although, we were certainly happy about the fact that it was only a 20 min. drive home.

Below are some pictures of previous anniversaries. The first of course is on our wedding day. The next picture on the left is in Portland for our first anniversary, and the picture on the right is our second anniversary in Washington/Canada at Lorne and Laurel's wedding. Apparently across the years I prefer to stand/sit on Nate's left.

Pessimistic For a Reason

For those of you that read my previous post about my garden, you may remember that I mentioned being a pessimistic planter. I thought that maybe this gardening season was too good to be true, with hardly any weeds, tomatoes growing like trees, and no bugs or plant diseases. Well, apparently it was too good to be true. My tomatoes are suffering from something called Blossom End Rot. If you've never heard of it or seen it before, take a look at my tomatoes...

From what I've read, it's not a disease that spreads so that is good news. It is brought on by "erratic watering practices." Yes...that would pretty much define how I water my garden...Erratically.

Of course not all hope is lost. It hasn't happened to all the tomatoes...only about 40% of them; and, since I planted so many I can easily make up for the loss. So you're still invited over for fresh salsa and Bruschetta...just less of it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Golf and Me

So Ken and Nina, my in-laws, are coming to visit in a couple of weeks. Ken, is becoming an increasingly large fan of playing golf. Over the last several summers, while working for Ken, I have been golfing with him a handful of times. So it’s only natural that Ken and I plan to go out golfing when they come to visit.

Being that I haven’t picked up my clubs in over a year now I decided that it might be a good idea to go to the driving range to get some practice in before the big game. I got up this morning, assessed what I needed to get done at school, and decided that today was as good of a day as any to start. I went to the Appleridge Golf Course, bought a bucket of balls and went out to the driving range. Thankfully, I was the only one out there so I didn’t embarrass myself too badly when I started to hack away at the ball.

Let me tell you, I am ruuuusty at golf. I’ve never been a great player but I think I’ve hit par once or twice out at the beautiful 9-hole Ponderosa Golf Course in Burley, ID. However, this morning it took me about 10 minutes before I finally hit a ball that didn’t just roll over the berm in front of me. I practiced for a while longer and eventually started hitting some balls a decent length away. The only problem was that they were far from going straight. In fact, there were several balls that were traveling perpendicular to my intended path by the time they were done bouncing. And when say perpendicular I don’t mean that I tipped them off of my club, I mean they flew up in to the air and then miraculously turned left about 75 yards away from me. I looked it up on the internet and it’s official, I slice a golf ball like nobody business.

After using my “new” driver ($15 at my neighbor’s garage sale) for a while I decided that it was time to move over to the irons. First of all, I forget how short irons are. I don’t know if my clubs are too short or what but I definitely had to put a bend in my upper back to reach the ball. Of course, that’s what you get with $1 Goodwill golf clubs. My first swings with my iron looked a lot like the first swings with my driver. I would either miss entirely or send the ball rolling, rather slowly, over the berm in front of me. After another 10 minutes of futility, I finally started hitting them. However, it seems that the only way I could really hit with my irons today was by rolling up a large chunk of earth in my swing. There were a couple times I gouged a divot so deep I was looking over my shoulder, expecting to see someone coming out of the pro shop to chew me out about ruining their driving range. I will say this about my iron shots though, when I hit them, even if it was accompanied with a large amount of turf, they usually went straight.

Oh, and somehow, while at the driving range, I managed to slightly sprain my right wrist. So yeah… I have a golf injury. Maybe I should invest in some of those snazzy golfing gloves. Or even better, I should wear the splint Miranda got when she broke her thumb.

At the end of my driving range experience I climbed up out of the hole I had dug while frantically swinging my clubs, picked up my kick-a red white and blue vinyl golf bag and headed for school.

But not all hope is lost. I’ve hired a great golfing instructor: the internet. The only problem is that it can’t seem to get its story straight… keeps telling me different things. But I figure if I read up on it a little maybe I could at least reduce my gargantuan slice. Plus, I intend to go to the driving range at least three more times before Ken gets to Colorado so I’ll be prepared. My goal: Hit par on at least one hole when I’m out golfing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

If You Haven't Already Heard...

That's right folks. Baby Walker is due in early February so start making plans to come visit your new grandson/daughter, nephew/niece, cousin, or best friend's baby in Colorado!

Here are a few FAQ's for those who are curious:

Q: How far along are you?
A: 15 weeks. Far enough that I should buy some maternity clothes as evidenced below.

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Great. For the first couple of months I didn't feel so great at night and I was exhausted. I could sleep for 3 hours in the evening...get up and eat dinner...and then sleep through the night. The fact that our house was 110 degrees in the evening didn't help much either. I wasn't much for cleaning the house so Nate and I had to live in squalor for a while.

Q: Are you going to find out what you're having?
A: You betcha. If everything goes well we will find out at the ultrasound in September. I'm a planner and I don't know what to buy if all I know about the baby is that it is in fact a baby.

Q: Are you going back to work after you have the baby?
A: I'll go back to work until Nate graduates and gets a job. Luckily my job gives me 12 weeks maternity leave and good benefits (hence the baby). We can live off of one income but we can't live off of no income.

Well, that about covers most general conversations. Feel free to call or email if you have more questions, need help planning your trip to Denver, or just want to chat!

Look at my Garden Grow!

I hate to brag...but I think my garden this summer is pretty rockin'. It's actually growing so well, that it's getting a little out of control. My tomato plants have gotten so big that they've created their own little rain forest, and they're knocking down the cheap wire cages I bought for them when I first planted them. It is kind of hard to see from the picture, but if you look closely, you can compare the straight fence to the cages that are falling in all different directions.

My Early Girls are pretty obviously on a mission to knock down their wire prison. I started getting ripe Early Girls about a week ago but I'm too lazy to take another picture of them. Plus I could eat the things by the bushel right now; they're like candy.

You might be saying to yourself..."my goodness, Miranda has planted a lot of tomatoes. I wonder why so many." Well, if you know me well enough, you know that I am quite a pessimistic planter. I assume that at least 40% of my crop is going to die. So I bought enough tomato plants so that I could still have a decent harvest after I found a way to kill half of them. However, they all decided to THRIVE. One of them is as tall as me. I tried to buy varietys the said "Full Sun" on the tag because that's pretty much what they get here in Denver...12 hours of FULL SUN. Apparently I was successful.

Above is a picture of my fine leaf basil. I don't like it quite as much as the regular sweet leaf but it is still good and does much better in the hot sun. Below are pictures of my summer squash which I couldn't kill even if I tried.

And peppers! I'm actually getting Bell and Jalapeno peppers!

So now that you have all seen my beautiful garden you should all come over for some fresh Bruschetta, sauteed summer squash, and salsa.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Adventures in Grilling

While we were in Catalina, Nate's family heard all about my new favorite cookbook that my co-worker and I have taken to calling "the bible." It's called Weber's Real Grilling by Jaime Purviance. Obviously, I think it's wonderful.

I've already made four of the recipies and have plans to make two more right away and I've only owned the book for three weeks!. (One of those weeks I was in Catalina and Nate and I made the fish tacos from this book for everyone to enjoy) Last night we tried the Tandoori-Style chicken kabobs and loved them.

I've also made the Mount Olympus Meatball Kabobs which are made with ground beef, ground lamb, and mint. They're covered with a sauce made with plain yogurt, shredded cucumber, and dill. Mmmm.

The other thing I love about this book (besides every recipe) is that fact that if I actually follow the directions, as in ACTUALLY look at the temperature I'm using and ACTUALLY pay attention to how long I'm leaving the food on the grill, it is so much better. For example, the Texas Two-Step pork chops I made the other day were maybe the juciest we've ever had. I blame the fact that I didn't leave them on there so long that they were shriveled and deprived of all the moisture they had ever once had.

So if your house is a million degrees like ours, and all you want to do is grill but you need a little inspiration check out this book. Or call me for some recipies.

Tonight: White Wine Marinated Pork Chops with Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Relish.