Monday, November 1, 2010

All's well that ends well.

Hello Friends and Family,

It's been fun.

But I'm afraid that I am feeling the need to mothball this here blog for a good while. I just want to live my life for a bit without feeling the need to write a post about it. But I am sorry for the pug stalkers who won't be able to get their electronic pug fix...maybe it is time to take the plunge and get a real live pug! I can give you the name of my breeder. Just make sure to never leave a butter-crock lying around where a pug can get to it. :-)

So, take care. And don't forget to call or write.

(I am continuing to post on my jewelry blog....I'm sure there will be some pug spillover over there....)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday-the goodness edition

Right at this moment I can hear my faithful kitchenaid kneading away at the Friday challah. This time I used a bit of mollasses in place of honey (maybe a tablespoon and a half?), but it made it a really nice brown color. I'm excited to try it. (Don't tell J, but I also substituted 1/3 cup whole wheat flour!)

I'm sipping a delicious spicy cup of chai that I made with milk, black tea, and spices. It is fancy, and almost a breakfast in itself. Which is good because there isn't much to eat here in the house. (or as J said "we are low on edibles....but not on grains and beans and barleys.) Which is true, we have plenty of pretty jars of dried beans and grains....but not a lot of things that you can just take out of the package and eat. Which sure is virtuous, but not that convenient. (Speaking of virtuous, I just contributed to our public radio station because I just couldn't stand the guilt any longer).

The pugs are snuggled together in an armchair, looking as deceptively sweet as only pugs can look. I'm sure you all will be interested to know that the Demon-pug has recently made a reappearance. He has discovered that he can make it onto the kitchen table by jumping onto the bench first. So we can now no longer leave anything edible up there. He indulged himself in a bagful of plums a week or so ago, which first alerted us to the problem, so we had been diligent about clearing the table top (which is very annoying and inconvenient since we have a small kitchen and it was nice to store some fruit on the table...). But the other day (Sunday?), I received these two photos as texts from J who had just returned home:

Can any of you guess what these things are? No? Well, it was my new(ish) french butter crock that I blogged about here. I had left it on the table from breakfast, never dreaming that Dieter would think to get into it. How could he, I thought. Well, perhaps pugs are as smart as monkeys or crows, or maybe pushing it off the table to remove the hard "outer shell" was just an accident.

It was empty of butter by the time we found it, of course. But the butter holder half was covered in tiny little pug face hairs, stuck in a layer of pug slobber. And now I have to go to the kitchen gadget store and get a new one...woe is me (what other sweet kitchen trinkets will I find there!?!?)

How do I know it was Dieter and not Gunter? Well....Gunter can't jump. Well...he can sort of jump, but he would never, ever, never, ever attempt to jump onto a narrow wooden bench and then from there onto a table top. It would never even occur to him as something that was within the realm of possibility. Poor little earthbound Gunter.

But what makes this Friday especially good? The fact that my sweet littlest niece was born just a couple of days ago! And she is the cutest little eskimo baby ever to grace the earth. And I get to see her in person in about a week. I am so excited! Cutest thing ever (besides all of my other nieces and nephew(s), who are of equal cuteness). Pictures to follow soon. (I want one! I want one!....but not yet.)

An an un-baby topic, I got new glasses:

Ummm...are they too hip? (Just one gear on my fixy bike!) Or just a flash back to the glasses I had in the 6th grade:

(6th grade? I can't remember. Poor little thing, she would never survive in the bullying climate of today's schools. Actually, she probably would since she never gave a sh*t about what any body thought, starting in kindergarten. That is also my hair au naturel, for those of you who are curious.)

I'm not sure. I don't want to be too hip, but I needed bigger lenses since I am blind as a bat naturally and when you are incredibly blind, small frames just make you feel as though you are looking out of a tiny tube. (That is how I feel anyway.)

Okay! What a long rambling disconnected post! One other thing on my mind recently:

1) I love fall. I love the cool air and the spiders webs and pumpkins and dew on the grass and the lovely crisp evenings. Probably my favorite season. (Except for spring, summer, and winter. I love them each the best when they first start...)

Have a great weekend! I know I will, I see a pumpkin patch and caramel apple in my near future.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A post I have been meaning to write for a while

Dearest readers,

When you have curly hair, it defines a far larger segment of your personality than, say, straight hair or wavy hair. I'm sure I will be stepping on some toes here, but those of you with what I would term wavy hair....I'm sorry, that is not curly hair. It never will be, and you have no idea what you are talking about. If your hair doesn't form ringlets and/or lift off of your head with a mind of its own, combined with frizz and static, you don't have curly hair. If you can use a brush to brush your hair when it is dry without too much trouble, you don't know what I'm talking about. If you don't have to comb out your hair in the shower with copious amounts of thick conditioner, you don't know what I'm talking about. I

And then, there are those of us who have what I like to call Frankenstein curly hair.

My hair, brushed when dry, and partially straight from being pulled back the day before. This was after I removed 2-3 bobby pins from their secret nests hidden deep within (lost from the day before). I am constantly finding bobby pins secreted away in the endless depths.

And that is it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Summer's Final Huzzah!

Well, I've been meaning to share these pictures with you of our (only) summer camping trip, but moving and re-moving got in the way. But, I finally found these photos on J's computer and have a moment this morning to blog them.

We had been planning to do a lot of camping this last summer, we talked big talk, but in the end we had to settle for a one night rushed trip to the coast. There was so much going on every weekend during the summer (and the summer didn't even really start until the middle of July) that it is hardly our fault. We are neither of us Boy Scouts ( J especially is a city boy...I love you sweetie!), so camping under our own power is a different experience entirely from camping as a tag along on other people's trips. We did manage to get a nice fire going later in the evening, but we couldn't figure out the camp stove. It might be broken, so we ended up driving down the road to eat the worst hamburgers of our lives in some po-dunk coastal town. But that was all made up for by the delish s'mores that night.

(Sunning with Dieter at Honeyman Beach Park, one of my favorite places on earth.)

(Double pug.)

(See! The pugs aren't always cute. Especially when they sneak over to the neighbor's
camp and eat their chili on the sly and then have horrible pug farts all night long.)

(Argh! Pirates?)

(Scenery, or as J likes to call it: Beanery)

(Heceta Head, another of my favorite spots. J said everywhere in Oregon must
be my favorite....It's true.)

(Double Pug.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

Oh my goodness. I can't even begin to describe how nice it is to be in my own house again. I celebrated by cooking up a storm (corn chowder, tzatziki, hummus, tabouleh, roasted veggies...) on Sunday for dinner and for lunches during the week. J and I have decided to be virtuous and pack our lunches. (You might remember my new lunch box, purchased expressly for this purpose?) Otherwise he would buy lunch (and what a waste of money!) and I would go hungry because I couldn't break away from whatever I'm doing at the time (or I would go and buy a burrito! Oh cha cha cha!)

Okay! I'm not quite ready to reveal the after pictures (the window molding in our room doesn't go back up for a couple of weeks, but I do have some (very poor quality) before pictures for you:

There was much painting and rearranging done, but it is finally coming together. I'm especially pleased with the kitchen and the living room. I might be able to do some after photos of those two rooms this week. Yay! I'm home!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This is what happens

when you leave a camera lying around:

Alas! Alas!

Readers. We were supposed to be moving back into our condo today. Just like we were supposed to moving back into the condo last week. And like last week, it is just not going to happen. I can't even explain how frustrated (and distraught) I am. I HATE being in limbo like this. I HATE living out of a suitcase, for a month now.

This is how I feel:

And poor Peanut, who feels bad about putting me in this situation and is extremely frustrated and I'm sure I'm not helping by being so upset. And really, should I be upset? Not really, we are staying in a very comfortable house and everything is great otherwise. I just feel so disconnected from my normal life and I feel stymied. I have no access to any of my art books or art supplies. And I feel like I haven't been able to eat properly. Even when a kitchen is well stocked and there is every sort of gadget you could want, it is not the same as being in your own kitchen. I'm sure that this is all in my mind. But I'm dying to sleep on my tempurpedic mattress. But most of all, I wanted to be out of the house before J's parents returned from vacation. I know that after a long vacation all I want to do is return to normal, and they can't really do that when there are two pugs (adorable as they might be) squatting in the laundry room and a messy future daughter in law camped out upstairs (sorry guys!).

Anyhoo. No need for you to feel sorry for me....I feel sorry enough for myself to cover it (plus some). Now, I just need to quit whinging (since we will be in this Friday).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dressers, pulls, colors

For those of you out there who read both of my blogs meticulously, along with watching with rapt attention to the videos posted on my work blog (I know there has to be at least one of you out there, stalker!), you will know that due to moving and various furniture swapping (work dresser/cabinet now in the living room, bedroom dresser now at work), I have no dresser, and for the short time I was at Jonathan's (a week maybe?) all of my clothes found a place on the floor. (How was that for a run on sentence? Suck it 4th grade language arts teacher!)

So to remedy this, I was drooling over dressers at Room and Board. If only I wasn't (comparatively) poor. Who can afford these?

I want this dresser with a passion. But my passion doesn't extend to spending that much money on a piece of furniture. So I bought this one instead:

It was on sale at the unfinished furniture place here in town. I forget what wood (ash?), but it has cedar lining. I plan on finishing it with the baltic green color below:

I love colors more than plain wood anyway. It's not as stylish, but I can live with that. I also plan on switching out the pulls to these:

Or maybe these ones:

Either way, it will be nice to finally have a functioning dresser. I can't describe how excited I will be to not be living out of a laundry basket!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh Pugs! And Apartments...

(From the NE apartment, to be known in the future as the Old World Charm)

Dearest Gunter,

It has been an epic adventure....moving into J's condo, and then moving again a few days later to J's parent's house. You have been a champ. Except, of course, that time you "marked your territory" on that bag of stuff after Rosh Hashanah brunch. In front of the whole family.... But besides that, you've been great.

Dearest Dieter,

You've been great. Stay out of the bathroom garbage. That is all I have to say.

p.s. We will finally be moving back into the condo this Wednesday...knock on wood. I also have big plans for a dresser we bought and unveiling the changes that we've made to the condo. I hope to have before and after pictures up soon!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Good Gravy!

(this exact post is also posted on my studio blog, sorry jewelry fiends,
I'm still too busy to blog regularly. See below for details.)

I'm sorry folks. Most of August feels like Wedding D-day in the singleB studio. There are so many weddings happening over Labor Day that all I do is work (at least that is how it feels to me!) And there are always a few last minute rush projects for people going on vacation or visiting with family etc. and they NEED to have a ring by then. And as much as I love them, rush jobs make my life hell. I'll be honest. I'm not the most organized of people (truly). I just tend to rely on my giant brain (ha! Better keep popping those fish oil supplements!) to keep track of everything, instead of having a system in place to keep track of things for me (like what an organized person would do....I'm not even sure what that would look like. Sticky notes? File folders? Spread sheets?) It has worked so far.....I haven't missed any weddings.....yet. (Fingers crossed, knock on wood!)

But besides being the busiest business month out of the year for me, I also had my brother's wedding, a visit from my sister, and worst of all, a move. The studio is still in the same spot, but the cute little apartment that the pugs and I inhabited was left behind for a cute little place that has room for me and the pugs and the Shop Monkey. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that I HATE moving with my whole soul. (Can I get a show of hands?) I swear, every time I move I think "I'm never buying a single trinket ever again. I'm done. I hate you Amazon!"

Now that the move is over (almost a week you say, from the 1st, which surely was the date your move finished?) you would think things are going to calm down. Sure. Except that a good friend of mine from my Navy days got married on the 4th, and that wedding was in Maryland. So the Shop Monkey and I packed our bags and traveled across the country for a lovely wedding (where I had waaaaay toooooooo muuuuuucccchhhhh to drink. A flash back to my Navy days as well?). And then when we arrived back in Portland (which, by the way is much better than any other place on the planet. Our tap water is the best in the country. This is true, google it.), we had to repack the things we had just unpacked a few days before in order to move to the Shop Monkey's parent's house while our condo is torn apart in order to get rid of mold in the walls of the two bedrooms. Good Gravy! I actually RAN to work today in order to get away from the chaos that is my life at home. And now we* will be staying at the parentals for who knows how long. As much as I hope they like me now (hi Fanny!), I hope they will still like me after their house has been invaded by me and the pugs.

So, dear and gentle readers (including you, Nancy!), I will be back to regular (and by regular, I mean random) posting soon. Just as soon as I am not living out of a suitcase/plastic bag, perhaps.

*and by we, I mean me, the Shop Monkey, AND Gunter AND Dieter. Poor Shop Monkey parents.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


One of my younger brothers (I have 3) got married this weekend (Bride: 19, Groom: 22) . There is not much to say about the wedding* so i will just post some pictures. I really wish them the best of luck, they are going to need it.

My older sister came out for the weekend and we had a good time together doing Portlandy stuff. We also got a haircut (we seem to do a lot of hair based activities together for some reason. Probably because both of us loath getting our haircut...when you have special needs hair it is hard to find someone who can cut curly hair without mutilating it. We both have the same terrible stack of layers. One giant shelf at chin level and the rest of the hair just hanging below it. Terrible. Our hair is straightened here, only the hairdresser can get it that way).

Terribly washed out. Thanks Shakeitphoto! No wrinkles and/or chin!

*If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday, the moving edition

Shabbat Menu:

Roast chicken or fish

cucumber salad with onions, dill, and red wine vinegar

purple potato rosemary parmesan gratin (whipping cream is key here)

fresh baked challah

cold green bean salad(??)

Moving is moving along apace (hehehe...moving is moving. Noun and verb!) Jonathan spends 4 nights of the week here and so in the morning he takes a couple of boxes with him when he goes home. Which makes it easy for me.

Ah, cookbooks. I love to read cook books at night in bed.
Is that weird?

Ceramic China-men antique lamps. Should they stay
or go to the goodwill for some lucky hipster to find?

Almost empty bookshelves. Do you see that little squat,
dark wood statue? That is my pygmy. When my older sister
was on her honeymoon in S. Africa, I told her all I wanted
was for her to bring me a pygmy (a real one, of course) and she
didn't, but she did get me this cute carving of one.

The goodwill box.

What has been happening this morning? (Besides making challah, which is right now rising (at least I hope it is rising, this batch seemed a little reluctant to rise for some reason, maybe I put in too much salt or sugar? Ay!)

For the pug lovers, pug sunbathing.

When a loaf of this bread costs more than 5 dollars, I should be more
careful about toasting it.

Fruit! Glorious fruit from my CSA box. Midway through, I decided to add
the fruit share to my box, and I am so glad I did. I love fruit! A disproportionate
amount of my grocery budget (ha! Like I have a grocery budget!) goes towards
fruits and berries all summer long. I think that is because my mother
never bought the expensive fruit, or at least not very often. We ate a lot of red and green apples
and oranges at my house growing up. I remember one of the first things that I did
when I had a little money of my own was to buy pounds of cherries and gorge myself on them.
Things are pretty much still like that.

This weeks CSA box included a pound or so of tomatillos. So I decided
to make salsa. Broiled the tomatillos, a bunch of cilantro, white onion, jalepeno,
tad bit of vinegar and voila:

And the 2nd piece of burnt toast of the morning. I got distracted by
facebook. My lovely friend Annie announced her engagement this
morning and I totally forgot about the toast.

Have a great weekend everyone! I know I will, my sister will be in town from Reno and my younger brother is getting married!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The time is quickly approaching when the Peanut and I will be joining households. We've already been moving some stuff from my little place to his place, and my apartment begins to look empty. Nothing like taking down all of the art on the walls to make a person feel sad.
(And leaving my light-filled old world charm/wooden floors/built-ins/subway tile/white molding/fireplace/antique chandeliers apartment for a more modern and carpeted condo makes me nervous. And there will now be 4 animals and two humans living in one little space. It will be like a pet circus all day long. Well, I hope not. I hope that after a while the pugs and kitties will get along. Plus the pugs come to work with me. The no sidewalks is also a bit of a worry. But there is a big park nearby. And we will be really close to the JCC gym. And Barbur World Foods is close. I hope that will make up for losing my New Seasons. Anyway, I can't think about it too much. I've only ever lived in NE, so SW is going to be a bit of a change for me, but I think I can adjust. If anyone has any clever lighting tips, or sources for nice lamps please let me know.)

Not that I am sad to be moving in with J. Just sad to be leaving my little apartment and a certain time in my life behind. I loved living alone. I will be honest, I like having my own way about things. Luckily for me, my boyfriend is the most accommodating guy in the world....Me: "What do you think of _____, or maybe blue ______, what about something like _______? Him: I don't care. I just want you to be happy." Nice, yes? I'm totally fine with him not caring about the color of the walls or whatever. Because I care and I like to make things happen. I think perhaps some of the stress that happens between people in a couple is because one person cares about XYZ, but the other doesn't care one way or another, but the first person expects the second person to make XYZ happen for them anyway, even though they don't really care/it doesn't make a material difference in their happiness. Well, not me. If I want XYZ, I will make XYZ happen. And that isn't to say that J isn't involved in making the new place* we speak he is going to look at a kitchen cart/island thing from craigslist and he has sanded and painted and run errands and all sorts of stuff. He's about as great as great can get.

I realize this post is confused and a bit contradictory. But I guess that happens when a big event fills you with both excitement and apprehension. Mostly excitement, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tad nervous too. Not about living with J, not at all. That will be great, I know it. But living in a place/neighborhood so totally different from what I am used to. That makes me nervous. But it isn't permanent, we will probably be looking for a house in the next year and half or so, and I can make it through anything for a year and half (I managed 5 years in the Navy after all.)

We will be Beanifying the new place* in the next few months, so there will be updates. Hopefully with lots of before and after pictures. (If I can remember to take before pictures. I never do.)

*and by new place I mean his current condo that needs a lot of a help from a lady.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Time Magazine cover

At J's suggestion:

Instead of:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My new lunch box

Since I moved into the new studio a few months ago, I've really been struggling to eat well during the day.  I'm no longer a short walk from my favorite burrito place, so I've generally been skipping lunch everyday.  Which I know is bad for me.  So when I saw this fancy lunchbox at New Seasons, I snapped it up.  I had been looking for a Japanese style box for a while, but this one is just so cute and I love that it is all made of metal!