Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours.
Matt and Joey
Ella and Armstrong

Monday, December 15, 2008

So, what are you doing?

I keep getting this question, so I just thought I'd post an official update on our doings lately.

-Working as a document manager/ designer-builder liaison for BMW Oracle, who are building a crazy sci-fi trimaran sailboat in their bid for the next America's Cup
-Biking to work, wearing shorts every day till March in a company bet
-Designing and building his first longboard
-Designing a boat for our brother-in-law Damion for fun
-Cooking through Jamie Oliver's "Cook with Jamie," and "Jamie at Home" cookbooks, particularly desserts. So far: gingerbread, brownies, lemon drizzle cake, shortbread, pear tarte tatin.

-Working on my novel full-time since I stopped teaching at King's in October. I'm 80 pages into my second attempt at a first draft and plan to have 100 by Christmas. Hope to have a complete first draft by April.
-Starting a little part-time job as a barista at an organic, fair-trade coffee house in Anacortes called Coyote Coffee Roasters.
-Thoroughly embarrassing myself at Step class at the gym, as well as taking Yoga and BodyPump and trying to get my running times faster.
-Trying out acupuncture.
-Also cooking. Recent successes: steak and Guiness pie, mushroom bruschetta, fresh tagliatelle with tomato basil sauce and sweet peas, onion gratin, roasted butternut squash with sage, chicken and coconut milk soup with lemongrass and ginger.

-Looking forward to the coming snowboard season and Matt's two weeks off of work
-Staying in Seattle with the Rices this Christmas
-Making friends with the many Kiwis (New Zealand natives) living here to work on the BMW Oracle campaign.

More Merry and Bright

Matt and I picked up our Christmas tree on Saturday. Since our apartment is tiny and our Christmas decorations are buried in storage, we decided to get a Charlie Brown tree (a tabletop tree) from a local U-Cut tree farm.

Tiny flakes fell as we tromped around the Skagit Valley farm with the Olympics and Cascades encircling us, blue in the distance. We finally found the perfect little guy, a noble. We felt sad to cut him down and even inquired about uprooting him, but the tree farmer (who was nice enough to give us a jar of his homemade honey) seemed dubious. Apparently, we were the first to ask. We decided to give the guy a break and got a saw.

Yesterday we strung cranberries and popcorn with our friend Brian. Very Little House on the Prairie of us, if I do say so.

After we had the tree up, Matt looked at me and said "Let's always have a tabletop tree."

Yes, let's.


A word about the following photos: I swear I didn't put Armstrong and Ella into theses positions. I just keep coming into the room and finding them like this. I've got such a collection of shots, I thought I'd share.

I've never had two cats so happy to snuggle with each other. I don't know if it's genuine affection or if it's just because they're both trying to occupy the prime sunspot (It's pretty apparent that's the motive in the shots of Ella on top of Armstrong--he eventually left). Either way, I imagine sleeping on a soft little kitty would be pretty cozy. If Ella would let me sleep on her, I definitely would.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Remembering Emily

We want to remember our friend Emily Soule Hesse (1981-2004) today. We miss you, Emily. We love you, Gavin.

[Death] comes--and goes--to leave me in thy arms,
Nearer thy heart, oh, nearer than before!
To lay thy child, naked, new-born again
Of mother earth, crept free through many harms
Upon thy bosom--still to the very core.

-George MacDonald from The Diary of an Old Soul

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All things merry and bright...

A few of the things that have me excited for the season...

From top to bottom:
1. Italian Christmas desserts from DeLaurenti deli in Pike's Place Market (I could write a whole blog about that place!): panetonne (a sourdough bread with raisins and fruit) and torrone (almond nougat with fruit).
2. Jamie Oliver's gingerbread recipe
3. Satsuma mandarins
4. The holiday edition of Martha Stewart Living
5. Our front door Christmas wreath (thanks Mama Roddy!)