Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Painting - Part 2

In the month since we began, we added more coats of paint (I stopped counting), touched up mistakes and finally added the symbols to our Eye of Jupiter painting.

See the difference?



And here it is in its final resting place (we hope). Please forgive my messy home.

We're still a bit wary about how secure it is, but we're hoping it doesn't fall off the wall. That canvas is pretty darn heavy.

The symbols are stylized versions of the twelve zodiac signs.

Now it's time for our next painting project to begin: a Celtic Tree of Life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Meeting New Family

One week from now I will board a plane for Virginia, where the rest of my family lives. I often go to Virginia during my teaching breaks, staying with my parents and visiting with my brother, nephew, and my recently-back-from-deployment cousin. Sometimes I squeeze in a trip to visit one of my great-aunts, or my mom's cousins.

I'm not from Virginia, though. I was born and raised in central California. When I was in my 3rd year of college, my parents decided to pack up and move across the country to Fredericksburg, Virginia. After finishing college in Washington State I decided to stay. That is how I come to live in Seattle, while my parents are very near the other Washington.

What makes this trip to Virginia different is the addition of not one, but two family members. My recently-back-from-deployment cousin is newly married, and I will get to meet her husband while I'm visiting. My brother is recently engaged, and I will get to meet his fiancee. In an effort at getting to know both of them during my less than a week stay, I have been compiling a list of essential questions. Here is a sampling:

What are your views on womens' rights?

Do you believe in evolution?

Who is your favorite Firefly character?

You get the picture. I can't publish all of my questions, for security reasons. I don't want them studying up now, do I? I want honest, in the moment answers.

Don't worry, there will be a full report when I get back.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is Here!

The first day of Spring in Seattle was beautiful. I think the mercury reached 68 degrees or so. I spent the Equinox with my husband and some good friends. We started the day off at the University District Farmer's Market. Most of the offerings were still winter-fare, with many root vegetables and squash. That was to be expected. I left the market with a loaf of sourdough bread and a small strawberry plant.

Then we went to Bad Woman Yarn to buy yarn for a sweater project I've been dying to start. My friend and I checked out every ball, skein and shank of yarn in the store before I finally decided on the perfect yarn. More about that later.

The evening was filled with food, friends and games. Our friends brought over Settlers of Catan, a game we had heard much about but hadn't had the chance to play yet. We played two games before my friends had to head home, and then we played another before we went to bed. I had a blast.

I had such a good time that day, in fact, that I completely forgot to take any pictures. And so I leave you with a picture from yesterday of one of my cats enjoying the Spring sunshine in my little nook.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast Pizza. Now doesn't that sound wonderful? Two amazing ideas, breakfast and pizza, combined to make an excellent meal. Strangely, I've made this twice now, and both times I ate it for dinner and breakfast the next day.

I cheat a little bit, and make my pizza dough in the bread machine. I've made it by hand as well, but in my busy life the bread machine can be a savior.

The only thing I changed in the recipe was the addition of mushrooms. I love mushrooms, and firmly believe that just about anything can be made better with mushrooms. And so you have it.

I think it was the combination of cheeses. Or maybe it was the cheese plus the herbs. I don't know. What I do know was that the first bite was heavenly. As was the second, and third, and so on.

If you'd like the recipe, head on over to Smitten Kitchen and check it out.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cherry Pie

Today marks seven years since my Aunt Sandie passed away. She was only 44 years old when she died from ovarian cancer. I've never had any sort of ritual to mark the day. It's my way of avoiding my feelings.

On the first anniversary of her death my mom baked a cherry pie. We all sat down and shared it. Cherry pie was my aunt's favorite. So today I decided to bake a pie to honor my aunt.

Since cherries are not in season, I cheated a little and bought canned pie filling. I also bought pre-made pie crust. So really I just assembled the pie. I figure that was okay for my first special pie.

I wish that my aunt was still here. I wish that she could have met my husband. I wish I could have gotten to know her as an adult, instead of only as a child.

So many wishes.

Instead I work at my relationships with her two children. We are all so young that we are still navigating the change from child-to-child relationships into adult-to-adult relationships.

I love her children like they are my siblings, even though they are not. I look forward to the day I have my own children, and I know that my cousins will have a major role in their lives.

Rest in peace Aunt Sandie.

We Learn to Ski

Yesterday Joe and I trekked up to Crystal Mountain Ski Resort on Mt Rainier. We decided to try skiing, since one of our friends works as an instructor. Our friend Eric knew we were coming up, but didn't know if we'd end up trying skiing or snowboarding. While we waited around for the class to start, I wondered if we'd have trouble finding him. There are so many instructors, and so many different classes offered. Then from behind me I heard a loud "Yeeeeeeesssssss! You're wearing ski boots!" He found us. No problem.

I still can't believe how much I learned in that half-day lesson. I went from not knowing which end was up, and feeling very shaky, to being able to traverse the slopes with confidence that I wouldn't crash and burn. Not to say that I'm a super awesome skier, or that I didn't fall down. There were definitely times that I got going faster that I'd like, and those times brought a huge amount of panic. But I managed to remember the v-shape that slows skis down, and the fact that if I turned to one side for long enough I'd eventually be pointing sideways or even uphill, and I'd come to a stop. There were a couple times I almost ran into other skiers, but I managed to avoid smashing into them. A plus for me and for them.

We stayed on the Discovery lift, which is for beginners. There are other lifts that start from basically the same area, which means that at times skiers or snowboarders would come careening down the hill at crazy speeds. Here's one of the lifts that we didn't take:

This was our lift:

And because we are who we are, I leave you with a couple goofy pictures.

Thank you Eric for teaching us how to ski. =)