Monday, June 30, 2008

Hiatus - Day 3

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the mall we go!

Pete had to go to work today so mom and I ventured out to the mall (we needed something to keep our minds off of missing him so much....haha). I haven't done much shopping recently, but after mom and I had a heart to heart (in the car after we found a prime parking spot) we went into to do some damage. For those of you who know me well, you know that the first spot we hit was Nordstrom's and that happened to be our only stop. I ended up with three new pairs of capris and three new tops. The tops are functional for both work and play which is nice and the capris were good to have since it was extremely warm in Portland.

We were both hungry after the serious shopping and headed out for lunch. At lunch I decided that I was going to cook dinner and called dad to invite him over. My family was pretty impressed at my dinner (I was too). After dinner the neighbors came over so we could do a toast in honor of Pete's new job (which he LOVES)! Good times.

Orange Glazed Turkey with Cranberry Rice
1 14 1/4 oz can fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 3oz pkg dried cranberries
2 cups instant rice, uncooked
1 lb turkey cutlets
1/2 cup low-sugar orange marmalade

Combine broth and cranberries in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in rice; remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add turkey, and cook 2 minutes. Turn and cook over high heat 2 minutes or until browned.
Spoon marmalade over turkey; cook, uncovered over medium heat 2 additional minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Fluff rice mixture with a fork; spoon evenly onto 4 plates, and top each serving with 2 cutlets.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hiatus - Day 2

Day 2 was spent with my dad and brother celebrating a belated Father's Day. Pete and I headed over the river early so we could take dad out for brunch. Dad had suggested one place but when we go there it was closed (good thing, it looked like a dive). We headed off on the Washington side of the Columbia River gorge to check out the brunch at Skamania Lodge. We got there with plenty of time to enjoy the Champagne Brunch - highly recommended for anyone visiting the area! After we had stuffed ourselves we headed to the car to continue our adventure up the gorge, stopping to take a few pictures on the way.

Our trip involved going over the Hood River bridge which is barely wide enough for two cars and you have a to keep the speed to 25 mph. The first time over this bridge I was less than thrilled as we were following an RV going 15 mph, however, this time there was little traffic (and Pete behind the wheel) so we got over a little quicker. Here's our view from the bridge.

Once back on the Oregon side of the river we ventured on to Dufur, the city where my dad grew up and where the O'B's originally settled. (See blog for Evelyn for more information on the family's settlement) My aunt and uncle still live in Dufur and have taken on an Extreme Home Makeover of my Grandpa's home. The last few times I have been home we have made the 2 hour trek east to check on the status of the project. The biggest change from the trip we made over Christmas was that the kitchen has been completed and is very nice. The day we were there they were working on finishing the wood floors in the new addition. We did a quick tour of the town and got back on the road to the big city.

On our way home we were treated to a HUGE storm...heavy rain, thunder and lightening! It was pretty spectacular! We stopped at the outlet stores to check out a few stores (I was in desperate need of some navy shoes for work - mission accomplished). We were able to dodge the rain on our way from the car to the stores, but getting back into the car weren't so lucky.

We made it back to Vancouver and dropped dad off. Overall, a great day spent celebrating dad - even if it was a few weeks late.

Hiatus - Day 1

The alarm went off at 4 am EST (1 am PST), I hit the snooze button a few times and managed to get out bed around 4:20, knowing I had 25 short minutes to shower and get ready for my cabbie to pick me up. Cab arrived right on time (the driver even carried my bag from the front door to the cab) and I was off on my hiatus from the East Coast for a whole month!

Arrived at the airport, made it through security and to the gate with no issues. I had timed everything so perfectly (or I was just lucky) that when I got to the gate I was able to walk right onto the plane. All was going well until the people in the row behind me arrived. It was a mom/dad/daughter combination and the girl exclaimed before even sitting down that she was nervous already...for was this girls first time flying (I am guessing she was in her 20's). She managed to do fine during take off and the bumps we hit early in the flight to Cincinnati, but once we began our decent (and the bumps picked up) she thought for sure she was going to be sick. I was very thankful she didn't get sick and that she was also continuing to her final destination on another plane.

Flight to Portland was uneventful and was reminded once again that the A-C seats are the best when flying into town because you get to see Mt. Hood right out the window. It's literally right there...very cool!

I had been warned that it was going to be a warm day - make that hot. I had dressed accordingly and was so glad because according to brother's new car it made it to triple digits. Grams and Mom accompanied brother to the airport and it was nice to see them when I landed. We headed back to "our" side of town and had some yummy salads at California Pizza Kitchen before dropping Grams back at The Home.

After being here for most of the day, here are some things that are unique to this "home" that I don't necessarily see/hear in my other "home" (in no particular order):
  • Fireworks stands
  • Areas of dense trees between cities
  • Mt. Hood (it still has snow)
  • No humidity (we have our days on the East Coast but during the summer they are few and far between)
  • 30-degree temperature drops when the sun goes down
  • Central air-conditioning
  • "Pop" (after 5 years I still can't bring myself to use the term "soda")

There were a few times today that I wish I had my camera with me to take pictures of some of the oddities but I didn't. However, the battery is no longer "exhausted" so look for pictures in the following posts. If all goes according to plan, I will write often during my hiatus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who goes to book readings anyways?

More to follow....

Ok, it's been over a month and I never took the time to finish this post, but I am taking the time now (they are showing cycling on NBC).

Tuesday - June 24th - getting ready to leave the office knowing that the rest of the week is going to be hectic and that I leave early on Saturday morning for my hiatus. I head to Border's bookstore (it is a block away) to get some new books to read on my trip. I found one of the books I was looking for "Such a Pretty Fat", but not the other "Bright Lights, Big Ass". Asked the sales guy where I might find this particular book and he says "On her display". For real, Jen Lancaster has her own display? Turns out she is having a book reading/signing the next day.

Wednesday - June 25th - show up for work and have one of my co-workers (who is male) ask me if I ever read Jen Lancaster. For real, why are you asking me this? Turns out he had planned to meet his fiancee and her sister at the bookstore for the reading/signing after work. Co-workers is getting ready to head over to meet up with the gals and asks if I want to go, probably shouldn't there is work to do, but the partner walks in and tells me to go...don't have to tell me twice! Co-worker was kind enough to give up his seat that his fiancee had saved for me (I really think he just didn't want to have to sit in the super hot section of the bookstore to listen to some chick talk about her book). I would have never guessed that she was as funny (ok, funnier) in person than in her books.

Verdict on book readings/signings? I will definitely go to another one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What to call this post

So a little after half-time of the basketball game on Tuesday I started thinking of what I could title this blog...I couldn't settle on just one so below are the titles I thought about and what the first few lines would be.

Title: Gotta love the morning after...
First Line: ...winning a championship...and you thought I was going to write something inappropriate. There is a silent excitement the morning after a local team winning a championship. Everyone is tired but they aren't grouchy. The trains aren't nearly as full as usual.

Title: Come on Bruins
First Line: Disclaimer - This is in now way, shape or form an endorsement of UCLA. The Bruins made it to the NHL playoffs this year, but that was about it. I think they won one game in the first round but am not too sure (don't really follow hockey). My Boston life would definitely be complete if I could say that all 4 major sports teams won a National Championship while I was living there.

Title: I love parades!
First Line: Oh yes I do, especially when they involve Duck Boats and confetti! For the fifth time in the five years that I have lived in Boston, I have been witness to the home team winning a national championship (2 by the Patriots, 2 by the Red Sox and 1 by the Celtics) not too shabby. The parade route has been pretty consistent for all 5 championships and I am proud to say that I have seen four of them. (I had to do an inventory on the day of the first Sox parade and it was gross weather so I probably wouldn't have gone anyways.) The other 4 have provided a nice break from the office, I love working in Back Bay!

Title: Falling asleep to honking horns
First Line: Yes, that is what I did in the week hours of Wednesday morning. Did I mind? Heck no - the C's won the NBA Championship by SMOKING the Lakers. (Growing up in Portland I have always had a dislike for the Lakers and was so happy to see that Boston fans feel the same way.)

So those were my thoughts over the past few days, thinking about what I wanted to write for this post. Only one more week until my 4 week hiatus from Boston - if I have to work until midnight the majority of the nights until then, it will be worth it knowing I can have a work-free vacation!

**No pictures for this post. I took my camera out to snap a few shots of the parade today only to have an exhausted battery. I did use my co-workers camera phone (he was using his blackberry) to take a picture of Big Baby - without his shirt - it's not worth posting.***

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Here on the East Coast it is officially Father's Happy Father's Day Dad! Can't wait to see you (and celebrate) in a few weeks. You will be glad to know that I booked my ticket today so I will actually be coming home...nothing like waiting until the last minute.

My dad came out to Boston to visit for a week last fall and we had a great time. On the day the above picture was taken we were both wearing pedometers and took over 15,000 steps. Yes, our feet were killing us but how can you not smile when at Fenway Park watching the Sox win? This was the first of our two trips to the Park, the second was for Game 1 of the playoffs.

Hope you have a great day dad - love ya!

Also want to wish a Happy Father's Day to my uncles, my "brother-in-law" and friends (including stranger friend Matt) who are all dads!

PS - Here's another picture from my dads trip that is now proudly hanging in my living room!

Friday, June 13, 2008

For my faithful

For my faithful readers who have been waiting for a new post since last Friday, you will have to wait a bit longer. Work is kicking my butt right now. I have been in the office 12 straight days and tomorrow will make day 13. Once I awake on Sunday I promise to post an update. In the meantime, check out this blog. There are some sad things, some funny things, some great pictures, some funny comments, and he has an awesome robot (ok, I'm not into robots but he loves his robot and loves the word awesome).

Until Sunday, if you can't be good, be good at it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Big Girl is a dear friend of mine who I often look at like a big sister, who I have known since my days at ASU. We have shared some good times and each been through some not so good times but our friendship remains.

When I think of Big Girl the following come to mind (in no particular order): "Come on Eileen", "It's a quick blow and go", diet coke, green jello, Friday night movies, Wendy's fries (with no salt, they are fresher that way), Sunny's pizza, Martini Ranch, The Gap at Trolley Square (whenever we go their I get the best deals), ASU Athletic Events

What I really admire (and what inspires me) about Big Girl are the following: her love for her family and friends, her courage and strength, her strong faith, she's a great wife and mother, and she's a cancer survivor!

Wishing you the best on your birthday Big Girl...and every day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Brother!

Today is my little brother's (29th) birthday...the count-down to the Big 3-0 in Vegas starts now!
Over the years we have gone from siblings to friends. Even though we are living on opposite coasts we talk on the phone every day or at the very least send a text message or two. He has been there for me when things got tough and I have been able to be there for him during his tough times. Pete was able to come to Boston this spring and we had a great time checking out new places in and around the city. I am excited to see him later this month when I head to the left coast.
Hope you have a great year Pete!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mmm Monday

So I normally don't cook "fancy" meals during the week, but I found this recipe yesterday and worked from home today so I tried it out.

Ravioli and Edamame in Parmesan Sauce
Prep - 3 minutes
Cook - 7 minutes
Makes - 4 servings

1 9oz pkg whole wheat cheese ravioli (Buitoni brand)
3/4 lb frozen shelled edamame
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, measure remaining ingredients.

2. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Add the soybeans and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until tender. Drain the ravioli and soybeans, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

3. Return ravioli to the pot and stir in thyme. Whisk together sour cream, parmesan, pepper and reserved cooking liquid. Toss the pasta mixture with the sour cream mixture, divide among 4 bowls and serve immediately.

My comments - Should have cooked the "Dora the Explorer" (the only frozen stuff at my grocery store) edamame a little longer but it was tasty none the less.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday in Review

So I hate to brag, but I am getting pretty good at this grilling thing. I decided mid-week that this week my adventure for Sunday night dinner would be salmon and asparagus on the grill.

Note: The only fish I ever buy is the kind packed in water that some people think is chicken.

This morning I got up, started some laundry and headed off to the store to pick up the necessary ingredients...salmon, asparagus and a lemon. (I convinced the roommates that they too needed to grill something for dinner since it was already going to be heated.) After lighting the coals I decided I needed to "figure out" just how I was going to prepare my meal which ended up being pretty easy.

Asparagus...toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Salmon...lightly spray with olive oil, squeeze of lemon, dill, garlic powder, wrap in foil

That was it. The asparagus took about 5-7 minutes and was perfect, salmon took a little longer. Roommate K convinced me to have it with a little bit of taziki on the side. Good suggestiong!

When Roommate D was at the store today she decided that smores would be dessert of choice. The coals weren't quite hot enough so we had to bring them into the microwave but it didn't stop the three of us from getting marshmallow and chocolate all over our faces and hands.

Overall - great Sunday!