Beans in the Mist

OK, it was actually sunny at Woodland Park Zoo when we were there a couple of weekends ago (yes, I'm behind on blogging!)...




Localized

Inspired by my college friend, Megan, I bought my first Groupon-style coupon. (But through Amazon Local.)

I've been getting the deals via email for months but hadn't found anything that I really thought our budget could handle (some things on offer have been expensive gourmet cooking classes, pricey garden tours, wine tastings, etc.). And some things I just plain wouldn't have ever wanted in an entire lifetime (think liposuction).

But yesterday's Amazon Local was $10 for $20 worth of items at a local coffee shop (Holy Grounds). We can use it for a year, spread over multiple visits, and it's conveniently located near where we grocery shop and pharmacy shop, not to mention Value Village shop, so it'll be easy to pop in, get the beans a pastry treat, and maybe possibly a coffee for moi.

But don't worry, Green Bean! You are still our first love.

Looking Forward

I'm reveling in every second of every summer day here in Seattle--the air is cool in the shade, it's breezy, the UV is strong, clothes dry quickly on the line outside, cloudless skies are the deepest blue you've ever seen, and the average temp in the middle of the day is probably about 80 F.

Washington peaches are ripe. Cherries are sweet. We're outside every day--playing, eating, reading, walking, running, chasing, sand-digging.

Perfecto.

And here I am at 8 pm, sitting on the grass in the backyard, feeling the leftover heat in the ground, kiddiewinks in bed, netbook in lap, listening to the occasional airplane overhead and the water feature in our next door neighbor's backyard, breathing in fresh herb-scented air, feeling cool at 67 F. Having an Oregon bright ale called Summer Squeeze (by Bridgeport), infused with lemongrass and yuzu.

I have to add another perfecto at this juncture.

The only niggling thing right here and right now is the fact that it's already gray-dusky. At 8 pm. And at the summer solstice it was still tinged with far-off light when we hit the hay at 10:30.

So it's got me thinking: Maybe summer is not eternal. Durn.

Maybe fall and winter are coming after all. My parents will be visiting next month and I always tend to feel a bit blue after guests leave. Not only that, but Seattle winters don't have a very bright image. (Contrary to what I heard when I arrived, though, yes, there actually are some sunny days in fall and winter here!)

Anyway, I've come up with a growing list of people/things/events to look forward to when I'm not feeling sunshiney, and here they are, in no particular order:

  • Candy Cane Lane at Christmastime
  • College friends moving next month from Arizona to 1.5 hours from us in the Mt. Rainier area (yea!)
  • Baking with the beans
  • Hot chocolate (this year with rice milk or almond milk instead of the cow variety)
  • Storytimes at our local coffee shop and the library
  • Ferry rides to Vashon Island for tea and soup
  • A tofu factory tour
  • A chocolate factory tour
  • MOPS starting up again in October
  • Making some new place mats
  • A Christmas train
  • Cuddling up with a book and a blankie on the sofa in the evenings
  • Crockpot beef stew and other warming savouries
  • Trips to the library
  • Open gym times
  • Generra coffee (hints of orange) from Diva Espresso
It's officially dark now and even though it's way before 10:30, I'm ready for bed. (Not quite ready for winter, though, I have to say.)

Oyasumi!

Money Matters

Matthew: "God drops money out of the sky. He drops it into a big machine. I've seen one of those money machines at QFC."

Joel: "Let's take Mama and Daddy's wallets to Florida so we can have lots of money to spend."

#3 Tooth

Bottom tooth came out a month ago, first top tooth a few days ago, and we knew it was just a matter of minutes till second top tooth said sayonara.

Matthew brought it downstairs in his hand after he woke up this morning.

Everybody's been asking if the tooth fairy has visited, but let me tell you, this child needs no incentive whatsoever for getting rid of more teeth--he enjoys pulling them out too much.

Anyway, it sure makes flossing and brushing quicker.

Portland and Home Again

As we left "Port Oregon" (as Joel calls it), Matthew suddenly shouted, "Look!" I replied, "Oh, yeah, there's Mt. St. Helens!" and Matthew said, "I saw a parking lot!"

We broke up the drive in Olympia for the boys to have a play at the lovely Sunrise Park that we discovered that day.

The community garden there was wonderful...








And the beans enjoyed a free ride as an older girl turned the handle to pull them along in the little cart...



And then it was home again by early evening--what a delightful trip!

I'll leave you with a funny quote from Matthew: We've been buying the Health Valley brand of cereal called Rice Crunch-Ems (as opposed to the original Rice Chex), and Matthew ruminated on why they have different names for a very similar cereal. His deduction: "Maybe it's a different language."

I guess now that the Portland posts are finished, I'll have to get myself in gear and actually blog about our Florida trip from this past February. Watch this space...and keep dreaming...

Oregon Trip: The Pacific Coast

After our 2.5-hour drive from Portland to the Pacific on our third full day in Oregon, we drove through an adorable seaside town called Cannon Beach. We could see Haystack Rock in the distance and the amazing white sandy beaches down to the blue water. Only one problem--everybody else was crazy about it, too, and there was absolutely no public parking left.

So we drove just north to Ecola State Park's Indian Beach.

Another lovely day with our friends Ryu, Kim, and Jun.

And I hope the pictures speak for themselves...



















And after the drive back to Portland, a dinner in a diner. My potato pancakes, with chopped green onions inside, served with applesauce and sour cream...wonderful.

And the dinner company...the best!



Portland Trip: Circling Mt. Hood

Our second day in Oregon was an amazing 7-hour drive, starting in Portland...


Along the Old Columbia River Highway next to the Columbia River Gorge...






Vista House in the background...


I'd been wanting to see Multnomah Falls for years and it was worth the wait...










Turned south after the cute village of Hood River and "Mt. Hoody" (as Joel calls it) came into better view...


Took a break in the middle of the (long!) drive for a play stop at the town of Parkdale...






Once again on the road, and looking north toward Mt. Hood...





Next Oregon-trip installment: the Pacific Coast...

Toothy Grin

As of this evening, Matthew has lost tooth #2 (rather, he gleefully pulled it out during dinner, much to the delight of his mother).

At least he didn't swallow this one.

(I had to post a piccie quickly because the other top one in the middle and the bottom middle one as well are both about to depart soon...)

Portland: Downtown

For a mini-holiday, the Washington Beans met the Idaho-Friend-Beans in Portland and our first full day there was sightseeing in Portland proper.

We visited the "Saturday Market" (on Sunday)--it was right on the Willamette River, which slices through downtown, with lots to see and do...


Jun and Matthew...












Kim was chosen to help for her excellent audience participation...




Took the TriMet MAX lightrail around downtown, much to the boys' delight, and we saw some cute faces along the way...



Next Portland post: Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, and magnificent Mt. Hood...


 

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