Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Grown Up Bedroom... finally!

The DIY projects just keep plugging along in our household.  I know we are making progress yet feel we have barely scratched the surface. 

The very last of the gnarly, ugly Berber carpet was pulled up from the stairwell and our master bedroom.  Hurray!  Ruger may have helped this process along with his sharp puppy teeth and a strong desire to chew on a rope toy. Or maybe it was the days disappearing from this year and my desire to have a few more projects accomplished before I make the big life change and return to school full-time. 

Needless to say...  

After years of deliberating over paint colors for the master bedroom we finally made a choice. Our procrastination was cut short because this was the ONLY bedroom left in the house yet unpainted.  Actually it was more because we already had the darker gray color used in the other three bedrooms/office and less because I still hadn't made a decision about what color I thought I wanted.  The paint samples have been slid to the master bathroom for future decision making. Or not .

What luck that an area department store chain would be offering a Labor Day sale for $39 installation for any order of carpet.  We knew this was our opportunity to finally put a check in the project completion box.  

We were much more prepared for choosing carpets although we did make a change in our final decision.  The stairs and bedroom are actually different but very similar.  The stairwell has a hint of brown and beige fleck in the grey.  The grey in the master bedroom is solid color with change in hue as it's moved around. 

We returned to the same department store twice looking for a head and foot board set.  Even went so far as to think we'd have one built and stained to match our dresser.  We've never had a complete matching set in our bedroom but then thinking about this - the dining room isn't a set and our sofas are not part of a set either.  By chance I walked into an area of the store promoting rugs and accessories and discovered this pewter colored metal bed frame - it's perfect and reminds us both of the first old brass bed frame we had when we were married. 


We also removed the old 2-1/2" baseboards and replaced with a 4-1/2" baseboard with a small curved edge.  We love how that little bit of extra pop of white really makes a nice addition to the finished look. It's an inexpensive and easy way to clean up some tired, beat up baseboards. 


Though we are still lacking wall decor, I'm happy to have a grown up bedroom again.  Honestly in the 30+ years we've been married, we've had a "finished" bedroom one other time that I can recall...  and it was soon after we put the house on the market and moved.  Not this time.  I've made a commitment to finishing my college degree.  PLUS we have a few more DIY projects to keep us out of trouble. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Changing Seasons

OCTOBER!  Whoa.  
What happened to August and September?  
More accurately what is happening to October?  
A peak at the calendar reveals we are over the mid-way mark already.  
My first thoughts bring on a panic as I think we've done so very little with summer's end but the reality is we HAVE worked our way through a few of our projects.

All work and no play makes for no fun.  
Mike found some downtime on the porch after yard work. 

Ruger completed his second round of puppy training.  
Our instructor Michelle is the "puppy whisperer".  
Ruger and Brodie looked forward to every week and the play time together.  
We will definitely have to stop by Petco once in awhile to check in. 

A surprise photo and note from our youngest granddaughter Mikayla 
for Grandparents Day in September.  

Baby C really isn't much of a baby any longer.  
His momma found a 'work at home' job but has a weekly meeting Thursday nights.  
Papa and Drahma share the evening with our little guy. 

Lola has survived a long first year after adding Ruger to our household.  

Ruger - aka 'Bad@$$' has a new leather(?) vest for the cooler temperatures. 

Mr. T stopped by for a sleepover and helped to put up a few Halloween decorations.  

As a reward for good conduct at school Drahma promised him a Flicker. 
The Flicker is the coolest scooter ever...
Yes I speak from experience.  
We were introduced to the Flicker at Kalaloch this summer and naturally Drahma had to take a spin on it.  
It's a great core work out.
May just have to get one for myself.

Love our time together!

Another milestone...  
Mr. T lost his second front tooth under our watch.  
It was bound to happen as it was barely hanging on.  

It's just crazy to stop and realize our summer has disappeared but we are definitely enjoying the Fall season. 
I just wish it lasted longer than a couple of weeks.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maiden Voyage

We love to camp.  Over the years we've enjoyed camping in several states for many occasions.  We started out in a two-man hiking tent and self-inflating air mattresses. Our tents grew to accommodate the growth in our family.  I still shake my head in wonder when I see one our of 'family of five' tents - how did we all fit? 

Since our move to Idaho and our annual treks to the Washington coast our tent expanded to fit 8-10 people.  If you are familiar with tents this means realistically you can probably sleep 5-6 and be comfortable with a few duffle bags inside.   

After Mike's back surgery in 2010 we treated ourselves to a sweet queen size aerobed inside our 8 person tent.  The kids called it the Hilton - and we were quite comfortable. 

Our empty nest status has changed a few things for us but we still enjoy camping.  I admitted to Mike this year I really wouldn't be opposed to camping in a trailer.  After all it could open up more opportunities for us to enjoy weekends away from home without need of a hotel room, dog sitter or family and friends to impose on. 

Our middle kid family looked at trailers at a few RV Shows.  In October we happened by one near home and had nothing on our agenda so we stopped.  Naturally we had some fun going through the large Class A RV's complete with fireplaces, dishwashers, washers, dryers, ceiling fans and a ridiculous amount of space.  I don't think we are the sort of people to ever sell our home and live in such a monster.  Unless Mike sells his belongings so there is room for mine.  hehe. 

We've seen plenty of different types of trailers when we camp on the coast and was intrigued by a few of the tear-drop shapes - R Pods, etc.  

While they are cute, they are just not practical for this 6' plus family. 
Bathroom/Shower accommodations - come on in!
We spent the weekend researching different trailer manufacturers online and decided to stop by a couple trailer dealerships in our area in the following weeks. We even had a couple of folks respond to email inquiries and set up an appointment to stop by Camping World. 

Our sales person was leaving work to go home sick when we arrived so we were put in the capable hands of 'Todd'. We had a specific list of things we were looking for in a trailer - IF we were to make a purchase.  

We spent a couple of hours going through trailers which Todd felt met our expectations.  He was very thorough.  I had to be honest, when he pointed out features like stereos, TV/DVDs, A/C and microwaves, I am a very comfortable tent camper and that all sounded so excessive to me. 

After some anxiety about the length and bunks we found a trailer that had everything we wanted - big enough for adding family or friends and small enough for just the two of us.  And...  we bought it!

Grey Wolf

We already had plans to go to Sisters, OR for the weekend to join a photography group looking for Fall colors.  Since we had our own place to stay now we cancelled hotel reservations and threw in enough supplies for a quick overnight maiden voyage. 

Heading out for our Maiden Voyage
The weather was beautiful for the start of our trek to Central Oregon.  Though I'm not a big fan of the middle section between Boise and Sisters/Bend.  But once you arrive and have that stunning view of the Three Sisters Mountains it's lovely.

We stepped outside our normal camp ground comfort zone and stayed at the Sisters/Bend RV Park.  It was very nice, clean, updated and didn't at all feel like the stereo-type I have in my head for RV Parks.  

Mike worked on hooking up the trailer to city water and electricity and hooked up the sewer, leaving me to open the slide and drop down the stabilizers and supports.  I was prepared for the task at hand...  with this little gem!  
It's a tough job but someone has to push the buttons. 
Our new travel trailer. 
I think it needs a name... 

We had some difficulty with the trailer hitch - a fancy electronic beast that makes the hooking and unhooking effortless...  unless it doesn't want to unhook.  (Read - Operator Error)  Rather than beat ourselves (or the hitch) up over it we opted to stay attached and remain on the park grounds. Honestly the Fall colors weren't much to look at yet anyway so we took advantage of the opportunity and actually READ our manuals.  It's amazing what you can learn... 

We took a break from the instructions and walked Ruger around the grounds.  It was next to the Rodeo park.  Lots of walking paths to explore as well. 

Enjoying our evening stroll. 

Dinner - wine, cheese, bread and sausage.  

We bought the trailer at the end of the season because of the clearance sales.  The timing may not have been perfect.  One night in the park and then back in town to winterize and store for the season.  We are making a list for next year and looking forward to our new adventures. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chili Rellenos

Years ago (like just out of high school and early in my Navy years) instead of living in the Navy Barracks on base, I lived with Mike and Linda Palomino, helping to take care of their two young sons when I wasn't working.  

I was young.  Being with a family in a real home was ideal for me.  AND I learned to cook some delicious Mexican food taking full advantage of Mike's Hispanic family roots.  

This year our garden contained some amazing green Ortega chilis.  I couldn't resist the opportunity to dig out some old skills and create a few chili rellenos for dinner. 

I started by cutting off the stem end, slicing up the middle and clearing out the vein and seeds.  Ideally the peppers should be slow roasted over the grill and peel off the cracking skin.
I slice chunks of Monterey Jack cheese big enough to insert in each chili pepper. 

The cheese filled peppers are then dredged in a small amount of flour.  

Separate egg yokes and egg whites into two separate bowls. 
We were making four chili rellenos and I used four eggs.  
Whisk the yokes into a creamy yellow texture.  
Beat the egg whites into a meringue like texture - nice and thick. 
Fold the yokes into the egg white mixture gently so not to break up the egg whites. 
Dip the flour covered chili pepper into the egg white mixture and drop into a pan of hot oil. 

It will be fluffy and brown.  
Keep an eye on it and carefully flip the chili relleno over to cook the second side. 
If the egg white mixture is thick it may be necessary to gently 'splash' some hot oil up on the edges to help brown. 

Lift the chili relleno out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and dry on a paper towel. 

Trust me - the final product is well worth the effort.  
Plus the more you do it the easier it gets.