Sunday, December 30, 2012

Visit to Mt. Tabor Park

Today was one of those beautiful sunny winter days that we absolutely love here in the PNW. It was too nice to stay inside, so we decided to go for a walk. We didn't want to do our usual walk down by the Columbia. I consulted my friend Sarah's blog for something fun & free to do. After blog stalking on her site for a while, we decided to visit Mt. Tabor Park in Portland. It looked like a fun hike with beautiful city views. A plus was that Matty could take his longboard & skate around the park.
When we got there, Omid challenged me to a race up to the top. Loser had to buy lunch. I wasn't worried, as I had worn my tennis shoes & was feeling quite competent. I didn't get a photo of the stairs at the bottom, as I was sure I would have time to get a photo from the top...of Omid still climbing the stairs. Well, I was wrong. Omid won!
I win. You buy lunch!
We trudged along for a bit, huffing & puffing - trying to catch our breath from running up the stairs.
You go this way, I go that way.
 This statue is of Harvey Scott. Early editor of The Oregonian newspaper.
After we caught our breath, we walked over to see the view of downtown Portland.

Gorgeous sunshiny day!☼

Warty looking trees.
There are 190 acres of Mt. Tabor to explore, so we did just that.
Look behind me: a Christmas tree!

Matty - taking a break from long boarding.

We finally made it down to the upper resorvoir.

Mt. Tabor houses several resorvoirs that supply drinking water to parts of the city.
No throwing anything over that fence. There was a security guard + lots of cameras on site.

Lower resorvoir.
We never made it down the steps; afraid that we wouldn't make it up again.
Matty pinning 'Camas' on the 'Where are you from?' map at the Visitor's Center.
From here, we went to look for the 'cinder cone volcano.' We were sure we found it, but since there was no sign, it could have just been a dirt hillside. Now that we're home, I checked the internet & found out that the dirt hillside was the cinder cone.
Omid enjoying the sunshine.
We spent about three hours total at the park today. I seriously could have stayed another three hours. We were all starving & since I lost our bet, it was up to me to pick the restaurant & pay up. Naturally, I chose Best Baguette. ☺Though Omid was a gentleman & paid for our lunch.♥

The best banh mi in town!
I can't wait to visit Mt. Tabor Park again, next time with Remy (as he would love it!). Thanks Sarah for the fun idea!☺

Friday, December 28, 2012

Eat Here: Pine State Biscuits!

Have you eaten at Pine State Biscuits yet? I don't know why we waited so long, but we've been there twice in one week. They seriously have the BEST sausage gravy ever...and their biscuits are probably the best I've ever had as well. I love a good biscuit and never pass up an opportunity to eat one. These are flaky, buttery, crispy, doughy & delicious.
Two of the table side hot sauces. I preferred the Aardvark Sauce, while Omid liked the Texas Pete.

Earlier this week, Omid and I got there right when Pine State Biscuits opened at 7:00 a.m. There were very few people and we got a table no problem. This morning, we were waiting on Matty to wake up and got there around 8:45 a.m. The place was packed! Thankfully, we found a seat on the heated patio.
Hungrily awaiting for our name to be called.

Grumpy Gus.
Somebody doesn't like to be up early on Christmas vacation.
Matty's attidude changed when he was greeted by The Reggie.
Fried chicken, bacon, cheese, gravy + biscuit.

This time I ordered plain biscuits & gravy. DELISH!

I also ordered a plain biscuit with butter & honey.

Omid ordered his favorite: The Moneyball.
Biscuits & gravy + a fried egg.
I spied this sign with Mr. T. on it earlier this week and was sad I didn't get a photo of it. This morning, Omid was kind enough to stop (& hold up traffic, thank you very much!) so I could get my photo.☺
33rd & Alberta St.

You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

We spent Christmas with our good friends the Kelloggs, the Stevens & the Bacons. Lin & Ward hosted the party at their home. I can't believe that I didn't get any photos of the food. We had delicious prime rib, ham, cream cheese mashed potatoes, cranberry casserole, veggie stir fry & salad. It was a delicious Christmas dinner.

Lin had the most beautiful Christmas tree.

Nas & Madison's new toy poodle, Cole.
We played poker before & after dinner. Unfortunately, the Stevens arrived late & left early, so they didn't get to play. Before dinner, we just played for fun & not for serious cash. Lin & Omid were the big winners.
After dinner, we played for REAL money & the game took a serious turn. Note that Omid borrowed a pair of sunglasses from Ward. The game was that serious.
Right off the bat, Christy & Omid were the big winners.
Check out those piles of chips!

Omid concentrating hard & Lin saying a prayer.
 Guess what happened?
Lady Luck was on my side and I won 5 hands in a row. FIVE.

After I took these two photos, Ward took my phone away from me. Darn it! I wanted to take a photo of every winning hand. >:(  

At the end of the night, Christy was the main winner, with me right on her heels in second place & Matty came in third.

Omid & I plan to play every night this week for extra practice. We are having a rematch on New Year's Eve. If we win big that night, I am definitely booking a trip to Vega$!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Make This!!

Need a tasty side dish for Christmas dinner? Make corn souffle!

1/2 cup butter
2 cans cream corn
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
4 eggs
16 oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 375*. Melt butter in the bottom of a casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine corn, corn muffin mix, eggs & sour cream. Mix well. Pour batter into the casserole dish with the melted butter. The butter will rise up around the batter. Bake for about 60 minutes or until it has a cake-like consistency & the center no longer is jiggly. This could take over an hour, depending on the oven.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cards/Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary

I love this idea! Send cards & snowflakes to the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The creations will be waiting for the kids & staff when they return to school in January. Thanks for the link, B!

This link has all the information on where to send the cards and/or snowflakes.

Be the good!!☺

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Be the Good...

Yesterday, I decided to only look for the good in the world. So much evil in the past few days. I challenged myself to only focus on the good. I found it.

Omid and I went Christmas shopping yesterday. While shopping, I recognized a PE teacher from Camas HS organizing a group of his students. He handed out walkie talkies and gave them each a specific task. He was very energetic about rallying his students to find & purchase gifts for a local family who couldn't afford Christmas this year. His energy & enthusiasm were contagious. Omid and I watched them talk to each other on their walkie talkies communicating about their finds. We were excited for them. Good job, Mr. Hallead. You got extra points in my book yesterday!

I read the blog, Fritz is Fine. This morning I read Fritz's post about a lady named Betty in Michigan. Betty was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. This will most likely be her last Christmas. Betty's grandmother is asking anybody who has heard the story to please send her grandma a Christmas card to cheer her up a bit. Any card, any note, even simple pictures drawn by children will do. I love this story. The minute I read Betty's story, I got up and addressed a Christmas card to her. You can send Betty & her husband a Christmas card too. Be the good! 45 cents is such a small price to pay to send a smile.☺
Betty & Ed Vogel
425 E Coleman Road
Clare, MI 48617

Keep looking for the good, my friends!! 
It IS there!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Look for the Good!

With the senseless shootings that have happened in the US in the past three days, it's sage advice from the wonderful Mr. Rogers that makes me feel better:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
My heart goes out to all the families affected by Tuesday's Clackamas Town Center shooting in Portland & today's horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

Hug your loved ones!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remy the Model

Local celebrity & photographer Lara Blair, has just come out with a new book called Photographing Dogs.  It's a great 'how to' for getting the best shots of our canine friends.
Photographing Dogs by Lara Blair
We knew that Remy would be featured in the book. What we didn't know was that he would be on four pages, two of them all his own!

Remy on page 24
Book image by Lara Blair
Remy on page 29
Book image by Lara Blair

Remy on page 62
Book image by Lara Blair
Remy on page 125
Book image by Lara Blair
We are so proud of our model!
I think maybe it's time Remy got an agent.☺

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Make This!!!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Oh my gosh, these are tasty!!
I found this recipe on Pinterest via the Riches to Rags with Dori blog. They are so easy to make and super delicious.
Just four ingredients:
water chestnuts
chili sauce
brown sugar
I made a small batch as I wasn't sure if Omid or the kids would like these. I should have made a triple batch. They LOVED them!
Soak a bunch of toothpicks in water. Drain one can of water chestnuts. Mix one bottle Heinz Chili Sauce with 1 cup brown sugar.  Take half a slice of bacon & wrap it around two water chestnuts. Secure with a toothpick. NOTE:I actually used about 6 slices of bacon that was leftover from breakfast. It was pliable enough & not too soft. Dori recommends precooking the bacon a little bit to minimize grease. Spoon a teaspoon or more (I used more!) of the chili sauce mix onto the bacon. Bake at 375* for 20 minutes. Serve & enjoy! NOTE: I added extra sauce at the halfway mark.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Shopping

Last night, Lin, Tammie & I went to the private Nordstrom Holiday sale. What a  posh & swanky event it was too. Waiters walking around with appetizers & wine/champagne; a beer garden, free samples & great sales. Since I only occasionally shop at Nordstrom (not by choice, but by budget), I didn't get my own invitation to the event. Lin & Tammie invited me to be their guest. I picked up several Xmas presents/stocking stuffers for Naseem and two shirts for myself (they were a bargain!). We ran into lots of Camas peeps shopping there as well. It was a tons of fun! If you ever get the chance to go: do!!
Fun fact: We were the very last shoppers to leave the event. True story!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Puppy News

We heard the news today that we were not one of the lucky families for a Vizsla puppy. 7 out of the 8 dogs were show quality & went to homes that were committed to showing them. The 8th puppy went to a home that just wanted a 'pet.' We are looking for a hunter and a pet. Hopefully we will be matched with the right puppy in the near future.☺

Cat Friend vs Dog Friend

This made me smile. Enjoy!☺

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving!
I especially love how it's the kickoff to the Christmas holiday season. Omid & I were at Costco (twice!) yesterday and once the day before. We ran into old friends, new friends & coworkers. Everyone had a smile on their face & we all exchanged Thanksgiving well wishes with promises to get together soon. I love that.☺
Matty & I watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special last night. A pre-Thanksgiving tradition we enjoy.
 I love how Snoopy cooks the entire meal of toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks & jelly beans.
Marcy. One of my favorite Peanuts characters.
One year I will have to serve that too. Just for fun.☺
Here is what Omid is cooking for our Thanksgiving dinner: Two turkeys (one in a cherry juice brine, the other traditional with olive oil, butter & herb rub; one ham, cranberry rice (the Persian element in our dinner).
I am in charge of mashed potatoes, roasted carrots/asparagus, mealy pudding (Scotch dressing). We usually stuff the turkey with the dressing, but since the turkeys will be smoking in the Traeger, I will have to put the dressing in a loaf pan & bake it. It still tastes good. It is however, NOT Thanksgiving without Scotch dressing. I load my plate with the dressing, cranberry rice & cranberry sauce. That is my own Thanksgiving tradition. Those are the best parts of the dinner for me. Everything else I will take a little taste of. 
Dessert will be two of B's famous apple pies + a pumpkin pie from Costco (thanks mom/dad!).
Wishing you & yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Don't forget! Apple Cup is at 12:30 p.m. on Friday & will be televised on FOX.