Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Off the Road Again

So I haven't posted in a while. I have been spending every spare moment preparing for vacation, taking vacation, and now recovering from vacation. The trip was fun and we did a lot of cool stuff. We spent some time with my grandparents, went to the Oregon Zoo, stayed the night in Grant's Pass (they have a Walmart time we are staying there two nights!), drove through the redwoods, went to an aquarium in Crescent City, drove through more redwoods, played in the ocean, found shells, played on the beach, shopped, and My Love and I even had a whole day and night to ourselves thanks to my parents who we joined up with in Fort Bragg.

We love the coast and enjoy Fort Bragg a lot. This year we even made it into Mendocino for the first time. The down town area is great for shopping and souvenir collecting. There are quaint shops and galleries around every turn and the view from the main shopping strip is awesome, overlooking a cove with aquamarine waters. However, My Love and I both agree that Fort Bragg and Mendocino are way too liberal for us to live. For one thing there is not one Bible book store in either town. Even the regular book shops are missing a good selection of Bibles and instead the religion sections are full of self-help manuals and new age, idolistic garbage.

Another reason is that there is a general distaste for anything conservative. One shop we visited was filled with Bush bashing paraphernalia. It was being sold right next to the bongs and pipes. On another occasion I was driving down main street and a man in a convertible passed me and yelled quite clearly, "YOU SUCK!" I just assumed it was my driving but I was going with the flow of traffic so I just shrugged it off. Later when I told My Love about it he said it was because of our conservative/Bush bumper stickers. If being conservative and loving life and God make me 'suck' then give me a straw and get out of my way.

Anyway, we did visit a place where we both thought, "if we ever did move it would be here." It was Grant's Pass in Oregon. It was small, and quaint, full of forest, and yes there was the Walmart. We did not stay there very long but My Love did find out the there is a Sovereign Grace Reform Baptist Church. There would be no reason for us not to live there but we still don't know where it stands on its politics in general.

I am glad to be home where I no longer have to work out of my car. My job is much easier when there is a house to do it in. I am praising God for that and for the safety we had while traveling. Also, I am thankful for the opportunity to get back in touch with family and friends.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Coffee on the Rocks

I came upon this addiction quite by accident. I had made some coffee one morning which I planned on enjoying hot, fresh from the pot. However, as my mornings often do, it got busy with dressing mini-humans, brushing hair, doing school work and general housey/wife/mom stuff. As we were heading out the door I realized that my coffee was still being warmed on the maker so I just turned it off on my way out. By the time we got home the weather was too warm for a hot cup of joe so I thought why not make it cold. After all, I do enjoy the Starbucks Mocha Frappaccino cold from the bottle and those iced frappaccinos that are sold in the gas stations. So I worked my culinary magic on that cold pot of coffee and I think I came up with something quite comparable in flavor to those I mentioned above.

Brew two cups of stronger than usual coffee (the ice will dilute it). I use hazelnut creme because it has a sweet, nutty flavor.

Cool coffee for twenty minutes in the fridge then pour over five or six ice cubes. Be sure to leave room in the cup for creme and sugar.

Add one and a half tablespoons of sugar and one third cup of creme. You may want to adjust these measurements to your taste buds but I like it pale and sweet. I use a regular hazelnut creamer.

Stir well and enjoy. If all the ice cubes melt while stirring then add one or two more. It really tastes better while ice is floating in it.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Surprise! No Party

Friday at noonish My Love calls me during his lunch break and announces that he has a surprise for me. My first question was, "Can I eat it?" (Hey I'm pregnant, give me a break.) He assures me that his surprise is not edible and that I must wait until he gets home to find out what it is.

Now my mind is racing. Is it something simple like dinner out? No, he said I couldn't eat it. Maybe he bought me presant. But that's against the rules. It better not be a new dog or cat or anything else that breathes for that matter. Nah, he knows better. I know, I know...He is going to take me somewhere and there will be a bunch of people there to jump out and scream, "SURPRISE!!!" After all, you only turn thirty once. I pace the house until he gets home. As soon as he is in the door I close my eyes and hold out my hands and beg for my surprise.

After failing in his evasive maneuvers he finally gave in and sat with me on the couch.
"Okay, " he starts. "Your mom told me I should tell you ahead of time so you could figure out what to wear and do laundry if you had to. tomorrow at 2:30 your your parents are coming over to take charge of the kids and we are going to Boomtown, in Reno, to check out the lobster buffet."

"Ah-Ha!" I think, "so that is where the party will be. "Will, A (my best friend from high school who has just recently moved back to Reno from the outskirts of the universe) be there?" I ask. I could tell by the look on his face that this was the last card up his sleeve.

"No." He replied bluntly (He lied). My mom blew it later that evening when she blabbed the whole plan. My parents were going to take the kids overnight on Saturday so we could go to Reno, visit with A and her hubby, have a quiet night and morning at home and then go to church just the two of us. I was getting exactly what I had asked for, an empty house. Too bad I wasn't going to be in it.

Saturday arrives. My Parents come over and we head out. Once we arrive at Boomtown My Love informs me that we are to meet A in front of the fun center. "Ah-Ha!" I think, again, "Yah, we'll met A and everyone else I know." However, once we were united with A and her hubby we promptly left the building and began deciding how our adventure should begin. It was still early for dinner (unless your name starts with an F or J ;oP ) so we decided to shop ourselves hungry and then indulge in the Atlantis buffet. "Ah-Ha!" I think, yet again. "Everyone is waiting at the Atlantis but I'm not supposed to be there for another hour."

An hour later we all claim to be hungry and head off to the Atlantis where we had a dinner to die for...just the four of us. After we had each stuffed ourselves and undone our top button we decided to visit A's parents. "Ah-Ha!" I think...for the last time...I promise. "You tricksters. You sent everyone to A's parents' house to throw me off the trail. Well, I'm on to you." But apparently I wasn't because after we woke A's parents up we toured the house and yard, flapped our gums, took pictures and left.

By this time it was getting late and A's house was a thirty minute drive from her parents'. So I finally gave in to the fact that I'd had a great time whether or not everyone I know was there. The nice thing was that I didn't have to fake being happy or surprised in front of a huge crowd...just A. Ha Ha, I'm kidding A, come on. Another nice thing was that I didn't have to pretend to like a bunch of impersonal gifts like picture frames and candles. Ha Ha..Kidding again A. I love you! Thank you for being there to make my birthday special and personal!!!

Ah-hem, back to business. We had a great time at our final destination. Well, except for the commercials (A put a leash on that boy). We talked the evening away and then parted ways exhausted, but in a good way. Once we arrived home My Love and I promptly went to bed.

The morning was sweet. If you have babies or small kids you know what I mean. We lingered in bed then took our time getting ready for church. With no kids to shuffle we even had time to go out to breakfast. At church I got to listen to the entire sermon form start to finish which I don't think I have been able to do since 2001. A huge thanks to my parents for making that possible.

My Love, I know you're reading this. Thank you for all your thoughtfulness and planning. Even though I was expecting and maybe even hoping for (could you tell?) a surprise party, I had the best time just being with you. I love you. And yes, you are Mr. Even More Amazing Than Before.

P.S. Maybe when I turn forty ;o)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hint Hint

This is something I am unsure of but if I'm right I want it documented. Because if it isn't, and I'm right, everyone will say, "Uh-Huh...sure you knew." My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. My gift for the past four years, by my request, has been a trip to Fort Bragg, CA. No presents, no parties, no frills, just a card and a good time at the coast. Well, I think My Love intends to break the tradition this year. We are still going to the ocean, but I have a feeling a surprise party is in the works, too.

Hint # 1: My love let it slip that he talked to my dad at work. My dad is a police officer in a city an hour and a half from where we live. When I asked My Love why he called my dad at work they both stuttered and fumbled around for an answer that sounded reasonable enough to them, but I know better.

Hint # 2: The other night my parents were over for dinner and at one point they started joking with My Love about throwing me a surprise party. The conversation was innocent enough but it was the smirks on their faces that gave them away. They weren't ordinary smirks...they were, "Oh, we are so getting away with this by covering our tracks with this fake surprise party conversation." Come on you guys...I can read you like cheap dime store fiction.

Hint # 3: There have been lots of suggested dinner dates but no follow ups...yet. For example, My Love comes home from work and announces that some friends of ours want to get together without the kids. Then my mom suggests that we go out with her and my dad, just the four of us. I haven't heard another word about these dinner dates. It is not necessarily unusual, just suspicious.

Hint #4: My Love and I were making dinner together and he said we might go out for dinner for my birthday so I joked that we should go to Round Table (if you are throwing a surprise party in our town and its not at someones house then it is always at Round Table). He smirked and said, "Heh-heh, yah."

Hint #5: Later in the dinner making process I told him what I really wanted for my birthday was and empty house, meaning no kids. He replied by saying, "How about a full one?" I told him that I guess I would just have to deal with it but then he quickly started overly reassuring me that he would never throw me a party behind my back.

Hint #6: Both My Love and my mother have suggested that May is a super busy month for them. I'm just not feeling it.

So maybe I am reading into these things a little too much. Maybe I'm hoping that no one listened when I said I don't want a surprise party for my 30th birthday. Perhaps I need a party to help me believe that there are some people out there who really care about me. Whether I get a party or not, My Love is still Mr. Amazing, but...if a party does happen then his status will be raised to Mr. Even More Amazing Than Before.