What It's Like To Be Me

Today I used the upright vacuum and an attachment to suck the crumbs out of the bottom of our toaster oven.

Barry and I have talked a lot about getting a dog recently, but the idea of dog hair everywhere freaks me out.  A few friends have suggested that we get a Roomba, which has led me to ask, "Where would we store it?"  All of them have answered the same thing, "Under the bed."  Let me make this clear, friends.  I am not a person who stores anything under a bed.  Or under a chair.  Or under any other piece of furniture.

Speaking of not storing under things, I don't store over things, either.  I couldn't store something on top of the refrigerator if my life depended on it.

I also can't keep things in the car (with the exception of emergency equipment in the trunk, like jumper cables, a blanket, and a jug of water).  If something is in the car, it means I'm in the process of taking it somewhere where it will be left.

The other evening, I started dozing off while I was still dressed in the clothes I'd worn that day.  I was exhausted, so I asked Barry to take my shoes and socks off for me while I laid there with my eyes closed.  He took off my shoes and started taking off my socks the way he takes off his own - peeling them down from the top, over the ankle and heel and down to the toes, turning them inside out as he goes.  My eyes immediately popped open and I said, "Pull from the toe so they don't get turned inside out."  He jokingly replied, "Man, it must be hard to be you."  My answer?  "Not when I take my socks out of the dryer and they're right side out.  That makes it so easy to be me."

No judgement if you have a crumby toaster oven, store things in every nook and cranny possible, or turn your socks inside out when you take them off... just don't ask me to.  It's not that I want to be this way (or that I don't want to, for that matter).  I just am.

Now for a random photo:
 Unicorn graffiti... what's up, Portland?





These are good.  Really good.  Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.  And they're cute in a wonky way, too (although not even close to the beauties in the blog post... I've got to work on my form).  I made a couple with salt, a couple with poppy seeds, and a few plain ones (which I think should get an egg wash, too, regardless of what you'll read in the recipe's comment section).   Next time, I'll keep them in the the oven a few more minutes to brown them up a bit more.  With butter and jam, they made a yummy breakfast today.  And with eggs and avocado, those salt bagels are going to make a tasty dinner tonight.


Busy in the Kitchen... the Grey Kitchen

For some reason, I've been waking up a little earlier than usual for a week or so now.  Having extra time before work in the morning has been awesome.  I've been spending most of it in the kitchen.  One morning, I made that coffee cake again, this time using this vanilla extract instead of the almond extract that the recipe calls for.  I liked the vanilla version a lot better.  Barry prefers the original recipe.  More for me this time!

I also decided to paint the kitchen this week, using one of those extra hours in the morning to apply a second coat of paint before I headed off to work.  I love the difference a little grey (leftover from the bathroom paint project) has made.  I'd been thinking about doing something like this since we moved into this place, but a recent post by Anna at Door Sixteen gave me the push I needed to do it.  Some before and after shots:

And for context:
Yep, our place is small.  That's our bed, just beyond the kitchen counter.  I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that I can stumble out of bed in the morning, take a few steps, and end up at the coffee maker without any stairs, doors, or other obstacles getting in my way.

Next up: the first thing I made in our newly grey kitchen.


The Difference a Rug Makes

Barry was at a mountain bike race all day last Sunday, so I did what I do best when he's gone all day.  I rearranged our place.  Actually, not our whole place, just our rugs.  All of the furniture is in the same spot, but switching the rugs around made a big difference in the way the place looks.  Especially the one corner of the apartment that I'm always fussy with:

I like that having two little rugs in that corner lightens the space up a lot.  The black rug that was in that corner is now under our bed, and the striped rug that was under our bed is now in the unnamed space between the bed area and bathroom.  I wish I could show you how I got the black rug under our platform bed by myself.  I slithered my way under the bed and essentially did one handed push ups with the bed resting on my back while quickly smoothing the rug out underneath it with my free hand.  It took a ridiculously long time and was probably not the most efficient way to go about the process.  But it's done, I got a great workout doing it, and the rugs are all in good places.  For now.



Baking Breakfast

The urge to bake breakfast (instead of pouring it into a bowl) has been strong in the past couple weeks.  It started with a big batch of a variation of Mark Bittman's granola.  Next came the "best coffee cake you'll ever have," which did not live up to it's name but was damn good.  This week, I'm trying my hand at bagels.  I've been meaning to try making them at home for years now, and a recent article in The Oregonian led me to this blog and this bagel recipe.  I'm excited to try high-protein/high-gluten flour.  Seriously excited.


New(ish) at Betsy & Iya



I brought new sulu-design pieces to Betsy & Iya, Tender Loving Empire, and Tumbleweed last week.  I didn't bring my camera with me to any of my appointments, though.  My dad asked to see images of the new jewelry I'd been working on, so I stopped in at Betsy & Iya on my day off yesterday to take photos of the recent drop-off.  A few of my favorites had already sold, as is the case with the pieces I'd brought to Tender Loving Empire and Tumbleweed, but the above photos give you an idea of what I'm up to with color this Spring.  I'll be busy making more in the next couple weeks.


Keeping the Maui Going

Coming home from vacation is always a little hard.  With most vacations, though, by the time the trip comes to an end, I'm ready to go home.  At the end of a week or two of camping, a shower, clean clothes, and my own bed sound really good.  At then end of a week or two abroad, I'm usually ready to return to a regular eating routine and to collect my thoughts after being super-stimulated.  But I wasn't ready for our trip to Maui to end.  It was comfortable, perfectly paced, and different enough from home to be interesting without putting strains on our regular rhythms.  Oh, there was that sun thing that made life there good, too.  I could have stayed a while longer.

Since we've been back, I've tried to incorporate a little of the goodness we experienced in Hawaii into our Portland lives.  That meant spending a beautifully sunny Easter on the beach on Sauvie Island.  It was nice to have sand between our toes again.  And it's meant fish tacos with mango, avocado, and cabbage coleslaw similar to the one found here for dinner a few times since we've been back (inspired by the awesome tacos here).  It's also meant nightly reading of In the Heart of the Sea.  It's an historic account of the whaleship Essex, whose story is the basis for Melville's Moby Dick.  Barry and I watched whales from our room and the beaches of Maui every day that we were there.  These sightings reminded him of the book that he'd read a while back that he wanted me to read.  It's been a nice nightly practice, reading it to one another.  And dreaming of Maui.