I love getting together with hubby's Minnesota friends. Whether it's a Tuesday night out in Minneapolis with grad school buddies or an impromptu visit with high school friends passing through Seattle - I'm constantly inspired by how creative and interesting the group always is.

Don't get me wrong, my friends are pretty rad, but the friends I've gained because I got lucky and met a charmingly handsome down-to-earth dude from Minnesota, it's like I hit the friend jackpot.

Some background. Last weekend, Sully, who lives in San Francisco was in town for a quick visit. Sully, Cramer (who lives in Seattle), Lindsay and hubby are all high school friends. Lindsay and her husband Bob live in Port Townsend. For living as close as we do, we don't see them as much as we should.

The night of the Super Moon, Sully, Cramer, hubby and I took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and met Bob and Lindsay at the Harbor Public House. It was such a great night. Lindsay and Bob talked about their latest adventure in PT which includes going 'off the grid'. People say this, but these guys mean business. Their blogs chronicle their life and adventures, including renovating vintage travel trailers, making bagels, and living off the land. They make everything look fun and easy!

We spent the evening sharing stories, catching up, and laughing lots. It was a great night with good friends, but one of the best parts of the evening was at the end, as Bob and Lindsay loaded us in their car for a ride back to the Ferry landing, Bob handed us a bag of his famous bagels. They are SO good, I'm half tempted to move to Port Townsend just to have these once a week!


Garden: Year Two

It's year two of the garden and I don't feel any more experienced this year than last. I probably should have tended to my dirt a little better, added some amendments or compost, and stuff.

Seattle Tilth has a few yearly sales of veggie and edible plant starts. I have found that starts are SO much easier than trying to grow seeds (especially considering how little warmth and sunshine we actually get here in Seattle). I went to this year's early sale with my friend Whitney. I'm pretty sure we planted our lettuce and other starts at the same time, but Whitney's lettuce grew like GANGBUSTERS and mine looked like it was shrinking! I've learned my lesson - next year I'm using a cloche.

I don't mean to make it sound like the entire garden was a bust. A couple of things have grown really well. I planted garlic in October and kiwi vines last summer and they both are looking great. Apparently they like the cold Spring.

After this year's crop is done I'll really need to do some research on soil amendments and how to help things grow a little better next year. I picked up a great Tilth book that tells me what do to every week throughout the year. My dad told me to buy it and it's awesome! Speaking of Tilth, one of my favorite gardening websites, DigginFood, is by a Tilth volunteer and master gardener, Willie Galloway. I learned about Willi and her blog listening to KUOWs Greenday. There are several gardening experts on Greenday - but there's something about Willie that makes me feel like gardening is cool. Even though this year's garden didn't start out spectacular, I'm still going to keep trying. Growing your own food is pretty cool and I can't wait to get better at it!


Happy Anniversary, House

Last year when I posted a 'Happy Anniversary, House' entry, it was complete with all the things we had done in our first year. This year, I'm too tired to list. It feels like we've done more in year 2, but it could just be that we're both working lots and squeezing house stuff in where we can. I can promise you that we're not slowing down, we're just juggling more.

When we first started this project, I thought to myself, "I'm totally up for this challenge". In general I am, but there are days when I just want to come home to a pretty little home wrapped up in a bow with no gaping walls with visible insulation and wiring, no cob-webby basement, no ripped up yard, no plastic bathroom tile, no giant water sucking toilet, no missing quarter round and...(well, you get the picture). But then I realize how much I love this house in spite of how hard it seems on those days.

This might sound weird, but I feel like our home is so much more than a place where we eat and sleep. It's where we're building our life and where our friends and family come to eat, hang out, and occasionally sleep. It's where we had our first garden, our first Christmas tree, and our first basement flood. It's where we've fostered pets and where we'll eventually have our children and chickens!

We knew walking into this place that it would be a 'blood, sweat, and tears' sort of project - but you can never predict how much you'll get attached.

In spite of documenting the first two years of this remodel project, I feel like it's all a blur. I can barely remember how bad the walls looked when we first moved in or how grimy the kitchen and bathrooms were. Sometimes I still get a faint whiff of old house smell and I live with the constant reminder of what the bathroom looked like. (there are plans in the works - more to come on that). It could all feel like a blur because I started writing this post in May and it's almost August (and the last 3 months have been nuts). But I just took a look back at the calendar to see what we were doing to help celebrate the anniversary of living here - and I'm happy to report that we had friends over to celebrate a birthday - with a cake from the bakery down the street (wink, wink), I did a day's worth of yard weeding, and we planned a date night. Not bad for a weekend's work. I wish they were all that easy.