The First of Four

Bridge got married today, and it was Good.  Definitely in my top five weddings ever, and not just because I was rocking a cute red dress and perfectly matched shoes-and-nails.

Love Is a Stain Beneath my Skin

Festivities lasted long into the night, and I did my best to keep the dance floor rocking, as I do.  The DJ was not making it easy, with his terrible transitions and occasionally questionable song-choices, but fortunately I am essentially a dance-slut and can/will dance to just about anything.


The Race that Knows Joseph

Things happened today, but none so excellent as what happened in the evening.
We rolled into our new digs in the afternoon, and I chilled out and read whilst Nathan produced larger and larger fireballs in an attempt to get the charcoal grill going without a charcoal chimney.  It did eventually work, and after we'd eaten the dinner he grilled for us, we wandered about two miles down the road to Twenty Mile House, just in time to catch the dessert-and-drinks portion of Bridge's rehearsal dinner.

The next five hours were... well, pretty amazeballs.  You know how sometimes you meet new people, but it turns out they're not new at all, they're just old friends you haven't yet encountered in this life?  It was like that.  With a lot of drunken, glowing bocce ball.

Yeah, definitely my kind of kindred spirits.


What More is There?

I mean really: penguins and bling.  C'mon.

Today was a bit of a cram-it-all-in sort of day.  We started out in Truckee, where we ate at the oft-recommended Squeeze In (I had French toast!) and explored the "historic downtown", which probably would have been of greater interest to us if either Nathan or myself were even remotely "shoppers".  But we're not, soooo... that sort of thing can only entertain us for so long.

From there we indulged my macabre side by visiting Donner Memorial State Park, where I proceeded to depress the crap out of myself.  Woo?  On the upside, it did provide me with fodder (sorry) for one of my stories, which was the underlying point of my insistence on going there.  Plus we did a little nature walk, which I gleefully narrated.  (Increasing my husband's Suffering Levels is always highly entertaining).

Then it was drive, drive, drive, all the way down to Emerald Bay, because a) we'd heard it's gorgeous and b) I wanted to see Vikingsholm.  After a descending hike that reminded us (rather ominously) of the one down to Crater Lake, we discovered that we'd gotten there just in time to miss the last tour of the day, so instead we toured the museum, went scrambling up to see Lower Eagle Falls, and then walked around the outside of Vikingsholm peering in windows like the creepers we are.

(As it turns out, the hike back up wasn't quite so bad as the one at Crater Lake, but I think that was mostly due to it being well-shaded.)



Reno is not what I was expecting.

Which is kind of a funny statement to make, since, if you'd asked me 24 hours ago what expectations I had for Reno, I'd have said, "None."  But then I got here and realized that apparently I did have expectations, since obviously they were being subverted.

In retrospect it appears that I was expecting a sort of poor-man's Vegas (not that I particularly associate Vegas with richness of any kind but... you know...).  A place with such hustle and bustle and filthy glitter that I'd take one look around and go, "Yep, well, we're done here."

But as it turns out Reno isn't like that.  It's quite pleasant, so far.  And quiet, which I am a fan of. And the people are friendly, too, which shouldn't particularly surprise me because more often than not people are friendly in strange cities.  Besides, surely Bridge would have warned me if it was going to be otherwise.

Ah yes, Bridge.  He's the reason for this little excursion of ours- he's getting married this weekend, up near Lake Tahoe, and since Nathan and I had never been to the area, we jumped at the chance to turn it into a mini-vacation.

The flight in was... interesting, to put it politely.  It was probably nerve-wracking-bordering-on-fun for those who enjoy roller-coasters, but lately I have been particularly prone to motion-sickness and thus it was just nerve-wracking for me.  And Nathan, who was probably worried for his shirt (he shouldn't have been- I clung tenaciously to the air sick bag through even the most stomach-inverting moments of turbulence).
Places to Go, People to See
But we arrived safe and sound and learned that Reno may just be the friendliest airport in the US.

We met up with Bridge at Niko's Greek Kitchen (his excellent recommendation) and afterwards Nathan took off to explore the Riverwalk area while Bridge and I headed over to BaseCamp.  They'd just reopened after about six months of renovations, so we got the thrill of being the very first (non-gym-affiliated) people to climb their 164' wall.  Yep, we multi-pitched at a climbing-gym, outdoors.  It was awesome and perfect and so wonderful to be climbing with Bridge again.  The girl who ran us through our paces was explaining that although the route we chose was rated 10b, it was just for the endurance- the moves were nothing above an 8.  And she was right about that- easy fun jugs the entire way, but it was a long way!  The most amusing part of the whole thing was people on the strip below us offering up commentary.  Thus have I taken my turn as a Tourist Attraction in Reno.

(also unexpected)


Just Can't Get Enough

Likelihood of me tiring of images of roses before the season is out?


A Most Curious Development

Nathan and I drove up towards St. Helens today to get in one last hike before the pig bull has to undergo surgery (more on that later).  She and I ambled about whilst Nathan hurled angry words at uncooperative waterfalls, and I came across several examples of this curious little fellow:
But what IS it?


All These Imaginary Things

There is a particular rose bush in my garden in possession of blossoms which can only be described as "dusty red".  Photographs do not properly capture the effect:
cameras have a hard time with reds

I like this particular plant for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, it manages to survive in spite of my clumsy care, and has only given me more blooms every summer since we moved in.  Secondly, it is a rose, and it smells quite sweet, and I like pretty things that smell sweet.  Thirdly, it has lovely thorns, which is every bit as important as having lovely blooms.  Fourth, the fact that every time I look at it, at the particular shade of its petals, I think, Rose Dust, and I smile a little nostalgic smile.

Rose Dust was the name of my imaginary friend.  Let me clarify- the imaginary friend I had when I was somewhere between the ages of six and eight.  In retrospect I think her name was nicked from My Little Pony, or some such (and a quick internet search verifies that foggy memory).  Anyway she was everything that was perfect to the little girl that was me- long golden hair, blue eyes, perfectly poised, and sixteen.  Lord, yes, the magical age that was sixteen.

(Little did I know how much better my thirties would be.)

My other imaginary friends (because why would you have only one?) were a pair of cheetahs.  Yes, cheetahs.  I can't remember both of their names, but one of them was Honeysuckle.  I do, however, distinctly remember my mother telling me that I might ought to not take my invisible friends with me to school, as people don't always understand that sort of thing.  I also remember explaining to the perfect, glittering girl and the two cheetahs that they couldn't come with me, but that they should wait for me.

I wonder if they still do.


Who's Got It?

My Katie came over, and we have been crafting!
button, button, button



There is supposed to be an amazing meteor shower tonight, and I'm looking forward to it with all my might.

The sky, however, seems determined to Not Cooperate, and remains stubbornly Cloudful.

Guess I'll have to settle for some earthly stars:
wish I may, wish I might



The colors in this garden were just excellent.

pay attention to me!



So remember the other night when our oven tried to catch on fire?

Well we replaced it:

...and the replacement is good...

The best part about it was that we picked the new oven up at an estate sale, for barely more than a new element would have cost us.  It's only about two years old, and in near-perfect condition.  Needless to say, we're pretty stoked it.

(I'm especially stoked about how easy the stovetop is to keep clean.)



Today I helped my Katie with some wedding decorations:
(less complicated than you might think)


Sweet Harvest

I worked in the garden this morning, for the first time in forever.  I've pretty much decided that the only way I'll be anything even resembling a successful gardener is if I only go out when it's cloudy, or even preferably lightly drizzling.  Today was the latter, which made weeding infinitely easier.

Anyway I had to cut back the roses, and in doing so I, for the first time ever, brought a bouquet from my very own garden into the house:
And I'm quite pleased with it.


A Good Dog

Another bib:
(this one's due next month!)


The Trap

not to be trusted


The Backup Plan

It was one of those nights.

I was out with some girlfriends when Nathan texted me to let me know that we were out of propane.  This was problematic because a) we'd been planning on grilling chicken for dinner and b) I had the car.  By the time I got home we were both tired enough that we decided to just bake a pizza.  Which was great, except that as Nathan was heating up the oven he noticed that the element was doing its damndest to catch on fire.  He shut the oven off, and the element promptly snapped.

"No problem," I said.  "We'll just grill it on the pizza stone."

"With what propane?" he asked.
uncooked and delicious

So Nathan did end up going out to get more propane, in spite of his tiredness, and we grilled our pizza, and it was better than it's ever been.


Freckle Face

Purple freckles are the most fun.


Sun Pig

It was a good day.  For all of us.
Definitely part cat.


The Competitor

I spent today volunteering at the SCS Youth Regionals for Washington and Alaska, which was held at my climbing gym.  It was super-inspirational to watch all those young men and women just absolutely crush it on the wall.  Climbing is such an awesome sport in general, but especially so for young people, and especially especially so for girls.  It teaches them a level of self-confidence and self-reliance and creative problem solving that just cannot be beat.
They have no mass.

I hope that if we have kids they're as into it as I am.  Obviously I know you can't guarantee that your kids will be into whatever you're into, but you sure can hope.


Emptied Out

Today was a sick day.  And the worst kind of sick day, where you're actually sick and all you can do is lay in bed or possibly on the couch, and all you can eat is broth with an egg stirred in- until you graduate to applesauce.  And then you eat a lot of that, because it's so freaking delicious.

The Evidence


From Above

...or below, as it were.


On the Back Porch

I have spent the last hour catching up on the blog- I had all the photos, and I even had about half of them edited and uploaded... but I had to edit and upload the other half, as well as put them all into blog entries.  Isis has been my faithful companion as I did so:
...what if I put a pea under there?

(Please notice the double-decker bed.  She truly is a princess....)

And now it is time for delicious dinner.  Curry-rubbed chicken with cauliflower.  Heck yes.


The Messenger's Skirts

I love irises you guys.  Love them.
And why wouldn't I?

It always makes me so happy when it's their turn on the blooming rotation.


Many Kinds of Temples

...we meet our gods both coming and going...


Simple Pleasures in the Afternoon

Lemon sorbet with raspberries.  Yes.


Safety First

Picked up some new gear today


The Revelation

This is a direct tie-in to this post.
Pretty amazing.