Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas far from snow

Well we excused ourselves from doing the Christmas card mailing this year so a little blog update is in order. We had a really nice Christmas in Springville, CA made all the better by the fact that was snowing and icy back home. Clear skies and 40 degrees have never felt so novel. The northwest got its once every 5 years snowstorm and white Christmas. Snow storms sound nice if you are chilling at home and have a decent vehicle, but are really a drag if you are trying to shop and travel! We managed just fine and got on our flight to CA just before the airport closed!

Christmas with the Mardocks was great: a really good gathering of family and friends. Bob made about 50 lbs of brisket which was awesome! We had a lot of fun playing games with the girls and cuddling with Lilly and Daisy. We also went along to pick up Adi, Angela's half sister, in LA who flew in from London. We stopped at Santa Monica Pier as Adam had never been to LA before. [It was windy.]
Adi was a lot of fun to meet, Angela and her share so many traits including famously expressive facial expressions. We finished up Christmas in Tumwater with the Trimble's on the 27th.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Summer turns to Fall

So the first summer of our marriage has come to an end- compared to the spring (our wedding, honeymoon, new job, move to Longview, etc.) summer was simple. We made some effort to visit the new family that we acquired in marriage and had a few people visit us at our little duplex in Longview. A couple of camping trips, BBQ's and some time in Seattle and Portland pretty much rounded it out. Here are some photos:

Barack Bock?

Well my first HomeBrew turned out pretty good. I was unsure but it seems to be a success. I tested a bottle one week into the carbonation period and it was too flat still. Now two weeks in it seems to be well carbonated. My impressions are that it tastes a lot like tap beer; it is fresh tasting and has very fine bubbles- if that makes sense. The carbonation isn't like soda pop, its subtle and not very noticeable. What is noticeable is the flavor: nice bitter hoppy taste with some fairly noticeable malt character. Basically a NW amber ale like you could get at the store. The hops in my kit were Willamette hops and I notice that the taste is a bit more 'harsh' than a good store bought ale, which usually are brewed with Cascade hops. I did dry hop it a bit since the amount of hops in the kit seemed weak. I am very pleased that there is not much sediment, even though I didn't use a secondary fermenter. Overall it is easy to drink and has the nice hoppy bitterness that I love.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

HomeBrew everybody

99 bottles of beer on the floor 99 bottles of beer... Well actually 41. I just finished bottling my first homebrew. Its a 'simple amber ale' kit that I got with my homebrew setup. The bottling went well, I ended up doing it by myself and it was easy. The hardest part was cleaning all the bottles out and sanitizing them. It will be another 2 weeks before the carbonation in the bottle is finished. Then I can taste it. My intial impression is that it is darker than I thought and I didn't manage to make as much as I was expecting. The carboy holds 5 gallons but I'm not sure it was full and then I didn't get quite all of the beer out when bottling. So I guess normally you would get about 54 bottles. Chalk it up to my first time. Dani suggests Barack Bock for a name. It's not really a bock so I'm thinking blue state brew. Unless it turns out terrible, in which case it shall remain nameless so not to jinx the election. I'll try and post when I taste it. AT

Friday, February 8, 2008

colors and flowers

The colors we have picked for the wedding are green and ivory. The centerpieces and bouquets are going be arranged with white hydrangeas which are simple, yet elegant. I am doing all of the floral arrangements myself a few days before the wedding, and will be hosting a flower arranging party. Let me know if you wish to be added to the invite list!

1000 cranes

we are folding one thousand paper cranes for our wedding. This tradition originates from Japan, where it represents patience and understanding. Cranes are also a symbol of honor and loyalty as they mate for life. The Japanese believe that folding a thousand paper cranes will grant a wish. Now, cranes have become an international symbol of peace. Sadako Sadaski was a little girl who was in the bombings of Hiroshima and developed leukemia from the blast. She attempted to fold a thousand cranes before her death with the hopes of world peace. People all over the world now fold a thousand cranes in her memory and for world peace. We are folding a thousand white cranes to symbolize peace, purity and loyalty for our marriage. Wish us luck!


We have set up a nifty interactive map for the wedding. There are directions to the ceremony/reception and several other spots around Portland. Check it out!