Saturday, June 30, 2012

No Humans in the Pool

It's been pretty warm lately, but Cedric's finding ways to stay cool.

He's been practicing his backstroke all day.

Except for when he gets distracted by the occasional cocktail.

It's not easy to make umbrella drinks this small, so he better appreciate it.

 He hopes you're having a splendid Saturday!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cupcakes and Visitors

Here, have a robin's egg.

We've got visitors from Michigan in town, so you know what that means...

Cupcakes!  Sweet Frostings downtown is the cheeriest little shop with cupcakes, macarons, and gelato. My friend chose the chocolate salted caramel cupcake above. Yes, it was delightfully chocolately, and caramely, and salty.

I had the lemon smoothie cupcake, flavored with lemon zest and extract. It totally showed. 

The whole place is adorable.

This is what the world looks like inside of Sweet Frostings.

There's been talk of going back today!

 _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _

Monday, June 25, 2012


Still can't get over the name for these...

Today we grabbed our bikes and picked up where we left off last Saturday.

The Spokane River is a delightful riding companion (so is Joe, of course).  

There are also so many new flowers that have been popping up along the roadside.They bring a nice  contrast to the sometimes crunchier surroundings.


We made it home to enjoy a way-too-late dinner, which will probably lead to a way-too-late bedtime and a way-too-early alarm sounding. Oh well. 

The waxing crescent moon says it was worth it. 

White Chocolate, Cherry, and Walnut Cookies


These cookies are from an adapted Betty Crocker recipe...again. I turn to ol' Betty a lot for cookies. She's never let me down. And the troubleshooting sections in her book are really helpful.

The recipe was originally for White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies, but I was feeling too cheap to buy macadamia nuts. And I wanted to add a little tang from the cherries to cut the sweetness.

There they are. Ready to make something delicious.

These cookies get pretty crispy on the outside but stay soft on the inside. Or at least that's what my husband said. I always eat them when they are just out of the oven and still too soft to pick up in one piece.

You can find the recipe here. All I did differently was add 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries and replaced the macadamia nuts with chopped walnuts.

I keep thinking about trying it with dried apricots. Would that be weird? I think it might be kind of perfect.

Happy cookie eating!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Raindrops on Helmets and Tails on Coyotes

I finally spotted a bird eating the suet I put out six months ago! Unfortunately, I was so excited that I immediately scared it away. Let's hope he returns soon or at least tells his friends.  

Hey, what a coincidence: the last time I mentioned this suet, I also discussed how my often-inebriated neighbor was yelling things out on the sidewalk. And today, he's upstairs yelling at someone on the other end of the phone:



"I hate her!"


 I hope he's not talking about me.

Anyway, yesterday we traded in the drunken shouting for the sound of the river. Here's some scenes from our two-hour bike ride:


See Joe on the bridge? He had to wait for me to take flower photos.

"Hey it's getting abnormally dark for 6 p.m., but let's keep going!"

The rain was refreshing. I won't tell you about the thunder and lightening. You know, so you don't worry.

We didn't see many animals on the trip. There was a coyote breaking into the water treatment plant. Well, Joe saw him, and I looked up with enough time to see his tail.

Mystery bird:

There was iced-tea when we got home. Okay, who cares about the tea--I just wanted to show you my adorable new Pyrex pitcher (from Goodwill of course).

Oh and look at the peonies a new/fabulous friend brought me!

And yes, that is the spout of a tea-pot you see. We have no flower vases.

I'm looking forward to returning to the bike route soon and picking up where we left off.

I hope you're all having excellent weekends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Little Envelopes

 What's this I just got in the mail?


Lake Superior in tiny envelopes!

My friend Liz must have known I've been missing that big ol' lake. She's about ready to leave it too, so she's probably feeling sentimental. And overwhelmed. It's easy to worry about time when you're leaving, to feel pressured to create the perfect Marquette day.

And when you do leave, you spend your time thinking about it, regretting those two years you spent living across the street from Lake Superior yet only walked over once a week. Why weren't you there every day? Why didn't you grade at a picnic table at the marina, watching sail boats come in for the night? Why didn't you read each day on those massive rocks, your feet danging into the icy water? Why didn't you dig your toes into the sand more often, spend more time looking for beach glass, take more hikes, canoe more rivers, eat more whitefish, drink more Widowmaker?

But we don't have to feel that way. We can stop comparing where we are to where we were and, instead, figure out what we'll miss when we leave this new place. I've spent almost this entire year hating here and missing there, and that's probably not the best use of my time.

Anyway, Liz, if you see this, I'm hoping you won't be like me. Yes, think about Marquette, and Lake Superior, and whitefish, and Lawry's pasties (or Jean Kay's if you prefer), and ore docks, and freighters, and snow, and snow, and snow, but leave some room for new loves too.   
And thanks for the beach glass!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


It's been a busy one. Last night Joe co-hosted the graduation reading for the MFA program. Here he is after in his delightful new tie.

Lucky for him, the picture doesn't capture the gym shorts he changed into after the reading...or his black dress socks and tennis shoes. It was quite the combo.

And here's some unrelated food I made tonight.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps! I found the recipe here. They were delicious! And we still have half a zucchini in the fridge, so we will repeat them very soon.

Tomorrow is all about grading, so it will be back to eating something boring or easy unless Joe is feeling ambitious.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Can't Stop Thrifting

Four days a week in Coeur d'Alene means the Goodwill addiction continues. 

I just can't help it! I get out of class, consider driving home, and turn toward Goodwill instead. Even on days when I'm really tired and just want a nap, I'll spend thirty minutes stumbling through their dishes and clothes first. 

Plus I've been looking for an alarm clock so I can stop worrying about oversleeping all the time (7 a.m. every day is new for me). Yes, I set the alarm on my phone. And I make Joe set his too, but that doesn't stop me from waking up every thirty minutes in terror--what time is it? 4:30? Why is it light out? Why am I awake? Should I just get up now to avoid oversleeping?

These kinds of nights, and Joe's nonstop-paper writing, have lead to a decline in the desire to make dinner.Take last night's meal as evidence of this laziness:


Oh well. It was good.  

Anyway, here are some other things that have been happening. 

Our first really good thunderstorm!


And we saw our first Spokane slug!

The group of friends we were meeting up with, didn't seem as excited as I was. He's not gross! Just different. 

Oh, and since we're talking about Goodwill, here's my two most recent purchases:


Fifty-cent bowls! There are four--not sure how only three ended up in my picture. 

And look at this funky tie I found for Joe!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Back to School

Well, I'm already into week one of summer classes. And Joe only has one week left!

My three-week break vanished pretty quickly--something about flying to Michigan one week and then having house guests the next really made the time pass.

Having our friends from Marquette visit was a great time. It also helped me better appreciate Spokane--you only show your visitors the good stuff.

We stayed pretty busy:

We ate doughnuts from an old shop in an area of town I'd never seen.

Donut Parade! What a name.

My first maple bar.

Some signage.

We also checked out the old post card store that was just down the street.

This place had tons of old post cards (and stamps, and matchbooks, and even old calling cards)! And they were very well organized!


There were even categories for exaggerations (giant rabbits, huge potatoes, etc.) and one funny section for cards with cats as people. Of course, I spent my time looking through Michigan cards.

I got these for a quarter each. Old postcards seem so much more romantic than the glossy photographed ones most places sell today.

I love how rushed so many of the messages are. 

Wonder why this guy never got his:

This one's neat!  Water Wonderland!

And the caption on the backside is pretty cute:

Michigan - Water Wonderland
Fine highways and friendly people welcome you to the Michigan Water Wonderland. Clear blue water, soft sand and lots of sunshine beckon the vacationist. 

 We also spent some time down by the river.  Things got misty.

 We saw a new bird. What is it? An osprey maybe?

These pretty little flowers were everywhere.

And, after searching for the trash-eating goat, Richard was disappointed to find it out of order.

When it's working, you can hold a piece of trash under its mouth and it will suck it up.

We continued walking along the river, and then we noticed this guy grunting at us.

Then we saw his lady on the bank. Mama goose was giving me the stink eye too. 

Keep walking, lady.

More falls and bridge:

And more food. We ate at a neat place called Zola.

Their second floor is lined with old tilt-a-wheel cars!

And further in the back, one room is made out of an old boat. The whole place is very unique. And they have delicious mac and cheese!

 Even their sidewalk sign is cool!

On the last day, we went to Turnbull, the wildlife refuge, in search of big animals. We only saw some birds and turtles, but that's better than nothing!

We actually saw four turtles. This guy was the cutest.

Look at that little nose!


Weird bug!

Sorry, red eyes, I forgot your name!

We saw lots of red-winged blackbirds. 

Queen of the lake:

 We agreed this guy looked like his head was carved out of wood:

Things were much greener than the last time Joe and I visited.

These guys kept popping up everywhere. Can you see him in the grass there?

 And we saw a Richard!

Our friends are currently driving along the coast, a trip I hope to make sometime soon! They'll stop back in Spokane to stay the night on Saturday before they head back to Michigan.

Cedric is considering hiding in the glove compartment.


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