Sunday, July 29, 2012


See that girl at the coffee shop?

She's just entered the grades for her summer classes and is now imagining all the things she will accomplish on her month off!

As usual, there's a list:

And, yes, that is rodeo at the bottom of the list. I've got a friend who's looking to throw on some cowboy boots.

Things are off to a good start. Yesterday Joe and I went for a bike ride and saw our first white-tailed deer.

This pretty little lady let me ride my bike alongside her for quite a while before she disappeared.  

And later, we saw bambi:

It's blurry because this little guy was pretty twitchy. 

And now it's time for a cookout. I feel more relaxed already! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bike Ride: Centennial Trail

Yesterday we hit another portion of the Centennial Trail, a 37-mile paved trail that goes through Spokane. This time we followed it through Gonzaga's campus and out of town.

 Spokane seems to have a lot of dams.

Quail party! One day I'll get a really good picture of them...they are just so skittish.

Heading home.

I'm hoping we find time to explore more this evening.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pure Drivel

I found Steve Martin's Pure Drivel on my bookshelf the other day (I forgot I had it). It's funny and sarcastic and a little outrageous. Some of the essays aren't as amusing, but others, like this one called "Writing Is Easy," are perfect little snippets of humor and buffoonery--that seems like a word Steve Martin would appreciate.  

Speaking of books, our summer is looking up. Joe has been looking and applying and interviewing for summer jobs for the last month. Yesterday he got one at the independent bookstore downtown. It's exciting for a couple of reasons: we will be able to eat, and he gets to work with books all day! He came home from his interview drooling over the fact that he got to touch a first addition of The Sun Also Rises. 

But of course he didn't get the job until the day after I had a little freak-out about money. This is how the universe seems to work (at least for us). We keep our cool pretty well for a while, and then one day, one of us loses it, spends an entire day moping, or crying, or worrying, or complaining, or adding up bills, or eating over-sized bowls of ice cream--making a real spectacle of ourselves. And then, the very next day, it works out. It's kind of funny how many times this has happened. Maybe it's to keep us from getting too confident or comfortable. Or maybe our ridiculous displays of anxiety/failure/depression prompt the universe to show an extra boost of sympathy. Who knows, but we always feel a little ridiculous when things change course the next day.

Anyway, Joe started at the bookstore today and I'm at home trying to ignore the heat. I've got some grading to do, so I'll use it as an excuse to find an air-conditioned coffee shop. One more week of summer class and then I'll have almost a whole month to write and craft and bike!

Hope you have a relaxing and freak-out-free weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Of Seafood and Schoolhouses

Yesterday we took our out-of-town visitors to Cheney, home of Eastern Washington University. The old one-room schoolhouse on campus was open for visitors.

It was built in Newport, Washington in 1905 and used for twenty-four years. After sitting unused in the woods for a long time, they moved it to Cheney. Inside, they have some old pictures, including one of the building before they restored it:

Here's the inside:

One of the best parts of having Marcia and bobbi visit was watching them reconnect with old friends from when they lived in Washington. One of them brought a couple new doggie friends to run around on campus. 

They were both friendly and adorable. 

Next to the field we were watching them play in, was a giant map someone had painted in an old parking lot. 

Can you tell what state I'm standing on?

 And then we had one of my best seafood experiences ever. EVER! 

Bobbi and Marcia treated us to dinner at Anthony's, which is downtown Spokane, right next to the river. You can see it there on the right--the one with the triangular silver roofs.

 The first thing that won me over: delicious bread. I didn't leave much for the picture...

Oh, and I thought their house chardonnay was lovely.

The calamari was delicious, not chewy at all. Though if you prefer lighter breading, you may not like the fairly crusty version they serve. 

The clam chowder was perfectly chunky with bits of clam and delicately sized potatoes. The broth was also a perfect consistency, not overwhelmingly thick or disappointingly thin. It's either the best or the second best chowder I've had. It's hard to say since it's been a while since I've tasted the delightful chowder at Abalonetti Seafood in Monterey, CA.

Joe's salad was tasty: fresh fruit and spinach with a tangy rhubarb dressing and candied almonds.

My salad was tastier: crab, grapefruit, and avocado with a homemade Louis dressing.

And the crab cakes. Oh the crab cakes, the crab cakes, the crab cakes.

Two words: no filling. 

Look at them. It's all crab meat in there! Crunchy on the outside, crabby on the inside. No mush!

 After we finished eating, we visited the river.

We also enjoyed the fact that it wasn't 98 degrees for once.  

It was a nice evening.

Our visitors should be back in Michigan soon, and like everyone that has stopped in, they gave us a whole new appreciation for Spokane (and a lot of great food).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Visitors!

Okay, our visitors from Michigan may not be staying at this motel I passed the other day on my bike, but it's relevant because up until last weekend, I thought the Shangri-La was just a single motel I used to see in Michigan. It turns out they are everywhere.

Anyway, this Wednesday we had our aunts Marcia and bobbi came to visit. Look how much greener the grass looks when our visitors are walking by it!  

After a long, homesick winter, it's been so wonderful this summer to fly home for a week and to have three sets of visitors. It's made Michigan feel a little closer, and it's nice knowing that at least a few old friends and family have gotten to see where we live. Things don't quite seem real until you share them with the people you love.

As it usually goes when guests arrive, we've been doing a lot of eating out (no complaints here). Here's the two of them entertaining us at The Elk. Can you see the sign on the wall behind them?

 Yup, Guy Fieri visited for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Here's my beer waiting to be accompanied by my chicken cordon bleu--okay writing so often about Coeur d'Alene is really messing with my spelling abilities. I first wrote chicken coeur d'on bleu...

Today everyone met me in Coeur d'Alene, so they could take a look at my office at NIC. We saw this happy little guy trailing behind his owner's bike:

Tomorrow we drive to Cheney to show them Joe's campus, and we continue the eating spree!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Even More Scenes from a Bike Ride

In order to avoid the heat, we've been hitting the trails early in the morning this week. It seems like every time we're out, a new bunch of flowers have appeared.

And I've had to look every one of them up. I think these sweet yellow ones are California Poppies. 

 And these seem to be Everlasting Peas.


And remember the bird I've been stalking (which I'm pretty sure is an Osprey)? There's babies! You can kind of see one to the right of the mother.

I love the little tongue sticking out!

Later on, I saw these birdhouses and thought of them. They need a giant house so they can have some privacy from all the nosey girls on bikes. 

More things with wings! See it standing in the water?

A blue heron?  This is a poor shot.

And of course we can't go for a bike ride without saying hello to our favorite furry friends. I don't think we've ever seen this little guy.

Love the teeth!

Butterfly party!

We see a yellow butterfly in our back yard several times a day. Joe and I liked to imagine that it is the same butterfly that continues to frequent our yard. Our pet butterfly. We've gotten in the habit of announcing him every time he floats by.

We might have to give him a name soon. What's a good name for a butterfly?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer in Browne's

Yesterday definitely felt like a true summer day.

We slept in.

We baked cookies.

We put on our shorts and t-shirts and sunglasses.

And then we walked the block and a half to some friends' house to spend the rest of the day playing in their front yard. Browne's Addition is growing on me. 

Aren't the Lion statues at the end of the sidewalk fun?

Before we met the couple that lived in one of the apartments here, we always used to talk about this cool building with the Lion statues. I actually took a picture of it last summer. And now we got to look inside!

It's a really neat building, a wood-floored and wallpapered heaven:

Check out their bathroom vanity and the metallic wallpaper. 

 Their kitchen is adorable, bright, and colorful. Look at this bowl!

Paisley wallpaper!

Anyway it was a lovely day and now we're looking forward to a weekend full of bike rides!

How was your fouth of July?

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