Monday, September 30, 2013

100 books so far

Remember when I read 100 books last year? Remember how crazy I thought that was, and decided not to shoot for a crazy reading goal this year, but to read more poetry?

I've read some poetry, yes. Go me.

But I've also read 100 books. As of last night when I finished The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook, which was pretty damn good to be honest.

I don't know how this happened. Except for a lot of time spent in the car this year (2 cross-country trips & a lot of weekenders), bus commuting for five months and my shiny new library card to a library that actually stocks books I read (Looking (displeased) at you, Central Arkansas Library System).

I've upped my Goodreads reading goal a few times this year when I got ridiculously ahead of whichever goal I had. With 100 books, I'm currently 11 books (9 percent) ahead of my current goal of 120. I'm projecting I'll end up reading 130 books this year?


I just love reading, guys. It's something I get lost in. And since I'm currently unable to travel too far from home, it's something I do to get away.

Here are some favorites of the year so far in no particular order. I'll write an official top 10 list in December, which is coming up so, so quickly! These are YA, adult fiction, nonfiction, short stories…all over the board:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith
The Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
The Whispering Muse by Sjon
A spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Between Two Worlds by Roxana Saberi
The Flouder by Gunter Grass (liked it more than the Tin Drum!)
….and everything I read by Alice Munro

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"Fire operates at a number of different scales. The smallest is that of a campfire, where you're just mixing fuel and oxygen and a heat source and theoretically, it perpetuates itself in time." --- Dr. John Bailey, Oregon State University

I've been working on a story about fire and fire science for work. Thus, thinking a lot about it, and about all the wonderful campfires Aaron has built for us. :)

Anyway... I've also just been plugging along. Working. Cleaning. Last weekend was nice if not a little rainy. We spent Sunday in Portland enjoying IKEA, Foster burger, shopping in the Pearl and seeing Dr. Dog play with The Lumineers.

I've also been drinking more tea and wearing more boots and scarves. More of that to come, I'm sure.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rogue Farms

We spent the day at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence! Aaron had to take one photo for work, and since we were up there, we decided to make a day of it and show ourselves around!

Most of our Rogue experiences has been at their headquarters in Newport, which is just an hour away from us! The Hopyard is closer, and it so much fun! They were hosting a harvest festival today. They have a lot of events! I would love to go back up for a cider-making workshop or pumpkin festival!

This swing was the scene of the crime for the photo. The actual subjects were not upside down, but I always think I make a great stand-in!

The two pigs were my favorite. The brother-sister pair are named Voo and Doo, and they're old and arthritic and adorable. I'm glad they've had such a happy life on the farm!

I had the new barley wine. You should probably get some!

Bonus photo. I just liked how this one turned out! All of these photos were taken by my talented husband, of course. Mine can be found on Instagram. =P

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"The Three Sisters"

I am having a very nice Saturday morning. I baked carrot-apple-zucchini muffins (with cinnamon & orange zest - I highly recommend baking anything with this combination when it starts to feel like fall wherever you are) for us, and I have the first of two loaves of zucchini bread in the oven for our coworkers next week.

I have tea. I have candles burning. I really have no desire to leave my freshly-cleaned house, but I will in just a bit for a little run before I continue on with the rest of the day: shopping for bike fenders and attending our first OSU football game tonight!

As good as this morning is, though, I'm not sure it tops one a few months back when we stopped in Eugene on the way to go climbing and had brunch at Morning Glory Cafe downtown.

I had something they call The Three Sisters. The menu says: A mountain of herbed glory potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Topped with your choice of mozzarella cheese, nutritional yeast sauce, herbed tofu sour cream, or tantric mushroom gravy. Served with your choice of homemade bread. Half portion: $6.75 Add organic baked tofu, organic grilled tempeh slices, or soysage patties: $2.75

I've been dreaming about this and craving it ever since, so, since I had the list of ingredients in front of me, I decided to attempt it.

I know it doesn't look pretty, but I thought it turned out pretty well! Here's what I used:

a good amount of yukon gold potatoes
1 head of broccoli
1 cup of mushrooms
2 cups of zucchini (because we have a lot of zucchini still)
3 small/medium tomatoes
1 small yellow onion
1 batch vegan mushroom gravy

I covered my yukon golds and broccoli with oil, salt and pepper and roasted them at 425 while I started on my mushroom gravy (I used this Whole Foods recipe, which did the job!). Once my gravy was nice and thick, I kept it warm on low while I caramalized my onions in butter and then threw in my zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes in that order. When everything was done, I decided to just combine it in the big bowl you see in the photo. We still have a ton left, and it's kept nicely in the fridge. Craving satisfied.

By the way. This meal was completely vegan at Morning Glory, but since I'm not a vegan, I happily used some butter for frying purposes. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Five

1. Being away from my desk

...I feel a bit drained because of it, but during monotonous weeks, I wish for ones like this. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday I was in the field, Wednesday I had meetings, Thursday we had a department picnic and today I'm going to Portland to help pick up furniture for our new office. Phew.

2. Dr. Dog

...And other music. Specifically Dr. Dog because he's playing with the Lumineers in Portland later this month, and Aaron got us tickets! So excited.

3. Tumblr

I finally added cute layouts to both of my tumblr blogs and updated the one I use for my original content

4. Rest

I haven't worked out much due to all the other business. We finally went to the climbing gym last night, and I really hit it hard, and I'm looking forward to a long run this weekend as well as an outdoor bouldering sesh if the weather holds up.

5. Fruit

It's a good feeling when you get to go to the grocery store again, after a week or so, and you have all kinds of fresh food again. Ah.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Woods

I spent my Tuesday out in the woods with these fools:

I really enjoy my coworkers. They are all super talented, passionate people.

Also, look at that fisheye action on the trees! I loved playing with our 8mm lense. We were following around a group of fire science researchers studying an area of the Lower Umpqua Forest (I think) that burned in 2009.

It was really beautiful. A perfect day to go for a walk in the woods.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in Leavenworth

me on chunky, v3

Aaron on, The Hueco Route, the most fun v1 ever

And this is Gold Bar, where we did not climb. Because of access issues we didn't know about or didn't think to find out about. It was so beautiful, though....


We didn't leave Corvallis until about 6 p.m., so we ended up sleeing in the truck, in a Safeway parking lot.


We made it to Leavenworth by about 8 and had coffee at the most adorable little Starbucks ever before we went out to Icicle Canyon, which is one of the main bouldering areas. We climbed until 12:30, when we went into town to watch some football and eat lunch. I had a grilled cheese and onion rings. Aaron had fish & chips, and we got to see our Hogs on ESPN U for just a little while. Then, we headed back to the boulders. We camped that night somewhere deep in the canyon. It was beautiful, but a little chilly and apparently a tiny bit rainy.


We started out early and spent the whole day in the Mad Meadows area. No big sends due to the sharpness of the granite, and unfamiliarity with the rock and the area. We wanted to climb in Gold Bar on Monday, so we decided to drive and camp there that night. When we got there, we found the road to the boulders closed. And after a little research discovered that the land is owned by a timber company, and while the road is closed to vehicles, it's open to hikers....


What we didn't realize is how long the hike was. Aaron thought there was a shortcut, but after about a mile of hiking, we discovered there wasn't, and that it would take at least another hour - maybe two - to get to the boulders. We gave up and came home early. I don't feel too sad about it. It was our fault for lack of planning. I'd like to go try again sometime soon. Gold Bar is closer to us than Leavenworth, so it might be possible before it gets too cold and wet.

As if this wasn't enough, I had another adventure on Tuesday. I'm SO tired today, but I'll write more about that later. :)