Sunday, September 28, 2008
"I have something you don't have."
By the end of the day he had signed everything and all the issues that originally delayed the process had been ironed out and resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
We move on Saturday, October 4th.
Y i p p e e ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Friday, September 26, 2008
, originally uploaded by mulmatsherm.
I have a friend with a fig tree in the back yard of her business on Liberty Street just north of downtown Salem. I didn't know we could grow figs this far north. The temp rarely dips below 20F in the winter, so I guess they would grow just fine here. Funny that we've been here 7 years and this is the first fig tree I've spotted. I always notice interesting plants and agriculture here,
Hoppy Oregon, originally uploaded by mayjor. Hops fields near Brooks Oregon
and filberts (hazelnuts) - this picture is probably from January or February.
*sigh* I LOVE winter in Oregon. It's so lush and mysterious and beautiful...
(I really need to get my camera out in the countryside so I can show you the dill farms and all the beekeeper boxes stacked up at the side of the road when it's time for the dill to be pollinated. I only wish I could capture the smell. Hmm, I wonder how dill honey tastes?)
Every week I check the figs and they should be ready in another two weeks or so. She asked me if I want to gather as many as possible before she cuts the tree back. Fig trees are like filberts, where they have suckers at the bottom and they spread from the base. The tree is gigantic and towers over the roof of the house where her office is located. Anyway, I plan on gathering up figs when they're ready. I'm getting recipes ready to go for fig preserves and etc.
At Christmas, Gram used to make rich, thin, and crispy oatmeal lace cookies that she sandwiched together with a paste she made from dried dates. I think those cookies might be really good with some kind of fig paste. I'll have to experiment. Maybe substituting fig paste for date, prune, or poppyseed paste would work in a lot of my recipes. A lot of them are Czech and Slovak pastries and they use large amounts of these ingredients. Prune Kolache (plural; pronounced KOH-lah-chee) are a favorite and I'm sure substituting fig for prune would be superb. Have you ever heard of kolaches? I should make some.
My Aunts Irene, Rose, Elsie L. and Elsie K. all made kolaches and each recipe was slightly different. You could almost tell who made which batch by the tenderness and flavor of the dough. My favorite version was made by Irene-Rose-Elsie L.-Elsie K.
See? I'm being diplomatic. And honest. They were all great.
As for the figs, I have no what variety they are. The largest ones are about the size of key limes, small tomatillos, or really large cherry tomatoes (like the kind you buy still on the vine). As they ripen the seem to be turning golden yellow, so my guess would be Calimyrna, not Mission.
Doesn't this look good? I'm not a fan of goat cheese, but some of these other ideas look pretty tasty. Nice party food.
Hmmm, is it lunch time yet?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Isn't that how the mortgage funding process works, though?
I'm a little naiive to the process, but I guess someone was processing the paperwork and decided to cut out $2700 of the closing fees included in the paperwork, then sent the documents on to the next stop without checking with our realtor/mortgage broker. Bottom line: instead of the fees coming out of wherever it was supposed to come from at closing, the buyers end up with more money than originally agreed upon, and we have to ask them to refund it to the closing process. Kind of unorthodox, and at this point either the buyers agree to do this, or the various fees don't get paid, or we walk away from the sale.
Am I stressed? Nah.
We made the offer after the condo had been on the market for 4 months. There is another (identical) condo for sale in the same complex.
Besides, the buyers have already moved out. They've moved on. They don't want to have to re-list the condo again.
Just in case, though... will you cross your fingers and say a little prayer?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This was before the gas grill arrived and hogged all remaining space, and before the herbs were killed. From left to right, we had rosemary, sage, and three kinds of thyme in the large box on the bench. I don't remember what was in the other pots near the thyme, but they're all dead too.
The sunlight in the picture is pretty much all we get on the patio. That, and a little overzealous watering guaranteed our black thumb success!
Typical Pam here, I've already got most of the paint colors figured out for each room and am itching to get started on personalizing the white walls. That comes later, though. Gotta get moved in first.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Today Laurie B posted about another of her own invisible friends, Keri Joy Coles, an artist who makes colorful funky polymer dolls. I hopped over to Keri's blog and fell in love with her writing and her art.
As I read post after post on Keri's blog, I came across a silly one about Kotex slippers.
This post is hilarious. Frank walked into the room as I read about the 3 sizes and I had just closed my eyes and shook my head. He walked over to see what I was reading and so I showed him. He blanched.
You see, we've had a little problem at home that started when Rachel left to spend 7 weeks at G-ma and G-pa's farm in Wisconsin. She told Caesar where she was going and we left a pair of pajamas that she had worn on her bed so Caesar could smell her. We also waited to change her bed until just before she came home so her smell would be there as well.
Caesar still missed her terribly. We know because he started to dig into the bathroom trash while we were at work. Frank is always the first one to come home, and he would open the front door to see half-chewed Q-Tips on the floor of the hallway between the front door and the bathroom door. (Our apartment layout stinks. The front door opens directly into the laundry area and your first view is across the hall into the bathroom, where you clearly see the toilet and shower curtain. Tacky. Very un-Feng Shui. *Sign* I can't wait to move... next week. But I digress.)
Caesar also paraded underwear around the house. Clean, waiting to be folded and put away or dirty - I don't know. I didn't check. I just threw them back in the hamper when I discovered them.
(Warning: this is a little gross. You can stop reading now if you are squeamish...or male.)
Last week when I was in Los Angeles, Caesar must have missed me because he started digging through the trash again. Only this time he found some very "illegal snacks" to shred. We learned very quickly that the bathroom door needed to be closed at all times. If not, there would be a mess to clean up (we have quickly been going through our box of disposable gloves) and a section of carpet to shampoo, just in case. You know.
Yes, we do take out the trash but sometimes there are items sitting in the trash can...
Even after I've returned home, Caesar is still drawn to the bathroom, so we have been trained to shut the bathroom door when we leave and overnight. Unfortunately, we are not consistent, and two days ago Frank came home from a grueling 13-hour day at work to discover more illegal snacks shredded all over the hallway and into the living room. Poor Frank had to clean it up. He was NOT in the mood.
This explains why he blanched when I showed him the last line about the three sizes in the Kotex Slippers post. After Caesar's recent snacking spree, I'm sure if I make pair of those, the dog will leave the rest of our shoes alone...
I think some extra long overnights would make a nice pair of slippers for Frank, too.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Whenever I google myself I find other women around the US named Pam Hawk. One is a realtor in the LA area, one is a controller for Perodik in the Bay Area. There are others, too, but not as active online (with their real name anyway) as the two in California.
The gmail address bearing my name has already been taken, but I feel so smug and clever to have bought the website which bears my/our name.
And after attending The World's Greatest Marketing Seminar last week in LA I have a ton of reasons to need my own domain. Just wait and see . . .
Go ahead. Click and visit www.pamhawk.com to see what I'm up to over there.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Please check out his blog to find a new recipe for marinated chicken thighs. He created an onion teriyaki marinade which turned into one of the best chicken dinners I've ever had.
Here's the recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs
If you try it, please leave your comment on his blog. Thanks!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Yay! Good riddance, evil landlord - we bought our own place.
(It's just across the parking lot, so most everything can be walked from point A to point B.)
Ok, it's a condo so we still have to follow someone else's rules, but there is a good chance that the enforceable rules will be written out so the residents know what the enforceable rules are. *Ahem* This will be a luxury not available at our current place since the new owner took over earlier this year.
Yeah, yeah... don't comment here about tenant's rights and various laws. It doesn't matter at this point. I'm not wasting my energy on those dopes.
We move at the end of the month. This month. It happened really fast, if you haven't noticed. But that's just how we roll, I guess. Frank and I dated for two months before he proposed - and obviously I said "yes" - so we can go from pulling a credit report to find out if we qualify for a mortgage (really to decide if we would go for a mortgage vs. college student loans for Pam) to setting a closing date within TWO WEEKS.
Yeah, very fast. From mortgage inquiry to getting the keys to our new digs in 5 weeks.
Anyhoo, this blog may be a little quiet during the next few weeks as we scramble to organize, clean out and move our
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Laws of Physics are not kind to fools.
Sometimes I get a big coffee moustache, other times I schlop it down my pajama top. Today it was the latter. This is why I never wear white.
Just thought you wanted to know what a dork I am sometimes ...
Monday, September 8, 2008
We added a "Follow Us" widget. Click that and our blog's RSS feed will appear in your blogger dashboard. If you use a different blog, I'm not sure where it will end up - maybe in some sort of blog reader, maybe outside your back door begging for a hot meal and a glass of water - but either way it's like a mini subscription doohickey thingamabob.
Click it. It won't hurt.
You just may have to set the dinner table for one more.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Side note: Check out the above link for Smith Rock; it'll take half a minute. Very cool.
Rachel walked over to the basketball area and picked up a ball. She dribbled to test it, then quickly sunk 7 shots in a row from the freethrow line. No warming up.
I asked if she planned to go out for basketball in school this year and she replied, "Nah, I'm not very good."
We had a little talk about her height (just a squeak under 5'5" at 12 years old) and her shooting skills, then I explained that before and between basketball games the coach has players attend this thing called "practice." At this basketball practice, players... practice. And more often than not they improve their skills.
She'll think about it.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Angeles and I came across this oldie but goodie, written by Rachel for
her 4th or 5th grade writing class. (...and not read to the class at the
my mom was fat
imagine that! she
changed each week
losing 5 pounds was
very bleak. she would
take a jog but rolled like
a log. her power jog would be a flop
her butt would flap and her feet would
sing so she went on to try it "the krispy kreme diet!"
but her butt would hurt and out she would blut "I'm getting phater each
This portion of your State Fair Experience has been brought to you by the color... well... how about every color? And lots of it!
No subtle picture taking here. When I saw this young man standing there I whipped out my camera and snapped this. People observing me nudged each other and snickered.
Rachel whispered to me, "I like that jacket."
I whispered back, "I like how it goes so well with those jeans, but I don't know if I would be brave enough to wear them together. In public. Someone might take my picture and post it on their blog."
This portion of your State Fair Experience has been brought to you by the color... well... how about every color? And lots of it!, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
I want to put one of these heads in my front lawn so it looks like Buddha is buried up to its neck.
Maybe I can find some giant cement hands to stick up out of the grass near the head.
Ooh! Ooh! How about praying hands sticking out of the grass in front of the head?
... or I could just plant one tulip directly in front of the head, right under its nose.
I want to put one of these heads in my front lawn so it looks like the statue is buried up to its neck., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
I just love these musicians from... Peru? Bolivia? Somewhere in the Andes?
I just love these musicians from... Peru? Bolivia? Somewhere in the Andes?, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Glass blowing demos
Well, the sign said Glass Blowing Demos, and this gal and other people were milling around on the "stage," but...
I'm not really sure what she was planning to do. She was either shy or had been blinded by the fire because she didn't acknowledge a crowd of about 20 people had gathered to watch her, about 8 feet from where she sat. None of the other glass people said anything to the crowd, either. I'm not sure what this piece ended up being, but there sure was a neat collection of glass items made during the fair that were for sale.
By this time it was getting late, about 9:45pm, and sections of the fair were closing down. Frank and Rachel were ready to go. I stopped to take two last pictures of the garden as we headed toward the exit and they ditched me!
My favorite part of the fair is the gardens.
(This shot was taken at night with no flash, and I did nothing to doctor it up and make it bright. )
These blurry pink flowers are cleome (klee-OH-mee), a regular at Hart of the Gardens at the Oregon State Fair. And one of my all-time favorite flowers.
I believe cleome is a self-seeding biennial, like hollyhocks.
I found my two jokers in the Commercial Building, looking at The Pirate's wares. The Pirate is a vendor who is there every year. Yes, it's an older guy dressed in a pirate costume (every year) and he sells misc souvenirs for kids, pirate flags, blinking LED dental inserts (so you have a blinking mouth, of course; who doesn't need one of those?!*) and belly dancing outfits, and blue Marilyn Monroe wigs.
I tried, but couldn't get Frank to try on anything.
Probably because I was still holding the camera.
*Ours lasted three days, last time we got one.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Rachel is being gross with the zucchini.
(She had a health class last year in school that taught her ... certain things about *ahem* aviary and apiary habits, shall we say?)
Rachel is being gross with the zucchini. Frank is rolling his eyes at her., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Frank is rolling his eyes at her.
Here is the hand written sign attached to the petting zoo sign:
Remember our friend Andi from the Seattle Road Trip? She worked at the fair (this was her last year) and the annual Vegetable Petting Zoo is her idea.
This squash is hugging the other veggies., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
More cuddly veggies that just want some love. Except for the trapped ones., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
How would you
Have you ever seen the tv show Ace of Cakes? This is the homegrown version of that kind of cake decorating and is one of our favorite things to see at the fair.
People are encouraged to vote for the Peoples' Choice Award. I voted for this wonky Christmas cake. Frank voted for a three layer cake covered in black and brown sheets of fondant, then each layer was painstakingly hand painted with a different animal print - cheetah, zebra, jaguar.
I had a double take when I saw the knife sticking out of this wedding cake, and the blood cascading down the side.
Check out the late bride and late groom on top.
Yes. Dead roses. Dark and dry and brittle.
With a dead bouquet.
And bugs crawling all over the cake.
Another fondant-covered cake a la Ace of Cakes. I thought this was really cute.
...to be contined tomorrow...
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here is our annual first day of school photo:
All of you moms with grown kids, here's a short story to bring back fond memories of the night before the first day of school...
Last night at 8:25pm, just as I was getting ready to leave work, Frank sent me an email to let me know she was at her best friend's house. Her best friend started High School yesterday and Rachel wanted to know how it was. (Ninth grade starts a day early to acclimate to all the new stuff before the upperclassmen get there.) Frank's email said Rachel would be home by 10:30pm.
Huh? Did he forget about school?
I called her on my way home and asked if she had everything ready to go. Yes, her bag was backed. Yes, her clothes were ready. Yes, she planned to get up at 6am and wanted to get to school early. I asked again, "Are ALL your clothes ready to go for tomorrow?" We tend to have laundry dramas in the morning and I wanted to nip it in the bud.
She assured me everything was ready to go.
You seasoned moms of former teens, stop laughing! I know you know where this story is going. (And yes, I swung by her friend's house to retrieve her on my way home from work.)
This morning she started harassing me at 5:45am. At 6:15 I rolled out of bed and started making her breakfast. She was hanging around and bugging me in the kitchen, still in pjs and bed-head.
"Get dressed while I cook," I directed.
"*sigh* Why not?"
"Because my pants are in the dryer."
"Why are they in the dryer?"
"Because I washed them."
"Why? What happened?"
"I washed them."
". . . When?"
"So... why are they in the dryer right now?"
"Because it was 11pm and I remembered they had to be put in the dryer and I was comfy and falling asleep and I forgot to put a note on the coffee maker to have Dad put them in the dryer when he got up* and it's NOT MY FAULT!"
"I thought you said everything was ready last night."
"Yeah, it was. It's NOT MY FAULT!"
"So why did you wash your jeans late last night?"
"Because they were dirty."
"How did they get dirty?"
I still thought something had happened between jeans-are-ready and getting-dressed-in-the-morning. Like maybe something spilled on them after the clean and neatly folded jeans had been set out the night before.
"Because I wore them. Tsk. God."
"But I don't get it. Why did you say everything was ready when it still needed to be washed?"
"Because they were ready to be washed! It's NOT MY FAULT!"
"Good grief. Go. Get out of the kitchen. Go get everything else ready to go out the door. When will the jeans be done?"
"Uh, 30 minutes. It's NOT MY FAULT!"
Yes, all you laughing moms, she said she had wanted to get to school early, which meant we had to be out the door in 20 minutes.
We were out the door in 30 minutes. She was wearing a pair of very hot but clean and dry jeans with a very hot zipper. (I didn't hear any complaining. I don't think she dared. If she had complained, I would have said, "It's NOT MY FAULT!") She got to school 20 minutes early so she could meet up with her friends and say hi to her favorite teachers from last year.
I was home by 7:30am, just in time to participate in my favorite first day of school ritual where I get to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch SpongeBob Square Pants before tackling my long to-do list. Since today is my Saturday (weird work schedule), I may watch a second episode of SpongeBob. Eh - it's my day off. If my to-do list doesn't get completely done today, It's NOT MY FAULT!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I love the Oregon State Fair. After being totally overwhelmed by the big-city MN State Fair smack-dab in the middle of the Twin Cities, and being overwhelmed by all the stuff, Oregon's State Fair is like a really big small-town affair.
We have gone at least once each year since moving here, six years ago. Besides, it's just down the road from our home.
Normally it's hot and dry. Arid, really. And hot.
Not this year.
(Hey - I'm not complaining. That sky is blue ... !)
Meh. What's a little rain? After all, this is the Oregon State Fair we're going to.
Oh. Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that I have a very very warped view of the world. (As if you weren't already aware of that.) I am slowly adding photos to a personal photo album called "The Pam Cam" which is odd stuff, passed off as ordinary, that most people tend to overlook. I like to point out the odd stuff and make fun of it. Several of these pictures will be added to the album.
I'm just warning you. Try not to be shocked or offended. I just call it like I see it and consider later that maybe I should have edited the message as it traveled from brain to mouth. Or fingertips in this case. Anyway, enjoy your visit to our lovely state fair.
This State Fair Experience has been brought to you by the color pink.
(I'm probably going to get in trouble for this next picture.)
This State Fair Experience has been brought to you by the color pink., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
A lot of people want to find out ahead of time. That's an awfully long line.
Do they know something we don't know?
Riding mechanical bulls.
Ummm, yeah. Try saying that five times fast.
Alliteration that sells.
The Oregon Pork Producers Association food booth went whole hog.
On second thought, you might consider becoming vegetarian.
Somehow I'm being drawn back over the the whole hog BBQ booth...
Uhh, yep. I'm going back for that pulled pork.
Let's see, what do I want...
Ice Cream Sundaes, Milk Shakes, Chocolate Milk...
and ... Buttermilk!?
Hmm, which treat do I want... Ooh, how about buttermilk?, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
We all decided against the cool and refreshing (?) glass of buttermilk and went for an ice cream cone instead. This is the regular size cone.
Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, I'm used to seeing tractors and combines. Other than dairy cows, most other farm crops ranged from corn and grains, some alfalfa and soybeans, and beef cattle.
Even after being out here in Oregon for 6 years, I still can't get over how different the crops are. And since different kinds of crops require specialized equipment, I can't help myself as I take pictures of all the alien machinery to share with everyone back in the midwest.
These yellow contraptions are all part of one machine., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Cane berries are raspberries, blackberries, etc. Oregon is the nation's largest producer of cane berries. We're also the leading producer of filberts (hazelnuts), Christmas trees, grass seed, mint, and nursery stock (shrubs you buy at your local garden center.)
This was on the side of the yellow contraption., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
This picture was on the side of the big yellow contraption.
This could be cane berries or blueberries.
How's that for freaky looking farm equipment?
Here's a picture of the yellow contraption in use., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
The horse had been licking Rachel's palm with his big long pink tongue.Rachel kept saying, "When I get my horse..." then adding "...when I'm a grown-up..."
Yeah. Don't forget to add the little extra bit in that sentence, kiddo.
We have a huge number of Russian "Old Believers" in in this part of Oregon. Most Old Believers live as if it is still the 1700's, but some have modernized...to a degree. The women still wear the long flowing dresses and a kerchief on their head. The men have full beards. You can Google the words Oregon Old Believers to learn more about this unique group of people. There aren't many pictures, but their history and culture is pretty interesting.
Did I ever tell you my State Fair story about the comedian and the group of Russian women? I'll have to blog about that later. It's hillarious.
(No, it is not disrespectful to the ladies. Not the Russian ones, anyway.)
An Oregon Russian woman with her husband, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Can you figure out which five people are tourists?
(They're the only ones with umbrellas.)
Can you figure out which five people are tourists?, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Next, we found a shooting gallery run by ... guess what organization?
Right! An Oregon Veterans group!
(You thought I was going to say the NRA, didn't you? Their name was nowhere on the signage.)
Frank at the shooting range., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
What a great country we live in!
Where else can you hand a gun to your darling twelve-year-old daughter and tell her to shoot up something? Plus, you get real-live Veterans to offer tips and pointers to improve her aim.
She loved it.
But, typical kid that she is, when I asked, "What was he telling you?" she shrugged and said, "I dunno. I wasn't listening."
Rachel gets some shooting tips., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.
Eagle Eye... Hawk
Don't ask me about their facial expressions. They're both wierdos.
Actually, Frank was very proud of the Junior Shooting Something-Or-Other badge that he earned, and Rachel was giving me one of her classic "Can you believe how dorky that man is?" looks.
A typical day in the life of the Hawk family...
...to be contined ...