Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Kitchen

After living here for a few months and sadly realizing that there is no one moment that our kitchen is tidy, I gave up waiting and took another picture.

The truth is this kitchen was designed by a moron who doesn't cook or have more than a couple plates and cups... and maybe one cereal box and a couple cans in their cupboards. Being a cooking, foodie family with a professional Chef as head of the household, we have not only lots of dishes, equipment, and seasonings/condiments, we have lots of food. We cook most meals at home from scratch, so those ingredients and supplies have to be stored somewhere. Too bad they don't fit here.

Ok, that's enough griping. First, look at what we did. This took me an entire day off and while Frank had to get used to it, Rachel and I instantly fell in love.


DSCN4735, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.


Align Left
The Kitchen: after, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

The paint is Behr from Home Depot and is called Espresso. Love it. It was initially my brother in law's idea and Rachel and I agreed it was the dramatic change this bland room needed. Besides the walls were kind of grimy and needed paint anyway.

The "After" picture was taken at night, but in real life, the room really isn't dark at all. The pale cupboards keep the room light and bright. Plus... the window over the sink and patio door (immediately to the right of this shot) are a southern exposure, which keeps it sunny in there.

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to paint a wall with a dark color like this?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

See our new fireplace? No muss, no fuss...
(No smell, no heat, either.)

Yule Log, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We were channel surfing late Christmas Eve and wondered what this show was.

This is the Yule Log TV show. It's hour after hour of logs burning in a fireplace, with Christmas music. That's all. No talking, no plot. It basically turns your TV into a fireplace with the sounds of a crackling log fire and tracitional Christmas music.

What kills me is that the entire show is closed captioned for the hearing impaired with the same words that refresh with every verse and chorus:

♪ Christmas Music ♪

That's just too silly.

It's a little yard to see, but here is our faux fireplace on Christmas Eve.

I'm sure Frank enjoyed the closed captioning, letting him know there were Christmas songs playing in the background... {{sarcasm!}}

How goofy. Only in Oregon...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

(Oh phooey the power went out)

An icy tree limb probably fell on a power line somewhere in my neighborhood as I was working on this. I'm super duper busy today, so I'll get to it asap... maybe later this afternoon? We'll see.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's a really good excuse. Really! I even have pictures.

I'm way behind on stuff. The recent storm after storm after storm didn't help. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It doesn't snow here.

Last Sunday we had a bit of rain. Oh, yeah, and the temperature was an unbelievable 24 degrees.

Fluffy white rain. I think you Midwesterners might refer to that as snow, but it's not snow. It's just rain that got a little too cold. Because remember, it doesn't snow here.

Typical winter weather we've had all week, too. (I'm talking about the heavy rains.) In fact today was the start of week two of our typical heavy winter rain storms. It's the rainy season. Only problem, the temp hasn't gotten above 32 for more than a few hours an any given day. The temp has gone up just long enough to melt the previous day's snowfall into a slick crust that's impossible to walk on and dangerous to drive on.

Oh and by the way, since it doesn't snow here, the city doesn't have much equipment or know-how in the way of dealing with roads. Duluth, MN could teach this hilly town (and PDX as well) a thing or two, but it's been crazy what with the ice and snow. Since last week we've gotten well over 18 inches of snow. That's how deep it is on our patio bench, anyway. I'll share the pictures with you later.

Anyway, I wanted to explain this before you read the next chronological post (above): The Wordle thing. It has nothing to do with snow but explains why I'm taking on this project at this late date: I'm doing my Xmas cards.

Yes, I know it's late in the day on December 22. If you know me at all, this is to be expected, anyway.

Ok. Check out the post above. I jotted down phrases that explain our past year. I'm going to run them through and make a pretty picture.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The "Great Winter Storm Freak-Out of 2008"

Today we had a dusting of snow. To you folks in the midwest who scoff at a dusting of snow, you'll be amazed at what it does to us here in the Pacific NW. We are expected to have an "Arctic Blast" (temps between 10-30F) for an entire week; a rare occurrence here. The last time we had 5 days straight of temps below freezing was 10 years ago. People are freaking out. The morning news had continuous coverage of the snow and they had reporters stationed all around town, showing off the trouble drivers were having on the roads. To be fair to local drivers, there aren't snowplows to clear the roads, and they don't use sand and salt like they do in WI and MN, so the snow falls, turns to slush, then freezes to the road when the temps drop at sundown... On top of that, PDX is extremely hilly and navigating an icy hill is something to be avoided at all costs. Unless you have a low insurance deductible for body work. Just imagine driving in Duluth, MN after an ice storm with no snow equipment taking care of the roads. Now multiply Duluth's population by 10, most of them not realizing what they're going to be driving into. Check out this video from the news. This is the Marquam bridge over the Willamette River in downtown Portland. This double-decker bridge has a height of 150 feet on the top deck, where the red truck has spun out. Vertigo, anyone? Nah, I'm not afraid of heights. I'll just stop right here and put chains on my tires, ignoring the other cars trying to drive around me on the ice. Idiots.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips

Pam's note: I first saw this years ago and it circulates back to me
every few years. I love this one.

And no, Frank, I don't follow this religiously. ...Just parts of it.
Remember last Christmas I admitted to eating an awful lot of butter over
the holidays?

(Just kidding, mom. About following parts of the advice below. You
should already know about last year's Christmas butter diet; you started
it. Love you!)

Eating Tips for the Holidays

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet
table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see
carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any
other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000
calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an
"eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Have one for
me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of
your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or
whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports
car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control
your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat
other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat - have a slice of each.
Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always
have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have
some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party
or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Living room rearrange...

LR Re-Do, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We've only been in the new place for two months - no, less than two months - and already I'm rearranging the living room. This is the view from the front door when Frank came home from work. Thank God he's a patient guy.

Oh, and just in case I haven't complained to absolutely everyone about the living room paint, the walls were supposed to be a teal-gray color. Not 1980's country blue. Oh well. It actually looks good with the dark furniture and yellow/red toned pictures and other decor.

I'll show you the finished room soon. I like it much better than the other arrangement. And yes, Rachel. I'll publicly announce that the new arrangement was your first idea when we moved in.

Which I vetoed.

You were right.

Just beyond the living room is the dining room. See that dark color on the wall above the sliding glass door? Wait until you see my dramatic and beautiful kitchen! Pictures coming soon, also. I just have to clean it up first - and figure out where to put homeless appliances to get them off the counters...