Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Very Merry

Hope yours was too!


Woo, woo!


Zoo Train Ride, originally uploaded by apkoski.

We took the Zoo Train, we took the Zoo Train!
Zoo Lights on Sunday night was fun and flashy, and busy. Someone could put their kid through college by setting up a hot chocolate stand next to the station.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A:
Last Night I dreamt that I met my ho self from a parallel universe, and she was really tall and pretty. We were at a library-slash-hair salon and I got my hair colored but it was still the same color afterwards. Then a bomb fell onto the telephone wire outside and made all the library shelves fall down.

What do you think it means?


P: I think it means you're pregnant.

Friday, December 14, 2007

BABY ALIVE!



"She eats and poops just like a real baby! Feed her or give her a bottle, and then get ready to change her messy diaper! She's ready to play, laugh and talk with you, and you will love taking care of her! When she is hungry you can mix up some of her special food! She really eats and tells you how she likes it with fun phrases like, Mmm..good! She'll even tell you it's time to change her diaper when she says, Uh-oh, I made a stinky! When BABY ALIVE is tired, she gets drowsy and falls asleep! Doll comes with dress, 2 doll diapers, bottle with nipple and cap, bowl, spoon, 4 packets of doll food and bib."
Gee, thanks, Doc. ;)

- A

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Answer

OK, apologies. There is no porridge. There is a spoon... but no porridge. That's right, you've been duped into another one of my rants. For several years now, I've been eating my 'light meals' and portions (soups, beans, yogurt, ice cream) out of our lovely how-did-we-ever-like-that-pattern Pier 1 mugs. Assuming they petite, I felt comfortable filling it more than half full of whatever I was attempting to have 'a bit' of. WELL.
Last week I got the bright idea to actually measure the volume of each dish; soup/pasta bowl, cereal bowl, and mug. Guess what? They all hold the same amount of liquid: 2 cups! Sonofabitch, if you pardon. Actually, the mug held just over 1/8 cup less than the others. Still, gaa! So mystery anonymous person, you were right - it was a trick question. Isn't it amazing how easily any innocent person can be deceived?
Stay tuned for further research into the nutritional content of 2 Cups of various foods. Maybe this portion control issue - and not baseball - should be brought before congress. It's a crime, I tell you!
Isn't ignorance bliss?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cabinet @uiz

How much porridge do you think each dish can hold?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wii Sore

A: Yeeks, my obliques hurt.
P: Mine too.
A&P: Hmmmm.... boxing! (+ light bulb)
A: Right here?
P: No, more over here.
A: Close enough. I've gotta get my uni. in the wash.

Monday, November 26, 2007

... and ended well

So here we are eating breakfast on some morning in September - let's pretend it was yesterday, for the sake of showing that we did survive the great turkey smoke out. Gobble-gobble!
The little bird smoked for 9 hours, taking its sweet time getting up to 165, so it went in the oven for the final 2 degrees. He/she tasted very moist, tender, and smoky (to a certain depth), and looked nothing like this. Unfortunately we don't have a picture to share, so you'll just have to believe us; if we were looking at the bird, it was done so in order to eat it (not take pictures)! Leftover Day is officially over, so turkey has been dismembered, partitioned, and neatly tucked away in the freezer for turkey soup and gumbo later this year. We love soup! Who's volunteering to start a Winter Soup recipe exchange - with samples?

Friday, November 23, 2007

So it Begins

Thursday morning, 4:30 am. The turkey is all hooked up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Getting Ready


New Scoops!, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Beginning this Thursday, the official holiday season will be officially upon us. Well, that's what Mr. P. says. I, on the other hand, have already begun making my lists, cutting fabric for gifts, considered our wrapping paper scheme, and shopped for gifts (once)!
Oh wait, Thanksgiving, the forgotten step-child of the holiday season retail machine! We have finalized the menu, gotten all the ingredients, and fished out the 'real' napkins. We also got some handy-dandy new flatware (!!!!!!). We're very excited to have silverware that we didn't lift from Kirksville restaurants, and doesn't bend when we try to eat ice cream out of the carton. Ahh, simple pleasures.
A

Friday, November 02, 2007

What we did this October

Jeez, October is over? Guess we haven't been doing anything extraordinary enough (for our high standards, heh) to tell you all about. But alas, here we are; we are here! Last month was nice. Here's some of the photoables:
Catching up on reading/enjoying some unexpected free time (business is slow).

, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Bagged 24 pounds of apples & pears at the annual Apple Tasting. Have subsequently made apple pie filling, apple & cheddar salads, & an apple crunch pie.

We took two hikes, one at Saddle Mountain, shown here. The view was beautiful, and the hike was thrilling - just less than scary.


Speaking of scary, we enjoyed Halloween at a friend's house who sees up to 400 trick-or-treaters every year. Loved all the cards we got too, thanks :)


Also been focusing our intake quality - as you know, our bodies are temples (and because fall is normally when our waistbands seem to tighten) ... So we've been trying to get more bang for our buck in the grocery store and in our menus, but less bang on the plate, which is not easy to balance!



And finally, one step closer.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Aaaahhhnniversary


Halfway, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Well, we made it through #7! Saturday night we went out to Lauro Kitchen for dinner, and then picked up a yummy dessert from Pix. It was a romantic evening.
We exchanged cards on Sunday, and Paul added a stack of beautiful chocolates to mine. (We'd already agreed to go together to get a 'gift' for ourselves - no, not lame!)

Yesterday, on Paul's day off, we hiked in the Gorge on a new trail: the Horsetail Falls Trail. We passed 4 waterfalls, I think. Good hike. :)


In other life, we have almost settled on a new accent paint color for the doors. Actually, I should say that we're lobbying one another for a particular color. Agreement is coming soon... that's what 7 years of marriage has taught us, right?

I'm also hoping for my first real Personal Training Client. I've opened up the idea of virtual training, for those farther away who may be looking for a reliable, knowledgeable trainer. Paul has urged me to continue pushing the web page and helping web crawlers find it, so I'm putting the link on my blog. If you want, you could do the same!

I'm also working on a couple potential ideas for and Etsy store, including a name (AGAIN!). No picture-worthy ones yet. I know, exciting life.
-A

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fall & All


Dining in the Season, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Three day weekend! Yahoo!!!!!
Oh. Wha? Ohhhhhhhhhh. YOU must not work for the Feds. Bummer for you ;)
Monday is Columbus Day, silly! It will be a relatively normal day for me, but Mr. P gets to wallow in his paid 8 hours in honor of the great Mr. C.
In addition, this weekend commemorates exactly 7 years of married bliss for the two of us. We got married on a Saturday, and stayed home on that Monday, unwrapping wedding gifts and eating leftovers.
This year, the Monday After will be spent taking a nice hike somewhere fairly nearby. We are looking forward to an excellent fall leaf display. We'll let you know how it all goes.

Oh - almost forgot! In my professional life, I launched my Personal Training web site called Fitness Fix. If you build it, right? I'm not 100% satisfied or done with it, but hopefully it provides useful information for potential clients. If you think you know of any in the Portland, OR area, please shove them my way!

-A

Monday, October 01, 2007

Screeeech!

That was the sound we heard after applying our accent color to the doors last week. Of course, the most annoying yet critical part of exterior painting has stalled us. Whatever.

Paul nailed it when made a circus or clown reference upon first sight. The crappy thing is that now we have a quart of that color. Yup, we got cocky. Back to the paint store for some sample quarts! Any color suggestions, or are you sick of this too?


Also, evident by an unattended AM boot camp class today, I will safely declare that fall has officially arrived here in the PNW. It cools off, the Gorge Winds come, it rains, gets light later - seemingly exponentially. So instead of leading a workout, I shuffled around under an Oak and picked up acorns. A quick stop at T. for a pretty bowl and some autumn mix candy corn, and Voila!


A whole bowl full, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Happy, happy, etc.

Also finished meager baby gifts from early summer arrivals. I'm hoping those bibs fit around 5-month old necks. This patchwork combo was really fun to make!
-A

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall is Arriving

Ok, so below is my current desktop appearance. I wish I knew who to give props to for the image. But that's not what I want to talk about. Look carefully... see the black weather box? Yup, that's what Portland's weather looks like when fall is coming around the corner. The mountain will get it's first snow this weekend - well, all the mountains. As a result, the indoor activities are coming out. Saturday Paul & I went clothes shopping and looked at mailboxes with functional lids (our mailman must hate us right now). Then I spent last Sunday afternoon scrapbooking with Julie, and had a chance to bolster my paper collection. (I'm Loving scrapbooking paper right now, especially from American Crafts!) Let me tell you, running a tab at any establishment is dangerous, even a scrapbooking store.
I'm also working on a nice autumn-like table runner, as the hula colors + burlap are no longer doing it for me. Also working on the tie one on assignment, since the deadline was extended - thanks Amy!
AND soup weather is starting - and coffee warm-ups after BBC class. Yay, but Brrrrrrr! I am beginning to change my clothes under the covers already. Yesterday we received our last $6 heating bill of the year.
I'm feeling like wrapping up the loose ends of summer this week too. I'm putting the final touches on baby gifts that should have been sent by July, and I'm adding/subtracting commas and parenthesis on the final 8 pages of my thesis this morning, getting ready for the ruler test and then binding the darn thing (!).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Order of Business

Explicit instructions and valuable information found on Paul's desk yesterday.
First week on the new job - so far, so good!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the Works


Swatch, originally uploaded by apkoski.

I'm so proud of Paul & I. We are finally painting the house! Its green, Ryegrass to be specific, with Nacre trim and maybe an orange door. Paul predicts we'll be done on Saturday, and for once, my prediction is more pessimistic, er, realistic: Sunday.


Also in process is a career decision for me. I've just ordered business cards and am working up a web page for my evolving Personal Training work. So far it's turned out to be a suspenseful experience, getting my name out there. I have an inkling to instead just apply at some local gyms, or as a friend sparked, a local fitness boutique. Oo-la-la. No, I'm better than that.

The biggest challenge currently - besides locating clients - is thinking up a business name. Brainstorming has led to some really goofy titles and some good ones that are "Taken!" I have a good tag line, something I heard my fmr. boss encouraging many: "Discover the athlete within." Another one of his favorites was "today is the first day of the rest of your life." When I become a famous Fit TV trainer with boob implants and a fake tan, I will be sure to thank you Scott. Hey, anybody have any Biz name ideas? (It never hurts to ask - collaborative brainstorming.)

I'm also exploring the possibilities of opening an Etsy store. I know, it seems that not much is rolling off the press lately, but I'm slowly pulling out of writer mode and back into sewing.

Actually, I've been toying with paper scraps, and have made several buntings like these in a few new forms, with the hopes of getting something started. Great, now I have to think of a shop name!

On another note, this page is really fun. Now I can leave the house with a plan!

-A

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Short Legs, Baggy Jeans


Alrightey, then. My sewing machine has been intermittently neglected over the past 8 months in particular, but the tune-up tag on the case says 2004 -- no wonder!
Besides the shower gift above (4 months late), here's one of my only contributions to the creative world during my thesis days: how to hem your jeans so the don't look hemmed tutorial!

Before: My legs are longer than petite but shorter than 'regular' (shown here). Before figuring this hem trick out, I hemmed a few jeans the dorky way: cut of the bottoms, turn under, & stitch. The dilemma became "walk around with holes in my heels or walk around with a dorky, not-the-cool-kind-of-homemade hem."
Its a bit creepy cutting into a pair of brand new jeans, but well worth it if you can make them fit correctly.
Step 1: Cut off the leg hems, about 3/4 inch up from the bottom. Hold onto this cuff. It will be re-attached to the jeans at a spot that is just a bit higher than the original one. Flip the cuff inside out and shimmy it up the outside of remaining jean leg (shown here).
Step 2: Figure out how much shorter the new hem should be. Generally this consists of pinning the cuff to the jean leg at various heights and trying on the jeans multiple times.

Pinning: For your first try, pick a spot on the jean leg and pin the upside-down cuff to it (for the more 'precise' seamstress, you could also measure your anatomical inseam, measure the jean inseam, and then pin it to the approximate matching length). The hem should be pinned at the same point or 1/8" below the line (bulky fabric) where the hem will actually be attached to the jean (not pictured). Pin parallel to the cut raw edge; it will mimic a straight stitch line, and minimizes getting ankle pokes & scratches while trying on. On the jeans pictured, I stitched about 1/4" below the original hem (North-South accd. to photo).

Trying On: After you pin the cuff in place, turn it down, flipping (and pinning if necessary) the extra leg material up so that it looks like a "normal" jean hem. Remember to wear shoes - preferably the ones you plan to wear the most - while testing out the length.
When you've determined the "perfect" new hem height, either use tailor's chalk or pins like I have to mark the circumference line where the cuff top will line up with the original jean leg.

Step 3: Stitch it. With your denim or heavy duty needle, sew the cuff to the jean leg along the pin line used in the previous step (pictured below, about 1/4" to the right of the original hem). Depending on how close to the original hem you pinned the stitch line, you may need to use a zipper foot.

Step 4: After you've tried on the jeans again and decided that you're satisfied with the length and that R & L legs are even, trim the excess. Press.Step 5: Close the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch over the raw edges. If you have a serger, skip this step - it's been done for you!
Step 6: Wear 'em! The hem is still there, and you can't really tell unless you squint, that the distressed marks on the hem end a little abruptly. If you have trouble with the hem wanting to flip back up, try stitching the new seam allowance to the jean leg with invisible thread.
(I'm not floating!)

-A

Friday, August 31, 2007

August.... where ya at?

August... Colorado, lots of BBC classes, book club, birthday party, Hood to Coast, Thesis defense, baby shower...
It'll probably be September by the time I finish writing this.

To wrap up the Hood to Coast, we had a blast on a weekend filled with some of the oddest occurrences.
  • A Buck (yes, I'm sure; lots of horns... antlers?) put its head down and sprinted toward me (Anne) on a narrow footbridge located on the Springwater trail in Gresham while running my first leg of the relay. I will forever remember being informed by a Nike Germany team member, "Itzee deeah!"
  • A "failure to obey traffic control device" violation was cited at approximately 0242 am on Saturday, August 25th. Bail was posted by The Bubbas in then amount of approximately $223. Thank you, Bubbas.
  • Over the weekend, a world record was set for the word "Bubba" being spoken over 2000 times. (We can read lips.)
  • Together The Bubbas stimulated the local economy by spending approximately $7000 on transportation, room, and board over a 5-day period. Ugh, nevermind.
  • We had such a fun time - The Bubbas are a blast! More pictures are here, here and here.

As you saw, the Bubbas were in uniform, at least for group photos. My "Carrot Soup" Hudson's Treasure Chest special T-shirt (thank you Donna) came to me just a wee large, so I revised it. Just wanted to share the process - a quick crafty, county fair-esque project.
Before:
Step 1.
Trace the desired-fitting t-shirt outline onto the Carrot Soup shirt.
Step 2.
Stitch on the lines.

Step 3.
Cut off the excess, hem sleeves and bottom.

Step 4.
Apply name tag; start running.
Voila!

Weekend plans: Paul & I will be seeking out Fall tribal fishing salmon tomorrow, for smoking in the King Sunday. Cross your fingers (that we find a fish, prepare it correctly, and don't get sick)
Oh yeah, we'll also continue celebrating the completion of my Master's Thesis defense and permission for graduation - yay me.
Happy holiday!

-A

*Special thanks to Marci Simpson - er, Koski, for so artistically Simpsonizing our images, which can be viewed in the previous post. Your magnificent rendition of us in yellow will never be lost again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Update update



Yo others & Bubs. More Hood to Coast photo updates and stories, plus county fair-esque crafty creation updates to come this Friday. Until then, wish Anne (or Bubba Anne) luck on her master's thesis oral defense Thursday, and on her attempt to have a lot of fun Thursday night.

Cheers,
A&P

Monday, August 27, 2007

GOT R DUN!

We made it to Seaside!!
Just a few that were not posted last time. I know none show us at the finish but those pictures are on Bubba Kyle's camera. Being the Bubbas that we are, we forgot the cables to upload them to our computer. We finished up all 197 miles a little after 5 PM on Saturday. After a post-race burger we went back to the condo and quickly fell asleep. I think everybody got at least 11 hours....well deserved I must say.