Sunday, February 22, 2009


The winter has been getting to me and I've been missing the desert something awful. So I decided to bring a little bit of the desert to me. I have added three little succulents to my household.

I always used to keep little succulents in terra cotta pots on the steps to my apartment in Tucson. I love them.

Nico refuses to call them succulents and refers to them as "juicy" plants instead.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'll tell you one thing about living in the Pacific Northwest: I'm getting pretty damn sick of pine trees.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hiring a Photographer (aka Maybe the Wedding Won't Suck After All)

On Monday I'm going to drive to Tacoma and meet my potential wedding photographer at Hello Cupcake to interview her. I'm going to bring my little wedding notebook, my list of questions printed out from Real Simple and my checkbook, and I'm going to pretend to be Charlotte from Sex and the City. I'm pretty sure this is the photographer I'm going to hire. I don't have any overall vision for the photography, other than it "looking awesome." I'm just happy to be getting it done.

Until this week it was looking to me like we wouldn't be able to afford a photographer. I might lose my job at the end of the year and to be honest we don't have a huge budget to begin with. The idea of paying for everything was quite literally overwhelming me. And I'm not a huge photography arts person, but the idea of not having any nice, professional pics of my wedding was depressing me to the point where I was wondering why we were even having a wedding. Why not just elope? In short I've been pretty depressed over the economy and wedding planning in general. Don't get me wrong - I want to be married. I was just having trouble keeping up the excitement about getting married.

Deciding to go ahead and hire a photographer has made a huge difference in my wedding planning mood. I can't quite pin down why that is, but I think that somehow the thought of NOT having a photographer became, in my mind, emblematic of all the things my wedding couldn't be. As for the money side of it, well, I'm just making the decision to have faith that we can swing this.

I also printed out a good wedding planning checklist from OffbeatBride, and that's helped me to wrap my head around the whole planning process. When I was still in what I like to call the theoretical stages of planning I was having a great time thinking of what we would and wouldn't have or do at the wedding. But now that we're in the actual stages of planning, every decision made has felt like the death of a fantasy. The checklist helps me to feel like I'm getting things done in a positive way rather than winnowing away all my ideas. Plus I was able to show the checklist to Nico to help him understand what's happening with the planning. That checklist actually has the potential to be a great communication tool. As a result Nico understands the process a little better and will be helping more, and I don't feel like I'm doing this all on my own. Win-win.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Red Tulips, Red Ale

These are the gorgeous flowers Nico surprised me with yesterday morning. They bring some wonderful color and freshness to our apartment. I think tulips make more sense for Valentine's Day because they're spring flowers. And I can't wait for spring.

Alright, so I've been homebrewing since last summer, and it's been alright but I haven't been obsessed. Until now.

I recently read Red, White and Brew by Brian Yaeger. And now I want to start a brewery. Anyone want to help?

Right now I've got an Irish Red Ale in the secondary fermenter. I've got a pumpkin porter resting in bottles, and I'm going to brew a different pumpkin porter recipe next weekend. The winner will be the wedding beer. After that I think I'll make another amber ale, maybe with honey this time. And Nico has recently fallen in love with Belgian-style dubbels, so I'll probably make one of those and we'll let it sit until the fall. I'm also itching to try a little experimental brew I thought up last night. And this summer I want to make some wheat beers. I'm thinking a honey wheat, which I'll start in May so it should be ready to try in June, and then a raspberry wheat once raspberries are in season. Oh there's so much to brew, and I have so few bottles to store it all in!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Disappointed, Not Surprised

Well, it looks like the library levy lid lift (say that 8 times fast - I defy you) did not pass.

I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed. This means that my library system will be cutting services because we don't have the money to maintain the current service level (Thanks, housing market!). While we don't yet know what exactly will be cut or reduced, we can make some educated guesses: books and materials, hours of operation, staffing levels and pay/benefits are probably the biggies.

Hopefully my job will not be cut, and hopefully no one whose job may be cut will choose to bump me out of my position. But there's a chance. Anybody need a slightly used librarian?

Maybe I should've gone to pastry school after all.