Christmas 2016

Hey everyone. Been kind of quiet around here. But, I’ve been hard at work on my new personality/psychology of self blog, Idionity. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should!

As you know, we usually do our interstate traveling this time of year and I always post about it. We did Arizona and Oregon this time. Even though we didn’t visit Seattle, it was still a hell of a lot of driving. But let’s start at the beginning.

We went with a white tree this year:

christmas tree

Usually we have a live one but with so much traveling and the inconvenience of apartment living it just seemed less practical. And I’ve always wanted a white tree! I took a shot of one of my favorite ornaments, though a few of those are from my childhood (baby’s first Christmas 1986!). People have figured out that my tree has a musical theme and every year I get a new instrument.

It’s also the season for trying new recipes, so I made a few of these for a Christmas gathering:

oreo peanut butter pie

This is a Peanut butter Pie with Oreo crust, a recipe from Kevin and Amanda. I used double-stuffed Oreos to make the crust and added butterscotch chips to the chocolate coating at the top, and let me tell you. You may only be able to eat one slice of this in your lifetime, but it is the best damn thing you’ll ever eat. Would make again, but make sure you bring this to a party because you’ll need the help.

Speaking of recipes, look what Santa brought me:

beer making kit

!!!

I know, right?

I haven’t started my first batch yet. When I do, I’ll post pictures of the progress!

Every year when I go to Oregon (and usually, Washington) I do my local coffeeshop tour, because the coffee there is great. But then the Big S rolled out these damn things, and…well. They got me.

state ornaments

One for each state, and they only sell them in the states you buy them in. Making a crazy dash across the country to collect as many as possible (not to mention the Pokemon in Pokemon Go) is inevitable. But I stopped myself at only the states I physically visited.

(Yes, you can order the other states online, but that’s cheating.)

I still got my coffee at Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters near the bridge, though.

siuslaw river bridge

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope this year is better than the last! May the beer be good and plentiful!

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Christmas 2014

Time for a holiday update!

This Christmas was pretty crazy; I traveled to four states in two weeks (which entailed driving up and down the entire state of California). I don’t have any pictures from the Arizona part of my journey, but I have a few from the rest of the trip.

Naturally, I spent the month crocheting this year’s snowflakes:

snowflake

After getting those done, I got one of my presents early. It is a signed photo of Spock which will be buried with me when I die. The rest of my present was a signed copy of I Am Spock, which is the best goddamned book I’ve ever read. An entire book about why Spock set everyone’s souls on fire and how Leonard Nimoy felt about it, which couldn’t be more relevant to me. I have to read every sentence two or three times because it is just that great.

I spent the holiday indulging one of my other passions which is rock collecting, but I won’t bore you with the long list of stones I came home with.

Now, on to the pictures:

oregon covered bridge

Covered bridge on our drive up through Oregon to get to Washington. It was a nice little stop.

Siuslaw River Bridge

This is a picture of the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence, Oregon. Technically, we didn’t get here until after we had gone to Washington (we drove from central CA to Washington which meant driving through Oregon, and then we stayed with family in Oregon on the way back). I’ve been coming here for a few years now and I just love it. There’s a coffeeshop right out of frame from this picture called Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters that we go to all the time. It was one of my Coffee Stops, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

seattle

Here we are, parking in Seattle. One thing all cities have in common is impressive, beautiful architecture with a lot of history and character, and the overwhelming stench of urine. Seattle is no exception. Urine smell not pictured.

seattle

Look at this bad boy right here. The lighting was just perfect. Someone in our party jokingly suggested that we ride this thing, and ride it we did. The sun was setting and the windows inside the little carriages were tinted so few of my pictures up there turned out especially well.

seattle

Sun setting on the city.

seattle

seattle

And of course, a gratuitous tourist shot. Incidentally, if you are ever in Pike’s Place, Piroshky Piroshky is a wonderful bakery. I get the Smoked Salmon Pate and holy shit.

In keeping with my tradition, as we were driving up the Pacific Northwest and to the Coffee Capital (or whatever) I tried to stop at as many indie, local coffee places as I could. So here’s a list of all the places I stopped this year:

Case Coffee Roasters, Ashland, OR
French Press, Salem, OR
Seattle Coffee Works, Seattle, WA
The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters, Salem, OR
Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters, Florence, OR

Merry Christmas and etc.

Xmas2013

Thanks to my friend Poli for the above!

As usual I’ve been making cookies and crocheting things. And as expected, Artemis has been doing everything imaginable to make us regret getting a tree this year. She steals ornaments, climbs up the tree, unravels the lights, forces the other cats onto the mantle to knock over the glass decorations. Yay.

So here’s what I’m making this year:

snowflakes

snowflake

Everyone’s getting them as my contribution to the gift giving. And since this is the spirit of the season of giving, let me talk about what I’m getting myself.

Mostly clothes. Well, ok, pretty much the clothes I’ve been needing for a long time. And also a few nice things for winter. It’s nice to finally have a budget where I can buy a few coat and sweater type things as well as layering garments which are always great. Also, books to get me through the lengthy family gatherings.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Looking forward to the new year!

Christmas!

I omfg love Christmas! This is my favorite time of year by far (starting with October and harvest season and ending after Orthodox Christmas in January, or as I like to say, I-was-too-lazy-to-take-the-tree-down-until-January-was-halfway-over Orthodox Christmas).

First, we get the tree set up:

Cat caddy | Tree

One year, my college roommate in Colorado looked at the tree I had put up and said, “…What’s with all the desert stuff? When I think Christmas, I don’t think of cactus!”

Most of my childhood ornaments are desert themed. Coyotes, saguaros, lizards, and so on. I grew up in the wilderness outside of Tucson and every year, instead of expecting snow and coldness, we’d tie red bows around the saguaros in our front yard. Santa didn’t come through the chimney; we didn’t have one. He’d have to walk through the front door like everyone else. Our Christmas cards were an evening silhouette of Tucson’s skyline, Christmas lights had to be cactus-friendly, and our gift exchanges consisted of Prickly Pear Something or Other.

Now that I’m an adult, my ornament collections have shifted over to a musical theme. I absolutely love miniature models of instruments so there are a bunch hanging on my tree. Anyone who wants to get to my heart knows that the way to do it is to get me a miniature saxophone or something. I can’t stop myself buying one of these when I see one!

But now I’ve got a new thing I like to do every year: crochet snowflakes!

Cat Caddy | Snowflake

These ones were made last year. It’s pretty badass to make a bunch and give them away to friends and family, so when you see their trees you think I contributed to that.

After that, it’s time for cookies!

 Cat Caddy | Cookies

Gingerbread cookies with cinnamon vanilla icing! I’ve never made this kind before and they came out really well. And they’re even better with eggnog and gingerbread tea and peppermint mochas and omnomnomasjfhaksdfjahskdf!

Now for the best part: the presents!

Cat Caddy | Nikita Tree

That one’s for me, I hope!

Oops, better wrap it up though!

Cat Caddy | Nikita Present

Yay, Christmas!