Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lavi's Happy Hour

Lavi had an eventful Friday night hanging out with me and some friends. She had a great time as many, many people stopped to pet her.

Here she is with Erin.

Here's Jen at Mbar.

Hiking in Silver Falls State Park

I was fortunate to have the time (ha...I have a lot of time still being unemployed) to go on a hike with my neighbor Doug and the girls (Beth and Tessa) who actually own the house Matt and I love in. We drove down to Silverton to explore the Silver Falls State park. There is a 8 mile hike called Trail of Ten Falls. We walked about 6 miles and saw 6-7 waterfalls. It was amazing.
This is North Falls (136 ft) we saw from the view point on the road.

The first stop on our hike was the stunning South Falls (177 ft). This was one of the few falls that we could walk behind.

The trails were beautiful and the trees were huge. As was this beautiful cedar.

Next was the Lower South Falls (93 ft).

And Middle North Falls (106 ft)

We all had a great time during our time in the forest.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More photos of Gareth's doggie party

Here are some more adorable photos from the doggie birthday party. Thanks Jen. Check out Jen's blog about the event.

Brian and Gareth

Gareth picking Lavi as his favorite :)

Lavi and her new golden friend

Lavi and me!

Lavi performing her weave - she will do almost anything for a treat (especially ham!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Party Dog

Lavi was a true party animal this weekend. The festivities started off with a party across the street at Doug and Susan's house. After drooling over the smoked chickens, Lavi "got it on" with one of her boyfriends, Gomez. By "got it on" I am not referring to humping...but pouncing and chasing...that is her version of gettin' it on. Here she is with Gomez and his folks, Laura and Marvin.

The party was a get to together for Beth and Tessa, the two ladies that own the house Matt and I are renting. They were visiting from Boston.

After recovering from the BBQ, Lavi was invited to another party at the Lucky Lab Brewpub. This was a party for Gareth, a welsh terrier, celebrating his 2nd birthday. Unfortunately we did not realize it was a costume party. Here are some of the best ones. Notice Gareth in the top of the can't see but he had on a bow tie.

Brian and Eric, Gareth's daddys, did a great job with the party. The festivities included a costume contest, talent show and Gareth's choice. The costume winner was "Maximus Blu-imus" the gladiator. For the talent contest, Lavi went second and performed her weave and bang bang flawlessly. Unfortunately she lost to a Westie who danced around on its back feet. Several people came over to us and said we were robbed. It was ok because Lavi was the winner of Gareth's choice. They had all of the dogs line up in a circle and they put Gareth in the middle. Whoever he walked over to first was the winner. At first he walked in a circle and then he came over to give Lavi a kiss. It was very cute!!! Jen took a bunch of photos. Once I get them I will post them. Here is another party guest, Charlie.

There was even a doggie cake made of yogurt and carob. Lavi nibbled on it a little bit and licked the carob icing but left the rest of it. She is quite picky. Now if the cake was made out of ham, that would have been a different story.

She had two great weekends in a row!! Now she wants to know what's next on the agenda?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Scrapbooking blog candy!

Marie is giving away a Lavender Vanilla Scrapbook Kit over on her blog and I want to win it. All I had to do was post this link to Go. Be Creative. and I am in the drawing for the kit. Check out GBC if you have a minute! (deadline 24th July)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Netarts, OR

Lavi and I were invited to spend the night in Netarts at Susan and Doug's beach house. This was the perfect escape from the hot summer weekend here in Portland. To get to the coast, we drove through the beautiful Tillamook State Forest and within an hour and half we were at the coast.
Here is Lavi soaking in the cool beach air as we drive along Netarts Bay.

We spent some time at a beach called Happy Camp. From here (and all down the coast) you can see the Three Arch Rocks wildlife refuge off in the distance.

Susan and Doug in front of "Susan's Rocks"

Susan and Lavi blowing in the wind.

It has been a long time since Lavi was at the beach. She had a blast chasing seaweed as it was blown down the beach. Here is a video of Lavi in her full glory:)

After the beach the tide was low enough for us to go clamming! We entered the bay from Doug's sister's house, which is located right on the bay (300 feet from Doug and Susan's house). Here is Dave (Doug's cousin), me and Doug.

Doug and I came back with a little more than our allotted clams (20 each), while Dave "mistakenly" brought back some oyster contraband. Here is Lavi "helping" Doug shuck the oysters...waiting paitently for her share. Unfortunately she did not get to enjoy them since these were some of the best, freshest oysters I have ever eaten.

Here is Lavi and her new best friend during the sunset.

Today, Doug took me and Lavi on a beautiful scenic drive and hikes of Lookout Cape State Park. Here is a picture of me and Doug above Netarts and the spit that seperates the bay from the ocean.

We also stopped at the Whiskey Creek Fish hatchery. Here's Doug in front of the salmon hatchery.

I am so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lavi loves her lure toy

Lavi's favorite toy is this coon tail! She loves to chase it and chew it. This is one of the few toys she actually gets excited about.

The rest of the time she looks like this :)

And here is an old video of Lavi swimming for the first time last summer. I had to post it again from those who have not seen it since she has yet to go near a body of water since then.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Berry Pickin' - again

FINALLY - the blueberries are ripe and ready for pickin'. Matt and I drove out to Sauvie Island to go pick some of these blue Oregon gems. Not only did they have blueberrie, there were also some cherries and raspberries to be had as well.
Here I am basking in this berry heaven amongst the raspberry bushes. (Yes heaven - where else do you pay $1.50 a pound for fresh berries!) And these babies were big. I had never seen such large raspberries before, they looked more like red blackberries but tons sweeter!

Here is Matt picking some blue gold. He may be home for a week to relax but I am still putting him to work.

And of course our BOOTY! All of this (almost 7 lbs) for only $10.42.

So now what? My fridge and freezer are stuffed to the gills with berries. I decided to make little gifts for my neighbors to celebrate the beginning of this red, white and BLUE season.

Berry Fest

As I was sitting around one afternoon, doing whatever it is that I do, I got a call from my friend Jen asking if I could help prep some berries for the Berry Fest at the Ecotrust Farmers market. Of course I said, "where and when". Since this was the day before, all we had to do was hull 'em and quarter 'em. While I was there I also volunteered to help put together the free strawberry shortcakes the next day at the market. The deal was this, buy $5 worth of goods at any booth and they will give you a coupon for a free shortcake.
The next day was great as we prepped, prepared and handed out these little boats of berry love.

Here is a picture of one of the organizer, Anna (the strawberry) with my food friends Michelle and Jen.

And right across from our booth were - CHERRIES!!

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the blueberry lady - yes a lady dressed as a blueberry.

Ice cream creations

With so many wonderful berries available right now, I knew it was time to dust off my ice cream maker. I first tried a strawberry sorbet, which was very sweet and refreshing but it left me yearning for the cold creamy stuff. So last week Matt and I were at the farmers market and saw some blackberries calling our name. (It was still too early for blueberries and I am a little over strawberries at this point). I then began the search for a blackberry ice cream and came across this blackberry-lemon curd swirl ice cream recipe. I accidentally used too much sugar in the blackberry sauce but it still came out great. I used some of the sauce to make fresh blackberry lemonade :)

Now with my first ice cream creation out of the way, I knew it was time to try my favorite - CHERRY. I had some dark plump cherries in the fridge and bought a pitter (highly recommended for any cherry lover). I found this vanilla-cherry recipe and off I went. I made a few changes from the recipe because I still had some ingredients left over from the first concoction. I used whole milk with a little heavy cream instead of half and half. I did not make the cherry sauce but instead put the cherries in a little sugar with a drop of lemon juice just to get a little syrup. And because I never know when to stop, I added dark chocolate pieces just before it went into the machine. WOW- this was awesome. I am sure the sauce would be great but it did not need it. I let Matt taste it before I put it in the freezer and he was in heaven, saying he liked it better soft. Little did I know how much he liked it because later I came back to take a picture and this was all that was left :( And no, that is not a really big cherry.

Keep in mind I cut the recipe in half - I do need to get into a bathing suit this summer!!

I may have found my calling :)