Monday, November 30, 2009

for the geek on your christmas list...

Star Wars 4GB Flash Drive

how's this for a cool turkey!

I know you're probably sick of turkey after eating copious amounts at Thanksgiving, but this little guy was too cool not to share and not technically turkey... Check him out on Shannon's blog at Happiness Is...

totally depressing...

I was asked to do a survey after visiting the apple store the other day and so I agreed (being in Marketing, I understand how these things can be helpful to a company) but then I came across this ghastly screen which made me feel very old all of a sudden... I am no longer in the 25 to 34 box... sigh
dumb surveys anyway...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving at 642

I can't find the camera Kate gave me and the other camera only has 15MB of storage which is about 5 pictures (all of Charlotte) so I'm glad Derek was on hand with his camera to capture some of the feast. Next year we'll be sure to get better pictures of the delicious Thanksgiving food! I'll also try and post some recipes although it could take while since I always cook from memory and don't have anything written down. This year we had two turkey's. Cody smoked one in the smoker (his first turkey!) and I gave up on butterflying mine as I had planned and just threw the whole thing into the oven like I normally do. Cody's mom seemed a little shocked when I said it would be done in 2 hours. She asked how it could cook so quickly and that's when she noticed I had the temperature set at 500. I cook pretty much everything at 400 and above which is a total time saver if you ever want to try it yourself. This year's menu was 2 turkeys, mashed potatoes, the BEST gravy ever invented (I finally nailed it this year!), traditional stuffing, corn & bread pudding, no cranberry sauce this year since I'm the only one who ever eats it so I used left over IKEA lingonberry jam, green bean casserole, and butternut squash. Lise and Derek brought desserts to add to Dee Dee's apple and pear tart. SO yummy! I had so much stuff leftover that I've spent the last 3 days making soups: Ginger, carrot, and coconut soup, turkey and vegetable, Papa Pomodoro, and French Onion. I hope everyone else had as delicious a Thanksgiving this year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

road trip

we're hitting the road again today and taking a road trip to Portland, Oregon to visit Bryce's family for Thanksgiving. It's a 12 hour drive, and we hear there might be snow on the way, so we're going to take it easy.

I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving (for those of you in the US) and a great week to the rest of you!

orange orange

Our orange trees are hanging heavy with fruit and look like they are just about ready to eat! Here's a picture I took 2 months ago and then the same 2 oranges yesterday
We have 2 orange trees, this smaller one here that we hacked back a few months ago
and this massive one which is about 20-30 feet tall...
Since there are only so many oranges we can eat, and give away and orange juice we can drink, I found some great recipes on Tastespotting that look totally delicious!

being thankful

it's Thanksgiving tomorrow in the US, and even though in Australia we don't celebrate this holiday (being that it's a day to give thanks to God for helping the pilgrims survive the brutal winter back in the 1500's) I'd like to start my own Austramerican tradition and make a list of things I am thankful for each year.

It's kind of a long list, so thank you for being patient!
Bryce, I am thankful that you are in my life - that we met in a random set of events that brought us to where we are together today. thanks for all our days together :*

Cooper, little buddy, I am thankful that you wake me up each morning with paws on the bed and a nuzzle to the face saying 'let me get in your bed for a cuddle'

McKenzie, welcome to our life - I am thankful you are here to complete our little family (even if you do eat cat poo, and our socks & undies, and bring dead rats into the house...)

Dad, thank you for coming to visit us last Christmas - it meant a lot to both of us, and we're really glad you have Sophie in your life.

Louise, thanks for letting me visit with you guys in August - it was great spending time with you and the boys

Holly, thank you for being you and for bringing little Amelie into this world

Johno, thanks for hanging out with me when I was home - it was good to see you and spend time, which I can't remember the last time we did...

Cathy and Gene, thanks for coming to visit us last month, it was so great to see you both and explore San Francisco together

Bill, thanks for coming to visit us the other month and Barb, thanks for the many many gifts you guys send us, and Barb thank you for doing this course you're doing - it makes us both very happy to see you kicking butt!

Melita, thank you for making me laugh every time we spend time together

Maggagie, thank you for always just picking up where we left off - I miss you

Hannah, thank you for being my Canadian connection in California, thank you for understanding me (literally - well most of the time) :P

Rita, Ami and Steve, thank you for being our Canadian buddies, and all the fun times we had together in Canada!

Christina, thank you for the fun times we had in Chicago and the many more we'll have in California together

OJ, thanks for including us in your wedding in Italy, we can't wait to see you guys again!

and thank you for reading this post :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

some prickles we came across in the desert

I was just amazed at how the plant life is so different in Arizona, and proceeded to take as many photos of as many different cacti as humanly possible...

Monday, November 23, 2009

El Tour de Tucson

*Warning* You might want to grab a cup of coffee, this is gonna be a long 109 mile post...

This weekend we flew to Tucson, Arizona for El Tour de Tucson, the largest bicycling event in the US. Peter, a friend of ours talked Bryce into competing in the crazy 109 mile road race across Tucson about 8 months ago and he's been donning his little lycra shorts and training for it as often as he could ever since.
On Saturday morning we got up at some ridiculous hour (5am'ish) to join the thousands of people who willingly do this race every year.
It was quite the spectacle seeing the sea of helmets and lycra - people come from all over the US and the world to compete
look at him in his bright orange jersey with tyres to match - we thought for sure we'd be able to see him coming in this get up!
but it seemed you needed to be a bit more creative to stand out amoungst all these bikers
The race started at a chilly downtown Tucson at 7am with over 2000 bikers heading off for the 109 mile part of the race. The sun was hardly up and being the desert it was freezing cold
Peter kindly brought his tandem bike along so he and I could ride the first part of the race with Bryce to cheer him on
but the place was a zoo and we lost him straight away - everybody just looked the same on all those bikes... so we decided to ride for a while and see if we could see him.
Riding a tandem bike was a new experience for me, and at first a little freaky since I was in the back with no control of the steering or the brakes and I just basically had to keep my feet on the peddles and make sure I kept up with Peter.
but it was kinda cool, with my hands free I got to take some good shots :)
this guy was the craziest guy we came across, and I am not just talking about that outfit...
here he is (bad photo) on a unicycle...
Yes! see him behind me? that's right 1 wheel for 109 miles... talk about madness!
there were all sorts of people on all sorts of bikes
and lots of police presence to make sure everyone stayed safe - all the roads were closed down to let the bikers through.
here we decided that we were not going to be able to catch Bryce and thought we'd take a shortcut and head him off at the next spot
so we headed back to the car crossing the finish line on the way (only about 5 hours too early...) but I cheered out loud and pretended that we won anyway - just for the fun of it :P
So with the bike on the car (my butt was so happy to not be on the bike anymore...) we made a quick pit-stop at Starbucks at U of A
we grabbed a much needed coffee and some breakie, saw this cool car and then started heading out to where the race was continuing
We took the scenic route
which was spectacular - you could see all of Tucson from up here
and lots of cacti
and then some more
the day was so clear and the sky so blue
then we came across some bikers and proceeded to look at every guy in an orange shirt with a white helmet, in hopes of seeing Bryce to give him some protein bars and water and stuff
but we still couldn't see him - if only he had worn an outfit like this guy... we might have stood a chance
we jumped back in the car and headed to the river crossing as we were sure we'd be able to catch him here. this is the place they had to get off their bikes and walk across a dry river bed for about a mile in those little biker shoes they all wore... (we saw lots of people crash here) as if riding your bike for 109 miles was not enough, they had to throw in some danger to keep it interesting...

It was here that Bryce said he saw a guy with 1 leg competing - he had no femur (so no leg at all) and here he hopped along the dirty rocky riverbed using his bike as a crutch - that's what I call determination!
we found some guys in orange shirts - but no Bryce...
we were turning out to be a bad sag (support and gear) vehicle...
but on the flip side I was getting a wonderful tour of Tucson myself!
and some great photo opportunities :)
here is a shot of some kids that were competing in the shorter leg of the race - just a wee 35 miles... it was here that my phone rang - it was Bryce and he was at the finish line!
so we headed back downtown and finally we found him!
not sure how we missed him in all that orange...
he placed 1276 out of 3633 in his 109 mile class (about 7000 people raced in total) Congratulations honey! :*
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