This year started off rather quiet...I guess. I booked us a cabin near Mt. Rainier to stay in for a few days with the dogs. It was a fantastic getaway, the weather was great and we had a great time walking through the snow and playing board games. We also fully furnished our Great Room with furniture for the seating area, and our bedroom. :) But I think the highlight of the month was definitely staying at the cabin near the Nisqually River!
|Somehow I didn't quite believe that if I continued walking that I'd actually hit "Paradise." :)
February was a big month for us. Not only did I decided to really get back into my blogging...but after the voters in Washington State had passed Same Sex Marriage...Michael and I officially "got hitched" on February 5th. I honestly didn't think it was going to mean that much considering we'd already been registered as Domestic Partners for a year and a half...but I was quite surprised at how much it really did mean. We each chose a close friend of ours to stand up for us as a witness. They joined us at the courthouse and then we treated them to a fantastic dinner at Daniel's Broiler. I couldn't have asked for a better day!
I also spent a few days babysitting my 2 nephews and 1 niece while my sister went in to have her third boy! Elliot has been such a joy to watch grow over this past year and I feel so lucky to live near them to be a part of their lives.
Well I think the most notable thing to happen in March was the day that I in essence "maced" myself while trying to make Anne Burrell's Maple and Cayenne Glazed Chicken. While at the time I didn't think it was funny as the plumes of smoke laced with cayenne pepper filled the air in my kitchen making my eyes water and throwing me into a coughing fit...I can now look back and chuckle. Actually...roll on the floor with laughter. Who in the hell maces themselves while trying to make dinner?!? By the way...point of this story...make sure you watch the stove CLOSELY if you have syrup with cayenne pepper in a pot trying to reduce it just a little bit. It reduces REALLY QUICKLY!
In April I embarked on my second quest to raise chicks! Mike's coworker asked if I'd be willing to raise three chicks for her to get her flock started again. Of course I JUMPED at the chance! The three Salmon Faverolle chicks were such a joy to raise! They each had a different personality, and I enjoyed watching them grow. You can check out the process on my Chicken Adventure #2 page! It was during this adventure that I did my first (and so far only) giveaway! I partnered with Avian Aqua Miser to give away one of their watering systems that I use and love so much! I had some great chicken pictures entered!! What a fun thing. (Btw, did you know I have a contest going on right now that only TWO people have entered? **sigh**)
April was also a tough month with the Boston Marathon bombing. I lived in Boston for four years and still have many friends there, many of whom were blocks away when the bombing happened. My heart still aches for those who lost family members that day, and to those who are still in physical, and mental, therapy to help recover from that day. I think the thing about Boston is...once you've lived there, Boston is forever a part of you. I am proud to say that I lived in Boston, to this day the only baseball camp I wear is a Red Sox cap. Now some of that is because when I moved there they made me sign my name in blood agreeing that I'd be a Red Sox fan for life. :) But all joking aside...Boston is one of the greatest cities I've ever not only lived in, but been to. The people are amazing, strong and resilient. Boston STRONG!
In May, we made our first trip, together, to Hawai'i! Suddenly, I just had this warm feeling rush over my body as I typed that! I can honestly say that Hawai'i feels like home to me. We had an amazing trip, I showed Michael all of my favorite places and we went to Pearl Harbor, did an 8 hour hike, had dinner with my Krazy Korean Family, and spent a lot of time in the water. I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. I think one of the highlights was snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. We spent several hours there, and right before we were heading in we saw a honu (sea turtle). They glide through the water with such ease and grace. I can't wait for our next trip!!!
June was another busy month around the farm. I started on a few projects, one of them being Michael's garden bench. It's so much fun to come up with a concept, then draw out the plans, throw the plans out and build something that you and your husband love! I feel so butch! :)
June was also the month that my beloved Paula Deen found herself in a bit of trouble. Now we all know how I feel about this issue, so no need to rehash it. LOL But you can always scroll back in my blog and read my post, In Defense of Miss Paula Deen. I digress. LOL
In June the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a portion of DOMA. And in doing so, made my marriage to Michael a union that is now recognized by the federal government! I truly can't believe how far our nation has come in such a relatively short period of time. Now that being said, there have been thousands of people fighting for equality for decades, and I do NOT want to discredit all the work they've done to bring us to this point. But it's truly amazing the changes that are occurring.
July was another crazy and fun month around here. Michael and I took a trip to Tofino and spent an amazing few days in a cabin near the Pacific Ocean. I can still hear the sound of the waves rolling in...**sigh**. We went on a whale watching cruise (saw the backs of some whales) and saw an incredible number of bald eagles. It was a fantastic getaway...even if the drive was crazy long! :)
Something else happened in July...and it's the reason some of you are reading my blog now! Andrea Brown, a reporter for The Everett Herald, contacted me in June because she stumbled across my blog and wanted to do an article on me. At first I thought I was being punked. LOL. But I invited her over to my home and she interviewed me. Now let me tell you...being interviewed is just strange LOL. I know I have a blog and I talk about me...but having someone sitting there asking you questions, recording it and probing you for information...well that was odd LOL. BUT on July 10th, the article hit the press. Now...it wasn't just an article...it was a FRONT PAGE with my FACE ABOVE THE FOLD article! I won't lie...when I was at the store to buy some papers and saw my face above the fold I almost died! I was a bit embarrassed, lol, and I grabbed all the papers they had and ran to the checkout. You can check out the post from that day and a link to the article HERE!
I was truly overwhelmed by the response from the article, and Fox Q13 even called to see if I'd do an interview! Me! Crazy times at the farm, I can't even begin to wrap my head around it, still! But luckily things quieted down. So much in fact that I could hear my biological clock ticking!
So at the end of July I purchased a Brinsea Incubator and decided to hatch some eggs. Now raising chicks was so much fun...hatching chicks...WHAT A TRIP! You can check out that story on my Chicken Adventure #3 page! Btw...that clock is ticking again! So in February I'm going to hatch some more!!!! :)
The eggs that I set in July hatched on August 15th and 16th! On the 16th though I had to help one of those chicks out of its egg. That was one of the most emotionally draining things I've done! I struggled with myself because I didn't know if I should help, or not help...but when it came right down to it I knew that I couldn't just let it die. So with tweezers and a Q-tip and water I set to work on peeling off the shell and the external membrane to free the little chick. I named that chick Miracle.
At the end of August I was fortunate to be a part of Camp Erin of King County for the 2nd year in a row. What an amazing experience again. I have so much respect for all the people, campers and volunteers, who are a part of that weekend. It takes courage on both sides to even go to the camp, but when you leave on Sunday, there is this overwhelming sense of tranquility that fills you. You can read about my experience this year HERE.
Well we finally bit the bullet and bought a pressure canner. And because of that, the month of September was filled with canning...and lots of it! I canned my little heart out! I canned pasta sauce, bruschetta in a jar, salsas, pickles, pickled beets, jams, mustards and I even learned how to can my chicken stock! That was pretty much the entire month of September! That and cleaning up the garden! LOL
Since we don't go on enough trips, lol, Michael and I decided to go on two mini vacations. We chose to go to Vancouver and Whistler for 2 days, then down to Portland for two days. Now they were VERY short vacations...and there was a lot of driving involved...but we had a fantastic time in both places! We went zip-lining in Whistler, and ate at some great places in Vancouver! And in Portland we ate at some GREAT food trucks and did a ton of walking and exploring. We had such a great time on both trips, especially since neither of us had been to Portland before. We were surprised at how much we liked it. :)
Back in July I was contacted by the editor for My Edmonds News, which is an online news source for the town we live in...and she was wondering if I'd be interested in writing a recipe/housewife column. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and my first column appeared at the end of October! It's not a paid gig, but it gets me out there...and exposes my writing and blogging to more people! Win/Win!
October was also the month that I decided to do a complete makeover to the Taj MahChicken!
November kicked off the holiday season and I, of course, made a big Thanksgiving dinner and had my sister and her family as well as Michael's parents over. And other than Thanksgiving, I can't really think of anything else that went on! Is that bad?!?
This month has just flown by...I honestly can't believe that it's almost over. This month was full of family, friends and food. My father and stepmom were here for Christmas which was fantastic. I made a 13 pound standing rib roast with all the fixings for Christmas Day dinner. We had 10 people over...my sister, brother-in-law and their four kids...my dad and stepmom...and Michael's parents. It was a fantastic, stress free day! We all enjoyed each other's company, the food and the day itself. I love to cook, but I love cooking a meal that brings people together even more. It was a lot of work preparing the meal, but to see the smiles on everyone's faces while they talked and ate...it made it all worth it.
Yesterday I finally had to do two things I wasn't really looking forward to. First off...I started T25, clearly I didn't learn my lesson with Insanity! And the other thing...I was standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window when I was greeted by what sounded like a dying cow in my backyard. Turns out it was just one of the young chickens attempting to crow. His little head was looking through the window of the coop right at me. I waved at him and said..."Wrong thing to do little buddy." So before I could do my workout I loaded up four of the five young chickens, brownie and the three largest lavenders, and headed to Monroe Farm & Feed. They have a pen outside that you can take your roosters to, and people can come and get them if they need/want a rooster. It truly is amazing that they provide that service because I have no idea how I would have found homes for them. Now...the only young one left is Miracle...so there is a LOT of pressure on her to lay an egg...if Miracle is in fact a hen LOL.
So that was 2013 more or less in a nutshell. I'm sure that I missed a ton of things, but that gives you a reason to read all my blog posts! :) I hope that you've all had an amazing year, and that next year brings you happiness, good health and great food!
Until next year...Keep Cooking!