---I cleaned the gutters a week ago: truly an easy process but one that I've put off doing several times. Being that close to the roof made me realize that it's probably closer than I & the landlords thought to needing to be replaced.
---Tall D and Wali G power-washed my deck and patio this week, and let me tell you, they look amazing! I no longer need to repaint the metal work around the patio cause it's glistening and the paint on the house even looks a million times better. The picnic table got a deep cleanse too and tonight it got sanded.
---Apparently the end of July marks the end of season for patio goods---we're just getting into the really good weather in Oregon and already the patio goods are gone! I also can't find battery operated Christmas lights to string through my arbor for the life of me.... But I DID snag some metal tiki torches, a fire pit for the upper deck, and new chairs for the upper deck. The finishing touch items are just hard to come by is all....I've been envisioning lights & paper lanterns for party mode.
---All this yard work makes me excited to see the yard start to come together. I'm thinking it'll be better to focus on finalizing the back and then head to the front (although I'm sure the neighbors are ready for me to finally tackle the front...aka rip out tons more bushes.) Next major backyard projects: fence extension, reseeding the yard, and new wood chips/mulch.
---For some reason I've had bananas ripen like crazy and I signed myself up for bringing mini-banana muffins for a family event tomorrow, so tonight marked the third batch of banana muffins I've made this week! My aunt found a "zuke bat" for me, so I hope to shred that and get baking on some zucchini muffins/bread etc.
---While not exactly what I had in mind, today while at Costco I saw a good deal on fish (salmon & tilapia) so I bought, cut into servings, and bagged for the freezer.
---Part of my goal for this summer is to straighten out the "pantry" and food storage. I'm hoping to organize all my dried beans/grains/etc into glass containers...project started this last week but I'm going to need to save, wash, & use some empty glass containers :)
BOOK CLUB--Truly book club deserves it's own separate post but not likely it's going to happen....but this month's book club felt like one of the best yet. All of the gals were much more comfortable with each other (including our two newbies), much REAL conversation was shared, the food was delish (simple garden salad, sandwiches made from broiled french bread w/ pesto, mozzarella & tomatoes, coconut cream pie & skinny cow ice creams for dessert!), and it truly just felt legit. We talked about life, we talked about the book (Wild by Cheryl Strayed), and we talked about how the two did and didn't go together. We laughed, there were tears, and frustration was present. I loved every second of it and left feeling so fulfilled!
ZOO--I have been wanting to go to the zoo since before we moved back to Oregon and today was FINALLY the day! I met my sister, her teen boys, her grandbaby, and my brother there and we wandered around enjoying the different amazing creatures. Honestly, until today I never knew that there are sub-species of zebras and giraffes! How did I not know this?! :) It was so much fun to just walk around and take in all the animals. :)
FAMILY HAPPENINGS--Tomorrow we'll be celebrating Granny's 101st birthday with her usual tea party with us females in the family...and then Tall D & I agreed to host a family BBQ at my house in the evening so that the males can participate in celebrating Granny too. Will be a full day and pictures are sure to come! :) Should Sunday decide to be over 80, we're also trying to float the river!
---Tall D's buddy from the Army is here visiting from Wisconsin, so we've spent time together showing him around, taking him to happy hours, playing Frisbee Golf, and I was able to take him to a work meeting with me to connect him to a new sustainable ag non-profit being developed for veterans. We'll see....but there's a chance Wali-G just might stay and become an Oregon transplant. ;)
---My gal from Texas was in town this last week also, so I was able to join her and some of her other PDX crew for happy hour. It was the first time her bf had been to the city and it was great seeing it through his eyes. She's registered for a half in November in SA....and I'm contemplating attempting to train to make that goal but we'll see. (It's a lot of money to fly for a half, when I could do one here!!)
OTHER GOALS & HAPPENINGS
TRAVEL---Booked my ticket to Savannah to see my best girl D and several of my milspouse friends (Heather, Katie, & maybe a few others). I'm hopeful to do one or two overnight trips elsewhere to check out nearby areas---I've been wanting to enjoy more of Charleston for one and there are a couple other people I know in SC. D is stoked to have a beach mate (yea for Southern beaches!) and she's guaranteed me that a week with her lil man might cure me of any baby mania starting to take hold of me. ;)
---I'm also in email exchanges with a friend of my SIL who is a missionary/health worker in Africa. On my list of goals this year is to finally make it to Africa!
---Roadtrip is coming soon!
---BIG interview on Monday; still need to prepare some. Job is somewhat out of my league but I also know I have the skill set to do it....SO here's hoping it goes well. If this one doesn't pan out, I'm submitting my resume & cover letter for a part-time position on a different campus that just opened and there's scheduled to be a FT opening on my campus for a different position. I have faith that all will be provided in due time.
---Had a phone chat with a potential renter. He doesn't sound like the right fit but he may be an option. Timing wise I don't think it'll pan out and something tells me to just be patient. I've only had a few hits to my own ad, but I've emailed a few other individuals who had their own ads looking for rooms....we'll see... If I could get by without a renter, at this stage in my life, that might be better. I partly feel bad because I have the space...and partly worry that I'll need the rent money eventually.
---I've always wanted a BIG, fluffy dog. If I tell you where I got this idea, you can't laugh at me....ahem, the LL Bean catalog. HOWEVER, at happy hour with Texan friends the other day, the bf mentioned a relative who used to breed Great Pyrenees. (Read: DREAM DOG). Then, while in Lowes the other day, there was a Great Pyrenees puppy that I was loving on....and the owner told me she was a rescue and that there is a PNW Great Pyrenees rescue group. So, yes, I have two adorable dogs that I love like none other....but I'm drooling over these rescue Pyr's online these days too! :) I'm just trying to figure out if three dogs really is too many, if my landlords could ok a 3rd dog, and if it'd throw off the balance of what already exists here. Regardless, owning a rescue Pyr just got officially added to my lifetime goals.
For the number 30, I'm attempting to tell my PDX friends to block out the day for me. I thought about a wine tour (too expensive and I'm still so-so toward wine these days....) or a spa day (expensive and only a handful of ladies). Tall D has been pretty set on helping me celebrate as he knows how important to me it is to have this birthday be memorable and meaningful (ahem, Tall D, if you're reading....might you make me a carrot cake?!) :) I'm thinking about this (or a float).... and this with a backyard BBQ in there somewhere. That way people can participate in whatever and there's something for everyone...plus a whole lot of fun! :)
And other than all that, I've just been working, working, working....and grading. ;)