Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Harvest

So, this is my fall harvest.
I had such hopes in the spring to actually grow something this year. Last year in the apartment I succeeded in growing about three tomatoes, which prior to picking fell off the patio in a windstorm. Three uneaten tomatoes and one jalapeƱo. I was sure this year would be better. But there was a snowstorm late in May, a hail storm after that, and even though I moved them under cover as soon as I could, just three of my plants survived. And then I totally neglected them for nearly a month in the summer while I worked long days at a conference and then went to Japan. At least, these are the excuses I've been telling myself. My mom is successful at growing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and more. My grandpa always had a huge garden. Surely with gardeners on both sides, they must have passed it onto me, no? Well, next year will be the real test since I'll be able to devote more time to my garden and we have set aside space in the yard for planting. Thank goodness in the meantime I can shop at the co-op for fresh, local, organic produce.
P.S. In case you were wondering, Chris and I each ate one tiny tomato. And they were yummy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Evolution of the Yard

In the beginning, there was dirt:

And then, dirt + retaining wall

Later, dirt + retaining wall + extended patio
(Apologies for the horrible phone picture)

And finally ... Grass!
(We'll wait until Spring to plant behind the retaining wall)

Come over for a game of Baggo, won't you?

Monday, September 13, 2010


I took a camera from school with me on our Christmas/New Year's trip to Arizona to practice using it. I shot a little bit of video but never did anything with it, and then found it today while cleaning out files. So, here's a little footage of the doggies, and fireworks on New Year's. In the second one, you'll see why I'm hoping Chris and I have daughters ...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Facing my fears

For the third year in a row, I was invited to ride in a balloon for media day at the start of the Great Reno Balloon Race. The past two years I declined because of my fear of heights. But this year I decided, what the heck? I climbed a mountain this year. Surely I can ride in a balloon, right? So, I signed up to go on Thursday. Everyone assured me it's such a calm ride that you don't even notice you're in the air until you look down. I wouldn't say that's 100 percent accurate, but it wasn't nearly as scary as I'd imagined. The only time I was really uneasy was when the other two people in my balloon would move and the weight distribution shifted. The ride was fairly short, but I enjoyed it. It was smooth and peaceful.

This is the balloon I rode in as it was being inflated.

Here I am, on the way up!

This is another balloon we saw while in the air. You can see my video here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pink waffles, and other fun things

On Tuesday last week, Chris and I each received a text message that said "Guess who's in Reno?" It was from Jeremy, and we were pretty excited since he'd only been home from his deployment for a couple weeks - we didn't think we'd get a chance to see him so soon!

We were able to meet J for a quick lunch the next day. I, unfortunately, had to run to class but I'm glad he and Chris got to spend a few hours together and had time to come out to the house.

Then on Thursday night, Chad (a friend of mine from high school who now lives in Vegas) and his wife Theresa and daughter Maddie came to stay with us for a night during their long weekend in Reno.
For breakfast, I made waffles ... and since Maddie's favorite color is pink, we thought it would be a good idea if the waffles were that color, too.

Chad's family has a tradition of coming to the rib cook-off in Sparks every year with a group of friends from Quincy. We joined them on Saturday night, as we did last year, on their corner balcony room that overlooks the cook-off. It's insane how many people were there!

As this now was our second year and we're old pros at this cook-off business, Chris and I requested to get in on the T-shirts. They say "Da Browns and Da Friends" on the front and nicknames on the back.
We had a lot of fun hanging out, eating great food, and playing some games at the bar later where we were joined by more friends old and new.
. . .

In other news, I was excited to find out my tomato fight video was picked up by the AP and can now be seen on Yahoo! and other sites. And in a roller coaster of a week at work, my hours were first cut and now increased and in the meantime I began volunteering at the local NPR station, KUNR, to get some experience doing broadcast. Now I just need to find an extra day in the week to get everything done!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scoop's Big Day

Remember how little Scoop was when we brought her home last October? So cute! Well, on Monday she turned 1. I guess she's not much bigger now and she's still pretty cute, but she's definitely not that little puppy anymore! I tried to give her a good birthday, but she decided to try to tear up the new lawn, so she spent part of the day in big trouble.

Scoop had her favorite meal, eggs, for breakfast.

In the afternoon, I took her to the dog park at the Sparks Marina.

At first she was the only dog, but then a few more showed up and she had fun chasing after them. She even got into the water a little bit!

On the way home, we stopped at the store and got a new dog toy. I was hoping she would pick the little cupcake, but she preferred this squeaky dog bone.

She got dressed up in a new bandana that I cut out of some fabric I bought in Okinawa.

And for dessert, some homemade dog treats.

No, she's not spoiled. Not spoiled at all. And I haven't totally lost my mind. It's just that she only turns 1 once, and just because she has no idea what a birthday is, well, I do. And I think birthdays should be fun :-)