The Concert

On Saturday I went to my first concert.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.

I am still in the happy-from-music stage.

The Script, American Authors, and OneRepublic.

I heard about this concert last Friday (just over a week before the concert), and at that point I knew only about 3 OneRepublic songs, only 1 American Authors song, and I had never heard of The Script.

But I have been wanting to go to a concert, and I thought OneRepublic would be fun to see. I looked up the concert that day, and saw there were still tickets available. So I talked to Dad, and we decided to listen to more of OneRepublic’s music, to see if we liked it enough to go.  We didn’t get around to listening to it until Tuesday.

On Monday night I made a semi-final decision not to go, and I texted my friend (who was talking about coming with us) and told her we weren’t going to go.

And that’s when I heard Counting Stars playing from my dad’s office.

I went downstairs to tell him I had changed my mind, but when I went down there, my mind was swayed.  After listening to more OneRepublic (and liking most of their songs), I changed my mind.  Dad came up later that day and said, “Hey, these guys are cool, I think we should go see them.”

So I texted my friend, and told her we were going.  We were able to get tickets that night.

And I could hardly wait.

Bethany and I had way too much fun together – we danced for a good part of the concert.  I was so very thankful to have someone to dance with!

I am not sure what else to write – it is hard to describe.  The skill the musicians have is amazing – I was so glad that they used a real piano.  Also, the guitarist played a mad guitar solo before Counting Stars.  SO.  AMAZING.

At one point, the microphone that OneRepublic’s main singer was using stopped working.  He played the intro to a song (a beautiful piano piece) and then when the song got to the place where it should start, he kept messing with his microphone. After a few moments, he starts singing, “My microphone wasn’t working, but now it does.”

There were several unusual instruments used – dobro, viola, cello, and banjo.  It just adds a neat edge. And for the last song, OneRepublic had 4 or 5 drums lined up across the front of the stage, and during instrumental portions of the song, they would play them. I am so not good at articulating this – it was great.

Well, I think I’ll quite trying now.

Except for one final thing:

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND AMAZING AND JUST…GAAAAAH.

I don’t feel like this post does my mood justice. But I am not that great with words.  Oh well.

Here are some photos.

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Bethany and I – American Authors playing in the background

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The Script

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Us and The Script. =)

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The Script had asked everyone to take out their cellphones, and it looked so cool.

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OneRepublic playing Secrets

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(Same as above)

Note: As with all things, if you are under your parent’s authority, don’t just take my word for it, make sure they are O.K. with it!  I do not necessarily endorse everything that these artists have done or put out.  Use discretion.

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Hello, Seattle–Day 2

Saturday was when we did our sightseeing, since we had the full day in Seattle.  And we began it and (almost) ended it with some great food.

So let’s start with some food.

The breakfast at the hotel was pretty awesome, even though it wasn’t included with the room.  We both had the breakfast buffet, which had pancakes (regular and chocolate pancakes one morning, and tiramisu pancakes the next), some awesome sausages, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, bacon (cooked properly, too – nice and crispy!), local smoked salmon, salamis, cheeses (I think some at least were local), fruit, and a bunch of breads (which I totally avoided).  And omelets and smoothies to order – It was amazing!

The first stop we made was to (drumroll)…Costco!  We had some pretty sad luggage (my piece was over 30 years old, and Dad’s luggage had one handle missing, one falling off, and the other might have been cracked).  So we picked up two new pieces at Costco.

Next we had to go to Walgreens, since I had forgotten mascara and I had also run out of lip balm.  (???)  Since I get my mascara online, I had no idea what brands were good, so after some deliberation, I picked one out, making sure that it wasn’t waterproof.  Turns out it was designed to stay on for 24 hours, so I had quite a time trying to take it off.  And it clumped.  😦  Oh well.

Then we were off to Seattle.

First stop was the Space Needle.  I am just amazed that this thing is 60 years old, yet it doesn’t look dated.  Like, at all.  It still totally fits into the skyline.  And the view from the top?  Great.

Next we visited Chihuly Garden and Glass.  Chihuly’s glass sculptures are beautiful!  I love the abstractedness, and the bright colors.  Also, I love that he place several of his sculptures on black Plexiglas, and that they are in dimly lit rooms.  It just adds to the awesomeness of the sculptures.

After Chihuly, we walked over to the International Fountain.  A photo of this fountain had been featured on Bing a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be neat to see it.  It was actually much cooler than I had expected.  There was a water show to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy), which was neat to watch.  The water was well coordinated with the music.  At the end, the water went really high!  Shortly after, a group of people came and danced on the other side of the fountain.  Again, great to watch.

I had heard about Pike Place Market that morning (overhearing a conversation at breakfast), and wanted to go.  You can’t get much better for someone like me (local food, local artisans, and, although I didn’t know this to begin with, old architecture).  We walked through the market, but I (sadly) didn’t purchase anything (my #2 biggest regret, but my last regret – unless you count the fact that I got to the airport late for the trip home, and would have liked to change that).  It was great to see the local food movement in another city.  AND THEY HAVE FISH AT THEIR FARMER’S MARKET.  I am jealous.  The architecture of the place is beautiful, and it feels old, in a really good way.  The lights are beautiful.  And the variety is amazing.  There were several shops selling flowers – and all the bouquets were unique and beautiful!  Each one had a special quality about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.  The placement of the flowers, the colors, were different than any arrangements I’d seen before.  And they were gorgeous!

Then it was time for dinner.  Dad had made reservations at his favorite restaurant in the world – The Metropolitan Grill.  I have heard great things about this restaurant for years – and I have wanted to visit it, although I wasn’t sure when I ever would be able to.  And now I was!

Dinner was AWESOME.  The Met also had an heirloom tomato salad, which Dad and I split.  It was completely different from the heirloom tomato salad we had at Seastar, but it was just as good.  Slices of tomatoes topped with a perfectly-dressed green salad, feta cheese, and purple onions.  I got a fun fizzy drink, some ginger raspberry thing which had a fancy name, but I can’t really remember it.  The drink was really good, though!  For my main dish, I got steak (what Metropolitan Grill is famous for).  IT.  WAS.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  Dad got prime rib, which he said was really good.  I believe him.  It looked beautiful.  We also got a side of asparagus.  For dessert, we shared a flourless chocolate lava cake.  Very, very tasty.

We had planned to ride the Seattle Great Wheel after dinner, but I was a little wary of going around and around in a circle after stuffing myself, but by the time we drove over there, purchased tickets, and waited in line, I was fine.  And it wouldn’t be honest to tell you that I didn’t get a little scared on the wheel, but overall it was great.  And the sunset.  Oh the sunset.  It was beautiful, over the Sound.

Then, thoroughly exhausted from a day of walking, we headed back to our hotel.  I drifted to sleep watching the lights of Bellevue from the window.

 

The next day I went home.

 

Seattle was beautiful.  I hope to go back someday and see more of it, as the little bit I saw only made me want to see more.  And taste more, too!  I feel so blessed that I had this amazing opportunity to visit this beautiful city!

(And if you ever get the chance to go, DO IT!)

 

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[breakfast – awesome sausages-the one in front is feta, spinach, and apple (I think), bacon, and potatoes]

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[breakfast, part 2:  clementine, cheese, salamis, tomato, onion, cucumbers, pineapple, cantaloupe, orange, and smoked salmon]

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[heading into Seattle]

Hello, Seattle, I am a mountaineer,

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[almost there, crossing Lake Union (I think)]

In the hills and highlands,

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[that is Seattle on the right side]

 I fall asleep in hospital parking lots,

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[Hello, Seattle!  I’m finally here!]

And awake in your mouth

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[buildings]

Hello Seattle, I am a manta ray

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Deep beneath the blue waves

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I’ll crawl the sandy bottom of Puget Sound

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And construct a summer home

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[at the Space Needle]

Hello Seattle, I am an old lighthouse

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Throwing beams of bright lights

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[on the viewing deck]

Red in the morning, blue in the evening sun,

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[Puget Sound]

Taking heed for everyone

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[Seattle]

Take me above your light

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Carry me through the night

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[Lake Union]

Hold me secure in flight

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Sing me to sleep tonight

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[walking to Chihuly Garden and Glass]

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[glasswork]

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[this is from his collection “Persians”]

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[if I remember correctly, this is supposed to resemble a garden.  I think it does.]

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[this walkway has a name.  I have forgotten it.]

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[Space Needle.  Love this thing.  It’s so photogenic. :)]

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[the glass sculptures in the garden]

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[selfie]

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[walking]

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[the Pacific Science Center]

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[Mural Amphitheater]

Oh, oh, I can’t even take it in.

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[at the International Fountain]

Oh, oh, I can’t even take it in.

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Oh, oh, I left my heart in metropolis.

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[at the end of Beethoven’s 9th, the water went really high (boy, do I sound intelligent tonight!)]

So far apart, I check but the coast was clear,

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[Experience Music Project Museum]

I feel like a postcard,

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I wish you were here.

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[Going to Pike Place Market]

Subway through the dark, carriage through the park.

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Taxi down the street, get out and use my feet

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[The fish counter – see, what did I tell you!]

Don’t matter much to me what it is that I do

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[the market]

As long as I’m coming home with you

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[people, lights, architecture.  love it]

Oh, oh, oh, as far as I can see

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You’re the only one, the only one that can get to me

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[out in front of the market – aren’t those peppers lovely?]

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[The Metropolitan Grill, where we had dinner]

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[my AWESOME fizzy drink, whatever it was called – I forgot before I even finished it]

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[heirloom tomato salad]

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[you know it’s a fancy restaurant when the butter comes like this, looking like ice cream]

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[my dinner – steak and a potato]

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[and dessert – a flourless chocolate lava cake]

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[there is interesting architecture all over Seattle]

Like a hijacked train

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[sunset over Puget Sound]

Or a runaway train

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[the Seattle Great Wheel at sunset – can’t decide whether I like this exposure…]

Or a speeding bullet

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[…or this exposure better.  I can’t believe I let that lamppost be in my picture.  grrr…]

There’s no stopping this!

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[the Seattle Great Wheel]

I left my heart in metropolis!

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[the sky put on a beautiful show for us]

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[Seattle]

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[blue umbrellas!]

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[What did I tell you?  I LOVE the Space Needle!]

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[colors]

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[sailboat coming home]

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[lights]

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[playing with shutter speed]

Like a hijacked plane,

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[going back to our car – street shots]

or a runaway train

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or a speeding bullet, there’s no stopping this.

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I left my heart in metropolis.

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[leaving Seattle]

Oh, oh, I can’t even take it in.

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[actually, this picture was taken last.  I just have to let you know that.]

Oh, oh, I can’t even take it in.

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[goodbye, Seattle!  I’ll miss you!]

Oh, oh, I left my heart in metropolis!

 

Songs:  Hello, Seattle written by Adam Young and Metropolis written by Adam Young and Matthew Thiessen

These two songs were songs I thought of, listened to, and had in my head while we were in Seattle.

Hello, Seattle–Day 1

“Hello, Seattle,
I am a mountaineer
In the hills and highlands…”

~Owl City, “Hello Seattle”

You’re going to hear more of that song.

Two weekends ago I had the awesome opportunity to visit Seattle, Washington!  My Dad had two separate business trips on the West Coast, one ending Friday afternoon and the other starting the following Monday morning.  So instead of him flying home on Saturday and flying out again on Sunday, he chose to just go straight from one destination to the next.  And I flew out to spend the weekend with him!

So, let’s dive right in.

This was my first time flying by myself.  I was nervous – particularly about taking off and landing.  I get a little nervous about that, and when I flew previously, I had someone’s hand to hold – usually my mom’s or my brother’s.  And unless I had some super nice person sitting next to me, I wouldn’t have anyone to freak out to.  But I did fine, and now taking off doesn’t scare me, but landing still does.  Just a little. 😉

So I flew out on Friday, at 11 in the morning.  I arrived in Seattle at 2-ish Seattle time.  Which put me at almost six hours since my last meal. (I had forgotten to grab some cheese sticks to take on the plane, and so had only had a banana.  And all the snacks that they had on the plane contained grains.  So no luck there.)

My first order of business after getting off the plane was food.  As I walked down the B terminal, I looked at all the restaurants:  Quizno’s.  A Mexican place that was rather small and had a bar – not somewhere I wanted to be.  McDonald’s.  As I walked by each place, I new that there wasn’t a whole lot that I could get at any of them.  So I continued to the main area of the airport, where there was a whole collection of restaurants.  And there they had a directory of all the restaurants in the whole airport.  I spotted, way at the other end of the C terminal, a restaurant that looked pretty promising – Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express.  The distance I had already traversed, from my gate to this directory, was about the same as the distance from this directory to the restaurant.  Which wouldn’t have been bad at all if I wasn’t hauling a camera bag and my on board bag, which was a backpack, holding my purse, three books (one of them over 1400 pages long), and my sweater.  So pretty heavy.  So I hauled all the way over to the restaurant, stopping on the way to look another restaurant that I was hoping I could get something at (they had local cheese), but all they had were awesome-sounding sandwiches with that local cheese.  I finally made it down to the Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express, where I got a Greek salad, and then hauled all the way back to the main area of the airport.

Only to then realize that I left my 1 liter water bottle at the restaurant.

And I didn’t realize that until I had sat down, mixed my salad, and gotten all settled in to eat.  So I packed everything back up and hauled back to the restaurant, where they had my water bottle.

*Sigh*

Once I had actually started eating, a young lady right around my age came over and asked if she could sit with me.  I said, “Sure!”  She sat down, and we started chatting.  Turns out she is in the army and was just stationed there, as she had graduated the day before.

After we had both finished eating and she had gone her way, I purchased me a White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.  It was pretty good.  I bummed later that I had had it, as I wish I had waited and gotten some more local tasty Seattle coffee.  Oh well.

I sat and read for awhile, drinking my coffee, until it was time to go meet Dad.

Once Dad and I had met up, collected our luggage, and picked up our rental car, we drove out to Bellevue.  (Dad would be staying here for his business trip, so that’s where we stayed.  It’s about a 20 minute drive outside of Seattle.  And beautiful!)

After checking in at our lovely hotel, unpacking, and video-calling Mom and the rest of my siblings, it was time for dinner.  Dad had made reservations at a seafood place, Seastar, that he and Drake had visited when they were in Seattle several years ago.

Dinner. Was. Amazing.

First we had an heirloom tomato salad, which had heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts, Walla Walla onions, buffalo mozzarella, greens, and an awesome pesto vinaigrette.  Dad had a Thai lemongrass shrimp soup, which he really liked, but I didn’t care for.

But that salad.  Oh, that salad.  It was out of this world.  The flavors blended perfectly, and it was the right balance of everything.  That was probably the best mozzarella cheese I had ever had, or at least the best that I had for awhile.  I believe it was actually made from buffalo milk (traditionally, that’s what mozzarella is made with, or so I’ve heard).

For my main course I had pancetta-wrapped grilled white shrimp with garlic aioli and this awesome bacon-y salad.  Again, awesome.  And that’s about all I can say. 🙂

Dad had prosciutto-wrapped grilled scallops with thinly-sliced melon (the melon had a fancy name, which I can’t remember – it was watermelon and cantaloupe, if I remember correctly).  He really liked it, but, again, I didn’t care for his so much.  Which was great.

For dessert, Dad had black and white crème brulee.  He said the chocolate part wasn’t that good, but I believe the vanilla part was great.

I had sorbet – a scoop of lemon and one of guava passion fruit, I think.  It was GOOOOOD.  The lemon was OUT OF THIS WORLD.

And they gave use some caramels, one for each of us.  I ate mine, and it was really good.

(Do I sound like a broken record?  It was really good.  It was awesome.  *Sigh*)

And that was Day 1.  Tune back (hopefully) soon for day 2!

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My Greek salad

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In Seattle!

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With Dad on the way to Bellevue

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Bellevue straight ahead!

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In Bellevue

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There were several walkways like this one across the streets in Bellevue (I saw maybe two or three)

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Dad and I were going to walk to Seastar, but it was pouring rain (we WERE in Seattle), so we ended up having to go back and get the car.  But I did get a few cool pictures!

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(Remember the sign to this restaurant)

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A (cool) walkway

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Remember the sign to the Chinese restaurant?  These guys were making dumplings or wontons.  The man with the rolling pin the left corner would throw each wrapper up as he finished it.  (You can forget the sign now.)

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Chihuly glass sculpture

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Dinner at Seastar – the heirloom tomato salad

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(Excuse the bad pictures – it was dark.)

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My entrée

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Dad’s entrée

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My sorbet (Mmmm…)

By the way, check out Cowgirl Dirt for a cool giveaway!  http://www.cowgirldirt.com/  (I don’t know how to do a hyperlink in WordPress).

Nope, I Didn’t Die

I made it through last week, and most of this week.  Although this week’s been rough.  Hopefully that won’t last any more than a few more days.

So, basically, I got everything canned last week that I wanted to can.  With the exception of some tomatoes, which we ended up freezing, because I had been trying to do too much and had had a meltdown after several mishaps (lost 2 JARS to thermal cracking.  TWO JARS!  Man, that was tough).  So, last week I canned 4 pints and 1 half-pint of salsa verde (which Dad declared good), 4 half pint and one 4 oz. jar of raspberry jelly.  And 1 pint of pickled jalapenos (lost the half pint to thermal cracking).  Plus whatever I ended up doing on Monday (see previous post).

I am tired and slightly under the weather (a blah mood), so not a long post tonight.

Over the past two days I have begun working on my piano arrangement of Owl City’s Good Time!  It’s been pretty fun so far, but all I’m currently doing is figuring out chords and melody.  Once I finish that, the real fun begins – the actual arranging.  The chords appear to be basically the same throughout the whole song, and I have the first verse and chorus melody written out.  I might post a recording of it when it’s done, if anyone’s interested.  But that won’t be for awhile.  🙂

Well, I need to get myself off to bed (too many late nights + too many early mornings + too much sugar = one emotional and unhappy girl), so enjoy the photos.

Till next time!

~Allison

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Last Wednesday – What canning looks like when I have a bad day – all you need is a little Izze!  I LOVE that stuff.

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The salsa verde

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Saturday – the raspberry juice

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Making the jam/jelly

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Boiling

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Finished

 

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Today – arranging

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2/4/13

Sitting with Drake, working on stuff at the kitchen table.  A song from Hugo is playing.

Me:  Guess what this is.

Drake:  [pauses] Hugo.

Me:  Yes! I don’t usually like it [the Hugo soundtrack] so much, but recently I’ve really been enjoying this song.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because it is so pretty.

 

If you are a fellow lover of soundtracks, the song I am referring to is “The Thief” from Hugo.

A Fun Breakfast and Today’s Walk

I have had a bit of inspiration for a yummy breakfast dish, and on Sunday I finally had all the pieces together, so I made it.  It consisted of a piece of warmed ham, sautéed spinach, and a poached egg, then drizzled drenched with some hollandaise sauce.  It was yummy!  I might have to make one tomorrow for breakfast.  We’ll see how much time I have…

Here is a link to the hollandaise sauce recipe I used.  I think I halved it.  This recipe is great, as it is made in a blender, and is so quick to throw together!  Just what we all need – hollandaise sauce at the touch of a few buttons!

Now for the photos! (Yes, I *actually* remembered to take a picture of my food before I ate it all!  I could have a serious gallery of empty plate photos if I took one each time I didn’t remember to take a picture before my food was gone.)

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LOTS of hollandaise sauce!

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The lovely colors

 

I took some photos on my walks today.  I took my two youngest siblings on a walk first (on this walk I took my camera with my macro lens.)  Then I went up to the pasture-behind-the-pond by myself, bringing normal lens.  I also brought my hymnal and psalter.  Yesterday I discovered that the pasture-behind-the-pond is an ideal spot to sing.  It is so open and peaceful, it is a joy to lift up one’s voice there.  You can hear it echo just a little, and you are secluded enough that you can sing at the top of your lungs and not be worried about anyone being too near.

I am hoping to start taking walks every day.  I will try not to post too many photos of my walks here, but if it snows, you know there will have to be lots of photos!  (I LOVE snow.)

So first, the photos of my walk with Meiling and Noah.

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My favorite trees are the out-of-focus blob in the background 🙂

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Who knew weeds could be so much fun?

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An old grave – I am not sure, as the stone is very worn, but I think it said 1836.

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Now the photos I took on my walk.

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A girl needs her chocolate, right?

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The pasture-behind-the-pond

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My hymnbook

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Heading home

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In my science book I was reading about astronomy, namely, the Milky Way galaxy.  Now every time I read “Milky Way,” you know what I though of?  Milky way candy bars, of course!  (Why do I seem to have this special ability to wrap food into anything?!?)  So, since my success with the Twix bars, I decided it would be fun to try to make Milky Way candy bars!  I am hoping to make them tomorrow.  Be sure to come back tomorrow evening – if I do make them, I will be sure to post pictures!  Oh, and they will be grain-free, made with coconut sugar, and all that good stuff.  🙂  It should be SO FUN!  (I am really excited, if you can’t tell!  :))

Looking forward to some Milky Way bars,

Allison

P.S.  Thank you for reading.  🙂