27 November 2015

Black Friday Goals

I never do any Black Friday shopping - I rarely shop at all - but I am in the market for a new phone this year. I'm still on the hunt, I haven't found a deal good enough yet. Maybe on Cyber Monday?
November was extremely busy, we camped four out of the five past weekends, plus we urban camped last night (so no one had to drive after having a little too much...turkey). As such, the goals for November were pretty relaxed.
  • Get that ribs recipe out there!
  • First Friday Art Walk - we went, it was great, Art Walk is the best.
  • We had two volunteering gigs this month, Harvest Festival and then Festival of the Lights! Photos below.
  • Then we attended a murder mystery dinner party, which turned out to be a really good time. We met some new people!
  • A music festival campout, which was really hyped up and then turned out to be a bit of a letdown, mostly because so few of our friends could attend.
  • Thanksgiving Misgivings campout with the bus club. Part of Kyle's family also attended, and it was nice to see them again.
  • And after that Thanksgiving itself! We had some lovely friends invite us over and I'm pretty sure we overstayed our welcome, but we had a great time.
On Thanksgiving, we didn't eat all morning so when we got to our destination we were both hungry and went overboard on the appetizers. Then after that, there was homemade lowcountry boil (with crab legs! and oysters!), which was all really delicious. I think you can see where I'm going with this, but by the time we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, it was all anyone could do to try a few bites of each dish.  Luckily, we had it all again for breakfast the next day (including dessert!), so we got to really enjoy it. Anyway, December...
  • Get cabinets in the bus. Or get new door seals on the bus. Or replace the seals that are the source of our current oil leak. Just get something done!
  • I have a corner of the house that has been accumulating stuff and really needs to be cleaned. I need to clean it. Organize it. Get rid of stuff. 
  • Christmas cards! I don't do them every year but this is going to be a Christmas card year. 
  • Find a new phone. Is it ridiculous to buy a new phone, but then just keep it in the box until my old phone finally bites the dust? If I wait for my phone to die first, then I'll have to buy a phone on short notice and won't be able to hunt for a good deal.
Since we did a ton of camping this month, expect lots of bus pictures. Like this one from Halloween.
Next up is the Holiday Festival of Lights at JICP. I guess I didn't take any photos at the Harvest Fest except the pumpkin photo at the top of the post.
Then we went to a music festival, where we camped with Shawnee and her gorgeous huskies (her bus is very pretty too!).
The music festival was out towards the ICW, right on the marsh.  We saw a few gators but didn't get any good photos this time.
It got COLD at night - you can see the mist starting to settle in over the water in these photos. It even looks cold.
Then the bus club Thanksgiving campout. We were the first ones there and we made sure to find a good spot in the sun.
Thanksgiving, as mentioned above, was extremely bountiful.
I even ate some shrimp! That's kind of a big deal because I have not really liked shrimp until the past year or so, but mostly I am including this photo to show off my new 'wild streak' of purple hair.
And that leads us up to today! Kyle and I stopped at Aldi to hit up their Black Friday wine sale (just kidding, Winking Owl is $2.89 every day) and also grab a few essentials like arugula and salmon and gummy bears.
Alright, one last photo.  My neighbor had extra sweet potato plants this spring, so I planted 3 sweet potatoes.  I finally harvested them today, and check out the haul! Trowel for scale - that potato on the far left is HUGE. Right after washing them, I found out that not only are you not supposed to wash them, but they also need to cure for a week or two. So we can't even eat them yet!
Happy holidays, happy Thanksgiving, happy relaxing!

30 October 2015

Turkey Month

Happy Halloween! We're enjoying the fabulous Charleston Fall weather by spending lots of time outdoors and doing a lot of camping! In between rounds of camping, we've managed to fit in lots of other stuff though...more about that in the photos. Instead, let's whip through these goals.
  • We volunteered at another event this month - a Latin American Festival. Except it got canceled due to the entirety of Charleston being flooded. Boo.
  • I made a couple recipes in early September to share.  See Zucchini Breads 1 & 2, and Zucchini Bread 3.
  • We had at at least one camping trip this month. Maybe two? So we camped one night, and we're slated to be camping again this weekend. Count it!
  • It would be pretty great to have refrigeration for our camping trip. We just need a house battery, a regulator, and some wooden stuff. We failed to get any of this done, we were waiting on new credit cards before we started making big purchases.
  • Ribs were on sale...so I bought a rack of ribs. Recipe forthcoming. Oh dang, I forgot to post that recipe. Next week?
Okay, I've obviously got some making up to do. Goals for November:
  • Get that ribs recipe out there!
  • I missed First Friday Art Walk last month (actually it was canceled when downtown was under water) so I do NOT want to miss this month.
  • We've got two volunteering gigs this month, including a Harvest Festival!
  • Then we've got a murder mystery dinner party, which is so far out of my comfort zone I don't even know where to start.
  • Plus a music festival campout.
  • And then Thanksgiving Misgivings campout with the bus club
  • And after that Thanksgiving itself! I'm not sure if I'm roasting a turkey this year, but last year I got pretty turkey-ed out after making one at home, then having some at work, then having some at Misgivings, then having some on Thanksgiving...
The first weekend of October had everyone talking about one thing: RAIN. It just didn't stop. We didn't flood much, but we both went pretty stir-crazy being stuck in the house for so long.
When the water cleared up, we found we had a new neighbor.  He lives uncomfortably close to my car, but we've lived in a peace for a few weeks now and I think we can be friends, providing no one strays onto the other neighbor's territory.  Besides, his web is pretty cool looking.
My mornings have been fueled by this. Will I ever stop missing Michigan? Probably never.
We ended up volunteering at an event called Bark in the Park Octoberfest, where I poured beer all day and Kyle corralled dogs. I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this cutie.
And then when everyone was cleaning up, I got suckered in by these sweet golden pups. They were just so soft and playful! (No, we do not own a dog now.)
Since we have actual friends now, we got invited to an awesome cookout where only one person got poisoned a little bit (and he lived, so it's cool).  Plus we carved pumpkins and made caramel apples!
We spent one night camping. We had planned on two, but we had a change of plans. Despite that, we still got to see people we hadn't seen in a long time and hopefully we can catch up more at November campouts!
Our change of plans happened when I won tickets to a music festival. Lest you think I have all the luck, the ONLY way to attend this festival was to win tickets, so they were doing big giveaways every day. Kyle and I had to stake out a gas station where they were drawing two names every five minutes. It only took half an hour for my name to be called, so we didn't wait around too long.
The festival was AMAZING. The bands were on point, the weather was perfect, and there were tons of free activities.
Kyle and I each won a free shirt (by playing the worst version of beer tea pong I've ever seen), plus, for the second time this year, we drank some Guinness world record iced tea. Only instead of locally grown saccharine sweet tea, this was heartless corporate tea. Sorry, Summerville. At least I actually got to drink some of this tea.
The festival was almost 12 hours long, and since reentry wasn't allowed we basically lazed around a park for a day and listened to bands ranging from B├śRNS to Outasight to The Roots to Passion Pit(!!!!!). Plus since we hadn't spent any money on tickets it was much easier to justify the ridiculous food truck and beer prices. Definitely an epic day. Ending with "Sleepyhead." At which point I declared I could die happy.
October was absolutely great, and November looks like it's going to be pretty amazing as well. Bring it on!

02 October 2015

Pumpkin Month

September was a giant month full of ALL THE THINGS! Kyle's fall semester is now in full swing, and we are BUSY. Right now our lives are all about balance - Get a school project done...then work on a bus project. Work really hard...then bring some snacks to the beach.
That's why September's goals were pretty chill.  October's will be too.
  • Find some good, easy crockpot recipes to make mealtime easier.  I tried out a crockpot 12 bean soup recipe but wasn't too impressed. That's pretty much all I tried. It was really easy, at least.
  • Put that stupid window back in the bus. September 6 shall go down in history as the day we called in an expert and traded zucchini bread for manpower and finally got that last window to give.
  • We both signed up to volunteer at a surf event at Folly Beach. The event was called Wheel to Surf, and we were helping disabled people surf! It was one of the coolest events ever.
  • Clean up the garden.  Dead and dried things removed, now it almost looks like a happy garden again!
  • Figure out what we're doing Labor Day Weekend. We put the window back in the bus and that is all I remember about Labor Day Weekend.
Alright, let's see what I can muster up for October.
  • We're volunteered at another event this month - a Latin American Festival. We'll be slinging cervezas all day long.
  • I made a couple recipes in early September that I haven't gotten around to sharing, so expect to see some tasty treats this month.
  • We're looking at at least one camping trip this month. Maybe two? Maybe two. 
  • It would be pretty great to have refrigeration for our camping trip. We just need a house battery, a regulator, and some wooden stuff.
  • Ribs were on sale...so I bought a rack of ribs. I have no idea what to do with them! So that's happening.
Gratuitous shot of the world's most stubborn window:

Check out this buddy I found at work! Just chillin' on the sidewalk.
We hardly ever go out to eat, and when we do, it's usually a taco truck where $9 will sate us both. Well, we decided to splurge during Charleston Restaurant Week.  People! This is one of the best meals I've had in a long time. That's why I'm going to make you look at every single thing we ate.
Chicken and veggie empanadas, spicy tuna tostados (with a habanero sauce and avocado relish), wood fire grilled salmon and veggies, and a mountain of tenderloin stuffed poblano peppers (with ancho rice, roasted red peppers, black beans, caramelized onions, jack cheese, roasted corn, red chile sauce, and poblano cream).
And to top it all off, an ancho brownie with caramel sauce and tequila whipped cream. Tequila! Whipped! Cream!
I'm still drooling at the memory....um. Anyway. Where was I? Right, more photos. We started mocking up the bus interior with some scrap wood, because practice makes perfect.
This was probably the most exciting part - the couch (bench? settee? sofa?) and fold-out bed.
And finally, we spent last weekend at Folly Beach. Kyle was volunteered for two shifts but I only volunteered for the afternoon, so in the morning I wandered around taking photos. With my eight year old point-and-shoot. Which apparently has smears all over the lens.
In the afternoon, we were both in the water aiding surfing experts who were guiding wheel-chair bound people through the waves. It was awesome.
And that wraps up our mega-month. I don't think things will be slowing down at all this Fall, so we just need to focus on balance, and only burn the candle at both ends when we really have to.

04 September 2015

Goals and Michigan

August was a weird month.  Kyle was gone for the first three weeks, leaving me to fend for myself (mostly).  Then the last week we were both in MI on vacation.  Now that we're back at home, I'm trying to figure out my new routine and we're both trying desperately to catch up.
I'll touch on goals for a second then get to the good part - all the photos.
  • Digitize two comic panels.  I started one and it was much more work than I anticipated.  Back to the drawing board on that project...
  • Pick up Kyle's shift at the taphouse.  Tell me your problems, I'm a bartender.
  • Do some fun shopping.  Wedding gifts, check. Baby gifts, check.
  • Take a vacation.  A whirlwind trip to Michigan, photographs below.
  • Elderberries.  I still want this to happen, but it's just not going to work out this year.
And then it's September.  My goals are going to be really lax because we're both really busy with work/school.
  • Find some good, easy crockpot recipes to make mealtime easier.
  • Put that stupid window back in the bus.
  • We're both signed up to volunteer at a surf event at Folly Beach later this month. Woot!
  • Clean up the garden.  Most things are dead and need to be removed.
  • Figure out what we're doing Labor Day Weekend...uh yeah, that starts today.  No plans yet!?
I apparently got volunteered at a beer festival in August.  I had sent an email inquiring about volunteers a couple months before the event, and never got a response until three days before the festival when they told me what time to show up for my shift...
I prepped some freezer pizza pockets so that I'd have some easy lunches when we got back from vacation.  They're the best!
I got all the wine labeled for my little brother's wedding reception.  Such cute labels!
Finally it was time for me to drive north.  14 hours later I was drinking Moscow Mules with my mother-in-law!
From there, the whirlwind of visits kicked off.  Including my favorite puppy!  Look how dignified he's trying to be, despite his crazy hair.
A 30th birthday party meant we got to see a ton more people than we planned on!
We made time for a quick hike - we'd hiked this trail in snowshoes but never had a chance to check it out in the summer.
We quickly racked up hours on the road, zig-zagging across the state in an effort to see as many people as possible, including this two-week-old.
Then across the state again to catch up with some friends and try a new brewery.
A stop in Grand Rapids for a bachelorette party...
...and then downstate for the actual wedding.
And to top things off, we overnighted in Kentucky with family!  I forgot to take any pictures there, so instead enjoy these succulents.
It was a wonderful vacation, and I got to see nearly all my favorite people.   
Contented sigh.  Now, back to work...