Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Deliciousness!

There are many amazing foods that put New Mexico on the map.  At the top of list next to green chile, you will find Dixon apples!  We were fortunate to have a bushel of these beauties delivered to us today courtesy of Mama Grace! 
Thank you for always thinking of us, we love you.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

The World Kept Turning

I went to the mailbox after work today, just like any other day.  I pulled out a couple of catalogues, some bills and a brown envelope.  When I got back to the house, I grabbed a knife and begin to open what I thought was just a regular piece of mail.  Much to my surprise it was our marriage license all the way from Vancouver, B.C.  When I realized what it was, I carefully pulled it out of the envelope and just stared at it for a moment.  I read it from top to bottom running my hand across its seal.  I smelled it, I looked at it very closely and then from far.  I thought to myself, I’m the only person that knows that I have this right now.  The fact that I’m holding this license in my hands isn’t hurting anyone.  There are no marriages that are instantaneously falling apart because this piece of paper arrived today.  The world is still turning, people are still getting married…and half of those people are getting divorced.  I couldn’t help but sit and ask myself, what sanctity is being sacrificed here?  We are both adults, we’re both responsible; we pay taxes, have families and believe in God.  We are both human.  I too believe in the sanctity of marriage.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have asked Georgia to marry me.  I love her, I respect her, I’m true to her and isn’t that what marriage is suppose to be about?

I know in my heart that this human right will be extended to us one day in all parts of the world.  I guess I just wish that day could come a little sooner. 
In the meantime, I’m married in my heart, I’m married in the eyes of my family and I’m married in Canada.  For now, that will have to do.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Do It Yourself 3 Year Plan…

Today is the day!  Georgia and I are now entering the final phase of our DIY mini home remodel.  Our home renovations began a little over 2 years ago with the help of my wonderful father-in-law George!  Our home is only about 12 years old but it was in need of a little face lift.  I think any home owner would agree that one project often leads to another…and another…and another!  To date we’ve installed wood flooring in the bedrooms, changed the hardware in the house from brass to brushed nickel, installed a beautiful chandelier (thanks Mom), Installed new light fixtures/track lighting, added color to the walls, installed wood blinds, added window treatments, replaced the ceiling fans, installed shelves in the master, replaced the shower fixtures in both bathrooms, and lastly…Georgia took a sledge hammer to the kitchen island!  A temporary roll away island (thank you Grace) is currently covering the hole in the middle of my kitchen.  This is next on the DIY list.  Let me say that again in case my lovely Wife missed it - filling the hole in my kitchen floor is next on the list!!!        

Happy Birthday Missy Poo!!


Have fun in Hong Kong (and buy me something really cool)!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lesson #613 From Dad:


After it rains, you pull weeds.


I wish I took a before picture…the yard was covered!  Now it’s weed free and in desperate need of a little landscaping!



Here is a picture of the backyard about 2 years ago.  I think we’ve made some progress and our tree finally grew a bit!
 
We still have a ways to go…

The Wife and I hauled 2 tons of rock.  I was so proud of us!







Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yes you may…

Leave dirty dishes in the sink once and a while…they’ll still be there in the morning
Collect souvenirs that make you happy – even if they’re tacky
Order a side of fries instead of a salad
Drink juice from the carton…especially if you purchased the carton
Admit that you love WHAM!
Kick Rush Limbaugh in the shin if you see him on the street
Skip a shower on the weekends
Listen to your favorite playlist a hundred times
Drink during the day – as long as you’re on vacation
Stand up for what you believe in even if you’re scared
Watch the Jersey Shore…yeah, I said it
Eat carbs
Sleep until 1pm even if you’re pushing 30
Put off doing laundry until all you have to wear is a bridesmaids dress
Press snooze 10 times every single morning
Drink milk past the expiration date as long as it’s only been a week or so
Scratch your to-do list and spend the weekend on the couch
Pretend you’re asleep so your Wife will let out the dogs
Watch the same re-runs of Seinfeld every night before bed
Love the Dallas Cowboys because your family does

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beef Stroganoff – it’s what’s for dinner!

Growing up there were several dishes that I absolutely loved. Below are a few of my favorites:


1. Sausage & potatoes- simple, manly, delicious.
2. Grilled vegetables - my Dad was very generous with the butter and garlic which is what I think made this dish amazing. Everything is better with butter...you heard it here first folks.
3. Stuffed bell peppers - my brother still asks my Mom to make this for him every year for his birthday.
4. Breakfast for dinner - eggs, chorizo, potatoes, chile, tortillas, etc. Breakfast just seems to taste better at night!
5. Beef stroganoff - beautiful, delectable, mouth-watering beef stroganoff. If you can't tell, this is my favorite dish of all time. I order it whenever I see it on a menu and I'm often left disappointed because it never seems to be as good as my Moms...


This evening I am going to attempt beef stroganoff for this first time. I am hopeful that it will be tasty! Below is the recipe if any of you want to give it a go.


Beef Stroganoff Recipe:


6 Tbsp butter
1 pound of top sirloin or tenderloin, cut thin into long strips
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup of sour cream
1 beef stroganoff sauce mix (you can get this at the grocery store for about a dollar)


1. Melt 3 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Increase the heat to high/med-high and add the beef. While cooking the beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper. When both sides are browned, remove the beef and set aside.
2. In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots. Cook the shallots for a minute or two, allowing them to soak up any meat drippings. Remove the shallots to the same bowl as the meat and set aside.
3. In the same pan, melt another 3 Tbsp of butter. Increase heat to medium high and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low and add the sour cream to the mushrooms. You can add a tablespoon or two of water to thin the sauce. Mix in the sour cream but be sure not to let it come to a simmer or boil or the sour cream will curdle. Stir in the beef and shallots. Add salt and pepper to taste.


I like to serve over egg noodles but you could also do rice- serves about 4.




Here is the little bit of cooking advice I will leave you with this evening...when you're cooking, it really doesn't matter what you're cooking- add garlic! Garlic makes everything taste better. Well, that and Cholula!

The City of Glass

For our first wedding anniversary, Georgia and I decided to celebrate in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We made our voyage to Vancouver B.C. to visit Melissa and Guy and to get married again (legally)! The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so we thought- why not get a marriage license!


It was night when we first drove into the City of Vancouver. The only way that I can think to describe this introduction was that I felt like we were entering a modern day Emerald City. The water was dark but the buildings were lit up like a Christmas tree. As we crossed the bridge going into downtown Vancouver, we were surrounded by tall structures of different shapes and sizes, all made of glass. It was beautiful! Never before had I been to a place where all the buildings seemed to match- all with a green tint and spread out for as far as the eye could see. As we made our way to Missy’s house I thought to myself “wow, I can’t believe we’re actually here”!

I knew that Missy had a lot in store for our visit. In typical Melissa fashion, she emailed me the detailed events agenda the previous week and we could not have been more excited! Our first order of business was to get our marriage license. Early Friday morning while still in our pj’s, we made our way to purchase our license. I would have to say that I was a bit shocked at how painless the process was! Within an hour we had our paperwork in hand and were in route to Granville Island. We spent our first afternoon in Granville touring the market, sampling delicious beers from the local brewery and exchanging our currency. After a few hours of sightseeing we headed home to get ready to renew our vows!














The week before our visit, Missy and Guy searched Vancouver to find the perfect spot for us and what a beautiful place they found! Georgia and I exchanged vows at Stanley Park- 3rd beach overlooking the water as the sun was setting. At the risk of sounding cliché- it was the perfect evening. The weather was beautiful and the sunset was stunning shades of orange, pink and blue. Our wedding commissioner Ivy was the nicest person and the ceremony itself was a much more emotional experience than I ever thought it would be. Following the ceremony we noshed on tasty meats, cheeses, pastas and what was decidedly the best flat bread we’d ever eaten! We ended our first night in Vancouver sharing a bit of local wine.




So happy together 
                                                                                  
Georgia and I enjoying the delicious picnic Missy planned for us!

The next stop on our journey was Victoria, B.C.! Saturday afternoon we set sail on a BC ferry for the capitol of Vancouver. Victoria is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been! It’s almost like stepping into the 1800’s with buildings covered in ivy, horse drawn carriages and flowers everywhere. While we were visiting, the Classic Boat Festival was taking place which was a pretty cool thing to see. We spent our day touring the island and shopping. Georgia found a place that had every flavor of the most amazing taffy we’d ever had, so naturally we purchased a ton of it...We ate at some amazing restaurants and enjoyed quite a few fancy drinks!




The following day we boarded the ferry and headed back to our home base. The rest of our vacation was spent taking driving tours of the city, visiting Chinatown, a few nightclubs, eating and drinking and eating some more! It was bitter sweet to leave this beautiful place. For us, it was bitter not knowing when we would next see sister bear but sweet knowing we would soon see our doggies! Thank you to Missy and Guy for making our first wedding anniversary unforgettable – we love you both.


Here's a few more pics!



The Wife and I in Victoria


Beautiful, just beautiful!



 Victoria Classic Boat Festival!
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