Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Weekend Wrap-up

Cornbread stuffing. A big, juicy bird. Sweet pumpkin pie. Who could ask for more on Thanksgiving? Besides homemade bread, a green bean and feta salad, cranberries, rich gravy, and warm apple pie. Oh, and an entire first course before the turkey dinner: an intricate crab cocktail alongside a platter of deviled eggs, stuffed celery, pickles, olives and fancy crackers.

That’s what Mom whips up on Thursday, anyway.

Christyn, Caitlin and I spend the day helping prep appetizers and side dishes while trying to keep Freddie away from my parents’ cats. The cats are ten years old and outrageously obese, and they hiss and howl at young Fred (their guest!) all weekend long. It's a weekend of education: Fred learns to fend for himself, and I learn that it’s just as much work to cook a Thanksgiving meal for six as it is for twenty. (We have only six people, and this is Mom’s lesson of the day.)

On Friday, still stuffed from turkey and the rest, I kick-start my day with an extra-big coffee and a two-hour drive to Eugene. Jeff and I watch the Ducks pummel Arizona—from the front row at Autzen stadium. The win is fun and all, but the best part? A relentless downpour warrants my flaunting an enormous yellow poncho with little green ducks on it.
Saturday’s highlights: breakfast at The Big Egg, a food cart just down the street from our apartment on Mississippi, and Skyping with family in Ireland. (The Big Egg? Makes the best breakfast sandwich of all time.)

And Sunday calls for champagne. I meet two girlfriends for bottomless mimosas and brunch at the Sapphire Hotel on Hawthorne, a quirky breakfast joint that was once a brothel. In one word: delicious. When I get home, Jeff and I continue the mid-afternoon party with more bubbly and OJ before leaving for another Thanksgiving celebration, this time at his aunt’s house in Portland: a super-fun way to wrap up our Turkey-Day Weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

.: Happy Thanksgiving :.

My long weekend began on Wednesday at 3 p.m. when I put down my pencil, shut off my desktop and bid farewell to the office with a childlike glee.

Ta ta, projects and meetings and emails! See you on Monday.

On Wednesday evening, I met my family for dinner in Portland and welcomed my younger sister Christyn home from Houston, Texas. She's here for only a few days, so we're whooping it up with extra enthusiasm this year. Tomorrow, when we go around the table telling "what I'm thankful for" stories, I know what I'll say: I'm thankful that Christyn's home. And because I'm in especially great spirits this year, I'll probably say all this, too:

{1.} I'm thankful for crisp fall days in Oregon, when the leaves are orange and red and float from the trees to the sidewalk quietly and gracefully. (I missed three falls living in San Francisco, and I'll never take the season for granted again!)

{2.} I'm thankful for gingerbread lattes in red cups. They're warm and cozy and get me geared up for the holidays in October.

{3.} I'm thankful for my mom, dad and grandparents: their health, happiness and togetherness.

{4.} I'm thankful for Freddie, my new cuddly kitten. He energizes me and makes me laugh every day. And that counts for something.

{5.} I'm thankful for my old friends, my new friends, and my friends who've dispersed across the globe and still come together at Thanksgiving and Christmas like nothing has changed.

{6.} I'm thankful for the season's unexpected snow, ice, wind and cold, and for the refreshing Pacific Northwest air that gives me life.

{7.} I'm thankful for pumpkin pie.

{8.} I'm thankful for a good book and a crackling fire. Kind of like the one I'm sitting in front of now. (Thanks, Dad!)

{9.} I'm thankful for red wine at five o'clock, when I get to catch up with friends over happy hour specials and dish about the day's events.

{10.} And I'm thankful for finding someone so passionate and caring to share life's adventures with. From taking sudden, sunny vacations to decorating a new apartment to plunging head-first into kitten parenthood, each day brings a new experienceand each day is better than the last.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend by the Bay

Happy Monday! My trip to San Francisco last weekend was quick yet action-packed, and I realized how much I miss the city's sights, sounds and secrets. On Friday I journeyed everywhere from Mill Valley to San Jose, touring hotels that I'm writing about for a company in Larkspur. The company put me up in its snazziest hotel on Union Square, in a two-bedroom suite complete with a gigantic king bed, feathery pillows and plush couches. After my frenzied day, I returned to my room and ordered a $30 cheeseburger from Puccini and Pinetti, the restaurant downstairs, and scarfed it in front of the 50-inch flat-screen TV. (What could be better on a Friday night?)

Revitalized and still stuffed from my massive dinner, I met Jenn and Maijken on Saturday afternoon. We walked up and down San Francisco’s hilly streets and enjoyed the crisp fall air against the warm sunshine before heading to dinner at a trendy yet cozy restaurant called Home in the Castro. Stormy weather rolled in with the fog, which left Jenn’s apartment without power for a few hours!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Freddie Krueger Pumpkin (James) Mottcloskey

There's a new man in my life. He’s ten weeks old, and his name is Freddie—as in Krueger. His middle name is Pumpkin, and his last name hails from two people who love their last names so much they're not willing to choose just one: Mottcloskey.

We adopted him on Halloween. In the spirit of the holiday, we were determined to call him something spooky yet outrageously adorable. (Jeff wanted spooky. I wanted outrageously adorable.) The list included Magic, Pumpkin, Moon, Ghost, and so on. My first choice was Pumpkin, but Jeff didn't go for it. "I can't tell my friends I have a kitten named Pumpkin," he said.


With the help of a friend, we arrived at Freddie, and it stuck. His middle name is Pumpkin, even though Jeff claims it’s—get this—James. (Fredrick James.)

Despite our kitten’s unconfirmed moniker—sometimes it’s Fredrick James, other times it’s Freddie Pumpkin, but most of the time it’s Fred, Punkie, Krueger, Sweets, Snookers, or Snotty—he’s made proud parents of Jeff and me!



Puffy Eyes at PDX

Good morning! As I sit in the Portland airport waiting to board the plane to San Francisco, I think, I really am a girl of two cities. Today I’m traveling to the City by the Bay for work—and staying the weekend to catch up with my chic city friends. I woke up at 3:30 this morning, but I'm determined not to let the extra-puffy, purple bags under my eyes keep me from having a good time.

Oh! And I’ve vowed to start blogging again. I’m making it my end-of-year resolution. (If I were you, I wouldn’t believe me either.) Stay tuned...