Has it really been this long since my last post? Yikes! Suffice it to say we've had a busy summer! We finally tried the oven and while it takes forever to cook two mini pizzas, it does in fact cook food quite well! So far we're tried mini-pizzas and an entree for two, but we've been playing with the grill as well. I've been getting into the habit of cooking an entire package worth of pasta so that I have cold pasta for a couple of days for lunch, or if we make it for dinner there's leftovers for Kris to take to work since he can easily reheat them. Though I am quite excited...our neighbor had an extra small crock pot in her possession that she gave to us! We had dinner with her and her nephew one night and it was shredded pork tacos from the crock pot. She'd found a package of six pork rounds that she threw into her crock pot (1.5 qt) and it was enough food for her and Jimmy to have two tacos each the night before and for all four of us to have two more that night with sides. I'd seriously been thinking about bringing our huge one here because it would be so easy to make dinner and four or five leftovers for Kris, and then to prep food for our next dock party/barbecue but I really had no idea where I'd be able to put the darn thing, since it's so huge. Solution? Free small kitchen appliances from friends. I'd started shopping online when Lindi came by to tell us that she'd found the one that her mother had owned at her brother's house and that she'd bring it to us. I'm imagining slow-cooked pasta sauce and all I have to do is cook pasta when Kris gets home, or hot-dip appetizers for crowds, shredded chicken....I'll let your imaginations run away with you. So I've been searching for smaller crock-pot recipes and ways to cook staples like rice and beans and realizing that all you have to do is cut those big recipes in half! Small batches of tortellini-tomato soup? Done! Best of all, it can be tucked away under the settee when not in use. Not that I've done that yet. I keep staring at it, imagining the smells I've been missing of all-day cooking without the hassle. Whoever invented the crock pot was a genius.
Kris has been full-tilt at work and so usually by the time he's done, he's ready to relax! We come home, catch up with the neighbors, have a drink, dinner or nosh, watch a movie, and chill. We still go play Ingress occasionally...we've been getting a little lax on it the past month or so. He's been installing a new system, including all the prep work, running cables and the like, testing, troubleshooting, and getting the machine up and running so between that and actually having some issues to deal with during on-call weeks, our free time is lazy free time! Though we have done a few evening sails, a nighttime sail last month, and we took a class to help us prep for taking the test to get our radio operating license for the boat. (We scheduled to take the test this weekend, so wish us luck!)
Family and Birthdays! Kris's step-dad Roy found himself with two tickets for the Brit Floyd Concert in Utah and no one to go with him, so Kris took a couple days off work and we drove to Salt Lake City for a long weekend. Kris got to go enjoy Floyd with Roy and we got to catch up with family and friends, see our new baby niece Willow (who slept the whole time everyone passed her around!), and enjoy the beautiful drive home again. My family and our friend Kirby came up to celebrate my birthday and the dock turned into a last minute dock party, which was a blast! We went down to Monterey to Allegro's for a late lunch for my brother's birthday, went to Santa Cruz for the annual Portuguese Sopa Feed with Ralph and Sabi, which we've been missing, had Kirby here for Kris's birthday weekend, and finally went down to Monterey last weekend to see my mom for her belated birthday, have dinner with the folks, and spend Sunday with friends. And I got my hair re-dyed red again while we were there. We planning on seeing Kris's cousin Josh soon...he's got an interview with a company in the Bay Area so we should be having a guest on the boat for a couple of days.
Summer has been in full swing on the dock! Neighbors we've not seen during the winter season come and go, and we've had a handful of new people in the area with their boats, with lots more people going on on the weekends to sail or hang out in the area to watch the America's Cup festivities. Chloe's jealous of the new puppy our neighbors have but she still gets plenty of love and pets when she wanders up and down the dock or when we take her to the club on the weekends for brunch or the like. And we found bikes! We've been waiting, budgeting, and a very affordable pair of Trek's popped up on craigslist. We bought them, bought a bike basket for Chloe, and I've been re-finding bicycle muscles that have been out of use for awhile. Note to self: work out more often! But it's awesome! So far we've biked to CVS to get a tire pump and an extra bike lock, down to the Italian place for takeout dinner, a few times just out and back, and every time that we let Chloe out of the doggie basket she goes absolutely crazy running in figure-eights on whatever lawn is closest. She tried to jump out the first time she was strapped in and it didn't go so well so I think she's learned to stay in, even when the bike is not in motion. I signed up for my first class on coursera just for kicks...and I'm working on stories! Life is good. Loving the sunny, beautiful weather in Alameda and enjoying our adventure.
Enjoy your adventure!