Monday, August 31, 2009

The August Round-Up Continues

The Hamiltons rolled out on August 2, and the Childs family rolled in that evening. They spent four nights with us, but I wish it could have been more. We got to meet Thorne for the first time; she is exceedingly delightful.

We carried on the cocktail theme; our guests serendipitously brought a bottle of Pimm's for making the quintessential British summer beverage, the Pimm's Cup. And Shaun made Singapore Slings.

Of course there were activities. We went to the Crown Point Vista House and used its marble bathrooms.

Unfortunately, Nels got a bad (though short-lived) stomach bug, so I stayed home with him for the rest of the outings. These included a walk/hike at our local Lacamas Park and a field trip to Portland to visit Powell's, with stops at Kenny and Zuke's for a Reuben, and, of course, for coffee at Stumptown.

Here are some pictures of the kids at Multnomah Falls, another destination we made it to before Nels got sick:

So sweet.

So cute.

So ridiculous.

So ridiculously cute.

Please come again. Any time.

The August Round-Up Begins

The "staycation" is a big thing this year. I have seen a mind-numbing number of articles and news features telling us how to have fun in the cities we live in. They all make it way too complicated. The key to a successful staycation is a well-stocked liquor cabinet. It’s even better if one can convince friends with bartending skills and a natural enthusiasm for the mixological (not a real word, but it should be) arts to come stay with one as part of their vacation.

So we talked our friends the Hamiltons into a last-minute visit and got ourselves a cocktail education, familiarizing ourselves with the Negroni, the Sidecar, the Manhattan, and the labor-intensive Ramos Fizz.

We didn’t get as fancy with our food as we sometimes do, which led me to discover the perfect casual summer meal for company. I meant to tell you about it in time for you to fix it all summer, but there’s always next year.

First, grill some sausages. The beauty of this is that you have many options. Fat, lean, gourmet, old school. Whatever you like. AND you can do more than one kind with no additional effort. Go crazy. Then, serve this salad with the sausages. It’s delicious and covers the rest of your food groups. (I substituted baby golds for fingerlings and it was great.) It couldn’t be easier. For the grand finale, make this clafoutis like the one that Amanda whipped up for us. We didn’t have crème fraiche, but sour cream made a fine substitute.

This adorable little bug wasn’t feeling well for most of the trip, which turned it into more of a survivalcation than anything else for her folks. Troopers all, those Hamiltons.

We love us some summer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So True

From E.B. White's essay "Bedfellows":

"The above fascinates me because I agree with it and everyone is fascinated by what he agrees with."

In the same essay he describes his dog as having "his usual look of fake respectability."


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If Only...

our culture didn't insist that we name our children before we really get to know them. We would have had a "Nels Periwinkle Martin" for sure.

Hmm. Perhaps there is wisdom in the current custom.

So far so good for Willem Shay.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Business As Usual

Busy! Too busy to blog! How have I been spending my time, you may wonder?

Washing the contents of Shaun's pockets, for starters. Because that's the kind of helpful wife I am. I even washed his phone, which was as good as new (and cleaner) once Shaun took it apart and let it air-dry. Nothing ended up the worse for the wear except for my sense of competence as a homemaker.

And surely no summer is complete without the joy of cutting a plastic sword off a small boy's leg with a hefty pair of shears. Now I know, it doesn't look stuck at all in these pictures. But the handle was curved in on the part you can't see, and it was digging into his muscle. Every time I tried to pull the sword off, serious shrieking ensued. I doused the whole business with salad oil, to no avail. Even after I resorted to the shears, removing the sword was no easy feat. And what did I learn about myself? After several frantic phone calls to Shaun at the office, I was forced to conclude that I am totally not one of those "rises to the occasion in an emergency" kind of people. Rats.

Oh. We also had overnight guests for 10 out of 11 days.

Busy! Fun! More to come!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Conversation With Nels

"You know what's good about being a human? Animals mostly eat one thing. But humans eat all kinds of foods."

"I'm glad I'm a human and I get to eat a lot of different foods," I reply.

"Except when you're allergic. Then you can't eat things. I know Amelia is VERY allergic to eggs. And Emma is allergic to jelly beans. And cats."

"Aren't you glad we aren't allergic to anything?"

"Yes. We're allergic to pollen. But just a little bit."

"Did daddy tell you you're allergic to pollen?"


"You sure do pay attention, Nels Martin."

"Except when Daddy's praying."