Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh the Joy a few Eggs can Bring!

This easter, also know and "Dragon Egg Day" was one of the best - ever.

Started like any other - I made breakfast (today it was fresh, real cinnamon rolls) and Chad went off to church. But that was the end of normal and the start of wonderful! Just before the rolls were ready to be baked, I took them over to a friends house and watched my very first ever "Dragon Egg" hunt. It was a wonderful experience.

It may sound like an odd thing to some - but - atheists too like to celebrate life and love, and most of all watch their children smile. Come to find out - hiding eggs is a great way to celebrate all of these! But how do you explain to a three year old how the eggs got out there?! Perpetuate the pointless story of a mythical creature like the Easter Bunny? No, no. The answer is apparently much simpler than that - you play with the child's already existent imaginary creatures - in this case dragons. Seriously - watching little K run around his yard, looking for treat filled eggs that the dragons left for him - was by far one of the best things I've been lucky enough to witness. And I thank my friends for letting me join them!

You can see his feet practically dancing in anticipation of reaching that orange egg on stump in front of him.
But whats even better than Dragon Eggs you might ask - CHAD EGGS!!!

YUP! When I returned from my morning, Chad had apparently been home for a bit longer than I was let on he was. Long enough to fill and hide 16 eggs around our house!! ALL FOR ME!! It was the greatest thing EVER!!  He is so wonderful! It took me about 20 minutes to find all of them - 3 were outside, one was in the fridge, one in the coffee maker, one in the picture frame upstairs - you get the picture, it was an involved hunt! After I found them all, I opened my plastic treasures and found them full of my favorite candies, packets of Kool-Aid, honey-do coupons and money.

I got him a bowl full of themed candy... yeah... I got the better end of this holiday!

After that it went back to a normal day. Card games, cooking and movies. We did make the Roberts' family traditional Easter Lasagna and I tried a new twist on my favorite pie, Layered Cheese Cake Coconut Cream.This is the way everyday should be - wonderful, mellow and full of love and smiles!

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg Dyeing Extravaganza!!!

My favorite day of the year has come!!! and gone..... but that's ok, cause the works of art created live on!!!

At least for a little while...

But in any case! Egg Dyeing Day. That's right - one of the things I look forward to every year! And again, this year I was able to do it with some people I love.

It seems a bit silly, I get that, but seriously... what other day is solely dedicated to playing with your food? When else is it TOTALLY ok to add massive amounts of artificial colors to something?? (ok... I give... green beer on St. Patty's Day! BUT WHEN ELSE!). And lastly - how often do you get to feel like a little kid?! Its just fun - and too many adults have lost that... *sniff, sniff*

So my tradition will go on! I will dye eggs till my arthritis gets so bad I can't pinch the little metal scooper ring, and Chad doesn't want to listen to me gripe any longer for doing it wrong, while he holds it for me!

Hope you all have a Happy Egg Dyeing Day of your own!! And here's a recipe to get you started:

Egg Dye from Food Coloring:

*skinny, tall plastic cups
*liquid food dye/coloring
*white vinegar

Place cups out, they should be tall, skinny cups, big enough for an egg, but small enough to where you don't need a million cups of water to cover the egg, but tall enough so the cups don't overflow with said egg inside.

Place 2/3 cups cool water into each cup.

Place 2 tbls vinegar into each cup of water.

Now, drip about 10-20 drips of food coloring into each cup. Mix and match your colors - blue + red = purple... a weird purple, but still purple. I always err on the side of too much dye, cause heck, no one wants muted eggs....

I made the purple one in the clear cup - cause my stupid kit didn't come with purple! But it worked so well next year, I'm not gonna buy the kit!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Sound Brewery!

Its finally open! Sound Brewery has finally opened its doors to their brand new Tasting Room! And Chad and I were lucky enough to be there for their first night!

Sound Brewery is our peninsula's newest craft brewery! Chad and I have had the pleasure of knowing about its existence since November - see Mark, one of its creators, is a member of West Sound Brewers - the local brew club Chad and I are casually members of. And at our first WSB meeting, Mark was giggling like a school girl about the progression of his pet project. The brewery has been a long time coming, and this is what they founders say about it, and themselves:

"Sound Brewery is the dream project realized for five like-minded individuals with a common goal: To make and distribute the types of beers that we've been buying, searching for, imagining, brewing and enjoying for decades. We're brewers and enthusiasts, creatives, engineers and business people, working together to build a brewery that lets us express ourselves by making the beers that we think other enthusiasts will appreciate."

The evening started out with a ceremonial ribbon cutting - Chad got their early enough to snap the pictures below, I was at work.... Afterward they opened their doors and the beer started flowing!

When I finally got there, I was greeted by a beautiful sight: my husband holding two beers, of which I got to choose one. I chose the beautiful amber/red over the lighter colored one. Come to find out I chose the O'Regan's Revenge, the brain child of Mark, who had been prefecting it over the last 4 St. Patrick's Days. His goal with it was to make a "not typical northwestern red. Not overly hopped." What he came up with was a dry, yet still malty beer. In my opinion - a perfect pint.

Chad was drinking the Koperen Ketel, then a Tripel Entendre. Both were light in color, but had substantial mouthfeel, neither too hoppy. Both very good.

I think they live up to their motto well "Tradition Liberated." They've taken some very traditional ideas, and put their own subtle spin on them.

Check them out at their webpage:
Or their tasting room at: 650 NW Bovela Ln, Suite #3, Poulsbo, WA  98370

Ahhhh, at last - a delicious beer just a few minutes from our house! We look forward to seeing what these guys come up with!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kitsap County Says Thank You!

So, as you all know by now, I am involved in quite a different volunteer projects around the county. What you might not know is that Chad is ALSO involved in a couple. Combined we probably give 70 hours a month to various projects - and we love every second of it!

Now, normally when you volunteer, the different groups you work with will hold an annual "Thank  You" event. They will usually have some food, give out a couple awards, and we will all mingle around and have a genuinely good time. This is MORE than enough in my opinion. If you're volunteering for awards and ceremonies, you're volunteering for the wrong reasons. But I have to admit - a bit of thanks always feels really, really, nice.

Well, this past Tuesday, Kitsap County did something to make me feel very special (Chad didn't seem to feel the same way). They hosted an event, "To honor and thank Kitsap County Government Volunteers." We're talking, mailed out invitations and everything! Chad received his invitation first, apparently the county search and rescue is a bit more organized than any of my groups... but then a few weeks later, I got mine!

The event was held at the Presidential Hall at our very own Kitsap Fair Grounds. It was a nice little informal reception - with an appetizer and fruit filled buffet, a few beverages, and some light dessert. The county commissioner was there (oddly enough I had met him the week before) along with a few other county officials. And there was a raffle - which I totally won! I got a ticket to the upcomming County Fair and Stampede. The thing that I thought was coolest though, was they had this huge poster on the wall and on it had the names of every volunteer invited and what department they volunteer under. I found my name right away, under the Parks section, but after another 5 minutes of looking I couldn't find Chad's.... I figured this took an AMAZING amount of coordination to create.

The event made me feel very appreciated! I just thought it was cool that it even existed. I think that all counties should do something like this - I mean seriously - who knows how much money we volunteers save them! I loved it! Thanks Kitsap!

Monday, April 11, 2011

One year down, a lifetime to go!

That's right! Chad and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary yesterday - good ole April 10th.

I can't believe how quickly this past year has passed... Worries me that next time I wake up, I will be old and gray. But until then, I'll just enjoy it I guess - and luckily I have the worlds best husband to spend it with. This anniversary reminded me of this over and over again. First off, Chad was the one who reminded me about not only it was coming up, but about getting gifts and he planned an elaborate meal and was just wonderful throughout the whole day.

Chad spent the earliest part of the morning at work... poor guy had to wake up at 3 am to be there... but he was able to come home and sleep for a couple more hours, least until I woke him up to start breakfast! He came downstairs just a few mintues after I got the potatoes in the oven, and he had a card in hand - PRESENT TIME! In typical Chad fashion, after I opened the card, he produced this fist sized box OUT OF NO WHERE (ask me about my engagement ring some day)! In it was a beautiful pair of earrings! He opened a fancy new wristwatch from me.

 They look like a double helix surrounding a sphere of Snowflake Obsidian!! Does he know me or what?!

 Its a Fossil with a tiny diamond at the 12 o'clock

We were going to celebrate by going to a local nature preserve, but the weather was absolutely horrible, and the flowers would have been hiding, so instead we spent the day window shopping and cooking a fabulous feast. Oh darn :)

Chad had our entire dinner planned out - apparently he'd been researching it for quite some - and let me tell you - it was PERFECT! He made us a grass-fed, NY Strip steak, lobster tails and asparagus - and asked me to help him roast a head of garlic and make rosemary/garlic mashed potatoes. Holy goodness - it was an amazing meal.

I think we've set an unreasonably high standard for our next anniversary - but hey - I don't mind.

 One year and we're still gorgeous!

I love you Chad!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

April Fools!

Wanna know how to get a bunch of heathens to freak out?!

Deface their brand new sign, that they've worked so hard for!!

Or at least pretend to! It's amazing what a bit of photo-editing software can do. And for clarification - I picked the "No Parking" sticker cause I didn't want to start a war and I figured it was something anyone could get at a hardware store :)

Heheh, love you all!

April Fools!

Best A&A Adopt-A-Trail Work Day EVER!

This past Sunday was the Atheists & Agnostics Adopt-A-Trail Work Party! But not just any work party, it was a special work part on many levels - in a way, this party legitimized our existence, in a very, very positive way!

When everyone got there, the first thing I did was so off our new sign! That's right! The Clear Creek Task Force is so wonderful, unbiased and just plain cool, that they awarded our bunch with TWO brand new, shiny signs, posted at either end of our trail! One is even posted right on one of the busiest intersections in Silverdale. AND surprisingly (which is sad to say... but true) BOTH signs have basically lasted two whole weeks, in tact and un-marred,  there was a fixable bend put into one, but we're not SURE it was intentional.

One special guest we had with us on this fabulous sign-release day, was my Momma! YUP! She not only came to visit me, but she helped us out on the trail! Worked pretty hard too, pulling scotch-broom by the roots, taking pictures and greeting every person who walked by. It was so wonderful to have her there with us for a number of reasons - the first of course to show off all our hard work and my cool friends, but more than that, it was nice to surround her by heathens. My mom isn't "religious" as religions go, instead a deist, but she's never been surrounded by atheists, that I know of. Her opinion: that this effort was wonderful, that everyone was great and that we were genuinely good. But best of all, I think she was happy I had somewhere to go - a community full of wonderful, intelligent, motivated people.

Having my Momma there was great - but there was icing too! We had a few new people show up to work! Not new to the group, just new from the group. Even had a couple kids, who worked their butts off! And ON TOP OF THAT! While greeting everyone, my Mom found one of our inactive members (but an internet member) as they walked by our work party. I'm not sure how the conversation went, I hope he saw our signs then started talking to my Mom, but in any case - he showed up to our next meeting! And that, that to me is the best validation there is.

So here we are, creating somewhere good for good, godless, people to go. Everyone needs somewhere to go, somewhere to take off their mask and be who they want to be. I am happy.

If you want to come help out any time, just let me know! We have a website, bi-weekly meetings and various other events throughout each month!