Mar 232015
 

On Friday Michael and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary! It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for HALF A YEAR already. Crazy. Sometimes it feels like we just got married. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been married forever. ;) We’re actually celebrating 7 years together this June, so I guess we have been together forever!

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The anniversary kind of snuck up on us and we didn’t do gifts or cards or anything, but we did go out to dinner to celebrate. Michael had been wanting to try a new BBQ restaurant nearby, Smokehouse Tavern, on SE Morrison.

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It was a super cute place, totally Portland Hipster. It wasn’t crowded because it was a Thursday, March Madness (apparently) and a sunny day…and we were kind of there early. But once we were leaving people were starting to fill the place.

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We decided to start with an appetizer, the Deviled Eggs. That’s the new thing in Portland. Every restaurant is trying to be unique with their Deviled Eggs. This one was really good but difficult to eat because the sausage link was so much heavier than the egg. I ended up eating them separately, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Despite that, it was good. The sausage link was outstanding! Next time I’m going to have to order the sausage entree.

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Mmmm good. Michael ordered an Old Fashioned and I got a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The beer menu was pretty good–it was limited but they had some new local beers available! I was happy to see Crux on the menu after trying it in Bend a few months ago. Great beer.

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And of course, Shiner. What BBQ place wouldn’t have that?! Okay, now the food. We both got brisket. I got the regular brisket and Michael got the brisket ends– the “black and fatty” part. The part that melts in your mouth like cubes of butter.  It was amazing. :)

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My brisket was pretty good but nothing compared to Michael’s. The brisket end cuts are the way to go. Michael got the collard greens and french fries as his sides. I got the coleslaw and the pickled veggies. :D

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Loved my sides. They were really tasty! Everything was delicious. I wouldn’t say it was the best BBQ in Portland. That’s Podnah’s for sure. I’d put this place in the running though for top 5. I’d have to go back and try some more of the other options to really make a conclusion. ;)

I ate all of my coleslaw and half of my brisket and saved the rest of it for leftovers to have for lunch at work the next day.  Overall the restaurant was great, the service was good, the food was good. Can’t really compare it to Franklin’s BBQ (nothing compares) or Podnah’s but it was decent and a whole lot closer to our place than Podnah’s!

We went home and settled in to watch The Jinx (the documentary about Robert Durst). Romantic, eh? But the show is really, really good and once you start watching you can’t stop. It’s a crazy story! And I’m surprised that I’d never heard of this story before now. I’m into true crime stories, yet this never made it on my radar until recently.

It was a nice anniversary dinner and evening. 6 months down. 6 more to go to the first anniversary! I have no idea yet what we are going to do for it. We’ve talked about New Orleans. Neither of us have been and we’d like to go. I want to try the food (HELL YA!), go on a swamp boat tour and hear the amazing music. We’re still in the planning stages, but if you have recommendations for New Orleans, let me know!

It’s really nice to feel content. For a long time it felt like our lives were in limbo and chaos for a lot of reasons and then after getting married a lot of that went away. We’re scheduling the kitchen counter installation so that’s one more thing that will soon be done. Slowly we are taking care of all the “pending” things that have plagued us for years! I’m happy and content with Michael and our little life–and all our little critters in the house.

Bella is doing SO GOOD out of her crate! We’re doing half days now and hopefully soon we’ll be able to leave her out full time. She’s doing so good. She’s not getting bored or anxious and destroying things. She’s getting along with the kitties. Whenever we get home now all the animals greet us at the door! I seriously think that Bella and Fat Kitty are cuddling when we aren’t home! This is Fat Kitty resting his head on Bella’s paws:

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They are ALMOST FRIENDS! I knew it!! :D It makes me happy!

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Mar 182015
 

Sunday afternoon I drove up to Seattle to spend a few days with my mom and to go to my great Aunt Mary’s funeral. She passed away last month at the age of 95! She lived a really long, full life and had three kids and one grandkid. I love hearing the old stories my grandma would tell. The two of them lived together (unheard of at the time) in their twenties instead of getting married. They went traveled together and went on road trips and best of all went DANCING! Every night! My grandma was quite the dancer. :)

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It’s so cool to hear those old stories because that wasn’t the norm in the 1930’s and 1940’s…women left their parent’s house and immediate moved into their husband’s house. While I was visiting I got to see some old photos of my grandparents on their wedding day:

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My grandmother recently moved into an apartment, after living in the house she had with my grandpa for something like 62 years! Change is hard. I think the rest of the family is having a harder time with her moving than she is! She seems to be loving her new posh pad (which my aunt decorated gorgeously!).

So Sunday I got into town and my mom and I went to see my grandma at her new place and then met my aunt (the talented decorator) for dinner at the Bengal Tiger Indian restaurant. I rarely eat Indian food because Michael’s not a fan (same story with my mom–my dad doesn’t like it so she never eats it) so it was a nice treat to go out!

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I have no idea what we ordered now. But it was delicious! I had a little bit of everything. Monday morning I got up and went to the gym. Then my mom and I spent the day puttering around. I went to see my other grandmother who is in a nursing home and we did some stuff around Seattle, and then got to go through some of the old family heirlooms. Like this gem:

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My great-grandfather went to the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and had his fortune read. :) My great grandfather was actually quite the writer. He used to keep journals and there were many many (too many to count) volumes of his journals that he actually COPIED for all of his 7 children so they’d have a copy. And by copy I mean hand-written. Before xerox. He re-wrote every single journal (and I think there were like 25 or 30 of them in each set). As a teenager I actually went through my grandmother’s copies and tried to read them. My plan was to transcribe them and type them up but I don’t know that I ever finished and I don’t know what happened to what I worked on. Some of it was difficult to read, too.

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But he also kept journals of newspaper clippings. Like this one:

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He got married on Ground Hog’s Day 1916 during “the big snow.” :) I find this stuff SO fascinating! I would LOVE to go through all the old journals and books of newspaper clippings.

Then we grabbed dinner at this magical place:

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Tuesday was the funeral. They were saying the rosary at 10:30 and the funeral mass started at 11. It didn’t finish until nearly 1pm and then there was a lunch at the church. It was a REALLY nice service and the Eulogy was written and read by Mary’s son Pat. He did a great job. Mary’s daughter, Margaret, was actually the person who took me to my first ever concert! She was the cool older cousin (I guess my second cousin?) who my mom and dad gave permission to take me and my group of friends. Man, times have changed haven’t they? But I think I was 14 and Margaret took us and we all had a great time (White Zombie, L7, The Melvins, and Babes In Toyland was the concert!!).

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Anyways, Mary is in the left, my grandma is on the right. I remember going to Aunt Mary’s house as a kid in the summertime because she had a swimming pool! In Seattle!! Which was unheard of it. But as kids we’d go over there and splash around and she’d make us lemonade and lunch and she was always so sweet and gentle. That’s how I remember her, very sweet.

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I took those photos a few years ago at our family reunion. When both Mary and my grandma busted out the harmonicas and started playing. The funeral was really nice and mostly positive. She’d lived such a long, full life, it is hard to be sad but I’m still a little sad. And sad for my grandma that she lost her sister.

I didn’t end up staying for the St. Patrick’s Day party after the funeral (Aunt Mary always threw a big party) which was disappointing but I had a long drive back to Portland and wanted to miss Seattle rush-hour AND Portland traffic if I could. I said my goodbyes and hit the road. It was a good trip and I’m glad I got to spend some quality time with family.

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