Monthly Archives: July 2010

young drivers

“Few driving tasks are as intimidating as parallel parking.”
-The DMV

This young one has mastered it by age 4.

This post has absolutely no intellectual value to it or driving purpose, I simply thought it was a funny thing to share. Little people are hilarious.

My family and I were eating at a restaurant on the main strip of Columbia City, seated by the window. I was staring out as I listened to my younger sister’s incredibly enticing recount of her day, and all of the sudden a little blondie in his convertible cruiser drove up (on the sidewalk, nonetheless) next to the window and began parking. He had the technique nailed. Sliding his small plastic car between a wooden bench and potted plant, he maneuvered the car perfectly in this tight space. More surprisingly – he did everything right. He pulled up next to the bench, put the car in reverse, pulled his arm across the passenger seat to look behind him and eased the car into the spot. We had to jockey a bit to get the car perfectly straight but the car was good to go, sufficiently close to the window and he succeeded in not hitting the bench or pot. Once satisfied, he hoped over the door of the car and ran up to catch his dad, lamely on foot, as they headed into the bakery.

He did, however, leave the keys in the ignition.

child parking

lavender fields forever

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.”
-Terri Guillemets

fields

There is no way to not love the feeling of standing in a field of flowers – whatever flower they may be – surrounded. This weekend I visited Vashon Island (a quick ferry ride from West Seattle) with my wonderful mother for a peaceful Saturday afternoon. We visited the farmers’ market (and ate probably the most delicious cinnamon roll ever enjoyed); strolled surprisingly abandoned beaches and stopped by some lavender fields to pick a few bunches for home.

This was my first visit to a lavender field on Vashon. And ever. We visited the oldest farm on the island, Lavender Hill Farm , currently owned by actress Catherine MacNeal. Her house sits perched on a hill with a view eastward of Seattle and the Sound, and rows and rows of lavender fall down the hill toward the ocean. My mother and I gathered lavender for fresh vases at home and to dry and save around the house. And, of course, for the smell.

bunches

Homeward Bound

I know I haven’t blogged recently, and I’m sorry – my mom has even emailed, telling me to blog more! As Sarah Berry said, it has been really happening in the Admission office lately. Starting this Friday, I get a nice little break from work and I am headed home to Seattle for a week. I’m really excited!

 As wonderful as Colorado is, I miss summertime in the Northwest – hanging out at the lakes with old friends – so I’m pumped to hit the beach.

lake washington

Here is my friend from home, swimming in Lake Washington with Mt. Rainier in the background.

Also, this first weekend I’m home, there is 3-day music festival in a neighborhood near mine, which I’m hoping to attend, called Capitol Hill Block Party. Although I will miss some artists I want to see on Friday, I’m looking forward to potentially going on Satuday and Sunday.

After a few fun days in Seattle, I plan on heading to Northern Idaho Wednesday for my family reunion. Idaho just may be the most underrated state in the country; it’s beautiful – lots of mountains, great summer weather, and a huge lake to play in!

This is me and my pup, Keegan, on my cousin's dock on Lake Pend Oreille.

Always plenty of tubing!

My family is obsessed with kayaking.

This is me and Keegan on top of Scotchman Peak - one of the more challenging, but rewarding hikes in the area.

I also just wanted to share this crazy picture I saw online today of a 40-ton whale jumping out of the water onto a small yacht near Cape Town, South Africa:

Yikes!

 

Until next time- I hope you all are having great summers!

Border Collie Brain

Good morning! In case you all (I’m hoping there are a lot of you) were wondering, I did not fall off the edge of the blogging world. I did, however, fall into the world of interviews and tours here at CC…July is one busy time in the admission office! I have met some pretty incredible kids from all over the country in the past few weeks, and whether it’s LA or DC, they are pretty impressive. I love the kids that CC attracts…and I’m sad that I won’t be on campus when these awesome students come to school! Okay, let’s be honest, I’m just sad that in a year I won’t be a CC student…

Because I have a grand total of three blogs in two months (wow, I better get my booty in gear) I am going to update you on my initial ‘Summer 2010’ list:

-Rachel and Jeramy’s wedding (June 14th) was a blast! Megan and I had a great time rocking our black dresses (yes, I wear BLACK to weddings…I wear black to everything) and heels, meeting up with old high school friends, drinking white wine, and dancing the night away to Michael Jackson. A favorite quote from the evening was “The Berry girls are really keeping this dance party going!” Mom and Dad Berry should be so proud.

House sitting here, house sitting there (May, June and July) was great. I spent the first part of the summer staying at Kari Kwinn’s (CC Assistant Admission Director and awesome friend) house in THE MOST COMFORTABLE BED YOU COULD EVER DREAM OF. Seriously people, I have no clue where it came from or why I was blessed to sleep in this thing, but it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Amen, random bed gods, amen.  

I stayed at Horst (CC Men’s Soccer coach, and my honorary grandfather) and Helen (his amazing wife, and my honorary grandmother) Richardson’s house while they spend time in South Africa, going on safari and attending the World Cup (jealous!). It was great to have a house to myself, and to spend time with their sixteen-year-old cat Steiny. We became best friends. Ask Meg Seward…she’ll tell you.

A month later, I was lucky enough to be offered a room in one of my friend’s houses on Cache. Thanks to Kate, Hannah, Sophie and Geoff for opening up their house to me! I am lucky know such fantastic people.

And NOW I have finally moved into MY apartment! It’s awesome…and Kate compares my room to a Caribbean bungalow. It includes these wonderful treasures:

This amazing anthro hand-me-down:
anthro quilt

[image credit]

 WIN.

And this green beauty.

Actual pictures are coming soon.

Mom and Dad’s 26th wedding anniversary (June 9th) and Megan’s 24th birthday (July 19th) were fun! My mom spent some time here over the Fourth and both parents were here this past weekend…I am so proud of them. They have been together for 33 years, people! What an incredible testament to patience and work. I love them. Megan spent her birthday in Austin, TX, but last weekend finished her first half-marathon at the Broadmoor! So fun…and another testament to hard work! I am proud to have such a fun sis.

Everything else on the list is coming along nicely…and is including a trip to Aspen next weekend with Kate to see Michael Franti and Spearhead in concert! I am really looking forward to that…its going to be a sassfest.

Also, thanks to Sarah of the SHU box for your nice comment on a past blog! I was so thrilled to see that!

How are your summers coming along? We would love to see you on campus…Colorado summers are beautiful!

See ya on the flipside…

This and that

It’s summer and it seems like this is the time when I should be able to relax my mind, yet there are millions of thoughts flying in every direction. The following is a collection of some of those things.

“Bang Bang Bang” by Mark Ronson featuring MNDR and Q-Tip.

My friend Eleanor shared this song with me and I have come to thoroughly love it. It’s just fun and incorporates lyrics from “Alouette”–what more could you want? Also, the music video is awesome. “Ronsons–le gouter qui bang!”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzE5dS6fnFk[/youtube]

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruíz

After reading a great article about the spiritual argument for same-sex marriage by a CC friend, I picked up a book she referenced called The Four Agreements. In the book, the descendent of a line of Toltec shamans, Miguel Ruíz, explains that there are four basic steps necessary to live happily and peacefully with those around us. Essentially, one must agree with oneself to the following practices:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Words
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

I find myself trying to put all of these practices into use every day. I have to be mindful of them, but some of them are becoming more automatic–being impeccable with my words, for example. The idea behind this tenet is that our words are our one source of original expression, of original transformation of our will into communication. To be impeccable with words is to say only exactly what I mean, to not disguise negativity in my words, and to not gossip. I definitely self-check myself before I speak now, which I’ve found has already prevented me from saying some things of questionable intent, and I’m already happy to be more positive and intentional with the way I speak. I hope that the other practices will help me to become a happier person and a better friend.

Smoothie/dieting kick

In an attempt to get into better shape, I’ve adopted smoothies as a regular component of my diet–generally one in the morning and maybe one for lunch. I buy Naked Juice smoothies and then blend them with skim milk and ice. I’m starting to feel like they’re not a great idea because they’re pretty sweet and I’ve gotten my best results by adopting diets with foods with low glycemic indexes…but they are filling and make me feel pretty good in the morning…hmmm…trade-offs. For other meals I’m trying to go heavy on salads with vinegar and oil dressing, tomatoes, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

What’s probably more important is that I should go to the gym more often. Early in the spring semester, I went to the gym almost every morning before class, or late every night to do cardio. I probably lost 15 pounds in a month and a half, which I’d like to do again. I just need to commit myself to going daily in the summer, which is more difficult than it seems it should be. Mrah. It’s been nice to go with my brother and also my best friend sometimes, I just need more consistency.

Écoutez, France, j’arrive!

I finally just got clearance from the French Consulate to conveniently fly to Los Angeles in order to apply in person for a student Visa for my semester-and-then-some in France this fall. So later this month I’ll fly out of Colorado Springs at 6 in the morning, show up at the Consulate, do a little dance for them, and then hopefully walk out with a shiny new Visa. Then I’ll wander around LA and hopefully get into some light trouble before flying back to the Springs and arriving there at midnight. Dix-huit heures de full-on-fun! Laissez les bons temps rouler! is what I say! But I am very excited to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence this fall at the American University Center of Provence. And, because CC requires a half-block orientation in Paris for the program in order to receive full credit for the program, I’ll spend all of December somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere, probably visiting friends in the Middle East (شرق الاوسط–“sharq el owset”) to practice my Arabic and Hebrew. About this trip, I am super excited, and it will be my first extended stay outside of the US. Kinda nervous, but so ready for it.

Don’t Lose Yourself

I think I’m observing my dad become depressed and stressed out, and that bothers me a lot as he has always been the column of support in my life. It’s silly, but I’ve always had a favorite song associated with his contact in my phone as his ringtone; every time he calls, Laura Veirs’s song “Don’t Lose Yourself” plays and I hear the line

Don’t lose yourself; don’t let yourself be lost.

I always benefit from it, but now I want to return the message to my dad and hopefully remind him that things will always work out in the end–it just takes holding on.

The death of the word was upon us
And the discipline of the wind
We see less and less all the time, dear
Just look at this mess we are in

Don’t lose yourself
Don’t let yourself be lost
Don’t lose yourself
Don’t let yourself be lost

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUTyT8SGayQ[/youtube]

some things just require [pie]

“A great many things can be solved with kindness
Even more with laughter
But there are some things that just require cake.”
-Unknown

Pie 1

Or pie.
I realize all I ever talk about now is food. Perhaps my greatest love – and I feel no shame in sharing it. This pie is AWESOME. We picked up the peaches from the farmers’ market in Old Colorado City and they made for absolutely mouth-watering unforgettable deliciousness.
Bonus lesson: pies make friends.

Pie 2

Try it yourself:
Peach Pie the Old Fashioned Two Crust Way

Ingredients:
– 1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
– 1 egg, beaten
– 5 cups sliced peeled peaches
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.

Happy baking!

happy birthday America

One of the things we love most about summer? Barbeques. Fourth of July? …Barbeques. What a perfect day to go big with the grill – meat, corn, bananas, peppers and whatever else finds its way to that metal rack. Then of course add “potluck” to it all and pies, salads, watermelon and a beautiful array of salsas magically appear.

Charlie

This year’s Fourth consisted of serious sun, food, porches and games. (And around 10pm a hailstorm.) The procession began at the big red house with the first barbeque, the backyard and tunes. We moved on to Yampa Field for Slip N Slide, soccer, Frisbee, and more lounging, music and meat. We found ourselves welcoming the evening from porches and pretty much forgot altogether the clock from then on.

Lauren

Just a quick insight into our birthday celebration at CC! What a wonderful day to spend time with friends, eat delicious food and enjoy a summer afternoon..

Girls

Hope you all enjoyed your Fourths as well!

making caramel apples in July

Sometimes fall comes early. As a native Washingtonian and lover of all things fruit and candy, naturally making caramel apples seemed the ideal summer activity. I was recently informed by a friend’s mother (thank you Mary) that we are not actually in the prime of apple season, and the apple-making party would have been better suited for fall. I still maintain that the apples (especially those loaded with caramel, graham crackers and cinnamon sugar) were amazing and the day could not have been better spent. How could anyone ever say no to sugar.
So on a hot Saturday in July, we fast-forwarded to the apple harvesting of October, dipped, rolled and sprinkled our Granny Smiths, letting the sunburn sink in as we went.

Caramel apple

Sounds delectable, doesn’t it? Below is an incredibly simple recipe for the caramel. I would strongly encourage creativity with decoration – we considered Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, marshmallows, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, any nut, M&Ms, butterscotch chips and Oreos.
My tips and recommendations: 1) Let the caramel cool and thicken (perhaps more than you would expect) before dipping; 2) Wrapped caramels will generally come with traditional popsicle sticks – don’t worry about buying a separate pack; 3) Add a bit more caramel to the mix to allow for more deliciousness on apple; 4) Let apples set on wax paper (obviously, save the mess); 5) Let apples cool in fridge, and definitely not the sun.

Now for the deets, thanks to AllRecipes.com:
Ingredients
– 6 Granny Smith apples
– 6 wooden sticks
– 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.
2. Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan. Place on the aluminum foil and chill until ready to serve.

dipping


Click here to view the recipe online

(And check out other awesome caramel apple recipes!)