Posts Tagged ‘life’

OK. So this is my first recipe attempt. I want this to be more of a “home and life” type of blog. Hopefully, we won’t be renovating forever! Stop smirking. I keep telling myself that there is more to life than renovation!

We are getting a first round of seasonal berries raspberries in here in the PNW. They aren’t the best but they sure are good when you haven’t had them in a long time. Since they aren’t at their peak yet, I decided to make raspberry truffles. I took a recipe from Epicurious.com (don’t you love iPhone apps!) I am one of those people who uses recipes for ideas. I usually use them as vague guidance and do what I want. This recipe is from Gourmet December 2004. Here’s the recipe. What did I do differently? Well, didn’t have brandy, used cream sherry and I used 2 1/2 tablespoons. My fresh raspberries kept disappearing, hmm, David, perhaps? So, I had lots of ganache left over. I couldn’t let it go to waste so that is why my truffles looks so odd and globular. The rest of the ganache David ate with a spoon after planting hedges. (BTW- got hedges for $2.50 a piece!) This recipe is so easy. I put those deformed truffles in the fridge for about 2 hours while I tended to the garden and did chores. I then took the truffles coated them in a plastic baggie of organic unsweetened chocolate. And here they are:

My raspberry truffles

I just purchased this cake stand and couldn’t wait to use it. Isn’t the Eiffel Tower a cute touch? 🙂 The truffles didn’t last very long. It wasn’t me, it was David, I swear! A few were left out the next day. The cocoa powder begins to settle strangely on them. It doesn’t help that they were in a glass dome in our dining nook. The dining nook has windows and it was a sunny day in Western Washington. The flavor was still great but they looked pitiful. I’m sharing that information in case you want to make these for a gathering or something. Heat is not nice to truffles. Duh, huh?

This is a super easy recipe and I didn’t change much. I can’t wait to do chocolate covered cherries. And figs…



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To make a long and boring story short, my French bulldog biological clock has been ticking for over 10 years now. I’ve wanted one of these smushed faced creatures for quite sometime. In fact, in my mind he already exists. His name is Stuckey and he is a buttermilk baby. I have already projected all of my personality quirks onto him like great pet owners do. He gets grumpy if you wake him up early, he has a fuzzy food phobia, he hates tennis bracelets, has a little hat collection and often finds himself anxious in social situations. This is Stuckey. He will also make me 50k a year modeling for greeting cards. I’m happy that he is so photogenic.

I always thought I did not have this buttermilk blessing because we were not homeowner’s. Pet deposits are a crock. We were in college and were broke. Face it. These aren’t cheap dogs. We’re over planners and couldn’t justify not getting our little Stuckey into the most prestigious of doggy daycares…

We joke that Obama Claus is getting us a little Stuckey baby since we are 1st time homeowner’s (8k, haha). This really isn’t true. We are getting a little Stuckey because we have our own home and life is a bit more stable and we don’t have to pay some slumlord a 1k pet deposit. However, I’m getting cold feet.

Just look at the pic above! Stuckey will love to sink his puppy teeth into the soft leather of Frye boots! He will love to puke on vintage silk blouses. I just know it. He will love to destroy the hardwood floors and trim that we have just repaired. Will I ever forgive him? Will I want to walk him in the PNW rain and slush? Will he be nice to the other pups in the neighborhood or will I be the mother of a bully, antisocial Frenchie with a pit bull complex? Do I want buttermilk dander on all of my gothic black wardrobe? These are the fears of somebody that has been petless for so long and has never had a dog in the house.

I told David that I want a Halloween Stuckey. I think we have too much to worry about with this renovation and all. Now even I am thinking a Halloween Stuckey is too soon. However, I feel I need one. I am an adult now. I mean I do own a home. Isn’t it only natural that the next step be to clean the facial wrinkles of a little grumpy French bulldog dressed up in a top hat and dandy cape?


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So our loan got all the way to closing this week- we signed documents and so did the seller.  It briefly zombified, and I beat it back into it’s grave by supplying even more documentation on our contractors.  Later on, get this, my mortgage brokers had the nerve to complain about the fact that I didn’t have anything good to say about them when I talked to a friend’s secretary.  Never do business in a small town.

The exchange this week went like this:

Lender: You forgot to sign this form that says you’ve physically inspected the entire house and found everything in good working order.

Buyer: No, we refused to sign that.  Have you noticed that some work needed done on the house?

Lender: No one has ever refused to sign this, but the brokers did complain to us that you were “eccentric.”  (true story)

Lender: We need forms XYZ filled out on the plumbing subcontractor, and we need a lock of the plumber’s hair.  After you have done that, smear blood above your front door or we’ll take your first born child.

FHA Consultant: You don’t need those forms.

Lender: Yeah, you’re right.  Why don’t you write us a nice letter about how you’re contractor will take responsibility for the plumber.

Contractor: That’s what a contractor does.  Remember the stacks of insurance papers I sent you?

Lender: Oh, Alright.  Now have the buyer sign this photocopied page from an FHA pamphlet on how the 203K works.  There are no blanks- just sign anywhere.  (seriously they did this)

So at this stage I asked the escrow company to ram it through the county before the lender changes their mind.  Which they were going to do. Then the entire city lost power- just in time.

A couple hours later they got it back, and then they got it done.  So I went over to my new house.

And… I found the old owner living in it.  And his stuff is everywhere- calendars on the walls, food in the fridge, TV plugged up, sheets hung up to satisfy his rodent-like urge to hide, this guy is moved in.  After cleaning the house to satisfy the cleanup addendum, he then moved his clutter back into the house. We allowed him to stay the night tonight because the check to him hasn’t cleared.  There’s a full dumpster out front of the house which he claims will be picked up (yeah right, that’ll be my bill).  It’ll be followed by a 30 yard dumpster which will be filled with, we estimate, about 5 tons.  Can’t wait!

Tomorrow at 10AM I get to chase him out of the house and begin moving his garbage onto, I guess, the front lawn.


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Hey, this reminds me of my stark life!

Hey, this reminds me of my stark life!

This past week, um 100 days, has been kind of hellish. We still haven’t closed on the house and really don’t know when we will. We hope to close tomorrow but we’ve been hoping that for over 100 days. All the docs are in but I’ve lost hope on closing this deal. Last week we were in a panic. The rental property wanted us out because we couldn’t sign a year long lease since we are hoping to close on a house soon. Our other options included month to month renting which was expensive, $1300 + other expenses for 700 square feet out in the middle of nowheresville. We could rent a vacation rental for a minimum of $900 a week. This would of been nice but David is still working over the summer and this would of made his commute too long. The other option was to rent a hotel and this was over $100 a night and totally booked because of the heatwave that took over the area. People were renting hotel rooms just to cool off. Just for 3 nights it would of been over $350 at a crappy hotel. These options had the possibility of totally breaking us. But, we really didn’t have any other options other than calling the housing deal off and just renting yearly again. We asked the stupid property management crew if we could rent month-to-month and they gave us a “no” about a month ago. After we had moved all of our stuff to a stinky storage unit, rented a U-Haul, and were doing the last cleaning touches to the rental at about 3 hours before we were supposed to turn the keys in, we get a call from the PM crew asking if we would still like to rent the place for a month. Some timing. We didn’t want to but it would be cheaper than our other options plus we don’t have an actual closing date and the other house isn’t move in ready. We were a few hours from homelessness and this seemed to be the best thing to do in our state of desperation. So, now we are in a minimalist house pulling some of the things from storage out that we need. Need I remind you that we loaded that stuff into storage on the hottest day like ever in Washington? This has been a really abusive week, months, but at least we have a home for the time being. A very minimalist ,almost like camping, home where we sleep on an air mattress, have like 5 clothing items, no washer or dryer, no pots/pans, tables/chairs, etc. I am seriously not a candidate for the minimalist lifestyle. I am not a fan of this starkness. It’s too frustrating and cold. Oh yeah, we threw out all of our food. I hate to complain about this but it is all a bit overwhelming. Currently, we have a home, an empty home, but it is a place to live and we know how much the costs are monthly. No surprises. Hopefully we will close this week and be able to start the other home’s renovation. It would be nice to have a clean place to live during this rehab time. I hope it all works out, it usually does, but man have we been up doo-doo creek lately without a paddle!


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