Everyone who got our Christmas letter knows that we had a trying holiday season.  Like we said in that letter we cherish the lost and will do our best to cherish those that are still with  us more each and every day. We have mementos to Jozie and Chet on the walls with the rest of the family. I finally got off my rump and printed pics of family in big moments and framed and hung them up to show them all off. This has been on my list of To-dos for a while.

This year we are committed to being healthier - already we are juicing veggies again and working out more. We still compost and are going to do a small garden, but I'm going to by a partial share in a local CSA - community support aggriculture - and get the veggies delivered. One of them , for example is $500 for X weeks. Yes that sounds ridiculuous but it comes out to a cooler (12x36in) size box full of veggies a week for $8.

Right now we are recovering from the holidays - still :) While Petey sick, we are now wondering what is wrong with Goose the fat calico cat. The Vet said the hair loss is not from gangster cat fights but from her scratching herself. We've not seen her scratch so we are skeptical. Nevertheless we are giving her the meds etc to see if it helps.

I'm turning in my applications to the 3 nursing programs in the next 2 weeks. I feel like I'm cursing myself by being public about this but oh well.

In February I'm going to Cali to see Kelly for a few days. Her husband is going out of town and we will have a 2 generation girls week - Elsie will be there for every fun filled minute. Then later in the month we had planned on a snowboard trip to Mt Hood, but!!! The west coast is in a record breaking drought and there is no snow on the mountains here. It's worse than NC mountains in march. So, we are looking at fishing in Port Orford for the week. It was 60 today no wonder we have no snow.

As many know we lost out flooring in November and next week we get it back!!!! No more puke/avocado green!!! YAY!!!! The guy is coming to lay the laminate. If we owned the house we'd do it ourselves, but since it is not ours we don't want to have an accident be on our heads.

I have older ones to finish and post but this is my update for the 2014. 




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I suck at posting. Mainly because, I work, go to school and attempt to enjoy the sunny days. So, I'm working on self-improvement mid-year. Eating leftovers, destressing, and posting more often. Today's post: February trip! Just a few months late. :)

We went to Daniel's Summit Lodge in Herber City, UT. We flew in and Gayla and Dave picked us up!


this is Momma and Papa Atkinson!

 I needed to eat and thankfully they stopped for me. :) Off to the Lodge we rode! We met up with Callie, Tony, Gentry, Zeb and Chet. Since the girls are pregnant they weren't able to go snowmobiling so I went with the boys and Gayla stayed with Callie and Gentry.

Right off the bat I got stuck!!! Steve was worried I was made but it happened in such slow motion, I had to laugh at the situation. It was just like a slo-mo part in movies. You see it happening and there's nothing you can do to change your course.





Here's a video clip from the trip! I know it's sideways and I can't figure out how to rotate video.

IMG 0381 from elizabeth atkinson on Vimeo.


I quit going off the trail with the guys after getting deeply stuck a couple of times. I just hung out and watched them, attempted to get videos. They aren't the best but whatever it was on my phone and my fingers were numb.  Tony is awesome and I'd say the best at snowmobiling. Then Steve and Zeb. Dave hung back with me some as they boys were going through trees and drifts. We ended at this open area with a cool hill which you can just fly up super fast. The trail ended with a long open flat area and you could get up to 40+ easily!!!! See, we all came back happy and in one piece:


At lunch: Zeb rocked the best sweater! He got it out of Grandpa Kendall's closet

Here's a view from on of the hills:

THE NEXT DAY

We woke up to this:

IMG 0387 from elizabeth atkinson on Vimeo.


we went to the outlets where I went nutso on baby stuff for all the babies that have been born since this trip. Just 2 more: Gentry and Zeb's Joyce and Callie's little boy. We left sad and happy! We are excited to visit again this winter!


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"What did we do in March?" Is a question I asked myself for a couple of days. I don't think this month slipped by and we did nothing. I know I we didn't, I know we didn't. I hated we missed Thomas and Mallory's wedding - thank you too much school on my part for that one and big exams. I'll be seeing them soon i know :)  because my sister, Cat, is getting married in June! We both worked - boring; School - boring; then I asked Steve - who also said we did nothing, but..... hunt for agates. Agates are these really cool rocks made of silica and other deposits that are formed in the air pockets of lava rock as it cools. Since we've arrived in Oregon - I've gotten obsessed (and so has Steve). on Agates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agate .  You also know you have an agate if it's not super clear because the rock even when unpolished will feel waxy to the touch.

With the help of friends Sean and Kelly we found a cool beach that has great scenery and lots of agates.
Here is our favorite spot!

 
Not only do we find agates but we have gotten to see starfish stuck to the rocks on low tide.
These are all over the rocks and in the little pools.

Gotta slip in a pic of the Handsome man himself on the rocks


So here is what we have so far:


4 jars of agates unpolished and another jar worth in the tumbler

seaglass

unpolished versus polished

no clue what this is but Patrick said Tree Rock and I'm sticking with that - even though I'm sure that doesn't exist


Attempt at turning it into jewelry. There is a guy here named Guy Lundy who teaches rock metal wire wrapping class and I'm going to try it out. Because he does fancy stuff!   





So there you! That's what we did in march!

Liz

Note I wrote this before Cat's wedding but didn't publish it til afterward for no real reason except i blanked on it.






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Holiday and Holy Moley

So, wells, since our last post we've been engrossed in our own routines. Steve has been working and I've been working, school and made some Cmas presents. Steve has taken his 100-ton master course and passed! All he has left to do is the paperwork :( and drive to portland twice to get it done. I haven't been there, yet, but it's a drive and a half!  This is a big deal! The boats he drives for Coast Guard are only 40 tons. In my mind he can now basically drive anything he wants.

I aced all my classes last semester and am currently in 3 more and wrapping up my nursing applications. Terrified more than I can say but yes me, happy Liz is scared out of her mind about more years of school. I am really enjoying work - instead of complaining like I did in office work, I have really funny stories. Yea sometimes I am very sad because we've had a run of people pass that I had taken care of since I arrived to this rainy state, but working in long term care that had residents with dementia is FUN and funny!

And, we've joined the gym!

That's more or less the generic update. More interestingly: he's been fishing his rump off. Everyone he meets out on the lakes or at the beach has been super  helpful in letting them know their tips and tricks and things to consider with the weather. We haven't really caught much, but he's getting better.  It takes a season and time to figure out what is what and I know this time next year I will be SO INCREDIBLY sick of fish.

I on the other hand get bored fishing if we aren't catching so I look for agates.  I found this one, after Steve had given up because he was "cold"! Can you believe our Steve complaining about being cold. My mom and sis can attest: this man is in shorts when our house is 58 degrees. This one is worth something, ones about this size: polished are about $60+.. it'll be more because of the color striations that are in the pic: it's got orange and red under it. Most of what we find are about the diameter of a dime so this is a wicked find.

My dad got me a rock tumbler for my birthday and I've used it some and now will re-run the rocks and get them all to the polishing staged. I will upload pictures of the before and after! It takes 2 months or more to get them all finished.



Our 3 year (courthouse wedding) anniversary was 1/21/2013. Steve and I went to Waterfront depot. We waited 30 minutes to get greeted by our waitress and so we got some free food and met the people sitting next to us: they are a young couple and she's from Uzbekistan. They were figuring out how to go visit her family and deal with getting detained etc. Apparently they can run to Russia and can return to US from there. It was a really interesting conversation. They asked steve about the military and what it's like. 

Yes 3 years. We can't believe we married in 2010. Time has truly flown. In 3 years we got really good at East coast fishing and living the island life. Traveled across country and are now learning the West Coast. He's having to re-learn because everything he "knew" from Eureka, is obsolete in Florence, Oregon. This makes me happy because it makes it more of an adventure for both of us and not just me. 

I can't believe I didn't post pics from my 30th birthday!!! Steve got my mom and sis and my wife Kelly to come out for the weekend. I'll post more on that and the fall events next week.

Steve's 32nd was in December - he got presents everyday and ended with fishing clothes!

We spent New Years in Cali and got to see Joshie and the gibneys and family! I got to rub kelly's pregnant belly and steve fished. We spent a few days with Kim and Jack and jack's side of the family. We added new people to our family circle and it was a great time with the 5 dogs and bowling! I went picture happy and yes I will post them.

Next month we are going to Utah to see the family!!!

Since he made chili last night and no cornbread - I made some - I love making baked goods from scratch. It's so moist. I also found in the Betty Crocker cookbook a English muffin recipe. I realized after making the mix that I was missing 2 items: a rolling pin and a muffin cutter. I thought i had a cutter, but I realized the one I was thinking of was my mom's. Sad you remember something from over a decade ago like it was yesterday. So, I improvised and used a can and a star -cookie cutter. They taste great! I nibbled on them. The first few aren't the best but I turned the heat down and nailed down the cooking.





















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Today Steve is under the weather and so I decided to pass the time baking. I found this recipe for biscuits. I didn't follow it exactly, though. I don't have nor will i buy Hungarian paprika and i used lime instead of lemon because I didn't have any. They came out great! i made 9 biscuits but I ate one before I took the pictures.  Also, I don't have a roller so I just patted them out into biscuits.




Here is the sourdough starter.. will post later on how that bread turns out.












Here are the loaves I baked.. with this recipe

Above is before, and below is after.



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Florence!

Here is our first picture of Florence. I took this from the balcony of the hotel we lived in for a week while we found a house to rent. After looking for a solid week, we finally found this house! Here are 2 videos steve took!

Then we spent time piddling around the area. We discovered Heceta Beach where we now love to go agate hunting.
that's the lighthouse at Heceta
there's a seal down there
We went WAY up a road and found a cool little trail and let the dogs swim some
Next is a stream of pictures from our little adventure on the other side of the Heceta Beach park. We walked around in our waders looking for crawdads. We didn't find any but we had fun and got some pretty pictures


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OUR TRIP TO THE WEST COAST... WRAPPING IT UP!!!

Our time in Cali!

We got to Kim and Jack's! The very next day we went to the SF Giants game. Kelly and Joel came to the game too! I even bought a Brian Wilson jersey! I got a kid's version because it was half the price of the adult and it fits loosely just fine.


We got into SF and we had the hardest time finding a parking spot, but Jack is a great driver and has more patience than I do for the city. We found a spot and parked and walked to the stadium. We snagged this picture as we walked. The city is really pretty.

The game was so much fun. I loved the time we spent with Kim and Jack. While in Lakeport, we ate great pizza and took the dogs to the creek. By the time we got to Kim and Jack's we were so exhausted I think we slept one of the days away. Petey got sick our 2nd night there and so i cleaned and cleaned the bedroom carpet. Kim was kind enough to give both of us raindrop treatments which were amazing.

So we left Lakeport and headed to Fortuna, Ca to see Josh. We got there and petey immediately made himself at home. Steve and Josh worked on the boat for a long while and I rested and threw the ball for the dogs.  The next day we went fishing!!! My first time off-shore fishing on the west coast.
It was very different. First you don't go nearly as far out to sea. You can still see the shore! And the fish are just different. Josh took this picture of us! You can see the coastline behind us.
Here are fish: lingcod and rockfish. The blueish ones are lingcod and the red are vermillion rockfish. The meat is blue until you cook it - then it turns white.


Here's Joel with the catch!

We spent the next evening with Kelly and went out to eat and then the next night Kelly and I dyed each other's hair and ate pizza! Their boy Ryker and our boys got a long just fine! Now we just need to find time at the same time to go camping!





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