June 2021 Part II

Click here or on the birthday cake above for more photos

KrisDi’s birthday. At her traditional request, I made her a cake inspired by drumstick ice cream cones. I think she’s selecting more and more complicated cakes to see how far she can push me before I break. It took me three days. It was delicious, though.

I was able to find Cantillon’s Fou’Foune (apricot sour) at an online store for an exorbitant price; I felt slightly better spending slightly more and getting five additional beverages along with it. This was my primary gift to KrisDi for her birthday. I think she was delighted. I’m glad she decided to share it with me. Still one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

School ended. Chilkat is done with fourth grade, and Chilkoot is done with second grade. KrisDi did the beginning and end of the school year pictures (Chilkat and Chilkoot), as well as collages of all their school years (Chilkat Chilkoot).

The kids decided they wanted to make us dinner. They made sausage rolls — sausages rolled up in pastry dough. They also made some glazed carrots.

Months ago (March, I think), HB and I bought take home Hard Liver Fest packages from Brouwer’s. For the beers that we both had, we drank them together via Zoom. Finally, we got together to drink the other ones side-by-side. KrisDi made Chicago style hot dogs. Overall, it was a very nice day, but my next morning was not very nice.

For Father’s Day, my kids totally surprised me with breakfast in bed. An apple pancake, bacon, and coffee. Once again, I had been up for hours, and I needed to be reminded of how tired I was so I could be in bed to be surprised for breakfast in bed.

We went down to Bonney Lake for the rest of Father’s Day to hang out with the in-laws, where we re-used KrisDi’s birthday cake and drank beer and ate food. Here’s a nice picture of Chilkat and I basking in the sun on Les & D’s deck.

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June 2021 Part I

Click here or on the beer above for more photos

The kids decided to open a lemonade stand. They made some blue raspberry lemonade from a mix and went out on the sidewalk by the driveway to try to sell it for 50 cents a cup. They were frustrated by lack of customers at first, but they eventually got a couple big sales. One neighbor bought a half cup for $10 and wanted no change in return. Overall, they made around $25, and felt rich enough to make it rain when they were done.

For several years, we’ve met up with my former co-worker and long time beer friend Mr. JJ around Christmas time to share barrel aged beers. This is because (1) it’s an excuse to drink fancy, strong, expensive beers that otherwise sit around waiting for a “special occasion,” and (2) it’s fun. That didn’t happen last Christmas due to pandemic conditions, but now that we’re all vaccinated we finally did it in June. His two kids and their significant others also joined us. We used our home made bourbon barrel stave flights.

KrisDi’s work finally arranged an in-person celebration of their 100th anniversary (I think she actually arranged it, primarily). They did it outdoors in a parking lot near the Boeing Museum of Flight. All food was provided by her and her co-workers. EntrĂ©e was ribs and pulled pork. KrisDi made 140 cupcakes of six different flavors. Everything was individually packaged. It was a pretty nice event.

KrisDi’s Polish co-worker’s family came to visit her for her son’s baptism, and they brought her a bunch of meat. We got some of the overflow (which might have been a way of “paying” for the cake KrisDi made for the occasion). It seemed like a ridiculous amount…but we ate all of it.

We have this fancy can opener that cuts the outer edges of the top of the can in such a way that there are no sharp edges, and you can just lift the top off. Most of the time it works really well. But this can of salmon did not cooperate, and I had to pry it open, which (IIRC) involved the use of vise grips. The result was functionally acceptable, but not pretty.

Random stuff:

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May 2021 Part IV

A small bird nested in an old Christmas decoration that got moved to the side of the house. I don’t know if the eggs ever hatched, but they vacated after a while. Before they vacated, they nearly gave me a heart attack every time I walked around the corner of my house and startled them and they flew out of the nest right in front of me in a panic.

KrisDi made a cake for her friend’s baby’s baptism, including a fancy clear carrying case.

We went down to Lake Tapps for D’s birthday. KrisDi made a strawberry napoleon. We went out on the boat, took some photos of Mt. Rainier, some passing planes, a structure that might be a sideways foeder or a strange sauna, and some ducks.

The kids’ Frozen performance happened. We watched it while we were at D’s house (and the other two days that it ran). It was super cute.

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May 2021 Part III

Click here or on the forest above for more photos

Chilkoot’s troop had a hike at a local trail, and his den met ahead of time to go through a bunch of activities including making paper airplanes and bouncing balls of various inflation. The hike wasn’t super long, but Chilkoot got tired of it before we got to the end and we turned back.

KrisDi and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. I bought her a necklace. We spent most of that day being parents (it was the day of the scouts hike, and KrisDi and Chilkat kind of had a mommy daughter day including a stop at Ivar’s). We scheduled a three night stay (sans kids) at a cabin in the mountains for later.

P Dubs turned 40. T Dog set up a surprise party for him (with a co-celebration for her father), KrisDi made a cake for each of them, and we hung out in P Dubs’ yard all day drinking fancy beers, gorging ourselves, and playing cornhole.

But it was a more complicated day than that. It was also a recording day for Chilkat and Chilkoot’s Frozen production (Chilkat as the bishop and Chilkoot as Pabby), so KrisDi went down early and left me and the kids at home; after recording was completed, we jumped in the car and drove down to join them.

But it was a more complicated day than that. Mom came down for the night, because the next morning I was driving to Vancouver, WA (~160 miles) to meet up with my little brother and his family, and she wanted to ride with me. Mom came down early enough that she could have come to P Dubs’ party, too, but that wasn’t part of the original plan (expecting her to arrive after we left), and my brain wasn’t flexible enough to recognize the change and invite her. I think she was okay with having a quiet evening to herself, though.

So the next day we got up early and started driving. KrisDi also got herself and the kids up early and drove separately so they could see their cousin M for the second time. The kids were tired and this was super cute. They had to come back the same day because the kids still had school on Monday.

So the first day we were down in Vancouver was Sunday, and KrisDi and the kids were there with us. It’s the second time we’ve met Cousin M, and our first time actually stopping in Vancouver. Keep in mind, this is the Washington Vancouver (population ~175k), not the Canada Vancouver (population ~630k).

Northwood just got a new, fully remote job, and L got her job converted to fully remote. They were exploring different parts of the country where they might like to live, and Vancouver was one of their stops (their previous one was Reno, I think). They got a big three bedroom AirBnB so they could host me and Mom. We met at a park, got some coffee, and went to the house, lounged around there for a while. I think at M’s nap time, we left Mom with her grandkids and we went out to a local brewery (Grains of Wrath) for a beer, then walked around, then went back to GoW for more beer and to order food. While there, I noticed they had Weller Full Proof (a bourbon I’ve been pining after) on the shelf, and got a little pour of that, and it was fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s super hard to find in the primary market, and it 10x the price on the secondary market.

Northwood gave me a bunch of California / Reno beer, and I gave him a bunch of Washington beer. We drank a bunch of it while we were down there, but both of us went home with a box of beer.

We visited local breweries and restaurants and coffee joints. We walked through a drive through Mexican restaurant and ate it at a nearby park. We visited an antique store and my colleague’s sculpture of a tentacle coming out of a sewer (which M called a “snake”). Mom dragged us into a dinner with a “cousin” (some incomprehensibly non-linear relationship). I learned M is not very affectionate — it took the entire visit before she even said my name, and I never got a hug from her.

It was really nice to see them and spend some time with them. Unfortunately, I think they were turned off by the near constant drizzle. I tried to lure them in with hints of being able to drop M off with her cousins, but I think it was to no avail…

Sometime while I was in Vancouver, Chilkoot finished breaking his iPad (he had cracked the screen shortly after he received it a couple years ago). Of course, it was totally mysterious — he just open the cover one day and it TA-DA — was cracked. Surely there was no unreported incident.

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May 2021 Part II

More May photos by clicking here or the flowers above

Mother’s Day — breakfast in bed for KrisDi and hand-made cards from Chilkat (closed, open) and Chilkoot. We spent most of the day down at Les & D’s, drinking beer and chilling out. Here’s a picture of KrisDi and her mom.

As mentioned in the previous post, our friends from Oregon were here Mother’s Day weekend. I’m not exactly sure why, but the kids decided to dress up as creepy dolls.

We had yard and garden activities. A bunny chomped through a stem on one of the more glorious looking tulips and felled it. Moles turned up in the yard. KrisDi cleaned out the garden bed and planted.

Kettleworks Frozen costumes: Chilkat dressed as a bishop, as Olaf, with just Olaf’s nose. Chilkoot dressed as a tavern keeper, and serving beer.

Unrelated to anything: Chilkoot still has curly hair.

No pictures, but we went out to look at granite slabs for countertops for the kitchen remodel. KrisDi helped the kids record a bunch of stuff for Frozen. Chilkat’s sometime best friend moved away, and she had one last play date with him before he left.

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