Friday, October 22, 2010

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation by Chad and Caitlin

Chad and I are grown ups (sometimes) and we didn't actually have a summer vacation. But that doesn't mean we weren't busy! I started the summer off right by thinking I had been struck by lightning. A major storm cell passed over us...
And for some strange reason I was taking video of it. That's where the lightning comes in. What is up with the new YouTube/Blogger video format? It cuts off a third of the screen! You can double click the video to see the full screen version...


**There have been comments asking me to clarify what happened when I took the video. I have this weird obsession with filming Texas storms mostly because I have never seen anything like them and because I think no one back in California would believe me if I didn't have proof. What I am going to do with hours of storm footage I do not know. But I was filming this particular storm and lightning struck very close to our house. I wasn't actually struck. But I was really scared! Archer thought this was so funny that he immediately got on the phone to tell my grandparents that "mommy freaked out!" Now that you are relieved to know that I am OK, you can enjoy the aftermath of the storm...


In June my husband surprised me with a weekend trip to California so that I could attend my good friend Vilate's wedding. I went all alone. No kids. All by myself. It was awesome. My flight there was interesting because I sat by a guy dressed in all black except for the women's underwear that he had, those were pink. On my way back I was held up by security at LAX. After getting through the line I grabbed my stuff and didn't stop to put my sandals back on. Even though I ran across the airport barefoot I still missed my flight. Don't worry, I Purelled my feet. When I finally did get home, the ENTIRE house was cleaned. Totally spotless. Plus, there were homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for me. Chad is amazing. Seriously, he is a better wife than I am.

Vilate and Kurt were married at the Newport Beach Temple...


Kurt and Vilate. Awwwwww.....can't you just imagine their super cute blonde kids?

Vilate (Vuhl-ate) and I became friends at Fullerton Community College 9 years ago. I had finally found someone who planned on finishing up that 2-year school in 2 years. Imagine that! Confession: I might have actually spent a little longer than 2 years there. What I mean is that we seemed like the only ones who weren't spending 5+ years at FJC. Vilate and I took "Walking For Fitness" to fulfill our PE credits and the teacher called her "Vio-late" the whole time. After the semester had gone by Vilate told me "You are the slowest walker I have ever met." I'm so glad she waited all that time. I also owe this woman a lifetime of gratitude for introducing me to Sprkinles cupcakes which she brought over to me several times including while Della was in the hospital on a ventilator. The cupcakes helped me physically and emotionally through 2007 which was a rough year. Thanks Vil-ah-tay!

My summer of friendship continued when I had another friend encounter right here in Houston. My friend Julia was on tour working for Mates of State (a really awesome band). Julia and I have been friends for 11 years and we would have been friends sooner had I not been a bratty 16 year-old. True friends forgive each other (thank goodness). That would also apply to the time she was my Maid of Honor/Bride Slave. I'll always remember Julia's wise advice; that my eyeshadow didn't have to be the same color as my clothes. I was liberated at that moment and I never looked back. Oh yeah, and she also speaks Thai. Just in case you needed more evidence as to why Julia is great. This is a very non-flattering picture but this how one looks in a sweaty night club packed with sweaty people...

Julia is crafty. No, I mean it. Not like the occasionally-knit-a-tea-cozy crafty, but hard core I-can-sew-a-wedding-dress crafty. She made this awesome banner. I can't wait to see her again in December when she tours with Yo Gabba Gabba Live...
This show renewed my hope that good bands really will stop in Houston. Occasionally. Which is better than never. We were so spoiled in LA where bands like Belle and Sebastian or Air would play with the LA Phil. at the Hollywood Bowl. Where Red House Painters and Luna would come at least twice a year to the Troubadour (even though I dislike standing room only venues). Then there was the time we could see Mates of State at Koo's once a month.

But then again the amazing Rockabilly/Honky Tonk acoustic show we went to with our friends the Arave's could never have been experienced anywhere in Southern California. We saw Hank Schyma, Johnny Falstaff, and John Evans (who are all over 6 ft. tall) play at a church of all places. Pie was served at intermission which is always OK with me. The show started out strong but the more "Spanish Demon" wine they consumed the more loosey-goosey things got. I can't wait to go again!

Chad started the chicken coup this summer. It is almost done so you will have to wait for pictures of the completed version. Chad is showing the nest boxes he made with the hinged roof for easy egg access. Any day now we should be enjoying some seriously fresh eggs...


Since I am at home with the kiddies, I spent most of my time entertaining them and cleaning up their messes (and pulling small objects from their mouths...well mostly Della's mouth)...

Chad and I worked outside until it became unbearably hot...

Our edamame did (and tasted) fantastic...



A random beet that sprung up out of nowhere...







Chad got a 30 year-old Squeezo (which works great BTW) on eBay and we had a grand time "Squeezo-ing" hundreds of tomatoes and blackberries, a job Chad took very seriously...

And then there were the sweet potatoes...
Harvest from the first plant...


The chickens said they didn't want any...

Our produce model...
In all we harvested 43 lbs. from 3 plants. Sweet potatoes will last a few months if stored in a cool dry place...but only if you don't wash them like this...

We didn't know!!! So stayed up until 1AM canning them so they wouldn't spoil...

We celebrated Chad's 34th birthday in August...


Since we started with a storm, we shall end with a storm. We saw a double rainbow and had to get some footage with Archer narrating...


OK-so you can't really see it, but it was there, I promise.

5 comments:

Marissa said...

Love the recap! I didn't know that you were *almost* hit by lightning. You'll have to tell me more about that story. :) I'll have to share my sweet potatoe pancake recipe with you.

Lisa said...

Jake thought the lightning video was about the funniest thing he'd ever seen. What actually happened? And I know I've said it before, but Archer is going to turn out to be exactly like you!

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

Awesome produce, chica.

Kellyanne said...

wow I must say I am impressed with your farming skills, I would never have pictured you with chickens... but when I see those pictures and imagine it in my head it makes me laugh! Remember when we used to drive with curlers in our hair? Going from curlers to a farm makes me smile!

Beth said...

Great post! Thank you!! The pictures are beautiful. I laughed out loud with the lightening video. I think I would have 'freaked out' too.

Your garden is amazing! Both you and Chad are so talented. The fence, the chicken coop, your book shelves... amazing too

Julia is awesome! You are so luckey to have her as a close friend...and she is luckey to have you : )