Category Archives: poway

Jimmy’s Brick Pit BBQ – Poway

Travis is always looking for a good bbq dinner.  Pulled pork is usually his yardstick measure; mine is brisket since I’ve given up on finding tri-tip like I’m used to from years in San Luis Obispo.  A place gets bonus points if we don’t have to travel too far from home to get some tasty smoked meats.

We’ve been to Kaminski’s enough times to not really want to go back.  We also went to Smokin’ Joe before it changed names and became Jimmy’s Brick Pit BBQ.  I thought Jimmy’s was the same, just with a different sign, so one night we decided to stop in and see for ourselves.  It’s the same, just with a little more bad-partner drama, and sometimes red velvet cake for dessert. Continue reading

Engagement Pictures!!

First, I have not given up on that other blog I started, but it is going to be a while before I get caught up there.

Second, I think this will make up for the fact that I haven’t posted a picture here for, like, a billion posts.

Third, I consider these more pre-wedding pictures than engagement pictures because, let’s face it, we’re already halfway through our “engagement period”.  The teaser pics came out pretty nicely, I think, and I can’t wait to see the rest of them.

Mandi Contreras is our photographer, and she’s an associate photographer with Melissa McClure Photgraphy.  We got tons of amazing recommendations on photographers, but we couldn’t afford a lot of them.  Plus, the moment we sat down with Mandi, I loved her.  She came out to our house after Christmas and we took pictures in our neighborhood and then jaunted over the Old Poway Park.  She even got some photos of our pups (nicely groomed just before that last storm hit.. great timing!)

That last one is my favorite… it’s our family!  Minus the cats.  Look how cute the pups are!

Thanks, Mandi!  We had a blast posing and temple-nuzzling, and smiling big smiles all afternoon!

things of late

Can you feel busy and lazy at the same time?  I think I’m going to declare that such a thing is possible.  Because that’s how I feel at the moment.  So busy trying to finish up house projects before I lose motivation, yet feeling lazy and just wanting to sit on the couch and watch tv (like the Torchwood:Children of the Earth thing I watched and am now wondering what I’m missing not watching the regular series).  And so, due to #1 on my list of things my brain wants to ignore:

  • There are so many pictures on my camera that I need to download and file.
  • Including pictures of tasty food we’ve either eaten or I have prepared.
  • Like the perfect summer dinner from last weekend where I made the best appetizer from garden tomatoes, basil, garlic, and non-garden burrata (because I don’t have a miniature cow)
  • It has been crazy hot. Sticky hot. But it’s supposed to cool off this week and I’m looking forward to that.
  • The bathroom project is finished. Mostly because T worked hard over the weekend cutting baseboards and is now caulking them.  I washed the shower doors!  It looks awesome and I love my new toilet.
  • I am tired of house projects.  I proposed no new projects next year.  I’ll probably forget by then.
  • I still want chickens.  I’ve started the process of building a new raised garden so I can clear out the prospective chicken space.  It’s hard work moving a raised garden.  Also, apparently parsley doesn’t like to be moved.  I think it’s dead.
  • T is going to Mammoth for Bluesapalooza this weekend.  I’m a little sad I’m not going (too much work, not enough time off, fear of losing my job in this crazy economy. Seriously.) but I’m also looking forward to a weekend by myself.  A weekend of girly movies and eating the strange things I scrounge up when I don’t have to feed someone else.  Plus, I just found out (so did T) that my least favorite person in the whole world will be going, which actually makes me happy that I am staying here.
  • We have houseguests coming the next weekend, so I will try to get the hall bathroom in good shape.  By cleaning.  Not by painting or anything else crazy like that.
  • Our grass is starting to die because of the crazy water restrictions.  Well, half the grass.  The half that doesn’t get afternoon shade.  It makes me sad.  It also annoys me because we’ve already done so much to reduce our water use that I feel we should be exempt from restrictions.  I bet we already use half as much water as the rest of the neighborhood and now we have to cut back more?  Not fair.  But that’s life, I suppose.
  • Eating dinner outside is my favorite part of summer.
  • I think artichokes are my favorite vegetable.  Have I mentioned that T never knew you could eat the artichoke heart before I showed him?  Can you imagine how long he had been deprived of the best part??
  • I love that my dogs are always happy to see me.  Even crazy Lexi misses me when I’m gone.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
  • I also wouldn’t trade my boy for the world.  Or even three cute dogs.  If it weren’t for him, the kitchen never would have happened and my bathroom would probably end up half done, with just a toilet sitting on the floor.
  • Quiet nights in the backyard are awesome.  People have gone inside, kids are no longer screeching, the dogs next door are quiet, and it’s nice and cool.

Local honey

Three jars of local honey. From our shed, actually.

This morning, when the termite guy was doing his annual inspection, T moved a bunch of stuff out of the tool shed and discovered a swarm of bees in the corner. We called a bee removal guy and he showed up with a team of people (actually, two other guys and their wife and girlfriend). They pulled up the floorboard and found a huge honeycomb. Then they went around the back of the shed and found it was enormous!

They gave us some of the honeycomb and took the rest with their bee boxes. The bees that were left were not happy and we avoided the backyard for the rest of the day.

I took the honeycomb and mushed it up in a colander to drain the honey out. We were left with about 3 pints of honey! And some beeswax to chew on. It was certainly not how we expected to spend our Saturday.

Pre-holidays and Festivus

Thanksgiving is almost here.  Do you know what that means?  It means we hosted our Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner last weekend.  I started throwing a dinner party because, well, because I love throwing dinner parties.  But once Thanksgiving gets here, everyone’s schedules get all crazy and it’s hard to pin down a date that works.  So, I started having my dinner party before it got too busy.  Since T joined in the hosting, he’s added his own special Festivus flair.  My favorite part is the Airing of Grievances; I save them up all year just for this one event.

I try to stay away from typical holiday dishes for dinner.  We’re all going to have plenty of turkey and stuffing, so I like to do something different.  This year I did a whole prime rib.  In some ways, it’s really easy.  In others, it’s still tricky to get the roast cooked to everyone’s tastes.  I had a huge 13-pound roast from Costco, but I had to cut it in half to make it fit on my baking tray.  I ended up cooking them for 3 hours – the smaller roast was definitely more well-done but the larger one was pretty rare in the middle.  It’s a tricky balance, I tell ya! 

Our lovely friends brought a homemade cheeseball, I threw out some puff pastry cheesy things from Costco, and pan-fried mini crab cakes (the crab came from Costco, but I made them myself).  We had roasted brussel sprouts and carrots (that ended up steamed because I had to reheat them), baked potatoes, popovers, and creamed onions.  I also made a German Chocolate Cake and some poached pears.  I’m totally looking forward to eating the leftovers.

As the years go by, and with every party we throw, T and I seem to get the routine down faster and faster.  This year, I had enough time in between cooking to dust and vacuum the house, which left T with enough time to mow the lawn.  With the exception of baking the cake during breakfast, I think I started cooking around 2pm, for a 5-6pm dinner time.  Not bad!  Granted, we also didn’t spend as much time on appetizers this year, and we really didn’t get around to planning some fun party games.  I mean, aside from making people write down their grudges from through the year.  Psuedo-anonymous grudges.

By the way, Ben, we’re sending your Grievances to you.  In Seattle.  Where it rains a lot. Ahem.

We did do our re-gifting/White Elephant/Yankee Exchange/Whatever this year.  I think people kind of cheated and bought silly things to give.  Next year, we’re switching it up and replacing the regifting with T’s Exotic Spirits game.  We played a miniature version of this ourselves, once everyone had gone home.  It’s… interesting.

This week, we’ll be in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving.  For the first time that I can ever remember, we are not eating at home (mine or my parents) and we are not eating a roast turkey.  We’re actually going out to eat.  Then again, it is only the 4 of us.  Technically, I have enough prime rib leftover that I could feed us all, but I like going out to eat in Vegas.  So many good restaurants, so little time.

Now starts the Christmas shopping and celebrating the surge of birthdays coming up.  Hopefully, we’ll also get some nice, cold, fireplace-fire weather (as opposed to the wildfire weather) to enjoy.  It’s going to be a huge blur of time, I just know it, but it’ll be fun, too.  It always is.

Motorcycles aren’t so scary

My mom may just keel over after reading that title, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s true.  Motorcycles aren’t scary.  I don’t think they’re dangerous, either.  You know what’s dangerous?  The people riding the motorcycles.  And sometimes the people driving cars around motorcycles (I’m talking to you, you dumb white car with the handicapped sticker).  I guess it can be said about a lot of things in the world, but as long as you’re responsible and careful, I don’t think motorcycles should scare you.  Those words are pretty important, though: Responsible and Careful.

When we took our motorcycle safety class, one of the instructors told us she had been riding for years (she told us how many, I just don’t remember, but it was a lot of years) and had just recently ugraded her bike to a 650cc, or 700cc, something like that.  Her point was, it had taken her all this time to be able to handle a more powerful bike.  She told us stories of people who run out buy the biggest bike they can afford as their first bike because it looks cool and they think they can handle it.  They don’t want a smaller one because they don’t want anyone to make fun of them.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care what other people think of me, my bike, or all the gear I wear.  Sometimes, when it’s hot and sticky, I really wish we could just ride around in a t-shirt.  But then I think how much I’d regret that decision if anything ever happened.  Better safe than sorry, right? 

T has a friend who rode dirt bikes when he was a kid and now wants to buy a motorcycle.  Granted, he may be all talk and may never actually purchase anything due to his, uh, frugal nature, but the bike he wants is almost twice as big as the one T has.  And T’s had a lot of years of riding under his belt.  And now he has to worry that his friend may end up with a motorcycle way beyond his abilities, something that could get him seriously hurt.  Why would you want your friends to worry about you over something like that?

I joke that I am totally ready for a big bike.  That, because I’d ridden a total of maybe 200 miles, I have already outgrown my little Rebel.  I joke about it, but I know I’m not.  Sometimes my little bike already feels too heavy.  What would I do with a bigger one?  I know that every time I get on my bike, a little part of T stresses out because he would feel so guilty if I ever got hurt.  I figure, if I’m ever ready for a bigger bike, he’ll let me know.  After all, that’s how I learned I was ready to go from closed neighborhood streets to the actual streets of Poway.  Because T told me I was.  We just go slow and steady until I’m not nervous.  We go where there isn’t a lot of traffic.  We ride when there aren’t a lot of cars on the road.  He’s the one who taught me that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  You go at your own pace and if you have to slow down so you don’t crash, then you just slow down.  And if you’re riding with people who get mad at you for that, then you don’t ride with them any more.  You wear the gear for protection, not style.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying a helmet primarily because it was pretty.

We took our motorcycle gang out for a ride on Sunday.  I guess it was our first group ride ever!  And it was fun.  I suppose it will become more fun when I’m not so focused on staying on the road and watching my outside-inside-outside curves and can look around and see the scenery, but it was still fun.  We ended up at The Hideout Saloon near Santa Ysabel.  It’s this little place that’s only open on the weekend and seems to be only frequented by bikers.  They have a short menu, simple food, but it all tastes delicious after a good ride.  Plus, the people watching is amazingly fun.  Riding in a group is a lot less intense than when it’s just the two of us.  I guess because I was in the middle, I didn’t have to worry so much about cars in front and back of me.  Plus, the roads we took didn’t really have too many cars.  Quite a bit of roadkill, but not too many cars.  It was a good ride and it makes me excited to take more.

Don’t worry, mom.  I’m in good hands.

gone fishin’

Not really.  I just like all those signs that say that… I think it’s cute, in a rustic, country sort of way.  But we are going on vacation!  Where are we going?  Hee, hee…

We’re going to San Diego!  I hear they have lovely weather, a World Famous Zoo, Shamu, and a lot of up-and-coming restaurants.  There is so much to do and see… I hope we can fit it all into a weekend.  Maybe we’ll find a good place for breakfast, then do some wandering – what?  Well, yes, we do live in San Diego.  I mean, technically, we live in the city of Poway, but I see your point.

No, we are not having a “staycation”.  I hate that term.  It’s dumb.  It’s the media’s way of saying people don’t have enough money to leave their homes and go somewhere else.  Those people obviously haven’t heard of things called vacation savings accounts.  I guess it’s also possible those people just didn’t want to spend $400 on a plane ticket that use to cost $250. 

In any case, we’re just going to play at home.  After countless weekends of digging, planting, watering, installing, and spending all our time on the house, we are taking a weekend to play.  No errands, no to-do lists, and no cooking (this was T’s suggestion, not mine).  T did allot 1 hour (no more!) to organize our tool shed to see if we can more efficiently use the space, but other than that, we’re just going to explore the city we live and work in.  We’re going to go find restaurants we’ve never been to, maybe some we’ve never even heard of before.  We’re going to use the Zoo and Wild Animal Park membership that basically acts as my charitable contribution for the year.  We’re going to sleep in and not worry about what time it is.  It’s going to be fun.  And we won’t have to pay for a hotel, rent a car, or worry about the dogs.