Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Day

Well its been WAY too long!! So much has happened and i havent written about it at all! So lets catch up :)

My summer ended well. I wasnt to sure about going home. I was getting so much done for dad at work. I had lost 27 lbs on the HCG diet. Kara and I had just done another successful wedding cake project. I worked for Tammy at the Alaska State Fair and still kept my sanity. I took Eli on his first bike/ camping trip. I was enjoying hanging out with Carrie and I just wasnt ready to go home yet. Home wasnt ready for me either. I had asked my basement renter to move out at the begining of August and he requested two months which I begrudgingly gave in to. So I will expand on some of my adventures mentioned above.

First off, work was crazy slow starting out this year. Lets not forget we started with a wedding and a ton of visitors so I cant complain about the lack of work :) The wedding was amazing, beautiful and simply Luanna and Chad, of course in true Morris fashion it was over the top, yet perfect. Our Aunts did the meal again and everyone worked hard to get everything ready in time. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine during the day and magnificant clouds for a stellar sunset.

Next was 4th of July and as tradition calls for, we headed south for Mt. Marathon festivities. We took two motorhomes this time and were blessed with good weather yet again! Mom and dad left on the 5th but we begged to stay one more day so Kara, the kids and I parked and woke up to sunshine again the next day. For the next 4 days we would decide that night not to head down the road just yet...if it was raining in the morning we would go. Ha! We finally had to give up and go home. I found projects to keep me busy while we waited for clients to get their dirt work done and concrete in and buildings to arrive. It was kind of a messy shipping year. Buildings showed up in half orders or 9 buildings worth of sheeting on one truck but no structural to start standing steel. Also crates of mixed components and 3 different lables for each building. It took a lot to keep the yard organized. There was some office organizing too and learning how to order buildings on a new computer sytem. Dad and I had our hands full keeping the chaos under some fashion of control. I really do love working with him, juggling problem solving, scheduling, clients, and components. I did take one building by myself to Fairbanks and burnt out the brakes on the truck over 3 mile hill coming into Fairbanks. I used my trailer brakes to get the 750 miles home. Life throws curve balls and we make do. I did spend a night at Lake Louise with the Wilsons on the way home and picked a gallon and a half of blue berries.

I decided that after 8 months on crutches last year and still on limited motion I was not going to loose all the weight i had seemed to pack on lately. Kara had tried this HCG diet the winter before and she was keeping the weight off. She was much happier and more active now that she was able to move better. I decided I would give it a go for 40 days. I am soo glad i did. It was not easy to eat 500 calories a day especially while working construction. I did cheat twice both on over night camping trips. Kara was a great coach encouraging me and directing me the whole way. I couldnt have done it with out her.

This year I told Tammy I would not work at the Fair. I try keeping up with dad during the day stay up all night dipping carmel apples andlast year i lost feeling in my hand one week in and it took a couple of months to get it all back. As the time grew closer I couldnt stand the thought of NOT working the fair! Tammy asked again and I said okay, weekends only and as a sub if you are desparate. It was awesome....minus being around all that fair food and being on a strict diet. That sucked. Our theme this year was. "Tomorrow, I will start over" I love working with Tammy and the high school kids that help out. I love the lights, the sounds, the smells. Iove seeing people I never get to see, it kind of like old home week. In the end it was a good decision and Im glad I decided to go ahead and do it.

My Wilson chillin's are growing up!!! They love spending time with their Aunty Jen and I have always loved taking them to work with me, letting them "spend the night with me etc". Well this year Eli is getting a little old to be sleeping with me so instead I promised him a special camping trip just him and I. There is one thing he has been begging to do and thats to bike Eklutna Lake. Now we go there a couple times a summer but with such a range of skill levels and attention spans and limited equiptment there is just no way to go more than a mile before turnig around and going home. Its 10 miles to the end of the lake and 3 more miles to a public use cabin. I figured we could probably do it but just in case i made arrangements for dad to bring a couple atvs in day two to pick us up if need be. We packed and drove out friday night and set up camp at the lake. The next mornig we repacked our bags and headed out. It was a beautiful day! Unfortunately he lost his water pack somewhere along the way. He also had to fix his chain that kept falling off the next day. I was impressed he knew how to tighten it cause I was clueless!! We arrived at the cabin and were amazed at how beautiful it was and the views! Wow!!! We ended up being the only ones there so instead of sleeping in the bunks we made a big fire in the stove and slept beside it. We played cards, drew pictures, drank hot coco and tea. It was pretty darn awesome. Eli was so big, taking care of me and doing big jobs like gathering wood and reading to me by fire light. He is turning into an amazing person and I feel head over heals over my nephew again as I have every day since he was born. We woke the next day to sunshine so we decided to bike farther up the road which turned into a stream then a trail and we found all kinds of cool stuff along the way. Ice floating in the river from the glacier. Writing on rocks with other rocks, following floating sticks down streams, making different sounds by throwing rocks in the river different ways. And how to use my fancy camera. He has a good eye!! We decided we should probably head home around 2 since his first day of school was the next day. 3 miles later we ran into dad, lu, chad, moe, zach and willem!! Eli wanted to keep riding so he did but dad decided we should tow my bike behind an atv with a rope. It was awesome!! I wasnt too keen at first but it was crazy cool!! Eli's chain finally broke for he last time about 4 miles from the end so i was really glad they had come for us. It was an amazing trip and I for one will never forget it.

Coming home, i stayed with aunt coleen which is always a treat. Most of my work was at sorenson so it was nice being 10 minutes from work. The boy downstairs moved out only after I told him to get out NOW. Unfortunately he left the biggest mess I have ever seen. 14 bags of garbage. $20 of recycling, a can of toe nail clippings. A sink full of red hair, petrified food etc. It took kari and I a month to clean it up enough for her to move down stairs. We had tons of help from her parents and friends. As awful as the experience was, I wouldnt trade " getting high" for the first time ever, sealing concrete with my new roomie! It now looks AMAZING!!! I will get before and after pics up soon. As soon as we were settled, the owner called and said he was putting the house on the market. Gah!!! Anyway, we will see what happens.

So whats new? I have a new...friend :).

He is from Turkey. He was looking for a swing dance partner and come to find out he is actually pretty fun to hang out with too. Im learning a bit of Turkish and he is learning some ASL. He is an amazing cook and loves trying new foods. I like going to watch him and his friends play soccer and hanging out with them at 7hills food cart on division and 48th. He is a competative table tennis player which totally cracks me up. He is a mechanical engineer but wants to have a Turkish food cart or restaurant someday. He loves hiking and camping and is writing a phone app to quick refereance hikes around Portland. He also loves photography and photoshop. Life is quirky. We are enjoying spending time hanging out and learning about each other.

Food happens to be a HUGE part of this friendship. We decided to take turns cooking for each others friends. This sunday he cooked an auhentic Turkish feast for some of my friends. It was UNbelievable!! Friday we moved his kitchen "tools" to my kitchen. Then saturday we spent shopping for food! We went to Barbar Blvd World Foods first. So many different languages different foods, different packaging, a feast for the eyes!! Then we went to Fred Meyers, 3 times. Then Ikea. Then to the local mom and pop shop....twice. Sunday, cooking started at 11. I was "sous-chef" and "dish whench" while he cooked for 8 hours straight!! Yes 8!! People showed up around 5, i started serving around 6, we ate until 9. Afterwards we sat for 2 hours, comatose. He had cooked 15 different dishes: 4 main dishes, 2 salads, 2 appetizers, 4 desserts, soup, and 2 different rice dishes. Why, you may ask? Well, we had food allergies- eggs, soy, fruit, beef, and 2 vegan/vegatarians. He was addimate about having something for everyone. It was awesome listening to him describe ingrediants and history behind the food. My foodie friends were in heaven. I wish everyone could have been there!!!

"Rosemary and oregano are like twins, you have to decide wich one to accent."

Next week is my turn. Alaskan meal. My only challenge, no pork products and one person doesnt like fish. So no caribou sausage and somehing not so....fishy. :) I'll let you know how it goes...

So now you are caught up. I am typing this on my phone and cant spell check so please forgive me as i am going to post this unedited for fear of it NEVER getting there!!

Love to all

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cake!! Cupcakes!! Yummm!!!

So we were at it again. Kara says, "I have a wedding cake this weekend." Of course I hear, "We have a wedding cake this weekend." Why might you say would I want to adopt the stress and tedious work of making wedding cakes with my sister? Because I love them, I love her, and because in my heart, I just KNOW she couldn't do it without me...or at least wouldn't want to. Now when I say I help, I really mean in an administrative assistant sort of way. A sounding board, idea planter, an encourager, pushing her to go the extra mile. A dishwasher, problem solver, a kid cop and re-director. An answer, when she needs one, a question, when she's stumped. A laugh when the hour is late and this time...SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO DO A SWIRL!!! So really, this cake I learned a TON. One: READ A RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Two: I can conquer a swirl in 30 mins. Three: Trust Kara on color...Sometimes she is right!! (there I said it, tough for an older sister) Four: Evie makes a GREAT co-worker on my construction clean up crew while mom is busy baking. I think this saved both of us. FIVE: I REMEMBERED WHY I LOVE WORKING WITH MY SISTER!!! She is pretty much amazing.

This cake was done for Nancy Pants (LOVE HER) and she has a heavy job and a extremely fun outlet. You should check out her blog SO anyway, Nancy is a vintage sort of gal, with lots of creativity, spunk and a love for cupcakes, tents and flags. We knew we needed to make 60 cupcakes, one 3 tiered cake and two satellite cakes. We had no picture of what she wanted or color swath, just Champagne and Vintage, Red Velvet and white cake (and her BLOG!!) We referenced her blog a lot, as she had posted many of her favorite wedding ideas on it.

Kara tried a Duncan Red Velvet Cake mix and hated it, they were flat little tasteless cupcakes and we weren't about to serve them to anyone but the chickens. That's when we started googling cake and filling recipes. We tried another and the result was priceless, beautifully rounded cupcakes, moist, chocolaty, delightful!! I also googled a raspberry filling, and promptly whipped up the ingredients only to be unhappy with the texture...kara asked "did you follow the recipe??" Uh, instructions?? No, just ingredients. after a bit of simmering on the stove we fell in love with our new raspberry filling..."YUMMY NUMMINESS" said Ellie. Then there was the Cream Cheese Frosting Fiasco. It was very yummy but didn't hold up to well when used as piping for decorations. We quickly solved each issue as they came at us and by day two, had an idea of where we were headed. Day three: We get a call, three tiered down to two, 3 satellite cakes, and Ballerina Pink, Cake Topper musical chairs, and voila, we rolled with the punches. We were both happy with our Champagne color but I pushed for a darker pink since the pink Kara liked was the same tint as the champagne and her decor idea wouldn't stand out. The Pink did get too dark for both our taste but upon arrival and one look at the grooms tie, we had nailed the color spot on.

We walked in to find the cake table was an old rickety cast-iron stove. It took us the whole hour before and ceremony to set up all the cupcakes and cakes. Our flag cake matched the flag cake topper perfectly!! The details in this wedding were AMAZING!! Her venue, Crow Creek Mine was spectacular and all her little details just made the cake come alive. I was very impressed and thrilled that it all turned out so well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Carrie Lambing Photographic: Luanna & Chad's Wedding | Big Lake, Alaska

Carrie Lambing Photographic: Luanna & Chad's Wedding | Big Lake, Alaska: "What a beautiful day for a wedding of two amazing people. It was such an honor to be a part of Luanna and Chad's wedding day. I loved the l..."

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It was a beautiful wedding. The impossible became probable and then miraculously was pulled off. There werw funny moments stressful moments. We had amazing women surrounding us as we pulled out all the stops in every way. I felt beauty all around me and in me. Luanna was stunning and her amazing smile!!! Oh that smile!!! I heard "The Morris's sure know how to throw a party." And "never moss a Morris wedding" more than a couple of times. Yes, i must agree my family (and extended family) know how to throw up a big event. As i sit here with a friend and a premeditated bottle of riesling (i had happened to see the lable and purchase for just this occasion) we talked about what came next.

next: is a statement
next: is a question
next: reminds us that

We always stand at a crossroads,
That we are all poets,
All philosophers,
The makers and keepers of our own dreams,

That we bring wine to our friends
That we might share both
Wine and words together,

Folded into a moment
on the edge of the next...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Concur...

The Uses of Poetry

This was a day when I did nothing,
aside from reading the newspaper,
taking both breakfast and lunch by myself
in the kitchen, dozing after lunch
until the middle of the afternoon. Then
I read one poem by Zbigniew Herbert
in which he thanked God for the many beautiful
things in this world, in a voice so absurdly
truthful, the entire wrecked day was redeemed.

Harvey Shapiro
The Sights Along the Harbor: New and Collected Poems
Wesleyan University Press

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cutest nieces EVER

Ellie says "Mom! Take a picture of us! Two sweetpeas together!" ...I think she means two peas in a pod. :D
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Home Again!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, March 21, 2011

Aunty in Alaska

I walked in the door to screams and squeals "Aunty Nen!!!" Then we played hide and seek...I am such a sap when it comes to my nieces and nephews. They are incredible human beings and they daily bring sunshine and perspective to my life.

Enter Willem Kade Melear

7lbs 11oz
red hair
longest toes ever


There was some bilirubin level issues at the beginning so it was touch and go there for a bit. He lost weight (down to 6 lbs 4 oz) and wouldn't poop...but now he is back to 7 lbs 4 oz and pooping galore...all is well that poops well!

We had a baby shower on Saturday. Kara and I had a great time making the cake. Cheryl did a wonderful job putting it all together. She had us puffy paint onesies!!! They turned out great. Margaret Zach and I took Willem to his first Basketball game. He slept through the entire game. (I wish I could have...) Since I am still on crutches (yes, again) I haven't gotten around much this trip but I have gotten to hold the baby. And that is why I be an aunty. Here are some pics to tide you over to the next post...