Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ok, I had my fun. Now for the true story.

Alright, alright... so maybe it wasn't Bigfoot. Maybe I doctored the photos a little. Whatever. I think a lot of us would have preferred that it really was some sort of mythical creature living in the woods, as opposed to the truth.

The truth is this: Our favorite fishing hole just outside of Vancouver, WA just happens to be next to an infamous nudist beach. Now, this was my 3rd year of fishing here and I hadn't ever seen the legendary naked beings myself. That all changed this last time.

Come about 9:00 am, a guy who came to be known by us as "Buck" shows up on the beach and strips right down to his birthday suit. Keep in mind it was about 40 degrees out, and we were all in heavy coats, hats, and huddled around a propane heater in the boat. Not Buck. He was proud to shake what his Momma gave him and strut up and down that beach for a good part of the morning.

Passersby would walk up the beach (fully clothed) and we would just watch as Buck emerged from behind a bush (fully naked), cross his arms, put his leg up on a log, and stand there as the people walked by. We were pretty far out from the beach, so I'm not sure if there was any sort of verbal exchange occuring, but I can only imagine what both parties were thinking.

I mean seriously? What sort of mental instability does it take in a person to get up on a Saturday morning, see that it's almost freezing outside, and say to yourself, "I think I'm going to go hang out totally naked on the beach today by myself and call it a day."

Sorry for the graphic post this time, but this was just too weird to keep bottled up. Eww.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hairless Bigfoot!!

It's true. He exists, and he roams the shores of the Columbia River just outside of Vancouver, WA. And now I have undeniable proof. Only, the variety that lives around here appears to be hairless.

Real? Fake? An elaborate hoax by yours truly? You be the judge...

Bigfoot's hairless/albino descendant, perhaps? And for your comparing pleasure:

Why would I make this stuff up, people? I mean really... I'd be wasting everyone's time. And isn't it weird how even though I took this picture with my new digital camera, it somehow is all color distorted and hard to make out exactly what is in the picture? I guess Bigfoot has that strange effect on technology around him. We may never know the truth.

Unless you guys really want to know and I'll tell you the whole story and show you the whole slew of pictures I took. But let me warn you... they aren't pretty, and are definitely not for the faint of heart! They just might send chills down your spine and make you rethink everything you ever thought you knew.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wow... where does the time go??

How the heck has another two weeks gone by? I guess I should start doing shorter, more frequent posts, huh? Well, maybe that'll start next time. I have a lot to show today!!

Canada, eh?

So last summer Sam and I went and listened to a timeshare presentation so we could get a free trip. It was well worth the crazy salesmen, because they gave us 3 nights in Vancouver, B.C. for nothing but the cost of parking! It was great. We spent a night in Bellingham before crossing the border and had so much fun! We got to witness this gorgeous sunset over Bellingham Bay which would have been worth the trip in itself, but it was just the beginning :)

We spent our time in Vancouver exploring the city, hiking, shopping, eating tons of delicious food, and being entertained by silly Canadians. Vancouver is a super cool city and we really really like it there. If it wasn't in another country, it would definitely be on our short list of places to live someday. However, there are some things I just don't think we'd ever get used to.

For example, I don't know if you've ever heard this, but Canadians LOVE hockey. And it's not a stereotype. Really. If you doubt me, just go to a Costco in Canada. If you've ever needed to buy hockey sticks in bulk, where else would you go? Costco of course! This is a portion of the Hockey section in Costco. If you can't see, there are hockey bags, hockey goals, hockey tape, and hockey sticks all right here for silly Canadians to buy... in bulk. I mean really, could I ever live with myself if I got the phone call from my kid saying, "Hey mom, if you're going to Costco, can you pick me up some more hockey sticks? I need another 20." Really Canada?

Ok, enough about that. Canada does have its high points. Like I said, it's a super cool city and we had a blast on a day hike. It's gorgeous! If you're into outdoorsy type stuff (and we are!) this is a great place to live. One would never run out of places to hike, explore, kyak, and camp. There is just never enough time to do it all! Here is Sam conquering the Canadian wilderness:And me, hesitantly crossing the suspension bridge to start our hike:

Yes, it was like a thousand miles up in the treetops. It's not an illusion. Where do they come up with these ideas? Silly Canadians.

The rest of our time was spent exploring the gorgeous city and getting down with the locals... here are some highlights:

We had an awesome time, and can't wait to see where we'll get sent next time by those wonderful timeshare salesmen who just keep calling us and offering us free trips! What was that WorldMark? Vegas? Where do we sign? Awww... and who ever said there's no such thing as a free lunch? That's not what our $50 food voucher said! In summary, it was all well worth the hour and a half presentation we sat through on Saturday one year ago to enjoy this foreign trip, on the house. Until next time Canada!!

Wishin' I was a Fishin'!

We got back from Canada on Wednesday, worked a couple days, then took off again on Saturday to Vancouver, WA for some sturgeon fishing. This has been a tradition for the last 3 years, and is something I always look forward to. There's nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn and jet-boating at top speed on glassy, smooth water to watch the sun rise over the Columbia... and this time was no exception! It was gorgeous! Somehow, amidst all the rainy gray days, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day. Perfect for fishing.

Did I catch anything you ask? Oh c'mon! As if that even matters!! What really matters is the bonding between friends and family and the memories that are created during such times. Ok, and if you must know... I didn't catch anything. Sad, I know. But check out this monster Sam snagged:
I think it was like 8 feet long? I don't know... maybe it was 10. All I know is that it was huge. Or something.

Alright, I have sufficiently written a short novel (is there such a thing?) If you made it all the way through my updating and pointless banter, than you deserve some sort of medal. I promise my next few posts will be shorter and more frequent!! I already have a treat for you guys concocting in my head, but it's just not time yet. Oh yes... you are all in for a real surprise!

I'll give you a hint: While we were out fishing, we saw something that very very few people have ever even claimed to have seen. A legendary character that lurks around the Northwest, chillingly revealing itself to those with the sharpest of eyes and quickest of cameras. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to witness this creature in its native habitat and even snapped a quick picture! I'm telling you... this picture just might make even the most critical of skeptics true believers once and for all...

(Jodi, Quiet! No spoiling!!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pickles, Pigs and the Puyallup Fair...

So I haven't posted in over two weeks. Life has been crazy and the weekends (my usual preferred posting time) have been packed. Since my last post we spent a weekend in Vancouver, WA with Sam's sister Jodi (previously mentioned multiple times in this blog) and roadtripped to Eastern WA the next weekend to watch the Cougs get pummeled by the Ducks. Yikes.

So now it's time to share some other interesting things the Nielsons have been up to since my last post. First things first...


While we were down visiting Jodi and Jason in Vancouver two weekends ago, we went to Sauvie Island and visited the Pumpkin Patch which has a huge produce and flower market with some pretty good deals on yummy fresh foods. This is one of my favorite things!! I have this big thing about buying fresh and local, and I love any chance to practice what I preach.

While we were purusing the market, we came across a display where they had conveniently laid out everything one would need to make and can their own pickles. Now, I have this thing for pickles. I love them. I eat them from the jar with a fork on a daily basis and the thought of making homemade delicous pickles that don't contain "Yellow #5" was very appealing. So, we bought up a 10lb. bag of pickling cukes, a dozen canning jars, some dill, vinegar, and pickling salt.

I did my research and found what I thought to be the best recipe on the internet (how could 150 reviewers be wrong?) and we got to work. It was a blast. Well, apart from our house smelling like a pickle jar for a week. The recipe said to not eat the pickles until they've been sitting in the brine for 8 weeks, but I dug in after a day and was not disappointed! In fact, it's been almost 2 weeks now and I officially just ate the last pickle from jar #1. Hopefully all 10 jars actually make it to the 8 weeks so I can see what all the fuss was about!

Anyways, it was a fun project and now we're all inspired to can something else. Apples? Peaches? Pears?? We'll see, and I'll keep you posted. Oh I know, you're on the edge of your seat. Don't they look fun though? They make a great addition to the top of my cabinets in the kitchen and I feel Oh-so-domestic.


So some of my happiest childhood memories are of my summers spent at the Puyallup Fair. It was one day at the fair with my parents (I was probably 10 or 11?) when I was super inspired (yes, 11 year olds can be inspired!) to join 4H. I was so envious of the kids in the horse and dog barns who got to show off their cool pets and I knew I had to do it. Enter Dominoe. As my 4H dog for 4 years with the pivotal part of our year spent at the Puyallup Fair, it was an emotional trip to the fair this year. But it was fun. It'll always have a special place in my heart. Where else can you get a picture with creepy people dressed up as barn yard animals??

Or kiss the smallest, cutest sheep I've ever seen?? Ok, I didn't actually kiss him... but it made for a fun picture, right?

We also got to see a 4 day old piglet who was incredibly small and cute, and Sam got to eat the biggest hamburger I've ever seen... none other than the "Earthquake Burger." As if that wasn't enough, he had to get the french fries on the side that are served as a 6"x6" cube and eat every last bite of it.

This picture doesn't do the burger justice. It was huge. And delicious. Gotta love the fair!!
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