Thursday, December 31, 2015

All good things must come to an end. The final Orange Door post.

I've enjoyed chronicling our move to our first home.*  We've done a lot since 2007, and it's been fun to share it with you.  You can follow our continued adventures on my own blog I will tag the posts that would have appeared on this blog with the tag OrangeDoor.

Thanks for reading and commenting on our 900-plus posts!

Here's the link to the very first post, if you would like to read from the beginning:

All of the 2007 posts on the previous platform:

Then we switched over to this address.  Here are the rest of the posts:

The first post from 2007 (on the new platform)

The first post from 2008

The first post from 2009

The first post from 2010

The first post from 2011

The first post from 2012

The first post from 2013

The first post from 2014

The first post from 2015

*The way the housing market is in Portland, it will likely be our only home.  Good thing I like it so much.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

The Christmas morning mimosas.

Presents ready to go under the tree.

Christmas breakfast table is set. (See the cooked meat pie there? Mmmm-mmm!)

The tree is ready to celebrate the holiday.

Presents opened, we neatly fold the tissue paper so it is ready for next year.

After that were games of Chronology, iKnow, a nap, a walk and a ham sandwich dinner!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mmmmm-mmm! Meat Pie!

Meat pie has returned as a Christmas morning breakfast item! Here is the meat part, waiting to be wrapped in dough!

And here it is uncooked, but ready to go in the oven!  Yay meat pie!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In which some decoration finally occurs.

Hey look!  I finally got the cards up!  Hooray!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas expectations lowered again.

Hey!  Do you know what is fun? Taking pictures of a macaroni and cheese recipe's ingredients if you have tripled them.

Do you know what isn't fun?  Burning the cheese sauce because you tripled the recipe.  Too bad this was my main gift.  Perhaps the burnt smell won't come through in the final product.  (She says hopefully...)

Christmas Prep in action.

Here are some Christmas food failures.  On the top, a pound of chili bacon peanut brittle.  Sadly, in getting the candy to the proper temperature, I burnt it. Not only did this waste $8.00 in bacon and other items, but it also meant a lot of scrubbing on my pan.

Below the failed peanut brittle is the failed fudge.  I tried a new recipe from Parade magazine and the result was a half-fudge, half undissolved sugar concoction. The nuts and the fudge floated to the top, the undissolved sugar concoction sank to the bottom.  In hindsight, I probably could have sliced off the good fudge top and saved it, but I didn't think of it in time.  Also, there was a lot of scrubbing with this pan too.

There was also a Poor Man's Toffee which was only so-so.

I was rescued from my holiday prep doldrums by this recipe from Cooks Illustrated.  They had me make chocolate cookies, bake them and place an Andes mint on the top of each cookie.

Then the mint is spread to make a delicious minty frosting.

The cookies stayed soft, the frosting stayed chocolate minty for many days. I finally took them over to my Aunt's house and left them there with the rest of the Christmas cookies, so I would stop eating them.

In which the success of one project tanks something that was working well.

The cats were intently watching something out the back door, so I went to see what they were looking at. I assumed it was a bird, as I have installed suet feeders so they can watch the birds.  The feeders hang from the beam that serves as the support beam for the upper porch. This has been a great location as only birds can access the suet feeders.

Or so I thought.  

What the cats were looking at was a squirrel perched at the top of the rolled up catio fence.  This sits on the right-hand side of the porch. I keep it rolled up there because the right side of the catio can remain attached and I need only hook up the left side when I put the catio up.

The squirrel and I looked at each other for a while, until I went to get my camera so I could document whatever he had planned.  I came back and stretched out on the floor so I could look up at the porch.

Here's what I saw:  the squirrel, having made it halfway up the side of the house via the catio fence, scurried up the corner of the porch.  He disappeared from sight briefly, but reappeared hanging from the upper porch deck.  Then he used his front paws and hauled in--paw over paw, as if he was a sailor on the high seas--the suet feeder until he could chew on the suet.

And that's what he did.  He just kept eating the suet while I took a bunch of pictures.  I realized that the quick depletion of suet was not due to the starlings, but instead probably squirrels.

Sentinel and I watched (Antares had slunk away) for some time.  I was disgusted at the squirrel's ingenuity, Sentinel was interested in eating the squirrel.

Eventually there was no suet left, so the squirrel made his way down to the ground and started eating the large chunks of suet that had dropped from above.  He continued this despite my rearing up and standing full height.

Disgusted, I eventually let Sentinel outside to scare the squirrel and his buddy off.  Sentinel hopped outside, both squirrels took off, and I herded Sentinel back inside while I set up the catio as a reward for the cats' vigilance.  If they hadn't stared so intently, it might have taken me some time to figure out that squirrels were eating my suet.
As it is, I will have to relocate my feeders.  I'm thinking maybe the middle of the deck ceiling will work.  They would have to be ninja squirrels to stay upside down for that long.