October Surf

After months of prep and painting we finally gave ourselves permission to pause on the house and go for a much anticipated surf vacation. A mini trip to the Washington coast was exactly what we needed. We had roughly scouted out where to go, and decided on Grayland Beach state park…just south of where we would surf in Westport.

Friday afternoon Matt picked me up from work in a SUPER full car and we headed to the coast with no visibility out out windows. Camping in a mini cooper is quite a feat. But hey, when you only have one vehicle you work with what you have!

A mere 2.5 hours later and we were in Westport! First stop: a surf shop to get the lay of the land. We inquired about boards and surf breaks and then went to check out the jetty.

What a great spot! It was cloudy and foggy that afternoon but the weekend forecast was for warm, sunny weather. And SO MANY sand dollars! You could not go more than a few steps without reaching for another one!

Our campsite was great and had easy access to the beach. Next time we may try out one of the yurts.

Day one of surfing was fun, but hard. The current was pushing pretty hard south and the surf was really mushy and fast. It was exhausting to get yourself out far enough to catch a cleaner wave. We both had a great time though and were totally wiped and sporting sunburned faces out when we headed to dinner.

Sunset from our campground. We drank tea and watched it go down…and saw A GREEN FLASH! This elusive phenomenon has been on my family’s hit list for YEARS and we finally saw one!!! So cool!

Sunday was a down day and thank goodness…we were exhausted! We decided to explore the area and took a drive up to Moclips and the other seaside towns to the North. We stopped for clam chowder and ice cream in Ocean Shores before heading back to Grayland for a long beach walk.

Monday was the highlight though. After an ok breakfast at the Blue Bouy we stopped by the surf shop for boards. We grabbed two long boards and hit the road.

We got to the beach and saw exactly what we were hoping for: clean, easy, long breaks with no current. Beautiful!

I spent the morning catching wave after wave while Matt struggled with the other board. At lunch we swapped and then he was having all the success! Eventually even getting out to the “real” lineup at the back and catching big green waves like a pro! It was incredible to see how far we have come! Unfortunately I did not have better luck with the second board either. For some reason neither of us could catch a wave on it even though it was a bigger, longer board. The balance we could just not get down. Goes to show that we need to try out boards before we buy as they are NOT equal!

We surfed until nearly 5, showered and headed back to camp for the sunset and dinner. What a sunset it was! Probably one of the top 5 of my life. Seriously, how spectacular is this?!:

What a wonderful getaway. No cell service, awesome waves and only a few hours from home. We are already itching to go back!

Tuna Pasta

Although the vines may not look like much, the tomatoes on them are oh so good! (I guess next year we need to right-size cages so the tomato plants are actually supported!)

With another dose of rain on the way we picked two huge bowls full of red goodness. One bowl turned into dinner, the other into sauce for the freezer. Cooking two different meals at the same time helps us streamline putting up food (a feat we are still figuring out) so that none of this harvest goes to waste.

This year our favorites were Old Germans and Milanos. We planted 15+ varieties and are going to plant more selectivly next year with just our favorites. Old Germans are a great heirloom slicing tomato with epic flavor. Perfect for tomato salad with feta or mozzarella. Milanos are a good Roma for sauce…much like San Marzanos but seem to do better up here in the PNW. Finally, Sun Sugars have become our favorite cherry variety.

Dinner was our favorite: tuna pasta. Sounds simple, is simple, but really far from ordinary. It is good any time of year with cherry tomatoes, but with a variety of fresh picked flavors and high quality tuna in olive oil, it is divine.IMG_7433[1]

Tuna Pasta

2-3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ yellow onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans tuna, packed in olive oil

Olive oil

Fistful of fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Stabby pasta of your choice (we like penne and rigatoni)

Fresh Romano or parmesan cheese

Hot pepper flakes (optional)

Preparation: In medium sized skillet, cook onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and oil from the tuna, and simmer until water is mostly evaporated and tomatoes are falling apart. Cook pasta separately in salted water. While pasta cooks, add tuna to tomato sauce and heat through. Tear basil into sauce, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta with ample cheese and hot pepper.

Fall is in the Air

I added another layer of blankets to my side of the bed. A headlamp is needed for flagging down the bus for the morning commute. Plus, our chickens are all in bed by 7…summer is quickly wrapping up.

Thank goodness the house painting is too. We are officially DONE with all the high up extension ladder parts (2 coats), and nearly done with a second coat on the rest as well. My back is thankful for that. Last weekend we went to the fair.

Matt picked up some odd jobs at the winery next door and we are making plans for what comes next, but right now, we feel ready for a break. A weekend surfing should be happening soon, then a weekend away to Port Townsend. We are ready for snuggling down for the fall.

IMG_7354[1]  IMG_7320[1] IMG_7298[1]

Summer Wrap Up: Labor Day

The air changed this week in Western WA. Rain returned (much much needed rain), the temperature dropped, and all of a sudden we are back in sweats in the evening. After months of dry and hot, this is a welcome relif. It was such a treat to stay indoors and cook and clean and just relax for snuggle down days listening to the rain.

Except for the fact that our house is not fully painted. Thank goodness for a dry Labor Day weekend! I swear, every year this extra day is nothing but labor on unfinsihed summer projects. The house has one coat on nearly everything, so this weekend was starting on the second coat. And let me tell you, the second coat goes WAY faster! Thank goodness!

IMG_6657[1]     IMG_7001[1]IMG_6969[1]

We did an emergency pre-rain harvest of  nearly 8 quarts of tomatoes. The Milanos this year did really well, and are now frozen in fresh sauce form for the winter. We have had a few excellent Old Germans as well. Next year we are planning to prioritize these two varieties in the garden.


In other farm news, our little flock of hens has been shuffled a bit. Belle, our oldest hen, had stopped laying and she was adpoted into a 1 hen flock as a companion bird. We took the opportunity to add a young Black Marans to keep our lady count at eight. Olive is very sweet but is getting picked on. Hopefully things will calm down when she is a bit bigger. The young hens are laying finally and so production is way up, 25 eggs last week!


With fall on the way we are in planning for the next round of projects and goals. This past weekend we played around with a new renovation idea for opening up our kitchen and think we arrived on the perfect solution! The goal is to get the large demo and repair done this winter, along with finishing out the basement bedroom, and slowly add in cabinets and tile and more expensive details later. Best part of the plan? No appliances or major utilities to move!


With all this hard work we are due for some fun. Next weekend we are off to the fair, followed by a surf trip with the second coat of paint is done. In october we are going back to Port Townsend for a weekend getaway (where we were married) and finally Kauai in November! Finally found some decent airfare and booked tickets! We cannot wait for some beach time!

For now, it is back to work and home projects. A final push and our little house exterior will be totally made over!

Anniversary Photo Shoot

A few months back, our friend and epic Spokane based photographer, Amber Glanville, inquired about meeting up for a photo shoot near Vantage, WA. A great opportunity to experiment with a super awesome (and out of the way) location, play with a mix of film and digital equipment, and capture some amazing golden hour summer light. We were in! It was the perfect way to commemorate our third anniversary.

Little did we know that the date we choose would be 107 degrees! We met Amber at the Vantage gas station and then spent 3+ hours driving around to shoot in 4 stunning locations. We had never been to Echo Basin or the Vantage campground, so it was a great opportunity to discover a place we cannot wait to revisit.

And the photos? They are stunning. Amber, thank your for these amazing memories.

fruge_anniversary_107 fruge_anniversary_117 fruge_anniversary_128 fruge_anniversary_133 fruge_anniversary_136 fruge_anniversary_137 fruge_anniversary_160 fruge_anniversary_002 fruge_anniversary_025 fruge_anniversary_040 fruge_anniversary_046 fruge_anniversary_054 fruge_anniversary_055 fruge_anniversary_057 fruge_anniversary_061 fruge_anniversary_091 fruge_anniversary_095 fruge_anniversary_096 fruge_anniversary_099


Yes, dear readers, it is happening! COLOR has appeared on our house! Painting the soffits white has been fun and all, but the real change came when Matt started with the teal yesterday!


It looks SO good! I feel very lucky to be married to a guy willing to take the patience to edge with an artist brush and make everything look super professional.


And just for fun: our garden.


Crowing Hour

IMG_6086[1]Dude (our rooster) used to start crowing at 4:30AM. It was my internal alert that the alarm was going off in a half hour. These days my alarm prompts me awake at 5, and I snooze twice before I hear our backyard buddy make his inaugural morning call.

The days are getting shorter.

Time to get going with this paint. (good news…scraping is done!)