I am not sending you a Christmas card.

Merry Christmas. I thought about sending out a card, but decided this would be better. Easier on the environment, better for my bank account, and easier for you to reply. I remember when people would send a letter updating our family about what has happened with their family. These days, we all know what is going on as soon as it happens. FacebookTwitterInstagram, and personal websites have made sure of that. If you missed any of those, click on them and you can be updated.

Here is a short recap of the year if you aren’t as addicted to the world wide web as I am. Last winter, I got a gyotaku kit and began the Japanese art of “fish rubbing”.

IMG_2561

The problem is I usually let my fish go after catching them, so I don’t get to practice much. I did fish quite a bit despite the cold temperatures and there being some decent snow on the ground.

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 11.17.27 AM

When the snow fell heavily, we went cross country skiing. Amanda got us skis for Christmas last year and we used them quite a bit.

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 2.14.21 PM

In the spring, we built a couple of fun things. One is an aquaponic set up inside a pallet. We found a used pallet, lined it with plastic pipes and ran a pump up the inside. The fish below poops and provides nutrients for the plants on the wall. I built the light to save money and energy.

photo 2

We also built a chicken coop. It looked great and would have been amazing if our landlord had not sold the house. This forced us to move and leave this amazing coop. Unfortunately, it was destroyed before the house was sold.

IMG_2841

We had an amazing summer this year. Months of warm temperatures and sunshine in then Northwest is apparently rare. We went to our first Seattle Sounders soccer match.

Screen shot 2013-08-29 at 3.27.59 PM

We caught dungeness and red rock crab.

Black tipped claws!

Black tipped claws!

We caught salmon and smoked them. In fact we will probably eat them during the holidays!

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.23.41 PM

The highlight of my summer was twofold. The first thing that happened is that I was accepted to nursing school. Yay! That was big news. For one last hurrah, we headed east. First Walla Walla, Washington for some wine, then onto Idaho for cutthroat trout fishing. We had some big hungry fish come play with us that left smiles on our faces for days. We hit hot springs and then moved on to Missoula, Montana.

photo 1 photo 2

For Amanda’s birthday we headed west. We hot the Washington coast and we razor clam digging. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and we even got some clams.

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 11.35.32 AM

After half a decade, I caught up with my cousin Hunter for a too short of a time. I feel like most of us cousins can stay in touch via Facebook, Instagram, etc. and it somehow brings us closer without seeing each other.

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 11.35.57 AM

Amanda is still working at Woodland Park Zoo and growing a successful dog running business.

Now, I am in nursing school and have very little time to do anything fun. I spend two days a week in school, two days a week at the VA hospital, and two days a week at work. Every other minutes seems to be spent studying. I am loving it though. It seems to be flying by and creeping along at the same time.

So from up here in Seattle, have a Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate. Thank you very much to everyone that helped make life possible this year.

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 5.26.40 AM

 

1300 miles in the Northwest.

 

Nursing school starts in a couple of weeks. (I am only mildly freaking out.) We needed one last vacation before things get serious. We packed up the car and headed East.

Lando and I enjoying tea at our campsite in Idaho. The Lochsa River was only steps from the tent.Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 9.30.48 AMAmanda slaying cutties in the rain.photo 2 We stopped in Walla Walla on the way. We heard the fruit is delectable.
Screen shot 2013-09-10 at 9.30.31 AM
Amanda even let me catch a couple of fish. This was one of my favorites. He took a Rory made fly after a long cast.photo 1There was more than just fish when we made it to Missoula.IMG_20130906_164301_052 Amanda with her humpy.IMG_2743