photography

My Favorite Photos From July

Boy, I did nothing exciting this month. So here’s a bunch of cat pictures.

  1. Tau decided I should be done with work, and communicated this by invading my space.
  2. Tau loves flowers, plants, etc. These are fake, but he’s decided to try them out anyway. He had knocked the vase over repeatedly so I was holding it on my lap, but that didn’t stop him.
  3. He’s super helpful when working on a puzzle, too. Loves to hold down the completed bits and also keeps the free pieces warm.
  1. Living his best life, Tau relaxes on the back porch.
  2. My dad bough Tau this little toy stuffed with catnip and he is obsessed.
  3. We have a bunny visitor super frequently. Sometimes it’s in the neighbor’s yard, but he’s always around.
  1. Gooses!
  2. Different angle on the gooses! They were using our backyard as a path from one pond to another. They’ve also used our front yard to get around. One is limping and it bums us out.
  3. We thought Tau would be freaked out by the geese, but he was unbothered.
Cooking

Sarah & Shane (Try to) Smoke Some Ribs

Disclaimer: This is not a recipe, this is a story about our weekend shenanigans. Just want to put that out there.

This past weekend, Shane and I decided that the St. Louis pork ribs in the freezer should no longer be in the freezer, and should be eaten instead. We recently bought a grill/smoker combo, so we figured we’d try out the smoker function for the first time. There was a trip to the grocery store (masked and with liberal use of hand sanitizer, of course) for a couple extra racks of ribs and wood chips.

Then the business began – we opened and rinsed the ribs, dried them off, then added the rub. While all this is going on, Shane set up the fire in the smoker. It was almost ready when the rain began. We sat on the back porch for a few minutes waiting for what we assumed was a summer shower but then it just got worse. So much worse. It became a rain going sideways, full-on creek in the backyard, impossible to see through storm. There was much steam off the smoker, and much grumbling from Shane.

So, change of plans. The ribs got wrapped up in what still seems like an excessive amount of aluminum foil and put into the oven on low heat. When I say that the house smelled delicious a couple hours in, I mean it. It was mouthwatering. They hung out in there for about 4 hours.

By the time we were ready to pull the ribs out of the oven, the weather had cleared up enough to fire up the smoker again and finish them in there. We had 4 racks of ribs and had one with just apple cider vinegar and the rub, one with a mustard based sauce, one with Stubbs Sweet Heat (I’m a sucker for anything Sweet Heat), and then one with my favorite bbq sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s. We usually make our own barbecue sauces (well, Shane does. I don’t.), but there is no shame in the store bought stuff.

After we smoked them for a bit and basted a couple times it was on. Shane said he was “truly impressed with the amount of ribs [I] ate.”, so you know it was a success. It was a bummer that we weren’t able to spend a summer afternoon just hanging out drinking hard lemonade and White Claws, but the ribs were worth it in the end. Also, it was almost 100F outside, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a loss.

I put the pictures up above – they were truly delicious.

Holidays

Happy 4th of July!!!

Well, tomorrow.

Look, there’s some shit going on in America right now. We haven’t made it anywhere close to the ideals the Founding Fathers had in mind, which is disappointing since it’s been 200something years. I mean, it’s better – widespread slavery isn’t a thing, women and minorities get to vote, and so forth – but we have a lot of work to do. Inequality is sort of our thing at the moment.

Still, I like being American. I think we could take lessons from a lot of other countries, but I think we have potential. If we can get out of this shit show.

Either way – I’m going to go grill something meaty and drink an adult beverage and celebrate that we began our journey to freedom on this day so long ago. So there’s that.

Sarah

Life & Family

Huntington Beach State Park

Last weekend Shane and I went to Huntington Beach State Park, which has a beach (obviously) but also an amazing marsh. I’ve never really gotten into hiking or other super physical activities, but I can spend hours wandering the park retracing my steps over and over. While I’ll probably never be a bird person (I’m scared of them), I really enjoy taking their pictures – I need a longer range lens, though.

Enjoy a few pictures I managed to snap while getting horribly sunburnt!

My sunburn has gotten to the point it’s unbearably itchy and yet it hurts to scratch, so I’m doing *just fine*. I always forget that my incredibly pale skin needs sunscreen a lot more often than Shane’s darker skin. An odd note – I have a birthmark that has no reaction to the sun and so it’s a patch of stark milky white skin in a sea of sunburn on my stomach.