Monday, October 12, 2009

To Grandma's House We Went

Two weekends ago Damien and I went up to my grandma's house in Bountiful to spend the weekend with her. While we were up there we got to help her pick nuts off her walnut trees. If you don't know how walnuts grow or how to get them to the form we usually see at the grocery store than you would find it quite interesting. I never would have known if it weren't for my grandma.

Walnuts grow on large trees as green spheres. When ripe, the green outer fleshy shell has to dry and crack off or you have to peel it off. If the green shell gets moist inside before it falls off then the green shell turns a dark brown and becomes very moist. The oils from this will stain your fingers a brown color so sometimes you have to wear gloves when handling them. Once you get the green shell off then you are left with the hard brown shelled walnut like you see at the grocery store. You have to crack the brown shell off and pull the nut out to let it dry. When you pull the nut out it is still very moist and pliable and not ready to eat. Once the nuts are dried they are ready to eat or freeze for later use. I absolutely love the fresh walnuts from my grandma's trees! Damien and I helped pull nuts out of shells while Grandma cracked the shells open for us. And of course she sent us with a bag full of them. I absolutely love the walnuts from Grandma's trees!

Another funny thing happened that weekend too. We took our laundry to my grandma's as well and Damien decided he wanted to be helpful so he went inside and switched a load from the washer to the dryer and put a new load in the washer. I came downstairs a bit latter and Damien said, "I need to show you something." He walked me over to the washer and lifted the lid. I looked in and all I could see was pink. He had thrown our red rug into the washer with our towels and a pair of his underwear. The rug had never been washed before so the red dye turned everything a pink color. I just laughed. It was nice of Damien to try and help!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 1

Yesterday, October 1, was Damien's 25th birthday! He had a very enjoyable birthday, but the best part was the surprise I pulled on him.

Weeks before his birthday, Rita emailed me to get some gift ideas for Damien because he was refusing to send her any. He said he didn't need any birthday gifts because they are flying us out to visit for Thanksgiving. So I sent her a few a list of things he wanted. We continued our secret emails back and forth. She order a few gifts and had them sent to the house. As most of you know, we live above our landlords' garage and so we use the same address as them. This worked out wonderfully because I had them put all packages that came to the house in a closet inside their back door. That way Damien had no idea that I was having all of the gifts held back!

One day Damien came to get me from school to go to yoga and informed me that Rita had given him Mexican Train for his birthday. One of the packages slipped through and was set out on the back bench when Damien got home from school. And of course he opened it minutes after getting home. He asked me how his mom knew that he wanted Mexican Train. I had to lie and pretend like I didn't know anything about it.

All of the rest of the packages were held though and so the few days before his birthday I went and got the gifts from the closet and hid them in our apartment. The morning of his birthday he woke up and went and got in the shower. He thought I was still asleep, but I jumped out of bed and took all of the boxes out of their hiding places and had them all set up on the table. When he came out of the bathroom he was so surprised to see all of these gifts waiting for him. He had a huge smile on his face! The days before his birthday he was sad nothing came in the mail for him because he thought everyone had forgotten his birthday. Little did he know I was being sneaky and hiding them so he couldn't open them before his birthday!

Damien and I will continue his birthday celebration with sushi tonight for dinner (while I enjoy some teriyaki chicken or something a little more normal) and next weekend we are going rock climbing at the Quarry.