Friday: meandering thoughts for catching up

Oh Friday, how I love thee.

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We had our last official final exam today. It was a mock board exam that the school requires you to take. The scary part is that if you don’t pass it, the school doesn’t let you take the national boards that you had paid $260 in order to take. I’m pretty sure that my score was good enough to be considered passing, but I sure wouldn’t call it stellar.

I take my national board exam in just over two weeks, June 28. I’m giving myself this full weekend off…and then it’s time to hit the books hard come Monday.

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I’ve been eyeballing this vegan coffee cake by Vegan YumYum for a while and finally decided to make it. After I mixed up the batter, I licked the spoon–tasty! It there’s one thing I enjoy about vegan cooking and baking is that there is a very very low chance of illness after taste-testing. (No eggs aka salmonella scare!) The only real problem I ran into was that my batter wasn’t as dough-like how the instructions said it would be; I then added a little bit of flour at a time until it became a little more thick.

apple pie coffee cake, pt.2

apple pie coffee cake, pt.4

apple pie coffee cake, pt.6

After serving it for dessert at dinner tonight with a friend, it was obvious that I over-baked it a bit more than I should have for our oven. Next time I’ll stick to the 80 minutes baking time after all. Also, one thing I would do different is to make less batter: the base of the coffee cake was pretty thick. Otherwise, not too shabby for a vegan delectable!

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Our gardens are still alive and doing well after all, thank goodness.

basil plantsliving flowers

fresh tomato...

Below, you’ll see Andrew digging up some Ash tree saplings that have escaped our notice and grown into sizable little trees. Now, I enjoy trees and love them, but not when they grow rightnext to houses, walls, etc–they’re just going to be a problem in the future. I’ve tried pulling them out before by hand, but they were too big for me to do anything other than strip all their leaves off.

ash tree saplings...

ash tree saplings...smooch

Hence, that’s what my husband is good for: getting rid of spiders, eating left over food, and uprooting unneeded saplings!

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I think our backyard is due for an update. A week and a half ago, I wouldn’t have thought that the ugly screen room that was poorly tacked onto the back of our house would be gone, that concrete would be poured for additional patio space, and that a new gate would be up and running for the backyard! Everything just moved so fast. I’ve been taking pictures of everything but haven’t had a chance to share any until now.

On Wednesday night, the rest of the room was pulled down. Scrap aluminum from the roof that all sorts of other junk that was part of the screen room was piled on the lawn. Also, the rebar for strengthening the concrete that will be poured over it was ready to go.

backyard mess, pt.6

backyard mess, pt.5

Early Friday morning, the concrete truck came with an awesome pump for bringing it all the way to the backyard. By noon, the concrete was done with being worked on.

new concrete, pt.2

new concrete, pt.3

new concrete, pt.4

The following Monday, Andrew decided to install the new gate that he and Arthur had made. If you were looking at it with a detailed eye, you’ll pick out quite a few things that aren’t quite perfect. Other than that, it’s excellent for a first-time try at building a rolling gate!

new gate, pt.2

new gate, pt.4new gate, pt.7

new gate, pt.9

new gate, pt.10

I wish I knew how Andrew wanted it to be put together, but I didn’t nor did I want the responsibility for drilling the correct holes, etc. In the end, I was stuck with holding the gate in place while he took care of the important steps. Each gate is really heavy. Sure, they were propped up on blocks mostly, but let’s just say that I got a slight workout from pushing myself against them to make sure they didn’t slip and fall forward or backward. Oh yeah, and got mildly sore for doing that. (Good grief, I need to start working out again…pathetic!)

Now it’s Friday again. The backyard is cleaned up and all the scraps are sitting out on the driveway waiting to be taken away for recycling.

backyard clean up

scraps

Phew!

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On that note, I’ll leave you with a picture of our dog running in our backyard with such a happy expression on her face:

evil laser-eyed dog

Okay, fine, a crazed look on her face.

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4 thoughts on “Friday: meandering thoughts for catching up

    • The cake is pretty good with some vanilla ice cream on the side, too… 🙂

      Thing has moved crazy fast in regards to home renovations here, but I’m really liking the gate! I’m glad things worked out.

  1. The Gate looks amazing!

    I love that you put plants in front of it. So cute! The yard is coming along!

    The cake looks a little bit like gluten or chicken… at first.

    • You’re right about the cake looking strange at first…that’s why I decided to only put one picture of it, ha.

      I’m proud of my hubby, what can I say? And really, the plants were sort of accidental but they work there for now.

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