This post is going to be long, random, and picture heavy, so get ready. These are some things that have been going on in the last month! This first picture is of Sweet Cheeks Winery. My friends Olivia, Nina, and I went just before Memorial Day. It was beautiful. And you get to taste three of their most popular wines for free, which was nice because I'm not a wine person, and I got to try things without any risk of it being a waste of money. See, I'm very frugal which is the nice way of saying cheap, and to me, even $3 on a flight of wines I didn't like would be a waste, so I appreciated the free wine, and the view.
On Memorial Day, we adopted another cat! Joey is on the right posing with some dragon fruit, and our new cat is the big fluffy brown one on the left and her name is Buffy. First of all, it's a great cat name. Secondly, Paul and I spent all month finishing the last three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I had Buffy on the brain. Having two cats is awesome. We got Buffy from a shelter and they think she's about four. She was found in an industrial part of town, full of highways and concrete, and she was covered in mattes that the shelter had to shave off, so now she has funny bald patches all over her belly. She's has the loudest purr, big paws, and is very clumsy. After a few days of hissing, our cats have come to love, or at least tolerate each other. Joey is obsessed with her and follows her everywhere. Buffy even licked Joey's face when Joey was sleeping. I'm just going to stop here or else I'll write twelve more paragraphs about all the cute things they've done.
Paul, our friend Nina, and I all went strawberry picking at eight in the morning on the very blustery first day of June. We came back with about 17 pounds of strawberries. They filled up eight 64 ounce Nancy's yogurt containers, which we have a lot of because I go through plain yogurt like it's going out of style (I like it with a spoonful of peanut butter and a handful of homemade granola). The first thing we made with our plethora of berries was strawberry ice cream. Words can't do this ice cream justice. It has six ingredients: strawberries, condensed milk, heavy cream, a little sugar, salt, and vinegar. The salt and vinegar ended up making it taste extremely nostalgic. I don't know how to describe it. I've never had plain strawberry ice cream this good or this fresh, and I've never had strawberry ice cream from an old fashioned diner, but it tasted exactly the way I imagined fresh strawberry ice cream from a diner is supposed to taste.
In addition to wineries, cats, and strawberries, in the last month Paul graduated from college! It was kind of an intense weekend, but we survived! Even though we're now both graduated, the most recent thing we did was take a college class together. On the southern Oregon coast, there is an outpost of UO called OIMB, the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. We are taking a Biological Illustration class there. It's two weekends, and we just got back from the first one. We stayed in the dorms there, which are adorable. They feed you three homemade meals a day, at 7, 12, and 5:30, and they ring a big bell to let the whole campus know it's food time. I never went to overnight camp as a kid, but in my head, this is exactly what camp is like. We spent all weekend, from eight in the morning until the dinner bell doing biological illustrations, and then spent our free time at the beach, playing cornhole and watching the sunset. It was amazing and I can't wait to go back next weekend.
I figured I'd include some of the drawings I worked on over the weekend. All of the stuff I'm really proud of I already turned in, but these are some of the preparatory sketches. The top two sketches were done during our beach breaks we had once a day where we just walked to the beach and had 45 minutes to fill up a page. The bottom two are of vertebrae using two different shading techniques that we were working on. The final piece I did of the vertebrae was with pen and ink, which was very permanent and scary to do. The instructor, John Megahan (Google his work) was just awesome, and with a class of nine people, we got tons of individual attention. I feel like I improved so drastically in those sixteen hours of class. If you made it this far, congratulations, you just finished my longest post pretty much ever.