Monday, August 22, 2011

RMNP - Bloopers

Here are some of the not-so-picturesque, amusing and silly pictures from the RMNP trip.
The big kids.....and Miss Mouse snuck in.

A lady elk holding up traffic in the park. Get out of the road, lady!

Ice cream maker!!

Sitting in the grass, checking out rocks and relaxing in Russell, KS. (Can you spot the person with just one leg?)

Emily with all the kiddos and the Jayhawk in KS. (M was NOT ready for her close up)

My hiking buddies and me showing off our muscles at Nymph Lake.

S'MORES!!!

Yep..my boyfriend's a tree-hugger.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

RMNP

Two weeks ago I was camping under the stars in Rocky Mountain National Park...

Our campsite (Yes, that's Long's Peak in the distance)

Boyfriend, his family and I took 1.5 days to caravan to Colorado and because we took our time, it was nice to not be rushed and just enjoy the journey. We arrived in the park late Sunday afternoon, set up camp, ate some grub and passed out. Monday we took our time getting up, eating breakfast and just adjusting to the mountains and outdoors. Later, a small group of us hiked up to Bear Lake and Nymph Lake, and I went on my own to Alberta Falls. B-e-a-utiful! These hikes seemed pretty easy and gave me the confidence to try a harder and higher elevation hike the next day...
Nymph Lake - my favorite!

So the boyfriend and I took to Trail Ridge Road, went all around the sharp turns which made my stomach flip, and eventually made it to Milner's Pass along the Continental Divide. At about 11,000 feet elevation, I began to wish that I had trained, even just a little before the trip for hiking. I sucked down water from my camel pack and prayed I didn't pass out along the trail. After telling myself many times "We're almost at the tree line" and many mosquito bites later, we reached the top of the tree line. Wheeeew! It was cold up there and we continued to get bit by mosquitoes (which we later learned is a hot topic among the locals), but getting to the top of the tree line was worth it. Reaching the summit was not really a goal of mine, or boyfriend's, especially after the hike to that point being rougher than anticipated, so we found some rocks, had some lunch with a spectacular view, and headed down the mountain.

Which way should I go?

Our stop at the top of the tree line on Milner's Pass

After the hike, we headed to Estes Park for dinner and walked around to some of the shops. Then went back to camp and had fresh made ice cream! Freshly made ice cream during camping, you ask? OH yes. Emily and family brought their ice cream making ball from REI and so perplexed by the idea, we decided to test it out. So you put in sugar, vanilla and cream into a cylinder in the middle of the ball and in the surrounding parts of the ball you ice and rock salt to cool and freeze the contents. Then you close it all up and vigorously shake the ball - it took us about 30-ish minutes for the concoction to turn into real ice cream! It was awesome!! What a great end to a camping trip.

Last night in the park; just beautiful.

Sadly, the next day boyfriend and I had to fly home because we only have so much vacation time at our jobs (btw, this was my first paid vacation!! wooo hooo!!), but the rest of his family stayed for a few more days. We headed out of RMNP and met up with some friends for lunch and dinner and then flew home.

Now I'm already trying to figure out when I can go back and I'm trying real hard to keep my rambling feet still. Hopefully there will be more mountains in my future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

This weekend FLEW by! Helped a friend move to a new place, visited the Stokes and helped bury a drain pipe, and saw Captain America (good action flick, but I was disappointed with the ending)! Despite all the activities, I'm looking forward to vacation!!
In two weeks, I'll be here:

Hello Mother Nature! I'm on my way!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Less Than Ordinary Day

Today started off like any other day.

Work up, got ready for work, got in the car...and then I smelt something ghastly. Like trash, so I cleaned out the old potato chip bags and all the half filled cups of sports drinks and water and hurrily got them out of the car and headed to work. I thought the problem was solved.

WRONG.

When I got back in my car for my lunch break, the smell was 10 times more horrendous than this morning. I gagged. Finally, I shuffled around somethings in the back seat and lo and behold! The culprit:

3 pounds of (previously frozen) meat that had thawed and bled into the carpet of my car. Apparently boyfriend and I forgot about it on the backseat floor on Saturday with the busy-ness and excitement of our musical this weekend. But after 2 days of rotting in the heat, I am sad to say I'm not excited about cleaning this sucker up. I think I'm going to have to look into getting a smaller vehicle so I can't forget things in my car (this has been happening all too much lately, just not with food).

On top of the stinky car, I happened to forget that the board of directors were going to be in the office this week starting today. And I'm not a shabby dresser, but I'm definitely not a fashionista when it comes to work clothing, but I decided to be a little extra casual for a Monday and rock the flip flops (clean, sparkly flip flops, not the Kinos), only to remember upon my arrival that I should have tried to dress a little bit nicer. Eeek.

And one final note, when I walked in the door at home before getting ready to clean out my stanky car, I noticed that one of the 4 animals living in the house had left a present on the mat in the kitchen. Blah.

Had these things happened on a day when I was not in such high spirits or was busy busy busy and stressed, this would have been disastrous. Some how, I've managed to just keep moving along, and though it was a day that was much less than ordinary, it was not a bad day.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pool Time!

So we got a pool. Saturday it was awfully hot and boyfriend I finally had enough, so we went to Walmart and got ourselves a pool. We filled the pool, started grilling, set a sprinkler and relaxed (until the mosquitoes came out and practically ate me alive...)


The boys enjoying the Cookout/swimming pool/beer/sprinkle combo

Elphie was not excited about the pool


We also got Elphie to join in on the pool fun, sans the doggie life vest. She was not a fan of swimming with the life vest in the river, nor was she a fan of our awesome pool. But as you can clearly see in the below video, she's fantastic at the doggie paddle in AND out of water, so I don't know why she doesn't like swimming.

video

For 20 bucks, we've gotten everything we've expected out of the pool. Life is good my friends.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sweet Summertime

Yes, it's been a while...but I've been enjoying my summer!

Flying kites...


...Swimming...

...Camping...


...Slip N Sliding...


...enjoying our new pool (pictures to come later!)...

Generally, the summer has been busy and fun! I spent last weekend in Nashville, tech week for the musical starts tomorrow, and 40-hour work weeks really eat up my time! But once the show is over I'll have more time to enjoy the pool, I'll be getting a much overdue hair cut, and will be going on vacation (AND GETTING PAID FOR IT!! yaaay!).

Happy summer everyone :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello, Goodbye May!

Life has been...busy. To say the least, therefore, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to dedicate to blogging. I've had a quite a few projects at work to complete, my birthday came and went (yay lower insurance rates!), and made a trip to the OH-IO for my BFF's wedding, and now it's magically Memorial Day Weekend....time sure does fly!

For my birthday, I had a pretty typical day, most of which was spent working - ah, adulthood. How I've never looked forward to you! But, I got a cake and card at work, and came home to a house filled with balloons!!! (My boyfriend is brilliant, btw). Not only were there balloons scattered through the house, we tied balloons to the animals collars and got to watch as they meandered around the house. Now this may not seem fun or entertaining to most, but boyfriend and I took much amusement from watching balloons move on their own throughout the house. We then later went to Steak & Sirloin, for some yummy food. The food was pretty good (I had a tasty ribeye, while boyfriend enjoyed the chicken alfredo), but the staff was a little creepy. The waiter didn't come to our table for about 15 minutes after we sat down, and in the mean time, the hostess and manager both came over to the table offering drinks and just generally hovered over our table. Once we received our food, everyone left us alone and we devoured a delicious meal!

Celebrating my birthday, Sides family style!

My actual birthday, with some of my balloons!


Then 2 days after my birthday, Elphie and I road tripped to Ohio for Christen's wedding! It was a very busy time, but wonderful to be there for Christen leading up to and during the ceremony. Though there were a few minor hiccups over the weekend (boyfriend missed his flight, schedule coordination issues, the groom was fighting off a cold, and a bridesmaid's dress didn't get picked up and we didn't find this out until a few hours before the wedding), everything turned out well, the wedding was wonderful and Christen made a beautiful bride!

Christen & I at her bachelorette party!

The ceremony!

It weather was pretty warm that day, and as you can see, Christen & I were quite hot in our dresses.

In my rare downtime, I've been reading Water for Elephants, which has been a great read thus far. Once completed, I hope to see the movie, but when purchasing the book I was told by the Borders cashier "It's not as good as the book". Um, duh. That's usually how it works.
Hopefully, I can get another knitting project going once complete with the book. I have yet to finish the socks I was trying to knit, but I've also got play practices starting soon, so hopefully I can knock those socks out then!

Have a safe and peaceful Memorial Day weekend!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mid-April Roundup

I haven't gotten to update since my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.
Work has been busy busy busy and overwhelming recently. Last week, I was all alone in the office for three days, and don't forget, I've only been working there for 2 months...TWO. I had to answer all the phone calls, enter orders (mine AND everyone else's orders) and try to take care of customers...all of the customer. Eek. It was a rough three days, and this week I have not only been catching up, but had quite a few projects thrown onto my pile of things to do. And no, I'm not complaining - I love it when my day flies by! It's just exhausting and I don't want to look at a computer screen when I get home, hence the lack of blogging recently.
Anyway, April has flown by quickly, and thankfully, I have a 3-day weekend to look forward to starting tomorrow evening :)
I have not gotten to finish knitting my sock yet :( I have not gotten to walk Elphie nearly as much as I've wanted to (stupid weather!). I HAVE planted some flowers for the front porch, but the temp dropped last night, so I don't know if they'll make it through the weekend :( I hope to have more excitement to write about next time....but for now, I'm going to quit looking at my computer, snuggle up with boyfriend, and enjoy the rest of my evening!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

KT and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day

Today....sucked.

Morning traffic wasn't too bad, but someone almost clipped my car just a few miles away from work. At first, I worried that it was a bad omen for the start of the day, but I shrugged it off. I should have known better.

At the office, a program we have should, in theory, work pretty well, but it doesn't and I deal with it ALL. DAY. LONG. Annnd I'm still the new kid, so sometimes I don't know if its my stupidity messing something up, or the stupid program. Generally, I need to ask someone, but I'm tired of being the new kid with millions of questions. I would like to work one day where I don't annoy someone with my questions that everyone else knows but me. After 8 hours of built up frustration, I headed home but....I got stuck in traffic, adding more frustration! I did a lot of loud sighing, yelling, and shaking of my steering wheel and decided that if I didn't go for a run, I would literally implode.

I grabbed my sneakers, got the dog on the leash, and headed out for a run. Elphie decided to run directly beneath each of my steps, my headphones wouldn't stay in my ears and apparently the running shirt I was wearing had shrunk, revealing my stomach conveniently whenever I ran past neighbors. Grrrreat. Elphie continued to run under my feet so I had to keep slowing down or jumping around her while I was running and trying to pull my shirt down. Then Elphie had to make an extended stop for a potty break....except she couldn't really get the job done. (Don't read the rest of this paragraph if you have a weak stomach or are grossed out by poop stories. Otherwise, get over it.) Elphie stopped for a number two, but it got stuck on her fur and I thought "If she runs, surely it will fall right off!" so I start running again but 3 step into it (also in the middle of the road), she decided that running wasn't going to get the poop off her fur...and just sat down...did I mention this was in the middle of the road? After much coaxing and pulling on her leash, we finally made it safely to the sidewalk. She shook off the stubborn poo and suddenly, somebody got the squirts - and it wasn't me. Thank God no neighbors were around. After the bodily functions were complete, we still had a bit to go, so we started running again and for 2 seconds it was great! Yes! Finally air in my lungs! Deep Breaths! and suddenly...OUCH! Sharp pain in my right lung! Eek! Excruciating pain in my left shoulder! Dear Lord - will this run ever end?!
Finally, I gave up and said, "F this run, I'm walking home".

Today was NOT my day.
In fact, today was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sock it to me baby!

Ok, what is with the weather? This weekend was beautiful and in the 80's - hello walks in the park in shorts and a tank top! I even set out a nice spring wardrobe but when I woke up...IT WAS RAINING AND IN THE 40's!

Boo hiss.

On the bright side, there was a rocking thunderstorm last night! And after wearing black and grey to work today and watching tv under blankets and a hoodie, I forced myself to pick up knitting needles and make something.

I began knitting....a nose warmer!!


APRIL FOOLS!

It is the toe of a sock. That's right, I FINALLY picked up my needles and started making a sock - from the toe up! The beginning was rather frustrating and small, but I pushed through and now have the beginning of a sock!

I'll keep you posted on its progress :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snowy, Lazy Day

It decided to continue snowing today...there's already an inch accumulated and we'll probably get another inch by the end of the day (by the way, it's March 26th! wtf?)

Boyfriend and I had a glutenous breakfast including tater tots covered in cheese, bacon and eggs (not the wine - it was just to fancy up the picture).

We slipped into food comas while we watched a few hours of "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares", and with all the snowfall, it was hard to get motivated to get up off the couch...

As the food coma started to wear off, all I could think about was a heart attack and clogged arteries...thankfully we have a BOWFLEX to work off all those calories (thanks Maria and Curt)! So I spent some time getting to know the Bowflex and how keep myself toned (below: practicing my warrior face; a very important aspect of using the Bowflex).


We have also found another use for the Bowflex: it can be used as a cat toy! The video is sideways, but you can see how we got the big man-cat to work out too!

video

Now that I am (mostly) guilt free about my breakfast; I've got some organizing to do and then I'll getting my rollerskating on! Stay warm out there!

Friday, March 25, 2011

March Break Down

Signs of getting old #20: I can only find time and energy on Friday nights and Sunday mornings to blog.

This granny has had a pretty busy month, thus far, with only 6 more days until April!! I would also like to point out that today, the 7th day before April, there was snow on the ground. Now I could understand if I lived near mountains, but I'm in the middle of the country. It's suppose to be in the 60's, not the low 30's with semi-accumulating snow! I guess the farmer's almanac was right (Sign #21 of getting old - I know what the Farmer's Almanac says about the weather).

March break down:
My car got broken into...during Mardi Gras, which happened to be a very cold, windy day. Yuck.
So here's what happened: Taxi'ing downtown would have taken hours, so I offered my awesome 7-passenger vehicle to drive myself and friends downtown to the parade. We parked in an open and free lot in a part of downtown that was ok, but had a steady stream of people around (or so we thought). We walked around in the bitter cold and amused ourselves by catching beads from the floats in the parade, I met up with a friend from college and walked around the city a bit, but after a few hours decided I could no longer take the biting wind underneath my 7 - yes, SEVEN- layers. The group reconvened and we decided to head home, stop at a pub on the way back for grub then finish the afternoon with some peaceful napping. As we walked back to my car, we noticed a car had been broken into so I said, as I begin approaching my car (and I quote), "I'm glad I have a crappy car cause no one wants to break into it." I stopped DEAD IN MY TRACKS because my passenger window had been broken in - glass shattered throughout my car; the glove box and center counsel rummaged through. While choking down bitter, humble pie I lost any and all words. I said nothing as I stared at my car for a good 5 minutes - not a thought in my head or a word to speak... Finally, my brain turned back on and remembered to call my insurance company while my friends called the cops - I held back anger and tears as I realized nothing was stolen so I needed to be grateful, but was honestly disappointed that I wasn't going get food or warmth for quite a bit longer. After chatting with the fuzz, my friends cleaned up the car, and FINALLY we headed home. At this point I was numb - physically and mentally. I don't think I'll be attending Mardi Gras next year.

St. Patty's Day, however, was a beautiful 80-some degrees and blissfully warm; if I didn't have work I would have been outside all day. Because I need to ear and pay bills, I headed down to Dogtown after work to hang out with friends to enjoy a holiday of my ancestors!

Christen's bridal shower was earlier this month and seemed to go well - it was a smaller event but it was a fun time had by all! Now I have to get to speech writing and bachelorette party planning! BTW - Props to all the Maids of Honor who plan showers with ice sculptures and all that fancy stuff and to brides who plan their own weddings - coordinating that much for hundreds of people while enjoying the process must be a difficult balance.

I also attended my 2nd ever Blues hockey game this month! Boyfriend and I went with some of my co-workers, got great seats and had a blast kicking some "Canadien" ass! BTW - Cardinal's opening day is March 31st!!!! I am SO excited for baseball season :) I'll have to go to more games during the spring to avoid the disgusting heat and humidity of summer baseballs games. GO CARDS!

And now...I crochet!...Kind of. I can start a chain, and begin to make rows, but I still mess up a LOT, but that's what I get for teaching myself. I started crocheting because I FINALLY finished knitting a scarf I started last summer and decided it was time to try something new. Unfortunately, I'm rediscovering more knitting projects I haven't finished as I'm going through all my belongings during my moving process so I might have to go back to knitting until I get my half blanket, partial bikini, and headless mouse finished.

I will say that I am looking forward to warmer, April weather with the hopes of hiking and/or fishing if weather permits, some Cards games and more consistent walks with my dog. Maybe I'll read a good book too.

Until next time, my friends!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Real life?

It's been a loonnng week.
New training at work...all week long. AND it continues into Wednesday of next week.
I went to the Blues game last night and we kicked the "Canadiens" butt!

...Now I'm tired.

It's 9:34pm on a Friday night and I just want to sleep.
I've got an early flight to catch in the morning so I don't even get to sleep in.
Boyfriend and I started watching a movie as we ate dinner...after an hour and half, he's already out like a light.
I'll be lucky to finish a glass of wine before I'm out for the count as well.

Is this real life?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Round Up

Wow, it's March 1 already?
Where does the time go?

I figured that since February was such a short, yet eventful month, I'd do a little recap.

I started my big girl job and 3 weeks later am STILL liking it. The time flies by, I'm always learning something new and now, I'm even starting tog et the hang of things! It's like I'm a capable college graduate, or something.

I also got my first big girl paycheck! And there was much rejoicing!

I attended TWO performances of KTK's cabaret show this year. Very talented performers and though I wish I could have been in the show, I'm glad everything worked out with job. Maybe next year, KTK!

I started running! Yay...but now I need to keep up with it and I hope the hectic-ness of the upcoming month doesn't get in the way!

I've watched a ridiculous amount of cake and cupcake shows, and eaten my fair share of cupcakes as well! I look forward to baking and cooking more in the next few months :)

I finally finished knitting a scarf I started way back last summer. Now if only I could get myself to finish the blanket I start TWO summers ago...

That's about all for the Month of February. Lots of work and fun, but looking forward, March is going to be hella busy! There's a huge project going on at work that I'm involved in, Mardi Gras, St. Patty's Day, Christen's Bridal Shower, and moving (and packing somewhere in between the craziness)!

Until next time my friends!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow Surfing

About 2 weeks ago, when the weather was in the 70's, Elphie and I took a nice long walk around the neighborhood and she was in heaven. The weather was warm, there was still snow, and she was able to snow surf! Snow surfing is much like her carpet surfing, where she starts with her nose on the snow or carpet and uses it to glide on the surface and then continues to glide her entire body. The best possible way to describe this action was surfing, so I went with it. Here is a glimpse of her snow surfing:

video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Promised...

I never found the USB cord for my camera and I needed some quicker shopping gratification than what Amazon.com could offer, so I headed on down to Micro Center and got myself a reader for my memory card!

And as promised, here's a visual of my Valentine Day surprise :)

The bear's name is Jonas and I've had to control myself from nom'ing all the chocolates in one sitting. I am one lucky girl :o)

True Life: I'm Addicted to Carbs.

Hello. My name is KG, and I'm addicted to carbohydrates.
I...need them and I CRAVE them. All. The. Time.
I force myself to eat fruits and veggies, grains and dairy, but its just not the same as my carbs. And I won't even begin to talk about starches - that's a whole different blog post.
It's not like it's a problem for me. In fact, I very much enjoy cooking and consuming my precious carbs, specifically in pasta form. Although, I can't help but wonder if most 5'5", 130-ish pound, young females also slam down two plates like this in one sitting?


That's totally normal, right? ....Right?

I tell people I have a hollow leg, but that hasn't always been the case. College was when the carbs actually became a problem. Slowly, but surely I packed on the Freshman 15 times 2 (literally) in the form of a spare tire and no muscle definition in my legs. Yuck.
But I didn't care. I knew I needed to exercise to balance my 'Carb Intake' to 'Energy Burned' ratio. So I worked out, but not regularly. I fluctuated one the scale and with my routine, meanwhile the carbs were always there for me before and after a nice hardy work out.

Since college, I've thinned out to my healthy, normal self and with my working two jobs for quite some time, I had no problem immediately burning off everything immediately following consumption.
But now, I have a real job where I sit at my desk most of the day, so I wonder if the food I'm eating will start metabolizing like a "normal" person. But with a real job, comes a real paycheck! (hoooray!) So I can finally enroll in a workout class. But not yet...not until that nice paycheck rolls my way so I've got to stay active some how.

And just how you may ask?
I'm getting back into running.
Gross.
I ran Track and Cross Country in Jr. High and loved it (probably because I was encouraged to eat pasta 24/7) but once I hit high school, I lost interest. Eight years later when I graduated college, I tried getting back into it but I would always get a sharp pain in my shoulder blade area that made it hard to breathe when I ran, so I thought "F that". From then on, I LOATHED running and only did so after feeling "fat" from a week of eating hamburgers every night or when bikini season rolled around.
Surprisingly, though, once I started receiving massages, the pain began subsiding. I'm not absolutely pain free in my shoulder when I run now, but it has improved immensely. And now that the shoulder pain is less, the weather is getting warmer and my dog is getting better at making me feel guilty for being gone all day, I have no choice but to run, with the promise to myself of limitless pasta. But ONLY on the condition that I workout at least 3 days out of the week.I'm managing and balancing my addiction with a forced exercise and an attempt at a balanced diet. But I will never stop loving my carbs.

True Life: I, KG, am addicted to carbohydrates.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope all is well and wanted to wish you a happy Valentine's Day :)

I was going to upload a picture of the adorable gift boyfriend got me for Valentine's Day, but my camera chord is no where to be found so I guess I'll have to show you another time.
But it's late now and if I don't go to sleep before 11pm, I'll turn into a pumpkin!

Have a love-filled and joyous remainder of your holiday!

Love, ME

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Hell of a Weekend.

Let's start with...

FRIDAY:
Boyfriend had the day off so we watched a lot of TV, ran some errands and made a fantastic dinner. In order to make our delish meal, we made a stop at the Wal-Mart to grab some steaks and a portable grill (ONLY $25!! and it works like a charm!) along with some veggies. Wal-Mart was packed, more-so than normal, but we figured this was due to a week of STL being snowed in. So didn't think much of it, went home, assembled the grill, and cooked away! After grilling and devouring, I made some cupcakes!

The box of cake mix turned out to be angel food mix (confetti, of course). I accepted the challenge and baked away. Making angel food cake/cupcakes is not a task I've ever done before, so I wasn't expecting perfection on the first try. I whipped up the batter, which was surprisingly fluffy and light (and definitely not as tasty as regular cake batter), filled the cupcake pan and popped them in the oven. They baked quickly - almost too quickly - and some of the bottoms burned (eek!), but all-in-all, they were not too shabby for a first time angel food baker, but I made so many that I couldn't possibly eat them by myself, so I took some with me to Jeff City on...

SATURDAY:
I woke up to see MORE SNOW falling. Last time I checked, the radar did not indicate snow for Saturday. This wasn't just an inch. It was at least 3 inches and more falling at 7:30 in the morning!

Never fear - 4 wheel drive did not delay boyfriend and me from getting to the train station on time. We hopped on the Amtrak and headed to Jeff City to visit the Stokes clan and welcome their newest addition: Elizabeth!

The train ride was beautiful and relaxing. Once we got to Jeff City, we grabbed some grub at Daisy Delight (and old school dairy queen-like place), and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.
[The ketchup at Daisy Delight was exceptional]

I did get a call from Amtrak letting me know that they switched the train number we'd be on, but I didn't think much of it at the time. After making our own pizzas for dinner, we headed back to the train station to head home. Or so we thought.

We arrived to the station, but there was no Amtrak train. Just a cargo train sitting on the tracks - not moving at all. After talking with the volunteers manning the station, we realize that we won't be getting on a train at all. A cargo train derailed just east of Jefferson City and they were still cleaning up the mess. Meaning, no train :( We were told that a bus would be taking us back to STL, but they had NO idea when the bus would be arriving. So we waited....and waited....and waited. Finally, a bus arrived! But it wasn't our bus. It was a bus taking passengers to Kansas City. Shit. So once again we waited....and waited...and waited. After 3 hours of chit-chatting with other people waiting in the station, playing Oregon Trail, and staring at the floor, our bus arrived!!!! Hooray! It was a shaky old charter bus (the kind we used to take on school trips) but the ride took FOREVER and to top it all off, I was motion sick, on this shaky charter on the back roads on Missouri. Awesome. We had to stop in Herman and Washington, for other passengers so it took 3 hours to get back to our train station.

It wasn't in a terrible experience. It was more of a trying experience. A very long day with much time spent in a train station or on a bus - it can make anyone crabby. So when we got home, I start climbing out of the car and bashed the back of my head on the door frame. Don't ask me how I did it, cause I still don't know, but I decided that I was done with Saturday. I had some hot tea and passed out.

SUNDAY:
Today has been much better. My head still hurts a little, but I've got some Tylenol and some time to take a nap later. I've also got a Superbowl party to attend this evening and I'm going to a try an awesome Spinach and Artichoke dip recipe to bring with me :) And then I'll be getting some great shut-eye for my first day at my new job tomorrow. Hooray for Sundays!
Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Confessions

Happy February everyone! I can't believe we're starting month TWO of the new year. Before I start my confessions, I must say that January and the new year have brought quite a few changes my way!
Drum roll please......


I GOT A REAL JOB! YAAAAAY!!!

No more working two crummy jobs, no more tight rations during the month to make sure I make through, no more abnormal work hours. Yes friends, I have a REAL job. An 8-5, one hour lunch, competitive salary, excellent benefits, use of my wonderful degree job, and I am SO excited to start! I start on Monday and last Friday my receptionist job told me they found a replacement for my position so I didn't have to work this week. EVEN BETTER! A week relaxcation the week before I start a real job and getting "snowed in" so I forced to sit around and watch tv and play with Elphie in the snow? Yes, please! This could not have worked out more perfectly :) Thank you to everyone who was pulling for me and talking to the big guy upstairs. I am eternally greatful!


And now, the confessions:

1) I don't why, but the winter months make me want to bake, all the time. I have more brownies than I can eat, I made bread last night and I can't stop thinking about making and eating delicious cupcakes. I also made some killer chili Monday night - perfect meal during the freezing rain and fantastic left overs on a snow day. Winter makes me want to bake and eat ALL THE TIME.

2) To go along with the food making, I love watching cake shows. Love it. I just finished watching Cupcake Wars, I watch Cake Boss, and there are probably 4 other baking/cooking shows on the DVR right now that I need to watch. With all this time on my hands, I have no choice but to catch up on these wonderful shows.

3) Something about the winter time makes me want to cut my bangs shorter. Perhaps its an instinct to keep my big forehead warm? Or I'm just really stylish and don't realize it. But when I can't fight the urge and pull out the scissors, I regret it once March rolls around and the weather warms up.

Ze bangs

4) I'm going to teach myself to crochet this year. I really enjoy knitting, but my hands are starting to hurt and I hear crocheting is much quicker. I'll give it a shot this year and if I hate it, I can always go back to knitting, or I can just double dip!

5) Missourians make me laugh. "It's too hot", "it's too cold", "BLIZZARD WARNING". They can never make up their minds about the weather and if more than 6 inches of snow fall at once, they issue a blizzard warning. Really guys? Now, I'll back off a little bit because we did get freezing rain for a good part of the day and night with a light dusting of snow in a 24 hour period, followed by a blizzard warning for 6-12 inches the very next day. But as usual, the blizzard never came - just snow! Most businesses shut down Tuesday and Wednesday due to weather, and it was nice to not hear a lot of traffic. And for those of us with 4 wheel drive, getting around the Lou was no problem. Donuts were done in various parking lots, discovered Dunkin Donuts is open 24/7 even in "blizzard-like conditions", and learned that Lowe's has $18 portable grills in case the power and/or gas went out from all the ice.
My car, after the "blizzard"

Frozen tree limb with berries

6) Yes, I have been terrible at blogging this year, thus far. I'm hoping to update more often now that the craziness of January is done.

Happy February, my friends!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Self Portraits

Happy first blog post of 2011!! I'll post something more heartfelt once I have more time to sit down and write/think...but for now, some comedy.

I own a Mac, and I LOVE it. Love it, Love it, LOVE IT and it was worth every single over-priced penny! And one of my favorite features about my mac is the built-in camera! Being far from home for so long, this handy-dandy built-in camera made Skype very easy and made being away from loved ones a little bit easier. You may wonder, "What other use does the built-in camera have if you don't use Skype?" My friends, welcome to the wonderful world of self-portraits! Mac has a program called PhotoBooth which allows you to not only take pictures of yourself, but also gives you the option to take black & white photos, sepia photos, and can even make your pictures look like the art in comic books! And what else do I think to do when I'm bored and have my laptop sitting in front of me? Keep updated on current events? Email a friend or family member I haven't talked to in a while? Upload those pictures from last year to Facebook? NOPE. I find my dog and take self-portraits with my fabulous built-in camera. And while waiting for a text message about my plans for this evening, I tired from Facebook and deleting old emails so I tried to take some pictures of me and Elphie.

Now try to understand that taking self-portraits with Elphie, especially using the computer, is a hot mess. Dog hair in my mouth, wet nose marks on my computer, paw in my windpipe kind of hot mess. Elphie will hop up on the couch and lean up against me, and based on my current attire and the kind of hair day it is, I sometimes think that this pose will be a cute picture. W-r-o-n-g. The very second I click on PhotoBooth, she squirms. Her paws are now in my hips and my free arm is poorly attempting to restrain her from moving so that I might be able to capture the moment if she would just sit back down. Let me take you on a photo tour of my PhotoBooth collection.

This was in the very early stages of experimenting with computer/human/animal self-portraits. A once-cute picture of Elphie laying on my stomach was ruined by her *sudden* urge to stand on my stomach, leaving me without air and baffled, as you can clearly see in Exhibit A.
Exhibit A

Throughout the bordem, I tried to think of clever ways to snag a good shot of the two of us. Here in Exhibit B, Elphie looks adorable, but I look...well...bored. Any viewer can also easily count the wrinkles in my forehead in my feeble attempt to get in the same shot with the dog.
Exhibit B

Now here, in Exhibit C, I have gotten a little smarter and realized that if I want her to sit still in a shot, then I need to partially restrain her. Somehow, I got her interested enough in the computer for her to actually look and stay, but me? I've got a shit-eating grin on my face because I think I finally won. It wasn't until after I let her go, that I realized half my head was chopped off and the underwear on the wall in my apartment (a long story for another time) is visible. This is not a picture I can send home to dad. Elphie: 3 Me: 0.
Exhibit C

I WIN!...for the most part. In Exhibit D, Elphie is immobile, my entire face is in the picture, and it could have only been better if she was looking at the computer. Finally! (And the peasants rejoice!)
Exhibit D

But, as you can see from this evening's picture, Exhibit E, the battle for a good self-portrait is ongoing and chaotic.
Exhibit E

Here's to a New Year full of good pictures of my pup and me.