Friday, July 30, 2010

How could I just buy one cantaloupe, when they were buy one get one free?

People always ask me what I do with myself during the day. Since I have no job, they all assume I get bored. I don't. I do, however, spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning. And I'm okay with that. I'm pretty good at that.

Food is a big thing for me. Cooking food, eating food, feeding people food. When I don't make my own food, the orbit of the earth is knocked out from under me and I start to freak out. I generally do not like healthy food that restaurants make. I just don't. So 9 times out of 10, I don't even enjoy eating at a restaurant unless I order something that is bad for me.

Maybe I'm just a homebody or maybe I've been spoiled, but when it's just my family I'd rather eat in. I hate the feeling of paying for something I know I could make better at home, which is a large part of why I order foods I can't make myself. French fries! Mexican food! Onion rings! All things which require deep frying, something I won't even attempt to learn.

While we were moving from apartments, roadtripping, vacationing, hosting company... things got ugly. I had been doing well at losing weight, and then I started slipping. We ordered Chinese. We ate fast food. We used Sunday paper restaurant coupons. I gained back 12 pounds. No kidding you. 12 pounds.

That is a lot.

Since then, I've been back on track making my own food again and it feels good. I feel like I've accomplished something when I come home with a car full of groceries. In fact, I really really enjoy grocery shopping. I like clipping coupons. I like to compare labels. Today, my day was made for me because Cub Foods had our favorite pasta sauce on sale for $.89.  I spent a grand total of $99 today for the makings of 7 filling dinners plus formula and food for Oliver. If that doesn't give you a rush, what does?

Everything about the grocery store is a calming routine for me. I like rummaging through the sweet corn bins next to strangers. I like the old ladies who stop to smile at Oliver. I like grabbing gallons of milk out of the cold rooms and checking for the latest expiration date. I am a master grocery shopper when I need to be.

But anyway. Back to my main point. Once again, I've been putting the miles on the ol' steamer basket and once again I am losing weight. And it is good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To West Virginia, and back again. PART I.

We drove to West Virginia for our first vacation this summer. (And yes, I am just now getting to writing about it.) It was a long drive, but the Oliver was good. The first day is always the hardest.  Always. Because it seems like you still have forever to go, and no matter where we're heading it always seems that we must go through Chicago.

For those of you who've never done this before, take it from me. Driving through Chicago at any hour, on any day of the week, is not unlike shanking your way out of a prison fight. Using only a shard of a plastic lunch tray and some elastic from your underwear. In general population. At Pelican Bay. Oh, and also you're missing the use of your right arm and your peripheral vision.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Traffic in Chicago always takes on angry mob form; it is always going at least 20 mph over the speed limit in a construction zone; the GPS will always fail you right when you're supposed to make a crucial lane change to take the Indiana skyway.

FACT of LIFE. That's just how Chicago is. Take it from me. But aside from that, the first day's drive was beautiful and uneventful.

Day Two:

Oliver decided that he hated Ramada Inns, and that we should get up at 5AM to hit the road early. It was hard to get up at first, but once we hauled our butts into the car, we lookd on the bright side.

Jared: "Look! A Bright Side! We should be at our destination by 2 in the afternoon!"

Little did we know, we were setting ourselves up for grave disappointment.

Somewhere in the middle of hick country,  the gods of construction and crappy driving had a little pow wow and decided to close down like, um, the ONLY ROAD THAT EVER EXISTED IN KENTUCKY.

When we came upon the line of traffic, I looked at my gas gauge and realized... uh oh. We're almost on empty. I spent about 10 minutes waiting at a dead stop in traffic alternating between staring at the fuel gauge and looking up at the back of the semi stopped 2 feet in front of us.

With no progress under our belts, I made the bold decision to off road in the Rav4 and drive across the grassy median to turn around. It was probably the closest I'll ever come to driving Grave Digger, and I'll admit that part was a little fun.

We found a Sheetz station, (Ha! Sheetz! The gas station's name is Sheetz!) filled up our tank, and looked for alternate routes on the ol' TomTom. We were shocked to find that the only route listed that avoided the car wreck added FOUR HOURS onto our drive time.

The choice seemed easy: we'd get back on the road, wait out the traffic from the car wreck, and get to our destination in no time! Surely we couldn't waste more than 4 hours  trying to get through that spot, right?

What a stupid thing to think.

By the time we were all said and done with the merging, the detouring, and the trafficking, SIX HOURS WERE SUCKED OUT OF MY BRAIN.

To make matters worse, 8 hours later, we passed a wide load truck on a winding mountain road, and I said to Jared,

"Hey, Jared! Doesn't that truck look familiar?"

"Why yes, yes it does, my darling! Because 8 hours ago it was parked on the side of the road, waiting for the accident to be cleared, unable to take the detour due to its large girth."

Story. Of. My. Life.

As soon as we exited onto the detour, the road was cleared and that behemoth on wheels was able to continue its 70 mph journey east. We were stuck on a rustic backroad going 30mph, breaking for chickens at every turn int he road. True story.

HOWEVER. In an attempt to look on the bright side, I did snap some photos of the grand country estates. (See! Bright Side! I am all about the positive thinking these days!)

I would like to say that the detour was the extent of our roadtrip grief for that day, but I'd be lying to you. And I would never lie to you, would I? Surely not.

But alas, it is late and my finger bones grow weary. I will continue my story another time, and there will be pictures! Stay tuned for West Virginia Part II, Trouble in the Classhole of America. Until then, I leave you with this cliffhanger quiz:

Which of the following did we discover in West Virginia:
A.) A rusted out pickup with shotguns and not one, not two, but 4 hunting dogs barking and peeing in the back.
B.) A gas station attendant who, when asked if there were public restrooms replied, "We ain't got one of them."
C.) A chain of restaurants named Biscuit World advertising, "Want biscuit? We got lots."
D.) A dead polecat (AKA skunk) on the side of the road, being prodded by a barefoot child's stick.
E.) All of the above.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A day in our life.

Yesterday I wanted to check out the UMN Arboretum to see if it'd be a good place to have our wedding. So, we went.

My older sister came along with us and we made an afternoon of it. The weather was really crappy. At one point we had to go inside during tornado sirens, but the gardens were wonderful.

There was a weird stick house/sculpture that we took shelter from the rain in.

We went through a hedge maze, and sent Oliver crawling through this tunnel tube.

Then we all climbed through this tunnel tube.

After the hedge maze, we checked out the ornamental grasses. Oliver found this sedge in particular to be stunning.

And since one can only look at so much sedge, he took hung out in this pampas grouping for a bit of a rest.

After so many ornamental grasses, we were all tired and hungry so we went home, where a giant storm was also a-brewing.  I dug into the depths of my freezer o' plenty, pulled out the makings for a nice homemade meal, and threw them into the oven.

Funnel clouds were sighted at an intersection less than a mile away, so we decided we should get small boy out of bed and head downstairs. We listened to the radio in the car in our underground lot for five minutes until the storm was past us. My ficus was blown over and the trees were missing leaves and small branches, but when we came up we were just in time to pull this out of the oven:

It may not look fancy, but it tasted great. We put Oliver back in bed, put on our Netflix horror movie, and sat with the blinds open to watch the lightning.

What a good day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Too busy to write a full post, not motivated enough to clean.

We've gone swimming every day since we've been back except two.

Me and my BFF Jess, looking sexy as ever.

Happy summer, everybody.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm behind.

I'm a little behind.  Enjoy this adorable father-baby bonding photo to sooth your raging anger.

Two trips need to be written about, but the day we got back I was busy at doggie hospital and then my BFF came to stay with us for a while so... We've been too busy for you. Sorry.

Don't worry, nothing ground breaking has happened. We've just been hanging out.

Oliver has been having more accidents lately, due to a combination of our clumsiness and his inability to grasp the concept of gravity. He doesn't cry often, though. We do our best to ignore his minor falls so that he doesn't see us freak out. (If somebdoy does freak out, or even asks if he's okay... He will bawl. Even though he is unsure why.)

 Ignoring the falls works well, however I am concerned that he may grow to think that the correct response to somebody falling is:

"Uh Oh! How'd that happen?!"

followed by dancing mania and extreme giggles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You're missing the party here in Lincoln City.

Sometimes a person has too much fun on vacation. You know the what-happens-in-Vegas deal. The thing that is supposed to stay in Vegas is what happens. Not the people. The people leave, and their crazy hijinks stay behind. That's how it goes, right?

Well, not for this gal. We were having so much fun that we decided to stay. Subconsciously.

Because our flight left 12 hours ago, and let's just say we weren't on it. In fact, we were plugging away at a rousing game of You Blew It, and on our 4th or 5th round of SoBe.

Sometimes we just party so hearty that we knock ourselves out of the space time continuum.

Yeah. That's why we missed out flight. Space time continuum, I'm sure.