Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spin Cycle--Drive

The Spin Cycle this week is all about drive.  Drive in any form, drive to succeed, drive around the block, drive to distraction, drive.
My favorite kind of drive is the kind we take regularly when the walls of our lovely home begin to drive us up them.  We love to take road trips.  Short ones, long ones, loops, dirt roads, any kind of drive, as long as it's out of the city limits.
Our most recent one was our trip this last weekend to Cheyenne,about a 45 minutes away, with Nick's folks.  It was a fun day and we did find a dirt road to drive down on the way home.  Any drive is better if there is a dirt road involved.
A road stop, good for fresh air and food.

Stopping to look at the scenery is necessary.
Especially with scenery like this.

Not all drives are by car or truck.

Another road side stop.

Again, driving like this is good for the soul, and the adventure.

The kids love it too!

I kind of wish I was here right now.

Enjoying the scenery.

I love our "backyard".

Loaded up for another adventure--let's drive!
Of course not all our driving is done in a car, bicycles and four wheelers are standard modes of transportation too.
Our next big road trip will be in March for Spring break.  Really looking forward to that one.
Go see Gretchen for more drive spins.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WWTK is Back and We Had a Birthday

We Want to Know is back with brand new hosts and questions again.  Kensie adn Scriptor are the lovely ladies who are hosting this fun little meme now.  And here are the first questions they are asking:

  1. What is your biggest guilty pleasure? Chocolate--or maybe that's necessary.  Reading in the bathtub with a glass of wine.
  2. Do you actually keep your resolutions for the New Year?  I make promises to myself, less imposing than resolutions, but easier to keep.
  3. If you had to do one random act of kindness today, what would it be? I'm not sure, maybe helping someone do something they thought they couldn't?
  4. Do you have a bucket list, 101 in 1001 list, or any other list? If you do, what are some of your goals? I made a bucket list for 25 things to do before I turn 50. click the link to see some of my goals, a couple of which I've managed to accomplish already.
  5. Why do you love blogging? It's the connection to other people I enjoy.  I'm not so good at the face to face friend making, but really like blogging and meeting people and getting the face to face stuff out of the way.
And now on to the Birthday boy stuff.  Bruiser got up early and immediately remembered it was his birthday.  He said happy birthday to us, and we had to remind him that was what we say to him.  He got to open one present from a friend of mine.

then we had the grandparents over for dinner, cake and ice cream.  Oh, and most important to Bruiser, the presents.
He's four now.

The first gifts he got to open.
The next gift.

He got decorations and everything.

Opening the big present.
The workbench from Papa and Nana

He's a very happy four year old!
Since we couldn't arrange a party with other kids his age, we let him open presents all day long.  We did party hats and ice cream and cupcakes. He had a fabulous day.
I can hardly believe he's four now.  Wow have the last four year flown by.

Now go link up with Scriptor and Kensie for WWTK and let us know your answers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Random Tuesday

And the flu has come to our house.  Turbo is down.  Now to hope that Bruiser doesn't catch it. He really doesn't need the flu for his birthday.
On to the random:

  • Having sick kids stinks.  The first part where they do their lump on the couch imitation is no fun, but the point where they are well enough to feel good , but not well enough to go to school really sucks.
  • I need to bake again. We need cookies, brownies sound good, and I need to think about making zucchini bread.  Maybe chocolate zucchini cake. Yep, I need to bake.
  • Who's looking forward to the Superbowl?  I'm looking forward to snacking and hanging out with good friends. Oh, and the commercials.  Although the commercials the last few years have been less than interesting.
  • Bruiser turns four today.  He's very excited.  Mostly about presents. He also wants cupcakes. That may take some doing. Or at least a trip to the store. We have ice cream, but he wants cupcakes too, so...
  • We got snow yesterday.  About two inches.  It was enough to make it all white outside and to make is slippery, very slippery. I hope we get more snow, we desperately need it.  Or next summer will go up in smoke like the last one.
I think that about covers my random for this week.  Go see Stacy for more Random Thoughts.
And join up with Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, January 28, 2013

And That's How you do a Weekend

After last week, nothing was more welcome than the weekend.  And we made good use of it too. I conquered laundry, we got out of town, Nick went ice fishing, Turbo got to game out, I went out for a drink, it was a good weekend.
Friday evening we started the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  It was nice to just hang out with my guys and watch movies and eat popcorn.  We got through half of the Fellowship of the Rings.  And then we all dropped.
Saturday started out a bit too early for my liking, but insomnia is a cruel visitor. I got the grocery shopping done and then we loaded up the boys and picked up Nick's folks and headed out to Cheyenne.  Nick's dad likes to play the lotto and you have to go to Colorado and there is a place just south of Cheyenne where you can get tickets.
After getting tickets, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. It was Turbo's first trip there and he fell in love with the food we had there.  Our server was awesome and the food was very good. The company was pretty great too.

Saturday evening we got through more of the Lord of the Rings, all of Two Towers and the start of Return of the King.  I started laundry and we ate left overs from lunch.
Sunday morning, Nick got up and went ice fishing with a couple of friends--guy time.  I worked some more on the laundry and helped Turbo get more of the Lego Lord of the Rings game finished.  Bruiser had a tough day in the potty department, it's back to diapers for us as he's just not getting it.
By the time Nick got home around 1:30, I had about conquered the laundry.  He came home with a large german brown trout.  He was tickled to have caught a fish on this outing, as last week he didn't.

I'm not totally ready to face Monday, however it's here.  It did come with a bit of a break.  Turbo had a sore throat last night and it was not better this morning.  It looks like he will only miss one day, but it has given me a chance to clean the kitchen, vacuum, and clean the bathroom.  Not fun, but necessary.
The rest of the week will be busy too, birthdays, appointments, swimming lessons and next weekend Superbowl!  Time seems to be flashing by.  Are you ready for January to be over?

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Confess

After the week I've had, I'm oh so happy to see Friday.  No day is more appreciated. Now let's get teh confessing out of the way so we can enjoy the weekend.

  • We have not planned a birthday party for Bruiser   
  • His birthday is Tuesday.
  • We don't know but one kid his age, so we aren't really able to plan a party.
  • We will get him presents and have the grandparents over.
  • I just hope it's enough.
  • We'll do better next year, I hope.
  • It's laundry weekend again.
  • It's been getting all whiny.
  • I hate whiny laundry.
  • I've gotten good feedback on my talk. 
  • It was well received.
  • Now to keep from freaking out over the next talk I have to give.
  • How many will I have to give before I don't feel sick prior to the event?
  • More than I want to give I'm sure.
  • I am so ready for the weekend.
THe Friday Confession party has moved from Mamarazzi to Aubrey at High Heeled Love. Go check out her confessions and see what everyone else is confessing.  ANd if you feel like confessing, she'll love to have you join up.

 photo HighHeeledLove_zpsbbcc137c.jpg

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spin Cycle--Clean Up

The Spin Cycle topic this week is Clean.  This could go any of several directions. Clean house, clean up, clean mind, clean body, spring clean, clean.
For me, I think about clean and I think about cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, clean laundry, cleaning.  Not any of which I really like doing. Oh, I like the results but I dislike my having to be involved in the process.  I'm getting better at keeping up with the dishes and I have a two week system with the laundry.  The bathrooms get cleaned when they need it.  I really should put them on a system, but don't exactly feel it's urgent to do so.
One type of clean I do enjoy is the first shower after a camping trip. Nothing feels quite so good. I like taking long soaking baths, but those aren't for getting clean any more.  Those are for sanity.
There is talk of clean air and pollution.  We happen to live in an area that has next to no pollution, unless there's fires in the mountains.  Otherwise our air is clear, clean and generally very dry.  It's the dry tht gets us in the winter.  Lotion is flowing freely at our house.
Clean.  Not a thing in large supply with little boys.  Mud, dirt, sand, grubby boys.  It's a good day when they need a bath before bed, even if they had a bath the day before. I do enjoy snuggling up with a clean, nice smelling little boy post bath.
Now I get to start teaching Turbo and Bruiser to clean.  Turbo is almost tall enough to do dishes.  He's been keeping his room clean for almost a year now.  The hermit crabs help with that.  Not the actual cleaning, but he sort of got in the habit and I keep him up on it and it doesn't get really bad before he's cleaning it up again. Bruiser will be doing more soon.  If I can get him to cooperate.  He's got a very obstinate attitude.  Or he just plain stubborn.
This has been a sort of all over post.  Clean doesn't bring to mind much in the creative vibe for me. Clean is necessary, but not exactly glamorous.  Or even wildly interesting.  It's just clean.
Go see Gretchen for more clean posts.  Gee, that sounds like I was all dirty with my post.  Now that could have made for an interesting post. Not really, I'm not that brave.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Survived!

Well I made it through my talk.

I don't have to do it again until May.

My supervisor said I did fine.

I didn't throw up and I did't have a complete breakdown, so I'll take.

Thanks for all the good vibes and good wishes,  they helped tremendously.

Gulp--Today's the Day

Today is the day of the big talk.

Fingers crossed that it goes well.

Akk.  I hate public speaking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Random Tuesday Stuff

Monday is done.  It's one day closer to the Talk.  I know I'm going to do fine, but I'm still very nervous. Now on to the random:

  • I'm really tired of hearing I'm not happy, I want to do something cool, I'm hungry, That doesn't make me happy from Bruiser.  You'd think he was 15.  Sadly he's not even 4 yet.
  • Bruiser gets the goofy juice today so his tooth can be capped.  We shall see how it affects him.
  • I am looking forward to getting a bit of reading in while on my trip.
  • Have you noticed that Facebook is asking questions?  I keep getting 'How are you doing Vandy?' and  'What's going on, Vandy?'  It bothers me that Facebook is trying to be concerned or show "interest" in me.  I much preferred the 'What is your status?' question.
  • On the potty front, there's not been much forward action. We are in a holding pattern, quite literally.  I'm not sure he will ever get the whole thing figured out.  Oh, eventually we will, but it doesn't look good right now.  It like he was only going to the bathroom because Santa was coming and after the big guy's visit he decided that he didn't have to any more.  I'm about ready to give up.
  • Turbo has started swimming lessons again.  He's happy.  He also gets to sign up for an after school club again.  He did cooking last time.  This time he's thinking science, or maybe Computer Adventures.  They are run by the school and he really liked the cooking club stuff he did last session.
  • Why are little boy games so violent?  There's fighting, maiming, crashes, general mayhem.  Maybe it's just boys.
  • Turbo has really expressed a liking for science fiction. He liked the classic episodes of Star Trek we watched last week, he like The Matrix and Independence Day.  He has not really protested most Sci Fi stuff we've showed him.  
Send good thoughts my way tomorrow morning as that's when I have to give my talk in Dallas.  By lunch I'll be done with it. Hope your week is going well.  Go see Stacy for more random Tuesday Thoughts.
And also go see Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, January 21, 2013

Not Quite a Relaxing Weekend

So this last weekend was not exactly a relaxing one. I'm still a bit stressed about my talk.  OK, a lot stressed about my talk. It's sort of looming over me and I won't feel better until Wednesday at lunch.  It will all be over then.
Friday night was nice and quiet around our house.  We hung out and I tried not to think about the Talk. Bruiser tried to take me out by leaving a monster truck on the stairs. I stepped on it and my foot went out from under me.  It was the third step from the bottom and I had a hold of the railing, but I wrenched my right shoulder pretty good.  My right shoulder hates me right now.
Saturday both Nick and I got hit by a bout of insomnia and were up at an ungodly hour.  4:30am to be exact.  Nick painted more of the front room, and I zoned, but couldn't go back to sleep.  I napped later, but before that we grocery shopped.  I then took the boys for haircuts.  They went form Shaggy impersonators to cute little boys again.

Saturday evening we had dinner and games with friends and it was a lot of fun.  Uno Attack, Slam, and Taboo were up and we had a great time with them all.
Sunday, Nick went ice fishing with friends and I stayed home with the boys.  The Talk is always looming over me right now so I was up early and stressed all day. My shoulder hurts and I'm not really thrilled with anything right now.
We have today off, but are still sending Bruiser to the sitter, we paid for it we might as well use it.  We plan on taking Turbo swimming, and then I might make cookies.  I've got to leave them with something while I'm gone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Time to Confess

And it's Friday.  One day closer to the presentation I have to give. But the week is over and it's a long weekend here. Have to admit, I am looking forward to that. And with that admission, on to the confessions:

  • I'm really nervous about the trip to Texas.
  • And the presentation.
  • Mostly the presentation.
  • It's going to end up being shorter than my allotted time.
  • We are taking Bruiser to the developmental preschool.
  • There are some concerns about his speech.
  • He talks but doesn't say L sounds.
  • Some of his speech is still a bit hard to understand.
  • So we are going to get some help for him.
  • Not exactly the news you want to hear about your little boy.
  • He also goes over to the pediatric dentist to have a tooth capped on Tuesday.
  • And Turbo gets to go see an orthodontist next month.
  • It all seems to be coming at us right now.
  • I'm quite the Debbie Downer today.
  • But hey, long weekend!
  • That's always nice.
So, what do you need to confess?  Write it up, and link up with Aubrey.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spin Cycle--Bring on Winter

Gretchen thinks we are far enough into winter to have something to say about it.  We have been in winter since early December, but had snow in October.  Winter comes early to these parts and stays late.

I don't mind it mostly, as long as it looks white outside. I do like snow and snowy days.  When it looks like winter out, it's easier to deal with freezing temps.
I'm not a huge fan of ice, but then I don't know many who are.  We have plenty of ice around here, conveniently hidden under a layer of snow. You have to be careful walking, because the snow/ice combo will  put you on your butt faster than slipping on a banana peal.  And the snow/ice combo is a lot easier to find right now.
We did have very cold temps Monday morning, like -21F.  My car didn't want to start that morning.  Nick's truck started. I can't say I like it that cold.  I, however, don't like it when we get unseasonably warm in January either.  It's wrong to have 50 degree weather here in January and February.  20s and 30s during the day is average.  Single digits and teens at night.  Totally normal.
I really want it to snow again, but as January is a dry month usually, I'm not sure we will get another snow storm before February rolls around.  I don't want it to snow next week, since I have to travel.  Or if it does snow it needs to do it Tuesday.  Doesn't look promising right now.
We enjoy winter activities, provided there is enough snow to go do them, mainly cross country skiing, but sledding and snowman building are high on the list.

When you live where we do, if you don't go out during the winter, cabin fever will really mess you up.  So we started both boys early with outdoor stuff in the winter.  Next winter, provided we get enough snow, both boys will be in cross country skis. Then it will be a family affair to head for the hills.
Do you like winter?  What to do you to combat cabin fever?
Go see Gretchen for more winter spins.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Recipes?

In an effort to expand our culinary outlook, I made a promise to try new recipes this year.  These don't need to necessarily be dinner recipes, snack and lunch recipes count.  Expanding my lunch options would be a great idea.
I thought a way to keep myself accountable would be to blog about what I make.  I'm not turning this into a food blog, but I want to share what we've done.  Everyone can use tried and true recipes.

I got Alton Brown's third Good Eats book for Christmas.  After reading it I wanted to try the roasted chick pea recipe that made a crunchy snack. My first attempt was tasty but I didn't soak the chick peas long enough so they were more rock hard than crunchy.
I tried again and after soaking them overnight, they roasted up quite nicely and are oh so tasty and compared to store bought snacks, lower in salt and preservatives. They are a hit with every one in the house and I find myself grabbing a handful when I head through the kitchen.
Not bad for a first try.
Monday night I made my first ever meatloaf.  I've cooked meatloaf before, but my mom had assembled them and I kept them in the freezer until such time as I wanted to cook them.  I had never made one myself.  It turned out really good.  Even Bruiser had seconds of the meatloaf.  No pictures, because, really, meatloaf doesn't look all that great in the pan and it was gone before I could take a picture.
I used breadcrumbs and eggs and milk and it was moist and tasty.  Next time I'm mixing antelope with beef to make it--cuts down on the fat.  Definitely one that will be repeated.
I do want to try to do this a couple times a month--share new recipes we've made.  This will help me continue expanding our food horizons.
What have you made that's new?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Randoming It Up

So we survived the very cold temps here on Monday.  The day started off at -21F.  Quite frankly, that's way too cold. We warmed up to a balmy -1F by 3pm.  With any luck today will be much warmer.  On to the random:

  • Does anyone out there really get this Minecraft game?  Turbo loves it, but it makes me sort of stabby when he plays it.  It looks basically pointless.  Any explanation would be appreciated.
  • I won the laundry game this week.  Well, almost.  The towels still need folding, but I got everything else washed, folded and put away.  That counts as a win.  The only household chore I hate more than the laundry is cleaning the bathrooms.  I get that joy soon enough, we need to repaint the upstairs bathroom and do a bit of finish work in there. 
  • I'm still stressed about the talk I have to give next week.  Next Wednesday night will be so much nicer--the talk will be over.  My supervisor is really helping walk me through creating the presentation, and he will help me with it as much as he can, but I still hate giving talks.  At least the group will be smallish. 
  • I will be gone for three days next week.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I leave Tuesday.  All the way to Dallas, then back home.  Two nights in a hotel.  It will be interesting to be the one away from home instead of Nick.
  • I made my first meatloaf last night.  I've cooked ones my mom assembled, but never made one of my own. This one turned out quite tasty.  I think the next one will have some antelope in it.
  • Bruiser really wants to play video games just like Turbo does. He's not quite got the skills yet.  It's not really easy to find simple games that he can play.  
  • Bruiser turns 4 in about two weeks.  4.  Exactly where has the time gone?
  • With any luck Brusier is moving forward on the potty front again.  He is so five steps back three steps forward, then another three steps forward and five steps back.  Making progress is so slow.
  • Both boys need haircuts.  Bruiser wants one, but Turbo is thinking about letting his grow some.  At least right now he wants it to grow.  Give him a week and he'll want a buzz cut again. 
 So there you have it. Random Tuesday thoughts.  Go see Stacy for more.
 And join Shawn and Impulsive for Talk To Us Tuesday.
Seriously Shawn

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snuggling In

This last weekend was all about staying warm and avoiding cabin fever.  With the weather handing us below zero temps at night and hardly out of the single digits during the day, outdoor activities were not really an option.
We had snow on Friday, not much but enough to make everything very slippery. We got kids home and we got a fire going and had roast chicken for dinner.  Chicken is always a hit at our house.  Then we snuggled up in front of the wood stove and watched silly movies.  Spaceballs and Airplane.  Sometimes you just need goofy movies.

Saturday, the boys went to Papa and Nana's house.  Nick and I got teh grocery shopping done and came home and had quiet adult time in the house.  We repotted some plants, cleaned the kitchen and living room, vacuumed, and got dinner in the crock pot.  We had good friends (who happen to be family) over for dinner and Turbo got to have a sleep over with his cousin.  We hung out, watched some football, and enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches.
Sunday was a slow start.  It was very cold outside and we all sort of settled into comfies.  Turbo played video games, I finished the laundry, Nick kept the fire going.  We watched a movie with his folks in the afternoon, then continued watching movies and sort of cobbled together dinner.

It was a very slow sort of weekend, not too fast, enjoyable.  Weekends like this don't come around all that often. Most seem too rushed.  But this one was nice.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Time to Confess

Friday is here.  This means it's time to confess.  Here we go:

  • I'm really happy it's Friday.
  • It's been a long, strange week.
  • It's snowing today.
  • I'm kind of happy about that.
  • Wine is good.
  • I was oh so happy to see my hubby home last night.  
  • In no small part because he came home bearing wine.
  • It's going to get Cold here.  
  • Like 9 degrees F for a high.
  • I really do enjoy Big Bang Theory.
  • I'm really over the whole potty training thing.
  • Bruiser has peeing down, but the rest of it...
  • ...nope, not happening.
  • I don't know what else to do.
  • I'm about ready to give up.
  • I'm so ready to sleep in tomorrow.
  • Of course I get the pleasure, dubious though it is, of doing laundry this weekend.
  • I'll try not to have too much fun.
  • You want to be me, don't you?
Go link up with Audrey, she's subbing in for Mamarazzi right now.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spin Cycle--Color Me...

The Spin Cycle Topic this week is color.  Any take on color you want. 
I was watching a rerun of Big Bang Theory the other day and they got to talking about colors and feelings. Raj showed up at Sheldon's apartment and said he felt blue.  Sheldon asked him why he was sad and Raj answered he wasn't so sad as lonely.  Sheldon stated he didn't know what color lonely was. Raj asked what he meant, and Sheldon explained (in his usual condescending  manner) that blue was sad, yellow was scared, red was angry and green was envious.  Lonely didn't have a color. After some discussion, they decided that lonely was orange. 
This got me thinking about colors and feelings and the colors I don't care for.  I'm not a fan of orange and yellow.  They are not colors I look good in, and they are not colors that make me feel good. Yellow is supposed to be a happy, cheery color, especially for kitchens.  Not a fan.  I like yellow when it's with other colors, but it can't take center stage for me.
As for orange--I like the darker more terra cotta colors and the occasional peach color, but it just doesn't do much for me.
Now my favorite colors are green and purple.  Green especially.  So much so that I was going through my sweater collection this fall and found that I had like 9 sweaters in varying shades of green.  I cleared out a few of them.  But when I got a new sweater before Christmas, it was another green sweater.
I like purple too. There is an healthy amount of purple in my shirt collection.  But then I think I look good in both green and purple.  You gravitate toward the colors that draw you.  On the other hand I have next to no yellow and nothing orange in my wardrobe.  What I have of yellow was given to me--I didn't pick it out.

So what is your favorite color? What is your least favorite color? Do you find your favorite color dominates your wardrobe?  It sure does mine.
If you want to join in the Spin Cycle fun, write it up, and then let Gretchen know and she will link you up.
Second Blooming


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