Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's Special: July 26-Aug. 1st

Sunday: My birthday dinner! Mom made me crockpot roastbeef with mashed potatoes and gravy and steamed garden veggies. She also made these rolls. Annie made me an Eclair Cake... delicious! Oh, and lest I seem ungrateful, Dad supplied me with some Dr. Pepper. :)

Monday: Linguine with Pesto Sauce (yes, the stuff in a jar)

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff

Wednesday: Tex Mex Pasta Casserole This was really good, especially because I used the new cast iron skillet Heidi & Paul gave me to make it!

Thursday: I ate some leftovers from yesterday and forgot to make something for Seth tomorrow so he's going to have to eat some frozen burritos or pick up some Subways. I'm a terrible wife. He's probably going to beat me.

Friday: Southwest Chicken Black Bean Soup This is a new recipe. I accidentally opened a can of crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes the other day making the Tex Mex casserole so I gotta use it up!

Saturday: Steaks with Potato Salad and Fruit & Cream Layered Salad


I was almost shocked at myself the other day when I realized I'd never done a post about nicknames. More specifically the nicknames my sisters and I had as kids. Which isn't to say that those nicknames aren't in use today, because they are.

Dad was the nickname giver in our house. I think that's the case in a lot of families. Maybe it's because the moms are the ones that usually pick out the real names, so the dads feel like they need to put in their two cents. In any case, it seems ironic that a child is rarely called by his real name... the one that was agonized over and had great thought put into it... he's usually called some silly endearing name that gets picked up on a whim or circumstance. Unless he's in big trouble.

We all had nicknames growing up, but for some reason, Corinne's nickname didn't stick as well. Her name was 'Oobie-Doo' (pronounced like Scoobie Doo). Don't ask where any of these names came from. I'm not sure anyone really knows other than they jumped out of the mind of my dad somehow. I think Corinne stopped being called Oobie-Doo early on, maybe around the time she was 8 years old.

Annie and I are still called by our nicknames to this day, at least by my dad. And he's pretty much the only one who can get away with it. It's just creepy and/or weird if anyone else does it. Our nicknames have progressed a little through the years as is often the case. Annie started out as 'Budsly'. You may notice she uses this as her blogger moniker and as part of her email address. She was most often called 'Buds' for short. I've heard my dad call her Budsly P. Muldoonskie. It's the long version of her name. But that's nothing compared to my name...

Mrs. B.T. Boofus McDoodle III. That's it. That's my full nickname. I went by Boofus for a little while. My dad tells a story of a time he was in the grocery store with me and said "Hey Boofus, get over here!" and some lady looked at him with a horrified expression on her face. It could be worse. Look at all those celebrities and the dumb names they give their kids. At least Boofus is relatively easy to spell.

After Boofus, I was usually called 'Boof' or 'Boofy'. Today I mainly get Boof. 'Boofy' is a little too childish. Don't you think? 'Boof' is definitely more sophisticated and practically screams 'success' and 'power.' But only when my dad says it. So don't get any ideas.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Finally Did It!

Today I finally ran 3.2 miles without stopping. Yes my friends, that's 5k. I did it. In 31 minutes 17 seconds no less. I'd say that's pretty damn good. Although, I would suggest not running on garbage day. It was a little smelly out there. And the goats were back in the field on the corner of Church St. and Antelope Dr. I'm pretty sure I heard them cheering me on.

As a somewhat related side-note... have you ever tried smiling while you're working out? There's this girl named Tawyna on my stability ball workout. She wears her hair in braids and has a toothy smile the whole time. I decided to try it once. I felt ridiculous. It's just not natural.

Then I Wake Up & Realize it Was All Just a Bad Dream

It is approximately 10 miles from my desk at work to the cafeteria... give or take a couple miles. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. In fact I enjoy a leisurely stroll every now and then to stretch my legs and get a glass of water.

There's one part of the path to the cafeteria that can be a bit awkward for a socially inept person like me. After making a couple short turns to get out of my little office area, I'm faced with a very long hallway. Not just any hallway. This hallway reminds me of the ones they show in horror movies... you know what I mean... some disheveled girl is limping down a long corridor lined with closed doors and as she runs the hallway just gets longer and longer while some crazy lunatic is at her heels trying to chop her up with an axe. Yeah, this hallway is just like that. Except worse.

Because almost every time I walk down this hallway, there is one single person walking towards me. Once this person is about 40 yards away, they're close enough to make eye contact. Do I have to maintain eye contact this whole distance? If I look away or look down, do I come off as snobbish? At what point do I smile? 20 yards? 5 feet? Do I hold the smile the whole time? The situation is escalated if it's someone I know, which is about 50% of the time. When is it appropriate to say 'hi'? I've had people say hi to me when they're oh, a good 25 yards out. Isn't that a little extreme? You can hold an entire 10 minute conversation just as you're passing!

There's probably at least a good 30% or more of you reading this that are wondering why I would ever even worry about such a thing. You're the percent of the population that would be deemed an "extrovert." You never give a second thought to these situations because they just come naturally to you. I, on the other hand, am an extremely introverted person. I worry about these things. I'm the kind of person that dreads talking on the phone, even to my own family members because I'm sure I won't have enough things to talk about and will come off as boring or disinterested. Welcome to my world. The world of a girl who is almost 30 years old and doesn't know how to walk past people in a hallway or talk on the phone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Gigantic Birthday Celebration

Guess who's super cute and just turned 29!? ME! You wouldn't believe the huge birthday party I had. Even P. Diddy or some other really famous person would be incredibly jealous. The entire extended Hanson family came together in Huntington Canyon for a weekend of birthday celebration and camping all for me!!

Ok. So maybe it was the Hanson Family Reunion. And maybe it just happened to fall on my birthday weekend. But I still count it as a birthday party. I mean, we were camping and fishing all weekend... what could be better than that?

The festivities actually started on Thursday, but Seth wasn't able to get that much time off, so we went down Friday instead. I still took Thursday off because I have a policy that I don't work on my birthday. Oh, and I didn't run either. In fact I lounged around all day long and tied flies.

We got to the Old Folks Flat campground in the afternoon, at about which time it started raining. It rained on and off for the rest of the day but luckily we were able to get our tent set up during one of the breaks. The Loel and Kathy Hanson family was in charge of dinner that night so we cooked up some sloppy joes. Unfortunately most of the pictures I took over the weekend were during that dinner, but at least I took some.

Seth supervising Marty's sloppy joe delivery.

Collette supervising Marty's sloppy joe delivery (you really gotta watch this guy!)

Tim in line for some food

Ashley and Megan
(and another guy that I can't remember his name but he looks like Hal Holbrook )

The next day Seth and I got up pretty early and tried out the fishing situation on the Huntington River. I've always been told that the fishing is best early in the morning, but in my experience it never is. I think it's an old wives' tale.

This is a picture from when I meditated on a rock in the middle of the river & watched mayflies.

Early morning fishing

The rest of the day on Saturday was spent fishing. First we went to Mammoth Lake (aka Huntington Reservoir) which wasn't too good, so we went up to Miller's Flat Reservoir and spent the rest of the afternoon there. The fishing was slow, but we ended up catching a few Rainbows with some gold spoons in the late afternoon. That night we went to Cleveland Reservoir and tried our hand at fly fishing. Marty even gave Arielle a lesson in casting. She looked pretty good!

Cleveland Reservoir didn't work out so well, so most of us decided to go over to Miller's Flat again to see if the fishing was any better. We caught a bunch of really small 3-4" Rainbows and a handful of pan fryers before it got dark.

Arielle with her hand-crafted leather headband and t-shirt.

Mama Hanson & Seth in deep conversation. Or talking about how much they like the choice of a pink bandana for our family.

Calysta & Arielle eating some food

Cute Collette... spotted me stealing a picture!

Marty Jr. toasting himself on the big bonfire.

Daddy Hanson

The next morning everybody packed up and headed home. Seth and I stopped once more to fish on the Huntington River and caught a few Browns. On our way back to Layton we stopped at Cabelas and Seth finally got a new pair of Simms chestwaders. He's pretty excited to try them out. They look pretty fancy. I bought a pair of women's Simms chestwaders too but haven't gotten them yet (it's a long very sad story... stupid UPS and stupid neighbors who steal stuff...)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Words

This week I'm supposed to run for 20-30 minutes straight. Don't know how I'm gonna manage that. I'm probably gonna die. It was nice knowing you all. I'd like to be buried holding my fly rod and please sprinkle some Grape Nuts around the casket to keep the insects away as long as possible. Throw in a can of Dr. Pepper too just in case I get lost on my way to the afterlife and get thirsty. I'll try to write.

Heinz 57

Last weekend Seth and I got to go fishing with some friends of ours. Ramona and her boyfriend, Gabe invited us to go with them up to Washington Lake in the Uintas. We were actually just in that area a couple weeks ago for our backpacking trip, so we were excited to get to go back so soon.

Our fishing route

I called this post Heinz 57 because that's what Seth and I have taken to calling lakes that have a lot of different kinds of fish. Washington Lake was definitely a Heinz 57. I ended up catching Rainbows, Brookies, Tiger trout, and Grayling and there were also some albino Rainbows in there as well. It was pretty cool.

Seth and I mainly used flies including: Royal Wulff, Madame X and beetles. The beetle was definitely the super fly of the day. It's what I hooked the Grayling on (my first Grayling ever!). Ramona and Gabe used what we call "the Bling," which is a gold or silver Jake's spin-a-lure with red dots.

We ended up hiking to a couple other lakes and catching a few more fish, but none of them were as good as Washington. Seth and I even hiked up to Rock Lake and Azure Lake hoping to find some bigger fish, but to no avail. All we found was a giant boulder field and mosquitoes. At least there weren't any salamanders.

My biggest fish of the day, a Tiger trout... who proceeded to break off the line with my last Madame X.

Seth showed me his amazing fly casting skills and caught this little guy at least 20 yards out.

Seth with an albino Rainbow at Washington Lake

We took a break and grilled up some hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch before heading back out. Ramona was the designated griller.

Ramona and Gabe

Gabe's brother, Darren with the spoils. I think this was Shadow Lake.

Boulder field around Rock Lake (aptly named)

Azure Lake... there were a few mosquitoes...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's Special: July 19th-25th

I've been pretty lazy and haven't done very well with the meal planning these last couple weeks. I blame it on the running. In case you're interested, these were two new recipes I made that turned out pretty good, especially the pasta: Spaghetti with Creamy Spinach and Tarragon and Bestest Hamburger Soup

Sunday: Quick and Easy Chicken Enchiladas (Seth wanted to learn how to make these and even HE said they were easy... I also gave him a pressure cooker lesson as a bonus!)

Monday: Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille Jambalaya This is good but very spicy... if you've got kids to feed, you may want to use summer sausage or something instead of the andouille... it's got a bit of a kick to it!

Tuesday: Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce (I make my gyros with Greek pitas, souvlaki from Sniders Family Meats, tomatoes, red onions, & feta cheese)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Mediterranean Turkey Wraps (deli turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, cucumbers wrapped up in a tortilla)

Friday: Probably hot dogs and Mountain Dew

Saturday: Sloppy Joes (somebody else will be making these, but when I make sloppy joes, I use this recipe)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cyber Nerd

So I'd been hearing this phrase "etsy shop" thrown around quite a bit during the last couple months and to tell you the truth I had no idea what it was. I figured it was some new slang all the cool kids were using for a boutique or something. My curiosity finally got the best of me so yesterday I did the most cliche thing I could possibly do to find out what it was. I Googled it. Which ultimately led me to read about it on Wikipedia. Sigh.

If any of you are as clueless as I am and still don't know what an etsy shop is, I'll make your life easy. Here's the link to it on Wikipedia. Enjoy.

p.s. The people that started it are geniuses. I'm almost scared to browse... but somehow, I must...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well I Guess We Might as Well Watch the Fireworks

So this is the last installment of me and Seth's anniversary week extravaganza...

After we left Lava Hot Springs, we headed up to Idaho Falls to stay at Seth's parents' house for a couple days. We originally planned to go camp up by Bear Creek so we could do some fishing, but our dedicated camping vehicle was acting strange, so we thought it best not to tempt fate.

The good news is Seth's parents live somewhat close to where we wanted to fish so we just stayed there. I wasn't going to complain about staying somewhere comfortable with good company. Plus Idaho Falls has a killer fireworks show so spending the 4th of July there wasn't so bad.

The day we got to Idaho Falls, we changed our plans a bit and decided to go fish over at Burns Creek instead of Bear Creek (it practically sounds the same anyway). Daddy Hanson came with us and was nice enough to take us out in his truck so we didn't have to beat up our car on the dirt roads.

I'd read in an Idaho guide book that there was a place called Reed's Dairy in town that made icecream out of potatoes, so of course I made Seth take me there on our way out of town. To my disappointment, they no longer made potato icecream, so I was forced to eat the regular stuff. It was terrible.

I'd been up in the general area of Burns Creek before, but had never followed the Snake River quite as far East. It was a really beautiful drive and the Snake River was filled to the brim. We got to our fishing spot later in the afternoon and began to slowly make our way up the little stream to fish. There weren't too many easily accessible spots with the canyon being so steep and brush-choked, but Seth and his dad each caught a large Cutthroat in the 16-18" range. It was a really pretty place, but not so good for fishing. I guess we can cross that off our list of places to check out.

That night we went over to visit Rachel and Abraham. Rachel is always so entertaining to me. She's just so passionate and animated... whether she's happy or sad. And she always has great stories to tell. Abe showed off his new "motorcycle hair" that Tessa gave him. He looked uber hip and stylish. He'll probably be on the cover of GQ next month, so keep your eyes open. Oh and we also got to see one of Nick's wonderful paintings.

The next day Seth and I went out on our own to Cottonwood Creek. We stopped at a tiny country store just before we got there, in the town of Kilgore, so I could use the facilities. It felt like we'd stepped back in time. Or into a horror movie.

We walked into the dimly lit store and I wandered around the dusty wood shelves of food for a moment, trying to find the bathroom. I didn't have much time to waste so after a minute or so I asked the folksy couple up at the cash register where the restroom was. "Follow me, I'll show you where it is," the woman said, and walked out the front door. At this point I started to wonder if she was planning to smother my face with an ether soaked rag and drag me out back to the shed to chop me up. We walked around the corner of the building to a long dirt road lined with red antiquated one-room cabins. "There, " she said, "that building down there with the old wash bin on the porch, it has a bathroom in it." "The one way down there on the left?" I asked, a little confused. "Yeah that's it, the light's to the left of the door when you walk in." "Ok. Thanks."

The restroom was in a little utility type cabin about a block or so down the dirt road. I stepped up on the porch as a middle aged couple in one of the cabins across from it stared at me. I opened the squeaky screen door half expecting someone to jump out at me, and stepped up into a dark room. The floor was noticeably slanted and I questioned whether it would collapse if I were to walk across it. There was an old washer and dryer in front of me and I could see a shower stall in the back room. I was looking around for a light when I remembered the lady telling me it was to the left of the door. I flipped it on and walked into the bathroom on the right. There was no lock on the door so I tried to hurry as fast as I could for fear some crazy hillbilly or axe murder would barge in on me at any moment. I did have time to notice a sign hung up by the lightbulb on the ceiling that said, "Please Do Not Remove Lightbulb." I guess lightbulb thievery is big in this town. I'm surprised they have electricity. And plumbing.

I finally make it back to the car and Seth says, "I just about left you. Figured you were gone for good." That's what happens when you have to walk a mile to the bathroom. And get this.... Seth tried to buy some drinks in there, you know to be polite and repay them for letting me use the facilities. Turns out they didn't take plastic. Can you believe that? Who carries cash these days? Honestly. This is 2009 Grandpa, get with it. Cash. HA!

We got to Cottonwood Creek about a half hour later. The area was just littered with wild flowers and pine trees and green fields of grass. The creek was surrounded by willows so we had to bushwack our way in to the good spots. It reminded me of my days back in 'Nam. Carrying my weapon over my head to keep it from getting in the mud and tangled up in the branches... my boots getting stuck in the smelly black sludge... Charlie, I mean mosquitoes attacking me from all sides. It was intense.

When we finally got to a nice open hole with some decent casting room, we were pretty excited. We could see a bunch of little Brookies jumping and rising for mayflies and other bugs. I cast out my line and just missed one on my first shot, but cast again and got him. String 'em up. Seth was rigged up by that time too and proceeded to catch a few as well. Then they stopped jumping. And they stopped biting. I figured all our prisoners had told their buddies to lay low because of imminent danger. It was time to find another hole.

We walked through the willows and swampy area for a bit longer and found another nice spot. We ended up staying there for quite a while and caught several more fish. I think we had about six total. Then it was time for lunch.

We packed up and drove around for awhile until we found a good spot to build a fire and relax for a bit. We parked on the side of the road and walked through the wild flowers and trees to a spot where a big pine tree was growing horizontally. Seth smashed down a place for me to sit at the base of the tree and set up a small picnic consisting of sliced peaches, potato chips and juice. Then he went off to clean the fish. I sat there for the next half hour or so just looking at everything that was going on around me and snacking on my little picnic. There were big bumble bees flying around to all the flowers, black ants crawling on my boots, and birds singing way up in the trees. I wondered if they realized I was there at all.

Soon Seth was back with the fish and before I could bat an eyelash, he had a fire built. He'd wrapped up the fish two-by-two in tin foil and as soon as the coals were ready he threw the fish on. When the fish were done, we continued our little picnic and relaxed there underneath the pine tree watching the skies darken on one side of our view and the sun shining on the other. Isn't that romantic?

After lunch Seth said we needed to make sure to bring some fish home for Mama Hanson so we went across the road to a different section of the creek. The holes on this section of the river were too close to fish together, so we split up for the next little while. Seth let me stay at this really nice deep spot where I caught four more Brookies. I don't think he caught any more fish after lunch, but he took a hit for the team letting me have the good hole, so he basically gets half the credit.

By the time we got back to Idaho Falls we were pretty tired and didn't really feel like going into town to watch the big fireworks show. Our fish picnic hadn't been all that substantial so we were both really hungry and decided to stop and get something to eat. There were several roads closed and it ended up taking us so long to find something to eat that it was time for the fireworks to start by the time we got our food. So we figured, eh, what the heck, might as well watch the fireworks.

We took our bag of burritos and drove down a random street and parked by a bunch of other cars that had had the same idea (I don't know if they had burritos too). The Idaho Falls fireworks are synchronized to music that plays on the radio, so we cranked up the tunes and watched the show. I have to admit it was pretty fun. Maybe one of these days we'll actually get up the nerve to brave the crowds and watch the fireworks from the bank of the river. We'll try again next year. If we feel like it.

The next day was Sunday. We took our time getting up and ready and then drove around town for a bit. Seth showed me the Tautphaus Park Zoo and even drove by twice so I could see some animals through the fence. Like we're gonna PAY to see them! By the way, Cory, if you're reading this, we drove by your childhood home. Your mom said to say hi. Ok not really.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Collette and Marty's house. They showed us the chickens and turkeys they got this year and the fancy new fence Marty built. They also had a few kittens around that were really cute. So if you're in the market for a kitten, I'm sure they'd love for you to have one!

The whole family came over to the Smith home that evening and Collette made us some delicious chicken and corn on the cob. Mama Hanson brought some killer potato salad and Rachel made some cookies for dessert. So good.

After dinner it was finally time for our vacation week to come to a close. So sad. We did manage to squeeze in one more activity though on our way home. We stopped near Malad at Deep Creek Reservoir and fished one more time. Neither of us caught anything, but it was still beautiful watching the sunset. It turned out to be a really great trip.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Guess what!? July 4th was me and Seth's 1 year anniversary! Wahoo! Can you believe it? We pretty much spent all last week celebrating, so it might take a couple posts to tell you the wonderful awesomeness of it all.

At the end of our little honeymoon last year we stopped at Lava Hot Springs and floated the river on tubes. So, Seth planned a three day trip there this year. He originally wanted the anniversary trip to be a surprise, but I accidentally saw where we were going from a charge on our bank account. I kept mum about it and played dumb until Seth slipped up and mentioned renting a house there while we were sitting by a stream filtering water on our backpacking trip. But still... that didn't prepare me for what he'd planned. Picture the cutest little house you've ever seen, and that's where we stayed!

We got to Lava last Wednesday afternoon and drove to the address we'd written down. We went past the main part of town and up a little hill until we came to this small log cabin-esque house. We met Kathy, who ran the place and she walked us through showing us where things were kept and how they worked. After she left we continued our exploration through the house and marveled at how beautiful it was.

The house had a small patio/deck out back with a brick path that led to a grill and some bikes. One set of french doors on the patio led to the master bedroom and another set of doors led into the kitchen/living room area. In the living room there was a comfy sectional couch and flat screen tv on the wall and big windows all around so we could see out into the street and enjoy the views. The kitchen had granite counter tops and dark tiled floors with really nice appliances. We even had a table... with place mats! Even Gracie seemed to like the place and spent some time sniffing around and exploring every nook and cranny.

Although the fridge was stocked with ice cubes and coffee creamer, we thought we might want more of a selection of food, so we rode the mountain bikes down the hill to the grocery store. I haven't been on a bike for awhile and I was amazed at how unstable I felt on one... especially going down such a steep hill. I'm pretty sure by the end of the trip I had the brakes worn down to little nubs. Anyway, we picked out a couple steaks and some corn on the cob for dinner and a few other snacks, and headed back to the house.

We decided to do a little fishing before dinner so we drove up past Lava and turned onto the Old Highway 30. The road follows along the Portneuf River for a few miles so we drove along until we found a place that was easily accessible.

The river looked alright, maybe a bit dirty and was pretty slow moving. We noticed there were quite a bit of mosquitoes out so we doused ourselves in bug spray and headed down to a spot that looked fishable.

After fishing for about a half hour, we called it quits. Neither of us had caught anything or even seen a fish. In fact the only thing getting eaten around there was us. Despite our precautionary measures, we still got sucked on by a bunch of those dang mosquitoes. But we weren't all that disappointed. We were both pretty hungry anyway, so we just headed back to the house.

For dinner Seth threw the steaks and corn on the grill. We ate out on the patio and had the best dinner I've had in a while. He can cook up a mean steak, I'll tell you what! I may be the regular cook around our house, but Seth is the grill master.

Oh yeah, when we got back from fishing we came in and called for Gracie like we normally do. We heard a meow, but that was it. She didn't come out to greet us or anything. I figured she was just being lazy like she sometimes is and went about my business doing something else. Seth on the other hand began to look for her and couldn't find her anywhere. He called her again as he was walking down the hall and heard another meow. Where was it coming from? He called again and when she meowed again, he heard it coming from behind the washer and dryer. Sure enough that crazy cat had somehow managed to fall down behind the washer and dryer and get stuck. Neither of us could fathom why or how she'd done this. Seth pulled out the dryer and let her out. She was fine other than being covered in dirt and lint.

The next day we got up and rode our bikes down to the local cafe for breakfast. I love small town cafes. The people are always much more friendly than in large cities. Everyone says hi or nods and this morning we even ran into Kathy the cabin owner again. We felt so popular. Small cafes also have great food, despite their traditional homely dive-ish looks. This place (I think it was called Ye 'Ole Wagonwheel or something) was using homemade bread for their toast. HOMEMADE. I've NEVER seen that. It was so good.

After breakfast we rode our bikes over to the far side of town to a small public garden. We strolled along the pathway while I quizzed Seth on all the names of the plants. He still needs a lot of work, but he's getting there.

When we got back from breakfast we called for Gracie again. To our utter amazement and surprise, she was stuck behind the washer and dryer. Again. Why? What the heck was she doing and why hadn't she learned her lesson the first time? I would love to know what goes on in the mind of that cat.

It was starting to get much hotter outside so we put on our swimsuits and sandals and walked back down to town to go tubing. We stopped and rented a double tube from a very bored looking teenage girl and then headed off up to the launch spot.

The first trip down the river is always the coldest and scariest. Of course Seth made me sit in the front. Somehow the rapids always look huge when you're on a tube. But, leaning on our tubing experience from last year, our first run was a success. I didn't hit my butt on any rocks and we didn't flip over. In fact, we managed to run the river probably five times without flipping over or getting any injuries other than minor bruises and scratches. A major improvement from last year. We've thought about becoming professional tubing guides.

We were pretty hungry by the time we got done tubing so we went back to the house and got all cleaned up. Thankfully Gracie wasn't stuck behind the washer and dryer again.

For dinner we went to a pizza place in town that Seth had never been to (he lived in Lava for about 4 months during his ISU days). It took awhile to get our food and we almost died, but the pizza turned out to be worth the wait. Our waiter was some young guy who was pretty much working the place by himself, along with a pregnant girl who we deemed his girlfriend, making pizzas in the back. Yes sir, good pizza and good Coke. We left satisfied and feeling much happier.

After dinner Seth convinced me to go on a bike ride. We found that Lava isn't the best place for bike rides. There are no flat roads and none of them are longer than a couple of blocks. It was still fun though. Seth showed me the apartment where he used to live and we rode up to the top of a big hill that overlooked the town. There was a nice little house at the top of the hill with a good 'spread.' A decent piece of land with a pasture and even some goats! I stole one and was going to take it home strapped to my handlebars, but Seth made me put it back.

The next morning we pretty much just packed up and got ready to leave. I'm still amazed at how wonderful that place was and what a killer deal Seth got! Isn't he the best? I would definitely go back there again.

We did technically extend our anniversary celebration into the July 4th weekend up in Idaho Falls, but that's gonna have to be another post.

I love you Seth! Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maybe it was the Grape Nuts?

I've been stuck on a training schedule of running for 5 minutes and walking for 2 for the last two weeks. With vacations and such I haven't been able to stick to my regular training schedule, so I've fallen behind a bit.

Last night I figured I'd be in for my third week of the 5 minute run segments. Which is no big deal, really. I mean, I've still got about 8 weeks left which is how long I trained last time I did a 5k. So in all reality, I'm ahead of the game. Back to the story.

When I first started running last night I felt a bit weaker than in past runs. I figured I'd barely make it to five minutes like usual. But at the five minute mark, all of a sudden I felt pretty good. Maybe I could try running just a little longer... I felt like I'd gotten a second wind, my legs were in a rhythm, my breathing was steady. I ran for 9 minutes. Then I walked for just under 2 minutes, and then I ran again. For 17 minutes! It was amazing! I couldn't believe it.

Maybe it was the playlist on my ipod, maybe it was because I was running at twilight, maybe it was the bowl of Grape Nuts cereal I had for dinner. Who knows. But somehow I finally felt like a real runner. I had my breakthrough. I hope it sticks around.

In order to keep up my new found running skills, I want to do everything in my power to stay motivated during my runs. For me running is very mental. Music plays a huge part in how long and how well I run. I have a special running playlist on my ipod, but quite honestly, it kind of sucks. I put songs on there that I imagined would motivate me and would be enjoyable to run to, but I find myself skipping over a lot of songs because they aren't quite right.

So I ask you, my dear readers, what's on your playlist? For those of you that are training with me, what are your favorite songs to listen to when you run? For everyone else, what songs pump you up and give you more energy when you work out? I need some help here! Back in the day I was known as Mix Master-K, but I'm not as hip as I used to be I suppose. Or maybe I am, but not when it comes to workout music. To get your brains moving I'll offer up a few of my favorite running songs:

Canned Heat by Jamiroquai (you know, the song Napolean Dynamite dances to)
Such Great Heights by The Postal Service
The Enemy Guns by Devotchka
Jerusalem by Neil Diamond
Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins (Footloose is also a good one)

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Fool-Proof Way to Feel Rich and Powerful

So I thought I'd let you know about the best snack ever. I first had this snack at the salon where I get my hair cut. There's this chick there that periodically walks around the place holding a tray full of nut cups and frozen grapes to offer to the 'clients' as snacks to go with their cucumber water (hate flavored water by the way).

Anyway, I always look forward to getting my hair done so I can have my little cup of frozen grapes. It wasn't until the last time I went in that I thought "Hey! I could make these!" So I did! All you gotta do is get some grapes (I use the red grapes), wash them, pull them off the stems and throw them all into a zip lock bag and freeze for a couple hours!

They taste so good and they're healthy and they are awesome on hot summer days. Plus because they're frozen it forces you to eat them slowly and enjoy them one by one. I like to put mine in a fancy stemmed glass when I eat them. It makes me feel rich and powerful, even when I'm sitting in my loungy pants watching tv.