Tuesday, November 30, 2010

post-turkey nap

"courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'i will try again tomorrow'."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

back to reality.

i'm so not ready for this.
it's finals week.
i have a million things to do at work.

tomorrow it's supposed to snow and i'm driving around a rental car (and i did not purchase enterprise's insurance because i felt like they were just trying to scam me for money) and i have a million meetings tomorrow before school which means i can't take the bus.

this break from school & work has been great.
charlie and i had such a nice time cooking, eating, and decorating for the holidays these past few days. he even squeezed in a ski trip while i was writing a paper.
i can't wait until december 9th when i can ski, too.

but until then ... more writing.

happy holidays!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

it's the little things ...

a hint 'o christmas
i see a stocking.

... snickerdoodles.
... snow!
... spending a cozy day at home, paper writing, baking cookies, and watching the dogs lay by the fire.
... starbucks christmas mugs.
... mayo + mustard.
... a seasoned pan.
... a delicious and relaxing thanksgiving.
... tea.
... a snuggly dog.
... a sweet husband.
... christmas decorations. bring 'em on, people. it's officially christmas time.
... sharpie highlighters.
... 2 weeks until winter break.
... which means one more semester until graduation!
... champagne corks.
... caramel pie.
... the van morrison station on pandora.
... our santa hat tree topper.
... geico. they've redeemed themselves since our jeep debacle.
... the strands of the big lights.
... wine bottles = makeshift candle holders.
... our "L" wineglasses. the only ones that have remained unbroken despite some determined lab tails.
... our camera.
... a stranger finding charlie's lost keys somewhere on copper mountain. and turning them in.
... reading in bed.

i started this list a few weeks ago. since then i have burnt the seasoned pan past saving. but it was nice while it lasted ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

thanksgiving dinner

this year was my first year cooking thanksgiving dinner.
it was the first year we didn't go anywhere for thanksgiving and also the first year we were celebrating by ourselves.
all of our local friends were out of town for the holiday & between work, school, and the dogs this is the worst time of year for us to travel.

actually it was nice that it was just the two of us since it was my first year cooking. there was no time pressure or worries about hosting anyone. and it's always nice to spend quality time cooking, eating, and hanging out together.

the plan was:

.. smothered brie for an appetizer
... stuffed mushrooms
... turkey
... mashed potatoes
... sweet potatoes
... green bean casserole
... caramel pie
... apple crisp

thanksgiving 2010 cast of characters
looks like a huge amount of food for 2 people.
and yes, we have 2 coffee makers on a very small amount of counter space.

charlie did the stuffed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
i was also planning on making rolls but decided we had more than enough food without them.

i was most worried about the turkey since i had never cooked one and i didn't even think about looking up a recipe until about 15 minutes before i was planning on putting it in the oven.

pre roasting
all ready to go ...

yes virginia, that is a dog nose
and, done!
i think next time i'd let it brown a bit longer. but it tasted great.
and yes, that is henry's nose. what a well behaved dog :)

smothered brie
smothered brie.
i ate about 3/4 of this in 10 minutes.
and then charlie yelled at me for not leaving enough for him.

stuffed mushrooms
the L family's, stuffed mushrooms.

caramel pie
and my favorite part of thanksgiving, caramel pie.
the fact that i cooked something that has the potential to explode is nothing short of a small miracle.

dinner time!
and .... dinner time!
i had three helpings.

we had a great thanksgiving & even though we weren't able to spend it with family we did video chat with both families. as good as it gets without being in maryland.

hope everyone had a great holiday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

i am thankful for ...

the ridiculousness that is our family.

... green tea that keeps me warm at work.
... my job.
... new brakes for my car.
... season ski rentals.
... spending all day cooking and eating with the hubs on thanksgiving.
... my family celebrating xmas with us for a second year in a row.
... my hardworking, snow-loving, grocery shopping, dinner-cooking husband.
... 2 cars that run.
... a roof over my head.
... dogs to walk with and cuddle with.
... clean water.
... the ability to buy the food that i want.
... a savings account.
... school.
... books to read.
... a washer and drier.
... miles and miles of hiking trails.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

people are good ...

i suppose we're given a choice to believe that in general they're good or that in general they're bad.

today i choose the former, not because i'm an eternal optimist but because if i choose the latter i'll be forever bitter and that's just not the way i want to live my life.

today as i was driving home from work i was hit by another driver who immediately fled the scene.
i was going straight through i green light and he was making a left hand turn.
i also did everything i could to avoid him, i swerved, i tried to stop & he accelerated and plowed into me.
i drive a toyota carolla. he was driving an escalade.
he faked stopping by pulling over to the side of the road and once i stopped he accelerated and took the immediate exit for the highway. despite the fact that when he hit me, he completely blew out his front tire.

multiple people stopped. to make sure i was ok. to flag down the police. to get the license plate number of the driver who hit me. to give their statement. i started crying. not because that jack-off hit me and drove off, but because so many strangers stayed to help me, to check my car out, & then wished me a happy thanksgiving.

don't get me wrong. i'm still angry. very, very angry. i became even more angry when the police officer called me after tracking down the guy who hit me to tell me that the guy who hit me was driving without a driver's license, without insurance, and because he's an illegal immigrant, he was only issued a citation.

but i am okay. my poor car (it's pretty much a bulls-eye for deer, bad drivers, & "unstoppable" cars) will eventually be okay. geico was super helpful. and charlie (who usually flips out about this stuff) was insanely helpful and calm.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

i did a lot worse than i was hoping for. for a self-proclaimed book nerd i'm more than a little disappointed. at least i did much better on this 100 book list than the other one floating around, where i think i had read about 3 books total. although i blame faulkner for that one. that guy is seriously weird. you win this round, abs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

disclaimer & backstory: when i started working at my current job i came in on my third day of work to find this copy from a magazine on my desk. no note. no explanation. nothing. obviously i chose not to say anything considering the fact that i was brand new and i had no idea who had left it there in the first place. i was also hoping that it was a joke. at the end of the day, one of the guys i work with came by and told me he was the one i had left i there. and then we got into a lovely discussion regarding male and female roles. i have to admit that over time my own views of the roles i want in my own marriage are changing. that being said, i can say that i would never remove charlie's shoes for him (unless physically he was incapable) and if he came home to the sound of the washing machine and dishwasher i think he should be grateful that some cleaning was going on. i'm sure you've seen this before, its been floating around for years, but regardless, enjoy.

How to be a good wife ...

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal -- on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. he has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him, greet him with a smile and be glad to see him.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his: never complain if he doest not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain of pressure, his need to be home and relax.

Your goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

-- Taken from a Home Economics textbook in the 1950s

Thursday, November 18, 2010

flying clay

the house is still a mess. and it's really starting to annoy the crap out of me.
unfortunately i won't be doing much about it until after dec. 8th, which is the day that i have 2 finals, and 2 20-page papers due.
not too sure i can procrastinate with all of that coming up.

charlie and i decided that this year we're only doing stocking stuffers and baked goods for x-mas presents. this was slightly more my idea than his, considering the fact that initially he wanted an LED tv. pretty sure those don't fit in stockings.
one of the perks of working for a big company (for charlie) is the insane employee discounts. this can also be a bad thing when they're all big ticket items like tvs, and appliances, and cars.

my parents and sister are coming for the holidays. i told my dad about our small and minimal present idea. he was definitely on board, although this didn't surprise me considering the fact that every christmas morning the first thing my dad says is "these are way too many presents. this is getting ridiculous".

i went to go buy our thanksgiving turkey the other night after work and did not return home with one when the cheapest turkey was $40. i should mention it's only charlie and i this year, so the turkey was 13 pounds (the smallest they had).
$40 is a lot of money for a tiny turkey that i'm not guaranteed not to burn/undercook/set on fire.

must go write more papers, read more papers, and attempt to clean the house.

ps. i bought some black and white cookies from whole foods and ate them all in one night. i am a pig.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

things that make my heart happy...


... a husband who makes me tea.
... the greeting i get from my dogs when i walk in the door.
... popping a bottle of champagne.
... when the cat cleans the dogs.
... snow. every time.
... our mismatch collection of mugs.
... slowly waking up on a saturday morning.
... looking west on my drive home.
... telluride.
... crawling into bed early on a cold night with a cup of tea and a book.
... starbucks holiday cups. (caribou too!)
... long talks with charlie. especially when they happen in our home.
... chili in a crock pot.
... the macy's day parade on thanksgiving morning.
... a really good novel.
... paper writing while drinking coffee. what am i going to do with myself when i graduate?
... homemade desserts.
... especially apple pie.
... reading, reading, & reading.
... rainy days.
... jeans.
... a hot toddy in front of a christmas tree.
... decorating for christmas while listening to christmas music.
... family.
... friends.
... getting cards in the mail.
... grilled cheese.

Monday, November 15, 2010

snowflakes and heavy lifting

dear colorado, i see you've brought winter. thanks for the warning.
one day i'm walking the dogs in a t-shirt and the next day i'm shivering and watching snow fall outside.
in the future a gradual cooling would be nice. but whatever.

since it's november i've decided not to hate you too much.
last week also brought christmas cups at starbucks. and while i refuse to decorate for christmas until after thanksgiving i definitely appreciate their festive spirit.

today the dogs went completely apeshit when they saw the snow. in fact they went so crazy that henry is now laying by the fire attempting to stop the bleeding from his leg.

our house is currently in a state of small disaster.
you see, we're in the middle of rearranging things throughout the house, and since i'm a visual person i have to actually see it rearranged before i can make my mind up.
charlie was not exactly pleased yesterday with all the assembling, cleaning, and heavy lifting. however, the office is definitely coming along (not exactly in the way that i had planned for it, but in a way slightly better). it's amazing how much crap that boy had down there.
pictures later, when i actually motivate myself or when we clear away the last of the boxes.

hopefully we'll have everything cleaned up by thanksgiving so we can roast a turkey and spend the next day eating leftovers and decorating for christmas.

sharing the sun spot
i thought this picture was funny because the animals usually fight over who gets to lay in the sun ... clearly neither is happy that they had to share.

happy monday , ya'll.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

somedays i am reminded that i do not have my shit together.

like when i manage to spill beer on my computer. yes you read that right, beer! i'm like some drunken frat kid. and the worst part is that my computer is probably my favorite thing in the entire world. if there was a fire i'd grab the husband, henry, and the macbook. *sigh* i was also about 95% done with a 20 page paper due wednesday.
luckily it's survived ... but the keys are a bit sticky. just imagine how sticky they'd be if it wasn't light beer.

and then, i set a potholder on fire. AND when i took dinner out of the oven and set it on the stove to cool i forgot that the stove was still on. let's just say the pan is still soaking because the bottom was so burnt.

it's not the first time i've burnt dinner and i'm sure it won't be the last. sadly, it's not the first time i set a potholder on fire but i hope it won't happen again.
maybe i should invest in a fire extinguisher.

and stick to grilled cheese. much harder to set on fire. and it goes well with beer.
havarti grilled cheese

Friday, November 12, 2010

ollie enjoying the first snow of the year.

Watching snowflakes

Monday, November 8, 2010

apparently if you google "5 signs people know your house is dirty" it'll lead you to my blog.

i'm blaming this post.

my mom would be so proud.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

it's the little things ...

oliver twist

... an extra hour of guilt-free sleep.
... walking the dogs.
... neighborhood kids who play with the dogs. someone else exercising the dogs? yes please.
... mondays. i don't work mondays. they are lovely.
... our new space heater. bringing livable temperatures to the office in the winter.
... target. much love, buddy.
... a husband who grocery shops.
... reusable grocery bags.
... snl.
... the weather we've been having lately.
... how the cats take over the dog bed.
... teaching henry to roll over.
... red rocks merlot.
... public transportation.
... christmas music. don't judge.
... rearranging the apartment.
... cooking & baking. 'cause it's fall.
... mucho productive work weeks.
... organic pumpkin.
... the tree right outside our living room which is bright yellow right now.
... counting down the weeks until the end of the semester.
... watching charlie turn who to vote for into a math problem.
... novels piling up to be read during winter break.
... snow in the forecast. i bet it doesn't happen.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

bedroom "curtains"

so last winter we hung some curtains in our bedroom:

Bedroom curtains.

i wasn't crazy about the color.
i actually thought they were a bit depressing. honestly i think they look much better in this picture than they did in person.

anyway, i've been looking for an inexpensive alternative.
right now this is their replacement.

new "curtains"

i'm not exactly crazy about these either.
the problem is that i think they match the walls too closely.
also, they are not blackout curtains, which probably isn't a problem for a normal person but i cannot sleep unless it's pitch black.

please feel free to judge me for the unmade bed. i honestly can't be bothered to care about making the bed anymore.

thoughts? suggestions? go for it.

if i end up taking these out of our bedroom i'll probably move them to the office, so it's not like they're a waste. also they were super cheap.
it's hard to find something that doesn't totally clash with our quilt.

ps. just made chocolate chip pumpkin bread tonight. very excited that it came out successfully.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

life, papers, and a cozy little apartment

so i mentioned in my love letter to our jeep that we now had full ownership our little patriot.
this was no accident. charlie and i made a few executive decisions about money, houses, and our little car.

side note: charlie's always hated that jeep. you see he traded in his wrangler for it because of things like "practicality", "responsibility", and "maturity". charlie loved the wrangler. me, not so much. i'm not really a "let's put the top up and down several times a week for fun" kinda girl. but ever since we paid the patriot off he's been saying things like "jeep we love you. please last forever". so sweet.

anyway, charlie and i are renters. and previously we were thinking that sometime around next year-ish we'd start looking for a house. i really, really love our little apartment and if it had a 2 car garage, a yard, and i could paint the walls i'd stay forever. but it doesn't and i can't. (oh, wait i did.)

however, the thing about us buying a house is that it's sort of permanent.
charlie works from home, the lucky duck, but i don't. and since i graduate in may, we decided it probably would be best not to ground ourselves and limit our options before seeing what the next year or two are going to look like.
also, the other thing about buying a house is that it is a lot of debt. and since we already had debt from the jeep and student loans, we decided it probably would be best to get out of the debt we were in before adding to it.
such a boring decision. but it had to be done.

the deal was, that if we were going to stay in our little apartment. there was a few things i wanted to do to make our lives here a little more comfortable.

1. i wanted organize the garage.
exciting stuff. but between bikes, canoes, skis, storage, charlie's work stuff, and a car. it was getting tight.

2. i wanted to move the tv off the mantle.
i hate our tv where it is. a. it's too high and b. the wires hanging all over drive me insane.

3. charlie wanted the office rearranged.
he's all "it sucks in here". and he was kinda right.

4. curtains.
we hung curtains in our bedroom and office and i hate them. so i have to do something cheap about it.

all of these are works in progress. i'll let you know how they turn out. and if you have any suggestions feel free to throw them my way. the problem is i go from a "loving bright colors" phase to a "loving neutrals" phase.

for now i'm off to write 3 20 page papers, which i probably should have started back in september. but the good news is there's only 5 weeks of school left and then 1 more semester. crazy.

study buddies
good thing i have lots of help.

Monday, November 1, 2010

autumn is awesome because ...

Walk to the mailbox.

... leaves changing.
... the perfect temperature for hiking and walks.
... it's pie season.
... coming home to dinner in a crock pot.
... pulling out blankets for the couch.
... pumpkins everywhere.
... pumpkin pie, cake, cupcakes, scones.
... trick or treaters.
... jack 'o lanterns.
... watching kids play in piles of leaves.
... it is now acceptable to wear jeans and boots every day.
... thanksgiving. a holiday to cook and eat all day. perfect.
... crisp fall nights.
... putting away flower pots and patio furniture.
... fall cleaning.
... using the fireplace.
... watching christmas decorations slowly start to appear.
... snowcapped mountains.
... hot toddies.
... apple cider.
... honeycrisp apples.
... chili, lasagna, homemade bread.
... pumpkin pancakes.
... book reading.