Friday, February 27, 2009

JBG, A Stray Dog, and a Bar...

Since they cut my hours at work (by about 10 hrs a week), I've been helping my dad at Journal Broadcast Group ("JBG" for short, it's the company that houses KFDI, T-95, and that Spanish radio channel).  They've hired him to completely remodel all of their studios.  Since he already has a full time job and a part time job on top of this, he's told us kids if we'd like to make some extra money, we can always help him, so I'm making up for lost hours :)  Today I put a few hours in finishing up one of the studios and all the while thinking, "I'd love to be a general contractor... I love building and fixing things... I love DeWalt tools" [Sorry Crapsman, I mean Craftsman, but you ain't got nothin' on the beauty and brawn of those yellow and black beasts!] 

(by the way, that's my dream set right there, you can't argue that those aren't some good looking tools! :)

Well anyway, I was at my parent's house dropping off some tools and I get a phone call from Chris, it went a little something like this: 
C:  "Hey, when you get home, don't open the garage door"
G:  "Okay? And why?" (for some reason I'm thinking maybe he caught a rat or something, but then again, why would he keep it in the garage??)
C:  "Well, this dog followed me up to the front door"
G:  "Aww, so we have 3 dogs now??" :)
C:  "Uh, no... You wouldn't like it, it's small and fluffy*"
(*now, I have nothing against small, fluffy dogs as long as they aren't my own, [hence the reason we have two 75lb dogs] AND if they are well behaved, which none of that criteria fits this stray dog).  Well when I get home I kinda feel bad for this fluff ball, so I make up a few signs and decided to walk him around, just in case his owners are out looking for him (I know I would be if it were one of my little children) and staple them up around the neighborhood (now remember, the high was like 35 degrees today, so when I got home I couldn't really feel my fingers or thighs... I think I should get some extra Heaven points for this one ;)  Hopefully tomorrow the owners will call, because he may be going to the humane society if not :/ This is an internet pic, but it's the same breed, a schitzu I guess...
Tonight we decided that we would try this little bar and grill that's in Twin Lakes, only because my Grandma has raved about how wonderful their pork chops are.  Her and her friend go there all the time... So we thought no time like the present! (besides, she gave us a coupon and money to pay for it, so nothing to lose I guess).  All I can say is, uhh, wow.  I think my Grandma is officially crazy (it was unofficial before today :)  "Neighbors Bar and Grill" is a dinky, dingy, cigarette smellin' bar, with basically nothing but bar food on the menu (fried this and fried that :).  Now I'm all for supporting the local joints (Chris and I have even made a pact that we would only eat at locally owned places while the economy continues to be on the downward slope), but this was just a little too much "bar" and not enough "grill" for me... I about died in the car coming home, and was throwing off clothes as I walked in the door to get them straight to the washing machine :)  I guess we can notch this up as just another "experience".  Oh, if any of you reading have a favorite "local" place you enjoy (and please don't say Neighbors), let us know!  We really do enjoy trying new places :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Peas in a Bummed-Up Pod...

 I was so thankful that neither Chris or I got hurt while going down a mountain on a little piece of curved wood...  But obviously the flat Kansas is more of a hazard to both of us than the mountainous Colorado.  On Tuesday, Chris was finishing up a tile job at one of my dad's rentals, he steps off the porch wrong and twists his ankle, which is still swollen, and he is still limping...  Today, I'm standing at work chatting with a co-worker, I lean to the right slightly, cough at the same time (odd timing, huh?), feel a pop, then breath-taking pain in the same rib area that I thought I bruised on the mountain (you like my use of details? :)... The nurse at work said that I probably tore a muscle, even though it felt like my rib was gouging my insides.  Tonight as I lay in bed typing this, my mobility is still limited, but there has been improvement, so that's a plus :)  So basically we're both accident-prone, creaky foagies, but we love the dickens out of each other, so that's the important part ;)

I went on my weekly Walmart run today after work (yes, I crawled through Wally World, but it was very much necessary as one can only live off of water and butter so long :)  So anyway, this really cute pitcher-with-a-spout caught my eye in one of the middle isles.  I looked, kept walking, stopped, turned around, thought "it's ONLY $6", "but that IS $6 I could save", imagined it in my fridge chilling any liquid my heart desired, then caved and put it in my cart.  I was so excited when I got home, I immediately washed it out and filled it with some Crystal Light Lemonade...  As I was putting it on the refrigerator shelf, I looked around and thought to myself "I really should wipe out the fridge shelves... ehh, it can wait".  Oh contraire mon fraire!  My new-found treasure (no, it doesn't take much to please me) had other ideas...  As I went to fill Chris and I's glasses with some chilled lemonade for dinner, I opened the fridge to see half of the beverage was not IN the pitcher where I had left it.   I guess a $6 pitcher doesn't think it has to actually hold the beverage since it was so cheap :)  Oh well, my fridge is now clean enough to serve sushi on, so I suppose the day is not a complete loss. And here's a picture so you know what the culprit looks like and you won't be made a fool by it :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Special "K"ookies

I've become a big fan of Special K cereal (I really just love any kind of cereal, but I feel good when I grab the box with the big red "K" on it and not the cartoon character :). Now, I've only bought the kind with the strawberries in it even though I really don't like them in the cereal (too tart for my taste). "Well why doesn't she buy the original?" Well curious minds, read on! Since buying dried strawberries at the Whole Foods store is like 6 bucks for an itty bitty container, I pour a bowl and put all the little berries in a container. After about 2 boxes, I have enough to make one of my favorite cookies (and that recipe just so happens to be from Cooking Light!). They are yum-E! Even my healthy-food-hating husband loves these :) So if I've peaked your interest, here's the recipe, enjoy! :) OH, and side note, I didn't gain 1 pound on vacation! Pretty sure that's never happened before! Maybe because (in the words of Sarah B), snowboarding probably burns "a bazillion" calories :)

White Chocolate, Strawberry, and Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried strawberries
1/3 cup premium white chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Add strawberries and chips; beat at low speed just until blended. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove cookies from pan; cool completely on wire racks.
Nutritional Information
98 (30% from fat)
3.3g (sat 2.1g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.2g)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Hurts The Most... are my ribs :)

I wish I could say that Day 2 was even more wonderful than yesterday... buuuut, not so much (at least for me). For one, every time I had to bend over to strap my boot in or get up from falling, the rib that I('m pretty sure I) bruised yesterday killed me, like, take my breath away hurt :( The first few runs were fun, but I started to get really frustrated with myself because I thought I should be doing better... I could make it down the mountain; now we're not talking flying down, we're talking a steady in-control kind of run... I took a break for a while and Chris did a couple of runs without me, which of course was totally fine, I would never want him to feel like he has to stay back with me! :) I was having fun, except when I would get to the bottom and the slope would start to flatten out, for some reason I just couldn't get my feet to do what I wanted, and I would end up backwards, then fall on my backside... Really, really frustrating... And yes, I have to admit there were tears on the mountain (I have a tendency to cry when I get mad at myself, hopefully my sunglasses masked them well enough :) This was about 2 o'clock and Chris could tell that I was really frustrated, and we decided to make our last run the run that takes us straight to the back of our hotel (after much "No, I want you to finish the day, I don't want to take you off the mountain sooner than you want" "It's fine, Babe, my feet are tired, and I want to get out of my boots, I promise it's okay" back and forth conversation :) The ride down was just as brutal as everything else, ha :) Finally I let my pride fall (just like I had been doing all day, haha!) and took my board off and walked the rest of the way... I didn't give a rats patooty anymore :)
Commercial Break: Can I just take a moment to vent a bit about the punk snowboarders? So first, they have the worst potty mouth on them, and we got to listen to it while in line for the lift (yay!), and they don't follow the "Please Alternate" signs when 4 lines merge into 1 (one of my biggest peeves is when people don't follow the rules, just bugs the dickens outta me! :) AND, on one run I went down before Chris, so I could take pictures of him (see the above, not so good picture), and this punk totally powdered me... I was like "you wanna buy me a new camera??" Grr! Alright, thanks for bearing with me on that one, just had to get that out! I feel so much better :)

Back at the hotel, after showering, I pretty much just laid on the bed for a good hour... I think my body was saying "What the heck have you done to me the last few days?!" and as a revolt, no appendages would move without some kind of ache :) "Take that! Haha!" is what they were saying, I'm pretty sure.

For dinner, Chris and I returned to our little Italian place "Giampietros" ("Gee-am-pea-eh-tros") and tried their pizza this time, which was just as delicious as their pasta :) One of the nice things about the place we are staying is that we are so close to the little town, that our car hasn't moved since we've been here, so I don't feel quite as guilty reaching for that 2nd piece of pizza :)
To wrap it up, we've had a great time! Good memories, and we will definitely do more boarding in the future (maybe just one day at a time for me though, haha!). We are so grateful that we were able to get away for a few days, as not everyone has that luxury. We will miss Colorado (Chris would move here in a heartbeat! I think he fits right in here :) and all of it's glory, but all the more reason to visit again :)

Thanks for wastin.. err.. taking your time to read our story :) See you back in the Ta-Town!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

C-to-the-O! (revisited)

Well we made it!  We left Wichita on Wednesday around 5pm en route to Fort Collins, CO.  The trip was for the most part uneventful.  We used the Garmin GPS that I gave Chris for Christmas, which we named Penelope.  A little past Colby, Penelope took is off 70, onto a dirt road, and on into the boonies.  Now, I'm always one for an adventure, but it WAS a bit odd :) and I've seen too many scary movies, so I had to keep my thoughts in check (no, our car wasn't going to break down and a crazy family wasn't going to come and feed us to their mentally insane family member :)  you see? too many movies :)  During our drive in the backroads, we had to slow down twice for deer (both times there were about 6 or 7 grouped together).  Thank you Jesus that none of them decided to love on our car :)  We drove through quite a few sleepy 
little towns, and saw a passenger train (which prompted us to agree that we should take a train to Chicago sometime).  We got to the Boling's at about 12:30am... It was SO good to see Justin and Elaina!  They are so great, but we don't get to see them very often :(  They so kindly made up a bed for us (look closely, there's mints on our pillows, haha!) 

We woke up to this beautiful scenery right outside the house (it's kind of hard to see in the picture, but it was a great view!)  It makes me wonder if you ever get used to waking up to the mountains?? I would hope not :)  Our wonderful host and hostess left out some breakfast for us (they both had to work in the morning, but we decided that we would meet up for lunch).

We headed to Old Town Square Fort Collins (so much cooler than our Old Town, sorry Wichita) and walked around the shops for a while, then met up at Coopersmith's Pub for lunch (a great local joint!)  After lunch (about 1:30-ish) we said adieu to Justin and Elaina, (I completely forgot to get a picture with them, boo) and started the drive to Breckenridge.  Oh, and we drove a good distance on Shields St! :)

The drive through the mountains was beautiful, and this Kansas girl learned sometime new - Chris said that if it doesn't have a tree-line, then it's a foot hill; what makes it a mountain is that is has a tree line. 


We FINALLY got to Breck at 4:45!! Yea!  Got settled in our room, went to Safeway in Frisco to get some snacks, then walked a few blocks down to where all the little shops and restaurants are.  We ate dinner at a quaint, but delicious Italian restaurant, Giampietro (I thought we needed some carbs for the next day of snowboarding :)  We had an appetizer of garlic cheese bread, with this amazing marinara sauce, and Chris had a cup of cocoa to warm up :)  

Chris had chicken alfredo, and I had Shrimp Pesto 

Afterwards, we strolled around and did a little window shopping, then went to bed around 10 to get all rested up for our big day! :)

This morning we woke about 7:30, grabbed some continental breakfast, got all of our gear on, and headed to the mountain.  We are staying at a ski-in, ski-out lodge, (which I didn't really know what that was), but you basically go out the back door and ski down a run-type thing to the Gondola, which takes you to the the Mountain, pretty convenient (and you don't have to worry about parking).  I was nervous starting out, but Chris is a great teacher, and I think I caught on semi-quick..... maybe?  I never quite got the hang of going straight down (I was enjoying going down with the board horizontal), but I felt in control, and I could slow down and stop (which, of course, is a big plus! haha!)  Oh, before I forget, I have to tell you, every time we got in position for the ski lift to come, when it would "scoop" us up, my sweet husband would instinctively put his arm out across me (I guess to make sure I wouldn't fall off )  What a guy! :)

This picture is after our first run! :)  It was rough for me; I would just fall over when I thought I was going to fast, haha!  And it's not like I can just pop right back up :)  Oh, and I KNOW why you're not suppose to ski while pregnant now!  On one run, I caught the front edge of the board and totally wiped out, and it happens so fast, that you don't have time to put your hands in front of you, so my ribs and stomach got it pretty hard, it knocked the wind out of me *ouch*!  

Chris was sweet and took a pic of me taking my time down the mtn. :)  Tomorrow I will take some pics of him!  We left the slopes at about 2... We were both getting kinda pooped, and we wanted to save some energy for tomorrow!  Back at the room, we compared bumps and bruises, but it was totally worth it!  After relaxing a while, we walked down to the town again.  We did a bit more shopping... Chris broke his goggle lenses today on a brutal wipe-out, so we got him a new pair (of lenses, that is :), and he also got a pair of sunglasses (his Oakleys were stolen when his truck got broken in to).  I got a pair of gloves and a headband thing to keep my ears warm (my ski hat was making me feel clausterphobic, and my gloves were not keeping my hands warm).  For dinner we stopped at Fiesta Jalisco (can you guess what kind of food? :)  It was okay... Nothing to write home about, but their salsa was impressive, very fresh and spicy, the way we like it :)  Chris got an enchilada/chimichanga (those who know C, this is not a surprise :) and I got the chicken fajitas.  After our bellies were full, it was time to go back to the room for some more R&R :)  

I can't believe it's almost over :(  It always happens that way though, it takes for-EVER to get here, and once it's finally here, you blink and it's gone.  But we already have some great memories, and we are having a blast together, so it's worth it of course! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

These boots were made for walkin'... Or snowboardin'!

Tonight, Chris and I took the last step of planning our vacation... Hotel has been booked for a while, vacation request have long been turned in, (well actually I forgot until today, and that's just because my boss asked if I could work on one of the days that we will be gone! I love my job, it was totally no big deal :), sister is going to house/dog-sit... So we made a trip to The Slope. Love that store! We both could definitely drop a big chunk of change there, oh wait, we did tonight :) But that was just for lift tickets and snowboard rentals; not a fun coat or ski goggles, oh well! I felt kind of dumb because I've never rented any winter sports apparel, but it was perfectly harmless, the employees are super nice and didn't yell at me or point their fingers and laugh when I looked at them like a calf looking at a new gate. Although there's no doubt there's a bunch of guys working there, case in point: you have to give them your height and weight (so they can put you on the right size board) so of course I happen to be 3 blocks away so I have to yell out my weight so everyone in Wichita and the surrounding area can hear ( okay, this may be a bit of a dramatization, but anything more than a whisper on that topic is too loud for me), and once again, no pointing and laughing, good boys :). Trying on the boots, I have to admit, got me pretty antsy... I'm so ready to do this! The employee helping us asked if I had ever been sb-ing before, which of course I haven't, but I told him I've wake skated before, which I think caught him off guard because of his "really?! wow, I've tried and I can't do it" response, which made this old lady feel kinda good! And really made me want to be on the mountain!! 8 days now... But I do know the power of wishing days away, so I am trying my best to just enjoy the days leading up to instead of living in the land of "If only..."