Thursday, June 16, 2011

Constant Catch-up

No. Not "Constant Ketchup". That is an idea I had while my friend James was eating a corn dog at lunch during my first year of college.

What I am alluding to, friends, is the seemingly never ending game of catch-up one plays upon coming back home from a weekend road trip where you are in the car more than you are out of the car. We all still feel like we are moving.

This past weekend, Heather, my mom, Duncan, and I went to South Dakota for my grandpa's 90th birthday/family reunion. 90 YEARS OLD! He assures me he stopped ridding a horse last year. I can't say I entirely believe him. We also celebrated my grandma's 85th seven months early. Happy birthday to them both.

While we were in South Dakota, we got to see what 150,000 cubic feet per second looks like as it juggernauts through release gates at the Oahe Dam. I'm not able to bring to words what a powerful experience that was to see first hand, so I will just show you a video.

Yeah. Powerful.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Oahe Dam, it is one of many dams that are on the mighty Missouri river. This release, and others, are responsible for the flooding in Pierre/Ft. Pierre, Omaha, and many other places down stream.

As you might expect, the flooding impacted our traveling routes significantly. Traveling to South Dakota we experienced two detours (one was caused by a wreck near St. Joe, MO). Coming back home we had one long detour around Omaha/Council Bluffs.

A quick PSA for highway travel in areas where the Missouri river makes its path. You will be detoured, in some cases for hours, from your chosen route. Allow for extra time, pack plenty of water and snacks, and if you think you need to use the restroom, find a rest area immediately. Don't wait.

That being said, we got home safe and exhausted from our travels are are now playing the catch-up game.

Hope you are all having a fun summer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who Wears Short Shorts? :)

My dear friends, with the nicer weather and warmer temperatures, I feel it imperative to address the problem that many of us face: shorts that ride up while walking.

There are many different ways to solve this problem, and those who experience it seem to have come up with a variety of solutions to fit their body type, level of fitness, and activity.

In general, I have noticed a large uprising of capri type workout pants. These are wonderful for cooler weather or for when you simply do not want to bother with rising short lines, but seem pretty impractical for the heatwave we are currently experiencing.

Please note, my friends, that I am not only coming to you as the president of the anti short riding committee, I am also a member. ... ? Or something like that. I'm sure you remember the commercials.

As I have been walking Duncan lately (and walking, and walking, and walking... seriously, I have been discovering MORE about our neighborhood with this beautiful weather... I found a park the other day!), I have been experimenting with different ways to keep down shorts that have been riding up, and I thought this would be the best forum to share with you my critiques these methods. :)

1. The popular "lean down and pick." Pros: Effective solution for lowering shorts that have risen up your legs. Cons: You look like a stinking idiot, and it calls attention to the problem.

2. The "climbing a staircase" step, often used in combination with the "lean down and pick." By raising your leg high to step up onto a curb or stair, the "pick" does not require leaning down. Pros: Less noticeable than the "lean down and pick," quick method for lowering shorts that have risen up your legs. Cons: Short term effectiveness, often no curbs or stairs located conveniently enough on your walk to make this a practical solution, and if you miss the pick at just the right moment, it solves nothing and you are stuck with the "lean down and pick" option.

3. The "zig zag" step. This is where you widen your steps and move your legs in a zig zag pattern. Those of you who have done this know exactly what I am talking about. The zigging (or zagging) allows for extra space between the legs for the shorts to fall down naturally. Pros: No leaning and picking here, folks! Cons: Not effective for all people, all the time. Also, I would like to point out that if you have a "shelf" where the shorts have made a comfortable home, this is not likely to be an effective solution.

4. The "basketball pivot to see if anyone is behind you" step. This particular move is gold, my friends. Here, you would do a basketball type pivot, where one foot is planted and you spin your hips approximately 90 degrees behind you so that your body opens up. You would simultaneously look over what is now your back shoulder as you touch your non-planted toe on the ground, straighten your leg (and possibly give a little shake or flex to your leg... depending on the strength with which you pivoted, this may not be necessary), and your shorts should fall back into place. Pros: Nobody knows you are doing this because your shorts have ridden up; it is polite to keep an eye out for other walkers, runners, joggers, and dogs that may be coming up behind you and need space on the sidewalk. Cons: Incessant use of this step may cause people to become suspicious of you having a paranoia disorder.

5. Wear capris... in the insane heat... *shudder*... ugh.

These are a few solutions I have been trying during our evening walks. If you have any others you would like to share (for the good of all humanity), please do so.

Hope all is well with you and yours (and that this made you chuckle)! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Radio Silence

For all those who care (and I know all of you do), Jeff and I have been ill this past week(end). So much so, that in hindsight, I'm wondering if we should have gone to the hospital... Anywho, hindsight's 20/20, and I know we're both at this point still alive and seem to be on the mend. :)

I had posed the question last week as to whether or not we would/should slow down... little did I know that as I was typing that very post, a chest cold was beginning to overpower my immune system and would quickly claim victory over my healthy ways.

I have pretty much been out of commission since last Friday. This is actually the 2nd day I have woken up not believing in some part that I was dying... ok, not really, but I was able to wake up and feel like there was hope that I was getting better. From Friday to Monday evening, I managed to take 2 showers and cook 0 meals. The meals part may not seem too unusual for those of you who know me... but the shower thing, not like me at all. I like to be clean! :)

In any case, Jeff was sick with something else, something that at this point I know involves headaches and was not a cold like mine. I'm not entirely sure what it was, as I was wrapped up in my own misery, but I know he was sick as well. Duncan could not escape the germs that invaded our home, and he is currently on steroids to slow down his allergies and incessant sneezing and coughing.

There is one particular experience I wish to share with you... I began Lysol-ing the house as soon as I was able to get out of bed. I had a time in college where I kept managing to re-infect myself with whatever I had due to not immediately cleaning everything, and I assure you this will NOT happen again under my watch. :) So I was Lysol-ing everything... EVERYTHING. Let me tell you, I took this duty (tee-hee, I said "duty") so seriously that the only reason Duncan did not get Lysol-ed is because he was running from me. In any case, I put on shoes so I could head out to the garage and start delousing my car. I noticed there something small in my shoe rubbing my foot, presumably a fuzzy from a sock. I took off my shoe to shake out the fuzz, and low and behold, A SPIDER fell out of my shoe. A. SPIDER. FELL. OUT. OF. MY. SHOE.

Needless to say, it was NOT a good afternoon in our home. However, things are getting better, and I am on the lookout for more of our 8 legged friends. Oh, and the boys have been looking at me funny, as I have become obsessive about shaking out everything that I may think about putting on my body prior to doing so. :)

Hope all is well with you and yours! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wedding Weekend

Hey all! This weekend was a jam packed celebration of all things good! We were lucky enough to celebrate love, Mommies, and time with friends and family!

For those of you who may have missed a few posts, my friend Kym got hitched! It was a crazy time in Manhattan. We got our nails did, our hurr did, and Kym walked down the aisle and said her "I do"s!

It was GREAT seeing friends whom we haven't in awhile... there were people there I had not spoken to since high school. Some looked a LITTLE bit different.... :)

My folks followed us back to the city to watch our first win at sand volleyball (well, and to spend Mother's Day with us)! :) Afterwards, they EVEN treated Jeff and I to yummy ice cream! YAY! :)

All in all, it was a FANTASTIC weekend, one which we are still recovering from! Perhaps one of these days we will be all caught up on sleep... NAAAAAHHH!!!! :)

Hope all is well with you and yours! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mom's Birthday

Happy Birthday to a very special lady!!! :) Love you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ashli, with an "i"

Dear friends, it is with great regret that I am passing along this particular piece of wisdom.

1. Never, EVER trust a girl named Ashli... especially if her name is spelled with an "i"... AND ESPECIALLY if the "i" is dotted with a heart.

As some of you may have figured out, I am the Matron of Honor (I know, MATRON?! It sounds SO OLD!) for a wedding near the beginning of May. I had the great fortune of trying on my dress the same weekend of the shower. It looks GREAT! (... it's even LOOSE! WOO HOO!) :) There was, however, a moment of despair when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized my farmer's tan from the past 4 years was still visible with the cut of the dress. This was the moment I decided to sign up for tanning sessions at a local tannery.

Ashli, with an "i," dotted with a heart, did her best to sell me on the various packages. The best thing to helping me that was described? The "high pressured, no-burn guaranteed bed"... which the tannery was having a sale on. It spoke right to my heart. She assured me that she would be there the next day as I purchased the package and had my first burn free tan.

Now, I know fake baking is bad for you. Trust me, I get it. But do you know what else is bad for you? I can recall the images of every single girl in a bridesmaids dress that had tan lines or an improperly fitting dress I have ever seen. Evil versus evil. I only fake bake for certain occasions, and spread it years apart. Tanning = lesser evil, trust me.

I went back in the next day to meet *sigh* Ashli, with an "i," dotted with a heart, and she was nowhere to be found. Her... um... enthusiastic? co-worker assured me that the bed was indeed high pressured, no-burn guaranteed, and on sale. The total was slightly higher than hers, and even the manager when summoned agreed with me that Ashli, with an "i," dotted with a heart, has no basic math skills.

My first experience with the bed was pleasant. I was worried about burning, especially after I got in and had to consciously suppress the remembered aroma of vinegar haunting my childhood memories.

As a kid, I liked to be outside. My skin does not agree with the sun or allow sunblock to form an actual "block," and many sunburns were so severe that vinegar was used to lessen pain. As a direct result, I can remember being the "stinky kid" that nobody wanted to be seen with and had no idea they were so stinky or that nobody wanted to play with them. These realizations have come to me as an adult, and I look back at that time with fondness, so make no mistake that I am and have always been happy with my childhood. :)

My second experience was today. Ashli, with an "i," dotted with a heart, was present, and set the bed for me. She also led me to a different bed, farther in the back, and gave me instructions. After setting the timer for TWENTY FOUR MINUTES (yes, TWENTY FOUR MINUTES) and assuring me that this was a low time for new beginners in this particular bed, she left me to my demise.

The word of the day is "sunburn," my friends. Closely following that is "I knew I shouldn't have trust that b*tch at the tanning place."

Needless to say, I now have reason to refuse service (and/or RUN) from anyone named Ashli, with an "i," dotted with a heart, forever more.

Hope all is well with you and yours. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Party Weekend

Overall, I'd like to think this weekend was a big success. This weekend, the fruits of my labors came together for Kym's Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party. Of course, I could be biased about how great it went. :)

The festivities truly began last weekend, as I finalized details of the weekend, picked up what I thought was the last of the decorations and miscellaneous items needed, and bought the outfits I was to wear to the parties. Thursday, Jeff's Mom was nice enough to bake 2 cakes for the shower (chocolate sheet cake and carrot cake -- YUMMY!) for me to pick up after a LONG day of working. Friday brought driving, baking the last cake, seeing my family, and seeing Kym. I also had a few panicked moments when I was told some guests (who had not RSVP'ed) were coming into town (and may be bringing their children to the shower) where I ran back to Dodge to buy what was truly the last of the decorations and extra supplies for said guests.

All in all, the parties were a smash hit. I absolutely cannot thank my Mom for helping, the other bridesmaids and families members who helped decorate and put everything together, and the guests who came and made Kym's day memorable.

The festivities began Saturday at 11 as we decorated the hall and ended at 230 am when I arrived home after the bachelorette party. Yesterday, I made the 6 hour trek back to KC and arrived exhausted and exhilarated. Duncan had apparently been sitting watch at the garage door for my arrival since Friday evening, and wasted no time greeting me with puppy kisses, puppy cuddles, and puppy farts. Jeff was even excited to see me, too. :)

In all, it was AWESOME seeing my family and friends, and seeing the labor of the last 3 months finally come together into an amazing day for my friend. Hope all is well with you and yours. :)