Monday, April 27, 2009

Cave Bacon

For our 9th anniversary, Ryan whisked me away on a romantic trip to Keystone, South Dakota. Mt. Rushmore is only 5 1/2 hours drive for us. So we took the "weekend" and went up. It was perfect. We pretty much had the hotel to ourselves. There was nobody else there! It was fabulous. Although it doesn't make sense. When we checked in, they said they didn't have a king room available, so they would have to put us in a king suite. It was fabulous! Usually Ryan goes in the pool for a lap or two and then we soak it the hot tub. This time It was me who jumped in the pool while Ryan stood there saying it was too cold.

Mt Rushmore was great. There was not a lot of people there. They changed the parking lot and the visitor center since I was there last around 1991. We saw a mountain goat just wandering around 10 feet from us. Also - Carrie Ingalls moved to Keystone, SD and worked for the newspaper there. Her husband is buried in the city cemetery, but she is with the rest of the family in De Smet.

We also decided to do a little caving. We went to Jewel Cave and went on a tour and a small hike. It was awesome. Our favorite part was Cave Bacon. There is a formation and with the mixture of minerals and water, a formation that resembles Bacon can be seen. It's awesome.

I didn't get any rocks done as the days we were home I was working 12 hours to get my 40 hours in 3 1/2 days.

Last week my boss dropped a bomb on us. He got a promotion and is leaving our building. Part of what makes this job the greatest is him. After my psycho pathological liar last boss, life is so calm with him in charge. I've had quite a few bad bosses and very few good bosses. It's hard to see the good ones go. I'm a little nervous for the replacement.

We picked up a free futon on Craig's list. Ralph - next time you come you get a choice between air mattress and floor and futon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Burn Victim

I had awful bad luck in the kitchen yesterday and today. Yesterday, I was making lunch for us before Ryan left for work and I had the alfredo sauce heating up on the stove. I was also on the phone with Erin and Lara. I got distracted and for some reason bent over the saucepan to look for something. At that moment, the alfredo sauce decided to explode out of the saucepan all over my neck. Ryan helped me clean the burning sauce off my neck. Ouch!

Then today I had dinner cooking in the oven and when Ryan came home from work I pulled it out with two hot pads and set it on the stove. Then like an idiot, I took the lid off the casserole dish and instantly dropped it as the pain registered. I don't know why I did that, if the lid came out of the oven, it should be hot as well. I don't know what's wrong with me. I should be great in the kitchen. I have mom's blood flowing through my veins, didn't I inherit any of that?

We just might stick to frozen pizzas this week until my burns heal.

So this week I will see what life is like without opposable thumbs. I still have my blood blister on my left thumb and now my burns on my right hand. Should be an interesting week.

Braden was in town again. We had a fabulous time at dinner both nights. We tried 2 new restaurants. I never choose well at new places. But I did pretty good this time. One dish was fabulous and the other was so-so.

Lucky for me, with Braden's visit and the torrential rain/snow/sleet for the past 3 days, I was not forced to pick up rocks this week. The bad part to this is that in order to meet my quota I need to double my time out there this week.

So while the rain kept me from picking up rocks, it also allowed me to spend quite a bit of time in my "project room". I made 4 holidays valances for our front room (February, April, May and June) . I can't wait to get blinds in the window so I can hang up the valance. I also made a shirt. It was a bit interesting. It has raw edges exposed and I'm not sure how I like it. Ryan thinks it looks good. See picture - what do you think? I feel a little bit like Anne of Green Gables and the dress with puffed sleeves. I'm not sure how to get rid of them. The sleeve pattern was not really wide, the rounded top part of the sleeve pattern was really high if that makes any sense to you fellow sewers?

Ryan passed off his 2nd area. He is halfway to his first big raise. Yeah!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

dirt clods or rocks?

So a couple of weeks ago Ryan came home from work and I had a Craig's list find. I had gone and picked up this table for free. I put it in the trunk of the the corolla, well most of it was hanging out of the trunk, but I tied it in with some good quality hay twine and drove home really slow with our new table. It only has two chairs, but it's a pretty nice free table. We haven't moved it upstairs yet, I like using Grandma Vawdrey's table and Grandma Beck's Chairs. But maybe soon. I also picked up some old tablecloths, pillowcases, and nice hankies. They were free. I used one of the old tablecloths as the lining for my bag I made this weekend.

So this week I finished two dresses, an apron and my new bag. I started the peach one last year in Oklahoma. The tan one with red flowers cost about $1.50 for the fabric. I love clearance fabric :) It was productive project week. I'm on target still. I have completed 24 projects since I first set the goal of 1 project every six days back in November.

Ryan dug out the big tree in our backyard. That was hard work. He couldn't really walk or stand up straight the next day.

I did manage to slam my thumb in the sliding glass door and the result was a nice blood blister on my thumb. I really missed being able to use my opposable thumb.
Ryan and I spent some quality time in the backyard trying to come up with a timeline and plan. Our rock garden along the back fence is 70 feet x 15 feet. After some basic mathematical calculations we arrived at a plan. We have 1050 square feet to clear of rocks (just along the back fence). I need to clear 65 square feet each week in order to be done by August 1st. That gives us August to level the soil, dig sprinkler lines in order to be ready to seed the lawn in September. So 6 days a week I need to clear 10 feet of rock. If I stick to this plan, it should be done in 16 weeks. I made a spreadsheet in Excel so I can color a square each time I complete a square foot.

It is backbreaking work, sitting there on the ground or on my knees, squeezing dirt clods to see if they are rocks or just dirt clods. I've been spending about 2 hours a night out there. When I come in the house, I look a bit like Grandpa Beck and Padre. I can't stand up straight.

During this two hours, I have lots of time to think. I think I might actually wear out a pair of work gloves. I've never worn out a pair of gloves. I don't think I ever had my own gloves at home. When i needed gloves for chores, I just grabbed the best set there was off the top of the freezer in the mud room.

Thanks for your suggestions about the rocks. And yes, Erin and Lara, it does remind me of the hours and hours we spent picking burrs, rocks, broken glass and junk out of Padre's fields. We made some good money from Padre. How does the pay get better than a penny for every 2 burrs? Now I'm working for free, for the pure pleasure and satisfaction of having a garden and lawn.

Well, enough about the rocks. Next week I'll send a picture with our rock progress.

I read 2 really good books in the last couple of weeks. Both by Ann Bronte, Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey. Somebody needs to make a movie of the Wildfell hall. I really enjoyed the book. Took me a while to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. I usually read on my lunch break at work and it is so hard to put the book back in the drawer at the end of lunch.

I don't remember Madre watching TV. Maybe she did, I just don't remember it. Except for Masterpiece theatre and Mystery. Both on PBS. I checked out a DVD from the library this week, the Railway Children. The Masterpiece theatre music came on and I started humming along. It made me think of Madre It was a good movie.

Also - we got a letter. We are officially approved in the State of Colorado as prospective adoptive people.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reunited with the pooper scooper

Our friend had dug a hole in his backyard for his trampoline. He offered us the extra soil and we said yes. He arranged for one of his friends to help move it. So they dumped it on our driveway and we (mostly Ryan) spent time hauling it in the wheelbarrow to the backyard. Ryan was at work when the soil was dumped. I grabbed the pooper scooper shovel and I started loading the wheelbarrow and made 5 trips to the backyard. It had been so long since I used the pooper scooper, but it remembered me and we worked well together again. But it was so warm that day, that the backyard was pure, slippery, wet mud. So I had to stop hauling wheelbarrows of good soil. Later I felt something crusty on my face. I had clumps of mud on my face and didn't even know it.

While I was hauling wheelbarrows full of soil to the backyard, a friend suggested I use a "rounded shovel, it's called a spade, it's better for shoveling". I thanked him and showed him the two "rounded" shovels we had, but explained the pooper scooper is better for scooping crap up off a flat surface. And that was what I was doing. Besides, how was he to know my history of shoveling things, manure, soil, gravel, sand, etc. I have extensive experience in that area thanks to Dad.

Ryan worked hard hauling the rest to the backyard (42 wheelbarrow loads). Now we are just waiting for a good rain or snow storm to wash off our driveway.

Thanks to everyone who donated jeans. I spent the weekend cutting them up into 6 inch squares. I was able to collect enough to make a Levi quilt. yeah! I'll need some more in about a year so keep me in mind. I'll take them now or later...

Isn't conference refueling? Gives good reminders and perspective to life.

Oh - and our last round of shots was unsuccessful.