Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Here's a few images of Christmas in our house! The hubs is working all weekend, unfortunately, but we'll have a good 2 hour Christmas tomorrow :)





Cleo's just a little excited for her first Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Even Sorry

I don't have much to say in this post. I have no pictures of this event, so I drew you a picture...



The other day we took Cleo and Blitz (who got adopted today! So we are back to a one doggy home!) to the park to see how Blitz did interacting with strangers, on a leash, etc. We walked him over to the playground to find some kids.

There were none.

So we played on the playground like the grown adults we are.

This "bucketseat" spinning contraption? Amazing. You propel yourself once, and then it spins you and you can't stop.

And if you're me, you laugh uncontrollably and nearly puke when you finally get up the balls to jump off the spinning death seat.

And then you're horribly embarrassed when a biker or 6 goes by.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blitz!

As if things weren't crazy enough around here with our 5 month old nipping puppy, this week we added a foster pup to the mix!

Meet Blitzer...aka "Blitz" because we're really just too lazy to add on that extra syllable.


Blitz is a 4 month old that appears to be a fullbred golden retreiver. He is, however, absolutely going to be a GIANT dog. He's about twice the weight of Cleo, and younger than her. He's also much calmer, though, and he'll play with her but she wears him out long before she's out of energy.



But then they take adorable naps together, and it's all good.



We went to the park today and he met a dog a little smaller than Cleo, and snapped at her a little but wasn't exactly vicious, though. But he met our neighbors dogs and they have an akita mix and some kind of toy-sized mix, and he was fine with both of them. We're thinking it was just him being on the leash. He's not housetrained yet, either, but is much more well-mannered that Cleo (and we trained her!) and is completely cratetrained!

But, at the park together, we were also able to take a nice long walk ON the lake--which is a new experience for us, as our home state doesn't get cold enough for this. The pups enjoyed sliding around on the ice and I was frankly just fascinated with the ice fishers!



I have to take Blitz back to an adoption event on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and I'm definitely pimping this amazing puppy out! He's a great dog, and if we had a bigger house and he wasn't going to be a giant hairy beast when he grows up, we'd keep him! He definitely deserves a home for Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Santa

Part of Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin' It!

Dear Santa,

I understand that you can't get me everything I want, and that's okay. I had my husband here for Thanksgiving and I know that means it's only fair he will work all day and night on Christmas--that's okay, I get it.

I appreciate you letting us go visit family just after Christmas. That's so nice of you.

But...what I really want for Christmas? Well, that's pretty easy.

I want this to stop biting me:



She's very cute. She's very smart. She's fairly well-behaved. However, I don't have that many dressy long sleeved shirts, and people look at me funny when I go to work with tiny cuts all over my hands and arms and I'm just waiting for someone to ask me if I need help. Plus, it hurts.

Now, I know Cleo is nipping because she's a puppy. I also know she's nipping because she's a herding breed. I know it's normal.

But it really hurts.

So, if you can't get her to stop nipping, can you at least let her lose her other three puppy canine teeth? They are definitely the biggest offenders.

Or at least hit me up with some great cover-up.

Thanks Santa.

Love,
Meg

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turk-ish Dreams

This year we hosted our very first Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving has never been a big deal for me, as I'm usually needed at work before 4am the next day, and my parents were always out of town growing up so it was never a huge family event for me.

But, this year, we are on the other side of the country from our families and I don't have a job that will fire me for not coming on Black Friday, so we got to have Thanksgiving! Out here there are several people that we actually know from our hometown--we always find this truth odd, since we currently live in the middle of nowhere--and we all got together to great a potluck dinner last night.

Although we had a full dinner and much more food than we needed, I only made the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry/apple mold (thanks for the recipe, Family Circle). I was very nervous about the turkey, since I had never made one, and despite it taking 1.5 hrs longer than it was supposed to, it tasted absolutely delicious and I wouldn't change a thing if/when I do it again!

I decided to stuff it with celery, carrots, an onion, and sage leaves just to keep it moist and flavorful. I have read that actually stuffing a turkey with stuffing is no longer considered good practice due to some bacteria that tends to grow between the stuffing and the turkey, so I decided against that.



I used a mixture of honey, butter, and dried herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary) to baste with, and took it out of the oven (where it was covered in foil) about every 45 minutes to rebaste. It took about 6.5 hours to fully cook, but it was great!




And I went cheap for the stuffing..stove top, approx. 10 minutes total to fix. Best idea ever.




So, our first Thanksgiving was a total success!

Hope everyone else had a great one too!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In Case of Flood, Climb to Safety

This week we took a little road trip and went down to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park was gorgeous, and Cleo had a great time as well--she even realized that it's okay to walk on a leash and hasn't refused it since!






We went up as far as we could go by road in the park, stopping where they closed the road (we assume for cold). But, honestly, getting there was half the fun. We had to drive through a canyon called Big Thompson Canyon on the way and the road is literally at the bottom of the canyon (next to Big Thompson River, of course) and it was absolutely gorgeous. I would make that drive every day just for fun! This is also where the "in case of flood, climb to safety" sign comes in...really it should say "in case of flood, good luck!"



And just about a half an hour outside of the park is a city called Estes Park, CO. I don't have any pictures of it, sadly, but I absolutely fell in love with this city. It's tiny and has all these one of a kind shops and everything is within walking distance. And it's super dog friendly--we only got kicked out of one store and most stores have signs on the front that say dogs welcome! (We can't leave Cleo in the car yet because she'll eat the car).

But, about a half an hour outside Estes Park, there's a store called Colorado Cherry. I love cherries. And this place has everything cherry: juice, cider, jam, jelly, everything. We stopped and I picked up some cherry jam for filling some cupcakes this week!

Very successful road trip!

Monday, October 10, 2011

How Here is Different Than There

Moving to the other side of the country is obviously a big adjustment. But, some changes weren't really anticipated and we have to live around here awhile to get a hang of them. Mostly they are things you'd never think of that are suprising! Such as...

Traffic Lights



On the eastern side of the country, we have three lights at traffic stops: red, yellow, green. Occasionally we see a green arrow. And that's it.
Here, however, there are no "green lights" for turn lanes--there are only arrows. So you either get a green arrow (not that I've seen this), a flashing yellow arrow (which means proceed with caution), a regular yellow arrow (which means you better book it before the light turns red) or a red arrow. This seems particularly unintelligent since the flashing yellow and the regular yellow are in the same "circle" so you have to really be paying attention so see the change if you are waiting to turn.

Communication



Such as one area code for the entire state.
One news broadcast and, yes, it covers the entire state.
The news broadcast is horrible, too. It's so bad. We had a high school news produced by high school students and it was better than this. You can literally hear people in the background saying "ok...go" when they switch the cameras.
There are a large amount of radio stations, though. That was a GOOD surprise.
And I'm going to go ahead and throw "highways closed for high wind" into this one. Because the highway is pretty much the only way to get to any other city from here. And it's at least an hour away. The highways close way too often.

Lawns



The only lawns in this state that aren't brown are in our neighborhood. And that's only because we are required to water it three times a week.
However, we are not required to have the following in our yard, but can't seem to get rid of them: Prairie Dogs AND their lovely holes (Cleo likes to stick her head in them so..that's always fun) and antelope AND their lovely crap. Thankfully, Cleo is a pansy and after about 20 seconds of staring at the antelope that are consistently in our yard (eating my mums), she runs back to me or the house. Yea, she's a great herding dog ;)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cleopatra

We've officially been in our new city 1200 miles from our hometown for a month now. We're starting to get everything settled and have really been getting used to our new city. We've definitely hit a good curve, and are enjoying it out here. Especially because it was 80 all week and will be in the 70s all this week, while it's 45 in our hometown! :) We won't be able to brag about this for too long, but for now it's good to rub in our families faces.

To this point, I've been pretty sick since we got here. Had a 10 lb losing stomach bug for 2 weeks, and other than that it's been just kind of one thing after the other. But, I've still been looking for employment and despite looking for a job for a month, I still don't have one. After giving up on finding something in Education (you know...the thing I actually have a degree in), I'm just trying to find something full-time, basically anywhere, during the day--which is hard to do, apparently.

Why during the day, you ask?

Because of this little midget. Cleo.


We rescued our Cleo, half cattle dog half aussie shepherd, a few weeks ago.


And, although getting an 8 week old puppy comes with sleepness nights, many fond moments cleaning the carpet, and nipping at the ankles, we love this weird, adorable puppy of ours!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ontheway Vacay

That's right! We have officially moved from one side of the country to the other! I missed my sofa and my home, and am still missing my bed as it isn't here yet, but the weather has been wonderful since we got here on Tuesday! 80s and 90s with light breeze? I'm certain the West is just luring us in--this won't last much longer!

But, unlike our trip out in December, this time we had a little more time to play with. So, we decided to take a little vacation on the way. It was great, but we also noticed that we were doing the "senior siteseeing trip" as everyone we saw at our stops seemed to be either senior citizens or grandparents with their small grandchildren.

We went to...

Corn Palace. There was an awesome festival going on too--we had no idea, it was completely by chance.




The Badlands.



Wall Drug.



Mt. Rushmore.



Wind Cave.



Vore Buffalo Jump.



And Devil's Tower!



And it was awesome!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Colds in the Summer

The progression of the cold vs. my evening at my favorite downtown restaurant:

Step 1: Throats a little weird, but fine still as long as I'm chewing bubble gum or drinking something


Step 2: Sneeze 8 Billion times.


Step 3: Go gome with fever and actual illness.





...who gets a cold in the summer????

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Shop Around the Corner

This week, Borders announced that they will be selling the store to a liquidator and would be closing after 40 years. In all fairness, it's not something that us employees were shocked by. Borders declared backruptcy last year and closed 200 some of the 600 some stores, leaving about 400 open. eReaders have done considerable damage in the world of books, just as Netflix and Redbox have done their part to force Hollywood Video into liquidation and Blockbuster video into bankruptcy.



All I can think about, though, is Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail, so sad about her "little shop" closing because the "big" chain around the corner put her out of business. It's weird, because we're the big store.

Although I've only been back in Borders a short time after a stint a couple years ago, I've always fully enjoyed working there. I always say I have two jobs, but I only enjoy one...and Borders is it. It's such a relaxed place to work, and also intellectually stimulating, and we've made strong friendships within each other. I don't think there is any retail job that can possibly be more relaxing.

But, now we have signs like these plastered all over the store. Giant signs hanging off the cielings in several places, at least one %off sign every 4 feet, all sales final, no checks, etc.



This is a sad time for all of us, employees and customers alike. This time is, however, made harder with some customers who fail to put things in perspective so, in the interest of all 11,000 Borders employees who are about to lose their jobs, I ask you to please remember a few things as you come through the final sales and get your good deals:

We understand that you may have paid to upgrade your card with us and are now upset that you are out $20. We have no control over this, and please remember that your $20 is a small inconvenience--we would gladly trade your $20 for our jobs.

Although we appreciate that you are sorry we are closing and you may be generally interested in what we, individually, are now planning to do with our umemployed lives, we can only hear such things so many times in the day before we get frustrated. It's kind of like when you make comments like "Wow, you're only 6 months?!" and "Wow, you're huge!" to a pregnant woman--it's good natured, but when you look back on it you realize it's really not a compliment. Plus, it's depressing.

We don't know what day, specifically, we will be closing. We don't know when the sales will be changing. We no longer have the ability to use coupons or give discounts of any kind. Everything is now under control of the company that bought us, and we have zero say in what we do or don't do. It's kind of like being held captive.


Generally, please just remember that although our closing is getting you amazing deals, it's also taking the livelihoods of thousands of people. And don't be a dick.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

To Facebook or Not to Facebook

Lately, I've been thinking about the benefits versus the issues that come with having a facebook. I recently read an article by someone who spent a year without using facebook--to my surprise, she lived. I don't, for the life of me, remember what I did before Facebook. But, the superficial friendships and the lack of any commonly accepted rules on the site get to me every once in awhile.

I mean, do I really have 387 friends? No, no I don't. And I've deleted some 100+ friends in the past month. And do I have to add my boss if they ask to be my friend? Do I have to add my grandmother? My husband's aunt? My 10 year old nephew? If I add all those people, then I have to watch what I say because what I'd like to say may not be condusive to what my grandmother and my 10 year old nephew should be reading, or my boss to be knowning. And doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of having a profile when nothing you say or do is actually what you'd like to say or do?



But, if you don't use facebook, it's like your missing out on everything. You can't see when other people get married, have children, move, or (the worst) die. And how am I supposed to know if my child is cute without 300 people hitting "like" on their pictures?

I try really hard to keep my profile private. Everything on it is set to "friends only" and my profile is unsearchable. But, that doesn't seem to really matter--I can't stop myself from showing up in other people's "people you may know" section, I can't stop friends of my friends from seeing things I put on their walls or pictures they put up of me. Everytime my friends and I go out we have "posting rules" with photos--we can't risk the whole world seeing everything we do.

Keeping connected is great, but I often wonder if it's truly worth the stress and the fakeness that tends to come along with it.

Thoughts?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Ole San Antone

A few weeks ago, I went to visit the hubs who is down in San Antonio for the summer. Yes, I know you are confused. We, also, have no idea how to answer the question "where do you live?" at the moment.

But we had a great time in San Antonio! We went to the riverwalk and used our Heroes Salute pass to go to Sea World (thanks!) and really enjoyed ourselves. Seaworld, by the way, also has a waterpark...which was AMAZING since it was 107 all day! Mostly, though, we love that there are actually things to do in San Antonio, unlike in Alabama where he was most recently. That place was boring. And it smelled. True fact.

The Alamo. Which really surprised us. We figured it would be in the middle of nowhere but it's not--it's right in the middle of the city. In fact, we walked to the riverwalk from there and it was a super short walk in itself.



We ate at this place on the riverwalk called Dick's, where the waiters are rude to you on purpose. We all ended up wearing paper hats with dirty phrases on them, which was funny. It was no Ed Debevics, but it was still pretty good. But, good ole texas, it was 9pm and it was still 103 outside so it was a rather warm outdoor meal.





And then, of course, there was the highlight: SeaWorld. Which was huge, hot, and busy. But definitely awesome!





Plus, we got to see each other for the first time in 4 months, which was also awesome ;)