Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

While I'm generally not a huge fan of Halloween, I just couldn't resist this one. Happy Halloween from my whole family--the only people who won't disown me for doing this. ;)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barrels of Fun

Most of my Lawrence area friends probably already know all about this, but I'm going to share this link to my other blog just in case there is someone visiting today who didn't receive my email on the subject last week. In case you don't know, there's a 3-Day fundraiser at The Barrel House coming up on Thursday that anyone and everyone can attend for a mere $2! For all the details, click here! I hope those of you who are available will join us at The Barrel House for a fun evening out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Pics

Tonight our good friends Pat and Kristin hosted a lovely little pumpkin carving party, and I kind of dig my creation of the evening. I had a bit of a hard time deciding what to make, but my decision was helped along a little by our little pica dog Hope. Tonight as we left for our walk, she walked out the front door and took one sniff of my pumpkin on the front porch and tried to pick it up by the stem. I guess she thought she was going to take it somewhere to eat it? Regardless, she couldn't lift it and it rolled down off the steps, so it had a big bruise on one side.

So even though the bruise was on the flat, discolored, bumpy side of the pumpkin, I decided to use that ugly side as inspiration for my carving. It seemed like the perfect canvas for this masterpiece!

Behold the sickly, barfing jack-o-lantern! After adding Beth's suggested low ears, I unwittingly created kind of a likeness of Sloth.

After getting a few pictures of my barfing Sloth I took a few shots of the other cool pumpkins I bought out at Schaake's over the weekend. I love their stuff! Check out the awesome warty one, especially!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gearing Up

I spent the bulk of my evening preparing for my trip to Dallas, even though the 3-Day is still two weeks away. I just couldn't help myself--I'm getting really excited! I think my renewed excitement mainly stemmed from the fact that over the weekend I actually met someone who is going to Dallas as well, and now I have a tentmate and a walking partner!

This meeting wasn't exactly accidental, in that my new friend Brandy is actually friends with Chad's coworker Suzanne, and Suzanne gave Brandy my email address. We corresponded last week and met up on Saturday to walk a few miles in Topeka. She's a very nice first-time walker who also walks about my speed, which is an added bonus! Now I'm really looking forward to actually knowing someone else in Dallas!

So this evening I went to Target and picked up all of my travel toiletries and a few other supplies, and then I went down to the basement to pull out my sleeping bag and camping pad. I didn't actually start putting things in my duffel, but I did start gathering everything together in the anticipation of packing!

One of the other things I did in preparation was to lace up my shoes with some new laces that I splurged on last year. I think they're pretty perfect, don't you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Honey Bee--Literally

Yesterday Chad was at the Famous Dave's in Manhattan for a business lunch, and when he went to open his packet of honey to put on his cornbread, this is what he found.

That's a bee. In his honey. Dead. Which is pretty gross. At first I thought maybe the bee was just an indication that the honey was really fresh, but the more I thought about it, the more I think that a dead bee in your honey packet really means nothing except that the honey was really made by bees. I mean that bee could have died in there years ago, so all this is really telling us is that it's real honey. As opposed to fake honey? Is there such a thing?

Now, had it been a live bee--that would have been something else!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fashionally Challenged

I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but today I actually wore this to work:

Nice shoes, right? I know I look like such a complete dork. I don't claim to have terrific fashion sense by a long shot, but I do know that running shoes are completely inappropriate and ridiculous with dressy pants and a sweater. Here's my excuse. I went to work a half day on Monday, but my back hurt so much worse by the end of the day I didn't go at all yesterday. Instead, I went to try a new chiropractor in town (for those keeping score, this would be the sixth chiropractor I've tried in Lawrence) and he talked to me about the importance of wearing supportive and comfy running shoes when you're having back pain. This is actually something I've never tried before, and since I really need to get my back better before November 6, I was willing to try anything.

I contemplated just wearing jeans to work so that I wouldn't look quite so absurd, but then I thought maybe that just wearing tennis shoes would be a less noticeable violation of the dress code than wearing jeans and tennis shoes. Once I got to work though, I felt like my feet stood out like a sore thumb! Tomorrow I'm at least wearing some casual khakis with those tennies!

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Does This Happen??

Finally I have some time to share the story that horrified me two weeks ago. Several of my friends have already heard this tale by now, so if you're one of them, you might want to take the day off from reading! Hopefully the rest of you will find this somewhat entertaining.

Two Mondays ago I was driving home at the end of the day when I got a call from Chad. He started by saying "I'm not even sure if I should tell you this." In general, I'd say that's just not a good sign. He preceded to tell me this story.

Chad got home from work, fed the dogs and sent them outside, and then walked downstairs to take the mail to our computer desk. At the bottom of the stairs, beside the new loveseat that had been delivered a couple of weeks before, he saw a strange something sitting on the floor. At a glance he thought it was a piece of the packaging from the pub table and stools we'd unpackaged and put together the night before--maybe a piece of cardboard or something that had been chewed up by the dogs. He reached down to pick it up, but when he did, it began squirming and wiggling. Obviously he was a bit startled, and his knee jerk reaction was to fling the squirming thing into the air--the squirming thing that happened to be a snake!! IN OUR BASEMENT! Seriously!!!

At this point, as Chad is telling me this story, I'm on the other end of the phone screaming like a crazy person. I was so hysterical you would have thought I had been the one to find the snake instead of my husband. Of course, had I actually been the one to find the snake and accidentally pick it up, I would not be alive to tell you this story right now because I would have had a heart attack and died. For real.

Anyway, after Chad flung the snake (which was only a small garter snake, thankfully) into the air, he of course realized that he needed to actually capture it, so he grabbed a handful of paper towels off the wet bar and tried to use them to pick up the intruder. Unfortunately, Mr. Squirmy went slithering towards the crack under the door to the furnace room! Chad grabbed it before it could go under, but didn't get a firm enough hold on it, so the snake went squirming all over the place again. There was a bit of a wrestling match in the middle of the carpet between the snake and the paper towels (confirmed by Fresco, who could not stop rolling in that spot for the next three days) before Chad finally got a good enough hold to carry the serpent outside.

Now, I realize that garter snakes really aren't dangerous or harmful to humans, but seriously folks, that DOES NOT MEAN I want one in our house! IN OUR HOUSE!! I'm sure some people will think I'm totally overreacting, but this is so incredibly disturbing to me! How did this creepy thing get into our house!??? The fact that we have no logical answer for this question makes it even more disturbing!

We obviously searched all the corners and walls in the finished part of the basement for any cracks or crevices, but couldn't seem to find any snake holes. Chad thought maybe it came through a tear in one of the window screens, since I'd had the windows open the day before for an hour or so while I was cleaning the windows, but a thorough search turned up no tears in the screens either. Chad theorized that it could have climbed its way up one of the 4X4s of the deck and then slithered into the house at some point when we had the door wide open during the beautiful late summer weather. I find that theory completely implausible since a) I don't think a tiny snake could climb 12 feet up a wood post, and b) I don't think a snake could have come into our house and down the stairs without us or the dogs noticing. Our last theory was perhaps the most disturbing: that maybe Mr. Snake came into our house with our new furniture--like he was somehow living in the frame or cushions or packaging and finally came out two weeks later when it started getting hungry. Just to make sure this wasn't the case, I took a flashlight down and inspected the bottoms of both the couch and loveseat, just to make sure there were no holes or second snakes hanging out. The final theory, which is probably the most probable, is that he came in through some crack in the foundation in the unfinished storage room in our basement, which hasn't been inspected quite as thoroughly since there's so much crap in it right now you can hardly see the walls. There are seriously no other reasonable explanations that we could come up with! Anyone have an plausible theory? Anyone? Bueller?

As you can imagine, for the next several days (which happened to be the days my family was in town) I would get the willies every time I tiptoed down the stairs to our basement. Even now, two weeks later, I still peek around the corner and scan the entire basement before getting to the bottom of the stairs. I have to shake out any blankets or pillows laying around just to make sure there are no snakes hiding beneath. I've been totally obsessed with snakes ever since. Last night, when Chad was installing our new printer, he accidentally sat on the old power cord and jump slightly in surprise. In all seriousness, for a split second after he jumped I thought SNAKE!!

I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to get over having snakes in our basement. This might be even worse than Snakes on a Plane.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bummer of a Day

Today is really the first beautiful, sunny day we've had in what seems like forever. Unfortunately, I've spent pretty much the whole day laying in bed, alternating between ice packs and nerve stimulation on my back. Yesterday, just after I finished my 18 mile training walk (which took a mere 4.5 hours, not counting a few breaks), I was downstairs in our storage room and I bent over to grab something out of a box. That simple movement tweaked that dang disc I've been having trouble with for years, and suddenly I couldn't stand up straight. It's definitely not as bad as the first time this happened over two years ago, but it's still not fun, to say the least. I want to be outside enjoying this beautiful fall weather!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zipperly Challenged

The weather here has been unseasonably cold and wet, and quite frankly, I'm really tired of it. I feel like we kind of skipped the beautiful part of fall and went straight to the freezing cold and windy part of fall that immediately precedes winter. In my effort to bundle up and stay warm, I've been reaching for my favorite sweatshirt--the one with the broken zipper that I eulogized last year. I should have probably just thrown it in the trash at the time, since a new zipper would probably cost more than the jacket is worth, but I missed it so much and couldn't find a suitable replacement. I kept wearing it around the house, thinking I'd eventually take it to a seamstress, but of course never got it done. After a while I realized that the zipper would actually work--just with a bit Tonight when I put on my favorite sweatshirt to go for a walk, I thought I would demonstrate for you the struggle I must go through every time I want to wear this comfy piece of clothing.

Is that not ridiculous? Seriously, what is wrong with me? I just love that thing so much I'm willing to do what it takes, I guess. Someone remind me to go get it fixed over the weekend!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Missing My Brother

Even though my brother's trip was shorter than originally planned, we had a wonderful time hanging out over the weekend. I took him to the airport this morning and was very sad to say goodbye--he came and went so quickly--but we had some wonderful quality time together. We had a nice dinner Thursday with Dad and Mim, then hung out in the morning and went to lunch on Friday, hung out with Mom and had dinner on Friday evening, then went to the game and froze our tails off on Saturday, then spent all day Sunday hanging out--shopping and eating and working out and watching movies and looking at old pictures. Last night was a late night and this morning's airport trip came way too early!

The good news is, the two extra days he spent in LA before coming here paid off, because both callbacks that he went to during those days were successful--he was asked to be in a short film and a national beer commercial, both as a result of those auditions! Yea Eric! The bad news is, the beer company didn't put him "on avail" (have him clear his calendar) like they should have, so when they wanted him to come shoot the commercial on Sunday, he was still here in Kansas with no way to get back in time. It was super frustrating for him, and I felt like his trip to come see us was kind of bad luck, but the important thing is that he was clearly outstanding in his auditions and is in demand! I'm crossing my fingers and saying prayers that he will have more successful commercial auditions in the very near future!

I got a few good pictures over the weekend that I'll try to share later, but I think this one is my favorite.

I love my brother. He really does love me as well...except when I'm being an annoying little sister and taking pictures of him while he's trying to eat. :)

Monday, October 05, 2009


I have a great (and slightly horrific) story I'm dying to share on the blog, but it will have to wait until I have more time! Tonight we spent the evening cleaning the house and putting together the new guest bed we bought over the weekend, trying to prepare for our guests that are arriving tomorrow! I'm very excited to see my dad and his wife who are driving in from Ohio, but at the same time I'm completely bummed because my brother who was supposed to fly in from LA tomorrow had to change his flight. I won't get to see him until Thursday now, so I'm very sad to say the least. With houseguests for the next week, along with 3-Day fundraising that I need to get started on, I don't know when I'll be able to get to my great (but slightly terrifying) story! Stay tuned, friends!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Game Guests

The other day I mentioned that we brought some young guests to the KU game last weekend. If you know our family and friends at all, you probably guessed that those guests were our nephews Miles and Quinn, since there aren't a lot of other important 4 and 7 year old people in our lives! Miles hadn't been to a KU football game since we took him to his first game back in '04 (or maybe it was '05), and Quinn hadn't been to a KU football game ever, so we invited them to join us for the game and then to stay the night as well.

We had a really great time with the boys and enjoyed many aspects of game day that we'd missed previously, like the blow up slides and things in the kid's zone, food from the concession stand, exploring around Potter Lake, and hikes to the top of the Hill. The weather was beautiful, but the sun got a little hot in north bowl, so our friends Heather and Grant let us come up and sit by their seats, which are under the press box and in the shade--thanks friends! We have tons of great pictures, but I haven't had a free evening to load them all into a slide show. I did however, have time to load the videos from the day, which are pretty hysterical and adorable, if you ask me!

Quinn was obviously WAY into his popcorn. He was obsessed with getting popcorn the second we sat down, and I told him we'd go get some closer to halftime, which was a big mistake on my part because then he asked me every 2 minutes if it was almost halftime even though the first quarter wasn't even close to over! Finally in the second quarter I told him that if he could go for five minutes and not ask about the popcorn or halftime, then we could go down and get snacks! I was pretty proud of him, because he sat there in complete silence for about four minutes--at which point he looked at my watch and said "It's almost time!!!" Miles chose cotton candy instead of popcorn, which you can see in his video.

Ick! Even Miles doesn't look like he's too sure about the taste!

I love the last video, partially because our nephews are already so awesome at waving the wheat, but partially because of Quinn's multitasking. Absolutely hysterical!

Hopefully this weekend I'll load a good slideshow of all our pictures from the day!