Saturday, September 26, 2009

Itchin' to go

It has been 4 whole months since we have flown somewhere and I am itchin' to travel. The urge is only intensified by the free tickets that must be used by March.

The dilema: where should we go? We had originally thought about going to upstate New York to stay in my grandparents old home, which is now a Bed & Breakfast. We thought about going during the first weeks of October to see the beautiful fall colors and even visit Niagara Falls.

October is next week, so I think that plan is out.

So, the best time to go is sometime between January and March. But where, oh where?

By default of the winter season, I am leaning towards traveling somewhere warm. Where I can tan this pale skin. We can freeze our tooshies off here; why would we pay to do it somewhere else?

So, think warm and tell me where you would go if you had free round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental United States.

If you need help getting into the warm-mode, here's some help:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Old vs. New

My new grocery store does not have a Caribou Coffee inside. It doesn't even have cup holders for the grocery carts for that matter.

Oh, how I miss Caribou and their happy hour specials.

But what my new grocery store does have is a plus card. Really, the plus card isn't cool on its own. The part I love is that I can load coupons onto the plus card off the internet! Why is this so cool? Because, it is very likely that I might have a printed coupon and a coupon on the card, which means I get double savings!

For instance, I bought a package of Yoplait Plus Light yogurt (4 pack). I had a $1-off coupon from the paper and I had loaded a $1-off coupon to my plus card. The yogurt, originally $2.89, costed me $.89.

Yesterday, I bought some Cheerios on sale for $1.79. I had completely forgotten about a coupon loaded on my plus card for $.75-off. I got a box of Cheerios for $1.04. I was floating on a cloud the rest of the day.

Another perk of the plus card is for every $100 I spend, I get $.10-off per gallon of gas at the Kwik Shop. So far, we get this savings everytime we fill up.

So, my new grocery store may not have Caribou; or as many samples; or my friendly Hy-Vee man; or cup holders; or be right across the street, but maybe the plus card can make up for some of that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Hi. My name is Feather and I have an obsession.

It's not a particular thing, but more in general. Here it goes: when I get started in a book, or movie, or TV series I can't stop until the end. I neglect all the chores at home; I fall behind in absolutely every aspect of life.

It happened with the Harry Potter books. I rushed through reading them so that Hubs could have some clean socks.

Then, it happened with 24. And then some more books.

And then I was introduced to Hulu, where I met the TV show The Office. Now Hubs and I have been renting the DVDs for only $.54 and I can't won't stop until I know what happens. It's on my mind during the day. I have even (this is embarrassing) had dreams relating to the TV show. And, although I know that Jim and Pam end up getting together because we are also watching the current season on Hulu, I long to watch the DVDs until I know how, and when, and all the details.

The kitchen has remained just clean enough. And all other projects have been put on hold because of a silly, not worth anything in the light of eternity TV show.

Today, I am actually very happy that the video store doesn't have Season 3, Disc 3 available right now. Now that I know I can't watch any new episodes tonight, I am sure I will get some stuff done. Well, right after I stop by the video store to make sure it still isn't there.

Although it may seem a little humorous, I really do realize this is a problem. Not only does housework suffer, but time reading my Bible and time spent with God suffers. I really think that this is one way that the world distracts me from what really matters, my relationship with God.

Does that mean TV in general is bad? I don't think so. A bowl of ice cream isn't bad; a half gallon of ice cream is bad.

Do you have something you obsess over; something that takes your attention away from your time with God?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As Time Goes By

I never in my wildest dreams wanted to, planned on, or hoped that I would live in the midwest Kansas. Since 1995, however, I have remained in its grasps only venturing out on some great vacations.

Now, I live in a town where people know me by my maiden name. I can get anywhere in under 15 minutes. It is rare that I don't see a familiar face at the grocery store. And, I swear I hear some sort of western drawl in some people's voices that I never remember hearing before.

And so, weekly I am asked, "How are you adjusting?" or "What's it like, being back?" Some tease me because I was so very vocal about my desire to never return; but all are very sincere.

My standard response to every inquiry is, "Better than I expected."

In actuality, I don't really know what I expected. I don't even know if I had expectations, but Hubs and I devoted ourselves to making a life here outside of ourselves by making friends, getting involved, and reaching out. And, we are enjoying ourselves - imagine that. We have no idea what the future will bring, but I feel like we are ready for it.

And, we've figured out that the geographic location doesn't make it home. Our church family has made it "home." Our new friends that have welcomed us make it "home." All I need is Hubs to make it "home." The Starbucks 1.5 miles down the street doesn't hurt, either.

So, tonight I sat here and looked at my blog. Wow. My posts have gotten boring (and is duly noted by the lack of comments). What has happened to all the funny stories? Wow (again).

I thought that we were finally catching up with our friends by being out of school. We moved up to renting a house and even got a dog! But we are still a few steps behind. Now our friends are buying houses and having babies.

Yet, just like I was content in dental school, I am content right here with Hubs. Side note: if you have never moved away from your family with just your Hubs, you are missing out. It is great to establish traditions on our own and figure out problems on our own. Not that we don't receive council from others, but the bond we've built is a great foundation for wherever God leads us.

So, what is this run-on typing all about? It must mean that the rambling, random, over-thinking, contemplative, curious, clumsy Feather is coming back from wherever she went. It is good to know that she didn't get snooty in her old age. Instead, she is coming back with random polls, thoughts, news, stories, and questions.

To start it off: what makes it "home" for you?

Life in the Big City

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the big city. This is what we saw:

That's pretty big stuff for us small-town folk.

Thoughts on Tent Camping

As a kid, we went camping and I loved it. The atmosphere, the campground, the food, and the fire. Never did I mind sleeping in a tent, on the ground.

This is where we stayed last weekend:

We didn't have the smallest tent; but neither did we have the largest. It proved to be rain-proof, always a good thing, and had no lingering smells from the last time it was used.

It is a 7' x 7' tent that fits a Hubs and a Feather and a 60-pound dog very cozily. It is tall enough that I can almost stand up and turned out to be a great tent. My main concern was that Ransom would be up at every noise, and there were plenty of noises. From crickets chirping to some party-campers, to the coyotes howling - there was plenty to keep us awake.

However, the noises were the least of my troubles. We realized we didn't have sleeping bags when it was too late. So I packed up 4 blankets: 2 for cushioning and 1 for each of us to keep us warm. We kept warm - no problem. However, the other 2 blankets did little for cushioning.

In my old age (I am almost 26 you know), I realize I can no longer, and will no longer, sleep on the solid ground. Numerous times (I stopped counting after 10) I woke up stiff in the position I was sleeping and slowly creaked my back to a new position. Days later, my body is still stiff.

The tent next door to us had cots and egg crates. They slept well.

I still love camping. It is still fun, although a lot more work now that I am putting all the stuff together, and it is very relaxing. I still don't mind tent camping. It doesn't bother me to sleep outside protected by only a tent with a zipper door.

But before I camp again, I will most definitely have an air mattress of some sort.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Words from Ransom

I love riding in the truck. Wind in my ears, slober flying everywhere. This is the life. We should come here every weekend.

Man, I thought she would understand when I didn't jump in that I don't want to be in the river. Now she's dragging me in. I hope a fish bites her.

Yeah, that other dog Jazz is crazy. This water is gross, can we get out yet?

Ha! It's shallow over here. But what is that slimy stuff under my paws!?

Can I get out yet?

How come she gets to get out, but I am forced to stay in?

Yeah I don't feel bad that she had a river worm thing in her shoe. Serves her right. That'll keep her from ever dragging me in again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Family trip

This past weekend, we all loaded into the truck and went to Nebraska. By "we all," I mean Hubs, Ransom, me, a cooler of ice cream, a ginormous dog crate, a bag of our nutrition and work out materials, a suitcase/bag for each of us, and golf clubs. It was a full load.

Our mission: a Gaither Vocal Band concert with both mine and Richard's family. You may be thinking, Gaithers? Really Feather? Yup, my favorite singer happens to be singing with the Gaither Vocal Band these days and I don't think anyone has made me laugh as much as Mark Lowry did that night.

As Hubs and I were walking into the concert, however, we began to have a few doubts. We were the only people without gray hair (exaggeration, but we were the minority). When my little bro showed up, we knew we weren't the youngest people in the building.

Ruth and I attend all these concerts together. I wouldn't know what to do otherwise. Our row was a bunch of duds, though - including the family members. They wouldn't stand up during the good parts, but Ruth and I were up and cheering the entire time.

During intermission, we went out to see if we could catch some of the singers. Whalah - we did.

When it was my turn to get my picture with David Phelps, I realized I didn't even have anything for him to sign. So, in my littlest voice ever, I said, "Um, can I just get a picture with you."

Hubs joined me in the picture with Mark Lowry, who is a really, really nice and personable guy. I didn't feel as awkward with him.

So, laugh if you want, but the concert was a lot of fun and the music was great.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chew on it.

Hubs and I lucked out. We found a shelter dog, who despite a few separation issues at the beginning, is pretty as good as we could have imagined.

He is house-broken. He roams in our un-fenced yard without running away (during the daylight hours). He doesn't jump on people when he meets them (occasionally he jumps on me while playing and I have bruises to show for it). He loves his crate when we are gone and when we are home. He's healthy. He's adorable. And, he has become part of our family.

It didn't start so nice, though. Ransom was like other labs and it was after the fact that I did research to find that Labradors are more prone to separation anxiety more than other breeds; that they have a lot of energy and need to expend it; that they need mental stimulation often; and that they shed everywhere.

And all these issues (besides the shedding) lead to excessive chewing. "Labs are genetically predisposed to chewing. The same instincts that make them great retrievers also make them want to expend their energy chewing."

So, although the separation issue has been resolved and we have learned to find outlets for his energy by walking him and taking him to the dog park to play with other dogs, he still loves to chew, chew, and chew some more.

Let me just give you an example. Today, Ransom was in his crate while I was at work. I came home at 3:30 and got ready to workout. I worked out for 46 minutes and this is what Ransom did:

Remember this piggy? Earlier today, his nose was still there. By this afternoon, the nose has been digested and his face is now lacking all stuffing.

This rubber toy is fun to chew on whole, but once you bite the pieces off, you get those little pieces in your mouth to chew on. It makes for some bouncy chewing!

This giant ball-o'-rope was a new toy. It is thick, sturdy, and heavy; but no match for killer-jaws. He unravelled an entire loop.

This was all done in less than 45 minutes. For the last 12 minutes of my workout, Ransom tried to join in with my workout, which resulted in tripping and getting stepped on.

Needless to say, we go through a lot of toys at this house. But that's okay. I would much rather put money into toys than see him chew our furniture!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friendly Conversation

A while back, I was walking Ransom and passed by a lady from the neighborhood. We chatted and then she asked, So how many kids do you have?

This question was interesting to me since another neighbor had posed this question, mentioning that she had see kids in our yard. I know for a fact that no children have been in our yard.

We don't have children yet, I replied.

She said, Really? I talked to your little girl one day when she was walking your dog. He looked really big compared to her.

That was me, I said.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

I made lettuce wraps the other night. It took me, literally, 20 minutes. Plus, they are good for you and good tasting. Here's the recipe:

3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil (olive oil works too, but cooke the chicken slower)
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up into bite-size pieces
black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. grated ginger (I used ground ginger)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 8-oz can sliced water chesnuts, drained (I could only find a 5-oz can)
1/4 cup unsalted cashews
1 small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated

Mix the soy sauce and honey; set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it begins to turn brown, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the scallions; cook for 1 minute. Add the water chesnuts and half of the soy sauce mixture. Continue to cook until chicken is done.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with cashews. Divide the lettuce leaves and spoon the chicken on top. Use the rest of the soy sauce mixture for dipping if you want.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I've already said it once...

I've already said it, but I have to say it again.

Hubs and I went to Walmart tonight. Instead of ignoring the many carts strewn throughout the parking lot, we took one of them in with us to use. When we came out, a large van was parked across from our truck and at least 10 young men were unloading their groceries into the van. Three of their carts they proceeded to push together and move in between our truck and their van. The other two carts were pushed off to the side of the van into the empty spots next to them.

Hubs and I put our own groceries away, then start rounding up the carts left by these able-bodied men. While doing so, the guy parked next to us grabs all his grocery bags, sits down in the drivers seat, lifts the bags over him, and places them into the passenger seat. Then, he quickly closes his door and starts the car.

Let me reiterate: we are right next to him and he can see us rounding up the other rude people's carts, yet he leaves his cart right there with them. Hubs asks him if he would like us to get his cart and walk it the 20 feet to the cart stall for him (extra words for emphasis). He says, "I don't care," and drives away.

Please, I beg of you, help me understand why the concept of walking your cart to the designated area is so dad-gum difficult!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I love a good bargain. It thrills me to come home and report to Hubs how much money I saved, not spent.

On Friday, Hubs came home with a bargain story of his own.

In our efforts to eat healthier, our food budget has increased and now includes protein bars, and few other various supplements. During the first week of the month, GNC takes 20% off of their products if you have their card. So, Hubs went to stock up on one of the items we use.

While there, he was looking through their protein bars. The salesman asked him if he wanted to get some. Any of you who have eaten a protein bar probably have thoughts of cardboard in your head. We have found some great bars that taste good, but they are more expensive (of course). Hubs told him that we can get them cheaper at Wally World, so we'd pass. That's when the salesman told Hubs that GNC will match another store's price by $1.00.

GNC's price: $2.00
Walmart's price: $1.50

Hubs bought a bar from Walmart, took it back to GNC with the receipt and bought the entire stock of the same protein bar from GNC: 32 bars for $.50 each. PLUS, we got the extra 20% since it was the beginning of the month.

GNC's price for 32 bars: $64.00
Our price for 32 bars: $12.80

A savings of 80%.

Don't you love a good bargain story? Now that Hubs has experienced bargain shopping, perhaps he will be sympathetic next time I head out...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What we've been doing.

We've been working.
We've been hanging out.
We've been enjoying the absolutely out-of-the-ordinary cooler weather.
We've been working out and eating healthy.

We've been to the largest, most hyped-up high school football game I've ever seen. Over 5,000 people watching and we, who care nothing about either team playing, show up 2 hours ahead of time to get a seat.

We've been building friendships.
We've been watching Husker football.
We've been taking care of a very energetic, love-able dog.

We've been busy, but amazingly not with anything worth blogging about.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's official.

Fall is here!

Fall is marked by my first sip of a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. I have had my sip, and a few hundred more, therefore fall is here. By they way, I do think they have made this latte a little better this year - not so much of the after taste, much smoother.

I'm glad fall is here. It seems like Kansas is ready for fall, too. The weather has already gotten cooler - something that is out of the ordinary. I'm ready for the pumpkins, the football games, the chili, and the cinnamon rolls. If we only had big, beautiful trees to enjoy the fall colors.

Does anyone else feel like fall was just here? Or is it just me who feels like time is hurrying by?

Are you ready for fall or hanging on to the last days of summer?