Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time in the kitchen

Greek Lemon Chicken, Red Pepper Risotto, and Roasted Asparagus: sounds like it came straight from a restaurant menu. When, in fact, I slaved away making this very meal on Tuesday night. Oh, and then I made 5 dozen cookies. Ugh.

Then, I was so sick of cooking that I gave myself a break for the next two nights - cereal and leftovers.

I thought the risotto and asparagus was wonderful (I once thought I would never use the words "wonderful" and "asparagus" in the same sentence); the chicken was alright. Both recipes came from, which I highly recommend. AND, while I was looking up these recipes, I realized you can change the servings amount and it automatically adjusts the measurements. So, there goes another math skill down the tube.

I had never had risotto before, but finally put to use the bag of arborio rice that had been in my cupboard for an entire year. It is now one of my favorite foods - oh yum.

Tomorrow night we are having friends over. No slaving in the kitchen, though; I'm having them bring the food!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Day

This morning the sky I glanced outside at 7:50 to see the sun finally rising. The sky was a myriad of colors. Blue, pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange all mixed together. The hue of the entire sky was different, causing all the houses, trees, and yards to look different - not like I had ever seen before.

When I took a picture, it did not capture anywhere near the colors that I saw and made the sky darker than it felt.

So, then I "enhanced" it:

Either way, it was a beautiful reminder to thank God for new day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't Hit My Truck!

Don't lie. How many of you thought, after seeing that title, that I hit Hubs's truck?

Well, I didn't, yet.

If you didn't already know, I work part-time for our church; mainly, as my uncle's administrative assistant. This uncle and I go waaay back - to the day of my birth in Birmingham, Alabama. So, I guess you could say we have a special relationship.

Ten years ago this Saturday, I turned 16. And, as most excited 16 year-olds I was just looking for an excuse to drive somewhere. So, as we sat around talking someone mentioned a good movie, and 2 seconds later I was grabbing my coat and keys to rent it.

As I ran out the door, my uncle warned, "Hey, don't hit my truck." I never heard this warning, and maybe if I had, I would not have walked in the door 30 seconds later to say, "I backed into your truck," on my 16th birthday.

So lately, my uncle/boss finds it extremely humorous to remind me "not to hit his truck" each time I leave the building.

So far, I've heard the warning.

Monday, October 26, 2009

5 months in and so different

Five months ago, we were here:

At that point, I wondered how I would like being out the Neb. I thought I would miss it a lot, having been there for 5 of the most transitional years of my life; and, although I do miss many things about Neb, I realize life is so different now.

Let me explain:

1. In Neb, Hubs went to school each day and I went to work each day, all day. In Kans, we both go to work, and we meet each afternoon to have lunch together.

2. In Neb, we came home, ate, then Hubs studied and I either had plans or amused myself. In Kans, we come home, we eat together and hang out together, or have have plans and go somewhere together. I didn't realize there was so much togetherness in marriage until now.

3. In Neb, I worked full-time and managed to keep up a clean, tidy, the apartment. In Kans, I work part-time and wonder how I ever kept a home clean while working full-time since I struggle so much now (oh wait, the reason is in #6).

4. In Neb, we had a great small group that met every Monday night. In Kans, we have a great small group that meet every Thursday night.

5. In Neb, we loved not having Sunday night church. In Kans, we love Sunday night church.

6. In Neb, I dreamed of a dog. In Kans, I have a dog.

7. In Neb, we had a TV with 3 channels. In Kans, we have a TV with no channels.

8. In Neb, we could only have plans on the weekend. In Kans, we can have plans on any day of the week - no studying!

9. In Neb, Hubs was in school the entire time we knew each other. In Kans, Hubs is not in school. (In case you are wondering, that is a biggest difference in our life.)

10. In Neb, we loved life: being students, being young, being in that stage. In Kans, we love life: learning new things on our own, being together, learning more about each other every day.

So, I can't really say whether I liked Neb-life or Kans-life. They were 2 different stages; 2 different lives. What I can say is that I love them both.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

9 days

There's 9 days left. I really like 25. Just as much as I liked 24, 23, 22, and even 21. But 26, although still mid-twenties, is almost to the late-twenties. Really? Can I really be almost 26?

Wasn't I just celebrating my 16th birthday a few months ago? Ten years goes by so fast.

This does not mean that I am dreading my birthday. You know me, birthdays are my thing. I think they should be a huge deal, full of presents, and surprises, and no cleaning or chores, or work. In my mind, it is a day to celebrate with family and friends, if possible, and do something out-of-the-ordinary.

I am definitely not dreading becoming 26, I am just a little in shock that I am going to be 26. That sounds old. My brothers are 20 and 22; that seems so young, you know, since I am at the mature age of 26.

I have never really dreaded my birthday, mostly because I don't think of the age, just the party.

What about you? Has their been a birthday that you just dreaded? What age was it?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"You'll never believe what happened while you were gone."

Hubs said this when I came home this evening. He then said, "Never mind. I can't tell you." Which, I am not sure about you other women out there, but that is a statement that triggers something inside my brain to beg to know what happened.

"What did Ransom do?" I asked.

"Nothing. If you knew what it was, you wouldn't want to live here."

"Was it a mouse?" I asked.

"It was not a mouse."

"A snake?" I asked.

Hubs heard something while I was a rustling. He went to the living room to investigate and right there next to the TV was a snake! Okay, it wasn't a giant one, but it was in our house!

Hubs was impressed with my guessing skills; but I am more concerned about this snake thing. First of all, how does a snake get inside one's house? And then, please tell me how one sleeps at night knowing a snake was in one's house and other snakes could be in the same house?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Love Him.

After having a headache for one two three days, I was hit with a full-fledged migraine this afternoon. It came from out of nowhere while I was laying on the floor watching tv. The world was spinning, I was radiating heat, I felt like my stomach was a bowl of jello, and my head ached like crazy.

Hubs picked me up, carried me to the bed, got me a glass of water and 2 miracle pills, and covered me up with my favorite blanket.

That's not the end of the story, though.

Hours later, I woke up to find the house smelling wonderful, and the disaster of a kitchen transformed into a beautifully clean kitchen. One where you don't even want to cook in it because it is so beautiful. The floor was clean, the sinks were clean, the stove was clean! My major project for the day was completed, probably even better than I would have done.

Sorry ladies, he's mine!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting in shape

Ten weeks ago, Hubs and I started a journey. A journey to get back into shape.

We thought about joining the YMCA. Hubs could swim laps. We could use the cardio machines, the weight room, and even participate in the classes. We could continue running when the weather was nice, but there are no hills and hardly any sidewalks here. Neither of us were motivated to run. We really needed something planned; something or someone who told us what to do each day so that we could really get back into shape. We didn't just want to workout when we felt like it or, for me, when the stomach flab started showing over my jeans. We wanted consistency and results.

So, we bought P90X. There are 12 workout DVDs; it lasts for 13 weeks. It combines weight training with some cardio and some yoga. We work out 6 days a week; 60-90 minutes a day. It comes with a nutrition plan which we stuck to for the first 8 weeks; since then, we have used it as a guide, but have also used our own judgement.

The pros: The workouts are outlined for us each day - no thinking about what you should do. The workouts push you to do more, give you modifications when you need them, and explain each move. We workout at home so I don't have to motivate myself to leave home when it is yucky outside.

The cons: It is a huge time commitment. An hour and a half of yoga really stinks.

So, 10 weeks into the program and I feel like I am fit - like I am in shape. I don't know that I have ever felt like this, even when I was running regularly. I have seen results in how I workout; but also in my body. For instance, I went from hanging on the pull-up bar to pulling myself up to 2 inches from the bar. Also, muscles in my back are appearing that I never had before.

As we end the program, I now have to face the decision of what to do next. Join the Y? Do P90X again? I'm not sure yet; but I do know that I am really enjoying the feel of being in shape!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How I feel

Ransom's look sums it up best:

It has been raining/misting for the past 4 days. I am tired of being inside. I am tired of wet clothes. I am tired of looking at gray skies. I just want to crawl under all the covers and whine some more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Annoy Myself

Do you ever annoy yourself?

One thing that I do repeatedly that is super annoying to me is lose my keys while I am shopping. I have left them on shelves, under clothes, in the bathroom, etc. Usually, I pay for my items and look for my keys. When they aren't in my hands within 5 seconds, I immediately panic.

Why? Because I know myself. I know that they could be anywhere that I have been in the past 20 minutes. I also know that they could be at the bottom of my unorganized purse. Or they could even still be in the car.

Today, at the first store I distinctly put my keys in my right coat pocket. Perfect place. At the second store, I panicked at the cash register. I dug frantically through my purse - no keys. I checked my right coat pocket - no keys. I checked the register counter - no keys. I started going through my head where I would need to retrace, growing hotter and more annoyed by the second.

Then, I checked my left coat pocket - found the keys.

So, what do you do that annoys you?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The skinny jeans story, and other items

Since Hubs and I started an intense workout regime 9 weeks ago, I have noticed some changes in how my clothes fit. For that reason, and because it is my birthday month, and because I haven't shopped since April, and because it is time to wear fall clothes, and because my Hubs is awesome, I went on a shopping excursion this weekend.

First, I found a shopping buddy - something I never really had in Lincoln. She could be a professional shopper and now would be my second favorite person to shop with (Ruth, you know you will always be first).

Two years ago, I tried on a pair of skinny jeans and showed Richard. We both were unanimous that they were hideous. Ever since, I have stayed away, content to watch those people who don't store their body fat in their hips and thighs wear these jeans. Personally, I really didn't think they were that cute anyway.

But in two years, when the style doesn't disappear, they grow on you. So, I tried on another pair and my shopping buddy confirmed that they look good on me. I got a great deal on them (40% off) and I brought them home.

Now I am debating whether I should keep them or not. I don't have boots to go with them; so I would be wearing them with flats. But, they truly are a comfortable pair of jeans that fits.

I also bought a denim pencil skirt. Five months ago, I would not be caught dead in a pencil skirt - the thigh/hip dilema again. Although I am short, I have these prominent hips, you see and felt more comfortable in a-line skirts. This denim skirt, however, could possibly be my favorite article of clothing.

Even some of the tops that I bought are stretching my usual boundaries, but I am excited. After 10 years of shopping for clothes, I am finally finding what fits my body and I think stores are finally starting to make clothes with the short, no-torso people in mind.

PS - I didn't buy any shoes!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flying By.

A few days ago, I mentioned that the trees here go from green to brown. It is in October that I really long for New York. Kansans just don't know what trees look like. (Well, obviously they do, but not in the quantity or size that I am talking about.) The best way to describe it is this: when you drive around here and you get to the edge of town, you see a field with a few trees. When you drive around in New York and you get to the edge of town, you trees - no empty space at all.

ANYWAYS, the next day Hubs told me that our tree was turning red. Sure enough; I have a tree with red leaves in my very own yard!! What a great little gift God has given me! What is even more exciting is that we can rake them up when they fall.

This fall, time is flying by. We are 7 days into October and I am very excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Unlike other years, however, I am not so excited for the upcoming holidays that I am missing out on the rest of the days. This fall, I am waking up and enjoying today, October 7th.

I am enjoying the brisk morning and the smells of fall. I am relaxing with a cup of hot whatever. We are spending times with friends and making lots of memories. Whether it is because Hubs is out of school or we are on our own, we are just enjoying the season, without regrets or wishes.

Wow, I just deleted a whole bunch of rambling mumbo jumbo. Be happy that I did and enjoy the day that the Lord has made.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I was at the local Target today. I walked by a case filled with the latest Michael Buble cd. I picked one up because it was only $9.98 and I have wanted to have this cd.

I take it to the register and as it is scanned, an awful beeping noise occurs. It seems that the cd is not released until October 9th and therefore I could not buy it yet.

Why, I asked, is it out on the shelves, catching people's eyes as they pass by when it is only October 6th?

Of course the man had no clue, nor was it his fault. He checked with a supervisor, just to make sure. Nope...not allowed to be sold yet.

If the cd's were on display but covered with plastic wrap, I could understand it. If there was a giant sign next to the display disclosing the release date, I could maybe understand it. However, there was absolutely no signage on or around the display of hundreds of cds.

Not only was this disappointing to me; but don't you think it would be annoying to the store employees who will probably have customers over the next 3 days bringing a cd to the register that they can't actually purchase and will end up having to re-stock?

And, consider the nature of Target. It isn't a store I go to when I need a cd. It is a store that thrives on catching my eye as I walk by the end-of-the-aisle displays. There will be plenty of people interested in buying this cd for the next few days; however, I don't think the will come back on October 9th with the sole purpose of buying the cd.

I just have to think that it would be simpler to set the display up the night before the cd is released.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Have you ever?

Have you ever wished you were Samantha in the TV show Bewitched, so that you could twitch your nose and the house would be clean. Or twitch and a gourmet meal appear?

Have you ever wanted to write a book, but had no idea where to begin; no story in your head; no idea how to start the research?

Have you ever walked your dog in the snow?

Have you ever posted an ugly picture of yourself for no reason?

Have you ever called someone on the phone and when they answer have absolutely nothing to say, but you just had to call?

Have you ever had the entire laundry done?

Have you ever been in a situation where you know if you say what you really want to say it will come out all wrong, so you don't say anything at all?

Have you ever had chai tea from Metropolitan Coffee? It's the best I've ever had.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ewww. Gross, and ewww again.

Last Saturday Hubs and I planned a date-night. We hadn't had one since our anniversary in July. That morning our vacuum officially died (it had been on its way for quite a while); so our date-night turned into finding-a-vacuum-night.

This was our first vacuum purchase. We were very happy to have an old vacuum from family right when we got married, so this was going to be a new experience. After having lots of fun at Sears by throwing dirt on the floor and vacuuming it up, we headed home with our new purchase to vacuum up our own dirt. What we saw afterwards was amazing.

This looks like much more than a week's worth of dirt and dog hair, but I had been vacuuming a couple of times each week. I think we should have gotten a new vacuum before letting our old one die.

To some of you, this is yet another reason to not have a dog. It's a good one.

But, even though this is super gross and disgusting and I hate thinking about all this in our carpets, it is really satisfying to empty the vacuum canister and throw it all away.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Power Out

Weird. I just tried to go to the grocery store, but the power was out. There were people in the parking lot telling us to go home because we couldn't shop.

It wouldn't be so odd if I hadn't tried to get gas on Monday. I drove out of town about 15 minutes to go to my cousin's football game. I knew I was really low on gas, but I was running behind and there had to be a gas station in the 1-mile by 1-mile town.

Sure, there was a gas station, but not of the likes that I had ever used. I pulled up to the odd-looking pump. Uh oh. There was nowhere to use my credit card on the pump. So, I walked up to the door of the store. There was nobody there and it was locked up - it's only 4:57pm.

So I walk back to the pump and notice that there are no digital instructions scrolling on the pump. Instead, there are numbers that flip around a dial as you pump the gas. Welcome to Mayberry.

A man pulled up to the other side of the pump. I asked how you pay for the gas, since nobody is around. I've no doubt that he thought this was my first experience at pumping gas and he showed me another little box, not connected to the pump, that you are supposed to use to pay with a credit card.

On the box was a sign that read: Power is out so the gas pumps will not work.

And that is why the power outage at the grocery store is so odd. How in the world would we function if we did not have electricity?

Reasons to love October

October. Octubre. Octobre. Oktober. However you say it; it is here! It is my favorite month of the year, and if for some crazy reason it isn’t also your favorite, I will give you reasons to love October.

Birthday Month. Who doesn’t love the entire month of their birthday? I’ve never thought that birthdays should be contained to a single day of celebration; I enjoy month-long excitement.

Trees. In other places, this is a very beautiful reason to love October. There are places - not in the middle of Kansas – where the trees turn beautiful shades of purple, red, orange, and yellow. And although the trees here have a tendency to turn straight from green to dead-brown, I can pretend in my mind that I live where giant, beautiful trees grow.

Weather. There is nothing like the comfort of jeans and a long sleeve shirt or hoodie. And October is the perfect time to start to be outside in my favorite clothes. The weather isn’t freezing yet, but it isn’t hot either. It is right in that perfect, cool climate.

Football. There is no sport I would rather watch while wearing my favorite clothes, than football. Add in a cup of hot chocolate and all is good.

Everything Else. From the pumpkins to the apple cider, I love everything about this month.

Suddenly, I have a craving for a pumpkin spice latte!