Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Road Trip '10

Hubs and I went on a road trip! It was our first one together and, although we had a few snafoos along the way, it was a good time.

Our trip took us to Chicago to celebrate our four years and then to Wisconsin for a wedding! Hubs and I were not alone, though. We had our faithful guide, Gigi. She navigated us very well throughout our entire trip (even surprising us sometimes). We kept an atlas close, just in case, but she usually had us going the right way.

But, let's just run this down by state.

Kansas - Our first stop was only 3 hours away through a giant thunderstorm, but it was a very appreciated night's sleep. By knocking off 3 hours the day before, our trip to Chicago was easier. Plus, we had to drop off the pups (see post).

Missouri - I snoozed thru a lot of Missouri, but when I woke up I realized it is a decent looking state (at least the area we drove through). There were lots of hills and trees and it was a good thing because it kept Hubs awake!

We stopped in St. Louis to eat our picnic lunch and then headed on our way.

Illinois - This part of the journey was the worst of the entire trip. There was road construction and random traffic problems. It didn't help that Illinois is officially the ugliest state I have ever seen. The roads are unmaintained and trashy, the scenery was dry and weedy, and we were not impressed at all. I have never seen so much corn in my life (and I have lived and travelled in Nebraska)!

We reached Chicago in time to head out to dinner and take a long walk along Lake Michigan. Then we slept extremely well at the luxurious Chicago Hilton.

During our full day in Chicago, we started off with some breakfast and then simply walked along Michigan Avenue and browsed. It was a low-key, but relaxing time with Hubs.

For dinner we had some delicious Chicago-style pizza with some of our favorite friends! We were so excited that they were able to travel from Michigan to spend some time with us.

Ryan and Hubs were able to discuss all things teeth; while Martha and I were able to discuss those important dentist-wife topics.

My favorite part of Chicago? Definitely the Buckingham Fountain:

Wisconsin - I had a picture in my mind of Wisconsin. It included rolling green hills, red barns, and black and white cows dotted across the countryside. And although it wasn't like that at first, it turned out to be a beautiful place. We were in central Wisconsin and everything was so green. Since back in Kansas everything is dying because of the extreme heat, the green seemed more vivid. TREES were everywhere and it was so gorgeous. We had fun at the wedding and seeing a few people we knew from Nebraska.

Minnesota - I was blessed to drive through Minnesota. We crossed the Mississippi and were suddenly able to increase our speed to 70 mph and were greated with giant hills and curvy roads, and of course the trees were plentiful. It was great fun and very easy to stay awake during my shift.

Iowa - I was dreading Iowa; but after driving through Illinois, I found that Iowa is not bad at all. Well, it wasn't as bad as Illinois, at least. There were some rolling hills, so it had that going for it. By the time we reached Iowa, though, we were just ready to be done.

Our trip didn't end in Iowa, we still had to drive through Missouri and Kansas again, but they were the same as before. All in all, driving was not anywhere near as bad as either Hubs and I expected. I think we just might do it again sometime!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

While Hubs and I took a 5-day road trip touring 6 states (more on that later), the pups stayed behind with my parents in a new city. But Ransom was not content to just stay behind and lounge around. He also wanted to take a trip.

On Friday morning, Ransom set out on his own journey. He ran from the back door and jumped not 1, but THREE fences before my mom could reach the first fence. He ran far away with his leash dangling behind. Kansas City is a big huge place. He has little no regard for the lethal damage of vehicles during rush hour. Plus, he has no idea where he is. Needless to say, he left his owners and grand-owners very concerned.

As my parents searched and searched (both for a living and a dead dog), they couldn't find him. 1 hour. 2 hours. 3 hours. Hubs and I knew we probably would not see him again and were both reliving the moments of twisting those soft floppy ears in our hands.

Ransom has always hung on to this "wild" streak, especially when he decides to chase a small animal. Just a few weeks ago, he got away from me to chase a rabbit. He has also broke free from being tied to a tree to frantically chase after a cat. In Kansas City, where squirrels are so prevalent, it is easy to see that he saw one and would not stop until he found it.

For being a crazy dog, though, he has some smarts. After almost 4 hours of worry, my parents dog (Holly) starts barking like crazy. Mom goes to investigate what the problem is and there Ransom sits. On the front porch. Waiting to be let inside.

Four hours. Rush hour traffic. A new environment. Yet, Ransom returns not to where he ran away from (back door), but to the front door. The only summarization we can get of the journey is that the leash must have gotten caught somewhere because he returned with only 4 inches of it. He most likely chewed his way free, and then followed Holly's scent back. It could be possible that he never even got over a mile away.

So, I guess this means that Ransom does want to have a home, since he returned on his own. He just wants to take an adventure sometimes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Today, Hubs and I celebrate four years of marriage. Whoa baby. I have definitely reached the point in life where life before Hubs is fuzzy. The memories are still there, but the memories with Hubs are much more clearly.

As they should be. We've know each other for 6 years and shared life together for over half of that. I can't imagine life without him.

Happy four years to us! We're out celebrating, so I'll post more later!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baked goods...worth it or worthless?

I don't bake, make, or whip up desserts very often. I don't remember having an abundance of sweets for each meal. There was definitely dessert on birthdays and for holidays, but not every night after supper. Instead, I remember having a slice of watermelon or a bowl of ice cream.

At this point in our lives, making desserts for the two of us seems pointless. First, we like different kinds of desserts. I like frozen and light treats; Hubs likes Coconut Cream or Lemon Meringue pies. Second, when I make a dessert it seems to go to waste.

A few weekends ago, I felt guilty for not ever baking desserts. To compensate, I went overboard. I made a blueberry/raspberry pie:

This was my very first attempt at homemade pie crust. I got it to work on the second try and I think the pie turned out very well. I thought it was yummy. I also found out Hubs is not a fan of berry pie.

Only 2 pieces were eaten and I had to throw the rest of the pie away. I HATE throwing away food.

I also made a trifle:

What's a trifle? It is a layered dessert in a pretty glass dish. This one had lemon pound cake, blueberries, white chocolate and a lemon pudding mixture. I took this dessert to a party, so it disappeared. Hubs liked it despite the blueberries.

And, I made my uncle's famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

They turned out very yummy, but I threw out half the batch because we just didn't eat them fast enough. I HATE throwing out food!

So, maybe I got carried away by making so many desserts in the course of one weekend. But, from now on dessert making is officially reserved for when we have people over or are going to someone's house.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's the Secret?

We had BLT sandwiches tonight (tomato for me; turkey for Hubs). But once again, a huge frustration presented itself in the kitchen. So, I am coming to you asking that someone let me in on the secret trick.

How do you keep bacon from sticking to the skillet?

I've tried many different ways and always it sticks. Then it tears while I try to pry it from the bottom of the pan.

Please help,

Frustrated Bacon Fryer

Not sure I should tell you this story...

Last night, I did one of the grossest things. I'm not sure I should share it. It is sure to alter your opinion of me. Before I share it, just look at this adorable face and think of super soft floppy ears:

At about 8:30pm, Ransom and I headed out for a run. It was hot. It was humid. And I had to spray myself down with jungle-strength bug spray to prevent getting eaten alive by the swarms of mosquitoes. I carried along a bag, knowing that Ransom would poop shortly into the run (read: treadmill story).

Sure enough, he did his duty and after securing it in the plastic bag, I left it on the side of the road to pick it up on my way back home. That is so much easier than carrying smelly feces in a bag that flops back and forth as you run.

When we got to our turn around spot, I notice that a dog is barking at us through a window of its house. As I try to turn around I see Ransom squatting again. I say, "nooooo" but it is too late. I look back at the house with the barking dog and see a person standing in the window, watching and waiting. I obviously have no bag. He is obviously waiting for me to leave the poop in his yard so he can run after me or shout at me. I panic; I can't think of an alternate solution. So, I bend over and pick up the poop with my bare hands.

Luckily for me, it was completely solid; and, because it was the second poop, it was smaller in quantity. When I reached an area of weeds, I threw it awayand Ransom and I resumed our run. It was difficult, though, since I quaranteened my hand from the rest of my body and, more awkwardly, Ransom's leash.

If I wouldn't have panicked, I could have simply explained to the man that I would come back and pick it up. Or I could have just taken my chances and made a run for it. But, instead I picked up the poop with my bare hands.

If that dog wasn't so stinkin' cute...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Who is that?

** Caution: Scary picture below; view at your own risk. The Feather Files is not responsible for any nightmares you may have after viewing this photo. **

Yesterday, I ran across both the DVD of our wedding (which I had never watched) and the CD of photos from our honeymoon. So I popped one in the DVD player and the other in the computer - for old times sake.

Mainly I was reminded of how skinny I was. And how beautifully tan I was. Thoughts went through my mind: So, that's how those pants (or that top) used to I have to suck-in to get them on. I remembered that my skin can turn dark with a little lot of tanning oil and sun exposure - things I rarely experience now. And how, although I was dark like the natives, Hubs was white as can be - since he was rubbing on 60 spf, while I didn't go above 2 spf.

But then I came upon this disturbing picture. I remember seeing it when we came back and thinking - who is that? It is of course me, but it could probably be counted as one of the worst, unusual pictures ever:

It is just down-right scary. The angle accents, and adds to, my gigantic nose, and one eye is bigger than the other which gives the photo a menacing quality. Like, "my big eye is watching you." The humidity-touched hair frizz simple makes the look more possessed and crazed. Add in the creepy smile, and there it is. The weirdest picture of me yet. (Oh, and mainly the first thing I noticed was my pre-braces smile. The eye-for-teeth has worn off on me)

And because that is SO scary, I am going to post a nice, happy, normal picture of us. I don't want to contribute to any nightmares.