Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Always Something There to Remind Me.

Archie playing in the guy's back brace. Further proof that everything from the guy's accident has now become cat toys.

Well, kids. I think I'm now the worst blogger ever. I didn't blog last night and tonight, I'm only blogging for a second. Last night I really don't have an excuse except being lazy and tired. Tonight,though? Tonight I blame the guy. We had another wonderful evening of wine and shrimp and pasta and great talks and fun plans for the weekend and, and, and...And now I'm tired and happy and going to bed. Night, night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heaven's Never Enough. We Will Never be Fooled

Icicles hanging on my house.

Tonight was a nice evening with the guy...For the most part. He had some bad news and was pretty sad about that...As was I.

But we went to the Dublin and had a drink before we went to Banditos and ate and had another margarita. We called it a night pretty early. I wanted to get up early and try to run in the morning and I'm sure he wanted some time alone to process things and get ready for work tomorrow morning.

...In bad cat news - Archie got his rabies booster shot today. He was a trooper about it, but still managed to poop in his carrier on the ride home....At least he's consistent.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don't Get Me Wrong, If I'm Looking Kind of Dazzled

A Christmas Jack-O-Lantern I found while I was shoveling snow.

Christmas morning started with shoveling snow. It wasn't super cold out, so I didn't mind. Then I went running and that felt really nice. I cleaned the house a bit while the girls were at a movie with their dad.

I picked up the guy around 5 and came back to my house. He offered to take me and the girls out for sushi and we headed to Oyama after the girls got back from their movie. We had a nice meal and a great talk. It was lovely to be surrounded by my three favorite people, eating my favorite food. I couldn't have asked for a better evening.

The kitten under the tree.

We dropped the girls off at home after dinner and went to the Dublin to meet some friends. It was a nice night. We normally don't go out that late, so it was great to see some of the folks who go out later than we do. I got tired after a certain point and realized it was time to go home. Apparently, I'm old or something....

Another pic of me with my eyes essentially closed. Typical.

I woke up today with a migraine...Which explained why I was so tired last night. I took my meds and took a nap and it went away for the most part. Of course, the meds just make me so stupid and tired, but I'll take that over the pain any day.

I picked up the guy in the afternoon to go swimming. He asked me if I'd let him buy me some cross country skis. He knows I'm uncomfortable with him spending so much money on me. I feel like he pays for more than I do, but he thinks I do more for him. So, he presented his case, and I let him buy me cross country skis. It was so nice of him. We found a pair of last year's models that were way on sale, but couldn't find boots to fit me. We're going to check a few more stores for those. I'm really excited to get to ski whenever it snows.

We had a great swim and a steam, before the guy went to meet his friend Bry to play pool and I left to pick Stinky up from work. I had a nice relaxing evening at home tonight with my girls. Exactly what I needed.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

...And May All Your Christmases be White

A pic that Stinky took of her cousin when my girls were down in Ottumwa.

So, hey! Merry Christmas or whatever you like to celebrate! Sorry, I haven't written in a while. Things have been crazy busy in my world.

Sooooo, let's see...Where were we? Oh yeah. I dropped the girls off with my sister on Tuesday night. They had a great time while they were there. The original plan was for me to pick them back up when I came down on Christmas Eve. I had a wonderful Wednesday night with the guy....As usual. Then on Thursday morning I woke up to find that there was a big blizzard coming our way for Friday. Drat!

Instead of a nice leisurely day of last minute shopping, followed by a quaint evening wrapping gifts and watching movies, I ended up running around to a crowded mall and a few other insanely busy stores,throwing all my gifts into bags and driving down to Ottumwa a day early to avoid the storm. By the time I got there I was so frazzled, and stressed and tired and hungry, I could barely enjoy myself. I did get to see all the cousins and I know my girls were happy everyone was there too.

Sadly, all they had was snack food and I was STARVING, plus I wasn't sure what time the snow was supposed to start flying, so we didn't stay very long.

Christmas Eve did turn out pretty nicely for me and the girls after all...Even if it was different than how we normally spend it. I got up and shoveled snow, then Coadster and I ran some errands. I picked up the guy and we had a lunch at the Masala for the Indian food buffet. Very nice.

In the afternoon, the girls and I went to the mall. Not my favorite place, but it makes the girls happy, they had some Christmas money to burn and it was very empty on account of the weather. We then got some groceries, and rented some movies and headed home. We ate popcorn and M and M's and watched movies until Coadster left with her dad to go to church and Stinky fell asleep on the couch. I watched White Christmas (pretty fitting, don't you think?) and at some point, Stinky woke up and I took her place falling asleep on the couch. I feel like we celebrated that day very well, thank you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A One Horse Town. You Have to Watch What You're Putting Down

The kitten drinking from the faucet.

Well, kids. This will be quick. I'm going to bed early, so I can get up and swim before work. Then after work, I'm giving plasma and driving the girls down to Brighton to meet my sister. My girls will stay with her for a few days and I'll pick them back up when I go down for Christmas Eve. It should be a long day tomorrow....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now It's Easy When You Don't Know Better

The most hideous ornament ever made...By Coadster when she was in kindergarten.

So, my. What a weekend. Friday was very nice with the guy...But they all are with him.

Saturday we went To G.'s house and got her bike put on a trainer so she can ride inside during the Winter. I ran outside and that was nice too. The guy and I went to the Dublin and had some drinks while the guy played pool with our friends, Paco and Heather. We went to the Bluebird Diner for dinner and had some great seafood pastas and wine. I dropped the guy off at his place and went home and tried to watch The Messenger. It seemed really good, but I was too tired and fell asleep about a half hour into it.

Today was a great and hectic day. Coadster's boyfriend came to visit. He's really kind of awesome and funny. He helped Coadster and I get our Christmas tree. I ran outside again and I needed it. Then the guy asked me if I wanted to go to the University rec services building and swim with him. Of course, I did. It was such a wonderful afternoon. We swam laps and he helped me with my breathing and with doing certain strokes. It was a 50 meter pool and it was the first time I've ever been able to swim the whole way without stopping to do the side stroke because I couldn't get enough air. After we were done swimming laps, we kept alternating between the sauna and steam room and talking about everything we could think of. I think we were there for 2 1/2 hours.

I got home and got some things ready. My friend K. came over and we ate leftover veggie lasagna and bread and roasted garlic. Then we decorated the tree and had a wonderful talk and she got to meet Archie.

I don't think it's possible to ask for a better Sunday in December.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Wish I Had My Way. Cuz Everday Would be a Friday

Here is my ninja kitten.

Hey, Coadster's home! She got back in the afternoon. I picked her up from her dad's house on my way home from work and deposited her at the mall before I went to give plasma. We had a good talk this evening before she got a little cranky. I know other parents have commented on the phenomenon too, but sometimes when Coadster gets home from college she can be a bit cantankerous. It's almost like she thinks we should stop everything and cater to her or something...And things have changed since it's just Stinky and I at home now and that bothers her too. It usually takes her a day or two to calm down and just deal with things as they are. So, I'll just brace myself.

And anyway, it's the weekend. Hooray! Tomorrow night Stinky has her youth group sleepover. It was her idea and she planned most of it, so she is very excited about it. Coadster is going to stay with her dad and watch the Oceans 11/12/13 movies with her dad. Me? I'm going to pick up the guy after work and stick the veggie lasagna I made tonight into the oven, roast some garlic, make a salad, crack open a bottle of wine and let the relaxing begin. Ahhhhh.

Saturday? I'm not really sure about. I haven't made any plans. I proposed something to the guy, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet. So, at this point...I guess I'll have to let you know what happens later.

How about you all? Will you be relaxing or playing it by ear this weekend?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looks Like Mornin' In Your Eyes

An Amish parking lot.

Soooo. Today was nice. I went home during the Christmas party to torture the kitten...But as those things go, the kitten ended up torturing me. Bad cat. It was nice to tidy up the house and just be out of the office.

I picked up the guy and he said his first day back went well. He was tired and his back was a little sore, but that was to be expected and I think he's glad to be back.

We got back to my place and I finished making the spicy peanut noodles and the green salad and heated up the cashew ginger carrot soup. It was all nice and healthy food fare. We each just had one cocktail since I want to get up early and run tomorrow and the guy has to get up to go to work now.

Okay. Speaking of getting up early...I need to hit the hay. Night night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't Be a Hard Rock When You Really Are a Gem

Here is a window painted on a building next to a bricked-up door. Weird.

Man, it just feels like all I do is drive around all night after work sometimes. I gave plasma tonight and got gas and then stopped at the store, just in time to hang out with Stinky for her break. It was all fine, but I can't wait until tomorrow night, when I can just hang out at home with the guy most of the night.

Speaking of the guy...He goes back for the first time since the accident tomorrow. I know there's a part of him who would like a little more time now that he can finally do stuff, but there's also another part who will be happy to get back in the swing of things and I'm sure the steady income will be nice as well.

For me? Tomorrow is my work Christmas party. We get an hour and half in the middle of the day. The party isn't mandatory, so I think I'll just go home for a bit and harass the kitten and relax. I think it will be so much better for my morale NOT to go to the party.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Everybody Here is Out of Sight

Stinky and one of her friends.

So, tonight we deviated from our normal Monday night shenanigans. Instead of Mexican food, we decided to eat appetizers at Graze. The guy made plans to meet his friend Bry to play pool at a billiards club across the way at 7. So, we decided to go there, where it was handy, due to the time constraints. It was just as nice. I went over and watched the boys play pool for a bit. I don't really know how to play myself, but the guy said he'd be happy to teach me some night. Sweet!

I left the boys to their own devices and went to pick up Stinky from work about 9. I texted her to let her know I was in the parking lot and didn't hear back from her. I walked into the store and found her with a full shopping cart. She said some jackass tried to steal a bunch of stuff and got caught and she was assigned the task of putting it all back. She still had so much to do, so I told her I'd help her to make it go faster. It always feels kind of personal and voyeuristic going through somebody's groceries....Especially when what they tried to steal was so weird. There was organic breast milk tea (?), about 10 cans of Dinty Moore stew, a six pack of Heineken, latex gloves, lube, berry flavored condoms and a big pack of diapers. Stinky was a little grossed-out by it all, but I told her we definitely couldn't begrudge them the condoms. As far as I'm concerned, anyone with that kind of grocery list, probably shouldn't be procreating again anytime soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And When I Look in My Window. So Many Different People to Be

The guy is very brave to be wearing the cat as a hat.

Another weekend down...And it was a good one too. Friday night I picked up the guy and we had a lovely evening of food and drinks and great talks, I just never get tired of our nights together.

The guy and I at the wine beer/wine tasting party.

Saturday was nice...Except for the weather...Or really more the threat of bad weather that never actually materialized. I got Stinky to work and had a bit of time to myself before I picked up the guy and we headed to the hipster craft fair. We really just did a drive-by there and said hi to a few folks we knew who were selling their wares.

We headed back downtown and went to John's Grocery to pick up some fun beer to take the tasting party later. After that we went across the street to the Bluebird Diner. It has really nice ambiance and they were playing the Charlie Brown Christmas album and we got sandwiches and soup and it was all very lovely. We had some time to kill before the party, so we went back and did some hanging out at my place. The thing about dating, is that it's nice and fun and stuff, but you rarely get to hang out with the person in their regular environment. So, it was nice to just chill at my place and read and rest or whatever, and our time wasn't quite so short and structured. I always think it's important to find someone you can just be quiet and mellow with as well.

The party was great. A lot of people bowed-out because of the weather threat, but that almost made it better. There were enough people to make it fun, but not so many that it was overwhelming. The guy won the beer tasting with his raspberry flavored beer. We had good snacks and got to meet a few new people. It was a great way to spend a cold, snowy Saturday night.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sharing the Things We Know and Love With Those of My Kind

The guy trying to calm down the cat.

Weeellll. last night got away from me in a very good way, and I didn't get around to blogging. I'd like to say I'm sorry, but I'm not.

...And now, looking forward to the weekend. Tomorrow night, Stinky is going to a party with some friends. I'm picking the guy up after work and we'll eat dinner and relax and have the house to ourselves...Well, I guess we still have Archie to contend with, but that can be fun too, when we get to torture him.

The cat calming down the guy.

There is a lot going on for Saturday. Stinky will work most of the day, and the guy and I are planning on going to What a Load of Craft at the fairgrounds. It's kind of like a hipster craft show. I'm not sure how long we'll stay, but we'll definitely check out the spectacle. After that, we'll either have a late lunch or early dinner. Then we'll head to my friend E.'s house for her holiday beer and wine tasting party. Of course, because we live in Iowa, there could be quite a bit of snow flying on Saturday too, but I'm pretty good at working around that. I have to. I'm a Midwesterner.

So, how about you all? Are you all having so much fun that you're unapologetically not blogging or dashing through the snow this weekend?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Did I See You Walking With the Boys, Though It Was Not Hand in Hand

My, um, lovely daughters at the Iowa/Ohio State game a few weeks ago.

Well, kids. That darn cat (starring Dean Jones and Archibald Leach) knocked my computer tower over the other day and jarred something loose rendering my computer unusable. Bad, bad kitty. I was a little freaked out, since my computer is very new, but my friend Bronson volunteered to stop by after work and check it out for me. It turned out that it was just something that he had to recharge and get running again and took him 5 minutes. Thank god, for good friends with great skillz and for quick and easy fixes.

Coadster getting sheared to donate her hair to Locks of Love.

Now, I will take my leave and try to sleep. In other cat news...I think I figured out what the face pouncing while I'm sleeping is all about. Archie just wants me to open my eyes. I've been kicking him out of my room when he face pounces, so he's trying to be more careful about it. Now, he will just gently touch my eyes with his paw, and if that doesn't work he will lick my eyelids. Really. I can't even describe to you how weird that feels. Still, I guess it's better than the face pounce. Kitten steps.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Faded From the Winter

The poor kitten taking a break from being tormented by a squirrel.

So, the weekend is over too soon again. I even had an extra half day and it still seemed too short. It was lovely, though. On Friday I got off work, ran some errands and then did some real running. I got to spend a little time with Stinky before I went to pick up the guy. We headed to Graze and had appetizers and a drink before we went to his work party at the Riverside Casino.

The work party was nice. Of course, I really didn't know anyone there, so I got to just check out the scene from my seat and didn't have to interact too much. I did meet some people, so I can put a face to some of the names the guy mentions...And since the guy goes back to work a week from Wednesday, I'll probably be hearing more about his work peeps very soon. Everyone there was very nice and friendly. There also seemed to be a HUGE difference in the kind of parties you have in the private sector, and the ones I get working for the state.

The squirrel who tormented poor Archie through the glass,

Saturday started out a little snowy, but not too bad. I took my car in and got it Winterized...Just in time apparently. I ran a few more errands before I picked up the guy.

We stopped at the bike and ski shop and picked up a few things to help our friend G., but when we got over to her place, she wasn't feeling well and was out of commission. We went back to my place and I took the clippers to the guy's hair. He is nicely shorn now, so in essence, he has been Winterized as well.

Next stop was the Dublin for a beer and luckily, a lot of fun people stopped down, so I felt like I got a good bit of socializing in. Finally, my appetite got the better of me and we went back to my place and ordered a pizza and actually watched the movie Secretary. Hmmmm. It was interesting and a little different than I had anticipated. Still, Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader were perfectly cast in their roles.

Poor Archie all tuckered out from the torment.

Today I gave myself a Get Out of Jail Free card. I did a few chores, but other than that, I didn't do much else. It was very cold here and I have such a hard time getting out to run when it's that frigid out. I just got a membership for the rec services building, so I'm hoping to swim and work-out there.

Mostly today? I read and tortured the kitten and did some hardcore lounging...And I didn't feel the least bit guilty either. My friend, S. came over to meet the kitten later in the afternoon. She thought he was hideous and awful, just like we do. So, she only doted on him for a little while...Icky, spoiled kitten.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

If I Should Fall From Grace With God Where No Doctor Can Relieve Me

Here is a wall full of wine bottles and a bike...In other words - rapture.

Man, Face Book can be so weird sometimes. So, this morning I was running outside in the cold before work. As I turned onto my street, The Pogues' "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" came up on my random playlist. When I got to work, I posted a status update documenting that fact. A little later, a friend of mine who lives in Chicago commented that The Pogues were playing there in March and asked me if I wanted to go with her. Of course, my first instinct was to assume that it wouldn't work for me to go. I really hate driving in Chicago. The guy told me I should go. He has seen The Pogues live and said they put on a great show. As the day went on, I kept thinking about it. I really wanted to go, so I posted that if I could find someone to go with who wanted to drive in the city, I'd try. It wasn't long after, that my friend K. said she'd go with and drive. Sweet! So, it looks like I'm going to see The Pogues in March. How many different kinds of weird and awesome is that?

And now...On to the weekend. Tomorrow I'm only working a half day. I'm going to get a few things done, go on a long run and then around 4:30 I will pick up the guy. We're going to grab some appetizers somewhere before we head to the Riverside Casino where his work Christmas party is being held. I'm really excited to meet his co-workers. Stinky will be babysitting for my friend Eggo. So, it looks like Archie will have the place to himself. If he throws a raucous party while we're going, I'm going to be REALLY pissed.

I think early on Saturday, I'll try to get some crap done around the house. Later in the afternoon, the guy and I will go to G.'s house and help put the guy's studded tires on her bike for her, so she can try and ride as much as possible this Winter. After that, the plan is to maybe get a drink at the Dublin and then forage for food downtown somewhere.

How about you and your'n? Will you be attending an early Christmas party or getting your vehicle of choice ready for the Winter?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

As If Everybody Here Would Know Exactly What I Was Talking About

Here is the guy drinking from a bota, but finding it is now dry. Wah!

I guess all I have to do is write a blog post documenting Archie's bad behavior and he straightens right up. He was an absolute angel last night and I actually got some sleep. Nice.

Speaking of nice...Wednesdays have become my new favorite nights. I picked up the guy after work. We got to my place and Stinky was still hanging around. We chatted for a bit before she went to her youth group. The guy and I ate the potato leek soup, some salad, smeared the roasted garlic and baked brie I made all over some sourdough bread and washed it down great wine the guy brought over. It was all so very wonderful.

I'm hoping all the cat torturing the guy did for Archie helps mellow him out and I get another gloriously pounce free night at my house.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something's Wrong, You're Not Naive, You Must Be Strong.

Don't let the holy light confuse you - this cat is up to no good.

So, today was off to a rough start. The beast decided to plague me all night long by pouncing on me every two seconds while I tried to sleep. I kept thinking he'd get tired and finally go to sleep, but as far as I could tell, that never happened. At some point, I finally got fed up enough to throw him out of my room and close the door. He didn't meow much either. I did hear him trying to open the door with his paw for a bit before he gave up. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

I'm not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the margaritas, but my brain and my belly weren't all that happy today. I suffered through it all and slid my way home on the ice and got to take a little nap before I started my evening.

Surprisingly, tonight turned out okay. I talked to Stinky for a bit, before she headed off to a basketball game, ran to the store and made potato leek soup. Yum.

We'll see how it goes tonight with the orange demon we call Archie. I'm hoping for a pounce free night of sleep. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gotta Gotta Be Down Because I Want It All

Here is a cyclist going down a ramp.

Um, so...I'm not really sure what to write tonight. This weekend was so hectic, I'm still kind of recovering from it. Today it rained and tomorrow it might snow. I'd say it's Iowa at the end of December, as far as the weather is concerned.

This evening I picked up the guy and we had a drink at the Dublin before we headed to Banditos for really good Mexican food. At one point, a waitress came by and just gave us a pint glass full of Margarita for free. She said it was a mistake. Then she said she gave it to us because she met me through our mutual friends, Bridget and Kathleen. I vaguely remembered her, but was glad she remembered me so kindly.

Of course, drinking that Margarita made me even more stupid and now I have to leave you with this sub-par blog post. Feel free to blame the generous waitress with the good memory. I know I am.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Said, "I Must Be Fine 'Cuz My Heart's Still Beating."

Stinky girl and stinky cat.

Well, I kept thinking I was going to blog over this long weekend, but never got a chance. What that means, is that I was busy, but happily so. I'll try to quickly relate it all to you right now.

Wednesday night was very nice. The guy and I ate and had a great talk and harassed the new kitten and it was the perfect way to start the holiday.

I stole this pic and the next off my sister's FB. Here is Coadster torturing her cousin...

Thanksgiving was a lot of driving, but it was a nice dinner and very mellow. It was just me and my girls and my sister's family and my aunt and uncle. It felt weird that there weren't very many people, but it was really nice to be able to sit and have a conversation with the family who were there.

We got back around 6:30 and I made a little drink and watched Toy Story 3 with the girls. I'd say it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving all the way around.

...And here is Coadster battling her other cousin.

Friday was also very nice. I got a nice long run in, and a relaxing hot bath during the day. In the evening, I got the guy and we met our friend Pat and his family for Pagliais pizza. Pat and his wife are hilarious, so dinner was raucous and fun and the pizza was very tasty. I got home around 8'ish and tried to watch Alice in Wonderland with Coadster, but I fell asleep after the first half hour. I'm not sure if I was just that tired, or if Tim Burton was a little disappointing in this effort.

The guy got his back brace signed by Chris Horner. Pretty cool.

On Saturday the guy and I went to a cyclocross race. I had never been to one before and it was really cool. It was great to have the guy around to fill me in on the history and to explain its different aspects. I loved watching it and even have delusions of participating in one next year. We'll see.....

I hope everyone's holiday was long and busy in the best ways.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now I'm a Fat House Cat Nursing My Sore Blunt Tongue

Here is a pic the guy took of me and Archie when we first visited him at the shelter. The girl crush suggested the name and Stinky really liked it.

So, I got the call today. They liked my application and I got to take the new boy in my life home tonight. He is quite the sweet, spastic, tornado of a cat, I must say. He tore around our house for the first couple of hours - hanging from curtains, running into walls and sliding into tables and couches. He finally wound down and jumped up on Stinky lying on the couch and fell asleep on her belly. I think it's safe to say that Stinky is in love.

Here he is playing with the cat dancer toy the guy got for him.

I have one more day of work before I'm off for Thanksgiving. Let me tell you, I'd love to call in sick tomorrow and just stay home and play with Archie all day. At least the girls will be home. It will be hard to leave him for however many hours to go to my Aunt's house on Thanksgiving. Do you think they'd mind if we brought him along?

Monday, November 22, 2010

And You Follow 'Til Your Sense of Which Direction Completely Disappears

Here is the kitty I'm trying to adopt. I stole this pic from the shelter site.

I've been kicking around the idea of getting a kitten since I bought my house. I waited because I had so much going on. I made the mistake of saying something about it to a woman in my office, who volunteers at the shelter. I asked her not to send me any pics of cute kittens, but she didn't listen to me. That was all it took.

I found two kittens I thought looked really cute. One was younger and female and the other was 3 months old and male. After work, the guy and I went to the shelter and we ogled the cats. The younger female was already adopted, but the 3 month old male was there. The guy and I both played with him and he was REALLY cute and playful and sweet. The guy took some pics with his camera, but I didn't have mine.

I filled out the paper work and I should find out tomorrow. I have to call the shelter before 10 am to let them know that I'm still interested. Then they'll go over my application. If everything looks good, I should be able to pick him up tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed. I know I am...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Want It, Come and Get It

Here is a pic of me wearing a bonnet. When in Kalona...Do what the Amish do, right?

Well, I had another lovely weekend. On Friday I picked up the guy and headed to the Co-op to pick up a few things. Remind me never to go there when I'm hungry again. I picked the few items I needed, but then got some fresh bread and some Greek olives and smoked salmon and dill neufchatel. The guy said since we had all that snacky stuff maybe we didn't even need to worry about dinner, but I made it anyway. Apparently, I'd hate to waste away or anything...

The guy displaying some jumpy shoes we found at the Mantique store.

I ran on Saturday and did a few things around the house. The girls got tickets to the college football game and did a little sisterly bonding.

I picked up the guy and we headed off for Kalona. Kalona is a little community with many Amish and Mennonite residents, so it happens to be very quaint and full of quilts and horses and buggies and antique shops. It's a great little place to poke around in. We checked out the furniture store and the bakery and a super girly antique store. While we were in there, we heard someone talking about the MANtique store next to it, and we decided to check that out. There were all kinds of contraptions and geegaws.

Our bartender rooting for the wrong team.

At 5, all the shops closed up and we still had an hour to kill before dinner. We found a cute little shack like bar and ordered drinks and settled in to watch the Hawks lose at the end of the game. Our bartender was an Ohio State fan, and so he cheered at the most inappropriate times.

We had a really nice and romantic dinner at the Tuscan Moon again. The guy ordered a martini. I'm not much of a martini drinker, but he was really sweet and offered me one of his olives...Which I do love. We always split our food. This time we got crab cakes as an appetizer and then split the shrimp fettucini pasta and the grilled shrimp and scallops and garlic mashed potatoes. Truly amazing.

I got some great time with Coadster today. Stinky was at work, so Coadster came back from her dad's while I was watching the end of Invictus and then we went to Menards and looked at junk for a bit. It was a nice way to spend a drizzly Sunday in November.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I See the Bright and Hollow Sky

I forgot my camera and had to steal D.'s photo from FB. Boom Boom asked me why I never posted about him on my blog anymore and I didn't want to let him down again.

Sooooo. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of buying my house. Crazy. So much has gone down since then. I still love my house and so glad I bought it - no matter how house poor I feel sometimes.

Tonight I went to the Dublin after giving plasma. Erik and Boom Boom were in town. I hadn't seen Boom Boom (I love calling a guy with a Phd Boom Boom) in well over a year and it had been several months since I saw Erik. I met Erik's current girlfriend and filled him in about the guy. I think it's kind of nice when you get to a point with your ex where you're totally fine talking about relationships with them and feel good that they're happy.

I stayed a little longer than I had planned, but there were so many people out that I wanted to get to talk to as many of them as possible. I finally took off and gave my friends Shecky and K. rides home. Lovely, lovely.

The even cooler thing, is that tomorrow is Friday. Yea! Both my girls will be in Cedar Falls for the state football championship. I'd be surprised if they got home before midnight.

The guy and I are planning on making dinner. I'm just going for simple with salad, miso soup and spicy peanut noodles.

On Saturday, the guy and I are visiting another small town. I think we'll either go to Kalona or the Amanas. I'm sure wherever we choose, we'll have fun.

And what about all y'all? Will you be wondering what happened to the last year, or creating adventures in the current one?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And Maybe We'll Get Lucky and We'll Both Grow Old

Here is a kitschy little thing.

Oh, kids. The big side effect of being this happy, apparently, is stupidity. But I guess it could be worse...I could be unhappy and stupid.

I know this is getting boring for you all, but I had another wonderful night with the guy. I decided to go back and make the meal that exploded on me on Friday. Tonight, went without incident. The salmon was perfect, the lemon spinach couscous was wonderful and the veggies sauteed in garlic butter and white wine were nice too. And all new and improved and glass free!

I got a text from a friend tonight letting me know that Erik and his friend Boom Boom were going to be in town and hosting a happy hour dealy at the Dublin tomorrow evening. I think I'll stop down around 6'ish when I get done giving a plasma and do a drive-by. I kind of like doing that - I breeze down, have one beer, say hello to everyone I want to say hello to and go on my merry little way. Easy breezy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby, Don't Believe I Wear Two Left Shoes

Here is a festive display.

Today was wonderfully fire free. I did a little experiment and tried running in the morning before work, instead of after. It turned our pretty well. I'm not the biggest morning person, so I was a little worried, but I got my ass out of bed and hit the road. Luckily, it was pretty foggy outside and I miss running in the fog, like I did when I was younger and lived in San Francisco. It was also nice to get off work and already be done with my work-out.

I even had a enough time to sit and watch a movie while Stinky was at work. I checked out Amelia. It was pretty interesting. I knew some of her story, but I had no idea she was so progressive for her time. Let's see...Getting to have both Richard Gere and Ewan MacGregor? It makes you want to go fly planes, doesn't it?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Play With Me and You Won't Get Burned

Firetrucks by my building.

Today we had a fire in my building at work. It wasn't a bad fire, but it did get us an hour outside and away from our desks. we were able to go back in and sadly, none of my work got ruined in the hubub.

I had a nice night with the guy tonight. I introduced him to my friends J and S. and they all got along really well. S. is our friend Bry's sister and the guy has been waiting a long time to meet her. It didn't hurt that J. just adopted a really sweet hound dog from the pound we got to meet him too.

Afterward, we went out for Mexican food at a place called Banditos. It was really good and the margaritas were even better.

Aside from the fire at work, it wasn't a bad start to the week at all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Every Day is Such a Perfect Day to Spend

With the guy in Mount Vernon as reflected in the mirror.

Wow. This weekend started with a bang...Or an explosion of sorts. I picked up the guy and we came back to my place and made some fun cocktails and started fixing dinner. I had the salmon all ready to throw in the oven after I had the veggies cut and ready to saute'. I set the glass pan on the stove and turned on what turned out to be the wrong burner to start the couscous. While I was turning around to talk to the guy, I heard a loud sound and shards of glass shot everywhere. Damn!

Apparently, I turned on the wrong burner and it heated up the glass pan the salmon was in by accident and exploded it. It was very sad and I felt like an ass, but the guy was amazing. He started cleaning everything up right away and since we had to throw the food away, he just ordered a great pizza and paid for it. He was just glad I didn't get hurt by the glass flying all over the place. All we could do is laugh about the great exploding glass pan fiasco.

On Saturday I had a nice long run during the day. Stinky was at work until 1, so I had most of the day to myself. It was a cold, blustery, sometimes rainy day and it was just fine to stay home and get some things done.

Around 3:30. I picked up the guy and he asked me to come inside. He had told his mom the story from the night before and she went out and bought me a new glass pan. So sweet.

We headed to Mount Vernon. The weather was crappy, but we still wandered around in antique shops, and then went to a wine bar around 5 while we waited for a table to open up at the restaurant next door. We ate around 6'ish and it was lovely. We like to order two different things and then split it. Everything we got was really, really good. It was such a nice night.

Today I took care of some things around the house. I finally finished getting my screens switched out for storm windows and getting everything put away for Winter. My trees finally dropped their leaves right after the city stopped picking them up. Stupid trees. Stinky and I got some lunch together tonight. We've been trying to do something fun together every Sunday. It's just so hard sometimes to get her to make time in her busy schedule. It must be hard to be a teenager...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Get a Shiver in the Dark, It's a Raining in the Park, but Meantime...

A recycled photo of my girls in their younger years. Amazing how that only seems like a few weeks ago.

Oh, weekend...How I am ever so ready for you. Tomorrow, Stinky has the day off, so she's going with some friends to Cedar Falls to watch her high school football team in the play offs. I doubt she'll be home until fairly late.

The guy and I are doing our usual Friday night date in. I'm baking salmon (I know we just had it, but it was the best looking fish I could find and I never get tired of it), making cous cous and I'm going to saute' some veggies. To drink we're mixing some vodka cocktails. I got tonic and limes and cranberry juice and red grapefruit juice. I also rented the movie, Secretary. I had some people recommend it to me and it sounds pretty dark and sexy...Well, the fact that creepy James Spader is in it, pretty much says it all.

I have no idea what I'm doing on Saturday. The weather is supposed to be crappy. The guy and I had been talking about going to different small towns around here every weekend and wandering around in the later afternoon and then finding a cool place to eat and a funky dive bar for a drink, but we'll see if that will work this weekend or not. I hope so. I love doing that kind of thing.

So, what of you, good people? Will you having a date night in, or going out for your fun?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Kicking Through the Autumn Leaves

Here's that wacky bookstore cat again.

Weird thing about today...We got an email from someone in our building informing us that they were shutting off our electricity at 3:30. I never was clear on the particulars, but it meant we got to get off work an hour early. Since it was sunny and in the 70's in November, I jumped at the chance.

I had already run about 30 miles in the last 4 days and Stinky had plans with some kids before their youth group meeting, so I decided to pick up the guy an hour early. Of course, the minute I got off work, the clouds and wind kicked up, so we walked around downtown a bit and went to the Dublin for a couple of cocktails. It was so weird to be in a bar in the afternoon in the middle of the week. I don't think I could do it all the time, but just for something different, it was kind of nice. Emily, one of the bartenders I love, was working. She made us great drinks, provided us with some pleasant conversation and was pretty damn adorable doing it all.

We went back to my place and made dinner together. I've never dated a guy I could actually cook with...That's the problem with all those guys with control issues that I dated in my youth - no fun. It's so wonderful to talk and drink wine and chop veggies together. I doubt I'll ever take that for granted about the guy. I made some rice and shrimp and tofu stir-fry and miso soup. It all came out beautifully.

It was another incredible evening.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I Never Wanted Water Once

A beautiful bevy of beverages.

Today was another beautiful day right here in river city. The guy decided to try and take the bus downtown for the first time. I took an extended lunch and we walked to Prairie Lights and picked up a few more books. I got Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five (I haven't read it since high school and Coadster strongly suggested I read it again), Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen suggested by Facebook friends, and the guy bought me The John McPhee Reader. The guy is more of a non-fiction reader, so it's been nice for us to recommend books to each other that we wouldn't normally read.

After the bookstore, we went to Masala to eat at the Indian food buffet. The food was wonderful. We had a great talk and then walked around downtown for a bit before I had to go back to work. I still can't believe it's been in the 70's here today. I think we have one more day of that before everything gets a bit more seasonal, but there's no way I can complain. I went running in a t-shirt and shorts again today. So weird.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Everybody's Out On the Run Tonight, But There's No Place Left to HIde

Here is a fat cat from the first book store we went to. The other book store had two fat cats that seemed really pissed off at each other.

Tonight I ran after work around 5'ish. I turned the corner onto Scott Blvd and it was just barely dark out. I looked to my right and saw a beautiful crescent moon that turned from a light yellow to almost an orange as it descended. I wanted to be annoyed with it getting dark so early, but with my runner's high, the 60 degree temps in November and the moon as eye candy, all I could be was appreciative.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lady Be Good, Do What You Should, You Know It'll Work Alright.

The guy in front of a used book store.

This weekend was lovely. On Friday, Stinky went to the game and I picked up the guy and we went to my place and ate pasta and bread and drank wine. It was such a nice night.

The guy showing my favorite bartender some love.

On Saturday I had a nice long run and did some chores around my house. At 3, I picked up the guy and we went to some used bookstores. Of course, earlier in the day we had talked on the phone about all the books we wanted to look for, and by the time we made it to the bookstore, we forgot most of them. We did get some cheap books, though.

After that we headed to the Dublin to give our friend S. a hard time. He made me a couple of wonderful Margaritas and the guy drank some whiskey and a beer or two. After that we headed to the Motley Cow and ate appetizers and salmon. We finished up the evening at my place for a bit before I dropped him off at home. We both agreed it was wonderful day...And a prefect weekend.

Today the weather was perfect. I ran my 10 mile route in shorts and a t-shirt. In Iowa. Weird. After Stinky got off work, we had a mom/daughter date and went to see a movie. It was nice to get to spend some alone time together.

Okay, I need to go to sleep and get ready for the week. It will be hard to leave this weekend behind.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Crosseyed and Painless

I'm photoless right now. I'll try to take some this weekend.

Right now, I am so ready for the weekend. I need a day or 50 off. Tomorrow I'm supposed to pick the guy up after work and we'll come back to my place for pasta, wine and a movie. I can't wait to just relax.

Saturday, Stinky works all day. In the afternoon, the guy and I are supposed to check out some used book stores and then head to the Dublin to bug our friend S. when he opens the bar. I don't know how long the guy will be able to stay at the bar, but afterward, I think we'll probably get some food and see how tired he is. That should all be a lot for him, I'm sure.

Sunday Stinky works most of the day and I'll try to run and take care of some house stuff. After she gets off of work, I think we're going to have a little mom/daughter date and catch a movie somewhere.

How about you all? Do you have big plans for your weekend?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Well I Took a Stroll on the Old Wild Walk

Dude. I am so out of pictures, I have to steal them off of FB. Here is the only pic of me where you can't see my bad dance face.

Ahhhh. Tonight was lovely. Stinky went out to dinner with a friend and then to watch some show choir. I picked up the guy and he helped me finish making dinner. We had shrimp fajitas, refried beans and salsa and guac. It turned out really well.

The rest of the night was even better. We talked about books and running and writing and made plans to find cool places outside of town to go hiking and once it snows to go cross country skiing. We think he should be up for cross country skiing in a couple of months. I'm excited. I've only done it a few times, but it's one of those repetitive motion exercises like biking or running that I love so well.

So many things to look forward to...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Keep On Rockin' in the Free World

Kids. It's late and I have to go to bed.

I voted, but from the sounds of it, my vote didn't do what I wanted it to. Sigh.

After I voted, I met a couple of girlfriends out at George's for a beer. How American is that of me?

Anyway, I hope all your votes went the way you wanted. Me? I'll just keep trying to get the good guys in office. Hopefully, we'll get 'em next time....

Monday, November 01, 2010

I Hear You Singin' Through the Wire, I Can Hear You in the Whine

Here is Coadster on Halloween. She was one of the Jer*sey Sho*re girls. (so, so much bronzer) Oh, she makes her mama proud.

Tonight I had a great run. It was the first time since the guy's accident that I felt really strong and got such an amazing runner's high. It was exactly what I needed. At one point during my run, the song "Wichita Lineman" came on my iPod, and I was immediately transported back to my childhood. I was struck by an incredible ache to be a kid and have someone take care of things for me. I imagined how nice it would be to have someone else make my dinner and pay the bills and I could just whine about being forced to take a shower and go to bed early. Can you imagine how lovely it would feel if you had the luxury of going to bed early one night? Crazy.

Anyway, I got home and made some frijoles and pumpkin pie and picked up Stinky from work and it really was just fine...Now, I'll finish blogging and go to bed too late and I'll just have to whine about that then.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

You Can Combine Anything You Want

Me with the mullet wearing super hero.

This weekend was soooo much better than the last couple. I picked up the guy after work on Friday. We had chili and cornbread and then watched a movie called Pandorum. It was pretty violent, but not all that predictable. After I dropped the guy off at his place. Stinky and I had a fire in the backyard. It was a nice way to end the week.

On Saturday, I was a little migrainey. I ran and got a few things done. Then picked up the guy after the football game and we had the spicy peanut noodles and soup I made for dinner. It was really good. We spent the rest of the night talking. Lovely. After I dropped the guy off at his house, I stopped downtown for one beer and to check out some of the costumes. I lasted a whole hour, but I had a lot of fun during that time.

Stinky worked most of the day today. I was still migrainey so I didn't get a lot done. I did some cleaning but not much battening of hatches. I spent some time with Stinky after she got off work and then went out for sushi with the guy and our friend Pat. It was a nice way to end the weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Take a Step Before Runnin', Yeah

Here is a pic the guy took of me almost two months ago when we still did the Monday night rides.

Sooooo, it's finally cold here. I guess it's about time. It's about time to make some chili and cornbread...Which is exactly what I did tonight.

I'm hoping this weekend is nice and mellow. Tomorrow I'm picking the guy up after I get off work and bringing him back to my place. We'll eat and then watch a movie and relax.

During the day this weekend I'm going to try and batten down the hatches and get ready for Winter. I'll be switching screens for storm windows, raking and picking up sticks in my yard and get some Summer things put away. The weather is supposed to be nice on Saturday, so G. and I might go on a little bike ride.

I'm not sure what I'll do on Saturday night. I'm just going to leave it open.

Sunday will be more work around the house and hopefully some time with Stinky. I hardly see her anymore since she's working so much.

How about you guys? Will you be doing seasonal chores or relaxing with your loved ones?