Thursday, November 29, 2007

Green Update

So, the road to being green is really a tough one. Just a mind game really, I guess, for me at least. Last night we went to Crate & Barrel. I brought my green bag in... but I couldn't do it! I kept thinking "these C&B people are going to laugh at me if I give them a green bag to load my stuff in". And I didn't give them my green bag. Wow this is really embarassing to admit, but it must be done. I must share my successes and failures on the road to green.

But GREAT news on the paper bag front... starting in early 2008 we are getting ROLL CART RECYCLING. I just read this in the "trash newsletter" last night (Geoff made fun of me for reading it). Now we have these red bins that we have to sort everything into - into those paper bags as mentioned previously. Well starting next year, we will get a big bin and we don't have to do any sorting (except for glass which will continue to go in a red bin). AWESOME! It makes it easier, there is space for more recycling items, AND I don't have to use paper bags for recycling anymore. This will DEFINITELY cut down on my paper bag consumption! So that is happy news.

I thought I had some other highs and lows on the road to green, but I cannot recall them right now. I did forgo a bag at two other stores last night though, which was good.

I promise, my blog isn't going to turn into "the green blog". :)

A short story

So my sister is currently working in Spain but applying to graduate schools in the US. She went to one university for her freshman year of college, and then graduated from another university. She is trying to order a copy of her transcript from her first university's webpage, but she was locked out of her account. She didn't want to call them from Spain, so she asked my dad to call them. I don't know what happened with that, but he either didn't have time or wasn't successful. So today she asked me to call them. I asked her for the information I needed, and she gave me her school ID and social security number. This is how my call with them went:

First they asked my ID, which luckily I had… then they were like “what’s your middle name”. So I got my sister's middle name right… and then they said “what’s your birthday?” So I came up with that (it's hard translating a birthday you know into numbers!)… then they asked the last four digits of my SSN. Luckily I had THAT handy. So then they said “okay, are you a former student or current student?” I said former. They said “did you graduate from here?” I said no. Then they said well what program were you in? I said uhhhh… and they said “were you an undergraduate or a graduate” and I said undergraduate! Then they said what college? And I said “uhhh… arts and sciences?” Apparently that was right too. Then they asked when I attended… I had to think quick on that one… I came up with 2003 – 2004, which apparently was good enough for them. I think that’s all they asked me… I felt like I was on a game show, but I got it all right. She really seemed to think it wasn’t me (my sister) because she was like trying to come up with more questions. But I keep knocking them out of the park. YAY ME!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Going green... SLOWLY!

Okay, so I am still going green. But it is a slow process! Last Wednesday Geoff and I bought the "green" (actually black) bags from Albertsons, we bought 2 and they will be perfect reusable bags. Plus they have handles which are nice. I read on another blog this morning - can you use a competitors bags at a different store? Can I use my Albertsons bags at Safeway? I mean, I'm sure you can, but what is the proper thing to do? Interesting.

Monday I did a BIG Costco trip - over $100 which is very rare for me. I bought organic granola (which is quite good) and Tillamook yogurt. There's another "green quandry" - Tillamook is within the 100 mile radius of me (you know, the locavore radius) - but since they distribute nationally, I assume they probably have distribution centers and whatnot outside of our 100 mile radius... and if it travels outside of the 100 miles at any time in its yogurt life, the "localness" is then moot. What a pickle.

As I was checking out, I saw these GIANT green bags, which I purchased. 3 for $3.79 or some such price. They hold 70 pounds each. Seriously. They are giant. I LOVE THEM. You could take them to the grocery store and FILL them with stuff. I was purchasing towels at Costco, and it was raining, so I was quite pleased to have my green bags so that I could keep my towels somewhat dry. They are definitely my favorite green purchase so far! Yay! :)

9 days

I was told this morning that I haven't blogged in 9 days, so I guess I better get on it!

Thanksgiving weekend was fabulous! Geoff and I got to McMinnville Wednesday night, set up camp, made some dinner, and relaxed. Thursday morning we slept in, ate breakfast, and then headed to his parent's house for Thanksgiving! It was a wonderful Thanksgiving... there were 5 of us, and we all got to visit and relax all day, and then have a great dinner. Geoff's mom came camping with us that night, so fun! She was so excited to go. Friday morning we woke up and went WINE TASTING!!! :) We went to Kramer Wine (our FAVORITE place, they know us there) and Carlton Winemakers Studio. Both fun favorites that we love. Friday evening Gary (Geoff's stepdad) came down and joined us for dinner. Geoff made steaks and we had a salad and leftover potatoes. Then we played dominoes. I love dominoes in the camper! Saturday morning, day two of wine tasting! We went to Kristin Hill Winery, Amity Vineyards, Left Coast Cellars, and Evergreen Vineyards (which is in the Evergreen Aviation Museum, where the Spruce Goose is). Kinda cool story: while we were at Evergreen, I particularly enjoyed one Pinot Noir I had. I was told that it was named for Delwood Smith, who was the father of Captain Michael King Smith, the founder of the museum that died in an accident before he finished the project. His father helped make sure the museum got started. Well, they pointed out that Mr. Smith was standing right at the entrance to the museum door, so I went over and told him I liked his wine! He asked if I was there with my family, and I said I was there with my husband and his mother. He said he would like for us to have tickets to the IMAX movie that night, she arranged for us to have complimentary admission. He was the sweetest man, I am so pleased that I got to talk to him. When Geoff was done touring the museum, I introduced him to Mr. Smith. Such fun! Gary came back again that night for more dominoes (I didn't play that time, just sat on the couch, which I love to do while camping... rarely at home though!). Then he took Julie away from us... sad. Although she is lucky, because the next morning we got up at 7 to start packing up... and the hose was frozen! This was an interesting predicament... the pipes in our trailer were fine, but the actual hose outside with the freshwater was frozen. We still aren't quite sure how to fix that problem. Sunday evening we winterized the trailer for storage and put it back in it's little home... it will come out again this Saturday!

Geoff came home from basketball Monday night and collapsed on the bed. Apparently he had pulled a muscle during basketball and was in quite a bit of pain. He wasn't even able to go to work on Tuesday, and he asked me to come home to help him get lunch and things. This from a man who has such a high tolerance for pain that he grew up getting his mom into trouble with his doctor! He would have horrible ear infections and the doctor would scold his mother, saying "you need to bring him at the FIRST SIGN of pain!" She would say "but this WAS the first sign!" He just wouldn't feel or complain of the pain until the ear infection was so bad that he could no longer ignore it. So he was definitely in a lot of pain. He took ibuprofren and I got him a heating pad to put on there and by last night he was able to walk around and stretch it out a little bit. It's still hurting him quite a bit, but he did go to work this morning.

I put out a few Christmas decorations last night... our house is finally starting to come together in terms of being more organized and cleaner. The guys still have some things at our house, particularily in one room that we will use as the office, so we haven't been able to finish everything. Once the things are out of the office, we will give it a good cleaning and then set up desks, computers, filing cabinets, etc. :) That will be so nice... I am REALLY looking forward to having an office again! I tend to "office" quite a bit. I also spent about 3 hours on Sunday "de-guyifying" the bathroom. To be fair, it was NOT that dirty... I just really scoured it from top to bottom. I'm quite sure that if I went to that level of detail in my bathroom, it would take 3 hours as well. And I enjoy cleaning, so it was not too bad. I have also been vacuuming the house much more frequently than usual, and Geoff's parents have a steam cleaner that they said we could borrow. I'm looking forward to that too! Hopefully we will do that in the next couple of weeks, and after we steam clean we will get the Christmas tree (remember the one we picked out in September? it's still waiting for us!). Patrick is coming on Friday and we will still be "in process" when he is here, but we have a room all set up for him so at least he'll have his own space. And a nice clean bathroom! Very exciting. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sad Day!

Over the weekend I got an email from the Hood to Coast organization stating that we were not selected to run Hood to Coast in 2008. They got 1700 applications postmarked on "Opening Day" (aka the ONLY day) this year, and they only select 1000 teams (based on a lottery). I have so enjoyed running H2C the last 2 years, and we already had a great team set up for 2008, including 5 out of town friends. The good news is, they have a "loser's lottery" where you can mail in your application a week in advance the following year along with a note that says "DENIED 2008" and it "increases your chances of getting selected". Whatever that means, although I do know people who have had success with the loser's lottery. So I'm a little bummed, but it will be okay. Geoff and I are tentatively planning on running a half marathon in June. Which is NOT the same, but it will be fun regardless.

Other than that, the weekend was a blast! Friday afternoon we headed down to Lincoln City for fun with friends. We stayed in a house called Stairs to the Sea with 4 other couples. Friday night we played dominoes, talked, and just hung out. Saturday morning we watched Northwestern lose to Illinois (sad) and had homemade biscuits and gravy. For couple's weekend, we have one couple prepare each meal and they are always delicious. Then we headed to the outlet mall... we got some new shoes and sandals (note - I just had to try like 10 different ways to spell sandals before I figured out the right one) for Geoff and a few Christmas presents. We hung out for a while, played more dominoes, and then had a Thanksgiving dinner. :) The couple that was in charge of dinner Saturday night wanted to make a big turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, so they did. I liked it - but only because I didn't eat the turkey. ;-) Well, I had 3 little pieces because I figured I needed some protein. That same couple is also 4 months pregnant... they find out the sex of the baby today! They are from Eugene so they are big University of Oregon fans, so they said right after their appointment, they are going to go buy a little Ducks outfit for the baby - pink if it's a girl, green if it's a boy. After that we went to the casino - we all did horribly! Geoff and I usually play about $10 each at the casino, and usually come out about $5 - 10 ahead combined. This time we both lost our $10. That was sad. But, we figure it's about the same as going to a movie... roughly $10 each for a couple of hours worth of entertainment. So it's not so bad. Once every 6 months or so I suppose that is acceptable. Sunday morning Geoff and I made breakfast and then everyone packed up and left.

When Geoff and I got home - there were no boys. And missing couches, chairs, and beds in the guy's rooms. There was other evidence of boys, however. A little while later 2 of the guys showed up - they had rented a UHaul to pick a lot of their stuff up and move it out. They are all moving in with their respective parents. They all still have various stuff at the house - clothes, DVDs, kitchen stuff, etc. They said they planned to move that out over the course of the next couple of weeks. WEIRD!!! It was sad... and I am NOT used to having the house so empty. When I first moved in, I lived all by myself and was never scared, but last night even with Geoff there I was like "what was that? Did you hear that?" So Geoff and I spent last night working on some of the things we wanted to do (cleaning, rearranging, etc.) when the guys moved out. That wasn't planned, but Geoff rarely has a weekend off and we figured we might as well take advantage of it. There is still tons to do, but now we can take our time and just do a little bit here and there. Last night was the first night Geoff and I have spent alone in our house. All weird.

Geoff and I are going to start trying to do at least one "green" thing a day. Preferably one each, but I'm okay with starting slowly (I say "I'm okay with" loosely... usually I'm either do something all the way or don't even bother... so this is difficult for me to try to pace myself, but I think it's the best way to effectively do this). Yesterday we used our reusable Ikea bags (we went to Ikea to get a few things we had planned to buy when the guys moved out). And that is all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Thoughts

I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday - it was for those Fred Meyer reusable bags that I referred to the other bag. They said that just one reusable bag can save up to 120 bags a year. Then they said the average family uses 400 bags a year - so with just 3 reusable bags, you wouldn't have to use any more disposable bags. I found this absurd - yes, it would be true if every time you went to the store you used 3 bags... but don't you think it's a lot more likely that most people do little trips to the store frequently (using one or two bags) and the occasional trip to the store where they use 6 - 10 bags? In addition to the varied number of bags used by individual families, there is also a size discrepancy between families. A family of one or two probably uses 1 - 2 bags a lot more often, where as a family of eight might use 10 bags every time. So the whole "buy 3 bags and never use a disposable bag again!" thing is ridiculous.

I have been doing a lot of reading this week on "going green", eating organic foods, and eating locally. There is so much fascinating information out there on these topics. I read a very interesting exchange on this blog about the pros and cons of eating locally - "Is there something wrong with supporting non-local businesses? Do you really think the boutique Sauvie organic vegetable farmer, who drives a BMW and lives in the West Hills, needs the business more than the poor broccoli grower in Chile? I have never understood that attitude. Just because people don't live in Oregon doesn't mean they're not people." Very good point. Counterpoints though, are obviously the amount of fuel and resources it takes to ship that broccoli from Chile to Oregon. They went back and forth about we shouldn't feel we're entitled to strawberries when they're out of season just because we're Americans... well then should we feel entitled to be dry when it's raining in Oregon? You can and probably will be, thanks to "civiliation and technology". There was talk of the economic benefits to the worldwide economy vs. the local economy. I won't go into all of it, but it really was extremely interesting to me. My dad also brought up how difficult it is for someone in Texas or Arizona to eat locally - not as much produce grown there. Also, poorer people cannot always afford the organic banana - but they need banans, so we should be thankful that there are ways for them to get organic bananas. The subject certainly isn't black and white, but it is very interesting. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Couple more thoughts...

A few more things I thought of after my post... (my head never stops... although I WILL stop blogging after this).

I get wine newsletters from several vineyards. At least two that I frequent: Kramer (We are certified LIVE! We practice sustainability.....Low Input Viticulture & Enology. Kramer Vineyards is designated Salmon Safe.) and Montinore (In 2001 we switched to organic practices and in 2003 moved on to biodynamic farming. We're hoping to be certified Biodynamic for the 2008 vintage. We've seen a big difference in the vineyards and the wines are much more expressive since we began using biodynamic practices), are organic and earth friendly and stuff like that. YAY. I can drink wine in my new movement. ;-) Ha.

Also... the world kinda seems like a cycle... there is such a trend to go "back to the basics" and get back to local stuff and eating what comes from the land and all of that related stuff. It's interesting. Not that everyone is wanting to do that, but it's just interesting to watch the cycles of history. There's so much globalization, and also a push from some to become more localized.

Becoming a locavore

I come up with the strangest notions! First I was thinking of becoming a dentist... then a pharmacist... now a locavore. Don't worry, this one isn't a new career.

And before I begin (this sentence is actually being written when I'm about halfway through), this blog may seem kind of hypocritical. That's because I am just throwing around ideas in my head... I have certain thoughts, but don't necessarily do them myself, and sometimes don't even know where I stand on these things. So I'm just writing down all of the things I'm throwing around in my head right now.

Here's what happened: last night Geoff and I were watching Jon and Kate Plus 8, as we do every Monday night (don't ask me why he likes it, but I'm glad he does). Well, Kate Gosselin is kind of freakish... she feeds her family almost entirely organic foods, always packs them snacks and lunches, and is REALLY big on what she feeds her family. It is talked about very often... she frequently says things along the lines of "we make sacrifies elsewhere so that we can give our children this wonderful gift". There are two episodes every Monday night - the first one last night was about how they were going to an organic farm to buy half of an organic cow to feed their family for a year. It was kinda cute actually, the kids were hilarious while they were at the farm. On the second show, some chick named Sara Snow was coming to meet with Kate for a day. I'd never heard of her before, but apparently she (like the Gosselins) also has a show on Discovery Health. She is apparently some sort of organic / green lifestyle expert, and was coming to show Kate even more about how to incorporate organic foods into their diet and also into their entire lifestyle (such as organic clothing, organic cleaning supplies, etc.). It was freakish. I know that Geoff and I get the organic bin every couple of weeks, but we get it mostly out of convenience, not because we specifically care about the food in it being organic - although we're both willing to admit that some of the food DOES taste better. I have often mocked my friends who try to eat mostly organic foods - calling them "hippie freaks". So I kept thinking "this is hippie freakish, this is hippie freakish".

Then I couldn't get it out of my mind!

So today I am thinking about becoming more organic / living a green lifestyle. I am not really sure what you call these things yet. :) And I am not committing to it, and certainly shouldn't be blogging about it, but I am blogging because I think it's interesting and because I want to share my thoughts. So we already eat almost exclusively organic fruits/vegetables/herbs. Sara Snow said it's easiest (or she recommends, or most people, or something) to start with meat and dairy. Those seem like the LAST things I would want to do - maybe because I happened to see the price of organic ground beef at Costco the other day. Although when I order garlic in our organic bin it is usually $1 - $1.50 per bulb, and I saw it at Fred Meyer a few days ago at 3 / $1 (non-organic). So yes, obviously eating organically is much more expensive. But I am thinking of going to organic bread. That seems like a next good step for me, and I can order it in the organic bin. And possibly even buy it at Costco... and I like anything I can buy at Costco! I have read articles in Costco Connection (the Costco magazine) about how they like to carry a lot of organic products. (and why wouldn't they, it's the new genius money-making trend). Anyway, so I'm thinking of going to bread. I don't know what I would do after that. I am kind of confused about the organic household cleaners thing... Sara was talking about how we breathe in all of these strong cleaners and toxins and chemicals and it is bad for our respiratory systems. I do agree with that (so did Geoff actually)... it kind of goes along with my belief that we use way too many antibiotics and other medications. I try to limit my use of medication as much as possible (getting Remicade every other month bothers me to no end... although I do COMPLETELY understand the value of using medications when appropriate). I still use painkillers if necessary, but I try to really evaluate why I'm using them - okay, I have a headache. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Is there something else my body is trying to tell me that I can fix before I try to use a pill? I've done that for probably a year or so. But I absolutely will still use pain killers, cold medicines, etc. I just try to make sure I'm keeping my use in check.

Got off topic there... so off topic I need a new paragraph. Anyway, so the household cleaners: I do agree that cleaners could be bad for us. She recommended using 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water. I like that idea. And yet... it seems so "hippie freakish" to me. Why can't I get past the association in my head? She and Kate were cleaning mushrooms yesterday, and Kate was freaking out about having dirt on them... I was like GREAT, dirt is good for you. I think that another reason everyone is so sick all the time is because everyone tries to sanitize stuff and then when you get one germ in your body you don't know how to respond to it. So I was all about the dirt, and think it'd be cool to just use a basic cleaner. But then you'd have to mix it, and that seems crazy, and I dunno. But they do sell mixer bottle squeezie things at the Dollar Tree. So I could maybe handle that. That's another thought. (now no one is going to come to my house to eat ever again, huh?)

Then I thought of those reusable bags that they are pushing at Fred Meyer these days. For 99 cents (sometimes on sale 2 / $1), you can get reusable bags, instead of using paper or plastic bags when you go grocery shopping. I want to get those. I already have the reusable Ikea bags that are 59 cents each. They are awesome bags... huge and cool. So maybe some grocery store ones would be good. But what about my recycling? My recycling company still makes us sort - so I use paper bags for that. I do have three bins though, so I'm thinking when the fellas move out that we will have less recycling and therefore we can do glass, paper, plastic one week, and then cardboard, aluminum, and (???... paper again I guess) the next week. Other than that, I can't think of a single thing I really need paper or plastic bags for. Even when I went to Target or some other store... I surely could use reusable bags. My Ikea bags would be perfect for that.

I shared some of my thoughts with my friend Patrick. He said "you are becoming a locavore?" I asked what that is, and he referenced a New York Times blog from this morning that he said talked about a locavore, which basically means "crunch folk who only eat locally grown foods". (Patrick's definition). The organic bin tries to use locally grown foods when possible, although I know it's not all locally grown. Apparently the Google cafeteria offers locavore-friendly food. But I don't know if I'm there on that one yet.

I also told Geoff via text message:
Me: "I am writing a blog about how I kinda want to become a green freak like Sara Snow."
Geoff: "Please don't. She scared me."
Me: "Why?"
Geoff: "You can be green, just don't be like her. She was a freak."
Me: "Okay! Will you be green with me?"
Geoff: "I suppose so."
Me: "You don't sound thrilled."
Geoff: "Was I supposed to? I am thrilled!"
She really WAS a freak. But we both thought she was fantastic with all 8 of those kids, and I did kinda like her ideas.

Then I told my sister. She said this:
"Confusing.. One day you dont care about the environment..the next day you are going to become an organic hippie freak? However, I support you in the organic lifestyle..that is great! Better for your body, esp since you have Crohn's... probably better for you esp.. I am a HUGE supporter of small farms.. I LOVE farmers markets.. co-ops.. things like that. Fresher food.. better for you.. better for the farmers.. helping to keep small farmers around.. so that its not all huge companies that take over the place.. I very much support free range chickens too... and if it were feasible in my life right now I would love to only eat free range chickens.. It is much more expensive though. Anyways.. congrats"
She's a fan, which is no surprise to me. She's kinda a hippie freak herself.

Anyway... just my thoughts for today. I kinda thought this was amusing, especially Patrick's, Geoff's, and Christine's responses (don't worry, I told them all I was going to blog what they said, so I really don't just blog people's conversations to me randomly). So I guess we'll see where this "journey" takes me... might just be a dead-end right around the corner, but you never know.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I just realized how often I write lists in my blogs of what's "to come", and sort of rehash the same things over and over. It helps me organize my thoughts. So I am sorry you are subjected to my constant PLANNING. Thanks for reading anyway. :)

Happy weekends!

This weekend was a blast. :) Friday night we went to a fundraiser play/dinner at Bethel Lutheran Church in Portland. Great fun! I so adore the heart of churches in the city. It touches my heart! Dinner was interesting... Jello salad with cottage cheese, very very salty meatloaf, oddly spiced carrots... hmmm. I didn't eat much. As we crammed our chairs into the teeny tiny space in the church basement to watch the play, I thought "this was fun... don't know about coming back next year...". Then I watched the play. HI-LAR-I-OUS. I rarely laugh out loud at "planned" humor (TV, movies, etc. ), but I did laugh out loud a couple of times during this. Now I can't WAIT for next year.

Saturday morning I woke up and watched the Northwestern game. YEAH for beating Indiana! I took a nap Saturday afternoon because I was going out with Katie and Kristie that night. Katie and I had dinner at Henry's, then we met up with Kristie at Oba and then went on to the Thirsty Lion. We ran into a coworker and a friend of his at Thirsty Lion, so we had fun chatting with them all night. And it's funny - I RARELY go out downtown, but we always run into this same coworker. He has been at Henry's 3 times in the last year and a half when I've been there... and I've been there about 3 times. I saw him at Henry's, but didn't say hello... so when we saw him walk into the Thirsty Lion, Kristie went and said hello to him. We had a nice table in the corner, which was good for checking out the scene in the entire place. Very fun. GREAT music. Some band called the Remakers or something was playing... Oh, I googled it. Must be the Remasters. Anyway, they were good! Lots of fun 80's and early 90's music. I got home at 2:30 AM! See, I'm glad I took the nap. I haven't stayed out that late in FOREVER.

Sunday I slept late - I was bummed because I had wanted to go downtown to go to church at Bethel. I went to lunch at Noodles, and then read for a while. Geoff got home early and we went to happy hour at Henry's. Yes, I had just been the night before, but I wanted to get out. And it was our 1/4 wedding anniversary... how lame is that? I like excuses to go downtown. :) We had great fun! We had a seat in the bar where Geoff could watch football. In sad news, I discovered a hole in my FAVORITE sweater. I was like "this is ridiculous! This is a very expensive J Crew sweater!". Then I remembered that I got it when I was a senior in high school or freshman in college... at least 7 years ago. Yikes. And Geoff was like "you wear it ALL THE TIME". Good point. But still. I am sad. Then Geoff said "maybe you can go to J Crew and buy a new one"... yes, because they OFTEN carry the same sweater 7 years later. Ha. :) Although J Crew does have a pretty classic style, so it's reasonable to assume I could find something similar. And Geoff discovered that half the buttons on his phone no longer work. And it made a burning smell. Drama.

Today we're going to my friend Geoff (H, not M)'s house to watch Monday Night Football! Sounds like there will be a good crowd of people there... very exciting. Geoff H. also has a cell phone on our network that he no longer uses and said we can have, so Geoff M. will have a new phone to use until June when we're due for a refresh. Oh, and to make it even MORE exciting, Geoff G. will be there too. Yes, I know an oddly high number of people named Geoff. It's fun when they're all in the same room together. Sometimes Jeff G. comes too... but I don't think he'll be there tonight. :)

I am SO excited for the next few weekends... actually pretty much the rest of the year. I gave you some of the scoop last week, here's a little more:
November 16 - 18: Couples weekend in Lincoln City!
November 21 - 25: Thanksgiving / wine weekend!
November 30 - December 2: Patrick weekend! He's coming Friday morning and we're going to Holiday Ale Festival in Portland that day (it's in Pioneer Courthouse Square in these big clear tents with lots of heaters... very fun!). Then we're going camping Saturday and Sunday.
December 7 - 9: (maybe the weekend after) Camping with my coworker Cindy and her family! They bought a new RV this weekend at the RV show so we are going to go on their maiden voyage with them. So excited!
December 21 - 23: Most likely the weekend the guys move out of our house, so lots of cleaning/rearranging/etc in preparation for my parents to get in on the 24.
December 24: (this isn't a weekend, I'm cheating) My parents arrive! We'll have dinner at Geoff's parent's house
December 25: Christmas dinner at OUR house... so exciting! We'll have 9 people, which is a good number to start with for our first Christmas dinner. I am SO SO excited to have both sets of our parents at our house for Christmas. I know this will probably be a rarity, so I will enjoy it while we have it!
December 28 - 30: Camping with my parents at the beach!
December 31: New Years Eve party at Geoff's parent's house

Did you count all the camping in there? 4 times in 6 weeks - in the winter! I love it. :) And I love that we actually USE our camper. So fun!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


The RV Show was excellent. Geoff's mom found her perfect RV - the Winnebago Vista 32K. It was such a great RV! And Geoff and I did not see ANYTHING that we liked more than our Tango, which was happy. We really do feel that we have the perfect fit for us! It was great fun.

So remember yesterday how I blogged about how Geoff's mom won't read my blog? Well not 4 hours after that I mentioned something (not related) about my blog to her in an email and she said "okay, I'm going to read your blog now!" I was like "NOW?!?! I just blogged about you NOT reading my blog - too funny." Check out her comments below. She is hilarious!

My mom had a dream last night that Geoff and I had twins - a boy and a girl! They were premature, and we were at my parent's house. My mom's sister (who died this June) was there, and my great grandmother Mebe (who died about 10 years ago) was there. My mom was a psychology major so she usually has some theory on dreams, but she said she had nothing on this one. Cool though!

A trip down memory lane... Mebe's name came from my grandfather (her son in law). When he married my grandmother, he wanted a name to call his mother and father in law. Their last name was Ebert - so he came up with Mebe and Febe - for Mother Ebert and Father Ebert. Everyone then started calling them that - grandkids, great grandkids, etc. I love that story. Mebe was also born in 1900 which is SO cool because you could remember how old she was (if it was after September) because she'd be as many years old as what year it was. I think she died in 1997 (maybe 1998) but she was 97 years old when she died. When we went to her house (Febe died a few years before I was born and she lived in an apartment) she always had a candy jar with Andes mints in them - the great grandkids loved that. And she always had a cocktail! She also took us out to Mexican food at this EXCELLENT restaurant, and in her younger days (you know, like 92 and younger) she would drive us in her 1970's Buick. There were no seatbelts in the backseat! I love it. I loved Mebe. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Yesterday afternoon I read a VERY VERY funny email that was forwarded to me. Turns out it was actually from someone's blog - he has a 1977 JC Penney catalog and proceeds to make fun of the clothing. Quite amusing, though perhaps slightly offensive. I thought Geoff was going to roll off the bed last night he was laughing so hard while reading it.

This morning I was reading Matt's blog and saw a link to a blog that reflects on the overuse of quotation marks. You MUST read it. It's too funny. And then another blog that reflects on the overuse of the word literally.

Just all around a couple of funny days. The parenthesis one is my favorite though! It reminds me of when someone writes .99 cents on a sign. DANG THAT'S CHEAP! Less than a penny? Really? AWESOME! I'll take 10.

Onward... I tried to kill my mother in law last week. I cannot believe I forgot to tell you all about this. Okay, not really... but you know that pizza recall? Yeah, we definitely had a midnight snack in the camper of that exact same pizza. I'm the worst daughter in law ever!!!! Happily, she's still alive. And going to the RV show with us tonight!!!!

But she won't read my blog. I can't tell you how disturbed I am by this. I think it's not that I care if she actually reads it, but I'm just more bugged by the fact that she WON'T read it. She said that she doesn't want me to feel that I can't vent about her on my blog because I know she reads it. But I don't want to vent about her, and even if I did, it wouldn't be on my blog anyway. This paragraph makes no sense. It makes no sense because I can't describe exactly WHY it upsets me so much that she won't read it. All I know is that I wish she just weren't against reading it. So this is me, venting about her not reading my blog. ;-)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Big update

Man lots of stuff going on! Last weekend (October 25 - 30, if you call that a "weekend") we went camping. When we first told Geoff's mom about the camper she was kinda like "okay... great for you guys... not so much for me!" She's never really been camping before and wasn't all that excited about it, but we got her kinda excited by talking about our camping trips, our excitement for the camper, how nice it was, etc. So she said she would come camping with us for the first two nights (Thursday and Friday) of our camping trip. She met us at our house and we drove to the campground - only about 30 minutes away. We had salmon and artichoke for dinner the first night... rough camping trip, huh? We also worked on a puzzle and talked a lot... Geoff watched Air Force One because "he doesn't like puzzles". The next morning Geoff actually started working on the puzzle, and enjoyed it! We just hung out all day... had a giant breakfast, set up the awning and the party lights, "peeped" on people (involves watching other campers, especially on Friday afternoons as they try to back in their rigs without crashing into anything and as they bring out all of their stuff which is fun to watch), etc. That night we had steak and roasted potatoes for dinner... then sat around the campfire making up stories about the people we were peeping on ("oh, see those people next to us? That is Grandma Lily and Grandpa Jack with their grandkids Bill and Jane, they are babysitting while the parents have a romantic date night"). It went on and on, it was HILARIOUS. Geoff's mom and I were making up the craziest, funniest stories, while Geoff just sat there laughing at us. Geoff says we play off each other quite well and it's very fun to watch. We had such a grand evening! Saturday we hung out in the morning, then went to Oma's (Geoff's grandmother) 70th birthday party! That was so fun, and I got to hold the baby! I love babies. Only to age 2 though! Geoff's mom "HATED" camping so much (that was a running joke all weekend... "but I HATE camping!!!!") that she stayed Saturday night too! Sunday morning Geoff went to work, and she and I finished a second puzzle, read, and she knitted. And did more peeping, of course. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, Geoff and I did some hiking around the state park, hung out, and relaxed! We forgot our bikes which was super annoying, but we WILL remember them next time. There are so many awesome bike trails in that state park!!

Now that Geoff has worked on the puzzle, he's become obsessed! We went to Rainy Day Games and got a 2000 piece puzzle of Times Square which is currently taking up the dining room table. It's great! And I've been going to when I have some free time during work to do a quick puzzle here and there. I love puzzles, I'm glad Geoff does now too!

This weekend was great. Friday night we went out to dinner. Saturday I watched Northwestern lose to the Hawkeyes... that was brutal. Geoff came home pretty early and then we worked on the puzzle while we watched the University of Oregon / Arizona State game. Saturday night we went out to dinner at a place called Bugatti's and in came the Roloff parents with some friends and their film crew! It was cool to see that, and watch for us on TV. The only problem is that they had to turn on the lights very brightly in what is normally a very dimly lit restaurant. It wasn't a problem for us, but it sure would be annoying to have to go EVERYWHERE with those bright lights. Yikes! Then we had to tell Addy and Cindy immediately because they both love Little People Big World. Sunday Geoff got up early to have breakfast with his stepdad Gary... they had a good conversation about life, work, etc. They always have a good time at breakfast together. We went to look at new houses (I LOVE looking at new houses, and particularly like this developer). Then Geoff talked to our roommates and told them that we're at a point in our life where we really want to live on our own. They were very gracious and kind and willing to move out. It works out rather nicely timing-wise - my parents are coming to town for Christmas and New Years, so it will be nice to have some space in the house for them. It will be sad for us to have the guys to move out, but overall I think it will be a positive thing for us.

Upcoming for us:
This Wednesday: RV Show! We're taking Geoff's parents with us, I'm ESPECIALLY looking forward to Geoff's mom seeing all of the different types of RVs. We "trained" her pretty well to recognize the different ones outside when we were camping, but she hasn't seen the inside of a lot of them, and I think she'll really enjoy some of them - like the big monstrosities and then the babies like this one.

Friday: a play/dinner fundraiser event at an inner-city church downtown, again with Geoff's parents. I'm excited because I LOVE inner-city churches.

Saturday: I'm hanging out with my friend Katie, I'm SO excited because I haven't seen her in 100 years!

Next weekend: couples weekend! Our friends Kendra and Beau rent a beachhouse every year and invite couples to go along for a weekend of fun with them. We went last year and had an absolute blast, so we're very much looking forward to this. Each couple is in charge of one meal, so they really bring their "best of show" and so it is a weekend of good eating and good friends! (with a trip to the outlet mall thrown in!)

Following weekend: wine weekend! Okay, some might call it Thanksgiving. ;-) Every year at Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, the wineries here host big wine events. Geoff's mom and I have made it a tradition to go. This year, it's getting even better! Geoff and I are taking the camper down to a nice RV park in wine country Wednesday night. Thursday night we'll go to Geoff's parents for Thanksgiving - they have a new kitchen this year and it's her first Thanksgiving in her new oven (well, Thanksgiving itself might not be in the oven). We'll help them clean up afterwards, and then *hopefully* (if all works out) both of Geoff's parents will join us in the camper Thanksgiving night. Friday morning we'll hit our favorite wineries - Kramer is ALWAYS our first stop and over Memorial Day we discovered Carlton Winemakers Studio which we enjoyed and will go to again. We'd normally stop at a few more places, but this year we have SATURDAY TOO!! So Saturday we'll go to new places that are further south than we'd normally go - but because we'll be staying in the area, it will be no big deal. VERY exciting. It will be fun to have a nice relaxing weekend with Geoff and both of his parents. Very much looking forward to it! Should be a great November this year. :)