Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas in review!

Alright already, here's the recap. :-)

Sunday (the 21st): Anxiously watched the news and the airport website all day (couldn't go to church because they were ALL CANCELLED - for the second week in a row). Essentially every flight was cancelled. I think there may have been 12 that took off that day. In good news, there are 4 non stops to Dallas on American Airlines daily (the ONLY flights that American flies out of PDX) - and 2 of them actually flew (late, but whatever... they left Portland). Got a call about 9 PM that we needed to go down to Sheridan (about an hour or so south of where we live) and rescue Geoff's uncle and cousin who were stuck on their farm. Got home around 2 AM and went to bed around 2:30 AM.

Monday: Left for the airport like 4 hours before our flight (which was showing on-time, a good sign). It took about an hour to get there, which wasn't bad at all. Again, since American only has 4 flights a day, it only took us about 5 or 10 minutes to get our bags (okay, one bag and one cardboard box... we are classy) checked. Southwest, United, Alaska, and Northwest all had lines winding around the entire airport - literally, they were winding around the check-in area up and around through the security line and then back and around and even OUTSIDE. So then it was on to security. We got in line and then Geoff said "I don't think this is security... I think this is the line for Alaska". So he did some investigation, and sure enough, it was the Alaska line. There WAS NO SECURITY LINE because no one was going anywhere. So we casually walked through security and headed to our gate. Definitely didn't need to be there early! We had a 12:55 PM flight and the 9:30 AM flight was at the gate next to us just chillin'... oh well. Around 11:30 they put them (the 9:30 peeps) all on the airplane, de-iced them, and said they'd leave the instant the Port of Portland opened the runway. To their credit, the Port WAS working very hard - in the first picture below you can see these guys trying to put CHAINS on a luggage conveyor belt... I thought that was hilarious. And in the second picture you may be able to make out THREE plows and graveling trucks out on the runway (there was a fourth that wasn't in the picture). But the snow just kept falling and they couldn't keep up. So the 9:30 people were all on the plane ready to go... and the Port decided they weren't going to open the runway. They kept all of those poor people on the plane and told us that our flight would be leaving around 2:15 PM, when the Port said they were going to open the runway. Geoff went to go find us some lunch around 1... and about 5 or 10 minutes after he walked away they called all of the flight attendants back to our gate and then said "alright everyone, the Port is opening the runways, so get on as fast as you can so we can get out of here when they do!" Geoff had heard them call the flight attendants back so he was already on his way back when I called him (sans lunch) and we loaded up. They said because of the slush on the runway they had large weight restrictions so it was either people or fuel they had to sacrifice - since it doesn't make much since to fly an empty plane nonstop to Dallas, they chose to take off with minimal fuel and make our "nonstop" a direct by putting us down in Reno and filling us up. The fine people on the 9:30 flight (who had been sitting on their plane since 11:30) left about 30 minutes before us, around 1:30, and we left about 2. After a quick stop in Reno, we were 3 or 4 hours late arriving to Dallas, but we didn't care in the slightest! We were so glad we made it. :-) (and there were over 100 cancelled flights on Monday too!)

Tuesday: Slept late and then did some shopping. I seem to not remember this morning very well... my mom had a doctor's appointment and my sister, Geoff, and I all woke up while she was gone. I had oatmeal for breakfast. We went to Costco and Walmart for some groceries, then came home and started making stuffed shells for dinner with my aunt, uncle, and grandmother. They came over about 6:30 and we had a nice night visiting with them.
Wednesday: Geoff and I did some errands on our own... we went to Walmart again and several other stores. We needed to get a few last minute things for dinner and were looking for a secret gift that we had just thought of (we never did find it... several stores carried it but were out of it). We also stopped by my aunt and uncles to get some fresh rosemary for our prime rib on Christmas night (my aunt grows it). We went to the 7 PM church service and saw the pastor who married us. She is so cute... she SCREAMS with excitement every time she sees us. We love her. Then we had Honeybaked Ham for dinner... yummmmmmm.... :) Then Geoff put the rub onto the prime rib (actually I think he did that BEFORE church) and got it all ready to go.
Thursday: I got up early (after I went to bed at 1 and got up at 4 and 6 to "moisten" the prime rib) and tried to convince Geoff to go for a walk with me, but he was too sleepy! So I asked my dad instead! I wanted to see if Starbucks was open, but they were not. But Albertsons WAS open, which was good because I needed a meat thermometer. The prime rib has to be cooked to a pretty specific temperature, and my mom's meat thermometer wasn't accurate enough. So I got that. The walk was so fun - we only saw about 3 cars the entire time, and EVERY car waved to us! WAVED! From a car!! AND when we were waiting to cross a street (waiting for the light to change), a car came up to the GREEN LIGHT, and stopped and waved us across. On a major street! It was so awesome! I couldn't believe it. By the time we got back the rest of the family was mostly up and so we opened presents! Lots of fun things... the best part was probably a trowel. I think it was gifted to me by my sister. Geoff and I are planning a backpacking trip for our anniversary this year (have I mentioned that?) so we are starting to collect the items we need for it. And who DOESN'T want a trowel for Christmas? We both got lots of great backpacking gear... plus cooking stuff (including several PINK SPARKLY SPATULAS!!!!!!!) and Riedel glasses and tons of other goodness! Then we had our traditional Christmas breakfast casserole... yummmm... and then got the beef in the oven! My mom has only one oven and was worried about timing everything, but I knew it would turn out alright. The only problem was that we were doing twice baked potatoes, and they don't get that firm outside without being cooked in the oven on high temperature. So we had them in the oven pretty much all day but they never got super crispy. But they still worked out alright! The prime rib was DELICIOUS, as was everything else, and everything was timed pretty well. We had my aunt and uncle and grandmother over again and had a lovely Christmas evening.
Friday: SHOPPING! Well, first I went on another walk with my dad. Then we (sans Dad) went all over the place to do some shopping and found quite a few excellent items. We also went to REI to get iodine tablets and deet for my sister who is going to Cambodia/Thailand/Vietnam in January. I heart REI. And it was PACKED! We also went to Target where Geoff and I found the secret gift we'd been looking for before - a new remote control for my parents, who always seem to have remote issues. We took a quick break at my parent's house since we had so many leftovers to eat, then we went up to Allen (a little north of Plano, which is north of Dallas) to their outlet mall... it was GREAT! There was a Columbia store which was like a goldmine... I got a new running shirt and a new fleece, and Geoff got a new waterproof breathable jacket (which was on his backpacking gear list). We got to the Coach outlet and there was a line... TO GET IN THE STORE. Yes, seriously, a line of about 75 people waiting to get in. Of course we waited in it. :-) It actually went quite quickly, but there wasn't anything we couldn't live without in the store. There was also a Le Creuset store which was really cool! They were having a 25% off over $25 sale, and they also had Riedel glasses. The Riedel set that I had received for Christmas was actually too long to pack in our suitcase, so we exchanged it for a set at the Le Creuset store that was shorter (I know, strange). We looked at the Samsonite store since my suitcase that I got at KMart my sophomore year of high school for a band trip has seen better days... but they were still super expensive (they had a bag very similar to one that they sell at Costco for $100 that was $215. And the one at Costco is Samsonite too!). That about sums up our shopping trip... and by the time we got home, my dad was sick. :-( We had been planning to head to Houston the next day and he just thought there was no way he was going to be able to go, but said he'd decide in the morning. Oh, and we had fondue for dinner... yum!
Saturday: Got up early and headed to Houston! Our first stop - Spec's Liquor Warehouse. Now, like all of you, I'm pretty sure Geoff was thinking "we're driving 4 hours each way, and we're going to have about 6 or 7 hours actually IN Houston. Why are we spending part of that time at a liquor store?" And then he actually set foot in the store. I have been there once, and it is the most magnificent wonderful place. The FIRST thing we saw was an ENTIRE AISLE of Riedel glasses! We were both in awe... Williams Sonoma has a lot of Riedel glasses, but they have about 20% of what Spec's had. Spec's had all sorts of crazy glasses... about 50% of which we'd never even seen or heard of before. They had black ones (which we had seen) which are meant for tasting parties. And they had TINTED glasses, one "party" set of pink/yellow/green/blue tint, and one set of just pink tinted glasses. Plus just all sorts of other types within various Riedel lines. We drooled but did not purchase anything. They also have a fantastic fine foods - cheeses and meats and mustard and who knows what else. I tried a glass of champagne with an edible flower in it - the flower tasted like a cherry (okay, I didn't taste it, but my sister did). We walked up and down the aisles of liquor and then got the aisles of wine... Geoff found an $800 bottle of wine! They just have an unbelievable selection of everything. We got a couple of things - including two tiny bottles for Geoff's bottle collection. Okay. Enough about liquor! Then we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch - ew. We've been there before, but they seemed to have one guy who was the host/bartender/server for the entire place - very short staffed. So we had to wait forever and lunch just wasn't that good. Very disappointing. After lunch we headed to Mimi and Gaggy's to see Mimi and pick up Gaggy to take him to my aunt and uncle's for a visit. We had a GREAT time there - we got to see my mom's brother and his wife plus all 3 of their kids, plus another one of my uncle's and his son (his wife, my mom's sister, passed away last year). It was so much fun, we haven't all been together in a couple of years (other than briefly at my aunt's funeral and at our wedding). We had a great time visiting and laughing. Then it was time to head back up to Dallas.
Sunday: We all slept really late and then did a little bit more shopping... we also visited my aunt, uncle, and grandmother one more time and then went out for Mexican food (goooood Mexican food!) And I got to have my beloved Steak N Shake cheese fries... don't ask me why I like these, but it dates back to Christmas Conference in Indianapolis my sophomore year of college, the first time I ever went to Steak N Shake. YUM. And speaking of Christmas Conference, my youngest cousin is headed to the southwest region's comparable Winter Conference in Dallas tomorrow. I'm so excited for her!
Monday: Got up early for our flight and headed to the airport - again, check in and security was super quick. American Airlines will be hearing from me... this was by far the best Christmastime flight experience I've had, in both directions! My family and I have definitely had terrible experiences in the past (which American has heard about too), but this was outstanding. So incredibly pleased. Geoff's mom picked us up from the airport and that ended our Christmas adventure!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why can't my blogs be short and sweet like normal people?

Kelly: Longest blog EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Patrick: wow thats like a novel
Kelly: I know.
Why can't I write short stuff like normal people?
Patrick: ha i wasnt mocking
gives me something to read
since i dont read books like a normal person
Kelly: LOL

Tough break

Well it's been an interesting couple of days!

Saturday Geoff's brother Trevor got home from college so we were planning to go visit with him and his parents on Sunday. Snow was predicted for the weekend, but Saturday was beautiful and so was Sunday morning when we woke up. It started snowing about 9ish? at which point we turned on the news and heard the standard Portland once-a-year snowfall story about people are cold, stay off the roads, etc. We did look online and saw that the 6 PM church service (that we were planning on going to) had been cancelled - so had the 11 AM by that point. We then dragged ourselves out of bed and went to the gym. We ran 7 miles as we watched the snow pick up a little and by the time we'd finished up, showered, and headed to Geoff's parents it was definitely coming down. We spent the afternoon chatting and about 4:30 I commented to Geoff that we should head out before it got dark - but for whatever reason, we decided not to. About 5:30 we all decided to go to a movie. So we got in our car (we had the Tahoe) and Geoff's parents got in their car and we headed out. Just a block or two from the theatre, Geoff braked before a stoplight and just didn't stop. We slid quite a distance... right into a Toyota Tercel. No one was injured and the Tahoe actually came out without a scratch. The Tercel didn't fare as well, but I think it was mostly just bumper damage that looked bad. The driver was very kind, we exchanged information and headed on our way. We skipped the movie and instead headed carefully home. It obviously could have been a lot worse, but it was still an unfortunate situation.

Monday we decided not to go into work (the snow all turned to ice by Sunday night and the roads were all literally just ice rinks... they don't believe in snow plows or salt here like normal people... hurts the salmon). My whole group was out except for one guy. He decided to come in, and told me today that he was one of very few people in the building - the cafeteria was a ghost town even at noon he said! He went home around noon. I just stayed online and worked from home, plus got tons done around the house. I made two meals (used up several things from the freezer which was great) and did 4 loads of laundry, plus cleaned out a closet and packed up a bunch of stuff from Goodwill. That is one thing I love about working from home - I tend to get so much more done, work-wise and home-wise (I know it sounds like all I was doing was stuff around the house, but I was doing work too, plus worked way longer than my normal work hours. It just feels easier because you can keep switching off).

Today we got up and made the slow trek into work. Actually, Monday afternoon was quite sunny which helped some of the ice go away! So this morning wasn't too bad and we got caught up at work. Geoff and I had lunch in the cafe and when I got back to my desk I had a voicemail. I checked it right away (shockingly, I never do that) and it was our realtor. He said - there's a problem... call me back ASAP, I'm going to call your cell phone and Geoff's cell phone too. So as I was reaching to call him, Geoff IMed me and said "got a call from the realtor, need to leave now, I arranged for job coverage for this afternoon, a pipe burst and I need to go home to fix it". He asked me to go with him, so I cleared my afternoon schedule and got ready to go. Our neighbor actually saw the problem and called our realtor to get in touch with us quickly. We had to drive home painfully slowly - it's still icy out and we didn't need another accident! When we got home our neighbors were standing in the driveway - we thanked them PROFUSELY. The neighbor across the street (who we know, but not very well) heard water and walked around looking for it. She saw water coming out of our garage so she asked our next door neighbor if she had our number. She just got a new phone so she didn't, but thought to call our realtor! GREAT NEIGHBORS. She also called the water district who had already been out to shut off our water line (which is way out of the way - on the other side of a fence... hard to explain with the way our house is set up, but it's really annoying). So thankful. So we opened up the garage... not nearly as bad as either of us were expecting. About 1/4 of our garage was WET... every single one of the tools in our tool chest was soaked, Geoff's golf clubs, etc... but nothing horrible. We had the extra seats from the Tahoe in there, extra paper towels / laundry detergent / etc. - several things like that, and it was all dry dry dry! Geoff went upstairs - nothing was wet there! The pipe that burst was the one that went out to the hose in the front yard, so our neighbor showed us how to shut it off. I remember the previous owner showing me where to shut that off and telling me he did it every winter, but I haven't done it ever and this is my 4th winter in this house - stupid, stupid me. There is also one to the backyard hose that I've never shut off - I showed Geoff where that was and we shut that one off too. Turns out three of our other neighbors have had this exact same pipe burst in the past couple of years, including the neighbor who originally found ours. The other three neighbors have one story houses though and the water guy says he very rarely sees it on the two story houses (ours is 2). Anyway! So we got that shut off, and Geoff called the water guy to come back and turn on the water (you need a special tool to do it). Then he started hacking at drywall. :) Cut a chunk out and found the hole immediately - it was quite large!! At this point we called his stepdad, who is good at these sorts of things. He said he'd come over to help but that it was going to be a bit because he was finishing up something. So we started working on drying - we dried out all of the tools (put them on towels in the family room), wet vacced the floors and walls, got things outside to dry, I ran to the camper to get a couple of space heaters we had in there, etc. Gary got here about 3ish and had brought Trevor and his girlfriend Kristy. He gave his professional assessment and then we all headed off to Home Depot for copper pipe, drywall, etc. They make these super cool things now that allow you to connect two pieces of copper pipe without having to solder! Exciting since we were up near wood, insulation, etc - all sorts of fun flammable things. Not to mention the whole part it about it being WAY EASIER. So we got back and Geoff cut out the bad piece of pipe - and the connector thingy wasn't big enough. UGH. Another trip to Home Depot! HD seems to almost always come in two's - the first time to get what you think you need, then another time to get what you ACTUALLY need after you realize the first stuff just isn't quite right or you need more or whatever. I always anticipate this and try to really think through all of what we might need, but it just never works. So anyway, since we were going back, Gary mentioned the drywall, and that there were some more pieces we might want to replace since they could get moldy. Geoff cut a hole out of one - and it just crumbled into grossness. So we tore down several sheets and then headed back to HD. Gary had his big work truck which was awesome because it fit the drywall easily! So we got back and plugged in the second connector we bought (the idea was to cut another piece of pipe out and connect that to the main pipe with a connector on either side) and it STILL wasn't big enough!!! Well we occasionally borrow things from our next door neighbor and this had come up in conversation earlier, so Gary suggested going over there to see if they happened to have some copper pipe. Geoff did that, and they didn't have any but the other neighbor (the one who originally discovered our problem and who had the same problem) DID! Our neighbor has yet to fail us on needing any tool type thing that we need, and even in this case he could recommend someone who had some. So we fixed that and tested it out and were good to go. We got everything all back in the garage, re-aimed all of the fans and heaters, and left it to dry until the weekend, when we will drywall it. We through a load of laundry in and then went to Kmart (since they have Craftsman stuff now) to buy new liners for the tool chest (ours were all wet and gross so we threw them away). I relined the tool chest and put away all of the tools (I will NEVER complain about organizing) while Geoff did some things inside. I also really wanted to put Jake in the garage, so I very carefully managed to get everything back in it's original position against the wall. :-) It worked fine, and I still even have the heaters and fans set up! Plus it's cleaner that way, and I sleep better when things are clean. I'm a freak, I know. So we're all set for now - and again, it could have been way, way, way worse. Minimal impact and all contained in the garage, plus it was a nice sunny day!

Things I am thankful for:
- fantastic neighbors (next door Christie and Gary, across the street Brett and Joy)
- Gary, Trevor, and Kristy
- towels. yes this is odd, but when I moved to Oregon I had 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels, and 2 washcloths. They were two sets, one I think was from high school that was still at my parent's house and I grabbed before I moved, and one was from college. I still have them all. I bought a set of blue and a set of yellow for the guest bathroom in my apartment - it had a yellow and blue theme. I still have those, and they are the SMALLEST bath towels ever. I do use them at the gym though, they're small and compact. Then a couple of years ago, a friend was having a garage sale and had all of these towels she wanted to get rid of, so she gave me some. I remember being SO excited because I seemed to always need "dirty towels" (this was right after I moved into my house and I never had enough). Then I married Geoff - this was a double towel bonus, because he came with towels PLUS we received towels as a wedding gift. Then we purchased the camper, and Momlie provided us with some towels to put in the camper. Many of those live in the camper, but at any given time a lot of them are at our house because they've been brought home to be laundered and then they live in the "take to the camper" bag until we actually go to the camper. So I was SO excited to have an occasion to use all of my towels acquried from many fabulous different sources... all of whom hold special places in my heart. Yes, I'm a freak. This we know.

I miss the rain.

2 quick funnies

Ever since I've had Jake, the thermometer switches into Celsius every so often (couple times a week). I usually look up, see that it says 7 degrees, and switch it back to Fahrenheit. This morning I looked up and it said 20 degrees. I reached up to change it... and realized it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit!!! Definitely not used to that in Oregon. :-) It's kinda fun! I'm glad I'm not walking to class a mile away on the lakefront anymore, but it's a nice little blast from the past.

And now I'd like to share a couple of pictures of Geoff in an -20 degree rated sleeping bag at REI. The REI guy dared him to stay in there for 30 minutes... he lasted about 2!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Haha - it gets better!

So tonight my sister and I were talking about the TV quiz from last night. I notice it was called "TV Sitcoms 2" so I google looking for #1. Turns out there are sitcoms and dramas and movies and lots more, oh my!!!! So now Christine, Patrick, Geoff, and I are all having fun doing Sitcoms 1. HIGHLY recommended! The best part is - 3 of the ones I guessed yesterday (Mr. Belvedere, Perfect Strangers, and The Adams Family) are on there. Hehehehe!

By the way, these quizzes are all at:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sitcom Drama!

Patrick sent me a little TV show quiz and said he got 49 / 50 right. The game was tiny pictures of a still shot of a particular show and you had to come up with the title of the show. I got 11 / 50 (ALF, MASH, I Love Lucy, Will and Grace, Growing Pains, Friends, Who's the Boss, Mad About You, Saved By the Bell, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Murphy Brown). Then I asked Geoff for help. He immediately got Two and a Half Men, Frasier, Third Rock From the Sun, That 70's Show, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire (I tried to get that but I didn't put THE).

So here's where it starts getting a little ridiculous. I try to think back to my childhood and remember shows my mom would have on - Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, etc. There were several shows with black families on there, so I kept yelling "227!!!" "Different Strokes!!!" I remember watching 227 a time or two when I was younger, but I don't ever remember seeing Different Strokes. Geoff, youngin' that he is, doesn't remember either. Then I saw who I SWEAR was Archie Bunker from All In the Family, but it wasn't. Geoff googles "sitcom with two black kids" and it comes up with Diff'rent Strokes... I of course yell "Different Strokes!!!" again, and Geoff was like "get over it already!" But I pointed out that it SAID Different Strokes... so we put that in and it was RIGHT! Does the guy from Diff'rent Strokes look like Archie? Then Geoff gets all google happy and googles "sitcom in the navy" for McHale's Navy which he claims to have heard of, "sitcom with George" for The George Lopez Show, which he also claims to have heard of, and sitcom with USMC for Gomer Pyle which neither of us have ever heard of. I somehow come up with Coach just on my own, and Geoff says "who's that guy stuck on the island?" and I say "Gilliagan?" and he gets "Gilligan's Island". And since I had mentioned Taxi, Geoff somehow identifies the people from Taxi (I thought they were Three's Company) so we got that one too. We're up to 23/50. WITH Google and the two of us combined, we're still not half what Patrick got.

Here are some that we have WRONG (what we guessed which is the WRONG answer and what the picture looks like) - edited later to add in the real answer now that Patrick sent me answers!

Donnie and Marie - no idea what this one could be, that was my guess but it's wrong. Two people that look SUPER happy and are sort of posed together but not in any setting. Looks like an American flag behind them. - this is Bewitched

Different Strokes - A black family, looks like a mom and a dad, maybe an aunt or a much older sister, and 4 kids. - this is Moesha

Mr. Belvedere - A man with glasses and a guy sipping coffee in a radio studio. - this is WKRP in Cincinnati

227 - Two black men standing next to each other - this is Good Times

Growing Pains - Two white boys (okay, one may be a girl) that are sort of hugging in front of a railroad crossing sign. - this is Silver Spoons

Prefect Strangers - A guy who I swear is Balki (Geoff says "who's Balki?") sitting on a couch talking to another dude. - this is Three's Company

Law and Order - 3 guys, 2 sitting on a red couch and one sitting on the arm of the couch. This is definitely a current show, but I can't identify it. - this is Entourage

The Adams Family - Geoff says "who are these Frankenstein looking people?" and I say "the Adams Family?" but that's not right. There is one normal looking woman in pink and 4 freak looking men/boys. All in front of a Model T lookin' car. - this is Munsters

Barney Miller - 2 guys in suits (one a uniform type thing) in front of encyclopedias. - this is Night Court

227 - Yes, again. Mom, Dad, and 5 kids? - this is A Different World

Taxi - I also guessed The Mary Tyler Moore show for this. Two women, one with red hair and one with long blonde hair. - this is One Day at A Time

227 - Times 3! 2 black teenagers and 1 white teenager in a school setting. - this is Welcome Back Kotter

Reba - A redheaded woman, a black man, and 2 other white women. - this is Designing Women

Seinfeld - Geoff guessed this, I knew it wasn't that, but it's also at school - an adult holding a baseball with 4 students around him. - this is Head of the Class

Hope you've enjoyed some laughter at my expense, epecially hearing what I think about some of the shows and then what they REALLY were!

A note of clarification, I am not trying to say that I think every African American family looks the same. I can just think of only a few black sitcoms, so I kept trying those.

Hey, this is my 500th post ever. YAY! :)


Yesterday I ran 6 miles with Kristie after work. Today I feel quite good! Because of previously mentioned worthless weekend, I never did get in a run this weekend, so I had to make up for it yesterday. Half marathon is only 5 and a half weeks away! Geoff wanted to join us, but ended up having to work late which was a huge bummer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Guess we can forget camping this weekend!

I'm not afraid of camping in the snow, but the part about "wrapping your pipes" reminds me of last Thanksgiving when we were camping and woke up to find that we couldn't use any water in our trailer. Plus we couldn't even pack up to go home because the hose was frozen to the camper and to the spicket. Yeah, gonna avoid camping this weekend! But I DO need to make summer reservations... Oregon state parks fill up SO quickly!

Issued by The National Weather ServicePortland, OR 1:05 pm PST, Mon., Dec. 8, 2008


Geoff and I are thinking about going camping this Saturday night, just a quick one-nighter. At the local state park we like to go to, winter camping with full hookups is $18 a night. However, there is a reservation fee of $6! So usually in the winter I like to avoid making reservations... who camps in the winter? Not that it's that empty, but there is usually at least a spot or two available. One day this will probably come back to bite me, but for now, I'm going to keep playing with fire...

Last night Tiffany and I went to a Big Ten Holiday Charity Bash. The bash was a bust. :( It was advertised as all you can eat with a flight of beers at one of my favorite breweries in town. Awesome we thought! But the food selection was limited - tortilla roll ups, a cheese/salami/olive tray, meatballs, chicken skewers, and sausage. Not so much all you can eat... especially since they'd only had half as many people last year so they quickly ran out of food. They brought more in but it was about an hour later. And the company was... interesting. I knew 2 or 3 people from my own alumni association, but really, a lot of Northwestern alumni are a little odd. And Tiffany was the only OSU person there, so we sat at a table with some Illinois and Indiana people. Anyway, it was a fine evening and we had a good time people watching, but we won't be back next year!

Monday, December 08, 2008

9 more blogs!

I have to write 9 more blogs this year to surpass my number of blogs from last year - that means you can call look forward to a blog at least every other day. Okay, let's be honest, you all know me - it more likely means that I'll be blogging 8 times on New Years Eve. :)

This was a FABULOUS weekend. We didn't do anything productive, but Geoff says it was fun to solidify our relationship. I said "was it wiggly before?"

Friday we went to REI after work - we are planning on going for a backpacking trip next year for our anniversary (romantic, huh?), so we're starting now in acquiring all of the things we need so we can take advantage of sales as we see them. REI has a couple of good promotions going on right now - 20% off any single outlet item purchase (online only) and $20 off a $100 or more purchase in the store or at regular So between all of those promotions and both of our memberships (we used to just have one, until an REI employee pointed out that you get twice as many coupons by having two memberships, and the coupons can be really valuable!), we BOTH got backpacks and sleeping bags this weekend. More on that in a minute. After that we had a holiday party to go to, so we went home and got all gussied up and headed to that. It was a lot of fun - there was a couple there that we met last year at couple's weekend (our annual trip to the beach with 4 other couples) so we chatted with them. We're looking forward to seeing them in about a month for this year's couple's weekend! Then we went to a coffee shop where a coworker's son was playing the piano. He was GREAT! After that we went to Fred Meyer because that's fun on a Friday night (apparently it's the new teenage hangout, we saw a lot of teenagers sitting around on couches in the furniture department... odd!).

Saturday we slept in late and then went out for a delicious breakfast. Then we went to a second REI because the one near us didn't have the backpack I liked in my size. Instead of a backpack, I found a sleeping bag there. They had this really fantastic women's sleeping bag that I wanted (and it was PINK!!!) but they didn't have it in long and I was too long for the regular size bag. So the REI guy suggested the same bag in men's... the men's regular is just a hair longer than the women's long and slightly more spacious (same in the hips, little wider through the shoulders). I reluctantly tried it out (it was blue :( ) and it was great! As much as I didn't want it... it really was just as good. So I got over my childish self and got the blue bag. Then we went to Sleighbells, which is a really fantastic Christmas shop. It was NOT such a fantastic experience though, because it was so crowded. I couldn't even really stand and look at any ornaments because I was afraid someone was going to push me into them and I was going to break them all. But we ended up with an ornament and then high-tailed it out of there. YIKES! After that we went to a third REI (yes, I know, we are freaks - and those 3 used to be the only ones in Oregon so when I went to all 3 in one day or weekend... yes I've done it before... I could say I'd been to every REI in the state. But now there are 3 more - 1 more in the Portland area, 1 in Bend, and 1 in Eugene). At this REI I got a backpack - they had the one in my size. A second driver for getting it now is that my sister is going to Cambodia in January and needs a backpack. She doesn't really have any use for one long term and hasn't been able to find one to borrow or buy used. Since I want one anyway, both my parents and my sister said they would chip in for a portion of the cost so that my sister could use it in January, and then it would be mine until the end of the time. It's a win/win! So then we were done with our whirlwind REI weekend. Oh - and I forgot to mention, Geoff got a backpack and a sleeping bag on, and he's happy to say that BOTH of those items cost less than my backpack alone. Usually I'm the deal finder, but he did really well with his backpacking gear!

Sunday morning I worked all morning placing POs for 2009 - fun. But I'm now 90% done with POs for 2009, I just have a couple of more that I'm waiting for more information on and then I will be DONE! :) Then we went to Geoff's parents for lunch. We had grilled cheese and tomato soup, which is pretty much my favorite lunch ever. Soooo good. After that we worked on the puzzle (and by "we" I mean all 4 of us for about 5 minutes, and then Momlie was dedicated for the next 2 or 3 hours while the rest of us sat around worthlessly!). Then my trouble-making father in law was like "why don't you two buy a new truck and trailer!". His real thought was that if we ever DID want to upgrade that now is really the time to do it - the obvious reason of the economy situation, plus we don't have kids or any other responsibilities. It really seems silly now because we JUST got both the Tahoe and the Tango, but it is a good time to be a buyer. We can't upgrade the trailer without the truck - we're pretty much maxed out on towing capacity with the Tahoe. So it'd have to be both... well, or we could do the truck with potentially the trailer down the road, but certainly not the other way around. Anyway - we went and looked Audi's (Geoff's little dream quarter-life crisis car, I guess) and Dodge trucks. Both were fun, but of course we did not end up with a new anything! It was fun to look and test drive though. The deals on trucks right now are pretty good, but not good enough to make me want to buy one. And our trailer is PLENTY big enough for us and whoever we want to take with us - it would be nice to have something like the 329 Bunk House DS ( so that Geoff's mom (our main guest) would have her own little room and space, but it is far from a must.

Anyway! Just a fun weekend. I'm REALLY excited to go backpacking... if we get all of our stuff together we may even go this spring or this summer on a smaller trip and then the "big" trip for our anniversary. I checked out 2 backpacking books from the library too, there are so many great backpacking trips in Oregon. And once you have all of the gear, it's a rather inexpensive vacation. YAY! :)

2 more weeks until "winter break"...

Friday, December 05, 2008


I meant for this to be a longer post earlier this week, but it's not. :) Thanksgiving was great - my sister came up on Wednesday with 3 other people she knew from school in California. Of course traffic was terrible, but she finally made it and we had a great dinner at Chevy's (her fave).

Thanksgiving morning we Turkey Trotted at the Oregon Zoo - what a beast! It was only 4 miles, but the first half was downhill (brutal for my knees) and the second half was uphill (brutal for any normal human being). So all in all it was pretty much horrible... except for the fact that I love running and I love races and it was really fun, especially at the end running through the zoo. :) After that we went home and showered, then headed to Geoff's parents for Thanksgiving dinner. It was lots of fun, great food and good times with family and friends.

Friday morning we slept late and then did a little bit of shopping. We had lunch at Burgerville so my sister could have a pumpkin shake and sweet potato fries. Then we headed out to the campground! We tried to get a fire going but never did get it really started, so we just went inside and watched TV on DVD.

Saturday morning was WINE TASTING! My most favoritest day of the year! Well, one of them anyway. And it did not disappoint - we tasted some fabulous wine and snacks and had a great time talking to the people. A fella we knew from when he poured at a previous winery opened up his own place starting last weekend and it was great! I hope he does really well. We'll be back there for sure. Saturday night we got a great fire going and had our traditional marshmallow roasting competition.

Sunday morning we got up early and packed up and headed home, then my sister headed back to California. Geoff and I went to his parent's house and started a 2000 piece puzzle of Las Vegas.

Monday night, Geoff didn't have basketball (Thanksgiving break) so we had Rick and Tiffany over for Trival Pursuit: Pop Culture. It seems like that game is brand new, but I bought it at Fred Meyer the Christmas I was an intern which was 2003! Crazy. With a game like that, it's important to remember when it was made so you don't guess something that hadn't happened yet.

Speaking of games, how cool are the new Monopoly and Life games that allow you to just swipe a debit card when you make a transaction, so you don't spend half the game counting cash (and by cash I of course mean small colored pieces of paper)? I love it! I just can't bring myself to pay $40 for them though, so maybe they'll be on sale one day. :)

The rest of the week has been fun... had a great run on Tuesday and we're headed to a holiday cocktail party tonight. I have a fair amount of work to do over the weekend, but only 2 weeks of work left until we head to Dallas for Christmas. Yeah!