Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adventures In Laundry

I am failing miserably at keeping up with the things in my life that need to be done. Some of this is not my fault, but most of it is. For example, blogging, keeping the house AT least picked up if not clean, staying on top of my school lectures...these are things that I can control but am doing bad at. The good thing is that Matt is working this weekend, so I will have plenty of time for all of that. I am averaging about 6 hours of sleep per night since Sunday night, so by the time I have run and taken the dogs out and gotten dinner, I am pretty much worthless. :)
The one thing that I tried to stay on top of was laundry. I didn't do any this weekend because Jake was here and I had much better things to do. However, I got my act together on Monday and put a load in, only to come back an hour later and find that the washer is no longer spinning or draining. It had already been leaking water out of the bottom, but I was making due with putting towels underneath it because it wasn't that bad.
So I had to pull sopping wet clothes out of the washer (and of course, these were sweatshirts and t shirts) and find places to hang them all in the house so they would dry and not get moldy. Ick! Taking still-dirty clothes out of icky water was not my idea of a fun Monday night! Matt and I do have a solution to this problem. We own a washing machine which we are storing in our garage. (The broken one belongs to our landlord.) However, I can not justify switching them out! It would be a lot of work and lifting, plus we are paying for the use of the current machine. So I filled out a maintenance request and faxed to the property manager yesterday. We have not heard anything yet...
I am hoping we don't have to wait too long for the washer to be fixed. We are already out about a week's worth of clean clothes. I may have to beg some of our Denver friends to let me do a load or two eventually to tide us over.
Okay, so that adventure was not as interesting as it could have been, but it's been the excitement in my life since the weekend.
Perdi has been up to no good and I should mention this too. She has found a way to get from our yard into every adjacent yard to ours! She and Pongo know where every loose board in the fence is and they utilize it. Pongo doesn't indulge in this as much. He is so mature now, and it's like he understands and obeys almost everything I say these days.
Hey, guess what is sneaking up on the Mountain Millards? OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY! We don't really have any plans since Matt is working. I'm kind of bummed about this, but it's still exciting to be celebrating a year already! Hopefully next year, we'll be on the same schedules and have time to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together. Please wish Matt good luck on his upcoming interview if you see or talk to him! He is applying for a day position.
I am going to get out of the house Saturday to try spring skiing again with Nick and Carlene at A-Basin. I still have my season pass and Carlene has a free ski rental, so it makes sense. I'm just not really in the mood to be alone this weekend and it will be nice to ski with Carlene because I think we both like to ski a little slower.
I will do my best to keep the posts coming now that we are (hopefully) over our laptop issues! Sorry again for the drought lately.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back In Action

It's time for a celebratory picture post. We got the laptop back yesterday! After 10 days in the shop and I won't say how much money, it is charging again like a dream. Since I didn't have any luck getting pictures up on Matt's computer, I am going to change my long streak of boring wordy posts with some pictures of our weekend with Jake.

The funny thing about when Jake comes out, there is always "bad" weather, as in rain, cold or dreariness. He came out last August and it was the first weekend we had experienced two days straight of rain since we moved in early July.
Our intention on Saturday morning was to head down to Colorado Springs and take the cog railway up Pike's Peak. However, my breakfast making and taking the dogs to day care

on the way down spoiled that and caused us to be late for the 10:40 train. Since we were going to the Rockies game that night and couldn't wait for the next one at 1:40, we didn't get to go up Pike's Peak. We were not sure if we would have seen much anyway with the cloudy rainy weather. However, I bet Jake would have seen some sunshine...Pikes Peak is over 14,000 feet tall, often higher than the low cloud deck.
Anyhow, we decided to "explore" the Cave of the Winds as an alternative. It was a little cheesy, but we made it fun.
Here is Matt just inside the cave.

As my dad will attest, you will rarely catch me with my eyes open if I know when the camera is going to flash...
Heading down a stairwell in the cave. We took the basic tour, so it was lit the entire way and there were hand rails and man made paths...very authentic to the cave. :) However, there are some pretty cool formations in the cave, including an 8.5 foot long stalagtite.

Here, Matt and Jake donned some animal hats and were acting goofy in the gift shop after the tour.

Matt likes to get pictures of himself pretending to disobey the signs in Colorado...

He didn't really throw the rock, don't worry!

The cave employees claim they need your picture taken in case you get lost in the cave, then they try to sell it to you for $10.00. We cheated a little bit.

The view looking down from the cave. It kind of looks like I'm standing on a cliff's edge to get the picture.

Later that night, we went to a Colorado Rockies game. We sat with one of Matt's co-workers (Allen) who got us awesome discounted lower level seats. The Rockies lost 6-5 to the Dodgers, but it was an exciting game to the end.

Sunday, we went to Golden and had lunch at Woody's Woodfired Pizza, a favorite place of ours to take visitors. It is a pizza buffet with all kinds of weird toppings, all baked over a fire. After that, we took a tour of the Coors Brewery. Here is Jake posing by his favorite beer. :)

The copper barrells where the beer is brewed never fail to impress me. There are just SO MANY!

Matt tried on another goofy had in the gift shop. I think he likes goofy hats.

A family of geese outside the brewery. Apparently, they like to swim in the cooling pond. Don't worry, they don't brew the beer with that water!

And finally, some obligatory photos of Pongo and Perdi.

She CAN'T be up to anything good under there!

That carpet must smell good!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Winding Down

Don't really have much to say tonight, which means this will probably be a long post. :) I'm pretty much blogged out after all of my debating of global warming on my cousin Andrew's blog. (See the "Back to Basics" link under my blog list to the right if you are interested.
School is winding down. I am almost finished with my first Master's class! Now, only 9 more to go. I just submitted my term project and second to last homework assignment today. All in all, I sent about 20 pages worth of calculations and statistical analysis to Purdue today. Whew! Glad that's all over.
I really wanted to do that picture post tonight that I have been promising, especially since I am using Matt's computer until we get the laptop back on Monday. It would be really easy to put some of his wonderful pictures up, but the ones I wanted are not uploaded yet. (hint, hint, Matt!)
I will be picking up our friend Jake tomorrow from the airport. He is in town for his second visit and is already planning a third this summer. Jake moved back to Kansas City from Alabama right at the time we moved to Denver, so we really look forward to getting a weekend with him.
Speaking of which, I am going to end this post now so that I can finish getting everything ready. The dogs really need baths tonight, so that's my first priority.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trip Recap

We arrived home last night from our quick Kingman trip safely and at a respectable time. (9:30 pm) I’m really glad we left Kingman when we did though…we got home just before the rain started to turn to slush. All in all, we completed 13 hours of driving over a 24 hour time period. That left us 2.5 hours to sleep (we arrived at Grandpa’s farm at 6 am Kansas time, just as the sun was rising) and 8.5 hours to spend with family.
Despite the circumstances for our trip, it was great to see so many immediate and extended family members. It was also nice to spend so much time with my husband, even though we spent it driving. Hey, I’ll take whatever I can get these days! We also discovered that the Highlander converts to a pretty nice makeshift camper! (We were too tired to carry everything inside the house, so we just slept in the car with all the seats folded down.)
Today, we have a pure white winter storm raging outside. We are supposed to get 17 inches of snow in Centennial! I don’t really think that’s going to happen though, because we never end up with what they say. I’m not even sure why anyone bothers to forecast that much snow! But if we DO get that much, I will not be able to see Pongo and Perdi when I let them out in the backyard to do their business. : )
Anyhow, the arrival of this storm unfortunately caused us to lose our weekend visitors. It looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to get Arlene and Ron (and Corky) out here, but it WILL happen. I am really disappointed in the timing of this storm…I was definitely looking forward to their time with us.
So that leaves me wondering what the weekend will bring. The storm isn’t supposed to end until tomorrow afternoon, so we’re pretty much stuck to the house. If I am a good student, I will finish my stats project that is due Thursday and catch up on a couple lectures.
One last thing: I just joined Twitter, so anyone who wants live “mini-blogs” of what I am doing at the moment should subscribe to the profile “lauramillard”. However, I update my status a lot on facebook, which is almost exactly the same thing as “Twittering”. I don’t know how many places I really want/need to broadcast my thoughts and activities, so we’ll see what happens with the whole Twitter thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upcoming Events

The Mountain Millards are about to embark on a crazy few days! Tonight when Matt gets off work, we are headed out for a late night drive to Kingman, KS. Unfortunately, it is not for happy reasons. We will be attending the funeral of Isabel Govert, my Grandpa’s second wife and my grandma for the past 14 years or so.
The trip will be quick, as Matt and I both need to be back in Denver for work on Friday. But I am glad it worked out for us to be able to go and help celebrate Isabel’s life. I remember back in early June 2006 when my Grandpa Walter died. It was a really hard time and it meant so much to me that Grandpa Govert and Isabel came to the funeral. I hope I will be able to offer that same support for my grandpa by being at Isabel’s funeral.
It is strange to think that Isabel is no longer with us. I can still hear her telling me stories about snakes, armadillos and other animals that regularly showed up on their farm. She loved to talk about the different ways my grandpa would kill those snakes (and TRY to kill armadillos). As Brennan told me during an online chat the other night “it was just a couple weeks ago that I was feeding her ice cream!” We will all really miss Isabel’s stories and bubbly personality.

This weekend, we are lucky to have our next round of visitors. Arlene, Ron and Corky (the Yorkie!) will arrive on Friday evening and stay with us for the weekend! Matt and I are really looking forward to showing them our house, workplaces and city! We will also have a fun time watching Corky on Monday and Tuesday while they head to Estes Park. I really hope my dogs behave but I’m really only worried about Perdi, who is teething and tries to chew on just about anything she can these days, including Pongo’s collar. I just hope Perdi is not a brat to Corky. I know Corky and Pongo will be fine.
Speaking of Perdi teething, Matt happened to look in her mouth last weekend and discovered that her big permanent canine tooth has come in, but she still has her baby one! She has two long sharp canine teeth on one side! The funny thing is that the same thing happened to me as a kid. My top two permanent front teeth started growing in before I lost the baby front teeth. I imagine that my parents’ surprise when they looked in my mouth and saw that was the same thing Matt went through when he looked in Perdi’s mouth. Luckily, I already know that there is nothing we can do for Perdi…her baby tooth will fall out when its ready and the permanent one will move into place. I just hope she doesn’t need doggy braces, right dad? :)
I’ll update as soon as I can about all of our upcoming adventures.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I finally have my computer back up and running! Last weekend, I was doing a few things on Sunday evening on the computer and it shocked me pretty bad. Apparently, the AC adapter got fried when this occurred because my computer stopped charging completely. So it has been dead all week and I finally got a new power cord to "juice it up" again!
We have had a pretty amazing week. I am happy to be reduced to 40 hours a week for a while at work as we wait for some projects to come through the door. This also allowed me to work four 10 hour days this week and take Thursday off to go on one last ski trip with Matt. We hit Keystone again, and I am definitely NOT a fan of spring skiing. It was pretty icy and there was no fresh powder. But it was cool because snow storms were coming through during the morning, so it was fun to ski in the snow and watch them pass. The storms only lasted for a few minutes each.
Matt did Wild Irishman, which is the ski slope I mentioned in one of my previous blogs that I did by myself. It was the steepest one I had been on, but of course Matt loved it! I really appreciate my supervisor letting me have the day off work to do that. Things had been getting a little tense between Matt and I since we hadn't seen or talked to each other much in 10 days. Matt was tired from working so much and I was just tired from lack of sleep. A day trip to Keystone really hit the spot and set things right again!
Yesterday was "Employee Appreciation" day at work. We celebrated by having a pot luck lunch, breaking into a pinata, and having a rabbit shooting contest which consisted of aiming marshmallows at "Peeps" rabbits and shooting them through PVC piping. I didn't have much luck with that but it was a fun afternoon!
And so we are getting ready for Easter tomorrow. We are going to make a turkey and some other yummy dishes to eat after church. We also have a loaf of bread mixing in the bread maker as I write this! I can't wait to see how it turns out. I hope everyone has a wonderful and happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Crazy Dog Park Lady

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I guess I just don’t really have much of interest to say or share as of late. Life has been pretty routine and, dog park, school, sleep.
Matt worked last weekend, so we didn’t really do much of note. We did manage to watch the movie “Marley and Me” Saturday morning. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in a movie before! Just a warning to dog/animal lovers: it is a great movie, but evokes some strong emotions!
Last week, I took the dogs to the dog park in between snow storms. One day, I had just started walking our normal trail when this woman started following me and chatting about her beagle (that died 20 years ago) that had a liver problem. Usually, I don’t mind dog talk at the dog park. But this lady was strange…she was wandering back and forth across the trail and I wasn’t sure how long she was going to follow me. (Usually people just stop for a brief exchange of greetings or questions/comments about each other’s dogs). Another weird thing was that the strange woman’s dog would look at her and run away when she called it.
After a while, the lady found a new stranger to converse with and she started in the opposite direction I was going. But her dog started following P&P and I as we continued to walk. We got a pretty good distance down the trail and the lady didn’t seem to care that her dog was so far away. She wasn't even trying to call it. The dog was really starting to distract Perdi from following her commands and I didn’t want it following me all the way across the park so I stopped and waited for a guy who was coming up the trail to help me.
I told him what happened and he leashed the dog and walked it to the lady. I went with him to make sure the dog got to the right person. The strange lady was so grateful to us for bringing her the dog and she started telling us a story about 50 tamales she had left at a store was completely random! I think she was trying to convey that there are honest people on this earth. But I was wondering how she ever rounded up her dog on her previous trips here if it would rather follow strangers than go near her, or why she would even let the dog off leash if that was the case. Even as I tell this story, I think of how strange and random it is. Honestly, I kind of felt bad for the dog, who was so hesitant to return to its master. I wondered if the lady needed any kind of help, but she seemed happy just talking to the people in the park. The impression I got was that rounding up her dog was the most helpful thing I could have done.
Obviously, I meet a lot of people at the park and also observe a lot, which is part of the reason I enjoy going. I guess it’s not only good socialization for my dogs but for me as well, especially since Matt is not around in the evening. In fact, Pongo and Perdi ran into a "friend" from Perdi's puppy class tonight. They ran and played with Bella, a very active puggle, for whom I should give credit to the fact that both of my dogs are sleeping soundly on the couches tonight.
Wow, I really seem to get off track when it comes to the dogs and dog park.
I should really mention how thankful I am for all of the cards, gifts and phone calls I received on my birthday! Matt even set up a whole treasure hunt for me when I got home from work. I had to search for all of my gifts based on clues. It was so fun! (Hint hint for all you guys (or gals) out there who want to do something special for significant other on their birthday!) Some of the folks at work gave me a hard time for having a birthday on April Fool's Day. But I say it is a very fitting birthday for my sense of humor. I didn't play any jokes on anyone, although I thought about telling my boss that the project I was working on had a fatal flaw and needed to be re-started from scratch. (It was due two days later and I had been working on it for weeks!) I decided, for the sake of my job, that I had better not go through with that one even though my boss himself caught a couple people in some April Fool's fun.
I think I am going to end the post here. I have an especially bad headache today. I hope it goes away by tomorrow because it is really hard to see stereo (3D) with an pounding headache!