Thursday, October 29, 2009

Answer: Winter

The question I posed as the title of my last blog entry has been answered. It's winter! I'm sitting at my house this morning with a good cup of coffee and plenty of time for a good blog, which is somewhat rare these days (the time for blogging, not the coffee). It has been snowing constantly since about 7 pm tuesday night and continues to do so as I write. Needless to say, 14 inches of snow is nothing I want to drive in, 4WD or no.

The snow on our deck yesterday afternoon.

I took this picture when I got home from work yesterday. The roads actually weren't very bad yet (just wet) and I'm glad I got in a full day of work while I could!

This is the same exact bush this morning. I am usually pretty brave when it comes to the snow and getting to work since I live closer to the office than many of my co-workers. This was definitely enough snow to keep me home.

I know there are not 14 inches on top of the fence, but I don't think that much snow could even balance up there. Our fence is a 6 ft privacy fence, and granted the snow has drifted quite a bit up against it. But this is just crazy for the first "snow event" of the winter!

Our little grill is almost buried! We should probably take pity on it and move it into the garage.

Matt dug a path off the deck for the dogs. Our poor pups can barely see over the top of the snow when they get out in the yard! Pongo has it all figured out though. He knows where the ground slopes upward, so he heads that way and the snow only comes up to his chest there.

To illustrate what the road condidtions are like this morning, i took this picture of our street.

Sorry that this is a little out of order...I took this last night and thought it was a pretty cool picture with the snow falling.

This is a video of Perdi running around in the snow yesterday. She does love snow, but it makes her really hyper.

Perdi is stir crazy today. Luckily Matt took them to the dog park tuesday afternoon. I knew they wouldn't be able to get out and run for a couple days anyway. We took them for a walk/jog up to the Albertsons yesterday evening, but it's hard to really get anywhere by foot or car today, so we're trying to keep her subdued with bones, toys and playing fetch indoors. She has already gotten into many things, including one of Matt's ski gloves. :( She didn't do too much damage before I caught her though.

Well I do have to venture out today in a little while. I am scheduled to have my permanent crown put on and I don't want to delay that any longer. I want to be done with that dentist! Plus my temporary one is broken. Thank goodness the dentist is just down the street, I have 4WD, and the Denver road crews are working their magic clearing the streets as best as they can. I sure wish I could get one of them to come dig the car out of the garage though!

UPDATE: Matt had the day off already since he worked last weekend. He shoveled half the driveway so I could get out and go to the dentist. I made it there and back just fine, but my permanent crown didn't fit right so I have to go back AGAIN after they have it modified. It's days like this that made me so glad we own an SUV. The Highlander does very well in the snow but it is not infallable, as I learned a few weeks ago when I had trouble stopping on a downhill slope before the roads had been treated.

It is so nice to have some time to spend holed up with my husband and my dogs. I am also glad to have some extra time to work on a project that is due for my class on Tuesday. This snow is definitely a mixed blessing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall or Winter?

We have had a pretty uneventful weekend here, which allowed me to get caught up on many of the things I have been meaning to do for weeks now. It was great to pick up Matt from the airport on Friday after his technologically challenged week. I wasn't sure how I was going to know when to leave the 45 minute parking area to pick him up, (we cheat and do our pick-ups at the departures place because arrivals is always a zoo) but I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I would circle the airport a few times until he showed up at our designated spot.
Our plan ended up being that Matt would call me from a pay phone, with the instructions for me not to answer so that he got his money back. :) I know, we are cheaters of the system, but it worked without a hitch! We had a nice evening in, since we were both exhausted from the week. I mustered up enough energy to make a steak dinner though, and then ended up having to clean up too because I was in trouble for watching the season premier of Grey's Anatomy without Matt. I couldn't help was just taunting me to watch it on the DVR! So while Matt watched, I cleaned up and made brownies as a peace offering. :)
Saturday wasn't as relaxing as I would have hoped. Matt had to work and I am babysitting some image transfers at work, so I ended up going in for a while too. But before that I went running and took the dogs to the dog park so that they would be good for me at work (I usually bring them with me when I go in on the weekends.) It turns out that the dog park wasn't really necessary. While Pongo mildly enjoyed it as he usually does, Perdi was tired and lagging behind the whole time. She was so tired that she could barely make the jump back up into the Highlander when we were done. She slept the whole time we were at work too, which was when I knew something is definitely off with her. Usually, the dog park wakes her up and makes her hyper.
Question: Can dogs get colds? Can they get H1N1? Perdi has continued to sleep the ENTIRE weekend and she has major drainage from her nose. She also won't eat. This time, I am not making the mistake of going to the emergency vet. (It's not an emergency if she's just sweet and snuggly, right?) I figure we will just ride this one out and call the vet tomorrow if it's really necessary. I swear, our dogs see their doctor more than Matt and I do!
I have spent a good chunk of last night and tonight catching up on school work. I am really enjoying Penn State's program. It's paced much better and the materials are certainly way more relevant to my job. I can't fathom what kind of state of mind I would be in right now if I had continued with my Aeronautical Engineering class at Purdue.
Now, I will explain why I titled this post the way I did. This afternoon, I spent a delightful two hours raking up leaves in our front yard. It was a great afternoon to do it...the leaves were slightly damp but not soaked. (They were heavy enough that they were easy to grab without them flying all over the place.)
The funny thing was that it was pretty cold out and it was snowing off and on the entire time, which made me wonder if it is really fall or if we have moved straight into winter? We have already had a couple decent snows over the past two weeks. It just seems like it went from being in the 70's and 80's straight into the 40's and 50's. It's like we skipped a major interval in there!
Well anyway, the small-ish tree in our front yard somehow manages to produce an exorbinant amount of leaves and I filled 10 of those huge paper lawn and refuse bags, as well as one large rubbermaid trash barrell. At the end, I was starting to wonder if 10 bags were going to be enough or if I would have to run back to Home Depot for more. As soon as I was done raking, I went inside and took a shower to warm back up. I don't think I was in there for more than 20 minutes, but when I got out, i happened to notice that our skylight was covered in a layer of snow and it hadn't been before. (None of the previous snow sessions had really stuck.) Sure enough, I looked out the window and everything had been transformed into a winter wonderland in 30 minutes! I finished raking just in time, apparently. I took the opportunity to take a little nap on the couch under a pile of blankets with my sick little puppy.
All in all, I'd call it a productive weekend! I can't believe tomorrow is Monday already...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What did we do before cell phones?

If you are trying to get ahold of Matt and can't seem to reach him lately, please keep reading to find out why! If not, keep reading anyway! This is a pretty good story, at least in my mind.
It seems Matt and I can't do anything the simple way sometimes. As some of you may know, he is in Madison, WI for a few days of training for his new job. This week has turned out to be one of the longest weeks I can remember in a while. I'll tell you why:
As it starts out, Matt decided to charge his cell phone in the car during the drive to DIA. He left Tuesday evening, so I was able to drive him up there and drop him off. We were lucky when we got to the airport, as it wasn't very crowded at all in departures. I ran in to the terminal to use the restroom real quick as I knew I would hit bad traffic on the way home. When I got back, I said goodbye to Matt and headed home. As I was sitting in stop and go traffic on I-225, I heard a vibrating sound coming from the console. I looked down and saw Matt's phone, still on the charger. He was calling it from a pay phone. My heart immediately sank. I was already 20 minutes out from the airport and with a little over 40 minutes until his flight was sheduled to take off, I knew there was no way I could get turned around and back up to the airport and park with enough time to make sure he got his phone before the plane left. And even if I did, how would we get it through security?
I figured if I could find a post office before 6 pm, I could overnight the phone to him. But it was 5:45 and traffic wasn't moving at all. I knew I wouldn't make it to the post office by our house in time, so I got off the highway and drove around for a while looking for another one. I passed TWO PetCo's and three Wal-Marts, but not one post office. All in all, it was a frustrating and un-productive evening. I gave up and went home.
Soon, I started getting texts from Matt somehow. It turns out, he had downloaded a texting application on his i-Pod. Well that was a start...we are used to communicating through texts after the past year. At least he could text me when he landed and got to the hotel so I could call him there.
The solution couldn't possibly be as simple as an iPod texting app. Sure enough, yesterday Matt's iPod goofed up and won't work again until it hooks up to his own home computer. He could try to hook it up to the laptop he is borrowing from the hospital, but since he didn't login to it while it was on the hospital's network, it doesn't recognize his username and passwork. He can't even use the laptop! He is locked out of it. Are you all laughing by now? :)
Poor Matt. He has no way to entertain himself in the evening, except the TV in his room and the computer in the hotel lobby. I know he has also been out walking/running around the hotel. He walked to Target last night and said he was ALMOST tempted to buy a Netbook. It's probably best that he didn't though...with his luck with technology this week, we wouldn't want to ruin a brand new laptop somehow!
Not being able to talk or at least text him has made this week drag. I hate knowing that I can't get ahold of him if I really need him and I miss getting a quick text every now and again from him, telling me what he is up to.
SO, if you can't get ahold of Matt, this should explain why. Don't worry, he is doing fine and enjoying his training. But all of this has really made me ponder how we even functioned before cell phones!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In A Blink

Well I blinked and half of October passed by. How is it possible for time to pass so quickly sometimes? My best guess is it's because we've had so many awesome visitors in the past couple weeks. So guess what? Another huge picture purge is awaiting you later in this post.
I must say, with my lack of posts lately, I feel like I have been getting away from keeping you all updated with the events going on. I put up pictures way late, after I have forgotten many of the things I meant to say. I am hoping that after Matt and I get in to more of a routine with our new schedule, I'll be able to update with more regularity and more detail. Right now, I am trying desperately to cling to the things that are high on my priority list (primarily school and daily running) and adding things like cooking dinner and making sure that the dogs get plenty of excersize since they are cooped up a lot more now. I find that by the time all is said and done, it is so easy to put off a quick blog post in exchange for a relaxing hour of TV time or even just falling into a dead sleep in the comfort of my bed. :)

So, without further ado about my shortcomings as a blogger, here are some pictures as of late.

Two weekends ago, Amanda came out for a weekend in Denver. Apparently, we only documented her trip on Liz's camera...I only had four pictures on Matt's that were post-worthy. But I definitely love this one. I love that we are all still friends after all these years.

We spent an evening at Dave and Buster's, which is basically an arcade for adults. Matt and Liz's friend Tristan (pictured here) enjoyed this virtual game of some sort. Matt won 430 tickets playing Deal or No Deal. And it turns out that if he had kept going, he would have won 800 tickets! I only wish I had that kind of luck!

The next day, we took a drive up in the mountains because it had been cloudy and cold and I was determined for Amanda to see the mountains. Well even up in them, you couldn't see much. It was so cold, as you can tell. But Amanda and I still dipped our toes in the water.

It was actually really cool to see a layer of frost (not snow!) all over the trees. It was kind of an eerie sort of pretty. Matt and I had never seen anything like it yet out here, but we don't usually take that drive any other time of the year but summer.
We also spent quite a bit of time downtown eating, talking, and getting pedicures at the most random hole-in-the wall nail place that possibly exists in Denver. But my toes STILL look pretty, which is awesome. Other highlights include going to a movie and watching the KU football game on TV while wrapped up in blankets. Poor Amanda...she really didn't get to see much "nice" weather the whole weekend.
I know this is a pathetic write-up of her visit. Like I said, the detailed posts are something I really need to work on. I write it all in my head as I experience things, and then it all escapes because I don't blog fast enough! Oh well, we had a fantastic weekend all in all.
We had another visitor last weekend. Anne, my roommate from college, came out primarily for the KU-CU football game in Boulder. Just call us Hotel Millard!
Apparently, we didn't take any pictures at our tailgate either. But it was because we were too busy having fun. Carlene, Nick, Becky (our 4th roommate my junior year), Becky's friend Christy, Dave, Mary, Todd and others all showed up to show their KU spirit. Unfortunately, KU lost a heartbreaking game. That definitely put a damper on the evening.

Sunday before Anne left, we went up to the mountains, again on our favorite drive into Golden, along Clear Creek. The weather was much more cooperative at 70 degrees! The river was beautiful and sparkly.

...except Anne had an unfurtunate encounter with the creek when a rock she was standing on tilted as she stepped off of it. :(

After lunch at Woody's in Golden, we drove up to Lookout Mountain above Golden. We got some great pictures and saw some fantastic views. I love this one of Matt. He looks like he's the king of the world!

Me, above Golden.

We tried on some funny hats in the gift shop at Buffalo Bill's grave. I laughed so hard I cried when Anne put on this one.

Anne "Annie Oakley" is shooting at me, "Buffalo Bill" here. I was supposed to be looking scared, but's more of a mean face.

Matt let me be Annie in this one. I think my head looks abnormally large though. :)
I am so fortunate to have so many friends come out and visit lately. It's wonderful to see familiar faces...we haven't been home to Kansas since July! Poor Matt though...I think he is ready for some male company after having so many girls around. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Strange and Good

Matt has been home at night for almost a week now and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on how we've been doing so far. Needless to say, I am so happy that our schedules match up better, allowing us to spend more time together. It will take some time for this to feel "normal" to me though. My mind keeps thinking this is just short term. We have made the best of our evenings, with a trip to the dog park and lots of catching up on past seasons of shows we used to watch together. (I can't believe I missed a whole season of Grey's Anatomy! It's SOOO good!)
Other than that, not a lot has changed on my end. I have continued to run and do a lot of my normal evening routines (like messing around on Facebook). We have been cooking dinner and eating in together every night so far, which i absolutely love. I have not had much motivation to cook evening meals for the past year. It seemed silly to cook for myself, even though Matt enjoys leftovers. I can tell I am going to run out of dinner ideas quickly, so I better start browsing all of my cookbooks and recipes from the wedding/showers for some new ideas.
The dogs are not as happy with the new arrangement. They have to spend a lot more time in their kennels, although we are going to spoil them and let them socialize at doggy day care once a week. That's where they are today because Matt and I have a softball league game tonight and we didn't want to confine them all day and evening. They seem to be fine as long as they get out the park when we get home. Pongo has seemed a bit depressed ever since Matt and I started business traveling in August. He worries me...he's such a smart and emotional dog.
I am wondering if we will even will end up having our softball game's cloudy, misty and forecasted to snow today and tonight! I love Denver...three weeks ago it was sunny and mid 80's! Now it's practically winter. I can't wait to ski!
I guess if you want to hear more about our new lives/schedules, you will have to pester Matt to write a post of his own here. I know he likes his job so far, and I am really hoping it continues to be that way. The best way to describe things right now is strange and good.
I may be posting again this evening...I have an appointment with my horrible dentist this afternoon to hopefully finish my crown. Hopefully it goes better this time and I come home with no stories to blog about. (I.e., her accidentally drilling my tongue instead of my tooth, like last time.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Festivals and Races

Here is a quick post of some highlights from the past couple weekends.

On Sept. 26, we had fun attending the Great American Beer Festival. Uncle John sent us some tickets to the Members' Only afternoon session and we had a blast. We hung out at the Boulevard booth a lot, but we also sampled many other good brews and some not so good ones as well! There was just about every type of beer, and every flavor to try. For example, Matt had a peanut butter beer...I wasn't brave enough to try it!

This past Sunday, we participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. First off, I really want to thank Bill, Barbara and Arlene for donating to this excellent cause. You all gave us extra motivation to get up out of our warm bed at 5 am on Sunday morning and head downtown to run the 5K.
It was REALLY cold before the sun came up, which was right about the time the race started at 7 am. We wore our sweats and coats for as long as possible, but eventually we had to depart with them. Thank goodness one of Matt's co-workers knew one of the vendors, so we could leave our stuff safely in a tent.
Here is our group of 5K runners after the run. The capes are kind of a funny story. We went to a booth before the run and the people told us to do something goofy and they would give us the capes. So Matt did a cartwheel in the middle of Auraria Parkway (it was blocked off from traffic). So the 5 of us ran in our pink capes.

There were 62, 000 participants in the run, walk and family walk, which all took place at different times, thank goodness. The run alone was hard because we didn't even start running for the first few minutes due to the course being so crowded! They shut down an entire section of downtown Denver for this event. At one point, we were even running on an on/off ramp for I-25! That sure is something that doesn't happen every day!

We took the light rail so that we didn't have to mess with parking. There were many other riders dressed in pink as well. They had extra trains lined up to accomodate all of the people!

I had so much fun at the race. I am definitely going to participate in it again next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Welcome

I am having a hard time believing that it is already October! This whole year has passed so quickly! The weather seems to have changed in sync with the month...the high today is 51 here and I broke out my first sweater of the season to wear to work! The wind started picking up last night as Liz and I left the Rockies game and continued through the night. In fact, the wind gave us quite a scare this morning.
After my shower, I got the dogs up to take them out to potty. As I walked down the stairs, I sensed that something wasn't quite right. It was cold and drafty and I could hear the wind very clearly. When I got to the entryway, I saw that both of our front doors were standing wide open! I got really freaked out and thought someone had broken in, and that there was someone in the house so I ran back upstairs and woke up Matt.
Well it turns out that everything was fine, and the wind blew the doors open. Matt deadbolted them back in place and went back to bed. I am very thankful that we live in such a safe neighborhood. But I was still shaking even as I drove to work a half hour later. Who knows how long those doors were standing wide open!
What a crazy morning...I'm looking forward to a breezy walk in the dog park this afternoon followed by a quiet, cozy evening at home.