Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Dakota

"and I've been knocking
but no one answered
I've been knocking
Most of the day
Oh, and I've been calling
Hey, hey Johnny
can't you come out
can't you come out to play"

- "Empty Garden" by Elton John (lyrics by Bernie Taupin)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Apple Bound

We are currently on the upper deck of a double decker bus taking us from Baltimore to New York. The upper deck gives me a much better view of the vast expanse of ugly that is New Jersey. All the jokes you've ever heard? True. I think the state flower is the smokestack and every place looks like a dumping ground for bodies.

But New York City with its promises of art museums, ballet, running in Central Park, The Dakota and street hot dogs looms in the distance. It should be a good two days.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monticello In The Mist

Today we got to tour Monticello and walk in the footsteps of history. We walked the same floors as Thomas Jefferson and his famous house guests including James and Dolly Madison, James Monroe, Gen. Lafayette, and, the ones that make me giddiest, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

The weather wasn't great for views and the famous gardens were obviously not at their peak but it was still a thrill to be there.

We were lucky that an old friend of Kevin's lives in town and is an expert on Charlottesville history. After meeting for dinner we got an in-depth walking tour of the historic downtown and some interesting insight into Virginia politics.

Tomorrow it is the University of Virginia grounds and a visit to Montpellier, James and Dolly Madison's place. And yes, I expect there to be snack cakes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Icy Photos

I'm Testing a different mobile blogging app for photos. Let's see if this works. Here are the photos I wanted to put in yesterday's post. Doesn't seem
Like you can caption them though.

This is a piece of the ice sheets that were on our cars.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scenes From The Ice Storm

There were supposed to be a few pictures I took yesterday of the icy wonderland that was our little section of the NW. However, the Blogger app is a piece o' crap and It won't let me upload photos of inch thick ice sheets or pretty ice laden plants.

Our power was out until almost 11:00 last night and our cell service was down too.

Luckily we had our camping equipment so Kevin was able to cook Spammy-Mac on our porch. We also had lots of oil lamplight and heat from the gas fireplace so not too much suffering. I just read my Kindle by lantern light just like Abe Lincoln used to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bird Walking

As I watched the fluffy white stuff fall from the sky today I noticed these in the shallow snow near the side of our house...
little tiny bird tracks!  So cute!  I only wish we weren't out of bird seed so we could feed them right now. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Changed My Mind

You know all that nice stuff I said about January in yesterday's post?  I take it all back.

Many plans have already been changed this week because of the impending dump that is coming and I just hope I can make it into work and back home the rest of the week (today wasn't so bad getting in; getting home might be another story).  Because if they call it a "snow day" and you don't show up, you don't get paid and I am a fan of getting paid.

Fluffy white shit is sure pretty though.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Longer The Cruelest Month*

January used to be one of my least favorite months.  It was dull, felt endless and the weather was crappy.  But somewhere along the way there was a shift.  Now, I find myself actually enjoying the month.  January is the calm and order after the zaniness of the holiday season.  Everything is more peaceful, it is the feeling of a fresh start, and the chance to slow down and enjoy life a little bit.  It has probably also helped that the weather this winter has been so wonderful at least until today. 

Yesterday, Kevin and I headed downtown for a little window shopping, Fran's Chocolates eating (only one truffle and a non-fat latte - weigh-in should be OK on Tuesday.  Amazing amount of restraint) and then off to the Paramount to see West Side Story.  West Side Story is one of my all-time favorite movies and I can't begin to count how many times I listened to the soundtrack.  Kevin was brave in taking me because he knew it meant days of walking around the house singing the Jet's Song, America and Cool along with lots of finger snapping.  Better than the "Smack My Bitch Up" I was singing earlier in the day I guess.
Photo by Carol Rosegg
The performance didn't disappoint.  It was just as good as the movie.  And it reminded me of my alternate universe dream jobs:  playing Anita in West Side Story.  Other than the singing, dancing and acting ability I would totally have this one in the bag.

Today we busied ourselves with chores around the house and when I saw all the big, beautiful flakes falling from the sky we threw on our warm clothes and headed out for a walk in the snow.  Kind of threw my running plans off a bit but I will just have to go tomorrow night to the lake and hope it isn't too slick.  I have a love/hate relationship with snow.  It is gorgeous, no doubt about that but I don't like having to try to drive anywhere in it.  Hopefully it will be gone for everyone's commutes tomorrow.

*That always belonged to February anyway

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Girl Who Poked Around In A Hornet's Nest

2012 is off to a good start so far.  Nothing major and exciting to report but we have spent a lot of time organizing and cleaning which always feels good.  Sadly, there is much more to organize but we are tackling it bit by bit.  At least Kevin is almost through sorting through boxes and boxes of paper in his office and I can actually get to my computer and desk area again.

We spent this weekend helping Mom take down all of her Christmas stuff (eight tote bins of ornaments) and celebrating my brother's birthday.  Today we finished off putting the rest of our Christmas stuff away in the garage and straightening the house a little.  Thrilling, I know.

What was thrilling though was the hornets nest that Kevin finally cut out of the attic.  It was about the size of a basketball and was fascinating to poke around in.  Fascinating and very, very stinky.

Sadly, it didn't come out in one piece but you get the idea.  I decided I wanted to poke around in it and see what was sticking out of the honeycomb holes.  The dark spots are actually pieces of flowers but the holes that are covered in white, those were the best.  They were filled with white, squishy, undercooked hornets.  Awesome.  Creepy, but awesome.

I have been tackling my goals with great gusto and am one book down for the year and three running sessions stronger.  I feel good getting exercise back in the equation.

For now I leave you with this beautiful picture from earlier in the week.  It faded and disappeared in the two minutes or so I was standing by my car taking it in. I'm glad I got to see it. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Goals

Well, after completely losing track of goals last year I am ready to really start working on some this year. I feel motivated again and ready for action. As part of my goal making process, I only included SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-constrained) and ones that are in my control.  For the few I haven't told yet, the big goal for 2012  is to have a baby or at least have one cooking by year-end. We've been trying for six months but no dice yet. But I don't list the baby down below because it is almost completely out of my control.  The baby goal has made me re-think and re-tool a few objectives I have for this year though.  I tried to include ones that would still be doable if I get knocked-up but that would still be stretch goals if I don't. To that end, I give you my hopes for 2012.
  • Exercise at least three times a week.  I decided that training for a marathon would be too much of a stressor on my baby making body at the fitness level I am at right now so I am going to shelve my marathon dreams for another year.  The exercise will most likely be running (I miss you running!) but I am including any kind of exercise.  I just need to get my body moving again. I do still plan on running some smaller races this year.
  • Lose 30 pounds.Yep, that old chestnut again.  I am currently at my all-time highest weight and I can't continue to stay here, or worse yet, or get fatter.  Yes, a baby will kill this goal but if we don't succeed at that I should be able to do this.
  • Volunteer at least 40 hours.I always feel great after doing volunteer work so I want to incorporate this into my life more.
  • Take at least four different classes.Time to stretch my brain and try some new things. 
  • Travel some place in state I have never been before.
  • Travel some place out of state I have never been before.
  • Read a minimum of one new book per month.It is sad that 12 books a year is a stretch goal.  I used to read so much more than this but just can't seem to find the time anymore.  After getting my Kindle for Christmas I realized how much I missed reading and how much I want to make it a regular part of my life again.  I need to make the time for some quiet, reading time.  In fact, I think I am going to convert a corner of my office to a reading nook. 
That's about it for the year.  Nothing too radical, nothing overly ambitious. Just some things that will provide a little bit of challenge and interest.