Sunday, September 30, 2007

Anyone use a crock pot?

I keep telling M that I am going to start using our crock pot so that dinner can be ready when we get home from work. However, I haven't started using it yet. Do you use your crock pot? Do you have any good recipes? I have a bunch of recipes...I just haven't used any of them yet. Maybe this will be the week I start using it. It sure seems like the fall and winter would be good times to use it. That way we can have something warm to eat when we come in from the cold.

It hasn't gotten cold yet, but I know it is coming soon. It has been in the high 40s and 50s at night, but the days have still been in the 70s and 80s. I really like this time of year...although I really like all the seasons. The cooler weather makes me want to wear sweaters, sip hot chocolate, and go to a high school football game. We don't know anyone in high school around here, but we may have to go to a football game just so I can satisfy that desire. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park

M and I decided late this week that we wanted to drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park to see the colors changing in the trees. We drove a total of 280 miles today so it is not a close place to visit, but it's not too far either. The weather was a little misty and cool (in the low 50s or high 40s at some points). It even snowed on us for just a couple of minutes while we were in the park. I think we would have seen more if it had been a clear day. One of the roads through the park is already closed. It generally is closed from mid-October through June. We'll have to go next summer so we can drive all the way through the park and take some better pictures.

On our way out of the park, we finally saw a herd of elk. We had hoped to hear some bugeling. M said he heard the male bugel, but I missed it. It was really fun to see them and to be so close to them. Neither of us think we have seen elk before. As we were leaving Estes Park (which is really close to the park), the elk were all over the place. There were some just lying on the ground under a tree at a lake that was right off the highway. It would be nuts to live there and see elk in the middle of town. I was thrilled to see them and that we got some close pictures of them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Have you ever tried to do something you really wanted to do, and just couldn't do it? I had that experience yesterday. I really want to be able to sew...and to sew well. My mother has amazing talent for sewing. You would not believe all the stuff she has made over the years. Obviously, she has a lot of experience with it and started at the beginning herself. But everything I work on, I compare it to her work. Mostly, I would just be happy if I made something I could wear. I have made a pair of pj pants. They are not perfect, but I can wear them this winter.

All week I had an idea of what my weekend was going to look like. I was not going to clean or pick up the house or do any work, I just wanted to work on my sewing (which I haven't picked up since before Christmas), beading, scrapbooking, and reading. I took a sewing class last fall, but it was only two classes. I definitely need more than that so I am looking for some classes to take right now. I started a project that I am sure is out of my league, but I tried to move forward on it yesterday anyway. All that happened was that I got frustrated...very frustrated. Apparently I was already feeling emotional because that just fueled the engine driving the tears from my ducts. Poor M, he puts up with a lot from me sometimes. And wouldn't you know, nothing he tried could console me. Do you ever have days like that? Thankfully, I came back around before the afternoon was over and we had a fun day together. The weekend just didn't turn out like I had planned, but it was a nice, relaxing weekend.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Very Excited!!

Last night I decided that I needed to try on some old clothes to see what will fit now that I have lost 19 pounds. I cannot remember the last time I was at this weight so I was excited to see what clothes have now made it back into my wardrobe.

I am able to fit into this red dress that I wore in Scotland for M's sister's wedding. (Doesn't M look great in his kilt? I have such great memories of this time. What a neat opportunity to go to Scotland for the wedding.) I have only worn the dress one time, and it was at the end of May in 2004. The dress is a little snug, but I will definitely be able to wear it soon. We are going to have to get all gussied up and go on a date when I can wear it. That is something to look forward to. After the motivation I have had recently (including being able to fit into this dress), I know that I can reach my goal by December 31. The holidays will be challenging, but I am up for a good challenge (at least today I am).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Soft Water

We have really soft water where we live - softer than any water I have ever used as far as I know. We have now been here almost 8 months. Over that time period, I have been trying different shampoos and conditioners. I have not found any yet that work well with this water. They all make my hair too soft. And since my hair is too soft, it does not have much body and it is hard to style.

Do you have any suggestions? I have tried everything from organic shampoos at Whole Foods to Pantene. I think I have already asked my hair dresser. She didn't have any ideas for me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cleaning for a Fun Weekend

It is amazing how quickly I can clean the house when I have time constraints. My parents and my brother were here for the weekend. I spent the week running around cleaning like mad. I got everything done just in time. My parents came Thursday night and stayed until Monday morning. My brother flew in Saturday around noon and we dropped him off at a hotel Sunday afternoon for a conference he is attending this week. It was a nice weekend. And even though we were not busy, I am really tired right now. I hope I will be able to "catch up" before the weekend. We haven't worked out since last Wednesday so we need to hit the gym this evening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bender Ball

Don't laugh at me...

Several weeks ago, M and I saw a sort of infomercial for the Bender Ball. It is used to do abdominal exercises. I am a sucker for a gimick (I don't think I spelled that right - and this is not an invitation to try to sell me something) so I ordered it. It was only $20. I am SO out of shape and have no abdominal muscles so I figured I couldn't be any worse off than I was at that moment.

I am really impressed with this Bender Ball. I have only used it a handful of times, but I definitely think I am working my abs like I'm supposed to. I was always one of those that ended up having a sore neck from doing crunches...obviously I was straining my neck instead of tightening my abs. Anyway, I would say it was definitely worth my $20. Go Bender Ball!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I LOVE the local library

M and I went from living in a city with a tiny library that never had what we wanted to a city with a great library. I have really enjoyed checking out books the last few months. I like to read, but I don't generally read a book more than once.

I recently checked out "When I Lay My Isaac Down" by Carol Kent. I heard Carol speak at a Women of Faith conference a couple of years ago and had wanted to read her book then, but I just recently remembered it. It was an incredibly personal account of her and her family's life. My faith has not been tested like her's. It was moving to fact, I had tears in my eyes several times.

On another note, M and I went to see 3:10 to Yuma this weekend. We really enjoyed it. It is a Western similar to the old Westerns. M thought it was better than Open Range...I just thought it was different. Isn't it interesting that movies and tv shows today are criticized for being so violent? What about all the Westerns that have been around forever? Maybe those didn't affect (I never know when to use "affect" and "effect") people the way movies do now because it was generally the bad guys getting what was coming to them. Anyhow, I enjoyed the movie. I would recommend it if you're into Westerns at all.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Church Today

Today we visited a church for the second Sunday in a row (at least the second Sunday we have been in town in a row). We tried a new Sunday School or "community" today. We really received the warmest welcome we have received at any church in the past two years...even when we answered someone by saying we were from Texas. I'm not sure if you know this, but people here HATE Texans. It is the most ridiculous thing in my opinion, but it's true. This guy today was very excited and told us about several people he knows from Texas that are very dear to him. It was very kind and we really "needed" to hear that from someone after being beat down all the time since we are from Texas.

Anyway, it was a good Sunday and I was so glad to be worshipping in the house of God.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3 Sherriff's Deputies

Three sherriff's deputies just left my house. They rang the doorbell while I was downstairs. I missed them at the front door, but then they banged on the back door. I opened it up, and the first deputy told me I would not believe this.

Apparently, a lady from UPS dropped a package at our front door today. She smelled something that she thought was a dead body. So they came out to look around. They came in and searched the house. I think she smelled some bug spray that M sprayed a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, they obviously didn't find anything.

They also talked to at least one of our neighbors who told them they hadn't seen us in a couple of weeks. I am not sure who they talked to, but we have definitely seen our next door neighbor because they put some UPS packages in the garage for us while we were out of town for Labor Day.

I do believe this is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. I still can't believe that even happened. How interesting...

Labor Day Fun

We spent the long weekend in Chicago and then in Michigan (I know that is a bit vague, but we went to 2 little towns in Michigan that you probably haven't heard of) for M's family reunion. We also celebrated his grandfather's 90th birthday. I have now been to a reunion for his dad's side of the family and his mom's side of the family. It was fun to see some people we haven't seen in a long time. All of M's aunts and uncles were there (even his aunt from his dad's side). It was also fun to see S and her family (M's sister). She is expecting a baby girl in November. This will be our first niece, and I am really looking forward to buying girlie things for her.
We were exhausted when we got home Monday night. Even though it has been a short work week, it has been a tiring week. I went to Salt Lake City for a quick trip for work. We have 4 new stores there so I went to meet the accounting folks that work there. Everyone was so friendly. I had never been to Utah before. I thought what I saw was beautiful. Maybe I'll go back another day and have time to explore a little more.