Wednesday, February 26, 2014

funk

I am in a funk. One that has lasted for nearly three days now. I am just unable to satisfy. I don't want to leave my house. I don't have any motivation. I don't want to talk to anyone. TV is about the only thing that is making me kind of happy. However, knowing that our Breaking Bad marathon is coming to an end...well, that's making me mad too. I have just fallen head over heels (obsessed according to my husband) with these characters. Pretty soon, I'll be ending all of my sentences in "b!tch".

Mr. B asked me this morning when I woke up if I was feeling better. I gave him some kind of shoulder shrug and in return he gave me this "humph" kind of sigh - when in reality he was mocking me and the way I have been acting this week.

No mom, I am not pregnant. Or depressed. Or sad.

I am telling you myself, it's the winter blues. I am tired of it being cold. I am tired of the snow fall. I am tired of being cooped up inside all day. I usually hate Spring because it rains a lot, but this year, I am begging for a little warmth, even if it means I'll need a cute umbrella over my head.

Anyway, I met my girlfriends for brunch today. We had this planned for almost a week and when I woke up today I texted them to say I didn't want to pass my bad mood along to them. Well those excuses don't really work with your best friends. They twisted my arm. We ate home-made whipped cream by the spoonful, a quiche with ketchup, donuts with sprinkles and orange juice in mason jars. Maybe we all need brunch in the middle of the work week?

[Need I mention, brunch was enjoyed on Andrea's brand new hand-built farmhouse table. It's become the new center piece of her house and I want it for my own. Mr. B built this one and when I have a dining room that will fit an 8 foot table, he is building me one too!]

These same girlfriends call me "Tigger" and when we hugged goodbye after brunch today, they asked me to get my bounce back for the next time.

Here's to winter blues, screw you.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monty Monday



Monty has had a good run at counter surfing lately. He ate 6 raw bratwursts that were de-thawing on the kitchen counter. He ate a piece of huckleberry pie that was left over from the Super Bowl. He ate a half a loaf of bread (the good kind, from Sprouts!). And a package of raw beef that was de-thawing in our deep kitchen sink. He isn't allowed to have any kind of wheat or meat (including meat flavors) because of his allergies, but we all want what we can't have, right?

We have now cleared our counters (and sink) of anything edible.

In other naughty Monty news, I found him on the couch recently, which is another no-no in the Bores House. He sure does look comfy, but sharing the couch with my husband is hard enough.

This pup is 4 (28 in dog years). Perhaps, this a mid-life crisis he is having? Or maybe he is just bored with the winter blues like the rest of us.

Naughty or not, you are still our favorite doodle.

Monday, February 17, 2014

vinyl


Who knew a record player could fill a house with so much joy. I have been interested in purchasing a record player for nearly a year now. Every time I brought it up, Mr. B would say something along the lines of, "A record player? What for?" My reply, "Why not? Why do we want anything in life?" Because we think it will make us happy, right?

Well after mentioning my interest again last week, he surprised me with one. After he purchased it, he stopped in a local record store (because you can't give someone a player without a record). He didn't have a lot of time, so he picked one of the first bands he recognized - a Steve Miller Band album from 1981.

The only plans we had for Valentines Day was having a picnic on our living room floor. After dinner, that picnic blanket turned into a dance floor. We put the record on and danced around. I was creating dance moves as I listened, but Mr. B decided it was time I learn the waltz. It's four simple steps and I was stumbling all over the place, including over the dog. Coordination never really was my forte. Hence, why I quit every sport I ever started. Despite my lack of dance skills, it turned out to be one of my favorite nights with Mr. B.

We were up early to go skiing the next day and on our way home, we stopped at another record shop in Denver. They sell new and used vinyl. Talk about a good pastime - we could have gotten lost in there for hours. I was on the hunt for one album, the Grease soundtrack, and when I found it I giggled like a little kid. I can still remember dragging Jenna's dads record player to her room, when we were probably 8 years old, and singing Summer Nights at the top of our lungs. Who doesn't love a little T-Bird and Pink Lady romance?


We ended up walking out of Wax Trax with 10 records in hand. From Billy Joel to Billy Jo Armstrong, and each approximately $3. I don't ever remember having such a cheap hobby - beekeeping certainly isn't one of them.



The record player got a lot of use when we got home. We listened to almost every one. In fact, Mr. B even put on the Frank Sinatra Christmas album, which I am surprised he even agreed to buy. I can barely get him to listen to Christmas music in December, yet he was willing to listen to Jingle Bells in the middle of February! Maybe I should have bought a record player years ago.


It hasn't stopped spinning since we plugged it in.


Back to my question of, "Why do we want anything in life?" -- if you think it's going to make you happy, most times it usually does. Sometimes that happiness is short lived and other times it lasts. For me, this little box has allowed for one of my all time favorite weekends in this house of ours. When the excitement of record shopping wears off, the memories of this weekend will always bring back that same happy feeling: the day I learned to waltz on a blanket laid out on my living room floor.
 
How did I get so lucky to have married a man who enjoys surprises and knows how to waltz? Sorry you married such an uncoordinated woman, Mr. B. You unfortunately, didn't get as lucky.

Friday, February 14, 2014

deed #5

in sticking with the painting theme from deed #4, this one involves paint and love. seems appropriate given this lovely holiday.

when Mr. B and I first moved to Colorado, we lived in a town called Loveland, which is known as the Sweetheart City. we have since moved to a much smaller town a few miles outside, but Loveland will always have a special place in my heart - too clichĂ©?



this holiday is a big deal to the city. in fact, they have a valentine program that has been around for over 40 years. during the month of February, the streets of Loveland are lined with hundreds of wooden hearts - each personalized with a sweet message for a loved one. anyone in the community can purchase a heart with their own message for $45. the messages are different every year so the Thompson Valley Rotary Club and Honor Society gather all of the messages and spend several evenings painting in preparation to "heart" the city.

i am not in the rotary club nor was i ever in the honor society, but i volunteered to be a painter anyway and they accepted. well the rotary members did, the teenage honor society members took awhile to warm up too. i forgot how intimidating juniors and seniors are. in fact, i felt like an old woman in comparison. thankfully i had a nice gentleman show me the ropes of this process. i thought i would be walking in, sitting at a table and hand painting a message on a heart - seems simple right? wrong! let's start with the fact that the hearts are nearly 3 ft big. they look MUCH smaller when they are hanging on a street pole. and the heart team doesn't work in a classroom like i had envisioned. they work in a warehouse and have several stations throughout. one for stenciling and taping, one for rolling paint, and the other for freehand paint. i spent most of my time at the stenciling station, trying to make friends with the intimidating teenagers.



by the end of the evening, i had gone from being the non-cool-27-year-old-marrried-woman to being the admired-27-year-old-friend. at least that's what i told myself after answering 15 questions about my diamond ring, my husband, what i studied in college, the latest updates on greys anatomy, and my honest thoughts about nursing school.

i spent about 1.5 hours with the heart team and by the end, they offered to have me back next year. i plan on it. the hearts went up last weekend and i spent about 20 minutes on Wednesday driving around trying to find the hearts i stenciled - unfortunately, i haven't seen them yet. but i still have a lot of looking to do. there are over 240 hearts scattered throughout the city.

it felt good being part of a project that the Loveland community is so proud of.


happy day of love to you and the ones you love. Mr B and i will be having a picnic on our living room floor, icing heart cookies, sipping wine and maybe slow dancing to a little Frank Sinatra (if i can get him drunk enough).

ps. Perhaps an idea for next year: Loveland has a "Valentine Re-Mailing Program" that you can all participate in. All you have to do is seal your Valentine Card and mail it to Loveland. From there, it will be hand-stamped with a Valentine's verse and then forwarded it on to the intended receiver. I tried to volunteer to be a stamper, but there's a wait list for that one!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

nashville

Do you associate certain friends with certain things? I do. And i just so happen to associate our Raleigh Friends with food. They know how to eat and i mean that in the nicest way possible. They know the best restaurants to visit. They always try new things. They never skip dessert. On menus with ingredients i can't pronounce, they can usually say it, define it, and tell me if i am going to like it or not. And they ensure you gain approximately 15lbs in one weekend. Which is why i purchased a pair of new pants for this trip.

Not kidding, actually. I went to the gap last week with intentions of purchasing pants one size up. This has nothing to do with the fact that i may have gained a few pounds of "winter weight" but solely on the fact that i knew i woud be eating my way through Nashville. And i did. In fact, Mr. B said to me on monday morning when we were packing up, "are those your big girl pants?"

Nashville has been at the top of our "must visit" list for a few years. So when our raleigh friends suggested a few months ago that we visit together, we didn't hesitate.

I do however understand why southwest was running a deal through the earliest months in the year - because NO ONE wants to visit nashville in February. It was freezing. A bone-chilling-damp-cold that we really aren't used to in Colorado. I know, i know, everyone says, "but you're from colorado - what do you mean you aren't used to the cold weather?" Colorado gets cold, don't get me wrong, but we have a different kind of cold - a dry cold that doesnt make your bones frigid. Visit in the winter and you'll understand what i mean. Nonetheless, we bundled up from head to toe and toured the home of country music.



I've had a few people reach out to me since learning we spent the weekend in nashville and asked for a list of things to do. We didn't see it all, but we saw a lot. Here's what we ate saw:

The Southern: For their southern style oysters (order more than six and thank me later). If you like ribs and a lot of them, get those too. In fact, you can probably find my leftovers in the fridge at our hotel. Mr B insisted i take half of my 19inch rack back to the hotel. The ribs, not my rack.

The Patterson House: For their speak-easy like atmosphere, a hostess that tells terrible whale jokes, and ice cubes that are the full length of your glass.

The Pharmacy: For their wursts and burgers and home-made soda. the orange dreamcicle was a table favorite and it just so happened to come in the coolest glass. This would be a summertime favorite with their grassy patio area.

Country Music Hall of Fame: Because you are in nashville, not because you want to see the reba exhibit. While you are there you can also get a tour of the famous Studio B. I was the only one in our crew that enjoyed it, but i think that's because i associate some of my favorite childhood memories with elvis albums. If you do too, then you'll like Studio B.


A Show at The Grand Ole Opry: Because it's what made country music famous. We saw a show and skipped the tour. If you make the same decision, you'll get to see a variety of performers and hear unlimited family dollar ads. Mr B and i now have a new date planned on friday nights -drinking wine and listening to WSM on 650AM radio. For the show, not the ads.

The Pinewood Social: It was the highlight of our weekend and might be yours too. The atmosphere is an old warehouse. You can eat, drink bloody mary's or man-mosas, sip Crema coffee and bowl all in the same building. Call and make reservations for this one, including a lane! If you're lucky you might walk away the bowling champ. Suckas!


Yazoo Brewery Tour: To drink. The man in my life is a beer snob and obsessed with getting badges on untapp'd, so he never lets me get out of a new city without going to a brewery. We'd recommend the Hefeweizen - it won our taste test. And remember, one beer kettle equals 12,000 beers. That might win you a free beer at the end of the tour! It did for me.

Broadway: To listen to local musicians and toast your beers to "holler and swaller". The musicians (good or bad) expect tips and are not afraid to ask, so bring your cash. Or don't.

Union Station Hotel: To roam the halls of an old train station (later turned hotel), not to go to the bell tower.

Arrington Winery: A good way to see the Nashville country side and get a taste of some local grapes. Again, this is another place that has way more potential in the summertime with picnic tables and swings surrounding the grounds. But then again, i suppose the cozy fireplace wouldn't be lit in the middle of July. Bring a pack of cards against humanity and grab a bottle of wine and it really won't matter what season it is.

Barista Parlor: To sip some really good coffee (nothing local), to eat some of the best homemade macaroons, and to find worldwide dark chocolate. We were in a hurry, but this place is really, really cool (trust me) and hard to find.

Loveless CafĂ©: For the best breakfast you'll ever eat. The service, the biscuits, the jams, and the ham. It's worth the 20 minute drive outside the city. It was an old motel in the 50's that was renovated is now home to the cafe and a few small shops.


Some others that we visited and didn't take photos of: Jacks BBQ: to soak up the alcohol and to get a cheesy noodle in your boot. It's on broadway and a good pit stop between bars. Margot Cafe: small, but a lovely little place to get brunch on the east side of town. Side note, don't show up late for your reservation and don't expect it to cure your hangover. Just ask my husband. and Husk: home to the award winning chef, Sean Brock. The menu changes daily and it might break your wallet, but it sure was good.

What we missed: did you know there is a Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville? We learned that the first night, but we skipped it. Shame on us. We also tried to get a reservation at the Bluebird Cafe. It has always been famous for their singer/songwriter performances, but the show Nashville has made it even more so. We sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes waiting and when we realized our only other option was visiting the massage parlor next door, we decided it was time to leave. If you want to ensure you get a place, call weeks in advance! And lastly, another big tourist location that we should have visited was the Ryman Auditorium for a tour. It was home to the Grand Ole Opry for thirty-one years. Can you believe we missed it? Dangit!

Nashville was a blast, but next time i am going when i don't need a winter coat.

Holler and Swaller, y'all!

[coming soon: a nashville video made by mr. b.]

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

deed #4

well that didn't take me long to get behind. the first week into february and i am already one deed behind. well, let me rephrase that, a post behind. i actually did a good deed last week, i just neglected to write about it. eh, i spend so much time at my computer during the day that sometimes in the evenings, the last thing i want to do is have that bright screen starring back at me for yet another hour.

back to the deed. well this one is kind of includes two (again). a mini one from two weeks ago and one from last week. i had a work conference in san diego mid january. i was supposed to spend three days there, but on the second day, my 5AM wake up call included running across my hotel room with that nasty stomach bug. it was miserable. while the front desk was unable to help, a wonderful colleague bought me the whole dang hotel pharmacy - from pepto (swallowing that makes the sickness worse, i swear), to tylenol, to alka seltzer, to ginger ale, and even lemon flavored pellegrino.

with all of that said, when you are sick the only place you want to be is home. somehow, by the grace of god i made it out of bed and to the airport so i could catch an afternoon flight back to denver. i was literally dragging myself through security and when i made it through, even putting my shoes on was making me dizzy. so i sat down on a bench and noticed a womans scarf beside me. i looked towards the escalator and saw a woman my age who was just getting on. i ran over to her (in my socks) and yelled, "is this your scarf?" she didn't hear me, so i walked up the staircase next to it and yelled a little louder. she turned and said, "oh my gosh, yes. i was in such a hurry. thank you so much." then walked down the stairs to meet me half way.

have you ever left something at airport security and wished someone would have ran after you?

**
on to number two, this was last weeks deed.

i painted the nursery of my pregnant-with-twins-mama-friend. i had offered to do this months ago when she was sharing her nursery ideas with me. at the time, she looked at me and said, "really? you actually want to paint it?" strangely enough i find painting to be very rewarding. its can be time consuming and tedious (taping), but i love the transformation of a space when its complete. so of course i told her i was serious.

i had intentions of making her help me - at least with the prep work. but unfortunately shes been on bed rest since just before christmas. that meant, she had an official excuse to sit back and give me orders. just kidding, she didnt order me around at all. she gave me free reigns and said, "have fun." in fact, she even trusted me to pick the paint color. after 15 paint swatch text messages back and forth we finally selected the perfect color - pawprint.

after the paint color was decided, i picked up the remaining supplies and headed to her house. maddie (her daughter), was the perfect little helper who followed me up and down the step stool. how can you not love that cheesy smile and that shirt tucked into those sweats? next time though, i am teaching her how to tape!

before
after.
you probably asked yourself why we painted over blue walls since she is having boys, but her vision was to create a natural-warm-cozy space for them. mission accomplished. it turned out beautiful and mama is happy - that's all that matters.  now that the paint is checked off the list she can start focusing on the cribs, the mobiles and the bedding. you know, all the fun stuff.

these little boys are so loved already and i am so happy i could be a part of their preparation. only a few more months until they are whaling from this room in need of milk :)
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