Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back at 2010

2010 Firsts:

Moving into our current house
Competed in a Greased Pig Contest
Made Challah Bread
Nanowrimo - wrote 50k words in November
Went to Portland
Turned 30!
Grew an in-ground garden
Knitted my first (mini) sweaters
Photographed a lunar eclipse
Became an aunt
Went to a Pheasants Game
Went to the Corn Palace
Rode a hovercraft
Ate at Elevator Brewery in Columbus
Made Mushroom Lasagna
Made Chocolate Ice Cream

Biggest Changes in 2010:

Started exercising again
Got my photo mojo back

What I'm loving right now:

Zumba for the Wii
Avett Brothers
Total Training Class at the Community Center
Netflix Instant Streaming (All Creatures Great and Small, No Reservations)

2011 - What I'm looking forward to:
Visiting Brenna in NJ and going to NYC
Paying off my car (just two months left!)
Starting Graduate School at DSU (Information Systems)

December pics

The sunrise from our front porch

My Challah Bread success! (Made for my coworkers for Christmas)

Christmas tree picture from my parents' house

John checking out the neon light installation at O'Hare

Killing time during our 3 hour layover on the way to Columbus

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Prompt: How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

In March, I got to go to Oregon for work (a new state for me!). It was beautiful, and their weather was a nice break from the snow!

In 2011, I'm going to visit my sister in New Jersey (and go to NYC for the very first time!) and maybe some other not-yet-planned-adventures.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally...feeling in my fingers again

It was a cold night to be outside taking pictures (first time I've EVER taken pictures of an eclipse! Very cool...and cold...)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree!

We put the tree up on Sunday, outdoor lights up over Thanksgiving (when it was warm - SOO much better than last year), and still need to put Frosty the snowman out (today? Maybe if I bundle up enough to brave the cold and the snow).

John's braver than I am ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Picture to be posted soon

229 words to go

I'll be knocking this goal out in the next ten minutes (barring massive computer failure or John getting in a life threatening car accident - since he's in the other room and not planning to drive anywhere, I think we're safe)

I'm super psyched and just wanted to send out an update before I cross the finish line! =D

Monday, November 29, 2010

Only 1367 words to go!

Nanowrimo ends tomorrow - and I'm just 1367 words from hitting 50k! So far I've written 48,633 words. I'm on page 81. It's by far the longest thing I have ever written.

My book won't actually end at 50k unless I'm going to pull the "and it was all a dream" (I don't think so ;) ). I spent too many words setting up the story so I haven't even reached the main conflict yet. The good news is that as long as I hit 50k by midnight tomorrow I'll be a nanowrimo winner (and then I can keep working on this story at whatever pace I want)

I really was going strong on my word count - total slow and steady wins the race-until last Monday when I started missing days. Thank goodness I was about 4k ahead or else I probably wouldn't be finishing (at least not without some very late nights).

I was still 200 words behind going into this morning, but I decided that this evening would be for two things - writing and sleeping - and I got 2,166 words in. I'm halfway tempted to finish tonight, but I'm also really tempted to sit on the couch.

Tonight, the couch wins. Tomorrow, I win!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Over halfway

This evening I hit 25K (and kept going, I'm at 26,230 now). More than halfway there and by far the longest thing I've written yet! What a great feeling!

(and I did mop today...I was procrastinating on this and my grad school application - taking classes part-time at DSU starting in January...who knew nanowrimo would help me get my house clean? ;) )

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I think they're on to something...

Write or Die

My words are in for the day. 1700+ in less than an hour. Total nanowrimo godsend (I don't have speakers connected so I can't hear the evil sounds when I stop typing, but the screen turns deeper shades of red and will start erasing my words if I don't type quickly enough)

I really need it for every part of my life...
Mop or Die
Fold Laundry or Die
Stop Watching Real Housewives or Die


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Whew, my writing has been a slog fest for the last several days, but there is good news...

I'm 1/3 of the way done (when it comes to days) and I hit 20,000 words this morning (and I have my words in for the day).

Parts of my novel are okay and other parts are a complete mess. I'm not sure I'll end up with anything worth reading or even editing, but I'm telling myself that's okay (sometimes I believe it and sometimes I don't).

So I tell myself that Nanowrimo is my Fourteener - completing something I didn't think I could do is the goal.

Could anything be more different--hauling my butt up the highest mountain in Colorado and sitting in my pajamas typing away at my desk? Somehow it seems the same.

The adventure continues...

(P.S. I went looking for a picture of me hiking Mt. Elbert. No luck, and wow, do I really need to organize my pictures. Here's one of me and my Dad at Schaefer's Pass, Philmont from August 1999 instead)

Friday, November 05, 2010


Hit 10,000 words tonight for Nanowrimo. As long as I keep it up, I'm totally on track to hit 50k. Yay!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


So after thinking about it for a few years, I'm finally doing Nanowrimo (writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November). I'm two days in and sticking with the slow and steady plan (1,667 words a day will get me to 50,000 by the end of the month). For the first two days, I've gone over on my words (about 1,800+ a day), so I'm feeling pretty good. I'm at 3,764 right now.

For the past two days, I've been getting up around 6ish to write in the morning before I need to get ready. I hate to get out of bed that early, but I'm afraid if I left it until the end of the day, I'd never get it done. So far, I've been getting about 900 words written from 6-7 in the morning and then picking up the rest over lunch or in the evening.

I'm enjoying the challenge, and I'm really thankful that John and my parents encouraged me to do it--otherwise I probably would've spent another year just thinking about trying it...maybe...someday...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tastes like Fall

John made (from scratch) caramel apples yesterday. Delicious!

(P.S. John's blogging now )

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Fall pictures

I wanted to get some Fall shots this morning, so I went out to the Maloney Nature Reserve. It has a great nature trail, and it was a beautiful morning to be out there (just me, the crickets, and the mosquitoes).

My favorite shot from this morning

I didn't notice the little guy right away...and then I couldn't resist including him and his antenna in the shot.

It was almost like we were playing a game. As I circled around to get more of him in the shot, he would inch around the other way. I wondered how long we could've gone on like that.

I love fall colors but a lot of my pictures end up looking brown/gray/blah...this one actually had the look I was going for (YES!!)


I got this one by putting my camera on autofocus and just shooting without looking through the viewfinder.

I get a lot of crummy shots that way, but every now and then, I get something I really like. And after thinking about every shot, and taking multiple shots at different angles, etc, it's nice to shoot without overthinking.

It also made it possible for me to get a really low angle without having to lie down in the mud (lay down in the mud? of those grammar rules I can never remember)

What I did during the summer...

And the final summer list looks like...

Picnic at the lake
Wash car with hose
Pheasants baseball game
Go to Farmers Markets
Watch fireworks
Use fire ring/bowl
Go canoeing
Make popsicles
Make ice cream
Go to an outdoor concert
Go camping
Visit/photograph a winery
Play frisbee golf
Visit Palisades
Go to an auction/garage sale
Ride whole bike path
Go to a you-pick-it fruit place
Host grill-out at our house
Make banana boats on the grill
Eat corn on the cob
Go to a drive-in/outdoor movie
Look at stars (through a telescope)

Now time for the Fall list...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Catching up

We had an incredible time in Ohio at Jimmie and Erin's wedding - such a beautiful wedding and an awesome reception (what can I say, my family throws awesome weddings ;) )

and visiting friends in Athens (I LOVE Athens and my Ohio friends!!!!)

Nancy, me and Yvonne

Jin and me

Steph's knitting that's named after me! (abbie-grey)

Jackie O's...Yep, I tried Bacon beer...and now I never have to drink it again ;)

I'm not posting a picture of the dead fish, but I'm going to leave this reference in here just so I don't forget.

Beer awesomeness in Downtown Columbus

I am totally in love with my lunch

I came home and took some pictures out on the bike path...

It's kind of pretty here...

and I started my Fall List (to be posted soon)

Friday, September 03, 2010


Turned 30 today--got sang to twice, 3 different kinds of cake, got to ride a hovercraft (seriously), and tore more perforated judging cards than I've ever seen in my entire life.

Looking forward to the wedding this weekend and seeing some old friends! Can't wait!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Made Lemony Goat Cheese Zucchini Pizza for dinner (finally! I've been planning to make it since I made the grilled pizzas). Delicious (and if I made it about 10 more times, we might use up all the squash we have)!

Earlier today I went to the Steam Threshing Jamboree at Prairie Village with my Dad. He was on a mission to find a few house things at the flea market, and I just wanted to take some pictures.

A portrait in the Wentworth Hotel (love, LOVE the wallpaper!)

Rolling pins in the Old Madison Hotel--I'd been in both these buildings before, but more of the Madison Hotel was open to walk through. Very neat to see!

We also went to a few garage sales (mark that one off the list!)...didn't find anything that I had to have, but it was still fun (and Dad got me a mini Blizzard at DQ)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Something new (and old)

I've been looking at and reading about using expired film/polaroids/toy cameras to get some interesting pictures and wanted to try it out.

Luckily, I never took the last Polaroid (back in May 2004 when I last used that camera) - so here's my first attempt at using expired film.

Buying more film for the Polaroid may have to wait (it's a little $$)--but it turns out I have 4 rolls of expired 35mm AND 8 rolls of undeveloped film from 6 years ago. I have NO idea what's on the film and can't wait to get it developed (may go drop it off this afternoon--I'm actually not even sure if the drugstore here will develop film...)

I also busted out both of my SLRs--I'd forgotten all the fun stuff I had to go along with my AE-1 (filters, shutter lock, macro lens and wide-angles that won't get eaten up by being digital). I'd really like to load it up with film and head out, but the battery is pretty much I'll go with the A2-E for now.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pictures from this morning

Sunflowers from the Farmers' Market (there was NO way I was going to bring any more veggies into our house--not until we dig out from under the pile in the kitchen). I think this may be my best $2 purchase ever!

Cooper chilling on the couch

Not sure what my plans are today--feeling like knitting or reading. I need to mow the front yard (but maybe I'll just wait until it gets MUCH hotter to do that) and I already did some dishes, so I'm feeling pretty accomplished.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And another one...

because I used my fire ring tonight =) Would've been a little easier if the dogs hadn't kept stealing my sticks...and now I totally smell like bug spray and campfire (so I really need a shower before bed). There's just something about a campfire though...

I ALSO made grilled pizza for the first time (and I used all veggies and herbs from our garden - zucchini, yellow squash, orange and yellow tomatoes, onion, banana peppers, parsley, and basil) - so, SO delicious. Now if there were just a pizza recipe that called for pickling cucumbers...

A couple websites I used to make sure I didn't mess up too much ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cross another one off the list...

because yesterday we went to the Palisades!! We took the backroad/scenic route, but once we got there, WOW! It was beautiful, pink cliffs rising up from the river - totally not what you'd expect for Southeastern South Dakota.

Yes, that's John...

Does this make anyone else a little nervous? Just me? (At the time, I was also thinking, "not enough life insurance not enough life insurance not enough...")

John and his friend Peter on more solid ground

Wildflowers growing up through the pink rocks

Definitely going back--I'm thinking a picnic or a camping trip would be perfect!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More pictures from today

Pimm's and Lemonade with the smell of BBQ ribs on the grill behind me. Peter is here visiting and John's got ribs, german potato salad, more of our green beans (eat them so we don't have to find a place to put them!!), and beer/cocktails ready for dinner tonight.

(Soon to be) Pickles and peppers...we're getting buried in pickling cucumbers

Yep, turns out they're supposed to be orange...couldn't let them sit on the vine any longer...might turn some into an spaghetti sauce (orange sauce?)...or else I better get busy eating them as snacks and putting them on salads

Another update

Our first yellow pear tomato harvest from earlier this week

The garden is doing good - John has two Brandywines turning red, and I'm starting to think my cherry tomatoes are supposed to be orange....hmmm

Still getting yellow squash and the zucchinis are still growing

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Garden update

Whew - crazy week with John's birthday and my first Achievement Days here(it went great, and I totally caught a greased pig - 3rd place for adult women! =)).

Got some pictures of the garden yesterday evening...

An overall picture - the Brussel Sprouts got eaten up, so we're not sure they're going to work out, and something has eaten/killed the base of the zucchini plant (so we may only get one zucchini).

Otherwise everything else it doing its thing. We haven't been home to cook so there's a pile of veggies on the counter inside (and a huge amount waiting to be picked and brought in). I looked at the green beans, but decided I didn't even want to go there (guess I'll have to today)

Not red yet - but close. John also has a habenero that's finally turning orange (one of the million that we have growing!) and two red cayennes.

He also got stakes for the tomatoes - so now they're not quite so tangled up and crazy.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

John's 27th birthday

We celebrated with dinner at Rumors Bar (John, me, Mom, Dad, and Erin). They have a new cook and the "best chinese in the area" so we tried the Chicken Lo Mein (not bad!)

After dinner, we came back to our house for presents, cake, and chocolate ice cream (homemade by me!). John got coffee-related gifts (and Scheel's gift cards).

Cake and ice cream--you guys can forget about my first ice cream success--this is it! I've learned my lesson-when in doubt, use an Alton Brown recipe...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Garden - end of July

Still waiting on tomatoes

My second ever harvested squash

The first two banana peppers of the summer

We're starting to have more veggies than we know what to do with - cucumbers and green beans coming out of our ears, beets and squash waiting to be cooked...John's already canned one set of pickles, some pickled beets, and made refrigerator pickles (with green beans, carrots, and one or two cayenne peppers - which he accidentally gave my dad thinking it was a green bean - oops!)