Thursday, September 22, 2011

LOVE, LIVE, HUNT, COOK

Those four words sum up a lot about our lives.  Stop by and check out OUR new blog! :)

http://lovelivehuntcook.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mr & Mrs

We got married on Saturday!!!
In honor of this blessed event, I will be starting a new blog.
Details coming soon...

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Clean Apartment


I entered my apartment and stepped over the assorted projects that I'm working on for the wedding.  I walked into the bathroom and something seemed odd.  I noticed the garbage in the bathroom was empty.  (Heaven knows I wasn't the one who did THAT.)  I went in the kitchen and my dishes were washed and neatly arranged on the counter.  I walked into my bedroom and the bed was made.  My bathroom counter was cleaned and my items were all placed orderly on the counter. 

I'm not sure who the culprit was, but I'm hoping they head to Ed's house next.  I'm guessing that the cleaning people at the senior center somehow put me on their "assisted" living list.  I'm happy my place is semi-clean now, but I'm still a little uncomfortable that someone was in my place.

Let the countdown begin...less than twenty days till my escape...




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paradise?

Speaking of hair salon parking spaces...
I recently took the plunge and had my hair cut for the first time in Nebraska...rural Nebraska that is.
The woman didn't even wash my hair.  She just kept rubbing something on it and then took about 15 minutes to cut it. 

On a positive note, the cut only cost around $20, but I miss my hair salon back home.  It's the kind of place where they wash your hair, massage your neck, spend an hour or so cutting and styling your hair and have you feeling like a princess on your way out.  Maybe farmers don't have time for this whole hair washing ordeal...?

I'm a little leery about having her do my hair for the wedding.  I put a deposit down to hold the date, but I'm not sure I should do it.  Tonight, I'm going to TLC.  The place is a nursery and I'm hoping to get some cheap annuals to help decorate the reception site.  However, I think I may just stop into the spa they have there and make an appointment for a trial bridal style.  Yup..they have a spa, landscaping, and nursery business.  Not to get off topic too much, but this town has another place that cracks me up every time.  The place is called Paradise.  It consists of:
  • restaurant
  • screen printing shop
  • car wash
  • doggie wash
  • martini bar
  • tanning salon
It's too bad they don't do hair...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parking Woes

I'm kind of disappointed in myself.  I have yet to make any friends at the senior center.  This may have something to do with the fact that I enter through my screen door to avoid having to talk to people.  I did however get a note on my car the other morning! 

You see, there are TWO parking spots (out of eight) that are specifically designated for the beauty salon.  They are reserved between the hours of 6am-6pm Tuesday-Friday.  One of these TWO spots is right outside my cell and is definitely the most convenient spot for me to park.  The majority of residents have garage parking or they don't drive anymore.  The parking space issue probably isn't of much concern to them.

So, Thursday night I strolled in around 8:30pm and the parking spots were all spoken for.  Visitors also had parked up and down most of the road leading to the lot so I parked in one of the TWO spots reserved for the beauty salon.  I figured I'd just get up around 6 and move my car.  Unfortunately, I overslept.  I didn't oversleep for work or anything drastic like that.  I just didn't get up until 7am.  Once I woke up and realized I forgot about my car, I threw on some clothes to move my car over one space.

I wish I would have photographed the piece of paper on my windshield.  It was just your typical printer paper, but had the following written in large navy blue magic marker lettering:

PLEASE OBSERVE PARKING RESTRICTIONS
AS POSTED!

Great.  Now, I'm not only not making friends at the senior center.  I may be making enemies.  I am really curious though...what TWO women are up at 5:30am to get their hair done?!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow. ~Charlotte Brontë


I have turned another corner in my life.  I can officially empathize with those who have insomnia.  I never could understand the impact or how someone couldn't just get sleep. 

I haven't had a good night sleep in over a week.  There are two major reasons for this sleep deprivation:

1. The wedding is about a month away
2. Work

I'm not sure why either of these need to keep me awake at night, but lately they sure are doing just that.  I lie in bed obsessing about my job and the current "opportunity" that has been presented to me.  Once I find myself finally ridding my mind of work, I move on to wedding planning.  The wedding planning is a positive thought, but I get all these great ideas and then fixate on the fact that time is running out.

In an attempt to calm my mind before bed, I've been reading Lutheranism 101.  I am learning a lot and actually wondering how much my brother (Pastor O) must know about LCMS.  It really fascinated me last night as I read the book.  I know he went to school and all, but as I read this book (and since I kinda had the misconception that I learned all there is to know about God in school) I realized just how much I have yet to learn that he already knows.  Perhaps I should turn to my brother a bit more often when I have questions about our religion.  Nah...I wouldn't want to let on to him that he does know more than me. ;)  Thank God I have a great Pastor to help with those questions.

Anyhow, even as I read, my mind wanders off to these other two topics.  It's really frustrating.  I've tried the whole list idea or reminding myself that these things can wait for me to obsess about in the morning.  Yet, I still continue...  The crazy part is, with wedding planning, I don't think you ever really run out of ideas or little things you can add.  Once again, I need to remind myself what is important.  The important part of that day won't be the card box, guest book, or even the dress.  We are going to pledge our commitment to each other in the church in front of God, our family, and our friends.  Perhaps I need to put something like that on the ceiling.  You know, some kind of a quote up there that glows in the dark.  That way, as I'm staring at the ceiling obsessing, I can be reminded of what is really important.  God.






Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Photo

I hiked the momument for the third time last night.  I started off just as the clouds came rolling in.  The rain was very light and only last about five minutes tops.  I crossed through the tunnel and was greeted by a double rainbow.  A full double rainbow.  I couldn't get a good picture of the whole rainbow, but it was spectacular.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Statistics Show...

The Effects of Living Together (Cohabitation)
1)      Those that live together before marriage tend not to marry. Over 50% of couples who live together before marriage end their relationships before marriage.[i]
2)      Those that live together before marriage have higher separation and divorce rates. The Journal of Marriage and Family reported that marriages that are preceded by living together have 50% higher disruption rates then marriages without cohabitation. [ii]
3)      Those that live together before marriage have unhappier marriages. In general those who live together first: seek counseling more, separate more, view marriage as less important. [iii]
4)      Living together equates to more frequent disagreements, less problem solving skills, lower levels of fairness and happiness. [iv]
5)      Those that live together do not experience the best sexual relationship. The National Institute for Health Care Research found that couples not involved before marriage are more satisfied in their sex life. Family Research Council found that 72% of all married "traditionalist” couples reported higher sexual satisfaction. [v]
6)      Cohabiting results in more behavioral and alcohol problems, aggression is twice as common, there is greater instability, lower relationship satisfaction, depression rates are higher, and women's chances of being assaulted 56 times higher. [vi]
7)      Living together outside of marriage negatively impacts children. According to the National Marriage Project, children living with cohabiting biological parents who are unmarried are 20 times more likely to be abused and children whose mother lives with a boyfriend are 33 times more likely to be abused. Children in these cases have more behavioral problems, poorer academic scores, and are five times more likely to experience parents separating. [vii]
We met with our Pastor last night.  It was a great meeting.  We probably didn't accomplish nearly what Pastor S wanted us to, but we touched on some great topics and are planning a marathon session Saturday to get caught up. 

We discussed some of the negative impacts of living together.  One thing that really struck me was the lack of excitement that E feels about the wedding.  I'm not saying he's not excited, it's just that he knows that things won't be much different at home then they were prior to me moving out.  It's really sad actually.  We lost the anticipation and thrill of first living together after your married because we chose to live together prior to marriage. 

I read the following article from LCMS about our living situation:
What about...Living Together Without Marriage

I understood the reasons why it was wrong-even when I was in the midst of it.  I understood what we needed to do to correct it.  What I didn't consider is that once we lived together, the impact of what we had done wouldn't just go away when we moved apart. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Confession Time

What I'm reading for the first time at 36 years old
I never read The Catcher in the Rye.  Honestly, there are a LOT of books that I was supposed to read in school that I never read.  I feel like I'm missing out.  There are times people refer to these books and I just nod along and pretend I know what they are talking about.  I haven't a clue.  I was a great speed reader in highschool.  I actually took a class in speed reading.  I got an A.  (I also was great at shorthand.) Sadly though, the only book I ever read cover to cover by that point was That Was Then, This Is Now.  I think I read that book in seventh grade or so and still actually remember the title.  I'm not sure why, but parts of that book still stick out in my memory.

I made a resolution this year to read one book a month that I should have read in school.  I have yet to read one.  Last night, at Walmart, while looking down at The Catcher in the Rye, I vowed again to get at least one book on the list read this year.  I should mention here that I read quite a bit now.  I finally became interested in reading in college when I took a class on true crime.  I read my first true crime book and I was hooked.  I realized then that I like to read, I just don't care to read fiction.  I have a hard time spending my time reading a book about something that never happened. 

Anyhow, I started The Catcher in the Rye last night.  So far, it's pretty decent.  The author is very descriptive and appears to jump around a lot-which explains why I probably gave up after the first chapter in school.  I'm through the first six chapters though and I plan to finish the book this week. 

I guess that's one of the benefits of currently living alone.  I feel like I'm getting back some of the me time that I gave up when I moved in with E.  Not that E asked me to, but for some reason, I did.  In the process of living together, I can see that I started to let go of some things I loved.  It's funny how women do that.  We focus so much on making our men happy that we really do seem to lose parts of ourselves.  I'm grateful for this reflection time.  I'm happy for this time apart and what I'm learning about God, my relationship with E, and myself.  So, this week, i'm starting to read The Catcher in the Rye and I'm excited about what the future holds.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Scottsbluff Monument


Saturday was the first day in a long time that I could sleep in without an alarm.  Not that I typically have to get up on a Saturday, but I always feel like I'm wasting the day if I sleep in.  So, I went to bed without an alarm clock *gasp*.  No worries though, my kind elderly neighbors were up and making plenty of noise by 8am.  I don't have a clue what they do that early in the morning, but the pounding sure doesn't make for quiet rest.

I finally rolled out of bed around 9am.  Pretty good for a girl typically on the go.  E was spending the day at home cleaning and I had nothing that had to be done.  So, I decided to take a hike up to Scottsbluff Monument.  I scoped it out Friday night with a two mile walk along the perimeter and located the perfect place to park.  You know, the kind where you don't have to pay to enter the park. 

I began my excursion around 9:45.  I actually was just planning to head to the visitor's center and back-1.2 miles each way.  I started my trek in 85 degree weather and was moving along at a pretty decent pace.  The grasshoppers rustled the brush nearby every now and then and I was reminded of the snake sightings I'd heard of out there.  So, I basically jumped a bit every time one made some noise.  Eventually, I got used to them.   I was in a pretty open prairie like setting and really starting to notice the sun.  It was getting warmer. 

Fortunately, the path was headed past a small grouping of pine trees.  As I passed the trees I started thinking about the fact that this was probably one of the few areas that wildlife would have a safer place to hang out.  I walked slowly to peek into the trees and brush to see if I could see any deer.  Suddenly, I heard a hiss, rattle, and a snap...I turned to my left and about a step behind me was a snake coiled up with his head and part of his neck (not sure if that's technically what that area on a snake is called) was sticking straight up in the air.  I picked up my pace.  For a brief moment, I considered turning around to take a photo.  Probably best that I decided against it.  A biker came up beside me a few moments later and inquired as to whether or not I saw the RATTLE snake.  You bet I did!  Good thing I didn't get that photo. 

Eventually, I made it to the visitors center.  I saw a path heading up towards the monument and figured I could make it another 1.6 miles (each way) and off I went...  On my way I passed a couple about my age with a woman that looked to be in her 70's.  I figured the path couldn't be to hard if she could handle it.  I kept going even when the sweat started dripping down my face and it seemed like I was walking at a 90 degree angle.  I may be exaggerating a bit, but it was definitely going uphill.  I got to where I thought was about the 1.6 mile mark when I saw it.  The climb that led to a really neat looking cave.  I pushed on.  By the time I made it to the cave I was hot and exhausted.  I paused in the shade before making it through the cave to the most beautiful view of the city of Scottsbluff and Gering.  I decided I'd gone far enough and started heading back to the visitor's center.  Then, I saw it...a pretty blond girl RUNNING up the path.  Talk about feeling out of shape...

The descent down was a lot easier.  I actually jogged part of it.  Partially because it was such a steep incline that my body wanted to and partially because I was inspired by the blond girl.  I made it back to the visitor's center and spent some time cooling off and getting several drinks from the bubbler (that's a water fountain for you nonWisconsinite's).  I vowed that the next time I take this hike I'll bring water.  Oh!  E received a few text photos of my hike and my plan worked-he said he'll go with sometime. :)

I was very cautious on my way back past the snake sighting, but of course I had my cell phone camera ready to go.  Figures-this time no snake.  I made it back to my car safe and sound. It was 95 degrees. I plan to hike it again tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

An ebay wedding

I just heard an interview with a girl on the radio who wanted her wedding to be "unique, special, and personalized".  In hopes of fufilling these wants, she purchased most items for her wedding on Ebay. 
Personally, I think she was looking for some media coverage.

Call me crazy, but I'm going to be over the moon excited with my traditional wedding.  Our wedding preparation will begin with premarital counseling-with our Pastor, the ceremony will take place in a church, and it will include the usual hymns and a sermon. It may not be that unique and personalized, but it sure will be special.

Day six, near miss accident, and grandma's crew

I've almost made it through my first week at the Village.  I also almost got into a car accident yesterday.  I started to turn into the Village driveway when a car came racing up the driveway from the opposite direction.  I immediately thought "ugh, some kids need to learn to slow down!".  The best part, this driver was partially in my lane so I couldn't get into the drive and the other driver just sat there.  I actually had to back my car up to enter into the drive from the left of this car.  Then, I saw it,...the driver was a sweet looking little old lady.  When I passed her on the left she actually perked her head up (I'm guessing to see out the window) and looked to her left.  It was as if she was checking to see if I actually didn't have enough room to get into the drive.

Once I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the cutest idea on someone's car.  The volkswagon bug had a bumper sticker on the back that said "Grandmas Crew", but the best part were the four paint filled hand prints that she must have let her grand kids put on her bumper.  Adorable.

When I safely made it to the Village, I decided to go for a walk/jog.  I've increased my jogging from three to four laps around the pond.  I did eight or nine laps total in the 90+ degree weather.  At some point, I need to get a pedometer and figure out how large the pond is. 
See the pretty swans?

The white duck is clearly the leader and always first in line.  They all quack like mad any time I run walk/jog past.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Its the simple things

My fiance and I went to meet with our photographer last night.  Horray!, we have a photographer booked that I love!  We went with http://on3photostudios.com/?replytocom=196.  Not only are they fabulous and have two photographers there the whole time, but they know our Pastor.  Actually, Pastor Strawn suggested this photographer to us as she's done confirmation photos.  She had the cutest siamese cat in the shop. It sure did make me miss our cats...
After meeting with the photographers and discussing our Wisconsin "accent" (which, by the way, we don't have the accent-everyone else does) we hit up Subway for dinner.  This is becoming quite a ritual since it's about the only place open in town after we finish meeting with the Pastor.  I don't like Subway, but I'm growing tolerant of it. 
We went our seperate ways around 9:30 and I made the trek home without hitting a deer, antelope or elk. I've heard several stories about people seeing elk standing in the middle of the road on the route I take.  When I got home I pulled into one of the parking spaces and realized just how good I have it.  It seems pretty simple, but I recall apartment complexes in Milwaukee and the small spaces that were always all filled.  I haven't had a parking issue at the Village yet.  In addition, the spots are pretty large (I'm assuming they are made like handicapped spaces).
Tonight we head back to Bridgeport again to meet with Pastor Strawn...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The First Few Days...

In preparation for our wedding, I moved into "The Village" this past Saturday.  We began meeting with our Pastor a few weeks ago.  Since we want to get married at this church, we are required to live apart prior to getting married.  Fortunately, E and I both agree this is the right thing to do and is something that is long overdue.  So, we decided that due to my commute, the best option was for me to move close to the hospital that I work at.  I'm pretty lucky to work for a company that owns retirement housing and happened to have a room available for me to rent.

It is kind of sad to move apart and somewhat lonely living on my own again, but knowing what the ultimate goal is makes the transition a lot easier. 

It's been interesting so far.  Here's a summary of the excitement to date:

The Good

  • There are three domestic ducks and two gorgeous swans in the pond in front of the apartment
  • I met my next door neighbor on Monday-Ms. M.F. seems awfully sweet and quite inquisitive
  • Utilities are included-this means I've set the central air to 68 degrees
  • The pond has a nice path around it so i've actually started running again (ok ok, I walk a lap and then jog a lap and repeat the process a few times)
  • I brought my rollerblades and hope to take a few trips to the bike path.  Of course, I'll drive there, skate a bit, and then drive back.
  • I have a patio tomato plant that is thriving on my small patio
  • My commute to work takes four whole minutes.  My previous commute was one hour and fifteen minutes!
  • We are doing what is pleasing to God, in regards to not living together prior to marriage, and I no longer feel guilty
The Bad
  • I miss E
  • I miss Callie (yellow lab), Turtle (Tortoiseshell cat), and Maize (cat #2)
  • My neighbor Ms. M.F. is rather inquisitive
The Ugly/Odd
  • I went for my jog/walk on Tuesday and listened to some sweet woman pushing a walker yelling at the Swans: "oh quack, quack, quack, how are you? quack, quack!, quack!"
  • I am currently sleeping in a twin bed.  Monday morning I rolled over.  Apparently, I forgot about how small the bed is and fell right out of it.  I knocked over a picture of E and I in the process, but fortunately (since the mattress & box spring are right on the ground) I have no physical damage.  I always wondered how someone could be so out of it that they'd fall out of bed.
I'm adjusting and really looking forward to the day when we become husband and wife.

Great News Of The Day:
I'm going to be an Aunt again and this time i'll be blessed with a little niece!!!