Friday, April 29, 2011


I was at the grocery store buying ingredients for David's first day at HP celebratory dinner.  I was tired after a long day at work, and I was in one of those end of the day shopping comas.  I loaded the groceries into the car and started to climb into the driver's seat.  Suddenly the car parked in front of me honked the horn.  Startled and annoyed, I looked up to see this:

Sorry the photos aren't more clear... but I got a good laugh out of the horn blowing driver.

Happy weekend!

xox -A

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Good-bye Michael Scott

So, I haven't watched the TV show, The Office that regularly over the years, but in honor of Steve Carrell (Michael Scott) leaving the show, David and I watched it tonight together.

I must say that I thought it was one of the more tasteful TV show exits.  I don't want to give anything away for those of you who may have missed it and are planning to catch it later, so I'll skip over details and say that suddenly I was a sobbing mess.  I was crying like a baby... tissues, red faced and blowing my nose, the works!  David didn't realize it I guess because he got up and went to the bathroom and when he came back minutes later he was like, "What did I miss?!"

Now I have to admit... almost no matter what the show- from Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Alf, to Friends, to Lost and The Office, I ALWAYS cry at the finale.  I think I've even cried at random shows that I've never seen before but suddenly catch the last episode.  I wonder if its something they send through the airwaves... "you must cry and feel sad now."  I think the only show I didn't cry at the finale was Seinfeld, and mainly because it was terrible.  It was so awful that it actually ruined the re-runs for me for a few years after.

Anyway, this is not the finale for The Office, I know, but Steve Carrell is one of the more talented actors around and the show will not be the same without him...

In other news... is anyone getting up at 4 a.m. EST to watch the Royal Wedding live?!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glee Obsession

"Glee: Season One" has recently been added to Netfix Watch Instantly.  After hearing my mom and my sister-in-law Debbie K. talk about how much they love it, I added it to the queue.  After just one episode, I have to admit, I am a converted "Glee" fanatic... I'm a total GLEEk!

I love it.  David loves it too because of all the great music they perform.  I think my favorite episode was the one where the football team dances to Beyonce.  Besides the fact that its a great song, watching the football team dance like that had me in stitches.  David liked Season One's finale best because they did Journey, and he loved the songs.

What's your favorite Glee Episode?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dinner

Happy Easter!  

I wanted to attend church today... I go about twice a year (Christmas and Easter).  I'm not sure I identify with any specific religion, although I was raised in the Methodist Church.  I like many of the tenants of Buddhism, but... anyway, I was planning to go to the Episcopal church downtown that I've always wanted to go into, but I didn't make it.

Instead I made a grocery run out to Fred Meyer... and due to a bad bout of Ulcerative Colitis, it took me two hours to get through my grocery list.  When I got home, David had already gone over to our friends' house, and I took my time making Martha Stewart's Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks and Grilled Artichokes, before getting ready and heading over there myself.

There were six of us for dinner.  Rodney, Andrea, Andrea's Brother Brian, our friend Brad, David and me.  Andrea does not like lamb so they cooked a very very delicious turkey and asparagus.  I arrived so late I missed the Bloody Mary's, but I'm not sure my tummy could have handled them anyway.  To finish it all off Rodney made a delicious Almond Cheesecake.

David and I are completely stuffed!  I had planned to take photos of everything, but I completely forgot! Oh well... next time!

No matter what your religion or beliefs, its always nice to come together to celebrate (any occasion) with family and friends.  May you all have a wonderful Easter!

xox -A

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Cleaning

As I blogged before, David and I are desperately trying to get our house organized, our yard landscaped, and our vegetable garden planted.  However, David's knee is still not totally healed so its hard to get our big projects finished by myself, but I'm working at it as best I can.

Today we did get one big job finished together this weekend: Organizing the Shed.

We got the cob webs and hornets nests down, swept, and then we put up peg board and organized all of our tools.  I have to say, it looks incredible, see:

These pictures really don't do it justice...

Next weekend we have a huge amount of crap to take to the city dump.  Some of it you can see stacked next to the shed.  I can't wait to get it out of here!  It feels amazing to get things cleaned up.

I wish the grass would grow faster though:

That orange fence is to keep the dog off of it.  It looks so red-neck, but Linus isn't going near it.  I've seeded and mulched and waters and aerated... It actually looked good when we moved here, so I know it grows.  Frustrating!  Any ideas?

xox -A

Friday, April 22, 2011

David's Response

Guest Blogger Alert! My husband David responds to yesterday's blog and the Three Cups of Tea/ Central Asia Institute scandal. Thank you for taking the time and energy to do this D!

Without a doubt, Afghanistan and Pakistan are better places as a result of Greg Mortenson’s efforts there. As a proponent of Mortenson’s thesis that terrorism is best eradicated by creating balanced world views through education I see only a positive world benefit if the Central Asia Institue continues along its present course of school construction in communities where terrorist thinking tends to incubate. However, I also believe that the alleged fiscal liberties Mortenson took while head of the Institute, should they prove true, have hurt the greater cause of humanitarianism.  

Mortenson’s efforts benefited the members of the communities where the schools were built but also softened third world nations’ views of Western democracies’ efforts to improve life in those countries.  The most damaging repercussion of Mortenson’s actions is the reinforcement of the belief that we, as Westerers, are not sincere in our efforts to help; that without the possibility of a financial windfall or some other personal (or national) gain we would have never offered it in the first place - exactly the type of thinking the schools' are purporting to address.

For those of us who contribute to humanitarian causes, if Mortenson is not someone we can believe in, then who is? In the wake of the financial scandals resulting from the Great Recession, the Enron debacle, the golden parachutes handed out to CEOs for driving their companies’ into the ground, and every other very public and unethical hot-button financial scandal that has been regurgitated again and again on the Internet and 24 hour news outlets in the last decade, it is becoming more difficult to find people in visible positions that we can firmly stand behind without waiting for the proverbial balloon to pop. 

Additionally, ask yourself if this story will make people more or less inclined to open their wallets to ANY humanitarian cause. If we are unable to trust the individuals responsible for administering the cause then how can we put our faith in the cause itself?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scandal and Three Cups of Tea

This week's news of the potential criminal activities of Greg Mortenson, author of the book Three Cups of Tea and one of the founders of the Central Asia Institute has been weighing heavily on my heart.  If you haven't read the book, do.  It's a wonderful story full of something we could all use a little more of-- compassion.

When I first set out to write this morning I was completely outraged by Jon Krakauer and 60 Minutes for breaking the story that Greg Mortenson's book "wasn't honest."  All I could think was, "those a--holes!  This is a man who has dedicated his life to bringing a education (something we as Americans take for granted) to thousands of young people in a war ravaged area of the world."

I was living in Helena, MT with David in 2008 when I read the book, and I was so inspired by it that I wanted to drive to Bozemen, to meet with Mortenson to get on board with his efforts, but thought better of it because the end of the book he discussed how he had to change his phone number and get a PO Box because so many people were calling him for both good and bad reasons.  I didn't want to be one of those annoying fans, so I contributed money to his cause instead.  A cause I still believe is a honorable one.

I pulled up the "offensive articles" to post on my blog as evidence of their frivolity and silliness, but as I skimmed through them, I realized there was more to the story than I originally understood.  Jon Krakauer had a very valid point... actually lots of them.  More than that, he'd actually donated $75K toward the CAI, because he'd believed in it so much.

From the looks of it, Mortenson's good deeds are far out weighed by his bad ones.  He refused to be accountable to anyone, and blatantly ignored his board and the fiscal laws of this country.  He lied, he cheated, and he let down a lot of people in the process.  Basically he is yet again a perfect example of an "Ugly American" taking advantage of people just because he could.

Speaking to my husband about it today after work, I mentioned to David that I was so willing to look past the fact that the book wasn't all true because of the greater good he was doing in Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.  David actually got angry at my willingness to look past the dishonesty of Mortenson's story.  David's perspective is that if Mortenson isn't honest, why should anyone be?  David has agreed to be a guest blogger for tomorrow on his views, so I'll let him speak for himself.

I will admit he has a point.  But in the end, I guess I want to believe that the lie the Mortenson told was not meant to harm anyone... I want to believe he really meant to do good, even if it took at fantastical story to get people off their butts to do it.

This New York Times Article best voices my hope and opinion of the situation:  I hope more than anything we as a people don't get disillusioned by the greed that power and money breed, and we can continue to support good causes like this one set out to be.

xox - A

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mad Hatter

The other day, I was out to lunch with my friend Andrea and we wandered into Anthropologie after eating.  We found these fun hats and it sparked today's post:

Doesn't Andrea look so cute?!
I love hats.  I'm not sure I look great in them, but I don't really care. My sister Katie got me into wearing hats when I was a kid.  She gave me this cool pink straw hat once when I was visiting her at the beach.  I loved it... I wonder what happened to that hat?  Anyway, I used to have a lot more hats, but in an effort to (attempt to) be less of a pack rat, I've gotten rid of quite a few of them.

I've kept the important ones of course... Being that I live in the west, I did keep my cowboy hat, and a couple of baseball hats, and my gardening hat and of course I still have beanies to keep me warm in the winter.

Cowboy Hat
Baseball Hats
Gardening Hat
Winter Beanies
David's Special Hat... :)
Me wearing a hat I made for my sister out of sheepskin from a pattern of a favorite hat of  our dad's

My favorite hat for the past few years is one that Katie bought for me in Ireland in 2007.  It's an Irish sailor's hat.

This hat has been quite a conversation starter over the years.  My favorite story of this hat was during a brief time living in Helena, Montana.  I moved up there to see if my relationship with David was going to work after doing the long distance thing for 6 months.

He moved to Helena right out of Grad School when he was hired by an international software company who wrote tax software for different branches of government.  The State of Montana was one of their clients.  David was put in the Helena office, so that's why he lived there.

I was planning to start Grad School myself the following September, and it was January and I had no commitments, so I packed up my car and moved to Montana and got a Temp Job.

I was assigned to the Montana State Fund, workers compensations insurance.  It was, well... Anyway... My first day, there was a blizzard and I showed up in my puffy Northface coat and my hat.

I checked in with my supervisor, and then was given a tour of the facility and introduced to the rest of the people on my team.  During my tour I met Myrna.  I could write an entire book about Myrna.  It would be called, "S#!t Myrna Says", and I know it would be a best seller.

Myrna was in her late 60s when I met her.  Spritely, slender, and full of it.  The first thing she said to me was, "You're cute."  This was followed by a group of somewhat forgettable older ladies clucking away in response and one replied loudly, "And she's got a hat." The ladies clucked some more...  I was beet red with embarrassment.  Myrna proceeded to make me get the hat to show them, and then she paraded me around the office and introduced me to everyone making me bring the hat.  All I wanted to do was hide.

Myrna became a great friend to both me and David while we were in Helena.  She is a legend in our household, and I have many more tales to tell of her... for another time.

xox -A

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegetable Garden

Last year we built this awesome vegetable garden in our backyard.  We love fresh veggies.  It was really fun and fruitful, but being that it was my first vegetable garden, I planned it all wrong and it got VERY overgrown.

I didn't cage the tomatoes in time and they took over EVERYTHING!  And I planted way too much yellow squash and zucchini and not enough hot peppers for my hot pepper loving honey.  I also didn't have anything for the peas and green beans to climb up.  Let's face it, it was just a mess... a delicious mess, but a mess nonetheless.   

This year I'm trying to be very conscious of not repeating my mistake so as not to waste good produce.  My wonderful husband suggested I start drawing out my plans to help us both stay on task and in budget.  I liked that idea a lot so...

Here's my plan:

I know... lots of peppers... David eats them like their going out of style and we kept running out last summer, so this summer I need to be prepared!

xox -A

Sunday, April 17, 2011


In March, David had his ACL replaced.  It's been a long month.  You've never seen frustration until you've seen my husband forced to sit still with his leg in the air for days on end.  We've watched so many episodes of NCIS and Bones and Glee that now when we turn on the TV to watch... they all seem to be repeats.

Also, David has started asking me to do things for him by saying (for example), "Should we let the dog in?"  When in reality he's saying, "The dog is barking.  Will you let him in so he stops please?"  "Should we" has become his way of feeling like he's participating.

Surprisingly, it doesn't actually bother me.  It makes me laugh.  You see, usually David is more than helpful around the house, and I honestly don't know what I'd do without him.  However, I must admit, the "should we" better stop the minute he can walk again.  It's only endearing because he's got his leg in a sling!

Thankfully, he's making serious progress, and is even able to bend his leg to about a 100 degree angle- he needs to be at 180 to be fully mobile.  It's pretty awesome progress!  He'll be back to running circles around me before ya know it,  but until then, I feel for you babe!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

It is beautiful in Boise these days.  Spring is officially here and the sun doesn't stop shining.  I love it!  As usual, we have a fairly large to-do list:
  1. Finish the fence. (this means add copper piping where lattice used to be, stain it, and fill the hole on the far side of the house so the dog can't get out.) 
  2. Finish the raised stone flower beds in the front of the house. (this entails sealing the wall of the house from potential water damage and filling the beds with soil and ready them for mom to plant. 
  3. Prepping the vegetable garden (tilling the soil and adding the goat manure).  
  4. Fixing the Sprinkler System and Seeding/sodding the lawn (pray that it grows this year). 
  5. Cutting down the Black Walnut tree behind the shed.
  6. Power washing the house (inside and out!) 
  7. Organizing the shed.
  8. Cleaning and organizing the car port/garage 
  9. Prepping the flower pots for mom.
  10. Hauling all of our old unused stuff to trash or St. Vincent's 

Here is what the house looks like now:

I'm sure there are many more things on the list, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.  We're hoping to have them all finished before Mamapalooza 2011 commences on May 3rd so we can get the veggies and flowers planted with my mom here.  Wish us luck!

xox -A

Friday, April 15, 2011

Saturday Market

One of the first things that made me fall in love with Boise other than the beautiful landscape and moderate weather was the Saturday Market.  Local produce, artisans and performers in the middle of the thriving downtown.  It's awesome.

I think every great city has to have a great public market, and this one is really special.  It's growing bigger and bigger every year.   I think almost everyone I spoke with who visited Boise for our wedding last summer, commented on how much they enjoyed it.  And, everyone I know has a great memory of the Saturday Market.  David and I even spent our first date wandering through the Saturday Market.

The Saturday Market runs from mid-April through mid-December.  Tomorrow is the first one of 2011, and I am so excited to go!  I especially love the first few Saturdays- particularly if the weather is nice because you run into so many people you know and everything feels shiny and fresh.

David and I usually park our bikes at the North entrance and get a cup of tea or coffee and start to wander.  Then on our circle back to our bikes is when we start to make our purchases.  I've got a nice little basket on my bike, so we stow everything in there and then bike home.  It's a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

xox -A

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Sensational Rocket Ride

I've wanted to start blogging for a while now, but I haven't quite figured out how to start without having a baby or doing something particularly special or political or... you get the point.  I just want to write and see where this thing goes from here, so that's what I'm going to do and this blog is going to be a bit of everything.

I've been researching how other bloggers have begun their blogs, and most of them state what the blog is going to be about.  Check.  I also felt the need to give my first blog post a fancy, eye-catching yet meaningful title... only to have my eye caught by a poster hanging in my living room.

I felt that this title particularly captured the essence of what my life is all about.

I grew up in the Heartland in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin called Lodi.  It's a blink and you miss it kind of town that will always have a special place in my heart.  I've been nomad from an early age however- I had a hard time feeling like I really fit in anywhere, except when I was exploring the new and the different.  Even as a child my parents had a difficult time keeping me in one place for very long.  I've lived all over -from New York and Boston to LA and a few places in-between, and yet somehow I ended up in Boise, ID in October 2004 to visit friends, with no intention to stay... and here I am.  Is this my forever place?  I'm not sure, but it definitely suits me for now.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which if you aren't aware is an Irritable Bowel Disease. It's even less sexy than it sounds, and it has definitely altered my life in more ways than I could possibly imagine.  My pride and modesty were out the window first thing.  May you never go though the horrors of UC or Crohn's.  I pray everyday that someone finds a cure and I can go back to living my life without always knowing exactly where the nearest bathroom is at all times.  Sometimes I feel like this resembles my life:

Last summer I was luckily enough to marry my best friend - a wonderful, handsome, intelligent and patient guy named David.  We live in a sweet little house at the base of the Boise foothills with our more than quirky dog Linus.  We love hiking and biking and skiing, and we have it all within minutes from our home.  It's awesome.  Most Idahoans don't want outsiders to find out how great it is here, but David and I are both outsiders, and we think it'd be great to get some new blood in town.

David is a software engineer, and about to begin a hugely successful career at Hewlett Packard.  He is so brilliant!  I am really proud of him.  I'm now working in Public Relations with Tracy Consulting and I really love it.  Especially after my strange and mostly uncomfortable turn in Politics.

Speaking of politics, even thinking about politics makes my stomach turn at this point.  From it, I learned was that the Republicans and the Democrats are both completely full of $h!t.  No one is getting anything done in government and they are spending our hard earned money doing it.  Republicans want to push their "moral agenda" and control your bedroom/body and Democrats want to control your pocketbook and everyone in office is a little bit crooked because they all want to stay in office for as long as possible so they can keep the lifetime pensions which half of them are trying to take away from all the other public employees and the other have are trying to tax us more.  It's lose-lose for the people they represent.  It's all about greed and power... on the hard earned backs of the American people.

I could go on, but instead I'll climb down off my soap box...  especially because many of you reading this may not agree, and I don't want to offend.  Sorry   :)

Anyway- now that I'm out of that part of my life, I feel like I'm finally getting my groove back.  We've re-arranged a few things in the house and I've finally gotten a chance to organize my office/project room.  I've now got the space to work on my projects, so I'm hoping to be finishing lots of them in the weeks to come.  It's all good.

There's lots of things happening in our lives this year so I hope you stay tuned!

xox -A