Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ahhh, home brewing…

For Christmas, Chris and I got some homebrew kits and some new supplies. What we got was enough for me to start home brewing again! I like to do the no-cooking-involved kits where you just mix up a bunch of ingredients in a big bucket and let it sit for a month. Chris does the more involved kits where you have a number of steps and need lots of equipment. Anyways, we went ahead and started putting my kits together. We started off with a kit called “John Bull Traditional English Ale.” I am a sucker for English beer, probably because I spent a semester there (with most of my time spent in the school pub during the happy hours!!!). Today Chris helped me put the beer into bottles. Another 2 weeks, and it should be ready to drink. I have never tried this kit brand before so it is kind of an experiment. We also made Ginger Ale today. It was really easy…another of my favorite put-it-in-a-bucket and voila! kits. It made eight 2 liter bottles worth. I am a little worried about the ginger ale because I made it in my bucket that I had made the beer in, and even though I had thoroughly washed out the bucket, it still smelled like beer. So my ginger ale may taste a little like beer. Oh, well! It’s all like some crazy Chemistry experiment anyways!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Krav Maga

Chris and I have started taking this work out class called Krav Maga. It is an Israeli form of self defense that is becoming popular over here in the US. Chris first read about it when I was working for the battered women’s shelter (located in a really not great part of town) and tried to convince me to take it then just so I’d know how to protect myself if I ever had to. I never made time to do it. So finally, I just called up a place that teaches it and signed us both up. We have been twice now and are having a blast! It is maybe a cross between boxing, tae bo and kick boxing. I have never thought about punching anyone, but after a little instruction, I am pretty good at punching. We always wind up partnering up in class to practice whatever new moves they have taught (the partner that you are hitting on wears some sort of padding of course) so Chris and I have gotten to (pretend) beat each other up a few times. (maybe not so good considering where I used to work!) We just laugh and have a good time with it. Chris is REALLY good at it as it turns out. I keep doing the moves all wrong. It is just so unnatural to me to punch and kick, etc, but I am picking it up. We just did our second class today, and we are both so sore already…what a good workout!! We’ll have to keep you posted on how it goes.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The three of us at the top of the trail

Sarah and Maggie

The old settlers house

Chris makes a pit stop

Chris and Maggs

Chris at the Bathtubs at Bathtub Trail

Bathtub Trail Again…

Today we went back and hiked Bathtub Trail again. I really wanted to go so we could take some pictures of us out there. I don’t know about you, but I think the whole Blog thing is much more interesting when there are pictures, and I am sorry it has been a while since I last posted some. So anyways, here we are. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any more elk. It would have been cool to see some critter of some sort so we could take a picture of it to show you, but at the same time, the critters native to this area arent’t always nice to humans, so I was ok with not seeing anything! We did get pictures of the bathtub water feature and the settlers house along with some others that turned out pretty cool. Maggie has found out that she LOVES to hike, and we had the hardest time getting her to come and sit still for the pictures. She just wanted to run and explore so badly, but we did the best we could. It was kind of warm out there today, which was nice. I hope everyone is doing well, and enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Well, tonight was fun. It is my Dad’s 53rd birthday, and we have been working on something special for him. He LOVES to cook, and loves to pick recipes from Bon Appetit magazine from time to time. We just got their latest issue in the mail, and he was drooling over a few of the recipes so I decided to make them. Here’s what we served: First of all, he is a part of a “cheese of the month” club (Christmas present from my brother), and had just gotten his latest installment. It was a goat cheese called “Dorothea Cheese.” Goat cheeses are his favorite, so we started out with that as an appetizer. Then I cooked “Thai-Curried Game Hens,” “Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Blue Cheese Risotto,” and a Caesar Salad, and for dessert, I made a “Rich Chocolate Cheesecake,” a recipe I got from my neighbor Julie. All of it was wonderful, and Dad had a great time picking out wines to go with everything. It was a fun celebration and he really enjoyed it. He had just gotten back into town from another business trip, and told us that he was feeling kind of depressed when he woke up in some random hotel room this morning on his birthday. My mom and Grandma were a big help in preparing it all, and between the three of us, we managed to get it all done in time. He was very surprised by all of it. He got some new shirts from my grandparents, a picture of my nephew Patrick in a nice frame for his office from my mom, and from us, a wine coozie traveling thing and an apron that says “Shitake Happens” as featured on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bathtub Trail

Hello again! This last week my dad was traveling in California for work. He just got back this morning, and decided he wanted to go for a hike and invited Chris and Maggs and I to go along. We did this trail called "Bathtub Trail." It is called that becuase about halfway up the trail there is a bathtub water feature that has about 3 tubs (one a white porcelain, two that are the round tin old fasioned ones) and when it isn't cold outside, water fills up all 3 of them and runs down this hill. It is really funny looking, and of course we forgot our camera, so I don't have a picture to post so you can see it. The trail goes up this huge hill, and I was hurting on the way up. I keep thinking that I am used to the altitude, but I guess I am not. I was pretty dizzy and Chris started to get a headache, but once we got to the top of the hill we surprised this HUGE herd of elk. My grandfather was with us, and he counted about 42 of them up at the top. Maggie was so good. I am always so scared that she is going to run after them (we have seen deer on my parent's property) but she stood completely still while she watched them and stayed right with us. What a good girl. There were also a really cool remains of an old settlers house on top of the hill. It was made of stones and had held up over the years amazingly well...all it needed was a roof. It was fun to walk around in it and think about what it must have been like to live there so many years ago. My grandfather said that the decendents of the settlers come out for a family reunion at the site every summer. How cool. It was a fun afternoon, and good to get out of the house and away from our computers for a while! One more thing. Chris wanted me to mention that his mom got him a really great pair of snow boots for Christmas, and since we have been out here, he has made good use of them, and they were a lifesaver today! He had warm happy feet the whole way on our hike.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Interview anyone? Does anyone want to talk to me please?

So how many resumes does a girl have to send out before she gets a call for an interview??? I have been at this (hold on...let me check my records) 8 days and have sent out 28 resumes, done some major networking and nothing yet. I guess the key number back there was 8 days. Maybe I just need to hang in there longer. I did have one semi-interview at a company that I won't name, but it's a major resort and hotel here in Colorado Springs (maybe you can figure it out from there). They insist on everyone turning in resumes to do so in person, which I did, and then they do a preliminary interview on site. I was HORRIFIED when the HR person told me how much the position paid. It is a job very similar to what I have already done, working for non-profits (organizations that have NO money) and I didn't get paid much at those places, but it was still significantly more than what I would be earning if I worked at this hotel doing the same thing. I have since heard that this place has huge turnover, which says to me maybe they don't treat their employees well (they obviously don't get paid much) so forget them. Like I said...they interview everyone who walks in the door, so that one really doesn't count. It is hard because I have no concept of time any more now that Chris and I don't have a set schedule (most of the time we have no idea what day of the week it is) so it feels like I have been doing this for longer than I really have. Oh, well. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Just checking in

Well, the last few days have been pretty boring. Not as much to report. Chris has been working hard on building his portfolio, and I have been madly searching for jobs. I have sent out lots of resumes. Since I am just getting started who knows how long it will take people to respond and start calling for interviews. I don't want to get to excited about anything with the job search becuase I don't want to jinx anything. You know? Anyways, every time we drive into town, we look at all of the cute little mountain houses and think about someday when we can buy one and be re-united with our stuff that has been sitting in storage for the last few months. I have to find a job first before that can happen. It is a good motivator. Hey, does anyone out there know anything about buying forclosure and bank owned properties? Chris and I were checking that out yesterday, and saw houses, for example, that would ordinarily go for $100K, selling for $75K. That might be a good investment. Just something to think about. Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well! And woo hoo!! The Bachelorette started last night! I am SO excited about that!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Happy Saturday!

Today we finally had a successful sledding day! We meant to take pictures, but once we got to the top of the hill, we had the digital camera with us, but discovered that we accidentally left the memory card at the computer…oops! So we owe you some pictures, and I’m sure we’ll go out again because it was so much fun, and we’ll be sure to post them. Today the snow was packed down pretty good from my family driving on it, and Chris really wanted to give it a try. He FLEW down the hill! It was awesome, and of course, Maggie went chasinng after him. She likes that better than actually riding on the sled. She thinks of it more as a race. I went down the hill a few times too, and the most eventful rides where when Chris and I both went on the sled. It was much harder to control, and a couple of times we almost slid off into the ditch (my parents have these ditches in front of their house that they eventually plan to turn into ponds I think) Anyways, it was pretty exciting and TONS of fun. We were both wet, frozen and exhausted by the time we were done. And laughing our heads off.

Rosie, our cat, is doing really great this week. She pretty much just stayed down in the basement the first week or so, and now finally she has come upstairs. She is still terrified of our 100 lb. golden restriever Sigmund. She hisses at him, and he barks back, and it scares the bejesus out of her. But she is so brave and still continues to explore. She even went outside on the porch for a little while yesterday. I think she’s going to be ok out here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tired at the end of sledding

Sarah trying to sled

Chris and Maggs


We got up this morning and it was a winter wonderland outside. It snowed all night long, and it is just gorgeous out here. My parents got a new sled for everyone to use for Christmas, so Chris and I decided to take it out there and give it a try. It was slow going...I think the snow was too powdery and not packed down enough for it to work as well, so we took turns having one of us (and sometimes Maggie too) sit on the sled, and then the other pushes. We had a blast and were so cold and exhausted by the time we quit. Maggie ran in the snow and was totally covered in it. Anyways, above are some fun pictures of our morning out in the snow.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Morning Glory Cake

Today is so nice. Amber at Patrick left to go home today, and everyone else went back to work. It was a little sad saying goodbye. Patrick gave be a nice little hug and said “Bye bye,” but now the house is quiet and it is so nice. I have been catching up on laundry, and getting organized. It’s nice to kind of get things in order again. The part that sucks is that now I have to really start looking for jobs. I hate looking for jobs! Oh well. The sooner I get on with it, the sooner Chris and I can buy a house and be reunited with our things again. Lately I keep thinking about something of ours that I want to use, and then it hits me…oh, yeah…it’s in the storage unit. We have all of the basic things we need, its just silly little stuff, like my cake decorating supplies, or Chris’s homebrew equipment, or whatever. Speaking of cake decorating equipment, I made another cake. My mom keeps talking about this one she saw at a wedding that she really liked. I made a prototype of it. It was stacked 3 levels high at the wedding. This is just a one layer model. You still get the point though. I have had to improvise with cake decorating tools, but I’ve done ok with these last 2 cakes, haven’t I? Well, I had better get going. Just wanted to say hello today.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Yesterday we were all feeling kind of sluggish after New Year's Eve. The whole meal that my dad cooked turned out to be amazing. And we blew through so much wine, you wouldn't believe it. We all had a wonderful time. Every year in Colorado Springs on New Years, there is a select group of people who climb to the top of Pike's Peak and then set off fireworks at midnight. Each year they initiate a new member into this club, and the new member has to lead the way to the top. I had totally forgotten about this tradition. The last time I saw the fireworks, I was living in Colorado Springs a few years ago, and saw the fireworks from there. They didn't look like much, since Pikes Peak is high enough up away from Colorado Springs. Watching them from Woodland Park, they were much more amazing to look at. It was so nice to just walk out onto the porch with my sweetie at midnight and watch it. It was a nice night.