Monday, July 30, 2012

It's All Gone

Ok, that might be a wee bit of an exaggeration, but a lot of it is gone.

Ten, maybe eleven, inches is gone from my life, hopefully to bring joy to someone else.

...met the scissors...

...and became this.
It was actually very hard for me to sit and get my hair cut with those three bundles of hair sitting on the counter in front of me, just mocking my trichous inductus vomitus.

The decision to cut my hair off was not made lightly.  I am actually very vain about my hair, despite the fact that I don't do anything with it.  I love it long and healthy.  But it was getting too hot and, frankly, it was pissing me off.  I was getting hair cramps from putting it up and it was too heavy to stay on top of my head at bedtime, so I'd wake up with it wrapped around my neck. 

I wasn't sure I'd be able to go through with such a drastic change, but I knew if I chickened out, I'd regret it, so I took a deep breath and willed myself into the chair.

I haven't decided if I love it yet, but it is only hair and it will grow back.

In the meantime, I hope some sick kid gets some use out of what used to be my hair.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Starting A New Life

RCC and I have been married three years now and I always thought that getting married would be like starting a new life, but it was more like enhancing my old one.  We got married, and he moved into the place the kids and I have been living in for forever.  He had to integrate into our lives, but it wasn't much change for us - it was much bigger for him.  He moved into an already established household with three kids which was far from easy for him.  The kids and I were pretty much set in our ways.

But now, the kids are out of the house and RCC and I are moving into our first "new" place together.  Now it feels like starting a new life.  Yes, we're moving into the apartment that he lived in when we first met, but the only history that apartment has is us.  You see, he moved into it a few weeks after we met online, but before we met in person.  The only woman who has been in his apartment is me, so the memories we have of it are of the beginning of our relationship, which are great memories.

We're moving out of the town I've lived in pretty much my whole life, but not so far out of town that it's a foreign land.  In fact, I'll be commuting in to work every day.  The kids won't be close, which is both a blessing and a curse.  They're their own people and need to live their own lives without me breathing down their backs, but I actually like my kids most of the time and will miss having them just a few minutes away.  I'll have to be better about advance planning to get together with them, since Ashinator's the only one with a car right now.

I've never lived with just my husband, not even when I was married the first time.  The kids' dad and I always had roommates until the kids were born, and for a long time after that, too.  I have no idea what it's going to be like to live with just one other person in a small town.  I do love the idea of not having to get dressed to run to the bathroom or the freedom of wandering around the apartment nekkid if I want.  I love knowing that there's any mess in the place, it belongs to one of two people.  I really love the thought that if I put Coke in the fridge it will still be there when I come home from work.

I'm going to miss some things, too.  Right now, if we don't feel like cooking, we hop in the car and run five minutes to Taco Bell or McDonald's or wherever we want.  Once we're out at our new place, it'll be a thirty minute drive to go *anywhere*.  We'll be cooking at home a whole lot more, which will be healthier for us both, but we'll also have to remember to make grocery lists and plan ahead.  There's a small market across the street from our new apartment, but the prices are high. 

For the past year, we've been having our milk delivered (totally expensive, but awesome and tasty), but we won't be able to do that at our new place, not because they don't deliver in our new town, but because they won't allow their delivery drivers to go up or down stairs for delivery due to safety concerns.  I get that, especially in the winter, but I'm mourning losing the excellent milk we were getting.

I guess it turns out I'm more of a city girl than I ever thought possible.  All of the conveniences have spoiled me.  RCC and I have a plan for avoiding running out of essentials; we're signing up for Thrive foods, which is a company that specializes in freeze-dried foods.  Most people think MREs when they hear freeze-dried.  So did I, until I tried Thrive.  From Thrive, you can buy individual ingredients, so we'll stock up on the things we routinely forget to buy, don't use all of, or run out of, like celery.  I hate buying *a* stalk of celery and only using part of it.  Or onions - we never use the whole thing.  With the freeze-dried foods, you use only what you need and leave the rest on the shelf.  What you don't use is shelf-stable for 1-2 years.  (<--I didn't mean to sound like a commercial, but I'm really excited to start using this stuff.)

I suspect that once we get the hang of pre-planning our groceries, we'll end up with better stocked shelves than we did living in town. 

Or we'll starve, which is a possibility, too.

Overall, I'm more excited and nervous about this "new life" than I was about getting married three years ago.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Digger Says

"Hey Mom, you know what goes good with white people?"

*blink, blink*


Little shit.  I'd kill him, but he's right. :(

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Margarita Madness 2012 - Part II

For Part I, the recipe for the Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos of Happiness, click here.

Watermelon Marg,
I'd never had one before
I was too busy indulging in Double Tap's amazing watermelon margs to take too many pictures, so I shamelessly stole a couple from Facebook.

Our hosts, Double Tap and Mrs. Double Tap

What is it about men that they will never get past the
"I've just found my wedding veg and must play with it" stage?

RCC gets the quote of the night.  After a while, a couple of the guys started jumping on the trampoline with the kids.  RCC, in his perfect one-liner delivery, says, "It's like a porno I saw once...lotta dudes on one tramp."

The company was good, the food was good, and you know the margs were good.  But, alas, the sun went down and we had to head home.
Lights out.

Margarita Madness 2012 - Part I

Every year my friend Double Tap and his wife throw a party in honor of National Tequila Day (July 24).  Since partying on a Tuesday night isn't a whole lot of fun - and wouldn't be responsible of a bunch of grown-ups - well, unless it's for a Jimmy Buffet concert and you take the next day off of work - they threw it on a Saturday night.

Anytequilatalking, though Double Tap has invited RCC and I for the past couple of years, we haven't been able to make it until this year.  I decided to attempt to duplicate an appetizer I tried in Salida last week to take along with us, so Part I of this post will be the recipe.

Bacon-wrapped Jalapenos of Happiness

I bought 20 good size jalapenos, cut the stem end off and used a plastic knife to remove the seeds.  I then rinsed them with cold water and stood them on end to drain.  Oh...and since I'm a contact wearer, I wore gloves for the whole process.  Jalapeno juice is no bueno for the eye balls.

I was going to buy soft cream cheese, put it into a cake decorating bag and pipe the cream cheese into the peppers, but RCC had a better idea.  He told me to buy the blocks of cream cheese and cut it into chunks I could just slide down into the peppers.  He's a pretty brilliant man, I tell you.

Taking the seeds out and stuffing the peppers with cream cheese was the easy part - wrapping them with bacon was kind of tricky.  I flopped one end of the bacon over the open end of the pepper and then wrapped the rest of the bacon around the pepper, making sure to "catch" the loose end of the bacon.  It took me about ten peppers to really get the hang of it, but once I did the last ten took no time at all.

I put them in the oven at 350 for about half an hour, turned them and stuck them back in for about ten minutes.  At this point, I was getting fairly impatient because the bacon was cooked through, but they didn't look pretty.  RCC saved the day again - he had me turn on the broiler and crisp them up that way.  It only took three minutes or so under the broiler on each side to make them perfect.  In addition to crisping up the bacon, the broilder roasted the exposed parts of the jalapeno.

I wasn't fast enough with the camera - as soon as the lid was taken off the pan, hands were reaching in to grab them.

The restaurant served theirs with a pineapple sauce of sorts that was pretty good, but since most of our kitchen is packed up, I didn't attempt the pineapple sauce. Instead, we used a jar of Apple Garlic Garli Glaze from Garlic Festival Foods.  The combination of the stuffed jalapenos and the spicy apple glaze was divine.

I guess they were a hit -
this is all that was left, a puddle of bacon grease in a pan.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank you Travis

You should all go read this.

He's a good man.  If you're not already following him, maybe you should.

In Preparation for Our Move

While, we've been packing a bit here and there, it's time to get serious about getting stuff hauled off to Goodwill and the dump.  One of the ways we're preparing for the move is to not bring anything new into the house, including groceries that might have to be moved with us.  Let's take a tour through our kitchen, shall we?

Cupboards, bare except for:
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • A jar of instant coffee
  • Chocolate Malt 'O Meal
  • 2 packages of Kool-Aid
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Ka-bob skewers
  • Bendy straws
  • Ten packages of frozen roasted Anaheim peppers
  • One sausage/egg breakfast hot pocket
  • Half a bag of frozen peas
  • Full bag of frozen corn
  • One bag of frozen jalapenos/serranos
  • Five dozen Partylite candles
  • Beer
  • Hard cider (Strongbow, YUMMM)
  • Gallon 1% milk
  • Half gallon whole milk
  • Half a jar of garlic/apple spread
  • Half a jar of garlic salsa
  • A bag of shredded cheese
  • Eight million little packs of cream cheese
  • Four slices of American cheese
  • Two cokes One coke (I'm having one for breakfast)
  • Random condiments
I say we've got a pretty good start on not having to move any groceries to the new place, wouldn't you?  Wait...I forgot Beel and the Bionic Cowboy took pity on Digger and sent home some breakfast left-overs for him, so we have to add: Papa's Papas (potatoes), three slices of various egg dishes, two slices of french toast, and apple dumplings.

Pretty much the only stuff getting moved from this kitchen to the new one will be the frozen chilis.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We're Moving

I can't believe it.

I hate moving.  So much so that I haven't done it in something like 13 years.  I always swore that the next time I moved would be the last time.  This move is not going to be the last one, probably the second-to-last.

With the kids out of the house (well, mostly, but that's a whole other story), it doesn't make sense to continue to live in the dump we've been in.  Not when we can move back into the very nice apartment RCC had when we first met for about half of what we're paying now.  We'll save enough money that we can actually, you know, save money for property.  We can travel and buy stuff.  It's gonna kind of be like winning the Lotto.

When the kids were little, we moved every year when our lease was up until we moved into this house.  I used to be able to pack up and move in about 48 hours, just because there wasn't a whole lot of stuff to move.

Thirteen years in the same place?  A whole shit ton of stuff.  And it all has to be packed.  And down-sized to fit into our much smaller apartment.  What have I gotten myself into?

RCC and I worked on packing the kitchen a couple of weeks ago and will finish it up this weekend, leaving out only the pots and pans we must have to live for the next two weeks.  I'm going to dive into cleaning out the closets, bathroom and spare bedroom. 

Digger and All-American have to get their asses in gear to get the basement packed up, because they don't get to stay once RCC and I move out - they're going to have to grow up and find an apartment of their own.  Again, a whole other story.

I can hardly breathe with plastic tubs stacked everywhere and boxes underfoot.  But I'll get through and will be so happy to be in our new place, that I won't even mind the increased commute.  To be fair, though, my commute would increase no matter where we moved, as currently we only live 1.5 miles from work.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home Again

I love working at Horse Master.  Love it, love it, love it.  Really.  I always learn so much and have such a great time, but it's nice to come home.

However, my coming home plans didn't go exactly as planned.  The night before I was to come home, it was my turn to drive to the wrap party, so I hopped in Ripley and turned the key.  She cranked and cranked, but wouldn't turn over.  I tried a couple of times before I gave up and someone else drove to the wrap party.  When we got back, I gave her another try.  Even tried jumping her (which was absolutely not the problem) so that when I called Kia support I could honestly tell them that it wasn't the battery.

I called Kia, assured them that it was not the battery (see?  I knew they'd ask), and set up a tow for the next morning.  Thank God towing is included in our warranty, because I can't even imagine what the bill was for a tow from Salida to Colorado Springs (112 miles).  I was also supposed to drop Steve and Jackie (cameraman and key grip) off at the airport on my way home.  Well, that wasn't going to happen.  Luckily, one of my housemates for the week lives in Parker, near Denver, so she volunteered to drive them out to DIA. (Thanks, Susie!)

Ripley's first ambulance ride
The very first thing the tow truck driver did when he got to the house to pick up Ripley was check the battery.  You know, just in case I have no freaking clue what I was talking about when I said the battery was fine.  I can't really hold it against him or the people at Kia, because I bet there are a whole lot of people out there who haven't got a clue as to how their car engine works.

I sat in the tow truck and read for most of the trip to Colorado Springs - I can't tell you how thankful I was to have Eloise with me, since I finished one book and was able to immediately start another during the drive.

At the dealership, for the first time, I was not asked if it was the battery.  Whew.  I might have lost my shit at that point.  It took a couple of hours, a couple hundred pages of reading, and what seemed like a million years of the game show network, before Ripley was up and running again.  Turns out it was a disconnected hose; a very small one, about 2 to 3 inches, that connected to the cold air intake.  They replaced the hose and clamp and sent me on my way.

I had planned on being home no later than 2:00 pm on Friday, but I rolled in about 5:30 instead.  I was hot, tired and just a little cranky.

RCC fixed my mood by taking me to the movies, where it was nice and cool.  We went to see Rock of Ages.  Has anyone else seen it?  It was so much fun!  Tom Cruise is maybe not my favorite person on the planet, but he's a hell of an actor.  We had seen the previews for it a couple of weeks ago and decided to go see it simply because of the music.  Going to see it was a good choice, made even better by the fact that we'd put it off long enough to see it at the $3.00 theater.

Have I mentioned that it's good to be home?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ripley's Parade Debut

Today was the 4th of July Parade up in Allenspark.  Last year, Ripley had a front row seat to watch it, but this year, Nebalee's kids thought it would be fun to put her in the parade and blast Party Rock Anthem (the song from the commercial).  Since Ripley's rally stripe is finally complete, and we've gotten her new wheels and tires, we said, "sure, let's put Ripley in the parade!"

Fire truck

Truck pulling the band

Some damned funny looking horses

More funny looking horses

Another band

The livery's crew




Old fire truck

Fire chief's crazy truck
I kinda think Ripley liked being in the parade instead of on the side-lines like she was last year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Too Hot

to even consider composing a post.  Sorry :(

Tomorrow's the 4th of July Parade, so my mind's been occupied with how I'm going to do Estee's mane this year and what I'm going to wear.

I had to actually break down an buy another pair of jeans.  I wasn't going to buy jeans until I hit my goal weight, but only having one pair isn't working out so good anymore.  So I took my trusty Ashinator with me to find a pair of jeans.  She dragged me into Ross (a store I despise, because I hate to shop) and in ten minutes found me a pair of good butt jeans.  On the way out, she found me a shirt for the parade, too.  Not bad - that little girl of mine can shop.  New jeans and a new shirt for under $20.  Maybe I shouldn't hate Ross so much.  Or maybe I should always take my little fashion consultant with me.

Have a safe 4th of July!  I'll be back with pics and stories after the 4th.