Wednesday, August 4, 2010

change is happening!

Not only have I just recently (and finally) moved into my new, darling house with my darling boyfriend, but I've also accepted a new job!  Wow.  The house is not yet organized, but it is slowly starting to feel like home.  As for the job(!!), it has a much more stable schedule, and I can't wait to start it!  Just knowing that I won't be going in the field anymore makes me sigh in relief.  I'm sure I'll miss my little excursions a bit, but I'll have free time (and energy) to take fun trips, rather than work trips.  Yay!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I once said I'd never go caving.

Our experience wasn't like this at all, but oh my, wouldn't this be amazing?!

I seem to be on an adventurous kick!  I like to think of myself as a risk-taking lady but lately, I've been even more so.  There used to be certain boundaries I wouldn't cross.  No longer. 

This past weekend I went climbing (normal), mini golfing (not out of the ordinary) and CAVING.  Yep, as in squeezing my claustrophobic self through tiny, tiny spaces.  As in getting stuck and mildly freaking out, and then getting unstuck.  As in climbing in dark, damp, thin crevices, ten feet above a small stream for a long way.  It was completely scary, but I felt completely tough after I made it back out.  I also felt completely bruised, but mostly tough.  And the greatest thing about it is that I didn't flip out, and I even had a good enough time to want to do it again. 

Have you ever gone caving?  What's something you've done even though you were terrified to do it?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

what the cuss.

                                                                                                                                              Have you all seen Fantastic Mr. Fox?  What a treat it was!  I have a huge spot in my heart for children's movies, but something about this one made me not very interested in seeing it.  That is until a bunch of friends that I never imagined would like it, did in fact, like it.  Wait, I mean love it.  They loved it!  And so, I rented and watched it last night with the boyfriend.  The only regret I have about the movie is that I didn't watch it earlier!  Oh my, it was so charming and clever.  I don't buy many movies, but I feel this is one I must own.  What do you all think.  Have you seen it?  Did you love it too?

Monday, June 14, 2010

it's time for an update.

Since I've last written, so many things have happened! 

I dressed as Yoshi for the 1st Annual Mario Kart Pub Crawl!  It was so much fun.  About 12 people dressed up, and we made it to 9 out of the 10 bars we planned to go to.  All characters were represented except Mario and Luigi! Funny, right? 

photo by the boyfriend

The mixer was used yesterday to make a delicious lemon cake.  The recipe I used is called "1, 2, 3, 4 cake"  and I got it out of my new cookbook "Pie in the Sky".  It's a cookbook specially designed for those that bake at high altitude.  For each recipe, it gives different proportions based on your altitude and breaks it down by sea level, 3K, 5K, 7K and 10K.  I'm at 7,200 feet, and I've tried making other recipes that are typically baked at sea level.  My cakes always come out deflated and way too dense.  But not with this new cookbook!  The cake turned out perfect.  I couldn't be happier! 

This past weekend, the boyfriend and I celebrated the big ol' one year anniversary!  We spent the day in Denver checking out the Science Museum, eating at awesome restaurants, and shopping (because Laramie is void of decent stores).  We also decided to move in together!  It's true.  And, as luck had it, the place where I had already signed a lease (the one with the split kitchen apartment) was really flexible about letting me out of the first apartment.  As more luck would have it, they told us that they also manage a few houses around town.  And as even more luck would have it, they had one house available.  And it was perfect.  And we took it!  It is red with white trim (and lovingly called the gingerbread house), has two bedrooms upstairs, one bathroom, a large kitchen with a gas stove AND a washer and dryer (my favorite part) and a huge yard.  Oh! And it has a balcony off the bedroom upstairs, and a front porch.  It really is exactly what I wanted.

photo by yours truly

I can't wait to show you all the projects I have planned for the new house.  We don't move in till August 1, which means the growing season will be nearly over so no planting this year, but next year a garden is definitely going in. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

 photo by *Cinnamon

You guys. I don't know how many of you already have a stand mixer, but up until last Wednesday, I did not.   And as I'm sure you've guessed, now I do!  This is amazing.  I've joined the club!  No, I didn't buy it.  I didn't win it either.  My mom sent me her old one, because somehow she'd acquired two kitchenaid mixers.   Gift, gladly taken! 

I used to try to make recipes that called for a stand mixer, without a stand mixer.  My thought process went something like this, "My grandmother didn't have a stand mixer, and she made all sorts of amazing goodies! So there."  Maybe my arm isn't strong enough, maybe my whip isn't fast enough, but the recipes never turn out!  Never, ever.  So I began to pass on any recipes needing a mixer (which is a ton of recipes!).  But no longer!  Now, I'll be a mixer extraordinaire.  Just you watch! :)  Any suggestions for recipes I must try?

I've been working in the field a bunch lately, and am heading out again on Monday (have I told you I'm an archaeologist?  Well, I am.) so I won't have time to use it just yet, but soon.  Very soon.  And I'll surely show pictures. 

photo by

P.S. June 5, Mario Kart Pub Crawl.  I'm going to be Yoshi.  I can't wait to show you my costume.

photo by netmen!

P.P.S. The Lost Series Finale is on tonight.  Goodbye friend.  You were a good one, and a super confusing one, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

big decisions.

I've been reconsidering most everything in my life lately.  Job, education, everything.  I feel stuck and tied down, and at the same time like all of my strings have been cut and I have nothing to lean on for support.  It's a conundrum, I tell you.  Do you ever feel like this?  How do you deal?

I have a counselor friend.  He tells me that in between the life phases of adolescence and adulthood, they've recently added "Odyssey".  Aptly named, and I think I'm right in the middle of it.  I'm wandering.  And searching.  And wandering some more.  When will I find what I'm looking for?  How will I know I've found it?  This life thing is hard.

(top two photos: unknown photo source. know the source? message me.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

the new place.

Lease terms for apartments in Laramie is a strange business.  Because it's a college town, all rental places try to secure leases for August (i.e. fall semester) by the end of May (i.e. the end of the current school year).  This means that you're out (among throngs of other rental searchers) looking for a place, putting down a deposit, and signing a lease for a place now, but you won't move in for three months.  When I lived in Arizona, you never had to fight the crowds for places.  People/complexes were always renting and there didn't seem to be any pressure when looking.  Not so much here.  Because everyone is looking, there's immense pressure to find a place, and claim it as your own.  And so, I did.

After looking at a few places that are run by the rental company I go through now, I decided to pop over to the old west hotel that is now an apartment building.  What I found were very inexpensive strange/charming apartments, in the heart of downtown, and with a laid back manager.  Awesome. 

The apartment itself is a normal one bedroom, one bathroom.  It has plenty of space, beautiful hardwood floors, and a great view overlooking the stained glass windows of the church next door.  There's only one thing that held me back from proclaiming it mine immediately, but I think i've worked out how to make it a good thing, rather than weird.  This so-called weird thing is regarding the kitchen.  It's split!  And by split, I mean, it's really split.  Half of the kitchen is in one place, and the other half, in another.  I'll fill you in on why.  Because the place is an old hotel, for my apartment they took two hotel rooms, and joined them together.  On the kitchen/living room side, what was a bathroom in the hotel room was turned into the kitchen.  When it first became a kitchen, all appliances, storage, and sink were in the little area.  In my particular apartment, when they replaced the refrigerator and stove they decided to get larger units so those pieces were moved into the living room, along with a free standing cabinet.  The sink remained in the old bathroom and they put in lots of cabinets.  Initially, I thought, "no way, going back and forth to the sink will not work for me".  So he showed me the unit directly above which still had all the appliances in the old bathroom.  It was so tiny!  I love to cook, and I wouldn't be able to get anything done in such a small space.  So I went with the split kitchen!  And now I'm planning to build a custom kitchen island to add more counter space and storage.  It'll be adorable.  Here is the floorplan, which is so far from scale, it's not funny.

Here is how I plan to layout furniture.  Keep in mind that I don't live there yet, and don't have exact dimensions, so my ideas might not actually work.  Let's just go with it.

For this to work, I'll need to build two pieces of furniture.  One is the kitchen island and one is the wooden cubby room divider.  Luckily, I stumbled onto Ana White's blog, Knock-Off Wood.  She breaks down expensive furniture pieces into plans that you or I could follow.  I can't wait to get started! 

I don't move in until August 1, but I can't stop coming up with ideas (which could be bad, considering I don't know the dimensions of ANYTHING).  Oh well.  :)

What do you think of my 2nd half of the kitchen plan?  Do you think the island will separate the room well enough?  Do you have a better idea?  And most importantly, how would you do with a split kitchen?
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