Sunday, November 29, 2009


this has been the week of mistaken purchases. first, i bought chicken, thinking i was getting an awesome deal on a bunch of poultry i could freeze for future use. however, the good price was because it required minor surgery to remove the skin and bones. my price savvy euphoria faded quickly as i set up a butcher shop in our kitchen. i guess the experience made me realize how convenient those boneless, skinless, individually-wrapped chicken cutlets really are. now i know.

i also bought some wine in a rush (same shopping trip--it was a flop). i came home to relax after a tough week and savor my wine... bleh! i didn't check the label and ended up with a type of wine that is super sweet and so not my style. i scoured the internet in search of some way to redeem my mistake. and this is what we treated ourselves to tonight:

mmm, delicious roasted pears, braised in butter, honey, and sweet wine. 

we saw julie and julia this weekend, so perhaps that influenced by creation (and my reckless use of butter!). regardless of the inspiration, i am glad that the wine didn't go to waste.

hiking on zicam

brandon and i have both been fighting off colds, but the sore throat stage took over yesterday and this morning we woke up feeling awful. we thought maybe a bit of fresh, 20 degree air would do the trick so we went out for a hike. it is that challenging time of year where there is too much snow on the ground to mountain bike but not enough to ski. so we settled on a hike in a new location.

we had a nice hike, but kept it short because we were both worn out quickly. harvey was appalled that we got back in the car so soon, but we don't have his limitless energy.

on the drive out, we spotted these fellas. at first i thought, "that is a huge horse." then i noticed horns and didn't know what to think. it took a couple of seconds before moose finally registered. they were really dark and furry, all ready for winter, i suppose.

we had a great thanksgiving with candace, kim, richard, and adorable miss scarlett. scarlett wasn't too trusting of brandon and would stop dancing or singing if he was looking her way. they are teaching her early that boys are trouble! it was nice to be with people from oregon when home feels so far away.

Monday, November 23, 2009


i started my training at the veterans hospital today. i am going to be working as a social worker in the mental health unit. for the next two days i am just training (which thus far equates to filling out 50 pages of forms and taking online modules about computer security and diversity).

for a rural area, the hospital does a lot and actually serves a lot of people in "VISN region 19". we learned a lot about the (negative) history of the VA and how the whole system changed for the better in 1996.

everyone in my social work program is required to do a field practicum placement, 16 hours per week, usually unpaid. i landed this sweet gig for my internship and i am getting paid! wohoo!

my one fear? that my vocabulary is going to be taken over by acronyms (see title).

the front is the original building--with an floor added on and a labyrinth of new wings extending out. still a cool building to look at though!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

practicing the holiday

last week was brutal (see post below), but i realized that i have to shake off the badness and see the good. after all, thanksgiving is just around the corner. shouldn't i get into the practice of being grateful before the turkey is on the table?

1) thanks to my mom for helping us with our car towing fee. you are the best!

2) thanks to my friend sadie for baking brandon and i a gluten-free peanut butter pie. delish and totally out of the blue. brandon even said, "now, why did she bake us a pie?" just because she is awesome!

3) thanks to the shirleys for inviting us to be part of their family for thanksgiving. this will be the first thanksgiving holiday we won't be with our clan, so thinking about just the two of us was strange. now we get to see that beautiful scarlett girl and spend the day with wonderful people.

4) i only have one weekend of class left! a lot of assignments and projects, but still, only two more days of sitting in the classroom.

5) i start at the VA hospital on monday, an opportunity i am so excited for. i know it is going to change and challenge me.

6) we are being better dog owners and harvey is, in turn, being a better dog.

this list is mostly for me, a way to chronicle the blessings in my life and remind me that there is a lot of good around me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

my regular view

too bad this isn't a photo of harvey, but pretty dang close!

Friday, November 13, 2009

i'm not even superstitious

what a week this has been...

1) my flight back from oregon was delayed by nearly four hours. i missed my connecting flight to denver, my bags didn't make it on the plane i was switched to, and i got an earful about how teen mothers are turning this country into a socialist nation by my neighbor on the plane. oh yeah, and the shuttle company i coordinated two months prior to drive me from DIA to home had no record of my confirmation number or name. a miserable travel day to say the least.

2) i spent this afternoon writing a paper. through a strange and convoluted chain of events the way i saved the paper was as a temporary internet file. i spent hours trying to find the finished copy and eventually called campus IT, only to be told that this was one of the ways to royal mess up on a PC and that there was no way to recover my paper. so i rewrote it. all six pages.

3) we went to a geology party tonight. when we arrived there was 8" of snow on the ground and i had to ride in the back (again, through a convoluted chain of events), so when we arrived i didn't get out on the passenger side in order to notice that we parked in front of an unplowed driveway. two hours later when we went to our car to drive home, our car wasn't there. a couple of people from the party said they saw a police officer out their earlier and a tow truck just took it away 10 minutes before. so we walked 15 blocks home with the crock pot of soup we took to the party, in 8" of snow. and we can't get the car until 9 tomorrow morning, at the earliest.

4) we got home from our unanticipated walk to find that harvey had jumped up onto the kitchen counter, retrieved a full loaf of my gluten-free bread and ate half of it on the living room floor.

i am not even superstitious, but i really hate friday the 13th.