Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And My Nose is Froze and My Ears Are Froze

It's so cold here. Well, outside anyway. I am actually warmer than when I lived in the Krayola Box, and the window had cardboard on it and the walls were just plywood with wall paper over it and there was no heat and we turned on the oven to keep warm. THAT was cold.

Here, my house is all toasty warm. It has great insulation. Our heating system is called Radiant Floor Heating, where the floors warm up so you never have to step on cold tile, the heat rises so it's much more efficient, and there are no germs or dust or allergens that get blown all around. Plus every floor is on a different thermostat, so we can keep the bedroom at seventy-five while the bathroom is a toasty eighty. It's WONDERFUL!

But outside is cold. REALLY cold. When I went running last week every time I took a breathe my lungs would freeze and my head would hurt. I just can't run in conditions like that. It is that cold.

So I looked up on a runners forum how to train in winter. Guess what I find out? People run in Alaska. ALASKA! If people can run there, I can run here. The suggestion was to wear a balaclava. Drek just happens to own one. So this morning I put it on and went running. It worked WONDERFULLY! My lungs didn't hurt, I didn't have a headache and I could make it through my run! Of course, it did create a lot of moisture, so by the time I came inside I had ice on my eyelashes and all around the air hole, but it worked!


Friday, February 19, 2010

So Put Your Mind At Ease

I'm pretty much moved in to this house. Yes, indeed. There are dishes in the cupboards, clothes in the drawers and pictures on the walls. There are still boxes, but those boxes will stay packed until we move to the place where the sun shines, and you can recycle glass, and people know what a vegetarian is and what EC-ing is and some of them are vegetarians and are also EC-ing. And the streets are paved with gold.

Ok, maybe I'm looking forward to this next move a little to much. I like it here, I do. I feel welcome, I feel happy. I just...hate the cold. I think this place just feels so temporary. I like it here, but it feels I'm just waiting for us to move again. This is a transition, not a home. I'm looking forward to being able to settle down, even if I know the next move isn't permanent either.

Even so, I like being unpacked. I'm beginning to relax. I think FINALLY having Internet may have something to do with that. Almost an entire month after moving in, I finally have Internet. Maybe soon I can get a phone, too! I'm relaxing so much that I'm starting to look around for other things to do. I think I'll have the downstairs neighbors over for dinner on Sunday! I think I'll throw another party! I think I'll start planning more trips and vacations and such! Hooray!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Until The End Of Time

Happy Valentine's day!

On Friday the Relief Society presidency came over to visit (this ward is very on top of things and very awesome) and brought me flowers!

I left them out to decorate and make the room festive, and also to make Drek jealous. When he finally noticed them he asked who they were from. "Pierre." I answered. "So the Relief Society, huh?" He said. He's too quick for me. :)

That night we made homemade pizza;
We also went on a date! We went with two other couples to a Broadway Review Show at the local University. It was a lot of fun.

On Saturday we went out to lunch. It was meh.

Sunday Drek and I both spoke in church (I told you this ward is on top of things!). It was terrifying, but we lived through it. After church it was time for the party! Anna and I planned it. I think it turned out wonderfully!


The decorations looked wonderful, the food was amazing;
(I made the rolls which didn't rise, and the French bread I made didn't turn out at ALL. Luckily Drek's mom made some and it was very delicious.)


We had cheese fondue, a chocolate fountain and chocolate peanut butter fondue. NOM!
And the games were a blast! There were three couples including us, plus Drek's mom and brother, who acted as another couple. I found a few fun games, in this one;


the girls had to pick which elbow/foot/hand/head outline belonged to their other-half. It was really funny. We played other Valentiny-games and then Drek and I headed home to do a little celebrating;


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Run

Hey, remember my goal to run a marathon this year? What have I done to train? NOTHING. Yeesh, this whole moving thing really threw off my schedule.

Thankfully, my wonderful sister called me with a delightful proposal; "Want to run a half marathon with me in June?" Yes. VERY yes.

So we are training together, even though we are in different states, and on race day we will be in the same state and run side by side. I am so excited. This is just what I needed to get my lazy self into action.

There are a few downsides, like the race starts at 5:30 in the very early morning and we have to be there by 4:30 and there are few things I hate more than getting up before the sun. Like, for instance, the cold, which I will be training the whole time, since this land is a frozen tundra in witch spring doesn't show up until late June.

But! It will be good for me. Character building and all that. And I am so excited to run the actual half-marathon. And once it's over it will be summer and I can run in the sun and then we will move to a place where the sun always shines and I can train all year in the warmth of never-ending summers. Rock on.

Today is day one. Today I ran two miles in thirty-two minutes (I haven't run since January '09). Sigh. But I will get better! I also discovered something; This city has no sidewalks. No sidewalks and no recycling. But it does have snow! Lots and lots of snow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

My Spinach Puffs!

My Brother-in-law's birthday is tomorrow. I decided to make a cake for Drek to give him tomorrow. I looked up recipes online and found an intriguing recipe for a Vegan Chocolate Cake. I decided to make it, but decided to be adventurous. I used and avocado instead of oil and added cinnamon. The batter was DELICIOUS!! I was tempted to eat the whole bowl of cake batter since there was no egg, but refrained.

I put the cake in the oven and let it bake for thirty minutes. I inserted a knife into the center and it came out all covered in moist cake insides. I tasted it. NOM!! I put it back in the oven and set the timer for ten minutes.

Apparently our oven timer only beeps once, and does not beep very loud. I walked back into the kitchen and sniffed; "What was that smell?" And then I remembered the cake. My jaw dropped and I looked at the clock: The cake had been in there for over two hours.

Sigh, it would have been so delicious and moist.

Said the Little Red Hen

I got a wheat grinder for Christmas. With the Holidays and moving and such I didn't get around to using it until this last week. It is WONDERFUL! Mei-Mei came over to help me cook and so far we've made whole wheat hamburger buns, whole wheat tortillas and whole wheat apple oat bread.
The tortillas were a special treat. I love tortillas but the whole wheat ones are expensive. Mei-Mei's roommate came over to show me how to make them. They are easy and only use three ingredients. I made smothered burritos with them, using my new homemade enchiladas sauce. I love making things from scratch. I love being able to say that I ground the wheat myself. Now I only need to figure out how to make tasty wheat bread. So far, all my attempts have been...blah.

Friday, February 05, 2010

But We're Not Trying to Find North, Are We?

If I ever catch the person who stole Karen (My GPS unit) THE DAY before I moved to a new city in a new state, I will seriously consider throwing all esteems of pacifism aside and stab that guy in the eye with a fork. Or maybe just turn him in to the police. It depends on my mood, and if there is a fork handy.

I can't find ANYTHING. I am constantly getting lost. This is no small feat in a tiny town built on a grid system. Alas, my inner compass does not point north. That is because I do not have an inner compass. With no mountains to guide me, I really have no idea which direction I am driving. I find myself saying things like "The grocery store is on the same road as the bank and is just around the corner from the post office...where was that? Do I go straight or turn?

Today I drove along a road I thought would take me to my landlord's place. It did not. It took me to the freeway. So I got on the freeway, knowing that the landlord's place was right off of the next exit. I drive five minutes on the freeway and take the next exit. I am definitely in the right place, so I turn left, then left again. CURSES! That puts me on the on ramp going back the direction I just came from. So I drive five minutes on the freeway, take the next exit, get on the freeway again, take the next again, take a left, pass the on ramp and then turn left, only to discover it's the wrong street and I should have turned right off of the exit.

Karen, I miss you so much. I hope your new owner appreciates your precise directions, your beautiful colored maps and your whimsical Australian accent.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Soon She Starts Getting Ideas and Thinking...

I have a Library card! Note to self; When moving again, send a postcard to your new address a few days before you move. That way you can a library card away, instead of waiting almost two weeks.

Alas, the library is...disappointing. One floor, not that big, and it seems they have a bigger DVD collection than book collection. A lot of the books on my "to read" list are not available at this Library. No F Scott Fitzgerald books? None? And you call yourself a library. I might have to have Mei-Mei take me to her university's library and see if I can get a card there, or borrow hers. Do you think we look enough alike?

Speaking of books, my wonderful downstairs neighbor just informed me that Dolly Parton has a program you can sign up for and she will send your child a book every month until they are five. WOW!! Not only is that an awesome program and I am thrilled by the idea, but I GET FREE BOOKS! Woot!

Also, the internets guy came today. I have interwebs! So far, working great! Hulu seems to work, which means I can FINALLY watch the LOST season premier (two days late).

Monday, February 01, 2010

You Didn't Hear About the Polar Bear?

This city has an annual tradition called Snow Fest. It's a fun day where the city has all sorts of free snow-related activities in a park. There was sledding and snowboarding and snow graffiti (spraying the snow with spray bottles filled with colored water) and a snowball throwing booth and so on. The biggest event of the day was a Polar Bear Swim, where you jump into a pool filled with water and ice, and climb out into a hot tub. It sounded awesome. As you may know, I HATE the cold, but I LOVE water. It was such a conflict. In the end, my love of water and adventure won out and I signed up. Also, Dude, my nerves are stretched to the max and I thought this would be a moral booster. Yes, I signed up to do a Polar Bear Swim.

First off, let me say, Snow Fest was a blast. I loved it. Second, when they started the Polar Bear Swim, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I thought we all went at once, you know, everyone climes into one end of the pool, swims fifty feet splashing and dunking each other and then climbs out the other side. I planned to glide underwater the whole way. But no, they take three or four people at a time, raise them into the air, then have them jump five feet down into the water one at a time so everyone can gawk at you. There was a HUGE crowd of people and a news camera and a professional camera crew. It became obvious that this was no small event about the mystical healing powers of ice water. This was a huge spectator sport about pleasing the crowd and daring your friends. There were costumes. Costumes; A bunch of teenage boys dresses up as the statue of liberty, a girl dressed in a jail outfit complete with a ball and chain, and a group of ten year old boys with super-man capes (The youngest age you could sign up was ten, and there were indeed a lot of ten year olds). The best costume was a Marvel Comics version of Wolverine. With the yellow spandex and the claws and mask and everything. He jumped off the platform in a full wolverine claws-out-yelling-belly-flop way. It was so great.

Anyway, I had planned to swim in my swimsuit (what else?) but it soon became apparent that that wouldn't work. Not only because it wasn't a costume, but for modesty reasons. All the other girls were wearing T-shirts and shorts. Also, this was my first time out in public in bathing suit after Ash was born and I was VERY self-conscious. I decided I just couldn't go up in front of the crowd and the camera in my bathing suit. I still wanted to do the swim, I just couldn't do it in a bathing suit. So I ran home to change into a summer wet suit. Summer wet suit are the thinnest wet suit and aren't designed to protect you from extreme cold, so I thought I would still get the full effect. Let me emphasise I wore the suit to protect my fat from the cameras, not to protect me from the cold.
video

It was cold. VERY cold. There was no air in my lungs, my hair was instantly frozen, and I had a headache by the time I climbed into the hot tub. It was SO GREAT! As I was climbing out of the pool, this little kid threw a snowball in the water. Thanks, kid. We appreciate you keeping the ice levels up.

I would do it again. Maybe not in front of the crowd, but I would do it again.