Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

I had a very fun-filled long weekend.

On Friday, I took off work early with my co-worker Suzy and headed to Chicago. We went to the Cubs game. They managed to lose to the Braves in the 9th inning, but the Old Style Light still tasted good with our hotdogs!

After the game, Suzy and I hung out a little longer and then I rode the 'L' to Karin's. Saturday morning, Karin and I got up early and headed to Soldier's Field for our 10 mile race. And we finished in less than 2 hours, maybe not our best run, but we finished!

Saturday afternoon, we took naps and then grilled out and hung out at home.

Sunday Karin, Gabe, and I went to brunch and then to Lincoln Park Zoo. It was very HOT!! But fun! Saturday night we ate more brats :) and then went to Target.

Monday morning, Karin and I got up and headed to brunch again. And then back to Target where I picked up a swimsuit before heading over to my aunt Marilyn's on the 'L'. We didn't go to the pool, just spent the afternoon in her air conditioned apartment and then went out to dinner.

Again I turned in early, as Suzy was picking me up at 6, so we could be back in Waukesha early this morning.

It was a great weekend, but I am very much looking forward to being home next weekend with Chad!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Chicago


Lincoln Park Zoo
Originally uploaded by Jane M Says.
Karin, Gabe, and I headed out to Lincoln Park Zoo this afternoon. It was a warm day, but fun. Here are some pictures

Night

I just finished reading Night, by Elie Wiesel. A very quick read. I had read it a long time ago in 9th grade English, and remember liking it then, so I decided to read it again. It is a very good look into what life was like at in Concentration Camps for Jewish people during World War II. A glimpse of how their faith was shaken and mostly the strength it must have taken to endure.

I highly recommend this book if for no other reason than to be aware of this horrifying time in history as it should not be forgotten.

Fixed It

Not sure why my template went away... but anyways, welcome to the new look and feel... again!

Template...

I can't figure it out... Where, o where did my template go???

I have to investigate!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Finales

So I lied about reading right away... well not lied, so much, as I will read, but I'm blogging first :) I've maybe been ignoring my blog lately :)

But have season finale's always been such cliff-hangers? I feel like this season I was just left hanging!

Besides Will & Grace, which ended completely, Survivor and AI (reality TV doesn't count) my shows totally didn't "finalize" anything!

FIRST - The Office - Pam and Jim kissed. Chad nor I saw that coming!!! Will she leave Roy?

SECOND - Grey's Anatomy - who will she choose Chris O'Donnell or Patrick Dempsey??

THIRD - er - Luka is still trapped in that room, and Abby collapsed. How come nothing exciting happened until the last 15 minutes of the show?

FOURTH - How I Met Your Mother - What is the story with Lily and Marshall? Did they break up?

And Even The New Adventures of the Old Christine, which I watch occasionally, kind of left the question of the direction of the characters relationships hanging.

oi... UNfortunately, I have a feeling summer will fly by and I'll find out what happens...

Goodnight Nobody

I started reading Goodnight Nobody, by Jennifer Weiner, last month, but it was due (without a renew option) before I was able to get around to finishing it. So I waited a few weeks for it to go on sale in paperback, so I could finish it.

I really enjoyed it. It is very different than Jennifer Weiner's other books, but still good. It's a mystery, a murder mystery actually. Although it's not a "scary" book, just an interesting book about a suburban mother who wants to solve a murder of a fellow "mommy". I really enjoyed the book a lot and if you enjoy her other books, you will enjoy this even though it has a different feel, especially initially, but it's a pleasant difference.

Contestants

So I was sad when Elliott was voted off last week from American Idol. BUT Taylor was great tonight. I think he has the best chance. It should be close based on the performances, but I do think Taylor was much better in Round 1 and slightly better in Round 3. For the first two songs, they got to choose songs they had previously performed during the season, but the 3rd song will "be their first single" (apparently they both get recording deals?) but they both were really cruddy songs. I did not like either of them. However I think Taylor did a little better, and that is who I want to win... so go Taylor!!

So do you think it's coincidence that when I started flipping channels right after American Idol was over, I found Carrie Underwood performing at the Country Music Awards? If it was planned to pull in American Idol fans, then it worked, and I'm watching now. Shortly after she won Best Single and now the Best New Female Vocalist. And Kelly Clarkson is also performing later with Rascal Flatts. It's definitely good background TV. Background TV is something I don't have much, because with TiVo, I really only turn the TV on when I have something to watch. Else I am a radio or music person... Don't know why, maybe because (as my mom thinks) I may be slightly ADD, and can't focus on too much at one time!

Tonight before coming back to my hotel room, I stopped for dinner at Chin's. It was really good. I had a chicken and vegetable stir fry in a Sesame Sauce. Super good! Fresh vegetables and brown rice. I was very impressed. I guess we have a few in the cities, just not on the South Side... but I will have to watch for it.

Anyways... not much else... I think it's time to go read.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Spring Yard


A Ladyslipper
Originally uploaded by Jane M Says.
Here are some pictures from our yard that I took this weekend. We sure enjoy it, even though we have to take care of it! I just wish I knew more about what are flowers and what are weeds.. and then what the flowers are called too! Like is this a ladyslipper???

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Spring!

It is definitely spring! Chad and I both got home on Thursday night. He went golfing on Friday morning, so I got out our new lawnmower (Toro SuperRecycler!) and went to work on our Little House On The Prairie lawn! I had never dealt with a mower that bagged, so that takes time to stop the mower and empty the bag! But it's done. I have some sore arms, because of the way the self-propel feature of our mower works, but still it mows great. And I got to spend some time outside and learn where I have even more flowers! Like on this tree right outside my front door!

After mowing the lawn I ran some errands and met Sarah for lunch in Woodbury. I beat traffic home in the afternoon, so I stopped in and saw Lisa and Mallory for a little bit. I have not been to their house since I moved I guess, and was amazed at how close it really is! Right off Burnsville Parkway.

Last night we went out to dinner and then went shopping so Chad could have more than 2 pairs of pants that fit. I managed to sneak a cute pair in as well! I'm realizing I have to go back to dressing for spring. Which will be hard after going straight from winter to dressing for summer weather for the last 5 weeks!

I'm off for a LONG run this morning, and then go flower shopping (planting tomorrow) and we have a house warming party at Jason and Joana's tonight. It will be fun to see everyone as it's been a long time since I did much circulating at home!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. It was a good book and a quick read. It's a story written in the first person by a 15 year old boy who has some learning disabilities and some autistic characteristics and some of his adventures and perspectives... Very good. I recommend.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Seven-Layer Southwestern Salad

I made this salad last Sunday for a dinner we had at our pastor's house with the other new members of our church. It is really yummy and can be made ahead of time so it's perfect for summer barbecues and parties. The recipe is from Pampered Chef, and I made it in my large Simple Additions bowl, but I think in a 9x13 dish or other large dish it would work great too. Very yummy!

Seven-Layer Southwestern Salad

1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 medium tomates, seeded and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions with tops
1 package (16 ounces) iceberg lettuce salad mix (10 cups)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar
1 1/2 cups corn chips (optional, I used colored chips, it was very pretty!)

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream and salsa; mix well and set aside.
2. Drain and rince beans. Dice bell pepper and tomatoes; thinly slice green onions. Layer beans, bell pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and green onions in serving dish.
3. Spoon sour cream mixture over top, spreading evenly. Grate cheese over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with corn chips, if desired, and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

This salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
To make into a main dish, add 2 cups diced cooked chicken between the bell pepper and lettuce layers.

Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress

I finished reading Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, by Debra Ginsberg, on my plane ride to Orange County last week. It was good. I definitely enjoyed the first part of it more. I'm not sure if maybe I lost interest after setting it down for a few weeks. It basically was a memoir of a woman's career as a waitress and why for her waitressing was not a "between Jobs" job.

Week 5?

I'm home again! But again only for the weekend. I found out on Wednesday that they need me to fly back to California on Monday. I did negotiate next Friday off... Not working in Lakeville, but OFF! So I'm excited about that. Chad will take the day off and we are going to do something fun!

This week in CA was hectic. Not much to report. I managed to run about 3 miles while I was out there, so I will be struggling in Chicago in a few weeks. Plus I didn't drink enough water, so I am totally going to be over my lifetime goal and have to pay when I go to Weight Watchers in a little bit...

This weekend is the Race For the Cure. Thanks to all of you who donated to my mom and myself!! We have raised $445!! Which is awesome!! It's not too late to donate, so check out the link on the side of the page here...

Hopefully the rain will hold off for us! And it could warm up, because now I'm a bit used to 80 degrees and sunny!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy To Be Home

I walked from room to room last night when I got home. I didn't realize how much I missed the comforts of home. At least I was settled into one hotel room the whole time, while Chad has been in different hotels in Springfield, MO, 1 night in my hotel in CA, 2 nights in an RV in Alabama, 1 night in a tent, and 2 nights in a traveling RV... oh and a couple very short nights at home these last few weeks!

But I was so happy to see my house, my car, my bed, my desktop PC, and last but certainly not least, my TIVO!!!!! I especially didn't mind seeing that gas was ONLY $2.62 here. I'll even tolerate 50 degree weather, especially considering I have tulips and daffodils in my front yard that I didn't know I had, because this is my first spring in this house!

Yeah, for home!!! For a couple days anyways! :)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Minnesota...

Here I Come!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend at the Beach (and Mall)

Sarah was out here this weekend with me. And it was great having some good quality "girl" time!

On Friday afternoon, I picked her up at the airport and headed to Newport Beach to do some shopping (and avoid traffic back to Corona). We checked out Fashion Island and Crystal Cove. It was a lot of fun. We got some "big" stylish sunglasses and other good deals.

On Saturday, it was overcast, and I wanted to hit Ontario Mills Outlet Mall at some point, so we decided we would hold out for better weather on Sunday and hit the beach. We found more good deals. After shopping we went to American Dreamz. It was OK. I mean the parady of the characters to real life (President Bush, American Idol's Simon Cowell, and several American Idol contestants) was well done.. however the plot was not the high point... and if you're not a fan of American Idol, the parody might be subtle. After the movie, we headed to Honolulu Harry's (can you tell I like this place?) for some drinks and we also got some deep fried Sweet Potatoes (encrusted with coconut and Parmesan... YUM!) After that we went back to the room where we had a couple drinks (as seen in my previous post) and then over to Miguel's (the Mexican restaurant next door) for food and a margarita. It was a good night!

Sunday we got up early to overcast skies, but decided to head to Laguna Beach anyways. After walking around and checking out shops for about an hour, the sun came out! So we sat out on the beach for about an hour. (I got a nice sunburn) We then had lunch on a patio overlooking an ocean (and pigeons!) After lunch, we walked around shops a little more, stopped at the car for some sunscreen and then back to the beach where we found a grassy spot near the boardwalk and did some quality people (and dog) watching.

Last night we went and got some Asian cuisine before coming back and crashing after our sun filled day. Sarah flew out this morning and I headed back to work. It was a long day, but glad that I will be home in 72 hours!