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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dreams Do Come True

There was a time, long, long ago, when I believed with all my heart I would never own a DVD player because they were too expensive. Within a year I won one at my company Christmas party. I'm still using it almost ten years later.

There was also a time in the more recent past when I dreamed of mixing up holiday cookies in a flash with a big, fancy Kitchenaid stand mixer...a red one. This year brought this once unattainable luxury into my kitchen. In a twist of fate, my parents who couldn't seem to ever find a good deal on a cool edge griddle for me, must have gotten a fantastic deal in order to present me my very own stand red. As a birthday and Christmas present for this year, it was more than I could have possibly asked for.

And then I woke up today and headed to work. My bosses who surprised me with a Bed Bath & Beyond gift certificate for my birthday...recently exchanged for one fantabulous Ninja...had another surprise up their sleeves for Christmas. Today they presented me with A BRAND NEW CAR! Just kidding. It was just as thrilling, though, when I opened the package to reveal a brand new remote for my car! I had always felt jipped by Tjelmeland when they sold me a 2004 Saturn without a remote. And although they promised to look for one, shockingly enough I haven't heard a word about it since I signed on the line. So today my bosses made it all better. All I have to do is stop in to get it programmed! Hopefuuly I can sqeeze that in before my trip to Wisconsin. What a dream!

Apparently anything is possible!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It was confirmed today that the mayor died from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest.

So sad. I didn't have the pleasure to meet this man, but a lot of the people I work with would consider him a friend. I've heard nothing but great stories over the last two days and the thing that keeps coming up is his smile. His genuineness. His friendly demeanor towards all.

So where is this line that was crossed? What hope do regular schmoes have dealing with troublesome times? It is a deeply disturbing thought for me to contemplate. I still can't quite wrap my mind around it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Newsworthy Day

Today was one of those days you will look back on for years to come and remember what you were doing when.

My day started with shoes. I put on my new pair of heels only to discover I couldn't walk without having them slip off my heels. I hastily changed shoes and stockings and headed out the door with my puppy for a little morning jaunt down the block. Peanut did not enjoy the snow in his paws or the fact that nobody in Springfield shovels his/her sidewalk. He ended up with a paw full of ice and slumped down onto the ground until mommy could work it out. When he got back up and running, he was limping.

By the time I returned home I realized I was limping. Something was wrong with my shoe. Upon further inspection I realized the heel tip was missing from my purple suede platform shoes (purchased in Germany over a decade ago, I might add). I was disheartened to say the least when I had to remove my second pair of shoes for the day and replace them with good, old sturdy black boots. And with that I was off to work.

A quick check on my cell notified me that I would be working from the front desk again today as plans to have it covered by someone else had fallen through. I hit the ground running for day two this week and before an hour had passed we were discussing the possibility of a temp. Hallelujah! She even was available to start this afternoon. Life was looking up.

In the midst of my busy morning I noticed a few members of our news staff hastily assembling and hitting the front doors as they pushed out onto the streets, broadcast equipment in tow.  Within a few more moments I knew that the mayor of Springfield was dead. And that began our day of continuous news coverage.

It is a strange thing to work in media when something quite extraordinarily newsworthy descends upon us. Like I said, it is a newsworthy day for anybody. Most people in Springfield will probably look back and remember when. But to be submersed in it, swimming around in it, and being forced to digest it is another story. I was instantly transported to September 11th, 2001, when I was working at FOX television and watched the footage over and over again all day long. And watching the people watching and listening. And not being able to escape the constant barrage of information coming at you.

I have a whole lot of thoughts about this, but as of this afternoon the police have neither confirmed or denied any specifics about this situation other than the fact that our mayor is gone. I'll be mulling it over more tonight and hopefully tomorrow we will have more answers.

Until then, I will just stop and notice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Shocker. I'm feeling behind on my blog too. C'est la vie. I guess that is the theme of the season, right?

I know I have a backlog of pictures on my camera I keep meaning to share, but I don't have an SD card reader at work and when I'm at home I don't think to put them on my laptop, transfer to my flash drive, and bring in to work--let alone find the time during the work day to get them off that flash drive and upload them here. (Christmas note: I could use one of those connector cable thingys for my camera.)

Point being, you'll have to stay tuned for those.

In the meantime, It is Holiday Party Week! Yay for company-paid-for events! I can hardly wait to open my Twelve (actually only seven) Days of Christmas present from my mom with the little gold stars on it. She told me I'd have to open it before my party. I've already enjoyed a new santa coffee mug, Reindeer Blend coffee beans from Starbucks, Reindeer Nibblers from Caribou, and a little decorative tray in the shape of a Christmas tree. (If you're counting, I'm ahead on my gift opening despite the schedule I made for myself.)

I got my holiday stuff out on Sunday and relished the pre-lit and pre-decorated tree I inherited from the radio station last year. It was so easy! (Except hauling it up the stairs.) And even with the tree already decorated for me, I still didn't get everything done on Sunday. I have Christmas boxes and riff raff all over the place. I swear I'll go home tonight and work on that. Or should I go shopping for a holiday party outfit? Hmmm....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home Again

Home Again.
Jiggitty Jig.

Although I arrived home to a 50 degree house, it is good to be home...and much warmer now.

I made good time on the road and it was fairly stress-free driving. Once home, Peanut gobbled down his late dinner as I unpacked the car. As I unpacked my bags, he headed straight for bed. I sorted my mail and watched the second half of "Rear Window."

I had a fantastically fabulous holiday weekend in Wisconsin and hopefully am prepared to face the work week. It is going to be another rough one. Is it wrong to already be looking forward to my trip home for Christmas?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Did you see the new recipe in the Lonely Girl Recipes column? Check it out. Just in time for the holidays.

Oh My Ulcer

Holiday week day two.

These two days have been jam-packed! I'm finally taking my lunch at 4:30 and am really relaxing at the oil change mart. Midtown once again turned me away this morning and I made an appointment at Lauterbach to have them look at my undercarriage for tomorrow, so I thought I'd do the drive-thru lube today. I just realized that will probably work with the craptastic weather forecast to eff up my holiday travel plans. Fantastic!

After this super-fabulousness, I'm heading to the Walsmart to pick up some bevvies for our board meeting on the Monday and Tuesday after the holiday break. I'll just have to remember to start my post-holiday, back-to-work depression early next Monday so I have time to pick up ice and bagels and make coffee and such. Man I wish we had a receptionist.


So wish me luck. I plan to head back to work and prep for the most horrible day of the week. Let's make it fantastic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Successful Stuffing

As of eight o'clock tonight it appears that we managed to successfully stuff a semi trailer full of food!

It only takes three days and hundreds of promos and live breaks on four radio stations. Not to mention the fabulous on-air personalities and other volunteers who set up camp at Schnucks all weekend.

And of course thanks to all the generous folks in Springfield who donated food and money so our neighbors will have food on their tables. I understand what it is like when you can't afford to buy food and I can't imagine the feeling of not being able to provide food for a family.

Find more information on how you can still help at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

And Go

I'm so tired. It has been a busy, busy work week. I've been running my tail off and it won't let up anytime soon.

Tomorrow I'll start my day heading to the printing company to pick up banners for our big Stuff-A-Truck food drive taking place all weekend. I have everything else prepped and ready to go. I hope.

So tomorrow I hope to get everything else on my desk done. Did I mention we have a new morning show starting next week and I need to revise a reem of packaging? Or how about those traffic deadlines and impending vacation?

The good news is that we hired a new business manager! I only wish that meant we'd be back up to a four-person office staff. Instead we'll be looking for a new receptionist to fill her old spot. And go...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy Holiday

I can't wait for a holiday vacation next week and yet I'm already feeling the holiday burn at work.

Last week we decorated our sales hall for Christmas and today they are decorating the programming side of the building. Wait! What? Put the breaks on babe! I want to enjoy Thanksgiving first!

Speaking of which, we are quickly approaching the holiday deadlines and the holiday deadline crunch that comes before a relaxing holiday weekend. It's go time baby. I can't wait to curl up on the couch with Peanut for movie night.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cooking And Clean-up

I spent the day doing little more than cooking. I woke up to a dark house. It looked like winter outside and my weather text told me to expect showers and a low of 35. I was not looking forward to crawling out of bed. I felt a little more positive about the situation after catching a friend's note on Facebook about being snowed in. Thank goodness I live in the south.

So I finally tackled biscuit and sausage gravy recipes. The biscuits were tasty, but I think the gravy needed regular milk. My soy milk made it too sweet for my liking. And speaking of too sweet, I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies that sweet talked me into spoiling my dinner.

When I got around to thinking dinner, I tied on my apron for a little experimenting. I had some leftover roasted garlic that was begging for a pasta dish. I sauteed it with chopped mushrooms and then added chicken and rosemary seasoning and tossed with thin spaghetti. It was delightfully delicious!

Between tennis matches on Wii, I took in a 48 Hours Mystery and a little SNL. Taking Peanut out one last time I really felt those 35 degree temps. Peanut was unmotivated to hurry, so I started my yard clean-up and got most of it done! Tomorrow I'll just have to rearrange the shed to make room for the grill and haul the booth back downstairs.

The cold breezes and a warm kitchen really signal a change of season.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crazy Alley Squirrels!

Heat Wave

We're having a heat wave. A tropical heat wave.

Unfortunately we already had the overnight freezing temps that killed off my tropical plant and forced all the leaves to drop from the walnut tree in my backyard. Hopefully some of this gorgeous weather will make it to the weekend so I have a chance to get the yard cleaned up and properly prepared for the changing season.

A crazy alley squirrel (I presume) tried to help me empty my flower containers. When I went home for lunch one of them had been half emptied out onto the patio. Have I ever mentioned how crazy the alley squirrels are? They are like the gangster squirrels of the neighborhood.

Anyhoo, I had pretty nice weather for the chili cook-off last weekend, but not nice enough to hold the party in the backyard. It was warm enough to be comfortable and cool enough to crave a sample cup of warm chili. I made two varieties: a four-pepper chili and a white chicken chili, and four other people brought chili to enter into the challenge. We had a supa-spicy variety, three-meat (steak included!) variety, a standard chili, and "tavern" chili.

When the tavern chili won the contest, we joked it was probably actually purchased at a tavern despite the chef's claims otherwise. It was a fun time, though, and I've almost got my house back in order. Almost. I still can't decide if I should make this an annual event or if I'll just think of something new for next year anyhow. Time will tell.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taste of Tired

We put on a fantastic little Taste of Home Cooking School show yesterday.

I began my day at the convention center at 8:30am to help the Culinary Specialist unload her van and get started unloading dishes, washing dishes, and prepping food for the big show. I prepared a french toast bake and a blue cheese orzo salad.

By lunch time, I was hungry and thirsty and already tired. The radio station treated us to lunch out and I enjoyed a Day After Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey, red skinned mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all piled on a pretzel roll. Makes me excited for a little Thanksgiving break!

I spent a little time back at the office in the afternoon before returning to the center for the show. It was a whole lot of fun and I didn't even drop anything. My only snaffu was finding out my 350 degree oven had been changed to 375 at some point and the ovens were too fancy for me to actually figure out how to change it. Someone else had to go out and adjust the oven for me. Oh, and I guess the dish did boil over and was smoking when I went to retrieve it from the oven, but that was totally not my fault!

It was a long, long day of standing and working and I was VERY tired by the time the last boxes were loaded back into the Culinary Specialist's van at about 10pm. I should have gone straight home to bed, but I opted for a little wind down time with Peanut and a movie. Needless to say, I'm so ready for a little weekend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sparkle Sparkle

So, over the weekend I cleaned out my stove. After a year and a half of added stove mess on top of the grime of a thousand years of never being cleaned before I moved in, I stopped dreaming that my stove would magically transform into a self-cleaning oven. I purchased some highly toxic oven cleaner that rhymes with Schmirnoff. Anyhoo... The stove was a grimy mess and I soaked it down and wiped it out three times.
In that process, I believe I may have dripped some greasy, grimy oven juice on my kitchen floor. I noticed it later in the evening so it had plenty of time to stain in. I grabbed my bottle of baking soda I use to clean up super-scrubby messes and attacked those spots.
The baking soda worked fabulously, but as it cleaned away the spots, it also cleaned away the grime on the floor. Yeah... imagine my horror to realize that those speckles on the floor are NOT part of the tile design. To say I threw up in my mouth a little is probably an understatement.
You have to understand that these floors have been vacuumed and mopped several times since I've lived here and they always have looked the same. It took getting up close and personal with the (as I discovered) textured tile to see all of the grimy build up in that texture.
I lived with it for about a day before tackling it with a scrub brush, bucket of cleaner, and a whole bottle of baking soda. I am so happy to say I'm going to bed with sparkly kitchen floors tonight. It still grosses me out to think of it, though.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Once again I've been disappointed spending another Halloween in this city. If I had to judge my life here by Halloween alone, I'd be moving home.
I stumbled upon a Halloween party on Friday night, but it was almost too heartbreaking to be there not in costume. Saturday while all my La Crosse facebook friends talked of dressing up and hitting up the Halloween parties, I sat home and watched 48 Hours Mystery.
Today for Halloween I went out shopping during trick or treat hours so as to feel less horrible for not handing out candy. I did a lot of party prep for next weekend and finished the evening off with a little hallowine. Sad, sad, sad. I couldn't even find a halloweenish movie to watch in my collection. I wish I could think of an appropriate costume for a chili cookoff because I'd be all over that. Will I ever be able to dress up again? Sigh. I hope everyone else had a spooktacular time this Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthday Princess Zombie

I was treated to a boat load of "birthday princess" paraphernalia at work the Friday before my birthday. By the time Saturday rolled around and it was time to decide what a zombie would wear on her birthday, I decided if I was a birthday princess zombie, I should have a dress to match.

I headed down to my costume closet and began tearing up a bridesmaid dress (sorry Jen Mac). After tearing it up as much as I could, I took it out to the back yard to shove it into a planter. I was disappointed to learn the fabric was fairly stain resistant, but I did the best I could to scuff it up.

After hastily applying my makeup and getting ready to head out the door, I wiped the blood off my hands onto my skirt. It is quite liberating to know you are free to get your dress as dirty as possible. As a matter of fact, after I arrived at the pre-zombie walk staging area, we decided my dress still was not dirty enough. We headed out back to the garage and I got assaulted with dirty hands.  The effect was nice, though.

Our zombie mom took this picture on the porch before we headed out to the park for the event.

At the park we had plenty of time to see all the other zombies arriving and my zombie boss got this picture of me as I listened to two singing birthday greetings on my voicemail.
We had a pretty good time out at the park and an even better time out on the pub crawl afterwards. I have to admit it was one of the most interesting ways I've ever spent my birthday. It would have been nice to be home in Wisconsin with my family's celebration, though. If I had known I'd be stuck in Springfield without a visitor, I promise I would have made the trip! Maybe next year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Birthday Shape Up

Well, so yeah...

No birthday visitor. Happy birthday to me. I've got some other interesting birthday plans shaping up.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a day or two of rest. After spending the last two evenings at going away parties and staying out a little too late, I'm ready for a night in. Peanut is probably all rested up from the weekend travel and looking for a little snuggle time. And let's be honest... I could use a little Peanut snuggles. I have a movie waiting for me at home that I think I will use to distract me from my crazy, messy house. There is no visitor coming, so I don't need to clean right?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm Back

I'm back in the game. Back to work. Back to work out. Back to the daily grind. Hopefully back to myself. Travel gives you a lot of time to think. I hope that I've turned a corner as far as my mental baggage goes.

Did I mention it is my birthday this week? Hopefully my annual analysis has already been taken care of for this year and I'll be able to enjoy a fantastic weekend with Blondy in Springfield. I got a birthday email from Bella Milano, so dinner night out just went back on the to-do list. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Here are some views of the rest and relaxation at the lake...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuna Rotini!

A co-worker was getting treated to Tuna Helper yesterday for dinner and I got jealous. I went right home and mixed up a tasty individual version for myself. Check it out in the Lonely Girl Recipes section at the right. I almost wish I had leftovers, but even if I did I might not share them (sorry Montana!).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Season

It was a beautiful fall day in Springfield with temperatures in the 80s! I hit up Psychic Saturday for a little reading and psychic guidance. Apparently I need to ask for help and rely on my spirit guides. Same old, same old. I may have to return for a birthday reading in a few weeks.

Then a co-worker and I participated in a little wine tasting at The Corkscrew. The German wines featured were mostly too sweet for me, but I did pick up a bottle of red to go with homemade pizza night, which was going to be last night.

I parted company with my co-worker, and went in search of fall decorations, which led me to the Apple Barn. I picked out three white pumpkins and vowed to go back each week to stock up for my fall party. As you can see from the picture, it is definitely pumpkin season at the Apple Barn! Now I just need to find some hay bales.

After a lovely walk in the park, I decided that I could go for a dinner out at Bella Milano, so I enlisted the company of my co-worker who had planted the seed in my brain earlier in the day. It was absolutely amazing! We had artichoke dip, I had a pepperloin steak with redskin mashed potatoes, and complimented with the most delicious salad and bread and red wine of course! If the waitress had been the least bit helpful or friendly, it would have been a perfect dining experience.

Today on the agenda: absolutely nothing. Except red wine and homemade pizza.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Photo Back Log

I finally got my most recent pics off the camera and onto Flickr. It has already been a few weeks since these babies were snapped.
 Grandpa reads to two of the pink ladies.
 Junior is digging the new hat.
Magoo got in on the camera action!
Junior is so cute. Comes from a long line of dorks, I think.

Last time I was up in Wisconsin, there was some serious flooding. This was taken in "the bottoms" on the La Crosse / Trempealeau county line.
The water is pretty much up to the bottom of the bridge there. I've never seen it so high. I want to say my mother told me it was cresting (on this day) about 20 feet over flood stage. Ca-razy!

It already seems like it has been so long since my last Wisconsin visit. I can't wait to get back!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

And I Did

I managed to get a lot done today in spite of a few hours in front of the tv.

I didn't cross all the usual cleaning tasks off my list, but I got a lot of them done in the process of doing other things. As I cleared away summer decorations I dusted and cleaned the window sills on the porch. I got out fall linens and had to do a little ironing. I swapped out summer sheets for winter sheets and managed to flip and rotate my mattress before changing the sheets.

In between all that I mowed the yard, cut down trees growing in my fence, planted some flowers, and ran some errands. After a day of making a mess in the house, I topped off my night with vacuuming and mopping.

And I would have been done at a reasonable hour had my mop not broken. I ended up on my hands and knees using the mop head to wash the floors by hand. It's official... I'm never mopping again!

I feel as though I deserve a reward. As the dryer buzzes me that the last load of laundry is done, my reward tonight will be to ignore it until tomorrow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lazy Day

Peanut and I had a major lazy Saturday. I slept in late, did an hour of exercise, got showered, and slipped into some comfy lounge clothes.

Peanut and I took to the porch with my coffee and a new copy of Better Homes & Gardens. Peanut snuggled down next to me on the sofa as I paged through the magazine cover to cover.

By late afternoon I found a little motivation to do some paperwork, make some to-do lists, and even cross a few items off the list.

I was craving mini herbal cheese pies, so I hit the kitchen. With leftover filling I came up with a recipe to use it as a filler for a stuffed pork chop. Now I'm anxiously awaiting the sound of the timer so I can taste it. I just love experimenting in the kitchen.

What a perfectly lazy Saturday. I swear I'll get more done tomorrow.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Berries!

Did I mention I won free Discoll's berries for a year? Yay me!

Awhile ago I saw a flyer by the Driscoll's berry display at my local grocer advertising a contest to win free berries for a year. I took one and the next time I had internet access, I signed myself up.

Just recently I came home, probably a little more than depressed, to find an envelope from Discoll's berries in my mailbox. I was thinking "great. now i'm getting junk mail from them too." The envelope sat on my counter for two days. When I opened it (along with the other mail I had been ignoring), I found 52 $5 coupons for Driscoll's berries.

Holy crap! The letter said that I was one of the winners of the Free Berries for a Year contest. I literally cannot remember the last time I won something. I definitely needed the emotional boost from my win.

Now as I sit enjoying my very first free raspberries (and walnuts), I'm so grateful. There are so many times I pass up fresh fruit because of the cost. I'm so excited to be able to buy fresh berries even if I don't have a cent to my name.

How lucky am I?

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I survived the Annual Sales Conference in Wisconsin Dells. I even got a little exercise in. When we had a break for football, I hit the River Road for a walk. It was serene.  I had a great time out on a little Wisconsin Adventure.

Tuesday I picked up my pup from the kennel. I was deeply dissatisfied with his care in my absence. Starting with the fact that he was so incredibly dirty that they felt the need to give him a bath without my permission. He has been licking a lot since then and still smells like old lady perfume, which irritates both of our allergies.  He was whimpering for a few days like he had been injured and I noticed a sore on his leg. Oddly, they did not mention that anything happened to him. Of course, they also did not give him his meds while I was gone and I don't believe he ate all his food and drank enough water because he had very dark urine when I picked him up and he was more ravenous than usual. I can't believe the people at Rysher Farms had nothing to say to me when I picked him up, considering his unusual condition. Then I arrived home to find that they had removed his collar and tags and had not put them back on. I called to have it sent to me, but they have not responded and I have not received them yet. I have stopped payment of my check for motivation. Let's hope that works. I really don't want to have to get rabies tags replaced. Ugh. What a nightmare.

Considering I'm back in Wisconsin not even a week later, I wish I had left Peanut in the loving care of his grandparents. He is thoroughly enjoying his time with them now. He had a whole day yesterday to hang out while I hit to the streets of La Crosse for the big Oktoberfest parade and festivities. Kohlrabi came down to celebrate with me and we had a pretty good time until about 9pm when we needed to put ourselves to bed. It was a long, fun-filled day. The only photo I really got was this choice one. And this pretty much sums up our 2010 Oktoberfest experience.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Annual Angst

It's time for our annual sales conference.

I'm excited to have a car full of co-workers. We have the chance to make some fantastic memories here. I'm used to doing the trek to Wisconsin alone, so I'm really looking forward to the company.

The store clerk made me cry last night when I was out shopping for a dress...because she told me the store was closing. Apparently I should not have been out in public. Tonight I will be trying on old dresses at home and probably feeling crappy about myself and I may end up wearing what I wore last year. I bought a new pair of shoes over my lunch hour to make me feel better. It helped a little.

I may end up venturing out to look for a dress again tonight, but time will tell. I was released from work about 3ish, but will have to stay until 4:30. Then I've got two groups trying to drag me to the bars. Then I have packing for me and Peanut and probably some getting the car ready crapshit. Not to mention getting up at the crack of dawn to drive Peanut to the kennel and then driving halfway to the north pole.

I can't wait to see if my usual social anxiety of the annual sales conference will break my will to live. Did I mention I was crabalicious? Supa-crabba.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Rough

I'm having a particularly rough time this week. There is a lot of horrible things coming down and I'm just trying to make it through.

I made a reservation at a kennel for Peanut during our Annual Sale Conference. Considering I have never boarded him before, I feel as though that is going to be really hard too.

Here's hoping I learn how to float.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Big Day For Peanut

After an evening out last night, Peanut and I slept in this morning. When we finally got out for some back yard time, Peanut didn't want to come back in. He parked it in the yard and wouldn't budge (except to roll around in the grass). And that is where he stayed all afternoon. He finally decided in a flurry that he would come in for suppertime. He wolfed down his food, drank all his water, and then started tossing one of his toys around. Once he hit the floor for a nap, he was out. He has been a super-pass-out Peanut all evening.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two Weekends In One

I feel as though I had two complete weekends. I had a whole weekend of fun under the Springfield sun with Sherman and then I had a whole weekend of project time (some of which under the Springfield sun).

Left to my own devices on Sunday, I decided to paint my back entryway hall. I embarked on a lengthy mission to gather supplies. I searched high and low for an extension rod for my paint roller and feel as though it is not at my current residence. In the process of scouring my basement, though, I cleaned off and organized my work bench, sorted my collection of random screws, installed a shelf in my storage room, got all the boxes off the floor, unpacked three boxes, and watched Shag on VHS. So I never did get that painting done, but got a lot of other random organization done. My evening plans fell through, so I mixed myself a sidecar and kicked up my heels. (NOTE: I am in the market for a new cocktail shaker. The old one is seriously a piece of crap and is headed out to the curb tonight.)

Monday I was even more productive. I started the day with a work out and my Kitchenaid stand mixer made me crepes for breakfast. Peanut and I enjoyed some magazine reading time on the porch and then I got motivated to mow the lawn, weed whack, edge, and trim the gigantor shrub in my front yard. Before the sun set I also got that back hall painted with the help of a vacuum tube and some duct tape. It is glorious and I can't wait to varnish and install those shelves that have been sitting in the basement for the last year.

I rounded out my extended holiday weekend grilling a steak and veggies and enjoying dinner on the patio while Peanut rolled around in the grass. After all of that I only had enough energy left to wash the mountain of dishes on the counter. And then, once again, I slept furiously.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Little Bugger

Peanut jumped up on the bed last night while I was in the other room. Apart from a few attempts at Grandma and Grandpa's, he hasn't even tried to jump up since his injury. I suppose that is a good thing, but of course I worry about the strain of hopping down. I planned to get his ramp out to try easing him down, but he wouldn't wait. I miss him when he curls up on the rug next to my bed at night, but I feel as though it is probably safer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lincoln Park

Sherman and I had a beautiful morning that began with breakfast on the porch followed by a walk in the park. How lucky am I to live so close to this pretty park and get to share it with my out of town friends?

A Visitor

After a few drinks out after work on Friday, Sherman made it to town and we headed off to see Chicago at the Hoogland. We really enjoyed the show apart from the perfume assault I suffered. We topped it off with a late night dinner at Darcy's Pint. We got an order in just in the nick of time!

With all of Saturday stretching before us, we hit the Springfield Boot Camp for a light morning work out. By the time we got ready for the day we were starved and had to check out the Charlie Parkers for a good old breakfast shoe (always a high light of having out of town guests)!

We got to the Dana Thomas House just in time for an early afternoon tour and then cruised on out to Lincoln Memorial Gardens for a walk along the lake path (pic). We managed to do a big loop without ever crashing that wedding, but we did encounter a lost wedding guest who missed the ceremony from the sounds of it.
Since we were way down south already, we cruised Route 66 to Chatham and sampled some treats from the Apple Barn before taking to the mall for some light shopping.

We closed out Saturday with a little homemade pizza 101 lesson, a candlelit dinner on the porch, and movie night in comfy clothes.

I slept furiously after all the gloriousness of the day.
Berries at the Lincoln Memorial Gardens.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

End of Summer?

While doing some shopping up north in Wisconsin, I was upset to find fall clothes and fall shoes. It occurred to me that some people were heading back to school and stocking up for FALL. I just wasn't ready for it. I didn't find any new shoes and despite my despising clearance racks, scanned them until I found something more summery.

And so I returned to Illinois with my summery scavenged goods in hand only to be faced with rain this week. RAIN. Driving through the dark and gloominess yesterday I couldn't recall the last time it rained. I am so grateful for that long stretch of good weather, but can't help but think of last fall. Remember how it started raining and didn't stop until Christmas? I'm just not ready for that!

Luckily, the forecast for the last unofficial weekend of summer looks summery. I couldn't be happier. I have a friend coming to town and I may just finally get that fire pit I've been fantasizing about for months. I have plans to prepare a homemade pizza too. It is looking to be a glorious weekend--end of summer or not.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trip And Things

I really enjoyed my Wisconsin getaway last weekend. It was great to have a whole weekend with no big plans. I met a friend for lunch, out for dinner with the family, got a hair cut, met some people out for drinks, and enjoyed the crackling of a campfire along the Mississippi. It was practically glorious.

Peanut did very well on the trip. When we arrived he got a little too excited and then must have hurt himself a little because he laid on the floor whimpering while Grandpa petted him back to good health. He's happy to be home, but already missing his favorite grandparents.

I am enjoying some new jewelery, clothes, and makeup purchased in Wisconsin. I love using "I'm on vacation" as an excuse to buy things I need. I picked up some jewelery on a super sale so I can't feel too badly about that. I appreciate a couple new pieces from the Herberger's and really, really LOVE my new blended powder makeup and lipstick from Clinique. Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Alive!

My parents wouldn't know I was still alive if I stopped blogging. So there you go. I'm still alive and kicking mom and dad. And I'll see you soon!

I had an unproductive week spending all my free time away from home. Now my house looks like I spent a week away from home. I need to clean up my act tonight. The laundry looks like it exploded in my closet. There are dirty dishes and spaghetti sauce splatter everywhere in my kitchen.  I don't even think I've vacuumed in over a week and a half. I would hate to come home to a house that looks like mine does right now. I will have to remedy that after errands tonight.

Peanut also needs some ramp practice time before we hit the road tomorrow. Oh, hey... maybe I should pack too. That would be a good idea!  I swear I'm going to whip myself back into shape tonight. I apologize for being such a slacker.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Soakin' In Springfield

I was so happy to snag a pair of tickets to see Cheap Trick and Blondie last night at the state fair. Ticket sales were down and so our track tickets got us up in the seats, which paid off as the rains swooped in. We showed up a little after the show started and saw three or four Blondie songs before they stopped the show. We hung out and found some vodka lemonade to keep us company until they finally closed down the fair. It didn't seem so bad, but as we made our way home we encountered deep puddles and apparently the flooding was widespread. Everyone I know made it home safely I believe and I'm hoping everything remains dry tonight so we can finish what we started!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rampin' Up!

Yesterday I ordered a doggy ramp to get Peanut in and out of the Vue so we can hit the road. It was wildly expensive, but as long as it works, it is going to make life on the road between Illinois and Wisconsin so much less stressful for the both of us (I hope). I am happy to say that it left the warehouse today and I will be following its progress online as it makes its way from Texas to Illinois. It is expected to be delivered next Monday.

I'm SO excited! Probably a little bit dorkily so. I hope to be able to try it out on our house steps so Peanut gets used to it before I try to coerce him to use it to get into the car.  My fingers are crossed that the plan will work out for the two of us. I'm still trying to figure out where it is going to attach to the car to work best, but I'll have plenty of time to work it out next week before hitting the road to Wisconsin.

Since missing my last trip, I'm WAY overdue. I'm looking forward to the little getaway very much so!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tropical Illinois

I spent another glorious evening at the Coors Light Entertainment Tent last night. I hope the heat and humidity hold off a little longer so I can enjoy one more night out enjoying the sweet sounds of Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters and Who's Bad (the Michael Jackson tribute band). I have also perfected being able to drink the Loko. It involves making sure you eat dinner and not drinking more than one. It sounds like a plan!

I also have my fingers crossed for a pair of tickets to see the Cheap Trick/Blondie show at the Grandstand on Friday. I think that would just be dreamy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation In Motion

I'm so glad to say that our girlie weekend plans are in motion for this fall! I've already posted the countdown on the top of my blog. After a recession girlie weekend at our local state park in 2008 and missing the get-together altogether in 2009, I am so ready for some woodsy weekend fun!

We all agreed that we'd still try to keep expenses down, so I find it humorous that the "cabin" we've chosen has a bar, pool table, card table, boat dock, and bears. It seems so luxurious (except for the bears). I can hardly wait to have my morning coffee on the deck and kick up our heels hanging at the bar playing pool. And we always manage to squeeze in some quality card playing.

I'm getting so excited just thinking about it. The hardest part will be waiting for October to roll around. I may need some moderate fun in the meantime.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Fair Fair Sofair

So the fair is underway. On Thursday I headed out to the Coors Light Entertainment tent to kick off the fair with a couple Lokos. NOTE TO SELF: two Lokos is too much for this girl. These 24-ounce malt beverage and energy drinks pack a punch! We watched the parade dawdle on by and stayed for the sunset before packing it in for the night.

Friday I had quite the adventure looking for a functioning ATM machine as a storm quickly rolled in. The state fair speaker system was advising fair goers to calmly seek shelter as the kids riding overhead in the sky ride thingy were screaming bloody murder. As the ATM was "processing" the black clouds stormed in, the temps dropped about 30 degrees, and I fought the sandy, gusting winds to make it back to the tent just in time for the laws to come in to shut us down and shoo us into the Grandstand for shelter. Moments later it was pouring rain and we waited for the storm to pass.

When they finally let us out, we took cover under the beer tent for awhile more before they opened it back up to the public and started serving beer.That is when the tent started rockin' and us radio folk headed out to finish out the night in the rain. The highlight of Friday would have to be mini corn dogs and a regular one once I finally got money from an ATM at the end of the night (right next door).

Whew. Even after staying in Saturday, I'm still tired thinking about that long, hot walk into the fair. And yet I'm still feeling drawn to go search out some pizza on a stick. It only comes around once a year, right?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool Kitchenaid

I did a little more testing of the fancy new Kitchenaid stand mixer on Sunday.  I got a little wily and decided I wanted to make bread. I picked a focaccia bread I've made before because it calls for fresh rosemary and I haven't been using my backyard container rosemary that much. That and it is topped with cheese. What is better than that? Oh... dipping it in some olive oil with salt and pepper... or topping it with fresh pesto made from my backyard container basil. Can you tell I was excited about the bread?  I did learn from my previous mistakes and stowed the loaves in the refrigerator to prolong their life (I hope!).

I also whipped up a batch of Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies. So delicious. Everything worked like a dream and the hardest part was waiting for the sugar cookies to cool. They are so fragile when they come out of the oven, you have to let them cool on the pan before moving them to a wire rack. Then, they are fair game... but they will still crumble because they are so delicate. I brought the leftovers to work on Monday afternoon and they were gone in a matter of hours. I've posted the recipe in the Lonely Girl column on the right. This is a paired down cookie recipe so it makes a smaller batch. If I have egg beaters or apple sauce in the house, I will halve the recipe one more time, because the recipe would call for 1/8C of egg (this is where you can substitute egg beaters or apple sauce). You can also whisk an egg and measure out an 1/8C, but I usually end up throwing the rest away. Also for your reference, the vanilla would measure 3/8 tsp in the smaller batch. Anyhoo, worth trying out if you like sugar cookies.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bed Time

Peanut broke free of the bathroom on Saturday. I placed objects on the couch so he can't jump up, but he has been roaming free.

He seems to be doing really well. I put the blankets he had in the bathroom out in the living room so he would have a comfy spot. It looks like it is working. After our last trip out for the night he snuggled down on them like he was ready for beddy. So cute.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sneaky Little Devil

I made popcorn tonight and since Peanut has been pretty peppy lately, I gave him a few pieces as I walked by him standing at his gate.

Apparently that just whetted his appetite for the salty snack because he broke free from the bathroom to join me in the living room. He unfortunately didn't get more popcorn, but he got a lot of quality snuggle time.

I thought I had lulled him into snoozeland, so I quietly got up and started getting ready to call it a night. From my bedroom I heard the all too familiar sound of Peanut's tags jingling as he hopped up in the sofa sweet spot.

He was so cute. I told him I was going to take a picture and then he had to shuffle off to buffalo. He is quiet now, so I presume he'll stay the night in his suite.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Peep From Peanut

This is seriously the best name for the Peanut update that I could think of. It is too hot outside. My phone says the "Comfort" temperature is 106. It makes me angry just thinking about it. I can just hear CWLP's cash register ring as the temperatures creep up, refuse to dip into cooler temps at night, and my air kicks on... and kicks on... and kicks on...

Anyhoo... the Peanut update! Peanut is down to taking a half steroid pill once daily and is still taking half a pain killer twice a day. He cries out a little occasionally when trying to move about his "kennel." He likes to wag his tail when I come home or when he gets to go outside, but he hasn't been lifting his head up to look at me. He is still panting a lot and drinking a lot of water (with a lot of outside trips).

He thoroughly enjoyed his visit from Grandpa and Grandma last weekend. He spent a lot of time standing at the gate looking for their attention and even broke free to join us in the living room for movie night. Grandpa had the job of constantly petting him to keep him from wanting to get up and move about. He did a great job! (I have to vacuum again.)

This week Peanut seems frisky. At least twice on the way back in from outside he has noticed his toy box and headed that way instead of right back to the bathroom. Both times I grabbed a toy to take back into the bathroom with him and he enjoyed it for a few moments. His buddies are keeping him company during the day.

Today for lunch, Peanut laid down outside in the front yard and it wasn't like when he was too weak to walk further. He just wanted to hang outside. It was nice to see him enjoying himself. He even rolled around in the grass. I finally convinced him it was way too hot to hang outside and he expertly scaled the ramp and headed back to the comfort of his air conditioned suite.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Christmas in July

It was so nice to get a visit from the folks this weekend. It felt like Christmas. They hooked me up with some groceries and brought me some fresh produce from Wisconsin. I used the fresh basil to whip up some pesto tonight. Then I used the pesto as seasoning on some of the summer squash. It was oh so delicious.

My dad also fixed my sticking back door, Peanut's ramp, and as a bonus, helped clean out behind my fridge and install an under cabinet light over the stove. He's super-handy to have around! Makes me miss them already.

Happy early anniversary Mom and Dad and thanks for bringing a little Christmas in July down to Springfield for me!

Fun With The Folks

My folks took off from Janesville this morning and I did a whole day's worth of cleaning before they arrived around noon.

Our first order of business was checking out the Hickory River Smokehouse. I've never been there, so we shared an Illinois adventure. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meat sandwiches. Then it was off to Menards to pick up some lightbulbs for a nightlight. I ended up with a new kitchen rug, a filter for my washing machine discharge hose, a sprinkler, and a grill brush, among other things.

Then we hit up Hobby Lobby to purchase some Christmas decorations for their 40th wedding anniversary party next weekend. I've never been happier to see Christmas out in July. See my parents actually got married in December, so their party will have a winter theme with a ruby twist in honor of their 40th year together. It is going to be fantastic and I still want to go. They are getting the best cake in La Crosse... hell, probably the best cake in Wisconsin. I want a piece of that! If only the stars would align.

We capped off our day with grilled brats, cheese curds, sweet corn, watermelon, and some pop corn and Saturday Night Live. Peanut and I had a lot of fun with the folks today!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekend Fun

I'm hoping to get some fun in this weekend. Although I've had a couple nights out of fun this week, I still feel the need for fun. I'm hoping that my pencilled in date tonight works out. This will be the third Friday in a row that I've had plans to go out with a friend and for some reason or other, the plans always fell through. Fingers crossed for fun!

Then maybe I'll have time to tackle some of my to-dos Saturday morning before my folks arrive from the cheese state. I think we'll have just enough time to grill out some Wisconsin brats (with real brat buns from Wisconsin) and maybe bake some cookies. Oh, and I've got a project list for Daddy.

Peanut is very much looking forward to the visit from the grandparents. He is off his muscle relaxer and I can tell he is much less lethargic. He is pretty mellow without drugs! He also has stepped down his dose of steroid by half, but is still taking pain killers. He is back to eating regular food on a regular schedule and having outside trips at regular times (not three times a night!). He still yelps out in pain occasionally if he moves wrong. So, I hope once the round of drugs is over that he will actually be better. Again... fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Lonely Girl Recipe!

I am always trying to make salad exciting. For lunch today I put together a tasty salad that I thought was acceptable for the recipe column on my blog. It is a mix of tomatoes, peppers, and chicken over baby spring mix and is pretty tasty if you ask me.

I did miss the cheese and tortilla, but you could add those if you're so inclined. Check out the recipe in the right column. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday? Really?

I can't believe it is only Tuesday. Maybe it is partly due to the fact that I haven't done anything fun in a really long time. I am craving the weekend because I associate fun with weekend. Of course that hasn't really been the case lately. My fun time and money have been dedicated to Peanut.

Speaking of which, he has been a great eater and I plan to go all dry dog food tomorrow morning. I just decreased his dose of prednisone (steroid) by half and he is all out of the muscle relaxers. He has been crying out off and on this evening, so I hope he is handling the change okay. The night will surely be our gauge.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fantastic Day!

Peanut slept through the night last night after gobbling down some boiled chicken and rice for dinner. I got to sleep through the night too! Add to accidents to clean up today!

Peanut has done fantastically today. He gobbled down more chicken and rice for dinner. Some cottage cheese with his meds embedded in it, and a side of dry dog food nuggets. With the strength of all those nutrients, he should start healing up in no time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

All Quiet

Despite a miner accident this morning, today was a fairly good day on the western front.

I began my day spoon-feeding Peanut soggy dog food with a little canned dog food to entice him to actually eat it. Since he has discovered that the pill pockets make him sick, he is less likely to take them, so I have to shove them down his throat. I feel like such a mean mommy. But I'm SO glad he's eating and keeping the pills down.

After eating a little last night, almost a full bowl of food this morning, and a half bowl tonight, Peanut seems to be regaining his strength. He is still pretty mellowed out, though. I tried his toe-pinching test and he seemed to react for the front legs, but not so much the one I could reach in the back. I've decided I should try before I give him his meds in the morning. After all, that is how I would want to begin my weekend...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Hard Day's Night

Peanut apparently had a hard day today, which led to a hard night for me.

Peanut was pretty shakey at lunch today when I took him outside. He hadn't eaten since breakfast yesterday, but had taken his meds. So I guess that makes a poor puppy's tummy upset.

He had an accident in the bathroom and also threw up. I had two blankets and a rug that needed washing. I had to wash the floor and his food and water bowls.

Meanwhile I set him up with a temporary bed in the entryway to the bathroom. I force fed him a little soft food and shoved the pill pockets he refused to eat down his throat.

When the bathroom was all cleaned, I cleaned up Peanut the best I could. He is acting pretty lethargic and hasn't yet got up to move back into his bathroom suite.

I started the drug we had been holding off on, so maybe we can expect a miracle recovery any time now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 2

I took a sick day today to stay home with Peanut. I started my day with a 630 am trip to Menards to buy a piece of plywood to use as a ramp. It was tricky getting it into the Vue, but I got it home and stapled some old rugs to it for Peanut's nails to grip.

He went down it (fast) but without much hesitation. Going back up is another story all together. He was still nervous on our last trip in for the night.

The toe pinch revealed he still has feeling in all four of his legs today. However his legs have been shaking. I'm not sure if that is from the drugs or weakness. He did eat breakfast today, but still hasn't touched suppertime.

Right away I knew I wouldn't be able to just hide his pills in his food, so I was thankful for pill pockets. He still loves their meaty goodness. I ran out tonight to pick up some more. Fingers crossed it keeps working. The second dose today he threw on the floor a couple times.

Peanut is less trippy today, but fairly mellow from his drugs. I spent some time on the bathroom floor petting him. It was quality bathroom time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pathetic Peanut

My poor baby. He is feeling better now that he is all drugged up. He is still crying occasionally, but it's not so bad. He is, however, also trying to stick his head through the gate keeping him in the bathroom.

I feel so bad locking him up. I was never much for kennel training. The only time Peanut was restricted was during the seizure years for his own safety and cleaning purposes. But the vet told me we have to restrict his movement.

It is possible he has a spine disease that will end up putting pressure on the spine and causing paralysis. I have to pinch his toes every day to make sure he is still feeling pain. He is going to be taking three different drugs to ease the pain and relax his muscles. Best case scenario is pretty much that he just slept on his neck funny and it is out of alignment.

They've given me a two-four week recovery window where Peanut will be residing in the bathroom... doped up. My biggest concern right now is getting him in and outside. I have been instructed to carry him or build a stairs. If anyone out there knows of a ramp store, please let me know!

Oh, and of course I'll be on pins and needles for the next month watching to make sure Peanut isn't showing signs of paralysis. Because, short of surgery, that will be the end of the line for my main man.

I'm trying to overlook the ironic circle of life that would be considering it took him losing the use of his legs in order for the vet to finally find a drug to stop the seizures when he was just a wee pup. I will say it was a lot easier carrying him outside and holding him up when he was only about 15 pounds. His current weigh-in at 80 makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

My Baby Peanut

My baby is at the vet because he woke me up crying in the middle of the night. They've determined that the pain is coming from his neck and they are going to do some x-rays. I'm waiting to hear what they discover.
Peanut with grandpa.
With a toy for Xmas.
With an empty water bowl at grandma and grandpa's.
Looking out the old front window in W.S.
When I came home from a trip to Cancun.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Main Man

Peanut loves to snuggle up TO his pet bed especially now that he is lounging on the floor more often. Now if only we could get him to lay ON his pet bed. That would be fantastic. I plan to conduct a pet bed boot camp this weekend. Just Peanut and me hanging out on the pet bed. He'll be reformed by Monday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

15-Day Week

It feels like I've already been through about ten days this week back from vacation and have another five to go tomorrow. Why is it so challenging to get back in the swing of things?  Let me tell you this... I cannot wait to sleep in this weekend. I've been looking forward to it all week.

Things are starting to come back to me at work. And with Rock The Dock over, I'm getting back to thinking about updating and organizing. I'm finishing up the theatre work. The show opens tomorrow, so I hope so! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a little girly going out time tomorrow. By next week everything will be back to normal, right?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Catfish!

Wednesday evening found me having way too much fun in Minneapolis and Thursday I recovered in Trempealeau before the big Catfish Festival descended upon us tonight.

I had a fantastic Friday at the Catfishestival after seeing my dad's play practice at the Holmen Theatre.  One more evening and one more morning before my departure from Wisconsin. I'm going to try to make the most of that time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Walk In The Park

I took advantage of the partly sunny skies today to venture out for a walk along the river. My goal was to make it to the park, but seriously thought I'd do a 30-minute walk. When I got to the park, I just had to start down the River View trail that I ventured down so many times when I had friends working at Sullivans. And once I was on the trail I figured I could make it to the parking lot with the water pump.  An hour and a half later I dragged myself back up the steps of the Hotel Sherman and collapsed onto the couch with a bottle of water.

NOTES: That water pump does not exist anymore. Why doesn't the park have water fountains? Tomorrow I will bring a bottle of water....and some bug spray. Once I worked up a good stink, I had a hard time shaking the bugs buzzing around my head. Nothing feels more glorious than a shower after an all-over, down to your panties sweat. (TMI?)

Still, I can't really complain. It was a glorious way to spend an hour and a half of my early afternoon. Next up... drinking outdoors at the Logger's game. What a perfect day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Low Key Holiday

I enjoyed a low-key holiday weekend in Wisconsin. I arrived Saturday and spent the night in. On Sunday my family gathered at my sister's house for our annual picnic (held indoors this year due to rain). My brother's family was unable to attend, but the two little girls in attendance still managed to wear me out. As the afternoon wound down into evening, I got in a much needed snooze. My parent's and I topped off the night with a few movies and popcorn.

I was a little disappointed that I was too tired and it was too rainy to attend the big Riverfest fireworks and have a few beverages under the stars along the banks of the Mississippi. I'll have to make up for it at Catfish Days next weekend. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that the Logger's game goes on as planned tomorrow. I haven't been to a game since last summer about this time, so it is LONG overdue. I can hardly wait! I'm ready for some fun vacation action.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lake Springfield Marina

At 5:30 in the morning.

This fellow Springfield blogger has great pictures of the fireworks!

Oooh! And this is amazing!


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