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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!

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