Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Year of Pictures

I'm tweaking the New Year's meme off of Lynette's blog. Instead of looking back at the first sentences on my blog of each month, I'm posting my favorite pictures from each month. I had a lot of fun looking back at some of these pics, so I hope you enjoy! Happy New Year!

January:


February:


March:


April:


May:


June:


July:


August:


September:


October:


November:


December:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Me I Want a Hula Hoop er... Hoopla

Okay dokey, Lynette tagged me and I love Christmas, so here goes. 12 random things about myself that have to do with Christmas:

1) I'm currently being a bit of Grinch in my refusal to post the "rules" of this meme or follow half of them. Sorry Andrea, I just can't bring myself to do it.

2) I love, love, love the holiday season. Fall is great and then it leads into this beautiful season of lights, family, and great smells.

3) As much as I love the season, I think Christmas Day is boring as anything. Nothing is open and since we do most of our celebrating on Christmas Eve, the day pretty much holds nothing. I usually hit up a movie.

4) Poinsettias make my top 5 favorite flowers list. They're so beautiful and vibrant.

5) I get a lot more joy out of finding the perfect present for someone else than receiving the perfect present.

6) I have never believed in Santa Claus. Ever. And I do not feel deprived. My parents never outright told us there wasn't one, they just didn't make him into a big deal. Our present were opened on Christmas Eve and they were from our parents. I thought everyone my age knew Santa was just a symbol so I never thought to inform my friends he wasn't real.

7) I love Jimmy Stewart but I can't stand "It's a Wonderful Life."

8) I like traditional and ethnic Christmas songs much better than the homogenized pop Christmas songs that are all over the radio. Except for the Wham! song- "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away..."

9) The best Christmas dinner I ever had was a waffle buffet. So yummy compared to our traditional German fare of salami and sausages.

10) I insist on having a star topping my tree. If I could find a simple Angel that would be nice, but they always seem to be way overdone. Stars are nice and beautiful.

11) I once had two fish named Gold and Myrrh. I also had a stuffed fish named Frankie.

12) I wish people still gave Christmas oranges. They are the best things ever. When i have kids, they're getting oranges for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BYOL: Bring Your Own Ladder

I was reading some news articles and came across this lovely snapshot of a bench that recently appeared in New York. No one knows where it came from or how it got there. All I can say is that the people who put it there are hilarious.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Sun Will Come Out....Today?

Last week was one full of snow and cold and I was really, really looking forward to seeing the sun today. The weatherman promised mostly sunny, but all I see is cloud cover, cloud cover, and some more cloud cover. Anyone know if there's a special sun dance I can learn? Because I'm going to go a little crazy if he doesn't poke his head through those clouds today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hopefully Zac Effron is Real

Tonight a group of friends and I watched Hairspray (love, love, love that movie!). In the middle of it one of my friends decided to pipe up and give us his opinion of the show:

Friend: This is so stupid! Like this could ever happen in reality!

Me: But it's a musical, it's not supposed to be real.

Friend: I know, but I'm a realist... I like things that are real.

Ironically, the last few movies he's highly recommended are: Transformers, Next (the main character can see 2 minutes into the future), and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

But What If I Want to go Home?

Part of the reason I consider myself affiliated with the Democrat party is because of their stance on Environmental issues. In VERY general terms, I think we should stop pollution, save the animals, and prevent waste. I don't care if people think global warming isn't real or Al Gore is a crack-up, it can't hurt to stop relying on foreigners for oil and it can't hurt to use greener resources for energy. And it's just unnecessary to risk wildlife for drilling.


In my own life I try to do what I can to prevent waste; I try to recycle, keep my power bill low, turn off lights, save water, etc. But lately I've come to terms with the fact that I detest most forms of carpooling. Carpooling makes me feel stuck. If I ride with someone else, I have to go when they want to go and leave when they want to leave. If I drive, I feel bad going when I want to go and leaving when I want to leave. Yes, we may be going to the same party, but what if the party turns out to be a dud but what if they want to stay at that dud? And then I'm stuck. When I could be elsewhere, quite unstuck.

I feel like such a hypocrite thinking of myself all environmentally friendly and then spreading unnecessary CO2 into the atmosphere, but the phobia wins out every time. Raise your hand (or comment) if you have this fear or believe in one thing but do another :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Better Than Chocolate

A few months ago, I happened upon this article about lucid dreaming and thought it was such a novel idea that I decided to try it. I started keeping a dream journal and each morning I could remember more and more of what I had dreamed the previous night. I honestly haven't done most of what the article said to do, but for the last few weeks I've had the best dreams. In fact, they've been so good that I've been disappointed to wake up and find out that they weren't real life. A couple of the best dreams:

*I dreamt I had been cast in a movie Emma Thompson (one of my favorite actresses of all time) was starring in. I had a small part in the movie, but it was still an exhilarating experience. At first I couldn't remember my lines because I was so nervous, but then I started to get the hang of it. By the end of "shooting" Emma and I had become bffs.

*My friend's extremely lovable dog had just had puppies and I was the first to find them. They were so cute jumping over each other and playing. Even though not much happened in the dream, it was still one of the best dreams I've ever had. How can puppies not make you happy? In fact, I think I'll post some pictures so all of you can experience the joy...






Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

A fun Christmas meme from Lynette's blog:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Definitely wrapping paper! Gift bags are nice in a pinch, but I really like using fun wrapping paper and ribbon. Lots and lots of ribbon...

2. Real tree or artificial?
Real! I love the smell and I how beautiful they are. Fake trees just aren't the same.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually I put it up the week after Thanksgiving, but I was a bit later this year.

4. When do you take the tree down?
In years previous, I've always been away and my roommates have always been the kind of people who take it down on the 26th. I'm planning on taking it down after New Year's this year.

5. Do you like Eggnog?
Heck freaking no! Disgusting!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
A Teddy bear I got when I was about 5 that I was inseparable from for most of my childhood.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, I don't really have anywhere to put one.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad. He's impossible because he'll never tell you what he wants and if it's something you know he wants, he usually buys it for himself.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Probably my little sister. Teenage girls are not terribly difficult to shop for :)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. I have a strong aversion to e-vites and e-cards. Slightly tacky.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
When I was little, my dad used to try and buy me clothing, but he really didn't have much little girl fashion sense. He's a lot better now and wisely sticks to accessories. He gave me one of the most beautiful purses I own a couple years ago.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
I love White Christmas, A Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out!), and Miracle on 34th Street (the newer one).

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes, but I do it very rarely and only with small stocking stuffer-like gifts. Sometimes a gift is nice, but I just have no need for it.

14. What is your favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My grandma's Christmas fudge.

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear! I love, love, love the beautiful, pure look of all white lights. I really like those pearly white ones they have nowadays.

16. Favorite Christmas song?
Religious: Still, Still, Still or O Holy Night. Secular: Let it Snow.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Travel. Absolutely none of my family lives in CO.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, Dasher, and... that all I've got folks.

19. Open presents Christmas morning or evening?
All of them on Christmas Eve. I always taunted the other children at school about how I got to open all of my presents before they did. Mwahahaha!

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
People can forget all about what they're celebrating. I was talking to the Christmas tree guy who told me a story about one of his customers. The guy's Christmas tree flew out of the back of his pick-up truck and the people behind them pulled over and stuffed the tree into their trunk and just drove off. Crazy!

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love all of my ornaments, but some of them have special meaning. This year my cousin gave me a set of hand carved olive wood ornaments that she got in Jerusalem. They are so beautiful and my favorites this year!

22. Favorite thing for Christmas dinner?
We always have a big German celebration, but I don't really like most German food, so I stick to the Havarti cheese and wheat bread most Christmases. This year I'm making Candy Cane Pie, so that'll be lovely.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Gilbert Blythe... or maybe Christian Bale. Yes, either of them will do quite nicely :)

24. Who will you tag for this meme?
Anyone who wants to be tagged

Monday, December 03, 2007

Whole Lotta Notta

It's true that I'm still alive, although my blogging as of late would hint otherwise. I've been quite busy and had a dearth of writing ideas. Over the weekend I created a Peppermint Chiffon Pie that turned out fantastically and will post pictures and the receipe in a couple of days. I just need to fine tune the recipe before I post it to people on the web :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

He Can Call Me Carrots Anyday :)

I'm a bit tired today, due to the fact that I stayed up a good portion of the night reading Anne of Green Gables. The whole time I was telling me to get myself some sleep but I just couldn't help it; it's that dashing Gilbert Blythe's fault.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Duck Hunter

Every once in a while I get to missing my puppy who's living in Minnesota with the rest of my family. I thought I'd share his adorable-ness with all of you in the blogosphere. His name is Baerli and he's a 3 year old Bernese Mountain Dog.

I especially love the pic where he's holding the stuffed duck in his mouth. He loves stuffed animals and usually shreds them to pieces soon after he get them, but after obtaining this one he walked around the house for weeks with it in his mouth. My little duck hunter :)








Thursday, November 08, 2007

Yummy Key Lime Pie

I know I said I was making fall pies, but I couldn't resist trying a new recipe I found for Key Lime Pie. It was so fantastically good AND extremely easy to make, so I thought I'd post the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 graham cracker crust (store bought or your favorite recipe)
3 egg yolks
~1 tbs. lime zest
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 c. Key lime juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat egg yolks with lime zest for about 5 minutes.

Slowly add sweetened condensed milk while beating and continue beating for about 4 minutes.

Add lime juice and beat on low until incorporated.

Pour into the shell and bake for 10 minutes.

Refrigerate a couple of hours until thoroughly chilled.

Garnish with whipped cream or powdered sugar.

Soooo easy and very, very good. It's one of those pies that you really can't eat more than a small slice of at a time because the flavor is so good and intense.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

That Thief We Call Procrastination

This past weekend was a bit crazy, so I haven't really had chance to think of much to post until now. I took the GRE and did very well on the verbal and math sections. I won't know how I did on the writing part until they send me my scores in a few weeks, but I feel good about the essays I wrote. Also, the Quixotic Pragmatist had surgery last week so if you get a chance, leave her a get well soon message. In other news, the fish I gave her a while back ago was apparently a pregnant fish because it gave birth on Saturday. And then promptly died on Sunday. Yikes! But for now the little fishies are swimming happily and doing quite well.

I've been thinking a lot about the subject of procrastination lately. Most everyone I know procrastinates to at least some degree and still get things done, eventually. But what happens when it starts to interfere with your responsibilities and relationships?


It seems that there's a point of no return for many actions. You keep meaning to send a thank-you note, visit a sick friend, make amends with someone you've hurt or offended, or wish someone a happy birthday. And then the opportunity passes. The thank-you note is out of place a year later, your friend is healthy or much worse than sick, the space left between estranged friends is a wedge larger than ever, and it's closer to someone's half-birthday than their real one. I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of doing these sorts of things. It's so easy to put something off until there's not much point in doing it anymore. But how do we make sure we don't miss the important things?

I read an interesting article the other day about structured procrastination. The author argues that procrastinators rarely do nothing, but instead do many somewhat useful things to avoid doing more important things. He says that many procrastinators make the mistake of clearing their schedule so they will be able to tackle those important things. Instead, they should be packing their to-do-lists with many important tasks that need to be done. The procrastinator can then "trick" herself into doing important tasks while procrastinating the one at the top of the list.

I'm not sure if it'll work, but the idea is intriguing and worth trying. Do you procrastinate? How do you deal with these tendencies?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yummy Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie

I've started to experiment w/ fall pies. My first trial: Cream Cheese - Pumpkin Pie. It's just the lighting that makes it look so pale, it was really quite orange and the crust was not blue (thank goodness!).




Next on the list: Pear Pie

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You Know You Think My Sister's Hot

Here's why my sister is the coolest. She's 15, which is usually the end of that awkward period we all go through, but she happens to be very self-assured. She's normally a very pretty girl:



But she has a special hobby of taking horrible self-portraits of herself and then sending them to all who know her with captions like: you know i'm hot, wanna piece of this, and hey baby let's get together sometime. Here's a few of my favorites:




Apparently, the other day she got a phone call from a 40 year old man asking her to stop sending him pic messages. She, of course, told him that she wasn't sending him messages. After talking for a bit, they figured out that she thought she was sending messages to her friend Chloe, but that she had really been sending them to a random guy old enough to be her father. He did mention that he thought they were entertaining, he just didn't want to be paying for them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

My teeth are chattering so much that I'm sure you all can here me wherever you may be at the moment. There is snow on the ground and it's 26 degrees outside!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stanley Reservoir

On Monday, a friend and I hiked to Stanley Reservoir from the Air Force Academy. It was a beautiful hike on a perfect day. We had originally gone up to look at leaves, but it turned out that the aspens at the top had already lost all their leaves. Still, it offered some gorgeous views and a pretty lake at the top.

One of the views midway (The building you can see is the Air Force Academy):



One of the dogs we brought along, frolicking in the water:


The dogs we brought with us trying to beat each other up:

Aren't they cute? They're the same breed as my dog in MN, so they keep me from missing him too much :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fictional Characters I Would Totally Make Out With

I found this list on Beck's blog and couldn't help stealing it even though we share a few favorites.

Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single... Oh wait, I am:

1) Mr. Darcy - If Mr. Darcy wanted to make out with you, how could you possibly say no?

2) Logan - A throwback to my Babysitter's Club years. I was always so jealous of Mary Ann with her incredibly dreamy, southern boyfriend.

3) Laurie - Oh Laurie, if I had been in Jo's shoes I wouldn't have broken your heart.

4) Don Pedro - I've always found the Prince from Much Ado About Nothing mysteriously charming. Beatrice and Benedick make one of the best literary couples of all time, but you can't help feeling a little sad when she turns down Don Pedro.

5) Wesley - Strapping farm boy, dread pirate, enormous rodent slaying skills, fabulous wit and bravery, and that beautiful blond hair. Ummm... yeah.

6) Serius Black - The bad boy with a big heart and a giant motorcycle. And lots of experience (or so I assume) :)

7) Colonel Brandon - Colonel Branden is so romantic. My favorite part in the movie is when he leans in close to Margaret after she asks what the Indies are like and he says "the air is full of spices" with his rich, melodious voice. (Alan Rickman, if you're reading this, email me and let me know if you've ever thought about moving to Colorado.)

8) Gilbert Blythe -Doesn't everyone want a Gilbert of their own?

9) Henry from The Time Traveler's Wife - He's so screwed up yet so wonderful at the same time.

10) Mr. Knightly - My all time favorite Jane Austen hero!

I tag anyone who's ever had a crush on a fictional character :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When Flies Attack...

Ack! Leave fruit on your counter for a few days and what happens? Massive swarms of nasty fruit flies! All I ever wanted was ripe fruit! Is that too much to ask? I think not. Should have put them in the cupboard. But seeing as it's much too late for that now, I've resigned myself to battle. Sure, if I just get rid of everything they want to eat, they'll probably die off eventually, but I am NOT banking on it and I'm NOT resigned to living with them for the next week or so.

My most loathed pests list goes as follows:

1) Rodent & Cockroaches. *shudder*
2) All types of flies.
3) Centipedes
4) Any bug that can jump or run faster than I can smash it.

I can hardly handle dishes in my sink or things out of order in my kitchen, let alone nasty bugs representing all things filthy. So today I embarked on an internet quest for a weapon of mass destruction. I found a site that listed many home remedies: apple cider traps, peach schnapps traps, and even a simple concoction made from milk, sugar, and pepper that would supposedly tempt them into drinking and them suffocate the little buggers. I tried them all and apparently I have smart fruit flies with self-control. They'd rather starve than be trapped! Maybe they're on a diet.

So I'm now moving on to Phase 2 of my lethal attack: Hot Shot No-Pest Strip. Apparently it releases an odorless vapor that will knock any little flying insect dead. Let's see if they can survive this. Mwahahahaha.....

Update: After launching my unsympathetic attack last night, which ended up including Windex zapping, I'm proud to say that I won a clear victory.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This Post is Brought to You by The Letter V

Per usual, I have sunk into my yearly allergy meltdown. It always happens the last week of September and it always leaves me with a massive sore throat and tons of drainage. So I stopped at my local pharmacy last night to stock up on tissues and Claritin and this is what I found:

Tissues with lotion and the scent of Vicks! Pure genius!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Candy is to Lure as GRE is to ?

The Mission - Taking the GRE
The Date - November 2nd
The Time - 1:00

I have officially signed up to take the GRE and given those test giving people a lot of money to administer pain. And as I study, I wonder, whatever happened to my vocabulary? I read. I read copious amounts of books. And not just effortless books either. I do, of course, love a good children's book, but I usually counter it with more laborious ones. Like Crime and Punishment....

This means that I have a little over a month to add sundry words to my vocabulary. I look forward to this challenge with alacrity. The gauntlet has been thrown...

Monday, September 10, 2007

I got Carried Away... by a Balloon

Brrr! It's freezing here in Co. Springs. On the radio this morning they said it was like 48 degrees. Which means it's officially the start of sweater weather, woohoo!

Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures from last week's annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was amazing to see all those giant balloons suddenly appearing in a big grassy field and then ascending into the sky. Most of them chose to fly over the lake, showing off their flying skills by skimming it. All in all, there were about 50 balloons total and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.





Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'll Take That Cadet Off Your Hands

Yikes! It's been a while since I've posted anything. I had a busy weekend though, so you can expect a few more posts in the next few days.


Saturday was an exciting first! Air Force was playing their first game of the season and I was given tickets at the last moment. I had no idea how much of a production those games are! They started by marching the cadets onto the football field and my goodness they look good in those uniforms :)




















After the field was full, the cadets rushed into the stands and parachuters were dropped off from high above.




















This was definitely my favorite part of the show. About 10 jumpers proceeded to land perfectly in the middle of the field. The last jumper of the day was dressed as the Air Force Falcon. Can you imagine parachuting in a giant bird suit?!





















Then some jets flew by above and the game was started. They pretty much rolled over South Carolina, but South Carolina's not really known for their football program. Another great Air Force tradition: making cadets do push-ups after each touch down!


Friday, August 24, 2007

R.I.P.


Dear Worn Out Blue Jeans,

I'm so sorry that it's come to this. You know I've tried to keep you with me as long as possible. How could I not when you've been so generous to me. Hugging in all the right places and giving a little in others. And I won't even try to describe how soft you've become.

You were there during those awfully long chemistry labs, when I finally finished with school, when I decided to move to Colorado, and when I met all my new friends. You've had a long beautiful life and given 100% of yourself.

But you can be patched no more. I must carry on and find another favorite pair of jeans to replace you. And though I'm sure I'll grow to love them as much as I've loved you, there will always be a special place for you in my heart.

Love Always,

JenKneeBee