Thursday, February 17, 2011

Car shopping

Some of you know this; some don't. I was in a pretty nasty car wreck last Friday afternoon. Totally my fault and at this point, I still don't know if I blacked out or not. Pretty scary stuff. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the other person's car wasn't too bad. The cops were really nice and I'm thankful all went pretty smoothly. I hear back today whether or not they are totaling my car or if I have to fix it.

That's where the funny part comes. My last payment, paid off two years early (thank you frugal bug in me), was this past month. My dad and mom own the car and I paid the bank for all my payments. So the title came in the mail the same day I got in the wreck, and my dad was at the courthouse getting the paperwork signed to sign it over to my name right when I called him. Such luck, right?! I was hoping to make it through at least the wedding (no car payments sure add up in extra wedding funds) to purchase another car, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case. And dang it, I really don't want to pay to have it fixed; it's not worth anything at this point after it's all fixed with over 100,000 miles.

So I'm out on the hunt for something if they total my car. Part of me wants to go the cheap route and just purchase another used car, but the other part of me was SO SO SO excited to purchase my very first car, like brand new car, and possibly an SUV so I don't keep getting stuck in the winter time in the country. We'll see how much they give me, and after all the test-driving and wheeling and dealing if I'm really up to having a big car payment.
Pretty snazzy and oh so great on gas mileage! Todd's family is sure the biggest fans of Nissan too.
Or I've always liked the new looks of the Chevy Equinox and now that they get better gas mileage, I'm keeping my eyes on this one too!
In the meantime, you all can make fun of me because I am driving a 1997 Dodge mini-van that is hunter green. I don't mind it because it's a set of wheels, but it is kind of embarassing to be my age and driving a van. Oh well, for the time being I'll enjoy my wheels even the hula-girl air freshner on the rear-view mirror!

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's all about the commercials

Well, our Super Bowl party plans didn't go exactly as planned. We usually get together with the whole Dearborn gang, eat lots of horrible-for-you food, drink a few beers and watch the game, er commercials during the Super Bowl. But, as I was pulling out the hot jalapeno popper dip and brownies from the oven, Todd calls on his way home from work and says he's not going. Well, that wasn't planned, at all! I miss my friends, and we do not get together enough, but I took one for the team (no pun intended) and stayed at home to nurse a sick boy.

It ended up being quite possibly one of the best evenings we've had. We had about an hour before the game when he got home, so I finished up my grad school homework and made the rest of the food since I wasn't planning on making a meal but had to scramble now that it was just the two of us and some begger dogs. We made chicken wings, crab ragoon, spring rolls and had my dip and brownies. All of it was homemade I might add! 

Personally the teams were just so-so in my book for who I cared about winning, but Jordy Nelson on the other hand made me root for the Packers. I LOVE him. He's such a good-looking, K-State grad who had a great game, even though he dropped a few passes. The Pack had a great game, and I'm glad it was a close game too.
Our very own K-State boy, Jordy Nelson!

Of course what is the Super Bowl without the commercials, the best part! Todd's favorite was the VW Passat commercial with the little Darth Vader. Mine also happened to be the VW commercial for the new Bug. It certainly cracked me up because I could seriously see myself with "Black Betty" blaring on the radio and driving like a maniac just like I always do if you were to ever see me on I-29!

**On a side note, I thought about my best friend, Kelsey, all day as three years ago on Super Bowl Sunday Ronny asked her to marry him! Makes me smile!

I hope everyone else enjoyed the evening with good friends and family and had lots of tasty food!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Enough of Winter, pretty please!

When I was younger, I hated my parents for not living in the country like all the cool kids. I didn't want to be known as a "townie" and I sure wanted to help with chores every day like other farm kids (I did do this when I was in 4-H/FFA with show animals, but not during the dead of winter like thankfully so many of our hard-working farmers and ranchers do).

Insert years 2009 and 2010, more specifically the winters of each, and I eat my words. Since moving to Missouri and living out in the country, I have missed a lot of work because my poor car just doesn't plow through the snow drifts like I wish it would. I thought 2009-10 was the worst winter I had seen. But actually thinking about it, I thought 2006-7 was freakin' cold when I had to train the yearling horses at K-State in January/February (it wasn't thankfully too snowy or icy, so we did get the job done), let's not forget the ice storm of 2007 and no one except my best friend, Kelsey, came to my college graduation, 2008 was okay, nothing major, and then last year was not fun with missing Christmas Eve mass and most of the holiday because of the snow.

This year though has been rough with foot after foot of snow, and I thank the Lord I work at a place that is really forgiving about "country folk" like me. I've been home because of the snow five days and it's only the beginning of February. I'm not going to complain too much about that aspect because sometimes it's just nice to sit with a hot cup of cocoa, your laptop, and a warm, snuggly Boston and get some major thinking done for grant writing. The first week of February 2011 though was brutal. I understand why watching these Alaska shows Todd and I are obsessed with always make the comment about how alcoholism and suicide are high in that part of our country. Now I was no where near suicidal but it was a little boring being at home since Sunday. They called off work Monday and Tuesday and by Wednesday they opened again, but I couldn't get out because the road was still not bladed. We did try to get lots of cooking, baking, cleaning and organizing done. I got 90% percent of my taxes done. It was a nice little break.

Here's a short recap of our days at home:

On Monday, we had ice that was just nasty and they closed work. So we decided to try some recipes from our new cookbook from the Pioneer Woman. Oh so delicious, ranch food that makes me really miss my cowboys at K-State. We made the chicken spaghetti, cowboy sandwiches and angel sugar cookies. Here are few pics of our day:
The Angel Sugar Cookies with a little bit of Valentine's love on them. Todd thought they were store bought dough! :)
Using our recipe, which I tend to be bad at and then wonder why things don't turn out well.
The YUMMO chicken spaghetti baking in the oven. Please forgive the decades-old farmhouse oven. We're slowly trying to redo things in our home.
On Tuesday, we worked on a whole lot of TV watching and snoozing. We also watched one thought-provoking show, Oprah's episode on vegan eating and meat production. It was great seeing all my friends, including myself, advocate for the animal agriculture industry using social media. HUGE props to Cargill for being so transparent and admitting how much they care for the welfare of the animals that are sent to slaughter. We truly do care as animal agriculturalists. Please view these blogs if you'd like to read more about some views from great ag advocates: Ag on the Forefront and Food for Thought.

Tillie and Willie love to lay on whomever is on the couch.
By Wednesday, we were becoming a little stir crazy, so we worked from home and helped Todd complete the puzzle of putting together our limestone for the wood burning stove we are putting in.
I can't wait to show the finished product.

And this pose from Todd sums up the feelings of being cooped up inside.
 Until the next snow falls, be thankful for our ability to go to work, eat great proteins for the nourishment of our bodies and our families! Love ya'll!