Monday, February 25, 2008

Our newish neighbors who were renting-to-own the house next door skipped out of town suddenly and left the owner with a messy house and yard, and a half-finished shed in the back. Plus they bounced the last two month's rent, billed him for "improvements" they made, and didn't give notice even though their lease runs through april. gosh!

I'm still a bit in shock. I mean, these where people who I considered nice and considerate. they had two cute little daughters, came over in the fall to give me flowers, played guitar on our front porch in the summer, lent us their powertools and advice when building our chicken coop, and were pleasant to be around. they said they were staying for the long-haul, with plans to dig out a basement, repave the driveway, down some trees (they even had an arborist come out). they redid the kitchen, and who knows what else on the inside.

and suddenly....gone. they must have moved out last weekend when we were out of town. i just figured they were on vacation.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

today was hands down the most beautiful day of winter. perfectly sunny with a high of 29 and 20" of snow on the ground. han, paul and i drove to mirror lake state park and spent over 4 hours cross country skiing 11 miles (we only stopped for about 30 minutes was a nice hilly area). i felt so amazing, so alive and invigorated to be outside. it was such a workout and i got that "glow" of sweat which i haven't experienced in quite a while...the kind where it just feels so good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

tonight i bundled up (and I mean more than I ever have!) and went outside to stare at the moon. i convinced paul to walk with me across the street and up to the restored prairie meadow in the park, which was surrounded by trees that blocked the city lights. lucky there was no wind, but on this clear night we're having a low of -14. even with many layers i was cold after only 20 minutes. also luckily, the moon was positioned perfectly so that we could also view the lunar eclipse from our comfy wingback chairs in front of the fire.

Friday, February 15, 2008

i really like this video. it's so neat to overlay the speech with simple video and song. very powerful. obama played it at his madison rally on wednesday.
and then of course the sequel (which he did not play)

wednesday evening in the kohl center was the obama rally. i went with some coworkers. we arrived around 6:40 to a huge crowd slowly making their way in (doors opened at 6:15). by the time we got inside (which took a while because the security was high...i had to take off two layers of clothing and get patted down just to enter) the stadium of 17,000 had filled up. we were lucky to find standing space in a wheelchair accessible landing, behind the stage. i heard that there was some overflow room somewhere but i suspect that many were turned away. all of the aisles were filled with people sitting on the steps. there was this women cop who spent over an hour going aisle to aisle kicking people out. when she came to the aisle to the left of us she got into a very loud shouting match with one guy....i guess he really wanted to stay. since obama was late (i think he came at 8:40, when he was scheduled for 8pm) i had a lot of time to people-watch: that obama aide down there in 3" heels furiously on her blackberry, the many kids anxiously awaiting the senator, the college students grabbing for obama-support signs (sidenote: did you know that they ban people from bringing sings to rallies, but then give out "fake" handmade signs for people to hold only for those in sight of the cameras? i found this a little false).

and then when obama did arrive, even more people-watching ensued: the girl smacking gum in pink who had a closeup on the monitor the whole time obama spoke....making it very hard to concentrate, the 9/11 truth supporters who smuggled in their own signs, proudly displayed them and then got dragged out by security, college students posing in the front row for photos, etc.

i had never been to such a big press event. tons and tons of cameras and crews all over with huge satelites. that was the most interesting part of the rally...seeing the bright lights and flashes and limber photographers grappling to get the best shot.

in other news, i was so sad to hear about the niu shooting yesterday, and was frightened. three of paul's cousins go to school there, and his cousin's fiance. i was relieved to hear that they are ok, although i'm sure shaken up with the whole ordeal. we'll be seeing them tomorrow when we head to wheaton, il for the weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2008

i'm wasting my evening on facebook and myspace. but reuniting...and it feels so good (cue sappy music). i love finding random friends from years past. and seeing their cute babies.

anyways, it's COLD here in madison. nothing new. more snow. more ice. currently 4 degrees, which felt even colder after doing water aerobics and walking a half mile to the bus to wait. we were only a mile or so from our house, but in weather like this (and darkness) it's so much better to be on a warm bus for those four stops.

i joined the uw gyms. $75 for jan-may is so cheap--although not joining a gym, like i've done for the rest of my life is even cheaper. i paid an extra $20 for the group x classes, which means i can drop in to any of the group fitness classes whenever i want. today i tried deep water aerobics (60 min) and it was a good workout. soon, i will try spinology (spinning) for the first time.

also, i played raquetball for the first time ever yesterday. finally putting those blue rubber balls to use that i got for christmas. :o) it was crazy! i had the general swing of things coming from a tennis background, but other things made my mind spin. like the idea that there are four walls to bounce off of. i could tackle the front one (the most important), and the sides were ok, but wrapping my mind about the wall behind me? that didn't happen. the ball would bounce off the back and I would flail my raquet around in vane...i just couldn't connect. and then the concept of a tinier raquet was also lost on me, over and over and over I kept swinging and hitting the top rim. Or, i'd be in place, swing nicely and whiff it. paul got a good laugh. ;o)

what a fun new sport to learn. and it's definitely a full body workout. i am sore today, especially my right arm. of course, i got all sweaty, tired, and gross just by our warm-up and four matches, but paul (playing with his left hand) beat me every time with not a drop of sweat. i am completely out of shape.

new (attainable, small, first-step) health goals:
*go to the gym at least twice a week (as opposed to never, which is a big step)
*lose 5lbs (long term goal is 15)
*run a 5k in march
*keep a record of my workouts (not only to encourage myself, but to get points from our health insurance and win stuff, also make sure paul goes so that we can be reimbursed $200 at the end of the year).
*think about eating healthier, and act upon this at least 50% of the time
*cut down on dairy even more
*act upon my urges to get outside and go walk around the neighborhood even if i can't rile up the husband or cousin to come with me (ie, once it's not a sheet of ice and gets about 15 degrees, walk to the library and trader joes)

chicken update: we're at 7 eggs from sterling now, she's almost to her first dozen!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This Wisconsin State Journal article makes it seem like job hunting while at work (on company time) is perfectly OK. To me this seems seems like it should be ok while on your lunch break or another break, but not during your regular workhours. What are people's thoughts on this?

Labels: , ,

over a foot of snow already! and now my back aches from shoveling....

Early This Evening

Snow. Blowing snow. Snow may be heavy at times. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 12 to 18 inches...with isolated 20 inch amounts. North winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

the upside is that it's only 25 degrees, so it feels almost WARM for once!

another tidbit: At 61.8 inches of snow so far this winter, the Madison area is closing in on the seasonal record of 76.1 inches, set in 1978-79.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sterling (our silver laced wyandotte) laid her first egg today! this morning, for the first time ever, i found two eggs in the nest box. one tiny tiny one and one larger, looking so cute together. photos will be in my flickr stream shortly.

Labels: ,