Friday, March 14, 2014

Flashing Lights

Every once in a while I do something really dumb. I decided to document this moment of moronic mishaps so I could look back at it and laugh at myself a few years down the road. My little moment of "enlightenment" so to speak.

Last week I was sick. Not sick like fever and flu sick, but sick enough where I was full of minor aches, serious sinus issues, and migraine headaches. I also lost my voice, which made teaching interesting to say the least. I had no voice for 2 days, and I sounded like a man for about a week. It was good times.

One night, I took some NyQuil because I was hacking and a little achy. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Let me note that I rarely do this, normally only when I have been boozing it up. Maybe the alcohol content in NyQuil equals boozing? I digress. I got up to go to the bathroom and didn't turn on any lights. As I flushed, I noticed my toilet lit up. I was entranced, like
"Oh, pretty!" I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night more often because these disco lights in the comode shouldn't be missed. I was pretty psyched about the whole thing, smiled on my way back to bed and passed out.

I tossed and turned a lot that night. I knew my sleep pattern was all sorts of jacked, so I was excited to see the sleep pattern my Fitbit registered. Nerdy as it sounds, that is my favorite part about that device, I can see when I am restless, awake, and how many hours I've slept. My goal is to get 95% sleep efficiency. Anyway, when I had to get up for work, I felt for my Fitbit that was clipped to my uber-cute Bronco's pajamas, and realized it was missing. For a second, I thought, WTF, I had the damn thing on when I went to sleep. And then I realized where the flashing disco lights came from in my potty. Yep, I flashed my mother f*%$#&* Fitbit.

Epic. Fail.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

These brows...

For years, I have been lucky enough to purchase something not for girls, but just for men. Not every gal can say that she can brush mustache and beard color on her face. Now wait, don't go thinking I have a beard or stash...not yet anyway, but I do have facial hair that needs a little boost. My eyebrows. I have been blessed with seriously slim brows that look over plucked, under arched, and over bleached. Lucky me. I know there are worse things I could have than an unattractive eyebrow, but it seriously bothers me. I am not talented with an eyebrow pencil, eyebrow fillers, or powders. I end up having one nice looking brow, and then one catywompus brow. Straight up fugly. When I sweat, I rub half of my eyebrow off, and then I really look like an idiot. To compensate for my lack-luster arches, I started to use "Just For Men" Mustache and Beard so I could color the blonde, and not have to mess much with the powders and pencils. It was easy, lasted a few weeks, and I could use a box for about 3 months. I usually only had to worry about leaving the color on too long (Groucho Marx anyone?) or not coloring soon enough. One time at school some kids asked me if I had shaved my eyebrows because I hadn't colored them in. That right there tells you I have an issue. So, this issue turned into a resolution. One I am not ready to debut yet, but a fix. So good bye Just For Men, and hello brows that don't wipe off! Pictures to come upon healing!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Grandpa Butler's Ring

One thing I always remember about my dad is his love for his father. Even though we moved away from Michigan when I was 3, and my dad didn't see his father very much, he loved him tremendously. He was always proud of his dad's accomplishments, but most importantly, just happy to be his son. My dad would get a sparkle in his eyes when he talked about his dad (his namesake), and a curl of his lip. He loved this man.
Grandpa Butler died about 7 years ago. I hadn't seen him since I was 5 or 6, but he had a special place in my heart. The man {in my eyes} saved me from a tornado. He let me put bows in his hair, and style him up like a lady. I remember sitting in his lap reading Hop on Pop  when he visited us in Arizona, and I remember thinking his baseball caps in the back window of his car were probably the coolest thing I'd ever seen.
The next time I saw Grandpa was in his casket. I was lucky enough to go to the UP of Michigan with my dad to attend the funeral. I was able to walk though his cabin on Lake Michigan, see old pictures of me up on his fridge, spend time with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and get to know a little part of Grandpa that I had missed for all those years. It was probably one of the most special trips I'd ever taken. I got to see my dad in a place that he loved, see him with his family, and be there when he said goodbye to the man he had revered his whole life.
Grandpa was a stubborn old coot, {and my dad, sister, and I come by this trait honestly}, and he didn't want any old music played at his funeral. No...he wanted it his way, and by his way, I mean that we played "My Way" by Frank Sinatra at the funeral. To me, it was funny, but to see my dad up there listening to that song, it brought tears to my eyes, because that was his dad, and he was so proud of him. Not many people came to the funeral, because he was an old dude when he died, and most of his friends died long before him. A few showed up, and it was neat to see them talk to my dad, who I swear, is a spitting image of his old man.
When we were leaving Michigan, each of us took something that reminded us of Grandpa. I have an old Seagram's 7 Bottle on a custom pourer that has my grandpa's name engraved. Silly, but I love this antique and dusty bottle. It was part of him. Dad took a gold ring that looked like a set of dice that Grandpa used to wear on his pinky finger. For the last 7 years, my dad has worn this ring on his pinky, and even more than it reminds me of Grandpa, it reminds me of Dad.
At Christmas this year, my dad brought my sister and I together and told us that he was ready to pass the ring along to us. That he had enjoyed it, but now it was time to give it to his girls. He wanted us to share it somehow, and wear it to think of both he and my grandfather. It was really up to the two of us what we wanted to do with the ring, and it was almost an immediate consensus. We wanted to wear the ring on our pinky fingers, just like both of them have, and if we could both have a square {one section of the dice} and they could look the same, that is what we wanted done. So Dad took us to the jeweler, and our vision could become a reality. It wouldn't be a perfect, symmetrical ring, because the original wasn't perfect and symmetrical.  We didn't care. We wanted our memories to be of our dad, and if the ring wasn't what he has worn, then we wouldn't want it.
The rings arrived last week. We both can wear the ring on our pinky finger, and now we have a piece of both Edwards with us every day. Thank you, Dad for such an amazing gift. Heartfelt, family, love, and tradition on our hands. {Pay no attention to the winter, dry, old looking hands}!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Year in Review. Bullet Edition

A year has past, and I look at myself where I was a year ago and can only say WTF? I mean seriously, WTF? I was beyond a hot mess, and seriously, I am ok that I am not a giant cluster f*Ck right now. In fact, I really hope I don't ever become that jacked up again. Ever. So, in retrospect of the past year, and my serious issues with not blogging, I've decided to do a New Year post: Bullet edition.

  • Turned into a hot mess. Seriously not my fault though. I have done plenty of bad / wrong / unkind / stupid things in my life, but this one was seriously NOT my fault. 
  • Hated myself for a hot second. Got over it. I like myself. I'm not going to ever forget that. 
  • Made 2 New Year's Resolutions for 2013. Do 5 pull-ups and don't bleach my hair for a year. I kept one. I love my dark hair. It stays.
  • Dated. No matter how many years have passed since my divorce, this never gets easier. I hate it. Every date in the last 4.5 years was an adventure. I still don't like it though, and hopefully don't ever have to again. I am a monogamist.  I want one and only one man in my life.    
  • Met my love in February of 2013. Head over heels, crazy in love with this man. 
  • Skied a lot. Season pass is actually getting used.
  • Skied and loved blue runs. Still love the blue runs. I'm improving.
  • Went to Florida
  • Went to Phoenix a few times. My love came with me. Holy cow: this FEELS GOOD. 
  • Went to NYC for work. Had a love affair with the city. I NEED to go back. A LOT! 
  • Sturgis, SD. Amaze-balls for reals. This place is beautiful. I look forward to an annual trip there. 
  • Rode a motorcycle all over Summit County.
  • Got stuck in a huge rain storm on the motorcycle. An adventure to say the least!   
  • Moved {again}. This time in a cute little cottage that can fit just me and my cat. 
  • Had a tumor taken off my ovary. Commence falling out of hair and weak nails. This is no bueno.
  • 2 Concerts: Zac Brown Band and Maroon 5 (with Kelly Clarkson).
  • Became obsessed with my students this year. I love them. They are amazing. 
  • Taught a lot of professional developments to other teachers. 
  • Visited with friends
  • Made new friends
  • Decided I don't need to tiptoe around anyone. I can just be myself. It feels so good. 
  • Hiked the incline once. Just once. 
  • Watched the Broncos win the AFC Championships. Super Bowl Bound!  
  • Loved my body, even though I am squishy. 
  • Drove to Denver almost EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. {and then some more}. I don't even hate the drive anymore. Can I say I might even enjoy it a little? {When I-25 is NOT under construction that is}. 
  • Ended a sentence with a preposition. Actually am learning to teach grammar in isolation, so I KNOW what a preposition is. I still don't like grammar in isolation, but dang it, I WILL be the grammar goddess in ALL aspects. 
  • Thought about going back to school. 2 masters? Sounds like a good idea to me. 
  • Met 2 little girls I adore. Even if one doesn't do her homework!  :)
  • Never made any New Years Resolutions for 2014. I don't need to. I can do things because I want to, and not because I resolve to. 
  • Made some big decisions. With big decisions comes big change. 
  • Laughed. Oh my goodness, laughing is great.
  • Texted with my mom. This is a HUGE feat! 
  • Received an amazing gift from my dad (blog to follow soon). 
  • Read a lot. Shared those good books with my book club ladies. LOVE THEM! 
  • Enjoyed Colorado: and I plan on enjoying it some more! 
That's about it. I am sure I am forgetting things, and that's ok! 
Happy New Year 2014!   

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Orange and Blue

I admit, I don't know a lot about football. I can't say that I know "jack," because I actually watch the game quite a bit {Sundays SUnDaYs, SUNDAYS}. I have been watching the Broncos pretty religiously the last 4 years, and I actually know a lot more about the game then I ever did. When I say a lot, I mean that I actually know what some plays are, and can follow the game and not get distracted by the pretty uniforms {i.e...the Seahawks}. I am excited to watch the Broncos play, and feel that if I don't wear my Bronco themed pajamas to bed, it is bad karma, and my team will lose. I look forward to football games with my sweetie and our friends, and having a brew {or four} and some homemade chicken wings to make everything even more exciting for game day. I know the players, and have become quite fond of them! That being said, it is with great excitement that I look toward the Super Bowl to see the Broncos vie for the title of the best team this year. It is a silly little thing to be happy about, but silly or not, it is fun.
Now if only I could say the same thing about hockey. We have season tickets to DU, and I still am just blissful being there, not knowing a lot about the game at all. I'm cool with that. I feel my gaining of knowledge in both football and baseball is sufficient, and that is good enough for me.

Go Denver Broncos!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

You are Hot and You're Cold....

I chose to move into my house for so many reasons. The most important reason was how dang cute the place is. I mean, how can a girl resist a cute little wood-planked-ceiling, squeaky-wood floored, less than 700sq feet home? I can't. I still think my place is the bees-knees, and am super happy I was able to move here.

When it turned winter, I began to have other opinions about my place. Not because I didn't still love my humble little abode, but, because I was faced with issues I've never had to deal with before. My home is old. I have floor board heaters with these weird dials connected to who knows what in both my bedroom and my bathroom. My best guess is that those dials turn up the output of heat, which is connected to the uber-archaic thermostat in my front room. I equate my heater to playing Russian Roulette.  Spin the dial to see where it lands! 60 degrees? Bully! 75? You betcha!

The wood stove in the front room looks as if it is a heat-monster. Not so much. If I am putting logs into the thing, it sure looks as if it is spitting out heat. It doesn't though, and I can't really tell you what the purpose of the stove is other than to look cute, and burn my thighs or a cat's paw if either one of us gets too close.

This is problematic, because it gets cold here in Colorado. For one week it was below zero for the highs, and snowing outside. I had snow days, so I tried to stay warm inside my little cottage. I had to be bundled up with a heat pad and a heated throw, and even then, I couldn't move, because I was so cold. The walls were emanating frigid air, and I swear sometimes I saw my breath. The heat was turned to 70, but I can tell you, if you almost stick to your toilet seat because it is so cold (picture Flick sticking his tongue to the pole in A Christmas Story), then the place is too dang cold. I thought I was being a miser by not turning my heat up past 70, but when I got my 200 dollar electric bill, I was more than miffed, because I was FRICKEN COLD. Hmph.

But, it got warmer outside, and I quickly realized there isn't much of a difference between 64 and 68 inside my house. As long is it is warmer than 40 for the highs, and not below freezing for multiple nights on end, then I am OK. Pat got me a heated blanket for my bed, and that is helping a lot. I don't want to get out of bed because it is so warm. I will get out of bed for a hot shower, though. Wait...I forgot, I have a midget water heater, and I am lucky if I get an 8 minute hot shower without the water going cold. Yeah, that is problematic, too. Try shaving your legs with goose bumps. Not fun.
Oh least my place is cute, right?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

One Needs to See What One is Doing

I take for granted many things in life. Honestly, I believe it to be a natural human occurrence. It isn't until you lose something that you've realized how much that {item, person, talent, body...}meant to you in the first place.

Today started off pretty great, because I got to have an extra hour of sleep. Oh, blessed hour of sleep, I needed you so! Sadly, the wonderful hour led to another hour of mouth numbing and drilling, followed by 5 hours of a numbed mouth. Here is what I looked like 4.5 hours into the numbing. Not pretty. Like the crooked smile? That was me forcing my mouth to move to no avail. Most annoying though, was I was hungry. I couldn't eat anything, because it would fall right out of my lips. Sad. Truly sad.
After the numbness wore off, finally, I got back in the car and headed to an eye appointment. I was the proud recipient of such awesome news of, "Guess what? You get to wear glasses all of the time, now!" Sweet...and even more fun? Dilation! I haven't had my eyes dilated for maybe 10 years, so I really didn't know what to expect. I went from seeing, to seeing nothing but a blur. It was so bad, I couldn't try on glasses, and I had to ask the woman at the front desk to retrieve a text message for me, so I could respond to a person I was meeting to sell something from Craig's list. I thought I could drive (which they said was perfectly fine), but if I hadn't have waited in the REI parking lot for an hour for my Craig's List sale, I probably wouldn't have made it home in one piece. At one point, I had to go to the bathroom, and being that REI is one of my favorite places to shop, I decided to go and look around. Such pretty orange and pink blobs on sale right now. I swear there were some amazing deals, but the verbage, signage, tags, and even the floor were so fuzzy, you could've fooled me. Thankfully the hour bought me some time, and with my glasses and a pair of sunglasses sitting over my glasses, I {sexily} and safely made it home. 
I sure did miss my eyes today! The mouth thing was an irritation, but the eyes? Plain pain in the arse. There went my day to get caught up on grading and finals! I am only now seeing properly, and that means it must be time for bed!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Low-Carb (optional) Chicken and Veggies

As I have said before, cooking just ins't my thing. A girl has to eat though, and eating at Qdoba or Jimmy Johns every night isn't going to help the skinny jeans look any better on me. One of my favorite dishes to make is quick, easy, healthy and delicious. My roommate showed me how to make this dish years ago, and since then, it has been a staple in my household. I like this meal for many reasons. It can make a lot (thus feed me for multiple nights), and I can eat it when I am eating low-carb, or not. It all depends on what I place the veggie and chicken mix on. Tonight, I am having it over a bed of sticky rice (I purchase this at the Asian supermarket). I am not a fan of white or brown rice, but sticky-sweet rice is for sure two very-enthusiastic thumbs up in my book. There are also many different things you can add or take away to the dinner...pick and choose to your fancy.

1. Saute cut up chicken breast or tenderloins in olive oil. I move the chicken around a lot. I am not frying it, because I don't bread the chicken. Make certain your chicken is boneless.  There isn't a set amount of olive oil. I put enough to not have my chicken stick.

2. Sprinkle your chicken with Nature's Seasoning. This is to-taste. 

3. Cut up some veggies of your liking. I always use zucchini squash and yellow squash. Tonight, I am making a double batch because the squash was on sale, so I am not putting in extra veggies tonight. I really like to have mushrooms, and even eggplant (when I am feeling vegetarian and don't have chicken--only the veggies). I also sprinkle Nature's Seasoning to taste.

4. Once the chicken is almost cooked, I add the veggies, and saute'-steam them with the chicken. Sometimes I add more olive oil when things look dry. Eyeball this, and add as necessary. 

5. Once the veggies are almost soft-and then chicken is cooked through, add a can of diced tomatoes to the mix and heat through. I prefer the oregano and basil mix, because it gives the dish a nice flavor. 

6. Serve over rice, cheese-stuffed tortellini, Orzo...or any carb of your choice. My favorite is the tortellini. I put just a few noodles with cheese, and go crazy with the chicken and veggies. Wanting low-carb? Forgo the starch, and just eat the veggies and the chicken. Trust me, it is just as delicious.  

Feeling cheesy? Top it off with some fresh parmesan cheese! 

Mix it up, try new ingredients, and find the combination that works best for you. Trust me, your taste buds, and your belly will thank you.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fakings of Fall

How can this be? I went from summer to feeling like fall? OK, I know this is not really fall (at all), but do you ever have a moment that transports you to a certain season, or place in time?
This morning, I woke up relatively early because tomorrow is the first teacher work day. I need to not feel like a total zombie tomorrow after 2 months of sleeping until 9, right? So, I got up early, made an English muffin with homemade jelly, and a cup of chai. I opened the little window behind the couch for the cat, turned on Felicity (slowly but surely making my way through this jem on Netflix), and sat down. The smell of the toast smelled strangely like a heater when it first turns on for the season, and the light coming through the window had a tint of fall. It felt warm; it felt welcoming; and it felt exciting. I love LOVE fall. I know it is all facade, but it felt good for that few minutes. Then the sun came up, and it is summer, an early morning summer, but it made me smile.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Lil' Bit O' Summer

Summer 2013. It flew by. I was hardly even home, and now school is back in session next week. To say that it was a good summer wouldn't be giving the summer the justice it deserves.... I'll give the summer in photos update so I can document all of the "amazingness."

1. Breckenridge.  Summer started off to a chilly start. I went to Breck with my book club ladies, and it was relaxing, and fun. We stayed at the Marriott, and we not only talked about books, we spent the time just being friends and enjoying our time with one another. These ladies are my rocks. We are an eclectic group of women who support each other through everything, and I couldn't imagine my life without them. I am not really sure why I don't have a picture of us together. I know one of us has a picture, and I need to get it, STAT! Here it is snowing in June.
2. Florida. A few months before the summer began, my sweetie and I started to talk about how wonderful a warm vacation would be. We were obviously tired of the cold, the snow, and the wind, so warm sand and sun sounded like a little piece of heaven to us. Thankfully, my main man has the hook up in Clearwater Beach Florida with a family condo, so he suggested we take a trip to the East Coast for some time together. We flew into Tampa, and spent our days lying on the beach soaking in as much sun and time together as we possibly could. He took me to some fabulous restaurants, and we enjoyed time with his aunts and uncle when we could. I had never been to the Clearwater Beach area, and Pat (that would be my main squeeze), lived in Tampa for a while, so he had plenty of places to show me. The trip itself was heaven. I wanted to stay longer, but we had to get back so I could attend the next adventure of my summer.  

3. Phoenix. Home sweet HELLA HOT home. This year, I decided to drive home so I could spend a few weeks with family and friends. I probably crammed more in this trip than normal trips home, but it was well worth it. I would upload all of the good times with each family member and each friend, but then this post would be pages long, so I won't post everything. Let's just say that I was edified with all of the love I received, and I am so thankful to have such wonderful people in my life in Arizona. Each one of you is special to me, and seeing you makes me over the moon with joy.  This year, my trip home was even more special because I got to share it with Pat. The last few days of my vacation, he flew down to be with me, meet my family, and have some alone time at the J.W. Marriott resort. He was stoked to golf both there, and at Troon, but sadly his trip aligned with 120 degree heat, so golfing was a little toasty for the poor guy. Thankfully we had an amazing pool attempt to cool down at our hotel!  We spent a lot of time with family, mostly laughing our ever-loving bums off, and even more time trying to evade the heat (read: jump from air conditioned place to air conditioned place). 

4. New York City. This year, I was lucky enough to find a training for work that would integrate my love for teaching fine arts with my arts and language arts curriculum. The training took place in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Whitney, The Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My school graciously sent me to this course, and I was able to learn a wide variety of activities to integrate art into the core curriculum. As part of the trip, I will have to share my knowledge with other teachers in the arts academy at my school, but because I learned so much, I am chomping at the bit to share everything I took in during that short week in New York. I think I was just as overjoyed to explore a new place (one that I had wanted to see all of my life), as to take part in the classes. I immediately fell in love with the city, and spent as much free time outside of class walking to see everything I had read about or seen in TV or movies. A week just isn't enough time to do and see  everything I've ever wanted to see, but I did make the best of my time, and really tried to fit into the New York lifestyle.  I didn't do all of the touristy stuff, but let me say that every time I accidentally passed someplace cool, I was thrilled! I did feel quite brave to explore the city as I did, alone. I just wanted to experience everything, and since I came to the class alone, I had to find ways to have fun, and fun I had! I really thought others from the class would be into doing things in the city, but it wasn't the case, so I took to pavement, the subways, and made my way though the best city in all of America.  I want to go back, and in a bad way. I really felt like I belonged in New York, and being able to work in the city in a museum, teaching, would probably be a dream job come true for me, but alas, it isn't really a good idea to just up and move to the most expensive place in the US, is it?  I will just have to settle for frequent visits, and go as much as I can. Now that it isn't scary to me anymore (I was apprehensive about just the size of the city), I plan on going at least once a year. Who is with me?  
All of the pictures I took were of the "selfie" nature, since I was alone, but I was able to have people snap a shot of me here and there.  

5. Breckenridge. For this trip, Pat and I decided we needed a few days away in the mountains where we could prep our bums for Sturgis the following week. We spent one day just messing around the town of Breckenridge. I really love this place, no matter how many times I visit. The next two days were spent dodging rain drops from Vail, South Park, Buena Vista, Leadville, Frisco, and back to Breck. We rode the motorcycle as much as possible, and spent the rest of the time at the condo relaxing, or seeing how many different gondolas in the area we could ride. It was a relaxing trip, and most certainly prepared us for the next trip! 

6. Sturgis, SD. I had always heard of the Sturgis Bike Rally. I truthfully thought this was a place where people went to get as drunk as possible, and be as immoral as possible. I really wanted nothing to do with this place, because it just sounded horrible. ButPat convinced me that it was so much more. He had been for two years prior to this year, and was like a kid in a candy store excited to attend the rally again. He really wanted to take me this year, and show me all of the things that he loved about the rally, so I decided to go with him. I trust him 100 percent and knew that he wouldn't take me to a place that would be hurtful in any fashion. I was excited to see what I called "The faces in the Mountain" (Mt. Rushmore), and the Badlands. I pictured South Dakota as desolate and flat, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Black Hills are amazing!
Sturgis is kind of crazy, but nothing as bad as I had imagined. Only in the city of Sturgis was it crowded and rowdy. All of the little towns around Sturgis had rally activities, main streets only for motorcycles, and places for bikers to enjoy themselves.  Each town was so cute, and I loved all of the vendors, bikes, and people watching! We stayed in Hill City, and my favorite place to spend time was the strip of Main Street. Sturgis isn't about the partying, but more about the rides. When you get there, you get a map of all of the main rides, and decide (weather pending) what ride to take on what day. Over all, we put 1100 miles on the bike in a matter of 6 days. I loved sharing this experience with Pat, and seeing him get excited when he would go to a place that had fond memories. We went to Mt. Rushmore and the Needles Highway / Wilderness Loop and Sturgis on days 1-2. Day 2 was Nemo and Spearfish Canyon and Deadwood. Day 3 was The Devil's Tower and the Stonehouse. Day 4 was a "rest day" and we spent time in Deadwood and Sturgis again (The Full Throttle Saloon).  The last full ride day we went to The Badlands, Wall (Home of Wall Drug), and back to Mt. Rushmore. I think we rode or stopped in Rapid City every day, so that will be days 1-6.  Riding with hundreds and hundreds of bikes was incredible. All the people were there to share in the same experience and the love of riding.  I felt a small part of a bigger picture, and truly enjoyed every second of the trip. I am going through bike withdrawal, and I hope one day I can go and ride my own bike. For now, my place on the back of the Road King is a perfect place to be, and I have my mind set on next year!

Now, it is the last day before the week that school starts. I feel that my summer went so fast, but I am so grateful for all of the memories. It is time to get back to reality, really get to feel comfortable in my new little house, and get back on a schedule. Goodbye summer of 2013!