Friday, December 31, 2010

Planning A Party

I've finally gotten the opportunity to host a party. It's a small one. I could only invite four people and they are crashing in my living room that night, but I figure if all goes well, I can eventually have more guests over. There are a ton of people who still haven't seen the new place and who I haven't seen in a long time that I'd love to have over. But this New Year's Eve is my trial party. It's like coming out.

Chris took care of the booze (I stay away from the stuff, I have a predisposition for getting shit faced and throwing my life down the drain when I drink) and I'm taking care of the food. I am using the new cookbook my sweet step-mom, Kathy, gave me and cooking up some meatballs with a hawaiian twist. I also have pesto and bruschetta courtesy of Chris's mom, Robin. In the morning, I plan to use my new waffle maker that my sis Sarah gave me to make waffles for everyone. That ought to soak up the alcohol left in their systems.

I feel so domestic! We did all our laundry this week. It cost over twenty dollars. I bought a real mop (I don't know what happened to the last one I had, so I've been using sponges and towels). I can actually get the floor that Pine-Sol clean smell! (Which Chris hated when I first poured it in the bucket because it was so strong, but appreciated it more after I mopped). I'm finally going through boxes in my closet to get rid of stuff I don't need or want. (Obviously, it's been in boxes for four months, what could I possibly be doing with it)?

The New Year is ahead of me, and I'm looking at it differently this time. I actually have an idea of what my life will be like, what to expect. I'm getting married in June and we've been looking into Disneyland for a honeymoon. I'm learning another language, ASL, and am going to try to recommit to practicing my rusty French a little bit more. I also plan on expanding my culinary experience. I've got about ten recipes I recycle all the time. It's time to break the cycle and learn some new tricks.

This last year brought a lot of changes for me. I left for Europe in August knowing that the next few months would completely alter my life. My big sister got married that summer, I moved to Davis and found a new job in Sacramento, Chris proposed to me, I even joined a softball team. I miss the people I left in Placerville terribly, but I know they're never too far. My life is full and rich and wonderful and I'm grateful for every day I wake up living it. I hope that everyone's new year brings the same joy that I've found. I'm excited about the new adventures I'm facing, while never forgetting "auld lang syne." Happy New Year everyone.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Update:I am cleaning my house and putting my presents away and there are a couple things I regret not mentioning because they are so awesome. My mom got us Christmas ornaments for our tree. One is Big Ben and the other is the Eiffel Tower. And we also got a waffle maker from my stepsister, Sarah, which is totally bitchin' and is what I'll be serving on New Year's morning if people end up crashing here! That is all.

Chris and I spent Christmas Eve and half of Christmas day at his parents' house. Robin, his mom, makes an excellent lamb, and as I learned at breakfast the next morning, a spectacular crustless quiche. It was good food and good times all around. Chris and I came back to Davis with our car well-stocked with presents. I won't go into all of them, but there are a few I simply must brag about.

First, from Chris's parents we got some very cool Beatles memorabilia. Original posters in frames of shows such as The Caver and Candlestick Park. We also got a photo album with professional concert photos that came with a CD of scanned negatives. Very, very cool.

I made out with ladybug stuff, of course. I have a new coffee cup, which I am using right now, thanks to my new family in Winnemucca. Ladybugs swinging on a a swing in a garden. Super cute!

Chris got me two books about Irish lore. One is a collection of Ghost Stories and the other is an encyclopedia of myth. He also got me "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire. I must say, he knows me well.

Chris's mom made us some wonderful framed cross-stitches to hang in our kitchen near our coffee maker. Both are pictures of espresso drinks, one saying "Latte" and the other saying "Cappuccino." I couldn't resist temptation to tell Robin, "Thanks a latte!" after seeing them.

I got another very awesome present from Robin and Garry. Anyone who knows me would guess that the new AMC show, "The Walking Dead," is my kind of show. So I received for Christmas The Walking Dead Compendium One, a collection of the first 48 issues of the comic series. I read it. All of it. Last night.

At dad's house, we enjoyed more good times with family. My step brother was there and my awesome Uncle Mickey. Both my sisters were also there, which hasn't happened at Dad's house on Christmas in many years. Kathy had the house very festive and a delicious meal of ham, potatoes and other noms ready to be eaten. She also got me a "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook and one-year subscription to the magazine. I'm so domestic now!

From my dad and Kathy, we got some very awesome things. A blown-glass jelly fish from Monterey that actually glows in the dark (I will post pictures on my facebook). A cute decorative towel from Apple Hill. And my favorite, a digital meat thermometer! I can't stand pulling out chicken and cutting into the middle of it to see if it bleeds. I'm very paranoid about proper food safety handling. Now, I have no more need to worry.

My big sister's big present to us was a shower curtain with a picture of the Cliffs of Moher where Chris proposed to me. Talia had asked Chris to email him a picture that he took because, she claimed, Hollis hadn't seen it yet. That sneaky woman! I love the hell out of her.

My little sister Michelle got us an awesome, romantic dinner in the form of a gift card to any Darden restaurant, one being Red Lobster, which I think we'll hit up. She also got me some awesome 'eau de toilette' from B&BW. Chris likes it, so that's good.

I got other stuff, but I'm not writing to categorize everything. I'm super happy for everything I got. There is, of course, the stuff I didn't blog about last week that I got from my mom and her side of the family (awesome stuff, including snowman poo candy, lol). I just wanted to highlight a couple things from the weekend. Hope everyone had a great holiday.

The Sheepherder's Bread

"Pass the mint jelly, please," Chris asked around the table on Christmas Eve at his parents' house. I gladly obliged, having already spread my share on the incredibly delicious lamb on my plate. We were enjoying our dinner with swiss beans, baked potato and a pear and lime jello mold that is Chris's favorite.

"We have Sheepherder's Bread for desert," Robin said, as her and Garry both started laughing. Chris and I looked at each other with eyebrows raised. "Sheepherder's Bread?" I asked.

"Well," Robin began to explain, "It's not really Sheepherder's Bread, but I've got to tell you the story."

"Your father and I were at Railey's yesterday picking up a few things and we saw this item in the bakery that looked like a red velvet cake with some kind of frosting on top. It said, "Sheepherder's Bread" on the label and was only two-forty-nine. I had never heard of it before so we went up to the bakery and asked what it was. The girl behind the counter was very busy and quickly explained as she glanced at the label distractedly, 'Oh yes, Sheepherder's Bread. It's a red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting. It's delicious. It has a slight cocoa flavor to it. It's really good, I can give you a smple if you'd like.'

"So Garry and I tried it and it was delicious! We brought it up to the register and the cashier looked at us with this puzzled look on her face and said, 'Well, if that's the price they put on it, that's the price I'll give it to you.' At that point, she turned to the bagger and said, 'Look at this.' The bagger looked surprised and asked, 'You think there's any more in the back?' The cashier answered, 'You'd better go check, and if there are, save me some!'

Garry and I were so perplexed at the exchange, so we had to ask as we were paying, just what is up with this Sheepherder's Bread? Just then an announcement came over the loudspeaker, 'Attention Railey's shoppers, we have Red Velvet Cake for justtwelve-ninety-nine in the bakery.' The cashier then explained that the item was mis-marked. It was a red velvet cake we were buying. Sheepherder's Bread is like a baguette with spices on top. We got a twelve-dollar cake for under three! We were laughing all the way out of there as we saw the bagger run to the back to see if there were any more mis-marked cakes to buy up for himself!"

And so, the Grahams and I shared our Red Velvet cake for desert. It was absolutely delicious, and probably the cheapest cake in the world.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve Eve

I have the next five days off of work. Then I go back for two days and get New Years Eve off as well. I don't know how I'm going to drag my ass out of bed to get back into the five-day work week. This is excellent. Of course, I don't get holiday pay, but that concept has been foreign to me since 2008. Somehow, I'll always make my bills work out. If not, I'll just beg Chris for money. There will be a day when he'll have to come crawling to me (as I have to keep reminding him when he gets testy about buying groceries one more time or letting me borrow his car again until I can afford $3.20 a gallon). Anywho, money will be tight but every thing's going to be alright.

I'm having a great holiday season, regardless. I miss the hell out of the peeps in Placerville, but I'm really enjoying Davis and Sacramento. I gave Christmas cards to all my co-workers this year-the first time I've ever been able to do that. I feel like a real grown-up now! (Lol). Now, if only I had bought stamps... The people I'm mailing cards out to will just have to wait for theirs (along with the save-the-dates that Chris and I finally printed). Holidays! Yay!

I wonder if Chris will buy me stuff to make chocolate chip cookies for the party...

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have most of my Christmas shopping done! Which means I'll be broke for the next month, but that's just the way it is during the holidays. I'd tell you all what I got Chris, but he happens to read this blog, so I'l save it for Christmas morn'.

New Years Eve I've decided to invite a couple of friends over. It will be my first official event with more than two guests over. It won't be a big deal, just a small get together (it's really all we have room for) but it being my first time is still exciting.

We got our first tree last weekend. It's a super awesome, 3 1/2 foot plastic tree. There wasn't any room for a real one. We got some glass bulbs and brought out the four or five ornaments that we own and set it up. I bought a few more ornaments from the South Side Art Center in Sacramento. It's a program similar to the Creative Arts dept. at M.O.R.E. where I used to work. It's beginnng to look like a true, blue Christmas tree! We even have presents underneath already! I love the holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Night

I don't get out much on Fridays anymore, so what better to do than blog?

I'm extremely happy today. The work week goes by pretty fast for me. I don't have days where the clock is dragging. I suppose that's in part due to the field I choose to work in, but I must say that I'm very pleased at the way my new job uses the time we have. I feel accomplished, appreciated, and apt at my job. I can't go into detail, but the place is very streamlined and it shows through the incredible growth and independence of the people we serve. I'm happy there.

I didn't know if I'd ever find a job again where I'd be as happy as the last one, and while that one will always be in my heart, I have learned that sometimes you don't know a better way of doing things until you venture out to a new place. The grass is always greener, right? Well, I've hopped the fence and have realized the soil is an incredible, strong, fertile variety of the best lawn you can find in the area. I'm proud of it. I'm happy today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I feel so awesome right now. I almost want to go exercise some more. An hour is really enough, though. It's not good to work out within two hours of bedtime, I hear. I'm proud of myself today.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I always feel guilty after a few days of not exercising like I should. Actually, I always feel guilty after a few days of not doing anything I should. So much so that I actually feel like I don't want to do it. Call your relatives. Well hell, it's been months, I feel horrible. Might as well not call now; it could be awkward.

So tonight I took the bull by the horns. It's my second hour this week exercising and I really should be doing 5-7 days a week. The weather has been poor, the daylight hours are shorter after I get off work and my body isn't exactly hormonally balanced right now, if you know what I mean. I feel like a blob, so I've decided to do something about it.

I've taken up jogging on the treadmill. I do it for as long as I can (usually about two minutes) and then power walk until I catch my breath. I do this in intervals for 10-20 minutes and then I jump on the exercise bike. I like how the air conditioner isn't blasting in the apartment gym because then I get all drippy-sweaty and feel like I'm an athlete or something. I never got drippy-sweat at those other gyms. Something about it just makes me feel like I've accomplished something. The night air when I leave to go back to my apartment is enough to cool me down.

I forget how good it feels to get moving. I'll be sitting there on the couch, watching TV or playing on teh internetz and I think it must be better to just sit here rather than walk all that way in the cold to the pool and torture my body on work-out machines. I suppose this is normal, right?

I feel good tonight. Probably going to get to bed early. Oh! I saw the venue on Sunday, it's gong to be just the right size and everything so we're going to start paperwork soon. Now I can stop having those dreams about it being the date and having no where to get married. Onto the ones where I show up walk down the aisle realizing I'm naked...