Sunday, January 31, 2010

!Vamos a Mexico!

We got back from Puerto Vallarta, MX last night! My cousin, Greg, got married there. We arrived around lunchtime on Saturday and returned a week later. I have so many pictures and stories that I am going to make this a multiple day Mexico extravaganza! Otherwise, it would be way too long and no one who is reading a blog is wanting to read a chapter book!

So. . .I'll start at the beginning, only because I think these pictures of Allan are cute. He wouldn't leave me alone when I was orgainizing my "resort wear" collection (furnished by Old Navy, TJ Maxx and various clearance racks) and constantly was laying on the clothes and getting in the suitcase. I think he knew a long separation was coming!
I finally shut him out of the guest room, which is where he often hangs out because there is a bush that usually has birds perched in it outside the window. He continued to pester me from beyond the door.
I think this cat is acting a little bit desperate! Al, ladies don't like that!

Before we met with the rest of the group, we, along with my parents and Andrea and Kirk, parked at this TravelLodge hotel so we could sleep for a few hours before taking a cab to the airport early in the morning. We "kids" were put in this ridiculous room that I think was really intended as a kids room! The bedspreads, curtains and lampshades all had this weird teddy bear pattern and there were framed posters on the wall with larger versions of the images! It was really funny and my parents' room wasn't like this. We were just lucky! (By the way, the rest of the group includes my grandparents, my aunt and uncle Karen and Terry, my aunt and uncle Gale and Barb (parents of the groom), my cousin Laura (my cousin Kara and Laura's fiance Kevin joined us later in the week), the bride and groom, my aunt Barb's brother and sister and thier spouses and a few of their kids, and the bride's parents, sister and brother-in-law, aunt, uncle and their family, including a cute little two-year-old.) And of course, Greg and Lindsay!

It was an exciting occasion because the siblings (Gale, my dad Tim and Karen) hadn't vacationed together since a trip to Winnipeg in 1964. Also, I before this trip I had never been on a trip with my cousins from my dad's side of the family before! (although the three youngest and my brother were missing-sorry guys!) I knew this would be fun!

The flight went fine and eventually we escaped the bad weather and the mountainous, green land of Mexico emerged under us. We all went right to our rooms to change into our beach clothes and the afternoon was beautiful! We ate at the beach buffet which seemed bountiful and delicious and went to work drinking the menu of slushy, blended drinks. Above is a picture of the hotel from the beach side.
Here is a nice shot of the beach. I have many more like this from different angles at different times of day, so maybe I will show more later!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

El Bano

We're going to Mexico in a few days so I might be incorporating some Spanish into my posting! Sorry, I don't know how to add the tilde symbol above the "N"!

I have been irritated by the condition of my areas of the bathroom for awhile. I was going to organize it after we were completely moved, but of course I never did. So now I finally did! I have always kept my cosmetics in a big makeup bag. The problem with that situation is that I have to dig for everything and all of the compacts, the lovely silvery clinique compacts as well as the cheaper drugstore ones, end up scuffed, broken, and streaked. The makeup bag ends up the same way-gross, full of pulverized eyeshadows, and generally nasty. I saw these little boxes in the $ aisle at Target and thought they would serve my purpose.

Some of you may think it still looks pretty chaotic. . . you should have seen it before! I sure love that huge cabinet!

I also have a bunch of crap in the linen closet, such as hairspray, rarely used products like aloe vera gel for sunburn, and, apparently, an aresenal of makeup bags that could rival the number of makeup bags in my old sorority house belonging to all of the girls combined. What you are seeing isn't even all of them! I threw one away and eliminated a few before we moved and there are a few more in that big grey bag you can see protruding in the corner! In my defense, I get all of these for free when I buy Clinique products and I don't bother donating them because the thrift stores and rummage sales are already full of them (apparently I'm not the only one with this habit.)
Justin's basement project is now finished. Well, not completely because there is no carpet or furniture yet, but last night he covered the nail holes in the baseboards and tonight he painted them. I haven't taken pictures of it yet, but it looks the same as it did in previous pictures so you can refer back if you like!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Story to Make Your Day!

I heard some news that delighted me yesterday. I was at my sister's house in Fargo and she was talking to my mom on the phone in another room while I was getting ready in her bathroom and experimenting with all of her makeup and products. When she got off the phone she casually said, "Mom said to tell you that the Carlsons adopted that cat you were worried about."

Now some background information. . .In early December I was at home and I went to the grocery store to buy a Christmas tree for the Ford Garage. I was examining the trees lined up in front of the store on the sidewalk when I noticed a brown tabby cat with a fluffy tail. It was kind of shivering and when I petted it I could feel how bony it was. It looked right into my eyes and meowed once, like it was saying "Hi." The cashier didn't know whose it was, and it seemed to be homeless.

I couldn't take it with me because our dog at the farm doesn't like cats and would have just chased it away or worse. The town doesn't have any formal animal control procedures so that wasn't an option. I also was worried that kids might be cruel to it and about how cold it seemed. (I know animals can adapt to cold, as I have seen throughout my years with farm cats and dogs, but this one seemed affected by it, as though it didn't; have the thick fur of an outdoor cat.) I thought about the cat all day. The image of the poor thing, looking for a family by the Christmas trees, was so sad and I really wanted to help it! I have continued to think about it during the past several weeks.

This weekend my parents went to a party at a friends' house and they heard that our friends had adopted a stray cat! My mom asked if it was the cat that was hanging out by the store and it was! Mr. Carlson encountered the cat as well and decided that it should live with them! That news really made my day. . .my week! That is one lucky cat! This family already has a cat that is as fat as a beach ball so I know that my Christmas cat will never be deprived! They also have a young daughter to give it alot of attention. I still don't know the gender of the cat or what its new name is but those are minor details!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Trim! Better Than Christmas!

Justin installed new baseboard trim in the basement this week. It's all done now! Now all we need carpet.

Around this neigborhood, there are gigantic squirrels. Well, they are giant compared to the ones I saw growing up on the farm and the ones that frequented UND and NDSU! They have huge bushy tails and they look like cats! I tried to capture one on film a few days ago, along with the pretty frosted trees.

Can you see it? It is perched on the side of the tree, directly above the hole in the birdhouse at the bottom of the picture. I know, it's not a very good picture. But its either a picture of a squirrel or another picture of my cat. What? You want to see another picture of Allan? OK, OK, OK. . .

That's a big paw, kitten! And big ears, too!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January, Tedious January

Is it over yet? January is my least favorite month. Whatever gym I have ever belonged to has always been really busy and congested (but only for January, of course!) I want people to get healthy, but I also want them to give up already, because I know most will, so I can have my favorite equipment back and a close parking space! The weather is bad and cold (so cold!), and there isn't much to do except watch TV and clean.

There are some good aspects of January. My favorite aspect: Bargain shopping for wrapping paper and sweaters! Also, my brother, sister, and cousin all have birthdays one week apart on the 11, 18, and 25! Justin likes it because he can go ice fishing and there is always football on TV. We have more good aspects this year because a new baby joined the family on Friday the 8th! I'm not sure how to spell his name, so I'm not going to butcher it right now, but he is the son of Jenny and Cory and i can't wait to see him. Also, we are going to Mexico for a week at the end of the month for my cousin's wedding! I get to leave for one whole week of my least favorite month!

Here are some photos from the last week. . .

Justin loves a perfectly cleared driveway! Good thing one of us does! We have a lot of snow, and there are still 3 months left of possible snowfall! Blaahhhh!

The envelopes from our Christmas cards that I separated while I was organizing them. So many friends and relatives! I love hearing from everyone!

Yes, that is Allan on top of the fridge. I think we have a problem. He is constantly striving to find the highest surface possible. I think he found it! I will admit that he lookos very dignified. He's not a baby anymore!

A few days ago I was trying to put a dish away and one of the brackets in this cabinet broke and I caught it just in time before it collapsed and broke all of the dishes! Can you imagine the tragedy if all of this lovely Fiestaware broke! I can't think of it! It's fixed now, though. Sorry the photo is sideways. I forgot to rotate it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Red Lodge, MT

We returned from 3 days in Red Lodge, MT, yesterday afternoon. We went to ski and to celebrate the upcoming marriage of my cousin and her fiance. It was a good time. Red Lodge is a small town with a long main street lined with restaurants and bars and is a great place to go skiing if you want some night life as well. We skied for three days. The first morning, being the flatlander that I am, I suffered altitude sickness for about an hour. I spent the hour trying to ski to the base area without fainting or puking and then sitting at a table drinking water and sweating through my clothes even though my hands and feet were frozen and tingling. I wasn't the only one this happened to and one guy with us even vomited from it (and NO of course he didn't drink the night before!! Just kidding, he did, but not that much). It is quite a strange feeling and it usually doesn't happen to me or anyone else I've been with in Montana. A few years ago my family went skiing in Colorado and everyone had issues with it right away. I still laugh about my sister and the incident on that trip where she suddenly got light headed our first night and laid on the hood of a stranger's car when we were walking home from the hot tub! If this all sounds unpleasant, you should read "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. It contains a description of the acclimation process for climbers planning on climbing Mount Everest, which takes weeks and involves alot of puking and diarrhea and general misery! At least it was short lived on this trip.

Fortunately, it didn't take long to acclimate. The skiing was fun even though it is early in the season and the mountain needed alot more snow. Skiing is so exhilarating and it was fun to be with so many friends and relatives for the weekend and to celebrate the beginning of 2010!
I posted a few pictures. The blogger program is acting up and making it difficult to arrange the photos, so they are in no specific order. I think I intended the ones at the bottom to show up first.

This was taken during the bach. party. This bartender was really bored apparently, because she allowed these antics and even took photos with several of our cameras!

Notice the interesting rock formations in the background. They were amazing from every angle and height.

This snowman was located on the street where we always went out at night. I became obsessed with it. It is a complete wreck but I thought it was really cute and fat. I don't know what those lights are supposed to be adding to it! They were just globbed on there! And that wreath! Who knows??

We were trying to pose with the rocks in the background but they don't show as well as they could.