Friday, September 26, 2008

Grouchy Golfers and Their Balls

Daniel Bruce apparently has a passion for creeping through the woods in order to find abandoned golf balls. I didn't know this when I married him, but I discovered it because of our rather recent move and our subsequent proximity to the golf course. Our house is approximately .4 miles from the local golf course (although we could just go through the cornfield and emerge onto the course), but I prefer to go the path more traveled in this case.

Anyways, on Wednesday night, Dan's evening class was canceled and so we decided to go on a little excursion. Days are getting shorter, so we drove over (as to not be hit by a speeding Caddy on the way home) and parked near the climbing wall, where Dan brings groups!

So, we jumped into the woods and started searching for golf balls. Dan--having more experience in this game--was winning handily, when a man in a golf cart drove by. Being the friendly (western) New Yorker that I am, I waved. Apparently, it would have been better to not attract his attention. He drove over to the edge of the woods and, while still on the seat of his golf cart, asked, "What are you doing?" I looked at Dan, Dan looked at me, while the gentleman waited. Dan told him that we were just looking for golf balls, to which the many asked another question: "But are you golfing?" Dan, much to my amusement, replied that we were not currently golfing. (Neither of us have any firm intentions of golfing on this course ever, really, so the word currently was a bit of a white lie.) "Well, you really shouldn't be here," Mr. Grumpy Gills replied.

Dan and I were a bit dumbfounded. Obviously, no one was really very interested in retrieving their balls. Otherwise, they'd be out there poking around the woods. So Dan tried to reiterate, saying, "But we're just looking for lost golf balls." Mr. Cranky-Pants was not appeased and drove off, but not before he told us again that we really shouldn't be there.

As many of you know, I am a law abiding person. I don't like getting in trouble and I don't like to be reprimanded. But, in this case, Grumpy Gills the Grandpa Golfer did not persuade me to give up. In fact, I was being a bit of a whiner before he came, but after he left, I was very enthusiastic to continue our search. He didn't actually tell us that we HAD to leave, he just suggested it. To which end we surmised that he didn't have any authority whatsoever to tell us to leave. Besides, we pay tuition so he can golf on the public, college-owned golf course.

In total, Dan won the golf ball search with eight and I lost with only four. Now we only have 88 more golf balls to find before we can sell all 100 online for about $15 on ebay! As this not only was a fun date but an opportunity to be entrepreneurs, we would suggest this activity for a date when you don't have any money to spend. We'd give it four and a half stars out of ten for fun activities. Mr. Grumpy Gills made it even better, so we cannot guarantee that you'll have the same great experience! If you do try it, make sure and let us know! (But by then we'll have so many golf balls on sale on ebay that yours won't be worth anything.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Midwest, Midweek Climbing

So I had a few days off mid week this week, so we used those days up American style. We had excess, so we burned it away. I welcome you to Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo, WI.

Some scree on the approach. It reminds me of climbing the Grand Teton. Hilary liked the trail and said it was gnarly [HS: yes, you know me and the climbing lingo!]. She also said hiking in Crocs isn't recommended on gnar-nasty approaches [HS: true. Also, don't get dehydrated and wear Crocs. I almost slipped on the steep descent!]. We climbed a little bit because that is what we went to do. Two of my work buddies came as well, Noel (the guy version) and Ian (nicknamed JP for Junior Protoge), oh, and Noel's daughter and friend came too! Ask me sometime and I'll explain the situation if you care to know. (It is a bit weird) No good pictures of us climbing, so the walk out. [Dan ordered me to stop taking pictures of him while he was belaying, otherwise there would be some amazing pics of him staring at the bottom of the cliff.]
Also in this blog I would like to tell you about my awesome wife, you may know her, her name is Hilary. She made one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. She first spent about 1.5 hours making mozzarella cheese with a kit she got awhile back. Then she sat on her butt for .25 seconds. Then she began making a deep crust pizza dough, which required boiling and mashing potatoes as well as making a quasi-normal bread dough. While this lazy butt sat around doing homework [sleeping?] the wife then also prepared the pizza, but then screamed [oh please] for help when she needed sauce made, cause I'm a mad awesome sauce maker. For real dog. [For real dog.]

It is about the time during the show where the actors get tired and want to go eat ice cream soaked [I suggested choosing the word covered] in chocolate, which is what I am going to do. [Me too. Love you guys!]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We killed them ALL!

Blogging Rule #1- Come up with a good title.
Blogging Rule #2- Contents must be accurate.
Blogging Rule #3- Contents must include humor.

We try to follow all three of these rules but sometimes we fail. We shall begin.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a couple who lived in a small little white house on an old farm. At odd times of the day, small little creatures with wings would hatch, and fly around and around. This couple did not really enjoy the small little creatures with wings flying around their kitchen at odd times during the day, so they did something about it. Que awesome fight sequence music. At the odd times during the day, the couple would silently sneak up on the little creatures and study their flying patterns. They would calculate their flight plans using complex algorithms laid out on the dining room table with the help of two, yes two, TI-89's. Weapons would then be gathered and ceremonially cleansed. Then, they would wait.

And wait.

And wait. Until all was still and the moment was right. And then...

they would strike!

And then, until suddenly, there were no more.

Dead Fly Total for today- 20!

Sore shoulders from swinging the towel so much-1

Towel we have to clean because
Sir Knight Dan is amazing- 1

Pictures with amazing detail- 1
(see below)
I double dog dare you to click on this picture to make it bigger.
Tonight we had a showdown and the humans won. Hilary says she had a showdown today at lunch with these nasty creatures with a broom, at which she also destroyed. The broom is fine in case you were concerned.

Stay tuned for more awesome adventures.

Next adventure planned...

a short mountain bike adventure with the wifey. She gets to borrow one of my co-workers full suspension Schwinn. Hopefully it does not rain tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Who is buying all the food?

So today, while opening a bag of flour, I found this...

I don't know if you believe me or not, but I think I should be getting something hidden in my food bags if I am paying so much for them.

Is it speculation? Is it demand? Is it fuel costs?
Can anyone tell me why all the food I want to buy is costly?
It's not like I'm purchasing steaks, lobster and top shelf liquor. The only thing going in the cart is off brand cereal, eggs, milk, some chicken broth, and some quick oats for baked oatmeal. No snacks or extras. I'm not sure the mid-West is being very inviting. Due to the high cost of food, We are selling the Jetta.

Car for sale!
All of this is linked really. Expensive food, car for sale, and happenings with my bike. I'm a full fledged bike commuter, a whole .98 miles I go to work and school, but not this week, my spokes are snapping on the rear end.

In other news, our old landlord, who told us multiple times throughout the year upon questioning that our gas bill was indeed the one for our apartment, was not. He informed us today via email that for the last year, yes, all 12 months, we have been paying his gas bill. A refund check is hopefully in the mail. I am curious how this gets messed up and I reckon that the poor ol' lassie who lived there before us drew the short straw as well.

Praise the Lord for honest landlords!

Happy reading, I'm off to bed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

All Things Hot (h2o, jobs, & fires)

So, you know all of those dire warnings about Nalgenes and those pesky little hormone-like things that leach off the bottles into your beverage? Well, here at GWC, they are way beyond PBA waterbottles and gave Dan and I each a cool PBA-free waterbottle. Yesterday morning, Dan decided to make tea to take to work. Well, these water bottles might not leach anything, but they definitely don't stand up to hot water very well! Fortunately, Dan was pouring the boiling water into the waterbottle while standing over the sink. As it started to shrink, he just dropped it. Really, it's pretty impressive!

As for other news, I didn't get the job as an admissions counselor here at the school. I am going to be substitute teaching, at least for a while! I'm actually really looking forward to it. The high school is right across from our house, so the commute is short. Yay!

And the most exciting part of this post: Dan and I borrowed stones from the maintenance junk area and made ourselves a fire pit in the backyard! I'm going to conquer my inability to make a fire this year... or so Dan hopes. :) Here it is (the picture also includes the piece of plywood Dan was burning). We're excited about using it when friends come over, or maybe using it to make authentically smoky STEP stew.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This year, Dan and I are living in our own house! It's being provided by GWC, and we love it, after my initial displeasure. (It was late when we first arrived, and I was exhausted. I don't believe I was incredibly positive that first night, but obviously a lot has changed.) We're surrounded on three sides by cornfields which are looking pretty parched nowadays. Due to this, we don't have any neighbors to speak of, but we have more wildlife than at our last apartment. We mainly enjoy it because it's peaceful and quiet.

When Joanna came out to visit, she helped me do a lot of fixing up. We finished unpacking, bought paint, decorations, bar stools, fabric for curtains, and other things to make our house feel more like ours. Throughout these pictures, you'll be seeing Joanna's artistic and h
elpful home decorating abilities. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, though. Enjoy!

This is our kitchen. Joanna and I sanded, stained, and finished the stools. Perfection doesn't quite describe them, but they useful and cute! This is where we eat breakfast. I also made the curtains that are hanging in the window, which was quite a task for me, as I have little sewing experience. Fortunately, I own a sewing machine, thanks to a good friend! I like how they turned out, although again, they aren't perfect.
From the kitchen, we walk into the dining/study room, where Dan and I each have a desk. It's a nice area for studying. We eat most of our meals out here.

Our living room is the next room, where our t.v. lives, as well as our washer & dryer and Dan's bike. (Note: all of this furniture was out here when we came, thankfully. Most of the furniture is the same stuff we had at Houghton!)
Our bathroom, although functional, is not all that beautiful, and I won't include a picture of it here. I'll move on to the upstairs, where we have three bedrooms, only one of which we really use. The other is a guest room (hint, hint!) and the last contains our clothes, the reason for which you'll see shortly.
JoJo and I painted the master bedroom "Newport Blue".
And this is the reason for the clothes bedroom... the hugest closet ever! A part of this house I wouldn't want to change.
So that's the cyber tour of our house. We do have an extra bedroom or two to house visitors, if any of you would like to come. Consider this an open invitation. We're adjusting to our new surroundings, of course, but our house is starting to feel like a home.

I'll leave you with the view from a kitchen window. Not a bad view -- peaceful and pleasant. Come see it for yourself!

Sad and Happy :(:

August 1- Last day of work for Dan and Hilary in NY State :)
August 2- Pack up for things to go to PA for the year
August 4- Drive to Williams Bay, WI leaving family :(
August 5- Drive to Emily, MN- Have a great time, this is when we did lots of fun random things. August 6- Beach Day on Blue Lake in Emily, MN at Kate's house. We played around on Wave Runners all day long, swam, ski'ed, tubed, wakeboarded, and got some sun. It was a crazy wet busy day from 10AM until 7PM, at which time we went and ate some food. August 8th was the wedding, Jon and Kate, 8-8-08 at 8PM. It was a lot of fun, for desert- Chocolate fountains and chocolate brownies with ice cream. We had a lot of fun hanging out with Houghton friends and making new friends as well. It was a very good week. After the wedding, on Saturday we went to Duluth, MN. Here is the happy rose garden on the shore of Lake Superior where we had lunch.

After lunch, we drove up further north and went to Two Harbors, MN-a small little town on Lake Superior with a art show to walk around and visit. Some cool pictures of the shore, but expensive for pictures I thought, a nice garden, a nice city. We then drove around the city to find some place to sleep as we couldn' t camp, so a hotel search was on. We found a hotel and then went out to dinner and walked around and shopped a wee little bit. And guess what Dan found?!? His two favorite beverages in the same store! Go Duluth!

And this was our view of the city/water from our hotel room, and of course, Henry Weinhard's RootBeer and Davidson's Herbal Christmas Tea! The next morning we had to drive to our new house in Williams Bay, WI, which is sort of picture here. The next post will have more pictures hopefully!
Stay tuned for more information about Wisconsin and our adventures while living in the Mid-West.