Friday, May 30, 2008

Wow. We had a HUGE windstorm this afternoon. I have never, never, never seen trees so side-ways! I woke from my post-starbucks-nap to a police car and firetruck in front of my neighbor's house with the surrounding neighbors standing on their curbs looking concerned. Landon and I soon realized that a huge section of the tree in our back yard (sorry!) had fallen on their driveway and with it, took the powerlines to their house. Our powerlines are also grounded out back (so duvi is inside - no worries). Yet,somehow we have plenty of power right now. Landon is so sweet to think that we should offer to have our neighbors stay with us today until the ComEd people come to repair their line. I was thinking, "what!?! we used to go days without power and we were absolutely fine. the weather's warm (and dry) and it's sunny - nothing debilitating.). wow, i'm pretty uncompassionate and landon is much more the sweeter one around here. but if by dinner time there still is no power for them, i will surely extend our home.

i have also been completely terrified of the prospect of tornadoes around here. i know it is such a possibility. but after some praying and realizing that our house is like 50 years old and the trees outside are like 80 years old, it seems this part of illinois has probably withstood some fierce winds and lightning each year without being taken out by a tornado. that's hopeful.

Monday, May 26, 2008

the perfect weekend

Wow, what a wonderful weekend.

My boss asked me not to come into work - they actually scheduled too many people - awesome! I woke up feeling pretty cruddy (catching somethin' nasty), so i thought to take it easy. I went to Panera and wrote in my journal, read my Bible, bottom-less coffee and spinach mornings are spent this way. Then i headed to walmart where i bought flowers for my garden (thanks Janelle!). I seriously spent about an hour perusing the 12 varieties of flowers. I couldn't make up my mind as far as which colors i should get and what would go with what and where and how many flowers i needed to fill which pots. i pretty much applied flower-science that i somehow learned from my mother - at least, her words were going through my head as i searched out the perfect flowers for my garden.

Then i stopped at starbucks on my way out of walmart (it seriously had been at least 3 hours since my previous coffee) and bought a frap light to sip on while i sat in the sun and planted my flowers. i have two window-boxes and one huge pot for flowers. so only 3 arrangements. i put light and purplish-pink petunias in the window boxes and then (inspired by my grandmother) i put an assortment of red, white and blue flowers in my ginormous circular pot! of course, i had to buy some greenery and begin with tall flowers in the center (learned this from mom) and i even have some greenery that will eventually drape over the edge of the pot. i'm hoping these actually live - i bought flowers THIS TIME that are actually SUPPOSED to be in pots, not in the ground!

Then I got to talk to Britta on the phone for awhile - i never get to talk to her - that was therapy to my heart!

note: Landon worked all day Saturday, so his weekend wasn't as perfect

i woke at 8:30 and took Duvi on a run through the woods. We were the only ones out there and it was wonderful. Then i had breakfast outside where i got to sit in the sun forever and take my time enjoying the day. Still feeling sick, i took a 2 1/2 hour nap. That was nice (missed church...again).

Landon and I just got a roof-rack on the Passat for long canoeing journeys. So we decided to hit it to the river! We parked his car at the highschool across the street where there is a canoe launch - this would be the end of our trip and then we drove up north a bit in the Passat with the canoe on top and put-in up the river a few miles. We floated down the river for a good 3-4 hours i think. It was beautiful! I can't believe how people out here aren't swamping these wooded trails and rivers - i feel like whenever we're out there we are in a place of such solitude. what does everyone else do all day?

anyways, we floated down the river where we only had to portage twice (i got eaten alive by the mosquitoes in the woods). Landon is amazing at maneuvering our canoe through the river - he was ingenious at how to get us out of sticky situations and when i should paddle or stop paddling or paddle left or right (i have no clue how to work the thing!). We enjoyed spitting sunflower seeds and watched herons, ducks, beaver, muskrat, deer, etc... (we left duvi at home this time). it was so beautiful to float beneath the trees through our town - a beautiful wilderness!

then we went to chilli's for dinner and then to the pier to a local ice cream shop where we got complimentary ice cream! it was delicious!

I felt so spoiled to have Landon all to myself for this day of fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

my 5's:

prompted by Carrie, i thought this would be really fun. and it was fun to read hers - amazing the things you could never know about a person otherwise.... so, read, learn, enjoy...

5 things under $5 I couldn't live without:
Landon (well, he's a litte more expensive than $5 - but his love is free!)

5 favorite movies:
while you were sleeping
pride and prejudice (the newer one)
legends of the fall
a river runs through it

5 favorite baby names:
um, landon's not too keen on us sharing these until we're done with babies (though we haven't even begun! - don't want you to steal our great ideas).
but if i had it my way, our kids would be named after things in nature, mostly trees.

5 songs I love:
hymns in general
wild horses - rolling stones (we danced to this on our wedding day!)
blessed the rains - toto
if you want me to - ginny owens
shout to the lord - first song i remember understanding what worship was as a child, and wanting to worship God with my whole heart. really special.

5 positive influences:
african orphans

5 things always in my purse:
credit card

5 life-changing moments:
1999 - Columbine shooting
2002 - moving back to Colorado (from APU)
2004 - Landon FINALLY falls in love with me
2005 - living in Africa
2007 - moving to Illinois

5 current obsessions:
reading your blogs
pulling dandelions

5 places i want to go:
New Zealand
Kenya - i miss my babies!
Montana - don't you think i would love it there?

5 appliances or kitchen tools I cannot live without:
can opener
our nice set of knives
calphalon cookware

please share yours if you so desire - i'd love to learn these quirky things about you!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yesterday i was contemplating a book, and for the first time realized that my drive to the store and back (about 20 minutes one way) would be more expensive than shipping costs through their website. $4.15 in my neck of the woods. give me a break!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


so, i think i left all of our camera stuff (except for the camera) in my sister-in-law's brother's rental car in missouri. i can't find it anywhere anyway. so... those pictures i promised are stuck on my camera with no way of escaping. please be patient with me as i try to recover our (expensive and not easily replacable) camera stuff.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

just a shout out to tell you that we're "home" in Gurnee from our 10 day trip down South. i will try to post a few lengthier blogs these next few days in between all my catching up to do. so check back for pictures and info on our wonderful time with the McBrayers!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


With the spring rains and the warm temperatures, our home (and our yard) has blossomed into a retreat for ants of all shapes, sizes, and appetites.

In order to keep myself from completely flipping out, i'm trying to remember the Safari Ants that we had to deal with in Africa. We would walk through a trail of Safari Ants without knowing it until they had managed to walk up through our clothes and they all decide to bite at once! Their little pinchers keep them hanging on pretty fiercely - people have been known to fully de-clothe to get these buggers off. They also had a reputation for killing chickens. We eventually learned what kind of atmospheres were attractive to safari ants and were able to look for them before they found us (sometimes). but when we were first there, we learned the hard way how to detect and avoid these guys. okay, in that light, our current ant situation isn't THAT bad, is it?

We have ANTS!!! Even since about February / March, we've found small concentrations of ants in our house. Especially beneath our recycle bag and underneath the cold beverage refrigerator in the laundry room. They have also been found in my laundry hamper (i'm thinking my starbucks aprons are quite the feast). We have set up murder-feasts for them, and they have lowered the number of ants under the fridge but they are still in our recyclables. I have been better about placing dirty starbucks aprons in the laundry. But more recently, we have found them in a line from our bathroom window to our medicine cabinet. I think they like my listerine! stupid little jerks.

These guys are giving me issues. I'm told they might be carpenter ants. but i'm not sure what they are doing in my kitchen cabinets and pantry. One morning, i was (hardely) awake at 3:30am, and i opened the kitchen cabinet to have a bowl of cereal before i headed off to work. i was very tired, and when i opened the cabinet a dozen ginormous, juicy, black ants fell out and scurried across the counter. i literally screamed! It had surprised me. When landon ran out of the bedroom to see what was wrong, he found me crying in the kitchen. We left the cabinets open all day that day to see if they would leave (it appears that they are really smart - when they see us, they run for cover, and they prefer dark places). Well, i have never found more than 3 together ever again. but i did see two yesterday. These guys are tricky. We put murder-feast in our cabinets for them to feast upon, but it is untouched. We never find them on any of our food, only just lingering around beneath our bowls and plates and within our pantry items. I have no idea what to do with them. They freak me out.

Sunday when i mowed the lawn, i came across multiple ant colonies in our lawn. One of them is the HUGEST ant colony i have ever seen! (outside of termite mounds in sub-saharan africa). We have a few smaller patches also and they are spread in every area of our lawn. I tried to mow those suckers down and out! but of course, that was futile. I thought i had an ingenius idea! I was remember elementary school science projects and decided that covering their home with baking soda and then saturating it with vinegar might do the trick. that was fun to do and actually kept the ants from resurfacing for 2 days. but yesterday i saw them rebuilding...

I've looked into some solutions. It's a little tricky to find something that will drive out ants, and keep them out that is affordable and not toxic enough to put in our cabinets, or something that Duvick won't be poisoned by. So far, i haven't found anything besides these (USELESS) little murder-feasts (that is not what they're called - i forget their names, but this seems fitting of their purpose, whether they accomplish it or not). i am SO VERY open for suggestions!

Coming from Colorado, where if we have ants, we call the exterminator! (and we don't really get ants), i've been pretty bothered by this. Landon told me (as a Georgia boy) that summer weather brings ants and you can keep them at a minimum, but you just can't get rid of them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

hum dee dum

When i was in guatemala last fall i bargained (en espanol) for a really awesome hanging chair. we hung it outside on one of our silver maples. the weather has been absolutely perfect these last few days with blue skies and low humidity and warmness and i have loved sitting in that chair. i have been trying to figure out what i can do for ACSI that doesn't have to be on the computer (which is not much) so that i can enjoy the sunshine!

sunday i spent the whole day outside where i mowed the lawn, picked 2 grocery bags full of dandelions (and then another bag full yesterday!) and took duvi running and went out for icecream with dooney. it was great great great.

this is wonderful: duvi tore apart a pair of chaco's that i got for Christmas. I sent them back to chaco and they re-strapped them for me and i got them back in the mail today! so for those of you who haven't gotten the picture yet that chaco is amazing - THEY ARE!!!

so i've been working at starbucks a lot lately. well, actually no more than normal, but for some reason all my hours for last week were crammed together at the end of the week and all my hours for this week are crammed together at the beginning. so it just feels like i'm working a lot because i'm goin' on an average of 5 hours of sleep each night (not counting the glorious weekend) and am feeling a bit tired. but... horray! tomorrow is my last day at 'bucks until May 19th! So, i am not dispairing, but am so excited!

and Landon also is not sleeping much and is studying like a maniac. he's writing 2 papers in a short few days before we leave for preston's wedding on Thursday morning. we will both be driving to North Carolina thursday morning exhausted. oh well. it's amazing how much inspiration can drive you! we are so excited to have the family together (i will FINALLY be able to meet my nephew, griffin!) and we will go rock climbing in north carolina and georgia and alabama... and we will get some rest and relaxation at the family lodge after a long semester/YEAR. and most important thing: eating at chick-fil-a!! horray!

so. la dee da, hum dee dum. so...