Friday, April 30, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day...

Just not in Idaho.  We're supposed to move to Jackon, Wyoming today.  If the apartment guy calls me back and says it's okay.  However, it's apparently snowing.


I hate driving in the snow.  I especially hate driving all of our worldly possessions in the snow.  I think my tires suck and I always skid about.  Not fun.  But, we need to move.  We start work with the river float company on Monday, so we need the weekend to really work on moving into our apartment.  Sunday is my cute little niece, Ella Marie's, blessing.  It's in Idaho so we'll have to drive about an hour and a half back.  I'm really hoping we are able to go but a lot depends on the weather and the state of our apartment. 

So while I wait for the apartment guy to call me back, I have been looking at our Chicago pictures, and remembering sunny days with family.

Okay, it was actually starting to drizzle in this picture, but whatevs.  And I just realized you can see Docker's (our dog) head sniffing Stacey's leg!  Funny :)

Bryan and I at a bird sanctuary with my folks.  We got to bird watch and saw some really beautiful red winged black birds.  I'm wearing Bryan's shirt because I got really cold.  What a gent, I tell ya.

And here's a shot of the red winged black bird through my dad's scope!

Wishing for warmer days....  hope it's nice where you're at!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So.  I'm thinking of opening an Etsy shop.  I'll have time to do some craftiness at my job, it seems, in between answering phone calls.  And I'll be the only one there for most of the time, so it's not like someone is going to say, "Hey.  Stop keeping yourself occupied."

So I keep brainstorming what to sell on Etsy.  So far I've made some crocheted headbands that I think are really cute.  As soon as a few are finished I'll post them.  And then ask what you think I should charge for them.

I'm not sure what else to sell, though.  I like the idea of headbands because I think there's less competition.  There are very cute, very dainty yet hippie-esque headbands, and I think they're great for summer.

Any other ideas of what I could make/sell?  I love to crochet, so I'm starting there.  I don't want to make any HUGE project because it takes quite a while.  I was also considering making a few baby shrugs like this one:

I would probably sell those for about $40, since they take a few hours to make and I have to account for yarn.

What do you think?  Would people buy baby shrugs for $40?  Would they buy hippie-bands?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flying Back to the West

This afternoon I get on a plane again and I see these mountains again.

And I'll have to say goodbye to my parents again, until August.  That's not too long of a wait, much less than the 8 months I didn't see them before we got here two weeks ago.  I will definitely miss them, however!  I hope when they visit us in Jackson they will find us happy, skinnier, and a bit tan.  :-)

We move into our Jackson studio apartment on Saturday!  I can't believe how fast time flies!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


If you ever have a chance to visit Chicago, I recommend Chinatown.  They have so many fun little grocery stores, and you can get some beautiful pottery/tea sets, as well as fun things like Asian candy, pretty smelling soaps, and novelty swords.  You can find inexpensive yet delicious tea, dried octopus, live crab and snakes (SCARY!!), and candy with hilarious and seemingly random words on it.

And here is Chinatown with the Sears Tower in the background:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lake Michigan

You really need to click on the above picture to enlarge it and really see the beauty of this place.  This picture was made up of many smaller pictures to give the feeling of a panorama.

I am in love with Lake Michigan.  On the Michigan side, that is.  Bryan made a good point about the lake; if you can't see across it, isn't it a lot like the ocean?  True, it doesn't have as many cool animals in it, and you can't really find many shells on the shore.  However, it's a lot safer to swim in compared to the ocean off of Nor Cal as there are a good amount of Great Whites off of Humboldt's shore.  And, the water gets nice and warm in the summer.

I could definitely be content with Lake Michigan if I couldn't live by the ocean.  But I think I'll stay out west, thankyouvery much.

gives me a peaceful, easy feeling...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

I am a very bad blogger.

I realize that since being home in Chicago for our vacation I have been TERRIBLE at blogging, and I do apologize to those of you that read this!  I know when I was working my latest desk job, I checked 'my blogs' at least three times a day to read the absolute newest posts.

Well, I suck.

Forgive me??

I have a lot of pictures I need to organize but I promise I will have some cute ones up soon.  Today my sister-in-law Amanda and her kiddos, GK and Addy, came to Chicago!  They, along with my folks and the hubs and I, played mini-golf and had Chicago style hot dogs.  It was delish and a heck of a lot of fun.  Tomorrow we are going to the Kohl's Children's museum and to the Lincoln Park Zoo.  I can't wait to take pictures!  It will be awesome.

We ordered our new phones today as well!  I will be getting this beauty, an LG EnV Touch.  Sexy, no?

Annnd it opens up and has a querty pad and another screen!  I'm very excite about the whole thing.

Thanks for your patience while I'm lazy on vacation!  I'll be back to regular posting soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well my dears, I have not been great at updating, but I didn't have computer access for a few days.  I am now, happily, in Chicago at my parents' house and have alllllll the computer access I could ever hope for here. 

Yesterday we got into town, had some yummy steak on the grill, and had a nice fire while sitting outside on the swing drinking Slurpees.  Classic Brantner family time.  Today my folks worked but my dad and I walked to the library to get a bit of exercise and pick out some movies, and my mom drove us back to the house.  Bryan and I then went to Monica and Sean's for din-din, and that was yummy and a lot of fun.

It's hot here!!  It got up to 83 today, which is crazy for April.  Bryan went on a 7 mile run and I did 1.5 miles and then saw my mom home on her lunch break, and hung out with her.  Good times.  :)

It's great to be back home.  On Saturday Bryan takes the bus to Detroit to hang out with Chris, Amanda, GK and Addy, and then drives down to Chicago with Amanda and GK and Addy while Chris goes to school for the week.  I can't wait to see my dear sis-in-law Amanda, and my amazing niece and nephew!  It will be great.  We're trying to figure out what to do while they are here.  I think we'll check out the Lincoln Park Zoo and maybe Millenium Park, and then we'll go to my family's cottage in Michigan for a couple of days.  I hope it's warm enough to go to the beach in our bathing suits, even if it's still a bit too chilly to swim in Lake Michigan.  I have so missed my family, it's great to see them! 

Two weird things happened today, though:  I got a migraine, which is just out of the blue.  I know my hormones are wacky this month with the move and stress, since I'm on day 39 of my cycle and still haven't had my period.  I ovulated really late too this month; I guess stress messed you up a bit!

The next weird thing is that I forgot, for a moment, that my grandfather died last year.  My mom showed me all the furniture she inherited from her parents recently and how they've been rearranging the house.  This wasn't too strange, as she received some things, as did I, after my grandmother died 7 years ago.  She mentioned that the new coffee table and side tables in the living room were from my grandfather's apartment, and I didn't think much of it at the time.  This morning, however, I was looking at then and thought, "So if she has his furniture, what is he using?"

And then I remembered he died almost a year ago.  I wasn't living in the midwest when it happened, and it was a slow process of getting older and more senile and then having cancer and not treating it and then passing away.  With my grandmother it was incredibly sudden, a stroke that killed her before she hit the ground.  With my grandmother, it was final.  I saw her body at the viewing, I watched her casket lowered into the ground.  With my grandfather, who was cremated, I went to the memorial service, but it was a few weeks after his death.  It was a very nice service, a wonderful tribute to his generous and loving spirit, but apparently not as final for me.  Death is only the beginning though, as they say.  Still, it was strange to realize I live in a world where my mother cannot call her parents on the phone anymore.

We go to the cottage later this week and I am hoping we'll get a chance to put flowers on my grandparents' grave, and maybe to view their house.  I want Amanda to see the place where I spent a lot of time as a child.  I want her to feel the love I felt, and the hard work that went into that house they built together.  I want her to feel how much I love Bethany Beach in Sawyer, Michigan.  I haven't been to the cottage since my honeymoon almost three years ago, and I am greatly looking forward to it, and to sharing it with another part of my family.

Monday, April 12, 2010

You can't always get what you want...

Are you a people pleaser?  I am, in a lot of ways.

My husband and I are flying to Chicago on Wednesday to spend two weeks in the midwest.  We have a lot of people to see in a short time, like usual.  We're going to see my folks, my friends Kathy and Monica, my sister-in-law Amanda and her two kiddos, and hopefully my brother and sister-in-law.  All in two weeks.  Did I mention that Amanda lives in Michigan and my brother and his wife live in Wisconsin?  There's a lot of possibility for travel this vacation.

I've been carefully planning out our schedules, consulting with all of the above to insure that we'd see everyone for a fair amount of time.  However, some things have been switched around, and it's possibly we may see some people less than we'd hoped, and others possibly not at all.  And no one seems pleased about it.  As I am the one in the marriage that's in charge of all the planning and the details, I feel like as ass for not making everyone happy.

I bought the plane tickets, I figured out times and days, I looked at bus schedules and train schedules and work schedules.  And after all this planning, there are a few changes and people end up disappointed.  And I end up in tears, because I'm already hating that fact that people (including my husband) will be less than pleased.  And less understanding than I want them to be.

I really do like making plans and being in charge, but this sucks.  I hate disappointing people.  I want to see my parents, but they're working while we're in town, and they are worried we won't have enough time with just them.  I want to see my friends but at the moment that means coming into town on a Wednesday and being out of the house on Thursday and Friday night when they get off of work.  Bryan will be in Michigan on Saturday night and all of Sunday and part of Monday, and then I join him in Michigan for the later part of Monday through Friday.  Like I said, we want to see my brother and my sister-in-law, but they work too.  And we want to go to the church I grew up in on Sunday and spend time with my folks on Monday, which is their day off.  And then we fly out on Wednesday.

Two weeks.  Two weeks sounds like a nice long vacation doesn't it?  Like you'd be able to relax and see everyone and have a good time?  I'm already crying and anxious about the limited time we have and the possibility that people may get hurt feelings.

Are you a people pleaser?  Do you over-empathize and get anxious about making people happy?

The vacation has yet to start and I'm already worried people will end up disappointed.  This sucks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


For those of you who were following my C25K progress, you may have noticed that I stopped posting about it.  Well there are a couple of reasons that I've slowed in my progress
  • I was sick for almost two weeks and couldn't run then
  • It rained in Humboldt for a week straight and I wouldn't run in the rain
  • Bryan's folks came to Humboldt and we were out of the house all day
Now I'm in Idaho and I've run three or four times since we've been here visiting Bryan's family.  Let me tell you though, the elevation is KILLER.  I've been able to run a mile without too much struggle, but I'm still gasping for air.  Yesterday I did a mile and a half of interval training where I ran and walked.  I tried to sprint for a bit but THAT was pretty much laughable.  :-)  I'm hoping when we go to Chicago next week I'll be running at least every other day with the puppies.

On my last C25K run, I ran for 27 minutes, albeit slowly.  I hope to be back in that condition next week with the lower elevation in Chicago.  I know I'll have to get used to even HIGHER elevation in Jackson.

Here's the elevation differences:

Eureka, California: 44 feet
Pocatello, Idaho:  4,464 feet
Mt. Prospect, Illinois: 669 feet
Jackson, Wyoming:  6,237 feet

So.  Yeah.  That's a lot of elevation changes.  My poor lungs are beat!!

I do promise to get back to C25K and finish the program. I'll kick allll sorts of butt, promise.

Oh!  I also got new running shoes.  I couldn't find the Nike Free 5.0s anywhere, but I got these very cool Nike Dual Fusion shoes in a very pretty shade of blue.  They're very comfortable.  I got them in a size 6.5 but I'm returning them for a size 7.  I recommend them, they're very light, not too big of a sole, very comfy.

My friend Kendra works at the Sports Authority and she had a Friends and Family coupon, so I got them 25% off!  Sweet!

The Carson Mansion

This is the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California.  Completed in 1886, it's hella old and incredibly imposing and awesome.

And I want to play Hide-and-Seek in it.  Wouldn't that be amazing?  And terrifying at night?

It hosts the Ingomar Club, a very private club that I assume is all about the creepy sex parties, a la Eyes Wide Shut (or at least what I've heard about Eyes Wide Shut).

Either way.... Hide-and-Seek.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Have you SEEN Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution??  It's fantastic.  Here's the first episode for you:

You can see the next three episodes on  Jamie Oliver, fancy chef dude, went to Huntington, West Virginia, the fattest county in America, to try to revolutionize their school lunch programs.


Watch it.  It's FANTASTIC.  It's sometimes ASTOUNDING to see what is considered a "vegetable" in American schools.  It's HEARTBREAKING to see the youth of America eating CRAP on a daily basis.  It will make you angry, it will make you sad, but it will leave you incredibly hopeful for the future.  Can we teach kids to be healthy?  Can we actually get them to like healthy food?

How much longer are we going to be on of the most obese countries in the world?  You look at the kids in West Virginia, and they're SICK.  They're obese and it's reducing their lifespan not by months, not by years, but by DECADES.

And then you look around you, and think, "Huh.  It's not that different here, either."

Watch it.  Please.

What are some of the biggest changes you think Americans need to make in their daily life to affect healthy behaviors and lifestyles?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Friday!

I hope your Friday is enjoyable and your weekend wonderful!  I will try to post at least once this weekend, but may be a bit busy with family stuff.  Hope it's sunny wherever you live!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This is California

Here's the thing:  California is a big-booty state.  Oh yes, it is.  Here's some of the diversity that we saw on our trip.  The pictures are not great because I took all of them (except the first, which was taken at a rest stop) while driving.  Not exactly the safest thing to do, but whatevs.  It was a 17 hour long drive and I had to find ways to not fall asleep.

First off, Humboldt County.  Our home for 2.5 years.  Green.  Wet.  Wild.

Next, Mendocino County.  Lots of good wine, good fog, fun driving.

Nevada County, California.  This was right around Donner Pass.  I do NOT like driving in the snow.  I'm going to have to get used it again.  You think that growing up in Chicago would make me used to it, but apparently I've forgotten about it while living in Humboldt.  Huh.  That's Bryan's car ahead, backed to the brim with stuff.

For the life of me, I do not remember if this was Sutter County, CA or somewhere in the middle of Idaho.  It's one of the two.  They look pretty much exactly the same.  That's Bryan's folks' car ahead, packed with stuff, towing a trailer packed with MORE of our stuff.  True.  We've got lots of stuff.  Thankfully we didn't have enough to rent a U-Haul.

Any Californians out there?  California-aficionados?  What's your favorite county?

Holding Patterns

Well, this is the third week that I've been "unemployed."  My new job in Jackson starts at the beginning of May, but I've been off since March 19th.

And the monotony is driving me crazy.  I didn't realize how much I relied on work to take up my time.  I didn't realize how, as much as I hated my job a lot of the time, it really gave me a bit of fulfillment and the feeling of achievement.

I love hanging out with Bryan's family though; it's a LOT of fun.  I think the difference this time as that I've always been here for an extended period of time on vacation.  This is sort of a vacation, but it feels more like a waiting room.  Waiting for the next thing, waiting for the next move... We've already moved from our apartment in Arcata, California to Keith and Bethany's place in Eureka, California to Bryan's folks place in Idaho.  In less than a week we will be going to Chicago for about two weeks to visit my folks and hopefully see my brother and sister-in-law, as well as some friends.  Then we'll drive up to my family's cottage in Michigan where we'll meet my sister-in-law Amanda and her kiddos GK and Addyson.  I think I'll feel better about being unemployed in Chicago because we have pretty much every day planned out.  Place to be, people to see, things to do.  I like schedules.  They let me know that my time will be well-spent.

That's not to say I haven't done anything while in Idaho.  Like I said, I've really enjoyed spending time with family and relaxing.  I've hung out with our friends Cody and Kendra, who will also be in Jackson this summer.  And I've baked chocolate-orange biscotti, apple crisp, and crocheted a hat.  It's just that daily need to be somewhere at a certain time, and to make MONEY.  Yeah.  That.  I miss that.  Never thought I would!

Last night Bryan took me out on a nice date to the movies and we saw Sherlock Holmes (it was the cheapy theatre where a movie ticket is $2.50!).  I've heard good and bad things about Sherlock Holmes but I must admit, I really enjoyed it!  It was nice to get out of the house for a bit.

So that's where I am right now, in limbo.  Maybe if I gave myself a list of things to do, that would help.  I've gone on two runs this week, and those went pretty well.  I'm going to try to make myself run at least a mile every day for the rest of the week, and see if that helps with some of my nervous energy. 

I found myself thinking today "there's no way I could be a stay at home mom," and then I realized that stay at home moms probably don't get bored, at least when they have little babies.  They're busy feeding, cleaning, washing, napping, repeating... right?  Any stay at home mom's out there?

Ah well.  It's just another week until Chicago and then two weeks until I work again.  I should learn to enjoy it, I know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leaving California Part Three

Leaving California has left me anxious, tired, and emotionally drained.  I will miss everyone dearly.  I love my friends so much, and I love the ocean and the redwoods and the community.  I love local shops/goods/food, I love my church, and I love that this is where we started our married life together.

However, I am now in Idaho, and I am hoping that I get used to the idea.  It snowed today, which is LAME.  But it is very nice to be around family.  Yesterday we saw a LOT of family for Easter, and that was really nice.  Becca and the kids, Mason and Tyson, are living with Bryan's folks until June, when Jon finishes his residency program.

Yesterday I got to see Stuart and Nicole, and my new little niece Ella Marie!!  She is so so so sweet, and I just love cuddling her.  She's absolutely darling.

Posting will be slow until the internet is back up at my in-laws.  They had someone hack their system recently and are getting a new connection soon, hopefully.  I'm at our friends' house right now using their commuter.

I don't think it's totally sunk in that we don't live in Humboldt anymore.  In the back of my mind I keep thinking "well, it's snowing now, but when we go back it'll be beautiful and green again...."  I miss Humboldt already, but I know that we couldn't survive there.  It's nice to be closer to family as well.  I do miss my friends though, and the ocean, and the greenery.

I went on a run this morning and could only run for 10 minutes straight because of the elevation!  It was INTENSE!

As this isn't my computer, I don't have a lot of pictures, but here is one of Bryan.  This is at a REST STOP!  Prettiest rest stop ever.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

I woke up this morning to my husband saying "hey sweetie, good morning."  I looked over to see my darling husband I saw that THERE WAS A DOG IN THE BED WITH ME with his head on Bryan's pillow!!

Bryan cracked up, of course, while I was grumpy and said, "WHY IS THERE A FRICKIN' DOG IN THE BED??" to which Bryan replied, "Honey, what day is it?" and I said, "It's Thursday.  What, is it Dog Day???"

I didn't realize it was April Fool's Day until I went to get breakfast.  Annnnd by that time everyone was telling me it was Dog Day.  :)

Good prank guys!  Kudos, it was very funny.

And thank you to the lovely Hagen, who was quite the gentleman and did not try to lick me even once.

Fern Canyon

I love this man.