Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sad Computer? to the Rescue!!

So about two weeks I noticed my computer acting a little weird.  Then I went to, a site where I watch shows that aren't on Hulu.  It's not totally legit, it's true.  But how else am I going to watch Big Bang Theory just an hour after it has aired??? WHERE????

Anyway, I went on the site and apparently click on something and voila!!  VIRUS!  Except that it wasn't 'technically' a virus, it was malware or something.  Avast! wouldn't detect it, and AntiMalwareBytes or whatever I downloaded only worked a bit.  And Spybot only found a couple of things.  After running those three programs, going to Trend Micro's House Call, and restoring the computer to a previous setting, it was STILL infected.  How did I know??  Well, it would randomly try to go to "" and "" and then reroute to another site.  Occasionally I'd try to look something up on Google and it would redirect me or tell me "Internet Explorer says that site has a virus" even though I use Firefox instead of IE.  Also, it made my home page.

Yeah.  Something was up.

Oh and occasionally a popup would appear on my desktop saying that my computer was infected and if I just clicked on the popup and put in some info it would totally take care of it, for FREEEEEE.  YEAH I DO NOT THINK SO EVIL MALWARE YOU SUCK.

So after getting upset and letting off steam and some bad words (you should know that technology not working brings out extreme amounts of RAGE in me.  I'm not kidding.  It's freaky and my fuse is VERY short when it comes to technology).... I thought "there has to be a way to fix this."  I found MalWare and life became so much better!!  Norton Safe Web listed the site as a safe site, so that was good.  All I had to do was sign in to a forum, describe my problem, and they led me through a lot of different programs to let me know what was causing my issues.  They let me know which of my programs to delete, at least for the time being (apparently's coupon printer is a tracking program, and can interfere when you're trying to de-crappify your pc) and they told me what to delete, what to run, and how to make some of these programs clear the crap off my computer.  It's a free service, although they are happy to accept donations, which I will definitely be giving them after all the help they gave me.  All in all it took about a week.  They'd tell me 3 or 4 things to install, run, and then I'd give them the report.  They'd tell me how to fix the thing, and then have me run another program, give the report, repeat.  The reports from different programs would show them what processes are trying to 'hide' and how to get rid of them.  It was awesome!! 

Bryan was a bit nervous about the fact that my computer's information was being posted in a forum, but it didn't really worry me, I guess.  Of course they got my name and my IP address, but I didn't worry about anything else.  They never asked personal info, any of that.  In the logs I could see what was listed, and it was programs and processes, not credit card numbers.  :-)  All in all they were just really really helpful.  One thing to remember, if you don't respond to their prompt within 3 days, they consider your case closed. 

It's been a week since I started working with them and my computer is back to working wonderfully!!  The website also offers a "Malware University" for people interested in learning how to "fight back against all that is bad on the internet." They train people (for free) how to defend computers against malware and how to clear up an infected computer, with the intention that those they have trained will help people on the forums clean up their own computers.  You can find some info on the owners of the site here.  I am just so, so, so thankful for them, especially for Bob4, my super helpful and awesome Malware Removal University Master.  He was SO helpful and kind, and I'm so happy my very old, very persnickety computer is mine again!

Old Navy Sale

Bryan and I went to Idaho Falls today for some shopping and dinner with Stu, Coly and Ella.  I got GOOD DEALS!!  I was looking for khakis/cords for work, because I'm pretty low on non-jeans at the moment.  Check it out!

I got these cords in both burgundy and brown, cute!!

Picked up this cardigan, love the sparkles on the pockets.

Got this skirt in a light tan corduroy.

Got this super cute sweater in a pretty light brown, walnut-y shade.

I also got a cute tank with some matte sequins.  But there's no pictures online, apparently.

And the grand total???

Drumrolllllllllll please....

$28!!!!!  What a deal, eh???  I love Old Navy.  I realized today that 70% of my wardrobe is either Old Navy or Gap.  Bryan and I went into Gap before Old Navy, and Bryan said "see anything you like?" and my answer was "yep, pretty much everything."  I love Old Navy/Gap's classic styles.  Add funky jewelry or a scarf and voila, you've made it your own.  Love that!

And REALLY love the price tags, especially on their sales.  Old Navy's clearance sale will be going on until 1/31; some of their stuff is 90% off!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dog Race!

Last night Bryan and I went to the start of the Pedigree Sled Dog race here in Jackson.  It was fun!  It was the 'start' of the race but it wasn't really the START.  It was a ceremonial start; apparently the Iditarod works the same way.  So they really only races to the end of Broadway.  It was still a good time though!!  Plus, free hot cocoa.

Friday, January 28, 2011

HUGE FAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm trying to win a free pair of jeans from Petrol Jeans.

And I NEED your help.  Seriously.  Need like a whole lot.

If you are willing to help me out, all you have to do is:

Search "Petrol Jeans" on Facebook.  "Like" them.  Go to the "WIN A PAIR" tab.  Click "comments" under "What are you waiting for?"

In the comments section, write "Jessica 'Brantner' Lords" sent me.

That's all.  If I get TWENTY PEOPLE to do this before Monday, I'll get a free pair of jeans!  We don't even have to be friends on Facebook. 

Please please please help?  Please?????

I have to go down to storage every so often for work. The storage room used to be the morgue. The door locks behind you and the lights flicker. Our files are kept in the cage in the corner, furthest from the door. I'm always concerned about zombie attacks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kale Fail (I know I am soooo funny)

I tried to make kale chips today. 

Annnnddd I failed!  I think our oven is about 25 degrees to hot (I've said this before, I know) and I'm not sure I compensated enough.  Either way they turned brown and crumbly and not as delicious as I had hoped.  And way too oily.

Does anyone have a recipe that's proven excellent???  I'm trying to learn to like new veggies; our farm share this summer will have a good amount of kale so I want to learn how to love it!

And since my kale chips failed, and I realized I already was too late to go to the gym and watch "Community"....  I'm eating lemonheads and watching Bear Grylls spear fish.  Yep.  I'll make it to the gym for "The Office."  Anyone else not loving "The Office" as much??


(who reads this stuff??? I'm sorry.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Desk Project

So today I planned on getting quite a few things done.  The things I was planning on doing, I did not do.  But that's okay.  Because I worked on our computer desk which had gotten pretty scratched up in our last few moves.  I tried to just paint the top of it black, but the paint wouldn't really stick and it didn't look all that great.  So I came up with another idea!  Voila!

I Mod-Podged pages from "Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel and Adventure" that I bought about a year ago when I needed to spend just another $1.50 to get free shipping on Amazon.  Then I painted a very basic compass rose, and voila, it's done!  I thought it turned out nicely.  I thought about cutting out magazines or something, but I wanted to keep it looking pretty clean and stream-lined, since it's a desk and would most likely have random stuff on it to begin with; I also thought that the poetry was a nice touch to our furniture since we both love traveling.  Not bad for a day off project.  And it didn't cost us anything to change either.  Annnd it's much better than the peeling desk that it was this morning.

Home is Wherever I'm with You

Earlier this summer I wrote about some friends of mine who were going through a difficult spot in their marriage.  There was a whole lot of drama.  You can go back and read about some of it if you're really interested.  My friend M. decided at the end of the summer that she wanted to be with her husband R.  Her husband wasn't ready to commit to their marriage long term, and without really thinking it all through, asked for a divorce.

It was incredibly sad.  The worst part about it, for me, is that I really, truly felt like he was going against his gut.  I knew he loved her.  I know he had loved her for YEARS and that they had issues, especially because they are really as different as night and day.  But it just felt so WRONG that they'd end up getting divorced, because I knew they cared about one another.  Even after he asked for a divorce, I still felt like something was going to change.  I'm not all that good at remembering to pray, but I would often feel an urge to pray, ardently, for their marriage, and for R in particular.  I knew he was going through a lot of stuff.  I met up with him after he asked for the divorce, so I could see where he was coming from; although I understood, to some extent, why he thought they wouldn't work out, it still felt like he was convincing himself of something.  Like he didn't totally believe it.  I didn't want to argue with him or play devil's advocate; I really tried to just listen to him and bring up different ideas.  In the end, it seemed like he was pretty intent on going his own way.  When I spoke to M about it, she still hated the idea of divorce, and mentioned that if he sent her the divorce papers, she wasn't entirely sure that she could sign them.  After all he had put her through, she still loved him.

Fast forward about two months.  It's fall, and M has gotten a bit more used to the idea of them divorcing; she started the school year (she's a teacher) and had pretty much decided this would be her last year teaching at that school, and her last year in Illinois.  She wanted to try somewhere else, wanted to move and have new experiences.  I thought this was a great idea.  She mentioned wanting to move here to Jackson, but her soon-to-be ex-husband lived her, and she wouldn't be able to see him or know he was around, it would just hurt too much.  We talked a lot about it, and I told her that I was still praying for them. 

Then R called M one day.  She didn't pick up, even when he called a couple more times.  Finally she spoke with him, and he didn't bring up the idea of divorce, or that they didn't have a future.  Instead, he just wanted to talk.  This started to be a weekly thing, where he would call on Saturdays.  One night he asked "do you miss talking during the week?" and "do you ever feel like you want to call ME, instead of me calling you?" 

It was weird.

She wasn't at all sure what to think, but I told her to just see what happens.  More and more R started talking about 'them' as if they were still a couple.  After weeks of this he sort of mentioned that he didn't think divorce was really the answer.  Not long after that, M's mom was diagnosed with cancer.  R started calling more and more.  He decided that he and a friend were moving from Jackson to Denver, so he could be closer to a main airport, and may be able to visit M a bit more.  It was sort of a weird move.  I visited the store R worked at before he left and had a good talk.  It was only supposed to be a goodbye, since I didn't know the next time I'd see him.  I also wanted to get an idea of what was going on with him and M from his point of view.  We talked for about twenty minutes about random things: college, books, my new Kindle, life in Jackson.  Then I said "soooooooo" and he immediately laughed and said "yeah, about me and M..."  and then "she's super pretty, isn't she?"  Of course she is!  And fabulous and kind and compassionate and forgiving.  He agreed.  Then he said he really wanted to give their marriage another try.  I was very happy to hear that, and happy to see him acting more and more like his old self. 

He was in Denver for about two weeks when M called him, upset about her mom, who had started chemo.  He asked, "Do you need me to be with you in Chicago?" and she said yes.  He moved to Chicago less than two weeks after that.

M and I have kept in close contact, and it's been hard for her to trust R again, not knowing if he's going to flake out.  R has really been trying though, which has been just amazing to see.  During one of their talks, he told her, "You're my family.  I left my family, and I just sort of started to realize what that means."  I really feel like God is answering my prayers for them, and that He is accomplishing the things that I prayed for them; over and over I prayed for redemption, reconciliation, harmony, and unity in their marriage.  Over and over those words came to the forefront. 

They're still not perfect.  They have a LOT of work and counseling ahead of them.  But last weekend they moved out of their parents' homes and into an apartment together.  This will be the first time in over a year that they've been together long-term, and it's just really exciting.  They're talking about their future, about what they need to work on, and about their relationship.  I am just so happy and blessed by this reconciliation.  I knew that God had more in store for them.  I know it's going to be hard since they are SO different, in so many ways.  They have different religious beliefs, different wants and dreams and philosophies, but they love each other.  And they're going to try to make it work.

I'm sending them a little housewarming gift.  This is one of the things I'm sending:

I thought it turned out pretty cute!  I tried to distress the frame, and I thought the design would be a nice reminder that marriage = family, and home is wherever your family is... or something like that. 
All in all, I'm just very pleased about the whole thing.  :-)


So today was my first run in the fifth week of Couch to 5k.  It wasn't bad either!  A little bit rough halfway through, but that's just because my knee was going a bit wonky.  I was all geared up to listen to my fabo new podcast, but my phone died.  LAME FACE.  So instead I watched a rerun of "Pretty Little Liars" (yes I watch that show, yes I know I'm an adult and not in high school, no, I do not care). 

Normally the fifth week starts off with 4 five minute runs with periods of walking in between of each run.  That's the first run.  Then comes 2 eight minute runs with walking in between.  The third run of the week is a full on twenty minute run.  I did the first run today and it was great.  The only thing I worry about is that since I started at week 4 instead of week 1, my knees are a bit weak, as well as my ankles.  I felt a bit of pain in my shins last week and had to tone it down to prevent shin splints.  So far I've done Week Four twice through, the second time running a bit faster.  Instead of going onto the eight minute run later this week, I'm going to do the fives again, but faster this time.  I am just not sure my legs will handle the twenty minute run at the end of this week.

Today at work a gal told me, "Has anyone told you you look a bit like S.E. Cupp?"  I replied, "I don't know who that is;"  I admit I wondered at first if she was one of our cognitive patients who just says random stuff, but when I realized she was NOT the patient, I thought, "huh?"  She then told me that S.E. Cupp is a "attractive and intelligent young women who writes and is a political commentator on Fox," which seemed like a very good thing to her.  This is the gal:

Me when my hair was shorter.  And darker.

I wish I could tell you about her...  I pretty much know she's a conservative, wrote a book called "Losing My Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity."  She describes herself as an atheist who "really aspires to be a person of faith some day."  Which sort of makes sense in a way; it's hard to believe in God, I think, but still WANT to believe.  Sort of like the X-Files poster?  Sure.  Either way we've got different views, especially politically.  Let's just leave it at that.

Bryan and I watched a horrifically awful movie yesterday:  "Frozen."  It's about three college students who get stuck on a ski lift at the end of the day; it's freezing, a blizzard is starting, and the mountain doesn't open up for another five days.  Also, they are like 50 feet above the ground.  The things they do to try to escape and stay alive are ridiculous.  The ski resort they are at has to be one of the worst-run places ever, as any real ski resort would have found these people, or at least they wouldn't have had all the tragedy that befell them.  Also, a whole wolf pack is stalking them.  In a high-traffic area.  Seriously?  Since when do wolves attack people??  Especially without real reason?  Who knows.  The movie was so laughable that, even though some parts were really scary and made me anxious, all in all it was sillier and lamer than anything I've seen in a WHILE. 

So while writing this, Bryan just came out into the living room from where he'd been sleeping in the bedroom.  He asked, "What are you doing?" and "what time is it?"  I told him I thought he was sleep walking and he said "No, I'm not."  I realized he was awake after a minute or two.  He asked me "what time is it?" again and "how long have I been asleep?"  Hmmmm, maybe a half hour?  TOPS?  Very funny.  He thought he had slept a full night but didn't understand why he was so tired.  It was funny but also made me wonder (again) about this man's sleep habits... I'm just glad that he wasn't sleep walking.  Also glad he wasn't playing with bear spray

Saturday, January 22, 2011

C25K Podcast

So last time I did C25K, I used Robert Ullrey's podcasts.  They were good, but very techno-y.  Which isn't really thing.

I found the site "Running Into Shape" and I love it!  Carli, the gal whose blog it is, has awesome free C25K podcasts.  They're all hiphop/pop sort of music.  Akon, Rhianna, Ok Go... good stuff!!  And freeeee.  To check out out, go here!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm Lame for Posting About a Blender

So says my friend Kati, so here I go at actually posting something.  I've SUCKED at posting recently.  I'm blaming it on winter and my lack of motivation.

Oh and my laptop which was infected by some crappy Trojan viruses.  I think I got them all.  They really sucked though and made it hard to use my lappy for the last week or so.  Lame.

So lately I've just been feeling fat and icky (as opposed to fat and sassy, which is a little bit better). I've been feeling gross and ewwy and none of my clothes fit well and I feel just BLECH, and it's been affecting my general well being.  Add that to the fact that I've been working out 5 days a week for the last three weeks and I GAINED TWO POUNDS which seems a bit BASS ACKWARDS!  (That's me making my language appropriate... Mom, don't yell at me).

So I finally admitted that I wasn't going all that great at the weight loss thing.  Sure, I probably should have tried the exercise thing for another few weeks, but I like instant gratification.  So I started doing the Couch to 5k program again, and I started taking Alli again.

please don't make me poop my pants...

Yes, this is me admitting that I use a weight loss supplement.  My family and some friends already know, but now I am admitting it.  Don't make fun of fatty.  It's FDA approved, hombres.

So I have to watch my fat intake or I'll poop my pants.  I've used Alli before and it works well, but I've never been dedicated enough to use it for more than a few days, because I HATE eating lowfat.  There are some delicious foods that have GOOD fats, like avocados (just bought three... dang it!), nuts, peanut butter... yummmmmmmmmm.  But I'm going to have to say no to those for the time being, at least in larger quantities.  I'm only going to do Alli for a week, two tops.  I'm hoping it jump-starts my body into realizing that me exercising a lot means DO SOMETHING STOP GAINING WEIGHT UGH.

So I'm just been really down in the dumps about it lately, as well as the possibility that we may be forced to leave this apartment this spring because some princess (okay he's a prince, whatever) wants to buy it.  Bryan and I went shopping at Ross the other day and I told him I need pants because all of mine feel tight, and he said "but should you really buy pants if you are exercising this much?  You won't be the same size long" to which I thought "yeah, hopefully not...."  Anyways it's lame, and the other night I got really angry at Bryan for random things (I admitted that half of it was most likely hormonal) and he mentioned that I wasn't really myself lately and that he knows I've been frustrated with my weight... and I BROKE. DOWN.  It was nasty and messy and I snotted a LOT.  He got upset that I was so fixated on it, but understands.  I actually watched "How to Look Good Naked" on Lifetime because it's supposed to be about women embracing their bodies.

Carson tells ladies that their fluffy parts look bea-u-tiful and stuff.

It worked a bit, I guess?  I dunno.

So I talked to Bry the other night and then my mom the next night and both sort of told me that different things work well for different people.  Bryan can run and lose weight immediately, me not so much.  When I did C25K the first time, I lost maybe two pounds, but I was able to run, which I enjoyed.  I'm hoping that by using the C25K program again, I'll be able to run a 5K by April.  I started the program on Week 4, since I can already run a bit, and I'm doing one week on the treadmill at 4.2 mph and then the next week I'm doing the same runs at 4.7 - 5 mph.  I'm hoping this will up my speed.  I'm using Alli for a week (or two, like I said) and then I'm think I'm going to transition to a lower-carb diet.  We'll see.  I know that my folks both do best when they're eating less carbs, so I'm thinking it may work for me.  I hate the idea of it, however, because I love fruits and beans and a lot of stuff I like that's healthy has a lot of carbs.  I suppose I could try it for a couple weeks, though.

All in all, my goal is to lose 20 pounds by my birthday (next October).  I'm really really really hoping I can do it this time.  I've talked about losing weight for years, meanwhile, I kept gaining.  I'm hoping that incorporating running into my life will help me stay motivated to run; I love running outside in the warmer months, so it would be awesome if I could regularly run 3 miles without stopping.  Bryan and I are going to do a farm share this summer, so we'll be eating healthy.

So yeah, that's my new thing that I'm trying not to obsess over.  In better news, my anxiety has been really controlled and awesome, and my hypochondria has been almost non-existent.  Those are two really, really good things.

Kati... sorry this post isn't about blenders, I know how much you LOVE THEM.

EDIT:  Fantabulous reader Carla pointed out that my links to C25K just link back to my blog... which is true.  They link back to the C25K posts I wrote in 2010.  You see, I started C25K LAST January, completed it, and pretty much stopped running.  Also, it was a harder workout to run at 6,600 feet about sea level instead of AT sea level like I did in California.  So I'm trying again.  To read about the program, you can check out the C25K website or read my summary.  I HIGHLY recommend this program if you 1. don't run at all and 2. want to learn how to run and 3. want to learn how to love running.  Seriously, the first week it was REALLY REALLY REALLY hard for me to run for 60 seconds straight.  Seriously, very difficult.  My knee had been injured in college and I never fully got back into exercising correctly.  Also, my endurance sucked.  At the end of the program (they say 9 weeks but I wasn't super religious about the whole thing and it was more like 15 weeks for me, I think) I ran exactly one 5K before pretty much wimping out and only running a mile, tops.  But I could run a mile!!!  For the first time in my LIFE. Seriously good program, and it's free!  I used Robert Ullrey's podcasts to keep pace and to tell me when to walk and when to run.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Immersion Blender

Does anyone have an immersion blender?  If so, do you like it???  I'm thinking of getting one to make soups and such.  But I've never actually USED one.  At $25, they're a great deal as well.

So what do you think??  I'd love advice!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I had big plans today.  Today was the day I was going to paint an accent wall in our apartment.  Our apartment's owner had mentioned several times of the possibility of painting, and I had decided that today was the day.  I picked out a color, and I picked up some drop clothes, brushes, rollers, all of that.

Then Bryan came home from lunch and let me know that our renter-person had texted him just an hour before letting us know that her partner's nephew had expressed interest in buying the place, and they'd be over on Saturday to check it out.

Awesome.  Now not only can I not paint, but we may be kicked out once our six month lease is up in April.  HUGE bummer.

I had a few reservations about moving here in the first place, as the apartment is a fairly dark one.  Once I got used to it, however, I really fell in love.  I love that we have in-unit laundry, and that it's right next to our bedroom.  I love living right next to Flat Creek and seeing deer and lots of ducks right outside my window.  I love having a garbage disposal and the fact that Bryan can walk to work, since we live so close to the square.  Now it looks like we'll be moving out in April, which means that we'll move likely have to pay MORE for rent (we pay $800 now) to live in town, or we'll have to commute further to work.  Bryan loves walking, and is not excited to have to drive again.  There's an open apartment in this complex, but it's a 1 bedroom (ours is two) and it's for $850 a month.  Yeah.  Not great.

Most 2 bedrooms in town start at $1,000 or higher, unfortunately.  One of the gals at work mentioned I may be able to find an apartment owned by someone at the hospital, and that these tend to be less pricey.  I really just want to live close to town square; I've gotten spoiled these last two months.  It's not even that we really shop at town square, but I like being able to walk to see Bryan on Tuesday for lunch, or to walk to his work after I get home from my job.  He gets off a half hour later than I do, so it's just enough time to get home, maybe brew a cup of tea, and walk to see him, then walk home with him.  It will be a bummer not to have that any more.

The only good thing about this that I can see is that perhaps we can get a place with a bit more light, or a place that allows pets.  We do want a dog, but I'm not entirely sure we have the time for it at the moment.  We'll see.  I know that God has a plan, but I am bummed.  AND, I'm a huge planner, so the fact that I had the paint color picked out and picked up the tools I needed and was all ready to go in just an hour is LAME.  It totally messed with my plans and now all I want to do is sit on the couch and pout.

I know, I'm such a grownup.

We'll see.  Maybe we'll just have to go back to a one-bedroom, or maybe we'll need to find a little bit more room in our budget come this summer to afford a two bedroom in town.  I'm not sure.  I KNOW that I'm not interested in moving AGAIN.  If we move in April, that means since March 2010, we've moved our stuff from our apartment in Arcata into our friends' storage in Eureka for a month, then moved it to Pocatello for a month while we stayed there, then moved it to Jackson where we lived in our studio, and THEN moved it to here, and will have to move it again by end of April.  YUCK.

So I'm going to pout a little bit.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Second Day of Snowshoeing: Bridger-Teton National Forest

The second day of snowshoeing, Kati, Bryan and I went down past Hoback Junction to the Broken Arrow Ranch, where Kati used to live.  She got permission from a guy she knew to snowshoe through his field and into Bridger-Teton National Forest.  When we snowshoed in the park it was on a pretty established trail; there were a lot of people snowshoeing and x-country skiing.  This was not like that.  There was a lot of "post-holing" which I found out is what they call it when you pretty much fall up to your thigh in snow.  You're making a hole for a post, I guess, like building a fence.  It definitely gets tiring when it happens a lot of times in a row, but it can also be kind of funny; it keeps you on your toes!

Bryan was super sweet and bought me a pair of waterproof snow boots early in the season, but did not get himself a pair.  So, he put plastic bags around his hiking boots so they'd be waterproof.  I love this man.

Snowshoes!  Bryan and I have the all-plastic ones, Kati has the more traditional aluminum-framed ones.  I loved the ones we used; too bad they're over $200 a pair!!  Way cheaper to rent ($10/day, $25/week)

Who doesn't love your mom?  She is awesome.  Yeah, I'm talking to you.

The rainbow is called a sun dog.  Pretty pretty pretty.

On our drive back to Jackson, Kati pointed to a ridge where a lot of Big Horned Sheep graze.  And like magic, there they were!  This one was right on the side of the road.

This big horn sheep was being a bit fresh to his female companion...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Snowshoeing to Taggart Lake

Last weekend I went snowshoeing with my dear friend Kati and her friend Lindsay.  Kati and I have been friends since junior year of high school when we were both socially awkward and started hanging out with one another because we really didn't have a lot of other friends.  True story.  We wore long hippie skirts and played guitar and ate strawberries dipped in sugar while sitting one the front lawn of the high school.  I think we were somewhere between "alternative" and "losers."


Kati worked in Jackson during the summers through part of high school and all of college (I think) and then lived there afterward.  When I moved to Jackson summer of '06, part of the reason was that Kati was out there so I'd have a friend, but that I'd also be in a new situation.  And obviously I fell in love with Jackson Hole because now we lived here!

Anyways.  Kati came in to town for the week and stayed with us a few nights.  This was my first time snowshoeing and it was so much fun!!!  It was a really beautiful, if cold, day.  I think the high was 7 degrees?  Once we put on tons of layers, however, I was overly warm and had to remove layers.  I definitely want to buy snowshoes now; however, the ones I rented are SUPER EXPENSIVE.  Like $200.  So I think I may try a cheaper pair... I'm not sure.  We'll see.  Either was it was totally fun, and easier than cross country skiing (which I still want to try again and am still thinking of buying...)

Here are some pictures from that day.  We hiked to Taggart Lake and then took the back way down.  All in all it was approximately 4 miles, I think?  Later this week I'll put up pictures from our second day of snowshoeing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This Year's Homemade Christmas Presents

Historically, I am a HUGE proponent of handmade Christmas presents.  I usually make at least half of the presents I give out.

That did not happen this year.

This year I was really really busy and just didn't get around to doing very much.  The only two big projects I worked on were cross stitching projects; one for my parents and one for my brother and sister-in-law.

This one is for my folks.  I really wish we had been able to come home for Christmas this year, but we just couldn't get any time off.  Bryan even worked Christmas Eve, which is just silly.  I would have thought most banks would be closed Christmas Eve, but apparently not.  My folks are also big fans of anything woodsy, so I knew they'd like this.  The pattern (and the thread and the fabric) I got from my mother-in-law's amazing cross-stitching supply stash.  She seriously has at least a hundred cross-stitch pattern magazines/books.  It's awesome!  The frame I got at the Dollar Tree (shhh) and painted to match the trees.

And here is the one for my brother and sister-in-law.  I liked the idea of mixing a traditional needle craft and mixing it with something a bit out there.  The juxtaposition was just too funny to me.  I like how it came out!!  The fabric I worked with would have laid better in the frame if it had been a bit some starchy (it was very soft) but that's okay.  I think it turned out well.  Once again, this was a Dollar Tree frame and while the project took quite a bit (especially since I wasn't using a pattern, just making it up as I went along), it's definitely a budget-friendly project.

In the future I don't think I'll "fill in" the heart.  The way I did it looked sort of cute and almost like it had been scribbled in with pencil, but it also made the fabric and the heart pull a bit, which affected the symmetry.  After trying and trying and trying to fix it to no avail, I gave up and decided that it was okay.  :-)

So those are my Christmas craft presents this year.  Next time I think I'll start sooner (say, October) if I plan on doing that much cross-stitching, as it does take quite a bit of time.

I'm going to try to update more this week since I've been a bit AWOL lately.  I went snowshoeing twice this week so I'm going to post a few pictures of that, along with some cool animal sitings.  Soon soon soon, hopefully.