The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Six Years Ago Today

It was six years ago when I landed in Minnesota. Don picked me up, a big of wreck as I was. We unloaded my baggage at Extended Stay America and went for dinner and, more importantly, martinis. The dogs were on the flight behind me. I was a wreck on my flight -- panic attacks, crying jags. Bottom line, we all got here safe and sound. One of the big images of the night was getting to the cargo area and hearing Baja's bark ringing out in the hangar. I knew at that point they were here safe.

Nothing has been the same since.

I've had to learn about getting sprinklers blown, fall clean up, snowblowers, wildlife...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Back

OK, this is just for me now. I look back at my posts and see how great some of them were and it really got me going that I need a place to vent/express myself. Seeing how "blogging" is so O-V-E-R I figure no one will read this so I can really let go.

It's been almost six years since we moved to Minnesota. There are things I miss about living in Los Angeles. There are things I love about living here. There are some other things I don't like about living here, mostly the commute in snow in winter and the humidity/bugs in summer. I don't like being away from my family. I do love we get to go back for two weeks every year. I'm OK with my current job but know I could love the possibilities. I wish Don was happier/more secure in his. I don't want to move again -- unless it's back to California.

We're all going well. The dogs have adjusted and handle the colder weather and snow fine. In fact, the autumn break really gives them the zoomies, where they can spend the majority of the days outside enjoying the mild temps. Jager loves her gas-powered fireplace when the temps dip. Baja loves crunching through the fallen leaves.

October is hard for me. It's when I left my old life in LA for a new one in MN. There is a melancholy in what could have been. If 9-11 hadn't happened which resulted in the travel industry tanking or the NFL closing the LA office, we'd still be the happy family on Truxton, We're still a happy family, it's just several hundred miles away.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What A Weekend!

We had such a great weekend. The weather was perfect - warm/hot but not too humid, a strong breeze to keep the air moving, lots of sun. I grilled spareribs on Saturday with grilled green beans (hard to keep them from falling through the grates, but worth it) and a white bean salad with corn, grape tomatoes and kalamata olives. Tonight, it's marinated rib-eyes with buttermilk potato salad and grilled corn with grilled peaches & vanilla ice cream topped with a honey-thyme sauce. Man, I love to cook...

I was able to spend a lot of time out on the deck, mostly reading. I did some shopping, but couldn't really take advantage of the Labor Day Sales - I don't need any clothes and we're trying to cut down on crap, so it I purchased things like new hangers, some skin care items I needed, etc. Pretty boring stuff...

I did have a good workout at the gym on Saturday and hope to continue it tomorrow. I wanted to go today, but I needed to go to the Apple Store to get my Mac fixed (password issue) and I could only get a very early appointment or a very late appointment. I need to get back into a routine so I'm not so sore when I do work out.

It's a short work week for me - Tuesday to Thursday - so I'm sure I'll be busy. Don and I are looking to a day out on Friday for my birthday (the big 4-0). I want to do a picnic at the Sculpture Garden and then see an exhibit at the Walker before having dinner at one of our favorite haunts, Campiello's. I don't know what we're going to do on Saturday -- I'd like to go to Stillwater and do some shopping and wine tasting, but we'll see what the weather brings. I don't want to make it a big deal, but it's a pretty important milestone...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hump Day

This will be my second out of three short weeks -- two weeks ago, we all had Monday off for a team building event at my boss' house, this past Monday I took a personal day for a morning doctor's appointment and then a few hours at the State Fair and next week is Labor Day & I will have Friday off for my birthday. Boy, is the week of 9/8 going to seem l-o-n-g!

We don't have any big plans for the long weekend -- maybe some light housework/yard work and some errands. I will hopefully get a lot of reading in -- I have discovered a pair of authors, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, that are knocking my socks off. I now have purchased all of their books out in paperback and have 5 to read to "get caught up" on the series. Three are stand alone books (Ice Storm, Riptide and Thunderhead), but the rest all have a central FBI Special Agent Pendergast interacting with different characters, some of whom are revisited in the later books. I made the mistake of starting mid-series, but have now started from the beginning because it looks like it's only going to get better.

Some of the other great books I've read this summer -- Racing in the Rain, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, A Thousand Splendid Suns just to name a few.

I still have work to do on the blog -- like updating my links, but I am off to do some reading...


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blog Troubles

So the designer of my customized blog is MIA and I have no way of contacting her or getting my template back, so it's back to basics.
Anyway, I just haven't had the time to play around with this over the last month. Work has been really busy -- it's budget season and planning for 2009 staffing. By the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer.
Don's job is ramping up. He's been switched from the Vikings' beat to the Timberwolves' one but is still helping to cover the Vikings (very long, political story). His travel is going to be a bit of a nightmare, but we'll get through it.
Life in general is going pretty well. I have kind of started back-to-basics with diet and exercise after a few months of "vacation." I'm still hanging in there between 165 - 170, but I've been feeling a little sluggish. I also had a bit of an episode and discovered I have high blood pressure and borderline anemia. I'm on meds for the BP and have upped my iron intake to see if that helps. My thyroid reading was way off as well, so they changed the dosage on my Synthroid. I have a full physical on Monday to see if there is anything else. In the meantime, I've tried to focus on more fresh fruits and veggies, more lean protein and less processed foods. I'm back doing yoga and trying to meditate to help with the relaxation.
Don and I have been getting out and about more. We went to the RenFest last Saturday and then went to our Fantasy Football Draft Party on Sunday. This weekend is my company's summer picnic. We both have doctor's appointments on Monday morning and then it's off to the State Fair for fried fat & sugar on a stick.
The big weekend is September 5 - 7 -- it's my 40th birthday on Friday. I've taken the day off, although I haven't decided what to do. I was thinking about Valley Fair (like Six Flags) but I may be fair & festival-ed out by then. The other option is lunch at a lakeside restaurant and then a lake cruise. I'll also check out some museums to see if there is anything that pops out at me.
Now that I have the basic template fixed, I'll try and get my links up and fixed soon! Hope I still have a few readers out there!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home, Safe & Sound

So glad to be home! I really love going out to California and seeing my family, but the drive is a grind and long. We got home on Friday around 8:30 PM local time -- just in time for a huge thunderstorm to hit. We unpacked and vegged out for a bit before going to bed. On Saturday, it was all about laundry, getting groceries, running errands, going through 2 weeks worth of mail, paying bills. On Sunday, we eased into the morning. I took a yoga class -- my first in awhile -- and then we went to see Wall-E.

I've gotten back into the swing of things at work pretty quickly. It's tough getting back on schedule, plus the whole wearing clothes thing is a pain, after several weeks of wearing nothing but shorts, flip flops and tank tops. Now, I'm back in bras, skirts and high heels....

The drive back was uneventful -- exactly what we want on a 2000+ mile drive. The first day was 18 hours and the second day was close to 13 hours. Anyone could get cranky in those conditions, and both Don and I had our moments. For the most part, we enjoy each other's company, and we find a lot to talk about and even enjoy the silence. The dogs did great, even in the hotels. We have a routine with our stops -- Don gets the dogs out for a walk, I go in for a potty break, I come out and load up the dogs and start to gas up while Don has a potty break and we're back on the road within 15 minutes. What made this trip easier than the two before is that the CRV has a mileage range showing how many more miles we have before we run out of gas. In the end, we made fewer stops saving us time.

It's still a tough trip, especially because we want to do each overnight on the other side of the Rockies -- Grand Junction on the way west and Denver on the way east. There is nothing like ending an 18-hour day winding through pitch black mountain roads.

I do have to say we live in a very beautiful country. Even the flat, green, plains of Iowa and Nebraska are wonderful, although little holds a candle to the Rockies and the desert mountains of Utah. Of course, there is the south Pacific coast of California. We took the coast road between Santa Barbara and West Hollywood, down Highway 1. My favorite place will always be Santa Barbara -- the coast, the mountains...

We had a lovely dinner at the Wine Cask, the restaurant that catered our wedding 9 years ago. Since we went on a Tuesday evening, we were the only ones out on the patio for almost the entire meal. I got to eat a lot of good Mexican food (like, 5 times!) and realize how much I miss it. We also stopped at In-N-Out Burger in Las Vegas on the was home for lunch. Yum!

Now it's all about getting into a schedule here. I feel like if I can get back to "normal" this week, I'll have the weekend to recover and then be ready to take on the world next Monday!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lizards, Coyotes and Hummingbirds, Oh My!te

Despite living in Minnesota and having a ton of wildlife around us, there is something about being up here that brings out the Mutual Life of Omaha in all of us...

Jager had been stalking a planter out by the pool for two days. Both Don and I had moved it, rattled it, lifted it up to show her there was nothing there. Yesterday morning, she was back at it -- pawing at the planter, licking the side, snuffing under it -- and I went to move it so she would relax. I tilted it up so she could get a good sniff, and lo-and-behold, there was a small lizard. I didn't know this until I turned around and she is there with a lizard tail hanging out of her mouth and Baja trying to get at it!

I was calling at her to drop it, trying to get Baja away from her when Don came out to help. Between the two of us, we got Baja inside and Jager to release the poor lizard and got them both inside the house. We figured the lizard was dead and I went to go get a bag, but much to our surprise, he was alive. We started to nudge it off the stairs, down the deck to the field behind the house. Of course, nothing could be THAT easy since it had to scamper by the pool... Yes, he fell in... I had to go into the pool with a plastic grocery bag and fish him out so Don could continue nudging him into the field.

Once that ordeal was over, I called my dad to tell him the story. While I was on the phone, I saw a coyote crossing across the field. The dogs did too, and raise holy hell. It's a good thing I knew that coyotes were around, otherwise I might have thought it was a stray dog.

Anyway, we had a uneventful rest of the day with a walk on the beach and some pool time with our anniversary dinner last night. I thought the drama was over... Oh, so wrong...

This morning, Don went to get a newspaper and I took the dogs outside for a morning patrol. My dad has a bunch of flowers in his garden up here that attract various birds. There was a hummingbird hovering around one of the planters. Jager was waling by and the bird's movement caught her eye -- she pounced and CAUGHT the hummingbird!! She released it immediately -- I think more out of shock than anything else -- before she did any harm.

Needless to say, it's been an adventure up here... We hit the road tomorrow before 7:00 AM so we can get to Denver by midnight. I am not looking forward to the long haul but I will be happy to get home. At least Jager won't be bringing down a deer or duck....