Friday, July 25, 2014

Just grab a friend and take a ride together upon the open road

Once I finished my Great and Final Purge of my old room, I had approximately seven boxes, one doll cradle, and one very large and heavy cedar chest. These things don't easily go on planes, which was the perfect excuse for Blake and I to take an epic road trip across the country. When we individually moved to DC, we both did it as quickly as we could. The quick way involves three days of driving stopping only for food, gas, and sleep and very little sightseeing. Since Brotherface accompanied me on my trip, he drove most of the time while I slept in the car. A lot. It was good quality time with my brother, but not the most interesting trip.

This time, Blake and I wanted to do it differently. Instead of three days, we took seven, giving us a lot more time to see and do more of the cool things there are in this beautiful country. We already love a good road trip and this is always going to be one of our favorites. We didn't even have time for a full week for our honeymoon (darn you, Christmas!), so this was divine.
Here we go!

Confession: The only time I drove was from the car rental office back to my parents' house. Blake drove the entire trip. I kept offering, but he really enjoys driving. And I like taking naps in cars. I also enjoy navigating, making sandwiches at 70 mph, and kicking my feet up on the dash.

It was during one of the aforementioned naps on our first day of driving that Blake woke me up and announced we were stopping. Driving a stretch of relatively unexciting Wyoming highway, Blake saw a sign for Martin's Cove, an important site in Mormon pioneer history. Sadly, hiking to the actual cove would have involved a 5 mile hike, which we didn't have time for, but we did tour the visitor's center. It's also where Devil's Gate is located, which any Oregon Trail player should recognize. And down the road about 15 minutes later? Independence Rock.

What a lot of Wyoming looks like

Devil's Gate

Reconstructed sites near Martin's Cove

Reconstructed sites near Martin's Cove

Independence Rock

Rock Paper Scissors in Gillette, WY

No idea what this is, but it's cool

Not a bad way to kick off our trip! More to come soon!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere

Officially, I moved out of my parents' home in September 2005. After 21 years, it was time to spread my wings and venture out into the wide world.

Okay, so I moved six miles down the road. Some friends I knew from the local theatre community had an opening in their townhouse, so I took it. I brought a lot of my personal belongings, but I'm sure I left a few boxes behind in my old room. I was home frequently (at least once a week for ER on Thursday nights) and at least had access to all my things.

Less than a year later, I moved across the country. I loaded up my 1999 VW Passat with as much as it would hold, had my mom mail my books, and moved into a tiny shoebox of a room in a townhouse in Virginia. I adopted the furniture left behind by the previous occupant and figured I'd get the rest of my stuff someday.

Eight years after that, I've expanded my belongings into that first townhome, a tiny efficiency of my own, and now a two bedroom walkup I share with my awesome husband. I've now been the proud owner of six hand-me-down couches in nine years. A milestone of my adult life will be buying my very own brand new couch that no one else has ever owned.

That day is not yet, but at least I finally have all of my stuff under one roof again. Since I finally have a little stability in my future, some space in my apartment (no more hallways turned into closets!), and a summer vacation, it was time to go back home and get the rest of my things. Blake's sister got married at the end of June, so we flew out to Utah, celebrated the nuptials, and while he went to Arizona to celebrate there, I spent a couple days going through all the boxes I'd stashed and closet shelves I'd never gone through and decided what was worth keeping after 9 years of not having it.

That was an adventure. Memory Lane is an emotional place to visit.

My trash/recycling and donation piles were much larger than my keep piles, thank goodness, but a lot of amusing things didn't make the cut.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Spray painted shoes from a 2004 production of Seussical

Glasses from Seussical and an umbrella hat

No comment

You were never this cool

Boot cast from my reconstructive surgeries

Maybe I should have kept these after all

My high school nickname was Bubbles, so Sisterpants made me a pillow out of a Halloween costume. Grandma took this for the great grandkids.

Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed by this too.

Inflatable chair!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How much is that doggy in the window?

This is Malcolm.

Malcolm is a 2 year old German Shepherd mix who was probably born in West Virginia and did who knows what and then transferred to a shelter in Virginia.

Until we took him home.

We actually met Mal two years to the day we met, on April 29, and one of the first things Blake and I ever bonded over was the TV series Firefly, so it's fitting we named him after Captain Malcolm Reynolds. (We also have a betta fish named Captain Jack after Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood. We may be sensing a theme.)

We've had him with us for a little over two months now and we've decided he's pretty awesome. He still has some behavioral issues to work on, but we'll figure it out and he's getting better all the time. We love that he's gotten both of us out for lots of walks and runs and other dog friendly outings. He's super great on the leash and we're working on his recall off of it. When we meet other dogs, he's almost always the most well-behaved.

We're all still getting to know each other, but it's going well and Blake and I are happy to have him. We hope he's happy to be here.

Things Mal Loves

His people




Being outside in any weather

Kongs filled with anything (peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, etc.)


Walks (with either of us)

Runs (with Blake)


Things Mal Doesn't Love



Having things he shouldn't be eating forced from his mouth

Dogs ahead of us going the same direction as us, since we may not ever catch up and they'll never get to be best friends forever


Paper Shredder


And he has something to say about the golf carts our apartment complex's maintenance crew ride around in, but he can't tell what he's saying yet.

Welcome to the family, Malcolm!