It's the Le Creuset Outlet store.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
It's the Le Creuset Outlet store.
The one thing I don't love about spring is Spring Cleaning. Having the goals of deep cleaning, real organization, and gathering the things that we don't wear or use anymore can be daunting. However this year, with our new Nest, I'm determined to throw myself into spring cleaning.
One easy way to quickly and cheaply freshen up your house after you've cleaned, is refinishing or repainting furniture.
I inherited these chairs from my Aunt J, who had them for years in her house before she got a new dining room set. I painted two of the chairs white, as you can see, because in our old apartment we could only fit two chairs (the others remained unpainted in the hallway).
I broke in my new sander and sanded off the varnish and paint... took a bit of work, but really pretty simple.
I was inspired by Liz at Mabel's House and painted my chairs a bright clean blue. Spa Pool from Lowe's if you're interested.
A Pier One near work was going out of business and I found these adorable napkins that perfectly match my new chairs. Love it.
New, fresh spring look... priceless.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The blizzard that trapped us in the house on Thursday (and Friday since I took a sick day because of the weather) did bad, bad things to my resolution to not watch tv.
To be honest, I went on a tv binge. I blame the America’s Next Top Model marathons on Oxygen and Bravo; What Not To Wear; the old movies that were TCM; and MASH.
It was so sad to be honest. But as the snow all melted yesterday in the 68 degree sun, my resolve has reappeared! No tv!
Even though I slipped, I’ve been a busy little bee.
I’ve started researching agents for my novel. I’m a bit of a nerd, so of course I created this elaborate Excel document. I’ve sent out queries to about a half a dozen agents and am waiting to hear back from them either yea or nay.
I’ve been writing as well, not as much as I want, but have been researching a ton of things for my nonfiction, have been revising, and trying to pull all of these different creative nonfiction essays together into one compiled collection.
Writing Conferences: I got the scholarship to attend the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference for free! Woo hoo, Baby! I just have to volunteer some hours to work, and then write up an article about my experience. I’m very excited.
I’m also attending the Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference this weekend. I had to pay for it, but it’ll be worth it!
While I wanted to be a better homekeeper and wife, spending more hours encouraging my hubby by cleaning the house and cooking, I’ve instead been copy editing dissertations like crazy. Last week I spent over 25 hours on a dissertation! Needless to say, the kitchen is not so clean right now. But there’s always tonight.
I’m back on the wagon, although tonight Dancing with the Stars is on…
I need help! Pray for me and my determination!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
At 11:00 am, the Chef bundled up to shovel our sidewalk and driveway. The snow is picking up, still falling, and the wind is wickedly whipping it around. While he was outside, freezing and sweating at the same time, I was snug as a bug in a rug at our kitchen table... well, that it until the wind shifted and started blowing snow through the new crack above the french doors that lead to the backyard. Yikes, we'll have to do some insulating or something before the next storm.
An hour later, at 12:00.
I was prepared to drive in early to work this morning. I wanted to miss the chaos of the morning commute and snow. I figured if I left my house by 6:20, I could get to work quickly and wreck free. Tonight is my scheduled class visit to the Law School, and I'm a mixture of nerves and excitement. So I sprung out of bed, drank a lot of coffee, and took a long hot shower.
I was drinking my coffee and checking my email when my cell phone beeped indicating a text message. It was 6:07, who would be texting me now?
I checked: "Due to expected heavy snowfall, [work] will be closed today (3/26/09)"
What? I looked outside. There was nothing on the ground, just a little moisture from rain during the night. I knew that it was going to snow, but up to 12 inches isn't that much... why the snow day?
I quickly emailed my boss, who I know checks his email all the time, including early, early in the morning. He confirmed that he got the email as well, and that I shouldn't drive in to work today and take the day off!
Yup, its true a SNOW DAY!!! Woo Hoo!
There's too much cowgirl left in me to simply go back to bed, especially since I had already drank two cups of coffee... I was juiced! I skipped around the house, thrilled that I didn't have to work, and then decided to go to the grocery store before the roads got bad.
Outside at 7:00 am this morning: (below)
Outside at 8:00 am this morning:
The roads were starting to get slick, and the two miles between our house and the grocery store was a bit treacherous.
Outside at 9:00 am this morning:
Outside at 10:00 am this morning:
The Chef just got up and started making breakfast for us. He doesn't have to work today either, so we have the whole day off, together, stranded in the snow! Happy Day!
Well, this is what I'll be doing all day, copyeditting.
And what does this cowgirl think is urgent emergency supplies for a blizzard in Denver?
A dozen roses to celebrate
A girl has to be prepared!
Happy Happy Snow Day to everyone!!!
Love, Cowgirl in the City
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The chef is busy too, he's working on the plumbing in our crawl space, trying to get our underground sprinklers all hooked up. I don't want to ask, but I don't think its going well, as he just took off for Home Depot, and we still don't have running water in the house.
Copy editing is calling, and I don't want to do it, I'm tired and I just want to watch Ty Miller on Dancing with the Stars tonight. Sigh...
By the way, this week, I'll post more about this: Mr. Happy Life
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
"MAW--WWIDGE. Mawwidge is why we are gathered her today."
Come on, I know you all are cracking up because you know what I'm talking about! (Right? or am I the only one on this?)
Anyway, so last week the Chef and I went to our church's annual marriage retreat. But even though it was a week ago, I decided I needed to review the main lesson, and share it with you, since it was so impacting to me.
Bruce and Robin W. were the visiting speakers for the retreat, and the main lesson, How Do the Two Become One? follows:
When we got married, we had great expectations for the future. No one gets married thinking, "Well this should last for a couple years, at least." No! On our wedding day, we are excited to spend forever with our spouse. But in the day to day of marriage, we face reality. What does it really take to keep taking our relationship higher?
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
Christ has to be at the center of our marriage, of our lives. We need him to be in the center, or we're off center. What's the number one way to ruin a tire on your car? It's not a nail, not lack of air-- its alignment. When the tires on our car aren't on center, they wear out. We can't let our marriages be unaligned.
Challenge to the men-- You need to lead in spiritual areas. The man is the head of the marriage for a reason. Lead. Pray with your spouse daily.
Challenge to the women-- Marriage is work, we have to juggle a lot of responsibilities and duties. But we have to have God first. We need to go to God in prayer before you try to rearrange your role as a wife. Submit to both God and your husband's leadership.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21
We can't try to change God's way, or the way he established family roles.
Challenge to me-- When I disagree with my husband, do I go to God in prayer? Do I trust God to be in control? Do I get my heart right with God to be resolved?
2) Appreciate Differences
Opposites attract, and I need to remember what attracted me to my spouse first? Those same things that attracted us to our spouse at first, can know be causing strife. Take time to remember what we loved about our spouse to begin with. Our thoughts must not be always negative, which causes us to be critical and fight. Control our thoughts, and be positive. Appreciate our differences!
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
When my husband is a strong, godly leader, it helps make it easier to submit, but we still have to submit no matter what! (That is easy to write, but oh, so hard isn't it?)
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:5-8
Humility is one of the most important ingredients in a long thriving relationships. In fact, humility IS MORE important than love in a marriage. As Christians, we know how to deny ourselves, to turn away from our sin, to be humble with God-- but why don't we practice if more in our marriages?
Practice and say this phrase, with complete sincerity:
"You're right, I'm sorry. There's no excuse. Will you forgive me?"
(Ouch, its hard to say, isn't it? I want to make excuses in everything, and it is so hard to say, You are right, and I'm sorry).
We need to practice rules of engagement. Respect one another, listen to the other, respond to challenges in a spiritual fashion.
Remember: It doesn't matter who is right, but doing what is right. God blesses humility.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Sin damages a relationship, but it is lack of forgiveness that destroys it.
We must forgive our spouse like God forgives us. There is no excuse for resentment or bitterness!
--Even reviewing this lesson again, I realize how much more I need to dig into it. It's deep, and has some hard teachings that I'll be working on continually throughout my life. But this lesson kicked off some incredible discussions with my husband last weekend, and we've had a great week as we've strived to be humble and forgiving with one another.
Friday, March 20, 2009
In the midst of cleaning craziness, I've been copy editing. That's right editing. My part time, freelance job is copy editing dissertations for graduate students here at the U. I feel like if I have to read any more APA style references my eyes might just permanently cross. Oh well, it's my cross to bear, and it brings in a lot of cash!
I'd certainly rather be writing my one things, polishing my synopsis, and preparing to send out queries and proposals, etc to get published. But since I get cash by editing and no cash (not yet anyway) for things I write, I have to prioritize. My editing skills are in need (although that shocks me because I am such a bad speller)! Its the time of the year for edits, since people are trying to defend their dissertations and graduate this June.
One dissertation down, two more to go before April.
So, my apologises if I don't post as often as I did before. I'll make it up to you, I swear!
To give you just a taste of some of my future cleaning posts, I've discovered the best and easiest way to clean computer and tv screens! It's no fail, easy, and guaranteed to make you smile! Click here for the link to the cleaning recipe (I don't want to infringe on copyright laws by posting it here) and give love to the creator of this cleaning recipe. I love it so much I clean my screens several times a day now.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
But it was incredible. And once again I feel so blessed to have such an incredible husband!
Our takeaway from the weekend?
We need to develop the habit of praying together everyday.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Friday, March 13, 2009
If I was home on the ranch I'd be worrying about calving season, worrying about the first calvers, the young just turning two year old cows that are carrying their first calf inside them. They never really know whats going on, and as much as cowboys try to help them, sometimes I know they are just completely surprised that one day they have a big belly, the next day they have a calf sucking on them.
Sigh, I miss calving season. Even if most of it involves checking cows three times during the middle of the night in freezing cold temperatures and shining flashlights under the tails of cows just to see if feet are sticking out. (Really! That's what you look for-- that and if they're standing funny with their tails sticking out like they're constipated.)
I'm glad that's not how doctors determine due dates for human moms. Can you imagine how unfortable that would be? :)
As cattle ranchers, its important what kind of bulls you breed to your first calvers. You don't want to get too big of a bull or a bull that throws big birthweight calves. After all the first calver is still little, (at 1200 pounds) and has growing to do herself. Recently my dad and grandpa bought Lowline crossed with Angus bulls for our cows. Basically they're black bulls, with a good frame, but shorter than the average Angus cross cows we have. Lowliner crossed bulls have smaller calves, making it easier for the first time mama cow.
A few days ago my dad and Cousin Cody had a first calver cow in the barn and were watching her to make sure she didn't get into trouble calving. They started talking, and the cow belched loudly. The guys turned around and a calf fell out of the cow. Talk about an easy birth! So the small, sawed off legs on the bulls seems to be working.
Anyway, if I was on the ranch I'd be seeing this in the morning, my dad on a horse as he's checking cattle.
But instead, this morning I fought traffic on my daily commute. It takes me at least a whole hour to drive to work, twenty miles in one hour. Sigh. And I do that twice a day. When I was a kid it took us an hour to drive the thirty miles up the mountain in the pickup and horse trailer to our summer range. I thought that drive was terrible back then! Who knew that my life would be all about traffic, smog, and cities?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I love Ty Murray, the king of the rodeo cowboys.
The man is a legend, and he can do no wrong in the arena, on a horse, or on a bull...
But on the dancefloor?
Ty's got to work on moving those hips.
I have the same problem, and I know I couldn't do any better than Ty did. I blame my inability to dance, my two left feet, and my lack of rhythm on horses. Riding horses must do something to your hips, and my hips don't move... or don't move much. Maybe that's Ty's problem... or the fact that he knows cowboys everywhere are laughing.
But we're laughing with you Ty, not at you!
It was painful to watch this.
But, Ty, I'm still rooting for you man. Let that competitive spirit out, and show no fear. If you can ride a bull, you can face the mockery of your fellow cowboys and prove to your wife Jewel that you can do this!
I'm voting for Ty, and I am sure that he'll improve as the weeks go by.
Did you watch this? What do you think about Ty Murray on Dancing with the Stars?
What do you think?
It's spring, and as I'm rolling up my sleeves to attack our house in full Spring Cleaning mode, I decided that my blog needed a little sprucing up in the meantime!
A new blog friend, the wonderful, beautiful Allison from Addie Designs created and designed this background, the three column look, the horseshoes and the grass. I just gave her a couple of ideas and she ran with it! So what do you all think?
Thanks for reading, and come back this afternoon, for my take on Ty Murray and Chuck Wicks taking on Dancing with the Stars.
~Cowgirl in the City
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I don't want to know the gender of my babies until they actually are born. No peaking for me, I want to get the ultimate surprise of finding out whether the baby is a boy or girl when my husband holds the baby in his arms for the first time. Yes, I'm all about surprises.
Because of that, I've pondered what I would do to decorate the baby's nursery, since I wouldn't know whether to go with pink or blue. Since I love blues, greens, and yellows for babies, I'm fine with doing a gender neutral theme.
And this is perfect for this Cowgirl in the City's future baby:
so why can't I do the same? Just by changing a few of the accessories when necessary, I can make the western theme more girlie or more butch. Can't you imagine a cute pink cowboy hat and boots on a dresser?
This nursery was featured on Design Dazzle, which has the cutest themed nurseries I've ever seen! I was definitely drooling, and baby fever spiked a bit while I was browsing their site.
Monday, March 9, 2009
And discovered my new best friend. This little gem was only $7 and I was so excited when I found it that I kept whipping it out of my shopping bag and showing random strangers on the street.
And what is this you may ask?
This magic tool is a Danish Dough Whisk. The stiff wire whisk easily works up stiff dough where a wooden spoon or a regular whisk fails. I've been making bread like crazy ever since I discovered this easy no knead recipe. Six and a half cups of flour, 1 1/2 Tablespoon yeast, 1 1/2 Tablespoon salt, and 3 cups warm water mix up easily by hand with this dough whisk. A thick dough is easily managed.
I know I'm sounding like a commercial, but this is my favorite kitchen gadget yet. Love it. You can buy them online, or at my favorite cooking/kitchen store ever, Peppercorn, in Boulder, CO.
Enjoy, you'll love it too!
Friday, March 6, 2009
God has certainly blessed my perseverance in this area, and I've been shocked with what I've been able to accomplish in the last week or so.
Prioritizing has been key. I created a beautiful, colorful schedule in Excel, which shows every half hour of my day, scheduled and planned to the last second. But I'm being flexible with that, and am able to prioritize what needs to be done.
So far so good.
I just wanted to recap what I was struggling with last week, the dreams and goals I had set for myself that seemed so impossible to accomplish. But I've done so much!
· Be in good physical shape, run a ½ marathon.
I'm starting slowly, running 3-4 times a week and trying to do cardio twice a week. At this pace I feel like I should, oh, be ready for a 1/2 marathon by September 2014. Geez. Just taking it slow, like the tortoise and the hare.
· Be a writer, set up daily writing schedule.
I set up a schedule and I've been writing, not hours on end everyday, but I've certainly been writing 10 times more than I wrote before!
· Send out writing, try to get stuff published.
I've sent one creative nonfiction essay I've written recently to a dozen literary journals. I need to crank it up and keep submitting though.
· Attending Writing Conferences, meeting agents, etc. Make a plan.
I applied for a scholarship for one Writing Conference coming up in April. Hopefully they will have pity on poor me, and let me come and do grunt labor for a few hours for free registration (fingers crossed). I've researched and selected one other writing conference I want to attend this spring, and have recently accepted a few copyediting jobs which will pay for registration.
· Be an incredible wife, have a clean house, homekeeping.
Just turning off the tv has helped me so much in this area! My house has never been so sparkly before. And the laundry is all done and put away, the kitchen sink glistens like a mirror...
I miss tv. Gulp.
· Be thrify.
This is a work in progress and we're just taking it one day at a time. By getting more sleep at night because I'm not watching tv until my husband gets home, means that I'm more alert in the morning, thus able to make my own coffee, eat a filling breakfast, and pack lunch for work. That alone saves a ton of money.
· I want to take a summer publishing course offered here at the U.
I applied, researched my tuition waiver, figured out a work schedule with my boss, and just got my acceptance today! How crazy fast is that?
One week without tv (well for the most part anyway) and I've gotten more done than I thought I could do in a month.
TV really is the Devil, isn't it?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
(Please don't throw things at me! Your computer is expensive and you don't want to break your monitor.)
I know how that sounds and I am supremely, superbly grateful that my husband cooks all of the time. When we have friends come over for dinner, he cooks. When we have family holidays, he cooks. I don't have to worry more than whipping up a cake, or pie, or some kind of baked dessert. It's a blessing.
But, sometimes, its a curse.
I'm on a diet, trying to lose the 20lbs I've gained in the last 3 years since our wedding day! EEK! I don't own a scale and since my jeans were still fitting (except recently they've been getting more snug) I hadn't really worried about it. I'm tall, what can I say? But I climbed onto the scale a few weeks ago, and security had to come in and revive me from my stupor since I fainted, fell down on the gross gym locker room floor, and lay, spreadeagled, as I sobbed uncontrollably. Well, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I was upset. Really. Still am.
I've been running, going to the gym, and trying to eat healthy. I'm not counting calories yet, but am conscious of what I put into my mouth.
Yesterday the midweek service of our church was cancelled, so when I arrived home from work, the Chef was happily cooking in the kitchen, excited for a leisurely dinner. Usually we scarf down leftovers and then run out the door, sure we'll be late to church, but last night was so different.
The aromas of curry and savory washed over me as soon as I opened the door from the garage. The chef made steaks, thick one and half inch thick steaks which he basted in butter as he cooked them. With the steaks came rich curried potatoes, sauteed peppers and onions, and a slice of my homemade bread (see I contributed) slathered in butter.
Gulp. Bye bye diet.
We feasted, then the Chef jumped up. "I made dessert!"
He proceeded to hand whip heavy whipping cream, adding vanilla and powdered sugar to make it sweeter, and then scooped a generous dollop of the whipped cream onto sauteed apples.
"See," he said as he put the dessert plate down in front of me. "It's fruit, so its healthy!"
I licked the plate clean, no self control for this girl. I mean how can I diet when my husband is showering me with his love, his self sacrifice in cooking a delicious meal for me to welcome me home? By not clearing my plate I would be insulting him, his career, his skills, his love for me.
What's a girl to do?
Note to my single friends out on blogosphere, if you want to stay thin and fit into those size six jeans you wore in high school... don't marry a chef. It's a tough road to walk! And speaking of walking, I need to go running again, it'll take me few weeks to work off that meal.
By the way, I apologize for not taking pictures of the meal, I was too busy salivating and licking my plate that I couldn't focus on cameras and blogs. Sorry. :)
Monday, March 2, 2009
So Friday night, I made bread. Yup. Me. Bread making machine me.
And its so good!
My blogger friend, Cheap Like Me posted a great, and so easy, no knead bread recipe that really works.
Since I just finished off a bag of popcorn for supper, I might not eat any more bread tonight, but a big hunk of buttered bread sure sounds good! :)