Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Reunion

Last weekend I headed up to Sheldon for the McCarty family reunion. It was a great time. We spent a lot of time catching up, eating, and playing yard games. The best part was sitting on the porch and singing with my cousins. It is one of my favorite parts of the whole year. What we make up for in musical talent we make up for in awesomeness.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Food Inc.

This afternoon Stimmel and I went to see Food Inc. It is an incredible film. After spending the afternoon learning about the food industry I find myself drawn to action. I plan to change the way I purchase food, and will look for local producers even outside of the Farmer's Market season.

Go see this movie. It will change how you look at food. And it will change how you vote with your food dollars. I will babysit for you so that you can go to this movie.

Making smart food choices isn't just about going organic. It's about making choices that improve not only our lives, but the lives of farmers, farm workers, and the planet. There are simple steps we can take to improve our food system. There is list of 10 simple things you can do to change the food system here.

This one's for Mom

When I was growing up one of the many things I did that annoyed my Mother was not untying my shoes when I took them off. She used to say "when you buy your shoes you can take them off how you want." I'm sure I rolled my eyes every time she said that.

I hadn't thought about Mom & untying shoes in a long time. Until yesterday when I walked into my room and found two pairs of shoes, still tied, on the floor. I don't remember the last time I untied my shoes to take them off.

Now that I buy my shoes you would think that I would be more careful about my shoe removal tactics. Unfortunately, I still step on the back and slip out my foot. Some things never change. I just hope Mom isn't as annoyed now that I buy them myself.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Last weekend Stimmel & I headed downtown to Brewfest. There were over 300 beers to sample. We didn't sample that many, but I did get to try several new beers. I discovered Hub City Brewing from Stanley, IA. Their beers were delicious, and I think I may hit up a brewery tour the next time I'm in NE Iowa. There was also a Pomegranate Wheat beer that was exceptionally tasty.

The festival was very crowded, which was not conducive to taking pictures. Which is why there is only one picture. It doesn't really do Brewfest justice, but you do get to see Stimmel have some of Shelly's nachos.

Farmer's Market

Have I mentioned how much I love the Farmer's Market? Where else can you have this much fun on a Saturday morning?

Thanks Mom & Dad!

For graduation Mom & Dad gave me some money which I used to buy a bike computer. It's awesome. It tells me my miles per hour, distance, time, and most importantly cadence. It has made me a much better rider.

Don't worry, I still manage to have fun. A few weeks ago I went on a ride to Martensdale with Steve and Becca. On the way back we stopped at the Cumming Tap for refreshments. I tell you what, on a 90 degree day nothing feels better after 2 hours of biking than a beer and a Gatorade.

It ended up being the longest ride I've ever been on. As I pulled up to my house I'd gone 48.2 miles. Not one to quit that close to a milestone I rode around the neighborhood until I reached 50 miles.

I can't say enough how much I'm enjoying my new bike. I never thought I would be in to riding 5 or 6 days a week, but now if I miss a day I really miss it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bless Their Hearts!

The Sunday after Sturgis Falls I was on a relay team for the Hy Vee Triathlon. It was a lot of fun....once we were done. While I was biking I wanted to quit. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that Anj would kick my butt if I stopped.

Many people start training for a tri the year before the event. If you are doing the relay people spend at least 12 weeks in training. Not us. A month before the tri Anj and I were walking back from Starbucks talking about how it would be fun to do a tri some day. We then decided a relay would be fun. Anj mentioned it to her husband and we had a swimmer and we signed up to the tri the next day. We had less than a month to train. Lesson learned: never tell Matt your plans - he will make you follow through.

Our team was named Bless Their Hearts! because we figured that is what people would say when they saw us. As in "Bless their hearts, they sure are trying!" or "Bless her heart, look at her try to ride that bike up that great big hill." Our goal was to not finish last among the female relays teams.

We really didn't do too bad. We were in the middle of the pack. I hope to be back in the tri next year, as a member of team Bless Their Hearts! I can honestly say that the one thing I got out of doing the relay is that I would never want to do an entire tri. The training would take so much time it wouldn't be worth it for me. When would I have time to sit on my couch eating snacks and drinking beer?

An Open Letter to Marcia Dreesman

Dear Marcie,

I received your phone call in reference to my spare bedroom. You are welcome to move in, provided you abide by the rules of the house. The rules are as follows:

1. You will make French toast for me every morning.

2. At breakfast I would like a cup of coffee - black.

3. Once the coffee is ready wake me up. I don't like mornings, so I think you bringing me coffee every morning would help me start my day.

4. While I'm at work I expect you to clean my house and walk Cooper. You will also need to put air in my bike tires and lay out my clothes so I don't skip a ride.

5. When I get home I want to be handed a cold beer.

6. We will knit together at least three times a week. I expect my handiwork to be oohed and aaahed over.

7. I will need you to make some of your delicious onion rings once a week. Also, it would help if you would learn how to fry pickles like they do at Z's.

8. I expect you to become a gourmet vegetarian chef.

9. We will walk to AK's at least once a week during patio season.

I trust these will not be an issue and you will be moving in soon. I look forward to sharing a home with you.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bella Mittens

I haven't been knitting lately. I haven't been home much, and when I am home I haven't felt like picking up the needles. That changed today when I woke up to a gloomy 4th. I sat down, turned on the TV, and decided to finish a project.

I've been working on Bella Mittens for about a month. I decided to use Amanda's pattern, knowing that she went through some patterns she didn't like and made her own. They are supposed to be really long - about up to your elbow. I didn't have that much bulky yarn around, and I have a hard enough time getting mittens on after I put on my coat, so I decided to go with a shorter version.

I am really happy with how they turned out. I have been wearing them around the house all morning, which is probably a sign that I should turn my air conditioning off.