Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ice Skating

After a year of harassment I got John on the ice last night. He had never skated before. As you can see, he wasn't very excited about it.

I, on the other hand, love ice skating. I can't get enough of it. Ever since I learned at the the pond at the Grotto I've loved getting out on the ice. There is just something about quietly gliding along.

Skating is also special to me because I used to do with my Dad. In Jr. High Dad took me skating a few times. To this day he is the best ice skater I've seen that isn't a professional. I'm not nearly as good as him, but I don't fall down (and I think that is enough to be proud of).
John is not a "strong" skater. It reminded me of roller skating with Conor. John held my hand and tried not to fall down. I skated and pulled him along. It worked great until he fell. He kind of pulled me down with him. I even have the bruise on my knee to prove it. I don't think it counts as falling on skates if you are pulled down.

I'm looking forward to getting a lot of skating in this winter. I just don't think John will be joining me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winter Market

You may have picked up on my love of the Downtown Farmer's Market. Sadly, the market only runs though the end of October. That's a shame, because greenhouses allow for fresh greens almost year round. Eggs, meat, and cheese can also be produced in the winter. Granted, most people wouldn't spend most Saturday mornings in January out on the street, but I would.

Luckily the market and I have reached a compromise. One Saturday in November and one Saturday in December there is an indoor Winter Market. John and I headed there this afternoon. I picked up some Maytag blue cheese, Kim's Christmas present, and some bok choy. John picked up some cheddar and a 25 lb turkey.

We ran into Carla and Sara from knitting and exchanged fall market recipe ideas. John didn't seem too excited about the butternut squash soup that uses tofu as a thickener, but I can't wait to try it. We also talked to some vendors, one of which convinced me to join the Iowa Food Cooperative. That will allow me to buy directly from farmers year round, and my order will be dropped off at Merle Hay Mall, which is closer to my house than Hy Vee.

Holiday Promenade

Last night John and I headed to the Holiday Promenade in the East Village. The shops were open late and crowds packed the street. The store formally known as Smash and now known as Raygun even had a renaming party. They even had a new shirt for the name change that reads "Raygun the store that used to be called SMASH until some a holes in California made us change it."

We spent a lot of time at Ephemera, my new favorite store. I picked up some cards and Ellie's Christmas present there. I would have liked to have picked up some photos of Des Moines too.

It was nice to get out and enjoy the local businesses. It is nice to see the East Village thriving. Thanks to all of the great stores I'll be able to get all of my Christmas shopping done without heading to the mall. And that is the best gift of all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Early Morning Ice Skating

This morning I headed downtown at 6 am to get a little ice skating in. The Brenton Skating Plaza opened this morning. They had free skating, breakfast, and coffee. Skating, breakfast, and coffee happen to be three of my favorite things, so Jamie and I made arrangements to meet there.

Something must have come up with Jamie because she never showed up. I still had fun, but I did feel weird skating around by myself. After a half hour of skating alone I headed into work. I'm hoping to talk John into skating there tonight. It is much more enjoyable to skate outside when it is 50 out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sci After 5

After work tonight I headed to the Science Center of Iowa for Sci After 5. I was on a trivia contest team with my friends Justin & Neal and some of Neal's co-workers. It was a fun night. We dominated the competition and easily won first place.

There was a lot of heated debate at our table when discussing what our answers should be. Our team consisted of 4 or 5 attorneys, so there was a lot of organized arguments. Justin and I devised a system where we would give each other "the look" when we knew we had the right answer. When utilizing "the look" I knew that I had at least one other person on my side.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hand and Foot

Aunt Kathy visited today. We played two very competitive games of Hand and Foot. I'm pretty sure she cheats, but I don't know how. John won the first game and Kathy won the second game. I'm not too upset, even the losers got to eat baked macaroni and cheese (the traditional Hand and Foot meal).

Hiking at Lake Ahquabi State Park

Hot Toddy and I were able to get out and enjoy the nice weather last weekend. We headed down to Lake Ahquabi to try a new hike. Ahquabi is just south of Indianola, which makes it a quick afternoon trip.

There is a four mile loop around the lake. It was classified as a hike in Hiking Iowa, but it really is more of a four mile walk on a mowed pathway.

We entertained ourselves by pretending that it was as difficult to hike as Ledges.

After crossing that hike off of our list we both agreed that when we only have time to do a quick hike we'll still head up to Ledges. It's only 30 min more round trip, and it is definitely worth it for the scenery and hiking.

Cooper & John

This is what my house is like whenever John lets Cooper out of his kennel. It's pretty entertaining to watch. It ends whenever one of them gets tired.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tommy Johnagin

Last night we went to the Funny Bone to see the early show. Spencer had some extra tickets and was nice enough to think of us.

I had pretty low expectations. The tickets were free and his bio stated that he doesn't curse on stage. I was blown away. I had never laughed so hard at a Funny Bone show. If you have a chance go and see him.