Monday, May 26, 2008

200th Post

Would you believe that this is the 200th post of the Cozy Kitty's Weblog? I wasn't sure that we would have enough to write about, but it seems that journaling about our lives in Maryville, MO and our travels has gotten us to 200 posts for now. Who knows how much more we can write about!

This weekend found us in Lauren's home area of Marseilles/Ottawa, IL for a Memorial Day weekend gathering. The gathering was a follow-on memorial/family wake for Lauren's mom on Saturday afternoon and a good grill-out later on, as well as being a good couple of days off for both of us. Lauren also got to do some garden refreshing in the family herb garden in the back yard.

We stayed at our now-standby bed and breakfast, the Brightwood Inn, spent time with the family on both Saturday and Sunday, and got in a couple of days of good trail walking at Matthiessen State Park Saturday morning and on the Ottawa stretch of the Illinois and Michigan Canal trail on Sunday. One of these days, we hope to do the entire canal trail, once we're in shape to do it. We also did some wine tasting Saturday morning as well and had dinner at Starved Rock Lodge Sunday evening.

When Lauren's mom passed away, the last thing she said to us was that we should both "go out and have some fun". I think she would have approved of this weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oh Deer!

We had a good weekend ... to a point. Ever since I moved down to Des Moines, I had been hoping to get Lauren to go up to the Downtown Farmer's Market on some Saturday morning. This weekend, with it being rainy and the lawn work mainly done (except for mowing), we headed up for that and also to reconnect with friends we hadn't seen in awhile.

We sampled some of the usual Farmer's Market fare, $1 eggrolls, and Chef Steve's Kabab's, and we also found a wonderful terra cotta cat which will find a home in the kitty garden. During the day, we were able to do some gourmet grocery shopping, and we also managed to meet with Janet at the Riverfront Y, Laura at the Art Center over dessert, and Bethany at Namaste, a small hole-in-the-wall Indian grocery and up and coming Indian restaurant, for dinner.

All in all, it was a very nice day ... except for the deer that we hit on the way home, which is why I'm working from home today and taking the car over to the body shop for an estimate. It wasn't bad damage: just a bent hood and possibly a front bumper cover (we think). Thankfully, neither of us were hurt. As a co-worker pointed out: "cars can be fixed".

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sleepy Weekend

Unlike the last few weekends, we've decided to slow things down a little bit.

For me, it's no taxes to rush getting done. No work assignments needed "right this minute". I can't even do any WBT/CBT work because the company's learning management system is still being upgraded.

For Lauren, her Spring semester is over. Finals are done, her grades are in, and apart from attending graduation this afternoon and some interview meetings on Tuesday and Friday, she now has a week off to rest, garden, and get ready for her first summer class. That, and play with her new iPod Touch, which she won in a raffle earlier this week.

Due to the weather, we really can't do very much to the lawn or garden this weekend, apart from a little bit of weeding: it's too wet to mulch, although Lauren might have a few things she wants to plant. So we got up early this morning, had breakfast at Hy-Vee, and then made the rounds of the city-wide garage sales, which are usually prevalent around graduation.

Oh, there are a few things we could do: while Lauren is at graduation, I'm going to buy some fresh paint brushes and get the front porch floor repainted, so it should last for awhile. And do laundry. I might even get around to cleaning the house.

If the weather stays nice towards later this evening, I think we're going to toss some wood on the fire pit, get out the lawn chairs, and do some hot dogs, salads, and s'mores later on. It's casual, and low-input, which really sounds good to me.

EDIT: I didn't get around to the painting or the laundry or the cleaning. Instead, I spent a half-hour or so trying to get the mower (the one we had brought to the True Value for service) to start, in preparation for the first mowing of the season. Needless to say, it's going back to the True Value tomorrow with a polite "did you happen to do a test start and run before you told us it was finished?"

Still, the evening went great. I started the fire pit at about 6, got out the lawn chairs, and we grilled while Lauren surfed for iPod Touch accessories from the iPod. After that, Lauren did a bit of weeding while I tended the fire, and we rounded off the evening with a small amount of Stone Hill Winery's cream sherry. No, I wasn't a Boy Scout growing up. Or even a Girl Scout. But I made sure that the remaining embers were taken care of.

EDIT #2: We did get the mower dropped off and I did get the painting and the laundry done on Sunday.