Monday, January 31


This week's Words To Shoot By is quite spectacular so you really should click on over there and check it out.

I took a walk around our neighborhood yesterday and ended up with three shots of houses that always draw my eye.

During the summer, the top place always has the tallest sunflowers growing in the front yard. It always makes me happy when I walk by. And during the winter, well, I actually kind of like the dried up stalks too.

I wish I knew more about the middle place. It's broken up into apartments, although I don't know if it was built that way or changed into a rental over the years. The structure has "peaks" on both ends and someone told us there used to be some kind of bird sculpture in there and the wings spanned the space from one peak to the other. Sometimes we see a kitty perched on top of the arch that leads into the yard.

And the last place always has lovely flowers in the summertime as well. Plus there is something about that blue door and white adobe wall that always makes me smile.

Sunday, January 30

And then the red balloon flew up into the sky.

Is it really already February the day after tomorrow?


The weekend has been quite lovely. I finally had a good night of sleep
which lead to a much better mood
and some good times.

Friday evening was dinner with friends that we haven't seen in a long time.

And then beers in the kitchen with other friends that we haven't seen in a long time.

Both events were perfect and it felt so nice to be around
awesome people. (Must do this more often!)

I was up later than usual and didn't get much sleep, but I felt so good on Saturday morning.

More alive than I have felt in awhile. Probably because I stepped out of hermit mode and had some fun.

I took two walks this weekend. One with Will and one by myself.

Another thing I should more often. Leave the house.
(Running in the morning doesn't count.)

I worked some too, but mostly I didn't work and it's been good. I need to have weekends like this more often.

The sunshine and warm temperatures certainly helped as well. Not looking forward to the below 10 degrees lows that are predicted for the coming week, but I am hoping that the snow forecasts are true. We need moisture here so badly.

I still can't believe tomorrow is the last day of January.

I plan to run, water my plants and go to the post office to mail four very special packages that I hope will bring smiles to some faces. Not sure what else the day will bring and that makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 26

Loganville to Franklin.

The drive from Loganville, GA to Franklin, NC is about 2.5 hours or so. There was snow all along the way, but not on the roads so it was smooth sailing. Much of the countryside that we passed was covered in snow and sparkling in the sunshine. It was so lovely, but we were following Will's folks so there was no stopping to take photos.

Along the way, we stopped to have lunch at The Dillard House. As we walked through the restaurant to our table, I noticed that each table we passed was packed with food. And the moment we sat down, waitpeople started bringing us dishes of food.

My father-in-law, Bill, said, "You don't order here, they just keep bringing out food."

I kind of thought he was pulling my leg. "Really?"

Yes. Really.

It was crazy and a bit overwhelming. But super good too. I can't recall everything at this point, but I do remember fried chicken, country ham, pork chops, roasted turkey, cole slaw, gravies, green beans, potatoes, stuffing...and so much more. And they had perfectly sweet sweet tea. (Some places make it way too sweet.)

If you can believe it, we actually had dessert too. Bill had lemon meringue pie which he gave a thumbs down. I think Sally had pumpkin pie. Will had blackberry cobbler with ice cream which was pretty awesome. And I had red velvet cake which was certainly not Cakeman red velvet, but it was good.

Onward we went to Franklin, bellies full.

Will grew up in Franklin although not in the house that his parents live in now.

They live a ways out of the little town, in the woods. It is beautiful and quiet and a wonderful place to visit. The house is cozy and comfortable and Sally is an impeccable decorator and an amazing cook.

It had snowed quite a bit out there so we couldn't make it all the way up the little dirt road. And the long, steep driveway? No way.

So Bill and Will had to do quite a bit of shoveling before we could get the cars up.

It was freezing cold, but the afternoon light was beautiful and I was itching to take some photographs so I went out for a walk with a few cameras while the men shoveled.

Of course, once again, I screwed up my camera settings and so nothing was exposed correctly. Plus the cold affects the instant film chemicals a bit and the Fuji film I was using in one of my cameras came out much bluer than usual.

And all those shrubby looking things in the above photos, in other words, the things that aren't trees, are rhododendrons. Covered in snow. And one of my favorite flowering bushes that I don't really see out here in Santa Fe. It's one more thing that I really miss about Pittsburgh. I don't think we've ever been in Franklin when they are in bloom. That would be pretty incredible to see considering how many surround the house.

After the shoveling was done, Will got the car up the driveway and we settled in. I can't even remember if we had dinner that night since we had such a huge lunch. We did have some wine and the neighbors and long-time family friends came over and we played some dominoes game. Good times, just as vacations should be.

Tuesday, January 25

An early morning walk in the snow.

The morning after Christmas, I woke up early, couldn't get back to sleep so finally gave up and got up at 5:30am. It was still pitch dark outside and the house was incredibly quiet. I peered out into the dark and saw that the snow was still coming down. Once it started to get light, I bundled up, put on my boots and went out for a walk.

As you can see, there is only an inch, maybe two, on the ground, but since that area doesn't get much snow, it was enough to shut everything down. Not that Santa Fe gets a ton of snow anymore, but it takes more than an inch or two to shut everything down so it kind of made me giggle.

It did not shut us down as we headed to North Carolina just before lunchtime. The roads were totally clear.

Next up, more snow. Too bad we're not actually getting any here in Santa Fe. We really need it.

Sunday, January 23

The Instax and Game Day and Dreams.

Shot taken with my new Fuji Instax Wide 210 camera. I am really enjoying this camera so far even though it's a beast of a camera. It's about the size of a brick. It reminds me a bit of using the old Polaroid One Step cameras, the ones that the flash always fires on. I stuck a piece of black electrical tape over the flash so that it doesn't always wash everything out, although sometimes the flash is needed. I've been taking a lot of indoor low lights shots just to figure out what it can manage with no flash. The film produces surprisingly rich colors. And the best thing about it? The film is readily available and affordable!

Don't get me wrong, my Polaroid cameras and films will always be my first loves, but this is a nice addition to the family and one that will ultimately allow me to conserve my Polaroid film. I plan to use the Instax for more of my "everyday" sort of shots and conserve the Pola film for more exciting adventures.

This morning I woke up and immediately started making a list in my head of all the food preparation I have to do for the big game.

I woke up a little late, but it's okay because all I really have to do before the food prep is go for a run and I have plenty of time. Our guests will not be arriving until around 1:00pm for the NFC game.

I haven't really been sleeping well (shocking, I know), but it hasn't caught up to me yet. (I hope I don't regret saying that out loud.) It's not so much that I am not sleeping, it's that my sleep is very shallow. Like I can be asleep and dreaming, but somehow I am aware of what's going on in the room as well. The cats shifting position, the house settling and make weird creaks and groans. And I dream a lot. Multiple dreams throughout the night and early morning.

I can always tell when I have slept deeply because I either don't remember a dream or only remember one long dream instead of many shifting dreams.

Sometimes I feel like I wake up every time I turn over.

Last night I had not one, but two dreams about my dad's old Ford truck. I can't recall ever dreaming about that truck before so I have no idea why it showed up last night.

In one dream, Will and I had left the highway and were traveling on rough made dirt roads that kept coming to an end. We'd always find another road to get on, but they all kept ending by either just disappearing or coming to a place where a bridge used to be but no longer existed. Eventually we came to some super bizarre rest area/truck stop place and I walked around taking Polaroid pictures.

I wish I could take snapshots of my dreams and share them with you as some of the visuals are really interesting, but I am not so good at putting them into words.

In another dream, I was traveling with my mother and again, we stopped at a truck stop to eat. Then suddenly I had roller skates on and I was skating around trying to find a bathroom.

Rocky got up at 5:30 and started to whine so I brought him to the bed with the hope that he would chill out for awhile longer. This only partially works because while he does calm down, it involves a lot of constant petting so I don't actually get to go back to sleep.

I finally let them out at 6:00 and dozed back off. The dream that came mostly eludes me now, but I do remember at the end, I had gotten my hair cut super short and it had been dyed to a platinum blonde shade with a blue stripe down the center. Really not a good look for me.

Hmmm, well, I had planned to sit down write about football and food and instead I rambled on about dreams. Go figure.

More soon my lovelies. Hope you all have a very happy Sunday.


Friday, January 21

New stuff. And football, of course.

This week totally got away from me. I feel like I only got about half of the things done that I wanted to get done. It would be lovely if time would slow down a bit.

Earlier in the week, I worked a full day at the gallery which is probably part of the reason that I feel like I had a shorter week than usual for my own work. That evening we had dinner with a friend who asked me to make some flower pins in her niece's college colors and sew them on a headband. So that's one of the things I did this week. Make flowers. In college colors. And while I was at it, I figured I should make some of my little flowers in black and gold for barrettes.

I think they are pretty darn cute.

I also decided to make a beer cozy since a number of people thought my cuff bracelets were beer cozies.

Will claimed this one before I even felted it so now I have to make another for myself. He was very happy to use it this evening as he said it kept his beer cold and his hands warm. As it should.

And yes, we have black and gold on our minds around here.

We decided to make chili for the game on Sunday. Will wanted to do barbecued pork, but the last time we made it, we had quite an embarrassing loss to the Patriots. (And one of our tenants lit a fire in our driveway in front of my car and next to the gas lines, but that's another story.) So I'm feeling a bit superstitious about barbecued pork even though it's what we served throughout our last playoff run and Superbowl win. Last week we had burgers so now I am thinking sticking to a ground beef sort of theme is what's going to happen. Sorry, I know it's ridiculous. I am usually not superstitious, but I get a little bit going on when we are in the playoffs.

We are also going to be serving the leftover pimento cheese dip which I have to say has gotten better and better with time.

Anyway, I was talking about felting, wasn't I? I also made a new set of nesting bowls. Not super different, but a little. Slightly smaller and flat bottomed instead of rounded. Oh and they are crocheted instead of knitted. I learned that I need to add a couple of rows to the largest one so that it comes out more in proportion to the others, but overall I am happy with the result. And I love the colors.

Hope you all have fabulous weekends! I may not be around until Tuesday, but we'll see. Tomorrow is a whole bunch of sewing flower barrettes that aren't black and gold and shaving felted things and vacuuming and mopping and laundering. And then Sunday is all about football.

Go Steelers!!


Tuesday, January 18


It's pretty easy to admire the sky and clouds. Check out the new Words To Shoot By for more takes on "admire".

I'm also really digging this Softtone Edge Cut film. It's the first time I've used it and now I wish I had bought more!

Sunday, January 16

This and that and football and pimento cheese.

I just realized that it's going to take me forever to finish the vacation posts because I haven't posted all of the pictures to go along with the posts! Oh well, one of these days it'll all get done. Or maybe I'll just finish up the writing part and worry about pictures later.

Yesterday was Steeler madness around here. I woke up at 6:00am and was already full of anticipation for the afternoon game. When I am that pumped up at a game, all of my focus turns to the snacks that need to be prepared. We went to the grocery store early so I could get a few more things. Then I vacuumed and mopped all the while wondering why I actually bother to vacuum the living room when we're going to have folks over and food is going to end up on the floor. Then I realized that I was completely exhausted because once again I hadn't slept well for a few days. (I got in three good nights early in the week and then the restless nights returned.)

So at 10:30 in the morning, I went back to bed for a nap. This is something that I rarely do. I am not a good napper because I usually end up laying thinking about all the other things that I should be doing. But I needed it yesterday and I actually did fall asleep for a bit. Felt much better when I got up an hour later.

Turned on the NFL Network Game Day show and headed to the kitchen to start the snack preparations. Everything I put out is relativity simple, but every once in awhile I make something different.

Will's mom sent us home with a Southern Living magazine that has some good sounding hot dip recipes in it so I decided to make the Tex Mex Pimento Cheese Dip.

I'd never even had pimento cheese until a few years ago. I think they had a sample out at Whole Foods and I tried it and discovered that it's pretty addictive stuff. So I bought it a few times and sometimes it was really good and sometimes it wasn't.

While we were in Georgia, Will's sister made it just about everyday and I had a hard time resisting her mix of it although I was rather appalled by the amount of mayonnaise that goes into it. A lot of mayonnaise. A LOT.

Anyway, it became the chosen dip for the playoff game and I have to admit, I was excited about it all week.

So. The recipe.

1/4 cup green onions, chopped
12oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped*
1 jalapeno, chopped
1-1/2 cups of mayonnaise
8oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8oz of pepper jack cheese, shredded
Cilantro for garnish (which I skipped of course)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first 4 ingredients together then mix in the cheese. Spoon into a 2qt baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until dip is bubbling and browned on top.

Again, the amount of mayonnaise freaked me out a bit so I didn't add it all at first, but after I added the cheese, it seemed dry to me so I put a bit more in.

When it first came out of the oven, it tasted way too much like mayo to me, but as it cooled, the other flavors kicked in and it was super tasty. The kind of thing that you know you should stop eating, but you can't resist one more bite.

I think if I make it again, I'd cut down a bit on the mayo and I think I'd throw some green chile in there as well. And maybe some garlic.

We served it with crostini, Fritos and tortilla chips. But really it goes well with anything. We had burgers later in the evening and threw some on the buns instead of using mayo. Delicious. (Of course if you hate mayonnaise, it's probably not for you.)

I could even say that the pimento cheese dip got me through the incredibly stressful game we had against the Ravens. Good lord, I thought my head was going to explode. Seriously. And then we won and I could breathe again.

We are watching the Jets/Pats game now and it's really nice to see Tom Brady getting sacked. Really nice.

More soon my lovelies. Have a fantastic week! (I'm already planning the menu for next week's game!)

*Note: I just reread the recipe and saw that I misread it when I made it. It actually calls for 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers not a whole jar. The fact that I used more didn't seem to have an adverse result though.

Thursday, January 13

Another walk in the woods.

This time it was just me and Will and Abagail. And a couple of film cameras. (No telling when I'll ever get the 120 shots developed. Sigh.)

Will and Abagail.

After taking my last shot of Polaroid Time Zero film, I loaded up the SX-70 Alpha with 600 film and totally forget to change the light/dark dial. (Since 600 film was not made for the SX-70, the dial typically needs to be turned all the way to dark to get proper exposure. 600 film is much faster than the Time Zero.) I started taking shots and stuffing them in my pocket like I have a tendency to do.

Not always the best idea because then 4 or 5 shots go by before I realize that I've made a silly mistake.

I was irritated with myself, but whatever, it happens. (Too often in fact.) And by the time we got home and revisited the shots from the trip, I discovered that I actually quite liked the overexposed shots.

The evening light was quite lovely again and so I followed it and again became enamored with all the twists and turns of the trees. And the glow of the leaves.

I wish I could take walks in the woods every evening.

And then Will had to swing over the pond again, this time standing up.

Wednesday, January 12


One of the first things we inquired about after settling in at my sister-in-law's home:

Do you have the NFL Network?

And initially Shannon, my brother-in-law said that he didn't think they had it.

We were prepared for this possibility and since we were playing the Panthers (who had a terrible season), it was all fine.

(If you can get through the football portion of this post, there will be pictures of trees and sky and people.)

But then Shannon discovered that they do indeed get the NFL Network so we were all set for the Thursday night game.

Out here in the mountain time zone, we watch our football games two hours earlier than a lot of you folks. For the morning games, it isn't always ideal, but we've gotten used to it. But for the night games, it's great for me. Eight o'clock games are six o'clock games which fits into my whole going to bed to read at nine o'clock schedule. But being in the eastern time zone, good lord, I could barely keep my eyes open by the second half. I managed to stay up until some point during the fourth quarter when I was positive that we were definitely going to win the game. It was rough though.

Anyway, one of my favorite parts of our stay in Loganville was the evening walk. Okay, so we only had two evening walks (the third night it was snowing too much or maybe we were just tired from watching kids open presents all morning long), but both were quite enjoyable especially since Abagail went along with us.

I fell in love with Abagail big time. She's an outdoor kitty, but so unbelievably sweet. Since it was cold, she hung out in the garage quite a bit, but whenever anyone went out for a walk, she followed along. And she would get her wild cat on.

You can't see it here, but when she went out for walks with us, she'd puff her tail up. I wanted to bring her home with us so badly, but of course Rocky and Simon would hate her. She actually got into the car when we were loading it up and it was difficult getting her to come out. So tempting just to let her ride along with us!

The first evening walk included Shannon, Jake, our nephew and Will's dad. Jake has a sweet coon skin hat.

The light was so wonderful as we walked and since I was carrying my digital SLR, I couldn't resist taking loads of photos, following the light and the trees.

I love the textures of the bark and all the gnarly twists and turns that trunks and branches make.

The whole swinging over the pond thing made me quite nervous. But you know, boys will be boys. There was a lot of testosterone hanging out by that pond and the swing.

I was too chicken to try it myself. Maybe when it's not cold and it wouldn't totally suck to fall into the pond.

There's a huge rocky area at the top of the hill, it was really cool and a bit slick. Note the NFL knit hats on Will and Shannon. Steelers and Falcons. Both still in the running...

More trees tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 11

The year in running.


My goal for 2010 was to run 25 miles a week. I came close enough to this goal to feel pretty damn good about my year in running. There were days missed while on vacations, suffering from a lack of sleep or freezing cold weather, but mostly I managed to run 5 days a week. And the days missed? Well, that's just life.

I plan to keep my goal the same for 2011. I like running 5 miles a day. I'd like to run longer distances again (and finish another marathon!), but right now I know it would be way too unrealistic to up my goal mileage to 6 miles a day. There isn't always time, for one. I do try to run 6 miles when I can and when it feels right and that's good enough for me.

Running is one of my favorite parts of the day. Even when I don't feel like going but go anyway, it ends up being such a good thing. It gets my blood flowing and sometimes my thoughts flowing as well. I get a lot of ideas when I run although sometimes they days that there is nothing but a focus on the running, the air I am breathing and the scenes around me are the best.

Running keeps me sane.

But not today.

Today is one of those freezing cold days that I think I will pass on. I can run when it's below 10 degrees, but it isn't always fun. The morning temps the rest of the week won't be as low so I'll get my miles in then.

Be well and stay warm. xo

Monday, January 10

Shawnee to Loganville.

Both of us woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, but we still manage to get up and out of the hotel by 8 o'clock. We were tired but also excited about reaching our destination that afternoon.

The drive was fairly uneventful. More knitting. More Harry Potter. And more Chik-fil-A for lunch. (I just had a sandwich because my body could not deal with more french fries.)

Loganville is about 45 minutes or so northeast of Atlanta, but we had to briefly enter Atlanta to get there. This turned into a few moments of confusion as we didn't hear what the TomTom said and missed a turn, ended up in the downtown area. There was nowhere to pull over while we situated ourselves so Will kept driving while I scrambled for the atlas and tried to figure out what we needed to do. It was a week bit stressful, but somehow Will had turned in the right place and right as we were about to stop at a gas station, we realized that we were on the road we were supposed to be on. Go figure.

Driving out of the city and into the suburbs, I started to feel like I could be anywhere. Stoplights, chain restaurants and chain stores that just went on and on and on.

Eventually we made some turns and ended up driving through a much more pleasant woodsy area with lots of big houses.

Will's sister and her family live in one of the smaller big houses and have their very own woods in the backyard! And a pond! And a swimming pool! And a big hill to hike up! It was quite beautiful and tranquil. It was good to be done driving for a few days.

We arrived at the house at around 3 o'clock, unloaded the car and basically chilled out for the next few days. I mean, seriously chilled out. It was all about eating, afternoon naps and evening walks in the woods. It was super nice and relaxing, although I have to admit I got twitchy a few times because I am not used to do *nothing*.

I did run while we were there. My father-in-law runs as well so a few of the mornings we were all there, he and I headed out to Tribble Mill Park for some exercise. I really couldn't have asked for a better place to run. The trail goes through the woods and around a beautiful lake. It was so wonderful not to be running on sidewalks in the city. I wish I had a trail like that every day. Plus it made me feel like a total bad ass because I shaved minutes off my usual running times. At first I thought I made a mistake, but then I realized that running at much lower elevation was allowing me to really push. It felt awesome.

Now, of course, I am back to being slow especially with all the icy patches that are still on my route. But hey, it was fun to be a bad ass for a few days!

Friday, January 7

Shawnee to Tupelo.

Day two started off well as I was totally surprised to wake up and find that it was after six! Sleeping past five doesn't happen often for me.

We made tea (for me) and coffee (for Will), I ate a spongy English muffin from the breakfast bar and we were back on the road by about 8:30. And back to listening to Harry Potter Harry Potter and knitting.

It was a densely foggy morning which was actually the perfect setting for listening to the Deathly Hallows. Eventually the fog dissipated and we found ourselves in the midst of hot and humid weather through Arkansas.

We are not fans of fast food but of course find that sometimes it is our only choice for a quick lunch on the road. Our top choice is always Chik-fil-A so I looked it up on the mostly useless TomTom and found one in Conway, AR. It actually ended up being a good exit for us because we needed to hit a Target and there was one right behind the Chik-fil-A. Walking into a Target on the road always feels a bit surreal to me as they are all so much alike, once in there, we could be anywhere.

I-40E took us into Memphis and then we headed southeast toward Tupelo, MS, our destination for the night. Not only was Tupelo about the right about of distance for the day's drive, but we knew we could eat some decent food there. A couple of years ago when we drove to the beach we stopped there on the way home and had great burgers at Woody's. So we were happy with the knowledge that we would be having a decent meal that night.

We made really good time that day and arrived at Woody's before six. They have a lot of pretty awesome sounding dishes on their menu, but we stuck with the burgers. I don't remember the name of the burger I ordered, but it included bacon and french fried onions on it. It was enormous. Too enormous. But delicious. Of course I couldn't finish it and we couldn't take it with us since we were traveling, something that the bus boy made me feel awfully guilty about. I don't like wasting food, but sometimes it's unavoidable when restaurants serve such outrageous portions. Next time we'll remember to order a burger to share.

We stayed at a Comfort Inn again since we'd stayed at it before and it was alright. This time they were remodeling and stuck us in a room right near all the construction. Fortunately we didn't hear much of it, but they did work pretty late into the night. The room was fine, although for some reason it creeped Will out so we'll probably pick a different place if we stop there again. I'd love to actually go all the way into the city and check it out, but we never seem to have time. The trip east is such a long drive, we usually can't afford to add more days by making it a leisurely drive. That would be a lot of fun though.

We watched television and read for awhile again and then turned in pretty early. It's amazing how sitting in a car all day can be so exhausting.

Thursday, January 6

Santa Fe to Shawnee.

I have to admit that I missed documenting our road trip to California last summer. I meant to do it, I just never made the time. So I'm going to get this trip down before too much time passes. And yes, I know, my travelogues are way too long as I ramble on about mundane details, but oh well, that what comes out of my head. I wish my head was full of poetry, but alas, details it is.

We left on a Monday morning a bit after 8 o'clock. The car was packed full with Christmas presents, my various suitcases of daily clothing, running gear, cameras and knitting projects, a cooler full of beer and green chile and Will's one backpack of clothing.

Shortly after we hit I-40 East, we had to make a pit stop and ended up stopping at this crazy truck stop just before Santa Rosa. It's one of those places that has about a million billboards leading up to it, yet I can't remember the name. I want to say it's "Flying A" or "Flying something", but I'm not at all sure. This place was packed full of every kind of souvenir you could imagine as well as enormous packages of fireworks. They had a couple of taxidermied bears on display too. We probably could have stayed in there for hours.

Near the restrooms, there was a display of these very real looking but not real at all stuffed cats. Totally creepy especially since most of them were in plastic bags.

They also had quite a few postcards which I made the mistake of not buying. I figured that since we had only been on the road an hour or so, I didn't need to hold things up just yet. See, I had this grand plan of buying postcards in every state to send to my postcard pals. A little road trip postcard project. Perfect. But. After this stop, not a postcard was to be seen in any of the six states that we traversed.

Oftentimes when we travel, I am completely mesmerized and entertained by the passing landscape so have little need to do much besides look out the window. For some reason, I was a bit restless on this trip and couldn't settle into the landscapes. I-40 East just isn't as captivating as I-40 West, especially at this time of year. Which isn't to say that there weren't some places that I would have loved to have stopped and shot some film, but in general, it was a lot of flat, dry grassy fields. So I was quite happy that I had packed a few knitting projects. Project number one, a new scarf for myself.

I had a pattern picked out that I started before we left, but as I worked on it in the car, I realized that one, I didn't love it and two, it was too involved for car knitting. So I frogged it and started again. I think I may have frogged my work one or two more times before settling into a simple ribbed pattern. So I knitted my way through the day as Will drove and we listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I've read all the Harry Potter books. More than once. Will has seen all the movies but not read the books. I wanted something long for our long drive so since we'd recently seen the latest movie, part one of the Deathly Hallows, I decided it would be nice for Will to get all the details that didn't make it into the movie. (And won't make it into the final movie.) It was a good choice for the trip. We were both hooked into it immediately.

So the day passed by with Harry Potter in our heads and smooth sailing on the interstate. The day passed quickly enough although driving east always feels a bit longer than driving west since we gain time instead of losing it. Once we got out of New Mexico, it was somewhat hot through Texas and into Oklahoma. Our plan was to at least get to Oklahoma City. We made it there and decided to go a little further. We ended up in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

When traveling, we always try to stop somewhere that we can find restaurants that aren't fast food and/or chains. This isn't always easy to do. In Shawnee, there was actually a pretty cool looking diner, but alas, they did not serve beer. And after 9 hours on the road, a beer is high on the list of priorities. (The beer in the cooler was for our destination, not the road trip.) So we ended up at Garfield's Restaurant and Pub. I guess it's an Oklahoma chain, similar to a Chili's and certainly nothing to rave about, but it was decent and the servers were quite nice. We spent the night at a Comfort Inn, one of our more favorite of the chains, and it was only 9 months old and probably one of the cleanest hotels that we've stayed in. The sheets were a bit scratchy, but other than that, it was a thumbs up for our budget.

After settling into our room, Will watched some television and I read more of Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway which I started before we left.

And then it was lights out.

Wednesday, January 5

Happy New Year!

Hello at last! Hope the new year is treating you all well.

This is the first photo I took on New Year's Day and it was a bit of an accident and didn't turn out so well. I attached my little self-timer to the camera and the piece that pops out to take the photo got stuck and so after the first photo, it kept pressing the shutter in and taking more photos. Eek! Not exactly how I want to use my $22 for 8 shots film! Luckily there were only two shots left so I didn't end up with 8 shots of bad self-portraits.

I think I look pretty awful here, but I like the setting and I like my new bunny t-shirt. (From my favorite t-shirt shop, Supermaggie.)

And I am posting it because I still feel like an unattractive mess after spending most of the start of this new year being incredibly sleep deprived and a bit ill. No fun! I am feeling better today, but I still haven't slept through the night which is very frustrating. And I still haven't really gotten my head wrapped around the fact that it is a new year and a time for new beginnings.

I need a good night of sleep and a new perspective on 2011.