Bee Careful

I woke up this morning and found inexplicable bee carnage on our doorstep.  I know you think I’m being dramatic (which is usually a fair assumption) but check it out for yourself:

Now, I’m not one to sympathize with these cantankerous critters but it did make me wonder if this was a sign of an upcoming Apocalypse.  My sweet neighbor (the soft walking one), swept all of the twitching bodies away but the next morning…there was more carnage.

I’m not sure what’s going on but I’m stocking up on bottled water, canned coconut milk (love that stuff), and downloaded episodes of Modern Family just to be prepared.

Any idea who could bee responsible for this persistent stripey bloodshed?   Also, if anyone can think of a brighter/non-morbid way to kick off a Monday, I’m open to suggestions.

Flashback Friday

As we were gnawing our way through the peaches we had purchased at the Peach Festival, Hubs noticed something.

Did you see?  That is a toddler kicking back in her *stroller*, playing the iPad.  An iPad!

Who feels bad about their perceptual ineptness with technology now?  Just me?

Happy Friday, friends.

 

Free S(peach)

Hubs heard about a Peach Festival that was going on in Lafayette and casually mentioned it to me (because I am completely unaware of life outside my bubble).  Maybe it’s the gluten free carb yearning that is weakening my spirit, but I started to conjure up visions of peach cobbler, peachy smoothies, peach pies, deep fat fried cinnamon sugar peaches, peach muffins, the juicy fruit themselves, or least ones in a can that were put there by a man in a factory downtown.  Needless to say, I was ALL ABOUT IT.  I mean, Colorado is known for their peaches, right?!

Excitedly, I dug out the only peach colored top I own and we skipped on over to the festivities.

We did what you’d expect at any respectable Peach Festival and enjoyed some jambalaya:

Jambalaya?  Yeah.

As well as (gluten and just regular) free cotton candy, courtesy of some churchy folks:

In addition to those delicacies and opposite of what my title implies, the peaches did in fact cost money-

…a lot of money and if I’m being honest, they were as hard as gallstones.

If that weren’t disappointing enough, there were way more homemade jewelry stands than peachy fun.  Does that make sense to anyone??

A random side note:  The Clompy McClomperton Crew moved into the apartment above us.  They are athletes from China and there seems to be a lot of them, although we can’t keep track since they are always coming and going.  We assume they are here to squeeze in some serious altitude training.  While I appreciate their svelte bodies and gutsy drive and determination, the reverberating sound of their of indoor calisthenics and stair clomping is starting to royally tick me off.  Can someone important, like Obama or JWOW, send for our old neighbors from Chicago?  We need them back, stat.

Get In My Belly: Smore bars, please?

These should be barred (ha) from potlucks because they are so good, it’s criminal.

Recipe snagged from my sister-in-law Melissa, who is a cooking and baking Olympian.  Don’t mess.

Ingredients:

  • 3 c of graham cracker crumbs
  • one stick of butter
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1/2ish bag of chocolate chips (don’t be a bore.  try the peanut butter and chocolate chips for the next batch.)
  • 2/3ish bag of mini marshmallows

*You might have to use your own noggin and decide on the perfect marshmallow to chocolate ratio because I am guessing my way through life and those measurements are just one small example of that.

Instructions:

1. Mix together sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  Sample for quality control.

2. Melt butter in microwave.  Who’s to argue if you throw that extra glob of butter from your counter in (just to use it up)?  Add evenly to graham cracker mix.

3. Grease a 9×13 baking pan (only if you were stingy with the butter in step one) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Hint, don’t be stingy.

4.  Press 2/3 of the graham cracker mixture firmly into baking pan.

5.  Layer on the marshmallows.  Stuff two up your nose and show your husband how classy you are.

6.  Add chocolate chips evenly over the top.

7. Spread remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

8.  Bake for 15 minutes (or until the mallow is gooey and the chocolate is all nice and melty).

9.  Recognize that melty is not a word.

10.  Take out and cool completely.  Conversely, you’ll lose your cool waiting so it’s suggested to troll Facebook for annoying statues.

11.  Don’t be ashamed if you make this face.

Flashback Friday

In Sunday’s surprise post, I neglected to mention an unsuccessful foray into rock climbing during last weekend’s hike.  Let me mention it now.

theCandace: Hubs, I’m going to scale this rock so you can take a picture of me and then I’m going to post it on my blog so people can be impressed by my dexterity and adventuresome spirit.  Ready?

Hubs: Alright, but I think you’re going to hurt yourself.

*theCandace ignores him and clambers two feet up the wall with exertion and great distress while Hubs snaps pictures of her painfully clingy shorts*

theCandace:  Hubs!!  This was a no good, very bad idea and I have some sincere regrets!!

Hubs:  You are only two feet off the ground.  I think you can make it back down, I really do.

*the Candace takes 3 full minutes to maneuver back to the hiking path.  She is sweaty, grimacing and her hands are bleeding.*

Hubs:  Shall we do burritos for lunch?

theCandace:  I think that would be best.

Don’t do anything stupid this weekend, alright?

Mad Money

Money has been on my (mad) mind a bit…you know, ever since I upped and quit my job a few months ago.  Sure, I got a new job (with a handsome boss) but the pay is lots less than what I was making before.  And in truth, money has always been something I’ve thought hard about, even as a little girl.  I can get all ninja psychoanalyst on you and tell you the root of why I feel the way I do, but we all know you’ve got better things to learn.  Since you’re already here though, I thought I’d start a running conversation about some ways I am trying to cut spending, save greenbacks, but still live life in between.  This is also a placeholder for me to improve and evolve, since I don’t have my crap together or my life figured out just yet.  Bare with me.

Today’s topic:  Our move

Moving is, generally speaking, expensive.  And ours was no different.  See, we sold our house for $20k less than I bought it in 2004 and didn’t make any money from the sale.  In fact, we consider ourselves extremely lucky that we didn’t have to PAY IN like so many folks have had to do.  Then, there was the cost of moving supplies, the gas guzzling cross country road trip, the going away parties, and lunches to say goodbye.  On top of all that, we moved to a substantially more expensive city as far as rent, groceries, and even clothes (they are taxed!) go.  Obviously, we got in the Colorado spirit of things by purchasing tabs and licenses and all of that really annoying fee-laden stuff.  In addition, we moved into our apartment and realized we needed to buy a microwave, shower curtain, desk and chair and other random apartment-y goodies.

Oh and the real kicker?  We now have to fork over at least 4 hundred bones any time we want to see our family.  Ouch.

So, this is how we are combating the money black hole that is Our Move:

Remember when we sold my car?  Thankfully, that put a shiny (oooh, I love shiny things) chunk of change in our quickly collapsing pockets.  It paid for our move and gave us a sizable buffer to work with once we transplanted ourselves in CO.  And now, we only have one car to insure, which is also adding a teeny tiny bits of green back into our lives.  It was a sacrifice we made to afford moving across the country and starting over.

Now, we just have to work on affording Life After The Move.  I’ll get to that.

Is money making you mad and how are you fighting back?

 

 

I take my coffee

free, with some sun and a packet of uncertainty.

You see, a few months ago, I would toss some change into a crabby vending machine and if I was lucky, a paper cup would fill with creamy caffeinated chemicals and I would gulp it down at my desk listening to scratchy teleconferences.

But lately, Hubs and I have been shuffling over to the leasing office of our apartment for a mid morning coffee break, poolside.

Admittedly, the coffee is not stellar but the sunny weather usually makes up for it.  I’m trying to soak up these new moments, because they are wildly different from my life before.  These coffee breaks remind me that Hubs and I have come a long way from our Minnesota daydreams but that I also still have a bag of frets regarding the future.

Then, I just focus on the moment, as it is.

I take another sip, close my eyes and let the coffee warm my belly.

A Sunday Surprise

I know this is completely unprecedented, but I decided to do a surprise Sunday post.  See, I’ve been blogging three times a week since I started this internet masterpiece and so I felt like I couldn’t let this week slip away with just a two-fer.  It’s ok if you didn’t even notice.

This a SpotLife of sorts.  Behold readers, our Saturday.  We snarfed down some oatmeal, hopped on our bikes and headed to the foothills.  Today, we were going to tackle the Gregory Canyon trail!

You guys.  Not sure you caught that.  We *biked* to the foothills, just to get off and go hiking for a few hours.  Shouldn’t I get free ice cream for being so hard core?

Anyway.

We hiked a beautiful trail and took stupid pictures:

It was rigorous terrain (but apparently no big deal for another hiker and her pet YORKIE.  No, for realsies.):

And there was danger:

But I comforted the Hubs by listing all of the things I’d like to buy from Forever21.com:

And after coming out on the other end (?) and sweating off all of our sunscreen, we biked back into town to eat at Illegal Pete’s.  We ate beans and rice and salsa.  It wasn’t that exciting but I never promised it would be.

Then, we biked home.

I finished the afternoon off with a nap (which was rudely disrupted by a not so considerate DRUMMING neighbor) while Hubs worked and then we had dinner at 5pm like old people.  Most likely, if we weren’t blogging about this day, we would have considered staying home to peruse the grocery flier for coupons and maybe ventured out for our weekly curry.  So, thanks for forcing us to interact with the outside world.

Before I sign off, there are the cutest little herds of prairie dogs out here.  They sure make a mess of the fields they live in, but it’s hilarious when the whole batch stand guard over their dusty mound kingdoms and stare blankly at you.  Here, a video:

 

Hey, it was the best we could do.  Happy Sunday, people.

Flashback Friday

About a year ago, this pretty lady in white married into the family and now we rock the same last name.  Looking at these pictures from last summer makes me miss both sides of our family in Minnesota.

But, before I get too nostalgic and sad, I have to remind myself that in a few short weeks, I’ll be back home for another family wedding.  Oh, and come to think of it, I’ll probably be wearing that same dress.  Which I makes me think back on the time when I wore it during our honeymoon.  And then how I wore it again to Hub’s high school reunion.  And then also for a banquet dinner later that same summer.   Which leads me to wonder, how many times can you get out of a polka dot dress before you are forced to retire it?

Anyway, why don’t you kick up your heels ‘cuz it’s Friday?

Gluten pollutin’

Since I have a knack for sharing too much, I’d thought I’d clue my bloggy folk in on my latest escapade.  For most of my life, I’ve been wrestling with a smattering of auto-immune diseases.  Are they the worst thing in the world?  No.  Are they a super good time?  No.  After talking with my doctor and digging through the far corners of the Internet, I realized that although not completely proven, there are some serious links to food intolerance/allergies and certain auto-immune issues.  If I wanted to see if food was polluting my insides, then I need to cut out all types of food that could be the culprit and then slowly add them back in one at a time to see if it causes any of my symptoms to resurface.  It’s called an elimination diet and from what I can tell in a panicky sort of way, it narrowed my food scope down to spinach, water and ice cubes.  Although an elimination diet is the right way to go about this trial, for me, it just seemed too hard.  After conferencing with the Hubs, we decided to pick one common culprit, eliminate it for at least a month, and see if anything feels better.  And the culprit we picked to detox from…was gluten.

We are only two weeks in and it’s going ok.  But maybe that’s because we are still recovering from a rendezvous with one of those tubes of pre-made cookie dough as a last hurrah Gluten Binge before we got down to it…

Amidst the annoyance and carb yearning, I’ve come away with a few things learned.

THINGS LEARNED

  • Gluten could be lurking in almost ANYTHING, which is a heinous way to go about things.
  • Hubs is dropping weight and he already has skinny on his resume.
  • The salad challenge is going well because I fear if I don’t eat a salad, I could starve to death.
  • My favorite cupcake place makes awfully good gluten free ones.  Hallelujah.
  • I haven’t had any conclusive results and it could take a long time, if ever, to see if it’s helping which is so super sad.
  • Colorado hippieville is actually a great place to cut out gluten because they love their picky people.
  • Someone that will give up waffles and bagels for you is a person you’ll want to stick with for the long haul.

We have a few more weeks left and then we’ll reevaluate this gluten free business.  So, raise your coffee (gluten free!) and we’ll toast to keep on keepin’ on (hey, did someone say toast?!).

Oh and also?  I’ll be posting a killer Smore Bars recipe later on this month.  You should make them and think about how I can’t eat any but really really want to, okay?