Friday, March 23, 2012

we've decided

We are going to get this as soon as possible.

A Bernese Mountain Dog... as a puppy preferably. And ideally it would stay this way, plus house-broken, forever, though the adults are pretty good looking, too.

This was the first dog that Aaron and I both got excited about. It is described as all around friendly, good with kids, tolerates getting climbed on, and easy going. The main draw backs were it's health issues, but isn't that a problem with most large dogs?

I just think it's a miracle we even found a dog we both liked. You see, I grew up with this....

...and Aaron grew up with this...

(this is actually a picture of their current dog, but Aaron grew up with the same kind... a cocka-shih-tzu?)

Though I love Toffee, the cute fuzzy thing in the picture above, I obviously loved Jake more, my yellow lab that resembled the heroic one pictured above. How would Aaron and I ever find a dog we both liked?

That's when Aaron performed a very inspired Google search: "Top 10 Dogs for Men". Yes, Labrador Retrievers were number one--thank you "Marly and Me"--but for some strange reason, Aaron doesn't think they are cute when they are older. Alas, the search brought use to the Bernese Mountain Dog (scroll up and ogle at the first picture again) and we both got so excited to get one that we started looking at houses for sale...

Oh! And you should all drink this. Just blend all the ingredients:
1 cup milk
2 handfuls spinach
1 banana
1 handful on almonds
Perhaps some flax seeds
Perhaps some rolled oats
Perhaps a bit of other frozen fruit, but the original is my favorite

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the latest

I know I ended the last post with a serious cliff hanger and you are anxiously waiting to hear about your excursion to Las Vegas.

However, it seems like there is not much to tell. We didn't want to spend much money, but we debated the whole time about whether or not to try to get tickets to a Cirque de Soleil show (because I have always wanted to see one). We were really really close to buying tickets, too. I can't exactly remember what happened, but we didn't see a show. I think we were just in this daze of "What are we doing in Vegas?" and we never got out of it. We even stayed in the MGM Hotel, but I didn't know until we got back that they have live lions in the hotel. Basically, we spent lots of hours wandering the strip, walking through the mazes of shops and casinos, wondering why people bring small children to this place, and trying to find food that wasn't greasy.

We took pictures, but they are nothing special.

Advice for Vegas goers? Stay in a hotel that is at least 10 miles from the strip. We did. Amazingly nice and just as expensive as a dinky little room on the strip. And plan to see a show beforehand.

In other news...

As alluded to in the previous post, Aaron and I are undergoing a "food revolution." With the start of my new blog about becoming more green, we have watched a couple movies about food. Though I am definitely more passionate about it than Aaron is, I think he is still onboard.

So what is the plan?

Eat less meat
When eating meat, eat organic
Eat more veggies 
Eat more raw things (I actually just added that one today and haven't really told Aaron) 
Buy organic when possible and pertinent 
Eat the seasons 
Investigate "super foods" (Also added this one today)
Drink more water (for detoxifying purposes) 
Eat less to no processed foods (to decrease intake of strange chemicals)
Somehow overcome my addiction to sugar (nearly impossible)

Of course, these are the goals, not the immediate reality. Achieving this goal with take psychological and physiological determination. It will take me basically learning how to shop at the grocery store again and learning how to cook (or not cook) again. It will be hard, but I am determined.

If anyone out there has any wonderful advice, helpful blogs, or tasty recipes they would like to share, I would love it.

And check out my website!
(Even though something terrible happened this weekend and the pictures suddenly failed to load. Once Aaron has a free hour or two, he'll set to two trying to fix it; but that might not be until graduation in April.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

death valley

President's Day weekend. The last remaining "break" of Winter semester. A whole 3 days. Aaron even got work off, so we decided to do something awesome and even take an extra day off to make it better.

Since we recently received some very awesome camping gear, this was the perfect time to try it all out. New sleeping bags made with Hungarian goose down (oooohhhhhh), cotton liners for our mummy bags (aaaaaaahhhhhh), compressible pillows that fit IN the cotton liners (whooooooooooooooo),  self-inflating mattress pads (gaaaaasssppp), and a propane stove (wwhhhhaaaaa). We were pumped just to get in our tent and try it all out!

Though the idea of the beach was enticing, the length of the drive was quite repellant. I thought Death Valley looked like a happy medium, so off we 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Of course, Aaron slept for the first 5 hours while I drove like a drone. There was some certain beauty driving through Southern Utah, which only I witnessed, and then it got pretty barren. 

Alas, Death Valley. The land of not-so-much.

There was a minor problem with the campground situation. We weren't quite sure what to expect in such a lifeless place--no trees to seclude you from your neighbors. The first campground we saw was just a long driveway with some tents set up next to cars, and a bunch of RV's. The next one was just a parking lot. On the far end there was "tent only" sites, so you could park and then set up your tent right at the edge of the sand dunes. All those were taken, so we kept driving until we found a free campground! Pull into your little slot next to a picnic table, set up your tent on the dirt by your car, and hope the wind doesn't sweep it away because there was no way to get those stakes in the ground.

Once we were all squared away with camping, we set out on a drive. It didn't take long for us to pull over and start climbing up a mountain, because all the mountains looked like you could just walk right up them. (It was really more of a hill.) We found a few signs of life.

Mostly we spent the time picking up rocks. There were some really cool ones! And lots that Aaron said would be perfect for skipping.

We were starting to feel discouraged that there really wasn't much to do here and that we would have no way to fill our scheduled day and half.

Mosaic Canyon was pretty cool, though.

It was about 4:00 and we were out of things to do. Since we were really so excited to get in our sleeping bags, we went back to home base and cooked us up some dinner. This was before our food revolution, so we ate burgers.

And we flipped them with an ice scrapper. We still have lots to learn as far as camping goes.

We went to bed at about 7:00, right when everyone around us was cooking dinner. Sleeping was amazing in our new gear. Aaron said he was more comfortable than he is at home.

Day two started off with more cooking and lots and lots of eating. Since we decided we wouldn't camp another night, we had to eat 12 eggs and a whole package of bacon before they went bad in our styrofoam cooler with a bag of ice in it. Gross. I'm ashamed to say we almost did it. Bacon first, no problem. Eggs were a little harder to muscle down, so we didn't get all the way through them.

Coolest part of Death Valley? The sand dunes! Unfortunately, due to the intense wind that was kicking sand up everywhere, we have no photos. But imagine us, with our shirts wrapped around our faces to shield us from the sandy wind, fighting against the sheer forces of nature to climb up very, very large sand dunes. We felt pretty hardcore.

Next? $4 showers. So good to be clean.

On the drive back out of the park we stopped and walked out to one of the salt flats. Again, it was kind of anti-climactic.

That was our Death Valley trip in a nutshell and nine pictures. All that happened after that was sitting in some strange tourist village to eat our tuna sandwiches on burger buns, trap a wasp in a bag by accident, and have Aaron take it to a far distant trash can, but still afraid it would come back and find us. So we left.

For Vegas!