Monday, April 14, 2014

It's been a while!

Remember that time I started a blog? Of course you do, you're looking at it and can clearly scroll back to post #1 and look at the date. Fine, I'll do it for you. It was June 4, 2011. And my most recent post? November 8, 2011. 2011! Can you believe it? I started a blog, posted 14 times, and then totally crapped out. Well, here I am again. No promises it won't be another 3 years before the next post.

Well, the least I can do is document an update.

For some reason I'm under the illusion that someday someone will want to read this. Like it will be some sort of offshoot on my branch of the family tree via Do they give blog links? I'd love to read my great-grandmother's blog. Do you think she blogged? Probably. We're a loquacious people.

So I originally started this to document my cooking / baking / dating / travel adventures. Some of those things are still happening! For instance, tonight I made a delicious batch of redeeming green soupwholesome cornbread, and some tilapia cooked with bacon and onions. If I weren't on my second glass of wine, comfortably 3/4 of the way through an episode of The Good Wife, and fully intent upon editing at least two more pages of chapter two of my dissertation tonight, then I would probably be baking these peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies right now. But alas, I plan to work. Also I may have already had ice cream and chocolate so... more dessert is probably not a good idea. I've also had two glasses of wine- just the right amount to get those creative juices flowing! This is exactly the sweet spot where my language gets just a touch too flowery for academia.

To be clear, by "flowery" I mean dramatic.

To be clear again, I will make those cookies tomorrow. Delightful. And no flour or butter! They're basically a health food.

So what's been going on in the last 3 years? Well, lots of things, duh. That's how life works.

Let's see.

I won't be posting anymore dating adventures, that's for sure. I think my boyfriend would be very upset with me if I were to start going on blind dates again just to have fodder for my blog. He's my personal Clark Kent- tall, dark and handsome, with a set of shoulders that could easily save the world. We will be together two years in June and we are in love. We are also moving in together in June. That will be an adventure for both of us! Luckily if we get too sick of one another he can just take off his glasses, rip open his shirt and go for a quick fly around the globe to decompress. Hey, a little bit of exercise is good for everyone.

Also, I'm no longer walking everyone else's dogs. I have my own! Her name is Millie and she's beautiful and wonderful and I love her every second even when she's chewing/biting/pooping. I love her silly face and her squishy snuggles and her morning yawn/bark sounds of love. I love that she is almost as happy to see me every day as I am to see her. We try to out love one another and so far no one is winning because just keeps getting better. Getting better all the time. It helps that's she's almost a year old now, so she isn't trying to eat the house or my face every second. Right now she's taking an excellent nap. It's serious business. I got her in July when she was 8 weeks old. I watched her grow, cuddled her when she was scared, and taught her some sweet tricks. She taught me to exercise sometimes, lighten up all the time, and that when you're feeling sad or frustrated it's really nothing a cuddle or good play session can't fix. She's the ultimate Dissertation Dog.

My last post was about some of my favorite gramisms. When I wrote that we only had another year or so left with my gram before her body finally gave out. She passed away on February 5th, 2013, at 95 years of age. I think about her all the time and I miss her every day. Sometimes when I am really missing her, I sit down with a glass of wine and the stuffed animal I gave her and I read through our letters to each other, thinking about how her voice sounded when she spoke and how she would laugh. I would think about how she smelled, and how when she was alive I didn't care for lavender but now that she's gone I can't get enough of it. Lavender lotion, body wash, body spray--heck, even lavender tea--all of it makes me feel closer to her. She loved it and I loved her. She loved me every day, I never doubted that. I feel her near me sometimes, especially when I am struggling. I wonder what she'd say, what she'd think of where I am now and what I'm doing. I want to know what she'd think of CK and if she'd love him as much as I do. I know she'd love Millie and Millie would love her. It's funny, if she hadn't left me an inheritance I would have had to wait to get a puppy, but once I had the money I knew she would love if I spent it on caring for a dog. And now when Millie looks at me just right when I am upset, it's like her sweet face is passing on a message from gram, telling me everything will be okay, I will be okay, and I am loved. I miss gram's letters, which stopped a few months before she passed away. I miss her voice and her hugs. I miss her no-bullshit attitude, her jokes, and her general feelings toward ginger snaps. She's always with me and of course it gets easier, but losing her has by far been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. It still hurts me to think about.

Enough of that! On to some happy stuff: my sister Erin got married in September of 2012, and then she went and made me Aunt Ally in November of 2013. Aunt Ally! His name is Ethan and he's the cutest. He makes lots of noises, giggles, and poops. I can't wait until he starts talking, as I am convinced he is a genius and will immediately start spouting universal truths.

My Ph.D. is going well, though motivation and self discipline are hard things. I have one chapter done, and research for that chapter was recently accepted for presentation at the national conference of the Society for Music Theory this coming November. Terrifying. But this is a huge deal! Of all the conferences, this is the big one. I am thrilled to be accepted- thrilled! It's good news for my C.V., and also for my general attitude. I had been feeling pretty down after something like four rejections from other (smaller) conferences, so it feels really good to finally learn that people outside of UT think what I am doing is worthwhile. Milwaukee, here I come!

Well, those are the big things with me. Maybe I'll be better about updating sometimes. Maybe. I could write things about the 5k I finally got around to completing last spring (the color run!), or my current workouts with Barre3. Maybe. Or those chocolate avocado cookies I made! Delightful.

I'll come back, sometime.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grammy McGramsalot

I have seminar tonight. A make up seminar, because our prof loves to travel to conferences (he's a big deal or something). His traveling = cancelled classes = his need to hold "make up" seminars. So, that's what I'm doing from 7-9 tonight.

I'm currently pounding a pot of coffee, as I tend to turn into a pumpkin at around 6 PM. I'm incapable of intelligent thought past 4:30, usually.

I fully expect to say stupid things tonight. It'll be how most people are right when they wake up. Whiny, incoherent... Unfortunate.

Anywho, I thought I should distract myself for a bit, as a way to prep for class. Lately I've been thinking that I should start a list of the hilarious things Gram says, because some people seem to think she won't be around forever (what? ridiculous.).

First, let's cover a few Gram gems from yesteryear. Bear in mind that these stories are not making fun of a senile old woman. She was in complete control of her mind at this point, and actually just lived her life this way. I'll keep posting on this entry as I remember more stories...

1. Christmas of... I want to say 2008, but it may have been '07. We got her a brand new white sweater, and *oh boy* was she excited. She unwraps it and says: "Oh Boy! That's a humdinger!" Er... what? A humdinger? Pardon? My sister and I proceeded to ask her about said sweater for the rest of the day. Okay, you got me, we did this for several days. Everytime we asked her about the sweater, she described it as a humdinger. "How's that new sweater, Gram?" "Oh, it's a humdinger!" "So you like it?" "Sure! It's a humdinger!" "Wait, what is it?" "A humdinger!" etc., etc., ad infinitum. It pretty much never got old.

2. Gram's 90th birthday celebration at a fancy restaurant near home. My family and I are the only ones in the restaurant, as Grams wanted to go to dinner at like 11 am. Or 4:30. Whatever. We were EARLY. Anyway, we're sitting there looking of the menu when Gram exclaims: "$2.50 for a cup of tea?! That'd scare the breeches off a Dutchman!"
You read that correctly. There's a Dutchman wandering around somewhere, sans breeches, because of this expensive tea. Makes perfect sense.

3. On the phone with Gram. She's very excited because her church (the church in which I grew up) recently hired a new minister. He's apparently young and single, and therefore in her mind, he and I are meant to be. Why? "You'd be a perfect pastor's wife. You'd fit in the church like a bullet in a gun!" Oh. Ideal metaphor.

4. Gram on cell phones: "I only have big phones! I don't have one of those little phones you guys all carry around. Whatchamacallit."

5. Various people, at various times, are described as "squealing like stuck pigs!" This is a popular one for NJ politicians. Apparently all they do is run around squealing. Like stuck pigs.

6. Inspirational Gramism: "You got a brain. And it works pretty good, I think."

The next few are from letters from Gram, so they're all from 2011...
7. The end of one: "This isn't a very long letter because I'm only a short person. Lots of love, Grandma"

8. Wisdom: Your dad brought me a new bag of ginger snaps today-thank goodness!  I just threw the last bag in the garbage can- completely empty! Natural ginger naps are a wonderful way to satisfy a disgruntled stomach. I eat 4 after every meal plus a banana for the heart. Even though I gripe, I don't want to die of a stroke just yet."

9. Blow-by-blow: "My writing isn't really this bad, its because I'm holding the pad in thin air while I write. Have put the pad on the table so maybe you can read it better."

10. Describing some of the residents at her nursing home: "mostly they talk Spanish. (Cuban)"

11. This particular letter is in my Aunt's hand writing, and here's how Gram explains that: "Carol is visiting today and I took advantage of her generosity and am letting her write this letter for me. Please note there's nothing wrong with my fingers, I'm just lazy."

12. As for why she never answers the phone when I call: "Carol and Chuck say my phone works just fine but me, that's a whole new story. I can't make the damn thing work. So, let's just stay with letter writing; that's safe with Uncle Sam (he delivers it)."

13. On the line where the date should be: "I don't have any idea what the heck the date is!"

14. Christmas this year: "I hope you guys can find some 100 piece puzzles for me. I'd like to do some farm scenes (children in baskets)." Eh?

That's all I've got for just now :) I love my Gramisms!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Papa Poetry Doctor

Bachelor #2: Papa Poetry Doctor

Alright, here's story #2 from my online dating adventures. It's markedly less comical than date #1, but it's still a story worth telling.

Background: He's a fifth generation Texan with a drawl, a truck, a deep voice, a 3-year-old daughter, and a 7ish month sentence left on his PhD in British Literature. He specializes in the poetry of Lord Byron. I find that incredibly hot.

God, I'm lame.

Anyway, Doc and I started talking online on Sunday, and within an hour or so we exchanged numbers. He texted me pictures of the leaves on the ground in his backyard because I was complaining about Austin's lack of Fall. It was pretty cute. We texted through his whole shift at work, and then on and off throughout the day on Monday as well. He asked for a date, we figured out what worked, and set it up.

Then we stopped texting. I thought that was weird, no? Maybe it's me.

We met for coffee Wednesday morning. This time, I was the late one. Though, I was in contact with him the whole time, because I was lost. He wasn't awkwardly looking at the lake wondering if his date would ever show. Nay nay, his date was texting him, asking for a building description. His date was blonde. It happens.

Anyway, we chat, he explained engines to me, we talked about teaching, he actually looked like his pictures, he never once asked to suck my blood... all-in-all, the date part went very well!

He walked me to my car (is this a Texas thing?) and asked if I'd be interested in a second date, perhaps somewhere a little fancier. I said yes, and ran home to catch the bus. Within 20 minutes he texted me saying how much he liked me. Success? Could be.

Dracula the Rocket Scientist

So, I've been dating quite a lot here in Texas. Why? Because dating is hilarious. It's not fun- believe you me, nothing about a first date is fun- but no matter what, it's hilarious. Even if it's a good date, there are bound to be some quirky moments. I was just texting with my friend Rebecca about how I can't get into a relationship because then there wouldn't be any more hilarious date stories, and she said "you should start a blog." And I thought, I already have a blog! I just never write in it. But, hilarious dates should make for a hilarious blog post, so here goes.

Bachelor #1: Dracula the rocket scientist

*Bachelor #1 is from Romania. He moved here in the 6th grade, yet still sounds very much like a vampire when he speaks.*

My first date with Dracula took place at sunset on the lake. I had plenty of time to look at said lake while I was waiting for him, as he was approximately (did I say approximately? I meant exactly) eight minutes late. I was five minutes early. My math skills tell me that 8+5=13, so I had 13 minutes to awkwardly divide my stares between the lake and my phone while waiting for him.

Strike one: lack of punctuality.

After he arrived, I noticed he didn't *quite* look like his photos. I'm guessing they're several years old, from a time when he was slightly more fit. Now, he wasn't unfit, just not the ironman participant promised in his photos. Who am I to judge fitness? No one, you're right, however, don't promise me juicehead-like muscles, and then deliver with normal guy man-boobs.

Strike two: misrepresentation

We go in and order our drinks. It's a fairly hoppin' coffee shop, so we had to wait a few minutes before we ordered. These few minutes consisted of him, telling me all about this thing he's inventing. There were a lot of details. When I told him I basically had no idea what he was talking about, he laughed and continued. I'm not an engineer. I don't know anything about anything that you're saying. But this wasn't a huge strike, as I'm chocking it up to nerves. The next strike? We order and he says: "Do I get to pay?"

Strike three: Do you get to pay? Is it an award? Well then, congratulations! Indeed you do GET to buy my $1 iced tea. You win the prize!

We then move to a table down along the water. It's quite the romantic scene. As the sun is setting he awkwardly stares at my face. Hard. Core. Stares. As in memorizing my features, and not in the cute dramatic-movie-moment kind of way. I must've looked at him strangely because then he says: "I'm trying to figure out how much make up you have on." Now, I do love make up, probably more than your average Jane, but when it comes to my everyday look, there's not all that much make up involved. I love mascara quite a bit, but otherwise I probably wear the same amount or less make up than most face-paintin' women. So I respond, after a pause, with: "...Would you like me to tell you?" And he said YES. YES! He said yes. So I tell him I'm wearing eyeliner, mascara, a little powder, and some blush. What? Why the hell do you want to know that! Friggin' weird.

Strike four: Friggin' weird.

He also felt the need to remind me that he was on his best behavior. He also told me that he had yet to look at my boobs! Well, great job! You're a great date. You're not ogling my assets. I really appreciate it. While we're on this vein, he and I briefly discussed Texas. Because that's where we live. I said one of the first things I did in Austin was I bought myself a pair of sweet cowboy boots. He looks under the table to see them, and I said "Oh I'm not wearing them tonight, these are different boots." Now, the boots in question have a VERY small heel. They're beautiful brown leather, and they go to the knee. They're not slutty. They're quite respectable, I think. Also I had pants on, so I wasn't even rocking the high boot/miniskirt combo. No, my body was fully covered with clothing, unlike my face which was *not* fully covered with make up. He looks at the boots and says: "Oh, you're wearing come fuck me boots."

No. He didn't say that!

Except that he did.

I responded with "Well, I certainly hope that's not the promise they're making, because the chances of that happening are not so good."

Strike five: Rude make up + conservative slutty boots

We briefly discussed how I basically asked him out.

Here's how it went: we'd been talking once a week or so, online. Finally I say to him: "Are you going to ask me out ever? Because I'm getting bored of talking online." He, slightly taken aback, admits he has no idea where to take me on a date. I suggest coffee, he picks a place.

Back to the date itself. He decides he should tell me that he was really never going to ask me out. Apparently a girl like me wouldn't go out with him, and he was perfectly content to just talk online. What? What the hell is that? Lame. Yet strikingly accurate! A girl like me never should've gone out with him.

At the end of the date, I said 15 hail Mary's to keep him from touching me in any way. He asked for a second date, and I said "er... you've got my number!" He also asked if he'd been friend-zoned. Who asks that? You'd have to be a friend to be in the friend zone. You're dead-zoned.

Instead of using my number to ask for date #2,  he decided to send me another message online. In this message, he asked me for a second date idea. So... you choose not to use my phone number, like a normal boy, and instead send me a message asking me to plan the second date.  Uh. No. I respond saying that I'm not interested in a second date but I appreciate his asking. I think that's the end.

But no! He waits around a week, and then sends the following message: "had an epiphany: what are the chances you just wanted to f*ck?"

Yes, you read that correctly. Go ahead, read it again. It's worth a re-read.

I couldn't help myself- instead of just blocking him, like a normal adult, I had to respond. It was just too good! Who thinks to themselves "well, she doesn't want to go on a second date... but maybe sex isn't out of the question!"

No one. Normal people don't think that way. Even Count Chocula knows that things don't work that way. So, I respond saying "Are you asking if that's what I was interested in all along, or are you propositioning me?" And his respond is "a little bit of both."

I have no idea what I did on this date that would make him think I was there for sex. Maybe it was all of the not touching that we did. Not touching *screams* sex.

On opposite day.

The end.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Everything's bigger in Texas

I can't believe it's been 11 weeks since I last posted. 11 weeks! So much has changed. First off, I'm in Austin now. I have a great apartment that my mom and I set up in approximately 24 hours. We're insane.

School is going well. It's very different- the entire vibe is much more positive- and, compared to my NJ-Wisconsin transition, this is smooth sailin'! The professors are relatively clear in their expectations, and as for teaching, I get detailed lesson plans. I'm also taking a music theory pedagogy class, so I'm finally learning about the different fundamentals and harmony texts, while also getting some practice teaching in. I'm currently procrastinating instead of doing my work for that very class...

My procrastination options were blogging or watching the vampire diaries with some Ritter Sport. Obviously I chose blogging.

Healthy day.

Oh Elena, quit feigning shock. It's unbecoming.
Everything is becoming for Damon.
Never fear! I'll probably watch it tonight, once my project's done. It'll help me not do my assignment for Tuesday.

*Ahem.* In other news, I've been reading quite a bit because I take the bus to and from school. I must say, the bus ride allows for a pleasant break! So far I've read Julia's ChocolatesPictures of YouBarefoot: A Novel, and am currently knee-deep in The Owl & Moon Cafe. I highly recommend "Pictures of You"- it was really fantastic. "Julia's Chocolates" was a pleasantly long read with a happy ending. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, even if it does seem like everything is a bit *too* perfect. "Barefoot" was just okay, but I wonder if I would've enjoyed it more as a Summer read. It left a lot unresolved in the end, which may've been the author's attempt to avoid the path of "Julia's Chocolates," but for me it made the whole thing rather unsatisfying. "The Owl & Moon Cafe" is good so far! I'll update you in 11 weeks with my feelings once it's over. (P.S.- Kindle users! You can now get library books on your Kindle... for free! Google that ish. It's worth knowing! I'm getting a library card ASAP.)

Another shift of subject: Fall always makes me homesick. Between having a Fall birthday and missing the East coast colors, it seems like each Fall makes me more nostalgic than the last. At least in Wisconsin the leaves changed! Here it's still 90 degrees every day. Ridiculous! I do like it, though. It does feel like Summer, which is weird, but the low humidity makes the high temperatures bearable. I actually get cold sometimes. 

I'm getting weak.


Fall in Jersey

Fall in Texas.
I just miss the colors!

Since it is a bit cooler, I've started running again. Taking 6 weeks off wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done, but I'm determined to get back into it! I'm starting off with just three runs a week, bright 'n' early on M/W/F mornings. Hopefully I'll stick to it this time, since I do so enjoy my Ritter Sport. 

I've been a cooking fiend this weekend! I keep thinking if I make enough Fall recipes, perhaps Austin will get the hint and decide to cool off. Maybe it IS taking the hint, and that's why the highs have fallen from 104 to 94...

Anywho, yesterday I made Jenna's Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup. My grocery store didn't have red lentils, so I used regular ones. I also left out the cayenne and cilantro because... gross. Now, I'm not a big squash person ever... I actually pretty much hate it. But! I thought perhaps with the curry and the lentils, it'd be okay. And you know what? It was. This is a delicious soup. Next time I'll do a bit more curry and a bit less ginger, but otherwise... this is a fantastic soup. It's absolutely hideous, though perhaps that's because I couldn't find red lentils. For real, it's maybe the ugliest thing I've ever made. It basically looks like vomit.

I also made her Carrot Ginger soup, because nothing says Fall like warm orange things. Especially when one of the warm orange things looks like this:

Ahh... pumpkin spice...
But that's neither here nor there. The soup is good. Not great. It's a bit too ginger-y for me. I couldn't eat a big bowl of it, but it's nice on the side or something. Perhaps a healthy dinner would consist of a big salad, a small bowl of this soup, and then 4 servings of Ritter Sport. Well-rounded! Think of the colors.

And thirdly (I know, right?) I made Pumpkin Chili. It sounds weird, but believe you me, this stole the show this weekend. I altered the recipe a bit- I used turkey instead of beef, almost doubled the amount of pumpkin, used two packets of splenda instead of sugar, and I added extra chili powder and a healthy dose of cumin and pepper. Here's the deal: before I added the cumin and pepper, I found the chili to be a bit bland. I highly, highly recommend the cumin. It could be that I just have a *thing* for cumin, (which is completely true, I might marry it) but once I added that it warmed the chili right up and it tasted like home in a bowl. NJ. In a bowl.

I'm sure that sounds appetizing. 

Go make some chili.

Oh, and:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Gone to the dogs

What a delinquent blogger I am! I've done some exciting things lately, including a trip to the House on the Rock this morning, however I think in this post I'd like to just cover some of my Summer friends.

This is Bella. That is her sweet potato fry. She's not the jolliest of characters, but since we have a mutual hatred of physical activity, she and I usually get along fine. Usually.

This Gatsby. Dare I call her my favorite of the bunch?! She just might be. She cuddles and hugs, she hardly ever barks, and she has a thing for chasing birds, leaves, and anything else that might dare to cross our path. She's the sweetest girl. But, you know what makes Gatsby unhappy?

Dresden. Dresden makes Gatsby unhappy. Dresden is Gatsby's new sister, and she likes to chase Gatsby and bite her ears and tail. How does Gatsby respond, you ask? Does she bark and snap at Dresden, does she put her in her puppy place? Oh, no. Instead, Gatsby cries like a baby and it breaks my heart. Then I have to rescue her.

This is Bernie. He's incredibly sweet and never complains. He requires 1,000 pets per visit, and he loves everyone. Bernie and I usually find exciting things on our walks, like historic buildings or random beautiful wilderness scenes, such as these:

And that leaves Zama, another forerunner for favorite:
 Look at that face! He's so happy just to be playing fetch. Fetch is really one of the best games- he gets to run, I get to stand in place. It's a win-win! Adorable.

I'll post again soon with more of the goings-on here in Madtown. Soon. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wrong side of the bed.

Jeez Louise did I wake up cranky today! I had a LOVELY weekend. Truly, one of the best I've had, ever. But! All of the food and drinks caught up with me this morning, when I woke up feeling huge and lazy. My plan was to get up at 6, run by the lake at 6:30, home for breakfast and a shower by 7:15. Well, I ignored my melodious alarm at 6, and promptly went back to sleep for another hour and a half. Rude! I woke up at 7:45 feeling like a lazy, lazy, bum. A very large lazy bum. I went for a run once I finally got moving (at around 8:20...), but after a mile I pretty much fizzled. C25K is not delivering lately! I think I'm going to take a step back and stall out, halfway through week 6. That's 10 minutes on, 3 off, 10 on. I'll do that one a couple of times, and then try the 25 minuter again. We'll see if that helps! As is, when I don't complete the long ones it puts me in a sour mood. Needless to say, running this morning did nothing to help my crankiness- if anything, it made it worse. 

So, in an attempt to pull myself out of this funk, I'm going to relive my weekend on here! Huzzah. 

Friday was epic on many levels. First of all, it was approximately a million degrees out. Or, you know, 95, but still. April and Bin moved into their new place, so a couple of us went over to help them. Lifting and carrying things in that heat wasn't exactly fun, but good company goes a long way. I also missed a large chunk of move-time so that I could drive Anders to the airport, and cook dinner for Duncan and Alli. I made them pasta with a ragu, following one of my recipes from the cooking class I had in Florence. It tasted pretty good to me! I wanted to make something that I probably wouldn't eat, but they'd like and I'd enjoy cooking. It involved half a cup of olive oil, half a stick of butter, and three pounds of ground meat so... healthy! I actually made the sauce on Thursday and let it cook all night, so that all I had to do on Friday was make the pasta, reheat the sauce, and deliver. After I did all that, I went back to help some more with the move. April and Bin got us pizza and beer as a thank you, and we all hung out a bit after dinner. I think I rolled on home at around 9:30, and was asleep by 10:30. 

Saturday morning, I woke up early and Caitlin and I went to the Farmer's Market. We got the most beautiful strawberries, and I also got a couple bags of spinach. Oh, and obviously a few scones. Delightful. After a quick round at the market, we hopped in the car to get April. The three of us went up to Wollersheim Winery to enjoy the tour and the scenery! It was really a great morning/afternoon. It was a little warm, but we didn't mind. We took the tour, bought some wine, and sat outside and played a rousing game of Wine-opoly! 

I say "rousing," but it was really the nicest game ever played. "Oh, you need the third green one to get a monopoly? Well, I have that one. You can have it, if you want." "Well thanks so much! I see you have a purple one, here are the other two and then you can have a monopoly too!" "Great! I'll give you a discount next time you land on one of my properties..."

We continued on in this way for quite some time. We finished a bottle of wine, and made a serious dent in some kettle corn from the market. No one won. Or... everyone won? Best day ever.

April took lots of Wisconsin countryside photos on our drive back to town:

On our drive back, we stopped at Bin's parents' house and met their new puppy! So cute. She was very sweet, and surprisingly good at fetch- when she wasn't trying to eat the stick! Delicious. Fiber.

Saturday night, Madison put on a fireworks show called rhythm and booms. Tom, April, Bin and I tried to go to Warner park to see it, but it was just wayyyy too crowded. We wound up at my park of choice, James Madison, where we camped out on a few blankets and watched the show over the lake. It was really awesome. 

The sunset before the show was also ridiculously gorgeous:

On Sunday, I went to New Glarus with Garreth and his wife, Lauren. They're some of my favorite people here, and they're also former Austin residents with lots of things-to-do advice. We had a great time first wandering around an adorable little town called Paoli, and then hanging out at the brewery. 

It was another perfect day with lovely friends.

You're looking at two Totally Naked's with a Two Women in the middle. I'm not sure that was entirely grammatically correct, but... delicious.

Today involves hanging out with Bin and April again to celebrate the 4th! My mood is already improving just from reliving these last few days. I'm really going to miss weekends like this one when I'm in Austin!

Happy 4th of July!!!