Monthly Archives: February 2009

Out with the old

Dan did this after he got home last night. And then we watched the President’s address to Congress.

Now there’s a Wombat on our fridge, and I think he looks splendid.

(Also, did I mention we have internet at home now? Yes! Internet, and CABLE TV. I haven’t had cable since I moved out of the Ancestral Manse in 1996)(The best part is that we don’t have to get up to adjust the antenna when the HD signal goes wonky.)

All about us

Here’s a meme that went around Facebook,and then the bloggers started getting into it as well. I don’t write a ton about our relationship on here, so thought this might be kind of interesting.

What are your middle names?

His is Gordon, mine is Rose. Which is why our wedding website was gordonrose.us (we don’t have the url anymore)

How long have you been together?

Officially together since July of 2001, married nearly 11 months. So, like, almost 8 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

I noticed him posting on our mutual interest message board in the fall of 2000, maybe October. We started chatting/emailing in April of 2001 and started talking on the phone in May. Our first in-person meeting was in June of 2001. The whole we-met-through-the-internet thing makes the “know each other” question a little tough to answer.

Who asked whom out?
I gave him my phone number first. Our first kiss was mutual. I don’t think there was really any sort of “asking out” bit.

How old are each of you?
I am 29 for 2.5 more weeks. He is 31.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Overall, probably mine (they live in California) because his brother lived in Guatemala for 2 years and now lives in Latvia. Even still, we see his brother more frequently than you might expect.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

This is a tough question, because it has changed a lot over time. At first it was the long-distance thing. At one point it was dealing with unemployment/money issues. Sometimes it is scheduling. Right now, thing are pretty good, though we are both more than ready for him to finish school and to move on to a new chapter in our lives.

Did you go to the same school?

Nope, I’m a Cal Bear and he’s a UNC Bear/Metro State Road Runner.

Are you from the same home town?

Cloverdale, CA vs. Greeley, CO. Not even close.

Who is smarter?

I think we’re both pretty smart, in both similar and different ways. Each of us has a head for useless trivia (he wins at trivial pursuit but that’s because I don’t know sports stuff); we’re both pretty articulate and good with words. Our IQs are I think within just a few points of each other. I think I probably have better test-taking skills and am better with spatial visualization-type stuff (like making up a fabric pattern to fit something/construct a garment or knowing what configuration of furniture would work well in a given space) but he’s not shabby at that sort of thing. He is more well-informed on a variety of subjects and far better at anything artistic.

Who is the most sensitive?

For most things, probably me. I’m more likely to wear my emotions on my sleeve (though I’ve gotten better about that) and he’s more likely to have something hurt him but he’ll cover it up for a while. We both get very romantic and squishy with each other and are well-matched when it comes to touchy-feely stuff.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?


We eat out so rarely that I don’t even know. Years ago we had a regular breakfast place where we went every other weekend or so but that closed down. Now when we do go out it will depend far more on what we feel like eating – we have a favorite place for a variety of cuisines (pizza, thai, mexican, indian, etc.)

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

China! Followed by Italy.

Who has the craziest exes?

I have more exes than he does but I don’t really think any of them were crazy. The chef came closest to being a “crazy ex” but I wasn’t emotionally invested enough to even call that a relationship.

Who has the worst temper?

I think our tempers are pretty evenly matched, it just depends on the situation. I know he moderates his temper a lot more he might if he were with someone who didn’t have some of the past experiences I’ve had.

Who does the cooking?

For most of our time living together, Dan had cooked nearly every night (or we cook together). Last semester I cooked 4 nights a week because he didn’t get home until 10 PM. Now I’m cooking twice a week (or once, depending on if he has a good dinner idea and I don’t) and enjoying it because we eat together.

Who is the neat-freak?

HAHA. HA. Um, neither of us? Though I see mess more than he does, so I’m usually the instigator of The Cleaning Frenzy. One thing I wanted to accomplish this year was to live in a sty somewhat less of the time, and so far it seems to be working pretty well.

Who is more stubborn?

We are both quite stubborn but I probably get my way more than he does. Most of the time I’m happy to give in on something I don’t care that much about, but if I really feel strongly about it, I’ll probably get my way.

Who hogs the bed?


Me. And Loki. Poor Dan often gets trapped under both of us. I try to be more cognizant about staying on my side, but I’m not always successful.

Who wakes up earlier?

When we were first together, I was far more of a morning person and he was a night owl. The longer we’ve been together, the closer our sleep schedules seem to be matching. In the winter, I have a hard time waking up before it’s light out, so we both sleep late unless we absolutely have to get up. In the summer, I wake up first (usually). Unless we stayed up really late the night before, we’re both likely awake between 8:30 and 9:30 AM on a weekend morning. Weekdays completely depend on Dan’s school schedule. This semester he has an early class twice a week so we’re both out of the house around 8 AM. On days when he doesn’t have to get up, I’m a bit lazier as well.

Where was your first date?


I guess our first date was the first time we met in person? I met him at the airport with flowers, and we came back to my place in Berkeley. We walked all over town and I showed him the campus.

Who is more jealous?

I think we’re both so ridiculously secure in our relationship that there is no jealously at all. Sometimes he jokes about it. Neither of us is really the jealous type I guess.

How long did it take to get serious?


I think we both knew it was serious by the second in-person meeting (July of 2001) but we took things slowly because a) it was long distance, and b) we were both pretty young. Hence the whole not getting married until we’d been together nearly 7 years thing.

Who eats more?


If we go out to eat he will eat way more than I do. If we eat at home we eat about the same amount, or he might eat a little bit more. We’re both mindful about eating for the most part so we don’t eat a ton.

Who does the laundry?

I think this chore is pretty equal. Usually we take turns on a weekend running the machines and we share folding and putting away. It is my least favorite chore, so sometimes he will hang up my stuff for me.

Who’s better with the computer?


He is with a Mac and we’re probably equally proficient on PCs. I guess it depends on the program.

Who drives when you are together?

I am thoroughly ashamed to admit that I still can’t drive my car (a stick) and I’ve owned it nearly 2 years. It’s time to bite the bullet and learn. So when we are at home, he drives. When we’re traveling (rental car) he’s more likely to drive if it’s dark but otherwise I think we split driving time pretty well.

Three breakfast day

Yesterday, I ate breakfast three times.

It was the most I did all day. My biggest accomplishment: eating not just breakfast, and not just second breakfast, but THIRD breakfast.

Granted, second breakfast was actually lunch and third was dinner, but it was all breakfast food.

Somehow the one glass of diet coke I had with dinner on Saturday night equalled me being awake past 4 AM (sometimes I can consume caffeine and have no issues, sometimes it makes me Not Sleep For Hours, and there’s no way to predict which reaction I’ll have. Sucks). We were scheduled to have lunch with Dan’s parents on Sunday, so when I woke up at 9:30 I knew I couldn’t go back to sleep. We cleaned up the kitchen from Saturday’s dinner and Dan made toads-in-the-hole (basically, a piece of bread with a central hole removed and an egg cooked in the hole of the bread, all in a frying pan). It was a small breakfast, but we knew we’d be eating again in 2 hours so it was OK.

We went to lunch at a restaurant Dan and I hadn’t been to in a couple of years (and we’ve only ever been there for dinner). I found myself lusting after some of the brunch options so went with one of those rather than a truly lunch-ish thing (what was billed as a fritata turned out to really be an omelet, but my food was pretty good and I was hungry). Plus, they had $2 mimosas and bloody marys and you can’t go much wrong there.

By the time we got home, my severe lack of sleep had caught up with me and my big plans for working on projects and being productive so did not happen. Instead, I vegetated on the couch for an hour in front of a rerun of America’s Next Top Model (season two, wherein Jenascia gets kicked off for being short) and then gave up trying to stay conscious entirely. I lay down to take a nap and didn’t wake up until about 2 hours later when Dan came in to forcibly remove me from my pillow (he was afraid if I slept too long I wouldn’t be able to sleep Sunday night) (it turns out he was right, and I didn’t fall asleep ’til after 2 last night, but that’s not the important thing here). We did a grocery shopping once I was functional again and Dan made what he had been craving all day for dinner: waffles from scratch, breakfast sausage, and strawberries and kiwis. I insisted we have a little bit of vegetable matter (sauteed bell pepper, mushroom, onion and zucchini) but other than that it was straight up breakfast. For the third meal of the day.

I guess “I ate breakfast three times and took a 2 hour nap” sounds like a more accomplished day than just “I took a 2 hour nap”. How often can you say that? Not very often, I bet.

Healthy winter dinner for 4

Last night our friends Julie and Steve came over for dinner. My goals were to make something a) healthy, b) tasty, and c) low-maintenance (because I’d rather hang out with them then be in the kitchen by myself). Dan didn’t get home until half an hour before they arrived, so this time it was just me in the kitchen.

Here is what I did:

First, I browned some butter and put it in the fridge while I ran a few errands to pick up things we still needed (wine, a few ingredients). Then, I made my browned butter pear tart.

While that was cooking, I pulled out the Foreman grill and plopped 4 jalepeno chicken sausages (raw, from our hippie market) on to cook.

Meanwhile, I peeled/chopped these veggies:

1 medium parsnip
1 small sweet potato
1 small celery root
2 small yukon gold potatoes
2 carrots
1 yellow onion (I did a large chop because I wanted the onions pieces to be pretty big)
about 6 or 7 large white mushrooms, quartered

I tossed the veggies together with some olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper and stuck them in a 9×13 baking pan covered with foil and roasted ’em at 425 for about 35 minutes once the pear tart was out of the oven.

When the sausages were cooked, I cut them up into chunks.

I also made spinach salads with red bell pepper, blood orange, and sauteed some thinly-sliced fennel (again with a bit of balsamic and olive oil) to go on top. Actually, by this time Dan was home so he sauteed them while I prepped the salads and appetizer.

Julie and Steve arrived and brought crusty multigrain bread. I put the leftover smoked salmon and Humboldt Fog cheese out with the herb crackers, along with some brie I’d gotten earlier and put on the stovetop to warm while the root vegetables roasted. The veggies were finished roasting by this point so I took them out and popped the bread in the oven to warm for a few minutes. We all indulged in cheese and crackers and salmon. I tossed the sausage chunks around with the veggies to reheat them. The bread came out and I sliced it up.

Dinner was served. It was delicious. I’m eating the small amount of leftover root vegetable/sausage thing for lunch today.

It’s my opinion birthday balls should be held every night.

The past week or so has been filled with productivity, accomplishment, and a general getting-stuff-done attutude around these parts.

Case in point: The house is clean. It took 2 days, but it looks awesome.

Case in point: I spent Monday (had off for dead president day) doing things like culling books and working on Secret Birthday Projects in between the running in the park and the lounging on the bed and the playing with the kitties.

I am definitely feeling better. Saturday’s highlight was a surprise from-scratch paella (made by Dan) accompanied by the best appetizer ever (smoked salmon, Humboldt Fog cheese and fancy herb crackers) and 2 amazing Spanish wines. I made dark chocolate mousse for dessert, making a 2/3 recipe from the Joy of Cooking and it still took us 3 days to eat it all. All of our laundry got washed, dried, folded and put away (even the throw rugs!); all of our dishes were at one point washed, dried, and put away. Spending part of Monday in the house felt good instead of oppressive.

An interesting thing has happened recently: I have reconnected with some old friends through one of those social networking sites all the kids are talking about these days. Except these aren’t just old friends, they’re people who at one point were like my brothers that I wasn’t actually genetically related to. The younger one goes by a different first name than how I always knew him, but in his photos he and his brother look just like they did when they were kids, except they also look just like their parents. And like themselves. I might meet up with them the next time we go to California; there is something both nostalgic and immensely satisfactory to trade stories with people with whom one shared one’s childhood. We were at each other’s houses multiple times a week. We took baths together and had sleepovers. They were my brothers 20 years ago, and now they can be my friends.

Four overdue packages got mailed off yesterday: housewarming, thank-you, and new baby boxes are winging their way to the East Coast and to California. My newest cousin baby (#4 for them) was born in January (and thankfully her name is a real one, Jenna). Here is the blanket I made for her.


(As you can see, it’s significantly smaller than the one for Wombat.)

And here is the sweater that I made Dan that got finished in January. He wears it all the time, so I think he likes it. Either that or he is just trying to make me feel better for spending so much time on it!



(He was thrilled that I wanted to take a photo of him in it this morning, obviously.)
I want to share photos of Super Secret Birthday Project, but I think the recipient might see them, so they will have to wait. It’s not a knitting project, but it’s going to be awesome.

Speaking of birthdays, I have been invited to a 30th Birthday Ball in Southern California for Oldest Friend. I will be attending. What should I wear to a ball? Gloves? Mask? Should I actually try to find a ballgown, or wear something I already have? I’m excited about the prospect of dressing up but I’m already flying and renting a car, so don’t exactly have hundreds of dollars to spend on a fancy dress. Ideas?

Beautiful Soup, plus other random stuff.

My contribution to the week’s dinners:

Wintery 10-bean and root vegetable soup

1 cup 10-bean soup mix (this is actually mostly a variety of lentils/split peas and barley with maybe 3 or 4 kinds of actual beans in it, from the bulk bin at the hippie grocery store), soaked overnight, water changed in the morning and soaked until I started the soup
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped small
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped small
1 celery root, peeled (this is difficult, but so worth the flavor!) and chopped small
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (plus the leafy tops thrown in)
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeno
2 precooked chicken or turkey sausages (I used part of a turkey kielbasa and one chicken sausage, precooked), chopped into rounds and halved
seasonings to taste (I used 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriender, 1 tsp mexican oregano)
salt and pepper

Soak the 10 bean soup mix overnight and through the next day, changing the water at least once. About 2 hours before you want to eat, put the beans in a big soup pot and cover with 6 cups of water, heating to a rapid simmer and let it cook for about 45 minutes. Dump in all the vegetables (including the leafy tops of celery stalks), seasonings, and add some vegetable or chicken stock base or boullion if you like. Cook another 45 minutes, checking the largest beans for doneness. Add tomatoes and sausages. It will be done in 15-30 more minutes. Makes mass quantities of super tasty soup. The sausage is optional (the soup is super tasty without it as well) but I like animal protein in my soup. Serve with crusty bread. Very low fat, high protein, and high fiber and so delicious!

A thing that happened this week:

We were at the grocery store buying food and a DVD display caught Dan’s attention. He found a copy of the Dark Crystal for 10 bucks, and as it’s a childhood favorite and a movie I’ve wanted to own, we threw it onto the conveyor belt. The clerk scanning our foodstuffs asks, “Is that a good movie? I’ve never heard of it”. “Yes it is,” I told him, and realized he was likely a teenager and therefore born way after the movie came out. “It was made by Jim Henson,” I told him. Blank stare. “You know, the guy who made the muppets?” Blank stare. “I don’t know voice actors,” he said. “Jim Henson was the guy who invented Kermit the Frog!” I exclaimed. Another blank stare. SERIOUSLY!?!?! Here’s a kid who is at least 16 if he’s old enough to be a checker at the grocery store and he’s never heard of Kermit the Frog or the Muppets? What are they teaching kids in school these days? Sheesh, way to make an almost 30-year-old feel ANCIENT.

Also, Sunday is our 2-year engage-a-versary. 2 years since I said yes and we started planning the Big Event. It hardly even feels like it’s been six months, let alone 2 years, but then again we’re only 6 weeks away from our first wedding anniversary. Where does the time go?

Winter Adventure, part 2: The only thing missing was the lamp post

You know you’re in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains when you get a bone-chillingly eerie coyote serenade at 2 AM and you wake up in the morning to find an elk breakfasting in the yard.

The benefit to staying in the area was that we got an early start for our long hike on Sunday. The guy at the visitor’s center had gushed about the wonders of the particular trail we planned to follow, and he mentioned that there were difficult but do-able parts on snowshoes and that the hard parts were worth the payoff.

I’m glad we listened to that guy. We carefully followed his directions and his crudely drawn winter trail map, and started off on a wonderful trek. The sky was blue and clear, the air was crisp and clean (though somewhat oxygen poor, being over 9000 feet in elevation), and we were hiking through snowy woods on several feet (5? 10? 30? no way to tell!) of packed snow, following cross-country skiiers and fellow snowshoers but in such a way that most of the time we couldn’t see or hear anyone else. The woods looked so much like my mental picture of Narnia-before-Aslan that I kept expecting to see a faun step out from behind a tree. But the only wildlife we saw were a few mountain squirrels (as opposed to the fat and sassy city squirrels you see everywhere, the ones I hate) who felt the need to chastize us for walking through their turf. Large, lumbering humans, making too much noise.

At one point we came to a fork, and went to the right rather than to the left. We ended up going up the side of the gorge, where the views were amazing and the terrain was difficult. Dan left a message for anyone else coming behind that decided to take the hard way like we did.

Eventually we met back up with the original trail (which went up directly through the gorge) and we could see that the next part was what the guide had been talking about. It was no joke; parts looked almost vertical when we were directly underneath them, but the trail was obviously well-traveled and so we knew we could do it.

And it was worth the climb, every torturous step of the way. Dan said it was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen in RMNP, and I’m inclined to agree.

After we’d taken in the amazing view for a while, and spotted some more mineral-colored falls (blues! yellows!), we snowshoed across the mostly frozen lake, skirting the outside because we could tell the middle wasn’t completely frozen. The trail continued past the lake but was obviously far less well-traveled, and after we’d gone a quarter of a mile or so we decided to turn around because the trail continued going Up. Which we had just done a huge amount of, and mutually agreed that it was time for some Down.

In some ways, the trek down the steep parts was far more difficult than the way up had been. Neither of us wanted to do any butt sliding, and by then our legs were already tired, so we went verrrry slowly and carefully. I stopped halfway down to take pictures of the up and the down views.


Not being gluttons for punishment, we took the trail back through the gorge, with a quick detour to another frozen falls. Eventually, we reached the area where all the trails (winter and summer, gorge and hillside) meet and ended up on the summer trail back to the trailhead, which was far more twisty and also far more exposed (and therefore, had far less snow) than the winter trail had been. At least there was signage along the way telling us the distance back to the trailhead.

Finally, we made it back to the trailhead and the car. There is nothing more satisfying than removing your snowshoes and then boots after a four-hour hike; your feet feel so light and free! We opted not to eat lunch until we got a bit further down the foothills and found a place to get calzones in Lyons. For a while, we were directly behind this old Ford, which still had the original Colorado plate. And we got home and were wo out, but it had been a great weekend.