Thursday, October 29, 2009

smooth investigator.

I had barely even thought about Halloween. I haven't dressed up in a couple years, and even then my costume was last minute. (I was an olympic swimmer. Blue one-piece swimsuit, sweatpants, flip flops, goggles... all I had to buy was a swim cap and a toy gold medal from the party store and I was set.)

This year, I didn't even think about dressing up until last weekend. So I thought, "Okay. I'll be a lamb. Or a cat. Something easy." Not so easy. My shopping trip was a bust. But that's what happens when you wait until 5 days before Halloween. And I am just not that crafty.

So... I have returned to an idea that my sister has been begging me to do for about five years now. It is her dream for me to dress up as the sexiest private investigator the Pacific has ever known.

Thomas Magnum, P.I.

Magnum and I share many common traits that would lead my sister to believe that I could be mistaken for the REAL Magnum. Such as our long legs - used for kicking bad guys in their faces, our hot abdominal muscles, our affinity for short shorts and boat shoes, our military backgrounds, and most importantly, our awe-inspiring hairiness... including - but not limited to - coiffure, mustache, chest and legs.

This year I will make all of my sister's dreams come true.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

fall in love with fall.

We've had a couple of really beautiful days peek through the clouds over the past couple weeks. It feels like it has been raining for over a month. And it has. But the past couple Sundays have offered a few much needed rays of sunshine. I forget that I actually enjoy fall weather. I barely noticed this year when the leaves changed because I was too busy dodging the rain from house to car to office to car to house. I was able to catch one quick glimpse on a rare dry morning before work.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day to be picking apples. We stopped at the outlets for a quick bite on the way up (and Erica got some cute new high top Converse sneaks). Then it was on to The Holler to fill our 25 pound apple bag. It was definitely worth the trip. Erica and I dissected the minute flavorings of each variety ("It's a bit floral...") while Jonathon and Todd took pleasure in seeing which apples they could throw the farthest.

Below you will see Erica displaying a fine example of the rare, elusive mutant apple. After we scoured the orchard to find the most delicious varieties, we headed back to the farm to unload our treasures and pet the goats some more.

Then we filled our bellies with apple doughnuts, caramel apples (Erica and I built our own), and BBQ turkey legs. And then this happened:

"Oh hello farm kitty..."


It happened that fast. After he devoured it, he had barbecue sauce all over his face and chest. And so did we. It was a successful day that led to full bellies and me swearing off apples for about three days. But we will be back next year earlier in the season... those Honeycrisps will be mine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

hills and hollers.

Looking forward to this weekend. After another failed attempt at planning a camping trip, Todd suggested a day trip of fresh, fun, fabulous fall festivities with friends. (You're welcome for the astounding alliteration.)

Apple Holler is about an hour north of Chicago, right off of I-94 in Sylvania, Wisconsin. They grow over two dozen varieties of apples, and even give you a flavor breakdown of each type and what they are good for... like "baking" "sauce" and "eating".

I'll use my favorite apple as an example:

Honey Crisp
[September 11-30]
Honey Crisp apples are larger in size with a red and green skin. Juicy, sweet and Crisp. A good dessert apple. Great for eating!

In addition to the apple picking, they also have pears and pumpkins when they are in season. Well, we missed the pears, but I have a major taste for some oven roasted pumpkin seeds! And I have an empty balcony ready for some spooky jack-o-lanterns.

To actually have a chance to enjoy the fall weather will be the best part of the trip - before Chicago slips into its "Eternal Winter" mode. Today is the most beautiful fall day we've had all season and I'm stuck in an office until dusk. Such a shame. Some hot cider and a hay ride will do me just right.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

birthday season.

Flash forward a month and a half.

Here we are, birthday time. Justin and Todd: check and check. Also in the rear view: Gramma Lois, Uncle Brian, Erica and Tam Tam. TODAY: Abby. Coming Soon: Sara, Jacob, Aunt Michelle, Jay, Colin, Emily, and Kate.

This weekend: Stefanie and Stacey

Holy Smokes. Happy Birthdays all around.

Todd and I celebrated his 23rd birthday with a weekend in New York City, which was also a great excuse for me to see Shelby!

It was amazingly warm that weekend, which led to a beautiful Sunday of strolling around SoHo. Quite a peaceful and relaxing celebration.