Saturday, March 28, 2009

Since We've Been Home...

...not much has happened, but yet our vacation seems like a memory from the distant past. We took a few more days off after coming back from Italy and used the time to hang out, recover from jet lag, and watch basketball (of course). I spent last Friday in Kendallville for Mom's birthday and was able to see Audrey, Ashley and Laura as well. Mom, Dad, Rob and I had a delicious dinner at The Cork 'n Cleaver before Mom and Dad went to the Gordon Ligthfoot concert. Woooooo, Gordon!!! Sorry, I'll stop making fun of that now. It's just funny to me.

We went back to work on Monday (another WOOOOO for that!) and then proceeded to have the worst two days with Bonnie ever. Then, she was better for awhile, and today she's been Satan Spawn again. Her stunt today was peeing all over another bed (and another down comforter)and jumping up on the kitchen table to pull Brent's Blackberry to the ground and mutilate the case and chew up the phone. I don't even have our comforter back from the dry cleaner's yet from the first time!!!! Seriously folks, I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. Any suggestions? Please don't respond by saying I need the Dog Whisperer. Bonnie's not worth paying that much. I'm going to take her to obedience classes but the next round doesn't start until April 23rd. I don't know if we, and our house, can survive that long.

Enough ranting. Sorry. I'm just very frustrated.

In happier news, Rachel and I ran the Sam Costa Quarter Marathon yesterday and conquered it! If you'll recall, last year we wussed out mid-race because it was so dang cold. We took off our numbers and headed back for some cookies, and then to Starbucks. :) We finished the 6.55 miles this year and went home with the satisfaction that we had already burned 700+ calories before 11:00 a.m. on a Saturday. We also left realizing that the mini is twice as long...and yeah. It's a long race. Saturday really wiped me out for some reason, and I accidentally fell into a 4-hour nap when I got home. Whoops. So much for being productive.

Way to go, Boilermakers, for a winning the Big Ten Tournament and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen! Thanks for keeping us entertained through the long winter! See ya again in November. (Although it is regretful that I won't see Chris Kramer's cutie-pie face until then.)

This post is random, I know.

Can't believe it's almost 9 o'clock. Can't believe the weekend's over. That makes me sad. Buuut....two more weeks until Easter!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Viva La Italia!

Hello, visitors from Kelly's Korner! For this week's Show Us Your Life - Favorite Vacation spot, I'm recycling an old post from our recent trip to Italy. We hit Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Capri, and Venice in our 10 days on the Italian peninsula. Absolutely the trip of a lifetime, so if you're considering it - just go! We now have lots of great hotel accommodations and restaurant suggestions, so let me know if you need them!

We are home! We had a great vacation and feel like we saw everything we wanted to in ten jammed-packed days. We went over there with hotel reservations in five different places and a Eurail Global Pass, and other than that we were just going to figure it out from there. I honestly believed that at some point we would get stuck somewhere or mess it up somehow, but we were impressed with our ability to navigate in a foreign land and gave each other frequent high-fives. Amazing Race, I believe we may be worthy of an audition. We had a couple of close calls with missing a flight and trains, but we always seemed to squeak it out. We did miss our train from Bologna to Venice, and along with four American soldiers stationed in Padua were forced to stowaway on another train. We didn't get away with it, unfortunately. Busted! Instead of kicking us out at the next stop we just had to pay more, so I was happy about that.

Our itinerary: Florence for two nights, Rome for two, Sorrento for two with day trips to the island of Capri and Pompeii, Venice for two nights, and a final night in Florence. Pack, unpack, pack...repeat.

Here are some pictures that summarize our trip pretty well without boring you (hopefully) with vacation photos...

We ate great food...

We drank Italian wine...

We climbed to the top of several domes, bell towers, piazzas on hills, etc...

Climbing down from the cupola at Il Duomo in Florence

We saw churches like you wouldn't believe...

We took in a little World War II history...

Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge left standing during WWII in Florence

We visited Vatican City...

We spent a lot of time riding the high-speed rails...

We took boat rides in both the Mediterranean and Adriatic....

Tower in St. Mark's Square, Venice


Mt. Vesuvius

We saw packs of wild dogs....

We saw most of Ancient Rome, including the Colosseum...

We saw a lot of dead people (to put it eloquently)...

a fossilized body at Pompeii, preserved by ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79

(We also saw the tombs of Medici rulers, Gaileo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, various Doges in a church in Venice, etc...)

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the heck we were....

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy." --Giuseppe Verdi

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Am I Going Somewhere??

Yes, Bonnie. That's correct. You're so smart to notice that your food and toys and leash are all in your sassy sequined bag! I'm sorry to tell you that you're headed to the vet to be spayed while we're gone. :(
I teared up a little at the vet when we dropped her off today, but then tried to recall the time (two days ago) when Bonnie peed on top of our bed. That's right, through the duvet cover, through the down comforter, and onto the sheets. I've added the dry cleaning charge to her tab.
And on another note, this is my 100th post!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Food, Furniture, and Freezing Temperatures

FOOD (One of my favorite topics)

I've been trying to make one new recipe each week and have discovered some pretty good dishes in the process. Last week I made Scalloped Potatoes from Rachael Ray's magazine. I know, making her recipes after that rant about how ridiculous I think she is. It's true, call me out...but let's face it - her magazine mysteriously comes to our house for free and if I happen to find a good recipe or two, so be it. I also made Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl from Bon Appetit which was really yummy. Definitely worth the hassle. Serve with the Parmesan Toast recipe and you've got yourself quite a meal!

A few weeks ago I made the Tri Kappa Chicken Casserole receipe which serves pretty much everyone you know. I took this and Baked Mostaccioli to Ashley and Andrew and sent another casserole to a friend from work who just had a baby also. We met Laura for lunch in Fort Wayne and she got one, too. Casseroles are the new greeting card of 2009. This recipe fills four 9x13" pans, so be prepared to share.

Crazy Casserole that's got a ring to it!

Tri Kappa Chicken Casserole

8 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 lbs. medium egg noodles (4-8 oz. packages)
5 cans cream of chicken soup (or two family size)
2-13 oz. cans evaporated milk
1 1/4 lbs. Velveeta
5 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cups crushed cornflakes
salt to taste (not much needed)

Boil noodles; add cubes of Velveeta. In large pot, add remaining ingredients (except cornflakes) and mix well. Spread into 4 - 9x13 foil pans. Separate the cornflakes into separate baggies and tape on the pan after covering with foil. If baking right away, sprinkle cornflakes on top and bake uncovered for one hour at 370. If frozen, bake covered for one hour, then sprinkle cornflakes on top and bake uncovered for another 45 minutes to one hour.

FURNITURE (now that I'm a homeowner, old, and boring, this is another one of my favorite topics)

Mom, Dad and Stormy spent the afternoon with us before Stormy left to fly home to Philly, so while the girls shopped my dad and Brent put our bedroom furniture together. Ohhhh, I love it all!! Here's a picture of the sleigh bed, and another of one of the dressers. Fairly boring right now until the room is decorated, but a great start.

The vacuum gets barely any face time on the here it is.

March 1, and it's still cold. I saw 60 degrees pop into the extended forecast for this week, and let's hope it happens. It's cold, folks! It was extremely cold yesterday when I set out to do the longest run to date - 7 miles. Around mile 3.5, I realized that my UnderArmour had scootched up and all I had protecting my stomach in 17 degree wind chills was a t-shirt. Smart, Lindsey. I was concerned about permanent damage when I got home and realized that there were deep purple splotches on my stomach and legs, you know, like maybe circulation had stopped in those cells or something? I'm no doctor, but it seemed weird. Have no fear, my feeling is back in all my cells and the bottom line is that I ran 7 miles without walking!! And at a time that, if doubled, would put me under 2:30 for the mini. YES!!!!
Crazy Casserole Lady is headed to bed! Goodnight, sleep tight!