August 29, 2008

Friday Fave(s)

Today is Friday Fave, but since I couldn't choose just one I decided to go ahead and post a few of the pictures I've taken this week, which remarkably aren't as many as you'd think. Also, Blogger is driving me nuts right now and won't load the rest of my pics, so this is all I have time or patience for at this point.

I'm heading into Yellowstone in a few minutes, so I imagine there will be many more to come.

Just when I thought I was done with rodeo this summer... We took some outdoor media to the Cody Nite Rodeo. They had never been to a rodeo before and really enjoyed it.

I also really liked the Cody rodeo. It was smaller and had a much more community feel to it than CFD. There were a lot of junior and peewee riders, which gave it a homegrown feel. It was fun.


The historic Irma hotel downtown. I had drinks outside here on Sunday night and breakfast with our writers before a day of fishing on Wednesday.

In 1895 Buffalo Bill Cody laid out the original town site for Cody, Wyo., from this spot here:

Bringing in my fish!


Here it looks like I caught just a head, but the rest of him's in there!



August 27, 2008

Big Days in Cody, Wyo.!

I’ve been in Cody since Sunday for a work event called Wyoming Outdoor Products days. Our office brings in outdoor sporting media to hang out with Wyoming outdoor product manufacturers, and voila! A marketing match made in heaven!

This has made it a bit difficult for me to post this week, since much of my time has been spent working.

However, I've had some time to experience Cody from a different perspective than a total tourist, which I will become tomorrow. Among other things, this means I shot a gun sponsored by a Wyoming-made company at the Cody Shooting Complex, and spent all day today fishing on the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River, which was guided by Tim Wade's North Fork Anglers. I have to brag here - I was the first or second of two fisherman to catch a fish - a Yellowstone Cut-throat, to be exact.

My pride is tempered, however, by the fact that I was also one of the first two people to fall in the river. I’m going to blame this on the boots the fishing shop rents...or…maybe I should have just crossed in a different part of the stream, who knows?

And really, to humble myself even more, I guess I should share (TMI?) that I also tinkled without provisions off a log. This was before falling in the river, and well before learning there were napkins in our guide's truck. This knowledge was a little annoying, but oddly a relief at the same time, because now I could drink fluids again while out there.

So, tomorrow begins my first real day of explore Cody. I will keep you updated with posts and pics as the days go on.

Preliminarily speaking, however, Cody is awesome.

More to come...!


August 26, 2008

Speaking of Blasts from the Past...

I had to leave for Cody this weekend and decided to leave a day early to stay in Casper with some very good, old friends I hadn't seen in years.

What a great decision that was.

Jeff and Linda, and Paul and Carrie are a hoot! It's been about six years, I would guess, since I've seen J & L, and about nine for P & C! Incredible. One of the best things about these friends is how seamless it is to get together and have fun with them. It's as if all that time had never passed.

We made dinner, drank wine, sat up 'til past midnight and got caught up...it was so fun. And so worth the extra day!

The next morning we went to breakfast at my favorite little restaurant in Casper - The Cottage. It's an old house turned restaurant and it's just so cute, and quaint, and the food is so good! I had a double stack of the triple berry pancakes...and they have these little bowls of cinnamon apples... Can I just say, yum. I haven't been to The Cottage but maybe once since I moved from Casper. It was a happy reunion.

Then I drove by my old apartment, which I really loved. It was fun to see it and it brought back lots of good memories.

I'm about to have one more blast this week. As I mentioned, I'm in Cody, Wyo., for work and I'm planning to meet up with my old friend Sam. This will be a treat, and I'm really looking forward to getting caught up with him. He's another one where time has passed since seeing him, so very quickly, without realizing it.

We'll have blast-off in:

5...4...3...2...


August 25, 2008

Blasts From My Past

I’m discovering there are more people I know living in Cheyenne than I ever would have guessed, and the number keeps growing.

People from my past keep popping up everywhere. I run into them at restaurants, at meetings, and mostly I hear about others through the grapevine, “Did you know so-and-so is living here too…?”

Last week alone I had two blasts from my past.

I was at lunch for my boss’ birthday. When we got up to leave a girl from the table beside us stopped me. “KIM!! How are you?!”

Oh no. I knew I knew her. I just could NOT place her. This was terrible.

It took me a few minutes of talking to her to figure it out – she used to work in D.C., for the other Wyoming senator, but left several years ago for the Peace Corps and nobody had heard from her, to my knowledge anyway.

She was completely out of context for me in Cheyenne and placing her took me a few. We exchanged cards and have emailed a couple of times with plans to meet for a drink or coffee sometime soon.

The very next day I had a similar exchange. I was at a meeting of public information officers and we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves. There was a girl I knew I had gone to college with. She had been in several of my communication classes and I thought for sure I remembered her name. I was right!

After the meeting she came over to chat. Once again, we left with promises to meet up.

It’s so strange and fun to see people here I knew mostly from D.C. And it’s strange and fun in a different way to run into people I knew in college and haven’t seen since.

It’s mostly nice to know there are more folks than I thought living in town who I can count as friends, buddies, acquaintances, whatever – even if I haven’t seen them in ages.


August 23, 2008

Ft. Collins Friday!

Friday night was the inaugural outing for a new monthly event I’ve instituted. It’s called Ft. Collins Fridays.

With not much more to choose from in the way of restaurants but chains and Mexican for “ethnic” food, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands.

The idea is this: one Friday a month, myself and whoever else wants to go, will leave Cheyenne after work for Ft. Collins to dine at a predetermined non-chain, non-fast food restaurant.

The first request was for Indian food, which I have been craving quite a bit.

I did a quick search and up popped Star of India.

It was amazing.

And so was the turn out! We had 14 folks at our first Ft. Collins Friday.

People got to make new friends, many had never had Indian and ended up loving it, Apes drove down from Laramie to join us…it was a really good time.

So, our first Friday was quite the success, and I’m really looking forward to next month’s.

And maybe Greek, or Thai, or Ethiopian, or …

August 20, 2008

Hair-um

This is actually the name of the salon I went to today for a much needed hair cut.

I might have gone based on the name alone - I mean, it IS kind of funny - but I mostly went because a friend recommended one particular stylist there: a girl who cut hair in a D.C.-area salon.

That was all I needed to hear.

Not that I've never had a bad hair cut in D.C. - I recall one particular stylist who thought I'd look best as Mrs. Brady.

And, I'm sure there are good stylists in Cheyenne. But I wanted to check out the one who worked at the sister salon to a glitzy one in downtown D.C.

I had high hopes of walking out and not looking like a newscaster - which is also what stylists like to make me in to.

Overall, I think she did a good job. She wasn't my beloved Karina from D.C., but she may be a good substitute.

There's just one other person I want to check out before I make a solid decision - a guy my boss and her sister go to and who is apparently, um, a Dupont-type man.

I'll be right at home!

August 18, 2008

Revolving Door

My apartment has become a revolving door for visitors lately, and it doesn't look as if it will stop anytime soon.

I'm not complaining! I'm liking the constant activity and am enjoying seeing people I may not get to see again for a while.

It all started with Linds C. and her mom, who stayed at my place last weekend even though I was in D.C. Initially we thought we'd pull a switcheroo like in the movie The Holiday, but it only worked about half right. Regardless, she is my first official visitor, even if I wasn't there to greet her personally.

Then a friend from the Senator's office came by for drinks last Wednesday, followed a few days later by an old friend from college who I hadn't seen in years and who came to town to catch up. No sooner had he left than another friend from the Senator's pulled in and has been my guest until tonight.

CK has hinted he may stay when he's in the state for work, Linds H. needs a bed while in town for a conference, and my parents are planning a visit in early September!

Whew!

It's like running a bed and breakfast!

This constant flow of visitors is very exciting, but I'm afraid it is giving me a false sense of activity in my new town.

Oh well. I'll just sit back and let the door keep swinging.

August 14, 2008

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn...

I think we've reached a turning point - seasonally speaking.

The past few days you can just tell a change in the air...as in literally, the air has gotten a lot cooler. Tomorrow is supposed to be the coolest day yet only getting up to the low 50s. I've even heard rumors about the possibility of snow in high country. This is not how I normally spend my Augusts. August is usually spent mostly indoors standing in front of cranked up air conditioners for what is easily the most miserable time of the year in D.C. I will not miss that.

I've also noticed the sky seems moodier. There are lots of fast-moving clouds and the passing afternoon storms have turned chillier. A quick, light, fall-feeling rain just went through. It was the kind you don't need to shut your windows for, but that makes you want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. I like those.

The thing I don't like is seeing the mornings take just a little bit longer to lighten. There is nothing more difficult than waking up at your normal time and it looking like it's the middle of the night. Yuck.

Of course, none of these observations are scientific in any way. It's more of a feeling and just noticing some things seem different.

I'm happy it's changing though, because I LOVE fall. It is by far my favorite time of year, but it's a little harder to enjoy it here - mostly because it's too short! Back East it lasts months versus weeks. The weather is warm through September...starts to take a turn in mid-October...then tapers off into winter about early December.

I'll miss that. And the zillions of fall colors out there. And our annual apple picking trip.

Speaking of, I'm going to have to find something to harvest here. But I'll have to do that fast!


August 13, 2008

O Pioneers!

Much like the pioneers who settled the West, I am doing without a modern day convenience.

I'm not talking about electricity, indoor plumbing, or a car to get myself around in...I've got all those.

I'm without a microwave.

I gave my D.C. microwave away before moving because it wouldn't fit anywhere in the U-Haul or car and I was totally over thinking about it. Besides, Carrie had a microwave I could use, and they aren't that expensive these days...so, adios D.C. microwave.

Then, as I moved into my new place I realized I had/have other priorities than a super-quick way to heat my food. I decided I would go old school. I would use my oven for everything - even to warm leftovers. If we did it before microwaves were invented I could certainly do it now, right?

It's really been ok. I cook quite a lot anyway, so the ways of the oven are not new to me. The only drawback is the time constraint. Waiting for the oven to pre-heat, then to warm your food could easily be a 15-20 minute (or longer) endeavor.

Clearly, this is where the benefits of a microwave kick in.

I told a coworker I didn't have a microwave and he looked at me as if I had just donned a floor-length skirt and bonnet. He said he has an extra one and he would be MORE than happy to let me use it.

I told him sure, even though I kind of like my pre-'70s/'80s (I didn't Wikipedia the date microwaves were invented) way of doing things.

However, there is an appeal to chicken in 15 seconds v. 15 minutes...


August 12, 2008

Home Again, Home Again - But Which One?

I know I’ve been M.I.A. the past week. I went to D.C. for the weekend and have just been…tired…since I returned.

John and Sara's wedding was this weekend and I went back for the big event - and it was totally worth it, as I never doubted the wedding itself would be.

I did doubt, however, the wisdom in returning to my old home so soon.

I was anxious all week, and as the trip got closer my feeling of anxiety got worse. As I told several friends, I likened the trip to visiting the grave too soon.

I don't want to live there - but I do miss components of my life there - and I didn't want to have to say goodbye again to friends and the things about the city that I love. I dreaded Sunday.

But, I made it through the anxiety and had a great time. I got to see lots of friends and I went to several of my favorite places: Rosemary's Thyme for happy hour...my little 17th St., coffee shop for an iced coffee...shopping at H&M...etc.

It was so natural to be there! Oddly so, in fact. I felt like I was home from vacation from my new home. I guess that's what happens when you live in a place so long. I was there eight years. I've been in Cheyenne roughly eight weeks.

D.C. and I will always have a little love affair. We fell hard for each other immediately and very few cities will ever compare. Cheyenne and I don't have the passion for one another that D.C. and I did, but we're still on a first date feeling each other out.

I think this could go somewhere...

August 6, 2008

Planty's New Home

A couple weeks ago I brought Planty over from Laramie to get him settled in his new home.

Aside from my bed, Planty was the first thing I found a permanent location for in the apartment.

After being traumatized by freezing weather in the back of my car, culled, and toted back and forth between Laramie and Vail I think he rather likes his new little corner...


You'll also notice the photo on the wall above Planty. It was the first thing I hung on the walls in my new place: an awesome picture of the Lincoln Memorial, my favorite memorial in D.C., at sunset...

August 5, 2008

Whole Foods Happiness

Last week I went to Ft. Collins to look for a couch and to hit up Whole Foods.

I haven't been in a Whole Foods but once since I left D.C. Now, with an apartment that sports a large refrigerator my longing for a GOOD grocery store could barely be contained.

I pulled in the parking lot and gazed lovingly at the big green Whole Foods letters. I seriously think I heard angels singing and saw the heavens break open over the store much like this:

Ok, maybe this is just a picture I took from I-25 on my way home, but the feeling was the same. The closer I got to the front door of the store the more I felt like skipping. Seriously. I grabbed a cart and stood overwhelmed with happiness in the produce section.

I went up and down EVERY aisle. I tried to be judicious in my selections, but when I was checking out I realized I hadn't been as frugal as I'd hoped.

That's ok though because I have been happily eating marinated tofu, homemade breads, and nice meats all week.

Who says money can't buy happiness??

August 3, 2008

Prairie Gold

I went toward Torrington today in search of an antiques store Linds H. and I randomly passed on a trip back from Scottsbluff once.

It was one of those barns with junk piled everywhere, which is about all I could remember of the place - it's exact location having escaped me.

So, in hopes of finding end tables and maybe a couple bedside tables I set out. I knew it would be a bit of a trek and I also knew the place would likely be closed, but I went anyway.

I was right on both counts.

However, the drive along HWY 85 was pretty enough to make up for the time and gas money spent...

Talk about prairie gold. Like bricks stacked in Ft. Knox...


I love how truly gold the gold is in this field...



August 2, 2008

D.C. Freak?

So, I wrote a check at Target tonight that seemed to cause a system meltdown - at least for the Cheyenne store.

The cashier asked for my I.D., which I haven't changed over yet to Wyoming. Yes, I know I need to do this - and it's not that I don't want to! My current D.C. license is hideous! I had to replace it quickly the morning before I left town because my purse was stolen the night before at my going away party. I was sick, tired, and in work-out clothes, glasses and no make-up because I figured they could just pull my old picture. But, oh no, much to my horror I had to get a new one taken. So, I'm really not holding on to my D.C. license for any particular reason except I just haven't had a chance to get my Wyoming one.

Because of this I have become used to people being thrown off by my I.D. They don't know how to enter it...is D.C. the "state?" In most systems it seems to be.

I handed the Target cashier my I.D., she ran the check, and oddly it didn't seem to be accepted. I didn't really think anything of this until she apologized and then ran to get another associate.

Meanwhile, I'm left wondering why in the world my check wouldn't go through - especially since I just got paid - and the people behind me who had just thrown all their stuff on the counter kept looking at me like I was a villain.

The cashier returned with three other associates in tow. After a call to some secret Target computer headquarters by a totally different clerk everything seemed to be ok.

With some chuckling and apologizing the new clerk informed me that D.C. was under...wait...District of Columbia and not Washington STATE.

Oh? I endured confusion, a fleeting moment of anxiety over availability of funds, and the evil eye from other customers for that?!

I gathered my bags and walked out the door utterly flabbergasted.

Then, as I pulled out of my parking spot a child who couldn't have been more than two-years-old pointed at me through my open window and yelled, "Look at you!"

Yes, look at me! The weird-o girl with a D.C. license!

Alright, alright! I'll change it already!



August 1, 2008

Friday Fave

Taken at karaoke last night.

I mentioned how I've really been wanting parmesean lately and before you know it I was being dared to "drink" it. Do not ever try this, by the way.


Bowling's Back

I thought I was done forever. No more bowling. After spending a couple seasons on the "friend" league in D.C., I thought I was through.

But this isn't the case. Turns out my office has a little tradition: the first Friday after we get paid we head out for some lunchtime lanes.

That was today.

I showed up in one of my old league shirts, the Pin Princesses one to be exact, and got ready to kick some bowling butt. Thing is...I am NOT a good bowler, so the only bowling butt that got kicked was mine. (Where's the Bowling Jesus when I need him?!)

It seems the moral of the story is that no matter where I go I am destined to bowl. I guess I should just embrace this calling instead of avoiding it like I'd hoped to!

My new alley...

Yes...!

Um...NO.


I thought I'd retired this "jersey"...

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