March 30, 2010

Life as we know it

So, today was it.

Todd moved up to Casper, Wyo., for his new work assignment.

I've been dreading this day.  Which is one big reason I haven't talked about it here, well, at all.

What's the story?

Well, as most of you know, Todd was informed in December that he was going to be assigned to Casper April 1.  This was a total shock.  We had just bought and moved into our house, something we wouldn't have done if he had even remotely thought he wouldn't be stationed in Cheyenne.

We've been counting down to the time we'd have to upset our happy little life with Rigby at ol' 304 was it.

All morning, as we got him packed and the basement cleared out for the renter who comes in tomorrow, I was bitter and upset.  I didn't want us to get out of bed this morning because I kept thinking how it was the last morning in our house together, the last breakfast around our table, our last morning walk with Rigby around Lyon's Park, etc.


Nobody wants him to go either!  The Cheyenne office loves him - there was a going away party last night and everyone was genuinely bummed he had to go.  But such is the way with Wyoming Game and Fish.  The wardens who don't have a district of their own get moved around each year until they land a permanent station.

On the bright side, my office is being really great about keeping me on.  I'll be telecommuting two days a week from Casper, re-evaluating in May and potentially moving my position up there full time.  There are a few other options going on right now with Todd as well that will factor in to all of this - but that's conversation for another time.

Until then, we'll be basically camping in a yuck-o little apartment we're renting month-to-month, smuggling Rigby in by the dark of night.

Get ready for the Casper Chronicles.

March 27, 2010

Goodbye Gwennie

Who is Gwennie?

My Ford Escape.

Or, my ex-Ford Escape.  I traded her in today for a Subaru Outback.

Gwennie (named after Gwen Stefani because of her song Sweet ESCAPE) has given me some trouble of late.  Nothing horrible - like last year's engine mishap above, but more along the lines of being in need of some upgrades.  And, her warranty is up in July. After said engine blow-up last year where the only thing that saved my butt was my warranty, I just won't own a car without one.

I was sad to see her go though.  I really did love her. 

She's carried a lot of things: Todd, Rigby, family, friends, in the above photo - a backend full of rocks for Molly's landscaping, and all of my possessions as I headed back West.

We've driven all around D.C., 'cross country with a U-Haul, around Vail, Colo., into Nebraska to visit Stacey and family and pick-up Rigby, into the mountains...she and I are kind of like that Johnny Cash song about being everywhere, man.

But to make our relationship work, I would have had to pump more into it in the form of tires, a windshield (cracked on a trip to Nebraska), and somehow figure out a way to cover her if she gets mad at me and blows a gasket - literally.

So, after months of research and weighing the pros and cons and expenses of keeping Gwennie as opposed to owning a different car, we decided to go the new route.

It wasn't what we set out to do yesterday, though.  We were on our way to test drive a totally different vehicle when we decided to pull into the Subaru dealership for just a peep.  After driving a few cars, comparing the Outback to the cars we thought we were interested in, and working a few numbers we ended up driving a Subaru home.

As Todd and I cleaned out ol' Gwen I was sad.  I just kept looking at her remembering all our good times, like...

...the feeling of being free after I dropped off the U-Haul...
...or, when Gwennie got her Colorado tags and then her Wyoming ones...
...or, how we rocked out to Poison's Unskinny Bop as we made our way up the mountain to the Eisenhower Tunnel when I moved from Vail to Laramie, Wyo.,...

She was a good lil' SUV.

Au revoir, Gwennie!  It's been fun!  I know you'll have a good new owner in no time!

(This photo is being super weird and won't upload in the horizontal direction.  You get the sentiment...)

March 23, 2010

Easy rider

Rigby, in true doggie fashion, loves riding with his head out the window.

His ears flap and his nose wiggles out of control as he takes in all the smells coming at him.

He's just too cute.  A lot of times we let him have his way for a little while and I just turn up the heater to keep from freezing as he enjoys the ride.

March 21, 2010

Pole vaulting

Today was gor-ge-ous! After two days of snow and cold we welcomed back the sun and warm weather and spent the whole day outside.

It started off pretty relaxed - walk in the park, sipping tea and flipping through recipes, playing with Rigby...


Doesn't he look like an evangelical puppy?  Like the hand of God is literally touching him and he's blessing the masses...?  This photo cracks me up.


Todd loves dancing with Rigby.  We get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  I'm sure Rigby does too...  Here, Rigby is walking "like an Egyptian..." HA!  Ok.  The longer we were outside the more Todd's attention turned to projects.  See that clothesline pole behind Todd?  We hate it.  The plan has been to rip the clothesline out, so that is what Todd started to do...


First, he dug a hole around the pole with this spade...


 Just kidding...


Todd evaluating just how planted this pole is...

 I told him he looked like a pole dancer doing that, so he struck a pose...


 Putting together a solution...


A lever and pulley system built of a 2x4, a chain and some nylon braided rope...


A closer look...This is not a light pole.  It's made of solid pipe.  Todd estimated it to be around 250-300 pounds!


Rigby and I hanging out while Todd's hard at work.  It was just a break!  I really did help - I was right there pulling up on the lever.


The contraption worked! 


You can see Todd had to add a 4x4 piece of wood to the system to keep the boards from snapping...


One pole down.  Of course, clotheslines require two poles to be effective.  The second one is still frozen in the ground, so we'll have to do this all again. 

You wouldn't think taking a little ol' pole down would make much of a difference in the space in your yard, but it does! No more ducking, walking and working around it. can't even tell there was ever a gaping hole, can you?


March 14, 2010

An hour saved is an hour earned

Daylight Savings!

It is one of my most favorite holidays of the year - and I do think of it as a holiday.

It's an official proclamation that warmer, longer, lighter days are ahead!

The only drawback is that it's dark again in the morning, which is a bummer. I love waking up at 5:30 a.m. to a lightening sky.

But those mornings are just around the bend!

(Headline credit: Todd.  Isn't he clever?!)

March 8, 2010

Book 'em

I love book sales and snatching up loads of used books.  Only problem is, I'm not reading them at the rate I'm acquiring them.  That's not stopping me though.

I went to the Kappa Gamma Delta book sale on Saturday, a 27-year-old event in town, and walked out with another box of books for my "library."

My friend Rachel told me about the sale last year, warning me it can get a little crazy.  That's sort of funny sounding, right?  I mean, how crazy can a bunch of book wielding readers be?  When Rachel told me you basically go in, fill your box, and look at what you bought later, I was expecting eye gouging and some dirty elbowing.

It wasn't quite that bad, but people were definitely in it to win it.  I had one lady take a book out of my friend Juliette's hand that I was going to take.  She wasn't intentionally rude, I think she (weirdly) thought she was part of our conversation, but fact still remains - my name's Kim.  Not her's.

Anyway, expecting a bit of a wait, my friend Juliette and I arrived early only to find this line already formed outside...

This is one of the rooms full of books.  There were about 40 tons of books donated this year.  Proceeds go toward education-related efforts; this year it will benefit education programs at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens' Children's Village.  

Here's what $31 can buy you at this sale!  I got lots of books on my "to read" list and a few more - without getting a black eye... 

March 6, 2010


Apparently, I like to do things backwards.

We had a garage sale in December, and on Friday, a BBQ in the dead of March.

Todd's best friend Matt is in town from Wisconsin and we thought it would be fun to get some friends together to show him a good ol' Wyoming time.  The weather had been amazing all week and a BBQ seemed like a good idea.

It blizzarded.  The joke is, if we need moisture have me plan an event - and it'll snow.  My Fort Collins birthday party last year? Blizzard.  MS Walk with breakfast at my place first?  Blizzard.  BBQ at the end of a week of amazing weather?  You already know.

But we decided to go ahead with it.  Brandon was bringing his fire pit, so we'd have warmth, and with an attached workshop that opens to the backyard we would have shelter - two essential things for survival. 

It snowed all day but cleared up right nicely for most of the BBQ.  We were going to have all the food inside, but everyone was really hanging out outside, so we moved the food to the workshop.  The buffet on the workbench...

LOTS of chips on the cabinet ledge...

 The bar.  On top of Todd's tool chest...

Gathering 'round the fire...

The Wisconsin Cheeseheads: Todd and his best friend Matt, on the left...

More fire...

The snow started back up with a vengeance.  Matt was hardcore and stuck it out around the fire longer than the rest of us...

The last of the crew in the workshop before heading home...

A sea of dogs.  Rigby, Nadi, Duffer, and Leyla...

Rigby with a well-deserved drink.  It's hard playing host!

What other typically summertime events can I hold in the winter?  Brandon suggested fireworks next weekend.

March 5, 2010

Head to the hills

This is a crazy thing to confess, but in the time I've been in Cheyenne I haven't taken advantage of any outdoor activities at Curt Gowdy, Happy Jack or Vedauwoo, except one hike...once.

It makes me mad.  I've tried to, but something - weather, other engagements - always seems to come up.

The weather was amazing last weekend, so Annie and I packed up the pups and headed for the hills.

Rigby and Duffer in the back of Annie's car...


An example of the crazy rock formations this area is known for...

Duffer was obsessed with this stick. She carried it with her most of our way in.  I was impressed with how she didn't lose interest...

Annie with the dogs.  Doesn't she look cute pregnant...?

 Me and Rigs...

We think beavers must have mowed this area down...

The pups at play...

My little buddy and I back at home.  Rigby was pooped after such an active morning...!

March 1, 2010

Wienies 'n Things

There is a place, actually a couple places, in Rock River, Wyo., I have wanted to stop in at for a long time.

This is saying something because if you've ever driven through Rock River you know it's a place you generally just drive through.  It's a tiny town.  But there is a bar and a little hot dog stand called Wienies 'n Things that I have been dying to go to.

I am completely drawn to these kinds of places.  I love the local dive bars and diners with their...local color.

My coworker Matt and I first came across Wienies 'n Things on a work trip over the summer, but we didn't have time to go in.

I wasn't going to let that opportunity pass me by today as Linds and I drove back from Casper, Wyo.

The wienie joint...

They sell t-shirts that look very much like this. If they didn't have the owners' names on it I would TOTALLY have bought one... 

Linds and I agreed these plates hanging on the wall were pretty darn cute...

Neither of us were very hungry so we just got an order of fries each.  We were the only ones in there and, who I'm guessing must have been Shawn, one of the owners, had to fire up the fryer just for us.  We kind of felt bad about him having to do that for our measly little order, but we couldn't leave there empty handed!

And because I have a love of all animated foods I made Linds take a picture of me with this.  Poor girl had to tromp through about an inch of snow to do it too!  

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