Posted by: Erin | September 16, 2010

Affirmations and stuff

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t blogged in so long.  This summer has been a bit of a downer, and I didn’t want to drag everyone down into a depression spiral.  No one likes to read a blog where someone whines about all their problems all the time (except me, I love to read those blogs because it makes me feel better).  I was hoping to start posting again when I had some good news to report, but it looks like that might not be coming for a while.  So for those of you who don’t know, here’s what’s been happening:

Annie has been diagnosed with high-grade lymphoma and leukemia.  There is no cure, but we did put her on medication that would hopefully cause a remission (although most likely a short one).  The latest news is that the cancer doesn’t seem to be responding to the medication.  We don’t really have a timeline at this point, but it’s probably a matter of weeks.

The fact that I’m still unemployed has been both a blessing and a curse in this case.  The bad part is that we couldn’t afford chemotherapy that may have resulted in a longer remission.  However, even with the chemotherapy the prognosis wouldn’t be good, so I’m trying not to feel too guilty about it.  The good part is that I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with her than I would have otherwise.

So, it’s been a pretty rough few weeks.  There is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Wallowing in depression and self-pity has gotten a little old, so I’ve decided that I will no longer spend more than 25% of any day doing the following: crying, bawling, wailing, keening, weeping, blubbering, or sobbing.  I’ve starting my running training again and am dragging Eric along with me this time.  I’m also putting my job search back into high gear.  Between the vet bills and the fact that I’m about to go crazy from sitting here by myself for 40 hours per week, it’s time for me to get out of the house.  Hey, maybe I’ll even turn this into one of those annoying blogs where people try to make themselves feel better with affirmations and stuff.  Here are some awesome things that have happened to me today, complete with exclamation points:

  • After putting in a full day of work on Bejeweled Blitz, I managed to achieve a new high score!
  • I finished reading my library book!
  • I didn’t have anywhere to go or anything to do, so I didn’t have to change out of my pajamas! (Hmmm, that one might need some work.)

So as you can see, I’m definitely on the right track and will be back to my usual happy-go-lucky self soon.  Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and concern about Annie – I’m passing them all on to her in the form of dehydrated chicken.

Annie on our last hike, in Eldorado Canyon State Park

Posted by: Erin | June 7, 2010

We’re back!

Hey peeps!  Eric, Annie, and I are back from a week and a half in Michigan, where we packed up the rest of my stuff and hauled it all back here in a murder van (you know – the big, white, windowless cargo vans favored by TV and movie villains).  I’ve spent the last week nurturing my grass seedlings and unpacking, but there’s still a LOT to do – like figuring out where all this stuff is going to go!  I haven’t had the nerve to hang a single thing on the wall yet because I’m sure I’ll immediately change my mind about where I want it.

Anyway, I’ll be back with more updates and pictures (including the cutest baby sweater EVER) once I get a little more caught up.

Posted by: Erin | April 27, 2010

Catching up again

Once again I got behind on posting, and once again I’ll try to do better in the future.  I should just make that my default introduction so I don’t have to type it every time.

So…a lot has happened in the last month!  We’ll see if I can remember it all.

The biggest news is that Eric had knee surgery to replace a torn ACL on April 6.  He’s down with DPP (dead people’s parts), which he now has in both of his knees.  His recovery has gone pretty well.  He’s off crutches now and just has to wear a brace for one more week.  Physical therapy will continue into the forseeable future, but he can start doing more activities as he feels up to it.  He is, however, VERY unhappy because the doctor told him last week that he probably shouldn’t golf for a few months.  He can practice chipping and putting, but that’s it for a while.

Spring is doing an on-and-off thing around here.  Some days it’s in the 70’s, other days it’s in the 50’s.  Some days it’s sunny, some it’s raining, and some it’s snowing.  I’ve been taking advantage of the warm weather where I can.  I got a bike and have been exploring the neighborhood a little bit.  I used to ride my bike constantly when I was a little kid, but I haven’t ridden one since we moved to a dirt road in 6th grade, so it’s taken a little getting used to.  I also got a new set of golf clubs and have been to the driving range a couple of times.  So far the new clubs are showing some promise, but I’m glad I have a few months to practice before I actually have to get out on the golf course with Eric.

My job hunt is picking up now that I’m officially done working at my old job in Michigan.  I’ve applied for a few jobs and have had a couple of interviews so far.  I’m not in a huge hurry to find a job, but it will be nice to know when my next paycheck is coming again.  Especially since it looks like Eric and I will be moving into a 2-bedroom townhouse sometime in May.  There are two in our complex that are currently being remodeled and should be available within a few weeks.  Moving will mean that I can finally bring the rest of my belongings here from Michigan, and also that we’ll have a spare bedroom and will be able to start having visitors.  We’ll also have a (very) little fenced-in yard that will be nice for Annie.

Speaking of Annie, she’s really been enjoying our patio since the weather has gotten warmer.  She spends most of her time outside lying on the cement or the wood chips.  Eric isn’t overly thrilled when she brings the wood chips back into the house with her.


I think that’s all of the major news for now.  I’ll try to post again later this week – in the meantime, here’s a picture from a hike Annie and I took a couple of weeks ago.

View from the Towhee Trail

Posted by: Erin | March 17, 2010

One year and counting…

Today marks one year since Eric and I got back in touch after almost 18 years.  We’re going out for dinner and some shopping later on, so while he’s still at work I figured I’d better post an update.

Eric was back in Michigan over the weekend for his semi-annual get-together with his college friends.  I stayed behind to watch Annie and save some money – I figured I’d rather wait and spend the money on a plane ticket after I’ve been gone longer than just a month and a half.

The weather has been really volatile here lately.  Saturday was one of the warmest and sunniest days we’ve had so far, and I figured I should get outside since Sunday was supposed to be cold and rainy/snowy.  So I took Annie for a 4-hour, 8 mile hike on some trails south of Boulder.

View from the Doudy Draw Trail

The Flatirons from the Doudy Draw Trail

Annie taking a break on the trail

View from the Flatirons Vista Trail

Annie and I were both tired out by the time we got back.  The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on shows I’d saved on the DVR, knitting, and trying to get rid of a very persistent headache.  I was very glad to pick Eric up at the airport on Monday, after not having a face-to-face conversation with anyone in 3 days.

Once again my employment has been extended, so my latest (and final) last day will be March 26.  I’ve started looking for new employment, but I haven’t been overly motivated (imagine that!) so I’m glad to have another two weeks’ head start.

The other news of import is Eric’s knee.  After an MRI and a couple of doctor’s appointments, the verdict is that he tore two ligaments and his meniscus.  Someone from the hospital is supposed to be calling within the next couple of days to schedule a surgery.  He’s hoping that it coincides with the Master’s so he can sit on the couch, watch golf, and have me wait on him all weekend.

Annie practicing her modeling skillz

Posted by: Erin | March 2, 2010

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

I have to admit, I’m a little relieved that the Olympics are over, so I don’t have to invest quite so much of my time in watching TV.  And I can get back into my normal Food Network routine and find some more delicious recipes to try.

I guess I need to update the blog every couple of days, or else I need to start taking notes on my life, because I’m thinking back to a week ago and can’t remember anything that happened.  Possibly, the reason that I can’t remember much is because Eric and I spent most of the week on the couch watching TV again.  The first thing that stands out in my mind was from Wednesday, when I went to knitting group and Eric went to his last volleyball game of the winter league.  I came home to find him on the couch with his leg propped up and wrapped in an ice pack.  During warm-ups a stray ball rolled from behind him right as he was jumping, and ended right underneath him as he landed.  So he twisted his knee, and ever since it’s been pretty swollen.  He has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to see if it’s anything serious.

So, there hasn’t been a whole lot of activity happening around here since Wednesday.  I got to try a couple of new restaurants, an Indian place and Larkburger (fries with truffle oil and parmesan cheese!).  I also made a couple of new recipes, both of which were delicious:

Breakfast Skillet – made with vegetarian “sausage” crumbles in place of the hamburger and chorizo

Taco Bowls – made with veggie burger crumbles in place of the hamburger.  I’ve made these once with Fritos, and once burrito-style with tortillas.  Both times I added tomatoes and onions to prepared guacamole because I didn’t plan far enough ahead to have ripe avocados.

We didn’t do much over the weekend because of Eric’s leg, but I did want to get out of the apartment for a while and see something new.  So we took a drive up Boulder Canyon to the town of Nederland and back.  It’s a beautiful drive, but while I wanted to take my time and enjoy the scenery, the locals were more interested in just getting up/down the mountain as quickly as possible and didn’t seem to appreciate my slow driving.  I did pull off the road a couple of times to get some pictures.

Looking down the mountain

And up the mountain

Yesterday was a little more productive.  I finally got around to signing the apartment lease, got Annie’s dog license, and opened a bank account so I could deposit a couple of checks I’ve had hanging around for a while.  When I got back, Eric and I took Annie to the dog park to let her run around for a while since we were going to be gone all evening.  She didn’t do much running, preferring to roll around in the grass instead.

This is enough exercise for me!

As soon as we got back from the park it was time for Eric and I to head to Denver to see the Red Wings play the Avalanche!  The tickets were one of Eric’s Christmas presents from me.  Fortunately they won, so I didn’t have to ride home with a depressed Eric – I don’t know if he could have taken it after the USA loss to Canada on Sunday.

Action shot!

Posted by: Erin | February 22, 2010

Snowy weekend

Last weekend was a pretty laid-back one but we did get a few things accomplished.  We started out Saturday by going to the Original Pancake House for breakfast.  This is one of my favorite places to eat when I visit my sister in Chicagoland, so as soon as I saw that they had one in Boulder I immediately made plans to drag Eric there.  They have an Apple Belgian Waffle that is SO delicious – with apples in the batter, cinnamon sugar on top, and apple syrup to dump over the whole thing.  YUM!

On the way home we stopped at a sporting goods store so I could get some actual winter boots (you know…ones that are waterproof, warm, and don’t have high heels) for things like taking Annie out for walks in the snow.  After we got home, we were so full from breakfast that we spent a couple of hours comatose on the couch watching TV.

We did manage to muster the energy to take Annie for a walk on the South Boulder Creek Trail later in the afternoon.  Annie enjoyed herself until she started getting snowballs between her toes on the way back and had to stop repeatedly to pull them out with her teeth.  Eric and I enjoyed ourselves until snow started blowing in our faces on the way back.  It was too overcast to see much of the mountains, but it was still nice to get outside and see a new part of the city.

Annie enjoying the cold and snow way more than the rest of us, as usual

Saturday night I got to go to another new place in Boulder – Sol Azteca Mexican restaurant.  One of Eric’s friends likes to go there for his birthday every year, so I got to re-acquaint myself with a big group of people, some of whom I met over the summer.  I think it will only be a couple of years before I can remember all of their names, yay!

Sunday started out with another big breakfast (homemade this time) and more couch/TV time.  Finally in the afternoon I forced myself to go outside for a run even though it was cold and snowing.  Annie thought something exciting was going on and insisted on coming with me, and I relented since she spends most of her time lying around indoors these days.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a less-than-awesome idea as she came back in carrying about 5 pounds of snow and dirty road slush on her lower half.  So she went straight into the tub for a rinse.

After I got cleaned up we went to a new/used furniture store and bought a nightstand to match Eric’s dresser, and then got some groceries at Whole Foods (mostly because I wanted some of their awesome Seeduction bread – it makes the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches).

So, that was pretty much it for the weekend.  The rest of it was spent on the couch watching the Olympics and knitting my sweater.  It’s still at the point where every row is longer (and therefore slower) than the one before, which makes for slow progress and tedious knitting.

Annie on S Boulder Creek Trail 2

Hi everybody!

Posted by: Erin | February 19, 2010


The whole point of this blog was to keep everyone up-to-date on my life in Colorado, and of course I’ve been here 2 1/2 weeks and haven’t posted anything.  Bad Erin!  From now on I will try to be more diligent, which will hopefully prevent the whole “It’s-been-so-long-that-now-udpating-will-take-me-forever-and-it-seems-like-such-a-huge-chore-that-I-don’t-even-want-to-bother” mentality that I seem to fall into quite easily.

So here’s what’s been happening.

I spent most of my last week in Michigan getting together with various groups of friends and relatives one last time.  My friends Kris and Jamie threw me an awesome going-away party the night before my departure – thanks to everyone who came!  I got a TON of snacks, fast food/gas station gift cards, and Diet Coke for the trip – so much that I had to leave most of my wine collection behind to fit it all in my car (this was a big sacrifice, FYI).

Next, the move: I headed out of town around 4:30 pm on Sunday, January 31 and arrived at my new home about 25 hours later.  I decided not to try staying overnight because I was traveling with a dog and a sedated cat, so I just made a few stops at rest areas for some naps along the way.  Other than a little bit of snow in Nebraska, I had good weather and very little traffic the whole way.

There hasn’t been a ton of excitement so far since I arrived.  Most of my time has been spent working, unpacking, and shopping.   Eric and I have dropped large amounts of cash at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, and Walmart so far.  But now we have most of the essential kitchen items (including actual NAPKINS!), a second humidifier so that I don’t get a shock every time I touch anything, plenty of clothes hangers, a full-length mirror (which I probably could have done without, considering the weight I gained over the holidays), and a new Panasonic Lumix camera to replace my dearly departed one.

Speaking of work: For those of you who don’t know, I have been continuing to work at my old job from home while we finish up a big project.  At this point, my last day is scheduled to be March 12.  The extra paychecks are very welcome – the downside is that by the time Eric gets home at 4:30 I don’t want to spend any more time on the computer looking for a new job.  I’m really enjoying my new iMac which has made working from home much easier.  I haven’t had time to read the manual yet, but I’ve managed to muddle through what I’ve needed to do so far.

I’ve attended one regular knit-night and two parties (I’m assured that they aren’t normally this frequent) of the local knitting group.  Everyone is very outgoing, welcoming, and nice.  I’m currently knitting a sweater that’s ideally supposed to be done by the closing ceremony of the Olympics (don’t try to understand if you’re not a knitter), but that seems unlikely to happen at this point.

Other than that, Eric and I have attended a Super Bowl party and a concert with some of his friends, and I’ve watched him play volleyball in his rec. league a couple of times.  I just joined Eric’s gym and I slogged through my first half-marathon training run (my first run in 4 months) last night.  We’ve also been watching pretty much every minute of Olympics coverage, which requires a serious commitment and takes up a lot of time.

My other favorite thing is the Food Network – I have it on almost all the time while I’m working during the day.  As a result, I’ve also been cooking quite a bit.  Here are the new recipes I’ve tried so far:

Awesome appetizers for a party:
Savory Palmiers

Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus

And the most delicious vegetables ever:
Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve made this with cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and green beans.  I’ve also omitted the garlic and made it with sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  Everything turns out equally delicious – just watch out for the garlic because of the high heat.  Some people have recommended using garlic salt instead of fresh garlic to reduce the risk of burning.


That’s enough for now I think.  I’ll give an update on Annie and Sebastian in a separate post because this one is long enough.  I promise I’ll start updating more often from now on!

I don’t have any new pictures to show yet, so here’s the last super-crappy one I took with my old camera before it finally died.  It’s Eric’s silhouette in front of the Chicago skyline, taken from the John Hancock Observatory when we went to visit my sister after Christmas.

International man of mystery

Posted by: Erin | January 25, 2010


Here are some updates about the status of the move:

  1. Weather permitting, and assuming that I’m packed and ready to go, the official moving date is this Sunday, January 30!  Which should put me in Boulder sometime on Monday, February 1.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to stay somewhere on Sunday night or just drive straight through.  Right now I’m leaning towards just driving as long as I can, because I’m not sure how I’d manage an overnight stay with a spastic cat.
  2. My last day at work is this Friday, January 29.  My boss isn’t quite ready to let me go, however, so I will be working from home through the end of February.  Since I haven’t even started looking for jobs in Colorado yet, it will also give me a month after I move to get that process rolling before I’m unemployed.
  3. In order to facilitate the whole “working from home” thing, I have ordered a shiny new iMac that should be delivered to Eric sometime this week.  I hope it works, because if everything goes as planned I’ll be starting at work again the day after I arrive in Boulder.
  4. I have gotten rid of SO MUCH STUFF it’s unbelievable.  I still have plenty to bring, though!
  5. A couple of my friends are throwing me a going-away party in Lansing on Saturday evening.  I was pretty conservative with the guest list because I didn’t want anyone to feel obligated.  So if you are interested in coming (knitters, Eric’s family, Facebook friends, etc.) leave a comment or send me an e-mail.  The details are being kept secret from me, but I am reasonably certain that there will be plenty of drinks.

That’s it for now!  I can’t believe how soon it’s coming…

Posted by: Erin | January 8, 2010

Catching up from…um…Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I’ve barely started this blog and already I’m behind on it.  Maybe once I figure things out a little more I’ll be less lazy about it.  Or not.

Since it’s January 2010 already, I figured I should probably get around to posting about my trip to Boulder over Thanksgiving week/weekend.  It’s been so long that I don’t remember everything, so here are the highlights.  We went to Eric’s friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, we found a second-run theater in a nearby town so we could see Zombieland, and we played cards with some of Eric’s friends.  I finally got to visit Denver and we went to the Museum of Nature & Science, which was pretty interesting.  And we spent Black Friday driving up into the foothills and hiking to a reservoir.

The river that we hiked along

The reservoir discharge shooting into the river - it was a steep climb up that hill!

The Ralph Price Reservoir

Erin (sporting the windblown look) and Eric in front of the reservoir

Hopefully I’ll get around to posting about our Christmas adventures before spring!
Posted by: Erin | November 24, 2009

Heading out again

In less than an hour I’ll be heading back to the lovely Detroit airport for another trip to Boulder.  There’s not much to report but I wanted to touch base before I headed out again.

The plan for this trip is to do some Christmas shopping, finally visit Denver so I can see the nearest big city to my new home (you can’t actually see Denver from the airport), go hiking in the mountains, and learn how to make mashed potatoes (one of our contributions for Thanksgiving dinner at Eric’s friend’s house).  I got a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website and it doesn’t look too hard.

Also, my camera appears to have healed itself, so I should have lots of pictures to share when I get back!

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