Thursday, December 29, 2022

Bear Claws, Bowman Lake and Beautiful Glacier National Park

Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana. August 20, 2021

This is Ray's favorite photo. For Christmas this year I got him a large canvas print of it. 

We spent about four days in beautiful Glacier National Park, hopscotching across the enormous park, staying in different hotels because that's what was available and also because it's so big. Staying in some of the nation's National Park hotels is like time traveling... you truly go back to the decor and styling of bygone eras. 

Our 8th National Park was a terrific adventure. Highlights included seeing Jackson Glacier, our stay at the Swiss-Alps-esque Many Glacier Hotel and our balcony overlooking Grinnell Peak, off-roading to Bowman Lake after a swing through the Polebridge Mercantile for bear claws and all things huckleberry. And we saw a grizzly bear. 

Pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes, all along the craggy switchbacks up and over the Continental Divide from the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

We always feel fortunate to get to see these incredible landscapes.

Interesting thing about Glacier National Park, it's not the best National Park in the U.S. to actually see a glacier, but they are there. Funny.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Ho-Ho-Ho It's the Annual Christmas Video!

Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it's that time of year again! 

We made a very special Christmas wish for kitchen storage and a first floor bathroom last year at this time. I swear mountains move more easily and quickly than this project, but after a variance hearing, demo of the old porch and a seemingly endless construction schedule, Santa delivered in time for Christmas. 

Miracle on Erie Avenue!

I have a highlight saved on my Instagram (Addition and Addition II) if you're into construction drama and before and after pics. And who isn't! 

Merry Christmas my little candy canes! Here's to a healthy and happy 2022. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Happy 11th Meet-Aversary to 'The Contender'

July 2010 at a friend's birthday party.

Today is Ray and I’s 11 year meet-anniversary! 

We met on a late Sunday morning for coffee and waffles at Coffee Emporium downtown. ☕️ Ray was living his best life in his pristine bachelor condo in the American Building (across the street from Coffee Emporium) and I was growing balcony tomatoes and riding my scooter in Hyde Park. 

I nicknamed him ‘The Contender’ to friends, because of all the dates I had been on that spring, he seemed the one with the most potential. 

He was funny, handsome and a great conversationist. He was also wearing a pea green zip-up, which I thought was an odd color choice. I asked him if he was going to run track after this. (I’m a sarcastic jerk.) 

I was wearing dance tights, a t-shirt and a mechanics jacket because I had planned to go to Dancefix at Cincinnati Ballet before we met up, but skipped it because I was too hungry and hungover because the night before I had gotten kinda crunk. I’m sure he thought my dark navy mechanic’s jacket was also an odd choice. 

We chatted and laughed the whole time. It was great. Our second date was ok - not amazing, not terrible - and then he ghosted me for two weeks! 

Well, we see who won that battle. 

These two photos are the first and most recent I could find. The first from July 2010 and the second from this past October.

So happy anniversary to The Contender! We’ll see how this goes! 

Last October, 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas, 2020! (Now Go Away)

Merry Christmas and adios to 2020, my little elves!

This is our 10th Christmas video, and true to form, the cats and the jolly ol' elf himself make an appearance. (Except he's not getting in until I see his vaccination records.) 

We always love the Christmas cards from family and friends, so this year we're honoring those with a cameo. And Santa made a naughty and nice list, and some of ya'll didn't fare so well. 

Here's hoping that 2021 is better, brighter and healthier for everyone.   


Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Country Livin': Just Call Me Half-Pint

Ray overlooks the Indiana country-side. 

A giant slug inched across the floor at our country-ish Airbnb. I mentioned to Ray that country living could be fun.


His response, incredulous:


Oh, this is just the beginning.


Let’s talk about well water, septic systems and your poop being in a tank in the backyard. Frequent power outages because they’re busy fixing the power to people in the city. Inadequate fire and EMS. Snow plows hitting your mailbox and they keep going because they don’t bother to plow your street. Mowing six acres of grass!


If we moved to the country we would start smoking and listening to conservative talk radio.


We’d HAVE to have a dog outside on a chain. I’d have to start hunting again to get provisions because town is too far away to get provisions.


I’d start calling you Half-Pint. One of us would go blind!


You think this is hyperbole but it isn’t! I lived it for the first 18-years of my life!

Guess we aren't moving to the country. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Cookies for Santa Paws

The Great Erie Avenue Bake-off. Top Baker. American's Test Kitchen, With Kittens.

Those are just a few of the working titles for this year's Christmas video, coming at you hot from our very own from scratch kitchen.* 

Ray's mom made Christmas cookies each year, though he doesn't remember ever making them with her. His favorite were the 'little itty bitty pecan pies.' His least favorite were the "barely edible candy cane things she hung on the Christmas tree. And they stayed good for like three months.'  

I also don't ever remember making Christmas cookies with my mom, but we did make homemade noodles for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is basically the same deal minus sugar. 

Needless to say, look out America's Best Baker! We got a bottle full of sugar sprinkles and some red hots and it's about to come-up Santa Claus in this kitchen! 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

*and by scratch I mean from the box of Betty Crocker cookie dough mix and bags of Duncan Hines icing goo

Sunday, July 21, 2019

There's a New Sheriff in Town

I have always dreamed that a homeless kitten would show up on my porch and demand to be let in.

Well, she's here. 

She was afraid of us at first and we thought she might be feral (I thought calling her Will Feral would be genius), but she warmed up very quickly with a full belly and a cozy bed. She's now made herself quite at home, bossing around our other cats and demanding pets and play from us.

Her name is Dolly Parton. Obviously. Because she's confident and fabulous and scrappy and proud of where she's from. (The mean streets of Hyde Park.) 

She also has a tiny rhinestone guitar, a big blonde wig and cruises around on the Roomba practicing for her upcoming tour. 

The only problem is that our intent was to foster her until she found a permanent home. 

Did we really want to be a three cat house?
How would our boys adjust?
How much cat hair can our rugs accommodate?!

I was initially determined to find her a permanent home, blasting her photos and bio out on social and among coworkers. Ray even posted on Next Door that she negotiated a lower fee at the vet and ordered the staff lunch. 

But when a coworker told me his sister wanted her, I was immediately defensive.

"Your sister? She sounds like a killer. She probably wants to send her to some animal testing facility or something. Or worse!"

"Umm... what?"

"Yeah, that's what I thought. She seems like a complete weirdo." 

"Ok, well, just let me know if you decide you actually want to get rid of her."

Another coworker, who is desperate for me to keep Dolly, chimed in on the conversation. "What do we even know about his sister?!"


"I could tell you about my sister, if you want."

We looked at him with disgust and suspicion, naturally. 

But we haven't actually decided yet. It's been only a few days since she's been out of quarantine from the basement (she had fleas and parasites, poor muffin), and we're still determining how Chuck Norris and Hunter S. Tomcat might get along with her long term. 

Thus far they've been patient and tolerant, despite her being a fearless country and western recording artist cat who repeatedly pounces on them. This is them wondering what they hell she is doing in their living room. 

Ray is decidedly in the "let's just foster" her camp. I'm more in the "but she adopted us!" camp. Either way, she is radiant and we are both quite taken by her. 

I swear we are missing only about 20 inches of trim in the basement bathroom, and somehow I captured those 20 inches perfectly.

She's already cost us a trip to the vet for a health check and and kitten food and toy shopping spree at Petco. I feel like we have to keep her now.

Things You Learn at the Hitching Post

This morning at brunch Ray told me that the first time he had 'this type' of gravy wasn't until college. 

'Up to then, I'd only ever had biscuits with squirrel gravy.'

I've never had squirrel gravy, and I am ok with that. 

We ate out a lot this weekend. We go in waves. 

We met friends Friday night and since Local Post was too crowded, we walked over to Streetside Brewery and ate there instead. It was terrific. Simple and delicious and we sat right in front of the fan at the live edge table. So it was basically like we were sitting outside with a cool breeze eating under a tree. Outdoorsy but with air conditioning. 

My kinda 'outdoorsy.'