Thursday, October 29

More space!

I have no idea if I can put shelves up in our apartment, but I really really want to. These floor to ceiling shelves (via Bliss) get me in the mood to copy them. And I could have all my books out! Hum...I wish I had a circular saw.

I'm leaving Champaign after another lovely four days with my family. It has been a happy world of time with my niece and nephew and then time with Dan. I'm not used to so much time with people I love so much. But practice makes perfect!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 27

Hopes up, and then right back down

I have a condo I'm trying to rent out. I got lucky this summer and had a great lady living there from March through August. Now, I'm about to start month three of it being unoccupied.

I had someone email me from a posting on craigslist. I drive up from Carbondale on Sunday, do some last minute sprucing and organizing, and it goes great! He says he loves it and wants to go ahead with the paperwork. He has his own furniture and I proceed to jump through big hoops to find room for the couch, chairs, bed, dresser and bench he would like me to remove.

I said I would get back to him in 24-48 hours to sign the lease if his credit check goes through, and all seems fine. I got so excited to have this huge weight taken off my shoulders!

I sign on to my email to give him an update the next morning, only to find a message from him that he wouldn't be needing the apartment.


I shouldn't get so excited. This is just part of the process. I know. I'm still bummed.

Monday, October 26

My nephew, the photographer

Ben and I went to a new indoor play ground today. It. Was. Awesome. A huge play structure with slides and things to climb pretty much everywhere. We spent a good two hours there, which with a two-year-old's attention span, is proof enough for me that it is a good design.

After, I introduced Ben to my world. the world of coffee. I thought I could handle high energy, what with dealing with the Medici for a good while. I drank quite a bit of coffee then, but I feel now that it was a convenience. Can't they find a way to bottle toddler energy?

But the coffee shop. I filled up the new cup I'm toting around (Bright red with a picture of an iron worker on the side, from my dad. Thanks dad!), Ben wanted to sit and enjoy the environment for a bit. I pulled out my camera for him to play with, and below are some of the shots he took. Most of them were of the table, but once he figured out he could point it other directions (!) he started getting really excited.

Because of the day, I'm planning on keeping a file of his shots, for nostalgia sake. I'm sure his point of view will produce some entertainment, if not a few worth putting up on the wall.

And this last shot is from tonight. Jeremiah brought his guitar out and we all had a nice time finding chords to Ben's favorite songs - Farmer in the Dell, Twinkle Twinkly Little Star, You Are My Sunshine, Are You Sleeping Brother John?

After there was some Dad Climbing. Ben was scaling the side of Miah before getting whipped around and tickled. I love happy kids! Cecilia, of course, is just hangin' out.

And should we take a poll? How many people remember having those number/letter magnets on their fridge as a kid?

Friday, October 23

Pecan Pie

For some reason Dan is afraid I won't be able to keep myself busy in the interim between Nanny time and the start of what ever new job I end up getting. "I'll be fine! I have lots of things I can do! Have I ever been bored when I've been here?" That is a big, fat, no.

Today was fun for me. I continued to unpack the things I brought down. My clothes are thankful to be on hangers again, after a year of being boxed up. My dad bought both my sister and I a copy of the cookbook The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen. The title is a bit frightening, but the book is actually quite good even for non-farm girls. Lots of great recipes, of course, but also craft projects, like aprons, utensil holding jars, cookbook sleeves, and other things that add a bit of cute to a kitchen. (I am not planning on adding said cute to our kitchen.)

There wasn't much food in the house when I showed up, so today was the great shopping adventure, which ended in a lunch of tortellini and sausage soup (which came out of the cookbook). Dinner also. As Dan was worrying about how I would stay busy (silly boy), we started talking about pie, and he said he would sponsor a pie adventure. And thus, because of the truck loads of pecans my father gave me last spring, I made my first pecan pie.

I made note of some things I'd change, but Dan assured me it would get eaten. I said I would start thinking about adding pie to my future coffee shop menu. That idea was well received as well. I'm not a big fan of fruit pies, so those of you who know good ones will have to help me there, but I'm excited to try my hand at coconut cream, key lime, and maybe a meringue. Strawberry rhubarb perhaps? Blackberry? This could get out of control pretty quick, I can see that now. I've just added a new position to my payroll and I haven't even found the spot I want it yet.

Get me started thinking about my shop and that in itself will keep me occupied for days!

Wednesday, October 21


Photos! Finally, right?

This is my dad holding Cecilia, his newest granddaughter.

Me and CeciliaMy brother, Jeremiah, with his adorable kids, Benjamin and Cecilia.

I've really loved hanging out with Ben. He's two, and all about it. "I do it!" comes out of his mouth pretty reliably, but with some patience his wrinkled brow turns back into a sunshine smile pretty quick.

Today was library day. A good hour with toys, books, and the great wide Out There. After was the park. Parks and kids are like peanut butter and jelly.

Sunday, October 18

I'm back in the world of the connected

What a great weekend in Bloomington! I got to see so many people, starting Wednesday evening at my welcome back party, then all weekend I was happy to catch up with lots of friends.

There was a little snag in the adventure as Wednesday night, sometime after leaving Lunkers, but before getting to my car, I lost my wallet (a span of less than 5 minutes and maybe 150 yards.) However, that was after a great gathering of people from many parts of my life here in Illinois. To be honest, I was totally overwhelmed by how many people showed, and felt bad that I didn't talk to everyone at the length that I wanted to before leaving to later obligations. But thanks everyone for coming! BN folks, Medici folks, ISU peeps, Coffee Hound family and those that came into my world through a friend of a friend of a friend - It was awesome!

Lunkers was the slower side of the night, with just a handful of people gathered to chat, sing a little karaoke, and drink some beers.

Then the weekend!

I love October for various reasons but in recent years, I've come to love the crossover from baseball to football. We get fall colors, cooler temperatures, baseball playoffs, football start ups, BBQs, homecomings, and to tie it all together, cute scarfs to top it off. Friday, I got most of those, as Val hosted an evening of Yankee/Angel playoff action. Who doesn't love sitting in a cozy basement drinking beer, snacking, and watching baseball? You know you do!

Saturday was more baseball. Quality time with Dan. Seeing Danny and David. Seeing John again, only at his new job (Yay John!). I decided it would be a good idea to meet Alex at 6:15 and cheer on the runners in this year's Town and Gown 5k. Silly Ariel! It was freezing! Alex and I stayed warm by dishing out hot plates of sarcasm to each other. Tell you what, that a few chuckles only gets you so far against mother nature.

Sunday was more Dan, coffee, football (!!!), Kristy, Alex, and a health dose of nap time thrown in the middle there somewhere.

And as you can tell, I'm posting an update, but what you can't see is that it's on my computer! Oliver has risen from the dead with the help of Jonathan, my super ninja computer friend that offered to just wipe the whole hard drive and reinstall the necessary drivers and programs. Yessssss!!!! It is so nice to turn it on and not have a million warning messages telling me - in as many words - that my computer is in the process of self destruction. Oliver just happily hums along now. Eager to do my bidding. I'm starting to really understand the power of knowing the right people.

Dan went back to Carbondale today. He was nice enough to come up this weekend and bring my passport so I had an identity again, and some things I forgot before leaving for Miah and Jessie's last week. I leave for Champaign tomorrow morning for four more days of playing with the kiddos. Sadly, Dad is leaving Illinois tomorrow morning, but I'm glad I get to see him one more time. I don't know when I'll see him next. I'm not planning any long road trips for my near future, that's for sure. : )

The only other exciting piece of news is that along with fixing my computer, Jonathan let me borrow a camera he had laying around, so I will be able to load photos of my life, both in Champaign and in Carbondale. You should see it! And you will!

Ok. Enough about me.

Tuesday, October 13

Bugs are fun

Apparently, Ben hasn't been a big fan of creepy crawly things. I'm happy to say I showed him a fun side of insect world today. I introduced the rollie pollie bug!

During outside playtime #2 for the day, we tried out Ben's new shoes in a damp corner of the yard where there is a stump slowly decaying. There were a couple sticks laying around, so we did what any respectable babysitter/toddler would do - we started smacking the tar out of the stump. Bits of if flew all over the place - it having been there for quite sometime - and the bugs were a plenty!

There is nothing quite like poking bugs and watching them roll up to protect themselves. Ben had never willingly held a bug before today. Hopefully I haven't started something I'll get in trouble for later.

The neighbor kids came over too and all four of us had a great time smacking and whacking the stump. Good ol' country fun in the middle of Champaign.

And it's official. I'm out of practice with the nanny stuff. I am tired!

Monday, October 12

Speaking of pictures

I am raiding my dad's computer for any pictures he's taken that I may want. I came across one he took of me as I was leaving for Alaska in March. Awesome!

And have you ever seen my brother Josh? Here ya go! He's coming back from China on the 18th of this month, and I think he's planning on coming to IL before he leaves for St. Petersburg in December. Maybe you'll see a more recent picture soon.

Yay for pictures!

What to do with this blog now...

So friends, what do I do with this blog now that I'm not in Alaska anymore?

I moved to Carbondale on my return to Illinois. Well, I'm in the process of moving anyway. My plans got a little postponed as I am working four days a week in Champaign, but still. I am moving away from Bloomington/Normal is the big change. With that in mind, I won't be able to see a lot of the people that my blog was originally started for, so I say, I will keep going with my blog. It probably won't be as adventure-filled (if you call the ramblings of my tourism filled life an adventure), but it will be from me. It will be my letter to you, whoever you are, letting you know what's up.

Do I change the name? No. That seems to complicated. I probably will change the set up (again) and when I get a camera, I'll be sure to get more pictures loaded. Pronto! I'll have access to my dad's for another week, so I can get you some images of my life here in Champaign as a nanny.

Speaking of nanny-ing...

Day 1 was today! It was more of a reunion/meeting of the family, as Miah and Jessie were both home for the majority of the day. Dad and I went out to lunch while The Four went to Miah's office for a little party to celebrate the end of a project and to show off Cecilia.

My dad loves Bob Evans. Loves it! When ever he comes to town now, we eat there at least twice. He can't get enough of their biscuits. I've got to find a way to keep them fresh and send him some. Preferably in bulk, as Dad doesn't get on board for anything, unless it is done in bulk fashion. The man is a gem.

Cecilia is about the easiest baby I have been with. She is happy to sit and watch the world. When her pants need changed, she makes a little fuss, but once she's dry, she's good. Put some food in her every few hours, and she's like a little bobble head. Happy and cute! Soon she'll have the muscles to hold that cute little head up, but for now we're all enjoying her completely.

Benjamin will be fun. Two years old and tons of energy. We went for a walk, played in the yard, played with trains, read some books... after a few more days of him getting comfortable with me, we'll go to the library for story time and start some play groups. And craft! He has so much playdoh - even I'm excited to make oodles of colored noodles and punch outs!

I'll get some picts snapped here tomorrow or the next day.

Wednesday night Kristy is throwing me a welcome home party in Blo/No, so be excited for me for that too. I can't wait to see everyone!

Nanny Ariel, signing off.

Friday, October 9

I have a full day of Carbondale life under my belt. It feels so good.

The house is so cute! Dan had drawn the floor plan for me, and Linda sent some photos when they first looked through it, but there was so much more to see in person. I'll get pictures up some time so you can see it.

I got into town at 10:30 on Wednesday night. There was a moment when I was in Kansas City, MO. when I realized I didn't change the clock on my GPS, so I had two more hours of driving than I thought. Two more hours - not really a very much if you consider the entire trip I was just on. But it was rough. From Three hours left to five. Ouch.

A surprise I didn't understand the full scope of was the tomato plants outside and the bountiful harvest they have provided. The entire dish drying rack was filled with tomatoes! Overflowing! And that was even after Dan had made an army size bowl of bruschetta. Maybe homemade sauce? Salsa?

The cats have settled well. In the bathroom there is a weird storage nook/shelf/carpeted step area that we've deemed their space. They sit in a little cubby window and look outside. They race up and down. They chase each other. They are happy cats.

In other news, a few days ago I got a phone call from my brother, Miah, in short, asking if I'd be interested in being Benjamin's nanny until they can find a long term replacement. I said yes. Monday I'll be driving to Champaine to start that. Four days on, three days off. I'll drive back and forth the two cities for a little while. It won't be any longer than the end of the semester (so December 16th-ish). They put an add for help also, and if they want me to end sooner, I don't have a problem with that.

I'm off. I have a date with a bowl of stew, maybe some baseball, and my Dan.

The job hunt is thus on but off.

Saturday, October 3

Portland fun with the family

My assignment today was to take pictures of Adam and Ciara for their 8 year anniversary of their first date. Cute right?

We went down town and did the deed, which is always a bit more painful for Adam than the rest of us. He is cursed with a plastic smile. He gets teased about it, he teases himself about it, it happens, and life goes on. I was hoping to have a photo turn out where he was looking natural, but I wasn't going to have my heart broken if it didn't work. I mean, I'm not a professional (I'm not really even an amature!) so the bar was set pretty low. Here are some that came out. I was glad there was more than one Ciara liked, as she is the reason this whole rodeo went down.

They don't look like senior pictures! Yay!

Mom and Ciara are off a the Portland Ballet at the moment watching the legendary Barishnikov. Tomorrow Mom and I will drive to Spokane, Monday I'll do some stuff for Dad, and Tuesday I'm heading for Carbondale.

Thursday, October 1

Out of Alaska

Here is the break down for the driving time line:

Monday 6am - left Juneau on ferry

M2pm - arrive in Skagway, off ferry

M 230pm - leave Skagway with full tank of gas and hot coffee from the smoothie shop

M 7pm - Hit gross snow storm outside of Car cross and drive two and a half hours at about 25-30 mph white knuckled thinking I'm an idiot for driving through BC by myself, at the beginning of the snow season, without checking the weather report. *super glad I didn't fall off the side of the mountain, and that my car runs partly on my belief in it's gumption*

M 930pm - stop at Hyw 2/37 junction to detach my hands from the steering wheel, get gas and thank the road gods for getting safely to a parking lot with working toilets.

M 10pm-Tuesday 2am - sleep in the car

T 2am-7am - Drive

T 7am-10am - Sleep in my car

T 10am - Wednesday 1230am - Drive, drive, drive, with stops for the needed gas, coffee, and leaving the very uncomfortable sitting position my car seat puts my body in.

W 1230am - Stop in Williams Lake to have hash browns and chamomile tea at Denny's

W 130am-330am - Drive

W 330am-830am - Sleep in my car

W 830am- 145pm - Drive, cross into the US!

W 145pm - meet with Ericka and Hilary in Bellingham to give them their box of stuff I carried in my car. Went to the Bagelry, Whimsey (a jewelry store), a pottery shop (found a new mug!), and the Colophon Cafe for road coffee

W 245pm - 745pm - Drive

W 745 pm - Arrive at Ciara and Adam's in Portland!

Along the way I listened to a YA novel called Going Bovine and a fiction book called Hey Nostradamus! I don't recommend the second, but Going Bovine was an interesting combination of a coming of age/quest/Don Quixote/Alice in Wonderland mixture. The main character get Mad Cow disease and goes out to find his cure with the help of an enchanted yard gnome, who is really the son of a Norse god, and a guardian punk angel, complete with pink spiked hair and combat boots.

Ciara and I took it easy today. She dropped off some paperwork to sub-teach in a school district and we stopped at a great shop called Cork, where we picked up some awesome beer for Adam (and I got some to take home to Dan), and orange chocolate. Ciara and Adam have been together 8 years today - and those were treats to celebrate the journey.

Baxter still has an upset stomach. Too much change too quick. We're keeping him in Ciara's guest room to keep the stress low, and I'm limiting his food intake, as he is gorging himself. The little dude got pretty messed up on his wild adventure. The car ride probably isn't helping either.

Mom shows up tomorrow. Sunday we leave for Spokane. Wednesday morning I leave for IL. I keep trimming my leaving day back and back. Maybe I'll leave Tuesday... I just want to get there already!

Sorry no pictures. No camera has made the last few posts a bit boring for you. I'm hoping I can remedy that in a week or so.

More later!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...