Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No puppies on the bed....

So that's Jonathan's motto... Not mine. Kinnick sleeps with me at night, at the foot of the bed and on top of the covers. Actually, he usually gets into bed before me and lays where my legs go... Every night he lays in my spot, like one night I'm going to tell 'Oh it's okay, go ahead and sleep in the middle of the bed, I'll go to the couch!'. And when I start pushing him out of the way he looks at me like I've just ate all his dog biscuits, like he can't possibly believe that I, a lowly human, would make HIM move... It's kind of funny, it's our nightly routine. However, on the weekends that we stay at Jonathan's house, no puppies are allowed in the bed... At least when Jonathan is around! There's been a few times that I've allowed Kinnick to cuddle in Jonathan's bed and Cooper too! Shhh... Don't tell Jonathan! Sometimes they just look so cute and it's hard to resist inviting them to cuddle! For example....
Kinnick, the bed-hog... I think he thinks he's a people!

Cooper looking pretty cute while being naughty,
at least that's what Jonathan says.

The middle of the bed is the ideal sleeping location, especially
when you're not allowed on the bed!

That picture of Cooper was him lounging on the bed at the hotel in Valley City, ND last spring. Jonathan and I actually made a quick trip up North this past weekend. We ventured up to Sioux Falls/Baltic, SD for a retirement party for our friend John, who is married to Abby, who I went to SDSU with. We actually see each other every Fall at Iowa Football games as well, which is always an awesome time! Our first stop when we made it to Sioux Falls was to have lunch with Jonathan's cousin and girlfriend, who now lives in Brookings, SD (instead of ND). We went to Grille 26 and it was super yummy! After lunch we headed over to by far the classiest hotel in Sioux Falls, the Econolodge on N. Cliff. Wow... What a place! First we got stuck with a smoking room, not the end of the world since we'd only be staying one night. After we finally made it too our room (it was a maze to get there), I had to pee (naturally), so after my business was finished, I pushed the lever to flush and heard a snap but no flushing sound. Awesome... I broke the toilet. After some investigating by Jonathan, the toilet could still be flushed by sticking your hand in the nasty water in the back tank... No thanks! So I called the front desk to tell them what's up, and they offered to move us to the room next door, a smoking with a queen size bed, plus 15% off. So we took the deal, only to be called back 2 minutes later to say the room had been booked! Ugh... Jonathan got creative and used a trash bag to rig things up temporarily. The front desk clerk came to our room with a new handle and attempted to fix it. After a few minutes and some strange noises, he had to get back down to the front desk, but would be back. That was Jonathan's cue to take over and he fixed the handle with no issues! He's my hero!
Such a handy-man!

After all that we were read to party! We headed up to the DIG Stop in Baltic for John's retirement party... It was great! Probably the best pork loin I've had in a long, long time plus some ice-cold Bud Light to wash it all down with! It was a great time!! The cover band was pretty hilarious as well. After all that partying, we made a pitstop at Perkin's in the morning for breakfast and then were on the road by 11am headed back to Kansas!! 

The excitement for the weekend wasn't over yet... The highlight of the trip back to Kansas was when a turkey hit Berkey (my Highlander) about 20 miles outside of Manhattan. It could have been much worse but I slammed on the brakes in time for the turkey to almost clear Berkey. The turkey ended up hitting the roof with a very loud THUD! Upon pulling over and inspecting the damage, there was a very small dent but no turkey in sight. We probably should have turned around to find him because he would have been mighty tasty! Anyways, we picked up Kinnick and headed to Topeka since we were taking off Monday afternoon for Omaha. What's in Omaha you say? DCI! Or for you non-band geeks, Drum Corp International ( or competitive marching band... Who knew?! We headed up to Omaha with Jonathan's brother, Christopher, for the competition. We were thinking it would kind of be like 'Drumline' but it was more like the bands performing their half-time shows. It was pretty interesting, but could have been cooler. It was also pretty entertaining to see that many band-geeks in one place!lol Oh well... It was an experience! We headed out before the awards ceremony and made it back to Kansas around 1am. 
What a weekend!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

So It's Been Awhile...

Well it's been a few weeks since I've last posted, I've been busy with school and nothing that exciting has happened... But oh well.

We had a pretty laid back 4th of July, we went over to Jonathan's Aunt and Uncle's house for a parade in the am and burgers on the grill for lunch. We also celebrated his Grandmother's 89th birthday! After hanging out there for awhile we headed home to rest up for fireworks that night! We headed over to Lake Shawnee for fireworks and then called it a night. Not too exciting, but 4th of July in the middle of the week isn't all that fun when you have to work the next day.

So I joined Pinterest and I pin every now and then... Well more often that... Okay... Pretty much every day, usually multiple times a day... I'm OBSESSED! And my addiction is only getting worse! I try to limit my time on Pinterest to once a day but it's hard, it's like checking Facebook... But worse... I'm sure there's got to be a 12 step program to help but I'm not ready to give it up. But anyways, I've found some pretty solid ideas, recipes, tips, etc. It's amazing and starting to fuel my DIY addiction as well. First it started with just recipes and trying those out (I've found some really good ones and some God-awful ones) but it's growing. First, it started with the wine bottle DIY ideas, making a lamp from a wine bottle and Christmas lights for my Mom, like this. It turned out pretty well (I forgot to take a picture before I sent it to her), but I now have an abundance of wine bottles since we had Christopher (Jonathan's brother) start saving them from work, he's a bartender. Luckily, I found this idea, using them as landscape edging, instead of the crappy black stuff. And because I've got a massive crater next to my black edging, it shouldn't be too difficult to insert the bottles. It wasn't, I finally tried it out last night with a few bottles, which ended up including liquor bottles but I think it adds character, pictures to come. I made curtains for Jonathan's kitchen window and french doors, they're almost finished so pictures to come. I've also got the fabric purchased for my own curtains (the fabric alone was half the price of buying pre-made curtains, so I'm hoping they look good). It'll be nice to finally have curtains in my living room, since I've only lived in my house for over 2 years now and the curtain rod has been up for almost that long! I also started a 'memory' jar of the things Jonathan and I have done together, movie stubs, concert ticket stubs, hotel room keys, etc, which I based off this blog. I was also pretty excited about this organization tip, from Better Homes and Gardens, which is pretty brilliant! I remembered to take a picture of that one, see below.
I mean how genius is that? Look at all that extra space! Although, I think my pantry still needs some help! These are my two shelves, I won't even show you Sarah's (my room mate) or the bottom communal shelf... Eek!

Well that's about all I have time for, I need to get back to work (so I can graduate!) and no I won't be on Pinterest... I've already pinned the new stuff this morning and I'm trying to implement the new rule of checking only once during the work day, after 6pm, watch out!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Country Stampede 2012!!

Well Country Stampede time has rolled around again in Manhattan. Initially, Jonathan and I had planned to purchase tickets to partake in the 4-days of fun but we never got around to it and ticket prices jumped up to $85 a day or $150 for the weekend. Luckily, one of Jonathan's friends were selling a pair of tickets with a parking pass and $40 in food vouchers for only $150. We couldn't pass up the opportunity and we were ready to sweat our butts off for the weekend! We headed out on Thursday night around 7pm to see The Farm and Luke Bryan. After waiting in line for what seemed like forever, we were finally in! We ended up only seeing the end of The Farm but got to see Luke Bryan's entire show. I didn't think it was too bad, not to mention how hot Luke Bryan is...Wowzers!! We decided to pack up and leave right as the encore was starting, since I had to work in the morning and I was freezing! Who would have thought it would cool off that much at night, I think the rain storm the night before helped with that. 
On Friday Jonathan hung out with me at school for a few hours in the morning to work. We headed over to the Mexican Restaurant in the Mexican Grocery Store for lunch... It wasn't too bad and pretty cheap. After a few more hours of work and a quick nap we headed back out to Tuttle for Friday Night's festivities. We made it in time to hear the end of Steve Holy's performance, followed by Travis Tritt. Man, is Travis getting old but he can still jam pretty good! After Travis was Zac Brown Band and they put on an awesome show!! At first, I couldn't really see much but then Jonathan and I switched spots so I could actually see the stage and ZBB killed it!! The show was about over and I was a little bit disappointed they hadn't played my favorite song, 'Colder Weather' but then it came on! They did a great job! Totally worth sitting in the hot sun waiting for them to come on! After sitting in the parking lot forever, we headed back to Topeka for the night.
Come on ZBB!!
Saturday morning we hopped on the bike and headed over to Helen's Hilltop in Tonganoxie for the BACA Biker Bash. We arrived just in time for a small storm to stir up. Luckily, it brought only wind with a few sprinkles. The Biker Bash was pretty fun and we got to see a lot of our new BACA friends and the best part is we found out our prints and background checks finally came in! We can now start interacting with kids and begin the patching process... So stay tuned for that! We headed back to Manhattan in the early afternoon for Round 3 of Stampede! And wow was it hot by the time we got back to Manhattan... I don't think I've ever sweat that much before in my life while just sitting in one place! We had our lawn chairs planted just in time to see Jerrod Niemann start his performance. We were really starting to roast and decided it was a good time to investigate the straw hat situation at Stampede. I found a pretty sweet straw hat and Jonathan found a sexy white cowboy hat. He looks so hot in it! He was followed by Brantley Gilbert, who was amazing!!! He tore it up! And since they couldn't afford a fiddle player yet, they performed 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' with the electric guitar and it was awesome!! He put on a great show and really got everyone ready for the headliner, Toby Keith. Toby did an okay job, he had fire, which Jonathan really enjoys, but he didn't sing the best. I'm not a huge Toby Keith song, so I wasn't thinking it would be all that great. We decided to cut out early and head back to Topeka that night since we wouldn't be partaking in the Sunday activities. John Michael Montgomery and The Band Perry was Sunday and since we were both over sweating our butts off, we weren't coming back. Instead, we slept in, grilled out for lunch and met up with Jonathan's aunt and uncle for supper, who were in town from North Dakota. 
Rockin it on Round 3 of Country Stampede
All in all it was great weekend! I got a little bit of a tan and we got to hangout with some of Jonathan's family!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kinnick, the Dog Toy Tester

UPDATE!! So here's the latest picture of the red squid... Poor guy!

So it's been awhile since I've posted, I think I'm finally recovered from my trip to Germany and Switzerland... It was the best time ever!! And I can't believe all the stuff we saw! I've pretty much locked myself up to get some writing done the last few weeks, I've been working on a proceedings paper for the presentation I'll be giving at ASABE at the end of July in Dallas and a proposal for more funding to finish out my pyrosequencing. I pretty much hate writing and no matter how hard I try to work on things in advance I just never get it done. I do my best work under pressure I guess. Oh well...

Now to funner things... I signed Kinnick up to be a dog toy tester on It's kind of a sweet deal... You sign-up to be a tester and they send you whatever toy you want at half price. Since Kinnick seems to destroy every toy he gets in a matter of minutes, I figured this was a cheaper way to keep him entertained. Well the first toy arrived yesterday and it didn't go so well. I picked a toy that they rated a 9 out of 10 on the 'tuff' scale. It also happened to be a stuffed toy so how it ever got a rating above a 3 is beyond me. They've never met Kinnick and if they had they would definitely need to re-evaluate their scale. But anyways, he tried it out. After about 20 minutes the stuffing started flying and the red squid had lost a tentacle or two. Kinnick seemed to love it though! I would say after about 45 minutes the squid was fully gut-ed and de-tentacled.
The Red Squid, 9 on the tuff scale

So far, so good

What? I have no idea how that tentacle came off!

After 20 minutes, this squid has a big headache!

Who needs stuffing?

Or tentacles for that matter?

Kinnick 1, Red Squid 0

The morning after

Well at least he had a good time... We'll see what next month brings!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 16- The Journey Back to Kansas!!

Well after sightseeing around the Black Forest Region and a wonderful dinner in Dr. Maier's home town, we were already to head back to the States. After dinner, the packing party began! Amazingly, I almost fit all my stuff in my suitcase... Except for my old purse (since I wanted to carry home my fancy new one) and my coat! Kyle graciously offered to take on my old purse and coat as padding for his suitcase. Before you knew it I was up at 3am (local Villingen time, Kansas time 8pm Sunday night) and attempting to get ready to head to the airport in Zurich. Apparently, at the hotel we stayed at they shut off the hot water so I took by far the coldest, quickest shower I have ever taken in my life. I was packed and ready to go by 3:30am, which was kind of a bummer since we weren't leaving for the airport until 4:30am! April and I were waiting, with our luggage, in the hotel lobby by 4am and scavaging around for lights and any breakfast leftovers. Luckily, the hotel owner showed up shortly after to rescue the day and turned on the coffee machine! Next thing we knew we were off on a rainy drive to Zurich! The van drivers dropped us off at the door and turned the rental vans back in quickly. A rather awkward trip through Delta pre-security, ticketing and baggage check, where my suitcase was 5kg over! I managed to remove some papers from Buhler and souvenir cuckoo clocks to be underweight. We began our 20 minute walk to the gate but first swung through customs with no issues. We arrived at the gate with plenty of time to grab a bite to eat before the 9-10 hour flight home. The flight wasn't too bad and I was able to sleep a majority of the way, except for the occasional wake up for food!lol This plane wasn't as nice as the flight over as we didn't have our own person tv's but I was able to watch part of a couple of movies as I dozed off and on. Before we knew it we were in Atlanta! We were able to pick up our bags, go through US customs and re-check our bags in no time flat! The 5 hour layover was a little boring but there happened to be a Krystal's Burger stand right next to our gate!! The chicken sandwich sliders were just as amazing as the last time I had them on Bourbon Street at 4am! A slight flight delay and plane switch and we were off to KCI! It was quite a trip and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!!! The faculty planning this trip did an amazing job and definitely kept us busy!!
Dave, Jen, April and P. Kitty patiently waiting in ATL

Beautiful flowers arranged by Jonathan, waiting for me when we got home!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 15- Sunday... Sightseeing in the Black Forest!

So today started off pretty soggy and remained that way for most of the day. We started to day by going to the world's largest cuckoo clock! It was pretty interesting, we then headed over to the glass blowing museum. Sarah G was even so brave to blow her own glass vase! Very neat, next up some souvenir shops and the luge! The luge is basically go karts on a rail! It was so fun! Most of us road down twice!! And why not for only 1.30 euros! Next we did some more sightseeing around the area with a little shopping.

Kyle trying out some local apparel

Sampling the local schnapps and bitters

Dave playing digger at the luge

My speed racer for the first trip down the luge

Hard to see but that's the luge track

Cockoo clock!!

Motorcycle themed cockoo clock

Inside the world's largest cockoo clock!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 14-Saturday... Villingen, Germany

After a relaxing night in Villingen, Germany, we headed out to do some sightseeing in the area. We started with a tour of one of the oldest flour mills in Germany! This mill has been in operation for over 500 years. It was run by monks but then was purchased by a local family and is still a family run business. To help grow the business the family added a bakery, which also supplies almost 20 other bakeries in the area with specialty breads and pastries. The view from the top of the mill was amazing! It was also really neat to see how a family run mill is operated and amazing to see how well the old equipment still runs! After a thorough tour of the mill we headed over to the bakery for a tour and sampling! We tried a number of amazing breads!
Top of the mill

Stream outside of the mill

The yummy baked goods we sampled!

After the mill and bakery tour we headed over to the farmer's market taking place in the city center of Villingen. Villingen was originally completely surrounded by a wall made of stones and house/buildings. As the town grew, people began building outside the wall, but inside the wall remains the lifeline of the town. Our hotel was just outside the wall! The farmer's market was amazing... We say a large variety of different fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and wine for sale, especially erdbeere and spargel (strawberries and asparagus). We wondered around the farmer's market but soon ventured out to the other shops on the hunt for Birkenstock sandals! We wondered all over and even found a Mexican restaurant, but no fun Birkenstocks. A little disappointing but kept some euros in our pockets! We did swing by the local grocery store to check out some flour prices and prices of other random items. We discovered it's cheaper to buy beer than water or soda/pop. I did purchase some schnitzel, jager schnitzel and hollandaise sauce packets to bring home for when I'm craving schnitzel!
1 kg bag of flour for 0.89 euro or
about 2 pounds for $1.11

2.5kg bag for 1.99 euro or
 about 5 pounds for $2.49

I'm not sure what type this is, but it's a lot cheaper

Can't forget the dog food, about
8 pounds for $12.48, ouch!

After a quick nap after the farmer's market a few of us headed over to a 'fair' that was in town. This wasn't your typical Iowa, Nebraska or Kansas State or County fair. It was very different, it was more like an expo with things for sale or on display that ranged from wood pellet stoves to solar panels to pots and pans to lawn tractors to kids toys. It was amazing all the stuff they had to see! I was most excited about the large, round bale wrappers and unwrappers... They were so cool! And would have been so nice to use for my research! Now I know why they have some many wrapped bales out in the fields (or as I called them bale marshmallows or I heard another call them dragon poop) of Germany and Switzerland! They also had beer gardens around every corner! So of course we sampled the local Pilsner!
Outdoor fire pit

Jacuzzi time!

Can't forget the John Deere with the mini deck

ZTR German style

Bale wrapper

Bale wrapper again

Bale unwrapper!!

Tonight the students were on their own! So, besides the protest of P. Kitty who wanted a kebap, we headed over to the Mexican Restaurant we spotted earlier, for supper. It was by far the most interesting Mexican food I've ever had. I had the enchilada sampler, which included a lima bean and peas enchilada, a shrimp enchilada and a ground beef enchilada all served with rice. It wasn't bad, it was just interesting! Next, we ventured over to an Irish Pub for some Guinness, which was very delicious. We continued on on our bar crawl to the next bar we found, we happened to be the only patrons but we had fun. Here Mark and Dave met up with us and decided we should probably head back to the Irish Pub, which was a good choice. After a few more beers we were ready to head to our home away from home!
Sarah M. even finished a beer all by herself with no help!

The prices were right!