Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Needs the Macy's?

Last night was Cheyenne's Christmas parade and I wasn't about to miss it!

It was a lot of fun - and pretty impressive. There were lots of floats - all of which were decked out in Christmas lights - and Santa at the end.

Overall a very enjoyable, albeit cold, night!

A sampling of the night...

Here they come...!

A little piece of Western heritage...a lighted covered wagon. Just like they did in the old days...

Of course I HAD to have this picture! There's a Harley Club of day...

The Grinch for mom...I think he's scary looking here...

Rudolf the red-nosed RV. If you look closely you can see the antlers by the side mirrors...

An old decked out tractor...

A mini train that snaked its way down the road...

Apparently, the area high schools have a snow scraper decorating contest each year. When you see these you know Santa's just around the bend!

And voila! There he is...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Gym

Today, I FINALLY joined a gym.

I already feel so much better and more motivated just knowing I now have someplace to go.

For years, I belonged to the Thomas Circle Sports Club in D.C., which I absolutely love, love, loved. Since quitting my membership there I've "belonged" to a couple other gyms: using Carrie's membership at the club in Vail, and signing up for, but never using, a membership at the Laramie Rec Center.

After months of talking about signing up, but never following through, I was finally fed up. I went and signed my lazy butt self away.

It's not within walking distance like my beloved TCSC, but it's super nice. And, might I add, for all its amenities is super cheap!

I can get over not being just a few blocks away.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grotesquely full.

Hope you are too!

A white(ish) Thanksgiving in Laramie...

The table (and Sam) pre-gobble...

A gathering ain't a gathering without a little bubbly...

Linds' turkey before...

...and with a carving consultation from Rachel Ray...

Linds' turkey after...

Sam's Thanksgiving centerpiece...

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lesson Learned

So, I just had a lesson in why I should lock my doors when I'm not here, which I've been pretty lax in doing, because - I can.

I was sitting on my couch when suddenly my front door opened.

I said hello and went towards the door, and standing on my front steps was a girl who looked about as confused as I probably did. She was looking for a salon (which is next door) that she apparently had an appointment at.

She explained that and started apologizing, backing out of my door as she did so.

It was fine and kind of funny, but I wonder how many other people think my place is a business. I think I'll keep my door locked more often so I don't have to find out.

Monday, November 24, 2008

End of the Line

Today I got my 2008 White House Christmas tree ornament in the mail, and it is beautiful.

It's also significant because it is the last White House ornament I will order.

Each year, I get my White House ornament through my old Senator's office. I've got one for just about every year I was in D.C. I went ahead and ordered one this year because I was there for part of it, but after this, no more.

I want my ornaments to really represent that time of my life. I want them to have sentimental value and meaning. If I just kept ordering them - like pretty much anyone could - they wouldn't stand for anything important like they do now.

Since this will be the first year I've had my own tree I expect it to be a little skimpy on ornaments. But that's ok, because it won't be skimpy on meaning!

Friday, November 21, 2008

AgXpo Extravaganza

My coworker Matt and I are spending all weekend at the AgXpo in Casper, Wyo., for work. Our Agribusiness Division hosts this "ag"travaganza each year and Matt and I were asked to come along to shoot some video and stills.

It's going to be livestock and tractors all weekend long!

These guys are such characters. Check out the mop on his head! And I love how he's kind of like, "Yeah, you read right. I'm an alpaca."

Well, hello there!

I have a new friend or pet or something in this lil' lady. She really got her moo on at one point. I have titled this photo, Last Moo, since I clicked it as she let one last, long one out.

She was totally into me. Maybe it's because I had this tasty food pellet in my hand. I attempted to feed her unsuccessfully a few times and just ended up getting slimed. Check out my hand...

Finally, success! We are now best friends.

From the youth talent show Friday night...

Cows crack me up. I can't help but give them (and pretty much all animals) human personalities. These are bouncers saying, "You're not welcome here." Not like I haven't heard that before...

And this guy...

...thought he could be sneaky...

Does Wyoming have a problem with dogs trying to break into human establishments or something? See here also...

Fine, then!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Office Antics and a Random Comment

When I worked for the Senator I was the office photographer. I took tons of stupid, crazy, funny pictures of all the stupid, crazy, funny things people did in the office. And there was lots of that going on!

I'm happy that in my new job we also have "office antics." I haven't formally started documenting them - until today.

I was inspired when I came back from lunch and this random back scratcher was sticking like a creepy skeleton arm out of my desk drawer. Still don't know who's responsible for this...

Here's a picture of a picture of me that is now hanging on our marketing shop wall. It's from pumpkin picking this year. Another colleague took precious time out of their busy day to make it...

No idea which coworker this mug belongs to, but I seriously wanted to just take it. And I must go to Dirty Sally's. Must.

And this might be my favorite. If you are an animal rights activist you might not want to look. The same demented colleague who made the pumpkin photo "slaughtered" this poor foam animal a while back. Somehow Matt, my office mate, was able to produce the crime scene tape. He still won't say how. He's sketchy like that...

Ok, my random comment that pretty much everyone already knows: A bagel with cream cheese and lox (and tomatoes, capers and onions) is maybe my most favorite dish in the universe. It brings me complete and total happiness. After my ghetto Beaujolais celebration last night this sandwich was all my tummy desired. Bliss...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Beaujolais Nouveau!

Right now, on the third Thursday of November, people everywhere are celebrating the release of Beaujolais Nouveau!

Beaujolais Nouveau is an old fashioned, French peasant wine that is derived from an early, unfermented harvest. Why do I care on my Trails West website, you ask?

Well, because D.C., makes a big ordeal out of this event. French restaurants everywhere in town get their shipment of Beaujolais early, even though French law states Beaujolais must not be uncorked until at least midnight of the third Thursday of November.

Each year, I bring a group of no less than 15 to Bistro du Coin (Quwah) in Dupont Circle, D.C. We eat French food at the late seating, mill around for an hour or so, and then party it up for the Beaujolais release at midnight. Inevitably, the mayor of D.C., always kicks off the city's Beaujolais events at our lil' bistro. After he uncorks the first bottle a disco ball drops down, a French DJ starts up, and the bar starts passing out free bottles of Beaujolais for the "peasants" to enjoy.

And boy do we. This year, the lady that takes reservations for the Bistro actually emailed me to let me know her plans for this year. I, shamefully, forgot tonight was the big night until a friend emailed me lamenting my absence at the Bistro this year.

Reminded, I was on a mission: I called two French restaurants in Ft. Collins, Colo., and three liquour stores in Cheyenne to find out if there were any Beaujolais events anywhere. The answer being "no" I decided to put together my own impromptu Beaujolais Nouveau event.

It was rather ghetto in comparison to the pre-drinks at the Russia House and the fancy- schmancy French food we'd get at the Bistro.

I did the best I could: I bought a cheap bottle of French red without even reading the label, made French toast bites, and cut a loaf of French baguette into slices for bread and butter.


But it was something. I celebrated Beaujolais, darn it. And still am - seeing as how it's only half past uncorking time in good ol' Wyo.

Beaujolais c'est arrive!

Annie, my coworker, and her husband Don who I knew in college helped me celebrate. Yes, I know my walls are bare:

French toast for my guests:

What I finally resorted to buying as a cheap French red:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Round, Round, Get Around - I Get Around

In D.C., it is easier and most times necessary to just walk everywhere.

In Wyoming it is not. Everything here is too spread out and there isn't a major transit system in town to take you where you want to go.

But I still do it. Particularly since I don't live that far from downtown or my office. Walking just seems logical to me.

Friends here have commented or asked about my desire to, "just walk there." I get a lot of "Crimeny, Kim," or "Why do you want to walk everywhere?" Well, because getting in a car to drive three blocks doesn't register in my brain.

I was thinking about all this on my walk home from work tonight. When I would normally be one of hundreds walking after work, I was one of, well maybe the only one, walking that wasn't headed to a car.

Admittedly, walking doesn't always work out for me like I hope it to. I always start my morning with the goal to walk to work that day, but usually only accomplish it on my way back from lunch. That's because walking makes the most sense when you aren't perpetually late for work...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More from My Home on the Range

I just looked out my newly curtained bedroom window to see a breathtaking sunset.

I never, ever get tired of the sunsets out here and we've been having lots of really pretty ones lately. You should probably expect a lot more of these sunset/sunrise pics because I just can't get enough of them.

These pics from my front stoop just don't do it justice...

Home on the Range Happenings

Today has been a big day - around the ol' homestead anyway.

After starting my day with a nice run and a skim latte from my favorite coffee shop (and talking to a random hitchhiker who was also enjoying a cup of coffee as he travels to Jackson Hole), I came home to get some major work done around my apartment.

The place is coming along slowly but surely. I still have some things I need, like lamps and another end table for the living room, and there's also some stuff that needs organized and unpacked, but all in all it's coming along.

Today, three major things happened to bring me closer to my dream dwelling (at least for now):

1. My landlord told me I can paint. I've had this project in mind for a while, but have taken my sweet time in getting around to asking my landlord if he cared. He doesn't! So, now I embark on one of those projects that I get super excited about at first then annoyed with about a quarter of the way through.

2. My fireplace is working. I have been asking my landlord for several months to show me how to get it going. His wife stopped by today and got it up and running, which I find very, very exciting. I've never had a working fireplace in an apartment before. My whole family is coming for Christmas - the first I've ever hosted (hard to do in a studio) - and I've had very Norman Rockwell-ish visions of the holiday, all of which involve a crackling fire.

3. I found curtains for my bedroom. This is important because my windows look out on a major street in town. When there were leaves on the bushes in front of the house I didn't care. But with winter there are obviously no more leaves, so I've been wanting a little something to keep any peeping Toms at bay.

Ahhh...home sweet home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cloud 9

One of the reasons I liked D.C. as a big city so much is there is so much sky. Since no building can be taller than the highest point on the Capitol, the town is built "out" and not "up" like other cities, i.e., New York with its skyscrapers.

This makes D.C. much more full of light, and you can actually see the sky and clouds. It just makes it nice.

But if you think seeing the clouds there is cool, check out how close the clouds are here. Looks like you could actually touch them...I've always loved that.

Above a house on the outskirts of town...

Bringing new meaning to "skyline..."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day!

Remember to take a moment to thank the people serving, or who have served our country!

This was at the local King Soopers grocery store don't see stuff like this in big cities. I got there too late to chat with the Vets, but thought it was a nice thing to do:

This was also at the grocery store. The "word up!" CRACKS me up!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hot to (Turkey) Trot

This morning my friend Annie and I ran a Turkey Trot, a nice little 5k to benefit the COMEA House in town.

The COMEA House provides services to the homeless in Cheyenne, so it was a feel-good way to start the day. Also, I haven't done a race since the BoulderBoulder earlier this year and was excited to sign up for something.

There was a good turn out, but still small enough to make it fun and non-competitive.

We had a good time then treated ourselves to a fancy coffee (as Jeff Mack calls them) at City News, my favorite coffee shop downtown.

This picture cracks me up! The look on the turkey's face is HILARIOUS! And I have no idea why I'm standing like a super hero...