Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting settled...again.

On Sunday, Justin and I moved into our new place with the help of our amazing friends. What I thought would take five hours or more on Sunday, only took three. The actual moving, that is. We are almost done getting settled, and have only a little bit more decorating to do, which will have to be finished by Friday evening, as we are having a housewarming party.

So far, everything is great! Very close to campus for him, and on a direct route for me to get to work. The River Trail is a block away and I have enjoyed my runs more not having to deal with traffic at all. Next Spring when the Farmer's Markets return, it will be very easy to get to, as will the First Friday festivities every month.

Oliver seems to be adjusting well, except that he has been waking me up for at least an hour at 5am. I've got my squirt bottle out now and he'll get an impromptu shower if he tries it again.

I've been told by a friend that helped me move in June, and this time, that we have to stay in this place for at least six months. No problem there, as we both love this apartment, and neither of us wants to pack and move again anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm ready!

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm ready, excited, and a bit anxious. For what? Well, a couple of things.

The Move...
This Sunday, Justin and I will be moving into our place, which we are both looking forward to. I'm ready for this because it is something that I have wanted to do since May but it just wasn't the right time then. I'm excited because while I feel very welcome, and comfortable at Blake and Justin's place, it isn't mine. I look forward to all of the possibilities...more meditation, more designing, more encouragement. I'm also anxious, not about moving in with Justin, rather, the actual act of moving...again. Twice in three weeks, and for the third time in just under five months. The nice thing is that none of my stuff (why do I need most of it? I haven't missed it these last 2+ weeks) has to go up or down any stairs. While we are both getting friends to help us out, I feel bad because I have so much. Must downsize again...

Two weeks from today I will be about five hours from landing in Pisa with Mindy. I am ready for a vacation, and one with Mindy is always a blast. I find that I am looking forward to it more than anything I've ever done...ever. I'm excited for obvious reasons. My first time out of the country (okay, I did cross the border into Mexico, but Europe is different), knowing that I will have the time of my life, and that nothing can stop me now. I am finally going to see much of the art that I studied in college, drink up the Italian wine that I am falling for, eat authentic Italian cuisine, and meet new and interesting people. However, I am anxious as well. What if our flights come in late and we get stuck in Paris. Okay, so that's not such a bad thing. I do worry that we will get mugged, lost, frustrated, etc. All of this is to be expected prior to my first trip abroad. I do wish that I had been able to stick with my language lessons, however, I do feel that we will be fine in that regard. All that out on the table, I still can't wait! By the time Mindy picks me up at the airport, it will have been 6 1/2 months since I've seen her, and that is certainly too long. What better place to spend time with her than in Italy?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Glacier and Hot Springs are two of my favorite things

This weekend brought yet another trip to Glacier National Park, this time with Justin. I've gotten so used to this park, that I was starting to think that I had seen it all...from the road. Well, I was happily proven wrong. Instead of seeing the same old park that I have seen every time that I have gone, we drove up the West side of the park, on the dirt road that is the Inside North Fork Road. It was a bit slow going, with our destination to first be the Polebridge Mercantile, and then up the road about 6 more miles to Bowman Lake, where this photograph was taken.

The plan was to wake up early and take sunrise photos, however, the park was covered in a very heavy fog, allowing me to sleep a bit longer. I was quite alright with this, as I hadn't slept very well at all. With two pairs of pants, a pair of socks (why didn't I bring my smart wool?), three shirts AND a fleece pullover, and a pair of gloves on, I was mostly okay...except for my darn feet. They were freezing! Around midnight, I decided that my hands were warm enough, so I put my gloves on my feet. After a bit this did help and I finally fell asleep, only to wake up to major hip and leg pain
. I shook it off though, and got out of the tent and enjoyed the coffee Justin had already made. We enjoyed our breakfast and then packed up camp, having decided that we would head to Hot Springs that evening instead of camping another night.

After some wonderful photos in the misty morning, and after having spotted a fox, a black wolf (with lunch in mouth) and a few bucks, were were eagerly heading to soak in the wonderful mineral baths. We enjoyed a veggie pizza and a few beers while listening to a live band, and then headed out to the tubs.

I got the sun to do the STAR affect! Finally, this is something that has always alluded me. Not sure that I really did anything different or if it was the clouds, angle, etc. Anyway, this is Lake McDonald, from the Northeast shore.

Leaves! They were everywhere, and with the fog on Saturday morning they looked spectacular, with beads of dew and the strange light.

I do have to say that this is my favorite picture from this trip. The fog added a whole new mystery to everything, and then I added a bit more. I had just taken a class on Wednesday to better acquaint myself to my D90. Perfect timing on that! All that I really did to this photo was I changed the White Balance to Kelvin settings and I believe that it was right around 5,000. This shot was taken on the Inside North Fork Road.

A weekend at Glacier and Hot Springs with Justin are three of my favorite things!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dinner with friends

Just a couple of weeks ago, Justin was commenting on how he would like to make dinner with friends more often, and I agreed. There is something about making a meal with people you care about, and all enjoying it, and one another at the same time, together. Perhaps this is my sense of family here in Montana, or perhaps it is just me wanting to be around more people, doing something I love, cooking.

Dinner with friends seems to be happening on a more regular basis for me. Last Saturday, dinner included spaghetti squash soup, a wonderful quiche with artichokes and bok choy, and sauteed kale with marinated tofu. Six of us all gathered together to enjoy dinner and then bowling.

Tonight, Blake, Nora, Justin and I all made yet another squash dinner, with a Mexican mole sauce, rice and tortillas. Dinner is over, and I am here, at my computer, while the other three are discussing theology, politics, and philosophy.

I'm wanting to stay on the sidelines tonight, not knowing anything about what they are talking about, and being perfectly alright with that. I don't feel left out, and I don't want to join in. I find it more interesting to listen, like a fly on the wall, to what they are all very passionate about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stressed? Not me!

A lot of people might think that deciding to move out on a Wednesday, and actually doing it by the following Monday would stress me out. Those same people might also think that I would be stressed out, or at least unsettled by living in an apartment with just the bare essentials for three weeks. None of the above is true...this time.

When I moved to Montana fifteen and a half months ago, I started packing over a month ahead of time. The same goes for this past summer, when I changed apartments. I felt that it was necessary to do this. Now, I know that I can pack and move, and clean my place of residence in just two very long days.

By the end of the actual moving day, Monday, I was exhausted, annoyed, and just ready to be done. With the help of my wonderful boyfriend and my boss, I was out of my apartment and into my temporary place. The last minute cleaning and removing of my stuff was getting to me, and Justin could see that I just needed to be done with it. He stopped his preparation for the class he was teaching the next day to help me, yet again. This saved me at least an hour, and I am greatly appreciative.

I sit here now, having just done laundry for the first time in three weeks, and feel even more like I am crowding Blake and Justin. They both assure me that I am not, and that I must consider this home for now. So...I do. :)

While I could be stressed out at the prospect of moving twice in three weeks, and with the final move being 8 days before my departure for Italy, I am not. Perhaps a bit anxious and excited for both of my impending adventures, I am just taking one day at a time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Finally, pictures of my apartment...

I have lived in my apartment for exactly 4 months. I finally have it decorated, and almost always know where everything is. It is kind of a deluxe studio, with a layout in a T shape, with the kitchen being the upright of the T and the bedroom/living space the horizontal of the T. Here are a few pictures...
This is the kitchen. My favorite part of the kitchen is the brick chimney that is exposed. I have also really enjoyed the long counters for food preparation. The light coming in from the sliding has also been very nice.

This is the view from the West end of the apartment, looking towards the bedroom. What I love about this room is the hardwood floors and how well all of my stuff fit.

This is the view from the East, looking towards my favorite place, the windows. I have sat many mornings with my coffee and newspaper, enjoying the morning sounds. I've also spent many evenings trying to study Italian, or read a book, but instead, falling asleep in my comfy rocking recliner.

I'm not really sure why I haven't posted these sooner, except that I finally made the time to take the pictures on Wednesday. The reason I made the time to take the pictures is because I am moving again. Yep, I took the pictures just so I could post my apartment for rent on Craigslist. I have gotten many inquiries and already have an applicant waiting to be approved. I should hear tomorrow, which is also the day that I am moving out. I will be staying with Justin and Blake until the end of October, when Justin and I will be moving out of their apartment, and into our apartment.

The possibilities are endless with this move, and I look forward to this new journey.