Greetings from a cool winter evening in Iowa…

Right now at 7:30pm it is 37 outside.  Does not feel too cold out due to no wind.  This past week it has been warmer then usual out.  On Monday and  Tuesday we had highs in the low 60’s, but has gradually cooled down.  Today had highs just in the upper 40’s.

Have all of my Christmas shopping done.  Did 90% of it online.  Click, click, click, spend, spend, spend.  Assume items will start showing up next week.  Tomorrow I plan on doing Christmas cards.  We usually send out around 50 of them, so it ends up taking several hours.

Have been doing lots of ice skating.  Purchased a season pass using a Groupon for $35.00.    Skating costs $4.50 during the week and $6.00 on weekends at Brenton Plaza – so have already broken even with the pass.  Is nice to be able to quickly flash them my pass and not have to deal with paying each time I go.  Another round of ice skating lessons were to start last Monday, but was too warm out and the ice melted.  So this coming Monday will have two back to back 30 minute lessons.  Like taking lessons downtown because the instructor is lots of fun and explains things well.  My figure skates finally feel normal on my feet and can skate just as competently with them as I did with the hockey skates.  Only took three months of lessons to get to this point 😉

This afternoon John and I wanted to get out the apartment, so went to Valley West Mall to get my hair cut at Cost Cutters.  The parking lot was pretty full, but John found a good spot to park.  Cost Cutters was busier then normal – had no places left to sit.  Was surprised when I got assigned to a stylist after just 10 minutes.  Have had this particular stylist (Pamela) several times and she does a nice job – taking more time then some of the others do to trim my sideburns, eye brows and double check her work.  She likes to chat about her two cats and tell me what little shits they are.  Makes me giggle.  John wandered around the mall during my haircut and was very ready to leave once I got done.    Dealing with crowds and children running into him is not his thing…

Next John drove me downtown to, what else, go skating for a bit.  He just stayed in the warm Jeep while I went and did my thing.  Tonight the ice rink was very busy with a large birthday party going on – tons of 8 year old girls who never skated before.  Got to practice my stopping skills while avoiding slicing off fingers when kids fall right in front of me.  My blades are sharp – would at least slice through to the bone.  The ice was extra crappy – was like skating in two inches of snow.  Got lucky because after 15 minutes they cleared everyone off the ice and the Zamboni machine went around and reconditioned it.  The ice was then nice and flat for about 15 minutes before all of the skates on it starting forming another layer of snow.  Was able to practice skating backwards, forward stroking and two bladed spins during the period of good ice…

On the way home he stopped at Maxie’s Restaurant & Lounge for supper.  They are not too far away from the apartment building and I wanted to give them a try.  They are basically a supper club with a typical menu.  Can get sandwiches, pasta, BBQ, steak or seafood.  I had a Cavatelli pasta dish and John had a hamburger.  The food was kinda boring.  John said I could have made his burger at home and would have tasted the same, or better.  The best thing about my pasta was the layer of melted cheese on top.  The pasta and sauce were just standard.  Makes me miss some of the yummy places we would dine out at in Portland, OR….

John made it through is first week of work at his new IT Project Management job.  He seems to like it.  He has started to work on managing several large computer installations that will be going on early next year.  Is also learning about the accounts he has inherited and starting to meet contacts at them.  I’m sure John will add a blog entry about his job in the near future.

It is a bit of an adjustment not having John around during the day.  Things like running to the bank, getting the mail, dealing with garbage cans and taking care on tenant issues now have to be dealt with after both of our work hours.  I can’t just have John deal with it.  Prince is also adjusting to just having me around – last Monday he spent the day looking out the front window looking for John.  By the end of the week he has fell in to his old routine of sleeping in his cat bed in the office most of the afternoon while I work.

Is kinda funny that I’m home all day and I’m ready to go out and do something in the evening.  John has been away at work all day and looks forward to putting on comfy clothes and staying home..

Went to the library Wednesday evening and picked up some of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks.  Like his style of cooking – fresh ingredients, not overly fussy and concentrates on getting the cooking done and on the table in a short amount of time.  Looking forward to trying some of his recipes out this coming week.

Not much else going on… going to play Warcraft for a bit…. Is a fun waste of time for a cold winter evening… My main warcraft guy is at level 89 – very close to the current maximum level of 90.    Once I get sick of playing Warcraft want to give Sid Meier’s Railroads a try.  I like trains and the graphics looks really good…

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