Saturday, January 11, 2014

Adventures on the Oregon Trail

So, we made it to Oregon. But not without breaking a couple axles.

The plan: Drive back to Chicago from Detroit on December 26th, pick up truck on the 27th, movers come from 11am-1pm to pack said truck, Harry drives off with nearly all of our worldly belongings, we finish any last minute sweeping/cleaning, leave for O'Hare by 4:30, fly to Salt Lake City, fly to Medford, drive to Ashland, and arrive at new home around 11pm.

What actually happened:

The driving back to Chicago and picking up the truck parts were perfectly fine and went very smoothly. While the husbeard and Harry were picking up the truck, I finished packing and we were 100% ready to go at 11am when the movers were supposed to come. I even cooked the rest of the bacon and we had a bit of a breakfast.

11:05 - no movers. Not a huge problem, they're only 5 minutes late. I call the company, just to see what's up. Turns out, I hadn't booked them from 11am-1pm. I had booked them for two hours and they would show up sometime between 11am and 1pm. Simple mistake. After a little panic, they did show up around 2pm and loaded the truck in about an hour and a half. So, it was really just a small bump and everything was still going smoothly. We even took a moment to write a letter to the next inhabitants:

To the next residents of 2317 N. Sawyer #1
May you be as happy in this home as we have been!
2013 has been quite a year for us. We got engaged, grieved the passing of loved ones, got married, and, finally, moved to Oregon. But during that whole time, this place has been a wonderful and loving home.
Our first home.
We wish you the best!
HAPPY 2014!

We left for the airport on time, even with me running back to take one last picture of our first home.

Security was a cinch, we boarded no problem, we even had fairly comfortable seats.

It was going too smoothly.

As we were about to land in Salt Lake City, the pilot comes on and says it's too foggy to land and since we've been circling, we're nearly out of fuel, so we're being diverted to Grand Junction, Colorado to refuel. And, of course, as soon as we land in Grand Junction, we find out the fog has lifted and we could have landed after all, but now we're really out of fuel, so we wait. For an hour.

Finally, we're in SLC. Just in time to find out our flight to Medford has been canceled. And the next flight they can get us on is to Seattle at 8pm the next day. After I make a hotel reservation (with no help from Delta, because it's weather related and out of their hands) and the husbeard yells at some poor customer service rep for a while (who does give us vouchers for Delta, so there's that), we end up talking to a really nice, helpful guy from Delta who at least pretended to care about our situation. And that's all we really wanted. A little sympathy. A little human emotion. He puts us on stand-by for the 11am flight direct to Medford and we trot off to our hotel.

Back to the airport in the morning! We knew it was a long shot that we'd get on the 11am flight, so we weren't shocked when that didn't happen. We figured since we were in SLC for the day, we may as well go exploring. We took the train into the city center and checked out the temple:


As well as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which happened to be in town. It wasn't a terrible day. It wasn't planned, but we made the best of it and got to explore a new city. We were still feeling pretty optimistic about life.

Back to the airport again, back through security for the third time in two days. I get pulled aside because my bag was too dense for them to see what I was carrying. We had decided the best way to transport the family jewels was in my purse, so we would know where they were at all times. Which means I had been walking around SLC all day with a really heavy bag. I asked the TSA agent if we could go somewhere private to root through my purse, so I wound up in a small closet enclosure thing with two agents, opening up every bag of jewelry in my purse. It was surreal.

Get on the flight to Seattle, make friends with the guy in our row, so far, so good. Land in Seattle...

Flight to Medford canceled. Again.

It was at this point that I became convinced that the husbeard's head was going to explode.

He finds the first Delta rep he can and starts yelling. As someone who has worked in customer service, I know that sometimes you just need to let people yell. They'll feel better if they feel like they're being heard - and if they let off some steam, even better. However, this girl did not do that. She immediately radioed for her supervisor and when the husbeard did not stop with the angry yelling, she threatened to call the police. Because why not escalate a situation faster than necessary?

Her supervisor comes over, let's him rant for a while, and then has her say. At one point he says something like, "Your company is impacted by the weather and you need to have other plans in place so you aren't just leaving people stranded!" Another Delta employee then says, "God's the only one who can control the weather!" and I saw flames in his eyes.

Basically, Delta customer service in Seattle is the worst.

Finally, Unhelpful Girl #1 sends us to the Alaska Airlines counter to see what can be done for us, since it was their flight that got canceled anyway. By the time we get to this counter, there's a line of people also trying to figure out how they're getting to where they need to be. The husbeard sees this and takes it upon himself to say, "Who was on the flight to Medford? Get them to refund your tickets! We'll rent a van! Let's go!"

It was a beautiful moment. It was a musical theater rallying cry that should have led to a spectacular song and dance number about how the little guy rises up against the man and wins. It was Les Mis.

Do you hear the people sing?

Instead, it was real life. Everyone in line turned around to look at the crazy bearded guy and then quietly turned back to waiting in line. I, unfortunately, was taken over by giggles and had to walk away. For the sake of my marriage.

Finally, after lots of back and forth, we wound up getting on a flight to Eugene, where we would rent a car with two other people and drive to Ashland from there. And so we were off to another hotel for the night.

At this point, we've been wearing the same clothes for two days - the clothes we finished packing up the house in, so they aren't the cleanest of clothes to begin with. I wound up washing our socks and underwear in the sink at the Ramada Inn.

Back to the airport again. Somehow, I'm not sure how, but somehow we wound up in the Pre-Check line to get through security. We didn't have to take our shoes and belts off. We didn't have to unload our electronics. We just had to have our hands swabbed for explosives materials and walk through a metal detector. It was a good sign.

And then... we were on a plane. To Eugene, but still, we were on it. It was one of those little prop planes where they make people move if the weight isn't balanced. Adorable and terrifying all at once.

After a beautiful flight over the mountains, we land in Eugene and I optimistically went to baggage claim. Now, the airport in Eugene is more of an air field where they roll the stairs over to your plane when you land because they don't have jetways and the plane is so close to the ground, it wouldn't matter if they did. I reported to Baggage Claim 1, which I found hysterical because there was only one baggage claim carousel, but if they want to number their only carousel, more power to them.

Shockingly, our bags did not make it to Eugene. They were in Medford.

Just let that sink in.

Anyway, the four of us hop in the car, drive through beautiful mountains for three hours and finally - finally - arrive in Medford. Drop off the rental car, pick up our bags, hop in the truck, and head HOME. Just in time for the husbeard to rush off to the theater to finish focus.

No one can say we live a boring life.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crap I've Made from Pinterest Vol. 6

Yeah, so we just moved to Oregon, blahblahblah - more on that later.

First mountain sunrise!

Since I'm currently unemployed, my daily tasks are to UNPACK ALL THE THINGS and make dinner for the husbeard (note: manfriend has been upgraded due to wedding). He requested spaghetti tonight and since we're in Oregon and I had the time, I decided to try my hand at making pasta sauce from scratch.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and used it as a jumping off point.

What I actually used:
Olive oil (just poured some in the pan, probably 2-3 tablespoons)
1 yellow onion
12 garlic cloves
6 roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1.5-2 teaspoons of sugar
Entire package of basil
Half package of oregano

Chopped everything first, like a good cook. Put the onion in with the olive oil and cooked it down until translucent, then added the garlic for about a minute or so. Added the tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Let that all cook down to deliciousness next.

Once that was good and liquidy, I added the basil and oregano and cooked them down until wilty (yes, that is the technical term...).

At which time, I had to go collect the husbeard from work. So I took the veggies off the heat and let it all just hang out for a bit. After returning and getting the husbeard's approval of my progress so far, I threw it in the blender where it became sauce! Upon sampling, we decided it needed a little more kick, so I added:

A sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes
1-1.5 teaspoons of Worchestershire sauce

But the TRULY secret ingredient was the red food dye. Husbeard was convinced the color was wrong, so he added 2 drops of food coloring. Note: no one was joining us for this dinner, so the color hardly mattered. However, it did make it more appetizing to look at. Especially after adding the meat:

Super tasty. Super easy. Not sure if it was actually cheaper than pre-made sauce, since that stuff is pretty cheap, but it was so easy, I'm not sure I'll buy sauce again. And you know... all natural ingredients, customizable, no preservatives/weird chemicals. All good stuff.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Kind of Town

As a woman, I have a lot of opinions.

As a woman from the South, who has spent the last nine and a half years in the Midwest, I have a lot of opinions.

There's a lot of good about the midwest. But there is one area that could use some improvement: The Topography.

Being from the south (Kentucky so totally counts as the South, y'all), I'm used to having something interesting to look at. Like rivers:

And caves (which are mammoth):

And gorges:

And waterfalls:

And forests:

The midwest... well, it's different. It could use a little something... more.

As I obsess over the mountain view I'm going to have from my sewing room in our new Oregon home, I've been trying to think of all the things I'm going to miss about the midwest - specifically, Chicago. And really, it's the people. I love a lot about this city. It's where I made some of the best friends of my life, where I found myself, where I rediscovered my love of costuming, got my confidence/groove back, and took a lot of risks (mostly the good kind). I ran my first half marathon here and covered endless miles on the lakeshore path. I had more amazing nights out with you people than I can count (or remember). I have had some of the best food of my life here. It was inspiring, and sometimes frustrating, to live and work in such a beautiful, vibrant theatre community.

Most importantly, this is where I met, fell in love with, and married this guy:

Sorry, ladies. He's taken.

But when I balance the fees, the traffic, the taxes, the cost of living, the hordes of people, the smell, and the frantic pace against this:

I mean... c'mon. It's time for me to play in the mountains. And every single one of you will have a place to stay when you want to come play too.

I will miss the crap out of you people.

Chicago, you were great. You gave me so much, for which I will always be thankful. I would never leave you for NYC or LA. They've got nothing on you.

Chicago, I love you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Go west, young man!

Oh, 2013... This is what I think of you:


Remember when I said this at the end of 2012??

I only hope 2013 has more of the good and less of the crap. 
But as long as the manfriend is around, it will all be ok.

Oh, how naive I was. Let's look at a quick run down of this year, shall we?

January: Started a new job!! Now I have three!
February: Missed my train to Detroit, manfriend bought me a last minute plane ticket to get me there - so we could get engaged!! Yay love!
March: Find out my mom is sick - it's going to be ok, but still. Rough. Also visited Courtney and Janelle (mostly to compare engagement rings - I'll never forget Court having a good laugh at us as Janelle and I checked out each other's diamondz).
April: Sadly, the manfriend's mother lost her battle with breast cancer. We had a sad, yet lovely celebration of her life.
May: Went to Louisville for Mother's day and my younger sister's college graduation! And we set a wedding date. On May 17th, we decided to get married on August 17th. Like ya do. Also, started working in the fashion industry. Yay four jobs!
June: Packed up and cleaned out the manfriend's mother's house. Again, rough.
July: Holy shit, we're getting married next month ahhhh!!! Bachelor party, bridal shower, general crafting, and neurotic spreadsheet organization abounds. Related: I bought 20 yards of burlap and have about 17 yards left. If anyone needs/wants burlap, come talk to me.
August: WEDDING.
September: Things actually started to calm down and I felt like we could be starting to return to normal. FOOL.
October: Visited my mom at Vanderbilt. We were so happy we could go down to see her and I sincerely hope our presence (and the wickedly tough numbers game I brought her) gave her some joy. Oh, and I got old(er).
November: Hosting Thanksgiving. And decided to move to Oregon.
December: Oh holy shit we're moving to Oregon.

Photo credit:

If you had told me last New Year's Eve that THIS New Year's Eve we would be married and living in Oregon, I would have laughed and laughed and gone to get myself another drink.

We're going to Oregon because the manfriend has an amazing new job. With a salary. And a normal schedule. And health insurance (!!!!). Also - mountains.

Dear 2014,

I know we have another month of 2013 to get through, but we all know that this is basically over and I just need a little sanity in my life. So. Here's what I need from you: a job in Oregon for me as well, time to read, time to hike, time to run, time for my husband and me to go on little mini-breaks around the west coast... Mostly, I need time. Time to breathe. Time to sleep. Time to finish projects. Time to be a normal married couple.


Despite the emotional roller coaster that this year has been, one thing has been constant: Mr. Mac. I was right when I said, "As long as the manfriend is around, it will all be ok." Because he's still around and it's still ok. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

And I'm back!!

Holy crap, it's been a while. But, in my defense, we've been busy (watch out - tons of pictures coming at you):

First, we got married. That was kind of a big deal.

It was an absolutely perfect day. Perfect weather, perfect people, and perfect tacos. Just for fun, here are some of my favorite pics from the day!


I had the best and prettiest bridesmaids. No contest.

Strobel lay-deeeez.

The crew.
Mr. and Mrs. Vaughey

Love. This. Picture.

We approved of the tacos. Also, Scrabble tiles and burlap.


Again - Love. This. Picture.

Turns out Toto's "Africa" the longest song ever written.

We're pretty good at finding the light.

Then we had an after party and I had a costume change.

Johnny Knight did our photos. He's awesome. Check him out. I highly recommend him for any upcoming event in your life - birthdays, weddings, Tuesday afternoons.

And then there was a mini-moon to Mackinac Island in Michigan. I may have gone a little crazy on the Instagram...

Mr. Mac was all about the smoked fish on this trip.

Bridge! Dead bugs!

Zip lining!

On the ferry to Mackinac Island.

Checklist for our European honeymoon.

Our hotel had a rooftop hot tub! With a waterfall!


Fancy luncheon at the Grand Hotel.

Sightseeing on the fort. My fave picture of this trip.

And theeeen... there was omg so much work. But now that things are calming down a little, I have time in my life for this blog. And quilts! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crap I've Made from Pinterest: Wedding Edition

The wedding of the season* is just under two weeks away. You know what that means - CRAFTING.

*The "Wedding of the Century" title was already taken by Kate and Wills. Barely.

Saturday night was my bachelorette party! There was wine, Scrabble tile necklaces, bourbon, books, and Motown. And seven of the loveliest ladies you could ever ask for. Basically, it was the perfect evening.

Being me... I had to make a dessert for everyone. I found a recipe for Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Bombs and, well, duh. Holy crap are these delicious. And holy crap are they a mess to make. But worth it.

Also, Waterford. NBD.

And then Sunday... ALL THE CRAFTING.

The manfriend keeps saying that if you're going to DIY your wedding, you have to play to your strengths. My strength is... craftiness. Yep.

So! I'm altering my wedding dress, which was once my mom's dress that my grandmother made (see the bottom of this post); making the bridesmaid dresses (no pics until after the wedding!); and making a lot of the decor. With the help of three hung over ladies, we made centerpieces, a card box, an aisle runner, favors, and a quiche (for the eating, not the wedding).

Scrabble tiles! Center pieces!
Please note: my Ginghers are leopard print. That's just how I roll.

Because sometimes the Mod Podge isn't drying fast enough.

Ampersand aisle runner (aka - my college degree is paying off).
That's about $80 worth of M&Ms for the favors. And fried food for the hang overs.
Quiche au fromage!

Ok, so none of this links back to specific Pinterest pins... but we all know. There's burlap and lace all over the place on those wedding boards.

Oh. And we made signs so people can find the bathrooms. Very important.

Here's everything all piled in one corner:

Sigh. Doesn't look like much, does it?
And just for fun - a beard in a dress: