Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We were looking forward to catching a glimpse of the lunar eclipse early this morning, but it was snowing. Good thing there are a lot of cool pictures on the Internet today from people who did see it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Well the snow has fell, leaving us somewhere about 10 inches worth, although it is hard to judge with the drifting. Last night our power was knocked out for a few hours. For about 2 hours before the power cut out, the lights were flickering, so we were ready for the darkness.

The winds are gusting to 45mph right now and its expected to stay windy through Monday, with temps dropping and wind chills down to -20F. This morning Maggie and I checked on our chickens and sheep and shoveled around the house. Maggie wasn't too happy to be outside, so we were quick.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

First Snow

We got our first real snow on Thursday, about 3 inches worth. Its been cold like winter for a couple weeks now, but not white like winter. Today and tonight we have our first snowstorm coming too, forecasting 8"-12" inches. A little late this year, but winter has finally arrived.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Night Out

Last night Zach and I marked our nine years together with a night out. We hold our dating anniversary with a little more meaning than our wedding anniversary in June. Although the first date awkwardness was missing, the brisk winter evening reminded us of our first date at the Milwaukee Art Museum along the lakefront. It is hard to believe we’ve been a couple that long already.

(photo from website)

We went to a restaurant we haven’t been to before called, Cena, in downtown Appleton. We have been looking forward to the date for a few weeks, excited to try out a new place and new culinary tastes. Boy, we were not disappointed at all. Zachary had the Filet Mignon with prosciutto, gorgonzola, and red and yukon potatoes. I had a Smoked Pork Chop with wild mushroom risotto and apple chutney. Wowzers... We sampled each other’s dishes, after we would brag to each other how good our own plate was. After licking our plates clean, we were tempted with dessert of Tiramisu and Pumpkin Cheesecake. Even after that, our server offered us a slice of homemade chocolate cake, since it was the owner’s son’s birthday and they were having a cake. We really wanted to indulge some more, but our stomachs had already surpassed capacity for the evening.
For an after-dinner treat, we visited a bookstore. Zach picked up a few novels and I chose a new cookbook for the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bit of Magic

Zachary and I have taken up a new game lately, Magic. It is a card game that has been around for about 20 years, and we decided to give it a try after seeing it at our local nerd store.
Turns out it is a real fun game. It is a nice change of pace for us, going low tech with our entertainment. Something we can enjoy together without computers, the internet, and the TV to distract us.
Of course the cats have noticed our sitting around the dining room table lately, and insist on being part of the action.
And inch their way onto the battlefield for a chance to bat at a enticing stray game piece.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sentimental Triple Order

Zachary and I have a few places, songs, phrases, traditions, and foods that are sentimental to us. Topper's Triple Order is one of those warm fuzzies. Back in our dating days in Waukesha and Whitewater, we ate a lot of Topper's Triple Orders. At the time Toppers was a small take out/delivery chain in southern WI and we patronized the one in Whitewater often. We would always get the Triple Order, which was basically cheesy bread sticks with garlic butter dipping sauce. That was usually followed with a Frosty's PBcup flurry. (like a Blizzard, but a custard and blended with PB sauce too. omg...) I am surprised we didn't weigh 400 pounds. After I was done with college and we got married and settled back in NE WI, we lost our Toppers connection.

Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago driving through downtown Appleton. We spotted a new Toppers open. So recently we stopped in for our special Triple Order to see if it still tasted the same after 6.5 years. It did :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Kool Kat

Oh, Diogenes. You weird cat.
One interesting thing we are learning about Diogenes, is that he doesn't lie or sit like a normal cat a lot of the time. When lounging about, he prefers to be on his back, looking at you upside down. And apparently sits like this at times. Zachary and I had a good laugh when we found him chillaxing last night. Maybe he got into the Catnip...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lemon Cake

One of my favorite sweets to make is Lemon Cake. I stumbled across this recipe over a year ago when I was searching for a recipe to use for 6 lemons I had. I have made about 5 times now and its been a moist success each time. Don't let the amount of lemons scare you, the result is a sweet citrusy treat without being tart or bitter. Yum.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Catness

I know the October blog posts have been cat heavy in substance, but our whole last month has been cat focused with the new cats. So whats another cat post?

Queequeg caught sleeping the night before. She slept in that pose for 20 minutes. How is that comfortable?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pulled Pork

Its that time of the year where we begin to crave the slow foods from our slow cooker. One of our favorite things to make is pulled pork. I discovered this recipe from listening to The Splendid Table, a foodie radio program, a year ago.

It is ridiculously easy to make. (Throw ingredients together in 5 mins, walk away for about 6 hours, and then devour). No wonder the recipe is called Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork. So good.


Well Diogenes and Trillian have free range of the house now. This last phase of the new cat transition came a bit faster than expected, thanks to a curious Queequeg and an equally curious Diogenes, the three officially coexist now.
Quee isn't amused with her new housemates, but she tolerating them, which is good.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We named her Trillian, mostly inspired from the character in The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series of books.

He is Diogenes. Inspired from an antagonist in the Pendergast series of books, but hopefully he won't be as evil as his namesake. :-) After some reading on Wikipedia, we deemed it fitting after reading about Diogenes of Sinope, a greek philosopher. One of the few men to publicly mock Alexander the Great, and lived to tell about it. Bold name for a bold cat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cat Progress

Our new cat therapy is progressing nicely. Even the big guy is leaving his crate more often to interact with us. We are thinking within a week of setting up a screen or gate in the doorway of their room to slowly introduce them to our other 2 beloved pets, Queequeg and Maggie. I think Maggie is oblivious to the cat room, but Quee is taking increased interest in what is behind that closed door.

And they remain officially nameless at the moment, we are working on that.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flying Sunday

On Sunday Zachary and I went flying with our friend Kate. It was a beautiful fall day and great conditions for flying. We met at Brennand Airport in Neenah.

The first destination of our flight was to Sheboygan, for brunch. There is a great restaurant at the airport, called Final Approach. As you dine, you can watch the comings and goings of aircraft out the windows overlooking the runway.

Quilted patchwork of farm fields.
After brunch and a fuel up, we decided to fly north along Lake Michigan to Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport in Door County for aerial sightseeing. Here is a shot of Whistling Straits golf course, home of the 2010 PGA Championship this year.

Lake Michigan shoreline. The dark spots in the water are cloud shadows.
City of Manitowoc.
S.S. Badger at dock in Manitowoc.
After arriving at the Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport, we used the loaner bikes to ride to Fish Creek for ice cream at Not Licked Yet. The ducks offered us entertainment as we ate by the creek.
The bikes we rode were interesting, they were auto shifting pedal braking bikes. It was a little tricky to get used to and to remember to brake with your pedals instead at first, but a fun ride nonetheless.

Our trusty bird.
Zach and I.
One the way back to Neenah, we flew over Green Bay. That is Lambeau Field, home of the Packers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Woo hoo! We got to pet one of the new cats last night, Tigger. Zachary won her over with ear scratches and she was very affectionate. She is still skittish and has a lot of adjusting to do yet, but we are thrilled she is starting to warm up to us.
This morning I continued interacting with Tigger. Tiger, the male, even let me get a few head scratches in. I got a hiss and a purr from him this morning, so that is an improvement from yesterday when it was all hisses. But I don't want to rush him, he is a bit intimidating. I like keeping my fingers intact. :-)

So far he has been spending most of his time laying in the open pet carrier. Tigger has a spot near a chair she likes to lay, but she is starting to wander the room more than he does.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Everyday is Caturday at our house, but especially so yesterday. Zachary and I are taking in his sister's 2 cats. Turns out little Landon is sensitive to the cats and it is best if they found a new home for Tiger and Tigger.

Little Landon.

So that is where we come in. We met up last night to pick up the cats. We've talked about adding another pet to the household, but always worried about Queequeg's reaction. Pitiful as it sounds, our little world revolves around her. :-) We decided to give these 2 pretty cats a chance and see how they fit with us and Queequeg. We aren't worried about Maggie, she gets along with everyone. We aren't crazy about their names, so we are currently brainstorming for new ones.

This is Tigger, the girl kitty.
This is Tiger, the brother of Tigger. Both are very large compared to Quee and he is even bigger than Tigger.

We have them set up in their own private room for now, to get used to the smells and sounds of our house. I can tell they are stressed from the 4 hour move north and are a bit suspicious of us. We plan to be patient with them and hopefully in a few days they will start to warm up to us.

After we can establish friendly terms with them, then phase 2 will begin, the introduction of Quee. Currently she knows there is something interesting behind a closed door we frequent. She is currently behaving herself nicely and acting normal, but her real test isn't for a while.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, Mateys!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trip to Minnesota

Zachary and I went on a road trip Friday and Saturday to Minnesota. Our main reason was to visit the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee. We are pretty good about not getting lost in our travels, but we got a bit sidetracked and ended up missing an off ramp and driving about an hour north before we realized it. Talking about Futurama at the critical highway change will do that to you. Zach said at one point to me, "Boy, this area sure looks like northern WI."
Due to our detour, we discovered a great state park on the border called Interstate State Park, in St. Croix Falls. Pretty place for a lackluster name. Zach and I went for a hike on the rocky steep trails.
The view up top, Minnesota is across the river.

Once across the border, we stumbled across Franconia Sculpture Park. It is a large green space for artists to live, create, and display their sculptures for the public to enjoy.
One of our favorite sculptures was call Evening. The outside was a large dark gray box with a door for the viewer to enter.
The inside had an opening on one end with slats to filter the light in, creating a perpetual evening shadows.
If we ever have kids, I hope they have something like this for a play set.
Saturday we made it to the fair. We were worried if it would be as good as Bristol, but our worries quickly dissolved.
Lots of buildings, entertainment everywhere. We were impressed.
Even a giant chess set to play.
The only Ren fair flare I had was my horns.
But I think I would like to get a dress like this for next year.
Gypsy Turtle.
Plenty of fairies.
Fiery entertainment.
A familiar face, Moonie. He is our favorite act to see at Bristol, and were surprised to see him here. Turns out it was his first and only weekend at the Minnesota fair and we happen to catch him. Zach narrowly missed being called up on stage to be Moonie's helper. The guy in the picture was sitting right next to Zach. Needless to say, Zach was relieved.