Cruddy: Working two 12+ hour days back-to-back while sick.

Creepy: Driving through Rewey, Wisconsin at dusk. I don't think I've ever seen ANYONE in that town. Empty cars, empty businesses, empty houses. GIANT neon cross on the church (weird).

Commercial: Doing my part to help the economy. I forced myself to go shopping (and more importantly, make purchases.) I may be able to clothe myself for a few weeks this spring.

Cool: Sushi (and edamame and seaweed salad) with my person.

I like alliteration.

I started feeling cruddy on Sunday night and am still feeling cruddy. Sore throat, fever, etc. I forced myself to go into work today because I had a bunch of 10th graders coming to check out campus and nobody else knows how to run the activity. I literally burst into tears while getting dressed this morning. I made it until noon and then went home and climbed back in bed. All I can say is thank god for my Amazon Kindle (bday present from hubby, parents, & inlaws). I've read four books since this weekend and I think I'd be feeling even worse if I didn't have something to do. Mike is trying to make me go to the doctor but I don't wanna. I always go too late into the illness and then then can't do anything anyway. :(

It was a long week...the weather was spectacular on Monday and Tuesday, so it was incredibly difficult to sit inside knowing that near perfect weather was hanging out on the other side of my (poorly insulated) office window. At least we got some nice long walks in those evenings. I started teaching Tech Reporting Thursday night. Believe me, a three hour long class feels just as long for the instructor as for the students. But it went well and I'm looking forward to this coming week. Mike's injury of the week: He may have broken his thumb on Saturday trying to crack the gigantic (locked) safe in his studio (the old Mason's lodge). He got the safe open, but smashed his thumb with a hammer in the process. It is now black and blue and about twice it's normal size. He declined my offer to drive him to the ER.

We hadn't planned to do much of anything this weekend, since it was supposed to be rainy and cold. Lying meteorologists! As it was still beautiful late on Saturday afternoon we decided to head up to Mike's parent's cabin in Avoca on the Wisconsin River. We went canoeing this afternoon...the pups are delightfully well behaved in the canoe. We "docked" a bit up river and got out and wandered around the marshes. We discovered a dirt road that led to a DNR trail and took a really beautiful walk in an area that felt completely isolated from civilization. Just us, many ducks, and one chilly looking frog. We're both looking forward to going back prepared - with a picnic lunch and lots of time. So, here are the weekly shots of the dogs running around outside (oh, and one of me):

My cousin, Kimberly Alex, and her boyfriend, Carlos Vergara, were married in a small courthouse ceremony (a most traditional Alex-style wedding) on Monday in Des Moines. I received some pictures today, and both bride and groom look beautiful, and most importantly, very very happy. I am thrilled for Kim and Carlos and wish them a wonderful future together!

What a weekend! My parents came up on Friday night, Saturday afternoon we headed to Madison and went out to celebrate my birthday. We were joined by Julie and Brad, Sarah and Joe, and Julie's parents. We had a delightful dinner at L'Etoile...mine consisted of onion and custard and wine and sorbet and salad and truffles and cheesy things and delightfulness. There were wine flights and cheesecake and lots of bacon and much happiness. Sarah and Joe gave me a vegetarian cookbook, Julie's parents gave me one of her father's photos (he is talented and I've been coveting the ones he gave Julie for quite some time). Julie gave me the promise of an afghan. (You better finish it soon, lady! My feet are cold.) Afterward, we headed to the (possibly folding) Overture Center to see Cirque Eloize perform Nebbia. It was everything French-Canadian circuses are supposed to be - whimsical, physics defying, and just plain weird. Apparently it had a plot. I didn't understand it one bit. I still enjoyed myself.

There were at least two people at dinner with cameras. I was not one of them. Should they send me some photos I shall post them...hint...hint...

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of our 60 degree hike at Wyalusing. It was beautiful. PERFECT hiking weather. Just a wee bit muddy...yeah...we had to power wash our boots. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, there is a monument to the passenger pigeon located in southwest Wisconsin.

It's my 28th birthday (or 29th as Mike keeps insisting) and so far it has been very nice.
My husband is very bad with birthdays and dates in general. So, the morning began thusly:
Him: Bye!
Me: Bye.
Him: See you tonight.
Me: Is there anything else?
Him: I love you?
Me: I love you too.
Him: Bye.
Me: Bye.
A half hour after I got to work I got a frantic phone call from said hubby. He'd remembered. Yes, I could have told him, but I'd rather watch him sweat. It's my birthday and I shall entertain myself however I see fit.

But it's the little things....Julie sent me flowers at work, my friend Aaron had his class of little ones sing happy birthday to my voicemail, my boss made me a bracelet, and my husband remembered that it was my birthday...eventually. I'm content. Here's to 28 being as nice as 27....but maybe less eventful.

Amendment: Mike, my parents, and Mike's parents went in and got me an Amazon Kindle for my birthday. I'm feeling slightly spoiled rotten at the moment.

We went to Madison for the weekend. Among other activities (food, friends, wine, dogs, bowling, Gail Ambrosius Chocolates, REI, tapas) Mike, Julie, Sarah and I went climbing at Boulders on Saturday. Sarah and I go fairly frequently, it was a first for Julie and Mike. Apologies for the chalk smudges on the camera lense. Climbing requires a lot of chalk so it was inevitable.

Sadly, no hike this weekend. Yesterday we bowled in a tournament to raise money for the Montfort Fire Department. With a bunch of coworkers, from Southwest Tech. I was TERRIBLE. At least I didn't personally come in last place. Our team, however, did come in last place. Oh well, it was all for a good cause!

Today has been consumed by homework, for both of us. Mike is taking an online blueprint course at Southwest Tech and had a bunch of work to do. And I've spent all evening going over materials for the Accelerated Technical Reporting class I'll be teaching for, you guessed it, Southwest Tech, starting in a few weeks. This will be the first online enhanced course I've ever taught and while that makes some things a lot easier, it certainly comes with its own set of challenges!

Oh well, when between the two of us, we're enrolled in two courses (Mike) and have three jobs (me) for one college, this is bound to happen once and a while. In unrelated news, Mike is finally sitting down and working on his thank you cards from the wedding. Okay, so it's been five months...but at least it's getting done!