Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clean teeth

After years of delinquency and neglect of professional oral hygiene care, Jeff and I have finally made a trip to the dentist. My teeth feel great!!! And we are both cavity free, which is bonus. We weren't really sure if both of us had zero cavities, because it sure does hurt to bite down sometimes.

Turns out gum disease and early gingivitis can expose nerves which can cause almost as much tooth pain as a cavity. Who knew? Now, after the through cleaning, we are both on a once every 4 month schedule. Soon, hopefully we'll be improved enough to do it twice a year like normal people.

Now, to modify my routine to floss more than just once in awhile and add on a mouth rinse. As if there isn't enough to do in the morning for a grumpy not-a-morning-person!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tad and Kelli got hitched!

Congrats to our friends Tad and Kelli!!! Jeff and I made the trek to Spearfish, SD this weekend to help them celebrate. We had so much fun - Jeff told me it was maybe the best time he's had since our own wedding 6 years ago (really? even more than Paris? or Ft Lauderdale? oh well.). Here's a rundown of events...

Wednesday - Jeff left Atlanta in the wee hours and made it to Rapid by noon (miracle of miracles). He hung out with Jason for the day and then had dinner with Jason and Bobbie (our soon-to-be sister in law). After dinner he went over to visit with Tad and Kelli and stayed until 1:30AM, chatting and finalizing centerpieces for the reception.

Thursday - More chilling with his little brother and preparing for the bachelor party. The party was Thursday night...and went until closing time. Jason's favorite quote from the evening after picking Jeff up outside the Brass Rail: "Do I smell like strippers?" "No." "Well, I should. I earned it." Meanwhile, I was making my way from Atlanta to Minneapolis to...Aberdeen (finally). Couldn't get to Rapid, but had a really nice detour with my parents and of course chatting with my Mom until 3AM.

Friday - Dad and I left for the 6-hour drive across the state in order to make it to the rehearsal on time. He was going anyway to winterize Iron Horse Campground with Rick, so it worked out well. Plus, we had some real "quality time" in the Caddy (thanks Dad!!!!). Finally arriving at the cabin, I rushed around getting ready, kissed my daddy-o goodbye, and headed out in the Wrangler with Jeff through Spearfish Canyon to make it to the rehearsal by 5pm. After the rehearsal was a really nice hamburger and hot dog picnic in the park, followed by decorating the Pavillion for the reception - until 10:30PM. Back to the cabin for a full night's sleep.

Saturday - GAME TIME!!! After a little sleep-in, we headed once more through the Canyon to get to Spearfish, grab some lunch, and check into the hotel. Jeff headed over to the campground and get into his tux with Tad, Jake (Tad's bro), and Pat (Tad's stepdad). Meanwhile, I went to pick up some wrapping paper and a card, and a goody bag for the newlyweds' room (Gatorade and bananas were major components).

The wedding was really lovely, and totally "them". It was in the park, accented with a rushing waterfull backdrop and fall leaves floating around them. After the ceremony, we headed to the Pavillion for a wonderful meal catered with love by their families, many toasts, an open bar, and much dancing!!! Towards the end of the evening the crowd thinned and karoake broke out - Ike, Tad, and Jeff did "You Lost That Loving Feeling", Tad's brother did Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine, some girls did a song they didn't know, I did "She's in Love with the Boy" and "I Could Not Ask For More". The after party was back at the hotel and consisted of more scotch drinking, reminiscing, and a little barfing (not by us, but by a couple others!). Also, we tried to call the newlywed room to remind them "It's not a party until Tad pukes!" but they didn't answer.

Sunday - Breakfast at 9:30AM with the old crew, followed by a tux return and a drive back to the cabin ended our time in Spearfish. We had lunch at Cheyenne Crossing with Bobbie and Jason, and then drove up to Terry Peak Summit to see the colors from that vantage point. Another hour of relaxing and then we were off to meet Tad and Kelli at the Firehouse for dinner and a couple beers. After recapping the day before, we fell into bed back at the cabin at 11PM.

Monday - Um, no, we did not make it back on Monday. Mostly because the only flight from Rapid with availability was at 6:40AM (which meant getting up at 3AM) and we were pretty sure we wouldn't be able to get out of MSP anyway. So...bonus day in the Hills!!! We had an early lunch at the Stampmill in Lead (I love that place), then did the *free* walking tour of the old Homestake mine grounds where they have put in a memorial park. It was so fun to see the bright blue sky, 75 degrees, and South Dakota wind on our backs for the tour. A nap and dinner at Latchstring restaurant rounded out our actual vacation day.

Tuesday - 3AM wakeup call. 6:40AM flight from Rapid. 11:10 flight from MSP. 1 hour delay. Lunch in ATL's Concourse E at Qdoba. Home by 4pm. YEA!!! What a great trip!!!!!!!!! Photos will be forthcoming, once we actually unpack.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My new favorite album

Sara Bareilles gets fun and funky on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

South Dakota Bound

Jeff made it all in one shot today from Atlanta to Rapid City for our friends' wedding (he's soooo waiting in MSP)!!!

The countdown to see me in my new super-mod dress and Jeff in a tux is ON!

We're Gonna Win, TWINS

First into the that a good omen to be first in the World Series????

What an awesome way to ring in Target Field...with an ALCS Division Win!!! (The 6th time in 9 seasons, for those of you counting.)

From the AP: The Twins had 39,580 fans in attendance on a cool night. It was the 73rd straight sellout and 74th in 75 games this year. From the Jessica: I WISH I COULD BE IN MINNESOTA!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yay! My Sunfire

In efforts to keep our wonderful, beautiful, perfect 2008 Impala in good shape, and under 20,000 miles, I am going to drive the Sunfire to work again.

Jeff and I got the Impala in February with 11,000 miles on it. Right now, it has 19,500. That is over 1200 miles per month...or 40 miles per day! Not surprising, since I typically commute 4-5 days per week the 60 miles from home to work and back.

But the Sunfire had just one problem - after about 5 minutes, if you didn't keep your foot on the gas, that sucker would die. It made slowing down to turn and braking for stoplights interesting (think, gas plus brake at the same time). So the Gold Beast has been parked for a couple months until we figured out what to do with it.

Our neighbor is a Car Nut but has recently lost his sight. So after Jeff described the symptoms, the neighbor offered to talk him through some options. So a throttle body sensor, air filter, and fuel filter later (plus the fun of driving a '67 Corvette off the lift to put our little Sunfire on the lift), the Gold Beast lives again!!!

Thanks Jeff and Jerry!!!

Yet another reason

Passing this article along chiro cleared me for hopping back on the elliptical and I can't wait. No weight-lifting, pilates, yoga, and minimal walking (for impact) but I am totally ready to get started. I am stalled at 22 lbs lost and have a LOT more to go.

By LAURAN NEERGAARD vis AP WASHINGTON — Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as health, especially for women.

Doctors have long known that medical bills are higher for the obese, but that is only a portion of the real-life costs.

George Washington University researchers added in things like employee sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline — and found the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man.

That is far more than the cost of being merely overweight — $524 for women and $432 for men, concluded the report being released Tuesday, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total.

Why the difference between the sexes? Studies suggest larger women earn less than skinnier women, while wages don't differ when men pack on the pounds. That was a big surprise, said study co-author and health policy professor Christine Ferguson.

New drugs stir debate on clinical trials Reality TV serves up 'Freaky Eaters' Researchers had expected everybody's wages to suffer with obesity, but "this indicates you're not that disadvantaged as a guy, from a wage perspective," said Ferguson, who plans to study why.

Then consider that obesity is linked to earlier death. While that is not something people usually consider a pocketbook issue, the report did average in the economic value of lost life. That brought women's annual obesity costs up to $8,365, and men's to $6,518.

The report was financed by one of the manufacturers of gastric banding, a type of obesity surgery.

The numbers are in line with other research and are not surprising, said Dr. Kevin Schulman, a professor of medicine and health economist at Duke University who wasn't involved in the new report.

Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. Nearly 18 percent of adolescents now are obese, facing a future of diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.

Looking at the price tag may help policymakers weigh the value of spending to prevent and fight obesity, said Schulman, pointing to factors like dietary changes over the past 30 years and physical environments that discourage physical activity.

"We're paying a very high price as a society for obesity, and why don't we think about it as a problem of enormous magnitude to our economy?" he asks. "We're creating obesity and we need to do a man-on-the-moon effort to solve this before those poor kids in elementary school become diabetic middle-aged people."

A major study published last year found medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for the obese than normal-weight people. Tuesday's report added mostly work-related costs — things like sick days and disability claims — related to those health problems.

It also included a quirky finding, a study that calculated nearly 1 billion additional gallons of gasoline (3.8 billion liters) are used every year because of increases in car passengers' weight since 1960.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tyrone Founders Day

Happy 99th Birthday to the celebration of our town's formation!!!

Jeff and I headed out around 11:45AM this morning to take in the booths, food, and people and Handley Park. Little did we know we joined the unofficial 'tail end' of the parade that ended at noon...we were just trying to get cash and look for a parking spot!

The celebration had most traditional fair ware...of course no mini-donuts, but I have stopped looking for them (the only place I've seen them in the south is at the Delta Block Party when the MSP folks brought a booth down). I had a BBQ chopped chicken sandwich, Jeff had chicken strips and homemade chips, and then we shared a funnel cake. YUM!

We watched the awards celebration for all the best floats, the winners of the 5k Fun Run, and the announcement for all the pageant winners (5 categories from preschool to high school). Then we walked around to the booths and saw churches (lots), face painters, purses, tree removal services, and even stopped to chat at length with the Premier folks who can come and put in a new a/c for us.

But, when the thermometer hit 90 today and we were out of water, we decided it was time to head home before we both had heatstroke. But our hands are stamped to go back for fireworks at 9PM tonight!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lunch Recommendation

I just had a seriously delish frozen dinner. As of late, I have veered away from these, opting more for either leftovers or Healthy Choice microwavable soups (low in sodium and calories).

But Kashi is totally changing my mind. Today's Mayan Harvest Bake was awesome! Sweet, spicy, crunchy, and a wonderful, I highly recommend this one. It's got plaintains, black beans, sweet potatos, pilaf...and more!

At 340 calories, it's not the lowest cal option but it is really filling. Just watch the sodium the rest of the day...they must not have figured out how to add spice without also adding 380mg of salt (16% DV).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pulled apart

So my chiro thinks that I have a bulged disc. Or maybe a herniated disc. It can be confirmed with an MRI but I am seriously not paying for that. Either way, he wants me to start something called "decompression". It is just a funny word that stands for "being pulled apart".

I went for my first session today and got strapped in an extremely tight vest just under my boobs and another one just around my waist. The straps by my chest were hooked to a table while I laid on my back, and the straps around my waist got hooked to something below my feet.

And then, it pulled by my feet. And pulled. And pulled. And then relaxed. And then pulled again.

I *think* it felt good and better, but I am totally not sure. I have at least 5 more treatments of this to see if I can get back on the road to recovery. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Braves Game

Yay!!! I attended the Braves vs Nationals game in the Delta Box Suite...all you can eat hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, soda, and beer!!! (Yes, heartburn is guaranteed.)

My team at work has a big meeting on Tuesday with our pilot friends and we kicked off the 'official' business with some 'unofficial' socializing over brews and baseball. A preface to the tar and feathering, if you will.

It was great to get together with everyone and kick back before getting into the nitty gritty...I think all major meetings should kickoff this way!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome, Fall

I read on "the internet" that trees begin losing their leaves as a result of dwindling daylight, and not necessarily a function of temperature.

In the Midwest, leaves falling to the ground are accompanied by light weight sweater sets, maybe a fleece jacket, crisp air, and visits to the apple orchard.

But down here, our leaves are falling already, some in major waves. Plenty of trees are turning yellow and red already as well. And yesterday it was 90 and humid.

This time, I think "the internet" was right!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yahoo!!! Our household now has ZERO car payments!!!!!!!!

We FINALLY paid off our Jeep. We have diligently paid $430 per month for six years. Yes, longer than we have been married.

People, listen to me: Do Not Purchase A Vehicle With A Six Year Car Loan.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walking in Memphis

I have just returned from a quickie 2-day trip to Memphis, TN. And I am in love.

Memphis is definitely on my list to do a weekend trip now - the city of blues, rock and roll, and barbeque has stolen my heart (but New Orleans is still my #1, I think. Maybe.).

I ate ribs, slaw, and beans at Blues City Cafe (featured on the Travel Channel, Bobby Flay's show, and Bon Apetit Magazine), Rendevous (famous "dry ribs"), and Neely's (as in, Down Home with the Neely's on the Food Network). Oh, and I had a pulled pork sandwich too.

Memphis is home to Graceland, BB King, Kings of Leon, and Justin Timberlake. I mean seriously...there are about a million ways to hear good tunes any night of the week. Beale Street, to me, could go on forever!

Memphis is the home of FedEx and it was super, super cool to see all the GIANT FedEx cargo planes at the airport. (Especially if you are a little nerdy.)

Memphis in May, Bike Week, Beale Street Blues Festival, the Liberty Bowl...the list goes on!

Pack your bags and get ready, Kienows...this may be our next family destination!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Funny Little Town

Jeff and I took a Sunday drive to a little town called Serenbe.

This is a Farm to Table rural community about 20 minutes from our place. It has some amazing little shops - including stores featuring local artisan work, the most delightful antiques place, a specialty wine boutique, several kitchen and clothing shops, and some great food.

We had a snack at the Bakeshop, which featured gourmet sandwiches and salads, a huge breakfast, and seriously delicious homemade goodies. Jeff and I shared a slice of chocolate cake and our friends had a peach and blueberry pie and oatmeal cookie.

There are also some neat stables so we petted the horsies. They were so beautiful!

We tried to drive up to the front of the working farm but it was gated off. I think a Saturday farmer's market is in my future!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dinner and a Movie

Yea, date night on the eve of a 3-day weekend!!!!

Jeff called me today at work and said, "Hey, do you want to go on a little date tonight?"

Of course I said yes - it's so rare after 5-1/2 years of being married that we declare it a date.

So he took me out to Chili's (we NEVER eat there) and then we watched Prince of Persia with some super yummy popcorn and snacks.

Ahh...just me, Jeff, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Who could want more?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A little rest, and grief

Well, after having some pretty serious pain and soreness for a few days in the low back, I decided to take it easy at home today. I have kept up with all my emails and phone calls (for the most part) so hopefully life will not be too hectic on Friday.

After resting, then walking, then resting, then walking, I have determined this: Work makes me feel worse.

I think this is why: 1) my chair is super uncomfortable, 2) I don't probably get up often enough to walk around, and 3) I hate my coworkers seeing me as a chubby gimp.

But after this day of rest, I can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel...things feel a little better and less ibuprofen is required!

Also, being home today gave me a little time to grieve for my college friend, Colleen. She and her husband just lost their 4-week early baby, Regan. Please send up a little prayer for them and their two other children during this extremely difficult time.