Monthly Archives: December 2009

Simple Pleasures, if I remember correctly

Just ask my husband, I am incredibly forgetful.  I wish I had my mom’s amazing ability to remember birthdays (before they happen), to remember names of people I have met and work with almost every day, and to remember what I just walked into a room to pick up.  Case in point, I seem to forget every year that Clementines come into season in December and January.  Every year I am pleasantly surprised to see the wooden crates appear, especially when they drop in price, making them almost as cheap as potatoes.

Clementines are far and away my favorite citrus fruit.  Easy to peel, bright, sweet flavor, and no seeds.  A bite of summer in the middle of the cold, dry, bitter winter.  Plus, the segments are bite-sized, so they aren’t nearly as messy to eat as a traditional orange.  No nasty pulp to bite through or juice running down your chin and hands.  I know, I know.  I have some weird aversion to regular oranges.  But that is why I appreciate clementines so much.  Even when I forget about them.  You know, I think I might have written a blog post about clementines last year, but I can’t really remember…


Posted by on December 30, 2009 in Food, Julie


Merry Happy!

Christmas is always one of my very favorite holidays.  While it did creep up on me a bit this year, and I didn’t get as much baking or shopping or cleaning done as I would have liked, it still comes down to spending time with family.  I feel like I could write and write and write about the last two days, the gifts, the horrible weather, and the many laughs and activities with family.  Suffice to say we had a great time, and hope your’s was a very Merry Christmas as well.

One of Justin’s favorite gifts this year…
Much of Julie’s family gathered at her Grandpa Schneider’s center, despite the snow, rain, and ice.
Justin feeds the already-well-fed Giant Squirrel at the retirement center.

Aunt Jean opening a special gift with oven mitts. Hilarity ensues.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like Picante Beef Flavor Top Ramen!

Grandma and Grandpa Miller and Sarah enjoy the time of exchanging homemade gifts. (Grandpa is wearing the gift Justin made for him)

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Posted by on December 25, 2009 in Family, Julie


Still Around!

Goodness gracious these days are flying by.  Between work, Christmas shopping and wrapping, visiting with friends and family, and then falling into bed exhausted each night, there has been little time to squeeze in a blog post.

Travis and Emily came up from Houston to visit for a few days.  They stayed in Wausau with Justin & Trav’s parents, and then came down on Monday to stay with us for the evening.  The King fam came over for dinner and games, a chance to reconnect with Trav and meet Emily as well.  As expected, it was a time filled with laughs and silliness.  After dinner, Madie and Justin helped Trav and Em create their very own fairy names on a website

Bop-It and Super Mario Brothers were played, dominated, and groaned at. And Armadillo milk was drunk.  Yep.  You read that correctly.

Travis found a can of Armadillo Milk at some Texas souvenir store, and decided I needed to bake something with it.  I decided that I did not want to ingest something that hadn’t been approved by the FDA for human consumption.  So instead, Jim and Trav were brave enough/pressured into taking a swig of it and giving their report.  Here is their happy picture, preparing their minds and bodies for what they are about to receive.

The response was immediate.  Armadillo Milk is Not Good.

Armadillo Milk is Bad.  Very, Very Bad.  The contents of that can were evil and needed to be destroyed.

While the rest of us were rolling on the floor laughing, Travis and Jim proceeded to flush out their mouths and drink copious amounts of other liquids.  They compared it to drinking  a wet diaper.  Never a good review for a food-type product!

And so the bond between the King family and Travis was renewed and Emily got to experience some additional Gasper crazy.  It was such a great visit, and we miss them already!

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Posted by on December 23, 2009 in Family, Friends, Julie, Taste Test


Christmas decorations

My scrumtrulescent wife spent a good portion of the day today working on Christmas decorations.  She did a wonderful job making our new apartment feel festive.

We went up to Wausau today and my Dad and I went out to eat at the Red Eye Brewery (if you live in the area and haven’t eaten there, you are missing out – get the Nutella calzone for dessert).  Julie went over to her aunt Phyllis’ house to do the yearly candy making.   Then my Dad and I played CoD MW2 for an hour or so.

The tree!

The fake and real Christmas village

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Posted by on December 11, 2009 in Justin


A New Home.

We’re here.  We’re in.

This past Saturday some friends and family came over to help us move our furniture over to the apartment.  Three minivans and an 18-foot flatbed trailer made quick work of our belongings, and two and a half hours after started, we were officially moved in.  A great big thank you to John and Sarah, John and Sue, Mark and Phyllis, Daryl, and Lincoln.  The process was so much easier, and a lot more fun because of all of you!

The rest of our weekend involved organizing and setting up our new home: hanging towel bars, setting up electronics, doing loads of laundry, putting away dishes.  We are still going back and forth to the house once a day, until our mail is moved over and we get the rest of our clothes/kitchen supplies/miscellaneous extras.

For now, it is just nice to be here.  To be able to finally take a breath and sit down on our couch and enjoy the 3 months of work that have gotten us to this point.  Not that we’re done by any means.  Kitchen cabinets will be installed next month, as well as some new furniture.   The stairs will be painted this week, and some paneling will go up in the entrance hallway.  But we love being downtown, and are excited to be where we are at this moment.  In our new home.


Posted by on December 7, 2009 in Building, Julie


No, You will not be getting this for Christmas…

I have to say that I am rather enjoying my job as a personal shopper for  Heck, I am being paid to surf the web.  “Can you find an American-made Christmas tree?” you ask.  “But of course!  Here are the top three products I would suggest!”  “How about Thomas the Tank Engine Cookie Jar?” “Absolutely!  Here is one on”  It’s pretty cool to be able to help people find things they otherwise thought they couldn’t get.

But this is not always the case.  There are some items that we are being consistently asked about, and unless you have a fortune to spend on Christmas presents, there isn’t a glimmer of hope that they will be under your tree come Christmas morn.

Mattel Mindflex.

This came out a couple of months ago, to lots of blank stares and puzzled grunting noises.  It is a game that apparently uses your brain waves/mental telepathy/ghosts to move a small ball in the air without touching it.  And now every 9 – 26 year old guy needs it.  Not just needs it… HAS to have it.  Unless, of course, the price has increased to almost $200.

FurReal Friends S’Mores Pony.

Yeah.  You’re not getting this either.  This is a toy pony, about 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall, that actually walks and moves and little kids can actually ride on.  Pretty. Stinkin. Awesome.  And $495, up a little from the originally $50 price tag.

Barbie Glamour Camper.

This one makes me laugh.  Who is Barbie trying to kid?!  When has camping ever been glamorous?!  Even if you have a sweet camper, you’re walking through the woods getting pine needles and dirt stuck to your clothes, sitting by the fire, the smell of smoke permeating every square inch of your skin, and picking ashes off your food.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  But Glamour and Camper do not go together.  And Mattel probably only made about a hundred of these things, thinking they wouldn’t be very popular.  They were wrong.  People feel the need for some Glamour in their Barbie camping experience.  And only few lucky girls are going to get it this Holiday season.

So if any of these items are on your wishlist this year, good luck.  Sure you don’t want an iPod instead?  I can find you an iPod in a snap.


Posted by on December 3, 2009 in Julie, Miscellaneous