Monday, October 27, 2008

Just call me Betty Crocker!

Success! So anyone who knows me, knows that sometimes my domestic skills are a little lacking. But, I've been trying to correct this. So when my professor was giving away apples, I decided to try and make my very first apple pie. I've made pie before, but never completely on my own. Brooke peeled the apples for me, and after a few phone calls to Grandma Betty...the pie was complete! And I must say it was amazing! The crust was delicious and it looked fabulous too!! I might not be so hopeless after all!!

Fall is definitely in full swing here in Iowa. We carved pumpkins this past week, and everyone can't stop talking about Halloween this weekend. The leaves up here are beautiful this year. I should go walk around campus and take some pictures. Even though I love fall, I can't help but dread the winter. I can feel it creeping up on me. It's been a lot colder and is supposed to be in the 20's tonight. I'm definitely not ready for the snow to come back. This southern Illinois girl was not made for Iowa winters!!

This past weekend was another busy one. My good friend, Dallas, who I judged with at Illinois, came to visit me and Brooke. Dallas and I stay in pretty close contact, but it was so good to get to see her and actually spend time with her. I miss her a lot! Ace also came to visit this weekend. It was homecoming here so we tailgated on Saturday. It was just overall a really great and fun weekend! I love having visitors and always feel a little sad when they're gone!

Well I need to wrap this up and look over some papers for class tomorrow...totally not like me to wait till the last minute :) I'm also watching my Colts lose to Tennessee. I'm really not sure what's wrong with them this season... Anyways, I'll leave you with some pictures from the weekend and our pumpkin carvings. Enjoy!!

*Our awesome front porch*

*I carved Frankenstein*

*Dallas, me, and Brooke tailgating*

*Ace and me*

*Dallas and me*

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pickin!

I know it's been a little while since I've updated this. I suppose was just waiting until I did something halfway interesting to write about! Just to catch everyone up on the past week or so...this past weekend was the Iowa State Invitational Meats judging contest, and I helped out a little with that on Saturday afternoon. Ace is the coach of the University of Nebraska's team, so I also got to spend some time with him while he was in town. Dr. Carr and Stacy (a grad student from Illinois) were also here to serve on the official committee for the contest. It was so great to see both of them and catch up a bit. I also got to visit with some of the other team's coaches who judged the same fall that I did. The meats judging circuit is kind of like a family and every contest seems to be a mini reunion of some sort. I think that's why I love it so much...apart from the educational purposes of course ;) This coming weekend is the American Royal contest in Omaha, Nebraska and a group of grad students and myself are going over on Saturday to be group leaders for the contest on Sunday.

The weekend of visitors and fun led right into a fun filled week. Yesterday, Rita Wilcox (used to be Muehling) came over for supper. She went to U of I and lived at 4H House with Brooke, Abbie, and I. She lives in Dallas Center, Iowa now which is conveniently located only 45 minutes south of Ames! It was really great to have her here and catch up. Our original plan was to take her with us to a pumpkin patch, but the weather was less than cooperative. Brooke still wanted to go and I talked her out of it (which she didn't let me forget). So to make up for it. We made a trip to the pumpkin patch this afternoon with sun shiny skies :)
I found this place just by typing 'pumpkin patch Ames' into Google. It was only about 15 miles south of town, and it was awesome! They had acres of apple trees, a huge pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a cute little store filled with apple butter, cider, pie, jam, and loads of other goodies, and lots of other fun things. It was a search to find the best pumpkins. There were still gobs of green pumpkins, and then lots of rotting orange pumpkins :( Right as we were leaving, I found the most perfect one! It rivals the great pumpkin of Charlie Brown! We then tried our luck in the corn maze, and it only took us 23 minutes to find our way out. Brooke and I each bought two pumpkins, and then we got some apple butter, cider, and pumpkin pancake mix. It was just so great to get out of town for a few hours and be in the country. We're making plans to go back in a couple of weeks. When we got home we mixed up some pumpkin pancakes for supper and they were delicious!
Headed to the patch with our empty wagon.......

The patch was definitely a bit weedy. It was easy to lose each other!

The maze had these cut outs that you had to find in it.

Heading back with our finds. It was a great day :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

So what's new with you?

So you know that saying "If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?" Well starting this blog is me jumping. After some of my friends started blogs to keep their family and friends updated and in the loop, I never thought I would have anything interesting to write about it. But after religiously reading theirs, I decided to could do this too.

So what's new with me....well I've started my second year of grad school here at Iowa State in meat science. Everything has been going really great. Most of the data for my research project has been collected, and I teach a lab section which I really enjoy. I should graduate in May or by August at the latest, and I've been contemplating my next move. Of course, I'm that crazy girl who likes school, so I've been thinking a lot about continuing on to get my phd. I've started looking at universities a little bit and getting an idea of where I would like to go. But I still really have no idea what I want to do when I grow up!

When I'm not doing school stuff, I've been keeping myself busy with various fall activities. Football season is in full swing, so I've been taking part in tailgating and trying to disguise myself as a true Iowa State fan. But in reality, I'll be orange and blue forever! I will give Iowa State props though for having amazing tailgating. While their football team isn't anything to brag about (although they did almost upset Kansas this weekend) they take their tailgating very seriously. Some guys I know went together to purchase an old ambulance off of Ebay and cleverly attached "ISU 911" decals to the side. With it's working lights and sirens, it's quite the sight!

This past weekend, most of my pledge class from 4H House took their senior walkout and came to visit me. I took them tailgating and we had a small bachelorette for Rachel Baum on Saturday night. Overall it was a fabulous weekend, and I wish I could see those girls more often!

Rachel (Baum that is) now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska which is conveniently located only a little more than 3 hours away from me. It's so great to have her and her fiance, David so close that we can easily visit each other during free weekends. As some as you may or may not know, she's not the only reason I'm frequenting Nebraska these days....I've began dating a guy who lives in Lincoln and his name is Ace. I think that's all the details that I'm going to give away for now... :)