Forced Creativity

I apologize for not updating sooner. I’d planned to, but there was a snafu with the cable company – totally my fault, as I scheduled the appointment for Pacific time instead of Mountain time – so when they showed up to install our cable/internet, Tara and I were actually kicking back at Buffalo Wild Wings enjoying a nice lunch and beverages. Oops. Not that I would have had time to sit down and bang out a blog post, though…

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Moving: it’s not for the faint of heart.

We’ve now spent three full days unpacking, and approximately 80 percent of that stuff has been put away – either in cupboards, drawers, or our storage unit. The apartment is pretty nice, but definitely lacks storage space. We didn’t realize until moving in that we don’t even have a kitchen pantry; this has forced us to both downscale, boxing up much of our stuff that we figure we can live without for a while, and get creative with storing other items. Our wine and liquor collection, for instance, resides on the bottom shelf of our bookcase, and we have canned goods in an old DVD cabinet. You do what you must. Plus, this is temporary; we’re only here for 13 months, and then we should be ready to buy a house. It’s a small sacrifice to make.

Here are some photos of the apartment.

We have already developed a nice routine of sitting out on the patio in the morning, drinking coffee. It faces west, so it’s very pleasant early. The afternoon is another story, but our A/C is very efficient! And we’ve had some clouds to take the edge off from time to time.

Yesterday, I made a purchase that got me really excited: a brand new barbecue grill. grillYou might recall that our apartment complex in Vancouver did not allow grills, so we haven’t been able to grill out for four long years. Considering we cooked out on average once or twice a week prior to that, it felt like an eternity. So I broke down and bought this nice drum-style grill. It’s charcoal, even – something else I wanted to try my hand at. We wasted no time either, grilling up ribeye steaks and corn on the cob last night. It took a little while to figure out the intricacies of getting the coals just right, but after a bit of trial and error we figured it out and ended up enjoying a delicious meal on the patio, complete with wine and beer. Sitting there as the sun dipped low and a few lazy clouds drifted by, I felt utterly at peace for the first time in weeks. The whole moving process sapped all our strength, and taxed us both physically and mentally. It was good to finally be able to relax.

I know it’s only been a few days, but so far we are both quite enamored of Rapid City. We are finding this community very charming and friendly. Seriously; everybody is so damn nice here! Must be that Midwestern hospitality. And it’s the perfect size and speed for our pace of life. No regrets whatsoever.

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It’s been a very wet spring around here, and Rapid City is looking quite green.

Today was hot – not gonna lie. Well into the 90s, and humid. Fortunately, the day we were making multiple trips back and forth to the U-Haul was overcast and pleasant. Thank you, weather gods, for that. Every day convective cumulus clouds have been building up over the Black Hills and there have been occasional thunderstorms in parts of the region, but I am still waiting to experience one myself. My inner weather geek absolutely cannot wait. This weekend looks promising.

After being on the go nonstop for over a week and with cooler weather on tap, we have decided to take a break tomorrow and drive out to the Badlands, which Tara has never seen. We plan to hang around until sunset, weather permitting. I’m going to pick up an annual pass while we’re there, because there will be plenty of visits in our future.

I’ll update again this weekend.

 

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Fake Like 38

I stepped outside this morning and was greeted with a blast of cold air and a brisk wind. A couple of hours later Tara called and, as we were chatting, I mentioned how chilly it was outside. But I immediately caught myself and retracted the sentence.

“It’s not really cold outside,” I said.

And it wasn’t. The temperature was hovering around 40 degrees, which – granted – ain’t exactly swimsuit weather, but it is only February. We’ve had an unusually warm couple of months, so a temperature closer to the norm felt extra cold to me.

Besides, I keep reminding myself how cold next winter is going to be. I’ve been following the weather in Rapid City religiously for months now, and there have been many days where highs were in the single digits, and nights have dipped below zero. So I’m trying very hard not to complain about fake cold like 38 degrees, because it’s all relative and a year from now that will feel probably feel warm!


My parents are currently on vacation in Florida, so we decided to take advantage of the situation by borrowing their grill. Being as how their grill is attached to the side of their house via a natural gas valve, we ended up borrowing their entire house while we were at it. (Don’t worry, mom – we brought our own wine!).

Grilling is one thing we both miss. When I was a homeowner I’d grill out at least once a week, pretty much all year long. But our apartment complex doesn’t allow grills, and even though some residents break the rules Tara and I choose to walk the straight and narrow. Which means grilling has turned into a special occasion.

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We picked up ribeye steaks from Costco, invited our friend Kara over, and had ourselves a feast on Saturday night, kicking back in their sunroom (we borrowed that, too) with the aforementioned steak, accompanied by sauteed mushrooms, shrimp, apricot pepita cabbage slaw, and garlic bread. We had a great time, even if Kara was a little unnerved by the creepy oversized doll in the living room. I didn’t mention how the thing comes to life sometimes and tiptoes up the stairs in the middle of the night, magically appearing in bed with my parents.

Just kidding, Kara.

Countdown: 131 days.