Sunday, December 12, 2010

The After Party

After the official Christmas Party comes the After Party.

Just like last year, we headed over to one of the girls' houses to hang out and have "fun" ( think....Presidents and A$$hole$) until it was time to head out on the town.  By town, I mean St. Paul.  And by St. Paul, I mean Grand Ave. And the only thing on Grand Ave that has a DJ and dancing is, of course, The Wild Onion.

It wasn't fun as last year and I could blame it on my lack of sleep Thursday night.  I was falling asleep by midnight and we still have 2 hours left to go.  And it's also probably because I had that expectation that it's was going to be just as fun because other "fun" people would be there. But everyone else were big snoozers.  No big party groups.  Nobody cute to talk to or dance with.  Just private parties sitting in their booths, talking and drinking their red wine.  ♪ La la la la la .♪

Moving on.  We planned on spending the night at Crystal's house.  We brought our sleeping bags and pillows and were more than content with just sleeping on the floor.  When we got there C.'s husband, Joe,  had 3 blown up mattresses.  One of each of us.  And of course, one of us would take the couch.

Then in the morning, we got up and he shoveled off the mountain of snow off the driveway ( the association "sucks" per C.) so that he could get us McDonald's for breakfast.  Yet he didn't want our money to pay for it.  While we were eating, C. asked him where he got the air mattresses.  He said that he picked them up on the way back from dropping us off and blew them up while we were out.  And then when it was time to go, he dug out each of our cars....4 total.  And then dug out one of us again when she got stuck trying to get out of the guest parking and onto the main road. 

To describe J., I'm speechless.  How C. got so lucky to find this guy is beyond me, but they make the sweetest couple.  He was our sober-cab, he dropped us off and picked us up ( in the middle of a
snow-storm ).  He was our bed-maker, breakfast-getter and our AAA ( triple A ).  He just did those things because he was a nice guy.  In the words of Dana: "I Want One."

PD Christmas Party

This has just been an odd weekend to end an odd week.
I know I usually talk about work, work, work.  But I try to fit in fun time here and there.

This week at work was just a tiny bit stressful.  Having lunch on Friday with the girls we realized that we all thought that, and we agreed that the reason behind it was PMS.  We all were somewhere within it's phase.  Everyone had an attitude.  Everyone was pissed off.  Everyone was snippy.  I couldn't wait for the week to be done with.  I don't know how the 2 men doctors deal with so many women.  I'm going nuts and I AM a woman.

Having such a week made Friday afternoon/evening that much more fun.  It was our PD Chrismas Party.  We had a bowling/pizza party at Flaherty's and it was a competition between Roseville and Maplewood.  This was our first year of not going to a sit-down restaurant and just eating and talking.  We really didn't know what to expect. 

This was Maplewood's third year but first competition.  They had "teams" with matching puff paint shirts.  They had trophies they gave out.  They ended their day earlier so that they could get more bowling time.  They had 2 full hours ( from 4-6pm) while some of us from Roseville only had 45 minutes.  The trade secrets of how to get the max bowling time in weren't shared thus making the average scores for Maplewood higher.  Since they had almost 3 times as much bowling time and could rely on more than one score.  My score of 103 didn't count but my 69 did. 

Oh well, there's always next year.  We're gonna bring it.  It was the perfect way to release the stress and pent-up steam from working all day/week.  We might have to start a bowling league instead of just fuming at each other.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yummy Treats

I'm home.  No worries about the roads or the weather.

The cookie exchange was a success.  Nine ladies showed up, one had to cancel last minute.  Some I knew, most I didn't.  But with a little coffee, apple cider and a cinnamon roll, and we were all friends. 

Now I have nine dozen cookies of different varieties to share throughout the holiday season.

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Cherrie Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut Butter Pretzels
Peanut Butter & Ritz Sandwiches
Rice Crispie Marshmellows
Sugar Cookies

Ouch! ( Saturday, December 4, 2010 )

Pre-note:  I'm still Up North.

I just had to hand write 10 recipe cards for the cookie exchange.  I had forgotten that recipes were supposed to be included.  Whoops.

And I think my hand just fell off.

I don't know how I did it all those years in grade school.  I could never do so much penmanship ever again.  But in today's world, I suppose it's all about typing on a a blog.

I'd like to give a shout out to Mr. Miley.  If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be able to type either.

Snow Plows ( Friday, December 3, 2010 )

Pre note: I wrote this post Up North on scratch paper...with an actual pencil.  My parents still live in the stone-age and don't have a computer.  Therefore, I had to wait 'til I came home to post.

Four to nine inches of snow and eleven dozen cookies.

Mom may tell me to stay home for Thanksgiving because the roads are bad but a "little" snow isn't going to stop me from getting rid of eleven dozen cookies.  Saturday my mom's neighbor had a Christmas cookie exchange that my mom, sister and I decided to participate it.  So I had to make it Up North.

The roads in the cities were horrible.  It took me an hour to get to Hwy. 10.  One 5 cars could make it through a stop light before it turned red again.  Once we got on the highway, we were cruising at a speed of 45 mph.  Half way to my parents we got caught behind a snowplow and going at a max speed of 25 mph.  It was a two-lane highway so passing it was definitely not an option.  I'm a firm believer in Stay Back Stay Alive.

Another reason why we had to stay such a far distance behind was because the snow was so light, as it was pushed to the side, the wind picked it up and swirled it around.  It was like driving in a blizzard even though it had actually stopped snowing.

So a drive that should have taken 90 minutes actually took over 3 1/2 hours.  I'd rather drive in a tornado (as I did this summer) than to drive behind another snow plow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday '10

It's not every year I get the Friday after Thanksgiving off and I wasn't going to let today pass without doing a little shopping.

I had originally made plans to shop in St. Cloud with one of my dental co-workers.  She has family in that area too.  But since my family Thanksgiving was canceled, I had to cancel out on N.  I was a little nervous about driving around in St. Cloud, because I am totally lost.  There's just too much stuff crammed into Division St. and Crossroads.  Selfishly...I am a little happy to be shopping in my home territory.

J and I hit the road around 6:30.  Our stops included Best Buy, Target, Menards (all on 65), the Mounds View library (to return movies that we watched after our Turkey feast), Target again (this time in Riverdale....awesome customer service here....thanks old guy in electronics!), JC Pennies and Walmart.  We attempted to stop at Old Navy, but that was a big mistake.  I will never attempt to drive by Kohl's and through that parking lot ever again on a Black Friday.  You can enter at 3 different intersections, but EVERYONE has to exit at the SAME place.  Who engineered this shopping complex???  It took 5 seconds to get in, but 20 minutes to get out.

We were pooped out and back at home by noon.

Oh, and I made a third and final trip back to Target.  This time for a return of a in-the-moment purchase.
Gotta love the Target!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

American Joe

Starbucks out.  American Joe in.

It's a new coffee shop in Blaine that took over a closed Starbucks.
I stopped in Sunday to try it out.  Delicious. 
It has a cozy atmosphere, similar to Starbucks.  Dark woods, dark brown leather couches, fireplace. 
And they even serve Bridgeman's Ice Cream.
I believe that I will become a regular customer.

My date with Harry.

I had made plans this weekend to see Harry Potter with my sister.  We were going to meet one of my coworker's and one of her roommates at the Rosedale AMC.  We were going to go to the 1:40 show, but if it were sold out we would hang around for the 2:20 show.

J and I arrived an hour early, but even that was too late....for ALL afternoon matinee's.  So we scrapped our plans and we all headed home.  I have hometown theaters on speed dial, so I called Andover Cinemas to find out their next showtime.  We hot tailed it to Andover to buy our tickets.

Most people head to giant cinemas, but to tell you the truth, I enjoy the little theaters.  Lines aren't long, theater's aren't crammed full of people, tickets are cheaper.  And I was very appreciative of this crowd of people because I wasn't the only cough-er. 

I made sure I had my dose of Codeine Elixer before we headed out on the town and plenty of cough drops in my pocket, but sure enough....the tickle showed up. 

Once I'm back to feeling 100%, I will definitely being see Harry again!  Maybe in IMAX.

No-Go Thanksgiving

Today was supposed to be a good day. 

I finished with my holidays cookies yesterday for a cookie exchange.  Over 13 dozen cookies made and now I get to relax.  The Christmas Tree is up and decorated.  I wanted to do that last weekend but I didn't have the energy or motivation.  Having a cold didn't help matters but I knew I wanted it up before Thanksgiving.  I really want to enjoy the Holiday Spirit because last year I skipped putting up the giant tree.

And then I talked with my mom on the phone.  She is going to be hosting Thanksgiving this year.  It is going to be a small crowd.  Just immediate family and my mom's sister and her husband, and my mom's two brothers.  Their significant others (wife/girlfriend) don't usually attend family gatherings.  I don't know why; we're a friendly bunch.  I only see them at weddings/ funerals.  No, make that just funerals.  Neither one came to either of my cousins weddings, but they did make it for the grandparents funerals.

She doesn't want me and my sister to come Up North because the roads "may" be bad.  Well, maybe they will be just fine.  So I just supposed to stay home...alone....for Thanksgiving.  No thanks.  I was stuck without any family for Christmas last year. 

Truthfully, I spent it at an old coworker's, who opened up her home to anyone who didn't have any plans.  And I had more fun than I would have had with my own family.  We had tons of food (Prime Rib, Twice Baked Potatoes, Grilled Steak), plenty of laughs just talking and playing games and cards. Attire was extremely casual....pajama casual.  Adults and kids all at the same table.  No kiddie table for me at Eileen's home.

Family is very important to me, especially for all the special occasions.  My parents aren't spring chickens.  They won't be there for all of MY holidays.  Maybe I'm being selfish for wanting to keep creating holiday memories while I still can.  And I want to appreciate the family that I do have.  Cousins are getting older, getting married and creating traditions of their own.  I feel sad that it's not like it used to be when my grandparents were still around.

I have this idea in my head of how Thanksgiving should be and it's not staying home and not celebrating with loved ones.  Rain, sleet or snow isn't going to stop me.  It's times like these when I really wish I could say screw you all and hang out at my significant other's house and enjoy myself with him and his family.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Boutique-ing

Today I was in the mood to do some shopping, so I decided to continue on with the boutique-ing.  There just happens to be the Majestic Oaks boutique going on.  It's usually the same old stuff with a little variance but this time I found a couple of things I want to put up on my freshly painted walls.


When I came home from shopping I decorated my front lawn by my patio and driveway.  I put up the wrought iron stakes I found at the "gorgeous" house and threaded some leaf garland that I found at Michaels (70% off on clearance!) through the hearts.

Then later on I got my hair done.  I got it trimmed and colored.  Just in time before the holidays start.  On my way home, I decided to stop at Kohl's to look for socks for Mom.  She wears navy blue pants with black shoes and her socks never match.  I wanna try to find some navy blue/black socks so they will always match her pants and shoes at the same time.  Note:   I never have any luck with Kohl's and socks.  But I did find a cool looking jacket.  Water proof and Wind resistant.  "Live In It" is the motto of the brand and that's exactly what I intend to do!

My new haircut and color!

Playing wit da hood

Deer Hunting Get-Away

This weekend I spent Up North at my mom. We were both "widowed".  Mom by my dad and I by my sister.  I love to just get out of dodge for a couple of days.

We spent the weekend doing a couple of projects.  Mine was to "blanket stitch" a fleece blanket instead of doing the "no-sew" tie method.  We stayed up until midnight on Friday to get that one done and it looks awesome.

My mom's project was for me to superglue her "Pot People" together.  I have no idea where she found these things but they turned out great too.

We also did some boutique-ing in Rice, Royalton and Little Falls.  It was the same 'ol crap you would find at a Women's Expo in the Cities, but we did find two houses out in the country that had Holiday Boutiques.  One was pure Avon stuff.  Not just makeup and perfume but clothes and ornaments too.  The other house was like a dream.  I want to live in this ladies house someday.

The driveway (an average length of a farm driveway) was like driving through the woods.  If you put your hand out either window, it'd be in the brush.  Even though on either side of the driveway was farmland.  The kitchen was GORGEOUS.  Vaulted ceilings and real wood floors (knots and other imperfections).  Her kitchen was "AWWWWWW   : O ".  Big bay windows to look out when doing the dishes.  Her pantry had a etched glass door that said "Pantry".  And her walls where not just painted.  They had full murals on them.

The nursery was 3D.  It was a garden with a picket fence screwed to the wall to accent the twin bed.  And them big bright daisy flowers where tucked in behind the fence.  On the adjacent wall was Peter Cottontail sticking out about 2 inches.  There were butterflies and ladybugs and a sun and clouds. 

The basement had birch trees painted all over in clusters.  No tops of bottoms at the floor or ceiling.  Just tree trunks.   And then little birds flying from tree to tree.  Adorable!

I don't have the patience or the skill or even the imagination to dream up anything like that.  I'm just going to have to buy her house.  It's just that simple.  The commute is going to suck though.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Harvest Fest

On Saturday I volunteered to work at the Andover Y's 4th Annual Harvest Fest.  I've did it the first year and it was not nearly as a success as this year was.  For kids participating, an early estimate is over 400 kids and parents.

I started out the day directing parents and kids in the parking lot to where the Trunk Or Treating was.  There was a steady flow of people coming for about 20-30 minutes.  After the people walking up to the door tapered off, I headed indoors to see where I was needed. 

The community rooms were full of people playing bingo and walking the cake walk, eating snickerdoodle cookies and drinking the classic orange drink from McDonald's.  In the fieldhouse, we had tons of games and the lines for each game where long.  All the stations were already man-ed, so I headed out to find my boss.  My job that I was assigned to was perfect....handing out over 200 toothbrushes that we donated by an Anoka dentist.  They went like hot cakes.  Two hundred toothbrushes were gone in less than 30 minutes.  Some adults were lucky enough to get a toothbrush too.

Towards the end of the day, I was one of three costume judges.  We handed out 24 prizes over 8 age categories.  Many cute costumes, but the ones that stick out in my mind were 2 sets of costumes.  The first were Preschool Age:  Dorothy and The Wicked Witch of the West.  The second was First Grade Age:  "Best Friends" charms.  One had half of the heart charm that said "Best" while the other girl had the second half of the charm that said "Friends".  Too cute.  The babies were adorable too.  Lamb Chop got first place.
 As I was heading out the door, I saw a baby dressed up like Yoda.  If that baby had been in the contest, hands down First Place!!! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park

I can't take credit for this event.  I had a busy Friday night as stated in my previous post and I worked an extra long day at the Y.  I was ready to just go home and relax a bit.  While I was working, I got a voicemail from the BFF that she needed to get out of the house because her husband had friends over and couldn't handle any more male bonding time.  She was in the mood to go out to dinner and maybe some dancing.  L and dancing doesn't happen very often so I jumped at the chance to get her out of the house and keep her out after 8pm.

She came over and we did some brainstorming on where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do.  My sister was the one who mentioned Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.  One just opened in June/July in St. Louis Park.  So we went out of our "comfort zone" and had a little road trip.

It was very easy to find...which may be a little dangerous.  It's in a new shopping area called "The Shops At West End", something similar to Arbor Lakes.  Parking ramp, cobble-stoned sidewalks and thoroughfares.  Little shops and eateries.  Musical rocks and plants.

We got there around 6:30 and it was a 40 minute wait.  We gave the hostess our cell phone number as we chose to shop while we waited.  Not many places open yet as it is still under construction, so we spent most of our time in a place called Love Culture.  Very urban chic.  The clothes only fit mannequins so mainly looked at the jewelry, accessories, shoes and handbags.  L and I bought matching earrings and necklaces.  Just another excuse to go out on the town.  I definitely want to go back to West End again and try out some of the other restaurants.  Especially the wine bars.

So we get a call that they're ready for us and we get a high top on what would be the dance floor.  We passed comfy booths on the way, but on a Saturday night, I think a high top by the dance floor is the best place to be.  The food was so-so.  I had the ribs with TK's signature sauce which were a little on the cold side, L and J had a chicken wrap.  It looked tasty but were drippy messy.  They came with fries, which you would think to be thick steak fries.  But nope....think McDonald's.

Where TK's really shines is in their booze.  If you've heard the song, you know that beer comes in mason jars.  There was a drink list, but the 3 of us got what I call a Rum Bucket.  You had 4 choices.  Just a Rum Mixer...I love Malibu Diet's so I had a Coconut Cruzan Diet.  Or you could have the Cruzan Confusion.  Or the Rum Breeze.  Or what L and J had...the Voodoo Juice.  Tasted like glorified Fruit Punch....Yum!

We were able to take our buckets home.  Don't think they'd let you take the mason jars home though.  (Note: If you click on the pictures, you can make out the recipes so you can try at home.)

There was an awesome guy singing, Shane Wyatt.  He had a great country twang voice and a southern drawl when he spoke.  I think we may have found our High Noon replacement.  We saw people that were hard core country ie.  5 gallon hats and boots with spurs, leather jackets with fringe.  One Mexican dude looked like Elvis (the older Elvis with big sideburns and huge sunglasses).  The only people that were dancing were old people in their square dancing dresses and they were getting whipped around, spun around.  There was no pop-it-lock-it-hip-hop-it-move-side-to-side.  By the time we left it was 10:30, the dance floor was packed and it was standing room only.

I could go on and on.  It was a blast and I'm going back again.  If you want to go out but don't know where, if you want to experience something new that you may never really ever do otherwise, this would be the perfect place for you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

High Noon Final Showdown

Friday Night

My sister and I bought tickets for the show weeks in advance.  We've been to enough shows at many venues that we know that if you're not there early enough all the tables will be taken and then you'll be stuck either at a crappy table or standing somewhere in the background with a crappy view.

So we had decided that we would head over there early to have supper and then just stick around to save a table and let everyone else join us later.  We got there between 6 and 6:30, ordered the special of the day, The High Noon Burger, which was just a plain bacon cheeseburger.  It was the most juicy burger!  Definitely in the top 5 of all Melt-In-Your-Mouth burgers. 

The tables are teeny and they are always grouped together so the spot we sat down at had 2 tables.  By 7:30 all the tables were taken and the show didn't even start 'til 9:30.  We only needed one to fit the 4 of us, but we were going to hang onto it 'til the last minute and then give some lucky strangers who would just happen to walk in grab it instead of having to stand in the background. 

A pair of women in their 30's tapped on my shoulder to see if "our" table was open.  We sat yep and they moved in.  They kept talking to us, so we told them to bring back the table in to a cluster.   They spent the whole night talking and dancing with us.  They were a hoot!  Words can not describe how crazy they were and how much beer they drank.  I'm just thankful they had a sober cab coming, because neither one of them were fit to drive.

It just so happened that one of the ladies was a dental assistant so we had more than enough in common to talk about.  And she also just happened to work at the dental office that my parents go to.  What a small world.

The only thing I can say was I had a blast.  It was the perfect way to enjoy my last night with High Noon.  I will miss them because nobody can ever replace them.  If they ever have a reunion show, you can bet that I'll be there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Who wants to share some major mulla with me?

This morning I stopped at McDonald's to try one of their Frappe's.  I usually go to Caribou but decided to try something different and cheaper.  As some of you may know, McDonald's is in the middle of their Monopoly promotion. 

I ordered a Medium Frappe just so I could get a game piece.  I got Marvin Gardens and stupid ol' St. James Place.  I always get that one.  At work, I rode up to in the elevator with a coworker who had stopped by McDonald's also to get a coffee and she had game pieces too.  She pulled 'em off and one of them was Atlantic Avenue.  OMG!  We had two pieces that went together.

As I thought about it through the day, Marvin Gardens is the more expensive property and is probably the more rare game piece.  Which means Ventnor Ave. is out there...somewhere....a little more common.  I hope my method of thinking if right.

So I'm appealing to all McDonald's Monopoly players out there, would you like to share your Ventnor Ave with N. and I?  We'll split the $25,000 evenly (after taxes of course).  I hope I don't have to eat MickeyD's for every meal 'til the end of the month to find my reward. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am deeply considering whether or not I want a Costco membership. 

I've been a guest in them before while shopping with others, but I don't know if I'll get my money's worth out of getting one all to myself.

Buying in bulk seems like a good idea, but where am I going to put all of it.  And who's going to eat all of it.  It's just me and my sister.  I don't have tons of mouths to feed.  $2.45 for a pound of hamburger is a great deal but do I need 7 pounds of it.  I need a bigger deep freezer if that's how much I get. 

Now if I could split the product and the cost with someone else, that could be a more viable option.  But that gets tricky too with scheduling shopping time together.  I work such crazy odd hours that I think it'd be hard to match up times with anyone. 

If only it were a little more convenient.  If only 242 wasn't closed.  If only Roseville had passed the business referendum (and thus a Costco was on the top of the list) instead of putting up a park and ride and old people housing near 35W and Cty. Rd C.  If only...someday....maybe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Water Power X

Chlorine.  Gotta love the smell of chlorine.

Last night I closed at the Y and I had to check the emergency doors and buttons in Aquatics.  Just walking onto the Pool Deck makes me want to jump into the pool.  So I made the decision that I was going to take an aqua aerobics class in the morning to satisfy my chlorine craving.  At six fricking o'clock in the morning.

And now I think I'm hooked.  It's not a bunch of old ladies....well, maybe just one or two.  It's mostly working class middle-aged women.  There were even two daughters there...may 18 or 20 years.  And they're the nicest group of women.

The only thing I'm really worried about is my hair and skin.  I have to remember to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Break-Up Email

Hey A****.  This is going to be a difficult email to read, as it is for me writing it.  You may not understand it or agree with it but it's something I need to do.  I am choosing to write it because this is the best way I know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings.  An email may be tacky and for that I apologize.

I'm going to have to call it quits on our communications.  The last couple of days I've spent reflecting on myself and what I actually want and need.  And right now a relationship isn't one of the them.  Among some reasons is the distance thing.  I know I told you that I thought I could do a long distance one, but I don't see myself ever traveling outside the northern suburbs to meet anyone, friend or otherwise.

I'm glad I'm realizing this now before we go any further.  I don't want to lead you on or make you miss out on your perfect match.  She's out there; she's just not me.  Sorry.

Best of luck with your search for Mrs.  A*****Man.


Saturday, October 9, 2010


Warning:  This is venting post.

I think I have reached my max on tolerating negativity from others.

My personality is to bite my tongue and shake my head, but on the inside I am screaming for the person to just shut up and get over it already.

Looking at the world as if it's out to get you doesn't do you any good. And makes others be irritated and like you just a little less.

I don't wanna hear you complain about your job.  Wake up....not everyone has one.
I don't wanna hear you complain about your kids and how they misbehave.  They won't always love you unconditionally.
I don't wanna hear you complain about others and how you think things should be done.  Everyone has different opinions and ways of doing their job.  In the end, it still gets done.

I try to be a friend with open ears, but sometimes I wish I could find ear plugs.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Home Improvements

Where have I been?  Have I really missed out on an entire month?  Man, time flies when your having fun.

Many things have come and gone during this month's time.  But these are the only things I can think of off the top of my head.

  • After purchasing my "Last Supper" masterpiece (see previous post), I decided to painted all the unpainted walls of my house.  This includes the whole livingroom (20 foot ceilings), the dining room, the staircase (20 foot ceilings), the hallway and the loft.  It's a subtle shade of white called Cotton Whisper.  It is a complimentary shade to my kitchen, which is sage.
  • After painting, I thought it was time to redecorate so I moved furniture around to eliminate junk accrual.  Well, I'll still accrue it but at least it won't be noticeable to guests. It will all be strategically placed.
  • Finally decided that I'm a grown-up and it was time that I bought mature furniture.  So I purchased a new couch for the loft from the Becker Furniture Liquidation Superstore at Northtown.  I got tired of sitting on dorm furniture for 6 years (fouton, butterfly chairs, bean bags). 
  • The sheet-rock in the basement is almost finished.  Dad framed in the egress window sill and just kept on going.  Just interior wall left to do then it's tape, mud, paint.  Dad knows a guy he used to work with and he can get scrape carpeting.  Maybe we can get some large pieces and lay them down instead of having just scatter rugs.
  • Now the next thing on my to-do list is to look for something to put in between my dining room and the living room.  I'm leaning more towards a sideboard but am not opposed to a simple bookcase.  I stopped in at Schneiderman's last week to see if they still carry my dining room table.....they do.  They manufacturer has a photo of my table in their catalog with a sideboard in the background but it's not listed as being for sale.  Major bummer because if it were for sale....problem solved.  But now I have to shop around for something that is going to match while not matching.  So we'll see how everything turns out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little Falls Craft Show

This weekend was the Little Falls Craft Show.  I tend to look at it kind of like the State Fair.  You can go every other year and still see the same things.  I hadn't been there for a couple of years and didn't know if I'd actually make it this year until I got an email from my aunt saying that she wanted to meet me there, along with my mom and my sister.

So Saturday morning we met Aunt Jo in town and spend 5 glorious hours in the sun, in the shade, in the wind, in the heat, in the crowds, in the the port-a-potties.  When asked what I was looking for, I said  "I don't know what I need until I see it".  I didn't go looking for anything.  It was mainly to just enjoy the weekend and the company.

And then I saw it. 

I've wanted a picture of The Last Supper for many years now.  I've looked in different religious stores and online but nothing really had ever spoken to me.  I wanted to find something like my mom and cousin have and my grandma had.  A 3D plaque made of plaster; 18" by 12".  Nothing huge that screams CATHOLIC LIVES HERE!  My aunt has a huge puzzle that she glued and framed beautifully but it fits the wall where it hangs.

And then I saw it.

It was a gorgeous decoupage of different papers surrounded by a 3D matte.  It has an antique looking frame with a sage colored background.  I'm ecstatic that I found the perfect picture of The Last Supper that fits my kitchen.  Now I'm excited to do some other cosmetic changes in my kitchen/ living room too.

If you like what you see, Barbara Groth is the artist.  She had many more religious pieces including gorgeous manger scenes for Christmas.  Her company is called Paper Sampler.  She is based out of Detroit Lakes.  If you want her address or phone number, let me know.  I just don't feel comfortable giving it out over my blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I should probably warn you that this is a venting post.  Please bear with me.

Today was a long day; mainly caused by many patients not showing up.  It happens quite frequently on the Friday before a holiday.  It makes the day just drag on and there is only so much cleaning one can do before taken over by the fumes.

But what I'm most frustrated about is parents.  Parents that don't act like parents.  Parents that don't know when to stay in the lobby and don't know when to keep their mouths shut.  Parents that interfere with me doing my job.

So here's my advise to those who are parents or may become parents one day.  This is how to behave when bringing your children to the dentist.

* Coming back into the treatment room is a privilege, not a right.  If you kid behaves, you get to stay.  If they misbehave or don't cooperate (depending upon age), you don't get to stay.  Six year olds are old enough to take directions from someone who is not their mother.  Much less 13 year olds.

*Don't deny your kids local anesthetic.  Just because you may not use it doesn't mean that your kid is tough enough to not need it.  Everyone's pain tolerance is different.  Let your kid have the choice of having novacaine or not.  It makes them feel like they have some control over the situation.

*When going over post op instructions and I tell you that pain meds would be a good idea before the novacaine wears off, don't tell me "Oh, I won't.  We do meditation".  Don't let your kid have an extreme toothache when taking a little bit of ibprofen would help with any discomfort.

*Don't let your kids run up and down the hall yelling.  There are other patients in the office and privacy needs to be respected.

*Allow me to go over the steps of the procedure.  Having them see the tools lets them see that nothing's sharp or scary.  They also get to understand the purpose of each tool.  It's actually kind of cool.  It also lets them know what to expect and the fear of the unknown goes away.

*Don't tell your kid that it will or won't hurt.  Bringing up the H word tells them that something WILL hurt.  Don't even say "I'll only hurt for just a bit".  We prefer to explain what kind of "hurt" it will be.'ll feel a pinch; or a poke, or a mosquito bite.  Or it'll feel weird or puffy or uncomfortable.(as in local anesthetic). 

*When we're all done and we're praising your kid because they did a great job, don't say "You should have cried."  What is that?  What does that should have cried?  By saying that, you are training your kid to think that when they go to the dentist or the doctor that they are going to cry.  Getting them worked up about treatment just makes things worse.  Be mellow and positive.  Having a negative attitude makes the visit go down the toilet real fast.

*Let your kids enjoy the dentist.  Let them pick out their own toy, pencil or sticker.  It's a reward for them doing a wonderful job.  Even if it means it's another "piece of junk" to take home.

**Edit 9/4/10***
I forgot to mention one thing.  Bringing kids back to the room by themselves without mom or dad makes them feel like they are BIG.  That they can handle it by themselves and they'll be okay.  I know some parents like to be in the room to hold their hand and to make sure they're alright or maybe just to watch.  But if we have problems, we'll come get you.  And sometimes having a spectator in the room distracts your child from what we are telling them and having a troupe of siblings in there too creates chaos.  My chair is not a monkey bar swing.  And if your kid breaks it, you get the bill. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pepe Le Pew

Last night my sister and I were on our way home from DT Minneapolis after seeing Wicked.  We were almost to the point that you call "we're almost home".  You know the place....where you've been on vacation for a week and you're heading back into town and it's the place where you EXIT OFF the freeway.  We're almost home!

Getting off topic here.  Anyhow we weren't even 15 minutes outside Minneapolis and we smelled a lovely? smell.  Skunk.

First I was a little shocked that there were skunks so close to the cities.
Second thought was we're not in the cities anymore.  We're just on the same freeway.

This led to a discussion for the rest of the 10 minute trip home.  Would you rather?

Would you rather smell skunk or manure?
Would you rather smell cow or pig?

Being that my parents live Up North in farm country, I heard my mom complain about all the smells that waif into her kitchen.  It kind of ruins the excitement for the brownies.  Her answer would never be manure. 
My mom's dad had a pig farm and I believe his answer would be pigs.
Um...I think I'll take skunk and cows this time around. 

So...I just proposed an interactive question with my readers.  Which would you rather?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The 10 Year

I didn't realize how grown up I was until Friday.  Sure there may be times when I still act immature but for the most part I am an adult. 

Seeing everyone at the high school reunion was eye-opening.  Some people changed, some people didn't.  Both with their looks and their behaviors.  I've heard that people had a blast.  I wouldn't say that at all.  I know people put a lot of work into making it happen and I very much appreciate it.  I'm not saying that it wasn't a nice spread.  I'm saying that it was weird and awkward.  People stayed within their social circles and didn't venture out.  With the exception of a few people, I would include myself in the previous statement. 

I loved high school.  The people, the extra-curricular activities, the socializing and a teensy part of the curriculum too.  I've thought up until Thursday that I wouldn't mind going back to high school.  There were some things that I had never done or didn't do enough of.  Like going to a hockey game or wrestling match.  Going to a football game that wasn't part of homecoming.  Getting into trouble...the worse that could happen was getting suspended.  Now if I do something defiant, I'd probably go to jail.

I remember a time when I had an opportunity to throw a history book outside a 3rd story window into the courtyard.  Many people did it but only one got caught ( Miss Samara!).  It would have been the perfect time to do it because there were bigger fish to fry in the senior food fight in the cafeteria.  Samara got off without a slap on the wrist.  Lucky girl!  Now all I can say is that the one time I got detention, it was because my ride to school never came making me late for school.  It was even a well earned detention. 

Now I don't think I'd survive.  Mainly because that I don't give a $h!+ about most of the people that I went to school with.  Where before I cared what everyone thought or did and I wanted to be a part of everything.  There were only a hand full of people that I really wanted to catch up with.  It'd be boring.  I much prefer where I am in life now.

I know that the friends I have from high school are keepers.  We've been through much during the past 10 years and I wouldn't trade you for anything.  You guys like me for me and I for you.  You are more dear to me than ever.  Thank you for letting me call you friends.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ripple Effect

This weekend is Immaculate Conceptions Fun Fest.  It's usually the second weekend in August and it is always hot, hot, hot.  When I was younger I would volunteer to work some booths with my mom.  I remember one year mom let me go in the Moon Walk Jumper after my ity bity shift.  It was so humid and I was so hot that I got dizzy and sick on the way to the car.  Mom thought I had heat exhaustion.  I never attended another Fun Fest since.

So you can imagine my face when my sister said that she wanted to go today.  I was less than enthusiastic.  We had plans to be out on the town so we just made a detour to Heights.  I wanted to see the Silent Auction items.  I placed two bids.  One on a pair of tickets to see a Wild game on Black Friday.  I've always wanted to see a professional hockey game but they are so expensive.  The other was on a basket of bakeware and cake mixes/ pie fillers.

After that we headed over to the BINGO tent.  Found a place in the shade and shared a couple of cards.  We played about 10 rounds and as luck would have it, Jean won.  She always wins.  I don't get it.  But I asked if she wanted to get a ice cream cone on the way home.  She said yes.  I said "good 'cause it's on her".

I suppose the only part I'm leaving out is the drama that occurred when we first arrived.  We tried to park in the church parking lot but it was full.  So we circled around the block so we could park in front library.  We got out and had to back track to the crosswalk near the Greater Life Tabernacle.  A car was coming eastbound but yielded to us so that we could cross over into the school parking lot/ playground.  We were probably 10 feet into the parking lot talking about what we wanted to see first when BAM!  We turned around and I'm still confused about what happened.  The car that had yielded to us was now facing south on the lawn/sidewalk of the Greater Life Tabernacle.  The driver must have been wanting to turn left (north bound onto Quincy) but happened to do in in front of an oncoming SUV.

I was the first to call 911 because none of the driver's seemed too concerned about getting help.  The car that yieled to us was driven by a younger her early twenties.  The two people in the SUV were middle aged ladies.  The younger girl was dazed, slow on getting out of her car.  I was relieved when I saw that her only injury was a little stream of blood coming from the bridge of her nose.  And the two other women bounded out of their SUV, yelling at her.  Obviously they were okay.

It kind of made me angry.  Yelling at someone and deciding blame right after an accident isn't gonna do anybody any good.  They didn't ask if she was everything all right?        Hello!!!!  She's bleeding!!!!
There was glass the windshield of the car was totally smashed, her bumper and side mirror were laying in the intersection.

Did I really want to get in the middle of this?  I did my civil duty.  Got help on the way.  Made sure everyone was okay without life threatening injuries.  We did stick around until the first squad got there and then went on our way.

I can't help but think.  If we had walked in the other direction, towards the crosswalk near the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel....could everything been avoided?

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Part II of Matt Damon.

Last night I watched Invictus.  It was way better than The Informant.  (The theory is right.  A handsome Matt out wins a goofy looking Matt any day.)

I don't remember too much about apartheid from Ms. Kane's 10th grade literature class.  Only the definition of it.  I know very little about Nelson Mandela; he endured much oppression for far too long and that he inspired a country to evolve and change the way it's seen throughout the world...(and of course what Oprah Winfrey thinks of him too).

And Francios unknown in America in the mid-90's but after seeing this movie....a household name similar to the likings of Michael Oher (The Blind Side), Jim Morris (The Rookie) or Lane Frost (Eight Seconds).

And I find myself noticing that I may be at the early stages of being infatuated with rugby.  It's seems like an interesting sport.  Fit men with massive biceps and huge thighs don't help matters either.  Does the USA have a rugby team??

I am feeling inspired to go out and buy "Rugby for Dummies" this week.  Hmmmm.  Or maybe a poetry book too. William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matter snot how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Funny Numbers

Last week I saw a funny that I thought I'd share.

Nicole, a hygienist, buzzed for a float to help her with a full mouth probe ( measurements taken on you gums to diagnose various stages of gingivitis, periodontal disease and recession; usually done once a year but can vary patient to patient).  She tells me the numbers and I record them into the patient's record with a red/blue pen.  It's just a bunch of numbers in a sequence of three, and slight pause, and then another sequence of three numbers.  For example, Nicole would say: "3-2-3.......3-2-3.....4-3-4.......2-2-2..." and so on.  You can have numbers up to 12.  The smaller the better; the bigger the worse you're teeth are.  That's your perio seminar for the day.  Now the story...

The patient had brought her 2 daughters with her into the treatment room.  They were playing together in the corner on the floor with their Barbie dolls.  I can't tell you how old they were, mainly because of HIPAA guidelines.  Let's just say they REALLY looked like they were under the age of 20 and a couple years apart.

Nicole and I were half way through our probe and the oldest girl starts talking with her Barbies.

Barbie 1:  Welcome to the dentist.
Barbie 2:  Thank you.  Do I have any cavities?
Barbie 1: Not today.
Barbie 2:  Thank goodness.  I was so worried.

The younger sister must have been listening to her big sister and us because moments after the bigger sister moved on to something else, she started saying random numbers.

If Nicole told me a number of 87....I'm sure my doctor would think Nicole would need to get Lasik or go back to hygiene school.

If you're not laughing, that's okay.  It's dry dental humor.

Movies with Matt

So I wanted to rent some movies to keep me company over the weekend.  I have a subscription to Netflix but I don't want to wait 2 days to get my movie.  For instant gratification, I headed to the nearest Ramsey County library in Mounds View.  They have way better selection and daily rates than Anoka County libraries.
Sidenote:  The MV library and the Northtown libraries are only 2 miles apart...bizarre.

I select my two movies and head home.  I get the DVD player and TV all ready to go and I notice that both movies star Matt Damon.  I rented The Informant and Invictus.  Huh.  Didn't even realize that I was getting both unattractive and smoking hot Matt's.

I watched The Informant last night.  Major snooze fest.  It took everything I had to keep watching it.  I'll watch Invictus tonight.  That has got to be better.  We're talking Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandella.  If those two were standing side by side, I don't know if I'd be able to tell the two apart.

Here's looking forward to some cute guys huddling over a ball in tight shorts!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

No Pitty Party For Me

So I decided not to have a pitty party for me.  I ditched my sister before she left for the weekend and did some solo shopping.  You know there's a big high school reunion coming up so I thought it was time to look for a new top.  And I got lucky at Herberger's.  Very'll just have to wait to see it.

While I was driving, one of my favorite songs came on and helped me get out of my funk.  It's called " Free To Be Me" by Francesca Battistelli ( on KTIS).  If you don't know who she is, I urge you to Google her and listen to this song.  It's very catchy!

At twenty years of age I'm still looking for a dream
A war's already waged for my destiny
But You've already won the battle
And You've got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me

When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right, and I'd make it here somehow
But things don't always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt


And you’re free to be you

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I've got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I've got all You seek
And it’s easy to believe
Even though



All By Myself

I have a 5 day vacation this week.  I usually just lounge around the house but I want this stretch to be different.

Tonight I had plans to go to Valleyfair.  But that fell through because one of the coworkers that was going is closing on a trailer park/cabin property in Hinkley.  Party at Tracy's next week!

I was hoping to catch a movie with my sister  Saturday night, but she's heading Up North to the folks.  I can't go with her because I do have two easy Saturday/Sunday shifts at the Y.  $$$ = shoes! handbags!

Then I thought I was going to hang out with the BFF.  Do a little shopping.  A little eating.  A little swimming and gossiping at the beach.  But I just got the call this morning.  The husband made last minute plans to get out of Minnesota and head to a buddies cabin in Wisconsin.  Ick...Wisconsin. 

Why would she want to hang out with her hubby when she has me???  Hehehehe.  I know they don't get much time together because they work different schedules at the hospital.   They need all the time they can get.

It just leaves me having a very lonely weekend.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This weekend has had summer written all over it.

Last night was the worst.  Storms, rain, tornadoes, straight line winds. A canary sun behind golden clouds to the west.  A strawberry sherbet sky with a red rainbow to the east.  Decade old trees laying on highways.  Branches in the streets.  Flower boxes turned over on the lawn.

Tonight was gorgeous.  Sun shining,warm, more than a slight breeze, with the scent of sunscreen and sweat.  It was the last day of softball.  It seemed like just yesterday was the first game and now we are at the end.  Made many friends that I'll probably never see again, mainly for the reason that I was a girl-fill-in throughout the season. 

I can't believe that July is half over.  Back-to-school supplies are in the stores.  I'm not ready to say good bye to summer quite yet.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Can Do Spontaneity

Today (Friday) was the last day of my vacation without having to work....anywhere.  So yesterday I decided to take advantage of it and pack it full of activites.

 My sister and I in the fern garden

The plan was to get up early and my sister and I would pick up the BFF and head to the Minneapolis Farmers Market.  None of us had ever been.  I had many people telling me different ways to go and decided that I was going to wing it from memory.  I knew that it was by the Basilica but didn't know exactly were.  Long story short....the Basilica Block Party was getting ready for this weekend so all the streets that I wanted to take were closed.  This nice security guard let me turn around in his parking lot and gave me directions on how to get around to an available parking lot.  But we couldn't find it.  We spend probably 45 minutes driving around looking for EAST Lyndale Ave. NORTH!  What kind of street name is that.  One that you can't find. (Once we got home, I re-Googled it.  We were 100 yards away.  So close.)

 The Sunken Garden--Gorgeous!

We decided to split our losses and head over to Como Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul.  Somehow just by pure luck we ended up in Downtown Mpls and I knew how to go OUT!

We spend the next 4 hours looking at all the gardens and animals.  A zoo is a zoo is a zoo.  But the gardens (and butterflies) were amazing.  The last time I was here was when I was in kindergarten.  It was just like I remembered it.

I'm going to have to keep this place in mind for a later event that hopefully will come sometime in the wedding.  It was a beautiful day with the sun shining with a light breeze.  I'm going to do the part of being a non-mom and complain about the pre-adolescent girls.  They were as snooty and pushy as they come.  Was I ever like that??
Coy fish in The Sunken Garden pond

 I love the texture of the leaves.  It reminds me of wallpaper.

Then it was time for lunch.  One of the things I want to accomplish this summer is to do the Juicy Lucy challenge.  So we headed back to Minneapolis to the 5-8 Club.  MmmmmMmmmmmMmmmm!  It was delicious.  It was a pleasant little hole in the wall and now that I know that you pass it going to the Mall of America is going to be a dangerous thing.

Next time, we'll do Matt's Bar and the Grand Ole Creamery.  Lake Nokomis is a gorgeous area.  If I were young again, I'd forget about buying a house and I'd rent a place in the heart of Minneapolis's wonderful parks and lakes.

The pictures below are from the Butterfly Enclosure.  These are just a few of the butterflies that stayed still enough for a photo opportunity.  Everyone else stayed flying about.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth Of July Weekend

It went too fast but here is what happened over the weekend.

Saturday: My sister and I got up early to pack the car and actually headed south instead of north. A couple of weeks ago I won tickets to see Eclipse from KS95. The stinker was that it was in frickin' Burnsville. Oh, the horror. I know it's just a little farther south than MOA but still. It's not very convenient. The showing started at 10am and popcorn was 95cents. We got to meet Ryan at Night. I like to call him Lyin' Ryan. We loved the movie. I've heard from friends that it was too much a love triangle theme. My response to those friends..."Did you even read the books? Hello...that's what most of Eclipse is." Can't wait for the transition to Breaking Dawn!

After the movie, we headed straight up 494/94 and got to my parents by 3:30. We just kind of hung around town the rest of the evening.

Sunday: More of just hanging around. We made an afternoon run into Little Falls to the Walmart. That was the excitement of the day. For an evening snack I made Tastefully Simple Triple Fudge Brownies and T.S. Cake Batter Cooler Drink Mix. I had to dig out my mom's blender from the 1970's. It was green....shall we say an unnatural color we only see when we are ill. It was a gem. They don't make appliances like that anymore. It pureed ice. My new blender can't do that. It was a cool, refreshing treat for a humid, muggy night. I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Monday: My mom, my sister and I headed further Up North in the early morning to do some boutique shopping in Nisswa. This is the kind of town that I would love to retire to. I didn't find anything for myself but I did find a cute little souvenir for my cousin who lives in San Diego. It's a MN license plate that says "I'd Rather Be In Minnesota". I think she'll like that.

They had lots of cute hemp/leather jewelry but I have enough of that. We passed a few coffee shops and it smelled so good. But ice cream was more appropriate. We ate at a little family owned sub shop, similar to SubWay. Otherwise it was a pizzeria or the A & W.

We left town around 12:30 and traffic heading sound was bad, really bad. Backed up for miles. Good thing we were heading further north still to my aunts lake cabin near Pine River. We had missed seeing everyone who had been up for the weekend. But we still got to see my cousin and her little one, who is just turned 4 months old. We got to see him doing some splashing in the kiddie pond. Much gabbing with the girls and splashing of the toes in the lake.

We headed back to my parents around 4:30 and got back just before 6:30. Traffic was much better later in the day.

Tuesday: My sister and I hit the road this morning and got home before noon.

I still have the rest of the week off. Don't have anything much planned besides a pedicure and I intend to keep it that way.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sleep! Zzzzzzz

I admit it.  I'm a night owl.  The older I get, the worse it becomes.  I could blame it on Sex and the City, but I won't.  I'll just say that it started there and has just snowballed. 

Two or three years ago I started catching the reruns in the WB at 10 and 10:30.  Pretty soon I had started seeing reruns of the reruns.  I had seen every episode.  And the first movie too.  Then I discovered TMZ and Letterman and Leno.  Not a huge Conan fan but that's another story.

Now it's rare that I go to bed before 11pm.  And I have to get up at 5 am.  I get anywhere from 5-8 hours of sleep every night.  On the weekends no less than 10 hours.  I just love staying up late late at night and sleep in late late in the mornings.

I remember being at Grandma's when I was little and waking up at 2:30 am Saturday morning and smell cinnamon rolls baking.  That's what Grandma did.  She never slept; she just napped.  Now I doubt I'll start baking in the middle of the night but you just never know.  Maybe that's were I get it.

But I think my busy schedule has finally caught up with me.  Yesterday I put in my 8 hours at the dental office.  I got home, changed, played tennis and had supper with Laura.  I was home and in my jammies by 6:30 and the lights went out at 7pm and came on at 5am.  I had slept 10 hours....on a weeknight!  Oh, it felt so good.  I haven't done that in sooo long.  The last time that happened I had the flu.

Now if the time stamp on this is correct, you will notice that I am writing this at 11:20pm Thursday night.  Guess tonight will be one of those 5 hour nights.  I'll just catch up on my sleep this weekend.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Sisters has been the topic of conversation a couple times this week.

Wednesday was my sister's birthday.   I got her a card along with a present.  I love to give cards just for the thought of it but I'm not mushy mushy with my sister.  We're friends, but not BEST friends.  That title belongs to my BFF Laura.  She's not my rock because I'm pretty tough and independent.  I came across two quotes that pretty much explain it all....

"Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life."
-Charles M. Schulz

"When mom and dad don't understand, a sister always will."
- Author Unknown

Topic number two this week revolves around the Kardashian sisters, Khloe and Kourtney.  I just happened to be watching an episode of the Miami spin-off.  Those girls are crazy....LA crazy.
It was an episode of one sister (I can't tell them apart) giving the other a bikini wax.

Okay.  An eyebrow or a lip wax is one thing but a bikini wax!  I, again, am not thatclose with my sister for her to give me or I her a bikini wax.  I prefer a stranger to do that.  A stranger that I would never see again.  Ever.

It also included a scene where the waxer was pumping for breast milk 'cause she just had a kid.  Just letting it all hang out in the living room in front of the waxee.  She even purposely spilt it on her.  I don't what any sort of bodily fluid from my sister splashed on my leg.  Thank you very much.

And don't forget that both of these scenes where filmed before a camera crew.  OMG!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Storms and Trees

Tonights storms has got me thinking a lot about trees.  Little trees but more importantly BIG trees. 
And BIG trees falling on my house.  I have some big oak trees just a couple yards from my front door next to my guest parking and one loud crack will take it down to my front door.

Just last week a storm passed through my parents' "40 acres" Up North near Pine River.  Dad had meant to take down a tree last summer but never got around to it.  Well it's down now.  Here is what it looks like.  Dad has a new to-do list for this summer...including repairing a broken trust and a couple ring joists and replacing some damaged roof panels.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hair Whoas and Oh No's

A couple of weeks ago I was working at the Y and I saw some brochures sitting on the desk behind Member Services for Salon Mystique, an Aveda salon, in Blaine.  They were made by a marketing company in Minneapolis.  The promotion was for 4 visits, each to be made at least a week apart.  A visit for a haircut (and color if chosen but $$ extra), a visit for a pedicure, a visit for a manicure and a visit for a massage.  All this for $45 dollars.  I purchased 2 packages; one for me and the other for my sister. 

My sister and I both had our first visit last Friday for haircuts.  I added the extra service of 12 foils.  I did my research and dug out some photos of what I wanted.  I've always been told by the various hairstylist I've had over the years that they LOVE photos.

First off, I should have known better than to leave Jill.  I feel like I betrayed her.  She works out of the Todaze Hair Salon in Blaine.
Second of all, I hate Aveda products.  Not that they are eco-friendly blah blah blah.  But that they make me sneezy and itchy.  My sister used to work for the Aveda plant in Blaine and she would come home smelly smelly.  I couldn't even be in the same room with her until she took a shower.  I know some people love the scent but it smells like weeds to me.

I told the girl I wanted to chop my hair off to the level of my ear.  I left with it still touching my shoulders.  I thought I'd give it a try.  Not exactly what I wanted but I have the hardest time expressing it in words.  And the fact that the girl looked like an Avada Salon Snoot didn't help matters.  How many shades of platinum blonde can you have in your bangs?  One is too many!  The only good thing I could say about the visit was the scalp massage.  Aaah!

Over the weekend I found that I could still style it the same way I could before I cut it....and that's not good.
What part of CHOP IT OFF  do you not get?  And last night was the deal breaker.  My parents stayed with me for Father's Day weekend and they sleep in the basement. 
One: it's cold down there. 
Two: They sleep right next to the utility room and I wasn't going to have the air condition running all night keeping them up.
So I slept upstairs in a hot, sticky bedroom with tons of bobby pins shellacking my hair to my head to get it off my neck and with 2 fans blowing on me.

I made another hair appointment for tonight...with Jill.  I love her.  I'll never cheat on her ever again.  I need to learn my lesson.  And she did a marvelous job.  It's super my ears.  She touched my bangs and I gave her a little slap on the wrist.  That's a big No-No and she should know better.
Again, it's different from what I had pictured in my mind but I think I'm going to like it.  No more ponytails 'til the snow flies.  Just lots and lots of barrettes and clips.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day

It's Father's Day this weekend and my parents are coming down for a couple of days.  Both to celebrate Sunday and Wednesday is my sister's birthday.

My dad is so hard to buy for.  Christmas, birthday, Father's Day.  He has everything he needs and if he did need something, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find it because it would be an awkward tool at the hardware store and it'd be spendy.  I've done the whole gift card thing.  I LOVE getting gift cards but don't like giving them.  They seem to say:  I had no time to think of what you'd like or what you're interests are so I'm taking the short cut by putting money on this piece of plastic.

I guess I could say the same about my mom, but she's just a little bit easier 'cause she's a girl and likes girly things.

However, just a couple of weekends ago, my sister and I had a day off and we took an afternoon drive out to Ramsey and stopped by the Plants 'n' Things on Hwy.10/Sunfish.  We drive by there every time we head Up North and we always say we'll stop in on the way back.  But we never do because it's a been a long drive and we're almost home.  I wanna go home.

It's a pretty cool place to shop and kill some time.  Expensive patio/porch furniture, but great quality.  There's a little farm house that has knick knacks inside...two-stories.  I love this style of a house because it was an entry way staircase and another staircase in the back that leads down to the kitchen ( think Cosby show or 7th Heaven).  My grandparents' farmhouse had this at one point but they look the second staircase out in the 70's.

Anywho....back to shopping.  We were almost done and were ready to head back to the car when we saw something that made us both laugh.  I think dad will laugh too and then he'll get his Bebe gun and shoot the dang thing.

Growing up in Heights, we had tons of squirrels.  Cute little things.....Dad hated them.  Mainly because they would eat the grapes, strawberries, raspberries and make a mess with the bird food.  He would trap them and take them away...Rochester, Monticello, Blaine (at the time, it was desolate.  Think no Target/Menards/Townhouses.  Pure "Sticks".)  Our elderly next door neighbor had a air-gun and you'd hear it go "Pfft" and then a squeak.  Got 'em.

So Plants 'n' Things had this gigantic tree in front of the farmhouse and it made my sister and I take a double take.  It looked like it had over 50 squirrels on it....all ceramic.  Big ones, medium ones, baby ones.  They each were hanging from a nail that was pounded into the bark.  Some were hanging sideways (as if they were chasing each other) and some were hanging straight up (as if climbing up) and some down (as if climbing down).  We picked out one of the middle sizes. 

My parents really don't have a gigantic tree in their yard, but I know it will get a laugh and maybe a place in the garden.  Hope it won't attract the real thing though.  But I'm not worried.  Dad can handle the little bastards.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Herb Recipes

My herb garden is overflowing with chives, oregano and basil.  Yeah!
But I don't have any recipes on using the fresh herbs.
I've turned  Google to search some recipes and I've had some luck.  I've even learned tips on how to store them.
What I'm wondering is if you guys have any recipes or ideas that you'd like to share.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

MN HeartWalk 2010

Today I participated in the Minnesota HeartWalk that was held at Target Field.

It was a blast.  It was my first time to the new stadium and I hope many more will follow.  I must admit that I didn't attend out of the goodness in my heart...that's so Not me (to be read like Chandler Bing).  I mainly wanted to hang out with friends from work, get a T-shirt and some free stuff.  (They were going and I was put under some peer pressure to go as well.)  We also got to snoop around some VIP lounges....super cool.

Many photos taken, many laughs, many drinks post walk.  We're just a bunch of goofy gals.

One funny thing that I'd thought worth mentioning.  Us ladies were sitting at a sports bar eating lunch watching all the participants walk by (we were done by this time as we had lapped the majority) and we saw one lady smoking a cigarette.  She was SMOKING during the HeartWalk.  Hahahahhahahahahahhhahhaha.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June BBQ recipes

Last night I was invited to a BBQ at L 'n' B's.  I always like to bring a dessert or a beverage when I go over there and I had just the right things in mind.  I'd like to share the recipes.  I know B has a sweet tooth yet he likes to eat healthy things as he is training for the MS Bike-thingy for next weekend. 

Don't know what it's called.  I'll call it A Berry Brownie Pizza. (got out of a Taste of Home book)

1 pkg. fudge brownie mix (9x13-in pan size)
1/3 cup chopped unblanched almonds (I used sliver almonds from the dispenser machine @ Cub)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (I omitted)
2 cups whipped topping
Mixed fresh berries (I used straw, rasp, blue, and black)

1.) Prepare brownie batter according to the pkg. directions for fudge-like brownies, adding almonds and almond extract.  Spread into a greased 14-inch pizza pan. (I used 16 inch pan....worked great!)
2.) Bake at 375* for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
3.) In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar vanilla and lemon peel until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread over crust to within 1/2 in. of edges.  Top with berries.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

I also brought a refreshing beverage.  It was in the June issue of BHG.  It's called Junebug.

3 cups Ginger Ale
4 Tbsp. Grenadine
4 Tbsp. Orange Juice
3 scoops Orange Sherbet
For lushes: add 1/4 white rum

3 cups makes enough for 2 people.  I doubled the recipe and only had a little left.  For 4+ people, I'd probably triple or quadruple the recipe.  And instead of placing the sherbet in with the liquid, a scoop was placed in each glass.  Yum!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rosary Etiquette

Today I'm going to use my blog as an outlet to comment on something that I just saw on Yahoo!'s News Marquee.  There was no place to comment so I'm taking it here.

It was a news story about a 12 years old boy getting suspended twice from his middle school for wearing a rosary.  He contested the suspension with a federal judge.  The school stated that the rosary beads were a "gang symbol".  The federal judge over-ruled the school saying that "the suspension violates his right to free speech and religious expression".

This is my OMG moment!  OMG!  What has this world come to when someone considers rosary beads as being gang related.  We have become so intolerant; scared that everything that is said or done is a sign of terrorism or hatred.  We need to use a little more common sense. If I saw someone wearing rosary beads*, that would touch my heart.  Maybe the school should listen to why the boy was wearing them in the first place before passing judgement. 

The reason why he was wearing them..."in memory of his brother, who died clutching them after a bike accident".

*To me, it's obvious that this boy has not attended Catholic school.  I remember learning about the rosary in kindergarten.  I also remember Mike R. getting reprimanded for wearing it around his neck.  It was not supposed to worn as a necklace as it was a sign of disrespect.

Sidenote:  I just Googled "rosary etiquette".  And it says that the wearing of the rosary is exceptable if used "with respect and personal devotion".  It is sacrilegious to "wear it contrary to it's purpose or as fashion jewelry".

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Planting

I'm am so ready for plants.  Not that they are ready for me.  I am no green thumb.  I usually water my plants for the first month and then after that....egh.  But I'm bound and determined to change that this summer.

I've got new pots.  Very lovely Terra-cotta plastic ones that I picked up at the Milaca Unclaimed Freight.  A store that you could spend hours in.  But that's another post.
I even bought a trellis.  Now I have to find something to "trell"on it.

I stopped in at Noble Landscape and Garden Center in Blaine the weekend before Mother's Day.  They have the best plants, the best quality for the price you pay for them.  I went just to look around to get in the spirit of flowers and I meandered into the herbs, fruits and vegetables. 

Hmmm....I got me thinking.  I'm going to try to grow some strawberries, watermelon, basil, oregano, mint, rosemary and chives.  We'll see how it goes. 

I told my mom of the plans and she gave me 8 strawberry plants out of her garden.  They just so happen to be original plants from my grandma's garden.  I remember spending Saturday mornings in the field picking them right along with the carrots, lettuce, string beans, and beets.  Then we'd take them inside and we would have to pick the green leaves off the tops of the strawberries and shell the beans.  Never liked it much because at the time I hated strawberries and beans, but now what I would give to be back in the kitchen with grandma doing something that was her most loved hobby....gardening.

Now that I have my plants selected (in my mind), I stopped by Menards on Monday to see if I could find a deck hanger for a window box.  Not much luck.  I found them but they only adjust to 6 inches and my patio wall in 7 1/2 inches.  But I got an idea.  I stood back and looked at the garden center display, light bulb went off and I marched right over to the lumber desk.  I ordered 2- 8x8 cinder blocks and 2- green treated 2x4x6's.  Paid for them and now the fun part.  I got to drive into the lumber yard.  Yikes!

I had to find everything by myself in my little Lumina.  I found the cinder blocks right away but the lumber was another story.  I drove into the protected "shed" and was in line with a parade of heavy duty 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, 136x136 trucks.  Trucks with 4 wheels, 6 wheels, 16 wheels.  And trailers the size of Texas.  By now you should know that I'm being sarcastic.  And here is poor little me....a girl in a lumber shed.  Guys were slinging wood posts, hoisting pieces of wood that were over 20 feet in length over their shoulder and carrying them to their trailer.  I had to watch out for my head.  I waited for everyone to leave and it took me 45 minutes to find 2 stinkin' pieces of 2x4's.  I walked up and down the aisle but everything was over 10 feet long and I just wanted 6.   I saw the saw and didn't know if I was supposed to cut my own length. 

And then there it was.  I did everything except look UP.  There was a second level, a loft shall we say.  All the short ones were up there.  But where's the stairs.  I had only walked passed it a dozen times not realizing it would lead me to where I needed to be.  Picked out 2 of the prettiest pieces, placed them on the inside on my car diagonally and off I was to make a garden table for my strawberries and herbs and vegetables.

Boy, am I a girl or what.   I'm super proud to say that I got to do some manly stuff.  I drove where very few women has driven before.  How adult of me.  It feels good. 

Next thing to do is buy dirt and get the fingernails dirty.  Possibly photos to come in future.