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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Time Is Coming Nearer!

It's Christmas this week at work.

Tomorrow my team is exchanging gifts.  It kind of crept up on me but thank goodness I finished everyone over the weekend  (see this post).  The feeling in my fingers has returned...I can feel my fingers!
I'm super excited to see everyone's face.  They are so pretty that I almost want to keep them for myself.

On Friday is our office Christmas Party (where everyone acts somewhat professional) and the much anticipated AFTER-PARTY (no professionalism here)!  Last year we joined forces with the Maplewood office and had some bowling competition.  Their office has bowled in the past and didn't include us in the fact that leagues start at 6 pm and we would be kicked off our lanes.  Some people were only able to bowl for 30 minutes while their office got 2 hours in.  When scores are averaged, it's not really fair when they can bowl 3+ games and those of us that suck at bowling and can't get about 100, much less 80.  Do I sound sour??? Good!

This year, we are closing up shop early and getting a good couple of hours in on bowling.  And we are also including another office.....Silver Lake.  This is going to be fun/weird/chaotic with 3 different offices....other 100 people!!!  Hopefully this time there will be enough pizza and pop to go around...and hopefully it won't be cold when we get there.

Then it's the afterparty.  I don't plan on being awake on Saturday.  Lots of blankets and Advil are going to be needed.  I can't wait.  It'll be here before I know it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Card

Our Christmas cards are ordered...finally.  Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute.  I've received some of your guys (gorgeous families and pets!) and I've been nervous about not getting my act together. 
I had a little trouble on getting someone lined up to take our photos.
But Jes came through for us on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 
It was a cold and windy day but we still smiling as we posed without coats on.
Towards the end of the hour session, our cheeks were so red that it's almost funny.
When we got back into the car, our thighs were on fire from the nerves unthawing.

I received the CD of the photos on Saturday, ran into the house and immediately popped it into the computer.  The cards were ordered with the hour and should be shipped today.  Hopefully I'll have them by the end of the week.

Stay tuned for your card in the mail.  I don't know why we didn't do this years ago.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quiet House

No more wagging of the tale and barking when I get home or when I slip and say the word "outside".

No more puppy eyes looking at me or barking when I'm eating or when I'm sitting on the couch and he comes next to me wanting to be petted.

No one's following me from room to room trying to herd me to wherever he wants me to go. 

No more running to the stairs and barking when I'm actually just walking towards the bathroom to check my hair one more time.

No more getting trampled over and barking when going down the staircase.

As you may have guessed, Wilbur is gone.  He was picked up Saturday morning.  It's bitter sweet.
I miss him and glad he's gone at the same time. 

We miss him when it's super quiet in the house.  But it sure was nice to sleep in this morning and not getting up at 4:30 am to let him out to do his business.  And it's really nice not have to do that when it's 20 degrees outside.

Even though I love Wilbur, Goober and Boone to pieces (also Spotty, Sparky, Culpepper and Reno...all RIP), I've realized that I am definitely a pet lover and NOT a pet owner.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good....

Someone's been naughty!

He was only alone all by himself for 20 minutes this morning.  I left for work at 5:50 am and Jean got home at 6:10 am.  And this is only half of what she found...there was more in the living room. 

He took boogey kleenex's out of the garbage and shredded them!




He got the finger shook at him!
What is his mother gonna say?? 

  I guess no more independence when staying home alone. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wilbur's Here!

Melissa dropped him off on Thursday and he will be staying with Jean and I until Saturday. 
We've been walking him and petting him.  Had a little trouble getting him to do his business, but we'll skip over that part...

Sometimes he looks lonely or bored because it's just him and us.  He's used to having another puppy to play with.  Except Melissa's brother is puppy-sitting Goober.  He's a little too rambunctious for me.  At least at Joey's, he'll have other dogs and cats to play with to keep him busy.  All that commotion is a little much for Goober.

So this morning I picked him up a toy while I was at Target to help keep himself entertained when I'm at work and also so we can play fetch and maybe a little bit of light tug-of-war.

He came for the groomers and they always dress him in a cute bandana.  This one is a Holiday Mickey Mouse and Friends.
Chill-axing on the couch.

He found the squeaker!
Action shot:  whipping it around to get the squeaker out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Tree Pictures

9' tree...I forgot to put angel on top, but I like it without.  Do you like my opened present under the tree?  It's an under cabinet CD/MP3 player.  If only I felt more confident in using a screw-gun.

A close-up of my ornaments.  Bright colors of all shapes and sizes.  I prefer ribbon over garland.

More ornaments.  I think I need to find a more holiday appropriate table runner.

I bought this little tree at a garage sale for $1.  So I guess I have 2 trees up in my house.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

I think I'll take the time to share my Thanksgiving happenings.

My sister and I both had to work on Friday so we stayed in town.  My parents didn't come down so it was just the two of us, which was perfectly fine.  I was looking forward to the day being quiet.  My parents spent the day with my Aunt Ester and Uncle Herbie (my dad's brother) and their kids, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids. 

I volunteered to work at the Y since I had no place to be and that freed up someone else to be with their family.  We were only open 'til noon so it's not like a missed a Thanksgiving dinner or anything.  I went home and rested up before it was time to make our Thanksgiving PIZZA!  No turkey for us, thank you.  We made homemade pizza from a can!  My DDS has teased me for a week that pizza from a can is NOT homemade.  To me, if it's not frozen AND if I have to add water and fluff the mixture to make dough....it's homemade.  It was delicious!  Glad we decided to skip the turkey.  We sat on the couch, ate our pizza and watch the first DVD of "The Lord of the Rings".

Friday was like any other day except we were able to leave early because our last hour was open.  That's always nice.  I headed to the gym and I was home by 3:30.....SO EARLY!  Usually I don't get home until after 6.  What to do with the rest of my day?? 

Because I had to work, I missed out on all the crazy sales and people watching.  So my sister and I went to Menards, Kohl's and Michael's.

Once we got home, I was in the mood to put up the Christmas Tree.  I got new ornaments last year on clearance and have been waiting to use them this year.  But I've been dreading lugging up the 9-footer from the basement.  I always scratch up the walls and basement door and leave pine needles on the floor.  I didn't realize how many ornaments I bought once I started to decorate.  It looks gorgeous.  I intend to post some pictures soon enough.

This morning (Saturday) I worked at the Y again and did a quick workout before I came home.   Later this afternoon, an old high school friend (Jes) is going to take pictures of my sister and I for our Christmas cards.  The weather's crappy...windy and wet....oh well.  Hopefully all will turn out well.

Tomorrow I have the day off.  Yes!  Kristina (from the Y) wanted to see "White Christmas" at the Lyric Theater in Anoka and I am going to accompany her.  I've never been there or seen "White Christmas" so it's new experiences all around.  We have box seats so that should be nice too.  Afterwards, we're going to eat out in DTA (Downtown Anoka).  With my food journal, it's going to be a test to see if I can order something healthy.

Well, that's all I have to say with what's new with me but I think that's more than plenty.  I can't wait for Christmas to be here because I actually have more than one day off IN A ROW.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas Agenda

ATTENTION XTINA:  Don't read this post if you want you're Xmas present to remain a secret.  As you said: "The world doesn't always have good surprises."

I'm proud to be called a widow.  A deer hunter widow.  Though it's from my sister and not a husband.  But that's okay because that doesn't change the fact that I get the house all to myself for two weeks.  SWEET!  Party's at my place! 

And with the deer hunting opener comes the craft sale-ing. There were tons of events going on...Majestic Oaks Boutiques  (this one is still going on until Nov 13th), Blaine High School, Andover Community Center, Forest Lake, and my family favorite and tradition....Elk River. 

I met up with my cousin Saturday morning and we hit the high school.  It was kind of a dud.  I guess it just seemed bigger because we were smaller.  We had more fun running up and down the halls because the moms were too boring and crafting was boring.  But lucky for us, our moms rubbed off on us and we're keeping the tradition alive.  (Mom's Up North and my aunt's in Arizona snow-birding already!)   It's more about spending time with the women that you love than actually buying something.   At least, that's how it is for me.

The one and only thing that caught both of our eyes was an ornament.  Elegant yet simple.  They looked like they would be cheap and super easy to make.   Perfect for general gifts for coworkers and neighbors, even my hairdresser possibly.  I'd rather give her a $5 gift than a holiday bonus.

I've already found inexpensive clear bulbs at Menards of all places (and way cheaper than JoAnn's).  The spendy part comes for buying two-sided scrap-booking paper at Archiver's.  They are all so pretty and I can't decide on just one design so I bought all of 'em.

I've already made 6 bulbs.  My fingers (and back) hurt so bad for the tedious task of rolling the paper but it's totally worth it.  They look so gorgeous. 

The camera does not do justice.  They look much better in person.

 Tomorrow I am going to keep on working.  I've got 18 more bulbs to make.  Christmas will be here soon enough and it's a little time consuming.  

And I still have Christmas cookies to make for the exchange at work for next Monday.  And I need to get pictures taken with my sister for this year's Christmas card.  We've never done one and I think it'd be fun.  She just needs to get her butt out of a tree and back to the cities.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Alarm Clocks

I am pretty picky with the type of alarm clock I use.
It needs to have a FM radio and a CD player.
But the most important part is that it needs to have RED lights.
 
I can’t stand green or blue numbers.  Those emit too much light in my room to sleep.  I need it to be as dark as possible.

I'm having alarm clock issues as it's over a decade old and is starting to show its age.
  
It gains time.  I press the snooze button A LOT!!  And every time I hit snooze, it adds time.  This past week I had to reset the time because it was 24 minutes fast.  I do like the time to be a little fast because it gives me some snooze cushion time.  But 24 minutes is too much.
 
The alarm isn't reliable.  And  I think there's a correlation to me falling asleep while listening to the radio.  I will set the radio to turn off after 15 or 20 minutes.  But then in the morning, the alarm doesn't go off on the time I set it at.  It will go off 9 minutes past the set alarm time...as if I had already hit the snooze button.  Twice this month I had overslept because it didn't go off at all which made me come thisclose to missing work.  But this last time I had slept in 10 minutes PAST the time I was supposed to leave for work.  I got up, got dressed and left the house with no makeup and bed hair.  I prefer to save au naturale for when I have an excuse to look that way....like being sick.

So...today I am shopping for a new alarm clock.  I am dreading it because I love the one I have.  I just wish it would work.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Colors

My fall season has officially begun. 

Fall brings Honey Crisp apples, Chili, changing of the leaves.  And also changing of the hair color.

Gone are the days of blonde high-lights and carmel low-lights.

Now is the season of the dark mocha brunette with low-lights of deep reds and purples.  I told my hair stylist to think like a Cherry Tootsie Rollpop. 

She does such an awesome job.  But unfortunately, I won't look as sexy tomorrow morning as I do tonight.  I wish I has a celebrity just so I could have my own personal hair and make-up stylists.

The Final Project

Remember reading about this summer project that my mom helped me with?

Well, it's finally all finished and sitting in my house.

My parent's neighbor is a carpenter and my mom had him fix up the drawers, rails and backing.
The drawers were in rough shape, but with some new plywood it looks wonderful.  He even put the hardware on for me. 


With my new "buffet" table in its home between my dining room and living room, my giant wall looked a little drab.  So off to HomeGoods,  Michael's, Bed Bath & Beyond I went.  I found a couple of things that I could picture in my house but they were sculptures.  I wanted something more of the lines of framed art.  Then I thought about JoAnn's.  They have framed pictures/paintings.  And I struck gold.  Three frames, one larger than the other two.  The larger is a little different than the smaller but they compliment each other.


All that's left is to fill the drawers.  With what?  Who knows?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Destination: Duluth

Starting on Thursday, I've had a 4-day vacation.  You might not know my schedule...why would you.  I have a couple of days off each month.  Last month I tried to do a road trip to Hastings but that fell through because my parents came into town.  I'm getting restless just spending my time off at home.   I make plans to do stuff around the house but I just get unmotivated and it's either accomplished halfway or not at all. 

And the last thing I want to do on my vacation is work at my part-time job.  In the last 25 days of September, I have worked every day EXCEPT for only 5 days.  Besides this week's 4 day vacation (I'm working tonight for someone because I'm nice and really....there's no one else who's willing to help her out), two of these 5 days allowed me to go to the Little Falls Craft Show and to Wisconsin (if only for 14 hours).

Sorry...I'm getting off topic with my rampage.

Vacation...oh, yes....I wanted to set out of dodge.  Do something out of Julie's normalcy.  How about Duluth?  It's the end of September.  Fall began a couple of days ago.  The leaves are starting to change.  It's the perfect time to go.  So on Saturday morning, my sister and I gassed up the car, got cash out of the ATM and were on our way.

Side-note: The leaves weren't that great in Duluth.  However, the miles north and sound the Hinkley had the best reds and oranges.

Last year, I wanted to go to Duluth but wasn't able to make it work.  The major attraction that I wanted to do...Spirit Mountains Alpine Coaster
This is the entrance to the Timber Twister.
It's an easy cart to control with hand brake!  You control how fast OR slow you go.  Tip:  Faster is more fun but slower you can appreciate the scenery.
We're ready to rock-n-roll!
At the end, a conveyor belt brings you back to the top. 
My view as I head back to the top of the mountain.
This is what's behind me.  Beautiful!

They had a zip line too.  Sure, why not?
The view from standing in line.  Gorgeous.
Getting strapped in.
Oh, $h!+.

The zip line was scarier standing in line than actually doing it because you saw all the people go ahead of you.  Some screamed, some giggled.  It was a 50 second ride.  Twenty seconds down and 30 seconds back to the top.  Only one person/pair can go at a time since there's only one line and it's down and back up.  I'm glad to say I did it, but the coaster was more fun.

We were here for about and hour and then we headed into downtown Duluth's Canal Park.  We toured the USS William A. Irvin museum.  I've never been on a ship before and this was pretty cool.  You got to see the engine room, the galleys, the cargo hold, the living quarters for guests and crewman, and the captains deck.  I thought it was just grounded and the anchors in the ground were just for looks.  But it's actually floating in Lake Superior and chains and ropes are keeping it harbored.

Afterward, we had lunch and did some shopping on S Lake Ave and Canal Park Drive.  It was getting late in the afternoon, so it was either head back home or get a motel.  We decided to head back home and sleep in our own beds.

Looking back there's so much more that we could have done and you need more than a day to do it.  I will most definitely be making lodging accommodations next time.  But it was still a perfect way to spend a crisp fall Saturday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shirt Repeater

It's time to get dressed.

Today is a day off of work so I went out for an early workout and I always come home to shower.
As I was finishing my hair, I was thinking about what shirt I was going to wear.
I have plans of housework and errands.  Nothing too fancy or dingy.

I rummage through a pile of clothes (a neat pile I might add) in my bedroom and I think back to a line that Adam Braverman said to his father on "Parenthood".  It was something about Crosby wearing the same shirt two days in a row.  "That's gross...unless you're working out."

I believe the opposite to be true.  I'm a repeat shirt wearer.  Why launder a perfectly good shirt and wear down the fabric and screen printing?  Maybe it's the frat boy inside of me but sometimes I do the smell test if it's been more than a couple of days.  But any hint of odor and in the hamper it goes.

Now my outfit for working out, I launder that every single time.  To put back on yesterday's sweaty clothes gives me the willies.  It makes me feel dirty and yucky.  Socks, undergarments, pants, shirt...it's fresh every day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quickest Vacation Ever

Sixteen hours....the perfect-summer-coming-to-an-end vacation.

My best friend, L, and her family rented a cabin in Dansbury, WI and they invited me to tag along.
Unfortunately, I had to work all week.  However, I did make the 2 hour drive Friday night after work to spend a night on Bass Lake. 

I got lost a little bit in Wisconsin, twice actually.  But I made it just in time to see the lake before dusk and then see the moon rise up over the horizon.  I also had my first chili dog, which was accompanied by roasted corn on the cob.  Oh, and s'mores and mixed drinks while sitting (and dancing) by the campfire. 

The morning came too quickly and it was time to come back home.  I wanted to away from the freeway as long as possible.  How can 75 mph be too slow for the fast lane??  So I took the scenic route to Grantsburg.  I guess it has a famous dairy building where you can get delicious ice cream but somehow I missed it.  I was through Grantsburg before I knew I was even in it.  Oh well. 

Her family is so gracious and welcoming.  They made me feel like I was one of the bunch even though I was the outsider.  They said that next time they go on vacation, I need to be there longer than sixteen hours.  I agree.

Even though it was short, it was perfect.  Even though it was 54 degrees, it was perfect.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Movie Monday

Date of Viewing: Monday, September 12, 2011
Method of Viewing: Redbox
Familiar faces:  Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Rachel Dratch
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Let's start off by me saying that I don't like Adam Sandler's movies.  Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore are not my kind of comedies.  I'll lump them with Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber.

But I saw this preview and it actually looked entertaining. 
So glad I rented it.  Super funny!

Jennifer is a perfect match to play opposite Adam.  The story line was cute: pretend to be my soon-to-be-ex-wife to make my girlfriend jealous.  As the lies keep getting twisted, the characters that surround this couple get hilarious and ridiculous. 

Look out for Rachel Dratch as she visits Adam's character's plastic surgery office.  Eick!  And the lady that makes her own bra because her girls are two different sizes: B cup and DD cup.  Wouldn't that be embarrassing. 

Nicole Kidman has many more scenes than Rachel, but I don't know if comedy is right for her.  She was a little awkward, but I went with it as the title goes.

This was NOT the movie I was expecting.  It was better!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ER -vs- Craft Fair

It's the weekend after Labor Day.  That means its time for the Little Falls Craft Fair.

It was last minute plans to head Up North.  Mom was going to be home alone because Dad was heading "up to the 40" to do "yard work".  To translate, this means playing with big boy machinery in the woods.

We headed out early Saturday morning.  Our thoughts were to get there when it was still cool.  Ha...cool my @$$.  It was so hot you thought I just got done running a marathon.  And it was crowded.  By the end of 2 hours, I was done apologizing for running into or hitting other people.  Minnesota nice time was over.  And I didn't want to be apologized to either.  Just bump me and walk away.  I asked for it just be being present.

I didn't have anything specific in mind.  I did have a shopping list for a coworker which I was successful at completing.  One of the last booths we were at before heading to the car was dips and soups.  We dunked our pretzel sticks into various dips to sample them.  I had a soup sample....it's official...I'm not a soup person. 

But my mom must have had a reaction to something she ate because her lower lip got swollen.  First just a little puffy on her left side.  When we got to the car 15 minutes later, even more so and the right side just a little.  We headed to the Pizza Ranch....YUM!...for lunch and by the time we were done it was time to make the decision on whether to go home or to Urgent Care.  Her lip was now smooth and shiny and deep purple/red.  And her arms were itching with welts and her hairline from ear to ear looked like little mosquito bites.  The more she itched the bigger they got.

We thought as long as we were in town that we should just go.  You don't mess around with facial swelling.  If we had gone home, it'd be 20 minutes for the ambulance to get there, and then a 20 minute ride to the hospital back in Little Falls.  At least we right here and get it checked out before it got even worse.

Mom was admitted and we spent 2 1/2 hours there.  We had nothing better to do. 
Hives is what they thought so she got Benedryl and steroids.  But from what??  Medication reaction?  Food allergy?  Sun reaction?
The itching stopped and the swelling went down.  Still a little swollen this morning but tons better.

To make light of the situation, I told my mom that some women pay a lot of money to get plump lips.  She tried to smile, it didn't work so well.  And it was funny to hear her try to say words that started with b's or p's. 

Even though we took her condition seriously, there was someone a little worse off than us.  As they only let one person in the ER at a time, I switched with my sister and let her stay with my mom for a bit.  While I was waiting in a boring and dull lobby with no magazines and stupid football on the one and only TV, I eavesdropped on a dad talking to the police about his little girl (2 years old??).  She got bit by a dog on her head.  You could hear her crying and screaming from the lobby.  I can only assume she was either getting Novocaine and/or stitches.  Ouch!  They left minutes before my mom was discharged and she was all smiles.  Thank goodness she's okay.

That September Day

Then:
I don't remember much of that day.  It was all a blur.

It was a Tuesday morning and I was working the early shift with Dr. Jensen, a resident from the U of M.  I only worked with him 2 days a week for 6 months.  After all these years, I should have forgotten all about him, but we are linked by the events of September 11th. 

We were working on a patient in an operatory when another dental assistant came in and said that a plane flew into a building in NYC.  I just thought to myself..."okay.  That's nice."  I didn't register the significance of what that meant.  We were with a patient and everything outside of that room was irrelevant.  We had to focus on the treatment for the patient.

Twenty minutes later, that same dental assistant came back in and said a second plane hit a building in NYC.  Now I thought "What is going on?  What's with all the craziness?"

It wasn't until an hour later that I was able to sit in the break-room huddled around Dr. L's 8" TV with my coworkers.  I remember just being in shock.  This couldn't possibly be real.  It's all a soap opera.

I was only able to see footage for a couple of minutes and I remember wanting the patients for the rest of the day to be canceled.  I didn't want to work anymore.  How could we go on after what happened?  I couldn't wait to get home at 3pm so I could plucker down in front of the TV and absorb it all.  I was still living at home and reflecting on it now, I'm sure glad I was able to see my parents and eat supper with them and go to bed with them under the same roof.  Having them near gave me peace.

If something that BIG were to happen now and even though I'm almost 30, I would still want my mommy and daddy.  Going Up North and seeing them is comforting.  "Home" is wherever they are and wherever they are is "safe".


Now:
This past weekend my sister and I were at our parent's.  We didn't watch much TV but what we did watch were shows about 9/11.  Even though I wasn't personally impacted by the terrorist attacks, I can only sympathize with what the victims and survivors went through.  

The stories of those that died were touching, but it was the stories of those that survived that had power to them.  How a single staircase only two stories tall could remain entombed after the building collapses and people are still alive in the stairwell is amazing.  It was the decision of the firefighters of Ladder 6 to help an elderly lady make her way down 80 floors but then she can't make the last 4 that saves them all.  If they had made it down those last 4, they would have died on the sidewalk.

The power of miracles!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ugly Christmas Sweater

I want to make an Ugly Christmas sweater.
I've been to Ugly Christmas sweater parties and they are the coolest thing BECAUSE they are so ugly.

I found one at the Unique Thrift Store a couple of years ago but it's not ugly enough.  It has cute little cats in Santa hats.  

I've been to garage sales all summer and I am surprised that there weren't more Christmas decorations than what I saw.

I know it's only the end of August but one can never be too prepared.  I want to start getting the ball rolling now before I get too busy and then I won't have time.  So I want to pick your brains? Any ideas on how to go about making a Ugly Christmas Sweater?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dream Job

What makes a job fun and enjoyable?  Is it the people you work with?  Or what your job entails?

What makes a job dreadful and loath-able?  Is it the people you work with?  Or what your job entails?

Funny how both of these can either make or break it.

I've started thinking what would be my dream part time job.  Do I want to be stuck behind a cash register for 4-6 hours?  Been there, done that...twice.  Hated it at Menards.  Loved it at Snyders.

Could I do it again?  Probably, but I wouldn't LOVE it.  I don't like being stuck in a 5-feet radius.  I need to be able to wander around.  And after a while, customer service takes its toll.

Do I want to work retail?  I could fold sweaters all day long.  I'm anal retentive on how laundry gets folded, so I've already got the skills.  Again, I wouldn't LOVE it and its still customer service.

Do I want to be an independent consultant?  I'm not a sales person and would not consider myself motivated enough to make sales goals.  Also the idea of traveling to people's homes does not sound like fun.  I know some of you guys work Pampered Chef, Party Lite and Mary Kay.  It's just not for me.

Do I want to work as a waitress?  That's easy.  Hell no.  Pay is horrible.  Tips are okay.  And I'm done being yelled at my rude people.  Bar-tending wold be better tip wise.  I can open a bottle but the only think I know how to mix is a Malibu Diet.

But how cool would it be to work as a banquet server at a place like Majestic Oaks or The Earle Brown Heritage Center (although I wouldn't drive all the way over to Brooklyn Park).  I love weddings (♪ especially the reception part ♫) and would enjoy getting the table linens ready and decorating the tables with various centerpieces.  "Chicken or Beef?  Wine or Champagne?  Enjoy your meal."

The hours would be like Friday and Saturday nights and maybe Sunday mornings for brunches.  I'd look pretty snazzy in a crisp white top and a little black apron.  Yeah....dream job.  It could be hard work, but looks fun.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eat, Walk and Be Happy

I ♥ the Minnesota State Fair.  Although it's probably a good thing that it only comes around once a year and only lasts 12 days.

I went on Friday with my sister and 2 gals from work.  Our plan was to not have a plan.  We ate, walked and shopped.

We met at the Roseville Area High School at 8:30 am. and took the bus to the fair grounds...standing room only to and from.  We would arrive just as  all the buildings opened.  It's been a long time since I've been there that early.  I actually prefer going at night because there are less stroller and old people.  It was crazy to look down the street and see pavement instead of a sea of people.

Photo taken at 9 am.

Photo taken at 1 pm

Our first stop was at Axel's in the food building.  Nicole wanted to try the Breakfast Lollipop.  I got the Breakfast Burrito.  I would pass on both if I were you.  Gross gross gross!  I threw mine away after scraping out the eggs from the inside.  It kind of tasted like a really bad Beef Enchilada; much too spicy for 9 am.

We also shared the yummy French Fries and Cheese Curds.  Amy tried the new Teriyaki Chicken On-A-Stick.  I got to try a little piece...very flavorful, tender and hot (temperature wise).  Before we left, we stopped by the dairy building for malts.  You know what goes good with malts...Deep Fried Cookie Dough On-A-Stick!  So back to the Food Building we headed.  I looked like a corn dog and was delicious mixed with the ice cream but tummy-ache city.  I was done.  No more.  Nicole and I were so excited that we each wanted our own, but we should have shared.  We each threw out just under half of our Cookie Dough.

We walked through the Merchandise Building, the Grand Stand and the Coliseum.  The same old vendors as usual but there was still new things here and there.  I guess you could say that my sister and I have started our Christmas shopping.

Throughout the day we kept walking in circles and I was surprised to see something new: Heritage Square.  I have never been up there once.  It has a sneaky entrance and is tucked behind the Sky Rider.  It's like the Renaissance Festival, only with a Western theme.

We saw many people, but it was especially nice to run into familiar faces of family and friends.  Oh, and all the HOT fireman too.  It was Governor's Fire Prevention Day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

It's that time of year again.  I will attending the Minnesota State Fair on Friday with a bunch of girls from work.
In the past, I would go every other year but I am in the mood for really awesome French Fries so I say "why not".

Growing up, I would go with my mom, sister, aunt and cousin.  We would carpool together for free parking which is not offered anymore.  My mom and aunt would drag us to every single building and I would HATE it.  I despised the horticultural building.  How long can someone look at apples and bees?  The answer: too long for a 10-year-olds attention span.  And don't forget about the animal barns.  My mom and aunt grew up on a farm but I, however, did not.  That doesn't mean that my nose needs to catch up for all the smells that I'm missed out on. 
Machinery hill....I still don't care what a thrasher is for.  A tractor is a tractor whether it's John Deere or International Harvester.

When my cousin and I were around the age of 18, we went by ourselves.  No Parents Allowed.  We thought we'd be cool and do our own thing and not be dragged into places that contain blue ribbons.  Well, guess what.  We still did those things because that's what the state fair is all about.  Seeing the pies, quilts, paintings that won contests.  We went in the Grand Stand to see the Sham-Wow! guy and the steak knives that cut through steel.  BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MAKES THE FAIR.

Because I was dragged everywhere I didn't want to go, I seems my mom and aunt were smart to not let us kids know that there was a water raft ride.  I discover that 4 years ago. 

I don't care what I see or don't see this year.  The plan is just walk around and people watch and eat.  But maybe I'll discover something that I didn't know was there and think..."why didn't I know about this sooner".  


Monday, August 22, 2011

Uncle Jim's Funeral

Friday night my sister and I headed Up North to our parents.  Saturday was my uncle's funeral.  After waiting 3 weeks, the time had finally come.  I had mixed emotions.  I was excited to see and spend time with my aunt and two cousins but dreading everything else that came with that.

I did okay throughout the visitation and service.  At S. Michael's Catholic Church, the cemetery is across the street so we all file out of church, crossed the road, walked through the gravel parking lot and down to his spot.  What I saw as we were walking towards the cemetery took my breath away.

I guess I knew that Uncle Jim was in the Navy and very active with the VFW in his hometown in California but I never registered that with having military representation at the burial.  We first passed 5 older retired gentlemen in Military dress with fun rifles at their sides and then further down by his final resting place were two younger guys in fancy formal Military attire.

I have never attending a military funeral before.  I've only seen it in the movies.  I don't want to say it was fun to see them, but it was something I've never experienced before.  It was amazing how silent we all got at the unfolding and refolding of the American flag.  I lost it when one of the soldiers went from being made of stone to having the gentlest eyes and kindest voice when he handed the flag to my aunt.  All i heard was "Ma'am..." but I wish I could have heard everything that he said in her ear.

And then there was the 3 shot gun salute.  That was cool too.  My cousins little boy (Mr. P is 18 months) broke the solemnness by saying "Uh Oh" after the first shot.  It put a small smile on my face.

After an emotionally draining morning, the rest of the day was quiet.  Sunday was more of the same; sitting around and visiting, listening and sharing stories of our everyday lives, playing cards, tossing a football, going for walks around the neighborhood and over to the park "looking for puppies" and eating food left over from the luncheon.

My mom had 5 ice cream buckets full of hot dish, 2 Tupperware tubs of sliced ham, 2 homemade loaves of buttered bread and tons of cookies and bars.  We had trouble finding enough refrigerator space for all of it.

Before everyone left to go back home on Sunday, we took pictures in the backyard.  One was of just the grandkids and great-grandkids (aka everyone under the age of 40) and one of my mom and her siblings and then a big group picture.  We were missing 3 people (an aunt/uncle and one cousin) but it's sad to know every picture from here forward will always be missing Uncle Jim.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flat Tires

I just experienced my first flat tire Saturday night.  I just got done working my closing shift at the Y.  I always stick around to make sure that my coworker's car starts and then I put my car in drive and head home.  Except this time I heard the "flup flup flup".  My heart sank.

I missed the part on how to change a tire in driver's ed.  I remember being stuck standing in the back behind some tall dudes so I couldn't see a thing and the instructor went way too fast.  Plus, that was like 15 years ago.  You know, they really should have had a class called "Understanding How A Car Works For Girls".  Like I'm actually going to take a auto shop class with a bunch of big burly guys who know what a carburetor is for.  Looking back, that might not have been a bad idea (wink wink)!

I had my car manual out but it didn't give very good directions on how the process works.  So I had two options: Change my tire with the spare by winging it.  Or call my sister to pick me up and deal with this Sunday afternoon as it was 10:30 at night.  I was going to go with option number 2.  That was until the night maintenance guy came out to see what was wrong.  He saw me standing under the parking lamp.  So...he changed my tire for me.  I made sure to watch all the steps and to see his logic.  I am now comfortable changing a tire by myself if another situation should arise.

**So this is the part on where you learn from my mistakes.  Ladies....if you don't know how to change a tire....learn now.  If it's a boring Saturday afternoon and you have no plans to go anywhere, grab somebody who knows what they are doing (or Google it) and do it.  You'll be glad you did when the time comes and it's raining or snowing outside.**

Now that I had my car all fixed up, my next duty was to either buy a new tire or new my flat fixed.  It had something stuck in it.  Not a nail, more like an industrial strength paperclip or staple.  I knew that I still had them under warranty because I got them all in January 2010.  The Tires Plus I purchased them at changed franchises and the new place wouldn't honor my warranty.  So I headed to the next closest store which was at Northtown.  I brought my original receipt that stated my warranty clause: free flat repair, rotation and balancing for the life of the tires.

I walked out without paying a cent.  Even thought I did pay $50 for the warranty, it was a good decision.  It just paid for itself.  And I still have 3 other tires covered. 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shopping Days

Well, my road trip to Hastings/Red Wing was put on the back burner.  I had planned on going this last Wednesday/Thursday/Friday but my parents decided take a little trip of their own to my house.  I don't get to see them as much as I would like so instead of ditching them, I stuck around.

On Thursday, I took my mom shopping for a new outfit for a wedding they will be attending at the end of the month.  We didn't have much success at JCPennies or Kohl's but the Dress Barn came through for us.  All that's left is shoes.

I don't have much storage space for shoes in my house.  When entering from the garage you are in a space called the laundry/bathroom/kitchen/pantry area.  Not an ideal place for clutter, so I purchase an over-the-door shoe rack for the basement door.  Shoe problem solved.  This allowed my mom to check out my many pairs of dress shoes.  One pinched her bunion.  Another hurt her hammertoe.  I loved that my mom was playing dress-up with MY shoes so I had just the pair for her to try on.  A 3-inch heel....black patent-leather pumps with the sexy POINTY toe.  She said that it looked like her feet were wearing elf hats.  Oh Mom!  She's so funny. 

On Friday I just purchased two new pairs of eyeglasses.  I've seen commercials for Back-To-School:  BOGO.   I'd like two pairs....one for everyday and one for sunglasses.  I like the clip-on/ magnetics but at Valleyfair a couple of weeks ago, I almost lost my pair of magnetics on a roller-coaster.  Up went my arms and they bumped my glasses and one side popped off.  I would have been really sad if I had lost them. 

I can be picky when it comes to picking out glasses.  I looked at all the stores in Northtown but nothing really spoke to me.  My dad recently got new glasses from America's Best and said that I should check them out.  I fell in love with a pair of frames but I'm not so hot on the designer.  I don't even want to say what it is, but here's a hint.  It's logo is of a sexy feline and it's initials are usually spoken by a douchey-man describing an attractive women.  As for my sunglasses, they are made by Vogue.  Purple with some silver sparkly circles.

Hopefully I won't have to wait too long to get them.  I'm super pumped for my new spectacles.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Road Trip Brainstorming

I want to plan a trip for my next stretch of vacation days. 
I'm thinking of going south along the St. Croix:  Hastings, Red Wing.  I don't think I want to go all the way down to Wabasha though.

I've only driven through these towns once and I was half asleep.
I'm wondering if any of you have any recommendations on things to do in this part of Minnesota.

Do you know of a hidden boutique somewhere?  Or a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant?  Ever been to Treasure Island?

Someone mentioned the I could do a trip down on the MN side one day and coming back on the Wisconsin side the next.  If I did that, I would also need lodging.  Something cheap.  I don't need the honeymoon jacuzzi or kiddie pool.  Clean sheets and polite staff.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Prejudices

In my last post, someone published a comment implying that I was racist.  This person, of course, published this comment under "Anonymous" because they don't have the courage to use their Google user-name.  But as the middle school saying goes....."Takes one to know one".

Reading that comment set the tone for my day.  And I've been thinking about it all day.  So lets talk about it because I need to get it all off my chest.  You, as my reader, don't need to agree with what I say or any of my beliefs.  That's why we are individuals. You can speak and think for yourself too.  Being politically correct is exhausting.  Even if you think you aren't prejudice, you are.

In my previous post, I said that I was going to "refrain for disclosing their ethnicity".  I guess that is where I went all wrong, because there were more than just one.  If my memory is correct, (it's been a long week) there were three total on the opposing team.  My ethnicity is included so I guess that means that I am prejudice against myself.  Funny!  I am not a white supremacists either.  I am an equal-opportunity befriender.

Here is a list of my prejudices. I am willing to admit them with my head held high.

I have a prejudice against cats.  I am NOT a cat person.  I think they are an ugly creature.  However, my best friends have cats, as does a close cousin.  I like cat-people, just not cats themselves.  I think that this is based on the fact that I am allergic to them.  Itchy throat, red puffy eyes, sneezing and stuffy nose.  I feel miserable just thinking about my symptoms.

I have a prejudice against Ford Motor Company.  I will NEVER own a Ford vehicle.  Growing up it was Chevy, Chevy, Chevy!  Even if they have superior quality, better gas mileage, and where the only American car company to not get bailed out my the US government, I don't care.  Chevy all the way baby!

I have a prejudice against Totino-Grace.  The rich, snobby kids that didn't give me a chance to be their friend in elementary and middle school went here.   They probably thought they were too good for public school.

I have a prejudice against Johovah's Witness.  They are pushy people that keep ringing the doorbell even though mom closes the blinds and makes me turn off the TV so they won't know we're home.  I also like celebrating my birthday.

I have a prejudice against Wisconsin.  I don't know why, I just do.  Maybe it's the whole Vikings vs. Packers thing even though I could care less about football.  I really should reconsider this because Wisconsin along the St. Croix is actually really beautiful.  How sad is this....I once turned down a date because he lived in Amery.  He wasn't "the one" so no biggie.

The two things (that's all I can think of at this moment) that I can say that I am in agreement with that others may not be are:

Abortion rights.  I think women should have the option to be pro-choice.  Let me explain.  I absolutely think that if a couple chooses to have sex WILLINGLY, both partners need to be prepared to have a child and be parents.  However, in the event that the women is NOT a willing participant, she shouldn't be forced to be reminded of that emotional and physical trauma for nine months.

Gay rights.  I do believe church and state should be separate.   As a Catholic, I understand that gay marriage isn't recognized by God.  But we live in the 21st century.  As a registered voter of Minnesota, I would support gay marriage if it was on a ballot.  They have the right for the ability to share health-care, to have their partner be a legal immigrant, to file joint taxes, to have joint parenting and adoption rights, and most important...being able to be listed as next-of-kin in the event of emergency medical decisions or death among others.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Don't Mess With The Baseball Bat: A Softball Sunday Story

Tonight was our last softball game of the season.   Again I was not really looking forward to it because of the heat.  I heard that it was supposed to rain Sunday night and Monday morning and I was hoping that it would at least hold off until after our games were done.  No rain but it was still a bust.


You see... our opposing team had many issues.  They were tardy.  They were unorganized.  They were un-athletic.  They couldn't pitch.  They couldn't field the ball either.  It took us forever to start the game and when we were 40 minutes into it, we were only in the 3rd inning.  We should have been at least into 5 or 6 by then.  But what put the umpire over the edge, and thus calling both games in our favor, was what transpired when they took the field in the top of the next inning.

They were again slow to take the field but words were exchanged between the first baseman and the pitcher.  I heard a couple of F-bombs.  We were in shock that they were fighting...they are on the same team.  Next thing I see, the pitcher going back to the bench to grab a baseball bat and then he swaggered back towards first base, threatening to use it as a weapon.

I will refrain from disclosing their ethnicity.  But it's acts like this that give a group of people a bad rap. We're here to have fun and play the great American summer sport.  This behavior might fly in a bar league, but this is through Community Ed and the fields are in a family neighborhood park.  We, as adults, are role models for the kids that are playing in and around these parks.  If they see unsportsmanlike, they pick it up too.  You need to respect the other team, but even more important, respect your TEAMMATES!

"What did we do next?" you might be asking.  The same thing you would do in this situation....we headed to the 5-8 Club to unwind, chill out and grab some beers. 

While we were at the 5-8 Club, I was chatting with a girl who was playing catcher.  She said that the umpire must have know about the behavior of this team.  He said that we would be lucky to make it to 4 innings.  Yup.  That's about right.  But you have to admit that we went out with some flare!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie Monday


You Again
Date of Viewing: Sunday, July 24, 2011
Method of Viewing: Netflix
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Big Names: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Victor Garber, Betty White, Kristin Chenoweth, Cloris Leachman and Patrick Duffy ( even if they both only has 2 minutes of screen time)
  

Date of Viewing:  Sunday, July 24, 2011
Method of Viewing: Wynnsong 15; Mounds View, MN
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Big Names: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Adam Sandberg, Emma Stone and a cameo of Shaun White

Funny, funny, funny movies!

I spent most of "You Again" wishing I could punch the daughters in the face.  So much high school angst....just let it go.  I did enjoy the feuding between Jamie Lee and Sigourney.  And there's a l.o.l. moment at the very end between Betty and Cloris.  If you're having a girls' movie night, this is definitely a movie you would want to rent.  All the fighting and arguing throughout the movie is worth the end reward.

I saw "No Strings Attached" when it came out even though I didn't do a Movie Monday about it.  This movie stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.  I would classify this movie as more romantic than comedy.  "Friends With Benefits" is more comedy than romantic.  Isn't it funny that similar movies come out around each other.  "Chasing Liberty" and "First Daughter".  "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon".  "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige".  As I was searching for other movies for more examples beyond these, I can across this blog.  It seems like I'm not the only one who's thought about this.

Sorry.  I'm getting off topic.  "Friends With Benefits" is the superior of the two.  I like Ashton and Natalie, but Justin and Mila have better on-screen chemistry.  And I'm so happy that Justin has found his footing in acting.  He's much better here than he was in "The Social Network".   You also get to see his tushy.

The plot goes deeper than just what the title tells you about the movie.  These characters have flaws...commitment and family issues.  You root for the couple (and their families) and wonder if they'll ever get over said issues and just move onto the next step.  I'll stop talking before I give anything away.  This is most definitely a sexy date movie!  The creepiest part was that couples that looked like my parents were in the theater too.  I would die if I saw my dad at this movie.  But I shouldn't have to worry.  He's more into action films.   Phew!


A side note worth mentioning:   I had a sister date night...movie and dinner afterwords.  We went to Chili's.  Did you know that if you bring in a current movie ticket stub, you get a free brownie a la mode dessert.  Times two if your partner has their ticket too.  Yummy!  Thanks Chili's!


Friday, July 22, 2011

In Remembrance

In Remembrance Of 
 James Schirmers
 May circa late 1940s- July 22, 2011







This picture was taken at Uncle Jim and Aunt Darlene's 25 Wedding Anniversary in 2007.
I'll always remember Uncle Jim sporting wife beater tank tops and trucker hats. 
Here he is accessorizing them by wearing a boutonniere.


( I wish I had a better quality photograph.  It's the only picture I could find that could be supported by a flash drive.  Thirty-five mm film isn't helpful until it' burned onto a disk. )

I ask that you continue to keep my aunt and cousins in your thoughts and prayers.  They surely are in need of them at this time of loss.  Thank you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Prayers Needed

This morning I got a phone call from my mom at work.  I've told her that only in an emergency should she call me at work.  Otherwise, just leave a message on my cell phone.

My heart races quickly as I dread something has happened to my dad.  He's has some heart issues but I think things have leveled out a bit and he knows his physical endurance limitations. 

It was actually about one of my uncle who lives in California.  (They were/are suppose to be coming to Minnesota for a couple of weeks in the beginning of August.)  Yesterday something happened to him at work and now he's in a coma.  I don't know many details, but my mom mentioned something about a hornet.  Maybe he got stung and this is his allergic reaction or maybe he had a heart attack or stroke. 

I hope he pulls through.  I have to remain optomistic until I hear other news.  I can't imagine life without my dad.  I don't want my aunt and cousins to have to experience that.  It's too soon.

So I'm asking for you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers. 

"Waiting For A Loved One"

This prayer is to Our Lord in Heaven above
Please be with us,and help us
To have the Wisdom and Patience to wait,

And help with all aspects
Of our Coma Patient's
Recovery Process Dear Lord
With Your Guidance and Love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Will I Do In 2012??

Last week I got my vacation schedule for 2012.  In the dental office I'm at, I don't really get to choose when I get vacation time.  I just follow my doctor's schedule.  She works, I work.  She's off, I'm off.  Now I can take time off in addition to hers in case I have big trip or event planned.  But with how many days I get off and how little PTO I accrue, the extra days would probably be unpaid leave.  Uh....no. I don't think so.  I also have to option of working when she's off, but it would be as a float at another clinic and I'm not doing that either.

I kind of like things the way they are.  I don't have any major plans for 2012 besides turning 30! 

One of the girls on my team noticed that our doctor took 2 weeks of vacation for her birthday in October.  We thought maybe she had a big trip planned but she had a "milestone" birthday in 2010.  She says she just felt like it.  Someone had said maybe she should take us to Vegas all the October birthdays. ( On a six member team, three have October birthdays.) 

Once the idea was out there, we all were like...."Yeah.  Let's all go!"  I have only been there once back in '03.  It wasn't for very long.  We flew in Friday night and flew out Sunday morning.  Again, it was with dental people and it was for a gal's bachlorette party.

**Side-notes:  Pass on the male "dancers".  Been there.  Done that.  Not worth it.
 Take a taxi or light-rail (they were building something like that in '03.  We could have used it instead of walking the 2 1/2 miles from the Old School Vegas to the new Vegas aka. The Strip.  My feet hurt for days.
Don't talk to anybody.  Too many creepy homeless people.
Don't TAKE things from anybody especially little kids.  Unless you really do wanna call a 1-800 number at 3 a.m. 
JUST SAY NO!

Okay...back on topic.  Going to Vegas ain't cheap.  So I'm gonna start now.  I'm committing $50 bucks from every pay check to my Vegas fund.  By next Summer I'll have over $1200 for airfare, hotel and leisure.  If I have any extra cash, I'll just put it toward the new car fund that I intend to start as soon as the Vegas fund is done.  That should take the ouch off of the pocket book.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fly Ball Catcher

When Softball Sundays come around, it's a love/hate relationship.  I love the sights, sounds and smells of it.  But on nights like tonight....not so much.  When you're playing in the 90 degree humidity and the drizzle, the line between rain and sweat is blurry. 

Somebody was smart enough to bring Gatorade for all of us.  We definitely benefited from the re-hydrating electrolytes.  We swept both games.

When our double header was over, I took off my socks and shoes to put on my flip flops.  My toes were all wrinkly as if I was in the bath tub.  And my feet were still so sweaty that I couldn't keep my flip flops on.  I had to walk back to the car barefoot.

Tonight was my night.  I got a base hit, a couple of walks and made it to home base once.  But I was on fire in right field.  I caught 3 fly balls, two of which were from a lefty.  And I didn't just catch balls; I did some moves that were a little more fancy.  The first was behind my back ( I was running away from the batter into deeper outfield territory).  The second I ran up on because I knew that the Second Basemen couldn't get to it.  The third I caught like a football.  One minute it was in my glove, the next I was cradling it like a baby.

Catching those fly balls felt so good.  To steal those away from some big guys is like saying "Haha.  Not on my watch!"  For those of you who don't know much about co-ed softball, they usually put sub-par girls in right field.  And I'm not sub-par.  I would prefer to play second base or catcher but those positions are already spoken for.  First and short-stop go to guys and I'm definitely NOT taking third.  So that leaves me outfield.  Surprise, surprise for those big burly guys to underestimate me.

Only one more Softball Sunday left of the season.  Let's hope things go just as well as tonight.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Last Hoo-rah

Today is the last day of my vacation.  Tomorrow I inevitably have to return to work but today I can still be in denial.  I want to go out for one last hoo-rah.


In Friday's edition of the Star Tribune I saw an article promoting the new African Penguins exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo.  As far as I knew, the zoo was closed.....but I was wrong.  The article also said that a Minneapolis judge had made a ruling that the zoo didn't need state funds to operate.  Which means they are open for business and I'm going to the zoo!

I did some research online on how to get there and ticket prices.  $18 bucks a person, plus parking, plus monorail passes.  And $3.85 for a gas.  This is going to get spendy.  In their FAQs, there was a question about discounted passes. 

I haven't been to library in forever, but I remember seeing museum passes at the checkout counters.  Yesterday's agenda was finding a pass because on Sunday's either libraries are closed or they open super late.  So I sent my sister on a goose chase....Johnsville, Northtown and Mounds View.  They were all sold out.  I got done working at the Y around 4:45.  I called my sister to see if she had any luck (nope!) so I decided I was going to run over to Rum River in Anoka before I headed home.

Boy was I lucky.  I made every green light and I sprinted to the door in hopes that I could get in before they closed the doors at 5pm.  I arrived at 4:58!  The museum display caught my eye right away, crossed my fingers that they still had MN Zoo passes, which they did.  I just saved $36. 

After this afternoon, I'll be able to cross off the MN Zoo from my Summer Bucket List.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How To Spend A Perfect Wednesday Afternoon

How would you spend a sunny Wednesday afternoon while on vacation?

This is how I spent such a day!

My view from under a shade tree.

My front patio and all my flowers



Blanket, lawn chair, pillow, tunes and a book.  Don't need much else.  Well, maybe a chilled drink.

Puffy clouds

I missed getting a picture of a bluebird on the feeder.  I startled him off when I grabbed the camera.

But some other birdies showed up.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saint Paul Saints

The St. Paul Saints game was a bust.
For starters, the game time on the ticket said 7:05 but it actually started closer to 7:45.  All the pre-game stuff started at 7:05....ceremony first pitches, Purple Heart award veterans, more first pitches, more veteran speeches, a little army recruiting video on the big screen.  Let's Play Ball!

We were only into the top of the 2nd inning when half the crowd got up and started to leave.  I was confused as to why all these people were leaving.  That's when I did a 180* and saw a black wall cloud coming straight towards us.  What do we do??  Do we go along with everyone else or do we stick it out and wait for it pass??

We decided to stick it out.  I paid $30 for these tickets and I wasn't going to leave after 10 minutes of baseball because of a silly black cloud.

Not five minutes later, the rain started to fall and the game was called.  With nowhere to go, we were stuck in the rain for 2 hours.  The Saints announcer kept saying that we needed to clear the metal stand seats but with all the people that left earlier, the shelters were full.  It was a road block of people.

I did have a sun visor on to save my glasses but that didn't stop me from picking up a plastic lawn chair and turning it upside down over my head to use as an umbrella.

When the tornado sirens went off, I thought "Oh goody, we can get inside now."  Nope.  Still stuck outside without any shelter. While waiting, I could see the baseball players hanging out in their dugouts.  Then I thought, why are they not putting people in the locker rooms?  Why am I still standing out in the cold, wet weather?  The Saints announcer came on the speaker again and said that there we were in a severe thunderstorm warning, not a tornado warning.  So then why did the sirens go off??

We eventually made our way to the front gate but it was still raining.  I had expected warm weather so I had worn flip flops.  There was no way I could walk the mile back to the car in flip flops while it was raining.  Looking back I'm glad we wore sandals and capris.  We would have been even more miserable if we were stuck in wet pants and soaked socks.  Yuck!  I, however, wished I had brought along a jacket.  I felt sorry for all those people that just had a tank top on.

Ten o'clock came, the sun rose in the west, the rain stopped.  Another announcement was made.  The extended fireworks show would still go on and then the game would resume.  Yeah!

The fireworks were awesome, at least it sounded like it.  By the end of the show, they were going off so fast that white smoke covered the sky and with the breeze, it came over and blanketed us.  We were sitting on the 1st base line and we couldn't even see past 3rd base.  It was that thick.  We missed seeing the finale but it sure sounded like it was awesome.  If only we were on the north east side of it versus the south west side.

We stayed until the top of the fifth; it was about 11pm.  It was a long day.  Time to go home and dig out the flannel pajamas.  I heard from a gal I work with at the Y; her friend was at the game until 1 am.  I'm glad we left when we did even though I still don't know who won.

Next time, if there's ever going to be a next time, I'll buy tickets at the sales counter versus pre-paying for them.  Who thought it was a good idea for outside baseball again?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Bucket List

I know some of you have already posted your summer bucket lists.  I've meant to do mine sooner but never got around to posting it here.  I, however, have "posted" it in my kitchen.


Last year I had many ideas of what I wanted to do throughout summer but I probably only did one or two.  I don't want to miss out on this summer too.  Nice weather (even 90* days) don't come around too often. 

As you can see, a hole row is gone.  That was the months of May and June.  Some items that can be checked off the list include: Garage Sales.  I hit the Johnsville neighborhood at the beginning of May and the Club West/ Deacon's Walk Garage Sales at the end of May.

The Stone Arch Arts Festival.

Casey's Wedding.  Forget Will & Kate.  Her's was the event of the summer.  And she planned it fast.  They only got engaged at Valentine's Day.  But she's so organized that she would be the one who could plan a wedding in only 4 months.

Some activities that are still on the list include:

Attending a St. Paul Saints and/or Twins Game.  I will be able to check the Saints off the list as of tonight.  My sister and I will be going for both the game and the extended fireworks show following the game.  I'm still looking forward to my first game at Target Stadium though.

The Minnesota Zoo.  The last time I was there, it was for German Days in my Senior Year.  I can't believe that was 11 years ago.  I wasn't able to see anything besides the little bit of hall that our Schildkrote (sea turtle) display was stationed and the food court.  Maybe I'll be able to see the dolphin show or a lion, tiger or bear.  Oh my....I hope the shutdown doesn't last too long.

Valleyfair!!!! The be-all and end-all of a Minnesota summer.  A bunch of gals for the dental office have set the date for Friday, July 29th.

Festivals.  These include the Grand Marais Arts Festival on July 9th and 10th. (I will miss out on this as I have to work at the Y.)
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival: July 9-17.
The Minneapolis Aquatennial: July 15-23.
Lumberjack Days in Stillwater: July 21-24.
Uptown/ Powderhorn/ Loring Park Arts Festivals: August 6th and 7th.

Movies Under The Stars (Loring Park) and Movies In The Park (Walker Arts in St. Paul), both in August.


I'd also like to see a Water Ski Show on the Mississippi and take a Dinner Cruise on the St. Croix in Afton/Hudson.

Last but not least, get a farmer's tan.  I haven't had a natural sun-made tan since Captain's Practices for tennis when we were in high school.  I have a hint of glow but that's from a tanning bed.  I'd rather have an uneven tan just to feel the sunshine and breeze than be line-free from a dark, air-conditioned room.

I may have missed some things and I know things will pop up as we move through July and August.  But I'll keep you updated on my adventures.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Skirt Poll

This coming Saturday I will be attending a wedding of a coworkers....and I want your help.

I've asked some of the other girls that are going what they plan on wearing and all but one has said a summer dress/skirt.  I decided that I would wear a skirt too.  I don't do full-on dresses unless I am a bridesmaid.

I raided my closet and found a skirt (and top) that I thought would be just fine.  Then today I happened to be shopping with my bestie (after our pedicure) and found a cute little cotton skirt.  I bought it so I could take it home and see if I had a tank top that matched the colors in the print, which I do.

I want your guys' input on which one looks better for a summer wedding.  I think I know which one I want to wear but haven't made a final decision yet.

These are the heels I plan on wearing as they show off my fresh pedicure.
To set the seen:  It's a country garden wedding in Hugo.  It's at her parent's place.  It'll been a Christian ceremony followed by a dinner and reception with an orchestra band.  No dance.  No booze. 

Your choices are:

The Closet Find
The New Find
So is it going to be pink or purple?