Saturday, May 31, 2008
Charlie's school held their annual carnival Friday night-it is such a great way to finish off the school year. And this year, it was truly a wonderfully old fashioned carnival. There was a cake walk (extremely popular, full size cakes and pies!) bingo, a book sale, a raffle (there was even a Wii!), ring the bottle, water wars, kiddie games, kickball, basketball, an inflatable jumping zone, face painting, a photo booth (for that souvenier Hawaiian photo), sidewalk art, and lots of fun snacks. The Fire Department even showed up with a truck for the kids to check out, and some lucky ones even got to try their hand at the water hose.
It takes an army of volunteers to put it on, and it's so much fun to catch up with everyone. Many of the teachers are there, working a shift too, and the kids love to be able to see their teacher outside of the regular classroom. The real heroes are the ones who organize it and pull it all together, and I think Charlie summed it up best on the way home. Face flushed from the exercise and excitement, a huge smile on his face, he proclaimed " Mom, that was the BEST CARNIVAL EVER!" And considering this was our 6th carnival (we started going the year before Charlie started kindergarten) I think that is really saying something. So my hat goes off to those hardworking moms that pulled this off, and did such a fabulous job. Because there are a lot of really happy kids tonight, and after all, that is who it's for!
I wish I had some photos to share with you, there will probably be some on our school website that I can share at a later date. I was too busy manning the photo booth to take my own pictures!
Friday, May 30, 2008
I used to be really obsessed with rummaging, especially when Charlie was little. I got him so many great clothes, and toys, and nearly his entire library came from rummage sales. And I had my own rummage sales to sell his crib, and high chair, and all of those baby things that serve their usefulness, and then need a new home.
I found my two favorite slipper chairs that grace our living room at a rummage sale-the owner had just had them reupholstered, and just didn't have room for them anymore, and I got them for a song. Much less then I am sure it cost her to have them redone.
I bought our first credit card processing machine for our store at a rummage sale, a savings of about $450. And it was just like new.
I have found lots of great dishes, and antique tablecloths, and things I have repurposed into gifts, and fun cookbooks, and groovy pottery at rummage sales. Sometimes you will hit up several, and not find a thing. Other times you will hit the proverbial rummaging jackpot. That is part of the fun, the thrill of the hunt, the adventure of it all, the not knowing what will be around the corner.
My rummaging obsession has waned a bit in the last few years, as our tiny house fills up and Charlie has become more involved in his clothes selection process, and there is just less stuff that I "need" to buy.
But I am heading out this morning for a little rummaging, because this is the last Friday Charlie will be in school, and I have the freedom to do a little adventuring. And it just feels like a good day to see if there are any treasures out there that need a new home.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This is a classic recipe from years gone by, when "housewives" discovered the wonder of canned cream of mushroom soup, and slow cooking an inexpensive piece of beef into something mouth watering.
1 hunk of meat-chuck roast works great
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
a few splashes of worcestershire sauce
I have added some of my own touches-first I rub Montreal Steak Seasoning into it ( the original recipe just called for salt and pepper) and sear it in a really hot, oiled pan, to form a nice little crust all over it and hold in the juices. Then you throw it in the crockpot, and spread the mushroom soup over it. Splash on the worcestershire sauce, then pour the dry soup mix all over that. Take the empty soup can and fill it with water. Pour the water back in the hot pan and scrape up any leftover bits from the pot, and pour it around the meat in the crockpot. Over the day, all of this will combine to make your very own gravy. I also saute up some mushrooms with a little garlic and throw in there too, as we are nuts about mushrooms at our house. Throw on the cover and let it cook on Low for about 8 hours. Mash up some potatoes (or buy the ones already made, what the heck, this is supposed to be an EASY dinner! and once the gravy hits them you won't even notice they aren't homemade). The meat will just be melting, you won't even be able to cut it into slices. Serve it up with a nice veg, and you are set.
Now if you can control yourself, this should make enough for two meals. Or not.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
hmmm, he would make a fine archeologist...all he needs is a whip...
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The last cabinets and sink are probably coming out tomorrow, and we will be doing dishes in the bathroom. Can you say paper plates? The rest of the kitchen is empty, and getting painted today.
In other news, Claude continues to improve, and gets another new splint today.
He sleeps a lot. And no, I do not coordinate his blankets with his splint.
And we finally got a shot of the babies. They are very noisy when momma doesn't bring the worms fast enough. And I have no idea how she sits on them and keeps them warm, wouldn't all of those beaks be a little uncomfortable?
So far, they have all survived.
Yup, just another May at the Pohl house.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Today I am thinking about my Grandpa Archie. He was my mom's dad, and died of a heart attack while attending his class reunion. It also happened to be my Grandma Doris's birthday, and he had just gone up and asked the band to play "Happy Birthday", when his heart just gave up, and he left us. I was 10, I remember hearing about it while eating my breakfast of Rice Krispies. It was a Sunday, and I couldn't figure out why mom hadn't woken me up to go to church. I remember that he always had a roll of Life Savers in his shirt pocket, and when he saw me he would hold out his arms, and I would take a running leap and jump into them. After he had gone, I would have dreams where he came into my room at night, and told me everything was okay. I miss him. And I am really bummed that I don't have a picture to share with you today. I will find one, and share it another day, because Archie was a handsome man.
I am thinking about my Great Grandma Ethel. I have many stories to tell about her, another whole post worth. She made homemade doughnuts, and loved to watch All Star Wrestling and Roller Derby, and lived out on the Mississippi River in her tiny little house. She passed away from a blood disease when I was a junior in high school. She is the middle one in the following picture. I clearly got my upper arms, and sense of fun, and enjoyment of alcohol, from her. I miss her. My Grandpa Don was a big part of my life. He bought me a pony, and made me a buggy to ride in, and could literally do anything. I will do another post about him at a later date, as I have many stories to tell and pictures to share about him too. He always kept a coffee can of lollipops in his shop, and taught me how to fish with a bamboo pole, and took me for walks in the woods where I learned about wild flowers and morel mushrooms. He died of cancer the summer before my senior year of high school. He is the one in the photo NOT wearing the baseball uniform and holding hands with the cute girl. Isn't he a handsome fellow? I find it rather eerie that this photo was taken on the exact same date as I am writing this post about him, 73 years ago. I have no idea who the other people in the photo are, or why it was taken. Perhaps a Memorial Day Weekend baseball game? I miss him. Grandma Betty was such a presence. ( She was married to Grandpa Don, and Ethel was her mom). She always sang while she was in her kitchen cooking, she sounded like Ella Fitzgerald. She taught me how to sew, and bought me my first sewing machine. She loved wigs, and diamond rings, and big cars. I loved playing in her basement, and going shopping with her to Gibsons. She loved to play Scrabble, and Yahtzee, and she made a mean cherry pie. She passed away in her sleep (the best way to go, in my opinion) but she did get to meet Charlie, unlike Grandpa Archie, or Great Grandma Ethel, or Grandpa Don. There will be another whole post about her someday, too. She was a twin, and her brother Bob (she was Roberta, he was Robert) is usually in pictures with her as a child. I found this one of her, all alone, and clearly I have her knees. I miss her. I can't visit their graves today, but I don't believe their spirit is really in those little plots of land anyway. Their spirit is in me, in the way I live my life, and I thank them and remember them fondly. And I hope they come and visit me in my dreams tonight, just to say hello.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
When I was little, playing with my Barbie dolls, they never made it past 30.
Which, when you are 8, seems ancient.
And today I turn 46. I actually lost a year, because for some reason I can no longer do simple math, and last year I thought I was 44. I even sent my parents an elaborate Anniversary card on their Forty Fifth, in August, 9 months before I was born. When last year was actually their 46th. They were wondering what was up with me.
Really, it has nothing to do with denial. I love my forties. (Other than the waking up at 3 am and not being able to go back to sleep, and the popping sounds my knees make when they bend, and the arthritis in my neck, and back, and hands)...but seriously, FORTY is great. There are things that really no longer bother you, like they did in your twenties and thirties. No makeup, not even mascara, for several days in a row? So what! And I was even out in public! My mom would be horrified. Maybe she never felt that liberation, that I certainly feel. My husband and child love me for who I am. Not that I am going to become a slob or anything, but there are some beauty routines that just don't need to be routine any more.
Other than pedicures, a TOTALLY different story.
I really do love being in my forties, never mind that now I am on the other side of 45, and my FIFTIES are looming. Things have changed ! Woman are vibrant, and exciting, and beautiful, (even WITHOUT BOTOX) well beyond forty. Wrinkles are interesting. Gray hair can be very dynamic. Thirty is the new Fifty.
All I know is, I love my life the way it is RIGHT NOW. And getting older can only mean getting better, and wiser, and finding new wine to drink.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
But he did finally start purring again last night, and gave himself a bath, so we believe he is on the mend. He gets to see another vet on Friday, we will know more then. We are just so very glad to have him home, our lives seemed incomplete without him.
The kitchen project has been coming along, although slower than we had hoped, what with all of our extra activities this week:
Mike came to my rescue and finished scraping the mulitple layers of wallpaper off of the window wall. I love him. My discs were starting to stage a protest. Today he hopes to finish fixing up three of the walls, and get them ready for painting, remove the last of the wall cabinets, and get the ceiling painted.
In other news, the lilacs are blooming!
I love lilacs, and wish they would last longer. But for the few days that they sweetly scent our backyard, I fully enjoy them. And Momma Robin had her babies! I have not gotten close enough to take a pic, as I don't want to disturb her, but I spied her bringing worms to the nest last night, and could see tiny beaks peeking up to get their dinner.
While Mike works on those kitchen walls today, I plan to start putting the cabinets together-in between helping out at Charlie's school, and taking him for a check-up this afternoon.Now doesn't that look like fun? Maybe I will build them in the living room, to keep Claude company.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
( A pre-adventure photo )
Thanks to everyone who sent their positive thoughts our way yesterday-it worked!!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Not only did Momma Robin make her spring residence at our house, a squirrel found it's way through the mesh chimney cap, whipped up a huge ol' nest, and once in, couldn't find a way out.
And sometime this weekend, it expired.
When I got up this morning, there was definitely an aroma in the air I hadn't smelled the day before. What could it be? I had taken out the garbage the night before, so I cleaned out the garbage disposal. That didn't help. So I wandered the house, sniffing. And the minute I walked by the fireplace I knew what was goin' on. stinky dead animal smell.
So I opened all the windows and doors (thank god we had put the screens up last week). But that didn't really help much. And then my furnace came on, because it is so flippin' cold here today.
Mike was at ACES, I phoned and warned him of the project that awaited him upon his return home. eewwww. And he thought all he had to do today was yank cupboards off the walls!
He dutifully put the giant ladder up against the house, and made his precarious way to the top of the chimney. After removing the cap, he found the nest partway down the chimney. Realizing it would be easier to push it down, than try to pull it up, he found a good long pole and did just that.
Now all he had to do was position a box at the bottom, open the damper, and stinky dead animal would plop into the box and be disposed of. Because we have had to do this before, a few years ago, before we had caps on our chimneys. And there were two of them, perhaps an illicit tryst gone wrong. They smelled, they were removed, and life went on. Once the caps went on, we really thought this would not be a chore we would have to relive. Okay, Mike would have to relive. I just provide emotional support. This is when I am really glad I am not a feminist.
So since he was up there anyway, he reattached the chimney caps-there would be no more critters in OUR chimney!
He headed into the house, opened the damper, plop went the nest, and the deceased squirrel, and half of the leaves and such from our yard. And then he heard a noise. And got a mirror, and a flashlight, and found another squirrel in the chimney, very much alive.
He can't go up, because Mike did such a good job of sealing up the top. He won't come down, because he is terrified of this human peering up at him, and the cat meowing ferociously in the background.
He keeps making noises, like he would like to leave and perhaps romp through the yard. Which would be just fine with me. I don't like live animals trapped in parts of my house. (you notice I am assuming it is a male squirrel, a female would never get herself in such a situation. Or maybe she's the one that's already dead).
We have peanut butter for him at the bottom of the fireplace, right on the edge of the box he can just jump into, and then we will kindly pick him up and deposit him outside. Or he can refuse to leave, and starve to death, and I will have another death on my hands.
Imagine the troubles we would have if we actually lived in the COUNTRY.
A baby squirrel. Not just one of them, but THREE of them. And they are no longer pests, but adorable little creatures that I need to save. And the dead one was their mom. And I am nearly in tears, because I imagine that she nursed them, and had no strength to get out and get enough food to keep going, and died. And here we are taking their dead mom, and the only home they have ever known, away from them. Mike was able to get two of them out of the chimney, we put them in the yard underneath the porch of the abandoned house next to us. I shelled nuts for them to eat, shouldn't I leave them a bowl of milk? There is still one left, that Mike is trying to coax down. He is really affected by this too. When he brought them outside, they were so disoriented. They came right over to us, like they wanted us to do something. One of them tried climbing up Mike's leg. Of course Charlie has been there through all of this.
But what else could we do? If we leave them in the chimney, they will surely starve and die. At least outside they have a fighting chance, don't they? And I just read what I wrote earlier today, when this was all just a NUISANCE, and I had other things to do, and now I just feel so bad. Because I really sound like a jerk. And I guess when it's babies, that changes everything.
More to follow....
Monday, May 19, 2008
I love that they have found something they can do together, that gets them out in the woods, and gives them some great exercise. And even though he is still pretty new to it, Mike tells me Charlie is an amazing rider, just look at him take this corner: Watch out for that tree honey, you could sprain your ankle! Good thing they leave me at home.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
No more wallpaper in the kitchen, it just isn't the look I am going for. So yesterday was spent stripping wallpaper. And then I found that the window wall isn't really painted, it is paint over not one, but two layers of old wallpaper, with another layer of paint in between. (random curses upon previous owners of 603 Hamline....) Since that will be a bit more labor intensive, I saved that fun little project for today. And I need to finish emptying out all the cupboards, as tomorrow they all come off the walls. Then we will need to make all of the repairs to the walls, to make them paintable, and scrub and paint the ceiling, and then the walls.
But I am thinking after dirt biking for two days straight, Mike may be a little sore, and moving a little slowly tomorrow, so that may be more like a two day project...or even three. Like I said, we are not going to be completing this project anytime soon.
I am hoping that when the cupboards come off the walls we will find the secret wall safe full of long forgotten Chevron or Exxon oil stock certificates. And then I can hire someone to do all of this!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
You know those meals, the ones where everyone dishes up what they want, and then after you have eaten your portion, you just kind of keep picking more out of the dish? Tonight was one of those meals.
Clearly, the gorgeous weather has affected our taste buds too. And when you eat outside, everything tastes better. And it was late for us, 7 pm, so we were starving. So take all of that into consideration if you make this and say, "What the heck was she going on and on about?"
So I had a pork tenderloin (if you read me, you will know it was because it was on sale at Kortes-if you don't, now you know anyway). And some broccoli. Because unlike most children, Charlie LOVES broccoli. And so do I. And Mike tolerates it, as he has learned he needs to eat green vegetables.
Okay, here are the recipes I found while whipping through my cookbook library while eating a turkey sandwich outside taking a break from washing windows (totally run on sentence, one of the joys of blogging.)
Since I can't find a link to it, I have to type it, dang. It's from Rachael Ray's 365 No Repeats cookbook (go buy it!):
Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
2 1/4 lbs. pork tenderloin
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tbsp. pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped and fine chop
2 Tbsp olive oil
Mix up everything but the pork, rub it on and over and around the pork. Grill it at 500 degrees until it hits 160 degrees internal temp, let it sit for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
And to go along, since Mike & Charlie needed some carbs before riding all day Saturday:
Ina Garten's Broccoli and Bow Ties (thank you God there is a link):
And a nice bottle of wine, and you are good. The perfect Friday-evening-it-is-finally-going-to-be-warm kind of meal.
Friday, May 16, 2008
We weren't really that close, Mike used his telephoto lens, or she would have never sat there for her portrait. While I was on the ladder washing the window right next to the nest, I just had to peek inside, and looky what I found:I counted four that I could see, but I couldn't see the whole thing so there may be more. Aren't they just beautiful? I am sending a little prayer out that they all survive, and she can raise them in my yard, and send them on their way.
And then I had to take some pics of my newly planted flowers-most of these came from Gerten's, from our school plant sale. Such healthy plants!
These are mini callibrochia-they bloom anywhere you plant them, you will get more flowers the more sun they get. They are self dead-heading, and so easy to take care of. They offered a mixed basket this year, they are gorgeous! I plan to get even more of them next year.I moved my pot of Johnny Jump Ups and planted them at the base of our birch tree. A whole bunch of little tiny smiles for whoever happens to be walking by:Oops, plopped this pic in too close-the above is a mixed begonia pot. I ADORE begonias, because they kind of look like roses but are a lot easier to take care of. They like a little sun, mostly shade, and also dead head themselves. These are on my front step, to greet the mailman. Or the Jehovah Witnesses, who are the only other people who use my front door.
And these are just random shots of all of the color I planted this year. Normally I have to have a color scheme, but I think our extended winter affected my psyche a bit as I was placing my order, because I have every color, everywhere:
I have little birds, or birdhouses, throughout my garden. Hey, maybe that's why Momma Robin picked our place for her little nest! She could tell we were bird friendly.
Hope you get to do some planting this beautiful weekend!
Nice landing. Clearly, I am not too great with the camera in these situations. After seeing the pics, Mike told me about this cool setting we have on our camera, just for sport situations. So I will use that next time, and these pics will turn out much better. But I think they still captured the moment.
Brad Bombardir is "Principal for the Day" at Charlie's school today (Go Wild!) and Charlie was up at 6:30 and dressed in his jersey and shiny red shorts. I really hate those shiny athletic shorts and pants, how about a cute pair of jeans or cargo shorts? But you gotta let a 10 year old boy be in charge of something....
He and Mike are heading out at the crack o dawn tomorrow to ride dirt bikes all day near Thielman, Mike will camp overnight and ride again on Sunday, Charlie is getting a ride home Saturday night with some friends, he said he doesn't feel like camping quite yet.
When the weather is finally this nice, the kitchen can wait.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
As I was heading out, my dear friend Kari stopped by with a little thank you gift. What a nice surprise! At the same time, another dear friend who runs a day care, Tracy Lane, was walking by with her charges, and her son Alec, who was home after suffering a broken nose (OW!) from a wayward baseball pitch. So we had a good little chat, to find out the specifics. Later, as I was still in the yard, another friend who lives in the neighborhood, Doug, stopped by on his way home from the grocery store.
Then it was time to take the bike out, and make a quick trip up to our neighborhood grocery store, Kortes, where I chatted with the clerk, who knows me, as I am there all the time. After packing away the goodies (pork tenderloin is on sale for 3.99 a pound! get some!) I walked to the bus stop to wait for Charlie, where I chatted with Doug again, and neighbor Niki.
After that, Charlie and I went to visit Alec, and deliver him a malt (because Dairy Queen definitely has some medicinal value when it comes to broken bones), and I stayed to visit with Tracy, as she doesn't get much adult contact in her days of day care. Before you know it, Doug and his boys had stopped with something for Alec, Tracy's husband Mike had arrived home, the day care kids had gone, and it was time to celebrate this very nice day. So we gathered up snacks and my hubby, beer and wine, and sat in the sunshine enjoying each other's company. Very impromptu, and completely unplanned, the best kind of get-togethers. Thank you Mike and Tracy!
And that is what living in a neighborhood is all about, and why I think that we probably won't be making that move to the suburbs anytime soon. At least until Charlie leaves us...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
And then you come crashing down to reality, after you go to Ikea and load your truck up with the 120 pieces of things you will need to make the cabinets. Not counting the hardware. And then you organize them all in your garage, and realize not only will you need a place to store all of the stuff you are taking out of your old cupboards, and the old cupboards themselves, and the new cupboards before they are installed. And you remember you live in a tiny house, with a basement that is already full of simulator cockpits and store inventory and all of that stuff you have been meaning to give to Goodwill. But hey, it's not snowing out (dare I say that yet?) Can we just fill up the whole backyard with the stuff?
Mike and I have always been part of the D I Y group. Mostly to save money, surely not to save sanity. The only time we have hired someone is to roof our house, or paint the exterior, or install and inspect the water heater. And of course our store at the mall. At our old store, we did everything ourselves, the demo, the painting, etc. The MOA wouldn't let us build out our own store, apparently we needed to be part of a trade union. But that was fine with us, as we had plenty of other irons in the fire at the time.
So now that we have this much more leisurely life, we seem to think we can spend our summer putting in a new kitchen. Because as much as I like to think we can do this in just a few weeks, I envision this taking longer than that. We still have to run our store, and Mike still has events to compete in. But I think that's okay. My normal MO is to do things in a day-because once I start something I want to see the end result as soon as possible, and then scrub the floor and shine up the windows and have it looking magazine ready. But I think I know that this project is a little more involved than that, so I am making lots of lists, and taking a deep breath, and just letting it happen as it needs to.
So when I call you or email you and I am all stressed out, just remind me about what I wrote today.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We finally have leaves, or at least buds, on most of our trees, and our grass is delightfully green. So what if we still have to throw on a sweatshirt in the morning, and I haven't felt I can put the gloves and mittens away yet. We are blessedly free from some of the blasts you have been sending elsewhere.
The average temperature right now is 71 degrees, we are lucky to hit 60. But I finally let the plants sit outside over night, Mike and I have been dragging them in and out since last Thursday. Now they will hust have to tough out whatever you throw our way.
So I am not going to ask for anything for ourselves here in Minnesota. Okay, just one request, can you make it stop snowing up north? But how about you take it easy for a while, and let people in tornado alley and across the world catch their breath.
A Minnnesota Gardener
Monday, May 12, 2008
I wouldn't have said that 12, or 13, or 14, or 15, years ago, when we were trying so hard to have a baby, and I was just another woman. Mother's Day used to be a reminder of what a failure I was.
But many years later, it's all good. Proof that you should never give up on a dream. Or change the dream a little.
TOP TEN REASON WHY MOTHER'S DAY ROCKED:
1. Charlie woke me up and gave me a big hug-normally, the whole waking me up thing would have made me a little cranky.
2. Mike brewed some freshly ground Pinon coffee from New Mexico. I love him.
3. Charlie made breakfast, Mike was his sous chef. Cheesy scrambled eggs, sausage, toast. They even set the table. It was REALLY good.
4. "What do you want to do today? You decide". DId I tell you that I really like my husband?
5. Farmer's Market, and all of those flowers.
6. Pastry and a latte at Nina's coffee shop, and a browse through Common Grounds bookstore.
7. A delightful drive to Wisconsin: Prescott, River Falls, Hudson. It just makes sense. And the adorable flower shop I found on Vine Street was a serendipitous find.
8. Planting gorgeous flowers in window boxes.
9. Eating a yummy steak dinner that my guys prepared, complete with strawberry shortcake for dessert.
10. Kissing my sweet boy good night, and thanking him for the most wonderful present. I will be using the back rub coupon soon.
Okay, I know I already have 10 things, but there are more. Can I just say that I love having a whole day where I don't think about doing the laundry, or cleaning the kitchen, or vacuuming, or sorting the recycling, or doing the bookkeeping? Or figuring out what to have for dinner, or if the homework is done? (Okay Amy, I did think about the homework...)
Can I lobby for a bill that we have Mother's Day twice a year? I am thinking that by October we would be more than ready. dang. The legislature has to adjourn in a week, and they still have to figure out that pesky budget situation. Maybe next year...
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Wow, that pretty much sums up the concert on Wednesday night. I wrote about them before, the duo from the movie "Once". They are on tour as "The Swell Season". They have a band, and then they brought along some street performers they found in Dublin. It was at the Orpheum (which I had never been to, so cool) and it was just an amazing evening.
If you want to hear more about it, someone wrote this review:
But what that doesn't tell you, is what it felt like, inside, to be there. Just magical.
Other things: The plant sale was a rousing success! In the five years I have worked it, it has never been so organized or error free. Kari did just an amazing job of planning each detail, and now Horace Mann families will have pots full of color. I have a whole truckload of things to plant, but sadly they will have to wait until it warms up a bit. So it will be the daily back yard to garage shuffle, until they can thrive. And once it all gets done I will post some pics. Finally, we have color!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Here is a ..... dang. Total mental block. They are gorgeous when they bloom, look kind of like trumpets, I add a new species/color to my perennial garden every year. They get kind of tall, my favorite part is how the leaves cup drops of dew. See it on the leaves? When I remember what it's called, I will let you know:And lastly, a tiny little shot of color. This is a .... wow. My old brain is having a little trouble with plant names this morning. It's a little bulb you plant in the fall, sometimes these even peek up through the snow. One of the very first plants to bloom. I planted these over 10 years ago, each spring a few of them bravely show themselves.We have a new tenant this year. A robin has decided to build her nest in this wreath hanging on the side of the house, right in between the kitchen and dining room windows. We have a great spot to watch her work, and so far she hasn't been scared off by all of the traffic, and dogs regularly walking by. I hope she stays, and that it all works out, and that we get to see her raise her babies.I'll keep you posted on how this works out. Spring is really and truly finally here!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
As with all events gift related, I am in charge of finding the perfect thing each year for my mother-in-law as well as my mom. I really enjoy it, Mike's mom always loves what we give her (and if she didn't, we would never know about it). I usually like to get my mom a gift card to somewhere fun, as we have very different tastes, and she will rarely "splurge" on something for herself. So this year it was to Christoper & Banks, as they actually have a location in Bemidji, and I know she will find something she will wear.
And having been in the beading mode lately, I decided to whip up a little something to go with the gift card. So I got out my supplies, poured another cup of coffee, and put on some nice music.
Beading is very zen-like for me, I love a chance to be creative. More than anything, I love the need to buy more stuff. And then organize it. And notice how good it looks all organized.
And here is the finished product, a little toggle dangle necklace with earrings.
I think she will like it. Since I won't be able to see her face when she opens it, I won't ever know for sure. But a girl can try. And the little pendant says "live". Just another gentle reminder for her to schedule that colonoscopy.
In order to make sure things get to Bemidji in time (I swear, sometimes they go through Florida first) everything needs to get in the mail today. There is nothing worse than making the phone call on Sunday and finding out the package didn't arrive in time. "Oh Kris, it really doesn't matter". But yes it does!
So I put Charlie in charge of making cards for his Grandma's. He is usually quite clever with words on his cards. Apparently he had a little writer's block going on:And apparently he thought saying "love" might be too mushy. Ahhhh, a 10 year old boy.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Because, for the first time since I was 10 years old, I found a swimsuit that not only fit me ( a HUGE achievement, pun intended) but that I really like. Is that even possible?
If you are in need of a new suit this year, get your badonkadonk out to Land's End in Woodbury. They have a huge selection of their current catalog offerings, as well as last year's models on the back wall at a reduced price. I defy you NOT to find a suit you will love. They have figured out how to make swimwear for real people. And I am so glad I went out there, as I had planned to order one, and that one ended up not fitting very well at all. So make the trip. You will be SO HAPPY you did.
Now that Charlie is 10, and wants to live at the neighborhood pool all summer, a swimsuit is pretty essential to summer in the city.
Pretty much the only thing that comes close to swimsuit shopping is bra shopping. But that isn't nearly as stressful, as no one but you, or your hubby, sees the bra you choose....
So after all of that clothing stress, I treated myself to a stop at Trader Joes, where I loaded up on salty snacks and cheese and all of the other things that make me smile. New Product Alert! They now have a Grapefruit Citrus Salt Scrub, to compliment the Tangerine Sugar Scrub I already told you about. sigh.
Monday, May 5, 2008
And here is a direct quote "That is the most fun I have ever had on a motorcycle".And luckily he had his very own personal water boy.
So here is the guy who was going to "take it easy, and hold back". He finished FOURTH in his class of 17 guys. And is going to start doing commercials for Powerade.
I love the wonderful example he is giving Charlie-he works so hard every day, conditioning his body, eating right, and doing what he needs to so that he can do something he has an absolute passion for. I guess all of those cold January mornings, when he really didn't want to go to the gym, have paid off! I am so proud.
Friday, May 2, 2008
So it was a good day.
WARNING: the rest of this post will concern the weather. So if you are just too weary of it, stop reading right now, and go do something else. If you would like some handy tips on how to survive the next 48 hours, read on....
The forecast has the S word in it, for tonight and tomorrow morning. Gosh, I am pretty sure it's May, right? They tell me that 6 of the last 7 Fridays have been raining or snowing. So here's the plan.
1. Go through your fridge, and cupboards, and throw a bunch of stuff in a big pot, and make some nice soup. Or a hot batch of chili. Maybe some nice warm bread to go along with it. And a cobbler for dessert.
2. Snuggle in with a movie. Tonight's offerings include "The Incredibles", "Jurassic Park", or "The Firm". All popcorn-worthy, in their own way.
3. Grab that book you have been meaning to read, throw on your sweats and some nice warm socks, and immerse yourself in a different reality.
4. Try on your summer clothes! See what still works, and what needs to make a little trip to Goodwill. Fold those fun summer T's and put them in your drawers.
5. Shop for a new swimsuit. I just discovered www.athleta.com. Totally cute stuff.
6. Plan a summer picnic. Go through your cookbooks and find a new beverage recipe that you can put ice and an umbrella in.
7. Think about your garden. If you haven't already done so, plan some window boxes or pots of blooms. The garden centers are all open and stocked, so you can do lots of dreaming, just don't plant it yet. If you find something you absolutely have to have, just bring it home and keep it in the garage until it warms up.
8. Realize that we really are on the tail end of this..I checked the extended forecast, and there is nothing less than 60 degrees every day next week. So if we can just make it through the next 48 hours, we will be good!