Friday Favorites: It’s just been a long week

This week was a rough one for sure and I couldn’t be more happy that it’s Friday.  Lots of issues at work, cold dreary weather, and did I mention lots of issues at work?  I only have a few favorites to share today, so I’m not going to bother linking up with Andrea.

{ONE}

My new dining room table, chairs and rug are definitely a favorite.  I sit there all the time.  I don’t know if it’s just that much more comfortable, or more accessible being more in the open, or what.  And the rug has added so much more zing to my decor.  I even bid on a pillow cover at the DGT event to bring that color into the addition.  I had to get new solid covers for two of the patterned pillows, but they were only $10 at Target.

{TWO}

I have been on the hunt for a new pair of black sandals for work.  I wanted a perforated-block-heel-peep-toe-bootie-type-sandal, and can you believe I was having a hard time finding one?  I ordered and tried six pair before I found these.

They are the perfect height, and because the heel is so thick, they are very stable.  My runner up was these Toms, and I’m having a hard time sending them back.

{THREE}

I have been listening to “A Hundred Summers” and I’m hooked.  If you are looking for a good summer book, I would highly recommend this one.  It’s set in New York and Rhode Island during 1931 and 1938.  It actually jumps back and forth, 1938 being the present and 1931 the flashbacks.  The time changes by chapter.  I’m on chapter 9 and have gone back and forth about which characters I’m rooting for multiple times.  The author does a great job of revealing a little more of their personality in each chapter.  If I had the physical book I would have a really hard time putting it down.

That’s about all I’ve got today.  I ordered a new outfit from Boden USA because this has been a tough week and I needed some retail therapy.  I’m hoping I love it as much in person as I did online.

I ordered the sweater in Navy, but now that I see these two pictures together it may have been better to get the green or pink.  I’ll have to see when I get it.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Edition: I seem to have lost my Mondays

Here I go again, posting my weekend update on Tuesday.  I’m not sure why this is, other than maybe I am so tired on Sunday nights and so busy on Monday mornings that I just forget.  Anywho, it was another beautiful, busy weekend with lots of checkmarks on the to-do list.

I had a lot of DGT Event work to do on Friday, so we did a quick walk around the yard and planned our strategy for the weekend.   Our outdoor work would be focused on the lawn and the creek, and we had plans for a special treat on Sunday.

Gary rented a lawn aerator for Saturday morning, so we were up and out early to get that.  While he aerated, I started dividing our perennial grasses in the dry creek.  We took the aerator back, grabbed some lunch, and then spent the rest of the day weeding and dividing more grasses.  The ferns are coming up in the creek area too, so it’s finally starting to fill in.  The Wild played what would be their final playoff game Saturday afternoon.  I watched the first period and overtime, but the game was so frustrating I decided to just keep working outside.

We called it at about 5:00 and drove over to Lowe’s for fertilizer.  We made dinner, ate, showered, and collapsed.

Sunday morning was spent paying bills, listing a few items on Craig’s list, and taking Scout for a quick run at the Park Reserve because Gary had fertilized the lawn and we needed to keep him off of it.  Then Doug and Janice picked us up to take their new boat out on it’s maiden voyage.  We spent about 3 hours on two of the lakes right by our house and it was so much fun.  We saw a family of loons, two muskrat, two egrets, ducks, geese and fish.  It was so relaxing!  We finished up the laundry and went grocery shopping and then just putzed around the house.  We took Scout across the street into our preserve and did some fetching with him to tire him out a little, and then settled in front of the tv for a bit before bedtime.

We are making good progress on the yard work, but it’s going to get cold and possibly snow again this week.  Hopefully it will warm up for the weekend again.  We don’t have a lot of weekends before the grad party and still have quite a bit of work to do.  We are also starting to look for some outdoor music for the summer – Gary even checked out the Red Rocks schedule!  Unfortunately, he didn’t see anything there that he thought was worth the trip.  I’m sure something will come up.

Hope you’re having a great week!

What’s Up Wednesday: April 2017

Well here we are at the end of April already.  We have had some beautiful weather this month, but of course it’s cold and rainy this week.  April is such a tease – we get these sunny warm days and we want to get outside in our shorts and get all of the summer stuff out, and then it drops back down near freezing and gets miserable again just to remind us that it’s Minnesota and summer really doesn’t come until June.

I am in a really busy streak at work and home, so my update is going to be quick.

{ONE}  WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK…

Still working on cutting carbs and adding veggies and fruit to our diet.  We had leftover turkey from last week so I made my chicken salad on Monday with eggs, grapes and pineapple, Tuesday was scalloped potatoes and ham with fresh green beans, tonight it’s beef and broccoli, and then we have burgers (with fresh green beans) and crock-pot chicken for the rest of the week.

{TWO}  WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT…

As I am working away on Megan’s grad party I am thinking back to Amy and Amanda’s parties and Zach’s going away party when he joined the Navy.  Can’t believe this is my last one!

{THREE}  WHAT I’M LOVING…

Being outside doing yard work.  It’s still a little cool, and there are no mosquitoes yet.  The ground is still soft so the weeds come out pretty easy, and everything is starting to bud.  I’m grateful that I don’t suffer from allergies.

{FOUR}  WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO…

The above mentioned grad party preparations and yard work.  We don’t have any plans for inside the house, but we need to restain the back porch, clean up the landscape, and power wash and possibly paint the front of the house.  Just five weekends to go!

{FIVE}  WHAT I’M DREADING…

I delayed my colonoscopy because I had it scheduled for the same week I need to take time off to go bring Amy home.  So that’s going to happen in May now.

{SIX}  WHAT I’M WORKING ON…

Yep, the grad party.  Planning the food, putting together pictures, ordering invitations and getting the mailing list together.  And I’m still working on closing out the DGT event.  It’s taking longer this year for some reason, but I plan to have it done by the end of the weekend.

{SEVEN}  WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT…

Amy coming home, Megan’s prom, Mother’s Day… all the fun things in May!  Plus continued warmer weather.

{EIGHT}  WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING…

I actually finished my first audio book – “Here’s to Us” by Elin Hilderbrand.  I’m now into my second book, “A Hundred Summers” by Beatriz Williams, and I have four more in my queue.  I need to cancel my Audible subscription but I keep forgetting.  I don’t think I love it enough to continue to pay that much per month, but we will see if I have the bug after I get through this list.

And Netflix added the next season of Heartland so I am watching that along with Tiny House Hunters and my other usuals.  I have quite a few episodes on the DVR to catch up on.

{NINE}  WHAT I’M LISTENING TO…

Nothing.  I have found that if I am going to listen to a book I have to be consistent so I don’t ever have anything else on.

{TEN} WHAT I’M WEARING…

I have added a few summer pieces, including a new pair of black block heel sandals that I thought I would never find (I ordered six pairs before I found one that fit and felt comfortable!).  But I’m mostly still wearing my winter wardrobe for now.

{ELEVEN} WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND…

If it stops raining, I will be doing yard work.  Gary works in the morning on Saturday so I’m going to take Scout to get his nails trimmed, then get back to work on the dry creek.  Just to be clear, Gary working really has nothing to do with Scout’s nails, Chuck and Don’s is having a nail trimming event so I’m going in the morning while Gary is at work.

{TWELVE}  WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH…

I’m hoping that my garden starts sprouting!  I will plant the second row of beans and carrots, and the corn and tomato plant.  Fingers crossed for fresh veggies.

So time keeps marching and we have survived another winter.  I have a busy five weeks ahead of me and then it’s pretty clear sailing.  There will be Ladies Weekend, a few grad parties, and the never ending yard work, but nothing major for the summer.  I’m looking forward to a few outdoor concerts, maybe a couple of full day hikes, maybe more time on the water, and then preparations for an empty nest.  Better back it up, I’m getting a little ahead of myself!

Friday Favorites: I survived another DGT event!

I really didn’t intend to take an entire week off from blogging, but with Easter and THE EVENT, I just didn’t have the thoughts or the energy.  But that’s all behind me now, or at least mostly behind me, and I find myself with a day off, sunshine, hazelnut hot cocoa, and a few thoughts.

Easter was lovely, and I did not take one single picture.  Well Megan took this one picture of me relaxing Saturday night…

but neither of us is in our Easter bonnet.

We enjoyed a casual brunch of French toast, Zip-lock Omelets (from the Lindgren Ladies Cookbook), sausage, bacon, and fruit.  The ‘kids’ had to assemble jigsaw puzzles to get a clue to where their basket was hidden.  After baskets we moved the party outside for lawn Yahtzee.  Just a nice quiet day with family, my favorite!

After that I was heads-down with DGT stuff.  This was my dining room table most of the week.

This is also the only picture I have related to the event because I had to use my phone for registration.  We used two on-line services this year – Eventbrite for ticket sales/registration and Square for collecting money.  Both were awesome, but I had some technical challenges.  I have always used my iPad for Square, but the operating system is too old for Eventbrite.  So I put that on my phone.  Then when I tried to link Square to Eventbrite it worked at home on my phone, but when we got to the event Square wasn’t a payment option.  And then I couldn’t connect to ASI’s wifi on my iPad (everyone else could so I’m guessing it’s that out of date operating system again), so we had to use both Eventbrite and Square on my phone.  Ugh.  Now I need to decide if I want another iPad (which I only use for DGT), or maybe get the Eventbrite card reader for next year?  I will worry about all of that another day.

And again, Megan took some pictures on my phone so I have this…

which shows we had some balloons.

And then here are a few random favorites from the past week or so.

I was trying to capture the new growth out out at the park, but my camera focused on the background rather than the branch.  Fail.  But I’m loving the park even more as it comes to life this Spring.

I looked out the window as I was working in the addition yesterday and there were three deer and a turkey walking through the backyard.  I snapped this picture, and if you look really hard, there are three deer in amongst the bushes.  It’s sort of a Where’s Waldo effect.  Or another fail.

I finally got Megan’s senior pictures, and wanted to cry as I added it to my collection at work.

It was like that feeling of putting in the final piece in a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  It’s what you work toward for hours and hours and years.  Your first baby is like finding the four corners, and the early years with multiple kids like putting together the edge pieces.  The tween and teen years are the ups and downs of filling in the middle, working on small groups of similar colors or patterns and trying to fit it in with the rest of the puzzle.  And then your baby graduating from high school is that final piece.  You are elated, with this huge sense of accomplishment.  You admire the finished puzzle, a beautiful picture reflecting all of your hard work.  And then you realize it’s done, and you aren’t going to be working on it anymore.  So you want a new puzzle but you are too old and tired to start another 1000 piece puzzle so you go out and buy a 100 piece puzzle, or a Brittany puppy.

 

It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend so we will be working on the dry creek area.  Lots of plants to divide and rocks to move, plus weeds to pull and spray and leaves to blow out.  I will need to make sure there is wine for the evening!  Have a great weekend!

Life Story Conversation: Elementary Years

Back in this post, I introduced the idea of a Life Story Conversation.  In a nutshell, the idea is to have a 45 minute conversation with someone during which they describe their life from Kindergarten through the present.  My idea is to post my conversation in segments, beginning with my elementary years today.  I have a feeling that some segments will be more detailed than others, because I feel like I have blocked out or lost track of periods of time in my life.  Or maybe they just weren’t all that memorable.  For these  very early years, it’s going to be my life according to my memories, possibly not fact.  But maybe my sisters will help fill in the gaps, or correct me if I’m wrong 😉

Since this entire “conversation” is only supposed to take 45 minutes (and in my case, we are talking about a span of 45 years!), it’s going to be pretty high level.  Things that stand out in my memory, maybe some feelings, and some basic geography.  So, here we go.

Where I lived

  • First home through fifth grade was a little yellow house at 1421 Wynne Avenue.  It was tiny and cute with two bedrooms, a pink bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, and living room on the main level, the attic was one huge bedroom, and the basement was semi-finished “open concept”.
  • Second home from the summer after fifth grade until I got married was 2021 South Victoria Road.  Another two bedroom house, but this one was two stories, and they were exact replicas of each other (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and livingroom).

Friends

  • Jennifer (and Julie):  Jennifer was my best friend who lived down the block.  Julie was her little sister.  We spent every waking minute together, but went to different schools.
  • Eric and Denise:  A brother and sister who lived next door to Jennifer.  They raised rabbits in their backyard.  Eric was a year older than me and Denise was a year or two younger than me.  We went to the same school.
  • Kevin:  Kevin lived between me and Eric and Denise.  He was an only child, and his dad was a police officer.  His parents were the most similar to mine, but younger.  I used to play basketball with him in the alley.  He went to school with Jennifer and Julie.
  • Chris: I met Chris when our schools merged halfway through fourth grade and we became best friends for a year until she moved to Arizona.
  • Gayle:  I also met Gayle at my new school during fourth grade.  I think we would have stayed close if I hadn’t moved away.  She had red hair and Earth shoes and she looked a lot like John Denver.  I thought she was sooooo cool.
  • Ann:  Ann’s family bought Grandpa’s farm.  I can’t remember exactly how long we knew each other but we were like sisters.  She was the youngest of eight (which I couldn’t believe!).  She was tragically killed in a plane crash when we were in 4th or 5th grade, during a vacation I was supposed to go on with her.
  • Terri, Becky, and Beth:  These were my new friends in sixth grade, and we would stay close through high school.

Schools

  • Tilden Elementary:  Kindergarten through the first half of 4th grade.  The school was condemned and we were all moved to Chelsea Heights.
  • Chelsea Heights Elementary:  Second half of 4th grade through 5th grade.  Total culture shock going from a very old brick school to a contemporary building with no walls between the classrooms.  This was my favorite elementary school of the three.
  • Mendota Elementary:  Sixth grade. New kid.  New city. No friends or siblings in school.  One full grade behind academically (I went from being in advanced classes in St Paul to being in the lower classes in Mendota Heights).  I am very grateful for how kind all of the kids were, and the immediate friendships I formed, but this was a tough year for sure.

Activities

  • Bluebirds:  This was the equivalent of Brownies in the world of Camp Fire Girls.  I wasn’t cool enough to be a Girl Scout.  I remember two things about Blue Birds – decorating the treat bucket in red, white and blue felt with silver stars to commemorate America’s bi-centennial (in 1976), and getting my Santa picture taken in my uniform – white button up blouse with a little blue bird on the chest pocket and blue skirt.  Classic.
  • Horseback riding:  I bought my horse when I was in 4th grade (with the help and guidance of Lynn and Barb), and that began many years of riding, training, and showing.

Pets

  • Brutus:  Barb’s German Shepherd dog who lived with us for a year while I was in Kindergarten.  What a character!
  • Mali:  My first dog, a black lab mix that Dad and I picked out at the Humane Society.  I spelled her name Mali instead of Molly because it was artsy, like Gayle.  I believe this may have been parental bribery for uprooting me.
  • Jamie: My horse, a Quarter Horse mix that I bought as a green broke three year old. She was a green broke three year old, not me.  She was going to give us some challenges, but was probably the best part of my youth.

Things that pop into my mind when I think back on this time

  • Bike rides from Lynn and Barb around Como Lake on the back of their blue cruiser bikes.
  • Brutus meeting me several blocks from home after school (he would jump the fence every afternoon, but never any other time).
  • Aunt Florence providing before and after school care during Kindergarten or First Grade (or both??).  And always wanting to sit next to her at church because as soon as the sermon started she would pop open her purse and there would be a full bag of lemon drops open and ready for me to snack on.
  • Church Christmas programs and having to memorizing verses and recite them in front of the whole congregation.  I can still feel that anxiety as if it were yesterday.
  • Summers at the cabin, or Barb’s house, or building forts in “the pit”.  We were never in the house during the summer, we came in for meals and then when the street lights or porch light came on.
  • Playing house,  school, climbing the apple tree in the back yard, Como Zoo and Como pool (the original not the one that’s there now).
  • Being a junior bridesmaid in Barb’s wedding, and wearing a kelly green Swiss dot dress with white daisies sewn between the bodice and the long skirt.
  • The Garden.  So many memories of going out to Aunt Olga’s while Dad worked in the garden.
  • Photography class and science class at the Como Conservatory during fifth grade.  I really loved fifth grade.

This is probably way more than I would remember on the spot during a conversation, and I had to keep deleting things out because I would go down a memory rabbit hole.  But I think I tend to do that during conversations too 🙂  Next month, middle school and possibly high school.  I would love to hear about a few great memories you have from this time in your life!