Friday Favorites: Fresh snow and sunshine

We had such a lovely snowfall last night.  I don’t think Gary was as enamored with it when he went out to plow at 5:00 this morning, but I think it is so pretty.  We have arrived at the end of another work week and I have a few favorites to share.

{ONE}:  Flowers of the Week

These have been a little ray of sunshine for me this week.  And they look as good today as they did on Monday, so I’m going to bring them home for the weekend.

{TWO}:  A New Moscato

This was a fantastic sparkling moscato that I found at a little liquor store in Lake Elmo.  I stopped on my way home from work on Monday because it is right by the vet clinic and I figured I was going to need a little support that night.

{THREE}:  Tile in the Bathroom

Sean will be DONE with the shower on Saturday and I love it so much I can hardly stand it.  Gary is going to paint on Sunday and the glass guy is coming Monday to measure and give us an estimate on the shower wall.  Then we can install the vanity and counter so that Craig can come back and hook up all of the plumbing.  So excited!!

{FOUR}:  I Would Wear This Tee!

I saw this on Facebook and thought it was perfect.

{FIVE}:  Childhood Throwbacks

I’ve mentioned more than once that one of my favorite things in life are my family’s group texts.  Earlier this week they were discussing phones and it started me thinking about my phone growing up, which led me to reminisce about my bedroom growing up.  It was amazing!  Sapphire blue carpeting (shag, of course),  pink and blue rosebud wallpaper, and two sets of cabinets that were designed and built by the carpentry students at St Paul TVI.  It was so cozy.  I remember that I used to arrange my stuffed animals in a symmetrical grid on the bed.  The crazy started early my friends!!

I’m picking up Chinese food for dinner on my way home from work tonight so I bought a piece of German chocolate cake from the chocolate shop for dessert.  Perfect way to end the week and kick off the weekend!  This is the forecast for the next week and it doesn’t get much better for the end of February:

I’m looking forward to more snow on Saturday because I don’t have to go anywhere, and Amanda’s first baby shower on Sunday.  Maybe we will even get our second snowshoe adventure in.  I hope you have a great weekend too!


Reality Check: Spilled hot chocolate is not a tragedy

Cancer is a tragedy.  A kind, generous, full-of-life-and-laughter woman dying suddenly of lung cancer is a tragedy.  And it happened this week.

You may remember this from last December.  Vicki is in the center wearing a blue shirt and black sweater, behind a reindeer antler.

Vicki lost her battle Monday night, and it just crushed me.  Vicki was here in Advantus when I joined back in 1990.  We worked closely over all of those years and shared both good times and bad.  She had a daughter one year older than Amanda.  She was an attorney who eventually became our Chief Compliance Officer.  She was an amazing baker and frequently brought treats to the office, or donated them for fundraising campaigns (and always raised the most money).  She held an annual mandatory compliance training session and did everything in her power to make it enjoyable (because compliance training is anything BUT enjoyable) with skits such as playing Carnac the Magnificent and dressing in a black formal gown for an Emmys theme.  She formed the MIMLIC Fairies choral group and wrote custom songs for associate anniversaries, birthdays, and retirements.  She even offered Amanda part time employment one summer during college, cleaning her home.  She was always about everyone else, and will be missed by so many people.

So this is where my head is now, because death puts everything in perspective.  Scout is just fine, and the blankets have all been washed and the only one that is still stained is the cheapo Ikea blanket that I never use.  While these things rocked my world for a day or so, neither was a great tragedy.  Even if all of the baby blankets had been stained it wouldn’t have been the end of the world.  Even if the blood didn’t come out of the couch cover it wouldn’t have been the end of the world.  I did my Peaceful Warrior practice on Tuesday and it really did make me feel better.   I believe even more in the idea that “the less we have, the less we have to lose”.  Relationships are important, blankets are not.  I want to spend my resources (time and money) on the people (and dog) in my life, not accumulating and caring for things.  Because I don’t want to get so whipped up when something happens to my things.  Life is too short.

I have been reminded that when I do have a bad day, or a bad string of days, I know I can practice yoga and have a quiet conversation with God and it will help me put things back into perspective.  And maybe a glass of wine.  I think wine helped too.

Work on the bathroom continues at a furious pace and we have hit baby shower season so it’s going to be busy the next several weeks.  I have started lists to keep it all straight so that I can enjoy every minute of it.  I hope you are in a place calm and balance, and if not, that you are able to find your own Peaceful Warrior.  Much love to you.



Weekend Edition: Searching for my inner Peaceful Warrior

Well, this has been a couple of days.  I left work Friday afternoon in high spirits and full of hope for a great weekend.  Yeah, not so much.

Friday was actually great.  I was to meet Megan at MOA (she was on a design field trip) and we happened to pull into the same parking lot at the same time.  What are the odds?  We had fun window shopping, grabbed a quick dinner, and she was back on the bus and headed home to Iowa.  I got home and joined Gary on the couch for some Olympics.

Can someone please explain this to me?

Isn’t it enough to strap your feet sideways to a piece of wood and fly straight down a hill without adding in a jump that propels you down a narrow railing, landing BACKWARDS to continue down the hill to ANOTHER jump?  No ma’am, and praise Jesus none of my children ever tried this.

Saturday held such promise, with Gary planning to be gone most of the day.  He left for work and it took me a full 90 minutes to get myself out the door.  I did go to the library, and I did figure out the online catalog, and I did find five Erma Bombeck books and five Audrey Hepburn movies, but none at that location.  I sat and read a magazine.

And I got my new library card!

Then I ran to Roseville to pick up the home movies we had converted to CDs.  By that time Gary was on his way home from work.  We ate a quick lunch and then went to visit his sister in the hospital.  And I left there wanting to change my career choice to Patient Advocate.

We went home and napped and then Gary left for his Pheasants Forever banquet.  I watched some of our home movies, made myself mac ‘n cheese for dinner (why was that my choice??) and then watched some of my recorded shows.

On Sunday, Gary went to another sister’s to help his brothers do some painting, and I grocery shopped, did laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and took my nap.  We even scrubbed our wood floors because they were filthy from Sean tracking in and out of the bathroom.  Everything seemed to be going great, and we headed out to take our afternoon walk with Scout.  It was on that walk that I decided we should bathe him and trim his nails when we got back home because he was already wet.  Mistake.  Big mistake.  I managed to clip one nail too much, and spent the rest of the evening mixing  and applying cornstarch pastes, scrubbing blood from the floors (that I had just scrubbed), couch, carpet, and rugs, and trying to keep him calm so that his foot would STOP BLEEDING ALREADY!  At one point, he was sleeping quietly on Gary’s lap so I offered to make us hot chocolate.  Mistake.  Big mistake.  Gary set his on the cedar chest and then proceeded to KICK IT OVER!  All over the chest, all over the heirloom blankets inside the chest, all over the white rug.  The commotion woke Scout, he stepped on his foot, and the bleeding started again.  Dear God.

So I ended up dropping the dog off at the vet this morning where they have stopped the bleeding but are putting him on an antibiotic because it looks a little bit infected.  I threw the first of four loads of bloody and chocolate-y laundry in before I left, and will have to do the rest tonight.  And then on top of everything I received an email at work today that a past coworker and friend who has been battling lung cancer the past few months has been moved to hospice care.  I’m just so sad.

I also received my weekly email from Yoga with Adriene today and it said the following:

Life can be smooth sailing one moment and then the next… a sticky melting pot of rocky road.  Have you accepted and equipped yourself?  Were you aware that you were born a peaceful warrior?  This week’s free practice is an encouraging at home practice to bring out the peaceful warrior in all of us.

Well halelulia and amen, Adriene.  I will be on the yoga mat first thing tomorrow morning searching for my inner peaceful warrior.  I need her right now.

I will leave you with these photos of Scout’s various resting positions from the weekend.  You know, before I almost cut his foot off.  Namaste.

Friday Favorites: After taking a week off

Happy Friday!!

I didn’t intend to stay away from the blog for a week, but somehow that’s exactly what I did.  It all started with a crazy migraine Friday evening, during the Opening Ceremony that I was so looking forward to.  The pain came out of nowhere, and was excruciating.  No blurred or tunnel vision, but so. much. pain.  Since I had basically passed out on the couch, I didn’t take anything when it hit.  I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and made my way upstairs to find Tylenol.  It was almost 3:30 before it finally kicked in.  More Tylenol at 6:00, 9:00 and 1:00 finally wiped it out.  I’m giving this one a 9.5 on the pain scale of 0 – 10.  Glad it was short lived.  Anyway, that also destroyed my plans for lunch with Aunt Marion, Lynn and Barb and I was so disappointed.  The pain was under control but I was really worried about my vision since the last several months I have had migraines and they lasted a few days with multiple episodes of blurred vision.  I didn’t want to be that far away and have to drive home.  I’m sure it’s hormone related and I’m keeping a log because the frequency and timing are becoming predictable.  Gotta love aging.  But I do have some favorites to share now that I’ve made it through the week.

{ONE}  The Bathroom.

This week was really busy in the evenings, and Sean was there almost every night working on the bathroom.  Wish I could share more progress, but this is the foundational work so it’s going pretty slowly.  He assures me he will be done by the end of next week.  Here’s a peek.

And yes, Scout did steal one of the spacers and try to eat it.

{TWO}  Flowers of the Week.

Back to my old standbys again, but they hold up so well.  I love this combination!  I added a little picture from my daily calendar in honor of Valentine’s day.


{THREE}  Weather Changes

We had some beautiful weather this week!  It was so nice to take my morning walk on Thursday at 6:50 and it was fully daylight, warm enough for just a jacket, hat and gloves (no scarf or neck gaiter), and birds were singing.  I hope we are done with the negative numbers for this winter.

{FOUR} The RV Show

I felt well enough to spend a couple of hours at the show and I’m happy to say we have decided on our trailer!  At least for now.  Here we are in the living room.  The television rises up from the back of the fireplace so you can keep it out of the way and see out the window when you aren’t watching.  The front window is a new feature in the last year or so.  I’m in the theater style recliners (there are 2) and there is another couch opposite of Gary.  Both couches fold out into beds.  For grandchildren guests.  Ahem.

And the kitchen/dining.  So much storage and counter space!

There were two models we wanted to see and both were at the show.  We also checked out four or five others, but this is still the one.  Notice the pop up charging port next to Gary’s elbow.  There are several of those throughout the trailer.  It’s those little details, the four season construction, and the overall feel that have won us over.  We are going to visit a dealer where we can push the buttons and dig in deeper (lots of people going through during the show).  And then we talked to the manufacturer and are planning a trip to Indiana this summer to tour the factory.  But just to be clear, this is still about 4 years out.  We’re planners and analyzers.  And dreamers.

{FIVE}  Valentine’s Day Surprises

I found this on my desk when I got to work on Wednesday.  It took me awhile to find out it was from Kathy.  What a great friend!

And I have to add that my favorite day of the year – Fat Tuesday – was as wonderful as ever.

I have the best co-workers!

I’m hoping for a healthy weekend because I have lots of plans.  I’m meeting Megan at MOA after work tonight.  She is in Minneapolis on a field trip and they are stopping there for a couple of hours before going back to Iowa.  Then Gary works Saturday morning and has plans for the evening so I get lots of alone time.  I’m going to make my first library visit and get caught up on some house chores.  I also need to get paint for the bookcase and the bathroom, and may shop for other bathroom items like a faucet and towel bar.  Then Gary is going to be gone again on Sunday to help with some projects at his sister’s house so it will be laundry, groceries and food prep by myself.  I love having the house to myself every once in awhile!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites: The Olympics are here!

Well, this has been a long one!  And I wasn’t even all that busy but the days just seemed to go on forrrrrevvvvvverrrrr.  I’m linking up with Andrea this week to share a few favorites.

{ONE} Flowers of the Week

I can’t tell you how happy this has made me.  I finally switched them up a little, but I have to admit, these didn’t hold up as well.  This is two weeks ago …

… and this was this past week.  I also finally found a 2 x 3 frame for Hayden’s picture.

{TWO}  Fresh Snow

While I’m not enjoying these cold temperatures, I do love fresh snow.  I especially enjoy all of the animal tracks I find.   For example, it appears that we have a very busy rabbit living under our front porch.  There were also some tiny tracks running from our back porch to the woods that looked suspiciously like a mouse but I choose to pretend they don’t exist.

{THREE}  Healthy Snacks

I have moved on to a new fitness plan for February, so I have also been more intentional with my snacks.  This week my morning snack alternated between chips with guacamole and celery with peanut butter, and my afternoon snack was berries and mozzarella cheese.  I also had some coconut flavored almonds the first few days of the week.

And how cute is that smiling cheese!  I love these little snack packs because I have trouble with the larger package drying out or molding before I eat them all.  These are a little more expensive but there is no waste.

{FOUR}  Reward Leggings

No, there isn’t a new brand of leggings called Reward.  I rewarded myself with a new pair of leggings because I did yoga all 31 days in January.  And I finally decided to drink the Kool-Aid and try the Zella Live In leggings.

I am officially in love with these leggings.  Now, there are many claims that they don’t roll down and I was so hopeful.  But I did experience a little rolling when I was bent over in Rag Doll.  You can’t convince me that there is a single pair of leggings on the planet that won’t roll on my body in that position.  However, that was the only time they rolled, and I will overlook it because the fit and weight of these pants is amazing.  These are the Midi Leggings and come in Black and Red Fiery.  Not Fiery Red, Red Fiery.  There are a million different Zella leggings, so I can’t speak for any of the other styles, but these are a winner.

{FIVE} Olympics

Events started last night and I was all in.  I love the winter events (except I don’t really get curling), I love the athlete’s stories, and I love learning about the host country.  And I love that I finally figured out how to watch my Xfinity on my phone.  Lots of tv time coming up!

This is going to be a big weekend for us.  Sean starts working on the tile in the bathroom tonight, I get to spend time with family on Saturday, and we will be going to the RV Show either Saturday or Sunday morning.  I’m not sure I can handle so much excitement in one weekend.  Plus the Olympics!  Hope you have a good one!