Shout out from Scout: July 2017

Thanks for stopping by for my July update.

We started the month with a parade.  There were sooooo many people, and loud fire trucks, but I didn’t mind at all.

And I FINALLY got to go in the lake!  I wasn’t too sure about it at first because I went past Dad and my feet didn’t touch anymore.  I swam like a pro, but it shook me up a little.  The next time though, Dad brought a retrieving dummy and I had a blast swimming out to get it.  I hope we get to do more of that!

I have been meeting new friends at the dog park.  So far, I have liked every dog I meet and we run and play together.  I also met the other dog that lives in our circle.  He wasn’t interested in running around with me, but we got along just fine.

I have also been spending more time visiting restaurant patios.  I get a little impatient waiting for Dad and Mom to eat, but I behave myself and get treats.

We are spending most days at LEPR or walking in our circle.  I find so many smells in the morning when it is cooler and damp.  I am starting to point things out on our walks too.  I strike my pose and then wait, and wait, and wait, and wait until I’m told to “go get it!!”.  I mostly find turkeys and bunnies, but I scare up a deer every once in awhile too.

Dad and I also joined a hunt club.  We just walked around the clay sporting course and one of the hunting fields so far, but I overheard talk that next month I get to try to find actual birds.

I have been doing really well with “sit” and “stay”, but I really don’t like to be told to lay “down”.  I fight that one every single time.  Unless Mom has liver sausage.  Then I drop like a boss.

Other than that, we are just hanging out together, going for car rides, and enjoying as much time outside as possible.

See ya next month!

Weekend Edition: One down, one to go

Well this was a busy weekend!  And hot too, so as I’m writing this post, I am shut down for the evening with my glass of wine.  At 7:30 p.m.

I was contacted by UHaul asking if I would like to pick up the trailer on Friday instead of Saturday morning, at no extra charge, since they were expecting Saturday to be really busy.  So we did, and then came home and loaded it.  This ended up being a fortunate turn of events because even on a non-busy Friday night, it took almost an hour to take care of the paperwork and get it home.

Gary and I were up early Saturday morning and took Scout for a walk around our circle, ran to get some breakfast, and were on the road at 8:00.  It took a sweet forever to get to Jordan because the trailer was making quite a bit of noise on the bumpy highway so we took it slow.  We loaded up the bed and Amanda followed us on our cross country state journey to Winona.

Us, the trailer, and Amanda behind us.

There is no direct route from Jordan to Winona.  There isn’t even a semi-direct route.  But it was a beautiful drive along those backroads.  Somehow we wound our way through Northfield, made our way to Hwy 52, down to Interstate 90, and arrived at Amy’s new house exactly four and a half hours after we left home.  It’s a two hour drive directly from our house.

We unloaded and unpacked and set up and decorated, and were done around 2:45.  Here are a few pictures of the house and her room.

Two of the pictures she ordered haven’t arrived yet, so she sketched them for placeholders on the wall.

We were famished so we headed to A&W for lunch.  It was at this point that Gary and I decided that our previously planned date night at Canterbury Downs was going to be postponed.  We made it home safely at 5:30, grabbed some water, and went to LEPR for a 40 minute hike with Scout.

We all showered and snacked a little and that was the end of the day for us!

Sunday morning started out as usual, a quick walk with Scout and then grocery shopping.  And then Gary and Scout headed up to Pine City Hunt Club, where they are now happy new members, and did some shooting and walking the field.  The minute his car was out of the driveway I opened the windows and laid down on my new couch to enjoy the peace and quiet inside the house and the summer sounds of birds and someone cutting lumber outside the house.  I dozed off for a few minutes and woke up when Megan came home (she was in Wisconsin with Hunter for the weekend).

I helped her with some school stuff, cut up the fruit and veggies, and then did some administrative work while I kept the laundry going.  Gary got home about the time I was ready to head outside to do some yard work.

We did a little weeding, started moving Megan’s stuff into the family room, and then I ran to the Dollar Store with the girls because Megan insisted she was going to find things for her dorm there.  Well, we did find sixteen things between the three of us, and do you know how I know we found sixteen things?  Because my total was $16 before tax.  I guess they are serious about everything costing $1.

By the time we got home it was time for dinner and Scout’s bath.  I watered my planters and then came in to write this post.  And as I said earlier, I am done for the night!  Oh wait, except to vacuum and put clean sheets on the bed.  And cut Gary’s hair.  Sigh.

It’s kind of nice that Amy came back for a couple of weeks after moving her things down to the house.  Gary keeps telling me that this is a positive thing:  our kids are independent and moving on with their lives and we should be happy for them.  I think he’s trying to convince himself but it’s a good reminder.  That drive home from Iowa is going to be a tough one, just like the drive home from Indianapolis was.  At least we will have Amy here for a few days after that before we are completely alone.

We don’t have any evening plans this week so I’m going to try to work in my gardens for 20 – 30 minutes after work.  Dad always said we should spend 30 minutes each day in the garden to stay on top of it.  I have never spent 30 minutes every day for even one week, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Have a great week!

Friday Favorites: I’ll just be over here putting out fires if you need me

Oh my word this has been a week!  It has been one problem opportunity after another, both at work and at home.  I wish I had a quiet weekend to look forward to, but moving Amy into her new house is probably not going to be quiet and relaxing.  Maybe Sunday?

I’m linking up with Andrea this week to share a few favorites – because looking for grace in the chaos is healing.  Or so they say.

The Colorado peaches are here!!!  Are you familiar with Colorado peaches?  I wasn’t until recently, so when I saw them at HyVee last Sunday I jumped up and down inside.  And then another couple came by and the woman literally shouted “The Colorado peaches are here!”.  And then, I was back in the meat department and an employee was pushing a cart with cases of peaches and another employee said “The Colorado peaches are here? They are a week early!!”  It was a very exciting day at the HyVee.

But I can’t even begin to describe how sweet and juicy they were.  Two days in a brown paper lunch bag = perfect peaches.  Get yoself some Colorado peaches!


We finally have a hitch receiver on our vehicle.  Of course, I don’t have a picture of that, but this was my office space while I was waiting for them to install it.

Cozy leather couch right there in the windshield wiper section of the store.  Definitely a first for me!  But kudos to Radco Truck Accessory Center in Oakdale.  They told us it would take 60 – 90 minutes and they were done in 40.

I’m still gushing over my new living room.

Besides being so pretty, I get this enormous sense of calm when I walk in my front door now.  It’s not some random assortment of furniture that doesn’t fit anywhere else anymore, it’s a collection of comfortable, cozy items that reflect our personalities.  I think HGTV would approve.

Zach has a plan.  I know this sounds really strange for a favorite, but the uncertainty has been a huge stress for me and now everything is falling into place.  I’m sure he wasn’t stressed, because Zach has the gift of “everything always works out”, but I’m a worrier when I don’t know every detail.  Who am I kidding, I’m a worrier even when I do know every detail!  Parenting adults is hard – you have to let them live their lives, and just hope they know you are there if they need you.  **Note to my children – I’M HERE IF YOU NEED ME!!**

I’m just going to end with this guy.  With all the crazy going on this week it’s been extra comforting to snuggle with him.

So wish us luck with our first move tomorrow, and have a great weekend!


What’s Up Wednesday: July 2017

I can’t believe it’s already the end of July.  This month was much more relaxing than June, even though it went by just as fast.  I’m linking up with Shay to share a recap of our month.


Gary has been coming up with our menu the past couple of weeks, and this week it’s all about the beef.  We had no red meat last week.  We will be eating tacos, beef and macaroni hot dish, and meatloaf.  But other than the hotdish, no pasta, potatoes or rice this week.  With all of the fresh fruit and vegetables available, our carb reduction has been much easier.  And it’s paying off – Gary has lost more than 15 pounds!  I’m eating pretty much the same as him and I haven’t lost even 1 pound.  Go figure!


I think I have been too busy trying to keep up with the present to do much reminiscing about the past!


I love reusing things I already have in my house.  We are going to be taking our hot tub out and converting that room into our workout room.  I had quite a few accessories in there that I am deploying to other areas of the house.  I had a wicker basket filled with these stones, sea glass and net buoys sitting on a shelf…

… and now they are in my garden.  The flowers I had planted in this dish did not survive so rather than ditch the idea, I just swapped them out.


Lots of fun activities this month!  We went to a Fourth of July parade.


Took Scout for his first swim.

Went out on the boat with Doug and Janice (old pic, it was much warmer this time).


Took lots of walks at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

And found some new patios for dinner.


Nothing at the moment!


The living room is finally done!!  This room has had many looks and purposes, but has NEVER felt quite right.  It was either the wrong furniture or the wrong color, or both.

This is how it has looked for the past year or so.  I like to call this “Scene from a Hospital Waiting Room”.

And it was our office space before that.  Notice the old yellow wall color on the right side.

Here it is in progress…

… and the finished room!

I can’t believe what a difference this has made!  We picked out the lamp last night and as soon as I plugged it in I poured that glass of wine and sat here until I went to bed.


Both girls move into their new homes in August.  It’s going to be work, but I am so excited for both of them.  And at this moment, I am also excited for a house that will stay clean while I am at work.


Very little.  Amy has been watching Brothers and Sisters, and I have seen enough that I may need to watch this series from the beginning.  I don’t know how I never knew about this, but the cast is star packed and I just love Sally Field.  I’m also working my way through the May issue of Midwest Living.


I finished Born to Run (the audio book) so I have been catching up on my podcasts.  I preordered Jen Hatmaker’s new audio book Of Mess and Moxie and am looking forward to getting that in August.  I still have three audio books in my library, two on my wish list, and then Melanie Shankle has another book coming out in October so it looks like I may keep my Audible subscription for awhile longer.


I will go ahead and join every other blogger on the planet and give my Nordstrom recap.  I ended up with one pair of shoes and a pair of jeans.  I still need to get the jean hemmed so I can’t say how much I like them yet, but I liked them enough to keep them and get them hemmed.  It’s just too hot to be excited about jeans right now.  But the shoes.  I LOVE the shoes.  They go with everything, and are so incredibly comfortable.  Definitely a win.


Another month of Summer, more patio dinners, fresh tomatoes from my garden, and maybe a longer hike or two.


Moving the girls out and starting on some major home improvement projects.  We’re talking projects that require a dumpster.  We will be demo-ing our bathroom down to the bare studs, converting the spa room to a workout room, converting the workout/guest/project room to a nicer guest/project room (with an actual bed), and updating both girl’s bedrooms with fresh paint and different furniture and light fixtures.  I am targeting Thanksgiving for completion so that we aren’t all four sharing a bathroom when they come home!

With school starting so early for the girls, I think we are going to have a short summer but a very long fall.  And I’m ok with that.  Hope you’ve been having a great July too!

Show and Tell Tuesday: Favorite Phone Apps


I haven’t done a Show and Tell Tuesday since way back in November!  I don’t know if the topics haven’t been relevant or I’ve just missed them, but this one will be fun.  Favorite phone apps.

I have a whopping 37 apps on my phone.  I think I had more on my old Android, but when I started having memory problems (the phone memory not mine), I cut way back.  Then when I switched to my iPhone, I tried to be conservative with apps and not overdo it.

Some of them are what I would consider utilities:  Chrome, Google Photos, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, etc.  Then I have my basic social media:  Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

I have a few helper apps: Fly Delta, xfinity home, Open Table, Radar Now, Shazam, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Passport Parking, and Wayfair.

Then I have my favorites:

#1 – Waze.  

This is a community-based traffic and navigation map.  I LOVE this app and sometimes use it even if I know where I’m going.  It provides up to the minute traffic, hazards, police sightings, and redirects you to the fastest route.  You have to have some faith with this app because sometimes it seems like you are on a wild goose chase (I’m looking at you West Hollywood), but it’s directing you around traffic jams and really does work.  It will also help you find gas and food on road trips.  I know I don’t use it to it’s full potential, and it’s still my favorite.  It’s also fun because it’s interactive.  You can report incidents or acknowledge previously reported incidents and you get points and badges.  It really makes long road trips go by more quickly.

#2 – Target Cartwheel.

If you shop at Target even occasionally (as if we don’t all shop at Target on a daily basis), then you need Cartwheel and a Red Card.  Seriously.  I find Cartwheel discounts 9 out of 10 times I shop.  Plus, your Cartwheel combines with Red Card for even more savings.  You just scan each item and the app will tell you if there’s an offer, you click to add it, and you’re done.

#3 – YouTube.

This probably falls into the no-brainer category for everyone else, but I’m just starting to get on board with stations and subscriptions.  This is what I use for my daily yoga practice now.  Plus, you can figure out how to do ANYTHING on YouTube.  Switching out a tachometer on your motorcycle?   YouTube.  Error code on your washing machine?  YouTube.  Mold in your window air conditioner?  YouTube (or just buy a new one because mold isn’t something to mess around with.  Just sayin’).

#4 – Timehop.  

I love seeing pictures from the past.  And somehow, this app pulls up pictures I can’t find anywhere else.  And it pulls from all of my social media so I can see old Facebook posts or Instagram posts or just photos I have taken.  I think I’m going back six or seven years now.  The only negative I have found is that it tends to pop up multiple times a day.  And it pops up even if I don’t have anything of my own for the day (it shows random events from history like a concert or movie premier).  But it’s quick enough to swipe through.

#5 – Slow Shutter.  I have only used this a couple of times, but it is super easy and works really well.  It slows the shutter speed of your phone camera to capture things like moving water.  Here is a sample.  For best results, use a tripod.


My newest app is Pet First Aid.  Luckily I haven’t needed it yet, but the first time I do it will move to the top of my favorites.  And I also have to mention that my all-time favorite app was Bejeweled.  But it became a problem for me so when I completed level 400 (that is not a typo), I deleted the app.  I have been Bejeweled free for over six months now and no longer have dreams about colored gems.

I can’t wait to see which apps other people are recommending.  If you want more ideas, check out Andrea’s post for more links.  And let me know your favorites in the comments!