A full weekend

and came up for a visit this weekend, so it was chock-full of family time. Of course, and I started out our weekend by digging up some more of our backyard. We’re nearing completion of stage 1 of the irrigation project, though.
Then we cleaned the house for company and found out important information on landscape lighting to finally have it done, in case the picnic lunch we had planed might get rained out. This was a good thing, since we did end up diverting the party. I made Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Ice Cream and it was universally loved.

Sunday, we went up to ‘s for lunch, and later went hiking at Battle Creek Regional Park with the 5 dogs and their owners (those with children decided to stay home so naps could be had).

Monday, and I took and to the Minnesota State Fair. It should be noted that the State Fair, to out-of-staters, might not seem like a big deal, but it is a Big Deal here in Minnesota. It was the last day of the fair, so we went early to try to avoid the crowds. That worked for the first two hours, but by 11, it was the usual craziness. We ended the day with a dinner at our house for all. We dug out a box of ‘s Legos, and the boys had a lot of fun with them. After dinner, found the part that made the train tracks “go,” and so a track was assembled and the train placed on it and, oh my goodness, the joy and excitement that followed! I think this picture sums it up:

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This was followed by dancing and screaming and lots of giggling and even a victory chant or two, and went on for about half an hour.

There was much sadness when it was time to go home, especially since it was well after the boys’ bedtime by then. The house cleaned up pretty quickly, which was good because I had a killer headache (screaming boys didn’t help, but I wouldn’t begrudge them their fun). It quickly morphed into something migraine-like* (2 Advil and sitting in the quiet basement watching an episode of  Star Trek Next Generation in a room with not-fully-bright lights), and by 10 I had sought out my bed and the sweet release of sleep. The dark, quiet bedroom seemed to help a lot, and by 11 I felt almost normal again. This was good, because today is the first day of school for most of Minnesota, which means I have a handful of co-workers who took the day off, and it’s better that I was able to come in (rather than stay at home, in bed, recovering).

I am feeling slightly under the weather today, almost like I’ve taken cold medication (but I haven’t). Hopefully some Emergen-C and a quiet day at work, followed by a few hours of reading for homework will get me back on track. I haven’t turned my sewing machine on in almost a week, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have time to do so until at least Thursday. Sewing will have to be set aside, at least during daylight hours, in favor of work outside while it’s still warm enough to do so.

Tomorrow night I have class, and we’ll meet our professor for the first time. After that, I have a whole bunch of reading for the next class, so between that and digging and prepping the house to be painted, my time is pretty much all accounted for. This is a bummer, because I have one whole serving left of that chocolate ice cream that I know would like to have, but I don’t think I have the time to share it with her this week. Don’t worry, – I can always make up another batch of ice cream and have you guys over once I get a better handle on this semester’s homework load.

*I say migraine-like because it had all of the qualities of a migraine, at least the few that I’ve had, but I’m under the impression that a migraine wouldn’t really “go away” within two or three hours, so I’m not really sure what it was. But I was nauseous and my head throbbed and for a while, I couldn’t decide if throwing up or crying would make me feel better (though since I don’t perform the former, I went with the latter, which only made me congested), and then I just wanted to cease to exist. That pretty much seems like a migraine to me. But what do I know. It’s only the 3rd or 4th one I’ve ever had – it’s not like this is something that happens to me regularly, like some people I know.

Friday FIll-Ins

  1. When I was 10 years old I thought it was a funny idea to try to chew an entire pack (all 5 squares) of grape-flavored Hubba Bubba (or was it Bubbalicious?). I really did think it was hilarious. In hind-sight, the idea seems a bit gross.
  2. Artichokes is are my favorite vegetable because they are really just a vehicle for consuming garlic-butter.
  3. My dream pet is a bunny that doesn’t smell, so he can live indoors with us and I don’t have to deal with having a bunny outside in January in Minnesota.
  4. Love surrounds you. You just have to know where to look, and to remember to look there.
  5. If I could live anywhere in the world I’d live in -between the mountains and the ocean, and everyone I love lives within a 20-minute drive radius.
  6. Sun, please don’t keep on shinin’ on me. OK, well, the sun hasn’t exactly been out, as it’s been cloudy and rainy, but it has been hotter than it should be, and overly muggy. It’s making us all wish that fall weather would appear, but I’m not ready to get rid of summer just yet. I’d just like slightly  more pleasant summer weather. The sun is OK, as long as the humidity is closer to half what the temperature is.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to trying out a new ice cream recipe (no doubts – how can you go wrong with 6 egg yolks, 2 cups heavy cream, and 2 cups half and half, not to mention all of the chocolate?), tomorrow my plans include cleaning the house and then seeing and and and all of her boys and Sunday, I want to enjoy the one morning I get to sleep in on this long holiday weekend (Labor Day’s plans include a trip to the State Fair and then a family dinner)!

via Friday Fill-Ins

It’s All Good

That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, despite the fact that I announced this morning, “I don’t like this world. Can I get a new one?” Trying to focus on the positive….

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Cut out. Should be quick and easy, after I transfer all the markings for the pleats (View C).

 

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I had so many complications with this, mainly because, after a lot of fiddling, I realized that I just didn't have enough fabric for the gathered skirt version. But, I got around that by using the gathered skirt front panel and the non-gathered back panel. So I'm making up the pink/red version, basically, with brown for the center panel (like the gold in the black version) and brown waistband. And without sleeves, because I really didn't have enough fabric for that. I probably should have just made a shirt out of this floral and called it good, but it's too late for that now. I should add that the neat thing about this pattern is that it shows you all the different "parts" and then lets you put them together (the "Create it!" idea). I should take a picture of the instructions to show you what I mean.

 

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Cut out. This was not nearly as bad to cut out as I thought it would be. And I am still super excited to wear it, even though it did take a ton of fabric. I think the skirt is much fuller than it appears, or something. Maybe it's just all the overlap. It seemed like a lot of fabric.

 

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I was having terrible times getting the pieces of this one laid out (View 1, the black dress), until I re-read the instructions and fabric requirements and realized that I was supposed to have a second, complimentary fabric. Oops. Thus began a wild goose chase. I tried fabric.com, since that's where I bought the original fabric, but they didn't have anything in black or black and white (I don't want to add color if at all possible). JoAnn didn't have anything even close - perhaps it's a bad time of year to be buying black fabric, but shouldn't it be fairly classic? Hancock came through for me in the end. I bought some black jersey (as black as I could find) that I think will work. I really wanted a tiny print (like polka dots or mini flowers), but couldn't find any print in the right colors that wasn't ... animal. Seriously. I just checked fabric.com today, on a whim, and they just got in some of this fabric in a solid black. Too late. Will I regret that? I hope not. This is all cut out except for the pieces that are to be cut out of the solid black jersey, which was in the wash last night.

 

The weekend was pretty uneventful. Sunday we went to ‘s to celebrate ‘s second birthday. He is definitely a little boy now, and not a baby. Walking, talking. He even knows my name and, like , is getting good at bossing me around. (Not that it always works, but he has to try.) Funny story: we just brought a small gift to the celebration, since will be getting a quilt like did (but I was told it didn’t need to be ready until June, so I’m taking my time). It was just in a gift bag with some tissue paper on it, and minutes after we walked in, had unwrapped it and started playing with it. It was wrapped in plastic, though, so he couldn’t really use it, so he just carried it around and tossed it down the stairs a few times. then came to get me and asked me if I could open the plastic up so they could play with it. I convinced them, however, that we were going to put it back in the bag with the tissue paper and pretend that it hadn’t been opened. It worked! After lunch and cake, opened it up and was excited about it. Well, as excited as one can be about shaped wooden blocks.

 

I had brought the grey dress (the one I made for ‘s company party in February) along, hoping that or could fit into it. It’s just a tiny bit snug above the bust, and I really didn’t plan on wearing it again. But, since I had custom fit it to my body (size 12 on top with a small bust adjustment, size 14 at the hips), I knew I couldn’t give it to just anyone. Well, it didn’t fit , but it fit perfectly! Better than it fit me, actually (except that the straps are too long, an easy fix). She got the jewelry that went with it too, and was excited. Bonus: I now have a picture of someone wearing the dress!

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Voila! I told her to pose nice because Grandma would see it. 🙂

 

I didn’t get any other pictures from the day, other than the one below.

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Prince Charming, Joey, and Josh, watching a video on Josh's laptop. A very sweet scene, indeed.

 

Tonight, I think I’m going to go pick up my sewing machine from the repair shop. It’s been ready since Friday, but I decided it would be best if I finished all that prep work before picking it up.

I’ve still got some homework projects that I’m working on, but they’re progressing well, so I feel OK about that. I might get some sewing done this week without procrastinating on homework!

Let’s not do that again

To quote myself,

My weekend was good. I mean, it sucked, but it was good.

That makes sense, really it does. It was good to see family (some that I hadn’t seen in over a decade) and friends back home. I was good to get to spend so much time (14 hours) talking with just my sister. It was good to give a big hug. It was good to hear stories about Grandpa that I didn’t know or had forgotten. It was good to get closure. But, driving 14 hours sucked. Spending a majority of our trip (25 out of 30 hours) doing the non-important stuff (driving, sleeping) sucked. The reason why we were in town sucked. The funeral sucked (actually, it was beautiful, but I think that’s not a contradiction). Driving away from the cemetery, leaving alone with tears in his eyes sucked. And I am anxiously awaiting the day when a phone call with or doesn’t involve someone getting teary, because that sucks too.

I am so very tired now, too. I slept in until 10:30 with no effort on Sunday. In the future, I will try to remember that it is more important to take time off after a funeral, not before. But, I came in to work today anyway, because it seemed ridiculously luxurious to stay home.

In other [non-funeral] news…

Thursday night we primed the family room. Friday (I was off) I picked up a sample of the color I wanted to paint and put two coats on a few small patches throughout the room, to make sure the color was right (it was*). It’s Gold Coast White, by the way, from Glidden. I’d show you a swatch, but it is not well represented on their website in either the swatch or the picture of a painted room. You’ll just have to wait for the real pictures.

*Actually, the best way to describe how we feel about the color is that it works. Neither one of us are in love with it (though it looks fabulous in the room), but it meets the requirements I had (light, warm, bright, cheerful, preferably yellow) and we can both tolerate it.

drove over straight from work, so we left just after 5, and then returned by 9 pm on Saturday.

Sunday, we did the measuring and drilling for the TV mount, since we could draw on the wall to our hearts’ content before the paint was up. We put a coat of paint on (after a trip to Home Depot, where besides paint we bought some lovely plywood to start building the cabinets whose construction may now be delayed… more on that in a minute). In the room, I think a more accurate color name would be “Sunlight,” because what it really looks like is sunlight pouring through the windows (which is just never going to happen in that basement room).

We then attempted to go to Eagan, where our favorite butcher is (Richfield has no butchers, don’tcha know), and where we were led to believe the Home Depot had in stock the light switch we needed. Alas, shortly into our short trip, we noticed white smoke pouring out of ‘s car. We barely coasted into a parking lot near the MOA. Somehow, we had both managed to leave our cell phones at home (mine was charging at my computer because I’d left my real charger in Illinois), but the lovely front desk staff at Country Inn and Suites were quite helpful. We had the car towed to the dealer, left the keys, and the tow truck took us home. It should be noted that we were taking ‘s car because I didn’t want to drive, having spent a large amount of time driving already, though we often take my car out on errands because it’s better in the snow. Thankfully, we were close to home and the incident didn’t ruin any plans we had – so much better than if it had happened on ‘s way to work this morning. Also, we’re thankful that we’re a two-car household, which makes everything better (and for public transportation, without which getting both of us to work would be annoying at best). [Editor’s note: it seems as though my “thankful” thoughts are bleeding into everyday life, which was actually the point of that little exercise, so… yay me!]

So we took the Rav out, got our errands done without any drama, and came home. Thankfully, we made it to the butcher before they closed, Home Depot had the correct light switch (a dimmable LED one that our two Home Depot’s have been out of stock of for the past three weeks), and there were no incidents with my car. Since I just had the 15,000 mile checkup done on Wednesday, everything is still under warranty, but it wouldn’t be good to have zero cars.

After dinner we put a second coat of paint on the family room walls. We have yet to decide officially, but we might need to put a third coat on. The Glidden (this is our first time using it) is nice to paint with, but goes on very thin, and since the color is so pale it’s hard to tell while painting if you’re getting adequate coverage. We’ll check tonight. has some spots that he’d like to fix up before we paint again (if we do), so I hope to have final paint pictures mid-week.

Sadly, between ‘s car getting fixed (no real answers yet, but his co-workers were theorizing a cracked gasket, running us $2,000) and my tuition coming due this week (another couple of thousand, plus books), we may have to delay building the cabinets for the built-ins in the family room. Plywood (good stuff) is ridiculously expensive (or, at least, it seems that way to me), and the built-ins might be the most expensive part of the project (except for, possibly, the ceiling, but we bought most of that back in September, and only need tiles, and that’s the very last part of the project). We’ll know more by tomorrow, hopefully.

So, you see, I am understandably tired. That’s a good way to start the Spring semester, right? (Still working on that registration thing….)

Sad News

A week ago Sunday, in the middle of his breakfast (Corn Flakes, if you must know), my grandpa had a heart attack. The paramedics were able to resuscitate him, but he never woke up. He was removed from life support on Monday, and we started to plan a trip home for a Thursday funeral. In the great mystery that is life, he hung on until Christmas morning. In the words of my cousin Vern, “May you rest in peace and enjoy a Christmas feast with Lois and Shirley” (his first wife and his daughter).

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Grandpa and Grandma Lois

In the five days I spent waiting for that phone call, I spent a lot of time processing and thinking and feeling. What I eventually settled on was how lucky I was. My other grandpa died when I was very young, and I was blessed to have an extra 25 years with this grandpa. It’s hard to be sad about that.

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32 years ago...

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(Yes, that's my piano in the background there.)

I’m blessed to have not just pictures but memories that weren’t captured on film. He and Grandma Helen came to our wedding three years ago (when they were the young ages of 94 and 88).

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One of my favorite memories is from recent years. Looking back through my Christmas photos, it’s clear that Grandpa had a Christmas sweater.

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He's wearing this one in all of my Christmas pictures of him from the last decade.

You can’t tell in this picture, because it’s hard to capture, but Grandpa was always so excited for Christmas. He’d start to pick at the corners of his next present while someone else was still unwrapping theirs (we are orderly and take turns opening gifts), and would often have it halfway or nearly unwrapped by the time it was his turn again. It’s a wonder he could be so excited about opening gifts after all those years.

Grandpa had been in a nursing home for the past few months after coming down with pneumonia this fall. He really did love Christmas, and my dad said that his wish was to be home for Christmas… and he was.

We’ll be driving down to Illinois for the funeral early next week, where we will celebrate his long life. Christmas next year just won’t be the same without that sweater. 🙂

Quilt Decisions

So, long before I have time to make a quilt for our bedroom, I need to make a quilt for a certain little boy ().

His mother and I have talked about patterns a few times, and here’s what it’s narrowed down to (Flickr Gallery) [link removed]. Leave your comments in Flickr or here.

I have started to pull out the fabrics from my stash that I’ve purchased with this quilt in mind (or at least with a little boy in mind).

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Perhaps that picture isn’t very helpful for you. How about a collage?

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And… some ones I’m not sure about can be seen here [link removed].

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And… the little boy in question (on the right).

(The other one is already kept sufficiently warm and wrapped up.)

So, what are your opinions? Design? Fabric choices? Encouraging words that I’ll get this done in time even though I’m starting [at least] three months later than I did with ? I would love to start cutting out fabric soon – Christmas break will do fine for that, I think. So, you have a week to weigh in. And… go!

Yes, I’m still on a puzzle kick

Wednesday night we discovered the awesomeness that is the Hennepin County Hazardous Waste Recycling Facility (whew!). For $19, we were able to get rid of a load of construction waste that had been laying on the garage floor for quite some time. By load, I mean that we filled the back of the Rav4 (the garage mid-purge, the Rav mid-loading, and on the road). Last night we spent more time cleaning the garage, which included several bags of trash, lots of sweeping up sawdust, setting the old paint aside, and moving some stuff around. Major improvement! We’re not done yet – we can’t take the paint over to the recycling facility until Saturday – but it’s looking really good. Spacious, too.

OK, enough boring garage talk and onto boring homework talk. Just kidding. But, so you know, that’s all I did last night – homework (for two hours, instead of spending it in class for 3 hours – nice trade-off). That and the puzzle (and the aforementioned garage cleaning).

Wednesday night called to let me know that Grandpa is in the hospital with pneumonia. It’s never good to get pneumonia, but when you’re 97 it’s especially not good. The last I heard he was doing well, would be in the hospital for a few more days, and then will be going to a rehab facility because Grandma can’t take care of him (she’s 91 herself, and Grandpa’s a big guy and not very mobile anymore). We are hoping for the best (but well aware that he’s 97, and at some point God’s going to want him to hang out with him permanently).

If you don’t know anyone who’s 97, let me help you out putting it into context.

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This picture was taken before I was born, sometime in the 1970s. Looking very Grandpa-like already. (Here with his first wife who passed away in 1978.)

Fast forward … 30-ish years….

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Here's Grandpa at our wedding 3 years ago.

Needless to say, 97 is pretty old. It’s amazing to think about how different the world is today than when he was a boy.

If you have any spare warm and fuzzy thoughts to put out there, kindly direct them towards Illinois.

There should be a Friday Fill-Ins coming soon, so I’ll save my weekend plans to share then.

Pretties

I want to share with you some pretty things that have come into my life recently.

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My Aunt Jane made this bag for me as a thank you! It’s pink and brown (our wedding colors, if you remember), and the inner dividers can be moved around because they’re attached on both sides with Velcro. It’s ingenius, practical, and lovely!
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My father-in-law gave me some hair clips for my birthday, including this gorgeous one that I’m not sure I can wear to anything less fancy than a wedding. I might feel out of place with jewels in my hair at work. 🙂 Fabulous gift!
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As Mom and Jim are dealing with merging two households worth of stuff, I luckily am ending up with the cast-offs (like the Kelly train and the sock monkey). This is a crocheted table scarf (we may repurpose it) that Dad’s mom made while she had TB (she also made some table cloths and other stuff, which amounts to about a zillion little crocheted stitches).
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Isn’t it pretty?
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Dad’s mom also made this kitchen towel. Mom used it so much that it is no longer usable as a towel, since it has a large hole in the middle. I’m brainstorming things to do with it.
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And lastly, a peek at what I did over the weekend. The bottom bit there is only pinned on, so you can see I didn’t make it very far. I’m hoping to be able to show you a lot more after this weekend.

As an extra bonus, here’s a slideshow of all of the pictures I took on the 4th with my iPhone [link removed] (OK, took the first one of me).

“Kids” say the darndest things

I am very tired today – I took multiple naps over the weekend, so I’m not really sure what’s going on. At any rate, I’ll leave it up to other people to provide today’s entertainment.

Birthday cards flooded our mailbox last week, several with very humorous sentiments written inside. This first one was in a card from Grandma:

Thanks again for helping Alison with the brunch. You are quite a baker. Go Girl Go! You are so thin (do you eat your baked stuff?).

Next up, this one from one of my aunts, also reflecting on the family brunch:

It was also quite clear that Grant and see the two of you as their fav aunt and uncle!

I wasn’t the only one to get funny mail. got a thank you and passed this on to me:

Grandma’s comment – “I didn’t know Kelly could bake.”

Can’t beat family, can you? Love it.

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[Editor’s note: I totally took a picture of myself this morning to share with y’all, and left the memory card at home. Bummer. So, I’ve included a photo montage of strange pictures of myself at ‘s wedding. Also, since I had so very many parenthetical thoughts, I’ve italicized them to help you keep the train of thought. You know, as much as possible. 🙂 ]

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Me, looking like a dork, just weeks ago.

I am 32 today. And, I think I’m OK with that. Let’s see… yes, yes, life is pretty good. I have more bad hair days than good, my skin finally cleared up, I’m the same weight I was at 22 (I weighed myself yesterday to see how much damage my uncontrolled love of Caramel Nut Clusters had done, and the answer was none – I’m totally wedding day weight still – high five!), I have a job and a husband and a house… I think there’s nothing to complain about.

My father-in-law gave me a gift certificate to a fancy seafood restaurant downtown, so that’s fun. doesn’t like seafood, so my consumption of it dropped dramatically upon marrying him (it’s OK, his consumption of spaghetti and Manwich dropped too). Fun to have a night out (plus, don’t good seafood places usually serve steak too? no one will starve). My mother-in-law made me a necklace, which I have not photographed, but it is lovely.

gave me a cutting board (a replacement for an earlier one that was warped by the dishwasher) and bird seed (in the hopes, or perhaps knowledge, that someone would be getting me a bird feeder).

gave me a hummingbird feeder (so exciting!), an iTunes app store gift card, and a pair of socks. Yesterday several birthday cards came in the mail. I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 🙂 (I should totally share with you some of the comments in cards I’ve gotten lately, because they’re awe.some.)

We’re going out to dinner tonight (Don Pablos – I had a craving – there will be a margarita), then pulling up part of our deck, and I have a massage scheduled at 9 (they keep calling because I have 7 massages saved up, and getting one on my birthday sounded like a fabulous idea). We’re going over to ‘s for dinner and a party tomorrow night (celebrating ‘s birthday* as well as mine). The fun never stops. Oh, you don’t usually spend your birthday working on your deck? Bummer for you. As it is, we have a plumber coming out tomorrow to install a backflow preventer, so that we can make progress on our in-ground sprinkler system. We’re DIY-ing, and I’ll probably photo-document the whole thing and share it with you when we’re all done. At any rate, in order for the plumber to be able to do his job, we need to pull up some boards on the deck so he can get to the faucet. Since Monday and Tuesday night I spent writing a paper, and Wednesday night I had class, so this is the only time to do it.

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Fine, you can have a nice picture of me.

Since there’s no time between now and then to get some Coldstone (with cake in it, of course), do you think I can pull off a “birthday visit” on Saturday?

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This is the first "couple" picture we've taken since the wedding. I thought it was time to update.

* – you may or may not be getting a gift from me tomorrow. Things have been ordered, but I only one has arrived, and I got a shipping confirmation today, so I’m guessing that one won’t be here by tomorrow; no shipping info on the rest. Sorry! I was indecisive and didn’t order your gift until Monday.

Sing with me now: ~Memories, light the corners of my mind…~

brought me some goodies when she came over this weekend, and I thought I’d share.

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Dad's sock monkey, just chillin' on the piano. Yes, that's my crewelwork that I finally framed there in the background.

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Maybe you couldn't see this guy clearly. A train. A pony train. Of my name. Bet you don't have one of these. Bet you're totally jealous. (Yes, it needs a bit of work - some sanding or painting perhaps, but I think it's supercute.)

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I think it's completely appropriate on top of the piano. Not that there was any doubt it belonged to anyone else. I didn't have anything else going on the top of the piano right now anyway (except for a bunch of nails sticking out of the wall behind it, left over from Christmas decorations - I really need to pull those out, because they're driving me crazy).

And, here’s a picture to justify why I don’t have any more content to share with you today:

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This is how I spent my evening. Trying to turn these diagrams of that book into a paper. It didn't go well. (Correction: Two paragraphs, nearly one whole page, are written. It only has to be 5 pages long, so at this rate... ugh.)

Thankfully, the next section of class will not require diagrams or philosophical thought (we’re studying the New Deal).

Happy Tuesday!

I shouldn’t be greedy

But I have to say that a 4-day weekend would have been even lovelier than a 3-day one. Oh well. I do have Friday off, so it is a short work week for me.

I managed to be quite productive over the long weekend ( did too, but I couldn’t even begin to list off the things he worked on, let alone explain them; they involved power tools).

Instead of doing homework on Friday night, I have no idea what we did other than order pizza. Sad, I know. I’m sure it was lovely. (Come to think of it, we probably spent the rest of the night playing Super Mario Galaxy 2, which we bought on Thursday.)

Saturday started late in the morning – I skipped the free seminar at Bachman’s for sleep. I did get a haircut in the afternoon, which was fab. I could swear that half of the hair on my head ended up on the floor (the bottom of her shoes were caked, and while I’m sure I had nothing to do with it, the sweeper-thingy that salons use broke while she was trying to clean it all up). I only lost about an inch of length, however, and as is usual for hair stylists, my hair didn’t lose any volume either. (It wasn’t until I washed it on Sunday that I figured out how much she actually took off and yes, AfroGirl has been held at bay for another few months.) She thinned it out a deal, which was where all the hair on the floor was from. I should have taken a picture, but it was kinda gross.

We managed to get the spare bedroom suitable for guests, which was a lot of work since it had been the staging area during ‘s office remodel. (Plus, things got even more chaotic in there when it flooded and we had to move everything to the opposite side of the room.) The bathroom down there is acceptable too.

On Sunday I got a coat of paint on my nightstand, made up my jewelry for ‘s wedding, and went to JoAnn. I’m sure there was other stuff, but again, I can’t remember.

Yesterday was the big productivity day. I did laundry, mowed the lawn, put another coat of paint on the nightstand, did more laundry, ate lunch, cleaned the inside of my car and its windows, swept the driveway (2 blisters – yech!), again with the laundry, talked to on the phone, cut out fabric for a dress, ate dinner, finished up the laundry, put the last coat of white paint on the nightstand, and got all the linens set in the guest bedroom. Oh, and I made up “marinated cucumbers” (blech) and a double batch of granola from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. Whew!

In the midst of all that, we went to Target, Home Depot, and a few furniture stores. We finally ended up at Buck’s Unpainted Furniture and ordered two bookshelves, which I should be able to show you in 6-8 weeks.

The nightstand was a major accomplishment (though it is nice to have my car clean for once). I still have the top left, and the drawer, so it’s not done, but I feel good about the progress I made.

I also “read” a dozen library books on beading and jewelry. Those are definitely books you should borrow and not purchase, since there’s not a lot that you would need to keep on hand for reference in them. Oh, and I spent a lot of time emailing back and forth with some Etsy buyers (sold 2 books to Thailand, am in the bargaining/trade process on a third).

Three days of work this week, including one long day tomorrow with class at night. Thursday night I will either be doing homework or making up cinnamon rolls with . Friday morning I will do one last run-through of the house (vacuum, wipe down bathroom), and then pick up my great-aunt from the bus station. Saturday is ‘s wedding, so that’s pretty much the whole day. Sunday is a family brunch at ‘s (which the cinnamon rolls are for), and then we will collapse at home. Or finish up that homework and write a paper. Same difference. 🙂

You have to really like someone…

… to take them to the airport at 4:30 am. On a weekend (Sunday). I’m just sayin’.

I had the house all to myself yesterday. All of yesterday. is in California (see the afore-mentioned airport run), and I will join him tomorrow, but until then it’s just me and the cats. And the billion things I want/need to do.

Most of Saturday was spent at ‘s house making jewelry for all of the daughters for the wedding (6 total, her fiance has four, plus and myself). If you didn’t know, it takes a really long time to make jewelry, if you want it to look good and coordinate well, that is. We made necklaces with matching earrings. We used the same formula for each, but they are all different, reflecting each girl’s preferences. I’d show you a picture, but I haven’t taken any yet. I still need to add in the clasps, which we left undone because we ran out of time. And I need to make mine, because I couldn’t find the beads I wanted at JoAnn. What can I say, I’m picky.

Needless to say, when I left her house, I was a bit dazed and blurry-eyed. The chain we were using was really small (it looks better and less hand-made, but is a pain to work with), and an afternoon of making design decisions had rendered me incapable of making any further decisions. Good thing was hungry.

After some delicious Papa John’s, we both packed up our luggage. I’d had multiple nightmares of making it to the airport on time, only to realize shortly before my flight that my luggage was empty. Since we packed, I have not had any more of these dreams, thankfully.

Sunday morning, I crawled back into bed after the airport run, only to be frightened awake by , who wanted to keep me safe from the stray cat who had wandered onto our patio. So instead of getting back to sleep by 5:30, it was 7, and when my alarm went off at 9, I hit snooze for a solid hour. The only reason I got out of bed was because I had an 11:00 date.

I met up with and at one of our favorite brunch places, Maria’s Cafe in Minneapolis. The corn pancakes were delicious, as always. came back to my house and we used the freezer paper stencil technique to decorate some shirts for a race she will be in soon. I managed to get some embroidery done while she was there too (there was only one iron), and we watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, much to our amusement.

After my dinner of reheated pizza (toaster ovens are great for this, saving me from microwave pizza, which is blech), I wrapped up the embroidery project (pictures coming soon). I also did a little bit of cleaning (just a little).

My list of things to do tonight when I get home from class is long, and the list for Tuesday morning is short (thankfully). The shuttle comes to pick me up at 4:35, and then I will spend most of the morning in airports or on airplanes. Strangely, I have been to both of the airports before (I transfer flights in Denver). I should make it to the hotel by 12:30 or 1 (see photos from ‘s trip [link removed]) California time, at which point I will take a long nap. We do have internet at the hotel, so I’m hoping to blog a little bit, but you never know. I’m bringing the camera, and am excited to have really good quality photos of San Francisco (since when I was there in 1999, digital cameras barely existed) and the San Jose area. On my list of things to do are several museums, some shopping sites, and a really good sandwich from Boudin.

We fly back on Sunday, and then life should return to normal for a bit. Well, kind of normal. The last night of class is that Monday, and then the summer semester starts the following week. I think I have 9 days off.

Four for Friday

It’s been a while since I’ve done this one…

  1. Parents: What’s the most important thing you learned from your parents that you hope to pass along to your children or young people you mentor? You, too, can be a grown-up. There is a time to stand on your own two feet, and when that time comes, you will be capable. When I think about what my parents did differently from other people’s, what stands out is that we were expected to grow up and be on our own, self-sufficient. They weren’t shoving us out the door on our 18th birthdays, but there weren’t plans of moving back home after college, either. I really appreciate that, since many parents seem to coddle their kids and never prepare them for adulthood (like not teaching them how to do laundry).
  2. Traffic: Have you ever diverted your route because of something you heard on a radio or television traffic report? No, I haven’t. But I don’t drive that much, and my commute is only three miles of highway in the morning, and local roads only at night.
  3. Groceries: Do you make a grocery shopping list as you run out of items or notice you’re running low, or do you make a list right before leaving to go to the grocery store? We keep a list on the fridge (just like we did growing up) of the week’s menu, and there’s a big spot for a shopping list. Of course, this is only for groceries. When it’s time for a Target run, I usually make the list right before leaving the house, often just in my mind, and then totally fail to get what I need. The grocery shopping system is clearly much more efficient.
  4. Dinner: What did you have for dinner last night and was it fulfilling? If not fulfilling did it at least hold some nutritional value? made Lloyd’s pulled pork, so I had that on a bun, and then a lovely iceberg lettuce salad with some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. I was pretty much starving when I got home, and could definitely have eaten more, but I restrained myself. I ate some chocolate later when I got hungry (so I guess it wasn’t all that fulfilling).

Easter

We had two Easter dinners this year, a first for us. Maybe next year we’ll try for three and host a brunch. 🙂

We had lunch with some of ‘s family, and then had dinner with mine (with a quick stop at Lowe’s in between). took some pictures, which are loaded into Flickr. If you want to see the whole set (particularly the un-processed ones), go here [link removed]. I had some fun in Picnik today, though I have to admit I did not do as much editing as I would have on the original ones, since all the pictures of with frosting everywhere were grossing me out. Clearly I’m not jumping on the parenting bandwagon any time soon. I supplied the frosting, so it was partly my fault, but for the record, I never told he could have a cupcake, or even suggested it, or even let him know they existed. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Soon after we arrived, a pillow fight broke out.
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Grant particularly enjoyed himself.
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See the twinkle in his eyes?
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Mom set a pretty table. You can see my new Easter dress (I made it!) in the background there. I’ll have to take a better picture after it’s washed.
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After dinner, we played some dominoes. Chickenfoot, to be exact.
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And I provided dessert. I can’t take credit for this cute idea, but I can tell you that you shouldn’t let these sit in the car for a few hours, because the ears will all melt. At least a few stayed cute long enough for a picture.
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Grant consumed ALL of the frosting first. This involved smearing it all over his hands and face, and then eventually he started in on the table, at which point wash cloths were employed.
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I think he did end up eating the cupcake itself, but he was pretty wound up. I haven’t heard yet if he went to bed as usual that night, but I’m guessing his parents had a rough time with him.

The usual cast of characters was there, but no photos worth sharing. spent more time enjoying himself (lots of laughter surrounded the cupcakes and dominoes) than taking pictures, which is how it should be.

Like I said, if you want the “normal” versions, just go to Flickr.