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Wordless Wednesday


Staycation or bust!

Official* definition: a period of time in which you take a vacation, but instead of traveling, you become a tourist in your own city.

Our Staycation had been planned for weeks. A weekend had been set aside. The time was right. The weather forecast: great. But something happens when you don't travel for your vacation, but instead stick around and enjoy your own city...other things tend to creep in. The things that crept were good things, fun things...but I learned that if you want to take a vacation, you must LEAVE TOWN. Ok..on to the fun stuff.

Friday night we ventured to the Mall of America. You can't be a tourist in Minneapolis and not step foot into the largest mall in the nation. Shopping was not on our agenda, however. We headed straight to Underwater Adventures and hung out with exotic fish and large, hungry looking sharks. I was very thankful for the think glass separating us from them, even though it surrounded us on all sides, even over head.



Saturday after dropping our friends of at the airport for their REAL vacation, we hit up the James J Hill house for a tour and a history lesson. Now, to some this may seem like a boring thing to do on vacation, but for a nerd like me, it was great! The house was built by a railroad tycoon at the end of the 19Th century in an affluent part of St. Paul. It was fun to be transported back to a time of fancy balls and important parties where the ladies descended down the grand staircase to meet their men waiting below.





Saturday afternoon was...yep, you got it...our Segway tour! Despite looking fairly ridiculous while riding them, it was a fun and informative tour. The video I posted yesterday on Movie Monday was taken accidentally by one of the Humanonastick staff that we likened to lifeguards because they were young, didn't really care too much about their jobs, and were just there to be social with the other young, indifferent staff.


The finale of our Staycation was the Aquatennial fireworks show which is by far the best display I have ever seen. Thanks to the (I'm sure) hundreds of thousands of dollars that Target spent on the event, we ooohed and ahhhed for a good 30 minutes on the Stone Arch Bridge on a perfect night, bringing to a close the perfect Staycation!
* Ok, so this is only as official as I have made it, but don't you think it belongs in a dictionary of some kind? I'm writing a letter to the OED right now!

Movie Monday

video

More to come about our weekend adventures, including....yes, a Segway tour!

Me Dave, You Blog.



So I started reading Tarzan of the Apes a little bit ago. I like the book so far, it's pretty well written and interesting. I'm trying to decide if I should read the rest of the books in the series. Apparently Edgar Rice Burroughs started in like 1912 or 1914 and wrote 23 books all together. CRAZY. Well on the bus this morning, I came across this paragraph and the irony made me laugh. A little background is that a man and wife have been stranded on this island filled with crazy jungle animals and they decide to make a shelter...

"The building of a bed, chairs, table, and shelves was a relatively easy matter, so that by the end of the second month they were well settled, and, but for the constant dread of attack by wild beasts and the ever growing loneliness, they were not uncomfortable or unhappy."

It's just funny because it says they are not uncomfortable or unhappy. Except they live in constant fear that they are going to be eaten alive by crazy wild jungle animals.

**Sidenote**

I have more updates on recording records, but it will be a much larger post and probably not done from my desk.

Wordless Wednesday


Antarctica

That is what my office feels like. Seriously. Well not seriously, I guess, because I have never been to Antarctica and therefore cannot compare them, but this is what I imagine Antarctica feels like. I don't understand why it has to be so cold in here during the summer. I don't recall it being abnormally hot during the winter. But every morning it's pretty warm in our apartment and I look outside and it appears to be a bright sunny WARM day, so I dress for it, and then every day I shiver at my desk. You would think by now that I would bring my parka and snow suit in order to combat this cold that seeps into my very brain every day, but no. Somehow, every day I hold out hope that my summery outfit will suffice, and every day my hopes are dashed into the glacier that is hanging out in the cube right next to mine. I wouldn't be surprised to see a penguin or two waddling down the hallway. It's that cold.

Movie Monday

video

Flower power



These were part of a big beautiful bouquet of flowers that were waiting for me on the counter when I got home from work yesterday. Apart from my husband being awesome and for totally surprising me and sweeping me off my feet (ok, a bit dramatic but chocolate and flowers are totally the way to a girls heart - well this girl anyway) with these flowers, I got to dink around with my camera a bit because I wanted to capture their beauty and actually learned a few things about how to focus the image more so than just on the automatic setting. So in short, he earned big brownie points for being awesome AND he inadvertently helped me learn about my camera. What a sweet sweet honey of a husband!

Side note: I almost named this post Awesome Blossom and now I cant stop thinking about that show Blossom that was on in the 90's. I LOVED that show. Any other Blossom fans out there? Come on...no one could resist Joey Lawrence and his memorable, "whoa!"

Wordless Wednesday....on Thursday.

Necessity is the mother of....creative grilling


Our recent trip to the cabin was spectacular as always. We enjoyed good food, good friends, good weather, and lots of GREAT relaxation. Something that was initially considered not so good, were the two power outages we endured during the weekend. This unexplained loss of power brought forth our creative juices. On the menu for dinner Saturday night was chicken enchiladas. This requires the electric stove and oven to make, which posed quite the dilemma. But never fear...the creative women, with the help of the resourceful men, came to the rescue with some mad creative grilling skills! Now please allow me to toot our horns a bit here. If you are a grill master, as some of you I'm sure are, you may not think what I'm about to tell you is a big deal. But for a novice like me, this was quite ingenious if I do say so myself. After the guys started the coals, the girls took over and sauteed veggies.


Aren't they pretty?



The chicken was then added, plus the spices to make it taste Mexican and yummy. By the time the above mentioned ingredients were through cooking, the power was miraculously restored and the rest of the cooking could be done in the oven, although we were fully prepared to "bake" the enchiladas on the grill!


Very much a "we can do it!" moment.



Is ignorance really bliss?

Alternately titled: I needed to post something so that picture of Dave doesn't scare me every time I open the blog.

For the most part I'm a very health conscience person. I like to consume and learn about products that are good for me, good for the environment, free of chemicals and other harmful additives. My thirst for this kind of knowledge can sometimes border obsession as I scour all the sources I can get my hands on to further my intelligence on this subject. But sometimes, the information becomes too much to handle. It can become an overload of negativity on our government, our farmers, and the people making decisions about the food that will ultimately adorn my table. I'll give you two examples.

1) I'm currently reading Fast Food Nation which is an incredible wealth of information regarding not only our fast food industry but the whole meat processing industry. I highly recommend it, but caution you that it is incredibly disturbing and may leave you feeling helpless and in question as to what to do with the information given. What do you do after reading about the horrifying conditions at these factories, short of becoming a vegetarian (which I'm casually considering)? You have to be intentional about researching where your meat comes from and buy locally, which can be expensive and inconvenient. Sometimes I hate that cheap and convenient most often equals questionable products and chemical laden.

2) The water in Minneapolis has recently taken on a funny smell and a repulsive taste. It actually made the front page of the newspaper this morning. City officials have attributed the taste to an abundance of algae and leaves in the river where the water comes from, but reassured the public that the water is not harmful to drink and then listed all the chemicals used to treat the city's water. Thanks a lot Minneapolis. I was feeling good about my water drinking habits. We don't buy bottled water in an ongoing effort to be more "green." We drink out of the tap which I was feeling good about until reading the list of chemicals in the water that is longer than our grocery list.

But again...what do you do? Stop drinking water? I've heard that can be detrimental to your health. So here again, I'm stuck with knowing perhaps too much about what I'm consuming on a daily basis. It's one of those days where I just want to sit back and forget about all the things I have read recently and sigh and think to myself, "ignorance really is bliss."

Have a good weekend everyone. We are off to the cabin where we will eat lots of bad food, but at least we will be breathing in the clean country air!

Wordless Wednesday

Air Conditioner from hell



Jessica and I recently found out that a 3rd floor apartment with windows on only one side, becomes unbearably hot during the summer months in Minnesota. Sooooooo we decided to take the plunge and by a window air conditioner. Now they aren't that cheap, but they work wonders. I set my eyes on the LG 10,000 BTU window air conditioning unit sold at Home Depot. During work that day I did some brief research on the item and from the looks of it, it was going to be easy to install, and if I installed it in the living room window it would probably cool the entire apartment.

After hauling the 67 pound unit (which was in a overly large box) up 3 flights of stairs I was sweaty and ready to put it into the window. For this particular air conditioning unit you have to actually slide the air conditioner out of it's metal casing, put the "side curtains" on the metal casing, install the metal casing into the window, and then gently slide the 67 pound air conditioner into a small metal casing that is, at this point, hanging outside of your window. Believe it or not those "side curtains" were probably the worst part about the whole installation process. The instructions were awful. They basically said "attach the parts that we gave you to the air conditioner, put the air conditioner casing into the window, and gently slide in the air conditioner." In the midst of being SUPER mad at this inanimate object, I decided that I should look on-line for some sort of instruction manual as to how to put this in the window. All I could find was this review that I wish I would have seen before I bought this monstronsity of an air conditioner. I'll just give you a portion of it.

"WORST EXPERIENCE EVER"

"DO NOT BUY THIS UNIT unless you want to get so frustrated you want to kill yourself. It is the most difficult and confusing air conditioner to install. After lugging this heavy thing home, the last thing you want to deal with is a difficult installation. The user guide was extremely hard to follow and the screws did not fit in the holes!!"

all I could do was just bust up laughing because I had finally cracked under the stress. Here I was, shirtless, sweating like crazy, and terribly mad at this machine. I was lucky Jessica wasn't in the apartment because I had basically turned into the Hulk and was ready to just tear down our outside wall in order to get good air flow in our apartment.

All in all I finally was able to figure out how to get the air conditioner in the window. 2.5 hours after starting, I could hear the sweet, sweet, honey of a hum coming from our new air conditioner.

Part of the time I could just hear the air conditioner from the Brave Little Toaster

"Touching Toaster, you got me crying like a baby."

Walk for the Cure



A couple of my friends from work are going to be part of the 3-Day "Walk for the Cure". Here's a little description of what exactly the walk is for....

"The walk is 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men. The net proceeds will support breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment through Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Each walker agrees to raise $2200."

Kendra and Margaret, with their husbands Jason and Greg, are going out on a limb in order to raise money to stop a sickness that plagues our society. I think it's great that they are doing this, and they asked me to post up their links for giving donations. If you would like give money to Margaret or Kendra click here or here.

Those links will also guide you to their personal blogs about training and raising money, AND it'll give more information about the event and what everything entails. I'll also put their links on the sidebar of the website so they will be there until the walk is over in September. Very Cool.

Wordless Wednesday Pt. 2

Wordless Wednesday