Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Weekend

Friday: Andy went golfing in the afternoon with his dad & then went to our nephew's b-day party (it was all N of the Cities and since he works up there he was already halfway there, where I would have to drive a long time in freaking rush hour to get there - so I didn't go.) Anyways, I went out with Carrie. We went to Weber's Bar (never been in there before) and then we went to see 40-Year Old Virgin. Freaking Hilarious Movie! Then back to her place where her, Kyle & I sat & drank and chit-chatted.

Saturday: Late start to our day, but we had a good time. We went to the Cannon River Winery. It opened just about a year ago. Beautiful place. So, we drank some wine there and they also sell cheese & crackers there (good idea!) as we bought more wine by the glass. The cheese was sheep's milk cheese and was very soft as they flavored it garlic & herb. Very tasty. We tried walking around their town, but apparently we were an hour late, everything seems to close between 4-5. Oh well. Then we came home and ate dinner & drank some of the sparking wine I bought in Colorado. Watched the Spade-a-thon (or whatever they called it on Comedy Central) and watched "Joe Dirt" and "Tommy Boy". Then I ran to Mc D's (see previous post) and rented "Cursed" It was an ok movie. Best that it was free, would have been fine to rent for a dollar too, but would have hated if I paid movie ticket prices to see it.

Sunday: We went to April & Jason's house. Met up with Molly there.We took their boat out to Lake Washinton and spent all afternoon there. Docked at a lake bar/restaurant and had some appetizers and then was back on the lake. It was the PERFECT day to be out on the lake boating. Got some nice color today. Then back to their house for dinner. I made dessert. It was these Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares. Very good. Now, we're back home and watching CNN and can't believe that we haven't heard about the hurricane that is going to wipe out New Orleans in about 7 hours. Yikes. That's scary. Make me glad we're in the Midwest.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Free DVD Rental

I saw this posted on Deal of Day. It's a coupon code for a Free Night Rental from Redbox. Gotta say - I love Redbox! It's so convenient. I rented "Cursed". So, even if it sucks it will be ok 'cuz it was free. Gonna go watch it now.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Yummy Food!

Last night I made some yummy food for supper. I made my favorite soup recipe, Pasta e Fagioli.
It's a completely vegetarian version (not like the Olive Garden Version.) I used greens from beet tops (bought at the Farmer's Market) in the recipe. I had actually used the beets to make a sauce, but that didn't taste so good.

I also made this Roasted Eggplant Basil Spread. I am actually eating it right now on some Rye Crisp. The recipe is actually from a Weight Watchers Website. No points (as it's all vegetables.) I had bought an eggplant at the Farmer's Market and was looking for a recipe. This was perfect. I halfed the recipe (except the garlic, I kept that at 2 cloves. I love garlic!) Definitly a recipe worth trying.

Today I will be making some jellies.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Books & Classes

They are actually 2 independent topics.

I am still waiting for the library to tell me that the other 2 Kinsella books are in for me, so I went over to the bookstore at the outlet and bought a new book to pass the time (should have just gone to the library and picked something out -- but I hate wandering aimlessly in the library trying to think of what I might like to read next -- the bookstore has stuff displayed so it grabs your attention and then you read the cover and decide, yes I do want to read this book -- with the library I always request things online and only go in when they call to say my book or video is in.)

So, anyways, I bought The Dirty Girls Social Club. It is not exactly what I expected. I don't know what I expected, I guess I didn't understand that Dirty Girls was referring to the name of their group - Sucias - which is referring to their skin color (They are all of Latina descent, but very different backgrounds.) It's a pretty good book, aside from the random Spanish words thrown in here and there (which I don't understand) but they usually tell you what it means (eventually.) It could really be written about any group of women that formed their "after-college" club. It is neat to see what different perspectives they each have of each other and the secrets they keep.

The other topic was classes - I taught my first night this semester for both classes I am teaching at the community college. One class I have taught for quite a while now (Walking & Jogging for Fitness) and that was like and old hat. I am totally in the groove of teaching that one. I rarely had to even look at my notes and when I did I realized I had said all of that. The other class is new to me and I have been waiting for it to be offered at a time that is convenient for me to teach it, that is Stress Management. For the first time teaching that class, it went really smoothly. I was not going to get stressed out teaching stress management. I think I am really going to like teaching this semester.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Rest of the Weekend

Well, Saturday we went to the Cities to Jessi's parents house, as they were having a welcome back party for Jessi & Alex (back from their month-long volunteer trip to Sri Lanka.)

Here is a pic of Jessi that Alex took. Very cute.

At their party, her dad made these smoked,grilled turkey legs that were 2 pounds a piece. Each one could have fed a family. Everyone was eating their own; I couldn't believe it! Andy & I shared one. And her mom made this rice that had a bunch of spices in it (tumeric made it yellow, and black peppercorns, coconut milk, and many other spices.) It was pretty tasty.

After that we ran some errands and then headed home. We stopped at a couple of lakes on the way home that we had never been to, to see what they were like (Lake Sakatah State Park & Lake Fox.)

Today, we both did a bunch of clean-up stuff around the house and then we went to Peppermill to eat. We had never been there before. Pretty good food. We each had the AYCE Salad & Soup bar and then split a meal of 1-lb. of crab legs. By doing that we ate just enough and didn't have to roll us out.

Tomorrow class start back at the Community College. I teach one class on Monday nights and one on Tuesday nights.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Old Ladies

Check out this post on Alison's blog. It's very funny. You have to listen to the clip.

Outlet Mall Updates

Finally - after having a bunch of stores pull out of the outlet mall, we have some new things coming in.

Samsonite is already here (I think they came last month).
We are getting 2 news stores: Haggar, Pac-Sun & Old Navy. The Old Navy outlet is going to be huge. It is taking up was 2 (or 3) stores before. I think the Old Navy outlet will help revitalize the outlet. It will be nice to have Haggar there to get clothes for Andy.

A couple of stores flip-flopped sides (Izod and T's&Sweats and 50 Off).

The stuff that came new last year is: Mustard Seed Primitives (an antique and crafty store), Remember When Scrapbooking & Gifts, Untamed Riders.

There are 2 open spots yet. It will be nice to see them filled in soon.

Less than 2 Movie Tickets

I was thinking about suggesting going to the movies last night, but after running to the mini-mart to pick up a paper I decided against it and for less than the price of 2 movie tickets I decided to buy Marinated Tri-Tip (finally!) and pick up a vide from Redbox @ McD's.

We've been living in this town for 4 years and have continously heard people rave about the Tri-Tip Steaks. I guess I didn't think they could be that good so that is why I never went & bought any. They were nice & think (just the way I like my steaks) and marinated perfectly. I grilled the Tri-Tip with 4 ears of corn and it was all EXCELLENT! Andy went & picked up Lemony Snicket's from redbox and we were good to go. And for $10.55 we ate steak & corn and watched a movie. Certainly costs that 2 movie tickets (& we would probably have bought pop & popcorn too since we would not have eaten dinner.)

The steak was so great. See - it's from this butcher in town. But this guy does not sell from his shop, you can only buy his stuff at this mini-mart in town. He does other stuff (obviously) besides the Tri-Tip. They had some bacon-wrapped seasoned pork steaks that I think I might like to try next.

Lemony Snicket's was an interesting movie. I wanted to punch Count Olaf. Leave the kids alone!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fair Time

Just got back from the Fair (3rd & Final time this week).

Here's the food tally:
* Cool Dog Sundae (Andy & I each had one, this is what my friend April was selling)
* Apple (free, the hospital was passing them out - me)
* Corn Dog (Andy)
* Strawberries & Creme (me)
* Grilled Chicken Sandwich Plate (I chose healthy sides of grape cup, strawberry cup, & Diet Coke, Good Deal from the 4-H Foodstand)
* Sloppy Joes Sandwich(Andy chose sides of potato salad & orange sherbert & lemonade, another 4-H Foodstand deal, they always have the best deals)
* Raspberry Custard Pie (Andy - these are always good and relatively cheap {$2.50} according to fair food prices)
* Bottled Water (Andy)
* Deep Fried Garlic Mashed Potatoes (we shared this, it was something new and came with seasoned sour cream - pretty yummy and filling)

We won't be going to the Fair anymore this week. It is always so crowded on weekends. It was pretty impossible to walk around tonight.

April & I did sneak away (leaving Jason to man the ice cream cart) to watch the human cannonball. I had never watched that being done. It was pretty neat to see. This year he was being launched over 2 ferris wheels.

Comments Hidden

I had to hide comments for a while. I have gotten spammed on here about 10 times in the last half hour.

Services @ Colleges (Part 2)

I did find out a few things that I was looking for before.

The Le Cordon Bleu school emailed me back and said:
You can make reservations at The Minnesota Room by calling 651-286-2400

I also emailed Northwestern chiropractic to find out about their services (I had gotten chiropractic services from them when I was in college - most affordable option I could choose and was good too.) But here is what they emailed me back:
Visit the link below to get information on our clinics. Costs are $30for an hour-long massage and $35 for an acupuncture appt and herbalconsult.
The Burnsville clinic specializes in massage and the Edith Davis clinicis acu and Om.

I found this about the Art Institute International.

You can go to the Aveda Insitute in Mpls and get a lot of services. I have done product & service testing for them & you usually get gift certificates for participating.

Any college that has programs of beauty, automotive, cooking, etc. are good places to get deals on the services. Every December, Riverland offers free pedicures, facials, or manicures to it's staff. It's a nice treat.


A bunch of dumbasses are spamming my last blog post comments section and it's pissing me off.

All sorts of dumb advertising ploys. They should all be killed.


How come they insist on asking you questions when they have metal utensils in your mouth? My dental hygientist is particularly chatty and kept asking questions, which I could not answer since my mouth was full of sharp pointed cleaning utensils.

Other than that - good check up & cleaning. All good. No need to return for 6 months.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What is Andy?

So, he was born on April 20. He was born on a cusp - in between signs. Depending upon where you look he might be a Taurus or he might be an Aries. He was born in the morning (he thinks around 8:30, but he could be completly wrong). Anyone have any idea what he is?


I am Sooooooo a Pisces!

Shopaholic Series

So, I have finished reading 2 of the books in the Shopaholic series, although I was not able to get them from the library in order. I did read the first one first (Confessions), but had to skip the 2nd one (Take Manhatten) and read the 3rd (Ties the Knot). I have the 2nd & 4th (& Sister) requested. I am hoping to have them & read them before the end of the month.

It had a hard time getting into the first few chapters of the 1st one, but once I got going I really enjoyed it. In the 3rd one I was put off by the fact that the first couple chapters was about 2 cousins marrying (not the main character - Becky Bloomwood). Once they finished with that and got on with Becky's wedding planning it was much more interesting.

I know that the 2nd really does fit in the series, they build on each other. Although I am stumped by what the 4th is about - because Becky & Luke are both only children. So, I had to look up info on Amazon about it and it turns out that Becky's dad created a child with another woman before he hooked up with Becky's mom. But it also does make sense of where it falls in the series, because it has to do with Becky & Luke's honeymoon.

I still need to request her other book "The Undomestic Goddess". (Not part of the series.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Services @ Colleges

I know that somewhere, sometime I read an article on getting a nice (& cheap!) several course meal at colleges that have cooking programs. I thought that might be something fun to do. Anyone ever here about that? I am having trouble finding it online.

Images in Red Rocks

I guess I should have turned some of these pictures. This should be turned. Here we have a butt crack.

Apparently my friend Jeni & I have a sick mind and we were seeing obscene things in these rocks. This should be turned. But here we have a vagina.

Jeni & I

Here is a pic of Jeni & I @ Red Rocks.

This is Nebraska?!?!?!

This is the beach at the lake in the State Park that we stayed at in Nebraska. Can you believe that is in Nebraska?
Looks like someone took a wrong turn and ended up in the lake. Just goes to show what happens when you drive a Ford.
This last picture is another view of the beach. It was just beautiful. Read my blog post about my trip for more info.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Vacation Days

Tuesday - Sunday were vacation days for me. I left very early on Tuesday on Sun Country Airlines and flew to Denver to visit with Jeni. We stopped at her bar, 15th Street Tavern (check out the link, they are on Stuff Magazine list of 20-Best Dive Bars), then back to her place, and packed to go camping. We went camping at Lake McCounaughy in Ogallala, Nebraska. I will have to post a picture, because this lake is unbelieveable. It's huge, but what is amazing is that the beach is very nice and white sands. When we got there on Tuesday evening it was really windy, but we went in anyways. It was fun playing in the waves, almost like you were in the ocean (since it was so windy). What is great about Nebraska State Parks is that it costs $5, yes, that is it. I would like to go back there someday.

Wedneday - We stayed at the lake most of the day. It was a 3-hour drive from Denver. That evening we went to Elitch Lanes to bowl. On Wednesday nights they have $1 games, $1 shoe rental, and $1 beers. It was fun.

Thursday - We went to Hammond's Candy Factory and had a tour, tasted some samples, and bought some candy. FYI - Bath & Body Works will be selling a HUGE pink & white lollipop during the Christmas season that is made by Hammond's. It was a really interesting tour. Then we went to Redstone Meadery. We toured there, had samples, bought wine. This place makes wine out of honey & water. It was really interesting. I have not toured a place that did that, nor did I know they made wine out of honey. There are a ton of wineries in CO, and I would definitly like to go back and visit some more. Then we finally went to Red Rocks Park. This was really pretty. I will have to post some pics. I took pics of some interesting "things" we saw in the rocks (like what you see when you look at clouds.) Finally, we went to dinner at Tommy's Thai. Fantastic Food! And cheap too. Entrees were $6.85 and you get a huge plate.

Friday - Left to go back to Minnesota. I decided to upgrade to first class, which on Sun Country it only costs $75. I figured it was well worth it. You get a real meal and unlimisted beverages of any kind. I had a Bloody Mary before the plane even took off. It was fan-freaking-tastic. Plus, 1st class has their own bathroom, which rocks and your own airline strewardess, plus nice big leather seats. I highly recommend it (did it once before w/ Andy coming back from San Diego and it was great!) That evening we took off for Forestville State Park in Minnesota and met up with Carrie & Kyle there.

Saturday - Still camping (staying 2 nights). I went into a nearby town (Wykoff). They have a B&B there that I might like to stay at, just 'cuz it's interesting. It is called The Historic Wykoff Jail Haus. I did some shopping & food sampling at the Bank Gift Haus. And then went to Magpie Studios. The girl who just opened and owns this studio is only 22-years old. I bought a pottery vase from there. It should look nice with cuttings from my flower gardens. Later that evening we were joined by Kim & Travis. Lots of sitting around the campfire after we went hiking for 2 hours. Later we went hiking to the ampitheatre area to lay on the benches and watch the meteor shower, but unfortunately it was too cloudy and we couldn't see anything.

Sunday - Drove home and were here for the remainder of the day.

Next week is our county fair (largest free fair in Minnesota), so I'll have to write about my favorite fair foods. My friend April & her sister Jenny decided to start a business and have a booth there selling Cool Dogs Sundaes. They are hoping that next year they can get into the state fair to sell them.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Restaurant Knock-off's

I stumbled across this website. It is a collection of recipes that are like the foods you have in your favorite restaurants. Shhhh! It's Top Secret.

If I wasn't already a good cook I would use these and pass them off as my own, well, I still think I will do that. But honestly, I am a good cook. No kidding.

I looked at it a little more and looks like you have to buy the recipe. I bet there are other places out there you can find them for free. I know I have seen some of them.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


I leave for Denver on Tuesday. That should be fun. When I come back on Friday, we are leaving right away to go camping with Carrie, Kyle, Kim, & Travis. That should be fun too. We are tenting it, which we have not done before.

Fast Growing Bushes

So, we were talking about planting some bushes on the South side of our house next spring. We want to plant stuff in front of the 3-season porch and deck in the back of the house. The house could use some more shade and privacy, so we are thinking either a short tree or tall bush. And ideally fast growing would be nice. We have a couple bushes in the front of the house by the garage that grow nice & tall & fast (we have to trim several times a year).

Here are some options (I've included the growth rate and expected mature height):

Arrowwood Viburnum (my MIL has one of these in her back yard and she says it grows really fast, but she is annoyed that it was planted too close to the house because it hits the house eery time it is windy. (fast growth, 6-15 feet)

Lilac Bush (not too fast of growth, a medium. We already have 2 purple lilacs in the backyard and 2 white lilacs -- of a different variety -- in the front yard, and another one in the front that I can't remember what it is; I think white) (medium growth, 8-15 feet)

Elderberry (Fast growth rate, 8-12 feet)

Privet - Amur North River(I think this is what we have in the front yard by the garage next to the white lilac) (fast growth, 12-15 feet)

Indigo Bush - False Indigo (medium growth rate, 6-20 feet)

Looks like everything I picked out have blossoms, which is good 'cuz I like flowers. I definitly want something that grows 8-12 feet. I haven't decided if I would want something that we already have. Since we want to plant them across the back, we would have several of the same kind. And it might look cool to have a bunch of lilacs since there are already 2 in the backyard, or it might be too much.

The planting of these bushes and the tree in the front yard will probably be it for landscaping we do next year. I say we, but really I mean me. The flowerbed I planted earlier this summer is looking nice (now that I filled in a bit more and weeded it.) I will have to take a picture and post it.

Mutter Museum

Next time I am in Philadelphia I want to go to the Mutter Museum. I am watching "World's Creepiest Destinations" on the Travel Channel and this is one of the places featured. It was developed as a teaching tool for those in their school, but is now also a museum.

They also talked about Gettysburg, which we plan to be in next August for Andy's cousin Shannon's wedding (which will be in Gettysburg).

This is their list of Top 10 Creepiest Places:

10. Bermuda Triangle (in the Atlantic Ocean)
9. Haunted Hollywood (Hollywood, CA)
8. Tower of London (London, England)
7. Mütter Museum of Medical History (Philadelphia, PA)
6. Gettysburg (Gettysburg, PA)
5. New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
4. Salem (Salem, MA)
3. Roswell (Roswell, NM)
2. Winchester Mystery House (San Jose, CA)
1. Lizzie Borden Bed-and-Breakfast (Fall River, MA)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hazzardous Name

Andy & I went to see this movie last night. It was cute. Certainly not good acting, but made me want to go drive fast & crazy. Of course in our cars we would kill ourselves.

When I was a kid my brother & cousin Jeremy always wanted to play Dukes of Hazzard. Of course they were Bo & Luke and cam to an agreement pretty fast as to who was who because one had brown hair and the other had blond hair. Hair color was the deciding factor here. You might think I got to be Daisy Duke, but there was a different determining factor for deciding who I would play. My middle sister got to play Daisy since she was the only girl left after the boys decided that I would play Uncle Jesse, since that was my name. I had to be an old man because our names were the same. What a crock of shit! I was pissed and refused to play and would try to convince them I should be Daisy, but they kept on playing and calling me Uncle Jesse.

It was then that I HATED the name Jesse. I was not a boy! and Jesse is a boys name and I was going to be called by my real name, Jessica. That's it! No more calling me Jessie.

That's easier said than done since I have A LOT of uncles & aunts that had been calling me Jessie all the time and now I had to get them to stop. At first asking them was just not cutting it. Because they all think they are funny, they then saw the humor in calling me a name I now hated. I would become livid and yell, "MY NAME IS NOT JESSIE!" This almost seemed to encourage them, because now making me mad was funny.

As I got older I would just not answer to the name Jessie, and then it was them getting mad because I was not listening to them. Eventually I would turn to them and say, if you would like me to listen you should call me by my real name. That was pretty effective, but I had to be persistent.

To this day, there are uncles & aunts that still call me Jessie. My brother is amazed that I don't start whipping out some kung-fu moves or something to retaliate. I like to think of it as I am older and wiser and it is just not worth my energy. I don't get the sense that they are trying to do it to be hurtful or see what they can get away with. I just think you can't teach an old dog new tricks. You can, but in the grand scheme of life, do you really have the time and will it be worth it in the end. I see my extended family so infrequently (usually once, maybe twice a year) and I don't need to get upset because they can't get it.

My immediate family is different, they try to pull that shit and they better bring it! I think they know better though.

So, now you know my first name, after just after a year of blogging. Although many of my readers are family members or friends(many of who never post anything, but send me emails later on) who already know my name.

Friday, August 05, 2005

New Books

Went to the library today and picked up some books that I requested:
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
Shopaholic Takes on Manhatten (Again, Sophie Kinsella)
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Andrew Tobias)

I am liking "Can You Keep A Secret?" (by Sophie) better than the Confessions one, but I am only about 3 chapters into it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005