Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Coloring Page

This one I had fun with. I took a picture of our Christmas tree last night, then made it into a coloring page, then made it Sepia, and finally gave it a spotlight effect.
The photo editing software that came with the camera is very limited, although it has been fun to mess around with it so far.
I have started looking at reviews of photo editing software and so far it sounds like Adobe Photshop Elements is the way to go for the amateur, Adobe Photoshop CS2 for the professionals (VERY BIG price difference between the two.)
I mihght try this one out in the meantime, it's Freeware. It's called Irfanview. And there is another one called GIMP. And then there is Picasa, which I have used before and it doesn't have any more features than the software from Kodak. I think I may try the GIMP, as it seems like the only one that can do other things I can't do already.

Some Other Pictures (playing with my new toy)

Pictures of Isabel
Cropped, B&W, & background shadowing

Background Shadowing & Cartoon Effect

Cropped, background shadowing, portrait coloring

Monday, December 25, 2006

A New Bed for Larry

We got some new towels for Christmas and they were in this box and Larry decided to make it his home for the entire day. I think he went in there are 9am and didn't leave (not that we saw) until 7pm.
Silly cat.

New Stuff in the Area

Monte's Steakhouse is opening in April 2007. This looks like it should be a pretty upscale restaurant, which we are lacking here. They will have valet parking too. It will be nice to have something more upscale in the area and not have to drive to the Cities for that.

Also, Cashwise grocery store now delivers. It costs $7 to deliver to our area. It's not like the grocery delivery service we had in the Cities where we had to have a contract and you ordered delivery on a schedule. For Cashwise you could order groceries once or on a regular basis. Plus, I could place an order tonight and get it tomorrow, or even place it tomorrow and still get it tomorrow if their are slots available.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas at the In-Laws

Well, today was Christmas at my in-laws. I receieved some nice gifts that included a new purse & wallet, a tea box (a wooden box with compartments that you put different tea bags in), a bracelet my MIL made with beads in the colors of all three of our birthstones (mine, Andy's, & Isabel's) - looks pretty, a necklace, some earrings from Spain (you can obviosuly figure out who those are from) and some bath salts.

Plus, we opened out Christmas pajamas (something we started as our own family tradition) and Andy picked out a nice set for me. Funny thing though - the bottoms he picked out for me are men's (which is totally fine) but they are the same bottoms I bought for him. I had opened mine before him and when I saw them I said, "Didn't I buy you those?" thinking I had bought for him previously and he already had them, not that they were sitting there for him to open. Total brain fart moment.

We do appetizers after gift opening with them. There was lots of meats and sweets, not that I'm complaining - I'm just saying.

Tomorrow is Christmas for the three of us and sharing gifts we bought for each other (& the cats & dog, they each get a new toy too!) Then Christmas Day is presents from Santa and he fills each of our stockings and just Isabel gets a big present and we also get a family present from Santa too.

What an Insurance Agent....

Here's the story.....

Last late fall, Andy & I were having dinner at a friends house and for dessert they served this White Chocolate Cheesecake that they bought at a cake auction that was made by our insurance agent. Well, over the last year I meant to call him and ask for the recipe, as it was awesome (he made it!) But I kept forgetting. But finally I had a reason to call - we sold the truck and needed to take insurance off it it. So, I asked him for the recipe and he said he would do one better and make one for me. So, last night he arrived with a huge Christmas tin with this amazing white chocolate cheesecake inside it. I am going to get so fat this week!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mentally Ill Peanuts

Andy says I have ruined A Charlie Brown Christmas for him because as we watched it the other day I was diagnosing all of the characters. I thought he had heard that Chares Schultz had based his characters on the mentally ill and trying to help reduce the stigmatism of mental illness.

This person blogged about it as well.

Read his post – it’s very interesting. But I think I have some other comments to add……

Snoopy who thinks he’s a WWII Fighter Pilot – if that isn’t delusional…..
Charlie Brown, who continually plays the victim
The Red-haired girl, ok, you might think she seems normal, but she’s the one hiding her issues, she the perfect one that Charlie wants to date, but I suspect she could be suffering silently from an eating disorder
Then there is Linus who is obviously stuck in the oral stage….
And Peppermint Patty is definitely going to struggle as she comes to term with her homosexuality that she has been covering up with her obsession with Charlie Brown
And then there is poor Marcy who lusts after Peppermint Patty and follows after her like a little puppy dog, she has to struggle with feelings of rejection or her own hiding of her sexuality. Now, I have to say that I am not referring to homosexuality as a mental illness, but I am talking about the depression and anxiety that may go along with hiding their sexuality or coming out to others.
Lucy – now, there is a controlling loud girl. I fear as an adult she could be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. If Lucy doesn’t get the attention she wants she gets very upset and appears to feel abandoned by others.
Let’s see….who else?
Sherman – the musician – I fear his lack of social skills are going to increase his anxities and he may distance himself further from his peers and soon become afraid to go out in public and just stay in play his piano.
Pig-Pen – just his name alone is probably going to cause some self-esteem issues, as well as feeling bad about never being able to get himself clean. I wonder if there are some neglect issues in the home, which will later catch up with him.

Here’s a whole list of the Peanuts Characters and their debuts.

Lorenzo's Oil

So, I watched this movie for the first time in college, and then I showed clips of it when I taught a course in Developmental Psychology at the local community college. Now, this time I just used it as Cinematherapy for my kids at work. I was wondering what happened to Lorenzo and could not find anything in the last 2 ½ years, which leads me to believe that he is still living and is still in the same condition. Because if he died, it would probably make the news and be on the internet and if he made any additional progress we would have heard about that as well. It’s a heart wrenching movie. I guess dad is still researching for a cure, but mom passed away quite a while ago from lung cancer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My New Baby

Ok - I have to ask -- was my house ever REALLY clean before this fabulous, fabulous vacuum cleaner. It is a Dyson DC07 Animal. It is meant for households with animals because getting up animal hair can be very hard. And this thing is amazing, although it should be for the price of it. I just love it. It is scary how much dirt & hair it has picked up -- scary we've been living with it thinking our house was kinda clean. But those "other" vacuums never really got into the carpet and sucked everything up. It works great everywhere. And the hose is long enough that you can go all the way up our staurs with it and not have to carry the machine with you. Truly amazing.

As for that shower cleaner I bought, it does a good job with water spots, but not such a good job with soap scum & mildew. I am glad I didn't spend a lot of money on it since I had a coupon & got a Target giftcard for purchasing it. I will still use it because it is getting rid of the waterspots on my clear shower curtain. It does get all around the shower and covers nicely anything level with or below the machine.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Tree is Up!

Woohoo! We got the tree up. We can't wait to show Isabel. She is going to love the lights and the sparkle.

We did it differently this years than most.

This year we put up gold beads rather than garland. And instead of all my homemade & glass ornaments we put up non-breakable ornaments in clear, white, & gold.

When I make my new ornament for this year I will use the same colors.

The lights consist of 3 strands: 1 gold, 1 red, 1 multi-color.

The angel & tree skirt are the same I always use.

Got a lot of present wrapped already. I have a few more to wrap and Andy has his to wrap as well.

And the Stocking Were Hung by the Chimney With Care

This is all 5 stocking. The far one on the L is on a snowman holder and it the dog's. The 3 in the middle are on the letters for JOY and are (from LtoR) mine, Andy's (go figure!), and Isabel. The 2 on the far R are for the cats.

Close up of our handmade stockings. They don't match and that's ok. Things don't have to all match. I have the biggest one!

This is Isabels' stocking. I made it. Had to refresh my sewing skills and make it whenever I had time. I had to go back & forth between machine stitching and hand stitching depending upon the steps. I just finished it today.I am pretty happy I go it done and proud of myself. I think it's a good looking stocking. It certainly would have been easier to purchase one, but then it would not have been as special.

Now I just need to make a new ornament this year. I like to make an ornament easch year for the tree and this year I will make one for Isabel.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I made hand turkeys out of Isabel's hand. So, this is her hand size for 6 months. I made these cards for daddy, grams & gramps, and grandma and grandpa.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Great Picture of Lucy

Here is a great picture of Lucy that our friend Tim Wingert took. He is such a good photographer.

Last time they were here to visit he took some fantastic outdoor pictures that I put in frames and have hanging in formal living room.

Check out pictures on the baby blog that he took as well.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

5 Days Until Black Friday

It's amazing how all the ads get out there. i just found Lowe's here. I still would rather see the ad than read a list, but since this is all you can see right now then I guess that is how it must be. There is a Gamestop by us too. Here are other stores by us:

Ace Hardware
JC Penney
Office Depot
Radio Shack

I don't know where I will all go, but at least 2-3 places for sure. Harry & David has a extra 25% off coupon (went & picked that up today) and Nike has an extra 20% from 6-11am. We have an Old Navy here, but it's an outlet, so they have different sale items than the regular store. Here's a extra 10% off coupon for Liz Claiborne.

Of course, if I wanted to drive to the Cities I would have many other additional choices. These are just my choices within 10 miles of our home.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scrubbing Bubbles

It seems that the shower is not something that makes it to the top of my cleaning list. I am more apt to clean the things that people see (although I am sure there are people that snoop in the shower.) Anyways, I bought into the TV ad for Scrubbing Bubbles. I really wanted to buy it. Then I saw it was on sale @ Target this week (still on sale today - Saturday) for $18 for the starter kit, which includes the machine with batteries and 2 containers of cleaning liquid. Plus you get a $5 Target giftcard for buying it. Great! I am at Target all the time, so that will get used.

But there is also a $7 coupon on their website for it as well. An Even better deal! So, now it costs me $11, plus I get the $5 giftcard.

I just installed it (it hangs from the shower head) yesterday. I am supposed to have a sparkling clean shower (without ding anything else other than touching a button) in 14-21 days (each container is supposed to last 21 days if used daily.)

So, I'll have to let you know how it ends up working out.

Black Friday Ads Are Out!

Let Imaginations Sore. What do You Want for Christmas? Go Black Friday Shopping.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Excellent Deal on Organic Food @ Amazon for TODAY ONLY!

In case you are interested, Amazon has some Organic food in their Friday sale, plus they also count towards the $10 off $49 (code: GROCERY3) and have free shipping.

Cascadian Farm Harvest Berry Granola Bars

Cascadian Farms Raisin Bran Cereal

Cascadian Farms Clifford Crunch Cereal

All of the above 3 are on sale for $7 for 6 boxes. That's just over $1 a box. These items usually sell for $3-$4 in the natural foods store/section.

But when they are gone, you can't get them fro that price. And that price is good for TODAY ONLY until they run out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fire, Fire.

When I was back in WI a few weeks ago, we had a discussion about the Peshtigo Fire and how no one knows about it really because it occured at the same time as the Chicago Fire, even though the Peshtigo Fire destroyed more acres. Anyways, I started to sing the Old Lady Leary song, but couldn't quite remember all of it -- now I have.

Now you can learn a little bit about both. My hometown is near Peshtigo, so that was how I know about it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good Feelings.....

I am sure that like most people, you go along doing your job and doing a good job. Or at least you think it's a good job and hope others think so as well. Most of us are not told very often that we are doing well, so we need to look for those things that let you know you did a good job. I had one of those moments yesterday.

Yesterday, a student I worked with for 2 years came back to visit again. This was actually the third time he came back to visit. He wouldn't do that if he didn't like and respect us. He's doing well and is in college now. This past summer he even offered to volunteer to help out with our summer program, even though he was graduated and there was no requirement to be there. Yesterday, he asked if he could volunteer again next summer. Then some of the current students started talking about how they are coming to our summer program again. No one is required to attend, but they choose too. And that's a pretty great testament to the work we do.

On another note - I don't have a good feeling in my lower lip. I got some kind of infection or zit or something going on. It's right on the end of the bottom of my lower lip and it hurts like a SOB. It is raised right now and I'm not sure if it's a canker sore or a zit. All I know is that it hurts. If it's a canker sore, then that means I am getting sick. As everytime I get a canker sore, I get sick within a couple days. Bah!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jury Duty Time Expired.

Today was the last day I was on-call for jury duty. I never got a call or anything since that first letter. Whew.

Plant a Row for the Hungry

I saw a commercial for this on HGTV. It is Plant A Row for the Hungry. You donate your extra fruits, veggies, & herbs to a local food shelf or soup kicthen that participates. I don't know if there is one in my area. I have emailed them to find out. My herbs seem to be tolerant to the cold so far and I have some oregano, sage, & mint that I can donate (not sure about the chives.)

I wish I would have seen this earlier as I had TONS of cucumbers (both long green cukes and yellow round ones) and tomatoes & jalepeno peppers I could have donated.

If they don't have a committee in my area, I don't think I have the time or energy to start one. I read about it on the website and it sounds like more time & energy than I have to give. I would rather spend the time with Isabel. But if someone else already has one going, I wouldn't mind helping out a little bit or donating.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My School Picture

Here is my school picture. I took the liberty of drawing in the devil accessories to see what I could look like in a year book. Actually, I work will only about 25 kids at a time, but they are coming and going. So, I may work with 40 kids total a year, out of a student body of over 1600. And my kids like me, so I don't really think I will get the devil outfit. But I did want to see what I would look like with it. I get a free package, because I am staff, and what do you do with all those free pictures? Well, I gave some wallets to my siblings, parents, husband, & baby. But then I still have 2 5x7' of those gets marked up. Fun!

Actually, this is the first one since I have been working in the school that I think I look halfway decent, even if I am wearing my hair in a ponytail and look like I have no hair.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Newly Sealed Driveway: Finally! Completed this week. In the past we have done it with our neighbors. This time we paid a lot of money to have someone else do it. It is supposed to last longer 50-100% longer than if we would have done it ourselves. It better.

New Sidewalk (part of): Now that the city finally changed the layout of the street to the North of our house, our neighbor can finally put in the rest of his lawn, his driveway and extend the sidewalk from our house to the curb. He’s doing all the work and we don’t have to pay a cent. A rather long story why everything has worked out the way it did, so I won’t bore you with it.

New TV: AhhhhH! Plasma! HDTV! 42 Inches!

Project Restoration

BEFORE: Dingy, yucky and torn.

MIDDLE: Here I was decoupaging (is that a word?) the top with crumpled pieces of brown paper bag. This is the top of the trunk. Then you stain it your preferred color and it will have a letter look to it. And finally you give it several coats of poly to seal it all in and make it water proof. And then you enjoy.

I saw this on Design ReMix.

DONE: The finished product. This is the top finished.

The Whole She-bang. Finished. It is acting as a side table/toybox for the sunroom/playroom, a room with dual purposes, where everything has dual purposes.


So, everytime I take the back roads from the North, my eyes catch a glimpse of a name on a mailbox in big, bold letters that says DUHME.

Now, I think to myself, how is this pronounced? Could it be pronounced “dummy”, or possibly “do me”, or maybe even “doom”, or lastly “dumb”. Any ideas?

I almost want to stop at their house & ask them.....But I don't, and won't.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I'm talking about business coming to the area.

Let's start with losing, because that isn't much. We are losing the Bread Store. It closed rather suddenly. I guess they are tearing it down and putting a strip mall there. We (even though it's the neighboring town, I still say we, our little town has nothing, so basically we do everything there.) I don't know what is going in that strip mall.

But the strip mall by Cabela's has 3 out of 5 tenants. They are Subway, Sbarro Pizza, & Caribou Coffee. Subway just opened on Tuesday, and it's one that also serves breakfast. Caribou looks like it is ready to open anyday. Everything is ready inside & the drive-through is ready too and the signs are all up. Sbarro's looks like it should probably be open sometime next month. I don't know what is going in the other two.

And there is sometype of other strip/block mall that is going up by Lowe's. Speaking of by Lowe's, Kohls & Office Depot are both now open.

Hmmmmm.....anything else? Oh yes, next summer they start construction on the outdoor waterpark, so that won't be open until 2008, which is perfect for us. All we need is a kiddie pool next summer and we have one of those in our town. No sense paying for all the frills when they aren't going to be used. Our local pool (which is 2 outdoor pools, a regular pool & a kiddie pool) only costs $65 a summer for a membership for the whole family. Not a bad deal. Since I don't work during the summer I am sure we'll be going there quite often.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Post Pregnancy Woes

The squishy belly is annoying. Those last few pounds are just not coming off. I was couting WW points and adding in extra points because I am breastfeeding, but I feel like my milk supply has dimished some. Now, I don't know if it's because of the WW or if it's because I went back to work at the same time and started pumping a couple times of the day or if she is just drinking more and it feels like the supply has diminished. Being able to brastfeed is important to me and I want her to have all the benefits that accompany breastmilk, and I am not vain enough that I will compromise that to lose a few pounds (just as long as I don't gain more.)

Also, pumping sucks. I shouldn't complain because some people spend a long time to just waiting for their let down to kick in. I go to my office, set up the horns & bottles & pump and get going, put the milk in containers to bring to daycare and get my stuff all cleaned up.....all within 10minutes, 15 minutes tops. I know some people spend 10-15 minutes just waiting for letdown and then another 10-15 minutes pumping. Like I said, providing her breastmilk is important to me, so I will continue to pump. But it's not that fun to have your nipples artificially sucked.

The other thing people don't tell you about (& don't talk about) is that sex after delivery (even 4 months later) can and does hurt. I think how Andy said it the other day sums it up best. He said, "It's like putting on a glove that is one size too small." That's great for him, not so great for the glove. One person told me it took a year after birth for it to stop huting. It just sucks, that's all. It just means I need to be on top so that I can control it all, Andy just has to sit back and let me do my thing.

I checked out the book Spilled Milk from the library. I am almost done reading it, 1 chapter left. I wish I would have checked it out earlier, like when she was only a couple weeks old. But it is still very useful. I think anyone who is breastfeeding should definitly read it. It helps you realize that everything you are going through is alright and normal.

Stupid Bugs

This first one is a a Asian Lady Beetle. They are so annoying. They bite and when you kill them they stink.

We put 6 new windows in the house in the last year and guess what - they are not in those rooms. Which means, not in the kitchen, our bedroom, or the baby's room. We are replacing 7 more windows here in the next month (the window guy is coming Wednesday to do meaurements), and he can't get here soon enough.

This is a Box Elder Bug. There are a few in the house, but mainly they are covering the outside of the house & garage. I have not seen such a bad infestation of these, ever. They are all over the ENTIRE town. Its gross.

Fall is my favorite season, but fall also brings along these bugs. And when it gets warm like it is this week, it's just awful.

Even right now there is one of those stupid asian beetle crawling across the computer screen.

I had planned ahead for them (the bugs, well, the Asian beetles) and I bought a canopy (pictured below in a picture from the catalog) to put over Isabel's crib so they wouldn't drop on her. But it looks like since she got new windows they won't be bothering her. So, maybe I'll just save the canopy for when she gets a little older and wants to have a bed like a princess (or like mom & dad since we have one over our bed.)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bye Bye Cleaning Lady

We said So long, see ya, bub-bye to the cleaning lady. We had become increasingly unhappy with her performance. She only came twice a month, but it WAS nice. Lately it didn't seem like she cleaned much more than what it looked like before we left that day.

She had been with us for just over a year. And things started out good (at least I think it was good), but then there was a couple times I came home early (when she should still have been cleaning) and she was gone, but the little card she left for me said she was still there (I pay by the hour, so it's kinda annoying.) So, that got to me. Then she changed the time to when I would never be there unless I was home sick.

But then I had a baby and of the 8 times she was scheduled to be there while I was on maternity leave, she called and rescheuled 6 of them. And then there was a coupe times she was running behind schedule, so she cut our cleaning time short (which also meant she cleaned less), but we only got charged for her actual time since I was there to see her come & go. But I was annoyed that she was cleaning less for us when she had agreed to clean for so long. It would be one thing if she finished cleaning everything she is supposed to clean in a shorter amount of time (but still nice & clean), but to not clean some things and cut out some of our time. I just felt like she was taking advantage of my good nature.

I've actaully been able to find a little more time now that I am back to work to clean -- isn't is amazing that when you get busier how you get more done, but when you are relaxed you tend to put things off and not get things done as quickly. Anyways, with the baby I just found that if I have a couple minutes I better clean or do laundry or cook while I have the time otherwise that time might go away and I will have missed my opportunity and yo udon't know when it will come again. So, anyways, I am getting more cleaned myself.

But the last few times I noticed that the house doesn't look all that cleaner than how I left it. And she wasn't vacuuming giving an excuse that the vacuum wasn't working, but she knows we have more than one vacuum, because she has gone to the basement to retrieve another one before. So, it was annoying.

See, wehave hard wood floors throughout pretty much most of the house and areas rugs in every room. She was completly ignoring the floors, no sweeping (except the kitchen & bathrooms) because "the vacuum wasn't working". She didn't even dust to take up the extra time she was supposed to do. I had previously told her she can always dust if she has extra time and gave her a list of small projects she can get to if she ever has time. But what does she do? She marks down she was here less than scheduled (at least she was honest there), but I wanted a clean house. And with 2 cats & a dog I need the floors done.

So, she's gone. I talked to a couple other neighbors who have cleaning ladies. One likes their's, but she isn't taking anymore clients, and the other is kinda unsatisfied with theirs too. I don't want just anyone coming into our house, especially since it will occurwhile we are both at work. So, I want to find a cleaning lady that someone I know uses and go from there, but until then. I have to do all the cleaning myself (well, with Andy's help too!). And right now as I type I am missing an opportunity to clean some toilets or something.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Turtles Humping....

Andy sent me this link to a video of turtles doing it.

His comments were: "Words cannot express the joy I get from watching this video. I picked up a few good moves. Be sure to watch the whole thing. There are some strange... noises... towards the end. Check out dude's facial expression, too. "

Sunday, September 17, 2006

5 Year Anniversary

My 5-year wedding anniversary with Andy is coming up here soon. He asked some people what they did for their 5 year and he was hearing a re-occuring theme - they took a trip some place nice. Well, needless to say, none of those people had a 4 month old at home. I told him what I wanted was a meal out (just the two of us) and maybe drinks in the evening. To me - that is as good as a spontaneous trip to Boston.

The school I work in has an early dismissal on the day of our anniversary and since my lunch is the last lunch, I will be out at lunch time. So, he's planning on working from home in the AM and then at lunch we are going to go out to our favorite place, El Tequila. The baby will still be at daycare. And depending upon what time we get done with lunch - we were thinking of coming home and getting an hour nap in before I need to go pick up the baby.

And then in the evening, I have already arranged to have a friend come babysit and then we are going out for drinks and some appetizers @ Applebee's. They have $1 taps and half-price appetizers after 9pm.

It would have been nice to fit in a movie together, but we only have so much time. Lunch, a nap, & drinks and appetizers will be it. Who knew that was going to become the luxury for my 5-year anniversary.

Maybe we'll rent a movie and watch it while Isabel nurses to sleep. We've only gone out once & rented a movie since she has been born. It doesn't even seem like we have the time to run & get a movie & return it. But thanks to Tivo, we just tape stuff we haven't seen that is on when we can't watch it and then watch movies at our own convenience.

By the way - the traditional gift for the 5 year anniversary is Wood. Does a new wood subfloor count? We took out the hottub (which wasn't working that great anyways) and installed new floor joists & a sub floor. I say we, but all I did was take care of the baby & make food while Andy & his brothers did it. But the room re-model will cost us some money, but will be well worth it. It's going to be a nice sitting room, but also a place for Isabel's toys. That way when guests come over we can just closse the doors to that room and hide her toys. And then I can watch her play while I am cooking in the kitchen.

Gotta stop blogging now. The baby is up.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

We didn't do really anything on Friday night, just finished cleaning up the plant area in the sauna room.

Saturday we went shopping for a new dryer (& to Macy's as well).

Sunday, Andy picked it up and the other things we needed to install it inthe new location. It was $80 worth of stuff needed to put it in the new location because it needed to be wired & vented -- but it will be so worth it. No more running to the basement to put stuff in the dryer. It will be so much more convenient for us. Plus, it will be better if we ever decide to sell. People could be turned off by having the washer & dryer in 2 different rooms, let alone 2 different floors.

So, Sunday I did some grocery shopping and then stayed home w/ Isabel. Andy picked up the dryer and then installed it. He did it all with relative ease. It was great! He did such a great job. And then he installed the wireless indoor/outdoor themometer on the main level.

Today Andy got some other projects done around the house and then we went to Zollman Zoo. Andy was a machine this weekend.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Unlearning Something....

So, Pluto is not a planet anymore. All those years of having to learn the nine planets and now I have to unlearn one of them. How do you just unlearn something?

Ok - done!

I'm not exactly sad that Pluto is not a planet. It means less complications for this new mom. Because when my child talks about Pluto, I will know she is referring to Mickey's dog. And later when she has to make a solar system for school -- well, that's one less planet we have to make. But I suppose we could go for some extra credit and throw it in there and label it the Trans-Neptunian Object that was formerly Planet Pluto.

Maybe Pluto will make it's debut on email forwards when we start seeing ones that are titled "You Know You're a 90's Child If...."

It will say, "you were taught that Pluto was a planet" right after it says "you wore grunge."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

****My mom sent me this forward and I liked it, so I thought I would post it.

1. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.
5. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic! Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, after which you'll be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about that toothache.
8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: You only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
9. Remember: everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cucumber Beetle?

I think this is what is attacking my garden -- a cucumber beetle. They are UGLY! And annoying. I wasn't in the garden for a few days and when I went out there yesterday I found hundreds of these things. They had pretty much destroyed my zucchini & pumpkins and were working on my yellow squash & acorn squash. Ironalilcally, they were not touchinag the green cucumbers or yellow cucumbers.

I was trying not to use any chemicals, but I don't want to lose everything, so I put on some Bug-B-Gon. But I need more because it was stuff I had leftover and I only had enough to put on the squashes and just a tiny dusting on the cucumbers.

I have a very good cucumber crop and my tomatoes are ripening nicely. Also, my jalepeno peppers look good, but not sure I will have any use for them as I usually make salsa with zucchini (which I have no more of). Maybe I will have to try a new recipe. Or maybe I should try making some hot pickles. Although I am not sure when I will find the time to do any canning this year. I babrely have time to keep up with dishes & laundry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fair Food

This week is the SCFF fair. It is the largest county fair in Minnesota. Andy & I took Isabel with us on Tuesday night (first night). We really wanted to go together and try some of the food (that way we can try each others and get to sample more), but we don't like to go on the weekends when it gets super busy and basically impossible to navigate through.

So, Tuesday night we shared some Deep-Fried Oreos and some Nitro Ice Cream. Andy also had a corn dog and this really lame BBQ sandwich. I had a Gyro that you get to add your own toppings too (which is great, because you can pile on what you want). Oh! And we had samples of a SPAM burger.

On Wednesday I had to go for work during the day. So there I had a Greek Shish-kabob and a Cherry Snow Cone.

Not sure if we'll get there again during the rest of the week. It supposed to be rainy today & tomorrow, so maybe not. And we don't care to go on Saturday or Sunday.

Isabel did just fine and slept quite a bit both time I took her. I carried her in the Snugli, which is a smart thing to do, because it's really too busy to be pusing a big stroller around. Next year we'll have the nice big back carrier to carry her around in.

Friday, August 11, 2006

New Place to Shop

Well, Andy found a new place to shop. It is called Steve & Barry's. We both heard about it from other people, but he finally decided to stop there after work one day. Nothing there costs over $7, even jeans and embroidered hoodies and a fall jacket. There is one in the Burnsville Mall. He's pretty proud that he was able to ge so many nice clothes for himself for so cheap. He didn't always used to be that way. When I first met him he was a die-hard Levi's Silvertab fan....and if you ever buy those you know they never get lower than $40/pair. But he's a tall guy and they made pants that fit him and he just stuck with what worked. I think he believed that because he was such a big guy he was just going to have to pay big prices and was not going to have a lot of options or sale/clearance prices. But over the 9 years we have been together he has certainly changed his attitude about clothes shopping. I was so proud of him for his recent purchase (I know he was pretty proud he did such a good job saving money.)

I haven't been there yet. Hopefully I will get there soon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jury Duty

I got a summons to be "considered" for jury duty. I had to fill out this survey and also send them a list of vacations plans and doctor appointments for the NEXT 2 MONTHS! So, I did. And I let them also know that I am breastfeeding an infant and she needs to eat every 3-4 hours (& so far it looks like I'll have to come back at lunchtime to feed her when I go back to work -- good thing I work relatively close.) So, maybe she will be my ticket out of jury duty.

It seems like every county does it differently. The way they do it here is that it is a 2-month appointment (if you qualify, hopefully I won't - I really have no desire to do jury duty, but my appoinment would be September - October.) But you don't have to report to the courthouse unless they call you and they will call you 2-3 days in advance.

There isn't any interesting cases coming up that I know of (it's hard not to stay on top of things in this area.) The big things were these chiropractors that did bad things to their clients. Two separate chiropractors working independently. One of those is already in jail (but gets ot daily for work release - last I heard he was managing a massage office in the Cities - who the hell lets someone who lost his chirporactic license & is in jail for the bad things he did manage a massage clinic?) The other one is currently in court. There was a couple of other people who did bad things to kids that happened around the same time as that last chiropractor, but I think they were both in neighboring counties or maybe they admitted their guilt and they didn't need a trial by jury (which if I recall, I think that is what happened.) Historically, ther ehave not been a lot of jury trials in our area. Seems like once people get busted here they plead guilty and just have court, no trial.

So, I guess we'll see what happens for me & jury duty.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Frog @ The Cabin

This frog is on the outside of the window. I have never seen a frog in MN or WI that was on the side of a building.

I just tought it was interesting so I took a picture.

The cabin vacation was nice. Got to do a little swimming, floating on tubes, went to Carlos Creek Winery (you should go there if you are in that area - a very nice & impressive winery, lots of activities), went to the library in Perham (impressive kids section), read some magazines (Gourmet, Marie Claire, Natural Home & Garden, Allure, & Ladies Home Journal), and read a book (Catcher in the Rye).

It was good to read stuff that had nothing to do with babies. I have a whole other post in mind (if I get to it) about Catcher in the Rye.

I hope we'll be able to take a cabin vacation again next year. You can see more pics & comments about the vacation on the baby blog.

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Two Nephews

This is Andres. He lives in Spain with his parents. His mother is from Spain and his dad got a job in Spain so they moved back there a few years ago.

For a birthday present for my MIL I bought this tote from Red Envelope that you can put 3 pictures in (bought it in red to go with her red hat lady stuff). Anyways, I needed to get pictures of my 2 nephews to put in there as well so that she has pictures of all 3 grandchildren.


This is Travis. He is the oldest nephew. He will turn 12 next month. He lives here in MN with his dad & step-mom. I took his picture the day of their party and printed it off on the in-laws photo printer, as his dad forgot to bring the picture with him. It all worked out.

My brother-in-laws (Andy is the youngest of 4 boys) are not really into giving out pictures. Actually, I don't think we ever got a picture of either one unless we took the picture. So, now we have some recent pictures of them.

There are no other kids on my side of the family, as I was the first one to have kids (I'm the oldest).....but my youngest siter might be starting soon.

Bat House?

There was a bat in the house this morning. I noticed it when I first got up.

We haven't had a bat for a couple years now, since we remodeled the attic & put up the bat house outside (actually, just outside this window on the outside of the 3-season porch below.)

Why must they use our house as the bat house rather than the one I gave them.

Andy took care of it. I had to feed the baby.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Woohoo! Pizza Delivery!

Yea! Pizza Ranch (which is a fairly new restaurant in our neighboring town) delivers to our little town. None of the other pizza places in either of the bordering towns delivered to our town before, which stunk. But now, some place does. Our little town is sandwiched in between 2 other towns and we are about 7 miles from each town, which you wouldn't think would be a big deal for delivery. But apparently it was until now. Actually, we even got charged a trip charge from plumbers to drive the 7 miles to come here, which sucks because our town has no plumber to call.

So, Roundup ( Beef, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Onions, Mushrooms, Black Olives) pizza with a skillet crust and a mix od red & white sauces (just the way we like it) for us tonight!

You wouldn't think pizza delivery would be so exciting -- but that was one thing we really missed when we moved from the Cities, having food delivered.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Aaaahhhh! The Farmer's Market.

I love checking out the Farmer's Market, especially this time of year when there are more vendors and more options. I haven't really gotten to the Farmer's Market much this year, once before I had Isabel, another time when she was a week old and now 8 weeks later. And the weather is just BEAUTIFUL! out right now. It felt to good to walk around Central Park and check out everything.

What I brought home was:
* Honey Whole Wheat Bread (this lady makes the best bread and it's high fiber & high protein)
* Whole Wheat & Flax Seed Bread (same lady, a new variety for her) (Had for breakfast - yummy!)
* Raspberries (Had for breakfast - Yummy!)
* Egglplant
* Turnip
* Red Onions (2 HUGE ones!)
* Green Top Carrots
* Cucumbers (got about 6-7 of these, I know I planted these, but mine are just starting and I thought a cucumber salad would be nice tonight with out pork ribs)
* Dozen Farm-fresh Brown Eggs (Had for breakfast - yummy!)
* Cinnamon Rolls (This little old lady makes a bunch of stuff and sells it cheap, haven't tasted them yet.)

I got all that for under $20. That's incredible!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hair & Nail Growth

So, everyone kept telling me how fast your hair & nails grown while you are pregnant and also how strong & beautiful they will be.

I did notice that they both grew very fast, but I didn't really think the quality of them had changed until now, after birth and during breastfeeding. Could the hormones associated with breastfeeding be improving the quality of my hair & nails? All my nails have never been so long, strong or pretty (now, I type that I will probably break a bunch.)

It's unfortunate that my wash & go style involves throwing my hair in a ponytail, because my hair has probably never been so healthy (at least not since I started dying it over half my lifetime ago.) Even if I did wear it down, it's not practical anymore. Isabel can already grab up and pull my hair. She likes to grab at things with her free hand while she nurses.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Organic Food

So, I was trying to look up information about a particular brand of organic cereal when I came across this article about how big name brand companies have been buying up small organic companies.

I was just doing some research on some food products before I bought some things on Amazon's Grocery (store, a beta store). Right now if you spend $49+ you get $10 off instantly if you enter in the code GROCERY2. The cool thing is that all this stuff qualifies for free shipping (at least everything I have looked at so far.)

Now, if you buy organic food (& we try to quite a bit), you know it can get spendy, especially if your grocery store only has a small section and they aren't buying in bulk. Bulk is the key word here because you are not just buying 1 box of cereal, you are buying a box of 6 boxes (just an example).

And for those of you WW dieters out there that I know, you might want to check it out because organic food tends to be made with whole grains, thus being high(er) in fiber & lower in added sugars, thus lowering your points for an item (or allowing you to eat more.)

I should mention that there are plenty of non-organic food in the Amazon grocery section if you choose to want to buy that.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Things That Suck!

  • The "budgeted" gas bill going up by $16/mo.
  • 100 degree weather
  • The electric bill when I see the total from having the a/c on all the time
  • That my baby won't take a bottle & I can't go anywhere w/o her for more than an hour
  • My garden is getting weedy
  • The smell of a diaper pail full of dirty diapers
  • The price of gas hovering around $3/gallon (& probably rising)
  • Never being able to get rid of those cottage cheese looking thighs
  • That summer is half over already, which means my maternity time is half over too
  • Vegtables & fruits going bad before you have a chance to use them
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Babies outgrowing clothes before you ever have a chance to put them in it
  • Those first few minutes in the car before the a/c cools it down when it's 80+ degrees out
  • Cat hair all over everything, and no matter how hard you try to keep up with it, there is always more
  • Having to pay for car tabs or car insurance
  • Offering to give something away for free & then the people not showing
  • Burning the toast or popcorn
  • Babies who don't want to sleep
  • Dead bugs on window sills
  • Wasps, bees, or anything with stingers
  • Vaccuming & then having the cats fight & leave little tufts of hair all over after you just finished
  • Buildings that don't allow cell phone coverage because of how they are contructed
  • Buying creamer (or any dairy product) & then noticing after you get home that it is expired
  • Craving cereal but discovering you are out of milk
  • Thinking you are drinking milk but instead it's a glass of lemonade
  • Blogger having problems & losing big long posts you typed

ok- I guess I should end my rant & try to be more positive. I am just tired & cranky.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Garden Progress

I got some radishes out of the garden. Yeah! And I see I have peppers & tomatoes growing on some of my plants. The zucchini has blossoms on it, so hopefully I will have some of those soon as well. Everything else is growing nicely.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Updated Links

Updated my links on the sidebar, both on here & the baby blog.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All Good To Go

I had my 6 weeks post-pregnancy checkup today and I can not be sexually active again. Hubby will be glad for that. I am breast feeding, which is supposed to act as a birth control (but it's not fool-proof), so I got back on Depo. I hope my period doesn't come back. I was on it for 5 years before we decided to have children, at which point I went off of it for 1 1/2 years, and after the first couple month of being on it didn't have my period. I loved not having my period (which is a great thing about being pregnant & breastfeeding - no period! Although, with breastfeeding, it does come back after a while in some women.) So, my appointment went well. I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have 6 more pounds to go (gained 30 during pregnancy.) I bet those 6 pounds would already be off if I didn't keep eating so much ice cream & brownies & cake & whatever other sweets you put in front me. The last 6 weeks I have eaten so many desserts that it is not funny. My extra 500 calories a day I am supposed to eat because I am breastfeeding is all coming in the form of desserts. I am creating some bad habits here - but it tastes so goooooood! I think I here a frosted brownie calling my name.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lucy - The Other Cat....

Lucy sleeps in hiding spots most of the day, so she's never around to take pictures of. But today was different. She decided to sleep on the bottom of their kitty tower in the office. She likes to sleep curled up in a ball, and often covers her face like you see her doing here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New @ the Outlet Mall

There is another new store over there -- Lane Bryant. Also, not sure if I said that J. Jules (clothing place) is new over there as well (a couple of months ago).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Don't Understand....

Wha I don't understand is how Larry just loves sleeping in our smelly clothes & shoes. He is really into Andy's stuff and andy can be a pretty smelly guy. His shoes do not smell at all like roses, but Larry loves to dive into them as if he were wearing them and sticks his head in them.

Here he is sleeping on Andy's pajamas, which he has been wearing to bed and sweating in them for a couple days now. There is just something about Andy's smell that this cat just loves, and the stronger the scent the better.

Poor Andy can barely get his pants down to do his #2 business before the cat jumps right in the pants and takes a nap. Strange.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Poop Report?

So, Andy & I were having a discussion about what a floater means? What I mean by that was do you have a lot of gas in yor diet, or maybe a lot of fiber, or maybe it's something else. So, I did a little search and found the Poop Report. Their slogan is "Your #1 source for your #2 business." Funny. But here is what they have to say on the topic of floaters & sinkers. Apparently you have floaters when you are gassy.

Weird Sleeping Position

Here Larry is half sleeping on the bed (by Andy's head) and half on the night stand. I believe he is there because he likes to be in front of the a/c. Speaking of a/c, I found him sleeping on top of the big a/c n the hallway @ 5:30am. Crazy cat. He's been finding all sorts of weird places to sleep.

He's still been puking and abnormal amount. We'll probably need to take him into the vet on Monday to get him checked out.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Like Ellen....

I just like watching the Ellen DeGeneres (wow, there are a lot of e's in her name). I normally do not watch talk shows, but hers I like. She's not like some of the others that seem so full of themselves. She's so carefree and presents information in an entertaining way and doesn't beat things over the head. Today is was Ellen the Musical. Very funny.

Brittany on Dateline

So, I Tivo'ed Dateline last night to see the interview with Brittany Spears.

She looked awful! She was falling out of her top, I kept waiting for her boobs to fall out. Her bra was showing on one the entire interview. And her mascara was clumped on her top lashes on one of her eyes, it looked nasty. Her skin tone was all splotchy. It was almost like Dateline was helping foster the image that she is upkept & disorganized. You sould of thought that someone would have told her to tuck her bra in or fixed her makeup. Did they want her to come off bad?

It was pretty annoying that she was so "Poor Me!". She kept dropping names of other stars who had a similar situation and they didn't get harrassed as much as she has. They said she is worth around $100 million, if you are worth that much money and got that by being a public figure, you have to expect that the public is going scrutinize you.

What drives me nuts is that she has contant security around her, doesn't one of them know the carseat is supposed to be rear-facing for the first year and that you don't drive with a baby on your lap? Who are these idiots that she has hired that can't tell her she's f*cking up.

There were so many things she said that could be considered "bad" quotes. I'm not sure that the end result of this interview that she has hoped for will happen.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Poor Larry....

He's just having a bad week. He must have gotten into something, we figure a chewed on a plant he shouldn't have , and has diarrhea & has puked a few times.....This started yesterday. His energy level is just fine.

He has dried poop all over his back side & Andy had to clean him up. It was pretty gross and I don't think either appreciated it.

Anyways, today I had a candle on the counter that he got a little to close too and burned the tip of some of his fur. He didn't get hurt or anything, just scared.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Patch Is Back!

So, Steve "Patch" is back on DOOL. You can read here on the DOOL website all about Steve's history. What I had intended to find out was just how Steve (now calling himself Nick since he doesn't remember his past - funny how that always happens on soap operas) died. It isn't until you get to the last paragraph that you find out how he "died".

This is what it says:
"After learning that Bo was the Riverfront Raider, Steve agreed to help him. Steve spotted a suspicious looking boat and when he investigated, he found a card addressed to Bo from Lawrence Alamain. The boat exploded (an explosion meant for Bo) and Steve was knocked into a coma. He came out of the coma, only to have Lawrence poison his IV. Steve died in Kayla's arms but before he was buried, his coffin was switched with an empty one."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Nursing makes me thirsty

When I nurse Isabel, I get so dehydrated. It's like when she drains me of my milk supply she just sucks all the fluids out of my body. Strange.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Went for a 2-week post-pregnancy doctor visit (will have another @ 6 weeks) anf hesaid my uterus is almost back to regular size. My BP was good and my weight is 9 lbs. more than my pre-pregnancy weight. I had gained 30 pounds in the pregnancy and I guess normal weightloss from delivery (weight of baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, excess body fluids) is an intial 14 pounds.

So, I am happy that the weight has come off nicely so far. We'll see how long it takes to lose the 9 pounds (since I am not dieting since I am breastfeeding.) I know where that 9 pounds is too -- right on my squishy belly & into my hips, plus some to my breasts as well.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Got the garden planted....

Just planted the garden today. I was hoping to have it done a few days ago already, but oh well, better late than never.

To the left here is my garden layout. All the circles are mounds. I basically left the middle open so that the viney stuff can grow into it.

I bought single pots with 3 plants each of watermelon, green slicing cucumber, & zucchini. The tomatoes I bought plants for to. The rest I just planted seeds. I never planted melons before, so we'll see how it goes. I have had pretty good luck with the rest though.

I actually have green beans that are growing along the chicken wire fence by the canteloupe, & yellow squash. They had re-seeded themselves again. So, I am just going to let them grow in the fencing and I won't have to trellis them.

This year we are doing the lasagna gardening thing. It's work the first year to get it established, but hopefully next year it will be so so simple.

I got some composted alpaca manure (from a woman who picked up stuff we listed on Freecycle). It was nice that she offered to bring some for me. She brought 4 bags (leftover bags from corn feed for the alpacas) for me. So, I put that on the garden as well.

I also have other garden pots by the deck. I have Roma tomatoes (1 plant) & some other smallish type tomato plants (2 plants) and jalepeno peppers (3 plants) in pots. And I have hanging baskets off the deck with green leaf lettuce, turnip green, red leaf lettuce, & spinach (although the spinach has not sprouted - I think the seeds were too old or something, but the other 3 sprouted).

I also have my herb garden. My chives & oregano came back (yeah!) and I planted sage this year (so, hopefully that will come back next year), and I also planted cilantro & purple basil (both annual herbs), and I also have my little strawberry patch. Oh, and we have our 4 apple trees, which had a TON of blossoms on this year and didn't get nipped by a late frost like last year, so hopefully we'll have a lot of apples.

Now, I just have to keep everything watered. It's been pretty hot and we have not been getting any rain. It's only the 1st week in June and already the grass is getting that burnt brown look. Bah!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why People Hate Me....

I seem to be hearing it a lot these days -- we hate you, I hate you.....but why? Or at least, why now? If they hated me before it was different. They don't really hate me though. Hate is such a strong word isn't it?

Apparently this who labor, delivery, & post-partnum thing I have and am going through is not the same experience that others have.

They hate me because I was only at the hospital for less than 3.5 hours before I had the baby in my arms. They hate me because I only had to push for 16 minutes. Did they have me for morning "all-day" sickness for 18 weeks? I don't think so.

They hate me because I don't look like I just gave birth less than 2 weeks ago. Actually, I am soft & squishy in the middle, but honestly, I do not look like I just gave birth. I was all prepared to still look 5-6 months pregnant. But that just isn't the case. But what I want to know was did they hate me when I was watching my food intake and making sure I had a balanced diet with lots of fruit, veggies, & whole grains? Did they hate me when I was going out for a walk several times a week?

They hate me because only a couple days after delivery we were out taking a short walk with the baby in the stroller. Again, did they hate me when I was walking during pregnancy? Did they hate me when I was practicing my kegels?

I have this suspicion that people didn't hate me when I was was working hard to take care of myself so that now things aren't as bad as they had experienced. Or maybe it is all attitude, maybe they look back and hate certain aspects of their experience and that is what they hate, it's not me, it's their experience that they hate.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Happy, Exhausted Family

So, here is one picture. Mom's friend Jessi took it when she came to visit us on Sunday. From this angle, you can't quite get the grasp of the bags I have under my eyes. She's such a good, cute baby.

Welcome Isabel Grace!

I just had a baby. So, this blog may get ignored & neglected a bit. Mom & baby both need their rest. My friend Jessi took this picture when she visited us at the hospital on Sunday night. We all acme home on Monday afternoon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vinegar & Olive Oil

Nope - not talking about making salad dressing.

I just thought I woul share a little tip for getting white rings off wood furniture. I found a website that listed a who bunch of tricks to getting those nasty white water rings off wood furniture because I had 2 on my dining room table. Many of the tips seemed too abrasive or I did not have the ingredients for or it took quite a bit of time. So, I went with what I had and it worked perfectly.

Just mix small amounts of equal parts of olive oil (I suppose you could use any oil) and white vinegar. Rub into wood with a cloth. Rub off excess oil residue and Ta Da! The white ring is gone and all it took was 30 seconds of your time.

I was impressed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Kudos for an eBay Seller!

I have made no secret of my addiction to eBay. I have bought several items from Celtic Folk Herbals. I have never given my kudos on my blog before to an eBay seller before, but I am this time. She sells handmade herbal prodcuts. She uses quality ingredients. I have bought from her several different times and just got another shipment today. Before I just bought lip balms and I really like them and each time she has included an additional free one. This time I bought some Mommy Belly Balm to use on my pregnant belly & afterward. I haven't used it yet, as the postwoman just dropped it off, but this time she gave me another free lip balm & a free sample of jamine glycerin soap. I have used the lip balms already and do like them a lot. So, if you want to or likes to use natural products, you should check out her eBay store. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Da Vinci Code Movie

If I make it to Friday and do not have a baby, I want to go see The Da Vinci Code. Like a lot of people, I really enjoyed the book and also read the Angels & Demons as well. The movie opens on Friday, although when I looked for showtimes the theater I would probably go to said that due to filmmakers restrictions they can't do a midnight show, so it looks like the earliest I could do would be a noon showing. I do know if I buy tickets for the show that I will end having my baby. I think that could be worth $15 - to tempt fate and have that baby or if not, I get to see a movie.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I watched Dr. Know today (2 episodes).

On the first episode, they tested the 5-second rule. They tested shrimp, canteloupe, & a jelly bean in a variety of locations, including: park, sidewalk, mall floor, kitchen floor, & home carpet. They found eColi on the shrimp & canteloupe in ALL locations, but there was more on the inside locations (which they attribute to sunlight, which kills the eColi in the outside locations.) The only place the jelly bean picked up some eColi was in the park, which they attribute to wet grass making the jelly beans suseptible to picking up bacteria, otherwise the other locations the jelly bean remained dry & free of eColi.

The other thing they tested was whether or not dog's mouths are cleaner than human. What they found was that both human and dogs had loads of bateria in their mouths, but some of that bacteria in the dogs mouth are pathogenic to humans. They also tested whether or not the bacteria had antiseptic properties and they foudn that in both humans and dogs the saliva had a little bit of antiseptic properties.

On the 2nd show the first thing they tested was whether or not listening to loud music @ a concert damages your hearing. If you ask Andy about this one, he will tell you yes. He was a drummer growing up and was in high school band, in bands, and also was in Chop, Inc. After years of exposure to loud sounds, he is left with ringing in his ears. I had to get used to sleeping with a fan on so that he had white noise when we would sleep, otherwise the ringing in his ears would drive him nuts and keep him from sleeping. They found that the people with the $100 earplugs and the 99-cent ear plugs had no hearing loss, but the person with no ear plugs had hearing loss in high frequencies for 2-days, but this could become more permanent if the exposure is continued overtime.

The next thing they tested was whether or not sitting too long in front of the tv is bad for your eyes. They also tested it in front of a computer screen - both for 4 hours. They found that there was no damage to eyes of either person after 4 hours of constant viewing. It can cause eye strain, but not eye damage. They said there is no connection between eye strain & long-term eye damage.

I kinda like the show. It's interesting to see them de-bunk or prove the common myths.

Funny Cats

Andy sent me this link to a video about funny cats. I laughed so hard. We like watching funny animal videos. We watch funny animal videos on Animal Planet whenever we can.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Finally! A Use for all those C Batteries!

For some reason, over the years, I have accumulated a supply of C batteries. But the problem is that we didn't have anything that used them and it never really dawned on me before.

I remember that as a kid most toys or my boombox took C batteries. Now nothing takes C batteries.

But I just bought a travel infant swing off of eBay and received it today and opened the battery area and saw these AA batteries in there that didn't quite fit (and probably didn't work out too well for the previous owners as the AA batteries would slip out of the spaces). I thought to myself - this looks like it shoud fit C batteries. Sure enough - C batteries are the perfect battery.

Hooray! I now have a use for 4 C batteries (although I think I have about 16 more in the battery box.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Well, That Sucks!

Bah! American Idol has pissed me off. Chris is gone? How could they? I thought he from the beginning and all along would end up being the winner.

Kat should have been kicked off so many times already. And each week that she squeaks through she looks surprised - because she knows she should have gone home.

Now I just don't know who is going to win. I'm not sure I care that much anymore. I do like Taylor, but I don't think he has the image to make it big or the sound. I certainly don't think Elliot has the image or the sound either. Maybe Kat could, but she isn't very consistent in her performances.

I still think that Chris will get a record deal out of this and will be the one fom this season to actually go somewhere.

BTW - I think Chris is hot!, but I like his sound as well.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Growing Up Around Bars

So, today, as I drove to Northfield (read about on baby blog) and I was flipping radio stations I came across "I've Got Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and it took me back to memories of my 9th grade year and hanging out with some friends at Katie's parents bar and the song playing on the jukebox and everyone singing & playing pool.

It was really not a big deal to be hanging out in the bar, not to anyone.

And then I started to think more about growing up around bars. When we were little we used to scour the house for any money we could find (but we didn't have a lot, so finding any loose change was hard to come by) and walk down the road to the 5 Corners Bar (it's a counry bar). Now, we didn't go in there to hangout or anything. We were pretty much in & out -- but they sold penny candy FOR A PENNY. So, if you managed to earn a dollar you could walk out with this bag of 100 pieces of candy. It was excellent. Even finding 15 cents was worth the walk down to the bar.

Now, in rural WI, most bars also doubled as restaurants and on Friday nights YOU WENT OUT FOR FISH. So, seeing people sitting at the bar getting drunk as you ate your fish with your family at a table was not a big deal. It was just part of everything and you never thought twice about it. And if your tables wasn't ready yet, you were bellied up the bar with your parents. Now, of course we were just having pop & so were my parents (I don't think they ever really had a drink in front of us until I was my freshman year in college.)

The other thing is that I have an aunt (now passed away) & uncle (still owns it) who ran a bar. I can't remember how old I was when they bought it, I'm think junior high sometime......but hanging out in their bar - not a big deal.

The interesting thing is I was never tempted to drink. I probably had a sip of beer when I was little and hated it, but what I hated even more was giving family members hugs who reeked of beer. I just did not like the smell on their breath. And in rural NE WI - you drink beer or old fashioneds. That's it. Go there sometime and you'll see....I would say 90% of the beverages served there are cheap domestic beer or old fashioneds - have you ever seen anyone order an old fashioned anywhere else - maybe you don't even know what one is. If you don't - take a trip north of Green Bay and you'll find out. Don't try ordering a Mojito - they will have know clue what you are talking about, or a Cosmopoliton - they maybe be abe to piece together the ingredients with your guidance, but it sure won't be top shelf. Although one good thing of the bars in NE WI is that they will have some top shelf liqour and they rarely have an upcharge for it, if they do it may just be a quarter.

So, back to drinking. I don't think I tried any alcohol until towards the end of my senior year in high school. I know it's not because my friends didn't drink, they just knew I wasn't interested and didn't even ask. How's that for avoiding peer pressure, they didn't even bother trying as they knew what the answer would be. But in my senior year I worked with some college students at a restaurant and they introduced me to Schnapps......I didn't even know such a thing was liqour that when added with kool-aid (which is what they did) tasted just like kool-aid. No smelly beer or yucky brandy.....nice fruity stuff. I didn't really do a lot of drinking those last couple of months, I was still too responsible to have more than 1-2 drinks, and I never drove home (one girl lived in that town with her parents and we stayed there.) But my senior prom was a different story - my high school friends were pretty surprised I wanted to drink with them as we partied the night away. I got pretty drunk for the first time and gave the keys to my car to a friend's 15-year old brother with a learner's permit (actually, I think we had several 15-year old's with learners permits at that party. They could come hang out with us as long as they had nothing to drink and drove us back from the cabin in the country to a house in town that we were crashing at.)

So, the moral of the story here is - only expose your kids to crappy smelling & tasting liqours while at the same time teaching them to be responsible if they do drink (actually, I dont think I was ever told to be responsible if I drink - I was just told NOT TO DRINK and told horror stories of people my parents knew or went to high school with that dies or lost body parts because of drinking.) So, let's revise the moral of the story. Only expose your kids to crappy smelling & tasting liquors and scare the hell out of them with stories of death and dismemberment related to alcohol comsumption.

Odd Sighting....

So, I'm driving home and I spy a grandma & grandpa type couple driving red minivan -- ok, nothing odd here because so far I am desccribing my in-laws.

Ok, next I notice (as they are passing me) that they have handicap plates....ok, not all that odd either....but it is the motorcycle dolly with 2-seater Harley (also with handicap plates) that they are pulling that I find odd. The Harley just doesn't fit in the picture.

My in-laws don't have handicap plates or anything, but I just don't see them riding around on a Harley (or even getting all dressed in leather for that matter.) Actually, the image of my MIL dressed in all leather weather a helmet riding bitch makes me laugh.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Gardening Stuff

We put some more layers on the lasagna garden. Before we had leaves & grass layers, now we added layers of ask, wood shreddings, and compost. Topped it all off with water and covered it to let it cook. We'll let it cook for a couple weeks and then it should also be warm enough to start planting vegetables.

Also, weeded my flower beds, planted another rhododendron with purple flowers by the other ones, a new Asiatic lily plant, a new rose bush, and a hydrangea bush.

Andy got the baby's tree, a red maple, planted and also put fertilizer and weed control stuff on the grass.

It's nice to have all that stuff done.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rainy Weekend

What a rainy weekend!

Friday night the in-laws came over and we had dinner and then went to a play. It was a cute play. Good dinner, which you can see on my food blog.

Saturday - Andy's brother Chris came down and they worked on the project Omni. They actually got it running and drove it around. I never thought I would see the day that things would actually start, let alone drive down the street. I did little projects around the house to get ready for baby, laundry, and more cooking. I like to cook.

Sunday - went to Fleet Farm and bought some seedlings & plants I wanted. I have the seedlings in my little greenhouse thing so that when it is time to plant I have them and I don't have to run out and get them with either baby in tow or a huge belly yet. Then, more laundry - washing everything to get ready for baby. Then we went to Baby Gap and Babies'r'Us in the Cities and finally to service at HOM, and then food from Dominos (which I won't be doing again in the next few weeks.....all that salt made my fingers and toes sweel up to look like overstuffed sausages -- the salt didn't bother me before, just started in the last few days.) and also got ice cream from Coldstone Creamery (Yummy!, Got the "Founder's Favorite" mixture of pecans, fudge topping, carmel topping, & brownie.) Then we came home and watched Tico'ed Sopranos & Entourage. I have to be careful what I watch just before I go to bed, as I sometimes dream about it. Last night I was dreaming I had my own "Entourage" and some was yelling "Who's in charge of her food and menus? Who the fuck let her eat all that salt? Someone better fucking take care of this. Call Artie and take care of this." It kinda made me chuckle that I was dreaming of having my own pregnancy entourage.

Today I have a Dr. appt, then will go pick up the tree & accessories we have for that (we're planting a tree for the baby). Tomorrow we sign the purchase agreement to get new windows put in the nursery & kitchen (freaking expensive, but necessary) and I am getting maternity photos taken tomorrow afternoon (supposed to be a nice, warm, sunny day). Wednesday is my last day teaching my class for the community college, time to get their final papers and give out final grades. I think this Sunday we are going to go to St. Paul to the Living Green Expo and then we'll go to HOM.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Earth Day (Weekend)

I decided that for Earth Day I need to make food at home all day, and now I decided to carry that over to Earth Weekend. We did go out & get Subway on Friday, so I guess I am only counting Saturday & Sunday.

Yesterday for Breakfast I made these Sticky Cinnamon Nut Rolls and Bacon, Mushroom, & Onion Souffle (still not sure how bacon will sit with me, so I used Turkey Bacon and that was fine). The Sticky Buns were absolutly fantastic, but now I understand why people buy them, because they are time-consuming to make (at least this recipe was a bit.) I got both these recipes from the James McNair Breakfast's. I only changed the rolls recipe slightly (different nuts) and I did change stuff in the soufflle recipe. Andy thought breakfast was really good but asked me, "Do you think there is ever a recipe that you won't change?" My response was that a few years ago I didn't change much, but now I don't think so. Honestly, I like to change the recipes and see how it turns out - it could be even better. Usually I change things to make them healthier and I would much rather have healthier and take the time to change things.
Well, actually breakfast was more of a there was no lunch.....but for dinner Andy's brother Tony was over (helping work on the project car) and I made a nice salad, and made pork steaks with potatoes and sauer kraut in the crockpot, and then later for dessert we had angel food cake with strawberry sauce (bought 4 lbs of strawberries the other day) and whipped cream. Yummy.

Right now I have Andy's Scones cooking in the oven. I had to alter it a bit, as I didn't have any craisins, so I used fresh strawberries, but otherwise it is basically the same recipe. Someday I will try altering it and use WW flour to make it a little healthier (& maybe get rid of the white choclate chips.) Mmmmm....I'm eating one right now, fresh from the oven with a cup of Costa Rican Coffee that I bought for Andy for his b-day (since we couldn't get there this year due to inability to fly because I am with child, we both decided to acquire some of our favorites from there for each other's birthdays.) I think I like it better with the fresh strawberries.
And not sure what else I will make today. I was thinking of a Red Lentil Soup for lunch and for supper it will be something with chicken (I got chicken out of the freezer.) I'll have to let you know what I decide on.

The other part of my Earth Day Weekend was to do something in the garden. So, yesterday I transplanted strawberries in my starwberry patch (from my neighbor's garden, they are tearing out the veggie garden and putting in a flower garden) and hopefully I'll be able to transplant some rhubarb from their garden as well (have to wait & see what the other neighbor says and she got first dibs on that and I'm not sure how much of it she is taking.) And I worked on the first layer of my Lasagna Garden. Today I want to get the some more stuff for my layers, possibly buy some bushes (lilac) and a tree (we want to plant a tree for the baby, that way someday we can say "we planted that tree for you when you were born". We're thinking of a red maple of some sorts, as we would like the different colored leaves for the fall than waht we already have.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ahhhh! How Cute! They Are Touching.

Here are the two rascals. They NEVER sleep touching, actually it's rare that you see them sleeping even in the same room. But here they are, in the nursery. They have both taken a liking to the toy box my parents made for the baby & the placement of it in the room. They love sleeping by windows. We had to cover the pillow top with a towel since they decided to claim it and we didn't want it all full of cat hair before the baby is here. The pillow top is cute, it has Seasame Street characters on it and is these fun colors. I don't mind them sleeping there (or the rocking chair in the room, which Lucy claims from time to time as her own) as they always move peacefully when we need them too. They haven't had any interest in the crib, so that I am happy about. I think it's just because it would be too hard to get into and out of.

No Classes to Teach in the Fall

For the past 4 years I have taught classes at the local community college; one of the classes I have taught for the last 3 years.

Well, I noticed last night that someone was teaching MY class in the fall and I was quite upset by it. I called the dean I work under and left her a message asking to clear things up for me (like was this person a FT person & I got bumped or what.)

Well, turns out that the college had to cut out classes for the fall because of low enrollment numbers and with cutting out those classes it means that FT faculty (who pick first) can bump out people, then there are the PT people, and finally the adjunct faculty (which is where I fall). Within each of these groups there are seniority lists and the higher up you are the more choices you have. So, FT people are bumping lower seniority FT, PT & adjunct, PT are bumping lower seniority PT and adjunct, and higher seniority adjunct are bumping lower seniority adjunct.

So, somewhere in this domino effect I ended up getting bumped from my class. If enrollment goes up and they add more classes, things could shift again, or maybe someone won't want to teach it in the spring. Guess we'll see in at the end of September when final spring assignments are made.

I'm kinda bummed because I really liked teaching my night classes, although the time for my night class was moved up and we were uncertain how daycare would play out. I am also bummed because the money I earned from teaching went to pay for any vacations we took. So, now we have to look at everything (including the extra added expenses of having a baby) in our budget and we might not really be traveling too much at all, which makes me sad. Not that we travel a whole ton (we would have liked to have done more than we have), but traveling out of the country, like to Costa Rica, might not be as feasible next year for spring break.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter Weekend.

No work on Friday, so I went to the Meditation Center, then the Co-op, and then Target. Then I cleaned the 3-season porch and we put up curtain rods and curtains in there (looks nice.) Then we ordered pizza for delivery (so nice to have a place to finally deliver to our little town) and sat on the porch eating pizza, "good" chocolate from the Co-op (not Hershey's, just can't eat Hershey's much anymore after you start indulging in really good stuff) and Andy having beers & me having Diet Sierra Mist & chatting & listening to music....for 3 was so nice (the weather & the company!)

Saturday we did more stuff around the house.....I was doing stuff in the garden (previous post)....Andy worked on spring tune-up to the lawnmower & began thatching and bagging.....then we went to pick up some fresh Mexican food from La Tapatia and ate that with the guacamole I made and some fresh salsa...and sat on the porch again.....I made fresh starwberry daquiri's (mine was NA) with fresh strawberries (yummy!).....

Yesterday was Easter lunch @ Andy's parents.....

That's about it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gardening Things I Learned Today

I was out today getting rid of the dead leaves and stems from a variety of flowers I have planted in our flower beds, strawberry patch, herb garden. Actually, I think the only place I didn't touch was the vegetable garden.

But I learned a few things today.

Oregano is a perennial herb. I didn't know that. So, in my herb garden right now I have chives & oregano. I bought some sage & rosemary seeds (other herbs that are perennials & I think I will pick up some thyme seeds as well, and make my herb garden a little more self-sustaining. Now, if I could only get my vegetable garden to be self-seeding (although last year the beans that grew came from plants that re-seeded them selves, and I had a couple tomato plants that did the same thing.) I think the only herb I will plant in my herb garden that I really would like to have fresh in the garden is cilantro.

Strawberries & Rhubarb should be transplanted in April or September. The neighbor behind us saw me outside cleaning up my strawberry patch (just as I was thinking I wanted to get a few more plants as some plants didn't come back this year - planted them last year, I think they were squuezed out my my pumpkins & squash vines taking over the strawberry patch.) Anyways, she came out & told me that they are not doing a vegetable garden and are pulling out the strawberries & rhubarb and I was welcome to what I wanted. Yeah! I don't have to go buy strawberry plants anymore. I am happy about the rhubarb as well, because the stuff I planted in my garden is green rhubarb and they have red rhubarb and it will be nice to have both varieties, especially if she is getting rid of hers and I wouldn't be able to grab some of theirs. Although, I don't think she realizes that rhubarb is pretty hard to completly get rid of, the roots go pretty deep. I had to look up the transplanting times online.

Hummingbirds arrive in Minnesota in May. The same neighbors put out all their bird feeders and filled them, including the hummingbird feeders. I had out hummingbird feeders last year and got several hummingbirds, which was nice. But I have never seen hummingbirds this early, but I didn't know if that was because they aren't here yet or I just never got my feeders out until later. Well, after a search on the internet I found out that they don't arrive in Minnesota until May. A good rule of thumb of when to put your hummingbird feeders out is the same time you would plant your vegetable garden in MN.

Rabbits like tulips. Bah! They never bother the ones by the house near the carport, but the ones i have planted in that area I landscaped area are being eaten. In my vegetable garden I just put up a chicken wire fench to keep out the rabbits (& dog) and planted marigolds around the perimeter, but it's too early right now for marigolds. So, I looked up some other stuff I could do. I don't want to kill them or trap & release. I wanted a humane way to deter them that I can do in April. I could plant garlic or onion bulbs near them. Apparently they hate the smell of them. Or I can spread human hair around, which I don't have access to enough, or use hote pepper spray on the leaves (which I do have - but I read this awful post about someone who watched a squirrel who touched the leaves then their face and was basically tortured by the hot pepper in the eyes, so I don't think I want to do that) or spread bloodmeal around the plant (don't have that) or make a spray out of garlic & oil & spray the leaves (again, the hate the smell and will go away.) I think I will try the garlic thing.

Andy is thatching right now and then we are going to toss that on the garden to mulch & probably try to get the compost out of my compost bin and throw that on the garden too, & spread out the grass clippings from last fall that we threw on the garden. I want to try that Lasagna Gardening I wrote about in a post this winter, but we need to start getting the layers going. We'll start with the clippings & compost, and we're going to add ash from the firepit (good way to empty some of that) and I'll also go buy a couple straw bales from the feedmill & we'll get some peat moss & maybe some manure to out on the garden next week. We'll the layers a good soaking so that they start to decompose together and then by time it's time to plant we'll have our lasagna garden ready. I'll let you know how it turns out....this type of gardening is supposed to be very easy to maintain and doesn't require weeding, digging (you just pull back the layers and insert plants and seeds) or any year I just throw some more layers on (but I probably won't have to go buy anything since the base will already by started).