30 November 2009

30 Posts

Every year when I start this whole NaBloPoMo thing, I assume at some point along the way I'll give up and stop posting. And yet, with a notable travel exception 2 years ago, I've managed to complete it every time. It's an interesting challenge to find something to write about everyday. I don't think I can (or will) maintain it year round as some people do, but it's a fun experiment once a year. Did everyone else have fun?

For today, I'm going to look back at NaBloPoMo posts and see which ones I enjoyed best, over the past 3 years of doing it.

2009:
Lazy Sunday, Nov 22. That was some mighty fine pizza, if I do say so myself.
Nov 20. The discovery of blogging via text message. Technology is amazing.
Cooking Blog, Nov 15. That is going to be one of my regular dinners, I think. Yum, sausage.
Adventures in Raking, Nov 7. Always a good time and I am continually fascinated by the sheer number of leaves my parents manage to accumulate in their yard.

2008:
Pasta Carbonara, Nov 29. This was back when I was first really starting to enjoy cooking. And I am still finding new, fun things to cook all the time, so I'm glad this inspired me.
A Day in the Life, Nov 17. I just really like the normalness of all of these photos for some reason.
Yes We Did, Nov 5. Enough said. I'm glad I documented it on my blog, even if it is a decidedly brief post.
88 Years Young, Nov 2. It's a lovely picture of my mom's family, particularly of my beloved grandparents. I'm so lucky that they're still around and doing well for their ages.

2007:
Les Aventures de Domo-Kun, Nov 28. Ah, Domo. It was a spectacular trip to France, wasn't it?
Sunday in France, Nov 18. Have I mentioned lately that I really need to go back to France soon? Because I definitely do.
A 10 Hour Day, Nov 15. Just so everyone can get Gilligan's Island stuck in their heads, as I just did. You're welcome.
A Month of Posts - Day 1, Nov 1. The post that started it all. My pirate costume was quite fetching, no?

Ok, that's really it. And that was pretty fun, going back and scanning through all the old entries. I may have to do it again next year, if this whole blogging thing is still around. Which, let's be honest, it more than likely will be.

Oh, and one more thing - I've noticed from my stat counter thing that I have a lot more people reading this blog than actually comment (thank you to my loyal commentators though!). On this, the last day of National Blog Posting Month, I'd ask all of you lurkers (there may be fewer than I assume) to please comment and say hello! I won't bite, I promise!

29 November 2009

An evening of new things

Ah, Sunday. It felt like Sunday for about the last two days. I love long weekends. I really have to go to work tomorrow, right? Boo. Anyway, I spent the first part of my day at the birthday party for my cousin Mark's daughter Jordan. Today was her first birthday and boy is she cute. :-) Plus, there was cake. And lots of yummy other food. Always a plus. After a quick run to the grocery store, I arrived home with some new things for/at the apartment one.

New thing number 1: Microwave!

The old microwave had been taking 5+ minutes to heat water for one cup of tea, plus you couldn't read the display anymore. Made it a bit difficult to see what time it was or how much time you were cooking, well, anything. It was time for a new one. My uncle Gene did some research, as he does, and my dad went and picked it up at Target for me. He sure does love buying appliances. Toasters are actually his favorite.

New thing number 2: Applesauce!

I've had a bunch of apples sitting around for... a while. They were getting a little mushy. Plus, I have (still) lots and lots of cranberries. So I added them to a pot with some water and cooked them for a while. The finished product (with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar for good measure) was DELICIOUS:

And there's a lot of it too - I'll be eating it for a week at least. If you want to know how to make it, I can certainly add it to the family food blog upon request.

New thing number 3: Christmas!

Maren and I spent the rest of the evening putting up all of my Christmas lights. And my little tiny, brightly silver tree. A good time was had by all. And while I do have to go to work tomorrow, the fact that tomorrow is the last day of November is certainly not something to be sneezed at. I can finally take a short break from all of this blogging...

28 November 2009

Turkey Day Part 2 - Photos

Our Turkey Day experience has already been well documented elsewhere on the tubes, but I wanted to add my photos to the mix.

Our very lovely and very delicious turkey, waiting to be carved:

The full spread. It was WAY too much food for the number of people we had there, but we managed. I was sent home with my fair share of leftovers, which I've now had for almost every meal since then. Hmm.... stuffing. It's my favorite part:

The old family recipe cranberry sauce, from the antique mold:

The breadstuffs: our traditional and delicious cranberry bread and some store bought yet somehow homemade lefse.

After the meal we went for a walk around the neighborhood. There were some lovely houses but I only took three pictures. These two were my favorite. Apparently I have a thing for turrets? And porches? They're lovely though.


Tonight we are getting together with the extended Miller clan for some pizza and regular pie. Should be a good time. Just as long as I don't have to eat any more turkey...

27 November 2009

For the second time this month, I find myself blogging via text message. This time it's because I'm at EMSA's place and he doesn't have the internet OR a computer. But he does have an Xbox 360, so clearly he has his priorities straight. Or so he would say.

Anyway, turkey day at TT's abode was a roaring success. Yummy food, a very nice walk after the meal, and then some Wii tennis/bowling to top off the evening. EMSA even made an appearance there at the end. It was good. I'll try to get to my home computer tomorrow and post some photos. Untl then, happy long weekend!

26 November 2009

Turkey Day!

I won't have time to blog later, so here's the report so far this morning. The annual Turkey Bowl was well under way on the fields outside my parents' house this morning:

It's been a tradition of whoever these people are since before I can remember. Even on the years when there was lots of snow on the ground. I think we may have brought them some hot chocolate once, or something... Anyway, it looks like fun. Dad was doing some commentary for a while this morning and I was vastly entertained.

Since I won't be able to post pictures of the actual bird etc. until tomorrow, here are some photos of this time last year:


It was a mighty fine bird. Happy Thanksgiving, All! I hope you eat lots of delicious food and spend quality time with loved ones.

25 November 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Happy Day Before Turkey Day, all! Although, to be honest, it did seem more like Christmas at my place of work this week:

Pretty, right? They've actually gone with a slightly more minimalist approach this year, relatively speaking. While the tree is HUGE, it's also all alone - there's nothing hanging from the ceiling or anything. I like it.

After being allowed to go home early by my boss (yay!), I headed over to my parents' place to help with the T-Day preparations. But first, my dad made a fabulous crock-pot meal - Beef Pot Roast. Yum!

Then my mom and I got down to business working on the cranberry bread. The results of our efforts:

Yum! I think they'll be perfect. I'll let you know tomorrow - I'm sure we'll be having a slice or two for breakfast. :-)

24 November 2009

Greatest Hits - Part 2

With very little commentary this evening because it's late and I need to go to bed.

Montreal in April. Andy and I had a wonderful trip. This is what used to be the market in the old part of town. Lovely blue sky, isn't it?

Chicago in July. Andy and I are reflected in the bean somewhere. Can you see us?

The Twins win the tie-breaker game vs. Detroit to go to the playoffs. It was the greatest sporting event I've ever personally been present for. Amazing.

That's all for tonight, folks. Perhaps some more tomorrow, if anything comes to mind.

23 November 2009

Greatest Hits - Part 1

We're nearing the end of the month and, as per usual, I am swiftly running out of things to blog about. So today I am going to do the first in series of 2 or 3 posts. 2009's Greatest Hits, thus far:

The Minneapolis Boat show in January. These are the Windsor Crafts, hand built wooden boats built one at a time in Turkey. Also a subsidary of Genmar. Aren't they pretty?

The GAC girls at what has now become an annual tradition, the "Ugly Dress" Party. So yes, we're wearing those dresses on purpose and we know that they are awful. Mine won the prize for the worst one:

The Miami Boat Show in February. Back when business was still good and we had some hope that it wouldn't get worse. So much for that. But Miami in February is still quite lovely:

My Grandma Opal had a milestone birthday this year, her 85th. This is the cake. We had a lovely celebration with the whole family - all 4 generations of us. I'm so lucky to still have her and my grandpa around.

More to come to tomorrow, I promise. They may or may not be in chronological order, but this is pretty fun. :-)

22 November 2009

Lazy Sunday

Ah, Sunday... a perfect excuse to be just as lazy as you feel like being. The day started off with some sleeping in on my part, until the extremely late hour of 9:00. Amazing I know, but in an effort to not mess with my sleep schedule I'm usually up by 8:00 on the weekends, sadly. Highlights of day included:
  • A trip to downtown Minneapolis to help EMSA with some clothes shopping. I think it was a success. We also went to Target and I procured Rock Band: The Beatles. I think we're going to play it in a bit here and I am very excited!
  • A yummy lunch back at EMSA's house - he made some super yummy turkey burgers that I may ask him how to make so they can appear on the family cooking blog.
  • A brief trip to visit my parental units and pick up some laundry. My mom was very excited about her trip to Walgreens with her mom. Ask her about it some time - apparently there are good deals to be had. Plus, I hear I have a cousin who used to work there? Or something?
  • Finally, back to my house for some dinner. Photos below.
My attempt at "Uncle Gene's Pizza." Apparently crescent rolls are supposed to be used for the crust instead of pizza dough. We opted for the garlic butter crescent rolls and it was DELICIOUS. Yum. I highly recommend it. Toppings included pepperoni, green pepper, mushrooms, and onions. Also some more garlic because, according to EMSA, there is no such thing as too much garlic. I may disagree slightly.

Some grapes provided by the BR. They were yummy and it was nice to have something sweet with the meal.

Tomorrow is another work day but, on the other hand, it will be a short week. I'm very much looking forward to it, and to Thanksgiving on Thursday. More tomorrow, I promise. I hope everyone had a lovely Sunday/week-end.

P.S. - I had the Gnocchi at Vincent and it was fantastic. Everyone very much enjoyed their meals and I even got to speak French with one of the waiters. He thought I was an actual French person there for a minute. Good times.

21 November 2009

Old Friends

I just spent the last 40 or so minutes talking on the phone to a very old, very dear friend. (She's not old, the friendship is, oops...). In the age of email and facebook and text messages, it's always nice to actually talk to a real person. She and I don't really email much, nor do we facebook or text but we have these long phone conversations once every couple of months. It's really nice and reminds me that maybe technology isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Granted, I am saying that on my blog, so take it with a grain of salt. ;-) Anyway, she just got engaged and had all sorts of good stories to tell since the last time we talked. Does anyone else have friends like that? You don't see or hear from them for months but then, when you do, it's just like old times? I have far too many friends that I have simply lost track of, so it's nice to know there are a few that are still out there.

In other news, EMSA really, really enjoyed his adventures on the train yesterday. And, since he didn't have to work, he also squeezed in some biking AND a nap. That's a productive day, if you ask me. His new Cervelo already has 1700 miles on it, for those that like to keep track of that sort of thing. But he didn't get any pictures of the train for me, which I guess is my fault since I didn't lend him my camera? Anyway, here's a photo I took from my desk at work a few weeks back. Apparently this is where the trains wait during the day before their first rush hour run:

It's not a terribly good photo, sorry, mostly due to the sheer distance from my building. However, another friend of mine got a bunch of good ones and they are on his flickr page here.

Tonight promises to be a good time - EMSA and I are going out to eat with his parents at Vincent, A Restaurant. I already have my food all picked out, yum!

20 November 2009

In an amazing technological advancement, I've just discovered that it is possble to post to my blog via text message. It baffles me why anyone would want to do this regularly (too much typing on a tiny, tiny keyboard), but I thought I'd try it out just this once. I do have this fancy new phone. And it lends some novelty to the month of blogging. Happy Friday, all!

19 November 2009

Day 7 - Whatever Tickles My Fancy

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

Here we are at Day 7 of this meme and I get to choose whatever tickles my fancy. To be honest, this is the only day that I didn't have a plan for, so this is a bit difficult for me. My apologies if this post seems slightly uninspired. Andy says I should just write "This is a blog post" and be done but that somehow seems unfair. And lame. So instead, back to the usual blog routine.

Today was the end of our charitable giving drive at work - as a company, we donate to the United Way and to one other local charity. It all culminated in a bake sale (yesterday and today) and, most importantly, a pot luck lunch. There were many, many crock pots in one of the upstairs kitchens. I made my grandma's apple crisp (always a hit - people remembered it from last year!) and enjoyed the various other things that people brought. With so few people left it my company, it was a small group but it was really nice to take a break from the usual lunch time routine and have a nice chat. It felt like Friday, which is going to make tomorrow a bit difficult, I'm sure. But I'll perservere somehow. EMSA does not have to work tomorrow (he has every other Friday off), so instead will be spending his morning riding the shiny new commuter rail out of (and back into) downtown Minneapolis. He really loves trains - it's kind of adorably dorky. I'll see if I can't get him to take some photos so I can blog about it tomorrow.

18 November 2009

Day 6 - A Quote

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

For those of you that are friends of mine on Facebook, this quotation may not be entirely new. Then again, that all depends on how closely you have been examining my profile. Admit it, you're all secretly stalking me on facebook. It's ok to, I can deal. Anyway, here's my quote for today:

"It would be futile to attempt description of this country, especially of Paris and Versailles. The richness, the magnificence and splendor are beyond all description."
~John Adams

I stumbled upon this description of France during my last year at Gustavus. I was writing a paper about letters that John and Abigail Adams exchanged during the Revolutionary War. This was just a throw away passage he included in one of the letters he wrote to Abigail from France. As you may know (or perhaps not - I was a history major, after all), John Adams was sent to Paris (with Ben Franklin) to see if he could get the French to help the not quite yet American revolutionaries. It was a very frustrating time for Adams but, as you can see, he was still able to appreciate the wonder that was (and continues to be) Paris. Ever since finding it, this quote has been one of my favorites, I think because it echoes my own thoughts. I love France - not just Paris, but everywhere I've been. However, when people ask me WHY, it's really hard to pin down. And I think John Adams and I may have shared that not-so-unfortunate problem.

When are we going to France again? I think I need to go back soon...

17 November 2009

Day 5 - A YouTube Clip

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

So I hear that tomorrow, the smallest of the loud ones has a birthday. And he's 11, an age for him that just makes me feel incredibly old at the ripe old age of 26. I still remember when he was just a baby and making me read the newspaper. He was cute then and he continues to be cute now. In honor of this momentous occasion, I give you the following YouTube clip, uploaded by yours truly last summer:





Happy Birthday, TJ aka Totally Jammin'. I hope it's a good one. (link here in case the embed deal doesn't work).

16 November 2009

Meme - Day 4, a site

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

Sylvia, I know you said I could use yesterday's post as counting for my meme but I did already have something in mind for this particular day. I don't want to skip it now! And yes, I definitely already have something planned for tomorrow as well. :-)

So, a site. My pick is Tomato Nation. It's a blog/advice column/random site by a New Yorker named Sarah Bunting. I found it through another site I used to frequent and this the only one that stuck. And really, aside from news sites and the blogs of family members and friends (well, and Facebook), this is the only site I definitely look at every day. She's funny and likes to talk about her cats and it's generally just a good time. Also, every October, she runs a charity donation contest - in the past 5 years (I think), her readers have donated more than half a million dollars to poor school districts/teachers/classrooms all over the country. It was $314,000+ this year, during the worst recession in a very long time. That's nothing to sneeze at either and, for me, it's nice to participate in a community like that. Plus, did I mention she likes to talk about how weird her cats are? And all sorts of good books? I really enjoy it - it reminds me of the chunk of that book that we all like, the part about the tiny wooden hand.

In other news, I once again made cranberry bread today BUT I am not allowed to eat it, boo! It's for a bake sale at work - all proceeds will be going to charity. And the sale isn't until Wednesday, so I have to look at it and not eat it until then. Torture! My apartment smells way too good. I may have to make another loaf tomorrow just so I can eat it. Speaking of tomorrow, my band has a concert in Edina. If you are in the vicinity, please come see us play! More info can be found here.

15 November 2009

Cooking Blog

I'm taking a break from the meme today, and from this blog. My post for NaBloPoMo for today appears on the family cooking blog.

Sausage Potato Roast.

Enjoy!

14 November 2009

Day 3 - A Book

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

A bit of a blog-and-run today - I have a full day of stuff going on and won't be to a computer again until tomorrow. But for the book day, I think it's easy - Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. The first time my mom ever gave it to me, I gave it 25 pages and declared it awful. Clearly, I was not in the right frame of mind. After watching the BBC version starring Colin Firth (oh, the piano scene!), I decided to give the book another chance. I loved it immediately, much to the joy of my mother who had been secretly devastated that I hated it the first time. Now, it's a book I can read over and over, and the default book when I don't know what else to read next. I've even searched out the quasi-sequels (many of them, of varying quality) just because I love the characters so much. And recently, I read the hilarious Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which everyone who is a fan of this book should read. I laughed out loud often.

Enjoy the day everyone. I'll be back tomorrow, I promise.

13 November 2009

Day 2 - A Picture

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

This one is kind of hard for me. Do I pick a picture that I have taken, one of my favorites? Or a picture that someone else has taken that has some sort of specific meaning to me? Or that I just think is cool? You see the problem that I'm having?

In the end, though, I think I have to go with one of my own photos. I think I may have posted it to my other blog when I originally took it, but since it's an all-time favorite, I think we can forgive the re-posting:

It's the Dune du Pyla, not far from Arcachon, France, taken in November, 2007. We'd climbed all the way up it (117m!) and on the way back down, I turned and it was just beautiful and peaceful with the sun hitting it just right. And I really like looking back up the path we had just come down. It makes me think of France and long to go back - this is also from the last time I was there, almost exactly two years ago. I'll have to go again soon.

P.S. - Today is Friday the 13th. I hope everyone avoided bad luck today!

12 November 2009

Meme - Day 1, a song

As a way to get through this whole NaBloPoMo thing, I picked up a meme from one of the other journals I read. Here's the gist:

day 01 | a song
day 02 | a picture
day 03 | a book
day 04 | a site
day 05 | a youtube clip
day 06 | a quote
day 07 | whatever tickles your fancy

So today is day one and that means I need to post about a song. Hmm... I think I'll put ITunes on shuffle and see what it spits out.

Never Again - Kelly Clarkson (right click, open in new window)

Perfect. I love Kelly Clarkson. I know she's a product of American Idol but, since she was the first one, I feel like maybe she is taken a bit more seriously than some of the more recent winners. And she's put out more than one CD so that's something. Anyway, I have them all (I think) and every once in a while I'll put a CD in while I'm driving and sing along at the top of my lungs. Because that's what you do with Kelly Clarkson songs. Plus, it's EXCELLENT music if you're ever dumped. Not that this currently applies to me, but it has in the past. Some guy really pissed her off once, I think. Kelly Clarkson is also my default karaoke selection, on the rare occasions when I can be convinced to sing. I really should look into downloading some of it for Rock Band, that would be AWESOME.

11 November 2009

One Year Ago, Today

November 11, 2008

This is the photo that I could find that was closest to November 11th. It's from the 15th - looks like we had some yummy deserts there. It was a fun night.

In my blog, I was complaining about the lack of available campaign/political news. I don't miss it now, although I know it will be starting again before long. We've got a governor to elect next year, after all. I was also concerned about the winter weather advisory - I'm also glad that hasn't made an appearance yet this year. In fact, the last week has been unbelievably nice, especially for November in Minnesota. I am going to savor it while I can. If only I could get one last bike ride in - I need to redeem myself after the disaster last weekend. My bruises are starting to heal, and I think I managed to fix my bike last night, yay! So if the weather holds, I'll go out one more time this weekend. I'm mostly posting it here so that I don't forgot/lose my motivation.

More tomorrow, I promise. And maybe some current photos, even.

10 November 2009

Typical Tuesday

From Labor day through the end of July, my Tuesday evenings are spent either rehearsing or performing with the Calhoun Isles Community Band. I was a bit late to rehearsal this evening (stupid lack of parking... grr...), so I was able to snap this (very low quality) photo of them mid-song.

That's Matt conducting, one of our two fantastic conductors. For my local readers, we have a concert coming up next Tuesday. Details can be found at the band's website - I'd love to see you there!

When I got home from "the band" as EMSA calls it, I was in the mood to finally do something with all of those cranberries that I've had in my freezer for weeks now. So this is what I started with:

After some measuring and mixing and about 50 minutes in the oven, I had this sitting on my cooling rack:

You have to let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out to finish cooling on the rack all by itself. Like so:

I'm going to go to bed now while it finishes cooling. I anticipate having a slice or two (or three) for breakfast. I'll let you know if it turned out. It certainly looks yummy from here. And the apartment smells glorious.

09 November 2009

Dark

I know I said that I like Mondays as a general rule, but I need to make one exception. By the time I leave my desk on Mondays starting about now until, oh, March, it is totally, completely, 100% dark outside. That is not so fun, especially as I have to sit there and watch it happen. An example:

Looking "out" my window this evening, about a half hour before I went home. So dark that all the light from inside is reflecting off the window, making it impossible to actually take a good photo. Especially with a cell phone. But you can see the city lights a bit through all that glare. Boo to the darkness. Although, in the not too distant future, it will be dark both in the morning when I go to work AND when I come home at night. I guess I should savor the AM light while I still can.

In biking accident related news, my knee is indeed a lovely mix of red, purple, yellow, and what is verging on green. Awesome. But it only hurts if you touch it, so that's something. My arm, on the other hand, is sore if I try to lift things or lift up my arm. It's a combination of muscle soreness due to the raking (which I expected) and landing on it yesterday (which I did not expect), I'm sure. Only the elbow area is noticeable bruised looking, but it hurts all the way up to my shoulder. BOO! But Ibu is doing its job and I will recover. Nothing serious, just some minor discomfort for a few days. Note to self: try not to fall down. :-)

08 November 2009

Mishaps

Today was, as predicted, another fabulous November day. Aren't we supposed to have days like this in October? I think October got gipped, not that I'm complaining about another super nice day. A perfect day for biking, obviously, before it really does get way too cold to do any biking at all.

After putzing around a bit this morning, I headed home for the biking. Pumped the tires, got all dressed (I finally have the appropriate layers, at least for 60), filled the water bottles etc. and went on my way. At 2.2 miles out, I was waiting to cross a street. I saw my chance, clipped into my pedals and promptly fell violently over to the right - this was before I got out into the road, so no worries, I was in no danger of being hit by a car. I landed on my shoulder/elbow/knee and my front derailleur. After the initial shock, I tried to unclip my foot that was now under the bike. It doesn't work that well from that position, but I managed. I'm happy to say that, although I am somewhat bruised (my knee in particular is going to be vibrantly purple, green, and probably yellow tomorrow), I am not at all seriously injured. The bike was slightly damaged - the derailleur was twisted in such a way that made the chain prevent the pedals from moving. I think it's entirely fixable but, without pedal movement, I was stuck at the intersection of Lyndale and Minnehaha with no way home. My dad was out biking; my mom was visiting my grandparents; the BR was at work... that left Andy, who was out and about with his brother. So I called. 20 minutes later, both of them came to pick me up and ferry me home - thank you again to them, so much! My heroes for the day.

I got home, showered, took some Ibu and seem to be only slightly worse for the wear. Upon further inspection, the bike is going to be no problem to fix. And, after her stint at the grandparents', my mom came over to cheer me up. She took Maren (the BR) and I out to dinner at Salut Bar Americain, one of my favorite restaurants. Here are some lovely shots from dinner:



We had mussels for a starter, then I had this fantastic breaded chicken in butter with potatoes and it was all lovely. Cheered me right up out of my funk. Thanks, Mom. Tomorrow is another day and I'll only be slightly bruised for my efforts.

07 November 2009

Adventures in Raking

Today is one of the nicest days in the history of November days, I do believe. It's about 60 or so, sunny, with just a slight breeze. I knew that my parents had a bit of a leaf problem in their backyard:

And since the city is more than happy to vacuum up those leaves if you rake them to the curb, it seemed like a good idea to go over there today and help them out with that. So we got started a bit after lunch, making some piles.

Lots, and lots of piles. More than a dozen, probably twenty or so in the backyard alone. This is my Mom, looking accomplished.

At this point, we took a little sit down. I had some lunch, worked on the epic amounts of laundry I brought over today, and we all generally rested on our laurels for a bit, knowing that there was still much raking in our future. After many, many trips with the blue tarp from the back yard to the front, here is the result of all our efforts:

I call this one, "Rakers, Triumphant." Or something to that effect. It's so nice to have such tangible results of a job well done. And I only got attacked by the apple tree a couple of times during the back to front yard transfers.

I call this one "Leaf Mountain" - it makes the garage look small, even. Rakers for scale.

EMSA is out biking today, taking full advantage of this lovely weather. I plan to do the same tomorrow - I'm sure I'll take some photos. You know, probably.

06 November 2009

TGIF

I don't know what it is about Fridays, but they always seem to go by much, much slower than all the rest of my work days. Maybe because I know I am that much closer to the weekend? Something like that. Anyway, I was sitting at my desk today, minding my own business when my phone vibrated to alert me that I had a text message. It was from my dad and it was a photo from what I assumed was his bike ride on this beautiful day. I opened it, it downloaded and this is what I got:

As can be seen elsewhere on the tubes, I don't think this is the picture he intended to send me. I am not even sure what this is a picture of. Operator error, or something?

After work, I came home to prepare for a dinner party. I didn't have to cook or anything - we had some absolutely yummy pizza from the local joint, then sat down for some Yahtzee. Here's the group, including the BR, EMSA, Jill and Andrej.

After Yahtzee, we had pie (pumpkin) and ice cream (chocolate or mango) followed by a rousing game of Rock Band. It was super fun and we should do it again sometime soon. Have a great weekend, all. More tomorrow.

05 November 2009

Moon in the Morning

This was the sight that greeted me this morning as I was waiting for my bus to work:

It's not often that you get to see an almost full moon during daylight hours. It was much nicer in person, but I did my best.

In other news, there have been developments in the ongoing bankruptcy process at my company. You can find the news here. I think that it's good news, over all, but we'll see how it plays out. The important part is that I still have a job, yay! And tomorrow is another day.

Tonight Andy and I made a potato, sausage, mushroom bake thing-y that was absolutely delicious. It needs a bit of tweaking and then I will definitely post it on the family food blog so all can enjoy it. Yum.

Happy almost Friday!

04 November 2009

Rock Band!

My former beloved roommate (known elsewhere as PP) is taking some sort of belly dancing class through Minneapolis community education. This means that, for the duration of the class, she is over in my neck of the woods on Wednesday nights. Clearly, this calls for a weekly "Rock Band" playing date. I mean, who wouldn't?

One of our post-song score screens. We're pretty awesome at this.

Kelsey, doing her singing thing. Not a great picture of her - sorry Kels! I blame the cell phone.

It was fun - last week, Maren played too and we almost had a complete band. Good times. I should have another Rock Band party. Who's in?

03 November 2009

Election Day 2009

Approximately one year ago today, this was the scene at my local polling place:

The elections today were decidedly more low key - I went right in at 7:00pm and didn't have to wait in line at all. In fact, poll workers outnumbered voters by at least 5-to-1. In my particular area (Minneapolis, Ward 13), the offices to be filled included the mayor and my city council representative. It also represented the first time that the city has tried out Ranked Choice Voting. That meant (means?) that I got to pick my top 3 choices, instead of just one person, for each office. For mayor, I went with the incumbent. He seemed to be doing an OK job, plus all of his opponents were crazy people. This guy, in particular - he thinks that Laura Ingalls Wilder is God. Enough said.

So it was a pretty productive day of work, dentist, and participating in the democratic process. Now, it's time for some much needed rest.

02 November 2009

Monday Morning

Ah, Mondays. It's my favorite day of the work week, believe it or not. Mostly because (as most of you know) I don't have to be at my desk until 10, so I get to have a leisurely start to the week. It lessens the shock of the transition from weekend to work. Thank goodness for the Australians. I couldn't do it with out them as an excuse.

On this particular Monday, however, I chose to get up just before seven to take a walk around the local lake with my roomie. We both needed some exercise - I did, anyway, due to eating WAY too much food at a football party yesterday. And let me tell you - the lake is really pretty that early in the morning:

The sunrise from the front steps of my building. Gorgeous and peaceful.

Some ducks out on the lake, doing their early morning thing.

Looking back at the bandshell from the far side of the lake. We were almost finished with our walk at this point.

The highlight of our walk, I think: If you squint, you can see the bald eagle that lives/stops near Lake Harriet this time of year. Apparently this is not his usual tree. It was amazing.

It was a gorgeous morning for a walk. We encountered many retired-type persons out for what I am sure is their usual morning routine. They were very friendly and greeted us cheerfully every time. Although one guy did insist that we bring donuts "next time." Until it gets way too cold (probably next week, sigh), I may have to continue these Monday morning walks. It made the getting-ready-for-work process way less stressful. Plus it made me feel slightly less guilty about the leftover Halloween candy I ate today. Slightly.

Edited to add a P.S. - Photos were taken with the camera on my shiny new cell phone. I think they turned out quite well, considering. Oh, and the old phone? I wore it out from texting too much. Oops.