Thursday, December 28, 2006

Running Joke

This almost makes me want to run. Almost*.


*by "almost" I mean, not really, but if I DID run I would totally get this chip thingy and knit it with the cool holder thingy over here because how cool is that? Oh how I love to track my progress. This is cool.

Creative Bursts

Why is it that I have creative or productive bursts while I'm sitting here at my desk at work totally bored out of my skull? Is it because I can't do those things right now so it's easy to say I WOULD if I COULD? And then when I get home eat a pot of noodles & butter and lay on the couch? Okay, in my defense, I actually haven't had time to do the noodles/couch thing in a long time but you get the idea.

Right now I have a million projects I want to tackle!

*At least 3 baby blankets to knit in the next year (all for very special people, naturally)
*Clean up the Christmas crap that's all over the craft room
*Organize said craft room so I can actually use it
*Tackle some sewing projects in the Amy Butler book
*Get my scrapbooking supplies/pics organized for the upcoming scrapbooking retreat
*Get the stuff in the basement to GoodWill - stat!
*Organize basement & front closet
*Read!

You get the idea!

Instead I'm here. The internet is quiet and I'm bored.

*sigh*

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad!


My Dad turns 60 today! Hard to believe...even harder to believe, I remember when he turned 30. :)

We're celebrating on Saturday but I wanted to wish him a happy birthday on his actual day.

Of course my parents don't know this blog exists but it's the thought that counts, right?

PS - I look really weird today. I have no idea what my hair is doing or why it is doing it. Hmph.

Christmas Recap

This Christmas was....well, sort of odd. I wasn't much in the spirit - due to my Grandma, my back, the lack of snow, etc so I think that made it not as jolly as usual.

Friday morning we drove down to Faribault for the visitation at the funeral home. It was nice to see my family and be able to spend some time talking with various aunts, uncles & cousins. But it was sad. There were photo boards around the room and the video I made for her 80th b-day playing on a constant loop. We were there for about 5 hours! It was very long. And tiring. We went back to the hotel after that and I was able to soak in the hot tub for a while which I think I really needed - mentally and for my back! We ordered pizza and went to bed relatively early.

Saturday the funeral was in the morning. It was a very nice service. I wish I could've gotten up and said something or shared a memory or sang or something. But I don't do well when I'm sad and have to speak out loud. No one is. The cemetary portion of the morning was unbearably sad. I can't stand to hear/see my Dad and my other family members so sad and crying. After that there was a luncheon at the Eagles club. Ham & turkey sandwiches, potato salad & cake! Just as Grandma ordered!!

We drove back up to Duluth that afternoon in time to go to a Christmas party at Steve's aunt's house. It was a lot of fun - good conversation, good food, music, etc. I unfortunately had a bad mix of wine & Bailey's (doh) coupled with crying all morning and contacts that were so foggy I couldn't see - the evening didn't end that great for me. Luckily I'm fairly good at maintaining composure (or so I think) even when I think I'm going to die.

Speaking of thinking I'm going to DIE - that's how I felt on Sunday. Awful. Probably the worst EVER. Headache, throwing up - yeah, so not good. I find it hard to believe that that was just from 4 glasses of wine & a sip of Bailey's but damn. It was awful. That night we went to Steve's Dad's house for dinner, presents - the usual Christmas Eve stuff. We also visited Steve's Uncle & Aunt for some after dinner cocktails (or diet coke) and charades. It was nice.

Christmas morning we slept in and enjoyed a very leisurely day. We had a huge brunch, opened presies and took a 2 hour hike on the Park Point Nature Trail. It's not every Christmas that the temps are in the 30's, the sun is shining and there is no snow to be found anywhere. The hike was really beautiful (pics to come...). That evening we went to Steve's Mom's for more dinner & more presies. I got the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook which I'm incredibly excited about. hee hee.

I cant' believe Christmas is over...oh wait! It's not! We have Christmas Eve Part II on Friday at my Sister's house followed by a b-day party for my Dad on Saturday.

Tis the season! Hope you all had a lovely holiday.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

*chirp chirp*

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person working today. *hmph* That's what it feels like anyway!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you're enjoying a peaceful and joy filled holiday with family & friends!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It sucks when you can't bend down

My back is acting up. I've never had this problem before so I'm not sure what it is, what to do, etc. I woke up yesterday stiffer than usual (!) and all day it was difficult & painful to bend over, lift things, sit down, etc. I feel like someone is pressing downward on the lower part of my spine. Like I'm all compacted. It really sucks. It hurts to sneeze, it hurts to sit, it hurts to sit on the toilet, I keep dropping things and have to contort myself in order to pick things up. Not cool. I'm hoping that this is just something that will go away but I have a feeling it will not. Unfortunately I will not have time to go to the chiropractor until next week but I have a feeling I need a good adjustment (It's been years!). I hope that the drive to Faribault is too painful tomorrow (and the drive back on Saturday and that the soothing warmth & frothiness of some Tom & Jerry's on Christmas Eve will nurse me back to health.

Steve said to me this morning, "well, I guess we are middle-aged." WHAT? That is the most depressing (and false) thing I've heard all week!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Obituary

Here is the obituary posted on the funeral home's website. It's kind of interesting.

I imagined last night that my grandparents were dancing together. It was sweet. I also imagined how excited my Aunt Harriet (who passed away when she was 16) would be to see her Mom after so long (over 40 years!). And of course the family dog. What would a reunion be with 'Josh?'

Yesterday on our family message board (mostly visited/commented on by my cousins & I) we started listing our favorite memories of our Grandma. They were sweet, poignant, funny and odd. It was so very cool. What a lovely thing to have to read on such a sad day.

Thank you all so much for your very sweet and comforting emails and comments. It really means a lot to me and I appreciate it very much.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Selma Irene - September 7, 1923 - December 18, 2006

Photo taken by Sarah Holden at our wedding September 23, 2006

My Grandmother passed away last night. My Dad called me this morning just before I left for work. I'm glad he caught me at home instead of in the car or in the office. It gave me more time to regroup.

She had been unresponsive since last Wednesday. I had my major breakdown then as I already knew she was on her way to a better place. I'm very saddened by this but I know that it is better for her to move on than to be stuck in a body that is giving up here on earth.

I constantly hear her laughter in my head. This crazy staccato laugh (that many of my uncles have inherited.) She was a talker - you could sit and chat for hours - about the Twins, about the weather, about her neighbors, about the farm, about her kids (10 of them!), about her spoon collection, about her very cool glassware (I often would ask for "tours" Of her glass) and about her quilts. Sometimes she would pull them out and have me lay them on the living room floor so she could tell me about the fabrics - often times they were made from scraps or from old 'farm shirts' of my Grandpa's. She made a beautiful yo-yo quilt while my Grandpa was in the nursing home and loved to lay that out too. So delicate, so time consuming! My Grandma once embroidered for me a set of dish (drying) towels. They have what I like to think of as a "40's" couple on them - well, the woman every day either baking, cleaning, sewing, ironing, etc...and on Sunday the two of them going out on the town. I love those towels and will use them til they absolutely fall apart. So maybe she's part of where I got my craftyness from, huh?

I'm incredibly grateful that she was able to come to our wedding. She loved big events and family and wanted to go so badly. I'm also grateful that I got to see her and visit with her on Thanksgiving.

I will post some older pics later when I find them. I did a slideshow for her 80th birthday but the computer is at Jason's house so it might take some time to find & extract them. Hopefully they're still on there!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Progress

I managed to get all the Christmas cards done this weekend - they are eagerly awaiting Steve's signature, our wedding photo and postage. I'm happy to have this lovely Christmas task completed.
I also completed these gift bags. I am anxious to send them out!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday

Silent Night plays on the computer being sung by Bing Crosby....Steve is outside adjusting the lights he spent this afternoon finally putting up (hey! We were in Florida! Give us a break!) and it's just so damn peaceful. I was productive today - cleaned all three litter boxes (meaning emptied, scrubbed, changed litter), cleaned both bathrooms (including floor scrubbing), changed the sheets, did several loads of laundry & folded clothes, vacuumed the upstairs and wrote more Christmas cards.

We're off to Steve's Dad's house soon for some homemade stir fry and some putting together of bathroom cabinets and then later hopefully we will be meeting up with Michelle (Hi Michelle!) and Chris for a cocktail or two.

I love being home on Saturdays....

Friday, December 15, 2006

No Tossing...

In fact....

THINGS ARE BEYOND FANTASTIC!!!!!!!

Life changes here I come!

I'm still reticent to tell all until the paper work's been signed but let's just say it involves me, filmmaking and full time......

ACK!!!!!

Tossing My Cookies

BIG meeting in about 20 minutes.

I feel like I'm going to throw-up.

I just fixed a HUGE error on part of my presentation. So glad I caught that before instead of during. Also worrying that there are more errors and praying that there are not.

This could actually change my life.

I am now sweating.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Failing Fast

I received a phone call tonight at 5:09pm while I was shopping at Cub. It was my Dad. He sounded down, tired, and very sad. Things my Dad very rarely sounds. My Grandmother is "failing fast." All the brothers & sisters are there (her children, my aunts and uncles - 9 of them) and they don't expect her to be with us much more than a few more hours. My heart is heavy. I cried when I listened to the message. I can hear her laughter constantly in my ears. I know she's ready to move on to a new phase of her existence....she's made that much clear...but it's still hard. Of course it's hard. I am sad.

Out of Sorts

I'm feeling a bit discombobulated....

I think the vacation smack in the middle of holiday season has thrown me more off course than I originally thought it would. I am feeling in a lack of holiday spirit and I hate that! I love the time between Thanksgiving & Christmas - for decorating, baking, crafting, mailing, Christmas cards, Christmas music, lights, parties, etc. Instead I'm feeling the crunch...

The Christmas cards will most likely be New Year's cards this year...due to the fact that (oh yes, they'll be written!) I was horribly deliquent in ordering wedding pictures for said cards. Doh....

The Christmas tree is up (yay!) but so far only adorned with green & white lights (Steve's the LIGHT MASTER around here). Ornaments to follow soon but I dream of a lovely evening of "trimming the tree" with my honey but instead I have a feeling it will be - "hurry up - throw these on the tree before it's time to take the tree down!"

My Christmas shopping is about 75% complete. I also have oodles of gifties to put together and trying to figure out WHEN that'll be. *sigh*

No wrapping has occurred as of yet.

I agreed to put together a slideshow for Steve's aunt for a party on the 23rd. Um....why?? Oh yeah, because I need the cash. 140 pics, all need to be scanned, none in my possession....yet....

Super Secret Project had a meeting today but it was canceled last night. I'm sort of glad because I wasn't ready. I need to get my financials in order (doesn't that sound professional) and I was afraid I'd be scurrying...I'm thankful for the breathing room.

Oh yeah, my Mom's Christmas gift? Still on the needles....

The House = Disaster Zone. Major cleaning, tidying and laundry need to be done.

Baking - nonexistent.

*sigh*

I'm going to TRY to be more in the spirit but right now I'm feeling squeezed. By no one's fault but my own.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Vacation Vacation

We had a lovely time in Florida. We stayed at Steve's Mom's (& boyfriend's and aunt & uncle's...the 4 of them own together...) condo in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island in the gulf. It was so nice to be in a condo instead of just a hotel room. We had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining area, an eat-in kitchen, a living room and a balcony.

The weather was okay - not too warm but much warmer than Minnesota! We rented bikes the first day and used them a lot to get around the island. Everything is flat so it was easy-peasy and kind of fun. No hand-brakes or gears though so that took a while to get used to.

We visited Myakka River State Park which was about 35 minutes east of Sarasota (the island was off the coast in that area) and it was nice to get outside and see the landscape. The park was really cool - we did some hiking and also enjoyed the treetop canopy walk. I was petrified of seeing snakes and/or alligators but thankfully we did not. Instead we saw wild boars! Luckily they were more concerned with rooting through the tall grasses and not into eating us! whew.

We had happy hours on the beach nightly...even though it was chilly & windy that didn't matter. A bottle of wine goes down so easily on the beach. We ate seafood and bbq. We made rice krispie bars in the condo and snacked on them all week.

We kayaked in Sarasota Bay with Bain who looked a lot like Santa. We saw thousands of "upside down" jelly fish, white egrets, blue herons, regular (?) herons, pelicans, and the best - 3 manatees! They are so incredibly cute, docile, gentle & curious. I want one for a pet. *sigh* We kayaked through mangrove tunnels and saw Florida from the water level. And thankfully Alligators don't like salt water.

We went to the Magic Kingdom because I've always dreamed of going there on my honeymoon (and really, we got free tickets so how could I resist?). We went on Space Mountain and Stitch's Great Escape; Peter Pan's flight, Snow White's Scary Mine ride, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (the new Jack Sparrow looks surprisingly real....); We saw the new 3-D movie "Mickey's PhilharMagic" (loved it!)and we watched the parade and fireworks. Steve liked it....less than me but I am happy that he put up with it for a day. He knew I was very excited and happy.

We drove to Cape Canaveral to watch the first nighttime shuttle launch in 4 years. We found a spot on Hwy A-1A between Cocoa & Cocoa Beach and had a perfect view of Kennedy Space Center. Thousands of people were out doing the same thing. The party atmosphere was all around. The count got to T-Minus 60 seconds and they canceled the launch. HUGE bummer....Ah well...The traffic back to the other coast (well, at least as far as Orlando) was an even BIGGER bummer.

We lounged, ate, drank, listened to music, read, napped, knitted (well, I did), biked, hiked, kayaked, strolled, looked for seashells, rode a trolley, browsed funky stores and walked amongst palm trees and mangroves. It was very lovely.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Year of Babies

There is a LIST of folks I know who are going to be having babies in the next 9 months....

another couple added yesterday!

Congrats to Peder & Sarah! May you enjoy this new adventure and phase of your life to the fullest!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Honeymoon's Over

...well, hopefully by that I only mean the week of vacation in Florida.

We had a lovely time! The weather was cool, however. Not exactly tropical as the Alberta Clipper that swept the nation made it all the way to Anna Maria Island...Hmph. Friday was only in the 50's! But that was okay. We managed to spend the day biking, walking, lounging, reading, napping, playing guitar and watching the sunset on the beach. We were BUNDLED up but it was the most beautiful sunset of the week so it was okay.

More details to come.....

Here're some tidbits:
biking
hiking
tree-top canopy walk
kayaking
eating
eating
eating
(I'm so not stepping on the scale until I've worked out for this whole week!)
sitting on the beach
DisneyWorld
Trying to watch the space shuttle launch (it was canceled though -hmph)
eating
reading
lounging
and just really enjoying being on "island time."

I have lots of pictures to share....but haven't gotten around to getting them on the computer yet...

Til later...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bon Voyage!

I'm out of here....


I have to get up in 3 hours in 8 minutes so I should go to bed now.

doh!

See ya next week!

NaBloPoMo Recap

November was full of lots of ups & downs.....

First we had the "Case of the Missing Husband" which kicked off the month.

There was cheesecake and dinner parties and Friends stopping by.

There was crime and there was SUCCESS!

There were a few wedding memories and thoughts of tomorrow's honeymoon.

My Grandma's health is failing, but she's still hanging in there for now and I got to see her on Thanksgiving.

A new baby was born, a lovely trip up the shore was taken and I inched towards my future.

There were some surveys, a meme or two, a couple of self-portraits and lots of mindless rambling. All in all it was a good experience. I read lots of new blogs and really enjoyed sitting down for a few moments each day to be thoughtful (sometimes) about my life. I would do this again!