Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Block Party

Steve & I have wanted to have a block party since moving into our house 3 years ago. Of course we can never managed to get the living room picked up, let alone get a neighborhood party planned. So while talking about the idea with our neighbor Sally about a month ago, she said that she & her husband Jim have also wanted to have a party. And thus the 1st annual neighborhood party was born.

We wanted to have it in the street between our two houses, but the cops will only allow that on National Night Out & we missed that by about a month. (maybe next year?) So we decided to have it sort of in our front yard/sidewalk, with room for t-ball & bocce in their front yard across the street.

We started setting up yesterday afternoon & hoped that the rain would hold off. We had tables & fun table cloths; a ring toss game & a Clifford bean bag toss game (both borrowed from my friend Melissa). We had fresh veggies & herbs for the taking from Sally's ridiculously awesome garden. We grilled hotdogs & ate brownies & met our neighbors!

It was really great. We had people from our street & the street below & then some in between. We had a couple of the college kids show up from the end of the block, which I thought was fantastic. We had families - with kids (yay!!) & single guys show up. It turned out to be really cool.

Dahlia met a friend. I am over the moon! A Girl! Who lives in the neighborhood! With really cool parents! She is 4 & showed up wearing a "ballet dress" & ballet slippers & I knew they would hit it off. and BOY did they. They immediately started playing. It was awesome.

We had a SURPRISE guest! We're all standing in the front lawn when CRASH - a GIGANTIC, FAT, RIDICULOUS RACCOON FELL OUT OF OUR ROOF! Yes! That's right. It was in the eaves of our dormer & the dang thing busted out the soffet & fell OUT! Wonderful. Just what we need is a slovenly raccoon living in our roof. Excellent. He pulled himself back in (great!) & didn't make any more appearances...a call to an animal control business will be on my calendar this week. Ugh.

The party went til 7:30 & it started to sprinkle just about then so everyone scattered rather quickly - which was okay with me because I was pooped (& that hot dog I ate was NOT sitting too well).

I'm so glad that we had a chance to meet & chat with our neighbors. It will be so cool now to stroll down the street & actually feel like we can chat because we've MET. There are a few that were no shows, but hopefully this will be an ongoing tradition & we can bring more people to the party next year!

And Dahlia said to me this morning..."I have a great idea! What if....I could have a PLAYDATE!" She's so excited. So am I.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I love gifts. Giving them, thinking about them, theme-ing them, making them, finding them...& I love getting them too! I have already received some awesome presents for my birthday (which is tomorrow) so I thought I'd share fun fun!

From my Mom & Dad - a cooler bag which will be SO incredibly awesome for going to the park, the beach, etc FILLED with picnic goodies - snacks, plates, plastic forks & spoons, napkins, a cool little food container which holds chips/veggies & dip. It's awesome. I love it. And a gift card from JC Pennys which I already spent. Some body lotion, hand soap & hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works from my cousin, Lindsay. Awesome. And a handmade casserole taker from my incredibly talented aunt, Ronnelle. I love love love the fabric!

My sister & I always try to "theme" our gifts - her gift to me this year was "Recycle" themed - a couple of notebooks, a calendar, some card making/scrapbooking embellishments, a dry erase board & (not pictured) an awesome bottle cap necklace & Craft & Conserve bag from JoAnns - LOVE IT! Michelle made me a wine cozy & got me some special treats... "Mother's Little Helpers!" Ha! (lemon drops - yum)...and a delicious & fitting bottle of vino!

Thank you so much for the fabulous gifts! Dahlia is looking forward to my birthday tomorrow as she's REALLY excited because I said we could go to McDonald's. We haven't been there in ages & she's ready to "climb the big tree" (in the play area). I hope she's not too disappointed that we're not having a "Dora" cake tomorrow night (she picked out a Dora theme for me months ago! ha!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hayward - in a few photos

My sister, my cousin & I all have August birthdays & it's been a tradition since childhood to sort of celebrate them together. When we were little this meant going to Como Park with the fam for a picnic, or having a birthday 'party' while all camping together - but as we've gotten older it means Girls' Weekend. Leaving the 6 kids between us (all 4 or under) behind, meeting up somewhere fun, playing games, doing puzzles, drinking wine, eating good food, and most importantly, sleeping. My Mom & Aunt are always ridiculous spot-on with gifts & it's just an awesome time.

I leave you with a few photos of our weekend.

As you can see we're party animals. My cousin & aunt did go kayaking on Saturday afternoon. I was tempted to join them, but decided the peace & quiet of the cabin, my book, knitting & puzzle-doing with my sister was too much to pass up. It was very relaxing. The weekend went FAR too fast.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Guess the update on Madeline Island will have to wait as today I'm off to Hayward with my Mom, Sister, Aunt & Cousin. Our annual birthday-girls' weekend-get together! I'm looking forward to two nights of SLEEP. I'm such a party animal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Madeline Island

A few photos to tide you over before my full account...

Friday, August 12, 2011


Had a lovely visit with Peder & Sarah yesterday. It's difficult when there's 4 kids under age 4 running amok, but they understand how to hold a conversation with on ear/eye on the subject, & the other watching for the toddler who is obsessed with running over to the tallest, steepest slide at the park. I long for days with lengthy conversations that are uninterrupted because dang, I think of SO MANY THINGS I wanted to talk about/ask them after the fact but my brain, while is pretty good at multi-tasking, isn't THAT good.

It was fun though to see our kids play 'together.' For the most part. The boys are still very much in their own world & Dahlia's speed is a little less than Relia's but thankfully they all got along! It's so nice to see old friends & be able to hang out as if no time had passed.

Oh & after talking to Peder, I wrote again at 750words. I had crapped out of the monthly challenge last week (I blame the fancy tea party) but I got back in the saddle & wrote, & it felt good. THANKS Peder!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Balloon Art

And now for something completely different....check out this awesome site where the artist/designer uses balloons for amazing creations including some pretty incredible haute couture! Wow!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Tea Party Success

Well, that was fun!

Dahlia & I threw a "fancy tea party" (ala "Fancy Nancy") for Trudy & Maud this afternoon. It turned out really sweet. I was thinking of not doing it this week as I was totally unprepared but since Maud leaves on Sunday, I thought it would be fun to have her too, so we just said - screw it! And threw it together!

Dahlia decorated butterfly placemats & also our cups for lemonade (or milk if you think lemonade is the devil). We hung up the Princess (fancy!) bunting from her birthday party & put fresh flowers on the table. We did not have any tea.

Our menu consisted of apple streudel bites, quiche Lorraine, strawberries/bananas/blueberries & cream puffs! Yum. Dahlia licked all of the cream out of her puffs. Not very ladylike but who can blame her! I was so proud of her. She acted like a little lady & contributed to the conversation (so dang cute) & was as animated (& totally random) as ever.

It was a nice little tea party - fun to do something different with some really wonderful ladies. AND Grandma Trudy took Dahlia with her when she left - whohoo! Suddenly an unexpected afternoon of (almost) freedom! What to do, what to do! (nap? read? work on some sort of project? clean?)

Tonight we're going out for dinner with Bertil, Maud, Trudy & Roger and nO KIDS! I'm very excited about eating an entire meal in one sitting, not having to get up to go to the bathroom once (let alone 8-9 times), not stooping to pick anything up off the floor. I cannot wait!

Fancy Tea Party

Today Dahlia & I are hosting a "Fancy Tea Party." My step-mother-in-law (Dahlia's Grandma Trudy) & our Swedish cousin Maude will be attending. I'm making a quiche & we've decorated the front porch & some placemats. I plan on wearing a tiara - why wouldn't I? We'll have lemonade, but likely no tea because I don't think anyone here drinks it! ha!

Looking forward to it. Hope I get everything done in time!

Photos to come soon!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Got my desk cleared off (miracle!)
Got my lap top, external hard drive & video camera connected so I can FINALLY dump the video from our camera (since AUGUST IS WALKING now!)
Can't get the video camera to show up on the computer = can't do ANYTHING.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I'm attempting to complete the August Challenge over at 750words. I haven't written over there for AGES (even though I get a friendly reminder every day to to so!)...but I thought I would try to spew out some of my thoughts on the computer as I'm not very good at doing it in my journal. I'll likely not be able to complete the month & then be on the wall of shame, but it's good to have goals right? I think the stats & the metadata collected are fantastic & so very interesting. I'd like to see how things look after I write for several days in a row.