Sunday, September 28, 2008

oh happy day

This is a hugely enjoyable moment for me. Why? Because Winn just installed the last of our 12 new windows! Here's Sajak tonight watching him finish up. It makes me laugh because it looks as though he's reading the label on the window. :) Now it's on to the next project of window trim and casings--things are happenin'! And then there's rebuilding the barn roof, finishing both upstairs bathrooms and walk-in closet, tiling in the kitchen...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'm still mesmerized by all that we saw last night at the Cirque du Soleil performance. Incredible. I'm sure I lost several years of my life when my heart nearly stopped as we sat on the edge of our seats and watched the two beautiful trapeze artists fly through the air and catch each other with their feet (yes, their feet). My pulse is at an unhealthy rate just thinking about it again. Then there was the Chinese pole performance, the juggling acts (Seriously, how can the human mind keep track of seven balls all at once?!), the boleadoras, and my personal favorite, the Russian Swing. There was so much happening on the stage at any given time that you couldn't watch it all.

This particular Cirque performance called Saltimbanco was created to be a traveling show and play in various metropolitan cities around the country. It will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis for 2008-2009.

Saltimbanco...explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms: the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street, and the towering heights of skyscrapers. Between whirlwind and lull, prowess and poetry, Saltimbanco takes spectators on an allegorical and acrobatic journey into the heart of the city. [It's a] show inspired by the urban fabric of the metropolis and its colorful inhabitants. Decidedly baroque in its visual vocabulary, the show's eclectic cast of characters draws spectators into a fanciful, dreamlike world, an imaginary city where diversity is a cause for hope. (Italicized portion stolen from Cirque du Soleil's official website.)

Thank you for the anniversary gift, Winn. It was perfect!

Before the show we had dinner with our good friends Ric and Melissa at Pizza Luce. It was tasty, but I'd have to disagree with its claim to "the best pizza in Minneapolis," although we did enjoy the urban atmostphere and the friendliness of our pink-haired, miniskirt-sporting, multi-pierced waitress.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

me + warm = happy

I just can't get enough of this incredible weather we've been having! I had to go and sit outside for a bit to warm up this afternoon because it was warmer outside than it was in the house. I don't know what it is about this old house compared to our newer one in town, but we didn't once have to turn the air-conditioner on out here this summer. Sure, it got pretty hot a couple of the days, but mostly it was very comfortable. I don't know if it's the higher ceilings or the wood floors or what it is that helps keep it cooler, but our pocketbook is lovin' it!

Of course, we may be cursing it this winter. That remains to be seen. I suppose I'm going to have to learn to bundle up a bit more. Winn is content with 66 degrees or so, but me, I would keep the thermostat at 78' if it was up to me. Sometimes I try and blame my desire for heat on the fact that I have Raynaud's, poor circulation, a fast metabolism...but the truth is that I just like it nice and cozy and toasty. But since we'll be heating with propane this winter, I'm going to put the layers on and try to be a bit more conservative temperature-wise. Hoodies, socks, and lap blankets, here I come! My poor old slippers are already exhausted from years of traipsing around. I had to cut off the tattered soles because they were so cracked, and now the sole is just made of fabric, kinda like a thick sock. Good ol' slippers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

garage before and after

this is my sister peggy

One of my most favorite people in the world. This weekend we had our second biweekly movie-and-snack night. Here's how it went down: me, Winn, and Peg; 7:30 on Saturday night; 4 episodes of The Office; 1 bowl of avocado dip; 1 pan of warm tortilla chips covered in lime juice; 3 cold sodas.

(Winn snapped these during Peggy's senior photo shoot with Kendra.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


It's a quarter to nine on Sunday evening, and Winn and I are just getting around to eating "supper." That's just how Sundays are sometimes, eating a late lunch after church and then taking naps or visiting with friends or getting projects done around the house. Today we got right to work...lazin' around in the hammock out in the perfect 75-degree September air. We had our textbooks out there with us, so we weren't being total bums. We both happen to be taking our corporate finance classes at the same time, so occasionally one of us would comment to the other on market efficiency or cash flow analyses. And from time to time we'd get up to investigate Sajak's barking on the other side of the barn (he had treed a stray cat), or to shoot a nasty red squirrel (who has been taunting us for months), or to get a cold bottle of root beer from the fridge. I also made bread today, and applesauce, using up a bunch of the Galas I found on sale this week.

Yesterday I and our trusty shop broom braved the depths of the garage (which hasn't been touched since we moved here, except to stash away garbage, boxes of unnecessities, or other miscellaneous items). At first glance I felt a bit overwhelmed and depressed about cleaning it, and I went and sat on the swing with my cup of coffee to contemplate if I really wanted to tackle such a mountain of filth. Winn was up on the porch roof battling a swarm of wasps that were attempting to keep him from installing the tenth new window, so I knew I would be alone in this endeavor. Determined not to let this measly little one-stall shed get the better of me, I entered its bowels...

...and came out again six hours later, covered in dirt from head to toe, but nevertheless victorious! (I'll try and post before-and-after pics tomorrow, for your entertainment.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today I...

1} found a bunch of apples on sale that I'm going to make into applesauce

2} stopped at the grand piano in the lobby of the Landow Auditorium at Mayo Clinic after work and played some music for the patients passing by

3} grilled juicy sirloin steaks for supper

4} went on an evening walk with hubby

5} found some wild grapes on said walk

I finally caved...

Monday, September 15, 2008

my lunchtime favorite

Roma tomato and mozzarella on 12-grain bread. Ohhhh, yeah.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

where's the beef

We bought a quarter cow this week, so we have ground beef coming out our ears. It's fun to have a supply of T-bones, sirloin, roast, soup bones, you-name-it (as long as it comes from a cow) stashed away in the freezer.

I've been trying to hold off on making any coffee today since I'm meeting my friend Rebecca at a coffee shop this afternoon. It's been a challenge, especially on a chilly Saturday morning when you're doing homework. That kind of morning just begs for coffee. But I will press on. :)

Today I'm playing catch-up, trying to get some assignments turned in before I have to leave for worship practice. I'm playing keys this weekend. Winn is over at Chris's, helping shingle their roof...just a second, I have to go and kill a wasp...

I got him. We have lots of wasps around here. I guess that's typical of these old homes. They get into the holes in the siding where they've blown insulation. Hopefully that will all change when we get new siding next spring. Winn has all the new windows in except for three (and we still have to order the bay window and stairwell window), so things are looking good for a smaller heat bill this winter.

Last night we stayed in for our date night. We made chicken pesto pizza and watched The Office. Funny stuff. There were two parts where we laughed until we cried. I love having that kind of laugh, the kind that's so intense it makes you cry and hurts your stomach and leaves you gasping for air. You just feel whole afterwards. I especially love having that kind of laugh with Winn. His laugh gets kinda raspy and he turns all red, and it makes me laugh even harder. Who says staying home isn't fun?

Friday, September 12, 2008


My mom gave me a bunch of blueberries, so I've been trying to use them all up. I froze some, and then I pureed some of them and put them in the dehydrator to make fruit leather. I think I dried it for too long, but it was good anyway. But...I think I have discovered the No. 1 reason for owning a food dehydrator. Granola. Yum. I made some the other day out of oats, wheat germ, blueberries, bananas, honey, oil, sesame seed, brown sugar, and raisins. It tastes so yummy with some milk. I'm enjoying a bowl of it for breakfast right now before heading to work this morning. Yesterday was a hit-and-run case that lasted all day, so a nice short one would be a welcome change today so that I can get some other things done. Have a good one!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Our friends' dog Chloe got to hang out here with us for a few days while they were out of town this week. As always, poor socially-deprived Sajak was delighted to have some kanine companionship. It was hilarious to watch the two of them trotting around, blissfully unaware of their 90-pound difference in size. In fact, Chloe didn't hesitate to put Sajak in his place when he would venture too close to her food dish. Last night was bath night. Chloe got the pampered spa treatment in the kitchen sink, while Sajak got the frigid hose temperatures out by the barn. Then we trimmed their nails, brushed their coats, and washed the covers on their beds. Aren't they perty...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

our silo

I told him not to go because the rusty ladder was only hanging on by a thread (all the bolts had broken off one whole side). But boys will be boys...

I guess I wasn't thinking straight because the camera was on the ground with me instead of up there with Winn. He said the view is great.

Monday, September 8, 2008

vacation over

I've been enjoying my last little bit of vacation before my classes start again tonight (this term it's Purchase Management and Corporate Finance). My niece and nephew were here last week, so that was a great way to spend my week off. We played with Play-Doh, explored the outdoors, ate ice cream in the morning and pancakes at night, went to the bookstore, and wandered through the sidewalk shops downtown. We gathered chicken eggs, juggled with them (Joel), and then used them for baking. We pushed each other on the tree swing, and when we went to town, we rode the escalators up and down and up again. It just occurred to me that I never took any pictures of our escapades. But trust me, they're two of the cutest and funnest kids you'll ever meet.

Other highlights of my vacation week include: having my sister Peggy over for an ice cream and movie sleepover, a date night with my husband, and giggling with my sister Carrie over our discovery of products from the Scrub Your Butt Soap Company at a downtown tent sale--they have organic soaps and balms such as "Flubb Rubb" (to reduce the appearance of stretch marks) and "Saggy Hagg" (to smooth away wrinkles).

Anyway, I digress. For quite a while I've been meaning to tell you about a book that we read last term in my Business Communications class called "Crucial Conversations." It was a New York Times bestseller and talks about "tools for talking when stakes are high." The authors insist that dialogue skills are learnable and that once learned, you will be able to talk about anything with anyone. It was full of good ideas and valuable skills for both business and personal life, and it was a good read that I highly recommend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

what's in a name

Our church made the news today when it met at the Rochester International Event Center to mark the changing of our name to: Hope Summit Christian Church. We have purchased property for a new building in that area and have chosen this name because Rochester is often called a city of hope for people who come here to find healing at Mayo Clinic, and as a church it's our goal to offer hope to people as well, in the form of a personal relationship with their Creator.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

cure for the crabbies

I found this CD in the player yesterday, and it reminded me of something that happened not long ago. We had helped Jonathan come up with a list of ideas to get in a better mood when he gets crabby, and listening to the Veggie Tales Worship Songs CD was one of the "cures" on the list. The other day he had been kind of naughty, and while we were all making supper together, he said, "It almost was a bad day. Let's put Veggie Tales on because I'm feeling kinda crabby." And what do you know, it worked! The rest of the night was pleasant.

Monday, September 1, 2008

around here

Photos courtesy of Winn's sister Kendra.