Monday, March 23, 2015

March Madness

Gosh, I love the NCAA basketball tourney-especially when everyone’s brackets bust after the first round. Nice. Nancy P gave me a basketball clapper for my birthday to use during especially exciting games. Not only is it fun for cheering-it scares the bejesus out of the cats. Win. Win.

So, Wisconsin won yesterday afternoon and advances to the sweet 16. (They beat Oregon so it was a little bittersweet.)  I know because I was home to watch it. I was supposed to be here- but I wasn’t because of this-

We were in the 6-8 inch total. We tried to drive up to the cities around 11 AM when the snow first started flying. Counted 5 cars in the ditch in the first 30 miles and gave up after that. Although I think we could have made it and I could have run. But, oh well. I wasn’t the driver. Just saying.

It started like this



Ended like this-



Jack, the cat who is always looking for means of escape, made a break for it this AM while I was taking pictures-


He made it half way down the stairs before realizing that it today isn’t the day to make a run for it. (Run is a relative term for Jack by the way).


Last week it was sunny and warm. (Two days ago it was sunny and warm…)  I had a lovely birthday dinner with Laura, Nancy, and Angie hosted by Mary K. And do you think I got a picture?? No. I had my camera and everything.

Monday I had lunch with Mary B and Lynn-my coworkers from Winona Co. As you can see, it was a nice day and we had a fabulous walk.


See? No snow. None. Anywhere.


Mary and I had the same Women Run the Cities shirts on! Just saying.

Now this-

Bike 1

I think that says it all.

Last weekend I started on the giant paper pieced project Paradise in Bloom

I am working on the center pieces right now.


I’m not sure I’ll do the 90+ inch like the one above. I may stop at 70+ inches. It’s for a wall and I’m not sure I have a wall quite that big!

This is the smaller version.

Tonight we have dancing. Tomorrow I finish up my CPR recert. Next Friday I am off to Phoenix and then Tucson for my nephew’s wedding. Jeepers.

I am looking forward to a weekend with nothing planned. I think that’s in June sometime…

I took a picture of Abby this week-


Which totally reminded me of this-

A McKayla

Right?? Neither Abby nor McKayla are impressed.


Happy Spring! (It’s out there somewhere)


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What Happens in Grand Forks…..

Well, we were in Grand Forks last weekend-it was a birthday trip and a visit to Blane.

But the weekend BEFORE that we had a little trip to Minneapolis and the state theater to see Garrison Keillor and the Prairie Home Companion.

We went up a little early so we could make sure we got parking and all (what was I thinking? It’s not Seattle…just saying). We were very early so we decided to have a delicious beverage beforehand.


AND-the requisite selfie at a bar--


Ugh. Please tell me I don’t look like that.

We had great seats in which to view the cast and one of my favorite performers-Brandi Carlile.

IMG_2929 The State Theater


Details on the upper corners of the stage


The warm up


I can never get a good pic of Garrison Keillor. He needs to stand and smile for a minute so we can all snap a photo for our blogs. It seems like a polite thing to do.

Brandi and the twins-she couldn’t do it without them for sure.



It was so good. And Jearlyn Steele, the other guest was also pretty awesome-especially when she did some mini duets with Brandi!


Lake Woebegone--


It was truly a fabulous show.

After it was all over and they took their bows, we went over to Insight for a bite and a post show beer.


Delish as usual. And packed. Good for Ilan for having a successful Brew pub.

And so we got to my birthday week. Yes, my birthday. I took Friday off just because and then Dave and I took a trip to Grand Forks on Saturday to visit Bland and Melanie, to see his apartment, and to check out the town.

Meeting up with the dogs


Blane drove us around (yes, Blane drove, but more about that later) and we enjoyed the day which was beautiful and sunny.

On Sunday, we took a little walk along the Red River-

We brought this little dog Roki! His feet moved about 10,000 steps every 5 minutes. He would have rocked the Fit Bit.




It was pretty even though it’s the end of winter-

The Red River-and a snowmachine trail (we saw the snowmachines** still driving on the river-careful, there’s open water…just saying)



(**snowmobiles for you cheechakos that live outside of AK-here’s proof)

We had dinner at the Blue Moose. We tried to go on Saturday but it was packed. Who knew Grand Forks was so busy on a Saturday night??


Blue Moose-namesake of restaurant-


Blane and Melanie-it was her birthday on Saturday.

Happy Birthday to us!


This little dog loves to be on you--


It reminds me of a little dog my mom used to have--





Yep. (Except for the crazy eyes….)

And this is Kodi. Like our Cody only a dog.


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Posing with the Hunter look-alike

Then on Monday we did the last piece of important business that was part of our trip--

We took Blane over to the DMV and he finally got his drivers license—(he was driving us around on a practice permit)


Gosh, we were all so happy. You never know about the DMV driving tests. It could go either way. But Blane aced it and is now again a legal driver. So we took him back home and he rode his bike to work.

He’s still a bike man at heart.

We took off for home-all 400 miles of a trip with the added bonus of going past home to St. Charles to get the dogs.

Dave drove the whole way--

IMG_2991 It was sunny in the car.

We did NOT go here—for reasons that should be apparent.


But—we probably shouldn’t have missed this exit-


However, we’ve missed it before.

And home we are now. Next trip—Tucson at the end of the month.

And lots of busy-ness in between.


Everybody loves a little black dog…

img158 - Copy

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quit Your Relentless Nagging

You know who you are—both of you. (And that would probably be my total readership-all two of them)

So, yes, I KNOW. It’s been a month. But again, in my defense, I’m busy. And, the thing is, I sit in my office for many, many hours a day because I work from home. So when the end of the day comes I am not really wanting to stay in my office and blog. I need to get away from the office. I suppose I could set up another office in the house so I could do my personal biz, but that seem like it would take oh so much effort for the both of you. So, I will try my best to keep up. Again.

Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, the Superbowl. Sigh. Must I go back through those painful days?

Well, actually, there was some fun that weekend I must say.

On Saturday  Pine Needles had a Downton Abby trunk show that featured me and my friend Lois as upstairs and downstairs. Gosh, it was sooo fun.

Oh yeah. It took me two dresses and countless accessories to look like this. Not to mention 36 bobby pins….

IMG_1087 IMG_1093

That was so fun. We served tea and cakes (ok donuts) and Connie T did a little spiel on the new fabrics and patterns, which you can see behind me a little bit. The ladies loved it.

The next day, Superbowl Sunday,  I taught a superbowl mystery quilt class that was done with Downton Fabrics.


Can you see the groupers holding up their squares? It was the best bunch of people you could ask for a class.

IMG_1110 IMG_1111

You know how there’s always one in every crowd? Not with this group. They were all fabulous. Loved them.

Then there was the Superbowl. We were so deflated from the Packer Loss (capital letters, loss in the last 3 damn minutes-then in OT-Gawd) that we were sort of “whatev”. My sister was at the game though. It was a beautiful Arizona day-


They are obviously novices at the selfie. I told them they need to take from above—Tom says Martha is too short. That could be true but still.

I was dressed up a little--


And as we all know-Seattle had a problem winning that game. We already had practice being deflated so we knew how to take it.

IMG_2918 Losing game and drinking beer-still stinging over Packer loss….

Jack, however, enjoyed the game to no end.


IMG_2908 What just happened?

Jack does not like Tom Brady. Just saying.

It wasn’t long after that I left for Seattle to spend a few days in Tacoma and then off to Stitches West. Sigh.

I flew first class. It was heavenly. It’s all about the first class experience. It’s like you’re not even flying.

I boarded the plane and at my seat were these leftover bottles of water. I’m like-wuuut? They didn’t clean up after the last trip?? Then I realized those bottles were for us. In first class. Such an amateur.


Check out the leg room.


Those are my legs fully extended and not even under the seat. Lord.

They then handed out the little iPad things that you can watch films and TV shows on. I declined because I didn’t want to pay the 8 bucks. But wait, I’m in first class. It’s free. Jeepers. Seriously out of my realm.

I saw all the mountains down the way when we were close to Seattle


You can’t see them here but there’s St Helen’s, Adams, Washington, Jefferson, and even down to the Three Sisters. It was crazy. And if you are reading this and you know those mountains you will understand the total craziness of that. But if not, then skip this part which is too bad because you already read it.

In Tacoma I did a few things--

Went walking at Chambers Bay



Saw some crows-



Worked a little and then took off for Stitches with my sister Martha!

Levi Stadium from our hotel. At the stadium they were making a big outdoor hockey rink. I don’t know why they had to make an outdoor one. Here, in MN, where hockey is played by real men, it’s all indoor because it 17 below out there. This outdoor stuff in 65-70 degree weather is not real hockey. Just saying.


We had a great time at Stitches with other knitters and the huge market place. OMG times 10.

A few of our purchases with some champers and sushi. Seriously. What more could a knitter ask for?


Knitting with our peeps--

Except for my sister, these are girls I met online at Ravelry. Right? They are the most wonderful people you could ever meet. We spent a lot of time with our good friend Julie-you’ll see her in a few more of our pics.

IMG_1132 IMG_1133

I took a bad selfie with Ben Levisay, CEO of XRX, Sponsor of Stitches


I said it was bad-I need longer arms.

We went to a fashion show and I won a sweater kit. It’s so cool but I don’t have a picture-yet.


We went walking too-where I took better selfies-




That’s a Knit Swirl Martha has on. She had to knit it twice after an unfortunate miscalculation of stitches. Don’t dwell. Too soon.



We had a knit outside too-pleasant Cali air


Dirty phone cover makes cloudy picture…..

If you are on FB, Yarn Garden did a little film on Stitches. It’s pretty good and kinda funny and shows what the market has to offer. Well, a little piece of it anyway. I ate one of their brownies BTW.

We left later this day. Sadly, because Stitches is the best. The. Best.


Good Bye San Jose Airport…..

  And the next day, Sunday, I flew back to Minnesota and home.

See ya next time Seattle…


Saw mountains on the other side of the plane.


Mount Baker


North Cascades

It was a super busy trip and I was glad to be home.

Because when you come right down to it home is the best. Even if it’s cold and snowy. It’s quiet and not crowded and I am not fighting traffic and I have everything I need.

Beautiful Sunset out the back door.


And last, but not least,

Abby, so graciously participating in a play on words.

Well, maybe not that graciously.


Off to photograph some Finished Objects and other stuff so I will have blog fodder in a more timely manner. Oh, and go up to the cities for Prairie Home with guest star Brandi Carlile. And start a new knitting class. And finish a quilt. And go to Grand Forks next weekend, and start the next dance class.

Um, about that timely manner statement……