Mom worked us like a slave

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It is so weird not having to post a picture every day. But I’m glad that I’m done with the challenge.
This weekend I went to Independence by myself.  Eric had class. Mr. Procrastinator didn’t create a Power Point presentation for his Saturday Class. I was up until midnight creating his a Power Point.  Boy was I tired Saturday morning, I slept until 8am. 
Mom warned us a month ago that were would be cleaning her house this weekend.  Mom said we wouldn’t start cleaning her house until 9am.  She started barking orders at 8:30 am.  She is such a slave driver…LOL!  Nancy, Mike, Becky and I cleaned her whole place, the walls, floors, woodwork, windows and the garage.  It was 3 sold hours of cleaning.  After that we had lunch with my cousin, Jim and his wife, Deb.  Mom made pork chops AND beef roast.  I guess she was cleaning out Mike’s freezer.  It was good. 
After that we went to my friend, Lynn’s baby shower.  She is one of my high school friends and was in our wedding.  It was so nice see her again and her sister, Lisa.  My other high school friend, Monica, was there.  I saw her briefly at my friend, Mandi’s wedding last May. I also got to see my college friend and former roommate, Angela.  I seriously haven’t seen her since Lynn’s wedding. I’m such a bad friend.  She lives in the Twin Cities and I never see her.  I have her cell phone number now so I have no excuse!  Lynn got so many presents.  We were there until 6pm! I guess we missed 4:30pm Mass. Oh well.
Mom and I went to the nursing home afterwards to see Eileen.  We were there for an hour and half and then we went to Root Beer Stand. It used to A&W but not anymore.  The Root Beer was good but no A&W. 
Today we went shopping at Kohl’s and had dinner at Olive Garden and I came home.  It was a busy weekend! To make up for lost time I took Eric to Dairy Queen for the Blizzard Sale.  
Lynn, Angela, Kim and Monica

Day 60 - A picture of something you’re excited about

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I’m excited for a lot of things.  I’m excited that this is the last day of the 60 day challenge.  But that isn’t a very nice to thing to be excited about.  I guess the thing that I’m always excited about is my future travels.  This summer we are doing 3 or 4 trips.  The first one is in about a month. We are going to Atlanta for an extended weekend over Memorial Day.  I’m excited to see Coca-Cola World, CNN, Olympic Park and a Braves game at Turner Field (top picture). We are planning on seeing Eric’s Uncle and Aunt (they live 2 hours away).  In June, we are going on a baseball road trip. We are following the Twins to Pittsburgh (middle picture) and Cincinnati (bottom picture).  In July we are making our annual voyage to Rapid City.  In September we are going on a trip that is yet to be determined.  Couple of ideas we are throwing around are Iceland or Vegas again.  Don’t really know yet.

Day 59 - A picture of a random item that you own

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This is one of the items I took when my Grandma died. It sat on the bar in her basement. I don’t know why I like it, it is kind of corny.  It plays “How Dry I Am.” I’m not even sure what creature is on this thing but he is clinging to a light post…after having a few. I don’t think he is dry anymore. I always loved this thing.  

Day 58 - A picture of your favorite animal

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I love polar bears.  Thankfully Como Zoo has two of them so I can see them when I want.  I would like to go on the Tundra Buggy Adventure in Churchill, MB.

Day 57 - A picture of your favorite holiday

Monday, March 19, 2012

Well with my birthday, I really only get presents one time a year.  And I’m very materialistic and  I love getting presents so it has to be Christmas.

Day 56 - A picture of something that makes you happy

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A lot of things make me happy.  Eric, Swirl, Family (most of the time).  The rain makes me happy, snow makes me happy the sun makes me happy.  Sleeping in makes me happy.  Traveling makes me very happy.  Looking at Matthew Rhys makes me happy.  Watching baseball makes me happy.  I could go on and on but I guess something that would make me really happy right now is an ice cold 1919 Root beer.  The best root beer EVER!

Climbing the tree

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Today was a busy day for us.  I had my annual Eden Prairie District Band Festival Concert at EP High School. I think I've explained this before but there are 7 bands: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th & 10th grade bands (yes there is a band for each grade!), the high school symphonic band and the community band.  Each group plays a song and then at the end we play a joint piece and Star and Stripes Forever.  Of course you have play Sousa!  We played an awesome piece the Gaelic Hymn (appropriate for St. Patty's Day).  It really is a fun concert for the most part but it is very crowded and chaotic.   And today, with the 80 degree heat all these bodies, it was VERY warm!  Here is a picture of my view.  There were just as many parents sitting behind me.  It was a packed gym.

Eric was watching Jenny's kids, Haley is 5 and Nicolas is 18 months.  Jenny plays oboe for the band.  Her kids love Eric.  He has watched them many times so they know him.  Haley loves playing Angry Birds and Office Jerk on his phone.  So they are easily entertained.  When we came back from the concert we found them in the tree.

Day 55 - A picture of the last movie you saw in theaters

I’m not much of a movie buff.  The last movie we saw in theaters is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2. Exciting, eh?

Day 54 - A picture of the one thing you would bring if you were stranded on a deserted island

Friday, March 16, 2012

At first I thought a camera because I love taking pictures but then I realized that I’d get bored taking pictures of the same thing over and over again.  So after careful consideration I think I would say a swiss army knife.  It seems like it would be the most useful.

Day 53 - A picture of someone you think is hot

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yes! Yes! Yes!  I’ve been looking forward to this day for long time.  Eric will roll his eyes at this one. My current hot beau who I’m so obsessed with is Matthew Rhys.  I’ve mentions this before (I think day 2 and day 48) but I can’t get enough of him...dark curly hair, blue eyed, gorgeous body and he is Welsh so he has that brilliant accent I can’t resist. Yum!  Looking at him makes me happy.  Watch out Eric, I have a new love in my life and he is single!

Another blog about running

I often look back and read past blogs and think, “why did I write that?”  I’m sure in 6 months or a year from now I’ll be like “I can’t believe I wrote about all the running I’ve did” or “why did I do all that running…I hate running.”  Hopefully though, I’ll look back and think “Wow I was slow” and “Look how far I’ve come.”  I really hope it is the later.  I really don’t like running, I haven’t had a so called runners high.  Yesterday I actually wanted to go.  So I’m making progress.
Yesterday after work, Eric and I went running …well at most I “jogged slowly.”  Eric on the other hand is really good at running and, considering he hasn’t really run since last summer, he managed to run a mile and a quarter and walk back to meet me in the time it took me to run a mile.  How sad for me.  But I’m a lot faster now than when I started.  Based on my data, I’m 13% faster than I was 48 days ago.  And I'm still running almost 2 months later!!
My run last night wasn’t my fastest.  But it was the fastest I’ve done without really walking (interval training is faster because I’m running hard and walking to recover so my overall time is faster).  Eric really pushed me. I wanted to walk and he wouldn’t let me.  I wasn’t happy about it but I didn’t strike out at him and scream a stream of profanities like I have in the past when we have gone running together. I’m amazed he stayed with me; I haven’t been nice to him in the past.  But come on, it is so unfair…he hasn’t run in over 6 months and he could do it like its nothing.
Besides the running I played volleyball Tuesday night.  We only had 4 again but we beat the other team 4-0. Woo Hoo! That is the second week in a row where we only had 4.  Last week we had a double header so we were tired by the end of the night. We played 8 games and we split them 4-4.
Like most other blogs I’m going to talk weather.  What else is there to talk about?  The weather has been amazing.  Yesterday we broke the record high with 72.   The forecasted highs for the next week are 76, 74, 72, 72, 65 & 62 and sunny.  Nice!  This isn’t the March weather I’m used to.  I really hope we don’t get hammered with a snow storm in April.  But it is inevitable.

Day 52 - A picture of your favorite sport

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh another hard one.  I like playing and watching most sports.   I love playing volleyball, softball and tennis.  But my favorite overall sport is baseball. I seriously begin the spring training countdown about 30 seconds after the last pitch of the World Series. I hope someday I can get to spring training in Fort Meyers, FL, but the timing doesn’t comply with my work schedule. I dream about my retirement, selling cotton candy at Twins games while working on my tan. One can dream, right?  This year we are going to see the Twins play in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and we are also planning a trip to Atlanta to see the Braves. I love the Twins, even when they suck and I’m sure this year will be another failure of a year.

Day 51 - A picture of your dream car

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh the irony.  Eric and I were just talking about going to the Auto Show that is currently in Minneapolis.  I love going the car show; it was an annual event that we attend with my mom and dad.  Dad had to check out the new minivans every year. I think my mom dreaded the event because she wonder how soon he would be buying a new one again. I definitely got my love of cars from Dad.  I would buy a new one every 2 years if Eric would let me.  So with that said I love the BMW 328i or the SAAB 9-3 Convertible.  But a Convertible in Minnesota?  

Day 50 - A picture of your most frequented place.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Obviously it is the Ameriprise Financial Headquarters building in Downtown Minneapolis.  40+ hours a week I reside in this lovely building.

Day 49 - A picture of where you live

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shakopee, MN – The city has been around since the early 1850s. But the area has been settled for thousands of years. There are burial mounds in the park that day back 500-2000 years.  The city got its name from Chief Shakopee. He got the name when his wife, White Buffalo Woman, gave birth to sextuplet boys. Shakopee means "the six." (By the way those who gamble at “Little Six” it is named after his son Shakpedan)
We have lived here for 8 years. I like that there is a major river that separates us from crazy metro area (except the occasional flood kind of sucks).  I love how the city feels so far away but yet it is so close.  I love it actually has a historic downtown area.  I love how it doesn’t just run into the next suburb with “gray city border lines.” I love how just outside the city are farms and horse stables.  Shakopee has a lot of fun stuff to do with Valleyfair amusement park, Canterbury Park horse racetrack and Mystic Lake Casino (ok technically it is on the Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation).
I love Shakopee!

Day 48 - A picture of your favorite actress/actor

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Well this is an easy one…I love a lot of actress/actors.  Recently it has been Matthew Rhys.  I still have great fondness for Colin Firth and Maggie Smith. But above them all it is JUDI DENCH!  I fell in love with her when Eric introduced me to “As Time Goes By.”  (Another decision that Eric regrets to this day.  Haha.) The one good thing is I will go with Eric to see the James Bond movies because she is M. Anyways, Eric and I travelled to London in 2009 to see her in a play and I got to meet her afterwards.  I’m not really a stage door stalker but we ran into this woman, Elizabeth, from Chicago.  She had meet Judi before and she was invited up to her dressing room.  Elizabeth told us to stick around the back stage door and we could meet her when she came out. She even asked Judi when she came out if she would take a picture with me.  She said absolutely! She asked where we were from and thanked us for traveling so far.  A really amazing person, especially considering it was raining! She was truly a lovely person.  How Brilliant!

I love old pictures of Eric

Friday, March 9, 2012

Eric and Samantha circa 1992.  Eric says this is the Civil Air Patrol Van.

Day 47 - A picture of your favorite place to shop

This is a hard one because I don’t have a favorite place to shop. I usually shop at Target but that is because there is a store in the Minneapolis Downtown skyway (it has an escalator for shopping carts that still amazes me).  For clothes, I like Kohl’s.  For groceries, I go to Cub (it is really the only grocery store in town).  The store I love to get lost in is Barnes and Noble.  My favorite coffee shop is Caribou Coffee.   So besides Barnes and Noble, these are Minnesota/Wisconsin based companies.  I guess I have my loyalties to the Midwest.

Day 46 - A picture of where you wish you were right now

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I guess Aruba. Somewhere with beautiful blue water and white sandy beaches.  I want to go swimming in the ocean again. 

The inappropriate body part

For his next class, Eric has to take a statistic and explain whether it used correctly or not.  Being a good Catholic boy, he decided he was going to research the statistic that was thrown around the media last month and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even mentioned it on Feb. 16, 2012, “98 percent of Catholic women, I am told by all of you, use birth control to determine the size and timing of their families.”
Well I found this great article (or blog, whatever) that talks about this statistic and how it isn’t completely accurate and it is being misconstrued (imagine that in politics and the media).   In blog, the writer has a link to the study that this statistic is derived from (2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth).   It is found on the CDC’s website. 
Anyways, I saved the PDF and tried to send it to Eric with my work email.  Well it was flagged by our company’s email filter and this is the message I received:
Your mail was filtered due to use of "Inappropriate Language".
Words found - penis:10 
Following action was taken: Dropped by Content Filtering.
Kindly resend it with the proper adjustments.
Note: This is an auto-generated mail. Do not respond to this mail.
LOL!  Since when is human anatomy considered “inappropriate language.”  I’m not sure who else got copied on this notification. I talked to my boss and boss’ boss and explained that it really was in a PDF of the CDC study and was not inappropriate. 

Day 45 - A picture of your room

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What a stupid day.   This is my tiny living room. It looks even smaller because Eric has the foot rest up.  Nothing that exciting.  See my Ashley Furniture TV stand that was made in China.  Seriously? You can see Swirl’s body as he rushed to get out the picture. What a boring picture and day!

Edinborough Park Concert

Meltdown in 3…2…1

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my website  What started as a simple website to give family and friends information about our wedding in August 2003 has turned into a massive repository of everything about our lives.  It is the filled with thousands of pictures, family information, travel information and plans, etc.  Currently the website has almost 18 GB of information.  And that doesn’t include the data that got lost over 5 years ago when my former hosting company lost all my files when they switch servers (that was another meltdown moment about 5 years ago).  It is my baby and I’m very proud of it.  So yesterday when for the 4th day in a row I couldn’t update my website, I was starting to panic.  I found out that my hosting company discontinued using FrontPage Extensions…the only way I know how to publish my website.  HOW COULD THEY!  And why didn’t the tell us!!!!  I had a meltdown.  There was kicking, there was throwing, there was slamming, there was even fist pounds to the countertop and even crying (aren't those the stages of coping with death?).  I’ve had meltdowns before but this one was of epic portions!  Eric tried to calm me down which made me angrier.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  I finally calmed down enough to call technical support. Thankfully they got me what I need so I can now update my website, albeit a more cumbersome way, but still it can be updated.  Whew!
That dilemma pretty much took most of my evening.  Thankfully I made dinner before the meltdown so Eric had something to eat. 
I also upload the videos from my concert on Sunday. We played at the Edinborough Indoor Park.  It was a great concert.  Unfortunately it went too long because the last song didn’t get on the disk. I’m sad about that because it was actually one of my favorites of the concert.  Oh well.  I’ll post the playlist later today.
I did my run last night too.  I’m pretty happy with my results, even after I realized I missed a lap.  I did interval training where I ran as fast as I could for 3 laps and walk a lap and repeat.  My average split on the running laps was 48 seconds.  That is very impressive since my previous best was 52 seconds.  4 seconds over 20+ laps really adds up.  I thought I had done the run in 24:39. I was so pumped! But during my 1st lap cool down I was looking at my splits and realized I only ran 27 laps. Oops!  So I sprinted one more lap. That was the fastest lap I’ve ever done at the Community Center. It was 39 seconds which would be about 6.6 mph or a 9 minute mile.  For me that is fast. Someday I hope to get down to that consistently but for now I’m happy. 
So I ended the day on a happy note.  My website can be updated again, I got the concert videos upload and I ran well.  :-)

Day 44 - A picture of someone you’re told you look like

Someone once told me I look like and act like Rosie O’Donnell.  Really? Yikes! The person meant it as a compliment…um…ya.  But this is really a NO brainer, its Danielle! Most people think we are sisters, some very rude people have asked if she is my daughter.  Um…that isn’t possible.  I was what …13 when she was born.  Thanks a lot for calling me old!  

Day 43 - A picture of something you can’t function without

Monday, March 5, 2012

WATER!  Ever since I gave up pop 5 years ago, my drink of choice has been water.  I can’t function without it. I take it with me everywhere I go.  I drink so much water the doctor even told me once I drink too much and I need to drink less.  Crazy!

On the run

So I’ve been on a running kick again.  These are usually short lived and end when I get bored with it.  I’ve been doing it for over a month now and I’m not quite bored with it yet.  There might be hope for me!  Maybe one day I can say “yes, I am a runner!”  But for now let’s just say I’m a slow jogger or a really fast walker.  I’m devoted to the Community Center walking track for the runs.  1 lap = 7/10 of a mile.  So that means 14 laps = a mile. (around and around and around)  I’ve been stuck on the 2 mile distance.  I know I should bump it up and I will in due time but for now I’m working on getting my speed up and building the endurance to run for 2 miles non-stop at a good pace.   I can actually run the 2 miles non-stop but my time is slow. 
Lately I’ve been doing some interval training.  That is where I run 3-7 laps at my fastest speed, walk a lap and repeat.  I find this fun to do and that could be why I haven’t gotten bored with running yet.  Saturday was my fastest 2 mile time ever (well at least that I can remember).  It was 45 seconds faster than my next fastest time.  Brace yourself…I did it in 25:30.  Like I said I’m SLLLLLOOWWWW.  And I only walked 3 laps.   But to give an idea of how far I have come and why I was very excited with the time, 39 days ago it took me 29:40 and I walked a lot of it because I was just so damn out of shape.  That is an improvement of 4:10!  I think that is huge.  My goal is to get my 2 mile time down to 20 minutes.  I know it is going to get harder from here because I actually need to pick up speed and not just stop walking laps.   
Tonight is another running night.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to just run all 28 laps or do faster interval training.   I guess I’ll decide at the track.

Day 42 - A picture of your dream house

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I really don’t have a dream house.  I just want something bigger and newer than my current house.  I really don’t want anything too big, I have hard enough time to keep my tiny house clean.   Actually my dream house would probably be a farm in the country with a white picket fence, a beautiful red barn with a white silo and an old farmhouse with a wrap-around porch with a swing   I want a beautiful Koi pond in the back yard and I want to surrounded by fields of green.  I want a Beagle named Banjo, a Golden Retriever named Swisher, a clowder of barn cats (I bet you didn’t know that was the name for a group of cats!) and other assorted farm animals.  (If this looks farm looks familiar it is the one you can see from the Minnesota Arboretum.)

Ethan's Rainbow Hair

Ethan colored his hair in rainbow colors and mine is chocolate brown (below).  Both of us look kind of cool.  
Its the new Doctor with rainbow colored hair

Mine is chocolate brown.  I love it!

Day 41 - A picture of your pet

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Swirl! He is our naughty cat. We got him a few months after our wedding (8 years ago). We aren’t really sure where he came from. Byron rescued him from Eric’s mom’s car when he was a very young kitten. Judy could tell you the whole story. Juanita, our niece, took very good care of him for the month before we got him. He made an amazing journey to join our family. He went on a long car ride from Rapid City, SD to Huron, SD (for the SD State Cross Country Meet) where he was picked up by DJ. I think he spent the night at Dan and Libby's in Mitchell, SD before going to Mankato where we picked him up. What an adventure for a little kitten.

He is a weird cat. He is a very long lanky cat with beautiful swirls on his sides (hence the name). Actually I credit Carrie with the name because she told me that he had swirls like a cinnamon roll. 

He loves me, tolerates Eric and despises everybody else, especially Greg and pizza delivery guys…he growls like a dog at them. He enjoys sitting in the window mimicking the birds that eat at our bird feeder. Strangely, he is afraid of birds and being outside in general. 

Besides his regular diet, he loves peas, string cheese and turkey sandwich meat. He will only drink water if it is flowing like a waterfall. If we shut off his water fountain he won’t drink. 

He has many other odd characteristics.

Day 40 - A picture of your favorite Disney character

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ugh, Disney.  I’m not a huge fan of Disney. Eric told me to pick Grumpy since it matches my mood. Thanks Honey! I think Goofy is a good representation of me.  He is normally characterized as extremely clumsy (which I am…just ask my volleyball team or former Clippers coworkers (Sandy Flash Filla)) and having little intelligence, yet this interpretation isn't always definitive; occasionally Goofy is shown as intuitive and clever, albeit in his own unique, eccentric way.  I think that fits me to a T.

Day 39 - A picture of your favorite movie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I have many favorite movies. It seems like most of them star Judi Dench or Colin Firth.  I love both of them. I have some old-time favorites like Animal House, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Caddyshack.  But my most favorite movie that I could watch over and over again and it actually made me consider being a truck driver as a child is Smokey and the Bandit.  It is silly I know but that is it. I love the movie’s song Eastbound and Down by Jerry Reed. It is the first song I listen to when I go running (followed by Convoy another great trucker song).   Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, a Trans Am, an adorable basset hound and a big rig full of bootleg brew.  What is there not to like?