Cowboy Hat Day!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We had a good weekend.  First of all, the weather has finally started to cooperate.  It got over 70 degrees the last three days!  Shorts weather finally!

Friday I went for a pedicure with Celeste.  My toes needed it and with this warmer weather I can now show them off with sandals.  Granted this warm weather is short lived as snow is in the forecast for Thursday. :(

Saturday we broke out the bikes. It was a beautiful, sunny day.  We went on a short ride, about 6 miles.  I know I have a long way to go to get to 14 miles but I'll get there.  Of course my ass hurts.  Why are bike seats so uncomfortable?

After the bike ride and shower we went to the Twins game.  This is my first game of the season. The first game we couldn't go because it was a day game, the second game was rained out and the third game (also rained out) was when mom had surgery.  Eric went to that game, it was Tuesday night.  He froze and ended up leaving after the 5th inning. Anyways, the game was perfect.  The sun was shining, the the temperature was perfect and the Twins won! All around good day. It was also WE Fest Cowboy Hat give away.  Here we are modeling off our new hats...the are made of 100% paper...that is so weird!

After the game we drove to Wisconsin to surprise mom. The whole family was at the nursing home for lunch today.  It was delicious. Mom seemed to be doing good.  She even got in the cowboy hat mood.

Look at the beautiful view from our seats...not a cloud in the sky!

Replacing parts, one at a time

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Well I spent today with my mom and sister at St. Francis Hospital, nope scratch that, Franciscan Skemp, nope scratch that too...Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare (they have had too many name changes!)  Slowly but sure Mom is replacing parts of her body.  The warranty was up on her right knee so she had it replaced.

Anyways the day started at 3am when I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.  Then we took mom to her 5:45am appointment.  By 6am they took her back and prepped her for surgery. Surgery started at 7:38am and she was in recovery at 9:05am and too her room by 10:03am.  So they did it fast. She didn't have the general anesthesia but just a spinal block and a drunk cocktail. I think it was probably best decision.  She had tingly feet for a while as the block wore off but she didn't get sick like she usually does from general anesthesia. She was sleepy most of the afternoon but she didn't seem to be in pain, just a little dizzy.  She took a drink of Nancy's Mountain Dew and said that was good. LOL!  Eventually she wanted chocolate pudding, angel food cake and coffee. Well I stuck around until 5pm before I made my way back home.  

Here is a picture of mom showing off her flowers and giving a thumbs up (inspired by her grandson, Dylan)

Minnehaha Falls

Sunday, April 21, 2013

To celebrate Eric's last class of the semester, we ventured out to Minnehaha Falls. It was an ok day.  It still hasn't warmed up and the sunny doesn't like to shine so the pictures are grey. There was a really cool thing that happen while we were there but unfortunately I didn't get it on video.  A huge cliff shelf fell into the water. It was so cool! We ignored the "stairs closed" sign and walked down to the creek. It was muddy down there but the stairs were clear.

My Name Was on the CNN Crawler!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One of my life long dreams is to be famous and get my name on the CNN crawler. I know I led a sheltered life. And not only did my name get on there, so did Eric's too.  We are famous!  Or infamous. So here is the story.  Apparently we killed 3 people in Texas.  Well we really didn't but another Eric and Kim Williams did and their name is all over the news.  It is hilarious!  I mean it isn't hilarious because people have died. That is sad.  But that their names are the same. I have gotten many Facebook messages, texts and calls since the news has broke.  One friend offering me space in the country to "chill" for a while. LOL! And another one was questioning why she offered space in her house to murderers. This is what the Kim Williams looks like. As you can tell it is definitely NOT me!

Kim Lene Williams

Here is a the story.

Suspect in Texas Prosecutor Killings Has Nothing to Do With the Aryan Brotherhood

Update, April 17, 2:00 p.m.: 
The Dallas Morning News and are reporting that Kim Williams has been charged in the murders of Mark Hasse, Mike McLelland, and Cynthia McLelland, and is being held on a $10 million bond. Williams' arrest warrant alleges that she was the one who shot and killed the three victims. But the warrant also states that, during an interview on April 16, Kim Williams "described in detail her role along with that of her husband, Eric Williams whom she reported to have shot to death Mark Hasse on January 31, 2013 and Michael and Cynthia McLelland on March 30, 2013. During the interview, the defendant gave details of both offenses which had not been made public." So did Kim Williams shoot the prosecutors, or did Eric Williams do it? This is all very confusing. More updates as the story develops.
When two prosecutors in Kaufman County, Texas were killed within months of each other earlier this year, authorities and the media speculated that the murders of Mike McLelland and his assistant Mark Hasse might be linked. But who was responsible? Was it the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, a white supremacist prison gang that had vowed revenge after authorities moved against it late last year? Was it Mexican drug cartels? Some other sinister group of murderous prosecutor-haters?
Maybe it’s none of the above. Over the weekend, a former Kaufman County justice of the peace named Eric Lyle Williams was arrested and charged with making “terroristic threats” against county employees. Now, Williams' wife, Kim Lene Williams, has been arrested and charged with capital murder. According to the New York Times, it's not yet apparent whether Kim Williams has been charged with one, two, or all three of the killings. Eric Williams has not yet been charged in the deaths of Hasse, McLelland, and McLelland’s wife, though the Dallas Morning News reports that "[l]aw enforcement officials have said they expect capital murder charges to be filed against [him]."
One day after the McLellands’ bodies were found, Eric Williams allegedly sent authorities an anonymous email promising more killings unless certain unspecified demands were met. More than 20 weapons—some of them similar to the weapons used in the shootings—were found in a storage unit rented by Eric Williams, as was a Ford Crown Victoria that resembled a car seen near the McLellands’ house on the day of the shootings. Even before his wife was charged, Eric Williams was being held on $3 million bail.
Eric Williams, who has been accused of making death threats in the past, had particular reason to dislike Hasse and McLelland. In 2011, a few months after he was elected as a justice of the peace in Kaufman County, he was accused of stealing computer monitorsfrom the county IT department. He was indicted on theft and burglary charges, suspended from office, and—with Hasse serving as the lead prosecutor—ultimately convicted and sentenced to probation. "This guy sitting over at the end of the defense table is an elected official who is nothing but a thief and a burglar,” Hasse said of Eric Williams in his closing argument. (It's also worth noting that, according to the Morning News, Kim Williams testified at the trial "that her husband helped her cope with a host of medical problems," including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome, and that "she feels like she constantly aches and has a fever.")
In the aftermath of the trial, the Morning News reports, Eric lost his law license and his health insurance, has had financial problems, and has spent his spare time dressing in camouflage and riding his Segway around his neighborhood. Eric Williams maintained that the case against him was motivated by residual animosity from some anti-McLelland newspaper advertisements that he’d been involved with during the 2006 election. In late 2011, his attorney filed a motion requesting that McLelland be removed from the stolen computer monitor case, claiming that “[t]he indictment on Mr. Williams was not the result of a crime having been committed as much as it was an attempt to settle a political grudge.” Certainly there were signs that McLelland disliked Eric Williams: the prosecutor, in what was arguably a gratuitous move, telephoned the Texas National Guard base where Williams served to inform them that he was facing criminal charges.
Eric Williams has vigorously denied any involvement in the prosecutor murders, and in fact voluntarily submitted to a gun residue test earlier this month. (According to his attorney, the test came back negative.) “If I was in their shoes, I'd do the same thing,” he said in an earlier statement regarding the investigation. “They need to do a thorough process of elimination and I have no hard feelings toward the prosecution in my trial, or of being asked about the recent slayings.”
Though much still needs to be explained at this stage, the arrests of Williams and his wife serve as a lesson for all those who, like me, immediately jumped to the most extreme conclusions in the Hasse and McLelland cases. Most murders are committed by people who knew the victims, and that’s probably where the speculation should have started here.
Yes, these shootings were so brazen that it felt like they had to be the handiwork of some sinister gang that had nothing left to lose—like the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Murdering the two prosecutors would have required a lot of work and planning, though, to no real apparent benefit for the gang. Besides, if the gang members were to have gone after the men who tried to put them in jail, there were more obvious targets than Hasse and McLelland. The fact that the idea didn’t make much sense wasn’t seen as a major strike against the story, given that a lot of things that crazy prison gangs do don’t make much sense. Which is true, I guess, but still probably isn’t the best starting point when you’re trying to solve a couple of murders.

Planting Day!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Its been a flowery type of day.  First, Celeste and I went to Holasek Greenhouse for their annual open hour and planting event for Breast Cancer Awareness.  It is a really sweet deal.  You bring your pots, pick out your flowers, plant them and Holaseks take care of them until it is warm enough for them to be outside. They provide the wood shavings and dirt for free so that is good.  I love that I can plant them there so I don't have to clean up after my mess. There may still be snow outside but we were planting inside. Here are the pictures:

After some lunch we went to the Minnesota Arboretum with Evelyn.  She enjoyed the flowers:

Swirl's Spot

Friday, April 12, 2013

Swirl really likes sitting on my lap, but when the computer is on my lap, he sits on the computer instead. This is one of the few times that my hands were not under him so I was able to take a picture. Apparently he is saying I have played enough Candy Crush for one day. :)

The Sweet Face of Swirl

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For as much as I talk about Swirl being a bad cat, he is sweet sometimes. How could you say no to a face like this?


Swirl and Cheetos

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

While I was eating Cheetos, Swirl kept pawing my hand. Finally he got fed up with me not giving him any so he just stuck his head in the bag. Crazy cat!

I'm tempted to rename this blog to The Bad Cat and post pictures of Swirl being bad.

Muddy Pants

Monday, April 8, 2013

We had a nice day out yesterday. We traveled down to Mankato with Greg, Celeste and Evelyn for the day. I brought my old pots and pans, mixing bowls and a pan of my famous lasagna for Danielle. We visited with DJ, Abbie and Ethan. Danielle and Bradley came over for a while but Bradley had to work so we kept Danielle.  Most of us went out to Minneopa State Park. We left Eric, Ethan and Abbie behind so they could work on their homework. It was a nice day at the park.  The waterfalls were not very full so that was disappointing but at least there was some water flowing (not like the one time I took Danielle and her friend there and it was bone dry). We hiked down to the creek level. We tried to get back to the falls but it was too muddy…I fell twice. The first time wasn’t so bad because I caught myself before I could do too much damage to my pants. The second time…not so lucky.  I stepped on some leaves but under the leaves was ice and down I went, plopped on my ass. It was so wet and muddy that it soaked through!  It was so uncomfortable the rest of the day! I had fun playing with my camera playing with all the settings to get that really nice “smooth” waterfall picture that doesn’t look choppy. I really wish I knew how to do this before considering all the waterfalls I have seen throughout the years.  I could have had some really awesome pictures! I also got some nice pictures of Evelyn. She really enjoyed it but she got carried most of the hike so she wasn’t muddy.  We hung around the park for a while and then went to Little Caesars for some pizzas for us and the rest of the troops at DJ’s house.  After that we went to the TV station where Bradley works and he gave us a tour. It was cool seeing the inside of the control booth and the set. We met the weather guy, he was nice and showed us around. He is the weekend guy so he never sees tours so this was his time to shine. LOL!  We met the news anchor too.  So it was a good day! 
Upper Minneopa Falls

Partially frozen Minneopa Creek

Evelyn enjoying the hike

Lower Minneopa Falls

The Quack Got it Right

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I was sitting in a meeting on Tuesday and all of a sudden I was extremely tired, my throat started to hurt and I got the chills. I thought to myself…CRAP, not again!  I just had a cold 3 weeks ago and was finally over it. I had chills the rest of day and couldn’t wait to get home. I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep.  I had a volleyball game at 9:15pm so I had to stay awake.  I struggled playing. I had enough energy for one game. The other 3 games were a struggle.  I had a rough night sleep because I ached all over and I had a splitting headache. I finally called in sick. My first sick day since Eric had surgery a couple years ago. I’m so glad I did. I slept in until 10am and did nothing all day except play Candy Crush.

Thursday I went back to work and visited our Health Services.  I thought for sure I had strep throat.  Typical symptoms, sore throat, couldn’t swallow, swollen/painful glands, white spots, headaches, fever.  Well they took the strep test and it was inconclusive. The nurse practitioner, aka the “quack,”  told me I had bronchitis. HUH?  I was not congested, I didn’t have sinus pain, I wasn’t stuffed up, I could breathe just fine and I wasn’t coughing.  Where the heck did that diagnosis come from? So I left there questioning the staff my company has hired for our Health Services.  Even the people I work with thought she was a quack. Well the quack got it right. Thursday night I had sinus pressure, stuffed up noise, it hurt to breathe and coughing. Great! The other weird thing about the visit…the measured my waist…what is that about?

Today was an exciting day.  I got my new stove.  I know this is just a few weeks after my exciting new toilet. But the last time I cleaned our stove, I practically died of the fumes from EZ-Off. I told Eric “I’m never cleaning this stove again; next time it needs to be cleaned, I’m getting a new stove.”  Well that was a while ago, and the old stove desperately needed to be cleaned. Eric wouldn’t let me go back on my proclamation so we bought a new stove. This new stove is great.  It is so much better than my old one.  It is glass top, it has self-cleaning, a timer and a LIGHT!  No more trying to find my little flashlight to see if the cookies are done. I’m so excited!   I christened it with a pizza of course.  It worked great. I also made eggs, browned hamburger, fried bacon and made twice-baked potatoes. Tonight I’m making a cookie/brownie recipe.  It is getting a work out on its first day of service.

I also bought new cookware from Kohl’s.  It is Bobby Flay’s (whoever the heck he is) stainless steel set.  So far, so good. I figure, new stove, new cookware.  Plus my old set is non-stick and the Teflon is starting to flake. It is not cool when I’m eating mashed potatoes and I see black flecks of Teflon.  Can’t that stuff kill you?  So anyways, I went for a high quality stainless.  I fear that my food will stick to it but so far neither the hamburger nor the bacon stuck.  I guess the true test is the next time I make eggs.  I hear those can be tricky.

Curse of Candy Crush

Monday, April 1, 2013

So this weekend we went to my Mom’s house for Easter. We went down Friday and came back yesterday.  It was a nice weekend for the most part. Saturday we went to Aunt Grace’s and played cards.  Saturday night Mike, Mom, Eric and I went out to eat at Wasons for Tylor’s birthday.  Most of his family was there...except for his Mom and sister. I had a good time…it was very interesting, I learned a lot!

So Friday night, Mom wanted me to try getting to the next level on the Candy Crush game on Facebook. She has been at Level 35 for a while now.  Prior to this I never played this game and actually was getting tired of all the posts about it on Facebook. It seems everybody is playing this game. Well I played it over and over and never succeed…but that fueled my addiction to this game. I started my own game.  It is now on my iPad and phone so that I can have access to it at all times.  I’m playing it constantly. Over the last 3 days I have gotten to Level 33.  I’ve been stuck there since yesterday.  Boy is this frustrating. I don’t know how Mom got past this level. It is horrible. The other annoying thing about this game is you can only have 5 lives at any one point.  So if you fail at the level 5 times in a row, you have to wait until you get more lives.  It takes 30 minutes to get a life so you are stuck waiting 20-25 minutes before you can play again. Well I can’t just sit around waiting, I downloaded “Bejewel” and “4 Pics 1 Word” too so that I can play those in the meantime.  So now every time I have a free moment, I’m playing the game.   It’s a good thing I don’t like alcohol…I would have been an alcoholic a long time ago the way I get stuck on addictions.  If you are curious…this is what the level I’m on looks like: