Friday, February 22, 2008

Small Town Folks

Change. I am so ready for a change. As anyone does, I often think about our life; where I've been, where we are and our future. Hubbie and I have talked about moving now and then. We like where we are but I could never envision us riding into the sunset from here.

At one time we were contemplating selling all we owned and just blindly moving to the UK. It was fodder for some adventurous conversations for about three weeks.

Then a few years ago arrived the possibility of a new job for hubbie at a company branch office in northwestern Minnesota. This was appealing to me as it was very close to the area where most of my family lives. He didn't get the position which, in hindsight, is a good thing as it wasn't right for him.

Now a new opportunity is on the horizon. We'll see how this pans out but it feels a lot better than the others. The seeds have been planted, it may happen soon, it may take a few years or it may not happen at all. That hasn't stopped us from making plans in case it does come to fruition. Need to have our dreams, right?

In all of our talks about moving there has always been one constant; we will live in a small town. If this works out, a very small town. Like a population of 400 small town. I'm so ready I've imaginary packed a few times. Yep, ready for a change.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rico: 1.75 years old

I put some new batteries in the camera today so here's a Rico fix...

It's hard to believe he looked like this not that long ago...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Memories of visiting my Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Don and cousins are always filled with laughter, fun and a little bit of salt with the sweetness. My aunt and uncle were an interesting pair. I can remember many times sitting at their table, Aunt Lorraine complaining about Uncle Don and Uncle Don having a comeback then looking at us with that toothy, crooked grin and a wink. Aunt Lorraine would shake her head and roll her eyes, one arm across her stomach and the other resting on it holding a cigarette up in the air between two fingers. Their relationship was a bit passive-aggressive, not the picture book version but it worked for them for over 50 years.

My Mom & Stepfather live in Minnesota but for a few years, wintered in Mesa, Arizona. The siblings and I flew down for Mom's 70th birthday in 2002. One of the last days we were there, we decided to visit the very large and beautiful Phoenix City Park. We took two cars and drove across town, taking a meandering route to avoid the congested freeways. We were waiting for a stoplight and I looked down the street. I spotted this older couple walking away from us on the sidewalk about a half block down. Recognition. Not of faces, their backs were turned to us, but rather of a bantering couples' body language. I asked my sisters in the car with me, "Don't they remind you of Lorraine and Don?" The light turned green, we turned down the street and once we passed and saw their faces, started yelling and waving out the window. They had arrived in Phoenix but hadn't called my Mom yet. We ended up spending a wonderful day together.

Uncle Don has been gone for almost two years now. That smile and wink is what I see when I think of him. I am thankful for the wonderful memories.

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Dog Night

Neither of us have had a house dog before but our dog Rico has evolved into one this winter. Usually our dogs live outside but with the neighbors little dog "Sir Barksalot" and Rico barking back & forth at each other in the wee morning hours, I had hubbie start bringing Rico into his kennel in the house when he left for work. Then came one of many cold snaps of the winter and before we knew it, Rico was a house dog.

He is such a joy to have around and I've discovered the bonus of having a German Shepherd sized furnace laying next to me in bed in the winter. Hubbie doesn't like it though because Rico tends to push at him with his paws. I think he's trying to kick hubbie out of our bed. Rico is now banned to the floor, at least until they come up with a bed bigger than a king size. Maybe our next dog will have to be a cross between a German Shepherd and a Corgi - big dog, short legs.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Luckiest by Ben Folds

No, I'm the luckiest. :P
For my honey...

Lyrics: The Luckiest by Ben Folds

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

Happy Valentine's Day


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Guessing Game

I got an email today from hubbie. I knew I was in for it when I saw the word in the subject of the email, "surprise." The email read, "I've got a surprise for you in my car. I hope you like it. If not I'll take it back. P.S. it's red!" He does this to torture me, I know it. I could almost hear his evil laugh as he hit the send key. OK, I wasn't that busy so let the guessing game begin.

Having been married to each other for 19 years and 126 days, you get to know each other pretty good. Sometimes we know each other so good it's practically at the level of ESP. We frequently will find ourselves saying "you read my mind" or "get out of my brain." This skill has helped me advance my guessing game skills, at least with him anyways.

I hit reply to the email and started thinking of the questions I needed to ask. I came up with:
Does it float?
Is it fun?
Is it dull?
Does it involve work?
Is it bigger than a breadbox?
He replied, "Put it a boat and it will float. Fun factor from a one to a ten, I'll give it a 2. It is dull, I think you'd have a hard time cutting yourself. I would say it's going to be more relaxing than work and we can both use it at the same time! And for your last question, yep."

It was my turn for the evil laugh. I knew what it was almost right away. I replied, "Is it from Nancy?" I don't think it was 30 seconds after I hit send that my phone started blaring out the song "Love Shack" (his ringtone). I answered the phone with "Am I good or what?"

A couple of years ago he brought home a beautiful set of bedding for our king size bed (comforter, skirt and pillow shams.) Nancy, the department secretary was redecorating and was getting rid of it. It was in perfect shape and a much nicer quality set than I would ever purchase. I think we sent some ESP waves to Nancy because about 3 weeks ago we were changing the bedding and I said, "Isn't it about time for Nancy to redecorate again?" I wonder if at that instant she decided she was tired of the red set?

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Hawaii Chair

Well it's about darn time someone made this working out thing easy. I'm ready to jump on the Hawaii Chair craze. What is this you ask? Just watch...

Even Ellen Degeneres is jumping on board...

They say laughing burns lots of calories.

Monday, February 04, 2008

2008 Hudson Hot Air Affair

Hubbie & I have been volunteers for the Hudson Hot Air Affair for the past 7 years. The balloons took off on Saturday morning but the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning flights were called due to poor visibility. Hubbie flew two school teachers from the Hudson area schools and had a good landing in someone's back yard. Saturday night a handful of balloons inflated for the moon glow. It was a bit on the breezy side as Hubbie's sister and I soon discovered while trying to hold on to a flopping 7 story balloon by a rope connected to the top of the balloon (crown line). It took two of us skiing across the snow covered field more than once. A fun weekend!

Here's a short video taken by Roger Bindl of HEM Productions. I met him this weekend.

Some great photos taken by Dave Parker here.