Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It feels like Fall...

It feels like Fall right now. Really cool, crisp nights, the days are cooling off a little, a few leaves are starting to fall, and the Bison football team is winning once again! I love Fall! The scents, the colors, the food (apple and pumpkin everything), the excitement of school starting up again, leaving the windows open at night and waking up all cuddled up under warm blankets in a chilly room.

With Fall arriving, the students are back on campus, which meant lots of preparation for Welcome Week and the tutoring center opening up again. I'm also taking two classes and teaching one this semester, which I am excited about. Teaching is very challenging - my parents were both teachers but I don't know that I truly appreciated how hard they must have worked! Even this one credit class is very time and energy-consuming.

So, to get away from it all for awhile, Joel and I decided to take a weekend to relax. We went to the Minnesota zoo, spent some time with Joel's parents, Deb and Steve, visited an apple orchard, played lots of Wii and checked out downtown St. Paul with Meeks for a bit (lots of craziness surrounding the RNC right now). It was wonderful!! I feel very rested and revived.
On returning home, I had a chance to harvest some more tomatoes and jalapenos (check out the picture below). My garden is still going strong, though I'm guessing I'll only get a couple more weeks out of it.

Beautiful butterfly in the butterfly house at the zoo

Terrible picture of Joel, Howie, and I lazing around.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Surprise Party for Joel's 30th Birthday!

Joel is turning 30 on Wednesday!

Much celebration was necessary for this momentous occasion, so last Saturday (with the help of many family and friends) I threw him a surprise birthday party! It was a PERFECT night - the weather was gorgeous, there weren't any mosquitos out, there was plenty of good food and great company.

Joel has a pretty predictable routine, so everybody showed up around 6:30pm, Joel finished working a little after 7:00pm, rode his bike home, went through the front gate and got his surprise when he came around the corner to see everyone on the deck! I tried to get a picture of his face, but he was still riding his bike, so I got a blurry picture of the fence instead :)

Here's the birthday boy:
Everyone hanging out, waiting for Joel to show up...

Joel, Josh, Jamie and Luke

Aaron "manning" the grill

My favorite 30-year-old (well, 30 in two days)

Many, many thanks to everyone for coming to help celebrate Joel's birthday! Special thanks to Robbi for helping me get everything ready that day!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Taming of the Tomatoes

My tomatoes were out of control. So one of my weekend projects was to give them a little more structure in their lives. :) After a couple hours of detangling and staking and tying, here are the results:There are literally hundreds of grape and yellow pear tomatoes on these two plants. The two smaller tomato plants (in the front on the picture above) are full-size tomatoes and are just starting to yield.

Now that I've staked up the big tomato plants, my poor little pepper plants can get some sun too. They were being overshadowed by the tomatoes.

By the way, those stakes are six feet tall. The plants are actually taller than I am. Pretty sure they are going to take over the world soon.

Also on my weekend project list was repainting the outside trim of the sliding glass door. That did not go as well as the tomato taming project. I am apparently very bad at painting "in the lines." I will leave the remainder of the painting to Joel and I'll stick with my plants. I seem to be doing well there. Have a great week, everybody!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Survey from Dandelion Soup

  1. Do you like blue cheese? Nope.
  2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Definitely not.
  3. Do you own a gun? No.
  4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Don't have a sonic - gee these answers are boring.
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on what the appointment is for... :)
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? Love them! Hebrew National are my favorite (highly recommend them!)
  7. Favorite Christmas Song? Silent Night
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee, delicious coffee
  9. Can you do pushups? Yes. DO I do pushups? Rarely.
  10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring (pretty typical answer, but it is true). It is one-of-a kind and worn with love!
  11. Your Favorite hobby? I love reading and really enjoy biking.
  12. Do you work with people who idolize you? Pretty sure I don't.
  13. Do you have A.D.D.? Nope.
  14. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? I take things personally too often - need to learn how to relax and brush things off more.
  15. Middle name? Lynne
  16. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. Can't wait for the coffee Joel is grinding right now. Can't forget to let Howie back in from outside. My back kind of hurts - slept funny last night.
  17. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Snap peas, baby potatoes, and walla walla sweet onions (I went to the farmer's market)
  18. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Water, diet soda, coffee
  19. Current worry right now? Out of dog food. Need to pick some up today.
  20. Current hate right now? Mosquito bites (I can NOT leave them alone)
  21. Favorite place to be? Home with Joel, Gus and Howie.
  22. How did you bring in the New Year? Celebrating with Robbi & Friedo in Duluth and then enjoying the Childs' Annual New Year's Day party!
  23. Where would you like to go? Norway, Greece, a million other places but those two are the top
  24. Name three people who will complete this. I can't... maybe Robin?
  25. Whose answer do you want to read the most? I'm going to go with Robin's then :)
  26. What color shirt are you wearing? Faded blue (thanks for the Counteract T-shirt, Meeks)
  27. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Eww. No. Linen or cotton all the way.
  28. Can you whistle? Yes.
  29. Favorite color(s)? Used to be pink... might be changing now. I've become quite a fan of green...
  30. Would you be a pirate? Yes!
  31. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower, but if I did, I think it would be "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder
  32. Favorite girl's name? See answer to #33
  33. Favorite boy's name? I'm partial to "classic" names like Amelia and Henry
  34. What's in your pocket right now? No pockets, wearing sweaties.
  35. Last thing that made you laugh? Joel
  36. Best bed sheets as a child? Rainbow Bright
  37. Worst injury you've ever had? When I was 12 I cracked open my skull a little while rollerblading - had to get a section of my head shaved for the stitches.
  38. Do you love where you live? YES! I love Fargo and our house.
  39. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two, but we only use one.
  40. Who is your loudest friend? Since I am probably one of the loudest people ever, it is hard to think of a "loudest" friend. If I had to, I would say Kelsey or Morea since either of them can probably keep up with my "loudness" when necessary.
  41. How many dogs do you have? Two - Gustav and Howard (a.k.a. Gus and Howie, Gusbus and Howiebot, etc.)
  42. Does someone have a crush on you? I'm guessing not.
  43. What is your favorite article of clothing? Big fan of my Born shoes.
  44. What is your favorite book? Does the entire Harry Potter series count?
  45. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate-covered raisins
  46. What is your favorite sports team? The Bison!
  47. What song do you want played at your funeral? Amazing Grace
  48. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Trying to stay awake through the entire movie, "Hairspray." I didn't make it.
  49. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? It got stuffy in our bedroom with the fan off all night.
  50. Why was Question 50 missing? I don't know, but I've decided to create a new Question #50: If you won the lottery, what is one thing you would do with the money, not including donating to charity? I would walk into the gorgeous brick mansion on 8th Street and ask, "How much?"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My plants

I promised pictures of my garden and flowers, so here they are. I'm fairly proud of myself that I've managed to keep my plants alive this long! Enjoy!

Early garden and flower bed in the background - you can already see that a couple of my tomato plants are ridiculously big...

My garden today, after I harvested all of the beets.

My mutant cabbage. Three heads in one!

My beet harvest - Joel is very excited.

My very first red tomato...

And my first green pepper...

My tomato plants now! Howie is getting big too! - looks like he got some Miracle Gro as well :)

The flower bed along the garage.

The geranium I got from Mom.

One of my mums - they got huge!

Ok. I'm sure you've all had enough pictures of vegetables and flowers, so here are my boys...
Aren't they cute?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I know, I know...

I have a hard time posting when it is beautiful outside. Well, truth be told, I have a hard time posting pretty much any time, but that is particularly true when the weather is nice. Joel and I have been enjoying the sunshine, the fairly dry weather, and our budding garden and flower beds. Life is good. There have been lots of little events that past few weeks that should probably have been shared as they happened. Quick synopsis:

*Being a home-owner is great, but not all fun and games (of course). In early June, Joel came home from work to find our basement covered in about an inch of water. It had been raining constantly for about five days and the water table had risen and risen, until the water underneath our house had nowhere to go but through the cracks in our basement floor. Six hours of wet-vaccing later, and many, many, many sweeps of a squeegee, Joel and I decided we would just have to wait until the water went down. Our basement dried out completely about three days later. We were actually pretty lucky. We caught it early enough that we didn't lose very much. Joel's old twin bed was on the floor, so that was a little bit soggy to say the least, and my decorations were in cardboard boxes, so I had to unpack them all and let them dry off. It was Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and Easter all at once in my house for a day or so. Robbi came over to help me pack up, for which I am very grateful. The basement has stayed dry since then, but we are still looking at ways to keep the water out...

*When it rains it pours. Our fridge went out shortly after the basement flooded. However, there is a positive side to this one - now we have a spankin' new one that actually keeps food cold and is EnergyStar rated. We like to think of it as saving money in the long run (on electricity AND on all of the food that isn't spoiling like it did in our old fridge).

*At work, Summer Orientation is well underway at work. I LOVE seeing the new students come to campus and get registered. They are so excited and anxious when they get here. It is fun to see them start to get to know one another and to help relieve some of those nerves that they have about where to go and what to do and whether or not they look good while doing it. It doesn't seem that long ago to me that I was in their place or that I was an orientation leader helping to shepherd them around campus. Of course, I was never as "young" as they are. Fun fact: about half of the incoming freshman students at NDSU were born in 1990. That's right folks, 1990...

*We are currently puppy-sitting for our friends, Kaarin and Nate, who recently tied the knot and are off on their honeymoon. Bandon, a three-month old Australian cattle dog has been staying with us since this past Sunday and has been keeping Gus and Howie very entertained with her antics. She is adorable. We will try to get a shot of the three of them together, but no promises - they don't stay still long enough to take a picture!

Okay, those are some of the highlights. I will take some pictures of our garden here soon so you can see that I am actually managing to grow things (I've only killed a couple beets and a pepper plant or two).

Happy and safe Fourth of July to everyone!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Gus!

Gus turned 2 today! Best puppy ever! (ok...Howie is pretty great too). Little man is growing up so fast.