Sunday, September 27, 2009

In a Seated Position I Fall Asleep

Have you ever felt like your simple existence is tiring? Just sitting is too much, and you nod off? I'm at that point today. It's not yet 9 p.m. and I'm heading to bed, like the elderly woman I've always felt was trapped inside (ever since I realized at age 7 that I was and would always be the first to fall asleep at the slumber party).

We've been so busy the last month + that I'm ready for a vacation from my summer. Fall days that I'm inclined to throw a meal in the crock pot and play leggos all day actually sounds pretty appealing. However, it'll have to wait until another business trip is wrapped up, another weekend out of town is happily had, and preparations for Halloween (pumpkin trains, trick or treating and more!) are all entered into with vim and vigor! Oy, October is shaping up to be another duzy!

What have I got to complain about? Nothing! I'm just sayin'...if anyone figures out how to squeeze two more hours out of every day or get 8 hours of sleep into six, let me know.

I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend! Per normal, we packed a lot in -- dinner out, a girl's outing, apple picking, some thrift stores, and more!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Workin' for the Weekend

My hubby is a stay-at-home dad by day, wedding DJ by night. But he's so different than most wedding DJs, I actually LOVE to tag along with him when he DJs because he plays the best music. The motto on his business card says "No chicken dance. No macarena. No B*lls&^t" And it's true. And the coolest thing is that he still plays much of it right off the vinyl records.

This weekend we were asked to repay a favor from the chef at our own wedding and head "up north" do DJ his wedding. We took the opportunity to spend lots of time soaking up the sun and tooling around on the boats at the neighboring resort. It was unseasonably warm here -- like 20 degrees warmer than what I would expect. So warm, that we all were contemplating swimming in the lake. Pretty unheard of for September in Minnesota.

It was so nice to get away, but after a long, busy summer, I can honestly say I am really starting to look forward to not getting away. We've got one more cabin weekend away in early October, and then Halloween weekend we'll be spending time with family but otherwise I think we're tucking in for the winter and finding lots of at-home kinds of fun. A vacation from our vacation, so to speak!

I hope you had a happy weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oct. 24 Save the Date for Bundles of Love

If you're in the Twin Cities, please consider coming out to a fun fundraising event for Bundles of Love. It's for a great cause -- babies!!!

What: Bundles of Love Fundraiser Dinner & Silent Auction
When : Saturday, October 24th 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: TriCity American Legion
400 Old Highway # 8 N.W.
New Brighton, MN 55112
What: Dinner, silent auction and a night of fun.
Why: Because with your assistance Bundles of Love Charity can help more Minnesota babies receive the basics they

We are delighted to invite you to join us in celebrating our tenth anniversary at our Annual Fall Fundraiser. It will be held at the Tricity American Legion (400 Old Highway 8 NW, New Brighton, MN 55112 • (651) 631‐1124) on October 24th from 6-pm. The tickets will be $15 a person for a delicious dinner of marinated chicken breast, whipped potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables and tossed salad or Fettuccine with broccoli (our vegetarian choice). Amazing desserts will be provided by our volunteers. In addition to dinner we will be having a silent auction of items that were donated by local organizations and a raffle with first place being a Toro snow thrower and second place being a Llyod Security system. Kindly RSVP to Deb Persing by sending $15 per ticket to

Deb Persing
1352 155th Ave NW
Andover, MN 55304
Hope to see you there!!

The raffle tickets will be sold for a $5 donation.

First place is a Power Clear Toro Snow Thrower, Model 38583

Second place is a GE Concord 4.0 basic system- 2 doors, a keypad, 3 window contact and a motion Installed. A $395 value!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thank You, Lucky Stars

My little niece got kicked by a horse named Tinker (from now on known as "The Stinker") over Labor Day weekend. She was pretty beat up, with head and abdominal injuries. But through some special miracles granted for our family, she's now safe and sound at home with her family. After a week spent away from home, the whole family is getting back to normal life.

So, we did a little celebrating this weekend -- celebrating the warm weather, the fresh, vine-ripened cantaloupe grown by a special 6-year-old, and the return home of a healing 8-year-old. We all were counting our blessings and marveling at how lucky we all are -- lucky to be with family, lucky to be healthy, lucky for all the things we have and the people we love and who love us. And lucky that there are people in this world who don't get woozy at the sight of blood or think spending 27 years in school is way too much.

My little niece was quite a trooper, though, and her biggest concern was falling behind on her homework. Kiss those babies every night, and keep them away from horses!!!! (kidding...I know some horses are safe...but here I go a city girl again).

I hope you and yours are happy and healthy today and every day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

If This Post Were a Library Card...

...Here's what it might say:

I discovered this handy library catalog card generator in my internet travels today and thought it was pretty handy. You never know when we might go back to the old card catalog system, right? I myself really enjoyed those little cards tucked in the sleeve in the back of the book that got stamped when you checked the book out at the library. I kinda miss all that stuff.

Anyway, I really do need your book advice. I'm craving some new crafty books to page through. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

From Curb to Cute

Mr. Pumpkin and I, being "retired" punks, have traded in our dumpster-diving ways for thrift shopping and garage-saling. We even hit an occasional flea market if we want to really class it up. However, we went back to our roots a few months ago when driving around my hometown (a HUGE college town, and thus a hot-bed for dumpster-diving activity). When we saw this great little kid's play kitchen sitting out on the curb, I made hubby whip the car into reverse so I could throw the cabinet into the back.

When we got it home, it had little handwritten signs taped on and was pretty scratched up. Nails were sticking out in needed a good cleaning and sprucing. We left it sitting in my parent's garage for a few months until they could deliver it -- it never seemed to fit in our vehicle with all the junk we typically haul around. This weekend, they brought it up and we took hammer, nails, sandpaper, and spray paint to it. We painted the front doors with chalkboard spray paint and I love how it turned out. We've already started to collect some little food containers for it (indicative of what we eat around here: popcorn, brownies, coffee, creamer...yikes).

I love things that came from the garbage. It's got character, it was free, and it's been saved from a landfill. Oh, and our kid thinks it's the greatest thing ever. So, thanks anonymous daycare for throwing out your slightly used and stickered-up cabinet. It's now a super cute addition to our boy's room!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Here in Minnesota, where casseroles are "hot dishes" and the curious knack for passive-aggressivity (is that a word??) is called "Minnesota Nice," the annual Minnesota State Fair has been dubbed The Great Minnesota Get-Together. Maybe that's because Minnesotans, if I might stereotype for a moment, don't like crowds over about five people and therefore need to entice one-another to an event that annually draws over 1.6 million people and on the day we attended, over 200,000. Now how many of you would call that a get-together? A raging party? The population of the city you live in (or more)? I guess that answer depends on whether or not you're a Minnesotan. We Minnesotans like it better if we can think of it as just a little get-together among friends. Just poppin' in for a sit-down with some old chums.

Mr. Pumpkin, Wee Pumpkin and I stopped in for a spell at the get-together on Saturday. We got a real early start so as to avoid the crowds (in keeping with the attitudes of our state-of-residency). Even with a small crowd, though, we had a fantastic time people watching. Having just been introduced to People of Wal-Mart, we quickly drew correlations to the fair-goers. At an event where deep-fried candy bars and chocolate-covered bacon are easier to come by than a pizza joint in New York City, and where the muffin top still reigns supreme in women's fashion, it wasn't hard to find examples that could have easily found themselves in a "People of the State Fair" photo gallery. Mullets, mom jeans and Fair Do's, oh my! However, we restrained ourselves from too much mockery or stealth photography and just enjoyed looking at the animals and trying some new foods. I know, how boring, right?

We rode the Skyride, which wee one called "car up high" and looked at all the boats and tractors and plows on Machinery Hill. We tried a Spam breakfast sandwich (delicious) and washed it down with a shake from the dairy barn (at 9:30 a.m.). The honey lemonade was a hit with me and the family friendly magic show was a hit with the wee one. We saw the 1900 pound pumpkin and checked out all the seed art. We took a free trolley ride. It was a beautiful, perfectly sunny but not hot, not too crowded, pleasant day. I still regret that we didn't document the People of the State Fair. Maybe next year. Maybe if you go, you can do it. You won't have to work very hard at it. And now with the new-fangled camera-phones, no one will ever know what you're doing.

I love the fair. We go every year. Every time I go, I see something new, and I always miss seeing something, too -- because it's just so darn big and there's just one or two too many people at the great-big super massive gosh darn overwhelmingly gigantic Great Minnesota Get Together.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New Pants

My little guy is growing like a weed. He doesn't seem to ever grow wider, just taller. Which makes it hard to find anything to fit him. Every pair of long-enough pants have him running around, looking like the teenagers I see hanging around my neighborhood. Which meant I hit the sewing machine last night and finally got around to using some awesome fabric I added to my stash after a trip to Crafty Planet this summer. It's reversible, and although I admit I didn't really make good use of that quality, I did add the cuff at the bottom using the inside of the fabric.

I ran across several really easy patterns online, which I'll share below. I also think the key to a nice pair of handmade toddler pants is to take a pair that fits well and give them a rough eyeball. I always add more to the top part that will get folded over and elastic threaded through -- the rise of the pants seems like it can always be more generous on a diaper-butted child, am I right?

Here are some references for making infant or toddler pants:

--Rookie Moms directions for using an old t-shirt
--Sew Mama Sew instructions for modifying a pattern to fit better
--Handy Home Projects instructions for pants with a cuff detail (this isn't the way I did mine, but it's another option)
--Julie K's instructions for making kid's shorts
--Balancing Everything's instructions using a pair of pants that fit (as I mentioned above, this works well)

I love making kid pants. It's easier and quicker than a drive to the store to buy pants. Really! And so much cuter. Mr. Pumpkin and Wee Pumpkin met me at the bus stop after work today, and when I saw Wee One in his new little pants, I let out a squeal. They are just as cute as can be and fit perfectly. Ah...I guess that means I need to make some more!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I decided to follow the lead of the super-talented Lisa of Lil Fish Studios who I am so admiring lately and institute "Wordless Wednesdays" week will be more wordless...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Animal Therapy

Last week sucked. There's no two ways about it. The day before we left for vacation, I stepped in my kid's poop, worked all day, worked until 10:30 that night and I was not happy about any of it. I was thinking, "Either I need a vacation, or I just need to run away and not tell anyone where I went." My mood was sour, I was lippy and all I really wanted to do was have a beer, make a list and pack up my stuff.

But what a difference a day makes. In the morning, I felt ready to leave town. I taught the little Pumpkin to say "hit the road" and we did just that. Of course without my handy list getting made, many things were forgotten, but in the end it really didn't matter. We headed out Highway 169 with a few hours to kill and a destination of "up north" Minnesota to eventually arrive at. Spontaneously, we made a pit stop at Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota, and it was such an awesome way to start our trip. If you're local, you MUST check it out. They have animals, buildings, gardens and equipment true to the era (late 1850s). The costumed workers still work the farm as they did in the 1850s, too. I love costumed guides! It's like the Renaissance Festival, but inexpensive, and not irritating!

We pet all the animals with the exception of the pigs, which the Wee One did not want to get too close to. Oh, and the sheep somehow did not interest him. But the barn cats became his best friend and even tried to follow him out of the farm. And those cows loved him up a bit, too.

We thought about what it would be like to live on a little farm. It seems so peaceful and the animals are so cool -- except the big, fat pig that slurped around in the mud. However, I think if I lived on a farm I'd want screens on my windows. The flies! Oh, and I'd want to have plumbing. And thank God for Claritin. Geez, I was a sneezing, wheezing mess. Hmmm, guess I'm back to the realization that I'm a city slicker.

Anyway, more to share about the weekend in a bit -- I've got lots of photos to sort through. I just wanted to let anyone local know about Kelley Farm because I think it closes this coming weekend. It's so worth your time to drive up there. Plan to take a picnic, spend a few hours. Even though it's small, it's so nice to soak in the sun and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.