Friday, August 31, 2007

My Little Sparkly People

Why is it that when my light turns green, I have to wait for the people to finish going through the intersection before I can go?

Why is it that when I’m driving five miles over the speed limit, people glare at me as though I’d set out on my day intent on making them drive “slow?”

Why is it that people feel so little value for my life that they will risk it just so they don’t have to wait for me to pass them before they get to pull onto the highway?

Why is it, that I wonder these things every. damn. day, yet I still haven’t found a job that doesn’t require commuting an hour down the one of the deadliest highways in the state?

Just wondering.


My Google Stars have been piling up, as I haven’t posted them in a couple weeks.

Today, I’m going to do it differently. You have to read at least one, because I want to hear your thoughts on it in the comments. Yep, I am telling you what to do. But only because I care! And while a couple of these are merely for entertainment, a few of them are really important and NEED to be shared. So, don’t be all crabby about it and just do it. Love and hugs.

In order of date starred:

* Chesca the Ex-Skindiver – poetic as always - had a Midlife Epiphany – not to be confused with a Midlife Crisis.

* Shauna Loves Chocolate had a loving (read: funny) post faux-written by her husband.

* Momma’s World comically Beat a Port-A-Potty to Death (a post she won a contest with!).

* Tabetha at Think Bigg shines some light on a terrifying disease that kills 50,000 people a year – yet is basically ignored.

* Ms. Think Bigg also debunked my theory that it was okay to use all my disposable water bottles – because I recycle. (Oh, the shame I feel!)

* With school starting up, Cooking With Whine’s Becki shares her hilarious list of tips for getting out the door in the morning.

* And just today, our WhiskeyMarie is celebrating her eleventh wedding anniversary. (Honey, that post you wrote for The Mr. – makes ME want to marry you!)

There you go, Oh Peoples of The Garden…

Now what have you learned today??

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Like Their Parents Before Them

"Rolling Down The Hill"

(No children were seriously injured in the Rolling Down of The Hill)

(Semi)Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

100 Year Flood

Sorry for the disappearance, loves. I’m here. Working my little hiney off.

I took Friday off work and headed south to my old ‘hood. Down to the river valley, where they have been devastated by flash floods. Luckily, my grandparents’ house survived with only a little water in the basement. Just a couple miles south of their house, campgrounds were washed away. Streets closed. Houses evacuated. There were two houses that slid right down the bluff.

Driving down the Great River Road, we missed most of the devastation. We saw several roads closed, areas where the water hadn’t receded yet and piles of junk appliances building up on the side of the highway. We saw the emergency relief stations set up in Winona and bluff sides that had been washed away.

That was nothing compared to what happened to other areas. Check out this link my grandpa sent me. The pictures were hard for me to look at. I used to live in Rushford. It’s not a very big town – the whole thing was under water. I also used to live in some of the other areas around there that got hit so hard. It’s heartbreaking to think of all our old neighbors who lost everything. Some even lost their lives.

I can’t help but feel like we’re being punished for something. Flash flooding all around the country – wherever there isn’t severe drought and fires, that is. It just seems like we’re paying for something to me. I don’t know – maybe I’m a little crazy. Okay, maybe I’m a lot crazy.

Anyway, we did have a pleasant time down there and I’ll share *happy* pictures tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2007

You MIGHT be a MN Redneck...

I was ecstatic.

The Man and I had finally settled on our wedding colors.

Plum and Gold.

Perfect for a late summer wedding.

I lay in bed reading a bridal magazine and envisioning my colors in the dresses, the decor, the flowers. "Deep purple rose petals with...I guess we'd have to have yellow instead of gold." I thought out loud.

I pictured Sunshine's petals hitting the aisle.

"Shit." I blurted out. "We picked the damn Vikings colors."

Back to the drawing board.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Two Harbors

Busy at work again.

Here are some more pictures because I know ya'll miss your Butrfly Girl.

Two Harbors - The first stop on our drive up the Superior coast.

(Kate talked about her husband's "Go-To" shirt...this is one of The Man's two. )

When it was time to leave, we both had to use the bathroom pretty bad. There were tours of the lighthouse on shore for $2.50 with a big sign that said something like "Nice, Clean Restrooms." I found out that was pretty much a lie, but we got to go up into the lighthouse.

The Man reading in front of the lighthouse/Bed and Breakfast (there are areas you can't go in because they're being used by guests).

There should really be a sign that says "Don't Look Down." It was here that I started to get a little sick.

The Inner-Workings of the lighthouse. We weren't allowed to touch. Dammit.

I wonder what windows like this are called in a lighthouse. I will call it a Port Hole because it's fun to say.

View from the top.

The lighthouse also had a captain's cabin from a boat that had shipwrecked near here. (Thus, requiring the construction of a lighthouse).

There were so many cool things to play with inside! We even took turns manning the ship.

Yes, we are geeks. Completely compatible geeks, though. Don't worry for us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My New Favorite Place

The Sunday we were coming home from Duluth, we headed North up the Lake Superior shore first.

We stopped in Two Harbors, where I spent so much time trying to get a PERFECT picture (to no avail).

Heading toward Split Rock Lighthouse, we saw a State Park sign and thought we'd use the opportunity for a bathroom break.

Little did I know what we would find.

Gooseberry Falls is now my new favorite place. I am going to buy me a little tent and just go live there. Okay, maybe not (there is no internet...dear, sweet, internet.) but I REALLY want to go back - THIS year. With the kids. They would LOOOVE this!!

We never did make it to tour Split Rock, we'll have to save that for next time. We did stop at a rest stop and take a picture, though.

Next Time: Pictures from That Saturday!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sweet Charity

Chesca from Skindiving recently awarded me this button:

I am very proud to have received it. I haven't been doing much lately and that's been making me kind of feel bad. I naturally want to throw out an excuse like, "I've been so busy" or "we're really broke." But that goes against my main belief about charity - which is that we all have something to give. I can make time and I will.

However, I also believe that being a good philanthropist means knowing your stuff. It means not falling for the lies of people who prey on helpful souls. Even in the wake of tragedy, there are always people looking to make a sucker out of a good, honest person.

That's why it is so important that charities' volunteers know their stuff as well.

When I was home last week, I was very busy on the computer cleaning the house when the phone rang.

I looked at the caller ID:


I thought it might be the bill collection place that calls here a couple times a week and leaves messages. I’m pretty sure they’re calling for the guy who used to have our number and wanted to tell them to QUIT CALLING, so I answered the phone.

“Hi Ms. H. This is _____ calling on behalf of police officers in the Minneapolis area. Blah blah blah for two full minutes I can’t let you get a word in or you’ll tell me no so I’m just going to keep talking and not even use punctuation because that would give you the opportunity to shoot me down Our tax refundable donations start at just twenty five dollars but you can be a Gold donor for only thirty so how much may I put you down for Ms. H?”

“Do you have a website?”

“Uh. Um. Well. I…don’ t know what it is.”

“Really? Well, why don’t you call me back when you have that information, okay?”

“Well, ma’am, we can take your donation right over the phone.”

“So…you are calling me and telling me that you are Someone, collecting for Something and I’m just supposed to take your word for it and give you my credit card number - even though you don’t even know the website of the company you are representing?”

“Well, it’s just that I’m talking to YOU right now and…I can get someone to verify this for you…”

“You can get someone else there with you to tell me what you just told me? Impressive.”

“Well, they’re my supervisor…”

“Honey, I am BUSY. Why don’t you get that information and give me a call back when you have it, okay?”

“That sounds fair, ma’am. Thank you.”

Asking for donations is a lot like selling things. Really, you are selling your organization. I wouldn’t buy something from someone who didn’t have any information on their product. I also don’t buy things from telemarketers. Charities need to figure some of these things out if they plan to *sell themselves* to the future generations. Because we're smart, suspicious and critical.

And calling me "ma’am" repeatedly just makes me mad.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Or maybe to you it's "Mrs. Lame?"

I know I said I'd post pictures yesterday.

I'm going to sum it up with 'it was not a wonderful day.' And then blogger was being a butt last night and not letting me UPLOAD pictures.

I'm working on a thingy because a lot of my family hasn't been told *by me* yet. I will share it when I get it done, I promise. And because I'm lazy nice, I may even leave The Man's real name in the one I post. May...we'll see.

My SIL called this my "First Engagement Picture." At Two Harbors on Sunday (the day I wasn't wearing a dress and didn't have my hair done and had really badly chipped nails - not to be confused with the day we missed our train ride so I could curl my hair and looked beautiful, which was Saturday...the day there were no pictures taken of me), I got all gooney and set up the timer on my camera and after positioning The Man just so, I'd run and try to look 'normal' in the picture. It took lots of pictures. And I hated the way I looked in all of them.

But I share anyway. Because I'm a sharing kind of person.

Monday, August 6, 2007

That's "MRS. H" to you.

Or, it will be in the next couple years.
I'm shooting for fall of '08, but I've only had a couple days to officially think about it.

I have lots of pictures and stories to share, but a severe time deficiancy.

Tomorrow - pictures for sure.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Because Crazy Hats Rawk

**Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for my fellow Minnesotans. It really does mean a lot to have so many people around the world sending their prayers.**

I’m off from my full-time job today, which means I will be working at my other job as maid/referee all day. If I survive the incessant bickering and fighting, The Man and I will be heading out of town for a *romantic* little getaway. And by *romantic* I mean watching Iron Chef in our king sized hotel bed. Ahhh, sweet cable.

My mom uploaded this picture recently and I really wanted to share it. This represents everything great about my childhood. The beach, the houseboat, the Mississppi. My brothers. Crazy hats. Lord, do I miss the crazy hats. Stuff like that just makes life more fun, doesn’t it?

There is the basket of flowers hanging in the background. Every time I see flowers like that, my mind drifts and I see my grandma carefully selecting *this year’s* flower basket to hang on the boat. I see her running out to grab them off the hook when storms came. I can almost smell them in my memory.

The binoculars in our hands suggest we were off an adventure.

That bathing suit had side cut-outs. My grandpa insisted they were cut out so as to make tickling that much easier.

So many beautiful *Eternal Summer* memories. From just one picture.

(Also: Tell me the brother on the right isn't this kid’s dad, I dare you! )

On another note: It's Friday!!! Here are this week’s *Stars*:

*‘Twas Brillig amazes us once again with tales from her extraordinary life. This one is a short, chilling look into her life at twelve years old.

*Goldy told a great story about the crossroads of life.

*Sugar Kane came out of reclusion and showed us all that hearts can be both warmed and broken in 500 words or less. (Also check out Part 2 of this story, which was great as well!)

*Judy from Parents’ GoodyBlog shared an absolutely profound way to get people to stop speeding through your neighborhood.

Have a great weekend. Monday will surely bring numerous photos of lighthouses. If we leave the hotel.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Tragedy.

When I see bad things that happen in other states, I worry.

Something happens in Seattle, I call my mom to see if she’s heard from her brother.

Storms in Tennessee, I call my mom to make sure my grandma and aunt have checked in.

I might check out my friends’ blogs if something happens in their area, just to make sure they’re okay.

I only have to check in once, because I just don’t know that many people in those places.

But today…today I sit and wait. I pray nobody I know was affected by the bridge collapse. I pray for those families who are.

Immediate phone calls to family assured me that they are okay. I’m okay. I’ll take The Man’s advice and be thankful for that. But I will continue to pray for the victims and their families. And I will continue to ache every time I see the wreckage, knowing how many lives have been disturbed, though they don’t accurately show how this tragedy has shaken our beautiful city.