Friday, December 31, 2010


Did I mention that I went to a Timberwolves game? I did. I'd never been to a professional basketball game before.
It was the campus Christmas party and we were in one of those fancy suites.

I had no idea there were cheerleaders for basketball games.

There was a guy cutting up a delicious slab of beef just for us (notice there is only a tiny bit left)

There were gifts - it was a $10 limit and many people were very clever.

Fun was had by all.

I really enjoyed it. Who knew? Helps that it's a fun group.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Yes, we did celebrate Christmas and yes, I'm still here. I had limited computer time at home while Pato prepared for a trip to Chile so I'm behind, but I plan to catch up now.

The children decorated cookies the morning of the 24th
They fought a little. With chocolate. It was a mess. Everyone had fun and it's all cleaned up now.
The tree was properly dressed and there were lots of pretty packages underneath.
Some held bigger surprises than others.
There was lots of good food.
Good laughs.
Festive hair dressings.
Even grumpy types were having fun.
Pato will be prepared to stay warm while shoveling when he gets back from Chile.
We played a new game and it was loads of fun.

Coming soon: Frozen Minnehaha Falls and Soxanne's first Timberwolves game

Monday, December 20, 2010

Let it Snow

Over a week since I posted. What have I been up to? Well, there was a lot of shoveling after that last storm. Pato and Boy-child did most of it, but I was out there too. I took care of the path from the boulevard sidewalk to the street. Twice. Yes, folks, St Paul plowed twice for one storm; don't believe that ever happened before. And yes, it's snowing again today.
In fact, the last snowfall brought the roof down on the Metrodome, so they played a game in Detroit. Tonight's game will be played at the University of Minnesota campus in the open air. In the snow. Took them close to a week to shovel out the stadium and now it's snowing again. Glad I'm not going to be there, for a number of reasons.
We went to a rib place across the river with Susan last Saturday. We went to Cap's because there is a parking lot. There is no place to park in St Paul. Anywhere. The proprietor at Cap's was very pleased to hear that the snow brought us to his place. We then went to Susan's for a glass of wine and to admire her tree, which has an enchanting little village beneath it. Her dad made it in the 1930s (correct me if I'm wrong).
It has some lovely details.
I've knit a little bit.

And we finally decorated the tree, which we put up last week. The ducks ornament is Pato's favorite (those of you who took Spanish 101 know why). The tree skirt was made by Auntie. She is very talented.
Time to start wrapping. This is a box of ribbon and bags. The paper hasn't come up in full force yet.
Cards have started coming in.
And I found some wonderful cocktail napkins while shopping the other day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An Angel on the Block

I didn't take many pictures, given the fact that I spent a lot of time driving through the blizzard instead of walking, but here are a few shots from yesterday and today:
The Jag across the street. No room in the garage because of the boat and other toys.

The picnic table on our deck, which is pretty protected in spite of being on the north side of the house.

The neighbor's house. They are in Japan. Whoever was contracted to shovel didn't show up.

Last night after Boy-child finished the shoveling out front.

This morning out back. That's going to be one narrow path by March. Pato got a real workout.

It was, of course, a beautiful morning.

There were drifts in weird places, though.

Our street, which still hasn't been plowed.

The angel mentioned in the title is the guy in the duplex across the street. I went over to shovel the front for the neighbors who are in Japan since by 8pm no one had showed up (still). The guy next door brought over his snowblower WHICH WAS THE MOST AWESOME SNOWBLOWER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! He is my new best friend. The neighbors' house no longer looks uninhabited.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowy Adventures Continued

Well, whatever you do, don't go out there. At least, not in a car.

Boy-child and I hopped in the car and set out to Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis to get him to work. He learned how to push a car up an alley to get to the street today. Good lesson, I say. It was treacherous but passable until we got to the Riverside Ave exit on the interstate. There was a wall of snow blocking the exit ramp. Did they forget to plow it or could they not see it? What could we do but continue to Cedar, get back on the interstate going east and exit Riverside from the other direction. Success!

I did not rent any movies as I was unwilling to stop, making Boy-child hop out of the car in the middle of Franklin Avenue.

Then there was the question of how to get home. Franklin was pretty clear, so I continued to River Road, which is a snow emergency route. Unfortunately, it was only plowed to the border. St Paul hasn't gotten to it yet. Surprised? No, I'm not either. I made it back to Highland and decided to go to Lund's parking lot since I was obviously never going to make it back down the alley.

Lund's parking lot is not clear. Oops. I think this is a first. I know I've done that trick at least twice before.

So there I was, in my car, no streets plowed, nowhere to park .... what to do, what to do?

And then, an epiphany. The ramp! There's a ramp at Lifetime Fitness across the street from Lund's.

I don't care what it costs. I just hope I can get to the bookstore by 7:00 tomorrow morning.

Today's Snowy Adventures

Ha ha ha ha:
Ironically enough, a celebration in St. Paul of the 20th anniversary of Will Steger’s International Trans-Antarctica Expedition was cancelled because of the weather. His six-member team, from five other countries, endured bitterly cold temeratures and whiteout conditions on their way to the South Pole in 1990. Sound familiar? posted by: Bob von Sternberg blog post link here.

There's nothing I like better than a good snowstorm. This is no surprise to those of you who know me. Today we're having a whopper. Some are calling it "The storm of the century" but frankly, they say that so often that it doesn't mean anything any more. For previous snowy posts go here here here and here.

At any rate, I was scheduled to work in Brooklyn Center today, so off I went. Campus was open but not many folks showed up. An hour later it was decided we would close. I drove home. One co-worker emailed me, was shocked to find out I was on campus and asked, "Do you have four-wheel-drive?" to which I responded, "No, I'm from Minnesota." She's Australian born (we all have our cross to bear, don't we?).

So I came home, made a hearty breakfast and fed Boy-child and Pato. Now I have stuff to do before taking Boy-child to work, which means there are more snowy adventures to come.

I will say that I am ever so happy that Girl-child and I went to get a tree last night.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Acts of Culture

One of my aunties who lives in Florida sent me this recently:

I've never been a religious person, but I did used to be a musician of sorts. This song pretty much always brings tears to my eyes. I has to be one of my favorite pieces of music ever.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Charming Encounter

I had the most charming encounter with an older man this morning in the bookstore. He looked lost, so I approached him and asked, "Is there something I can help you find?" to which he replied, "Oh, no, thank you. I'm just looking for my bride."


Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2nd

Sometimes I feel like the past year has gone by so fast it's just a blur. Then I think to myself, hey, that happened in 2009 too.

On Monday (Monday it was still November) I was switching an appointment for later in the week. When the receptionist said something about December 3rd I said, "No, it was for this week" to which she replied, "This week is December"

Right. I knew that.

Can't really say what's been keeping me so busy, but I've been busy. Work at both places is going well. I enjoy the difference in the pace and the purpose between retail sales and academia. I've done a little shopping. I've made some Christmas cookies. Today I brought up the Christmas stockings, the music and the movies (I'm so excited! I hadn't remembered that we have Muppet Christmas Carol on DVD but there it was. Have I mentioned in the past that I love that movie? Gonzo as Charles Dickens cracks me up almost as much as Wishbone playing Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice).

I've also been knitting a little bit. I have a sock in progress (no photo). I have this scarf. It's a reversible cable:

And I have this sweater, which is pretty close to done:
I don't knit Christmas gifts - can't take the pressure - so I've been taking my time, doing what I can when I have the chance and enjoying it. Can't complain about that.