State Fair Highlights!

Oh yeah... I was there again today. This time it was Keli's turn to experience the Great Minnesota Get Together. Aside from the food (which consisted of yes, the frozen mocha on a stick ~ divine and cool and really yummy, a batch of deep-fried cheese curds which we shared and could not finish, treats from the dairy section ~ a chocolate malt for her and a chocolate cone for me and that was it!) here were just a few shots from the highlights of our day...

We had the most fun and laughs in the Poultry/Sheep building. We really enjoy the chickens to be honest. But they can be a beast in the photography department! They refuse to pose! There was a fluffy black one that I loved, but the photo was just a blurr, unfortunately. Here are the best of the best shots from my attempts...

We also spent a little time watching the butter carving. This particular butterhead isn't today's masterpiece. We didn't have time to stick around and see how it turned out. They take about 6 hours to carve in the 38 degree cooler. And the artist and her subject didn't hang out inside for long before it was time for a break and a hot cup of cocoa, so we didn't get to see much of the work.
And then there was Paul Bunyan's new boot on display. I heard them saying that it would be too big for Lady Liberty should she decide to try it on. Well alrighty then. Personally, I think she'd be more interested in the ruby red one anyway. It's far more stylish and in today's hip world, I think she'd find it far more appealing. ;)

The last two photos are together (and one is obviously not a photo of a state fair chicken) because the chicken reminded me so much of the fire dance characters from Labyrinth. Sorry I couldn't have done better with the photo, but that's all the better I could find via Google.

Playing in my head: quiet house

give what you can...

Mr. Rude Cactus has posted a list of the charities who "have agreed to handle direct cash donations and assist the individuals, families and businesses hardest hit in the Gulf Coast region." Check it out and do what you can... It is in the extended portion of his post so click on the Keep going... you know you want to! when you get there.

My family's hearts and prayers go out to the people hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Playing in my head: sadness...


Beautiful Girl...

Just because.

I watch as my fellow blog mommies send their chicks off to college and know that soon enough I'll be watching my own spread her wings and fly. *sniffle*

I've been taking more photos of her lately. Which annoys her to no end (and is probably why she appears to be not enjoying the pie so much, Spook...). You can watch for them on Flickr. Or here. ;)


School hasn't started yet. There is no dew on the ground in the morning. Seasonal allergies haven't changed over again. The band hasn't had it's first field show competition. And yet Fall has arrived.

This is how I know.

I went with my old Gray Street Buddy in what has become an annual meet up for us. We thought we might be taking our daughters along with us, but they were too tired to get up and join us at that hour of the morning (can you say teenager?). And who can blame them? It is the last few days of summer for them. School is starting very soon. Sooner than even I thought. They are both starting back this Thursday.

We had a lot of fun and this year, after making this comment to her as we walked in the gate, "I didn't see anyone I knew last year, I wonder if I will this year?" although there was a sea of people there throughout the day (as you can see)...

Attendance on Monday was 121,951...

I did hear someone call my name right after I stopped to grab this picture of the Minnesota State Fair Gopher...

And it turned out to be my old friend Hutch! While I was taking that photo, they were standing right under the gopher and her little guy saw me and pointed me out! They were there with her sister (in pink), who was/is a member of my RFL team, Keith's Brain Trust.

(Which reminds me, we still need to have a party for the team to celebrate our fantastic fund-raising success for 2005!)

Then making the world even smaller, we were riding our shuttle back to the parking lot we selected and I caught a glimpse of Kel's former private French Horn tutor and his family, also riding our shuttle... I'm just lucky I don't have Disney's "Small World" stuck in my head right now! (Of course, I'm not entirely sure which song is worse to be honest...)

We saw many things common to the Fair-going experience. Like the french fry eating contest pictured here. The confident-looking young man in the white polo with the flipped up collar was the winner, by the way. Personally? I just liked the dude in the fry costume. I hope he/she was paid well. Because that was one happy fry-guy. He was dancing around on the sidewalk trying to get people in to buy fries all day. And can you imagine the heat under that thing? But as C pointed out to me, it was probably a lot cooler in there than in the actual fry stand frying the potatoes all day. I'm sure she was right about that.

And we ate some of the usual fair fare (although not as much as usual - we exercised a lot of restraint!)... Our breakfast this year was an ear of roasted corn and it was the sweetest corn I think I've ever had. It was fabulous. This was breakfast because we really weren't hungry until around noon. We had deep-fried cheese curds in the afternoon (which we split).

At some point there were discussions about the frozen mocha on a stick which had gotten great reviews in the newspaper, but we never got back for it. I'll have to make sure and rectify that. We had mini-donuts on the way out (of course), which we again split. But we commented that this year we skipped over many of our usuals and we had absolutely nothing on a stick! Quite shocking indeed... ;) We had no shake from the dairy building (and didn't even go in for a glimpse of how the sculptures were coming along - the ones made of a block of butter of all of the princess candidates!), no french fries, no deep fried pickles (her) or caramel apple sundaes (me). I can't think of anything else we actually did eat.

The latest additions to the food-on-a-stick craze include spaghetti and meatballs, battered bananas foster bites, cheeseburger calzones and a Thai flavored sausage (Puffy Daddy). Other new foods include chocolate dipped potato chips, grilled chocolate sandwiches, chocolate covered sunflower seeds and mini cinnamon rolls. We didn't try any of them (and hadn't planned to aside from that mocha I mentioned earlier, although I did hear a rumor about someone I know who was thinking of sampling the grilled chocolate sandwich - I'll let you know what he thought if I get a review).

Monday's miles: 3.54
Total so far: 424.95
Still to go for goal: 75.05

Playing in my head: Shannon by Henry Gross


Gotta See to Believe...

So my bro's the Anonymous family went to dinner today at a local restaurant (or was it brekkie?) and while there had an order of cheesecurds. With this order of cheesecurds came a side of tortilla chips - little colorful ones. So cute! And mixed in the bunch was a special little chip - just made for this family. My nieces saved it, Anonymous packaged it, and it was presented to me tonight at a bonfire at their house... click here to view... Wait for it. Ya gotta see it to believe it.

And yes. It really is a chip. Amazing, isn't it? Thanks for saving it, Anonymous family!!!


Keli and I went out for one of our favorite treats the other evening after her haircut... mmmmm, pie! We both have a love for lemon merengue. :)

(Taken by my fotophone!)

I noticed on the recent trip to Grand Marais how very popular pie is in Minnesota. It was sold everywhere and advertised heavily...

Unfortunately, it isn't always as good as it sounds like it should be. But for the most part it is. :) Not much can top my mom's homemade apple pie, though. And the best part is, you never have to worry about finding any toenails. heh.

Playing in my head: Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. Why me?


JLThat is... the End of Summer All Night Girl's Night Blast! If you've been reading along for a while, you'll remember that I have an appreciation for being the mom to a single child, and for that child being a teenage girl. Or perhaps not. Perhaps I've only thought in my head about the fact that I'm not totally enamored of groups of small children at this point in my life or how grateful I am that those groups do not belong to me. At any rate, I also have a great appreciation for being an aunt to a small gaggle of teenage girls.

CJThis appreciation has led to Girls' Night. We get together and enjoy each other's company and do various things like go to a movie or go have ice cream or prepare some little thing needed for Relay or craft or just hang out and giggle. Once, late last year, we had an overnight and showed movies on the wall at our house. Well they've been wanting a repeat of this ever since. So Wednesday night was dubbed the great End of Summer All Night Girl's Night Blast! I'm loading my photos to Flickr now while I've got a good connection, but here are a few to get things started... ;)

KelI think everyone had a pretty good time. Well, all except for JL. She had a good time, but she ended up not feeling well. Some kids just can't handle their preservatives and sugar as well as the rest. ;)

We played some games. CJ suggested this. First up was Operation Brain Surgery. CJ won the first round of this and insisted we play again later after EE arrived and while we waited for JL to get off the phone. CJ was great at this game, I should add. I think she has a real future in neurosurgery! I only wish I'd gotten photos at this time, but I was busy with my hands buried in the head, so...

The biggest game-playing hit of the night was Shout About Movies. It was huge! I hope this company added a lot more movies to their available list before they made more of the DVDs, though. We played the first two discs and they reused so many movies that even though we hadn't seen many of them, we were so able to recognize them that it was just kind of silly before we even got to the fourth (of six) game.

Copious amounts of junk food were eaten (hey, I'm the fun auntie, I can do these sorts of things and expect the same when my child goes to their house for fun times), gallons of orange pop were consumed. Cake was made (and tic-tac-toe was played in the frosting - yes, we had a very hygienically controlled kitchen, even grandma was impressed). Lemon poppyseed muffins were added to our overnight repertoire of foodstuffs for Girls' Night overnights. Thanks, grandma!

I managed to not only put my foot in my mouth at some point during the event, but also into the puppychow, thereby rendering a good half-batch contaminated by "foot juice". It was the only crunchy chocolate available. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And so I declared "Let them eat cake!" Then grumbling was heard by the masses.

EEMany funny things were said. One movie scene popped up during "Shout" in which was spied a stuffed lion. A player cried out "Sigfried and Roy!" for a movie title. Much laughter ensued (by the one who said it, also!)...
We watched Weekend at Bernie's (an overnight tradition in the making?). We introduced them to the early minutes of Kung Fu Hustle though I don't think they were as impressed as we were. That's when I went to bed and they switched over to Little Black Book. I think they were all pretty much crashing by then.

You'll have to hit my flickr account to see the morning after photos. Of which there are very few for fear of having a camera accident. I made pancakes for brekkie - a double batch. Many of which I now have in my frige as leftovers. Anybody wanna come over for breakfast?

Thursday's miles: 4
Total so far: 421.41
Still to go for goal: 78.59

Wednesday's miles: 4.5
Total so far: 417.41
Still to go for goal: 82.59

Playing in my head: Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel


Even more Grand Marais!

Hurrah! Marge got me photos from Grand Marais! So rather than put them up on Flickr like they belong to me or something (okay, so I did this too), I'm going to post them here with full credit to her! :) Besides, they're cool and I want to show them off. Cuz Marge is cool. And she has no blog. So from the camera of Mystical Marge...

Here's the group at the campfire... the night which I missed out on. Because I'm lame-o. Picture me with my fingers in the "shape of an 'L' on my forehead..." because that's me. The last chance to hear Vicki's great stories. Did I hear them? No.

But here are Jen and I at dinner just a few hours before that. And Jen is looking at me like I've just finished the first chorus of Beck's "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you ..." (I refrain from finishing the line so nobody specific gets upset with me - ahem).

Then I love this one. Grand Marais has its share of local flavor... As you can see, this is The Beaver House. What town wouldn't want to boast of a place like this? It was really windy the afternoon Marge took this shot and I was a-feared for her life as she went to get this shot - I thought the tail of the fish (which swayed ever so gently, just a tiny bit) was going to tumble right down off the roof and take her head off! And wouldn't that be some sort of Fargo-esque type of moment? This shot and the one Kathy got of the Gunflint Trail sign and a couple of others need to go together in a nice little collection.

That reminds me, I haven't been back to Kathy's Flickr collection to see what she has added lately!

Ahh, memories. That was a great trip, ladies. One I will be happy to repeat any time you say the word. I hope we have the chance again some day soon. Thanks for the invitation.

Playing in my head: Loser by Beck

play along!

tuesday is chooseday

either leave your answers or a link to your webpage with your responses.

    Would you rather:
  1. have a first name that nobody can pronounce OR one nobody can remember? Yeah, I live as a person with no memory. It'd be fun to see that nobody else can remember. It'd validate my life. :)

  2. be confined to a couch for three weeks OR wear rollerblades for three weeks straight? Oy. Think of the kicka$$ thighs one would have! (But somebody let KathyHowe know that she's gonna be confined to the couch. We don't want her breaking anything. Did she answer these already?)

  3. be the person who cleans up the elephant cages at the circus OR the person who cleans the friers at mcdonalds? No fun cleaning the elephant cages. No fun in either job, I'm sure. But at least one could have some treats at McDonalds. And since one is getting come really great exercise wearing the rollerblades, one isn't worried about calories.

  4. your poop be bright blue OR your saliva be grass green? How entertaining would THAT be?!!! I mean, who would even see your poop?! No fun in that...

I had a dentist appointment today. Have I mentioned that I love my dentist? I love my hygienist, too. They both rock. Any my hygienist is one of those really strong, cool people. Her husband is going through major cancer stuff. He is a miracle person. Third opinion agreed with others in that he should have lived about 4 months. It has been years and they still don't know why he is still alive. Bernie, you rock. My mileage this week is for you. Because you are a miracle!!! And Barb? You are amazing. Love to you both. Hang in there, Barb. You are a superwoman.

Today's miles: 3.5
Total so far: 412.91
Still to go for goal: 87.09

Playing in my head: Superman's Song by Crash Test Dummies


Monday already

Friday I got to see the fruits of all of the labor from the high school marching band during last week's field show bootcamp. In just five days, they managed to put together an incredible show (so far) with some gorgeous music. They'll be competing for the first time in just a couple of weeks already, so the hard work is a necessity!

The weekends go so fast! Especially when they are filled with such exciting things as Pepper Festivals! Oh yes. Small town festivals can be found in abundance in the Midwest, dontcha know. And we really know how to doemup right here in Wisconsin. Almost as good as dey do in Miny-sota, wit der fish tossing competitions and der log rolling games of skill and alla dat. Here in Nort Hudson over da weekend we had us some big times...

Der was da pepper eatin' competition and da spaghetti eatin' competition... We had us a parade and a fishing contest, a pepper cooking contest, a running contest and bingo (lots and lots of bingo), a talent show and a carnival. And dey crowned a new Pepper King and Queen and some princesses, too! Let's not forget da beer garden. It wouldn't be a festival in Wisconsin witout a beer garden, dontcha know. And you could find pretty much anyting you wanted deep fried to eat. But da best food was cooked by doze Eye-talian ladies (seeing as how it was a whole Eye-talian festival)... Hot dago sandwiches and meatballs and ravioli and peppers of all varieties. It was quite a party, let me tell ya. Like all of dem der festivals in small towns around here.

Friday's miles: 4
Total so far: 409.41
Still to go for goal: 90.59

Thursday's miles: 4
Total so far: 405.41
Still to go for goal: 94.59

Playing in my head: Backyard Boogie by Root City


Summers of youth...

So as I said previously, I wandered out to the old teen hangout this afternoon as part of my walk/run. I think I spent maybe a tenth of one summer out on the dike.

Keli got me thinking about this topic after she said that her summer has been pretty sad (and she was laughing as she said it to be quite honest because she has been enjoying this) because instead of going out and doing things this last summer of high school, she's gotten more reclusive than ever... most of her nights lately have been spent in our basement watching Gilmore Girls reruns on DVD with her mother! She was saying this as I was driving her to a party with some friends that she hung out with last year but that she has lost touch with this year. That's where all of this was coming from.

Anyway, a week or so was about as long as I was cool enough to hang with the "in" crowd. Or rather, as long as I wanted to be cool enough to hang with them. Then I discovered that their brand of cool wasn't all that much fun. I had a lot more fun doing the stuff I had previously done hanging with one or two old loyal friends than I would in a month down there getting sand in my bathing suit watching the beautiful people work on their tans and watching the jocks try to impress the beautiful people by tossing their latest sports implements around the sand without stepping on too many girls or hitting too many little kids.

the dike
Originally uploaded by KinnicChick.

beer can island
Originally uploaded by KinnicChick.

old hometown bay
Originally uploaded by KinnicChick.

swimming island
Originally uploaded by KinnicChick.

(But having it available was nice, as you can see from the photos. I think the older brothers who were always popular and "in" liked it. Eh?) Speaking of the photos, embiggening them from the fone makes them rather blurry sometimes (I suppose only if I've moved when taking them... heh). So forgive the quality of them.

So after a week or so, I picked up where I left off all the other summers and went back to hanging out with books and swimming in our family pool where there was no sand or beer cans pulls or bottles or clam shells to cut the feet on. Or strangers in boats taking over the beach whenever they wanted to. I invited one or two people over and if they could make it or wanted to, they did and we'd have a great time playing at juvenile antics and not knowing the latest gossip.

Or I'd go spend a few days hanging out at my grandma's house, where I could have a room of my own upstairs pretending I was a boarder in a little boarding house. And she'd let me stay up half the night watching television. And I could drink tea. And play cards for money. And she would buy me my favorite foods.

Who needed the in crowds and the beautiful people?

Once a nerd, always a nerd. What can I say?

Playing in my head: Yawns and vacuous silence... My lack of sleep is starting to catch up with me.

me lucky charms!

It was like looking for the proverbial needle in a hay stack.

During her first trip to Japan, Kel brought me back a cool little thing to hang on my cell phone. They are apparently all the rage there. It was very cool. Gold, with a little door on the end that could be twisted off and inside, I could hear something rattling around, so I opened it up and found a tiny little gold rectangle, decorated with an icon of some sort on one side (I have no idea if it is an icon in the traditional sense, I'm just calling it that, okay?).

The only problem was, my dinosaur of a phone (you remember the dinosaur) had nothing to hang it from (click the link for closeup photos and you'll see there is nuttin' to hang my charm on!), so at that time, I hung it from a book bag I used for Friday morning writing with Mystical Marge.

Well, once I opened it, apparantly it became much easier for the end to twist open because it wasn't long after that, the end fell off and opened up and both the end and the little icon were lost to me. I was quite sad. But I found the end inside my bookbag very quickly and one day while cleaning out my car, there was the icon!

Well, you can imagine my excitement when the dinosaur phone was retired recently, to discover that my new phone had just such a place to put the very cool little good luck charm from my daughter's travels to Japan! And it had been staying shut and all together during this entire year plus since she had given it to me, too! So I attached it recently to my phone. And someone asked me about it. So I showed them the cool little icon inside.

And of course, you all know where I'm going with this story.

Today I took my phone on my walk from la Poste to my folks' house. When I got there, I looked down at the phone and discovered that the good luck charm was wide open. End cap and icon were gone!

So I headed back the same way I came and when I was about half way back, there they were! Lying on the sidewalk just as happy as could be to wait for me. Only about ten inches apart from each other. I realize I got completely lucky. But what else is a good luck charm good for? ;)

When I finished looking for that, I was so perky, I kept right on walking and headed down to the old dike road across the river. It was a pretty cloudy and windy day, but I thought I'd grab a couple of photos with the photofone and let you see where I hung out for a summer in the teen years... it's tradition you see. I'll save that for the next post, though. Give ya'll something to look forward to.

Today's miles: 5
Total so far: 401.41
Still to go for goal: 98.59

Playing in my head: My gurgly tummy after two bowls of chocolate lucky charms. Yep. You read it right. Chocolate. Two bowls. Blech.

choosy tuesday (late!)

I'm still in that half asleep state and since this is on my blogwalk and I've missed it for months on end, I figured there's no time like the present. Why not leave your answers in the comments too?

tuesday is chooseday

either leave your answers or a link to your webpage with your responses.

1] have the manners of a chimpanzee (fling poo, scratch butt, etc) OR have the body odor of one? Perhaps if the fling poo hadn't been included, but I just couldn't get into that one...
2] walk like a penguin OR talk like daffy duck? Daffy's speech impediment makes me crazy within a three minute segment of a cartoon. Can you imagine this long term?
3] eat an entire raw banana slug OR the juice from five jellyfish? Plug the nose and suck that juice down quick.
4] hold a live wasp in your mouth for a full minute OR have an earthworm crawl up your nose? It'd be an extremely long minute, but can you imagine how long it would take that worm and how circuitous its route might be? No thank you.


Playing in my head: still Private Conversation by Lyle Lovett


Insomnia, especially in the wee morning hours, sucks. I'm not a morning person. Never have been. And I can't imagine that I ever will be. Because people don't change. Do they? Some wise person told me that they don't. He was told that his former girlfriend, the wise and all-knowing ME (that isn't me, it's initials) said people cannot change their inherent state of being. Well, I don't believe that for a minute, but in this I think it's pretty safe to say, I'm not going to change. I will not become a morning person in this lifetime. I've tried. It's not gonna happen.

So being awake at this time of day (I gave up around 5:30) after having slept a short time (off and on for 3 hours) and then waking up and being unable to fall back to sleep and knowing that it is worthless to keep trying after an hour of tossing and turning... well, let's just say that I am completely incapable of anything more complex than counting to three or stating my name at this time of day (don't expect anything coherent out of this post, please). Where was I going with all of this blathering???

The upside of this for you the reader, is that being incoherent also allows me to post things a coherent person might not post.

Here for your entertainment is the first installment of stupid cellphone photo tricks...

And Stu? I'm not ignoring your comment... I have every intention of stopping by your earlier meme (since you asked) and checking in with some input. And I hope if any of my two and a half readers have some ideas they'll drop by too.

Now I shall attempt to make coffee. If I'm not mainlining it by 8, I will undoubtably be in trouble. It's going to be a loooooooong day. But looking at the bright side, I might be able to visit a few of your blogs that I've been neglecting lately. I won't understand a word any of you has written, but hey, I'll be able to visit them!

Playing in my head: Private Conversation by Lyle Lovett


mowing time

There hasn't been a whole lotta mowing going on around here this summer. In the past, anyone who happened upon my blog read about the adventures of mowing once or twice a month in the spring through fall months because there was always something happening with the tractor, or the critters seen/mowed down (okay, that didn't happen often so don't panic; no hate mail please), or perhaps a photo was provided of my papa on the mower...

Well, this year with all of the travel I've been engaged in and when I wasn't traveling, the weather hasn't always cooperated and certain decisions about leaving more of the property to nature, it has only been mowed once. Yes. Once.

Until today. I came home from my typical carousing, dropping Kel at her nine hour field show practice (yes, nine hours... can you imagine?) and then lunch with my longest (years and years - she's really old) Gray Street buddy, followed by reading and coffee on the patio at Cafe la Poste in the old home town and decided to hop on the tractor and get the mowing done since it hadn't rained as predicted.

Unfortunately, the tractor was not feeling particularly "in the mood" for this event. I hopped on board and tried to start it. The engine kicked over and then wound down sickly until it died. Every effort after that produced nothing. I pushed it out into the middle of the garage so I could move around it and check various things.

It needed oil so I added oil.
I cleaned off the connections to the battery.
I checked the gas tank. There was gas.
I poured a little gas into the carbourator as I had seen papa do.
In between these things I kept trying to start it.
Nothing helped.

I knew what all of this meant, of course.

I was going to have to jump start it.


I have never jump started anything in my life. Everytime I've ever had a dead battery on car or tractor, there has always been someone else around to connect the scary cable thingies ;) to the batteries so that I would not have to. I prolonged the agony as long as I could trying everything else I could think of first. Then I pushed the mower back so it was even with the front of my monster SUV which was parked in the driveway. *sigh* I did not want to do this.

I got the cable thingies out and read the instructions in the tractor manual on how to jump the battery about 50 times to make sure I knew exactly what I would need to do. And then... I did it. And neither battery exploded. But the mower didn't start. Which made no sense whatsoever to me. I figured I had it connected wrong. So I disconnected it all and started over again. Then I started the car - more juice needed? This made no sense, but I did it anyway. And then I remembered. The brake has to be engaged on the mower in order for it to start... A safety thing. :)

Popped right off. And still, I didn't blow up either battery. But it was probably the most stressful thing I've done in months. years. Hope I don't have to do it every dogdamn time I go to start it from now on. But I got it mowed. And none too soon by the sound of the thunder out there right now.

Today's miles: 4
Total so far: 396.41
Still to go for goal: 103.59

Playing in my head: Happy Birthday Song Haven't you heard? It's Kazoofus's Birthday!!!


blog for hope

Granted, I'm finding this a little late in the month, but I just wanted to promote the Blog for Hope going on over at Yahoo! this month.

Yahoo! and the American Cancer Society are breaking new ground in an effort to connect individuals in the fight against cancer. In a 30-day Blog for Hope event on Yahoo! Health, celebrities from every walk of public life will share the triumphs, insights, and personal stories of how cancer has affected their lives.

I'm finding the stories very interesting, triumphant, and hopefully, a helpful promotion for the ACS, too.

Playing in my head: Happy Phantom by Tori Amos

for the fans

For all of you fans of the 30-second bunny theater, I see that Rocky Horror Picture Show is now available for viewing...

You know. As performed by the bunnies. In 30 seconds. :)

(don't forget to get your dancing lesson at the end of the movie!)

Playing in my head: Time Warp What else?



Some day? I'm going to blog the photos I keep taking by accident using my camera phone. Having a button on the outside of my phone to turn the camera on makes it just too easy to take accidental photos. I have more pictures of a quarter of my face than you can imagine. It's kinda funny. I'll have a whole gallery of them some day.

Playing in my head: The Gilmore Girls Theme Song

a beautiful day

It's a beautiful day here in Wisconsin. The sun is shining, it isn't too hot and it isn't too cold, and the humidity is low (the important point). I headed to the old hometown around 11 because I had a movie to return before noon. Getting that errand accomplished I went to my favorite coffee shop (Cafe la Poste) and ordered a Grande Turtle Mocha Frio. (For you Starbucks aficianados, that would be your typical frozen and flavored latte drink, whatever they are called.) I headed out to the patio with it and pulled out my current read (the Gabriel Garcia Marquez autobiography called, Living to Tell the Tale).

The usual suspects were hanging at the coffee shop. The owner was there and out on the patio the Professor of Economics and his wife were sharing the Sunday paper and having drinks under an umbrella. I grabbed a table in the sun.

When I'd finished my drink I closed my book and looked around, enjoying the early afternoon breeze. A car went by and turned the corner and it looked so much like my parents' car that I pulled out my cell phone and called their house. When my mom answered, I asked her if dad had gone out for his cappuccino. She said that he had and asked why I was asking. "Well, I think I just saw him drive by."

"No, you didn't. He's sitting right here next to me. Where are you?"

"I'm sitting down at la Poste but I'm about to go for a walk and thought I'd walk up to your place for a visit."

So I did. I went inside and bought a bottle of water and headed east toward their place. It didn't take long to arrive. They don't live far from the downtown area. I hung out with them for a while, used their internet connection for a while (ahhh, the beauty of broadband), had a call from Keith while I was there and then thought I'd better get going.

It was a gorgeous walk back downtown. I even took a little detour to stretch it out a little. What a glorious day. I love this time of summer (provided the humidity is low).

Today's miles: 3.5
Total so far: 392.41
Still to go for goal: 107.59

What did you do for enjoyment this weekend? Did you do something that helped your health? Did you do something that made you take the oxygen deep into your lungs? Did you eat something extra delicious? Something that actually made you close your eyes and savor it? Hear a sweet birdsong that stopped you in your tracks trying to find its origin? Was there something that brought you back to the moment today?

Playing in my head: One by One All Day from The Shins



I spent the past hour working on this long and wonderful post about my date with myself yesterday. Then my internet connection crashed. Now I haven't the heart to try and recreate the dang thing.

So here's a photo or two instead...

These guys have been trying to take out residence in the hot tub. And so everyday, I participate in the local frog relocation program. But aren't they cute???

The array of colors available made this a particularly difficult decision. But one in which I was happy to take part. :)

Kel has been busy lately creating rocker jeans. Here she is modeling the first pair that she made out of an old pair of my regular jeans. Once B saw them, he wanted her to make a pair for him out of his pants. His twin razzed him for a few days about them, and then asked her if she'd make some for him, too. So she has become a fashion designer overnight for the kids around here. She went over to a friend's house and worked for an afternoon with them making more last week. They worked to attach other things like patches to them and beat them up a bit with kitchen implements to give them a more grunge look. So the pair in this photo has evolved since this was taken. They may look like ordinary jeans to you, but believe me, if you could see a before shot, you'd see a difference. Note the tight legs (and zero pins ala 80's!).

Yesterday's miles: 4.6
Total so far: 388.91
Still to go for goal: 111.09

Playing in my head: Up Where We Belong from my senior prom (heh - see what happens when we start chatting about the 80's Jen?


More Random Thoughts

I finally updated the book blog. It's been a while so there was a bit to say. In fact, I updated one post and created a second.

Jen, you and I need to have a little IM chat regarding our theories concerning Harry Potter. We never did get back to that discussion up in Grand Marais.

It's also been a while since I updated my mileage. I told Jen it had been a long time since I did any running, but it hadn't been as long as I was thinking. In fact, I had run only a couple of days before I headed north with Mystical Marge. I had just forgotten about it because it was such an uneventful and forgettable run. But I've not been logging the miles here for the miles I've been doing, so now I have to log them all at once. Not that it will be impressive or anything for as long as it's been. I've got me some work to do if I'm going to reach my self-imposed goal by the end of the year...

Recent miles: 12.3
Total so far: 384.31
Still to go for goal: 115.69

I haven't had much time to do any blogwalking lately. So if you're stopping by, thank you so much! I appreciate your visit. Let me know you're here by saying hello. And if you're doing any summer reading these days, my nightstand pile is starting to get on the short side, so let me know what's in your stack.

What are you reading???

Playing in my head: Hard Rain's Gonna Fall from Bob Dylan


This and That

Dana Reeve announced that she has lung cancer. This news blew me away today. She went through an awful lot for the nine years that Christopher was alive after the riding accident. And now this. :(

Jen tells me 500miles got a nod on the BlogHer website because of our meetup. Check it out!

And I mistakenly chose the wrong (busiest) time of day to try and upload Grand Marais photos to Flickr. It is going to take me hours (DAYS!) to accomplish this feat.

Playing in my head: The Freshmen by Verve Pipe



I grew up listening to Peter Jennings reporting on the big news stories, so it definitely saddens me to say, Rest in Peace, Mr. Jennings. Dead at the age of 67 from lung cancer...

Playing in my head: ABC's World News Tonight theme song...

More BlogHer photos...

She says she's no good in the kitchen... But Jen gave her a sharp object and she handled it just fine!

A luminous smile!

Well, it was the fishermen's picnic afterall... what else are you gonna do with all the fish?

Playing in my head: Pancake by Tori Amos


My weekend

Here we are at the Angry Trout in Grand Marais (featured on tv this week by Jason Davis - On the Road, apparantly!) before our lovely dinner the first evening... That's me, Jen, Kathy, Vicki, Vicki's Husband (FG) and her daughter (TD). And in the lower photo, once again, we have Kathy, non-blogger but terrific traveling companion and all-around fantastic friend, mystical Marge, me, and Jen...

Oh yeah. That's right. - It was time for the infamous 2005 Midwest BlogHer Meetup in Northern Minnesota... and it was a dem fine time with some dem fine women. I smiled and laughed until my face hurt.

Playing in my head: Laughter of good friends...