Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's amazing what a new coat of paint will do.

Thanks for the picture Grandma - I love it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

And the winner is.........

..........Mary Beth. And since you live nearby you can stop by sometime and choose something from my sewing room. How does that sound? But not until the boy pictured below is feeling better.

This couch is where he spent the majority of his time today, which made me a winner today too. He slept and watched movies off and on all day, so as you can see by the state of my living room in the picture below, I had lots of time to do some painting today. As a matter of fact it is almost completed, I just have to finish touching up some edges tomorrow. I love it!

All I wanted to do tonight was to sit and stare and soak up the new colors, but all the furniture is covered with toys and curtains. I am so excited about how it turned out!

So stay tuned.... hopefully I will have more pictures for you soon.

I think we will be housebound again tomorrow so I should have plenty of time.
Poor Aidan not only missed his field trip today, but we were going to carve pumpkins tonight, and tomorrow he will miss his new Tae Kwon Do class and Halloween festivities with neighborhood friends, along with our long-awaited family photos which we will have to reschedule. I took his temp before bed and it was back up to 104. Even in his feverish state he knew that number meant trouble, and he started to cry hot little tears, "I knew it! I am not going to be able to go trick-or-treating tomorrow." So much disappointment in two days for that child! Maybe some of our neighbor friends will let us trick or treat later this week. If not for his sake, for ours! I try not to buy candy so his inability to trick-or-treat affects James and I too!

Last Day of the Giveaway!

I thought I had more than 8 readers.... if you are lurking out please feel free to comment. You don't even have to comment on my blog, but just blogs in general. And you can enter even if you have won before.

Today is kind of a freebie for me. I had a bunch of errands to do and places to go and I am home with a sick kid instead. We have spent the first half of the morning snuggled on the couch. I love days like that as they are so rare now that he is in school. We did have a rough morning, however, because today was to be Aidan's first ever field trip and he has been talking about it all week. "Only three more days until the big day mom......" "I learned who my team is for the field trip mom....." Poor boy. I am also assuming he has H1N1 as his only symptoms are a high fever and headache. I hope he does okay with it. Some of our friends' children only had those symptoms for a day or two and then they were better, where others have had it last all week and ended up needing hospitalization for severe dehydration.

This week I received two great surprises, both of which I have pictures to share with you, but none of the pictures are loaded onto the computer yet. On Tuesday a big box of dried lavender came in the mail from this lady's garden. Thanks so much Mindy! What a treat to find that in my mailbox. (Mindy knew my parents (and our family) years ago when they all went to the same church in Fargo ND.) I am thinking sachets, but am not too sure yet.

And yesterday I was at work and I happened to look out the window and see a figure looking alot like James bolting across the parking lot through the rain. I thought about calling him to see why he would be at Unity Hospital, but then I let it go thinking it was probably my imagination. Well, a few moments later who should appear but James with a vase of flowers for me, congratulating me on getting through his unemployment. (I don't know if he was being kind, or if I really did okay. I thought I occasionally "spazzed out" and drove him crazy. Maybe he was just being kind.) Anyway, I usually always work at our Mercy Hospital office, but that happened to be the only day in the past few months I was at our Unity Hospital office. So in other words, he had all the ladies talking about what an amazing guy he was to drive to not one - but TWO hospitals in search of his wife. Thanks James, they are right. And yes, I will miss you when you are gone all the time again.

This week a friend and I tried our hand at making lefse. It turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. Her parents have sold it for years and so she is thinking we should do the same. We will see if anyone actually wants to buy it from us! (And Jane - it is nothing like Bob's. He has the Kahl family totally spoiled as his the thinnest, most tender lefse you can imagine. I have no idea how he can make it like that! Maybe in 25 years Carin and I will be at that level)

I also picked up a chair on Craigslist for 10 dollars that I plan to reupholster. A friend of mine recovered a chair like it recently following step by step instructions that she found on You Tube. So we will see. I need to finish up a few other projects first. (My living room is currently half painted. And did you know that Behr painter and primer in one works on every color but red? That's what the man who works at the counter told me, so I am priming over the red, cursing the day I chose that color. ( I think maybe someone warned me about that.... but I did love the color and it made our living room very warm and cozy the last few years.) But the time has come to move on! I am so excited!

So that's the week folks. Hopefully Aidan will be recovered tomorrow as we have lots of plans! What about you? What kind of plans do you have? (And after I find my camera I will insert some pics into the post to help liven it up a little.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

500th post Giveaway!!!!!

I can't believe that Monday's post was my 500th! I started blogging two years ago, and I honestly wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into, and I certainly did not expect that I would still be blogging today.

But I am, so to celebrate I think we need to have another giveaway. Granted- I just mailed the item from the last giveaway....... ( I can't help it, my credit card was stolen so I needed to keep all my little stash of cash for things like milk and eggs people!)

So what I am trying to say, is don't expect an overnight delivery if you win the giveaway. but if you do, know that you will receive a handmade treasure in a few weeks. Okay? (It may be handmade by me, or I may feature some of the beautiful items my aunt is sending from Mexico.)

So to enter - tell me why you enjoy reading blogs. Because if you actually read mine regularly you must have the same sort of blog addiction I do. So it's now time to fess up.

Contest ends November 1st.

(P.s. I found the lovely picture collage here.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking back to yesterday's post, I just have to confess I am with Jess. Sorry Mom and Val, I know you both have age and wisdom on your side, but.......... (If I knew how to add a cheesy smile this is where I would do it!) Why did that catalog have to come today? And why, oh why do I always find the cutest things that are way out of my price range? Anyone need some eye candy, (or items for under the Christmas tree James) head here.

(p.s. check back here tomorrow for a giveaway!)

Fall food

A variety of potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash with salt, nutmeg, fresh sage and olive oil.
All from the farm.
Roasted to perfection.

(And up until last year I wouldn't even eat sweet potatoes or butternut squash, and now I can't get enough! )

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another dilemma???

So we are having family photos taken next weekend by this talented lady.

They will be our first official photos since Aidan was a baby. (No one even saw the other ones as they were really U-G-L-Y and I was in the hideous stage of dying my hair dark brown. Why didn't anyone tell me how awful that hair color looked?!?!)

Anyway, I am trying to decide what on earth we should wear! It probably sounds self centered, but as James and Aidan look great no matter what they wear, I feel like I need to pick my clothes first, and then coordinate them to me. Although I hate being overly matchy-matchy......... But since this is probably the last photo we will do for a few years, (and since it will be a Christmas gift for all our relatives) I want us to look nice. We are going to be shooting at an old abandoned barn, so I am thinking (for me) dress, boots and a denim jacket. But finding
the perfect dress is much harder than I thought it would be! (And no James, it is not already hanging in my closet, because I asked you what you like the most on me and you came up with nothing.

Has anyone seen any cute dresses lately? I was thinking maybe something like this.

or this

Or maybe I should ask her to only take head shots..... that would eliminate all our problems.
No wonder we can only do this once every five years.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week in review

It has been a good week.

Nothing extraordinary but if you have five minutes to burn and a cup of coffee I will tell you all about it.

We had a date - an actual date- for the first time in months. (for some reason, both of us being home during the day during James' unemployment has not seemed like a date to me, as there is always a huge to-do list.) We went to Broders, one of my favorite restaurants, and then enjoyed some coffee and each others company afterward.

We both made some decisions this week, so starting November James will be employed at a telemedicine start-up in Eden Prairie and I am going to be nurse manager at the cardiology clinic where I am currently employed. There was alot of prayer, soul-searching and pro/con lists that went into our decision making, and it is a relief to have answers and be at peace with them. For James this job means a much longer commute, which also opens up some new options, and for me my job means much more flexibility, which will be very helpful as James will have longer hours away from home with his long commute.

And a little side note - I know it may not have always seemed like it, but I did enjoy James unemployment. After 5 years of having him working and completing his MBA, it was nice to feel like we had a functioning family again. And even though I am thankful he found a job, I am going to miss being able to eat dinner together at 5:00 and all the extra time he had for little household projects. During his unemployment he started fixing our vehicles, (which is almost a full time job) upgraded lots of the fixtures around the house, made yogurt and most recently replaced the carpet in Aidan's room. On the other hand I love that when I tidy up the house before I leave, I will return to a tidy house when I come home.

I also experienced having a credit card stolen for the first time ever, which if nothing else, is a total pain. I never realized how many accounts I have that are linked to it! Paypal, Amazon, Ebay, Netflix, Etsy, MPR,, and all my grocery services. Yikes!

This week I received my first ever flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine. Over the past few weeks quite a few people I know who are in the medical field have had bad experiences with the H1N1, including one physician who lost his son, and others who have had seriously ill family members requiring hospitalization. So I decided to roll up my sleeves and get in line. And I also will be giving the vaccinations to Aidan for the first time in his little life.

And last but not least- I finally decided on paint for my living room, and tonight I may even start priming! I am so excited! My old living room items have been selling quite well on Craigslist - for quite a profit too - it's all about picking up the right kind of secondhand items that people will be willing to pay for later. Things are taking shape: I fixed up an old lamp to work with a new lampshade using electrical tape, (I was rather proud of that one.) I embellished a couple pillows I found on clearance, and snagged the chair from my guest bedroom until I find another. I am still trying to find a rug- James and Aidan keep asking me when I am going to get one as the wood floors are not very comfortable for wrestling on. I had found the perfect rug at Anthro- but as it sat in my virtual shopping cart while I saved my money, they sold out.

(the lampshade)

So - while most of the week probably seemed un-monumental to you, it was a great week for us.

And that's a wrap folks. We are taking Aidan trick-or-treating at the gym today, and then we are off to the apple orchard.

(This is where James and Aidan have spent most of their week. James bought some electronic circuit toy/science project and they have been making projects all week. Now you know why they keep asking about a rug!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Something old, Something new

Lately I have been emptying our house out. Partly because I am planning to change the living room around, and partly because it feels nice to get rid of things. (craigslist is amazing!)

For the past few years James has saved and hunted for one of these, and he finally found one for a reasonable price. the only problem is where to put it in this little rambler of ours????? The logical choice seemed to be his office but there was no room!

Remember my $10.00 yard sale couch from this summer? Well, it ended up being someone else's $100 Craigslist couch!

And as much as I poo-pooed the idea of a rowing machine at home, I will confess that instead of being productive around the house while James and Aidan were gone this week I hauled that thing downstairs and rowed every night while I watched TV. I even have the callouses to prove it!

We have been gathering costumes for play at the thrift store, so here is our Ninja Rower, minus the scary mask.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I haven't been blogging much lately as you know. I haven't been sewing or painting or cooking or anything else either.

I have just been pondering. Jobs, houses, big decisions, little ones, I am just stuck.

And waiting for answers.

This is the state of my living room wall, (and it has been like this for almost 2 whole months) and it is similar to my state of mind.

So keep checking back. I am praying for guidance, and so one of these days when I am finally blogging again, you will know my mind as at peace.

In the meantime, I am just enjoying this kid and his dad.

(I know James isn't in the picture, but he took the picture. Who else would take a picture like this????)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Better late than never!

So in answer to the contest I posted last week......... Stacy is the winner! You are right, I finally bought a new Kitchenaid and I am loving it! You all have great observation skills! And Stace- if you send me your address I will send you a surprise. I wish I could say it is a Kitchenaid, but I only had one in my budget this year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


When you wake up and it looks like this outside,

you know it is going to be a good day for homemade chicken noodle soup.
This has been one of Aidan's favorite foods lately and he enjoyed the canned version in his lunch all week.

Now he will have some of "the good stuff" next week. Little does he know, but I added some leeks, celeriac root and turnips along with the carrots, peas and corn. I also added the rest of the
basil pesto I made this week. I had planned to make more pesto to freeze, but I didn't cover my basil plants up last night because I didn't really believe the weather man........... so in other words, no more pesto. But - we will have lots of soup to enjoy this week. I hope you all are staying warm too.


Watch out - if you read this book you may suddenly find yourself setting your alarm clock at 5:00 a.m. so you can fit in a run before the day starts. Dangerous stuff.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today..... a soup kind of day here in Minnesota. We have had nothing but grey for the past week, which is causing me to reconsider if I really want grey walls.

I am actually enjoying the luxury of a totally free day. I went to the gym for a few hours, made this soup, and now I am going to get a haircut. Aidan is at school, James is out light fixture shopping (????) and the house is still. I love it.

I love the soup too. You should try it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This week......

Aidan learned how to play Battleship.

And to top it off, he totally stumped me because he kept switching to CHINESE while we were playing!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Notice anything different in this picture?
No - it is not the child cooking in his Halloween costume.... something else.
I will put all the correct answers in a hat and draw one next week on Friday. I am not sure yet what you will win....... but as I am going to spend quite a few hours on the road this weekend I should have plenty of time to think about it.
Good luck- and happy guessing!

And for the Grandma's....... a short little movie featuring Spiderman speaking Chinese as he cooks. Amazing.

This is for you Steph.

I finally did it.

Just in time to turn on the furnace.