Along the Path

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Reception at the Graves 601

Dave is the Audio/Video Manager of the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis.

He is responsible for all the lighting, sound, A/V equipment and production at the hotel.

The Graves is a boutique hotel. It is the only 4 star hotel in Minneapolis.

It is very upscale and dark and it is wrapped in exotic Paldeo wood.

Very chic and modern. This is Dave's type of place (he is very chic and modern). I however, find it rather different, as I am much more comfortable at the warm, cozy and charming Bed and Breakfasts of Stillwater (I am warm, cozy and charming :) ).

This is a wedding reception at the Graves. The photos were taken by the wonderful photographers at Studio 306.

The Graves 601 is a great place for your wedding reception or event if you are looking for the ambiance of very modern and definitely something different.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Gregory and I had date night on Wednesday night.

We went to the movie Coraline.

I am not a huge fan of animated movies, so I didn't think I was going to like it, but since it was Gregory's choice, I was being a sport.

I actually really liked this movie.

The imagery in the film is beautiful and amazing and it was a lot of fun to watch Gregory's eyes light up and listen to his reactions of "wow" and "cool".

I would, however, be very careful about bringing young children to this movie. I really don't think I would have brought Gregory if he was much younger, and now after I have seen it, I know I wouldn't have.

If you have read the book, you know it is beautifully spooky; a rather haunting, scary and creepy tale.

The movie is no different. We both found it funny, haunting, and sometimes scary as heck.

Don't let the fact it is an animated movie fool you. This is not a movie for little kids. I think it would be too much. I think it is much more appropriate for kids 10 and up, and I think adults (even without kids) would enjoy it.

When I really enjoy a movie I purchase it, and I think I will be getting this one when it comes out on DVD.

I have a side note to our movie date.

We went to Hudson Cinema to watch the movie. Located off of 94 just after the River Falls Exit. If you take the Sommerset exit and take a right the second road on your right will get you there.

This movie complex is beautiful. I love it.

It is seldom busy (Gregory and I and one other mother and her daughter were the only people in the movie theater for our movie, and we only seen about 10 other people total in the entire complex).

The seats are so comfortable. Reclining leather seats with high backs. They really are the best movie seats I have ever sat in.

The place is clean and brand new and everyone is friendly.

The best part...........

The restrooms!!

They are the largest, nicest restrooms I have ever been in short of Nordstroms at the Mall of America. When the Mall of America first opened up and I was nursing Kyle and searching high and low for somewhere to feed him and found the Nordstroms restroom; the comfy couches, low lighting, carpeted floor and beautiful tissue boxes and foot massager were the most amazing thing I had ever seen in my life!

Now it is the Hudson movie theatre restroom.

I have never seen another person in there. It is so huge, clean, sparkling and beautiful, you would think everyone would be in there enjoying it. The first time I went in there I came out and told Dave he needed to go in there and take a look (he wouldn't. Boy is he missing out).

I brought my camera along this trip, so I could share it with you. Yes, I stood in the restroom taking pictures. Who doesn't?!

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It is much more elegant and huge in person. It doesn't have the same ambiance as the Nordstrom Department Store restroom, and it doesn't have the comfy couches and carpet, but it does have the coolest hand dryers. They have such force it feels like your skin is going to come off of your body.

This is not the first photo I have taken in a restroom. I have about 15 photos of restroom stall doors on my phone. I was going to print them off and make notecards out of them. I thought it would be creative and funny.

I have the red doors of Target, the orange doors of Home Depot, the white doors of Menards, the blue doors of Walmart, the kind of peachy, pink doors of Kmart and many more.

Yes, I sit in the restroom stall and take a picture of the door. Who doesn't?!

I know the answer to that question.

Although now, I bet you are going to be paying more attention to the different bathrooms and doors.

Remember, it is about paying attention and taking in all experiences in life.

Even the restrooms and the stall doors :) !

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Surrounded by Brilliance

****This is an update to this post.

It is now 3:27 in the afternoon and Greg was about 8 hours too early......but you should see it now!

I went into Walmart. Calm and nice outside. I came out. HORRIBLE BLIZZARD!

I could hardly see past the front of my hood on the way home. It is awful outside.

I laughed all the way home. You'll understand after you read the post.

I'm sure school will be canceled tomorrow if this keeps up.

I sure hope Greg calls me tomorrow morning and tells me it is 78 degrees and sunny and to send Gregory to school in shorts. I will be looking forward to the afternoon :)!

This is what it is doing outside right now. All the snow is from within the last hour.


This is some of the sheer brilliance I have encountered within the last 12 hours:

Last night Gregory and I had date night and went to a movie together. I will post more about that later.

We got home from the movie and decided we would have a bite to eat. I guess the tub of popcorn, hot dog, sour worms and large drinks were not enough.

I had made a scrumptious roast the night before (the recipe will be posted on the new blog when we move). We decided to warm up a couple pieces of the roast.

Gregory likes to have everything on his own plate.

I put my piece on my plate and his piece on his.

I warmed up my plate in the microwave.

Gregory always likes to warm up his own plate as well.

First Gregory tried his piece. Says it's cold. (yeah, it just came out of the fridge). He went and put it in the microwave.

G: how long
M: about 45 seconds

4 seconds into it

G: why is it on fire
M: what?!
G: why is it on fire. There is fire. The roast is on fire.

Meanwhile he is opening the microwave door.

G: maybe it is the fork and knife
M: what fork and knife?!?

G: the one's I left on the plate

This morning Greg (Gregory's dad) calls from Florida, where he has been for a week and will be for another week.

G: You had better call Gregory's school and make sure he has it.
M: what?
G: You had better call Gregory's school and see if it has been canceled before he goes out and waits for the bus.
M: what are you talking about?
G: You have 10 inches of snow. They probably don't have school.

Me, looking out the window at a beautiful sunny day, and it is 38 degrees outside. We haven't had snow for a week.

M: we have 10 inches of snow?
G: Yes, you are in the middle of a blizzard. You need to call the school. The roads are covered in snow and ice and they probably don't have school.

I tell Gregory. We both laugh. He opens the front door and yells at the people passing by (on dry pavement). Children playing while waiting for the bus. "People, don't you know we are in the middle of a blizzard?! You should be shoveling. Be careful on those icy roads!"

He calls me up in Wisconsin from Florida and tells me what I am experiencing for weather and how to best handle it.

Sheer brilliance. I'm surrounded by it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wiener Wednesday

It's Wiener Wednesday!!

As I have said before, Theodore and Winston have completely different personalities.

Winston is rather uppity. High brow would be a good way to describe him. Wise, thoughtful, pays attention to what is going on around him. Eats with manners, walks with purpose. If he could talk I know he would be very polite and probably have a British accent.

Theodore is none of those things. He is a down-home, good ol' boy, looking for fun in all the wrong places and if he could talk I know he would not use proper grammar and would use the phrase "Git-R-Done" a lot. (Yeah, he is a dog version of Larry the Cable Guy).

One thing that shows their distinct differences is what they eat, how they eat and how much they eat.

Winston is rather finicky. He eats small amounts, chews completely, does not talk with his mouth full, and eats very slowly as to savor the every morsel.

Theodore will eat anything, anywhere, as fast as he the point that he starts to choke himself because he shoveled it in so fast. I don't think he has ever tasted anything his entire life.

This morning I took photos of their breakfast. Same thing. Every day.

They start off with their food. Theodore gets 3/4 of a cup and Winston 1/2.

Within seconds Theodore has nearly gobbled all of his down. Winston has just started.

Theodore has finished his and now licks the bowl.

Theodore leaves the kitchen and goes and hides behind the door. He watches Winston thru the crack. He is waiting for Winston to finish. Hoping Winston will get full before he finishes the meal or at least leave a few pieces about for Theodore to scavenge.

It always takes Winston too long for Theodore. He waits paitently, but can only do so for so long. He comes back to look for the stray pieces and lick his bowl again.

Winston finishes. Takes a drink and then retreats to his spot in the living room to settle his stomache and take an after breakfast nap.

Theodore has left the room again. Peeked thru the door again. Watched Winston finish up Finally. Watches as Winston retreats to the living room and in the kitchen he goes to see if Winston missed anything. He licks Winston's bowl. Licks the floor around Winston's bowl. Searches the entire floor in the kitchen for anything that may have wandered off and then goes back and licks his bowl again....for the third time.

He then stays in the kitchen for awhile. Just to make sure that the kitchen has indeed closed and is no longer serving breakfast. He watches as I put his food away. Only until that drawer is closed does he leave and go about his day.

Which basically consists of............waiting for his next meal!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quest for Independence

Independence: the quality or state of being independent: FREEDOM:

I know I do not stand alone among parents of future, present or past teenagers.

As a parent, as your teenager begins taking the steps towards getting a driver's license, you experience intermittent waves of anxiety and excitement. Anxiety over the prospect of your child driving a car; after all, driving accidents are the leading cause of death among American youth. Excitement over your new-found freedom from having to play chauffeur on twenty-four-hour call.

Just below the surface of these two dominant emotions, I am also experiencing a small current of grief. And this grief is twofold.

There is no greater signifier of your teenager's independence than the driver's license. Once obtained, you are no longer needed as much as you used to be. Furthermore, you have less control than ever over where they are going and with whom.

It's scary.

Something I am experiencing is the realization that obtaining the driver's license means less time spent with me, less opportunity each week to connect. I spend a great deal of time in the car with my children and some of our best conversations happen in the car.

At home, we are too busy with daily living, but in the car, that is where we talk. The intensity of face-to-face contact is diminished, which allows for more flow in conversation. I am never surprised by what is said in the car, whether it is short trip to town, a medium trip to Fridley or a long journey out of state.

Big moments happen during transitions, which means rides in the car—by definition always a transition—and we have had our best conversations and problem solving sessions while in the car.

I know that will change. I know once the license is obtained I will know less and less about what they are up to than ever before, and not because of any conscious choice on either of our parts. I know I will miss them--just hanging out and especially laughing together on some of those rides.

We have a joke at our house. Whenever I do or say something that some (most, if not all) would deem completely inappropriate to say, do, or encourage of their child, we will laugh and say "that is an example of BAD parenting!")

I could REFUSE to let any of them get their driver's license, or even go to college, or move out, or say perhaps......have a life! (I think all of those above would be considered BAD parenting; I will check my Good Parenting Instruction Manual and get back to you).

Well, I guess I will let them get their driver's license. The Good Parenting Instruction Manual seems to think it is a good idea, something about self-sufficient, independent, blah...blah...blah.........


I have been lucky with Kyle not being extremely eager to get his license. I know I won't be with Justin, he will be standing in line at the testing office at 12:01 a.m. on his 16th birthday. So I did take it all in and enjoy it.

Kyle turned 16 last May. In Minnesota you can take your test for your driver's license when you are 16.

Kyle really had no desire.

Kyle received a new truck for his 16th birthday.

He still had no desire.

His philosophy; why worry about it when you have friends that drive, I can get everywhere I need to get with them.

I was soooo hoping this would last.

It didn't.

Last summer he decided to take the written test and the driving classes. He did great on the written test. The driving classes left much to be desired.

I practiced with Kyle. He was shaky in some areas, but nothing I didn't think the driving classes wouldn't take care of.

Jay brought Kyle to take his driver's test. He didn't pass. Then I drove with him. I knew why.

I started practicing with him. In the small towns, on the freeway, in parking lots. His improvement was great and I thought he was ready.

Where we took him to take the driving test it is on a driving course. Not on real streets. It can get very confusing in there. Lots of signs, lanes, streets, lots of different things packed into a very small area.

This time Kyle was ready.

Dave and I took him. We were both so nervous for Kyle. We left him in his lane and went inside to wait. You'd think we were waiting for a baby to be born. Checking out the window.....he's still in there by himself.....oh, here she comes....she's getting in......there he goes!

Test underway.

They return. Kyle is a nervous mess. He gets out of the van and comes over to us (during this time he dropped his permit in the snow, which we didn't realize until later in the day and had to come back and look for it....we found it!)


How did you do?!

I didn't pass. I went the wrong way down a one way street. THE EXACT SAME MISTAKE HE HAD MADE WHEN JAY HAD BROUGHT HIM!!!!

We had been wrong. Kyle wasn't ready.

He was disappointed, but not overly so. Kyle is real good about shrugging it off.

He had to wait a few weeks before he could take his test again.

I made the decision......after I had worked out my own personal issues with it and came to the fact I needed to let go and even consulted The Good Parenting Instruction Manual (you should all get a has absolutely everything in it you ever needed to know about raising your children (please don't email me on where to get case your parent's never told really does not exist....and I have asked quite a few different sources) ) that if we were doing this driver's license thing......we were going to do it!

I brought Kyle downtown St. Paul, during Winter Carnival. Difficult city to drive in, lots of people to watch out for.....and many, many, one way streets. We went down and around up and around. Turn here, turn there, go straight here.

He did great.

Other days we spent time going to Uptown, Dinkytown, Lowertown, downtown Minneapolis, highways, freeways, merging, turning, rush hours, bus lanes.

We did everything I could think of that would give him the experience and confidence he would need to make it through that course and to really be a pretty good driver.

The day came. It was time to take the test again.

When Kyle takes the test, he has to leave school early because the testing office closes by 4:00 and there isn't enough time after he gets out on a full day.

The day that worked with Kyle's schedule my work schedule was very hectic. Dave was getting off of work early and he made arrangements to pick Kyle up at school and take him to take his test.

Kyle and I had worked so hard together, I didn't want to miss it. I thought I should be there.

I hurried with what I had to do and drove the one hour one way trip from where I was to get to see Kyle take his test.

Due to traffic, when I got there, Dave and Kyle were also just arriving. Kyle was feeling a bit nervous. He wanted to go practice some parallel parking and drive around just a bit in Dave's van.

We drove around the neighborhood of the testing facility and then we ended up on some wrong roads, and finally on our way back to the testing facility. Kyle was ready. This is it.

We were within 1/4 mile of the testing facility. All of a sudden.......we hear......blump, berlump, blump.

We had a flat tire.

The front left tire was done.

Thank goodness I had come over. My van was in the parking lot of the testing facility about 1/4 mile away.

Kyle and I started walking. Someone was nice enough to stop for us. A very nice woman. She asked us if we needed a ride, which we did, and she brought us to my van.

We then had to go get the tire off of Dave's van, drive to a tire shop (about 45 minutes away), get a new tire and get back and get it on.

There would be no testing today.

It really is the worse when you are all ready to do something and then your bubble is popped (or tire in this case :) ).

I told Kyle he could miss school in the morning and we would try this again tomorrow.

Tomorrow came and so did another attempt at the driver's license.

This time it was just the two of us.

I really wasn't nervous this time. Kyle wasn't either.

We sat in the our lane, waiting for the woman to do the test, we visited and laughed about all the events that had taken us to this point. Here she came. I got out and went inside and waited.

They came back awhile later.


How did you do!?

He pulled out his piece of paper.


We went inside, filled out the remainder of the paperwork and they took his picture. (I was taking pictures this whole time.......most teenagers would be totally embarrased. Kyle has lived with this a long time. He is used to it.)

It just so happened the lady that completed his paperwork and took his photo was the same woman who had given us a ride the day earlier when Dave's van had a flat tire. She remembered us and was very glad to be sharing this experience with us.

It was official. He was now a licensed driver.

I have a philosphy......everything happens for a reason.

It was meant to be that Kyle and I were to spend the time together practicing and having that experience. It was meant to be that Kyle and I were to experience him passing....just the two of us......on that particular day. That day as we were together, Grandma Teddy passed away.....we found out together. We both knew she was smiling and laughing that Kyle had just become a licensed driver. Because of how everything fell together we had been releasing balloons together as she had passed away. Kyle will always think of that experience and his Great Grandma Teddy and the time spent with me when he thinks about the day he got his driver's license.

As our children grow, it is difficult to let go. To have the changes of their quest for independence forced upon us. We have to step out of our comfort zone and grow with them. Develop new ways to share in their life.

I may not be ready for all the changes, but they are coming. I can either go along for the ride and enjoy it..................or get run over by the car!

Coordinator's Corner


This is the time of the year the wheels in the brain are turning. Rotating fast and steady.

New engagements bring new clients. Couples with their own spirit, styles, and sense of fun.

This brings out the new inspirations and creativity.

The wedding day is the first door that is opened as husband and wife. As they open the door and step on the path to begin their journey together through life it is important that in looking around they still see themselves, but also the combination of themselves molded together with the partner they have chosen for this journey.

This concept is what defines amazing wedding day design. A day that is not only true to each as an individual, but true to them as a couple.

It is the unique elements, the special touches, the things that scream this is YOUR wedding day that your guests will remember, and you will forever cherish.

As a guest at a wedding you need to remember. Every style is not for every body. How often have you been to a wedding and thought "Well, I wouldn't have done it like that". "Why did they do that?" "Melissa's wedding wasn't like this".

It is isn't about you (or Melissa!) You may not know what special meaning their color combination that you see as "ugly" and they see as "beautiful" means to them. You may not agree with many of their choices. It doesn't matter. It's not about you.

Don't get me wrong. There is a difference between disorganization, chaos, a true mess in the planning aspect and personal and couple expression.

Inability to hear the ceremony, being told to sit in a hot, treeless field with no parasol or water, getting caught in the rain with no Plan "B" in sight, lack of parking, seating chart hell, sitting thru 2 hours of speeches before even the salad is served, running out of food, (and heaven forbid cake!). These are not examples of personal or couple expression. These are examples of lack of proper planning, insensitivity towards guests, cutbacks in the budget but not the guest list, and sometimes plain rudeness. When you experience ANY of the above by all means:

"Well, I wouldn't have done it like that". (I sure hope NOT)

"Why did they do it like that?" (Because either they didn't know better.....and in that case shouldn't have been planning this on their own......or they didn't care.)

"Melissa's wedding wasn't like this". (Thank goodness and thank Melissa!)

Also, I will guarantee you.....if you are standing in the middle of a heavy downpour drenched like a wet dog trying to get thru the couples' vows, you are melting in the heat and nearly fainting from dehydration, you are standing at the entrance of the reception like an idiot because you have entered seating chart hell and have no seat assigned to you (and you did RSVP....if you didn't and you showed up anyway.....shame on deserve to be standing there like an idiot) and can't find an empty seat or if you have to leave the reception to go get something to eat because they ran out of food.......again, I can guarantee that point you are not going to care less what colors they had chosen!!! Complain all you want with my has now become about YOU!

Now that we have covered the difference between personal and couple expression and improper planning and reason to complain. We are going to focus on the personal and couple expression.

This part is fun.


Each couple that walks in my door provides me with it. The way they interact....are they romantic and kissy, are they witty and full of laughs, colorful and fun.

This is where the wheels start turning.

We reinvent the wheel every wedding. How can any wedding be exactly alike? No two people are exactly alike and certainly no couple.

There may be some similar elements, like colors, same locations, variety of flowers. But make it about the couple. What uniqueness about them should be celebrated and displayed. Shared with everyone.

In today's weddings there really is no right or wrong as far as design. Have fun with it, be creative and share your unique molded style. The molding of two individual people and their interests and loves joining together.

We design and put together inspiration (story) boards to show different aspects of a wedding day. We do these of complete weddings or just of cakes, flowers, linens, lighting, really you name it. It puts everything we have pulled or the bride has supplied us with together to compare, and see how all the elements are going to come together to form their wedding day look and design.

If you are planning your wedding; this is a great tool. Pull magazine clippings, photos, swatches, even other story boards; anything and everything and before you know will have your own story board and the look and feel of your individual elements pulled together of your own wedding day look and design.

Make it YOUR day.

This is a June wedding coming up. All the elements shown will be used. We were told to:

Think Spring
Think Garden
Think Pink with a "Splash"

(the cake is so fun. It is a cheesecake!)

Obviously something completely different than above.
Very chic.

How perfect for Stillwater.
Victorian and romantic.

A bubblegum wedding.
Unique and fun.

A summer bicycle wedding with a "green" aspect.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chocolate Intoxication

I had a meeting on Friday with a bride to go over the decor of her wedding reception.

Linens, draping, chair covers, chandeliers, audio visual, gobos, uplights, pin name it, we went over it.

It took me several weeks to get ready for this meeting. First, I had to put my design thinking cap on and come up with different looks, styles, textures and colors. Then I had to work on turning my dreams into reality.

That is always the most difficult part.

It is easy to come up amazing designs, but how to make them come to life is another story. I had to compile different linen samples and swatches, color samples, chair covers in different fabrics, colors, styles, get everything measured and make certain everything would fit properly. Then, the worse, I had to sit down with the audio visual manager (Dave :) ) and tell him my lighting and "high tech" needs and see if he could make any of it work. In this case, all of it is doable!

Anyway, all of this is a lot of work. By the time I got finished with my 3 hour meeting with my client and evaluating and processing bags of linens and piles of swatches I so needed a fix. A chocolate fix. My reward.

I love meeting with this client. The wedding is in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Home of Legacy Chocolates. I think the BEST chocolate I have ever had (and I have tasted some pretty good chocolate!)

I didn't even know Legacy Chocolate until my associate coordinator Stephanie introduced us. Now we are best of friends. My trips to Menomonie would not be the same without visiting my good friend and I make certain I do every time I go to town.

Their motto: Peace, Love and truffle at a time.

Makes your heart go pitter patter doesn't it?

You do know that real chocolate is the new health food these days. Legacy's potent little pretties, with up to 85 percent cacao solids, boast some of the greatest concentrations of healthy flavanols—a trendy antioxidant. You order their truffles by cacao percent. I like the 85 and I get Dave and the boys 41. Their truffles are dense but creamy and coated with silky chocolate. The flavors, which often change, include champagne, orangecello, almond, caramel pecan, mint, espresso, pistachio, and Cointreau, never overpower the chocolate, making a transcendent complement instead.

I don't just stick with the truffles. In season, which is not now, I have their Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting for all of its healthy goodness :). This trip, because I was feeling so overworked from all the preparation and presentation of the decor items not only did I get truffles I also got 4 (yes 4) slices of cake. 2 Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and 2 Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Chocolate Frosting. I also tried something new; their hot chocolate, and I must say, it is honestly the best hot chocolate I have EVER had. I have had a few cups of hot chocolate in my time as well. Theirs is a rich drink of the Gods covered in whipped cream adorned with chocolate chunks and white chocolate shavings.

I have also had their sipping chocolate, which, if you have never had sipping chocolate, you have yet to experience life at its fullest. I reckon that upon entering the gates of heaven you are presented a warmed, nearly hot, liqueur glass filled with the dark, smooth, intense, touched with cinnamon, chocolate blessing to sip on as you peruse the grounds and acquaint yourself. At least that is what I am expecting upon my grand entrance.

I had one of the truffles on Friday and then I had to hide everything from Justin for the weekend :) Today, I have been nibbling away, and away, and away. I am feeling a bit light headed and quite giddy.

I am guessing this is chocolate intoxication..............and I like it.

What happened to that 4th piece? :)

I came across a blog, Screaming for Chocolate. I love her motto:

"inside there is a skinny woman screaming to get out, but I can usually shut the bitch up with chocolate."

Some other great chocolate quotes and jokes:
  1. After a bar of chocolate one can forgive anybody, even one's relatives.
  2. Dip it in chocolate; it'll be fine.
  3. I'm not overweight, just chocolate enriched.
  4. The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.
  5. Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good.
  6. Coffee, chocolate, men... some things are just better rich.
  7. After about 20 years of marriage, I'm finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate. - Mel Gibson
  8. A man found a bottle on the beach. He opened it and out popped a genie, who gave the man three wishes. The man wished for a million dollars, and poof! There was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! There was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women... Poof! He turned into a box of chocolates.
  9. An old man and a young man worked in office next to each other. The young man noticed that the older man always had a jar of peanuts on his desk. The young man loved peanuts.
    One day while the older man was away from his desk, the young man couldn't resist and went to the old man's jar and ate over half the peanuts. When the old man returned, the young man felt guilty and confessed to taking the peanuts.
    The old man responded, "That's ok. Since I lost my teeth all I can do is lick the chocolate off the M&Ms."
  10. An elderly man lay dying in his bed.
    In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.
    Gathering his remaining strength, he lifted himself from the bed. He slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and, with even greater effort, forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the door, gazing into the kitchen.
    Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out on the kitchen table, were hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
    Mustering one final effort, he threw himself toward the table. His aged and withered hand painstakingly made its way toward a cookie when it was suddenly smacked by a spatula.
    "Stay out of those," said his wife, "they're for the funeral."
and the last, which I couldn't resist. Kyle will love it:

Q: Why don't they make white M&M's?
A: Because they'd enslave the black M&M's, steal all the red M&Ms' land, hunt the blue M&M's to extinction, accuse the yellow M&M's of obstructing trade, start a panic that the little green M&M's were invading the Earth, and complain that the brown M&M's were taking all their jobs.

Here's permission to indulge. Here's to chocolate intoxication!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I found this game online and tried it.

It was actually pretty funny. We put Kyle, Gregory, Justin and Dave's in and actually, some were pretty close to what they really have going on! Thought you might be interested. You may be surprised at the random things you find.......or even find some that fit you or your current situation pretty well!

Here's how the game goes: do a Google search for the phrase "unfortunately __________" (insert your first name).

Here are some from my search: (12 things you didn't know about me :)...or perhaps did and were too kind to say anything (#8) !

  1. Unfortunately, Marnie missed out on osteopathy as well, but did receive an offer to study human biology at RMIT.
  2. Unfortunately, Marnie has no insurance to cover her medical expense.
  3. Unfortunately Marnie was climbing up one and raised her head and knock her head pretty good. Even started bleeding. But she is okay.
  4. Unfortunately Marnie was feeling pretty poorly, so Carrie and I just went together.
  5. Unfortunately, Marnie passed away in August 2002 when she was still only in her twenties.
  6. Unfortunately Marnie and I had over spent our money and didn't have enough to get in.
  7. Unfortunately, Marnie is correct about the lawyers.
  8. Unfortunately Marnie is quite mentally disturbed.
  9. unfortunately Marnie is very busy.
  10. Unfortunately Marnie isn't on the air any time soon.
And the two best:
  1. Unfortunately, Marnie is left to fend off the advances of geekish office temp Mitchell.
  2. Unfortunately, Marnie didn’t have a kissing booth. And yes, she was amazing. AMAZING!!
If you check this out, let me know some things I didn't know about you (or were perhaps too kind to say anything about :) )

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Typing Test

I remember how nervous I used to get when I would have to take a typing test in school or during a job interview.

That was back in the days of typewriters and when you had to use liquid "White Out" for typing errors.

White Out was not my friend. I would end up with it on my clothes, in my hair, all over the typewriter.....and you could still see my error. I remember once my typing teacher in 9th grade, Mr. Ploof, came in the room and was laughing at me. He told me I looked like I got in a fight with a White Out bottle............and the White Out bottle won!

Because White Out was so not my thing, and the later invention of correction tape was even sooo much worse, I learned to NOT make typing mistakes. If I could get it right the first time it saved me so much time, trouble, stained clothes, messed up hair (I have even had White Out in my eyelashes) in the end it was my obsession and typing errors were my ultimate fear.

I was the carriage return queen. My little bell would be tinging away. Oh how I loved the typewriter and carriage return!

When I was in high school I could type 86 words per minute. After I graduated and went to school for stenography my typing skills were pretty good.......125 per minute. This was all with NO mistakes.

I remember going into job interviews. It was always the same......

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country"

I still think I could type that at 200 words per minute......or possibly more.

My hands would be shaking. The person interviewing me would be standing over my shoulder (which I cannot stand to this day. If I am on the computer, writing or typing.....DO NOT stand over my shoulder!!! Bad things will happen to you!!!)

I would finish the typing test.......with no mistakes......(heaven forbid they would get out the RED pen and start circling........that was even scarier than the White Out). Then I would be told I could type. I already knew that and had told them that, but now that they had seen it for themselves, it made it so.

I was always a nervous wreck. I never enjoyed it, and the thoughts of it bring back butterflies in my stomach and the thoughts of blue eye shadow, the smell of Aquanet mixed with "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific" and dark "nude" nylons.

I miss the days of the typewriter. I have never and will never type as good on a computer keyboard. It doesn't have the same charm and charisma, and I can't hear the "ding' to monitor my progress.

I found a "Typing Test" online that I took.

Everything changes with time. Even typing tests. It is random words longer:

"Now is the the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country".

(They have done scientific studies....blah...blah....blah (I guess in the 1980's they didn't have scientific studies) ).

Since we have talked about that sentence extensively I feel compelled to let you know its history.

It was originally:

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party".

The sentence was devised to test the speed of the first typewriter in the fall of 1867, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during an "exciting political campaign" by Charles E. Weller. "The" was later changed to "their" and "party" to "country" in typing textbooks.

I haven't taken a typing test for so many years, and I have never taken one on a computer keyboard. Here are my results (with no mistakes :) ) but much slower without my "ding".

See how you do!

84 words

Typing Test

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

La Crosse

This weekend Gregory had a wrestling tournament in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

We went down on Saturday (left at 4:00 a.m.) to get there in time for weigh-ins at 8:00 a.m.

It was a great tournament. Many state league wrestlers and fantastic experience for Gregory. He took 4th in the tournament (in his weight). He gave it his all and we are very proud of him.

We stayed at a hotel in La Crosse with the rest of the New Richmond Wrestling Club, and actually, several other teams as well. We had soooo much fun. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

The hotel had a pool and game room where all the kids could swim and play games. They had a blast running around.

We rented the "Executive Boardroom", because we all know.....the New Richmond Wrestling Club is all about "Executive" :). It was a great place to gather, have some beverages, order some pizza (we ordered about 40 extra large pizzas and I am not kidding) and play some games.

The game we played was hillarious. Everyone took a sheet of paper and had to write down 3 things about themselves that they didn't think anyone else knew (including their spouse). All the papers were then collected in a bucket and read aloud to everyone and they had to guess who that person was. I learned you don't dare leave the room to go to the bar and get a drink, or someone will write three things about you (that you probably didn't know either) and slip the paper into the bucket to be read aloud to everyone. (BTW: This did NOT happen to me. I would have never left....especially after witnessing what happened to those that did...."I have three testicles"......for example.

I learned some new things about Dave (and not that he has three testicles)......very interesting....and very fun.

It was a lot of fun for Dave and I because we are just getting to know many of these people so it was a good way to do that. Great ice breaker if you are in need of one for a party or event.

We spent Saturday after the tournament exploring La Crosse. What a beautiful town and I can only imagine how much fun in the summer! It is on the Mississippi Rivier and is surrounded by water. Many people have floating summer houses (they are about as wide as 2 queen beds) along the river where they have a deck with their grill and picnic tables and they can park their boat right there. I am sure it is hoppin on the 4th of July!

I had my camera with me and enjoyed taking photos of some of the scenery and "things that make you wanna go hmmm" (you'll know which that is) that we seen along our journey.


Spotted Cow Beer. Only in Wisconsin!