In 2012…

In 2012 –

Life changed pretty drastically for me, with my (wonderful) new job!  Aside from  having a lot to learn about social work in the hospital setting (specifically Emergency Department), the unpredictable and crazy hours have caused the need  for creativity and flexibility in getting in the fun stuff!  But, never fear. I still manage to find time for fun!

In 2012 –

There were milestones –

  • I had a job interview on Jan 4, got a job offer on January 12 and started a new job on January 30 (.8 limited tenure, turned full-time permanent in May)
  • Mom turned 65 in February and celebrated as she loves best – with all her children and grandchildren
  • My 25th Class Reunion was held during Rushford Days at the Hoiland Mill
  • Five years have passed since the Rushford Flood
  • Marissa started her final year of college – majoring in Biology!  What’s next? I can’t wait to see!
  • Twenty-Five years of marriage were celebrated with Ellen and Dallas
  • I got a new car on November 30, putting my old car to rest after 207,000+ miles
Celebrating birthdays in style!

Celebrating birthdays in style!

There were things to do with kids –

  • The St. Paul Winter Carnival with Deadra and Maya, the parade and the ice sculptures
  • Gracie and Trajan playing basketball
  • Ethan and Macy tumbling with their gymnastics
  • Trajan and Gunnar playing football
  • Gracie, Trajan and Gunnar playing softball and baseball
  • Gunnar’s Confirmation of Baptism
  • The Minnesota State Fair with Deadra, Marissa, Maya and Gracie – lots of good food (and drink) on a stick and people-watching
  • Concerts and plays and programs… fun to see as many as I can!
St. Paul Winter Carnival - brr!

St. Paul Winter Carnival – brr!

Minnesota State Fair - the girls and the guys!

Minnesota State Fair – the girls and the guys!

There were concerts –

  • Take Note! performances on Over the Back Fence and Rushford
  • The Dweebs at Rushford Days with Gracie and Marissa
  • Civic Theatre Patio nights on Fridays with Sarah
  • Thursdays on First outdoor concerts
  • Jeremy Messersmith “Supper Club Tour” with Marissa
  • Glen Hansard at First Ave with Marissa and Emily and Andrew
  • Bruce Springsteen at Excel Center with Koni, Kristine, and Teri
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra Lost Christmas Eve concert with Marissa, Dana and Koni, Trajan and Gracie (a Merry Christmas to me!)
Jeremy Messersmith Supper Club Tour

Jeremy Messersmith Supper Club Tour

Bruce Springsteen, girls' night out, November 2012

These girls are ready to rock!

There were plays –

  • “Gruesome Playground Injuries” at Civic Theatre with Sarah
  • “Chicago” at Rochester Civic Theatre with the Cosmo Girls
  • “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” in NYC
  • “Once” in NYC – TWICE! June and October
  • “Newsies” in NYC
  • Peter and the Starcatcher” in NYC
  • “Nice Work if you Can Get It” in NYC
  • “Philadelphia Story” at Lanesboro Commonweal with Deadra and Beth
  • “Don’t Hug Me” a Minnesota Musical at Lanesboro Community Theatre
  • “You Can’t Take It With You” at Rushford Days by RASA
  • “Avenue Q” in NYC
  • “Forbidden Broadway” in NYC
  • “Bring It On” in NYC
  • “Our Town” at St. Mary’s University
  • I LOVE THAT THIS LIST IS SO LONG!
Post-Broadway dinner at Sardi's

Post-Broadway dinner at Sardi’s

After Nice Work If You Can Get It

After Nice Work If You Can Get It

There were trips and excursions –

  • The Ice Bar is always fun in February
  • Bagpipes at Binkies , St. Patrick’s Day Silliness
  • Des Moines Derby Dames are still fun to watch, although we know fewer dames
  • The Kentucky Derby / Cinco de Mayo party was a fun event at Sarah’s with Beth
  • NEW YORK CITY – twice!  A Broadway bonanza dream come true!
  • Ferragosto 2012 was a blast – good food, good drink, good friends at the end of the dock!
  • Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery – good times with great girlfriends
  • Door County and a Haunted Hotel (Kewaunee Inn) – not too scary for me!
  • Cosmo Girls monthly night outs are always an adventure –Random Acts of Kindness in December was especially fun!
Mint Juleps and hats!

Mint Juleps and hats!

Bailey's Harbor store - and a great motto!

Bailey’s Harbor store – and a great motto!

There were books –

  • See the new page of Books I Read in 2012
  • Author Paula McCain at the Rochester Public Library discussing “The Paris Wife” – a favorite book from 2011
  • Author Julie Kramer at B&N discussing her new book – a new series to read
  • Maeve Binchy passes away in 2012 – a sad loss!
  • World Book Night was celebrated in 2012 by handing out copies of “The Book Thief
  • By the skin of my teeth I made my (amended) reading goal of 30 books in 2012
Maeve Binchy 1940-2012

Maeve Binchy 1940-2012

World Book Night - The Book Thief

World Book Night – The Book Thief

Paula McLain, author

Paula McLain, author

There were movies –

  • Another post for them soon!

Happy 2013 to one and all!  More adventures to come!

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12/21/12: What’s Making Me Happy This Week

A Christmas tradition in New York City is WPIX...

A Christmas tradition in New York City is WPIX’s yearly yule log program (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12/21 is the date of the Winter Solstice this year.  I love to find a reason to celebrate daily, so I will find some way to honor the shortest day of the year – a short walk in the early dark? lighting a candle when I get home? searching for sunshiney foods in the cafeteria (think citrus)?  Who knows.  One year I had a party for the start of each of the four seasons.  During my Winter Solstice party we had a bonfire on my deck and I’m sure we had good food and drink.  🙂

The lists for my 44th year are still a work in progress; part 1 of 4 is nearing deadline.  Here’s the list from Fall:

11 Things to Do or Look Forward to in the Fall (October November December)

  1. Celebrate my birthday in NYC – check! October 1
  2. Go to 4 Daughters Winery – October 13
  3. Go to Door County to celebrate birthdays and trivia wins! October 19-21
  4. Go to Bruce Springsteen concert – November 12!
  5. Choir gigs and holiday concerts – November 30-December 2
  6. Read … something classic or new?: just try to read! I read a few books!  
  7. Write … poetry or themed blogs? Blogs!  22 in these three months – so far!  
  8. Plan … a dinner party or ??: I planned a Christmas Open House!  
  9. Shop early for Christmas gifts: Fail!  Waiting for packages to arrive! I’m thinking tomorrow will be a big delivery day here!
  10. Play accordion weekly and give piano lessons as regularly as possible: FAIL!  Never home!
  11. and something else that I’ll think of eventually!: Thinking a “Pay it Forward” or volunteer thing… – We did a Random Acts of Kindness Night for Cosmo Girls and it was so fun!  And I’ve done a few things at work to help make someone’s Christmas “merry and bright.”  

Not too bad.  I look forward to writing about my list for WINTER (Jan Feb March).  Much to look forward to in those months!

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For now, what’s making me happy this week:

  • Jimmy Fallon – Tuesday was a great example of a perfect show – Tom Cruise and Water Wars, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Judd Apatow, Christmas sweater giveaway… Always good stuff!
  • Making it to Gracie’s play last week, going for ice cream after, and then a Christmas open house at Dana’s office
  • Having a 3 day weekend without work!  Cleaning for my Open House, playing games and eating good no-fuss food with good friends and family, Christmas program at church and then the Lessons & Carols, shopping… a great weekend!
  • Learning that we will get a raise this year at Mayo, even though they are making drastic changes in how they will operate.  They really value their employees and aren’t afraid to say so!
  • A “snow day” today on my day off – hunkering down to wrap presents, bake cookies and make some soup concoction (not very tasty).  And then ringing the bells with Dana and family (per Rees’s request) in the blizzard-like wind!
  • I’m actually sort of looking forward to working this weekend.  I know that no one wants to be in the hospital, especially at Christmas time, so I will attempt to be a blessing to everyone that I meet this weekend and work hard to help them get home to be with family.
  • And then I’m looking forward to having 3 days off to be with family in Rushford.  Movies, games and togetherness!  Love the holidays!

What’s making you happy this week??

I hope that the darkest day of the year (daylight-wise) fills you up with brightness and light, in anticipation of longer days, soon-arriving Christmas Day and a New Year!  

Happy Newyear

I hope…

christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

that the presents I ordered online (some as late as yesterday!) arrive in time for Christmas

christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

that I get busy and am productive on one of my only days off until Christmas
(1. finish shopping 2. start wrapping 3. make cardamom cookies)


that someone comes and helps me drink all of the wine I’ve purchased lately

that the pink Christmas balls don’t fall off my little tree outside and shatter

pink outside Christmas tree

Enough on my inside tree so some went to the outside tree!

that the few cards and letters that I mailed out arrive in time
(and that the few more that I will send will arrive in one piece!)

Once ornament

A great remembrance of 2012

that I think of a clever way to re-cap 2012 and set goals for 2013

that the Christmas fun continues throughout the next week

Christmas party open house

Sweaters are fun!

that there is time for reflection these few days before the first day of winter
(I have that list, remember… )

that someday soon I can get through a day without shedding sad tears
(so much sadness in the world)

that in 2013 I can get lost in a Jane Austen re-read – so relaxing
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
— Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)

that everyone takes time to have a wonderful holiday season with those that they love and keeps their faith in the goodness of people.

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne FrankThe Diary of a Young Girl

12.12.12

12 12 12

It’s here

Couldn’t let the day go by without noting the wonderful symmetry of the date.

I’ve seen today celebrated as Soundcheck Day (1..2..1..2..1..2..)
Dozen Dozen Dozen day (roses or donuts, your choice!)
and I guess it’s a great day to get married (anyone?).

AND it’s 12 days to Christmas (eve) today, as well!  The countdown begins!

12/12/12 custom type

I celebrated by starting my Christmas shopping
and finishing my food/drink shopping for my Christmas Open House I’m having this weekend.

And I bought a new lipstick.

And I washed my car, because it was in the 40s and sunny!

And tonight I’m going to have dinner and see the movie “Lincoln.”

No typical Wednesday here!  Although any day off is not a typical day!

Now if someone would just come and clean and prep my house for the Open House!
But there’s always Saturday until 3PM, right?

Not going!

Tonight is the Hurricane Sandy Relief concert at Madison Square Gardens.

 

I think this is pretty funny… two years ago I blogged about The Life of Pi as “a movie I do NOT want to see.” I think that if it hadn’t gotten such grand reviews (from movie and book lovers alike) I wouldn’t have seen it in the theatre. But it was grand. And worth seeing. Any books made into movies you would NEVER want to see?

WalkieTalkieBookClub

The Life of Pi

On the other hand, I think this is a movie that I would not want to see.  It is so vivid in my mind and I don’t want it adapted to the big screen.  How would they do it???  It boggles my mind.  So, I’m guessing that it does somehow make it into a queue of mine someday – out of curiosity.

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What a Difference…

Only a few weeks left in 2012.

Tonight I was looking back in my computer to see if I wrote any kind of “end of year wrap up” for 2011 and found nothing but revisions of resumes and cover letters dated 2011.  I guess that’s where my mind was last year at this time!  What a difference a year makes.

It was fun to go back and read my December 2011 and January 2012 blogs – the books and movies that I indulged in during unemployment and my blogs about what I will and won’t miss about unemployment.  Ah.

Pretty good stuff.  I think I was the most creative during that time!  Blogs in early 2012 were pretty ‘meh.”  I guess brain power was going elsewhere for a while… rightly so!

Anyway, found this list again:

US passport

US passport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12 Things to Get Done in 2012

  1. See Garrison Keillor at the Fitzgerald Theatre
  2. Visit the Four Daughters Vineyard in Spring Valley (maybe more than once!). Doesn’t it look lovely?
  3. Get my passport – so I’m ready!  This was on my list of 40 Things and it didn’t happen.  It will happen – soon.
  4. Write – at least weekly blogs
  5. Write – more letters. It’s so fun to get mail.
  6. Eat healthy and REAL food
  7. Watch for and attend more Table Trivia Nights
  8. Seek out author and book events, especially for authors and books I love!
  9. Go to New York City to see “Once – the Musical” – you see that, Troy
  10. While in NYC maybe go on a Greenwich Village walking tour with Adriana Trigiani (love her!)
  11. Read at least one GOOD book per month.  Easily achievable.
  12. Try new recipes and cook for myself (or invite others!)
Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still no passport (eeek!) and no Garrison yet, but NYC twice in a year?  A dream come true.

Seeing “Once” twice?  Amazing.

Even on Facebook in January 2011 I was posting links for the musical and dreaming of getting there.

Fun to start my dream list for 2013!  What do I want to come true this coming year???

I have to review my birthday list of 11 Things to do in the Fall, as the Winter Solstice is coming up soon and it’ll be time for a new list!  Yikes!

More later on that!

Friday Film Footnotes

I’m gearing up for the good movies coming out this holiday season!  Here’s a brief re-cap of movies I’ve seen since the last Friday Footnote –

In the Theatre:

Life of Pi 3D (matinee on New Car Day!) – I was hesitant to get excited about this because I loved the book and couldn’t figure how they would make it work.  But I knew I would see it and it was getting such great reviews that I went at the first available opportunity – and in 3D!  The movie didn’t disappoint.  Wow. It was true to the book, beautiful beyond words to see, and wonderfully told.  Just wow.  The 3D was not overly much and I actually forgot that I was wearing the glasses after a while.  Yay!  They didn’t ruin it!

From Netflix (on DVD):

Hysteria – 1880s London, “repressed women,” an inventor who works on “stimulation” using electricity… an interesting portrait of a time!

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – I’ll admit it: I didn’t really watch this one.  It didn’t capture my attention.  So it was on and I was in the room but I was doing other things.

Take This Waltz – Kind of a sad little story.  Sweet quirky couple; she falls in love with someone else.  Bummer.  At the end I think she wishes she hadn’t.

3o Minutes or Less –  Mindless viewing during preparatory relaxation for working overnight.  Not horrible.  Stupid criminals..

Hung – I’ve watched as many seasons as are available.  Getting a little old and out of control.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – I’ve seen this but it’s worth a re-watch.  Still in the envelope at home.

Damsels in Distress – Also still in the envelope… looking forward to seeing this one!

I haven’t watched anything on Netflix instant in a while.  On Thanksgiving Day we all huddled around the TV/computer at Mom and Dad’s and watched the Thanksgiving episode from Cheers.  That was a lot of fun.  I would like to watch all the Friends Thanksgiving epidsodes in a row… anyone have all the seasons?

Holiday movie traditions: 

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Years I make a point to watch some of my favorite movies with a holiday theme.  Not in any rank order, they include:

  • Love, Actually
  • The Holiday
  • Elf
  • The Family Stone
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

I also have some Christmas musical concerts – Harry Connick, Jr., Trans Siberian Orchestra and Tonic Sol-Fa – that get brought out and played during the season.

Have any that you think I should add to my list?

Movies to look forward to this fall/holiday season – an update:  

A more realistic view of work/social/holiday fun has me paring down my list of movies that I will see in the theatre during this holiday blast.  My prior list included Cloud Atlas, Chasing Mavericks, Hyde Park on Hudson, Playing for Keeps, and The Impossible.  Those movies will probably not be viewed by me in the theatre, although a girl can hope.  I’m very bummed to read that Playing For Keeps is showing up VERY rotten in the Rotten Tomatoes ratings.  Because, Gerard Butler! That may be a guilty pleasure I indulge in despite my better judgment.  I’ll keep you posted.

For sure I will make it my priority to see:

  • Anna Karenina – although it didn’t get a rave review from my “guys,” because it is theatrically staged rather than locationally shot.  Interesting choice.  I will also have to rent some of the other versions afterwards.  Sounds like a good winter project.
  • This is 40 – already making plans to see it in January.  Gonna plan some kind of “theme” to go with it – a 40th birthday party for us all?
  • Les Miserables – also have a date to see this picked out and a group to go see it with!  Excited to see this as well.
  • The Fitzgerald Family Christmas – it’s available On Demand so I’ll watch that – may become a tradition to add to my list above!
  • Silver Linings Playbook – sounds right up my alley!

How about you?  Any movies you can’t wait to see?

(Leaving Gerard Butler’s picture here, because… Gerard Butler.  Ahh.. )

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conf...

 

 

It Was Time.

Trade-in

After 10 years, 7  years and 150,000 with me, it was time.

It was a good car.

I’d been balking at the idea of trading it in and was contemplating getting it fixed, but the list of things needing repair kept getting longer and longer, so it boiled down to getting a loan to fix it up or bite the bullet and get a car payment.

Bumper stickers

Once you put on a bumper sticker,                                     there’s no going back…

This car was with me during Marissa’s senior year (she got my old Honda Civic)

This car drove us away from my house during the flood evacuation

This car took me on a few road trips – to Chicago, Des Moines, Pierre SD, and many Minnesota adventures

When I bought this car, audiocassettes were the most common way to listen to audiobooks,
so I had to have a cassette player installed, as it only had CD!

In the glove box, I found the cassette that will play walkmans or iPods over the stereo. So retro!

When I bought this car, the moon roof scared me a little!
I was afraid a bird (more accurately, a wild turkey) would fly in or something.

honda civic trade-in

The Swell Season bumper stickers

So it wasn’t without a teary eye that I traded it in last week.
I told the guy “I needed a moment” with it and I took these photos.

It was a good car.

But it was time.

I spent more time researching things online than I did test-driving cars.

One car guy sent me an email saying that 4% of people spend more time looking for their car than their spouse.
That’s a weird statistic, isn’t it??  I didn’t spend THAT much time.  I was wanting it to happen sooner than later.

I was thankful to find a manual transmission 2-door at a decent price.
Evidently manual transmissions are a dying breed.

Happy Honda Owner

Happy Honda-Days!

So this super-fancy car is a 6-speed manual! Yay!

44 Miles for this 44 Year Old

Had to stop for the photo opportunity before I got to my house! Lovely digital interior after 44 miles!

So you’ll have to stop by and ask me for a ride!  I’m sure I’ll be ready to roll!
But I may make you notice that even my garage has the New Car Smell!

Merry Christmas to me!