Tag Archives: Happiness

It’s May!

It’s IMPOSSIBLE to land on May 1 and not think of the song from Camelot – the Lusty Month of May (as evidenced by two blog posts in my history referencing the song!). So go ahead, take a minute and have Alexa play it for you or find it on YouTube…

Ok. So I’ll forever think of that and sing it often – in my head and aloud – throughout the month.

Since it’s May, that means it’s TIME FOR A WEDDING!  Last March (2016) Marissa got engaged and dreamed of a destination wedding – so here we go!  She and Adam are celebrating their marriage on Cinco de Mayo in Cancun! How fun. We are all looking forward to warm weather (upper 80s during the day! 70s at night!), family time (every Grimsrud child and grandchild will be there!), and fiestas galore!  I’m hoping I’m not a blubbering fool because it’s going to be a joyous day – so I will do my best not to blubber! I worry about finding words of wisdom or having an eloquent speech, but actually there is lots of life ahead to share wisdom, so I’ll try not to stress about that.

More about the wedding when we get back… it will be a memorable time!

Haven’t done a post in a while, so I’ll just blather on here a bit about what’s been making me happy in these last few months.  So much to be thankful for (always!).

  • We have been searching – first casually and then more seriously – for a new home. It all started with wanting a gas stove.  We tried to see if it would be possible to update the kitchen in our townhome. And then we started dreaming about aspects of our dream homes.  Me, I wanted big windows, lots of light, an open floor plan, not too big but big enough to be able to host gatherings. Chris wanted a fabulous bathroom with tile shower and a glass door and granite countertops. We both wanted that elusive gas stove.  Well, we found it. It’s just big enough for us but with that open floor plan that will make it fun and possible to host Christmas and Thanksgiving and singalongs and game nights and backyard BBQs.  But it’s small enough that we won’t have to spend all our free time taking care of it. It’s just perfect. More on that later, as well!  We will close in June, so this summer will be filled with changes!
  • Movies – not as many of those lately, but we did get to one movie during the International Film Festival. We saw a Romanian film called Two Lottery Tickets. It was a funny little film.  So glad the festival is here in Rochester and so glad that I got to at least one movie.
  • Books – I’m on a bit of a reading streak, so that is fun!  Book Club is meeting MONTHLY so that helps!  Recently we read “The Light Between Oceans,” “Euphoria,”  “Big Little Lies” and “Thirty Rooms to Hide In.”  Next is “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat.” I’m also reading “When Breath Becomes Air” for a book club at work. Looking forward to beach book time in Mexico!
  • Food – We haven’t been going to as many restaurants because we are cooking at home! We have now tried Marley Spoon, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron in the past few months. We are going to stick with Marley Spoon, because all the meals were so very tasty, although the most challenging to make, and you have control over the meals you get (unlike Blue Apron) and have an option for 2 meals in a week rather than 3 (unlike either of the other two).  We find it hard to cook at home 3 days out of a week and most need to be eaten within that time frame. So we have had some really good food at home recently – today we had a spicy rigatoni with lemon ricotta.  Looking forward to cooking on our gas stove in the new house! I do love having the house smell like good food!
  • Wedding Wedding Wedding! – There have been showers, bachelorette parties, a USA wedding, too-many-to-count Mother of the Bride dresses tried on and returned, and the various ablutions that come with a fancy to-do. So that has taken up quite a bit of time recently!  The day-long mermaid themed bachelorette was an incredible time on a beautiful April day (April 1!). We had mimosas in the morning with a Beyonce drag show, failed an Escape Room in the afternoon, had a patio party at Betty Danger’s in the evening and then went clubbing into the wee hours. Oh my. So fun! Looking forward to more such shenanigans in Mexico!

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Be of love (a little) more careful than of anything.
— E. E. Cummings

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May you find many things to be happy about in this Lusty Month of May!

What if…

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Tuesday night we went to see the touring Broadway musical, “If/Then.”  I was excited to see it, because Anthony Rapp (of Adventures in Babysitting fame – ha!), who starred in it on Broadway, was also with the touring company.  I listened to the Broadway Cast Recording a few times and I knew that there was a dual story line of “what could have been,” but the ending was a surprise to me – very sweet.

AIB anthony rapp
Then & Now: Daryl in Adventures in Babysitting and Lucas in If/Then

The story shows the life lived when chances are taken, when the heart wins over the mind, and when a life is lived fully.  Tonight at Cosmo Girls we watched “About Time,” the little British drama about time travel that is also sweet and thought provoking.  The movie and the play  both have the message that each day we get to start over and make a choice about what kind of life we’re going to live.  Each day is filled with choices and what we do with the road we travel is what can make life meaningful and full.

The musical numbers do not translate well into a singalong, but the songs tell quite a story.   Songs encouraging taking leaps, songs wondering “what if?”, songs of love to a baby, songs questioning whether you would change your path if you knew  your story ends with hurt, and a song with an expletive in it questioning what just happened.  Idina Menzel was the original lead on Broadway, but the touring actress was a look-alike and sound-alike – quite a powerhouse.

So glad we saw it.  Enjoy a few clips of the music.  And ponder your own “What if…”

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Minneapolis, MN Orpheum 3.8.16

Leaps and Bounds

Leap

I don’t remember many Leap Days of the past, but here are some ramblings…

  • The year Marissa was born was a Leap Year.  With a due-date in late February 1988, I had wondered what it would be like to have a Leap Day Baby.  She had a Leap Day Baby in her graduating class, so we do think of her every Leap Day!
  • I remember taking a Leap Day walk with Beth where we did many Leaps along the way – over puddles, over cracks in the sidewalk, over tall buildings (ha!).  It was a fun walk (one of many) but leaping made the day memorable!
  • Leap Day 2008 was closing day on my flooded Rushford house. Marissa and I just drove around Winona instead of going to the closing – tears were shed, memories were shared.  Probably the most memorable Leap Day for me and the day was chosen purposefully so that it wouldn’t be a yearly memory – once every four years!
  • And now to Leap Day Present.  Nothing memorable – just reflections of how much can happen in four years!  Leaps and Bounds!
  • I didn’t know Chris in 2012  and now I look forward to spending the rest of my Leap Days and all the days between with him.
  • It’s the 2nd Leap Day in this home – 8 year anniversary is coming up in July!
  • Next Leap Day, little August will be 4! Kaydee will be 8 and Emma will be 5! I’ll be in a new decade (Yikes) and we will hopefully be debt free?
  • Today I told my mom she should have a party pretending to serve foods inspired by all things leaping – rabbit stew, frogs’ legs, Mexican jumping beans… it didn’t happen but we will have to plan it for the next time Leap Day rolls around!

Looking back, February 2016 was again filled with friends, family and fun! Chronologically:

  • Lunch with Cindy and a Take Note! party at Beth’s!
  • A Tropical Celebration with my parents for their birthdays, retirements and their anniversary – a Permanent Vacation party!
  • Superbowl party and Mayo Basketball!
  • The Forager for dessert and Panera for dinner with Chris’s kids.
  • Prescott’s for Valentine’s celebration amid Chris’s big work weeks. His new job meant a shift change and overtime work.
  • Celebrating Marissa’s birthday and SocialICE 2016!
  • The Grammy’s and the Oscar’s and Downton Abbey and movies at home!
  • Belated Margarita festivities with friends at El Patron, Nupa with Sierra and family and Victoria’s with Kevin.
  • “The Lady in the Van” at the Wehrenberg

Now we’re staring at March… what madness will ensue?!

March

What’s been making me happy…

February is in full swing… lots of fun things to look forward to!  But here’s a quick look back on January goodness….

In January I visited some new places:

  • Bunny’s Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park – right around the corner from Marissa and Adam’s home is the local hangout.  Good food!  Went there with Chris and Kevin during a quick trip to Microcenter – had to get some Nana time!
  • LTS Brewing Company – Cosmo Girls goodness, as usual, at a local brewery. LTS = Life’s Too Short – and ain’t that the truth!  We had some great conversation with one of the proprietors and learned a lot about beer making and about his life philosophy.  Cool place.  Must go back.
  • Five West – owned by the Loop, a beautiful location out in western Rochester.  A great night there with Chris, spending the Powerball money we didn’t win. 🙂
  • HyVee – we wandered around the new HyVee out by Five West. It is monstrous! Fun to see. Would love to take a class there!
  • Radisson Hotel LaCrosse and the Three Rivers Restaurant – Chris and I were able to go to my dad’s retirement party with his work peeps.  Lots of wonderful and fun stories told about dad – nothing surprising!  He’s a wonderful and fun man!
  • The Breakfast Club and Pub – a cute theme joint in LaCrosse where we went for breakfast the next morning. They take the theme seriously, which is always good to see! All John Hughes all the time!
  • Treasure Island and Xtreme Bowling – Chris’s LOL work party. We ate, we drank, we bowled and we gambled.  And the only thing I lost was my lipstick!
  • Eat Street Social – Minneapolis – girl’s weekend with Marissa (and August!) and Trisha. Met Deadra and Maya here Sunday for brunch and it was delish!  A fried egg BLT. Oh my.  Yum! Saturday Marissa, Trisha and I ate at Surly’s Brew Pub Hall – delicious food there, too!  Busy places…

Other than all that goodness, January has been filled with basketball, Emma’s first birthday party, date-night and double-date night, Scrabble with Kevin, book club in Preston, and only one movie in the theatre!  We saw “The Big Short,” which was so smart and complicated.  Uff. That stuff happened … and is happening again????  Yikes.  We attempted to watch “Mad Max: Fury Road” on TV for the sake of Oscar’s, but it is really just too something-something. NOT my style of movie. Hard to watch, even in my own living room.

So of the best picture nominees, I have only seen “The Big Short,” “The Martian,” and “Brooklyn.”  LOVED Brooklyn. Sweet movie.  Not a banner year for my movie viewing! Too much other goodness… I did get two books read, which is a great thing for me!  Yay!  Maybe I’ll get back into the swing of things!

Much to look forward to – hope the same is true for you!

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Oscar nominations 2016 –

Nominees: BEST PICTURE
“Spotlight”
“The Big Short”
“The Revenant”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Room”

Nominees: BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)

Nominees: BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”)

Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)

Nominees: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)
Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”)
Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)

Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”)


Nominees: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”)
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)
Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

Nominees: BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen (“Bridge of Spies”)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley (“Inside Out”)
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)
Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”)

Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff (“Straight Outta Compton”)


Nominees: BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Drew Goddard (“The Martian”)
Nick Hornby (“Brooklyn”)
Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (“The Big Short”)
Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”)

Nominees: BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3” from “Youth”
“Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”
“Writings on the Wall” from “Spectre”

 

A Month of Gratitude

I failed at the Daily Gratitude Posts on Facebook this November, so I thought I’d attempt a wrap up of the month.  There is, indeed, so much to be thankful for!

Oh-So-Grateful

I am grateful for the arts – music, movies, theatre… 

  • Chris and I saw Madea at Saint Mary’s University in Winona – a translation from Seneca which was creative and interesting to see!
  • 10 years of Take Note! Amazing… 10 years ago we created a group with people who loved to sing showtunes. We moved on a few years ago to incorporate different genres, but we still have a great time!  We have put on 10 Christmas concerts (our final one with our current director is this Sunday!) and 9 spring concerts. We have performed at community events, nursing homes, and with college students.  It has been a touchstone in my life, keeping me connected with the community where I grew up and raised my daughter, with my friends, and provided me with great visits with my parents.  Let’s see what the next journey is!
  • Koni, Gracie and I saw the final installment of the Hunger Games series, The Mockingjay Part 2.  We went to a late show and sat holding hands through the entire movie! Just a little stressful, that final flick.  A war film with monsters. I watched some through my fingers and asked for spoilers (Gracie remembers the story better than I do!). Glad to see it through!
  • Chris and I saw Glen Hansard at the State Theatre in Minneapolis! I don’t know what it is about Glen, but his passion for his art moves me. I had tears in my eyes for the first four songs!  He started the concert unamplified with strings. Wow.  Chris appreciated the live music and got a handshake as he came up the aisle!  A fun night! Tickets were purchased in August – the anticipation was worth it!

 

I am grateful for family – 

  • We had a great weekend in Rushford during opening buck season. Many cuddles with baby August, Gracie’s first buck, Rees’s first hunt (with the big ones that got away!), and movies and relaxing together. Only thing that would have made it better would have been having Derek’s family and Chris there!
  • We had a delicious tuna casserole (made mostly by Chris) at Sierra’s house, with games and books and good times!  We also had Kaydee over to help decorate our Christmas tree – complete with hot cocoa and cookies!
  • I worked during Thanksgiving so I missed all of the family time in Rushford. But Dana and Koni invited us over (via an email from Rees!) for a Thanksgiving Feast on Saturday night! We had great food, great family time, and played some fun games (Suspend for the win!)!
  • Sunday we drove to the Cities for time with the Bendson Cousins! Kristyn, Andrew & Natalie  and Emily and Andrew were home and we joined them with Ruth and Steve and Marissa, Adam and August for snacks and chili. All was delicious and the company was fantastic. A great celebration of family!
  • The basketball season is underway, so we have made a few games with many more on the calendar!  I hope to make as many as possible!  Trajan, Gracie and Rees are all playing, so it’ll be a whirlwind!
  • It’s hard to get enough snuggles of that new little grandbaby. He’s giving us those precious smiles and it’s hard to stop looking at him. Love him so!  Marissa is counting down the days left at home, so send special wishes and prayers her way!
  • I’m looking forward to December and hoping for some quality family time, grandbaby snuggles, and Christmas cheer!

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I am grateful for friends – 

  • Cosmo Girls met at my house in November and the focus was gratitude. How appropriate, eh? We watched YouTube videos, TED Talks, discussed what we’re grateful for, and of course there were laughs.  We left everyone with a notebook to keep track of the things they’re thankful for and Thank You notes to send.  I’m going to start my daily journaling in December – so that’s tomorrow!  Looking forward to getting in to a habit of writing again!
  • The Satellite Sisters were in Minnesota for a book signing and us faithful followers drove up to be with them and get books signed by them!  They are amazing women/sisters, and it was fun to see Sheila and Liz in person and hear the stories they chose to share. There were many laughs and a few tears.  We had a great time and I’m so thankful that my Satellite Mister from NYC was able to  come to Minnesota and spend a little time with us.  He Periscoped from the Brooklyn signing and it was so fun to get that glimpse into the next-generation of women who wrote for the book, and it wasn’t too hard to convince him to trek to MN!  We had a great time with the Sisters as well as over dinner at Parma 8200.  It was such a fun day!
  • Work has been a little calmer than earlier in the fall.  I worked a lot of afternoons, evenings and overnights during November, so I am not used to getting up in the morning but I am working on it. 🙂  I’m thankful for my coworkers who work hard, are supportive and fun.  It makes the difficult stuff we do a joy.
  • I am looking forward to some intentional quality time with friends during this holiday season, as well!  I’m going to start making plans soon!  Time is precious!

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I am grateful for so much.

  • For the cookie dough I whipped up, which is in the refrigerator waiting to be rolled out into stars.
  • For Hulu and Netflix – I love commercial-free television.
  • For books – I’m hoping to spend more time reading and less time on Facebook in December.
  • For quotes and words and pictures.
  • For the wonderful autumn we have experienced so far – it has been amazing!
  • For Trader Joe’s.
  • And most of all for my daughter, the beautiful new momma, and my husband, my confidant and rock.

Life is good.

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Eternity

William Blake, 17571827

He who binds to himself a joy 
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

February Fairly Flew!

Time just keeps “March”ing on, doesn’t it?  Hard to believe we are moving into the end of the first quarter of 2015 – and creeping up on the 6 month anniversary of my wedding/birthday!

So far #marriedlife2015 is just grand.  We both work crazy hours at our job, which means we have random days off during the week and every other weekend off together.  We try to make the most of our time off.  In January, we had a daytrip to LaCrosse, WI where we met Chris’s friend from high school who is moving from Madison to Rhode Island in a few months.  We visited the Dahl Automotive Museum and Pearl Street Brewery, Buzzard Billy’s and the Starllte Lounge and then drove to the Ponderosa for movie time by the fireplace.

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Two weeks later we drove to Madison to see them before Tien moved mid-February.  We weren’t able to make the going away party, so had our own time with them, which was very fun.  Chris and I got there early and enjoyed a Restaurant Week restaurant, a Mustard Museum, and then we enjoyed a pub meal before retreating to their bar for darts and drinks.  Saturday we walked on State Street, went to the Madison Modern Museum of Art and then visited my old “haunts” – Ella’s Deli and Few Street!  Was quite a blast from the past.  My old stomping grounds revolved around a 4 year old, so they weren’t too exciting, but it was a great reminiscence.  We also had a delicious Vietnamese meal before we travelled back to Rochester.  It was a great weekend.  Next time we go there it will be to drop Chris off for his road trip to Rhode Island / New Hampshire with Tony!  Less than a month away!

Mom, Marissa, Gracie and I had a little daytrip to the Cities for Mom’s birthday in early February.  We went to Marissa’s apartment and said hello to the kitties, and then went to an art open house at Pam Weisdorf’s home  Afterwards we had a delicious hibachi meal and avoided all malls.  It was a nice little road trip!

In January, Chris’s new little granddaughter was born – Emilee Ashlyn.  What fun to hold a baby!  And what fun to witness Chris’s discomfort at the same.  He says he’s afraid he’ll drop her. She is a little peanut, but growing every day, as babies are supposed to do.  We took her big sister, Kaydee, to Soccer World one bitterly cold morning and played during their open gym time.  That was a hoot.  Fun to be inside, warm, and running around on fake grass.

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January and February means there is basketball almost every day of the week if you want.  It was fun to watch Rees, Gracie and Trajan play basketball.  And fun to witness Gunnar sign with SDSU for his collegiate football career. And I made it to section wrestling to see Trevor wrestle a few!  Phew, there is an abundance of sports in the winter!

February also means SocialICE – a yearly festival of the cold!  They moved it back a few weeks, so it coincided with Marissa’s birthday weekend.  They were hoping that it would be warmer, but it just wasn’t to be.  Chris and I went for about 45 minutes on Thursday night and it was sooo cold (-5).  Hot drinks were not hot, cold drinks were freezing – literally.  Chris had a beersicle.  We eventually moved inside for a cocktail at the Doggery.  Saturday we went back during the daylight with the kids, because the ice sculptures are really fun to see, but it got cold and windy and crowded fast, so we didn’t last long.  We celebrated Marissa’s birthday with the family tradition of pizza and ice cream cake!  Delicious…

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And the Oscars 2015 happened, as well!  I haven’t seen all the movies up for Best Picture, including the winner, but I did see a few.  I already loved The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood.  I thought The Imitation Game was ok and American Sniper was very hard to watch.  I haven’t seen Birdman (the winner), Whiplash (looks painful), Selma or the Theory of Everything.  I have seen a few movies in the theatre in 2015 – Into the Woods (Rees’s “worst movie ever,” but I loved it!), The Imitation Game (just OK, not super-great), Paddington (sooooooo fun… used to LOVE Paddington!), and Still Alice (the book is SO much better – this is a watered down version, but with a great performance).

At home we’ve watched The Long Way Round series (documentary about a motorcycle trip around the world! Love it!  Ewan McGregor, so fun), The One I Love, The Wolf of Wall Street, They Came Together, The Hundred Foot Journey (nice little movie – I read the book!), The Edge of Tomorrow, and 84 Charing Cross Road (such a sweet story about this eccentric woman – so fun! Very true to the book!)

And speaking of books, we had book club last week.  We read The Perfume Collector and had great fun planning our French food theme!  Lots of fromage, French Onion dip, potatoes au gratin, quiche and croissants.  Topped off by French silk pie!  What was the book about?  Hmmm…   It happened in France in the 50s and was about gifts and independence and the role of our senses.  I read it in December, so had trouble with the details but we had a good discussion anyway!

Other books I’ve read in 2015 include: The Beautiful Daughters (see review here – it is released soon!), Yes Please (audiobook read by the author, Amy Poehler!  Loved it!), The Supreme Macaroni Company (Adriana’s book continuing with Valentine’s life in NYC), and Apple of My Eye (sooooo good!  Helene Hanff is quite the character and brings NYC in the 70s to life!  Loved it!)

I can’t decide what to read next… so I’m catching up on magazines.  Looking forward to diving into that next good book, though!

Would love to hear what you’re reading, what you’re watching, what you’re doing, while waiting for spring weather to arrive! Comment below!

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland

August 1

September 1

October 1

In 60 days I will be married.

LOVE this sign
LOVE this sign

Amazing, eh?

It has been a whirlwind, my mind is always a little preoccupied, and (slowly but surely) decisions are being made.  Trying to keep it simple and yet throw a fun party, trying to plan a distance wedding and honeymoon week with a small wedding party contingent in tow.

The dress has arrived.  The invitations have arrived.  More decisions to come – like dessert options!

Ah… life is so good.

6.30.14

Milestones.

SIX years ago June 30, I closed on my townhome.  Time flies, doesn’t it?  When I moved in, I didn’t have much.  Two beds.  Chairs.  Lamps.  And my old TV.  Now I have more furniture than I need, my home is comfortable and my closets could likely use some culling!

Six years ago these little guys were 3!

Nephews - 6 years ago!
Nephews – 6 years ago!

Six years ago my house looked like this:

New furniture and used furniture - still mostly looks the same!
New furniture and used furniture – still mostly looks the same!
Lots of laughs around this table in six years!
Lots of laughs around this table in six years!
These shelves are filled... love the loft!
These shelves are now filled… love the loft!

Gotta love milestones.

So thankful for everything.

And time is marching on…  it’s about ten days since the first day of summer.

I had a great time around a summer solstice campfire in Rushford and celebrated a milestone birthday (4-0!) with my guy.

And speaking of milestones, July 1 marks one year since my first date with this guy!

He enjoys coffee as much as I do!  Although, he likes it sweet!  Guess that's why he likes me!  :)
He enjoys coffee as much as I do! Although, he likes it sweet! Guess that’s why he likes me! 🙂

Seems like we just met and that he’s been in my life a long time.

I look forward to celebrating more milestones with him by my side.

(Aww shucks!  I’m not usually schmaltzy!) 

Happy JULY everyone!

4.17.14

In the name of Procrastination, I’ve been wanting to blog all week.  It’s Palindrome Week, after all.

4.10.14 – 4.19.14.  I love stuff like that.

I’m finally giving in, with the hope that getting a blog off my chest will allow me to actually write a paper on “Larry.”

So here, we go.  Things that make me happy, with a PALINDROME twist!  And there are random photos from the past 4-6 weeks in a slide show at the end of the post, if you have patience and can get there!

*NURSE, I SPY GYPSIES. RUN! /*NEVER ODD OR EVEN – Some random Palindromes for work stuff:

  • I am working on my clinical social work license, so I am taking a class to get more clinical content hours.  It meets the first Friday of the month for 9 hours.  I have three papers due by the first Friday of May and then it will be done.  It is interesting and learning is always fun – but papers?  Not so much.  Oh well.  Soon it will be behind me.
  • Driving to class was harrowing in April.  Gross.  I’m ready for the winter driving to be behind me, as well.
  • I worked a lot of overnights in March – 8 to be exact.  I worked 5 in one week as an experiment.  I think it worked for me – it’s nice to stay in the “up late, sleep all day” routine, so that transitioning back doesn’t have to happen as often.  We’re short-staffed right now (after LeeAnn left), so the schedule is crazy.  And it’s crazy spring time, so I think I will have to practice a lot of self-care on work days and on days off.  Ah.

*IN WORDS, DROWN I.  I’ve been reading some books.

  • I finished listening to The Goldfinch.  It was looooong but a good read.  Theo Decker (“Potter”) has his life changed forever while at a museum with his mother at around age 11.
  • I finished Divergent just before seeing the movie, and now am almost done with Insurgent.  I hope for answers in the 3rd book.  I’m not as pulled in as a certain 12 year old I know.  She loves the relationship.  She said she’d loan me Allegiant but I needed to know that it would “hurt me.”  She cried for quite a while when she finished.
  • I did a review of My Wish List: A Novel, which you can read more about here.  I can’t wait to see the movie!
  • I’m reading The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog for my class, and it is interesting and terrifying.  I put down Mo’ Meta Blues until I get through that Divergent series!  Can’t stop now!
  • My Kindle and nook apps are filled with books that need to be read… I can’t wait for this class to be over!

*SO MANY DYNAMOS!  Since I last blogged, I’ve seen a few movies:

  • 12 Years a Slave – Certainly not a ‘feel good’ movie, but very powerful.
  • Divergent – I liked the movie a lot, much more than the book.  I thought the changes they made were meaningful and the movie just flew by!
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – This movie was made for me!  Whimsical, magical, and unpredictable!  I had a smile on my face throughout the entire thing!
  • The Great Beauty – The opening film of the Rochester International Film Festival and the 2014 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner.  It was long, riotous, and a little obtuse.  I read an article about it the next day which helped me understand it a bit more, but it was a joy  to watch, so that’s fun, even if it was hard to understand.
  • Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 – For some reason I had the urge to watch these movies, so I got them on DVD from Netflix.  They were pretty fun, but I’m kinda done with the superhero movies for a while.

I’m an *AVID DIVA – *“RUM… RUM…” I MURMUR. – I’ve had some nights out!

  • Chris and I had a Thursday night off so I was looking for something to do.  And lo, and behold, there is Trivia Mafia in town!  So we invited Kristine and Mike to join us for some beverages and trivia at Big Brad’s!  I love trivia and we held our own!
  • We had a grown-up slumber party at Beth’s – margaritas, pizza, and girl talk!  So much fun – and so needed!
  • Of course, there was Peter and the Starcatcher – you can read about that fun night here!
  • We had a work happy hour to say goodbye to LeeAnn!  She relocated to the Cities and we miss her much!
  • St. Patrick’s Day was a hoot.  Chris and I went to Dooley’s and parked in a booth and enjoyed bagpipes, funny costumes, good food and good company!  We had to start early since I had to work very early the next day.
  • We also had a great night at Boomers, listening to the Jukes of Hazzard.  Marie’s guy is drummer in the band and it was fun singing along and watching the clientele at Boomers.   *YO, BOTTOMS UP! (U.S. MOTTO, BOY.)
  • Another recent weekend off (they feel so few and far between!), we saw The Grand Budapest Hotel with Jenny and Tammy and then met Kristine at the Loop for dinner!  It turned into a Girl’s Night Out + Chris!  He could hang with us and it was a lot of fun.  Good conversation with good friends.
  • Cosmo Girls was a blast.  We met at the Rochester Art Center and enjoyed a guided tour (two guides/curators!) and the art project they had set up for us afterwards.  We laughed a lot, got a lot of good pictures, and learned a lot!  We had so much fun together.

*WON TONS? NOT NOW.  / *WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW? – Life is good in the simple things…

  • One of those precious Saturdays off I got to watch Rees play basketball and eat at his choice – the food court at the mall!
  • I hosted another Book Party – the theme was Books Into Movies and we drank Bridget Jones’ Daiquiries (strawberries and champagne!) and we talked about books and laughed a lot!  This is going to happen again (and again and again…).
  • Girl time with a pedi is always the best.  Ah.
  • On April Fool’s Day, I made a Screwy Lewie – so delicious!  And such fond memories of childhood slumber parties – mine and Marissa’s.
  • Spring has finally shown its pretty head (every now and then) and we’ve enjoyed long walks outside and our first dinner and drink on a patio.  Looking forward to more time outside with the nicer weather!
  • I took Gracie to B&N to shop for books for her birthday.  It was fun to peruse the book shelves and talk about what kinds of books she likes to read.  She’s growing up so…
  • The “blood moon” from the lunar eclipse was this week and we were able to see it.  Small adventures in the middle of the night are pretty fun!
  • There’s a new coffee shop in Rushford and before choir (yay choir!) Mom and I went there to get a sandwich and coffee to go!  It was delicious and I can’t wait to go again for a leisurely coffee with friends!

And now, because April is Poetry Month, here are some Palindrome poems I found online:

Poetry Is:  (Palindrome)

Poetry
Words flowing
from the heart
written down
freely.

Freely
written down
from the heart
Words flowing
Poetry.

SMILE

day brighter
load lighter
SMILE
lighter load
brighter day

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BY LISEL MUELLER

There is less difficulty—indeed, no logical difficulty at all—in
imagining two portions of the universe, say two galaxies, in which
time goes one way in one galaxy and the opposite way in the
other. . . . Intelligent beings in each galaxy would regard their own
time as “forward” and time in the other galaxy as “backward.”
—Martin Gardner, in Scientific American

Somewhere now she takes off the dress I am
putting on. It is evening in the antiworld
where she lives. She is forty-five years away
from her death, the hole which spit her out
into pain, impossible at first, later easing,
going, gone. She has unlearned much by now.
Her skin is firming, her memory sharpens,
her hair has grown glossy. She sees without glasses,
she falls in love easily. Her husband has lost his
shuffle, they laugh together. Their money shrinks,
but their ardor increases. Soon her second child
will be young enough to fight its way into her
body and change its life to monkey to frog to
tadpole to cluster of cells to tiny island to
nothing. She is making a list:
            Things I will need in the past
                        lipstick
                        shampoo
                        transistor radio
                        Sergeant Pepper
                        acne cream
                        five-year diary with a lock
She is eager, having heard about adolescent love
and the freedom of children. She wants to read
Crime and Punishment and ride on a roller coaster
without getting sick. I think of her as she will
be at fifteen, awkward, too serious. In the
mirror I see she uses her left hand to write,
her other to open a jar. By now our lives should
have crossed. Somewhere sometime we must have
passed one another like going and coming trains,
with both of us looking the other way.

Lisel Mueller, “Palindrome” from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)

Where did January go?

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of January 2014.  I haven’t written my 2013 re-cap yet, I haven’t thought much about goals or theme for 2014, I haven’t even organized photos for my photo book for 2012 yet!

But all the “haven’t”s are only because I have been doing so much.  Here’s what I’m thankful for today —

  • Chris and I found a delicious authentic Mexican restaurant – and I crave it almost daily!  Can’t wait to go back there.

    Yummy!
    Yummy!
  • Got through another weekend of overnights, and was able to have dinner with Marissa one day and with Chris and his daughter the day I was recovering.  Working overnights makes me want to hibernate and put life on hold, but it doesn’t hurt to fit in a little social life!  I’m thankful I don’t work all overnights, but can’t wait to try to spread them out even more. 🙂
  • On a day off, Chris and I were very close eyewitnesses to a woman driving through the exit door at my local Target.  We were the last people out that door, and I looked her in the eye as she backed up and slowly drove away.  I felt scared that she was going to use her vehicle as a weapon against us, because it appeared intentional, so I am very thankful that everyone was safe and that I wasn’t alone in experiencing it!  Koni was inside the store and saw it from a different angle… quite a story!
  • And then NYC… how to recap that in a few short words?  Travel in January is not without its complications – the flight was delayed out of Rochester and we nearly missed the last flight from Chicago to NYC that night, but we arrived – as did our luggage! Our flight home was cancelled, so we were able to enjoy one more full day in NYC – and we made the best of it!  Our flight out of O’Hare was delayed delayed delayed, but eventually we made it home.  And the trip was so much fun… I’ll write more about that in another blog.  Monday.  🙂

    Cheers!
    Cheers!
  • January 30 is the 2 year anniversary of my employment at Mayo Clinic – and I got to enjoy it with a day off!  Yesterday and today I have been able to take care of things at home (laundry, mail, groceries), enjoy time at Caribou with Chris and a book, go to the ED book club, attend an author talk at the library, and now tonight a BBB game.
  • By the skin of my teeth (and with the help of Sparknotes summaries!) I finished reading “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway for book club last night.  Hemingway really has an interesting writing style, which is not my favorite, but he and his life still fascinate me.  I was able to set my DVR from NYC to record the movie on TCM – so I can’t wait to watch it.  All 2 hours 45 minutes of it.
  • The talk at the library was by Allison McGhee, author of “Shadow Baby.”  I haven’t read anything she has written, but I will now.  I am always fascinated by author discussions and she was not a let down.  She was able to speak eloquently about her insecurities and her writing process.  She said she reads poetry every morning, and that sounds like something I’d like to do.  She also talked about writing exercises, and I think I’ll do one!

Things I’m looking forward to in early February –

  • I look forward to organizing my NYC photos and blogging about the trip!
  • I “get to” take a class, which starts Friday!  I’m working on my clinical license and have to get some “hours” in different content areas and this class will help a lot.  I’m thankful that the class will be very relevant to my job, but I’m dreading the actual work of taking a class.  I have homework due before I even go to class, so I’ll be looking at that this weekend.  The books have arrived, so now I’ll get organized.  It’s one Friday per month, so I can do it.  And I’m thankful for an ED colleague who is also taking the class – she will keep me motivated and on top of things!
  • Next weekend is SocialICE downtown Rochester!  I have gone every year with Kristine and a varied group of people, and this year is no exception!  Saturday night we will be enjoying the bands, the weather, the beautiful ice sculptures, and the company of fun people!  Can’t wait!
  • Just bought tickets to see Jeremy Messersmith at FIrst Ave for Marissa’s birthday!  Looking forward to spending her birthday with her!  Yay!
  • Although I work on Valentine’s Day, I will actually have a Valentine this year!  That’s something to look forward to, right???  Wow.  Thankful for him.  🙂

I’ll end with the quote that I adopted for my January photo album on Facebook.  I think it’s a great sentiment and I hope to live up to it!  (And I hope to read something by Neil Gaimon in 2014, too!)

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.  

—Neil Gaiman