Sunday, June 29, 2008

And we're off!

My golf tournament was AMAZING - not great weather - a storm hit in the middle of it, but they all got back out on the course after and finished playing. We sold out of spots, almost sold out of our raffle (which we never do), and had a great dinner turnout. The parade yesterday was cancelled again due to weather - and something about a tree in the middle of the parade route??? hehehehe

So the kids and I are leaving for a fun filled, lazy days, do whatever we want, vacation in less than an hour. Jim will join us on Wednesday night.

Have a great 4th!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Microsoft Gods hate me

They do. I tell you, there is no other way to explain what just happened to me. There is nothing you can tell me - not even that it is my fault - that will make me feel any differently.

I have been writing a grant application in Power Point (yes, one of those &%#()@ grant applications that suck the ever living life out of you) all week. I emailed it home to myself tonight because I had to leave work to go to Jim's grandpa's 93rd birthday. I knew I could sneak home early and work on it. So I opened it, (yes here it comes), and I worked on it. I even hit save ever so often, (ok, obsessively), and hit print preview every time I finished a slide to see how wonderfully amazing I was.

And I have been working on it for just over 3 1/2 hours.

I decided I had done enough tonight to have me in a good place to finish up and tweak tomorrow when I am wide awake.

So I opened Outlook Express. I started an email to myself. I selected "attach a file".

...and just like that, it was gone. (what is "that" like that I say "just like that"?)



cianara. (I dont even care that I spelled that wrong)

Apparently my amazing skills and talents were so overwhelmingly blinding that I neglected to just once, one time, one second of thought, hit SAVE AS when I was working on my application.

...and just like that, it was gone.

I have searched high and low. Hither and yon. I cannot find the masterpiece.

If there is a computer geek out there that feels like rescuing this damzel in distress, I would welcome your help. But I am sure as the ache in my head that it is gone. Like a figment of my imagination, gone - never was there to begin with.

I am bringing my laptop to work tomorrow in the hopes that I either can shake the document out, or that someone will trip me on the sidewalk causing me to fall flat on my face as I watch my lifeline (laptop - keep up with me people) fly through the air into oncoming traffic (wishful thinking in a town of 5,000), get bounced off the tires of a large diesel, launch a block away onto the railroad tracks where the highspeed locomotive that comes through town every morning at 8:30 will slam on its brakes to avoid said lifeline only to stop just short. Either way, I will exact my revenge on this computer that is obsessed with the devil Microsoft.

Thank you Juicy Juice

Thank you for your ad. You know the one... "The very best juice, for the very best kids". Yeah, um, I have the very best kids but they dont drink you, so they now think they are less than par. So thank you, thank you very much for your ad.

Do rotten kids not get to drink you?

We drink Capri Sun - the "your family's favorite on-the-go thirst quencher". Besides, their graphics are super cool, and we love that they are... oh screw it, we just like 'em better.

So there!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You would think I was afraid of my own shadow

Maybe my shadow is a little extreme (although I am sure I am afraid of my reflection), but my real aversion is to creepy crawly things.

Really, its a fear. A deep seeded, makes my skin crawl, jump across the room and scream at levels only dogs can hear fear. A leave the room, sleep with the lights on and watch the walls and ceilings like they are ready to attack.

And this little fella is the worst (see how evil he looks on those pretty little flowers?).

It has a history, but because I must get back to my staring contest with all things they could crawl on, I will have to wait to share it with you. All I can say is that the one that was coming at me on the sofa had a look of the devil in his eyes, and he was mocking me, the little b*stard. I could hear his squeaky little voice as I caught him out of the corner of my eye.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You were right

Wait, what was that? Oh yeah, I was right.

I think I heard that mysterious sound - almost like a whisper on the wind - like a ghost in the stairwell - like a fragrant florally breeze through the window...

Like stale air after a long winter. Because it fell flat on the follow up of: but you cut it too short.

I have been begging goldy locks to let down her long hair and let me cut it. And the battle has ensued for months. She has extremely thick, extremely wavy and wild hair that is now subjected to a daily dose of chlorine. So I have begged. I have pleaded. I have bribed. Last night I sat on the sofa with a scissors taunting and teasing through what felt like an eternity of uncertainty when finally I heard a small sheepish: ok.

I was on it like flies to a cow pie. And guess what...



Where's the phone

I need to call someone who cares!

The Care Bears care Mom!

Not what I was looking for, but I guess I need to get their number!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Have you ever had a conversation with someone who talks about their "previous life"? Ever wonder - really? Ever think they are making it up? Ever wonder if they really aren't? And then a few weeks, months, years later you have another conversation that is very similar, but even more detailed?

I have these conversations frequently with an important someone in my life. Conversations that I have wondered for the past 2+ years, "How can this be? That is quite the imagination"... or is it?

The conversations are with my 5 1/2 year old son. They ALWAYS start out:

Mom, when you and dad were babies...

And then it trails off into details that seem so very advanced for a 5 1/2 year old.

My religion tells me I believe in reincarnation, but you know, as in all things, I have my doubts. But today we had one of those conversations and it seriously kind of gave me chills. I asked all kinds of questions to see if the story jives with others he has been telling me since he was about 3 1/2 or 4. And interestingly, even in detail, they were almost spot on. Todays story however had a funny twist:

J: Mom, when you and dad were babies, I took my drivers test, in an RV!
Me: Really? Why an RV?
J: I dont know, it was there when I went to take the test, and I didnt have a car that day
Me: (holding back my laughter) Whose RV was it?
J: The guy who sat in the RV with me that made me park
Me: Did you run over anything in the RV?
J: No
Me: Did you pass the test?
J: I dont remember
Me: Did you have any kids when I was a baby
J: No mom, I was only 20. I didnt have kids until I was 25. Remember?
And so on and so on...

Cue Twilight Zone music, cause I am feeling a little "other dimensional'ish".

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Luau Americana

We have waited since October for this day, and it finally arrived! Cricket and T were married last October on a beach in Maui. It was beautiful. They are so happy, and so perfect for each other (T you rock!). When they came back they said that they wanted to share a piece of their wedding with their guests, Luau style.

The plans were best laid, and they were perfect. Every detail. Except one.

That biotch called Mother Nature.

She has been opening her wrath on us for months now. Two weeks ago we knew it was going to rain because well, that is all it has done for months. And when it rains it pours. And blows. And twists. And storms. Its not pretty.

I remember the day when thunder and lightening meant a bad storm. Remember the term electrical storm? It was all we feared "back in the day". We unplugged everything we didn't want damaged, and we stood in our windows and watched the spectacle.

Now however, we find ourselves hiding in our basements. Watching the skies between flashes for large swirls of debris, and hearing phantom sirens in the night air. Our favorite shows are interrupted by weathermen and their maps. Red flashing lights telling us "you are in the path of this dangerous storm"... Its becoming so much the norm that we have a back up plan for our back up plan. And we use the guest room as our alternate sleeping quarters during the summer months.

And last week was no different.

With more rain than one state, let alone one country needs in a given day, it fell and fell and fell. And it blew and blew and blew. And it threatened to send us into a musty basement in Iowa. As it being in Iowa wasn't already insult enough! ; )

Thursday rolled around and there were predictions of a catastrophic natural disaster somewhere in southern Minnesota or Northern Iowa (I live in S MN, and Cricket lives in NW Iowa). After a day of hit and miss storms we all started panicking. Saturday went from 20% chance of storms to 40%. Then on Friday morning we received a call that it was now predicted to be 60% chance of storms. By late Friday afternoon, the prediction was 80%.

Did I tell you the party was in a tent outdoors???

Oh, yeah, the party was a Luau. In a tent. Outdoors.

The tent people first wanted to set up on Thursday. But it was storming so they asked to wait until Friday. Friday the wind was over 40 mph, so they asked to wait until Sat. Late Friday they called and asked if we had a back up plan. Its never good when the tent people want to know if you have a back up plan.

So T called around. And we all continued to remind Cricket that it would be just fine. But its hard to convince a Bride that her dream Luau - outdoors, was no longer in the plans. Luck was on their side, and late morning on Friday there found a Legion Hall that was available in town. While Crickets mom and I made salads, she and T made calls to all those they invited. Over 150 people - in one afternoon. Because this was Friday, and the reception was on Saturday.

No small feat.

So after telling her over and over that it would be just fine, even I panicked when we walked into the American Legion in their home town. As Cricket put it, "it looks like Uncle Sam puked in here". Picture stars and stripes, red, white and blue everywhere. A floor that looked as though it hadnt seen a mop in 50 years, and a ceiling in the kitchen that was peeling, flaking and hanging on for dear life. Add to that the basket ball hoops, mis matched tables and chairs that were missing pieces and various games and do dads tucked in every corner.

She was very stoic, but I could tell it was scaring the living daylights out of her. So I continued to say, "It will be just fine".

And it was. We transformed that nasty run down musty old gymnasium into a Luau - a Luau Americana as T's brother put it.

Thanks to V, Crickets friend, she bought out all of the rafia grass skirts in Sioux Falls, and we bought out all of the green plastic ones we could find, as well as every silk lei we could find, and we plastered the place with them! It worked. And it ended up being a grand success.

We lined the ledge of the stage with grass skirts and table liners. We lined the tables with the same. We then overturned tables on their sides and covered them with fabric on the stage to hide the fooseball (sp?) tables and old piano. You can still see some of the taller stuff, but it wasnt as distracting.

The kitchen had a built in set of bar windows. We spent most of Friday night and Saturday morning trying to figure out how to cover up the nasty ceiling in the kitchen so people wouldnt see it when they were getting drinks. Then V had the "ah ha moment" that saved us. She suggested we close the windows and use the rental bar we were using as a Guest Book table for the bar in front of the kitchen windows. No one would be the wiser! (and yes, that is a very pregnant bar tender. The poor thing worked her butt off along with her friend). We used a grass skirt, a fish net, and left over sea shells from the centerpieces to hide yet more red, white and blue.

The cake straight out of paradise. Simple, elegant and tasty.

Even our 92 year old gram got into the groove and busted a move with Crickets younger older brother.

I will add a photo of the centerpieces, the bride and a few more room shots tomorrow.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Well we all made it back alive. The pits of hell did not consume us. It did not turn us into I-wegians, it did not suck us up and spit us back out. It was very gracious and kind, and very hospitable.

I may even go back for another visit soon - well, maybe.

If you arent from Minnesota, you may not get the jabs. But those of you from Iowa, please still love me for all I am - I dont mean you harm, I just have to tell it like it is! ; )

The last few weeks have been crazy busy, but rewarding and irritating, and stressful and fun all the same.

Relay is coming up in 7 weeks and I feel like I am forgetting something. I am a Chair this year, and being closely scrutinized by the past Chair. I think he would like to see us (the other Chair) and I fail so he can say that the reason our county has been ranked #1 in the Midwest, and in the top 10 in the US per capita has been because of his leadership (I dont think he understands that the donors are the ones that got us to that goal. So that is kind of eating at me.

I will get over it!

The club is going well - we have had a lot of rentals which is helping us financially, but we need more members soon. We are doing a fundraiser called "Back Yards and Blooms" that is looking to be a very sucessful venture. We have 6 awesome hosts who will share their "back yard" masterpieces with people who buy tickets. We will end it with amazing home baked non traditional desserts from several ladies in the community that have some undiscovered talent! We arent talking your average cookies, bars, cakes and pies here people, we are talking works of art. I cant wait. We are going to sell the recipes in a little "Back Yards, Blooms and Delicacy's" book to those who want to purchase during the tours. It has been a great fundraiser in the past for the Skate Park, and since they raised all their money, they were happy to let us use the fundraiser for the club. It should raise over $1,2oo, which should pay off the balance left on our sound system. Whew!

Crickets party was a.m.a.z.i.n.g! I will share some pics and the story leading up to the event on another post (maybe tomorrow), but suffice it to say, other than it being in I.O.W.A, it was fantastical!

This is going to be another killer week. Last week I wasnt home a single night - the week before I was home Thursday, and this week, I *may* be home Wednesday, but Thursday morning I leave at 6 am for mini institute in St. Cloud and wont get back until late that night, and then we leave Friday for Jim's Fathers Day camping extravaganza.

Next week I have a week of non stop meetings and last minute projects before the town celebration. We are also in a push for some prime entertainment at the club, so we need to get the fall line up completed before the rest of the summer activities kick off!

The following week is our towns week long summer celebration. Monday is Taste of St J, Tuesday I have a Board Meeting, Wednesday we have a 3 hour business course for our Latino business owners (or potential owners), Thursday we have the Chamber's Rail Run, Friday is the Chambers Golf Tournament, and Saturday is the parade and all day activities. Sunday the kids and I will leave for a peaceful week long vacation at my aunt and uncles, through the 4th of July (YAY - this is our favorite time of year). I have a huge conflict I need to over come however, and that is that I planned a course with our EDA for my members on the 30th - not even considering I will be gone, and that this vacation is planned every year for the same time of year. A vacation that is like changing underwear everyday. The vacation that everyone knows they dont mess with because it is sacred.

The week we come back is our County Fair, the clubs Back Yards and Blooms, and second round of courses that the EDA and I are doing. It will also be Relay crunch time for the event on the 25th (there is a TON to do the last few weeks).

Holy hell, if I survive the next two months I may have to sleep for the month of August just to catch up.

But I love it! And tomorrow our Chick Flick at the club is "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants", so I will get to start the hectic week off with one of my fav girlie movies!

Have a great one!