Monday, September 28, 2009

yesterday sucked

I decided a few weeks ago to turn in my district laptop and buy my own personal laptop. I did that and today, took my new red Dell to the tech department to have the network software installed on it. Nope, that's against the rules. So now, I have a laptop that gets to work for me on the couch. Regis cleaned the other one off before we knew that and therefore it has to go back to have all of that stuff re-installed so I can use it at school. That's only the start.

I got home and found a letter from my mortgage company saying I hadn't paid my bill. I pay it through bill pay at the bank so I called customer service. I got into a little shouting match with the woman who said my bank probably didn't mail it on time. I said maybe the mortgage company was sitting on the checks so they could collect late fees from all their customers before they turn the bank over to Wells Fargo. That didn't go over so well with her and she got more shrill. I asked to speak to a supervisor who said I had never been late so he was refunding the late fee. He had a real southern accent so I calmed right down.

I quit in the middle of this whiny post last night because the new Dell seemed to have ghosts. It would open windows randomly and the cursor jumped around and started typing in places where I didn't want it to type. What the hell. So I quit.

You know, the wind blew like a banshee yesterday and that might have contributed to my agitation.

Today didn't suck. It was actually a very good and very busy day. I went to work out at 5 and the stars were gorgeous. I suppose it was the clear sky and cold temperatures (does that affect the clarity of stars?) but maybe it was just my heightened visual powers.

Tiffany called this afternoon to tell me that Elliot went to the doctor today and he weighs 19 pounds. He's in the 50th percentile. He had a couple shots so wasn't happy about that but otherwise he's happy and healthy. She called the other night to make sure she had him dressed warm enough to go outside. Isn't that sweet?

I spent a lot of time on the road today. This is where I went: SPHS-MVED-LSH-MVED-HLC-SPHS-MVED. Then home. My butt's draggin'. I'm not sure this was an efficient use of my time but I scheduled it so have nobody to blame but myself.

Two people, both of them in my family, referred to my clothing today as "my get-up". I was not dressed outlandishly (today) and I was not wearing my cowboy boots which I understand might cause me to be accused of wearing a "get-up". But anyway hell, I have a lot of years to dress like an old lady so I might as well live it up now. I think I'll start wearing those cowboy boots every day just for the hell of it. I realize I used hell twice in this paragraph.

Regis got slicked up yesterday and asked Nate if he could take a couple pictures. Nate graciously posed for this picture. On his business card, it says "get slicked up". He's a real character. His shop is downtown below Erbert's and Gerbert's if you haven't been there.

I really like this shot, too. Regis took it through the window as he went down the steps. It has kind of an artsy flavor, I think. I keep telling Regis he should start a blog or something for his photos but he probably won't. He has a much better eye for that kind of thing than I do.

Well, that's it for the past two days. Fascinated by our own imperfect lives.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

goodbye to the weekend

We're ending much cooler than we started. The wind came up late this afternoon and blew big clouds of dirt and plastic bags around town and blew some cold temperatures into town.

Regis saw a hummingbird this evening! I said tell him to's going to get cold! I shouldn't have to worry about wildlife.

We watched the Vikings game. Actually, I was in the other room but I heard it. And now I saw the replay. This is one of the things that confuses me about sports. Is this the real thing in real time or the thing from the past replayed? I wondered who got credit for the 32 yard touchdown...the guy what threw it or the guy what caught it. Regis says the thrower but man, the other guy was at a dead run a long ways away with his arms in the air. I bet he can't believe he caught that ball.

Hey, the salsa verde turned out to be very tasty. In my usual fashion, I have a boat load of it so if you'd like to try it, let me know and I'll deliver some. Peter won't eat it...he says it looks like baby food and it is a shade of green but the flavors are great. A little sweet from the tomatillos, spicy hot from the jalapenos, and tart from the lime. The pumpkin cake got good reviews, too, but the pork butt...mmmmmm. I got a text message from Paul who said he could smell it across town. I think he was kidding.

Here's an observation on how linear my mind is. Regis likes to channel cruise and doesn't mind dropping in on something 45 minutes after it started. It's like opening a book to the middle and starting there. How do you know what is going on? I'm willing to admit that some people might be able to get a story like this but I'm not one of them. I don't even like books that alternate chapters. Maybe it's a sign of dim-wittedness.

making up for every lazy day we've ever had

There's more smokin' here today than the pork butt. We've gotten more done today before noon than we do in most entire weekends. Maybe it's the cold front and it's awakened our primitive need to prepare for cold weather.

I'm making salsa with the last of the garden tomatoes and tomatillos. I've never gwon tomatillos before and when I tasted one, it reminded me of what we used to call ground cherries. Come to find out, they're in the same plant family.

Regis is doing the laundry. He always does the laundry. I just drop my dirty clothes down the chute and they come back clean and folded. What a guy.

We saw a hummingbird in the cannas yesterday but none so far today. Maybe it was his last meal before the big flight.

Going to work on the salsa.

early sunday

Regis woke up at 3 this morning, realized he wanted to smoke a pork butt today and hadn't rubbed it yet, so he got up and started the grill. Ah, man and fire. Since cave man days.

I had more to say last night when I wrote that short post but the keyboard thing was driving me mad. I figured out (thanks to google) that it's called mouse drift and when I downloaded a new touch pad driver, it was fixed. God knows how I got that right.

It's going to be windy today, my least favorite weather condition. Right now it's beautiful out but I bet it isn't going to last. Kramer doesn't like wind either (or fireworks) so he's curled up right at my feet.

We have a new Kings of Leon CD on the machine. I was curious about them since I read the article in Rolling Stone. I know the future is Radiohead but so far, I like this. (That was a headline in RS about a year ago. I got such a kick out of it.)

Drinking coffee. Our current favorite is a German roast from Aldi's. It's really cheap, too, which Regis thinks is a plus. I miss grinding beans. We'll go back to that in the winter. It's a seasonal thing like switching from pinot grigio to cabernet.

I love being up early.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

saturday night musing

We had a busy Saturday. The refrigerator has been in the middle of the kitchen floor floor for four days because there seemed to be something wrong with the freezer. I opened it one morning and the box of popsicles was running down the side. Not a pretty sight. Regis cleaned up the immediate mess and we let it sit there so the back could be vacuumed and the floor beneath it cleaned. Some yuck had accumulated but not too much. Turns out it's fine. At least it seems to be at the moment.

I have a new laptop and the mouse pad operates differently than my old computer. It takes groups of letters and drops them in odd places. It skips up whole rows of text and inserts parts of words where I don't want them. When I type, I must drag my finger across the pad and it does these weird things. Of course, now that I'm conscious of it and pointing my Luger at the screen, it won't do it. Damn thing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

broken boot surrealism

I was riding my horse to New Ulm and got as far as Klossner when I looked down and saw my new boot had a hole in the side. Dang. Now I have to go back to the cowboy store.

Regis was talking to a computer customer service agent in India the other day about a problem with his mother board. The dude in India said he would send a repairman, and by God he did. Someone showed up at our door this afternoon with a box of parts. Sent by the guy in India. Amazing.

I don't really have any idea what a mother board is. I also don't know what a virtual server, a gyroscopic mouse, or a thin client is. I almost burst into laughter when those words were bandied about in the technology meeting. Burst into laughter. That would have been funny.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

just went out in the dark

I'm a morning person and I'm rarely outside after dark in the summer. Just now, the cicadas and crickets were making such a sweet racket. I miss the dark.

swap meet

I don't know if other St. Peterites know this but at least once a year there is a swap meet at the fair grounds that is very entertaining for the folks who live on our street. Cars start parking way down here early in the morning. The attendees, mostly men, climb out of their cars and grab back packs, coolers, and lawn they're going to a music festival or something. Regis and I aren't even too sure what they're swapping but we think it has to do with cars because there are old cars roaring up and down the street and the swap meet patrons come back bearing things that look like muffler parts. We were tempted to walk down there to see what's going on but decided it's more fun to speculate.

We were much more productive today than we were yesterday. Regis did laundry and homework and cooked ribs this afternoon. I did some cooking...fiber muffins, chili, and an egg bake. La dee da. It was a gorgeous day and a wonderful way to end the summer. Fall starts Tuesday, you know. It's the autumnal equinox.

Of all things, we're watching the Emmy Awards. We don't watch much television, at least not much of a variety, so most of these people are strangers. I find the same thing when I pick up a People magazine. I don't know who those people are anymore. What happened to the old movie stars like Paul Newman? This is how it happens, isn't it? You don't know who Seal is and pretty soon you can't set a digital clock.

Regis is shopping for a laptop for me online. I have a school laptop but honestly things are so tight financially lately that I feel like I'm taking food out of the mouths of starving infants by keeping it. Hell, I'll turn it in and buy my own. I can't take the guilt.

We're taking a long weekend trip to Philadelphia next month. I have a terror of traveling in any fashion and especially traveling that requires an airplane but I'm trying to swallow it for these four days. I sent for a tourist book from Bucks County and have been paging through it looking for the things I want to do. I bought tickets to the Jim Henson exhibit at some museum and I'd like to visit a winery. I don't remember seeing the Liberty Bell last time we were there so we might do that again. If you've seen pictures of that stuff in history books, it gets all mixed up and you think you've been there. Or you've been there and you think you saw it in a history book. No difference.

One of the things I hate about the East coast is that it takes so long to go anywhere. Everything is 45 mintues away. You can't go for an ice cream cone without driving 45 minutes. I don't know how they do it as there aren't enough hours in a day to get all those places. Our bank, grocery store, bar, restaurant, drug store, and counseling center (ha!) are all within a four-block area. We think three cars at the stop sign on Third Street is a traffic jam. We're barely suited for big city travel anymore. We should stick to gravel roads. Such rubes.

I didn't see any hummingbirds today so I think they have all headed South. Here's to their safety, fragile little things. Regis saw one light on a branch yesterday. He and the hummingbird made eye contact and they both froze for a second, then the hummingbird took off.

I have to go out and shut the sprinkler off. On to the week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

saturday tour

Regis and I went out and about today and took pictures of some local stuff for the Norris blog. Here we are at the pearly gates and at the Treaty Site Historical Center. I'm looking at the straw-filled bed and wondering how many bugs and mice live in it.

I bought a pair of black cowboy boots at a western store at the mall the other night. It was an interesting experience, let me tell you. Two dudes who looked like real cowboys worked there. The one helping us asked me what I was going to use them for which is a good question, I guess. I said for walking around. No goat roping for me. I wondered later how these guys dress when they aren't working at the western store. Joanne says she has a neighbor kid who dresses like that when he goes out at night. And where does he go dressed like that, I wonder. It would be like going into a toga store and having the clerks dressed in that gear. There would be nowhere to go dressed like that. Same for cowboys. Of course, I bought the boots and now where am I going dressed like that? The irony of this escaped me for a while...but now it dawns.

pressure from weekends and random observations

I feel this enormous pressure to do the right things on weekends. There are so many things that could be done but I like a balance of relaxing and working. Emphasis on relaxing. I'd like to get the garden cleaned out because they pick up the stuff on October 5th but I don't want to do it today because it's going to be too hot. You can see how this gets complicated.

I went to the Pulse this morning. When I walk on the treadmill, I don't always have control of what, if anything is on television. Most people don't like TLC and Clean Sweep like I do so if they get their first, we watch CNN or Fox News, which I loathe. I discovered today that if I keep my iPod headphones on and turn the music up loud, I can make up stories for the pictures on the news. It makes it much less painful to watch. Same thing with sports. Who would watch ESPN, seriously? They should have a network devoted to poetry, right Bob?

I have been frustrated with all the meetings I have to attend this year. Then it dawned on me yesterday that this is my job now, going to meetings, and suddenly I felt much better.

A few weight loss observations: As I get closer to my goal, I have been thinking about two seemingly contradictory ideas: being vigilant always about food and exercise…and letting go.

I had a conversation with Deb who has lost weight with the help of some competition with another friend. After two years, she has maintained well and her competitor has had a little more trouble with regain. They wondered if they had “lost their edge”...and I wondered if “losing the edge” is a good thing. Isn’t it important at some point, to go back to normal living? I don’t mean to stop being vigilant about food and exercise, but to stop carrying around the binder full of weight loss records and recipes.

I carried that binder every day, everywhere I went for the first 8 months. I felt like I needed the constant reminder, I needed to write down what I ate right after I ate it, I needed records of water intake, exercise, calories, appointments, etc. It got to be a lot to lug around. Finally, the therapist I have seen since I started this process, suggested that I leave the binder on a shelf and start living my life.

Now the binder is on the shelf at home as I make my way toward a healthy weight and maintenance. I’ve spent so much of my life on the white knuckle flight of diets…hanging on for dear life until the last day when I would abandon all the rules and eventually regain all the weight. I don’t want to do that, of course, but I don’t want to spend my life in a constant state of fear and anxiety either.

I think my resolution to this problem is to find a place in my head where I can balance the vigilance about food and exercise with letting go and feeling free. When I exercise, I'm trying to enjoy the moment instead of striving so hard for faster, longer, more reps, more weight. When I eat, I'm trying to enjoy the flavors and amounts I can eat instead of agonizing over what I can’t or shouldn’t eat. It’s almost like meditating throughout the day, appreciating the trees and forgetting about the forest.

There you go. Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

what good stock

My great aunt Hazel's obituary is below, or at least a link to it. She died the other day at 102 and she was the sister of my grandfather, Ben Syverson. I told my dentist today about Hazel (daughter of Norwegian immigrants) and he said many very old people still have their own teeth. I said Hazel's obit didn't mention her teeth but maybe they should. Instead of listing predeceased by they could say whether or not the deceased possessed their own choppers.

I've probably had busier days than the last two but I don't remember when. Honestly, I am pooped. I've figured out that when I take Ambien, my balance is not so good in the morning. I don't need to take it very often any more...maybe once a there's some motivation. I won't fly off the treadmill like a sack of wheat if I am in my own mind.

Regis went over to Bob and Emily's yesterday. He felt Ella tug on the bottom of his shirt. When he looked down, she said, "Want to go to Patrick's for lunch with me on Saturday?" What a hoot.

I'm reading a good book I borrowed from Betty called Still Alice. It's about a woman who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's at age 50. It's very good. It's written from her perspective so you get a sense of how terrifying it is to be lost or to realize you are forgetting basic things like names.

We picked a bunch of tomatoes from our pathetic tomato patch tonight and now they're bubbling on the stove. I decided not to season them so they can go either way...spaghetti sauce or chili.

Well, that's it for tonight. It's only 7:30 but I've had it. I'm going to bed to read and sleep.

Hazel (Syverson) Haugo | Obituaries | INFORUM | Fargo, ND

Hazel (Syverson) Haugo | Obituaries | INFORUM | Fargo, ND

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

a few rock bend scenes

Peter's great juggling stunt
Teresa shops for a bracelet


Kris and Ron

what the hell is with the weather

It's warmer this weekend, and will be warmer all week, than it has been all summer. I'm not prepared clothing wise, for this. I wore jeans and sweaters the whole month of July because the temperature barely rose above 75. It's going to be 83 today and in the 80s all week. I guess the only good thing is that the temperature peaks about 3 and then starts dropping. Not like June when you have heat for a much longer period of time.

Congratulations to Joanne on the birth of her first grandbaby, Gabriel Joseph. Gabe was born Thursday, September 1oth.

We still have hummingbirds in the canna lilies. They should be on their way to Mexico soon. Smart birds. Get out of here before the ice and snow.

I have a few things I should get done before we go to Rock Bend today. Tedious jobs. Bill paying and garbage hauling and cardboard recycling. I'd rather read and futz around. Hey, futz is a real word. I just checked.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

long sigh and wonder where the time goes

How did it get to be Saturday and almost the middle of September already? Is this some kind of time warp?

I went to a big ass meeting in the cities (not sure which one) yesterday. It was ok but very stimulating for a person like me who is leery of social events that involve crowds. I went to bed at 8 o'clock last night and slept soundly until 5. Uff da.

I went to the Pulse this morning. I did my cardio exercise and oh by the way, I remembered what the numbers mean. My goal for this month is 20 times a month, 40 minutes a time, 200 minutes a week. I didn't make the 200 last week because Elliot was here but I did this week. I had to do 53 minutes today to make up for a shortfall. I'll make 20 times this month, too, I think.

I actually considered the Halloween Fun Run which would be more of a walk for me since I don't like running, or jumping for that matter. Not that they require jumping. I actually thought, hey I could walk three miles. I'm sure I won't do it but I think it's significant that it even entered my consciousness at a level where it was considered. I'm not sure that people who exercise can appreciate the change in thinking that must happen for a person who has been a waddlesome sloth (Bill Bryson) most of their lives to become a more active person. It's probably like becoming a communist.

Regis is enjoying school if I haven't mentioned this before. He is sure working hard at it so he deserves to do well. I think he'll make the dean's list or the honor roll, whichever they have there at SCC. Good for him. He made me a spreadsheet for paying bills which will be nice since I've been doing it the old-fashioned way for years.

On to the weekend.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

poor pitiful garage gets a make-over

Our little garage has an interesting story. It looks (and smells) like an old machine shed inside leading us to believe it was hauled in off some farm back in the day. The part you can't see is a nose off the back side of it that was probably added because the car was too long to fit. A big Chrysler, maybe. It had a pretty holey roof when we moved in and we planned to fix it but when the tornado blew through town, it left our garage standing while most of them in the neighborhood collapsed in piles of lumber. We fixed it structurally but it always looked pretty crappy aesthetically. This summer we replaced the small door on the side, had it painted, then replaced the big door. Ta da. The garage gets a face-lift. Next spring I'm going to plant tons of hostas around the foundation so it looks pretty.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

made it through a long day

I started the day at the pulse...5 a.m. It's dark at 5 a.m., let me tell you. I was a little out of shape after my five day hiatus but not too bad. Crappy balance. Not sure if that's the dry spell or the deep sleep.

Regis had a dream last night that the zombies got me. I lost my check card so we couldn't leave town to escape them and he was mad. He knows a lot about zombies...way more than I do. For example, zombies can't open doors because they don't have fine motor skills. And when a zombie kills you, you get up and start looking for flesh, too. Anyway, I got out of the car because I panicked and the zombies got me. He was very distressed at my loss to the zombies but he left anyway. Watching me lurch down the road from the readview mirror. I said Regis has a better imagination when he's sound asleep than most people have when they're awake. Maybe he should forsake a career in technology and try to sell short stories. It worked for O. Henry.

I ended the day at River's Edge. What a nice place. I think I'm going to start hanging around there. They have bistro tables and chairs out in the lobby area now, near the grand piano. If they only served wine. I suppose they would say that is sort of contrary to their health care mission, although I don't know why.

I graduated from acupuncture today. I haven't had any real pain for a week so I'm on my own. I told Dr. Mahoney I would recommend him to my friends. There you go.

We started the school day with a burned out fluorescent light ballast (whatever that is), a shower of sparks, and a sulphur smell that filled the ducts through the building. I hope that isn't an ominous sign of things to come. Zombie attacks, maybe.

I'd like to sleep in tomorrow and go to the pulse when Regis goes to night class but I know myself too well. I better go in the morning.

Monday, September 07, 2009

monday night

You can tell I've been lazy today because this is about my third post and none of them have anything to do with productivity. I'm not cleaning the garage, pulling weeds in the garden, or scrubbing the kitchen floor. I enjoy doing nothing. I have friends my age who are in the neighborhood of retirement age. Some of them wonder what they would do if they retired. What they would do? What the hell. Doing nothing is the whole point. I figure by the time I retire, I will have the technique perfected.

I finished a book this weekend, actually in the middle of last night. It's called God's Middle Finger. The subtitle is Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre. It's a travel book, I guess. They grow a lot of drugs in the area and drink a lot of home brewed liquor (mostly from corn) so things get pretty crazy and violent. I don't think is a place most of us mellow midwestern types would want to visit. Good book, though.

Regis and I cooked steaks on the grill tonight. Beef for him and tuna for me. The tiny bugs were relentless and made it more unpleasant than most of our grilling days this summer. He had been doing homework most of the day so was ready for a break for a Stella Artois (sister of Menage...get it?) and I had a glass of white wine. It's almost time to make the transition to a pinot noir. I'm very seasonal about my wine and food.

I read in the weatherguide calendar that the hummingbirds will leave for Mexico in a couple weeks. Can you imagine those tiny and fragile birds flying all that way? No wonder they are carb loading at the canna lilies this weekend. Sometimes there are two at at time. We'll definitely going to plant those again next summer as they've provided quite a feast for the hummingbirds and quite a show for us.

I was awake for two hours in the middle of the night last night. Man, I hate that. It's not such a problem now, when I'm not getting up at 5 to go to work but tomorrow, this would be a killer. I have to be at the pulse at 5 a.m. to work out with Rachel and I've missed five days. I'll get my rear kicked from treadmill to stairmaster. Uff da. My goal this month is 20/200 which was really clever when I thought of it last week but now I can't remember what the hell it means. I think the 200 is minutes of cardio a week. I have no idea what 20 means. Times a month? Hell.

Regis mentioned watching a football game tonight. Frowny face. Ugh. Maybe I can talk him into a movie instead.

a tour of the yard

honor labor day by being lazy

From the Department of Labor website:
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Honor workers today. Especially if one of them is you.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

pictures from the barbecue

I like it when Regis sets up the tripod and takes a group photo. Here we are on good behavior. There are some funny pictures...

Sometimes we wonder where Alex gets his serious nature. Then again, we really don't wonder. Here he is with his dad.

busy week no blog

Regis is in school full time now and has lots of work to do at home. School district workshops started last week so I ran from place to place all week, hoping I had the right stuff in my bag for that job. Wednesday night, Joanne and I met Tiffany at Ruby Tuesday and made the big trade...I bought her dinner and we got to take Elliot for a few days. What a treat!

Elliot spend the day with Bob and Emily on Thursday and played with Ella and Alex. This is Elliot in Alex's Baby Einstein saucer. Looks like he enjoys it.

It took us a couple days to figure out the tired and hungry cues, but he was such a good baby. He's very happy and smiles all the time.

We spent a lot of time on the patio and going for stroller rides. Elliot loved being outside and especially loved the cars and lawnmowers. That's a guy for you!

Elliot loved the baby swing and figured out right away how to grip the ropes so he could swing.

He's a sweet baby and we loved having him. His mama missed him, though, and was very glad to see him Saturday morning!

More pictures of Elliot's vacation here!

Saturday night we had family over for ribs on the grill. Peter and Tiffany couldn't come because they had to work, but Joanne and Glen were here...and they're like family. We had a good time playing bags on the boulevard, drinking a little wine, eating stuffed poblano peppers from the garden, and talking smart. We were outside long enough to light candles and swat mosquitoes so it was a good party.

I'm tired from a week of work and baby care and cooking so I might just stay in my pajamas for a while today. Regis and Reggie went off to buy groceries but I think it might have been an opportunity to do a man trip as much as a grocery errand. They have fun together.

So far, and it's early, we have plans to do three things today...go to Morgan Creek, go to Dino's, and cook pizza on the grill. All three involve pizza. Not sure which will happen, if any. I feel lazy today.