Monday, January 31, 2011

sunday in pictures


Elliot likes to take the magnets off the refrigerator and then carefully replace them.


He always says "cheese!" when he sees the cameera flash. A ham like his Nana!


More play with magnets.


Peppers and onions for the fajiatas.


Regis cooking at the stove. He's quite a chef! We can't wait to get back to grill cooking this spring.


Elliot with the magnets again.


The table where Elliot hangs out. He loves crayons and paper.


Flank steak for fajitas.


Our new blue ray player. This was quite the mystery to me. It's wireless but movies from Netflix come right into our tv. Amazing.


Elliot's little doggy and blanket.


Elliot like to play under the table, too.


PopPop at the stove again!


Self-portrait...Elliot and Nana.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

red wig

Regis and I went to Patrick's for a late lunch/early dinner yesterday and I wore the red wig. We called it releasing the wig into the wild since it's never been seen live in public before. Pictures, yes. Live, no. When we walked in, Sarah was behind the bar and she ducked behind the beer taps and giggled. Leila thought Regis was with a strange woman. Well, he was, but it was me.


I know this seems like crazy behavior to some people. It probably seems like narcissism or exhibitionism but it's been a very important part of my weight loss transformation. I've been writing a lot about this on my support group message board. I have encouraged others to dress up and have their picture taken as a tool for changing their self-image. Many of my online friends, some of them years post-surgery and thin, continue to see themselves as obese. How can that be?

Regis believes that unless you learn to see yourself in a new way, the changes won't last. It's sad to think that people go through surgery, experience radical changes in their lives, but their heads still think of them in the same old way.

So, to that end, I have a new wardrobe, a couple of wigs, lots of rhinestone jewelry, and high-heeled boots. Regis has taken tons of pictures of me from every angle and in every possible costume combination and I study them to see if I can believe that person in the picture is me. It's not an easy process but it's been fun.

I'll try not to lose perspective but once you wear a long, curly, red wig to the bar on Saturday afternoon, there's no telling what could go on next.

We're expecting 6-10 inches of snow tonight. Lovely. The stuff we have on the ground is getting kind of dirty and pathetic looking so I guess it's time to freshen it up.

We bought a blue ray player so we can stream movies from Netflix. At least I think that's the purpose of it. Technology is going quickly past my ability to understand it. I remember when my dad refused to learn to use a digital clock radio. That's where I'm headed.

Have a story worthy Sunday.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

i love saturday

I woke up early and had a few cups of coffee in front of the fireplace. I went to the Pulse about 8 and walked/ran on the treadmill for 3 miles. I had 270 minutes of exercise this week.

I've been sitting with my laptop since I got home...Facebook, BE message board, email. Connecting you know.

Regis made me a most excellent Mexican omelet which is my new favorite food. We found a hot salsa at the coop that we both love. I'll never eat eggs without it again.

Not much for plans today. Do the dishes. Pick up stuff around the house. Write on blog. Buy wine. Make a few calls. Is that enough? It's cold and gloomy outside so that's my excuse but the truth is that I'm pretty unproductive.

I've decided to retire as of June 30th. I thought all day yesterday about what my Dad would do and I decided he would walk away. Mom confirmed that's what he would do. No two days a week. No looking back. He would walk away. I've already applied for two jobs, one to be an Enthusiastic Manager at the Halloween costume company and one to model Halloween costumes. Both positions I am uniquely qualified for since my birthday is Halloween. Take a bow, Mom.


Moving on. Metaphorically and physically. Getting up off the couch to do something constructive.

Friday, January 28, 2011

friday already?

Oh, sure.

This is more like it.

Friday Orkut Graphics


I took a day off from exercise so I'm sitting here in front of the faux fireplace, dreading the idea of going to work. Dread. Dread. Dread. I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect a guy to do this every day.

Make coffee. See if that helps.

I wish this was me. Beautiful tall ship named Amazing Grace. Sailing into the next chapter of my life.


I feel more like this.

It's a tugboat that hit a rocky shoal then rolled onto its port side and began taking on water, sinking the stern. It narrowly avoided sinking.

Ah, life sucks some days.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

dismal tuesday

So you all don't think my life is all silver saddles and Sunday parades. I came home today in a dismal mood. I'm not sure the word dismal should be used to describe a mood but that's what it is. I'm tired. I'm weary. I spend a lot of time muddling around in adult problems at work. Why can't we just all get along? What the hell.


I did the dishes, finished the stuffed peppers that Regis started, and now I'm enjoying a glass of wine. I have to be careful of that because even though I hate to talk about my health problems. I have had some weird hypoglycemic issues. Lovely. Disconcerting. Wine is my therapy. What the hell.

Regis is counting the money in our change jar. With that cash and my early retirement incentive, we'll be, as they used to say, well-off. Maniacal laughter.

I have plans to go to yoga in the morning. Plans in my head that may not materialize at 4 a.m. Getting out of the house in the cold and dark has been a struggle this winter.

We're up to 70 bucks in the cash jar. Harrumph.

Monday, January 24, 2011

monday

Well, here it is...Monday again. I'm making an Alton Brown meatloaf for dinner. I have a good meatloaf recipe but this afternoon, I read the article and so I'm trying some new techniques: baking it free form in a bigger pan, sauteing the vegetables (carrot, red pepper, onion, garlic) before their addition, and starting it at 450 degrees for fifteen minutes. 


It was delicious but the whole process was time-consuming. We had a big green salad with it. I love to make salads now that I have a pretty salad bowl and a pair of salad hands.

I skipped my exercise a few days last week. The cold weather at 4 a.m. was prohibitive. I'm back at it this week and today's workout was tough. Rachel says you don't lose strength that fast but holy crap, I almost wept. At least I didn't have to do any push-ups.

Regis enjoyed his first day at work although he reminded me about what a first day at a job is like. You don't know where the bathroom is, where to hang your coat, where to stow your lunch, where the light switches are...and so on. Like being a stranger on the planet. He did find time to text me this picture.


I'm getting tired and anxious to go to bed and read. Guess I'll end with this random photo I found in my download box.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

weird stuff

Today I decided to track my calories for a while. I haven't done this for a long time but want to know about how many I am consuming at this stage of weight maintenance. To that end, I installed an app on my phone. It's called Calorie Counter and it let's me log food and exercise...on my phone. It links to my computer so I can look at it there, too. But, the really amazing thing is this. I had yogurt for breakfast. With my phone, I can scan the bar code on the yogurt and it finds what the product is and logs it for you. What the hell. And this little youtube video will demonstrate that for you. Again, what the hell.

Don't watch the whole thing...just up to the barcode reader part.



I don't like the "fat secret" connotation or the "diet" message of the whole thing but I think I can block that out. I will not be recording exercise on this thing either because I do that in other ways and like to think of that as completely separate from my weight and food intake. I'm only curious about how much I eat now.

But, really. Is this barcode reader amazing, or what?

happiness

Happiness
by Carl Sandburg


I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
     me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
     thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
     I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
     the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
     their women and children and a keg of beer and an
     accordion.



We had a little party last night and while we didn't have an accordion, we had some good music and a little keg of nut brown ale, thanks to Tom. It was a good time. Regis made two racks of ribs that got rave reviews. The only complaint is that there weren't enough of them. 

It's very cold out this morning (windchill -26) and I can't quite get up the gumption to go work out at the Pulse. Maybe I'll use the treadmill in the basement later instead.

I hear Regis stirring.

He woke up earlier and told me he had a dream that he was traveling to Philadelphia and the security was tight on the airlines, of course. The last thing they did was ask him a security question: Who is your favorite Simpson? I'm not sure that would keep terrorists off airplanes, but you never know.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

details at 2 a.m.

Not even two weeks ago, we met a young man and his wife at the bar in Olives in Mankato. I wrote about the dinner here, but didn't even mention the chance meeting that led to the discussion of a job in tech support and the exchange of email addresses. You know how that goes. Sure, we thought. The guy is the day bartender at Mettlers.

Yesterday at 5:00, Regis dropped me off at Pappageorge's and he went off to have an "informal discussion" with this guy at the halloween costume company that is growing by leaps and bounds. We drove by it first and it looks sort of industrial, but bright and shiny. Check out their website...they ship costumes all over the world. Regis comes back to Pappageorge in about 30 minutes and calmly sat down to tell me about the interview that wasn't even really an interview. I ask what the next step is. He says he starts Monday.

WHAT???

I start to cry and if  our knees were in better shape we would have jumped around the bar. We just cannot believe it. He starts Monday and the job is everything we hoped for and maybe more. He'll be doing tech support for halloweencostumes.com. They have about 300 computers, no network, a jumble of hardware and software, and they want Regis to help sort that out and get everybody going in the same direction. He'll be doing purchasing, software installations, networking, tech support for employees and some on the phone with customers. It will be part-time if that's what he wants but full-time in the fall when they ramp up to 300+ employees. The hours are during the day and flexible. The guy who hired him is the guy we met at Olives not even two weeks ago. How weird and amazing is that?


So, here I sit at 2 a.m. drinking coffee and writing on my blog. The big question is how to celebrate.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

he got the job!

For anyone who didn't get our excited phone call after the "informal interview" this afternoon....Regis got the job! Details to follow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

really, who writes that shit?

Who writes that crap for Facebook? The stuff you are meant to copy and paste into your status if you love your daughter, mother, son, dog, etc. Ack, in the words of Bill the Cat. Ack. Could we have an original thought, please?


Here is my new grand-nephew, born last night in Moorhead to Nicole and Jason. No name yet. Is he cute, or what????


I read something at the end of Anthony Bourdain's book this morning on my Kindle that I had to copy as soon as I got home. Finding a passage in a kindle book is not an easy task. I realize there is a way to mark spots in the book but I've never learned that. My kindle has a very limited range of usefulness to me. I read it on the treadmill and that's about it. 
Here's the passage I read:

My Bloody Valentine by Anthony Bourdain

At forty-four, I was, as all cooks too long on the line must be, already in decline. You’re not getting any faster- or smarter- as a cook after age thirty-seven. The knees and back go first, of course. That you’d expect. But the hand-eye coordination starts to break up a little as well. And the vision thing. But it’s the brain that sends you the most worrying indications of decay. After all those years of intense focus, multitasking, high stress, late nights, and alcohol, the brain stops responding the way you like. You miss things. You aren’t as quick reading the board, prioritizing the dupes, grasping at a glance what food goes where, adding up totals of steaks on hold and steaks on the fire- and cumulative donenesses. Your hangovers are more crippling and last longer. Your temper becomes shorter- and you become more easily frustrated with yourself for fucking up little things. Despair, always a sometime thing in the bipolar world of the kitchen, becomes more frequent and longer-lasting as one grows more philosophical with age and has more to despair about.  
After I finished the Bourdain book, I started reading The Road Home by Jim Harrison and realized quickly that this is a book I have to hold in my hands. Even though I paid ten dollars for the kindle version, I had to come right home and order the paperback. Jim Harrison is my all-time favorite author in the universe. I have, under duress, loaned out my Kent Haruff books, and even my Louise Erdrich books. But sorry, not Jim Harrison.


Here's a great poem I stumbled onto today. By John Engman, a Minnesota poet.

The Common Expressions Our Grief Leads Us To


John Engman
  
I step into the classroom cautiously,
clearing my throat to let them know who I am,
a somewhat unwelcome professor who is welcomed
with looks of suspicion, last man on a crowded raft.
I grip the lecturn with both hands. What can I say?
They wonder as I say them what my words want.
Some days, if I were paid to be honest, I’d say,
“Class, today I am having difficulty remembering
the names of the letters in the English alphabet.
And by the way, what class is this?” Trying to draw
an illustration of this circumstance in chalk,, I fail,
erasing it quickly. I emit a series of nondescript snorts.

“Class, today we’ll talk about how to resuscitate
a dead metaphor. You may ask yourself, why bother?
Is higher education really a punishment? But seriously…”
Already I have lost them. The front row glares
with that bewilderment freshmen usually save for fathers.
Some pretend to doze off, the smarter students ignore me.

Then I begin drawing diagrams in the air, waving my hands
as if flagging down a mirage. “The sea of life,” I say,
“is a dead metaphor that suggest the darkness of the sea
will suck us down in our final hour, the deep six.”
At the word suck, several heads rise from the desks.
Having caught their attention, I lean back, full of myself,
nibbling on my stub of chalk. Then, as it happens so often
when I an in a philosophic frenzy, I square my jaw
and inhale deeply: crushing the chalk and swallowing
a lump that blocks my windpipe below the epiglottis,
gags me like exhaust from a passing freighter.
Grabbing myself by the throat, pausing

one second to reflect on how much real learning
happens by default, I choke and gasp for air. “Water,”
I whisper, and everyone laughs. One student, who scribbles
notes as I turn blue, lose my footing and grab at the air,
contributes, “That’s not how you do the Australian crawl,”
and then, “Oh, the sea of life, I get it.” And the class applauds,
“Man overboard! Dead metaphor! King Neptune! Food for the fish!”
And as I crawl toward the door, they flutter above me, worried
as gulls by a man who throws signals instead of breadcrumbs.
And the voice that follows me into the hall is sure and swift
as the fin of a shark, “Will we be graded on this?”


Ha! Anybody who has ever taught anything, gets this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

thinking

I write sometimes for thinking…trying to sort something out, find the answer, get to the bottom of what I’m feeling. This has been coming to the front of my brain for a while and I started it this weekend, then finished it this morning. I think I’ll post it on my blog but thought I would share it here, too, in case anybody else has similar feelings. Thanks to Donna for the powerful testimonials that triggered the rest of the story!

On August 8, 2008 I made the decision to change my life by having weight loss surgery through the Mayo Clinic bariatric program. It will be two years on April 6th since I had a Roux En Y gastric bypass operation. I feel like I’m moving into a new phase of post-WLS thinking and I want to explore that a little.

In the last few months, I have been fascinated with the research about WLS and long-term maintenance. I read a lot before my surgery and felt prepared and knowledgeable. I am not, nor was I ever overly fearful of regain, but now I want to know more about the causes of obesity and the research about how folks who have had surgery prevent weight gain for the long haul.

There are blogs I read daily (http://www.refusetoregain.com/refusetoregain/), journals I check out every chance I get, books I have ordered and read: (Refuse to Regain by Barbara Berkeley and Why We Get Fat and What We Can Do about It by Gary Taubes).

I have gone back to the Bariatric Eating online support group. I turned away from that support group for a while and for several reasons. Now that I’m back, I love the daily encouragement to eat healthy food and to exercise. I love the idea of providing support for someone just beginning this journey. I love the camaraderie I feel with the folks who are further out and dealing with the reality of life as it is and the battle against obesity.

This morning, Donna posted on the message board a link to testimonials by patients who had surgery at Bon Secour in Richmond, Virginia. They’re here if you are interested: [http://richmond.bonsecours.com/our-services-surgical-weight-loss-patient-testimonials.html]. I could only watch a couple without weeping. To see the incredible change in the lives of these folks is miraculous and poignant.

I know most people are not interested in this radical surgery for themselves and even people who know me have only a passing interest, but to me it’s fascinating. My weight problem, something that caused me years of misery and social anguish, could be cured this easily? All the ensuing medical issues, the borderline high blood pressure, the high blood sugar, the aching joints, the sleeping problems could all be nearly erased by this surgery? It’s really nothing short of a miracle to me.

I remember once I compared it to giving birth. After I experienced giving birth to my son, I felt a bond with other mothers and with the doctors and nurses who delivered my child. I wanted to talk about the birth process with anyone else who had experienced its miracle. When we adopted our beautiful daughter, Tiffany, I was also overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of shared humanity. The two experiences are similar to my surgery in some ways.

I feel overwhelming gratitude for the doctors who developed this surgical procedure and to the team of medical professionals at Mayo who took care of me. After watching the video testimonials and thinking about my reasons for rejoining the online support group, I realize it is that sense of shared humanity. When these folks in the videos and on the message board talk about the pain and shame because of obesity, the lack of mobility, the health problems, the desire to be normal, it is heart rending, really, and I can relate.

Anybody who thinks obesity is a simple problem or that the surgical solution is the easy way out, ought to walk around these resources for a day. There are amazing stories of pain and anguish and incredible stories of recovery and success.

For now, I feel wonderful. I feel strong and healthy and like I am finally living the life I was meant to lead. I can lift weights and jump and do squats and hell, I ran a half marathon last fall! I won’t say every day is easy because it takes a lot of menu planning to eat right and it takes a lot of fortitude to get up at 4 a.m. to work out every day when the temperature is below zero. The obesity battle is not won easily but I am doing it for now. Finally, and for now, I am doing it and I love it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

sunday in pictures

I'm going to do a Sunday in pictures post today.

We went to Suzette's in Jordan last night with Kathy, a childhood friend of mine, and her husband, Jack. They're a hoot. We spent about 5 hours together eating, talking, laughing. I had the seafood mixed grill...lobster, shrimp, and scallops. Delicious. The left-overs will be my dinner with a spinach salad.

Regis and I are doing our usual weekend sit in front of the fireplace while we drink coffee and cyber connect. We're making a plan for the day and since we did so darn little yesterday, there are lots of things to do today. Here's my list:

  • Try to get in the garden to fill the bird feeders. This involves snow up to my butt and is not an easy task.
  • Tidy up the house. (Done)
  • Pick up the clothes from the week that I have strewn about the house. (Done)
  • Set the table. I learned this from Mom. If the table is set, I am less likely to pile stuff on it. (Done)
  • Put away the last of the Christmas stuff that was forgotten. (Done)
  • Get my lunch bag ready for the week....refill protein, refill nuts and dried fruit, etc. (Done)
  • Go to the coop for a few things. Pizza crust, spinach, tomatoes, pecans, almonds. (Done)
  • Get a bag ready for the thrift store pick-up Wednesday. (Done)

Coffee in front of the faux fireplace.


Coffee...


Potpourri of dishes. The green and white and the pink and white tea cups were my Aunt Vi's. The yellow cream pitcher and sugar bowl were Grandma Elsie's. The rest of them came from Mom.


Regis makes me a Mexican omelet...delicious! A little bacon, a little cheese, and some spicy hot salsa! Sherry, see your picture on the refrigerator door!


The picture is a little fuzzy, but you get the idea. I also took a picture of my lunch but that was a really bad picture. I had beets, broccoli salad, two green beans, two shrimp, and a scallop.

Well, I got distracted by a couple shiny things and didn't get a chance to finish this. Now, I am tired and here comes Monday....


Friday, January 14, 2011

quick stop between social events

As soon as I got home from school I took a 25 minute nap, then we headed down the street to Reggie's birthday celebration. He turns 33 on Monday. Amber put on a nice spread of vegetables, cheese and crackers, beans, and hot beef sandwiches. Dessert was a blizzard cake of which I did not partake but the reviews were good. Nice party.

We're home now for a brief respite, then we're heading across the street to the neighbor's house for a glass of wine and dessert. What a way to pass a Friday night.

It was a stressful week at work and I was not the least bit sorry to see it end.

We had a tiny bit more snow today...maybe an inch. Pretty but a nuisance.

I've been finding money in my pockets lately. Ten dollars in the pocket of a pair of jeans the other day and four one dollar bills in the pocket of my sweater today.

In my horoscope the other day, I read this: When you buy a ticket to the circus, don't be surprised by the clowns. But now I see that the signs of the zodiac have changed due to the wobble of the Earth. Or some such nonsense. Does that mean that now I should be surprised by the clowns?

Two days stretching out in front of us with not much on the agenda. What a way to pass a weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

no snow today....50% chance tomorrow

That's a fifty percent chance of partly sunny to partly cloudy. I heard a weatherman say that once.

I came home and did some weight lifting in my dining room. Fleetwood Mac on the stereo or whatever you call it these days. This is an iPod on a radio thing. It's not a boombox. Have you noticed that stereos got smaller and smaller and now they're getting bigger? Planned obsolescence.  What the hell is wikipedia anyway? Who writes that stuff?

It was cold today but bright and sunny. Regis and I have been drinking coffee like fiends this week, but sleeping well. I didn't even get up to exercise this morning.

A new Regis dream. I brought a puppy home and Regis knew it was really an alien instead of a cute pet. It's how aliens had infiltrated our world. Isn't this part of the plot of Men in Black?

Regis is studying for his tax test so I'm surprised he isn't having dreams about 1040 forms.

I'm too tired to make much sense tonight.


Gorgeous sunrise. Regis took this picture about 7 o'clock this morning while waiting for our damn Honda to get a check-up because it wouldn't start Sunday morning. This is a new car with a fully functioning battery. Once last year and once this year it wouldn't start in the morning. We have driven Toyotas for years and never had one that didn't start. We got a battery jump from a kind passer-by but Regis told the Honda folks that next time, we will have it towed. They pay for the tow so why should we bother to jump the battery and then drive it over there for them to tell us there isn't anything wrong? That's my rant for the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

this is not me running in the snow


This is not me running in the snow and especially not in those shorts. What the hell. I don't even wear shorts to run inside at the Pulse. I usually have on long pants, a thermal shirt, and sometimes a fleece jacket. I have a low tolerance for cold. This picture was taken in St. Peter but we have more snow than this now.

This is me in a parka, a hat, mittens, warm boots, and probably several layers of long underwear.


I can't remember if I posted this picture before but even if I did, it bears repeating. This is at my school and the piles there are bigger now, too. This is the snowiest winter since 1940. You can look it up right below this post.

Regis had a dream the other day that a limo pulled up in front of our house, Bruce Willis (a young Bruce Willis) opened the door, I jumped in and off we went. I think this is because we watched an episode of Moonlighting.


This is a video of a donkey parallel parking a donkey cart. Regis had a driving instructor in high school, Gordon Davies, whose name he invokes every time he has to parallel park because Gordon was a master of the technique. He says this donkey is the reincarnation of Gordon Davies. It could be but then I could also run off in a limo with Bruce Willis. Not very likely in either case.

I have one more thing to post tonight but it requires the other computer and the scanner. BRB



Jill requested that we send a post card from our weekend trip. Post cards are not readily available in hotels anymore so we had to really work to find this one. Imagine that it says, "Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here!" There was a little bar on the lower (left side) of the hotel and I worked there when I was in college. It was a quaint little place. The back bar (beautiful dark wood and mirrors)  is now in the South Street Saloon.

It's truly amazing that I hung on to this post card for all these years and that when we wanted it, we found it.

There you go. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 10, 2011

hair and snow

I learned a lesson again. I like to think that the guy who cuts my hair is an artist and I should keep my mouth shut about my kooky ideas regarding hair styles. A couple months ago, I went in for a haircut and told Patrick I thought I wanted a new do...maybe a 70's shag. Oh good grief. Being an accommodating person, he tried to do what I asked and the result, while looking good in the salon, was not something I could replicate at home. So, tonight, in four inches of new snow, Regis hauled my sorry butt back to Mankato to get my locks shorn once more. It's very short, very spiky, and just what I want.

The snow is beautiful this winter but it is getting to be a nuisance. I don't remember a winter where it just snowed constantly. Straight down, big fluffy flakes, always a new coating of an inch or two. Every time you get in the car, you have to sweep the snow off of it. Our snow blower is tucked nicely back in the garage so we're in good shape once more.

From the weather blog of Paul Douglas:


Third Snowiest Winter. As of January 7, 2011, 45.3" snow had fallen at MSP. According the gurus down at the Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service, that makes this the 3rd snowiest winter (to date), at least since 1940. There have been three 6"+ snowfalls so far this winter (Nov. 13, Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11). Only the winter of 1983-84 had more 6"+ snowfalls (a total of 4 as of January 7). Three 6"+ snows ties '92, '97 and 2001. Click here to read more from the National Weather Service.
* Since November 29 we've had 30 days with at least a trace of snow in the Twin Cities. In the last decade only one winter (2005-2006 had more days with a trace or more of snow during a 40 day period).
Ah, you people who go south think you are so smart.
I've been looking up recipes for chutney, relish, and salsa tonight. Apparently they are closely related and the definition blurs when you start adding different vegetables. The "medley" I had with my tuna Saturday night was so good, I want to recreate it. It had corn, tomatoes, and asparagus and a vinegar taste. It was delicious. We'd also like to recreate the peanut butter infusion dessert. It had a thin brownie layer on the bottom, a layer of peanut butter mousse, and a dark chocolate topping. Seemed like it was made in a tiny spring form pan.
This could be it.
And I need this pan about as much as I needed those cannoli molds. That was a major kitchen disaster. Whatever you have to pay for a cannoli in a bakery, it's worth it. Kitchen gadgets. I love 'em.

Well, I'm off to bed. It was a long day and tomorrow there will surely be more snow sweeping.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Regis and Teresa go out on the town

Regis and I took our trip to the big city. We had a wonderful time and aptly met our goals of slothfulness and decadence. Here's a summary:

  • Friday night we braved the sub zero temps and icy wind chill to go down the street to the Pub 500. We had a very nice time there and the barkeep, John P., was friendly. He grew up in St. Peter and graduated from GAC. We had a small order of wings with Norwegian hot sauce. Interesting concept. Also had to try the homemade potato chips. They were delicious but there were many more than we wanted to eat so I boxed them up and gave them to a couple guys on the street who looked like they could use a snack, even a snack of minimal nutritional value.
  • We tried to go to the Red Sky Lounge but they had a buffet for hockey patrons so we were out of luck.
  • We stopped at Blue Bricks for crab cakes. They were delicious but the wine glass was dirty. Buzz kill.
  • Later, we walked down to Number 4 and had a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. Lovely place but busy with a hockey crowd. 
  • Saturday, we had breakfast at Olives. Doing our part for Mankato's downtown economy.
  • We went to the pool area but I was either too cold in the pool or too hot in the spa tub.
  • We spent the day lounging around our room. We watched Major League, took naps, ate cheese and crackers and dark chocolate in bed, and generally did nothing constructive.
  • We had dinner at Olives. I had this:  Flash Seared Yellowfin Tuna (a Masterpiece of flavors) with Marinated Jumbo Shrimp and a Medley of Sweet Corn, Asparagus and Tomato. It was so good, seriously, I wanted to lick the plate. They make the best bread in ten counties at Olives, too. Regis had this: Caramelized Onion Pizza with Sweet Caramelized Red Onions. Fresh Crumbled Feta and Herb Infused BĂ©chamel Sauce. We have lots of left-overs so we get to enjoy this meal one more time. We ate at the bar because it's so pleasant there and we love Adam. Funny how we know these bartenders by name, eh? Olives is so lovely and the food so good that we're going to save our entertainment dollars to eat there.
  • After dinner, we went back to our room and sat in front of the window to watch a big drama unfold on Riverfront Drive. A cop pulled a car over, pretty soon two more cop cars came. They made two kids in the back seat get out and get searched. Nobody was hauled off, though, and the driver apparently was not under any suspicion. It ended peacefully. Not like COPS.
  • I went into the other room and surprised Regis by popping out in my red wig. Laugh a minute, I am.
  • We sat around our room drinking coffee this morning until about 10, then started the car with the remote and walked out to the ramp. Dead battery. We found a kind soul who agreed to jump our battery and we were on our way home. 
  • It's good to be in our own house again drinking our own coffee and watching our own fireplace but it was a wonderful weekend.

Friday, January 07, 2011

work intervenes

I am realizing again, how work intervenes in my life. I wonder how it would be to live without work. Do people feel like they have no purpose? Isn't reading and writing all day purposeful?

Some days there are challenges that make it interesting and even exciting. Some days not.

I'm going to exercise this morning. Somehow, drinking this nice cup of kona in front of the fireplace sounds more inviting.

Regis and I are taking a little vacation. In our true style, we are going to Mankato and checking in to the Garden Inn for the weekend. We don't plan to move the car once we get there. It's a lovely place and we plan to take advantage of all the amenities. I'll use the pool and the hot tub. We'll eat and drink at Olives. We'll sit in the pool area and bask in the sun. We may walk down the street late this afternoon to see a couple other places but we have no plans beyond that...slothfulness and decadence are the goals.

I read an article in the paper about parrot rescue. Parrots have lots of bad behavior because they are wild birds and they live to be more than a hundred years old. What would make a person think this would be a good pet?

We had a parakeet once but it drove the dogs crazy so I wasn't fond of letting it out of the cage. Poor bird. I'm not fond of anything, really, that isn't domesticated. Dogs and cats are ok. Those other animals should live outside where they were meant to live. We are happily petless at the moment after years of dogs, birds, and fish.

A friend of mine, a young woman I met through a weight loss surgery message board, is having her surgery today. It gives me goosebumps and takes me back to the day I had surgery. So many changes in the last two years. I never imagined it.

Off to the Pulse.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

low-head dam destroyed


My nephew, Jesse, died seventeen years ago in this low-head damn on the Rock River in Luverne. Low-head dams are called drowning machines for these reasons. My family spent years, after Jesse's death, writing letters pleading with the city of Luverne to at least post signs of the danger so we are very happy, in a bittersweet way, that the dam will be replaced.

Jesse's death was one of the great sorrows of my life.