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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heritage

This week I explored my Scandinavian heritage. My grandmother used to always make these delicate, lacy, scroll-shaped holiday treats and I inherited the special iron which has been cooling it's heels in the back of my cupboard for almost four years. My brother loved grandma's scrolls and a few years ago his wife gave me a cookie cookbook with the recipe for krumkake. I had no idea it had a name other than "scrolls." I figured that cookbook gift was a serious hint to put my iron to good use, but still, it remained cold. My mother told me that it was really a project for two people. She said my grandma and her friend used to get together to make the treats. One would tend the iron and the other would roll the krumkake. Could this specialty really be made by just one girl? On Monday I decided to finally give it a try. Nervous about the whole process, I diligently set out everything I needed and I turned the burner on. The recipe warned that the first few may turn out dark, but after four or five scorched treats, I turned the burner down. I decided that the cookbook's suggestion of fifteen seconds per side wasn't working for me. The krumkake really stuck to the first side, so I reduced the length of time on the first side before flipping the iron over. Apart from burning myself on the metal (and very hot) handle, I was actually getting the hang of it! The first few beautifully light-colored scrolls I made brought joy to my heart. I could actually do this! It is a wonderful thing to teach yourself something new and it is even better to be able to share the product of that with my family who have gone without scrolls for far too long. Happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow Storm

With warnings from my sister and a friend, I prepared for our first big snow storm. I headed to my sister's to enjoy a quick internet session to catch up on emails and the such. When I emerged from her basement the sky was darker and the snow was coming down fast. I had to brush off my car before hitting the road. I postponed my trip to the grocery store in favor of getting home more quickly. I took the long way home, but was able to travel at a comfortable pace and made it over the hill safely. I shovelled my driveway that night to ease the pain of shovelling the whole twelve-inch snowfall at once. I was glad I did. The next day's light showed more snow on my driveway than I expected. The good news was that it wasn't snowing very hard on day two of the big storm. By the afternoon my driveway was cleared and so had the sky. I had planned to do some holiday baking during the storm, but the shining sun was begging me to hang my holiday garland on the front of my house. I conceded and I'm sure glad I did. For some reason, little white lights twinkling in between the boughs give me great joy. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Need A Little Christmas

I may be rushing things, but I need a little Christmas right this very minute. I’ve hauled out the holly and put up my Christmas tree. I even hung stockings and my evergreen bow. Yesterday listening to my itunes XMAS playlist, I decked the halls again. Each old Christmas decoration I unwrapped brought a smile to my face and another smile as I found the perfect place to display it in my home. Decorating for the holidays makes me crave pizza since this was our traditional Christmas Eve meal growing up. Santa always was left a slice! After a few slices of my own and a few more songs, I poured a glass of my brother’s mead (a new holiday tradition) and put my feet up to bask in the warm glow of little white lights. Mame’s “We Need A Little Christmas” began to play and it’s lyrics resonated with me… For I’ve grown a little leaner Grown a little colder Grown a little sadder Grown a little older And I need a little angel Sitting on my shoulder Need a little Christmas now I’m sure they would resonate with a lot of people this Christmas season. My advise to you is to deck your halls, steep yourself in traditions, and remember that the holiday season is about the people you share it with. Oh, and Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude

So, I've been reading W Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, and wondering what the point of it all was. Don't get me wrong, it has been a page-turner, but probably due to that nagging feeling that it had to be going somewhere...but where? I crawled into bed last night after midnight, but still thought I should read a chapter. I was at the beginning of Part Six. It began with a short chapter about how Part Six could be skipped without losing anything of the story, but that part six was a conversation that inspired the author to write the book. FINALLY! I couldn't sleep now. I had to finish the section. In the last chapter of the section, I found this nugget: "If the rose at noon has lost the beauty it had at dawn, the beauty it had then was real. Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it." This is a good reminder to be grateful and to appreciate every moment that we have. American Beauty said it best with: "...it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Out To Sea

The other night I had this dream that pretty much everything was sea. The water was a pale Tiffany blue swirling in around my feet on the white sand beaches. There was a house in the sea and when I entered it, the floor was covered with water as well. It was the most serene, relaxing place with gentle waves lapping at my feet. Everything was light with a soft glow like I was in an over-exposed photograph, come to life. I don’t remember all of the dreams I had that night, but the overall presence of water was so memorable and calming to me, I felt I needed to look it up in my dream dictionary. According to A Dictionary of Dream Symbols by Eric Ackroyd, a sea in your dreams could symbolize creative potential. In mythology, water existed prior to creation, and the creator-god wrestled with the sea-goddess and either made the world from her dismembered body or else impregnated her so that she gave birth to the world. Psychologically, therefore, the sea may symbolize the existence, within your psyche, of potential—the latent raw materials—for the creation of your true and total self. Also, listed under “water” is described: Water may symbolize emotion or psychic energy. It is therefore important to notice whether the water is free flowing or stagnant, clean or fowl. Water is a common symbol of fertility, growth, creative potential (especially if it takes the form of a reservoir or still lake), new life, or healing. All of this sounds incredibly promising to me, but if all else fails, I'm heading to Mexico.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Times Are A Changin'

I travelled to Tremp City to attend an Election Night Campfire tonight. I was treated to a delicious dinner by my friends and after a little political talk, tuned into the television to view the very first returns from the polls from across the United States. As we headed out to the campfire, the conversation, of course, was political. And so was the case for most of the night. My NPR friends had a radio humming at low tones in the background all night long and at one point we heard the voice of McCain. We turned up the radio to hear the concession speech from the presidential candidate and with excitement, I ran inside to grab a bottle of champagne and glasses. At the end of the speech, we toasted to the Democratic Party and to our futures. When Barama (as I like to call him) finally came over the radio waves, we quieted again to hear the voice of our future. His voice glided over our crackling fire as if it was always meant to be. With great joy, I will never forget our first fireside chat from our President of Change.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Tale

Sometimes I feel like Inspector Clouseau. As I wield my hefty vacuum from room to room and around furniture, the thing has a tendency to tip over. Trying to pull it around by its hose, I have found myself swinging that floor wand about in the air.

y dog runs in fear from room to room every time I haul the damn thing out. I’m sure he thinks it is just my way of harassing him. Shortly after he chooses a nice comfy spot on my bedroom carpet, right in the doorway, I decide that is indeed the room I would like to be in. He scampers past me and finds a nearby spot on the hallway rug only to find two minutes later that is where I would like to be now. Finally he hops up to one of his hiding spots on either of the couches or my bed. There he is safe from my relentless harassment; however he still keeps a keen eye on me in case I decide I need to vacuum the bed next.

This was the amusing tale running through my head as I vacuumed my house yesterday…three days after its scheduled appointment time. You see, I’ve decided that I need to run the perfect household, so I’ve devised a system! I’ve used my trusty computer to schedule out all of my household tasks from weekly occurrences like doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom to once-a-year tasks like changing the oil in my lawn mower and polishing my silver. That reminds me, I still need to get that oven cleaned before Thanksgiving.

So, if you’ve ever noticed, a system only works when you adhere to it! Last Friday was Halloween and I was much too busy sewing my nurse costume at the last minute to be bothered with vacuuming my house. And when I had completed my sewing at the early hour of five o’clock, I decided I had time to run to the party store to look for props (to no avail, by the way). Then the following day comes when I’m tired and slightly hung over from my extravagance the previous night. I sleep in, lounge around the house reading, and watch a movie.

I managed to work in three delicious meals for which I pat myself on the back. I’ve been attempting to pare down recipes into single servings. As sad as the realization is that I need single serving meals, it gives me great joy to make delicious meals just for me with no leftovers and no waste. Oddly enough this simple task of preparing my own delicious and savory meals that I am ready and willing to eat makes me feel like a grown up.

In the mean time, I’ll keep playing house. I’ll tell myself that I really should clean the bathroom because it is on my schedule, but in reality, I’m no better at running the perfect household than Clouseau would be.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Holy Crapcakes Batman!

Is that counter on the right side of my page counting down to Halloween? It says I have less than three days! So far I've purchased a pattern for my Halloween costume. I still need to head out to get the fabric, figure out how to modify the pattern slightly, and put it together! I guess this shows times a tickin'. This year I hope to find fabric that will support my pattern as being a nurse's costume. I have got these white go go boots from last Halloween that I think will look snappy for a nurse. You know how they appreciate stylish footwear. Anyway, I'm on it. Pretty soon I'll be posting pics of my adventures, so stay tuned.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Isn't That Lucky?

I officially began my birthday celebration last Tuesday as I packed my bags and shipped Peanut off to the folks in preparation for a mini-vacation. I really had wanted to go to Las Vegas for my thirtieth birthday since I've always wanted to go and never have. I got my big paycheck from my cashed out 401k and looked into a trip west. My travel companion, we'll call him Rich, had work conflicts with the cheapest air fare departure times, so the planning stalled. When we both realized we had already set our hearts on getting away for a few days, we chose door # 2: a mini-vacation to Door County.

Crap, if I had known how long the drive was, I may have come to my senses. Once we arrived at Gordon Lodge on the North Bay, I was so happy to have made the trip. The lobby was decorated in '60s stylings with a big built-in bench surrounding a fireplace and old operator cables behind the desk to connect calls to the rooms. The rooms themselves were decorated with retro furniture (some of which I've had my eye on in the CB2 catalog). The bathrooms looked original with pink tiles, pink fixtures, and a small pink laminate counter. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

Rich and I headed out onto the circle drive on Wednesday morning. We stopped at little stores and antique shops and even made it to the end of the sticky out thing to look out at Washington Island (we think). On the way down the other side, we practically ran right into the Shipwrecked Brewery and had to stop for a bite to eat.

After a bite and a sip and another sip and then another, we made our way back towards Gordon Lodge. We got side tracked at a bar that had a train track around the bar and had our drinks delivered to us on the train! After a few more stops in Bailey's Harbor and ushering in my birthday at midnight, we called it a night. I slept well on this birthday eve. Back in the car on the way home, it felt like it had been such a long time since we had made the trek out. I think that is the sign of a good, relaxing vacation. I really did get away...no worries, just fun.

The trip was followed with my traditional birthday dinner at The Freighthouse on my birthday and I had a birthday party the day after at a local tavern. I hired a karaoke buddy to keep us entertained and tapped a keg. I think we all enjoyed ourselves. I feel lucky to have friends and family to celebrate with me, no matter the occasion.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Survived, But Stickier

Well, the girls and I survived the big weekend in the woods! We did have someone else set up our tent for us, but we were really roughing it this year! After having lunch at the Trempealeau Hotel (sampling the local cuisine), we headed into the woods to our campsite. It was on a quiet little bend in the road and due to a leaf suspended in the drive way by a spider web, I'd like to call it Lone Leaf Campsite.

We played a little cards (a tradition), which included trying to figure out the rules of the game we play every year. Once figured out, we were going to write the rules down in our travel journal, but I'm afraid that didn't happen this year. We did manage to journal about other interesting happenstance and read our journal entries from last year (the inaugural year of the journal). I believe that is going to become greater fun with each passing year. We enjoyed hot dogs over the fire with s'mores for dessert (one rogue marshmallow attached itself to my shoe to pick up leaves around the campfire).

This year we had a couple older ladies join us to play guitar and host a sing-a-long. We even got them a little liquored up with us! One little drinker may have had too much to drink. It all came back out before she turned in for the night around 9pm. The other two campers refused to sleep in the same tent as the puker, so one hauled a cot out to the fire and the other attempted to sleep in the back seat of her car. I braved the tent to curl up in my sleeping bag on an air mattress and enjoyed a good night sleep.

All except the rude awakening in the middle of the night when I thought my cot-sleeping friend was enjoying a snack of chips. As I heard the loud crinkle, crinkle, crinkle sound of the chip bag I thought to myself that there wasn't even that many chips left in the bag. Then the plastic cookie container came out. That was even louder! I was thinking "JUST GET THE COOKIES OUT ALREADY!"

It was at that moment that I heard our midnight snackers scamper off behind the tent and into the woods. Surprisingly enough, raccoons had eaten all our remaining food they could get to...and all within five feet of our cot-sleeping friend. Point being, I think we learned a few valuable lessons if in fact next year proves to also be a "recession girlie weekend."

Although short-lived, we did have a great time. Girlie weekend is all about catching up with good friends, kicking back, and talking girlie. Mission accomplished. The only thing missing was our new mommy friend. As we pulled out of our campsite, we waved good-bye to the lone leaf. Two days later as I was unpacking my bag, it brought a smile to my face to find two marshmallows hiding out in my shoe as if refugees from Lone Leaf Campsite.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Takin' Stock

Of what I have and what I haven't. What do I find? A healthy balance on the credit side.*  I am lucky to have found work once again wielding a paint brush at my friend's house. This will be the final room to be painted on their second floor. I still have some trim work to do elsewhere, but this has to be the biggest project left. It will, no doubt, keep me occupied for a few days. Girlie weekend has finally arrived, which unfortunately has turned into girlie day considering we will probably be spending 24 hours or less in the woods. I am still looking forward to cooking over a campfire and snuggling up in a sleeping bag. I haven't been camping in a very, very long time. Maybe next time we can try two nights in the woods. Soon it will be birthday time. It seems that at this time of year, I tend to sort out my life into a "keep" and a "donate" pile. Like my Goodwill clothing donations, sometimes there are things that you need to let go of. I believe this year I may find a lot of things I have outgrown. The best thing about shedding the old and worn out is picking the new things that fit you better or you can grow into. All in all, I've got no diamonds, got no pearls...still I think I'm a lucky girl. I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.*

*Annie Get Your Gun

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Beginnings

As I was thinking about my friend playing the waiting game, Lucy was already arriving into this world. Congratulations! Actually, I must have instictually known, because I was out celebrating with a cold, frosty beverage. New babies are so full of pure spirit. They aren't yet bogged down by thoughts of I can't do that, It will be too hard, or I'm not good enough/strong enough/smart enough. Little ones are all about discovering what they can do. They look at the world through positive eyes seeing only possibilities. It is with great hope that I can learn from the littlest of us (not the midgets) and look towards my future. I filed for my LLC today and am looking forward to all the possibilities ahead. And sure as hell, I will be celebrating with a cold, frosty beverage tonight!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Now What?

I haven't heard, but I can safely assume that the newly painted Tremplo homestead has received it's house guest with open arms. There may be more painting in my future in Trempealeau, but I would think we should let the guest get acclimated before turning the house upside down again.

So, last night getting ready for bed, I was thinking about what I could occupy my time with today. I have another job that I want to apply for, so here I am at my sister's house, using her internet for over an hour now and still have not made it to the website to apply. I am, however, all caught up on my Facebook Wordscraper. I also have graphic design work to do yet today. Bat Boy: The Musical is coming up fast for The Muse Theatre and they need posters. I have a sneaking suspicion that designing these posters is going to put me in the Halloween mood. I'm afraid to flip that switch, because after it has been flipped, it is just going to be a waiting game!

I've been feeling super nostalgic lately and I'm sure that is part of leaving half of your life behind in favor of a new one. I can say that there is a lot to look forward to in my future. Girls night will most likely be spent at Craft Beer night at Oktoberfest with a gyro in hand (god willin'). Our annual girlie weekend is going to be spent in the woods close to home this year. This year we will actually be roughing it! I can hardly wait. The bonus of being close to home will be having visitors that otherwise wouldn't be able to make the trip. I can almost smell the campfire now!

October also brings with it the changing leaves, the crisp fall air, and apple crisp...just a few of my favorite things! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Freighthouse dining experience for my birthday and can almost taste the steak and shrimp now. Finally, October also brings my favorite holiday...Halloween. I love this time of year! What a perfect time for new beginnings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moving On

On Sunday I left To Kill A Mockingbird behind in a blaze of glory. A few of us cast members hit the bars after strike. We decided we needed something fun to do to close out the show, so we created a Hay List--things we wanted to do before hitting the hay for the night. The list included: Finding an Alabama state quarter Finding someone who had seen the show Finding someone who knew who had written To Kill A Mockingbird Finding a black man who would allow us to call him Tom Robinson and buying him a drink Among others.... It also included rules like I had to take a drink every time I put on lip gloss (My cast mates must have noticed I have a problem) and each time someone said "hay." We also planned to hit up ten bars in our quest. I'm not quite sure if we made that goal or if we gave up. I know Top Shots was our seventh stop because Blondy told me so. After a morning to recover, I can safely say that I've moved on. This week is full of painting activities in Tremp City. Then what?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Musings

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about The Muse Theatre. My friend is starting a theatre in an old renovated church. She has been working on this for a few years, but I saw it for the first time about a week ago. There is still a lot of renovating to be done, but she is holding her first auditions tomorrow for Bat Boy: The Musical. She has asked me to do posters and programs and such for the theatre and I'm very excited to be able to get paid to do what I love to do while helping her out with her new endeavor. I see nothing but opportunities there. The mission statement is simply: To Inspire. Mission accomplished. If you're on Facebook, you can join The Muse Theatre group and be informed of upcoming auditions, shows, and general information about the theatre. I hope you will be inspired too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pause

All of a sudden, everything happens at once. Why is that? This week I began some freelance design work for a new theatre in town. It was all stuff that had to be done right away of course. Auditions for The Muse Theatre's first show are scheduled for next Tuesday. I'm looking forward to a long career supporting the theatre.

I have also been hired to do some painting for a friend of mine. This is also a project under considerable deadline because it needs to be completed for a house guest coming at the end of the month. I wish I could get that City of La Crosse application back and change the painting experience answer from "not professionally" to "heck yes!"

Early this week I also auditioned for La Crosse Community Theatre's next show Something's Afoot. As it turns out, there are call backs tonight. Since I will be in a To Kill A Mockingbird performance, my director (who is also the next show's director) plans to pull me aside. I'm not quite sure what that means, but for some reason, I feel like I need to learn a joke.

This morning we performed To Kill A Mockingbird for area high school students. They were one of the most receptive audiences we've had yet. At that moment in the show when this group of kids actually got it and stood up, it made me proud to do what I do. We have a unique opportunity to affect people, young and old. I love live theatre.

As we prepared for our 9am show this morning in the green room, we as actors discussed the thing most people probably discussed today. The thing that most people will take a moment to pause and reflect upon today. Where were you seven years ago?

Monday, September 1, 2008

On The Road Again

Since I have some spare time, a friend convinced me to take a road trip. We had been talking about it all summer long, but we finally made our way down to Spring Green to check out Taliesen. It was well worth it. I've seen a few programs about Taliesen and Frank Lloyd Wright designs, but nothing quite compares to standing in the house and looking out at the picturesque hillside. Everything is designed so perfectly it really is quite amazing. At this point and time, they are jacking up the floor beneath the bedrooms in order to level off the house. The rooms are gutted and will be restored to Frank's original designs. I think I will have to return there in a few years to see the progress. All in all, a fabulous getaway for a day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Long Story, Short

My managers harassed me into leaving my job. Now I'm looking for a new job and trying to get rid of this ulcer so I can eat food again. In the meantime, I think I have to return a little focus to the play. I promise to do my very best. Focus has been hard to come by since Friday. I'll work on my humor for the next posting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Buzzed Up

Thank the lord for coffee. I was hoping that things would settled down a little after my party and Sand on the Riverfront were over, but apparently a slow down isn't in the stars for me. Work has picked up at an increasingly faster pace with each day and today I have a golf outing in the afternoon. That isn't even mentioning the comedy shenanigans I have to deal with! The good news is my party was a howling good time. There is so much preparation for a few short hours, but I sure do try to pack the fun into that time. I had a slightly smaller crowd than usual, but we managed to drink what we could. I unfortunately have eleven 1.5 liter bottles of champagne left. I foresee a New Year's Eve party in my future! My mother took the leftover popcorn to whip up batches of caramel corn, however I haven't had a chance to try it out yet with all the other leftovers at my house. My co-workers on the other hand, have been treated with a few snackies so far this week. The only full moon craziness we experienced was a toppled bar that led to several broken glasses and bottles of booze, as well as the loss of my cocktail shakers. *tear* That loss was a little more painful than the shards of glass embedded in my foot that caused me to bleed all over the kitchen before realizing it. Those memories fade and just the happiness remains as the rest of my glasses have been washed and put away. Party details have been filed. And it is with the hazy memories of hazy photographs that I remember my Fourth Annual Housewarming Party: HOLLYWOOD STARS.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Not Shouting

All right, I am. I'm shouting, I'm shouting, I'm shout.... I think the stress is getting to me. I am beginning to think that working on the Sand on the Riverfront committee, the Effy committee to put together a presentation for an ad campaign, being involved in back to back shows, and planning a party may be too much for me.

And besides all this, I'm expected to go to work every day. Luckily, I am a quick study on lines and was able to get my lines down well enough yesterday afternoon not to have to call LINE at rehearsal last night. They were not, however, all exactly as written. I guess I have plenty more work to do.

After getting let out of rehearsal early last night, I went home to take my dog for a much needed walk. Then I whipped up some cheddar snacks in the shape of stars for my party. Finally, about 10:45, I kicked up my feet with a glass of wine to start watching The Sandlot for character research. I only made it an hour in before I decided I had to hit the hay.

Then I remembered I still had to try on my party costume. If it hadn't fit, I would be under a major time crunch to get a replacement. Luckily for me, it did fit. It isn't quite like the character I will be portraying, but you'll get the picture. At this point, I'm really looking forward to drinking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abstract Busyness

I think my sister and I got a great deal accomplished last night at party headquarters. I feel really good about that. There is nothing like having stars greet you in the morning on your way off to work! However, I was dealt a near-fatal blow today when I received an email that I need to have my lines memorized tonight. What the hell? Where was this on our schedules? Oh that is right, we haven't been getting a schedule for any more than a few days in advance. I'm a quick memorizer, but even I'm not that good. Thank my lucky stars that it is overcast today. With the threat of rain, my golf outing that would have eaten up three quarters of my day was cancelled. This has freed up my lunch hour to drive home to get my script and ipod. I've cooerced my way into getting my lines recorded in the studio this afternoon so I can memorize for the rest of the day. Life would be so much easier if I didn't have to work all day long.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And Then There Were Five

Five days and counting. The time just keeps ticking away. I've been blessed with an evening free from rehearsals tonight! That means I will be able to mow my lawn (and get it raked). My sister is coming over for some throw-you-into-the-deep-end party preparation. She has no idea. Hopefully we will get everything accomplished that I didn't get done yesterday. My parents decided to purchase a small window air conditioner for my birthday and install it yesterday. That also led to the installation of my new (sitting in the closet for a year, but still in the packaging) roman shades. Both unexpected projects created a set-back in the projects I had planned to do yesterday. The Party Planning Nazi says "It's all good." Today I'll get back on track and the rest of the week is going to be a breeze of food preparations. My mother even took a recipe off my hands...yay mom! The trickiest part of this week will be resisting the temptation to crack one of those champagne bottles open at the end of a long night of party prep.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wowsa!

I can't believe it is only 11 days until my annual party. The summer always goes by so quickly. I think I'm sitting in pretty good shape. I have a few crafty projects to finish up, but already have a lot done. Oddly enough, I do have a few decorating decisions not yet made. Usually those are the first things I decide. This year's food stuffs will be very limited (Hollywood stars don't eat anyhow), however, I chose all things I need to make myself. Usually I select a few new things to try to make, but most of the food is from a store or easy-peasy. Food is always a challenge for me when planning a party, so I'm hoping with my tight schedule this year everything will work out. Thanks to a trip to Sam's Club with my sister, I have a lot of liquor purchased. I've poured it into my glass decanters and need to find a way to mark the bottles. At least those purchases were easy: brandy, whiskey, gin, rum... all decisions I can make. However, standing in the champagne aisle at the liquor store, I hadn't a clue. I ended up purchasing two bottles to test out. The first one I tried was fine as far as champagne goes, so at my earliest convenience I'll be heading back to the store to buy 15 of the 1.5 liter size. Talk about bubbly bubbly! I was welcomed this morning by a gigantic (and heavy) Roger Rabbit sitting at my desk. Look for him to make an appearance on a red carpet near you!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Break

After spending two evenings in the Annex sitting around a table for rehearsals, we will finally be on our feet tonight! The last two nights have been amazing. I haven't ever been in a show that has devoted so much time to building character. It is so refreshing, but I will be glad to get up and put some of that thought into action. I will also get a break this evening! They've decided to run rehearsals 6:30-9:30pm, which is more than a little tight for my schedule. Last night I sweated buckets trying to get ready as fast as I could in the sweltering heat of my house. Tonight they are devoting the first hour to the kids and the last hour to not me. What will I do with all this free time? Perhaps some party planning is in order.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hey...Nice Hens

On the final weekend of "The Nerd," my sister managed to catch a snapshot of my hens back stage. After the show, the hens flocked back to my place where they will take up roost in my basement. As a matter of fact, I managed to pack a whole trunk-full of props to dump at home. Sunday was strike and I packed the rest of the props and two new room divider screens into my Bug before helping my sister deep clean the make up supply and clean up the dressing rooms. Then I moved onto the stage to remove legs from the countless platforms and then haul them outside to be loaded onto trucks going back to storage. I remembered why strike is so sad...it is hotter than hell! The school usually saves money by not turning on the air conditioning and with the door open all afternoon, air probably wouldn't help anyhow. After you've gotten a slick coating of sweat all over and your clothes begin to cling, you have to crawl around on the stage and end up covered in sawdust. As the sadness washes over you, you head home for a shower.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Curtain Falls

Every show must come to an end and this is it for Holmen Community Theatre's "The Nerd." Tonight and tomorrow will be played out and on Sunday the set that takes a whole summer to build will come apart, piece by piece, in one afternoon. It is always such a sad day. All those set pieces will be used again next summer to build something completely different. I guess that is the magic of live theatre...each show is different and lives on in memory alone. I'm ready to start building new memories next week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Jury Is In

Stephanie Crawford will be played by yours truly in the La Crosse Community Theatre production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Rehearsals start Monday! At least I won't miss any rehearsal due to the current show. Mark your calendars for performances on September 5-7, 11-14, and 18-20 at 7:30pm and September 21 at 2pm.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hens

Here is a picture my dad took of then hens waiting patiently on the prop table. Keep in mind they are usually served on a bed of rice!

Time Will Tell

My "free" time this week is jam-packed full of activities! Last night I auditioned for To Kill A Mockingbird at La Crosse Community Theatre. There weren't as many ladies my age as ones about knee-high, so the outlook is good. However, sometimes you can do everything right and your height doesn't look good with one of the other cast members or maybe you don't have the right color hair or they need to shift ages to fit the band of actors they have. The cast list will be posted Wednesday, so time will tell.

Tonight I have plans to use up that Wine Guyz gift certificate on some wine and probably a bread basket with dipping oil. I can't get enough of that garlic parmesan. In addition, I've been betting on my Facebook Scrabulous games and so far I've won a glass of wine and a meat and cheese tray! Maybe if the mood strikes, I'll pop on over to the theatre to check out the competition on day two.

Tomorrow I have lunch plans to try out the newly added sandwich counter at the Bodega. I've heard nothing but rave reviews, so I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't been out for lunch in awhile either, so I may just take the walk up there to really enjoying the outing and then swing by the theatre for a quick peak at the cast list.

Somewhere in there I need to pick up a baby shower gift for my co-worker's baby shower on Thursday. And I suppose I should also go grocery shopping so I can make new food for this weekend's final performances of "The Nerd" before the Loggers game Thursday evening.

Did I say busy? I'm wondering if it has any chance of slowing down. I guess time will tell on that one too!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Opening, Another Show

Tonight is the night. Hopefully all the actors will pull out their A-games to deliver one stellar show. However, I really think the stars will be the hens. They look so tasty and yet, not so much. That clear gloss on the outside is sure to leave a bad taste in your mouth. To tell the truth, I'm really looking forward to the opening night reception. It has been one stressful week and I don't foresee any rest until Sunday's Hot Tub Party. It will be a little strange because I don't think I have any people coming to see the show or former fellow actors who used to whoop it up with me at the old American Legion in Holmen. Times change, I guess. Maybe at the next opening of another show I'll have more luck. I've decided to audition for To Kill A Mockingbird at La Crosse Community Theatre. There is only one part available for someone of my age, but I figure I might as well give it a shot. I bet it will be one hell of a show.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nice Pair Of Hens

Actually, I have two and a half nice pair of hens. The little Styrofoam eggs with carved out legs attached covered in Paperclay actually look like little birds! So far they look like uncooked birds because I still need to paint them up all golden brown. It only has to look convincing from twenty feet, right? On another time-is-running-out note, I purchased some annual housewarming party supplies yesterday. I think I still have a few more decorations to pursue, but will feel much better knowing that everything is waiting at my house. There have been parties past where I have paid almost as much in shipping costs as the goods cost just to have them delivered at the last minute. My next order of business should be to start looking for a costume. Bette Middler? Rita Hayworth? I bet they both have a nice pair of hens.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tech Week

Nothing sends a chill down a theatre gal's spine like those words. If I were in the show this year, I may be thinking, "When are they going to memorize their lines? Why aren't they off book yet?" Luckily this year I won't be standing on stage relying on others to spit those lines out correctly. This year, my biggest concern is Cornish hens.

Can I really carve Cornish hens out of foam? How long will it take? When will I have time to buy the foam and what about carving them? Maybe the sock idea is the way to go. Stuff some socks, paint 'em up golden brown and be done with it. There is also a paper mache plan, but how do I make it? Will the birds look lumpy? I have exactly four evenings to figure it out.

Last night after rehearsal, I threw myself into my work by heading out to the bar to visit Blondy. I finished off a bottle of Jack Daniels and one of Jim Beam (with the help of one other theatre-friendly fellow) just so we could have the bottles for props. Today I'm calling around looking for unmarked shopping bags. I've bypassed the retail establishments now and gone right to the source. I have an email in to Schilling Paper company and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they have what I'm looking for and will be willing to donate them. This is what tech week is all about.... tying up loose ends...and probably a lot more drinking.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life In The Theatre

It has been quite the busy week at Holmen Community Theatre Central! I have Friday off work, so I need to have the program completed and submitted by Thursday. It is still half-empty with several sponsor ads still to be created by me.

I've been working on some publicity, which I was not aware I was in charge of. Apparently I'm the only one who cares if anybody goes to this show. The ads have started on the air and I've now gotten some pictures to send off to the newspaper.

I've been emailing out the performance postcard I made and hoping that the rest of the cast is as well.

I still have a few tricky props to gather. Today I'm working on getting blue prints for a hotel. I have this to say, theatre life is always interesting. You never know what you'll be doing next!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Remodel, White, And Blue Weekend

I decked the halls with loads of red, white, and blue for my (2nd Annual) 4th of July picnic. We expanded the guest list this year to include all of my family and I think that it should be an annual tradition. Summers tend to get so busy and it isn't often that we all get together. The kids (and Cindy) had a great time decorating my driveway with sidewalk chalk as the adults relaxed in the diminishing shade of the backyard sipping blueberry lemonade sangria. Saturday, thanks to the help of my brother and brother-in-law, I got my new bathroom flooring installed! It has been sitting in the guest room closet for at least six months just waiting for the right time. I still have a lot of work to do sealing the edges, reinstalling the baseboard and new quarter-round, removing a half-inch from my closet door, and reinstalling the closet door trim. I have Friday off this week, so hopefully I can get that all done before the big Catfishestival coming up this weekend in Tremp City!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kick Off

I kicked off Riverfest today by enjoying lunch in the food tent. I had some delicious pasta dish from Ciatti's that was way too olive oily. Then I shared a strawberry shortcake from Quillin's with a co-worker. I have to say that angel food cake and strawberries is a fine dessert, just call it what it is. There was nothing shortcakey about it! However, it is a sweet, sweet treat if you're in the market for one.

I'm working on hooking up a volunteer group from the radio station to do some beer pouring down at the festival hopefully tomorrow. I'll have to bump some other plans, but I'm sure it will be worth it. I just need to convince people to join me! Today is my last day of work for the week and then I'm off to get ready for my big Fourth of July picnic and start hunting for props for the Holmen Community Theatre show "The Nerd." I still hope to get more festing in...It is going to be a busy weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shadows Of The Night

Last night Peanut and I were walking with the shadows of the night. Peanut told me to take his leash it'd be alright. We surrendered all our dreams to the lightening bugs last night so they'll come true in the end.

Last night I stayed at work until about 7:30 completing some theatre work like making tickets, performance posters, emailable show posters, bio forms, and such. Looking at my calendar, I realized we needed to start selling tickets today! And my program deadline is only about a week and a half away! Where did the summer go?

By the time I got home at eight, Peanut was a hungry boy. I threw a load of clothes in the washer, watered my shrubs and new grass, and made myself some dinner. After all that, Peanut and I headed out for a walk about 9:30. There was a damp coolness to the air and with each step we encountered little lightening bugs to light our way. Occasionally the scent of citronella and campfire wafted up to me and I inhaled deeply. It was like a second-hand meditation of fire.

The evening reminded me of the long walks around my grandparent's camp site, Pioneer Park, as the other campers tended their fires, sang songs, and roasted marshmallows. In those days, most camp sites had little bug zappers and we were walking my grandparent's puppy. When I curled up in bed last night with my current read, The Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior, the weight of my blanket reminded me of those pretty pink rose-patterned blankets at Pioneer Park where I spent my summer vacation every year. The only thing missing was the sound of rain on the roof.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hearts All A Flutter

As I am still working on getting rid of the headache from last week, I'm not so happy to say that the heart fluttering has returned. It seemed it had been awhile since I had heart fluttering. I thought perhaps it was stress related because although I experienced fluttering before my trip to Mexico in February and after my trip, I did not have a problem at all while relaxing on the beach oceanside. After Mexico, at some point they went away. It is funny how you don't pay attention when you are feeling well, but you can do nothing else while feeling off. I wish I could describe it better because I know I haven't come up with anything better than if feels like muffled fluttering and it usually makes me lose my breath. I was just reading up online about heart flutters and most of the posts were from people in their 20s and 30s. Maybe it is more common than I thought. There was also a lot of mention about doctors not taking it too seriously because of the young age. Why then do I not feel right when my heart is fluttering? Why do I feel sick and worn out? I'm tired.

Friday, June 27, 2008

An Unfortunate Setback

Wednesday night I had a headache come to visit and settle in for an extended vacation. I woke up Thursday with the same evil pain crushing my head. I called in sick and spent half the day sleeping and the other half in a dark room watching movies. Thursday was supposed to be the evening to plant the other half of my shrubs. The overcast skies taunted me with the possibility of rain, but never produced any. I kept thinking that if it would just rain, I would feel less guilty about my inability to finish my shrub-planting job.

Now of course today I have a half day of work, but it may very well be raining. I do still have some remnants of a headache left, so it makes me concerned to over exert myself out in the yard, but I may have to power through the pain to save my plants from a meltdown in this heat. I've agreed to go to the La Crosse Community Theatre Patron Gala tonight, so I hope to keep my head relatively pain free. It usually makes an evening out so much more enjoyable without the pain. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And Then There Were 5

Through the heat and repeated harassment from my neighbors, I managed to get five shrubs in the ground last night! They even got a good watering. I believe I'll have to pick up some mulch to help keep the little guys moist, but I am halfway done! I used superfluous dirt and sod to fill in the one remaining clothesline post hole and the random sinkholes throughout my yard. I also moved the lilac bush over to the edge of the future patio location (you'll just have to see it for yourself). I'd take pictures for you, but I have one of those old-fashioned cameras that requires film and processing and buying a CD of pictures, and... you get the point. Maybe at my Fourth of July picnic I can convince one of my wealthy, digital camera-owning relatives to snap a photo for me. Tonight I have dinner plans, so it can rain all it wants to! Thursday I am hoping for sun.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Planning A Plant-A-Thon

I just caught a glimpse of the weather forecast for the rest of the week and was disheartened to see little black clouds and lightening bolts! I've got a whole row of hedges that haven't sunken into the ground yet. I'll probably have to dig holes for them.... tonight. I thought maybe I could get two in the ground each night, now I'm hoping for all ten. I maybe should have been a little more productive last night, but when an old friend calls for cocktails, I must answer the call. I'm starting to feel the stress of too much on my to-do list. If only Peanut could lend a paw.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Collaborative Weekend

Due to a collaborative effort, I got a lot accomplished this weekend! Saturday I spent doing yard work. I got the hedges trimmed and my neighbor came over to trim my low-hanging tree branches. I did some putsy yard work including picking up sticks, weeding, and planting. I was pretty tired by the time evening rolled around. Then a friend came over to pull out my clothesline posts for me and treat me to dinner and drinks! How lucky am I? Sunday started early with a few inside chores including giving Peanut a bath. He must have known he was a smelly little boy, because he hardly resisted when I pulled him down the hall and pushed him into the bathroom. My little Peanut amazed me when he nosed up to the tub and hopped in all on his own! Then my parents treated me to breakfast and some shopping. By the time we were perusing the shrubs at Shopko, the sky had clouded over and before we knew it, Mom and I were waiting out a rain storm in the garden tent. As I loaded shrubs into the truck it continued to sprinkle on us and when I pulled into my driveway to unload, it began pouring again. So it continued throughout the night as I alternately ran inside for shelter and then ventured out again to walk my dog, unload the shrubs and pull them to the back yard to set them up, watch a movie with mom, and make diner for the folks. This morning I peered out my back bedroom window to look at the proud shrubs standing tall along the back of my property line. They make me so happy! Now I just have to get them planted.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Plasma No Go

With the lingering tiredness from my back-to-back evenings out and the lingering bruises on my arms from my last plasma donation attempt, I cancelled my second plasma appointment for this afternoon. It feels like dropping your cash at the ATM on a windy day. Ba bye green. *tear* The good news is that it has opened up my afternoon for a nap... ah... I mean house cleaning. It is strange how two nights away from my house has left me feeling like it is a disaster area. The inside needs a good once over and my plants outside have been severely neglected lately and could use some attention. Plus I still have more trim to paint. At this point I feel like I'll be painting for the rest of my life. I guess that is the joy of home ownership, er no?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's A Real Date!

Well, that is what Blondy said anyhow when we made plans for tonight. We wanted to see Forgetting Sara Marshall at the Rivoli and the show doesn't start until 9:55pm! Blondy decided that she should treat me to a dinner at The Freighthouse since she is rolling in green. I once commented that I have been on more dates with her than with boys. She said this one would be a real date because it is dinner and a movie. At least now I'll know what to expect from a date. Maybe some day I'll have a REAL real date.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not My Cup Of Fluids

So, I arrived at the plasma donation center bright and a few minutes late around six this morning. They handed me a binder of information to read and I thought, "Are you kidding me? I can't read and comprehend at six am with no caffeine in my system!" All of my initial tests went well and they put together my file and sent me back out to do electronic questions. After completing those, I went to meet with a nurse lady who asked me more questions. She seemed to ask way too many questions about my allergies and got very worked up about my sore foot. Who knows. After even more questions, a physical, and a snack, I was hitting the floor to find my relaxing donation chair. I pulled myself up onto the chaise-type lounger at about 7:30. The first three ladies who tried to find my veins made funny faces and went in search of the next lady to pass me off on. The third assured me that if I waited patiently for a few minutes "the professional" would come over to stick me. He did in fact stick me, but to no avail. The right arm was just painful and the left arm only squirted out a little of my blood. His eyes started scanning the room and I knew he was looking for someone else to take over. Around 8:30, finally a lady came and stuck my right arm again and after some prodding and poking with her needle, was able to get a vial of blood for testing. That means if I go back to donate, I won't need to do the physical all over again. What a relief! I was thinking that was the worst part! If they could just pay me to do the physical over and over again, I would be a happy camper. Honestly, I have fluids to give if they could just extract them from me!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Past Became The Present

The past seems to have plowed full force right into the present. A lot has transpired since I first pencilled in my plasma donation appointment. Isn't it peculiar how we perpetually evolve? I thought it would be such a long wait and now that the appointment peers at me from tomorrow's calendar, I'm pleading for more time! I will need to pull in to the plasma donation place by six o'clock in the morning! The physical and initial donation could persist for two or three hours, so I hope after that kind of commitment I will be permitted to donate. I've had problems giving blood in the past, but I'm hoping my veins will be pleased by the idea of superfluous money. Considering my plan to have a part-time job over the summer has not yet panned out, the extra income would be positive for my pocketbook!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You Say Tomato, I Say Salmonella

But I've grown to love the seedy little vegetables! Or are they fruits? Whatever they're called these days, I started with a strong resentment of the juicy seediness. I don't think it helped that my mother used to eat homegrown tomatoes with sugar (I'm not very fond of the sweets). At many late-night Perkins dining experiences I ordered sandwiches without tomatoes only to be served a sandwich with tomato seeds and juices--a sure sign they put tomatoes on and then removed them once realizing their error. I used to complain that if I were allergic to tomatoes, they could kill me with tomato remnants! Then last year I started changing my eating habits to include more fruits and vegetables (the tomatoes have you covered there). I've actually become quite fond of the extra flavor of a tomato on my sandwich. Realizing my error in judgment of the delectable fruit, I thought I should try a BLT. As I child, I was definitely only a BL eater and really didn't care for them because of the blahness of a BL. I jumped in feet-first to my first BLT experience in many moons by trying the critically acclaimed John's Bar BLT. It was more delicious then I could have possibly imagined! Now I find myself daydreaming about the toasted french bread, oh-so-crispy bacon, crunchy lettuce, and succulent tomatoes. I started thinking about one yesterday and before I could squelch the thoughts, they had turned into a full-blown craving. What a horrible time to be craving tomatoes! Lucky for me, John's delivered the goods with tomatoes they assured me were salmonella-free. Here's hoping because I have another half of a BLT to eat for dinner!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What A Day

Oh for the love of...! My morning started at 7:19am, because apparently I turned off the alarm at six. I crawled out of bed thinking I had such a busy weekend that I was so tired. As the water from the shower began to wash away the cobwebs from my brain, I realized it was Tuesday. Where did Monday go? It is Z93 Night at the Loggers, but my beer-drinking companion bailed on me. I was considering my options for the evening, one of which included spending some quality time with Peanut and getting my exercise in. Then, like the blue skies this morning, fate smiled down on me and one of my co-workers came looking for Loggers tickets, so I'm back in the game! As I sat down to lunch with my chicken-salad pita with cucumbers and tomatoes, I surfed the internet and found an interesting story about how tomatoes are being pulled from grocery shelves due to a salmonella outbreak. Great! I hear that the sickness could hit within 12-72 hours. Since I had the other half of this tomato yesterday, I'm right in the middle of the danger zone. I warned my co-workers if I call in sick tomorrow, it probably isn't due to the after affects of alcohol. And then as I tried to post this story of my harrowing day, the blog site failed and I lost the whole damned thing! This is my second attempt. Tonight better be fanflippintastic. What a day and I'm only halfway through!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another Whirlwind Weekend

Literally. I began Saturday morning bright and early. By 8:15am I was on the road heading towards Drugan's to donate my time to the Charlie Kearn's Memorial Golf Tournament. I volunteered to be a witnesses for a big-prize hole, sit out on the golf course, and have a few beverages for the greater good. Last year I got sun burned, so I wore shorts and a short-sleeved top and lots of sun screen. As I drove, I thought how lucky they were to have gotten a bright, sunny morning. After a half hour or so of sitting on the golf course, the storm clouds started moving in. Within an hour and a half, my sun screen had washed away and we were huddled in a shed in the middle of a golf course waiting for the storm to blow over so they could continue the tournament. The only thing that kept us hanging on was the beverage cart lady that kept us company (and drinking). By the time the rain let up, my shift was over and I headed back home to meet up with my house guests. They were planning to attend a family reunion in Veteran's Memorial Park and suckered me into tagging along. We had adequate weather for a good chunk of the afternoon and then it began thundering. The storm was still far away, but the thunder just kept rolling on and on. When it hit, it hit hard and fast. We closed up all the doors to the shelter except one to peer out from. We watched the hail bouncing off the grass as the kids played bingo at the back of the shelter. At six o'clock I finally got my house guests to take me home and on our way out of the park the calls started coming. My family was concerned because they had heard something similar to this: "According to the National Weather Service in La Crosse's web site, an EF1 tornado, with estimated wind speeds of 90 to 110 miles per hour, touched down at around 5:45pm Saturday near Barre Mills, just east of Russian Coulee Road. The tornado destroyed a metal barn and took part of the roof off another." as reported by WKBT.
As I joked that we waited out a tornado in a shelter, I had no idea there actually had been one about five miles from us. I headed home to check if it was still there and luckily it was, Peanut and all. The rest of my evening and most of my night's sleep was underscored with rolling thunder, but nothing as severe as what I had already been through. *Whew* what a whirlwind weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Doughnut Day!

Apparently it is National Doughnut Day. I want one! I remember the Fridays when I was working at Fox that I would get to work and after sitting around for an hour with nothing to do, I would run to Mr. D's to get doughnuts. That was back when Mr. D's was a restaurant and doughnut shop. Oh, those were the days. I could really go for one of those deliciously glazed blueberry doughnuts right now. *sigh* Lucky for me, a couple co-workers decided it was brat day. They will fire up the grill in about an hour and start throwing those tasty sausages over the flames. I can't wait. It almost makes up for the fact that I didn't get a doughnut on National Doughnut Day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Batter Up

I'm going to need some time off from my stressful job midweek to enjoy some baseball and beer. This road trip to Milwaukee tomorrow is going to officially kick off my baseball beer drinking season. I'm not sure if you're aware of what a slippery slope that is. I already have plans for my first La Crosse Logger's Party Deck experience next Tuesday with Z93. I also have an upcoming game on Father's Day. And what about my forgotten tickets for regular seats this Saturday? I'm looking for baseball fans that may enjoy sitting down to take those off my hands. With no theatrical commitments this summer, I may just learn something about baseball.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Update

Reports of a possible foot fracture have been denied. After hours of sitting around in a doctor's office this afternoon, the doctor has confirmed that there is no break in my foot (apart from an old broken toe). Lucky for me, I wasted money and my time sitting in a doctors office to get the sage advice to buy better walking shoes and take some ibuprofen. Interesting to note that I also did not break my toe while in Mexico. That means it was probably only jammed. It still hurt like a son of a b.

A Whirlwind Weekend

After a Saturday of painting at my house, I spent the evening relaxing in the backyard on my new patio over red wine, pleasant conversation, and the buzz of the races. I quickly curtailed a spur of the moment clothes line removal, but am now motivated to tackle that project by the light of the sun.

I arrived at my parent's home on Sunday to my sibling's families playing in the backyard. As I understand it, my nephew came a long way in his frisbee playing skills and I have full faith he will be a professional by my Fourth of July picnic. I pulled a few weeds in my mother's flower beds and then relinquished my resolve under the heat of the midday sun.

We spent the afternoon cooling off indoors and then enjoyed a late lunch together before my brother's family packed up and headed back toward the hills. I learned over the weekend that my sore foot may in fact be a stress fracture and I'm considering a doctor visit. I hate to spend the money on a visit if it turns out to be nothing. Oh the torture of having to spend money on useless things like doctors.

Anyhoo, by sundown on Sunday, I was ready to put up my sore feet and watch a movie. Peanut was too exhausted to stay up for the movie and had to go to bed early.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is It Easter Again?

What is up with those bunny ears dad?
You would think my dad was the one behind the camera from the angle of things. I guess you get the point, though. This is my newly finished trellis. Doesn't it look like it has always been there? It is still asking for another coat of paint. I'm hoping I will get to that this weekend. On Tuesday I got the little flower bed prepped and morning glories planted, so I'm hoping that the seeds will like me and grow. Time will tell.
Here is another picture from my Memorial Day at my sister's house out on her deck.
Rachel enjoyed her time outdoors slathered in sunscreen. She got a new swing installed on the tree in the front yard this day, to which she proclaimed repeatedly, "WEEEEEE!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wisdom on Wednesday

I get this email every Wednesday at work. And like most training at work, it always seems to weigh in heavier on the personal side of my life. This particular email really spoke to where I am in my life right now. It talks about taking the time to appreciate where you've been. Because so many times we are focused on today's problems or the picture of our future, we forget how far we've come. In my head this looks like mountain climbing (or in my Midwest case, bluff climbing). In every moment is a challenge and through each step you focus on the summit to get you through. But if you stop to take a breather and turn around, you'll be surprised to find how far up the bluff you've climbed. When I think about where I was living ten years ago (some of you remember Cameron Avenue) and the fact that I was unemployed and facing some challenging personal relationships, I almost can't believe it was me! Even recently I was reminded of some of my high school activities. Although I've maintained remnants of some bad behaviors, I can barely even see them any more from the heights I've achieved. Although I may have a long way to go before I reach my goal, I know that with continued effort, each day brings me one step closer. I can't even fathom the view from up there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

It was such a busy weekend! Who knew I had so much to do? I kicked off the holiday weekend with an abbreviated day at work on Friday, a nap, and Friday fish with my family. Saturday I had plans to do some more weeding and gardening with my sister in my mother's flower beds. While I toiled away in my parent's dirt, my father was at my house prepping for my trellis project. Everything went smoothly and we enjoyed a brat dinner afterwards! Thanks dad! On Sunday, my parents came over to start my trellis project. While they were there, I mowed the lawn, we finished the tedious job of priming the lattice, we enjoyed lunch together, and my mom even got a nap in! By dinner time, everyone was tired and after a walk with my dog, I enjoyed a few moments with my feet up before heading back out to paint the lattice. Needless to say, it was an early night for me! Monday started bright and early with a cup of coffee in the garage painting the other side of the trellis. I also got the new post painted as well as the one that had previously been chipping away in front of my garage. There is something about the freshness of new white paint that I just can't get enough of. It makes me want to tackle the rest of the trim (I should probably strike while that iron is hot). I may need to wait until I regain feeling in my hand, because unfortunately painting has left me with a little numbness. After a lunch at my sister's house and some quality time on her deck Sunday afternoon, we headed back to my house to install the newly painted trellis. It is better than I could have imagined. I'm excited to enjoy the added privacy this summer! As an added bonus, I got my picnic table out of the garage, got my clogged gutter flushed, and screens on my windows. After my parents headed home, I even got some seeds sowed and my morning glories are soaking in water in preparation for their planting this evening. I'm looking forward to a summer of growth.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Would Walk 500 Miles

Apparently. Last night I got the walking bug. I thought I should spend some time on my elliptical machine, but wasn't really feeling it. I decided Peanut would much rather get a twenty-minute walk, so we did that. When I returned home and after Peanut had enjoyed his post-walk snack, the thought occurred to me that I couldn't just sit around the house. I put my shoes back on and headed back outside. It was a beautiful evening for walking and I got to view many new landscapes I usually don't get to when Peanut is towing behind me. I thought I did a pretty long walk around the village and was surprised to have only spent another half hour out. I had a movie waiting for me at home, so I popped in The Darjeeling Limited and decided I should have popcorn for the movie. I checked my bike in the basement and the tires were flat, so I headed back out to walk to the store. I figured since I had surveyed all of the village in a half-hour, the walk to the store would be much faster. It was not. I was out another half hour. There was a damp chill setting in by the time I rounded the bend back onto my block. By that time, I was ready to kick up my heels and just sit around the house. Whew. How did my 80-year-old grandpa walk eleven miles a day? Just plain craziness.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Full Week

There is a lot going on around here this week! My desk is full of projects, my calendar is full of appointments and engagements, and my mind is full of to-do lists. I have been participating in Gundersen Lutheran's Minutes in Motion activity challenge and the wrap up party is on Wednesday. I'm determined to win some prize from this. I was really dedicated! I started a week early, did more than 30 minutes of activity on most days, and am still going strong. I think I should be reward with money and fabulous prizes! I've got Wednesday bookended with social engagements today and Thursday. I'm really looking forward to some social time. I think it will be refreshing to bounce some ideas, that have been bouncing around in my head, off my friends. Sometimes the best ideas come to me in a bar...or so they seem. Friday will be another winner day for me with a raffle drawing for an outdoor fire pit. It was last Friday at Westview Inn that I was telling my parents how I needed a fire pit to keep myself busy this summer. When we walked out of the restaurant, there was a fire pit right in front of the door. They were selling raffle tickets for it, so my mother purchased some for me. It really seems like it was meant for me! The only catch to a full week is a long weekend ahead. Especially due to the holiday status, it may be too much alone time for me. Peanut and I will have to stay busy. Do I hear my project list calling me? If only Peanut had thumbs, he could help me out!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Waiting

I'm waiting to hear news from the OR. As far as I know, my mother was at the hospital at 8am this morning, probably hungry, and ready for surgery. Hopefully I'll hear something this afternoon. In the meantime, my waiting game for an opportunity seems to be looking bleak. Luckily, I'm more determined than ever to make a new opportunity for myself. It is a new week after all. My waiting game for my hedges to start growing is also losing steam. I don't think they will be coming back. They are guaranteed, so my plan will be to replant in the fall. After my afternoon of gardening for my mother yesterday, I now have a new lilac shrub. Who would have thought I would have a lilac? They are so smelly, but it was free. Hopefully it will grow damn it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Forecast Sunny 72

I'm hoping! I've volunteered to work for our 95.7 The Rock Big Bikes for Little Tikes promotion. I will be selling beer tickets in a little hut at the Southside Oktoberfest Grounds, but all those riders (we have 412 pre-registered!) would love for it to be warm and sunny I'm sure. After that, I have a Splash In party to go to and I'm not talking about puddles. It should be good weather for the kick off of the boat club season. It just should! Somewhere in this glorious-weathered-weekend I will also need to garden for my mother and do some seed sowing for myself as well. My weekend demands good weather, that is all I'm saying. (At this point in time, all I can really think about is a nap and some lunch, so you'll have to forgive me today.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shocker

Did I mention I was electrocuted? A few nights ago I had washed the dishes and was wiping off counter tops, a fairly regular occurrence around my house. My wrist was probably a little wet and I was holding a wet dish rag, but when I moved the toaster aside, the plug bumped the inside of my wrist and shocked me. It was one of those electrocuting moments when you scream out before you even realize you are screaming. I think the veins in my wrist were pulsing the rest of the night after that. The good news is that I've learned a lesson from this shocking experience. Don't trust anything. Here I thought an appliance had to be plugged in to electrocute you. So, I wonder.... is it normal for an appliance to hold a charge in the plug even when it is unplugged? Or is it the toaster? My house does take on a ghostly aroma of toast sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe mine is just a special toaster.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Circle of Life

I began my day meeting the folks at Gerhard's First Supply. I had no idea how intimidating it would be to meet face to face and speak to the people who are looking to me for a voice. Oh the pressure! All went well and after spending some time in the showroom, I want to remodel my kitchen and bath. C'est la vie. This week marks the end of a career at the big radio station. It is always sad to see someone leave, but you have to be excited for new opportunities. This Thursday we will say goodbye to Spaz in proper radio style... at John's Bar with a few cocktails. I can't wait to see you leave.... just for the cocktails of course. If the weather agrees, this weekend I will put an end to some lives of weeds and set new sprouts to grow in my mother's flower bed. What a week!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shit Happens

Sometimes it is for the best. Maybe it will go the way you want it to, maybe it won't. Sometimes it goes the way it is supposed to go. Sometimes you don't realize it went the way you wanted it to go until after it has went. Point being, I'm in a more-change-than-I-even-expected mode. So much so that I hate to ask "What else?" I firmly believe that whatever the outcome of all of this, I will be in a better place when it is over. Change hurts. It is a shift in everything around me....pulling and tugging and ripping at the core of my being. But don't muscles tear in order to become stronger? I'm headed in the right direction even if it feels like I'm battling through darkness. I apologize that my changes make uncomfortable, unsolicited change for other people, but that is the way it works. Some of my change has been imposed on me as well. That's life and we'll each have to stomach what is served to us. All we can do is make the best of it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if everything was always sunshine and light? Unfortunately, it seems to be overcast a lot. Do I need to go out in search of sunshine and light? I've tried to cultivate the inner glow, but apparently I will always be a bad seed. Maybe I just haven't found the soil that will help me thrive. I've finally got a vision of sunny days. Hopefully that will give me something to grow towards.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stir It Up

I think I'm heading to Tremp City tonight to make a weekend getaway of the big old Reggae Festival. This is going to be so much fun! I still plan to stir up some tasty bbq, cheddar snacks, and maybe some desserty thing for the potluck tomorrow. My friend is ordering a kegger and the rest of my friends are all coming with delicious treats of their own, and it is all going to be underscored with rockin' reggae tunes. I couldn't be happier. Cross your fingers for more sun and less splash tomorrow.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It Is Official

No theatre for Lisa this summer! My friend is purchasing a ticket for me to go with her to see the Dalai Lama speak in Madison at the end of July and that would conflict with performance dates. She is really looking forward to it and now I am too! Let's face it, he's not getting any younger and I'm in need of some enlightenment. The rest of my summer I'm going to spend doing crafty projects around the house, yard work, and maybe get my house painted. Of course, that is all dependant on finances, but I have a feeling that will work itself out. I also hope to do more working so I can do more playing. The summer is looking sunny to me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On The Up And Up

When you need something most is when you find it. I don't know if it is all the universe asking from my friend, Sherman, but things are happening. I have had countless opportunities cropping up and I'm feeling positive about changes made. I have some exciting things going on at work this week as well as some fun stuff at home. I'm going to head home tonight and clear out the riffraff to make way for the rest of the week. With my Tastefully Simple party on Thursday and Reggae Fest on Saturday, I'm ready to dive head first into the week like a slip-and-slide! Whoo hoo!

Monday, April 28, 2008

At The Movies

Last week I managed to see three movies I had never seen before! It all started Monday with a Walk Hard viewing at a friends house accompanied by a bottle of red wine. Although it turned out to be a late night, it was a pretty good time.

On Friday, I broke the movie theater barrier. I walked right into the Rivoli and stated that I needed a ticket for Definitely, Maybe. I hadn't heard of this one before Friday, but it was better than I expected it would be. At one point, my friend made a comment that we were the only ones drinking and I replied it was because we were surrounded by 16 to 20-year-old girls. If that is your scene, this is your movie! Overall, I would have been happier in the main theater, not the screening room, for this one. Side note: I also forgot how creepy that bathroom is downstairs during the movie when nobody else is around.

Saturday I was supposed to finally get to see the much-acclaimed What The #$*! Do We Know, but after dinner, we got side-tracked at the Bodega until bar time. Ooops. Luckily we already purchased the red wine to go along with it, so I'm saving it for a future showing.

Late Sunday night, I finally sat in front of the television and popped in Thoroughly Modern Millie. I was trying to burn some music to my itunes, so the musical was kind of distracting. Also, I'm not quite sure what the run-time on this was, but they definitely could have cut out the Overture and Intermission music. Seriously...it's a movie. Either work it into the action, or let it go. I'm not sure if I was displeased with this one because of it's merits or the late hour, but I'm not willing to give it another try. This one was shipped back to Netflix today. Next up: The Cider House Rules.

PS... My annual housewarming party was in full planning swing this weekend. I think you'll be pleased!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Again With The Action

So far today I have gone shopping for gift bags for one of our stations to give away tonight at the World's Largest Office Party. I stuffed those gift bags with gifty things. I curled countless ribbons. I walked down to the La Crosse Center to help with the balloon blowing up fest. The North Hall is now a sea of red and white balloons (and The Remainders equipment... they have a ton of stuff). Now I'm back in the office to change clothes and head back down to the Center so I can grab a cocktail before my ticket-selling shift commences at five. By the end of that shift at 6:30pm, I may be ready for a party. Come on down and join me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action

Before leaving the house this morning there was a strike of lightening so close that the flash and crash were practically simultaneous. So much so, in fact, that I jumped out of my skin and crossed my fingers that my house wasn't burning down. Once on the road, the downpour began. I couldn't quite make out the vehicles ahead of me on the road. All the while, downtown was experiencing more of the same. By the time I got to work, the rain had slowed, but in the radio building, the lights were dim. The back up generator was keeping the radio stations on the air and little lights glowing in the stairwells, but that was about it. My co-workers gathered around the light sources (the windows) as the realization set in that we can't do anything without computers anymore. And how do you make coffee? Early morning + darkness + no coffee = a prime nap time. Luckily a coworker was willing to head back out to pick up some coffee. While she was gone, we heard rumors of the power outage lasting four hours. As I sat sipping my scalding cappuccino, the lights came on. Like a song from above, everything in the office buzzed into life. Oh happy day! Although I was not prepared to sit around twiddling my thumbs for four hours, I'm still not ready to work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Love And Beer

Well, beer and cheese for sure. This weekend is City Brewery's Between the Bluffs Beer and Cheese Fest. I'm excited and keeping my fingers crossed that the sky is raining itself out today so that it will be blue skies and sunshine tomorrow. I suggest you cross your fingers too. It looks pretty bleak out there. I'm heading off to happy hour to practice a bit before tomorrow. Toodles.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All We Need Is Some Ice Cream And A Hug

Although I had quite an enjoyable evening out at comedy last night, I'm experiencing a lack of motivation today. I've been doing a lot of playing around online. I added a new song to my mypace profile from Bowling for Soup called Shut Up And Smile. Now I can't get it out of my head. La la la la la... Surfing through friends of friends (starting with The World's Largest Six Pack) I've found a myspace page called "Baked Potato" with handy cooking tips and friends like "Sweet and Sour Chicken" and "Hot Dog." The internet is quite the interesting place to visit. I'm keeping myself quite amused. Next up... work? I do have some coupons to cut for the big WLOP next week. Maybe that will lift my working spirits.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here I Sit

I'm waiting to receive my comedy information for May so I can make flyers to get to the club tonight. Why is it always last minute? Luckily I am planning to attend comedy this evening, so I could hand deliver the flyers. The last man on the last flyer is John Bush. His bio says "high-speed comedic ride" and I always enjoy a high-speed comedic ride. I better make my reservations. Next week, there is a hiatus from comedy due to our station's big World's Largest Office Party. I still can't believe it is only a week away. I think I may be a good girl this year and go home early due to the fact that I probably won't have any friends there. Of course, I do say that every year. I guess time will tell. Gundersen Lutheran gave us tape measures this year instead of pedometers for Minutes in Motion, so there is little chance of another incident like last year. Check out the blog from last year about that: http://havenotdoneanythingyet.blogspot.com/2007/04/life-is-journey-dont-forget-lip-gloss.html. My sister still claims it is one of my best.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Clean Bill Of Health

Peanut visited the vet last Saturday and left with a clean bill of health... almost. He does still need his teeth cleaned and is now showing signs of gingivitis. He may be getting another vet visit for this in May courtesy of the U.S. government. He is aging ever so gracefully with only his hips giving him the majority of his troubles. I forgot to ask about his limping gait, and feel that might deserve a call back to the doc. I wasn't thinking about it while he was sitting on the table, not moving! I should have made a list. Apart from being a little sleepy, he handled his shots very well. He didn't eat any treats at the vet, but was hungry by supper time. Really, this was the highlight of our weekend!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful, And Most Wonderful And Yet Again, Wonderful

I had a wonderful time last night! I'm so happy my friends and family were able to join me for a gathering. The chicken tortilla soup was delectable. The corn muffins had a sweetened hint of soy. The Mexican wedding cookies fell pray to nibbling right from the beginning. And most wonderful, the Coronas were limey and the margaritas chilled. I think Peanut even enjoyed himself. We look forward to hosting our next dinner party!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dinner Night @ Home

I spent last night elbow deep in chicken tortilla soup. I put together a crock pot with chicken, peppers, Mexican tomatoes, garlic, lime, and chicken broth. It smelled savory last night, I can only imagine what wonderful aromas are wafting through my home today as it simmers. With a quick stop at the grocery store yesterday, I picked up the necessities to make corn bread when I get home tonight and Mexican wedding cookies which I made last night under the watchful eyes of a bottle of red wine and a friend. Although I didn't finalize my decision about serving pieces (I know I'm weird), I feel as though I'm all ready to get mexxed up! I can't wait to get home, crack open the bottles of margarita, slice up a lime for the Coronas and dig into the Fiesta dip and guacamole. My friends don't even know what they are in for when they come over to my home for "dinner." {insert evil laugh here}

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

mmmbop

So, little did I know that our radio station is getting a visit from the big rock stars Hanson today. Apparently this morning they will be mmmbopping all over the Liquid Lounge. Oh the life of a radio station employee! You never know what you're gonna get. Next up, U2? I can only hope. On a brighter note, it is Free Food Wednesday today at work. Last night I whipped up a crockpot of chicken enchilada and am really looking forward to trying my new recipe. Only three hours, twelve minutes, and a little mmmbop to go!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Campfire Weekend

I think campfire season is officially here. I attended a campfire (not the first of the season) in Tremp City on Friday. For most of the evening I survived in jeans and a sweatshirt. I didn't even have layers on underneath! We prepared delectable smores and spoke of succulent lobsters. In Holmen on Saturday, due mostly to a smaller campfire, I did have need of a jacket. I savored a steak and a bottle of red wine while my sister wrangled her feverish young child and my brother-in-law scooted off to Wal-Mart for a new thermometer. Once the campfire was finally underway, it was most pleasant with a touch of ooey gooey marshmallows! The campfire season is on.

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