Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Goals

In an attempt to revive this blog I would like to start by listing my goals for 2011. This will mark the very first time that I have written my goals on paper, and I have to admit I'm nervous that I won't be able to stick to more than 3 of them. Here's to a new year and new fun things to look forward to!

1. Lose 20 pounds (Let us lead off with something painfully recurring)
2. Get pregnant and stay pregnant!!
3. Make my own yummy smelling body scrub
4. Make at least 4 art projects with Luke (I'm terrible with this)
5. Get a part-time job
6. FINALLY put our wedding photos into an album
7. Purchase a good camera and learn how to use it
8. Complete a Hipstamatic 365 photo project
9. Explore one new place a month with Luke
10. Go out with Ron at least once a month
11. Learn how to sew and make a Halloween costume for someone (anyone!)
12. Spend less time online when Luke is home/awake
13. Take Luke to the library at least once a month
14. Take Luke to Chicago on the train
15. Spend less time online when Luke is home/awake
16. Post on the blog at least once a week
17. Reorganize the basement storage
18. Move some items to the attic even though I am afraid of the attic
19. Organize our bedroom closets
20. Frame family photos
21. Create a family photo box and put all photos onto CD's
22. Get new blinds for the living room, spare room, and Luke's room
23. Buy a Kindle or a Nook
24. Purchase new bedding for Luke's room
25. Clean and arrange my crystal for the china cabinet

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Want this Bike

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

In hopes of winning a Madsen for myself I'm entering their link contest. One lucky blogger will be the winner of a brand spanking new 2011 Madsen bucket bicycle. Now if only my Sheepdog would stay put in the bucket...

Monday, August 9, 2010

RIP iPhone 2G

Ok, I miss you. iPhone 2G, all of the memories we have are many. I picture my brother Mike standing in line (possibly) for this new piece of Apple greatness that has buzzed the entire U.S. I remember the Christmas he brought you home, his woman. What a beauty you were.

That Christmas he showed me the commercial he concepted. The Mini Clubman Pinball spot, a proud man showing off his new bride. I will admit I admired your beauty. Do you hate me for being jealous? I left that night figuring that any man would do. I clutched my black Motorola Razor and told him we'd be fine on our own. Life was bliss again.

The next fall brought on deployment time for Ron. I looked D-day square in the face and pictured many lost communications between us. As much as I'd like to be near my laptop I knew there would be times I'd miss his instant messages. "We've done this before", I thought.

Little did I know, iPhone 2G, my brother would replace you. It turns out there was a new woman in town, and her name was 3G. He didn't need you, but I did.

Sent in the mail, I received a package addressed to me. I realized your possibilities were endless. I'll never forget the time you let me instant message my soldier. Me in a bar in Madison, him in an MWR tent in Afghanistan. I didn't miss a moment. I could celebrate a 30th birthday without missing extremely important irreplaceable communication from my love. Nothing, not walking into work, nor grocery shopping, lawn mowing, or 3-year-old bedtime tucking would keep me away from MY MAN. I owe that to you.

You saved me. Yes, SAVED ME, I said it. I don't think my life would have been as peaceful (as humanly possible) during that deployment without you.

I'm sorry for dropping you. More than a year later you met your fate on the pavement outside the Hilton. I never had the chance to say goodbye. My last few days of Hipstamatic pictures, you will take with you in untimely misery. It's ok. You deserve them.

Rest in peace 2G. Thank you for a piece of mind, an instant gratification, and a sense of memory. You will not be forgotten.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Books We are Reading

"I sat there with Sally. We sat there, we two. And I said, "How I wish we had something to do. Too wet to go out and too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all".

Luke is loving the Cat and the Hat this week. We read it every night before bed. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are the coolest things in town. With inside kite flying, messing up bedrooms, kicking vases and taking names, these guys have Luke written all over them.

"So the decision was made to abandon the town of Chewandswallow. It was a matter of survival".

I think I've read this 128,393 times in the past 2 years. I don't think we can ever get enough of flying hamburgers, tomato tornadoes, or pea soup fog. The movie did not do the book justice, however, it was entertaining and we saw it in the theater as well as on the big screen in Cudahy Park.

"Now where in the world is that poky little puppy?"

This one has been on Luke's list since he was at least a year old. Not sure why this fascinates him so much. I think he enjoys the poky puppy's independence.

"I was the saddest dog you could ever see, sad because no one wanted me. The pet shop window was my jail. The sign behind me said "For Sale". I was tied to a bare, hard floor of stone. I could not even dig for a bone. I was living all of my life alone, a dog that no one wanted to own. And then one day, at half-past four, Sammy Brown came in the door. Sam took one look at me a cried, 'Why are you tied up here inside? I've always wanted a dog like you, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'll take you out to the farm with me. You'll play outdoors where you should be.'"

Ahhh before I copy the entire book I will stop here! This is one of my favorite books from childhood. Luke really likes it too and has already memorized most of the book. It's a great story about a dog, his owner, a little freedom, overzealous digging, and redemption. I recommend it to any dog loving family.

"Many many years ago in Sorrento, there lived a small boy named Giovanni who had no mother and no father. He dressed in rags and begged his bread and slept in doorways. But he was happy, and he could do something wonderful. He could juggle."

This book is straight from Ron's childhood favorites. He even dressed as Giovanni for Halloween one year. I'd post a picture of that if I had a scanner or even the picture itself, but unfortunately I have neither. This book is a tearjerker. Aunt Carla (Ron's Sister) bought it for Luke at his baby shower. I made the mistake of reading it while pregnant. All of the pregnancy hormones had me balling by the end of the book. We love Giovanni's juggling act, especially the golden ball that he refers to as "The Sun in the Heavens". Luke is always asking to juggle burning torches now, but other than that it is a great read!

Friday, July 9, 2010


The last week in June my little family and I traveled to the Northwestern area of Wisconsin. It was lovely. Well, except for the ticks. Oh, the ticks. Thank goodness I'm an Army Wife Chick who put up with Ft. Leonard Wood summers - chalk full with 90 degree heat, field excursions, wood ticks, and chiggers. I rarely stepped foot outside of our air conditioning in those days. I don't think I could survive real Southern heat. I really, don't think that I could.

Other than ticks, Up North is grand. We enjoy fishing near Minong with Mike and Carla. Garmisch USA us an Up North retreat for sore city eyes. Luke devours every inch of the play area. I fall in love with bar food again. We traverse Cable, WI by getting in touch with the CAMBA Mountain Bike Trail System, as well as the legendary American Birkebiner Cross Country Ski Marathon. We need to physically explore these areas. I make note of the beginner routes for future trips to the region.

Our favorite activity of the trip is heading down to Hayward, WI - home to the World Lumberjack Championships at Scheer's Lumberjack Show. We have a great experience at the show. Our Emcee and scorekeeper "Buck Johnson" shows similarities to world champion boom runner Will Hoeschler and son to 7 time world champion Judy Scheer Hoeschler. What do you think? Needless to say, I think the show was awesome, and I'm happy they allowed the children a run at the saw and a chance to get autographs. Will, (cough, cough)..I mean Buck, openly offered to take a picture with Luke. It was a great day all around capped off with miniature golf and dinner at Coops Pizza Parloure. Luke still tells me he is going to be a Lumberjack someday and wants to attend another show somewhere else in the U.S. Go Lumberjacks!

Our stay at Garmisch was held in a lodge room. Garmisch is beautiful! It is exactly what we were looking for in an Up North resort lodge. Lots of lakefront, beach, and recreational activities mixed in with a family traditional and historical atomosphere. I personally couldn't get over the "honeymoon walk". The Honeymook Walk is a square cement paved walk down to Lake Namakagon. Each paved square is engraved with names and dates of newlyweds who have spent their honeymoons at Garmisch. The romance has consumed me. I'm giddy with this hopscotch profession of love. "Maybe", I tell Ron. "We'll spend our 15th here." "Sure honey, whatever you think". Ron says. I mildly begin to calcute the odds of success each marriage stone represents in the current divorce ratio component in the U.S. I was finding myself wondering if Virg and Tom were still together and if Steve and Jennie hadn't already put the hooks to their relationship. I'm sorry you guys, but it IS the statistics. MAN! Honeymoon Walk, Garmisch USA... your stones are looking more stable than reality. Regardless, I will pretend that we're all married. Virg, Jennie, Kim, Denise, and I are with our stallions in the Northwoods. Life couldn't get much better.

While vacationing the majority of our meals are consumed at local restaurants. I am more than mildly impressed. The Hayward/Cable area has a large amount of great local/bar food. My favorites of the trip includea the Sawmill Saloon. The portabella sandwich hit the spot. It is grilled to perfection and the seasoned fries caps off my hunger for down home cookin - Wisconsin style. The last night of our stay we dine at the surprising Rivers Eatery. The pizza is out of this world. The stone fired pizzas are cooked perfectly. We choose a sausage and pepperoni. Ron leaves to take Luke to the bathroom early in the dinner. I have finished my portion by the time they return. "This pizza is gooooood" I say. "No kidding" says Ron. "I think half the women in the greater Cable area are here tonight". Sure enough, it is Girls Night Out, in which area women are encouraged to attend a book signing at Redberry Books (Located within the Ideal Market that houses The Rivers Eatery as well as the bookstore), and a dinner of stone fired pizza in the eatery. I think I can embrace Cable, Wisconsin. These women like to read. Reading is sexy. Move over wood ticks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sheepdog in Hipstamatic

I'm enjoying my new iPhone Application Hipstamatic. Chinook is my subject. He doesn't want his picture taken. I'm following him around the house.

He's just about had enough of this nonsense.

The Hipstamatic Camera was founded in 1982 by brothers Winston and Bruce Dorbowski of Merrill, Wisconsin. They created the all plastic camera (lens included) in a small cabin studio on the Wisconsin River. There were only 157 cameras made back in 1982. Not sure if was due to lack of popularity or the untimely death of the two brothers. They were killed by a drunk driver in 1984.

iPhone has proved once again that there is an app for just about everything. The Hipstomatic is available for download for $1.99. It comes with three different lenses, two flashes, and two different kinds of film. I think Bruce and Winston would be proud. I'm sure having fun.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What We've Been Up To

It's been a busy few months. I'm slowly counting down the days until I'm a full-time Mom again. There will be lots of blogging, picture taking, road trips, cooking, baking, digital scrapbooking, and scrubbing the bathtub going down here at the homestead. It will be Here is what we've been up to so far this summer.

We spent a day in Racine and made a stop at Bendtsen's Bakery. Luke enjoyed a doughnut with sprinkles while I wolfed down an Apple Elephant Ear. We were very satisfied with our selections. We also took a Raspberry Kringle home for later. It was absoutely the best kringle I have ever tasted. O&H Bakery has nothing on this hand rolled kringle masterpiece. My vote is Bendsten's. Go visit and buy more than just one!

After Bendtsen's we made a stop at the City of Racine DPW yard to sample some heavy machinery. Family Day was a hit with Luke as he blew the horns off the street sweeper, dump truck, and garbage truck. He even won a Star Wars kite by throwing cans in a recycling bin. Could the day have gotten any better?

Yes the day does get better. We ended the day at Kid's Cove, a large wooden play structure on North Beach.

North Beach is so clean. Milwaukee beaches do not hold a candle. I love you Milwaukee, but our beaches need help. Describe Bradford Beach in 6 words or less. Go. Yucky, stinky, black slime, grime, HELP.

We took Luke to his first Brewer Game. Miller Park is a great place for kids! We played on the play structure outside Helfaer Field. Once inside the staduium there is a play area for kids with lots of photo, throwing, and running opportunities. Below is my favorite picture of the day. Luke, Ron and a few of your favorite Klement's Racing Sausages. (I especially love the Bratwurst in the background mugging my photo).

Now batting, the first baseman. Or something like that.

Finally, we've been attending family movie nights in our neighborhood park. This has been the biggest hit of the summer. I love outdoor movies and without my beloved 41 Twin, my opportunity to do such is very few. My favorite memories include Faces of Death IV, Halloween H2O, and 6 Days 7 Nights. Oh, the greatness of the outdoor theater. Now back to 2010. We're in the local park and we're watching The Princess and the Frog on the Big Screen. This is what the Big Screen looks like.

Definitely not the 41 Twin, but we'll take it. Last week was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and next week is Night at the Museum. We can hardly wait.