Archive for February, 2014

Happy Hairball Birthday to Me!

 

JollyYou know how sometimes you find something you really like and you want to share it with everyone?  I mean, you really, really like it.  Well this Saturday, I get to spend my birthday with a group of friends and I get to share one of my favorite bands with them, Hairball.  I don’t know if I’m more excited to see the band or to hear my friends’ first impressions of the experience.

If you have never heard of them, or attended a concert, let me tell you, it is crazy!  And as a child of the 80’s, it’s like bringing me back to the good old days.  They play music from so many awesome bands like Queen, AC/DC, and Van Halen just to name a few.  And the best part is that they don’t just play the songs (they are way more than a cover band); they dress up like the bands!  It is quite a spectacle to see.  “Alice Cooper” even comes out on stage complete with a huge snake.  Yes, a real live snake.  Honestly I could do without that prop.

Van Halen

And many people in the audience dress up.  Well, maybe it’s not dressing up, per se.  They may actually dress like that all the time, I’m not really sure.  But there’s a lot of jeans/rock band T-shirt ensembles and more big hair than you can shake a stick at.  It really brings me back to the Aqua Net decade.  (Okay, who am I kidding, I still rock that big hair every day!)

Birthday 1970

So on Saturday, I will turn thirty sixteen and inch a little closer to middle age.  Yes, I do think I will live to see a hundred, so I’m not counting myself as middle aged until I hit the halfway mark.  And come Saturday night I will be at The Myth in St. Paul having a ball.  A HAIRBALL.

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Tripping Toward Springtime

 

Beers on the Deck, Canal Park

Well here we are, getting dumped on again by another major winter storm.  I guess we shouldn’t complain; after all, we live in Minnesota.  But this time of year I usually find myself beginning to think about springtime.  It was moderately warm, I went for a few runs outside, and then the heavens opened with freezing rain and snow.  Sigh.  So, to lift my spirits, I am sharing a few of my favorite warmer-weather spots. Enjoy!

Lake Superior

The first picture was sitting on the deck at a restaurant in Duluth’s Canal Park.  I love to watch the waves of Lake Superior, and the fury they can unleash.  Here’s a mild sample of that in this picture.

John Lake Edward

This one was taken at one of my all time prized locations with my late father in law.  A great place with a great man.  This was at the family cabin on Lake Edward in central Minnesota’s Brainerd Lakes area.  The beautiful sunsets make for very picturesque evening pontoon rides.

Hawaiian Lagoon

A few years back the Hub and I were lucky enough to take a work trip to Hawaii.  This was the view from our balcony.    Not a bad place to have your morning coffee, huh?  We actually got to swim and frolic in this lagoon.  Yes, it was amazing.

Bridge over Jungle Water!

Two years ago we took a trip with some friends to Puerto Rico.  I never thought much about traveling there before that trip, but I sure am glad we went.  Our resort was in a nature preserve and we got to watch lizards and turtles from our balcony.  That was very cool!  And one day we hiked up El Yunque Rain Forest. If you ever get there, I highly recommend this experience and Old San Juan.  Seriously, you won’t be sorry!

Patio Swing

This last one is a bit tongue-in-cheek.  It is a picture of my swing.  Obviously I like to kick back, remove my shoes and socks, and get comfy.  It is one of my favorite places in the world to write.  Or read.  Or nap.  Or just watch the world pass by overhead.  I just hope I can visit here again.  Soon.

Waiting for Winter

 

Ben Wyoming

When you live in a state that has winter for almost half of the year, it’s not hard to understand why we produce a lot of winter athletes.  In fact, Minnesota has the second highest number of athletes at the Sochi Olympics, beaten only by California.  Which seems a bit odd, but that’s another story all together I guess.  When you have this many months of snow and cold, the way I see it, you have two choices; embrace it, or become that whining complainer no one wants to be around.

Breezy in the Rough

In our family I’d say we opt to embrace winter and all it has to offer.  Whether it’s participating in activities or just watching, I can honestly say I prefer to do it in colder weather.  Yes, I am a true northern girl.  In fact, our kids are literally giddy when the snow finally stays on the ground and they are sad to see it melt.  I’m not that hard-core, I do enjoy springtime.  But that can be my little secret.  It’s just the heat of summer that kills me.

Training

And living in Minnesota, AKA The State of Hockey, it’s not hard to see why we produce so many hockey players.  We play it year-round as soon as we can stand on skates.  Even people from other states travel here to play.  Yeah, I guess that makes us kind of a big deal.  So it’s no wonder that we’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to watch the United States play Russia.  This is what we’ve been waiting for.  We’re making a party out of it.  And if the puck drops at O’Dark Hundred, well, so be it, we’ll still be watching.  I guess that just means there’ll be more daylight for other outdoor winter activities.

Ben and Corissa

My Body Needs A Reboot

vegetable-cutlets

It has come to my attention that I may not be as young as I think I am.  This has been rudely pointed out to me by a nagging case of “Trigger Finger” that locks-up the middle finger of my right hand.  The very first thing they tell you is that it’s more predominant in women over 40.  Really?  Do you have to just come at me like that? How about easing into it a little?  Tell me it’s because I do so much hand/craft work, or too much keyboarding, not the age thing right out of the gate.  Geesh.  So, when I started thinking about what to give up for Lent this year, it seemed like a glaringly obvious answer; I need a reboot.

With computers, a reboot will cure many an ill.  I’m hoping that will be the case for me.  My initial sacrifice was going to be no alcohol for Lent.  It’s not like I’m in need of an intervention, but let’s be honest, Mama likes wine.  Well… it’s only 46 days.  And it is supposed to be something that is really a sacrifice.  Actually, the traditional Lenten sacrifice is forty days because Sundays are excluded as days of celebration.  Aha!  A free-day once a week…this is sounding better.

Then I thought, hey, while I’m at it, why not really make this a worthwhile month-and-a-half?  I’m a huge believer in the healing powers of food.  We already eat a lot of vegetables, but maybe I could focus on some that are known to reduce inflammation and help my finger.  Hmm…okay…

In doing my due diligence, I found out that there are a few foods that the arthritis folks say could help:

  • Olive oil
  • Citrus fruits, berries, and cherries
  • Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes (orange hued vegetables)
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger
  • Pineapple

I like these foods, so incorporating them into my reboot shouldn’t be a big deal.  I’m also going to try to do better at getting to bed early.  I am by nature a morning person—much to The Hub’s dismay.  Usually my brain is going a hundred miles an hour before my feet hit the floor in the morning.  Since I am most productive and creative at this time of the day, it shouldn’t be wasted lying in bed.

And of course the other piece of the reboot has got to be activity.  Since it’s been below zero most days in Minnesota this winter, there’s been no running outside.  That’s no excuse to not use the equipment we have inside.  I need to do at least 30 minutes of something most days of my reboot to really make the most of it.  After all, it won’t be long and we’ll be sleeveless, complaining about the heat!

 

Vegetable Cutlets…Mix and match your faves!

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C corn
  • 1/2 C peas (frozen is best, canned may be too soft)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 C Panko crumbs
  • 1/3 C bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like

Peel potatoes and carrots.  Cut them into 3-4 pieces and put them to boil until fork tender.  Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil until slightly browned.  Drain the water and run potato and carrot through a ricer or mash them gently into a mixing bowl.  Add in the egg, corn, peas, onion, and garlic, stirring just to combine.  Roll the mixture into 25-30 balls.  In a bowl combine the bread and Panko crumbs.  If the crumbs are not already seasoned, this is a good chance to add some extra flavor.  Squish the balls down a little and dip into the crumbs, pressing a bit to make sure they pick up the crumbs.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick spray.  Place the cutlets onto the sheet and bake at 375° for ten minutes.  Remove from the oven and carefully flip the patties over; bake for another ten minutes.  Enjoy!