Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Air Force Band

Two Fridays ago, I took the kids and blanket and some snacks over to the community center for the free Air Force band concert. It was a gorgeous night and we brought Max's friend Greg along for the ride. I was pretty impressed with the band and not so impressed with the annoying family next to us who have apparently never heard of concert etiquette. Even at an outdoor concert, talking loudly the entire time about your opinion of the i phone and the pizza you are eating is in bad form. We love free concerts.

Yard Sale Love

These are from a couple of weeks ago. Last week the yard sales were a huge disappointment. I need my bargain therapy!

3 red books - $1.00
green twine - free
carousel horse salt and pepper shakers (a gift) - $1.00
6 cute glass dessert cups - $0.50 each
1 happy vintage spoon rest for the stove -$1.00

1 old round cheese box - $3.00

Yesterday I painted the back of my front door. It used to be white and now it is green. I am toying with the idea of painting the front of the front door green as well. I don't know though, the gold (was supposed to be chartreuse) is kind of growing on me!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Evidence and a mean bee

It's blurry, but there it is - evidence of our little guests. I keep the camera in the living room so I can try and capture the hummingbirds on film. Those little suckers are fast!

In other news, Calvin was playing under the deck last night. I asked Bryan what he was doing and he said her was playing with the bees. As a Mother, the thought ran through my mind "this is not going to end well." Evidently, he was helping them build a new home and there were "sixty-ninety nine" bees under there. Minutes later, there was a scream from Calvin and shockingly, he had been stung on his finger. Oh, the tears and the sobs!!! Most of all, there were hurt feelings. "Mom, I thought the bees liiiiiiiked meeeee! But they diiiidnnnn't!" "Some of the bees played with me, but one bee did not liiiiiiike meeeeeeee!" There is always one, isn't there.

Eagan Market Fest

If you're looking for something to do with the kids on Wednesday evenings, look no more. We have been over to Market Fest at the Community Center a couple of times this summer and here's what you need to know.

There is always live music so bring a blanket or a chair if you want to stay a while. There's a farmers market though I think princes are better at the one on Cliff Street, Thursday afternoons. There are a ton of craft/vending booths so you can grab dinner if you are so inclined. Your kids will beg for: ice cream, kettle corn and fresh brewed soda. The soda is your cheapest option.

There are free kids crafts sponsored by the Eagan Art House. A couple of weeks ago they made these snazzy hats.

There is a new section of the playground filled with exercise equipment disguised as a playground. Awesome.

It is possible to share two small cups of brewed root beer and orange soda among three kids.

I do not know why all of my photos look blue. My camera may be dying a slow and painful death.

Views from my window

This kid makes me laugh every day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Robin's Egg Blue

We found a robin's egg in the garden. I never realized they were so small and so pretty. Max had a bird hop over his feet in the backyard today as he stood very still. A few minutes later, the same bird stood on his hand for a few moment before flying away. Delight.

Because it's still cold . . .

I have not really been taking many photos. We have been hibernating - lots of blankets and books all over the house.

Here are some shots of our 4th of July BBQ. Despite the injuries to our persons and the broken dishwasher, I think it was a success. The rain had left by the time we ate, allowing us to sit outdoors on the towel dried chairs!

The menu: Grilled brats, blue-cheese stuffed bacon burgers with farmers market tomatoes, onions and greens, fresh corn on the cob, watermelon, jello salad with blueberries, root beer floats, cold vegi platter (new potatoes, red and yellow beets, radishes and baby carrots - all from the farmers market) with a cumin, lime-cilantro dip, chips, fresh corn and tomato salad with cilantro and mint and lemon pound cake, coconut cake and homemade chocolate chunk brownies with ice cream. We were all left fat and very happy - Yum!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You Should Know

Minnesota is experiencing unseasonably cold weather. It is windy and it feels like the first frosty breezes of fall are upon us . . . in the middle of July. We have been to the beach one time this summer - when Heather was still in town. It was hot back then. In fact, my feet are so cold right now that I may go put on woolly socks when I finish typing.

We have a beautiful local beach and in the afternoons it is filled with tween/teens. One time I was there, I counted 61 girls and not one of them was wearing a one-piece suit. Here are my thoughts:
  • I never looked like that in middle school or high school - is it the hormones we've been drinking in our milk causing early development? Is this generation just genetically blessed or are the normal looking girls at home reading books? Not one single girl at the beach was reading a book.
  • The bikinis below are very tame examples of the majority seen at our local beach. Do mom's go shopping with their tweens for their string bikinis?
  • Do all teens have texty phone gadgets and must they be using them at all times? Who pays for these gadgets?
  • Why is the "show three inches of underwear above my shorts" still a popular look for guys? Why would you wear underwear under a swimsuit?
  • Very few of the guys I knew in middle/high school looked really good in a swim suit - that I can remember. Was this because I hung with the drama/band crowd? Did my Mom thank God every day that I hung out with the drama/band crowd?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hummingbird Magnet

I thought I had pulled all of these out last year, but they are back and taller than ever. The hummingbirds love them and we spotted them at least a dozen times today. Beautiful, and yet very tricky to catch a hummingbird on film.

Did I mention my camera broke? Yep, the little beep beep, "I'm in focus" noise no longer works. Wish me luck taking clear photos!

Austen Challenge

A challenge to watch or read six Austen related items in the next six months? Yes please! Head on over to The Written Word to follow along!

I have already started and behold, my reviews of two versions of Persuasion (my favorite book of Austen behind Pride and Prejudice) and watched with my sister Heather.

I adore the 1995 version of Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. It is practically a perfect adaptation and my love for it probably taints my review of the newer version. Well, too bad. The acting in the 1995 version is wonderful - particularity Anne's sister Mary (who, I had no idea was played by Emma Thompson's younger sister). Actually, it is hard to single anyone out, I loved them all. I love the relationship built between Anne and Admiral and Mrs. Croft. I love Captain Wentworth and the scene where he helps her into the carriage. I love his stature which perfectly matches the description in the book.

Most of all, I love Anne. I love how she plays her - so quiet and yet strong and the scene at the end where she looks up at him and they just know is sigh-inducing. I love this version. Go buy it.

It's easier to tell you why I don't care for the newer version. First of all, who styled Anne's hair?! It is atrocious - almost as bad as Keira Knightly's short hair in the back poking out from under her wig in P&P! The greasy little wispy things stuck to Anne's forehead are just terrible and they never get better. The camera running after her as she races through the house in the opening scene made me a bit nauseous (and what is with the servant standing in the hall holding an ink pot?) I did not like the way Anne kept looking into the camera. Just. stop.

Captain Wentworth was too handsome in this film (or maybe I just never bought their attraction?) and every time I saw Mr. Elliot I kept thinking of Buffy and Giles. Not his fault, I'm just saying. Both Mr Elliot and Mary were meaner in this version.

The whole movie was too short to really build up any of the relationships and the whole discussion about men and women and who loves longest is held out of Wentworth's hearing, which causes the ending make no sense, but my biggest problem was that I never warmed up to Anne in this version. The running scene at the end seemed completely out of character and the relationship with her school friend too rushed. Also, the kiss at the end had to be one of the most awkward things I have ever seen! Why was she gaping with her mouth open like a goldfish? Was she trying to bite him?

Not a lot of love for this movie though I find that I have to watch it after watching the older version and then I am reminded of how much I disliked it and then I have to cleans my mind by watching the older version again. It is a viscous cycle.

More Austen? Yes, please.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dance, Dance Baby!

The 4th was kind of a riot. I had a bruised and now blistered foot and had been limping for several days. Bryan ran a hilly 50K that morning and could barely walk or form coherent sentences by the evening. And Heather? Well Heather had her foot run over by a ride operator at the 4th of July Carnival which resulted in breaking her toe! She spent an hour or so in the First Aid tent with ice on her elevated foot while the kids ate snow cones. Then, they loaded her in a go-cart and drover her to the minivan because she could not walk! Nice visit to Minnesota huh?

On our way to take Sophie to her afternoon dance performance on the afternoon of 4th of July, the skies opened and dumped water everywhere. Considering I had a BBQ planned for about 25 people an hour after her performance and had already set up outside, I was not pleased with the downpour. They danced at the band shell outside the Community Center which had to be squeegeed furiously before the dancers started. We sat in the on again, off again rain and cheered the somewhat soggy dancers.

It's the 4th!! Well, it was.

The 4th dawned drizzly and with a suspicious looking sky. It lightly rained on and all all morning while we were at the parade and whenever the rain would stop, it was 80% and HUMID. The kids kept alternating between umbrellas, raincoats and stripping bare (just kidding, no one actually got naked - at least not during the parade). We met up with Heather's Mother and Father in Law as well as her nephew and niece who live in Southern Minnesota.

This year was very exciting, because Miss Sophie-Loo was riding a float (for her dance studio) in the parade!! Mom only had to run about 4 blocks with her to get to the actual float, and then across a wet football field back to the car to where Heather and the other kids waited. Note my patriotic shoes ($1.00 Yard Sale). My shoes were not made for running. Blister.

The kids always love the parade - they throw candy. Need I say more?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Future Metal Mouth

Yep, I see a mouth full of braces in this girl's future. I would actually like to get some as well . . . maybe in a few years?

My Little Helper

Most of the time it feels like pulling teeth to get my kids to help around the house, but every once in a while, they surprise me with how grown-up they have become. Thank you Sophie for being a good little reader.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Talk to the Animals

If you go to the Minnesota Zoo these days, throw the kids in a bathing suit before you leave. The new sprinklers are way too tempting to resist, and there are 4 water misters on the outside loop. We wised up and went prepared last Friday. Our group consisted of Heather and I, our four kids, Kelly and her 2 1/2 kids and we also met up with a friend of my brother's and his wife and child who contacted me via Facebook. Whew!

By the way, the new Wilderness Playground opens tomorrow at the zoo. We will stay far, far away until the crowds die down a bit!