Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Daughters of Norway

Although I am a little busy lately, I have decided to join the Pauline Fjelde #51 lodge of the Daughters of Norway. The sisterhood, as I like to jokingly refer to it, was formed recently, although Minnesota did have one that disbanded in the 1950s, I believe. In order to be a member you have to know the name of one of your relatives who came over from Norway or be married to someone of Norwegian descent. We meet every third Saturday from 10-12 a.m. at Hope Lutheran church in dinkytown (if anyone is interested). I found out about it because Kelsey helped get it going and was recruiting people to join. Ages of the members range, but most are quite a bit older than us.

I am 50% Norwegian so I thought it would be a fun way to learn more about my family's heritage, get out of the house and see my friends at least once each month, plus meet new people. I particularly enjoy the craft activities, as you may of guessed.

Kelsey, me, Glenda and Kristen making woven Christmas hearts.

Although these hearts originated in Denmark, the Norwegians have taken a liking to them and have adopted them as their own. Here is a little before/after above. I made them out of felt and it was quite a bit easier than paper.

Here is someone demonstrating how to make krumkake, a waffle-like Christmas treat.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Japanese jumper

Probably the last of these posts for quite some time since all the other vintage clothes are much larger. A few silly anecdotes about this one: it was given to me by my godparents Guy and Becki when they were stationed in Japan. It was kind of hard to know what size it was since it was in japanese. Also, despite innovations in many other fields, the japanese didn't seem to think this jumper through. Diaper changes-- not so easy when you have to take the ENTIRE outfit off each time and when you do, you have to untie the knots you make up at the top. Bad design. Form not following function in this particular case. Those applique beings make up in cuteness what the jumper lacks functionally.
update: Well well, look what I found.. a crybaby. Not sure how this is physically possible to be wearing this at 14 months. Also it appears to have lost its buttons after all this time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowmageddon 2010

18" of snow in less than 24 hours.

A well deserved beer after 6 hours of snow removal.

The monday morning ride to work wasn't too bad. I had to lock my bike up a bit higher than usual. The ride home was terrible. Hopefully the second consecutive snow emergency will help clean things up.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vintage baby

Here's the first post of many of Harriet wearing my old clothes. My mom diligently saved all her favorite outfits of mine in hopes of one day having a granddaughter to wear them. I will attempt to dig up pictures of me wearing them 30 years ago, but I make no promises.

This picture is a tad redundant, but I have included it for grandparents, my dad's co-workers and all the baby lovers out there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saying goodbye to an old friend

Ha, not my dad (in the above photo), Brett Favre. My parents were up for a visit this weekend (lots of baby time!) and since the Packers were in town to play the Vikings, my dad and I decided to go. I hadn't been to a Viking game at the dome before.

Although there were plenty of cheeseheads, the sold out stadium looked like a sea or purple (at least in the beginning) from our awesome seats. Figured we'd see a tough game because the teams are in the same division, it's a border battle and of course Brett Favre (have you heard of him?). Not so much. In fact after the Vikings field goal in the first quarter it was a romp. Packers looked great. Vikings looked terrible.The Vikings fans wouldn't argue with that assessment.

Can you see all the blue seats in second half? Empty seats + chanting to fire the head coach + Packer domination = good time.

Charles Woodson put it best after the game, "The best thing about a game like today," the Packers' cornerback said, "is at the end of the game watching their fans leave. If you come in and do that, you've done your job. ... That's what happens when you come in and dominate. That felt good." Couldn't agree more. The place emptied pretty quick. My dad and I had a fun time seeing a 31-3 Green Bay victory!

Friday, November 12, 2010

We've got a 14 pounder on our hands. 65% percentile all around for this kid.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Insulation time!

Our family room, first floor half bathroom and mudroom in the back of the house all sit over a crawlspace. Come fall we can tell these rooms are much cooler than the rest of the house. Come winter we repeatedly say we have to do something to fix the problem. After our first winter in the house we decided to open the only entrance to the crawlspace to allow some heat to get in and we installed insulation boards around the foundation on the outside. I was not interested going into the crawlspace that appeared to have less than 2' of head room and a couple old radiators pipes covered in asbestos wrap hanging in the opening. Well... we had an asbestos abatement company come out to remove the old pipes and I climbed in to take a closer look. It was terrible! You can see my foot in the top photo. I took a majority of the failing fiberglass insulation out by crawling on my stomach and back and kicking it out the lone opening. Again, it was terrible.

We filled up two giant garbage bins with the old insulation.

In order to remedy the issue we had several insulation companies come out. They all had different opinions. They all agreed removing the fiberglass batting that hung in the ceiling of the crawlspace (so the floor of the family room, etc) was a great idea. Some recommended vapor barriers and just foam insulation on the interior walls, others, new fiber glass and a heat supply to warm it up from underneath, and a range of these things. One company told us to cover the ceiling and walls in closed cell foam insulation. It would seal out moisture from the dirt floor, and all cold air. When complete we'd have an R30 in the ceiling and R14 on the walls. After checking Angie's List we decided to hire this company.

This is the inside of the trailer they brought to our house. They ran a hose from the trailer to the crawlspace and covered everything in foam.

This is the view from the crawlspace opening. The installation crew said it was one of the tightest spots they've been in.

We also decided to have this company insulate under the soffit of the stairway landing that cantilevered out over the side door. That was another super cold area in our house we knew needed attention.

Here is a photo from right after we put in the new side door. The problem area is right above the door.

After I removed the aluminum soffit there was a layer of old wood, then nothing. Absolutely nothing but the soffit joists; an empty area for cold air. The last photo (on the far right) is after the foam insulation was installed.

The foam was the most expensive option (compared to cellulose, fiberglass, etc), but it is also the best R value and it is a closed cell foam so it stops moisture. Plus because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we can get a tax credit for 30% of the cost of the materials up to $1,500.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Countess Palatine Hedwig, 3, died Friday November 5, 2010, from complications from an extreme drop in temperature.

Hedwig, as she was affectionately known, was purchased at the Minnesota State Fair in 2008. She was a silver-laced Polish bantam hen and won 2nd place in her division. She was always the first to get a compliment and the last to get some food. Despite her bottom position in the pecking order, she went about her days with a quiet dignity. She is survived by her friends, Queen Elizabeth, Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of York, and Marie Antoinette. She will be missed.

Her final resting place is, as of yet, undetermined.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Chapel Hill in Wisconsin

This weekend we went to our friends Stephanie and Chris' family cabin called Chapel Hill. It is just outside Osceola, WI and so it was a quick car ride over there. The cabin is situated in a peninsula of (the not so imaginatively named) Round lake. We had great weather and took a long walk on a surrounding trail. We enjoyed a hearty fall meal and had a great time. The babies also seemed to enjoy themselves.

No this isn't the cabin. A pastor used to own the property and he built a chapel (hence the name of the cabin) which comes equipped with a little altar. Currently it stores an inflatable mattress though. It would also be a great playhouse for the kids someday.

Baby friends Nick and Harriet. Oh how they have grown in just a few months.

PIZZA! Local pizza fan Aaron Landry is saving me some time figuring out who has the best pizza in town with his blog about local pizza. PIZZA!

For the record our favorite pizza is Fat Lorenzo's.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Yesterday we went over to Becky and Raymond's house for our annual pumpkin carving. We have been doing this for probably 15 years and this year is a little sad because it will probably be Jonny's last (unless he goes to college somewhere close). Harriet will have to carry on the tradition now, although she didn't participate a ton as you can see above. exhausted.

Raymond is super funny and has been getting Harriet clothes on his travels. He got her this cute outfit in San Francisco's Chinatown. Becky found this rice picking hat to match her little china doll.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Garden wrap up

Despite not having as much free time as we are used to in other years, we had a pretty good year in the garden. Tons of tomatoes, basil, peppers and carrots. A couple of fails: radishes and brussel spouts. I think the problem with the radishes was that we got too impatient and picked them too soon. The brussel sprouts are still just tiny teeny, but pretty cute.

Last year we had to ration our pesto. This year we probably won't have the same problem. I made dozens and dozens of 'cupcakes' of frozen pesto. Each cupcake usually makes 2-3 servings. We just heat it up in the microwave. It's a nice taste of summer in the winter. Big problem this year was pine nuts. Not sure if you heard, but there is a shortage. I was able to get a hold of a few bags, but eventually just substituted walnuts and they basically taste the same.

A month ago we had a harvest part with the friends with whom I traded seedlings with in the spring. We picked all our carrots that night and ate them together (as well at some pesto). It was a lot of fun and instant gratification. I did a multi-colored variety this year and really liked them. Perhaps next year I would thin them a bit better.

Hops crop was ok. Not a ton, but we didn't really have high hopes given that it was our first year. Next year should be more plentiful apparently. We gave our hops to our friend Rob and hopefully will be able to take part in the beer making process or at least drink some.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Month 3 visitors

I kind of think that these are the last of the visitors for a while now that I am back at work. I'm sure more will trickle in though.

Amy & Brigid, Mary, Jan & Becky & Theo & Jonah & Matthew, Dana, Donna, Anna & Tara, Erin, Stacey & Dean

Amy & Xander, Carol & Jean, Dorf

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Little Phelan, Becca, Charis, Harriet and Jay
Lostview visit

This past weekend we visited our friends at their farm in Wisconsin. We had a lovely time catching up and enjoying a hearty fall lunch with food from their garden. It has been 2 years since our last visit and it was fun to see the changes they have made and the new animals they have acquired. They have a new horse, many more chickens and also some bees. Hopefully we will be out to visit again sooner than 2 years. I'm sure Harriet will love going there when she gets a little older and can run around. It is like a little kid's paradise.

Ellis and Owain in their leaf house. The big, bad wolf (Chris) is hidden.

Ah farm life... the boys look on as Jay digs in the dirt. Charis... not quite as interested.

The coop.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recycling 1 through 7

We aren't at the point where we would be on the show Hoarders, but we seem to keep a lot of materials in the hopes of recycling it or reusing it. When Molly lived with us last year she would always bring home leftover take out from her sales rep meetings so we felt guilty about throwing all those plastic containers away. Fast forward a year and a half later.... we still had it in the garage. Then we started saving all our fruit containers from Costco because we knew we had the other plastic to recycle.

Here's the thing-- as you can imagine, recycling plastic (that you can't put in the bin every other week) is really annoying and time consuming. Saturday we spent 1.5 hours washing and sorting it all and then drove to Eastside Co-op in northeast to drop it off, only to be 5 mins late of the time window. Annoying. Our car was packed to the brim with plastic and we were not going to come back with it all. After a bit of detective work I tracked down the recycling guy and he unlocked the shed and we threw it in. Here is the info about plastic recycling if anyone is interested, but after this not-so-cheery post about it I would imagine that no one is interested. I would like to say that we will never do this again... but I'm sure we will and hopefully sooner another 1.5 years won't pass. Hoarding is a sickness after all. wink.

This picture might have been a bit more interesting had we actually gotten there on time when all the bins were out and people were doing their sorting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Uff da

Today we went to the arboretum to see the Uff da Palace. It was a perfect day to drive out there and enjoy the warm fall weather, see the fall colors and relax after my first week back to work. The beginning of the week was the hardest, but Harriet seems to be very content at daycare and I am slowly remembering how to do my job.

The twig palace was pretty impressive and I would highly recommend going out and seeing it. The palace was made by artist Patrick Dougherty who does different twig sculptures all over the world. It is comprised of willow, maple and elm branches. It will remain at the arboretum until it decomposes.


Gourds galore

Moss art

Four colors