Sunday, August 30, 2009


A little story to jump-start your Monday:

So I signed up (again) to sponsor the after-church goodie and coffee time. Instead of being stressed because I had forgotten about this until the last minute........I had everything planned out ahead of time, right down to the sweetened condensed milk. I was going to make some homemade bread, a big salad with fresh veggies, and two pans of the bars I have been craving for a LONG time....Payday bars. They taste just like the candy bar. Peanuts, marshmallows, kind of like a salted nut roll. mmmmm...

I looked up a recipe on Thursday, and on SAturday it was off to Cub to pick up the remaining ingredients. I very rarely go to the grocery store with a list or recipe in hand...I usually buy the cheapest food I can find at the best deals and then make something up when I get home. But this time, I was completely out-of-character. I had a list, I clipped coupons, and I made Julia ride in the cart. We were out of Cub in record time. This is another odd happening....those of you who know me at all are aware of my ability to be early. It is not one of my strong points, to say the least.

At any rate, I spent an hour last night making the bars. I helped Julia lick out the pan. They smelled heavenly and it took everything in me to not dive into a pan of them. (Who would know if I ate a few and then cut up the rest and put em' on a display plate?) But again, the odd thing happened. I somehow found the willpower to leave both pans of bars alone. Another totally out-of-character move.

I was supposed to refrigerate the bars overnight, but our fridge was too full. I put them on the back steps instead, with the covers tightly fastened.


The next morning (this morning) I was enjoying a morning shower when Husband rudely stuck his head in and shouted, "You'd better hurry up, woman. Your bars are GONE. I think something ate them."


I went through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief very quickly. The first one, denial, hit me. The bars weren't really gone. Mike was just being silly. And mean. Very mean. That Jerk. I"ll get him back during the sermon today....

I arrived downstaris in a bathrobe and went out to check out the scene of the crime for myself. Sure enough, both of my pans were open, and only a few wet slippery peanuts remained. I then experienced the next stage: Anger. THAT RAT/RACCOON/BEAVER/DOG/CAT/ELEPHANT/JULIA (every mom who finds something terrible has happend always thinks of blaming the three-year-old) who ate my bars will PAY for their crime!

The bargaining phase set in: maybe I can just bring the drooly peanuts to church and we can eat that. wait. Scratch that. Speaking of scratch that, read on.....

I investigated the scene some more. There was drool in my cake pan. One of them was full of little brown fur. Squirrels aren't brown. Whoever it was sure likes peanuts. Elephants like peanuts, but they are not in Duluth, as far as I know. Do beavers like peanuts? There were TWO POUNDS Of peanuts in those bars. Raccoons? Skunks? I smelled a skunk last night. Just then, I saw the covers. My precious rubbermaid cake pan covers were strewn across the back patio like garbage. When I picked one up and examined it, I gasped.

There was an enormous paw print on one of my cake pan covers, complete with giant claw marks, as big as my hand. This was definitely no squirrel.

I talked to my neighbor, who is a major plant/animal fiend, and a Duluth native. After she laughed until she cried, she told me, "honey, that wasn't a raccoon or a skunk in your was definitely the work of a BEAR."


In my backyard?


Eating MY BARS?!?!?

This information quickly pushed me into the acceptance stage. A giant bear ate my Payday bars. Both pans. And I am not about to try and get them back.

Good thing I keep the house stocked with rice krispies and marshmallows for emergencies like this...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Papa's project

A little while ago (OK...maybe longer than was April), we stumbled upon this little number at a garage sale. Mike and I had been looking for a cabinet thing with glass doors (he says it's a "Buffet and hutch) for a long time to match our blue and white dining room. Finally, we gave up finding the perfect piece of furniture and bought this.

Mike said, "Give me a weekend and I'll have it done."

I said, "I better take the kids away."

So, I took the kids away somewhere for a weekend in April, and Mike worked on the thing. After three trips to Menards, he had the cabinet taken apart and was scraping the finish off.

Instead of going through a long drawn out story about the four months that ensued, I'll just share a few of the things he/we learned about restoring furniture:

1. Varnish doesn't scrape off of particle board.
2. Wood glue is water soluble.
3. Glass pieces slice fingers easily.
4. Cheap hardware made in China can make even the calmest, mild-mannered man go completely postal.
5. Black and Decker cordless screwdrivers are rather wussy.
6. Milwaukee cordless screwdrivers are awesome and expensive but the lady said it was worth it.
7. Spray painting looks like it's easier than regular painting...but don't be is actually THE DEVIL.
8. The smell of Turpentine makes Sarah spontaneously vomit.
9. Hornets like the smell of vomit.
10. Having toddlers around cuts your productivity down by at least 1000%. Especially when they try to "help."

The old cabinet is above, the new, revamped cabinet below. I think Mike did a nice job, don't you? I hope it was worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We are still here!

Psymuhn...pre haircut

Post haircut

Hi Friends!

My apologies. Our blog has been sorely neglected for the past month. I promise you two things:

1. We have a bunch of good reasons for that.

2. The neglect ends today.

As far as the reasons go, I will elaborate on that as soon as I know what's going on around here. We are in for some big changes. We appreciate your prayers. Just ask God to tell us what we should do next. We are game for whatever He has up His sleeve! (does God even have sleeves? Hmmm... I'm sure he would if he lived in Duluth.)

To begin our update, in the last month:

Mike has been working more hours at St. Luke's in the pharmacy. He adores his job. I think he likes being the OR pharmacist best, except on days where Drs. Boylan and Hampton add big heart surgeries on late in the day. (That means he has to make up all these crazy specialized IV drug combos.) His job in the OR pharmacy is kind of like being a solo guy in a take-out restaurant for narcotics and antibiotics. You name it, he'll make it for you. And always with a smile. And no fries with that.

Julia has been very busy lately. We just spend a weekend at Lutheran Island Camp together, her first Camp experience. She adored the sheep song. She also spent a week with her grandparents while mommy and papa flew to another state for a few days. (more details to come) At home, she has been napping less (ugh) and getting very very cunning. Her latest love is playing with her dad's Iphone. One day, he downloaded some games on it to keep her busy. Now every time he is home, she begs him for his phone and then hides behind the couch and plays with it. I am so glad I don't have games on my phone. She is also learning how to use our computer. Neither Mike nor I taught her how to do this, but she can turn it on and open many, many, MANY applications and *USE* them! She likes "microsoft paint" the best. She also gets on the internet and has searched for things on Yahoo. The best part? She loves the "control panel" icon and has changed the settings on our computer. I had to disable the "tty" setting on the computer's phone today. I didn't even know our computer had a phone in it, much less equipped for the deaf....

Mary is growing and changing every day. She can walk, but only proceeds to do so when she HAS to. She much prefers toddling while holding onto the walls. She can say mama, papa, puppy, more, kiss, Dan, woof, no, and Ja (aka 'julia'). Her favorite activities are eating fruit (and filling her diaper with it), playing with Julia, and stealing her mom's purse so she can empty EVERYTHING out onto the living room floor. Excellent.

Psymuhn has undergone some major changes. He is now eating Pro Plan dog food (it was on sale at Petco). He is also sporting a new look! A few weeks ago, Mike took the girls to the lake to see Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dave. I stayed home to clean up some loose ends, and I attempted to brush the dog. His long, thick fur was matted down and he was shedding clumps of hair the size of our neighbor's maltese. So, I took him to Petco to get him shaved. The grooming lady who was working that day informed me that his breed is not meant to be shaved. She directed me to the brush aisle and handed me some $35 "undercoat blade" thing that looked like a medieval torture device. I laughed, and the Psymuhn and I went next door to shopKo. For less than the price of the Blade of Torture, we bought a nice shaver with twelve attachments. I got home, put Psymuhn in the kiddie pool, and proceeded to spend two hours shaving him down to 1/2" of fur. He didn't even object to the shaving, except for his head. I was unable to shave his head at all because the shaver vibrated on his skull and scared the crap out of him. Annie called me when we were shaving, and so I wasn't paying attention to what he looked like. It was just talk, shave, talk, shave, shave, talk.....When we were done, I looked up and began to cry with laughter at the creature I had just created. That just didn't matter, though. From the look on his face, Psymuhn was full of delight. He was transformed into a puppy again. He ran all around the yard, bounding with glee at his new found freedom from Hair Everywhere. I hosed him down and he dried off in five minutes! He looks like a scrawny lab/dalmatian thing with a big hairy head. And boy does he feel good. (see pics above)
As for me, I will give you a thorough update soon. I look forward to taking advantage of my first amendment rights with this blog... ;) So stay tuned. And as soon as I find the camera, I'll post some pictures for you so you remember what we look like. Ha!