Ramblings of a 34B cup...

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Makin' Brew-ha-ha!

Instead of B.Y.O.B. it was MakeYourOwnBeer. "Super fun," as my, "married," friend (inside joke) Catfish would say. Vine Park Brewery has got to be one of St. Pauly's best kept secrets. So here's how the whole thing works step by step. Beer makin' ain't for kiddies so enlist a cute Jr. High gal to look after your Hank for a few hours (don't think his mom didn't have to text for permission to stay out later than anticipated). Next pick what kinda beer you are gonna make and decide who's the A. Class Clown, the goofball you gotta love. B. Bossy know-it-all, who thinks they know more than the teacher. C. Brains behind the madness, coming up with all the naughty ideas, but too nice for the teacher to suspect. Or D. The "A" student, good at reading and barking out directions. (If you really need, the answers are below.) Ok, back to makin' beer. We made the Walnut Brown Ale, which required adding hops and gluten to the big kettle. They don't let ya do a thing unless you wear these big rubbers, when you bend over, I mean, when you add stuff to the kettle so you don't get burned (can you say lawsuit?). Basically this stuff boils for about 30 minutes and they send you to this great hole-in-the-wall bar across the street to make buds with the, "beer bellied," bartender (so fun, but perhaps slightly seedier than their website lets on). If you are a really good student you come back across the street in time to add the hops to the wort (not namin' names, but our star pupil sorta f'd up after a glass of vino). Then the wort is pumped out of your kettle into a big container into which you pour your yeast. This big container is left to ferment for about a week (be nice to the guys working there or you never know what may get added) before it arrives in the walk in cooler for the big cool off. You can walk out the door and leave them to do the clean up knowing in 3 weeks you will come back to bottle. But the night is still young so you MUST head over to Shamrock's for a Nookie burger , a couple of commercially brewed beers, a swing around the dance floor and if you're lucky, a visit with a goofy regular who won't leave ya alone. Cap off the evening with good night kiss, take two Advil and come back in three weeks for the details on the bottling process. All the taste(less info) and no calories.

Quiz Answers (as if you didn't already know) A. Catfish. B. 34B cup. C. My hubby. D. Nicki Potato.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"A Gamma Phi and a Guy..."

"... in a little canoe..." If I have any Gamma Phi Beta (Gamma Pi) readers out there you know just what I am talking about. For all ya all others-it's a long story. Speaking of a long story-do I deserve the, "Best Wife of the Year Award," or what? My hubby, the avid upland game hunter, has been obsessing about birds. He has spend many-a-long hours, and who knows how many gallons of gasoline, scouting for the best possible spot to call in the birds (calling birds is a whole nother story...). So anywho we loaded up the, "stealth," boat and headed out to the Crow River. I was a titch crabby I didn't get the heads up flip flops were not the appropriate footwear for dragging the damn boat though the weeds and woods to the water (dock 2 points from Wife of the Year rating). We finally arrived at the water's edge and set official sail (if paddling your hinney off counts as, "setting sail."). We came up on a whole herd of canines frolicking in the CHILLY water. Of course we couldn't resist letting Miss Kato partake in the fun, and she couldn't resist taking a HUGE poop on the beach (we didn't have a poop bag-and had to bug a group of strangers). We regrouped and effortlessly cruised on down the river marveling at a bald eagle that kept circling over head (it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!) and I was so mesmerized by how close he was to us I couldn't take my eyes off of him long enough get a photo (sorry). By this time Miss Kato was shivering from her romp in the CHILLY water I was telling you about, so of course I ordered my hubby to give her his sweatshirt (looking back now, I guess I should dock 2 more points). Life was good, until we decided to turn around... We underestimated how steady the current is and at one point we absolutely COULD NOT maneuver the boat through a channel! Both of us screaming at each other to, "GO! Dig Deeeeep! Paddle!," and each attempt we would fly backwards in reverse. After about 3 trys, my cleavage sweat was full on, and my hubby finally got out and pushed us through the channel. Mental note: add 2 points for him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fashion Friday: Punches of color!

You must know me by now. It has been 147 blogs posts since we first met (and you still haven't made it to first base-bummer). I love all things girlie: clothes, shoes, jewelry, feelings, you know, the essentials. You won't be shocked to find out my two new favorite accessories for the fall are not only hand made by a former 10,000 -laker-artist, but my favorite sick, stomach bile yellow. I LOVE THEM! Last weekend the Maple Grove Arts Council (fancy, huh?) hosted an art fair for all those creative spirits in the Grove. I scored a handcrafted beaded cuff and a leather ring for $35.00 (actually, my MOM paid for them and I "forgot" to pay her back so they were technically free.)! I added my new favorite "punch" of color to a charcoal gray pencil skirt and tee with a skinny black belt (it needed a punch indeed). So permission to go crazy and jazz up your typical uni with a funky splash of color. Check out Rock and Soul jewelry and grab a leather ring of your own (plus support your local starving artists). Have a rockin' weekend and be sure to report back for a weekend update on Monday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

...and you wonder where I get it!

I think the saying goes something like, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." My MOM always says, "gheez, if an outsider was reading your blog-they would think you are a drunk." To which I would respond, "hello pot, aren't you calling the kettle black?" Like the old proverb says, "A picture is worth a thousand words, " and the one to the left is no exception. You may think I, "drink like a fish, " but dare I say, "blood runs thicker than water, " and I certainly learned from the best. But, "lets get down to brass tacks, " and talk about the half price drink specials at Woody's. You gotta put the, "pedal to the metal, " to get there by 6 bells if you want to get in on the deals. Half price beves (a decent house cab) and apps (white chicken chili nachos-yummy) makes this a happy to hour to, well, happy! Just look at these two knock outs, "thick as thieves," "hitting the sauce," with their double fisted drinks of choice. "Mark my words," this place is happy hour mecca. If you're a, "doubting thomas," then head on over and judge for yourself.

"Here's to mud in your eye,"

Can't get enough of those good ole American, "idioms," check out this site... Or tune in each day to see my pal Hank sign off with a new one.

And, before I forget... I stumbled upon the group shot from Bocce. Better late than never.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dog days...

If I seem a little cranky, well I am! All this talk about summer being over and fall taking off it really bumming me out. Fantasy football-fine. Leaves turning burnt colors-fine. Sleeping with the A/C off and the windows open-fine. Knowing old man winter is breathing his frosty breath down the back of my neck-not okay! I want more of those doggy summer days! Come on, you know... The H-O-T ones where a Skinny Cow ice cream sammy melts faster than it can be consumed. The afternoons where even Miss Kato gets a tasty treat of her own. If you have a fury friend of the K-9 variety you owe them a Frosty Paw for putting up with your bad habits (and sometimes bad morning breath). Take advantage of this last little teaser (aka Indian Summer, P.C. or no?) of summery weather, perch your bummer on your front porch and enjoy a creamy treat together (hell, live a little and skip the sun screen for once too!). Capture the moment on camera and submit it to the Frosty Paws site and you may be selected to win a one year's (in people years) supply of Miss Kato approved frozen treats. Come on, you know you wanna.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Son of a Bocce!"

If I heard this once I heard it a thousand times. Ya see this was THE team name, my team name, when my name was randomly drawn to partner up with my hubby. "Son of a bocce," if we didn't meet our double-elimination-maker right outta the shoot. Not only did we not even come close to clinching the coveted title as Bocce 2008 champs, but I thought I may be heading home single. But alas he forgave me for having horse sheet aim and we drowned our sorrows in a case of Honey Weiss. The venue was perfect... Acres upon acres of free rolling land and the Grouchy Dog tiki bar for serving up bocce fare and libations. My MOM was 1/2 of the "Smokin' Aces" and darn near took the title if it weren't for the strong armed, "Talented Tongues." Better luck next year Linnie. I'm not namin' any names, but it starts with a "M" and ends with an "olly" took home the least sober award and Val ended up bringing home the bacon with the MVP, Team Congeniality & Poor Sport (sounds pretty love/hate if you ask me) awards. Miss Laurie knocked our socks off with the best dressed (she opted out of heels) and the voss-ko-pee-ko-trains' came out with the quote of the day for our team name,"Son of a Bocce!" The kids took care of themselves, some people wore mustaches (what?), the host and hostess didn't kick us out and the local authorities didn't "stop by" so all in all it was a B-I-G success. Can't wait to toss/hold/knock/grab(kidding) balls with ya again next year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fashion Friday: Vested Interest

Happy Fashion Friday kids! Though I hate to admit it, autumn is knockin' at our door. Soon enough we will all be taking a lazy, hangover Sunday morning (it's not just me is it?) to transfer our closet from Summer to Fall. I of course have a "vested interest" in trying to keep you up to date on some of the fall favs. Right at the top of my list is the ultra cool, ultra tailored, yummo-licious, gotta-have-it vest. I'm not talking about a boxy vest like America's favorite lesbian people (BTW, if you found a whisper of a pun in that sentence, congrats on being as sick minded as me). To the contrary the vest of the season is lower cut, typically mid-boobie to bottom cleavage, if you know what I mean. Perfect with a long, lean, classic tee, a GREAT pair of jeans and some sassy heels (NOT acceptable with Chuck Taylors). You've got the warm weekend to sport it with a tank and add your razzle dazzle with a chunky bracelet or necklace. Or for all you workin' women layer it over one of your many collared, button-up shirts. It's in! Work it! Own it! Wear one Monday (after your fabulous weekend)!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

R.I.P. Aunt Lou

My Great Aunt Lou passed away on Sunday at the ripe old age of 99. One can hardly be sad considering her age... Imagine 99 birthday parties including the one this year complete with an accordion player, $35 bucks an hour for the "squeeze box," in case you were interested. If she had candles on her birthday cake each year to commemorate how old she was she would have burned 2,451 candles! Check my math if you don't trust me, and see how long it took me to figure that out! Knowing her, the candles on her cake never matched her age as she always insisted, "you NEVER ask a woman her age." When my MOM wished her a happy 98th birthday she scowled and said, "I don't know what you are talking about, I don't know anyone who is 98!" I love that she was a woman ahead of her time. Only after her mind started to leave her still able body did my MOM figure out it was not my Great Uncle Quint who brought home the bacon. Rather Aunt Lou out earned his accounting business triple fold selling make up and perfume at the Olwin Angels department store. How fabulous is that? She was prim and always proper. I adore that she always swirled her hair up around a perfectly placed bee-hive-ish hair piece until the day there was not quite enough hair to clip into. She was delightfully put together with her fancy cosmetics and her trend setting jewelry. She enjoyed her Pink Catawba wine out of a "glass" glass even while residing at her nursing home because as she said, "it just doesn't taste the same unless it is in a "glass" glass." She warned my MOM if someone from church asked the wine most certainly was not for her. Little did she know/remember she likely outlived everyone from church she ever knew. Her little "jewelry box" of a house was jam packed with antiques. She lived there alone after her husband, "Andy" Anderson, passed and up until dementia fogged her memory just a few years ago. Dates began to get confused and her questions of "where's Andy?" or "why my MOM isn't in school today," warned it was time for her to receive round the clock care. But dementia could erase her memory of my MOM's face as she never forgot who she was. Five minutes or 50 minutes MOM would visit her almost every single day for the past two years. Remember when I was telling you about "My Auntie?" Well, Aunt Lou was, "my MOM's Auntie." In fact her name, Linda Lou, was given in her honor. My MOM said when she was little, she used to cry when Aunt Lou would leave. So in return Aunt Lou would scoop her into her big town car and drive her around the block so they could have a little more time together. How fitting that they held hands as Aunt Lou took her last breath. Just proves no matter what the decade those "Aunties" are one of a kind. Rest in peace Aunt Lou-we will always remember the fabulous you!

Aberdeen American News Obituary - The service for Luella Anderson, 99, Aberdeen will be 1 p.m., Wednesday at Faith United Methodist Church with Rev. Jack Erickson & Eric J. Gerber IV officiating. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery. Luella died Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008, at Aberdeen Health & Rehab. Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, 1111 S. Main St., Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements. Luella Ann Davidson was born to Charles & Alvina Davidson on March 15, 1909, at Foster, Neb. On April 4, 1934, Luella married Quinten L. Anderson at Faith United Methodist Church in Aberdeen. She sold cosmetics at Olwin Angels and Herbergers for many years.
Luella was a member of Faith United Methodist Church. The family would like to say thank you to Aberdeen Health & Rehab for all their care while Luella was there. Grateful for having shared Luella's life are her nieces & nephews, Mrs. Tom (Linda) Van Scoy, Aberdeen; Pat Oban, Sturgis; Ruth Anderson, Big Lake, Minn.; Ron (Darlene) Anderson, Plymouth, Minn.; and Jackie (Bruce) Allen, Rapid City; Jon Anderson, Guam; Pete & Don Anderson, Washington State. She is preceded in death by her husband, Quinten “Andy” Anderson and her parents, Charles & Alvina.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to work I go...

Yesterday I was paralyzed when the Internet fell ill at my office. I had forgotten how much I relied on the duba, duba, duba to get things done, and to be quite frank, it was debilitating to be “offline.” My phone calls were made, my files all filed and the day was still young. I was fresh out of excuses to not clean up my act and whip my little corner of the interior design world into shape. Never before has my niche been so tidy, which is why you have finally been allowed a VIP pass to enter. Notice all my “black books” lined up perfectly in alpha order. Inside each one is the recipe for a perfectly coiffed space, complete with photos, quotes and the ever secret NET pricing. I’m sure you are asking where can I find a cute, girlie-girl blotter like the B cup has?!? Can’t do it. Try all you can. It’s a one of a kind. My old blotter was crumbling under the stresses of my daily grind, so today I recovered it in one of my fav fabrics trimmed with a perfect piece of left over cording. Wha-la! Here are my family photos I look at each day. My cute hubby and I (in between violent sea sickness) on our first (and last) cruise and of course Miss Kato. Pinned on my board a black and white from the Aberdeen American News of my first dance recital. God bless good, ole Jonny Cavelle for putting up with my class mixed of 4 and 5 year olds. Next to my phone is my original Amy B work of art. I love the colors and the thick paint carved with texture. Of course I had to garnish the corner with a few bamboo sprigs just to bring a little life inside the walls of the historic building I work in. Hmmmmm, let me see what else. Oh, this is a box of my favorite fabrics. This is my hard hat (pink) and my tool belt for installations (pink too, of course). And this is my desk chair. I used to have a chair when I started… I brought the “ball” to firm the tummy and back while clicking away at my keyboard. Then one day someone “stole” my “real” chair and, so, well, now there is no turning back. Notice if you will my new black shoes, which I only wore for about 15 minutes all day cuz they pinch in all the wrong places, (damn) and the dime I have been too lazy to pick up (my MOM would die). Here are two awards I won for the interiors of a home on the 2005 Luxury Home Tour (mental note: time to try and win another award). How could I forget my two favorite things at my 40+ hour cubby? Two cards which were attached to fresh cut stems on my first day working the downtown scene. That’s it! That’s me! Now git outta here, I have work to do…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My new best friend...

Where has vinegar been all my life? Here is how my new BFF comes to life: Repeat after me... Fffffeeermenntaaatiooon. Fermentation of ethanol (from maize or corn) and the word vinegar is derived from the French word vin aigre, meaning "sour wine," fancy pants, huh? So I knew vinegar was the preferred cleaner for hardwood floors when added to luke warm water, but I didn't know it's other fabulous tricks! Seriously, this stuff is amazing! It cleans better and faster than all those harsh ammonia or bleach based scrubs and solvents and won't burn the little hairs in your nose. I used it to clean out my Grind and Brew coffee pot, I wrapped a paper towel soaked in "vinney," as I know call him, er it, whatever, around a shower fixture which was callused by hard water and brought it back to it's chrome-hood (unfortunately, the fitting is still damn ugly, but my distilled friend can only do so much). When I saw these miracles unfold before my eyes I got crazy trying to de-wrinkle some banana peppers (you may think I have too much time on my hands, but I don't). Before you get all turned off my the kinda bitter smell my pal, Vinney, gives off consider the uses:
Wash no-wax floors, Carpet stain removal, Streak less window cleaner, Wash woodwork, Remove water or alcohol marks on wood, Garbage disposal cleaner, Coffee maker cleaner (automatic), Clean the microwave, Deodorize the kitchen drain, Clean the refrigerator, Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards, Brass polish, Ant deterrent, Get Rid of Fruit Flies/Gnats in Your Kitchen, Clean Stainless Steel, Cleaner Dishes, Remove Refrigerator Smells, Remove bathtub or shower film, Toilet bowl cleaner, Unclog the shower head, Kill grass, Kill weeds, Increase soil acidity, Neutralize garden lime, Keep Flowers Longer, Pest fighter, Sanitize pet accidents, Get Rid of Odor on a Smelly Dog, Remove bumper stickers (especially McCain/Paylen ones), Paintbrush softener, Cleaning the Radiator Vent, Clear Frosted windows, Clean/freshen furniture, Clean Leather Shoes, Wash fireplaces, Clean Gold Jewelry, Remove Lime Stains from Car, Polish worn DVDs, Remove wine stains, Freshen baby clothes, Clothes washing magic, Blanket renewal, Deodorant stains, Hole removal, Keeping colors fast, Leather cleaning, Setting colors, Unclog steam iron, Clean a scorched iron plate, Cleaning Vintage Lace, Get the last drops out of a jar, Cook fish better, Perfect cake icing, Boil eggs, Keep potatoes white, Freshen vegetables, Fruit and vegetable wash, Fry better doughnuts, Flavor booster, Meat tenderizer, Remove fruit stains, Freshen a lunch box, Get rid of cooking smells , Fluffier Rice, Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting, Fight dandruff, Soothe a sore throat, Treat sinus infections and chest colds, Relieve Skin burns, Get rid of Toenail fungus, Arthritis Relief, Lessen Morning Sickness, Stop Itching, Soft Feet, Wart Remover, Mix Bug Spray, Color Easter eggs, OR you could Build a volcano.
Wheeew, now you try and do all of that and get dinner on the table by 7. If you want the specifics on how to use vinegar for any of these fine projects just click here. Then run on over to Target and stock up on your soon to be best friend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back in Biz...

Oh man. Sorry for leaving ya hanging, high and dry, up shh-ee-t creek without a paddle, etc, etc, etc. I had the best of intentions last week. I was traveling to "Mormon country" for work and brought my lap top to blog away my evenings. Go figure I schlepped the damn thing cross the nation and couldn't connect to the wireless network. Freakin' technology. Can't live with it and certainly can't live without it. Anywayz, in case you were worried, the "thin" oxygen-less air didn't make me go LDS (Latter Day Saints that is) crazy. I still enjoy a beer, cocktail or glass of vino, I am only married to one man and I don't plan on having enough kids to fill a short bus. To be honest those "full mo's" as I heard em referred to (full Mormon) make me more nervous than all those conservatives from the RNC. So I'm back in the land of 10,000 lakes and so HAPPY to be home. I got lots to tell ya. Until then-TTFN.

PS As promised a new slide show with 31st birthday photos! Thanks to all the goof balls who celebrated with me-it really meant a lot.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008


It's true... 31. XXXI.

More to come when my "old" brain gets a chance to wake up. For now check out how my family's cruel trick... The "spanking machine."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Puttin' Up...

...yes up (not out) is hard work (well, actually they both are). I've never put up a thing in my life until this fine summer. The bounty from the garden has been plentiful and harvest can not be consumed fast enough. I decide to tackle a little canning. Side note: Why do the call it "canning" when you are actually putting things in jars? Shouldn't it be calling "jarring?" Anywayz, I had a little time on my hands and so why not, right? What I didn't realize is this "canning/jarring" thing is S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L! I wasn't counting on the 2 hours of prep work! WHERE might you ask was my handi sous-chef during all this chopping and dicing? Probably doin's somethin' like this. So hear my sob story... The acidity in the tomatoes stung my hands as I tried to slip the skin off. I chopped peppers and onions until my fingers burned and my mascara ran down my cheeks. I scrubbed jars and boiled rings and lids with one hand as I stirred the molten hot salsa with the other. The squeaky clean jars where filled and lids fastened tightly. After three panicked phone calls to my MOM the jars finally sealed, ensuring fresh salsa in the winter months to come. Start to finish 3 h 27 min 20 sec. It better be freakin' good.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lumberjack honeymoom IV...

Who says you have to pack all your "tiny" liquids and gels in ziplock bag, remove your shoes and empty your pockets to have a fun getaway? I've been fortunate to do some traveling and often I feel like I have "seen and done" more in other (long distance) area codes than the 612, 763, and 651's. My hubby and I have a deal. Each year for our anniversary we take a trip-just the two of us-and spend some mono-e-mono time together. We've been GREAT places like Boston and Martha's Vineyard (FYI-there is only ONE vineyard on the whole island-and it's not Martha's), Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Door County, WI and this year Stillwater. A 40 minute drive port to port didn't even require a full tank of gas or a "potty break." In the time it takes to watch an hour long "T-V-od" program we managed to put ourselves right smack in the center of a fun, historic, riverside town. One Main St. houses more antique stores than even the heartiest of shoppers can handle. Quaint bars, like Whitey's, offer a friendly bartender and lucky pull tabs (I invested $10 and won $102). Eat dinner or lunch at Dock Cafe, not for the average fare, but for the great view of the lift bridge. Stop by the local apple orchard (especially after the first frost) and nab some of the most beautiful, natural, non-waxey apples I have ever seen. Have an old fashioned malt from the corner ice cream shoppe. Is this straight from the Andy Griffith Show or what? We stayed the Aurora Staples bed and breakfast and it was fabulous! We stayed in the carriage house which was meticulous and perfectly finished to fit the period and the gardens were lush and gorgeous. Our visit to the St. Croix wouldn't be complete without a stop at the winery to taste their signature blends and purchase a few for our own collection (no my Hubby's not drunk-just mid blink in the photo). Toss some clean undies in your sachel, book your room at the inn and make room on your memory card-Stillwater has lot's to offer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

4 long, hard years...

I can hardly believe it! Exactly 4 years ago today I married my fellow Mav, my YMCA co-worker and my college sweetie-heart. He came knocking at my 208 Balcerzak door... for my roommate. Yup, no need to re-read. You saw it right. My! Roommate! He claims it was just to get his foot in the door, and I can hardly blame him, I was caught up in all kinds of boy drama. A date or two with my roomie and they called it "friends" and he became a pretty regular fixture in our living room. He was just Jerrid and we all loved him. He always knocked at the door to the beat of Prince's "When Doves Cry" and never waited to be let in. He was our buddy. He handled the house ful of 5 gals (as in 5 periods, 5 PMS's, 5 turns in the bathroom to get ready) like he grew up with two sisters instead of two brothers. He was the kind of guy who drank the better part of a 12 pack waiting for D and I to get dressed in our "perfect" New Year's Eve outfit. At this point I could see he was a "keeper." I just didn't realize he would be MY "keeper."
Yada, yada, yada... Fast forward through all the mushy stuff and we get back to my point. "Many scores and 4 years" ago today (4 long, happy, only sometimes hard) years ago we tied the knot in front of family and friends aboard the Harriet Bishop. The tune you hear now played as we faced the teary crowd for the first time as husband and ball&chain. Since then we have celebrated life with no regrets except for my bad wedding hair and a couple of smashed bumpers (without a doubt-all small stuff). In moments of intense discussion (typically during a DO IT OURSELVES project) I threaten that, "he WAS my favorite husband." But the truth is he is the only match, the perfect match for me (after all Patrick Dempsy is taken...j/k). I most certainly have found my better half.