November 30, 2007
November 21, 2007
Did you know that the Red River flows the wrong way? That it floods often? That it will most likely be frozen when I cross it in the middle of the night tonight?
Just a little visual run through so you know what is up this weekend with me.
In a few hours
We leave this one, and
This one, who is having his first Thanksgiving at home after Iraq,
to visit this one:
The one reigning the little kid (my dad) in for the photo. Hard to see her?
Its the well dressed lady in this photo. The fine looking gentleman will be there in spirit I am sure, especially when we play games. And when we eat!
Here is another glimpse at her:
Oh YEAH! NOW you remember who I mean. Now you are starting to worry about my safety!
Hopefully, we will be spending some time talking about these people, her family, who are nearly impossible to track on Ancestry.com and other heritage sites.
And these people? They are safely together with his parents in Texas, wrapping up the end of their home country visit before heading back to Uganda.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, remember the good, skip lightly over the troublesome and hold what you have left of your loved ones close.
Ah, I need to keep up here folks, and I'm so sorry! I just checked my blog stats, which I haven't done in probably six months and I'm embarrassed. In the past 24 hours I have had not one, but FOUR BIG names in scrapbooking stop by my blog per my little tracky-thingy, and they've seen....not much.
I just don't seem to be able to muster the energy to record my thoughts here unless they are snap happy and S/H has been in short supply here, just little bursts now and then.
Anyway, tomorrow Erin, Andrew and I leave for our big trip to Minot, ND. All 518 or 548 miles of it, depending on which route my dad recommends...we are eagerly awaiting his superior advice.
Erin and I, being the big night owls that we are, are leaving at 9pm tomorrow so we arrive just in time for morning coffee on Thanksgiving Day.
Because my dear hearts Danielle, Don and the girls were leaving for Texas, California and then Uganda today, I haven't really put much thought into my Minot trip details. Of course its been weighing on my mind: The whole visit is about my grandmother, and the possibility this is our last visit to her as her heart condition is becoming difficult to manage.
Anyway, as a way to IMMEDIATELY distract me from missing the heck out of D&D I started my internet based research on what's gonna be what in Minot. Saints preserve us.
- The weather will bounce between the frigid 30 and the frigid-er 14.
- Snow is expected on Saturday only at this point.
- The nearest WIFI appears to be at the Wild Things Gallery about 2 miles away...problem is their website is gone and it seems that maybe they have gone out of business.
- Oh and I thought I'd look into the coffee options. Did a yahoo maps search...and...
- The nearest coffee shop appears as Kum & Go, a gas station about 3 miles to the NE of my grandmas place...
Nope, I don't make this stuff up, I speak the truth. But wait, I thought, that can't be right! My grandma lives less than a mile from the "new" mall. Surely there is a coffee shop there! According to the directory for the Dakota Square Mall there is a Taco Johns (eat your heart out cousin Josh!) but no coffee shop. Not even a kiosk! But that cannot be! I cannot except this defeat! Surely there must be a Starbucks SOMEWHERE in Minot! So I type in Starbucks and Get driving directions and sure enough, I am right, ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN, a total of 2.6 miles to the north is the lone Starbucks. Yes, I do mean lone. I searched the Starbucks site for all of North Dakota and there are FIVE Starbucks in Bismarck and 1 in Minot. And that is it folks. Now I can't remember how far it is to Bismarck from Minot, I think a couple hundred miles, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. I wasn't too lazy to look up the flights between Minot and Bismarck, which would run me upwards of $800 and take 5 hours, as they connect through Minneapolis airport...talk about your end arounds.
Anyway! I'm stubborn, so I kept at it, doggedly searching for coffee that wasn't made by a truck driver or a gas station attendant and (insert heavenly voices singing here) I found that the mall DOES have coffee. Not Starbucks, not Caribou, not Seattles Best, oh no, none of that is good enough for Dakota Square Mall. They have (more heavenly voices) Bellissimo Caffe Casa. Waaa? (insert needle scratching a record album here)
Okay these are Italian words. (well, not exclusively Italian, casa is also commonly used in Spanish, French and Portugese...) Bellissimo is actually not used often in Italy, but roughly it translates as Very Beautiful. Caffe' is also Italian and it means coffee. Casa of course means house. So they are trying to tell me that not only can I have coffee at the mall next door (which of course will be open BRIGHT AND EARLY on Black Friday!) but I will be getting that coffee at a very beautiful coffee house. Sounds divine, yes? Why do I feel a coffee nightmare story of DUNKIN DONUTS proportion coming on? Hmm?? Is it the fact that I spent many years of my life living in Minot? Is it that Minot is proud of being the 4th largest city in North Dakota (there ARE four cities in North Dakota?) Is it that at the age of 43 I have come to discover that my purpose in being brought to Minnesota in the first place was so that I could grow fat and happy off the FABU, unparalleled coffee available right here in the good old Minneapolis of Minnesota?
And I wonder if Dunkin Donuts has a foothold in Minot...brb...whew! I am relieved to report that there are NO DDs within 50 miles of Minot.
So, a report on Bellissimo Caffe will be forthcoming...if I don't find WIFI in Minot, it will be reported upon my return.
And hey, I just noticed...the Starbucks at 2.6 miles is actually CLOSER than the Kum & Go at 3 miles...hmmm...is there some sort of an anti corporate coffee klatch going on here? In collusion with Yahoo Maps? Dear, dear....
November 20, 2007
November 19, 2007
Last week was NUTS! Something planned every single day for homeschool, and we finally tanked out on Friday and just hung out at home.
It wasn't bad though, because the things we did were so fun!
My favorite of the week of course was the MN Orchestra Young People's Concert. Last year I picked and chose the concerts according to the age recommendations, but we had such a great time that this year I bought tickets to them all.
Last week's concert was entitled Wacky Sounds and taught us about using unusual instruments in the orchestra, about impossible compositions and about using instruments in unusual ways.
Andrew LOVED this concert and came home bursting to tell his Papa about some of the pieces. Here are two that were his favorites.
The first piece that he loved was the last they played. It is called Blur: The Fragrance Free Collection and is nearly impossible to find online. Download Blur_Todd_Levin.mp3 Luckily as part of the Young People's concert recordings of the program are held online for six weeks following the concert. This piece was written by Todd Levin, a young composer, and includes a breathtaking finish using metal sheets as part of the instrumentation. The kids literally were UNABLE to sit still during this rousing finish, which is even more powerful when you are in the front row a few inches from the musicians.
I loved EVERY piece they played in this concert, but both Andrew and I loved the eerie, unusual feeling found in listening to Banshee Download Cowell_Banshee_for_piano.mp3 . Cowell, the composer, was an early American composer who liked to stretch the definition of instrumentation to its limits and beyond. In this piece a pianist plays along with the orchestra, INSIDE the piano, making strokes, scratches and slides on the inner workings of the instrument. After the concert I was able to go up to the stage and ask the conductor (who played the piano part for that piece) about the musical scoring for such an odd instrumentation. She was very generous to show me the music and explain how to interpret the different sound requests. She also explained that she had put little sticker dots to label the keys inside, so she would be able to tell which notes to use.
November 16, 2007
I just have to say....I haven't even posted my finished project here and within 12 hours the kits are sold out. In one day! No words lads and lasses, no words!
After two months of serious nailbiting my kit is up and for sale at TallyScrapper.
1Creative Imaginations Recipe Box, with 6 tabbed dividers and index cards
1 pkg. of 7Gypsies Calais Rubbings
1 7Gypsies Amber Knob
1 pkg. Cosmo Cricket Flutterby Chipboard Alpha
1 pkg.of 10 7Gypsies clips
1 yard of Daisy Bucket textured ribbon
1 recipe from Minda's husband
1 thank you card from Minda
1 sheet of Creative Imaginations Baked with Love paper
1 sheet of Creative Imaginations Scalloped paper
1 sheet of What's Cooking from Flair Designs
1 sheet of Bake off from Flair Designs
1 sheet of Sienna from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Espresso from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Chinoiserie Baroque from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Gingerbread from Cosmo Cricket
And I have to switch to my other computer to show you what I've done with mine so far.
Run, don't walk to THIS SPOT to buy yours, because there are only 25 and they are going fast!
November 14, 2007
So last night I revealed that our Christmas tree has been put up. DANG early. Well even though Andrew was gone all day until 4pm, he came home wanting to do more Christmas decorating.
As soon as he walked in the door with his friend in tow, he asked to put up the Nativity Set. At this point I'm in full on surrender, so I said yes.
Here is the conversation that ensued: