Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice

Hey there everybody.

December 21st is my absolute favorite day of the year. Why you ask? Why does Newt go out and dance around a bonfire and worship mother nature?

Cause from then on out the days get longer. The sun shines just a little bit longer and hope springs eternal.

In honor of it being lazy winter days. And even more importantly, in honor of the ASPCA and all the wonderful things it does I have decided to start another walk-a-thon. Yep, that's right.

Allow me to introduce to you "Paws of Promise"

Much like with MS and Feets of Fancy this summer I will walk and walk and walk all season long.

I realize that the purse strings are tight for everyone so if you can't donate money contact your local shelter and see what supplies they need. Even old blankets and towels are helpful donations for a shelter. Or pick up a few things for dogs/cats at the dollar spot at Target. Leashes and collars and toys are always needed. They also need volunteers. I don't know of a shelter that doesn't need folks to come over and walk a few dogs.

But if you can donate, now through the end of the year there is a challenge grant and every dollar donated gets doubled. How cool is that????

I will update weekly on progress. I will not be tracking donations as I just put a direct link to the ASPCA on the site so that they can get credit for the challenge grant.

If you want to comment and leave what you did that would be awesome. I'll post the list on the blog page. My goal is to have things like: Donated cash, donated time, donated collars, donated blankets on the sidebar.

Thanks everyone! Happy Winter Solstice. Spring is just around the corner!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Best of 2008 - oops I totally forgot

I totally forgot this when I did my 2008 best of.

Best Album in 2008

It's a tie, I can't pick between them:

One Republic

From Newt's Muse

Mat Kearney
From Newt's Muse

Not much else for a Monday. I am working from home today. Today's windchill is minus 30. Yes, that's right! MINUS 30. The actual air temp might get up to 0 today. Oh happy joy joy.

Over the weekend I baked sugar cookies. When I was a kid my mom made batches every year for the neighbors as a holiday gift.

We only got to eat the burned or broken ones.

I made a few cookie sheets worth that were nice and golden brown. They didn't taste right so I burned the next batch. Ahhh, that's more like it.

Hubster came in to the kitchen "Uh, forgot to set the timer hon?"

I replied with "Nope, just used to them that way"

he didn't get it.

Anyone else only get to eat the burned and broken cookies?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No swearing and no one died.................

So, along with a relationship/marriage comes the art of dealing with difficult situations. If any of you are like hubster and I we tend to get a little cranky at each other while trying to complete big projects, heavy lifting, etc.

Problem solving tends to be done with a little snapping and snarling.

I was amazed at how well we managed to deal with getting the couch into the living room.

First we had to take the topper off the truck. This thing is heavy. Too heavy. And it gets heavier the older we get.

It's probably upwards of 18o pounds. And big and awkward to try to maneuver. And even though we have a pretty good system to remove it from the truck I still managed to hurt myself. I still don't know how I did it but the topper started to tilt and I think it took part of the palm of my hand with it while the rest of my hand remained upright. Basically my thumb and wrist went completely numb. Which made it interesting to try to get the thing down on the ground. Somehow though we managed.

We ran a few errands including stopping at Trader Joes for some fresh bread and wine. Their 3 buck chuck now is available in White Zin. Pretty good too. Most excellent with cheese and crackers.

Ok, so we got the couch without a hitch. A nice gentleman helped us load it in the truck.

We pull up to the curb, the hubster had already removed the door stopper/slider thingy from the screen. We bunjee'd the storm door open and we were set to move the couch. Damn, it looked awfully big for our tiny doorway. And it was wrapped in all sorts of protective stuff. Wrapped so well you really couldn't hold on to anything. So we basically carried the couch by the plastic. Wad some up in our fists and lug it to the door.

Which of course it wouldn't fit through. Ok, back up a bit and take off the couch legs. No problem. Then we get it 2/3 of the way in but it got wedged because of all the cardboard protection on the one side (this end up). No biggie, hubster goes out the back door and comes around the front. I go around to the back door and appear inside the front door. Push, shove, push, shove, angle, tilt, push, shove and whoosh, the couch is in the living room. Hurray!

We remove all the packaging, put the legs back on and there you have it, a nice couch. Lay the blankets on it. I sit down and up comes Sophie, Lily and Caleb. Yes, Caleb had his little front paws on my knee and he wanted pets. (that is the true reason we got a couch - Caleb is braver on a couch).

Ok, so we take all the packaging material and bring it out to the garage for Tuesday's garbage. Then, sigh.........we have to put the topper back on.

My hand has recovered somewhat. I now have minimal feeling back in my whole hand. But there is a nice dark bruised area.

Getting the topper on is actually easier than getting it off. I was able to keep the majority of my share of the weight on my good hand. When the hubster needed me to lift higher I ended up having to use my shoulder because my hand just couldn't do it. But, we got it up and on.

A few advils and some ice and all was mended shortly there after.

Today it hurts like the dickens but I can make a fist and there is strength back in my hand.

So no biggie. And we never once swore or yelled at one another.

After this last incident though hubster has decided he is going to put up a pully system in the garage so we can raise and lower the topper easier. Without so much reliance on our own strength.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Best of 2008

The best of 2008 according to Newt:

Best Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Best Movie: P.S. I Love You

Best WWC Photos:
Or should I say My favorites:
I couldn't pick just one.
From Newt's Muse

From Newt's Muse

From WWC Dirty and Peek-a-boo

From WWC Dirty and Peek-a-boo

Best new thing in my life for 2008:

From Newt's Place

From Newt's Place

Though I should say that having my job still at the end of 2008 is pretty incredible as well given the current economy.

Most exciting thing to happen to me in 2008:


Best new food discovery for 2008:

Trader Joes frozen dinner: Gnocchi with Gorgonzola cheese

Best TV show in 2008: Primeval

From Newt's Muse

Favorite shoes for 2008:

From Newt's Muse

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The older I get

The older I get:

The less patient I have become with the younger generations.
The less time I can take to wait to pee
The more set I have become on what I like and dislike
The more willing I am to try new things
I watch less television
The more I read
The more I cherish time with family
The more I cherish the peace and quiet in just petting my dog
The more I look forward to retirement
The fact that I am even thinking about retirement
The more I wish I had invested in my 401k's at a younger age
The more seriously I would have taken school
The more I am thankful for how my parents raised me
The more my parents become my friend
The more my parents friends become people I want to spend time with
The younger 20 somethings start to look
The more I appreciate a nice glass of wine
The more important comfort becomes when picking clothing
The less I worry about what other people think
The less time I spend worrying about how clean my house is
The more time I spend just being with the hubster
The louder the music seems
The dumber the young people of this world seem to be
Or is that just more innocent?
Or inexperienced?
The more I look for timelessness vs. trendy
The more I appreciate the arts

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

WWC stuff, and one of my weirdest dreams yet

sending out Christmas cards
or young at heart


Reason to love living in Minnesota #5: Life here is like living in our own little snow globe.

I can't take credit for that one. One of the hosts on NPR said that last night and I loved it.

Naughty Monkey of the day:

Newt on Entertainment:

We finally got to see Iron Man - not bad. I enjoyed it. But I think my expectations were too high. Downey did a great job. I love his screen presence.

We also are about half way through Hellboy 2. We LOVED the first one. We have it on DVD and we watch it somewhat regularly. But 2 so far is a big disappointment. It's as if the actors were so uninspired by this film that they just went through the motions and didn't care. Maybe the second half is better???

Random Newt:

Last night I had a dream that I was at a work event. It was a dinner and concert and other things. Anywhoodle, one of my co-workers, who looked like a cross between Keith Richards and Steven Tyler had really cool tattoos and was a ghost (go figure on that little addition). And he could change the tattoos at will. (I guess it pays to be a ghost). I kept naming off things and he would change his tattoos to match. I told him Hello Kitty and he changed his tattoos to be a giant claw with scratches all down his chest. I guess he went "Bad Ass" Hello Kitty. He also did this naked.

So, anyone want to analyze THAT one? Cause I woke up thinking I might need some couch time with a shrink.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Butts in seats

Hubster and I went to Hom furniture on Sunday. This summer we took our three legged couch (the fourth leg was 2 2x4's) up to the cabin. So since June we have only had two chairs and a rocker in the living room. Which has been fine since we are anti-social and don't ever have company. However we discovered that a couch is more than just butt in seat space. You can snuggle on a couch, lie down on a couch, stretch out on a couch. So we have been thinking about getting a couch but it wasn't something we felt a big need for. This morning the hubster found himself sitting on the floor reading his paper because the kids were all sleeping in puppy/kitty piles on the chairs. Ok, so we could have told them to get down but they looked so cute and were sleeping so nicely.

Thus while we were out running a few errands we decided to check out couches. Couches on sale plus an additional 10% off. Well, why not? So the hubster and I started looking at leather. Then we went on to fabric. We decided to stick with leather since the animal hair will stick to fabric like glue. We put our butts in a lot of seats. It was fun trying to figure out what mattered to both of us. This was a first for us. We had never couch/chair shopped together before.

We learned a ton of things about leather couches from Joe the fantastic salesman. Seriously, if you are local, go see Joe at Hom Furniture in Woodbury. He's the bomb. (Email me if you want his last name) We had a pleasant experience and he was very helpful. We were just about decided on a couch when he came over and told us that he didn't think the couch was the best choice for us because the type of leather it was. It was a fantastic nubuck leather, gorgeous color, soft, warm, and totally comfortable. But, he said with animals we would honestly not be happy with how the couch would look in a few months. Nubuck leather apparently turns darker when it gets wet and the dark never goes away. And since dogs like to lick, which ours do, we would probably have dark spots really quickly.

Ok, one down, 4 left. Two were recliners and two were regular. The difference in price would be an additional 400 or 700 bucks if we went recliner.

So, since we were getting serious about this couch thing I had to get serious about picking one out. So off went the boots. And a sock footed Newt went PLOP. I always curl up on a couch while the hubster likes to sit with his feet on the floor. Couch 1: Not very good curl up comfort. Couch 2: Perfect. Hubster thought it was adorable that I was now running around the store in my socks trying out couches.

We are now down to 3. So, sitting on couch 2 we discussed the pros and cons of getting a recliner. Pro: Comfort comfort comfort. Con: Comfort (we'd never go back to work), distance we would have to put it from the window/curtains thus taking away already limited living room space, cats could crawl under couch and get stuck. Another point we thought about was at 4-7oo bucks difference we could actually buy a couple single recliners. Especially since Hom does a lot of Buy 1 get one free recliner chair sales. So, sitting quietly on the comfortable couch we decided quite logically and agreeably to go for Couch 2.

So, let me introduce you to our new couch:

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Also known as Movies on Cable that you watch no matter how many times you have seen them, where you are in the movie when you flip to it, whether or not you have it on DVD.

12 Monkeys
While You Were Sleeping
Italian Job
Breakfast at Tiffany's
North by Northwest
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
13th Warrior
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Notting Hill
Men in Black
V for Vendetta
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Rear Window
Young Frankenstein
Princess Bride

And many more I can't think of

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

WWC and Stuff

Thanks Honey for the cool shoes!
Ok, this is probably not in the "spirit" of the intended words for WWC but you have to admit they are some sexy shoes :-)

There is an abundance of love and cuteness in my house and I give THANKS for that every day.
(Ha! See, I can redeem my selfish "thanks")

Speaking of an abundance of Love in my house. My hubster sent me an email the other night.
It had a link to a video and lyrics to a song. We've been married 9 1/2 years and he still manages to take my breath away.
There's something that I can't quite explain
I'm so in love with you
You'll never take that away
And if I've said it a hundred times before
Expect a thousand more
You'll never take that away
So expect me to be
Calling you to see
If you're okay when I'm not around
Asking if you love me
I love the way you make it sound
Calling you to see
Do I try too hard to make you smile?
To make a smile
I will keep calling you to see
If you're sleeping, are you dreaming
If you're dreaming, are you dreaming of me
I can't believe you actually picked me
I thought that the world had lost it's sway(It's so hard sometimes)
Then I fell in love with you(Then came you)
And you took that away
It's not so difficult
The world is not so difficult
You take away the old
Show me the new
And I feel like I can fly when I stand next to you
So while I'm on this phone
A hundred miles from home
I'll take the words you gave me and send them back to you
I only want to see
If you're okay when I'm not around
Asking if you love me
I love the way you make it sound
Calling you to see
Do I try too hard to make you smile?
To make a smile

Monday, December 01, 2008

Turkey Coma and Humble adventuring

Ok, so a turkey coma is no big surprise after Thanksgiving.

My darling and wonderful sister-in-law made a chocolate pecan pie.

Need I tell you I died and went to heaven after the first bite?

We braved the crowds on Friday to go to Target to get an X-box. And then we went to several other stores. We bought a case of assorted wines from Trader Joes, I got some sexy shoes at DSW. We bought some tools at Northern Equipment. And we got some munchies at World Market. All in all a fun and selfish day together.

We spent the rest of the weekend swearing and yelling and wondering how a game designed for kids was completely defeating us.

It's a very humbling experience.

But Lego Indiana Jones is a fun game.

We also got the Kung Fu panda game - the name is escaping me. That game is also super fun. However it made me sick. Too much camera motion leads to vertigo.

Oh well. I'll play it in very short bursts.

We have a very good friend coming to stay with us tonight.

So we did clean up the house a bit.

Good excuse to pause the game when we were getting too frustrated.

I also braved Mall of America on Saturday night to get Hubster a light from Sears that he liked.
And to use my free undies coupon at Victoria Secret. Black cotton boy shorts.

Don't let anyone tell you the economy is suffering THAT badly. Holy crap. There were more shoppers at MOA than there was space to walk.

And MOA didn't have the door busting sales that the big box retailers had.

The line at Old Navy was probably 50 people deep.

Initial reports say that retail sales were better than last year.

No shit.

We could have told them that at 6:15 Friday morning.

Considering one guy said his brother works for Best Buy and they had hundreds of people camped out on Thursday afternoon in front of the store.

Who does that?


Anywhoodle, it was a great long weekend. We had fun together. The puppies were besides themselves with glee having us home so long.

And they thought the snow we had on Sunday morning was AWESOME!

Only about a quarter of an inch but hey, they were happy pups.