Monday, December 29, 2008


Howdy y'all!

I hope you all had a good holiday and are getting excited for New Year's Eve. In the last few years my enthusiasm for this holiday has waned, although this year we are invited to an early evening event. Last year I think R was sick.

We returned on Saturday from our trip to WI:

(The rest of the photos can be seen on the Flickr screen to the right)---->.

As for critters, I've got a few ideas for future posts. But for now, it's all about the squirrels. First, they destroyed my suet feeder. It started slowly. The squirrel broke the hanging part first, so I had to ghetto-rig the roof back on with a wire. Then the rodents stole the whole wire cage thing!


Needless to say, the suet cake was gone.

Upon returning to Minneapolis, the squirrels broke the "squirrel-proof" panel off of our bird feeder:


But I put it back on.

The squirrels also attempted to bite through our screen to get to one of R's frozen lasagna portions!

That is my critter report; pretty weak! Uh, we did see some wild turkeys on our road trip!

More soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Randy rando

Man, December has been a little slim on the posts. Might be the only slim thing about December, har har har! The semester finished up nicely last Wednesday, and this week and last I've been working a job involving text books, shelves, and my arms. I'll let you put those three together in your mind.

In order to quell my $5 Footlong guilt, tonight I took Stella on her first run with me! We went just over three miles. Currently she is sleeping on the floor next to the computer!

Here's Stella in her winter coat:

We found a cool Martingale collar from Canada:
It's purple with gold filigree, if you can't tell. I figured it would be appropriate for a both a princess-dog and a Viking fan (R).

Sick of cute dogs? Here are some alternatives:
A spider hanging out in our office.

A lasagna lovingly made by R:

R is the lasagna chef in our family, and made two different types last Saturday. The above photo is of the Cook's Illustrated "Lasagna Bolognese", for which he reduced one billion cups of whole milk and white wine into a delicate bechemel, food processed veggies into tiny particles, cooking them together with ground meats; then let the fillings cool, shredded a lot of parmesan and carefully assembled the lasagna.

The other kind of lasagna is R's specialty; purchased sauce, lots of shredded mushrooms, peppers and zucchini, crumbled Italian sausage, garlic and basil-infused ricotta, topped with plenty of mozzarella and some pepperoni.

Um, can you guess which one tasted better?! Yes, it was R's own version. It's always good to try new recipes, methinks. Especially if I just get to try the finished result!

Hopefully I'll post again before Christmas; that is if I survive a "brief" trip to the mall this weekend.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Ultimate Critter Report

Hello, All!

Happy December! Diciembre. Decembre. Dezember. Anyway.

Last weekend R and I adopted our very own Critter!
Introducing Stella!

Stella is a two and half year old Boxer/American Pitbull Terrier mix. Also she is a babykin.

Here, R gives her a lovie.

Our first night with her (pic courtesy of the adoption agency:)

More reports and more cuteness to follow!

Enjoy the snow,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankgiving and tree trimming.

Howdy all!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you, or the end of it, I guess.

Last weekend I traveled to WI, where I bonded with Dom Nem (did you take any pictures, G?!) and my sisters and cousins. Sisters:
buster 016.JPG
(K and L might be a bit windburned due to sitting in trees all day, deer hunting.)

And cousins, aka Big W and Miss Lippy:
buster 015.JPG

It was fun to hang out as a group!

For Thanksgiving we headed down to R's ancestral homeland. I managed to amuse Baby B for a few minutes with this book.

On Saturday R and I went to Menards to get our Christmas tree; possibly more cheaply than in my small hometown. We bought an eight foot tree for $26.

R does not appreciate the unicorn ornament collection of my youth and arranged these two to look like they were mating!

Weirdly, I came up with a crafty tree trimming idea. R and I have "competed" in many races over the years; Twin City 10 miles, Grandma's Half Marathon, etc, and we often receive medals for completing the race. I figured, why not turn them into Christmas ornaments?!

You can either cut the ribbons and tie the ends together, as I did with my triathlon medal:

Or get fancy like R did and hot glue the ends together decoratively:


To me this seems like a great way to display these medals; they're a part of our personal history, and otherwise they were sitting in drawers or hanging on a rack in a closet somewhere.

I have about eight days of teaching left in the semester! Crazy.

Hugs and snow-critters,

Friday, November 21, 2008

In brief.

Hello, everyone!

As I prepare to drive to The Motherland, I present this picture, sent in an email from my friend PV:

Quite a delicate maneuver!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Mexican Axolotl

Greetings, All!

R recently sent me an email regarding a Central American amphibian which was completely unknown to me; the Axolotl.


Have you heard of them?!

Apparently axolotls are closely related to our own Tiger Salamander:


But unlike its northern cousin, Axolotls remain all of their lives in a larval state, which is known as neoteny. These salamanders are bred in captivity to further study on the neoteny phenomenon, as well as for the fact that they can REGENERATE ENTIRE LIMBS! Cool.

Unfortunately, Axolotls are suffering in their natural habitat: the lakes and canals within Mexico City. Pollution, water drainage and introduction of alien species, particularly Tilapia, are decimating the Axolotl population. Mur.

Seeing the following photo, I'm tempted to keep an Axolotl aquarium!

I also want to go to Mexico City to see the canals.

Crazy salamander,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Further Squirrel Mysteries

Hello, all!

Today marks the first real snow in Minneapolis!

Upon buying our house, we discovered the previous owner had left a bird feeder behind. When I suggested to R that we fill it with birdseed, he expressed fear that squirrels would overtake our yard and infiltrate the attic, or something. I reminded him that our yard is surrounded by oak trees and that his point might have been moot.

After hanging the bird feeder on our single clothesline pole, I wondered if the metal post made it a squirrel-proof feeder. But the birdseed is almost gone after I filled it less than a week ago, and also:




Quite a healthy beast, no? I wonder if he stole my mini-pumpkins. Well, maybe the wildlife needed them more than I did.

I'm excited to see how they jump up on the bird feeder; if the corroded pole is rough enough to climb, or if they leap from the nearby bush or tree.

Finally, we have the opportunity to get a free pit bull puppy in the next few weeks. My Mom is horrified by the idea. Any reader input?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Moving miscellany

Howdy, y'all! Homeowner Wendell here. The last two weeks have been really amazing. Here's a photo montage of the events.

Moving Day:
Pizza for the helpers!




But because of R's traditional Halloween/Birthday party, we cleaned up and prepared to rokk with our friends!

The birthday boy and I! We were not really that creative on the costume front, however.


(CN dressed up as a Clinique Counter lady! Clearly PG is interested in some new makeup!)

Gratuitous munchkin shot:
(Baby B in a dinosaur costume!)

Last weekend my Mom and sis AG came to visit!

But it wasn't all fun and games! Other than going out to dinner, shopping and putzing around, I also put them to work:
We planted a bunch of daffodils, four irises and some allium thingys. Most of the bulbs were sold out.

Note the mini-pumpkins; AG noticed a squirrel running off with one! We intercepted the beast and recovered the fruit. But by Monday all three of the pumpkins had been stolen!


We went to R's ancestral homeland where I purchased an Arts and Crafts plant stand at an antique store, only $28:
DSCN4138.JPG Note the quarter sawn oak.
It is about knee high, perfect for our living room.

The to-do list includes:
Put away 1001 pairs of shoes
Buy a piano
Put away books...but where is the best place for the book shelves?
Clean and display china
Get a futon
Want different coffee table, couch and rug
Hang up artwork
Find permanent spots for plants
Clean everything

More critteration to follow,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Giant Bumblebee Spotted in Twin Cities!


Oh, wait, it's our nephew, Baby B! Baby Bee, I mean!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Hey dudes,

As of yesterday, R and I are officially homeowners!

The rear of the home:
rear of home.JPG

I haven't moved in four years. While it is so exciting to move forward and make changes, it's hard to say goodbye too. Perhaps the hardest thing is just changing the daily routine. Only when everything is in destruction mode do you realize how much you cling to the daily cup of coffee while sitting in the same chair, coming home from work and plopping down on the (disgusting) couch (which I was hoping to abandon at the curb....I guess we will be moving it!)

The random items tucked into closets can bring back a lot of memories as well. I found my old cordless phone from high school and college, and I felt sad to plop it in the Goodwill pile. The act of moving puts into focus how you've changed; it's sort of a twilight time where all of your past relocations come together, outlining your story.

(We got a lot of boxes from the liquor store!)



Hopefully I can post photos of our house next week!

P.S. There is a friendly neighbor cat who came over to our new crib last night and willingly submitted to my lovies. Nice.