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,