Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Four months and counting

Last week marked the end of my fourth month of waiting for my referral. I was going to blog about it that day but somehow I just couldn't come up with any words. Because what do you say? I'm hopeful, anxious, excited, bored, angry, tired, hopeful, all of the above? Honestly if I think about it too much I'll go crazy. It will happen. Someday it will happen. Not knowing when? That's the hard part. In the meantime I go about my day. Work, home, work, home. Walking the dog, chatting with neighbors, watering the plants. Summer is good in Minnesota and I'm enjoying it.

I started another crochet project, this time a dinosaur. I'll post a picture when I'm done. I'm looking for a policeman bear pattern to match the fireman bear I made for baby Max. Might have to make one up. Still have to figure out how to knit Christmas stockings to match the family stockings. Not being an advanced knitter, I'll probably have to get someone to make me a pattern. At least there's a few months before Christmas!

On a much more depressing note, I find out today that I failed my judging exam. Again. Fourth time was not the charm. Humiliating. I know I'm a good judge. I know I can do it. I've practiced at meets and watched videos and I do just fine. Stupid test. Always the same thing. Balance Beam. My favorite event even. How many expletives can I have in a day before the swear jar overflows? Today I might find out. At least, knowing that the season doesn't really start until January, I won't feel too bad about quitting because I was planning on cutting back after we get home from Ethiopia anyway. There's always time to go back to it. I know gymnastics will never be out of my system. Who knows, maybe my daughter will take a liking to it too?

I'm excited that my cousin Lexi will be here in a week or so to start her grand adventure of going to college in Minneapolis. She'll drive across the country with her dad all the way from southern California. I hope we'll have a few good months of fall so she'll fall in love with it here before the winter hits. :-) Any tips on where to find good roommates for new college students in Minneapolis would be greatly appreciated!

On to month five...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - 7/25/10

Last night the Minneapolis Aquatennial wrapped up with the fireworks display over the Mississippi. I loaded up the blanket, camera, tripod and my fancy new remote shutter clicker thing and headed out. I thought that getting there around 8pm would secure a seat where I could also see the river but I was way wrong sadly mistaken. At least I found a spot with a mostly crappy pretty good view as long as you ignore the street lamp I saw too late to find a new spot. Seems to happen every year! The wind was blowing just enough to rain all of the firework soot down on everyone and I missed a good portion of the middle trying to get some out of my eye. Luckily I still had my remote so I kept clicking. Most of the images came out cloudy with lack of wind but the earlier ones look better. I need to explore more options for my camera than the generic 'fireworks' setting. Thought they would turn out better. There's always next time!

I like this one not for the fireworks but for the glow stick vendor streaming across the bottom. Interesting that you don't even see the guy, just the glow sticks.

Check out the other snapshots over at Ni Hao Y'all...

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Top of the tower!

Taking a break from the NAWGJ National Symposium and checking out the Sky Deck. Wow, it's tall! And crowded. We see a long way though. Next stop Michigan Avenue...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

EKC Summer Mehaber!

I took in the Mehaber today, a fun event put on by the Ethiopian Kids Community. It's the 5th annual, but my first time attending. I couldn't help but run through a whole mess of emotions in the course of a few hours...

Excited - that I too will someday be a full fledged member of this community.
Hungry - wow did that Ethiopian food smell amazing! The corn dog, not so much.
Sad - that so many children have had to leave their homes and country for such a different life here in America.
Happy - that this community exists to ease that transition and keep the culture and connections to Ethiopia alive.
Disappointed - in my incredible lameness and inability to engage in conversation the few people I knew I recognized from the blog world.
Hopeful - that next year, with child, I will find it easier to connect with people.

I only got two pictures (sorry for the poor quality)
The fashion show...
The music of B├ęsu...
And now, I am off to the Basilica Block Party to catch some more music and maybe another corn dog!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - 7/4/10

Happy 4th of July! I'll be catching some fireworks later today. Because you have to have fireworks on Independence day, right? Last night I celebrated the long weekend with a great homemade dinner. Pizza on the grill! Even made my own dough. It was easy and now I have four more crusts in the freezer waiting to be thawed and grilled. This time the ingredients were prosciutto, artichoke hearts, basil pesto and Parrano Uniekaas Dutch cheese. So tasty! The cheese is a blend of Gouda and Parmesan flavors and went very well with the rest of the flavors.

Even in the 95 degree heat, it was worth the time over the grill. Not very pretty but - yum!

Check out the other snapshots over at Ni Hao Y'all...

Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Volunteer Project

Every year the local rose club I belong to hosts a rose show. Usually it is attended by the rose clubs in the area (bet you didn't know there was more than one!). This year we hosted the district show and convention. People came from all over Minnesota and Wisconsin to attend seminars, party with other rosey people and exhibit their roses.

Since my rose garden has become a shade garden, I don't exhibit in the show any more. Thankfully they've started a photography section. Now I can show roses from other people's gardens! This year I volunteered to help with this part of the show. It involved helping with the judging - special thanks to my good friend Ken who took time out of his weekend to share his photography expertise. It also involved figuring out how to display all 48 entries. Involved, indeed!

The project took on a life of it's own. Given that I'd never done anything like this before, I was a bit out of my element. However, I feel like I'm fairly resourceful and know my way around a Home Depot (thanks to those years in art school and the subsequent years owning a 1950s home).

So after 5 trips to Home Depot, 3 trips to Michaels, a little help from Dad and his table saw I figured it out. I started with...

2 - 4' x 8' plastic lattice sheets
8 - 8' 1" x 2" boards
3 - cans of white spray paint (never buy the cheap stuff, I'm just sayin)
6 - sets of hinges
1 - box of screws
1 - box of nails
And came up with this!
The next test was to see how to stick the matted photographs on the boards. It needed to be removable and yet sticky at the same time. This involved all the trips to Michaels. I tried...
3 - different kinds of tacky glue strips
1 - individual glue dots
2 - rolls of double stick tape

In the end, I went with one of the tacky glue strips (Elmer's I believe) which worked quite well in my basement. Unfortunately, the set up was in the lobby of the pool. Extra humid. Ugh. Photos were popping off everywhere. Luckily for me there was a bar nearby Elena was nice enough to go to WalMart and pick up some super strong double stick tape. Which sort of worked. Mostly. The finished product...
All in all, it took me about 10 hours and cost $100. Thankfully, someone else in the club was nice enough to store them until next year's show. At which time, we'll figure out some other way to attach the photos. I received many compliments on the displays, which made it all worth it, no matter how much I complained as I hand sawed through each square of lattice...