About 12 years ago or so Rochester decided that people need to get out in the Winter. And by that they mean besides shoveling snow or waiting for the bus. A fun thing. And so they invented Social Ice.
I’ve been three times I think. The first time was a memorable trip-or not memorable depending on how I look at it. I was celebrating the end of grad school and it devolved into some serious tequila shots that are NEVER a good idea. Last year we were in the throes of a negative zero weather event so our time was short.
This year, however, was pretty nice. We actually went in the afternoon instead of in the dark and I enjoyed seeing all the sights without the crowds. And getting better pictures of the ice.
Welcome to Social Ice 2020
I will say I had a delicious (or two) spiked hot chocolate. Right there behind Homer. I also ran into these two—
In other news another baby was born, my friends Dom and Trish had a baby–
I’m not sure I posted this but we had a work party so took pics with work friends–
And lastly, in my quest to prepare for the DC trip, wedding, and all other things DC, I got a pedicure at the Rejuvenate Spa at Mayo. I can’t really afford it unless I get the 15% off coupon, which I had. Although I think I get 10% off as an employee….still. They say it’s more affordable because tipping is not allowed. I’m not so sure but they do a great job and the ambiance is something else.
Ok, next up–Whirlwind trip to DC, Seattle, and Santa Clara, Cali. I might have to blog from one of those sites just to keep up. Or maybe the next blogs will be a split. But got the dog lined out, house sitter for cats, shouldn’t snow while we are gone like it is today. I have the preliminary outfit choices picked out, but we can’t start packing until the day before because it upsets the dog–and I’ll have to rethink things several times before the final selections are made.
We were supposed to have a HUGE snow event last weekend. HUGE, the biggest and best snow event of the season. Bigger than any other snow event in any other time ever.
Yeah, not so much. I mean we had quite a bit of snow but the roads here didn’t get as bad as they said. I cancelled a hair appointment and worked for an out of town coworker but seriously, it was a disappointment with a capitol D.
I should know by now that when they cancel school before the snow even starts that it’s going to be a bust.
I will say it was blowing in NoDak and in Western MN and there were ground blizzards and Melanie and Blane had some exit problems but otherwise we dodged it.
It’s negative degrees out there though. Well, maybe single digits but with a little wind we can bring it right down to zero. That means treadmill running. Ugh. The worst.
And now it’s a few days later and it’s warm, well, relatively warm, and I can run outside. BUT–not today cause I’m lazy. Plus, if I go tomorrow, Saturday, I can run in the daylight. Day.Light. How novel.
We did a pantry clean out last week because 2020, the year of the purge. And the Metal Rat. But since we don’t have a Metal Rat we’ll stick with purging.
Sadly, or not depending on how you feel about it, our kitchen pantry was somehow loaded with booze.
I was just a tad bit surprised to see bottle after bottle coming out of the back of the pantry, like some sort of boozy clown car. Dave had a few secrets I guess. Purging this much liquor could possibly compromise our health so we put it down in the booze closet (yes, we have a dedicated closet for that) and will work on it later. I think the purging of the booze will have to be a whole other goal for 2020.
Otherwise, January goes right along. I have been doing the dry January. It’s been a bit of a challenge, especially through some of these football games (the Seahawks and Packer losses could have used a beer cushion for sure). It’s truly not that hard and I sure get a lot more done on the weekend. I’ll likely keep it going through Feb until at least the wedding and Stitches West. Woot woot. What a week that will be.
I feel like I should have subtitled this the booze episode. It would seem we spend much of our time in an alcoholic haze, which is not the case (they frown upon coming to work drunk for some reason). Although all those bottles in the pantry does give one pause.
This blog post has gone on over days and days and it’s time to be done. It’s Saturday and if it ever gets light I’m off to run. It’s 28 out there, feels like 17, and I’m ready to roll.
That’s right-2020 is here and it’s the year of the Rat. Not just any rat, the year of the Metal Rat. Like, when they thought up the Chinese Zodiac were there actual metal Rats? Do they adjust the theme as time goes on? I need to read up on this but I do know that officially the Metal Rat year doesn’t start till Jan 25th. There’s still time to research.
I do know that we had a great Christmas. I had posted Christmas morning and the day progressed in wonderful fashion. I’ll just post a little gallery of our day. Be sure to click on the pics to embiggen.
And Chat wished everyone the happiest of Holidays.
The stress of the holidays was obvious later in the evening when we ran into a situation…
Otherwise, we had a quiet day. Dave and I were not at all stressed and we just spent the day chillaxin’ by the fire. I had the following day off s0 it was pretty nice for me.
On Friday I finally made it back to work after my week off . I thought I should ease back into it by working one day and then instantly have a weekend. One day a week is doable and it was pretty quiet. So I did my catching up and came home early-well, early for me. My shift was 7-4 so it was painless, in a work sort of way.
I had planned a trip to the cities on Saturday with Cathy, but sadly, when I got up this happened:
So we cancelled that trip and instead I finished up my season project after two years and hung it up. It turned out pretty cute.
Following week I worked on Monday, a usual day off, as my employer doesn’t pay holidays. They like to say with wide eyes and a look of sincerity that we do get paid–if we take PTO. So, in order to NOT take PTO for New Years I worked on my regular day off, Monday.
I was completely off my game as far as being oriented to the day. No idea. Monday? Tuesday? Friday? Who knows? But I managed. I thought it would be quieter but once people came out of the Christmas stupor they woke up and called in. Which is ok cause that’s sort of my job. I just wasn’t braced for it quite yet.
Then it was New Years, and the start of dry January. Dry January isn’t a new thing, I do it every year. It’s sometimes a challenge considering Dave’s birthday is the 4th of Jan and that could require some alcohol. But mostly it’s January, cold and dark and a good time to get stuff done.
First up was a New Years AM run!
The weather was nice-but I thought it would be super cold so I dressed warm and I was pretty much too hot by the end. Lesson learned on that. I don’t need more than two layers and NO thick pants. I felt like I could barely run I had so many layers on my legs.
Dave retired on Friday, 01/03/2020. Gawd but I’m jealous. I wish it was me except I still need to make money so not quite yet. Justin and Katie came to stay for the weekend and on Saturday we made it up to the MOA where I bought new shoes (the reason I have to work) and Dave bought a suit for Cody and Maral’s upcoming nuptials.
I wasn’t sure they’d go with the dress but I think it will be ok.
Once we got home from the mall we watched some CRAZY wild card games (Bills and Texans? that was in-SANE). We celebrated with pizza and, of course, Daube’s most delicious cake ever!
And now we are back to where we started, January 2020.
I purged 6 bags of books, two large pieces of furniture, and two boxes of clothes. I rearranged my craft area and am working towards a couple of 2020 goals:
Cut all the scraps in the over flowing scrap bag into blocks
Finish the kit sewing/knitting projects this year
Knit from the damn stash***.
Read all the books!
***I had to order yarn for our Stitches class so #3 is a little bit blown but because it’s a class I’m not counting it as a blown goal…yet.
Happy Happy New Year everyone. Send me a message if you’re feeling it. I hope 2020 is the best yet.
It’s a Festivus Miracle that I am posting on Christmas but here I am. It’s early here, house is quiet except for Lacey who was up much of the night waiting for Santa. Or so that’s what I’m going with. Really she was just doing her usual thing.
But neither here nor there, it’s Christmas and my Christmas week has been a blast.
First I went up to No Dak last Friday to deliver Christmas Treats to Blane and Melanie and the pack of animals they live with.
The treats I brought for the dogs were eaten in one sitting when we left the house and Kloi got up on the table and took down a bag of bones, two bags of pill pockets, and a bag of joint vitamins. Between her and Tuko, they ate it all, including some of the bags AND a rando apple that happened to be loose. Sadly, much of that came back up later, but I won’t go into details only to say this is why God invented the rug shampooer.
The rest of the presents were saved by putting them in a safe room…..
The little dog, Koda, was very energetic. Very.
And our favorite kitten, Kitten, is still looming large
Kitten has been around the block a few times, let me tell you. Although, she seems to like me better now and didn’t run away when I came in the room. AND she purred when I petted her so whatever perceived slights she held against me are forgiven.
I got there Friday afternoon and Saturday AM Melanie and I took off to Grand Forks for a little sweaty workout and some Salvation Army Bell Ringing.
As I’ve mentioned on FB, I have a conflicted relationship with the Salvation Army, especially with their treatment of the LGBTQ community. Although, on the website they seem to be supportive so I am hoping they mean this when they say it:
“All people are deserving of Christ’s love, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
But I have seen that here in Grand Forks and in Rochester they do some great things to help the disadvantaged, so for that I support their local cause. We rang our bells and had a great time doing so. People were super generous and it was good to see them give what they had, even if it was just a few coins.
Later we watched some Saturday Football which is always a pleasure for me. I worked on my birthday socks which, as I told my sister Martha, if they weren’t birthday socks they would be in time out for the three major rip backs I have had to do on them. Some yarn doesn’t want to be what you want it to be, but I am forcing this yarn to do as I tell it.
One thing about Veseleyville, where Blane and Melanie live, is that it’s an enigma. Just try to google it. Nothing. The closest major city is Grafton, about 12 miles by car. There is a brief mention of a State Institute for the Feeble Minded in Grafton, which I feel I could live with. But that was back in 1910.
I do know that the people who founded Veseleyville were Bohemian and Morovian
Marty C. Byzewski writes this about the area “One interesting historical fact was most of the Veseleyville area Bohemian and Moravian families had originally settled in Spillville Iowa in the 1860’s but due to droughts and insect infestations most of them moved about 1880 to Walsh Co in covered wagons and resettled. Some of the early founding families were Votava, Dusek, Reyleck, Barta, Karnik, Burianek, Sedivy,Tupa, Lust, Kasal, Janousek, Houska, Kerian, Dvorak, Krile, Suda, Kubesh, Peterka, Chromy, Novak, Stroble and Ruzicka. ”
Say those names 10 times fast. We did walk the cemetery a couple summers ago and saw those names there. Now there are maybe 50 people living in the ville? It’s a little berg and very quiet.
It is also very beautiful in it’s own way–
Blane and I hit the country roads to take the dogs who could walk out for a walk.
Again, it’s a beautiful place in it’s own way. And so quiet.
It was very exhausting for some and naps were taken.
We settled in for some Sunday football. My picks were super for the first set of games, but then afternoon happened. Please don’t make me relive this…. Blane called it Deflate Gate. We were hopeful, then we weren’t hopeful. Then we were just sad.
Monday I was back home in Rochester, sad to be leaving but I had to get home so I could clean my closet out and take my own nap.
And now, today, it’s Christmas. After breakfast we will open these sweet presents and binge watch some Netflix and Amazon prime.
I did open one present already from Cody and Maral—
So, wishing everyone out there a very Happy Holiday and let’s hit 2020 like rock stars, shall we?
Well, it’s almost here-Christmas 2019. Yay for the Holidays.
We have decorated with the usual-our Balsam Hill Hallmark Christmas Tree, the 60+ year old Nativity (with some missing characters and some dog tooth marks in others) some empty candle sticks, and 9 or 10 Christmas Stockings belonging to family members living and past. Kinda weird but kinda ghosts of Christmas Pasts in odd sort of way.
And the weather is cooperating. It’s cold and there’s snow on the ground. I don’t mind the snow but the cold. Ugh. I mean real cold like 15 above to 10 below. I can’t run in that. Give me the 20’s, and especially the 30’s and now we are talking comfy running weather.
Last week was the Mayo Holiday Party for all staff which is my favorite event of the year. Why you ask….?
Because that’s why. Tables and tables of cookies, bars, and some fruit too. (hahaha, fruit….). I had it on my calendar for several weeks. I will admit I was almost a little bit ill after eating a plate or so of cookies, but that didn’t, nor will it ever stop me. Only 360 days until next year. I’m sure my blood sugar will have returned to normal by then.
There was also this event call Feast last weekend. It was an event with local vendors selling all sorts of foods, spices, nuts, jellies, syrups…you name it. Oh, did I mention coffee too? All of it with samples AND a beer and wine section.
All that shopping and tasting found us over at Little Thistle for some more tasting.
We are counting down the days till Christmas. Starting this Friday, 12/20, I am off for a week. Blissful. I leave Friday to go up to Grand Forks to deliver Christmas cheer to the good girls and boys up north. Or more precisely to see Blane and Melanie. Then I have three days at home, including Christmas, to just chillax and clean out my closet. I can’t wait.
My goal is to post one more holiday special post and then we’re off to 2020 like a pro.
Till then, we have decided to limit Puddy’s screen time. She’s a maniac on the candy crush and we think it might not be healthy.
Well, I was trying to add these notes to my title–
Because it’s much more classy but I can’t seem to add them-I can only add emoji’s. And those are the selections given to me. Sometimes blogging can be so frustrating.
Obviously, by now you’ve guessed that last weekend was my annual trip to Oklahoma to run the Route 66 1/2 Marathon. That trip did not disappoint.
But before that, after I returned from Savannah, Cathy celebrated a big birthday that ended with a zero. Yeppers. And I was on hand to celebrate with my favorite birthday treats-cake and beers!
We had a fun few hours, and we didn’t hurt ourselves at all like in Savannah.
My Douglas Trail training for the many half marathons I’ve run this fall is coming to an abrupt end as the snow starts to fall. I got in the last run the weekend before the race.
But the trail is so pretty. I’ll miss it over the winter. I’ll have to check and see if they clear it, but not sure if they do.
I left last Friday, 11/22, and headed due south to Machelle’s place. She’s moved to an apartment in Tahlequah which is cute as hell.
It is a long drive, but it’s pretty.
But I made it in good time, about 10 hours, maybe a little less, and Machelle and I picked up right where we left off.
After a good sleep and a relaxed breakfast we hit the road to the Expo, lunch, shopping, and the obligatory and now annual pre race pedi. Holy Mother of God, I got the best pedi I think I’ve ever had.
The Humane Society was at the Expo and I seriously could have brought home several of these–
I always search out the photo ops. This year they had a booth thing where you posed and then the picture got texted to you. The person working there wasn’t so good at centering us, but you get the idea.
And the pedi–OMG. We went back to the same place, Bebe’s in Tulsa, and when we looked at our pedi choices we saw the Route 66 Pedi and, well, obviously.
We got the full spa on our feet AND arms, hands, and hot stones on the upper back and neck massages. Well worth it.
Race Day dawned bright and clear and cold. The problem was what to wear. Decisions, decisions. The temp started at 35 but was going to climb fast so the trick is to start out warm but not overheat by the end. Yeah, running isn’t just moving your feet. It’s all sorts of technical planning and thinking and over thinking and all of it. Mostly it’s just a mind game.
I had several layers that I brought because for the past three times I’ve run this race it’s been cold-the ongoing theme is cold and windy. Last year it was in the 60’s the day before then the temp dropped like a rock and it was in the 30’s-40’s for the race and a nice drizzly rain. Imagine my surprise when the weather was mild, and NO wind at the start. I brought my disposable sweat shirt and didn’t need it.
And run we did. This course is hilly most of the way except for a very flat 3ish mile stretch around mile 7 1/2 to 10 1/2. Then you climb up a hill, run half way across a bridge and back, then up another bigger hill, then to the finish which is a twist and turn and an endless mile to go. I actually walked at mile 13. MILE 13! Seriously–the race is 13.1 miles. I’m sure I could run the .1 but I needed a break. I finished in 2:11. Not my best but not the worst either.
At the finish line I found another of my race buddies, Tiffini, who joined me in listening to the bands and having a well deserved beer, in addition to complaining about the hilliness of the course. Next year I carry another Gu, maybe to suck down at mile 9ish.
Anyway, I had to ask if they have bands every year, which I was assured they do, but I have never ever listened to them cause it’s always been way too damned cold and I am busy searching for shelter. Who knew?
Machelle found us sitting around dishing and drinking some beers. We soon found our way out and to my second favorite part of race day (after the beers after the finish)–IHOP. OMG, I love this place. I’m totally a cheap date. I have no idea why there is no IHOP in Rochester but if there was I’d totally be there.
We headed back home to chillax for the day. Happy to get a shower and just watch some football and grouse over how bad my picks were this week.
Monday AM, bright and early, well, more like dark and early, I left OK and headed back home. I really wanted to stay Monday and leave Tuesday but I had to work AND a huge storm came in Tuesday night. I might have missed it since it didn’t start snowing until about 6ish here, but it would have been tense for sure.
So Monday it was and it was a beautiful drive back.
The states welcomed me….
Besides bringing back some great memories I also brought back a head cold. Dang it. Although I am glad I didn’t have it when I was running cause that would have been brutal.
And here we are at Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays everyone!! Dave is working on replicating the first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims celebrated by adding Bailey’s to their coffee.
And today I am doing some Christmas shopping for my club purchases for the childrens, and deciding what dress to wear to Cody and Maral’s upcoming nuptuals
The struggle is real on this dress thing. Plus there’s also a blazer I want that has nothing to do with the dresses, it came with the trunk. Did I mention this all came in my Nordstrom Trunk? Sigh. I’ll think on it some more. Maral gave me the thumbs up on the dress though, after some talk about a metallic theme? I wasn’t clear on that part so I had to text to make sure. I’m open to suggestion but she thought this was ok. I hope I am coordinated but I do love the black dresses. LOVE. THEM. I told everyone my next purchase is extra tuff spanx.
The problem I’m having with these purchases is I will never wear them again. I have two fancy dresses in my closet now, both worn once. So, I’ll just think more about it and will decide in a day or so. I think I’ll keep the long and short lacy’s and return the pearl neckline. Ugh. That’s actually the most comfy of all. There’s also a little matter of money. Just a little.
First World Problems.
And that’s that. Heading into Christmas like a pro. I’m thinking I probably should consider Christmas cards at some point. Sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, Puddy is not at all ready for the holiday and is taking avoidance measures. Also, she’s over the line imbibing. She never could handle her cat nip.
Last week Cathy and I flew to Savannah GA to run in the Rock n Roll Savannah half marathon.
One of us made it.
While we were flying we got the news that Cathy’s mom was in a car accident. She wasn’t seriously hurt, but did need a few days in the hospital. Cathy felt she needed to go back, understandably, so we got there Thursday afternoon and she left early Friday AM.
We did have some over the top fun for a few hours Thursday.
Starting on the plane. We finally got on the Chicago flight and we went to order drinks and their internet was broken. They couldn’t swipe my credit card so hence, free doubles for all!
That calmed things down a bit.
I was worried about the weather in Savannah, especially for the race when I saw this the week before…..
It was actually in the upper 80’s when we arrived, and fairly humid. But the sun was low and it was a pleasant afternoon and evening.
We stayed at the Hotel Indigo, mere blocks from the start. Highly recommend, especially if you are running.
We hit the waterfront for lunch
So, on Thursday after lunch, we did the historic district. In old Savannah, you can carry your drinks from place to place-Vegas style. Not sure if that was good or bad…..
Yikes is all I can say.
There were other sights too–
We wandered from place to place and finally passed out got back to the hotel and to bed. It was a fun introduction to the city.
The next AM, after an ibuprofen or two, Cathy left, I had breakfast, and started to explore the city. I had to get to the Expo to get my packet for the race at noon, so I thought I’d try to find the yarn store before that. Because….local yarn.
While walking over there I saw all sorts of things. Old Savannah is a very cool place, and very walkable. I started by walking by the river.
I cut up the street into town and I found that throughout the city there are blocks that are green areas/parks scattered all about. It is so cool.
That was a pretty large square, but there were so many small ones all around the hood. I thought I took a bunch of pictures of them but apparently I didn’t.
Oh, and did I mention the temp dropped about 30 degrees overnight? It was low 60’s when I started my morning activities which was perfect for me but caused the locals to pull out the puffy coats. The weather casters were lamenting that it was so very cold. Two coats they had to don just to make it to work. Sigh.
The yarn store was supposed to open at 11 but was late to open. I stopped at Capitol Bee and got an ornament and some honey. Such a cute shop-but I’d already spent money at I don’t know where the night before so I decided to limit my purchases. Oh, and I also had a small carry on for luggage so there were serious space considerations.
The yarn store still didn’t open by 11:15 so I headed back to the waterfront and hopped a boat to cross the river to the convention center.
I found my name on the big board of names!
I got my packet, got a pair of running socks, and left the building. I wanted to get some swag but again, I spent my money on something (still trying to figure that out) the night before so I was really watching the pennies at that point. I hate to keep bringing that up but the struggle was real.
I got back to the boat and cruised the river to return to Savannah. It’s a free service. Hey-thanks Savannah.
It was after noon when I got back and I needed some sustenance. Stopped at a riverfront restaurant and got the scallop special. Lord it was good.
I dropped stuff off back at the room, and decided a museum or two would be just the thing.
I went to the Jepson Museum. They were having a By the Sea Theme and I saw a series of photographs from the Aleutians. I also watched a film of a woman washing a dead whale and a shipwrecked boat. It sounds weird but it was mesmerizing. The sound of the ocean and just her and the giant boat and whale. I watched that for quite a while.
There was a sculpture garden and some nice paintings. It’s not a huge place but it was a nice place. And the ticket got me into 3 or 4 other museums which I took advantage of the following day. But I get ahead of myself.
My fave thing of all was this giant life sized canvas whale. Holy Cow.
And other things I saw….
After that it was off the to American Prohibition Museum. I mean, come ON! It’s America’s only Prohibition Museum. And my Grandma was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union so I felt obligated.
This was such a fun museum and actually quite interesting. I sort of loved it.
It was late in the afternoon by the time I got done looking around so I got some really good sushi and vegged until bedtime. Cause Saturday was the big race!
Saturday dawned cloudy and “cool”. Like about 50 degrees. No wind. Perfect day. Locals were freezing.
Race start was 7:30 and since I was three blocks away I got to use my own bathroom right up till race time. Sa-weet.
The race went great. it was a little rough on the brick streets for a couple of miles but I felt good, weather was perfect, bands were energizing, and I finished pretty strong. I was so sorry that Cathy missed it because it was so fun. The fans were everywhere along the route.
I finished but because I was flying out at 3:45 I had to hurry back to the hotel to check out. I did get a beer and a picture though-
After about three sips of that beer I dumped it out and started the mile walk back to the hotel.
I got showered, cleaned up, checked out (I really really really wanted to chillax on my sweet bed but no time).
I decided to try to yarn store again and they were open. Frayed Knot didn’t disappoint and I somehow ended up with two skeins of local fiber.
After that I used my museum ticket to go to the Telfair Academy. It is in an old mansion from the old Savannah family, the Telfair Mansion.
Designed for Alexander Telfair, the Telfair mansion was constructed in 1819 on the site of the former colonial Government House, the official residence of Royal Governor James Wright. Alexander commissioned William Jay, a young English architect, to design his new home.
The place is lovely, and an interesting look at back in the day.
I do love big pictures.
The one place I’d love to get to and didn’t is the Bonaventure Cemetery. It looks beautiful and old cemeteries are sort of my jam, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts.
I had lunch at the sushi place and watched the world go by.
And then sadly it was time to go. I had hours of airport layovers to experience and I just couldn’t wait.
Except for Cathy having to leave early, it was a fun, but way too short, trip. Savannah didn’t disappoint. It was a good time of year to go I think because it wasn’t too crowded, even with 10,000 runners.
So, thanks for the hospitality Savannah, and maybe see ya again.
Some random sightings while in Savannah–be sure to click on all the pictures to view the gallery.