Friday, October 31, 2008

Back in A-town

Got in to Aberdeen tonight about 6:30. We just had some delicious Louisiana cuisine - jambalaya and gumbo, courtesy of the LA hunters. Delish!

Not much else - showing mom my facebook page (she is so proud of not having bad stuff on it).

I will be going to Marne's house tomorrow! I can't wait to see her - it's been too long. As always, it seems.
UPDATED: THANK YOU MARNDOG! It was great to finally see your place and I loved catching up! Please come to MN asap to visit!! I am ready to shop!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Being fruitful

Jeff is back at harvest (again). I am hoping this time he can stay for many weeks and just get it done!!

I am planning to go and visit this weekend. I know there are several things that mom wants me to go through (storage tubs in closets), so that will probably be pretty fun.

Also, there most likely will still be pheasant hunters around, so we will get to hang out and have some great food!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UPDATED: good / bad news

We found out all the names of the people who would be above us at the new company. Yes, I kept score, and no, I am not sharing. We'll just say that a lot of MN people must not have wanted to move.

Also - BREAKING NEWS from the AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Delta and Northwest airlines won antitrust approval on Wednesday, with the Justice Department saying the creation of what will be the world's largest airline will help consumers without hurting competition.

The approval means the only thing standing between the two airlines and the deal closing is a trial in San Francisco next week in a lawsuit brought by 28 travelers. Northwest CEO Doug Steenland has said he does not believe the lawsuit will stop the deal, which the carriers have said they hope to close by the end of this year.

Federal regulators wrote in a statement that "the proposed merger between Delta and Northwest is likely to produce substantial and credible efficiencies that will benefit U.S. consumers and is not likely to substantially lessen competition."

It noted that they already compete with other carriers on most of the routes where they currently compete with each other. The Justice Department also said consumers should benefit from savings on expenses for airport operations, technology, and suppliers. The companies have said they can cut $2 billion a year in expenses once they combine.

When Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. announced their deal in April, it was widely thought that they were looking to get approval before a new President took office.

Uh-oh...good / bad news?

HMMMMM....all hands meeting notice sent out this morning for a 10:30 am meeting....

ARGH! The suspense is killing me! (I will share the results upon my return. Unless of course it is confidential. Then I will tell Jeff and he will spread the word. JUST KIDDING.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Death of Romance & German

Luckily, after 3 years, 11 months and 30 days, I still feel like we have a little romance...especially when we have a weekend like last weekend - Date Night on Friday at El Loro (complete with margarita), Haunted Farm on Saturday, and a cozy day at home on Sunday, lighting candles and making a roast with potatoes for my hunny.

The Brits must not have it so good. From the UK...

The honeymoon period is officially over two years, six months and 25 days into wedlock, according to new research.

This is the point in the average marriage where both partners take each other, and their relationship, completely for granted. After the second wedding anniversary couples are far more likely to scatter socks and pants around the house, leave the toilet seat up, hog the remote control and go without make-up. And by the third wedding anniversary 83 per cent say they couldn't be bothered to continue celebrating the day they got together.

The poll of 5,000 married couples, conducted by global research company, revealed that more than half feel undervalued in their relationship.

Seven in 10 men admit they are so comfortable with their spouse they frequently leave socks, pants and other dirty washing lying around the house. And 79 per cent think nothing of leaving the toilet seat up after using the bathroom. Two-thirds of women polled say they never make the effort to dress up and look nice for their partner, and 54 per cent no longer bother plastering on the make-up.

In fact, a slovenly 61 per cent of women readily admit the first thing they do when they get home from work is remove all smart clothes and make-up for comfy pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms. And 75 per cent of couples wouldn't relinquish control of the TV remote, even if their partner asked nicely.

John Sewell, spokesman for said: 'We polled couples who have been married for more than 10 years to see how they view their current relationship. It would appear that many are stuck in a rut, and whilst they still love their other half they're a little too comfortable in each other's company.'

During the first few months of marriage, 83 per cent of couples regularly held hands when out, compared to just 38 per cent today. Partners would cuddle more than eight times a day before the first wedding anniversary - compared to five or less now. And in the early days, husband and wife would have been more likely to refer to each other as 'babe' or 'darling' when having a conversation - rather than by their real name which is used most often today.

Forty three per cent of couples haven't had breakfast in bed together since they walked down the aisle. And an unfortunate 60 per cent of folk say they haven't been surprised with a romantic night out since they got wed. A staggering 70 per cent of folk claim little considerations such as flowers, a cup or tea in bed or opening the car door are long gone after the second anniversary.

But despite not giving their relationship a second thought today, a whopping 61 per cent of folk admit they fondly remember the exact date they first laid eyes on their partner.

Mr Sewell continued: 'This poll isn't all negative - despite revealing their bad habits, respondents do still remember the good old times when romance was high on the agenda in their relationship.
'Couples who have been together for a long time need to find a good balance between feeling comfortable, and taking each other for granted.

'The odd romantic meal would probably be all many couples need to spice things up a bit - and small gestures such as tidying up, and helping out with the housework and relinquishing control of the TV remote would go a long way.'

BTW, Did I tell you guys I was in a German class through work? About all I can do so far is pronounce simple words better and a few conversational travel phrases. Better than nothing I suppose.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How could you not love that face?

Bella would like to say HELLO to everyone!!

Beware - cute photos!

Here are some Joyful photos on this Halloween week!

Nick's costume will be......Spiderman!

No word yet on Ben's costume.

One of them, one of us 2

The New York Times published an amazingly provocative article by Michael Pollen (author of In Defense of Food).

What an incredibly thought-provoking take on the status of American farming and food policy. Take a minute, and READ IT.

~ Settle in with a water bottle, though - it's a long one.

An Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief

Friday, October 24, 2008

One of them, one of us

Today is a 2-post day (Hence the name of the post: one funny, one serious). First, Jeff is back (yea). And apparently feels very good today - losing weight, strong from harvest, new clothes, and neck adjustment from the chiro make Jeffy very happy!!! Or so he called to tell me :)

Funny story (not between my OWN mother and myself, but someone else...) from "Postcards from Yo Momma" (I am totally buying this for my mom when the book comes out):

Mom: hey chickie
Mom: made meatballs.what more can a poor working girl want than her mama’s company
Me: did you just call me a prostitute?
Mom: no, those are skanky working girls, with a tramp stamp you have a stamp, but not in the trampy spot
Me: oh man alive.
Mom: but don’t want to see you and j cupcaking
Me: what does that even mean?
Mom: and i am your peep you should check your vitals and dont talk smack about kathy fo shizzle obvi you are the bomb and ridonkulous beyond sick for shizzle tight and wack to boot a total nutter, and snogging your boo with a totes badonkadong. I been reading the aarp magazine. how many of those do you know?
Me: like- the old people magazine?
Mom: obvi tramp stamp
Me: You are scary.
Mom: bet i made your day huh we aarp’ers are right up on it
Mom: so what thinks you my baby girl am i cool or what?

Welcome to the 20-something relationship with the 50-something parent...with AARP bridging the gap for us all...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living Oprah

I am a huge Oprah fan. Seriously. I think she is smart, a great role model, and I typically agree with her opinions. And yes, I interrupt people almost as much as she does (thanks for the leadership by example).

While Jeff has been gone, I tivo Oprah everyday, and indulge every night (it is WOOOOONDERRRFUL). And then I came across this blog:

Which is hilarious. A tongue-in-cheek year of living as Oprah dictates. And she dictates a lot.

My biggest surprise? How much it costs to live as Oprah far (Jan-Sep) it's cost that blogger $2823.85, and that's not counting the time value of money. (She also tracks the minutes of each activity).

While I rarely put into action everything Oprah says, the mere possibility that I have the control to become a better self is why I continue to tune in. And that is priceless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gigglebees. Zima. Death.

Oh, our childhoods and younger years! We must be getting old(er)...Jeff recently told me the age-old establishment in Sioux Falls is closed and not to reopen. That's right, Gigglebees has closed its doors and auctioning off everything on Oct 25. If you're interested, starting bids begin at $5k...for the whole thing. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they are separating out the skeeball machines (they were my fave).

And part II: death of the Zima. The gateway liquor in my early 20s of jolly ranchers and zima will be no more later this month. A moment of silence, please.

Leadership and direction

What is the better course of action - act independently, or wait for direction?

A company is usually not foolish about the recruitment and hiring process - they hire very competent people, with a lot of knowledge and experience to do a good job at whatever is put in front of them.

That being said, I don't understand why some folks wait and wait when action is needed (on both little and big things, but especially little things). Even if you don't have a distinct answer from above, why is it so scary for some to put together an actionable plan based on what you know at the time, and start working on it? Get the buy-in from the group and go forward. At least you're moving in a direction, and can change course later if needed.

I understand, there is a huge risk that comes when putting yourself out there.......but "it's not my decision to make" is not a term I ever want to hear from my directors or VP's once they have all, or most, of the facts. If it's not their decision - then get the right people involved. If those people can't give their blessing - move on to another person.

Inaction due to uncertainty is a waste of time, money, and energy. What are they waiting for? Someone else to tell them how to execute the project / fill out a document / report data and news?

There is a time and a place for both scenarios. Big, or even medium decisions, those that impact a lot of people or money or ideas, sometimes requires views of things going on that others might not have. And then it is a good thing to have say-so from other people. But for small things, waiting for someone else to have the answer is not my idea of good leadership.

Ben's Dedication weekend

My nephew, Ben, was dedicated at church this weekend. I am posting some photos of the family from our times together!
UPDATE: I can't get the photos to display properly so I will need to call my IT guy for help (Jeff).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Car Sold; (Me) on the Road

Yep, I sold it last night. WOO HOO!! The perfect buyer for our situation...I hope it runs for him a long time. It was a little sad to see it drive out of the driveway, and out of our lives - we have had it for 7 years (I know, can you believe it?).

I've got my bags packed and the kitties and fish fed for a couple days in preparation for going out of town this weekend. Baby Ben will be dedicated this Sunday at Jenn and Dustin's church in Sioux Falls, and Jeff and I will be the godparents. We are already godparents to our other (wonderful) newphew, Nicholas, and now it is Ben's turn.

I am heading out of town tonight and I am watching flights like a hawk to see if I can get on (not looking good at this point, already overbooked by 2). If not, I will just go later tonight and miss dinner. I heard that a ladies luncheon is in store at Minerva's on Saturday, and I am sure a lot of play time with the 2 year old and baby are in order. For Sunday, I have a wonderfully cute keepsake baby dedication bible as well as a little card for Ben. Hopefully the weather cooperates (yes that means rains Saturday night) so Jeff can come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sellin'...this economy rocks...

Yahoo, I think the car is going to be sold tonight, and I will hopefully have some sweet greenbacks in my possession soon. Test driver 2 came by last night and seemed to like it, asked that we hold it for him, and called me earlier this afternoon to let me know when he would be by with cash-ola!

Apparently there is a pretty good market for really cheap cars that still run well. GOOOOOO RECESSION!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just label it already

So, Jeff and I do not have infinite sources of cash. As a matter of fact, I scrounged together a dollar in mostly dimes and nickels to get a drink at the cafeteria today (because when is a 12-oz fountain soda more than a dollar?).

I go to check out - and it's $1.38. And I only had a dollar. And there was a line behind me. I WAS SO EMBARASSED. I would NEVER have gotten something that I couldn't pay for, which I would have known IF the freaking prices were labeled. What kind of place doesn't put prices out?

So she said, just come back with the other change later. Which I will do, but sucked.

Ugh, I am seriously mad about this, disgusted at the cost, and still kind of embarassed.

Blog negligence

Sorry for my non-posting activity this weekend and yesterday.

JEFF IS BACK!!! So we've been busy least, too busy to post.

He drove the Amymobile (I guess now the Jessmobile) back from SD on Friday night. We went out for dinner at Qdoba (yes I used a coupon) and caught up on My Name is Earl.

Saturday was a late brunch (my favorite and best-cooked meal if I do say so myself) followed by some shopping. I got a new pillow, a second rug for the bathroom, and something else that I can't remember (yes I used a coupon).

Sunday we went to our marine club annual business meeting to elect officers, etc etc. It was also massive cleaning and laundry day, as well as Blade Trinity. Have you guys seen it? I, as a rule, do not watch shows like that, but this one was not too bad - not gory or scary, mostly just kick-ass. I like those kinds of movies (also, you must see Iron Man).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Today's article (I am all teary)

I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be something fun, for my family and friends to read about our lives and what's happening with me and Jeff and the kitties.

BUT, I (unlike one Ms. Palin) read a TON of stuff - online journals, newspapers, op-eds, blogs, etc. And this one today made me tear up and I HAD to share it. Ok, you know me, I tear up a LOT (like at those motivational quarterly business rah-rah meetings from business leaders). I know. But whatever...anyway, this one is great.

The author, Frank Schaeffer, was one of the key founders of the 'religious right' fundamentalist movement. His latest book, "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back", is on my to-read list.

"Obama Will Be One of the Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents"

An update to EWWWW

I think it is possible that the poop on the sidewalk (yes it's still there after many days of rain) could be attributable to Canadian geese.

There was a pair enjoying the sprinkles this morning under a crabapple tree. One of them hissed at me while I was walking on the previously mentioned crap-filled sidewalk. They are now a definite possible culprit.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birthday shout out

Happy Birthday Lois!!!

WOO HOO!!!!!! Now go buy something cool for your yard or camper.

Ah, Michelle

I love Michelle Obama. I clearly want to be as stylish as her. Google her name and then hit 'images' at the top. Ah, what pretty outfits. So put together.

PLUS, she's smart as a whip and super cool under pressure. Which I think I mostly have going on already, which is probably why I am more envious of her style.

If McCain gets elected, can SHE be the VP instead??

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Register to Vote

Seriously, there is no excuse to NOT vote. SOMEBODY has to run the country / Senate / state / city / school board - you might as well have a say.

Just do it! To register click here:

You will have to print out the form and mail it in, but that is ALL THERE IS TO IT.

Now, show up at your polling place on Nov. 4th and fill in the circles.

Some places even have early voting and absentee voting- check your state's Secretary of State website for info.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Yesterday I was walking down the sidewalk into work. Not so much walking but zig zig skipping - to avoid the giant turds on the sidewalk. I can only assume they are from the "turkey vultures" (aka to normal people as turkeys), but they were seriously big. I thought maybe racoon size, but I'm not sure if they live in the city near work...I know for sure the turkey vultures do.

Anywho, everybody played the dodge and weave game yesterday. Now TODAY, it's raining. I thought, oh good, the crap will be gone!

No such luck. They are now liquified clumps of poo, just outside on the ground of my Fortune 200 company. Awesome.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, the show must go on, even if my partner in crime is in SD.

So - this weekend the Edina Chorale sang Beethoven's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage with Allegro Sinfonia [] at the Wayzata Community Church. It went pretty well - even with the freaking high A's all over the place (whew).

I was sooo impressed by the orchestra - one of the finest community orchestras I've heard. Really, I can't believe they are not paid, and it is only freewill offering to attend!!!

They played 5 songs in addition to ours, all around the theme of 'water':

Handel's Water Music Suite
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (excerpt)
Strauss's On the Blue Danube (think Tide commercial), Thunder and Lightening Polka
Haydn's Violin Concerto in C - with a very find teenage violinst - wow!!!
Mozart's Sleigh Ride (I know, snow already!!!!)

What a great way to spend a rainy, blustery afternoon!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Medicine, doctors, and me

Went to the asthma / allergy doc yesterday. My numbers are spectacular - best in a long time. I was not too surprised as I have been feeling really, really good. Now I just have to keep up with the dust and cat hair at home. The doc did say I would probably have to start desensitization shots this winter (after most of my allergens have been dormant awhile). I will be going back in January.

Also got a flu shot. Don't forget to get yours if you are old, young, or have the potential for bad lung things. Be advised - your arm will hurt like a b*tch.

Dropped Jeff off at the airport this morning. We packed up all his work clothes last night and he is off to the farm for October. MISS YOU!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No catch, really!

Help Squidoo give away $80K by October 15. Just go to this website,, and pick your favorite. Your vote gives your charity $2, courtesy of Squidoo.

According to their website, Squidoo "is a hand-built collection of half a million pages built by people just like you. Squidoo is about finding people when you care what they know instead of who they know. And Squidoo raises big money for charity every single day by donating money from the ads and links you see on every page. "

Three or four facts
1. Squidoo has more than 700,000 hand built pages.
2. Squidoo has been reviewed by the New York Times, Mashable, BoingBoing and sites and papers around the world.
3. We are one of the 300 most popular websites in the US.4. We generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual royalties to charities and to our users.

What about the money?
Squidoo makes money from ads and affiliate links. We give 5% of what we earn, right off the top, to charity. We keep 45% to cover our overhead and stuff. That leaves 50%. That goes to charity or to the people who build the pages. And we leave it up to you to choose one or the other. It's that simple. You can earn a dollar, a nickel or a dime at a time for your favorite cause or for you. Did we mention that Squidoo is free? Always has been.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fighting for breakfast

Occassionally, Jeff and I are on email at the same time and we can ALMOST talk in real time. Just for some background - I am the messy one, and Jeff is very clean and tidy. He keeps the ship running in tip-top shape. Here is today's email exchange:

Me: free cake. I BELIEVE it's celebrating something for KLM...maybe an anniversary of the partnership? In any case, KLM's logo was on the cake. The FREE cake.

Jeff: I can't believe you snagged the last poptart.....and left a mess on the counter.........How hard is it to put the spoon in the dishwasher and peels in the garbage???

Me: But it made the kitchen smell nice and citrus-y! Just kidding. I am a lazy bones. Sorry. But I will not apologize for taking a pop tart! I haven't had any yet.

Jeff: You didn't say you wanted any, I snuck them in the cart.....if you wanted some, you should have snuck some in too.......Man, be married is ROUGH....the man is always eating your poptarts!!!!!!

Me: Sorry. "The Man" will not eat them today and will bring them home for "Her Man". Love, your wifey.

PS - don't be surprised if this exchange ends up as a blog. Cuz it's hilarious.

Jeff: NO NO NO

You eat the poptart. But it's a breakfast item so you only have 5 minutes to eat it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: What is the "NO NO NO"? I left the pop tart in the car so it lives for today.

Jeff: The "no no no" was telling you to enjoy the poptart...I've already healed from the heartbreak....I can't believe you would leave it in a might be hot and suffer...Don't you have to be going to a meeting?

And alas, our email exchange ended, as I did (do) have to be going to a meeting!


Last night I auditioned for the Edina Chamber Chorale (the smaller faction of the regular auditioned 90-person chorale) and I got in!! Well, with provisions - but I got in!

I kind of feel like I bombed it a little bit. Not 'da bomb', just not very good. I think I need to get my brain expectations inline with my abilities at this point and realize I need to practice a heck of a lot more than I am currently, to make me as good as I am in my head.

Anywho, the piece I was told to audition with was not even pulled out. Instead, he used "The Blessed Son of God" by Vaughan Williams - we were just beginning to rehearse the back half last night for the first time, so of course that's what he had me sing. No biggie, normally, right? I can sight read pretty darn well. BUT, (since I am not as in shape as I think), I had totally tuckered myself out during the first hour and half of rehearsal singing the Beethoven piece for this weekend and by the time the audition rolled around I was vocally exhausted - you know, kind of hoarse, breathing a lot and not in good places, not super focused sound, kind of wobbly...ugh.

BUT, he let me in as a sub - basically there are 2 sopranos that are normally in Chamber that are not able to sing this fall for Christmas. So I am singing since they are not!

He said he would re-evaluate positions after the Christmas concert so I have 2 months to knock his socks off during rehearsals. My new initiative is to sing every day - not every couple days like I have been. What I have been doing is just not enough to be what I want to be.