Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blueberry Festival

This weekend we went to the annual Ely Blueberry Festival. As promised, we went and I plan to tell you about it. Unfortunately we don't have very many pictures. It just wasn't a picture taking sort of event!

Actually, I was a little underwhelmed with the "blueberry" part of the festival. I had envisioned tent after tent of all things blueberry. Blueberry pie, blueberry jam, blueberry tarts, blueberry craziness all day long! That wasn't the case though. There was a pavilion where you could buy a slice of blueberry pie. You could also get some blueberry-flavored soda. There was one tent (one and only one) that had some blueberry scones, blueberry sugar, and I think some blueberry pancake mix. But that was it!

Afterward we did go to eat at the Boathouse Brewery & Pub, which was featuring a Blueberry Blonde Ale. I had that with lunch and it was yummy! There were even little blueberries hanging out at the bottom of my glass.

Even though the festival wasn't exploding with blueberry-ness, I still managed to have a good time. I wouldn't want you to think otherwise! I'm not sure if Travis had a "good time" or not, but he was a trooper. We did the whole festival, a nearby craft show, and walked around downtown for awhile. Ely is a really neat city and I love going there. They have a great downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants. You can definitely spend a whole day there!

I feel bad for not having super photos of the festival, so I'll share the ones I do have :o)
Travis walking from the festival to the craft show. His shirt has blue pinstripes and I wore a blue shirt as well. Figured it would be fitting. And we're cheesy like that.
This cute little framed leaf painting was on a "clearance" rack in one of the booths. I got it for a whopping $6 - not to shabby!

This is a really neat old window that a vendor cleaned up and painted with pretty flowers and such. I thought it would look nice in our guest bedroom. Whadya know - it does! Zak approves.

So that was our exciting trip to the Blueberry Festival. Today was spent around the house. Can't have a weekend of all fun and no work! We finally finished painting over the basement wall crack (and the rest of the wall) with Drylock today. That cement/concrete stuff takes ages to dry! Doesn't help that it's in the humid basement I suppose.

This afternoon we went grocery shopping. I don't particularly like grocery shopping, but I see it as sort of a game. Like, let's see how much stuff I can get for the least amount of money! So usually I scout the sale flyer online, make my list and meal plan based on what's on sale for about two weeks out. Even though we live in town now, I still find that this helps us save money. I print my coupons at home since we don't get the flyer in the mail. I hate trying to sift through it to find the coupons in the store. Then you have to rip them out and it looks all jagged. I have thought about bringing a small pair of scissors with me though, that's always an option.

This week I happened to hit the grocery store jackpot. They had a full page of "Buy One Get One Free" items. Wahoo! So how did I fair? I managed to walk out of the store with approximately $175 worth of food for two weeks for $114. :o) My receipt said I saved $63 total. I think that earns me a gold star, don't you?

Now I've earned myself a little relaxing time. And a nap. I definitely think a nap is in order.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Warriors

Sometimes we like to wear this hat. Sometimes we don't. This weekend was a warrior weekend - mainly out of necessity. If you remember a few posts ago that we made a rain barrel due to a poor gutter location and a crack in our basement wall. Well the rain gutter has been working quite well, but it can only do so much, you know? So this was "patch the crack in the basement wall weekend".

Travis did his due diligence by researching online what we needed and just exactly how he needed to get the job done. Then off to Lowe's we went with our list in hand. Thankfully we got out of there under $100. Also, we only needed to go back once to get more putty/plug stuff for the outside too.

Once we got home, construction commenced and I made myself scarce. This was a one man job anyway, so I let Trav have at it. Now, I don't remember if I have ever mentioned our half wall insulation in the basement, so I'm going to tell you about it now. We have a crazy layer of insulation around the entire perimeter of our basement, from waist level to the ceiling. Why the previous owners thought this was helpful is beyond me. The insulation faces the wall, and the outside is a shiny aluminum foil-like material. We had to take a lot of this down to get to the heart of the crack. Wonder of wonders, there was even more crack than we thought. And of course this lovely insulation was holding on to some of the moisture coming in from the outside. Luckily there was no mold and it all came down nicely.

So after a lot of chiseling and mixing and troweling, our basement crack is filled. Most of it was done yesterday, the last bit outside was finished today. Now all that's left is to paint over the wall with Drylock and we should be done! Hopefully this will keep the water outside where it belongs!

Last night was the 3rd Avenue Block Party, which is a lot like the Hibbing Street Dance, but just one band and two bars. Big plus - it's 21 and over, so there are no teeny-boppers or crazy people with their kids and strollers and beer. Not a good combo. Yesterday was also Trav's sister's birthday, so we had dinner and cake at the in-laws house and then made it for the last hour of the block party. It's a funny thing being the only sober people around a ton of not so sober people - but it was fun! Among the crowd were toga wearers, some hula-dancers and a raucous bachelorette party. So we danced and sang along with Shamrock'd and made it home at a decent hour. It's always an adventure!

Next week - Ely Blueberry Festival!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More curtains!?!

My mom is a sewing fool!

It's ok, you can be jealous of our beautiful curtains.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moms rock

My mom made this valance for our mudroom just for me, so I'm posting these pictures just for her.

Love you mom!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I love a parade!

I really do! There's nothing like a little community bonding over local businesses, fire trucks and cheesy floats. And the benefit of going to parades around here? They give out candy. By the bucket full. Oh yes. Surprisingly we've had very warm weather, so there were even some some freeze pops being passed out. Of course I took some photo evidence for your viewing pleasure!

91 degrees! See! I told you it was warm! Travis has decided that he wants to join the Shriners so that he can drive these little mini-cars in parades. They did look like a lot of fun!

One of the big huge engines from the community college's CDL program. And Paul Jacobson, our neighbor, is running for State Representative!

Greyhound and Great Danes! The Greyhound bus line was founded right here in Hibbing, MN. We also have a Great Dane rescue that spans over the state into Iowa and Wisconsin.

After the parade was the annual Hibbing Street Dance. Our favorite band, Shamrock'd was headlining the main stage, so of course that's where we were! Trav's brother, Zach, and our good friend, Dan, are in the band. It was pretty hot until the sun went down, so it was a good thing the beer was a-flowin'! Apparently no one else got the message that it was a street "dance" as we were the only ones dancing, but hey - we had a good time and that's all that counts.

Here is the band on stage, wearing their super cool light up bunny ears. Nice.

Not only do they play on stage....

but IN the street as well. Just playing up the crowd I guess!

Lori, Susie and I after a short rain shower. We don't let rain stop us!

Today we recovered by going to my new favorite beach, McCarthy Beach. It's a lake beach, not an ocean beach - don't get confused. Since it's a state park, we had to buy a pass and decided to go for the yearly one, which would benefit us after 5 visits. I'm trying to get my use out of this pass! It's good for a year, but we only get so much summer, you know?

Today we took Maya with us. Normally we leave her at home, but I started to feel bad that we go off every weekend to have fun and leave her at home. I think she would have rather stayed at home! She was deathly afraid of the water and would not go near it. We stayed farther away from the busy area because she tends to get wound up around strangers. So she was a little antzy about the people down the beach anyway. Then whenever Travis went in the water, she whined her head off. I'm pretty sure she was thinking "Not in the dog eating water, Daddy! It's not safe!" But we were able to leave her off the leash and she didn't stray from our towels. I figure that's a win. Plus, she is currently passed out next to me after her big adventure. Tired dogs are good dogs :o)
Maya the Super Dog. Protector of her humans and never going in the water. Don't mess with her!
That's Big Sturgeon lake and a little bit of McCarthy Beach! Ignore my blinding white legs. Just call me Powder.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th!

Or 6th. Whatever, you know what I mean. So I'm a little late!

We had a great holiday weekend, and I was surprised by having Monday off too! It was a much needed day of recuperation and rest.

This weekend we were blessed with temperatures hovering at 90 degrees, so it truly felt like the 4th of July. Travis and I spent the day in Side Lake watching the parade and pic-nic-ing with the family. Afterward we went to a friend's house for a little 4th party. There was food, beer, and music. Which, of course, is always followed by dancing. But not always good dancing. Here is photographic evidence to prove it:

Why yes, that is the chicken dance. Good call! I assure you that there was much more normal, even good, music going on before and after this. We just so happened to only take pictures while chicken dancing.

Having musical friends also means we are serenaded with live music from time to time as well. Actually, more often that not, we get live music! Here's Dan and Trav being the "band".

Somehow we missed the fireworks at McCarthy beach, but we did get to see quite a few around the neighborhood. They're illegal up here, but a quick trip to Wisconsin will produce a multitude of fireworks fruit. So we still had a show!

Monday evening I had a riding lesson, so it was a good thing I was able to sleep in and lounge around all day. Oh yea! I forgot to mention! I'm riding again! I found a small barn with a trainer my age through one of Trav's new clients. She rides mostly Western, but does a little English and she had phenomenal horses. She's put me on her "show horse" Noah. He's a 16.3hh Quarter Horse - which is huge for a QH. He's only 5, but has a great mind and has been very kind to me and my out of shape body thus far. This has been such a missing piece of my life, I'm not so sure how I went nearly 3 years without riding. I am paying for it now though. Yesterday was my second lesson, and I walked away tired, sore and happy.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day! Happy Summer!