Monday, October 25, 2010

Leaves, leaves, leaves

They're everywhere! Run for your lives!!! AAAAHHHH!!!!
You know what comes with a nice, big yard with lots of mature, pretty trees? You guessed it: leaves! For days on end! And this picture is just one small portion of our yard. We have birch trees, maple trees, a willow tree and apple trees all shedding right now.

Travis and I went back and forth on when to start raking and if we should maybe get a second rake so that we could both rake at the same time. Then we could rake all weekend. And maybe next weekend too.

I finally gave in and we bought this:

The Mac Daddy of All Leaf Blowers.

You know what's still sad about this? One tank of gas only got about 1/3 of our yard done. Travis spent a his entire Saturday blowing leaves. Let's pause for a moment to think about how long that would have actually taken with a rake. Can you imagine? I believe this was money well spent.
This is just one of about 4 piles of leaves that Travis managed to wrangle up. Now we just have to decide what to do with them. My mom is a fan of burning, although I'm certain we'd have the DNR fire fighters arresting us in no time if we do that. We could easily fill a bagillion trash bags. I suggested putting an ad on Craigslist. You never know what people will take for free. Think we'll get any takers?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another giveaway!

Go check out The Painted Hive for her giveaway this week. Up for grabs is a beautiful grain sack inspired pillow cover. I happen to think it would go lovely with my bedroom curtains, but hop over and enter for your chance to win too! I love this Aussie's style, her decorating always looks peaceful and "quiet" to me. Her rooms have a spa like feel that just make you want to relax.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

You say it's my birthday

That's right, it's my birthday! Well, yesterday was technically my birthday. But this is my birthday "weekend". For my birthday I decided I wanted to go drive up the North Shore to look at the fall colors, then head back to Duluth to have dinner there since the restaurant choices are far superior to what we have in Hibbing. Unfortunately most of the leaves have fallen already but we still had a good time.

The day started with opening presents:
These are winter riding pants, kind of like snow pants
Except they have suede on the butt to help you stick in the saddle!
And I got winter riding boots! Of course I had to try them on. Now I'm all set for riding this winter!

Then we drove up the North Shore to the Split Rock Lighthouse, that overlooks Lake Superior

It was a gorgeous day, so we had great views. There are a few paths you can take to several overlook areas, including the area around the light house itself.Look closely, you can see a cave!

There is also a picnic area on a beach that is part of the park. We were going to forgo that area but Travis decided he wanted to go have a look anyway. As we park he says "So are you hungry?" and pulls out our "winery day" picnic basket from the trunk, complete with wine, cheese, crackers, and goodies! I was completely surprised. He knows how much I miss going to the wineries in Missouri, and decided to make a winery day for me. He's pretty sweet ;o)
Our view!
Risking life and limb to climb out on the beach after a few glasses of wine.
From our spot on the beach we could see this little island, that is connected to the beach by a little land bridge. You can kind of see some people walking on it to the right. Just beautiful!

We ended the day in Duluth by dining at Bellisio's Italian Restaurant. They have the largest wine list I have ever seen. We had a wine flight and enjoyed some delicious food before heading home. It was a wonderful day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I love a Giveaway!

A friend of mine makes handcrafted soaps, bath salts, shampoo, face name it. I personally think she is awesome for taking on this endeavor with her husband, and she's having great success! She's also having a giveaway! Go check out Reef Botanicals blog for more information and the link to her shop. Go I say! Go!

Monday, October 4, 2010

You win some, you lose some

You know, life can't always be about the win, right? You gotta have some loses to stay humble. Like with my cooking and math skills. Or lack thereof. I know these are two things I do not excel at. At all. So I usually leave the cooking up to my wonderful hubby, and I like to let him do all the math too - or carry a calculator.

Normally Travis is a super good cook. He's very imaginative, but doesn't stray to far out of my realm of comfort. We also like to use our crock pot quite a bit, especially now that the weather is turning colder. So imagine my surprise when I walked in the kitchen one morning to find this:
Why yes, that is my husband holding up half of our ceramic crock pot insert. Hmm, interesting. Apparently he dumped frozen stew meat in and it fell just a wee bit to hard. Not only did the meat crack the thing in half, but the entire base fell out and into 3 pieces. Great! Luckily we have a 24 hour Wal-mart, so he was able to go buy a fancy, schmancy new one to cook our beef stew that day. And it has an metal insert! (Plus a retractable cord, and a locking lid. It's pretty cool.)

Not too long after the crock pot incident, dear hubby and I were perusing for some gym floor tiles for our "new" home gym. Let's pause here so I can explain. Our basement is basically one little room after another. Kind of freaky actually. But there is one room that so far has just been a pass through to the "Christmas Room" where I store all my Christmas decorations. (Please keep your eye rolling to a minimum here.) This room is about 8'x16'. So we decided that it would make a nice little home gym. Our treadmill was already there, but no plugs to plug it in. Hubby ran an extension cord across the basement to the one and only 3-pronged plug down there. I bought a fitness ball and a yoga mat so that I could do some ab work and light weight lifting with the 5# weights I already own. Hubby was even nice enough to set up a TV and run a cable line to it so that I can watch TV down there while I work out. It's great! All we wanted was a little bit of flooring to give the hard, concrete floor a little more cushion and warmth.

We found a great deal on those gym floor tiles, that go together like a puzzle. They are 1'x1'. The pack we bought included 24 tiles. So in my mind, this meant it would cover 24'x24'. See where I'm going here? I blame hubby for having a total brain fart on this one, because I told him my rationalization that we would only need one package and he agreed. If you're not mathematically inclined I will help you out with what I've learned so far: our room is 8'x16'= 128 square feet. The package contained 24 1'x1' tiles = 24 square feet. Doh!
So, umm, yes. Now I have a little padded corner of the room to do crunches on. In reality we need about 5 1/2 packages of this stuff to cover the whole room. Right. You can laugh now.

Moving on to wins!

My sister in law was nominated for homecoming! Since she's a junior, she couldn't actually be voted as queen, but she looked pretty darn cute anyway!You can't see much of her dress here, but it was very pretty - and short! That's the style this year though, all of the girls dresses were super short. Her escort thought he was pretty cool, yea?

Travis has decided to make and sell balsam wreathes this year for Christmas. Today was Day 1 of his work "schedule". So far he's right on track with 3 wreathes done!
And lastly: I got into grad school! Woo Hoo! My last reference sent in her recommendation letter about two weeks ago, and I was just notified on Friday that I've been accepted! I'll be attending the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee's Master of Library Science online program, starting Summer of 2011. Which is good, because that gives me some time to figure out how to pay for it! I was accepted by Minnesota's reciprocity program, so I at least only have to pay in-state tuition. That's still a lot of money though! But I'm not thinking about all of that right now, I just want to revel in being accepted for a little while longer!