Monday, December 06, 2010

Beef Bouillon

I found beef bouillon cubes in my cabinet this week. I don't remember buying them so I must have inherited it from a roommate at some point. It says on the label directions, "Add one cube to 1 cup boiling water for a hearty beverage at mealtime or anytime". I don't know, my Mom could have bought me the bouillon, too. Sounds like something she would do, since she likes all kinds of things. As a kid, I remember my parents feeding me things like liver, headcheese, evaporated milk, oatmeal with bacon grease, but we never had beef bouillon tea. We still make milkweed soup and fern fiddlehead soup.

Looks like winter is definitely here, it was a really nice autumn. The bike riding was good, not too hot and the trees full of color. Jon grew lots of pickles and 15 pumpkins out at his Mom's farm so that meant lots of pumpkin carving and baking pumpkin seeds. We were on a streak for baking apple pies for awhile, too, our favorite was using the Honeycrisp apple.

I went with Jon's family to go visit his dad in Redwing a couple of weeks ago. It's a nice little town. I have a pair of Redwing workboots that I like very much, steel toe and steel shank--solid.

Jon, xoxoxo.

I have a new niece, Cadel Cameron, she's named after Cadel Evans. Let's just say that my sister Phyllis has become a huge TDF fan in the last couple of years. I'm getting used to the name, since I've never heard it as a girl's name. She's gorgeous, nonetheless, dark hair and already making girls jealous with her natural tan, haha.
Me and Cadel

Cold weather motivates me to stay busy inside, Jon and I made dreamcatchers recently. I made the two on the left. He made the black one.

I tried making a Halloween costume, but it fits like shite. This photo shows as far as I got. I need my Mom the pro sewer to help me with the fit and final tailoring.

I was a witch instead for Halloween. The night before Halloween, me, my brother Ted, and Jon went to a roller derby bout in Minneapolis. It was our first roller derby bout for the three of us. It was hard to get into because we didn't know what was going on. I guess that's what people feel like when they show up to a crit and cheer for someone who they think is the leader and it's not, it's just a bunch of people cruising around a circuit. So we asked some girl who was skating around carrying a sign, 'Ask me about Derby'. Then it was all good. I will go to my next one when my friend Willow makes her comeback in derby since she just had a cute new baby boy. I think I will have more fun watching when I actually know someone. After my first derby experience we met up with Katie and Kristin at a glass blowing party. $15 for a glass you get to keep and all you can drink Primo.
The cool glasses.

I saw Gumby on the street, I love Gumby.

Winter's here and I haven't skiied yet, downhill or xc. My xc skis and snowboard are up in Duluth at my Mom's and I won't be able to go up there for a couple of weeks, sigh. I'm pretty anxious to play in the snow, I can only handle so much of the gym. I'm hoping my classic skis will be enough to plow through the snow out at Jon's Mom's farm. I'm trying to talk Jon into building an igloo with me so we can do some winter camping in the yard. There's already a big pile of snow where the neighbor used his tractor to plow the driveway, haven't convinced Jon yet. Until then I will have to bust out the winter moccasins with a warm sheepskin liner and curl up in bed with a cup of beef bouillon tea.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Why are there so many tanning salons/laundromats in the St.Cloud area? Well, I know of three, but I don't think I've seen this business combination anywhere else.
There's one near the SCSU campus on University Ave and 9th Ave S, then there's this one up in Sartell across the street from Jimmy's Pour House.

This one is in Waite Park near Home Depot.

Jon and I getting ready for our move from Minneapolis back to St. Cloud, so sad. The Menards in St. Paul on University Ave has a long ramp and a glass elevator, pretty classy.

The summer went by so fast! This is from one of the times we went intertubing on Island Lake, outside of Duluth.

Hanging out on the Lakewalk in Duluth, then we went for ice cream at Portland Malt Shop, one of my favorites.

Nice little walk next to Chester Creek in Duluth.

I started missing Minneapolis the moment we pulled out of the driveway. I miss our part of town, Psycho Suzie's, Brasa, Kramarczuk's, all the happy hours at Tuggs. I miss all my lab friends, too, sigh. Jon enjoying a Kwak and a St. Feuillien Triple at
the NE Bulldog.

Rockets of beer at Tugg's, Jeff with his creepy mustache, I hope it improved his batting average.

I'll miss going out for music, too. Katie's band, The Upshot, played at Memory Lanes a few weeks ago. This band that played after Katie was interesting, they had a flute and a trombone.

At least Jon and I can still make an escape to Minneapolis, like going to the State Fair. It's always hard making the adjustment back to St. Cloud, there's not a ton of restauraunts that I like in St. Cloud area so often times we stay in and eat, and I make my own coffee in the french press. However, the bike riding is still better in St. Cloud than Minneapolis except for the urban bar rides then Minneapolis wins.
The State Fair crowds!

Waiting in line for cookies, seriously.

All you can drink milk for a dollar!

Friday, August 06, 2010


Recently Jon and I spent some time on Island Lake, north of Duluth, with my brother Ted and some of his friends. My Mom shows up and wanted to go intertubing. Not bad for a 74 year old lady. Her other hobbies are sewing, beading, making jewelry, supporting the family's atheltic endeavors, bingo, and many others. She's the greatest.

Jon getting pulled by Matt.

Jon and I have been eating pretty good lately. He gets fresh veggies from the organic garden at his job. Last couple of days he's been harvesting honey from their many bee apiaries. He's also good at making maple syrup, when he's not driving a tractor around or building stuff. I love his job, but I love mine, too.

I have a few photos from this summer at the lab in Minneapolis:
Our resident baby ducks are getting bigger and they aren't afraid of me and my coworkers, and we have never laid a finger on them either.

One of my coworkers, Chris, giving the camera a thumbs for a nice rock vane.

Me planting some Fox sedges, Bebbs sedges, and Dark Green Bulrushes. Now I realize how my backward my arm looks.

I found this one in our photo archives. We were repairing a bank on our stream and I'm stomping on something, Chris is using his head to hold up a part of the coconut fiber and it looks like Jeff is going to grab Chris' head.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's been a good summer. Last weekend Jon and I went to the Bicycle Film Festival, we went to the Friday, 7pm show to see The Birth of Big Air. I wanted to make it to other movies but we had to head out of town for the rest of the weekend. A lot of weekends we have either been up in Foley at the farm or up north in Duluth, and Grand Marais. There's plenty to do out at the farm, planting 200 flowers, feeding cows, weeding, etc, earlier this summer I helped Jon build his pond. Since then, the pond plants really took off and the minnows are doing great.

The pond in it's infancy state, the lily pad flowers haven't come up yet.

Jon on the skid loader.

Then there's the fun stuff at the farm, shooting guns--all kinds, lighting off fireworks, four-wheeling, riding bikes on the county roads.

My work at the lab has been good. The projects are different every year, still loving what I do. Happy hour with some of the coworkers at Tuggs is great, have to get a rocket of beer before 6pm! A new family of baby ducks came through the stream lab, too. It's fun watching them get bigger every week.

The last weekend of June we went up to Gooseberry Falls with Ted, and stopped at Betty's Pies in Two Harbors. Blackberry peach crunch pie is my favorite so far. Jon's geologist side comes out on a regular basis.

Me and Jon spent Fourth of July weekend in St. Cloud and Duluth. Then we went whitewater rafting with my brother Ted in Scanlon, MN. Ted and I grew up with a couple of the river guides, Jay and Luke, so it was really fun having them in other rafts with our group, since normally they are in kayaks. I got to steer my boat and kept everyone in line and in the boat. The river was low, but it was still fun. We are going back when the river is higher so we have bigger waves.

Swimming at the quarries near St. Cloud before heading up to Duluth. Jon waiting his turn to jump off a cliff.

Two weekends ago I went with Jon and his family up to his aunt's cabin near Grand Marais. Over the long weekend we fished everyday and four-wheeled ~200 miles on forest roads and trails. Four-wheeling really isn't my thing but it's still fun and now I know of some trails to on when me and Jon go back up there this fall. There were so many wild raspberry bushes everywhere, and blueberries up on the open outcrops. Yummy.

Now it's back up to Duluth today, Big Blondie's getting hitched!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


How come I have to leave St. Cloud when it starts to get nice? Jon and I were at a picnic at Riverside Park a couple of weeks ago. It's so pretty there.

We were out at Jon's Mom's farm last week. One of the many outside cats had kittens.

Out at the farm this guy is my favorite inside cat, even though I'm allergic and he makes me itchy. Such a cute face.

I'm back in Minneapolis, started at the lab this week and wasted no time getting back to the grind. Shoveling medium, course sand for most of Monday, then the last couple of days doing work that involves waders and muscle.

The first pair of waders I grabbed had some leftovers from the last person who used them. Apparently they needed a spoon, small adjustable wrench, screwdriver, 5 pens/pencils, one earplug, and a pair of scissors.

I'm glad to see that some soil core samples from last year are living on and serving a good purpose. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I'm borrowing this bike from the lab for this week, until I get my commuter bike that's still up in St. Cloud. This Murray is so freakin heavy, it's like a freight train. It has an internal 3 speed hub that is stuck on the hardest gear that I have to stand up on the pedals to get it going to a decent speed and then I have to slow down way ahead of any stops signs/lights. The rear wheel is way out of true that I decided just to remove one of the brake pads instead of fixing the wheel, reducing my braking to front brake only. At least the full fenders are nice this week.

I'm searching for a place for me and Jon to live for the summer in Minneapolis. He's still up in St. Cloud finishing out a job and will join me soon! At least he was able to visit me last night, we aren't apart much. Katie's hosting me at her place in NE till I find the right place.
I came across an ad that boasted to have a velociraptor proof house. It caught my attention because I do get Jurassic Park dreams at times. The fact that earlier this year I read Jurassic Park and The Lost World (by Michael Crichton) didn't help either. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks about the potential velociraptor attack.

Then I was out on Nicolett Island this week and I saw a tipi in someone's back yard. Perfect for me, the full-blooded Indian! I hope they don't mind me moving in. Maybe they will since the whole metro area used to be Dakota territory and I'm not Dakota. I'm Red Lake Anishinabe and Ho-Chunk.

If I lived there then maybe Stephen Hawking would visit me:
“If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
--Stephen Hawking