Category Archives: Life Skills

Things I have been successful at this week.

Today, all of my technology died at most inconvenient times, my dinner was made mostly of M&Ms, and we finally reached the long-awaited Thursday that I have been inhabiting mentally since Tuesday.  It has been one of those weeks, you know?

I made rice krispie treats for the first time ever in my whole life this week and I hope y’all are ready to never hear the end of it because now I feel like this is a craft that I NEED to master.  Also, why did no one ever clue me into the fact that rice krispies are a stick of butter, a bag of marshmallows and six cups of rice krispies the end?

In The Great House Purge of 2014, my mother unearthed an XL Wayzata Football sweatshirt.  I put it on and immediately questioned all of my other fashion choices since high school.  Seriously, why aren’t we all wearing XL sweatshirts all the time?  Besides the part where I feel like I am walking around with an entire blanket and not a sweatshirt, it is amazing.

I used my Caribou Coffee BOGO and ordered the hot cocoa that I have been craving for a month.  And now I think I might need to drink hot cocoa every single day for the rest of winter.  That would not be terrible, right?  My next project after I post this is to Google what the best hot cocoa is.  I am a Swiss Miss drinking lifer, but it would not take a lot to get me to switch.

Oh, and I watched the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer.  And it was aca-mazing.  May 15 come swiftly.

So there is all of that.

What were you successful at this week?



Things I have been successful at this week.

This morning, I was trying to think of the list of things that I have been successful at this week, since this has been the longest/fastest week ever.  Please tell me that you have those sometimes too.

I came up with the fact that I have worn most of the black clothing in my closet (go figure) and that I have become a consistent (rather than recreational) concealer user.  For some reason, that revelation seems horrific/permanent for reasons that I cannot entirely understand.  Actually, they probably have to do with the sinking realization that I am going to be tied to this flesh-toned warpaint for the rest of my life.  Oh, and I ate soup two nights in a row.  That was pretty spectacular and cozy-feeling.

So there is all of that.



For the past few years, Marcus and I have participated in Interfaith Outreach’s Holiday Gift Program.  Yes, I am aware that it isn’t even Halloween yet and here I am telling everyone about what they can do to help people over the holidays.  But bear with me!

Part of the reason I am blogging about this today is because if you live in our area and do not yet know about or support this great organization, I want to give you the opportunity to think about that!  The other reason I want to talk about volunteering and philanthropy today is because I don’t think we talk about that enough on the internet.  What do we talk about on the internet?  KaleAvocado toastPolka dot sweaters.  Expensive planners.  Fancy workout gear that we wear exclusively to run errands.

Those are all perfectly fine things, but they do not form the basis of my life or truly declare who I am as a person.  And if I’m not posting about this work because I don’t want to be self-aggrandizing (which I don’t!  honest!), that’s valid, but again it looks like my whole life is centered solely around other stuff and other things.  Spoiler alert: It’s not.

The community that we live in is considered affluent and yet, Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (IOCP) is serving 1,700+ families in our area annually in the areas of housing, child care, transportation, and employment.  They also have a massive food shelf that distributes 600,000+ pounds of food each year.

In 2012, I spent my Friday afternoons receiving and sorting donations at their food shelf.  Looking for bad dents, checking expiration dates and getting that new inventory onto the shelves and into the coolers.  I have spent the last month volunteering with their employment group, working on the job board.  Each week, I search for local job opportunities that may fit client needs based on education and experience levels and I place them in a display so that everyone who sits in the lobby has a chance to take a look at them if they have that need.

So back to the holiday program.  Yesterday, we registered for the 2014 program and were matched with our family of three.  In IOCP’s own words:

Each year, IOCP’s Holiday Gift Program matches over 500 families with sponsors who provide gifts or financial support for gifts. Sponsors providing gifts will receive gift suggestions to facilitate shopping, based on a $50-per-person guideline. Participating families range in size from one individual to larger families.

If you’re in our community, I hope that you will consider sponsoring a family (or an individual) as well because it will make a world of difference to them this December.  And for those members of the group who live out-of-town/out-of-state, I hope that you have the opportunity to consider what may be available to you in your area!

On Getting Life Insurance.

From the department of things that are really adult, I’m in the process of getting additional life insurance.

As a part of the process, I had to participate in a medical exam.  So this afternoon, Home Medical Professional Kyle paid a visit to our house.

We kicked off  our time together with Kyle producing a battered scale from his magic satchel of tricks (seriously he brought an old-school physician bag) and taking my weight.  I told him not to tell me what my weight is because, well, I don’t really need to know.  My relationship with the scale isn’t a healthy one and the past two years without it have been great.

Kyle: Are you sure you don’t want to know your weight?

Me: Positive.

Kyle: But it is a really good weight.

Me: I just don’t think it will be useful information.

Kyle: I think you will be surprised!  You weigh less than you think!

Me: I think I know how much I weigh.

Kyle: I can tell you what you weigh.

Finally, I consented because I realized that whether or not I wanted to know, Kyle was going to tell me my weight.  To his credit, Kyle was not wrong.  I weighed three pounds less than I thought I did.  With clothes on!  Considering I have spent my last three weeks feasting my way through the Jewish holidays, this was quite the surprise.

We also ran through a questionnaire which was completely boring.  But from there we shifted into the (thrilling) blood pressure portion of the visit.  After two readings, Kyle praised me for a period of time that I would describe as being uncomfortable in length.

Kyle: You have the best pressure.

Me: Oh?

Kyle: Yes.  It is the best.  I have seen so many.

Me: Well, that’s great to hear.

Kyle: Such good pressure!

This naturally evolved into Kyle taking my pulse.

Kyle: Your pulse is so good!

Me: Great.

Kyle: And very steady too!

For our grand finale, Kyle lectured me on the health benefits of racquet ball, a sport which he plays regularly. I can say with 100% certainty that this will not be a sport that I play ever.

While I highly doubt that I will ever be able to muster the amount of enthusiasm that Kyle was able to display for my state of health, who knew that I had so much to be proud of on a Wednesday?

A Casual Watcher

We had a heat index of  ~90 here today, which is a little bit profound, considering the fact that nine days ago we had snow.  But as Minnesotans know better than anyone else, Mother Nature is a tricky, tricky lady.

Naturally, I was so psyched about the warmth and the lovely green smell that has permeated everything, that I totally discounted the fact that usually one eases into running in such extreme temperatures.

Easing in?  I said no to that.  I ran three of my six miles outdoors (it’s a three-mile loop) and, chastened by the absolutely oppressive heat (and some mild heat exhaustion), headed inside to the cool Shangri-La otherwise known as our basement to do the last three miles on the treadmill.

I don’t know that I would classify the experience as “epic” failure, but let’s just say that moving my legs today was more about trying not to vomit and less about winning.  And, until I read Bree’s post tonight, I thought maybe I was just being a quitter.  But apparently, it really was just That Bad.

Extreme temperatures bring extreme weather, and since our weather forecast for the week has been ominously sporting storm clouds Every Day, I was wondering when we would get hit.

Just like our extremely light dabbling in ornithology (another story for another day), when I was a pup, Mom made a point of teaching me just enough about meteorology to allow me to do a bit of casual weather forecasting as it applies to my own life.

Hello, Prairie-skill.

It probably doesn’t help that my favorite movie growing up (and still one of my all-time favorites!) was Twister.  I saw it in fourth grade, and it was the first PG-13 movie I was allowed to watch.  Ever.

Really, the whole Twister-thing is kind of ironic considering the fact that when I was tiny, if Hennepin County was flashing red on the tv screen, I would gather all of my most precious possessions and transport them all from my bedroom on the second floor to the basement.  By God, if we were going to get leveled by The Storm, Mother Nature was NOT getting the My Little Ponies.

Twister and my obviously advanced Shelter Seeking-tactics aside, let it be known that if you teach a kid in elementary school about mammatus clouds, they will never, ever forget.

If you see these? Check your radar to fully grasp the idea that the storm is on top of you, and be prepared to seek shelter.

We didn’t get “hit” tonight, but other parts of the metro area definitely did.  Judging from one of the local news stations, it sounded like there was a smattering of inappropriately large hail and the odd-tornado.

Billy shot this from his window at The University of Minnesota.  Not mammatus, but still a fabulous snap, regardless.

Obviously her school of hard knocks was successful.

On an indoors-note, le jardin has officially turned into le jungle.  I would laugh, except for the fact that the tomato plants have all but obscured one window in the living room.

I actually had to re-arrange them this week because they were starting to choke off the sunlight to one of my basil planters.  Nevermind the fact that the plants themselves are all tangled as well.

It’s just that 11/10 green thumb I have.

I never thought I would say this…And by that, I mean I never knew I would even know how to say this, but I have NEVER wanted the soil temperatures to reach 60 degrees as badly as I do at this particular moment in time.

Houston, we SO have a problem.

Do you enjoy watching severe storms?

At what point do you decide it’s too hot to exercise outside?