Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Apple Ooops

Pies, pies, and more pies. I am currently having a fundraiser for a trip I am going on in February. The trip involves a plane, a far distant country, Compassion International and meeting someone special. Needless to say, I am so excited that God has opened this door. (!!!!!) So I am selling homemade pies to help raise the necessary funds. Apple pies, pumpkin pies and a very limited amount of select other pies. I have received permission to sell my pies at church on Sunday and they will be sold for $10 a piece. My Mom, Hannah and I make a very good pie-making team. We can make 10 pies in three hours, if we all work together. Last Saturday, we made nine apple pies. Wednesday we made ten apple pies. (I have yet to do any pumpkin.) So now my freezer is full of pies. Delicious, delectable, marvelous apple pies. Well, most of them anyways... So, you see... Wednesday, when we were making pies, we were on such a roll that, well, I forgot to put flour in with the apple filling. So, yeah. Some of my pies will be runny. The filling will not set up as nicely as it should. And they will be less than most wonderful. I will not be able to sell them for $10 with a good conscience... Maybe for $5, but not for $10. And I realized all of this because of Josh. See, he was trying to be helpful and as I was bringing my things into the house after a big pie-making party at my Mom's, he took a pie out of the trunk of my car. I came out of the house just in time to see him juggling the pie as he tried to balance it in his arms. First it was sideways, then it was upside down, then it was on the ground. I guess this was his way of getting an apple pie for himself... Anyways, this pie ended up being baked and eaten as dessert that evening. Adam commented on it's runniness, which I attributed to it being cut while still warm. But then I got to thinking... I can't believe I left the flour out! What a stupid, moronic, amateur thing to do! I mean, I have been making pies since... Well, for a really long time... Good grief. At the very least, those nine pies could be saved for any special occasion that may happen in the next several months. And I thought we were doing so well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I can't believe that it's been one year already. Today I thought of the last thing my Grandpa taught me. I was out in the garden with a pitchfork in my hand loosening the soil around the carrots so the kids could pull them up. My Grandpa taught me how to do that. That was only a few days before he passed. He had been sitting on the couch and he was tired. Even the bowl of peaches he was trying to eat was wearying him. But he was thinking of the hard work he had put into his garden that year. He told me exactly where to find the pitchfork, in his well kept wood shed. Grandpa explained how to poke the fork in around the carrots and loosen the soil just a bit... And he sent me off on a mission to see if those carrots were ready to be harvested... My Grandpa and I had always shared a love for gardening. We compared the progress of our gardens during the summer. His was weed free and the weeds growing in mine were nearly sky-high. My garden was large. His was small. His tomatoes were dying and so were mine. Our gardens gave us something in common. He was more than willing to hear about how things were growing at my house, though I was always a little nervous that he might stop by unexpected and see how I had let the weeds grow too. I thought of my Grandpa probably every time I was out there in the dirt this year. I think I tried extra hard to keep the weeds out this time. This year was the best that my garden has ever looked and I blame Grandpa for that. Even though he wasn't here to see it (and even if he could see it, I'm sure he'd be preoccupied with praising our Lord), I think my garden would've made him proud this year. Especially my "prize-winning" Brussels sprouts, which have been producing edible sprouts since July.... I can't wait to see him again.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

G. I. Joe

Blogger now has this wonderful tab labeled "stats". Every so often I click it and see what is popular about my blog as of late. Today it just so happened to be this post.

I found it rather ironic, because here we are, two years later and Joe is moving out. I have enjoyed his company when he's been around, and I want him to know he is welcome anytime. I like Joe... I'll probably even miss having him around. Especially when my dishes need washing. (ha ha) But the time has come and we all know it. There's nothing quite like being on your own and paying your very own bills to help you feel established. Joe, we'll be keeping you in our prayers as your movin' on out and movin' on up! Love you too buddy.

A Tired Thought or Two

I was having a busy week last week, so I slacked off on my blog. I have so much on my mind these days, but one by one, things are getting checked of my mental list. Yesterday was a wedding. It was memorable. And kinda sad too, because the husband has to go back to OK today. He's in the army. She's staying here. :( I am still gathering household goods for my yard sale. I WILL have it this weekend and possibly next. I WILL remember to call the Penny-saver to put in an ad. I WILL finish collecting the excess things in my house and put them in my sale. I WILL have more room in my cupboards when I am done. But those two things are just side notes really. And now I will take a nap because just thinking about it all makes me tired. That and it's Sunday. I'm always tired on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wrapping Up the Journey

Maybe you are all tired of hearing about our trip to MN and our visit with Jim. After all, we've been home since the 4th... But I still have more photos and since I'm sure at least my Mom wants to see them, I insist upon sharing them. (So deal!) One more photo journey. This time to Gooseberry Falls and then a couple additional shots from the next day, so this brings our journey to a close...

Days # 6 and # 7:

We started the day off driving around Duluth, which is where we had spent the night. We were looking for a good place to eat breakfast and our GPS led us to this little cafe. It was quite funny actually... Adam asked Jim to look up bakeries in his GPS and the first one that was on the list was the Amazing Grace Bakery. It was 0.0 miles away. It just so happened to be in the basement of the building next to us. Talk about delicious, homemade, good cooking. And a great atmosphere to boot. I'd recommend any day.

After a hearty breakfast, we headed a bit north to see the falls. They are as follows.
Falls #1 (or 2) Notice the bear cave in the background. We climbed
up and peaked in, but it wasn't really big enough for any bears.

Jim, being a good mountain man, commandeered the falls for us.
Another view of the above falls. In all there were three or
four different falls. We saw all of two of them. Boo to that.

Jim, being a good photo bomber. I will unfortunately never be as good as he is.

And now we are onto the next day, back in Minneapolis. The weather was cruel to us while we were in MN, but how could anyone expect Minnesota weather to be any different than cruel? The week started off in the 90's but by Friday, it was 55°. We were freezing and ill prepared. I had forgotten to pack Adam a sweatshirt so that was our first order of business. The second order of business was to toss around the "ol' pig skin" at the park down the street. I am not much on playing catch, but I brought a book and found a park bench. Before too long, Adam and Jim had some company. Three neighborhood boys came along and asked if they could play. And they played for over an hour and a half. It was a riot!
We wrapped up the day with a baseball game at the Target Stadium. I got some great picture of the guys and I waiting for the game to start. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Day at the Beach Scenario

Minnesota Trip Day #5:
Today I am going to take you on a photo journey. Come with me, through this tunnel, up to Split Rock Lighthouse. Built in 1905, the Split Rock Lighthouse stood to protect the sailor and his vessel from crashing into the steep coastline on the darkest and stormiest nights. Many a sailor was lost upon the ravaging waters of Lake Superior. Especially that cold cruel day in November so many years ago. 29 boats were lost to the depths on that day. And hence the Light of Split Rock shines on brightly, to warn the weary sea captain, lest such treachery befall them.
The now retired lighthouse.
Looking out from the inside.
The lighthouse keeper's homes. There were three keeper's. One house for each.
(If I remember properly.)
Along this coastline is where many a ship foundered
on that dark and stormy night, before the lighthouse was built.
This is how Adam stands still so we can get our photo taken together.This is Jim next to a really big rock.The shore of Lake Superior is equally as rocky (or rather more so) as Lake Ontario, but a bit more picturesque from this angle. Notice the lighthouse on the top of the cliff in the background.
There was a small rocky island next to the mainland, where we could view the lighthouse perfectly. Adam thought it would be fun to dive off said rocky island and go swimming. But I said it was not safe.
A pile of rocks.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Just Another Day at The Fair

(Adam helps Josh check out the John Deere tractors at the Erie County Fair.)
(Uncle Rick is a fireman, and his firetruck was at the fair.
.Lucky Josh, to have a fire captain for an Uncle.)
(Josh trying on Uncle Rick's fireman hat.)
Day #4: This was the day that we went to the State Fair. My camera had run out of batteries, and I left it at the apartment to charge. Therefore, I will share photos from the Erie County Fair, in NY. We had gone there with my in-laws a couple weeks prior to our visit with Jim. The Minnesota State Fair was a little more fun than that fair. There were the typical fair foods, smells and sounds. A few more interesting animals (I liked the birthing center exhibit, where there were newly born animals or soon-to-be mothers) and art exhibits... Food on a stick... You name it, pizza on a stick, pickles on a stick, potatoes on a stick, spaghetti on a stick, donuts on a stick... It was my goal to eat something on a stick while I was there, but I failed. Miserably. I suppose I'll just have to go back next year... Jim made sure that I got to see the historic section of the fair. Adam was not impressed while we dawdled in the printing press room and meandered through the corridors of the antique train cars. But I loved soaking it in. (Thanks Jim!)

When we finally left the fair, Adam was cross and needed a nap. So we headed back to the apartment and let Adam get some sleep. Our evening plan included dinner with a couple of Jim's friends, Dan and Jesse. Dan brought along his wife, Dee, and I got some much needed girl time. Spending days on end with two guys can wear a girl out, you know! It wasn't that we giggled like two school girls or anything like that, but having another girl around was something of a stress reliever for me. Oh, it was also this same evening that Jim took us to IKEA, the most amazing store in the world. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. I wish we had an IKEA down the street from us. But then, maybe it's good that we don't. To tell you about IKEA, I would need to write an entirely separate blog post, so I'll save you the details. In addition to seeing IKEA and eating with Jim's friends, this was also the evening I said good-bye to my orange Converse. They were my friends for three days, but they would not fit. It was a fun dream to have orange shoes, but simply not to come true. For just the night before, I had found a pair of black Converse at Target that fit me so much better and were $5 cheaper. Good-bye orange Converse!! And now it is 11:09pm and time for me to go to bed. Goodnight.

The Capitol Building and The Como Zoo

I decided that I am much too factual when it comes to relating happenings in my life. For instance, I like to go through every detail of each day. And who likes to read that?!? Gross... Pictures and short descriptions may be that way to go, but then how will I remember all that I have done ten years from now? Maybe that is why I get dialoging when I write. But anyway, more about our trip to MN.

Day 3: We were going to spend our Monday at the Minnesota State Fair, but when we learned that Tuesday's were "$2 off each ticket day", we decided to save ourselves the $6 and wait the extra day. Instead we went to the state capitol building in Saint Paul, which is one city over form Minneapolis. If you know anything about MN, Saint Paul and Minneapolis are called the Twin Cities, because they just are. There are like twins. So we went to Saint Paul. One great thing about going to see the State Capitol Building was that they give free tours and you could see nearly every part of the building. We were even able to go up on the top, where they were having the Quadriga replated. Even though we weren't able to get the best look at the gold artifice, the rest of the view was spectacular.In the afternoon, Jim took us to the Como Zoo. Adam and I both agreed that going to this zoo was waaay better than going to the Toronto Zoo, which is super sad. Not only was the Como Zoo free, though a donation of $2 was suggested per person, but we were able to see sooo many more animals. The Toronto Zoo cost at least $20 per person, plus parking, and it was so expansive, that very often you could barely get a look at the animals because they were so far away. One might think that going to the zoo would be for kids, but we really had such a nice afternoon there. The Como Zoo also had a butterfly conservatory and an arboretum. I absolutely loved the arboretum and would've spent longer in there if Adam wasn't waiting for us. (Adam, will you take me to the arboretum in the city? I would really like that. It'd make a good date.)
(Hitching a ride through the Como Zoo.)
(A butterfly. Duh!)
By the time we were done at the zoo, the heat had really gotten to me. It had been in the mid 90's all day and my head was pounding. We all decided that a relaxing evening in the park would be a good way to end the day. Jim and Adam made a quick trip into the grocery store for some picnic supplies and a football, while I rested my eyes in the truck. It was tough work scouring the park for a grill to cook the burgers and corn on the cob, but once we located one, it was easy going. One grill over, there was a rather large group gathered, where a few rednecks were cooking up their own corn on the cob. They seemed to be a friendly bunch and they let us use their lighter fluid. Haha, they even offered us beer! Jim said they were probably from Wisconsin, they were so friendly... Not that Minnesotan's aren't friendly or anything... And that basically sums up day 3.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day #2

(Overlooking the City of Red Wing, MN)
Minnesota, Day 2:

Jim goes to a church in Eagan Hills, MN. It's about a 1/2 hour away from where he lives. I was excited and nervous to go to his church. I was nervous about meeting his friends and feeling awkward, but really I didn't have any awkward moments meeting his friends. Really, I loved everything about the church service. The congregation stood during the entire worship session. Some lifted their hands, some swayed with the music and some were just as stoic as could be. Just like our church, I suppose. I learned some new songs, which I have been craving to sing. And the message was very good. I could still tell you what it was about a week and a half later. Wanna try me? I dare ya. Anyway, if I ever moved to Minnesota, I would probably go to church there, with Jim.(Jim, the prepared Minnesotan, on the top of Barn Bluff)

After church, Jim had a great adventure for us. We drove to Red Wing, MN, home of Red Wing boots, where there is this mountainous hill that rises out of the ground. This hill is called Barn Bluff and it rises 350 ft up, up, and into the sky. After stopping for lunch, we put on our hiking shoes and made the trip up and around and back down the bluff. The view was so picturesque. And hiking up took our breath away. Good thing we brought water, because it was 90 degrees out there that afternoon. We found that Barn Bluff was not only a good spot for hikers, but for rock climbers too. On our way down the bluff, we went around the other side where the bluff does all it's "bluffing". The hillside gives way to a sheer, rocky, cliff-edge and we passed several groups of rock climbers. That was an activity for another day though... Adam wanted to go to the Red Wing Shoe Store, but he was disappointed that Red Wing shoes doesn't make more of it's shoes in the USA. He also couldn't find just what he was looking for, so he put off his new work boot purchase until a further date in time.
(Myself, checking out the view and being quite hot and out of breath)
(Rock Climbers climbing up the face or Barn Bluff)

When we were done touring Red Wing Shoe Store, we drove on back to Jim's apartment, which was nearly two hours from Red Wing. By this time it was already evening and we were exhausted. Both the guys fell asleep and I puttered around Jim's apartment for a while. I decided that, once it got to be 8:00, it was time to find something for supper. So I looked through Jim's cupboards, and started to "rub up some grub". He had some good ingredients and it wasn't long before the guys were awake and dinner was ready. Rice, beef, beans, and tomatoes. And that was the end of day #2. Photos forthcoming.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Minneapolis: Day 1

So we (Adam and I) spent all of last week in Minnesota with the great Jim the Third. My brother Jim moved to MN three years ago and since he was like our bff, we decided to drag ourselves out there to see him and his place. Jim is an excellent tour guide. He gets a prize for that. I'll break it all down for you so you can see what a good guide he was.

Days 1:

Saturday morning, Jim the Third served us a good breakfast of eggs and hash, then ushered us out the door and into his red Ford pick-up. I sat in the jump-seat. We went into the city of Minneapolis and over the Ol' Miss, as Adam called the Mississippi. We tried to rent bikes, but the bike rental was broken for the day. Or at least for us. So we walked around a historic hamlet, walked some more to Punch Pizza and then some more to a cute store. By the way, Punch's Pizza is the best pizza. I was very partial to the Napoli. I ended up eating this pizza three times while in Minneapolis.

In the afternoon, he took us the the Great Mall of America. At some point, I decided that I wanted some new sneakers. So we searched for some cool zapatos (which simply means shoes). I found this really neat pair of orange converse, and although they felt a bit tight, the shoes sales lady convinced me that, because they were canvas shoes, they would stretch and would be comfortable in no time. So I bought them. They were bright orange and oh, so cool. Oh, and the mall, though it was big, was just that. A big mall. It was the IKEA across the street that really caught my eye...

Saturday evening, we decided that we wanted to eat BBQ. So we went back into Minneapolis to find Famous Dave's BBQ. When we arrived, we found that Famous Dave's had a band that night and there was a cover charge of $5 a person. Adam thought that was ridiculous. We didn't come to hear the band, we came to eat some BBQ. So we left that place and found another, which was probably louder than Famous Dave's even without the band and it was packed with college age/late 20's people, and this is how the evening proceeded. We waited for the waiter to come, had to shout above all the commotion, waited for our drinks, waited for him to take our order, shouted some more to each other, waited for our food to come, waited for our silverware and waited some more for our check. We weren't impressed. And Adam was still hungry. (What sort of "fancy" restaurant doesn't have bread or something served with them meal?)

Okay and that is all I can cover at the time being... More later.

PS: Can you tell that Minneapolis is the real Flour City?