Category: Minnesota


Changing of Seasons


Image found on thecakeshopsa.com

Image found on thecakeshopsa.com

Leaves falling

in a shivering rush

sound like rain.

Swirls of oranges and reds

in a flurry like a sunrise

as the trees begin to lose

summer’s shawl.

Soon there will be

a crisp chill in the air

and crystalline snow

will blanket the ground.


I don’t often write about personal things on this blog, and I have decided it’s time I changed that.  After all, it IS my blog, and I have decided I’m going to write more about any damn thing I want, instead of things I think others might want to read about.  I love to take pictures to commemorate the small but wonderful moments in life with family and friends, and I have decided to include those more as well.  To kick off this new little “decision,” I have decided to post my highlights of 2011 in pictures.  All pictures belong to me unless stated otherwise.  Enjoy!

JANUARY 2011

My friend Troy made these beautiful luminaries for New Years and I got some pretty decent pics of them with my hokey little camera!

FEBRUARY 2011

The hubby and I had a super fun fondue party for Valentine’s Day with a few close friends!

MARCH 2011

In March, I performed a wedding for a couple from North Dakota.  Hubby and I had a fantastic time!

GOTTA have the Jameson!!!!!

APRIL 2011

In April, me, my hubby, and my son participated in the Fraser Walk for Autism at the Mall of America.  My nephew, Luca has Autism and we wanted to show our support for an organization that has helped many, many children with Autism and families of children with Autism.  You can learn more about Fraser here:  http://www.fraser.org/.  It was really well done and a lot of fun!    I plan to participate again this year!

MAY 2011

My hubby and I attended a Toga themed party.  It was a blast!

I also performed a wedding for two friends on May Day in Duluth, MN.  It was cold, but beautiful!

Also in May was Easter.  Time with family!

My son and my niece

May was a SUPER busy month!  I went to a “Facebook Mom’s Night Out” with a bunch of friends from high school I hadn’t seen in forever!  It was an absolute blast!

Me and my friend, Amy.  Even though she’s giving me bunny ears, I still like this pic, LOL!

JUNE 2011

In June, I took my son to the Twin Cities Pride Parade for the first time.  I very firmly believe in equal rights for everyone.  EVERYONE.  I wanted to pass some of this on to my son in a fun, yet educational way.  He had a blast!

JULY 2011

In July, we went to Cumberland, WI to have a family reunion on my dad’s side of the family.  It was wonderful to see so much of our family all in one place and the weather was perfect!

Hubby shucking corn.  🙂

My youngest sister Angie and her boyfriend, Tom.

My middle sister, Jennie with her best friend, Vanessa.

My son, about to take a whack at the pinata!

Dad, Mom, me, and my sisters

Of course, it’s not July without celebrating the 4th!  We went Downtown, Stillwater to watch the fireworks!

AUGUST 2011

Unfortunately, the laptop I purchased in April of 2011 ended up with a failed hard disk in the middle of September.  Consequently, I lost all photos from August 2011, photos of a wedding I performed for a friend from high school, and photos of my son’s birthday.  I was sad to lose them.  😦

SEPTEMBER 2011

Procrastination paid off a little in September because I didn’t upload a lot of the pics from that month right away, so they were not lost with the others from the failed hard disk fiasco.  Hubby and I took our kiddo to the Renaissance Festival as we do every year and we had a blast!

In September, I caught a fun moment with three of my friends at a going away party for one of them.  I love these ladies!

Me and my friend Emily

Last but not least, in September I also had the honor of being personal attendant for a wedding for a wonderful couple!

OCTOBER 2011

In October, me, hubby and kiddo went to my aunt’s retirement party.  It was nice to see family, as it always is, and it was the last time I got to see my Uncle Sal alive and kicking.  I will forever cherish that.

My great aunts!

Cousins!

More cousins!

I love October… it’s the month I married my husband and there’s also Halloween!  My favorite holiday!

My favorite boys carving pumpkins!

My gruesome zombie kid!

The Red Queen and Mad Hatter!

Me and my sisters

NOVEMBER 2011

November really didn’t have many events, but I did manage to take quite a few random photos with friends and family.

Our fur babies, Lily and Asher

Hubby and Lily

Love my purple streaks!

Ready for a night out!

DECEMBER 2011

December flew by faster than I could keep up with, which is what usually happens.  First thing I got pics of was a Christmas celebration for my dad’s side of the family.

My dad, his brother, and two sisters

Me and my cousin Frankie who is like a brother to me

And of course, there were a lot more Christmas celebrations, and a lot more pics!

We had Hot Dagos for Christmas with my Dad’s super awesome sauce!

My mom’s Bruschetta

Panzanella Salad

Mom and Dad in the kitchen

The tree at my parents’ house

My dad’s sauce! YUM!

Pasta!!!!

Lily loves to curl up on Hubby’s jacket 🙂

Some nice family pics  🙂

Christmas at my sister in law’s house

This past year has been a very good one for me.  Lots of changes, lots of tough decisions.  One thing I didn’t portray in pictures is my biggest decision of the year; to go back to school after twenty years.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made!!!!!  I am very happy with the way things are at present and am looking forward to seeing what 2012 will hold for me, my family, and my friends.  I wish you all a safe and happy New Year!  May 2012 bring everyone extraordinarily wonderful adventures!


As some of you may know, I live in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley…. Stillwater to be exact.  Ever since I was a child, I have always loved being here, of all the places I have lived (and there are many), Stillwater has always felt like home to me.  Don’t get me wrong.  It has it’s share of traffic issues, political issues, small town gossip, etc, but honestly, there is no place else I would rather live.

There is a lot of history here, some of it widely known, some of it untouched.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately, partly because of the fact that I love researching history, and partly because I am concerned that some of the beauty and history will be wiped out very soon.

Yesterday, I was compelled after leaving work to go Downtown Stillwater and snap some pictures.  The quickly melting ice and rising level of the St. Croix has me really worried about the possible outcome of the flooding this year.  Maybe the devastation in Japan has me appreciating my immediate surroundings more, who knows?  All I know is that I really feel for the proprietors and homeowners along the rivers that will be affected by this year’s flooding.

And.. then there is the bridge.  The Stillwater Lift Bridge is a historical landmark that has had much controversy over the last 20 years.  I won’t go into that right now……..but I will say that I feel it’s dangerous and in terrible shape.  If the river gets high enough, or the currents get strong enough, it may take that decision right out of anyone’s hands.  It could very possibly be swept away.  Thus, the end reason why I decided I wanted to go down and take pictures of it.  It sounds grim and rather negative, but I wanted to appreciate it before it came to a point where I couldn’t appreciate it any longer.

Without further adieu, I give you my pictures of Downtown Stillwater and the Stillwater Lift Bridge.  My humble tribute to the place I call home.  🙂

(The Water Street Inn’s parking lot is completely blocked off right now.)

(This is by the Water Street Inn.  They are so close to the water, it’s scary.)

(You can see how close the water is to the bottom of the bridge here.)

(This is over by the Dock Cafe)

Surviving Winter


Helloooooo!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but that is now OVER!!!!!  The Winter seriously tried to eat a hole through my brain as of late, but now that it’s officially Spring, I have hopped back into my writing mojo and will be posting much, much more often!

This Winter, I have noticed many things that seemed different to me than any other previous Winter.  It seems people have just gotten REALLY cranky, not to mention downright ANTSY waiting for all this snow to melt.  But, this year, it’s a double edged sword, especially since there will be a LOT of flooding of the rivers this year.  Living so close to Downtown Stillwater, I have seen the river rise almost overnight and it’s scary.  It makes me concerned for those who have property or a job down there.  Not even half the snow and ice on the river has melted and it’s already getting too close for comfort at the Water Street Inn.

I’m just really grateful to have survived this grueling Winter with most of my sanity intact!  It wasn’t easy, but keeping active has really helped with this last part of the frosty season.  So, my readers…. how did you survive this Winter?  What kept you moving forward instead of hiding in your nice warm beds?  If I get enough interesting answers, I may have to come up with a prize for the most unique.   🙂

HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!

Getting back on track, I will be posting biographies on Mondays and having Weeds Wednesdays coming back as well, so stay tuned!

Random Minnesota


Many people who have never lived in Minnesota have a somewhat skewed view as to how we must live.  Between the frigid cold and the snow, I’m sure it doesn’t paint a pretty picture to someone who lives in say… California?

I’ve been asked by out-of-towners…”Do you guys even go outside in that weather?  How do you see people?  Isn’t it a pain to put all that crap on just to go outside?”  Yes, it can suck… it can suck a whole lot.  I’m a person who likes to have my bare toes in the sand… I like to be warm and not have to wear three layers of clothes outside.   However, there are very beautiful things about where I live and I plan to show you the beauty of living in Minnesota.

The above and below pictures are of luminaries.  They were made with ice and the fun thing about this weather is that it is plenty cold enough to keep them that way!  My friend made a whole bunch of beautiful luminaries for New Years and the Winter, and on a beautiful, clear night he lit them for me so I could see how gorgeous they look!  He wasn’t kidding!  It has to be one of the prettiest Winter spectacles I’ve seen this year… and I was reminded that if I lived somewhere warmer, I wouldn’t have had this experience.  Here is one of the small things about living in Minnesota that I consider to be beautiful, charming, and most of all…. home.  It may not seem like much, but to a girl who has lived here all her life, these are one of the things that make me smile.  🙂

Enjoy the pretty pictures!


Okay, dear readers, I have finally made some decisions about some upcoming topics for this page!

First, Mondays will now feature a biography of the week…. it’s just going to be random how I choose the person, unless I get some requests.  A friend of mine requested Mark Dayton, so I will be researching and featuring him at some point in the near future.  Extra snaps to the reader who can help me come up with a catchy “name” for my Monday Bio Feature of the Week!  🙂

Second thing I have decided…. I have chosen a series to write about from beginning to end.. it was also at the mention of a friend (SEE?  I take requests seriously, LOL!).  I will be doing a weekly feature on the Showtime series, “Weeds”.  I have decided that Nancy and her crew would be a hell of a lot of fun to write about, episode by episode.  I still plan on doing other series as well, but I think “Weeds” will be a great start!

Third thing I have decided is that I will be doing one other sort of feature and it’s going to be called, “Random Minnesota”.  I came up with this idea because although this state is horribly frigid a few months out of the year, I do truly love it here and could never think of anywhere else as home.  My mom raised us on a lot of knowledge out our very changeable state, and I want to share some things I learned and grew to love as a kid.  Having a sister that works for the DNR helps when I have a shortage of ideas, LOL!  Who knows?  Maybe I will have her as a guest on my blog sometime!  The basic purpose of this particular feature is going to be to show others who have never been here before what it’s really like to live here.  Maybe some are not interested and that’s fair.. but I do know that some people are incredibly curious about how in the world we even manage to go outside with all the cold and snow!  🙂

So there you have it, my friends, readers, passersby and curious onlookers.  Some decisions made and changes coming and I’m super excited to start my research!  Happy Wednesday!!!!