Thursday, April 29, 2010

Special Request

I have had a special request for more recipes, so here goes.

I have this thing with moving, I feel the need to use everything up before I move. It makes sense, kindof, that way you have to move less stuff. However, it also means when you get to where you are going, you have nothing. Also keep in mind, when I have moved at different points in my life, it has never been over 10 miles. So we're not talking about cross country journeys here. But regardless, it is a good time to clean out.

As an aside, when Stacy and I moved out of our campus apartment we took this method seriously to heart. One night for dinner, just a few days before we moved, we had a dinner of canned beans, with cheese and potato chips. We were determined to use EVERYTHING up. Even though we were moving 5 miles away. Together.

So here is another Frank Family Favorite that uses items you likely have in your cupboard already:

Peanut noodles

Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk (I use light coconut milk and low fat PB) to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along with garlic and chili flakes. You can blend in a food processor, or just stir. I stir, way easier, less mess.

Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles(I make the noodles in the morning or the night before so they are good and cold. And then dinner is ready in like 5 minutes), a load of mint, Thai basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded cucumber and carrots optional.

More to come later...but this one's a keeper.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zen works

I didn't want to say anything until we knew it was real...well I guess we technically won't know that it's real until June 18. And no, we're NOT having a baby....

We sold our condo!! Literally two days after giving myself the, "I will be calm, I will just let it happen" talk, we had a showing, and then the next day, another showing, and then an offer! I think I will give this zen thinking a chance more often.

So...we close on June 18th. And I am petrified. But it will all work out, and it's a great thing, and I am excited for the next stage. But sad at the same time. We have loved The Groveland and will miss it.

I will miss our favorite 80+ year old couple, The Chases who live on the 1st floor. I will miss hearing stories about their bicycle built for two and I will miss the late night calls from Mrs. Chase when she is doped up on pain meds for her many ailments.

I will not miss that guy in the gym who smells funny and insists on watching ESPN. Seriously, ESPN is the worst station ever. Especially in the morning when the clear choice, The Today Show, is on TV.

I will miss the Groveland social hours on the rooftop deck. We have enjoyed socializing with the average 45 year old crowd and listening to discussions their many divorces and how they, "divorced well".

I will not miss the homeless men who bathe in our front fountain.

I will miss 85 degree parking garage. That's not half bad in January.

I will not miss the Target symbol patterned carpet. I feel like the Target symbol is chasing me everywhere I go.

I will miss the postings in the elevator. Favorites include, "Dog committee will meet on 3/25 to discuss switch from plastic to paper dog waste bags" and "There have been several attacks in the neighborhood, please be careful when walking outside late at night" - thanks for warning me, all this time I thought it was okay to walk outside late at night in the middle of Minneapolis.

I will miss the many dogs. I do not know the names of anyone in the building. I simply know them as, "Duke's Dad", "Charlie's mom" and "Hoover's parents". And yes, that is how we refer to each other in the hallways..."Oh hi is Punky's mom today?"

I still believe we live in the best building in Minneapolis. We will miss it dearly. But most of all...

We will miss our best friends who live one floor below us. I always dreamed of living in the cast of 'Friends'. And then, it kindof happened. Dinner was at whomever had time to cook. When we ran out of eggs, we walk downstairs. When we needed to vent, we walked downstairs.

And when Debra met Alex, we could stalk them and track their whereabouts by weather his car was at the Groveland. And when Alex proposed to Debra, we could sneak down at 5am to deliver flowers to the bride to be. The good news is, we can now start searching for houses for them, right by our new house!

Goodbye Groveland. (on June 18th) We will miss you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I love my job. I really do. And that is not sarcasm. I really do enjoy what I do. And I get the pleasure of working for a company that helps out in the community. Yesterday, we participated in a Habitat For Humanity project. We helped a homeowner who lived in a neighborhood in St. Paul that has been hit hard by foreclosure. The home next door, a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home, recently sold after foreclosure for $42,000. This woman had been running into repair after repair on the interior of her home, and just did not have the time or money to do the outside, and thus asked for our help.

We went out there, helped and had a great time doing it. If any of you are looking for a great project with your company or a larger group of family members of friends, I highly recommend these projects.

We painted, and scraped, and climbed, and painted some more. A great day. We were packing up to leave and I was standing by a tree chatting with a coworker, and the homeowner.

I feel something hit me in the forehead.
I look across the group to see another coworker standing across me and proceed to accuse him of throwing something at me.
The group's faces go blank.
My assistant, Amie, looks at me and starts to scramble.
"WHAT IS ON ME?" I exclaim
"Bird P..."the homeowner begins to say until Amie just about knocks her down so she doesn't finish her comment
(side note: I hate birds. HATE birds. I love all animals except birds. Amie knows this)
"Nothing, its nothing Kara" states Amie as she grabs my sunglasses off my face

I begin to scream. Scream as though my child has just fallen into the river, scream. I am shaking and laughing, and screaming bloody murder. People have now gathered around. Amie has found a wipe up and the homeowner has grabbed a paint towel.

The two of them begin to wipe me down and try to calm me down. I continue to scream as they smear and try to clean the largest poo any bird has ever expelled from my face, hair and shirt.

5 minutes later they completed the clean up. Until I got home, and threw away everything I had worn. Showered. And found remnants in my hair.

Great day, until the bird decided to poop mid flight. Thanks bird. No wonder I hate you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Out on the town. Maybe.

Saturday night was quite a night. Let me provide you with a play by play:

Setting: Jeremy and Kara are going to see the play Avenue Q. Dinner reservations at 6:00, play is at 8:00. Tickets were purchased from a friend of a friend.

5:30: "Kara, do you know where the tickets are?"
"Uh...yea, top drawer in the kitchen"
"Nope, not here."
5:40: "I FOUND the tin foil and zip-lock baggie drawer. Doesn't everyone keep play tickets with their tin foil?"

5:45: "Kara...Kara...WE HAVE A PROBLEM"
"What do you need now??"
"Kara...these tickets are for Friday, April 16th...Today is Saturday, April 17th"
"I am staying calm, I am staying calm. This is my new thing, I am remaining calm. Jeremy...get the number of the box office"
"Found it..."
(I call and learn that they have a 'missed show policy'...we can show up at the box office and turn our tickets in and if they have available seats they will seat us 10 minutes before the show starts)

We jump in a cab. Halfway to the restaurant I decide I want the cab to take me to the box office so I can drop off our tickets early to have a better chance. After a fight with the cab driver who did not want to make an extra stop...I got him to pull over. Jeremy waited in the car. I ran into the main box office. CLOSED. I run outside and find the Orpehum box office...3 blocks away. I am in heels and a dress. I take off running.

Plowing people down on my way I start running through Downtown Minneapolis. I run past the hoards of people waiting in line for student rush tickets. Kids who barely look old enough to drive.

I turn in my tickets, and just about start to cry. Had it not been for the sweaty makeup pouring all over my face, I likely would have been in tears. Have I mentioned there's a lot going on in my life right now?

I leave and look at my phone. Text from Jeremy.
"Cab is waiting outside the Capital Grill"

Fantastic. Capital grill is now 5 blocks from where I am. I take off running once again. This time late for our dinner reservation, I run full speed ahead through busy downtown Minneapolis foot traffic in a dress, heels, and a clutch purse. If only there were video footage of said event.

I find the cab and literally fall in. We get to the restaurant, I down 2 glasses of water and compose myself. Jeremy orders a bottle of wine. Quite needed after this ordeal. He orders a bottle of white wine. She brings something red and presents it to him.
"Uh, no, that's not what I ordered"
"Damn" she says
she stomps away and comes back a few minutes later
"If this isn't it, then I'm just going to hang myself" she states
Jeremy looks at the bottle, looks at me, shrinks down in his chair and quietly explains,
"No, that's not it either"
"S*&%, Fu$(*#$" The waitress retorts

Not kidding. I could not make this up.

She returns 5 minutes later, with the correct bottle, the correct color this time.

We eat. We leave. Arrive at the theater and sulk up to the counter. Ms. Frank, your tickets.


We walk up to the seating host and he looks at us and says, "Row U, let me get you some chairs"

We look at one another, chairs? Chairs? We walk down, get some chairs...and saw the play. Turns out the chairs are much better for miniature people like us...we could actually see. Not so much the relaxing night out on the town we had anticipated, but certainly one for the record books.

Lesson of the day, when you get tickets, double check them, even if you are think you know the details. Double check. Lesson #2: heels and a dress are not ideal running gear.
Lesson #3: If you are in the service industry, I do not recommend swearing to your customer.

Friday, April 16, 2010


That's me meditating. That's what I do now when I think about emailing the Realtor. Breathe. I bet its kind of like what an addict does. A home selling control addict, that's what I am.

But honestly, I'm doing a great job. For those of you who know me, you know calm is not my game. I am in a constant state of motion, concern, and activity. So I'm taking a new approach.

Debra and I take our first official 3 day training walk tomorrow. 7 miles (I think). I just show up with shoes on, and usually clothes too I guess, and we walk. Walk until she tells me to stop walking. Or until I fall over. Or until she wets her pants. (if you are new to my blog then I must take one last opportunity to pick on my co-walker...please see this blog post...

So here we go...3 days, 60 miles, hundreds of memories, 1 cure!

If you are able to donate, I would greatly appreciate the support. You can donate online at:

I will keep you all posted on our progress here, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A wise woman once told me....

I had a great lunch with a friend today and two important lessons came out of the lunch.

#1 (and clearly the most important)....the restaurant was amazing. We went to Be'Witched Deli ( on Washington Ave in Minneapolis and it was amazing.

It has been there for a couple of years, but every time I suggest we go there, Jeremy is not into it. Both Jeremy and my mom have this strange perception that a sandwich is not a meal. It's like eating breakfast for dinner or something like that...against the rules. Well break the rules friends because it is amazing. I had a half of a turkey sandwich (ciabatta, bacon, medjool dates & goat cheese), and it was unreal. Love at first bite. Go there now.

#2 As I continued to freak out at lunch over the fact that our condo has not yet sold my friend Stephanie reminded me of a very important life occurrence.

"Remember when you were single, and you wanted a boyfriend? And so you would look, and fret, and search and worry? And then you would never find a guy because you were so preoccupied with trying to find him that you forgot about yourself? Maybe this is kind of the same way. As long as you keep looking for a condo-buyer, scouring and pretending you are all of a sudden a residential real estate agent, maybe they won't come. When you stop looking for them, they will find you."

Okay fine. Use logic on me. Whatever. So now I am preoccupied with trying to not worry about finding someone to buy our condo. It's exhausting being me.

So I am making this pact to myself. And loyal blog readers must hold me to this. Via the internet..I guess.

I hereby solemnly swear to stop freaking out about our condo.
I promise to act logically and rationally.
Or try at least.
I promise to uphold all of the standards that rational human beings hold and conduct myself in a reasonable manner.
I promise to remind myself that while it is all that I can possibly think about, likely those around me do not care one lick.
I promise not to call my mom every 45 seconds freaking out that it still has not sold.
I promise to limit my email usage to the Realtor to one every other day. (come on people, I have to be reasonable here)
And I promise to never, under any circumstances whatsoever, to email Realtors who have shown our property to ask why they have not made an offer.

Or so I will try.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The things we will do...

for our dog. It's truly unbelievable.

Recently, Punky awoke early in the morning heaving and eventually threw up on our bed. Now, to the non-dog owner this might sound horrible and disgusting. But to the seasoned dog owner you know, this is just a part of life. Gross and disgusted, I looked at it and went back to bed! :-)

It was far enough away from me, I'd deal with it in the morning. The next evening it was time I washed the comforter. I looked at the comforter, I looked at the washing machine, I sized them both up and thought, hmm.... And then proceeded to stuff it in our condo sized washer and turned to Jeremy and said,
"Do you think this is going to be okay? Do you think it's going to go over?"

Jeremy: "No, no, no, it will be totally fine."

End Scene.

20 minutes later we returned home after a quick errand. I walk into the laundry room and find that the comforter has grown to 3 times its original size and is now climbing out of the washer like those exploding cans of dinner rolls. Poof, here it was, once a small lightweight comforter, is now the worlds biggest mass of down, protruding from our machine.

And of course, the entire room is filled with water.

Overflow? Never.

Next Scene.

We then found ourselves driving to my parent's house in Minnetonka, at 9pm at night to make use of their normal sized washing machine, with the world's heaviest, drenched down, smelly comforter in hand.

Leaking all the way.

The things we do for our animals. It's truly unbelievable.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lessons learned...

Please review the following....

And now I will ask the obvious question to you. What is that? If you saw that sign, what do you think it would mean?

Now let me pause this quandary to frame the question. Earlier this week we saw a neighbor on our floor walking to the East side of the building down the hallway carrying a bag of trash. However, the trash chute is located on the far West side of the hallway at the other end of the building. Jeremy and I saw this woman, looked at one another and paused.

Has there been a trash chute right outside our condo all this time and we have had no idea? Have we walked 100 necessary steps each time in pursuit of a garbage receptacle? Have we wasted precious time going to a farther location?

The woman woman walked past and I took off running to review the situation and come across the aforementioned sign. "Area of Refuge". JER - WHAT THE HECK - THE AREA OF REFUGE HAS BEEN RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR CONDO ALL THIS TIME.

Jeremy walks over to me. Refuge, Kara? Really? Behind that door is a stairwell. I think you meant area of Refuse.

Okay, honest mistake.

Who says Area of Refuge?

Apparently not just the Groveland. After explaining the circumstance to Debra, she sends me the photo below a few days later.

Apparently the West End also feels it is necessary to call a stairwell 'Area of Refuge'.

Why not 'Stairwell'. Or 'Fallout Shelter'. Or I know...'EXIT'.

Just a thought.

Area of Refuge. Come on people.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend update...

My apologies for not posting additional wedding photos as planned. We ran into a bit of a glitch and realized that we had loaned all of our photo CD's out to others and don't actually have any ourselves. So it you have one, could we borrow it back - so ya know, we have pictures of our own wedding! That is the trouble with living with half of your belongings packed at your parents house, you're really not ever sure where anything is.

I will post them soon. Promise.

In the meantime...anniversary weekend update!Jeremy planned an amazing weekend at a cute Inn in Downsville, Wisconsin. It was plugged as, "The Birdhouse Inn has ten non-smoking rooms with king beds and double whirlpool tubs. Every room has a view to our woods, grounds and two oxbow ponds. Inn rooms are spacious with vaulted ceilings and beautiful handmade tiles in the bathrooms. Organic bedding includes sheets, duvet covers and quilts. Our comforters and pillows are made from Wisconsin sheep wool covered in 100% organic cotton from Kerry Hills Farms near Milwaukee.

Which it was, but I may need to hire those marketing people to write the descriptions of the buildings I manage too.

It was a bit more like this....

But regardless. We had a GREAT time. Ate some delicious food (and I am not for passover!), slept a ton, relaxed, found a great running trail on the river. All in all a wonderful weekend. Minus the exaggeration on the room quaintness. You should have seen our faces when the guy walked us in to the room. Priceless. Jeremy liked to call it the 'retreat center' because that's really what it looked like. It looked like a wilderness retreat where we should have been discussing our feelings and doing trust falls.

Trust falls with seriously awesome food.

And now Punky. We tried really hard to grow her hair out, because it's so darn cute when its long...but it got a little out of control. I seriously have 5 different brushes for 5 different hair scenarios. Wet, matted, long, short and snarly. I don't even have 5 brushes for myself. So...after 3 months without a hair cut, little Punk went from:


Looks like a different dog! Sorry Rachel and Debra...I know you love the long hair. But she really likes her new do!

Friday, April 2, 2010

1 year ago

This weekend marks the first anniversary of our wedding! It is so hard to believe that is has been an entire year since the single best, and most fun day of my life thus far. Huge thanks go out to my parents for the remarkable day. I hope their wallets accept my apology. But it was all worth it! This year has brought many amazing things:
--We bought a house

--We attempted to sell our condo ...

--Our niece grew from an adorable baby into a beautiful, walking, talking, toddler
--My sister got married

(I know this isn't a wedding photo...but it was just too great not to share. Even as a 7 year old, I tried to talk her out of those glasses by warning her that I would never look at her again if she got them!)

Love you sis!

--Our dog finally, miraculously, calmed down
--We saw great weddings, and wonderful engagements of friends
--Celebrated babies on their way (no...not from me)

And many more small celebrations in between.

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with was truly, the most amazing weekend. Can we do it again now...please? But I still want to marry Jer. I just want another wedding.

It's been an amazing ride - looking forward to 95 more years of marriage!