Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing to Pack

It seems lately that my life is one big box. I pack things, and then I unpack things because I realize that I actually might need a can opener which happens to be at the bottom of box 47. And then I pack more, and now we are packing for a trip.

I live out of boxes. By choice, so I am not complaining. Just stating. And complaining a little. Give me a break.
On Friday, Jeremy and I will leave for our trip to Italy! We planned this trip about a year ago after we got home from Thailand and decided we needed another big trip to look forward to. I have a mental list of things I wanted to do/see/visit before having babies and Italy is one of them. However, we did not know at that time that we would be selling our condo, buying a house, building a house, moving into 'tiny apartment'.

Regardless, we are prepared for the move, but not so much for the trip. We'll get there. However, this past weekend, after spending 2 hours at REI shopping, we realized that some people save money for vacations. Jeremy and I should start saving money for 'preparing for vacations'. We do not tend to spend much money when we arrive in our destination, but we always feel that our current wardrobes are not sufficient for whatever locale we will be visiting. And thus it is necessary, maybe even required for entry onto the plane, that we shop for all new clothes.

In this case, hiking clothes. One of our stops in Italy is Cinque Terre, an area of small towns, traveled through only by foot. It's something like...hike...eat...hike...drink...hike...shop. I can handle that!

However, apparently this lead us to believe we needed to buy 'gear'. And 'gear' means clothes. Jeremy first requested "tear away pants". Now when I say tear away pants, what do you think of? Because I think of those Adidas pants with the snaps on the sides that the basketball players wear during breaks.

I didn't really think he needed those.

Apparently he meant those pants that zip off into shorts. Not tear away pants. Thank goodness. I also needed hiking pants. If he's getting some, I need some too!

And shoes.
And a hiking shirt.
Oh, and a comfy pair of ballet flats.
Ya know...for hiking.

It's a sickness I know, this over-packing situation.

On a recent trip to Stillwater for the night...


On our cruise this past winter...a selection of our shoes...














And I really tried to find a picture of our luggage for Thailand, but was unable to locate the photo. It is phenomenal. I will post another time.

This time, I am seriously trying to be moderate. As best I can. I don't do moderate well. Stacy loaned me their backpacks, and we will do our absolute best to fit everything in there. I can do it! I think. I will try at least.

Thank you everyone for all of your support during this process! When we return from Italy, it will be go time! We hope to see bulldozers at the house, and the inside of our new, tiny apartment. Changes abound!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Theme: Food

So Today's blog is fairly random. Which is how I roll. In case you haven't noticed.

Two unrelated stories. Well related in that they both involve food.

Story #1
I was working late and I called Jeremy on my way home. Hungry and tired I offered to pick up dinner. He said, "nope, don't worry about it, I've already started making something". I was so happy I could have cried. Lesson to all the gentleman out there (who likely are only Jeremy, Alex and my Dad reading this.)...make dinner when she's tired. Really, it's a simple thing that wins major points.

Now I said that it was a really nice thing that he made dinner. What I did not mention was that he apparently thought I was bringing an army home with me.

I arrive home to the following:


Now that my friends, is the world's largest bowl of pasta. For two people. Two small people. Two small people with a strange aversion to leftovers. A sign that we have been together for a long time and my food overestimation has worn off on him. Anyone hungry? We've got some pasta.

Story #2

We were out and about and trying to kill some time yesterday before meeting my family for dinner. We wandered into the local Jerry's foods because it is always good for a people watching laugh. This store has the strangest demographic. It is highly popular with the 10-17 crowd, as well as the 80+ crowd. So clearly I love it for the 80+ mingling.

Upon entering we noticed a display for 'graduation catering', and then the following:





I don't know how clearly you can see what is in the bowls above, but consider yourselves lucky if you cannot.

I can see it now...
"Thanks for inviting me to your graduation party, but why is there a line out the door for the bathroom?"
"I'm not sure...have you seen the Celebration Taco Bar in the kitchen?"

mmmm....tasty. Happy Graduation!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Packing Party


We're having another Friday night packing party tonight. It's pretty exclusive. There is a dress code and everything. If you're lucky, you can text me and maybe I'll put you on the list. Maybe. If you promise to bring your own packing tape.

I hate packing.

With a mad passion.

However, last night I learned something about myself. In our last few days at the Groveland, we have been trying to appreciate all the things we love about the building. And there are many. First, the people. Second, the rooftop deck. Third, the gym.

Last night, we both got home late and were stressed. Instead of freaking out or plopping down on the couch, we decided to have a drink on the rooftop deck. We went up there, and found some of our neighbors had the same idea. They were sitting there with pretzels and drinks and invited us to come sit with them.

Now you likely have noticed by now that I have an affinity for people older than myself. If it was socially acceptable I would interact solely with the 80+ crowd. I love old people. So when the 60/70 year olds asked us to sit with them, I was honestly more excited than if some 20 somethings asked us to sit down. These neighbors had their condo on the market at the same time we did, and sold about the same time we did.

So, we are both in the midst of packing boxes and moving on. Curiously, I asked them why they were moving. It seemed to me that their move to the Groveland must have been their empty-nester move to the city, and I wondered where they would go now. Did they regret buying here? All the things that have no impact on me, but of course I must know. And of course I ask.

Well it turns out they just love to move. They hate accumulating stuff. They like to try new things, and are moving, for the 14th time in their marriage! This time, they will be moving to a condo in Wayzata. She said it's kindof like a couch, you just get sick of it and want to move on.

Jeremy beware...I totally get their logic. And was a bit excited by the prospect! Now I hate moving, but I love looking at houses. I love the prospect of living all over the place...now I don't think that, practically speaking we will be moving 14 times in our marriage, but how fun! *Disclaimer: I recognize that I am probably the only one who finds that fun

So we enjoyed a drink with our fun neighbors, on the roof, a great night. Where else would people just invite you over to sit down and chat? I hope the new owner has an affinity for older neighbors just like me!

And I hope our new neighborhood has lots of fun old people ready and waiting for the Franks to arrive!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I just don't have good timing...

It's one of my faults. Sh*% is hitting the fan, I like to throw that one extra thing in there. Just to complicate things. It's just something I do.

Example.

We are about to leave for a trip to Italy
Upon our return, we will move out of our condo and into a tiny apartment 4 days later
We are in the midst of getting plans finalized for our new house
Loved ones around us are sick

And I have decided that I desperately want another puppy. Crazy? Yes.

Consider this logic.

We get a puppy as soon as we move into 'Tiny Apartment'. 'Tiny Apartment' features richly appointed vinyl flooring and about 3 inches of carpet.
(keep in mind pretty new house will have yards and yards of new carpet and pretty hardwood floors)

So we get the puppy. We train the puppy. The puppy has accidents on said richly appointed vinyl flooring. Kara and Jeremy do not freak out. Kara and Jeremy will be moving out in a matter of months.

See???? It really makes sense. Kind-of. 2 people, 2 dogs, 600 square foot apartment.

So we have been looking online all across the country to find the type of dog we would like and finally found an ad in the paper for a local woman who had puppies. We decided to go out and look at them as we had not even seen this type in person (petite mini goldendoodle).

We went out there on Tuesday, drove about 7 hours west (Debra swears it was only 47 minutes. I think her watch lies) where all dog breeders seem to live. We played with the absolutely adorable puppies, and then let Punky out of the car to interact. We had informed her that she was here to 'Brother Shop'.

Let's just say that interaction did not go as planned. She did not get aggressive, she did not bark or bite, rather she jumped into my arms and cowered in fear. Fear of two 7 week old mini goldendoodle puppies. This is the same dog that has no fear of my cousin's pit bulls. The same dog that bounds towards German Shepherds at Daycare, ready to play. But 7 week old goldendoodles, terrifying.

So, we decided to wait on the puppy search for right now. We can pick back up when we are settled into the richly appointed 'Tiny Apartment'. I can't imagine why this would not seem like the absolutely perfect week to buy a dog. I mean seriously, our lives are oh so stable right now.

So I, Kara Leigh Frank, walked away from a puppy. Cue the applause. I, Kara Leigh Frank who would adopt anything that walked in my door, walked away from a precious puppy. I know, something has gotten into me and I'm not sure I like it. Something some people call sensibility. Sensibility, who needs it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lessons in Home Repair

Last week, just 3 short weeks before we close on the sale of our condo, our disposal went on the fritz, and then died. We tried resetting it, we tried flipping the circuit breaker, we tried leaving it alone for a while and coming back to it...nothing worked. The little sucker died.

I tried to find ways in which we could get a new one in for free, (i.e. pilfer it from our new house)...that option failed. Miserably. So, we bought a new one and are eagerly awaiting my friend's husband who will install it. THANK YOU BILLY!!

In the meantime, the sink likes to do this oh-so-attractive spit up thing. Out of nowhere it turns into an infant child and begins to spew from the depths of sink-dom. It's pretty. Real pretty.

I mentioned this to my grandpa a few weeks ago and he said, "Well did you stick a broom down there and turn it around?"
"Why no, I had not stuck my broom in the sink."
"Do that, stick the broom in the sink" he replies.

Next Scene:



















In other news, Jeremy has decided to leave his job at Target to join the team members of Roto Rooter. He has found his passion.

Turns out it works! Stops the incessant sink spit up. Temporarily.

Billy Please hurry. It's kind of offensive when I walk by the sink and it decides to spit at me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 days late....

Sorry, apparently I missed the Mother's Day blogging memo and didn't write about my mom...woops. Still love you mom!



So here is my ode to my mom.








(my mom and aunt the day we surprised my aunt with a puppy. Maybe not the best idea in the world!)

Well first of all, my mom is better than yours because I have two of them! Yup, I get double duty because my mom is an identical twin!

And if you know me, or my family at all, you know that they are not referenced as individual people, but rather, "are you a daughter of one of the twins?" Why yes I am. And it's usually not worth telling them which one is your mother because they still do not know which one that is. And this encounter typically occurs at the Ridgedale Byerly's. Where they are regulars in the bakery department.

Short story: This past week I called my mom during the day, one of my 74 daily phone calls. I asked what she was doing because she sounded completely stressed out.
"Well, we have to run here and get this for Grandma, and go there to get dinner for them, and do this, and that..."
"Oy, that is a lot to get done. I'm sorry" I responded

I got home later and retold the story to Jeremy, recounting that they were running all around. He asks: "Did they ever think that perhaps if they just split up and divided the tasks, they could get it done in half the time?"
"Nope, never even thought of that. Thought did not cross my mind" I responded

And that is pretty much the story of my fabulous mom and auntie. So happy belated mother's day! May you always be completely inefficient but have fun doing it! What an amazing example of friendship they have demonstrated for my sister, cousins and myself.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pardon the delay

My apologies for my less than consistent blogging lately. Like 3 in 3 days and then nothing for several. Stick with me. Life is a bit out of control at the moment.

We move 1 month from tomorrow into a tiny apartment.
Will be out of town for a week and a half in Italy before we move (not that I am complaining, but still...stress)
We have to pack half of our belongings to store, half to live with.
Close on our condo on June 18
We are finishing plans on the house and hope to begin construction in June.
We are struggling with some family health issues right now.

And did I mention we are strongly considering getting another puppy? Yea, because there is not enough going on in our lives, lets throw that in there. Good idea Kara.

And did I also mention that our disposal decided to break down this weekend? Come on InSinkErator, let's find some better timing.

So bear with me, I will keep you all posted on life progress.

In other news, Jeremy and I are pretty much famous:
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/93143444.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

Please see the article above. We are in that picture. If you look you can see Jeremy's lunging leg and my pony tail. If you zoom in close. We're famous.

I promise, more soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Welcome to Home Ownership

This past weekend Jeremy and I had our first taste of true home ownership. Let's call it the least fun game of pickup sticks ever.

We stopped at the house on Saturday and got the mail. Apparently the name has to be spelled perfectly or the post office will not forward the mail to you. So 'The Franks" does not get forwarded because it is not Kara or Jeremy Frank. Whatever. We got a post card saying that on Tuesday May 4, the city of Golden Valley would be performing their annual Brush Cleanup Day.

Brush Cleanup Day you say.

A day to clean your makeup brushes?
A day to touchup paint your house?
A day to clean the streets?

Nope, a day to pick up the logs that apparently decide to situate themselves all over your yard. We looked out the window and noticed that dotting our lovely property were sticks, logs and twigs galore. So we promptly left.

But we are good home owners, so we came back, the next day, prepared with rubber handed gloves. We started picking up sticks and made a pile at the end of the driveway. The pile continued to grow. And then...Jeremy walks into our back yard and screams.

KARA....get back here.

I walk back and see the worlds largest pile of sticks that will need to be moved.

Jeremy starts to scheme.
"Let's go to Art and Penny's and get a wheelbarrow"
"Let's drive my car up here and fill the trunk with them and then drive it down the driveway"
"Oh, I know, maybe we should go buy a wagon and put them all in and pull them down"

Kara:
"Or maybe we should pickup the sticks"

Crestfallen, we begin to pick up the sticks. And when I say sticks, I mean logs. And when I say logs, I mean trees.

We pickup sticks, and pickup sticks until we are called over by a neighbor who wants to introduce herself. She introduces herself and then begins to tell us about a wild Woodchuck that is inhabiting our back yard and informs us that it will kill our dog or a small child.

A woodchuck, really?

Okey. So, keep in mind Jeremy and I are Jewish, and in the aforementioned scene while cleaning up sticks we decided we should also cut the lawn. However, after making about 20 calls, realized we don't actually know anyone who owns a lawn mower. But we got 20 recommendations for good lawn services.

Jeremy responds to her, "It's okay, we'll just call a service to get rid of the woodchuck"
Kara: "Yes, wildlife rescue can do it"

Neighbor: "Oh no, no, you need to outsmart the woodchuck. A trap will not work, this one is tricky. You need a transistor radio, and a rope..." and this is where I stopped listening

She also didn't seem to like my response that once we get some diggers in here to start gutting the house, I bet that woodchuck will find a new home. Woops!

She departs, after offering to have her son mow our lawn - yes please!!!

We continue to pick up trees.












Okay, so maybe that's not our pile of sticks, but it was basically that large. I do now know where these sticks came from, and I hope they never come back. But now I have a very clear understanding of what, 'Golden Valley Brush Cleanup Day' means.

Jeremy and Kara Frank....welcome to Home ownership.