Friday, July 30, 2010

Surprise!

This past Wednesday I arrived home to our apartment a bit earlier than usual, around 5:00pm, as I had played in a golf tournament that day. When I arrived, I saw that our dog walker's truck was outside. Strange, he is supposed to be there around noon, not 5:00pm! I was annoyed, and texted Jeremy that this was just crazy, and I was so annoyed. I walked up to our apartment, and assumed he had just let her out and was on his way out.

I arrived at the apartment, and did as I always do, I took out my gym clothes, and started to change. As I was standing in the middle of our apartment, totally naked, standing in the living room (which is also the kitchen, dining room, closet and family room), I heard the lock turn.

I think to myself: I just talked to Jeremy, so it is certainly not him. CRAP. It is the dog walker. 

And there I stand, frozen, paralyzed, naked in the kitchen/family room/closet/dining room that is our studio apartment.

He walks in and I scream. DON'T COME IN HERE. 

And then I think, well maybe that was a little strong. 

Uh, uh, hold on, I state. The only covering I can find is a garment bag with a new dress I just ordered. I wrap myself in the garment bag and begin running around the apartment trying to find clothes, while wrapped in a garment bag.

Uh, uh, one more second. Just wait there. Uh, uh. 

I manage to find some clothes and push the dog towards him.

Uh buddy, try to come on time next time. We live in a studio apartment. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Birthday place

This past weekend we celebrated a friend's birthday at the Birthday Place. Otherwise known as Benihana. Now I have been a longtime lover of Benihana's sushi, but rarely, if ever, do I venture over to the tepanyaki side of the room. I curse it's strong, illusive smell, and I painstakingly change into washable clothing when I venture over for my beloved Benihana sushi. Therefore, it takes a very special friend to get me over to the smelly side, the odoriferous fried onions and chicken on the massive grill.

I find it funny every time. I cook dinner every night, but Jeremy does not stand next to me, laughing and clapping when I demonstrate my fancy knife skills with a head of broccoli. He does not cheer when I saute a chicken breast. There are no roars of laughter when I burn a potato.


But, at benihana, we laugh wildly as they form our rice into a heart, and then make it beat, and turn an onion into a volcano. I might need to try that method at home.
Hey Jer, look at my mean tofu sauteing skills. Take that frypan.

I love Benihana for the aforementioned sushi, and for it's fun glasses. Rachel appreciates the glasses too. She chose to order her drink in a cat mug. Yes, a cat mug.
But her cat mug did not last for long, and Rachel was sad.
But where else could she have chosen to have her beverage served inside a porcelain cat? I can think of no place other than Benihana.

Benihana, where they chant "Happy Birthday to You" in voices so high it sounds like someone stepped on their toes.
Benihana, cooking at home does not garner such a scent, but here, one must shower upon exit.
Benihana, land of bizarrely shaped drinking vessels.
Benihana, place of celebration - weather it is a Birthday, graduation, engagement or baby, we rejoice over a hot stove and a man cooking before us.
Benihana, you may not believe me, but some damn good sushi.

And so we celebrated Cooper's birthday, over a hot stove, a cat mug, and a very tardy tennis coach who joined us for dinner. (see...my posts on Tennis Lessons)  Yes, Mr. Tennis coach also joined us for dinner.


Happy Birthday Coop!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can we move in yet?

We could even wait until next week, the house should be ready, right?

But really...it's coming along well!!! It's only been 2 weeks and they've really done a lot.

Much to my husband's chagrin, I decided to email the builder yesterday and ask if they had, what I called, "A general timeline". Ya know, like, can we move in next week, or next March. Seems reasonable right!?

This girl is living in a 550 square foot apartment building with one toilet, and a hallway that apparently only needs to be cleaned once per month. Not to be graphic, but a dog had a #2 accident in the stairwell last week, and it too 5 days for someone to clean it up. Now I am not speaking out of my behind, because this is essentially what I do for a living, just not for apartments, for commercial buildings. And if there was dog poo in the hallway of a building for 5 days, I would be fired. And I should be fired. Yuck.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just keep walking..walking...walking

And we're still walking...every weekend! This past weekend was a 17 mile walk. To be perfectly honest, neither of us was in the mood for it, and would have made up most any reasonable excuse to get out of it. But alas, neither of us came up with anything remotely reasonable. I was banking on Debra's blisters getting in the way, but no, she toughed it out. So after complaining to our respective spouses about the upcoming walk, they developed a plan. We did not have a "Walking location sponsor" this week, so they would create a route and scavenger hunt along the way. 

Jeremy is more of an idea generator type person, an excellent manager, an outstanding visionary. And thankfully, Alex is exceptional at execution. So, Jeremy came up with the fabulous plan, and Alex made it happen. He created a little map book with clues and hints along the way. The theme was 'Coffee Shops' and we were given clues as we went and we had to identify different locations.

When you have a 5-6 hour walk ahead of you, the prospect of entertainment along the way is rather wonderful. Photos of our journey:

The Book of Clues (at 6:30am on Saturday)


We chose to forge the river after the Oregon Trail Clues in our book
                                                   (forged into St. Paul)
And we're done!!! Black dog cafe in St. Paul was our final stop at our 17th mile! 
(Clue was: You can hear me at night, but you cannot see me)
Clearly we were a little excited to have an activity along the way. It was about 150 degrees outside with approximately 99% humidity and we were not really caring about the boobs that morning. But they turned our frowns upside down. Thanks boys!

See that big smile on Debra's face? Well it lasted for about 2 more minutes until she began to feel nauseous. The boys took us to Tropical Smoothie (a favorite lunch spot in Naples, where Debra's parents have a home) in some really freaking far suburb of Minneapolis, and then Debra began to hurl. I mean, what would a walking blog be without totally embarrassing her?! Yes, Miss. Debra began to spend the lunch portion of the program in the bathroom tossing her cookies. I can laugh because she was fine again in like 2 hours. Anyone want to walk with us!? Huh, huh??

Now any takers for next week's scavengar hunt?! We have a 19 mile walk this weekend. Entertainment or a goal certainly helps. We are getting very close to the walk weekend (August 20-22) and absolutely appreciate the support.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello!

I didn't have time for a full blog post today, so thought I'd leave you with a little picture of one of the cutest dogs in the world, my parents dog Teddy. Or Thodore Waddles Weinblatt, as I like to call him.
This is what siblings do...they put each other on the kitchen counter and take pictures of each other. Or something like that. He's my sibling, right? He looks just like me, doesn't he? We totally have the same nose.

Oh Theodore, you are funny.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I protect the peace.

Last night, I was called to duty to protect the public safety of the citizens of St. Paul. They needed me to assist in crime chasing and arrests. And I willingly answered the call of duty.

I mean basically. In so many words. Okay really, I decided to do a police ride-along as a part of the Leadership St. Paul program I am involved in. But I was totally critical.

I assumed we would spend the night patrolling some random stretch of highway, giving out speeding tickets to poor unsuspecting drivers, but alas, I was wrong. When I got in the car, the first thing my ride along officer told me was that, "I'm not really into traffic tickets. I don't really do that. It's not my thing". Sweet. I like you already, we are going to get along just fine, I thought.

And so, after doing some boring stuff (i.e. writing a report on a domestic earlier), we were off. I had a tour of the Juvenal holding cells and detox, and then we hit the road. Jeremy had asked me if we were going to spend the whole night eating doughnuts, and I laughed and told him he was nuts. Not doughnuts...but he did then say he wanted to go get a burger with some buddies. So, we met some other cops at a bar and they got burgers. 3 cops and me, sitting at a table eating burgers. Really wish I had a photo of that one.

We (and I say we, because as I mentioned, I was critically important to preserving public safety last night), drove through my officer's district, Frogtown, and then got a call about a drunk guy passed out in his car.  I inform the officer that I am strongly interested in a car chase tonight, and we go, lights and sirens to respond to the drunk guy. 

Turns out, this older drunk guy wanted to get out of his apartment because his mom (whose 84) doesn't like him drinking inside. So, he took his bottle of liquor to his car and decided to drink until he passed out. Sounds healthy. So, my very very nice officer, along with another responding officer offer to walk him back up to his apartment. He is barely able to walk up the hill to his apartment, but they hold him up and walk him home. Nice officers. I don't know if I would have been that nice. Sitting in his car with his keys, that dude could have driven somewhere in a second. Scary.
The officers with the drunk guy, before they walked him home.

We left, drove some more, and then got a call about a 14 year old who was throwing knives at her mom and brother, and an officer was trying to restrain her. Now we have some action!  
 Police computer in the patrol car

We responded, and the officer looked at me, and said, "Follow me, stay close" I was going in!

We went in and found a hysterical pre-teen fighting the officers and her mother. I am still unsure of what her problem was, but she was clearly over emotional and needed help. 6 officers and myself responded and we stood in this family's home trying to get this girl to calm down. Her aunt was convinced that I was the new chief of police, and my ride along officer played along and said, yes, yes she is. The first female chief of police ever, standing here in your house.  

They managed to calm the girl down somewhat, and we left her with a couple of other officers.  Off to the next call of duty!  We drove around some more, yelled at some guy for selling CD's on a corner and stopping traffic, and then we got the big one. An armed robbery and runaway.

To make a long story short, this guy robbed four shops in St. Paul and several officers were chasing him. While he was running away he jumped into a van, and then when cops were following the van, he jumped out and ran away again. We caught the van driver and passenger and held him in the car, with me! As about 10 other officers and several K-9's searched the area for the suspect, I entertained the van driver in the police car. And...let's just say he was not terribly pleased to be joining me on my ride along. He was not such a willing participant in the program.  

I think my life hit a high note when I turned to the suspect, who would not stop screaming in the back of the car and said, "Knock it off, I am sick of you". Yes, I preserved the peace. But seriously, this guy was driving me nuts.

Quite an eventful night, got home very late due to the armed robber, all in all an unbelievable experience. If you have never done this, do it now! The police need you like they needed me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Construction has begun!

Our house is officially under construction!!

BEFORE

NOW

It's really happening! Construction is in process! 

I am attempting to get rid of all of the old appliances in the house, much to Jeremy's frustration. The new appliance company will take away the old ones, but I feel like we have to recycle! Give them to someone who will use them. Jeremy thinks I am going to be abducted by some strange Craig's List guy, who wants a free dishwasher. So...he escorts me on all of my giveaways. 

Yesterday, in the 175 degree heat with 99% humidity we gave a dishwasher to a nice dad, who was looking for one for his daughter. He spent about 25 minutes fiddling on the floor of the filthy old kitchen, disconnecting and unhooking the 20 year old dishwasher. I seriously almost threw up when years old water came spilling on this poor guy's head. 

But now, his daughter has a dishwasher. And we sweated more I do in a bikram yoga. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. I was listening in the girl scouts. 

Anyone need a gas stove or a washer and dryer? FREE if you're willing to come and get it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why?

This is the question I have asked, since the day I could talk. Why. I take absolutely nothing for face value, everything must be questioned and analyzed. This probably my most distinctive, aggravating, but also fortunate trait. I ask why. I just do. From age 3 to the present I have not stopped.

So...when choosing items for the house, I am no different. I will ask for something, and at times I am told, "no, you can't do that". And of course, I respond with, why? In this case, I wanted marble countertops. We couldn't find the right color in granite, limestone does not come in large enough pieces, so I wanted marble.

The designer initially said no. I said why. She is clearly not yet sick of my constant questions, and came up with a suggesstion. Why don't I get you a sample of the marble, you try and destroy it, and see what happens, and then you can answer your own question. 


Great!

And so we tried....
Above find the evidence of my destruction test. Bottle opener, lemon juice, chocolate frosting, sriracha sauce and blueberries.  Yea, well as it turns out, I learned why we cannot have marble.
As you can see, the sealed marble still took on some serious stains. The sriracha was the most significant stain that you can see towards the middle on the right hand side. The can opener made enormous scratches, and the lemon juice completely removed the sealant on the marble.

Okay, okay, so I have an answer to my why! No more marble. It has been decided, we will use the Ceasar Stone. And now you know why you cannot have marble counter tops. Or if you do, why you must be very careful with them. And I am just not careful.

Marble you are beautiful, but alas, I will leave you for purposes other than counters.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thank you!

Blog readers...You are all incredible - thank you so much for your counter top assistance. I promise you will all be invited over for many parties with food served atop said counter tops. You rock!!

Construction is slated to begin tomorrow...pictures to follow.

Jeremy and I just returned from a trip to Boston to visit his Aunt, Uncle and Cousins and celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. We had a great weekend celebrating with them, and I am now back but exhausted.

But...I still wanted to post a little something. And this is not sweet to anyone but me, and probably my mom. And Lindsay too. But look at this picture my best friend Lindsay just sent to me. Talk about lifelong best friend. That is a picture of us in her pool, with her dad, for a pool party. I'm the one in the hot two piece bathing suit, attached at the sides, behind her dad. The one with the blazing red hair and freckles, in case you couldn't tell.

and then 20 years later....
More later!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poll time

So those of you who have been with me and my blog for a long time remember the wedding planning. That is how this blog started in fact, it was a way for me to talk about the wedding planning process, and share with people who had a choice to read or not. I did not want to go around my office asking people if I should have Ivory or Brown vests for the men. I assumed, correctly, that they did not care. I wanted a forum for which people could hit the snooze button.

So again, here I find myself, in need of my blog reader's help, and if you are totally uninterested, hit the little red X in the upper right hand corner. But please don't. Because I get a report of everyone who opens my blog but doesn't finish reading it. No, I really don't. But it would be cool if I did!

And I don't care who you are that are reading this..or how weird you may think it is that you read my blog. (However I promise, I love that you read this, no matter who you are.) Please give your opinion.

Okay here goes. Critical, life changing issues here.

Kitchen Cabinets for the house remodel. We are doing custom Walnut cabinets, with dark grey-ish oak floors, kind of like this picture:
And now...we have to pick countertops. Initially, I wanted granite. Everyone does granite, nice houses have granite. This will be a great house. So we looked, and selected, and then went back, and it just doesn't fit. We have beautiful, grainy walnut cabinets, an awesome backsplash of glass subway tile. The granite countertops are just giving it a more traditional feel, and a busy appearance.

So, the designer is pushing us towards manufactured products, as she says they are the new thing to do. Granite is out, Cambria is in. Hmmm...Okay. I listen, but still question her sanity.

Nice houses have granite, right? Well after scouring every Dwell Magazine, Architectural Digest, and modern home magazine I can get my hands on, it does appear that the new, modern look includes these manufactured products. Below, find evidence.

All beautiful kitchens, with busy, pretty cabinets, and solid, clean countertops. I literally could not find a picture of a beautiful, modern kitchen with granite.

Help! This manufactured stuff is heat proof, stain proof, gouge proof....all that shenanigans. I just don't want it to look cheap, or ugly. In fact, it's more expensive than Granite. What do you think? And if you have interior design friends...send them over to my blog for an opinion!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

All I wanted...

was a normal mailbox. And who knew, it would turn into a weekend long adventure. Maybe not so much adventure, maybe more experience.

So you see, our mailbox is currently attached to our house. However, this week, construction will begin, and that mailbox, along with most of the house, will be removed and thrown in the garbage.  So we have a problem. While our mail is forwarded, many things still arrive at the house. Thank you very much United States Postal Service.

So, we realized that we had better get a regular mailbox put up quickly before construction begins.

We began our journey at Menard's, where we found this mailbox:
I wanted a mailbox. Not a fake house. Not a strange wooden box with a chimney! A chimney! Seriously, I just wanted a mailbox.

Next to the house...they had this fine specimen:
Perhaps the ugliest mailbox I have ever seen. This tops the mailbox turned into a house. Red with fake rope, all crafted out of fine plastic. NO THANKS.

Now seriously, am I just being picky? Or are these horrible??!!!

We then move on to Home Depot, hoping that perhaps they will have a normal, plain looking mailbox. All I want is a plain mailbox. Please.  And then we find this:
Which is fine. If you're writing letters to Satan. Is that not the scariest looking mailbox you've ever seen? The owners of that mailbox are creepy to say the least. And it says U.S. MAIL stamped in large bold letters. In a way which really says, "Evil mail arrives here".

So then, we moved on to Lowes. Lowes, the hardware store for Women, right? They will surely have a nice mailbox. Unfortunatly, they did not have this one in stock, but they did have this fine advertisement for us to view:
Oh good! For the mountains of mail I receive, this will allow it all to fall into this fake rock-like plastic box. I am so happy I will have a normal looking mailbox which conceals the 8,000 letters per day which I receive. Now if you need this mailbox, then you are way too important to be reading my blog, and you clearly have appeared on the cover of Tiger Beat Magazine.

And finally, we found one. A normal, suitable mailbox. So we purchased the mailbox, the stake, the digger, the post, the paint, and the brush (to stain the post), and took it to the house. As I was unloading the car, Jeremy wanders around the block. And then I hear...

Kara...Kara...come here...

We then realize that not a single one of our neighobrs in our neighborhood has a stand alone mailbox. After all that, we learn that this neighborhood requires them to be on the house. 3 stores, 100 ugly mailboxes and $140 later, we were on our way back to Lowes to return our purchase.

And we were trying so hard to be good handy homeowners.

But I did snap this outstanding picture of Jeremy in the process...



Friday, July 2, 2010

More lessons in homeownership

We are homeowners, sort-of. Well we own a home. But we don't live in it. We own a home and yet live in a 550 square foot apartment. If do not have a perception of what 550 square feet is, imagine a shoe box...550 square feet is a bit smaller than that.  We don't live in this home that we own because we are renovating it.

Now when I say we are renovating it, don't get the wrong idea. One might think that means we are hammering nails, or hanging drywall. Not so much. Nope, we have hired fantastic people to do said tasks. Fingers crossed, construction will begin next week. With a little help from mother nature last week and some finishing assistance from the landscapers, many trees have now been trimmed, and a few removed to make way for the addition to the home. No worries, tree lovers out there, many more will be replanted after construction.


As I mentioned, we had a large storm last weekend that hit our suburb particularly hard. We lost a large evergreen tree, and some miscellaneous parts of other trees. After the storm was over, my parents, along with Jeremy and I went over to the house to survey the damage. It was at night, the storm had just ended, and we entered the house to find that we had no power.

No problem. Leave it to Jay (my dad), to have a WIND UP flashlight in his car! Yes, a windup flashlight. We walk into the home, the three of us creeping behind my dad, who looks as though he is reeling in the biggest fish of his life on a fishing pole, a fishing pole which is actually a wind up flashlight. We slump low, and creep behind him, as though the boogey monster might jump out. After much coaxing, Jeremy and my Dad supposedly entered the basement to check for water. They say they found none, but the entire trip down there took about 32 seconds.We find the collapsed tree, and decide to leave.Walking through an old, empty house with no power is creepy.

Monday arrives and I receive a call from our builder: "Hey Kara, how are you?"
Kara: "Good, you?"
Builder Guy:  "Great, say, I'm at the house and was wondering, did you have your dog over here this weekend?"
Kara: "No way, that place is gross, my dog has not been there"
An eerie silence begins, and then, as if someone has socked him in the crotch, his voice starts to raise, and a high pitched intonation comes out of his mouth...
Builder guy: "YouDidn'tHaveYourDogHere?"  runs together like it is all one word
Kara: "No, why?"
Builder guy: "THERE IS WATER ALL OVER THE BASEMENT AND PAW PRINTS ALL OVER"
Kara: "Are you kidding me? Like what kind of paw prints?"
Builder guy: "Big ones, I don't know.."
Kara: "But like a squirrel, or a mouse, or a raccoon..."
Builder guy continues in a high pitched squeal in a confusingly fast pace: "I don't f#*$%&# know the species, but something is down here!!!"

And then I proceed to laugh hysterically, while he stands down there, and I stand in my office, safe from the wildlife living in my home.

Good job Dad and Jeremy. Apparently you missed the basement full of water and the animals running around in the basement. Not that I'm saying I would have gone down there.

So...if anyone wants to come to the zoo, otherwise known as our new, vacant house, just let me know.

Isn't home ownership grand?! The American Dream!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White and PINK!


Loyal blog readers...

Please join me tonight for our annual Red, White and Pink happy hour supporting our efforts in the breast cancer 3 day. All money will be donated the the Susan G. Komen 3 day for the cure.

It might not sound like the most fun event in the world - I mean, cancer fundraiser, fun? But I promise it is. The MOST fun ever. Ever. Cancer sucks so let's show it whose boss and have a blast at it's expense.

We have a beautiful pavilion area outside (Jeremy and I had a long discussion this morning about weather it was a pavilion, rotunda, patio or deck...we settled on pavilion), as well as a wonderful indoor, air conditioned area for those who would like to stay inside. Bring friends, children, spouses, dogs. Particularly dogs. I would love that!

It would mean the world to me if you could stop by and support our cause. Details below:
When?  TODAY from 5pm - 9pm come anytime
Where? The Groveland community room
              317 Groveland Avenue Minneapolis
Why? We all hate cancer.
Suggested donation of $20 per person for unlimited food, wine and festivities!

If you cannot make it, you can still make a donation on either of our webpages listed below:

Kara's Page: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2010/TwinCitiesEvent2010?px=3167794&pg=personal&fr_id=1473

Debra's Page: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2010/TwinCitiesEvent2010?px=1900440&pg=personal&fr_id=1473

Thank you, wonderful, amazing, loyal blog readers! I look forward to seeing you tonight!