Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We did it!

 (yes, those are bikers with bras on their heads)

60 miles, every single mile, we did it!

Debra and I completed the breast cancer 3 day this weekend, and it was a rousing success. Well if you call Debra's gross blood blisters, sleeping in a tent, and walking for cancer a success. Then yes, a success!

The very first day Debra and I met some friends. We were walking through the sculpture garden, and to pass the time, we were trying to give non-native Minneapolis peeps a tour of town as we walked.
"And on our left here, is the Basilica of St. Mary's. This is the first basilica in the United States." I state
The mother/daughter team I was talking to gave me a glazed over look, and, suspecting they didn't care for the same reason I didn't really care...I said...
"Well, I mean, not that we care, since we are Jewish"
"US too! We are too! We had no idea there were Jews in Minnesota!" They shouted
And thus began a wonderful friendship. Based on the revelation that there are Jews in Minnesota. Not just cows. Cows and Protestants. Cows, Protestants, and corn.

We spent most of the next 50 miles walking with Bev and Ali, our new friends. Learning about their lives, the intricacies of families, and realizing that across the country lives people whose lives seem to mirror your own. 

The first night, the amazing Weinblatt/Miller/Fitermans came out to our campground and brought us dinner. It was a great opportunity to hang out with our family, and avoid some scary looking 'steak' for dinner back at camp. We dined on the ground beside a tennis court. Interrupting dinner a few times with a tennis ball flung into our dinner.   We feasted on pizza and pasta, cookies, cupcakes and brownies. This family knows how to feed. 

The second night, Debra, always the strategist, had an idea. After being outside in sweltering heat for 36 hours, sleeping in sweltering heat, showering inside a truck in sweltering heat...we remembered that we were both married/engaged. And so we should call in for backup. Time for the spouses.

The boys would take us out to dinner! In an air conditioned car. To an air conditioned restaurant!

And so they did! And we brought our new friends, Bev and Ali along with. We could not introduce them to the Twin Cities with rubbery chicken at a campground. We had to show them the finer points of Minneapolis. It was really a selfless act. We had to show them a good time, that's why we had to go out for dinner.

It is miraculous what a little air conditioning will do for the soul. We came back to camp ready to sleep another night on the ground, and take another shower in a truck. And then finish it off with the final 17.5 miles.

So a sign that the summer is coming to a close...the 3 day is done. And I'm sure I will get suckered into walking again next year. Because of signs like the following, posted all along the walking route: "Hey Cancer, you've messed with the wrong bitches". Yes that's right, cancer has messed with the wrong bitches, and we are sick and tired of it.

So we will continue to walk. And sleep outside. And make new friends, who are also pissed off at cancer. So if anyone reading this blog is a scientist (unlikely), please find a cure. I hate camping, but I hate cancer more.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dr. and Dr. Frank

This week Jeremy and I had to perform surgery. Surgery on a fused limb.

You see, my kind husband ran the dishwasher, but accidentally committed a cardinal dishwashing sin. He put the water bottle cap on the lower rack of the dishwasher. And well, we all know what can happen then. Well we really don't, but you know, they tell you to put it on the top.

Well now we know. And I'm telling you, keep those water bottle caps on the top shelf.

Or this could happen to you.
Yes, the water bottle cap melted, as one would expect. But then, as the dishwasher cooled off, the cap then fused again around the heating element of the dishwasher, creating a perfect rhombus around the coil.


Yes, the hard plastic water bottle cap had formed a circle around this heating coil, and was now cooled, and clinging to it for life.

So we grabbed the fancy Wusthof knives we got for our wedding to try to saw it out. Didn't work. This is your serious, BPA free, hard plastic lid. So then we tried scissors. And of course, my trusty hair dryer, which worked so well for me with the Butter Melting incident. Nope, not hot enough.

So, we did what anyone would do. We called Jay (my dad). Ya know, he must be handier than us, I'm sure he can fix it. Please note, if you do not know Jay, he is a wonderful man, who really, really tries to fix things, but most of the times ends up swearing, screaming atop a ladder, and then calling a handyman to fix it. We are not handy people.

But this time - he knew just what to do.
"Read me the settings on your dishwasher, Jeremy" he states
"Well Jay, this is a pretty simple dishwasher. It just says, light wash, heavy wash...and....oh wait...PLATE WARMER" Jeremy responds
"That's it!!" We all shout in unison (Jay and Beth on speaker phone, Jeremy and Kara staring at the dishwasher)

So we turn the dishwasher on to "Plate Warmer" to re-melt this sucker off of the coil to which it has leached itself.

And presto. Some smoke and melted plastic later. We have freed the bottle cap. And then disposed of it. And then took the trash out because we were sure the melted plastic smell would give us cancer.

Guess I need a new water bottle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some pick-me-up needed

So I'm having a hard day. And then to top it off, I backed into a tree. And smashed my tail light. And what brings me back to earth when I want to hide under the covers? A good friend. A coworker who gave me a hug. A friend who laughed with/at me.

So now, stolen from another blog....some fun quotes and the wonderful friends who come to mind with each...  Don't be sad if you are not one of these, they're weird quotes. So maybe the ones who I thought of are my weird friends :-) XO  Thanks for bringing me back to earth everyone!

Jen D.

Stacy V.

Debra F. (well dance, dance revolution at least)

Rachel R.

Kelsie K.
Lindsay R. 

Tovah H.

Melissa D.


Monday, August 16, 2010


This past weekend, Debra and I completed our last training walk of the season before the event, the Breast Cancer 3 day THIS WEEKEND! I am looking forward to the event, dreading the camping, but excited for Friday to come.

If you are free - it would mean the world to us if you could come out and cheer us on! I have loopt on my phone and will update it as much as I can so you can track us if you want to cheer. Just let me know you will be coming out and I will add you to my "Loop".

We have worked very hard and spent many countless hours circling lakes, cities, counties, and neighborhoods. It seems that only marathoners really understand what it is like to walk 22 miles, and to be on your feet walking for 7 hours. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world. But it is an amazing cause, and we are ready to go!

And now ....the big reveal...our team name...

So if you're free...please come out and cheer for Team MinneapolTits.  Thank you very much for your love and support!

See you this weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My husband is a saint

You see, the problem with buying a house, and not moving into it for 10 months is that you want to nest, but you can't nest, but you can't fight off the urges to make a pretty home, but in reality, at the exact moment, you have quite an ugly home.

So...I try to nest. Up until this point it just involved baking things and sending it to work with Jeremy, or my own workplace. Now, it has moved into full blown nesting behaviors. I am like a creature of the wild, something to be studied by scientists.

I have been trying to buy patio furniture. We won't even have a patio right away when we move in, not to mention we will likely be moving in November, when patios are not so comfy in Minnesota.

Then I moved on to dining room tables and chairs. So we bought a table, but no chairs.

I went through a "formal living room" phase, of needing a couch for that room. Did not yet purchase one.

And now I am on to the "guest bedroom" need. I tried to buy a bed for the guest bedroom, but have not found one suitable for this lovely little room yet. However, I have the PERFECT bedding!

Poor Jeremy. I called him at work yesterday fevered, because would not accept our employee discount to order the perfect Dwell Design bedding online for the guest bedroom. I needed help. I needed him to order this duvet immediately. And it couldn't even wait until after work. For a home we will not move into for another 3 months. And he dutifully did it. He ordered my duvet.

And then today, I had to run to some crazy target over lunch to find the last 3 pillows that matched the duvet, for the guest bedroom I won't have for 3 more months.

But guests, you will be very comfortable in 3 months with this lovely bedding. I promise.

Seriously, it is a problem! What is a girl to do when she wants to make a lovely home, but lives in a shoebox?

And so, I buy bedding.

And, I'm trying to convince my assistant to let me plan her wedding for her. If I cannot funnel my energies into making a lovely home, the least I can do is force my nervous energy on someone else's wedding. Right? Anyone need my help with mindless creative tasks? A baby room to decorate? A dorm room that needs to be furnished? Seriously, I will even tackle a nursing home lobby. I need an outlet for this energy, and it probably should not be in the form of duvets for a home I cannot yet live in.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer veggies

An interruption to the regularly scheduled program for an important news alert.

Jeremy and I purchased a farm share this year, which means that every Friday we pick up a new load of fresh veggies from this farm. We have been out numbered by carrots, and didn't know what to do with all of them. While at my friend Greta's house (Greta's Blog), I told her of my carrot woes. She sent me home with a recipe to try for dinner. I reluctantly tried the recipe, fearing that it would be too "putsy". I don't like putsy recipes. I like simple and delish. I don't do multiple steps.

OMG. This delivered. We are obsessed. Make it now. It is like grown up Mac and cheese. And for the health nuts like me out there, you know that if you are going to eat pasta, bulking it up with lots of veggies is the way to go. I promise, you will love this. You will want to eat it everyday. Make it now. THANK YOU GRETA!

Carrot Orzo
By: Greta Hanson
2 cups of carrots cut up in pieces
2 ½ cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
2 garlic cloves (optional mom…I know you don’t like it)
1 cup parmesan
1 tsp salt             
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or basil

·         Process carrots in the food processor (or chopper) for 15 seconds until roughly chopped
·         Combine 2 ½ cups of broth in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until very hot.
·         Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
·         Add carrots, onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until tender.
·         Add orzo and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
·         Slowly stir hot broth mixture, salt and pepper into orzo mixture. Cook 15 – 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
·         Stir in Parmesan cheese and thyme

Friday, August 6, 2010



I work in real estate. Specifically, I manage and lease 16 commercial buildings throughout the twin cities. And sometimes, things go wrong. Very, very wrong.

Yesterday was just such a day. I was pulled out of a meeting and told that there was a water leak in the lower level of a retail center that I manage. Our maintenance crew was on their way, and I ran out to meet them there. All I knew was that there was a 'water leak'. Water leaks typically stem from Roofs or HVAC units, and are somewhat frequent occurrences.

I arrive, and find one our our building engineers with the most foul look on his face.  
"What's up Pete?" I ask
Oh man Kara, oh man, it's bad, Kara it's bad. He responds

We begin to walk downstairs quickly and he informs me that this is just not a regular water leak. This is sewage. Sewage pipe burst and is now leaking all over.

#1 and #2 EVERYWHERE

And the smell. Like nothing I have ever experienced. I don't know what these people were eating to make a smell like this, but it should not have been consumed. So I begin to wade through the sewage with my engineer, and start to gag. Do not throw up, do not throw up. I repeat in my head. Throwing up is not polite, do not throw up on the job. Does not bode well at review time.

Now if you are easily grossed out, I recommend you stop reading now. Or keep reading, and make funny faces as you are disgusted at what I am about to explain.

Sewage lining the hallways, and soaking up the walls. The pipe had burst in a tenant's storage space, and to be blunt, their boxes of files were covered in #2.

I called my assistant back at the office and said, "I am asking  you to do something you will not want to do, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. And I really wish you would tape record it as you do it. Please call XYZ tenant and tell them there is #1 and #2 all over their belongings. Thanks"  And so she did. But unfortunately was unable to record the interaction. Looks like I owe her after that one.

I did my property manager-ey duties, had the situation cleaned up, went home, showered and bleached my feet and threw away my shoes. Guess it's an excuse to go shoe shopping. Sorry Jeremy, I had to buy new shoes, workplace hazard.

Wednesday golfing, Thursday, wading through poo and pee. All in a days work.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Look out Tiger

Yesterday I had another golf tournament for work. These golf tournaments, which are oh-so common in real estate, are funny to me. Somewhere, someone decided that golf would be the sport of business.

It could have been football, which seems a much more appropriate way to de-stress from the daily know..go run into some big guy with pads.

It could have been tennis, a sport which allows for cute clothing and some skill.

They could have chosen soccer, a good team building sport.

But no, golf was chosen. The one solitary, frustrating sport, that requires just as much luck as skill.

And so we golf. And while I am not the worst golfer in the world, I am certainly no Tiger, and thus I start every game out by informing my team that my primary goal is to have fun. And if they don't like that, they can find another team.

And yesterday's golf tournament did not disappoint. While I played likely my worst round of golf ever, I had fun. Goal achieved.

And at the end of the day comes there ceremonial prizes from the tourney sponsor. Prizes typically include things like golf shirts, gift certificates, putters, and a few big prizes like ipods or twins tickets.

or this one....
Bamboo shoots and a strange bag. Do you get it?? I don't get it. It was wrapped up in nice wrapping paper with a ribbon, so this poor unsuspecting girl thought she was the winner of some fabulous prize. And then she gets bamboo shoots. Really?

Hope she likes stir fry.

I might consider starting a new trend. Maybe like biking as the new sport of business. Might as well get a workout while you are networking. And who gets frustrated while biking?  Biking, the new sport of business.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It never ends...

The oddities of my life never end. I'm not sure if I just attract strange situations, or if everyone does, and it's a matter of recognizing them, and learning to laugh at them. But I like to think I do attract more than the average amount of strange life situations.

Case in point.

As if it was not strange enough to have your dog walker walk into your studio apartment to find you naked, and then wrapped in a garment bag...then Friday happened.

I woke up early to go a 6:30am yoga class as I so often do. I arrived at approximately 6:12am and found the rear door locked. There was another girl back there with me and we looked at each other quizzically and decided to walk around to the front door. We walked in the vestibule of the front door and found about 15 people standing in there. Apparently, the teacher had not yet arrived. This was particularly strange as there were supposed to be 2 different 6:30am classes, but still, no Yogi.

We waited.

As everyone else sat around like lumps on a log, I decided to take charge and begin calling the other Yoga studios and see if they had phone numbers for our teachers. Someone had to do something. But still, I could not reach any of the studios, they were happily enjoying their morning yoga already, as we stood in the 110 degree heat of the vestibule, tired, dressed in yoga clothes, and not feeling very zen like.

At about 6:35am there was still no teacher to be found. I stood with 4 other women, and we all decided that we could wait no longer. If there was to be no yoga class, then we would need to get home so we could shower and go to work (typically we shower there, after yoga, then go to work). 2 of the girls lived in uptown, there was me, who lives in a shoebox downtown, and then the last lady told us she lived in Blaine, but worked in the IDS tower downtown Minneapolis (where we were).

I'm not sure if it was the 6am delirium, or if I was really being kind, but I looked at her and said, "Why don't you come home with me and shower, I live downtown".
I had seen this woman get out of her car earlier, and noted that she drove quite a pricey BMW. I made the quick judgment call that ax murderers don't drive new BMW's. And they probably don't go to yoga. But maybe they should. Maybe then they wouldn't be ax murderers.

The woman looked at me, and said, "Really, could I?"
"Sure" I responded, still a bit unaware of the fact that I had just invited a lady over to shower in my shoebox apartment.

So I told her to follow me in her car, we would both park outside, and she could follow me in. I quickly called Jeremy and said the following, now infamous words;
"Uh, Jeremy, I am on my way home, and I'm bringing a lady to shower"

His reply was nothing but complete, hysteric laughter.  And something along the lines of me being the most unique person he knows.

And so she followed me home. And we walked inside, I gave her clean towels to use, and said to use whatever shampoo she wanted.

She went into bathroom and showered, please keep in mind we have a studio apartment, so there is really nowhere for me to go except to sit on the couch and wait for the lady to emerge from the bathroom. She gets out, dresses, and then says; "Oh, by the way, my name is Nancy".

"Oh yes, yes, my name is Kara"

Apparently somewhere between me absent yoga teacher and me inviting her over to shower, we forgot to introduce ourselves.

And so she got ready for work, and left. Oh the lady who came over to shower.

Seriously, does this stuff happen to anyone else?