Archive for May, 2011

Art Fair Preparations

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We have been busy bees lately.  For the past week, we’ve put our house projects on hold in preparation for an art fair this weekend where Dain will be selling his wares (awesome, unique artwork).  The Edina Art Fair is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Edina, Minnesota. It features artwork from over 300 artists from all over the United States and Canada.  There is everything from jewelery and clothing to pottery and furniture.  Dain’s work is in the “mixed media” category, and he sells image transfers of iconic images like the Cherry and the Spoon piece from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  We thought we’d give you an inside look at how these little treasures are created.

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A Shout Out to Veterans

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We just wanted to say a special thank you to all of the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.  We are forever grateful to those whose lives were lost fighting in the wars of our country as well as to the families that currently have loved ones serving in the military.  While most of us only hear about it on the news, the men and women in active service and their families are fighting every day and bear the burden for the rest of us.

Over this Memorial Day weekend, we took the opportunity to stop at the Soldier’s Field Veterans Memorial in Rochester, Minnesota.

This memorial commemorates men and women who died during their service as well as all veterans.  One of Dain’s grandfathers as well as both of my grandfathers served during World War II.  Both of my grandfathers served in the navy and have pavers in their names at the memorial.

So we thank them and everyone else who has served our country.  We hope you were all able to enjoy some family time over the holiday weekend.

Adult Toys…Not Those Kind

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As any Minnesotan will tell you, we have really long winters.  It can easily be cold and snowy from October through May.  People still talk about the Halloween Blizzard of 1991.  It even has a wikipedia entry (here).  Let’s just say a lot of costumes had to be modified that year, and there weren’t any naughty nurses or sexy cops out walking around (thank you for that Mother Nature).  We normally don’t let the weather stop us from doing anything outside, but when it’s well below zero in the dead of winter with wind chill advisories and frostbite advisories and the weatherman is telling us not to be outside for any longer than necessary, we stay in.  And indoor entertainment is not as fun.  We hear that pets and kids are like built-in entertainment, but since we haven’t made those leaps yet, we turn to a few toys that are really fun for kids and adults alike (and that we can nicely place in a cabinet when we are done with them).

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Yard Tour

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Yes, we may have a tree that is two times the size of our house.  Not really, but it sure looks like that from the front.  We find ourselves outside our little house more and more as the weather starts to cooperate, and we are realizing that we still have a lot to do to our outdoor space to make it fabulous.  So we figured we would show you what we are working with.  Our lot is about 1/3 of an acre so we have a fairly large lawn (at least in terms of our neighborhood). Which means we have a lot of yard to beautify.  Here’s the tour.

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Land of 10,000 Adirondacks

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Minnesota is known for its 10,000 plus lakes, but there’s something else all over the state: adirondack chairs.  They are EVERYWHERE.  At least in our neighborhood.  Maybe they’ve always been everywhere, and we just didn’t notice since we were apartment dwellers for so long.  Most apartment balconies do not have room for anything as big as an adirondack, let alone two of them.  And two seems to be the popular amount.  We’re not sure if they are purely decorative for some people, but we live in the land of houses with adirondack chairs out front.  And we’re starting to feel a little peer pressure since we just have to plop ourselves in the yard when we want to sit in front of our house.  Which is approximately never.  But that’s about to change.

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Mojito Madness

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For us, mojitos are the quintessential summer drink.    Neither of us typically imbibe in rum, but something about the fresh mint and lime juice just screams “drink me” on a hot summer day.  We dubbed them our drink of 2010, and we routinely served them to guests and enjoyed them ourselves last summer.  While they are a little more complicated than cracking open a cold beer, it is worth the effort. This is how we do it.

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“Up North” in Grand Marais

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If you’ve never been this far “Up North” in Minnesota, you should make it a point to check it out.  Grand Marais is a picturesque town along the shores of Lake Superior 110 miles Northeast of Duluth and only 40 miles from the Canadian border.  Situated on scenic Highway 61, it is a historic harbor town that began as a Native American village before falling under the flags of France, Great Britain, and finally, the United States.  It was a fur trading post and a commercial fishing outpost, but now it is a lot more about the visitors.  With plenty of outdoor activities, kitschy gift shops, and amazing spots to grab a bite to eat, Grand Marais is a classic Minnesota destination in and of itself.

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And the Answer is…….

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Drumroll………a military-grade chemical protection suit.  In case you missed our fun contest last week, you can check it our here.  We asked you to guess what this ball of fun is.  Well, as you can see it is a chemical protective suit containing activated charcoal.  We were prepared for the rapture, but alas, it didn’t go down this weekend.  So we can save this bad boy for the next false alarm.

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Anatomy of an Adventure

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It all started on Christmas.  My parents gave me three books on mountaineering, including: No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley, No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs, and Dark Summit: the True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil.  After flying through them, I was hooked.  And it didn’t take Dain long to join in my fascination.  The vivid stories planted the seed, and our sense of adventure grew so much that the end result is the two of us planning our first mountaineering trip.

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Get Your Plant On

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We did.  Something about sunny 70 degree weather makes us want to add a little color to our casa. And since we’ve had a $100 gift card to a local garden center sitting around for almost a year, we decided a beautiful Wednesday night was the time to execute our plan for our front planter.  Considering we were using our front door for the past couple of weeks and walking by our sad, mostly dead planter every day, we knew it was time to say goodbye and welcome in spring with an array of spikes, impatiens, coleus, and vinca vines.  Ok, we didn’t know that specifically, but we figured it out along the way with a bit of help.    And our first planting project of 2011 is a success.

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