Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another quick trip to Minneapolis - Lisa's Birthday

Tim and I took off for Minnesota friday afternoon. It was a nice drive, even though Tim was tired from working all day Friday.

We wanted to take a short trip up there to see my mom and sister, and to spend Saturday with my sister for her birthday. It was a 7 hour drive.

We took our dog Jack with us too. He likes to travel.

Leaving Kansas City:

Hope no one needs to use this bridge:

We made it halfway........Des Moines Iowa:

Tim and Jack stretching their legs:

Back in the car, ready for the 2nd half of the drive:

This part of the drive in Northern Iowa is interesting. It's a National Heritage Area with really cool farms that you can see along the highway.

The area is called "Silos and Smokestacks". I really love farms, and I wish I could live on one so this area is especially fun for me to see all of the farms we pass by.

Of course, I missed getting a picture of the sign, but I was able to find one online:


I also missed getting pictures of a lot of the farms we passed. I found I am really bad at taking pictures while we are driving by at 75 MPH..........But I did manage to get a few (I wasn't driving!)

Finally, we made it to Minnesota. We still had about 90 minutes till we would get to my mom and sister's house in the suburbs of Minneapolis:

I managed to get one last pic before it was too dark:

As we were driving, a thunderstorm came through Minneapolis and my Mom and sister lost power to their house. We arrived around 10 PM, and after saying hello and settling in (in the dark), we all went to sleep.

The next morning, it was my sister's birthday and the power was still out. We decided to go out for breakfast to a really neat little diner in downtown St Paul called "Mickey's Diner".

I took my own pics of the diner as we were leaving, but Timmy's cell phone is having a glitch and I can't get my pictures off his phone.

Here is a picture of Mickey's Diner that I found on the web:


The food was fabulous!  This restaurant is on the National Register Of Historic Places and has been around for almost 70 years. I read on the back of the menu that many famous people have eaten there, but the only names I can remember from the list are Roseanne and Tom Arnold.
 It was a tiny little place with about 20 seats at the counter and only 4 booths. There is a sign that said there is a 30 minute limit to eat your food. My sister said she heard the waitress tell the family next to us to hurry up, they must have been taking too long to eat.

After breakfast, we ran some errands and headed back to Mom and Lisa's house.

The power was still out, but we made the best of it and we ate cake!!


We spent the afternoon taking the dogs on walks, hanging out, and helping with some things around the house.

For dinner we were going to The Melting Pot -  A Fondue restaurant.
We all got ready to go and we loaded into Mom's car and drove to downtown Minneapolis.

I took some pictures of some of the buildings that were near where we parked:

And now for dinner at The Melting Pot!!

Tim and I posed for a quick picture in the lounge while we waited for our table:

I snapped this picture just after we ordered:

 I didn't take any more pictures at dinner, but I found a few pics from the last time we ate there.
Below are pictures from our previous visit.

In case you aren't familiar with The Melting Pot, its a fondue restaurant. Each table has a hot plate built in, and each course is a different type of fondue.

This is the cheese appitizer. They bring chunks of bread and veggies to dip in the cheese:

For the main course, they bring raw chunks of meat or seafood, and a pot of oil.
You cook your own food, one piece at a time, and then dip in the sauces they bring.

Such a fun experience!

After we ate, we went back to Mom and Lisa's house. We didn't stay up too late that night, Tim and I had to leave early in the morning to head home.

The next morning, we packed up the car and we were on the road by 6 AM. We were trying to stay ahead of a rainstorm, but it caught up with us and we drove almost all the way back to Kansas City in the rain. I think it was dry the last hour or so of our drive.
We were home by 12:30 or so, and we spent the rest of the day doing laundry and getting ready for the workweek ahead.

It was a very quick trip, but we are glad we went. It's always nice to spend time with my mom and my sister.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June Update

I always look forward to summertime thinking I will suddenly have more time to tackle projects, emails, visiting with friends and family.............and it never seems to work out that way at all. This summer is no different. I can't believe it's almost July!!! Where does the time go? My days are crazy and packed with things to do from the time I get up until the time I go to bed every night.

I also keep thinking I will be able to get some time to knock out big projects on the weekends. That doesn't seem to be working out for me either. We took a trip to St Joseph, Missouri to visit Tim's granny a few weekends ago, my sister came into Kansas City unexpectedly a few weekends ago,  we had a family day at World's of Fun last wekend, we have plans to visit my mom and sister in Minnesota for my sister's birthday this weekend...........no wonder I can't find time for projects (or to write in this blog more often)

Here are some updates on whats going on around here lately:

Sunday family barbeques:
This year, Tim and I started having Sunday barbeques with our kids. It's been really nice, and a good way to wrap up the week.
Here are 2 of my sons, Allen and Chris, along with Allen's girl Shelah.
Timmy is the head chef

Tim's son Patrick putting his Eagle Scout training to good use. Patrick is in charge of bonfires.
He's pretty good!

Our dogs:
The doggies are doing GREAT! We still have Mya living with us, and we have really fallen in love with her in the last few months. She has fit in with our family very well.

Here are a few pics I took of Jack and Mya in the front yard this morning.

They are both so beautiful!

Here is my previous post about Mya, and why she is living with us now.

My Flowers:
I planted my flowers about a month ago, and most of them are doing very well.
We have had a few heavy rainstorms that have all but flattened my plants and flowers, but after a day or so the flowers are happy again (mostly).

Timmy brought home some tomato plants from work a few weeks ago. We planted them in big pots and they are all doing very well. Maybe I'll get some tomatoes this year?? I do OK with plants and flowers, but I have never grown a vegitable in my life. As a matter of fact, I tried growing tomatoes and peppers a few years ago and I got nothing. I had 6 foot tall tomato plants and never one single tomato all summer. I think my problem was that I had moved my plants onto my screened porch to protect them from the squirrels and rabbits, but they didn't get enough sun on the porch.

This year, the plants are in the front yard where I can keep an eye on them, but they can get full sun.
So far so good. I see little flowery things coming up. Do the flowery things grow the tomatoes? I guess I'll find out

Tim's granny gave me some flower seeds when we saw her a few weeks ago. We brought them home and planted them in pots, and sure enough I have baby flowers coming up!!
Several of them have grown so much I transplanted them into my flower beds.

Here is a pic of my round flower bed from May 20th:

And one month later, June 18th:

I have Peace Lillies in that round bed, and I discovered a flower bud on it yesterday! I'm excited for the Peace Lillies to bloom!

Also, see the biggest plant in the top left part of the bed? The tall one with some white flowers? That plant shouldn't be in the round bed at all.

It was in a hanging basket, see it hanging by the mailbox?

About 2 weeks ago the entire plant started to turn yellow and some of it was dying off. I moved the basket around to different places in the yard, and I tried to baby it along. It was not doing well at all. As a last effort, I planted it in this bed to see how it would do. It seems to be recovering OK, but it looks out of place in the round bed. I'll leave it for now to get healthy again, and probably replant it somewhere else in a week or so.

Meanwhile, I hung this pretty pink and purple one in its place by the mailbox.

Painting the kitchen:
Moving right along with the kitchen! It's taking forever, but it will eventually be done ( I hope).
Here are some progress pics.

This one was taken just before I got started. Everything covered in plastic. I'm ready to paint that horrid ceiling!!!

One last look at this new cabinet before it got it's make-over (new paint and handles)

The wall in the kitchen was dark gray (left), and the new light gray color on the right.

Ceiling and walls are painted! The kitchen looked like this for a few days

We're getting there!!
The kitchen has lightened up so much. We really like it so far. It will be better when I get the cabinet doors hung back up.

And for the dining part of the kitchen, well, I'm still working on that.

It made me sad to paint these knotty pine walls, but it had to be done. I tried for 4 and a half years to get these pine walls to fit in with my decorating, but they were holding me back. The orange walls did not fit in with anything I was trying to do in here.
A last look at my beautiful knotty pine. They have been in this kitchen since the house was built in 1950:

After one coat of gray paint:

This morning, I put a second coat of paint on, they look much better than they did yesterday.
The walls in here still need a 3rd coat of paint.
It will look different again, when I get the windows and trim painted white.

OK, that's about it for now. I'll be back soon with more updates!