First Weekend of Summer

I celebrated my first days of summer (last day of school was Friday) with lots of fun stuff. First, breakfast at Al’s. IMG_455297744 (1)Then occasional store shopping in Buffalo. Occasional stores are apparently a mix of thrift, antique, and gift shops. IMG_455305801 IMG_455305971

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mkayy…

IMG_455314723IMG_455315159Then I enjoyed the beautiful weather today at Grand Old Day. I didn’t think to get a picture, but I got to pet a rabbit on a leash.IMG_455395828 IMG_455396678 IMG_455398442Now I’m hanging with my gal pal, Lady Jane. My neighborhood is so pretty. I love looking at it through my window just before sunset, when everything is calm and silvery. IMG_455421076

First Walk of the Year

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IMG_450565944“Danger, Keep Off, Ice Not Safe” ha

I found this. Someone must have made a garland crown last summer.

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Turtles sunbathing. IMG_450569072

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I couldn’t really capture it, but these branches had a layer of fuzz on them.IMG_450569777

 

A loon!IMG_450570377

 

A cardinal!IMG_450570512A robin!

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Back to Life, Back to Reality

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been on break from work, so I’ve been busy doing lots of fun things! Much of my family was away visiting other family members, so my dad and I decided to have a staycation (I hate that word, but that’s what it was)! Our goal was to find activities that would be as close to travelling to a warm climate as possible.

On Christmas Day, we got brunch and then visited the Como Zoo Conservatory, because it is a) warm and humid, and b) open on Christmas. We walked around, learning about new plants for a while, and then took a nap on a bench in front of a fountain.

IMG_441228847Practically a tropical vacation.

Then we shared Christmas evening with family.

By the way, this is what Christmas Day looked like at my house:

IMG_441052506People complained that we didn’t have a white Christmas, but screw you! This was fantastic!!!!! I wish every year was a green Christmas. I’m the worst Minnesotan ever…

Anyway, the next day, we got brunch again (at Pannekoeken, which is the best), browsed a used book store (my dad’s favorite thing to do), went to a matinee movie, went back to my parents’ house, cranked up the heat in the living room (to 70!), and had pizza and root beer floats while watching Netflix.

IMG_441340914Over the weekend, we had lunch at Cracker Barrel (my favorite restaurant), where there was already a Valentine’s Day display (way too soon), and yet they were still playing Christmas music. One holiday at a time, if you please.

IMG_441484552Then we stayed one night in a hotel where my cousin works, and we visited the thrift store across the street (where there was a dog I got to pet, yay!)…

IMG_441491031…and spent 3 hours in the pool area, dipping in and out of the hot tub as needed. Here we are on the first step, unable to go in further because our icicle feet were not acclimated yet.

IMG_441493025The next day, we joined up with a bunch of family and visited the MN Zoo.

IMG_441561800For New Years Eve, I had a couple of friends over, and we had dinner and played games.

IMG_441765132It was a lot of fun. At 11:30, we turned on a countdown show, and then went back to playing a game, so we didn’t realize it was almost midnight until 11:58. We wanted to have a celebratory drink at midnight, so we all leapt up, grabbing glasses and a bottle, and pouring as quickly as we could. We were laughing and pouring when I looked over at the tv and noticed that the ball had already dropped, and I said, “Oh no! It happened!!!” and we all laughed that that was the first thing said in the new year. 🙂

During the break I also spent time with other friends, got to see a play, spent a lot of cuddle time with Jane, and slept in a lot!

Tomorrow my break ends, and I return to my school. It’ll be tough losing the freedom that I’ve enjoyed over the break, but I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and getting back into my routine. Happy New Year everyone!

Thanksgiving

f99b4cf313474cdc620df2709fe8a072Thanksgiving time! We do it the same every year (routine is my fave): extended family gather at my parents’ house, everybody brings their specified dishes (I do the sweet potatoes and green bean casserole):

IMG_438808865After we eat, we usually go for a walk, but good lord it has been cold out, so we decided against that this year, and just chatted by the fire instead.

IMG_438822243Today, my parents and I headed downtown to check out the new European-style outdoor holiday market.

IMG_438907537So. On the one hand, I like that Minnesotans are so hardy and gung-ho. But on the other hand, you people are complete idiots. It’s 23 degrees outside, and you think it’s a great idea to wander around in the frigid air looking at tchotchkes that you could buy at any (heated indoor) mall around town. Ugh.

Because it was so cold (duh!) and because there was a very long line for entrance tickets (yeah, did I mention that you have to pay just to get into this outdoor market???), we decided to just have a quick peek at the festivities and then hussle inside.

And then we saw Celtic Thunder!

IMG_438917620It was my first Celtic Thunder concert (aside from watching them on tv). It was a little too much Christmas music, and not enough Irish music for my taste, but it was nice. They said “Minneapolis” in their cute little accents, and it was very cute. Lots of them just being cute, and that’s half the point, now isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

Snow Day

So…it’s winter now.

Photo (29) - CopyLast night, we got a big dump of snow, so my school declared a snow day! This isn’t that much snow for MN, but when it all comes at once, it’s dangerous. And most schools wouldn’t close for this little snow, but my school’s students aren’t bused, they take city buses or walk/bike, so I guess we close more frequently. So today was my first Snow Day as an educator!

It was faaaantastic.

I slept in, shoveled, got some stuff done around the house that I’d been putting off, had a yummy, warm lunch:

Photo (30)Shoveled some more, took a nap, caught up on some Misfits (if you haven’t seen this show-and you are okay with rated R stuff-check it out on Hulu immediately), and had some cocoa.

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Jane got some stuff done too:

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Don’t worry, she didn’t over-exert herself.

Photo (35)Back to real life tomorrow!

 

 

Ugh Winter

If you’re a Minnesotan, or know any, you’re probably sick of hearing about a) this stupid winter or b) this particular blizzard. But this is my blog, so you’re gonna hear it again!

Photo (24)I knew there was going to be a lot of snow (above is from yesterday, when it had just begun), so I got up this morning, took a shower, ate breakfast, and prepared to shovel forever.

After two hours of shoveling and helping my roommates move their cars (lots of pushing, rocking, sand, kitty litter, and more shoveling), I came back in and dove into my bed, but I couldn’t get warm. So I took another shower and put on as much fluffy, warm clothing as possible, and I’m back to a normal temperature now.

Despite the cold, it’s a lovely day, really. But man, ugh, winter.

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This poor bush. “Help meee…I’m being buried aliiive!”
And my poor baby trees! Stay strong little guys!
And my poor baby trees! Stay strong little guys!

And then there’s my cat’s life. I came in wheezing and freezing from shoveling, and Jane was just cuddled on the couch like any other day,and she sleepily glanced up at me as if to say, “Oh hi, just another cozy, warm, lazy morning, eh?”

Here she is, being entertained by the bubbles in my cream soda:

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And here she is ten minutes later:

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Nano-Vacation (Nanocation?)

When you live in Minnesota, you gotta find little ways of escaping from winter once in a while. Last year, I posted about the Como Park Conservatory. This week, my dad and I went to the Walker Sculpture Garden’s Cowles Conservatory.

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It’s warm and humid, and smells like nature. Just what you need when every day feels like the 9th circle of Dante’s Inferno. You know, the last circle of Hell, which is situated on a frozen lake, and where Judas is embedded neck-deep in ice, and his back is being clawed to shreds by Satan himself (props to my high school Humanities teacher, Mr. Dart!). Anyway, it’s nice to go here when it’s cold outside. :)

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Yeah, this is a fish made out of glass. What?
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Remember those green things that grow out of the ground? They still exist!

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The glass walls of the conservatory were talking about the vast difference in temperature on either side of them. Poor things were working hard.
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But, green things!

Then we had some really yummy dinner with my aunt, and saw a play based on Moliere’s “The Misanthrope.” Fun night out with the Pops!