Days Gone By

So I have a little blogging to make up for since we have been out of service for awhile... and since pretty much most of the unpacking is done, I figured let's get blogging! So hopefully it's not too painful or dull for anyone who decides to read these!
I have noticed since moving that it is a little hard to get the NYC mentality out of your system when living somewhere new. We have a washer and dryer in our apartment here and I think it is fabulous... however for the first week I kept thinking "I need to do some laundry, but I should wait until I absoultely need to since we have to pay for it"... while it's true we still have to pay for it... I don't need to worry about having a $5, $10, or $20 handy to put on that pesky laundry card. Also, as much as I hated doing laundry and having to go down and get it when the 30 or 35 minutes were up... that time limit made me do it. Now I can get it whenever I want... which like right now means the whites are still sitting in the dry, and have been since yesterday morning. I'm not complaining... just discovering that maybe time limits/deadlines are good for me.
One other thing about the NYC mentality deals with Electricity. Any given winter you would find us sitting on the couch under a blanket or two shivering, with maybe a little icicle dripping off our noses... we never turned the heat on, it was way too expensive. We got our first electricity bill the other day, now mind you it was just for 3 weeks, and it was only Mark here... but it cost $18!!! The AC will blow freely this summer, and bring on the cold, I am not afraid to use my heater!!!
I know all of the NY crowd will be cursing me as I "complain" about this, but it's not meant to be a complaint or a rub-your-nose-in-it, just an observation that life in NY seeps in without you realizing!! You're all welcome to come live in the Twin Cities with us and share these wonderful things!!
Grocery shopping is different too... they have online grocery services similar to FreshDirect, but after going grocery shopping, I don't know why people would use them! In NYC you use them to save money, and for convenience... who wouldn't love to have things delivered to your door!! In Minneapolis I don't think I will ever use the online grocers again! We got Special K (4 different flavours) 2 for $5.00!! Gristede's would have charged me $5 for half a box! You forget what the regular world is like... a gallon of milk at one store was $2.09, is that legal?

So far life has been good here, not that I have ventured out too much. They supposedly have a great big Farmer's market downtown every Thursday, so Mark was going to check it out to see if it is true and where it is, and I may mosey down there next week and see what goodies I can find. However my next task for however long it takes whill be the job search... I wonder if I should give BK a try? Ok, so that won't happen... anyone have any suggestions on career paths I should look into? I am always open to suggestions!

Memorial Day... in the 'Peg!

So since we are now just a 7 hour drive from where I grew up, we decided to spend Memorial Day in Winnipeg (or the 'Peg as we fondly call it). My older sister owns a dance studio, and they had their recital on the Saturday night. I haven't been to one of her previous recitals, so I was looking forward to seeing it, not to mention 3 of my nieces, my sister and my mothert dance! My sisters and I all took dance lessons when we were growing up, Jennifer just stuck with it the longest! So I had seen her dance before, and I had seen my nieces dance at one of their weekly classes awhile back... but I have never seen my mother dance. Not in a choreographed, wearing costumes sort of way. She did a good job, not sure she will be trying out for So You Think You Can Dance next year, but not bad for a year or two of dance lessons from her daughter! This is her in her classes opening number (I debated posting it, because she will probably kill me, but then I realized... I'm not so sure she will even read the blog, so here goes...)

My mother is the one in the center (not to the side)... oh if only you could see the pants to complete the outift... but I felt the hair was much more important!! They were doing a dance to Shake Your Groove Thing, so the outfits were fitting... but it still provided quite a laugh! Love you Mom!
Other than the recital we were able to visit with some friends, eat at Perkins... I now remember why we would never go there, had a BBQ with the family, Mark got to watch the Goldeyes (minor baseball team AA I think) from a "luxury" box with my Dad (thanks IBM!) and Mom I and got to shop!!
All in all, it was a fun weekend, a little bit of a drive, but who doesn't love a roadtrip? It's always good to go home for a visit, especially when you only get to see them maybe once a year! Does make you feel older than you are when your niece is 16, getting her drivers license in July AND has a boyfriend...16 is too young I say!! :o)


We're Back!

Ok, so this isn't our apartment, but it's pretty much what it has looked like the past 2 days (add 58 more boxes and 6 or 7 larger piles of paper and bubble wrap!!). The end is in sight though... just odds and ends to put away and organize, an of course the 9 boxes of books to put in the bookscase, but that is Mark's job. So far it has been good. We took a roadtrip over the Memorial weekend to my parents in the 'Peg. I got to see my Mother dance in bellbottoms and an afro (picture will come later -don't you worry Mom!), visit some friends and see family I haven't seen in awhile.
The first week here was loads of fun... an air mattress, TV, and crossword puzzles until my heart was content! Who knew unpacking could make you feel like you have a purpose when you wake up!! Although now that it is coming to a close.... I suppose job hunting will have to take its place. Or I could be a procrastinator and not job hunt, it's not something I enjoy.
Perhaps when the apartment looks a little more together I will post some pictures I won't be embarassed by, and I will take some time to post some blogs that have some substance in case anyone wants to know what we've been up to
(LOST finale anyone???)!


Life in a Box

Well, this is what 3 years in NYC comes down to...

And we only have 3 more boxes left to pack the remaining junk! Not too bad, we should be able to do it without any major problems.... like the leaning towers of boxes failing over maybe? No, we already narrowly escaped that dilemma, and re-stacked the boxes, so we should be able to avoid any further toppling issues!
Now all that is left is random odds and ends, laundry and having the movers lovingly, and carefully pack up Mark's most prized possession... the TV. There was no way we were going to pack that thing ourselves! This way we are safe if they damage it or break it en route; they get to pay to replace it!
Tomorrow is our last day here in NYC and it is off to suburbia... well, downtown Minneapolis (not quite suburbia, but a little closer). If we didn't get a chance to see you and say good-bye in person, we wish we could have. Thanks to everyone who made our stay here fun and exciting.. we'll miss you most of all! We will be back for visits, and hope to see anyone that wants to see us!
We'll be offline for a bit (hopefully the truck doesn't take too long getting our stuff to us), but we will we back with exciting updates from the City of Lakes.
If you're ever out in our neck of the woods, please let us know, we would love to see you!
Au revoir New York, Bonjour Minneapolis! :o)


Rainy Days

What do these three images have to do with each other? Well, if you live in NYC you can probably easily put them all together. Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon and evening of rain. I don't mind the rain, it doesn't make me sad or grumpy I actually like when it rains. However, living in NYC, when it rains, the streets become dangerous. Granted, a typical street on a given day/time does not necessarily look the street in the picture, but it sure feels like it! Now add an umbrella for every person walking down the street and it is like an obstacle course, with the losers risking body parts being lost, eyes being poked out, and downpours of umbrella rain. NYC isn't known for it's etiquette (in my opinion) and that is never more evident than when it rains. The first thing you notice when umbrellas come out, is the sheer massiveness of said umbrellas. Everyone here owns the jumbo size golf umbrella and feels they must use it even when they are by themselves. I see nothing wrong with these umbrellas, but use it like an HOV lane... when there is more than one of you!!! These things take up half the sidewalk, making it quite difficult for another person, let alone another person with an umbrella to pass by (imagine if two of these massive umbrellas tried to pass at the same time? Yo'd have chaos!) Perhaps it might not be so bad if people would learn to share the sidewalk (with or without an umbrella). If you are passing another person, and you each have an umbrella, it is very easy for one person to lift their umbrella up a little higher and the other to lower their's, thus making passage easier for everyone... no umbrellas htiting, no being poked by an umbrella spoke, easy, simple, and injury free. Also, please don't decide to de-raindrop your umbrella when there is someone in close vicinity to you! Noboday wants to be sprayed by the rain that has collected on your umbrella. It is quite easy to politely shake off the rain from your umbrella without claiming casualties. And please... when you are entering the subways, could you close your umbrella BEFORE you enter the stairwell so that you don't poke my eye out when I am coming up the stairs and you are coming down the stairs? It would make my life easier to continue one with two semi-functioning eyes.

This is just one of my NYC petpeeves when it comes to Etiquette and the City.
Here are some of my others:

  • people who walk like the dead in the middle of the sidewalk
  • people who walk like the road runner and then stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the sidwalk
  • spitting in public
  • littering
  • subway door crowders (you know who you are!) both trying to enter the train and standing in the train, not making room for anyone else to get on
  • the people who get out of their seats on the train 3 stops before they need to get off, just so they can position themselves in prime train exiting locations
  • bags and purses that remain on people's shoulders on a crowded (armpits in your nose crowded) train - take them off your shoulder!!!
  • people who cut in front of you trying to get on the train, like they don't even see you standing there, just so they can try and find a seat before you!
  • when you are waiting for the train and there is tons of room on the platform but someone has to come and stand directly beside you like it was the only place in the world that allowed standing
  • people who push their way to the front of the crowd to get on the elevator first and then stand right in the doorway so that they can be the first off, but don't make it easy for anyone else to get on the elevator!! (same goes for the ladies on the Roosevelt Island red bus - you know who you are)

Well... I am sure I have many more petpeeves, but I don't want to make this the world's longest blog entry, so I will quit now while I still possess the slightest amount of optimism! If I have left off any of your favourite NYC pet peeves let me know!



I spent the past weekend in San Antonio, for my little sister's graduation. My Mom and Dad came down the week before and I arrived, to my sister's surprise, on Thursday morning. I hadn't been to visit since she and her husband have been stationed there (he is in the USAF). Texas is hot. I know, I know, it is only May, but it was well into the 80's while I was there. Luckily, it wasn't super humid, or I don't think I would have left the air conditioned house. It's a nice city though... a little crazy with the roads (3 levels!), lots of trees and in only a few minutes, it's like you're out in the country.

I got to spend some time with my mom and sister shopping, we ate at lots of good places, and we even went to SeaWorld! They have some super fun sea lions there. They will try to bite an ear off another sea lion just to get a fish... talk about determined!
They are pretty funny animals, and very, very vocal! It is quite an entertaining time when you stop by for a visit with them! I was a little disappointed with the Penguin house... might be because I love penguins so much, but their home isn't very inviting. I know they need it to be super cold (they are Emperor Penguins... I am guessing Texas is not quite the climate they are used to), but they have them behind this piece of glass, with a moving sidewalk infront of it, with a standing area behind that. It is so dark in there too.. it's hard to get a good picture. As much as I love the penguins (except Happy Feet... that movie was a little weird for me), the sea lions were more entertaining this time around.
We took a few drives out around the scenic loop area (for anyone familiar with the area), saw many nice homes, and saw where the great big mulch fire was a few moths back. It's not burnging anymore... but it's only been fully out for a month or so. Apparently as it burned, they left the neighbouring cows mill around in the field. Guess they thought the fire was contained enough not to worry about cows on fire or anything!! That wouldn't have been a pretty sight.

I was only there for a few days, but it was fun to see my sister, her husband and my parents all in one visit. We never seem to be able to get everyone together all at once, in the same location, so we have to take what we can get, when we can get it!

Also, a late Happy Mother's Day shoutout to my Mom. It was the first Mother's Day I was able to see my mom for (even if it was just 15 minutes at 6:00am before they left for the airport) since I left for University in 2000. Thanks for being the best mom, Mom!! I love you!


Spacesaver or moneywaster?

So in light of the upcoming move, I thought I would be practical and buy some space saver bags to pack more into less. Now, I am not a professional spacesaver bags user... but I thought I would be able to manage alright. Worst case scenario I'd have to read some instructions. I say all of that with sarcasm of course, you put some stuff in a bag, zip it shut, attach your vaccuum hose to the little spot, suck the air out and put the lid back on. Well apparently I am an idiot I guess. I got out the jumbo bag, pakced it full, sucked the air out, put the lid on, all good. So I figured I would pack up some more. I did two more bags, smaller in size, and all was good. Now as I sit here and look over at them, I am not so impressed. The first bag I did still looks as freezer packed as anything, but the other 2.... not looking so good. I was going to throw in some pictures of the bags in question for evidence but it looks like my 2 hour walk/photo marathon along Roosevelt Island this afternoon, zapped the remaining juice out of my camera! Trust me though, two of the bags have more air in them than my lungs do right now!!How is that saving me any room? All it does in save room in my wallet from where the bills went to pay for the spacesaver bags! This lady apparently is pretty pleased with her spacesaver bag experience... let's just say my bags don't look like that! Anyone have any tips on how to keep the air out of the bag? Maybe I was only talented enough to get it right the first time.


The Love of my Life

I love LOST. There's never been a doubt in my mind about it. When ABC started showing promos for their new show in 2004, I was intrigued and thought "I am going to watch this show and see what it's like". Mark would have none of it, he thought it was going to be some cheesy, Jurassic Park - type series. I told him I was going to watch it anyway. Let's just say that Mark quickly fell into step and is every much a LOST lover as I am. Season 1 was incredible. Every week, I would sit on the edge of my seat, jaw open, wondering what I had just witnessed!! So many questions, coincidences (?), mysteries.... it was great!!! When Season 2 haters came around, I was not one of them. How they expected Season 2 to top Season 1, it wasn't possible. We needed character development, backstories... it needed to slow down a bit. When Season 3 brought more haters, I stood strong in my beliefs. We were starting to get answers, although slowly, but people wanted more. I say, if they had given us all the answers, there would be no more show to watch! You have to be patient, the people behind this show know what they are doing. When the hiatus happened, I took it in stride, knowing it would be fantastic to have back to back all new epsiodes without the dreaded repeats.
So this goes out to all of the haters out there... you better not be jumping back on the bandwagon because of how freaking amazing this season is becoming!! Every episode this season gets better and better. Last night when it came to a close, I could not WAIT for next week's episode. I haven't had that feeling in a long time, but I was glad it was back. There are 3 episodes left.... this season finale is going to be amazing!! Who will die next? Who is Naomi? What secret are Jack and Juliet keeping from Kate? Is Kate pregnant? Will Sun die? Will Desmond stop saving Charlie....? What the heck is Ben going to show Locke? Is there some sort of magic box??
So many questions!!!
I love this show.


Books, books and more books

Books. We have a lot of books. We have a wide spectrum of books; from church books (LDS and other religions Bibles) to classics to textbooks to serial killer books to kids books. Like I said, we have a lot. Now that we are moving, they have to be packed up. We have an 8 shelf, floor to ceiling bookcase... yet we still have books in random places because the shelves were full. I thought packing up the bookcase would be the easiest and least daunting task. Well... I will say it was the easiest in the sense that it is a pretty localized area to pack up, and there aren't too many odd shapes or angles to deal with. Eight boxes later... not all the books are packed. I think we maybe have 2 more boxes worth, maybe 4 if I count my cookbooks in with the book packing. Mark is a book lover and will only discard (donate) books if we have a duplicate or if it was a book we got for a gift that isn't his taste (Men Are From Mars....??). So needless to say, the packing of the books took a lot longer than I thought AND it took most of the boxes I have collected from generous people who hang on to their Fresh Direct boxes (if you are in my area and are expecting FD between now and the 21st... I'd love to take those boxes from you)!!
I wonder though... will these books ever be read for a second time, or third time? Some of them, I don't even know if they have been cracked open since we were married... but we can't get rid of them. Funny, if I had a sweater that I never wore and just kept it on my shelf, I am pretty sure Mark would tell me to donate it if I wasn't going to use it. Hmmm, I think he is pulling a double standard on my clothes versus his books!!


A little bit of heaven on earth

The black and white cookie.
I am not sure if life gets any better than this unexpected delectable treat! I lived in NYC for a good year before I had my first B&W. It was at the PWC skating night at Bryant Park that we went to with our good friends The Chamberlains.
We were given food coupons and Mark bought us some hot chocolate and a B&W cookie. I was not too excited, as I was positive I was not going to like it at all. He had also bought something else, so we ate that first. I put the cookie in my bag and took it home with me but it wasn't for a few days that I would give it a try.
When I am wrong, I will completely admit it. So.... I was wrong. I LOVE the Black and White cookie. I always think of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry and Elaine are in the bakery waiting to buy some babka. Whilst they wait, Jerry has a B&W, and proceeds to tell Elaine why he loves the cookie.
So it is my mission for everyone to eat a B&W!!
If you live in NYC and have not had one... go forth and eat!
If you don't live in NYC, but come here for a visit... eat one!
If you don't live in NYC and never come here.... you can find places online that will ship them to you!! Like here or here.
So now there are no excuses for not eating a B&W, unless you're diabetic.