Category Archives: Other

My March recap

Greetings blogosphere! I’m joining another group that posts monthly updates. If you’d like to come along, check out Donna’s post about “What’s been on your calendar?”.

My March has had its ups and downs. First off, I thought that my part-time job was going to end in March. Oh but wait! It’s actually not ending and I don’t know when it will end. I had gone back to the University of Minnesota for the third time in January to help my boss with the budget. When I left last October I had told him that if the market didn’t pick up soon that I’d be looking for another part time job. And he said “don’t look too far! I could use your help with the budget.” My gift from the U from a retirement incentive had run out in December and the market did not pick up so I contacted him and he was overjoyed that I was coming back to help him. He had some other tasks for me as well which filled out my time between January and early March. In the mean time we got a surprise inheritance which means that I don’t really have to work any more but things changed and I’m now covering for someone who is on medical leave. While I don’t really need the money, I felt bad for my boss and decided to stay and help him out again. Luckily I’m limited to 14 hours a week which suits me just fine. I’m hoping to make enough to save for a trip to Spain next spring. Fingers crossed!

Next, on March 9th we celebrated 32 years of marital bliss! Wow, where has all that time gone? We had planned on eating at a restaurant where we celebrated our daughter’s birthday last November. At that time we decided to get a bunch of appetizers and that worked very well. For our anniversary dinner we chose entrees and they weren’t as satisfying as the birthday celebration with appetizers and drinks. However, we did get to try a horseradish infused vodka which was very good! We do like the restaurant but I think we’ll stick to appetizers going forward. I’m not going to name the restaurant, just know it’s a very popular place in St. Paul. Here’s a before and after, our wedding day in 1991 and a few photos of us in D.C. last year. I forgot to ask the waitress to photograph us on our anniversary, oops.

And now I can see that I should probably start this monthly recap early in the month and continue to add onto it during the month because now I’m having trouble remembering all that we did last month. I am doing a lot more reading and I read five books, woo hoo! I’ll be recapping them later this month as part of the monthly “what’s on your bookshelf” posts. I think I read about 5 books total in 2022 so I’m achieving my retirement goal of reading more books. Yay me!

One thing I do remember is that we finally visited The American Swedish Institute. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed a Swedish lunch in their Fika Cafe. A bit spendy (Minnesotan for expensive) but we decided to splurge and get the whole Swedish experience. It was so worth it! Do check out my post if you’re so inclined. Here is one of my favorite fireplaces from that visit.

On the last day of March we were treated to yet another winter storm. I mean, come on!! It’s flipping APRIL already!!! Well, this storm was a doozy in that it was nearly 8 inches of wet, heavy snow which wreaked havoc across the twin cities. We lost power for a couple of hours overnight and 65,000 customers were still without power the morning after the storm.

I looked out my living room window and saw my crabapple tree’s branches touching the ground….Oh wait, that’s not the ground, rather a pile of snow from our record-breaking snowfall this season, so let me start over. My crabapple’s tree branches were touching the snow pile in my front yard as well as my husband’s truck. Normally the branches above his truck are about five feet up. Not on April 1st!! Boy howdy. I sat down to reply to an email and as I was writing I heard a huge crack and then saw snow flying about. And I got up to see my beautiful crabapple tree cracked. I doubt it can be saved but we did notice the branches hanging onto the truck sprang back up during the day as the snow melted, so that part of the tree appears to look normal. I think we’ll get a couple of arborists to look at it and then decide what we want to do. Our neighbor across the street has a chainsaw so maybe we can enlist his help (again) to remove what will become a dead part of the tree. Years ago a piece of our maple tree fell over in a thunderstorm and here was our neighbor with his chainsaw to clean up. We didn’t even ask him! So wonderful to have nice neighbors. Here are a few photos from first thing in the morning and then later in the day after the snow began to melt. Click on any photo to open the gallery and see captions on the photos.

I wish I had photos of this year’s lovely spring blooms, alas, that will have to wait until all this snow melts again. We had a little warm-up the last week of March and could actually see a lot of grass in our backyard!! We haven’t seen that in months. It’s supposed to be above freezing for the next 10 days and even get into the FIFTIES!?!?!?!? I don’t think we’ve seen temps in the 50s since at least last November so we are much looking forward to that, that is as long as that forecast rings true.

I will leave you with one photo of a bleeding heart which is among the plants that blooms in early spring. Still waiting for spring in the frozen tundra……


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upgrading a kitchen et al

I know this isn’t a very exciting topic but it’s all I got right now until it’s time to display autumn colors. And in my continuing series of avoiding the awful news of the world, I bring you the story of my kitchen upgrade.

About a week after we moved into this house the paint on the kitchen ceiling began to peel.  Okay, maybe it was two years after we moved here. Regardless, it was ugly for way too long and I couldn’t wait to have the room repainted.  We hired the guy that did our emergency bathroom remodel several years ago. We hired him last year, I think it was April?

Then I was recovering from injured shoulders last fall so we put it off until this year. We were all ready to start the week after lockdown began for the pandemic. And hubby said “what if the restaurants close?” which would be a huge issue after your stove is disconnected. The very next day Minnesota restaurants were closed so our remodel was put off again until places started offering curbside pick-up and delivery. We finally got started at the beginning of June.  And it was all completed about a month later.

Since we had to get a new refrigerator we got that accomplished last fall. Here are the “before” photos where you see the new fridge in the old kitchen and the other side of the kitchen with the stove. These are the photos I used to choose our new floor. I was able to import the photos to see how various floors would look in our kitchen. Very handy tool!

We decided to keep the cabinets since they’re still in good shape. But we had them painted, bought new handles and hinges too, then got a new counter and floor and the walls and ceiling painted as well. We’re pretty happy with it!

Following are before and after photos that I hope you will enjoy. Also included in the gallery are photos of one creative supper that we made with our Coleman stove on the back step for veggies and fried potatoes and the grill for the steak that we had that night. We also had our tiny bathroom upstairs redone and we used the same flooring.

And now for the portion of the post that isn’t kitchen/bathroom related. One day I decided to walk a little further on my walking break from work and made it all the way to the eastern part of Central Park here in Roseville where the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum thrives. Here are some photos from that little jaunt:

I will close with some photos of blooms et al, stuff I take photos of on my walks. And a video of a great blue heron in flight. I was finally able to capture this majestic bird!! Check out the egret towards the end as he lands.


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