Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blogging Vacation

I'm going to take a blogging vacation. Can't seem to find my funny bone any more. Don't feel like boring you with the details. See you again in a while.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Raccoon update: Curt opened the door to let the dogs out before bedtime and at least three raccoons ran up the fence, then up a tree in our back yard. I went out with a flashlight and found one very cute baby raccoon sitting in a tree branch about 15 feet above my head. I couldn't spot the rest of them, but I'm certain they were there. Mommy coon is probably teaching baby coons how to fish for goldfish in our pond. They have been disappearing steadily. Naughty coons. Cute, cute, cute, but naughty.

Lily Season: Episode 1

Holy cow!! We've got lilies coming out of every corner of our garden! We got our first blooms the week of my cycling trip and things have been going wild with color ever since. Today, I'll feature picture of lilies that grow from bulbs. Tomorrow, I'll try to put on some pictures of our daylilies. I heart lilies! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coupon God

I went grocery shopping this evening with coupons in hand. So get this- through the magic of coupons and a good sale, I managed to get 5 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats for 75 cents a piece!! Sweet!! I am a coupon god! (Cereal, if you didn't know it already, is a distinct food group for men. We could eat some with every meal if we didn't show some restraint or work outside the home.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Louis: Mighty Hunter

We just had some excitement. Louis, our 12 year old, 13 pound miniature poodle just cornered a raccoon behind the shed. I'm guessing that the coon probably outweighed Louie by about 10-15 lbs. Louie was possessed by the raccoon so we had a hard time distracting him. Curt got the hose with the wand attachment while I got treats. Curt got Louis just wet enough that he came running out, which was my opportunity to distract him with a treat. It worked. Both dogs made it in without a scratch from the raccoon. All of nature is in harmony again.


On top of getting to deal with my family this weekend related to our parent's possessions, I got hit with a bitch of a summer cold. My nose is raw and chapped, my throat hurts, my head hurts, my chest is congested. Waaaaaaaaaaa. Add to this family "discussions" (I am being kind here) about dividing up possessions and my weekend kind of sucked. Oh, and poor Curt got to be witness to all of this. His family was so decent about dividing up his dad's estate a few years back. I'm embarrassed that he had to see my family in action. We should be on Dr. Phil or something, only when the rest of the clan is fighting amongst themselves, I'll sneak up behind Dr. Phil and clock him one with a chair. Hard. (I hate Dr. Phil and his homespun, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps bullshit. What was Oprah thinking??) Anyway, the family drama is bound to just get worse. I just won't be holding my breath because I already know its coming. Nice. We are likely to be the third generation of the G clan in which some siblings don't talk to others after the death of a parent. I thought we might be different than previous generations and that the insanity over money might stop with us, but I guess there's at least one in every crowd to spoil the fun. Money and possessions just aren't worth the life long bitterness; but if you're blinded by "getting yours" I suppose it might seem worth it to sacrifice family relationships. Perhaps keeping my distance for so many years has been beneficial after all. It might hurt less when the family falls apart. Doubtful, but one can hope. Enough of the G clan dirty laundry. I'll try to write something fun again soon.
One last thing, NyQuil is a wonder drug in case you didn't already know. I heart my NyQuil.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Made It!

I just got back home from a week of biking in Wisconsin on the Bike Northwoods tour. We rode about 365 miles over the last six days. I almost canceled at the last minute because of a bout of food poisoning or something that both Curt and I got at The Crystal Cafe the day before I was to leave. Yes. I'm naming names. Don't eat there. Bleh. Thankfully, Curt didn't get as sick as I did. I actually hurled for the first time in like a dozen years or something. That was no fun. Anyway, a few observations from my week of bicycling:
1. I have come to believe that every business establishment in Wisconsin either sells beer or Packers merchandise. Beer in Wisconsin is like wine in France, only in France I'm guessing quantity consumed isn't as important.
2. Best street name seen while pedaling: 9 7/16ths Avenue
3. Butterflies like poop as much as they like flowers.
4. Older couples can be as gross as teenagers in love. Two of our group met on the ride last year and fell in love. They are nauseating beyond recall. For example, they both always order cherry cokes with three cherries and Keith will feed Jody the cherries. Hurl. Right out in front of god and everyone. Can't they do that shit in the privacy of their own homes and quit shoving it down our throats. Ick.
5. From the looks we got when entering restaurants, I've concluded that middle aged people in spandex do not make a great appetizer for anyone.
6. Sitting on a bicycle seat for about 30 hours over the course of a week is equal to about one hour of a running a belt sander on your cheeks. Just an approximation.
7. Going up the backside of one of the giant bluffs near the Mississippi is as painful as it is scary going down the other side. Michael hurtling down a hill on two wheels can gain a lot of velocity. Eeek.
8. There are so many dead frogs on highway 35 that you would think a biblical plague had struck during rush hour.
9. Best Wisconsin business name: It is a tie actually. The first is The Sunset Motel & Window Tinting. The second, which happened to the right across the street was BJ's Bar & Grill & Car Wash. What the?? There were lots of strange combinations like this.
10. Best phrase uttered from my lips: "Holy balls, woman! You are smoking my ass!" Colette, my riding partner today and Curt's sister, finished the last 8 miles at a pretty consistent 18 mph. That's a good pace by any one's standards. Considering it was the last 8 of 62 miles, that pretty damn good.
11. Best phrase learned: Wheel Sucker. A wheel sucker is someone who wants to draft off you to save their legs, but never wants to take the lead. Bastard people.
12. Falling over at a dead stop is embarrassing even when no one is watching. Thankfully, only two people saw me do it and they were strangers at about 50 yards.
13. Cursing at hills does not make them any easier to ride. It just feels good.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ding Dong

Jesse Helms has died. This man leaves behind a legacy of hatred, ego fueled partisanship, and racist, homophobic and misogynist blathering that contributed to the decline of civil discourse in this country more than most care to acknowledge. Two down.

More Pretty Garden Things

These little guys come for a visit every year to munch on our swamp milkweed. When they get really good and fat, they spin a chrysalis and emerge a few weeks later as a beautiful monarch butterfly.

An extreme closeup of one of our clematis that grows up against our garden shed.
Another extreme closeup of a yarrow whose variety name is eluding me right now. It emerges a light cream color then changes from pink to terra cotta. Now that I'm thinking about it, Terra Cotta is probably the variety name.
I heart martagon lilies. These little beauties will grow in part shade and after a few years make a huge clump. The mature clumps are really impressive when they have masses of candelabras covered in these little red lilies.
This is a baptisia called "Twilight Prairieblues." It was a single stick when we ordered it two years ago. Now it is a clump of about 40 sticks all covered in these subtly colored beauties.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Very Cool Interview About Stroke

I just finished listening to a great interview on Minnesota Public Radio with author and neuro-scientist Jill Bolte Taylor. She had spent her life studying the human brain, then had a stroke at age 37. She ended up writing a book about her experience and recovery called a Stroke of Insight . If you want to hear the interview there is a 'Listen to Program' link on this page at MPR.org.