Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So Many New Babies!!

I was in Colorado last week for the ASM Kadner Institute, which I'm sure I will blog about later, but for now I wanted to share some pictures of the beautiful babies which are new (or relatively new) in my family and friends' lives!

Just before I headed to Colorado, our good friends Sara and Rob had their first baby, a little boy named Thomas! I was lucky enough to be his first visitor a week later!

Also just before I left, we heard that our other friends, Ted and Erin, had finally gotten their referral from their adoption agency - so they are currently in Columbia with their new (3 month old) son - Lucas!Plus, since I was in Colorado, I was able to visit some of my family, including my two cousins, both of which have relatively new babies that I hadn't met yet. William, who will be 1 in September, and Jonathon who is about 3 months old and his older brother, Jackson, who is 3!

It was great getting to see all of the babies!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Digging to China

It's July in MN, so it's hot out. And I understand that dogs like to dig in the heat in order to semi-bury themselves in the dirt to cool down. But does that mean it has to involve completely disrupting our brand new landscaping?? Jonas started digging a hole next to the landscaping in our backyard (right next to the holes he had previously dug, which we had covered up with the landscaping project). When I got back from Colorado, I realized that the hole had become a crater. Seriously, it's getting worse. Tonight we came back from supper to find him actively digging, and he had managed to rip out part of the landscaping edging (and was proceeding to chew on it). So we swept the dirt back into the hole (crater) and are hoping he leaves it alone until it cools down again. Wishful thinking? Yes, but what else can we do?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th of July Photos

Oh, and by the way, that unmarked bottle of brown liquid is herb-infused rum from the virgin islands...my brother bought it at a hut-bar in the rainforest...and yes, we drank it - straight out of the bottle!

MN Wine

David and I visited two wineries in Stillwater, MN a couple of weeks ago. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the wine, considering it's all made in MN, some of which actually comes from grapes grown in MN. We especially enjoyed a unique Raspberry Infusion (75% raspberries, 25% red wine, plus distilled spirits) made by St. Croix Vineyards. Yum!

We topped the great day off by going to Chino Latinos with Laura and Gabe. Good food, great atmosphere, awesome cocktails - what more can you ask for?

Oh, and Laura's right, her cat's eyes are demon-like, even with the fancy camera! :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We're getting ready for our big tiki party this weekend - we were out of town for the 4th, so it's going to be a bit crazy to get everything ready in time! We've only run into a few snags so far - we couldn't order a keg of Grain Belt Premium from either of the liquor stores by our house because a) they already placed their Schell's order for the week or b) they only place an order with Schell's if they have $500-600 in sales for that week. So, we ended up getting a keg of Leinie's original, which all in all, I think will be a good substitute. Better than Bud, at least. Also, the hydrangea I bought a month ago for part of our new backyard landscaping may have died over the long, hot 4th of July weekend. It seems to be hanging on, and I'm watering the hell out of it, so hopefully it will survive. However, it will not be pretty and blooming for tiki party. Oh well. Also, the spigot on our outside faucet seems to have broken and it is letting a small dribble of water leak out of it constantly. Obviously, we don't have time to fix it this week, but since I need to use that faucet to water my plants and my dog, it has become a bit of a hassle to get it on and as off as it gets (e.g. leaking A LOT vs. only a little). Damn.

But...the party will be here before we know it - it's going to be 80 and partly cloudy - just about perfect for hanging outside for the evening! We'll have plenty of food and booze, so I'm sure no one will go unsatisfied. Now we just need to finish cleaning, make the food, and work on the lawn and yard a bit and everything will be ready to go! I'm also spending part of my oh-so-busy day (already had sushi for lunch with Laura, since it's her birthday - and my half birthday, come to think of it - yeah for 26 1/2!), but anyways, I'm making a list of music for the tiki party on ruckus. Any good song ideas or requests?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th!

David and I are off to the homeland for the big weekend. David's actually working through today, so I decided I'd come into the lab to get one more experiment done, but when I showed up today all my boss could say was "Whoa! What are you doing here??" Evidently he thought I was a slacker and going to be gone already (maybe he was looking for a good excuse to not finish my paper that I've been hounding him about all week!). Oh well, at least I will uphold my slacker-status and skip Monday...

Looking forward to boating, swimming, grilling out, drinking cold beer, and flea marketing in Okoboji. Thank goodness both of our parents have lake cabins so we can spend as much time in or on the water as possible! Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dammit Jonas!

So at the end of May, right before we were going to leave for Boston for a week, one of our neighbors came over to let us know that our dog, Jonas, had been jumping into his yard. This isn't all that surprising, see my previous post, Gah!, which was when we first discovered his ability to leap over our chain link fence (dear god, that was 2 years ago already!). We tried everything - extending the fence (he just bent it over and jumped), an invisible fence (he was trained on a bark collar, so the whole shock thing when he got close to the fence line didn't make sense to him!), okay maybe that was all we tried. But it felt like A LOT of work. So we finally just gave up, only to find out that our next door neighbors, who have two dogs, actually liked that he was coming over to visit and play with their dogs. He also wasn't going into any other yards - he just spent most of the day playing with their dogs. He could easily jump over the rest of the chain link and visit all of our neighbors, but he just spent the day in one other yard, running around with the other dogs. Until now.

So the guy that stopped by to inform us that Jonas was now jumping into his yard actually lives two houses down, on the other side our our dog-neighbors. Evidently he tore up some tomato plants and was barking at a little girl, and with the recent craziness involving pit bull and bulldog attacks of small children we decided we needed to put the kibosh on that. So....we sent him back to my parents' farm for the week I was in Boston. Then we spent the following week locking him in the garage or staying home with him. Finally we extended the fence, again, but not the whole fence, just the side that leads to our dog-neighbors. This time we did it right, we bought stronger fencing and actual fence posts to reinforce the added height. It took all afternoon, but the fence is now about 8 feet tall and un-jumpable. We monitored him outside for the rest of the weekend and he was staying in the yard. Unfortunately two days later, we got a call from one of our other neighbors saying that our dog had been barking for the past 2-3 hours and was not in our yard. David had to leave shift, head home, go into dog-neighbor's yard and lead Jonas out through their gate, and lock him in the garage for the rest of the day. That night we investigated the fence. It was still standing, but there was a large hole under a weak spot in the fence. Jonas had dug under the fence! And because the fence was already partially bent at this spot, he just bent it more as he crawled under, which prevented him from crawling back the other way (the fence was bent and blocking the hole from the other side). So he barked at the fenceline for 2-3 hours. Sweet. Needless to say, we were pretty upset and we promptly grabbed two large logs to block the hole.

That seems to be working because he hasn't tried to get back into the dog-neighbor's yard (that we know of...). He can still jump over the other sides of the fence, which he has proved to us a couple of times when we're out in the yard with him. I think he's just trying to show us that we can't really contain him. We're fairly certain he hasn't actually left the yard while we're gone though, because we would have heard from one of our neighbors by now. So here's hoping that he's learned that he needs to stay INSIDE our fence.