Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They just keep comin'

Here's another one that I had to share. You can purchase necklaces or earrings made of real (freeze-dried) squirrel's feet on Etsy for a mere $20. Eew. Check out SquirrelFeetEarrings if you're interested.

Oh dear god.

For those of you Schlievert lab folks, past and present - this one is for you. I was googling glycerol monolaurate to look for a semi-decent pic for my thesis and a headline caught my eye (attached to an image of a "happy tampon," which of course freaked me out a bit and therefore I had to share here). New tampon could cut toxic shock risk The story itself is true, and based on research done in our lab, however read the comments below the story for true entertainment - featuring our favorite little cup...please be sure to check out what "Thesoymilkconspiracy" has to say about it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

GHEC State Champs!

The hubby got sent up to Moorhead Friday night to help with sandbagging and water rescue for the flooding situation, so that left me home alone for the weekend. Since I had been sitting in my living room working on my thesis for the past three days straight, I was desperate for an excuse, any excuse to get out of my house on Saturday. So what did I do? I went to the high school state boys basketball class A championship game downtown with my folks. A small, conglomerate school from our county back home not only made it into the state championship, but they WON it! They came from behind, after starting out slow in the second half, to take the lead and win it in overtime! It was a great game, and like any state basketball tourney that produces teams from small towns, the stands were packed with GHEC fans, families, and friends from the surrounding areas (pretty sure half of Martin County was there!). Five years ago my little brother's team made it into the state 2A championship game, but weren't able to pull off the win, so it was great getting to see another small school from the area do so! There was a pretty good story on it in the Star Tribune today - a little hokey considering the whole family farm aspect, but I suppose fairly accurate.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Syd is super helpful.

And the dog is staring at me through the patio door, barking. I live in a zoo.

Monday, March 23, 2009

An update on the thesis writing process

It's been a couple of weeks of almost total devotion to thesis writing. I think it's going pretty well. Today I am working on wrapping up the introduction, and then writing the abstract and acknowledgments sections. The materials and methods and results sections are done (with the exception of possibly adding in a couple of experiments that I may do to wrap things up). So after that, I just need to A) potentially add in 1-2 experiments that will hopefully be done by our collaborators down in Iowa in the next few weeks and B) write up the discussion and conclusion and then C) make sure everything is formatted correctly and it reads half-way well. Then it's off to the boss to edit before turning it over to the readers on my thesis committee, then scheduling the defense (and putting together the ppt that is required for that), and graduating. At this point it seems almost possible that I will be done soon. Crazy.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share with you my weird eating habits when I'm writing (not just my thesis, some of these go back to my studying and writing habits in college). Most afternoons I like to eat M&Ms and buttermilk ranch pretzel bits with pop. Terrible for you, but they seem to help with the stress, so I frankly don't care. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Day in New Ulm

A couple of weekends ago the hubby and I took a day trip down to New Ulm, in southern MN. We were going to the soft opening of Lola's Larkspur Market, a new restaurant started by my old friend, Lacey (and named after her adorable daughter Lola!).

Although the soft opening was a little rocky, the place is awesome and the food was fantastic! For those of you familiar with Cafe Latte in St. Paul, the Larkspur is very similar - soups, salads, paninis, pasta salads, yummy desserts, full coffee bar, plus wine and beer. For the warmer months, they have what looks like it will be a pretty great patio area.

As an added bonus, while we were in New Ulm, we went to the Schell's brewery to do a tour and tasting. Although you don't get to see much of the current brew house, you get a lot of information about the family history behind the brewery - which is even more interesting considering it's the 2nd oldest family owned brewery in the nation, and next year they will be celebrating their 150th anniversary. They just built a new hospitality building, including a museum, gift shop, and tasting room. I had to pick up a little something at the gift shop, so I purchased a Grain Belt hoodie (shocking, I know). The tour only cost $3, but you get to sample a wide variety of beers, although I do have to say that the tasting part was a bit rushed and at times we were confused about which one we were tasting. This seems to be due to the fact that they do 4 tours every Saturday afternoon, so the next tour group comes in as soon as they can get the previous group out. I have actually been to the brewery once before, when my dad told us kids that we were going after church one Sunday morning - we saw the brewery, including the gorgeous peacocks that are residents of the 'campus' and then drank lots of 1919 rootbeer. I have to admit that tasting the actual beer (and understanding a bit more about the brewing process) made this trip even better!

I think we'll have to do another day trip this summer, when we can enjoy a cold Schell's brew out on the patio at the Larkspur - maybe with some friends??

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have to admit that I'm slightly irrationally excited for the Twilight movie to come out on Saturday. I haven't seen it yet, but I have read (and LOVED) the books since it came out, so I'm super excited to see it. I felt the need to admit it, since it feels like a guilty pleasure...

Cocktail Party 2009: Prohibition

Another classic cocktail party hosted by our friend John.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Nature paper made it on Perez Hilton...

I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing...or if he's making fun of it or not. Either way, pretty crazy that it's on a major gossip blog!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's official.

I'm working on my thesis. I am actually sitting in our office at home, which virtually never gets used except to store old textbooks and file bills, working on the introduction to my thesis. Crazy.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Family Pics

I was taking a picture of my new terrarium when I noticed our two 'kids' were also in the picture. This is a pretty typical Sunday afternoon in our household!

Spring Planting

It's hard not to get in the spring mood once March hits Minneapoland, but it's far too cold out yet to even think about planting outdoors! There's still snow on the ground, and the spruce tops I put in the planters on our doorstep are still frozen in the soil (and now turning brown, so it'd be great if it would thaw so we could throw them out!). Nonetheless, I needed a touch of spring, so I headed down to the greenhouse this morning to pick up a few things. I purchased potting soil so that I could transplant the two houseplants I have into bigger pots. I think they look pretty good!

I also picked out plants for a terrarium. I have an old glass desiccator from the lab that I have been wanting to do something with, so after seeing the awesome terrariums that my labmate, K, made with the desiccators she took home, I was inspired to make my own! I picked out three plants, but one was far too big, so it got a new home in one of the pots that were empty after all of my transplanting.

All in all, I think things turned out pretty well - but I can't wait until it's warm enough to get back out into my gardens again!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Driven to Discover

Check out 2 videos of Pat and Ashley on the U of M's website as a part of their Driven to Discover campaign!

Here it is!

Microbicide protects monkeys from HIV-like virus at Nature.com.

My new retro cake platter

I went antiquing on Saturday while the hubby was working - I was looking for 1920s style clothing for a Prohibition-themed cocktail party that we're going to next weekend (pics to come!). I only left with a string of faux pearls for the party, but I also found a kick-ass cake platter! It's a clear etched glass platter with a heavy glass dome, but the best part is that if you flip the platter itself over, you can place the dome (upside down) into the base of the platter and it becomes a punch bowl!!

More Syd & Libby

Now that my parents are back from FL and we no longer have their kitty, I thought I'd share a few more pics from her stay!