Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend mix

Another busy weekend--juggling time with kids, time with husband, and even some time for myself. (To see what I've been up to during "me time" check out my art blog--you'll learn more about this painting "Force of Nature". )

Joel's been taking care of his daughter more this past week, because her mother has been out of town. In fact, we spent a few nights apart, so he could take care of Bree at her place (which means he was staying overnight at his ex's house, which is a little strange...but makes more sense in the long run). Friday night Joel came home for several hours so we could go out to dinner and then spend some time together.

Saturday afternoon Joel brought Bree here for the remainder of the weekend (Bree normally stays with us from Saturday afternoon till Monday afternoon). Noel was here to watch Bree on Saturday afternoon, so we went out to catch a movie.

This is the summer of the action-adventure, and more often than not, action-adventure based on a comic book hero. That works for some folks (including my husband). But I was wiped and wanted something slower paced. And preferably a small theater not crammed with people.

We found a great movie at Edina's Landmark Theaters. We saw "The Visitor"...small, independent film that I hadn't heard of, but got great reviews. Well-deserved, I would add. It was just a nice quiet film, that told a story well. Check it out if you get the chance.

Tomorrow--back to work. I wish the weekend didn't go by so fast.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Farmer's Market Delight

Beans, Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, Zucchinnis, Tomatoes (safe ones), Cukes, Eggs, Kettle Corn, and lots and lots of flowers...all at the Farmers Market right outside our door. The Market is hitting its' summer prime. All we're waiting for now is sweet corn and melons!

The market is crazy busy on Saturdays, but a little less so on Sundays (note to mothers with young children: this may be an easier day to visit the market. And there is a nice kid park 2 blocks away next to Channel 2 )

I thought I would share again the video montage I made last year. And if you come down to the Market, be sure to give me a holler!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cute kitty pictures alert

Some cute pictures of Ana's cat, Honeykins. The first is the cat getting ready to pounce. The last four were taken when she was trying to figure out how to get to the strip of fabric that was blowing in the wind--but outside the window.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I bring you...

... not pictures from vacation (they're coming soon), but an updated Salmonella outbreak map (from 7-11-08). As you can see, the number of MN cases has grown to 19! And now Mississippi and West Virginia are reporting confirmed cases. Apparently, not much salsa and such is eaten in the Great Plains states free of salmonella. Maybe the Dakotas should make that part of their summer tourism campaign..."vacation in a state free of salmonella..."

Beware of fresh tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and fresh cilantro...all suspected culprits!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ana!

Today, July 10th is my daughter's birthday. She turns 24 today! I am off from work to celebrate with her (and my mom is here to join the celebration as well). Ana is an incredible young woman. She faces life, even when it is hard, with strength and determination. I love spending time with her. I am extremely proud to be her mom and still get teary-eyed when I think of the day she came into this world. It changed my life completely--and I wouldn't change that for a minute.

I wrote about her birth last year on this blog. Rather than try to say it all again, I am re-posting that post here--

Tuesday my daughter, Ana, turned 23. I don't think it will matter how many years go by: I will always remember with vivid clarity what it was like welcoming my first child to this world. I am a "goosebumps" kind of girl, so when I recall these type of life events, I often get a case of goosebumps. Goosebumps are often accompanied by teary eyes.

My first pregnancy was considered "high risk"...not only was Ana in the breech position, they thought part of her brain might be outside of her skull. Ultrasound technology was relatively new at that time and they weren't always sure what they were seeing. It definitely lacked "high definition". Throughout my pregnancy, I saw one specialist after another--all who were afraid to give me any straight answers. The joy and anticipation of my first pregnancy was also fraught with fear. When I was 8 months pregnant another specialist walked in after yet another ultrasound and greeted me with the words: "When I read your chart, I thought this was a hopeless case." He went on to say he didn't think it was going to be so hopeless, but he couldn't make any promises.

They also could never figure out what my due date should be. It started out as June 23rd and kept getting pushed back further and further. I felt the birth would be somewhere around the second week of July (a mother always knows best). On July 9th, when I had my weekly appt the doctor said my baby might not come till August. I nearly kicked her from the exam table.

Sure enough, the night of July 9th I did go into labor. Because Ana was in a difficult breech position and they were unsure of her health, a c-section was planned. They were "allowing" me to go into labor on my own. Those few hours of labor were a glorious experience.

On the morning of July 10th, we headed to the hospital--during a torrential rainstorm (side note: Ana's full name is Anahita--which is the name of a Persian goddess represented by water--very important in a desert climate).A few hours later, when Ana "arrived" via c-section, pink and healthy as could be...well, those first few moments are always "goosebump memories"...she was fine. What they saw on the ultrasound was merely a fold of skin (she had no neck like my dad!). Because she was breech, she was folded in half. They kept reassuring me that there was nothing to worry about...and I didn't care about that...she was breathing, crying, and everything was where it was supposed to be. The months of worry evaporated with her first few healthy breaths.

An hour or so after her birth, I was able to call my mom and tell her the good news...that her granddaughter was born healthy. That phone call is also a goosebump memory. In that phone call, my relationship with my mother was forever changed. In my mother's voice I could hear her relief that Ana was o.k. My connection with my mother deepened with that phone call. I understood her better and I do believe that my mother understood me better. We knew where each other "came from". I think we were both willing to give each other a little more latitude. At the end of the call, my mom said she would be there the next day (she didn't drive and needed to arrange transportation). She made it to the hospital by dinnertime.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The fuel pump in the car needs to be the tune of about $800. Yikes. It's a less than cheery way to spend vacation, but it is what it is.

The best part of the day so far...waking up and heading to the studio to do some painting before it heats up. That's what I really wanted to do this vacation.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A quiet Fourth

It was sort of a quiet 4th of July holiday around here...which after the last few weeks was o.k. by me. Saw fireworks twice (it's just a few minutes walk from here to catch the Taste of MN fireworks). Hung out at home most of the weekend.

Sunday decided to head to the Twins game--I haven't been to a Twins game since June 18th! I almost didn't make it to the game...when I went down to the car, it wouldn't start! (I had this same problem about 10 days ago...had the car towed to a garage and then it started the next day! We had the car towed today and yes, again, the car started at the garage! Something is definitely not working!) I decided to jump on the express bus to Mpls to get to the was worth it--the Twins won to sweep the Cleveland Indians.

While my co-workers are returning to work tomorrow, I'm taking this week off to rest and relax. No big plans. More hanging at home and hopefully lots of time at the studio. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm back in my beading frenzy...I've made 4 new necklaces in the past few days.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Salmonella watch

Salmonella cases reported and confirmed in Minnesota are up to 8, with 10 cases in Wisconsin. Keep in mind that not everyone who becomes ill has a stool specimen tested and thus may not be included in the count. The Dakotas are still salmonella-free.
Carry on with your weekend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mystery solved

This map reflects the number of salmonella stpaul cases nationwide. I am one of the "Minnesota 2"

I had a long conversation with the Department of Health last night. It seems my case is a part of the big "Salmonella saintpaul" outbreak that has been on the news nationwide. (The "saintpaul" part is just what they named this particular strain of salmonella, it has nothing to do with location.)

It seems there have been a number of Minnesota cases recently, all coming from a Roseville restaurant that I ate at on June 16th (not Cafe Latte like I thought!). It seems to be coming from tainted tomatoes...or at least some sort of produce we ("the infected" ones) all had in our meals. I knew I should have had that tuna melt like Joel did (he did not get sick)!

So mystery solved. I never want to have that nasty little bug again. And while I will continue eating out, I think this summer I'll be taking a pass on any dishes with raw tomatoes.