To Whom It May Concern

Dear Facebook,

Thank you ever so much for your suggestions, but I am getting a little tired of asking to add the same ten people as a friend that you are "suggesting" to me. When I click the "X" next to that person's name, it means I probably do not actually know that person and therefore do not wish to add them as a friend. I have nothing against these people, but honestly, just because one of my 200 Facebook friends (seriously, 200? How is that possible...might be time for some housecleaning on that one) is friends with this person, does not mean that I am acquainted with them. So seriously, thank you, but no thank you.

Actually, while I'm on the topic of suggestions - I think it's great that I can now become a fan of some of my favorite businesses, restaurants, retail stores and what have you. Many of them (Caribou Coffee in particular) offer free things or coupons to their Facebook fans and I think that is fantastic. So thank you for giving us fan pages for these places. That being said, I do not understand the point of becoming a fan of "sleeping in", "three day weekends", or "hanging out with friends". Yes I am very much a fan of these things, but I don't really see the purpose behind a fan page for them. And I have nothing against my friends who choose to become a fan of these things for all of Facebook to see - but you really don't have to keep telling me "Become a fan of ice cream, so and so is." I'm just saying.

So just stop being so darn pushy, I'll add what I want to add, and I'll search for it if I can't find it.

Thank you,

Dear Twitter,

I enjoy using your service more than I thought I would. Not only do I keep up with friends, but I can follow celebrities, businesses I frequent, and even news and weather updates. It's pretty cool. But I do have one complaint. I keep being told "so and so" is following me on Twitter, but I get so little information when I go to these people's profiles. I think you should allow more options on a person's homepage so that when you are told they are following you, you can at least learn more about them - it would help me determine if this is a person I know or if someone random is stalking me. I would hate to wrongly block someone that I potentially am an acquaintance of, but sometimes I just can't figure out who a person is from just their username and their Tweets.

Thank you,

Ok, ok, I'm going to come out and say it, I'm a social networking addict. I cannot get enough of it. But, sometimes little things about these sites drive me nuts, hence these letters I wrote. Pretty much just some random thoughts from my head, maybe these don't bother other people, but sometimes they bother me. They'll probably never change, but then again, I'm not going to stop using my social media even if they don't!

How about you readers? Anything about social networking drive you nuts? Are you as hopelessly addicted as I am?


Update: Tire fixed!

I just wanted to blog a quick update that the fine folks at St. Anthony Mobil were able to fix my tire, it wasn't that expensive and I will still be able to drive on it for some time to come. So I am very happy about it and cannot thank them enough!!

Oh and it was indeed a razor blade that I ran over. I find that mildly disturbing, but oh well.


Big wheel keep on turning

Last night I drove home from work like normal, got home in a reasonable amount of time and stepped out of my car. I noticed a weird hissing kind of noise, but at first thought maybe one of the neighbors was watering their lawns and had their sprinklers on full force. But then, as I went to unlock the house I thought about it and I decided to check my tires just to see if it could possibly be that.

Darn it that I was right.

My drivers side rear tire was hissing and losing air at a rather alarming rate. I'm wondering what I possibly could've run over and it had to have happened very close to home for me to have not had problems with it. But, I'm a weakly girl, so I just left it alone until Nate could come home and look at it.

He got home and just so happened to have a tire air pressure portable unit, so he hooked that up to my tire which was now more or less as flat as it could be. He managed to get it to fill up enough that he could see about an inch long razor was nicely stuck into the tire. So, now we're faced with a challenge, it's more than something that can just be patched on our own. He first called Tires Plus who said they don't do holes larger than 1/2 inch. So, he then called and consulted with his dad who sadly is still out comission from surgery, otherwise we would've just had him help us. Steve told us to try the Discount Tire place on Central since Nate feels more comfortable with them and that if they can fix it, we'll look at new tires in a couple of months when he's up and about again.

The only problem will be if Discount Tire cannot fix it either. Then I am looking at four new tires - which sucks because we just replaced them with some extra tires Steve had laying around his shop not too long ago!!

So, now we were faced with the task of getting my spare on to my car so I could at least drive to work today since Discount Tire was closed by the time we figured everything out. It's not easy work jacking up your car with the little jack they give you in your trunk! Finally we got the spare on, the flat tire is now bolted to the back and I'll be heading to the tire place after work today! I just hope it's fixable!

I have to say, Nate took the sting off the whole thing by making me an alcoholic milkshake last night, so the night wasn't all bad!


Another weekend gone by

I had a great three day weekend, it was nice to have a day off to recharge the old batteries! I have to say, Nate and I also were quite productive again this weekend too. Thursday evening we grilled some steaks and enjoyed a bottle of wine, then prepared our basement for the delivery of the new furniture. I also spent some time with the kitties.

Taylor loves the box, Pippin just likes to be near Taylor
I took a quick before shot of the old furniture, please ignore the laundry drying in the background!
Old uncomfortable loveseat and chair

Awesome new comfy couch!
The loveseat pretty much looks the same, just smaller. We put them in an "L" shape around our cedar chest and it works great for TV viewing or for conversations with friends!
After the furniture delivery on Friday, I met Gina and her sister Deborah to go have a beach day at Elm Creek Park Reserve's man made beach. Now when I left my house at 11:00, it was cloudy and looked like it might still rain a bit - but I packed all my beach gear in case we decided to still go. We discussed it and saw that the clouds were starting to break up so we gave it a try. I'm so glad we did, it turned into a beautiful day. The only problem was - I didn't apply my sunscreen as well as I thought I did. I ended up with severely sunburned legs. My nickname for the rest of the weekend became "lobster legs". I ended up wearing skirts the rest of the weekend as well!

An attempt to show my sunburn

The picture really doesn't show the redness very well. The funniest part? There was a small part of my leg that wasn't burned and looked like it was in the shape of a heart. Of course I was teased that I did that on purpose!

Saturday Nate and I had a whole day for ourselves. We got up and went to Home Depot (so exciting right?) to get supplies for installing our new dryer. Then we went to the homebrew shop so Nate could pick up the first of his kegging equipment. Yes that's right, we're moving to kegging versus bottling. Do you know how much work goes into bottling? He can fill a keg in 20 minutes, bottling takes days between the sanitizing and cleaning and filling of bottles. I know this will disappoint those of you who like to give us bottles and also everyone is worried we won't be able to share our beer as easily - have no fear, we'll be investing in some growlers so we can make the beer portable. Anyway, it'll be a few steps before we're fully set up for kegging, but we're getting started!

We returned home and Nate got the dryer installed. I'm very pleased with it so far! Saturday night we tried a new restaurant, well new to us, that will be reviewed in our food blog. Best burgers ever I swear! We also watched Slumdog Millionaire which was just ok..I don't think it's worth all the hype it got.

Sunday I sang with the Summer Choir over at St. Williams with my parents while Nate brewed a batch of beer. It'll be something called Autumn Amber Ale and guess what - it won't be ready until about September so perfect timing! We grocery shopped and then brought Famous Dave's over to Nate's parents for dinner. Finished out our weekend with the Next Food Network star.

Whew! It flew by too fast!


Few things to note today

It has now been three months since I quit my horrible finger picking habit. I am feeling really good, I am so happy that I managed to kick that habit!!

Today is my parents wedding anniversary. They have been married 31 years. Happy anniversary to the best parents in the whole wide world!! Love you guys very much!

Only two more days until our new couch and loveseat arrive. I cannot wait. I think I will burst with joy when it comes! The thought of being able to actually sit with Nate and be comfortable is just so exciting to me!

I am more than halfway through a short week for work. I love taking an occasional three day weekend here and there throughout the year. I actually think sometimes it's a better "re-charge" of my batteries than taking a whole week would be.

Of course, my upcoming weekend is another jammed packed one. Our summer has just been insanely busy. I do enjoy being so busy, but I am kind of hoping things slow down a wee bit in August.

I have a dentist appt tonight. Yucko. Anyone want to go for me?

And those are my notes for today.


Productive, pleasant weekend

We had a good weekend and we even accomplished some things which makes me feel even better!

Friday was a usual Praise Project practice (Say that three times fast, seriously). We had a good time with our music family and then headed home to bed.

Saturday we got up and decided we were going to attempt to find a couch and loveseat set for our basement. We had done only a little looking previously. See, the furniture we have down there, was either free or cheap and we've decided that they are not the most comfortable options ever. The biggest thing is that right now, we just cannot sit together to watch TV or movies. And you know what? Sometimes we like to cuddle! So, it was just time to find something new.

The challenge we have is the doorway to our basement is narrow. Very, very narrow. So, we had to find an option that would be able to fit through it! We'd only been to one furniture store so far and let me tell you, not only were there not many options, but the staff was not very helpful. Anyway, on Saturday we thought, maybe we should go up to Becker Furniture World. On the way however, is Ashley Furniture Homestore, so we stopped there first. We had a very helpful sales person, we found something that worked, was comfortable and available all within a half hour! The new stuff will be delivered on Friday. I was so pleased!

With that out of the way, we were free to pretty much enjoy the rest of our day! We had a quick lunch, went home and cleaned a bit, then had dinner with Gina and Steve and then made some bagel dough for Sunday morning.

Sunday we enjoyed our bagels, ran some errands, and got the new dryer we took from Nate's parents last weekend into the house. Nate figured out some things he'll need to do to install it, so the first step in that process is over. We then enjoyed dinner with my in-laws since my father-in-law is recovering from surgery and then ended our weekend with a beer and The Next Food Network Star on TV.

So, a good mix of fun stuff, but we actually accomplished some things too! Coming up this week will be work on the dryer, more painting in that darn bedroom, the delivery of our new furniture AND a short week for me! I took a vacation day this coming Friday and I am very excited about it!



Man, I don't know where this summer is going, I really don't. We're already halfway through July. Halfway through the whole summer pretty much. That just blows my mind!

Seems like this happens just about every year though. It's inevitable. I know alot of people are not happy with our lack of warm weather this year, but I personally love it. I would much rather leave the windows open as a way of cooling down the house than air conditioning, even if we did get a new air conditioner.

Our summer hasn't exactly looked like what I thought it would. We have yet to do some of our favorite activities - golf, biking (more myself than Nate), mini-golf, Farmer's Market. I fear we will not get to some of these things before the summer is over! So I'm hoping we can get to some of these very soon.

Things we have done this summer include work around the house, barbeques, beer brewing (although even that we've done a bit less of than normal), singing with Praise Project, eating at outdoor patios when we have the chance, and attending outdoor concerts. So that's alot when you think about it and understandable that we haven't necessarily gotten around to some of the other things yet!

Now that we have reached the halfway point I know that the rest of the summer will continue to fly by. Especially when I see the list of things coming up - a day off for me next week to recharge my batteries with a beach day, a family reunion in early August, another big Praise Project gig, weekend up north with family in mid-August, State Fair at the end of August. Then it will be September. See? Time will fly!!

In a way, I don't mind. As most folks know, I'm not much of a summer girl. I live for Fall. So I do look forward to it's arrival, even though most people around me are like, no slow down summer! Just have to enjoy each day as it comes, it is all you can do!

So, how has your summer been going?


My "girls"

I know, those who have followed this blog over the many months are thinking, didn't Beth already write a post dedicated to her girlfriends? Yes, yes I did. These are not the girls to which I am referring. I am instead dedicating this post to my furry children - our cats Taylor and Pippin.

Life with these cats is quite simply, never, ever boring. And sometimes, they are just as much work as a child would be! In all due serious though, I love them both so much, I'm not a crazy pet "mom", but my life would definitely not be the same without either one of them.

Both Nate and I grew up with cats in our parents homes. I remember being just thrilled to finally get Cleo, my parents cat. I was 11 years old when they brought her into our home and I am amazed that she is still with us, even after a bump in the road a couple of years back. So because both of us grew up with cats we knew when we got married we'd want to adopt a cat. I found Taylor through a rescue agency about a month before our wedding.

Taylor is a sweetheart, though she has overtime shown she has some special needs. We believe she was taken away from her mother too young. Her litter box habits are good for the most part, but she will sometimes urinate away from the box if she is scared or upset with us for some reason. We've really worked at combatting this over the last six months and I'm happy to report she's doing much better.

Taylor half in the window, half on my dresser

She has mellowed out quite a bit in the last six months as well and that is probably due to the addition of Pippin to our family. Pippin was a foster cat our friends Laine and Ilon had taken in, and we met her at Ilon's graduation party. I fell in love. She was this tiny, cartoonish looking thing and similarly marked to Taylor. Black and white tuxedo patterned. Nate and I talked about it and figured, with him going back to work full time, perhaps it would be good for Taylor to have a friend.

Pippin sitting in her favorite spot

It was a bit of a shaky start, but introducing cats isn't always sunshine and roses. We took our time and got them acclimated to each other. They eventually got to a point where they will play nicely together, cuddle with one another and Taylor will even give Pippin a bath every now and then. They don't always love each other, but what siblings do?

They really couldn't be different than night and day. Taylor is a long hair, but under all that fur she is quite petite. Pippin is short hair, but definitely has a little more to love around the middle. Taylor will lick you like a dog as a way of showing affection. Pippin will just nuzzle you with her nose. Taylor curls up and cuddles you when you pick her up. Pippin holds on like a chimpanzee would - we joke that she's our monkey cat. Taylor has never really been interested in the fish, Pippin loves them. Taylor loves to lounge in the windows looking outside, Pippin could take or leave it.

They both do love to play fetch and chase games. They both love food, catnip, treats and cuddles. But otherwise they are quite different in personality and that is definitely part of the fun.

Cuddling together, something they often do now

Nate is clearly Taylor's favorite in our house, Pippin tends to choose me. They also cause a fair amount of trouble together, but they have brought us alot of love and enjoyment. So, I don't care if my readers like cats or not, but I just had to share about "my girls" because they are an important part of my life and they definitely help make our house a home!


Low key holiday weekend

We had a good, but pretty low key holiday weekend, though that was ok with me. Part of this was due to the fact that yes Nate and I both had to work on Friday. I know this was a huge shock to alot of people, every time I told someone I was working I would get that "look". Hello, I work in healthcare, we close for very few holidays. If the 4th was on a weekday then yes, we would've been off. Nate's office is much the same way - they need to be available to their clients for emergency IT service. Fortunately for Nate, it was one of his flex days on Friday so he was off at noon and I managed to pull out of work by around 3:00.

We chose a different place for dinner that we have not been before which was fun - Willowgate II in Roseville (see this post for more info about that). Then we walked around Target for a little bit because we just never do that anymore! Bought a new game and went home to play it.

Saturday we got up, Nate made bagels (I have to get him to post his recipe sometime - they are so good!) while I painted in the bedroom some more. My goal is to get that project wrapped up in the next couple of weeks - yikes. But I'm going to push us on it. Then we cleaned up and headed to my parents house for a picnic. It was just us, them and another family from choir, so pretty low key for sure. Unfortunately, it rained just as we were finishing eating, so we sat inside and visited some more. We headed home by around 5:00. We were invited to a picnic with Nate's family too, but both of us were kind of wiped out and feeling a little anti-social, so instead we stayed in and played Wii games, drank a couple of beers and just hung out. We didn't even go to fireworks, just weren't really up to it.

Sunday I got up and went to church with my parents, came home and ate some of Nate's yummy bagels. We did a little yardwork and then hit a sale at Kohls so Nate could get some more summer type clothes for work. They had some great prices yesterday! We hit the grocery store then headed to his parents for dinner. I am excited - since my in-laws are getting a new dryer that will stack on their washer, they are selling us their dryer that is in wonderfully great shape and will be tons better than the one we have! I hate our dryer, it has this loud annoying buzzer (we all know I hate loud noises) and it's old so I don't think it really works 100% great. My in-laws dryer is less than 10 years old, might even be less than 5. This will revolutionize the way I do laundry, he he. I just didn't think we'd get a newer dryer this soon. It wasn't high priority, but this is going to work out great!

So that was more or less our weekend. It was low key and relaxing and not that much different from a regular weekend, but was still a good one!


My belated anniversary gift

Or should I say, coming soon to this blog: pictures!

Ok, here's the long overdue story I've been alluding to for a few weeks.

For our anniversary I had gifted Nate the tickets to Rock the Garden. He gave me the gift of going to FAO Schwartz online's store and doing the "Build your own Muppet workshop". I was so excited and we even sat down and played with the website when we returned from dinner on our anniversary. We did not order it that night however - he wanted to make sure I was 100% happy with my choices so we decided to sleep on it and order the next day. I probably should've just gone with my gut that night because the next day the website had a weird message about being "updated to serve you better" and was not taking orders. Then in the news that morning it was announced that Toys R Us had purchased FAO Schwartz effective immediately. Since that day, the FAO site has not returned.

We talked about it and I said I was happy to wait it out - but Nate pointed it out that if the website ever came back I could have that as my gift for something else, a birthday or Christmas. So we talked about what else I might want that was comparable. I said I wanted a small sized digital camera that would take nice pictures.

We went and looked at some in a camera store and figured out what we thought I'd like. Nate then went online to see if he could find a better deal - which he did - so we ordered it.

It finally came yesterday! I'm excited, it's a Nikon Coolpix, small enough to fit in my purse! So now I won't be without a camera if the mood strikes me to take pictures that might be fun to add to this here blog! I charged the battery overnight and will play with it this evening and weekend.

So there you have it. Not the most exciting story of what happened, but in a way, I'm glad how things worked out, this investment is something that will benefit me much more in the long run I think!


All about the saving

So Nate and I are always looking for a way to save a little money because even though we're both currently employed (praise God) we definitely want to save as much as we can. We're excited about the potential to save a little more in the form of one thing that has in reality been a bit wasteful for us over the last year - cell phones.

We're not getting rid of our cell phones, but shock of all shocks - neither of us use them very much. Nate's is due to having a very nice cell phone for work that allows him free texting all of the time (and his boss encourages them to use their phones for whatever, nice guy huh?). Mine is due to the fact that if I do use my phone, it's in the evening or on weekends when my minutes are free or I also do a fair share of texting now as we have an unlimited plan for it. And the best perk of all we've found with Verizon is free calling to other Verizon customers. Since my parents are on Verizon as well, this works quite well.

We were chatting with my parents about this and that we feel we pay alot for minutes we're just not using and they are more or less the same way - so we thought, hey, maybe we should see if we can do a family plan with all of us when our contract is up. That time is now, so we're going to chat with the fine folks at Verizon and at least see what our options are. I'm excited, because I think we'll cut our bill in half this way! At any rate I hope it works out, if I have to get a new number, well, so be it. I'm all for saving money.