Refiner’s fire

Secularly, I use Lent as a time to make and break habits. This year I chose to break a soda (or pop as we Midwesterners call it) habit and make a habit of augmenting complaints with solutions. What I mean by that is when I want to bitch about something I first try to think if there’s anything I can do about it. If not, I try to refrain from kvetching. This is obviously not easy. Giving up pop has been so much easier.

When Lent began, I was out of town attending training for work. I’ve heard it said that making/breaking habits is easier when you’re away from your usual schedule and I’ve found it to be true. I had the luxury of not working and being at facilities with easy access to a wide variety of beverages. I was away from usual life stressors and had the mental bandwidth to think about irritants before grousing. Plus, who was I gonna grouse to other than the interwebs?

Unfortunately, I also had access to a wide array of sweets and took full advantage of that. This continued when I returned to MN. I don’t think sweets are evil when consumed in moderation. However, for some of us, refined sugar is addictive and moderation be damned. I concluded I needed to break this addiction in March.

And oh, did I live it up the last days of February. Warm tea cakes ftw!That last week included ice cream drumsticks, sweetened drinks galore (not pop, but still), and more. Here’s the counter at A Baker’s Wife, a delicious bakery in south Mpls. We went there on the last day of the month. I got a tea cake, farm cake, and a cherry danish. I scarfed down the tea cake along with an iced mocha at Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Bar around the corner. The other 2 pastries were consumed later that day. Good grief.  Read more

Time passages

Letting go of old journal pages. Life is change. Glad for progress.Last week I was going through some old papers. Included amongst some receipts, ticket stubs, and long expired coupons were the remnants of various journals I’ve started and abandoned over the last TWENTY(!!) years. I read through them, tore out the used pages, and shredded them. Through the lens of time, I know the reasons for the dominant theme of sadness and self loathing – depression and attempts to make poor relationships with men and deity work.

I am so glad for the passage of time, for being older and wiser. Some would be horrified at the thought of purging these things. One of the lessons I learned though, was to recognize the nature of impermanence and be at peace with it. We are ever changing as is our relationship with what we possess. It’s all temporary. My nostalgia is relegated to one storage tote and eventually, so much that’s in there will be purged as well. That’s ok.

February musings

Common Merganser taking off on the Minnesota River. Cool, huh? Notice the lack of ice?
Common Merganser

Winter has been lazy. Not complaining. We got a bit of sleet and snow this a.m. but it was basically a non-starter. There’s not much ice/snow that’s fallen let alone stuck around thanks to an above average January. February has always been the coldest month in the Midwest in my experience. I’m bracing myself for the return of cold temps tomorrow. And grateful, so grateful it’s been an easy winter thus far.

I’ll be traveling to WI for work next week, the same time of year I went in 2014. It was quite cold then as well and there was little sight seeing.

I’ll be returning to Nebraska to see the sandhill cranes soon. I missed going last year. In 2013 we went at sunset. This year we’re going at sunrise. You can watch Rowe Sanctuary’s crane cam here. It is not always up but nice to listen to the cranes at night. They’re just starting to return to the Platte this week.
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Brilliant

In a genius move, I locked my home ip address out of accessing WordPress. At least I know the bad password security works.  Expect another post or 3 shortly.

Thoughts on Christmas day

Empty nestThe sun is shining this a.m. for the first time in too long. I think I saw maybe 20 minutes of sunlight last week. This photo is from a couple days ago. The grey skies and rain have been weighing heaving on my spirit. Yeah, yeah I know. It could be worse.

The impending new year is on my mind. Will this one be different? Or will the same habits and patterns prevail? We’ve heard it before; said it before – “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Complacency is so comfortable even if it isn’t comforting. It’s what we know and we can do it without thinking.

For years I loved New Years Day. It was my favorite holiday. I still enjoy it, as I love the idea of a clean slate. The problem is we usually wipe it with the dirty rag of previous years’ foibles instead of the wisdom accrued. Here’s hoping for a mindful shift into 2015

Nebraska sunrise

Sunrise. A Christmas miracle.

 

Another weekend wrapped

I spent Thanksgiving in town and worked from home most of the day. I’ll be seeing family in December. I wish I’d thought to get a turkey tv dinner. I had Heggie’s frozen pizza for lunch. Later, I met up with some folks at Market BBQ on Eat St. Another neighborhood place I love.

Eat St lights

Eat St lights 15th & Nicollet

On Friday I worked part of the day and later ventured over to Modern Antics Novelty Shoppe in Nordeast. Art & Emily are funny, delightful peeps. I look forward to the new Riddle Room in 2015.

This weekend has been mostly cleaning and relaxing. Eric & I ventured downtown to the new Holidazzle Village yesterday but the line was crazy so we didn’t stick around. We’ll return on a weekday and use a Groupon. We headed over to Modern Cafe and had din-din.

Thought about going to see The Mockingjay Part 1 tonight but I’ve been cleaning and doing laundry for the last 4 hours. I’m kinda beat. And it’s back to work tomorrow. I’ve got a big project to do this month and want to tackle some apartment organization stuff before the year is out.  Hard to believe December starts tomorrow!

Sniffles

My life is cup after cup of herbal tea & honey. #illI had some sinus pressure pain last week and this week it was full on sinus infection. I have a lot less of these than I did some years back but they are still draining. Ha! No pun intended.

My week has been a never-ending series of tissues, water, herbal tea, honey, and cayenne. I came across cayenne for sore throats on Earth Clinic. I gargle with a tsp of cayenne in a cup of warm water then follow that up with a spoonful of yogurt to temper the heat and taste.  Sore throat pain gone within 15 minutes.  Yay.  Restless nights have been the norm, punctuated with coughing and stuffiness.  The good news is it’s progressing. It’s moving through stages and hopefully that means it will run its course without having to see a dr. I need that to happen. I’ve been working from home this week while I recuperate and my apt is a pit of tissues, soup cans, and cups that need to be washed.

Before the worst of this hit, I saw Suzanne Vega at the Dakota. It was my third time seeing her live and she never disappoints. Adam Levy of The Honeydogs opened the show. He shared the story behind the song “Aubben”. I love that song.

Suzanne Vega #mpls

Suzanne Vega

Random fun link: Hipster Business Name Generator.

Winter Wonderland

Isn’t this lovely? I was capuring Munzees near Richfield and happened upon Adams Hill Park. With the bare trees and hills and snow it was a quintessential winter scene.

Winter wonderland

This furry guy is less than thrilled with the snow falling today but I’m glad for it. It’s giving me traction to walk on all the ice. One thing nice about living in MN is that snow is People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend. #dogsofinstagram #mpls #snow #wintera constant all winter (even if that winter is 6 months long). It almost always looks fresh because a new coat covers the dirty grey stuff. In Omaha, the snows are infrequent. What you spend a lot of winter looking at is clumps of grey, hardened snow dotting lots and lining curbs.  It’s depressing. Minnesota looks more like Currier and Ives all winter. Plus, there’s more activities going on here because of the snow. I’m hoping to try snowshoeing this winter. Of course, the trade off is the intense cold. We’re presently experiencing temps that are typical – for January. But hey, I love this place.

Tonight I’m going to see the MN Rollergirls! It’s been too many years since I last went. Good times ahead.

Icy & sleepy

Seasonal transitionThose two words sum up my week thus far. A busy weekend is on the horizon so I don’t feel bad about my lazy week nights.

I have started scheduling meetings and appointments in December. DECEMBER. Where the hell does the time go?

 

Weekend wrap

I had a low key weekend and that was just fine. Capped Munzees on Saturday morning then succumbed to a migraine. Eventually that relented with meds. The fella brought over some carryout from Lotus and we watched The Mindy Project. I caught up on season 3 this weekend.

Sunday I had brunch at Modern Cafe in northeast. Ever since I tried their pot roast I’ve been addicted. On Sundays they serve hash made with the pot roast. Amazingly delish.
Hash at Modern Cafe
Then it was time to prep for the winter storm warning. Our first snow of the season was set to begin overnight and end sometime on Tuesday. Indeed, at this writing, it is falling and accumulating. I headed to the store along with many, many others to stock the fridge. I also picked up a few more pairs of Cuddl Duds because MN winters, HELLO. In a few days we’ll have the temps we usually drop to in January. Anyway, I’m stocked up on hot chocolate, egg nog, pizza, milk, and bread. I also filled up the car with gas as I don’t want to be doing that later this week in the snow and cold.

While in northeast Mpls I drove by the new place opening up at Lowry & Marshall. It’s Betty Danger’s Country Club and features a ferris wheel. No word yet on if it will be open year round. I guarantee you there are people who would ride it year round though I don’t believe I’m one of them. Here’s a City Pages story on the latest news with that place. This is the former location of Psycho Suzi’s who moved down the street to a larger location some years back.
Soon