Thursday, August 28, 2008

HNT: Cool summer sandals

This is pre-Chicago pedicure. I have the blue ones but I was very envious of my friend Pat's sandals at my going away party so I made her pose for an HNT. Mine are $8 specials from Maurices, she found hers at a cute boutique in Lanesboro, MN. Aren't they adorable!?!

Happy HNT!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A day to relax

The conference didn't start until this evening so I had the day to relax. Relax I did...I slept for over 10 hours first of all! Heavenly. No interruptions, no alarms, no deadlines.

I called this morning and made a reservation at the Renee day Spa for a pedicure and then spent the rest of the day going up and down Michigan Avenue. I bought myself a new suit at Ann Taylor, had lunch at Tavern on Rush, and ended with a hand massage at Aveda on the ground level of the John Hancock building.

Now "work" has started with the conference but at least I had a day to play a bit.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A week away

Busy? Yes. Not enough time at home? Yes. Where am I? Chicago. Why? Work Conference. Never enough hours.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


While I was away this weekend, someone attempted to break into my home. I had the windows open when I left because it has been nice out and I'm sick of paying for the air conditioning. My realtor was there that afternoon for an open house. The neighbors were home the whole weekend.

Sometime around 1:30-2:00 am on Saturday night individuals cut out my kitchen window screen on the back of the house completely and slashed two other screens on the side of the house. The neighbors also had two windows slashed on their house. We know the approximate time because their dog went biserk about then. No one was able to physically get into either house.

HOWEVER...I have THREE very adventorous felines. I was freaking out when I found out the windows were open with NO screens for a period of time. I was convinced the cats would be gone. My cat sitter had seen two at the time of his voicemail and I called him back and made him go looking for the third. Thankfully, all three are safe and sound and stayed home! I don't know what I would have done without those guys.

Sunday night I slept fine as I was purely exhausted from the wedding weekend trip to South Dakota as well as the stress of finding out someone tried to break into my home. Last night...I didn't sleep so well. I kept hearing "sounds" that would "alert" me and then I would lay there listening before covering my head back up and hoping no one was coming. It's a weird sensation to think someone tried to break into your home. I feel someone what violated and I wasn't even in the house at the time.

And then people why I want to get a gun when I move to Alaska all by myself!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

HNT...why Alaska?

My camera had been missing in action for much of July and even though I dragged the camera all the way to South Dakota plus tubing I didn't take any pictures. I have had these planned for a long time but you know, needed the camera.

Many individuals have asked me "Why Alaska?" For the record, this is not the first time I have considered moving there. Ever since Northern Exposure I have been fascinated with the state. When I first graduated from PA school I applied for several positions in Alaska with Indian Health Services (IHS). IHS always has jobs open but that doesn't me jobs are always available. They list the positions so when they need someone they have a bank of applicants to sift through. So even though I had applied, there were no true positions available at the time.

You all know my love and passion for Montana, particularly Glacier National park. I did not grow up in the mountains. Rolling plains and buttes were about all I had. When I moved to Montana and had the mountains at my side everywhere I went there was a comfort that I felt. I was exposed to the wonders of the woods and the outdoors. There truly is something special in the mountains.

Alaska has mountains, it has trees, and most importantly it gets cold. I despise heat. Long before I started this blog, I lived for 14 months in Phoenix, AZ. I was NOT a happy camper. Now living in south eastern Minnesota I tolerate summers with multiples days with humidity levels about 60-70% when air temps are in the 80's. Again, not comfortable. I'm a snow bunny through and through. I would rather wear a big hoodie and sweat pants then shorts and a t-shirt. I would rather slip into a cashmere sweater and cordoroys then a skirt and tank. When it's cold, you can always put enough clothes on. When it's hot...nekkid (half or full) is NOT nekkid enough.

Here is what I plan to cover up my cordoroys and sweaters with when the temps in Fairbanks dip to -20 and lower. Yes, there is a minus sign in front of that 20. For all you warm weather folks that's 20 degrees BELOW zero.

This lovely parka was a serious score while at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. Duluth Pack had all winter North Face apparel on a serious sale. This lovely women's cut Parka complete with the fur hood only cost me $160 bucks! Seriously! Yes, you can see my battered and bruised legs from last week's tubing but this coat is going to do serious business when it comes to cuttin' the bite out of the air! Happy HNT!

Friday, August 08, 2008


I've had a week of vacation and am going into a weekend at home. Sweetness! i'm a bit battered and bruised but what a wonderful vacation it was.

I have mentioned my small hometown of Isabel, South Dakota before and that was were I spent the firsts half of the week. The first weekend in August marks the annual Isabel Celebration and Rodeo. The weekend kicks off on Thurday night with a steak fry and concludes by late Sunday night with the second of two nights of rodeo. In between the small town of about 300 people cram in a parade, a free community sponsored bbq, an all school reunion, two rodeos, slack for timed events (the roping, barrel racing, etc), a rodeo dance, a pancake and sausage feed, and lots of catching up.

My sister is the chairman for the rodeo association cook shack so that meant hundreds of pounds of roast beef, ham and taco meat to be prepared. It's the best damn roast beast sandwich you will ever have...marinated for a couple days in the cooler with a special "Isabel" mix of seasonings including cracked pepper and Coca-Cola. Sliced up hot the Saturday of the weekend and served as juicy sammies all weekend. I lost count of how many I ate. Add super nachos, walking tacos, and the usual concession stand fair and it's all good food.

The weather was hot, hot, and hotter with crazy humidity. and subsequently some crazy storms. For the first time in 8 years we have had rain in western South Dakota. Unfortunately it has come with very high straight line winds and large hail. Friday night the rain was coming in through the west window of the house and I could feel it inside the upstairs hallway as I was walking east to west to close the window. My old bed was soaked (i was sleeping in my sister's old room b/ cthe TV was there). Saturday night straight line winds lifted round hay bales up and rolled/bounced them out of fields into ditches and onto roads. Other areas of the county had hail with significant structure damage. The crops that haven't been hailed out though look beautifully green.

Tuesday night I made it back to Rochester around 10:30 pm. I managed to be hit with a head cold for most of the week but it didn't slow me down. Wednesday I worked from home for a few hours but mostly lounged with my cats and took care of myself.

Yesterday was an eventful day that resulted in the bumps and bruises but an accomplishment on my "things to do list". I am terrified of open water. Have been for as long as I can remember. I know how to swim and can swim fairly well. I am fine in a swimming pool. I love being out on a boat but I do not enjoy being out in open water. So yesterday, under the strong encouragement of my ortho floor nurses I joined them for a day of tubing on the Root River.

We successfully tied those of us together who wanted to chat the whole way and several others were floating individually. Coolers were well supplied with spirts and snacks. The day couldn't have been more perfect. All was well until about 30 minutes before river's end. A small sand bar is centered in the river with a homemade sign on the end pointing to the right. The current goes strongly right and with the summer rains straight into a stand of trees collapsed into the river, hence the detour suggestion. Unfortunately the current took the 5 of us and our two cooler tubes towards the WRONG way. Two of us, including me (the big chicken) jumped out to pull us towards the more safe path.

No good...I was pulled into the tow, my friend at least remained upright, and the group of tubes and the rest of the gals ended up tangled in the trees, tubes, and coolers. I was able to keep my head above water but with the force of the current unable to stand. I had my trusty Keen's on so I had a decent foothold but no way to free myself from the current and no way in hell was I letting go to be tumbled through it. Other than the sheer look of terror in my eyes (confirmed by said friend) I kept some semblence of calm and clearly stated, "i need help". Sarah was able to get close enough to reach me a hand and I was able to stand up. We then together started walking perpendicular to the current and two young men pulled us free. THANK YOU!

I have a serious of pretty good bruises up both shins and chunks of skin out of bilateral knees and my lef thumb. The rest of the girls were shook up but unschathed. The aforementioned young men fished them out and back to the sandbar as well. A toast was made and we pulled up our boot straps, got back in our tubes and finished the ride. I'm proud of my bruises. I bucked up and had a wonderful day with my friends.

I had a late night because about the time I was creeping my aching body into bed a friend called to say he had hurt himself at softball. Spent a good portion of the night taking care of that and then getting him into my clinic this morning. I worked one 2 hour morning this whole week. I saw two other patients while I had one of my coworkers check on him.

All are well this evening and I'm curled up in a gift from a friend at work (a homemade lap afghan) with my kitties in my lap watching the Olympic opening ceremonies. Ahhh...pure relaxation. And two more days of it! YEAH!!! Happy Friday you all!