Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let it Flow

There was a little more house work done today... but not by me or Kyle. We finally had to call a plumber!

Yes that's right, we had been dreading the call for a while now. It started about a month ago, I'd do a load of laundry and come back to put it into the dryer and find that the floor was covered in water. This has happened before and it ended up just being a little hole in the washing machines drain tube that was easily fixed with duck tape. I didn't think much of it the first time, thinking it was the same issue so I repositioned the tube a bit and went about my week. Then I did laundry again a week or so later and walked into the same wet situation. And thought "okay next time I need to watch and see what happens". Another week or so goes by and it was time to do another load of laundry except this time I remembered to watch and see why the water was ending up on the floor and not the wash tub next to the washing machine where the hose runs into. Waiting, watching... hmmm.... nothing..... it all seems to be draining correctly - during the first rinse cycle so I left thinking it was going to be okay. Load finished and I come back to a water soaked floor. Great.... I'll try watching NEXT time. So about a week or so ago I stayed and watched the whole time. Sure enough during the SECOND rinse cycle water started to back up out of the floor drain, AH HA this is how the floor was getting covered in water. So I didn't do laundry for another couple of weeks. Then last weekend Kyle and I teamed up to get a couple of loads of laundry done, we'd let the first wash rinse out and drain down, just fine like it would. But then on the second rinse out we'd stop up the sink to prevent the floor drain from over flowing, and leave it in the sink for a couple of hours to let it slowly drain out. We got a good 2 or 3 loads of laundry done this way. Until a few days later when I wanted to take a bath, we did some dishes and probably used the toilet a few times that day... then the floor ended up wet again. This problem is just NOT going away so I guess we should face it. We stuck our little 25' tiny snake auger down the pipe by the washbin sink... no luck, we didn't even hit a blockage. So I called the plumbers. They had two different 'travel fee's' one was $59 for a 3 hour window of time and the other was $29 for an 8 hour window of time. So I took a day off work, to wait all day. Well they arrived, 4:59pm and the guy realized it was our main drain that was blocked and he didn't have the right machine on his truck and they would have to come back the next day. Luckily today I was only working a half day so I told them to come anytime after 1:00 (I didn't have to pay a travel fee.) So he arrived, and I'm glad because Kyle and I were getting kinda stinky from not showering in two days :-P

He brought out his big snake auger with the giant claw on the end.
snake claw
And started to feed it down the main drain. His auger was MUCH bigger than ours, about 100 feet total. The plumber was really nice and got a kick out of my desire to capture the moment with my camera. He was more than happy to oblige.
big snake
About 5 foot in he hit a block and pulled out a huge pile of tree roots
tree roots
That picture was just the first hunk. When he said that was just the tip of the ice berg I knew it was going to take a while so I headed upstairs to keep Harpo company and communicate with Kyle via googlechat. When I came back he had gotten a nice big chunk of feminine products out. Now I KNOW those weren't mine, for the fact that when we moved in here the plumbing was a little iffy and I wasn't going to test it by sticking any of those things down the toilet.... so who knows HOW old they are. But this is a very good reason to not flush your feminine products. They might say they are biodegradable, but this is proof they are not, those were probably down there for years.
feminine products
After a while longer the auger was finished and we were left with a bucket of tree roots (and tampons).
bucket of tree roots
Now it was time for the camera to make a sweep through to make sure the clogs were out and that the pipe wasn't crushed or damaged from the tree roots (which would have been a bad deal). This is the camera set up, it's a camera on the end of some fiber optic wires that goes down the pipe
If you look closely you can see the remenants of some of the tree roots sticking through the seam of the pipe. There were many of these seams found along the way.
roots on camera screen
We made it all the way to the main sewer and the pipe was all in tact! Now we just need to keep this up, by having them cleaned out yearly so they don't over grow and cause our basement to flood completely.

And with that I am finished and hopping in the shower! WOO HOO I can be clean again!

Thanks for reading!

Year End

early morning potty break

WoW what a year, I can't believe it's almost over. Ever year seems to go by faster and faster.
In 2009 I:
-witnessed a LIVE birth!!, the birth of my beautiful niece
-Ran a 5K
-Got Married
-obtained a new last name
-chopped all my hair off and donated it to locks of love
-went out of the country
-snorkeled for the first time
-got my first DSLR camera!!
-saw Chicago for the first time
-had my first FULL year as a homeowner

We have done a lot of work on our house over the past year, we actually have a yard now :-) and I'm starting to learn how to garden and plant plants. Not as much was done INSIDE the house, but we did the bulk of that when we moved in, back in 2008 (lol seems like a long time ago saying it that way).

We camped, golfed, explored museums and went the farthest north we've ever been so far. We tried to enjoy the summer as much as possible since the year before was consumed by house hunting.

Who knows what's in store for us in 2010. Many things will be different, Kyle is starting school in February, I am also applying to graduate school and if I get accepted with start in the fall. We hope to get one or two camping trips in this summer, and our year will begin with a cross country ski adventure :-)

What have you done in 2009?
What are you looking forward to in 2010?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Project 'Year Two Seven' Continues

Well this is the last post of 2009 for my project 365! I'm not quite halfway through yet, but it's been fun making myself capture a photo everyday. Here's week 19:
Week 19 blogsize

#127: O Christmas Tree: Here is our Christmas Tree!!! It's weird how the middle looks like it doesn't have any lights... I think we'll get a few more strands of lights for our next years tree. -we did get new lights at the after Christmas sales! Can't wait to try them out, but I'll have to wait another 11 months-

#128: Elfster gift: This was my elfster gift I received in the mail this day. Before the wedding I started talking to a group of girls online that were all getting married in April of 2009. We have since kept in touch, daily and some of us have become really close friends. We did a fall exchanges and this was our Christmas exchange. We use a website called and it generates our chosen name and we mail our secret elf a package. I had a friend that lives in Louisville, and my elfster lives in Massachusetts. It's pretty fun! Then once the packages start arriving we post pictures of our goodies and try to guess who it was that sent it. Some people think it's weird that I have 'internet' friends, but they are great gals and really the best friends I have right now!

#129: Harpo: When life is chaotic and there is so much holiday hustle and bustle (not really in my life but I think it's contagious) I like to sit back and look at Harpo, his life is so peaceful and he always brings me joy!

#130: Morning Forecast for the week: This was the forecast for Dec 23-27th. I love when it calls for snow everyday! Looks like we'll be having a white Christmas!

#131: Christmas Eve Candlelight service: This is the second year we have attended our churches Christmas Eve Candle light service. Last year someone's fur hood caught on fire... so they were very cautious about warning everyone that if they get to into the mood of worship and feel they need to close their eyes, to blow out their candle before doing so. It was a beautiful service, we were a little late and ended up having to sit in the balcony, which was kinda fun since we could see all the candles from a higher perspective.

#132: Pass the Pigs: I had been wanting this game for ages and found it in my stocking Christmas morning!! Kyle and I played it most of the day, I think the little piggies are so cute!

#133: Christmas Cards: We got so many Christmas cards this year, it was hard to display them all. My little snowman card holder just couldn't take all the love :-) I might have to find a different way of keeping them next year.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

So Many Snowmen

Christmas Day weather was oddly warm... it was above freezing and almost got up to 40 at one part of the day... which made for WONDERFUL packing snow. We didn't get a chance to build a snowman but we did get to enjoy the many in our neighborhood.

On the way over to our friend's house we saw the LARGEST snowman I have ever seen, he had to be about nine feet tall (sorry I didn't get a picture of him).

Once we got back into our neck of the woods, we drove around admiring everyone's Christmas lights, this is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas time. Soon we realized we were admiring all the snowmen more than the lights.

We saw Happy snowmen:
snow happy
Leaning snowmen:
snow man lean
Snowmen families:
snow family
Sideways snowmen:
snow man side
Silent snowmen:
snow silent
Even MONSTER snowmen:
snow monster
And the most impressive wasn't really a snowman at all, but some sort of sculpture!
snow sculpture
I'm not really sure what it is..a person, woman perhaps, sitting in a chair?  Who knows, but it was rather interesting.

Thanks for reading!

Our Christmas Day!

We began the day with more snow... of course
snow table
And after letting Harpo out and cleaning the snow off of him we finished up the morning casserole which we had started the night before. 
cooking breakfast
Eggs Florentine Casserole found no other place than Pioneer Woman's website, but this time it wasn't her recipe it was a guest blogger, Paster Ryan! MMM lots of eggs!
While breakfast was cooking we opened some presents, Harpo got to see his NEW BED! Which he didn't have too much interest in at first and I kept moving it back and forth from the front room to the back room cuz he wouldn't make up his mind where he wanted to lay and I wanted him to lay in his bed :-P
Harpo bed 1
We didn't really surprise each other with gifts this year, but anything that was bought in the past week got wrapped and put under the tree! lol and there were a few things we had ordered online that we didn't open when they arrived we just stuck them under the tree as well... so we at least we had a few things to open. We both got some new gloves for our cross country ski lesson next weekend and I got a new camera strap.
camera strap
Kyle got a new chair that is to go where our tree currently is. This will be Kyle's study chair in his study corner (the whole reason we re-did the dining room)  We started to open it, then breakfast was ready, which meant it was time for a break.
opening presents
Breakfast was served
daisy breakfast
After breakfast we put together Kyle's chair:
kyle chair
Then headed outside to shovel... again...
kyle shovel
Harpo has his little tracks in the back yard that he walks through
harpo in the snow
After all that, we relaxed on the couch and played our new games that were in my stocking... one was Pass the Pigs!!
132 pass the pigs
Ever heard of it? I had never played it but always saw it and wanted it. Well the pigs are like dice and you toss them up and depending on how they land is how many points you get, you can try your luck to get as many points in one round but if they land a certain way all your points are lost for the round. It's pretty fun, and the piggies are too cute!

While we were playing Harpo was getting used to his new bed (which was placed right on top of where he usually sleeps on the couch, so I'm not sure how happy he was at first)
harpo bed 2
Getting used to it
Harpo bed 3
Ahh I think he loves it! He was passed out!
harpo bed 4
The rest of our day was spent being lazy, then we went to dinner at a friend's house across town! It was so nice to spend Christmas dinner with a family, she has two boys that are SUPER fun!!! On the way home we drove around looking at Christmas lights in our neighborhood which turned into a Snowman hunt... but I'll post pics on that later!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Wonderland

I think the weather guys were right this time :-D

It began around 7:00 last night and still hasn't stopped. As I was laying in bed I looked over and saw a glow that looked like it was coming from downstairs and I thought "crap I left a light on or something" so I rolled out of my warm bed (we keep our house in the lower 60s) to go turn the light off... well once I got downstairs I realize there were no lights on and the glow was just coming from the window since everything was white outside.

But since I was up I thought it was the perfect oppoturnity to capture some pre-snowplow snow shots...
midnight snow

It looks so peaceful and quiet at almost midnight.

Well I went to sleep and woke up to and even deeper snow covered Christmas Eve. I know we have a lot of snow when I open the door to let Harpo out and this happens:
deep snow

I went out and measured it about 1:00 today and there was 6 1/2 inches (on top of whatever else we already had from early December) and it's still coming down. See in Minnesota, it's not like Missouri where when it snows, you get to enjoy it for a few days, then it all disappears. In Minnesota it is here to stay, it comes early December and doesn't leave til April or so.

The fun thing about snow on a day like today, is that it's around 30 degrees so being outside can be FUN!  Harpo doesn't mind the snow when it's this warm out!!
snow bunny harpo

save me mommie

Although, warm weathered snow means that it sticks very well and I don't think he was a fan of all the clumps left on his belly and legs:
this is not funny

Hee Hee, isn't he cute!

puppy print

I hope everyone has a VERY Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Things have been crazy lately. I'm not really sure why... I didn't really have any gifts to buy, I'm not cooking a huge dinner, I don't have kids to wrap presents for, and I really only eat, drink, sleep and work.... so why has this month seemed like I have been standing in the middle of a tornado for 23 days?

Work has been unusually busy and the sun goes down at 4:00... that might be a reason.

As all this craziness hopefully comes to an end as Christmas arrives in a few days, I want to share my bit of peace for the holiday season...

the thing that brings me back to reality and assures me that nothing is really as bad as it seems...

the thing that I know will always be waiting for me when I walk in the door...

the thing that goes banana's over a crumb of carrot and always knows how to make me smile....

129 harpo

Thanks for reading!

They say...

we are going to get a lot of snow

130 christmas forecast

but really I don't know if I should believe them because... well... they are weather people and they are wrong a lot

:-P  we'll see......

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 18

Week 18 blogsize

#120: Hot Cocoa: For the cookie party I had with my mentor small group, I had all the goodies for hot chocolate set out. I still hadn't' used this awesome pottery bowl with lid that we got for our wedding, so I thought it would be perfect to put the marshmallows in!

#121: Harpo ElfDeer: We went to a white elephant party this past weekend and won these antler ears... so I just couldn't resist getting harpo all dressed up to take a holiday picture, lol. He was a real trooper by letting me get his picture, but he really wasn't very happy in it all. He doesn't mind the elf suit, but he could do without the antlers.

#122: 2009 Ornament: Since this is our first married Christmas together we decided to start a tradition of getting a new ornament every year. So this is our FIRST ornament and we marked it as 2009. We thought it was a good representation of Minnesota with the snowy cabin... and the ski's have a little bit of history of us too... AND we're trying out cross country skiing for the first time in a couple weeks, so that'll be exciting!!

#123: Baby Sweater: This is the first sweater I've ever knitted! I had started it not sure who it was for. I ended up giving it to my friend's daughter who is a little peanut, but it was still a little small for her. The sleeves are too small. But hey it was my very FIRST sweater so I gotta learn sometime :-)

#124: Mystic Lake Casino: This is where I took Kyle for his 26th birthday. We went to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze, super fun show!!!!

#125: DIY Project: You know me and my fun DIY projects... well I DIYed a backdrop set thingy with PVC pipe. I thought it was so cool how the pipe looked as it was getting drilled out.

#126: Christmas Cookies: This was round two of Christmas Cookies. I had had a cookie party the week before and this day I was going to another person's cookie decorating party and made the rest of the dough I had prepared. These are shortbread cookies that I ended up being ADDICTED to they were sooooo good!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Tradition

christmas tree

Since this is our first married Christmas together, we thought it was appropriate to start a new tradition. We've decided to get a new ornament for the tree each year... and this year we got our first.

A little bit of Minnesota:
122 yearly ornament

And for your continued Holiday Cheer... another shot of Elf Harpo!!! :-)
elf harpo

Thanks for reading!

Birthday Surprises

Kyle had a birthday this past week and I was well prepared!!  A few months ago I had found out about this show coming to town and knew Kyle had always wanted to see it... soooo I bought the tickets back in October and have been sitting on them ever since.

I am not a good secret keeper, but luckily I put the tickets out of sight (out of mind) and made it all the way to the front door without telling him.

We arrived at he still wasn't sure:
124 mystic lake casino

I had given in and told him as we were walking away from the car that it was a show.. he kept saying, what show are we seeing at a Casino. As I pulled my camera down from my eye, it was like a light bulb had exploded in his head as he came over to hug me.

"Have you figured it out?"
His reply: "you did really good!"
sign zoomed in

I was taking him to see the Cirque Dreams Holidaze show. Now if you've never heard of Cirque Dreams or Cirque du Soli... well then you're not alone. It wasn't until this last summer that I had ever really heard of them, and I had never seen a show until this night.


I also had some dinner vouchers with the tickets I got so first we ate. I had never been in a casino before and this was my first. As soon as I walked in, my nose detected that this was indeed a smoking casino :-(  then I found it odd that it wasn't like the movies... where were all the 20's and 30 year olds?? All we were seeing were blue hairs.

Then as we were asking for a drink prior to dinner, it dawned on us when our waitress said "this is a dry casino"  OHHHH that is why it is filled with old people... kinda like Branson, Missouri :-P  lol, j/k  We had no idea, like I said this was the first casino I had ever stepped foot in. In the movies they're always drinking. The waitress kept apologizing to us, which we weren't sure why cuz it really wasn't a big deal they didn't have drinks, we just thought we'd have one with dinner, we weren't terribly let down. But I think she apologized at least 5-8 times.

But we enjoyed our dinner and headed on into the show


It was amazing! My favorite part where these two girls that were on a ring in the air. Oh if you didn't check out the link above then I should tell you the Cirque shows are like acrobatics. They do all these cool stunts and tricks.  Kyle's favorite were the three muscle men that did craziness with their strong muscles, like standing three men tall. No nets, no strings, just strength and skill.

I was too involved in the show to take any pictures, but I did get one at the end... they were all so little. Like gymnast bodies.


It was a pretty fun night and we saw some pretty amazing stunts!

Happy Birthday Hunnie!
(it harder than you think to get a halfway in focus picture into a mirror without looking through the camera, this was try three) :-P

Thanks for reading!
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