Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's Time

I have been debating on whether or not to do this post for a couple of weeks.  After careful thought, I've finally decided to write it.

After almost 6 years of writing and 1,167 posts, I have decided to discontinue writing this blog.  It's time. My heart just isn't there anymore.  I always did it for myself first and foremost but I do like when others read my posts.  My readership has dwindled a lot since the fall of 2012 and that does impact me a little bit in my decision.  

I believe the quality of my posts have suffered as well.  In recent posts, I'm blogging just to blog and quickly document what I've done instead of taking my time and enjoying it.  

I'm still living my life the same as what I was before, going out with friends, seeing family, activities with M and all that but now I'm a lot like you...I'm not writing about my on-goings and but experiencing them for what they are.

I do have to say that living my experiences without blogging about it and having to take pictures has been freeing.  That's a good sign at I'm making the right decision.

Will I ever start to write again?  I'm not sure, but at least not for a while.  

I thank you for visiting this blog and it will be here for you to reference going forward.  At some point I might make it private but you'll still be able to access it with your Google account.

I will still see a lot of you readers in person so this isn't really goodbye.  It's just until next time.

Dana    

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Love This Day

M surprised me on Valentine's Day by meeting me at work and taking me out to lunch. We went to Cowboy Jack's near my work and had a wonderful mid-day intermission from the rest of life and he completely brightened my work day.


We went out to dinner that night for our traditional Valentine's night at White Castle. We went to the Columbia Heights location this time. We've gone to a different location each year and it's always a different experience as you can imagine.

 
 
After we ate, we stopped at my mom's house so I could give her a bag of goodies for V-Day. We went home and watched TV and M and exchanged some cards and gifts. This is why I love Valentine's Day....what one person gets would be completely horrible and a nightmare for someone but is perfect for another. If my Conscious Box looked like this every month, I would be in heaven. M picked out a combination of all local/organic/vegan food products and a chapstick. I also got a cookie recipe book and a wooden salad bowl, something I've always wanted. He knows me perfectly!
 
 
While we were at White Castle, M surprised me and told me that we were going out to dinner again the next night and so on Saturday, M took me to Murray's in downtown Minneapolis. M had been there once before but I had not. The dinner was very nice but some parts of the dinner were salty. The steaks are wet-aged so maybe that is part of the reason. That was not enough to wreck anything and it was really a perfect night!
 

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

JBT

We went to see John Butler Trio on Sunday, February 9th. I hate Sunday night concerts and they're worse than mid-week concerts. These kinds of things matter when you are an adult and have a job to go to in the morning so you only go to concerts that are completely worth being tired the next day. JBT is one of those bands. While we just had seen them almost exactly 6 months ago at the zoo, we wanted to see them again even though we were under the impression they didn't have a new album.

The show was at First Avenue and was packed. JBT took the stage and we heard a couple of songs we didn't know. John told the crowd that they did have a new album out and it had just come out earlier that week so we were surprised with a bunch of new material. We both bought a poster of John that was autographed. I've never purchased a poster at a concert in my life but I needed this one. I thought it would make a good addition in my home office/craftroom/walk-in closet. (Yep, my room is all of those things.) We left right when JBT was taking the stage again for an encore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FRI HH

One thing that the Alphabet Gang has never done is have a happy hour on a Friday night, until February 7th. We met at Mac's Industrial in Northeast Minneapolis after work. One of our members got lost and didn't make it and one of our members completely forgot so she had to venture out from home. We got to meet the newest addition to Catha's family, Dahlia, who was just about 10 weeks at the time, skinny and long. Despite being a Friday night, I think we all enjoy our weekend time and we only met for as long as we normally would on a week night. A few in this group don't like getting their pictures taken so it can be a chore getting one of these guys but somehow we get all of us in there for an "ussie".

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winterfest

We went to Winterfest on Friday, January 31st and met our friend John there. It was held at a new venue this year, the Union Depot in St. Paul. Winterfest is the coveted beer fest for the serious beer peeps and the first of three for the year put on by the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild. This was the third one we've been to and I preferred this venue but M liked it better when it was at the Minnesota History Center. The beer booths were a lot closer to each other and that was what I liked however it did get crowded in the area it was held. I don't partake much but I had some fun ingredients in my beer like coconut, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry. The food was pretty decent as well serving roast beef, cold roasted veggies and potatoes. I would have liked to have seen HammerHeart Brewing there but there's not enough room for all the good brewers. Of the three of us, each of us ran into someone that we went to school with. I guess everyone does like beer.

 
Jeremy and I--We haven't seen each other since we were 19
M and Dangerous Man Brewing's found Rob Miller
Photobombed!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blurry HH

I met several current and former coworkers (and friends!) for happy hour at Cowboy Jack's in Bloomington on Thursday, January 23rd. You spend so much time with your coworkers as a whole so I always appreciate getting out and hang out with them on a casual and friendly basis as well, which doesn't happen often. We had a couple of drinks, some appetizers and some fun conversations before calling it a night.

 
This is what happens when you hand your phone off to someone else to take a picture. Blurry!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Metrodome Memories

On January 18, 2014, demolition started on the Metrodome with the deflation of the roof in preparation of tearing the down the entire stadium and building a new one on the same grounds. And while I wanted to do this earlier than now, I want to take time for a post about the Metrodome and all my memories there.

The memories I have of the Metrodome are from the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Gophers. My earliest memory and the first time I was ever in the Dome was in what I believe to be 1986. My parents took my sister and myself along with my two cousins, Dan and Chris to a Twins game. I remember specific interactions from that day but the game itself, I don't remember. I know my parents brought us to another game as well but that was the last of family games together.

The Minnesota Twins years


In October 1987, I was 10 years old but the night of the October 12th was such a special evening and I remember how important it was. The Twins had just beat the Detroit Tigers in Detroit and they would be headed to the World Series. The Twins flew home that night and found out they would have a stop at the dome to be welcomed home by the fans. What they or anybody didn't know is that 60,000 fans would show up to greet them. We were at my Grandpa and Gramma's house on this night and I don't know how everything transpired, but all I know is that we took two cars down to the dome, my uncle John driving my cousins Dan and Chris and my sister and me in his station wagon while my parents and my cousin's parents were in the other car. Once there, I remember how packed it was and how loud it was. Everyone was cheering and yelling and clapping and it wouldn't stop. It was going on forever while the Twins walked around the perimeter of the field waving and thanking us fans. It was incredible. Please read the article below to get the full effect of this special night.


http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2010/04/celebrate-good-times-welcome-home-rally-was-unforgettable-moment-87-twins-te


I went to a Twins game in what I think was 1989 (maybe 1988) for Day Camp. Day Camp was a summer program that kids could take part of any of the activities offered and my sister and I did quite a bit. The reason this memory is significant is because I was allowed to run on the field after the game. We toured the field and I got to run up to the warning track and smash into the "Baggie" in right field. I felt so cool being on that field.

My dad took my friend Heather and I to what I believe was TwinsFest back in 1992 but it was summertime. I really wanted to see Chuck Knoblauch. This was before the internet so you couldn't find out who would be there and so the closest thing I would be to Chuck was his cardboard cutout. I liked Knoblauch so much that I wrote him a letter when I was in 9th grade after seeing a picture of him in my high school text book having something to do with sports medicine. I did end up saying hi to Brian Harper, seeing Kirby Puckett and getting some autographs. I'm so thankful that my dad took me.


My next favorite memory at the dome was May 15, 2001. It really wasn't a favorite memory at the time but turns out to be a big deal later in life. I had come home from work to my ex-something Eric and my apartment and there was a dude laying on my bed. That dude was Michael Sack, my ex-something's coworker. They were going to the Twins game against the Yankees and Michael asked if I wanted to come with. The three of us went to the game and it was the start of M and I's friendship, thanks to the Twins and Eric.


Fast forward to August 2004 and I was going through a really hard time and so Michael and I, as friends, went to a game. I was really down and he cheered me up tremendously. I remember how much his friendship was starting to mean to me.

A couple of months later, hanging out with Michael was turning into a regular thing so it was natural that we were going to another Twins game, a playoff game on October 8, 2004 against the Yankees. While the Twins lost 8-4 in Game three, my relationship with Michael changed that night forever. I have very fond memories of us at the game that night.


On March 12, 2006, Michael and I attended the public memorial for Kirby Puckett who died on March 6, 2006. As a kid growing up liking Twins baseball, it was almost a given that your favorite player was Kirby Puckett



My final major Twins memories at the dome both happened in 2009, both a couple of days apart from each other. The first was what was supposed to be the last regular season game played in the dome on October 4. I went to the game with my mom and the Twins beat the Royals, 13-4. With that win, the Twins tied for first place in the AL Central and needed a one game tie-breaker. You can read about my blog post about the game with my mom HERE.




I also went to the tie-breaker game with Michael on October 6, 2004 and that game was boring and the most exciting at the same time. It was also super long as it went 12 innings. I remember the dome being so loud, as loud as I ever heard it since the Welcome Home Rally of 1987 and definitely rivaled the noise of a Vikings game. You can read my blog post about it HERE.

Overall, based on my best estimate and ticket stubs to prove my attendance, I attended 35 or so Twins baseball games in the dome.



Minnesota Golden Gophers


I only had one experience at the dome of Gophers football. It was against the Wisconsin Badgers and the fan base was at least split 50/50. The Gophers lost but I loved the new experience. It was my first time sitting in the upper level end zone and I enjoyed those seats. I looked back at my ticket stub this morning and saw that the date was the date my dad passed away, October 15, except seven years earlier.




The Minnesota Vikings Years

My first experience seeing a Vikings game is a very memorable one for any Viking fan old enough...my very first Vikings game was the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons in January 1999. What a game to be your first for many reasons. Unfortunately, we all know how it turned out. My dad asked me on that Friday if I wanted to go to the game. I said YES and he brought me home two tickets to the game. I went with my then-boyfriend Chris. Michael was also at that game with his girlfriend at the time.

I have WAY too many individual memories of games and records broken that I can't list them all here so here's a quick synopsis of standout Viking memories at the dome:
  • Everything Adrian Peterson, particularly his 296 yards on 11/4/07, most of which came in the 2nd half of the game.
  • Jared Allen reaching 22 sacks and getting 3.5 sacks that last game of the 2011 season. Michael Strahan still owns the record of 22.5 sacks. Remember that last sack? A certain Brett Favre seemed to assist Strahan with that last sack so maybe Jared Allen really is the all-time leader. :)
  • Leaving the dome with a win after every game during the 2009 season, Brett Favre era.
  • Sitting in the Miller Lite Party Deck suite for a game after winning my way in there by playing bean bags in Mankato.
  • Not being able to go to the game the morning the dome roof collapsed due to snow on December 12, 2010
  • It took me up until the 2013 season to accomplish this but I've finally seen all 32 NFL teams play against the Vikings in the dome!

Here's the craziest fact I have about the Vikings and the dome...I've NEVER paid for a Vikings game. I've either had people give me tickets, I've won them or I've been the lucky recipient for the other seat for Michael's season tickets. To my best estimate and based on ticket stubs, I've seen 91 Vikings games at the dome.


I've never said that I hated the dome. Yes, the corridors were narrow and it was hard to get around at times and left a lot to be desired in the latter years but it was completely functional and it was OUR dome.


It was a lot of work to do this post but I'm glad I took the time to write this all out. If you're a sports fan, I hope you enjoyed this.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Death

I'm hoping there is one thing you take away after reading this post. Life is too short. Don't just say it, keep remembering it and live that way.

2014 hasn't started exactly the way a lot of families would have liked it to. Our good friends Sean and Beth lost their son Joe at the age of 18 less than a week into January due to complications of a heart defect. My grandpa's brother passed away due to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's in mid January. Two funerals were under M and I's belt during the first 18 days of January.

In the last few weeks, M has lost 4 classmates from high school. Two car accidents, passing away while sleeping and another somewhat unknown reason but not breathing while sleeping. The month prior, M lost a former co-worker while he vacationed in Russia due to a heart attack. You just never know when it's your time.

In response to all of these recent deaths, M started a Facebook page in memory of all the alumni of his high school. The last thing that M wants me to do is talk about this here where he's getting credit for it. That's not my intention but after peeking in on the FB page tonight, I can't believe how many people have passed away from his school that most would consider was way before their time. One thing I also realized is that how thankful people are to him for starting the page. It's a way for people to learn of others' passing as well as a way to remember and provide memories of their friends.

I'm not giving you a message that you don't already know but we just don't know when our time to leave will be. Appreciate your family and friends. Appreciate birds in the sky, ice cream cones in the summer, the day your car starts on that cold day, etc. Appreciate what you have and stop worrying about what you don't have. Appreciate EVERYTHING. Appreciate LIFE. We get one chance at this thing called life. Make it count!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Birthday

My birthday Tuesday, January 21st, was already over two weeks ago and I turned 37. Thirty-seven. The number didn't even phase me. That's refreshing.
Just like we went to brunch at Pinstripes for M's birthday, we also did the same thing for my birthday on the Sunday before. We love that place and isn't going to brunch what you do when you are a full-blown adult?
The weather on that Sunday was perfect for a January winter birthday celebration. It was 34 degrees and after brunch, we walked around Centennial Lakes enjoying the actually warm sun. The rest of the day we spent at home watching football.
On Monday, January 20th, my mom and sister and me went to dinner at TGI Friday's. I opened presents at the table like I was 10 years old and then we went to the mall to shop a little.
On my actual birthday, I took the day off from work and did...nothing. M and I spent the day together and we were going to see a movie but never did. I got some stuff done around the house and enjoyed my day off.

This is what 37 looks like. Taken on my birthday. No makeup, just lazy and natural.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January Conscious Box

January's Conscious Box was filled up but I had some duplicates...again. I always want unique products so I get irritated when I get products that are not geared towards me like children's products or tea that has caffeine. I only have one or two more boxes coming before I'm done with my subscription. I'm pretty excited about the hemp seeds in this month's box though. I love them!

 

 

Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 Resolutions

It's kind of comical that I am just doing my New Year's Resolutions now but I haven't been consistent with blogging. Maybe that will just be one of my resolutions.

 

Ok, let's start!

 

1) Establish daily routines. We all have daily routines but I want to refine mine. There are a few things I want to incorporate into my life that will enhance it in the long-term. One thing is exercise. I'm just so bad at making time to lift some weights, do some kettle bells or some yoga. I need to make time for this stuff if I want to grow old in a healthy way. I do so many other healthy things so this is a must.

 

2) Develop my oil business. I am a distributor of Young Living essential oils and have been since April 2013. I've off to a great start already for 2014 and I want to continue to develop by trying new methods of getting the word out there and marketing myself and the oils. Social media is great for this kind of stuff but it's not the only option. If anyone has interest in learning more about the oils and their natural health benefits, contact me.

 

3) Travel out of state. I really enjoy traveling but M and I but we're somewhat limited to traveling due to work schedules for certain times of the year and for time off and sometimes money. I established a savings account for a vacation this past year and I feel so great knowing the money is there waiting for when we decide to go. Traveling out of state this year has to be more than going to Wisconsin. I'd really like to go to Colorado soon and maybe we'll see the Vikings on the road again somewhere.

 

4) Take care of myself. I think by establishing a routine that I want to adhere to this will help me take care of myself. I've already made some changes this year that I'm excited about and I've already seen and felt the results. After just having a birthday, my mindset has changed or evolved and you start thinking differently about how you are treating yourself and your body. I do a lot to help my body already but there's always room for improvement. We're all works in progress.

 

5) Blog more consistently. I will blog 10 days in a row and then you'll be lucky to hear from me one time in two weeks. I mostly blog when I feel like it and I like to do that but I want to build time into my schedule to allow that to happen on a more frequent basis, such as every other day. I think I get frustrated at times when I see how many visitors I have coming to my blog and the lack of comments and that discourages me. Then I remember, I write this blog for ME. You guys as my readers are super appreciated, but a bonus.

 

I think about the resolutions I've made and I am lucky that I have a great life. A life where my "problems" or things I need to work on are tiny in the scheme of everything else. That boils down to attitude. You can feel sorry for yourself and the things you are going through or you can pick yourself up and tackle it head on. It's your choice.

I read a good piece of advice before 2014 rang in and it was about goals. If you haven't already ditched your resolutions for this year, this will help. Statistically speaking, you probably have but whether you have or have not, this is a great perspective that might be new for us. We all have goals. We focus on the end result and declare what we want but we don't focus on the process. Focus on the process. Focus on the part you need to do daily to acheive your goal. If your goal is to save money, make sure you pay attention every time you are going to whip out money to pay for something. Is it a necessity? Will you be further from your goal if you make that purchase? Let's say you want to lose 25 lbs by June. You need to focus on the daily part and the process of each day to June, one day at a time. You need to think about whether a cupcake will hurt you or help you. If it hurts, then maybe you need to move more that day or just skip it. I know, this all sounds simple and maybe it is but it's a different perspective that most of us don't look at. Focus on the process. The goal should come by default.

 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How'd I Do?

Ok, it's a little late in the month to be talking about New Year's resolutions but I've always been a little behind on this blog. Before I can talk about my 2014 resolutions, let's look back and how I did with 2013's resolutions.

My first resolution for 2013 was to go to Chicago. SUCCESS! M and I took a trip to Chicago in August 2013 and it was everything that I remembered it to be and more. It was M's first time to Chicago and we both would like to go back soon.

My second resolution was to take an out-of-state road trip. SUCCESS! This happened to be part of the Chicago trip. When I thought about us going to Chicago, I pictured us flying but we road tripped it there and much more. We also went to and through Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. It was great road trip and I'm up for doing another one, maybe down south or west next time.

Spending more time with my nephews Keith and Colton was the next resolution. SUCCESS! I don't think I spent any more time with Colton but I did spend more time with Keith. We took him to Vikings Training Camp and a preseason game. I brought him to a Twins game, overnight at our house and to the State Fair.
Try not to be a backseat driver was another one of my resolutions. I asked M if I was better and he said I did improve. SUCCESS!

Introduce my mom to new things. SUCCESS! My mom has had a lot more experiences than she ever had before including going to the Mall of America, many places to eat and the Bachman's Ideas House and she's more receptive to new things than she ever has been. I even got her to try (and like) Tofu Scramble!
Get engaged. FAIL! I kind of thought this was the year, but even after almost 10 years, Michael still has me guessing. I'm unsure if he's procrastinating or still trying to figure out if I'm the one. I'm half kidding on that one. While I said last year that it was important to me to get married, it still is but not as important. I know how M feels about me and our relationship and that's why I can joke and be candid about it. Believe me, I wouldn't be here in this relationship after this many years if we weren't something serious as a couple who are married. And I'm sure we're more serious than some married couples.

My last resolution for 2013 was to take care of myself in every.which.way. SUCCESS! Saying "every which way" sure encompasses a lot and while I didn't in some ways, I did a lot in others. First, my food intake was pretty good this year. What that means is I eat organic any time I can and avoid GMO's when I can. As for beauty products, I switched over to a combination of natural, organic, vegan or vegetarian makeup for all parts of my face, lips and eyes. I also converted to the same combination for shampoo and conditioner, body wash, soap, moisturizer and lotions, toothpaste and mouthwash. No more chemicals on my skin and hair if I can help it. The only thing I haven't converted is deodorant. I hate knowing there is aluminum in deodorant but until I find a solution for a deodorant and antiperspirant that is natural and actually works, I'm stuck for now. As for medication, I have pretty much limited myself to essential oils for any type of symptom I treat. I will avoid antibiotics as I can and I don't remember the last time I had to use them. Essential oils have also been used in my house to clean and disinfect without the use of chemicals Full disclosure: I do sell essential oils as I really believe in them and have had great success with them.

That sums up 2013's resolutions and to be honest, I have yet to come up with a set for 2014 so it might be a few days before I put them out there for everyone to see and for me to be accountable.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2014!