curse the darkness

I was minding my own business Thursday night when I heard a loud crash, which was followed by darkness. A tree branch/half of an entire tree fell and ripped the power lines off our building.

20150918_070606 So that was exciting. Xcel came out right away to cut off the power to the downed lines so nothing would catch fire, but told us it might be a few days before power was restored to the building due to the extensive damage.

We ended up sitting out on the stoop with our neighbors from across the hall, sharing the contents of our liquor cabinets. Sleep was rough without the sweet white noise of a fan, but I managed a few hours. Our landlords ended up getting the power going again about 18 hours after it went out, so there were lights and such when I got home from work on Friday. I’ve heard it may be a temporary fix because some repairs may have to be done before the permanent lines get replaced, but I’ll take it. No TV or internet though, because of course Comcast’s setup is in the same spot where the tree fell. So much for my weekend of Netflix. Comcast did come out yesterday morning though, so all was not lost. The food in our freezer even survived, but I did have to toss some stuff from the fridge. Not the end of the world.

Now maintenance just needs to remove the tree and fix the gutter. Then we’ll be all set.

meet the gardners

My brother Tyler got married last weekend. Well, he and Kim were married in a small legal ceremony in May, but they had a larger ceremony and reception Saturday. So now all four of us are old marrieds. Nice.

The whole shindig was held at Tyler and Cody’s mom and stepdad’s house, just outside of Pequot. They have a large property and huge paved area that is perfect for a party. On the way up I told Darren “I wonder if they’ll do a taco bar,” and I was totally right. Taco bars are perfect for weddings, guys. Especially when it’s all DIY. So easy, so affordable!

Tyler and Kim have four kids between them, so congrats to the whole family! Here are some pictures.

ceremony 04

Kim’s sons walked her down the aisle.

Kim's daughter was her Maid of Honor.

Kim’s daughter was her Maid of Honor.

ceremony 25

Heading into the "Honeymoon Suite" immediately following the ceremony.

Heading into the “Honeymoon Suite” immediately following the ceremony.

cake 2


MN State Fair 2015

Today was Fair Day. We arrived around 8am. Kate had to leave at noon; the rest of us stayed until the Gaelic Storm show finished at 10:30pm. We ate a lot! Here’s the ol’ list, in order of consumption. We didn’t get two footlongs like we normally do, but we tried a lot of new things so I think it’s a fair trade.

  • mini cinnamon rolls with milk
  • mini donuts
  • footlong hot dog
  • apple dumpling with ice cream
  • samples of Peace coffee
  • 3 types of jerky: cheddar, maple, & BBQ
  • corn fritz
  • snicker salad
  • chilled bread pudding
  • giant turkey sandwich
  • all-you-can-drink milk, both white & chocolate
  • chicken samosas
  • frozen cider
  • 3 beer flights: darker, belgian, & brewpub (Kate left after flights)
  • fried green tomatoes
  • raspberry mocha frappe
  • ribbon fries with cheese & sour cream
  • strawberry lemonade
  • deep fried candy bar
  • samples of cinnamon butter
  • lobster rolls with chips & iced tea
  • ice cream from the dairy building (this is when we stop for a while to rest/nap)
  • cream puffs
  • sweet corn
  • 1919 root beer
  • s’mores beer
  • maple bacon beer
  • leinie’s harvest patch shandy
  • cheese curds

I had my iPod with, running its built-in pedometer. I started it after we finished our cinnamon rolls, and stopped it at about 6:30 when we sat down to claim seats for the concert. In that time, we walked 18,750 steps. Success! Photos can be found on Instagram.

spoiler alert: my mom doesn’t have cancer

Not this time!

On Friday, while we were getting everything ready for Darren’s party (before he threw out his back. He has since fully recovered), I received a text from my mom. it was a group text to my and my three brothers that said she’d be having back surgery on the 25th. She hurt her back at work in May, and at some point her doctor found a “suspicious mass” that needed to be removed.

So that’s fun.

Mom had cancer – I don’t know if it was technically tongue or throat, but the very small tumors were on the way back of her tongue – back in 2006 or so, but I was all “nope nope nope” and figured it was best to just wait and see. I didn’t even think to google until just now, so good job me.

Anyway, I got another group text while I was on the train home yesterday. Good news, surgery went well and it was a benign tumor. I sent a happy response and teared up a little, because the last thing my family needs this year is anything else shitty. Happy healing, mom!

lift with your legs

Darren’s birthday party was last night. It was held in the back yard of the house of some friends. Tons of people showed up – apparently Darren is very popular. There was one major problem, though. We went splitsies with Tara on a keg from Summit, which she brought over shortly before the party began. Darren got it out of her car himself, which was a mistake as he promptly threw out his back. The pain only got worse as the night went on. We left earlier than anticipated, although the party was winding down so really he was able to stick it out for the most part. He’s still sore today but with some improvement. There were a lot of “that’s what happens when you get old” comments, which… yeah. Helpful.

Meanwhile, I am typing this out on our tablet because my beloved laptop is disassembled. A few days ago the display went wonky and it seemed like the connection might be loose. I hooked up an external monitor earlier today but that whole setup was a nightmare. Darren took the laptop apart tonight and discovered that the display cable needs to be replaced. He accidentally broke the keyboard in the process, so that’ll need to be replaced too. Bu it’ll be like a $50 repair, which is obviously better than a several hundred dollar replacement.

So I guess it’s been an interesting couple days. Yep.

the landscape of an August day

Where did the past three months go? Summer, man. It’s a time-suck in all the right ways.

So I turned thirty, and a bunch of my friends have too since then. Good work, team! Way to be alive. Darren’s birthday is on Thursday so he’s throwing a big ol’ yard party at a friend’s house on Friday. We both have the day off work to “prepare,” a.k.a. sleep in and I guess buy some stuff to grill? Oh, and I’m making a cake.

Speaking of days off with Darren, our anniversary was a couple weeks ago. It was our 5th, and it fell on a Friday so we figured we should probably go big. Not all plans go accordingly, though. We were going to visit the MN Zoo, then the Mall of America, and end with a fancy dinner. Well. Did you know the MN Zoo doesn’t have giraffes? Listen, I’ve never been there but I’m sure it’s a great zoo. But the night before, we both agreed that the cost of admission (plus parking) was just not worth it and our money would be better spent elsewhere. We agreed we’d hit up the Como Zoo instead, which is close to home and donation-based. AND THEY HAVE GIRAFFES. Also a polar bear.

Except neither of us slept well the night before, so we slept later than planned, went out for breakfast, and decided to skip zoo-ing altogether. Everything else went as planned, though! We wandered the mall, bought some craft liqueurs, ate some Coldstone, and snarked on the weirdos. We took a couple hours to relax after that, then had an amazing dinner at Bennett’s Chophouse in St. Paul. So good, you guys. If you go, get the smoked salmon appetizer. Trust me.

Anyway, most of the rest of the summer has been relatively uneventful. Patios, a lake day, yard parties and bonfires — just trying to enjoy it while it lasts. The state fair is next week, which is the best thing about the season. I’ll be sure to post the list of gluttony.