Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm Pooped!!

View of garage before we started sorting and tossing

Conclusion of our Saturday work. (Next Saturday - the back wall)

This past week the maintenance man from our association met me at my garage to see if the problem of the squirrel and foul odor inside our three connecting garages could be solved. He climbed up into the rafters to get a closer look at the vents and confirmed what I had suspected - there is a hole in the plastic screening that covers the interior of the vent in my garage. Mr. Squirrel (the rat!), can jump from a tree onto the garage roof and stretch down to the vent and make his entrance. The maintenance man said he could replace the screening with metal screening and thus, block the entrance for him.

As for the odor, the association manager instructed my neighbor and me to move everything in our garages to see if there is a dead critter lying about. Colleen (my next-door garage neighbor) managed to move all of her things Thursday night. It only took her an hour! Yesterday I stopped at Wal*Mart and bought a few Rubbermaid bins for transferring some of my treasures from cardboard cartons. My dear friend, Nancy, came over to help me this morning. We started at 8:30 and stopped at 1:15 - with two trips to a Salvation Army drop-off site mixed in. With temperatures in the low 90's and the humidity and dew point sky high (don't know the exact number), I am now pooped!

We managed to get through both sides of the garage storage. The back shelves are yet to do. Ugh!! Hopefully next Saturday will be much cooler and dryer. Please, Lord?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Squirrells! Why Me? Please, Not Again!

I have been aware that some sort of animal has been in my garage for the past week or so. Tonight when I came home from work and opened the door, a squirrel made his way up the shelves of storage boxes and bins that are at the back. I exited my car outside the garage and left the garage door open for at least 10 minutes while I waited across the street, hoping he would come out, but no such luck. My next door garage neighbor (our garages connect) came home just then and I told her about the squirrel. She mentioned smelling a foul odor in our garage the past few days. She pounded on her inside wall to see if it would cause him to run out. No luck. I pounded on the outside of the back of my garage. No luck. She suggested I ask our management if they have any traps we could put in our garages to try to trap him.

Squirrels are very hard to get rid of! Believe, I know from personal experience. Many years ago, when my kids were little, we lived in a large two-story house with a full walk-up attic. One winter we heard noises coming from our attic. Upon inspecting, we found that some of our cardboard boxes being stored up there had been shredded. We discovered some of the toys were chewed on and parts of the branches of our artificial Christmas tree were chewed off. We had a problem! What to do? Many of our friends had ideas: moth balls was one of the ideas. The squirrel(s) batted them around like hockey pucks. We tried Raid rat poison. It did no good.

Finally my husband got a live bait trap. Bingo! We got him! Steve took the trap out of the attic and took the squirrel a few blocks away and let him out. But the rodent returned. Again and again. Thinking the same squirrel was coming back, Steve started taking the squirrel to work with him - 42 miles away - and let him out there. But more squirrels came. That winter we trapped 55 squirrels. No kidding!

I sure hope I can solve this problem soon!

Bullseye with My Friend, Julie

Julie with Bullseye in First Class!

Owner/trainer with Bullseye. The dogs real name is Nikki. They live in California and apparently the owner has several animals that are in the advertising industry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celebrity Sighting

Julie, a dear friend of mine, is a flight attendant on Delta Airlines. On her flight this morning to Los Angeles, she had a celebrity in the first class portion of the aircraft. Who was it? Bullseye, the mascot for Target. Bullseye had a seat of her own, next to her owner. Julie had her camera with her today so took several pictures of her. I was surprised to learn the dog was allowed to fly in the cabin with out a crate. I guess they make exceptions!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're Gonna Win, Twins, We're Gonna Win!

Friends Gary and Nancy waiting at the train station

Julie, Laurey and yours truly posing at the giant baseball glove

This was my view. (Photo taken 40 minutes before game time.)

L. to R.: Julie, yours truly, Laurey

Huge score and message board

Balls of light travel around the outside of the sign for hits and runs.

Twins' home run! (they got two last night)

Last night I was one of one hundred from my church choir to go to the new Target Field (baseball stadium) to see the Minnesota Twins play the Colorado Rockies. The stadium is in downtown Minneapolis and just opened this spring. We had rain in the morning and the weatherman had predicted it may rain off and on during the afternoon, but should clear out by game time. Well, I’m happy to say it cleared out mid-afternoon. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather at the game. There was sunshine, but our seats were covered, and there was a lovely breeze wafting past us throughout the game. In fact, one could smell the brats and other treats grilling just below us due to the air flow.

My friends and I took the light rail train downtown and arrived early enough to look around the outdoor plaza and inside the stadium a bit. Our seats (family section), were way, way, way up – from home plate. In fact, there was only one row higher in the entire facility! My view was straight down the third baseline.

My reactions: I loved the big glove outside on the plaza. What a neat place for friends or family to have their photos taken. I also loved the giant scoreboard/message board. The lighting on the board, as well as the signage that surrounds the interior of the stadium, is very bright and contemporary. But the thing that I am most enamored with is the old-fashion sign from the days at Met Stadium of the pair of adult men – one from Minneapolis and the other from Saint Paul – shaking hands across the Mississippi River, with the shape of our great state behind them. During the game, a single ball of light would travel around the perimeter of the sign if one of the Twins got a hit. It would travel around twice if the player got a double, etc. For a home run, many balls of light traveled around it, and the shaking hands moved up and down. Clever! Also, for a home run, fire-works shot up out of the back of the giant scoreboard.

During the National Anthem – choreographed at the perfect moment during the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air – fire-works shot up from the back of the scoreboard.

All in all, it was a fun night - - and the Twins beat the Colorado Rockies 9 – 3!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why do weekends go by so fast?

It's Sunday night already - feels like the weekend was ten minutes long! I don't understand why it has to pass by so quickly. Many weekends I have lots of planned activities, and then the weekend feels like as though it was eight or nine minutes long. This weekend was pretty much an "open" weekend for me, but somehow it got filled up anyway.

Yesterday morning I went to the funeral for Paul, the son of a friend of mine. He was only43 years old and died after a courageous two year battle with malignant melanoma. The service was held at a beautiful church in the twin cities - one I have driven past hundreds and hundreds of time, but had never been inside. When my friends and I entered the sanctuary, I heard birds chirping. I thought to myself, What a nice touch! Paul was an adventurous man - robust, even while sick - rollerblading, running, skiing, playing the piano, and traveling. I think he would have loved knowing a few sparrows had somehow entered the building and were flying around the sanctuary - flying from the pipe organ, to the lamp shades, to the railings on the balcony, back to the floor of the platform - chipping all through the service.

I'm not complaining. It's nice to have things to do, and I'm happy that I can participate in so many activities - even if the weekends fly by.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Road Trip

On Tuesday this week, I had the opportunity to travel through western Minnesota – down roads I had never before traveled. A group of 6 were driving together to the visitation in Minneota, Minnesota, for the mother of my boss, LaVonne.

Our route was US Highway 212, to Minnesota Highway 67, and finally County Road 24. I had never been west of Chaska on US 212 and found the drive to be wonderful. We drove through towns such as Norwood-Young America (I’ve heard this unusual name for a town on the radio for years), Glencoe, Buffalo Lake, Bird Island, Olivia – “The Corn Capital,” Granite Falls – which is actually a nice size town - the Minnesota River runs through it; Clarkfield, and finally Minneota.

The route to Minneota is only 155 miles, but it takes 3 hours (when following the speed limits), due to having to slow down for so many towns and burgs. But the small towns were darling. Some had parks, some interesting water towers. And all had at least one visible church.

In the country side we saw beautiful, manicured farms, with gorgeous groves of trees and lovely yards. Many had horses. I hadn’t realized so much corn was grown in that area. Most of the farms had several large grain bins – and the small towns had large commercial grain dryers. We saw an Ethanol factory and a seed factory. The closer we got to Minneota, we saw huge turkey barns – lots of them. That was a surprise to me, too. Some of the land was very flat; other parts had big, rolling hills. Everything was green and lush.

On our return trip a female pheasant played “chicken” with us. She sat right in the middle of the road and tried to stare us down. Our driver had to slow down and drive around her. Too funny!

I enjoyed the road trip with my colleagues so much. It was different than the visiting that goes on at lunch or break time. Out on the open roads, one may spot something and tell the group something about it – perhaps jogging a memory from childhood, or from a former job. It was like “pop-corn” talk – jumping from this subject to that. It was so much fun!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

My New Car

Just before leaving for Germany I bought a new car and sold my old one to a co-worker. I took possession of my new car yesterday - today is my first day back to work and my co-worker and I parked next to each other for a few pictures.

Back to Work

I'm back to work after a fabulous 17 day vacation to Germany where I had a marvelous time with my Hans, Rachel, Josiah, Annika and Will. This scene is what greeted me when I came into my office. It's nice to be missed.