Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's Up, Wednesday?

I skipped a week because there's just a lot of summer stuff going on around here like movies,

 the new season of Game of Thrones,

and lots of Cubs baseball.  There have been a few brief moments when we've led the NL Central in the last couple of weeks.  I'll totally take those.

What else?  Things are getting a little out of hand in the "Back to School" chair.  The girl and I also gave my classroom clipboards a much-needed facelift.



Also, I won a Carly online in a FB Lula Roe group.  I've never bought one before, but of course I've seen countless teachers wearing them.  I didn't get to pick it out, but if I had it probably would have been this purple flowered number.

After getting home from vacation two weeks ago, neither of us felt like cooking.   That meant a lot of last minute pizza, mac and cheese, and Ramen noodles last week.  This week I've been getting back into squirrel mode in preparation of all those crazy back to school nights that are coming up.  A huge batch of spaghetti sauce was made and the extra was frozen into four meals this week along with a couple of lasagnas and meat loaves.  One thing I discovered a few years ago is that it's really not that much more work to make extra when you're cooking and freeze it for later.

My husband really appreciates that lady he calls "Summer Wife" and what she has done for us on those tired, busy, hangry school nights. My husband does at least half of the cooking around here, but he loves Summer Wife because she cooks all these meals for us that just have to be thawed out and served with bread or something equally simple.  I love her too.  She'll be around for a little over two weeks more and then School Year Wife steps in and takes over.  He loves her too, but she's not as much fun.  She does have her moments though.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's Up, Wednesday?

It's vaaaaaaaacation time this week.  We got home yesterday and my husband is off for the rest of the week!  We are going to spend the rest of the week doing all the decadent and time wasting things, like seeing Wonder Woman, War for the Planet of the Apes, and binge watching the last season of Game of Thrones before the premiere this Sunday.  I'm pretty sure the Universe wants me to be happy this week.

We started our vacation on Sunday by getting up early and heading to Wrigley Field for the Cubs game.

They lost spectacularly, but hey, it was still Wrigley Field.  Somebody posted something on social media the other day that went something like, "Hang in there, Cub Fans," and I told my husband, "Hang in there?  I waited 47 years to see them win the World Series. They are the reigning World Champions. That's something that a lot of Cub Fans didn't get to see in their lifetime, my grandfather among them.  Don't you worry about me.  I'm good for at least another 47." 

From Chicago, we drove to Racine, Wisconsin.  If you've ever been to Racine (or most places in Wisconsin), then you know about Kringle.  If you haven't been there, then you are missing out because my Scandinavian ancestors knew their pastries...pastries and boat building.  We chose Racine for North Beach and its proximity to Milwaukee.  And, of course, the Kringle.

We drove into Milwaukee one night.  Here's the thing I told my husband I remembered about Milwaukee: You can find lots of places to park and walk around.  It really doesn't feel like a "big" city.  I'm pleased to report that 23 years later, that's still what it feels like. We ate at Sobelman's Pub and Grill, hit Boswell Book Company (amazing place I could frequent every day if I still lived there), walked the Riverwalk, ate some rolled ice cream (Have you seen this new thing?), posed with the Fonz, and visited my old apartment building.

This last activity brought on a huge wave of the feels that, quite honestly, smacked me upside the head when I wasn't expecting it.  I moved to Milwaukee when I was 24 to train for a teaching job and get my Master's degree.  Seeing that tiny efficiency apartment building (and the neighborhood around it, which is quite happening now, by the way) really brought back that moment in time for me.  Compared to other years, it wasn't a particularly happy time in my life, but it was something I was determined to do.  I really had to figure out what I wanted that year in some ways.  And I find myself thinking now that you can actually be happy without knowing you are happy if you have a purpose and a challenge to rise to.  Suffice to say, I'm really proud now of that 24 year old kid.  She didn't back down when life sucker punched her.

Moving on.

We also had to get cheese because, Wisconsin. 

And we visited the Jelly Belly Center in Pleasant Prairie on the way home.  I am always amazed by the work and planning and details it takes to make one thing, like the Jelly Belly.  From the thousands of tiny molds they pour those things into to the airbrushing of the logo onto each bean, all the hard work that goes into one tiny bean is pretty astonishing to me.  I start thinking, "All this work...why didn't they just give up?"  But persistence and tenacity are both qualities I respect.  After all, I'm pretty sure that's how that kid made it through that year in Milwaukee.  The almond Kringle also helped.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What's Up, Wednesday?

Earlier in the week on Friday, we went to a new restaurant in the area we've been wanting to try because both of the kids were at sleepovers.  It was a former church that they've remodeled into a brewery.  Dan had the pork chop, and I had a burger and fries.  It is my personal belief you can tell the quality of a restaurant by their burger and fries.  If they can't get that right, it's hard to believe they'll be able to do anything else.  My burger was really good, but those fries were on point.

It's odd when a national holiday falls on a Tuesday.  Several times today, I've thought that today is Monday because my husband had yesterday off for the 4th  and was home.  We had already celebrated the 4th on Sunday because the country club behind our house did their fireworks on Sunday night.  We let my daughter invite her class for a cookout, swimming, and fireworks.  My son also got to have a friend.  I've decided that throwing a party for a bunch of squirrely teenagers is the way to go for the 4th because they truly know how to have fun and enjoy the holiday.  They played pool volleyball, watched the fireworks, and made and ate lot o' s'mores.  It was great.

So on the actual 4th, we just lazed around, watched the Cubs play, and grilled steaks and watched the rest of Stranger Things on Netflix.  That made today feel like Monday after a really short weekend instead of a Wednesday.  I'm just impressed that I remembered to do this post.  I'll get back on track eventually, and if I don't, oh well.  It's summer.