Archive for December, 2011


Muddy Good Time!

I ran the Living History Farms Race in Iowa a couple of weeks ago.

With seven miles of farmland and numerous water crossings the race certainly lived up to its billing as “extreme”!

The weather was perfect with dry skies and a temperature near 50 degrees at the start. One of the cool things about this race is the number of people who run in costumes. There were several “Santas”, one complete with eight reindeer, there were football players dressed in full uniforms, a man in “Wheaties” box and even a few that didn’t offer much warmth, if you know what I mean!

The best part of my one hour and fourteen minute run was making my way across the watering crossings and up the muddy slopes. Cold water up to my knees and trying to figure out the best way out of the creeks was a challenge, but doesn’t everyone love to play in the mud? Having water logged running shoes the remainder of the race was not a big deal, although I’m glad I dug out an old pair prior to the race.

Following the last water crossing, somewhere near mile 6, there was a very large hill. That’s when I started to feel the effects of the race and was happy it soon would end. After I reached the “summit”
of the hill I could see the finish and got an extra burst of energy or maybe I knew I was getting close to the fabulous beef stew that was waiting for me!

I can now check this off of my bucket list but I can’t wait to run it again!

Me (in black) in the ditch...looking for a way out! (Photo Courtesy: Des Moines Register)

Post race...a little wet & muddy! & socks!

Turkey Time

Unlike Dave in last week’s strip I was able to thaw the bird in time to cook it on Thursday, but it was close. I was in charge of purchasing “the bird” for our family feast and I wanted to make sure we had plenty…leftovers that is!

My purchase of a twenty one pound turkey virtually guaranteed we’d be thinking of creative ways to polish off the leftovers in the days after Thanksgiving. I didn’t resort to putting it in my kid’s cereal, but that was next on my list!

I also didn’t actually cook the bird, but I did lift it in and out of the oven!

Ready to carve!

Let There Be Light(s)

Thanks to some much needed help from my son who was home from college, I was able to get all of our outside lights and decorations up before the cold set in.

I had the usual mishaps along the way…

Wondering why lights that worked last year suddenly won’t light? And why does only half of the strand light?

Light strands that are a tangled mess.

Wondering where I put that box of green lights?

And of course, trying to get the lights on the trees without breaking any of my bones!

This always reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Clark (Chevy Chase) struggles with his lights!

Clark Griswold working on his lights!

Success! At least for Clark!

Paper Or Plastic?

Oh Christmas Tree(s)

It was decision time in our household last weekend.

It was a decision that we make annually this time of year.

That decision being would we have a real or an artificial Christmas tree this year?

With one absentee vote from North Dakota and two local ones, the kids voted real!

Mom and Dad…let’s think it through a little!

We’ve had the real kind in our family room the past three years. We own two of the fake variety. Well, actually one and a half since one bears a strong resemblance to the one Dave tried to convince his wife was alright in Wednesday’s ‘toon! In fact, if the thing wasn’t green, someone might be tempted to use it to clean a toilet! But hey, a few extra decorations and you can have yourself a pretty good looking fake tree!

We’ve always used the nice looking fake one in our living room, which following our remodeling project this past year, is now our dinning room. No room to put it in the front window this year!

The oversized toilet bowl cleaner is of those “pre lit” trees that a few years ago sounded like such a great idea! Not so much now that a quarter of the lights are burned out! And if you think I’m going to search for the burned out bulb, think again! We’ve flirted with the decency laws in our community in past years and put the thing up in our basement!

But what to do this year?

But a decision needed to be made!

A few perks of going with a fake tree…

It’s paid for.

It doesn’t scratch your vehicle if you’re lucky enough to have it stay tied to the top as you drive home with the heater on full blast attempting to warm up after scouring a frozen tree lot for an hour in search of just the right tree!

It doesn’t consume water like it’s been on an extended trip in the Sahara desert!

Oh yeah, half of it doesn’t wind up on your floor when being removed from your house!

But on the other hand, the above mentioned “perks” really don’t outweigh having a real live tree sitting in your house and seeing the smile on your daughter’s face when you find the “right one” at the tree lot!

So what was our decision?

All of the above!

Yes, there is currently a real one in our family room, drying out nicely.

There was room in the corner of our dinning room for the nice looking artificial one.

And I even dug out the “Charlie Brown” of fake trees and put it up in our basement!

The real one in our family room.

Artificial #1 in our dinning room.

The "inspiration" for Wednesday's 'toon!

No Fly Zone

I think the real winners from the Alec Baldwin, “No I Will Not Turn Off My ipad” flight are…

Anyone who has ever flown and followed the rules.

The flight attendant from American Airlines who didn’t cave into his celebrity.

The remainder of the passengers in First Class, who no doubt enjoyed free cocktails while waiting out the 45 minute delay caused by Baldwin.

Apple’s “ipad” that has gotten mentioned on every newscast in the country.

“Words With Friends”…see above.

Want proof?

I never heard of it before and yes, I just downloaded it!

I Must Be Dreaming!

What Does Brown Do For You?

A friend of mine from southern California posted some pictures yesterday of her kids standing in their backyard. At first glance I thought she had gotten pretty good at using Photoshop. Later on she posted more pictures that offered proof that photos in question were genuine.

Yes, it had indeed snowed in the Los Angeles area!

Okay, they live on the upslope of a mountain and it is not uncommon for the snow level to get down to them, but it is rare!

It also made for a pretty fun exchange of comments since they have more snow than us snow lovers here in Minnesota do!

Yeah, it’s a little brown here.

What little snow we did have was washed away this week with rain and temps near forty. And following a brief cool down today, the forecast calls for more unseasonably warm weather over the weekend.

Last year at this time we were digging out from seventeen inches of snow and trying to figure out how to fix a deflated Metrodome.

This year, odds look pretty good we’ll have a Christmas a bit on the tan side!

Our "snowpack"!

Santa feeling a little "down" over our brown landscape!

College Boy

My oldest son and college freshman completed his first semester and returned home for the holidays this week.

Nice to have him home, but there was something different about him.

Within minutes of his arrival he was busy unpacking and actually HANGING up his clothes!

Who says a college education isn’t important!


Within one week to go until Christmas, I decided it’s time to fight the crowds and get my shopping done.

With few ideas as to what to get people, I will head out this weekend and purchase items that stand a fairly good chance of being returned within minutes of being opened!

The Shark Has Been Jumped

Okay, is it me or are you sick of seeing the recent Chevy TV ads?

I’m talking about the ones with “Nick”, the Santa look-a-like who is a salesman in a Chevy dealership.

They were funny at first!

They were even funny after the twentieth time!

But they show them over and over and over!

You can’t turn on the TV without seeing the spot!

Chevy, I give up!

I’ll buy a truck if you just stop running those ads!

We now have a replacement for water boarding!

For the one person on the planet who hasn’t seen it yet…