Archive | February, 2015

A February Quilt.

27 Feb

It’s a heart. A scrappy heart. A lap quilt for the couch. Hand quilted en route to and in Montana.


This is my favorite.

22 Feb

This is the boyfriend bathing the five foot tall inflatable penguin named Herbert Butterfield. I would love to leave the blog post at that but you probably have questions. Why does Lindsay have a giant penguin named Herbert Butterfield? Why did he need a bath? Why did Dave insist on doing it?

Valid questions. Valid.

The pictures just make me giggle, as did the entire event itself. So I have a penguin named Herbert. Herbert first came into my possession when I worked in children’s ministry in Stillwater; we liked to take an inflatable friend/mascot to camp each summer. Herbert was such one summer and when I left that church for internship, they decided Herb should stay in my possession. Now he comes out (ie inflates) once in a great while but at least annually as my Academy Awards date. (He’s already wearing a tux!)

The Academy Awards are tonight and, as I have the last three years, I will head to jD and Lauren’s to also join Paige in viewing the awards. Herbert certainly has to come too.

Except he’s been deflated in the garage for a long while now. I usually inflate him myself but it is quite a lot of breath. Enter a boyfriend with tools suitable for such a task. I took him to Dave and Herbert was inflated.

However, it soon was evident that Herbert had incurred an injury. He wasn’t holding his air. I tried to assure Dave that I didn’t care that much, that I could inflate Herb by mouth that last bit before our date. But, oh no. That would not stand. Into the bathtub he went to discover where the hole was. Surgery was performed (superglue) and more air was given. Herb’s doing okay now.

He’ll accompany me to the Oscar viewing tonight, clean and spiffy from his shower and patched and well. Thanks, boyfriend (who would kill me if he knew I shared these photos so shhh), for cleaning my penguin and giving me a giggle.

The mouse drama continues.

18 Feb

Hey. I’m back in Minnesota. The train trip back was relatively uneventful (except for one certain dinner companion but let’s not dwell there) and I was super sad to leave Montana and dear friends once again. I think Melissa and I cry every year! It was especially hard this time to say goodbye to H&H – we became good buds. Here are two last memories captured in photos – one of the mountains and one of my buddy, Harper, with her signature smirk.



So I’m back in Minnesota. The boyfriend and I celebrated valentine’s day with brunch (heart shaped bacon and lemon pancakes, please) and an art project in which we decorated coffee mugs for one another. (He is much more artistically inclined at drawing than I; he drew me a gnome!) I finished a heart quilt (photos to come), Auntie Paige and I (Auntie Lindsay) babysat for our buddy, Elliot, last night, and today was Ash Wednesday with two services at ROG.

I think that catches you up to date. Up to today. And the mouse drama continues.

So the other day I went downstairs to do laundry. Remember that when Mr. Pest Control was here he put out traps and poison in the ceiling of the basement. Well, there was a victim. I went downstairs and found a mouse in front of my dryer. I screamed, stomped my feet, and went on with my way. I decided I needed to gain my gumption before picking it up and disposing of it. I just wasn’t ready.

That moment was this afternoon. I was going to do it. I was. But when I went downstairs, I didn’t see the mouse where it was supposed to be. I, at first, felt relief, thinking maybe the council member who had been in the house last night repairing the dishwasher came downstairs for something, saw it, and picked it up for me. But then, as I walked a bit further into the basement, I saw it. The dead mouse. About five feet from where it initially was.


It wasn’t dead before? Another mouse decided to move the body of his dead friend? Ghosts? Basement trolls? What the heck?

Needless to say, I lost whatever gumption I had. The mouse is still dead (Or is it?) on the floor downstairs. Maybe I’ll find the strength again tomorrow … if it hasn’t moved again.

Playdough, sprinkles, and Glacier NP.

11 Feb

Greetings again from Montana. Let me catch you up to speed –

We enjoyed a few more days of adventure in Big Sandy. Adventures included making and playing with Jello playdough, mixing and decorating cookies, and watching Frozen a million and one times. (I’m having a blast with this pair of toddlers!) There was breakfast at the local coffee shop. We also made a point to watch the Grammys, which was tremendously underwhelming to us.

But, then the time had to come for Joel, Paige and I to depart for Essex and our conference. We are here at the historic Izaak Walton Inn for one more night, learning about the book of Ruth. Today, we had the afternoon off to explore. Last year we went snowshoeing; this year it was far too warm and sloppy to do such things. We loaded in the van and headed to the west, grabbing lunch and then entering Glacier National Park. We drive the twelve open miles on the Going to the Sun road before we had to turn around, exploring the only portion of the road that was plowed and accessible. Let’s just say, in summary, that it was beautiful, wonderful, spectacular. I must return in the summer one of these years.




Tomorrow, after a morning of class, we pack up and head the four hours back to Big Sandy. Paige and I will spend one more night there before Joel, Melissa, H&H take us to board the train on Thursday. It will be a bittersweet afternoon; it’s always sad to leave dear friends but it will also be comforting to return home. So it goes with vacations/continuing educations adventures.

A train ride away.

7 Feb

Welcome to Montana, virtually anywho.

It all started with a train ride, just as it has the last two winters. Paige and I went to the cities on Wednesday night to jump on the Amtrak Empire Builder with service to Havre, Montana (and beyond). The train was delightfully on time and we boarded for the first time at the new Union Depot in St.Paul.

We boarded and were guided straight to our cabin where Gul was our steward. Our steward who, the next day, would knock on our door to deliver us fancy glasses of juice, cookies, and, at one point, salt water taffy. Our beds were already down and soon we settled in for the night. A night of on and off sleep as the train rocked back and forth.

We spent the next day in the dining car for breakfast and lunch, and in our cabin entertaining ourselves. At lunch we were entertained by our table mates, a gentleman from Australia and his friend from New Zealand. They were super delightful! We talked about Garrison Keillor (of whom they are huge fans) and laughed at the ignorant woman across the way who tried to engage them in conversation about odd things. Overall, it was full of laughter and a great way to pass the time on the tracks. We were also pleased to hear Rhonda on the train intercom, reminding people how to flush toilets. Rhonda was a memorable part of our very first train trip west a couple years ago; it was fun to hear her and her very detailed, pleading messages again.

We were greeted at the Havre station by Joel, Melissa, and family – that included a Hannah and Harper who were so excited to see a train! (Harper could continue to say, ‘All aboard!’ for the rest of the day.) We grabbed some groceries at the store and then headed to good old Big Sandy. Settled in. Ate tacos. Went to bed.

Today we started with blueberry pancakes. H&H love to cook so they pulled up stools to be my sous chefs – they were pretty great helpers. After pancakes, we headed out on an adventure. We HAD to eat lunch at the Wake Cup in Fort Benton, as we have the last two years. We continued onto Great Falls for Starbucks, Target, and Joanne Fabrics. (I just finished making new tutus for the girls.) Pork carnitas were for supper and then H&H&I painted until their bath and bedtime.



Tomorrow it’s a day of valentine day cutout cookies, more painting, and a walk. Did I mention is was 65 degrees today? Tomorrow it will be more of the same. Paige and I are here until Monday when we will head to Glacier National Park with Joel for a ministry class for two nights. It’s always fun to be here; it feels great to return once more.

I have mice.

3 Feb

I’m finally blogging again and I’m blogging about mice.


Because they are currently living in my kitchen. Under my sink and in the drawer beneath the stove. Even on top of the dishwasher. Stupid mice.

I noticed their … um, evidence … a couple weeks ago and began setting traps under the sink. The total so far is five. Five mice has been caught and killed under my sink. (And you know how many I’ve had to touch or remove? None. I’m pretty lucky to have a church member who had come to fix the dishwasher, a boyfriend who is nice, and a pest control guy around.)

So right. The pest control guy, Ed, comes to the church every month to check traps and deal with pests such as mice and bugs and the like. He came today and I snagged him to walk over to the parsonage with me. It was from Ed I heard dreadful tales.

Did you know that mice can crawl through the smallest of holes? His measure? A ballpoint pen. If he can fit his pen through an opening, a mouse could fit. How disturbing is that?! Creepy mice contorting their bodies. Eww.

They also love pet food. Here I’m practically inviting them to come stay with me because of Mabel’s food that sits in her dish. That food isn’t for you, mice.

Ed set a few more traps and investigated the basement. He plugged up a few potential entry spots on the outside of the house too. Thank goodness for Ed.

Here’s hoping the end of the problem is near. Though Ed also mentioned something about how mice usually come by the dozen …

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