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It snowed.

3 May

Like hella snowed in Austin on Thursday.  The sky opened up and dropped deep, heavy snow.  This is the kind of snow that kills people while shoveling, yelled the guy who came to plow me out from across the yard.  I couldn’t hear him really well so I think I responded to that with a laugh until I processed that what he said actually hadn’t been funny at all.  It was also the kind of snow that took down tree branches all over the place.  My poor arborvitae were bending like crazy.  Cancellations and delays were the reality of Thursday morning.  The morning I was to leave for a retreat in northern Wisconsin, mind you.  Luckily, by the time I got plowed out and ready to go, the roads were but wet.  Happy May 2nd, people.  [Along with that comes a happy birthday, Dad.  I wish you were still here so we could buy you new socks to celebrate.]


19 Jan

Welcome to!  New and improved.

This is now the place for gnomes and cakepops and silly tales of life in southeastern Minnesota.

Check back often!

[photo source: via Jennifer on Pinterest]

a british sunday.

7 Jan
It was all scones and tea for us last night as we gathered to watch the two hour premiere of Downton Abbey last night.  As with most Sunday evenings, we – the pastors, Charlie cat, & Charlie person – joined forces and spoke in British accents.   On Sundays past, we have gathered to watch Once Upon a Time but so sorry, crazy fairy tale characters and crazy plots, Downton Abbey is a trump card.
Do you watch Downton?  Check out this fun summary of the first two seasons whether you’ve seen them or not.  It’s fun.
In other news, I was kickboxing in my living room tonight and accidentally side kicked Mabel in the side of the face. I apologized but I’m not sure she’s forgiven me yet.

my contribution.  i was just excited to use my two-tiered serving tray.

homemade christmas/epiphany crackers.


15 Dec
If I were to give you a play-by-play of my Thursday, it would begin with waking in the middle of having an inappropriate dream.  Inappropriate in that I was dating someone inappropriate in the dream world.  Things were serious; we were holding hands.  [gasp.]  That’s all I can say about that.

I went about my day, spending my morning in Blooming Prairie with Pastor Charlie and Pastor Heidi.   We were working to get things in order for the annual BP Christmas Wish tree.  It included running to the grocery store for gift certificates, going thru applications, and shopping for sweatshirts to give to teenagers from the local screenprinting place – Sports Stitch.  It was here I ran into a dear, dear member of ROG.  One who, as he was leaving, decided to affectionately grab/squeeze my arm awkwardly and make my arm jiggle.  That was my morning.  I spent my early afternoon in Austin.  Then, come 3pm, I played hooky.  Paige and I met in Owatonna and drove north to Fort Snelling where we hopped on the lightrail to downtown Minneapolis.  It was holidazzle time, baby.
Holidazzle.  The annual nightly light parade down Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.  It was a wonderful excuse to escape to the city where no one knew us.  A place where we could be anonymous.  A place where I didn’t need to be Pastor Lindsay for just a few hours.  It’s a weight off my shoulders; a break.
We ate at The News Room, a great restaurant with walls covered in newsprint and bathrooms not clearly marked as men’s or women’s.  A couple with their toddler-aged boy sat next to us.  The boy kept looking at me and yelling, “Hello there!”  His parents were a bit embarrassed, I believe; I loved it.
Waiting for the parade to begin.
After dinner, we stood on the sidewalk with hundreds of other people and waited for the light parade to begin.  The light parade of cheesy music.  The light parade of kids strapped securely onto very slow moving floats.  The light parade with everyone from the Hansel and Gretel, to the Wizard of Oz, to people in spinning lightbulbs and circus trains, and to Santa’s workshop.
When the parade was over, we walked on the mall a bit.  It’s funny – you always watch the light parade as it goes in one direction with it’s cheesy music and strapped-in children.  You never wonder how the lighted floats and strapped-in children return to their point of origin.  Last night, Paige and I discovered the secret.  They hop on old buses and are bused back to the beginning, so just as Paige and I were about to cross the street, this bus of fairy tale characters, still in odd costumes, stage makeup, and crammed onto a bus, drove right past us.  The Tin Man stared into the depths of my soul.
He knew who I had been inappropriately holding hands with in my dreams.
It was absolutely hilarious, this bus of characters.  The Tin Man next to the giraffe from the circus float. The little kid mice sitting next to a spinning lightbulb.  All friends.  All tired from a long, cold ride of waving.  All awesome.  Thanks, Holidazzle, for providing a night of anonymity and a night of free entertainment.
We’re exciting; can’t you tell?

make lefse, not war.

12 Dec
I still haven’t told you about our lefse night here in southeastern Minnesota!  Watch me blog loudly about it.  
Paige, Lauren, and I each followed Belva’s lefse recipe and made a batch of lefse one Thursday evening, each in our respective kitchens.  On Friday, we gathered in jD and Lauren’s kitchen to turn the potato flakes, butter, and flour into rolled and grilled circles of Norwegian goodness.  Lauren had decorated for the occasion and Paige brought Grace Lutheran’s classic kitchen aprons.  [The one jD chose to wear even had a kleenex in the pocket.  Yummy.]
Once we got the hang of it, the three batches of lefse went quite smoothly.  We each naturally migrated towards places of rolling or mixing or grilling, each with our hands steadily coated in flour and our feet growing tired after hours on them.  We found one of the most rewarding parts to be taking the cooled lefse from between the towel sandwich and folding them into bags.  What a sweet reward for our hours of intense Norwegian labor.
Another rewarding part?  The lefse quesadillas.  Incredibly delicious.
Make lefse.  Not war.  Destined to be another southeastern clergy-group-of-awesome tradition.

a thankful november: the three musketeers.

6 Nov
I’ve been gone.  Fall theological convention in Onalaska, WI, baby!  It’s a crazy time.  You might want to disagree.  A theological convention for pastors is crazy?  I don’t lie.  There were hot tub parties, dinners with crazy travel stories, Spotted Cow, and lots of laughs. 
I went with jD and Paige.  Are you surprised?
The synod staff sitting at the registration table wasn’t.  Here come the three musketeers, they chimed as we slipped on our nametags.  They had fun-size three musketeer bars on the registration table.  We each ate one.  It was fitting.  Then jD and I drank a Spotted Cow while Paige drank a cranberry juice.  Also fitting.
I really couldn’t imagine a fall theological convention without them.  In our last year here, we’ve made some new friends too; we weren’t an exclusive group of three musketeers [or the newly labeled kkk – kool kids klub].  We had a crazy late night in our friend, Karen’s, room, discussing the red flannel decor and the fact that I never smile.*   We went out to supper at Piggy’s in downtown LaCrosse with a large group of pastor friends.  The Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning requirement went by fast.  A car ride home with a game of spill-your-guts:what-don’t-we-know-about-each-other ended the adventure.
I’m thankful for my fellow musketeers [and their families].  Without them, fall theological would be much more work, less fun, and life in ministry would simply be more difficult and lonely.  
We texted this photo to jD to give him a clue to our whereabouts.  His response?  Where the hell are you?  Exactly.

* I was told to smile! in passing once more at the conference.  Strangers, synodical ministers, friends, you name it.  I apparently walk around with a frown on my face.

pancake balls.

24 Sep
I’ve been a delinquent blogger.  I feel obliged to take you back to last weekend.

To the aebelskiver.



A Danish pancake ball.
Paige and I attend this church supper, a supper put on by one of jD’s churches.  We both missed the event last year so it was exciting to learn what an aebelskiver was and eat seven of them.  [A full plate = seven balls.]  Not only that, given our close friendship with the pastor, we donned hairnets and had an aebelskiver lesson in the kitchen.  Given my love of ball-shaped foods, I feel as if I should perfect my aebelskiver approach.  Add it to the to-do list.

the fair.

18 Aug
It’s the week of the Steele County Free Fair.  It’s known as quite the fair in these parts and all week I’ve had people tell me what kind of food I should eat while there.  Paige and I went Thursday night with high expectations.
I think I’ve decided that I’m just not a fair person.  I used to go to the county fair every year in high school with friends.  We would meet up with our friends who would show animals, grab a quick burger from a stand, and then spread our blankets on the grass for whatever concert was in the grandstand that evening.  That was fun.  I was a that-kinda-fair person.
But the kind of fair person who goes to try as many things on a stick as they can or the kind of fair person who goes to eat their way down rows – that I am not.  I think some of it has to do not only with my non-existent goal of fair-going-and-eating, but with the amount of people too.  Paige and I started walking to the fairgrounds and I almost wanted to turn around as the streams of steady people flowed through the gates.  I don’t know.  I’ve just learned once more that fairs are not my ideal source of fun.
Now that I’ve been a complete downer and probably caused fair-going-and-loving types to feel bad …

That’s not to say that Paige and I didn’t enjoy ourselves at all or that we frowned the whole time.  We ate dinner at the Aurora Diner – a restaurant on site that is ran by one of jD’s churches.  Then we walked around.  At a political booth, we inquired about how to get vote no tshirts for the upcoming MN amendment vote.  [Not that we could wear them except out of town …]  And Paige ate shortcake.  We laughed at the llamas.  And then we walked around more.  And we ate nitro ice cream and played BINGO for a quarter a game.  And then we walked around more.  Then we left.

We did make a game out of it.  The game?  Who could spot the most church members.  Paige saw and greeted something like seven members.  I greeted a person twice and, not going to lie, it was the same member both times.  [I did see a couple I know from the church in Blooming; they said I could count them.  So three.]  Paige beat me out, over double the members I saw.  Seven times the members I saw.  [There is something to said about size of church and location of church and members but we did not take those factors into the equation.]
Will I rush to the State Fair?  No.  Will I be in any hurry to go again next year?  Probably not.  Did we win Bingo even once?  Nope.  But the gravy was good.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had gravy.


30 May
I like my dog.  Love her?  Maybe.
Not that I haven’t before this point, but Mabel and I have perhaps grown on each other.
I remember the first week she came to live with me and I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  I suddenly had to think about someone else’s schedule and become less selfish in my day to day living.  And then she started pooping in the house and I didn’t like her much for it.
We’ve both adjusted.  While in the first weeks, Mabel would wake up by 6:30 each morning, now she will easily let me sleep until 8 – even 9:30 – if I have the chance.  Sometimes she’ll even put herself to bed earlier in the night if I’m not ready to go upstairs yet.  We have a system down in regards to couch sitting.  I sit on the left; she takes the right.  Sometimes she gets sick of the couch all together and opts for the loveseat with throw pillows; she just awkwardly lays on top of them all, fighting a losing battle.
Then there was her run away phase.  Perhaps we’ve moved beyond that too, at least slightly.  We’ve gotten into the habit of getting a treat upon coming inside so of course – who would run away if there was a treat on the other side of the door?  You’d be a fool to run and see the neighbors when the other option is a minty bad breath fighting bone.
And, well, she’s just pretty darn cute.  She costs me a lot of money between food and boarding and $1.50 special treats, and she requires a lot of cleaning up after [much hair on floor and everywhere].  But she loves ice cubes and eats raw broccoli if given the opportunity.  And she’s pretty damn funny when it comes time to throw a ball; it’s like she is all of a sudden a total puppy again.  Plus, it’s pretty great to have someone to greet upon getting home; I call her my sweetie-pie-honey-bunch.  
Maybe it’s Mabeline. I like her alright.  

please, sir –

29 May
– may I have another rhubarb margarita?
aka the farmgirl margarita.
aka deliciousness.
aka this farmgirl’s perfect drink for a monday afternoon.
aka a memorial day treat.
aka the day when we celebrate france.  [I think that’s right.]

I spent memorial day proper hanging out with the peeps in Owatonna.  
We ate grilled food, held a baby, and played bocce ball.  
It was just what the doctor ordered for this tired, stressed and burned out girl who is hanging on by a thread until vacation begins. 
Exactly what I needed.
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