Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kim and Ashley's Visit!!

Another BANNER weekend in the cities! Cousin Kim and daughter Ashley drove up from Des Moines, and we had a WHIRLWIND weekend of fun!

Me and Kim before the adventures began!

A few years ago, they were able to get up here two or three times a year, and we always had a BLAST showing them around, and doing stuff in the cities. For the last couple of years, however, we've had a hard time "keeping up the tradition". SO GLAD, we FINALLY rectified the situation this weekend.

They arrived Friday evening, and we spent a couple of hours catching up at Robin and David's. I went home around 10:00, and, APPARENTLY, they all stayed up until about midnight, continuing the "revelry".

I rejoined the group (and Duane came too!) Saturday morning, and we all headed downtown to the Minneapolis Farmer's of our FAVORITE places to take visitors. We hit the breakfast sausage guys, the pastry ladies, found rhubarb and strawberries (grown "regionally"), bought olives and had a GREAT time looking at all the produce and flowers. It POURED on us as we were getting ready to leave, but, Dave, being the SWELL GUY that he is, went and got the car, and picked us up as we were huddling under one of the roofed REALLY rained hard!

Arriving at the farmer's market!

Enjoying the breakfast sausages!

Abigail, Robin, David, and Emilie!

After the farmer's market, we went back to Robin and Dave's to "regroup", then headed to IKEA, so that Ashley could get stuff for her dorm room (she's going to that "other" Iowa university...we won't say any more about that!).

Arriving at IKEA!

I was also looking for bookcases for the new apartment, and think I found what I want, but the Pilot was so full of Ashley's stuff (and people!) that I opted to go back for it another time!

Filling our bags with GOODIES!

Lunch at IKEA

After eating meatballs at the IKEA cafe (they are REALLY good, and CHEAP!!!), we went across Lindau Avenue to the Mall of America. Yet AGAIN...locals going to the mall on a Saturday...what's UP with that??!! We all split up (to look for what we needed), and Duane and I went to Harry & David (to see who was working), Marshall's, and I needed to get ANOTHER MOA gift card (I use them for online purchases instead of my check card...that way if the number gets "stolen", they can only get what I've loaded onto the card!).

After the mall, we went back to the house to "regroup" again. Kim, Emilie, Abigail, Ashley and I drove to Woodbury, so that Ashley could meet her room mate for next year (at that "other" state university that we aren't talking about). I think she and her room mate will get along VERY well...they were practically TWINS...very cute!

After dropping Ashley off, we stopped at Trader Joe's to get a few things, then headed to Apple Valley to meet Duane to have dinner at Two Guys from Italy, a FABULOUS Italian restaurant on Galaxy Drive.

UNFORTUNATELY, when we got there, we discovered that they were CLOSED for remodelling...grrrr... We waited for Duane to get there to figure out where to go instead, and ended up going to La Luz. It was kind of funny...we discovered Two Guys from Italy on our last trip to Apple Valley because La Luz wasn't open yet, and now have discovered La Luz because Two Guys from Italy was closed.

La Luz was really good! They don't open until next weekend, but were doing the "soft opening" thing. Their cubano sandwiches are REALLY good, and their "Cuban potato salad" is AMAZING. If you are ever in Apple Valley, I recommend La Luz!

After dinner, we went to Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, and SuperTarget to pass some time. (Robin and Dave were having a Tupperware "get together" at their place, which is why the rest of us went out for the evening without them.)

The "cilantro bunch" at SuperTarget!

After shopping the night away, we went back to Eagan to have gelato at Ring Mountain (highly recommended if you are in Eagan!), then Kim took the girls back to Robin and Dave's, and Duane brought me home, where I COLLAPSED into bed as soon as I got was a LONG, but FUN FUN FUN day!

Today I hung out around home most of the morning. I burned pictures from yesterday onto CD's for Kim, Ashley, Robin and Dave, and Duane, then used the rhubarb purchased yesterday to make a crisp to take over when I went.

After eating the crisp, Robin, David, Abigail, Kim, Ashley, and I (Emilie spent the day at Valley Fair, an amusement park, with her church youth group) went to Storables- a FABULOUS "organize all of your stuff" store in Edina, had lunch at Big Bowl (LOVE that place!), went to Linden Hills and shopped at Bibelot, then for ice cream at Sebastian Joe's, and then went back to Robin and Dave's, where Kim and Ashley loaded up their car and headed back to Des Moines.

It was an AWESOME, BUSY weekend, and I'm SO GLAD we had the chance to FINALLY connect again. Some of my FAVORITE memories, here in the cities, have involved Kim and Ashley, when they were up here for visits...they are so much fun! Here's hoping the "get together two or three times a year" thing starts up all over again... (after we recover from THIS weekend)!!!!

Hope YOUR weekend was FABULOUS as well!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A SHOUT OUT to Pride Weekend!

While digging through the "tea chest" I covered in futon fabric while living in Japan (the design of the fabric is shown in the picture below), I found ALL SORTS of fun things that I'd tucked away. TWO of them are shown in the picture below...a Ken doll that I bought because he FINALLY had "real" hair, and the prince from the movie "Anastasia" that LaDawn got for me because I thought he was HOT. OBVIOUSLY their time together in the dark brought them closer together!!

I used to come up from Iowa on Pride weekend to check things out (I'm a ELSE would I put it??!!). I'd drive downtown, by myself, find a good spot from which to view the parade (usually several hours before it started, since I HATE being late, and parking is a NIGHTMARE on Pride weekend), and enjoy all of the CRAZINESS that IS the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade...then I'd get SO DEPRESSED that I lived in "small town Iowa", with no gay life at all, that I'd leave PRACTICALLY in tears. I WISHED that I could be part of all of the excitement that I saw around me before, during, and after the parade.

FINALLY, I made the decision to "chuck" small town life, and move to the big city. I did some online "dating" (go Yahoo! personals!), and, on one of my "escape" trips up here, a year before moving to St. Paul, met Duane. We did the long distance dating thing for nine AWFUL months, and then...I was here!

Strange...but after moving to the cities, I don't think I've been to any of the Pride festivities since...what's UP with that??!!!

In thinking about it, there are SEVERAL reasons that I think this happened:

1. I'm not really "plugged in" to the gay community here in the cities. We have SOME gay friends that we see occasionally, but most of our friends are "hetero" (it's not their fault...they were BORN that way!). I thought about joining the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus to get to know people in the gay community here, but, the drive to rehearsals was practically in downtown Minneapolis, and I'm SO not comfortable driving in the actual city, so chucked that idea...also the chorus does concerts and outreach on weekdays, and I work...and finally, I was a little afraid that my former boyfriend would join the chorus when he moved up here, and I SO was not up to dealing with him.

2. Duane and I have been happily together for NINE YEARS (on August 3rd), and I don't really NEED the excitement and adventure of the Pride parade, and related activities, to be who I am...I'm ME with him every day! That was a HUGE "settling" and "comfortable" a relationship can be. Before, I LOVED the excitement and close proximity to SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE it's just....crowded. It can probably ALSO be contributed to the fact that Duane HATES Pride weekend, and if I went, I'd be back to going ALONE again!

3. Even after being "broken up" for almost 11 years, I still have a vague "discomfort" with the possibility of running into previously mentioned "former boyfriend". It's LONG over, and ALL water under the bridge, but he STILL calls a couple of times a year, asking if we can get together, or talk on the phone, and after those first four or five PSYCHO years of being broken up (he called an average of 90 times a week the first four or five months), I'm just NOT up to reestablishing any kind of communication. He's a little obsessive, and the type that would get carried away with any "olive branch" I might offer. My fear is that he'd take it as a sign that things are "okay" now, and I'm just NOT up to dealing with any of that crap again...I have enough drama in my life as it is!

All that said, the weekend up here looks to be a HOOT. The Village People are performing (I'm assuming in wheel chairs). RuPaul will be here. Taylor Dayne is playing at the Saloon, there'll be GAY BOWLING (the Fruit Bowl) at Elsie's. Chi Chi LaRue will be at the Underground. En Vogue will be performing in Loring Park ("ground zero" of Pride), and the "Miss City of the Lakes" drag pageant will be held TONIGHT in the La Femme room at the Gay 90's.

Looking at the lineup...I may just have to get back into the "swing of things" and check it out, although 35W into downtown is closed all weekend for construction, and the bridge is still not finished, so GETTING downtown is going to be a bit of a NIGHTMARE!

Here's to all of the leather daddies, and drag queens, and drama queens, and "dykes on bikes" who make Pride such a HOOT of an event, and who make being part of the "gay community" such an adventure every other day of the year as well!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Baptism Weekend!

I am in the process of recovering from Emilie and Abigail's BAPTISM WEEKEND! It started Friday morning when Amy arrived from Sheboygan. She got in around 7:30 a.m., and, by 9:00 we were all loaded in the Pilot, and headed for the Minnesota Zoo (in Apple Valley). Hadn't been there for YEARS, so it was a FABULOUS day of seeing the old, and the new (the new Grizzly exhibit is AMAZING!).

One of the bears in the exhibit.

Abigail, me, and Emilie in one of the "tunnels" in the Grizzly Coast exhibit.

Me with one of the "photo op" chickens at the "Farm at the Zoo".

Amy with one of the "photo op" chickens in the "Farm at the Zoo" exhibit.

Me and mom during the "sunny part of the day" on the back patio.

Abigail after being baptized!

Emilie being baptized!!

The Nordhues after the baptism!

After a STEAMY day there (summer decided to arrive in a blaze of heat, sun, and humidity!), we headed back to Robin and Dave's to await the arrival of mom and dad, and Dave's parents. They all got there, and we spent a LOVELY evening catching up. Robin and Dave painted the lawn furniture in the back yard, and got outdoor cushions for everything, as well as pulled all the weeds in the patio and cleaned up the backyard, so we spent LOTS of time out there this weekend enjoying the fresh air.

Mom and dad stayed with me, so I got to spend Friday and Saturday night tossing and turning on my sofa. I've started to learn to swing dance with Pat S. (my roller blading "coach"), so have been down in the back all weekend, and the nights on the sofa haven't helped ONE BIT!.

Saturday, we got up, and headed to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Hadn't been there for awhile, so it was nice to get back there too! We bought some rhubarb, so that we could make a rhubarb cake, and a pie, but, the rhubarb cake was such a hit, that we made didn't get to the pie at all (maybe next weekend?!). We also had breakfast sausages at "our" grilling vendor, and Amy tried fish tacos for the first time!

After the farmer's market, we went back to Robin and Dave's to "regroup", then headed out for some shopping. Dad and the girls and I got to spend some time at JoAnn, etc. while the "women" shopped for "unmentionables", and then we TRIED to go to Barnes & Noble at the Galleria, but they were having a power outage, so we ended up going back to the house, and then heading to the B&N at the Mall of America. CRAZY to try to do ANYTHING at the Mall of America on a Saturday, but it was "relatively" painless!

Saturday night, we had Fat Lorenzo's Pizza (to DIE for!), and spent the evening at the house...just "hanging out" for the evening...nice and relaxing! We spent more time on the "patio", and it was LOVELY to be outside...not too hot...not too sticky! We also had the opportunity to view a slideshow of Robin and Dave's trip through Greece and Italy...every SINGLE picture. Robin warned us that there were A BUNCH (approximately 1,000!). I recommend EDITING the slides before showing them to people in the took awhile to get through them!

Sunday morning we got up, got ready, went to City Church, and then headed to Lake Harriet for Emilie and Abigail's baptisms. There were NINE people from City Church who got baptized, and it was a nice service. The girls were going to get baptized LAST summer, but something came up, and they had to postpone until this year. We took our blankets and lawn chairs, and all sat on the beach to was very cool!

After the baptism, we went back to the house for awhile, had lunch, and decided that "low key" was a good thing. Mom and dad, and Dave's parents left after a BBQ lunch, and Amy, Dave, Robin, and I decided to lay around and watch a movie. We saw "The Holiday" with Kate Winslett, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law. It was REALLY good! I'm going to have to add it to my DVD collection!
After the movie, we hung out for awhile, then I went downtown to meet Janet to see "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Guthrie (see previous blog entry). What can I was AMAZING! The actors were brilliant, the sets were stunning, the costumes were ethereal...there were fairies flying in from all corners of the theater and through the ceiling, the "players" (Bottom and his crew) were FABULOUS (and that's saying something since that's the part of the show that I usually dislike the most!), the staging was amazing, and I was enthralled for the entire time I was there. Wish I could say GO SEE IT, but, last night was the closing performance...too really WAS a "must see"!

Now it's Monday. My back is still KILLING ME. I've done TONS of laundry. I'm trying to straighten up this PIG STY of an apartment. I'm PACKING boxes, and going through things to get rid of stuff I don't need, and I'm getting ready for NEXT weekend, when my cousin Kim and her daughter Ashley are supposed to come up for a visit. I hope it works out...we haven't had much luck in the last couple of years with the "getting together" thing.

Hope YOU had a fabulous weekend as well!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Rush" Ticket FIASCO!

My friend Janet and I went to the Guthrie Theater last night to ATTEMPT to get "rush" tickets for the final weekend performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I REALLY wanted to see this show, and "last minute" tickets only cost $20.00.

It would have been AWESOME to see the show so CHEAPLY. The PROBLEM, however, is that you have to wait in a line with a BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE, until a little while before the performance, to see if there are any available tickets for that night's show.

Those of you who know me well, UNDERSTAND that I'm NOT a "gambling on things" kind of guy. I've REALLY, REALLY REALLY tried to be better about the whole "flying standby" thing with Duane. It MAKES ME CRAZY, but I think he'll attest to the fact that I've gotten fairly GOOD at this "crap shoot" of airline travel. As a general rule, however, I DON'T like to take chances on things.

"Standby travel" is where I will now DRAW the line. I HATE, HATE, HATE the whole "rush ticket" concept. Janet has done this before and TOTALLY gets "JAZZED" on the whole "chance" aspect of the venture. I, however, find it chance-y, stressful, and a TOTAL waste of time.

So...we get there at 6:00...there are already 35 people in line ahead of us. Janet is hungry, but I am unwilling to give up my spot in line to go find food. So...I go find a sandwich counter, and get a chicken wrap to bring BACK to the line, while she saves our spot.

The ticket manager comes out and says that there will probably only be 20 tickets available. We are too far back in the line, but decide to "stick it out"...just in case. About an HOUR later, they decide to open a new line for people from the "rush" line to buy tickets at full price. Janet goes to that line, while I stay in the "rush" line.

She FINALLY gets up to the counter (our line has to stay put until the "full price" people get through), and "regular price" tickets are FIFTY dollars. We decide that's too much (I was actually okay with that, because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to see this show), so she comes back to my line with me.

At this point there are about TWO HUNDRED people behind us in the rush line...the lobby is PACKED with people trying to get in to the show (the ticket manager said that he's only EVER seen the lobby this crowded with "rush" people ONCE before) (OF COURSE the next time it happens just HAPPENS to be the night I try to "rush" for the first time).

During all of this, we befriend a lady standing in line...Sarah...and she spends the rest of the time trying to figure out what Janet and I ARE to each other. First, she suggests "married" (I think I GUFFAWED at that!), then "dating" (how CLUELESS can some people be??!!), then brother and sister. I finally told her that we were "antagonistic theatrical buddies".

ANYHOO...we wait and wait and wait in line (the show starts at 7:30, and we're still in the "rush"line at 7:35!)...only to be told that the performance is now SOLD OUT. Grrrrr....! What a WASTE OF TIME! At this point, Janet says..."well...I'm 0 for 2 on the whole "rush" thing" (to which I'm thinking "you've done this BEFORE...and it turned out the SAME WAY??!!!! Are you INSANE??!!!").

So...I go to the "pay for tickets" line, and BUY a ticket for the Sunday night performance (which I SHOULD have done in the first place), and have vowed NEVER, NEVER, NEVER to try to "rush" a show again. $43.00 (as opposed to $20.00) is WORTH not having to stand in line for 90 minutes FOR NOTHING!!!

After purchasing tickets, we ran into Sarah again (who ALSO bought tickets for the Sunday night show), went to the bar on the 4th floor of the Guthrie, bought glasses of wine, and sat out on the "bridge to infinity" to watch the Mississippi flow towards the south, gaze at the lovely stone arch bridge, enjoy the sunset, and then went home.

I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER try to purchase "rush" tickets long as I live!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Goal Number TWO

This week, I'm attempting to "get organized" for the move. I've been dragging boxes out of my storage unit in an effort to "go through stuff" and get rid of/organize it all. Here's the of my once clean and organized apartment:

I spent MOST of yesterday going through BOXES of miscellaneous paper that I've collected over the years...magazine articles, photos, cards that were sent to me, travel brochures, "paperabilia" that I just couldn't get rid of. After going through THREE big boxes of papers, I decided (while looking through the LAST box) that I should organize it all by what it is (it's the librarian in me coming out...I'm lucky the "I should put a Dewey Decimal number on all of this, so that I can access it by what it is" part of my personality didn't kick in!)., while running a THOUSAND errands (like buying primer to paint over my LOVELY blue walls, and buying a black shower curtain for the new bathroom, and a little table to put between the chairs on the deck, etc.), I bought a "hanging file" system. I sorted everything into piles yesterday, and spent the last few hours today labeling folders, and stuffing things into them.

LAME, I know, but, THAT'S why I'm a librarian...I like to sort and classify things. SAD, but I feel really GOOD that I got it all arranged for easier future access (except for the fact that I'll now be shoving those file boxes into the back of the garage over there...not to be glanced at again for a couple of years. If anything, it'll make "going through it all" again someday (to get rid of more stuff) easier, right?!).

Hope YOU are accomplishing some of YOUR goals this summer!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Ack! I HATE moving, but an opportunity has presented itself that is TOO GOOD to pass up (relax...I'm not moving back to Japan, or to Nova Scotia...just across Eagan). The townhouse across the hall from Duane is being "rented out", so I decided I'd had enough of noisy, inconsiderate neighbors (who SMOKE!), and loud children outside my balcony, and people who DON'T know how to use a washer and dryer in a building where NINE other apartments have to use the same ONE washer and dryer, so decided it's time to move on.

This is also a GREAT "step" in the process of Duane and I figuring out if we can stand to live together. or not. without KILLING each other. He's messy...I'm neat...he likes the temperature of the house to be STIFLINGLY hot, I like to keep things cool...he wants to keep his collection of metal lunchboxes as a decorating motif in the kitchen...I don't. we can live across the hall from each other, keep the doors unlocked, and tell everyone that we own a three bedroom, three bath, two kitchen, two living room, two dining room in the 'burbs!

It's really cool (see pictures below)...vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, hardwood floors in the living room, a MUCH bigger deck (with a huge crabapple tree just beyond the rail, and woods behind that), a WASHER AND DRYER in the unit, secure entrance, garage with an automatic garage door opener (no more getting out of the car in the dead of winter to open my garage door anymore...whoo hoo!).

It's a "little" more expensive than my current place, but only by about $40.00! The fireplace and bigger kitchen ALONE are worth that! I'm renting from a nice couple who just got married and are living in HIS home in Apple Valley. Now I just have to pass the "credit check", and the recommendation from my current landlord, and we're good to go!

So...I'm here for another six weeks, and then I'm headed to the "other side of town"! I LOVE having company/overnight guests, so feel free to come up and visit after August 1st (or better yet...come for a visit the last weekend in can help me move!).

The front door (to the left), and the hallway to the bedroom (kitchen to the right).

The fireplace in the living room (kitchen "pass through" on right).

My fireplace.

The dining room (as seen from the living room).

The kitchen.

The pass through in the kitchen (looking toward the deck).

My new refrigerator!

The bedroom window.

The other end of the bedroom.

A corner of my deck.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer Goal Number ONE!!

Always the overachiever, I've decided that I have a HUGE list of goals to accomplish over the summer break (not to be mentioned here until I actually accomplish them). On DAY NUMBER ONE of summer break (the weekend didn't count, since it was the Saturday and Sunday after the last week of school), I accomplished my first goal...I learned to roller blade!!

...not that knitting and collecting cookbooks aren't COOL in their own right, but I wanted to find a hobby that was a little less "Laura Ingalls Wilder", and more "wild" (I guess hitting, and surpassing, 40 does that to you!).

My friend Pat, at school, is an ACCOMPLISHED roller blader, and I asked if she'd teach me. She was MORE THAN HAPPY to oblige, and we chose TODAY for the first lesson (so that we can refine my skills during the summer).

So...after finding a fairly nice pair of roller blades at Goodwill a few weeks ago (for only $7.00!), and an EMBARRASSING trip to Sports Authority (a sporting goods store...don't ask for's a store that sells sports equipment...I was TOTALLY lost the entire time I was there), and some MUCH needed assistance from a kind lesbian who worked there (Do YOU know how to put on those "wrist protector" things that "newbie" roller bladers wear?), we went to a trail that Pat skates, and the lesson began!

After a "starter" session on how to put the freakin' skates on (how many straps and buckles does one pair of footwear requre, anyway??!!), and a hearty "good luck" from a bicyclist who was there for the first "stand" on the skates (and witnessed my terrified gay shrieks as I tried to get up off the bench), we started down the path.

I'd like to say that I'm a "natural", but the HUGE grass stain across the back of my shorts will attest to the fact that I'm NOT (in case you are ever in the same situation, here's a lesson that I learned...if you are going down a hill, faster than you are comfortable with, and you are weighing "exit strategies" in your head as to how to slow down, skating into the grass on the side of the pavement is NOT, generally, a good idea...the grass stops your wheels IMMEDIATELY, and you fall...either face first, or, in my case, sliding on your BUTT for awhile, until you eventually stop).

LUCKILY, there is NO photographic evidence of today's adventures, and Pat was MORE than gracious about my "technique" (how stylish IS IT to shuffle along like a 90 year old man?). Even "luckier"...I have "dirt" on her as well, so SHE'LL NEVER TELL...!

I think I did fairly well, and, bruises and sore muscles aside, want to try it again...which is good because, after finishing, Pat scheduled our next lesson for this Sunday. I'm hoping to be able to walk again by then...oy!

Hope YOU have some fun and exciting goals to accomplish this summer!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cookbook FINALLY Finished!

I read about a website in Country Living Magazine (or Country Home...or Better Homes and Gardens...I can't remember which) where you can enter all of your recipes, share them with others (like, or other recipe sites), but, when finished, can print copies of the cookbook.

They end up being soft cover, well bound, professional looking cookbooks (I'm thinking similar to the Nitty Gritty Cookbooks). The price is right too...$12.95 apiece to print (bulk discounts for multiples of three). To make sure that the site is secure, (and I'm always a little "leary" about giving out credit card information over the internet...even if the site IS "secure") I'm getting a "loadable credit card" (at the Mall of America) to pay for it, so that I don't have to use my check card for the purchase.

SO...I've spent the last several (several!) months, typing in all of my FLAIR (Frequently Looked At Interesting Recipes), and proofreading, and organizing, and re-proofreading them, and now, I think I'm actually ready to order them.

I'm going to surprise mom and Robin and Duane (he knows about it already), and a couple of other people (who OBVIOUSLY don't read my blog!) with copies in their stockings this Christmas.

Here's one of the covers I'm considering (oh I DO love these fun pictures of you!):

Here's the other possibility...I haven't decided WHICH to use yet:

Recipes inside include my grandma's chicken and rice, the lemon supreme cake that I LOVE, my aunt Doris's cowboy beans, spanikopita (my FAVORITE Greek dish), okonomiyaki (from my days in Japan), Kris's (from work) Easter rolls, Cindy's (from my days at the Fairfield Public Library) parmesan herb bread, and 139 other recipes that I've tried, loved, and added to "the FLAIR".

Here's my recipe for the Turkey and Dried Cherry Salad that they make at D'Amico and Sons here in the's AWESOME!

1 lb. cooked Rotini Pasta
4 cups diced turkey
2 cups dried cherries
1 medium yellow onion
4 celery stalks, diced
1 cup whole toasted almonds
Combine all ingredients.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. Champagne vinegar
1 T. cold water
1 T. poppy seeds
1 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Mix together and toss with salad ingredients.
They also recommend Marie’s Poppy Seed Dressing in place of theirs.

Here's the recipe for Fresh Broccoli Salad, which I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

2 bunches fresh broccoli
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup golden raisins
¼ - ½ purple onion, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Wash and cut broccoli into bite sized pieces.
Combine broccoli, bacon, raisins, and onion in large bowl.
In separate bowl mix mayo, sugar and vinegar. Pour dressing over salad and toss.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours, tossing occasionally.

Substitute ½ to ¾ cup sliced almonds for the onion, or add 1 cup frozen peas and 1 cup sunflower seeds.

If this sounds like something YOU are interested in, the site is Happy cooking!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A GOOD Week!

Okay...this was actually LAST week, but I had to share some "kudos" that I received at school...

From the superintendent of our district:

"Dear Jeff:

Thank you for the technology leadership and the dedication you provide in the media center each and every day. Your collaboration with Lincoln Center (the "other" elementary school) along with the commitment you give to the students and staff of KEC (my school) is remarkable. I appreciate your efforts of going above and beyond to assure the success of our students and the district."

From our vice principal, after a survey that I sent to staff members regarding my performance this year (instead of a "formal observation"...since it's "my turn" this year for a performance evaluation):

"Jeff is the consumate professional. He has high academic and professional standards for his students, our staff, and himself. Jeff is a true collaborator, who shapes his instruction through the lens of PYP (the IB program our school is in the process of becoming). He embodies who a PYP teacher is, and who we want to become."

In addition, our vice principal keeps dropping BROAD hints that, when our current IB coordinator retires, he wants ME to become the new "inquiry specialist/PYP coordinator" for our school.

Add to that the fact that I had drinks with the principal of Lincoln Center, and SHE was gunning for me to leave my school, and come and be THEIR PYP coordinator next year, and I'm SITTING PRETTY in South St. Paul!!!!

Hope YOU got some kudos for all that YOU do this week (last week) as well!!