Tuesday, May 17, 2011


  I've finally had a chance to catch my breath after a busy weekend. The weather wasn't fabulous for Syttende Mai, but the sun came out for the parade, and that's all I wanted. I found a couple of newer food stands to support - chicken salad on lefse from one of the Lutheran churches, and some fabulous kettle corn (I think it was Ernie's Kettle Korn, but I'm not sure). The line was too long for corn-on-the-cob, so I missed out. Now I'll have to wait until July. Despite smelling their delicious perfume for 2 days, I managed to avoid the deep fried cheese curds from the FFA (lats year they gave me a belly-ache).

Yesterday was mildly productive, and today I launched into the garden preparation. It was time to move all the compost-turned-dirt from the pile to the garden. It was not an easy task, every shovelful needed to be sifted to remove all the "big stuff" like sticks, garbage, etc. It took me all day - about 10 wheelbarrows full. Then I had a little help from Katrina moving all the nice dirt around the garden. Next up - figure out how to get the rototiller into the garden (there's no gate, the fence is buried to keep the bunnies out, and the tiller is much too heavy to lift over the fence). But, that's Karl's department. I hope it gets done in the next couple of days, so I can plant this weekend. I'm glad I put  off buying my plants because we actually had frost warnings last night.

I do need to get it done this weekend, because we leave for vacation in a week! Yippee!! OK, so the 12 hour drive will be a little annoying, but I'm sure it will go by quickly because it will all be new scenery. Oh, and we'll be staying overnight at the in-laws the night before, and that's always weird. But I really looking forward to the trip to Greenville, where I hope the weather will be warm and sunny. I really need to get some vitamin D on these pasty legs.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Everyone's Norwegian!

This morning, I realized that it's almost May 17th. If you're Norwegian, or if you live here in Stoughton, you know that means Syttende Mai. And as the saying goes: Everyone's Norwegian at Syttende Mai! Syttende Mai is the celebration of Norway's independence from Denmark, and here in Stoughton we have a HUGE festival. Parades, races, lots of food (yes, even lutefisk bratwurst), and royalty.

Two years ago, our household hosted some royalty - Katrina was selected to be the 2009 Princess. We had no idea what it entailed, and when I look back on it, I wish we could have taken even more photos.

Here she is at the State Capitol, along with the Prince, the King and Queen, and our State representative. We attended a session of the House, where the official proclamation was read, and the royalty was introduced.

We also attended the official banquet, where they serve a cake with the Prince & Princess's picture on it! The downtown bakery also sells cookies all weekend with the same photo. I think my mom still has one in her freezer! She got a custom plaque, hand painted by a "famous" rosemaling artist (as famous as you can be in that style, I guess).

Of course, the mother of a Princess has to look the part!
But the best part was the parade. There are 2 parades, one on Saturday (the smaller of the 2), and the "big" parade. Karl hates parades, he almost never watches them, especially the Syttende Mai parade (since it usually lasts more than 3 hours!). I was thrilled to find out that he'd be the one driving the Prince & Princess's car in the big parade! So, in 2009, the entire Baumeister family was in the parade, along with Grandma!

Since then, Syttende Mai weekend has been a little of a letdown.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

It's been a really nice Mother's day at our house. My wonderful, creative daughter wrote a song for me! Sure, it's only about eight measures long, but it is fabulous. She also made me breakfast in bed, but I got up to watch the Giro d'Italia. She still made me breakfast, I just had it in the office instead. Then we ventured to Madison to watch the US Collegiate Cycling Championship criterium race. We got there just in time for the finish of Div 2 - complete with a crash about 30 yards from the finish line! We watched the Div 1 men's race start to finish. It was a really good race, and we got some cool pictures:

Being on the inside of the corner is fun!

I have a kick-ass cowbell! I believe it was worn by an actual cow.

After the race, we went for a late lunch/early dinner at Pizzeria Uno, where I enjoyed my favorite dish: Chicken Spinoccoli. One more stop at Culver's for sundaes, and we were home.

I relaxed for a bit, then jumped on my bike for a nice 15 mile ride. It was a little windy, and the only wildlife I saw today were cows and a weiner dog.

All in all, I'd say it was the best Mother's Day so far!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Almost there!

Just one more day. One more day before I can finally sleep in. I just finished day 10 of my 11-day work marathon. It's been quite a week of wrapping flowers, every day a different drama. Their business certainly is not affected by the economy. I know we wrapped over 10,000 roses. By the way, all of you in Chicagoland - buy flowers at CVS, Walgreens, or BP! Those are the flowers I've been working with so diligently, the ones labeled "Exclusively Roses". But if I have to stuff another bear into a floral wrapper before next year, I'll go nuts!

I'm hoping for a peaceful Mother's Day weekend. I'm planning to sleep in, do some cycling, watch some cycling on TV, and maybe live as well. Cap it off with a little Chinese food, and I'll be a happy mom.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just checking in

A quick post, since I am just past the midway point of a working-10-days-in-a-row marathon.

I'm working the "mother's day rush" at my flower job, plus my regular job and a little LMS action thrown in for good measure. The flower job is more volume than beauty. Ya' know those flowers you can get at Walgreens or the gas station? That's what we do. Today we did 2 roses in a vase with a small teddy bear hanging off the vase. All day. I personally did 42 boxes of 4 vases. Tomorrow - single roses in a sleeve, 50 to a bucket, average 2 buckets an hour. With that kind of volume, it makes me glad the flowers don't have any fragrance. If they did, I'd have on heck of a headache!

So now it's time to say goodnight. I'm tired and I have to get up early so I can be back doing flowers at 7:45am.

Three more weeks until vacation!!