After a visit from the Easter Bunny, my family of three kicked the apartment for good and found greener pastures in the "Grandstay Hotel" of Saint Cloud. Axel has learned the key points of hotel life quickly...
1. Indoor Pool (A private pool at that, since we may be the only three vacationing in downtown Saint Cloud.)
2. Cable TV
3. Continental Breakfast (Donuts and orange juice anyone?)
Wow...why buy a house when you can further delay cooking, housekeeping and property tax? One week from tomorrow, at 1pm, we'll be signing our life away once more to commitment and yard work. I honestly cannot wait.
Approaching our last night in "Chateau St. Peter," things are looking a little...well...lets just say I'd walk away with anything living and leave the rest to nature.
Although I did my best to make this hole look like home, when you pile it all up (just as fast as your three year old tears it apart) it looks like a bunch of junk. Thats where I'm at. Around eleven last night (way past my bedtime), I left things at this...hoping it would all make sense in the morning.
While a little brighter and THANK GOD without the snow predicted, the haphazard mountains remain, and it looks like I need one more trip to the grocery store to beg for free boxes.
We've been hitting up the produce employees hard this week. Omar (wears a white shirt indicating management), is our usual box retriever. He lets us roll right in to the bowels of the grocery store and practically get our own. When Omar isn't there, Axel isn't afraid to announce, "Mom, thats not the right guy." But, beggars can't be choosers and whatever Omar's substitute hands over, we're happy to fill with our...crap...ok, worldly possessions.
The movers come tomorrow. Will I be ready? Depends on Axel's agenda for the day.
Recognize this? It's that pile that you're not really sure what to do with. Call it the "junk drawer" exposed.
Sanity minus one month and I'll be moving into my new digs...my new stomping grounds... and christening a new kitchen. While I love that this apartment allows me storage in the oven and sewing right on the counter top, I am looking forward to reinventing my culinary passions (or culinary frustrations if you will). I may even buy myself a new apron to sweeten the deal (similar to buying new running shoes to get me on the streets...it lasts a few weeks at most).
So, as I'm sure that we'll ride into Sartell on a wave of take-out and frozen foods, soon the unpacking will be finished and I'll be cooking up Eggplant Parmesan and Fried Avocado Bites (yup, I've been thinking about those two for a while now).
Recent news would include Axel teaching himself to use the computer at the library. Headphones and all, his tiny hands work the mouse and he follows the on-screen directions. I have no idea how he learned such skills as he has never taken an interest in the home computer (just something he decided to do I guess). Also, Jahred and I were suckered into a trip to "Build a Bear" (magically expensive I assure you), but we came home with another addition to the plush family named "Stuff"? Maybe he chose the name because to add the "stuffing" to his friend he got to exhibit his mad sewing-machine-foot-pedal-action-moves. It's almost like a game of chicken we play. At random my little ankle biter sneaks under the sewing/kitchen table and adds a burst of pressure to the foot...my reflexes are improving!
As a final piece of interest, Oscar, the most ignored Beagle on the block, has waged a protest against all things material. As in the past, once he notices the boxes, things disappearing, and furniture being rearranged (so that it's easier to hoist out the door), he starts to get all territorial. Poor dog, he has no idea how green his own grass is on the other side! Surely he'll be doing a little "christening" of his own.
Axel has recently taken notice of my favorite household appliance...the Nikon.
Not at all interested the point-and-shoot camera I carry around in my purse, he decided to jump right to the big guns and took a few photos around the house yesterday. Three photos in all, each one taking quite some time to shoot...having to balance the disproportionately large camera, look through the all-too-tiny window and actually find the subject he set out to photograph.
photo one: Papa's Chair
photo two: Oscar (notice the choke hold I have on him to keep him in front of the lens...behind every photographer is a willing assistant)
photo three: Mom (I actually don't mind this photo of myself diving in front of the camera...you'll notice it now graces the front page)
Definitely shows improvement. Stay tuned for Axels next inspiration to strike.
I snuck away this weekend to a little place called the Black Hills.
Having missed some of the beautiful sights on my first trip here (due to an unfortunate incident with a spider, allergic reaction and steroids to follow) I was anxious to view both national monuments and protected forests through the un-swollen eyes of an adult.
View we did. Nana, Mom and I set out just Friday morning and returned this evening. We made fast work of tourist traps, boutiques and one gorgeous benefit dinner for the Boys and Girls Club.
Andy, my brother, recently moved to Hill City, South Dakota to take the reigns as Program Director for the BGC. We received an invitation to participate in their annual benefit at no other room than the Presidents Dining Room overlooking the 4 faces themselves.
Check this out!
Along for the ride was Nana's very special Birthday Cake (actually a floral arrangement). We celebrated her monumental birthday (I never reveal a girls age) while she traveled to the Mt. Rushmore Monument for the first time!
Found these cute guys in Custer, an area filled with talented local artists...
...found this cute guy wandering around Custer State Park. (Just kidding, this is Andy.)
I just love this picture. It's a completely raw/unedited image. The Buffalo and their habitat are simply amazing. I was told a herd of 1500 roam Custer State Park.
Buffalo foot print next to our tire tracks. We were lucky to have an up-close, gravel-road-meets-herd experience!
Care to see what the view from my dinner chair was?
What a great cause to drive 650 miles for.
It does look better through my grown-up lenses. Spectacular.
My challenge for you all this spring...go rural! You could be seriously missing out by sticking to city sidewalks!
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