Sunday, July 31, 2016

What. A. Week.

This week was crazy and busy, but so wonderful.  Tuesday night I got to meet up with some of my favorite ladies for dinner.  Kara, Melody, Caitlyn and I went to Jethroni Pepperoni in Altoona.  The pizza (we tried the Meatza Pizza) was delicious.  The company was amazing. I love laughing with those ladies. 
Wednesday night was Bob’s birthday and we celebrated with dinner at Chicago Speakeasy.  It was a blast.  Although I’m not sure the other customers had as much fun as we did.  We got some strange looks but that’s pretty normal for our group. 
Friday my friend Dawn and I roadtripped to Sioux City for the Brandy Clark and Chris Stapleton concert.  Wow! It’s very rare that you hear someone in concert sound just as good or better than they do on the radio.  What a musician! If you have a chance to see him, do not hesitate to do it! I could listen to him for hours.  Mindblown.
Saturday was the annual pool party at Katie and Jamie’s.  Those ladies know how to throw amazing get togethers.  Everyone had a blast. And I even got the DJ to play some Eric Church.  Winning.  Unfortunately, I lost my keys in the madness of the evening.  Waiting for a call back from Uber to see if I left them in the car by chance.  Fingers crossed. 
Today was a BBQ with the BeaverCrew.  Needless to say this week rocked but holy cow am I exhausted.  I’m gonna pull a senior citizen and go to bed shortly.  Yes, the suns still out.  No, I don’t care.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Puppies and play-doh

I may be an old lady but I still feel like I learn something new every day.  Today’s lesson? Onions can be very dangerous for puppies.  I knew you were supposed to keep chocolate away from dogs.  But I had no idea that grapes, raisins, garlic and onions were bad news too.  This is Bart. 
Bart is my cousin Nicole’s 12 week old puppy which they lovingly refer to as the “piranha puppy” because he eats everything in sight.  Today he got into the garden while I was visiting and chowed down an onion.  Bad, Bart.  Nicole took him to the pet vet ER and I stayed with her 5 and 8 year old daughters.   For a creative type, I’m not very good with play-doh. This was my design, while they made lattice pies and pyramids, I stuck to basic shapes.  Sadly, art was never my thing.  Although I did use one of the animal design cutters to make a polar bear and send a picture to BK in honor of his current Alaskan adventure.  He thought it was a coca-cola bear…
It’s a pretty awesome Saturday when you get to snuggle with this face and the girls make you cards to tell you they love you and wish you could live with them.  Such cutie pies.  

I have to admit it was nice to have a weekend where I wasn't flying or driving anywhere.  June 3rd was my last free weekend.  October 1st is my next one.  Maybe my nickname should be changed from Lucy to Gone Girl...

I was able to move some of my projects from to-do to the "doing" and "done" columns.  Weekend at home for the win!!! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Family, fun and fireworks

Saturday was another great day at the lake.  Only downfall is that my back looks like I have chicken pox from the mosquito bites.  We went into the woods to show Sissy an old foundation and saw mill and the mosquitos swarmed and attacked.  For whatever reason, those little jerks love me.  Probably because I’m so sweet…

We took Grandma on a boat and gator ride.  Grandpa was busy fishing most of the day. Broke out the paddle boat and kayak.  

And of course, there was four wheeling.

For dinner we feasted on fish and followed that up with some fireworks. 

It’s always hard to drive away from that little slice of heaven in Wisconsin but I was happy to get home to my bed last night! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 15

Another beautiful day at the lake.  

Today’s mission was mastering driving the four wheelers. Normally I opt for being the passenger but today, I was gonna be in charge.  A quick 30 second tutorial from my cousin and it was time to roll.  I only almost flipped one time near the flooded path, straight up hill on the boulders.  I took multiple rides throughout the day spotting wild turkeys, deer and just enjoying the scenery with the wind blowing through my hair.

We also took a ride in the new toy.  A six person gator.  Needless to say going down the highway in the backseat got a little windy!

Becky found me some New Glarius Cherry Ale.  It was delicious! I enjoyed drinking that while we ate smoked pork loin, corn on the cob, party potatoes, salad, cookies, etc.  Again, enough food to feed a village.

Later we sat around the firepit, talking and having some adult beverages.  Our cue to go in around 1 am was the snapping of branches in the woods getting closer and closer.  Becky, Rachael and I were not down for seeing any bears so we promptly headed inside and called it a night.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rain and Road Rage

Happy birthday to my dear friend, Mel! Sorry to have missed your birthday shenanigans tonight but I had to do the family thing and head to the lakehouse for my grandparent’s 62nd wedding anniversary.  SIXTY-TWO YEARS!!  Process that for a minute. To be honest, I can’t even fathom.  Numerically, that’s not even possible for me in this lifetime.  Unless I get married this year and live to be 102.  So yeah, not happening.  I love watching them together.  Almost makes a girl wanna believe in that “L’ word and that some people mean forever when they say it. 

The ride up here was, pardon my language, a complete shit-show. It took me over 7 hours. Usually I love a good road trip.  Music up, singing aloud, talking to myself, yelling at cars (with the windows up) and working on writing projects in my head.  If “big brother” ever put a bug in my car during a road trip, I would certainly be fitted for a nice, tight, white jacket with velcro straps.  Today, I did not love the drive. I purposely left Des Moines early enough to avoid rush hour in the Twin Cities.  I’m a planner like that.  But alas, even the best laid plans fall apart when there is an accident within a construction zone.  15 miles of inching along I-35 is enough to wear on anyone’s nerves. 
But in the true fashion of Lyndee’s Life, cue the music for intense thunderstorms amid this already chaotic parade of cars.  Unfortunately, the rain would continue for the last three hours of the trip.

As I crossed the bridge from Minnesota to Wisconsin my jaw dropped at the insanely high level of the river.  Note this, it will come into play soon.  So along I drive on a two lane highway across Wisconsin in the rain, through multiple “unincorporated towns”, aka villages, where the speed limit drops from 55 to 35 or 45 while passing through.  I’m in a line of cars averaging about 51 miles an hour that I can’t pass because of the rain, hills and curves.  Insert the continuation of road rage here.  No amount of Eric Church or Dierks Bentley is calming my nerves at this point.  When I finally reach Hayward, lo and behold, the main highway through town is closed.  I follow the detour, which has its own detour.  Why you might ask? Unbeknownst to me, flooding and washed out roads from Monday nights storm which dropped over 11 inches on this part of the North Woods.  My google maps lady voice is about to have a seizure from repeatedly telling me she is recalculating the route.  I end up on some back country roads called mosquito avenue or something ridiculous and eventually back to the highway I need. Finally, I arrive at the lakehouse to see my family!  I’m talking to Dad on the deck while he grills and notice, hey, there’s a new dock! And then realize, holy crap, the old one is almost completely submerged underwater.  All you can see is the top of the bench that sits on top of it.  This is how high the lake is from the flooding.  Daaaammmnnnn!

Ultimately, I enjoy a wonderful dinner and evening with my family, finding my peace yet again staring at the water and listening to it lap the shore.  Tomorrow morning when I’m done with work we will venture out for fishing, boating and four wheeling through the forest.  That is if we don’t starve to death before then as there’s only enough food here for about 507 people to survive on for two months…

My eyelids are heavy now.  Maybe I shouldn’t have had that 2nd glass of wine but whatever, it’s MY year and I’m in my happy place. #fearless40

Sunday, July 10, 2016

That's a wrap

I know, I know, I totally dropped the ball with the posts but I was busy enjoying my last few days in Alaska.  Thursday we went hiking at Falls Creek.  It was brutal! It rained most of Wednesday into Thursday morning.  This trail was straight up hill with no level points to catch your breath. It was muddy, slick and to be honest, really putting me in a bad mood.  I believe everyone of us fell at least once on the way up or down. There was also intense humidity and swarms of bugs like I had never seen before to really top off this poop show of a hike.

Thursday night Kristin and I headed "downtown" Girdwood for some adult beverages and to enjoy a local band at Chair 5.  I learned that happy hour is illegal in Alaska.  Crazy, right? We made some new friends and thoroughly enjoyed our evening out.  Let me tell you though, it's so weird walking home from the bar at 2 in the morning and having it be daylight.  

Friday morning Norm woke us up at the crack of dawn to head towards Denali/Mt. McKinley. Luckily I was able to sleep in the van part of the way up.  Couldn't figure out why it felt like there were razor blades stabbing my calves with every step I took on Friday...oh yeah, the Falls Creek hike. Insert #%&)(#& here. Ouch.  We spent the day in Talkeetna.  It has amazing views of Denali and none of us were feeling up to the trip all the way to the mountain range.  We had an amazing lunch at a quaint cafe with the best seafood chowder I've ever tasted.  Walked around the town and shops and enjoyed some ice cream.  We opted not to do the plane into Denali as Jesseca has a busted eardrum and they said it would cause her serious pain.  

The one thing I miss about Alaska is the fashion for sure! Yes it's beautiful and breathtaking and so laid back.  That's all wonderful.  But the fact that normal attire is leggings, a sports bra, tank top and hiking boots is phenomenal.  Ponytails and hats? Yes, please! Talk about comfort! You just can't help but relax in a place like Alaska.  It truly is like a different universe. I am so happy and blessed to have spent my birthday there with my wonderful family and Kristin.  Not sure I can ever top 40 but you all know, I will definitely try! 

I think I shall take this blog further than just my birthday trip and document what I think could be one of the best years ever.  Stay tuned for more adventures! There are plenty in the works.  #fearless40

Thursday, July 7, 2016

5th and 6th

It's been rainy the last two days. Wednesday I hiked 4 miles down the mountain so I could get a diet mt dew. It was totally worth getting soaked for the caffeine. 

We didn't hike yesterday. Instead we went into anchorage and ran lots of errands, including finding the one Apple Store in Alaska to get my phone fixed. Hooray. Enjoyed my first reindeer dog from a street vendor. It was phenomenal! Kind of like a polish sausage with a kick. 

On the way back we stopped at the spout coming out of the side of the mountain and filled our water jugs with glacier water. There's a crowd of people every time we drive by so we figured we should try it. 
Last night was a feast! Halibut caught during a deep sea fishing adventure on Tuesday. Cindy took the prize with a 107 pound halibut. There was also rockfish and salmon as well. 
I used part of the salmon to make a spread/dip which I will post on the Testing Trendy blog soon. Norm pan fried some of the fresh halibut last night in butter and lemon juice. That was some of the best fish I have ever had. Thick like steak and flaky goodness. Long John Silvers sucks. Hagebakkes rock.