Go where?

I saw a car the other day with a license plate that read:

C  NT  GO

I can only assume that this means “See (person with the initials) NT go.”  Or maybe “Can’t go?”  Doesn’t matter.  When I saw this, three of the letters jumped off the plate and pulsated at me like one of those old Warner Brother cartoons.   And I giggled out loud.

Let’s just say that these people should be glad I’m not their neighbor.  I would always be just 2 beers and a permanent marker away from filling in the blank.

MP

Summerfest is shaping up nicely.

Two of our favorites are on the schedule! w00t!

Brett Dennen – June 29, 8:00 p.m., Briggs & Stratton stage

G Love & Special Sauce – July 5, 10:00 p.m., US Cellular stage

Click here to access the full Summerfest 2009 schedule.

Go Steve go!

When Andy and I were talking about getting a dog, our #1 concern was my allergies.  We needed to look at breeds that were allergy-friendly.  Andy was determined that we wouldn’t get a small dog either.  As fate would have it, Andy met a sweet and adorable goldendoodle named Dewey while paying our water softener bill one day and the rest is history.

Since goldendoodles are a “designer breed” it never even occurred to us to check shelters or rescue sites.  We got Steve from a reputable breeder, but if we ever get another dog,  we will definitely look at adoption first.

Which brings me to one of our “pet” charities — the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha.  HAWS gets the largest percentage of our annual charitable giving.  Let’s be honest — Steve lives the good life.  He’s spoiled rotten, and in return, we get unconditional love and joy.  But many pets aren’t so lucky — many are neglected, abused and abandoned.  Those animals are the reason we support HAWS.

We participate in their annual walk at Minooka Park in Waukesha which took place on Saturday, May 2 this year.  We set a fund raising goal of $250 and put the call for support out to friends and family.  I also posted a sign at work with a picture of  Steve on it.  Steve’s sweet little face helped us hit and surpass our goal quickly — on the day of the race we had raised $260!

Our friends and their pooches joined us, and Steve had the time of his life walking at his favorite park.  A big thank you to everyone who sponsored us — the animals at HAWS will appreciate it!

MP

Walk 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Us! (with Steve)

Walk 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Neuenfeldts (with Molly)

Walk 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reikowskis (with Lucy)

The view from the front row

“Meghan, look!”

g-loveI was in my own world, deep in thought when Andy’s words snapped me back to reality.  He was pointing at the window of the restaurant I was passing.  I followed the direction of his finger and saw him sitting there, right in front of the window.  Garrett Dutton.  Also known as G Love from G Love and Special Sauce.

Some brides describe their experience walking down the aisle as having “tunnel vision.”  You’re walking down the aisle and you spot your soon-to-be husband standing at the front of the church.  Suddenly he’s all you see.  Everything around you — all sounds, all senses — melt away, and he’s the only other person in the world in that moment.  This was my experience on my wedding day.  It was so strange and I never thought I would experience it again.  But when I saw G Love sitting there, maybe 6 feet from where I stood, I experienced tunnel vision all over again.  I just stood there and stared for what seemed like forever (but must have really been about 5 seconds) before he looked up. 

“Meghan, WAVE!”  Andy’s voice brought me back to reality once again.  I must have had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face when I waved at him.  A huge smile of amusement spread across his face as he waved back.  And then I skipped off like a schoolgirl.

g-love-3Not a bad way to start the night.  This was G Love and Special Sauce’s last show of their most recent tour and I was pretty pumped.  They didn’t make it to Milwaukee or Madison this past fall like they usually do, so the Madison Roots Festival in August was the last time we’d seen them in concert.

Some changes had taken place since the last show we saw.  Jimi Jazz, bassist for the Special Sauce, is no longer with the band and has been replaced.  I don’t the back story, but if you saw A Year and a Night, the 2007 documentary about the band, you probably aren’t surprised by the change either.

One of the best things about going to a G Love show is seeing Jamie and Amy.  Andy went to high school with Jamie.  They reconnected when we ran into Jamie and Amy at a G Love show about three years ago.  Now it’s pretty much a given that they will be there at every show.  Turns out they have similar musical taste and we also see them at John Butler Trio shows.  It’s been fun for me to get to know them and Andy loves catching up with Jamie.

Despite the fact that we’re music lovers, Andy and I have never really been the type to stand in the front during a show.  Until, that is, I decided that I wanted to stand up front at a recent Brett Dennen concert.  The difference in the experience is worth the sore feet, obnoxious teenagers and the occasional shoves.  Of the eight G Love concerts I have been to, my decision to stand up front made this by far my best experience.

I learned a few things about myself that night.  First, I will completely freeze and stare in awe any time G Love makes g-love-2eye contact with me while he is singing.  I wanted to do something cool — smile coyly or maybe wink. . .I don’t know.  All I know is that I did not look cool.  Second, I am even less cool when he is hovering over me, singing, dancing or playing his guitar.  To have him that close was a bit surreal.  He literally dripped sweat on me and I won’t lie — I loved it.

So now that I have represented myself as a crazed stalker, I’ll say a little something about the actual music.  I was pretty impressed by the length of the set list.  They played a lot from Philadelphonic and some old school tunes like Shootin’ Hoops and Baby’s Got Sauce.  The music was great and the energy was amazing, but it wasn’t quite the same without Jimi Jazz. 

But with or without Jimi Jazz, we’ll be there every time G Love and the Special Sauce make a stop in Wisconsin.  It’s kind of become a fun tradition for us. 

“Once you got it you never ever going to leave it alone.”  -Baby’s Got Sauce

MP

Simple and inexpensive throw pillows

I love how a few really great throw pillows can transform a piece of furniture and really make a room.  A store that always does a great job of using throw pillows to make a piece of furniture look amazing or tie together a room is my beloved Pottery Barn.  Although I have bought my fair share of pillow covers there, it’s typically only when they are having a sale.  And even then they can be pretty pricey.

If you are looking for throw pillows in bold, interesting prints, take a stroll through your favorite home store.  Go past the bedding and head straight to dining.  There you will find linen napkins in a wide array of colors and prints which are perfectly sized for an 18″ x 18″ pillow cover.  I happened to be shopping at Pier One recently when I fell in love with some aviary print napkins that happened to be perfect for my basement.  $5 later I was walking out with the start to a pretty new pillow.

I bought a run-of-the-mill 18″ x 18″ pillow insert from Jo-Ann Fabrics (with my 40% off coupon, of course).  I don’t sew (believe it or not) so the next step was to sweetly ask my mother-in-law if she wouldn’t mind helping me out.   She’s an expert at sewing, but even novices tell me that making a pillow is a piece of cake. 

Instead of dabbing mouths at the dinner table, the napkins that I fell in love with are now poised and ready to collect drool on the couch.  The best part — the whole project cost less than $20.

MP

pillows-002

Steve’s Spot

steve-paper

“You know, you really should shred confidential paperwork.  But don’t worry, I took care of it for you.  No need to thank me. . .what?  Retirement. . .what?  Retirement. . .rollover paperwork?  What’s. . .?  You. . .needed that?  Oh. . . ahem. . .APRIL FOOL’S!”

– Steve 4/1/09

Spring has, in fact, sprung. . .

. . .from a neglected pot of dirt.  A few weeks ago, my very thoughtful dad sent us an Easter present — a pot with bulbs in it that if cared for properly, should bloom by Easter.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  So I watered it per the directions and put it in my favorite sunny spot where my other plants live.  It’s a really deep window sill off of our kitchen that is mostly hidden from the kitchen by curtains. 

So it’s somewhat understandable that a few weeks would go by before I realize as I am driving to work that I had COMPLETELY forgotten about my poor little plant.  As I drove to work I felt horrible.  This wonderful gift my dad had sent was probably dead and shriveled — if anything had managed to sprout at all.

I was almost afraid to look at it when I got home.  I was full of guilt as I pulled the curtain back. . .then I audibly gasped at what I saw.  There was the neglected pot, with beautiful flowers sprouting out of it!  The moss that had covered the bulbs was stuck to the tips of the flowers and leaves like a crown.  I could not believe my eyes.  This thing was watered only once and it was fully grown and beautful.

I removed the moss, cleaned it up and gave it some water.  It’s probably in rougher shape than it would be if I had cared for it properly, but it’s really pretty.  I have been admiring it all night. 

I have decided that this plant’s triumph despite difficult conditions is a sign — a sign of new and better things to come.  That is what Easter is all about, after all.

MP

miracle_plant