Monday, December 21, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Today's Song

My favorite Christmas song is I Heard the Bells. Did you know that the words to this song were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? My favorite version is done by Johnny Cash. Here he is singing it with June. Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Treats #1

Beth and I just made these. They involve my new favorite wrapped little candy. The Rolo™. Apparently the Rolo™ has been around since 1937, having been originally created in England. York to be exact. Of course, as everyone knows, the Hershey's company has held the U. S. production rights since 1969. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Paul Sunde

Paul Sunde
October 7, 1951 - November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving and Who We are Thanking

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Major Award

Dugan Design Group won a major award! No, it's not a "leg lamp", it is the ECPA/dp Book Cover Award, recognizing superior cover design! Congrats, DDG!

Here is the link to the winners.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween from R2 and the cow.

At Our House We...

...give out junky candy and......put out creepy decorations.

What do you do?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tim can now be tried as an adult, buy cigarettes, and gamble. Oh, yes, he can also vote! Now that's something to celebrate with the 12 ounce rib eye steak and eggs at the Sofitel! Happy Birthday Tim! Love you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bemidji Kitsch

My loyal blog followers, all two of you, might remember that I love kitsch. In fact, I did a whole post on the kitsch we came across on a trip to Colorado back in 2006. I am pleased to say there was kitsch awaiting us in Bemidji last weekend and I took photos.This sculpture resides in downtown Bemidji. Nothing says "Stop Domestic Violence" like a metal statue of an Indian with some type of weapon. Also, this sign is a good reminder, "Next time you want to beat someone up, have a Pepsi instead."
God bless America!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Where Did the Weekend Go?

Zoom! This weekend just flew by. Friday evening, Tim was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society. Congratulations, Tim. Inductees are able to choose one teacher to honor with the Golden Apple award. He chose Chuck Chalberg, aka G.K. Chesterton--check out his link. Here he is presenting Chuck with the award. Saturday morning, Erin (and David's!) baby shower. Samantha was there and looking so cute I had to post this photo.
We played the ever popular guess what candy bar is smooshed into the diaper game. It's always fun to take photos of the guests while they sniff the diapers. Here is Nikki attempting a guess.
Great, great nephew Hunter got the modeling gig for the Target brand peach-mango puffy snacks. Here he is posing with the snack that bears his photo. Way to go, Hunter!
The mom-to-be with her mom and two of her sisters. We missed you, Ali!
Phil Stacey in concert.
Matthew West in concert.
Michael W. in concert.
Cafe Latte after the concert. Chicken Salsa Chili for the hubs. Seattle Smoked Salmon Chowder for me. Yum-o!
We took home desserts. Chocolate, chocolate cake. Key lime cheesecake. Lemon cake. Delisch!
Will and Samantha came over while their mom and dad hosted their small group. Okay, everyone, it's time for footie pjs. (I will have to get me some footie pajamas.)
All in all, a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You CAN Judge a Book By Its Cover

I am pleased to announce that Dugan Design Group has been nominated for a prestigious 2009 ECPA/dp Book Cover Award. Yes, that is correct, you heard me. Only 4 categories for awards and DDG is one of three finalists in the Best Cover From a Mid-Sized Publisher Category. Go here. Check out the nominees. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to give Vera Wang a call so she can design my gown for the awards...what's that, you say? The award will be announced online at Online Design Forum on November 20th at 11:00 am ET? You mean I won't be needing a gown? Shucks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

National Parks I Have Been To

1. Sequoia
2. Yosemite
3. Bryce
4. Zion
5. Grand Canyon
6. Petrified Forest
7. Black Canyon of the Gunnison
8. Rocky Mountain
9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
10. Yellowstone
11. Badlands
12. Virgin Islands National Park
13. Shenandoah
14. Mt. Rainier
15. Olympic
16. Grand Tetons
17. Glacier

And that doesn't count the National Monuments.
Thanks Mom and Dad for the great summer vacations to beautiful places.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What I Bought at Trader Joes

The hubs let me loose for the afternoon and I went crazy.

Headed to Minnetonka to the General Store and roamed about looking at stuff. Heading home, I decided to proceed east on Highway 7. Hadn't done that for years. Went by the old Hellman's Mayonnaise plant that is now an empty building that's for sale. However, I did note that it had been called "Mayon Plastics" before it's demise. As I passed by, I thought I was most likely the only one on the road who knew that "Mayon" plastics probably got it's name because it was housed in a former mayonnaise factory. How's that for trivia?

Proceeding east on 7, I passed Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and remembered how I used to love the beautiful stained glass window there. Still there and still lovely. Then, just before Sam's Club, I remembered there was an old drive in that had been there for years--ever since I could remember. The kind from Happy Days. It's now called Galaxy Drive In.

Well, lo and behold, I looked and the place was hopping. Fresh coat of paint, workers in retro uniforms looking cheery, lots of patrons and it was late afternoon. 4:00 or so. Check it out here. I'm going back!

I proceeded east on 7 headed for Trader Joes. This of course is the mistake I often make when I head to Trader Joes coming from the West. After growing up in St. Louis Park and living within 10 miles of it all my life, I can't seem to remember that Trader Joes is on Excelsior, not Highway 7. (NOTE TO SELF: WHEN HEADING TO TRADER JOES OR WHOLE FOODS, TAKE EXCELSIOR, NOT 7. WHEN HEADING TO YUM, TAKE MINNETONKA. GENERAL RULE FOR SELF: NEVER TAKE 7.) So, I did the usual backtrack to get to 100 to head south to Excelsior. ANOTHER NOTE TO SELF: NEVER TRY TO HEAD SOUTH ON 100 FROM HIGHWAY 7. THEY FORGOT TO PUT IN A MERGE LANE.

I made it to Trader Joes and knew enough to park on the street rather than to attempt to enter the TJ parking lot. There I was, a lazy Saturday afternoon, nothing to do, and Trader Joes before me. They got me at the entry with the pumpkins. $3.99 each. Can't beat that. I loaded one in the shopping cart. Next it was on to the marcona almonds and mini fresh mozzarella balls (to make a Caprise Salad with the heirloom tomatoes my sister gave me a couple days ago). I couldn't resist the new pudding mixes. Chocolate and vanilla in the retro boxes. And while heading down the freezer section to get my favorite frozen Mac and Cheese, I stumbled upon the Mandarin Orange Chicken. Picked up two bags of it for tonight's dinner. Of course, cookies are above the frozen foods at Trader Joes, so I grabbed the classic chocolate Joe-Joes. I finished off my shopping spree with a crate of lovely peaches and a bottle of Mango Green Tea. I love Trader Joes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tim's Eagle Scout Project

Tim finished the actual work on his Eagle Scout project yesterday! Doesn't it look great! Thanks to all who helped saw, sand, dig, haul, and assemble. A big thanks to the Dahlens for letting the Boy Scouts invade their garage, borrow their saw, and fill the garage with sawdust last Sunday!

Tim designed and built (with lots of helping Boy Scout hands) three benches and made a fire pit for the men of Damascus Way Re-entry Center in Golden Valley.

Great job, Tim. Now, on to all the Eagle Scout paperwork! Good luck with that!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Our state fair is the best state fair, don't miss it, don't even be's the best state fair in the state!

September 1. A beautiful day to head on over to St. Paul for the great Minnesota Get Together. We started with the usual. An Americano from the Java Jive and mini donuts. Not just any mini donut, mind you, they must be Tom Thumb donuts. You know, the ones right next to Ye Old Mill. (Forgot to document this with a photo, you will have to use your imagination.)

Lunch was the usual Pronto Pup. NOT CORN DOG! It's the "Wiener dun in a bun" "Since 1947"!

Beth went with me to play The Office game. It was the ever popular "Throw the Crumpled Memo in the File Drawer" game! I'll have you know that my first memo (of three tries) went right in that file drawer and I won a bag! Inside the bag was a coupon for a breakfast sandwich at Sonic! Hmmm, will I have to declare that sandwich on my taxes next year? I think prizes are taxed...

Cheese curds, karaoke, and Nathan Johnson a winning combination. (All you Eagan Republicans, be sure and vote for Nathan for state rep in 2010).

Honey sticks at the Horticulture Building. A must have.

Chris had his Dole Whip.

The turkey leg at Heritage Square. Beth fell asleep. All that tryptophan.

Every year I insist on this photo. Every year, he complies. What a guy!

Princess Kay and a 90 pound slab of butter. Need I say more?

Met up with Will. He shared Grandpa's fruit plate and box of fudge. Your two basic food groups.

Nikki sang. Lovely.

Will "listened" to Mommy sing.

So did Samantha.

What do you know. The cousins ran into each other outside the Corn Roast. Time for "Jazz Hands" everyone!

It was off to the Midway for the only game that you can almost always win. The "Toss the Whiffle Ball in the Goblet" game. Put a little English on it and you can usually get yourself a stuffed piece of junk for only $30 in tickets.

Although Chris won "Shamu" in this game. Of course he played against only his siblings, so someone in the family was bound to win!

Big. Fat. Bacon. Nuff said.

Sweet Martha's Cookies and milk on the way out of the fairgrounds. Nuff said.

Ran into Jeremy and Jennifer also eating cookies. Stopped to chat. Fireworks started. We had the perfect seats AND cookies and milk! What good fortune. A great day at the fair!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We're Going Camping Now, We're on our Way....

Tuesday, August 11, We left for Itasca State Park. I was the guide in the backseat of Chris's CRV. Ahead of us, Katie's Element with her, Beth, and the hubs. A beautiful sunny day.

The men made the fire.

The gals cleaned up. As it should be.

At sunset, we saw Bigfoot near the shore.

We did a puzzle.

Katie and Beth found my camera and don't they regret it now.

I'm guessing there are some tax dollars involved in this lovely work of art.

We went to the headwaters.

And walked across the Mighty Mississippi.

We went on a hike. The longest 2 miles in the history of mankind. As you can see, we are experienced hikers. None of those fancy backpacks. Those are for city boys. We always opt for the Target paper bag. Much more eco friendly.

We hit the trail.

Oh, no. There was a tree across the path. Not to worry, Tim had his trusty Swiss Army knife. 3 days later, we were on our way.

A good mother always reminds her children to wear proper foot attire. As you can see, I forgot to remind Beth to go with the flip flops and instead she wore her hiking boots. This was a big mistake. After all, it's more important to look good than to feel good. I will try to do better next time.

Again, some grainy footage of Bigfoot. I think we're on to something.

The happy hikers.

Posing with the hubs.

My birthday fudge.

Singing the Happy Birthday song quietly (it was after 10:00 at the campground, so quiet hours had begun).

My birthday cherry cobbler, made over the fire in the Dutch Oven by the hubs.

I read a book at the dock. (The Magician's Nephew)

Chris and Tim fished, Beth looked on, and Katie, um, Katie took photos of herself.

Look what Beth caught. You should have seen the one that got away!

But all good things come to an end. Here is Chris packing his new card/picnic table. He just bought it. And, the cool thing is that a CRV came with it for FREE!

Finally, our trip would not have been complete had it not been for the metal moose in the trailer of the truck next to us at the Holiday Station in Little Falls. Can't wait for the next camping trip!