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!