Memories to Cling To

I told a writing buddy about my idea for this blog, and when I’m feeling blue or like it’s kind of pointless because soon school will start and we’ll be buried in the slog of life, I remind myself of her words about my goal of “an adventure a day.”

I find it helps slow down time, so the brain has more memories to cling to.

That seems so important.  Lately I’ve felt foggy and clumsy.  I remind myself that even if my adventures feel small, that when I look back in many years, it will be these that I remember, not the drudgery of work, or vacuuming, or dishes, or whatever other things I allow to get in my way.

Some recent adventures!

1) New restaurants and desserts tried and added to Twin Cities Gluten Free!

2) Walking the dogs on the Minneapolis side of the river.  There is an ongoing joke that St. Paulites don’t go to Minneapolis and vice versa, and it’s remarkably true!  This might seem like a mini mini mini adventure given how close we really do live to Minneapolis, but it was important because as we were watering the community garden plot, I declared to my husband that we were going to try a new dog walking spot, but didn’t tell him that I actually had no idea where that spot would be, and he didn’t ask.  Normally he would need to know exactly what I might have in mind.  So we drove across Lake Street bridge and down the West River Road and ended up right at the oak savanna in the Mississippi River gorge.  Beautiful.  This unique ecosystem is only a fraction of 1% of the oak savanna that used to exist in MN.  Fire suppression allowed the areas to turn into oak forests instead.  One of my favorite orgs, Friends of the Mississippi River, has volunteering opps to help maintain the area.  It was fun because I’d heard of it, but didn’t know that was exactly the spot where it was at, and we weren’t looking for it or anything.

3) In crochet news, I learned the popcorn stitch to make the flower on this hat.

Easy hat and easy flower made from donated yarns for Team Yarn.

4) Reading the Harry Potter series!  I only saw the first two movies and now I am on book #4 so even though it is old to the rest of the world, it is new and exciting to me.  🙂

5) Yoga.  Tried a new studio and have gone twice and enjoyed the class both times.  The vinyasa class I did today was difficult.  Hopefully continued practice will help with my balance.  Uffda!

Sunset Kayak

Hi all,

I have subscribers!!  Woo!  🙂  I’m flattered that you wanted to read some more of all these adventures.  Lately they’ve been big, but once I’m back to work, they’ll be smaller.  Welcome.

Well, the pics came out like crap, but last night we went on a sunset kayak tour on Cedar Lake with REI Outdoor School.  We don’t own kayaks, though I hope to someday as I enjoy the paddling experience more than in the canoe.  We do own two canoes!  Believe it or not, neither of us has been able to part with our pre-nuptial canoes 😉 so they are both stored at our rental house.  Well, that’s neither here nor there.  The point is that we don’t own kayaks, and even if we had been able to rent them, we couldn’t have had them out at that hour.

The class cost $90 for the two of us, and we could have skipped all the instruction, really. But we had beautiful weather – we couldn’t have ordered better weather if we had a direct line to God – and a unique opportunity with nice people.  Highlights were the sunset, of course, a baby turtle, ducklings, fire twirlers on the hippie beach, skyline views, paddling the channel to Lake of the Isles, almost getting jumped on by bridge jumpers, going back through the channel by headlamp.  🙂

Another fun thing is that we had skied these lakes last February in the City of Lakes Loppet 10K event, so we were trying to remember the route from a totally different perspective, entrance point, and season.

Fun!  These summer adventures are feeding my soul.

The Chiropractor and The Goodwill Outlet

I went to a chiropractor for the first time ever today.  I was a bit skeptical, having heard the “quackropractor” comment enough times in my life, really, but on the advice of my very trusted MD I decided to give him a shot.  A few weeks ago I did *something* to my back and it hasn’t been healing.  Luckily it’s just an irritation in the SI joint and not a slipped disk or or anything like that.  It’s nothing that some exercises and posture can’t eventually fix.  So I am icing and doing exercises and keeping my fingers crossed.

After the chiro appointment we did some garage sale-ing (no luck) and went to a medical supply store to get me a lumbar cushion (which I will be returning as it is too thick).  Anywho, right behind the store is the Goodwill Outlet.  I’d seen this sign a million times driving home from work, but for whatever reason, always had assumed that it was closed down.  Well, it was anything but.  That place was hopping!

Basically how it works is there are about a dozen humongous tables where culled items, mostly clothing, from Goodwill stores are dumped out.  You have to dig through them and see what you can find.  Then, about every 10 minutes, the staff rotates out the clothing from a group of four tables.  They scoop up all the clothing on the enormous surface and dump it all into one of those ginormous boxes like the ones that produce is shipped in.  These containers are about 6 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet – you can kind of see them in the pic below.  They have to use a pallet jack to move them around, they must be so heavy with all the clothes in them!  Then, once everything is cleared off, they bring over another of these huge boxes and dump it out on the table.  All the people stand waiting politely until they have done this on all four tables, then the staff gives the signal and the digging commences.  (We committed a faux pas and started in on the first table and got some instructions at that point.)  A few shoppers had carts stacked about eight feet high, and then they would park at the edge of the store and comb through all of it.  The clothing was sold by the pound rather than by the item, so there are mega deals to be had – if you have the patience.  There were a lot of things about the place that we couldn’t figure out about how it all worked, but we managed to purchase a few items – about four fall shirts for me, one for Bryce, and a nice pair of rubber boots for him.  We grabbed a pair of Patagonia pants for eBay and an 80s shirt to sell online as well – those were a gamble but at such rock bottom prices it really wasn’t.  If we have to donate them back to Goodwill, well, the circle can begin again.  😉  Interestingly, the clerk I was chatting with said that anything that doesn’t sell gets farmed back out to Goodwill stores!  She said it’s just all about keeping the inventory fresh for people and that there are so many stores that it works well.

I took one quick pic to help you, the reader, understand the scale of the operation, but didn’t want to make a spectacle out of the shoppers, who in some cases appeared to be immigrant families or other individuals down on their luck who truly may be relying on the Goodwill Outlet – so I want to acknowledge that what was a quirky and fun adventure for us could have been a lifeline for someone else.

We’d go back!

Goodwill Outlet at University and 280 in Minneapolis, MN

The Goodwill Outlet at University and 280 – clothing to the right, conveyor belts with hard goods to the left.