Friday, June 25, 2010

Blog Hi Hi

After a few weeks of deliberation/hibernation/stagnation... I've decided to combine my personal blog with the family blog.

The Barrett Banter blog was started on a whim, and then became an important link to family while we were away in DK. Then I started up my own blog because I wanted to rant about things and people, experiences I was having specific to being an expat, food, politics (and I knew some of the family really only cared to see 'what was up with Pete'. Those people don't know who they are - because they don't read this blog).

Two blogs worked fine before. I was unemployed.

Now its just too much. I'm working, Pete is in school. Rich started a new job (yep, we won't be on another expat assignment anytime soon, bummer).

So off I go to Barrett Banter. If you don't mind more of my son Peter, come along with me.

Link to Barrett Banter

Ahhh, remember when...

Now that I'm gone from Denmark I am free to fantasize that it is the most idyllic place on earth. I listened to a show yesterday on how people can only survive (mentally) by their memories. And those memories are not non-fallible. We change them (whether we realize this or not) to be what we want them to be.

Survival is not based on intelligence - but adaptability (and that might mean selective memory modification).

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back Online @ Home

About three weeks ago I dumped a nice, full, steaming cup of coffee all across my laptop. Nice. That laptop was less than 10 months old. Tears ($$ tears).

I promptly went out and bought a new one. We don't have TV, so internet is our small connection to the greater world. I got the same one I had before (minus the fancy graphics card). However, the guy had to give me a returned one, since there were no un-opened ones. He said it had been checked out, and was ok to go.

I took it home, and left it to sit for a few days. I just had bad computer vibes. Well, it turned out that that one was a dud. The fan ran constantly. So I took it back.

They gave me a brand-spanking-new one. I took that one home and sat on it for a few days. If I don't turn it on, then I won't have any problems see.

So maybe, little by little, I'll feel more comfortable with tapping away on this thing, downloading pix...only time will tell.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Music

A MN artist let's any-one stream any-of his three albums, whenever you want. Just click the first play button after 'Share' and it will happily play you the whole album.

Jeremy Messersmith - The Reluctant Graveyard

Now I'm bugging out of work early to go have lunch and recess with Pete.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Time Time Ticking

Lately, I've been busy trying to get some jobs out of the way - so that I have more time to just to what I want to do. One that been hanging out there in process for a couple of months are the hearts.

My soon to be sister-in-law (marrying my husband's brother) asked me to make 180 Danish paper hearts to be used as party favors at their wedding this June. Two years ago I made Danish woven hearts as gift tags for Christmas presents; that's how she 'found' out about these things. The plan was to do them in the dead of winter, when I had nothing else to do. Well, I don't know what I did last winter, but it wasn't this little project.

I've made good progress on them this week with the help of the new Margaret Atwood book - After the Flood. I was able to download the audio book for FREE from from my library. Sooooo awesome! (I love free.) The interesting thing will be how long it sticks around in the download program - a program on my computer, not online). I think I read some sort of message about how I have 21 days to listen to it. Maybe it self-destructs? ??

I'm also trying to get a bunch of work done at work so that I can take some days off. I want to be home all alone, with nothing to do. No Danish hearts, no cleaning, no cooking...this may all be a fantasy that I've worked up in my mind, but its my goal right now.

Oh yeah - and just to make you people in DK feel better. It snowed here last night. And later this morning - in freezing temps - I have to sit outside and watch my son play t-ball.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mutant Asparagus

Can you see the tip of this thing?

I was out looking for wetlands on a hazardous waste site yesterday and I found this guy growing out of the base of a concrete block. There was only him though, and I won't be eating it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


For the past three weeks I have been obsessed with garlic mustard. Any chance I get I'm out in my backyard, my neighbor's backyard, or the neighboring empty lot - pulling this thing with a vengeance. In certain areas its 100% percent of the total cover. Just a crazy carpet of this crap, that will eventually go to seed and produce an even denser and larger diameter carpet next year.

This is an edible plant, brought over from Europe long ago. Since its non-native it has no nature enemies to keep it under check. No animals browse it, no bugs eat it. You get the first one in your yard and think - look how pretty, its shiny and bushy and it has that nice white flower. Then it goes to seed, which is scattered by animals and kids all over the place, and before you know it you've been successfully invaded.

Removing it all from my yard took time. But I did it. Now I want it out of my neighbor's yard - for obvious reasons. However, convincing some people that this thing should be at the least managed is challenging. But I have hope that - with a smile and a free flyer, I will prevail.

Link - Garlic Mustard flyer from WDNR. Know your enemy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


For the last few months, Rich and I have been contemplating what we were going to fill our plant boxes with. They are nice and tall - to make gardening easy. But that's also a lot of volume.

Well the other day, driving to get my hair cut, I spotted through the leaf-less trees a giant pile of black. It turned out to be a HUGE compost pile from yard waste for the city next to us. They put it outside their gate, so we figure its free for the taking. So far Rich has made about 7 or so trips, about 8 pails each trip. And I think we finally have filled the boxes.

This is a pic of my buckthorn removal progress. Our back lot line used to be a solid wall of the stuff. I saved the native bushes (those are the little stumpy trees that are left) and we'll see how they do now that they have been "released" - released from their confinement trying to grow in the buckthorn.