" /> Toads-in-the-Hole: April 2008 Archives

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April 29, 2008

Find o' the Day

Goblet or Skelly?

I just don't know which one of these items is cooler: the handmade wine goblet or the plastic skeleton (minus a few faux-ossified parts).

Skelly was consigned to the trash pile. The goblet was spared for a far-off future day when Joel becomes a Viking and abandons his Wild Turkey for mead.

Tune tomorrow for other great finds from the Miron Garage!

April 28, 2008

The Pulley

Joel and his Pulley save the packing day!

In ev'ry job that must be done

There is an element of fun

You find the fun and snap!

The job's a game

We’re pushing ourselves, but not too hard ...

We’ve decided that before we can really start packing up all of our flatware, bath towels, and clothing, it is our duty to tackle the ghosts of moves past. One of the most attractive qualities of our current housing is the two-car garage. Besides housing two cars, the two-car garage quickly became a depository for all of the bins and boxes of this and that that we lugged across country four years ago.

Just a cursory look around the garage will reveal a ping-pong table, a postcard collection, a white marble fencepost, a pack n’ play, a cast-iron dutch oven, a five-gallon glass carboy, a picnic table, two leaves for two different dining room tables, a 10-speed bike, a deflated child-size swimming pool, and mounds of books, books, and more books. Look above your head and you’ll notice boxes and bags peeking out from under the rafters in the garage attic, too.

As Mary Poppins would say, “In short, you have a ghastly mess.”

So, today, our first official vacation/packing-up day, we’re assessing the mess.

Many of our heaviest boxes wound up in the garage attic, a rickety assemblage of loose boards laid upon the rafters to create a walkway that’s barely navigable by a crouched-down Joel. On a few occasions, he’s stepped incorrectly and plunged one leg down through a gap in the planks, catching himself from falling all the way through by smartly smacking his forehead against a crossbeam or something. So, to make bringing stuff down a little safer, he decided to whip up a simply pulley system. For a mere $14, he bought a threaded hook to screw into the rafter, a pulley to hook onto the screw, and a clip to attach the rope to a large duffel bag. The boxes go into the duffel, he lowers the duffel to the ground, and Aimee unloads the box. She likes to give the cord a couple yanks and yell out “Okay, boss,” to give the whole enterprise a workmanlike atmosphere.

During our three year tenure in this flat, we occasionally noticed a bit of damp and wet in a certain area of the garage, a certain area containing lots of boxes of holiday decorations and heirloom china. With no lingering tests or commitments to forestall our investigation, we timidly lifted the cover off of the icky, moldering lot to find that things weren’t so bad!

With clever use of Joel’s pulley system, we shuttled the old, decaying boxes from the attic to the garage floor and as quick as you can say Bob’s-your-uncle we’d wash, dried, and repacked all of the dampened items.

And so we heartily pat ourselves on the back and go inside to while the rest of the afternoon away drinking beer and playing video games.

April 24, 2008

Lower Math

I stood staring at the toilet paper shelf at the grocery store for several minutes the other day. The question was not whether to by toilet paper, but how much? We’re starting to count down the final days in Vermillion- we move on May 16th- and I’m desperately trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our house. Charcoal, bottles of mustard, diapers, paper plates- all that is consumable must be consumed! Broken crib, rickety chair, ripped jeans- all that is trashy must be trashed! The last thing I need is to stock up on something bulky like toilet paper.

So how much? Normally, we go through toilet paper fairly slowly. We’re once-a-day poopers, and I try to do all my major pooping at work (Pooping on company time gives me a delicious sense of civil disobedience.). Adelaide is still in diapers, and we’ve successfully moved past her habit of giggling while pulling a long strand of toilet paper down the hallway.

Then again, Aimee’s last day at work is today (hooray!), and my last day of class is tomorrow (HOORAY!), which means a lot of at-home pooping. And how should we factor in the wild-cards of three weeks of partying, packing, and loading? All that stress could bind us up, but then again, we might eat and drink too much and get the squirts.

The final conundrum, of course, is the bewildering array of toilet paper choices that are available at even our small grocery store. Single, double, or triple rolls? Quilted? Extra-squishy? Made from fairly traded bamboo stalks or out of angels? I finally threw up my hands and went with 8 rolls of Giant Ultra Quilted Northern (Featuring, for some reason, a cartoon of Queen Elizabeth II. Should I take that as a celebrity endorsement? An indication of the luxurious- nay, royal!- sensation of using Giant Ultra Quilted toilet paper?). 8 rolls of G.U.Q.N.T.P. supposedly equals 20 “regular” rolls (Do they still sell those? Presumably only to middle schools and mental asylums.) I’ll try to let you know how we’re doing, toilet paper-wise, when we move.

April 12, 2008

Book Nook

Tumble Dry Delicate

A couple of nights ago, Joel spirited all of Adelaide’s plush friends away and into the dryer to give them a nice, relaxing massage and spa treatment on the delicate cycle. The following morning, Adelaide discovered her gang and climbed into the dryer to join in on the relaxation.

The Month of March (and early April)

As you might assume, since our March Match was revealed, we've been having lots of fun, lots of adventures, and lots of crazed-sleep ... Here's a photo summary!

Match Day

Match Day (March 20th, 2008)

This is a photo of biggest smile I've ever seen Joel make in the eleven years that we've known each other ... If you could see my smile on the other side of the camera, you would see a smile just as wide. I am so proud of his medical skool accomplishment; Match Day was pudding-proof of all of his hard work.

St. Cloud Celebrations

After the Match, we drove to St. Cloud to celebrate our news and Adelaide and Erin's birthdays. The festivities began at a restaurant that's a family-favorite, the Mexican Village, where birthdays mean a free taco plate dinner ...

Sharks and Candy

... (if you can sneak past the hungry shark in the restaurant's foyer) ...

Fried Ice Cream

... And fried ice cream! Yum!

Saturday brought terrible, snowy, messy weather and a fun gathering of friends and family to celebrate Adelaide's 2nd and Erin's 16th birthday. Both of the birthday girls received piles and piles of fantastic gifts ...

Gimme a Buck

Adelaide's new trike made for lots of laughs and demonstrations of gross motor skills for old and young alike!


Erin absolutely loved her brand-new box of Kleenex tissues! (Erin received a bunch of useful gag gifts, like shampoo and toothpaste, from her loving immediate family before tracking down a new iPod after a treasure hunt.)

Happy Birthday

Iowa City

Last week, we traveled five hours to our new hometown-to-be in search of jobs, daycare, and housing. We had good luck on all fronts as we tackled two job interviews, one daycare visit, and lots and lots of home tours during our visit. We also found time to meet up with Marmee, D, and Erin who traveled down from Minnesota to get a lay of our new land.

Ice Cream

After all of the hard house-hunting work, D and Adelaide found the ice cream at Whitey's to be especially worthwhile and necessary motivator.


I wonder if it's the Millstream Schild Brau or the general state of upheaval that gives Joel and I such an air of ... fear? happiness? madness? hope? ... in this photo. Just moments after this picture was snapped, I ran with my mind wandering and racing to use the restroom and didn't realize that I'd used the men's restroom until my mom greeted me in the hallway giggling. It's big decision-season at our house ... One day brings tears, another day brings laughs. Enter at your own peril!