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Come Play Along…. Fun Facts!

Hi everyone.  I am at a women’s retreat this weekend and have eked out a little time to get on line and catch up a bit as well as post this!

This is a fun ice breaker type post which I have always enjoyed and thought I would bring it to you all!  😀  All you do is leave a comment with a fun little known fact about yourself.  That being something that doesn’t necessarily come up in your every day conversations…. such as a funny happening, or a hidden, unique (or embarrassing) talent, instrument you play, or whatever.

I will start by giving you a few examples of my own (and yes they are all true…):

1.  in 1980 I fell off a horse and on a highway by my home and hit my head.  I was airlifted to Minneapolis and my mother was told I had a 10% chance of living and if I did live, I would be severely handicapped.  (ok not funny then, but now my friends and relatives say that is when I picked up my sense of humor.  😀 ) 

2.  I have been to Honduras 9 times.

3.  I have lived through a house fire and a tornado – on the same property.  (Seriously. I could not make this stuff up.)

4.  On a dare, I once went into a Dairy Queen and asked for a banana split, hold the ice cream, whip cream, and cherries.  I walked out with… a banana.  😛

Ok… your turn… make me smile, make me laugh… amaze me! 

Responses To Your Questions… (my version of The Ask and The Answer)

Yesterday I put up a post inviting you to ask me anything and today I would respond to those questions.   Your questions were fun… and funny and the rest of this post is dedicated to the answers:

Jill from Fizzy Thoughts asked:

SO … what are you wearing on your feet?

Well…. I am wearing my FAVORITE flip flops around the house.  I picked these little jewels up at a clearance sale hmmm… about three years ago.  They have paint on them, they are cracked on the bottom and I LOVE them!  😛

How did I meet Al?

This is a great story!  I worked as a manager at Domino’s Pizza fresh out of High School.  Al came in one day for an interview, he was a drummer in a band and had long hair (funny… as now he hardly has any hair!).  The interview went well but as we finished up I told him that in order to work there he would have to be clean-cut… hair above the collar line.  He got up and walked out of the interview.  😯  Three days later, he came back clean-shaven and was hired.  A year after that we were engaged.  😛

What is the craziest thing I have ever done?

Oh wow… where to begin.  I have done a lot of CRAZY, but I guess most recent in memory would be actually three things, all from this year… one would be jumping into the frozen lake in a prom dress for Special Olympics, and two would have to be colliding with the dude in front of me in June, going 18.6 miles per hour on my road bike on the two-day tour for MS.  The crazy part is that instead of going home after being ambulanced off the trail to the emergency room, I stayed day two and cheered for my team.  My bike, was in no shape to ride day two… neither was I.  😛  And finally it was the Warrior Dash first time in Minnesota that I refused to cancel just because I had a cast on.

Crazy #1: Dressed for ice plunging success... click on pic to go to post

Crazy #1: After The PLUNGE!!! March 2011 in Minnesota. BRRRRR

Crazy #2: Click to see this post

Crazy #3: The Warrior Dash in a cast! Click on pic to go to post

Laurel from LaurelRainSnow (and many blogs 😉 )asked:

I wish I had pushed myself more in High School, but sadly I did not.  I went more in the direction of Drama class and working on the year book.  If I were to do it over again… you bet I would try out!  😀

What were my favorite memories from High School?

I had a hunky hunky boyfriend (yes I said hunky… yes I said it twice).  My car was a black firebird and I loved that car! My BFF and I used to go everywhere in it!

When I wake up in the morning, do you immediately grab some coffee, and then go to the computer? Or do something else…

My morning routine is pretty consistent.  I get up in the morning and head into the bathroom and flip on my IPOD to the audio book I am currently listening to.  I listen to that all through getting ready.  Then I enter the kitchen, turn on the audio book in my CD player on the counter (different audio) while I make coffee and arrange everything I need for work.

Finally, I sit down at the table, and yes, pop open my emails while I have my COFFEE and then I write the morning meandering.  If  I am lucky, I have a book review ready to schedule to go live in the late morning. 

Shannon from Extreme Reading And Writing asked:

When did you start reading?

As far back as I can remember I have been a book-worm.  In 2nd grade I won the book-worm award… I loved to read, slowed down a bit out of high school and in the early years f my marriage and then came back full force to books.

What gave you the idea to create a book blog?

Oddly, it was my Pastor who led me to blogging.  He knew I always wanted to write and helped me set up my wordpress blog.  This forever, was not my first blog… my first blog was Straight On Through and was just random posts about life and happenings and the occasional book.  After about a year of that I started this one to keep track of my book reviews as more of a private book log of what I have read as opposed to the journals I kept of my reading… the rest is history 😀

Kathy from Bermuda Onion asked:

Have I always lived in Minnesota?

For the most part – yes.  I was born here in Brainerd.  In 8th grade after a house fire my mom and I went to live with my aunt and uncle in Soldotna Alaska for a year and I actually started and finished 8th grade there.  Afterwards we came back to Brainerd and rebuilt on the same property, which is the property I live on now.  😀

What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree?

OOH – good question!  My gift from Al is already on my kitchen table, the Cricut and cartridges!  From my sons I have asked them to pick a book off my wish list which I have up in the tab area of this blog for easy access!  😀

Vasilly from 1330V asked:

What’s my blogging routine like?

Lately…. sporadic.  Seems like life has been very busy lately between work and other commitments… at times I mean to write a post at night but find I can not concentrate because I am too tired.  Then, like this weekend, I get in some great reading and blogging time and all is well with the world again.  😀

In good times – I write a morning post of whatever is happening in my life and in the evenings after Al has gone to bed I read and write book reviews.

What is a hard decision you had to make but you don’t regret?

That one is easy, putting our dog down in October.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  It sucked.  It hurt like hell.  BUT – I also know it was the right thing. 

Tanya from Girl asked:

Do you schedule posts in advance?

Yes, as much as possible I do and love it when I am current in my reviews. 😀

What’s a typical day like for you?

Crazy.  But really, whose life isn’t?  On a typical week day I:

Get up around 6:30 am

Get ready for work, get the coffee on, and write my morning post

Work 8:00 am – 3:00 pm where I create, run reports, go to meetings, plan upcoming events, return calls to people, set up class schedules, keep current on invoices, reserve space…

3:00 pm – if out of the office on time I try to hit the gym for an hour of cardio, or a group power class

4:30 pm – home, planning supper and reading emails, checking Facebook

6:00 pm – eat dinner with Al

6:30 pm – Al reads his construction magazines or watches tv, I do some laundry, craft, or read

(On Mondays I have a study from 5:30 – 8, Tuesdays book club 6:30 pm or a meeting, Wednesdays I help with Students from 5:30 – 8)

8:30 – Al goes to bed and I continue reading or writing a review on what I have finished reading, maybe a little TV

11:30 pm – bed

Beth Hoffman asked:

What is your favorite bird?

I guess I have never really thought about this!  Thinking about it now though I am going to say hummingbird.  They are fascinating!

If you could have a secret hideaway anywhere in the world, where would it be?

If I told you it wouldn’t be much of a secret now would it!  LOL  Actually if I could go anywhere to be alone I would love it to be warm secluded beach house right on the beach somewhere.  I could read and write at my leisure!

Kavyen from Reading Between Pages asked:

How many hours do you read in a day?

On average I would say one to two hours a day.  I read a lot in the evenings, and if I have time on weekends.  If you counted audio, I probably get in 2 hours of audio in on average per day between getting ready in the morning, drive time, and cooking in the evening where I listen to audio while I am in the kitchen.

How many hours do you spend blogging vs actually spending time online?

Ugh… do I even want to know the answer to this question?  😛  Lets see, my actual blogging per day is probably about an hour average.  My on-line time per day between emails, words with friends on Facebook, and reading other blogs, probably add a couple more hours to that.  Of course some days are less… but yeah – some days are more.  😯

Christina at Reading Extensively asked:

What is the one book you’ve recommended the most to people this year?

I think that has been The Knife Of Never Letting Go.  This series blew me away and I think everyone needs to read it.

What book would you want to receive for Christmas this year?

There are a few I really am anxious about but I think I would really like The Future Of Us by Jay Asher.  He impressed me so much with Thirteen Reasons Why. 

I love your blog and notice that though you have such a busy life you still find time to write blog posts and reviews. What is your secret?

COFFEE.  😛  Actually I think it is because I have a husband who is out of the house from 5:30 am – 6:00 pm (sometimes later depending on the time of year).  We had our kids early so we are young for them to be all grown up and gone but they are.  I work 25 hours a week and that leaves me with quite a bit of reading and blogging time.

Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition?

Our holiday gatherings are usually just us and the boys and we like to spend the afternoons and evenings munching on left overs from the big dinner, snacking, and watching movies and playing board games.  😀

When a new book is published and you know you want to own it, do you tend to buy it in print or for your Nook?

I buy the book.  Honestly, I have not done much with my NOOK an I know I need to change that.  I am still a real book girl.   I like that I can loan out a book-book to anyone.

Vicki at I’d Rather Be At The Beach asked:

Were you popular in school?

Define… popular.  LOL Actually I was more in the middle group.  I wasnt a jock or a brain.

Did you get good grades?

This is another of those times when I want a do-over.  I did ok in school but I really did not push myself and my mom did not really push me either.  I know, in hindsight I could have done better.  As it was I did ok, I was mainly C’s and B’s.  I loved all my reading and writing classes… hated math.  Still do.  😀

Name the one thing you MUST do on your “Bucket List”

In a soon to be released post you will see some of my crazy plans for 2012… one thing on my bucket list that I still hope to do is ride a mechanical bull.  😀 

Will you move to Florida so I can go biking etc. with you?

I don’t think I will move to Florida however I do love it there!  My son is currently in the Navy in Jacksonville and you never know when I may decide to pop that way.  I also want to VERY BADLY go to Harry Potter World, so depending on where you are, maybe we can get that bike ride in, or at least a trip to a coffee shop to chat and a book store. 😀

Who are your favorite female and male actors?

BRADLEY COOPER!  Oh… did I answer that too quickly?  😳

Denzel Washington DENZEL!!!

Natalie Portman

Jennifer Aniston (although some of her movies – not so much)

Angelina Jolie (I know I know.. but I love the Tomb Raider movies!)

Bonnie from Bonnies Books asked:

What wonderful book would you recommend I read in the coming year?

The books I have been recommending as of late are the Chaos Walking Series which starts with The Knife Of Never Letting Go.   Fantastic!  Also, if you love the 80’s and have fond memories of video games, movies, and popular 80’s stars… I highly recommend Ready Player One – oh and please listen to it on audio. 😀

Millie asked:

How did you get started in your book club? How does your book club select a book? How can I start my own book club?

I started Bookies back in August of 2001.  It started as a way to bring people together who I worked with.  At that time I had been at Wal-Mart for 10 years and thought it was sad we didn’t have connections beyond the time clock.  We started with 3 people… it grew from there.  We have met every month since August 2001.  Over 112 meetings now!

We select books by vote.  We ask that each person bring a book suggestion to the meeting.  It must be a fairly new release (so we can find copies) and it must be in paperback (to keep our cost down). 

To start your own book club I say just do it!  Pick the first book, share what you are planning to do with those you would like to be involved.  If you are open to anyone joining, post about it on Facebook.  Pick a place and a time to meet and go from there.  The library has meeting rooms if you are looking for a public place to meet – or a coffee shop or restaurant is fun too.:D

The Bookies Book Club 2011 Queen Event (click on pic for post)

Alexia561 asked:

What do you call soft drinks where you live? Soda? Pop? Soda pop?

Pop.  It’s funny you ask.  I have relatives in California who call it Coke.  All of it.  “Can I grab you a Coke?” they would say and I would respond no, I like Pepsi.  😛

What goodie are you going to make for the holidays? (I need ideas too!)

Time is of the essence so I am thinking I am going to make some cookies (recipe is going up later today in a Weekend Cooking post), Chocolate and Caramel covered pretzel rods, and Chocolate Biscotti – which is always a hit.  I will post the other two recipes this week. 😀

Do you own a Time Turner like Hermione? Otherwise, how on earth do you keep up with your busy schedule???

I wish I owned a time turner!  Now I want to go back to my above answer to Kathy about what I would like to see under the tree!  Totally time turner.  😀  As far as my schedule I just go and go and go… and then I crash for a day or two (like this weekend).  I can keep the pace up for only so long and then I don’t want to leave the house, talk on the phone, or socialize in any way (beyond this blog).  Yet, once I recharge, I am itching to go go go again!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

There was a time I would have said Florida… I love WARM.  I hate COLD.  But, now there is so much I do love about Minnesota, our seasons are intense, but beautiful (except winter).  I love my friends, I love the bike trails, the long distance rides, adventures, hiking…  Winter I could go to Florida… 😀

Nise from Under The Boardwalk asked:

Which side of the bed to you sleep on standing at the foot and looking toward the headboard?

I sleep on the right side of the bed at home.  Oddly though, if I go to our cabin and Al is not with, I choose the left side there. 

Are you a back, stomach or side sleeper?

Stomach and side, but never on my back…  I have no idea why….

Is there a question that you are hoping no one asks, if so, what’s the question?

What are you wearing?  LOL…. that’s just an awkward/creepy question always!

Marce from Tea Time With Marce asked:

Where has your favourite vacation spot been?

I am going with Costa Rica.  It was a gorgeous trip and we were able to explore a rain forest and swing through it too!  Fantastic place we stayed at – all-inclusive and the tan I got and the books I read!

Have you ever did extreme sports and if not would you?

Define extreme… LOL… actually I am going to do the Tough Mudder event coming here in May.  It is supposed to be really extreme and I am scared and excited all at once!  I will talk more about this in the next few weeks.  😀

What has been your favourite Spoiler book button conversation so far?

Excellent question and man, I miss that spoiler button…I need some big exciting/controversial books to hash out!  The Hunger Games spoiler page still gets hits, people yelling PEETA at me….LOL, The Lightning Thief made me the most angry, but ROOM by Emma Donoghue was probably the best with even a little conversation with the author!

SO wow, that was a lot of fun!  Thanks for the questions 😀

I Am Ready To Answer Your Questions


Ok this is a total shameful taking of another persons idea from another blog.  Jill at Fizzy Thoughts posted on this just yesterday.  I loved the idea of being able to ask her anything, and I did.  😛  Then I went back and peaked at her post again later in the day to see what others were asking her.  They had great questions.

I have always been one of those people who when one of those questions surveys have been sent by email from a friend, I have to fill them out, no matter how dorky they are. (You know the ones, :what time did you get up this morning?  What was the last thing you ate?  What are you wearing on your feet?  Last time you cried?”)

Anyhoo….  this morning I scanned through any pics I could possibly use for Alyce’s Saturday Snapshot, which is what I usually do on a Saturday morning.  We were suppose to go to a Christmas Party last night with friends and I thought that would give me good footage for pics but Al (hubby) was tired after a long day and I admittedly was nose deep in a book and did not mind staying home either.  Anyway – no party  no pics…

This morning although I have many posts to write, I did not want to… as the morning inched on… I could not come up with what I wanted to chat about today.  Then…. I thought of Jill’s post again.  Yes, I could take questions today, and tomorrow morning I could answer them.  This could be fun.

So there it is, a confession, a party fail, a little laziness, and finally… this post.

SO ask away!  And be sure to check out Jill’s post too, she had some fun questions that I wanted to know the answers to as well. 

Ask me anything in the comments below, and tomorrow morning I will post my answers.  😀

So a bike, an ambulance, a great team, a cast and a really bad “pull my finger” joke…

So…. I have been M.I.A. since Saturday morning…. let me fill you in (and bear with me as I type with one hand).  I was on the MS 150 bike ride this weekend in the cities.  We drove Friday night to White Bear Lake, left our cars and then went to Duluth Minnesota.  The ride is Duluth to Hinkley 75 miles) and then Hinkley to White bear Lake (75 miles).

On Saturday morning I got up and was on the road with my team and 4,000+ other riders for this great cause.  The idea was wonderful, good weather, lots of stops every 10 – 15 miles, awesome company.

We were making awesome time and it was coming up on noon and I was about 4 miles from the finish for the day.  I was following a group of guys that were averaging over 18 MPH and I was hanging with them.  About that time another group was passing us on the left and I glanced up to make sure they were all past, when I looked back I was right on the guy in

shoes have clips that lock into pedals for more pedal power

front of me’s tire.  It was too late to do anything… my shoes lock into my pedals and as I tried to swerve I hit and went flying…not a whole lot I remember except my arm went up to protect my head, and next thing I know I am being lifted off the road by the team that was in front of me and carried to the grass.

They helped clean me up, my face was bleeding pretty bad, a lot of cuts and my pinky would not uncurl.  An ambulance was called and came to get me right on the trail.  I then went to Sandstone emergency room where they ran a few x-rays… cleaned me up and came up with a broken pinky, a dislocated finger and wrist. 

I asked how do you fix a broken pinky and the doctor said that he would pull it.  “That gives a whole new meaning to pull my finger,” I said.  He either did not get it, or did not want too… 😛

Part of my team came to the hospital to pick me up and while I waited for the doctor the nurse let them in with me.  They were awesome and cheered me up.  😀

Now thats what I call support!

Belinda.... cracking me up

After my ex-ray and confirmed break, the doctor did actually pull my finger to put it back in place and turns out… that is not funny at all. 

I was put in a cast to keep my fingers and wrist straight.  I have a cut very close to my eye and a small lump on my head.  All in all, I was very lucky.

I did not go home.  I spent day two of the ride going around with the wife of one of our riders and cheering the team in from the pit stops. 

So that is where I have been this weekend.  Monday What Are You Reading is coming up in the morning.  It is just too  late tonight due to this happening.  I am tired.

10 Years From Now…

I am hopping around this Saturday minding my own business when I hop my way over to Slighty More Than Dirt and find Alissa’s post on where we see ourselves 10 years from now.  Now I want to play too.

This is why blog hopping is dangerous.

When it comes to where I would like to be living in 10 years that one is easy.  I will just live here:

Ok… so maybe I am dreaming just a bit but I have always wanted to live some place warm year around and on a secluded beach.  I really value my alone time and I just want to have days of reading and hopefully writing in a cozy little cottage such as this….

I would love for there to be a room in this house like this:

Or this….

(except for the dude…. I don’t know how he got in there unless he is Al in 10 years.  Al?  Is that you)?

As for the where exactly…. that is yet to be determined but the idea has been tossed around maybe in this area:

This is more my dream…. Al would like to live in Florida but I think he would like to be more towards Orlando.

There has also been some talk of possibly living here:

No joke – that’s Honduras.  I am not sure yet if I would want to live there full-time but we have talked about maybe someday spending 3 or 4 months there a year.

If we are in a warm climate year around this would be my vehicle of choice:

and hopefully I would still be fit enough to continue the bike tours that I love on this:

And I would really like to be at this point in my life:

Ok ok…. maybe that’s a bit “shoot for the moon” but I would like to realistically be here:

Yes.  I have always wanted to be a writer.  Many …many ideas.  Just need to get moving.  🙂

Oh and as much as I love alone time…. my 10 year plan still looks like this:

Yes – in my ten-year plan there is still the non fiction super hero of my life, Al. 

If you would like to ponder over where you see yourself in 10 years and post about it – please link back to Slightly More Than Dirt we can all check out the ten-year plan!  🙂

Fall Recipe Exchange: Pumpkin Roll

As promised… here is my recipe for My Friend Amy’s recipe Exchange.  Pop on over to her blog and add yours to her linky as well as check out all the other wonderful recipes that have been linked.  YUM!

Pumpkin Roll


This is one I usually make around Christmas time and then deliver to neighbors and friends.  I wrap the finished product in wax paper, then cover it with colored saran wrap and use crafting twine to add a home made gift tag and tie it with a bow.


3/4 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup of canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet with sides and line ir with waxed paper. Put a light cooking spray on the wax paper and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the paper as well.  Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.

Mix the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,nutmeg, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in a separate large bowl. When well mixed, add in the pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread into pan.

Bake about 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Take pumpkin roll out of pan right away by turning it on to a flour sack towel that is covered with a light layer of powdered sugar.  Carefully peel off wax paper. Roll up pumpkin roll  and towel together, then let cool.


8 ounces of cream cheese

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

6 Tablespoons of butter (softened)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll the pumpkin roll and remove the towel. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin roll. Roll it up again . Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

*  Once refrigerated, you can freeze these as well.  They keep for 60 days and thaw quickly for company, dinners, etc…  This recipe makes one but I have tripled this recipe to make three at a time and that has worked out well.

Countdown to Halloween!

Ok  ha ha… you got to love Jib Jab….  here is the one I made:

Click on the picture and it will take you to our video


This is starring me, hubby monster Al, werewolf Chance, my eldest son Brad (who is going to have my head for putting him in a dress….) and our youngest Vampire Justin.

If you make one too, let me know… I would love to see it!