Friday, June 22, 2012

Washed Away

I had another post planned for today until I went on Facebook and was reminded by the posts of many childhood friends that today was the anniversary of a day that many of us will never forget. One year ago today the Souris River over-topped the dikes in Minot, ND. Minot is my hometown. We moved to CT when I was 13. Some days I miss it more then others. I don't miss the -40 degree weather and the several feet of snow that we would get every winter. We would have to choose Halloween costumes that we could wear over snowsuits because we never knew what the weather would be like. Minot is one of the 5 biggest cities in North Dakota. No I didn't live on farm. I lived on the Air Force Base until I went into 2nd grade, then we moved to town. We had tornado drills in school and I don't ever remember having a snow day. There would be a couple feet of snow on the ground and it was still coming down but we went to school. When my dad retired from the Air Force we decided to move to CT because my parents are both from Massachusettes and that was the closest job Dad could find. But back to the Flood of 2011.

Minot is built in a valley. The Souris River, which is french for Mouse River, runs through Minot dividing the North and South. Normally the Mouse is a very calm river and rarely floods. If any cities ever flood it is usually Fargo and Grand Forks. Well the winter of 2010-2011 was a bad one. The Midwest and Canada had tons of snow. When it melted it started flooding a lake in Canada. To relieve some pressure and reduce the flooding, Canada decided to open their levees which then sent that water south and caused flooding in ND. The only thing that made this somewhat better then it might have been is that because it was a planned release many citizens in Minot and surrounding towns were able to evacuate flood zones prior to the actual flood. Many people moved most, if not all, of their posessions out of there houses or at least to the 2nd floor, in the hope of saving them. They then were forced to leave their homes and either move in with friends, family or even strangers outside of the flood zones. Every hotel room in the area was booked.

Though I no longer live there I had a major emotional reaction to the flood. The local news station in Minot was streaming the news online 24 hours a day. I had it open on my computer at work and just listened all day. The minute the emergency sirens went off they started airing that eerie sound online. I just started crying thinking about the flooding to come, but not knowing how much my hometown would suffer. 

Minot was not the only city or town affected. Many surrounding towns were flooded as well. If you wanted to get from North Minot to South Minot you had to travel 2 hours out and around to do so. Broadway, one of the main roads that connected North and South, was closed for safety reasons.

Here are some pictures of the flooding.
The house on the right with the lighter grey/brown roof is the house of the childhood home of my elementary school friends. Here parents still live here.

This was the fate of many houses. Many of my friends had either their homes or family members' homes get completely flooded.

This was my Middle School. It was one story except for the gym. 
The flood water reached the roof of most of my middle school. Now this school was not right on the shore. It was several blocks away from the river and they had built a 8-10 foot dirt dike around the school and the water still over-topped it. Last I heard the school was almost a complete loss. Once the water was gone the mold started to grow. My childhood home got lucky. I lived about a 10 minute walk from the middle school. However, in an effort to save Minot State University many emergency staff were directed to build a huge dirt wall down Broadway and across in front of the the University. By doing so they cut off my neighborhood from the flood.

Another lucky break for the city was that the Zoo had already evacuated the animals because of a flood threat earlier in the month. The river goes right through the Roosevelt Park Zoo.


Last year Zoo Director, David Merritt, said it may be 1-2 years before they can re-open the zoo. They are still not open yet. The zoo draws 74,000 visitors a year. Currently the Zoo's website says: The staff is '"cautiously optimistic" that the zoo will open in August 2012.

Some people came back to rebuild after the flood, some just left their houses and never came back and some had nothing to come back to. We saw one house get completely washed away by the river.

Below is a video of a lot of the flooding and damage that happened all over Minot. Maybe its just me but I warn you, you might cry watching it. Those sirens still get me every time, I can't even imagine what it was like for the people who lived there.

Minot Flood 2011: 4100 homes heavily damaged by the Mouse River in Ward County in North Dakota. Roughly 12,000 people are displaced and many of those will NEVER be able to return to their homes. This is a tribute to all of "us" who lost our homes!
If you'd like to donate to the recovery process you can go to:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hot Days and Deals!!!

Welcome to Summer!!! Can we now go back to Spring. It is too damn hot in this apartment. OK so you know how people say OMG it is so hot. My house/apartment is really hot. Yeah you don't know what hot is until you live in my apartment. Unlike the winter time when you would think the heat from the first two floor apartments would rise and warm our apartment, totally must go right out the room because this place is freezing in winter, the heat loves to just hang-out in our apartment. Even once we get an AC in the bedroom window we will never suffer from it being too cold no matter how high or long it runs. We like to tell people how hot our apartment is and they are all like "Oh I know my place gets so hot too." But no you don't know. You know how you know your house or apartment has reached total hotness. When shredded cheese starts to melt on your tossed salad. That's right shredded cheese on cold lettuce and other cold veggies is melting. This totally happened the first year we moved in. We try to avoid this as much as possible. The second summer we were here we even resorted to 2 air conditioners. I think the kittens appreciated it during the day while we were at work.

On a much cooler note I went to one of the most amazing places ever today. I visited one of the mother ships today - DSW. That's right Designer Shoe Warehouse. 

If you don't have one near you, you need to find one. I was in search of a pair of flip flops. I had thrown out my only two pairs and hadn't gotten the chance to buy a new pair. Every so often the past month I would be getting dressed and remember that I did't have flip flops (Well damn this outfit will look stupid with sneakers, now I need to change my clothes). So before we get to what I bought lets talk about the crazy shoes I saw that I didn't buy. (Sorry for the blurry cellphone pics. I was trying to take them without looking like a total weirdo)

Really... Flowery tie-dyeish heels.

Dorthy's magic slippers have gone purple!

I think these shoes need to take a trip back through the time machine they showed up in.

So here are the flip flops that I bought today. I looked at a bunch of flippy flops but most of them were crap. There were the cheap plastic ones, a bunch of pairs that are made of hard cardboard or wood. The ones I found are nice and squishy. Great for walking around.

Of course while walking around DSW I decided that I can't leave without checking out the clearance section at the back of the store. Of course I found a pair of super cute Anne Klein open-toed heels. 

The amazing news is the heels were 70% off. That actually made them less then the flip flops.  The flippys and the heels only cost me just over $30 bucks. Score!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Its a Bird, Its a Dragon, Its a Puggle...

So first up is a box full of some cupcakes that we got back at the beginning of the month. We decided to stop at the mall to look for a birthday gift and see what was going on. Our mall had just finished a bunch of renovations so they were having a Grand Re-opening celebration. Well, while we were there we found out that there was a new little cupcake bakery called Yellow Bird Cupcakes in the mall.

Yellow Bird Cupcakes

They had so many cool flavor combos and they were offering 20% off a dozen as part of the malls celebration. Here is an image of all the yummy cupcakes we bought.

From left to right:
Royal Bird - Chocolate fudge cupcake filled with rich chocolate mousse and covered with chocolate ganache.
Ooey Gooey Bird - Brown sugar cupcake filled with salted caramel and topped with salted caramel buttercream frosting
Scarlet Bird - Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting
Calypso Bird - Key lime cupcake with a lime glaze, topped with a freshly lime-zested buttercream frosting and a lime garnish
Sunny Bird - Tangy lemon cupcake with lemon curd filling and topped with lemon buttercream frosting
Hopping Bird - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and walnuts
Calypso Bird
Sunny Bird
Beanie Bird - Moist vanilla cupcake with rich vanilla buttercream frosting
Scarlet Bird
Cordial Bird - Mint chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips and mint buttercream frosting
Royal Bird

And they we so yummy though I felt the Carmel was too salty in the Ooey Gooey Bird.

So on our anniversary we went to Get Fired Up! A little ceramics painting shop. They have all these unglazed ceramics that you can paint and then they fire them for you and you come back and pick them up a week later. Andrew decided to paint a dragon and I painted a large trivet. For mine I used the pattern from our wedding invitations and wedding colors, then put our wedding date in the center. Because they had so many pieces they ended up doing an extra kiln firing so our pieces were actually ready on Saturday.

Here are the in progress shots

And here is the final piece after being fired. I think I'll get a plate hanger so I can put it up.

Andrew loves dragons and the color blue so what better then a blue dragon. Here is my hubby painting away.

Finished and Fired breathing.

I think they came out great! And while we were walking around we decided to stop in a few thrift/antique shops. In one they had a bunch of antique and vintage pieces of furniture. This little crib was my favorite though by today's safety standards the sides probably wouldn't be considered high enough, but I loved it.

Especially once you put a mattress in there. But look at the detail of the headboard. One really cool thing is if you lift out center mattress supports the two end sides are hinged so they fold in and the whole thing flattens. It also has little wheels on the bottom of all four feet. I think I may have really considered buying it if we were having a baby any time soon. It was priced at $350, though I'd really have to consider the safety issue.

And last but not least we went to visit our friends Mike and Kristan. They moved into a new apartment that is closer to us then they used to be and just got a new puppy. Little Raisin is around 9 or 10 weeks old and is a puggle (Pug x Beagle). She is so cute and really loved the toys we brought her especially the squeaky orange tire.

We kind of tuckered her out. Her mom and dad appreciated that since the got at least 7 hours of sleep. A new puppy has been kind of like a new baby. With some sleepless nights and a lot of whining. :) But who could resist this cuteness.

Well I guess I really need to start blogging more often so I don't keep making these really long posts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

731 Days Ago = 2 Years

I have other posts that I need to write and publish but this one overrides all of them in priority. 2 years ago on June 12, 2010 I married my best friend and the love of my life.

We had known each other for 8 years, been dating for 5 years and engaged for 2 years. We met when we were juniors in high school. My friend Kristy and I met up with her friend Luc and his friend Andrew for a movie and some bowling. What movie did we see? Monsters Inc. ☺ I learned after Andrew and I started dating that he had a crush on me from the first time we met. We were friendly through out high school but never dated. I had a crush on him for a little while but so did my best friend so I never did anything. Andrew thought I had a boyfriend so he never did anything either.

We then graduated high school and headed off to different colleges. I transferred to the local community college my 2nd year and we reconnected. We started hanging out on campus and then started shooting pool with friends or bowling and then it just progressed into a relationship. He is my perfect match we are both major dorks and I don't think anyone else could handle our weirdness.

Two years down and many, many more years of mutual weirdness to go.

I love you Andrew and can't wait to spend those years with you no matter how weird they are!