Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Central Pennsylvania Residents Are Again Confused Over When Halloween Really Is.  Bahahaha...true headline from the local newspaper website.  Pennsylvania is confused.  Confused with their crazy nonsense rules and plans.  I've never lived in a place where Halloween is celebrated on so many different nights or seen so many towns with their very own Halloween parades.  Trick-or-treating in our neighborhood was supposed to be last Thursday, October 27, from 6-8 PM while I was at work.  Don't worry, that didn't happen.  The festivities were cancelled due to inclement weather...a.k.a the LOW temperature for the day was 41 and we had 0.01 inch of precipitation (scattered sprinkles).  Instead, trick-or-treating was moved to Monday, October 31, (on HALLOWEEN...what a novel idea)!  Still not sure what we're actually in for...because apparently it's too scary to go and ring doorbells, so if you're in the mood to hand out candy to costumed kids you must sit out on your front porch to meet them.  Hmmm.  No wonder people are confused...nothing here makes sense.  It did give us a couple of extra days to try and get pumpkins carved (we've been procrastinating on that a little).

Oh, BTW...about the whole inclement weather thing, we've obviously been through an earthquake, hurricane, tropical storm, and flooding of the century, and the Snowtober snowstorm can now be added to the list.  Snowstorm Halloween, Halloween snowstorm.  I know I mentioned it the other day too, but I ran across a couple of newspaper stories and photos to remember the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991 with...n-o-s-t-a-l-g-i-a.  As the Star Tribune put it, Halloween Blizzard of '91...'A Heck of a Trick'.  28.4" of the white fluffy stuff (although it was 36 something inches in Duluth).  Still trying to remember what I dressed up as; thought it was princess Jasmine from Aladdin, but that had to have been the following year as the movie didn't come out till 1992.  Must have been a cold Halloween in '92 as well, cause I remember bundling up under that costume, too!  Doesn't really give the same effect when you have a winter coat under your belly shirt and harem pants.

It's a bit difficult to come up with a whole host of photos from way back in 1991, but to give you a sense, here are a few that I found posted across the internet...

Not a technique that is gonna get her very far...but I'm not sure much else would either. 

Snow, snow, snow...and more snow

This too is apparently from 1991, although it looks about 40 years older...I think technology has since advanced a bit!

Either way, there's less snow today than there was 20 years ago...time to go get some pumpkins carved and get ready to hand out some candy!!!  HAPPY PUMPKIN DAY :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


...or maybe I should call it Snowmageddon...or Snowpocalypse.

My plan for yesterday afternoon was to sit on the couch and blog.  Nature seemed to have a different plan.  Let's backtrack...

Friday:  Forecast calls for snow on Saturday; people start preparing...a.k.a reminders that nursing staff are essential personnel which means show up to work in the snow (duh) and a trip to GIANT for a few groceries = the carts are all gone and folks are apparently stocking up on the essentials.

Saturday AM:  Weather is rainy; we sit on the couch for a bit before meeting the neighbors for coffee (<3) at Little Amps.  0930--the rain turns into gigantic snowflakes the size of quarters, or perhaps half dollars.  1100--drive to the gym; get annoyed by other drivers less than a mile from our home...they're driving cautiously slow and leaving ample room to brake, however, the ground is still warm enough that the snow is melting as it hits the pavement.  1215--finishing our workout at the gym when I notice that DishNetwork is searching for a signal (no thunderstorm in sight), not a good sign; lights flicker and generator kicks in...really!?!?  At this point there's seriously maybe 1-2" in the grass and some slush on the roads.  We brave the rest of the city gathering some snacks, getting some beer, and finalizing the accessories for our Halloween costumes.

Saturday PM:  1240--While finishing up at the grocery store, the neighbors inform us that there is no power.  Arrrggghhhh.  My message text message on group me, "Pretty sure if I lived in a damn igloo back in MN, I'd still have electricity".  1300--arrive home, no power.  Notice on the drive home that a good number of PA drivers apparently don't see the need to use headlights during snowstorms.  The only snowplows in sight are the ones plowing the parking lots of shopping malls.  After bitching a little more about the craziness of the situation, we commence sitting on the couch.  No power to blog or bake cut-outs for the party.

Saturday (later) PM:  1530--power back on.  Life resumes as normal.  Shower.  Make cut-outs.  Prepare for an Olde Uptown Halloween Spooktacular.  Party into the wee hours of 10/30/2011.

Apparently this is a PennDOT snowplow.  I'm a little skeptical cause I didn't see even ONE on the streets yesterday.

Not bad, a little bit of snow.  I think a little plowing would definitely make the roads look like less of a mess. I'll give Pennsylvania this, yesterday was the first time they'd had measurable snowfall in October since 1979.  And, yesterdays whopping 5" did break the October snowfall record of 2.1" set back in 1924.  However, I'm pretty sure they're well aware that snow is snow and they see the white stuff falling from the sky at least a few times each year.  So...why does life come to a complete stop when 5" of snow falls and (get this!) temperatures were going to be back in the 40-50's with sunny skies the next day.  It OBVIOUSLY isn't going to hang around.  In fact, much of the snow had already melted by the time it stopped falling from the sky yesterday.  All I can say is that we're in for a treat of a winter if this is the way things normally go...I <3 snow days, perhaps?  Kind of funny, but kind of a crazy experience!

To go a little nostalgic on ya, it got me thinking about the old Halloween Blizzard of 1991. I remember trying to fit my costume over my snowsuit and trudging around in the snow to get (what presumably was) frozen candy.  :-)  It is the 20 year anniversary, after all.  More on that to come later...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top of the Rock

What would a trip to New Yizzy be without viewing the city from above.  Saturday was picture-perfect, so we hit up Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck.  It's a visit I'd definitely recommend the next time you're in NYC!

Muahahaha...maybe, just maybe I thought I'd get to see Brian Williams...or Matt Lauer...or Ann Curry.
No such luck--just a bunch of tourists like us!

Rockefeller Plaza, not nearly as impressive as I thought it'd be

Hubs going to check out all of the skaters while we waited in line for our tickets to Top of the Rock

We're clearly not in MN anymore...notice the child in blue who just fell over on his ass and the dude in shorts who appears to be wearing some sort of bike helmet :)

Yay, MN!!

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting...long lines

Mel was pretty sure we'd get a great view from the top of the building...on the 30th floor.  It just so happens that we got an even better view from the 67th, 69th and 70th floors where the real top of the building was.  Still waiting to get there :)
The actual elevator ride or "sky shuttle" to the top of the building was a bit freaky, complete with sound and light show as well as a glass ceiling...Willy Wonka, anyone?

Tourists!! They've been to NYC dozens of times, but at least us newcomers were able to show them something new!! Complete with the reflection of a Condon in the shadow of the Empire State Building!

The best view of Lady Liberty we got all weekend...we'll have to see her up close on our next trip!

The North side of the building...overlooking Central Park

You can hardly believe such a massive park lies in the center of the cool!

We took lots and lots of pictures on the 67th floor...little did we know that the 69th and 70 floors didn't have the same ~10 foot high glass walls that give all of the pictures a hazy look :-/

Still breathtaking though :) I truly wonder how long it would take to explore it all...

The girls...looks like one of us forgot to bring sunglasses

...and the group.  One day we'll get Big City to smile for the camera.

The "radiance wall" by Swavorski...I want one!

Going up...

We figured it would be more fun to have a looksie at the Empire State Building
from Top of the Rock, rather than the other way around.  One is a bit more iconic.
Not sure if I'd be able to pick Rockefeller Center out from all the rest!

Ahhh...the sun, fresh air, and NO glass walls!

Doesn't get much higher than this...look at that sky, what a great day!

I wonder what the little boy behind us was thinking...
Again, me squinting without my sunglasses, oops!

I was a little skeptical at first, but $25 a ticket was way more than well worth the views we saw from the top!

The DeBoers...reunited, and Mel's birthday weekend nonetheless :)  What a great pic!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

While the parents are away...

...the pups will play!

We've always had the luxury of shipping our canine children off to be with family or friends if Mike and I ever needed to be away from home for the weekend.  Tank and Kaia are usually pretty well-mannered (well, at least some of the time), but they can definitely run around like a couple of hellions, too!  It's sort of a Jekyll and Hyde type're never quite sure what you're going to get!  Last weekend was the first time we'd attempted to get out of town since our big move to Pennsylvania this summer.  

Luckily, my trip to check out a new consignment shop in Elizabethtown proved doubly successful when I saw an advertisement for the Playful Pups Retreat :)  With a few phone calls and a little bit of running around the city (updating vaccinations, getting copies of medical records, and licensing the dogs with the city)...we took Tank and Kaia for a little facility tour and behavioral assessment early last week.  *sadface*  Neither one of them passed their behavioral assessment with flying colors...Tank was beyond scared of the twelve-week old daschund puppy who had crazy amounts of energy and, well, Kaia just looked at the door whimpering to try and find Mike and I.  

That being said, we weren't sure if either of them were going to be able to partake in the "doggy daycare" festivities that Playful Pups offered while we were gone for the weekend.  The staff assured us they were still OK to be boarded at the facility and they were willing to let both Tank and Kaia adapt to the new surroundings before giving them a second attempt at a behavioral assessment on Saturday morning.  And so, Mike dropped them both off Friday afternoon before we headed out on our road trip.  In the back of our minds we were both hoping they'd get along with the rest of the pups (and also hoping that Tank wouldn't harass Kaia to the point of they were sharing a "Petite Pooch Room" all weekend long).  

Little Miss much smaller than the fire hydrant!

I'm guessing that's the closest she got to another dog all weekend!

Looks like a couple of chihuahuas are enjoying their time in the sunshine :)

How cute it Mr. Tank prancing around in the background!?!

...and apparently running to find something fun

He must have passed his behavioral evaluation...

Needless to say, we were relieved to see pictures of these guys hanging out with the rest of the pups...the center makes sure to post pictures from each day's playtime to their Facebook page; it made it much easier for the two of us to enjoy our weekend knowing that our dogs weren't biting each other's heads off or making trouble with the rest of the daycare kids! 

Mike picked them up on Monday morning and brought them home where they proceeded to spend all day and night s-l-e-e-p-i-n-g...guess it was a successful and exhausting weekend for all of us, not to mention that a three night stay for both dogs (and playtime) only cost us a total of $85!! I don't think we'd find that price at any of the kennels/daycare in MN!  All in all, it was a great experience with the staff at Playful Pups Retreat, we'll definitely take Kaia and Tank back sometime soon!!!