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Back to School, Back to Date Nights!

When Singer Girl went back to school in August, we realized it was time to kick date nights back into gear. It’s harder now, in some ways, to find wild, new, interesting things to do. I mean, the world is kinda shut down, so options are fewer. That just means we have to dig a little deeper. But hey: every little outing feels like a gala ball when you are starved for social interaction!

In September we tried several new places, while still finding time to visit a few treasured faves. The first weekend of the month we were in Madeline, and I covered that last post. The next week we had two date nights, one picked by me, the other by him.

First up: my turn! On Thursday night we did a double appointment with my acupuncturist, Kate at Peak Life Clinic. Ironically, HWSNBN is the one who got me started with the needle life, but he’d never been himself. So our date nights worked well to get him there (remember the rules: one person plans, and the other has no say!). Afterwards we visited Cast and Cru restaurant, where we haven’t been in far too long. It’s weird seeing the Old Log Theater quiet. We also realized that this winter Cast and Cru probably won’t open up the little cabin bar we enjoyed squeezing into last year. But a well-poured cocktail from the C & C bartenders does help dull that pain!

For our anniversary, HWSNBN took the lead. He has always liked basing gifts and celebrations on the “traditional” gift guides for anniversaries. The gift for 26 years is evidently photography, so we wandered around some lovely galleries in Minneapolis looking for a lovely piece of art to put on our sadly barren walls. Some of the places we enjoyed included the Groveland Gallery and Galeria do Beija Flor.

One of the best parts about exploring the world on foot is getting lost and finding treasures. One such place was the amazing Brickmania.

We caught sight of the amazing Lego reconstructions of the USS Missouri. Cannot wait to bring Sailor Boy here some day. He will geek out, just like we did.

One of our favorite crazy places to shop is Architectural Antiques. I mean, from door knobs to church pews, bowling alleys to antique crystal chandeliers, they’ve got it. We have bought many special things here over the years — like our copper front door, and the stained glass double doors on HWSNBN’s office. We didn’t buy anything today, but oh, man, did I want to!

We also enjoyed a jaunt around the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Afterwards it was dinner at PS Steak, then we stayed the night at the cooler-than-us Hewing Hotel.

The next weekend I had a puppy party for work so we borrowed a couple of puppies to be our arm candy at Excelsior Brewing Company, our fave neighborhood beer joint.

The next day we double dated with our friends Matt and Kristy, and hit a few breweries and wineries out west.

The next weekend, the last in September, our weekend was a little busy so we couldn’t do much just the two of us. But we managed to squeeze in a PHENOMENAL meal at Vann Restaurant, a place we’d never yet tried.

That food was simply elegant and delightful!

As I write this we’ve already done a few fun October date nights, but TBH it’s gonna get harder with the double whammy of COVID-19 and a Minnesota winter. But we’ll prevail!

Oh: and stay tuned for a super exciting post in a day or so!!!

Fun shopping day quickie!

Bought some fun stuff today!  Remember those stained glass bifold doors I posted a pic of a few weeks ago?


Well, we bought those today  for Rich’s office.  They will open int the main great room, so will be a stunning focal point.


We also bought a stained glass window for my office, and this super cool front door:  It is bronze clad oak (the bronze is on both sides).  The coloring reminds me of the Statue of Liberty, and, as job superintendent Bill pointed out, will add a real old-world touch to a new home.  Continuing with the desire to have a home that looks like it has been here awhile! By the way:  interested in finding your own treasures?  Check out (ask for owner John) and (ask for salesgal Emily) in Minneapolis!

Are we getting warmer?

The weather folks are positively giddy — every day this week shows an slight increase in temps, and we might actually have our first full week of work on the job in perhaps a month.  Site manager Bill has been frantically moving stuff onto the site in advance of the road restrictions which began this past weekend (Most cities don’t allow heavy equipment on the roads March 1- May 1, due to thawing.  No thaw in sight here, but we had to work with the calendar).  So all the trusses are on site, even if they aren’t due to go up any time soon.

As you can see from the photos, the basement is partially framed, and the beginnings of the main level floor are in place.  The house feels tiny right now, but we have been warned that that is normal.  We just have to trist that the dimensions we agreed on for the house are going to work! Too late to change it now!

Rich and I narrowed down our tile choices this week, and are pretty close to done.  We still aren’t set on the master bath, however.

We also visited a few fun places this weekend to look for some special touches.  We want a unique front door, like something you would see on an old house in Italy.  We found a very interesting one at City Salvage in Minneapolis.  It’s probably from the 19-teens, and is bronze covered wood.  It has a greenish patina, and an arts and crafts circular design on it.  The same store also had a fun stained-glass window.  We have a wird place to put in a window: my office”window” looks into a hallway, not outside.  I need the light, but don’t want folks to have to stare at my messy desk, so this is perfect.  At another salvage store, Architectural Antiques, we found some amazing doors that would be ideal for Rich’s office — decorative enough to be a   piece of art in our great room!


Not sure if we will bite the bullet on these items, but I do love the idea of using some unique items to personalize our home! 

Rich and I have also started sifting  through lighting catalogs.  His eyes glazed over early in the process, so I do not anticipate this being a painless adventure. Our tastes don’t always correspond, but I think in the end we will be fine.  We visited some new houses on the Parade Of Homes tour, and were underwhelmed.  Each house had some nice things, but none of them made us wish we were moving into those instead of looking forward to moving into OUR home this summer.  That’s a good thing, right?


That solid cement wall is where the tv will be in the great room. The gap in the framing is a future French door.


Beyond the framing is Carter’s future room


The cement wall will be the back of the main basement bath (shared by Carter and guests)


That ladder will be replaced by a staircase!


A lovely winter construction scene!




Some time next summer, a drum set will be sitting right here!


This plywood is the beginnings of our main floor!

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