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Haven’t posted about our date nights lately, so I here goes a multi-month dump!

(For those who don’t know the background: when Singer Girl left for college in fall 2018, HWSNBN looked at me and said “we’re in a rut.” Guess dinner on the couch Netflixing wasn’t keeping the love alive. But I was exhausted from always being the planner, and fighting for something new to do. Thus the plan was hatched: we alternate planning date nights, and the other person has no say in what we do. We all know how it goes? What do you wanna do? I dunno, what do you wanna do? Let’s do this. Nah. How about that? Eh. And so on. Now we just tell the other person what to wear and when to be ready!)

We didn’t go out so much during the months that our kids were visiting (December-February), and there was one big extended date night in February that I’ll talk about in a later post. But we managed to find some moments to date, albeit pandemically. In December we did a few drive-by things, including light displays at Sovereign Estates Winery in Waconia and inflated animals at the Minnesota Zoo. TBH, the first was more interesting, while the second was underwhelming.

I was thrilled when things started opening up so we could have more options for fun. On one of my weekends, we visited the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis. I hadn’t been there since I was a field trip chaperone for my son in elementary school. This small but detailed place focuses on science and technology and is very interactive. It’s housed partially inside a beautiful old house, and is located on the shores of Lake Bde Maka Ska. We agreed this would be a stunning place to have an event. We had fun making music, watching the Mary Shelley Frankenstein exhibit, and especially going on the hunt” for hidden Lego figurines (all the figurines represented famous people in science).

Next weeked it was his pick, and we wandered the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen. We’d never been at this time of the year. You’d think it would be boring, with nothing blooming. But it made it easier to see things, and we found areas we’d never explored before. I’m so glad I gave him a membership for Christmas. We need to go back every month to see the changes! I really loved being there with all the maple syrup harvesting!

We both love looking at homes, so for my next pick we visited several of the pricier homes on the Parade of Homes. It’s always interesting to see what people highlight in new construction. We usually found something here and there, whether it was a really cool light fixture, a second “parallel” kitchen (that was cool) behind the main one, or a stunning view. We rarely find a home that we would trade for the one we have, and that’s a good feeling.

For our last March date, HWSNBN booked us a great one. We went to REM5, a virtual reality “parlor” in St Louis Park. I went first, and found myself under the ocean, touching sea anemones and coming this close to a passing whale. He tried golf and football. Then I got back up, and attempted a cooking show. Maybe our fave one was Google Earth. Sounds dull, but we were able to fly over places we’d visited, retracing steps n favorite vacations in places like Rome. Then we “visited” Sailor Boy’s new location in Sicily. We were just about to see our childhood haunts when time ran out. Guess we have to go back!

For awhile for dinners it was takeout like the yummy spicy crispy goodness from North Coop. Or we had to eat outside, even in a Minnesota winter. It wasn’t that bad, as long as you dressed for it!

Once restaurants and bars were allowed to open their doors, we rushed in (safely, of course). Thanks for the food, fun and hospitality to the following places: Tequila Butcher, Hazelwood, Birches on the Lake, Pub 819, Constantine, and Whiskey and Soda.

How are you spending date nights? Do you have any suggestions for us? We’ve already had fun in April — with more to come! Stay tuned!

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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