Blog Archives

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!!!

Falling low, Swinging High, and Getting Stabbed

One of my resolutions was to blog more, and if I didn’t have something to write about, I should find something. So I slipped on the ice, paid to have needles rammed into my body, and flew through the air. At the same time — and not.

Let me explain.

We’ve had an interesting couple of months, weather wise, in Minnesota. Currently we are going through a massive and frankly nerve-wracking melt down. With record levels of snow fall in February, and lots of rain and melting temps in March, people are bailing out basements and digging out storm drains and bagging sand.  This might get very ugly.  We are torn.  We desperately want spring, but man it is a wet price to pay.

In January, we enjoyed (survived?) the Polar Vortex. It was effing cold. For a week, our temps raged from a high of 17 F to a low of -26 F — without wind chill.  It was tough. Then we spiked to 39 and everything MELTED. Good news? Nope. Then it froze. Hard. Sheets of ice so beautiful and deadly we even had a snowplow truck slide sideways down a hill (

This big freeze happened on a day devoted to friendship, side bets, and nachos: Super Bowl Sunday. I was enjoying a party at our friends’ home, and after the game stepped outside to go home.

One step. And I was up and DOWN.

My husband saw it happen — our friends cred out for help.  Everyone assumed I would have a concussion as it was hard. The cold ice actually felt good for a minute, so I chose to lay there, taking stock, assessing the damage. Nothing apparently broken, amazingly. We would late find out that hospitals were full of the injured, many with brain bleeds.  Hand surgeons would be booked nonstop to repair all the appendages fruitlessly used to break falls. Luckily my hands were full of leftover yumminess, so the only casualty related to my hands was some spilled meatball sauce (and if you have had my friend Sandi’s balls, you know that is a tragedy).

But the price for intact hands was a whacked back. After a week of muddling through the gripping, breath-taking pain, I got checked out by a doctor who proclaimed me only bruised, thankfully. But this pain wasn’t going anywhere, so HWSNBN decided I should try something new: acupuncture.

I guess he knows me well — I rarely shy from adventure, so I was game.  I mean, it might help. A few days later I was having my pulses listened to and my tongue examined.  Then it was lay down (easier said than done) and prepare to be pricked.

The whole thing was pretty cool. I have done three sessions so far with Meghan at Peak Life Clinic ( The first time I went in I could barely move; by the time I left I was pain free. Now, it didn’t last forever, but each time I have gone in I have felt better and better. She does my front first, then my back, then cupping (google images of Michael Phelps, cupping, and you will get an idea of what my back looked like!). It’s relaxing, and weirdly successful. Heck, one time I was congested from a cold. She stuck a few well placed needles and within minutes my nose was clear and dripping. Very weird!

At my second session, we talked about my date night that evening, and how we were about to do something probably really stupid for my healing back: trapeze lessons. Yes, HWSNBN and I dragged our 50 year old bodies up a long narrow ladder and jumped off the platform. Repeatedly. I booked the class at Twin Cities Trapeze Center (

For 90 minutes we were strapped in and swinging, culminating in an actual catch by another person.  I mean: so cool! And soooo hard. When I first revealed to HWSNBN what we were doing, he was giddy, boasting he would be doing flips and stuff (and reminding me of his brief foray into gymnastics as a kid). After one turn on the bar, we quickly realized this was not a game for the young. We were so exhausted by the end of the night we couldn’t even make it to after-event cocktails (which really sucked, because my outfit that night was super cute: some 20-something gals ask me where I got my clothes, as they said I was the best dressed person in the room when we went to dinner before the lessons. Total ego boost!).

The next day we were comparing bruises, and deciding which hurt most — the backs of our legs, or our shoulders, or, in my case, my back.  So yeah: not the best activity for my bruised back.

I have since done more acupuncture, and some chiropractor appointments. The healing process is often two steps forward, one step back.  Oddly enough, getting back on the treadmill made all the pain go away for several days (until I had to lift and twist and move supplies while volunteering at Secondhand Hounds).  I’m looking to add a massage into my mix sometime soon — maybe next week when I can fit it in.In the mean time, I walk like a penguin over the remaining ice patches I see!




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