Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Oh it has been a while! I guess summer equals no time to update the blog! I finished finals a little over a week ago so with my free time, I am trying to get outside and work on other projects that took a backseat to my school work. I am actually pretty disappointed in my grade! On all my projects and papers I got 88% or above, most were 94 and 95. My participation in the discussions though left a little to be desired. So even with my bomb project grades, he gave me a 2.0…a C…what the fudge nugget?!?! No one to blame but myself but I for sure thought I did better than that and my grades proved it! And seriously, he never logged on or gave feedback! I think this may be one semester I complete the end of the class feedback questionnaire! The least I can do is spread my opinion, right?!?!?!

And in my free time I am working out more! That really took a backseat the last few weeks of class! I have been running Lake Calhoun which totally inspires and motivates me! I love the atmosphere and people and the motivation to work hard! And we have had some yucky weather but we have also had some really great nights where I have been able to get out and pound the pavement. Last night I even roller bladed, but they will not become a staple workout…I would much rather run!

Chaz and I have started a string of vacations! He just got back from the Boundary waters and had a blast! Of course with no cell phone service to talk to him, I sure missed him while he was away! This weekend we head up to Laura’s cabin in Wisconsin and the weekend after we head to Ohio for Chaz’s family reunion, then both the Durgins and Emma will visit us the following week! August holds a lot of wedding related stuff for me, in regards to Laura’s upcoming nuptials but we hope to also make it to Wisconsin to a wedding of one of Chaz’s family friends!

I would say that this summer I am most looking forward to some good family time and some good friends’ time! There are a host of birthdays to celebrate, a ton of events, and I am loving every minute! Now if only class didn’t start back up in two weeks!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A family evolves

The below photo is maybe not the most flattering, but it captures that character that my Great Grandma Olga (G.G. Olga-she was like a celebrity) embodied. She had spunk, charisma, and above all, strength. She was the matriarch of my dad's family. We compared her to the Queen of England and since she was Canadian, she may have somewhere down the line been related to the Royal Family. Who knows?!
When she passed away five years ago, our family was affected deeply. I spent the middle part of my freshman year trekking up to Grand Forks or Warroad to help bring a bit of cheer and relieve my Grandma Lainey of some of the stress she was carrying. I would not trade that time for anything. It still makes me tear up thinking about it.
One of the most memorable times I had in those last few months was a Friday night I spent with my Grandma Lainey and my Great Grandma. It was scary, and sad, but now that I look back on it, I view it as a blessing, a time with a true Angel.
It was about midnight and G.G. Olga was trying to fall asleep. This was hard for her because for a while, she really fought death. She did not want to miss a thing so falling asleep seemed to scare her a bit. I slept on a chair that folded out into a bed on the floor to help her if she had to go to the restroom, and my Grandma Lainey slept in the room right next to us.
My Grandma Lainey loves taking care of others and no one more then her mom so undoubtedly, she was on edge during this time. She ran into the room twice because she did not hear G.G. Olga snoring. Finally, I moved off my makeshift bed and offered it to Grandma Lainey while I took the floor. The three of us slept in that room, at least, I think you could call it that.
G.G. Olga woke up at 3:30 am for what I thought was a bit of a snack. However, she was ready to get up for the day. While she sat at the kitchen table, I tried to fall back to sleep but had the urge to not waste this precious time. I got up, went to the bathroom with my clothes and makeup. I got dressed for the day, at 3:30 am, and went and joined my grandma at the table. I made her some breakfast and we sat there a bit, in the bright kitchen light, surrounded by darkness. We started talking about all she wanted to complete. She talked about her personal checks she wanted to get organized and this was something that was really bothering her. I suggested we do it right there. So there we sat, organizing her last three months of checks, even though I knew they would be discarded once G.G. Olga passed. It gave her piece of mind and that was all that mattered.
I cherish this time so much. My parents are realists and always keep us informed and for this I am so thankful. We knew what was going on. We were involved, and because of that, I got to form a bond with an amazing woman because I knew my time was short.
Even five years after her death, her presence is still felt. Whenever we see a rainbow or hear a train, she is there. When a purple flower appears or a certain song is heard on the radio, she is with us. On my wedding day, my father placed a purple flower and a green leaf in my bouquet. The purple flower was for my Great Grandma, and the leaf was from the tree my cat Whitey was buried under. Funny but we called both my cat and Great Grandma Whitey. Just another correlation in this strong family bond.

It has been five years though, and our family has grown by three. G.G. Olga has gained three new great grandchildren, two through birth and one through marriage. And even though she remains an important part of our daily lives, the title of family matriarch has shifted, and as the blood line would allow, another special lady has taken that title, her daughter, my Grandma Lainey. Not only is she also a character filled with charisma and craziness!, she is also full of strength, more then anyone could even imagine. She is the glue of this family, the one who checks in on everyone by either calling them until they pick up, sending a letter, or leaving them a note on facebook! She is positive and supportive and deserves the title just as much as her mom did!
We love you Grandma Lainey!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My husband is a creative one!

All the above are the work of Chaz and Adara Durgin. So don't copy our pics! Get your own!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


So tonight we had a nam nam nam dinner! Created by me! Granted mid prep I looked at the back of the sauce and realized I was one ingredient off from Ragu's recipe. All the same, this is my recipe as I thought of it prior to reading the jar! It is also pretty healthy, so I must share!

I sauteed five or six chicken breast strips. heavily peppered and salted with garlic salt, per my usual prep.

While the chicken was cooking away, I boiled water for my bow tie pasta. You could use any type but I prefer fun shapes!

Once the chicken and pasta where cooked, I popped a bag of peas in the microwave. With everything done, I cut up the chicken and added all of it to my big pan. That is right! Chicken, Ragu light Parmesan Alfredo, peas, and pasta. I let it all cook together for a few minutes.

Ragu suggested adding Turkey bacon for a light carbonara, however, I did not miss that calories at all!

All together, the box of pasta has seven servings at 4 Weight Watchers points each. The sauce also had seven servings at 2 points each. The peas were 1 point, however, there were only 4 servings in the bag so we probably did not get a full serving of peas but I would not add more. And for the chicken, you only end up getting a few cut up pieces so I would take two points but you could do a whole breast for 3-4 points.

Total meal minus the garlic bread I made (hehe) was 9 points! Well worth it as I am stuffed!

Here is a pic of my dinner with my signature drink! Mix one pack crystal light lemon iced tea with one pack of crystal light lemonade! MMMMMMM....