Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feb 27 (58/356) Ristreto Coffee & Tea (Beer, Wine, & Sandwiches too!)

If you are ever in Fargo, you've just GOT to stop here! Ristreto Coffee & Tea is an amazing little shop! I discovered this place shortly after it opened several years ago.

I found the owner, Jerry Stromberg, to be a very warm and charming host. He takes the time to know his patrons and make each and every one feel welcome.

I introduced my husband to the place. These are our cups here, see how Jerry took the time to write my name on mine so we didn't mix them up?! Notice, he even learned how to spell my name correctly!
Now that's personal service!

I didn't drink much coffee when I started going there. I was looking for a small space for a few of my friends to sit and scrapbook a couple of times a month. Jerry welcomed us without hesitation!

Jerry took the time to talk to me and find out what I liked and disliked, then he made me a latte. I didn't know what I wanted! He did though. He made a delicious, hot, smooth and delightful mint-raspberry-white chocolate latte. Yumm!!! Fabulous. Fantastic. Delicious.

All these years later and it is still my favorite! My oldest daughter and I went in there today. She is not a coffee drinker. She told Jerry she was in the mood for coconut. He made her a blended drink that tasted a lot like a mounds candy bar and she absolutely loved it!

As if all of that wasn't enough, you should see what else he offers! As you can see by the last photo, he encourages local artists to display their work in his shop! Not all of it is in my taste, but all of it is interesting and he welcomes them. I've seen some very creative pieces there.

Recently he added beer and root beer on tap and some wonderful wines. He also has an amazing lunch selection!

So, why am I posting all of this for a Friday post? One of my favorite things to do on a Friday is for my husband and I to sneak away to Ristreto's and have a coffee and one of his amazing panini sandwiches hot off the grill!!! (I don't know who to give credit to for this gorgeous piece, I'll find out though and add it here)

The next time you're in the Fargo area, be sure to visit Ristreto's! He offers coffee, lattes, mochas, beer, wine, hot home made soup and sandwiches, cookies, sweet rolls and more! So worth a visit and let him know Tammey sent you! ;) He has the best coffee in Fargo!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Feb 26 (57/365) - Fire Hydrant... I think

What is wrong with this picture? Although it isn't an exciting photo and everything tips in a different direction, I just had to stop and take it! That is a buried fire hydrant you see there!

Do you see it? The bright red top is just peeking out of the snow, right next to the pole with a pic of a hydrant on it. I realize we've had a lot of snow this year, but really lol isn't there some city job for digging out the fire hydrants! Fire hydrants are a bit important in my opinion. This one is right by my house and in front of a little mall.

Now that's a lot of snow!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb 25 (56/365) Runaway Ralph?

I live on a huge expanse of prairie, which is why this makes such great farm land. What do you get with a whole lot of prairie? Critters.

I noticed coming in after work tonight that we had tiny little paw prints in the snow and a hole right under the house. You can see they've been busy little things. I did notice a shrew under the patio last summer, I'm thinking that is what left these tracks. He/she goes out across the yard (do you see the tiny little prints heading out to the tree?). I followed the tracks right up to the tree and as you can see, the tree is in the middle of my yard! I thought that was odd. When I got closer I could see that he'd dug a hole in the snow; he burrowed right in there just like he does in the dirt! From plowing the road and driveway there is a pretty good mound of snow just to the left of that little tree and that is exactly where I found another hole! He has his own little playground out there in my yard.

Fargo fact for today: even when you can't see them, they are playing Disneyland in your yard!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feb 25 (55/365) - My little princess

No lights
No filters
Nothing fancy
Just me and an adorable little girl doing what she does best; play, laugh and have fun! She was making faces at her grandpa. Why? Cause he was being silly and making faces right back! Yep, he's taken! LOL Smart, sexy, funny, kind, considerate, hard working, knows his way around a budget, can plan a vacation like nobody's business, ALL that and he can cook too! LOL

Then I told her I'd like her to pose for me. I was hoping to get her to lay on her tummy with her chin in her hands. She had other ideas and did this all on her own!! She's just two! She is sooo cute! I may do some photo editing later, but for now, I think these are destined for a scrapbook page lol Her eyes are always so bright and happy. They just sparkle. Capturing the moment before it got away....


This is the message I got as soon as I went to the site. Is anyone else getting this? I use Avast antivirus. It's free, kicks butt, does NOT take up nearly half the resources as Norton, is way more reliable, doesn't dump spam and crap on my hard drive and it's free lol

Anyway, all three times I tried it, there was a Trojan. What is so very odd is that I'm at Jess' site ( and yet the trojan says it is from's site, not her blog.

When I went to Staceys site, I got the same trojan. I had not been to Staceys site in a while and for sure not yet today. I ONLY went to Jess' blog when I got the message. I closed out and went back three times and got the same message every time. I know that is super bizarre, that is why I did the screen capture lol

Monday, February 23, 2009

Feb 24 Just add whipped cream!

I've told you quite a bit about Fargo, now I'm going to tell you something about me. I love waffles! Pancakes are okay, french toast is alright too, but waffles; oh yum! Waffles are light and fluffy and, when done correctly, nicely crisp on the outside. They don't even need syrup to make them taste good like pancakes do. My oldest son won his first argument with me when he was seven. He wanted leftover birthday cake for breakfast and he was prepared for my "No!" He replied: 'Mom, it isn't any different than pancakes with butter & syrup and eggs.' He loved to cook with me and knew well how to make home made pancakes and birthday cake and he recognized they had almost all of the same ingredients! It was a Saturday and he got cake for breakfast that day for presenting such a logical argument! I couldn't argue his logic, he was right lol

For years I've wanted a nice waffle maker, however I never took the time to go get one. I loved eating at the hotel whenever we go out of town and getting to make hot, fresh waffles with their machine! I think it was as much fun pouring in the batter and turning them over (I'm such a gadget geek) as eating them. Well, okay, almost as much fun! Add some strawberries and whip cream - perfect!

Anyway, my wonderful husband surprised me with this waffle maker for Christmas. I just love it! It has a little tray to catch the run-over (see pic 2), and a timer to tell me when the waffle is nice and crisp! You simply pour batter in, close it, use the handle to turn it over and then wait for it to beep. You can actually see the steam on the second photo. Ahh hot, fresh, crispy waffles.

Feb 23 (53/365) Rocks in snow

In Montana I saw a lot of landscaping done with mulch (or really large sawdust). Around here I see a whole lot of rock! It helps the water drain and rocks don't mold. I think probably it also helps keep down the bugs as the mulch would hold in the moisture and encourage the critters. The dirt around here has a lot of clay in it so any way to help drain the water away from your home is a good idea.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Feb 22 (52/365) WalMart

Something else you should know about Fargo. Everything is closed on Sunday from midnight to noon! Even the 24 hour WalMart is closed. Gas stations and grocery stores are open, but pretty much everything else is closed. Hobby Lobby, of course, is closed all day. By 11:30 am this parking lot will be full of shoppers waiting for WalMart to open - even on just regular Sundays! You should see the Sundays that fall on a holiday! It is insane. So, another thing to remember when visiting Fargo, if you need something from Walmart before noon on Sunday, drive across the river to Moorhead and shop at their Walmart! LOL Even better, spend Sunday morning with your family.

Feb 21 (51/365) Off Sale

Fargo, ND is very family friendly. One of the things that really surprised me when I moved here was that you couldn't buy alcohol, not even wine coolers or beer, in the grocery store! You have to go to liquor stores. There are two really big stores in town called Happy Harry's. I like their building and I was going to head over and get a photo of that one when this one caught my eye. It makes me laugh every time I see it. Fargo, ND doesn't have any lakes! LOL We are NOT fishing country. Yet, there are several things around the area with lake or fish themed names.
This is one of those. So remember, if you are ever here and want a drink, you will not find anything in the grocery or convenience stores lol You will need to find a liquor store. This one is located south of Fargo in what is called the Osgood addition. The little fish are just silly and it is no where near a lake lol

These flags are flying in front of this little strip mall. I debated between the two photos. I still really liked this photo so I'm just going to post two photos for today!

Feb 20 (50/365) Krolls Diner

The idea I had earlier this week is to start photographing Fargo and sharing it with my two blog readers lol This is Krolls. It is a local diner and specializes in traditional American food. I first learned of the place because they offer a family burger special; five burgers, five sodas, all you can eat fries, lettuce, tomato, onion and a really fun environment! As a single mom of four (two of them boys!), this was such a great deal and then it was under $20! I'll have to get pics from the inside. They make the best milk shakes! Every Monday you can get bogo on them and they are made with real ice cream. Yum!
They are very well known for their Kneophla soup. Krolls started in Mandan, ND. Walking into them is like stepping into the '50s.

I will be photographing more of the local stops to Fargo and the area. We are a border town, that just means we border another state. Moorhead, Minnesota is just across the river from us so I will probably include some of that as well.
PS knoephla seems to be German for dumpling. Knoephla soup is just a cream based, dumplin soup. It's a real fave in this area.

Feb 19 (49/365)

I've considered driving around the area and taking photos of all of the water towers! LOL I haven't done it yet though. This water tower is found on 45th Ave. They are huge and hard to miss and they make it much easier to get lost ;)

This post starts my "Get to know Fargo" series!

I started out posting the wonderful, delightful new socks my sweet husband surprised me with today! Aren't they just cute!? They are too fun to not include, so it's a double post for today too.

Feb 18 (48/365) - Snow Pile

I'm from the mountains. When it snows in the mountains it falls straight down and piles up. We drive around it lol It is just a part of life. Of course they clear the main roads and often will pile it in lots or fields so that it will run into the river, down out of the mountains and out of the way.

Here in Fargo it's a whole other story! The snow still piles up, but it also blows all over the place making brand new piles! This area is very flat so they pile the snow wherever they can. This pile is in one found in the WalMart parking lot. The river here runs north and is super slow, so they can't dump the snow there to have it leave the area.

This still fascinates me! I've lived here over a decade and I'm still amazed at the piles of snow, the drifting and the flooding every spring.

This pile is so large that that is a Culvers right behind it!

Feb 17 (47/365)

When everything around here is covered in white, you are going to be looking at a lot of white photos! Although, I'm working on an idea and hopefully can implement it by the end of this week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 16 (46/365)

This spring the bricks under this bridge will not be visible due to the spring run-off water. There is actually a very small river under all that snow. In the heat of summer and below zero winters, the water is barely visible. Many years as the snow melts and the rainy season hits, the river here may get deep enough to lap against the metal of the bridge. I'll have to remember to get photos then.

The flooding here still just amazes me. I live in Fargo, North Dakota (USA) which is south of Canada and east of Minnesota. What amazes me is that the main river here, The Red River of the North, runs north! NORTH! It is a very slow moving river and the land here is so flat that when everything begins to melt and the rains start, there isn't anywhere for the water to go. It spreads out across the farmlands and fills up all ravines and riverbeds. It's a pretty impressive site.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Feb 15 (45/365) Junction

I grabbed the camera and went driving around Fargo for a photo for today. I saw a whole lot of frozen ground! This photo was taken in Harwood, ND which is just north of Fargo a couple of minutes on I-29. I stopped right in the middle of the road, and on the tracks, in order to get this photo. Thankfully, Harwood is one of those tiny little towns with very little traffic! To see more trains in this area be sure to visit this flickr member: I don't know them, but they have some great photos.

Feb 14 (44/365) Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day everyone :) My oldest son surprised me with these gorgeous carnations! He knew carnations were my favorite flower and when he saw these vibrant and amazing ones sitting there he just knew I would love them. He was so right! The photos do not do them justice. The color of the petals is a deep royal purple! Purple carnations! Thank you Mark, I just love them! They made my day.

Feb 13 (43/365)

Have you ever wondered what hundreds of acres of farmland looked like in the winter? Well, here you go! The soil around here is so rich and fertile, even in the winter it's dark in color. One of the things I love about this area is that you can literally see for miles and miles and miles! That dark strip in the back of the photo is a row of trees. The rest of this is just farmland waiting for spring.

Feb 12 (42/365) Winter's Still Here

Driving home I saw this little group of willows frozen in a large puddle. I loved how the ice/snow around this little island looked. From the road the little clumps of snow/ice actually looked fuzzy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feb 11 (41/365) Socks

Ok, I have a confession; I LOVE fun socks! I don't think it's possible to own enough of them. I have blinking Halloween socks, fuzzy socks, Christmas socks, crazy colors and stripes, and my oldest daughter surprised me with these just yesterday. Crazy flamingo socks with toes!

It's the simple pleasures in life that bring me the most joy :)

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast,a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

Feb 10 (40/365) Monster Truck Layout

Yep, it's Tuesday and this is the layout I put together for my group. I've found a lot of my group members are intimidated by mixing colors and patterns. I love putting together patterns that look like they would never work! For me, it just adds more dimension to the layout without a lot of fluff.

To see the whole layout you can go to my scrapbooking blog.

Feb 9 (39/365) DH loves music

My husband loves music. He has such an eclectic collection of vinyl. It seemed such a shame to just have all of the old records in boxes in my closet. A few months before Christmas I started researching record players and found this wonderful little machine. It is totally retro, plays records, cassettes and has a radio! I totally love the look of it too. I was afraid the sound wouldn't be very good, but it sounds awesome! (Notice the photo posted upright! It is ONLY the butterfly photo that will not upload correctly)

Feb 8 (38/365) Butterfly

Ok, so this is my photo for Feb 8th. I have uploaded it over a dozen times and tried to post it to my blog. As you may have noticed, it's sideways. It wasn't sideways when I took the photo. It wasn't sideways when I downloaded the photo from my card to my computer. It looked great when I then opened my browser to upload the photo to my blog. Yet, every single time I click the upload button to put it on my blog, blogger turns it sideways!!! I've tried saving it sideways and then uploading that. Blogger doesn't turn it lol I've turned it left, and blogger uploads it left. I turn it to the right and it uploads turned to the right. I try to upload it upright and blogger does this!! EVERY time! How totally bizarre is that?? So after several days of fighting with it, I'm done and ya'll can just deal with it sideways! :) I even went and got my daughter so she could watch me upload this crazy photo and it refuses to be upright!!!

Just know that I do know the butterfly is not upright! In fact this is hanging on my daughters bedroom wall. I love the cheerfulness of it. She collects butterflies and M&M candy dishes. This caught my eye for today as I'm so ready for Spring.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Feb 7 - Monster Jam 09 (37/365)

What can I say?? We went, we saw, we loved it!
We took the boys too. Chris surprised them with pit passes! Oh you should have heard them giggle and squeal! They didn't know we were going as we didn't tell them lol When we pull up in front of the Fargodome and they saw the sign, I think they could have just crawled out the windows right there they were so excited! We were there from 11a to after 4p, that's a long time for two young kids. They loved it! No complaints, no fighting, no whining! Just laughing, pictures, giggles and clapping.
This was such an amazing presentation! This photo in no way does it justice. You had to be there I think. They lifted the flag at one end as it went down on the other causing a wave effect. Very nice.

This was intermission! There were THREE couples married during intermission of the Monster Truck Show! LOL I get the feeling they were sponsored by our local country station, Froggy 99.9 as one of the DJ's from that station was the officiant!!! I don't know if he is an ordained minister or just can perform weddings. I looked all over their website, but I didn't find anything. Can you imagine getting married at Monster Jam? LOL

Those moto-cross riders were astounding! I could NOT believe how high they went and the tricks they were doing! Those boys (could have been girls too I guess) are definitely adrenaline junkies! Wow!!! Excellent show. It was my first Monster Truck experience and I just loved it! (See my layout)