Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the Big day

Are you ready? Better be. Today, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, is Election Day!

Months and months of pointless discussion and ads; we're a part of the 47%, so obviously we would be supporting President Obama, no?

Also, check this out: Women Suffragettes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright…

I must say, a hole in one's roof is, at times, a most necessary bit of destruction. Thank you, Brad, for putting up our stovepipe! I am much more toasty this morning as I write this, make my café, and munch on an apple. Thank you! One must wonder, though: if one needs a hole in the roof like one needs another hole in their head, does that validate ear piercing?

Maybe. Maybe not. My logic this early in the morning isn't always at its sharpest and shiniest.

Before, while we still sported long, luxurious locks. 

Trying to be specific…

A relaxing shampoo and conditioning…

What! That's not my Mamma's hair! That isn't Tata! 
No way! They got Grandma and Auntie Izzz, too!

And we're a Happy Family!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Terrific Twos.

Lately when I put Charlie to bed, we have little conversations about things. He's in such a mild and snuggly state but doesn't want me to leave his room. I was trying to think of what he thought was such a funny idea last night, and then I remembered tonight when he brought up Meow. I was talking about Thanksgiving and said that Meow was going to come to the farm with us... he thinks this is hilarious. We also decided this morning that Meow should have her own sock and shoes. And she's afraid of babies.


The Fitzgerald!!

Good Morning!

Clarence is like a little, warm, drooling, adorable alarm clock with no snooze button.

I am nearly to the end of my AM internet time, so I'll make it snappy.

Liz, Brad, Truman and I all had a wonderful time up in the Big Twin Cities (minus finding a parking ramp, entering it, and exiting - these things were difficult for us country mice).

Here are some pictures from the night:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Virtual Applause

I just want to quick say, "WOW!" and, "Super job!" to our dearest Becky. I was Megan's house last night, and it looks very nice. I think you can say, with no hesitation, that you improved someone's living situation this week. Wohoo!

Friday, October 19, 2012


I very much intend to work in Wyoming on a dude ranch this upcoming summer. After carefully perusing the ranches is the aforementioned state, here are the 3 that I will be sending applications to:

The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch

Eatons's Ranch

Paradise Guest Ranch

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's a Family Tradition

We Wistes have a certain sense of . . . well, let's call it style. These images certainly speak towards our desire to wear a lot of denim.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


What does progress look like?

I began this morning with 900+ emails. I proceeded to delete 7 of them. I now have 894 emails in my inbox. In the words of our cousin, Lawson, "That's what I'm talking about!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Well, I wasn't really intending to blog this morning, but now, Liz and I are getting into a great, early morning routine. I guess that blogging is becoming a part of that; a way to clear my head or share a bit of the past/future before putting myself to work.

Since this blog is titled, "Routine," I thought it might be interesting to show some ancient tools of routine that came from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Gladiator fights anyone? Do you think that they had season tickets for regular attendees?

Proof that cast iron is the toughest pan in the world: this one made it through a volcanic eruption and still looks like it is pretty well conditioned. 

My friends and I were pretty sure that this was a toilet. Me, being the super mature one of us all, took a picture of it. Do you think they would have read stone-tablet-newspapers or vellum-novels while sitting on this throne?

This is probably the routine you can expect if you live in the shadow of an enormous volcano. 

Well, I must now sign off in order to continue with my version of the daily grind…

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ballerina Beauty

Good Monday, Y'all. In perusing the internet before beginning my morning work on my 'T', I came across this article. It is short, tear-inducing, and prompts one to think about what all is going on in this big world. Just click the link:

Ballerina Article

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Renewed New Beginnings

We are the Coolest!!!

So...I am starting this blog post with a prime example of a graffiti shot (of which I took plenty while in Italy and Norway; graffiti and statues and food are the 3 main categories of photo subjects). This one in particular is a shout out to my lovely sisters and our Mom (because the noun is in its feminine form) - you, us, we are all the coolest!!! **If you would like to see the  photo that I had posted, please ask to see it in person as, post-posting it, I realized that the words had some bad connotations that I would prefer not headline our blog; you can also ask for a clean and a dirty translation**

 This is a picture from the night that we ate chocolate pasta. For all of you out there wondering, the answer is "No, chocolate pasta is not a good idea," (just ask Truman.). I include this picture for two reasons: 1) We live in a land full of wonderful people. Let's take this week to particularly enjoy them. 2) There is cheese (most of it homemade) on the table. I like to make a point of including at least one picture of cheese in every post. Let's also take this week to appreciate cheese!

Last, but not least, a cute kid. I feel like Clarence has been bonding with all of us this past week - if I entertain him properly, he lets me hold him, even if Liz is around! We are all looking forward to seeing our piccolino, Charlie degli occhi blu, and of course his MaMa!, our darling, Becky. See you soon!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Run for the Arts.

 We did it!!!

Not the most flattering pics, but whatever. Like KT said, how you feel you look when you run and how you actually look when you run... not the same. But I think we were all pretty proud of ourselves and each other. Go team Black Hammer, division Wiste girls.


Me'nage a' Trois.

And not the wine...

Liz and I have been enjoying Pamela Druckerman's Bringing up Be'Be' so much that I thought she might also like to read this story, an article written for Marie Claire. Not really about parenting.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Choo Choo!

Charlie had a wonderful second birthday party with everyone he loves the most. Thanks everyone for coming :)

I've so many pictures to share, I thought I'd space them out a bit and start with his party, which I only have a few pictures of. Someday I hope to get scrap booking again, at which time I may need a few more of the event if anyone has some good ones. So, check back again soon... 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Getting knitty with it.

Check out this link (http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_bf436afc-e9b4-11e1-b40b-0019bb2963f4.html) to the Winona Daily New's editorial on August 20th, in which they implied that knitting is the most boring activity imaginable...and then Yarnology's response which I have posted below. (Yarnology is Winona's yarn store.)

They are still waiting to see if their letter makes print.

Now I must go blanch some more green (and purple and yellow and multi-colored beans) for the freezer. Double eviction on Big Brother tonight (yikes). And then go to bed early (yeah!).


Monday, August 20, 2012

R & R (Routine and Relaxation... and much canning to do).

ahhhhh (big sigh) we are home. And we are going to stay here for a couple of weeks anyways. We had so much fun, and Charlie was actually able to stay on a pretty good schedule because of everyone's help, but it feels good just to be home. This morning Charlie crawled up into bed with Travis and would kiss him, and then say 'more' and kiss him again.Obviously somebody missed their daddy.

I got up this morning feeling like a lazy bum, but for some reason decided I needed to get out for that a.m. jog I've been neglecting, and it felt so good. The air was crisp, but not too cool. Just a perfect kind of day. Half way through Charlie signed potty, and was able to wait almost 10 minutes before we got to the Visitor's Center (Thank you for being open Winona Visitor's Center!). He had one wet diaper all day today, not counting one after his over 3 hour nap. He was such a honey all day, and played in his sand box for an hour while I read some more of my library book, Bringing Up Be'Be', which I am finding to be an easy read about French parenting.

I've got some fun things planned for Charlie when Trav goes back to school on Monday (and we will have lots of one on one time together). We're going to start working on some projects, artsy things, counting, listening to music, etc. Any ideas for a two-year old? Please share... we also accept substitute teachers and may go on a few field trips.
The first "unit" will be on Native American studies, due to the Great Dakota Gathering & Homecoming on September 14-16. So i.e. we will check out some related little kid's books at the library, listen to pertinent music, think up an art project, etc., etc. And I get that he is so little he might not get everything out of it I want him to, but I like the idea of exposing him to different things (he LOVES music and dancing, so why not try some different styles out and see what he likes). Plus it will be fun for me, too; and I hear they have delicious Indian tacos at the gathering.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cheese Vacation.

Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese... says Wallace to Gromit. http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/films/granddayout/about.html

I am recommending this short film to Katie and other cheese lovers, as it is on Netflix and pretty dang cute. Wallace LOVES cheese, and is unable to eat crackers or drink tea without it.

I am not a huge animation fan, though I do prefer claymations. And Shaun the Sheep, which I very much enjoy, actually made his first appearance on Wallace and Gromit (A Close Shave). Plus they're British, and I am into a little British television phase (for the second time).

Ta ta,


Friday, July 27, 2012

Goat Man.

I found this article unique and pertinent in some way to our blog.

Goat Man.

And the sort of disappointing follow up story.


*Well, now my post doesn't totally make sense because they seem to have replaced the first article, which was full of mystique, with the second article, so both links lead to the conclusion.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Hi ya'll!  Testing out the new blog setup here.  (I think this is going to work.  )

Anyhow, NEWS from NE bLACKhAMMER:

My new (in November - 2011 that is) washing machine is installed!  Yippee!  And it works AWESOME.  Thank you Brad Matthew Tostenson for surprising me Sunday morning by hooking it up. 

New problem:  it takes a lot more clothes to make a load.  UFF DA - what a Problem!

New opportunity:  a big gaping hole in the corner of the livingroom where the in-the-box washer resided as an unusually shaped shelf for my collection of cow bells.   Hmmmmmmm.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Enough leaking diaper nonsense... this ends today! I'm replacing elastic and velcro. And stripping diaper pads. I'm going to make these work until we're ready for pull-ups/training pants. Yeah! I love Grovia diapers, but there is a limit to how many wears you can get per cover before you can expect to do some diaper upkeep.


Charlie is sleeping-in this morning. I've heard him make noises a few times, but I never know what I should do with myself in situations like this, ha ha.

So I stripped the diaper pads and they came out looking SO clean. I guess it would make sense that I would need to do this more frequently as he is older/bigger/I've used quite a bit of diaper cream lately. I'm thinking I should just strip the diaper liners every time, keep them seperate and soak them prewash or something so they don't contaminate the diapers, which is sort of their role in the first place. Must start this now before his diaper pail is full and I have to sort through to find the liners I've already used, soak them and then wash diapers.

I had 2 plain jane diaper covers waiting to be re-velcroed for months. CHECK. But they won't last. I wonder where a person buys better quality velcro? Oh well, its not really that much work AND it got me back on my sewing machine (GOAL- to sew more things, preferably toddler boy clothing, sew cute, pun intended).

And I seam ripped out the velcro on the 4 grovia diaper covers that I had revelcroed a while back. Boy I sure sewed those suckers on there. Then I ran out of velcro. I'm considering not doing it and using baby safety pins, which is what I had been doing anyways, and Charlie likes the cute little animals on them.

Finally, I still need to re-elasticize them (just doing the 4, the snap one held up better, thinking I just didn't use it as frquently, but in retrospect I would purchase all snaps in the future). I will attempt to complete this tonight, as I need the diaper covers to use. I found this link- http://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/2010/02/25/how-to-repair-the-elastic-in-a-cloth-diaper/
which states that I do not need to remove the old elastic.

And that's all I know about diapers right now. Your supposed to blog about things that are happening in your life, right? Lizzie might be interested anyways. And your probably thinking, sounds like a lot of work, right? But so worth it for Charlie's little bum, and I've actually saved like $2000- 3000 dollars on diapers (by the time I'm done anyways). So, actually not so much work. Although now thinking of the fairly minimal cost of purchasing a few new covers, I would still be saving thousands.
Oh well, now I've saved another $50. I'm already making money today.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kale Chips.

1 bunch kale (washed and dried)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Chop kale into 1/2-inch pieces. 3. Place in a large bowl.
4. With hands, massage oil, lemon juice, and salt into kale. 5. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes until dark green and crispy. 7. Cool and serve.

*Don't overdue the liquids. The flavor of mine were good, but they were too soggy.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Berry Mint Smoothie.

Charlie's after-nap/pre-supper snack...

2 or 3 parts strawberries, dethawed (frozen from last year, did not make it to the berry patch this year)
1 part blue berries (Thanks Na-ma Wiste :)
1/2 part mint (from the garden)
1/2 part ice cubes

blend well, put in sippy cup with a straw, complain that you want to drink the last half with a big boy cup.

*Every time I go into the freezer, Charlie tries to sneak in to grab an ice cream bar. But he never grabs just one, he always gets me one too, the little sweet heart.

** Also, Charlie needs his own man-bag. He currently insists on carrying mine (kind of too large for him, but completely adorable).

*** Travis watched me boss Charlie around on how to load the washing machine (he insists on putting the clothes in, so I tell him which ones). He said, "Don't you do anything around here anymore?". Ha ha, I never have to alone :)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Ba-ack.

After a short break from the blog-sphere (after repeatedly short attempts at blogging), I have decided to Facebook less and blog more. Like maybe a summer break from Facebook, so instead of checking out what other people are doing, I will be doing something. And then maybe I will blog about it.

I am inspired mostly by Kali  (I love seeing what you are up to all the time!, finding out what you are thinking about in that moment, and of course wedding updates), and also by the amount of time I waste looking at other people's Facebook pages. After Charlie goes to bed. As in I try not to watch television or go on the computer while he is awake (mainly because it is better for him, but also because it is very difficult most of the time), so I am totally wasting part of my personal free time. Which we all know is very valuable.

So stay tuned... I seem to keep threatening to start, and then when I do it is a blog post about blogging.

I will add a little about my day-

- I washed and made my bed twice today. Charlie spilled milk on my clean sheets, and so I had to take them back off to wash them, and then remade it. Ha, moments like that. What else is there to say?

- Charlie rode Bob the Builder's truck at Wal-Mart, as he does mostly every time we go there. He just loves that thing.

- I blanched and froze the remaining 5 or so heads of Spring cauliflower.

- I cut and washed MANY gallons of various types of lettuce from the garden, and have been working on giving as much of it away as I can.

- Travis thinned the beets again, but this time the beets were surprisingly large. I boiled a few for his lunch, and then Charlie and I ate the rest (large portions each) for supper. I didn't know if he would like it. Will he pee red tomorrow and will that stain his diapers? Only time will tell.

- I made chocolate chip cookies with the good chocolate chips- Ghirardelli good.

That's enough for now I think :) I have to go watch Mad Men on Netflix until Trav comes home from work.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yoga Meltdown.

My Yoga video no longer works... I hadn't done it in a while and it was getting a little sketchy before, but now it is done for. So, today at Wal-Mart I picked up Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown. There wasn't very many options, this was the cheapest, and Kali mentioned using her workout video. Well, OMG and Holy Bleep! I can hardly hold my arms up to type. And it was only a 30 minute video. Can anyone say Power Yoga? ~Becky

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breakfast (in pictures).

*Hint. If you click on the first picture, it pops up as a slide show for your viewing pleasure. 
Then just click the Right arrow to see the rest.

 Also lunch, because it was Fab! Even Pooh joined us (that's spinach from the garden, yo).

Ha ha. My kid always has a dirty face.