Monday, October 15, 2012

Homecoming 2012

It was a busy weekend of Gopher events, but it is always good to get back to campus.
The festivities started on Friday night with the Homecoming Parade. We met my brother Andrew and his girlfriend there along with Ally and Jake. The parade took about an hour (a little long in my opinion) and then we headed over to the Gopher Hockey game vs. Michigan State. We had to make a decision to attend the parade which started at 7:00 p.m. and miss most of the hockey game, which started at 6:00 p.m, so by the time we got to the game it was 5-0 and 10 minutes left in the 3rd period. We gave up 1 garbage goal and won 5-1 in a virtual no-contest. Home to rest for a long day ahead on Saturday.
Saturday morning the tailgate started at 9:00 a.m. We had the Gopher tent erected and grill hot by 10:00 a.m. We tailgated in Emily and Ryan's parking spot in the Gold lot, which is a premium spot right on the north side of the stadium. Josh and Melissa Campbell (Ryan's business partner and wife), Em, Nicole, Ally, Jake, Z, Ashley and Danny were all in attendance. A few adult beverages and a lot of catch with the football with Zander. Brats, burgers, chips, the whole 9 yards, or in the case of the Gophers about 2 yards.
We got into the game about 1 minute after it started (had to finish that last beer I guess) and we were already down 7-0. We fumbled the opening kickoff and gave up a score in the first 15 seconds. It was that kind of day for the team as we lost 21-13. We endured rain most of the game from the 2nd quarter on, but in the 2nd half we were able to sit with Emily and Ryan in their Outdoor Club seats which were under the overhang so we were dry.
The stadium cleared out pretty fast in the 4th quarter when people were tired of cold/wet and mostly tired of mediocre football. We gutted it out until the end and almost were pleasantly surprised, but the Gophers stalled at the 6 yard-line.
After the game I went over to Buffalo Wild Wings to hang out with some friends, including my brother Ryan while Nicole went to Starbucks to see if there was anyone at the hospital (she was on call). Fortunately, there were no patients to see so she was able to enjoy the afternoon and a drink or two.
Gopher Hockey was the evening plan and we stomped Michigan State for the 2nd consecutive night, this time with a 7-1 score. Gopher hockey is ranked #1 in the country and they sure looked like it this weekend. This Michigan State team looked slow, small and outmatched in every facet of the game, and I was surprised this morning to read that they were 16th in the country coming into the weekend. I'm not going to get ahead of myself with Gopher hockey, but we have the talent to win it all this year, we'll see if they can live up to that talent and the #1 ranking.
Sunday was a recovery day, some grocery shopping and some golf watching. There was a Junior PGA event at Troy Burne where a local gal was playing so we watched her play a few holes. She is the 2-time state champion for Class AAA and she is now beginning her junior season. She won the tournament yesterday by 3 shots shooting a 71 in the wind, very impressive. Celia Kuenster is her name, write it down and remember it, she's going to be a star.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Wards Are Back

Our last blog was over 1 year ago and it was such a good blog that we decided that since then nothing has been better. Our last blog was about Bentley's birth, so now just out of boredom and a little encouragment from our only reader (George) we are back.
Our year 2012 has been as good as you could ask for. We are both busy at work and loving it. Nicole is in the process of buying into her practice with 2 other doctors, Greg and Lisa. She has been doing this whole thing herself, attending all the meetings, crunching numbers, I am so proud of her because she didn't have any business training in college so this is all new for her. We talk things over at night and review numbers, I bring my team of "smarter people" than me into the mix when I need them and we are excited about the future.
We have had a wonderful summer on the golf course, it has been a little too hot this year, but for golf that's better than a rainy season. Both Nicole and I are playing the best golf of our lives and both hope to only improve from here. Nicole as she always does, gets a little "golfed" out at this time of year so she doesn't play as much as she does during the summer. We are entering the sports season now so we are getting into Gopher Football and we have our Gopher Hockey tickets again (2nd season). We'll get some pictures posted once we figure out how to use this thing again. That's all for now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Member To The Tauer/Ritchie Family

This week was a great week for the Tauer/Ritchie family. We welcomed a new son/brother/grandson/cousin/nephew/and great-grandson. I think I covered them all. On Wednesday morning Bentley Orlin Ritchie was born. He weighed in at 7'6 oz and was 20 inches long. He has a full head of dark hair and in my opinion from the pictures I saw, he looked just like his dad. Everything went according to plan and he came home from the hospital on Saturday. We are so looking forward to seeing him on Friday July 1st. Nicole and I are going to spend our 4th of July with the Ritchie's in Detroit Lakes.

On the Ward side, my half brother Eric and his wife welcomed their 2nd daughter on Tuesday and they named her Merrit Grace so we had 2 unique names in the family this week. She weighed over 8 lbs.

Besides this, our week was just status quo. The weather was kind of lousy, rainy most of the week and most of the day Saturday.
We had our monthly Couples League on Friday and the attendance wasn't the best, just 8 couples. The Wards' placed 2nd which isn't our best, but we were paired up with a new couple who was there for the 1st time. We got on great with them and might even play some golf with them outside the league. We enjoyed dinner after and hope to see some people come over to Troy Burne as we don't have to feed you Panino's now. The food is pretty solid.
On Saturday, Nicole had to work for a few hours. When she got home we played golf and just took it easy for the evening. Nicole is playing the Gold tees at Troy Burne now, which are the senior men's tees. She has graduated from the Women's tees.
On Sunday we made breakfast and planted some new shrubs and then I had to play in a golf tournament. It didn't go so well for me, shot an 86 which is quite bad for me. My handicap is 4.7 so should be in the 70's. It was tough and windy today, but still no reason for an 86.

Nicole is playing in a golf tournament tomorrow for work with her boss Jonathan so I'm sure she'll impress him around the golf course and carry the group like she usually does. It will be a scramble and they are playing at Edinburgh. It is for the Abbott Hospital which is one of the hospitals they do some work with. It's a good golf course.
I have a seminar on Thursday night in Iowa as we kick off the 1st of 5 summer seminars, and then Friday we are cutting out of work early and heading to Detroit Lakes to see our new nephew, and of course our beautiful niece Hattie. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Good morning. We have had a lot of new things going on since my last post, sorry for the long absence. I'll just highlight some of the last 15 days in no particular order

-Grandma Connie (mom's mom) had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. She begins her radiation this week. This surgery took place on May 27th. We continue to keep her in our prayers.
-We ran in the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k on Sunday May 22nd: We do this each year to honor/remember our dad who passed away from Colon Cancer. We had a good turnout for racers/walkers this year with 19 participants. We ran/walked in the rain but it was pretty warm. Thanks to all for participating
-I did a TV interview with Fox Business on Wednesday May 18th. I talked about ethanol and it went ok. I wasn't thrilled with it, but I didn't freeze up either and the questions were not pre-planned, it was all live and "on the spot" which is tough to do.
-We had our first Couple's League last Friday evening and it was cancelled due to rain. We had 15 couples dine together at the new restaurant at Troy Burne.

Memorial Day Weekend was a lot of fun. We played golf around the rain showers and BBQ'd also around the rain showers. Overall it was very relaxing, Nicole was on call at the hospital but only got called in on Saturday so she had Sunday and Monday off which was nice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Update

Friday night we got together for dinner with a bunch of couples from the neighborhood at the new Troy Burne Restaurant. They haven't ordered any wine yet for the club so they let us bring our own bottles free of corkage fee. The new cook/chef there cooked up NY Strip steaks, walleye, crabcakes, and chicken breast with a cream sauce. The food was very good and we are very excited for the new menu to be released. This was just sort of a tasting and welcome to the homeowners. We had a great time with about 20 of us joining in on the fun.
On Saturday, Nicole was on call so when she gets up she calls the hospital to see if there are any orders. There were not, so that gives her the day off to do whatever. The weather was cold/rainy so no golf. We cleaned up the house and then went to St. Paul. We were having friends over for dinner and we were doing surf/turf so we went to Coastal Seafoods in St. Paul for the Tuna. We get our steaks in Stillwater at a place called Hegberg's, which is a little butcher shop in the back of a gas station, it's hilarious, but great prices and we have had great luck there so far with their steaks. We checked out some shops on Grand and spent a good part of the afternoon there. Our friends coming over for dinner were Tim and Cathy Renken and their son Samuel. Samuel is 15 months old and he was such a good boy. He ate steak with us and strawberries, but mostly he just wanted to play and run around. He was very active, but not too destructive.
We had 2 good bottles of wine, a Chardonnay from Trefethen and a Pinot Noir from Merryvale, both were excellent. The food was just ok, I would say my grilling performance was a B-. Tim wanted his steak Medium Rare so instead of my normal 5 minutes/side that I do to get them medium I went 4 minutes/side and they were more rare than Medium Rare. Nicole had to put hers back on for a while and I just ate mine. Tim said it was perfect though so at least he was happy. The tuna doesn't stay warm long when you sear it for 1 1/2 minutes/side which is about perfect, but you need to eat it pretty quick. Nicole had made a great salad and roasted potatoes which were very good. Samuel got tired around 8:30 so the Renkens' headed home. A very different Saturday night having a 15 month old setting the schedule. Nicole and I just relaxed the rest of the evening.
On Sunday we cooked breakfast on the grill with eggs and hashbrowns. We got a new grill a couple weeks ago so we use it pretty much every night. Nicole again checked with the hospital but there was only 1 order and it was an insurance she is not licensed to see so her partner will see that client tomorrow. So, she had today off too which was nice. I played in a golf tournament at 1:00 p.m. and it was SO WINDY! I didn't play great, but not too bad either, but not good enough to win any money. Bummer.
Grilling a full chicken on the grill tonight and having mojito's tonight. The weather looks very nice this week to hope to play golf everyday. We need the practice. Enjoy the sunshine this week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend was full of events and it went way too fast again.

Friday night we worked and once in a while when Nicole picks me up from work she stops at Key's Cafe to get her favorite cookie of all time, the Monster cookie. They were particularly good that day so that makes our commute home a little easier. We were excited to get home on Friday as we were babysitting Hudson Wilson. Jeb and Kaylan as part of their Christmas gift were given a "night out" free from the Ward's. They dropped him off at about 6:00 p.m., they grabbed a nice bottle of wine out of the cellar and headed to Il Gatto (Italian restaurant) in Uptown. We had the little guy for about 4 hours and we had a blast with him. We took him over to the golf club as it was a beautiful night and we wanted to test the water having a 10-month old on the golf cart out on the course. Nicole didn't play but Hudson had fun riding on the cart and looking at everything going on. He is very funny, but loves to be held so he needs to break that habit a little in my opinion. We played 7 holes with Brent and Courtney Snyder and then had dinner at the club. Hudson, like all babies was the center of attention. Jay and Sue Glasnapp (other friends of ours) who have their first grandchild coming this summer were excited to see Hudson as well. I actually think Sue would have taken our babysitting duties if we would have let her. She's excited to be a grandma. Hudson fell asleep a little after 8:00 p.m. and Nicole and I just relaxed at home until Jeb and Kaylan got home from their dinner. It was a lot of fun.
Saturday we got up and got our usual Starbucks and ate breakfast at home. I was caddying for Brent that day in a tournament in Minneapolis and Nicole had plans in the evening with the girls. The tournament was at the Minneapolis Golf Club (a presitgious private club) and I was excited to see the course and to carry the bag for my man Brent. I love to watch him play and enjoy being involved in the decisions that he makes on the golf course. My analytical mind is always turning and it is so interesting to me to see/hear what he is thinking about different situations on the golf course. He is an amazing player and just a lot of fun to watch. The putter was cold on Saturday or our reads were wrong, one or the other. Brent shot level par (72) which moved him up the leaderboard, but that round could have been something special, like 65 special, maybe better. We had so many birdie looks it was scary how good he hit the driver and the irons. At the pro level it all comes down to putting though and that day they weren't falling. I was so impressed with Brent's ability to forget the previous hole and move forward. He kept saying, "just have to keep giving myself chances" and eventually they will fall. They didn't that day, but his summer looks good. He has a big tournament coming up in June to qualify for the PGA Championship held later this summer in Atlanta, GA. Fingers crossed!
Saturday night was a "Jason alone" night, which is kind of weird for me, but sometimes it is ok to just do your own thing and relax. Nicole went out with some friends to Sugarland which was at the Target Center. They went to Rock Bottom Brewery to eat, which had a 2.5 hour wait, they went upstairs to Palomino only to find out that it was closed for good, and then they went to a new place called the American Bar. She said the concert was so much fun and they had a great time. They had great seats right on the floor.
After my round of caddying for Brent, I stopped and picked up a good steak for the grill. When I got home I played 9 holes of golf and then home to grill and hang out on the deck. It was fun and relaxing, but not nearly as fun as it would have been with Nicole there. (no kidding).
Sunday we headed to Rosemount for my niece Chandler's confirmation. She had to speak in front of the church and she did a great job. She just winged it, wrote nothing down and she was funny. She is just like her dad, good in front of a crowd. After church we went to my sister Shelly's for brunch. We missed mom on Mother's Day as she was with her mother in Mapleton. We talked on the phone and she knows we love her. Happy Mother's Day to both our moms, Maryann and Michelle!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cold Weather, Go Away!

We spent another lousy weather weekend at home in Hudson. Luckily we had dinner parties both Friday and Saturday night that passed the time beautifully.
Friday night we went to Andy and Sue Knott's home in Chanhassen, MN. It was a wine showdown between a top notch Pinot Noir from Oregon and a Burgundy from France. These are both the same grape (varietal) and we did a blind tasting. It was a unanimous victory for the good ol' USA Pinot Noir from Domain Droughin. On the menu was ribeye steaks from Andy's family farm in Tracy, MN and Tuna steaks. The food, wine, and company were great. In attendance were the hosts Andy and Sue (their 1 year old Maria), Brandon Marshall (my coworker) and his Canadian gal Kim (she had a neat accent), and of course Nicole and I. Before we went to Andy and Sue's we stopped by my brother Andy's who had a house-warming party. We weren't able to stay long but we got to see my mom who was there helping prepare food and clean (what a good mother) and my brothers Ryan and Chad. It was a fun time all evening.

On Saturday we had no plans until 5:30 p.m. We left for Rosemount, MN a little early and stopped by Pottery Barn in St. Paul. Then onto Greg Picker's House in Rosemount. Greg was having a dinner party for the docs that work at Nicole's practice (not her practice) but for the docs who work at Natalis. We had a lot of fun with great food and wine and good discussion about the future of the practice. There are some smart people that work there and it was fun to be a fly on the wall in their conversations about how everything works. It was fun to see Nicole in her element talking about things she does everyday, that sometimes she doesn't normally bore me with, but it was interesting. It is a fun group of young motivated practicioners.

Sunday was a completely wasted day. Cold/windy and no fun at all. We had a tee time in the morning that we couldn't possibly keep due to 35 degrees and windy. We grilled brats for lunch and made pizza for dinner. Nicole cleaned the house (out of boredom) because I thought it was clean already and we watched some golf and some movies. Ugh! Please bring the sun and warm weather soon! It is May 2nd and I have only golfed 1 time and Nicole has not played yet.