Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Weekend to Remember

This past weekend Michael, I, Karen, Daniel, Hannah, and Elie went down to The University of Wisconsin for the weekend. The main reason for going down was to go to Homecoming at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. 
Michael and I in the parade
Michael was honored on Friday evening with the annual BILSA (Business, Industry, Life Science & Agriculture) Alumni Chapter Service Award. Saturday morning Michael and I rode a convertible in the Homecoming parade. That was a little uncomfortable for both of us. We then drove down to Cuba City for a very short visit and then on to Madison for the evening.

Hannah took this picture along the way of an unknown but lovely scene

Sunday we hit all the Farmer's Markets and took in the sights including the fall colors. Beautiful.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Birthdays


Birthdays have been lacking in the fall months but when Daniel married Hannah it became apparent that September was going to be a busy month for "happy, happy birthday...."  Both Hannah and Aiden are September babies so since we have December and January covered and May, June and August (what happened to July???) covered we now have a fall month covered.
Aiden with his new bible
 Aiden turned 4 and I decided it was time that he had his own bible to take to church with him. There are a gazillion different childrens bibles to choose from. He loves books that rhyme so I picked one where the bible stories rhyme. He  didn't appreciate the clothes but hey, he's 4. Growing is part of the deal and he needed clothes (by the way, so is his hair since he is now cancer free). We also threw in a Jake & the Neverland Pirates pillow which he DID appreciate. Gotta have a few toys in there somewhere.  Hannah is now a quarter of a century old. We were going to give her a gift card to Target but I knew she would probably spend it on the kids (diapers, etc.) so I got her something on Amazon which was actually for Elie and some DVD's she wanted.  
Hannah opening her presents with help from Elie
 
 Anyway, since Hannah had a gathering of her family from her mom and dad's side on Friday, a friend party on Sunday, we decided to have a small get together at our place yesterday (Tuesday). Between married people, school responsibilities, and work we just decided to celebrate it before it got to be October. The pictures are not the greatest but I couldn't resist posting them here. Such wonderful looking people.

playing a quick game of Candyland
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

State Fair 2014


I LOVE cotton candy!

I did manage to go to the State Fair this year. I don't go much anymore since my feet, knees and energy is 63ish but I decided to go since I now have grandchildren and I have always believed that kids can make a mediocre experience that much better and more interesting. More interesting is probably the word I'm looking for. I went during the week (less crowds) and took with me my son Daniel and his wife Hannah.

Hannah, Daniel, Elie and Aiden


The interesting (and better!) part came in the form of Aiden and Elie. I was a a bit apprehensive anticipating a stroller, two eventually tired toddlers, and a lot of "I want" coming out of their mouths. That didn't happen as Elie doesn't talk actual words yet, although she does plenty of talking, and Aiden is SO very good at accepting things as they come. It's like he knows that his loved ones are not rich and they do the best they can at helping him have a good time with what they have. The giant slide was definitely on his list!

Daniel & Elie

And we did! Walking around and sharing with each other the stuff we wanted to see, do or eat. At one time I asked Hannah what she wanted to do next and she responded with "I don't care. I'm only here for the food". I had to laugh at that one. We all did really well not gorging ourselves on a lot of junk.







my fun purse
The highlight came when Hannah introduced me to some purses at the International Bazaar area that sold fabric purses very inexpensively and with a discount coupon in the Blue Discount Book of $8 that more than paid for the use of it. As we left the fair and headed for the car








I realized that it was one of the more pleasant and relaxing times I had had at the fair, aching feet aside.
the "fam" enjoying the fair

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Diversity

Took Aiden to the park last week for about an hour. It was a park that I grew up around and I noticed it had changed a lot over the years. Demographics aside, they had added more play equipment and the building was locked up like Fort Knox. I found that out when Aiden announced that he had to use the bathroom and we were forced to leave. Too bad they can't have something that wouldn't be vandalized that people could access for a reasonable request like using a restroom.


Anyway, I named my post "Diversity" because the playground had about 35 kids with parents there and Aiden and I were the only two that were white and didn't speak Spanish. It is amazing how children can look past limitations and still have lots of fun and can interact in ways we wouldn't think of. One little boy latched onto Aiden, leading him into all kinds of games on the playground equipment. The only English his mother said he knew was "hey boy" which worked for Aiden. You'd never say that to a black kid. Amazing.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Centenial Lakes Park

Made another trip to Centennial Lakes Park a couple weeks ago. This time I decided to take Aiden since I had asked to have some time with him. I had a definite plan to ride on the paddle boats and look at the ducks, etc. The paddle boats were fun although he has a boot on due to a fractured foot (fell off a slip n' slide that was elevated somehow) and his feet were too short to paddle so I had a real workout keeping us moving. They charge by the half hour so we decided after that to head back to the car.


Unfortunately I parked waaay to far from where I was suppose to park so carrying him was a difficult endeavor. We did the piggyback way, the front carry and then he wanted to be on my shoulders. I still don't believe it but I lifted him up all the way and over my head onto my shoulders. I guess those free weights I throw around at L.A. Fitness paid off.  It was the easiest way for us to maneuver through the park. After that we went back to my house and made cookies; one of Aiden's more enjoyable endeavors; esp with a broken foot.

 
I continue to plan outings with him and will eventually have some time with Elie as well. I have a Pack & Play in my back room for naps so I guess that makes me official!






Sunday, July 20, 2014

Graduation Party '14

Had a surprise graduation party for Hannah Sunday afternoon. It started very slow but eventually we got everyone there including the designated surprise'ee and her husband. People brought something to share and we enjoyed food and our favorite game, Jeopardy. Our questions were from categories of the U of MN and Hannah. We did it for the bridal shower and everyone loved it so much we decided to do it again with a U of MN theme.


The weather held out, we had 4 kids attending not including my 2 grandchildren that had fun with one of the games tossing a mortar board into a laundry basket and everyone got to try to guess the number of candies in a jar. Daniel guessed within 6 and Hannah within 4 numbers so she won the jar and candy which was nice (there were 261 Sixlets). It all worked out great in our backyard. I had accumulated about 10 lawn chairs from throw-outs so we had plenty of space and spots to sit. Relatives from Hannah's family came up from Clearwater even though July is packed with softball tourneys and festivals. Even though Hannah had graduated with a 4-year degree back in December, she never really celebrated so Daniel wanted to put up a party for her and it came off well. His love for her never ceases to amaze me. I wish I would have taken more pictures just because I wanted to capture a special time for her. At least she got a break since we all wanted to hold the baby!

Grandma Pat with Elie

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Life Well Lived



The first time I met Myra I was taken back by her booming voice. She was very "out there" if you will. She never minced words when she was sharing her opinion about topics, difficult or easy which is actually what drew me to her. It was "take me or leave me. This is me".
She was a voracious reader, accomplished gardener, and a loving mother and grandmother.  She also was a great hostess. I speak from personal experience on that last one. .  A confident person but also sensitive to others feelings and opinions as well.
A few months back I called her to ask her opinion about something I was wondering about. I was in the process of approaching a mutual friend and I wanted to be as sensitive as I could. She told me to share with my heart and that my friend would understand and accept my feelings on a matter that was troubling me. It turned out that Myra was right about my situation. She told me to be confident and believe in the friendship and everything would eventually work itself out. if not right away.
Myra wasn't a close, close friend but I valued her relationship with me. She was easy to talk to and always made me feel special. Her confidence was contagious almost to the point of jealousy.  She shared her life stories with me about her growing up years, about her father owning a grocery store, etc. I will always think of her when I attempt to eat an over-ripe banana. I probably won't eat it but I definitely will think of her. My visits to her hometown were wonderful. It wasn't like going to Disneyland, but better. She gave up her own bedroom for me, enveloping me into her fold of friends, and inviting and introducing me to her extended family.  There is nothing like seeing friends gather together on a Saturday morning over coffee and great conversation. I enjoyed watching "from the bleachers" as Saturday Morning Coffee unfolded.

I didn't know any of them  but was taken in by them as if I had been a part of their agenda all along. Not to diminish the unbearable grief Myra's family is experiencing right now, I especially grieve for my friend Kathy who now carries on the memory of Myra in her heart.

Loving and caring about a friend as much as they cared about each other is something rare these days and oh so wonderful to watch. I will miss all the games of Hand and Foot that no longer will be played and how she and my friend's husband would debate back and forth about who's turn it was, etc. (I laugh as I write this). I will miss going to Hendrum to visit her and enjoy her garden, her friends, and her wonderful coffee. I will even miss her booming voice, but especially I will miss her friendship but will always remember the difference she made in my life. Rest in peace my friend.
Myra's garden