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









Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mille Lacs Trip



Hannah, myself, and Karen
My daughter Karen really likes her down-time. About every 6-8 months she plans out a trip somewhere usually within 4-5 hours of driving time. She asks family and friends who wants to go with her. I don't like traveling but I decided to accompany her on an overnight trip to see the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids, MN. I was very glad I made the choice to go. I had a great time with her and my daughter-in-law, Hannah. Daniel stayed behind to care for Elieanna.  We headed out last Saturday to Grand Rapids to the Judy Garland museum which was really quite fun and interesting along with a hands on science area for children next to it.
Karen and Hannah playing make-believe
Only a 3 hour drive away and a cost of $8, I found it worth the time. We then headed back down 169 South, staying at the Mille Lacs Casino hotel. We took in the buffet which wasn't worth the $17 nor the hotel (the beds were terrible) but we had fun with the $20 they give you in casino money. I started off winning money little by little (without even knowing it) and ended up losing it all.
One of many pictures and info about Judy G


We ended the evening playing late night bingo. We again lost our shirt ($9) but the fellowship between us was wonderful. We bonded well together, saw lots of various wild life. Unfortunately Karen hit a big turtle on the highway on the way up. We shared the driving, and if one of us wanted to stop along the way to see something, we did. We are already planning our next trip in a year, possibly to Duluth. Any takers?? More the merrier!!
Me not knowing what I was doing and being the better for it!






Thursday, June 12, 2014

Birthday Boy

This post is yours to have and hold, Daniel. You've come a long way, baby! Enjoy the day and by the way, thank you again for that wonderful, beautiful baby daughter who will with God's help grow up to be as wonderful and blessed as you have made us!

 Daniel John Fiedler





Friday, June 6, 2014

Re-using, Recycling and Enjoying!

Our neighborhood is famous for discarding completely usable stuff. I always try to give away or send to the Goodwill reusable items that I no longer need rather than discard stuff to a city dumping area; esp stuff that never turns into anything usable as it breaks down or doesn't. Many times they will put "free" signs on them so if I can use it or know someone that can, I take it home, clean it up and recycle it myself. Over the last year I have reused discarded Adirondack chairs including pads (from another discard), used for a backyard bridal party for my daughter in law,  globes that I took off of a chandelier (most of mine were missing), a small cushioned chair  that we used for a number of years and got passed on to my children for their apartment use, a cat carrier that I donated to the Humane Society, a car seat, and a child's picnic table. All these items have been repurposed and have served me well. Especially the car seat so that my son and his wife don't have to bring there's for me to use when I want to take Aiden somewhere in my car. Today's post was inspired by a little neighbor boy of whom I gave the child's picnic table.



My computer room overlooks their backyard and I happen to look out to see 4-yr-old John (name changed to protect the innocent) sitting and playing on it. John is a quiet little boy who enjoys painting and in his mind, inventing "things" with sand and dirt and little boy "stuff". I knew when I passed it over the fence it would be just the thing for him. His brother however is into sports at the ripe old age of two. He has a child's basketball hoop his folks bought him, loves to throw rocks over the fence at me while I sit in my backyard hoping for a few quiet moments with my favorite novel. He is soon to obtain my T-ball stand that has resided in my garage for a number of years that my own children loved and used. A virtual peace offering just for him.