Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Daughters are Divine

Before I get started I want everyone especially my sons to know that I hold no favoritism toward Karen. In fact your day will come be assured. I was just thinking of her tonight after returning from a visit with her today at UWEC. We went to see her sing in the Symphonic Choir as they were performing Elijah the Oratorio by Mendelssohn. I remember when I gave birth to her I was so elated esp. when the little pink outfits started coming and all I could think of was how fun it was going to be to dress her up and fix her hair and teach her about make-up, etc. That didn't last long since kids grow soooo fast and she has definitely become her own person with her own ideas about life. We worried as her parents because she was so quiet and unassuming as a child and we thought life and all it's horrors would eat her up and spit her out. But she turned out to be a very focused, thoughtful person, up to any task that the world or any of us including her brothers decided to throw at her. When I thought I'd never get pregnant and have kids, God not only handed me David and Daniel but gentle, unassuming, focused, thoughtful Karen! The picture I chose is from her harp jury which is a test on the instrument being taught for that class. Since it was a test I couldn't get any closer for fear of distracting her from playing. She did a great job playing her selections and we had a marvelous time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gas hogs are beautiful but costly

Michael and I decided to part with my mom's car that she gave us when she turned in her driving privileges which by the way was easier than I thought it would be for her. Getting rid of the Buick
hasn't been as easy. Since my dad died 2 years ago this coming July the impact he had on our lives has turned with the times. Between the gas prices and the housing market we have had to
let go of not only the house but one of the last cars that he bought my mom. It has been her pride and joy especially because he bought it for her. However, with it getting 10 miles to the gallon and the gas prices soaring above $3.45 a gallon the decision was made to part with it. We only hope that the person that buys it wants to soup it up rather than run it into the ground. Sounds silly but even though it's just a hunk of metal it holds many memories which fortunately don't go with the selling price. P.S. Anyone reading this that knows my mom - please don't tell her, she'd think he died again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Education does pay off!

I just finished up with a very reputable agency and am now on board to move into the healthcare industry as a Certified Medical Assistant. It has taken mountains of hours, studying, and sleepless nights not to mention a 300 pt certification test that I recently passed and I have now reached the start of a new career. In a way it is bitter sweet because some of my cleaning customers will have to be let go as I obtain more hours working in a clinic and I have come to enjoy so many of them through the years. It also marks a milestone in realizing that the cleaning business served it purpose and now doesn't which shows me an upside to the empty nest syndrome which I passed through kicking and screaming and still shed a tear now and then even though Daniel and Karen still reside at home (I hardly see them but their here somewhere :). My dad always wanted me to be in business for myself and couldn't understand my passion to work with people that were sick or hurting in some way as well as working for someone else. I am totally content with that and can hardly wait to give my first immunization (sorry all you who are prone to fainting at the sight of needles). Enough said - I strive ever forward!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Fine Line is a fine line

Michael and I took a gal from his work, Kim, and went to see David's band Between Two Skies at the Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis. I surprised myself in the fact that for the most part I enjoyed the band immensely even though they were a bit loud for me and the lyrics were hard to understand. A lot of talent up on that stage, though. I always enjoy talent esp. when it comes to music.

I have always been kind of proud of the fact that I am a "Baby Boomer"; someone who was around at the "dawning of the age of Aquarius", the live sounds of the Trashmen, and the celebrity of Ed Sullivan and the Beetles. I had to admit for one of the first times it was a little bittersweet seeing a very different sound that I found I had to work at to truly enter into but those around me were thoroughly engaged with it. It was as if life was saying it had moved on. Oh well, I will always wonder if we should have allowed putting the basketball down earlier (inside joke). Such talent!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Road less Traveled

This past Friday and Saturday I spent an overnight at a Franciscan center that "exhibits prayerful solitude and an opportunity for God to heal, nourish and restore God's people to health in body, soul and spirit."

The picture is one of 17 hermitages at Pacem in Terris just outside St. Francis, Minnesota.They are simple, one-room cabins with a bed, rocking chair, and end table. Gas lamps provide lighting as well as water and basins for washing up and a cookstove to make tea or instant coffee.The food is a basket of bread, cheese and fruit. Since it is a silent retreat and a time of reflection and prayer one is asked not to bring cell-phones, walkmans, radios, etc. unless absolutely necessary. It is considered a silent retreat so there is no conversation while on the trails and walking paths.There are 180 acres, most of it woodland with seven acres of tall-grass prairie in the center with trails that meander through the grass and trees to explore and enjoy. They have a main lodge that has bathrooms with showers and a small library. There are offices and a chapel on the main level along with a large living space with fireplace and tables where they provide a Friday evening meal. Conversation is encouraged.
I enjoyed it for the most part except for the very, very cold outhouse seat! It is hard to separate oneself from the outside world and going to bed at 9:00 due to the darkening sky and nothing else to do but read was difficult. Michael stopped in around 8:30 to say goodnight and see how things were going for me as it was my first time.
The next day was much better mostly due to the great weather we had. They have paths everywhere to explore one that leads out to a lake. Even though frozen this time of year, it was enjoyable. I saw and heard wild turkeys, sandhill cranes, and saw numerous beaver dams and many small birds.
The highlight was after dark when I stepped out into a moonless night and saw thousands upon thousands of stars filling the night sky. It reminded me how glorious His creation is and how much He loves us knowing that He created all of this just for us to behold. Wow!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The snow at Lebanon is just as beautiful!!!!!

The snow at Lebanon was so beautiful that I decided to write on it. This pic was not easy to get as I had to stand on a picnic table already covered with snow and ice. I almost broke my neck getting down but some photos are worth the risk. I thought this one was, considering I had other plans for it besides posting it here. Enjoy.

Lebanon here we come....and go

Lebanon was great this year. There was 14 of us all related in some form or another. I decided to scrapbook all the pics of the kids that my in-laws had accumulated over the years. I was surprised to realize that I missed sewing but I managed to find things to do. Took a walk, read some of my Louis Lamore book plus my bible, and did some cross-stitch. The best part other than short-sheeting Darlene's bed was playing "Hand and Foot" with all my friends (it's a card game similar to Canasta).Then March decided to come in like a lion and go out like one. When I woke up at Camp Lebanon on Monday morning the snow was doing it's thing in a major way and my ride back couldn't chance going back to the Twin Cities (I wouldn't have let her anyway). I was pretty frantic and mad at the world for letting it snow (I guess they love Washington people more...inside joke) but I finally asked God for forgiveness for doubting His care of me and realized how beautiful it all was. Lisa worked out a ride for me with a breakfast request in the form of a wonderful woman needing to get back to the TC for an appt. she couldn't miss. God is so gracious to me!