Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yes Virginia (I mean Christine) there is a Santa Claus

I visited Santa every year. I wish I could remember what I told him. Maybe it would help me to understand who I am today from what I thought was important back then. Even though Santa was important so was Jesus. Sunday school at the Lutheran church told me the real reason for the season and so I enjoyed both even though at the tender age of 8 I thought it was more fun drinking the fruit punch and coloring the baby Jesus and the three wise men. Santa was fun to because I got to spend time with my mom going downtown, riding the elevators with the lady who pulled the door across and let us out on the floor where Santa was. Then we'd go over to a place called The Forum where we had chicken pot pie and red jello. Then on to Woolworths drug store for chocolate soda's. I was in Dairy Queen awhile ago and asked for one and they didn't know what they were or how to make them. What's the world coming to??

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Party, Hardy!!

My favorite thing about Christmas is Christmas parties. I usually never get invited to any but since Michael has been at NW Airlines there is a fellow employee that enjoys it as much as I do and has one every other year. There is usually about 12 of us including spouses and she always plans it as a brunch. We all bring a dish to share and we sometimes play a game or just visit. This year there were children invited so we played a game and included them. it was great fun. I hope to someday return the favor and have one of my own. Maybe next year. The picture is of the NW group of adults that were there. The hostess is down in front with the brown slippers. Lovely person inside and out!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dostoevsky wasn't there but it was still enjoyable!

A friend and I went to the Russian Museum on Diamond Lake Road and 35W last week. It use to be a funeral home and someone bought and renovated it turning it into a museum of Russian art. I thought it was a dumb idea. I was wrong. I had heard it was very interesting but didn't have my hopes up. It was quite memorable and not because I love hardwood floors and dark quiet places. It had two levels of art pieces some so big that it was better seen from across the room. They also had a special showing of Russian nesting dolls which was fabulous. All the artwork was told with the artists thoughts on the piece and many covered the Industrial Revolution and was explained and expressed through art. The basement rooms had a display of photographic art that proved to be most interesting as well.I paid a dollar for a booklet that gave me each story behind the photos. Again, very interesting. Well worth the $5.00 bucks to get in. I would recommend it to everyone. Don't miss out on an excellent day of education in the art world!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"I'm, so glad we had this time together..."

I once was asked what my favorite job in the world was. Without even blinking I said parenthood. I knew the time would come when I would no longer be a "mom on site" but just the same a mom. The role just changes. Crowding around a dinner table is no longer an issue. Instead of telling my oldest to get off the phone (pre-cell phone days), it now rings for me from guess-who? Before they were gone it was the sound of laughter, tears, bouncing basketballs, and the beetle-e-beep of video games. I finally have peace and quiet even if I don't desire it. I now have two more rooms in the house in which to decorate, fill with odds and ends, even make a sewing room or library out of them. I know the day will come but at the moment all I seem to be able to do is sit in them and listen to my voice echo off the walls. Yesterday I found a super ball in the corner of one room. It had a picture of Mickey Mouse in the middle. I put it in my jewelry box. I know, I'm hopeless. I also know that life will go on and God will carry me through it. The empty rooms will become something functional and welcome. Dinner will be candlelight and a loving husband. Even the bathroom I shared with my daughter and son will be mine alone with candles and pretty hand towels. Even though I will look forward to holidays more than I have before, I now know how my mom felt when I left home for good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Do dogs REALLY go to heaven??

Every October 4th or the Sunday closest to it Comet and I head over to Woodlake Lutheran Church in Richfield, the church I was confirmed in and join in the service recognising the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. They call it "The Blessing of the Animals". They start outside after bringing out the piano and pass out programs and the pastor gives a short service in regard to St. Francis and his love for animals. there is a little box of plastic bags for those that might feel the need for, well, you know. Sometimes a dog will disagree with what the pastor's message is and bite another dog but for the most part everyone gets along. Then we head inside and down the hall to the small chapel so that each animal, fin, fur or feather receives an individual blessing from the pastor. Upon leaving the chapel each person receives a little St. Francis metal to put on their animal's collar or cage. We all join in at the end in the Fellowship Hall for refreshments for man and beast (cookies and dog treats).

This gentleman brought his hamster in a small exercise ball wrapped in a blanket.
I always enjoy just seeing how people really love their pets.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

My title is from "Three Little Fishies" by Kay Keyser and His Orchestra from 1941. Most of you over 50 remember the song. It was a jukebox favorite and sold over a million copies. Don't know why but David has turned out to be a very good fisherman. The only person that ever fished with him was Grandpa Myron (the man in the picture) so we're giving him credit. We did take him fishing at the Dells when he was about 10yrs old (starving fish, lots of worms and 10 bucks a lb for whatever you caught) but you really couldn't call it real fishing, obviously. David recently went "real fishing" to a place called Spider Lake up in Grand Rapids in the Chippawa National Forest and caught a 43" Shoepack Musky. Even though it was trophy-worthy he had to throw it back for another catch on another day because the lake is on a reserve. Too bad. Grandpa would have been so proud!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How the Other Half Lives

Michael and I took a bike trip from home out to Bloomington to visit some previous neighbors for a surprise visit. They lived two doors down from us and were wonderful neighbors. I didn't want to go unless we called them first but they were so surprised and happy to see us and we had a wonderful visit with them. Their new home made the "old neighborhood" look like the projects. They had moved 3 years ago into a very high test beautiful house. Katy is an interior designer and her and her hubby met why teaching art classes (she was his instructor). The rest is history. They are great friends and such interesting people. Without invading their privacy I asked if I could take some pictures of various rooms for benefit of the blog. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

What can I say about a picture of someone who has MAYBE fished once in their life and here she is at 86 years young fishing on a lake in Buffalo Minnesota with a group of peers? Just like back in the 1940s the men baited the ladies hooks. What a rush!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two's company, three's not available

The other night I decided to ask Karen if she would go with me over to the Hopkins trail for a short afternoon bike ride. Michael had a migraine and it's always more fun to bike with someone even if it's a "smarty-pants, no-hands" daughter. We made 6 miles and went home but it was enough to say we had a workout and was a good time for the two of us to socialize together. Personally I would love to see all three of them learn to enjoy biking as it is free and so very good for you. Don't know if she will do it again but it's a start.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Saints Have Marched In Already

We have been remodeling our crawl space to give us some storage room and Michael discovered some fabric that had been stuffed into one corner to block out the wind maybe during the winter (we think). Anyway, when we pulled the fabric down we found out it was a pair of pants. After looking them over and an internet search we discovered that they were pants from World War 1. The pictures don't show the buttons but they are metal and are inscribed with "U.S. Army" on them. The pants are 100% dark green wool and the legs have lacing down the sides. Unfortunately they got stuck on a nail when I pulled them down out of the crawl space corner and fearing a bat or gigantic spider falling on me I continued to rip them away from the wood. I could have reached up and carefully moved them around the nail but I doubt the original owner needs them anymore.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mainstreet enjoyment

My mom invited Karen and I over for dinner in the dining room last Monday evening for a meal of ribs and corn on the cob. We were entertained by a Dixieland jazz band who's members were not much younger than those living there. There is something going on all the time at Mainstreet. I don't know how she keeps up with all her friends, card games and of course dinners with entertainment. The last time it was a singer that she knew from 20 years ago when she and dad were at the Medina Ballroom. Even though it was kind of bittersweet she enjoyed it completely and got to talk with the gal afterward. She even got to go fishing last month with 9 others; something she hasn't done for at least 30 years. What a rush!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life is good when you're Karen

When Karen was little we as her parents worried that she would be able to find her way in life. She was so shy and never seemed to stand up for herself against a sometimes very harsh world. She proved she could this past week by finishing up her 6-month internship in Music Therapy after 5+ years of study and hard work. A party was definitely in order and was planned in (where else) but Eau Claire. She sent out invitations through email and Facebook, we rented a pavilion right next to a beautiful lake in Carson Park where the football games were held and fired up the grill. Friends came and we all celebrated. It was so great. She got worried at one point because Michael and I and my mom were sitting off to the side after eating and she thought we were bored. I told her I hoped that someday she would understand the thrill of enjoying life by watching your children enjoy life especially when they have worked so hard to achieve their dreams. Extra special was the job she secured when she got back to the Twin Cities. With the economy the way it is what more can one ask for? "Good times, good times" (private joke for Karen). The two girls in the one picture are fellow music therapy majors not yet graduated.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

5 Feet High by the 4th of July

When I was a kid we were traveling through Iowa on a July weekend to visit relatives and my dad was looking at the scenery and pointed out that the corn in that particular field was 6 feet high. My brother and I didn't believe him (we were 6 and 10 at the time), so he pulled the car over and proceeded to walk out into the cornfield to prove it since he was 6 feet tall. I could write a book with all the goofy things he use to do to amuse us. In with all our Kodak pics we have one of him standing in a cornfield on an Iowa highway. You can just see the crown of his head and almost hear him yelling, "See! 6 feet high by the 4th of July!" When I look at my tomato plant which is 5 feet high I think of that day mostly because I have never had any, and I mean any luck growing tomatoes. This year however, there is going to hopefully be a bumper crop looking at the size of that thing. The only problem at this point is there are no tomatoes on it, only leaves and flowers. Maybe it needs a boyfriend???? (since writing this one week ago I have 4 little tomatoes. yeh!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Music in Moline

Michael called me from work Wednesday and asked if I wanted to do an overnight in Moline, Illinois. I actually wanted to stay home and clean my house but decided maybe I needed a break. Moline for me is not a very exciting place as opposed to what Michael sees it as which is close to a day in Chicago. He keeps telling me there is lots to do but I can't find it. Hoping to some day as I know a return trip is definitely in my future as long as I stay married to the man. Anyway, we did find a Blu's Festival down on the Mississippi riverfront with lots of venders and lots of music. We had a pork tenderloin sandwich and sat by the river watching boats float by enjoying a free concert (it cost us $5.00 to get through the gate). The Guardian Angels were there (remember them, Minneapolis?)keeping order along with some police. We decided to try and walk back to the hotel, made it about 3 miles until my feet gave out and called them to send the van to pick us up (thank God for cell phones). I was getting nervous anyway after a giant slushy container was pitched at us from a moving car going in the opposite direction. Fortunately they missed. Nothing is greater than soaking in a hot tub after a day like that which is exactly what I did.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One More Time in Wisconsin

I know I blog too much about my biking adventures (even though that's what I do most in the summer) I decided to relate one more biking story so those who are new to my blog, esp. those who took this trip with me might enjoy it as well along with the few that read this on a regular basis. I might also gain more readership, which would be great even though like Jennifer (another blogger I read) doesn't know how many read her blog. ANYWAY, this trip was organized by an avid biker who also is an alumni of University of Wisconsin-Platteville from my husband's class. He organized a biking excursion starting at the University and running about 22 miles up and around the giant "M". The "M," by the way, stands for mining, in honor of UW's erstwhile mining school, which was very prestigious in the early 20th century. The students moved and cemented 400 tons of light-colored limestone to create the letter. The "M" is 241 feet high, 214 feet wide, and the legs are 25 feet across. The engineers who designed it used surveying techniques to ensure that the "M" appears symmetrical and visually appealing from all angles. ANYWAY, because there are not many bike trails in wooded areas around Platteville the travel was mostly on highways devoid of trees and surrounded by cornfields, etc. since I have been biking along trails here in the Twin Cities I figured I would be in shape. WRONG! The group left me in the dust except for a very kind lady close to my age who could have left me in the dust but decided to wait at the top of each ENORMOUS hill for me, took a shortcut that I wouldn't have known about and rested with me part way under the giant "M". Michael joined us for the shortcut. Not sure if it was a sympathy move or not but I appreciated the tired fellow Minnesotan not to mention husband. Much to my relief the halfway point welcomed us with a giant cooler of iced water bottles, apples, and donut holes. The sun and the hills really "killed" me not to mention when my chain fell off (by the way, sunscreen takes grease off your hands) but I hung in, made some wonderful new friends, and I may (I said "may") give it another try next year. All in all the most fun of course was winding my way back home with Michael through the small towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota and the exercise made me feel absolutely fantastic underneath all that sweat. All l can say is, GO WISCONSIN BIKERS!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"B" does not always stand for "blog"

We took our weekly bike trip with Dan and Mary to St. Paul covering 17 miles this time. Wouldn't recommend this trail if you don't like hills and bumps. Very woodsy, though. At one point we were surrounded by (I'm sure) 100 yr-old trees. They were so H U G E! The trail followed along the river and ended up in downtown St. Paul across from the Science Museum (the state capital is behind us) for our destination and snack and rest time. After returning to our cars we hooked the bikes back up and walked down to the river front and watched the river boats travel by (notice Fort Snelling up on the bluff) while we skipped stones and talked about our next bike adventure!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There's More to Shakopee than Valleyfair

Michael and I have put a number of miles so far this year biking around the metro area. Two weeks ago it was a trail in Hopkins that leads to Excelsior. It is one of my favorite trails because of the scenery with all the boats and Lake Minnetonka shoreline. We went approximately 22 miles, a bit of a stretch for me this early in the summer but still fun. This past week we tried out a trail just west of Valleyfair in Shakopee. Very lovely and rustic. It led us to a small area in the old part of Chaska. Only 12 miles but very enjoyable with low riding hills. Ran across a number of people out that day including some very friendly teens. We don't run into many young people riding the trails possibly due to the ability to get one's license at 16 in Minnesota. I was glad to see them out exercising their bodies free of charge rather than emptying their wallets at Valleyfair. Outside of some interesting flowers, I took a picture of some wetlands on the southside.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Tribute

Took my mom to Fort Snelling National Cemetery for Memorial Day. My dad is buried there having served in the Navy. Beautiful weather, tons of people milling about and remembering loved ones. I gained a personal interest in veterans, not from my dad who actually hated the service but from working at the Mn. Veterans Home for a couple years. They have a story to tell. We should be listening.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bike Parade

Michael and I were invited this past Sunday to join with hundreds of other bikers to try to beat the Guinness world record for the longest length of a "bike parade". Still waiting for the numbers to come in (I was #565 to cross the finish line). It started at 68th and France and went around Lake Cornelia covering approx. 2.2 miles and taking approx. 26 minutes riding single file throughout the ride. The weather was great and the event was very well organized. The Edina Morningside Rotary Club sponsored it and also turned it into a fund raiser with money going to VEAP which runs a foodshelf, camp scholarships for kids, and money for vaccination programs in Third World countries. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond lead the parade, however I never spotted him. We rode our bikes there and then took a ride through the Centennial Lakes area afterward so we covered approx. 12 miles for the day. All in all it was a great time even though Michael got alot of ribbing as he rode with his Packer sweatshirt on :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

29th and counting!

I thought I better put this in since tomorrow is May 1st. Michael and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary on the 19th of this month. We were going to bike over to Edinborough Park in Edina and "people-watch" over a picnic lunch by the lake but it rained so we took the light rail downtown and ate dinner at a restaurant in the Comfort Inn Suites Hotel on 7th Street. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it doesn't matter since the brocolli was rubbery which is definitely a bad sign. Lots of atmosphere, though. We had fun just being together even though we've been together now for 29 years. Lots of milestones. Watching the neighborhood change over time (we are one of two families with the longest residency on the block). Having babies, birthday parties and many, many family Christmas and Easter celebrations. Having pets to love and cherish and bury in the backyard (rest in peace Marty, Keet, Ratty, and Belle). Gutting the house, getting rid of the bats and finding out too late that the fence on the north side of the house really has belonged to us all these years. But we all know that the bottom line is who's standing next to us through all those years of sadness and joy, frustrations and forgiveness and love and loss. It's been a great ride so far. Thanks, dear for standing with me through it all!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spices, Seasonings and Herbs Oh My!

If you've never been to Penzeys Spices you've missed out on a real aromatic experience. Michael and I go there alot and enjoy it immensely. I'm not sure if it's the wonderful smells of 250 varieties of spices and herbs (they have samples of everything for your "smelling" pleasure) or just taking in all the shops in the Uptown area but it's a real treat to spend a Saturday afternoon browsing among the locals picking out the next recipe idea for Sunday dinner. We stopped in this past Saturday as he had received a gift card from some friends at work and he wanted to spend it. Because we're considered regulars at Penzeys we have just about all the "stuff" we need for a great meal but there is so much to pick from that he went in search of a new seasoning or gadget they might enhance his cooking skills which those of you that know him know what a great cook he is! We had a great time on a beautiful sunny day enjoying the sights and smells of Penzeys!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Went alone, returned alone, but oh the inbetween!!

I never get tired of sharing my adventures about Camp Lebanon. This visit was great once again. What could go wrong when you're surrounded by great friends and new acquaintances? Quilting was paramount although I never feel like doing anything since that's such a luxury for me at the present time at home. There also was another round of Hand and Foot. The West Coast won this time. Since I am a person that thrives on alone time as well I found some solace in a short walk around the camp on Saturday afternoon, shot some hoops with a deflated ball in 38 degree weather and took in a Saturday mass in the small town of Upsala about 3 miles away (Does anyone know that they sell a tube of toothpaste there for 3 dollars and 95 cents?). Anyway, all in all I had a great time, especially since I didn't forget my toothpaste. P.S. Peace to you too darling Darlene!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is here??!!

First my apologies go out to my regular readers. My life has become way too complicated recently and also I haven't really done anything to warrant a blog post (I hate just blogging for the sake of blogging). Anyway, the other day I noticed my Christmas cactus in full bloom and thought, "wrong season, right reason". I am so into spring, and planting seeds and such that I decided to take a picture of it. I actually do nothing with this plant except throw some water at it on a rare occasion and it gives me such pleasure. It's worth sharing with all you seed-planting, lets break out the sprinkler and lawn chair people that I put it here. You'll have to excuse the pot. It was one I made as a budding (excuse the pun) artist in Junior High and I just can't part with it. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Has Anyone Seen Sherwood Forest??

Michael and I took a over-the-road trip to Mason City, Iowa to watch his uncle Charlie and son Scott compete in a bow and arrow shoot. They are from Indiana and make the trip each year to compete. Charlie's son has gotten so good he is sponsored by companies that make the products for the sport. In fact I got a real deal on a very good pair of binoculars because he is sponsored by the company that sells them. It was a really good time. Like any tournament they had venders along one wall selling products for the sport as well as a snack stand with hotdogs, drinks, and various other food items. There are different competitions with prize money and trophys and it goes from Friday through Sunday. It is open to men, women, and children alike. You compete depending on your level of ability. I never knew that bows and arrows came in so many different styles and colors. Robin Hood would have been envious!