Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's a Dog's World


A friend of mine was wondering about my dog. She does'nt have Facebook and can't get over much but does read my blog so I thought I'd give her an update as well as those of you that are dog lovers (and/or don't have Facebook).
Bandit is now 5 months old to the day. He has accomplished much. Being still a puppy he has managed to eat one library book, 3 shoes (thankfully old discarded ones) and chewed off the plastic dial tht controls the heat level on my electric blanket (now that I'm in menopause I rarely use it). On the up-side he is sleeping until 6:30 rather than the 3:00 a.m. whine, he loves carrots which, thankfully are cheaper than rawhide chews at Petco and he has a personal attendant by the name of Manon that will come over at the drop of a hat most days and play with him. She also takes care of him when I'm at work since he is a "kennel" boy and I don't let him stay in his "home" for more than 4 hours at a time. His best friend is Geordi a little dog that wears a shock collar and never sees the outside of his own yard so I take Bandit over there to run in Geordi's fenced in yard. His other friend is Sophie, my oldest son's dog who is 3 times Bandit's size which makes no difference to Bandit. Confidence is his middle name and fear is not even in the picture. Just like the kids out there he starts school next month to learn how to NOT take me for a walk but the other way around, some wonderful manners that include words like "wait" and "off", and hopefully some much needed energy run-off 'cause he has WAY to much!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lemonade

Went with Michael last weekend back to his home area of Platteville, Wis. to attend two meetings. I had to be dragged there (I'd rather to to Hawaii but it ain't in the cards). Even though I didn't want to go I always try to make lemonade out of Platteville lemons. We drove down Friday night and met with his high school friends to plan their next 5 year reunion. The lemonade was not to bad since we met at a wonderful pizza place with a sports bar and some wonderful pizza. It was also fun hearing them share stories about their high school days. The next meeting was on Saturday morning at the University of Wisc. Michael is on the Alumni Board and they got together to plan out some events coming up specifically homecoming. I was left to do whatever I could to find something interesting in town for about 2 hours time. Since it was Saturday I thought I'd drive around and maybe look for the local library. Then the lemonade started pouring when I discovered a huge garage sale! Everything was very inexpensively priced. Had a great time visiting with 3 ladies that were experiencing the empty nesting syndrome and were getting rid of all their little boys toys and supplies. They sold me on a touch lamp that they had priced at only a dollar.
I enjoyed visiting with them and finally moved on downtown and there was more lemonade in the form of a farmers Market in the middle of downtown. I bought some cinnamon bread from an Amish lady and her two young boys, one of which was reading a Louis LaMour book (one of my favorite authors). I asked if their mother was reading it as well and she smiled and said "oh, no it's too violent for me". I also bought 4 perennials from a guy that was selling his wares out of the back of his truck. At 3 bucks a pop I thought it was a great deal getting some Shasta Daisies and Corn Flowers. All in all I had some interesting experiences. Michael connected up via cell phone and walked down to meet me at the Farmer's Market. We headed back to the Twin Cities through some huge storms and arrived home earlier than expected.
Daniel and Karen had stayed with Bandit for the overnight so that was nice for them since they had plans for the evening. Sometimes lemonade isn't quite as sour as I think it might be.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Indiana Starnes'

A couple weekends ago Michael and I flew down for the annual Starnes (Michael's moms side) family reunion. Lots of food and fellowship. They were a family of 7 kids. Their mom, Michael's grandmother played piano for the movies before the talkies. Her name was Mary. She named each of her children after famous people. Not sure about all of them but I know that Michael's mom, Betsy was named after Betsy Ross. She was the oldest. Then Tenney after Tennyson the author, Malcolm (not sure about that one) or the one they called "Daws". Then JoAnn, Lindy (after Charles Lindberg), and finally David Charles (not sure about him either although we call him Charley).
One became a school teacher, one a nurse, one was a gifted musician, and the rest did a variety of other occupations.
The grown children with their mom

Betsy, Malcolm and "Daws"
The three that are no longer alive. Michael's mom is the little girl Betsy.

Their life was very difficult. They were extremely poor and their father was abusive to not only the kids but the mother as well. Betsy left home at 14 to live with an aunt and her sister Lindy soon followed. Charlie was one of the few that escaped any abuse however he wasn't able to finish school past the 8th grade. Three have died, and the remaining 4 are married and have kids that have kids that Michael and I travel to see and spend a weekend with. All of them turned out fairly well considering their difficult childhoods and have made lives for themselves with loving families and grandchildren. This particular year they celebrated Tenney and Charlie's birthdays together at the reunion. It was so fun to see the camraderie and fun they had together that day. We all sang "Happy Birthday" and celebrated with cake and ice cream.


My two youngest kids drove down for the reunion as well which I found particularly nice. Our vacations never were as exciting as Disney World. Many times we would stop in to see relatives and take a day or two at the Dells but it was mostly raising them to understand and relish the importance of family and heritage that we hold. They played frisbee golf with Charley and they find Lindy particularly fun to be with since she is so much like their Grandma Betsy.
Reading their birthday cards

It is of particular enjoyment for me since they accept me into their fold just like I'm a blood relative. Better than Disney World, I think.