Friday, December 27, 2013

Skipping to Christmas

Sorry to all my blog readers out there. I have basically been in a "funk" and haven't been motivated to even do my favorite thing which is writing on this blog site. Nothing really happened in November anyway except turkey day.
Moving on to December, I hosted a cooking baking day with my two daughter-in-laws and my daughter. Venessa couldn't come as she was out of town but Hannah (Daniel's wife) and Karen came.
I was a little nervous due to never having a cookie baking day but we all did fine. I worked on cookies on the stove and the girls did oven baking. It was fun to see them work on their relationship building as well as their cookies. We fought Michael for the TV so we could tune in some Christmas carol listening but to no avail. Dumb football. Then I remembered my little speaker that can hook up to my phone and got some carols streaming throughout the kitchen while we cooked. The day was a success and we shared 3 different kinds of treats for a productive day together.

Hannah and Karen rolling out some delicious treats!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall trip

Went on the annual fall trip this past weekend. Same old, same old except we found a new place that was soooo much better than the others. Plan on hitting it next year. They also had the rare raspberry turnovers (everything is apple this or apple that) so Michael was in "heaven". Lots of color amid the orchards and farmers markets. Pecks is an annual event. They have everything and every year it seems they add more stuff; train rides, live animals, play area and tons of candy, cheese curds, popcorn and of course, apples of every size, shape and variety, not to mention cabbage.

cabbage at $3.00 a piece

Couldn't get but one or two pictures since no one would cooperate. Found a cardboard stand in Westby, Wisconsin where you stick your head through and pretend your Ole and Ingrid but no one wanted to be a fool for me (I guess just a fool for Christ). Anyway I have to admit it was kind of fun especially since Venessa and David joined us on the trip and I didn't have to drive for most of it since David helped while he pointed out all the deer stands he could find along the way.

Pecks Farm

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rah, Rah sis boom ba!

Michael, Ed, the teacher they honored (sorry, couldn't remember his name)

I recently attended Michael's homecoming and alumni celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. If you have followed my posts for a year or more I put in a blip about it a couple years ago since we go every year. Michael is on the Alumni Chapter Board of Directors in the area of BILSA (Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture majors) and we go down there about 3 times a year. I hate the drive but it's worth it watching him rub elbows with old classmates and teachers he had and I have to admit I've made a few friends through my time with him there. High school is the same experience. Small town life brings with it some benefits at least for me as I wouldn't know a soul from high school. It's always fun as well to hear the classmates of these schools relate experiences that they remember about Michael that he hasn't shared with me.
Anyway the university experience is larger but interesting too. Upon arriving we attended an alumni luncheon where there were about 30 of us, 9 of whom were accepting awards for their work and contributions to the UW-P. Most had PHD's or Dr's degrees and their award came from an enormous amount of years with tons of money and time contributions to the school. I wondered at the time how they had the time to rack up so many accolades. Some even had buildings or scholarships named after them. It was truly amazing. One couple had bought a restaurant and a Dairy Queen in town. They made it their life goal to specifically hire the young students at the school. Then they mentored them through their college experience.  
Michael and one of his buddy's from college nominated one of their former teachers for his contribution in the field of media and television.  They said he was way ahead of his time. Ed composed a speech to share with the group.

Michael, the Chancellor Dennis Shields, Ed and the former teacher

I always enjoy seeing Michael with his friend Ed and the teacher was so touched by their honor of his work and as their teacher. I guess there is still time to at least make a dent in the lives of those around us.
The day ended with a huge luncheon that is supported by the Alumni committees for the school. Even though Karen went to the rival school (University of Wisc - Eau Claire) the Platteville experience is wonderful as well. They're strong suit is Engineering but they cover all majors. Talking with the teachers and staff members along with alumni I always get the impression that the students are of utmost importance to them. They care very deeply about their success and continuing their life after graduation.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

General Post

Sorry it's been so long in posting. My mantra is not to post unless there is something to post about. Most of my time these days has been working with my clients through the home health agency I work for. It's a great company to work for. They strive to make you feel important in your job and since we are care givers whose job is basically to care for others, meet their daily needs and generally to help them feel they have importance in their lives, this company works with us to help us feel that too. They have this program that whenever you pick up an extra shift or a last minute shift they put your name in a hat and every week they pull a name out. I won last week and got $50.00 in cash. Sometimes it's a gift card to Target, etc. What an incentive to work. Not a lot of charting or documentation to the job either. I hate wasting time doing that.
On another note (for those not on Facebook), I bought a new sewing machine. It's a Janome "Memory Keeper". Great machine even though it is VERY heavy. Looking for a carrier with wheels as Camp Lebanon quilt retreat is coming in November and really don't want to cart it around. I wish my mom could see it. The machine is nothing like what I am use to. Of course, I haven't bought a machine in probably 25-30 years. My old one was really worn out. Sounded like a freight train when I ran it. This one threads itself by a touch of a lever and cuts the thread by a touch of a button. Amazing.
Since I always like posting a pic in each post here is a picture. Next up: homecoming in Wisconsin.

Monday, August 12, 2013

To the Soul There is Hardly Anything More Healing than Friends

So much has happened in the last month. Many of you know Daniel, my youngest got married the same day that my mom fell and broke her hip. She died one week later at the ripe old age of 90. My cousin from Seattle said that her father's (my mom's brother) experience with hospice was not that great. My mom's was pristine. The hospice group that followed her (thru Park Nicollet) calls me every month to see how my family and I are doing. They also have monthly support meetings at the hospice my mom was at when she died. Her care nurse throughout the 2 years she was in hospice visited her not only on her appointed days but when she fell she visited in the hospital after work and one of the last days my mom was alive. I can't say enough about them and would highly recommend that group of wonderful caregivers. I always tell them to contact Mainstreet. Outside of my children she is missed terribly over there.
That being said, I have been her sole caregiver and now after her death there is alot to do: papers, phone calls, financial issues, cleaning out and closing down the apartment. My brother came and took what he wanted and left. I haven't heard from him since. I also haven't really grieved even though I miss her. Especially when I see her face in a picture. Yesterday I was over at her apartment cleaning out her stuff and sharing some of her usable items with the residents (they have a table in the basement you can put out reusable items) and I picked up a piece of paper off the floor in the bedroom. It was one of her last grocery lists. Those are the things that send me over the edge. That and seeing the residents come up to me and tell me how much they miss her. I try to go at night so I won't run into them. Otherwise it's a cry-fest. I never allow anyone to cry alone in my presence (from Green Fried Tomatoes). One thing they all say is she never complained. I'm trying to pattern that into my own life.
I would highly recommend Mainstreet. She loved being there, made getting old not look so bad, and her friends there were like a second family to her. I'd move in tomorrow but I don't think Michael would go. Oh well.
Anyway, I found a picture that was given to her of a dinner that some of the gals went to about 4 months ago. It's become one of my favorites. She looks so very happy and that's the way I wish to remember her as. Life was good in between the pain. (The title is from Thomas Moore)

Mom with some of her Mainstreet friends

Sunday, July 28, 2013


At the game with friends

Spent the weekend with a few friends in Hendrum, MN.  Lots of visiting over coffee and card games. The finale of the weekend was a Redhawks Minor League game which they won and which ended with some magnificent fireworks. A couple of grand slams made it pretty enjoyable and I'm not much of a baseball fan.  I actually never like camera pics of firewords but wanted to try out my camera. This wasn't the best one but now I know I can get some pretty good shots with the right setting.


Came back on Sunday evening to the aftermath of writing thank you cards for the memorial that my mom gave to. Will need a few weeks to get the house back together and her apartment emptied out. Nice to get away for a bit.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One Left to Go

A symbol of unity by combining ingredients in each vase

Daniel got married today. It was enjoyable even though tremendously difficult from a physical standpoint. Michael started cooking for the grooms dinner and wedding reception 3 days prior. I thought I was working in a restaurant; stir this, grind this, zest this, peel this, etc. He had tripled all the recipes and we went at it. Everything turned out in the end. Even James came from West Virginia to be in the wedding. (on the left of the picture at the bottom).

Aiden (Hannah's boy) as ring bearer and Emily (a cousin) as flower girl

Lovely day, lovely bride, handsome groom and lots of friends and relatives. At the end of the day we loaded up the car to the hilt and drove home. I admit I shed a few tears watching time move swiftly forward and my youngest boy turn into a married man. I was so proud of him esp when he told me that he knew that dad and I had sacrificed so much the past week to make the wedding a cherished event that he wasn't expecting a gift from us because we had already given our "all".

Presenting the married couple

He was also very proud of Hannah as were we with her ability and time spent organizing, planning, ordering and working so hard to make everything non-food related come together.

Long-time friends from his childhood

As I write this they are on their way to Wisconsin Dells to enjoy a few days swimming and relaxing. the weather is cooperating as well as our temps should reach the high 80s.
Have a good time Daniel and don't be a stranger.  :)  Love, Mom

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July at Mainstreet

Mom celebrated 4th of July early at Mainstreet with a picnic.

Dicky and I joined her for a lunch of traditional picnic fare and were entertained by a Dixieland band.

Fun time visiting with mom.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Wedding In The Works

getting ready to open presents and enjoy the day

Went to a shower for Daniel's bride-to-be in Clearwater, MN. It was put on by her various aunts and cousins. She got some wonderful gifts and everyone enjoyed the time together. Even though Hannah is an only child she has many extended family that she enjoys at holidays, etc.

party guests

My mom was invited so it was nice for her to  get out and take a small "road" trip. She did real well overall.

Everything went well and we topped the day off with cake. Even the weather cooperated.

Hand embroidered kitchen towels

Hannah with the grandmas!

Next Sunday will be one that I am hosting with her various girlfriends from the area. Sure to be fun.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Timex Watch

Her cake. It was much larger that the picture appears

Well, she made it! Mom hit the big 9 0. When her cancer returned 9 months ago they gave her 6. I remember saying to myself that I would continue on as if she would take one day at a time. I continued with that theme letting her know where our Thanksgiving day would be and her comment was "I won't be around by then". She made that holiday and the one after that again stating she would be "gone by then".

Her goal was to make it to her 90th birthday. There were tons of cards, flowers and well wishes. She had a marvelous time with all her friends and family enjoying cake and refreshment.

Karen (daughter) and Dick (brother) performing for Mom

This may be her last big "holiday" however she is shooting for Daniel's wedding on July 13th. I wouldn't place any bets on her not making that event. I just told her to put one foot in front of the other and move along. Her best friend, Joyce told her to follow God's message: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. All I can say is to refer back to my May 30th post. It truly is God's love for us and His grace and love for her that she is still with us.

Holding up the flashing ring she got as a gag gift from her best friend, Joyce Haha

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there and those in heaven like my own. I picked two pictures. One of him during WWII as an enlisted man in the Navy. Even though he disliked the service immensely (another story) I thought it exemplifies him as a man with much of his life ahead of him. He was about 25 years old here. The other one, even though it isn't the best pic of him I chose it because he LOVED swimming so it seemed appropriate for me to post him doing what he loved.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Daniel - the years go way too fast!

A little Rubi-cube time with Grandma Roby

Once again we celebrate Daniel's birthday, my youngest at 26 today. This is someone who understand the meaning of "work ethic". Hopefully someday he can slow down a bit and enjoy life the way the Lord would like him too.
Here's to you, Daniel. Hopefully some time soon you will have time to stop and smell the flowers! Life is too short. I know, because you are 26 and it seemed like yesterday you came into the world as my little 5 pounder. I'm including a great pic of what was one of your favorite pastimes that you enjoyed with Grandma when you were a little guy.  Between the two of you I don't know who loved playing those games more, you or her.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Centennial Lakes Park (between the rain)

paddle boat docks

"With a 24-acre park and pond, Centennial Lakes Park offers the ultimate urban escape. The park features more than 1.5 miles of paved pathways meandering around a 10-acre lake interspersed with beautifully landscaped grounds, formal and informal seating areas, swinging benches and fountains."

I guess that sums it up pretty well except they left out the paddle boats which I haven't tried yet but will sometime without the dog. They also have a amphitheater that has live bands and different venues of music activities.  In between the rain and sunshine today I ventured out with the dog to enjoy Centennial Lakes Park. I have been trying different parks, ball fields and dog-friendly areas to take Bandit.  He is VERY high strung and needs massive amounts of stimulation. I have exhausted myself with group obedience training as well as individual training to no avail. He is constantly at my heel wanting everything under the sun and walking him, well, needless to say, he walks me. Then I came on a Netflix series called "The Dog Whisperer". Outside of using a choke collar (I don't believe in negative reinforcement) the guy was great. I guess there is some truth to the boredom they can experience going to the same place all the time (in this case, the backyard). I learned a lot more about ME being the alpha dog, I incorporated the Gentle Leader collar and the rest is history. Granted we need to go to different places but Centennial Lakes Park is so atmospheric and large that you can cover a small area in enough time for a good experience for both of us. We also can cover a new area each time we visit. I'd have to say it's turned out to be one of our favorite haunts. They even provide doggy elimination bags for your convenience. There are lots of birds, squirrels and other dogs to satisfy the most active dog minds. When we get home I can't even find him since he crashes on the floor somewhere for about 3 hours afterward. If you don't have a dog, take a kid. Better yet, you can borrow my dog! You'll have a blast!

father and son playing mini golf on east side

Saturday, May 4, 2013


The one that turned us into a family instead of a couple even though it took 25 hours of labor to do so. The one that loved being read to and sometimes I had to go into the next chapter of a story because the suspense was killing us both. The one that introduced me to my grey hairs on top of my head although not literally. The one that loved dinosaurs and asked me once what they did with their time living in heaven. Do they???? And finally, the one that has blessed our family immensely in so many ways. Happy birthday, David.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Seattle in April

Seattle skyline from the Space Needle 
Went to Seattle on the 18th for our 32nd wedding anniversary. Only could stay a couple days and of course it rained both days. Came back on a "red eye" midnight their time. I have 4 cousins that live there but I only relate to one primarily since we are about 15 months apart in age and spent more of our growing up years together than with the other 3.

Pike's Market
We did have some fun in spite of the rain. Went up the Space Needle. Not worth the $20 bucks but got some great shots thru the rain of the landscape.  Also always enjoy Pike's Market.

Pike's Market

Vendor at Pike's Market
The Music Museum on the other hand was also 20 bucks and well worth the money.
My oldest son tells me that Seattle is the home of grunge music and it showed at this museum. Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Nurvana to name a few that were highlighted.

One of Jimi Hendrick's guitars

It was an incredible experience and would highly recommend it if you ever get to the Seattle downtown area.

We stayed outside the downtown and took their light rail in. Took about a half hour to get there. Ate dinner at a great place with two of my cousins. Had more fun watching these white hatted chefs yell out menu orders amid the flying spatulas and flaming grills. Just like Ramsey of Hell's Kitchen minus the swearing and they even posed for me when I wanted to snap a pic of them. Unfortunately there was a glitch in my camera and so didn't get one that turned out.  Below is the lobby with 700 instruments, mostly guitars (there is a girl on the right of it to compare the size it was.

 Some of the album covers along the viewing area of the Music Museum. They also had a section highlighting the history of leather jackets, all kinds from movies. I didn't take any pics of that section because I'm not "into" leather jackets. Also was a room with guitars dating from the late 1800s to the present. You could hear the story behind each guitar and then hear a 30 sec spot of how it sounds.
 Elliot Bay waterfront
 Something magical and a very common site to see a very small tugboat pulling a very large barge. Goodbye Seattle till we meet again!




Friday, March 29, 2013

Lebanon in the Spring-2013

The A-Frame girls

Finally, I was able to get some pictures off my camera and on my computer. They keep changing stuff around on these blog sites and I have trouble keeping up and re-learning everything so I can get into my own site. Anyway the Lebanon retreat was wonderful as expected. The only bummer was the lights were just too much for me so I spent some time reading in other rooms just to relax. As we all know the camera was clicking for my scrapbooking and my blog site. Enjoy.

Lots of sewing going on!

Nothing like a hot cup of coffee and two great friends

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Congrats Andrew and Shelly!!

Andrew and Shelly

So very sorry I haven't blogged for awhile. Work has taken it's toll and all I want to do in the evening is sit and then there is always housework to catch up on.
Anyway, I went to Owatonna to a bridal shower for a son of a family I have know for over 32 years. It was a very nice time. I took along a friend that also knew them. They made a theme of Let's Make a Deal with the games and small prizes to boot. It was so funny trying to guess the prices and see everyone have fun.
The bridal couple, Andrew and Shelly are getting married in June. They make a very sweet couple and I am very happy for Andrew. He got a job a few years ago in Kansas City, Missouri teaching Catecism classes and it went from there. Andrew has an amazing knowledge of his Catholic faith and he met Shelly while he was living there. Great Saturday to spend a wonderful sunny day!


good food!

Friday, February 15, 2013

To Busy Shoveling!

Sorry I haven't been visiting or posting. Just no free time right now, but thanks to those of you that continue to pop in or email and let me know I'm still part of your world!! It warms my little heart!! Will soon have something to share

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

mohawk car

I haven't posted for awhile and I saw something on that reminded me of something I could post. It was 22 pictures of an example of laziness however in my case I wouldn't call it that.
The first big snowfall this year left our cars covered with snow. I was in a hurry to get to work and after clearing off my car I left and parked in the employee lot along with my co-workers. Some of the girls were kidding around with me about having a "mohawk on my car". I didn't get it at first but then I understood. Most of them live in condos that have indoor garages where they live and I don't have access to mine with a large car and a one-car garage that was built in 1923. Mine usually is the only one with snow on it. It looked similar to the posted picture but not quite as bad. I figure snow weight can help get us through the icey streets even though it probably doesn't help with the gas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Time Flies

Ran across a picture the other day while cleaning out PILES of stuff and came across a picture from my college days. The year was 1971 and the girl next to me (I'm the one with the hat on) is Diana aka "Tex" because she was born in Texas. We were really close in college. So close that my dad use to call me "Louisiana". We were roommates at the now defunct Golden Valley Lutheran College. We both went on to Augustana in Sioux Falls since I could live with her at her folks house in SF for the 1st year at Augie and save money. Our senior year I moved on campus and we had kind of a falling out due to "life" happening. I became a Christian and she didn't understand that whole "scene" as she called it, I made the cut in the marching band as a drummer and she got cut, and new friends and a focus on the future became more a part of my life not to mention that I wanted to live on campus at least one year to experience dorm life, etc. After that we just lost track of each other. Anyway, our lives moved on until the 30 year reunion at Augie in 2003. She got in touch with me and asked if I was attending and could we meet there and make up for some lost time. I took Karen with me and we met her there. We had a pretty good time. I got to meet her mother whom I hadn't seen since '73, always a sweet unassuming woman, and we attended the football game that day and enjoyed dinner over pizza. I don't know if I had changed too much over the years or she had but it was hard to connect because she said that I wasn't the same person that she expected me to be.  After her mother died two years later in 2005 (her dad died in '78) she went back to Texas,  and now lives with a lovely older lady in Austin working as a clerk for the AARP. She never married. Anyway, since that time we manage to exchange yearly Christmas cards to keep in touch. I never know where she is so I have to wait each year until she sends me one. I pray for her alot since her life hasn't been easy for her. Not alot of money or support from relatives or friends. The card I got this year came yesterday and she said she is moving again. I'll have to wait once more to send her next years card. When I was a Girl Scout we use to sing, "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold." I try to remember that along with the good times.