Saturday, July 11, 2020

Friday, July 10, 2020

The news in our country is so negative and depressing. The Coronavirus is still ravaging and the daily cases have topped at a record breaking 59-60,000 per day, with 136,000 deaths. The President is pushing to open schools everywhere and is saying he will block funding if they don’t. Minnesota is doing well with leveling off and most counties and cities are now requiring masks in every public building.

As far as our ridiculous President, a new tell-all book written by his niece has just been released and he tried to block it but didn’t succeed. He has been ordered to release his financial information (that has only taken most of his term), he commuted the sentence of one of his cronies, Roger Stone from going to prison - he was convicted of lying to Congress about interference in the 2016 election.

Tom and I continue our search for apartments and may have found just the one today - The 
Henderson Senior Apartments in Shakopee, although there is a list and no apartments are available. We will have to make some accommodating arrangements in the meantime - not sure if that will be extending my current lease, going month-to-month, or just packing my stuff into storage again until something opens up. The prices of apartments have increased by over $100 in the last year. I just got my increase notice from River Crossing and the rent is up $55 and garage up $15. It is ridiculous for those of us on fixed incomes.

Yesterday, I had my pre-op appointment with my doctor, in preparation for my cataract surgery. I also had blood work done for my upcoming annual checkup and a hygiene appointment at the dentist. Its seems like I’m going to the doctor a lot lately. I am kind of dreading the COVID test and surgery next week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The hot days lately (low 90s with humidity) have shortened our daily walks although we still get close to 3 miles in each day. We didn’t do much on 4th of July, took Frisco for an early walk to avoid fireworks, then Tom and I walked along the river in hopes of seeing fireworks on the horizon. We got to chatting with a guy and walked with hm for quite a while. He was a Vietnam Vet, so we thanked him for his service and that opened the door and he told us of his experiences, his wife’s bad health and how he wouldn’t be able to care for her much longer, and how his family is protecting them from COVID. I guess he really needed to talk and we let him. We stood at the overlook and watched fireworks in the distance and got a good look at the full moon. There was an eclipse of the moon tonight too, but we didn’t wait around to see it.  I was expecting there to be many more people with the same idea, but there were only a few.  

My photos didn’t turn out so great, but here they are anyway.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020

Where did this week go? Our only walk that took us out of the neighborhood was the far eastern section of the trail at Crosby Farm Park. We have gotten little walking in the last 2 days as the temps have been in the 90s with pretty high humidity.

Today, I got another haircut, this time at Ulta Beauty in Eagan.  It had gotten so long that I couldn’t wait for my next appointment that would have to be canceled anyway since I am having my cataract surgery that day. 

The COVID-19 cases have exploded in the US since things started to open a few weeks ago. My Granddaughters went to horse camp last week, so I have not been near them all week - who knows if they had been exposed. Some states have had daily increases of 5,000+ cases.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I got a text from Rita this morning reminding me that Mom would be 98 years old today and the sad thing is that she has been gone for 56 of them. I don’t remember much about her but I can’t help but think that my sisters and I have some of her qualities. If that is so, she was a good gal. Happpy Birthday, Ruth Marion Peckham Ursino!

I had an appointment with an eye surgeon on Thursday to determine if my cataracts should be removed. He felt that my vision would improve greatly by having the surgery, so I got that all scheduled to have the left eye done on July 18 and the right eye done on July 30. Once that all heals, I will schedule another appointment to have my eyelids tucked, as they are also affecting my vision.

Tom and I have had a busy week that included some shopping, some housekeeping, lots of walks, and some projects.  The big project was getting the seats on two of my antique dining chairs reinforced. We put our heads together and came up with a plan that wouldn’t take away from the appearance or integrity of the chairs - the seats are embossed leather and were sagging in the middle because of the wood weakening and breaking.  At Home Depot, we found all of the materials that we needed at a price of less than $12, we borrowed a drill from Ben and a saw from his neighbor, Kevin and tackled the project on Friday. They turned out so nice and will be around for another 100 years.



We made fathead pizza for dinner, a keto crust made from mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, almond flour, and an egg. It was crispy and tasty!

We’re always looking for new places to walk and explore, so today, we drove to Fort Snelling State Park (about 5 miles away) and hiked the trail around Pike Island that is in between the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The trail was nice and shaded and there weren’t a lot of other people around. The only downside was the sound of planes flying overhead from the nearby MSP airport.  The real plus is that we haven’t had a problem with bugs at all this summer - not even a mosquito to swat. Knock on wood. I’m not complaining one bit.

I love the gnarly knots on this tree.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Over breakfast this morning, we decided to take a drive and to access a trail that we haven’t walked before. There are so many to choose from. We learned that the Gateway Trail goes for 18 miles from North St Paul to a county park north of Stillwater and the Browns Creek Trail meets up with it. We set off for the Browns Creek Trail but the directions we got from another hiker led us to the Gateway Trail which we walked for 1.5 miles, turned around and hiked back. Again, Frisco was a trooper. I spied a turtle on the trail and he explored it for a bit, then Tom moved it to safer grounds. We also saw a deer run across the trail and I remembered that when you see one, there are probably others with it. Sure enough there were two others waiting to get across the trail but we were in their way. Just as the doe was approaching the trail, Frisco leaped and barked, sending them both back to hiding.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Yesterday was a busy day for us, with lots of activity. We got two miles of walking in the morning. When we got back, I headed to North St Paul to an estate sale. If I were into sewing quilts, it would have been a motherload because there were boxes full of fabrics and notions.  I walked away with nothing but a good experience of scrounging through other people’s stuff.

On my way home, I got a call from Ben who wanted to bring the girls over to go for a walk along the River with us. They enjoyed exploring the shoreline, skipping stone, climbing trees, swinging from vines, and they even found baby toads. This picture was taken in front of a small cave on the ridge above the trail.

Tom and I made steak fajitas for dinner and they were really tasty. 

Today has been rainy, so we have been pretty grounded all day. When we did go out for a walk, it was lightly raining and turned heavier, so we went back inside. Shortly after, there was a downpour that could be heard on the roof.

A few weeks ago when I was looking for projects to do, Jill told me that the girls needed aprons as they had outgrown theirs. I searched for fabric on JoAnn Fabric and all of the cool designs that I picked out were out of stock or you had to buy multiples of two or more yards.  The thought came home in the middle of the night, that the vintage tablecloths that I had might make cute aprons. So I found a pattern on Pinterest and this is the result of my efforts.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020

Yesterday started with breakfast at the Highland Grill at the corner of Cleveland Ave and Ford Parkway. We chose a picnic table on the sidewalk and ate our breakfast as traffic went by. We were just finishing when we felt a few drops of rain, hurried to get under cover, paid our bill and headed for the car - just as the rain came to an end. I chose a delicious breakfast that I had never had before - a sweet potato hash with sausage. It had sweet potato, carmelized onion, kale, sweet red pepper, and spicy sausage, topped with an egg and some yummy guacamole. There was enough that I had the leftovers for dinner and a little bit for breakfast this morning.

We then went to the Walmart in Bloomington to pick up a few things. Tom had read that they had a liquor store, but there was none. Again, it was a disappointing store with a DIY cart sanitation system, few people wearing masks, filthy checkout aisles, and a slow, unfriendly checkout person and filthy floors.  The last time we went to a Walmart - in Inver Grove Heights, we were disappointed to learn they didn’t have a produce or meat department - what? Zoning? COVID? I don’t have a clue.

This morning, we decided to do something a bit different for our walk and we headed across the river to the historic sites at Mendota for a self-guided walking tour. There is a series of historic buildings just west of MN-13 in the little town with a population of 128. We saw the Sibley House, a limestone building that was headquarters for a fur trade company and built in 1838, the Cold House (storage for furs), and the Wash House (also a summer kitchen). It is currently the caretaker’s house.

Sibley House

Cold House

The Jean Baptiste Faribault house was the home of Mr.Faribault, a fur trader.

A short distance from those buildings, we came upon the old railroad bridge. The road under the bridge led to the river and what was once the Fort Snelling ferry.

This was an interesting looking log along the path by the river.

According to the map that we had, there were a few other historic sites along the Main Street, and some were just that - a site that no longer has a building on it, or the building has been replaced.  We did find the original jail building still in tact, built in 1915.

We headed back to the car and drove up the hill when I spotted another historic marker, so followed the sign that led to St. Peter’s Church - a beautiful sandstone building that was built in 1853, it is the oldest continuously operated church in Minnesota.  In the back of the church was a quiet, serene garden.

While at the church, we got to talking with a gal who recommended that we go see the Acacia Park 
Cemetery and the Native American memorial on Pilot Knob (the location of the 1815 Treaty of Mendota) and was also a major hilltop marker used for navigation along the river. The city of Minneapolis is in the distance.

Then it was nap time.