Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Monday, May 3, 2021

Tom had a nice weather day for his last day here and we walked to Thompson Park in the morning and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and getting ready for his departure. I took him to the airport around 5:00 and heard from him around 8:30 that he had arrived.  We had a nice time while he was here, too bad the weather wasn’t better. I guess it was typical for Minnesota though.

Mavis joined me for dinner on Friday night as I had 2 steaks thawed out as she is still recovering from a recent surgery - probably not feeling much like cooking. I know that top sirloin can be tough but the flavor is usually good and these sirloins were tough.  I’m going to stick to tenderloin and ribeye in the future.

The girls had dress-up day on Friday and Ben shared this photo. I immediately recognized Charlotte’s shirt as one that had belonged to me back in the 70s and I had passed it on to Ben. It brought back memories of my hippie dippy days. 

The cost of groceries has sure increased - Tom and I both spent about $140 this week and I saw a clip on the news last night about the increased cost of groceries.  I spend almost as much on groceries for myself as what I used to spend for both Mike and I.  I know there are ways that I could save some $$$ but I just go about buying whatever I want.

It is Garage Sale season again! Frisco and I spent a couple of hours driving around and stopping at sales on Saturday morning.  I bought a ‘string of pearls’ plant and a ceramic planter pot. My collection of plants is growing. 

I caught up on phone calls on Sunday and did some research for RV Parks for Tom and I in early June.  Every campground at every National, State, and County Park that I checked was fully booked on every weekend.  I have a feeling that this was caused by the increase in RV sales during Covid, as RV Travel has reported that an additional 500,000 plus RVs were sold last year. Also, I think people panicked and booked as many reservations as they could, just in case.  It will be interesting to see how things go for for Tom this summer - I hope to meet up with him at least a couple of times.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Wednesday, April 29, 2021

We got a late start yesterday and headed to Kaposia Landing for our walk around noon.  There are paved pathways going in a large circle around the park, about a third of it along the Mississippi River. There were barges lined up on both sides of the river and we saw a tugboat pushing two barges while we walked. It looks like a staging area to me - not sure if the are empty or full.

The Swallows were flitting around, protecting their recently built nest in nesting boxes along the trail.

I got a text from Ben this morning, showing me Charlotte’s green hair for Crazy Hair Day and also her latest big girl development - she got her ears pierced.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Happy Birthday to Me! What a nice day it was, with Tom being here, calls, cards, texts, video calls, and Facebook wishes from friends and family!  We got off to a late start and had a nice breakfast before heading to Harriet Island and walking the trails from there to the Lilydale Trail system on the east side of the Mississippi River.  It was a very nice walk and managed to dodge the raindrops for most of the walk but it started to rain pretty hard as we headed toward home.

After short naps, Tom treated me to a lovely birthday dinner at Chili’s.  I had been hungry for the steak with roasted avocado ever since having it in Colorado Springs when we celebrated Joyce’s birthday a few years ago.  It was just as good this time as the last time. 

It was a lovely day and a great way to start my next trip around the Sun!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Our days have been filled, mostly with walks but we have also done some shopping to prepare for a birthday gathering with Ben and family.  What started out as a simple plan to meet up in a park turned into having brats and hot dogs and birthday cake in the club room here in my apartment building after I learned that I could reserve the room for our use.  The weather was not nice so I’m glad that we had made a contingency plan and it was a great place to gather. Jill’s parents joined us too.  The girls were happy to see Tom again, they seem to thrive on his teasing ways.

We also had the use of the game room, so we played pool and shuffleboard and then someone got the monopoly board out and we played that for a while. Ben cooked the brats and hot dogs and we had chips and coleslaw with them, followed by the “Happy Birthday” song and carrot cake that Ben made (my request) and ice cream. 

It sure feels good to be able to have gatherings again after our abstinence over the last year.

I attended a Resident’s Advocate Group meeting Sunday evening and learned some things about this place that I wasn’t aware of. Primarily, people are upset because many of the amenities here are not as originally advertised such as: gated community (not), security on staff (not), handicapped access, an unconcerned manager, and many other safety and security issues.  There have been several cars broken into and the latest - a catalytic converter stolen from a car in the garage. They have been requesting changes and haven’t gotten resolutions from corporate or management, have sent many letters and made contacts, even to the Mayor and nothing has been done. Now, a petition will be drafted, signed by as many residents as possible, and distributed to anyone and everyone who could help - even the local TV stations, if necessary.  

We shall see what the outcome is.  A recent letter from the manager said that security patrols will begin on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Happy Birthday to my sweet Sister-in-Law, Penny! 

Sunday was a nice day, so Tom and I drove to Thompson County Park and then walked the Simon’s Ravine trail east toward the Mississippi River. We didn’t make it all of the way to the river but will do that portion of the trail another day.  While we were out walking, I got a text message from Jim and Sue who were out hiking in Arizona. They sent some pictures of the desert plants so I in turn sent them pics of what we were seeing. Even though our trees and shrubs are just getting started, it was more green here.  Here are some photos taken on our walk.

The temperatures dropped down to the upper 30s and 40s and we are experiencing winter like weather again. Regardless, we have bundled and layered up and gone for our daily walks

Today, we drove to Black River Falls and met Pat and Roger at the Wright Place Saloon for lunch. It was a 2-hour drive for each of us and a good place to meet in the middle.  Lunch was great, conversation was great, and after lunch we had a great hike on the Castle Mound Hiking 
Trail that winds through the Black River State Forest.  The trail goes through an area that was affected by the retreat of the glaciers. Over time, weather and erosion formed unique sandstone features that added lots of interest to the walk.

And my dear friend gave me this early birthday gift - the sign above the TV.

We rented and watched Tom Hanks’ latest movie tonight, “News of the World”, a story about a Civil War Veteran who is delivering a young girl to relatives, after being captured and held for several years by Kiowa Indians.  I felt is was done well and it held our interest right through to the end.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

I picked Tom up at the airport Thursday evening - sure was nice to see him again next feel his warm hugs! Needless to say, we talked and talked and talked Thursday night like we hadn’t in ages, although we have long talks frequently - being in person makes it so much better.

After a nice long walk to Thompson County Park yesterday, he and I walked to Walmart, Wells Fargo, and stopped at Dunham’s Bar and Grill for a burger and beer. I’ve driven by there many times and wondered about it - just a bar with lots of pool tables, pull tabs and pretty loud after work crowd. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Yesterday was recovery day for me, a rainy day that gave me an excuse for not leaving the house except for short walks with Frisco.

I had a nice Duo conversation with Tom in the evening and we talked about his upcoming trip here on Thursday.  While we were chatting, our conversation was interrupted by an Amber Alert announcing a curfew from 7pm until 8am the next morning. After we hung up, I learned that there was another police shooting in the cities yesterday - another young, black man was shot and killed by a female cop in Brooklyn Center. She mistakenly drew her gun instead of a stun gun and realized immediately the severity of her error.  Again, people are protesting and making their statements.

Ben offered to share the Tortilla Soup that he made, so we arranged to meet up for a walk and I brought home soup and several ingredients to add to it - cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, and avocado.  Tasty stuff!  I sure do enjoy our walks, they give us an opportunity to have some good, one-on-one conversation. Today, we had a bit of sleet and snow flurries - a chilly 37° day. Brrrrrr!