Sunday, December 1, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019, MO, MN

I had conversations with both of my sons on Thanksgiving morning and then celebrated the holiday with my siblings and their families at Amber and Joel’s home in Lee’s Summit. The kids are growing up so much and I got to meet little Oliver, the son of Ashley and Chase for the first time - he is going to be 2 in February.  Amber and Joel’s home is beautiful and it was all decorated for Christmas. I didn’t get photos, so I’m hoping that others send me theirs.

 Oliver, Brittany (background), Lincoln, Rita, Barley, Olivia, Stella


Ashley and Oliver

Rene gave her usual Thanksgiving blessing and and dinner was served. Everything was so tasty and everyone made a contribution.

I had planned to head to Springfield to see Randy and Julie and their families, but I learned that most of their kids were gone for the holiday and Julie had a weekend commitment, so the plan was changed and Randy decided to come and visit us on Friday. We had a quiet, relaxing evening watching Dolly Parton’s 50th Anniversary at the Grand Ole Opry.

My sweet sis, Rita and I watching Dolly

I went to Bob’s and hung out with him and Randy on Friday morning and then later in the afternoon, we all went to Stella and Josh’s house to hang out for a bit and to see their home - she had most of her decorations up, all but the Christmas Tree that they had just gotten that morning. And then we topped off the day with dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

Randy and I

Stella, Rita, Penny, and I

Josh, Barley, and Randy

Because Randy came for a visit on Friday and the weather forecast for MN (a wintry mix for late afternoon and snow on Sunday), I decided to head back home on Saturday. That was a wise decision as I traveled through a light, misty rain and dense clouds the entire drive. North of Des Moines, I hit heavier rain and high winds. The farther north I drove, the more snow there was in the fields. Just south of the cities, the rain became more icy but the roads were still clear and then when I turned off on my exit, it was snow and the roads were covered from Tuesday and Wednesday’s snowfall. I patted myself on the back for timing the drive perfectly.

My last gas stop at Clear Lake, IA




Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019, MO

Since my last post, I started preparing for my trip to Kansas City to celebrate Thanksgiving with my siblings and their families.  

Ben invited me to join them for dinner Sunday night, so after doing my chores and Ben doing his, I headed over there in the afternoon. I helped Charlotte make some doll clothes and then we had an enjoyable taco dinner. After dinner, the girls put on a performance of their gymnastics skills. They get more and more coordinated and skilled as they practice.

After seeing the weather forecast for the route that I would take to KC, I decided to leave on Monday morning instead of Tuesday. I was on the road by 8am and arrived at Rita’s at 3:20. The trip was uneventful except for a crash in I-80 going through Des Moines, I avoided the backup by getting off the freeway and taking some city streets to get past the backup. It was cloudy all through Minnesota and Iowa, but sunny and warmed to 62 in Missouri.

It felt good to get to Rita’s and get settled in. We had a nice dinner, a few beers, and lots of talking through the evening.

Yesterday was busy - I went and had coffee with Bob, then he took me to see the lake house on Lake Lotawana that his daughters bought last summer and then we had a brief visit with his mother-in-law, Norma. And then we met Amber and Lincoln at Jack Stacks for lunch and then Bob and I were both ready for a nap or just to relax. I had to get back to Rita’s to let Frisco out. In the evening, we went to Aaron’s so I could see his new house, then he and Olivia joined us for dinner at Applebee’s. I certainly didn’t need any more food but had a light option.

Aaron dropped Olivia off at Rita’s this morning and she spent most of her time with Frisco, playing with toys, brushing and walking him. She is a true dog lover.


We hung out and took it easy today. I went for a nice walk through the neighborhood and got to enjoy some sunshine for a bit.  


Bob joined us this evening for pizza and we watched the movie “Peanut Butter Falcon”. A nice evening!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019, MN

It’s been a warmer but  cloudy week and I’ve been able to get some good walks in.  In addition to the outdoor walks, I’ve been doing the aerobic fitness walks from videos, so I am getting my 2-3 miles of walking in each day.

I took a ride to Costco in Eagan on Tuesday and switched phone plans from Credo Mobile to T-Mobile. They have a plan for seniors that costs $55/month with an unlimited talk, text, and data plan, and if you sign up for auto pay, you get another $5/month discount. There were no additional fees,no contract, and by purchasing at Costco, I get a $125 Costco gift card. So...I think I did well by making $125 and by saving about $24 a month on my cell phone.

And today I went to the hair salon at Graham Place (the 62+ building across the street). I met Lynn and her dog Penny, a sweet and pretty Doberman, and Peggy (the nail technician) there and several other residents who just stopped by to chat - it is quite the social place.  Lynn invited me to Happy Hour tomorrow so I can meet a few people. And I feel like I got a good haircut! Life is good!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019, MN

I had plans to babysit for the girls on Saturday night, so I spent some time getting prepared for them to do a felt craft - making woodland animal Christmas ornaments. I cut out all of the pieces, so they could add the faces and ribbons, and glue them all together. I already had a good supply of felt on hand, but of course, not all of the colors needed.  That led to a trip to Hobby Lobby one afternoon.

Our weather turned a little warmer with some light snow on the ground this morning and peaking out at almost 50 degrees yesterday. That made for some decent walks and reducing the number of layers for a few days - quite welcome! 

My apartment building has a complimentary car wash, so I took advantage the other day and gave the RAV4 a much needed bath. The car wash is complete with hot and cold water and a vacuum cleaner. It was nice to be able to wash the salt from the roads off and I’ll be able to do that throughout the winter too.

I had a nice time with the girls last night. We did our craft project and watched a movie s when they were ready for bed, I was too. Charlotte sleep with me and had her nose in a book for quite a while and would have continued if I hadn’t enforced the lights out rule. She is such a sweety, I felt her reach out and touch my back and give me a little kiss before she drifted off.

Our Christmas Ornament Project


Here are the latest school photos - Charlotte, Camille, and Norah





This morning was relaxing and laid back, the adults having coffee and the kids working on an art project. Before I left, Ben and I took a nice walk with Frisco. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, MN

After a little dusting of snow on Sunday evening, an Arctic cold front came through here and it was 18 degrees Monday morning when I walked Frisco. I’m thankful that I bought a nice warm jacket to keep me toasty inside - the only thing that bothered me was my legs. I guess I may have to bring out the inner layer. Frisco wasn’t phased by the cold - he still took his good old time sniffing every little scent out there.

I stayed home and worked on a craft project, an experiment for possible future gifts. That kept me busy and inside, except for a few brief potty breaks with Frisco.  I did manage to walk the halls on all four floors of my building and did four flights of stairs up and down. That turned out to be about half a mile.

I had a phone interview for the Online Shopper job that I applied for at Lund’s and Byerly’s - a grocery store that is only about a mile from me. All went well and I am scheduled for an in-person interview on Thursday.

Yesterday morning, it was only 9 degrees out - it made me think that there should be a way to insulate the part of my glasses that touches my face. Fortunately, there was no wind, but that changed as the day went on and the temps warmed up to above 20 degrees.  I needed to get out and about, so what did I do? I went shopping. 

We got some snow this morning and it was actually pretty nice out there. It made me remember the comforting silence of a snowfall, and it has warmed to around 30 degrees, so it was nice. Fortunately, I didn’t have to be out there driving in it.

I worked on some getting prepared for making some felt woodland animal Christmas ornaments with the girls on Saturday when I have a sleepover with them. I cut out patterns and pieces with the material that I had on hand. Of course, I need to pick up a few things to complete the project. I think they will have fun with it.  

I’ve had the TV on most of the day, kind of listening to the testimonies in the first day the public is allowed to hear the impeachment testimonies. The President is suspected of getting help from the Ukrainian government to find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and he withheld aid to them unless they came through.  From what I saw, there were no breaks and it went on for hours. I felt kind of bad for all involved. That is intense for all involved. This is going to go on for some time.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019, M.n

I spent most of the day yesterday working on a sewing project - can’t mention it here or it would give away my Christmas gift secret. I had fun doing it - it’s been long time since I’ve had the space to get out the sewing machine, ironing board, and spread out a pattern.  I started right after my late morning walk with Frisco and it 4:30pm before I was putting stuff away. Good times!

Today was spent preparing for the family to join me for dinner. I had a yearning for Ham and Bean Soup and that really shouldn’t take up that much time but it seems like I was at it all day. For dessert, I made homemade chocolate pudding using one of Martha Stewart’s recipes.  I feel like you just can’t go wrong with her recipes and this one proved to be quite good too. It was a bit of a pain to make since it had to be whisked from the dry ingredients (sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch) through adding 2.5 cups of milk very gradually and then all through the cooking process, bringing to a slow boil, and then  during the 1 minute of thickening. It was worth it though - everyone loved it!

I was a little worried about them all making it home on the snowy, slippery roads but they are pros and had no problems. There wasn’t much but the roads looked pretty slick. And now I am slitting back, drinking the last glass of wine from the bottle. Dinner was a success, it was fun having the family here to join me, and now I’m tired and ready for bed. Life is good.

The little busy bodies - always crafty and creative.





Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019, MN

It has been quite wintry around here this week. One morning, I walked on snow covered sidewalks, another was a cold and windy 24 degrees.  It does seem like there is much less wind early in the morning when I first walk Frisco (usually around 8am) and again around 8pm in the evening. I have managed to get out and about most days though, with a decent walk a few hours after our first. 

I have applied for a few part-time jobs at the grocery store, Target, the community that I live in, posted house-cleaning signs on the bulletin boards and community web portal.  We shall see. It seems like everywhere you go these days, there are help wanted signs posted. I would much prefer to have a few housecleaning jobs than to work in retail.

I finally dug out my collection of hand blown glass balls and found a way to display them in my living room window.  Check it out. It feels good to be reconnected.