Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019, MN

I just got back from Frisco’s potty walk and it is 37 degrees with snow flurries in the air. It’s the beginning of things to come - for the next 6 months. I think I’m prepared but we shall see in a while - either way I will suck it up and keep on keeping on.

The last week has involved getting more settled, hanging a few pictures, ordering a loveseat for delivery next week. I am now in the process of getting my WIFI setup - just waiting for a call back.

We celebrated Camille and Norah’s 6th birthday on Sunday - first they had a party with friends at an art venue. Jill was a bit upset as the person in charge was late and she was waiting on a busy street with 10 little rambunctious girls and only her and Ben to keep them corralled. When she did show up, she was unprepared and unorganized and the face painter managed to cover their faces with ghouls characters rather than the pretty images you see more often.

I have managed to do a Walk Away the Pounds workout 3 days this week and since the weather was really nice, I got some good walks in - I found a great walking path along the Mississippi River that is easy to get to and a nice walk along a quiet street - only sharing the path with other walkers and bicyclists.  This is at the Two River overlook where the Minnesota River becomes part of the Mississippi River.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019, MN

What a week! I helped the family with projects over the weekend, taking Charlotte to gymnastics on Saturday and doing some shopping with her.  Sunday was a hang around the house day for all of us, playing with the kids and trying to keep them entertained. Jill made her Grandma Quinn’s Mulligan Stew and an Apple Crumble for dessert and enough of both to share with a neighbor who recently had surgery (much appreciated I am sure).

On Monday I had an appointment to pay my rent and security deposit and to get the keys to my new apartment.  They had just finished painting and installing the new carpet and it was scheduled for a final cleaning before I was to move in the next day.

Tuesday went just as planned. Dustin and AJ showed up on time, the truck was ready and they efficiently and timely got it loaded up.  Exactly three hours later, everything was in my apartment and I paid them and sent them on their way, then took the truck back to Cubesmart. I was surprised when filling it up with gas and the pump didn’t stop - I stopped pumping at $15. I guess the previous person neglected to fill it up, so they refunded me $5. I settled up (I owed them for 4 days rent) and was on my way back to Ben’s to get Frisco. I picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza on the way home and got started with unpacking and assembling my bed - first things first. 

And the last three days have involved unpacking and getting settled.  I am really happy with the space, have felt comfortable walking around the complex, and I’m ok with my view - a nice tree covered hillside off to the North, but mostly I see the fourth floor of the apartment across from me and above that, the sky - mostly cloudy the last few days.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019, MN

This week has been a flurry of activity. Jill is really trying hard to get the kids into a routine and to be responsible for getting themselves ready for school and they are really catching on although they need lots of reminders now, sometimes I hear the parents say the same thing 5 or 6 times. I just kind of stay in the background and let it all happen. I have been walking them to the bus stop and meeting them after school.

In between, I’ve been trying to tie up loose ends for my upcoming move; address changes, getting renters insurance, follow ups with movers, truck rental, getting keys, etc.  I was unable to reach anybody at Cubesmart Storage by phone to confirm the use of their truck that I had reserved, so I drove over there yesterday. Their records showed the truck available in the afternoon and I had specifically reserved it for the morning and confirmed that in a phone call a couple of weeks ago. Grrrr! They said they would contact the am person to see if their schedule was flexible but when I didn’t hear back from them by this afternoon and I wasn’t able to reach them by phone - again - I drove there again. While I was there, they called the am person who said they would be willing to switch to the afternoon - so I now have the truck reserved for the am and can stick to my original plan. The movers are lined up and all is set - for now.

Today was Dragon Dash at the girls’ school - an annual fund raiser for the school.  Two tracks were set up on the playground, a lot of cheering, stretching, the National Anthem was sung, and encouragement given and they were off. First, we watched Charlotte’s class of 2nd graders run at least 35 laps and we later learned that they exceeded their goals. She is on the right.

When they finished, the kindergarteners came out, were cheered on and were off and running - they too exceeded their goals. It was so cute when Norah’s class came out, she spotted Camille in the line with her class and they reached out to high five each other. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019, WI, MN

It was raining when we got up this morning, so we had to wait for it to slow down before getting the dogs out for their walk. I loaded up my car and followed Pat and Rog to the Hitching Post in Portage for breakfast. We said our goodbyes and I headed down the road to Ben’s house in Minneapolis.

The drive was uneventful with a bit of light rain but it wasn’t too bad. I stopped several times and then took a fairly long break in St. Charles, MN, just west of La Crosse. I was getting so sleepy that I just had to pull over and rest for a bit.  I found a great little city park that just happened to be next to a dog park.  I rested my eyes and then let Frisco run around a bit, we walked a bit, then I was ready to hit the road again.

It was great to see the family again and we had another great dinner together. The conversation at the dinner table updated me on the latest family news and how school is going for the girls. Everyone pitched in to clean up the dinner dishes and then we had cookies and milk for dessert. I’m impressed with the skills they have all learned since I saw them last - setting the table, pouring the water, serving themselves, taking part in the conversation, and then the cleanup.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Saturday, September 21, 2019, WI

I got up early (5:30) Thursday morning to get a good hug and to say goodbye to Pat before he left for work, then went back to bed for a while. Once I did get up, I walked with Dawn, had some coffee, and packed the car for my trip to Pat and Roger’s house in Montello, then said goodbye to Tracey. I stopped at Woodmans to stock up on Wisconsin beer and just couldn’t resist buying a bottle of Dripping Springs Vodka - an Austin, TX brand that I discovered when wintering in Rockport and Port Aransas.

Pat and I took a nice walk with the dogs, then we had cocktails on the porch and then a pork chop, red potatoes and salad dinner. 

Friday was hanging out, walks with the dogs, and then meeting some former coworkers of mine, Beth and Bill, at the Owl’s Nest. It turned out that Bill and Roger knew each other and had plenty to talk about. The fish fry and Old Fashioneds were excellent, as usual and the company was great. It had probably been at least 8 years since we had seen each other.

Today was busy, as the only time that my cousin Jo had available to connect was at 11:00 and we met at Neil’s Wine House in Portage - a great old Victorian house that had been converted to a restaurant with a huge deck surrounding 2 sides of the building. We sat outside and had some lunch and a nice catchup conversation with Jo.

Later in the afternoon, we went to the River’s Edge in Montello and met up with another coworker of mine, Connie and her husband Bill who had moved to Florida and then recently back to Wisconsin since I had last seen them at Mike’s Memorial Party in July of 2013. Old friends are so easy to talk to, laugh with, and to enjoy each other’s company. It was great seeing them again.

Back home, we had another great dinner of beef roast, carrots, and salad. We walked the dogs and then played 4 rounds of Farkle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019, WI

I’ve been winding down my visits these last few days here at Pat’s. After walking with Dawn yesterday morning, I saw Fran and we had a nice chat. I had told Rita that I would check in on her friend Sharon at Skaalen Home but it was lunch time when I left Fran and that would not be a good time to see Sharon either. 

Dawn and I saw this great spider web on our walk.

I drove to Walmart in Monona to see if I could get an oil change but they were short staffed and it would be a 3-hour wait before I could get in. So I headed back to Stoughton and got an oil change at Valvoline. With the $15 coupon I found, it only cost $10 more than Walmart.

I then stopped to visit Sharon for a little while and texted Rita to let her know that I was remembered and she looked good. Rita sometimes has difficulty reaching her so I’m glad that I could help her out.

This morning, Dawn, Jonnie, and I had breakfast together at Coffee Cup, then we headed out to check on the progress of her little house (16x28’ plus the 8x28’) porch. Her sons call it the Chicken Coop because an old hen is going to be living there. They are moving right along - the roof is on and a door and windows are installed. 

I just couldn’t resist taking this photo of Kowroo, he’s such a good looking guy with a sweet personality.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saturday, September 14, 2019, WI

This morning on my walk, I noticed this lone goose who must have been a sentry, as he was squeaking at what appeared to be nothing. He wasn’t both by Frisco and I at all.  At that same place by the Mill Pond, I looked ahead toward the cemetery and this was my view. I love this walk.