Friday, June 26, 2015

June 22 - 28, 2015, WI

Monday, June 22.  I've been looking forward to a day that I could just be lazy and hang out and today was that day.  We had some severe weather with fairly heavy rain and some high winds this morning - a perfect reason to just hang out.  I did get my laundry done and after the rain cleared up, I cleaned my trailer and did some gardening with Pat (mostly weed pulling).  Many of the perennials are in bloom right now including the Stella d'Oro Lilies, the Asian Lilies, Sundrops, some of the Hosta, Lupine, Roses, and the Coneflowers are just starting.

Friday, June 26.   The week has been fairly quiet, in fact I was feeling really tired and worn out but that has now passed after a couple of days just taking it easy.  

Yesterday, I took Savana out for lunch to celebrate her 22nd birthday back on June 1.  We had a nice chat - she sure is growing up and I realize that her world is so different from mine now and even back when I was 22.  Relationships, interests, styles, trends diets - there are so many differences.  And then I think - what will it be like when my grandaughters are that age?  The gap will be even larger.

I came up to Portage last night to spend a couple of nights with Sharon.  Becky (my niece) was here when I arrived and we had some pizza for dinner and then were off to Endeavor to play bingo.  None of us had one win all night long.  A thunderstorm came through while we were playing and a loud thunder burst made everyone in the room jump.  The roads on the way back were kind of foggy and a couple of deer crossed our path and we could barely see them.

Today, I went to Wisconsin Dells and met Rosemary and her children Paul and Rachael.  We strolled the Main Street and browsed a few of the tourist traps then had a picnic lunch at Bowman Park.  Although a high if 72 is expected, it has been overcast and cool all day.

Fish fry with Becky's family tonight at The Lakeside on Lake Wisconsin was enjoyable.  The Old Fashioned was delicious, as was the baked cod dinner that I had.  The standard Friday night fare has gotten a bit pricey these days at $12.95 - I remember when $5.95 was the going rate.

Saturday, June 27.   Happy Birthday to my Mom who would be turning 94 years old today. Sure would have been nice to know her better but I only spent 16 years with her before she died.  I miss the mother-daughter relationship that we could have had.

Becky, Brooke, and Lizzy came to Portage and we headed for the Princeton Flea Market.  I only bought the mini-donuts hat just can't be resisted.  After shopping, I headed back home to Stoughton.

Sunday, June 28.  I didn't do a lot today except walked with Dawn this morning and then joined her again tonight for a relaxing glass of wine on the patio with a view of her beautiful gardens.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 15 - 21, 2015, MN, WI

Friday, June 19.  Guess I've waited too long to write - I'm having trouble remembering the events of the first 3 days of the week, they do fly by in a whirlwind.  Ben and I got a bike ride in on Monday night after the kids were in bed.  I did go look at some apartments in s 55+ community in St. Paul.  They were nice, but I'm not sure that is what I really want.  I need to do more looking.  And then I said my goodbyes and left Minneapolis on Thursday to go back to Stoughton.

This morning, Pat and I went to some garage sales and I met up with my sister Rita for a little while and we went to mom and dads grave together.  She is in town for my cousin Fran's 90th birthday celebration on Saturday and also to visit a childhood friend who recently had a stroke.  Tonight, we met at Toby's for dinner but didn't get to eat together.  I did have dinner with Bob and Penny and my cousin Dawn, but Rita and Denny waited for their friends so we didn't get to eat together.  When we drove back home, Dawn and I went through an old family photo album that I brought with me.

Saturday, June 20.  I started the day with a 2-mile walk with Dawn and Frisco and then got ready for an afternoon celebration of Fran's 90th birthday.  It is always fun to see my extended family and this event brought cousins in from Alaska and Colorado and my sister and brother from Kansas City.  It was lots of fun and Fran cried when she saw how bright the candles were on her cake and we all sang Happy Birthday.

The birthday girl.

The birthday girl at about age 4 (left) and my Mom playing dress up.

Front row:  Rich, Dawn, JoAnne, Donna
Back row: Patrick, Penny, Bob, Rita, Denny

Tonight, i hung out with Bob and Penny in Madison, had dinner at La Hacienda and drove around some of our old stomping grounds; Union Terrace, Lake Mendota, Tenney Park, the locks on the Yahara River between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, and topped it off with a drive around the capital.  Nice evening.

Sunday, June 21.  I really didn't feel like doing anything today but wanted to take advantage of spending time with Bob and Penny.  Tom and Karen had invited me to join them for dinner at the Tornado Club and I hoped that Bob and Penny could join us - it is a very small place and today is Father's Day so we nixed that plan and met at Olbrich Gardens this morning instead.  It was an emotional morning for me, missing Mike and wishing that he was with us.  We did pay our respects at Olbrich Gardens at the Tree of Life, where there is a memorial leaf for him, Dan, and Mom.  After our stroll through the gardens, we went to the Daisy Cafe for lunch and had a yummy salad.  I excused myself after lunch and headed back home after that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 8 - 14, 2015, MN

UWednesday, June 10.  I have to say that there just hasn't been time to write.  Guess why?  3 little ones is why.  Ben left for SF on Monday for his work and then Jill left tonight after the twins were tucked in and while I was getting Charlotte settled.  Lois will be joining me first thing in the morning so we can tag team through the weekend.  Don't get me wrong, they are good kids but so curious and wanting to climb, touch, eat, smell, and hear everything.  Here is an example of the daily structure:

7:00 - twins wake, get changed and dressed for the day, go downstairs for breakfast
7:45 - get Charlotte up if she isn't awake, dress, brush teeth and hair and downstairs for breakfast
9:00 - off to school for Charlotte
           Go to playground, stroller ride, some outdoor activity with Norah and Camille and maybe
              the dogs too.
12:00 - pick Charlotte up from school (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
           Lunch for all
1:00 - twins down for naps
3:30 - pick Charlotte up from school (Tuesday, Thursday) 
4:00 - twins up from nap
5:30 - dinner
6:30 - bath time, pj's, stories for twins
6:45-7:00 - bath, pj's, stories for Charlotte
8:00 - it's quiet - now do laundry, cleanup kitchen, walk the dogs, take a shower, unwind, and
          PASS OUT! 

And yes, it is worth it.

I finally got my Arizona drivers license that I renewed on April 16.  First, it was sent to Jonnie's but I gave them the wrong address and it got sent back to the DMV.  It wasn't here when I arrived but I got to thinking that it might have just been put in a stack of mail since it wasn't forwarded, it would look just like theirs.  Jill went through her stuff this morning and there it was, the last piece that she looked at.  I really wasn't comfortable with an expired temporary license and no other ID.

Saturday, June 13.  It is 8:00 pm and the house is quiets down Lois and I are sitting here with a cool glass of Cabernet.  We wore those kids out today and they were hungry and ready for bed when the time came.  This morning, we loaded up the van and took them to an indoor playground (it was raining) that was padded and fenced and they could play without too much fear of getting hurt.  Naturally, the grandmothers wouldn't let them out of sight.  Two of Charlotte's friends showed up with their mom and she joined them and had a ball.  Not only did the place have an incredible soft playground, it had a gymnasium full of balls and hoola hoops and wheeled toys to ride.  They had a ball!  After naps this afternoon we played in the back yard and they endlessly climbed the ladders and slid down the slide.

The girls have done so well with their parents gone.  There have been a few times when they were a little clingy and needed extra loving or cried out for Mom, but that has been rare.  I will be glad to see them tomorrow but not nearly as glad as they will be to get back to their family.

Sunday, June 14.  After another outing this morning, this time to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to see Lego sculptures and play at the playground, we got through the day and we're happy to have the parental reinforcements arrive in late afternoon.  It was another busy, fun day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 1 - 7, 2015, WI, MN

Wednesday, June 3.  It sure feels good now that the sun has warmed the days, the nights are crisp and cool, and the lush green countryside is a joy to see.  It is still spring and the gardens are just starting to produce those cool weather veggies like lettuces, radishes, and onions.  Many of the old native flowers are in bloom, like Iris, Peony, Bleeding Heart, and Columbine and the sweet smells fill the air.

I've been having a good time with Pat and Tracey, it's nice just to hang out.  Pat helped me clean the road grime off my trailer - it is shiny white once again.  

Yesterday, I went to see Tom and Karen and Frisco got to play with Tara and we all enjoyed a nice, afternoon walk to the lake.  This is the Madison skyline from the eastern shore of Lake Monona.

After visiting with them for a while, I went to Pat and Rogers's, had an Old Fashioned and a great dinner with them and her son AJ.  Frisco was looking so sleepy from playing with Tara, but then Louie and AJ's dogs kept him going all evening. He didn't even eat his dinner, but went straight to sleep and hardly moved all night long.

Friday, June 5.  Wednesday and Thursday were spent doing things around the house, and just spending time with Pat and Tracey.  Pat and I made a batch of raspberry jelly to use up the last of last year's crop.  Haven't tasted it yet, but it appears to have turned out nicely.  I had to take Frisco to the vet on Thursday because I suspect that he has another ear infection.  The vet, Claire, is a friend of mind from back in 1977 when we both worked as typists for the Warf Institute (their claim to fame is Warfarin, the blood thinner that many stroke victims take).  It was nice to see her again and to get Frisco taken care of.  On Thursday, I stopped by the cemetery to check on Mom, Dad, and Rocco's graves and to see my cousin Fran - she is the oldest in the family, turning 90 later this month.  She is in fair shape physically and her mind is sharp and clear.  We had a very nice visit.

This morning, after picking up some cases of New Glarus beer for Ben and Jill, I headed north to their house in Minnapolis.  Charlotte was eager to see me but disappointed to see that I didn't bring the camper.  Norah was quite apprehensive but Camille came to me right away.  Later on, Norah couldn't get enough of me.  There have been lots of changes with their development over the last 9 months - improved dexterity, understanding the words, although not speaking a whole lot, and they are much harder for me to pick up.  It is so good to see them again.  I will definitely be changing my daily routine to fit their schedule, as things are pretty controlled around here with 3 little ones, all going in different directions.  

At bedtime, they all had their new pjs that I brought for them, we tried to get a photo but as you can see, they move a lot and it didn't last long, they all fell back.

Sunday, June 7.  Just as I expected, it has been a busy weekend, with most of the activities centered on keeping these little ones happy and their bellies full.  There is a constant flurry of activity until 1:00 when Norah and Camille go down for their naps.  Charlotte no longer naps but has unite activities or helps Mom during that time.  

Yesterday morning, Ben and I took Charlotte to her swimming class and Jill went to the Edina Art Fair with the twins.  In the afternoon, Granny and Papa came since we were having dinner together and celebrating Granny's birthday in the evening.  Jill and her Dad worked on the bathroom tile project and Lois, Ben and I got dinner ready and played with the kids.  We had a delicious dinner of grilled steak, rosemary potatoes, and a salad and topped it all off with another delicious cake made by Jill (a 3-layer lemon and blueberry cake with cream cheese icing).

This morning after breakfast, Ben and I took the kids to the playground while Jill did some work for the salon.  When the twins went down for their naps, Charlotte and I read stories and we both fell asleep.  My nap was brief but it sure felt good.  I did some weeding in the front yard and Ben and Jill got ready for having some neighbors over for dinner.  Dave and Rachael live just around the corner and have 6 and 4 year old daughters and baby Seth who is 6-months old.  The kids had lots of fun in the swimming pool and we all enjoyed the new patio and yard.