Thursday, September 28, 2017

September 25 - 30, 2017, MN

LWednesday, September 28.  Well, it's my final week of living in this apartment and I have gradually been packing and stacking everything.  I had to upgrade the size of the storage unit that I rented after marking off the dimensions on the floor and going way beyond the marks - I think everything would fit, but it would take some very creative stacking.  I've also had to make 2 trips to Home Depot for boxes - I was unable to find any freebies or giveaways on the Next Door website.

I made a batch of raspberry jelly, using up the berries that I have been picking and freezing.  It turned out just great!

I've been meeting Camille and Norah after school again this week, taking the pressure off of Jill to get there on time and end her workday early.  On Monday, about half way to their school, I spotted an albino squirrel and snapped a photo.  Fortunately, on the way home, the girls were able to see it too.

Saturday, September 30.  What a way to end the month - moving. It seems like that's all I do these days.  So now, I'm right back where I was in June of 2005 - my (ours back then) stuff in storage and living out of an RV.  We shall see how long it will be this time.  The move went well, just as I expected - after all, I had everything packed and stacked and ready to be hauled out.

 I picked up the truck (it was free with the rental of the storage unit) and was back at my apartment by 9:00.  Dustin, with Go2Movers was there when I arrived.  He and his 2 helpers got busy and had the truck loaded in an hour. They are efficient and proficient - I would highly recommend them to anyone.  When we got to the storage unit - same thing.  I paid him $200 and gave each of them. $20 bill and they were on their way to the next job and I will definitely use them for my next move.  What did I just say? Oh yea, I have to do this again this spring.

 I moved the trailer out of storage on Thursday and it is parked at Kevin's - across the alley from Ben's.  It took me several attempts to get it in the spot - a 90 degree turn, but I did it!  I'll have to restock his supply of Dewars for the use of the space - it is so worth it to me.

I'll be spending the next week at Ben and Jill's.  Maybe we will actually have some time to chat, as we really haven't spent that much time together over the summer.  The girls take up all of their time and even when I was here for dinners, it is followed by bedtime prep and I was usually tired and ready to go home by then.  After Norah and Camille's birthday party next Saturday, I will put the Gypsy in tow and be on my way to meet up with with Tom in Colorado Springs. The closer it gets to that time, the more I'm looking forward to being with him again.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 18 - 24, 2017, MN

Wednesday, September 20.  There hasn't been much to write about this week.  It is all about preparing for my upcoming moved getting ready to head back to the southwest.  I have started going through my clothes - there are always items that haven't been worn, probably never will be worn, that can be purged.  Already, I have 2 grocery bags full and a Christmas tree to be donated.

At Micro Center on Monday morning, I purchased a Roku streaming stick and an indoor HDTV antenna, and got them setup.  I can now get local TV stations and can stream movies and music with the Roku.  Yay!

My car got a change of oil and I got injections to prevent me from getting the flu or pneumonia.

I made a pot of Zuppa Tuscana to take to Ben's for dinner on Monday.  They were out of town for the weekend and I had after school pickup duty, so I thought it would be a nice gesture.  It was much appreciated and everyone liked it - and that makes for a happy Grandma Rose!  

Saturday, September 22.  Packing and organizing have been the daily events around here this week.  Again, I have a corner of the living room marked with the dimensions of the storage unit and my stuff is being stacked in there.  I have no doubts that it will fit but it will take some creative stacking.

After school yesterday, I picked Camille and Norah up after school and brought them to my house for a sleepover.  The raspberry bushes were magnetic - drawing them in for a snack every chance they got.  It wasn't long and they had changed into the one princess dress that I have and then I had to dig out a swimsuit coverup for the other to wear.  I made up the hide-a-bed for all three of us to sleep on and we watched some Peppa Pig episodes before turning in.  And it got kind of crazy a few times because they just can't keep their hands or feet off of each other.  A couple of times, it was really quiet and I thought they might even be sleeping but one would giggle and they would both get going again.  Again, quiet, and a hand or foot would get too close and it would all start up again.  No wonder Ben and Jill have them sleeping in separate rooms.

It was a hot night and I had both fans blowing on us.  I finally moved to the bottom of the bed and slept crosswise on the bed.  I did sleep, eventually.  And then, just as it was getting light outside, Norah woke up and announced that daytime was here and it was time to wake up.  We had French toast for breakfast, walked to the playground at the school, picked berries for a snack, and did art projects until it was time for them to ego back home.  And then...I took a nap. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 11 - 17, 2017, WI

Wednesday, September 13.  I met up with Jonnie at The Coffee Cup for breakfast Monday morning and then we went to see her sister, Fran (my oldest living cousin, age 82) at St. Mary's hospital in Madison.  She has been in there almost a week with pneumonia - today was a good day for her, she is coming around and feeling much better.  Our visit was brief, as she is very tired and needs to rest. 

Yesterday, Pat and I walked in the morning and then in the afternoon, I went to Culver's for the monthly classmate meetup.  About 6 gals showed up and we had a good chat, as usual.  It's always a good time.

This morning, Dawn and I walked almost 3 miles - then had coffee and more talking when we got back to her house.

   This Maple tree is next door to Pat's house - almost fully turned color.

The afternoon was lazy - sitting in the yard with Pat, reading, doing a little bit of plant cleanup, and a nice nap.  It has been a very relaxing trip.

Thursday, September 14.  Kayak day! We had to wait until the fog lifted and the temperature rose this morning, but we did get out on the Yahara River.  Put in and take out was by the mill dam in Stoughton and we paddled upstream to Viking Park, about a 2-hour paddle to get there and back again.  It felt good to be on the water with Pat, here in Stoughton, and seeing familiar sites and bringing back memories along the way - sneaking cigarettes after school as we sat under the Forton Street Bridge, walking home from school and crossing the bridge, getting scared at Dead Man's Path behind the high school football field, and cheering Mike and Jim on as they passed by us in the Syttende Mai canoe race (they weren't the  last to finish, but close to it).

It was a very enjoyable paddle - I can't believe that I've done it twice in the last couple of weeks.

Friday, September 15. I walked the route that takes me past the cemetery this morning and when I got near the dam, Pat was over there fishing.  Just as I approached, he got a bite - a very nice sized Bluegill.  We chatted for a bit and then I headed back to the house. Before he finished, he had caught a good sized Northern, about 2.5 feet long - and he caught it on a small bluegill that he used for bait.  I'm sorry I missed it.

On my way home, I passed this gorgeous Maple tree and when I stopped to check it out  I heard the flitting of birds flying to and from the top branches of the Japanese Elm tree that stood next to it, a feeding frenzy of Cedar Waxwings was going on.  They moved way too fast for me to catch a photo.

Jim and Sue are in town, so they picked me up this afternoon and we headed to Poynette to meet Pat and Roger for fish fry at the Owl's Nest.  The Old Fashioneds were delicious and I had 2 of them - no driving for me, so I could indulge.  Dinner was excellent, as usual, and the service was great at this quant little old timey supper club where the meals are served family style.  You place your order and then they serve on platters that are shared with your table mates.  A nice experience, topped off with a handmade Brandy Alexander that came with 5 spoons.

Back in Stoughton, we stopped at the American Legion where my classmate, Brett, was playing guitar and singing.  We had a drink and I saw 4 of my classmates and Sue saw a couple from her class - always a good, familiar feeling when I come back home.

Saturday, September 16.  I walked with Pat this morning and when I just got home, I got a text from Dawn asking if we were walking together, so I finished my breakfast and walked over to her house.  We walked downtown to the farmer's market and I got another 2 miles in, stopping to take a few pictures of buildings on Main Street on the way back home.

   Demetria's garden

   Dawn's garden.

It was "wrap up" day, so I headed out to stock up on Wisconsin beer and wine, fill up the car with gas, buy a few groceries for dinner, and stop to visit with Fran who has been transferred from the hospital to Skaalen Home in Stoughton for recovery.  She was sound asleep and had asked the staff not to even wake her for lunch, so we didn't get to visit.

Sunday, September 11. I left Stoughton at about 9:00 this morning and pulled in to my house about 5.5 hours later.  An uneventful drive.

When I got back home, I was able to get the new password for the updated wifi - Elizabeth finally got a new router and I now have a reliable, strong signal throughout my apartment.  It is a bit unnerving that she couldn't have done this 5 months ago when I complained and was restricted to one spot in the living room where I could get a decent signal.  Oh well, it is what it is.

I really wanted to watch Ken Burn's new documentary on the Vietnam War, but was unable to stream it with my old Roku technology.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 4 - 10. 2017, MN, WI

Tuesday, September 5. Labor Day was yesterday, the end of summer and boy, has it whizzed by.  Another five weeks from now and I will be heading to the southeast again.  That means that during the next few weeks, I have to arrange for storage for my stuff, make a trip to Wisconsin, get my stuff moved to storage, and move in with Ben for a week.

After Tom and I took Frisco for his walk in the morning, we walked to Bruegger's for a bagel for breakfast.  Later on, during naptime for Camille and Norah, we returned the canoe to Ben's house and helped him to find a better spot in his garage to hang it, so it would be a little bit more out of the way and give him more room.

I cooked some chicken breasts and Tom made a salad for our dinner and after an evening walk, we tried to watch a movie but just didn't have strong enough wifi.  A cloudy day and and just plain poor wifi makes it almost impossible to stream a movie here.  I won't miss that at all.

Today was a cool one, I don't think it got to 70 degrees all day.  We ran some errands, picked up some things that Tom needed for his trip, and got some silicone so he could repair my leaky coffee pot.

Friday, September 8.  On Wednesday morning, our alarms were set and after some coffee and packing up Tom's stuff that was in the refrigerator, we headed over to the storage lot so he could hook up and head out for the last few weeks of his summer trip.  We will meet up again in Colorado Springs next month.  It's getting harder to say goodbye.

The last 10 days with Tom have been so enjoyable - it has been so nice to share the simple daily experiences with someone after being solo for so long and it just feels very comfortable to be around him.  

I've been taking care of 'moving' stuff the last 2 days - reserved a storage cube, arranged a truck and movers to get my stuff there - checked that off of the list.  I also did some shopping at Costco to restock vitamins and coffee.

I did a first time ever in my 69 years today - went to the theater to see a movie by myself.  It was not in the plan but when the thought crossed my mind, I just pulled into the parking lot and saw that the movie was starting in 20 minutes - good timing.   I saw "The Glass Castle", a true story about the life of Jeannette Walls, the author of the book that I read years ago.  I thought the movie was very well done - Woody Harrelson acted as the father, Rex, and I thought he did very well, as did all of the other characters.  I pictured the mother, Rosemary, as a bit more crazy and flighty than she was in the movie.  Now, I'm hoping that the 2nd book, "Half Broke Horses", becomes a movie too - the story of Rosemary.

I picked Norah and Camille up after school - they saw me walking toward them, When Miss Natalia gave them the ok to come running to me, Camille tripped and fell as she was running toward me, getting a good scrape on her elbow.  A bandaid was just the fix.  I hung out and had dinner with the family.

Sunday, September 10. I packed up and headed for Stoughton yesterday morning.  What a beautiful day for a drive!  There are signs of fall along the roadsides that provided me with a layered palette of color - at ground level, the browns and yellows with a clump of burgundy red Sumac scattered here and there.  The mid-levels were silvers with some orangey yellows and then tallest backdrops were the bright yellow, orange, and reds of the Maples - it was gorgeous!

It sure was nice to arrive at Pat and Tracey's once again and I'm looking forward to hanging out - no big plans, just spending time together.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 1 - 3, 2017, MN

Friday, September 1.  Moving day.  Although we did not have to leave our campsites until 3:00 pm, we packed up, had our tanks emptied and rinsed, and were ready to leave by noon.  There was a lot of construction and a lot of holiday weekend traffic as we drove to Inver Grove Heights where I store my camper.  Tom is also storing his trailer there and staying with me for the next few days, as he was unable to find an RV park that had an open site for the Labor Day week.

Sunday, September 3.  Yesterday was Charlotte's birthday, so we were invited to Ben and Jill's for dinner.  We made a fruit salad, Lois made potato salad, and Ben and Jill made steak kebabs for dinner.  It was a wonderful afternoon of hanging out with family, having a couple of beers, and playing with the kids.

We watched "Flags of Our Fathers", the story of the battle at Iwo Jima and the famous photo of the soldiers raising the flag. It was after midnight when it was finally over.

After a good, healthy breakfast, we headed over to see Lock and Dam No. 1, the first of 27+ locks between Minneapolis and New Orleans.  It was very informative and interesting, we probably spent a couple of hours there.  Next stop was Minnehaha Falls, a beautiful and popular tourist attraction in the city.

I had a coupon for $10 off a dinner at Bunny's Pub and Grill, not too far from my house.  We had dinner there before heading to Ben and Jill's to babysit for the girls, so they could go out for an evening by themselves - a rare occasion for them.  They had extra benefits with us here - 2 episodes of a movie and stories.  I read to the twins and Tom read to Charlotte and with all of the shenanigans like potty, drinks of water, tuck me in - they were finally settled in and asleep by 8:30.