Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

My weary sleep-deprived body had me awake at 6am so I got up and got ready for the first travel day of our road trip back to Arizona. We had hoped to be loaded up and out of St Paul by 10:00 and we were pretty close to that. First stop - put my car and all of the last minute items in the storage unit in Shakopee. Second stop - McDonalds for breakfast - breakfast hours were over, Burger King - breakfast hours were over, so we had a sandwich and then hit the road.

The drive was uneventful - with a stop at the Story City Rest Area and checked out this nice memorial to service women.  

Our stop for the night is at the Burke Inn, Carroll, IA (kind of slim pickings for dog-friendly hotels, but it’s not bad at all.  I went to the grocery store and got a chopped salad mix for dinner and we had some ham and salami and cheese from our own cooler. It hit the spot after an afternoon in the car.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Busy Moving Day.  We were up early taking care of last minute chores before picking up the U-Haul truck and meeting up with the movers.  The truck pickup went smoothly and we were checked in and on the road in 15 minutes. When we got back to the apartment, Dustin was there already and we just had to wait for the trash trucks to move out of the way so we could park where we could load up.

This is the third time that Dustin (Go2 Movers) has moved my household, and he knows just what to expect - kind of sad, huh.  He and his helper had the truck loaded in just over an hour - they had to load on the 4th floor, take the elevator to the garage, and walk all through the garage to the truck. We then drove the 25 miles to Shakopee and they unloaded the truck into the storage unit and were done in record time - 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Tom and I returned the truck and that worked out just as we had hoped - easy, peasy. We then dropped off the Century Link modem and headed to Ben’s house to retrieve Frisco. The girls had the day off from school and had projects all over the dining room table and den floor, and they were able to take Frisco for a couple of walks. Needless to say, he was excited when we showed up.

We had a few more jobs to finish when we got back home, like loading up the car top carrier, making the air bed, doing the last of the laundry, and scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors and then had leftover BBQ ribs and fries from Rooster’s for dinner - then we collapsed.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

More packing and organizing this week, but with some relaxing and enjoyable walks too.  I was able to get together with Ben a couple of times during his lunch breaks - one day we just walked but another I picked up sandwiches and we walked to a park and ate and talked.

I was nervous about the possibility of not receiving my voting ballot in time, but it arrived on Wednesday and I filled it out and got it back in the mail on Thursday. Now, let’s hope it gets counted - so important in this election as I really don’t want our tyrant of a President to win this next election. Things have gotten so bad in this country with the COVID-19 pandemic killing over 200,000, Trump saying he won’t accept the results of the election if he doesn’t win, and the current administration trying to rush to fill a Supreme Court Justice vacancy due to the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week. 

This afternoon, I took Frisco to Ben’s house where he will have a sleepover tonight so he is not under foot tomorrow for the movers.  I delivered their birthday gifts and they all liked their new pajamas.

I sure look different without glasses.

  We walked to Beard’s Plaisance and played tag with the girls and pushed them on the swings. The rules kept changing but we managed to fill a bit of time and burn some energy.  Tom and I will probably be feeling it in our bones tomorrow.

Little Monkeys - they love climbing trees.

I just had to post this beautiful photo, taken from the nearby Mississippi River shore - not my photo, borrowed from Facebook.

And this is just a beautiful bed of bright and colorful Zinnia near my home. I wanted to post it so I don’t forget how beautiful they are - for future reference.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The move keeps getting closer and the rooms of this rather small apartment are getting cluttered with boxes and closets/cupboards are getting bare. We will be loading some stuff to be taken to Arizona into a car top carrier and the stuff going in it is in one closet while the rest of the stuff to go inside the truck is in another closet. Everything else is pushed up against the walls.  The truck and movers are all arranged and the apartment pre-move inspection was done this morning - without any notification that they were coming - they just showed up at the door. I was aware that this would be done but they didn’t have the decency to let me know. They pranced through and said they had no issues - we will see how the final inspection comes out. I have been cleaning as I go along.

Last Saturday, I took Norah and Camille shopping for their birthday toys after picking up goodies for them at the Gluten Free Bakery, Sift. They were real excited when I got to the house and we headed for Target shortly after.  Camille chose an accessory set for her “Our Generation” doll and Norah chose a Nail Salon. I offered to take them to a park but they both wanted to head straight home to play with their stuff.  I neglected to take a photo of my soon-to-be 7 year-olds, but I did get one of Norah’s fake nails.

We drove to Hidden Falls Park, parked on the street level and walked down the 97 steps to the park. There is very little water falling and in creek bed, but will be fast moving come spring.  It was a beautiful first day of fall and there were lots of folks taking advantage of the almost 80 degree day. I captured a few pictures along the paths.  The large clump in the center of the tree is an Eagle’s nest that we have been watching all summer. They perch up on top of a utility pole that we pass n many of our walks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I got my annual flu shot yesterday and then picked up some sandwiches and had lunch followed by a nice walk with Ben. We don’t get much time to spend one on one and it was so nice. The girls are settled into their new school routine and are loving it - the parents are also loving that they can work from home without interruption. Home schooling is done on Fridays.

Walking is always an enjoyable experience for Tom and I and we like to see different trails every now and then. There are so many options around here and we take advantage of them. Today, we walked along Godfrey Parkway that connects with Minnehaha Parkway, on the west side of the river.  We followed a path that intersected with the main trail and it led us through a forest along the river and a couple of steep gorges. We learned that it is the oldest trail in Minneapolis’ park system. It was beautiful and we both really enjoyed this walk.

It’s no wonder that Minneapolis and St Paul parks are in the nation’s top three as rated by America’s Trust For Public Land. Washington DC falls in between.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

It has been another week of getting out for walks, doing a bit of shopping, watching Longmire and Schitts Creek on Netflix, and preparing for our upcoming move. The apartment is starting to show it with boxes staged here and there and everywhere. Last Sunday, I replied to a post on Facebook Marketplace and picked up about 15 moving boxes and packing materials. A good find - the ultimate recycling - I will do the same when I am finished with them.

It has been a cool, cloudy, and sometimes rainy week. Nighttime temps have dropped as low as 42 degrees and daytime temps have been in the low 60s. There is definitely a feeling of fall in the air.

Tuesday was the first day of school for the grandkids - they started at a new school for this year - a public charter school that is offering both in-person and virtual classes. Classroom sizes are small - 14 in Norah and Camille’s class and only 12 in Charlotte’s. They have adjusted well and seem to like everything about it. Hopefully, after there are some solutions to this COVID-19 thing, they can get back to their regular public schools in their district.

Yesterday, we met up with Pat and Roger at Great River Bluffs State Park just south of Winona, MN. We had each picked up some lunch at KFC and sat at a picnic table, ate our lunch and caught up on the news before heading out to walk some of the trails. Other than the two trails that went to a North and South overlook, they were poorly marked and we had trouble finding one of the loop trails. Eventually, we stumbled on a nice trail and had a good walk and talk. It was a cool and cloudy day but we still had a good time hanging out together, as always. I sure do miss being around Patty, but then 2020 has been the year for NOT being around friends. It has been the year for NOT doing a lot of things - especially being around friends and family in person.

We watched the girls this afternoon so Ben and Jill could get away by themselves for a few hours. We fixed tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches and got some resistance because the sandwiches weren’t quite like what they are used to - we were generous with the cheese and it dripped over the edges of the bread. They resolved to eat it anyway just so they would get to have dessert.

We took a walk to the Lake Harriet Upper school campus so they could play on the playground a bit before it got dark out. Back at home, we had root beer floats, tuned in a movie, and all was quiet in the house - except for the crunching sounds made by popcorn until Ben and Jill got back home. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Friday, September 4, 2020

Charlotte’s 9th birthday was on Wednesday and they had planned to celebrate by taking her and 2 friends boating and swimming and then a family gathering in the evening. Unfortunately, plans had to be canceled because Norah came down with a cough on Tuesday and had to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined until the results were in - she was NEGATIVE on Thursday.

I took Charlotte shopping to choose her birthday gift on Monday and she only wanted to go to Target and get accessories for her American Girl dolls - she chose a dog house for her toy Corgi and a pet parrot in a cage. She was not interested in shopping for shoes or clothing at all. We also stopped at the Galaxy Drive-in for lunch where our food was delivered to the car and the tray connected to the window on the drivers side. 

The family celebrated on their own on Wednesday but shared some great pictures with me.

Thursday was my day to hang out with Camille, so we took a long walk to the gas station so she could choose a treat - life savers. It was fun.

Tom and I went on another state park adventure today - to Minneopa State Park near Mankato. The park was established in 1905 and is the 3rd oldest in the state and has some nice waterfalls, a herd of bison, a historic windmill, a campground, and some nice trails.  We first walked to see the waterfalls and were quite impressed with the fast moving water rushing over the rocks - the upper falls is about a 10 food drop and the lower falls are narrower and drop 40 feet.

We then drove through the bison range and the herd was all bedded down and we didn’t get a good view.  On the way back, a few had started to move around, so I was able to get a decent photo.

The next stop was the historic Seppman Windmill, an impressive old stone structure.

Lastly, we walked the Minnesota River Bluff Trail for about 2 miles and really started to poop out by the end.

A stop at Rounder’s Pub and Grill in downtown Mankato provided out dinner and a beer so we had energy to get back home, about an hour and a half drive.

I saw these 2 great political yard signs this week: