Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021, MN

It took me two days to recover from last week, taking it easy, catching up on laundry, going for walks, getting a few groceries. And then I was ready for Wednesday when I spent the day with the girls.  I considered taking them to the St Louis Park pool, it was the last day they would be open for the season, but they suggested going to Veterans Park. We did that and all was well until two of them had to go to the bathroom and the porta-potties there grossed them out. We went back home and had some lunch and went to Wood Lake Nature Center in the afternoon.

The nature center has lots of taxidermy animals and they were fascinated with the fact that they were real animals that were stuffed like their favorite stuffies. The great thing was that they were able to touch each and every one of them and they also liked the interactive displays. We had the place all to ourselves.

On Thursday, Lois and I took the girls to Eagle Eye Farm in River Falls, WI for a tour of their farm that has more unusual animals; Alpaca (several babies), Llama, Kune Kune Pigs from Australia, Highlander cattle, Shetland Ponies, and several breeds of Sheep.  We got to go in the pens and feed and pet most of them, but the ponies were too feisty and the cattle had horns. The farm is spotless, as the pens for the Llamas and Alpacas were artificial turf to keep their hair clean as they only get shorn once a year. By that time, their wool is 6-7” long and it is sent to a processing plant for cleaning and spinning into wool. The products that were sold in the shop were just beautiful - soft and luxurious.

After that we went to a nearby park with a playground and had lunch and played until the girls were tired of it and we headed back home. Just in time as the storms that were predicted for the next two days hit hard about an hour after we got back home. In fact, it rained so hard on my way back home that I had to pull over and wait a few minutes until it slowed down a bit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Last week was such a delight! It was so nice to be in Stoughton and to connect with so many great family and friends. I spent the entire day with Pat on his birthday and we had sort of planned to go fishing, but it was a hot and humid day, so we changed the plan and went to Delaney’s Junk Shop in Baraboo - the great thing about Delaney’s is that Dr Evermore’s Sculpture Garden is behind it.  I never get tired of admiring those amazing creations.

The picture is the ‘Amythic Obsession’ at the entrance to the garden with the Forevertron in back. Darn, the tree branch is blocking the top of the rocket ship that will take him to the heavens when he dies (he died in 2020). There is more information and photos on the website:  World of Dr Evermore

From there, we drove around Baraboo and Madison and I got to see several of the buildings that Pat has worked on this summer. He has amazing plastering skills, that son of mine!  In most cases, the projects are repairs of old stucco and structures. The Wilmer Neighborhood Center (bottom left) had crumbling brick and mortar in the corners and the arch above the window was deteriorated. After our drive, we hung out at their house and I made Collard Greens with Bacon and Ham for dinner - it was a big hit for their keto diet.

On Friday, after coffee with Pat, Dawn and I got a nice walk in, although we left a bit late and it was starting to get hot and humid again. I hung out with her and Pat and Tracey until it was time to meet Patty at the new Tru Hotel in Stoughton for our 55th class reunion activities.  We managed to get a little pool time in before the Friday night informal gathering that was held on the lovely patio by the river at Nauti Norse. We got there early so we could have their tasty fish fry. Folks started trickling in and we probably had a turnout of about 30-35 classmates.  There was a lot of story telling and laughter going on and we were back at the motel by 10:30 - we are getting old!

On Saturday, Susan picked us up at 8:30 and we headed to Mandt Park for the annual Coffee Break Festival and Car Show. I saw three of my Starr School Road neighbors just as I was walking in and also saw all of the members of my cousin Larry’s family. We strolled around looking at cars and some of the vendor booths before heading to Livsreise.  There, we met a few other classmates to tour the Norwegian History Museum. The building is beautiful and many of the displays are interactive, so you can learn the stories of individual immigrants, what their journey from Norway was like, how long it took them to get here, and then what life was like when they got settled.

Next on our list was Bill Amundson’s (a local Norwegian story teller and artist) house where he sells his Rosemalled Yard signs. You see the colorful squares all over Stoughton and parts in between. Now there will be one in Ben’s yard in Minneapolis.
After that, we headed to the flea market at Madison Speedway, but there was not a car in the parking lot and not a flea in sight. We went back into Stoughton and had some lunch at Sugar and Spice and then toured the Stoughton History Museum.  Then it was back to the motel for some down time before the reunion.  It sure was nice to hang out with my besties from high school and it’s so nice that we have remained besties all through our lives.  About 70 people (45 classmates) attended the event at the Country Club and it was a lovely night with finger foods and a very brief program with drawings for door prizes.  Again, we were cleared out by 10:30.

On Sunday morning, after coffee, Pat and I got a nice walk in before packing up for our return trips back home.  I had several stops to make before heading out of town; Dawn’s for zucchini, Swiss chard, and tomatoes, Pat’s for final hugs from him and Tracey, Doug’s to give him one of Mike’s Navy mugs, and a stop to say hello to Karen, Nan, and Dale and to deliver a gift for Monica’s baby shower (the blanket that I crocheted). I was off and headed for Minneapolis, a 4.5 hour drive on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I did see some signs of fall along the interstate - the Sumac is starting to turn orange and red. 

Frisco was happy to see me and I got to see the girls’ new trampoline and have dinner with the family - a nice topper to a great week!

Yesterday was Mike’s birthday and he would be 74 this year. I spent some time looking at photos and stumbled across this goofy one, so I posted it on Facebook and got lots of good responses.  Happy heavenly Birthday to my husband of 45 years and a character who really made life interesting.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Earlier this week, on Monday, I had my annual physical and all is good with my health except my thyroid is now producing too much TSH so my medication needs to be reduced a bit which means a new prescription (I have 180 pills on hand due to a screw-up) and a follow-up check on the TSH level every 6-8 weeks for a while. Again, I will blame it on the aging process, as I have taken the same dose for 30+ years.

After my appointment, I stopped by Ben’s house and we went for a walk around his neighborhood during his lunch break. It is always nice to have that one-on-one time with him where we can talk without interruption.

When I got back home, I started laundry and packing for my trip to Stoughton.  Poor Frisco is upset again, wondering if he will be included in the plan. Since he doesn’t hear any more, I had a face to face conversation with him, telling him that all is okay - I hope he can read my body language.

Yesterday, I dropped Frisco off at Ben’s at 9:00 and hit the road. Since I had recently read a book called “Driftless” by David Rhodes - a story about the driftless geological area (not affected by the glaciers) that covers northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin, I decided to take the scenic route. The scenery made the additional time worth the extra hour of travel. The road meanders through the beautiful forest-covered hillsides, many with rock walls facing the roadsideand several small towns. All through the Kickapoo Valley,  I saw cows and horses grazing in picturesque pastures with squiggly creeks winding their way through the valley floor.  Before I got to Richland Center, I took a detour through Boaz so I could go past ‘The Land’ where Mike and I and our kids had many wonderful camping outings with our contingent of Milwaukee friends.

The Scenic Route

Highway Q, heading toward The Land.

I arrived at Dawn’s and got setup in my room, we chatted a bit, and then I walked over to Pat’s house to say hello and to meet their two new kittens, Ally and Cass. They are rambunctious and cute little kittens.

Dawn and I sat up and talked and drank wine until 10:30 and then it was time for me to hit the sack.

This afternoon, I met my dear friend, Leslie at Deak’s Tavern for lunch and that was so nice to get together with her again. I think it’s been two years, at least.

Some of Dawn’s beautiful flowers.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  Monday was the weirdest day for me.  I was up early and I decided to get some laundry going, so I put 2 loads in the washers at about 7:30. At 8:00, I went back to switch to dryers and realized that I had forgotten to push the START button and I was right back where I was at 7:30. I pushed the START buttons and came back at 8:30 and realized that I had only started one of the machines, apparently not holding the START button down hard enough. So…one load went to a dryer and the other got started on washing. Long story short - I was finished by 10:00.  

When I proceeded to get ready for my upcoming haircut appointment at 1:30. I checked my calendar and realized that my haircut appointment was actually at 10:00. I called Jeanell, apologized, and rescheduled for Thursday. 

As the day went on, I was really feeling ‘out of sorts’; stomach upset, feeling tired and wanted to do nothing more than be lazy and take a nap. I was supposed to pick the girls up after camp but Jill said that she could do it, so I was off the hook on that one.  I proceeded to be lazy the rest of the day and woke up feeling much more clear headed and energetic on Tuesday.

The week went on with a couple of appointments and I accomplished a few things around the apartment like hanging pictures, doing laundry, and some cleaning. Mavis and I met for a late lunch at Yankee Doodle Tavern on Thursday and we had a really enjoyable visit.

Frisco and I managed to walk along the Nine Mile Creek from two different access points on Saturday and Sunday. It is a really beautiful trail with lots of sandbars with quick moving water where Frisco could walk in and slurp.  At one point, from the 112th & Queen access, there is a small bridge crossing the creek and there was a family with two little kids playing in the water.  Going east from that access gets you to the Minnesota River and a friendly couple told me that there are also trails all along the river.  Today, we accessed the trail from Moir Park and walked a 1.5 mile stretch along that section. It is beautiful and only a short distance from my new home.

The marsh is really dry - the entire state is under drought conditions. I did see a couple of Great Snowy Egrets at the marsh and a Bald Eagle soaring through the sky.

There was a group of about 50 people heading to the creek for a Baptism this morning.  I was invited to join them, but continued on with my walk instead.

The rest of my day was spent grooming Frisco and starting to get things organized for my trip to Stoughton next week. I’m really looking forward to seeing Pat and Tracey again, meeting their new kittens, connecting with friends and family, and attending my 55-year class reunion. It should be a good week!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

We are having a much needed rainy Saturday morning. The air smells clean and fresh and the grass, plants, and trees are soaking it all in. It is lovely!

Now to reconstruct my week’s highlights. Norah and Camille had a sleepover on Tuesday night after being with Granny and Poppa for the previous two nights.  He dropped them off at my place and we walked to the school playground for a starter, giving them an opportunity to burn off some energy.  Of course, they were interested in makeup and here is the result of that afternoon activity.

Of course, sleeping together in my bed (I slept on the couch) they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, so the wrestling and giggling started. We read and I rubbed their back and that settled them in for the night.

Wednesday’s activity was a trip to the Richardson Nature Center where we had some lunch, hiked the trails, explored the nature center, and played.  I got them back home by about 5:00 and had a nice, quiet evening by myself after that.

Yesterday, I drove to Osseo, WI and met my cousins JoAnne and Jonnie for lunch. It was a 2-hour drive for each of us, coming from opposite directions and meeting in the middle.  We had lunch at the Norske Nook, known for their Norwegian foods, bakery, and pies.  Jo was the only one who ordered traditional and she had a lefsa wrap with Norwegian meatballs. I had fish fry and Jonnie had shrimp. I brought a piece of apple lingonberry pie home for dinner - it was yummy!

We went through photos that Jonnie brought, as they are still going through Fran’s boxes of pictures. It was a great visit - so nice to stay in touch!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Sunday, August 1, 2021

I managed to actually get some pictures hung this week and this little apartment is feeling more and more like home to me.  The floor plan is almost exactly like my apartment at the Windslow, so it has been a fairly easy adjustment for Frisco.

Mavis and Mary came over on Thursday afternoon to see the new place, they brought me flowers,
and we went to Willy McCoy’s, just down the street, for dinner and some fun conversation. I should have taken a group photo,  but I only got the flowers. 

I went to the Bloomington Farmers Market this morning, picked up a few veggies, listened to a 3-piece band for a bit, and admired all of the beautiful summer flower bouquets.  When I got home, I made some pickled beets. I peel them the old fashioned way by holding the fully cooked beets under a stream of cool water, coaxing the peeling away with my fingers.  When I finished, my palms were itchy, feeling like a rash was forming, so I washed and washed and washed my hands, applied some Benadryl cream and took an antihistamine and the itch and redness went away.  Afterwards, I did a Google search and learned that it is pretty common to have an allergic reaction from the skin of many root vegetables.  Hmmmm- never had this before.  Is it another change in my body due to aging?  This morning, I have a rash on my chest between my shirt collar and my chin - could it be connected to yesterday’s reaction? We shall see.

Charlotte was due for a sleepover, so I went to pick her up later in the afternoon.  We stopped at the Japanese Gardens at the Normandale College campus and strolled through the beautiful grounds, stopping to admire the many Koi living in the ponds.  It’s a beautiful place that I have been wanting to see.

There was a beautiful waterfall behind us but we took up the entire screen.

After dinner, we walked to Dairy Queen (a block away) for a little treat - a habit that I do not want to get into.

I’ve been wanting to check out the trails along Nine Mile Creek, so we drove to an access point and walked the trail this morning.  It was very nice, a great spot to walk in a beautiful natural setting with lots of spots where Frisco could explore the shoreline and take a dip in the stream.

Charlotte’s Photography

The family picked her up around 2:00 and I spent the rest of the day being lazy.