Saturday, July 2, 2022

Saturday, July 2, 2022, MN

While watering the perennial garden the other night, I spotted the prettiest teal blue dragonfly - it was iridescent and a color that I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, it was flitting around too quickly to capture an image.

Patrick had surgery to repair his severed Achille’s tendon on Monday and all went well for him. Now he will be hobbling around on crutches for the next six weeks followed by physical therapy and he may be able to walk again with a boot.  He has decided to not shave during his recovery and he was looking pretty grizzly. It will be interesting to see how long his beard becomes.

I don’t have a lot to write about this week, as I have stuck pretty close to home - going for long walks in the neighborhood, taking care of the potted flowers, watching the Netflix series “Inventing Anna” and working on stitching cards.

I am at Ben’s house for the next week, keeping Yoshi company.  They had intentions of being on the road by 10:00 but I got a text at 10:30 saying they hadn’t started loading the van yet and I was already on my way here. It was noon when they pulled out.  We had a light rain for a couple of hours, so Yoshi and I walked when it cleared up and then it was perfect for enjoying the patio and back yard.

I’ve also picked them up as a new cleaning client, so I’m doing a test run this week.  Stripping the beds and remaking them has already taken an hour. I’m thinking it will be a 4-hour job every two weeks.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022, MN

My sweet Mother, Ruth Marion Peckham Ursino would be 100 years old today and she has been gone for 58 years. It is sad that she wasn’t able to see her children grow up and become the good people that they are - and never to meet her grandchildren.  You are truly missed, Mom!

Camille called me Saturday afternoon to see if she could have a sleepover, so Ben brought her here about 1:00 and we hung out for a bit and had some goodies from DQ.  She and I played Monopoly and Pass the Pigs, had Mac N Cheese for dinner, did makeup, went for a walk, watched “You vs Wild” on Netflix and told each other mystery stories at bedtime.  The next morning after breakfast, we walked the Nine Mile Creek Trail for a bit before going shopping at Target, Kohls, and Old Navy.  Jill and Norah came by later in the afternoon to get her.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Saturday, June 25, 2022, MN

This week has been rather a bummer when it comes to family news. First, Pat’s Achille’s tendon is definitely severed with a gap of about 1.5” and he will have surgery on Monday to repair. Surgery will be followed with six weeks off his feet followed by physical therapy - his entire summer off his feet. The good thing about all of this is that it is covered by Workmen’s Comp and his boss is totally understanding about the whole thing. Pat is not a happy camper as this is his first on the job injury and he has never had any previous broken bones or surgeries.  

Second is that my car wouldn’t start on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Both times, I had my roadside assistance come out and I was able to get it into a repair shop on Wednesday - it needed an alternator.  It was ready for pickup on Thursday afternoon and it took $800 to get it out of the shop.  My Uber ride to pick up the car was in a Tesla that included quite the conversation with the driver about energy conservation.

On Wednesday, I got the terrible news that my cousin Jo was in the hospital with Covid and that she has been diagnosed with Leukemia. That just sucks as her life has been so full of getting knocked down and picking herself back up - like nobody else I have known. She has an incredible drive to make life interesting and fun, with so many friends around the world to enjoy it with.  My hope is for her to continue to enjoy her life with her family and friends.

Yesterday afternoon was fun, I was able to see the girl’s performance after their week in “Stages” camp. The performance was like a musical and each age group did parts from three movies or musicals.  The point of the camp was for them to experience music (projecting their voices) and dance and to gain confidence to perform on a theater stage.  They had a lot to learn in those four days and they really pulled it off - everyone had a part to say and they all performed together during the dances. Of course, I felt proud.  Although several of their school and neighbor friends were in the camp, they all made some new friends too.

Norah and Camille, as cats - second and third from left

Charlotte as a ‘Newsy’ - second from right.  She said that her big smile wasn’t because she was happy, it was because she was nervous.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Sunday, June 19, 2022, MN

It’s been a busy week - the days fly by so quickly.  I helped out with Food Shelf on Wednesday and sweet corn and beets were available, so when I got back home I roasted the beets and made pickled beets and cooked the corn and cut it off the husk and froze it. Some of the food items we get are close or just past the expiration date, so they have to be used or preserved right away. 

I got a few extra items this week, so when I let Ben know I had some for him, he told me about Norah’s soccer game. I met him and the girls st Pearl Park and her team, Malawi won 7 to 5 against Cameroon.  She has improved a lot and is a real team player. Go Norah!

I got to see Shirley’s new salon on Thursday when I went for a haircut - she has just moved in and isn’t completely settled yet, but it is very nice and the location is good too.  I went to a few garage sales on my way back home.

I walked with Deb on her usual evening route that goes around the Dwan Golf Course - it is a really pretty walk that is about two miles.

Judy called to see if I was interested in going to the farmer’s market yesterday, so we got there about 10:15 and had a sweet treat for breakfast and browsed the flower and produce stands. I got romaine lettuce and asparagus and Judy bought lettuce.  I also got a call Friday night from Nancy who was looking for a ride to the bank on Saturday, so I took her when I got back from the market.  After dropping her off, I got a few groceries at Cub.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022, MN, WI

It’s been a long, long time. I guess that nothing real exciting happened last week, although on Thursday evening, I ended up taking Charlotte to her swimming class, and that came about because I wanted to see how they are doing and she needed to get there by 5:15. She came home from school crying because another girl hit her in the face with a pencil case and she didn’t want to go to swimming because that girl would be there too.  Her parents talked her through it and she went and had a good time. Her swimming skills have improved a lot and I could really see the difference between her and Camille who is just starting out.  Norah is also becoming a strong swimmer but she wasn’t interested in being on the swim team.  Charlotte and I stopped at Wendy’s for chicken nuggets and then DQ for ice cream.

On Friday morning, I headed to Wisconsin for a weekend of visiting.  My first stop was at Pat and Roger’s house where we enjoyed their front porch and an Old Fashioned in the afternoon.  They chose the Wood Lake Supper Club in Westfield for fish fry and the lake perch that I had was delicious. And another Old Fashioned.

After dinner, we stopped at Pat’s niece’s family business - The Lakeview Campground and Bar that is down the road from their house.  Rhonda and Craig bought it as their retirement project and it has been long neglected, so they are working hard to get it all back up and running.  The bar is in great shape now and they are slowly bring the campsites up to code and cleaning it all out. The setting is nice, on Buffalo Lake.

On Saturday morning after a nice walk with Patty, I headed to Stoughton to Pat and Tracey’s house.  They are both under the weather - Pat injured his heel at work and was gimping around with a boot on his left leg. He sees an orthopedic specialist today to determine the damage and thinks that the Achilles’ tendon is probably ruptured or torn.  Tracey went in for an MRI to check the status of a tumor that she has had for a long time - the tumor hasn’t changed at all, but they determined that she had a stroke a couple of days before the MRI. She had no visible signs and fortunately, learned of some blockage and got medication to dissolve the plaque so she doesn’t have another. She was all freaked out by that.

On Sunday, I saw lots of cousins at Wanda’s 90.5 birthday party. She recently got a diagnosis of Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, has elected no treatment, and didn’t want a birthday party but was up for seeing everyone at a picnic.  The turnout was great and she dropped her head and cried when we all sang Happy Birthday to her.  I learned that she sang and played guitar and stand-up base for the Goose Island Ramblers, a local Madison polka band, starting when she was only 16.  Mike and I followed that band back in the mid-80s and later on, they went on to record their tradition folk and polka music for the Smithsonian Institute.

Back to the party - it was so nice to see so many extended family members in one place. There were lots of kids playing, a few well behaved dogs, and great food and conversation.  This is Wanda’s family - she is so fortunate to still have all of her children living.

Back row: Tom, Debby, Diane, Dick, Donna, Dawn
Front row:  Cathy, Wanda, Theresa

I went to see Mike’s brother Tom and his wife Karen on Monday and had a really nice visit with them.  We sat on their covered porch and had sandwiches from Fraboni’s and watched the sky turn gray off in the west.  Violent storms passed through and did lots of wind and hail damage to parts of Madison, but missed Monona.  Some areas were out of power until the next day (temps rose up to 97° on Tuesday). 

I met Jonnie and Dawn at Sugar and Spice for breakfast Tuesday morning and we had a nice chat.  I had hoped to get another of Bill Amundson’s rosemalled yard signs on the walk back to Dawn’s but he wasn’t open for business.  I hung out with Pat and Tracey until it was time to go to Culver’s to meet up with classmates - they gather there the 2nd Tuesday of each month and I just happened to be able to make it this time.  It was nice to see the few who showed up - especially Patty, Susan, and Judy.  

And then I hit the road, heading back home.  The drive was uneventful and I was back in my apartment by 8:00 pm - about a 5-hour drive.  It really isn’t a bad drive - just a bit monotonous. It was a nice visit back home to lovely Stoughton and always good to spend time with people who I love and miss being around.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Sunday, June 5, 2022, MN

It’s been over a week since I’ve had anything to write about other than how large and empty my apartment feels these days.  Until Friday, there really wasn’t much to write about as I have been trying to find new routines in my day. I’ve walked, visited with friend and neighbors, had lunch with Mavis and Mary from The Winslow, shopped, cleaned, and done some gardening.

Camille had a sleepover with me on Friday night, so I went to meet them after school and she was anxious to leave, so we quickly packed her bag and headed out.  Her big news tonight was that she made the Novice I Swim Team at the Y and will start practicing for upcoming swim meets this winter. Charlotte has now advanced to Novice II class.  Norah wasn’t interested in trying out for the swim team. Camille’s priority was a stop at Dollar Tree for gum and candy before going to my place.  After dinner, we walked to the Dairy Queen only to find that the lobby was closed and only the Drive Thru was open.  A friendly gal in line offered to get our order at the window and she also refused to take any money for our Dilly Bars.  That was a perfect lesson in paying it forward for Camille. She was quite confused as to why the lady would pay for our ice cream and wouldn’t take any money for it.

Another ‘pay it forward’ kind of thing happened on our walk back home. For some reason that I couldn’t figure out, a neighbor, Johnny, was struggling trying to get two motorized wheelchairs back home from shopping.  He was pushing one for a ways, then coming back and pushing the other, although he has trouble with his legs and was having difficulty walking.  I offered to push one back to our building and he was able to manage the other.  This was another lesson for Camille in how to help a neighbor in distress.

I had a couple of things planned for Saturday morning, so we had to get up by 7:00 am in order to meet My Fruit Truck  that was delivering a truckload of fresh Georgia Peaches and Pecans to our area.  They deliver fresh fruit straight from growers to communities throughout the US and I wanted to check it out and to get some to share with Ben’s family.  From there, we went to Creekside Community Center for a plant exchange and picked up a few Canna Lilies for the gardens here at Penelope and also Camille and I got some succulents for indoors.

We had breakfast and then walked to the playground at Westwood Elementary School where we swung and climbed and Camille cartwheeled for an hour. We met Ben at the gymnastics school and he and I stayed and watched. They have both improved so much during the spring session. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022, MN

Thank God I have a whole package of giant pee pads and lots of baby wipes on hand. I lined Frisco’s bed and tucked him in last night and I heard him moving around a bit at 3:30 and found that he had peed, so I cleaned him up, changed the pad and tucked him back in. He was still sound asleep at 8:30 this morning.  Same thing - cleaned him up and changed the pad under him. He has no objection to me picking him up and carrying him (he has never liked to be carried) and his legs are giving him no support - he immediately collapses from a standing position. He doesn’t appear to be in pain or anxious, as he has eaten and taken treats and water and he is not panting.

I was able to get an appointment with the Vet for x-rays but the person I spoke with seemed to think that since he has tested positive for Lyme disease (it can lay dormant in the body) in the past and his symptoms kind of sound like that - if that rings true, he could be treated with antibiotics.  She is going to discuss that with the vet when she comes in and we will see how that goes.

When the Vet checked Frisco out, she determined that it probably wasn’t Lyme disease as that causes some weakness me stiffness in joints but not total collapse or loss of control. Her thoughts then focused on general weakness internally - the heart murmur, possible kidney failure, and his age. X-rays and blood tests could be run to determine what is going on, but my focus has always been that he have quality of life.   So I decided that today was the day to put him to rest.  I know that he wasn’t comfortable being unable to walk on his own and he put his total trust in me and allowed me to carry him everywhere for the last two days. He died at 12:30 this afternoon, I was right by his side and reassuring him what a good a dog he is and how much I love him.

That little dog was loved by so many people and they are coming out of the woodwork to let me know.  I tried to collect my thoughts this afternoon and this is what I came up with - subject to future editing.

Fifteen and a half years with this little guy have left a mark on me that I will never forget. He is the first little dog that we ever had and he stole my heart immediately.  His job was to keep Mike moving, but he and I ended up to be the best of walking buddies.  He has comforted me through hard times and been by my side in all of our travels.  He made friends with lots of people and their pets - had the best of manners and was allowed in homes of family and friends who weren’t really that fond of dogs.

He lived up to the many names that he had through the years; Scruffy, Dude, Frisco, Frisky, Buddy, Frisky-butt, Osama Bin Frisco, Muttley, Dog, etc. 

Since the day that he rescued us from Wonder Dog Rescue in San Francisco in 2007, he has been:

🐾  A constant traveling companion

🐾 By my side through thick and thin

🐾 The best friend I could ever have and friend to many others

🐾 Loved me unconditionally

I will miss:

🐾 His sniffing under the bathroom door to check that I am ok

🐾 Being my shadow whenever I left the room

🐾 Sleeping next to my bed

🐾 ’The stare’ to let me know that he needed or wanted something

🐾 Picking the goodies out of his food before eating the kibble

🐾 Making sure that he got a treat after every trip outdoors or a nail trim or ear cleaning

🐾 The endless supply of blonde hairs that marked where he had been

🐾 His messy blonde Mohawk

🐾.   His watching over me from corners

🐾 My walking and hiking companion 

🐾 His eagerness to be friends with everyone, as long as they weren’t in the Pit Bull family or 

             were small critters that moved quickly

 I have been blessed with fifteen and a half years of his company.

I went to be with Jill and the girls tonight and it helped me to dry the tears for a while.  Of course, they are hoping that I get another pet. Charlotte went for a sleepover with her friend Betsy, and I asked what they would be doing at the sleepover and her reply was “the usual sleepover stuff; watch romance movies that are rated PG13, eat lots of junk food, and stay up until midnight”.  She posed for a photo with her sullen look and her big girl suitcase that I bought her for their Mexico trip  - my 10 year old teenage Granddaughter. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022, MN

After getting home from a couple of days of camping on Tuesday afternoon, Frisco and I walked to the pet store for some treats, I took him out for a potty break that night, he was limping a bit and I carried him in and he hasn’t walked since.  On Wednesday morning, he kept stumbling so I carried him downstairs and back in the apartment, he sat staring at the wall and then he slept for the next six hours.  I decided to see if I could get him in to see the vet and they had an opening. Everything checked out, just age related issues.

We headed straight to Ben’s (he is in San Francisco on a business trip) where I spent the night and got the kids off to school in the morning.  I met the twins at the bus stop and while they were having a snack, Charlotte and four of her friends came in - she told me that Wednesday was ‘play with friends after school day’ and Jill agreed to it, so I sliced a bunch of apples for them and they went downstairs to hang out.  Norah, Camille, and I made Rice Krispie treats while Jill worked on dinner and we had a nice evening together.  The twins put on a cute singing and acting show for us and then it was bedtime, they read to me for a while before turning in for the night and I hung out with Charlotte for a bit before bedtime.  They have become so independent and have the daily routines down so well that all they really need is a goodnight hug and some Grandma or parent love.

This morning, I was awake at 5:00, got up at 5:30 and Jill had already left for work (the reason she needed some extra help this morning).  I carried Frisco upstairs and as soon as I set him down at the top of the stairs, he kind of collapsed and peed on the rug.  He has slept most of the day and his legs can’t hold his body up.  He is eating and drinking, goes potty when I carry him outside but he still hasn’t tried to walk.  I think the issue might be in his right leg but his hind legs are wobbly too.  I decided to observe him until tomorrow morning and then will have X-rays done if there are no changes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tuesday, May 24, 2022, MN, WI, MN

I was packed up and on the road by 10 am Sunday morning, heading for the KOA Campground in Hixton, WI to hang out with Patty and Jo at a cabin for a couple of days.  I decided to take the scenic route on US 10 that took me through Hastings and the small towns of Prescott, Ellsworth, Mondovi, and Oswego. The tree covered hillsides were beautiful with varying shades of green and the road was hilly and curvy - a very enjoyable drive with hardly any traffic.  Patty and I arrived about 1:00 and the cabin wasn’t quite ready, so we headed down the road to Kal’s Korner Bar and hoped to catch Jo before she took the turn to go to the campground. My signal wasn’t strong enough, so my text didn’t go through and we crossed paths - she checked into the cabin, then met us for a drink before going back and settling in at the cabin.  

The cabin is so cute - a full size bed in the main room, table & 4 chairs, a tiny kitchen with microwave and fridge, full bath with shower, and a small room with twin bunk beds.  Outside, there is a swing on the porch, a nice patio with table, chairs and a grill and a fire pit in the yard. It was just perfect for the three of us.

Once we all got settled, we headed out to Hatfield for dinner at a supper club but neither of the options were open on Sunday (that’s not what their websites told us) and we ended up at the Depot Saloon in Merrillan. We had a nice meal but we all had been looking forward to a supper club.

Back at the cabin, we started watching a movie but our endless talking prevented us from knowing anything about the story. We were all settled in bed by 10:00 and Frisco had been sound asleep for a couple of hours before that. 

The sun was shining on Monday morning and we were able to have our coffee on the patio and decide what our plan for the day was going to be. A road trip to some of the small, neighboring towns in search of girlie shops, tasty goodies and antiques would do it.  We drove to Fairchild and found nothing of interest, on to Augusta where Jo was quite familiar, as that is where her grandparents and aunts and uncles lived and she spent lots of time there as a child. We had a light breakfast at a small restaurant that was once the Red Dot Cafe, where her Uncle Carl met up with his friends every day for coffee.  We drove around town and stopped at The Wood Shed where beautiful Amish furniture and household items were sold.

On to Osseo to an antique shop and then to the Norske Nook - you can’t go to Osseo without a stop there, as they are known for their delicious pies - where we each got a piece of pie to take with us and Pat and Jo couldn’t resist buying Lefsa and I couldn’t resist getting a jar of Swedish Lingonberry Jam.  Our last stop of the day was at a couple of antique shops before heading back to the cabin.

We sat outside and played Farkel, had snacks and cocktails and got a fire going. The smoke like Jo way too much and she finally gave up and went inside.  Pat and I stuck around until the logs were burned down, took Frisco for a walk, then played a few games of Uno before going to bed. We didn’t even make it to 9:00.

What a fun couple of days! Just what the doctor ordered and we plan to do it again one day.  It was a perfect location, an easy 2-hour drive for all of us.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday, May 21, 2022, MN

This weekend is Bloomington’s annual garage sale weekend, so I have stopped at a few, of course. If you know me, you know that I love garage sales. My best find was a cute leotard and summer shorts for the girls. 

Our weather turned back to cold and gray the last few days but we have been spared from the hail that other nearby communities have gotten.  The flowering trees are fully blooming now, smelling so good, and causing allergic reactions to my sinuses and eyes.

These interesting clouds caught my eye the other day.

We had a meet and greet for our new manager, Nikki, yesterday and she seems like a good fit for us. She is full of smiles and seems happy to have gotten this job.

Today, several people from my community teamed up and went to the city’s compost distribution at Moir Park to get free bags of compost.  The city recently started its compost collection service, takes the organic waste that they pick up to a Native American operated facility in Shakopee where it is broken down even further and bagged up for use by residents.  We ended up with 18 bags of beautiful, rich soil. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday, May 16, 2022, MN

The last few days have been quite eventful and full of activity. I met with Ben for our usual Saturday walk along the 9-Mile Creek (the water is raging and flowing over the shoreline) and then Norah came home with me for a sleepover. Before we went home, we browsed the art gallery at the community center and she was able to see the works of Leah Yellowbird that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, then we went through the car wash and stopped at the $$$ store before going home. 

We watched the “Mitchell’s Versus Machines” movie that was cute, then had a marathon bedtime UNO challenge.  I won one game and she won the long one that went back and forth several times before she got the advantage and won the game.

On Sunday morning, we walked to the hardware store and stopped at Caribou Coffee for a fruity beverage before Ben came to pick her up.  He invited me to dinner, so I made a coleslaw and then went to their house and watched him prepare a lovely dinner of grilled chicken and mint sauce, grilled broccoli, and brown rice.  He is such a great cook and enjoys every minute of it - and I enjoy it because he cooks things so differently from my way of cooking. The twins served us all ice cream cones for dessert.  It was a busy, very enjoyable, beautiful weather weekend.

The flowering crab trees on our property have opened up and these are the views from my windows.  I love it!
Bedroom View

Living Room View (perennial gardens on right)

Today was busy too, starting with a haircut appointment where I let Shirley get creative and I went much shorter - I’ve gotten so tired of trying to keep my hair styled and the wind blowing it around was driving me crazy.  The style is much like I wore it years ago.

This afternoon, I picked Lois up and we headed to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where we walked the paths and enjoyed the brightly colored tulips, the flowering Redbud and Azaleas and each other’s company.  We had lots to talk about!

So many varieties of tulips! Here are a few.

Genevieve, the artist that teaches classes her each month, dropped off the projects that we made last week - clay vases (she threw) that we decorated and then she fired in her kiln.  This is the vase that I did - and it was so nice of her to fill it with pretty flowers. She is so nice and fun to be around!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday, May 13, 2022, MN

Happy Heavenly Birthday to my brother Rick who would be turning 68 today. And now I’m going to rant a bit about the scourge of alcoholism and how it just drains a person of a quality of life.  His story is a sad one. From his teenage years when he started drinking until the time he died, alcohol was a priority to him. I think Rick’s scars went way back to his childhood when he was only 10 years old and Mom died and when our family broke up the next year - he went to live with our cousin Fran and her family. Although they loved and cared for him, something just wasn’t right and he resented that placement through the years.  

When Rick met Nan, he fell madly in love, they were married, bought a nice home, and had their sweet daughter Monica.  Unfortunately, he struggled with holding down jobs because he would party too hard and not be able to make it to work, he would be me argumentative and that would cause problems with his marriage and family life. That took a toll on the relationship and any stability that he had in his life - and eventually led to divorce and many years of homelessness on the streets of Madison.  He was never able to accept responsibility for his actions and found ways to put the blame on others.

My brother Randy rescued him from his life on the streets, got to him to Springfield, MO and in a treatment program where he uncovered the Rick that I remembered as a young man and he stayed clean for a long time. Rather than move to a group home after a year of sobriety, he chose to have an apartment of his own and eventually started drinking again, spending all of his $$$ early in the month and being broke the rest of the time - yet he always found a way to get booze.  His life started to really deteriorate after a throat cancer diagnosis and treatment - he didn’t follow instructions, missed treatments and appointments and the cancer never left his body.  A few years later it was back and eventually took his life on March 26, 2018.

Yesterday morning, I went with James, our Maintenance man, to Home Depot to purchase plants for the flower pots in front of my building (he had the credit card).  He bought hanging baskets and soil and I loaded up on flowers.  When we got back home, I proceeded to plant and this is the end product.

We have gone straight from winter and temps in the 50s to summer. The trees have turned green over the last weekend I’ve been noticing lots of flowers starting to bloom.  

Monday, May 9, 2022

Monday, May 9, 2022, MN

We did have a lovely, sunny day on Saturday and I returned to the paper craft garage sale that I went to on Friday with Judy.  I had purchased a paper storage box on Friday and liked it so much when I got home that I decided to go back to see if they had any more like it.  I was able to get one more of the boxes so all of my paper can be organized and kept in one place now. I had a conversation with the lady who was having the sale and I mentioned to her that Judy organizes the “Cards for a Cause” group in my building and they may have some materials to donate to her after the sale.  This sale was amazing, as the person had so many scrapbooking, card-making, paper quilling, and embossing supplies and tools - it might have taken up the same space as that in a large box store.  I did find some specialty (hand-made specialty) paper and a rotary cutter for my card projects.

I met Ben at Harrison Park and we walked the 9-Mile Creek Trail while the twins were at gymnastics. Yoshi got to explore the creek and Ben and I got to watch a large deer foraging in the woods.  I spotted this crazy perfectly coiled vine that went up the side of the tree trunk from the ground to the treetop.

And some beautiful patches of Bloodroot - this first wildflowers that I have seen this year.

Back at home, I started back at cleaning up the plantings in the front of my building and then Kathy came by as she was returning from a walk, and offered me a beer.  So we sat on the bench in the sunshine and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and were later joined by Deb.  While we were there, a chubby, fluffy tailed raccoon scurried around the back of the shed, spotted Frisco who was tied to the bench, then turned around and ran right in front of us until he crossed the parking lot.  That was exciting!  It is sure nice to have some girlfriends to chat with.

Mother’s Day started out cloudy and rainy but ended up being fairly nice - the sun peeked out now and then and it was cool but not cold.  I made a batch of Rice Krispie bars to take over to the family and then joined them for an afternoon of yard cleanup and planting and a few games of Uno with the girls.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Friday, May 6, 2022, MN

Spring has finally come to my little corner of the world and we have had sunny, warm days. We may even see 70 degrees on Saturday. 

My car was due for an oil change and I took it to Eric’s Repair on Tuesday morning. It cost me $52 and their overall safety check showed no issues other than that the tags on my license plates were to expire this month.  I had actually sent in the renewal shortly after I got it back in March, so when I got back home I checked online and saw that it was received, processed, and mailed to me on March 24 - but it was sent to the wrong address. I’m sure that I included a change of address but that was apparently overlooked.  A trip to the DMV office in Burnsville yesterday got it all straightened out and I was in and out of there within 15 minutes.

While I was waiting for my oil change, I walked to the City Hall building and picked up a map of the Bloomington hiking and biking trails and since I had plenty of time, I walked through the galleries.  There was a display by Leah Yellowbird in the main gallery that I really enjoyed.  She does very intricate beadwork on canvas and detailed acrylic paintings.

There was also a gallery with art from local elementary school kids that was pretty amazing also.

It got warm enough that I could go outside and do some cleanup in the perennial garden along one side of our property that can be seen from my apartment.  A couple of residents, Karen and Lee worked a lot out there last summer and it is in pretty good shape and needs just a bit of cleanup.  The early bulbs like tulips and daffodils are just getting started this week.  I also did some cleanup I. The front of our building. More to come, as I have volunteered to plant the flower pots out front too - that will probably happen next week.

Yesterday, after talking with my neighbor, Leslie, about Cinco de Mayo, we decided to go out for Mexican dinner and we went to Boca Chica in St Paul. It was nice to share a meal and have some good conversation. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Monday, May 2, 2022, MN

I just woke up from a two-hour nap - can’t believe that I slept so long in the afternoon but then last night seemed like I was awake a lot and was pretty restless.  Ben and Jill had an 8:30 appointment this morning, so I got there a little before that and saw that the twins got to the bus on time. When Ben got home, we took Yoshi for a nice walk. The weather is still cold and gray, at least it’s not raining as it was for the last two and a half days.

On Friday morning, I put the ingredients for beef stew in the slow cooker and invited Deb to join me for dinner.  There was a going away gathering on our community room for our manager, Sherry who is moving on to a new job after 12 years here.  It was a nice get together. Now, I’m hopeful that her replacement is someone we all can appreciate.  Deb and I had a nice dinner and chat, then we headed out for a walk but the cold wind made us turn around and call it a night.

I’ve been meeting up with Ben on Saturdays for a walk while the twins have gymnastics but that wasn’t happening because two of Charlotte’s friends tested positive for Covid so they kept them all at home even though their tests came out negative.  

I received the order that I placed for a ring that has a stone made from Mike’s ashes. I am happy with the result - here is the photo. Dang, my hands look just like my Grandma’s did when I was a kid.

I went and had dinner with the family last night to celebrate my birthday and Ben made Bun Cha - Vietnamese meatballs that were served with rice noodles, parsley, mint, butter lettuce and topped with a flavorful Nuoc Chom sauce (fish sauce) and optional hot sauce. Dang, it was good and I get to have more for dinner tonight.  To top it off, they gave me a pretty pair of earrings and we all had yummy carrot cake for dessert.  Camille and Norah folded the napkins pretty and set the table and Camille did the serving.  They sure are sweet - most of the time. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday, April 28, 2022, MN

After six weeks of religiously taking my thyroid medication as prescribed, I had my follow-up blood test this morning and already got the results.  This all started in August 2019 when the numbers were low (.16 IU/ml) and the safe range is .30 to 4.50 IU/mL - the doctor decreased the strength of the medication I was taking.  In March the numbers went up to 4.58 IU/mL and then I had to modify how I took the medication and strictly take it on an empty stomach and not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes.  Today it was even higher at 6.75 IU/mL. I haven’t heard from my doctor as to what the next step will be.

I finished the Tunisian Crochet blanket (throw) that I started about six weeks ago.  The last few days, I have been so obsessed that my fingertips were started to be sore. It measures 57” x 57” and has 27,792 stitches.  It will be warm and cozy next winter.  What will next project be?

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Happy 74th Birthday to ME! Thanks to my family and many friends - new and old - who have made it a great day for me.  The greetings started when I was in Stoughton over the weekend and when I arrived back home from my visit on Monday, when there were are few birthday cards in the mail and clipped to my door.  Then, an early greeting from my sweet sister, Rita, last night before I went to bed.  Just when I was getting ready for the day this morning, a call from my newest friend, Deb, here in my building, and an invitation to walk to Mugshots for a coffee.  While sitting there, I was pinged with a few greetings and the messages and phone calls from friends and family have come in throughout the day. It is so nice to be remembered by so many. I feel so fortunate to have made so many long lasting friendships through the years.  I will have cake and ice cream with Ben’s family this weekend and will enjoy a nice dinner with Ben and Jill the following weekend.  What a day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, MN, WI

A lot has happened over the last week and now I will try to reconstruct the events of my days since last Wednesday.  I volunteered for the Food Truck event at my building on Wednesday before loading up the car for a trip to Stoughton. After dropping Frisco off at his second home with Ben and the family, I headed south.  The weather was lousy- cold and rainy - but I opted to travel that day so I would have plenty of time to visit people in Stoughton.  It rained constantly, but came to an abrupt stop as I got to the Mississippi River in eastern Minnesota. That was nice because it allowed me to see the ice dams that formed frozen waterfalls in the high rocky cliffs along the road side.  I wasn’t able to take a photo but I found this one online to borrow. The ice wasn’t this thick and was scattered over a mile or so along I-90 near Dresbach.  There was no rain until I got to Sparta and then it was rainy all of the way to Stoughton.

My first stop was to get hugs from Pat and Tracey and it sure felt good to see them again.  I didn’t stay too long as I was getting tired after the long day and Thursday was a working day for Pat. It was also nice to see Dawn, my cousin-sister-girlfriend and we had wine and talked until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Dawn and I had lunch with her Mom, Wanda on Thursday and I can’t remember the last time that I was at Wanda’s house.  This was a blast from the past, as the house looks pretty much as it did back in the 1960s when they bought it and when I used to babysit for them now and then.  Wanda just celebrated her 90th birthday in January and is physically challenged by Osteoarthritis and macular degeneration but her mind is sharp and we had a very nice visit in spite of her recent sad news of a cancer diagnosis. As we were hugging and saying our goodbyes, she sang the little song, Que Sera Sera “Whatever Will Be Will Be”.

Back to Stoughton and I headed off to see Susan, my childhood friend who recently became a widow and relocated from Georgia back to Stoughton.  She has a lovely condo at Vennevol, a senior housing complex on the west side. We sat on her patio and had a great visit then went to town and had dinner at the Viking Brew Pub.

I spent the evening with Pat and Tracey before going back to Dawn’s house where she had some friends over to watch “Murder and Mayhem”, a weekly event for that group of friends.

Friday started out with a meetup with Jonnie for breakfast at Sugar and Spice - another good chat and family connection.  Dawn went grocery shopping and I dusted and vacuumed her house in preparation for a gathering that she was having on Saturday.  After that, I was off to the Pancake Cafe to meet up with my classmate, Doug, for a beer and some good conversation that we missed out on last August, as he was unable to make it to our class reunion.

I hung out with Pat and Tracey again and we had carry out fish fry for dinner.  After dinner, they gave me an early birthday gift - an Apple Watch.  Dang, did that make for a big surprise! It will take a while to get used to wearing a watch again and a learning curve to figure it all out, but I think I will grow to love it. 

I headed to Pat’s house first thing Saturday morning and we had coffee and watched the news.  The weather was gorgeous that day and I didn’t even need a jacket to walk over there.  By 9:00 he and I were both ready to get moving and he started working on detailing his truck and I worked on detailing his front flower beds.  That felt so good to be outdoors and doing something that I have always loved. When we finished those projects, he helped me to clean the remaining road salt from the carpet of my car.  And then we both needed naps after that.  He made quiche for dinner - a bacon and cheddar and a spinach with feta cheese. Yum! It was a lovely day, especially when I could spend it with my son.

On Sunday morning, I had coffee with Dawn before packing up, picked up some pastry from Fosdal’s Bakery for breakfast and headed over to Pat’s house for the morning.  He had something going on that afternoon and I was heading north to Pat and Roger’s house.  

The weather had changed again with high winds and low 40° temps - back to winter again.  Patty and I bundled up and went for a walk together but the wind could have blown us over a couple of times. I definitely needed a good walk after a few days of eating way too much and not walking at all. It’s always nice to be with them.  We had Old Fashioneds for happy hour and lasagna and salad for dinner, then watched “Pure Country” with George Strait in the evening.

After a nice walk again on Monday morning, I packed up and hit the road - so ready to get back home to my own space.  An unexpected change has come about me - a yearning to be in my own space - that I never used to experience.  In the past, I have been a ‘go getter’ and being away from home didn’t really bother me, but I have sure noticed it the last few trips that I have made.  It was great to see my buddy Frisco again and he was happy to get back home too.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022, MN

Well, the damned white stuff is still coming out of the sky - being persistent but not accumulating on the ground.  There is not a person who I’ve talked with who hasn’t expressed their disappointment in the late spring and the weather we have seen in April. It is just dragging on and on. When I walked Frisco yesterday morning, I looked up into the tree to check for buds and I saw this little guy peek out from his hole. He just watched me from his protected spot for several minutes.  Can you see him?

I made up for lost time with Ben this weekend and it sure felt good to be with him.  I went to their house Friday afternoon and met Norah and Camille at the corner bus stop and got the packed and walked them to Sabine’s house for birthday sleepover. Charlotte and Violet walked back to the house with me. When Ben and Jill were done with work, we ordered pizza from Hello Pizza and had wine and pizza and good conversation together over dinner.  On Saturday, he and I met at the 9-Mile Creek Trailhead and walked while the twins were at gymnastics. And yesterday, we were all together with Jill’s parents at their home for Easter.  

The individual letters spelling out ‘Happy Spring’ were placed in some of the eggs that were hidden outdoors. After hunting for eggs and filling their baskets, they opened the eggs and found the letters, they had to work together to unscramble them and when they did, they got to have the golden egg that was filled with $$$ for each of them.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022, MN

How is it that I have managed to lose things lately?  A few weeks ago, I accidentally threw away my favorite black onyx ring. This week, I went to get Frisco’s bottle of ear treatment from the counter and it was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere. Did I accidentally put it in the trash or the recycle bag or in the tote where I keep his other things? It is in none of those places.  I have kept a crocheted coaster on my table since I made it and went to grab it this morning and it wasn’t there. After lots of looking, it is still not there.  Is there a ghost in my apartment? Is my mind playing tricks on me? Am I actually throwing things away that shouldn’t be thrown away? Senior moments? Who knows?

After listing the Bridge family rocking chair (it belonged to Mike’s great grandfather) on marketplace since last August, I finally got an interested buyer.  It was picked up today and will find a new home in a solarium in someone’s cabin.  I’m sorry to see it go, but I no longer have room for it and nobody else in the family wanted it.  The story is…when we moved into Mike’s Grandma’s house back in 1972 while he was going to college, I found it on the screen porch - weathered and worn.  I took it to our apartment, cleaned it up, oiled it, oiled it, oiled it - and it became a treasured piece of furniture.  When we moved from there, it went to Mike’s parent’s attic for years until one day in the mid-90s, his Dad told me that I could take that ‘God Damned’ chair and Mike and I quickly loaded it into the back our pickup truck.  It was a favored piece of furniture in our household until now.  

I’m a firm believer that ‘things’ are not necessary in order to keep memories and I have been lightening my load of things for years.  My stock of ‘things’ is greatly reduced to what I live with and use every day in my apartment and to a few bins of photos and trinkets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022, MN

Weather…we are heading back to winter once again as temps will drop this week and a wintry mix of precipitation is expected over the next several days. We will be seeing mid-30s and won’t get a glimpse of 50s until the 21st.  It’s been a miserable spring that has been dragging on.

Frisco was ready to go out for his final walk at 7 pm and I held him off until 7:30, knowing that he would be up and raring to go out much earlier than usual in the morning. I made a hot toddy and sipped on it until 8:30 and headed for bed. I could hear the heavy rain hitting the window. At 10pm, awoke to the sound of very loud thunder that rocked the building.  It held on and roared for several seconds.  I was awake just about every hour last night and here I was hoping for a good night of sleep.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, MN

The weather actually cleared up last Friday, the snow melted and we headed into a five day period of spring-like weather and were able to get some nice walks in.  On Saturday, we drove to the Bloomington Ferry Trailhead and walked the multi-use trail along the Minnesota River and Sunday’s walk was along the southern shore of Lake Harriet, then back to Ben’s house through the Lynnhurst and Fulton neighborhoods. 

We had dinner at Red Cow on Saturday night and that was quite tasty.

I put the bedding and towels that we used in the laundry, vacuumed the dog hair from the floors and after an evening walk, we headed back to my apartment.  When I got the mail, there was a note in there from the mailman, Neil.  He had seen the note that I posted on the bulletin board of the building across the street about house cleaning jobs and he asked if I would be willing to clean his condo for him.  We spoke this evening and I will be starting that job next Tuesday evening (he is working six days a week and evenings work best for him). After the first time, I will see if I can change it to daytime.  

The family had a long day of travel and didn’t get back home until shortly before midnight. Based on the photos and messages that I got from them last week, they had a wonderful time with a mix of relaxation at the house they rented, beach time, whale watching, horseback riding and hanging with their friends from SF. Also, Charlotte got to swim with dolphins and I can’t wait to hear about her experience.

Tom left yesterday on a Sun Country flight that left at 4:00 and got him back to Phoenix at 5:30 his time.  After the trip to the airport, I went straight back home to take a nap, as I have picked up the cold that he had earlier last week.  It is a cold, as I took a Covid test yesterday afternoon just to be sure.  Last night was miserable and I’m hoping that was the worst of it - NOT.  I felt miserable all day and I even nixed the monthly art class but did manage to get a fairly decent walk in before the weather started to change.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022, MN

We just couldn’t stand feeling cooped up another day, so yesterday we headed out to do some shopping at Costco and we went to the Burnsville Mall and walked around out of the cold and wind. What a reminder if the past that mall is.  Many of the stores were closed up and barricaded with only a few remaining - Macy’s, JC Penney, and Dicks Sporting Goods were the biggest that were open. The carpets were stained and nasty looking and it had the feeling of its better days being in the past.

We stopped at the Cam Rahn Bay Restaurant and had Vietnamese food for lunch - the place was clean and well staffed and the food was quite good.

The dogs are patiently waiting for their dinner to be served.

We are now watching 1-2 episodes of Yellowstone each night.

The weather has continued to be lousy until this morning when I happily saw some breaks in the clouds and patches of blue sky showing through them.  This is what it looked like in the back yard this morning.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Monday, April 6, 2022, MN

The lousy weather trend continues and we saw a whole day of rain that became snow during the night and is predicted to be unseasonably cold for the next two days. I feel bad for Tom but we have managed to get out for some walks.

We started watching the Paramount series “1883” and binge watched all 10 episodes over the last few nights.  I thought it was real good, it kept our attention and I give the actors credit for doing a great job.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Monday, April 4, 2022, MN

Last Thursday afternoon, I picked Tom up at the airport and he will be here for the next ten days.  Since Ben’s family is going on a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, we will be house and dog sitting while they are gone.  So far, the weather has been lousy.

Leading up to Tom’s arrival, I didn’t do a whole lot other than prepare for his visit (made lasagna for the night he got here), did some shopping, laundry, and cleaning.  

I also met up with Mary, the Service Coordinator in our building and got some training to help out with the bi-monthly Food Shelf - an organization that brings groceries to senior complexes.  Several people in my building no longer drive and this service really helps them out. Residents put their names on a list and a random drawing of apartment numbers is done to select the order in which people can come down and shop.  My job will be to help with setup and takedown and to greet people and watch that they take only the designated number of times.  

On Friday, I helped the “Cards for a Cause” group make Mother’s Day cards. We ended up with about 6 people helping out.  Here is a sampling of what we made:

Yesterday, we went to Perkins for breakfast after stopping at two other places that were overcrowded or didn’t have much for breakfast. Then, in the afternoon, we went to the Bloomington VFW and had a beer and listened to the Blues Jam Session, there was some pretty good talent there.  Tom got to see snow today, it barely made it to 40°.  

We heard some bad news from Tom’s sister Geri yesterday.  Her dog Panda (about 3 years old) attacked her cat Smokey and gave it some serious injuries about a month or so ago.  Since then, she has been keeping them separated (the dog in the back yard and the cat in the house) while trying to find someone to take the dog - until yesterday. She took the cat to the back yard to let it roam around and was closely watching them when all of a sudden, the dog attacked the cat again and was shaking it and wouldn’t let go.  She ended up with a bad bruise on her left hand while trying to pull the dog away.  The cat had some lacerations but nothing that looked too bad - and she was unable to get through to any of the area veterinarians - and then Smokey died yesterday morning. He apparently had internal injuries.  She now has to keep the dog for another week before animal control will take it and it will have to be put down.  Geri lives in Blythe, CA - a rather depressed town on the Arizona/California border between Phoenix and Palm Springs.  

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday, March 24, 2022, MN

I went to bed upset last night after realizing that I accidentally threw away the onyx ring that I've worn for years.  I traced my steps during the day and remembered standing at the kitchen sink to clean it, then drying it with a tissue, I got distracted and laid it on counter, and must have thrown the tissue in the trash bag that was ready to be tied up and taken to the trash to bin.  Later on, while Charlotte and I were out shopping, I realized that it wasn't on my finger. I loved that ring and I’m not happy about finding a replacement for it.  I searched through my jewelry and found a ring that was given to me by Rita, so I will wear that one for a while.

The teacher’s strike is still on, so the Granny’s are helping with the kids again this week.  I took them to the Science Museum on Tuesday and they were well behaved, making for an enjoyable afternoon of exploring and learning.  We watched the IMAX movie “Dinosaurs of Antarctica” that was really good and then saw most of the exhibits.  We spent more time at the booth where you can trade items - rocks, shells, fossils, skeletons, etc. than anywhere else and Charlotte said that was her favorite thing about the day.  I kept hearing “is this real” when they saw a preserved two-headed turtle, and a display of blood running through a pipe to demonstrate our bodies blood system, and while looking at the dinosaur bones.  It was a fun afternoon.

We spent a lot of time with these cool mechanical characters, all moving with gears.

Snack Time

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022, MN

We have finally seen a warmup and had a taste of springtime weather this week and it is so welcome as demonstrated with just about everyone you meet outdoors.  

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor on Monday to check on my blood pressure and thyroid levels.  Blood pressure is just fine but thyroid levels are way out of line. I have been on the same amount of medication for hypothyroid since I was 40 years old.  At my appointment in August, my medication was decreased because my thyroid was producing more TSH (about 1.5). This  week’s blood test showed a level of 4.5 - MUCH higher than it should be.  That means strict adherence to taking the medication on an empty stomach (I’ve been taking some other supplements with it) and another follow-up blood test in 6 weeks. 

The Minneapolis Teacher’s Union is still striking, so Jill was able to get them in a few camps this last week (to the tune of about $800) and I was with them Monday and Wednesday afternoon and Lois was with them on Tuesday and Thursday.  

I didn’t have anything going on Thursday, so I texted Mavis to see what she was up to. I picked her up and we went to the Fireside for a tasty Corned Beef and Cabbage lunch.  My original plan for some tasty Irish food was to get a take-out Reuben, but this was even better.  It was nice to see her and have a good chat. 

I spent most of the day Friday working on making cards.  I had accumulated a few stitched cards that needed to be mounted on cards.  Some can go on precut cardstock that I get at the craft store and others I have to cut out the right size paper and mount them that way.  And of course, they all need some embellishment to make the stitched cards stand out and make them prettier.

A sampling of some of the cards that I made today. Don’t be surprised if you get one some day.

There is a group of women in my apartment complex who volunteer for a group called “Cards for a Cause” and I spent the afternoon with them making cards for hospice patients to give to their families and friends.  I worked on Easter cards, some worked on Thinking of You and Birthday cards and another gal worked on Military cards.  It was fun and we turned out some really cute cards - I didn’t take any photos though. 🥴 

I’ve also been working on the afghan that I started for myself last week and I find that evening TV time is a perfect time to work on it.  It turns out that each row takes me about 40 minutes and I’ve got about 35 rows done

I met Ben and Yoshi at the Nine Mile Creek Trailhead this afternoon and we had a really nice walk while the twins were at gymnastics.  The day was sunny and 55°, most of the snow is gone, and it was a beautiful spring-like day.  

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saturday, March 12, 2022, MN

My monthly art class with Genevieve was Tuesday afternoon and we did beading this time.  I chose to make a memory bracelet and necklace. Next month, we are going to learn needle felting and do an Easter project.

My beading projects.

Well, the Minneapolis Teachers went on strike, starting on Tuesday this week and that meant that the Grandmas had to help out with the girls. I was there on Wednesday and again for a few hours on Friday.  I had a hard time getting them to cooperate with school work, reading (they were given no assignments by the teacher), or any kind of structure on Wednesday and Rachael (family friend and Mom to girls’ friends) offered to take them from 2-5pm, so It wasn’t quite a full day.  On Friday, they did individual reading and we did Math together for quite a while. I’m impressed that my 2nd grade girls are doing 3rd grade Math and having no problems with addition, subtraction and even some multiplication.  Jill took off work early so she could reciprocate and have Rachael’s girls over in the afternoon.  

Charlotte, who had been chewing on her nails recently, agreed to give it up for one month and her incentive and reward was to have her friends Riley and Violet over for a Greek dinner (she is all into learning about Greek Gods and Goddesses these days) and to watch the 1980s version of “The Clash of the Titans” on Friday night. 

Did I say there is a whole lot more activity going on in that family than I can manage most days. Ben said that Norah and Camille were to take Yoshi for a walk and they did a quick walk (it was only about 15° out and they returned home in about five minutes.  When they got back home, Camille realized that she had lost one of her good ski mittens along the way, so they headed out to trace their steps to find it, only to return in another five minutes thinking that they needed to check the house - just in case she left it there before they headed out with Yoshi. Nope - it was nowhere to be found, so they had to go out looking for it again.  This time, they reassured me that it might take a little bit longer and after being gone for almost 15 minutes, I got nervous - not knowing where they were allowed to walk and how long their normal walks would take, so I decided to drive around and look for them. Just as I turned my car around in front of the house and was heading for the lake, I saw them coming down the alley heading for home - with Camille’s mitten on her hand. See - it’s always an adventure and even though Mom and Dad are comfortable with them walking designated areas in the neighborhood alone, it makes me real nervous.

I sold a painting and a pet travel carrier on Facebook Marketplace this week and also found a nice nightstand for next to my bed that I picked up today. I’ve been looking for one for a long time and my patience paid off today - the stand I bought is exactly the size and type of wood that I wanted and I got it for $5.  It pays to be patient.  

I shopped for yarn to make myself a throw blanket - just don’t make things for myself so now is the time.

Our weather has been brutally cold since Tuesday with a warmup arriving on Saturday. It was 1° when I woke up Friday morning. I’m so ready for some signs of spring and it looks like next week will bring it. Daylight Savings Time ends today, so we set our clocks ahead once again.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Sunday, March 6, 2022, MN

I have spent the past week settling back into my apartment and getting back into my regular routine.  I went grocery shopping on Thursday and it cost me over $200 to restock (including some pricey items like wine and beer). The nice thing was loading it into my new refrigerator that was delivered while I was gone. And once again I am loaded down with some good, healthy choices in hopes of deleting the few pounds that I gained over the last month.

Ben texted me yesterday to see if I was interested in having the twins for a sleepover and I had been considering reaching out to him just before getting his text. Charlotte was having a sleepover and it is always nice when she and her friends aren’t interrupted by younger sisters.  It might make for a more relaxing night for Mom and Dad too - not so much for Grandma, although the girls were good and we had a fun night and watched the 1988 movie, Milo and Otis.

A regular activity at Grandma’s house.

There is no longer room in my queen size bed for the three of us, so it was Norah’s turn to sleep on the couch. She drifted off quickly, but Camille and I ended up saying goodnight, then talking again several times.  After the last goodnight, she looked up at the clock and announced “we have been talking for 49 minutes”, then turned on her side and fell asleep.

A good morning selfie for Mom and Dad

Our Sunday morning project was to teach them how to use a sewing machine and to make something for their American Girl dolls.  Norah’s choice was a cropped top and Camille’s was a long top. I had fabric left over from some Christmas projects so they had a few options to choose from.  They both did good with the sewing machine, learning how to hold the fabric and guide it through the needle and  how to regulate the speed.  Here is the outcome:

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Tuesday, March 1, 2022, AZ, MN

Going back home today. Tom fixed a nice breakfast for us and we managed to get a nice 1.5 mile walk in before heading to the airport. Two horses that we have seen in a pen on previous walks came to greet us at the fence as we walked past.  I noticed an electric fence just inside the fence, so we were unable to reach over and pet them, although I think that is what they wanted. 

I found no issues at the airport, check-in went well, as did security. The only issue right now is a 20 minute delay.

With the exception of almost an hour delay (had to wait for the flight crew to arrive from their previous flight) and the fact the the flight was completely full, there were no hitches to my return to Minnesota.  Because I arrived later than expected, Ben was able to pick me up.  Frisco wasn’t giddy with excitement when I first saw him, but after some sniffing he rolled over and wanted belly rubs. I think I was more excited to see him. He did just fine and it doesn’t sound like he caused too many issues at their house, other than snapping at Yoshi when he was jealous of Ben’s attention. My car survived a month of sitting and Ben had it cleaned off and ready for me.  I got back to my apartment at about 9:00 pm.