Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday, July 28, 2022, MN, WI

Well, where has this week gone? It seems like I have been busy but when I look back, only three of the last five have anything to write about.  We had an Introduction to Tai Chi presentation on Monday afternoon and Ellen was such a sweet person. She gave us an overview of the ancient practice, a few forms to work on at home, and access to her website videos and encouraged us to practice for improved balance and oxygen levels, and calm and peaceful nights of sleep. I should have taken her advice, and Monday night did not give me good sleep. I went to sleep just fine but was awake an hour later, then once I finally got to sleep after 2 am, I didn’t wake up until almost 8. 

It’s been another week since I started this post, so catch up on the next post.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022, MN

My roommate, Charlotte and I had a pretty good week together starting last Friday until Wednesday.  We did nothing except get a few groceries on Saturday as I was out of produce and snacks (those girls eat constantly). The two previous weeks for her were full of activity so we just hung out and took it easy that day.  The rest of the time we took walks, played games, used our iPads and watched movies most evenings.  

She was so excited to go to “Adventures in Cardboard” camp on Monday morning, saying that it was better than Christmas and Birthdays.  According to the reviews on their website, it is considered to be one of the best summer camps in the cities. She was not excited to go to Swim Team on Tuesday, was full of resistance but cooperated and said that she really did enjoy it once she got going - a real plus was that she made friends with the newest teammate and they were kind of pushing each other to swim faster and stronger.

Images from their website.

Ben did the drop off for the twins on Wednesday morning, so I brought all of her clothes and she went back home that night after camp.  I’ve got to say, it was nice to have my space to myself again.

I’ve been attending “Stampin Up” meetings once a month and this week I learned that Pam, who is moving to Arizona was having an online auction for her household items this week. I have never been done this before, but I checked it out and started to bid on a tall ladder shelf unit that she had.  For most of the week, I was the high bidder but toward the end, there was some back and forth but I ended up getting it for $26.  I’ve been watching for one to come up on Marketplace for a while and saw one this morning for $100. I think I got a good deal.  I picked it up yesterday, got it setup and have already sold the one that I was getting rid of - basically made an exchange and got it for free.  I love it!

Deb and I went to the Normandale Lake Bandshell last night and saw a good country music band. The park is beautiful and it was a very nice night.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday, July 15, 2022, MN, WI, MN

When I last wrote, I was still staying at Ben’s house.  He called Friday afternoon to let me know that they were packing up and heading back home.  I washed the bedding and touched up the house so it would be spotless when they got home.  After taking Yoshi for his nightly walk, I came back home about 9:00.  I just love my little apartment and my own bed, so it felt good to be home again.

The dreaded Covid keeps going through my family with Camille testing positive on Monday evening followed by Norah on Thursday.  Charlotte has been off to Horse Camp all week, so she hasn’t come down with it, nor is she aware that she might have been exposed.  Jill picked her up from camp this afternoon, tested her and found that she is still negative, so she will be staying with me for a few days to help her avoid getting it.  She doesn’t want to miss the Adventures on Cardboard camp that she is signed up for next week.

I loaded up my car and headed to LaCrosse at about 10 am on Tuesday morning and took the scenic route along the Mississippi River through Red Wing, Wabasha, and Winona on the drive down there and met Pat and Susan at the Grand Stay Hotel - we pulled in about 5 minutes apart.  The hotel is just a couple of blocks from the downtown area and Riverfront Park, so a very nice location to be.  

We sat around talking, then walked through the beautiful Friendship Garden and Riverfront Park.  Downtown, we stumbled on Buzzard Billy’s where we sat out on the sidewalk patio and had dinner.  The menu had a lot of Cajun items and I had the Shrimp Creole that was quite tasty.  Pat wanted to stop at Festival Foods for some wine and I just happened to see a bottle of Dripping Springs Vodka on the shelf, so of course I had to buy it - just for old times sake (our days in Rockport, TX).  Back at the hotel, we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the evening until it started to rain.

We really wanted to take the Trolley ride on Wednesday, but we learned that it was only running on the weekends, so we did some shopping, took a drive to French Island to River Rats Bar and Grill for a bit of lunch and a tasty Bloody Mary, and went back to the hotel for a nap.  That evening, we walked to La Crosse Distillery for dinner on the outdoor patio and we learned from some passers-by that the City Band was playing at the bandshell at Riverfront Park, so we headed there before going home.  The theme for the concert was “America’s Road-trip” and it was a beautiful evening to sit outside and enjoy the music.

On Thursday morning, we walked through the Friendship Garden to get to where the La Crosse Queen Riverboat was docked and then had a very nice ride up and down the river to see the sights and to learn about the history of the area.  Back at the hotel, we took naps, then Pat and I walked to Subway to get sandwiches to eat before heading back to Riverfront Park for another night of music.  We heard a great Country Band for the first hour and left halfway through the set of the next band - it was way too loud with lots of long guitar solos and we couldn’t hear the lyrics.

Riverside Park and the Friendship Garden in La Crosse

My Good Friends, Pat and Susan on the La Crosse Queen

This morning, we were packed up and on the road heading for home by 9 am.  It was stormy when we woke up, but cleared before we left.  My drive was a nice 2.5 hour trek through beautiful Minnesota farm land and Rochester.

When I got back home, my neighbor delivered the last project that we did at Art class with Genevieve.  This is the result of my clay poppy.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Friday, July 8, 2022, MN

Pat and Roger got here about 1:00 on Wednesday and we sat out on the patio, had a drink and talked - and talked - and talked some more. We took the dogs for a walk and they got along well - ran around and played ball in the yard.  Pat asked if I was interested in going shopping with her to find a dress for her Granddaughter Taylor’s upcoming wedding. We walked to the Nu Look Consignment shop a few blocks away and she found a beautiful dress that was marked down 75% and also found a cute pair of dressy sandals.  A big win and a great deal too!

We had pork chops and roasted veggies for dinner, walked the dogs and watched the “Patsy and Loretta” movie before retiring for the night.  

I took them over to see my apartment and then we did a little bit of shopping yesterday morning.  I had never been and they were interested in going to the Nordic Ware factory store and Roger was in the market for new walking shoes, so a stop at Schuler’s was beneficial for him. He found a great pair of $145 shoes marked down to just $40 - another great find!

They had reached out to an old friend, Sharon, who lives in Coon Rapids to see if she was interested in meeting up.  She was excited to hear from them and came over in the afternoon.  It had been a long time since the last meetup with her and we had a lot of talking to do.  Mike and I met her and her ex-husband while vacationing with Pat and Rog in Las Vegas years ago and we met up there off and on for the next few years, so it was a nice reunion for all of us.  We mostly just hung out and caught up on all of the news - especially Sharon’s recovery from a serious neck injury resulting from a car accident that she had in February.  She has just recently been able to be out of a neck brace. 

Sharon, Pat and I went to the Lake Harriet bandshell and listened to some nice, relaxing folk music for a while.

Jasper Lepak Group

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Wednesday, July 6, 2022, MN

I listed my bike (that has been stored in Ben’s garage for the last five years) on Marketplace on Saturday afternoon and someone wanted to pick it up on Sunday morning. That person was a no-show, but it was sold on Sunday afternoon.  Now, to get the canoe out of their garage would be nice. That one will be more tricky as it is one-of-a-kind and would take a serious wooden canoe lover to pay the price for it.  

Yoshi and I have been getting some good walks in through the neighborhoods of south Minneapolis. I really enjoy looking at the landscapes and the curb appeal of the homes in the area.  Being around him is a reminder of how much I miss Frisco and having a pet around.

 We didn’t walk much on Monday as it was raining for the first couple of hours that morning and I decided that would be a good day to do the cleaning test run.  It actually took me five hours without the bedding changed - this is a BIG house. Although I felt tired when finished, I don’t think it will be an issue. I also feel that it might take a bit less time in the future, as the first time usually takes longer and I may be able to gain some efficiencies along the way.

I will be going back to Penelope today to help out with the Food Truck and Pat and Rog are coming for a visit this afternoon. They will hang around until Friday. I’m looking forward to seeing them again and showing them around my turf and a big plus - we won’t all be crowded into my little apartment.  I appreciate that Ben and Jill allow me to have visitors when I’m at their home. It is nice to have the extra space.

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.