Monday, October 31, 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022, MN

Happy Halloween! Again, I have gone a week without writing - perhaps that is because there hasn’t been a lot to write about.  Our weather has been beautiful with days in the 60’s.  I’ve been watching the flocks of Cedar Waxwings in the Crabapple 

One thing worth writing about is that I connected with a gal through Next Door who is a Lab Technician and she came to my apartment Wednesday evening to clip Joey’s nails for $12.  My vet charges $18 and I’ve been told by friends that it is $25 at some grooming places.  I also invited Joann to bring Bailey over for a trim. She came a bit early and we had a bowl of Cabbage Creole soup together.  Mary arrived and it was no time before Joey accepted her as a friend and we got the nail trimming done in less than 5 minutes, then she did Bailey and she and Joann headed to Cheri’s apartment to do her cat. I spoke with our manager and she agreed that it might be good to set up a pet nail trimming clinic periodically and we will try to get some feedback from residents to see if they are interested in that service. There are lots of people with cats here.

I cleaned for Ben and Jill on Thursday and was feeling a bit beat-up when I finished.  It’s a big house and I didn’t take any breaks, just ploughed right through in 4.5 hours.

Ben and Jill invited the Grandparents for a delicious BBQ rib dinner last night and Chef Ben really pulled it off.  We had ribs, baked potatoes and grilled cabbage - all were delicious.  Lois made an Apple Crisp for dessert and I made a Pumpkin Bundt Cake to top it all off.  It was nice to hang out with the family on a beautiful fall afternoon and the girls were sweet and fun to be with today.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022, MN

Dang it! I just had two paragraphs written and I hit something that took me out of the app and lost my post. 

While I was cleaning yesterday morning, I felt an urge to get away from here on this day that is expected to be gorgeous.  I called Deb to see if she might be feeling the same way and we decided that a nice walk along the Minnesota River might be nice. We finished our chores and headed out to the Bloomington Ferry Trailhead, a couple of miles from here.  It was about 70° when we started out, the trail winding along the shore of the Minnesota River, and the leaves rustling under our feet as we walked.  We talked about how fortunate we are to live near so many beautiful natural resources and are able to get out of the city and experience the woods.  It was a beautiful day and the temps topped at about 78°. 

I watched the Swedish movie “A Man Called Ove” last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I usually do some form of stitching while I watch a movie, but had to stay focused and read the subtitles - it was worth it.  Lois and Dennis recommended that I read the book a few years ago and I really liked it, so I was glad to see there was a movie made and the lead actor won an Academy Award for his role. Recently, I read “Britt Marie Was Here” by the same author, Fredrick Bachman and will have to watch that movie next,  I shared the book with Lois and Dennis. 

While Norah was with me Thursday night, she wanted to learn how to crochet, so I got her started with a basic chain and single crochet. She picked it up quickly and said it was fun, so I sent her home with some supplies.  It was the first thing she did when she woke up here on Friday morning. Ben called me last night to let me know that was the first thing she did when she woke up at home yesterday morning and when they were going to watch a movie last night, she picked up her crochet project and told her sisters that is what Grandma Rose does when she watches movies.  That was so sweet and it made me feel so good that my eyes got wet.  

Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday, October 21, 2022, MN

I started the week out with an appointment to get my Flu and Covid Booster vaccines on Monday afternoon.  Since I was going to Chanhassen (they had the earliest appointment for the Pfizer vaccine), I stopped at two of my favorite stores - Turnstyle in Eden Prairie and Tuesday Morning in Chanhassen before getting to the clinic.  The injection stung and my arm hurt for a couple of days but I had no other symptoms. 

I made a pot of Cream of Potato Soup and a batch of biscuits and took them with me for dinner with the family, as I was meeting the girls at the bus stop on Tuesday afternoon.  Norah and Camille taught me a new card game that was kind of fun (they didn’t know what to call it).  We had a nice dinner and I sat in on the homework before heading back home.

I helped out with the Food Truck on Wednesday morning and then Joey and I went for a nice walk before settling in for some reading and a nice cozy nap.  Our weather has been warming each day this week and it got to about 66° today and might get to 75 tomorrow.  It’s going to turn around on Sunday and we won’t see and 60+ degree days again for a while.

Things got even busier on Thursday when I headed to Ben’s about 9:30 and hung out with 
Norah until it was time for she and I to meet Lois, Camille, and Charlotte at Degler’s Farm for some fun fall activities.  We started out with a photo but the twins were leary, aware that there could be wheat in the straw bales.  We learned from the farmer that the bale they sat on was alfalfa which is gluten free. I sure feel bad for them having to deal with Celiac Disease but I’m proud that they are so knowledgeable and aware of their need to avoid contact with wheat in order to stay healthy.

The first thing they wanted to do was play in the corn pit and they had lots of fun rolling around, falling, and tormenting each other for a while.  After that, we headed to the corn maze and since there was a photo map of the maze, it wasn’t long before they had it all figured out.  From there, we grabbed our gunny sacks and headed to the 160’ long giant slide that was made from culvert material.  A wooded path led you to the top of the hill and the slide.  The kids all went down it at least five times and Lois and I both had to try it once. It was lots of fun and we laughed all the way down.  The worst part was trying to get into the sack.

A hayride was last on our list of activities, but Charlotte really didn’t want to go and she was mad at Lois and I for making her do something she didn’t want to do.  The picture tells the story. She was trying really hard to hold her grumpy face but she was almost smiling at this point.  The tractor driver grew up on the farm that has been in the family since 1948 and she gave an interesting narrative of the history of the farm and the changes that have come about over the years.

There were definitely some behavior issues on this outing - not listening, being disrespectful, and  pushing and hitting each other, so Lois and I agreed that we would not be buying pumpkins to take home. We got some resistance but stuck to our guns.  

Norah came home with me for a sleepover and Charlotte and Camille went home with Lois and they all got the lecture on how their behavior was unacceptable. And we both got apologies at bedtime.

This afternoon I took Norah to Lois’ house and then we took them to the Middle School for swim team tryouts.  We were impressed with their skill and we will see what teams they will be on when the coach e-mails Jill.  They were so well behaved today that we stopped at Dairy Queen for Dilly Bars on the way back home.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022, MN

I got a good taste of what the next few months will be like when I opened the shades and looked out the window this morning.  It really was pretty and it had the feel f me of those quiet, calm winter days.  It was melted away by 11:00.  

I felt good Friday but took it easy all day, with a long hot soak in the tub that felt soooo good.  I even went to pick up Chinese food at Grand Szechuan and bought way too much food.  It was pretty good with plenty of fresh veggies, although rather bland.  After having it for dinner two nights in a row, I put the remainder in the freezer for a future meal.

Deb and I walked to the church nearby yesterday that was having their annual Harvest Fest. I bought a cute ornament from Judy, only because I wanted to support her craft and her wallet but there wasn’t anything else that I was interested in - not even the baked goods.  There was a long line of folks buying pies.

I also removed most of the plants from the planters in front of our building.  The Geranium is still looking good though and I’ll keep it going as long as I can.

After phone calls to catch up with Patty, Bob, and Patrick this morning, I started a much needed project to treat the leather and wood on my dining chairs and other wood furniture.  I’ve let it go way too long, as it’s been at least over a year.  So my apartment became an area of chaos for a while but I got the job done and I can forget it for the next six months.  

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Thursday, October 13, 2022, MN

It’s been a busy week again. I met with the Stampin Up group on Monday and everyone brought their paper, stamps, dies, and die cutting machines with them, so we could share and make a bunch of that stuff ahead.  Since the cards that I make are the stitched cards, I haven’t figured out how I want to incorporate the Stampin Up materials but I think that I have ordered all of their products that I might be able to use and they are expensive.

On Tuesday, I had the art class with Genevieve and she walked us through an acrylic painting, a medium that I have never used before.  This is the outcome from that session.

I had to leave early, as I have committed to picking the girls up at school after their Spanish class on Tuesdays.  They went to do homework and play with a neighbor kid and I sat out on the deck and enjoyed our beautiful 82° day and just watched the beautiful trees.  Ben fixed steak and roasted potatoes for dinner and it was yummy! 

Our temps dropped overnight and Wednesday was rainy and in the 50s and it isn’t expected to get much warmer in the latest forecast. I met Mavis and Mary at the Yankee Tavern for lunch and we had some great conversation and a yummy Bloody Mary and burger and fries.  It was nice to see them again and Mavis’ recovery from her hip surgery is going quite well.  She was walking with just a cane.

I got a call from my long-time friend Susan yesterday to give me the news that she has been diagnosed with a serous form of Uterine Cancer and all I could say is “f*#k” - not another one! She has hysterectomy surgery on the 24th and they will know more of the extent. It may have something to do with our age but I just lost two cousins to that crap - JoAnne on August 24 from Leukemia and Wanda on October 7 from a stroke after an Ovarian cancer diagnosis at age 90. 

Susan also told me that our classmate Judy is putting her affairs in order as she is facing dialysis and possibly kidney transplant which she is not sure that she is willing to consider.  I got way too much bad news today.

I had a house cleaning job at Ben & Jill’s today and their big, new house took me a total of 5 hours. Even though their new home has more square footage, I was able to do the job in the same time that I did the old house. My body is exhausted but I feel good that it can still handle it. I also feel good that I can provide a good quality service to them that they would be paying for anyway - I give them the added personal touch.  I will sleep good tonight.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022, MN

We had our first taste of wintry weather this week when the temps dropped into the 30s for the first time on Wednesday and we all had to add another layer of clothing to stay warm.  I had a couple of lunch dates planned on Monday with Mavis and she and I both got the days mixed up, so that was rescheduled for next week and Tuesday with Deb and her plans changed.  She and I did walk to Willy McCoy’s for a beer on Wednesday afternoon after I finished helping with the food truck.

The fall colors are so beautiful right now and I really saw a lot of them when Judy, Ann, and I took a drive on the country roads between here and Faribault on Tuesday afternoon. Although it was a mostly cloudy day, there were beautiful pops of color along the hills and roadsides.

I’ve been watching this beautiful heart shaped tree on my block for the last couple of weeks and it reached its peak of color.  

This is what it looked like today.

I made a big pot of chili Wednesday night and took it to Ben’s with me on Thursday for dinner after picking the girls up after school.  I also had a haircut and a mammogram that day, so I was exhausted by the time I got back home.  I was back at their house on Friday night to celebrate Norah and Camille’s birthday.  Jill woke them up in the morning at the actual time they were born - Camille at 6:14 and Norah at 6:15. I didn’t take any birthday pics, so I’m waiting for Jill to send me some.  It’s hard to believe that they are 9 years old now and becoming so independent - they are good girls and good students.

My cousin Wanda passed away Friday and this is her obituary.

MADISON- Wanda Dorothy (Dzikowich) Farris, age 90, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 7, 2022, surrounded by her family at the home she lived in for over 60 years. Wanda was born on January 24, 1932, to Walter Michael and Frances Kathryn (Krajco) Dzikowich in Cudahy, WI. She lived a very fulfilling 90 years young, which was written on her birthday cake at her surprise birthday party this past summer.

She married the love of her life, Richard "Dick" Farris on August 30, 1952. Richard's sister, Donna, was Wanda’s best friends. It was Donna who initially paid Dick to take Wanda to prom, and from there the rest is history. Both Wanda and Donna remained best friend the rest of their lives.

One of Wanda's great loves was her music. She had a strong, beautiful voice that could fill up a room with joy or sorrow, depending on the country song she was singing. With nothing but her electric guitar, signature voice and a stand-up bass named George, Wanda started her journey with music when she was 16 years old in a popular local band named The Goose Island Ramblers. They played fairs and many telethons on TV. She also appeared on a local music show with her long running band, Wanda Star and the Swinging Poles, which was named after her Polish heritage. Many family members joined Wanda playing music. Her brother Mickey played accordion and sang, Joey would play his harmonica and their sister Mary would play the bass, George, while Wanda sang and played guitar. It was a family affair. Wanda passed her gift of music by teaching her daughters to sing and harmonize.

Growing up Wanda always loved sports, especially softball, which she played throughout high school. She always dreamed of having enough kids (boys) to have her own baseball team. Wanda had 6 girls and 2 boys, so sadly, no baseball team. When asked recently why she wanted to have so many children, she replied, "I was a really good Catholic but a really dumb Polack!" Wanda had a witty sense of humor.

Wanda was a devoted wife and mother who took pride in caring for her family. Sadly, on March 31st, 1984, Wanda lost her husband Richard. After he passed, Wanda started a new chapter by returning to the workforce at The Mariners Inn, until her retirement in 2005.

Wanda is survived by her 8 children Dawn Farris, Diane (Mike Moore) Farris, Mary Debra Farris, Theresa (Laura Davis) Farris, Kathy (Richard) Serres, Tom (Tiffany) Farris, Dickie (Lisa Ward) Farris, and Donna (Todd) Brandl; Siblings Mary Higgs and Joe (Sandy) Dzikowich; along with 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and countless other family members and friends.

Wanda is preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, Richard Farris, her parents, sister Justine and brothers Edmond and Michael (Mickey) Dzikowich.

We would like to extend a big heartfelt thank you to the staff at Agrace as well as the other personal caregivers who took the time to support Wanda and the family during this difficult time. Wanda said you were angels sent from heaven to help her peacefully transition. 

We will all miss you, mom. You will remain a big person with a big place in our hearts forever. You loved your family above all else and we will cherish that for the rest of our lives.

Yesterday was another beautiful fall day and I spent a couple of hours helping out at the retention pond on our property.  Our community received a grant from the watershed district to clean it up and get rid of some invasive non-native plants and to revitalize the shoreline to retain the edges nd prevent the spread of cattails.  This afternoon, a couple of local Master Gardeners, our manager Nikki and her husband Sam, Judy and I cleaned out some weeds and layer a solar blanket around the edge that will kill off the grasses and weeds over the winter.  In the spring, we will select and plant native species of grasses and flowers to support the shoreline and attract birds and bees and butterflies.  It was a fun project.

Charlotte asked if she could have a sleepover Saturday night, as Camille and Norah were having their birthday sleepover, so I went to pick her up and we stopped at a farm market and bought some goodies and then at Culver’s for dinner.  We baked some Pumpkin Bread and watched “Minions: Rise of Gru”. When we took Joey out for his nighttime walk, Charlotte took some pics of the full moon, edited and embellished some of them and made a collage.

Ben came to pick Charlotte up this afternoon and we got to sit and chat for a while the girls played with Barbies.  They all love cuddling with Joey too.

When they left, I got busy giving Joey a much needed haircut.  I gave him the relaxing pill from the vet a little too early, as he wasn’t as calm as he should have been.  I think I’m getting better at clipping him every time but I have to find a way to be able to trim his face and feet better. He doesn’t want to sit still and fights me when I trim those areas.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday, October 1, 2022, MN

It’s been a busy week, but nothing real special going on.  My car got a much needed oil change on Tuesday - the warning light came on just two days before I was heading out to Wisconsin.  I called Eric’s Repair (my go to mechanic) and he suggested that I stop by for a check before heading out and all was well with that.  I feel I have a place that I can depend on and trust now. My oil change only cost me $51, compared to $80+ at some of the drive-up places.

A Physical Therapy appointment for my Achilles Tendonosis ended up with good results - a series of stretching exercises that I can do at home and no follow-up is necessary.  I went in with absolutely no symptoms and after doing the stretches, it is painful to walk when I first start out.  Go figure.  

I met Ben at his old house on Thursday evening and helped him with some final cleanup and check to make sure everything is out of there. We then stopped at Red Cow - it was sure nice to spend some time with him.  Their closing was yesterday and all went well with that.  On to the next phase of their lives.

Joey is continually getting used to his surroundings and learning some behavior modifications and a few tricks too.  He is getting better at the standard commands - sit, down, stay, and no bites - and we are past the aggressive meal-time behaviors.  I took him to a nearby park where they have installed temporary gates at a broom ball rink for dogs to run during the summer months.  We were the only ones there, so he didn’t get to run around with other dogs but he fetched a ball a few times and even brought it back to me.  He is still pretty needy when I’m on the couch, wanting to be on my lap and be touched constantly and I’m working on freeing up my hands for crafty projects in the evenings. I think we are going to be good buds.