Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday, March 27, 2023, MN, WI

For a change of pace, I have lots to write about today. I just got back home from a visit to Wisconsin and I packed a lot of activity into a few days. My neighbor, Deb watched Frisco, so I didn’t have to deal with his car sickness and having to fit him into my busy days.  I started out on Thursday morning.   and met up with the Bridge family, Tom, Karen, and Sharon at Buck & Honey’s in Monona. 

The restaurant occupies the land that was once the Inland Lakes Boat works, Mike’s maternal grandparent’s fiberglass boat building facility. Some of the decor reflects that business, in fact, I used the rest room and as I turned to flush, there on the wall was a photo of Mike’s Mom, her parents and brother.

People rave about the place and I think the decor and atmosphere is really cool, but I thought the food was bland, as did Karen.  We had some great conversation and it was so nice to catch up with them - our visits have been too few and too far apart.

I then headed to Dawn’s Bed and Breakfast where I got settled in and then Pat stopped by for a hug on his way home from work - what a guy! Dawn and I went to Cheeser’s Wine Bar for the wine tasting and had a sampling of five wines that were paired with Girl Scout Cookies.  What fun! After that, we went back home and had beef stew (her Mom’s recipe) and we talked and talked and had more wine.

Day 2, Friday started with a walk to Sunshine Restaurant for a breakfast meetup with Jonnie.  She was so funny - she had a senior moment and she couldn’t find her phone, she went out and checked her truck and there it was on the seat but her truck was locked and the keys were in it.  She called her son to come help her get into the truck, but then as we were eating our breakfast, she reached into her jacket pocket and found the keys. We all got a good laugh out of that.  After walking back to Dawn’s, we walked downtown to city hall so she could drop off her voting ballot.

I hung out with Susan that afternoon and we had a very nice visit and I left her house with an assortment of fancy yarns - will have to come up with a plan for using them.  I sure am praying that she gets good results this week after having a scan to check on how her chemotherapy affected the cancer. Then I was off to Pat and Tracey’s house for the rest of the evening.  We got fish fry from Culver’s for dinner and the walleye dinner was excellent! 

What a surprise Saturday morning when we woke up to 10” of new snow on the ground. I had checked the forecast before leaving home on Thursday and they were calling for a dusting to 2” at that time. I guess they were wrong on that one! Once a path was shoveled and the roads were plowed,it all melted from those surfaces.  Pat had to drive to Madison to check the tent at his worksite (it’s still too cold for plastering) and remove the snow so it wouldn’t cave in. I took a nap while he was gone.  We made yummy tuna melts for late lunch/early dinner and they really hit the spot.

Sunday started with coffee with Pat and was followed by breakfast at the Squirrel’s Nest in McFarland, as they are said to have the best walleye breakfast around, complete with yummy Bloody Mary’s - what a way to start the day - we needed naps after that. 

My Sister Cousin Girlfriend and I 

I met up with classmate and friend, Doug, at BBG’s for a beer and to catch up on the last year’s events. It’s always nice to have a friendly chat with him.

One last stop at Pat’s and then I was back at Dawn’s.  Her friend Paul came over for dinner and we watched a couple of British murder mysteries. And then it was off to bed for a good nights sleep before the long drive back home.  It really is a piece of cake drive, mostly freeway and decent roads, it’s just long.

Joey was all wiggly and happy when he saw me. He and Deb got along just fine and I’m happy to have that resource close by.  Tom and I had a nice, long phone chat and caught up on the events of our lives.  It was an early to bed night.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Friday, March 17, 2023, MN

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!  All these years, I thought I was part Irish because my Dad told me that his mother came from Ireland.  That may be so, but I don’t think she was Irish, as there are no Irish ancestors that show up in my DNA. Perhaps her family moved from another country to Ireland before she was born?.? Who knows, but I’m wearing the green today - just because - I love their music and dance.

Winter - it just doesn’t want to leave us this year.  We are now in the Top 10 snowiest winters in history with about 80” that have fallen since December.  And I’m sick and tired of it, as are just about everyone I know.  We have had a few little tastes of spring with some days near 40 degrees so folks around here have some hope.  We are now looking at a few days in the 20s.

I am tentatively planning a trip to Stoughton next week - have my room reserved at Dawn’s Bed & Breakfast but will have to see what the weather brings.  

I have made a couple of crochet pillow covers over the last couple of weeks and I think they both turned out nice,although I’m contemplating adding a border to the blue one.

Joey is doing really well with his training, he is truly driven by treats, but I had to put the no bark collar back on him the other day, as he is not nice when he meets some of my male neighbors, especially Chris.  Chris hasn’t even approached Joey, but there must be something about his stature or his voice that sets Joey off.  Last night, Joey slipped out of my apartment and ran crazy through the hallway, only stopping to stand and bark at Chris. I finally caught up with him, and carried him back to my apartment.  I think he might scurry out, thinking that I'm leaving and he wants to go too.  I’m afraid Chris might complain, so I warned our manager this morning.

Today is ‘give Joey a haircut day’, so I’m signing off. We did the bath yesterday and I started on his face. He is now medicated and calm, so we shall see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Tuesday, March 7, 2023, MN

A whole week! But today is the first day in the last week that I have actually done anything worth writing about. And a busy one it was, starting with a nice conversation with my old friend Leslie before having to get Joey out for a walk so I could to my haircut appointment on time.  Shirley and I always have the greatest conversations and it’s fun to hear about her life stories.  

I got back home just in time to make it to my monthly art class and this one was an unusual activity, one that I have never done before - making paper.  It all started with a big tub of pulp that was made by Genevieve for the class.   Bits of shredded paper from her recycle bin was kept in a bucket full of water overnight, then she ran it through a blender.  The process started with a rectangle shaped form with screens that was dipped into the bucket of pulp so the screen ended up with a thick layer of soggy, wet paper pulp. We then added interesting dried flower petals and leaves, sparkles, silk and mohair threads, and even some flower seeds (the paper can be put on the dirt so the seeds can sprout) to the wet pulp on the screen, covered it with a cloth and blotted it with sponges to remove the excess water - leaving a thick layer of textured paper that was then peeled from the screen and dried with a heat gun.  We each made 4-5 sheets of paper.  Here are mine - I’m not sure what I will do with them, but will find some use.

Genevieve also brought us the clay birds that we made in the last class. She took them to her studio and fired them in the kiln, then mounted them on a piece of log.  Here’s mine - I think he turned out really cute.

Her classes are enjoyable and I find it fun and interesting to learn new things - not like I need a bunch of trinkets sitting around, nor do I have a lot of room for trinkets, but I do keep them around for a while - some are useful.

Tonight, we had our first Dog Obedience class and boy do I feel proud of Joey - I think he earned an A+.  He was well behaved and picked right up on all of the exercises that they had us do in class. Maybe some of our book learning and practice at home prior to the class has helped with that - and the fact that he is definitely treat driven also helps.  We have lots of work to do and a few handouts to read before class next week, but I feel we are definitely making some progress. He also seems to be a lot more relaxed - maybe he was thinking that his job was be a little ‘pain in the neck’ and to keep me entertained.  We will keep it up and one day I hope to have a well behaved little guy that I can take with me when travel and visit with family and friends.  I may just want to get back into taking road trips.

We had more snow, about 4.5” last week, but it was wet, heavy stuff that didn’t stick to the roads but piled up and what we already have.  They are saying that this is the 12th snowiest winter in history and that we had over 70” since December.  More is predicted later this week. Do I need to say that I’m getting real tired of it? I’m just trying to take it in stride and not to let it bother me.