Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday, April 30, 2023, MN

The birthday celebration continued today at Hola Arepa, a restaurant in Minneapolis that serves only Gluten Free food with dishes from Columbia and South America.  I met Ben and his family plus Lois there and we had a lovely dinner and they lavished me with nice gifts; wine from Lois and Dennis and yellow tulips, a Yeti coffee mug, flower press and personal artistic cards from the girls.  

Camille and Norah got braces this week.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Saturday, April 29, 2023, MN

So, about my goofy little dog.  Yesterday was a miserable, rainy, cold day and I just couldn’t sit around in the house all day. So I did what I enjoy doing - I went to an estate sale and let Joey ride along.  He usually waits for me in the car and is a good boy.  After the estate sale, I stopped at a grocery store and picked up a few veggies, then one more stop at a thrift store.  When I came back to the car, I could smell broccoli and found the grocery bag tipped over and Joey had helped himself to a snack of broccoli stem.  What a goofball! The first thing I did when I got home was to check to see if it is harmful and I learned that it isn’t - it is actually high in fiber, low in fat, and has Vitamin C.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Thursday, April 27, 2023, MN

Happy 75th Birthday to ME! It seems strange, but I’ve lived every day of it and I sure wish I had more memories of my childhood years.  I feel very fortunate that my life has been good - there have been ups and downs but that is what life is and I think there have been more ups than downs.  I am thankful for my wonderful family and the many, many friends I’ve heard from.  Life is Good!

This is the only photo from my walk this morning along the trail at Girard Park.

At one point, it appeared to have the shape of a heart on the rock but maybe it was my imagination.  After our walk, I stopped at a grocery store and Joey jumped out of the car without me knowing it. The friendly man who was gathering grocery carts noticed and I had a hard time catching him.  He does not come when I call and just ran around the lot like a crazy dog and there is a busy road nearby. Fortunately, he came to a stop near a fence and I was able to get him back on the leash.  For some reason, he seams to be extra skittish the last couple of weeks and I’m not sure where that is coming from.

I had art class with Genevieve on Tuesday and we did glass fusing, always a fun project.  This is my project and I think it’s going to hang in my bathroom. I seem to have a thing about birds these days, but then I’ve always kind of liked and and liked watching them.

Speaking of birds - I saw and heard a lot of them on my walk this morning; Canada Goose, Red Winged Blackbird, Thrush, Robin, Chickadee, Nuthatch, and even a Great Blue Heron.  Back at home, I noticed a little bird flitting around the birch tree outside my window and was able to identify it as a Northern Parula Warbler, one I have never seen before - another thing to celebrate on my birthday! 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday, April 23, 2023, MN

When I took my car in for an oil change on Friday, I had hoped to get a good walk in while I waited for the car, but it was darned cold, 33° and windy, so the farthest I got was to the Civic Center. I love going there because they have a small gallery that features local artists.  I saw a display of fragmented collage art and it really didn’t do a lot for me.  One of the artists used vintage and retro magazines to create his works and that was the exhibit that I liked the best. The other gallery had beautiful photography on display. The civic center has a really cool piece of work hanging from the ceiling and this is it - from below and above.

I attended a presentation on Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Healing in our community room in the afternoon. We were entertained by Dr. Roth and his companion from India who played a 150 year old stringed instrument called a Sarinda.  We sang, meditated, prayed, and ate and I found it to be very spiritual and calming.

Camille had a sleepover with me on Friday night and she cooked dinner for me.  She made fried cheese and quesadillas and my contribution was a salad.  It makes me feel so good to see how they are growing up, learning life skills and becoming really nice girls.  She also helped with the cleanup and I let her watch a video while I did the dishes.  We watched the movie “If I Could Ride” and found it to be long and slow and not of the best quality, but a good story nonetheless.  It was 11:00 when we went to bed and then I heard all about the twins getting braces in a few days and how their teeth are identical and need the exact same corrections - I guess that’s twinsies for you.

Yesterday after breakfast, we did what we usually do on sleepovers - makeup. And then we did our Earth Day contribution to make the world a better place and went outdoors and picked up trash around our property and along the street near my home.  Our hands were freezing (today’s high was 34°) and we had to call it quits, but not before we had a trash bag full.

We headed for the Eden Prairie mall where they were having an Eco Expo but it was mainly booths related to eco-friendly products for the home but they did have a section for kids where we got to pet baby goats and learn about how they are used to eradicate buckthorn and other invasive species. Of course, I found that to be very interesting. Camille - not so much.  We stopped and had a glass of tea before heading to the Art Center that was closed.  A little more shopping and then I took her back home and hung out for a while.

And now I plan to have a lazy day appreciating the quiet of my home and doing anything I feel like doing - what
a busy week it was!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday, April 21, 2023, MN

Happy 65th Birthday to my sister-in-law, Penny!  

What a week! It’s been another one full of events, all indoors which is a good thing since the weather has been cold and wintry again with gray skies and rain, snow flurries, and even hail dripping out of it.

Joey and I did take a walk on the trails at Nine Mile Creek on Tuesday morning and it wasn’t too bad, if you were bundled up.  I wanted to see if the creek was overflowing because most of the rivers around her are at flood stage, many are expected to crest this week.  The creek was flowing fast but not any more than what I had seen in the past. It was a nice walk and felt good to be in nature.

I helped with the Food Truck on Wednesday and then went to Costco in the afternoon to have my glasses adjusted. When I was walking back to my car, I noticed something hanging from underneath, so I stopped at Eric’s Repair to have it checked.  It is a plastic panel that fell when the claps were damaged - probably from driving over a snowbank.  He rigged it to hold until I bring it in this morning for an oil change.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, MN

When I talked to Ben this morning, he told me that he had forgotten to remind the girls that they had Spanish class after school and that is where I pick them up on Tuesday afternoon.  Jill had reminded Camille but when she realized that Norah got on the bus to go home, she got on the bus too - and didn’t tell Norah and Charlotte (she was just plain going to skip Spanish because it hadn’t been mentioned.  The Spanish teach called Jill, Ben met them at the bus stop in the van and hauled them back to school for Spanish class.  The story made me chuckle and I just love their parenting style - they give them a lot of leeway but also make them tow the line.  I picked them up and we had fun putting together Mother’s Day cards for the hospice group. Even the neighbor, Scout, joined in on the fun.

I got home just in time to dial into a Zoom gathering to watch my cousin Sherri and Manny get married on the beach in Hawaii.  I had never done this before, so it was a bit awkward for me, but it was kind of a nice way to share the experience and I got to say hello to a few of my cousins.  It was a beautiful setting and it would have been nice to be there in person. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday, April 16, 2023, MN

I looked out my window this morning and saw snow covering the beautiful green grass and a few spring bulbs that had popped out on the ground.  It reminded me of when we moved into the Starr Schoolhouse on Easter weekend, 1981 and woke up the a completely white ground cover. Another memory from that day was my friend George and his wife Veronica brought us an entire homemade ham dinner so we didn’t have to cook.  That was just the sweetest thing! 

This morning’s surprise came after a full nine days of beautiful, warming spring days - the temps even got up to 82° on Friday and Saturday.  Of course, I was hearing complaints that it was way too early and we had to turn on air conditioners and rummage through the closets to find warm weather clothes.  I loved it and managed to get some good walking in and people were out and about enjoying it after the long,  cold, snowy winter.

Speaking of walking, I spent most of the day at Ben’s house on Wednesday, and I took the dogs walking along an unpaved trail at Minnewashta Park. The grass hasn’t even popped up yet, as the snow has just melted and I even had to walk around a big pile of snow on the trail.  The lake is still frozen with open water along the shoreline.  That night, I woke up to a strange sensation and found a tick on my arm. Later on, another on my neck and one on the kitchen floor - they are out and about already.  I’m hoping that the cold spell we are having right now might slow the population of the ticks and mosquitos because the hot spell really brought them out fast and furious.

Back to Wednesday - I attended Norah’s music concert in the morning, did some shopping and then spent the day at Ben’s.  He was able to take a nice lunch break so we got to chat a bit.  We also pulled the canoe out of the garage as a guy was coming to check it out.  I have it listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace and fingers are crossed that it goes.  Yes, I have mixed feelings about selling it but it sure isn’t doing any good being stored in a garage. The guy who came to see it is a freestyle canoeist, in search of a Loonworks Canoe, and is familiar with the brand and with Tom’s work - he’s just not 100% sure this is the canoe for him. I have a good feeling about it though and am waiting to hear from him again (he had some questions to ask of a friend).

On Thursday, I met up with Mavis and Mary at the Yankee Tavern for lunch.  The silly girls brought me a birthday gift and also paid for my lunch.  We sat out on the patio, shared a 6-piece chicken dinner and lots of fun conversation and had a really enjoyable time.  I kind of miss the atmosphere at the Winslow apartments - a little more social and Mavis and Mary were always willing to do fun things.  Here, people aren’t up to that kind of thing - many are challenged financially or physically.

I had a steady stream of neighbors coming to my apartment on Thursday to shop for hair care products that Jill donated.  I was able to get rid of most of it, but the remaining stuff was put in the donation area in our laundry.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Tuesday, April 11, 2023, MN

Easter dinner with the family at Lois and Dennis’ house was laid back and lovely. The Easter egg hunt was indoors since their yard still has a heavy layer of snow on it, but the girls enjoyed it nonetheless.  At dinner, it was fun to hear their stories of the trip to Chicago and they were so good about clearing off the table and serving dessert.  They are really growing up and so much fun to be around.

Camille’s 3rd grade class had their spring music concert yesterday morning and, of course, I got all teary eyed and feeling proud of her.  They sang “I’m a Believer” and two other songs.

I had a lovely surprise yesterday when my niece Brittany called to let me know that she would be passing through my area later in the day and would like to stop for a chat. She was on her way to Fargo for work appointments. I had leftover Easter dinner in the oven, and we shared a nice meal and visited for an hour or so before she had to head out again.  I’m looking forward to her coming back to the area in May and we can have a little more time together and will be able to connect with Ben and his family.  Good times!

I finally got new glasses and a much needed haircut! Yay! 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sunday, April 9, 2023, MN

Three mornings of waking to sunshine makes me feel real happy. Also this morning, I am happy to back in my own home, sitting on the couch having coffee, looking out the window to see more grass than snow on the ground. A couple more of these sunny 60° days will make the rest of it disappear. Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

I took Yoshi and Joey to walk the trails around Lake Minnewashta Park yesterday and it was very enjoyable walk - other than their initial tugging on the leash.  Joey is getting much better at walking with a loose leash but Yoshi wants to pull constantly. He is more used to running in the off-leash parks than walking these days. 

I had a nice long chat with Ben after they got home and got unpacked. It sounds like they had a fun time seeing the sights of Chicago and then playing at a water park in Wisconsin Dells.  They had a fancy dinner at an all gluten free restaurant and that was a real highlight for Camille and Norah. Those places are few and far between and are very expensive.

Joey and I also took an evening walk through the neighborhood after getting settled back into my apartment and that felt good - a sign of the times for the next several months.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Thursday, April 6, 2023, MN

Last week was another busy one that involved a cute little crafting project with the girls after school. I cut out the materials and we proceeded to make little bunny holders for Hersheys Kisses that they could give to their friends and family. It was fun and they did a really great job except that they don’t understand the ‘less is more’ concept - they use way too much of my expensive double sided tape and glue dots. Doing projects keeps us all engaged and talking, otherwise they just want to be on devices.

It was finally starting to look like spring where the sidewalks were clear and we could see a lot more ground but Mother Nature played a dirty April Fool’s joke on us when we woke up Saturday morning to another 8” of snow on the ground and it has been cold and yucky ever since, until today. It’s still cold but the sun has been shining all day and the forecasts look great for warming up and melting the snow.

I headed for Ben and Jill’s house Sunday morning to spend the week with Yoshi, as it is Spring Break and they are off to Chicago to the museums and to Wisconsin Dells to a water park.  My good friend, Leslie came up for a visit and we spent the next three days talking, drinking, eating, watching movies, and some sightseeing.  I fixed dinner on Sunday but didn’t cook a thing after that.  

We went to lunch at North Coop on Monday and bought a sandwich to take home for dinner that night.  We were both ready for a nap later that afternoon and we watched the Top Gun Maverick movie that night.  Tuesday was a miserable, rainy day but we headed to Stillwater and checked out a few shops and had a nice lunch before heading back home.  The town is concerned about the St Croix River flooding in the next few days, so there were lots of trucks hauling sand and equipment moving it around to create a berm for protection.  Fingers crossed that the town isn’t trashed.  

I went back to Penelope yesterday to help out with the food truck.  Then, when I got back home, Leslie and I headed to the Edina Theater to see “Air” - a movie about the Nike Corporation and the Air Jordan shoe that has made them and Michael Jordan lots of money through the years.  We had dinner at Maynard’s here in Excelsior and had a nice table by the windows overlooking the lake, good drinks, and an excellent dinner.  We sat up talking until 11.

Leslie headed back home this morning at about 10:30 and I proceeded to do my housecleaning job.  I’ve got two days, so I didn’t push it.  When I finished, I took a nice long soak in their soaking tub and boy, did that feel good.  It’s a beautiful, sunny but chilly 34° day, so I took the dogs for a nice, long walk.