Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday, October 28, 2023, MN

I look out my window this morning and see bare branches on most of the trees.  It is still dark when I have been waking up around 7:00.  My thermometer reads 28° - the coldest it has been since late April - and now we face the winter months.  I guess I will be wearing my winter jacket when I walk later on this morning.  I’ve changed out my closet from summer to winter, leaving a few in between shirts handy.  My snow boots are still packed away, although they say we might wake up to some white on the ground tomorrow morning.  It will be a cold Halloween for the kids.  

A cold Halloween prediction reminds me of 1976 when I was pregnant with Ben - it was so cold when we took Pat out trick or treating that I wore a long mutton fur coat that kept me toasty warm all winter.  

This week was a much more manageable pace, although I had something going on most days, I was able to get afternoon naps in too.  I had my annual mammogram screening and got the negative results back the same day - good news!  I met Mavis for lunch on Tuesday, a cold and rainy day but perfect for a bowl of soup and sandwich while looking out the window at the nasty weather. It was nice to see her again - I think it had been since May.  We bought tickets to see ‘A Honky Tonk Holiday’ show at the Masonic Theater - Randy Sabien is playing in it.  

I made a big pot of Chicken Wild Rice soup for dinner on Wednesday and took some to Ben’s family when I cleaned for them on Thursday.  It was yummy and the feedback that I got from them was good too - especially the fact that they didn’t have to think of something to cook for dinner and didn’t have to prepare something was a treat.  While cleaning, Yoshi started to bark and when I looked out the window, three deer were running along the back fence and escaping to the woods through an opening in the fence. Thanks to Yoshi, I saw some wildlife.  Deb walked Joey so I was able to take a much needed nap when I got back home.

I had good conversations with most of my siblings this week, funny how time goes by and then all of a sudden I’m missing them and need to hear how things are.  Bob started it off when he called me on Tuesday.

Joey’s crooked smile makes me laugh.

Our maintenance man, James, called a meeting yesterday and I was hoping to learn that it was not a retirement announcement.  He called residents together to let us know that he has been recognized by Corporate for his twenty years of service at this building - since shortly after it was built in 2002.  He is not ready to retire but his other news was not so good - he has cancer and is facing a surgery to remove the tumor but  there are lots of questions remaining about his long term options.  He called on residents to pull together during his absence and to help out as much as possible, since we are still way understaffed and way over budget since the lightening strike last May caused so much damage.  

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Saturday, October 21, 2023, MN

When I got back home on Monday, I was looking forward to an uneventful week but it ended up being busy, busy, busy with three trips to Ben’s house and selling the canoe, helping out with the food truck, and an afternoon with the grandkids.  For their birthday this year, I booked a session at Genevieve’s Art Studio for Thursday afternoon.  We all did a glass fusing project and they really got into using the different tools and selecting the materials for their projects.  Camille and Norah both made Christmas gifts and Charlotte made something for her room. They all enjoyed the afternoon and said they would like to do it again.   I will post pictures when I get them back after being fired.

After our art class, we stopped at a pumpkin patch and I let them pick out pumpkins.  I ended up saving $12, as the person at the checkout kept ringing them up wrong and after three tries, I just gave up on it and accepted what she charged me.  It’s pretty bad when the customer tries to pay the correct amount and even with a calculator, she could ring up 6 items correctly.

I volunteered to help my friend Deb to move her sister into an apartment in our building yesterday.  Lisa has been living in a rented room at a friend’s home in North Minneapolis.   Deb’s daughter Chelsea had a truck and they originally thought they could do it all in in that but it was a good thing we had my car.  She had a lot of stuff but we got most of it moved and now all she has to do is go back there and do some cleanup.  I went to bed early, feeling exhausted, but sleep would not come until 1:30 this morning.  Dang!

Joey and I walked the nature path behind the ice garden today and it was a beautiful walk.

Such a beautiful space right in the middle of the city.

Lots of colors and a few flowers that are holding on.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Wednesday, October 18, 2023, MN

Ben and I said goodbye to Mike’s beautiful Loonworks 88-001 ‘My Pal’ canoe today. We sold it to a local guy who is familiar with Tom’s canoes and will be doing a restoration project on it at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Museum in Spooner, WI where several of Tom’s canoes reside as well as much of his workshop and tools.  I feel that Dave appreciates its beautiful craftsmanship and he says he will keep it until he can no longer paddle and will then donate it to the museum.  I feel pretty good about the deal that I made - was asking $2,000 and he offered me $1,200 which I was seriously considering.  Then, after I got home, I got a call from him with an additional, creative, offer.  His budget to repair it is $1,000 and the guy that will restore it with him gave him a good faith estimate of $200 for parts and since it is a project they will do together will not charge him for labor.  Dave offered to give me the remaining balance of whatever is left over after repairs, so he will have the resources to cover the cost of repairs and I could end up pretty close to my original asking price. Sounds like a win, win for all concerned.

I thought it would be an emotional experience, but I feel happy that it will be with someone who appreciates the beauty and will actually use it.  I’m not feeling any regrets.

Mike designed the logo and it was found on hats, t-shirts and his canoes.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Monday, October 16, 2023, WI, MN

Whew! What a whirlwind trip this has been.  I’m glad I added a few days onto the trip this time but I still feel it wasn’t enough.  It has been a visit for connecting with family and friends and I love it.  I helped Dawn with making another batch of salsa to use up all of the rest of the tomatoes that she bought. I think she ended up with another 20 half-pints.  This batch was a spicy one and it ended up having just enough of a bite to make it enjoyable.  I am heading home with about a dozen jars of her canned goodies and some herbs and veggies too.

I hung out with Pat and Tracey on Friday night and then went over there for coffee on Saturday morning.  Pat had a list of items to get at Costco, so we took a trip to the store in Fitchburg.  I left there later in the afternoon so I could get ready for another dinner engagement.  This time, with cousins since Jeff was in town from Colorado, so it was he and his gal friend Terry, Jim G, Jonnie, Dawn, Mary & Steve, and Erin & Joe and me at the Green Lantern.  Dinner and drinks were delicious, as was the great laughter and conversation.

I had coffee with Pat and Tracey again Sunday morning and hung out until I had to get ready to meet up with my brother-in-law Dan’s family. Becky & Ron (now empty nesters, as both daughters are out of college now), Rachel & Rob & their daughter Reanna (a senior), Chad & Becky & their son Cody (also a senior), Sharon & me.  It has been at least 5 years since I have seen many of them and their families have gone from kids to young, almost adults.  We had a very nice time. 

Rachael, Rob, Me, Sharon, Ron, Becky, Chad, Becky

Reanna, Me, and Cody

When I got back to Dawn’s house, her sister Theresa was there, so there was more visiting going on.  When she left, I went to Pat’s house and had a delicious pork and sauerkraut dinner with them.  I said my goodbyes and left shortly after dinner, so Pat could settle in and get to bed early for work Monday morning.

Dawn and I got up, I took a walk, then we loaded up the car and headed to the Twin Cities.  She drove the first half of the trip, then a stop at a rest area where we walked the path the a scenic overlook and had a little lunch, then I drove the last half and dropped her off at Randy’s house in St Paul. I watched for ‘my tree’, a majestic white pine that has been a special landmark for me since 1968 when I admired it on my first trip to Mike’s parents cabin near Necedah.  It is getting weaker every time I see it and I don’t look forward to the day when it just topples over and is no longer there for me.  

My Favorite Tree Ever

The fall colors were gorgeous once we got north of Black River Falls.

When I got back home, I learned that Judy had sold 11 of the 20 Christmas cards that I made at the New Hope Church Holiday Bazaar.  It sounds like she did well with the ornaments that she makes too.  While I was getting the cards ready for the sale, matching them with envelopes, etc., I decided that I should have some type of signature on them. When I couldn’t find a rose in my stamp collection, I carved one on a wine cork and used that.  It’s cute.  

Friday, October 13, 2023

Friday, October 13, 2023, WI

I left home Sunday morning and headed to Pat and Roger’s. It was an easy drive with light traffic. I was hoping to see some fall color but there wasn’t a lot, a little bit near the cities and then a bit near Black River Falls.  I got to their house and they were in the process of burning branches that Roger had trimmed from the trees, so I got my gloves out of the car and helped. We were able to get rid of the whole pile and they were happy for the help and wouldn’t have to attack it another day.  We had dinner, some cocktails, and watched football.

Patty worked on Monday (she works at a day care with babies) and then later in the afternoon we met my sister-in-law Sharon at the Hitching Post for senior night dinner. One of their specials was pork roast and sauerkraut and it was delicious.  

We were off to Stoughton on Tuesday, to meet up with classmates at Culver’s. Before that, we stopped in McFarland and had breakfast with Pat’s sister Sandy, her sister-in-law Carol, and her son AJ and it was nice seeing those folks again.  Pat, Joey and I walked along Babcock Park before heading to Stoughton.  I had enough time to get settled in at Dawn’s before the meetup.  It was nice to see classmates Susan, Pat, Linda, Pam, Virginia, and Bonnie again and we found endless topics to talk about.

Dawn and I went to Fahrenheit 365, a local bar, for a drink and salad for dinner. We watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding II and cracked up laughing - what a fun movie. 

Wednesday was salsa making day for Dawn, so after a nice walk with Joey, we put on aprons and began chopping the 30# of tomatoes that she had waiting.  I did the chopping while she ran them through the food processor and got them cooking. I wasn’t able to help with cutting the onions and peppers because my eyes have been so sensitive, but there were plenty of other things to do.  She ended up with 24 pints and some tomatoes left over for a smaller and more spicy batch.

I picked up quesadillas at El Rio Grande and spent the evening with Pat and Tracey - always good to see them. Joey was fascinated with the cats (maybe I should say obsessed) and he and Cass had a stare down from across the room. I was back at Dawn’s by 8ish, tired and ready for bed before 10.

Yesterday, I went to Madison and picked up my sister Rita who is here for Denny’s 60th class reunion and we spent the afternoon together. We drove around all of the homes that we lived in in Stoughton, stopped by the cemetery, and then met cousins Jonnie, Mary, Dawn, and Erin for lunch.  We talked and talked and brought back lots of memories from our childhood.  We all decided it was time for another Peckham reunion so set a date for next June and will see if it all comes together. 

Dawn and I went to wine tasting at Cheeser’s and then made chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner to share with her friends Jeff and Pam.  Such a nice evening!  Pam wanted to get a picture of her and I so she could share it with her sister Carol who was a coworker of mine back at Covance.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Wednesday, October 4, 2023, MN

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, although there hasn’t been a whole lot going on around here. We welcomed October with near record breaking temperatures as the last three days have been close to 90°.  Historically, we have had more 90° days this year than ever before in history.  Things started to change now, the high today is 67° and it’s all going downhill from here - there is no threat of frost yet.  I’m kind of looking forward to my drive to Wisconsin on Sunday and then back again a week later. The fall colors should be beautiful and will make the drive much more enjoyable.  Also, Dawn is riding back with me and she will spend some time in St Paul with Randy.

I hung out with the grandkids after school last Tuesday as Jill was still at her conference.  Camille and I worked on a finger knitting project that she had but we ended up not finishing it - I had trouble figuring it out and will have to review the video in order to finish it.  I was there again yesterday after school (Ben is at a conference this week) and we finished it.  

I went to the twins’ soccer game on Saturday and they lost but played real hard.  It was hot sitting there in the hot, humid sunny day - had to be hot for them.

I helped out with the food truck this morning and got to see lots of smiling faces.

Between walking with Joey, working on my stitched Christmas cards and my daily naps seem to fill up the days.  I have made about 35 cards so far - 25 of them are going to the church holiday sale on the 14th - I hope they go over well and sell.