Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
We need a Lake Superior fix at least once a summer. Can't beat a cool breeze off that frigid water when you are getting tired of heat.
No, we just had a series of small challenges yesterday. Tuesday after hearing the bleak weather forecast of the most uncomfortably hot, humid weather of the summer coming our way, husband Jon said, "Let's go to Bayfield". After googling Bayfield's weather and seeing about the same prediction as we were getting, we revised our plans and headed up the north shore of Lake Superior a cooler spot.
We stayed at a newer inn on Lake Superior called the Cove Inn near Beaver Bay. Nestled on a quiet cove far from the highway, it is our new favorite hotel on the north shore. We walked on the trail by the rocky shore and pulled on sweatshirts to relax on the deck. Perfect escape from the heat. Nice relaxing respite. When we checked in we filled out the usual registration card with name, address etc. The question about car licence number stumped me again. Jon has had his SUV two years and neither of us can remember the licence number. I doubt if anyone at a hotel has ever checked to see if the cars in the lot match the info on guest registration. This clerk said what they all say when I admit I can't remember the plate #, "Don't worry about it. Just describe the vehicle". Good. I wrote, "cobalt blue, Mazda SUV". The next morning Jon woke up laughing. "Remember that question about our licence plate?" he said. Then I got it. We had driven my car. Hopefully the night manager of the inn was not out in the lot scratching his head wondering where that extra gray sedan came from. Strike one.
The room that was available when we checked in did not have air conditioning. (They rarely need it.) We were fine with that because the temperature was in the 60's in mid afternoon. My husband likes it cool and found a fan to put in the window to draw in the even cooler night air. In the morning, after his remark about neither of us remembering which car we drove, he also pointed to the ceiling fan in the room that neither of us had noticed. We laughed. Usually one can cover for the other. We better watch it or we will begin to hear our kids say, "What are we going to do about pops (and mom)", Rodney Dangerfield's line about how you know you are losing it. Strike 2.
We didn't drive far yesterday on our return home before hitting extreme heat. Duluth was hot. It was 96 at home with high humidity. Thankfully we had a thunderstorm as we were arriving home which brought cooler, drier air. When we walked into the house it was stiffling hot. We had left the A/C on. Not a good sign. No air was moving. This is a new air conditioner. A call to the installer directed Jon to the problem--a blown fuse. Strike 3, but not too bad.
Strike 4: I forgot to water potted outdoor plants before leaving. They did not do too well in 96 degrees. The good news, I have very few container plants this summer because it is difficult to leave home in the summer without someone coming to water them.
All in all it was a nice couple of days for our little escape and there was no cat on the bed this morning either. Have a nice day.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Of the seven gathered most are grandmothers. I have the youngest child. They laughed when I related I am almost finished raising our family.(Been at it since 1968.) Julie reminded me I had one too early and one too late. She also had one too early. We swapped pictures and email addresses were renewed. Much of the talk drifted towards our maladies. I am the only one not on Fosamax or some treatment for osteoporosis. I guess it paid to be a little bigger boned and heavier. These are all very trim women. There were several who have had joint replacements. I started feeling pretty lucky and pretty healthy.
Most of us are orphans but three had mom’s in their 90’s who were in assisted living or nursing homes. Julie told of preparing a memory box for her mom with mementos of her life. The facility asks all the families to do this. They are outside each resident’s door, reminders of how each life was lived, what was precious to them. I am sure it serves as a reminder to the resident and also to the staff and visitors that this person is more than the frail individual we might visually observe now. This got me thinking last night. What would be in my memory box? I made one in the 70’s and it is still on a shelf in my closet. The most precious content: a lock of each of my babies’ hair. I need to tell the kids not to throw it away. That could be the first thing in my new memory box. I also have an empty bottle of Shalimar perfume in that collection. It was the first gift Jon gave me when we were dating. I have my baby fork and spoon, a couple of De Guerre type tin photos of relatives I can no longer identify, a Ukranian Easter egg from one of our first Easter’s, and lace doilies passed down from my grandma Dybdahl. There is also a tiny harmonica and a jointed teddy bear about three inches high that were my dad’s. I think he had them since he was a child so they are approaching antique status. For a long time I had my Grandma Parnell’s yellow sapphire engagement ring in this display. I took it out and gave it to my daughter when she was a young adult. I know my new memory box will have to have pictures of Jon and the children and grandchildren. Maybe my service pin from Lakeview hospital belongs there too. I don’t think my computer will fit but they could include a title page from the book, “Sisters” Carolyn and I wrote last year. In my jewelry box I still have a small pin awarded for being the best typist in my high school class and a pin for graduating with honors. For the next forty years I haven’t been winning awards or blue ribbons. This search for what would be noted in my “new” memory box was turning into a downer until I remembered the “secret” memory box I have stashed. I have one being kept safe from thieves, rust and moths. God promised to store up my good deeds in heaven. He asked that we lend to the poor—give it in His name and he would repay later. Even a cup of water given in his name will not be forgotten. I think I will just continue to focus on that memory box. That is an account that will not plunge if the Dow Jones fails. I have assurance of salvation through his work and reward for mine. Good place to focus. I want to see a smile on my Father’s face when we open that memory box someday.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
We had a great day at a lake cabin on lake Washington outside of St. Peter. Barb's lifetime friends and her brother and wife who have a cabin next door to the friends' hosted. They have comfortable cabins that still look like a cabin should. This lake is in transition and looks like a lot of the lakes up north where p eople buy small cabins, tear them down, and build 6000 sq.ft. summer lake homes with pools and extensive landscaping. Our hosts took our group of eleven on a pontoon tour of the lakeshore. Fun day with nice people.
Before heading home, Barb narrated a tour of St. Peter. This town was devastated by an F 4 tornado six years ago but seems to have sprung back. The trees are smaller but everything has been rebuilt and replanted. One of the tales of the tornado involves a friend of Barb. He picked up his mom from her trailer court to bring her to the safety of his basement when the tornado warnings were sounded. The house they sought sanctuary in was demolished by a trailer blown into it. Mom's trailer was untouched. You just never know about that weather.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
In an effort to control a growing number of feral cat colonies, the city is adopting a counterintuitive tool: Stop killing them.
While a trip now to the animal control office is almost always a death sentence for feral cats, under an ordinance to be introduced at today's City Council meeting, the cats could be trapped, spayed or neutered and released back onto the street. " from St. Paul Pioneer Press online
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
This is friend Barb with the city skyline peeking out behind the trees. Minneapolis is still a beautiful, liveable city. We skipped climbing on the spoon. Didn't want to fall into the green pond.
Monday, July 16, 2007
We stopped at daughter Mary's yesterday and my friend Barb had a chance to meet Mary's new husband Mike, and Sammy her cat. Sammy was busy hunting butterflies in the back yard as we sat on the patio. He was not wearing his fur stole. I am talking about the cat. Mike does not have a fur stole.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This morning's paper has a story of government bureaucracy and the little business guy. St. Paul now mandates 2 million $ liability insurance. They also charge a $200 vendors' fee and a $95 monthly fee to see up on the sidewalk. Because they operate a food service outside they are regulated by public health people and the agency that supervises city streets and sewers. Hopefully, no one wants to smoke the hot dogs or sausages. Smoke in any form is not tolerated well in Minnesota. Remember the poor hot dog vendors are also regulated by the people who
shut down the lemonade stand of a seven year old girl last year because she did not have a licence. Public outcry restored her business.
PS: As I wrote this my husband told me the weinermobile was in Stillwater last week. I think there are several of these touring the country.
-55# today. Finally broke through that plateau.
Friday, July 13, 2007
My long time friend Barb is staying with us several days. Today we spent in downtown Minneapolis. She didn't recognize anything. I guess things have changed in forty years. We parked in the Mall of America lot and took the light rail from the transit station to downtown. Barb was amused that Minnesotans line up and buy tickets when no one collects them on the train. Wouldn't happen in New Jersey, she said.
We bought the discounted tickets for senior citizens even though I think they want you registered with a card to do that. One the return trip, senior tickets were not available. Later we found out they don't get a discount during rush hour. We then masqueraded as disabled and bought those discounted tickets from the kioskvending machine. I think I may have to confess this.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
My card playing buddies and I are getting together this afternoon for 500 and Cribbage. I haven't played 500 for about 25 years. We play for pennies so even if I lose it will only be loss of face. Wish me luck.
We had a foursome playing Cribbage last winter and spring, but one friend is touring Alaska for two months in their RV. Another spends the summer by Lake Superior in Duluth. The third lives in the metro but fell and cracked her femur in May, putting her out of commission for a while.
In two days my old friend and former school and young adult years roommate is coming for a week's visit. We plan to play a lot of Scrabble. Over the years we have stayed in touch. Her family visited Minnesota almost every summer and Barb and I would stay up very late having "just one more" game. Time to dust off the Scrabble board and put on the tea pot.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
We were up in Duluth over the 4th and stayed at a lakefront hotel. In the evening we sat on the patio enjoying the view and cool shade. People were friendly and we visited with a couple from Wisconsin. Another older gentlemen joined the conversation. He wore a beret and dressed in red, white and blue. He told us he would be singing at the symphony concert in the waterfront park. The beret guy was not shy about asking questions and connected with the other gentleman when he discovered they were both Navy Viet Nam Vets. The conversation proceeded between the two of them. The rest of us faded away. This gent's braggadocio was not appealing. He lost me when he commented about the inexpensive entertainment in Bangkok. It was not hard to catch his drift. Everyone else on the patio was quiet. We have had a boa-wearing former governor who bragged like that and it did not go down well in Minnesota. Then he questioned the Wisconsin man about his trade. They both had been in the building trades and used to spray polyurethane. The beret guy emphatically said he could not tolerate polyurethane and even the word made him sick. A moment of quiet was answered by a guy sitting alone at another table who had not been part of the conversation. He said, "Polyurethane". Everyone laughed and then another voice joined his saying, "polyurethane". I don't know if the guy got the hint but it was a great moment. Most of us laughed. I wonder if he really sang at that concert.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Now, if anyone is listening, note old eyes cannot see small black buttons. I do not like a few hundred buttons and functions. Keep it simple.
Thanks to the inventors of the Jitterbug phone. I do not have one, but you are getting the idea. Keep it simple if you want to market to me. There probably are others who think like me.
My mom was like me when she was her age and I found it amusing. I am not amused now. I am ticked. I am bugged with whoever formatted DVDs in the letterbox mode. I hate the letterbox mode. My husband recently bought the big a...ed HDTV. The screen is wider and should fit the shape of movies shot on film. Why does the DVD now cheat us out of 1/2 the size of the movie by adding wide black strips at the top and bottom. Why buy the big screen TV and watch the movie on half of the screen?
I do not understand. While you are contemplating this, consider a simpler way to play DVD's. Whatever happened to on and off? Stop and Go? Loud and soft? I have become my mother. She was just more polite and avoided technological changes. Somebody please help. See the pads on the Jitterbug phone? Nine numbers, and three keys. What else do you really need. Remember the AARP generation still control a good share of the wealth in this country. Fix the DVD thing or I will continue to be revolting. There I said it. Good bye.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
wonder if that influenced me toward my life's work.
"Feeling lucky? You bet! I am feeling lucky! I'm feeling lucky every time I look around at our beautiful surroundings - the trees, the birds, and the lakes. I'm feeling lucky when I can come home to my own house with no fear of a bomb dropping on my roof. I'm feeling lucky when I go to buy food from my local supermarket and have so much choice of healthy products to buy. I'm feeling lucky that I can go to my choice of a church to pray in peace. I'm feeling lucky that I can talk and not be hauled off to prison or shot because I didn't agree with the present political regime. Yes, I feel lucky, proud, and fortunate to be born a citizen of and live in the United States of America, and I do believe we have the most beautiful of all the flags anywhere! We are all, indeed, lucky to live here!
"A long time ago in Bulletin Board, there was a 'Where have you gone, Mrs. Malaprop?' in which two men were discussing perfectionism. The culmination of the conversation was: 'Well, let's face it. There is no such thing as ethiopia.' Nothing is perfect, but for a society trying to deal with all the imperfections of human nature and coexist as human beings of such diversity, our forefathers made a bang-up beginning with our Constitution!"
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO US.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
We went to see the movie, "Evan Almighty" last evening. It is a modern day parody of the Noah's Ark story. It has been promoted as a family film even adults will enjoy and we did. Steve Carrell is a busy father/husband who is visited by God in the form of Morgan Freeman. If you saw the movie, "Oh, God" with John Denver and George Burns years ago, it is similar to that. The dogma is not perfect but it gets across a sweet story.
Part way into the movie we got the giggles. I try to observe movie etiquette and not talk during films, but I couldn't resist leaning over to say something to Jon. God has called all the animals two by two to follow the main character. Steve Carrell is sitting on a couch with an aquarium behind him and all the tropical fish move with his movements to follow him. Animal magnetism you could call it. I wanted to whisper to Jon, "Like you with the cows", but he beat me to it and said, " Yeah, I know. The cows." Then we both giggled. Dr. Jon Doolittle lives, or maybe . Jon of Ark. Cute movie.