Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Help. Will someone signal Batman for me? Is that signal reflected on a full moon ? When is the next full moon? Will Batman rid me of the bat we have in our garage?
The weekend Jon was in hospital after his surgery I saw what I thought was a bird flying around in the garage. We have had birds come down the chimney in the garage before. It crossed my mind it could be a bat but I wanted to have it be a bird. I didn't see it again and forgot about it. On Christmas Eve our son Dan was out smoking in the heated garage and came in to tell us, "You have a bat in the garage." I didn't want to hear that and still don't. They are inactive during daylight so I feel secure during the day. I don't think I want to go out there at night. If I suddenly stop blogging or answering email it is because I have moved. Unless Batman comes to my rescue. I am not going to look for the creature.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Now someone in Minnesota heard of the plan and wants to follow suite. One of our legislators commented, we might have to tax Santa if we go to obesity taxing. You knew it had to come. Sin Tax. We feel justified taxing tobacco users, gasoline users, liquor imbibers. Why not punish those who consume Coke? It would be a lose/lose proposition. Hopefully they would lose that extra flab without the fructose heavy beverages. Big brother is not only watching, he is tending the store. Time for the electorate to revolt and toss cases of Coca-cola in the harbor. Have a party like the early Bostonians. Government has gone too far.
Then there is a weather thing. Global warming means different things to different people. Some are alarmed. Some aren't. I fall somewhere in the middle. I sure think there are some weird things happening. Weird weather phenomona. Snow in Malibu at the beach. Snow in New Orleans. Snow in Las Vegas. Seattle shut down with snow and ice. Maybe it has happened before, but not in my memory.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Since Jon is still recuperating, it is my pleasure to man the snow thrower. That makes quick work of the job. My only problem is that it doesn't have electric start and I had to have the big guy come out and do the pull start for me both times I used it. I think it is time for me to get back to the gym. I took a hiatus since early November because it was hard to work into my schedule. I walk when I can. Haven't been able to do outdoor walking much lately because it is often slippery. At 63 you don't want to fall and break something. My walking buddies remain supportive and check on my welfare and send encouragement. One has a no walk Dr's. order until her Achilles tendon heals. We need to get back to walking. My card club buddies haven't done well getting together since one of our members had surgery for breast cancer. Even if we aren't meeting regularly as before, we all hold each other in our hearts and prayers.
I am adding my two cousins who are traveling half way around the world to Uganda to my prayer list. Have a safe trip. Have a glorious time. Enjoy Africa. Cliff is a professional photographer and I can't wait to see his pictures. That is how I will leave you. If you are buried in snow or ice, try daydreaming about a Christmas in Africa.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Minnesota is in a stalemate about the election of our senator. We are doing a recount in a too close to decide race. This morning I heard the state supreme court decided to admit a bunch of absentee ballots that had been dismissed. That leaves the candidates just two votes apart. Two votes. Think your vote doesn't count? My husband and I could have swung this race by ourselves.
The weatherpeople are scaring us again with predictions almost daily about snowstorms. Last night it was supposed to start around 10pm and snow through the night making a very messy rush hour. We have a dusting on our driveway. Less than 1/2 an inch. Las Vegas and Malibu, CA had 3 to 4 inches. Last week New Orleans had 3 1/2 inches.
We have been busy and decided to send Christmas cards out after Christmas. I told my sister and she said she didn't send them last year and isn't this year either. You can do that?
Yes, you can. Funny how things get much more relaxed when you skip a step or two.
I can create my own stress so I should be able to destress too.
I read online that "Woolies" is closing all their stores in Great Britain. Woolies is the affectionate name for F.W. Woolworth's, a spin off of the American chain that closed about twenty years ago. When I was a kid growing up in central Minnesota we had a Woolworth's and Ben Franklin Five & Dime store. Kids could afford to shop at these stores. There were Kreske 5 & 10cent stores that morphed into K-Marts. Now all the 5 & 10cent stores are gone. We have a variety of different Dollar Stores. I like them, but still can't find a little blue glass bottle of "Evening in Paris" parfum. I don't think they have bins full of tiny rubber babies for a nickel either.
As the stock market slide south my survival instincts drove me to stock up on more food. I am one of the last people on earth who would starve to death. Why this need to stockpile the pantry? I am concerned about a big disruption in food distribution. I still haven't purchased a 25# sack of rice or beans, but feel I should. If there is trouble, you all can come eat at our house. Better check what else I will need to fix those beans. Better put Beano on the list. Our youngest son laughed at the amount of coffee I purchased. Can't imagine going through hard times without a morning cup.
After arguing with the gas company for the better part of a year, they finally determined we had a dead meter and replaced it. Wouldn't you think a company would respond a little quicker to 5 or 6 inquiries about why we aren't being billed?
Some objected to Rick Warren doing the Inauguration prayer. I'll bet they haven't read his best seller book, "The Purpose Driven Life". First line in that book is: "It's not all about you."
If there is global warming, why is it so cold in Minnesota this December?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Illionois's senator Obama resigned his office. There are hats in the ring and hands in the till in that state.
Minnesota has an ongoing senatorial recount. Yesterday someone suggested they share the office and be known as Sen. Norm Frankenstein. It is a horror story . One newspaper column pleaded, "Just pick someone. Anyone".
All these dilemas. Maybe we could settle them by selling lottery tickets. Throw all of the seats open to anyone with a dollar for a ticket. Make it truly democratic and equal opportunity. No campaigning. No qualifications. Just luck. The perks of good health care, good retirement and God knows what else might appeal to struggling citizens who have lost their jobs, retirement and or homes.. Limit the # of tickets to one per adult citizen. Use the voting roles to see who qualifies. Who knows. Chicagoans could elect a dead man to office if they use their voters roles.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
More later. It is raining this morning. Much easier to deal with rain than the blizzard up north or the ice storm they had out on the east coast.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Construction crews on Monday will begin erecting a controversial 88-foot public-safety radio tower in Afton disguised to look like a pine tree.
The "monopine" is being built on 1.6 acres at 15326 Afton Hills Court S.
It's part of a new $15 million Washington County radio system that will dedicate a single frequency to police, fire and medical personnel.
After the tower is erected, crews will begin installing antennas and "branches" to camouflage them, said Steve Pott of the Washington County sheriff's office. The entire process is scheduled to be completed next week.
Plans for the tower raised the ire of local residents earlier this year. Among their concerns: property values, health risks and aesthetics
Friday, December 12, 2008
Our Walmart is a block long. A super-Walmart. If you walk around the perimeter inside you can cover about a 1/4 mile.
Mary responded you could also park your RV in their lot and live at Walmart. You could. Our store has a bank, Subway restaurant, manicure place, opticial department, beauty shop, pharmacy, groceries, liquor and garden stor. One stop shopping. Put all the local merchants out of business in one whopper of a Walmart.
If you decided to live in your RV in the parking lot you could occasionally go to the nearby Menards and use their bathroom. They have the biggest bathroom I have ever seen in a store. There are nine roomy, mostly unused, stalls and four hairdryers in the women's lavatory. You could probably "spit wash" in one of the many sinks and go unnoticed. Menard's is a store men go to. Not many women are in the bathroom. Believe me, this bathroom is fit for a football stadium and very clean because not many people use it.
Living at Walmart. Do you think the manager would object to a few potted plants on your steps? It is something they sell.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The stock market has plunged. Loans are hard to come by. Bad news pervades. So much bad news is on TV that we would be better not watching the news at all. We really would. (There was only one piece of disturbing news that probably made people feel good yesterday. That doesn't seem right. It is a paroxysm. ) The news? OJ is going to prison for a long time. Justice delayed is not justice denied.
Part of the problem with our stock market decline is lack of confidence by the investor. Many pulled money out of the market as it was rapidly plummeting. One TV host of with an investment advice show was screaming, "Sell. Sell." Was he right? Save what you can? My husband is a more trusting relaxed investor. He is an optimist. He doesn't make quick emotional decisions. His mantra--the money has to go somewhere. Investors will be back. I am more of a pessimist. They'll be back with WHAT money? Even OPEC is losing this week.
What to do? What to do. Indeed there is one very safe investment many overlook. It is Rock of Ages advice. Store up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor theif can steal it. The book says, He who gives to the poor, lends to the lord. Also it says, Where your treasure is, there also will be your heart. Wall Street can disappoint. God's bank will never fail. He will repay every kind word spoken, even a cup of water given in his name.
Maybe getting off the track of overabundant gift buying at Christmas for people who already have too much is a good thing. Get the giving in perspective. Give time. Give love. Give money if you have any to someone really in need. As my Aunt Elaine used to say, "God's shovel is bigger than mine." We are just trustees of treasure. Everything already belongs to the Lord. He will take care of us if we trust Him even if that IRA or bank account balance is zip. God is good all of the time.
Friday, December 5, 2008
As we all have noted, there is no script with our "current events". Everyone is making it up as we go. Now Minnesota is projecting a 5.3 billion $$$$$$$$$ shortfall. Everyone is scrambling to guess where the cuts will be made. We recently voted ourselves an increase in our sales tax that is dedicated to the arts and the wildlife. The intention was for this to be supplemental money for these causes. Now they are alarmed that the legislature will stop giving them the usual funding for the arts and wildlife thinking they can survive on the dedicated sales tax funds. Get real already. We are all sinking. Maybe the birds can survive on wild rice and the goodwill of people who stock their bird feeders. Maybe artists will have to remain starving a little longer. That is the tradition, isn't it? We have a 5.3 billion $ shortfall. This will not be pleasant. Whose ox do we gore?
Welcome to the land of innovation. The state that gave us 3M and IBM, Post-it notes and PCs, Mayo clinic and rollerblades. Now someone has suggested we sell off the airport to private investors. Sell the lottery system. The lottery can go, but who is going to buy the airport? The airlines are broke. The banks won't let go of their cash stash. Who wants the airport? Maybe the naming rights could be sold. At MSP we could be known as "Cinnabon Airport at Caribou Field". Everything else is already named Target and that doesn't seem like a reassuring name for an airport. No thank you. No Target field. They might be able to sell naming rights to Target for the space shuttle landing strip, but not the airport, please.
Now about that lottery. No sooner had the First Nation made gains with "gaming" and we want in on the action. It only seems just if money is to be lost gambling that the native tribes should profit. Call it payback for taking the whole country. We didn't even give them naming rights. The country is named for an Italian no one knows. I'd be willing to be Dakotaland, or Cherokeevillage for a price. I don't feel indebted to any Italians. We all know the Norwegians were the first Europeans here, don't we? Hmmm. Do the Norwegians have any oil money they would like to spend for naming rights in Minnesota?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The auto execs had misjudged the mood in this country. They hadn't noted Madame DeFarge knitting in the front row. We have turned on the Fat Cats. People with luxurious lifestyles are suspect. Execs with big salaries, stock options and lifestyles who don't properly manage their corporations are reviled. We have short memories that they may have enriched us in our IRAs. Maybe that is because those IRAs have shrunk. People with private Gulf Stream jets are ridiculed. Some of those TV preachers better tone it down. The mood is getting ugly.
No one asked how the congressmen get home for the weekend. Any of them hitching rides on someones corporate jet?
The auto executives were denied the 25billion $$$$$$$$$$$ and told to come back with a plan. The country wasn't going to give them a blank check to temporarily survive. We might help if their corporations were viable. That seems reasonable to me.
Now they are coming back. I can imagine the frantic behind the scenes planning.
One CEO wanted to take Amtrak like Joe Biden.
They wondered if using the company helicopter to get to the Amtrak station would be criticized.
An assistant suggested taking a cab to the Amtrak station. That raised questions about the maker of the taxi. Were there any Checker cabs still in service? The whole idea of taking a cab to the Amtrak fell apart when someone thought they spotted (filmmaker) Michael Moore by the front door. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_&_Me
They considered commercial air. Which one bakes the chocolate chip cookies?? Will using the executive lounge at the airport be viewed as elitist? How is the weather? These are busy guys with meetings. They couldn't be held up at the airport waiting for de-icing or being rescheduled when bad weather cancelled their flights. What to do? Someone suggested driving. It is a ten hour drive. Aha. That is faster than flying.
Done deal. We will drive, they said. What to drive? Everyone wanted to be seen driving a car made by their own corporation. Did you know they make Dodge Durango hybrids? Hummer hybrids? Just ask Gov. Arnold, he has three. They couldn't agree to car pool and each will drive separately. They are all coming to town in a hybrid they produce. I doubt they will drive their own vehicles. If their chauffeur drives, they can use the HOV lanes and make good time. I hope they remember Madame DeFarge in the front row knitting and have the chauffeur dress down. Worn denim and a J Crew sweater would be nice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities
Now the auto executives are back and looking properly contrite and humble. Maybe congress will receive them and show respect. They still don't wear hats but now they want 34 billion $$$$$$$$. Can we turn the clock back, ignore the corporate jets and settle for 25 billion?
Roger Smith is probably relaxing over his morning coffee grateful he is retired. If his wealth is tied up in GM stock that may not be true.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The River Oasis Cafe went through some minor changes with the new owner, but the staff and food are mostly unchanged. Kenny, the dishwasher who was banned from coming out front to pick up dishes from the dirty dish bins, is back doing his job like he previously did. We see him come out to get the dishes again. All is well in the kingdom. The waitresses have been working there for decades. They usually don't need to ask what we want. Jon is a creature of habit and orders #2 even though they no longer have #2 on the menu. They know what he means.
Life is good.
The view from the River Oasis Cafe is of a smoothly frozen over St. Croix river. It is cold outside and warm inside. Warm and cozy enough to show up on a Saturday morning wearing your bedroom slippers. Hopefully, Jon won't push that to PJs.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Chop it, slice it, guess- don’t measure
Take a handful of turkey pieces
Add some veggies or
Add some cheeses
With rice or noodles it surely pleases.
Turkey chili can be spicy
Served up with cornbread it’snice, eh?
Turkey sausages-- very hardy
Turkey meatballs—for your party.
Stuff some peppers with the turkey
Dehydrate slowly – make some jerky
Top a pizza, stuff some pitas
Serve them up with margaritas
Turkey soup will warm you up
On colder days just drink a cup
Try turkey tacos, make some hash
Use the leftovers, save some cash.
Turkey omelettes, turkey stew
Many choices, what to do?
In Minnesota we feed a group
Making “hot dish” with canned soup
Thursday, November 27, 2008
There is a tradition in Washington to pardon a turkey before Thanksgiving. Its' life is spared and it lives out its' days at the national zoo. THis years the turkey President Bush pardoned will live in Disney World.
Governor Sarah Palin was also part of a turkey pardoning ceremony in Alaska.
Much has been made of the continuation of killing turkeys that went on in the background. Like I said, where did you think that turkey came from? Unless you are vegan, some turkey lives are lost. They were born to die. Get over it.
There is also talk about pardoning other turkeys in Washington. Scooter Libby must be hopeful. Every president pardons scoundrels with political connections as they leave office. The outgoing presidents are lame ducks themselves and sympathize with the turkeys, I think. The turkeys who didn't contribute to a political party will lose their heads.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I like having this feature to communicate about the kids. You can teach an old dog new stuff. When I said I was getting up to speed with the rest of the world, (there was a movie about ten years ago with Meg Ryan) she laughed and said Andy, who is 23, told her he hadn't used IM since 7th grade. So you see, we have gotten grandma up to 20th century speed. Next year we will work on the 21st century. This might be another way to find out if my name is in the obituaries. On the other hand, the young set communicate by texting. No thanks. Don't need arthritic thumbs. I might need my thumbs to open child-proof pill bottles someday.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have read a couple of Thomas Freidman's books. The last was, "The World if Flat". I see he has a new book out, "The World is Flat Broke". Just kidding.
My husband has a unique fix for the financial quandry is our country. Have the feds buy everyone a new GM, Ford or Chrysler. I suggest letting the individual be responsible for the sales tax. That collection of sales tax on 3 million adults in Minnesota at $1000 a pop should fix our state's financial shortfall. If someone doesn't want a vehicle, give them something manufactured in the USA. That might be a hard thing to find. I think we are down to making tin whistles in Maine, wooden arrows somewhere and Kentucky bourbon and California wines.
Thanksgiving is coming and I will again state my pet peeve; people who call Thursday "Turkey Day". It is Thanksgiving Day. Thanks giving. To whom? Believers better than God. Unbelievers should at least thank those they can see. I read something that gave me pause; what if we could only keep what we had said thanks for ? Our loved ones, our health, our stuff, our freedom and on and on. What if everything we take for granted disappeared if we didn't say thanks? We are recipients of a merciful provider. It is easy to amble through life without giving it a thought. What if He forgot us?
Monday, November 24, 2008
romie enjoys his "state fair" chair. zoe likes her gym mat. she was quite content to reach, wiggle and kick on it for over half an hour this morning. the gym mat has dangling toys, mirrors, squeekers and is geared to stimulate a young baby who is not mobile.
last thanksgiving mary and i did the lifetime fiyness turkey run (or walk--we walked) in downtown mpls. it was fun being in a mass of fun loving people, some of whom were dressed like turkeys or pilgrims. we won't do it this year. maybe in a year or two, zoe will want to come with us. i think romie may be home in a recliner with grandpa watching football or listening to the beach boys.
What draws us to the fair? Tradition? Fun? Food? Shopping? I know people who go to buy things. I am not one of them. My idea of fun isn'y to buy a mop or salsa maker and carry it around all day. The fair is also a place for vendors to showcase their stuff. New tractors, farm equipment, 4 wheel drive pick-ups, hot tubs etc. Different people are interested in different things. All of the people make a beeline to a few of the fair displays. They get a bucket of Sweet Martha cookies and they go to the Grandstand display and sit in the relaxalounger chairs. Men and boys don't understand why the wife/mother always vetoes buying one of these chairs. They are comfortable. They lull and soothe tired fairgoers with their soft vibrations and built-in back massagers. They come in brown or black vinyl and are ugly. That is why more aren't sold. They don't fit in our decore. When Andy was ten or eleven he thought we should get one. We didn't. Boys and men don't think black vinyl is ugly.
I have fed the twins this morning and Roman is groovin' in his electric vibrations chair. Maybe he will want one of those State Fair chairs when he is grown up. Maybe I will see if I can convince his wife that he needs one. Maybe that won't work with her either.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
The kiddos are now immunized against Hepatitis B, Polio (oral med), Pneumococcal Disease, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Rotavirus and HIB (meningitis). Good. Good thing they can combine some of these. Each has a bandaid on each thigh. Grandma kissed the booboo.
Here is why I titled this blog "double down vs. double up". They weighed in at 10#6oz and 10#8oz. Each weighed just over 5# at birth. Like all newborns they lost some of that initially. They are gaining and doing great. No more tiny preemie. They look robust and round.
Roman does have a reflux problem that has gotten worse. The pediatrician was reluctant to treat with medicine. The H2blockers neutralize stomach acid and help, but there is a reason for that acid. Acid destroys germs and protects against illness. We will all continue to position him carefullly--not flat, burp gently, and give smaller, more frequent feedings. It was also okayed to add rice cereal to the formula to thicken it and make less likely it will roll back up.
Twins: Double blessing, double the pleasure, double the fun. No gum for them yet. Too little for that.
This morning I went to that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia. I noticed Jon reading over my shoulder. He said he had looked there yesterday. When I got to the part about it being caused by cigarette smoking he said, "I was afraid you would see that". Not much good to say about cigarette smoking. If only the young could relate and understand how starting to smoke will affect them in later life. I have already bribed my grandson offering cash if he doesn't smoke. I hope he sees the big picture. Both of his parents smoke and for now he distains smoking. His dad said that at 16 too. I remain hopeful.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The problem: What did Bill do to earn this income? If you can believe it, he is a very good speaker. Arab sheiks have paid exorbitant sums to hear him. Maybe they like the Arkansas dialect although I think it is gone. Maybe they like Bill. Maybe they think he has influence. I vote for the third option. Here is my suggestion. Bill, as long as you have this kind of hold on these people, can you convince them to buy more GM cars? They are available at bargain prices and GM needs to move some merchandise.
In the 40's when American oilmen found oil in the Persian Gulf, the less worldly sheiks bought big US cars and abandoned in the desert when they had problems. Flat tire? No problem. Get another car. There was plenty of $$$$. There is still plenty of $$$$ over there. Our $$$$$. Convince them to buy more American cars. If they abandon them in the desert there are probably some enterprising Chinese businessmen who are willing to collect them, send them to China as scrap and have a win/win deal.
There. I have offended several countries.
Today's paper reports several of the Saudi royal family are in Rochester at the Mayo clinic for check-ups. Even the king has been sighted. He is a big tipper and people remember him. Added to that, men in Arab burnoose stand out in this southeastern small town. There are lots of foreign visitors but they don't all blend in with Caucasian Olmstead county farmers.
When Jon's aunt lived in Rochester she worked at a department store in the lingerie department. She told of wealthy Arab's buying enormous orders of expensive lingerie. They probably still do that. Now if we could convince the clerk to Tell them the local car dealer has some good deals.......... Maybe the Mayo clinic could open a branch at the Mall of America doing virtual colonoscopies. That would lure a few big spenders a little further north. There are plenty of car dealerships out on that 494 strip by the MOA who would be happy to do business.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It's back to work week at the twins household. Mom had her first day back on the job yesterday. I spent the day with the kids. This morning I picked them up and brought them here for grandpa and I to do it together. Transporting them is all about timing. They have to be in their snowsuits (it is in the teens) and in snug car seats. You can't do it when their tummies are full--or spit (up) happens. I had the whole routine down but when we arrived I couldn't remember how to get the car seats unlatched from the base. After a few anxious moments we figured it out. It was simplier years ago. Kids sat in one of those raised seats in the middle of the front seat by mom. You could keep an eye on them. I wonder if the Simpsons still starts the show with Marge and Maggie driving. Maggie is in the now forbidden front seat. Somehow our first kids survived. Shudder to think what would have happened in a crash. I Googled Maggie Simpson + carseat and couldn't find a graphic for that. Maybe cartoonists have done away with that. Sets a bad example, although I don't think you could find a front seat for kids like that.
Grandpa just fed the little guy Romie and he is blissfully snuggled up. Both of them look blissful and warm. Aren't babies wonderful?