Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gorillas in the Mist

The car radio was playing in the background as we drove to church this morning. I heard part of a story that got my attention: "Hugo Chavez...abduction by the Fart Gorillas". What?? Catching a little more of the story, I realized they had said "Farc Guerillas". Big difference. It wasn't a story about ecology or saving the gorilla species, but a political story about Hugo Chavez meddling in Columbian politics. Maybe we should hope the fart gorillas get Hugo Chavez. Bad dude he is.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weathering Spring

Wednesday we visited son Andy's at school. He will be out in two weeks so we took a load of his things with us. I reminded him to send his heavy winter coat. Shouldn't need that in May, right? Tonight it is going to snow. We will only get an inch or so. Northern Minnesota will get up to a foot. Bring back spring. It was 70 degrees this week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Space Saving Plan

I love this space saving idea. Shoes would be the perfect thing to store here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Here They Are

We got the ultrasound of the twins emailed to us this morning by our son kn-law Mike with the title, "Introducing Baby A and Baby B". No names yet, because they won't know the gender for awhile.
One twin was very active and wouldn't pose for the Ultrasound. The other seemed to pose. Seeing the image does make them seem more real. They are fraternal. Still could be one of each sex.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

Big news yesterday from Illinois/ Indiana was the earthquake. We didn't feel it here but the tremors were widespread. Reporters said tremors were felt as far away as Cinncinnati. I would prefer NOT to be in the Sears tower in Chicago when they they felt the earth move.
Locally our fault line is under the Mississippi river and runs near the U of Minnesota. That is where they are building the replacement bridge for the one that tumbled down last August. I am chosing not to worry, but there are a lot of things you could run with if you wanted to.
I got a call from friend Barb yesterday that their third granddaughter, Lucy, was born in Cleveland yesterday. They went into labor around 4am I believe. When was that earthquake again? 4 :37 AM? You don't suppose..... Anyway, beautiful Lucy arrived safely. Life goes on. Babies are born. Children grow up. We live our lives hopefully enjoying the moment and hopeful for the future.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Simple Life

Sometimes I complicate my life worrying about what might happen. I tend to see all the options. Today my husband reminded me not to worry. I countered with, "You don't. I have to." My problem was obvious when I spoke it. "See the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin, and yet God...." -- to paraphrase; takes care of all their needs. More faith, less worry. More committing to prayer, less worry. Speak a good future. Say the best outcome.
Dealing with trust vs. worry means changing ingrained habits. It means trusting God is there. Trusting He knows our needs and loves us. Trusting He will make a way.
The link is to a funny video. Maybe the answers are really that simple and clear. I think I will need a little more time.

Twin Perks

My mind is on twins since we found out our daughter Mary is expecting two. Can't help thinking about twins. Found this "celebrity twins concentration" game when I googled twins. I don't have a clue who half of these celebrities are, but that shows my age.

Another fun part of twindom is picking two names. That is what the parents do, but it's okay to make suggestions, isn't it?

How about Romulus and Remus?

Bert and Ernie?

Penn and Teller?

Surely I jest. Yes, just kidding. There are lots of famous pairings out there.

They won't know for a while if they are boys or girls or one of each. That should help with the name game. Can you sell naming rights? Maybe they could be Target and Traveller to sponsor them. No, I don't even think the auditorium sounds right as the Target Center. 3M? They are already M & M as a couple. Another M or two would fit.

Our first grandkids were born during my working years. We are both retired now and hope to see more of these little ones. They grow up so fast.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Spring in Minnesota has been stuttering a bit, but I don't mind. I have gotten a good taste of spring last week out east. Here I am by the ocean in Rhode Island. Barb and I walked along the path by the shore. We also visited a mansion with extensive gardens along the ocean. It was about 70 degrees and sunny and I couldn't think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon.
The early spring flowers were blooming and the grass was green and soft. The extensive gardens have an arboretum that even has a bamboo whispering garden. The paths through the bamboo (?) grove would be a delight for kids. When the ocean breezes blow you can hear the bamboo whisper. It was quiet when we were there but I imagine it is a lot like whispering pines.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Do Little Retirement Home

Can you read the sign? Picture of the Doolittle Retirement Home in Foxboro, MA. When you get old, you can live here and "do little".

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Minnesota Twins

It is actually the Minnesota Twins 48th year.
I was in the Boston area for the home opener of the Boston Red Sox. It is a big celebration. They had a flyover of the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, Neil Diamond singing. The winning Patriot team showed up along with the Celtics. Throngs flock to the area around Fenway park to celebrate the opener with their beloved team.
The Minnesota Twins opening day game was played on a snowy cold day. In 2010 they will play in the new open air ballpark now under construction. Any opener scheduled on a snowy day will need to be rescheduled.
Yesterday our daughter and son in-law stopped in with exciting news. They found out yesterday they are expecting twins in November. Twins. We were all surprised. Twins. Imagine that. Doubly blessed. It will be a while before they know the genders of the babies. One of each would be nice but we will take two healthy boys or girls. Twins. Isn't that a neat surprise.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sweet Ending

Last Monday I flew northeast on Northwest to Boston. Uneventful trip. All three flights on time leaving and all arrived early. Maybe we should rethink merging with Delta. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. I picked up a connecting flight in Indianapolis, a smallish airport. Must be easier than going through Hotlanta's big maze.

I stayed with my schoolmate and old roommate Barb in Foxborough, MA. We both walk and spent one morning seeing the town on foot. The picture is "Mrs. Butterworth's grave" found in Foxboro's oldest cemetary. The older part of the cemetery has tombstones from the town's founders from the 1700's. Lots of history here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

BVD means be very discreet

While packing for my trip I wondered if I am the only one who saves old underwear to use when I travel. The plan is to pack old underwear and toss them as I use them. I never do this. Don't want to have the hotel maid or hostess where I am staying think I would wear old underwear. Jon, ever helpful, said I could always toss them out the window as I go. Oh, my. That could be worse. Brought before a judge for littering old underwear? I think my stash of unwanted unmentionables will stay where they are.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pinnacle of Heights

I'm using my frequent flyer miles to go to Boston tomorrow. All that was available in a time I wanted when I booked was a stopover in Indianapolis. Never been there. I expect a small airport which I like. The second leg of the trip is on a 50 seat jet. Yes, I checked to be sure it wasn't a prop plane. I did that once on a connection from Boston to Cape Cod and it was the only time I thought I was going to die. Bumpy, turbulent ride in a smaller prop. My daughter and I both got sick. I remembered my prayers before dying. We obviously didn't die, but I don't take small prop planes anymore.

The connecting airline is Pinnacle. The name inspires confidence. Doesn't that mean top? I want someone at the top of their game at the controls. For the first leg of the flight I am on NWA. They have had a few embarrassing episodes with their pilots flying while inebriated. We shall see how Pinnacle does. I might be close enough to keep a good eye on the flight crew. Besides, who every heard of terrorists highjacking a 50 seat link.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Time to put some spring in my step

It's a beautiful spring day. Sunny and 60's. Only fringes of snow banks remain and the migrating birds are singing. I decided to walk downtown and use the ATM at the main bank. The deal with walking downtown is that it is DOWN. You must return going up and up. I took the main street stairs to start my return. ( Pictured) The picture does not do them justice. I got the picture off the internet. The steps turn halfway up the hill. I think you are only seeing half on the photo.
During Easter break son, Andy, said he had finally walked up the Main Street steps without stopping. I set that as a goal and did it. I almost died at the top, but I did it. I even ran two blocks on the way back. Now I am ready to take on Boston, but not the Boston marathon! I am leaving Monday to visit an old friend who lives twenty miles from Boston. Jon will hold down the fort at home. We plan to tramp our way around the historic sites. If I remember correctly, the town is pretty flat. I don't think even Beacon Hill is too much of a hill. I have confidence. I have conquererd the Main Street steps.

Would You Like Some Arsenic With That?

My brother in-law Mike noted, if someone starts a sentence with the phrase "Bless her (or his) heart, but..... " gossip or negative stuff is sure to follow. I guess we'feel the need to soften harsh comments or we want to feel better about gossiping.

I think I can share this because neither this friend or her family read my blog. An old friend recently stayed with us for a few days. We have shared a lot of good and bad times. Bless her heart, she is a warm, fun, energetic person but... she drives me crazy when I eat out at a restaurant with her. She is a waitress' worst nightmare.

Monday we had OUR LAST spring snowstorm. We had spent the afternoon with her sister and sister in-law playing cards. I called Jon to ask him to start dinner. Driving near our area, we found all the stop lights were out. No power. No power at home. No dinner. There was a favorite restaurant of hers that we had not been to. Good time to go. I called, and they said they had power. Come on down.

The name will change to protect the guilty. Sally started by asking for a dark beer. The waitress read the list of dark beers on tap. She wanted samples. Okay. Still acceptable.

In the background music softly played. Sally asked the waitress what CD was playing. She didn't know. "Could you look?" she said. The waitress tried only to say there were six CDs on the stack and she didn't know which one it was. Not deterred, Sally asked if she could try to find out what that song was that was playing. Another trip for the waitress. The answer was negative. No one knew. Are you getting the picture?

Next Sally asked if there were any CDs of this German music for sale. The waitress came back with a CD of German music. The price $12. About what you would pay anywhere. By now Jon and I cannot make eye contact. The CD is German music sponsored by the Paulaner Beer Co. I think the waitress knows this game. Possible this was a freebie from the beer distributor? No way this customer is getting it free!

We ordered appetizers. Sally wanted herring. We didn't share. We hate herring. She got the "doggie bag". The dish had been garnished with apples which she had eaten. She asked for more apple slices for the take home portion.

We ordered dinner. More substitutions. More requests. She had the waitress take a couple pictures of us. I try to "group my requests" of the waitstaff. Sally will ask for more bread. When that comes she asks for more butter. She wants lemon in her water. When that comes she wants more salad dressing etc. Wears them out. None of this behaviour is wrong. We all do some of it some of the time. Sally does all of it all of the time.

I don't usually have soup when I dine with her. Don't want to get the bowl the waitor spit in. Did I mention we always overtip our waitor/waitress?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Suggestion for a Mother's Day Gift

Another blurb from me in the St. Paul PP Bulletin Board today. Heh, Mary. You are mentioned.

Our Osterizer just keeps going and going.

"Know thyself! (responsorial)
The MOM in Stillwater: "Subject: We aren't a blended family, but are mixed up.
"I just read The Old Woodchopper's account of buying his fourth wall-mounted can opener during his marriage. I have no idea how many can openers we have purchased the last 40 years, but we are still on our original blender. My husband gave it to me almost 40 years ago, when I was 'a little pregnant.' It just keeps humming along, and gets a lot of use these days making whey protein shakes and smoothies or margaritas. Our daughter Mary recently offered to give me a new one, but I declined. I think this wonderful machine will be good for the duration.
"Getting a blender for my first Mother's Day present was a portent of things to come. [Bulletin Board teases: Most portents are!] I have gotten my share of toasters, fry pans and even toilet seats as gifts from the prince. (In his defense, they are usually coupled with a more romantic gift, like perfume.)
"Can I mention the brand name of the blender? It starts in an O. The gift that keeps on giving."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

That's Ducky

It's blogging catch-up time. Here is my ode to spring that "made" the St. Paul paper Bulletin Board this am:

Our theater of seasons
The MOM in Stillwater ("patiently waiting for the meltdown"): "I also love hearing more songbirds now that it is spring. (Is it really spring?) Recently I have been getting outside for long walks between snowstorms. You hear more chirping birds. Red-winged blackbirds are back.
"Yesterday, as I sat reading, I heard a duck quacking. It sounded like it was by the front of the house. We have had ducks come into our yard in past years, from the pond in the park across the way. When I looked, I didn't see a duck. Later I heard it again and still couldn't spot it. This happened repeatedly, leaving me puzzled until I realized it was coming from my husband's computer. He has an animated cuckoo clock on his home page that measures quarter-hours with quacking. Foiled. No nesting mother duck behind the bushes by the house. I guess the ducks know springtime is a little off in Minnesota this year.
"I may have to settle for virtual spring."