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?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
One candidate was raised in Minnesota and lived much of his life in New York before moving back to qualify as a candidate for senator. The other candidate was raised in New York and moved to Minnesota. Who is the real Minnesotan? I dunno. The third party guy was responsible for getting Jesse Ventura in as guvner a few years ago. "Minnesota, the land of clean politics". I think "Minnesota, the land of strange politics" may stick instead.
We still don't have an official ruling on who won the senatorial contest. There will be a recount starting next week. It will take a month. There are recount panels. Recount official watchers, and now volunteers are coming forward to watch the watchers. Sounds like a third world election where Jimmie Carter mans the poling place. Maybe he will come too. He can watch the watchers who are watching the watchers. Is anybody still left to keep an eye on those bozos on Wall Street who have 700 billion of our $$$s and want more? Christmas is coming and they may not have enough to meet their bonuses.
God help us. Please.
Mary reports the little guy, Roman, likes opera. He sat up and took notice when he heard Andrea Bocceli sing on TV. Good taste, Roman. He isn't even Italian. It must be the name Roman. I am going to share my CDs with mom who will put them on your Ipod. When I babysit I will probably not play that when you are trying to sleep. You never know when Roman is going to burst into an aria. http://www.andreabocelli.com/andreabocelli_ita.htm
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Snuggies might be a good option for me these cool evenings. I honker down to watch TV or read in our leather chairs and freeze if I am not wrapped in blankets. Leather looks nice but is too cold in the summer when the AC is on and too cool in the winter for me. I usually cover the chair with one blanket and cover myself with another. Why don't I just turn up the thermostat? My husband is always too hot, that's why. We keep it at 70as a compromise.
While I agree it is better to keep the thermostat down to conserve resources, I would not be motivated to keep the thermostat down to save money. Our gas is free. That's right. It is free. For almost a year Excel Energy, who provide our electricity and gas, have sent our monthly bill with the charges for electricity according to useage and the charge for gas at $0. Zero. Nada. No charge. Last fall we thought our bills were low because we had installed a new superefficieint AC and furnace. Then we noticed the breakdown on the bill. All the charges were for electric use and gas was $0.00 Jon called Excel who thought we might have a failed meter and would have it checked. After a couple months he called again. The customer service agent was a bit snippy and said they knew about the problem. Okay. A couple more months and someone came to check the meter. A bit later it was replaced. The next bill? Zero for gas. $0.00 He called again. He mentioned we had a few furnace installed recently. They said they would check on it. We waited. Every month gas use is nada. We have a gas clothes dryer and hot water heater so use gas in the summer. Even if there had been some problem with the new furnace hookup, the dryer and water heater aren't new. As fall approached he wrote them a letter. Next month...the bill arrived. Again no charge for gas.
I am going to find out if Excel Energy has gas stations that sell petro for the car. We could use free gas for our vehicles too. Warren Buffet says there is plenty of natural gas.
Maybe I don't need that Snuggie after all. I think I will sneak over and set that thermostat at 75. Thanks Excel.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Little Zoe has the middle name Cate after her great grandma Catherine. Our older granddaughter Mina has the middle name Catherine after her and her maternal grandma.
This morning I read an article about the inner circle of the Obamas. Michelle Obamas mother is the caregiver to their two children when they travel. She is a widow and some wonder if she will move into the White House as well. In any case, she will make the move to Washington. Grandmas rule?
It is a honeymoon period for the new President-elect. Even former opponents like Rudy Guiliani have wished them well. George Will actually endorsed Obama before the election. In one Newsweek column he said he reminded him of a young Reagan. I was proud of John McCain's gracious speech election night. I voted republican but don't feel bad about Obama winning. It was overdue. I hope people can give this man a chance now that he is to be president. God knows, he needs our prayers and acceptance. The challenges he faces are horrendous. When Abe Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand", he was quoting scripture. Good words to live by. We should not be our own enemy. We have enough of those in this dangerous world. And we have had enough bitter divisive attacks on everyone who seeks office. Judge by results, not prejudge by partisanship. Wait and see and don't forget to pray.
I was struck last night that the situation feels like the Huxtables are moving into the White House. ---an affluent, black family with a mom and dad who have a strong family dynamic. The wife is a lawyer and beautiful. Young kids. When The Cosby Show aired in the early 80's there had not been many situation comedies about black families. There probably hadn't been any about functional black families with a married couple, a dad who was intelligent and faithful and a wife/mom with a professional career. I hope Barack doesn't wear the sweaters.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Our son is going to a Bob Dylan concert tonight with his girl friend and her parents. Dylan crosses generations and the dad is treating. He will play a concert at Northrup Auditorium on the U of MN campus. This is the first time Dylan has played on campus since he was a dropout student in the early sixties. The news reported that this concert sold out immediately. No fat ladies singing here. Also no beer as it is election day. The concert will start at 8pm when the polls close. That's the law.
While seeing a Bob Dylan concert would appeal to me, we seldom go to anything that starts that late these cold, dark months. It is dark but fortunately not too cold. Hit 74 yesterday with sunny skies. I'm staying in. Maybe I'll just stay home and do my own fat lady singing thing. And watch election results on TV.....and possibly cry in my beer.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE