Sunday, November 27, 2016

Preparing for Surgery

With back surgery getting closer, I have been doing what I can to get ready. The first thing was to inform my employer. Next, I lined up a neighbor to come to my home to care for my cat, Nels.

I have been getting things around my home ready, too—things such as putting often used items waist high. Today Peder came over to rotate my mattress and to help put on clean sheets. He also helped me with the litter box and with getting my Christmas wreath out of the garage.

Last week Heidi surprised me by letting me know she is flying in to help me for four days. I know she will do what she can to  help me. My sister is going to come for a couple of days, too. I'll try to post an update after surgery, but not right away.

Prayers are appreciated.

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Great Grandmother's Quilt



While my Aunt Liz was still living, she came upon one or two quilt tops that her grandmother had pieced. She decided to finish them by tying them, rather than quilting them. If you are a sewer, you know the difference. Anyway, since Jerry was the oldest grandchild, she gave the quilt to him. Instead of using it, he put it in his closet. This past summer he told me I could have it.

This beautiful quilt sat folded up on my cedar chest until yesterday. While putting flannel sheets on my bed, I eyed the quilt and thought, my kids are never going to want this. And so I put it on my bed. I have to say I love it!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday, Nels!


In December 2010, Annika and I left my home in search of a new cat for me. First we checked out the cats for adoption at my veterinarian's clinic. None of them seemed to say to me, "Take me home," so we headed for one of the humane societies in the twin cities.

After checking out two of the declawed cats—both of them hissed at Annika—we wandered past the various cages of cats who still had their claws. One in particular caught my eye. And the rest is history.

Nels, his middle name is Jack – chosen by Annika, brings such joy to me. I love the way he comes running to meet me when I come in the door. I love how he looks lovingly into my eyes. I love the way he sits for long periods of time on my lap. And most of all, I love how he purrs me to sleep at night.

Happy Birthday, Nels!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thank you, Peder!



Today my son Peder came to my home and helped me with a list of things I needed done. This is not the first time he has done this for me, and I appreciate it so much!

Today we picked up a prescription, stopped by an ATM for me to get some cash, did a pretty good grocery shopping (I was running out of some things!), then changed the batteries in my smoke alarms, brought in some planters from my porch, and he helped me swap out some of my winter/summer clothes from the garage. We stopped by a favorite grocery store to pick up a pumpkin pie which made a nice treat for us.

So, thank you, Peder!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Beautiful Wedding

Last Saturday I was privileged to attend the wedding of my co-worker, Noelle. She is a dear, dear young woman with a lot of style and class – plus, she is nice. I first met her husband-to-be on July 1, 2015, on my flight to Seattle. Unknown to me, Noelle, her boyfriend, Seak-Kee, and her girlfriend, Nicolle, bought tickets for this same flight to fly to Malaysia, by way of Seattle. And by coincidence, Noelle and Seak-Kee's seats were right next to mine! Nicolle had wanted to sit with them but that seat wasn't available when they purchased their tickets. I looked out the window much of my flight, which I love to do, but occasionally I noticed Seak-Kee trying to hold Noelle's hand. I thought it was really sweet. Little did I know they would be engaged about a year later. . . .





And now, it was the big wedding day.




On Saturday, Noelle and Seak-Kee were married in a beautiful church in south Minneapolis. The sanctuary was lovely. For music, there was a pianist, a violinist, and a vocalist. As the ceremony began, Seak-Kee and three other young men came out from the front of the church. As they waited for the bridesmaids, Seak-Kee became very emotional. My heart went out to him. Then as each bridesmaid approached the front of the church, the corresponding groomsman stepped out of place and walked part way down the aisle to escort her. I loved that part of the ceremony. But then, when Seak-Kee's daughter, Ava – the junior bridesmaid – made her way to the front, Seak-Kee—in tears—stepped out of place and met her half way up the aisle and escorted her. It was so tender.









Noelle's father walked Noelle down the aisle. They had been preceeded by Seak-Kee's father who escorted his wife and Noelle's mother. This photo shows Noelle's parents assisting her with removing her veil after they gave her away to Seak-Kee.
 



One element of their wedding was so unique. Noelle and Seak-Kee walked over to an easel where a canvas was mounted that had the outline of two adjoining hearts. Seak-Kee opened two tubes of oil paint—hers: gold; his: dark blue. They proceeded to brush their paint around the perimeter of each heart. When they came to the intersection of the hearts, they combined their paints to form a blended color – symbolic of their lives joining. I thought it was wonderful.







I have no photo of this, but Ava, Seak-Kee's daughter, read 1 Corinthians 13 in Mandarin. It was beautiful.



The exchange of rings




Bowing in prayer




I loved this part of the ceremony: a tea ceremony, in which the bride and groom walked to each set of parents and had them come to the altar for a sip of tea, and then a hug for each parent. This was to honor Seak-Kee's Chinese heritage.






Mr.and Mrs. Chew





Wedding guests were given streamers to toss at the newlyweds as they exited the church.





This beautiful 1930 Model A was used to transport the bride and groom to the wedding reception.




* * * * *
For the reception, we drove to Como Zoo where there is now a beautiful space for parties and such things. Here are a few photos from the reception.



Beautiful centerpiece


The Chinese symbol for "double happiness" held our place cards. The table had a beautiful blue runner and little votive candles. We chose our entrée when we sent in our RSVP. I had a delicious pork dinner, followed by wonderful wedding cake.

Mr. and Mrs. Chew entering the reception

This lovely "Welcome" sign was used both at the church and at the reception.




Cutting the wedding cake was a special part of the evening. Once cut, Noelle and Seak-Kee hand delivered a piece to each guest. I really liked this! Plus, the wedding cake was delicious!



Mr. and Mrs. Seak-Kee Chew


Noelle throwing bouquet to Raela, a co-worker of ours









A Beautiful Wedding

Last Saturday I was privileged to attend the wedding of my co-worker, Noelle. She is a dear, dear young woman with a lot of style and class – plus, she is nice. I first met her husband-to-be on July 1, 2015, on my flight to Seattle. Unknown to me, Noelle, her boyfriend, Seak-Kee, and her girlfriend, Nicolle, bought tickets for this same flight to fly to Malaysia, by way of Seattle. And by coincidence, Noelle and Seak-Kee's seats were right next to mine! Nicolle had wanted to sit with them but that seat wasn't available when they purchased their tickets. I looked out the window much of my flight, which I love to do, but occasionally I noticed Seak-Kee trying to hold Noelle's hand. I thought it was really sweet. Little did I know they would be engaged about a year later. . . .



And now, it was the big wedding day.



On Saturday, Noelle and Seak-Kee were married in a beautiful church in south Minneapolis. The sanctuary was lovely. For music, there was a pianist, a violinist, and a vocalist. As the ceremony began, Seak-Kee and three other young men came out from the front of the church. As they waited for the bridesmaids, Seak-Kee became very emotional. My heart went out to him. Then as each bridesmaid approached the front of the church, the corresponding groomsman stepped out of place and walked part way down the aisle to escort her. I loved that part of the ceremony. But then, when Seak-Kee's daughter, Ava – the junior bridesmaid – made her way to the front, Seak-Kee—in tears—stepped out of place and met her half way up the aisle and escorted her. It was so tender.





Noelle's father walked Noelle down the aisle. They had been preceeded by Seak-Kee's father who escorted his wife and Noelle's mother. This photo shows Noelle's parents assisting her with removing her veil after they gave her away to Seak-Kee.
 


One element of their wedding was so unique. Noelle and Seak-Kee walked over to an easel where a canvas was mounted that had the outline of two adjoining hearts. Seak-Kee opened two tubes of oil paint—hers: gold; his: dark blue. They proceeded to brush their paint around the perimeter of each heart. When they came to the intersection of the hearts, they combined their paints to form a blended color – symbolic of their lives joining. I thought it was wonderful.





I have no photo of this, but Ava, Seak-Kee's daughter, read 1 Corinthians 13 in Mandarin. It was beautiful.



The exchange of rings




Bowing in prayer



I loved this part of the ceremony: a tea ceremony, in which the bride and groom walked to each set of parents and had them come to the altar for a sip of tea, and then a hug for each parent. This was to honor Seak-Kee's Chinese heritage.






Mr.and Mrs. Chew


Wedding guests were given streamers to toss at the newlyweds as they exited the church.


This beautiful 1930 Model A was used to transport the bride and groom to the wedding reception.


* * * * *
For the reception, we drove to Como Zoo where there is now a beautiful space for parties and such things. Here are a few photos from the reception.



Beautiful centerpiece


The Chinese symbol for "double happiness" held our place cards. The table had a beautiful blue runner and little votive candles. We chose our entrée when we sent in our RSVP. I had a delicious pork dinner, followed by wonderful wedding cake.

Mr. and Mrs. Chew entering the reception

This lovely "Welcome" sign was used both at the church and at the reception.


Cutting the wedding cake was a special part of the evening. Once cut, Noelle and Seak-Kee hand delivered a piece to each guest. I really liked this! Plus, the wedding cake was delicious!



Mr. and Mrs. Seak-Kee Chew









Thursday, September 29, 2016

It was a great Labor Day!

Hans, Josiah and Annika came to Minnesota for the long Labor Day weekend. I picked them up at the airport on Friday night and they slept at my house. On Saturday morning, Pete and Jan drove up from St. James to take Josiah and Annika back to their place and Peder came to pick up Hans. We played Yahtzee while we waited for them to arrive.











Sunday afternoon around 4, everyone returned, including Peder's family, plus Steve. Everyone wanted pizza, so we drove to Godfather's.







Again, Hans, Josiah and Annika spent the night at my home and in the morning we loaded up their belongings and went to the State Fair. This was the first time for Hans' kids to be there. Peder and his family went also. I had reserved an electric cart, and that was perfect!


Hans, Annika and Josiah in the race cars



Josiah and Annika in the Dairy Building with the carved butter heads

Josiah petting a baby animal

Annika (Hans in the background) in the Agriculture Building by the giant pumpkins

Josiah posing next to the largest pumpkin

Annika and Aurelia

Josiah and Annika chilling out before it was time to return to the airport.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Nancy's Cabin

My friend Nancy invited me to come to her cabin last week. Her parents bought this land in 1959 and Nancy has told me about ever since I have known her. This was my first invitation, and I was really excited to see it.


After visiting Pine Haven Christian Assembly, we drove to Park Rapids and ate at Summerhill Farm, just north of the city. They had a lovely outdoor seating area. Here's Nancy with her lunch.

Entrance to Nancy's property

This is a big meadow. Just beyond it are red pine trees. Nancy had 35,000 of these trees planted 6 years ago.

,,
I love this shot of Nancy standing among her the trees in one of her woods.


The drive to Nancy's cabin is really long. I didn't ask her just how far it is. 

Inside the pole barn. This building was a big part of the nursery business she and her father ran. Nancy is standing on the back of the big John Deere tractor. She's been working to clean out this building and I thought it looked great!

A beautiful, little waterfall, gurgling from her lake, which they named Rose Lake. This water flows to a little creek.


Nancy's cabin

The kitchen. Nancy recently remodeled this room with granite counter tops, new backsplash, and new appliances.

Living room with new carpet

I love this fireplace. There is no shortage of birch wood!

Putting on her shoes to join me in the front yard

Beautiful Rose Lake. This is a 50 acre lake. There is a bit of wild rice growing along the shoreline. 

Lone Canada Goose. I watched this goose for quite awhile. It seemed to enjoy snacking on the wild rice. Later I spotted about 30 Canada Geese in one of the bays. When they decided to make a move, they swam in single file to another part of the lake. 

Nancy in some of the tall grasses


Later in the afternoon we took off for Itasca State Park, which is only 7 miles from Nancy's property. Here we are walking on the pathway that leads to the start of the Mississippi River.


 I don't know how long this post has stood here, but I believe it was here when I was in 6th grade. It was so nice to see how nice the park is kept, in spite of the big wind storm that blew through the park early in the morning of July 21—the same storm that hit Ely when Peder's family and my cousin Linda were at a resort on Burntside Lake and Janet, Pat and I were in a hotel in Ely.


Nancy and I had a delicious dinner at the Douglas Lodge within Itasca State Park. The table was set with the beautiful, scalloped place mat shown below. The flower is the Lady's Slipper, Minnesota's state flower. If you double click any photo, you'll see it enlarged. The placemat boasts of the state park's 125th anniversary year. 




Notice the log over the pathway? It should not be there. It is one of the many, many trees that fell in that terrible July 21st storm. Our waitress told us the state law allows fallen trees to be removed from the roadways, but if they are not interfering with the road, they must remain where they fell due to nature. There were parts of the park that looked like a war zone—especially at East Entrance.


The next morning we drove back to Nancy's cabin to check on a few things. This part of her land has been named Norway Pine Point. Apparently, years ago, one of the friends became lost during a winter storm. He wandered around and when he came to a familiar Norway Pine tree on a point of land, he knew where he was and could walk back to the cabin. Thus, the name Norway Pine Point.

Nancy grew up on this land and it was obvious to me just how much she loves it. 

The front view of the cabin

Paul Bunyan and his baby crib in Akeley, Minnesota, home of my dear, dear friend, Lil.