Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day, Part 2

Today Jerry, Janet and I drove over to Austin and as always, we got there early enough to be able to walk around the small downtown area to see which stores are still open, and see what has become of those that are no longer there. To our amazement, a small grocery store is still open. It was there when I was a kid, about 125 years ago!!! It hadn't officially opened for the day, but I poked my nose in and took a picture.

Out at the cemetery we ran into dear, dear friends and family members - always a highlight of the day. Standing with me is my dear friend, DoLores. Her husband, Merlyn, is a veteran of the US Marines. Together we sang the National Anthem as the Austin High School band played. I love this event. The only thing missing this year was having Peder singing next to me.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day

Memorial Day has always had a special meaning for me. As a child, on this day (Memorial Day then was always celebrated on May 30) we would drive to Lake Crystal to put flowers on the graves of my mother's mother and father. Following that we always had a family picnic at the local park. I have great memories of those times together.

Now I usually celebrate it by going to Austin with my brother and sister. We put the urn on our parents' graves, attend the flag raising ceremony at the war memorial downtown, watch the very small parade on Main Street, and then go to the cemetery where various service groups dedicate wreaths to the "fallen" -- those whose lives were sacrificed during war times. We always see friends and former neighbors.

On this day, I celebrate my family members who are either now serving our country in the military, or who have served in the past. That list is growing, but now it consists of my son, Hans, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy; my brother, Jerry, retired US Navy; my Uncle Allan, US Navy; cousin Wayne (deceased), US Navy; son-in-law Chad, US Air Force; nephew Keith, US Navy; cousin Pudge (Pat's husband), US Air Force; cousin Charlie (Kari's husband), retired US Air Force; Pete, Rachel's father, US Air Force; Ken, Sarah's father, US Air Force; and last, but not least, Sarah's brother Ryan, US Coast Guard. Isn't that an impressive list?! I am extremely proud of all of them! [If I am missing anyone here, please include them in your comment.]

On this day, I also remember my father and mother, grand parents, and aunts and uncles. It's great that we live in a land that still sets aside a day to commemorate our loved ones.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another Fun Time Going To Garage Sales with Sarah

Sarah really knows how and where to find great garage sales. This time we went to a very nice neighborhood in Savage, Minnesota, where most of the homes seemed to be owned by young families. The homes were new, beautifully landscaped, and the streets and cul-de-sacs meandered for quite a ways.

We saw so many cribs, strollers, high chairs, and tons of toys and baby clothes. A good thing for me turned out to be a very small selection of dishes and decorative items. I did snag a Royal Daulton child's plate and mug in the Bunnykins pattern - for only $2.00! I am thrilled about that! I also bought 7 Disney movies that I didn't already own and a fun puzzle of numbers (the number 7 is missing). If my grand children ever want to watch a movie when they come to my home, they'll have quite the selection!

Another great find for me is a booster chair with tray. Heidi had mentioned this might be a better item for me to own than a high chair. So, now I'm lots better prepared to take care of my darlings when they come to stay with me. :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Josiah!

Tomorrow, the 19th, is Josiah's 3rd birthday. I can't believe he is 3 already. He is growing up so fast. Each time I see him, he talks so much more and plays with more complex toys. Now he's going to preschool 2 days a week. He's just a joy to be around!

When I spoke to Hans on Mother's Day, I reminded him that this will be the first year he will be home (not out to sea) to join in the celebration. "Yes, that's right!" he exclaimed. Also there to celebrate with Josiah, Annika, Rachel and Hans are Aunt Gen, Cousin Sam, and Grandma and Grandpa Kuehl.

I wish I could be with you too, Josiah, but I will be thinking of you and will try to call you so I can sing the birthday song. Enjoy your party!

Happy, Happy Birthday, Josiah!
Love, Grandma D

Thursday, May 17, 2007


A dear friend came to my home today and together we buried the remains of Tweety. It was sad for me. I expected that. I still miss him.

My new canary is younger and hops around lots more. He sings, but his song is not as long or as pretty as was Tweety's. Maybe it's a little like American Idol - - the new singers hop around lots more, but don't always have the pure, beautiful voices.

Tweety, rest in peace.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

I had a fantastic Mother's Day. I got a very funny card from Heidi, Chad & Brian, and a lovely card from Hans & Rachel. Hans also left a voice mail for me while I was at church. Oh, and all the ladies in our choir were given fresh flowers today.

Peder took me out for lunch at Noodles & Company. It was so much fun. Peder had gotten a coupon that said if he ordered a bowl of pasta, he could get one free for his mother, providing he gave me a kiss on the cheek. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and had a good visit. Then we went to the beautiful Centennial Lakes area in Edina to walk around the two lakes. I just love that part of the twin cities. The air was nice and it was a bit breezy, but we had a relaxing time enjoying each other's company. Our final plan was to go to the movie The Queen. It was very good!

It won't be long and Peder and Sarah will be parents. I enjoyed hearing Peder referring to that blessed event. My small family is really growing. I feel so blessed to have three amazing kids, great daughters in law, and a great son in law, PLUS two wonderful grandchildren and another one coming in less than 90 days. I had a fantastic Mother's Day!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bryn Mawr - the Mother of Garage Sales

Saturday morning I was lucky to accompany Sarah to the largest group of garage sales I have ever seen - so close together, that is. The sale happens the 1st Saturday of May in the neighborhood of Bryn Mawr, which is west of downtown Minneapolis by about a mile.

Sarah borrowed her father's pick-up truck and we arrived at the bustling neighborhood a few minutes after 8:30. Already there were vehicles parked along nearly every possible curb, and hundreds of people were shopping. Once we found a place to park, we set out to see what bargains we could find. Sarah did a great job of reporting this same event, so please check out her blog: (She estimated 100 individual sales; I would say it was more like 300. There were at least 1,000 or more shoppers.)

I had so much fun, I asked her to put me down as a "Yes" for next year!

Funny Girl

Sunday afternoon my friends and I went to our final Bloomington Civic Theatre performance for this season, Funny Girl. What an afternoon of entertainment that was. I loved every minute of it -- the music, costumes, sets, and actors. Such energy and passion!

The following is the review from The Star Tribune:

Lush staging of 'Funny Girl' is full of passion, flair
The musical "Funny Girl" made a star of Barbra Streisand. The role of Ziegfeld star Fanny Brice, her rise to stardom and romantic travails, was Streisand's first Broadway lead and she won an Oscar for the movie. Maybe it's because the role has been so associated with her that it is very rarely done. I've waited years to see it on stage, and Bloomington Civic Theatre's production was well worth the wait.
Kersten Rodau's Fanny Brice is only one reason to see "Funny Girl," but it's a compelling one. When she sings, "I'm the Greatest Star," you believe it. She doesn't even hint at doing a Streisand impersonation, making the role totally and completely her own. "People" is heartbreaking, and "Don't Rain on My Parade" shakes the rafters. Her considerable gifts as a comedienne are also on display.
Classic musicals are the kind of show that John Command does best -- and this production ranks among the top shows he has ever done, staged with even more than his usual amount of passion, style and flair. Music director Anita Ruth brings her own pizzazz to the proceedings. And it is a rare treat to hear the lush sound of a 24-piece orchestra.
Robin McIntyre recaptures the bygone showbiz era in his set, creating an amazing number of elaborate drops behind the proscenium, giving the show a rich period feel. Ed Gleeman's costumes prove that he knows how to dress a star, creating literally dozens of gowns for Brice. His outfits for the Follies numbers are extravaganzas.
Kevin Leines, as gambler Nick Arnstein, for whom Fanny falls, has a great voice, but tends to melt into the background when next to Rodau. That is, in part, the fault of the script, where his role is underwritten. Denise Tabet, as Mrs. Brice, Fanny's mother, pulls out all the stops, delivering a real borscht-belt comic tour de force, especially when exhorted to "Find Yourself a Man." Ryan Gustafson makes a great deal of the thankless role of Eddie, Fanny's friend and supporter.
The second act is not as strong as the first, which is the problem with the story, not the production. At the end of Act One, Fanny achieves her happily-ever-after with Nick and in Act Two it all unravels. The book also shows its age with some lines about Fanny being responsible for her husband's fall that feel incredibly sexist. But between Rodau and Command, this is truly a production for the ages.
William Randall Beard is a Minneapolis writer.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Is Here!

Just 2 months and 4 days ago, the ornamental crab trees in my back yard were being covered with S*N*O*W*, and lots of it. It's such a nasty trick of Mother Nature -- just when we've already had 5 or more months of winter -- and we're so ready to see green grass, flowers, and to stop wearing 50 pounds of extra clothing.

I have lived in my current home now for 9 spring seasons. The thing I look forward to most each spring, is seeing the beautiful ornamental crab apple trees in full bloom. The same trees are shown above on March 1st on the top photo. The bottom photo was taken this morning before going to work. See why I like spring so much more than winter?