Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Did It!!

Today I rode my bike to work! This has been a goal of mine for quite some time. It's been one of those things: I want to ride it; I need the exercise; I'll save on gas emission pollution; I'll save $$$; It's quick; and on and on. I've had one excuse after another for not riding it. But today the weather forecast is for thunderstorms and possible hail. I abhor hail - the reason being possible damage to my car. Anyway, I did it. And it felt good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Delicious Serving of Pineapple - $12.00

Today I cut my little pineapple from the plant and prepared it for eating. First I twisted off the perfectly shaped leaves from the top. It came off in one nice peace with a tiny, yellow core intact. I saved it as I need it to grow another pineapple. I was surprised the core was small - about the diameter of my little finger. After trimming off the outside, 7 nice bite size pieces remained. They were sweet and very juicy. Simply delicious!

This is the most expensive pineapple I have ever eaten = $12.00 to be exact. But that doesn't matter as I bought it as a decoration and never thought it would actually ripen. In a week, after the little core and leaves dry out a bit, I will plant it in some potting soil and patiently wait - for about three years - for another fruit to grow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Water Horse, Legend of the Deep

Last week I saw the movie The Water Horse, Legend of the Deep and I really enjoyed it. Hans, Peder, Heidi, Janet, Jerry, Aunt Liz and Pat, I think you may like it too as it takes place in Scotland along the shores of Loch Ness. As you know, we have all been there. We've climbed around in Urquhart Castle, and you will see the famous stronghold in one of the scenes.

I had to use subtitles as some of the brogues were difficult for me to understand, much as it was when I was over there. It's rated PG, so it might be a little much for Josiah.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mystery Solved

A few months ago, I asked Sarah to add "Live Traffic Feed" to my blog. It's been interesting noting the locations from which folks are viewing my entries. For weeks I have been thinking that my co-workers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are checking out my space, as well as those of my family. But this morning I discovered that each time I check in on one of the blogs with Live Traffic Feed, it is registering me as connecting from Grand Rapids. That is because our work connection is from the network there. Mystery Solved.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Blessings

Tonight I'm counting more blessings. I work with some amazing people. Today one of my colleagues brought me "just picked" peas and green beans. He said it was a thank you for watering his office plants last week while he was away on business. I fixed some of the beans for lunch, and tonight I prepared a dish I haven't had for years - creamed peas over new potatoes (I bought the new red potatoes at the farmers' market Saturday.). It's an "old fashioned" dish, but very tasty. What a treat to have fresh, home-grown vegetables.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

De For Family and Friends Cruise

Our family and friends cruise is coming up fast. We depart from Seattle on 8/8/08! We have 20 people going. If you're curious about it, check it out here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Pineapple Is Ripe!

A couple of months ago I bought a pineapple plant at IKEA. It has never grown in size, but this morning when I went outside to check on my flowers, I noticed it had turned yellow! Now, do I cut it and eat it? Will it then grow a new pineapple? Does anyone out there have a pineapple farming background? I found this article on the Internet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

Today my baby turns 31! I can hardly believe it. As I recall that day, I remember it was 101 degrees outside, and thankfully, we lived in a house with central A/C. She was only 17" long; weighed 6 lbs., 2 oz. After having two boys, when the doctor announced, "It's a girl," I remember asking, "Are you sure?"

The first thing I bought her was a doll. Little did I know she would never play with dolls. She doesn't have a passion for dishes either. But those things don't matter. She has been, and continues to be, one of the joys of my life. Have a great birthday, Heidi!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend of Family Get-togethers

This was a busy weekend of family get-togethers. On Saturday, my father's side of the family held their family reunion at a city park in St. Peter. Except for the wind, it was a lovely day for an outside activity. I would estimate there were about 60 people in attendance. My father was the youngest of 10 children. Sadly, none of them are living any longer. Of the first cousins, there were 8 in attendance - - the oldest being 91. I am the third youngest of this generation. One cousin brought a box of photos that he thought should be shared with others. It was fun looking at them. I was thrilled to get a picture from the living room of the house in which I lived from birth to 9th grade. Since my folks died when I was young, I don't have very many things from my youth.

Today many of my family members had a great time at my cousin Diane's new home in Blaine. Peder, Sarah, Aurelia and I drove together. My brother and sister were there, as well as my cousin Linda from Chicago and Aunt Liz and Pat. Diane and Dave's entire family was there including our newest cousin, 6 month old Ethan.

9 of us in attendance are leaving for Seattle in 25 days to set sail for Alaska on 8-8-08. We had lots to talk about: have you completed your boarding pass? What are you planning to wear? Are you planning to take any land excursions? Or trips for whale watching? What time does your flight arrive? As for me, I'm looking forward to experiencing ship life; seeing sunrises and sunsets out at sea; looking at the stars and moon - perhaps the aurora borealis; watching for whales; sitting in the hot tub; touring the kitchen; looking at glaciers; watching for bald eagles; and shopping in the ports. Hopefully I'll still be able to fit into the clothes I'm bringing! In all, 20 of my family and friends are going to Alaska.

Back to our afternoon together. . . It was so much fun seeing Aurelia walking everywhere! She is so tiny and sweet. It's hard to believe she is walking already. She never cried once, even though she hadn't had a nap. She soon fell asleep once we were on our way home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

E. T.

My kids and grand kids are movie fans. So am I. While our tastes vary, sometimes we see eye to eye. Peder posted an entry about Pixar movies. He went on to say which ones he has seen and which ones he owns. Of that list, I have seen the following:

Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E . I liked all of them very much.

Tonight I added another movie to my personal viewed list: E. T. That's right, it's an 80's movie and up until tonight I had never seen it. I have to say that I really liked it. I even cried at the end.

What a year I am having - - a trip to Ukraine, Austria, Germany; time with Hans, Rachel, Josiah and Annika; watching Star Wars with Hans; having one of many (I hope) over-nights with Aurelia; getting ready for a new grand son!; and preparing for an Alaskan cruise - we sail in less than a month! Yes, it's a good ride.

Monday, July 07, 2008

News for the Girls in My Family

Guess what's coming to the Mall of America? An American Girl doll store! Now we won't have to drive to Chicago for those special dolls, doll clothes, and accessories.

Aurelia and Annika, won't this be fun?! Woo hoo!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fort Snelling

Abigail Hunt Snelling, Colonel Josiah Snelling, yours truly.

Josiah Snelling autographing my Josiah's book.

Abigail Snelling signing Josiah's book.

Nancy displaying the beautiful dishes!

Quilting frame
Cross-stitch by Josiah's daughter, Mary.
Post headquarters.

Military parade.

Happy 232nd birthday, America! What a beautiful day this has been. Something new has been added to this holiday in Minnesota. Each year, in addition to celebrating our freedom from England, Minnesota is henceforth honoring Viet-Nam veterans, of which my brother is one. Thank you to all of the men and women who served during this war.

My sweet grandson, Josiah Snelling, is named for Colonel Josiah Snelling. He was in charge of the 5th Regiment of Infantry. In 1819 they arrived at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers to build the northwest link in this chain of forts and agencies. Here, where traffic could be controlled on two major rivers, Fort Snelling was completed in 1825. Colonel Josiah Snelling's officers and soldiers permanently changed the landscape. They made roads, built a gristmill and sawmill at St. Anthony Falls, planted hundreds of acres of vegetables, wheat and corn, cut hay for their livestock, felled trees for their fires and made the first documented weather recordings in the area. All the while they enforced the laws and policies of the United States. I had never visited this historic place until today. Since they have special events on July 4, I promised myself I would take the opportunity to tour it today with a couple of my friends. It was so nice, and I learned so much. I plan to go there again!

I got to meet the actors, Josish Snelling and his wife, Abigail. When I told them my grandson's name, they were astonished. To their knowledge, no one has ever shared that before with them. They graciously autographed the book I bought as a gift for Josiah. It is titled Frontier Fort; Fort Life on the Upper Mississippi, 1826.

We saw the cannon salute, a soldier's theater production of an 1819 historical drama, demonstrations of period cooking, a doctor bandaging a young person, bought root beer in the general store, and viewed the military parade, complete with drums and fifes. During Col. Snelling's review of the troops, the soldiers fired muskets. It was a fascinating time.

Last night I went to the Bloomington Summer Fete with a couple of friends. We arrived around 5 pm and were able to listen to three concerts, eat foods from the vendors (I had a bratwurst, chips, a pina colada-non alcoholic, and some caramel corn), and finally watched some of the most wonderful fireworks I have ever seen in real life. Because Bloomington, as well Minnesota, is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, our city council pulled out all the stops and provided the largest display ever! There were gorgeous bursts of beautiful colors up in the sky while myriads of splendid, artistic explosions were near the surface of the lake. Many boomed; others crackled. There were oohs! and aahs! and wows! heard over and over. They estimated an attendance of 40,000 people in attendance. We saw a few people with their pet dogs. That was hard for me to understand, since my grand dog, Brian, would not have liked this at all.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Exciting News!

I hadn't added anything to my post for about a week and was thinking and thinking about what I could write about. I had decided to post some things regarding the sesquicentennial that Minnesota is celebrating this year, but I have news that has pre-empted that: Heidi and Chad are going to have a boy! She had an ultrasound today and the technician said she was 100% sure. The nurse then told Heidi that this technician has an accuracy record of 100%.

One of my favorite sayings is: "Good news stays and bad news never goes away." Based on that, I have about six months to mention our 150th birthday. This news about my new grandson is much more important to me!

You can see a photo of Heidi here.