Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aurelia wearing her kitty hat (part of her Halloween costume)


Peder and Aurelia treated me today by coming to my office so I could see Aurelia in her Halloween costume. Unfortunately, she would only wear the hat portion. I got to show her around to some of my friends. Author Beverly Lewis happened to be visiting today and told me she would like to meet Aurelia. That was an honor for me to have the two of them meet. Aurelia told Beverly and a few of our editors, “It’s nice to meet you.” That was a proud moment for Grandma D.

We also got to have a little lunch together at Burger King. Aurelia loves their apple fries (apples sliced like French fries).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marshall and Grandma D

When Marshall and Heidi visited me earlier this month, we went to Target to have photos taken. The photographer took over 30 photos and of them we chose 3. This is one of them. Isn't he sweet!?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Aren't they cute?

This newspaper photo was taken at the Austin YMCA when Peder was about 8 and Hans about 11. Aren't they cute? Notice any resemblance with them and their kids? I do.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

William Friedrich

Announcing my new grandson, William Friedrich. Born October 14, 2009.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby Shoe Necklace

L to R: William, Marshall, Aurelia, Annika, and Josiah

I treasure each of one my grandchildren, as I do my children and their spouses. To celebrate the birth and life of each of my grandchildren, I decided to start a charm necklace. Originally I had in mind to get a blue enameled shoe for each of the grandsons and a pink for each of the granddaughters. The day Josiah was born, I went to my local jewelry store and asked to buy one. They didn’t have any there but showed me a catalog from which I could order one. The jeweler told me, "You know, you could do that, but you will possibly end up having a blue and pink necklace. Whereas, this other company uses the actual birthstone of the month during which the baby was born and that could look quite nice. We don’t have any here to show you, but I would be happy to order the May shoe and let you look at it. You would be under no obligation to purchase it.” Since I had nothing to lose, I told her to proceed.

When the call came that the shoe was in, I went to the store as soon as I could. The little emerald studded shoe was one of the prettiest things I had ever seen. I didn’t need to think about it. And so started my shoe necklace.

Eighteen months later, on the day I learned Annika was born, I drove to the jewelry store to order her shoe – an amethyst. It has become my tradition to go to the store the day my new grandchild is born and order the appropriate shoe. It’s interesting that up to now, I have no two alike.

So, I now have the following:

Josiah – May, 2004 – emerald
Annika – February 2006 – amethyst
Aurelia – August 2007 – peridot
Marshall – November 2008 – topaz
William – October 2009 – pink tourmaline

P. S. There's another grandchild in the hopper!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Room with a View

I office in a cubicle, but there are those in our building who have what I call "window seats." They have a room with a view. Several can look out at this beautiful sight. Isn't it lovely?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Aurelia's at my house

Good Morning!

Aurelia at the Minnesota Orchard

Which one should I buy?

Getting squeeky clean and having fun!

A future member for our choir? I hope so.

Last evening Aurelia came to spend a couple of nights with me. She was adorable as she entered my home saying, "Grandma D! Hi, Grandma D!" She was so happy to see me again. Then she went to say hi to Peppi. We had a little supper and then played with the dolls and puppets in my cottage.

At bedtime we curled up on my bed to read a few books. Aurelia said, "Grandma D's bed." She looked up at the potted plants above my bed and said, "Grandma D's flowers." It's only been the past few weeks that I've heard her say "Grandma D," and I think it's so cute!

Today we shopped for a few groceries, including some Honeycrisp apples and then went for a drive in the country to a couple of apple orchards, looking for a pumpkin for Aurelia and a chance to look at the fall foliage. Driving up to the Minnesota Orchard was awesome - Maple trees ablaze with yellows and oranges on my right, trees bending with apples on my left. The rows of apple trees were labeled either Harelson or Empire. Pulling up to the parking area, we spotted horses, many horses. Some being ridden by children and adults - in a row, some tied to posts, eating their lunch. This particular orchard was really crowded, both outside around the pumpkin displays, and indoors at the restaurant, bakery and apple tasting booths. Aurelia and I tasted an apple and made our way outside to see a little goat and a few more horses. The crowds were too much, so I headed to one of the other places we had passed earlier.

We stopped at a garden shop that sold primarily pumpkins and fall mums, corn stalks, gourds and decorative kale - or maybe it is decorative cabbage. Regardless, it is very pretty. I suggested to Aurelia she chose a pumpkin to take home. She went right to the small pumpkins and picked out one. Even though it is a pie pumpkin, I let her get it because it seemed to fit her. This year, along with the standard orange pumpkins, I saw the white ones, and new to me this year, a dull, light, squatty orange one they are calling the "Cinderella" pumpkin.

Tonight after eating pigs in a blanket, peas, tater tots, and an apple for supper, we played in the cottage for a little while. I turned on my computer and together Aurelia and I looked at pictures of my newest grandson, and her newest cousin, Will. She got to see cousins Annika and Josiah holding him. When she noticed I was crying, she said, "Grandma D, are you happy?" I am so happy! You can see the pictures of Will here. Aurelia has had a bath and been read to and is now sleeping soundly. She is an angel.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Have a New Grandchild!

I’ve just returned from the jewelry store where I ordered the baby shoe for my precious new grandson, William Friedrich, born yesterday to Hans and Rachel in Germany. He is 6 pounds, 15 ounces, just under 21 inches long. He and Mommy are doing just fine. Hans told me he looks a little like Josiah – now 5 years old – and a little like Annika – now 3 ½ years old. I couldn’t be more pleased. I just wish they didn’t live so far away as I would love to hold him and see the others.

That brings the shoes on my Grandmother necklace to 5: Josiah, Annika, Aurelia, Marshall and Will.

Congratulations, Hans and Rachel!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Video Conferencing

In May Rachel gave me a video camera so I could video conference with them. I opened an account so I could use the same program as they, but didn’t get around to trying it until this past Sunday night. I plugged the camera into my computer and “Walla!” A message came up saying my computer “recognized the USB.” That’s good! I went to my new account and searched and searched for a button to click, allowing me start the process. Finding none, I emailed Hans for some help. He said, “Do you have such and such installed? You’ll need that.” No, I didn’t. So, I Googled the product and clicked “Download.” This whole download process took 50 minutes. By this time it was 8:50 pm – my time. It was 3:50 am in Germany. I emailed Hans to let him know I had completed it. The only reason he was still up was due to him watching the Twins in the playoff game on his computer. He suggested I try again on Monday during my lunch hour.

Monday noon came. I was in my cottage and booted up my computer. I looked for a button for “Hans” to click to indicate I wanted to video conference with him. No such luck. Ring, Ring, Ring. I answered my phone and it was Hans, calling to talk me through the process. In a few minutes I was seeing his whole family sitting in their living room and they were seeing me. Talk about exciting! I could see them and hear them “clear – as – a – bell,” so they say. The kids were adorable! Rachel looked beautiful; Hans looked handsome. I hadn’t seen him in 13 months – a very long time for a mother to not see her son.

Annika recited part of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. I said I didn’t know and did she have any ideas. She said I could be a leopard and suggested I go to Toys R Us to buy my costume. I told her I have some high heels for her to play with the next time she comes to visit me. She wanted to know what they look like. I hope she doesn’t forget to ask me for them. I also told her she could try on my wedding dress. Josiah came up to the computer with a tan blanket over his back and part of his head. Grandma, I’m a bear! His smile melts my heart. We had lots of fun exchanges.

I guess we talked about a half hour. Rachel stood so I could see how she looks – and she looks great! Bless her heart. I thanked her for the camera. What a neat gift. I know I’ll get to see their new baby, Will, once he is born and gets home. This video conferencing is amazing! It would be fun if Heidi and Chad get one someday too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Swedish Festival

Waist bags - called vaskors

L to R: Linda, Aunt Liz, Janet, Sandy, Diane, Pat

Sandy getting details from one of the hosts.

This photo was taken in the class room at Gammelgarden in Scandia.

Author Ewa Rydaker with her book Lucia Morning in Sweden. She autographed my copy.

Models of Swedish costumes.

She is carrying the birch bark basket for cheese making. The narrator is in the background.

Notice the waist bag - vaskor

This model is carrying a matching doll.

Part of my family and a dear friend attended the "Traditions in the Trunk Celebrating Swedish Folk Dress" at Gammelgarden in Scandia on October 3. It was a fun event where we saw beautiful handmade quilts and costumes from many of the provinces of Sweden. Since we have some Swedish heritage, this was especially fun for us. Though Aunt Liz knew of the town my Great-great grandfather, Nels Peterson, immigrated from when he was 14, none of the hosts seemed to know where it is located. I had fun imagining Nels' mother - my Great-great-great Grandmother, in one of these fine dresses. I thought they were beautiful! I also liked many of the hats they wore. In some ways, the dresses reminded me of the German dirndl - I guess it was because of the apron. (Maybe that's why I like wearing aprons so much!)

During the style show, the narrator, Margareta Hedblom, who had come from Sweden just for this event, told us it was the custom in the mid 1800's (about the time my family would have immigrated to America) for a bride to bring 12 pair of hand-made birch bark shoes to the marriage - one pair for each of the first 12 months of marriage. One model carried a birch bark basket which was used in making cheese. Each model wore a waist bag (vaskor). This would be similar to modern day "fanny packs."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple Dumplings

We're having an unusual autumn here in Minnesota. The fall colors are spotty at best. We've just had 6 days of hard rain and lots of wind, so many of the trees where I live are completely bare. This morning we woke up to snow. In my opinion it's way too early for this! What to do? I guess it's time to bake something.

There are few things that remind me of my mother since she died when I was 14 years old, but one strong memory is the apple dumplings she made every fall. When they were in the oven, the house smelled heavenly (after all, heaven for me will be grandchildren, choirs, and desserts). When I was first married, I found a recipe that resembled mom's, and I have made them ever since.

This afternoon I baked them, and I'm waiting for them to cool so I can eat one - or two. I also made some applesauce.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Yay TWINS!!!

It's been quite the weekend with sports in the Twin Cities! It all started Saturday with the Minnesota Gopher football game against Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the Gophers lost. Next was the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday morning. My cousin Kari ran it in 3:37:39. Amazing! Following that - also on Sunday - was the Twins game against Kansas City - billed to be the last game for them in the Metrodome (They will initiate the new Target Field in Spring 2010.). The Twins beat the Royals and forced the play-off game with the Detroit Tigers. The game had to be played Tuesday rather than Monday because the metrodome was reserved for the Monday night football game. It takes several hours for the grounds crew to convert the seating from baseball to football and visa versa.

Monday night's Vikings' game was watched by more people than any other Monday night football game - the Vikes beat the Green Bay Packers 30 to 23. Talk about exciting!

This was followed tonight by the amazing feat of the Minnesota Twins beating out the Detroit Tigers in 12 innings: 6 to 5! Many sold the Twins down the river, but they did it! Now they're on to New York to face the Yankees in a 5 game series. Instead of closing their time forever in the H. H. Humphrey Metrodome on Sunday, they'll be coming back next Sunday to the dome which as of Monday is called the Mall of America Field. Go Twins!!

If this isn't enough - the victory of the Twins was announced during the home opener of the Minnesota Wild (hockey) game, (the Wild was behind 3 to 0), and it boosted the Wild to a win over the Anaheim Ducks 4 to 3!


Monday, October 05, 2009

Family Time

Sweet Marshall
I love spending time with Marshall!
Check out the profiles of Aurelia and Marshall.
L to R: Heidi, yours truly, Aurelia, Marshall, Peder and Sarah

Proud Aunt and Proud Uncle

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Perfect Days

I've just spent the last two days with part of my family and have loved it! Yesterday I got to see Marshall, Heidi and Chad - it was wonderful! Marshall is so sweet. I just love looking at him. He showed me how he walks and plays with toys. I got to hear his little voice. In the evening I was the lucky one to be Heidi's guest at the wedding of her long-time girlfriend, Julia. What a beautiful wedding and reception.

Today I spent part of the day with my Aunt Liz, Janet, cousins Pat, Linda and Diane, and my good friend Sandy enjoying the "Traditions in the Trunk Celebrating Swedish Folk Dress" at the Gammelgården Museum, where we saw many beautiful Swedish costumes and quilts. It made me wonder what my Swedish Great-great-grandma might have worn. What color did she like? Was she frightened or excited to immigrate to America? I wonder. . .

Later in the day I joined in the fun at Peder and Sarah's with Heidi and Marshall. When coming in the door, I was greeted by Aurelia, smiling and saying, "Hi Grandma D." She thrills me when she calls me that. This was the first time I have seen Aurelia play with one of her cousins. She calls Marshall Cousin Marshall. He loved watching her play with her toys and gladly took a little ball in each of his little hands. It was fun seeing Heidi with Peder again. And also fun watching Sarah with Marshall.

Family: such a beautiful word. I absolutely love being with my family and look forward to the day when Hans, Rachel, Josiah, Annika and Will can join us.