Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Did I Wake Up In San Diego?

It's March and I didn't wear a coat today! And I definitely won't be wearing one tomorrow. Why? It's in the 70's today and tomorrow it is supposed to reach 80. This will be the first March in record-keeping history in which we got absolutely NO snow in Minnesota. In fact, it was 125 years ago that there was no snow during the month of March here.

When I was in high school - about a hundred years ago - we could always count on big snows in March. They became known as the high school basketball tournament blizzards. But this year is different. An outdoor baseball game was played just last Saturday at the brand new Minnesota Twin's stadium! Imagine that on March 27th. I thought it was chancy at best. But it was played with no delays.

Nice to know we won't be wearing mittens and boots for Easter this year!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Laugh for the Day

A young executive was leaving the office late one evening, when he finds the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?" "Certainly," the young executive says. He turns the machine on, inserts the paper, and presses the start button. "Excellent, excellent!" says the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Signs of Spring

Three weeks ago my friend, Carin, who is from Sweden, gave me a small bundle of birch branches she had picked in the woods. She had done this about six or seven years ago knowing I have some Swedish ancestry, and and at that time, she also gave me an envelope with brightly dye-colored feathers. She told me it was a Swedish custom to put the birch branches in water and attach the feathers and that in a few weeks, in time for Easter, the branches would sprout leaves. This year I couldn't locate my feathers, so in place of them, I tied plastic eggs.

Last Wednesday I got a little impatient because I was only seeing the buds which were on the branches when she gave them to me. I called her and she said, "Well, it isn't Easter yet. Just be patient." Friday I noticed the first change - the little brown buds were nearly all turned green. And this is what I am seeing today. Isn't it fun! There are many more buds to open, and I think the leaves will continue to grow.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Saturday my kitchen was a bakery. I had invited Rosy, the young girl I tutor each week, to come to my house to decorate cookies. Before I went to bring her to my home, I baked 4 dozen cookies and picked up 4 additional dozen from a bakery. To tell the truth, I think I went a little over-board, but I wanted to be sure we had plenty.

I've had Rosy over once before to decorate cookies - Christmas cookies. She really had fun with it and then taught her mom and grandmother to make and decorate cookies. I love it that Rosy likes to share what she is learning with her family.

Once at my house, I turned on some music - Itzhak Perlman - and we started mixing up some frosting. Rosy helped me with opening bottles of color, flavoring, and stirred and stirrred the mixture. Then I showed her one example of decorating a bunny, and let her chose whatever she wanted. She did a great job. We worked well together as a team - and got all of those cookies decorated. We made two beautiful trays of cookies for her to take home.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Exciting Year for My Brother

In 1978, my brother took a sabbatical, of sorts, from the US Navy to be the "doctor" for Palmer Station, a science research center in Antarctica. He was there for about 13 months, being one of 9 that "wintered over." Just last night I ran into a web site in which one of the 9 had included records of those months. I have found them fascinating. Jerry is mentioned in most of them. You can read these "situation reports" - sitreps - by clicking on each date on the left column of his website which can be found here. Note: once the date opens the entry, do a left click on the small print to enlarge it. To read them in chronological order, begin at the bottom of the list. On the 12/12/79 entry, you can read about the Chilean submarine that was brought in by a Japanese film crew to shoot part of the movie, Virus. Also on this site is a photo of the 9 that "wintered over." You can click on Jerry's name to see a stand-alone photo of him. This individual returned to Antarctica for 19 additional years. Check it out on this site. His photos are very nice.

During the time Jerry was stationed there, he surprised us with phone calls - via phone patches done with ham radio. I'm sure Hans remembers this well; Peder and Heidi, I'm not so sure. It was a thrill for us to get that phone call - usually from someone in California - who "patched" us through to Jerry. Jerry would speak for a little bit, and when finished, would say, "over." Then we would talk, ending with "over." I believe we may have heard from him more that year than any other year of his Naval career. I'll never forget how excited we were when a package arrived from Jerry with sweatshirts and t-shirts from Palmer Station for my 3 kids. They proudly wore them often.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So long . . .

I'm saying Auf Wiedersehen, au revoir, arrivederci, adiós, cheerio, Sayonara, 再見, Do pobachennya, farewell, good-bye, good riddance to snow! As of today, most of our snow (lots of it dirty brown) has melted away, and I'm not at all sad about it. We got about 20 inches or so over the Christmas weekend, and it had the nerve to hang around until Thursday and Friday of this week. Thanks to warmer temperatures and some rain (also thunder and lightning), I'm beginning to see signs of Spring! Another sign that Spring is on its way - we turn our clocks ahead before heading to bed tonight.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Family Time

On Saturday cousins Linda and Diane and my sister and I gathered at my Aunt Liz's for a time of visiting and having dinner together. It's funny how we come from many directions and all manage to arrive around the same time. Linda drove up from Chicago; Janet from Rochester; Diane from Blaine. It had been a while since we were all together, and it was fun to catch up on everybody and hear about Aunt Liz's time in Arizona with Pat and Pudge this winter. I have to say, I sure miss Pat at these get-togethers, but I know she is having a great time in the Southwest. You can peek into her blog here. We always have fun during our family times.

Friday, March 05, 2010

You've Got Mail!

"You've got mail!" It's an exciting thing to open the mailbox and see that special envelope - you know, the kind without the window in it. The envelope may be white, or it could be pink, yellow, brown, or whatever. You take it inside your home and can't wait to open it.

Another exciting piece of mail is e-mail. Every one in my family is now "online" and I look forward to hearing from them, as well as my friends. Today I got my first ever email from one of my grandchildren - from my oldest grandchild, Josiah. I could hardly wait for the email to open. It was wonderful! - a thank you note for a card I had snail-mailed him. He typed it entirely by himself (he's 5 years old). I was so happy about it that I phoned him (in Germany) and when Rachel answered the phone, I asked to speak to Josiah. He took the phone and said, "Grandma, did you get my email?!" I loved the excitement in his voice. He was so happy, and I was thrilled! I hope there will be many more emails from him in the future.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Goldbergs

I'm a subscriber of Netflix and am so happy to be finding old classic TV shows. I've now watched the first two seasons of Father Knows Best. Many of the episodes are so good that I watch them twice before returning the DVDs.

Tonight I started watching my new selection The Goldbergs. I can't say that I remember ever seeing this before (created in 1955), but I sure liked the first two episodes: Social Butterfly and Member of the Jury. One of the things that intrigues me with these vintage shows are the furnishings of their homes and their clothes. It reminds me so much of my childhood - and the stories have good, clean humor with good morals. They bring back good memories of growing up in my old neighborhood.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Aurelia's Sleep-over


On Friday night Aurelia came to spend part of the weekend with me. We played and played, read a couple of books, and on Saturday watched the movie Lady and the Tramp. She was such a good girl - per usual. I let her stay up past her bedtime because she was playing so nicely. Then Saturday morning she woke up somewhere around 6 o'clock. I told her it was too early to be up. "Let's sleep a little longer, okay?" We slept until 8:10.

My Olympic Pin Collection

One of the things I wanted to do while in Vancouver was to trade Olympic pins with folks from various places. I wasn't sure how this would work, but to prepare myself, I bought 10 pins online prior to my trip and was willing to trade 7 of them. The night before we went to Vancouver, Heidi and I shopped at an Olympic store in Birch Bay, Washington, and the owner, a former Olympic athlete, showed me how the trading happens. He said to wear my pins on either a scarf draped over my shoulders, or on a lanyard. I chose the lanyard method.

I placed the 7 pins on the lanyard and proudly sported it on the outside of my coat. I stopped the first person I ran into in Vancouver who was wearing pins. He was from Quebec City and agreed to make a trade with me. After that, I found only two people who were willing to trade. I got one pin from Finland, one from the Moscow 1980 Olympics and one from the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. The rest of them on my lanyard are ones that I bought.