Sunday, September 26, 2010


I'm an animal lover - well, I love many animals. My favorite large animal is the giraffe. I have had more than a few pets in my life time: fish, cats, one dog - a St. Bernard, and canaries. At the present time, I have two pets: a beta fish at my office named Jonah, and a canary in my home, Peppi, who turns 3 years old this coming Wednesday, September 29.

Today Peppi got his cage cleaned, which is sort of an ordeal, but one that makes me feel like I've accomplished something when all is washed and put back together again. Canaries are singers, and unlike most other pet birds, are not meant to be handled. Peppi lives his days in a very pretty white cage, next to corner windows, which allows him to see activity outside as well as me and any guests I have. About every six months, I have to reach into his cage to catch him in one hand in order to gently hold him to clip his claws. He is very quick, and flies from one side to the other; to the top and then to the bottom. With a little luck and patience, I'm able to grab him. The first time I had to do this, I was as frighten as he was. I held him ever so gently, being careful to not squeeze him too tight. I could feel his little heart pounding. He pulled his nails into a fist-like position, and I had to carefully unfold each toe to clip the nail, being sure to not trim too close to the blood supply. When I had done all the toes, I placed him back inside his cage and let him try to compose himself. But today I decided to hold him just a bit longer and I stroked the top of his sweet little head. It was really nice getting to touch him in this way. And I think he liked it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy 60th, Aunt Ginny & Uncle Allan

Aunt Ginny with her birthday cake

Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny

The happy couple 60 years ago!

Uncle Allan donned his Navy hat for me.

Lorna, my first cousin once removed, modeled Aunt Ginny's wedding dress.

Row 1: Aunt Ginny & Uncle Allan
Row 2: Dave, Linda, Diane, and John

Happy Anniversary!

This past weekend Aunt Liz, Pat, Janet, Jerry and I drove to Indiana to celebrate my Aunt Ginny's 80th birthday and her and Uncle Allan's 60th wedding anniversary! This event was hosted by their kids Dave, Linda, Diane and John.
Aunt Ginny and Uncle Allan have been an important part of my life. Aunt Ginny is my mother's youngest sister. The summer after my 4th grade, I was privileged to ride with them from Minnesota to their home on Long Island, New York. It was a trip I'll never forget, because I had never been that far away from home before. I stayed with them two weeks. The second week my mom, dad, brother and sister arrived. During that time we got to go to several places: toured the UN building; stood outside the window of the Today Show; went to the Ed Sullivan Show; went to the top of the Chrysler Building, toured the Statue of Liberty; rode on the Staten Island Ferry; swam in the Atlantic Ocean at Rockaway Beach; and spent lots of fun days playing with my cousins.

The summer after my dad died, I spent the month of June with them. They lived in the Chicago area at that time. Again, I had fun playing with my cousins. They are very special to me.

At the anniversary celebration on Saturday, my four cousins paid tribute to their parents. Their remarks are impossible for me to record here, but let me say, they were touching and memorable. From one of them I learned only 2% of married couples make it to 60 years of marriage. Aunt Ginny and Uncle Allan attributed their long marriage to the commitment they made years ago. They have been wonderful role models for us. Once again, Happy Anniversary Aunt Ginny and Uncle Allan!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Autumn Is In the Air

We have been having what I consider perfect weather since Saturday. The humidity is gone, and the temperatures are in the upper 60's and lower 70's. It's nice to wear a sweater again, and to ride in my new car with the sun roof slanted open just a bit. Now, if only this would last until around December 15th! Is that asking too much?

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Last Seven Days

The last seven days have been full to the top! No wonder I'm tired today. Here's a recap:
  • Friday: drove to Branson, Missouri, with Aunt Liz, Pat, Janet, and my sister-in-law, Donna. This trip took us 14 1/2 hours - a trip that usually takes my friends Jim & Lil 9 hours - reason being we have more needs and probably more interests. Also, we got on a wrong highway in Kansas City and ended up in a big traffic jam due to an overturned tanker.
  • Saturday: walked over a mile in Lil's beautiful neighborhood, including touring two new model homes. In the afternoon we went to see Noah, the Musical, which is a fabulous portrayal of the Biblical story. After going to a pizza place for supper, we went to the show, The Haygoods, which features a family of seven who sing and play various instruments. It was very enjoyable.
  • Sunday: we went to church with Jim & Lil and spent the rest of the day at their home - visiting, eating, and singing, and capped off the day watching a very nice fireworks display from across the lake. Also, this was Hans' 40th birthday, so I called him and we got to chat for a little bit. He was a bit distracted due to unpacking things from their move.
  • Monday: this was mostly a repeat of Friday, only we made it home in 13 1/2 hours, shaving off an hour. I'm trying to decide if I'm a candidate for long car trips in the future.
  • Tuesday: back to work. Since I had been off on Friday, I had tons of emails and other work to do. I ended up working nearly 9 hours.
  • Wednesday: after working all day, I went to choir rehearsal.
  • Thursday: after once again working all day, I went to a pot-luck supper at a friends' home where we watched the Vikings take another licking by the Saints. On the way home, a loosely capped jar of bread & butter pickles spilled inside a cloth bag on the floor in my new car. I knew right away I was smelling vinegar, but couldn't stop on the highway.
  • Today: I took my car to a car wash where they shampooed the removable carpet mat. The pickle problem is solved. I'm going to clean Peppi's cage in a few minutes.
  • Tomorrow: I'm going to a big neighborhood garage sale that's held annually in a very nice neighborhood. Pat is going with me, and Sarah may join us there. Should be fun.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Blog Neglect

My cousin never updates her blog. It's disgusting. She's a lot of fun, does unusual things almost every day - funny you don't read about her in the New York Times. Anyway, she's sitting beside me, and I'm pestering her to update her blog. The last time she wrote was back in March. With such an active, fun, interesting life, wouldn't you think she'd want to share it? If you want to egg her on, leave a comment on my blog, and I'll be sure she sees it.

Don't Try to Take the Light Rail Tonight!

Tonight for the first time in history, both the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings will be playing in downtown Minneapolis. The reason this has never happened before is because until this year, both teams have shared the same facility. They are anticipating 100,000 will be coming to these games tonight, which are only about 7 or 8 blocks from each other. Add to that, the performance of Wicked, at one of the downtown theaters. They expect 4,000 patrons to attend that event. And that's not all - the Minnesota Gophers are also playing in Minneapolis tonight. Do you think that's a a lot? Well, there's one more big event transpiring in the twin cities - the Minnesota State Fair. The fair is known to have the largest attendance in the United States for a 10 day event. Just yesterday, 175,000 folks passed through the gates of the fair.

Which one am I attending? None. BUGGIE and I are settled in for the night. If I weren't leaving for Branson in the morning, I might be tempted to venture out for one of these.