Monday, July 30, 2012


L to R: Shannon,  yours truly, Mitch, Gregg, Pat, Pete, Joe

Tonight I had dinner with 7 former colleagues — dear friends from my last employment. I worked with these folks from June 1994 - January 2001.

In 1994, I was working for a mortgage company. The day after Memorial Day weekend, my boss called me into her office and told me the mortgage business had grown cold and regretfully she had to let me go. What on earth was I going to do? Heidi was just finishing her junior year of high school and in March I had just bought a new car.

The next day, being unemployed, I rode to Faribault with my friend, Lil, so she could get an applicant's signature on some loan application documents. While talking to her, it suddenly came into my mind, "Why don't I call Pete who had come to our mortgage office a couple of times to talk to our manager about buying a new phone system for our business?" I had visited with him quite a bit while he waited in our lobby. So the following day I called him. He had an opening, so asked me to come out for an interview. Long story shortened: I got the job! I was unemployed only 3 days!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beautiful Wedding

It was a gorgeous summer day in the twin cities yesterday. Since the wedding was outdoors, that was wonderful. The bride's family is Irish, so it was appropriate for a bagpiper to supply the music. Playing  Loch Lomond as the wedding processional, our friend's husband proudly walked his daughter down the aisle.

Beautiful Debra watching her daughter and husband coming down the aisle

 Our first glimpse of Megan

Megan's dress was gorgeous!

The happy couple!

Debra looked lovely.

Following the ceremony, we made our way through the receiving line and then entered the tastefully decorated dining room.

Standing near the wedding cake are my friends and I. L to R: Bonnie, yours truly, Laurey, and Nancy. The cake was yummy!

We were so anxious to talk to Debra about the wedding - to hear special details and tell her how honored we were to have been invited. After a social time, we were served a delicious dinner (We chose our entree when we completed our RSVP. I selected the walleye dinner and it was marvelous!), followed by the wedding cake. It was so good!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I succumbed!

Okay, you know how it is when you see something (or smell something) and can't get it out of your mind. Your thoughts go over it and over it: should I or shouldn't I? What would it look like in my setting? Will it hold up over time? Is there something I like better? And the hardest question to answer of all: Do I really need this? Well, that's often the last question.

I mulled it over and over, went back the following week but was disappointed to not be able to find it. So, I asked those in charge, "You know that booth that was here last week that had the beautiful garden ornaments? Are they scheduled to return?" "Yes, they'll be here again on Saturday, July 28." That allowed me more time to mull it over. I wrote the date on my calendar and returned this morning to buy this:

See that red polka dot teapot at the front of the second row from the right? That's the one I bought. It was a tough decision!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Desi's Back!

Seated at the left is Joanne. On Sunday, she'll be at the grand piano. Desi, on the right, will be at our organ. Tonight's rehearsal was like old times.

Desi at the organ during one of our past Christmas concerts.

Nearly two  years ago, Desi, our church organist, retired. It made me so sad. It's not that I didn't want him to enjoy his life, but it was the selfish part of me that didn't want to go to church and not be able to listen to his incredible playing. Don't get me wrong - listening to the music is not why I go to church, but music is a big part of my worship. To have excellent accompaniment for our choir and congregational singing is important. It makes it seamless. Our church is blessed to have a Visser-Rowland Pipe Organ which is quite impressive. In my opinion, no one plays it like Desi.

Well, to my surprise, when I arrived for choir rehearsal tonight, Desi was there and he's playing for our services this next Sunday. What joy that will be! I couldn't keep from smiling.

You've Got Mail

This week I got a special envelope in the mail. In it were two sweet letters – one from Josiah and one from Annika. What a treat! Each one was well written and newsy. They included drawings which I really enjoyed. Today I called them and got to talk to each of them. How fun! Josiah told me about his new toy which I believe he calls a 3DS. According to him — and Annika — it's really cool! I'm not exactly sure what it is or how it is played, but it has brought them some fun. That's good.  Annika told me she has been having good times going to the beach. These kids are so cute and bring me such joy! Thank you, Josiah and Annika.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2nd Annual Neighborhood Picnic

Today I hosted the 2nd annual neighborhood picnic in my back yard. Again, I invited everyone in my building and everyone in the building across from my back yard. In addition to that, I invited 4 of the folks in the building that looks out at our back yard. This adds up to 24 condos that were invited. I was pleased that 16 folks showed up this time, and we had a lot of fun. The only negative thing that I'm aware of was the heat. When will this ridiculous heat streak end!! I am more than tired of it. With the humidity, I was just dripping and stopped to put on all fresh clothes minutes before the event was to begin.

This morning I shopped at our Farmer's Market for this beautiful bouquet of flowers (a bargain at $5!) and went to the dollar store for the helium balloons. I had to keep them out in the common hallway until it was time to set things up outdoors so Nels would leave them alone. He would have loved coming outside to meet everyone. Maybe he can sit out in the screen porch next summer so he'll feel more of a part of the picnic. As of now, the porch is not finished.

We had a nice variety of food. Everyone is so good about bringing things.

This event has become a good opportunity to get to know my/our neighbors. 

I tried to get photos of everyone who came, but like last year, a few came late and I didn't get pictures of them. This time two men attended.

Monday, July 16, 2012


This is Journey
Is the name you choose for your pet important? As you know, Heidi has a Golden Retriever named Brian. While at the dog park one day, she called "Brian, come!" A man near her yelled, "Heidi, get over here!" Know what? You guessed it: The man's name was Brian, and of course, my daughter is named Heidi. Funny.

One of my co-workers, Charlene, has a two year old cat named Journey and a new 13 or so week old kitten. A couple of weeks ago she was on vacation and had a friend come to her home to feed the cats. Somehow the door didn't latch properly on the Friday night and Journey got out.

Charlene got home Sunday night and started looking for her lost cat. She hung posters with Journey's photo and talked to many of her neighbors. No one had seen her. There's a large quarry that butts up to the property - with a high berm separating them. Charlene crossed the berm and spotted Journey. When she called her, the cat ran into some tall grass and escaped. Since then Charlene and her dad and sister have looked and looked for her. They got reports that Journey had been spotted one evening by a lawn sprinkler, and also seen crossing the street at 3 am one day. Charlene had put a live-bait trap in her back yard with a can of tuna in it hoping to lure her beloved pet. No luck.

This morning someone reported having seen the cat in a storm sewer near Charlene's home. Charlene contacted the city and asked for help. This afternoon two city workers came out and flushed Journey out of a passage into a net. As of 2:30, Charlene and Journey are reunited. When I talked to her shortly after learning this good news, I said she should change her cat's name to Stay Put. If you're not a pet owner, you probably won't appreciate this blog post. But if you are, you know how much your pet means to you. I'm so happy this turned out for Charlene and Journey.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Screen Porch - Phase 3

I came home from work today just in time to see them finishing the installation of the screen door. What's next? The paint, followed by the screened walls. It shouldn't be long until I can invite you over for a lemonade and a chance to visit. I'll let you know.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Screen Porch - Phase 2

Here's progress! What's next? I believe it will be paint. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Screen Porch - Phase 1

I was very pleased to come home from work yesterday and see some of the framework has been put up on my new screen porch. Today even more work was done. Things are looking up! I'll keep posting as I see more progress.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

. . . because you can never have too many dishes!

Many years ago, I adopted a motto: YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY DISHES. From whom or where I got my love for dishes, I'm not sure. I do know my Aunt Liz loved dishes, as does my cousin, Pat. Did our love come from my Grandma Hazel? Not sure.

On my recent vacation to Seattle, I stopped in one of my favorite stores: Polish Pottery Place, where I bought two new dinner plates. Today I used one for my lunch. So fun!

Polish Pottery made in Boleslawiec, a small town in south-western Poland.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Lunch with three of my grandkids

After getting home from the Farmers' Market this morning, I got a phone call from Peder who wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch. Yes, I'd be happy to meet them. I'm so fortunate to have one of my kids near by where I can see him and his family now and then. They're all doing well - except for Peder, who has a cold. Hopefully it will be short-lived.

Leo, now 85 days old. He's not quite sure of Grandma D. Hopefully that will change over time.

Felix - he seems to always be smiling

Aurelia - getting so grown up. She starts kindergarten this fall!

Farmers' Market

Since walking out the door at the Minneapolis Lindbergh terminal on Tuesday, I have been enduring temperatures in the 100s - yes, 101 and 103 for three days in a row. Let's just say — it's been beastly! Last night, however, in about a two hour span, the temperature dropped to 77 degrees. And this gets better — I woke up to 65 degrees this morning! The first thing I did was open windows. Oh, it is wonderful!

After breakfast and tidying up a bit, I felt inspired to go to our local Farmers' Market - first time this summer for me.
I wasn't the only one to have this idea. Many, many folks were there — some were sitting in the shade at the promenade, enjoying fresh treats.

These home canned jars of fruit, jam and pickles looked so good.

Check out these home-baked goods. I behaved myself and walked right on by.

Get this ~ live entertainment! While I don't know their name, I must say their music was very good.

Very interesting garden ornaments. I liked many of them, but didn't buy any. I was on a mission to purchase fresh vegetables.

I bought green beans, kohlrabi , and a beautiful head of cabbage. Yum! These are going to be delicious!

While I would have loved to have gotten one of these bouquets, I know better. Nels would most likely think I had brought them for him to eat, so I resisted. I thought this lady on the right was so cute!

BUGGIE sporting shades! They make a huge difference.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

My Wonderful Time In Seattle

I have just returned from 12 great days in Seattle and the surrounding area with Heidi and her family. My sister and I were very busy while we were there. I took hundreds of photos, am including some of them here.

Marshall on a swing at the park

Heidi, following the Rock & Roll half marathon in Seattle

Seattle has a store that I love to frequent: Daiso. This is a "dollar store," of sorts, with all of the items from Japan at $1.50 each, with a few exceptions. Here Marshall is modeling one of the masks. We didn't buy it.

Heidi, Janet and Marshall outside the Museum of Flight. This was a fabulous museum - one I would love to visit again.

We toured not only this "out of commission"
Air Force One, but also a Concord, and a few others.

Inside one of the jets

Janet viewing an Apollo space capsule

One of the things that fascinate me when visiting Seattle are the beautiful flowers - no matter what time of year I visit. These are dogwood in bloom a couple of blocks from Heidi's home. Beautiful!

Marshall on the light rail on our way to the Space Needle. He LOVES trains!

The Space Needle was part of the Seattle World's Fair 50 years ago this year. 

This ice cream tastes so good!

Heidi with Marshall by one of the many waterfalls on our way up Mount Rainier.

Marshall loved pushing the buttons on the model of Mt. Rainier inside the Visitor Center.

Visitors hiking up an area at Paradise - the uppermost part of Mt. Rainier that can be reached by automobile. At this level we are at 5400 feet on the south side of Mt. Rainier in Mt. Rainier National Park. At this site, there is a beautiful Visitor Center and a hotel. Heidi and Marshall walked up the steps and reached into the snow to make a snowball.

Sitting at one of the tables in the Paradise Hotel

Heidi loaned Janet and me her car for a couple of days so we could drive to Leavenworth, Washington, which is one of my favorite destinations. Leavenworth is nestled in the Cascade Mountains and was revamped to be a Bavarian town in the early 60s to keep their community vibrant. 

On the sidewalk in Leavenworth

There's a wonderful article on Leavenworth here.

I love this architecture!

Just east of Leavenworth are groves and groves of cherry, pear and apricot trees. We drove up to this one where we were amazed at the bing cherries . . .

and Mt. Rainier cherries.

Driving around Leavenworth the second morning, we noticed houses high up on the ridge of a mountain. Janet said, "I wonder how they get up there?" I said there has to be a way. We drove a bit more when we noticed a hard-packed dirt road with a sign warning no winter maintenance would be given to this road. We decided to check it out. It was one lane wide with bump outs every now and then. 

Janet stopped the car often so I could pop out to take a photo. This was one of our views. Awesome!

We happened onto this home one can rent - Antler Hideaway. It sure looked nice to me!

We also spotted these beautiful Goat's Beard flowers among the birch trees.

Driving back to Seattle, we couldn't resist stopping for more pictures. This one is yours truly by the winding Wenatchee River.

Check out this video of Deception Falls. This is an amazing falls coming down from the Cascade Mountain near Stevens Pass.

Sweet Marshall

Brian. Like Grandma, he's getting some white hairs.

On Sunday, we visited our Minnesota friend, Jodi, in her new Seattle home.

Heidi helping Marshall climb the apricot tree in Jodi's backyard

Jodi and Marshall

My sweet grandson and yours truly

Should we buy this magnifying glass?

Brian wearing his new "thunder vest," a secured band that is meant to give him comfort during thunder storms and fireworks - both things that alarm Brian. He wasn't happy about the vest - and felt quite warm. I'll be curious to learn if this helped him tonight (July 4th).

Heidi made this "Freedom" train cake while we were there. Yum!

On our final night together, we went bowling. This was really fun!

Thanks to Heidi and Chad for their wonderful hospitality. I had a great time, and after spending these quality days with Heidi and her family, I miss them very much.