Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you! Thanks to my friend, Sharon, I am dressed as a college graduate (with distinction). It's been fun so far—I'm getting a lot of positive comments on my outfit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Nels!

Today is Nels' 4th birthday, and for his birthday treat, he got to eat a bowl of tuna juice. He absolutely loved it!

I have had Nels for the past 34 months. When Annika and I adopted him from the Humane Society, we believed him to be 3 years old. Then when I took him to my veterinarian for his check-up, I was told he was 13 or 14 months old. They told me to choose a birthday for him, so I chose October 29th. Initially he was really too "kitten-like" for me—getting into everything, chewing electrical cords, and so on. But this last year, or even past half year, he has become a really nice pet. He loves curling up in my lap, and purrs and purrs. He still loves sleeping under the covers with me, and is so cozy. Happy Birthday, Nels! I love you.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Regina's Candy Store Annual Tour

Today my friend, Pam, came with me to tour Regina's Candy Store. She had never been there before, so she was a really good sport, in my opinion.  I think this may have been my fourth tour since 1992, and I really enjoyed it, as always. It blesses my heart to see the fourth and fifth generation of this family working there today.

The small store was abuzz when we arrived. We got our tickets (free) for the next tour which was to begin in less than a half hour. When our time came, we donned our hairnets and off we went to the start of the tour.

This time the tour had an addition: a film showing the various stages of making their famous peppermint candy canes. I loved seeing this because I have purchased many, many candy canes over the years. They are one of two companies in the U. S. to still make candy canes by hand. And, they're beautiful!

Pam has a blog—actually, her two cats have the blog. After she got home today, her "boys" wrote a new post. They allowed Pam to write her account of the tour and post photos, as well. You can read it here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Volunteer Opportunity

Twice a year, our company offers the opportunity to volunteer at a local charity. The charities of choice for this year are Bridging and Feed My Starving Children. I chose the Bridging and our day to help out was yesterday. This is the organization to which I donated my sofa bed earlier this fall.

Here's the deal: people donate all manner of items to this fine agency, but not all things are needed to help someone just being released from prison, or living in a house with no furniture, or just plain poor. They need the basics: couch, kitchen table, dishes, beds and bedding, and towels. They don't need a grandfather clock, a china cabinet, lead crystal vases, CDs, and you get the idea. It makes more sense for these "bigger ticket" items to be sold and the money spent for towels, bedding, pillows, mattresses, and so on. Our volunteer task was to unpack such "unnecessary" items and get them ready to be sold over next three weekends in a big sale. Bridging rented two vacant spaces next door to each other in a little mall near my home – one shop will feature the smaller items; the other with furniture and accessories.

LaVonne is sorting linens.

Chris is unpacking silver items.

Jennifer sorting jewelry

Dave L and Dave H moving furniture

Taking a little break 

Sharon and yours truly polishing antique chairs

I managed to get some Old English Scratch Cover on my cheek. Thankfully it washed off.

Raela and Amanda completely assembled two of these curio cabinets.

When I first arrived, I spotted some dishes I thought I would really like to have, but after working on this stuff most of the afternoon, I decided I don't need them.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Aurelia's Sleep-over

It's been quite awhile since Aurelia spent an overnight with me, but all of the stars aligned for this to happen last night. After her family dropped her off, we went to Perkin's where she enjoyed buttermilk pancakes, bacon and apple juice for dinner. She asked to go there because she thinks Perkin's is "fancy." Following that, I took her to a local Dollar Tree store and told her she could buy whatever she wanted for $3. To my surprise, she had never been in a Dollar Store before. She was quite amazed at all it had to offer.

Initially, she looked at the Halloween items. Some of those items were rather "tacky," or even "spooky." She picked up a big, black rubber rat! Thankfully, she only giggled over it and then put it back. Then she discovered there were long aisles of toys! And there was another aisle of craft and school items. I could tell she was enjoying this! What joy she had looking at all of the helium filled balloons.

After scanning most of the aisles, she made her way back to the toys, where she chose a package with a blue plastic pony with long blue, glittery hair, a comb and two star barrettes. She also chose a set of "jewelry" for a bride: a pearl necklace, a silver watch, a big plastic heart to hang on the necklace, a beaded bracelet, a wedding band, and an engagement ring, plus a wedding certificate. And then, the pièce de résistance, a large pink and purple lollipop! You would have thought she won the million dollar lottery. I have to say, I had fun watching her evaluate everything and then happily take her choices to the checkout line.

There's the lollipop, which Aurelia said tasted grape and cherry, plus the blue horsey next to her. No, I did not let her eat all of it. 

Sporting the new jewelry: beads, silver wrist watch, wedding rings, and bracelet.

This morning we opened the purchases and she had fun playing with them while watching some TV. Before lunch time, we got dressed and and went for a little walk outside to gather pretty fall leaves. After picking up a nice collection, we brought them into the house and pressed them between waxed paper – to make them last longer.

Assembling the leaves onto waxed paper

Covering the leaves with a second sheet of waxed paper

Pressing the sheets of waxed paper between two sides of a brown paper bag

Lifting the waxed coated leaves off of the waxed paper

Now the leaves are ready for display and will last for weeks.

After lunch we watched the Disney movie, Cinderella. What a delightful time we have had!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Foliage

The leaves have been rapidly changing colors here this week. It seems like it was so sudden. Here are a few photos of the trees in my neighborhood.

Morning sunrise today. My camera doesn't do it justice.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

My college is 100 years old this year!

Beautiful chandelier under the dome
I took the day off Friday and attended the first day celebration of my college's 100th Anniversary – Minnesota Bible College. While I didn't graduate, the people who taught me during that time made a huge impact on my life, but I didn't really appreciate that until Friday. Special speakers were Paul Boatman, Leroy Randall, Jon Grice, and Ben Cachiaras. Videos were from Earl Grice, Jim Strauss, Richard Hogan, and others. Each of these individuals shared just how much the college helped shape them. I realized, it helped shape me, too.

The college sold our beautiful building which was located on University Avenue and 15th Avenue SE in Minneapolis - in Dinky Town - back in 1975 and relocated in Rochester. At that time, they also changed the name to Crossroads College.

This is how the college looked some 90 - 100 years ago. This is prior to University Avenue being widened and the University of Minnesota encroaching.

This is how it looks today. After it was sold, it was eventually turned into a shopping mall (because we don't have enough of those!). I have been in it once, but it's actually sad. Those who came to the celebration were given a tour of the building on Thursday. I decided to pass.

A highlight for me Friday was singing in the mass choir. Former and current students joined in. I was by far one of the older ones. But that didn't matter to me. I really enjoyed it! Also, more than once the entire gathering sang the familiar choir theme song, Sing, Sing, Sing!

Sing, Sing, Sing!
Sing, sing, sing praise to the Savior the whole day long!
Sing, sing, with voices ringing in heart-felt song.
Sing, sing, what e're betide you,
Sing for the joy of the Lord that's inside you,
Sing to the King!
Sing, sing, glad in His service,
Sing, Sing, Sing!