Friday, October 30, 2009

Home Again, Home Again Jiggedty Jig

After living in Florida for 20 years, Charles' parents have moved back to Minnesota! Today they found a new home. It's a senior independent living building with the option of adding assited living if and when it's needed. We were so impressed with the staff, the building, the way it is maintained so beautifully, the program, and the grounds. It's just beautiful.

Below: MIL in front of a drawing of the complex and grounds.

This will be their new home!
Furniture will be moved out so their own
can be moved in.

MIL toured the facility in a wheel chair
due to the wound she has on her leg.
She'll be up and around soon, we hope.

below: a beautiful deck, walking path, and woods

Today Elvira was cutting hair!

a common area

dining room as seen from above

dining room

residents return from a van
run to a local grocery store

Impressive! We are pleased that they found a nice place and will have a smooth transition back home to Minnesota. It'll be much better for them to be close to family again!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Beauty and the Beast

In honor of Halloween I decided to show you this cemetery.
It's too pretty to be scary!

Beauty: the fun things that have happened and are about to happen in my week.
Beast: the brutal schedule I've been on this week. I'm worn out and it is only Wednesday.

OK maybe I am having a pity party. My so-called brutal schedule is nothing compared to some. But I'm tired so I claim the right to whine.

I've been super busy at work all week (this is the usual these days. It has been a crazy year!) I started an on-line class and have stayed at the office extra hours to work on that. Had a couple of evening events... FUN (book group was a great discussion and lots of laughs Tuesday night) but it eats up my time.

Just my luck, today on the way to work I had a flat tire and had to drop off my car, which meant my afternoon assignment would take more time as I had to get there and back on city bus. Now I'm waiting for my car. I hope it's finished soon, because I need to fly off to church and help serve and wait tables at the turkey dinner, and turn in my items for the bazaar.

Tomorrow my MIL and SIL will fly in from Florida. My inlaws are moving back to Minnesota. I will pick them up and maybe dump them at home and then fly back to the office to have a computer web-cam conference session for my online class.

The weekend promises to be just as busy. Hubby is driving back from Florida with his dad and brother. So that'll be more arrivals at my house, and more excitement as we help them find some senior housing. This move kind of popped up very quickly. They made the decision, and BOOM - sold their home in Florida and here they are. Whoa! That was fast!!

The foreseeable future looks about as busy and tiring as this week has been. I've had no time to clean my house in preparation for the company. I hope they understand! (It won't be the first time they see my house in chaos mode, but this may be worse than they've seen before.)

Is it Saturday yet? Maybe i can sleep in... then hand out candy to the little ghosts and goblins. How about you? Are you having a Beautiful week or a Beasty one?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Refreshing? Not!

Awww, adorable!
This photo has nothing to do with
what I'm talking about today;
it's just adorable, don't you think?
You might say it's "refreshing?"

You might think I'm going to talk about:

a refreshing day?
a cool, refreshing drink?
refreshing thoughts?
a refreshing swim?

Nope. I'm going to talk about how my blog isn't refreshing posts properly. A while back a friend told me she likes to come to my blog to check other blogs, because it lists how long ago their most recent post was made.

Well, I hope she isn't still counting on that method, because it just hasn't been working. I've been waiting for certain blogs to - come on, post something already! - and finally I checked, and there were several new posts, even though my side bar shows an old, old date as their most recent. And even the 'refresh' button didn't help them refresh. Arrgghh.

Don't depend on silly computer programs to log the truth. When the program doesn't do its job, it's not very refreshing!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ever Wanted to be a Fly on the Wall?

We went out for mid-afternoon lunch/dinner on Sunday, and discovered that it was Trick or Treat time on Grand Avenue. Tons of cute little kids were everywhere, dressed in their Halloween finest.

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? I have never seen this idea as a Halloween costume! Talk about unique! Dad is the "wall," and Baby is the Fly on the Wall. Too cute! Mom was walking alongside, also, perhaps to make sure Dad didn't fall down face first. He does have a couple of eye holes there in the wall. He even noticed me with my camera and stopped so I could get this picture.

At Toy Society I signed up to do a Christmas drop. My friend in Czech Republic agreed to help me, so this toy is getting ready to be shipped and then dropped somewhere in CR for Christmas. Isn't that fun?? If no one else beats me to the punch, this might be the first toy drop in Czech Republic.

If you're interested in doing a Christmas toy drop with Toy Society, please go to the blog and sign up. The toy should be dropped the weekend before Christmas. Last year they dropped 104 toys around the world. Surely we can do more than that this year, can't we?? I'll be interested to see what our grand total will be.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beautiful, Mixed Up Fall

First it was too warm. Then it was too cold, rainy, and cloudy. Then we got snow, even before all the leaves had turned colors.

Finally we got a cool, sunny day ... most of the snow is gone, and the colors are spectacular. It was so great that the gorgeous day fell on Saturday!

Pictures can't do justice to the glorious colors, but it's the best I can do.

I'm thankful for:
1) sunshine
2) gorgeous fall colors
3) friends, old and new
4) church family
5) my entire family, nuclear, extended, and shirttail

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nettie and Friends

It has already been a fun Saturday, and it’s just barely past noon.

This morning I went out for breakfast with a nice bunch of strangers. We are the “Friends” of Nettie and Friends:

Nettie is a Special Ed kindergarten teacher in St. Paul. A few years ago she decided to sell some of her hand-made items, and put the money toward the special ed programs at her school. That first sale was quite successful, and took off from there. More people joined the cause. The sale eventually was moved to a local restaurant that hosts the show every year during the month of December. Last year they raised $7,000 for special ed!!

Nettie is energetic and contagiously-nice. We all met at the restaurant and ate together, and had Show and Tell of the items we made for the sale. This is my first time participating. If you plan to be in the St. Paul area any time in December, try to fit in a visit to the Egg and I Restaurant (University Ave at Hwy 280) and purchase some of the lovely items.

Nettie is thrilled that this money-raising effort has been so helpful to her local school programs. They have been able to take the kids on field trips, buy school uniforms, and help families when they experience a particular need or crisis (provide bed sheets, bus cards to make sure the kids make it to school, funding for continued hot lunch opportunity for each kid, etc. etc) I am proud to be able to help!

I donated one baby quilt, one small table runner, and six toys. It was going to be seven toys, but there was a cute little kid there to whom I gave a toy, so then I had only six left.

On a slightly different topic, I decided to donate my toys to several different programs this year:
1) prizes for kids at the Halloween party at my church (10/31)
2) bazaar at my church which raises money for mission work (10/28)
3) Nettie and Friends sale, benefitting St Paul Schools Special Ed (month of Dec.)
4) bazaar at my former church, also raising money for missions (11/07)

The Nettie and Friends sale is actually the last on the calendar of the above 4 events, but the due date for turning in items was today.

These are happy times, and as Nettie says, it’s exciting just to be alive!

the toys I put in the Nettie and Friends sale

the little girl to whomI gave a toy...
here she and her brother are playing with it

Feast your eyes on just SOME of
the beautiful items that will be
sold during the month of December.
There is much more, but you'll have
to visit Nettie's blog and see all the
items that are (or will be) posted at her Flickr account.

pins, ornaments, card holders etc etc

this large quilt will be sold
via silent auction - come and
bid on it!

look familiar?

large variety of purses and bags

hand-made wooden pens

my toys!

During breakfast, several women were knitting... do you suppose they are getting a good start on donations for next year's sale??

Friday, October 23, 2009

Around the House (a Life Examined)

Around the House: October

Reading: Oxygen by Carol Cassella. It started out pretty compelling, but it gets weaker as it goes on. Now I just want it to be done.

Enjoying: My last year at work. I'll retire in June, and that gives me an interesting perspective while on the job.

Learning: how to be a mother-in-law.

Watching: Favorite new TV shows: Middle (Patricia Heaton and her goofy family.. I love the boy, Brick, who whispers repeated words into his chest. Cracks me up!) and Modern Family (another goofy family story. I love watching how much giggling Charles does over this show.)

Anticipating: Thanksgiving. It'll be here before you know it, and is one of my favorite holidays.

Realizing: how my personality has affected me in ways I didn't notice until I reached an older, wiser age and stage in life. Why does wisdom have to come too late??

Pondering: Whether I can pull off participating in a quilting cruise in 2011.

Studying: how to be a better interpreter. I just registered for an online class that is going to take up hours for reading, practicing, doing homework, discussion on the online bulletin board, etc. Maybe by the time I retire I'll finally be an OK interpreter.

Wondering: about Autumn.

Remembering: my dad. I remember him fondly and miss him.

Praying: for patience and wisdom.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Views of St Paul Cathedral

Check out my friend B's new blog, here:

B is a dang good knitter, fast, talented, and gives away most of what she makes. My daughter and I have been the lucky recipients of some of her knitted gems. She has also helped supply some wonderful knitted items to a charity or two that I pointed out to her. She posted a cute knitting video (about 6 min. long) that you might want to see. Super cute.

B posted a pic of the St Paul Cathedral, surrounded by fall color leaves and a little misty cloudiness. A few years ago I took a lot of pictures of the city of St Paul, and I found myself especially fond of unusual views of the Cathedral. It's a big part of the St Paul skyline, so how could I not have fun with it? I told B to watch my blog for a fall picture of the Cathedral, taken from the building in which B works. So.. here it is. Here's another one, taken last January. (This is the weather we have to look forward to... oh, joy.) Maybe you'll see more View of St Paul Cathedral in the next few days/weeks, depending on how my days unfold.

Tonight Charles and I set aside for "paperwork night." We had to fill out insurance forms (open enrollment time) and some other monkey business on paper. Charles is good at figuring it all out and just asking me to add my signature. Makes it pretty easy for me! I know. I'm spoiled.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Days of Our Lives

Answers to yesterday's trivia:

Beth wins the prize for explaining why Alexandria calls itself the "birthplace of America." haha! No, she doesn't. Good guess, though. Here are the trivia answers:

1) Radar was invented in Germany, and Doppler radar in Austria (developed by a woman whose last name was Doppler!)

2) Pig's Eye

3) In 1898 the Kensington Runestone was found on the farm of Olaf Ohman, near Alexandria. The Kensington Runestone carvings allegedly tell of a journey of a band of Vikings who arrived in the area in 1362. The debate about the Runestone's authenticity continues to this day. Alexandria chooses to claim its historical truth and therefore proves that the Alexandria area was "discovered" long before Columbus arrived 130 years later.

[Just a nod to the correction of history. There was a beautiful, large land populated by many people. In 1492 a guy arrived on a ship, planted a flag, and pretended the place was now his. The inhabitants of the land "discovered" Mr. Columbus and found out they didn't much like him.]

4) Duluth

5) St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud

Now here is my list of what I'm thankful for:

1) my book group - nice, supportive, funny women

2) making things and giving them away
3) beautiful fall colors and sunshine

4) my job

5) my plans for the future - exciting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

Last week I did St. Paul trivia, so this week I'll do Minnesota.

1) Which of the following was NOT invented in Minnesota?
masking and scotch tape
the bundt pan
the stapler
Tonka trucks

2) What was the original name of the settlement that became St. Paul?

3) Why does Alexandria, Minnesota claim to be the "birthplace of America?"

4) The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing oceangoing ships to reach what Minnesota city?

5) Minnesota Quilters Guild sponsors a large quilt show every year in June (one of the largest all-volunteer-run quilt shows in the country). The show rotates between 4 cities. Name the cities.