Sunday, December 31, 2006


Happy New Year's Eve from Memphis, TN. Seems we got into Memphis over an hour late because we sat on the plane at Minneapolis for over an hour before taking off. Broken toilet or some such thing that kept us from taking off. Then of course they had to de-ice, so we were really late. They put us up at the Holiday Inn here in Memphis and gave us vouchers for dinner and breakfast. And I found out we are called distressed travelers. Sounds worse than it is! We fly out tomorrow morning at about 9:30. More then.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I know that many of you are taking down the tree, putting away the decorations for another year, and trying desperately to return your home to normal. We finally had our family Christmas party today, postponed because of my stomach flu. I was so happy that we could change the plans and have our get together today, and probably cause yet another meltdown or two with the excess people, excitement and food, and obvious change of routines. Three of the four families that were here today have younger kids, and I know it is about time that enough is enough of everything.

Our oldest grandchild had to go to work, but she came early and visited before work. Thank you Kjirsten! We love you and are so proud of you. Working full time and going to college full time is a real accomplishment. Her sister Katie and brother Aaron both probably had much better things to do on an weekday afternoon off from school, but they also came and each took their turn watching the little ones at the pool. Katie, too, is working many hours and going to college full time, and is doing so well. We are proud of you and love you dearly. Aaron has a job over break now, and we appreciate that you also took time off to come to our party. Thanks! Study hard kid! Love you, too.

Then comes the whole gang of boys.....Jacob, Caleb, Joe, Justin, Adam, Ben and Nicolas! Boy did they keep things lively! Caleb had a new video camera, and he made lots of funny videos of one of them pushing the other into the pool or other crazy "boy" things. These guys are all so much fun to have around, and they were all well behaved. We love each and every one of them so much. Thanks for keeping us entertained guys. You are the best! Hope you got enough pop, chips, candy and cookies to keep you going. (Brush your teeth extra good tonight!)

Last are the three little girls who were there, Jaden, Madison, and Anna. Jaden looked and acted so grown up as she quietly sat and played with a new electronic gadget that she got for Christmas, and with her new CD player already plugged into her ears. Madison spent time sitting in the corner, stuffing her mouth and backpack with handfuls of candy. Chocolate is good, isn't it, sweetie? And Anna enjoyed getting and giving a massage with her mom's hand lotion. She was at the food table with a clean plate every 15 minutes or so, and helped put a good dent into the meat and cheese plate. You girls are so special to us, and we love you all more than you could know.

Also here today were three of our sons and one daughter, and all of their spouses. I want to tell each of you that you are all doing an awesome job raising your kids. Dad and I are so proud of you all. Anyone can see how much you love your kids by the way that you talk to them and interact with them. My grandkids are so lucky to have you guys as their parents. Maybe they won't always appreciate you now, but in the end they will thank you for raising them to be the wonderful people that they are growing up to be.

You are all loved dearly, and greatly missed. Thank you for the memories of today that I will hold in my heart until we come back to see you all again this spring. God bless you all and keep you healthy, happy and safe until then.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Regifting is really big right now, and I believe I was the recepient of such a gift. Someone (sounds like it could be anyone in Southern Minnesota) gave me the stomach flu. Last night I was wrapping the few gifts I had left, and I started feeling a bit woozy. By 10:30 I was sick. Really sick. I didn't sleep all night because I was making such frequent trips to the bathroom. And I haven't slept yet today because my head hurts. And I had to wait until my stomach settled down to take a pain pill for the head and the aches. I am hoping that the worst is now over. Obviously we had to postpone our Christmas party, planned for the breakfast room here at the motel. Hopefully we'll be able to get people together later this week. It will be a challenge trying to work around work schedules but there is nothing we can do about it. I have the sloppy joe mix in Kari's freezer, and the buns and chips and cheese and crackers will be fine.

We were down at Kari and Mike's home last night for their family Christmas. Katie gave us the softest blanket I've ever seen. It's brown with moose on it, and I have been wrapped up in it since last night. It makes a great sick blanket Katie and Clayton. Thanks! Kari and Mike gave me a pair of pj's, brown and tourquise bottoms with a brown top. So I took a hot bath about an hour ago and put on the new jammies. I may be sick, but I am color coordinated.

I wish each of you a blessed Christmas and pray you are focusing on the Babe in the manger.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Good morning and a Merry Christmas Eve. We are off to church in just a few minutes, but we have to make one more stop at the store before we can relax and focus on the real meaning of Christmas, the Babe in the manger. We have to stop by the grocery store to purchase the buns for the sloppy joes that will be the main dish at our motel Christmas party tomorrow. I made up the meat last night down at daughter Kari's home. The rest of the meal tomorrow will be snackie things; things I can put together in a motel room.

Yesterday I was out with the rest of the population of Minnesota, darting in and out of the stores, perusing the toy aisles carefully, and becoming more and more anxious with each passing minute. I searched more stores than I can name for skateboard stuff. We have a grandson who is into skateboarding, and I was off to find him a ramp for his mini skateboards. No such thing left in this town. I searched and searched. Fortunately I had a 14 year old expert with me, and he looked above, below and behind all the toys in the aisle where the skateboard toys are displayed, but there was nothing. Okay, I switched gears and decided I could maybe find a video showing how to do different tricks. Oh, I found a couple of videos, but nothing age appropriate. I asked the salesperson about the content of the videos, and he told me they were VERY mature and unless I was prepared for the language on them I probably shouldn't buy them for a young kid! Thank you young man! I would have been extremely upset if I had purchased them and found my grandson learning new words.

So, it came down to a gift card at a local department store. The clerk there said they would be getting in more toys after Christmas, so I'm hoping I can explain to our grandson that he can use the card to pick out his very own skateboard toys. I'm disappointed. I hope he won't be.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Well, we did it! The run across the airport in Memphis was long and fast, but we made it. Not much time to spare, as I think only two people got on after us, and we weren't even seated yet when they announced that the door was closed, but none of that matters......we were on. The flights were good, even though we had the back row on the Memphis to Minneapolis flight. However we landed at the very last gate at the Minneapolis airport, so had a long, long walk to the baggage pick up which was the last spot on the other end. We found our bags quickly, although I realized that I had left a light weight black jacket under the elastic straps on the outside of my bag, and of course that was no longer there.

We picked up our rental car and drove to Stillwater to spend the night there. Of course we visited awhile before heading to bed. Sorry we kept you guys up so late!

And now I am in the motel back home, and hubby is in Duluth to attend his uncle's funeral. You can't beat my location....I'm right between Caribou Coffee, Dunn Bros Coffee, Starbucks Coffee, and Barnes and Noble Bookstore with Starbucks Coffee! Caffeine heaven!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Just sitting at the Panama City Airport, waiting for the security gate to open. It's a really small airport. Small plane too, but we did get seats in the third row. However, when we land in Memphis we have 31 minutes until our next flight leaves. And we are in row 47. Bet we don't make the flight! Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Just a little glitch this time. Hubby was notified that his uncle in Duluth had passed away. The funeral isn't until Tuesday, so it works out for him to go. We land in Minneapolis on Sunday night and will spend the night in Stillwater with our son and family. Monday we'll drive to our destination and unload, and then he'll hitch a ride back north with his brother and wife. They'll be back on Tuesday, so it's just one night alone for me. That gives me lots of grandma time alone with the kids.....if they're not all too busy to see me. Just means he's paying for two motels on Monday night.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I don't know why, but I've been thinking about this place where we had dinner this summer. It was called The Rookery and was in Otter Cove, about a half an hour boat ride from Seldovia. We had an awesome meal there with Chris and Amy and their friends Jeff and Kari, after riding there in Jeff's boat. Probably the first time ever the two grandkids had ordered $25 a plate meals.....the cheapest on the menu! I had herb crusted halibut that was out of this world! I don't have a picture of the outside of the place, but the kayaks on the beach below it sure made a colorful picture. I will go back there on my next trip to Seldovia!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

DUM, DUM, DUM, DUM............

I don't know how to do the dum, dum, dums from Jaws! Besides, we think this was a harmless dolphin, but the black fin sure did look like it could have been Jaws! We spent another afternoon at the beach, enjoying God's wonderful creation. And some people think this world evolved? I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006


Tomorrow morning I plan to take my thermos of coffee and lawn chair and just sit here and look and listen for awhile. It is beautiful!


This is the sunset we were waiting for in the last blog. For some reason blogger wouldn't allow me to post this picture where I wanted it!
We picked up a few sand dollars. The bigger ones were all broken. These are quarter, 50 cent piece, and silver dollar sized. It's a beautiful beach with a wooden walkway leading about half a mile across the brush to the sand. I think we'll be going there quite often!


Footprints in the snow????

Looks like we're snowed in, but it's only the sand. The whitest sand I have ever seen. We spent an hour or more down at the base beach this afternoon, waiting for the sunset. The temperature was 77 degrees, and it was lovely!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


You all thought when he decided to fly home for Christmas that hubby had changed. WRONG! He is just as cheap as ever.....maybe more so.

Last night was the coldest night in Florida in over a year, and it was in the twenties when we got up this morning. He acted like another ice age was coming! He had the electric fireplace going but it wasn't quite enough to warm it up in there. Now mind you, we have a furnace. It runs on propane, which we of course have to purchase. The electricity is included in the lot rent, so he figures electricity is free. So, this morning instead of turning on the furnace to warm up the RV, he turned on every single light in the place, plugged in the toaster and kept pushing that down, and even put water in the crockpot and turned that on high. His cheap way of heating up the RV!

And you know what? It worked. I swear it was at least a quarter of a degree warmer in there.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Did I tell you about my Christmas letter? I was really excited about my letter this year. I had done it newsletter style, with columns, headlines, and with lots of pictures covering both sides of a sheet of paper. When I was finished I could hardly wait to print it. But after hitting the print button, I waited for 5 minutes for the 1st side to finish printing! Let's see, 5 minutes per side, 2 sides, 10 minutes per letter, 100+ letters...............I decided that wasn't going to work. Our printer is old, and would have blown up about a quarter of the way through. We checked two places in town, and the cheapest place to have it printed was $129!

I reluctantly rewrote the letter and took out all the pictures and kept it to one side of the page. It's still taking a long time to print, as I only dare do about 8 at a time, then let the printer rest. So for those of you who are getting the letter, just imagine beautiful colored pictures of Alaska, Kentucky, and Florida. And imagine the proud faces of the grandpa, son, and grandsons with their big fish. Maybe by next year I can have a better printer, and can include pictures. I guess I shouldn't complain. I'm not writing the letter by hand, nor am I addressing the envelopes by hand, thanks to my computer. What would we do without them?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The two grandsons that we took to Alaska with us rapped all summer "go granny, it's your birthday!" Well, today it really is, and I've had a wonderful day. This morning I found email birthday greetings from 2 sons, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, 2 sisters, and 4 friends. You can't beat that! Then the daughter called, and I also got to talk with a granddaughter and grandson. Hubby took me out to lunch at the BX food court where we had Italian grilled sandwiches which were very good. He bought and installed a new towel ring for the bathroom because he broke the other one! And he bought me a wall mounted make-up mirror for the bathroom and also installed that. We're having pork chops and sweet potato for supper. Mmmmmm!

Yup, it's been a good day! And no, I don't feel old.


(I had planned to write this last night, but after church we stopped at Home Depot and then Lowe's and it was late when we got home. It was also sprinkling a little and I didn't want to carry my computer up to the Rec Center in the rain. Please forgive me Caleb and Ben!)

Yesterday was a big 'birth day' in our family. My dad and two grandsons share that birthday. My dad would have been 92. He died in 1982, and I miss him to this day. When I was a little girl I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.....he really was tall, dark and handsome. As he aged his thick dark hair became gray, making him very distinguished looking. He was so wise, and I have wished often in the past 24 years that I could have asked his opinion on one thing or another. My dad was a pastor, professor, counselor, friend to many, and the best father ever. Unfortunately he went to heaven before my grandchildren ever knew him, and that is a great loss for them. Daddy would have especially loved the fact that 2 of his great grandkids share his birthday.

Caleb turned 14 yesterday! Caleb is the spunkey redhead that accompanied us to Alaska this past summer, and I think I learned to know him quite well on our trip. He has more energy than most, is always on the go, always wanting to do this or that, and is forever making plans to do great things in the future. And you know what? I think he will! He loves sports, especially track and basketball, and his goal is to run a marathan. He has the guts and desire to do it, and probably the talent also, and I believe he can accomplish it. One of his long term goals is to attend Annapolis, this goal coming after watching the movie several times this summer. It wouldn't surprise me if he accomplishes that one, too. Caleb is bright and has a very inquisitive mind, and he drove me crazy this summer with all his questions. I can still hear him asking "but what if...." a hundred times a day! Harness that energy, Caleb, keep your head on straight, and I expect to hear about you doing great things! Hope you had a happy birthday and I love you!

It was also Ben's birthday yesterday and he turned 9. Ben has the biggest bluest eyes you can imagine, and I just melt whenever he looks at me and can only imagine the hearts he is going to break when he begins dating! This guy has been a computer genius since the first time he touched one. I'll never forget when he was about 6 and was playing games at our house on the computer. He called me into the computer room where he stood with hands on his hips and said "Grandma, don't you have a shortcut to on your computer?" Amazing! He also completely floored us when he began putting puzzles together with the backs of the pieces, not the picture showing! Ben is sweet and tender and loving, and I am so glad he came into our lives. I hope you had a happy birthday Ben, and we'll see you in just a week and a half. I love you!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Tyndall AFB, Florida: Tonight is the weekly potluck at the Rec Center. We haven't attended before, but thought we would do so tonight. So I'm making the five bean dish in the crockpot that I took to about a dozen potlucks in Alaska this past summer. Everyone loved it in Alaska......we'll see if they like it in Florida!

The Rec Center could also be called a community room, as it's where everybody gathers and where everything takes place. Three mornings a week there is a group that meets for exercise; there is bingo one night a week, the potluck one night a week, crafts one afternoon, and a computer class one morning a week. Evenings find at least two tables of men playing poker, and another table or two of couples playing other card games. There are puzzles to be worked; one one table is covered with 1000 pieces right now. One corner has an exchange library where it's take one and leave one. A big rack holds magazines that everyone is welcome to borrow and return and add to. The center of the end wall holds a big screen TV (which is seldom on) over a fireplace (also seldom on). Next to it on the right is a huge Christmas tree that the people decorated one day right after Thanksgiving. There are a dozen round tables with four arm chairs around each one, and lined up along the far wall are five plastic tablecloth covered long tables where the pot luck foods are displayed on Tuesday nights.

Given the place of honor are two tables right as you come in the door. That's where the folks meet every morning for coffee and cookies and gossip. Most of these people have been coming for 6 or 7 years, some for as long as 12 years. They all know each other and look forward to the arrival of their old cronies each day. Actually, hubby and I feel like the teenagers of this bunch! Many of them are several years older than we are. Some come down for just a month or two, then return to their homes; others are like us and live totally out of their RV and so travel with the weather, avoiding the north during freezing months, and the south during the hot summers.

The main topic of conversation seems to be health! One guy had surgery this morning, another is recovering from surgery. They say things like "doesn't Bob look good for what he's been through?" or "I can't believe Donna has aged so much. Her 'whatever disease' has really taken it out of her." So, daily I thank God that hubby and I are healthy as I am reminded daily of those who aren't.

But you can bet that at 6:00 tonight everyone will be standing in line to partake of the potluck. Somehow those community meals make everyone feel better, if not fatter. We are anxious to see the variety of dishes that will be served. I wonder how my beans will do.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Tyndall AFB, Florida: The two above pictures are of things I find really strange in December. A warning sign for rattlesnakes and alligators? Shoot, they're strange to me at any time of the year, not just December! And Christmas trees and palm trees sharing center stage at the mall square? It sure takes some getting used to!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


The sun has gone down, and peace has descended on country and town.
The songbirds in silence have flown to their nest
And flowers are closing their petals in rest.
Now closes my heart to annoyance and care,
In homage and prayer, in homage and prayer.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Tyndall AFB, Florida: I went for a walk around the campground this afternoon, and was struck by how the trees seem to be decorated. No, not with snow and icicles, but with a yellowish green vine and with Spanish moss. The bottom picture is our little tree next to the fireplace, our decorating.