Friday, September 28, 2007


(Coming to you from the Urban Stampede in East Grand Forks, MN - a coffee shop with wireless)

This was the view last night out the back window of the RV. I could have spent a couple of weeks here, just sitting in the sun on the banks of the Mississippi, watching the clouds and birds, and occasionally reading my book. What a beautiful spot we found!

Then this morning there was heavy fog, and I found a couple of pretty shots by the calm, peaceful water.

Now we are in East Grand Forks, patiently waiting for tomorrow morning when we will pick up our youngest grandson, Sammy, and our son Lenny and his wife Connie, and go to breakfast and to a parade. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can spend the day outside with them and end with a cookout and campfire. Sunday we will attend the church where we were members for the seven plus years that we were stationed at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. I look forward to seeing many of our old friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The following information is from the Ask Marilyn column in the Sunday Parade magazine on September 23, 2007:

If you are over 26 years old, you are older than half of the people on earth!

And if you are more than 37 years old, you are older than half of all Americans!

I must be ancient.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Yesterday was my mother's 85th birthday. My four siblings and I had a party for her at our church social hall after services yesterday. This picture is of my mom and my youngest sister. Isn't mom beautiful at age 85! What a wonderful day we had, full of family and memories and love. My siblings and spouses were all there, and quite a few of the grandkids, and 14 great grandkids! We gave mom a memory book filled with pages from each one of us, and I think she was thrilled with the gift. I imagine when she got home she read the loving tributes and looked at all of the pictures that were included, and I'm guessing she will reread and review the book over and over in the days to come.

This is her cake with the names she is known by. To this list we could add the title of faithful pastor's wife to our dad who has been living in Heaven with Jesus for 25 years now. She is also a loving mother-in-law, a wonderful friend to scores of people, and the finest example of a Christian that I know.
Mom, we love you and honor you. Hope your day was wonderful in every way.


Today is our daughter Kari's birthday and I want to publicly wish her a happy birthday and tell her how proud her dad and I are of her. Forty two years ago today, (oh my, is it that long?), when we were living in Maine, Kari was born and we were filled with such pride and joy we could hardly contain ourselves. She has given us no reason in these forty two years to change our minds, in fact we grow prouder and prouder of her each year. Kari picked a wonderful son-in-law for us in Mike, and they have given us 6 super grand kids. The profession Kari has chosen has also made us proud. She is so passionate about getting FASD out there and in people's faces and showing the world that FASD can be cured by just refraining from alcohol during pregnancy. Kari has a huge heart and shares her love with everyone, and she is loved in return by everyone. And on her special day, I just want to tell her that her parents love her dearly. Happy birthday, daughter!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Yes, I know. It's been a week since I have blogged. However, I do have an excuse. I've been busy! I've seen a lot of my old friends, or I guess I should say long time friends, because I'm not old so they sure aren't old! On Tuesday I went to the home of a high school friend. Her father was also a pastor so she was raised in a parsonage, as I was, so we have a lot in common. In addition, we had kids who were dear friends in college, and she and her husband also have an RV and enjoy traveling. So we gabbed for hours while enjoying a Dunn Bros. latte and a slice of key lime pie. What a fun afternoon that was!

On Wednesday I had my yearly physical, and that also was a lot of fun. Ha-Ha. I have already received the results of my blood work and everything looks good, so it was good to get that out of the way. Then at noon on Wednesday I met my dear friend from the college where I worked. She is the gal I traveled to Italy with in 2005, and I miss her so much. We had coffee and lunch and much talk. Then we went to Barnes and Nobel and each found some treasures we had to buy. We were meeting two other friends from the college at five at Olive Garden, but we went there at 4:15 to get a head start on more gabbing. When the other two arrived, we upped the level of chatter and laughter in the restaurant by several decibels! It was so much fun, and I loved catching up with everyone. Only thing is, after all the fun and conversation I couldn't sleep that night!

Then Thursday I took another friend to lunch for her birthday. We went to the local Food Coop and had a healthy lunch and more fun conversation. Last night we met two of Ernie's brothers and their wives for dinner at a cafe in a small town near here, and then visited our son and his wife and two girls who live in that town. So my life has been full of friends and family and lots of conversation.

And the trend continues! This afternoon one of my sisters and her husband will join us for the weekend at the campground so finally Ernie will have someone to talk to! Tomorrow we have a wedding shower for my brother's son and bride-to-be, and on Sunday we have the big party for my mom's 85th birthday. I have a few things to do for that party yet, including buying the fruit and getting that all cut up for the fruit tray, so I guess I'll have to forgo the coffee and conversation and get to work.

Friday, September 14, 2007


We saw the most interesting cloud formations from our campsite last night. The stripes of clouds went from west to east, across the whole sky. This view is towards the west.
This one I took facing the north.

This one is taken to the east.
And I walked down to the lake and took this one about a half an hour later. You can still see the remnants of the stripes in the sunset sky.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Our time back home, just like the summer weather, is winding down, and it makes me sad. We will be gone two weeks from today, and again I will go through grandkid withdrawal. We do have quite a few activities coming up in these last two weeks, so we will keep busy. Tomorrow night I will help daughter Kari with the Pregnant Pause down at a local bar. This is the fun event where women are encouraged to avoid alcohol for the nine months of pregnancy and I've been in on the first two, so can't break my record now! There is a shower for my nephew (my godson) and his bride-to-be on Saturday next weekend and that will be a lot of fun. Then on Sunday we are having a big family birthday party for my mom on her 85th birthday and I have a few details to attend to before that day comes. I will have my camera so I can post some pictures of my beautiful mom. We have some stock up type of shopping to do, we both need haircuts, and next week is my annual physical (shucks, I meant to take off 35 pounds before then!) and we both have dentist appointments. I haven't seen my best friends from the college where I worked yet, so we need to make a date for dinner and girl talk soon! And I have two friends from back in college days who go to our home church here in town, and I want to get together with both of them for coffee and a gab fest. We need to see some family yet, including a grand daughter and Ernie's brothers and their families.

When we leave here, probably on September 27, we are again heading to Grand Forks to see our son and his wife and our youngest grandson, Sammy. From there it's west, across North Dakota to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, then into Montana with a stop at one of our favorite spots in the world, Glacier National Park. From there we will continue west to Washington, and then turn south, heading along highway 101 along the coast, ending in San Diego. We plan to spend the winter between San Diego, Las Vegas, and Tucson. We will be staying at military bases again, making use of their family campgrounds, one of our benefits from Ernie's 20 years in the Air Force. If anyone would like to get out of the cold weather this winter, we have room on the floor and the couch. Just don't come the second weekend in November or during Christmas when we will be back here in Minnesota, celebrating a wedding and Christmas with our family. If I can get home every couple of months, I can handle the grandkid withdrawal. It's the time between Christmas and May that gets really, really long for this grandma.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


We are half way moved. We left the state park and are having a coffee at Dunn Bros. Soon we will drive the rest of the way to our new home at the campground by the lake. There, Ernie assures me, we will have a wonderful line to the satellite 23,000 miles up in the sky, and we won't have to come to Dunn Bros every day to check email. I'll believe that when I see it. And just so you know, he bet me $100 way back in June that he would get the satellite internet working. I say his time is up and that he should pay up. He claims it's an on going bet and that he still has time to connect. What do you guys think? Pay up, right? There has to be a time limit and he's had too many do overs already, and I could buy lots of quilt fabric or books with that $100.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Ernie has decided that tomorrow we will move from the state park west of town to a campground on a lake east of town. It will be cheaper, $16 versus $19, so of course he likes that part of it, but his main reason for moving is that the trees at the state park are blocking his satellite signals. He has had no TV channels other than the one local one and we still don't have a satellite signal for the internet. He believes both will be available in full strength from the other park. Stay tuned....I'll let you know the results tomorrow.

The only thing I was worried about was my coffee addiction, and he has measured the distances for me. It is the same distance from the state park to Dunn Bros as it is from the lake spot to Dunn Bros! Guess I won't have to go cold turkey yet!

Friday, September 07, 2007


I like to try to figure out the personalized license plates that we see on so many vehicles. Some are impossible to decipher, known only to the creator of the plate, and some are not fit for publication, but some are fun. Here are some I saw during our travels in the past couple of months.

On a sporty red car driven by a cute blond: APRLUV

On a big van full of kids driven by a mom: MIBLESNGS

On a yellow Hummer: of course, HMMMR

On a little Toyota: NOT A LXS

On a beat up pickup: JUNKYRD

Another beat up pickup: HAN D MAN

Obviously a reporter: MR NEWS

A senior citizen: 4 GOT IT

Two dog plates: K 9 LVR and K9K8

And the plates of a huge black pickup truck read: TEXASLEXUS

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


On a dreary, rainy, foggy day in July, we headed out on one of the world's most famous drives, the Cabot Trail on the Cape Breton Highlands. It deserves it's reputation, even on such a day. The vistas were awesome, even in the fog, so I can imagine what it must look like on a sunny day. The hills were so green and lush, and the trees so dense, and the ups and downs and curves so breathtaking, that we were exclaiming "oooh," "ahhhh," and "wheeeeee" constantly. At times the fog was so thick that we could see no end of the road at the bottom of a hill, and my knuckles where white and I wasn't even driving!

This was a pit stop at the side of the road after we reached the flatland again, and the sun had come out. It was beautiful.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Now who doesn't even take out her camera for a Labor Day picnic with 4 generations present? ME! I am so upset with myself as we had 7 of our 15 grandkids available for photos yesterday, and I neglected to take a single shot.

It was a very pleasant day. My mom, a sister, daughter Kari and family, son Chuck and family, and our second daughter's two boys were out for a picnic lunch. The little kids went for a walk with their dads, Adam and Caleb went exploring, and the rest of us visited in the shade of the awning on the RV. I think everyone ate their fill of hot dogs, salads, fruit, veggies, beans, cake and cookies. At least I know I had plenty! We had a very relaxing afternoon, and I hope we can do it again soon, and hopefully get a few more kids and grandkids there. And I will remember to take pictures the next time!

With the temps in the 90's, it is hard to believe that fall, my favorite season of the year, is just on the horizon, but a Labor Day picnic seems to bring the summer to a screeching halt. The grandkids either have already returned, or will return to school this week, and life will again become hectic with all the activities involved when the kids are in school. So I am happy and thankful that we took the time to get together and just enjoy each other before the fall activities begin.


On Saturday morning we picked up our second daughter's two boys, Jacob and Caleb, so they could spend the weekend with us. A bit later, Kari , our oldest daughter, called and asked if we wanted Anna and Ben for a few hours so she could clean and go grocery shopping. Of course we wanted them! So we picked them up and headed back to our home in the state park.

I know where the wild plums grow, so we decided to see if there were any left. Ben outfitted himself with an awesome hiking stick, and Anna picked up a dead branch so she would have one too. Caleb found himself a nice rock wall to climb. And his older brother, Jacob, took a rest in the middle of the trail, plugged into his brother's iPod.