Saturday, May 31, 2008


Once again in our small community a young teenager has died from alcohol poisoning. A high school sophomore died last night from consuming alcohol with four or five other young men, two of them his brothers, and all under the legal age of 21. The sixteen year old who died had a blood alcohol level of .353, almost four times the legal limit of .08. This is at least the fourth or fifth such death in our city in less than a year.

Why oh why do teenagers engage in such risky behaviors? When will they ever learn? When are we going to figure out how to help them? We cannot let this continue! Graduations are this next week, and with several high schools in the community, how many other young kids will put themselves in similar situations in their celebrations of completing this part of their education? How many parents will furnish the kegs and cases for graduation parties for these underage drinkers? How many more lives have to be cut short before we all wake up and do something to stop these senseless behaviors?

This community doesn't seem to be able to figure out what to do. What is your community doing to curtail underage drinking? Please, if anyone has found something that seems to be working, let us know. We cannot continue to let our kids drink themselves to death!


The whole wedding party.
Grandson Aaron and his sweetie, Anna.
Anna, Adam, granddaughter Kjirsten and her honey Ryan.
Two more granddaughters, Jaden and Courtney.
Ben and Anna, two more grandkids.
Katie and her friend, Katie.
Katie and her parents, our daughter Kari, and son-in-law Mike.


This is my granddaughter, Katie, taken last evening at her wedding. Have you ever seen a more beautiful bride? My mom made it to the wedding, and Katie was so happy to have her great grandmother there for her special day. Off to the gift opening now, but I will post more later.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The last minute get together with kids in the area didn't work. Two sons had to work yesterday, Memorial Day, so hubby gave up trying to put a picnic together. Maybe he'll start sooner next time and we'll succeed!

We did go in to visit my mom. Two of my sisters had picked up flowers for daddy's grave, so we took mom to the cemetery. She did very well, and seemed to enjoy the little outing. After leaving a basket of red, white and blue petunias on the grave, we headed for the local park and had an impromptu picnic with purchased subs. Mom also did well there, although she was tiring by the time we left. She was headed to take a nap when we dropped her off; however she was still tired when we stopped in after dinner last night. I'm guessing she slept well last night. We are going in to see her as soon as I run a couple of loads of laundry.

This is a busy week for our family. The first of our grandkids is getting married on Friday evening. Kari and Mike's daughter, Katie, is marrying Clayton. Katie is a beautiful young woman, 21 years old, just completed her junior year in college. She found a wonderful young man in Clayton. He treats her with all the honor and respect that she deserves. I love watching them together, and know that this marriage will work. It will last. There is real love and total commitment there. And they have the Lord included in their lives; they have the third strand of the cord, which makes the cord strong and not easily broken. So our busy week will have a wonderful ending, and you can believe there will be pictures coming! Stay tuned.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Well, mom seems to be settling into the routine of her new home. I've not spent much time with her this weekend because I have a cold, stuffy nose, exploding head, and I'm sure I'm breathing out germs with each breath I expel. One of my sisters has the crud also, hers more in the throat and chest. And with a biopsy scheduled for mom in a couple of weeks, we just can't take the chance of getting her sick. So we talked from across the room, threw a kiss and an air hug. I know mom was lonesome, and would have liked us to stay longer, but we can't let her get sick.

But back to her routine. She is going down to the dining room for meals and yesterday went to the commons area for a snack, a piece of apple pie. The staff is wonderful, coming to mom's room to get her for each meal and reminding her of what she's to do next. A real sweetheart is a gal named Jessica, who has been getting most of mom's anxiety, as she is the one who comes in as we leave in the evening and helps mom get ready for bed. She is very kind and compassionate, and we really appreciate that she is so gentle with mom, taking over the tasks we had been doing, and treating her with such respect. Thank you Jessica! You are a gem.

There were a couple of events over the weekend that caused mom a little distress. It seems there was something about a resident, a cane, and a staff member that had mom thinking they were fighting. And my sisters ran into a woman in the hallway who was questioning whether they were for Hitler or against Hitler, and they had better watch out for him. I'm sure there are those kinds of moments once in awhile in the memory care unit, but the staff seems to be on top of things.

What are your plans for the holiday? Are you having a picnic or get together with family? with friends? We have nothing planned, but will call the kids in the area to see if we can do a last minute get together. We've not been able to make many plans recently, but some of the pressure is lifted now and we'll try to get some of the kids together. I need a grandkid fix!

But as you eat the ribs, burgers, brats, hot dogs and steaks off the grill, please do remember to give thanks for all of the men and women who have lost their lives protecting this great country. We owe those heroes a huge debt. Have a safe Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Today we made some decisions, and we had a very hard thing to do. It's become increasingly difficult to provide 24/7 care for mom. We are exhausted. Tomorrow we are moving her to the memory care unit of the apartment community where she is living. We need the skilled care for her, and the alert nurses at night. So far we've been taking turns staying with her, and it usually means we don't sleep at all. I feel so guilty that we are turning her over to strangers to care for her, but in the next breath, I know we're no longer able to continue with no sleep. And this is skilled care. We know she will be in good hands.

The hardest thing we had to do was to tell mom that we are moving her once again. We pray she understands that we are only doing what we think is best for her. And we assured her that we will still be with her every day, but that we had to get our sleep to stay healthy so we could care for her, so that we were having the nurses care for her at night.

Thank you blogging friends for your thoughts and prayers. Please continue.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


NOTE: My sister does not have a brown shadow on her nose in real life. My camera lens must be dirty. Sorry, Lois!

This is my sister Lois, holding the lovely roses she was presented on Sunday in front of the whole Sunday School. Lois has given notice that she will be retiring from teaching Sunday School, and this was her last day. Why roses, you ask? Because Lois has been teaching Sunday School for thirty years! Yes, you read that right. Thirty years. This has to be a record in our church. In many churches! What a wonderful example of Christian dedication, and what a model you are to two generations of kids, as you are now teaching kids of the kids you taught many years ago. I admire you and love you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Thank you all for the emails and for the comments here on my blog. And especially thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

We now know that mom has a brain tumor. Right frontal lobe. At this point that's about all we know. She is scheduled for a biopsy on June 12. The three week long wait for the biopsy is necessitated by the fact that she is taking Plavix and that needs to be stopped for two to three weeks before surgery. Once they get the biopsy, they can determine the next step.

We met a neurologist and two neurosurgeons today. All seemed like very kind, caring men. We also met two wonderful nurses. Mom will be in good hands.

And we know that she is in the best hands.......she is in God's hands. Please continue to pray.

Friday, May 16, 2008


We had a safe trip up to Minneapolis and to Abbot Northwestern for the MRI. Mom did well all morning, awake for the whole trip. She was getting pretty tired by the time they finally called her in for the test. It took about an hour, and she came through it in good shape. Only took her 15 minutes or so to come out of the sedation and have her lunch. We know nothing yet, only that the pictures were clear this time. So now we wait. And pray. Some more.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


We are leaving early tomorrow morning for Minneapolis and Abbott Northwestern Hospital for mom's MRI. Please keep us in your thought and prayers as we attempt to find out what's happening and is there anything we can do to fix it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Have you noticed that the things you learned when you were young are the things that stick with you and you remember forever? I had a teacher in grade school who required that we memorize poetry. To this day I break into The Song of Hiawatha at the sight of Lake Superior, or I can recite one of many other poems brought to mind by a sight or a sound.

Sitting in church on Sundays often finds me holding a closed hymnbook, yet singing every word. I went to a Christian Day School, and Fridays were hymn day. We learned many hymns, not just one verse, but often six or eight and they are with me to this day.

The thing that brought this to mind was last night when I was reading a devotion to my mom from a small devotion booklet, Portals of Prayer. (We used this devotion booklet when I was a child. It came once a quarter, and was dog eared by the time the three months were over. It was always on the window sill behind daddy's chair, close at hand for our family time following the supper meal. ) Last night I read one of the short devotions to my mom, and we said the Lord's Prayer. She may not know what she ate for supper, or who had visited that day, but every single word of the Lord's Prayer came through, loud and clear. She never sits down to a meal without asking the blessing and thanking the Lord for her food. Those things are engraved in stone in her mind. Other things are gone shortly after they enter.

What a blessing to have had parents who taught her God's Word, prayers, and hymns. Those are with her and will comfort her, even when all else fails.

Monday, May 12, 2008


This picture was taken on June 3, 2006, one hour into the first trip of our retirement, the trip to Alaska with two grandsons in tow. This was our 35 foot 5th wheel which we pulled with a big truck.
We have sold that RV because if we're not living in it full time, we do not need such a big rig. Our trips now will be only weekends or short vacation type trips. So we traded in the RV and bought a small camper. This one is less than half the other one.......not even 15 feet inside from door to back wall. But we think it has everything we need. Plus we took our stained glass window out of the big rig and transferred it to the small one. Doesn't it look good?
I took this next picture while I was standing on the step outside the door. First of all is the frig, then the stove, then the sink. In back is the U shaped seating area around the small table. The benches make into two single beds, with room in between for a grandkid or two on the floor.
As long as I have my bed up off the ground, my indoor potty, and a stove to make my morning coffee, I have all I need. Besides, we can pull this little one with our van, the big RV needed a truck filled with diesel fuel.


Thanks for the prayers, comments and emails regarding my mom. You can't know how much I appreciate them, especially the prayers. My online friends are the best!

I spoke with the nurse at mom's doctor's office today, and asked for a referral to get a new MRI taken sooner than the one scheduled three weeks from now. I was at the clinic at the opening of the doors, talked to the nurse on duty, and stated quite clearly that we wanted a referral. After not hearing from them after three hours, I called back, and was told that her file was on the doctor's desk along with the information about my early morning visit. They called me back an hour later, we talked a bit, I restated my request for an MRI referral ASAP. The nurse called me back one more time with an appointment for this coming Friday at Abbott in Minneapolis. Thank goodness they listened to me this time, and we have an appointment. Now we pray mom can stay healthy so we can make the scheduled test, and that they will find something that we can fix. I will keep you updated.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


My story begins over 65 years ago, in a church in Wisconsin, where my dad was the new vicar at a small Lutheran church. The story goes that the vicar saw a beautiful young woman with long black hair and an angelic white dress, singing with the choir in the loft, and pronounced that he would marry her someday. I don't know if the story is true or not, but it's a lovely story, and that vicar and angel in the choir became my parents.

My dad went on to pastor churches in Minnesota and Iowa before he was called to teach in the seminary in Minnesota that supplied pastors for our churches. Mom and dad married during the war, and I came along two years after Pearl Harbor. Within the next nine years my parents gave me my three sisters and a brother.

My mom worked hard during my growing up years. We didn't have much, times were hard, and pastors of small country churches weren't paid very well, but my mom put three meals on the table every day, kept us in clean clothes , we slept on clean sheets and lived in a clean parsonage. We had a large garden and raised many vegetables. Members of the church kindly gave us of their harvest also, and often gifted us with chickens or other meat. I know that one pound of hamburger will feed eight people if you serve lots of potatoes, vegetables and bread with it. The teacher of our small Christian Day school also lived with us, and that added another adult mouth to feed. Mom did countless loads of laundry every week, down in the basement in the old wringer washer and twin rinse tubs. Each week my dad's seven long sleeved white shirts were starched with Niagara powdered starch, the collars, french cuffs and the plackets down the front being gathered in your hand and dipped into the milky white liquid before being hung on the outdoor lines at the edge of our huge yard.

One of my sisters was born with numerous allergies and she was often sick. Mom often had to hold her to soothe the horrible asthma attacks she would suffer. Another sister had epilepsy and for many years had daily seizures. Mom was there always. My dad developed emphysema and mom had to nurse him during his last years, and hold a full time job at the same time.

My mom loves her grandkids! When we adopted four kids, she accepted them as her blood kin. She also loves her great grandkids and enjoys every minute she's able to spend with them.

Mom also loves her neighbors as herself. While she was still driving she would pick up friends to go to lunch or Bible Study, or to the meetings of several women's groups at church. For many years after she retired from her full time job, she worked at the hospital gift shop or at the city's senior citizen's center.

My mom is a woman of deep faith and abiding love. She has always sought God's will and has always followed it. She believes His word and lives it. She has a joyous spirit. She and my dad brought me to the Lord as an infant. I learned my Bible stories, learned Bible verses, memorized hymns and studied the commandments at her knee. In my mom I have the best example of what a wife and mother should be; an example that I have often failed to follow.

Now that my mom's health is shaky, I love her even more, praying that this love will help keep her with us for many more years. I don't know what the outcome of her current problems will be, but I do know that she is ready for what ever lies ahead. I spent time with her today, and for awhile it was almost like old times around the dinner table, with conversation and laughter, but within a short period of time, mom was ready to lay down. She looked completely exhausted and was confused.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for my mom. Thank you for her gentle spirit, and her faithful love. Thank you for the lessons she taught me, lessons about your faithful love. Please keep her safe in your arms, and if it is your will, grant her healing of her health problems. Bless my mom, and all moms everywhere. In Jesus holy name, Amen.

I love my mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today is the opening of fishing season in the land of 10,000 lakes. The Governor picks a different lake each year, and he and our Lt. Governor head out in separate boats to see who can catch the first, the biggest, and the most fish.

On the dock of the chosen lake this morning, after the singing of the National Anthem, our Governor proclaimed the fishing season to be open, and at his cry of "Gentlemen, start your engines," a crowd (herd? flock? covey? perhaps school?) of boats roared out into the lakes that had so recently shed their ice cover.

Wonder if the Governor's mansion will be serving fish for dinner? I imagine they have some hot dogs on hand, just in case.

Monday, May 05, 2008


After a CT scan, chest Xray, EKG, blood and urine tests on Saturday, and another EKG, CT scan, and blood tests and hospitalization on Sunday, and an MRI and other tests today, we still don't know what's happening. The MRI today was not clear, so another will be done tomorrow with mom under sedation to lessen the movement and hopefully obtain a clear MRI. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.


This morning I'm here to ask for prayers from my blog friends. After spending Saturday and Sunday in the ER with mom, my four siblings and I were relieved that she was admitted to the hospital. After only four hours on IV with medication, she was doing better. She's had a big change in symptoms in recent days; something is going on in addition to the memory issues. They ran several tests over the weekend, and will probably do additional ones today to try to get to the bottom of this. I ask for prayers for mom, and for the doctors who have the task of discovering the problem. Thank you in advance.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Lots of changes today for my mom, and I think she was a bit bewildered. Today was the first day back at work for my sister who had taken the month of April off to help with the move to the new apartment. I think mom got used to having her home all the time, so was confused that she was gone all day today. My middle sister came last night and stayed with mom today. Three of us girls are going to be taking turns staying with mom so she'll never be alone. Tomorrow is my turn.

We had spoken with mom's doctor because one of her medications seemed to be causing her to be more anxious, and we asked about eliminating that medication as it wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing. So that was another change for mom. Her medications are all lined up for the week in a little case with compartments for morning and evening for each day of the week. There used to be five meds each morning, and now we told her she was only going to be taking four. That caused a lot of questions and additional anxious moments. I hope she settled down after I left.

Mom and my sister get one meal a day in the community dining room and they had been taking the noon meal while my sister was off work for the month. Today they were going to eat the evening meal in the dining room, and that confused mom too. It takes her awhile to get used to one thing, and then when we have to change it for some reason, it really makes her anxious.

If only we could find a magic pill that would take away all of mom's anxiety. We try to comfort her and reassure her, but it is so hard. So hard to see that even little changes in routine cause confusion for her. I'm so glad that we've been able to work out a schedule so someone can be with her all the time to hopefully ease her fears and maybe lessen the changes we have to make.