Thursday, August 28, 2008


This picture was taken at the reunion we just attended in Duluth. The orange shirt in the middle is my hubby. The other four are his brothers. And he has two more brothers who couldn't attend the reunion. Do you think they look a little bit alike? People stop them and say "you look just like so and so" the the guys answer, "yup, that's my brother." The dinner that night was in a sports bar, and I guess I cut off the best of the signs......the Vikings! Sorry guys!


My friend Lisa over at this spot asked her regular readers to post 25 random things about themselves. She is right when she says that on the Internet a person can portray themselves as whatever they want and she feels these facts will help her to know her readers better. Okay Lisa, here goes. Just know I won't put my weight as one of the facts!

1. I was born in Minnesota, moved to Iowa when I was two and lived there until I was thirteen and we moved back to Minnesota.

2. I attended a little country Christian Day School from 1-8th grades.

3. I attended a small Lutheran High School and college.

4. I ended up working at that college for 18 years as the assistant registrar, and I loved my job.

5. The first time I saw my husband was in church when he and his parents and 7 brothers walked in together. We still attend that church!

6. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm old. 64 years old. I'm tall, at least five foot eight. And I'd love to take off about forty pounds. Easier said than done!

7. Been married for 43, almost 44 years, to the same man.

8. We have seven kids. I came from a family of five kids, his mom gave birth to nine, all boys. We wanted a large family too, but the Lord said we could only have three. Then he blessed us with four more when we adopted a sibling group . So we have five boys and two girls. In age order they are: Kari, Kevin, Gail, Chuck, Chris, Lenny and Lance. I love them dearly.

9. And we have fifteen grandkids......nine boys and six girls. The boys are Aaron, Jacob, Joseph, Caleb, Adam, Justin, Benjamin, Nicolas and Samuel. The girls are Kjirsten, Katie, Courtney, Jaden, Madison and Anna. And I have one grandson in law, Katie's husband, Clayton.

10. My husband spent 20 years in the Air Force and we lived in Washington, Maine, California, Michigan, and North Dakota.

11. I love to travel. After retiring 2 years ago, my husband and I traveled for 20 months, living in a 5th wheel trailer. We just moved back home in January when my mom required some help. We did sell the big trailer, but bought a smaller one, and plan to travel some more. Just not full time as we did previously.

12. I have been to Italy. It was the trip of a lifetime. My husband gave me the money to travel with the art class from the college on a wonderful trip to Italy, accompanied by my best friend Lisa. Highlights were: Venice, Florence, Assisi, Pompeii and Rome. I'd go again in a minute!

13. We have driven the Alaska Highway two times. Our son Chris lives in the little town of Seldovia that can only be reached by plane or boat! I love Alaska!

14. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been is New Foundland. We traveled there last summer, and I fell in love with New Foundland and the peaceful, quiet, green countryside surrounded by ocean and even icebergs!

15. Other beautiful places I've visited include Glacier National Park, Montana, and the Rocky Mountains. I also think you can't beat our own Minnesota's North Shore along Lake Superior.

16. I like to take pictures, but don't have a good camera. Someday I'd like to do something with photography in some way, shape, or form.

17. I love to make quilts, and quilted table runners and wall hangings.

18. I love coffee. Good coffee. Made with fresh ground beans in a French press. Room for cream, please.

19. My father was a Lutheran pastor. He baptized me, confirmed me, and married me. He's been in heaven since 1982 and I miss him.

20. My mom joined him in heaven just last month. I miss her terribly.

21.. I am the oldest of five kids and have three sisters and one brother. I have always loved them so much, but since mom's death they have become even more precious to me.

22. I was hit in the head with a chunk of ice when I was in first grade and I spent two weeks in the hospital with a brain concussion. Ya, now you know what's wrong with me!

23. I love to read. I think my first favorites were the Little House books. Now my favorite author is Jon Hassler, a college professor from a Minnesota college who just recently died. The book I have read the most often, other than the Bible, is Gone with the Wind.

24. My favorite Christian singer is Fernando Ortega. I love singing hymns and was in choir for four years during high school and college.

25. When I was born I had four grandparents and four great grandparents. My mother's family originally came from Norway and my dad's family came from Germany.

26. I had two imaginary friends when I was little. They were named Deex and Moxim. Weird.

27. One more for good measure! A dream in the back of my mind for many years has been to hike the Appalachian Trail, all two thousand plus miles of it. But my back would hurt after sleeping on the ground every night for six months. And I can't stand to be dirty and sweaty. And I don't like hiking uphill and there are MOUNTAINS to climb on the trail, so I guess I won't do it. Bet I could lose those forty pounds, though!

And now you know the rest of the story! Not too exciting, is it. I guess our lives could be summed up in these words: God first, family second, then anything else. I love my life. I am proud of my kids, each one an individual, and each one so precious. I would give my life for any one them in a second. And, of course, great kids produce great grandkids, and mine are the very best there is. Also each one an individual, each one my favorite!


Seems that all I'm writing about is my aching mouth! But it really does hurt, and I'm not in much of a mood to think of pleasant things to tell you. Another bad night last night. I'm getting tired of having a sore mouth and I'm tired from not sleeping.

And then yesterday our son Chuck underwent emergency gallbladder surgery. He's been having pains and finally went in to check on it and had an ultrasound. The results came in and the doctor called Chuck right away to tell him to get in to the hospital.......but Chuck was fishing and not too happy to leave that for a hospital bed! He had the surgery yesterday morning, and was complaining about his jello and beef broth at suppertime, asking where his steak was. Thea called me this morning to say that he was being released, so I guess he's doing okay.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


My jaw still hurts. Actually, the tooth also hurts some today. I have some pain pills, but I'm such a chicken to take them that I only take one at bedtime. That way I can hopefully get some sleep. And the antibiotic is making my stomach a bit upset. And I can't open my mouth wide enough to chew many kinds of food, so I'm getting hungry. Tomorrow I go back to my dentist to get the crown reset, and then I'm ready for this to be done and over with. I am not a good patient.

I'm wanting to buy a new bike, and I stopped at two places today to see what they had. Well, let me tell you, bike shops apparently aren't made with the idea of having gray haired old ladies coming to their shop. Both of the shops completely ignored me! I walked around the first one for about 15 minutes. A teenaged guy seemed to be a salesperson, but he was involved with a 40ish man who was covered with tatoos and was wearing a bandana on his pony tailed head. They were checking out bikes and the young man was telling the older guy about places to bike off road and the older guy was saying he'd been to all those places. There were two other employees, at least I thought they were employees, but they were changing the tires on a bike and didn't have a clue that anyone else was in the store. I finally left, telling Ben and Anna who were with me that this store apparently doesn't sell bikes to people with gray hair. And at the second bike shop, actually a huge sporting store, it was about the same. There was one salesperson talking on the phone, but otherwise not a soul in the area. And I looked around for about 10 minutes in this store too. Guess my money isn't any good!

But I did have a fun morning. I got to babysit for two grandkids, Ben and Anna, while Kari did a training in a town about an hour from here. We played a few games on their Wii and then set off on a mission. The mission? To buy a plant for Anna's PCA who just had a birthday, and who was just notified that she was hired by the local school district. Anna, age six, was swinging her pink purse in wide circles around her head, and I wondered if the $20 she was carrying in it would still be there by the time we got to the florist shop! We got to my favorist florist and started looking through their vast greenhouse. I found a lovely croton and showed it to Anna. Nope. I found a jade. Nope. I found several philodendrons. Nope. She found a tiny starter plant for $2.98 and a large ficus tree for $69, neither what we were looking for.

So we left this shop and went to another. Again I found a croton. Nope. A peace lily? Nope. A lacy leafed plant that I wasn't familiar with. Nope. About then the sales gal came over to help. I explained to her that Anna was looking for a plant and that she had $20. The sales gal took over. She showed Anna a goldfish plant with the tiny goldfish looking flowers. Nope. She showed her a lipstick plant. Nope. Next was a dracaena. Yes! This was exactly what Anna was looking for apparently! It was the thin spikey leaves that were green with a red edge that must have caught her eye, because this was the one. The sales gal picked up the plant and told Anna to follow her to pick out the foil and bow to dress up the plain green pot. She showed Anna a red, a green and a gold foil, but none of them were right. She pulled out an orange one that kind of clashed with the red on the spikes, and, yup, you got it, this was the one! Then Anna followed the gal over to the table where she wrapped and shaped the lovely orange foil around the pot. Now it was time for the crowning glory, the huge bow. This time there was no discussion about it......Anna said it had to be pink!

So Alicia will be receiving a plant with green spikes edged with red, wrapped in orange foil, and finished off with the brightest hot pink bow you've ever seen! This is so Anna........and I'm guessing Alicia will love it!

Monday, August 25, 2008


A little kid, maybe 8 or 9, was playing in thee waves and couldn't get back in. We watched as his mom dove in and swam out to save him. There have been many drownings at this spot. The water is very cold and the currents are strong.
I could sit on these rocks and watch the lake for hours. In fact we did just that.
Our campsite was down in the lower campground, near the water, so we were lulled to sleep
by the crashing and splashing each night.

The sun was hot, and we were thankful for a breeze.
Isn't it glorious?
I need my fix of Lake Superior at least every other year. I always leave here refreshed, and

this year was no exception. I absolutely love this place. Good night. My jaw hurts and it's time for drugs!


We have been home for a bit more than 24 hours now, and more than two of those hours were spent in the endodontist's chair with my mouth as wide open as I could manage. Yes, my first day back from vacation I was treated to a root canal! Fun, fun, fun. I should have stayed at the lake! This first picture is the stained glass kokopelli I bought in Mexico this past winter. We installed it in the door of our 5th wheel, but when we sold it and bought our little trailer, I insisted that we take it out of the door on the 5th wheel and put it in the new one.

Grand Marais is one of my favorite spots on the North Shore. There's lots of shopping in quaint little shops, and a Ben Franklin that sells everything you could ever want! So we had fun there
and took this picture as a sailboat was entering the harbor. The next pictures are from the
state park where we stayed, Temperance River. The waves were crashing more like the ocean than a lake, and we sat down at the shore for hours, watching the beautiful sight.
This shot is so filled with water spray that you can hardly make it out!
When the lake is acting normal, we sit on this rock. Not today!
By the next morning the waves were pretty much back to normal.
This is Temperance River, many miles inland on the Sawbill Trail, a twenty some mile dirt road that we love to take every time we're up there.
The flower box at the general store in Tofte.
A pretty lake on the Gunflint Trail. You can see where it has burned in the past. Much of the drive along this trail is along land that has burned at some point, some of it last summer.

The river in Jay Cook State Park, another favorite stopping place Up North.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Lake Superior gave us quite the show on Monday afternoon and evening. More photos to follow shortly........this is just to tempt you a little. I am rejuvenated, refreshed and relaxed......Yay!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've been trying to load this and it won't cooperate. So you'll have to check out this link.


These are the tasks on my list today: laundry and ironing of the clothes for our vacation, locating sheets and blankets for my sister who is coming with us on our trip, packing the food I've so far purchased and making a list of what I still need to get, reminding hubby to have the mail held for the next 9 days, cleaning the apartment so we come home to a clean place, and trying not to get too excited! We leave tomorrow afternoon when my sister gets off work, and I can't wait! North Shore here we come! And you'll see so many pictures that you'll almost think you were there, too!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Why doesn't stuff last? I remember my mom using an appliances for years and years. How come the same stuff doesn't last me more than a couple of years? Take irons, for example. I have an iron that I bought within the last two years. It doesn't work anymore, and heaven knows it's not from being used too much! I hate to iron. But I need an iron for quilting projects to press seams, and I have some cotton and linen clothing that needs to be ironed, so I do have to have one. My iron is a good brand, not the lowest price in the line either, but it has completely blown out. If you wiggle the cord long enough you can get it to come one, but the minute you let go of the cord to press your shirt, it goes off again. And of course the cord is encased in a rubberized coating, so hubby can't take it apart to fix it.

And take my hair straightener is two weeks old! Bought it at Cheapko only a couple of weeks ago, and it's done for also. You can plug it in, turn it on, the light comes on, indicating that it's on, but it doesn't heat up! Not even warm up in the slightest!

So, today I went to town and bought a new iron. And believe me, I'm keeping the packaging and receipt handy because I'm assuming I'll need to return it shortly. And I returned the hair straightener thingie to Cheapko. They asked no questions, almost like they expected me to return it within two weeks, and they just gave me a new one. But it's the same thing, so it will probably die the week we come back from our vacation. I also will be keeping that packaging.

Now, my 18 month old laptop isn't working right either. The S, P, N, and a few other keys don't want to work. So you hit it three or four times, and still nothing happens. Then you hit it six or seven more times and you get 14 letters typing across your page. I have cleaned my keyboard with my magic canned air that I use to clean my sewing machine, and have blown out any cookie crumbs that may have dropped in between the cracks when someone else must have used my computer because I certainly would never eat a cookie or cracker when I'm typing, but that hasn't helped either. I'm wondering if I can take it back and get a new one handed to me, no questions asked?

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Today we took a road trip to Wisconsin, to the birthday party of the wife of my grandpa's cousin, or some such close relationship! But, really the relationship has always been closer....we've always called her aunt Liz. She celebrated her 85th birthday today, and my husband drove the van loaded with me, my sister Ruth and her husband Ike, and my sister Lois. The drive was about three hours, and when we arrived at my aunt Elaine's home we found she had made reservations at The Norske Nook for lunch. Now the Norske Nook is known for their Norwegian foods, lefse, meatballs, Norwegian pancakes, lingonberry sauce, and their incredible pies.
This one was mine.....sour cream raspberry.....and was it ever good!
Ike enjoyed his sour cream raisin..........
And Little Margie had the lemon meringue.
Next time we'll skip the lunch and go right for the pie!

Friday, August 08, 2008

AUGUST 9, 1942

This is a picture of my mom taken 66 years ago on her wedding day. Have you ever seen a more beautiful dress or lovely bouquet of flowers?
Have you ever seen dresses in rainbow colors?
My parents ~ the young vicar who fell in love with and married the beautiful angel in the white dress. They celebrated their 40th anniversary just weeks before my dad died in 1982. Tomorrow is the 66th anniversary of their marriage, just weeks after my mom's death.
The thing I treasure most about my childhood is that we were raised with the Bible as the self-help book. We were all brought to the Lord in baptism as tiny babies, and were in church every Sunday after that, no questions asked. My dad baptised me, confirmed me and married me. My parents taught me my Bible stories, catechism, and hymns. And they taught me about giving. My dad wrote a booklet on giving, and how tithing is a good example to follow. In this booklet he said: You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.
That simple statement is the perfect summary of their whole cannot love without giving.
Thank you dear heavenly Father for such loving parents, who in all things were faithful to each other and to you. Help me to follow their example. In Christ's holy name, Amen.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Several friends have asked where we are planning to go on our vacation. Well, we are going to a very special place, one of my top ten favorite spots in the world, Minnesota's North Shore, along Lake Superior north and east of Duluth. I can't begin to name the times we've vacationed up there....too many to remember.

Let's see, there was the summer we left Kari home alone for the first time. She was working and planning her wedding, so we left her home, and called often! That's the summer Kevin jumped off the bridge into the foaming, roaring, raging water, and scared his mother half to death! That's also the summer we ate trout for breakfast because hubby and the five boys got up early and went fishing up the river, inland from the lake.

We took several trips with my mom and sister. One summer with them alone, and one summer with grandsons Jacob and Caleb along too. But probably the most memorable trip was the time during the winter that we convinced mom and my sister to accompany us. We spent a long weekend in a little cabin right on the lake, a weekend during the winter of deep snows and cold days and nights. And we had a ball. We drove up the Sawbill Trail to the campground where we have also spent several summer vacations. The trail was a winter wonderland of deep drifts along the freshly plowed roadway, evergreen branches hung close to the ground with the weight of the accumulated snow, deer ran along the edge of the road because the ditches and open land were too deeply covered in the white stuff, and the beauty of the trees deep in the woods that still held their red berries was unequaled by any manufactured scene you'd find in the city. We often refer to this enchanted weekend as our winter wonderland trip. And we know we could never in a hundred years recreate it.

Ernie and I have also spent several vacations up there alone. One time we planned a week long hiking trip on the Superior Hiking Trail and carefully gathered food, shelter and clothing for the week, and we read books and researched the Internet for camp spots and water sources. All was ready, we were in decent shape and were so excited for our trek. We parked our truck and small camper at a State Park and took the Superior Shuttle Service up the shore to our starting point. We had decided on a section that was not flat, but more challenging, and soon our hearts were pounding and our breathing was rapid, and we were having a blast! Until I started not feeling too well. And then started vomiting, an unpleasant task when carrying a 40 pound back on your back! And then diarrhea in the woods, far from a nice cushy roll of bathroom tissue. Oh my. I felt horrible! We came to a huge uphill section where we were actually climbing, not hiking, and I almost gave up. Ernie hauled his pack AND my pack to the top, and I slowly inched my way up the hill. After several hours and many, many stops to rest, we completed the first ten miles (and last ten miles!) of our trek. We were many miles from our truck and camper, and had to hitch a ride to the highway, and then hitch a ride back to the park where our vehicle was. Then we looked for a place to stay where we had electricity and water hookups because we didn't know how long I would be sick. We finally squeezed into a private campground, right next to the manager's house, and got set up just in time for a huge storm. HUGE STORM! Torrential rains, thunder, lightening, and winds kept up all night, and the morning brought a realization that if we would have been on the trail in the woods, we would have been in extreme danger from the lightening and falling tree and branches. I guess I got sick for a reason!

We plan on no storms for this trip. And only day hikes, not week long treks with heavy back packs. In fact my plan is to get a site in the lower campgound, down close to the water. And my morning will consist of coffee made in my French press and drank out of a huge mug while sitting on a rock in the first sunlight of the day, watching the "shining big sea water." And I will heal. The North Shore is a special place to me, and I can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


The only good thing about being in the middle of a horrible fibromyalgia flare up is that the endodontist postponed my root canal this morning! We rescheduled for the last Monday in August, after our upcoming vacation. Hopefully I'll be feeling less pain by then.

I also hope to feel more like blogging soon. It's been a rough week so haven't had much energy to do anything. Please stick with me.......I'll be back.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I cannot wait! This is one of my favorite books, and it's coming out in a movie in October. I think Dakota Fanning will do a good job as Lily. And as always, I wonder if the movie will be as good as the book. Usually they aren't.

So where did all the comments on this post disappear to? Interesting.

And now two came back??????

Friday, August 01, 2008


Today is my baby brother's birthday, and his lovely bride just celebrated her birthday in July. I have not forgotten to wish you guys happy birthday.....just took me awhile to find the proper picture to post along with my best wishes! Hope you have a good one!
What is that stuff on your upper lip, Paul? (photo courtesy of dad's old slides!......197?)