Monday, September 29, 2008


Whoohoo! Ernie got a call this morning telling him that he won't be needed this week at his part time job. So we are going camping. We're heading down to the southeastern part of the state, which is a very pretty spot. Lots of rolling hills and trees, and beautiful, simple Amish farms. There are quite a few furniture and craft stores that are so much fun to shop at. And, there is a really neat bike trail to ride my new bike on!

Ernie had gotten a new bike a while back, and I decided I wanted one too. We just hadn't found anything until today. I got a Giant Sedona, which is billed as a comfortable ride. It does have a nice gel seat! But the most important thing for me was that the handle bar is very adjustable. I can raise and lower it, but can also bring it closer to me so I can ride more upright, which I hope won't cause my fibromyalgia to flare up so much. I am really anxious to try it out. We used to ride pretty often, but haven't done so in the last several years.

So wish for us a sunny week, not too hot, not to cold, not too windy, not too humid, not too hilly, and not too busy! Do you think I'm a fair weather rider? Probably, but I don't want hot and humid or too much wind when I ride. My bike is a bright red....I'll hopefully find a wireless hot spot so I can post pictures and blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday night our 17 year old grandson, Jacob, called and asked if he could come to visit this weekend. Of course! I never turn down a grandkid visit! So Saturday after I helped daughter Kari with her FASD booth at the Women's Show, I drove the half hour east to pick up Jacob. Last night he and I went to Barnes and Noble for a coffee and to look at books, and spent a pleasant couple of hours together. This morning we went to church, and then met up with two of my sisters and a brother-in-law for lunch.

Ernie went home and settled into the recliner to watch football. (He's still there, NINE hours later!!!) Jacob and I did a little shopping and then stopped at Caribou for another coffee drink. Can you tell that he's my coffee buddy grandkid? I ran him home a bit before dinner tonight, and stopped to take a couple of pictures of these trees across from his apartment building. I love this time of the year when the evenings take on a little chill, and the lush green vegetation turns into vivid red, orange, yellow and gold. These trees aren't that brightly colored yet, but it's the beginning of my favorite season!
Oh, these trees are on the grounds of the nursing home where Jacob just got an after school job as a dietary aide. I think he will do a good job and I'm proud of him. He's the third of my grandkids to have a job in the "care" field. Kjirsten has worked at a nursing home since she was 17, and she's 22 now. And Katie is a PCA, personal care attendant, for some handicapped folks. It's good to have grandkids who are so kind and caring and they're working with those who may need some special care.
Have I told you that I love fall?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


This barrister cabinet was my dads and is now one of my cherished possessions. I had displayed some of my carnival glass and depression glass in it, but it was so dark that the glassware didn't really show up. Yesterday we went to one of the big box home improvement places and bought three small wireless strips of LED lights. I used the hook and loop tape that came with the kits and put them on the back of the shelves. Now my precious glassware shows up! Yay me! Isn't it pretty?

Friday, September 26, 2008


The two beautiful women above are my mom, in the purple, and her sister Elaine, my aunt, in the print jacket. This was taken last November at my nephew's wedding. This is right about the time when we started noticing mom was having some problems, but six months before we knew it was a brain tumor. The two sisters are five years apart in age, but both have September birthdays. As you know, mom's birthday was just three days ago, and Elaine will celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

My earliest memory of my aunt is from when I was two and a half years old. We were moving from Minnesota to Iowa where my dad was to be pastor of two country churches. My dad had gone ahead, and was already at the parsonage, and my grandpa was driving mom, my baby sister and me to our new home. My Aunt Elaine was also in the car, and she was singing a song to me: Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair, fuzzy wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he!

About three years later I was the flower girl in Aunt Elaine's wedding. She is a very important person in my life, and I love her dearly. Happy birthday, Elaine! I hope you are feeling better. We will be over to see you soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I received this from a friend, from my sister, and then my daughter posted it on her blog yesterday. I like it! A good plan for your life, don't you think?

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says..."Oh, CRAP, she's awake.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


PROV. 31:28a

The last six verses of Proverbs 31 are:
26: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27: She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28: Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her.
29: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31: Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Dearest mom,

One of my earliest memories is of sitting next to you in church and thinking that you had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard. I suppose I started out sitting on your lap, but as my siblings came along I sat next to you, and I tried so hard, with no success, to imitate your voice. Another of my early memories of singing hymns is of helping with supper dishes in our pink and green kitchen and learning my memory work hymns as you washed and I dried. And always our evening devotions, and often our bedtimes, involved singing a hymn. Thank you for giving me the love of hymns.

Another of my earliest memories is of your long black hair. I thought you were so beautiful, and still do, even though now your hair is white with age and wisdom. I love the fact that you were always in a dress. It was the 1950's, and that's the way life was then, but I think it was so fitting that the pastor's wife was properly dressed. Thank you for being an example of beauty and decency.

All through my grade school years you were home when I got home from school, and were attentive when I talked about my friends, my school work, and my problems, and you always offered advice based on what God would want us to do or say. When you did work outside the home when we moved to Mankato, it was a strange feeling to come home and find you not home yet. The house was lonely when you weren't there. Thank you for always being there when I was growing up.

It is still a mystery to me how you could make a meal for 8 people out of a pound of hamburger or a small chicken or roast. We didn't have much, but we never once went hungry. We seldom had luxuries like bologna or lunch meat, or store bought treats such as Twinkies and donuts, but our school lunch boxes were never empty. And during the summer when we took swimming lessons, I remember coming home to a huge pan of potatoes frying on the back burner, a hot lunch for chilled swimmers. A picnic of soda crackers or peanut butter sandwiches, and a Mason jar filled with orange Watkins drink was a real treat, and we happily trotted off to the cemetery or cow pasture to eat our banquet. Thank you for always taking care of me and for teaching me how to be frugal and thrifty.

I remember once when I was very small that I loved a blue, lavender and purple floral flower sack that we had gotten, so you made me a sun dress out of it. I was supposed to be napping on the iron bed covered with grandma Otto's star quilt of yellow and orange prints and solids in the room we called 'teacher's room' and you were working on my dress, a gathered skirt connected to a bib halter top with ruffles on the straps. I was so excited about the dress that I couldn't sleep, and I kept getting up to see how much progress you had made on the dress. When the dress was finished I modeled it for daddy and probably wore it until I outgrew it. Each Christmas and Easter we had a new dress, either made by you or sent by Nonny with no hem in it, and you would sit up half the night hemming the dresses for us. When I wanted to learn to sew, you helped me get started, and always praised the results. Thank you for keeping us clothed and for helping me develop a hobby that I have enjoyed now for over fifty years.

Thank you for giving me siblings. I love each of them so much and cannot imagine life without any one of them. Thank you for being a wonderful example of a dutiful wife and a loving mother. You always put your husband's needs or your children's wants and desires before your own. Thank you for taking such good care of the old folks in our church. At 85 you still haul the old people, some younger than you, to all the church events, and never complain about the added chores. What a great example of a loving Christian you are to us all. We could do no better than to imitate you.

For these, and for hundreds of other reasons, your children can arise and call you blessed. And my prayer, and all of our prayers, is for you to receive your reward, which you will when the time is right, and you reach the golden gates of Heaven.

Have a wonderful 85th birthday.

You have all my thanks, my love, and my prayers.

I wrote this last year for a memory book that we made for mom's 85th birthday. Today is the 86th anniversary of her birth, which she is celebrating in heaven with Jesus.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Well, not really. However we used to have this meal from a garbage can. That was when we used to do big family campouts with my sisters and brother and their families. We were a huge group then, sometimes over thirty people. Then my brother-in-law, Ike, would actually use a garbage can to cook this meal, called garbage can supper. He cooked this meal for us this weekend, but there were only nine of us, so he used his turkey cooker.
He starts with ears of corn on the bottom, then layers red potatoes, whole carrots, big onions, green beans, and brats, ring bologna, or old fashioned wieners. He covers the vegetables with water and cooks for about 45 minutes after it has come to a boil. This is the result...........
.....and is it ever good! Put a little butter on the corn and butter and sour cream on the potato, and you have a meal fit for a king. Or queen, as the case may be. Ike fixed this for our dinner last night and we topped that off with carrot cake. No one moved for quite a long time after that meal. Ike is also known for his beautiful flowers.
Their yard slopes from front to back, giving him the perfect place for stone steps and flower beds.
The front of their home is also pretty. Ike spends a lot of time working outside in his gardens.
We had a wonderful weekend at Ruth and Ike's place. And when I told daughter Kari about our meal last night, she said we need to do a campout and have Ike fix the garbage can supper like he used to do. What do you think, Ike?
We went through some of mom's things, especially her jewelry. We still have a lot of old pictures and letters to go through another time, but I don't think we'll have a better meal than our garbage can supper!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Do you know Peter Ostroushko ? Or Dirk Freymuth? Last night they were performing at the college where I used to work, and I was privileged to attend. It was absolutely wonderful! And I bought two CD's. Had to. I needed that music in my house. Ostroushko is a master of violin and mandolin, Freymuth of the guitar. They have done many concerts together, thrilling crowds everywhere. Ostroushko was asked several years ago to write the music for a PBS special on Minnesota. The result is the CD Minnesota, which is one that I bought. I had heard it before, but this is the first time I heard the music in a live concert. Please check out the Ostroushko site and listen to a bit of his music.

Tonight we're going to my middle sister's place about 45 minutes east of here. My other two sisters and also my brother will also be there, along with spouses. We are gathering to go through the last of our mom's things, jewelry, etc. I am really looking forward to being together with everyone........we haven't done so since mom's funeral, and I'm sure this weekend will help bring some closure to our grieving. We all get along well, so it will be a pleasant, if emotional, time, I'm sure.

So I made a cake to bring along. Actually, I made the cake that you all should make, Pioneer Woman's carrot cake. If you've never visited her site, now is the time. She has many good recipes and this is one of the best! And you should go make it now!

Then I stopped by the clinic to make an appointment with my doctor for my physical. I don't get in until the end of October, about five weeks from now, which is good because now I can take off the forty pounds I'm wanting to get rid of. (see carrot cake recipe.)

So, now I should pack up a few things for the weekend. I'll probably not see you until Sunday sometime. Have a great weekend. And make the carrot cake.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This photo is from August 1, 2007, the day tragedy struck. Thirteen people lost their lives.
This photo is from this morning, September 18, 2008, less than 14 months after the first photo. The bridge opened this morning at 5:00 am.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Two of my online friends have mentioned their collections of depression glass. I decided to share a photo of some of mine. And I'll tell you a little about some of the pieces.

On the top shelf on the outsides are two very pale yellow square plates. In the center of that shelf are two green serving plates. In front of the green plates are cups, saucers, dessert plates, berry bowls and a footed jelly dish in green. They are part of a luncheon set with the four lunch sized plates on the middle shelf. In the center of this shelf is a green footed cake plate. In the center are five green goblets, and on the sides of those are my greatest treasure, six crystal goblets that were my grandmother's and are over 80 years old.

On the bottom shelf the two outside platters are amber, and the center oval platter is pink. I have more pieces in another location, and I'll try to take a picture of those soon. Oh yes, that's an old mantle clock on the top of the hutch.

I love my depression glass, don't you?


What does May 9, 2006 mean to you? Nothing special? Don't remember? That date was 500 posts ago for me. It was my very first post. It was sent from Dunn Bros. coffee shop where I was sitting with our daughter, Kari , learning how to blog. Wow! Life has certainly changed for me in that time. Permit me to bore you with a rehash of those 499 posts.

In the words of our oldest son, Kevin, on that date my husband and I were homeless and jobless. We had just retired from jobs we had held for many, many years. We had sold the home where we had raised our seven kids, and we had given away the majority of our possessions, keeping only a few favorite pieces of furniture and some family heirlooms. We had purchased a big white truck and a 35 foot fifth wheel trailer, and we were off on the adventure of a lifetime. And that is what we had for twenty wonderful months!

Our first destination was Alaska. Then we headed for Florida. Last summer was New Foundland, and last winter was California. Count all the states and provinces we crossed in traveling to the actual destinations and you'll see that we covered a majority of the Northern Hemisphere! WhooHoo! It was awesome, wonderful, exciting, amazing, and any other superlative that you can think of. We saw great stuff and met super people.

And I cried lonely tears in each and every state and province. I was having a wonderful time, but I missed my family. Still we traveled on down the highways and byways, and when the loneliness became unbearable, we flew or drove back to Minnesota. One of those trips back to Minnesota became the turning point of our adventure.

Last November we flew home from Las Vegas for our godson's wedding and found my mom looking tired and confused. We chalked it up to the fact that she was 85 and went back out west. In December we flew home again, for Christmas. Mom was definitely more tired and more confused and we started to question our plans for travel. In the middle of January from our spot in San Diego, California, we made the decision to give up full time RVing and go home to Minnesota.

And we are so glad we did. We were only permitted six more months with mom. Jesus came to take her home on July 15. Those last six months with mom were so precious, and we will never regret changing our lives to come back to Minnesota.

Now we've come full circle! We sold the big trailer and bought a tiny camper. We live in a nice home that we are renting, and we've again filled it with furniture and treasures. And Ernie has gone back to work part time. We're back to the life we were leading in May of 2006.

The last 499 posts have come from scores of locations: Seldovia, Alaska, Yukon Territory, the land of Lincoln, the Amish country of Indiana, the white sands of Florida's gulf coast, the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam. From Anne of Green Gables' home on Prince Edward Island, from the Viking's landing spot in New Foundland, from the cowboy towns of the West, from ski towns of the mountains, and from the beaches of San Diego, California. We've been there, done that, and bought way too many t-shirts!

Oh what memories we have. And it's all been recorded in word and picture here on Roadsage as we traveled down eight lane highways and narrow mountain trails. I'm so glad I have this record of those wonderful times. And it has been so much fun sharing it all with you.

So, now we venture down a different road and wonder where it will lead us. We plan to keep recording our travels and posting photos so you can travel with us. The next big trips? Florida in January and Alaska in July, with a few local trails in between. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I had a crummy cold or allergy flare up or something equally yucky for a few days there, but am now mending and back to the world of the living.

Last night hubby and I were invited to meet some friends at the restaurant on the lake where their home is located. These friends were also bringing another couple with them, so there would be six of us. We had a wonderful time, laughing, sharing, chatting away, and making friends out of the new folks we met. After the meal, our host invited us on his pontoon for a ride back to their home. It was a beautiful evening, calm water, no bugs, a bit of a chill on the air. A beautiful almost fall evening.

As we arrived at our friends' home, we turned and looked back at the lake and saw that we were going to have a beautiful sight a bit later. This was our view from the deck of their home.

This was the view that greeted us after apple strudel and ice cream and coffee.

We had a wonderful evening, full of talk and laughter with two old friends, and two new friends! Don't you just love evenings like that?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Do you know about Honey Crisp apples? In my opinion, they are the best "eatin' out of the hand" apple on the market. Honey Crisp are called "explosively crisp" and they do give a sharp snap when you bite into them. They are juicy. And they are sweetly tart.

Honey Crisp's parents are the Macoun and the Honeygold apples. They were part of a University of Minnesota breeding program in the 1960's, and have quickly grown to be one of our favorite eating apples. Kids especially seem to love them.

The facts state that they are usually ready on September 10. Well, yesterday, the 11th, I went to the Farmers Market, and the apple man was there. Did I dare hope that he'd have his Honey Crisp? I walked up to his stand, and there, right on the right side as they always are, were the medium sized, red and gold beauties! I bought the three pound bag, which contained nine medium/smallish apples, for $8.99. A bit expensive, but the best eating apple in the world deserves to command a higher price!
The beautiful apples called for my light amber colored depression glass bowl and the new apples table topper that I bought at the thrift shop for a quarter. I've had two, and will probably have another for lunch.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, you know, so two or three a day should guarantee health, right? How come I have a sore throat, stuffy upper chest and a headache? Maybe I need more apples!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Today hubby did something he hasn't done for two years, three months and nine days. He went to work! I guess he was getting bored with being retired and just going golfing, going for a walk, taking a nap or watching Deadliest Catch or Dirtiest Jobs, so he found a part time job. His goal is to put some money aside to pay for diesel fuel for the truck when we take our next roadtrip, Florida in January!

I did some laundry, picked up a bit, planned dinner, and then did what all good wives do when their husband finally gets out of the house........I went out for lunch with my friend Judy! And then I met my daughter at the mall and I helped her spend a lot of money. And then we had coffee.

Yup, it was a good day!

Monday, September 08, 2008


The Hjemkomst Center also has a Stave Kirke, or Stave Church, a replica of this church in Norway. Notice the gargoyles on the roof peaks. They were carved and placed there to keep the evil demons away from the church.

This is the interior. No pews. The people stood during the services, which often lasted at least two hours. There is a narrow bench around the wall for the elder folks to sit on.
There was no source of heat either, but I suppose all standing bunched together would keep you pretty warm.
There is very beautiful carving and painting on this small enclosed area which may have been for the wealthy family or for visiting church officials.
The altar is white marble covered with a red hardanger embroidered cloth. Hardanger embroidery came from the Hardangerfjord area of western Norway, and is usually worked on a white even weaved cloth. It is a design that is cut and embroidered on the fabric, counting each stitch on the weave. Hard to explain, check the link. It is very beautiful! My daughter, Kari , has a huge hardanger tablecloth that her mother-in-law made for her and Mike. This is called a ambulatory. It goes all the way around the outside of the church, and was a sheltered place where the sick people could stand, outside of the church so they wouldn't infect others, but close enough to hear and take part in the service. There is a tiny door on the other side of the church where the pastor inside could offer communion to those outside without infecting everyone inside the building.
A tiny door so only one person could enter at a time, and therefore the evil spirits would have a hard time getting in. The door has a high threshold where you would have to step up and over to get inside, hopefully to keep out the blowing snow and the smaller rodents that would be looking to enter to keep warm.

This beautifully rosemaled church bench was in the entryway of the Center. This is another beautiful Norwegian talent. I can't do either rosemaling or hardanger embroidery. The sun came out for about thirty seconds just as I was starting supper.


On Friday we went to Buffalo River State Park, near Moorhead, which is across the river from Fargo. Yup, Fargo, of the movie fame. The day was cold and cloudy, drizzly and dull. We first drove over to the University Science Center where we planned to spent a couple of hours watching the birds. This back of this center is up against the woods, and they have numerous bird feeders that cater to the multitude of birds found in this area. The back wall of the building is windows, and we've spent hours before watching the birds, finches, jays, woodpeckers, and many many others. The sign for the center states that it is open from 6 am until 11 pm (there is a planetarium also), but it was closed. Locked up tighter than a drum. The only thing to take a picture of was this metal image of prairie grasses, pretty, but not the birds we were looking for.
So we drove into Moorhead and went to the Hjemkomst Center where there is a replica of a Norwegian ship. Check the link, it's interesting. The ship is very uniquely decorated, as you can see from these circle plaque things!
Kind of a dark view from the top, looking into the ship. Cramped quarters, that's for sure!
The Vikings had those carved figureheads on the bow and stern of their ships, often images of dragons. These were to scare away evil spirits at sea, as well as to terrify their victims.

The story of Robert Asp and his dream to build a Viking ship is very interesting, and you can read about it on the above link.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


A cloudy day brought us to Maplewood State Park. It did rain a bit, but not enough to dampen our spirits. The photo below is the view from our campsite. Not too shabby, uh?
Late in the afternoon, after a little shower, we decided on a hike around the lake.
There were lots of hills, and lush green carpeted forest floors.
The path stayed pretty close to the lake shore, but did climb up and descend down quite a bit.
Portions of the trail were rocky.

But as I mentioned already, the forest floor was lushly carpeted in a beautiful green.
Yup, a few more rocks.

Many of Minnesota's State Parks have camper cabins. They are for those folks who don't want to pull a camper, or just don't want to sleep on the ground in a tent.
This campsite overlooks the lake.
This one is tucked back in the trees on a little rise.
There are three little black spots on the lake. Loons! I love to listen to the call of the loons every evening when the rest of the lake and campground have quieted down.

Another hint that the weather is about to sumac.
Kind of a strange sight, bare, dead, sumac twigs and tiny delicate purple wildflowers.

The lake in the evening. After another little shower we spied just a hint of the sunset.

The next morning the lake was a different scene.....kind of ghostly looking in the morning fog.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I left hubby doing dishes inside the little trailer and I took off to climb a hill and watch the sunset.
The wildflowers and grasses were beautiful in the light of the setting sun.
It was a King Midas moment.....everything was turning to gold.
The silence was broken only by two deer, one on top of the hill, one on the bottom, snorting at each other.
Did I ever tell you that I love sunsets?
And now the sun is gone, leaving behind only a few golden clouds. It was the most peaceful moment I've spent since my mom died. Somehow I felt close to her up here on the hill. Sunsets make me feel a if I've been given a glimpse of heaven, and I feel closer to God. And since I know mom is in heaven with God, I guess I felt closer to her, too. Peace is in my heart.
I pray you also know this Peace.