Friday, October 31, 2008


I am busy reading the instruction book for my new super zoom camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ28. I am so excited and can't wait to learn how to use it. I apologize in advance, because I will not probably, I will, bore you with tons of photos! My goal is to be able to take decent pictures by January when we go to Florida where I will have beaches, ocean, and sunsets!
Wish me luck!


Nope, these pictures aren't from Minnesota on October 31. They are from a year ago, out on the Desert Wildlife Refuge, near Las Vegas. I'm back there in my mind this morning after hearing from the couple that we traveled with last year. They are on the road again as of this week. This is one of the couples that we plan to be with in Florida in January. They live in Cheyenne, and just spent the summer back there, but are now back traveling, heading to Branson, then meandering through the South, and down to Florida.
On this day last fall, Ernie and I took off for an adventure, and it was! This is the road we traveled on that day for hours! It was a wildlife refuge but we saw none! Nothing at all. We also saw no other people or vehicles for the whole day as we drove alone the narrow, bumpy, rock road. It was a really fun day. I think I took 150 pictures!
I do remember getting to the other side of the refuge and letting out a sigh of relief when we found the highway that would take us back to the AFB in Vegas. I have fond memories of the time we spent with Dick and Bev in Vegas. We walked the Strip at night looking at the fabulous lights, and our hubbies treated us to Phantom one awesome experience.

Okay, I'm over my trip down memory lane and back in the present. I know I haven't posted since Monday when I wasn't feeling well. I am fine. In fact I never really got sick, just the headache and funny stomach. On Wednesday I had my yearly physical, or should I say I had the doctor portion of it. Now to do the other tests she has scheduled for me. The first one is this morning, a bone scan. So I'm off for that in a few minutes.

Our daughter is still in the hospital, waiting for her hearing next week. Please pray that she will be sentenced to alcohol treatment. She needs the help in order to save her life.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This morning I opened my eyes and wanted to shut them right away again. I had a headache. I got up and sat in a chair and realized I had a funny stomach, too. So, I have stayed in my jammies all day! I did do a little sewing and finished up a Christmas table runner except for the binding. It's looking good! Other than that, I've read a few blogs and emails, and nothing else. Oh, I did make dinner, an easy task because I had leftovers from our ham dinner on Saturday night. Now I'm sitting again. I feel no worse but probably not much better either. But I loved just hanging around all day in my jammies!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We had such a big day at our church today. First of all it is Reformation Sunday, and we sang many of my favorite hymns. Then the children from our Christian Day School sang several songs, little kids up front, and the bigger kids in back, boys on one side and girls on the other. There must have been at least 100 kids present, and they did such a good job. It was also new member Sunday, and I think there were at least 25 new folks introduced to the congregation. And, it was our annual (almost annual?) hog roast. We had a wonderful potluck dinner in addition to the pork and turkey sandwiches. It seems that all the ladies of the church try to outdo the others with the salads and desserts they contribute to the meal. That is hubby's favorite kind of meal, one where he can graze for two hours if he wants!

We talked to six of our seven kids this weekend, three in person and three by phone. Last night we had son Chuck and Thea and Nicolas over for dinner and I totally enjoyed my grandkid fix. They are so busy that we don't see Nicolas as often as we'd like. Chuck and Ernie had been out hunting once this week, and plan to go again soon. We saw daughter Kari and Mike and part of their family this afternoon after church for a little while, and had fun with Anna and Ben but Adam was upstairs upchucking, so didn't get to visit with him. I was also up at the hospital to visit Gail, and I brought her a robe and pj's. Yesterday we had talked to the youngest, Lance, and this afternoon I was on the phone with Chris in Alaska, and Ernie was on his phone with our oldest son, Kevin. These kinds of days are the best; the days when I can talk with our kids.

The big damper of the weekend was the BLIZZARD we had this afternoon! Now, it wasn't really a blizzard, but it was great big snowflakes being whipped around by the high winds, and believe me, when I had to cross Sam's Club parking lot, it seemed like a blizzard. I like winter, but I want it my way with big fluffy snowflakes, no wind, sunshine, and blue skies, a Norman Rockwell scene.

And so begins another week. This past week had a few unpleasant events in it. I wonder what the Lord has in store for us this week? We just have to remember that whatever it is, it will be whatever He knows is the best for us.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


When I visited Gail in the hospital this afternoon, I asked what was happening. What was the plan. I got no answers. Of course the nurse could tell me nothing. Finally the nurse and I talked to Gail and she finally agreed to let the nurse tell me what was going on. Apparently she is on a hold until a court hearing when she will hopefully be sentenced to treatment.

We hope and pray that is what will happen.

NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT...................

It's been a tough week. Well, only since Wednesday I guess, as that's the day we found out.

On Sunday when we returned from our camping trip, I was expecting a call from our #2 daughter but the call never came. Oh, well. Not as if it's the first time she didn't do what she said she'd do. Monday morning also passed, and no call, so I started calling her. No answer. Monday afternoon and evening I called. No answer. The same for Tuesday morning, afternoon and evening. No answer. I was getting a bit worried, but again, this has happened before, so I wasn't too upset. Wednesday morning's phone call also produced no answer.

Wednesday afternoon hubby's phone rang. It was the pastor from church, calling to see how our daughter was doing and was she still in ICU?!?!?! Turns out she hurt her knee or something in a fall, and went to the ER. While there she went into alcohol withdrawal and they had to sedate her, intubate her, and put her in ICU for five days. She's now in a regular room, not hooked to tubes anymore. I suppose they'll release her soon, but she has no place to go.

Why will a county pay for numerous ambulance trips, countless ER visits, and scores of hospitalizations to get her sobered up, and then they let her return to the same situation and within hours, the same state she was in before the hospital stay, but they won't pay for an attempt at treatment?

This daughter was exposed to alcohol in the womb, she was genetically predisposed to alcoholism, and I believe she has an undiagnosed FASD. Add to this her mental illness and her alcoholism, and you have a very sad situation.

And there is nothing we can do about it.

Prayers would be appreciated.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Okay, so I went along with everyone else and added the followers thingie to my blog. My mom always said I was a follower, you know the old "if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it too?" Yes, I probably would. If it was a small bridge because I'm scared of heights!

Anyhow, I really would like to be a leader just once, so if you want me to fulfill my dream, click on the follow me on the right side of this page. I promise not to lead you anywhere that's scary or dangerous!

Thank you. I wish my mom could see that I'm a leader now! Of course I follow all of you, so guess I'm still a follower, too.

Have you ever noticed that when you say a word many times in a short period of time it sounds really stupid? Try saying follower about ten times......doesn't it sound silly?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


WARNING: The following contains many calories and grandkids.

The camping trip this past weekend was filled with fun, food, and freezing temps. Anna found a nice spot in the lounge chair with her blanket, in front of the fire.
Breakfast on the first morning was pancakes on the griddle, and eggs, bacon and sausage made in the man pan!
Ben enjoys grandpa's pancakes.
We were lucky to find two spots right next to the tables that were covered by a shelter. So even the little sprinkles on Friday didn't phase us......we were covered! And right behind Ernie's green bike is my new red bike. I love it!
This serious looking guy is Caleb, my favorite grandson.*
And this guy getting beat up by his father and his grandfather is my favorite grandson, Adam.*
Do you guys know about lefsa? Remember the lutefisk post? Well, lefsa is what you always eat with lutefisk. I describe it to people as Norwegian tortillas. It's made with potatoes and lard and very little flour. Well, there is a famous Minnesota lefsa factory down in the area where we were camping, and we had to go there on Friday to pick some up to freeze for Thanksgiving and Christmas, traditional lutefisk and lefsa days in the Norwegian community. I thought it was interesting to see how it's made in bulk. The pieces of dough are put on those surfaces where the rolling pins flatten them to paper thin thickness. Then they are moved on a lefsa stick over to the other line
and placed on a lefsa grill to bake. They are flipped over quickly and baked on the other side, then stacked in a pile between layers of towels to cool. Spread with butter, sprinkle with sugar or brown sugar and eat! Or if you're having it on Thanksgiving, wrap it around turkey or dressing, or mashed potatoes, or meatballs or whatever you are craving, and enjoy! Mmmmm!
And remember the post about the garbage can meal? The photo below shows what it looks like cooking in the pot. What you can see is the brats, wieners and sausage, on top of the onions. Below it are the potatoes, carrots, and corn on the cob. The green beans have already been taken off the top. It was wonderful.
Other meals for the weekend included potatoes, carrots and onions with lots of butter, wrapped in foil and cooked over the fire, and 2 different mountain man breakfasts, cooked in the Dutch ovens. One was eggs, onions, peppers, bacon, and hashbrowns, and the other an egg bake of eggs, bread, ham and cheese. Needless to say, we did not go hungry! The bad thing is that I have my physical next week and I expect the weight gain and the cholesterol readings can't all be blamed on this weekend!
*These two both want to be my favorite, but I tell them that each of my 15 grandkids are my favorite!

PS: Oh, my goodness! I forgot to mention the peach cake and peach cobbler, both made in the Dutch ovens, and the carrot cake I made from Pioneer Woman's recipe. I've told you before to make that cake. Have you? Do it now! You'll never regret it!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Saturday was our anniversary, our 44th anniversary if you must know. Yes, we were married as infants, therefore we aren't as old as you might think we are! Forty four years is a long time, a verrrrrrrry looooooooooong time, don't you think? It's not uncommon to see couples split after a year or two, and here we are, forty four years later, still plugging along. Would you like a short history of our marriage? Okay, here we go.

Ernie and I hung around with the same tight group in high school, but actually only dated one summer. Then he was off to the Air Force, and I went to college. We would see each other when he was home on leave, and one time things just kind of fell into place, and we made plans to marry. When we got married, he was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington, and he came home in October for the wedding. We drove back to Washington, and within a month he had orders for Dow AFB in Bangor, Maine. So we moved cross country to the east coast. A year later Kari was born, then a year and a half later, Kevin. After almost four years there he again received orders to move across country, to Beale AFB in Marysville, California. There Christopher was born, and after another almost four years we moved to K.I.Sawyer AFB in Michigan. Two years later it was off to Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, where we remained for the rest of his hitch, about seven and a half years. It was at GFAFB where we started to do foster care, and where we were able to adopt a sibling group of four kids, Gail, Chuck, Lenny and Lance.
At the time Ernie was up for retirement, my dad's health was not good, so we retired back to the place where we met, and we joined the same church again, and he got a job at the college we attended, and where I also worked after raising the kids up a bit more. My dad died a year later, and we were so glad we were able to be here with him those last days. The kids all grew up, made lots of friends, and eventually married and started their own families. The kids all live within a few hundred miles, except for Chris. He escaped to Alaska, which gives us a wonderful place to go for vacation!

During the next years, we were able to have Ernie's parents move in with us because of health reasons. His mom died a year and a half later, but his dad was with us for just short of eight years. When the house was empty and we could retire from the college where he was director of the maintenance program and I was the assistant registrar, we bought the fifth wheel RV and a big white truck, sold the house, gave away the majority of our stuff and packed the rest into a storage trailer, and headed off into the sunset. We traveled for twenty months when my mom's health began to decline, and we decided to move home to help out. As most of you know, my mom died three months ago, in July.

We still have the big white truck, but now have a small trailer/camper. We also have a home base now. We still plan to travel, just not full time anymore. The next trip is to Florida in January, then Alaska in July.

So, we have been a lot of places and seen many of the wonders of the United States in our forty four years of marriage. Of course there have been disagreements and arguments, but neither of us has ever even threatened to leave. You see, we have a third person in our marriage. We have God in our lives, and "a strand of three cords is not easily broken," Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Our wedding sermon was based on the words of Joshua in his twenty fourth chapter: ".....choose you this day whom you will serve.........but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Each time I think of those two Bible verses, I know there is no way I could ever leave, no matter how angry I was. And we all know that we get angry at our spouses! That is human......and no human is perfect. So, until the Lord parts us, we will keep plugging along, some days being better than others, but always together.

And you know what I gave Ernie for our anniversary? A bag of cashew brittle, purchased from the Amish at a farmers market this past weekend. You know what I got? Something I really, really wanted, so I am thrilled! Ernie gave me a folding clothes rack, made by the Amish!
It is much better made than the clothes racks you buy at WalMart. The rods are probably three times the diameter of the cheap racks, thus they don't leave such a line on your clothes. And it folds up so nicely, making it ideal to take along on our travels so I don't have to dry everything in a laundromat, shrinking all the cotton about three sizes. And sometimes, like in Alaska, I have to do laundry by hand, which is another blog!
I love my clothes rack, and I love my hubby even more!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My friend Lisa J was correct! She tagged me but said I might be too busy packing for a camping trip with my new red bike to respond. She is right! Thursday and Friday this week are days off from school for the grandkids due to the state wide teachers' association meetings. So, Kari and Mike and their three youngest kids, my sister Ruth and her husband Ike , my sister Lois , grandson Caleb , and Ernie and I are heading out for the final camping trip of the year. We are bringing our bikes and heading to Lanesboro for a cool end to the camping season. I say cool because overnight temps will be in the thirties, and day temps in the fifties, until Saturday or Sunday when they say we will be in the sixties. But cool is good because that means a big campfire to sit around! In addition to the bike trail and the big campfire, we will be enjoying a garbage can dinner, and some Dutch oven cooking. So, check back for sure on Monday, and I should have a looooooong post about our activities from the weekend.

What are you planning for the weekend? Whatever you are doing I hope it is a great one full of family, friends, and love, and don't forget church and Bible study on Sunday. Blessings to all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I had a fun, relaxing day yesterday. I sat at my sewing machine all day. I finished this wall hanging first, a project that has been sitting half done for quite awhile.
Then I put together this table runner from a charm pack of Moda fabrics. I love Moda fabrics! I have been collecting patterns for table runners, and think I have six or seven now. And I have three more Moda charm packs of 5" squares. Sunday I went to the fabric shop which is right at the edge of town, up the road about four miles (Hubby is going to be sorry we found this apartment so close to the fabric shop!) and I found a big sale happening! I bought a bag full of fat quarters of kind of 1950's looking fabrics. Thought I'd make a couple of vintage looking table runners. And I picked up cotton batting for 50% off! Yay me!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today was Stewardship Sunday at church, and both the sermon during the service, and the Bible Study after services, reminded us about giving. Not giving to the Lord, because it is all His anyhow! But giving because we love the Lord. It reminded me of a saying that my dad had written in a stewardship pamphlet that he authored. He said:

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Think on that. Anyone can give, whether they love the Lord or not. But those who do love the Lord, cannot help but to give. It is part of the love. Giving. A beautiful thing. Something to think about on this Sunday.

And remember, giving doesn't just mean money. It also means time and talent. What are you giving?

I hope your Sunday has been blessed.

Friday, October 10, 2008


......OH LUTEFISK, OH LUTEFISK, YOU PUT ME IN A COMA! And so go the opening lines of The Lutefisk song. The picture on my previous post is of lutefisk, which is a white fish, usually cod, that has been dried, frozen, soaked in lye, yes LYE, and then boiled in a cheese cloth bag and served to hungry Norwegians with loads of melted butter. It is considered a treat by those Norwegians to be able to smell the putrid odor as the fish cooks, to put fork to the gel like wiggling blob of fish, and to relive the experience over and over as they belch the stuff for the next 24 hours or more!

October is the month in Minnesota that Norwegians wait for all year long. It's the beginning of lutefisk suppers, and a prelude to the upcoming holiday season when it is tradition to eat lutefisk as many times as possible.We went to a lutefisk supper last night, a yearly occurrence at the Norwegian Lutheran college where hubby and I attended, and then later worked for many years. The usual accompaniment to the jelly like substance is lots of melted butter, mashed potatoes, meatballs and gravy, and lefsa. Now do you know lefsa? Kind of a thin tortilla, made of potatoes and only a tiny bit of flour, rolled paper thin, and baked on a lefsa grill. In addition to these "required" side dishes, we also had carrots, cranberry sauce, and apple, peach or blueberry crisp with ice cream for dessert.

There are dangers to eating the stuff. Remember it is soaked in lye. It has to be rinsed in water many times before cooking, and then if cooked in aluminum cookware, it will still turn the pot black! Imagine what it does to your innards!

Yes, I had a little bit. Mostly because of the melted butter! I concentrated on the mashed potatoes and meatballs and gravy, but Ernie had a couple of plates full of lutefisk. He was in heaven!

As folks left their table we heard cries of "Tusen Takk" (a thousand thanks) .

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Do you know what this is?

WHILE STROLLING IN THE PARK ONE DAY......... the merry merry month of October!

This is the largest park in our town. It has a little zoo with goats, chickens, and deer. There is also a large new playground with one of those big, colorful, multi-activity units that looks like the kids would love it. There is also a beautiful garden area, with lovely plantings.
I wish the sun would have been shining, but at least it wasn't raining.
Beautiful shade of pink, isn't it?
I don't know what these are called, but I really like them.
This is all new planting along the hill, and the restraining wall. I'm guessing it will only get more beautiful as time goes by.
So simple, yet so beautiful. Hey, these flowers are simply beautiful!

And it's much better to be walking in the park and taking pictures of flowers than watching TV and the constant reports on how low the Dow is closing today. SCARY.


Last night we had our son Lance, his wife Tya, and their two daughters, Jaden and Madison out for dinner. I've decided to try to have our kids out more often so I can see the grands, so started with the youngest son last night and fixed a nice meal for us all. They don't stay late on a school night, but at least I got a grandkid fix. This is Jaden, playing her clarinet for us. Does every child learn Ode to Joy as one of their first songs? She did very well, with only a few squeaks. She said they'll be doing a Christmas Concert at school, so that will probably be her first "official" performance.
To explain the hairdo: It was wacky hair day at their school, so she had numerous pony tails all over her head. They were sprayed red, scalp too. But the ends looked like they had been twisted like dreads and dipped into a blue paint. A very interesting hairdo, I must say!
And this is sweet Madison. When she was little, she had red hair. It has changed to a blond, but still has the wavy curls. Madison must have eaten eight helpings of fresh green beans last night. I don't know if she ate the beef roast or potatoes and gravy, but she sure ate her vegetables! I think she had the minimum daily requirement for about a week, all in one meal!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Ernie had a couple of errands he needed to run this morning and he invited me to ride along and go out to breakfast. Of course I went! When he finished what he needed to do, I asked him to take a swing through the State Park.
I could have asked him to stop about a dozen times, but it was raining pretty hard so I didn't ask him to stop for me to take pictures.
When we got to the picnic area of the park though, I did yell "Stop!" The sumac was such a pretty red, just washed clean by the rain, and
I felt the need to snap a couple of pictures. It's supposed to be nicer weather tomorrow, so before I make a resupply trip to Sam's Club, I just might run back out to the park and snap a few more picture.
It really is lovely in the fall in Minnesota. See why it's my favorite season?

Saturday, October 04, 2008


You know how bikes these days come with little triangular seats? About the size of a four year old's butt? And you know how it hurts to sit on that little triangle? Well, then you know what I'm talking about when I say I have a butt ache. We didn't ride yesterday, just went for a ride in the truck, read a lot, and I went for a walk last night. We're going to ride this afternoon again, and I'm guessing the trail will be crowded as it is a beautiful, cool, crisp Saturday morning.

The trees are beautiful along the street in front of this city park campground.
The flowers by the school corner are also beautiful, not touched by frost yet.
This stately white house stands in front of a beautiful tree where the late afternoon sun was hitting just perfectly for a photo. There are three flags by a statue of a Viet Nam vet in the yard of this home. I'd like to know the story behind that.
It's getting almost too dark for a picture, but those white fluffy plumes were in such stark contrast with the red and gold tree that I had to attempt it.
Right in the middle of the picture you see a big Ford diesel truck and a little Nomad trailer. That's us! There are a lot of trailers and motor homes in this little campground this weekend. Everyone of them has a couple of bikes parked behind the trailer. I think a lot of people had the idea to get out and enjoy one of the last beautiful weekends of the camping season.

Our supper last night was potatoes, carrots, and onions with olive oil and butter, wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill over the fire. NUMMY! And the fire felt good, too, as the sun went behind the hills and the cool night began. It was in the low thirties this morning, but the farmers'
market was going strong before nine o'clock. I love to see the Amish folk with their
horses and buggies and their canned goods, baked goods, quilts and beautiful baskets displayed for folks to purchase. What a wonderful day it looks like it will be! Hope your day is shaping up to be just as wonderful!

Friday, October 03, 2008


While Ernie took a nap, I walked around this little town a bit. I love trees with red berries, with the beautiful blue sky for the background.
There were several trees, right by the trail, just begging for me to take their picture. So I did.
This beautiful creeping vine on the old city hall building is also breathtaking.
And we did another trail ride. We went out of town in the opposite direction this afternoon, and did another ten miles. There are many bridges along the trail, always a nice place to stop and rest and gulp down some cool water. I think this is where I had to flush my mouth after swallowing a bug!
At this bridge we watched the little fish swimming about in the clear water below. This portion of the trail is very quiet and peaceful, but there were a lot of bikers. I'm guessing we met up with at least 25 others who were out getting some exercise on this beautiful fall day.
One part of the trail has been blasted through some rock, and it's really pretty, and refreshingly cool on this portion.
A shelter is sitting down off the trail, on the shore of the river flowing in the front with the ripe corn field in the back.
Coming back into town the trail is very flat and easy to ride.
Some of the old buildings right along the main street of Lanesboro. Many of the old buildings have been turned into small hotels or B&B's, gift shops, restaurants, or apartments.
And this is the pond in the little city campground that we are staying in. There is a bubbling fountain in the center of the pond. In just a few more days, the trees will be all kinds of shades of red, orange and gold. We are about a week or ten day too early to see the fabulous colors.