Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Is there anything softer than baby flannels for blankets and quilts? I love to run my fingers over the fabric, envisioning a sweet little baby bundled inside. I decided to cut 8 inch squares from my stash of flannel, getting them all ready to start stitching together for a couple of simple baby quilts. In addition to the flannel, I have the pieces cut out for three other quilts, and the fabric for another all packed under the bed in the trailer. We are almost ready to go. Early tomorrow morning we'll head out, so ta-ta for now, and I'll hopefully blog tomorrow night from Grand Forks via my phone and little Acer! See you then!

Monday, June 29, 2009


...........it has totally burst with pride! Have you ever been so proud of one of your kids that your heart has totally burst out of your chest? Well, that is the diagnosis of my health condition this morning. Bursting with pride. This is our youngest son, Lance. He has been working so hard to become a part time police officer in his little town just south of us. He has worked his regular job, but still found time for school and training to become a part time policeman. School was never Lance's strong point. He struggled, to put it mildly. But when he found something that he really wanted to do, he worked hard and has accomplished it. And I am so proud. Lance, you are loved beyond measure. I know you will do a great job! And much credit must go to his lovely wife, Tya, who has loved and supported him unconditionally. Thank you, Tya. We love you and the girls so much! Tya sent me this photo by email, and try as I might, I can't get it to enlarge. Sorry about that! When I see Lance in person in uniform, you can believe I'll take more pictures.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


.........or so she thinks!

Daughter, Kari , asked me to take a couple of pictures for her to submit with a magazine article she was to write. I took a couple of her and Ben, and then went to shoot a few of Her Majesty, errr, Anna, pointing to her chore chart. She insisted on one being taken with her tiara on.......which is not the one that will be submitted with the article! Miss Anna loves her crown almost as much as she loves posing for pictures!


The name of this musical group is Billy Goat. The handsome guy on the right playing the guitar is our son Chris. He is our kid who lives in Alaska, giving us a place to go on our vacation! The motto of the little village is "Just Another Day in Paradise" and that is exactly what Seldovia is, a little piece of paradise on earth. Billy Goat is pictured here playing at the recent Solstice Music Festival. They will also play at the fourth of July celebration. And I am sure hoping that they will put on a concert in the RV park where we are going to be staying. (RV park is a misnomer. The campground is actually not much more than a spot cleared out in the forest. No services, just a gravel spot where the devil's club and alders have been chopped down!)

The countdown has begun. We are in the last stages of rounding up our gear and lining up the supplies, and we are more than ready to get on the road. We are obligated to stay through Tuesday as hubby has a dental appointment to remove the stitches from his recent gum surgeries. Wednesday morning we will be on the road! Wahoo!

Friday, June 26, 2009


The week started out on Father's Day with this banquet at daughter Kari's house. We did start out on their lovely patio, but it began to rain just before we were going to eat so we ran into the house.

The picture below is of our son Lance, his wonderful wife Tya, and their oldest daughter, Jaden. The littlest one, Madison, was off playing with Kari's daughter, Anna. Aren't they a beautiful looking family?
And later in the afternoon the sirens blared and the clouds rolled, and the rain came down in buckets. Just south of here received almost five inches in about an hour. There were numerous funnel clouds sighted in the area, but we received no damage, just rain.

On Wednesday I had lunch with two of my favorite people in the world, my dear friends Charlie and Audrey. I think they called each other to pick out the shirt color for the day! I had on white.
Last night it was off to the ballfield to watch grandson Nicolas play ball. Doesn't he have the most beautiful red hair you have ever seen? He belongs to son Chuck and his lovely wife, Thea.
Look at that footwork as the pitch was heading right towards him!
He took a pretty hefty swing at this one! What fun to watch the next generation of kids playing sports. I certainly sat on enough bleachers watching our kids. Soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, football, wrestling, diving.............

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I forgot to mention in my last post that we bought a pressure canner and dozens of canning jars. This photo from 2006 shows why! This is hubby and son with the catch of the day! And was it ever good.

97, 98, 99, 100, 101

No, I'm not practicing my counting. Those are the numbers I saw displayed on the time and temperature digital readouts on the marquees of banks and the mall last night. And the last two numbers are the two that my truck thermometer had calculated and posted. This was at 6:30 last night, folks! That is entirely too hot for me. Add to this the humidity of about those same numbers and it makes for a totally miserable day temperature wise. UGH! Give me 50's and 60's.............maybe an occasional 70. But you can keep anything above that.

It is for this reason exactly that I am leaving for Alaska next Wednesday. And I can't wait!

I think we have purchased all the supplies we wanted to bring along. The piles in the corner of the dining room are growing larger and the wallet is getting thinner. I have stacks of fabric on the ironing board to pack into my traveling plastic sewing tub to give me some projects to work on during rainy days. And we are starting to use up the contents of the frig and freezer so we can turn them off for a couple of months.

Time to get out of town!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Thought I'd post some random photos from the past weekend's camping trip.

Is there anything better than sitting around a campfire with a cup of coffee?
Saw this neat looking mushroom along the roadway in the campground.

Son-in-law, Mike, was sound asleep at the picnic table, while daughter,
Kari, snoozed in the comfy chair.
Anna and Bed took turns on the hammock that Mike had hung between two trees on their campsite.
This was our supper. Potatoes, onions, carrots, and polish sausage, with lots of butter, wrapped in foil and cooked over the coals. To die for!
After supper, Bart and Claudia and about eight of their children came out to join us for Kari's apple pie, and Bart's blueberry cobbler. Be still my heart! Both were wonderful!

And of course we had to make a magic fire.

As the colors died down and the evening came to a close, Miss Anna wanted me to take her picture and she willingly posed for me.


Glioblastoma Multiforme - stage 4 brain cancer. One year ago today those are the words that we heard from the doctor after he reviewed the results of mom's biopsy. Little did we know as we moved her to the nursing home two days later, that she would only live one more month. I did visit her at least once almost every day during that month, but I so wish I could have done more. I wish I could have had her around longer. I wasn't done learning from my mom, I wasn't done loving her, I wasn't prepared to live without her.

I do not wish her back because I know she is with Jesus. She had a very strong faith, so there is no doubt about where she is spending eternity. But I miss her. I miss her so much. I don't think anything prepares you for the death of a mother. Every night as I fall asleep, I am thinking back to last year. I am reliving the high points, and the low points. I am reliving the quiet moments of prayer, and the moments when I totally desolved in loud sobs. And it hurts just as much this time as it did the first time. And I feel so alone.

I miss my mom.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Do you have a pile of groceries in the corner of your dining room? I do! Yesterday I began the task of filling the camper with groceries for our two month journey which begins in just a couple of weeks. I figured I might as well start getting supplies each time I visit the grocery stores. So yesterday as I cruised the aisles of Sam's Club and HyVee, I loaded the cart with stuff for the trip. I think I may be half way done! I have coffee, TP, rice, coffee, beans, salad dressing, coffee, paper towels, oatmeal and coffee. Yes, there are grocery stores along the way; we're not heading into the wild, but things are so expensive when you get off the beaten path, and my grocery budget is not that healthy. I figure the more basic stuff I can haul along, the more money I'll have for the fresh fruits and veggies. I'm not worrying about meat as I plan to eat salmon and halibut for every meal!

The reason I piled the supplies in the corner instead of right into the camper, is that we're going camping this weekend. We decided to take our bikes and my sister, Lois, and head out to a local park that sits right on the bike trail that runs more than forty miles through rich Minnesota farm land and remnants of the forests that used to cover this area. Daughter Kari and her gang plan to join us. I haven't planned any fancy meals for the weekend, but knowing my daughter, I'm sure she'll have some recipe she wants to try out in the big black pots that we love to cook in over a big campfire. I think the weather is supposed to be nice, so we should have a good weekend.

So, I am off to bake a loaf or two of bread, wash some clothes, and pack up a few things for our mini camping trip which will begin tomorrow at noon when my sister gets off work. I haven't been out with the camera very much lately, but I should have a good opportunity to do some shooting this weekend.

Oh, and I'm going to take this opportunity to see if I can figure out how to hook up my teeny tiny Acer netbook to my cell phone so I can have internet access out in the wild! Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Now I have been married for many years. Most of my life, it seems. But I have never made Alfredo sauce. Never. So yesterday I got brave and invited my sister, who loves chicken fettuccine Alfredo, out for supper and decided to cook it for her. I looked up many recipes and it didn't look too tough, so figured I could handle it.

Then I decided if I was making Alfredo sauce, I should also make home made fettuccine noodles. Okay, that's only egg and flour according to P-Dub's site, so I'll bet I can do that, too.

Well, if I was in a cooking mood, I might as well bake bread too!

So I made a loaf of bread with fresh chives, another Pioneer Woman recipe. And I mixed up the eggs and flour and readied the counter to roll and cut the noodles. I started the chicken and got the water/broth mixture ready to cook the noodles. Then I worked on the Alfredo sauce. I decided that the recipe was just too rich and full of calories, so I used skim milk instead of cream. I figured the stick of butter, 8 ounce package of cream cheese, and cup of parmigiana cheese was rich enough! But don't tell PW I used skim milk instead of cream!

My sister, Lois, proclaimed the meal a success. And it was good. A mess to clean up, but good. And I will make home made noodles again. They were fun and good. Probably won't make the Alfredo sauce very often though. I figure it had about 4,972 calories in it!

Friday, June 05, 2009


We are starting to begin to start thinking that we should start planning to begin to think about our upcoming road trip! July 1 is our target date to leave for Alaska. We want to take along a lot of groceries and supplies because the tiny town where our son lives has limited choices and high prices. Three years ago the milk was seven bucks a gallon!

So, we have decided to switch to soy milk which I will purchase here at the health food section of my grocery store. It doesn't have to be refrigerated until it's opened, and it will be about half the price. I'll buy it by the case and will receive a ten per cent discount per case. Yay! I'll buy a case of black, red and maybe garbanzo beans. I'll buy rice and some kind of pasta in bulk. I have already purchased fifteen pounds of oatmeal, and have made one batch of granola. I'll make a couple more batches, and then just leave the rest of the oatmeal as is. I'll get some canned tomatoes and pack up the spices, some olive oil, flour and cornmeal, and my kitchen will be stocked.

Where's the beef, you ask? Well, I am not going to worry about meat. If things go as they did three years ago, we will be feasting on salmon and halibut most days. And if you've ever eaten salmon and halibut cooked on the grill in a small campsite in Seldovia Alaska, with the ocean almost surrounding you and mountains where the ocean isn't, you know what a treat I am anticipating! My mouth is watering!

Our plan is to have to purchase almost nothing there other than fresh veggies and fruits. Our son did plant a garden so maybe I can sneak over there at night and raid his garden patch. Oh, I forgot. It never gets completely dark in the summer so I'd probably get caught. Guess I'd best stick to buying at the little grocery store in town!

The main concern is coffee. I will need to have many pounds of beans along to survive two months without buying them! I do have one whole shelf in the little pantry set aside for coffee and starting next week, I will begin to fill it up.

I can't wait to get on the road. There will be no end to the pictures and blog posts once we take off. Wish I could take you all with me!

Monday, June 01, 2009


I know the old campfire song says "white coral bells" but as you can see, these are pink. Can you sing the song about pink coral bells, I wonder?
Pink coral bells, upon a slender stalk.
Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk.
Oh, don't you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the fairies sing.

This mama duck led her eight ducklings along the far shore of the pond. I nicknamed her Octo-mom.

I love the beautiful straight or curved lines of a corn field. I can't imagine how the farmers can keep their tractors lined up so perfectly as they go back and forth planting in the spring. But as the corn sprouts and begins to grow, the rows are always perfect it seems!
We thought this goose family had two baby goslings, but there was only one on the pond tonight, always staying between mom and dad as they swam across the pond.
Flowers on my little patio area right outside our front door.
I'm standing in the doorway taking this photo. It's a small area, but big enough for my bench and two chairs and a few pots of flowers. It's on the northeast side so it stays pretty shaded. I have several colors of coleus plants, a few begonias, petunias, and the light orangy pink flower in the previous picture.