Saturday, April 30, 2011


I have two grandsons who are seniors this year.  One lives a couple of hours away, so I do not get to attend the important events in his senior year, but one lives only about 20 miles from here.  So when he invited us to come to prom, we did!
As we walked up to the school gym where the grand march was held, we saw Caleb and his lovely date, Anna, coming toward us.
They looked so nice, all dressed up in their fancy clothes!
 The gym was decorated like a candy land game, complete with
 a lollipop forest!
 We weren't sitting in a very good location for picture taking, but I shot away anyway, hoping to get something.  Here they are, entering through the rainbow gate.

They did stop just down from us, and I got a couple of shots off, but Mr. Caleb likes to make funny faces, so I don't have any very flattering pictures of him!  This next one is the best of the pictures I took of him.
His feet, with his fancy shoes and colorful socks!
Speaking of shoes.  The girls had an interesting selection of shoes.....there were WalMart flipflops, red and purple canvas shoes, sparkly sandals, and 5 inch spikes.  The funny thing was that none of them knew how to walk in those heels!  Girls, if you plan to wear 5 inch heels to your prom, you should at least practice walking in them.  I'm guessing they will all be dancing barefoot after the first dance.

The other interesting thing was the colors of the dresses.  I saw one blue one.  A few lime green ones.  There were a couple of camouflage looking prints, some stripey looking ones, and a floral print or two.  There were several pink ones, a lot of black or white, and black and white combination dresses, and quite a few yellow ones.  But the color we saw the most often seemed to be orange!  Really!  Back in the day, the dresses were mostly soft pastel colored, now anything is okay, and even bright orange!  

Our 2011 prom was a lot of fun.  Now I just pray that the kids all have a good time, behave themselves, and arrive home safe and sound in the morning.
Have fun Caleb and Anna!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Daughter Kari, who along with her family has gone GFCF, posted her version of bread slabs last week.  I have made them a couple of times, too, and this is today's attempt.  I added a teaspoon of Penzy's Fines Herbes, a light, sweet blend of herbs that is wonderful on chicken or fish.  I've also sprinkled it on scrambled eggs.  I thought it might add a mild herb flavor to the bread, so I added a small amount.  We haven't eaten them yet, but they look good, and smell wonderful.  It's lunch time very shortly!  Hurry you can join us......but only a couple of you because the recipe makes only about six!

 Wow, I didn't realize the poor lighting on this photo until just now!  Sorry about that.  I think they'll still taste good though.


Last night was another short night of sleep.  I think part of my problem lately is the lack of exercise.  But it's been so gray and rainy and just plain yucky, that I haven't felt like getting out on the trail.  That has to change.  Sooner rather than later, because I need to get some sleep, and in order to sleep, I need some decent exercise!

However, as daughter Kari says this morning, at least there was a wedding to watch.  The bride and groom were lovely, the crowd was well behaved in true British style, and the queen was, well, queenly.  But my favorite was Prince Harry with his red, slightly messy hair.  What a seemingly delightful young man!  Reminds me so much of a certain one of my grandsons!  Love you Caleb!

Another part of my not sleeping is that we have some things going on around here that are causing me a bit of stress.  More on that subject later.

Yesterday was a fun family day.  We all met at my middle sister's home, where Ruth served us coffee and treats before we took off on a sisterly adventure.  We brought the hubbies along, but instead of going with us to the big used book sale, they headed the other direction to Fleet Farm.  Typical guys!  My sisters, Betsy, Ruth, and Lois, and SIL Carolyn, and I went to a nearby college town to their annual book sale.  I only bought 4 books this year as I have the Nook, but one sister bought almost twenty used books at an excellent price.  Then we had to have lunch, of course.  I had a nummy bean soup, the others had Amish chicken noodle or tomato basil.  All were very good.

Then it was off to Penzey's Spice Store.  Do you know Penzeys?  They have the very best spices and seasonings.  I bought refills on a few items, and picked out a couple of new things to try.  We went back to my sister's town, and stopped at a cheese store where I picked up a couple of cheeses.  I got a wonderful smoked Gouda, and my favorite, a white cheddar with cranberries. 

Back at Ruth's home we met up with the guys, had a little late afternoon snack of cheese and good things that traditionally accompany cheese, and then left for home.

Another great family day was enjoyed and filed away in our memories.  Now if I could sleep, life would be good.  Very good.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It makes for a very short night when one goes to bed at eleven, but is still awake at two.  And if one gets up at two and walks around the place, turns on TV and finds nothing on (surprise, uh?) and goes back to bed at four, and finally falls asleep, but has to get up at six to get ready for Bible study, how much sleep is that?  Two hours at the very most! So it was a very short night for me, and I am really tired tonight.  I have some things on my mind, and I don't know if sleep will come any faster tonight than it did last night, but I am certainly going to try.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Good morning!  And what a lovely morning it is in Minnesota.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the wind is not blowing, and the temps are on the rise.  It's spring!

And I feel different.  Do you ever have that feeling?  You wake up in the morning just knowing that something is different?  Well, that happened to me today.  I rolled over a couple of minutes before six, and the aches and pains I felt when I collapsed into bed last night seemed to be gone!  My legs weren't throbbing, and my back wasn't aching.   What a great feeling!  I jumped crawled out of bed and found I could actually walk, which last night I wasn't sure I would be able to do this morning!

Soon the sun was shining into the room and I was enjoying my first cup of  French press coffee and reflecting on our day yesterday.  It was a beautiful Easter!  Our worship service was filled with my favorite resurrection hymns and the sermon again proclaimed the happy news that He is risen!  News that not only makes me feel different, but that truly makes me different!  Because of the resurrection I am different.  I am clean.  I am pure.  I am saved!  Thanks be to God!

The remainder of the day also left me feeling different.  We had a holiday meal with my sister and our second son, his wife, and their son, and we had a very pleasant visit with all of them.  Then our oldest son and family, our youngest son and family, our oldest daughter and most of their family and our youngest daughter all came for varying lengths of time.  I served the one sit down meal for the smaller group, and then had food out all afternoon so those who came and went could graze at will.  It was a very nice day.  We are crowded in our small place, but everyone was calm, everyone had a spot to sit if they wanted to do so, the weather was nice so kids were in and out a bit, and I actually enjoyed the day!  I always love when our kids come, and especially love the grandkids to visit, but sometimes I don't enjoy the noise and chaos of the whole gang.  Yesterday was different, and I felt so blessed. 

I know the reason for this different feeling.  New life!  Eternal life because of Easter, and the new life of spring.  Isn't it fitting that Easter comes at the beginning of spring!  And now today I plan to enjoy this different feeling.  Outside in the sunshine! Thank you Jesus for these wonderful gifts of life!

Friday, April 22, 2011


I am dumbfounded.  How did we ever raise such a wise person?  Please read our daughter  Kari's post this morning titled Happy Trails to You.   I wish I would have written this.


Ta da!  The problem is solved, and it didn't cost me $987.91!  I bought a new laptop!  I went a different route this time because obviously the combination of me, HP, and the geeky guys doesn't work well.  I went to plain old Sam and bought a Dell.  I looked several places and tried several different brands, avoiding the you know what brand, and this one felt good and does what I need, which is not much more than blog, email, surf the net, and store pictures and documents.  And it didn't cost me $987.91. 

It turns out that I had fried the mother board on the now deceased laptop.  I asked how the cost of repair could be half again as much as the original cost of the computer, and  was told it was the cost of labor.   Well, sorry repair person!  You won't be making your house payment off of me this month!

So last night was spent bookmarking sites and blogs.  I had some bookmarked on the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow blue Acer, but not all.  I know I'll be sitting here for weeks, trying to remember the exact name of some of my favorite sites so I can mark them again, but until then, what I have will have to do. 

The new notebook has a 17.3 screen, 4 GB memory and 640 GB hard drive and battery life of 3 1/2 hours.  It should serve me well.  Hopefully for longer than 16 months!

And it is a bit larger than the teeny tiny Acer, isn't it?  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


My geeky friend just called me to report on the results of the diognostic tests on my computer.   It would cost $987.91 to fix it.  You heard me, $987.91 to fix it.  I don't believe I paid $600 for it 18 months ago, so let's see.....should I consider fixing it?  Ummm, I don't think so!

Well, that just spoiled my day.  I was beginning to recover from my major funk, but now I've been knocked further down than I was!  Cwap!

$987.91.  I can't believe it.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Last week was a complaining week for me, and I didn't bore you with many posts, did I?  I'm still in a mood, but I do have to tell you that one of my complaints has been fixed!

My windshield wipers work without putting the lights on high beam, or without constantly making left turns.  Ernie ordered a new switch and installed it, and I can now drive in the rain without high beam and I can go straight ahead!  Good thing, too, because tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night the forecast calls for rain, turning over to flakes, and the accumulation of a few inches.  Of the white stuff.  Again.  Yuck.

However, I am still typing on the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow blue Acer with the keyboard measuring about three by six inches.  I have not heard a word from the doctor on the health of the laptop so I am assuming they haven't run all the tests yet to determine the cause of the symptoms leading to the earlier diagnosis of DOA.  I am hoping health can be restored, but if it can't I'll just have to deal with it.

Meanwhile, I am trying to have a complaining free day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


As I walked up to the large automatic doors, they silently opened for me to walk through the entry way and into the huge building, where I was met by the security guard.  He asked where I needed to go, and when I explained, he pointed off the the right.  "The doctors are at the long desk down there.  They are in the white shirts.  They can help you," he said.  I turned and walked towards the area he had indicated, and was greeted by a young man in the white shirt.

"When did the symptoms begin," he asked.  I answered that it was just 2 days ago.  He then asked what the symptoms were, and he wrote down my answers as we visited.  He then tried revival, but after a few minutes, he pulled the plug.  I watched as he entered the verdict on the appropriate line of the form.  DOA, he wrote.  DOA.

"DOA?" I exclaimed.  "DOA?  It can't be true!   I've only had this computer for 18 months!" 

But sadly, it seems to be true.  The geeky guy in the white shirt thinks it may be the actual jack on the computer where the power cord plugs in.  But he says they seldom blow out, but it could happen.  His other thought was much more serious, a mother board blow out of some sort.  The only way to find out is to send the computer in to the speciality hospital, where they will run tests to determine the diagnosis.  If it's the lesser of the two evils, $150 or so, then they will fix it.  If it's a more complicated issue which would mean $300 to $400 to begin with, then they have orders to return it to me and I will just buy a new computer.  I didn't pay much more than $500 for it in December of 09 so I certainly won't put that much money into it.

Meanwhile, I'm back on the teeny tiny Acer.  It works pretty well, but the keyboard is so small that my fingers really get cramped up while typing. 

Two to four weeks of hospitalization, he said.  I guess it will be worth it if they can cure the DOA diagnosis.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I know.  You haven't heard a word from me for a week.  I have been meaning to write, but I've also been really grouchy.  So it's probably best I didn't write because it would have been just complaining!

We arrived home a week ago today after spending the extra day in Omaha.  We had an uneventful trip.  Now that the truck is parked, I think it will stay parked.  At well over $4.00 for diesel, and at 11 MPG, we cannot afford to drive it!  So we'll drive the fourteen year old van.  Which is fine and dandy as long as it's not raining!  On Sunday night when I was coming home from a jazz concert at the college, it was raining.  The wipers would not work unless you put the headlights on high beam or turned on the left turn signal.  Well, neither of those options worked well driving through town!  However, the wipers on the rear window worked, even when you didn't turn them on!

In addition to the non-functioning windshield wipers, I have a computer that isn't working.  It won't turn on!  It almost seems like it isn't getting any power, even though it's plugged in.  So I guess I have to make a trip to the store where I purchased it to see if they can figure it out. 

We have the trailer unloaded, and things are pretty much put away.  The laundry basket has been emptied, and filled again.  We've eaten up most of the food that was in the trailer, and tomorrow I need to replenish the fruits and vegetables.  We attended Wednesday and Sunday services at our own church, and today I joined my girls in our Bible study.

The snow is gone, we've had a thunder storm, and the grass is green!  I love spring in Minnesota.

Life is returning to normal and I like it that way.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Just a quick update to say that we are home, safe and sound.  The trailer is mostly unpacked and the majority of the stuff is put away.  However, the laundry pile is huge!  And the inside of the trailer is filthy.  But those things can wait until tomorrow.  I plan to sit from now until when I go to bed.

And, the four foot snowpile in the front yard is gone!  Totally and completely gone!  In its place is sloppy, mushy mud.  Beautiful mud!  Love spring in Minnesota!

Monday, April 04, 2011


We spent Saturday night in Liberal Kansas.  The plan was to stay in Omaha last night, and in our own home in Minnesota tonight.  Well, we did stay in Omaha last night.  But we are still here, and will be staying again tonight.  We have had high winds since yesterday afternoon, and the recommendation from the Highway Patrol was that high profile vehicles, big trucks, and trailers, should stay off the highway.  It was dangerous driving, and a big vehicle like a camper trailer could be easily blown off the road.  So here we are!

We did do some tourist activities today.  We unhooked the trailer and left it in the parking lot, and took the truck for a spin.  We ate lunch at Spaghetti Works, where they offer rice noodles as a gluten free substitution with their sauces!  Then we looked up our niece who has a painting studio in a huge warehouse that houses many other artists.  She gave us a tour of the place, and we saw many very nice pieces of glass work, jewelry, paintings, photography and pottery, all made by local artists.

Then we went to Boys Town and took a self tour, following the map we were given, and visiting numerous buildings.  We found the History Center very interesting.  It showed the history from the founding by Father Flanagan up to the present time.  What a remarkable man, way ahead of his time, was Father Flanagan.  He took young boys off the streets, out of abusive homes, or out of the legal system, and gave them a home with clean clothes, beds, food each meal, supervision, education, work training, and love, and kept them safe until high school graduation.

  And after seeing the poster for the movie, and the Oscar that Spencer Tracy received for his portrayal of Father Flanagan, I need to see the movie again.  I remember especially the part played by Micky Rooney. 

The boys of Boys Town had a well known choir.  And I was taken back to my childhood when I saw this album cover.  I don't know if my parents had this record, or if my grandparents, who were big supporters of Boys Town, had it, but I have see it before.  Siblings?  Anyone know?
We think the winds will subside overnight, so we plan to be on the road early in the morning and home in the afternoon.  I am bummed about this delay because I was so excited to attend my Bible Study tomorrow morning!  I've been missing my girls and so looking forward to getting together with them again.  Well, next week for sure.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


The RV park where we spent the last month was about 15 miles south of Mesa.  This is the temperature on our truck on Thursday evening as we drove to Ernie's brother and SIL's place to meet them to go out to dinner.  I texted with Neil last night, Friday night, and it had been 98 yesterday.  Good reason for us to leave!
Here is our truck and trailer on Friday morning as we packed up to head home.
These layers on the mountain are the highway, north of Globe on the way to Show Low.
This was some of the prettiest scenery we saw the whole two months we were in Arizona.  The area around the White Mountain Apache Nation was absolutely beautiful.
Yesterday we drove to Albuquerque NM and spent the night in another AFB campground.
This was the sight yesterday afternoon as we approached Albuquerque.  Those white squares on the far hill are all campers, heading home after their winter in Arizona.  The majority of them were from Minnesota.
This morning we left Albuquerque and headed north east.  There are huge cattle feeder lots in Texas, this just isn't a good picture that was taken at 65 MPH out the dirty window.
When we got to Oklahoma we found many of these windmills to capture the wind that comes rushing down the plains.............
and this is the reason why it does.  There is nothing to stop it!  Nothing!
Tonight we are in a motel in Liberal Kansas.  Headed to Omaha tomorrow night, then home on Monday night.

I, personally, am headed to the shower where I plan to stand under the hot shower for at least 15 minutes while the water messages my aching shoulders, neck and back.  Rough two days.