Friday, June 10, 2016


I had my six month oncology appointments yesterday. I had a blood draw at 7:30, saw my research nurse at 9 and the doc at 9:20. He forgot to send the order for Zometa so I waited three hours until he could order it and the pharmacy staff could get back from lunch. What might surprise you is that I didn't even come close to losing my mind. I was a very patient patient.

One of the numbers on my blood panel was slightly elevated so I have to have a CT scan. I only deal with generalities regarding medical crap so don't ask about details. I pay a boatload of money to my oncologist so he can pay attention to the details. We decided to do it in Waseca because I could in today and maybe get the results this afternoon. No urgency about it...I didn't feel like waiting until July to have it done in Mankato.

So, while I always have a small kernel of dread in the pit of my stomach when it comes to these things, I try to balance that by reminding myself that the answer is already written down somewhere out there in the universe and I don't want to waste time on worry. I did have the gray faced men marching around the bed for a time during the dark hours before dawn, but they vanished with the sun.

Gus went for an early walk with Regis, Woody had some tuna with his breakfast, and we had a lovely drive through the countryside. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

it's been loud in the neighborhood

I've ranted about this in the past, but today, I proclaim I have found a solution. Some people just have to make noise. My neighbor came home with an industrial sized weed whacker. The kind they use in the bush. The kind that will take down brush as high as your head with trunks as big as your finger. He thas a tidy, conservative's lawn that is manicured frequently. His need for a brush whacker is questionable.

So, believe it or not, I am done complaining about this issue. I keep a pair by the door and don them whenever the noise pollution problem starts climbing up my spine.

It's the human condition that the more irritated you get by something, the more irritated you get by something. I am going to be a better problem solver and not such a complainer. 

We have a dilemma. We love the Blues Fest which is this weekend but the weather forecast shows temps in the 90s. Seriously, we have been at this festival when we have had to go home to get extra clothes, blankets, and hot drinks. Could we be just a little more consistent, Minnesota? (Does this qualify as a rant?)

Regis sent me a link to a great article this morning. 24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear. It's a great blog. This summarizes her opinion (Swear alert.)
Women in today’s world are hit from all sides. Do this. Wear that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Speak softly. Smile. Agree, agree, agree. Assimilate. Shut up. Stay down. The last thing we need is other women telling us what we should and shouldn’t do. Stand up, ladies, and stand together. Don’t be like Kallie Provencher. (Especially don’t be like her.) Wear what you want, do what you want, and support one another! And like all of these fabulous ladies, don’t give a fuck.
I wrote a snarky reply to a meme on Facebook that was critical of Hillary for wearing a $12,000 Armani jacket to talk about inequality. Who cares? When we are talking about the cost of the clothes men wear, then we can talk. But that will be never.

So, it appears that the first woman ever has been nominated to be a candidate for POTUS. Let that sink in for a minute. It should have happened a long time ago. 

And that rape that is in the news. I can't even talk about that.

All of this seems related but I am not sure how. I guess I will leave it to others to put this together.

If you're interested in words, this is good. Misogyny: Does it Mean Hatred or Bias?

Need coffee. And a sense of humor, apparently.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

midnight at the oasis

I'm not at the oasis. It's almost 3 a.m. and I can't sleep. I have tried now I just got up to make a couple of lists and to write on my blog since I have been slacking again.

Regis and I joined a digital camera club and our assignment for the meeting tomorrow night was to take night photos. Regis is much more accomplished at this than me (he can talk f/stop and ISO like a champ) so he coaches me some and I hope I ended with something that won't get me laughed out of the room. 

I took this one at Minnesota Square. What drew me to it was the way the lights shone through the trees and cast an almost golden hue.

I liked the lines and colors in this one. If I were better at editing, or if I had the time to learn it tonight, I would have erased that big, shiny blob in the middle. But I am not and I didn't. So, there it is. Of course, there is the fact that I have been awake all night but that doesn't always make for a well-functioning brain. It will have to do.

This is the bridge over the Minnesota River on Highway 22. I love the color of it and I found the reflection as interesting as the bridge. It wasn't quite dark.

I started reading Louise Erdrich's book, LaRose. It's disturbing but a very good story and her characters are wonderful. Now, if I could just get one of them to come over and conk me on the head so I could sleep.

Monday, May 30, 2016


We've had a wonderful weekend. Friday night, we had friends over for pizza. It had been raining all day so no time on the patio. Yesterday was beautiful so we took Gus for a long walk, then I went up to visit Betty who is recovering from surgery. As I pulled into the driveway, I got a text from Kathryn that she was at Hobber's on the patio with her daughters, listening to a good band so we joined them for a while. It was so nice when we came home that we fired up the smoker and grilled some chicken wings.

Betty can't do a long car ride today so only Tom will join us for the annual Memorial Day Road Trip. We'll visit the Greenlawn Cemetery in St. Peter, Minnesota's second oldest cemetery, founded in 1854. Greenlawn Cemetery contains graves of missionaries to the Dakota, 13 Civil War veterans and even one War of 1812 veteran, as well as early pioneers. Then on to Union Hill, New Prague, and other stops along the way.Fun day!

Friday, May 27, 2016

today, i'm an author in the dreams of Regis

From an old post that tickled me.

Regis dreamed last night that I wrote a book called In Defense of Inarticulate Home Bodies. The premise of the book was that too many people don't venture out of their own spheres to find information and therefore, are inarticulate home bodies. It was a series of little vignettes. Or vinaigrettes, if you prefer. This is my second dream book, the first being The Party What Started Out as Jumping Around. Quite a body of work I am amassing.  

We are having friends over for some social time at 3:30, which used to be after work when I worked. Which I no longer do. This week, I have done precious little of anything, bad back and all. I did unpack my mom's china from Bavaria. I was afraid if I just hauled it to the basement, it would be there forever. I'm going to have a family dinner and use it...and tell the story.

This came in the mail today. Peter and April's wedding invitation. Regis wanted to know if I was weepy and I said no but I am and I will be. We are so lucky. What a sweet event it will be.

It's been raining and raining and I still managed to get some ferns in the ground. And some of the plants I bought at a nursery out in the wilderness beyond Canby. Seven kids, tiny house, goats, trees growing out of buildings...but lovely people and gorgeous plants for great prices.

One last photo in honor of Memorial Day. Be safe.

Monday, May 16, 2016

3:30 a.m. and awake

I'm not sure what woke me but I started thinking about my weekly menu and grocery list. I planned to buy groceries this morning while Regis has an appointment and when I tried to make the list yesterday, the HYVee site was not being very cooperative. I ended up with a very messy list which drives me bonkers. So, I got out of bed and re-did my list on an old template. It works better because I have it organized according to the store lay-out. No writing on the back of an envelope for this chick.

For dinner, we grilled big portobella mushrooms stuffed with Andouille sausage, peppers, onions, and cheese. Tasty. I have had a hankering for Mexican food lately. Probably triggered by some great food in restaurants. We discovered we loved the fajita lettuce wraps at the Boulder Tap House. And Thursday night, I had a grilled shrimp and cilantro salad with pico de gallo at La Terraza in Mankato. Delicious.

Yesterday was very busy and by the time I had finished all my chores and taken a bath, I was tired.

A few weeks ago, we took Gus for a long walk in the woods along the river. It was a beautiful day and I loved the way the light played off the water and the trees. Turns out, I had the white balance set wrong on the camera but I still like the way the pictures turned out.

Gus likes to run back in the woods and occasionally will eat vegetation. When we got home from the walk, Gus started to behave strangely, staring into space and tipping slightly when he stood. We watched him for a while, then got worried that he had had a stroke or something. Regis took him for a walk to see if he would straighten out but he showed no interest in his ball, other dogs, or people. We decided to take him to the vet.

Denny examined him, said everything seemed fine, and diagnosed him as somnambulant dog. Regis asked what would cause that and Denny said he has only seen two cases. One where a dog ate a Valium and the other where the dog had consumed marijuana. He must have gotten into some weed back in the woods. Weird experience. To the tune of $240 dollars minus a $60 dollar discount for being a regular customer.

Our dog. The doper.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Thursday night I went to the graduation ceremony for my future daughter-in-law, April. She graduated from South Central College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Community Social Service.

We met up at their apartment in North Mankato where I was mightily entertained by Zoey. She did handstands and sang songs and asked me why I was old. Then she guessed my age as 10. I laughed and laughed. She is a hoot.

We had quite a crowd. April's grandpa, Joe. Her mom, Kelly. Her sister, Erin. Friends Scott and Jackie. Tiffany and Elliot. Steve and Brenda. Grandma Dorothy. Kevin and Rachel. What a nice group of folks.

I've been to three SCC graduations now and they are always so much fun. There is plenty of pomp but there is also cheering, air horns, lots of interruptions for photos, and obvious pride from the graduates and their families.

As you would expect, the list of graduates (which I read from beginning to end) contained a lot of names I could neither pronounce nor spell. The thing I found interesting is that there were so many grads who claimed other countries as their home. Immigrants new enough to this country that they still call the old country home? I found: Ceylon, Somalia, West Arsi, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Mexico.

We were all so proud of April. I am always weepy at these kinds of things and this was no different. I cried when I saw her name in the program. I cried when I took a picture of April with Peter. I cried during Pomp and Circumstance. I cried when they started lining up to receive their diplomas. I cried the most when Zoey saw her mom and yelled out, "Mommy, I love you!" A big old cry fest, it was.

It was a lovely ceremony and a wonderful evening. Our big, old messy family. Loving each other and supporting April in her accomplishment. 

a morning at the lake

Not really, but it sure feels like it. A sturdy breeze and very cool temps. Bright blue sky. I can almost hear the walleye chop.

I have been busy.

Last night Regis started asking me about essential oils. Did I have this or that. Did I have coconut oil. Did I have bee's wax. Yes. Yes. Yes. But I finally had to ask what he was planning to make because these were unusual questions for him. Beer bong he said. What? I said, you are not. I misheard...beard balm is what he said. It was a good one.

So, this morning, I made the beard balm which, forever after will be referred to as beer bong. Then I went up to the Cox House Heritage Plant Sale. I have always wanted to go but never made it. I made some great scores.


Maidenhair fern from a ravine on Don Gustavson's farm on 169.

Angel Wing Begonia

I stopped at a garage sale just down the street and bought a sheet pan, some craft things for the kids, and two Longaberger baskets for five bucks each. And they have liners. Holy crap. Do you know what these babies go for brand new? I felt like I was committing a highway robbery.

I tried to take some flower pictures for my class this morning but we are kind of between flowers...bulbs are bye bye and the other things haven't really started yet. Then I spotted the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. It was a difficult shot because there isn't room in my garden to get down low enough but I like the way it turned out.

That's it for now. I am going to dye my hair lavender and make some body butter. Make it a good day!