Sunday, October 30, 2011

fun run fun weekend fun birthday

Joanne and I ran in the Halloween Fun Run. Regis took a ton of pictures from Tom's front are a few.

Joanne and I ran this 5K in 39 minutes and 20 seconds. We walk a little run a little walk a little...and don't really care about time. The last time we ran together, we did it more than 45 minutes so our improvement is impressive, no?

Tom and Betty host a little gathering on their front yard. Minnow is there to watch Emily, Tom makes a big pot of coffee, and everybody hoots and hollers and bangs on drums when we go past.

Joanne...power woman according to her daughter! Cool!

There we go!

This was a great costume. Not sure how the people in the middle knew where to go.

Rasta man, Tom.

Dave and Doreen with the little Grimius boys, Weston and Miles.

Emily...great shot!

Our old friends, Jane and Dick, came for the weekend from Iowa. We did most of the things we do every time they come: we met at Patrick's for drinks and appetizers on Friday. We went downtown and looked in a few shops, we went to Schmidt's Meat Market in Nicollet,  we cooked steaks on the grill, we drank wine and spent hours at the table telling stories and laughing. Regis made a batch of Apple Pie (not the kind your mama makes) and some at the table enjoyed a sip of that. 

I spent a couple hours after they left, putting my house back together and getting Halloween stuff tucked away. I have celebrated Halloween for the last two weeks and I'm kind of ready for it to be over and how pitiful is that? I am costumed out.

I'm sure tomorrow, I will be fine. I'll put on some crazy tights and a wild hat and go out as myself. Tiffany and Elliot are coming over for dinner and trick or treating, Ella and Alex are stopping by some time for a treat, and  we're passing out candy. How much fun is that?

I just went through the last two boxes of stuff from my school office. Most of it was left behind but what I did bring home has been dispersed. Now, it's all been shelved, boxed, or tossed. Whew.

I can feel a nap coming on....

Friday, October 28, 2011

my colleagues at river rock celebrate pirate day!

What a hoot of a day! More later. It's been a story-worthy week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ah, well, the perfect kind of mistake to experience

I rode my bike to work today. Streamers from my witch hat flying behind me, a purple broom and a fake raven in my bike basket, and my fuschia gloves. I saw several people reaching for cell phones. Maybe they were going to call the cops.

The hospital x-ray department called me this afternoon and apologized profusely for their mistake. The radiologist had not read my comparison images until the letter had gone out and the appointments for follow-up had been made. I don't need any further images. I told her not to feel bad. If a guy has to experience a medical mistake, this is the right kind.

So, off to get a haircut and meet Peter for dinner.

bookmarks and early bird risin'

I made the decision to go to work a little later in the morning which for the most part, has worked out fine except that I continue to wake up at 4 most days, spend a half day before I even go to work, and come home when I'm tired and a little cranky from the long day. Damn.

Here I am at 4 a.m. Do I start DOING something like the day is beginning or do I hover between sleep and wake for a while?

I woke up thinking about my Halloween costume. In the middle of the night I asked Regis his opinion about which skirt and which tights. Such a dilemma.

My friend, Jill, gave me a subscription to Bookmarks as a retirement gift. It comes bi-monthly and has a ton of reviews of all different kinds of books. I had been through it several times and yellow-tagged quite a few I thought I might want to read. Yesterday I checked some more on-line reviews and ordered some books...some kindle versions and some paperback versions.

This is one I am most interested in reading. Corvus: A Life with Birds.

Here's something I snagged from the Amazon review:
Ever since her daughter rescued a fledgling rook years ago, Esther Woolfson has been fascinated with corvids, the bird group that includes crows, rooks, magpies, and ravens. Today, the rook, named Chicken, is a member of the Woolfson family, along with a talking magpie named Spike, a baby crow named Ziki, a starling, a parrot, and others. From their elaborate bathing rituals to their springtime broodiness and tendency to cache food in the most unlikely places, these corvids share a bond with humans that one might never have imagined before reading this book.

Letting her experience speak for itself, Woolfson likens the fears and foibles of corvids to those of humans, taking into account the science of bird intelligence, evolution, song, and flight. She highlights their big personalities and capacity for affection: Chicken hates computers and machines, while she loves evening neck scratches on Woolfson’s knee. It is through this intimate lens that Woolfson invites us to reconsider the kind of creature capable of being man’s best friend.

I bought this in paperback because I think it will be like Oranges by John MCPhee, a fixation. If you don't remember Oranges, just ask me.

So, I love Bookmarks. My reading mojo was limp for a while and I just couldn't find anything that called me. I reread a lot of old favorites but new things were not interesting. I think this is going to be just the thing. Check it out.

I just can't get excited about my kindle. I can read a certain type of book on it but I can't get any cover, no summary, no author information. I started reading a book the other night and realized last night, that I have missed something. I read the reviews on Amazon and the book is called non-linear. Oh, yeah. I hate that.

Not my favorite type of book to begin with and now I have no way to check back and figure out who the hell Uri is. This book is a series of short stories loosely tied together and I am incapable of figuring that our in my random reading. Arrghgghg, I say. I like to read the old-fashioned way, I guess.

Today is Witch Day at work so I better get moving and figure out my costume. I have a small black cauldron full of eyeball gum and rubber duck witches. Ha!

Gus is giving me the signal that something needs to on with the day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

t-bones on the grill

This is what I wore to work today as it was River Rock Colors Day. Tomorrow is Witch Day, which I reported as Pirate Day. Ah, well. An old gal must be excused for getting things mixed up, right Mom?

My neighbor dogs are barking so much (all day and incessantly) that I am invoking the Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House Billy Collins rule. Holy crap.

grilling in the dark

We like to squeeze every possible grilling date out of the season. I know lots of people grill all winter with gas but we use charcoal and it gets hard to keep the temperature up enough when the temperature gets down below 50 degrees. So, here we are in the dark, with the charcoal glowing red. It looks like the blaster on a rocket ship.

Big steaks were worth standing in the cold and dark. We got a split side of beef from Mike last week so these are delicious and not from some factory farm which gives me the creeps. We get out chickens from Mary and from Mike. If I could only find a local source for tuna.

I chase the dark away with lights. Halloween spider lights, hula girls (thanks to Bob and Betty!) and turkeys at Thanksgiving, lots and lots of lights in the month of December. I have been known to wrap myself in lights. 

I don't believe I published this photo before but it's from last year. Apparently I felt the need to go incognito in my own home. You never know when you might be put on the witness protection program and not notified of it. In case a bad guy were to look in our windows, I would not be recognized which is a good thing, You can't be too careful.

Regis just went off to the store to buy a long list of groceries. I used to accompany him but Gus is not feeling favorable toward being left alone in a big, metal crate these days so he goes and I stay. We don't buy groceries often and this will probably be our last trip until the big Thanksgiving trip.

I suggested going off the beaten path and serving something other than turkey this year. That went over about as well as the time I served roasted root vegetables instead of mashed potatoes. Damn traditions. I'm going to buy a turkey from a real farm, though, and not one of those poor poor pitiful things I see drive through town squashed in the back of a giant truck. Ack.

I started my Thanksgiving planning because I had a nightmare that I forgot and when people showed up, I had no turkey and had to go all over town looking for one that wasn't frozen. It was a good lesson.

Regis had a dream last night that we went to England with our friend, Sam Kelly. Somehow we hooked up with the Queen of England who feigned interest in Sam's new discovery about gasoline. The dream was not specific about what that discovery was but it intrigued the Queen enough that she traveled back to America with us, to Sam's delight. Turns out she only wanted to come here to get drunk which distressed Sam no end. In Regis's dreams the people in England do not drink apparently.

I think I mentioned before that we are going to be programmers for the day on Shuffle Function, a radio show we listen to on KMSU. We have had to develop a play list of about 30 songs for the two-hour show. That has involved sitting at the table, shuffling through all of our CDs and negotiating about which CD, which cut, which version, how many by which artist. Here's our draft list:

Play List for Shuffle Function
1.  Sons of the Pioneers

2. Buddy and Julie Miller Dang Me Track 5

3. Decades Neil Young Needle and the Damage Done Track 17 (Disk 2)

4. Leo Kottke Embryonic Journey Track 12 (Disk 2)

5. Sinatra Summer Wine Track 13

6. Dylan Things Have Changed Track 11 (Disk 3)

7. Buffalo Springfield Mr. Soul Track 2

8. Greg Brown Good Morning Coffee Track 6

9. Willie Nelson I Never Cared for You Track 2

10. Reverend Raven The Woman I Love Track 8

11. City Mouse Moonlight Baby Track 7

12. Becky Thompson Carryin’ Fire Track 9

13. Warren Zevon Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner Track 4

14. Delbert McClinton Tell Me About It Track 2

15. Trampled by Turtles Codeine Track 3

16. Lyle Lovett She’s No Lady She’s My Wife Track 7

17. James Taylor Bartender’s Blues Track 5

18. Peter Ostroushko The Whalebone Feather Track 1

19. Dire Straits Money for Nothin’ Track 2

20. Dylan Farewell Angelina Track 5 (Disk 2)

21. Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter Track 1

22. Stevie Ray Vaughn Little Wing Track 4

23. John Gorka People My Age Track 14

24. Johnny Cash Bonny Prince Billy Track 6

25. Tom Waits Long Way Home Track 3 (Disk Bawlers)

26. Loudon Wainwright White Winos Track 3

27. Lucinda Williams Concrete and Barbed Wire Track 5

28. Dave Carter and Tracy Gramm Crocodile Man Track 6

29. k.d. lang Trail of Broken Hearts Track 3 

30. Buddy and Julie Miller

I'd say that is the play list of folks who have been around the musical block once or twice meaning old but not too old. There's no Elvis on there, notice that.

It was an interesting exercise. Kind of like choosing five favorite books to take to a deserted island. Or writing a letter to the editor with only 300 words. The list might be different if Regis were doing it alone but he wasn't. I can get a favorite CD and listen to it over and over for months like I did with Wonder Boys and Crazy Heart.

Our show is on from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. We get a CD of it so if you are even slightly curious, don't feel compelled to get out of bed before the crack of dawn to hear it.

Have a great Wednesday!

And a comment from my husband will follow. He is such a character and writes such funny stuff. Didn't want anyone to miss this:
First off the Queen would come to America to get drunk for the same reason that teachers used to go go out of town to drink. You just don't want the locals to know. Secondly, I don't want some lame ass scrawny bird on the table for Thanksgiving. Tom, the butcher at Hy-Vee told me that their turkeys are massaged nightly and, when their time comes, are given a ride to Mankato in a seed filled stretch limo. Obviously it is ok to buy one at the Hy-Vee.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ah, well and I seem to say that a lot

Saturday, I got a letter from the clinic about my recent mammogram. It seems there were some irregularities that require more imagine. Hmmm. I didn't really panic about this until yesterday when I called and the receptionist/appointment person told me that the letter (not one I saw) said that I need "spot compression" and possible ultrasound. WTF. She asked if I had an ultrasound anywhere prior to this. I don't think so WTF. This is a nasty process.

Of course, in my usual calm fashion, I wig out and spend a horrible day weeping and carrying on and sending emails to friends. (I didn't tell any kids....don't be offended. Who wants to talk about this to their kids?) It was awful. It involved a lot of wine. A lot of wine.

Today, I am better. I have heard from many people who have been through the same thing but didn't talk about it. Holy shit, people. I would feel better if I knew that 8 out of 10 friends had been through this before, and lived to tell about it.

Things always look better in the light of day and with the love and support of friends.

But, I have to wait until Friday to have the next imaging (sounds a little sci-fi, huh?) when the radiologist is there. Yeah, he can be there but I am not letting anybody in this town cut on me, no offense. Don't you love it when people say no offense and of course, they know what they just said is offensive?

Enough about that. Friday I could be celebrating. Here's hopin'.

I have been wearing costumes or at least, crazy clothes, to work every day. Yesterday, I had on a bright green  sweater and neon orange tights. I ran into a friend of mine on my way to work. She said she forgot it was dress-up day at River Rock. I said it wasn't and this is the way I always dress. Ha!

Today, I was walking to the bank and I wondered about a lot of things. Like hippies.

Yesterday, when I was riding my bike down the street, Reggie happened past in his Ameripride truck. He hung his head out the window and sang the Elvira Gulch song. Hahahaa! He called to ask if Ella had dressed me. Hey, I have a lot of years to dress like an old lady and not very many to dress like a kook. Well, maybe they can overlap a little.

Well, on my way to the evening.

Monday, October 24, 2011

this weekend passed quickly, as most do

We had a wonderful weekend. Lots of cooking on the grill, lots of squandering time being lazy, and a busy Sunday getting things done.

I had tubs of stuff belonging to Tiffany and Peter in the basement, some of it worth keeping (dolls and action figures and first clothes) but much of it was stuff that could be thrown away. Did I really need to keep that deflated balloon that I got when I was in the hospital when Peter was born?

It's been consolidated to one tub per kid to keep, a box to go to the thrift store, and a box of junk. They aren't sentimental at this point in their lives but I hope some day those things will be important to them. Tiffany has a few beautiful dolls, because I loved dolls, but she was kind of uninterested in them. One she thought was creepy and asked for it to be re-boxed and put in the closet.

I started going through stuff in what used to be my office. I cleaned out about a dozen binders full of writing stuff (this made me a little sad) and boxed up a lot of books. Almost everything is on a shelf now.

We've given away a lot of furniture in the last few weeks. We have had two easy chairs and an ottoman for more than ten years and we got it used. Last week, we asked Jan, the woman who cleans for us, if she wanted them. Before we could blink an eye, she had muscled those chairs out the back door and they were on the way to her truck. It feels good to have less crap and more space.

That's enough about my cleaning binge. We have run out of recycle and garbage room this week. If you have any to spare, let me know.

Last night we cooked a mega pile of stuffed peppers on the grill thinking that it might be the last time we get to do it. Now we have peppers for the week to eat with our left-overs and in omelets. We have enjoyed those this summer.

This week I get to start wearing costumes. Wednesday is River Rock Colors Day which is not really a costume but still has potential for fun. I have crazy brown and orange tights that Regis found in a free box at the evil costume company where he worked. I think the bad mojo is gone from them by now.

Thursday is Pirate Day so I better start brushing up on my pirate speak. I have a great costume but whether I dare wear it on the street in broad daylight is a good question. Oh, yeah, I think I do. Friday is Witch Day. Some of the young people I work with are nervous because they apparently don't have a lot of costumery in their closets. Hey, I can help.

This is me in my pirate costume. The cutlass is not real, neither is the parrot. I am peering at you through a telescope which I also use to spot rum runners. Hahaha! I'm hoping the weather is pleasant enough that I can ride my bike. Be sure to stop in the coffee shop this week to share in the fun.

Gus likes to go out a lot in the morning. He goes out right away when he wakes up but as soon as he eats, he starts ringing the bells to go out again. We're on to his game and know that usually it's what we call a stick run (he likes to chew sticks) or he just wants to patrol the perimeter of the yard, keeping us safe from bunny rabbits, I guess.

Well, on to Monday and work and the rest of the foolishness. Jane and Dick are coming next weekend so there are preparations to be made. Stories will be told and more created, no doubt.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

that is EXACTLY the reason

I read Jill's comment. That is exactly why I didn't run. I would hate to qualify for Boston and have to travel out there. Loud groan....

true confessions

So, yesterday I went to pick up my race packet and the whole experience was so daunting and unpleasant that I decided to forego this experience. I decided that going down the road at 7:30 a.m. with 4,000 other people was not my idea of a good time. Here I sit. Drinking coffee. Contemplating a shopping trip. Thinking about breakfast. Ah, life is good.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ah, yes. what was i thinking?

I registered for the 10K at the Mankato Marathon. What was I thinking?

Last year, I ran, using the term loosely, the Half Marathon which is 13 miles. I bolted out of the gate from excitement then crashed about 3 miles into it and walked the rest of the way, munching a peanut butter sandwich, waving at people and petting dogs.

I crossed the finish line after 13 miles about the same time as the marathoners who had run 26 miles. In fact, some of them passed me.

Regis dropped me off and picked me up so he simplified the process for me. The whole process was oppressive but exhilarating. It gave me stories for months.

So, I guess I signed up again but decided to run the 10k instead. That's only six miles and I figure with my run/walk combo it will not be too hard. What I dread is the getting there. 3500 people are registered so traffic and parking will be a major nightmare. Blah.

Next weekend is the Halloween Fun Run in St. Peter. 3 miles in a Halloween costume. That can be fun.

Three of my more intense friends are injured and can't run at all which indicates to me that my slovenly ways are being rewarded. I am injury free to this point and intend to keep it that way. My personal best is to remain vertical and mobile. Some athlete.

We've had two good frosts. I had two big plants that I was considering hauling into the house. I guess my benign neglect made the decision for me. I don't like house plants because I forget to water them and we don't have enough sunlight so they look like hell by the end of the winter.

We've had a cardinal convention in our bird feeder the past few days. Right at dusk, there were four males and a female. I think it might have been one adult male and some juveniles because some of them are rustier red than the others. A beautiful site at the bird feeder.

We could get two or three in the photo, but never four.

I've started celebrating Halloween early. Yesterday, I wore black tights with purple and green stars and a splotch of purple in my hair. My friend, Amanda, said she read this in a book: I don't believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be the same person every day.

I told a woman at River Rock that my husband bought the tights for me and she was astonished. "Your husband?" she said...then "He rocks!" I agree.

I'm going to Yogilates this morning at the Pulse, then to work. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the nicest kind of surprise

I was walking back into the house after exercising this morning when I spotted this in my garden. It's an impatiens and it's growing in an area that has seen major disruption this summer with a patio expansion, then hosta and perennial planting, let alone the fact that I didn't plant any impatiens this summer. Where did this little thing come from? Quite a survivor, I'd say. What a nice surprise in the late fall garden.

I also found this lovely plant that I don't believe has ever bloomed before and used to be in a different place. I think it's a variety of joe pye weed, but I can't be sure.

Regis is really into zombies this year. He wrote a story for a writing challenge they had on our favorite morning radio show. This is the show for which we will be the programmers for a day the 2nd of November. Put that on your calendars! I don't really understand a fascination with zombies as I have never read about them and have never seen a movie with a zoombie in it. Ella knows more about zombies than I do. I'm not a fan of anything scarier than....can't even think of an example. Regis says the lion in the Wizard of Oz. Yeah, that's about it.

It was cold here today. I talked to a fellow at the shop who was in the process (packed car) of moving from Utah to Minnesota and he was not in favor of this cold weather. I would have no clue about the weather in Utah but he says it's much milder than here. We are a hearty lot in Minnesota.

Two days in a row, my new schedule has worked. I exercise at 8:00, go to work at 10:30, and come home at 4:00. That's a great string!

I'm reading a very good book that everyone else has probably read long ago: The Thirteenth Tale. Just now checking the reviews, I see it came out in 2006. I wonder how long it's been on the shelf. I like it anyway. I have been reading a lot in the middle of the night which is fine but I often wake myself up when the book falls to the floor.

We're getting our beef from Meat Mike tomorrow. That's what I call him in my phone. Damn android phone collects every phone number for anybody who crosses your path in any of the social media so there is a list a mile long. I can't remember who all these people are so I call them things like Meat Mike and Patrick Hair.

If you recall, when we first started doing business with Mike, he offered to have me come out to his farm to see that his cows had great pasture-fed lives. No, thanks, I said. I'll take your word for it. I don't need to look into the big brown eyes of anything today that I will be eating next week.

We're celebrating Halloween at River Rock with a series of dress-up days and some of my coworkers don't have adequate costume supplies so I am gathering some things to take to work so they can be appropriately clothed. Let's see....pirate day, witch day, River Rock colors day, dress like a biker day, crazy hat day, and costume of your choice day. I've already been doing WILD TIGHTS DAY every day but I felt that might be an imposition for the men on our staff.

Regis and Gus went to dog obedience class this morning and Regis reports that Gus did very well oh thank goodness he did not get kicked out of school. He and the dingo are still like bad magnets but at least they don't fly around the room like crazy kites at the ends of their leashes. That was embarrassing.

Gus weighs 35 pounds and is about the size of a small pony. Hard to believe he could be 70 pounds. We had visitors last night and he was well-behaved what a relief. Today, the assessor for our home refinancing came around and took about 5 pictures of our house and about 20 pictures of Gus. Ha!

I saw a friend of mine today, who in the last three months has had pneumonia, bronchitis, a house fire, and a bad case of tendinitis. I said she should probably walk away real fast because she's a lightening rod for bad luck. No, I didn't. That would be kind of mean, now wouldn't it? hahaha! On my walk to the bank, I saw a woman sleeping behind the wheel of her car. (It was parked.) I had the worst urge to pound on the hood. That would wake her up. Some people don't admit to these kinds of thoughts, I know that.

Well, that's probably enough of my random thoughts for one night.

Monday, October 17, 2011

a new week

I got home from work on Friday about 4. Regis and I wandered down to the bar about 5 and had a drink and a bite to eat. We were home by 8:00 after visiting with lots of people, hearing the news about the Oktoberfest, and seeing the Govies parade off down the alley. That was the last time we left the house all weekend except for a brief trip by bicycle to the bank on Saturday morning.

We're ready for a new week. We got some piddly chores done that we have been putting off for a few weeks and we had a day of complete decadence. It was a good weekend.

There are a few things we need to get done before winter. Organize the garage a little bit for one. You couldn't get a snowblower out of there for anything at this point. We tend to just drop things as we go in the door. Never a good policy but it's the way we are.

I've been working more hours than I want to work at River Rock. Every week, I think I have a handle on it and turns out, I don't. My exercise has suffered and I feel unbalanced many days. I made a schedule Friday that says I will go to the Pulse every day at 8:00, some days I will take a class and some days I'll just walk or run. I'll go to work at 10:30 and work until 4:00. Many good things about this schedule and I'm going to try and stick to it.

We didn't partake of any of the Oktoberfest. It might have been a happening but we don't drink real beer anymore, don't really enjoy polka music, and it was cold. Ah, well. It looked like a good time...all but the sauerkraut eating contest. I can eat a bite of sauerkraut about one time a year. Ack.

Regis and listened to a two-disk set of songs from the 60s yesterday while we finished out DIY projects. Ha! Pretty funny. He grew up in a big city and was a little more savvy regarding the 60s than I was. I said growing up in SW Minnesota, I didn't experience the 60s until the 70s. Always a decade behind. Of course, I missed the 80s completely because I had two babies. No wonder my sense of recent music history is so messed up.

The radio station we listen to in the morning is crazy. They play independent stuff which we appreciate. (We're going to be programmers for a day on November 2nd.) This morning, they announced that Sonic Youth is splitting up. Who? Never heard of them. Like the time I read (on the cover of the Rolling Stone) that Radiohead is the Future. I wondered how this could be when I had never heard of Radiohead and had no idea if this was a person or a band or some kind of small kitchen appliance. Maybe I should be more careful about expressing my ignorance.

Well, this was pretty much a random and weird post. It's Monday morning so what can you expect?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

sunday in pictures and aunt margarette

Regis and I roasted and froze more than 300 Hungarian hot wax, cayenne, and jalapeno peppers this morning. We have learned to love hot peppers and eat them in almost everything, even our omelets. We got them from Adam and Lupita at Living Land Farm. Here they are in their raw state:

And here they are after being roasted in the oven. We froze them in small vacuum sealed bags so we should have a good supply for the long winter.

They're so colorful and so rich in flavor. Aren't they beautiful?

Regis got a new camera a week or so ago. He sold his old camera on eBay (with a great made-up story) and had some cash from a few projects so it didn't really cost him much. It's an upgrade from the other camera so we're having fun with it. He loves to take pictures and I love to dress up in costumes. We're a great pair.

So, here's what we did yesterday. I tried on all configurations of my costumes and Regis took pictures of me. As I looked them over later it occurred to me that it might be considered weird by some people after all to dress up and spend the day having your picture taken. I know many people who dodge the camera. More thoughts on that later. Here are the pictures.

My Halloween tights.

Parts of my witch costume. Love the purple glitter broom. Oh, and the red wig. I always wanted to be a redhead and this works out better than the hair dye I tried in my youth.

More of the witch costume. I am not completely brainless during this session...I was party planning and have two great ideas for fall and winter parties. I should do this for a living.

Cool shoes with my Halloween tights. I think Regis bought both of these for me.

I'm looking pensive in my devil horns and neon orange tights.

Gus participated in some of the photos. Here he is looking pensively out the window.

Beautiful dog.

This is my leopard director's chair that I inherited from Rachel when she left the district. It's a hoot of a chair but you have to know how to sit in it. It's not a chair for amateurs.

Another goofy hat thing and I guess I haven't even mentioned the wig. This is my Marilyn Monroe wig. It's a tiny bit more expensive and whole more comfortable than a Halloween wig.

Love these tights.

These tights have little flying witches on them.

Black and white Harlequin tights. I'm not sure there are enough days in October for me to wear all my tights.

This morning, as I was roasting peppers and musing about my picture taking propensities, it occurred to me that this might be a genetic thing. I dragged out a couple of old photo albums I inherited from my Grandma Elsie. Here is a small sample:

This is my Grandma Elsie, my dad's mother. Notice in these pictures of her, she strikes the same pose. I'm assuming it's the same picket fence, too. You wouldn't go out looking for a picket fence to be photographed in front of, now would you?

Grandma Else

Grandma Elsie

Grandma Elsie. I never knew my grandma to wear pants until maybe the early 80s. She also would not take a nap during the day if it meant lying down. She would sleep sitting up on a kitchen chair but would not lie on the couch or God forbid, a bed.

Now, this is my Aunt Margarette. I spelled her name Margaret at first, then saw on the back of some of the photos that she had signed it Margarette. She was my dad's father's sister, if I remember right. Do not use this information for any genealogical research as it is only accurate as far as my memory goes which is not far.

Margarette likes to dress up and have her picture taken. Some of these are from the 1930s when I imagine film and film developing were not cheap.

When I was growing up, we got holiday cards from Margaret. I remember we kind of snickered at her posing and fancy ways. Hmmm.

Margarette lived somewhere in St. Paul when I was working in White Bear Lake. I spoke to her on the phone only one time and never met her.

This is a great pose and not the only photo I have of Margarette perched on the fender of a car.

Margarette looking pensive.

Wish I knew where this was taken.

They hauled the piano bench to the yard for a photo session. Good idea.

I have on a pair of shoes similar to this in the photo with the witch tights.

Maybe I could get my picture taken on the counter at River Rock.

Margarette might have been a character, I'm thinking.

She looks a little innocent here. Maybe it was in her younger days.

Love the signature.

Funny that I don't have any pictures of her with another hair do. I suppose the albums I have only span a certain number of years.

So, that's it. This is the German-Irish side of my family gene pool and I am quite sure there is a similar cast of characters on the Norwegian side. I'll do a little research and report back. Just wanted you to know that none of this is my fault...the costumes, the photo sessions, the love of cool shoes. It's my gene pool...that's my story.