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!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

a quick blog post this morning

I'm taking a class called Digital Photography. I had homework this week to take photos of flowers, to fill the frame with the single flower, and to try to compose the photo artistically while blurring the background to get rid of distractions. I think I achieved that with these. I will practice more.

It looks like another cloudy and overcast day. We have had about 2.5 inches of rain which is good for trees and grass but tiresome for a guy's disposition.

I had another night of insomnia. A friend recommended a book which was compelling reading but creepy scary. I kept trying to read to the end (in one day?) so that I could have some resolution of all these gruesome circumstances.

My very sweet future daughter-in-law graduates from SCC today so I will join my son to watch her walk in her cap and gown. A proud moment for her and for her family.

My brain is a little fuzzy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

sleepless in st. peter

It's 3:30 am and I have been awake since 12:30. I have to be awake by 6 to head to Mankato with Regis. So ends a restless night of sleep. Maybe I have to consider resetting my internal clock again.

I finished one book, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place by Howard Norman, and started another by Annie Dillard. Reading will usually do the trick. Not tonight.

Insomnia. I hate it.

I finally got up to look at pictures, my interest being piqued by my digital photography class last night. Regis had tried to teach about the camera for years but I was only ever interested in the automatic settings. Now, I am being forced (by choice) to learn about F-stop and aperture and ISO. The teacher is very good but he talks fast and moves fast so it is some work to keep up with him.

These are the photos I was thinking about when I finally decided to get out of bed.

I took these last fall right about dusk. The sky was beautiful but not this beautiful and vibrant. When I saw the photos, there were things I had not seen with my naked eye. I asked the instructor why that was and he wasn't sure. He said most often, it is the other way. You see things with your eyes that the camera doesn't see...because our eyes are binocular and the camera is not. Hmmm.

Woody decided to get out of bed and keep me company. He loves the early morning hours and is currently perched right in front of my keyboard.

I was having lunch with a friend today when I got a call from the local hospital. I had applied for a very part-time job there as the weekend receptionist in the Physical Therapy Department. With their collaboration with OFC in Mankato, they are doing more him and knee replacements and consequently do more weekend therapy. The job would entail some light office stuff and chatting with patients. Yup, I could do that. My employment history has been interesting since I retired.

I just had a happy surprise. As I was thinking through my day, I thought I had things to do at 8 am, 10:15 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Turns out I was mistaken...nothing after the 10:15. Yippee! Here's to slothitude this afternoon!

Monday, May 09, 2016


I checked my blog this morning and discovered, much to my chagrin, that I have not written anything here since March. In fact, I have written only ten posts since January 1st. I have a bunch of unpublished drafts that I will probably release back into the wild, but one of my goals for May is to become a regular blogger again.

There have been some changes in my life. I lost my job at Lone Star in December. I quit volunteering at the Treaty Site in January. I have applied for a job at River's Edge Hospital as a weekend receptionist in the Physical Therapy Department. I started taking a digital photography class and I signed up to take Blues Harmonica and Beginning Drawing. I started going for walks with Regis again and I am going to take yoga and ballet again this summer.

I spent as much time on the patio and in the garden as has been possible since the beginning of March. The weather has been weird...periods of almost summer like weather with intermittent cold spells. Maybe it's always like that.

I have a pile of cards and gifts on the table to take to the PO when it quits raining. I am so proud of the myself for getting the last two babies in our family gifts before their second birthdays. Ta da! Yay, me. Actually got them within a month of their birth. Also sent an early graduation gift.

So, there you go.