"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

my daughter #3

So my daughter writes all these sarcastic, edgy posts on her blog (http://throwfishatbear.blogspot.com/ ) so here goes one for her...

After months of unemployment and despite her not paying much attention to our advice, we let daughter number three move to California with us paying the rent and for her car  - to try to find a job in TV writing or promotion.  Less than a week later, she has a job..... in a production company.... oh, but did I mention its a part time, unpaid job?  She says that's how everyone in this industry has to start.... I'm wondering are all of them living off their parents?  But, seriously, its a start and I'm proud of her for following her dreams this far and hope it turns into much, much more!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making it big

Time marches on. My baby has been out of college for several months now - sort of looking for a job while taking care of her mom while my arm was keeping me from doing lots of household tasks and driving. But its time to move on.....

We are giving Christina the opportunity to try to "make it" in her chosen field - entertainment, in particular screenwriting for TV or TV promotion/marketing. She and everyone she's contacted tell us she has to actually live in LA in order to be considered so she's making the big step with us subsidizing four months of it.... then she's really on her own. In a scary way, it reminds me of all the stories of kids who wanted to be actresses or actors and ended up waitressing, washing dishes or parking cars. At this point I'm just hoping she can land one of those jobs if she can't get anything good.... But at least the weather is nice....

We so hope she'll have the energy and motivation to find a good job despite the odds, despite the economy. We hope she listens to all our advice, tries to follow it and then ends up not needing it by landing a great job the first week..... if so it will be thanks to Seth who ran the "Making the Cut" TV promo contest for the CW network in which Christina was one of the winners....

So, its with mixed emotions I let my baby go to California to try this all on her own. At least her sister lives there although she's busy 6-7 days a week in medical school. We'll be going out to visit for Thanksgiving and a few days later, leaving here there....

Sunday, November 1, 2009


There were no smashed pumpkins in our neighborhood. And almost no trick-or-treaters either.  I imagine they've all gone the way of community parties and other events to keep kids from walking the streets.  It seems to be something that has gone the way of most childhood activities - sports, after school fun, just being a kid - supervised and planned by adults and run on a schedule, a very busy schedule.  I find it sad that kids have so little time and parents are run ragged getting them to and from those activities.  We used to spend hours out trick-or-treating. We played baseball - in our yards or a nearby open field where we had to bring our own bases. We thought up and ran a neighborhood newspaper, we played games in the neighborhood at night, we rode bicycles for hours, watched the clouds go by, days, weeks, years seemed endless (they weren't though)..... slow down, kids (and parents), childhood goes fast enough....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Houston - Hot and Humid

Trip to Houston was mostly because I normally love just relaxing in hotel rooms while Bill is at a conference or even working out of town. Plus he will be gone for 4 weeks after this on a trip for work to China.  And this trip did come with benefits - a lovely reception that I got to attend put on by Microsoft - 24th floor of the Westin Galleria with great view, excellent food and a nice jazz band. Didn't even have to listen to talk of "business" all night. I know some of the people in the Microsoft users group from other conferences so it was fun.  And a night out at a restaurant with select users group people - also paid for by Microsoft.... only bad thing was the for the first three days, the muscle spasms I've been having since trying to heal my frozen shoulder after breaking my arm were pretty painful. Last two days have been much much better. Funny thing but after watching the Vikings and thinking of how these guys come back from injuries, I decided to fight it with more exercise. Instead of doing my physical therapy exercises once a day, I started doing some/most of them several times a day - especially when the muscle spasms got bad - so far that seems to have made a huge difference. Hoping that after PT on Monday, it doesn't relapse.... each time she forces my arm to go further than it wants to....hopefully we're almost there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life at the Lake

Ok, its not quite a perfect life - my arm is STILL hurting me from when I broke it - muscle spasms in my back and soreness in the muscles in the upper arm as I try to regain strength. Talked to my brother about it since he broke his arm many years ago (in his 20's) in the same place. Not helpful to hear that he doesn't remember it hurting, only that darn old Dad wouldn't let him go waterskiing until it was completely healed. And when your dad is a radiologist he can just go take another xray to prove its not quite there.... Was it just that much easier (less painful) to heal at that age or does memory fade? I hope its both.... gives me an excuse and I really want this memory to fade.

It doesn't always hurt though and we've had a beautiful time at the lake. Nothing to DO so that's easy at least. I do my exercises for the arm, go for long walks with the dog, read, practice photography, go out to eat every night, and just relax. Do I want to go home? Not so much.

Long walks - we found some paths through the woods that went for miles.

Watched Notre Dame beat Purdue in a last minute win....

One morning it looked like bad weather - windy and clouds coming up with the wind bringing moisture right up over the water.

But in an hour or so it was back to gorgeous - the only rain came at night.

But all good things have to end and we will go back either Monday night or Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just a Perfect Day

Woke to a foggy morning sunrise, with the maybe 15% of leaves that have changed to fall colors brightly catching the warm rays of the sun through the bluish fog.  Out on the docks a heron surveyed its domain until I got too close...

Time to walk the dog - up the small hill behind the condo where I took a lot of pictures for a previous post this summer. Everything is quieter now - Riley did not run out to greet Gandalf, no other dogs barked at our passing by, few cars around to tell us others were up here enjoying the first days of fall

I went to do the dirty laundry we brought along - up here its almost fun to do.  Walking back from the laundry I saw the one other car in sight at our condo building drive by. I waved but I'm not sure who they are, so many people have changed, but I remember well who used to own that condo for many years.  As they drove by I realized that in my mind they were seeing me as the young person I was when I spent the whole summer up here, I could imagine I was walking back from the mailboxes where I checked several times a day for letters from friends - there were no cell phones, or blogs, and no email or texting to keep in touch. I realized that sometimes up here I still feel like I could be that young person so I will put off the promised thoughts on being 59 years old for another, less perfect day.

The sunshine is absolute, no clouds, clean slightly crisp air, bright blue sky, just a slight breeze and a touch of fall colors - a day suspended between very warm, busy summer and fall's glorious color and chill which will move us towards winter. So few people are around now it seems like the day is all mine. Except that I shared it with you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pelican Lake, here we come

One more week at the lake this summer! Thank you 3M for forcing Bill to reduce his banked vacation and actually take time off! Just did my physical therapy, packed us and the dog and we're off :)
Hopefully some pictures will be showing up here soon! Maybe some reflections on turning 59 on last Sunday and being married 36 years as of today....

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the arm

Who knew a broken arm could hurt so much - its more the attempt to get the arm moving again that hurts actually.  Physical therapy twice a week for three weeks and I can actually lift that arm high enough to quickly touch my nose before it gets too heavy to hold up.... right now I am working on range of motion exercises with the goal of getting my arm to go straight up with the therapist holding it up or using a pulley - not using my own muscles even and that seems like weeks away still. In two weeks I get to start building strength - right now I can not life any weight with that arm other than its own weight....

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Last time I was at the lake I was hit by all the memories of 40 years of coming here- and all the little things I love here in the condo. So I snapped some iPhone pictures. Then a condo neighbor told me how glad she is her parents are keeping their condo after the death of the second grandparent and one reason for her was "because it still smells like grandpa" (his cigars probably..). Two weeks ago I visited with my 94 yr old aunt, another condo neighbor, during what would turn out to be her last time here- she's dead and buried now and wow, another wave of nostalgia and missing my parents..
So here we go - last time was a walk outside at the lake, now a walk inside

Early morning on the lake view from the porch

From a favorite breakfast spot - or lunch or anytime the lake view calls

Refrigerator magnets, some bordering on antique status

Mom's domain but now

Her stool that was always in the kitchen is retired...

The garages but 117 should be open and Dad out there working

The table - scene of many meals, puzzles, games- Hearts, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, etc

Loons of course, what Minnesota lake place does not have these?

Dad made this and it I held it for about 5 hours on the way up here

The door to the parents' room
My dad's sense of humor- did I mention I miss him

I made this 40 years ago and it has been on the other bedroom door all this time

We used to have two bunkbeds for the kids in the other bedroom

Kathy slept on the sheepskin rug, probably using the same sleeping bag that's in the picture

Not sure if the Notre Dame toilet seat was mom humor or dad humor

Gotta love the orange, harvest gold and avocado green throughout

This says it all - have to be a little glad 3M is making Bill take all that saved up vacation

Although while you can take the man out the workplace you can't completely take the work out of the man - or should the paraphrase be - you can lead the man to vacation but you can't make him take it?

But soon it will be the weekend and most of the family will be here for almost a week (about 13 of us - so happily we now have two adjoining condos)

and out will come the model airplanes to fly, boat rides, some long walks with the dogs, bloody mary's, a few movies and video games, puzzles, time with friends and family, adding to 40+ years of memories here

-- Post From My iPhone painstakingly tapped on with only my left thumb....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

balance or lack of it

Too bad I didn't manage to keep my balance better about a week ago. I fell while walking the dog and broke the top of my arm bone right by my shoulder. So its immobilized until healed with physical therapy starting next week....

Ok, so it is not life threatening BUT it is a pain in the butt, besides in the arm. It's incredible how handy it is to have two arms.... and this was my right arm (and I'm right-handed...)

So it has made me a little crabby having to ask for help with almost everything.

Maybe not quite a silver lining but I am getting better at typing one-handed. Hopefully today's appointment with the orthopedist will show it has remained in place and the healing can go on with no surgery....

Friday, July 17, 2009

my walk up north...

We have spent one weekend up north - and this is the year we are trying to do it more! So we have a 4-5 day weekend at the end of the month and planning 2 either long weekends or weeks in August and Sept...

I took a few pictures trying to capture some of the sounds, feelings and sights that I love at the lake - although most of them are not lake this time but the woods...

Started out by the lake - it was cool but kids played in the water and on the docks anyway.
Walking up the road behind our condos is a mixture of everything - views of the lake, tall evergreen trees, cottonwoods whose leaves make the lovely sound in the wind, white   trees, old cabin, beautiful luxury lake homes, wild flowers, untouched woods....

Looking back at the lake from the road...

shimmering, noisy cottonwoods, I love the sound in the wind and the contrast with the blue sky

Birch trees grow in groups of several ...

but they don't live long and there are always picturesque birch logs lying on the ground

an old lake cabin across the road from

a gorgeous lake home... I keep thinking about winning the lottery and buying one of these
Woods are lovely, dark and deep... can't help but think of this poem even with the dappled sunshine coming through...

Last tree picture - the majestic evergreens that are truly awesome - they inspire awe...
and back to the lake

I did this walk every morning and afternoon with the dog. 

our week of summer

Last post was during our summer - which evidently is only one week this year. Since then its been cool weather, mostly sunny but cool. The past few days - windy, cloudy and really cool - like touching on record lows at night. Did we do too much to compensate for global warming in Minnesota??
In many ways I'm not really complaining. I love weather between 50 and 75 degrees, I love sunny. I love breezy. I love cool.... but still a little weird to have not had one thunderstorm (or tornado warning) this whole spring/summer so far. 
The dog is reacting to the longer days by sleeping later - its now 5:50AM instead of 5:00AM when he wants to get up and go for his walk. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More steam!

Power went out about 5:30PM - supposedly due to the heat, Xcel Energy just wasn't ready for it evidently when all the air conditioners went on.

So Katie and I waited awhile - figuring out whether to try to make something to eat and what since we had no electricity and hated to open the refrigerator. Finally we decided to go out to eat - only to realize the garage door opener is electric and it was very dark in the garage and I wasn't quite sure how to disengage the motor anyway. So it was peanut butter sandwiches - untoasted, which really isn't as good!

So then after taking a few minutes to remember who the heck the power company is - I pay automatically online - remembered it was Xcel, texted Christina to find out the phone number and called. After probably 10 prompts to enter information I got a recording and found out 10:14PM was when the power would come on.  Actually it came on at 9, for about 30 seconds.

Took the dog for a walk and realized that nearby (a block away) Fridley had power, first time I wished I lived in friendly Fridley....

I had signed up on the phone to be notified on my cell phone if that predicted time changed but heard nothing.  So at 10:30  I called again and they said 11PM and that that update had been made at 8:30 - so much for their notifying me....

About 10:30 we gave up and went to bed - after alternately cursing the hot, humid weather and Xcel - and laughing about how funny it was that everything we thought of doing required electricity. So using my iPhone as a flashlight I went to bed. Woke up when the DOG alarm clock went off at 5:00 - still no power. Luckily it was lovely outside so we went for a walk and when I got back, power had just come on - and stayed for probably 3-4 minutes this time! Finally around 6:15 it was back on and still here after 30 minutes!

Since we are looking at 95 today, I'm hoping it stays...

So this morning, I get back online, eager to see what went on in my absence - turns out I didn't really miss too much.... :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

still around but way behind

Oh, so far behind here - I think I skipped our whole trip to California, daughter Christina's graduation, all the trauma in our cattery this spring, Katie's visit home and the new addition to the family (a dog).

So, will be doing some current stuff, some catching up.

Biggest current story is dog - trying to name him, dragging myself up at 5AM when he cries to go out, rescuing shoes and other non-chew-toy items from him. I'm walking LOTS more, he's a great exercise program, but I'm tired and don't get as much other stuff done as I should... This big boy is still somewhat of a puppy -  still full of energy, needing to chew a LOT with a very big mouth and still being housetrained...

Yes, its enough to make you wonder WHY you wanted a dog. But on the other hand, he's a very nice dog and will be some company and eventually even protection when I'm home alone. I guess I'm never home alone with a bunch of cats and kittens but that's another story coming soon. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Traveler's IQ

I'll get back to the Santa Barbara trip.... for today here is a cheap post.

I think this is one of the more fun browser games - and I've actually learned something - after pointing out to myself how LITTLE I knew....

This Traveler IQ challenge compares your geographical knowledge against the World's First Travelogue's other 3,884,411 travelers who have taken this challenge as of Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 02:43AM GMT. (TravelPod is part of the TripAdvisor Media Network) 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oh, California - getting there

Harmony, our mommy-to-be, wanted to come along on the trip evidently, she just spent her time on top of the suitcase for the day we were packing...

We did our usual get to the airport early and relax in the world club thing...

It was Bill's first trip without a laptop - and he was having a little withdrawal - but the brand new iPhone did a good job of helping with that.

We managed to get upgraded to 1st class too - not that the meal was gourmet but it beat not having one....and the wine and larger seats were nice too.

Our trip to California was on a bit of a whim. I've been thinking about us getting a new Great Pyrenees dog and there was the National Great Pyr show in Santa Barbara and it IS not that far from our daughter Katie and well, it IS Santa Barbara and a discounted room on the beach.... so frequent flyer miles and vacation days spent and there we were...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cincinnati wedding

We spent the first week of March in Cincinnati at our niece's wedding - spending most of the time at our nephew's house - where their daughters give us the best welcome!!
And Bill gets to have some male bonding time - playing RC model flight simulator games...
Of course the happy couple

and a brush with fame when we met Soulja Boy (ok, I admit I had never heard of him, he's a rapper)
and his manager and bodyguard.... picture of 2 of my nieces with Soulja boy and the bride wearing the manager's $50,000 bling!  Some of us waited around talking to these guys (at 1AM) long enough for them to bring down Soulja Boy himself to go to a late night private party gig. Ok, so not your usual wedding photos but this wedding was more fun than the usual wedding!
 Congratulations Kiernan and Joe!!