A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Just the six of us...

My Brother Randy #3 had a great idea....

A few weeks back Randy asked us siblings (4 of us) if we could all get together with
 Mom and Dad, to share a meal and just be together...just the six of us like the old days. 
We figured it had been at least 38 years since our nuclear family had sat down together for a meal, 
no spouses, no grandkids, just us. 
Our parents are in their 80's, still living in the same house us kids were raised in. 
So no time like the present to spend a Sunday afternoon with them!

Us kids brought the food....foods we reme.mber having on the table at home growing up.
Tater-tot hot dish, goulash, corn pudding, beans and my dads essential... Bread & Butter.

We had a fun time reminiscing, which brought laughter and lots of joking around.
Cleaning up
We joked about whose turn it was to do the dishes and feed the dog, ha ha!
We had a lot of great laughs, bringing up childhood memories.

After lunch we sat down together and talked
 My Brother praise my dad, as he did such a good job of investing his money and 
taking care of his family. We went over mom & dad's will, 
who's the power of attorney and most importantly.... who's gonna shovel the snow this winter.
 My Dad...taking it all in.
 My mom... the one who held the house together. She had a big job!

While we were together we celebrated mom's Birthday a few days early
Happy Birthday TODAY, mom!

A selfie with poor clarity, but here we are.
The photo is not the best quality, but I tell you what...
It's very clear to me we are a family who loves each other and very much enjoyed this day. 
We put aside the "things to do list", took time away from our family units and just enjoyed each other. It was fun to be together again with our Mom & Dad.....just the six of us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bringing awareness in November.... Someone I know has Type 1 Diabetes

 November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

My hope is that other's will read this post and learn a few thing to better educate yourselves 
about a disease that is all around us.

"Oh, you have Diabetes"?
"So you cant have sugar or candy or cake", or or or...
"its because you ate too many sweets when you were younger, right?"
Sigh.... WRONG!!!

Sugar-Free jello jugglers from "lego" molds, that my daughter made for Carson's 6th birthday party.

Sugar-free YES, but NOT Carbohydrate-free. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. As the sugar level rises, insulin is released from the pancreas.
In Type 1 Diabetes there's no insulin to let glucose into the cells, so sugar builds up in your bloodstream. This can cause life threatening complications. 

The exact cause of T1D is unknown, It is classified as an auto immune disease, which means the body's own immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
  Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent, and there is nothing that they have done to cause it, 
and as of now... there is no cure.

Type 2 diabetes is a different kind of monster, it is a Metabolic disorder where the body produces insulin, just not enough and is often coupled with insulin resistance and impaired carbohydrate metabolism. Type 2 is a metabolic disorder often coupled with other comorbidities, such as obesity, hypertension and inactivity.

There is NO "good" or "bad" diabetes... to be blunt, both suck!

I do not pretend to be a leading expert on Diabetes nor do I know everything about this horrific disease. BUT... I do know that my sweet Grandson Carson has Type 1 diabetes, and that's a big deal.
 This is what stays with Carson or is at least nearby
*The black emergency bag
*Omnipod, cordless gadget that bolus's insulin
*Phone for blood sugar readings that Dexcom (blood glucose meter) transmits the readings to.
Sometimes I see a message like this, it's just a quick text message to Chris or Brie
 to ask if I need to do something. (still leaning)
I have tried to educate myself so that I can understand better what it means to have Type 1 Diabetes, so that I can understand what Carson has to go through EVERY~SINGLE~DAY along with his amazing Mom, Dad and sister.

 Life jackets....check, 
Got to be prepared, even on the boat.

Our brave little swimmer.

This is what Type 1 diabetes looks like....
eating a s'more like every other kids, blue eyes, a super hero lover and the cutest little guy ever.
 The crazy thing is, these little ones with T1D look like everyone else. 
The thing you don't see is the battle going on inside.
He is a Hero for sure! 

Having a child with T1 Diabetes is a full time job, just ask any Type 1 parent.  
Managing blood sugars in a little one can be exhausting, just ask a Type 1 parent. 
So many variables affect blood sugar in these little people,
Emotions, food, activity, temperatures,  pain, illness (even a sniffle), just to name a few.
The same food, same time, same amount one day can act totally different 24 hours later. 
The highs and lows are relentless....one minute chasing a low with juice and then a few hours later needing a bolus of insulin to get a high to come back down. 
There is no science,  
It's just the knowledge we've been given, some intuition, experience along the journey 
and lots of prayer. 

 This is one of Carsons Type 1 friends, they are both sporting Dexcoms on their arms, this little gadget takes blood sugar reading from the fluid in their arms and transmits it to a phone, Carson's parents can always see what his "sugar" is.
 100 is a great number  :)

Carson also wears a 2nd device which is similar in size, that's his pump.
 There is a predetermined amount of insulin that goes into Carson at all times, it's called a "basal rate" . When Carson eats food that has carbs in it, he gets extra insulin called a bolus.
So.... since Carsons pancreas doesn't produce insulin,
he needs a bolus every time he eats food that contains carbohydrates.
Carson enjoys Soccer and baseball, when he's super active his blood sugar tend to go down, so then he may need a juice, which is actually pretty great when you're tired sweaty and hot.

Nothing will stop this child, he is smart, happy, funny and awesome in every way.
I  hope you have learned a thing or two about Type 1 Diabetes.
I have only touched on a little bit, there is so much more to this crazy disease that I haven't even talked about.
Rick and I will continue to support Carson, along with Chris, Brianna and Audrey.
We are the alternates when Chris and Brianna go on a rare date.
As you can imagine he cant be left with just anyone.
We love him so much, he brings us joy and teaches us that
the little things in life really don't matter that much.
I will never cease to pray for a miracle in this fight for a cure!
But until then we pray for Gods protection over this little one,
he is so loved and well cared for by his amazing Mom & Dad....
We are so thankful for the team that they are working together for the love of their son.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Closing weekend....

Us cabin owners call it, "Closing" It's a bitter-sweet time of year.
It's a time for preparing the cabin for the winter months.
This year has been a bit confusing, as the weather has not cooperated! 
Minnesota has basically gone from summer straight to winter. 
October has been cold and windy with limited sunshine.
A lot of the state had a surprise snowfall this last weekend, Sunday into Monday.
We woke up Monday morning to a dusting of snow on Chippewa Loop.

We chose this past weekend to close up before the ground freezes, our cabin is not winterized so the water lines have to be blown-out before the freeze. Low temperatures this last week have been running below freezing which puts us a little on edge.

We showed up on Friday and within the hour our friend John was already down
 to help get the tarp off the boat lift... 
then a little rest and "guy talk".

Our boys would join us Saturday to help get the dock and boat-lift up on dry land
Getting a head start

Guess who else came along, 

Someone had to keep Grandma company
She's a  joy!

The 3 of them had the task finished in about 2 1/2 hours

It was about 44 degrees at the warmest...
Good thing for insulated chest waders!

The evening was spent playing games and laughing.... A lot!!!
So thankful for these two and their willingness to help with the
 opening and closing of the cabin every year.

It was a short stay... just an overnight and off they went.
We are grateful~thankful~blessed!

Monday morning I went on a little drive

I love the rows and rows of pine trees up north, the snow covered road was a bonus

 The sun shining through the pines leaving shadows on the snow covered grass

I woke up this morning and watched the sun rise from my chair
 So good to see the sun after all the cloudy days in October.

 Last minute touches as we get ready to head back to Rochester
Good night Cabin, see you in the spring.

* This year we decided to let someone else blow-out the water lines and shut the power off.
 (A plumbing and Heating company in town). It kind of lets us have the freedom to leave when we want, we do our part and they do the rest after we go home.  

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

We're right where we need to be...

Hanging out with my dad during a recent hospitalization with Acute pancreatitis.

This post is not about Rick or I! 
It's not about self-admiration or pats on the back...

Rick and his mom, a visit at the nursing home.

...It's about coming to terms with the fact that our parents are getting old(er)
 and more dependent on us kids. 
We have the time to give and want to be with them, helping in whatever capacity we can.
It may take some planning and sharing in their needs as we all still work, and have families to care for as well. Our parents are worth it and deserve our attention and care, 
just as we once depended on them.
In the last year we have had two parents have stokes, one now in the nursing home. 
Two with Alzheimers/Dementia. One with liver cancer, and all 4 involved with multiple tests, 
ER visits and clinic visits and I cant go on without mentioning the many
invasive procedures with hospital stays. 
Luckily on both sides all of us kids take active parts in being there!
I won't lie.... it can be tiring, overwhelming, inconvenient and scary!
I'm thankful Rick and I are here in the same town as our parents.
I cant imagine growing old without the support of family.

Not many little ones still have their great-grandparent around. 
The kids visit when they can, and the great -grandparents love it.
(My dad with one of his 8 "greats", Scarlett)

Mom during a recent ER visit.

I'm so thankful we finally got my parents to the cabin last month

We're right where we need to be.

As it is now, all 4 parents are doing pretty well after a rough couple of months.
We continue to support them, be with them, call them and
 Love them in whatever ways we can.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Needles in a row

When I look straight up....
When I lay on my back, in the middle of our back yard at the cabin this is what I see.
A dozen or so Jack and White Pines, giant trees that seem to soar to the heavens.
They sway in the wind, and I pray they have a well grounded root system.
In the fall they drop their needles and they are everywhere

Yesterday, when we drove into the cabin's drive-way we saw that the needles had been 
blown into rows and we knew right away who was at work here. 
A man who is our friend, who doesn't sit idle for long, and has blown our needles for the last 4 falls. We dont ask him to, he just does it.... 
a humble, gracious friend who enjoys helping his neighbors, he is John..... 
we are blessed!
 Along side John, is Judy his bride and our friend. 
Judy is kind, gracious, funny and hospitable!
We have really only know these two on a more personal level for 4 years, 
but we feel like they've been our friends forever!
They are our neighbors up north and best friends of Rick's Aunt & Uncle. 

We eat together, do church together, visit each other and help each other,
did I mention we eat together.
We are blessed to have this couple in our lives, our friends...
John & Judy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

It won't be long now...

 Autumn is my favorite season with winter coming in at a close 2nd.

One of my favorite photo's taken near the boat launch next to our cabin 2015

I have many friends who are like me...
they appreciate the beauty and the cooler temperatures of fall and winter.  
The heat and humidity of the last week have been so oppressive. 
Luckily "a system" came through last night and today we have cooler temps!
I'm looking forward to the colors and smell of fall.
We have planned a little trip to the North Shore in a few weeks, 
then we will head back up North in October to put the cabin to bed!

What is your favorite season and why?