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

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

On the road to see Andrea B.

Last week my sister and I had a 3 day get-away to Milwaukee.

We were on our way to watch a favorite performer....

"America's favorite Tenor"... 
Andrea Bocelli 
*insert screams, arm waving and jaw dropping behavior.

Andrea performed at the Fiserv Forum, 
it's the home court of the Milwaukee Bucks

It was the first stop of his US tour, he told us he has had lots of time to rest since this is his 
first concert since the pandemic began. 
The concert was more than we had hoped for! 

We also enjoyed exploring and eating at local eateries!
We found an area where the homes were beautiful, we just drove up and down the streets with lots of oohs and ahhs.

So many brick houses with bump-out front entries...so cool.

Some beautiful old buildings
and interesting murals
and sculptures
and original signage on old buildings
oh...and this

and this clock tower overgrown with vines...so pretty

Pizza was great, all the food was great!
A fun little "local" coffee shop

We even found time to head down to the lake and just chill. 

Such a fun trip with my sis, we laughed & sang, acted silly and enjoyed our time together.
We need to do this more oftern
Tell me do you do trips with your siblings? 


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Fall, Family & Fun

Fall is my favorite time of year, it's a time for sweaters, campfires, 
and to explore nature is at its best.
Yesterday morning I got up before the sun! 
I grabbed a cup of coffee and went to sit on our dock to see the sun rise in all it's beauty

The boats are coming out for the season, 
This is our view looking to the left of our place. 

Recently Rick's brother Brad & wife Julie bought a cabin on Long Lake about a mile North of us.
 It's pretty awesome having family here on the lake.

The four of us planned a trip to Itasca State Park yesterday. (only 30 miles from our cabin)
 It was a beautiful day, coolish and peaceful, and the leaves were PRIME COLORS.
Hard to see but the colors across the lake were outstanding

Julie was the first one over the "beginning" of the Mississippi River.

More selfies... using that "selfie stick" is a true art.

so pretty

The brothers, chatting as they walk.

The Fire Tower!
 I have been up this tower many times, 
so this time I stayed down and just watched everyone else go up, ha ha. 
The three waving from the top

You can spend hours in Itasca State Park, 
we brought a picnic lunch and then did the "Wilderness drive" around the park. 
There are many places along the drive to park and get out to see the sights. 

Have you been to Itasca.... tell me your favorite things to do there.

Monday, September 20, 2021

My first, "last" happened today.

 I'm finding that as I get closer to retirement (in about 18 months) 
I'm starting already to wrap up the "Lasts".

Today was one of the "LASTS"
Can you guess from the photo below what it might be?...

Basic Life Support commonly known as CPR!
Every 2 years for the last 40 I've had to recertify in CPR. 
I can't tell If I'll miss it or not... Probably not.

It has been instrumental in my career as an RN (mostly E.R. & ICU Nursing) as I have 
performed CPR more than I want to confess.
Believe it or not, I have met  many CPR-trained instructors that have
 never had to do this daunting task on a real person.

I can tell you it's different, not much at all like the "dummies" we practice on.
and the guidelines are only that, guidelines.
There are times we forget to count " 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and .....
because that's not real life in the middle of the emergency.
but the guidelines are necessary in the big picture when you're trying to save a life.

I hope I never have to do CPR (for real) again, but if I do I will know what to do.

I'm good forever now.

Over the next 18 months or so there will be more "Lasts". 
Some I will look forward to and some I will miss. 
So as I start the countdown, 
I will share from time to time the things that come to me as I finish up 40+ years of nursing.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Time with the littles.

Recently, Rick and I spent some special time with out littles. 

Summers are busy with cabin stuff, sports and vacations, 
so we snatched them up when the time was right and just enjoyed being together. 

These 4 are growing up way too fast, 
We have a 7th, 3rd and 1st grader and a 2nd year preschooler this year.

One day we did some back to school shopping with Audrey & Carson!
Grandpa and Carson hung out at Scheel's while Audrey and I hit the shops.
We have been shopping buds for a long time.
Audrey probably about 3 

We enjoyed watching Carson play soccer again this summer, he's a good little athlete.

I even got to go to Oxbow zoo one day with Brianna and  Carson.
We had lunch after, It was fun to hang out with these two!

Last weekend Rick and I, traveled up to the Twin Cities and grabbed our 
grands for a day of adventure.

We heard about this fun farm with a real-pasture experiance called rustybucket-acres
We were the only ones at the farm (as they take reservations) so we had one-on-one attention from Shelly & Lorna. 
Rusty Bucket is a real farm with animals that we got to mingle with.
Alpaca's, Goats, lambs, donkeys, chickens, a pig, ducks and a horse. 

Scarlett was into it 100%, 
The animals sensed her affection for them and they just cuddled right up to her, 
she even got to collect some eggs in the hen house.
Lewin...not so much, he is so much smaller and most of the animals were bigger than him. 
He was a little hesitant and stuck close to Grandpa.

After the farm we had lunch and then found a fun park on Roseville.

The kids loved it
We did a little hiking and found this tree fort, again very fun for the kids.

Those of you who are grandparents know the joy of spending time with them. 
(We do not take for granted that ours are very close, and easy to get to).
When we are not with them, we are still thinking about them and praying for them everyday
We are blessed by our four littles and look forward to the adventures to come.

What are your favorite things to do with the grandkids.
Its not always big stuff, sometimes it's just a walk or a campfire or playing games.
It the being-together that matter   :)


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

One day all I'll have are the memories...

I try to get my dad out for a drive once a week.
We like to go for drives in the country, 
we always stop for lunch, usually a diner in a small town.
Our favorite is "Home Sweet Home" in Lanesboro MN

Dad grew up on a farm in rural Canton in southern MN, dad calls the area, "God's country". 
 I know all the schools he attended, and sometimes just the spot of land where it used to be. 
I know about the farmsteads from both sides. I know where the creamery is that grandpa hauled his milk to, and the fields that he farmed. I know where the windmill is that my Maternal grandfather built and it's still there today, it's takes a four wheel vehicle to get to it, an overgrown dirt path, but worth the short drive into the field. 

I love the country as much as my dad, we never tire of these views
Lots of horse and buggy's on this day. 
We were standing in the Henry town cemetery as this one traveled by us. 
The Amish are plenty in this neck of the woods. My dad and his twin were actually born in an Amish home. I've been in it once or twice.

Rain coming down behind this farm....so pretty

We ran across this old school house near Dorchester, Iowa. 
(Just on the border of Minnesota and Iowa)

Dad says it's a threshing machine.
One day all I'll have are the memories, 
so I try to make time to be with my parents as much as I can.  
Getting dad out is both good for him and my mom!
 Dementia is a hard a tiring thing for both the person who has it and the caregiver. 

I often think of questions for my dad, thinks I wonder about and that often come to mind when we are driving in little country road with corn fields on both sides. I this day I asked,

"Dad, how do they make Straw?" His answer, 
"It's made from the stalk after the grains are harvested" 
Now I know!

I noticed that the parents large flower garden was getting overrun by weeds, 
so I came back a few days later to work on it
The "Before"...
Mom and dad cant help themselves, it's hard for them to just sit and watch, 
they worked a little but sat more. 
It's good for them to more a little and feel helpful.
The "after"
 what a difference a little time grooming makes.