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

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A new normal....

 It’s been 16 days since dad went to memory care, his new home is at “Cottagewood”, only a few blocks from my house! He has a nice room with 2 big windows! All-in-all, things are going ok. He isn’t happy to be there but I guess in all fairness who would be! “Home” is where we all long to be!  Dad is slowly getting used to his surroundings, but still struggles with directions, finding his room and the bathroom! The staff is kind and patient with Dad, they are good at keeping us informed and they really like our dad! My siblings and I feel blessed to have each other, we each have our “gifts” when it comes to taking care of dad, I’m just so grateful that we communicate well, and share in all the things that involve our parents as they age!  

These two have always had a sweet relationship. 
They loved Rick from the first time I brought him home to meet them.

“There will come a time when your loved one will be gone and you will find comfort in the fact that you were there caregiver, that you were there to love on them, to cherish them, to hear them, and to remind them how important and loved they are”. (Love this quote)

On July 29th my Dad turned 86,  we celebrated with a visit and cake.
My sis, her hubby Darin, Randy, Rick, Dad, Mom and my Rick!
Dad enjoyed haveing his family near him.

Probably some "smart talk" going in here <3

Love you dad!

Saturday, July 09, 2022

It's been a rough week...

It's been a rough week at the Hemmer's.
Covid reared it's ugly head for beginners 

and then...
My sweet dad had a couple of rough days, which lead to a more urgent search for memory care placement, We also beckoned some help from hospice, and the visiting angels.
 He is advancing in the decline, 
Dementia is a cruel disease.

The last 6 months have proven to take a toll on dad, excessive weight loss, more confusion, weakness, More "bad days" but still some good days and much more sleeping.
All of these things are the normal progression for dementia/parkinsons disease.

A few weeks back, my siblings and I visited two Memory care facilities, 
we had planned to visit 2 more before deciding, but dad is too weak, unsteady, 
confused and needs more care than us 4 kids and mom can provide.
 For now we are all taking turns staying with mom and dad (day & night) until he is "placed" this week. 
We never wanted to make this decision for my dad (parent) but there comes a time when circumstances sort of make the decision for you. As the adult children of our parents we want to be 100% there for them, but we all still work and have bills to pay. Three of us 4 kids live out of town, and when it comes right down to reality, and most importantly...we are not equipped anymore to physically care for our dad.
So many of you have had to go through this process, we are not the first and wont be the last, for those of you that have been through it, you know the pain, the second-guessing and anguish.
I have been doing a lot of praying this week! I know a God who is all-knowing, 
He is a God of perfect timing, and I believe He will see us through this together as a family. 

We will continue to love Dad the way we do... he taught us well.

If you're the praying type please pray for our family as we navigate through this coming week.
It will be hard on all of us

My brother Randy sitting with Dad on the 4th
Rick and I missed this annual event at mom & dad's because of Covid.

He adores all his grand and great-grand kids
(just 3 weeks ago)

A few years ago, us 4 celebrating Dad's birthday.

This was a little over a week ago, Dad had a good day this day.
It's crazy how fast he declined in a week. 
 I'm hoping we can still have more rides in the country, and stops for coffee and treats
Love you dad,

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Entering our 7th season at the cabin

 I started coming to this lake 38 years ago when I was 5 months pregnant with my 1st child Brianna. 

Rick and I pitched a tent at the church-camp just down the lake a bit from our cabin. The camp that Rick and his sibling grew up attending every summer. Then for about 25 years our family, along with several families from our church vacationed at the camp on the week when there was no organized camp. 

So many great memories! This is also the lake where Rick's family including grandparents aunts & uncles rented a cabin every summer since he was a baby until he was a teenager. So much history on this lake....

Never in our wildest dreams did Rick and I ever think we would be 
cabin owners on this lake that we call ours... 
 If you would have told us 38 years ago that someday we would own a cabin on Long lake 
we would have laughed and shook our heads. 

6+ years ago that dream came true in a way that seemed impossible. 

A beautiful cabin sitting near the lake on a prime piece of land with a sandy beach, a boat and a 2 car garage... the "asking price" more than we could ever pay, but we drove down the access road right next to the cabin (to look and dream) just for the heck of it.  Out of nowhere, the owner, an elderly Christian man named Dick appeared at our car window. He wondered what we were up to, so we told him we had been admiring his cabin (for sale) and that we had been "looking". Within a few minutes he had us in the cabin showing us around, I remember looking at Rick with wide eyes thinking, I love this place. Dick and our family all belonged to the "Church of Christ", we knew many of the same people and enjoyed our visit. Dick told us to think about it, and make him an offer..... 

Dick also told us that he wanted to keep the cabin "in the family". 

Long story short..... It fell into our hands, I believe God orchestrated the sale of this perfect cabin for us. 

We are still amazed going into our 7th season, we love spending time on this lake we call ours.  

Last fall, Rick's brother Brad bought a cabin on "our lake", about a mile north of us.
So crazy to think of us both owning cabin on the lake with so much history in our familes.

Yesterday Brad helped rick assemble and get our swimming raft in the water.
Brad brought along some grandchildren
My niece Kellie and her mamma Julie.
I remember Kellie was 2 months old the first time she came to Long lake for our family summer vacation.
I still feel like this is all a dream. 
God willing... 
we have lots of years and more generations to make memories and enjoy our time at the lake!
We are blessed beyond measure. 

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Cabin opening and things...

Memorial weekend visit to the cabin

We were thrilled to have our "opening crew" here last weekend to help get the boat lift in!
 It's a 3 man/woman job so that's usually the last thing we have to do!
Gavin and Brice have got this, while dad holds tight to the rope to help ease this 
giant hunk of metal into position.
Fine tuning
and finally....the boats in!

Lewin has always fished on his tummy, he cracks me up.

It's always fun having the littles here, so much activity, laughter and giggles
Some coloring in the morning

and swinging by mid-morning
This is a tradition for Scarlett and daddy, 
he carries her out into the lake with his hip-waders on and she giggles. 

Teach them young how to start a camp fire
and eat lots of s'mores

He still snuggles up to his mama on boat rides. <3

Bubbles with some Rochester Friends whose grandparents own a cabin across the bay from ours.

This one is having a hard time leaving.....

After the kids left, Rick and I stayed for another 3 days.
We mixed fun with projects

This is our 1st summer with Rick Brother Brad and wife Julie. 
They purchased a cabin about 1 mile down the lake from us.
We happened to be out on the lake at the same time, so we stopped for a visit.


A lunch date planned on the lake, we are being picked up by Brad & Julie
Fun to have family on the lake with us.
We have a lot of history on this lake and where our cabin sits. Who would have thought that someday we would own cabin's here and be neighbors? It's just so great.

Too cold to swim, but it's ok to swing my feet in the lake 

We head back to Rochester today, we've decided it's too nice to hurry out of here, so we will finish some things up and then head out later this afternoon. 

We miss our Rochester people...
Finishing up home-schooling for the year. 
Did I mention my daughter is amazing, 
Homeschooling was not something she planned to do but she does it so well,
all the while running a household and working as a nurse part time.

These kids are so lucky!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


With a late Spring this year, I suspect summer is soon to come.
Things are starting to rev up with baseball, car tune-ups, river swimming and cabin time.

Our Carson is playing baseball and he's so fun to watch.
That's Carson 5th from the right

He's a real slugger, he ended up with a single on this one.

Lewin (5)  has got a dad (my son Brice) that teaches him everything!
Like how to change your own oil... notice the jack lifting-up the front of his little car.

Our little free spirit Scarlett,
 she loves clothing design and is so creative as you can see here.

Speaking of "Free-Spirit" this one....
Audrey decided to swim in the cold waters of the river near Quarry Hill Park
(photo, compliments of my daughter Brianna)

We are at the cabin this week, prepping for the season
It's called "opening the cabin"
But first.

Rick getting Pine needles out of the eaves.
When you live in a forest of pine trees, there's a lot of "WORK" to be done 
to clean the yard and buildings of all the needles...I'm glad Rick enjoys it, 
I help with the ground work, it's definitely a two person job to get it done.
Crazy pine needles everywhere

Moon rise... justice cannot be done with an iPhone camera

We LOVE this little cabin in the wood, on the lake.
We also find time to rest while we work to get her open and ready for the season.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Mothers Day...

 This is my mom, I'm so glad she's mine. 

Today I took her to a clinic appointment then, just her and I went out for a meal at....can you guess?

"Pannekoeken" have you been to this restaurant?

The waitress runs out from the kitchen singing, "Pannekoeken" as she quickly set this

 yummy pancake-like meal in front of you, mom had Apple in hers.

I'm blessed to be the mom of 3 great kids, they bring me much joy, and make me proud to be their mom

Gavin, Brianna and Brice

Mothers Day for me involved church, then lunch with Rick. 

We then had the Rochester kids/grands stop by for a visit, we ordered out pizza for dinner. My oldest called mid-day from the Twin Cities to wish me a Happy Mothers Day.

My Mother's Day gift from Rick, a new battery powered trimmer and blower.
 No more having to drag an extension cord all around the yard.

Flowers from Gavin, I love the color he picked

My daughter.... such a good mom to these two.
She is truly amazing in so many ways.

My DIL, is a great mamma as well...lucky kids 

from my daughter and family, love this hanging plant for my deck

Our little artist Audrey, drawing....always creating.

I thought of 5 friend/family members that lost their mom's this year.
 I prayed for their hearts as I know there is deep sorrow in missing their mom's
I'm grateful to still have my mom...so thankful