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Category Archives: Family

It’s Only Twelve Weeks Long…

Here in Minnesota we celebrate summer after the long winter.  The problem is how to pack as much as you can into the summer.  It was a few years ago when our kids were graduating from high school that we came to the realization that the summer is only 12 weeks long and everyone tries to pack everything into those 12 weekends.

It starts with Memorial Day weekend with the parades and local remembrance services and directly into the graduation parties for the recent graduates.  Now in a small town of 400 no one wants to miss each others parties so the last of the parties may well be into July.  Spring and summer are traditionally wedding seasons here as the brides hope for the perfect spring or summer day.

July brings the Fourth of July activities with parades and local town celebrations.  We are surrounded by several other small towns each having their own celebration and then our town celebration of Heritage Days is the second weekend of August each summer.  This year is the biggie, 100 years since our town was incorporated.

Summer is the traditional time for vacations and camping when the kids are out of school so those of us who don’t have kids in school or our kids are grown work while others take their vacation with their kids.  Its okay with me because I prefer to duck out of town in the middle of winter for a little warm weather elsewhere.

Before we know it the back to school shopping season is upon us and Labor Day.  The boats are off the lakes and put away and everyone wonders what happened to summer.

My response lately is that summer is only 12 weeks long.

That being said we have already packed so much into the spring/summer season already it feels like it should be done but I am delighted to realize that we are not half way through yet.

We’ve been up north to Two Harbors to work on my brother’s new land he purchased to develop into a rustic retreat.  We’ve been to San Francisco to celebrate our nephew’s wedding.  We’ve attended several graduation parties and helped host a family reunion for my mom’s family from all over the United States.

Our most exciting news is welcoming our first granddaughter to the family.  We’ve welcomed two more grandsons to the mix since I last blogged and will be adding a daughter-in-law to the family in January.  Life is good…but short…celebrate accordingly.

 

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Life goes on and on…..

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here.  Life has been busy since last year when I spent a month in the hospital after a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Life is good.  All the headaches are gone after the surgery to place the two stents and two coils last November.  I recently went back to Milwaukee for my one year checkup and they threw in an angiogram just for fun.  After the angiogram I met with the surgeon and he told me see you in five years.  I was expected it to be an annual event.  God is so good!

I’m back working full-time for the past 9 months.  My oldest daughter got married and bought a home in October.  My youngest daughter will graduate from college on December 21.  We made our final college tuition payment the first week in November.  Twelve years of tuition payments were at times difficult to do but well worth getting all four of our kids through college with minimal debt.

Looking ahead my husband Dean and I will be taking a 8 day mission trip to Jamaica in July.  I can hardly wait for the trip.  It was something we’ve wanted to do for some time but college tuition made it impossible until now.

In Minnesota the weather is changing from cool to downright cold.  The lake was busy making ice last night and this morning.

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Hope to be posting occasionally and catch up with all my favorite blogging buddies!

 

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Shoveling Buddy

Shoveling Buddy

Life is good.

I admit that I am more than ready for spring but this past week has afforded me a few opportunities to spend some time with my grandson outdoors doing some of his favorite activities.

We have trudged up and down our hill several times after trips down on the sled.  I have to admit that I am out of shape and am constantly bargaining with a 3 1/2 year old about the number of times we will go down the hill again.

Yesterday we spent time shoveling.  He is delighted to help and has his own shovel.  Today we are getting hit with another snow storm mixed with rain.  It is still beautiful to look outside and see the snow falling but I’d like to see a little more green and blue than wihite.

After warming up from being outdoors we spent time doing puzzles on my kitchen floor and playing football with a green balloon in my living room.   We have a regular football but he has a foot on him that will break windows if he is allowed to kick with shoes on.

This is the view out my living room window this afternoon.

Snowy Day

Time to head out on another tow call.  Seems nobody wants to stay home on a snowy day.  Stay warm and dry 🙂

 

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The Anatomy of an Aneurysm or how life can change in a moment

My surroundings have changed and so has my life since October 19, 2012.  My husband, son Matt and I were looking forward to a road trip to Elkhart, Wisconsin for an endurance car race with another car dealer and his son at Road America.  It was something that we had looked forward to since July.

We left Minnesota around midnight to travel the seven hours from our home to the track on Thursday, October 18, 2012 so we would arrive early in the morning in Elkhart.  We got there a few hours early before could check in at the track.  We gassed up the truck and starting looking forward to finding a nice place for some breakfast.

We hadn’t traveled far when I was struck with the most intense pain in my head I have ever felt.  My husband pulled the car to the curbside as I opened the window and then the door and collapsed onto the grassy curb.  This was the last image I remember of the day.

According to my husband and son they called for 911 and my son began CPR on me.  They loaded me up in an ambulance and took me to the Sheboygan hospital and then planned to airlift me to Milwaukee but couldn’t because of the weather.  They followed to the Sheboygan hospital to be met by the chaplain thinking that I didn’t make it, that I was gone… They then loaded me in another ambulance and transported me to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the Froedtert Hospital.  I don’t remember any of this other than the grassy curb where I collapsed.

I woke up in Milwaukee to find out that I had a hemorrhagic stroke but they weren’t sure it was an aneurysm yet they would have to let the blood be reabsorbed before they could do an angiogram to try to find the aneurysm.  They did the study last Friday and found two veins that the need to stint and an aneurysm to coil before I can be released.  That is set for this Friday.

It has been a wild ride of pain, pain meds, treatments and not knowing what is next.  It is hard to be seven hours from home but my children and extended family have made the trip to visit.  They say that I am in one of the best hospitals for my condition and for that I am thankful for especially since I had contemplated stay home from the racing weekend which would have left me alone all weekend and likely to have received the quick and great care I received.

Just the week before we left home my husband made the comment that he was ready for one of those vacations where you go somewhere long enough to actually get bored and want to go home.  While this is not a vacation I am definitely bored and ready to be home.

I don’t know that I will look at each new day differently but how else can I in recognizing the gift of life that I have been given.  God is Good.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in aneurysym, Family, health, Life Happens

 

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Just another brick in the wall…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The year was 1974.  We had lived in our new house in St. Paul for a year and it was finally summer vacation.  The past school year had been difficult.  Starting a new school in the eighth grade was not fun especially when I didn’t want to move.  One good thing from the school year was I finally had a new friend and her family invited me to go with them on a camping trip for a week.  My parents agreed to let me go.

My friend invited me to go and her older brother invited his friend to go.  We slept in one tent and her brother and friend slept another tent and their parents in a small camper.  It was one of the best weeks of my junior high days.  All day long we spent time on the Cannon River either swimming or fishing and just laying in the sun.

My friend’s brother had discovered Pink Floyd as his new latest, greatest band.  He played the cassette tape over and over all week-long.  I’m sure everyone in the campground was tired of it by the time we went home.  The words of Pink Floyd will forever be etched in my brain like Just Another Brick in the Wall and song Money.  I can still hear the sound of the cash register from the beginning of Money.

The brick wall pictured above is downtown Detroit.  It was next to a parking lot for a bar we ate lunch at last fall when we visited Detroit.  It was unlike any other brick wall I had seen because it didn’t look like they took any pride in their work.  It was still unique to look at along with everything else nearby the bar.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Architecture, Fall, Family, Life Happens, Photography, Vacations

 

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Happy Easter

This is a photo that I took last year on Easter morning at sunrise. I didn’t get out this morning for a new shot so I am sharing this one again. Hope all of you have a blessed Easter with family and friends.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Blogging, Family, Holidays, Inspiration, Photography

 

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A New Vocabulary

One of the main projects besides replacing the roof is moving the stairways to a better location. It is currently in the center of the house and has very steep, narrow steps.

For the past week or two as we refine our plans for the house a new vocabulary has crept into my life. It revolves around the building of stairs.

Who would have thought that there could be so many words that had to do with stairs. There are the usual words like treads or steps.  That I understood, but add stringers, risers, winders, walk line, rise and run, landings, and that is just the beginning. Add to the list newel post, rails, balusters, bullnose, etc.

Tonight we spent our usual evening with our grandson while our daughter attends a college night class. Tonight’s entertainment was the home improvement center where we picked out the supplies we will need to start building the new stairs in the house this week.

Our grandson learned the fine art of picking out the best wood for the project and eagerly helped load it onto the cart. It was a late evening but well worth getting what we needed so we can get right to work on Thursday.

 

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Dad at His Best

Today is my Dad’s 76th birthday. This picture was taken this past summer on Big Birch Lake.  For as long as I can remember sailboats have been a part of my life. The first sailboat I remember was one that Mom gave Dad for a Christmas present and he built-in the dining room during the winter months after Christmas. They had to do some remodeling in the kitchen to get the boat out in the spring.

Next it was a bit larger version that he rebuilt in the backyard. It was an old wooden boat that needed much TLC. There were many trips to Johnson Boat Works that summer.  Dad had this boat when I was learning how to drive so I learned how to back the boat behind a large van down the boat ramp and into the water.  It’s a skill that my husband has come to appreciate over the years as we’ve launched our speedboat at the public access on our lake.

This sailboat we pulled on a trailer from Minnesota all the way to the South Padre Islands in Texas in the middle of winter so Dad could try sailing in the Gulf of Mexico.

After that it was the more adventurous stage in sailing when he bought a catamaran sailboat,  There were many wild rides on that boat. One ride in particular I remember well because it was the Fourth of July and we tipped the boat over and were bobbing in the lake for a while as boats passed us on all sides including the sheriff.

His current boat is the one in the picture. The past few years I haven’t gone sailing much but made a point to go one afternoon with Mom and Dad. Mom packed wine and cheese and crackers for our afternoon. A pleasant afternoon with many pleasant memories of past sailing adventures.

Happy Birthday Dad!

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Family, Reflections, Sailing

 

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Lessons From Grandma

Today would have been my grandma’s 110th birthday if she were still living and even though she is gone she is still teaching me about life through how she lived her life.

1. Family is important. She was a mother of nine children and was the least stressed person that I know. She loved being surrounded by the ones she loved.

2. Nothing beats a home cooked meal especially when it includes home-made bread. She baked homemade bread almost daily when her family was young and then weekly. The meal was always eaten at the table not in front of the television. It was always the kids job to set the table properly and it was where we learned good table manners

3. Go with the flow. Whatever life sends your way make the most of it. She was widowed at the age of 59 and lived into her 90’s. I never heard a pity party come from her mouth.

4. Focus on what is truly important and don’t let the other stuff bother you. Once while talking to one of her daughters on the phone she kept talking while a bat circled her head. She just continued talking and took a swat at the bat every so often as it circled. She wasn’t going to let a small thing like a bat interrupt her time with her daughter who lived out-of-state.

5. Make time for play. Grandma loved to play cards. It was a big deal when you were old enough as a grandchild to join in with the adults playing cards. Oh the stories that were told around the table were some of the best first person history lessons.

6. Make time to laugh. Grandma loved a good story. I can still picture her with tears running down her face from laughter.

7. Make gifts personal. I still have a small cookbook that my grandma hand wrote her favorite recipes. Over the years she made several homemade gifts for each grandchild. I have a large granny square afghan that she crocheted for me, hand embroidered kitchen towel, one for each day of the week, and hand embroidered pillow cases for my bed.

8. Love those around you. When her children were young and her neighbor was quarantined because of some childhood disease in their neighborhood. Grandma would sneak over to her friend’s home to spend time helping her care for her children who were sick. Grandma was always willing to share. If she knew someone needed something, she was always ready to share.

9. Faith is important. Grandma always went to church and encouraged others to go as well. Her bible was always handy.

 
 

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Wrestling Bathtubs and Other Remodeling Moves

Tonight my husband and I went to help our oldest son with his latest home improvement project. He is finishing his basement into a family room, bedroom and bathroom. We are helping with the bedroom and bathroom.

On our way to his home we stopped at Home Depot to pick up some sheet rock, 2 X 4’s and a bathtub/shower combination for his bathroom. We managed to get in all in the pickup truck and secured for the last half hour to his home. He doesn’t own a pick up truck so we have hauled whatever he can’t fit in his Impala with the seats folded down. I’m amazed at what he can fit in his car.

After arriving at his home we unloaded the truck and decided it was time to tackle carrying the bathtub into the house. His home is a split level entry so we went in the front door and started down the steps to the basement. My husband was at the bottom and my son and I at the top.

We made it through the front door with the beast but soon realized that we would have to change our plan of attack so it was back outside to turn the tub a different way and then back inside to try it again. We had to lift it high over the railing and head down the stairs.

We got to the bottom and got stuck. Back up the stairs to remove the hand railing to give us more room. Did I mention that the tub was made of fiber glass and by now we were itchy and had cuts on our hands from the fiber glass? Not fun.

Before we could remove the hand railing we set the tub down on the stairs only to wedge my son’s foot into a spot under the tub that we were having difficulty removing it from. He felt a little claustrophobic. We got it out and the railing off.

Back down the stairs with the tub. At the bottom of the stairs we needed to turn the tub 45 degrees to the left. Not enough room so we had to remove the packing feet from the tub. Still not enough room. My husband had to remove two studs from the wall at the bottom of the steps and the sheet rock from those spaces to negotiate the turn. We thought we were done with demolition last weekend.

After tonight we are taking tomorrow off from home improvement to take Dad’s sailboat out of the lake for the season. There may be large quantities of wine involved after tonight’s wrestling match. Then it will be back at home improvement on Saturday and Sunday. I hope we survive and his home.

 

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