Monday, September 28, 2009

Another picture

A quick picture of Bitty in action.

White belts and broken boards

Bitty and Ken are taking Martial Arts; tonight we were privileged to
attend their class. After class, both tested and became White Belts.
At the end of their test the teacher (Sensei) showed them how to break
a board. Ken went first and broke his on the first try. Little Bitty
(weighing only about 100 pounds) had a difficult time with the theory of
the breaking but after 3 tries, broke hers!!!

We all celebrated with Culvers ice cream before coming home! What a
great evening. Congratulations to both of them!

Bill and his llamas

Bill Fisher now has a new blog and has updated it. Why don't you head over there and read what has been happening at his farm?

Welcome back, Bill!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One more week to go

Well, friends and loved ones, I'm still here but not. Actually, I'm at Joy's right now - we did not return home last night from the River Rondezvous, as planned.

We have been here in the Cities since last Sunday afternoon. There were five days of school tours to get through and a day that was open to the public. We camped in our lovely marquee tent all week and tore down last night.

Because we are so close to Joy's house (actually only twenty minutes), the family came to help set up (thank you, kids) and then Joy and the girls came to help us tear down yesterday afternoon (again, thank you!). We planned on stopping for supper and then heading home last night but the girls convinced their ever-lovin' grandpa to stay the night. Joy and I showed him the reasoning behind staying here.

We WERE going to go home, do laundry, restock the food boxes and the ice box, feed animals and head back to Albert Lea on Wednesday. That would be driving three hours home and then almost two hours to Albert Lea.

Staying here, we have only about an hour and a half to drive down to Albert Lea. Candy has graciously agreed (thank you, Candy - I DO owe you big time!) to extend her chore duty to include the days we had planned on being home. We will do laundry here at Joy's, stock up food from the grocery stores here (which will be cheaper than at home) and head out Tuesday so that we can spend another day camping without school children or public around. We can visit with our friends even more that way!

So I am making a list and checking it twice. While the others are at church this morning, my job is to gather the dirty clothes and start laundry and empty the ice box. Norm will get that out of the van and drain the left-over ice water and dry the box for the next one.

I do not have pictures (sorry) for you - I promise, once I get home next week and get my computer back from the doctor, I will put on a fantastic slide show of all three events.

We had a beautiful week here with rain only a few nights and only one day - Thursday - that had downpouring rain, which was a pretty good record. The weather sounds like it will be cooler but not cold this next week with little rain.

It is going to be a beautiful day today. You have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ken!

Today is my oldest son-in-law’s birthday.  Ken is forty!!!  As Norm and I have had no sons, having sons-in-law is the next best thing.  And sometimes I feel that it’s better than having our own sons – in-laws don’t have to take credit for the way a man turns out if they don’t raise him.  Right?

Well, I would be glad to take credit for the way that Ken turned out – he is the bestest son-in-law I’ve ever had (well, I have to qualify that, as I have two of them – he’s the bestest OLDEST son-in-law). 

Ken is always smiling, is a hard worker; this summer he’s been helping us re-side and re-build the outside of our house and has worked twelve to fourteen hours a day with no complaints.  He is a great husband, a great father and a great guy. 

And the best part?  He likes ME.  At least, if he doesn’t, he’s the world’s greatest actor, as well.

Happy Birthday, Ken.  My life was blessed when you came into it.  I love you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Family Reunions

There are several types of families: there are the families of the blood and families of the heart. It is very fortunate when the two blend.

This weekend I had a blending of the two. Norm and I were at Pepin, WI, for Laura Ingalls Wilder days, spending time with our family of the heart. Sunday, Joy and the girls came down so we had time with part of our family of the blood.

And the two blended very well, as Joy and girls know many of the Pepin gang and had a great time re-uniting with them.

We are now in the Cities - we are going to spend today with Joy and family and celebrate Ken's birthday tonight, then head home. I have many pictures of the weekend to share, so will do so tomorrow when I am home on my own computer.

Until then, know that we had a beautiful weekend, weather-wise as well as heart-wise. You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

State Fair doings

Well, as my many millions of devoted readers have probably surmised, I am NOT working the State Fair this year. I am NOT doing 12 hour days, 12 days in a row.

The problem with my knee, as well as other circumstances, made me realize that it is retirement time for the Fair.

So, what will I miss by not being there? I will miss my friends; the vendors and the workers in Heritage Square. I would usually stop by to see each of them at least 1 time a day during my breaks. I will miss talking to many, many people who are HONESTLY interested in the past and history. I will miss hearing Roger the Bodger – he comes by every night after his supper to play his banjo before going back to work for the rest of the evening. I will miss lighting the lamps at dark – it is a magical time and people who come in at that time hang around to watch the magic.

What will I NOT miss by being at the Fair? I will not miss the 12-hour days; the heat or cold (sometimes both on the same day); the noise of the grandstand “bands” and “singers” (I use those terms lightly – I never would consider the noise as music of any kind) that would pour out every night into our cabin. I will not miss the smells of kettle corn. I love kettle corn but the smell of burning popcorn (which happens often) is hard to bear. The noise of cars going by (the parking lot is right outside our window); the dust and dirt as the Fair gets further along and the whole area gets dirtier and smellier. No matter how much the staff cleans the streets at night, they can’t get rid of the smell of garbage and mud and muck. This year has had no rain so instead of mud there will be a lot of dust.

I will not miss the nightly trek to the bathroom and shower. It’s a long ways from the camper to the water tower where those are lodged and if it’s any bit cold, a wet head is pretty miserable when trying to get “home” after a shower. I will not miss the fireworks!!!!!!! The Fair has fireworks after every grandstand show; sometimes at 10:00 and sometimes at 12:00 – depending on how long the show lasts. When one gets off work at 9:00, an early bedtime is demanded so that one can be refreshed (hopefully) the next day. The first blast of fireworks nearly always knocks me off the bed; if I’m awake, I can’t go to sleep until they are done; if I’m asleep, I am no longer asleep and can’t go back to sleep until they are done!

Here at home, I will be able to harvest and can to my heart’s content. I have missed the early (yellow) apple season each year and also the cucumber season. Norm usually would put the tomatoes in the freezer so I could can them when I got home – if I had the energy. This last year, I didn’t finish all the tomatoes until April!!

This year, we went to the Fair on the 1st day with Joy and family and I got my Fair “kick” and actually saw more than I would see the whole Fair in a single day.

But today (2nd to the last day of the Fair), I am canning corn and meat and pickles for my brother.

I owe my brother 3,978 jars of dill pickles (long story – ask me later!) so it will take a long time to fulfill that debt. Each year I usually would work as fast as I could but this year I’ve been able to take it easy and even pickle some sweet pickles for ME. And also some Bread and Butter pickles for Norm.

So, on this 2nd to the last day of the Fair, instead of counting hours to the end and dreading the clean up and packing up of all my stuff, I am relaxing; I’ve spent a nice long time on the phone with friend Jody, I’ve worked a bit on the Australian loom (Matilda) and have worked on sorting and pricing yarn for selling at the next event – Pepin, which is next weekend.

It’s a beautiful day – not too hot, not too windy and sunny. Norm is outside working on the siding of the house and I’m inside avoiding bees and enjoying the relaxation of being HOME. You have a beautiful day.