Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to Plan A

Okay, I’m here at Rapid City, watching thermometer climb to about 102º.  I’m not used to this heat, but then, neither are the resident Rapidians; it’s been so very cool and rainy both here and at home that just sunshine has been difficult to get used to.

Mom had a great night last night and is doing very well today.  She is stronger, able to get around without feeling so wobbly (being in bed for 5 days makes one wobbly, wouldn’t you say?) and she is able to do a few chores around the house.  She is one armed ... her left arm is velcroed to her side so that she doesn’t lift it over her shoulder.  She need to be this way for two weeks so that she doesn’t accidentally pull the wires out of her heart by raising her arm too far.  After two weeks, we are told, the wires will be “welded” into her heart and there will be no problems.  Until then, she won’t be able to drive, either.

I did some research about pace makers.  There has been artificial stimulation of hearts since the mid 1700s.  The first “real” pacemaker was implanted in 1956.  Interesting!

So, back to the plan.  I am going to talk about the flooding of North Dakota.  My cousin Jimmy says that Fargo and Moorehead, MN, were fine - they have been prepared since before the spring flooding and there is little to worry about there.

However, the North middle and western areas are in trouble.  We saw many “lakes” in the fields as we went across I-90.  The Interstate was covered with water in some places, as well!  The gravel road to the family farm had water over the road until Friday when the road department raised the low spot higher.

When we headed home, we saw more water, more flooding.  Several roads were closed but we were fortunate that Highway 200 east from McClusky had “repaired” the roads that had been flooded so that we didn’t need to detour.

I will not mention Minot, as we were not there and there is more detail about their suffering on the national news.  Bismarck was building dikes and ditches to keep the water out of there.  We had planned on a picnic on Friday night for the first night of the reunion and the girls couldn’t find a park that wasn’t under water.

Yes, we have had some flooding and a lot of fields under water but we haven’t had the troubles that North Dakota has had.

Sooooo, now I’m in Rapid, like I said.  I will be heading home tomorrow and Candy will be coming here on Saturday to be with Mom for some time and to help the folks celebrate their 69th anniversary on the Fourth.  I understand that I will be driving in hot weather and I thank the good gods that I have air conditioning.

It is a beautiful day even if it is hot.  There are small clouds, a lot of sunshine and a brisk breeze.  You have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

I escaped!

This afternoon I sneaked away from the hospital to go shopping (gasp!).  Mom needed rest and I hoped that if I went, Dad would sleep in the recliner and she would nap, too. 

It has been a long day for all of us.  Dad and I had to be there before 6:00 to give her a hug before she went into surgery.  The surgery itself only lasted about an hour so Dad and I had breakfast and had just gotten settled into the waiting room before we got the call that she was heading back up to her room.
The difference was amazing, already.  Her cheeks are rosier and she seems to be more chipper that she was even yesterday.  She was on total bed rest for 6 hours and had to have her head at least 30% up (the hospital beds have percentage markings so that the nurses know how high the bed is raised) and she couldn’t even put her legs over the side until 1:30 this afternoon. 

Once she had had lunch (and shared it with Dad and I .. she didn’t eat as much as I thought she should), I borrowed Dad’s car and went looking for material.

I have a table that is about 42" wide so a 45" piece of material for a tablecloth is not what I would like.  I need 54" or 60" wide.  The material is so geared to the quilting obsession that most of the material is 45" wide, or even only 44".  Frustration!

But Hancock Fabrics had a spectacular sale on their upholstery fabric so I got some 54" for three new tablecloths.  One is a red checked material (I love red checked tablecloths), one is a blue pattern and one is a blue Toile.

“Toile” (pronounced twahl) means "cloth" in French. “Toile de Jouy,” or “toiles de Jouy,” are terms that refer to fabric that was first manufactured at a factory in Jouy-en-Josas, a village located southwest of Paris, near Versailles. Founded in 1760 by German-born Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf,  a textile entrepreneur, the factory site was chosen primarily because of its proximity to the clear running water of the Bièvre River. Oberkampf knew that water is a crucial element in the dyeing process. Only the highest quality goods were used in the production of the factory's printed fabrics made of cotton, one reason for the enterprise’s success.

When I was in First Grade in Moorehead, MN, I had curtains in “red” (brown) Toile and have never forgotten them.  I have wanted some material for something special but it’s so very, very expensive.  But today it was on sale for (shock) $3.00 a yard!  So I’m going to have a tablecloth of this lovely material!

I took the material home to the apartment and had a nap before going back to the hospital, then out to eat at the best restaurant in Rapid City ... The Colonial House (thanks, Mom!).  It has been owned by the same family for 30 years - the father of the family who bought it was a co-worker and friend of Norm’s when he taught at Ellsworth AFB.  We used to go to the Colonial House often.  It is Mom and Dad’s favorite place as well.

Now I am home and ready for bed.  I was going to go down to the pool to swim but I don’t have the energy - perhaps in the morning? 

Mom is doing well and might be able to come home tomorrow ... the surgeon and the doctor (his partner in the heart clinic) will make that decision tomorrow.

So that’s my day today.  There were storms on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings with a total of 3 ½ “ and hail.  But today it got up to about 75º and lots of sunshine.  It was a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day.

Quick update

The pacemaker went in this morning and all is well.  She has more color in her cheeks and hopefully will come home tomorrow.  Time for a nap!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Change of plans

I WAS going to post some pictures of the North Dakota flooding as we saw it.  I WAS going to post pictures of my uncle's barn that is being transferred into a hunting lodge.  I WAS going to finish my weaving and get it hemmed and get the wedding present sent.

However, Mom must have decided that she wanted to see me again.  Thursday night Dad took her into the emergency room because her heart was acting up.  She spent the night and the morning having discussions with doctors who felt that medication would smooth out her erratic heartbeat and she was cleared to go home at noon.  She called Candy and I while we were shopping in Mankato and said she'd be home soon.  Less than an hour later, Dad called and said that Mom's heart had stopped beating and there were a whole lot of people in her room.  

Two hours later, we finally gave up waiting and called the nurses' station and got the news ... Mom's heart stopped for seven seconds (the nurse said it was the longest time that she had ever experienced!) and although Mom was "fine," they were discussing options.

Candy and I talked and decided that I would leave in the morning for the eight hour trip over here.  Candy had already planned on coming over for a doctor's appointment and the folks' sixty-ninth wedding anniversary and would be here next Saturday.  So I said I'd stay most of the week and we'd see what was going to happen.

I actually talked to Mom and she said they were going to put a pacemaker in her heart on Saturday morning (yesterday), so I headed over here as quickly as I could so that I'd be here when she woke up from the operation.

Dad called and said the surgery was on hold - there was some kind of emergency in the operating room.  Then called later and said the surgery had been postponed until either today or tomorrow (Monday).  So I headed straight to the hospital and spent time with Mom.

Actually, considering the condition she's in, she's in pretty good shape.  I have spent most of yesterday afternoon and today over there with her.  The surgery will be at seven, so Dad and I need to go over very early - and I WILL be there to wish her luck when she goes into the operating room!

Having a pacemaker put in is considered a piece of cake --- a two inch incision, a small box with a battery and wires connected to the heart.  The surgeon said that if all went well, as he expected, she should be able to come home on Tuesday!  

Then I will go home on Thursday and pick up on my plans that were interrupted.  So, just to pay Mom back for my change of plans, here is a picture I took at the hospital today.  She won't like it, but that's too bad, Mom!!!

She doesn't look like she needs surgery, does she?

Good luck, Mom!  Safe surgery!  I love you and I'm glad I'm here!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This past weekend was a family reunion in North Dakota for the Saueressigs.  It started as a cousin reunion for the farm kids but ended up to be bigger.  The cousins that planned it are the children of MY cousins and I heard about it and was then invited.  Then some of my West Coast cousins decided to come and so it was a “cousin reunion” on several different levels.

Mom and Dad came - Mom is now the matriarch as she is the oldest Saueressig remaining.  Cousin Jackie claimed matriarch status once she had bumped Mom off but *I* claimed it as being the oldest daughter of the youngest child of the family (Mom is not only the only remaining “original” Saueressig, she was the youngest child).

The first level was Mom, as a child of Robert and Caroline Saueressig (founder of the Saueressig farm).  By the way, “saueressig” is German and means “sour vinegar.”

Second level were the children of Mom’s siblings, those born on the farm and those born elsewhere but with heart-ties to the farm.  This weekend it included Jake and Tom, who still farm there, and Jim, who lives in Fargo and their sister Jean Marie.  The West Coast cousins are Karren, Jackie and Vici (pronounced “vicki”), sisters; Roberta from Alaska and me, from Minnesota.  Spouses and significant others joined us.

Third level was the children of the children!  These were children of Jake, Tom, Jim and Bob (who didn’t make it) - the farm boys. 

And the fourth level was the grandchildren of the second level.  Children galore were running and dancing and singing and having a scrumptious time.

Most met in Bismarck for a Friday night supper; we stayed there overnight, as did most of the third level.  Saturday was an open house at the farm.  There was also an open house for Jake and Marilyn’s new home; many friends from the area came to join us for food, music and dancing.

Saturday night Norm and I got a room at the motel in McClusky so that we didn’t have to travel all the way back to Bismarck.

Sunday was a quieter day - most of the third and fourth levels had headed home so there weren’t as many around.  It was full of visiting and laughter.  Roberta and Bud headed to Bismarck to fly back to Alaska in the morning; Norm and I headed home in the afternoon.  Karren and Vici and spouses were in a motor home and were heading to Canada on Monday.  Jackie will fly back to Portland on Wednesday or Thursday and the farm will go back to it’s “normal” activities.

I had not seen any of the West Coast cousins for about thirty years, although Karren and I have kept in touch for quite a while. 

Karren has always been my favorite cousin; I tagged along with her from the time I could walk.  Karren is four years older but has never acted like I was a bratty little kid to avoid.  We lived in Portland twice in our wanderings so I was able to be with her quite a bit as I was little.  She taught me how to roller skate and took me many places with her.

I don’t know if you can imagine the feelings but they were ( and still are) unbelievably awesomely exciting when Jackie told me that Karren would not come until she knew I was going to be there!  Thank you, Karren, for feeling the same way that I do about you!

So we caught up with each other’s lives, all of us.  I spent most of the weekend glued to Karren’s side but also spent a lot of time with the others.  Jim and I had great talks ... he has always been my favorite farm cousin - we did a lot together (much of Uncle Hookey’s gray hair came from us). 

I spent so much time talking that my throat was sore and I voluntarily asked for water to drink!

I am going to put the pictures on a slide show because there are so many.  I took over one hundred thirty pictures and have picked out the best for your pleasure.

It was a beautiful weekend.  It has rained off and on since we got home, giving us more than two inches of wet stuff in two days, but it is a beautiful day, none-the-less.  You have a beautiful day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A family weekend

Last weekend (the 2nd through the 6th, actually) was filled with family. 

On Thursday, the 2nd, Norm and I went to Sioux Falls for doctors’ appointments.  We then met Mom and Dad for supper at the American Legion.  Dad was flying to Washington DC on an Honors Flight – taking World War II heroes to DC to see the WWII monument and other special sights there.  Mom drove over here from Sioux Falls on Friday morning and spent the day and night with me.

On Saturday morning, we went to Stitches where Candy, Cookie and Binni met us.  Norm and I went to a wedding in the afternoon, so Mom went home with Candy.

Saturday night, Joy and girls came down to spend a few days - on Sunday they went to church with Norm then went over to Candy’s to see Mom and Dad.  Candy had gone to Sioux Falls and picked Dad up, as he had gotten back from DC on Saturday night. 

The time here was spent doing crafts, as well as other things.  Bitty did some weaving but spent most of the time tatting (she loves that craft); Bubba wove on Harriet Dare for awhile then moved over to Matilda while I worked on Cherry.  Joy spent time helping Norm around the place and did her knitting - socks for Christmas, I believe, is her “WIP” (Work in Progress).

Monday evening we went over to Candy’s for cake and ice cream and visiting - Candy’s birthday that day, you know!  The girls enjoyed the short time they had with Binni before heading she and Cookie back home - Cookie had to work the next day so couldn’t stay longer.

Tuesday morning we all met at the local café for breakfast before Mom and Dad headed back to Rapid City and Joy and girls headed to the Cities.

A busy time, a fun time ... not all the family was here but it was enough to make it a good time.

The weather has been goofy, to say the least!  Last week, the 7th and 8th, we had record highs - 103º on Wednesday.  Then we had cold, rainy, overcast, windy weather - enough to be tempted to turn the heat on - or at least put socks on!  This morning started out rainy and windy so I hung my clothes up inside on the laundry rack - but now it’s nice enough to have them outside (but I ain’t a gonna move them out ... they can dry inside, thank you very much!).

But it’s been a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day.

 Weaving is such fun!

 Tatting is fun, too!

 Bitty, Binni and Bubba

 Wayne is showing off his antique wheelchair


 What to eat?

Four generations

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 1920

A day that will live in the hearts and minds of all the Charles Childs family.  Today is Grace Anna Delaine Saueressig’s 91st birthday!  She was born in McClusky, North Dakota in an apartment above a saloon called the Bloody Bucket, so we have always teased her that she was born IN a saloon.

My mother was the youngest surviving child of Robert and Caroline Saueressig.  They had a farm 10 miles from McClusky where she lived in her early childhood.  My grandfather died when she was around 14 years old and Nana struggled to keep food on the table for her children.  By the time that Grandfather died, there were only two girls left in the household.  The rest of them were married and independent.

The family farm was taken over by my two uncles, Hugo and Vernon, but Uncle Vern soon moved to other pastures and Uncle Hooky continued on.  Right now is it owned by two of my four male cousins, John (Jake) and Tom.  Bob is an artist and he has moved around with his art.  Jim moved to Fargo and has been busy with his four boys.  There is also my only girl cousin from this line, Jean Marie, who lives and works in Minneapolis.

Nana, Mom and her sister Roberta (Auntie Nute) moved to several different towns where Nana supported them by being a housekeeper.

Mom was able to go to college because of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.  During the depression the government made jobs for people and also allowed young adults to go to college by working their way through.  Mom was one of those fortunate ones and received her two-year teachers’ degree.

She met my dad at college and wrote to him while he was in the (then) Army-Air Force, learning to fly so he could go overseas to the war.  She taught in a one-room school house then went down to Georgia by train to meet Dad and marry him a day after he received his wings (which meant he was officially a pilot in the Army-Air Force).

Mom stayed home while Dad was in Europe during World War II; I was born in Florida before he left, then she moved up to Bismarck, North Dakota to wait for him to return.

Once the war was over, Mom followed Dad where ever the (now) Air Force sent him.  He would fly to the new Air Force base and find a place to live; Mom would drive with the ever increasing brood of children, even if it was across the nation.  The “brood” ended up to be 4 of us ... Me, as oldest, Charles, 2 years later, Cara, 4 years later, Candy, 7 years later.  We even ended up in Japan, but she didn’t drive there!  We went over in a troop ship, as it was during the Korean War.  Dad worked on a base in Japan during this time so we spent 3 years there.

When it was close to retirement for Dad, we moved to Rapid City, South Dakota.  Mom started substitute teaching, got her four-year degree in education and started teaching full time.  She taught 4th grade until she retired.

Once she retired, she remained active in many different organizations, especially Eastern Star, where she has been an officer many different times, including state offices and representatives to other countries.  She and Dad have continued traveling, often in a motor home until just recently.

This last week, she and Dad drove to Sioux Falls where he took an “Honor Flight” to Washington DC and she drove over here to spend the weekend with Candy and I.  Then Dad came up and they just left on Tuesday (day after Candy’s birthday) to head home.

She is 91 years old and still going very well.  She is slowing down but loves to go out to visit and to have friends come visit her.  She has her own computer and reads my blog (hi, Mom!) as well as Candy’s.  She also sends and receives e-mails from many friends across the nation and world.

Happy Birthday, Mom!  You’ve had a good, long life!  May the rest of your life be as good. 

I think this is her high school picture

 This was taken Tuesday, June 7, 2001

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

I was going through a pile of papers that I had stored to look at "some day" .. and that day happened to be today.  I found some pictures that I need to put in with all the other pictures but found this one:

This is of sister Cara  - the back side says "Japan - 6 or 7."  We went to Japan in 1953, when Cara was 5 so this evidently was a school picture.

I love her buck teeth ... they were such a cute part of her smile!  She had braces when she was older and had them fixed but they were SO cute when she was little.  She also has long hair and the traditional pony-tail with a ribbon.  The bangs as well as the back hair are curled - she had straight thick hair (unlike my fine hair) which stayed beautiful all her life.

Note the big collar!  I bet it didn't stay clean and fresh long ... she was a tom-boy like me and wasn't a "prissy" clean little girl!

What sparkly eyes ... bet she's thinking of some kind of mischief!  The original is an 8x10 studio photograph.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

D Day

Yesterday was the 67th anniversary of D Day ... the day that the Allies stormed the beaches of France to fight the Germans.

I was negligent about mentioning this yesterday but was busy with granddaughters and sisters and parents.

But I thought of it all day and hope that others remembered, as well.

A male friend said, the other day "I don't think I could have gotten out of the ship and onto the beach.  I would have been a total coward!"

No, Mark, I don't think you would have ... I have discussed this with my mother and Norm and we have agreed.  Your buddies were your brothers and your closest friends.  You would not have stayed behind to let them die without you there to try to protect them.  Plus, it was almost mass hysteria when everyone poured onto the beaches ... everyone was "revved" up to go and the body would have taken over and left the brain behind.  There were no cowards on the beaches and no-one stayed behind!

The men and women  who sacrificed their lives for our freedom should never, NEVER be forgotten.  Thank you all!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Happy Birthday, baby sister!

Today is Candy’s birthday - she says she is celebrating her 23rd year.  Well, I won’t argue with that but I KNOW it’s more!

Of course, I remember when she was born.  That was back in the ‘dark ages’ when children weren’t allowed into the hospital to see anyone (dirty children!) so we stood outside the hospital and Mom waved at us through her window ... once they allowed her out of bed.  That was also the time that mothers stayed in the hospital for extended days.

From the time she was born, she was my precious baby sister.  I think we all felt that way!  As she was the youngest, she often tagged along with us ‘big kids’ and we often let her.  We traveled a lot because Dad was in the Air Force and we had to be friends because many times we had no one else to play with.

I have watched my sister grow from a tiny baby to a delightful wise woman and I enjoy every minute I spend with her.



I am blessed with the fact that she lives so close so we can do things together.  

I am blessed by having Candy as a dear sister.

I love you, Candy!

Thursday, June 02, 2011


In my Memorial Day post, I forgot my other brother-in-law, Wayne ... Candy's husband.  I thought of him all day but in the process of searching for pictures, I over-looked writing about him.

Sorry, Wayne .... mea culpa!  

I don't have a picture of him, but he was in the navy about the same time that Norm was in the Army.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

"New" Friend

Because I am a fiber fanatic as well as a weaver, I have stashes of fiber in my studio but am always looking for new yarns.  My favorite yarn (at the moment) is cotton and the best place, in my little mind is Cotton CloudsI have been purchasing all my cottons for about fifteen years from them.

They just recently started a blog that is enjoyable and informative.  If you are interested in cotton yarns, you should pop over to either their website or their blog.  Not only weavers need cotton - a lot of knitters and crotcheters use cotton.

Cotton is a natural fiber and is wonderful to work with.  That and wool are about the only things I use ... I do not like the acrylic yarns much at all .. although there are SOME that are okay for knitting.  Someday I'm going to try bamboo - and there are new fibers out there - corn, sugar, etc.

I have just finished one project - need to take pictures, now - and am starting another one on Cherry.

Matilda still has a lot of warp on so I'm working on several little extraneous things so that I can get her cleaned up and started on another project that is planned.

Poor Harriet Dare still has a Christmas warp on her and is a little bit ignored.  But I need to finish that for THIS  Christmas because I have another project, this time with wool, that I need to get done before winter.

It is a beautiful day with sunshine, no WIND and no RAIN .. we have had two inches of rain this week, alone.  But it is promising to be dry for several days, now, so we will enjoy that.  You have a beautiful day.