Monday, November 19, 2012


Last Wednesday was the monthly visit to Mankato for my sister and I.  We live an hour and an half from the closest “cheap” stores.  Mankato and Marshall have Walmart and great grocery stores, but only Mankato has a Sam's Club.  And it’s got a great pet store.  Our closest stores are: fifteen minutes to a so-so-price store and half an hour to a little-bit-better store.

So once a month, I drive over to pick Candy up and then she drives my van.  (She’s the youngest ... I get to be pampered! ... Well, actually, she likes to drive and I drive if I have to.)  It’s a day out without the boys telling us where to go and what to buy.  It’s a chance to have a fun lunch and look at things we would buy if we ever win the lottery.

It’s a chance to catch up on happenings around our homes and with what is happening with our hubbys.  Not that we don’t talk or see each other more than that once-a-month outing but we don’t tend to talk DEEP thoughts at other times.  Three hours in a car (round trip) gives us a chance to do so.

We always stop at Lake Crystal (a little more than half way) to get something to drink and a doughnut and, sometimes, gas for the van.

The schedule is almost always the same .... small store shopping, lunch, grocery store, Sam’s, Walmart, home.  This time we went to Cubs, which had been my grocery store of choice when I lived in the Cities.  However, this Cub was a disappointment this time ... we get fresh veggies and fruit and deli meats and meat at either Cub or Hy-Vee.  The meat department was a total loss.  I wanted sliced ham for lunch meat and all they had was “processed” ham - no “real” ham unless you bought a ham with bone.   So next time we will go to Hy-Vee and see if they are better.

Lunch is a fun time.  We have so many choices for eating.  Sometimes we splurge and go to Olive Garden; once we went to Old Country Buffet for their lunch special, but never again.  Even though you are limited as to WHAT you get, you are not limited to HOW MUCH you can get and we both suffered greatly afterwards ... it’s so hard to say “enough!” there.  There is a Panera’s, a Culvers, Godfather’s Pizza, Pizza Ranch, Arbees, Taco John’s.  All kinds of choices!  In our little neck of the woods, there is McDonalds and Hardees and one Happy Chef.  So we find a fun place and sit and relax, have good food and talk some more before heading out for the rest of the day.

Sam’s is great because we can get things in bulk and (most of the time) it’s cheaper than anywhere else.  But you do have to watch prices because sometimes they sneak something in that is cheaper elsewhere.

Walmart is not our favorite place to shop.  I don’t like the attitude of the owners towards their employees, I don’t like that you can’t get “other” stuff.  In fact, Mankato’s Walmart has dropped their greeter; no longer is there a retired or handicapped employee at the door to show you where things are, put carts away, etc.  They put one or two brands on the shelf and there is very little choice.  Mankato has re-arranged the store and it doesn’t make sense.  Candy comes out of the Walmart in a bad mood every time, because it’s so hard to find things or there is nothing on the shelf.  We go there, mostly, because the dog and cat food is cheaper there.  We do not get many meats, no fresh vegetables or fruits.  And we do read labels so we only get American made products.

Then it’s time to head home.  I get two big York peppermint patties for energy for the way home and to thank Candy for driving, we usually grab a water each and then take off.  Wayne meets Candy at the door and we get her unloaded.  Norm is usually home before I am so he meets me and helps me unload.

Once in a while, Norm or Wayne want us to stop at Menards to get something but unless it’s an emergency, we refuse.  The van is so packed with STUFF that we normally don’t have room for any extraneous stuff!

Then it’s store-bought pizza for supper and we’re done for another month.  A fun, busy day.  I wouldn’t change the shopping time with my sister for the world!

A light day of shopping!  Usually it's twice as much or more.  Notice the dusty van!  Gravel roads will do that to a car.

It’s a beautiful fall / spring day here today.  You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It’s Veterans’ Day

I have to mention this before the day is over.  Today is the honoring of veterans, both living and deceased.

The reason that today is THE day is because of World War I (One).  This was the "War to End all Wars."  Many people thought that after this war was over, there would be no more because of all the death and destruction that it had caused.

An armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  This is now considered the end of that war.

Unfortunately, there was a second World War!  And other wars followed!  In 1926, President Roosevelt signed in a resolution making the 11th of November a National holiday.  It has been held as such ever since.

Of course, if the holiday falls on a weekend, then you get a 3-day weekend.  However, (so far), the “powers-that-be” have not decided that this needs to be a permanent 3-day weekend.  Hopefully, the 11th is an honored enough date to protect it.

On this day, I want to thank all the men and women from the past and present who have given their all for our freedom.  This includes those from the Revolutionary War, who struggled to bring this great country into being.  And all the wars following, to protect America from those who want to take our freedom away.

I need to personally thank: my father, Charles L Childs I, retired Air Force, who fought in World War I (oops, II - TWO) and the Korean War; my brother, Charles L Childs II, Army - deceased, who fought in Vietnam; my husband, John Norman Peterson, former Army, who served during the Vietnam era; my brother-in-law, James Darrell Peterson, former Army, who fought during the Korean War; my brother-in-law, Wayne Taft, former Navy, who served during the Vietnam era.

I also have many cousins and friends who served and / or fought during these times.  I want to thank them, as well.

This is a time to think of our freedom, bought and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of many who were willing to step up and take blows for our sakes.

Thank you, everyone!  God Bless America and all who live and love here.

Happy Birthday, Beanie!

My youngest, my baby, was born on November 11th, 19**; age is avoided to protect the innocent .... ME!  If you knew how old my baby was, you’d know how ancient *I* am!

We were in Australia when Jill was born, which was an adventure in itself!  The hospital was very small and there were only about 6 to 8 mothers and babies at the time Jill and I were there.  We would walk down to the nursery and collect our babies in their little roll-cot, take them back to the rooms and feed them there, then take them back to the nursery.  If we were sleeping, tired or lazy, a nurse would bring the babies to us.

One day a nurse brought my baby and I was feeding her when I looked more closely and said “This isn’t MY baby!”  I got out of bed, put her in the cot and headed down to the nursery.  I met another mother heading that way, too.  She had the wrong baby, as well!  The nurse had not looked at the wrist band closely and had switched babies.  We have teased Jill sometimes about how she might not be ours, as the switch went the wrong way.  They looked very much the same ... dark hair, dark-ish complection.  But that baby was just NOT mine!

But trust me, even if the babies look almost identical, a Mom can know which one is hers!

Jill was about 3 months old when she got her nickname.  Norm kept calling her “Silly Jill” which morphed into “Silly Jilly,” then “Silly Jelly,” “Jelly Bean” and finally Jilly Bean.  So now she is “Jilly,” “Bean,” or “Beanie.”

Jill is, and always will be, my baby.  Mom’s know this .... no matter how old your child is, your youngest is always your baby! 

Norm and I are very proud of her.  She works for a checking writing company (you know the ones ... they figure out your taxes and write the checks you get from the company you work for).  She has worked there for almost 10 years (if I’m counting right).  She started on the low rung of the ladder and has climbed up quite a bit.  She isn’t a supervisor or boss, but she’s doing very well in the company.

I am sharing two pictures with you.  The first one was taken when she was about 5 — she got a brand new bike for her birthday.  As you can see, the training wheels are still on, but it didn’t take long before they were taken off.

The second was taken when she was about 10.

Happy Birthday, Baby!  May you have many, many, many more delightful years to make us proud.  We love you!

Friday, November 09, 2012

And now onto other things

I’ve been lax, again ... sorry!  Things have been piling up around here.  And then with the election ..................  Well, that is over and we are heading on.

I have some exciting news to share.  Early this fall, I was asked to re-teach a weaver who has had a stroke.  I believe I mentioned this?  Darlene was a master weaver and I feel very humble trying to teach her when I know that she had HAD such skills and knowledge before the stroke.

She has two looms.  One is a twenty-four inch, four-harness “Baby Wolf” by Schacht; the other is a thirty-eight inch, eight-harness “Mighty Wolf,” also by Schacht.  I have wanted an eight-harness loom for ever-so-long and now, my friends, I WILL have one!

Darlene and her daughter, Jan, have agreed to trade me the Mighty Wolf in exchange for lessons.

Here is a picture from the Schacht web page to show you what it looks like.

I am in the process of looking for books and patterns and am excited but nervous about starting a new skill.  Eight-harness looms allow you to do so many different patterns.  I will be sure to show you as I learn!

Another exciting bit of news is about my favorite oldest granddaughter (with brown eyes).  Bitty has been nominated and accepted in the National Honor Society.  She was inducted this past week.  I have some pictures to show, but have blacked out her name, as requested by her mother. 

As you know, many bloggers will either not show faces of their beautiful children or grandchildren or will not post their true names.  This, unfortunately is because of stalkers who browse the web looking for innocents to prey upon.  I am one of these and so is my daughter.  No, not stalkers .... concerned parents / grandparents! 

But I CAN show you some pictures to enjoy.

This award is not only exciting because it honors her hard work in school but it will allow her to have a better chance at getting scholarships later on for college.

And, have I told you that she is not only in her junior year of high school but is also taking her first year of college?  Minnesota is one of the states (I don’t know if all others do this or not) that allows high school students to “share” high school and college at the same time. So when Bitty graduates from high school, she will have two years of college under her belt.  It’s hard work and she is constantly doing school work but she is (obviously) doing a great job and she loves it.

Another bit of news is that Jill and Eric went to Hawaii for two weeks in October.  Eric’s folks were celebrating their anniversary and chose to go to Hawaii to renew their vows.  They took both their sons and wives along with.  So Norm and I baby-sat our grand-puppies, Remy and Hank for almost three weeks.  It was a hectic time but fun.  The “boys” keep Peanut on her toes and me, too.  They were used to getting up early in the morning, so sometime between five and six, Hank was pushing his nose in my face saying “Get UP, Grandma!” 

Remy is Beagle and Basset (we think) and Hank is Basset and Labrador (we think).  Remy is older and a dignified gentleman, except when he thinks a coon is around.  Hank is younger and more active.  He actually bounced off walls sometimes!

Norm made a yard in the back for them, because they cannot be left off-lead (they are hunters, you know, and are nose-driven, so won’t listen to you when you call).  This was much easier on my shoulders, arms and back.  They got to wander and run and chase imaginary raccoons.  Did you know that Remy’s Beagle howl says “Coon!  Coon!  Coon!”

It was very, very quiet when Jill met us in Mankato to send them home.  Peanut wandered around for a couple of days looking for the boys.

I have been cleaning and re-organizing my studio to make room for my new loom.  I will, eventually (maybe) sell my twenty-four inch floor loom, Harriet Dare but am not ready, as there is a project on her right now.  My new loom has her name already - she is “Freya” ... named after the Norse Goddess who is the wife of “All-Father,” Odin and is the goddess of weaving, among other things.  My studio is ready so it’s time to bring my new “baby” home!

I will (I promise) keep you up on my first projects.  I can’t wait!

It was a beautiful foggy, overcast day today.  You have a beautiful day!

OH!  And one other thing ... I've "met" a blogger who weaves with an eight-harness loom.  I've put her on my favorites list ..  Amanda does beautiful work!