Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I spent the last week in Bahstun and the surrounding area with the family for our brother Steven's wedding. It was Hot, up to 100 degrees on Friday, but we made the most of our stay.

My mom, dad, Gramma R., Carl and I flew out on Wednesday (up until a few days before, I thought we were leaving Thursday. I was scrambling to get ready!) and flew back on Monday...minus Carl, he went back to Switzerland from Boston.

We did quite a bit of historical tourism. This flag is hanging on a tavern that played a part in the first skirmish of the Revolutionary war.

My Aunt and Uncle Kay and Rick came for the wedding-it was fun to visit them as we saw some sights.

Ralph and I. We dipped our feet in Walden Pond. Just let me say-the packed beach on this hot day made me very glad that we have our own cabin to enjoy.

The Battle of Bunker Hill monument. Useful (less?) piece of information: It is actually on Breeds Hill. The battle name is a case of mistaken hill identity.

Don't say I never taught you anything.

The monument has 294 steps. It was 100 degrees.

I was sweating when I reached the top.

And we even made it to the wedding!

It was in doubt at one point on the drive...it was just a good thing we left to get there 2.5 hours early. We arrived with 1.5 hours to spare.

Driving and navigating in Boston is not for the faint of heart.

Trust me.
and Marian the Librarian. (aka our GPS. The voice sounds oh-so-librarianish. And the way she says "Recalculating. Recalculating. It's so librarianish. Hence the name Marian.)

The happy bride and groom. Steve and Jess held their wedding at a neat old camp lodge type building that was once owned by the girl/boyscouts. It was a beautful location. Of course, I took very few pictures the whole day.

Suffice to say, they ended up married;)

The U.S.S. Constitution or "Old Ironsides." The oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world.

The famous Old North Church from which Paul Revere told other dissidents to hang the lanterns "one if by land, two if by sea..."
Am I taking you back to US history class?

Good. That's my goal.

Katrina, Mom and Gramma at the Boston Public Gardens.
This day was absolutely gorgeous.

And the picture for my kids-Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McClosky is one of their favorite books. It takes place in the Public gardens and now there are statues of the ducks there.

That wraps up my quick tour of the trip. It was a lot of fun, seeing all my siblings and enjoying the sights.

Right now though, I'm just procrastinating on packing for our next adventure-a family vacation to the Camp on Big Traverse in the UP tomorrow.

Should be fun!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A list

  • So far this morning:
  • Slept in. Till 9. I deserved it after yesterday at work. But does it count as sleeping in when you don't get home till 2:30?
  • Coffee. Mmm.
  • Boys were up. Daughter hasn't rolled out of bed yet...
  • Howie.
  • Pulled the computer off the table.
  • Oops. So far it seems to work just fine.
  • Promptly went to the kitchen and took the vent off the floor and started digging in the ducting.
  • Busy boy.
  • Oliver.
  • Just asked for mittens so his hands wouldn't get cold while riding his bike.
  • June. Really?
  • Laundry washing.
  • Chased the rooster out of the porch.
  • Someone left the door open.
  • It's a hoot.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday. Gray.

After enjoying the perfect summer day at the cabin with fun company and visiting yesterday, today is quite a downer.

More. Gray skies. More. Rain.

Blue jeans. Sweaters.

Elsa woke with vim in her veins.

She didn't want french toast. She wanted cereal. Over again. Repeat.

Hmm. Maybe she's got something there.

I don't want to do laundry. I don't want to clean this house. I want to weed my garden. I want to see sunshine.

Think that'll chase away the ugly, gray skies?

Not counting on it. Judging by Elsa's success. She still hasn't eaten a thing.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We celebrated our first weekend off together by spending it at the Cabin. We love that place, and spend many, many hours there each summer.

It is the essence of summer-sauna/swimming, relaxation, family and food. Always lots of food.

And fishing. Elsa even got brave and went. Oliver will tell you "I caught a perch! But last year I caught a BIG -spreading arms wide for emphasis- HUGE, bass."

We've had a total of about three hot days so far. The kids cooled off on this one in the garden sprinkler.

The sun beams through the water were nifty. So far, the garden looks pretty good, I've even kept up on the weeding.

And Howie has a new trick, he stood up so he could splash in this bucket. One of his first time pulling up. Tomorrow he's ten months old, that makes him our latest walker...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A new chapter

Last night was Eric's last evening of work at the local grocery store. Today starts a new chapter: Red Eye Sawmill will be going full steam ahead, full time.

Now, if only the loggers will agree and keep him neck deep in logs.

It's exciting, although, truthfully, it hasn't sunk in yet. Eric's dreamed of this day for quite some time-working on, developing and growing this business full time- it's what he wants to be doing. For me (all of us, really), it'll be quite a change. Hubby home-or somewhere in the vicinity- every night? Weird. And weekends? We'll get to do stuff together sometimes? Wow.
(We've been working opposite weekends since I started my job a year and a half ago. meaning we haven't had a single weekend off together for that long.) Last night I was truthful with myself and admitted that I don't know what it'll be like to not have those few hours to myself between bedtime and home from work time.

Who am I kidding? He has more than enough work to keep him out of my hair.

Every morning one of the first things the kids ask is "Mom, do you have to work today? Does Dad?" The response the give depends on their mood- "Aww, shucks, I wanted you to stay home" or "Yay! We get to go to ____" We haven't really told them Eric's done working out-it'll be entertaining when they finally catch on-"Dad, don't you ever have to go to work again?"

Cheers. Here's to a successful new chapter in the sawmill business.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glad. (I had a different title, but this seems to be the theme)

I pulled out this fleece today...

Yesterday evening there were some pretty nasty straight-line winds in PR. There's talk that there might have been a tornado. Pretty scary, but to make it worse, Eric drove right through it on his way home-he said he almost got blown off the road.

I told him he can now cross "drive through a tornado" off his bucket list.

I'm just glad he's still around to have a bucket list.

In other, less deadly, completely unrelated, humorous news...

I almost washed a kitten this evening.

It managed to sneak into the house and was blissfully sleeping in the mountainous pile of laundry. I imagine it was quite a rude awakening to be unceremoniously gathered up along with dirty pants, dumped in the washer and have water start pouring down on you...the look of kitten perplexedness was priceless.

I'm glad she found her way out before the lid was closed, however.

and had flashbacks...here's Oliver.

My boys, I think they look like brothers.

That, too, makes me glad.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A lost tooth and Happy Mother's Day!

I had one of those "I totally forgot about those" type of moments the other day when Oliver showed me his loose tooth. Immediately after that, I had a "Woah, he's getting older" type moment. The past week we've been updated daily with the status of the tooth.

Yesterday, while at his cousin's, the tooth came out. He lost it in the grass and never even mentioned it to the girls over there. When I picked them up, he was slightly concerned when I asked where it was-but, no fear, Oliver dictated a note to me, and the tooth fairy came anyhow...

And of course, she took the opportunity to use a little of her oomph to hype up the tooth brushing-no candy eating line.

When he heard her admonitions this morning, he said a sincere "Ok, I'll do that."

I like that tooth fairy.

I got a chance to go garage saleing in Fargo yesterday, sans kids.

That, was the perfect Happy Mother's Day present.

And, if you are a mother-Happy Mother's Day to you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brotherly love...

"Moom!" Elsa huffed, clumping up the steps.

I looked up from my coffee and book. With a deep scowl on her face, my darling daughter came in the door. Pat, clump, pat, clump. One shoe on, the other in her hand. "What's up?" I asked.

"Oliver's just not supposed to do that," she moaned. "He took my shoe off."

"Hmm," said I, tying her shoe for her, "how 'bout that."

"...ANNND," her exasperation deepened, "he put a pine cone in my hood."

As I dug the offending pine cone out for her, I couldn't help chuckling. Oh, dear. How well I remember just this sort of pointless picking. Doing something for the simple joy of getting a rise out of the other. Such a fine example of sibling love.

"Here." Figuring the younger could use a little help, I handed her the pine cone. "Go throw it at him."

Her eyes sparkling, both feet clumping, she ran out the door with a giggle.

Revenge is sweet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whistling winter winds

Spring heard my plea and departed. I can't say that's really what I was going for at all, but welcome to MN in March. The wind has been whistling around our poor little house all day, rattling the windows and doors.

We even had a little thundersnow. I only heard it once; the kids stopped what they were doing, look around and went back to playing. I guess they figured they were hearing things. We might even get a couple inches. Pew.

I'll use the power of positive thinking.

Spring. It's spring.

Now, before I go stick my nose in a garden seed catalog, here's a story for the Aunts and uncs...

This afternoon, Oliver and Elsa were playing oh-so-nicely, when Elsa erupted into tears and started arguing, "but I don't WANNA..blahblahblah."

Since I was sitting there, I asked what the problem was.

Turns out the argument stemmed from this: Oliver was taking the train to visit Steve and Jess. Elsa didn't want to. SHE wanted the train to take her to visit Trina and Russ. And Oliver didn't WANT to, he was going to visit Steve and Jess. Et cetera.

Life was calm again once I suggested they could have two trains and each go where they wanted.

They enjoyed their trips.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring is...cruel?

Spring shouldn't be aloud to tease like this.

I wait patiently for the days to warm, the sun to shine, the snow to melt. For the beautiful soft spring days.

Then it finally does. I peer out the window at the thermometer, and upon seeing it hitting the 40 degree mark, cheer, "Alright! Time to go play outside!" Meanwhile, chuckling to myself. "Score. They should stay out a good LONG time today."

The ol' winter routine kicks into gear-it's not that warm, after all.
Snow pants.
"Mo-oom! Will you pull my pant leg down?"
"Oh, wait did you go bathroom first?"
Off again.
On again.
One sleeve.
The other.
"Mom, I need HELP."
Finally.Out the door.

A sigh. Quiet. Peace. Just me and the baby. Such a sweet hour. What to do first? Quick, wash the dishes, then coffee and a good book? Mmmm...

...twenty minutes later.

Thump, thump. Creeak.

"MOOM! can we come IN yet?"

"What? You just went out!" I grimace and frown. What about my coffee? My book?

The puddle around them on the floor grows as the chorus goes up: "But my mittens are soaking wet!"

"The snow pile is all hard and dirty!"

"My feet are COLD."

Harrumph. I change their mittens and send 'em packing.
For all of another 10 minutes or so.

Then, they've had enough. It's in the house. Off come the snowpantsbootshatsmittenscoats...onto the floor. In a sodden.heaping.muddy.drippy.needs to be disassembled to dry.mess.

It's okay, I tell myself. Spring is here (no more snow storms, please.) Soon it'll dry. I'll just take myself for a walk later. I wring out the clothes. Find places to dry.

My chance arrives, I pack the baby in the backpack throw on my tennies and head out the door. Gorgeous! Slip.
I can't believe how nice it is. Sluurrrp.
The wind smells like spring! Splash.
Off, down the driveway, and along the road. Slurping and splashing. Muck. Everywhere. Deep breathing the fresh air; Spring, those gorgeous, soft days, for the moment, is teasing.

I'm not always quite sure, but I think I like it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wahoo for JSPhotography!

A while back, my friend Jennifer had the grand opening to her photography studio. Exciting!

She did a day full of mini-sessions, and I was lucky enough to win a free one. I clicked my heels, then plopped my three cuties (biased? no.) down in front of her camera for the second time.

I clicked my heels again the other day when the UPS guy dropped off my order. I'm loving my new decor:)

And my dear hubby was thrilled to update his wallet.

Monday, February 28, 2011

"I just have a big ol' smile on my face"

...said a bleary eyed Oliver upon waking on his fifth birthday.

And he did. A BIG ol' smile.

The smile continued all weekend, as we enjoyed days full of visiting, partying, saunaing, game playing and more visiting. My sibilings and I see each other infrequently, and I must say, I soaked up the time together.

My only complaint? It went by much to fast.

This morning I'm getting back into the swing of life...slowly, relaxing with coffee, snuggling my baby and reading my grinning five-year-old a book. The daughter is still sleeping...she must have partied hard this weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I cleaned the top of the fridge!

That makes me ready for the weekend.

Because, you know, you're only ready for a busy weekend when the top of the fridge is clean.

It's our Christmas-get-together...in February. Except we're not really celebrating Christmas. We're just getting together. All my sibs from their various points on the globe-AK, CA, MA and Switzerland-via China, are coming home.


The real reason, Oliver will tell you, is for his 5th birthday. It's only TWO days away.

Siblings? He'll expect the same next year.
Just FYI.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More winter fun...

Temperatures have been absolute spring-like here the last week. The snow is shrinking before our eyes, and finally, and it was finally sticky enough to make a snowman. Rolling large balls of snow makes for a good workout. I had to call in the reinforcements from the sawmill to lift the balls for us... Eric and Frank lifting together seriously grunted. Ha. Oliver and Elsa's faces were shining with amazement at the "huge!" snowman..Good fun.

Other stuffs:
  • Is there a limit to the number of questions a three year old can ask in a minute?
  • If there is, I think Elsa is trying set a new record.
  • Along with know-it-all-statements.
  • I've started a new thing. I've been making a point to wash all the dishes right after every meal. It's usually so quick to do, so much easier than when there's a huge pile. I've been at it two or so weeks, and it has been great. With very limited counter space, it makes a huge difference; I don't not make something just because I'd have to wash dishes first.
  • Plus, the rest of the house can be flying, but I feel good because I can tell myself, "at least the dishes are done."
  • We made valentines for all Grandmas and Grandpas on Monday, then delivered them. I've been cutting construction paper hearts left and right since then.
  • A very, very highly recommended book: Unbroken: A WWII story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. A biography of Louie Zampereini (if you're a MPR junky, you might have heard of it.) a WWII bombardier who ended up stranded on a raft in the Pacific for 47 days. He was picked up by the Japanese, and survived the POW camps. Amazing story, very well written book.
  • Seriously. Read that book. It's good.
  • Off now, to work. I get to renew my CPR certification before my shift. I wonder how much they've changed it this time...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Oliver, Elsa and I went sledding on Saturday. At Poop hill.

Oliver: "Poop hill?? It's not a poop hill!"
Me: "No, but that's what they call it."
O: "But it can't be very big, if it's just a pile of poop!"
Good point. Good thing it's not just a pile of poop...
Anyhow. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we all had a blast. My MIL came along for a little while and snapped a few hundred pictures. (For real. She has a happy shutter finger.) Turned out a few great action shots...

Oliver only had a fit the first time he got a whitewash...he was able to laugh it off after that.

They even let me hitch a ride a few times. But only a few.

Howie hung out at Grammie Great's; we got back and enjoyed a toasty cup of hot-chocolate...even with marshmallows!


I never did post on here, Eric's grandfather died peacefully early last Monday after a long, long process/battle. We had a family graveside burial on Tuesday. His aunt and uncle are leaving for Montana tomorrow, and Grammie Great will began to adjust to life alone...she spent the last 23 years taking care of Grandpa. Here's to (as the kids call them) Grammie and Grandpie Great.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Keeping the zen.

Last night the kids and I cleaned and rearranged the living room. I do this every now and then; come up with what I call "the newest best"arrangement. It keeps things fresh and makes living in 700 or so square feet at least a little more manageable.

So going to bed, the living room was clean and relaxing. Zen-like, you could say.

As I sit here, sipping my coffee, I'm trying to keep the Zen.

There's now a "house" behind the rocker.

The puzzles have been emptied from their drawer to make a baby bed. Of course, the puzzles no longer contain their pieces.

The pile of throws is unfolded to make a roof for the house...

Zen. Working on keeping the zen.

At least there's yummy pot roast in the oven for lunch.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

That clears it up.


I've just been informed by my world-traveling brother that my blog is blocked in China.

That's good to know.

Now I can stop wondering where the massive Chinese audience I've been waiting for hasn't found me.

After all, reading about the rocking good times here amongst the sawdust just might start a civilian revolt.

Or something like that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And so.

And so a new year is upon us. With style. (This kid's got style. JD style. For the past week.)

Snow started falling sometime Thursday and didn't really stop until today...or something along those lines.

You'll have to excuse me and my memory, I've been cooped up for days on end. With three kids and an ornery gallbladder and g.b. flush regimen. All I know is this: Outside=big snow.

(Please excuse the non-edited red-eye photos. I have to find a new editing program. Any suggestions?)

And this:
1) Eating no fat for a week is boring.
2) 1/2 cup plain lemon juice down the hatch will pucker you up.
3)Not looking forward to the 1/2 cup of Olive oil tonight.

We'll see what the outcome is. Hopefully success.

Because I want to eat something good and juicy and fatty.Elsa's checking out how she measures up to the BIG present. It turned out to be hers.
Oliver was only a little disappointed.

Looking back to Christmas, I did succeed in getting in the spirit at the last minute and enjoyed the crazy busyness of those few days. The kids were well spoiled. Really, Santa could've skipped our house, they made out like bandits elsewhere. But, he came, they opened and all was enjoyed. I even managed to get a few Christmas cards done in time... the rest are *ahem* sitting on my counter. Getting in the way every time you want to use the microwave. Waiting for stamps.

We don't want to be to prompt or anything.

It's 8:08 on 1/1/11. The kids are sleeping. The dog is snoring. The hubby is at work. And I don't feel any large doses of ambition coming on. Think I'll curl up with a book.