Thursday, May 31, 2007
Linda's final day as a school teacher is tomorrow. Then she's retired and entitled to all the benefits of years of diligence and hard work. May her retirement be filled with joy and grandchildren. Congratulations, well done.
Their plans to move to Minnesota continue and we'll keep you updated here.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Our niece, Shana Letnes Erickson, ran in the Madison half-Marathon over the weekend. This, after delivering Ron and Linda Rolfsrud Letnes the sweetest little grandchild last fall. So Mom is totally back in shape, it would seem, and she's just getting warmed up for Grandma's full marathon.
Shana reports: "The conditions were perfect from start to finish (much cooler than when we finished Ironman Wisconsin in 2005!). Anja slept through the entire race, but enjoyed watching rides and people at the "World's Largest Brat Fest" afterwards. Nothing beats a post-race brat!
"This was a good training race for Grandma's . . . lots of gas left in the tank at the finish."
Sunday, May 27, 2007
This is a rare photo. Why? It is rare for Stan to be in photographs because he is usually taking them. It is rare for Bill, Solvieg's rare Mohican spouse, to even be in Minnesota. So to have Stan sitting beside Bill in Minnesota with Stan not taking the picture is rare indeed. No other such recent photographs are said to exist.
Becky and Al Jerdee drove from Des Moines to Shakopee today for Kathleen's waffles. Yes, they are that good. No, that's not the only reason they came. It was also to see Solvieg and Bill and to have some fun. Success on all counts is evidenced in this photo, above.
Photo left, Stan was asked to help out by cutting up some fruit this morning. He did cut the chocolate mint from the herb garden outside. Kathleen did the rest.
Alexandria was easy. Find a summer sausage worthy of the old Garfield Creamery to take back home to old friend Rand Elness in a rest home in California. Mission accomplished.
Minneapolis? Sosie's internet guide said that for a savvy traveler, a Jucy Lucy at Matt's is just the thing. The internets say it is a unique hamburger treat in a bar that has been honored for not changing anything for 54 years. A real throwback. Just the thing, Sosie said.
Sosie wants, Sosie gets.
We found Matt's Bar on Cedar Ave just about where Becky Stewart Rolfsrud said it would be. Becky grew up in the same south Minneapolis neighborhood and Matt's was an institution then. The neighborhood has changed, but not Matt's. You can play B17 on the jukebox, but they don't take VISA at Matt's. They don't take Am Express either or any other form of plastic. No checks. You pay in cash only. What a concept!
Our party of 10 walked through the dimly-lit bar to the big booth in the back under the Blue Moon neon sign.
The busy waitress described the featured item: A jucy lucy is a double hamburger patty with a chunk of cheese sealed inside. One person can't eat a french-fry basket, you're better off splitting it. Splitting a jucy lucy is a bad idea because dividing it always makes a big, sticky mess. The mess is supposed to be on your chin and hands, not on the table.
Some history: When it was first tasted by the owner back in the 50s, as the melting cheese and grease ran down the corner of his mouth, the owner exclaimed, "Man, that is a juicy Lucy!" The name stuck. Apparently the owner was a better cook than speller.
The waitress delivered our order in a big wire basket, all labeled and wrapped in clean white paper. She passed the items out like Christmas presents. A snatch of lettuce for Kathleen's bun arrived by special order to provide the only green thing at the table.
I don't know how this may define our siblings, but just for the record: Solvieg waited for her cheese to cool, Virg wolfed his immediately.
Somebody, it could have been Sosie, above, reassured Virgil, left, of the safety of his key lime pie last night. Stan had volunteered to disperse the chocolate squares and pie while his wife was being honored by the assemblage for having a birthday. Stan's left hand slipped while attempting to nudge Virg's sticky slice off the pie server, causing a small dent in the pie and an objection from the owner.
Subsequent discussion included the explanation of devices each family member has developed for remembering important family milestones, given their advancing ages, memory loss and ever-increasing number of birth dates. For example, long ago Steve and Virg mutually agreed to ignore each other's birthday in order to decrease the general pressure.
This innovative, practical idea gained no traction at the dinner table.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Postscript: Grandma and Grandpa may be a little confused here. Is that Elmo or is it Ernie? It says Sesame Street on the buttons. We know it is not the Cookie Monster, or is it? Help. For sure it isn't Kermit.
So much to learn.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Other details are top secret.
It is an annual event that starts with a huge load of raw homegrown rhubarb stuffed in brown kraft bags.
Lawrence Hartmann, Laurie's late father, used to deliver it from his garden. He's gone now, but not the memory of the help he gave every year Kathleen took down the recipe box and the jars.
Kathleen has a certain number of "regular customers" looking forward to their annual treat. They'll get personal delivery soon, when the jars are polished and the ribbons tied.
But not to worry, Sosie and Bill, Kathleen says there will be plenty left to spread this Sunday morning at breakfast at our house.
I thought about all the lilac bushes I've ever known, starting with the fragrant old-fashioned bush by our septic tank on Lake Andrew all the way to the woody, gnarly companion in St. Paul that died when Kathleen's mother did.
From: Jennifer Kathleen
To: Kathleen Rolfsrud
Cc: Marcelline Harrisonfields; Stan Rolfsrud; Missy Blethen
Subject: Having fun on the California Coast
Hi Mom and Stan and Marcelline and Missy, I'm in L.A.
I went camping with Elizabeth this weekend and we had a blast. We camped at San Simeon State Park, hung out in Cambria and drove down the coast.
Here's a few pictures for you, the funny house we are standing in front of is in Cambria and it's called the Nit Wit house.
Peace and Aloha,
Monday, May 21, 2007
Yvonne is presently in nurses training as they raise their family, Evelyn and Andrew.
Tony had a birthday May 14. He's 48. That's his mother, Mary Lou Brewer, Kathleen's older sister, at right. Mary Lou lives with her husband, David, in Durango, Co. Tony's sister Heidi is the Durango hospital dietician.
Here's Tony's birthday note from Yuma:
Hi Aunt Kathleen and Stan,
Thank you very much for the beautiful card you both sent me. I was very surprised and was happy to have received it. How are things in MN? Everything here is fine, Yvonne is getting ready for another semester of school all the while trying to prepare Evelyn for Jr. High. Andy is doing great, he will not be starting Kinder for another year but he loves being home with mom.
Love to you both,
Friday, May 18, 2007
Here's Becky's advisory:
Subject: oatmeal squares
It's the butter that'll kill ya. Mom probably used Crisco. Brown sugar is what makes it memorable.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 recipe of filling (Mom opted out)
1. In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda.
Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture (skip the crumb step if you don't add a filling, see next step).
2. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9-inch-square baking pan. Spread with desired filling (this is something we didn't have in our squares...Mom, no doubt, needed to simplify and worked the recipe quickly from memory; see filling possibilities below).
Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or unti the top is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup snipped dried apricots and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; stir into apricot mixture. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until thickened and bubbly.
Apple-Cranberry Filling: Combine 1 cup chunky applesauce, 2/3 cup dried cranberries or blueberries, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and dash ground cloves.
Easy Filling: Use 1 1/2 cups canned mincemeat or one 21-ounce can cherry or peach pie filling.
Raisin Filling: In a medium saucepan combine 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Add 1 1/4 cups golden raisins. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Diligently they gather each week to earn their hallowed place in the Big Scorebook of What Doesn't Really Matter.
Meet them now in this exclusive photo essay:
Dick Crawford, age 52. Team Anchor. Shot a 39 two weeks ago. HANDICAP: low teens. Recent acquisition of a used $25 Ram driver from Play It Again Sports has resulted in consistent 250 yard drives. A good putter, Dick uses the claw technique to steady his grip. Newest addition to the team, he is in his third year. A gifted athlete. Steady.
Tom Story, Age 60. Swings lefthanded. Our best driver, has current license for Jefferson Bus Co. SPECIAL SKILLS: Can accurately identify low-flying aircraft over fairways. HANDICAP: Trick knee, has difficulty hearing the word "Fore" and any advice from teammates. BEST QUOTE: “Even a blind squirrel can sometimes find an acorn.”
Greg Collier, Age Unknown. Team sage. Recent graduate of numerous Arizona golf academies, he is often accompanied by his player/coach/wife Phyllis, who claims to beat him like a rented mule. HANDICAP: aching feet and sore muscles after Wednesday pilates class. BEST SCORE: a net zero on 16; SPECIAL SKILLS: he’s good looking, women love him and the cart girls all remember him. He can call them by their first names without reading their tags first. BEST QUOTE: "What happened to the break?"
Stan Rolfsrud, Age 59. But enough about him.